Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Free Day at the Zoo

In my homeschooling group they send emails daily about activities to do with your children. I guess the Hogle Zoo offers during the winter months a free day on the last Wednesday of the month. When I heard about it I figured that it'd be perfect to take the kids to, Wednesday is Little Princess's day off from preschool. I called Natalie to see if she and Mya would like to go with us and luckily Justin had the day off work so their family joined us.

It was very cold, so many of the animals were inside. We missed out on seeing most of my favorites, but the kids still had a fun time...well mostly. Little Princess has learned that "outings" mean treats and toys. All the little shops with food were closed. The train was closed too. That put quite a damper on her trip to the zoo. Fortunately Aunt Natalie was prepared with yummy Cheetos for the kids to munch on.

Little Princess was in control of the camera.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


There are moments in life when we are tested....Today I was faced with one, and might I say I failed miserably. Moments after the test I sit here and re-play it out....wanting to bang my head against a brick wall. Why didn't I pass that silly test? Why did I not focus on what I have learned and apply that knowledge? I DO know better, I should've aced it!!

Awful part of it all is until I do pass this test, there will be another one. *sigh*

These moments, these tests, do they define me? Do I show my true colors? Part of me fears this is who I am...but definitely not who I want to be.

Where does one begin when trying to ace that blasted test? I know it starts on the inside, and that is my least favorite place to be. There's too much in there. There's things I don't want to know about my self, things I don't want to admit. But I know that's where I need to start. I can compose myself enough on the outside to put off the appearance that "why yes of course I can pass that test", but when it comes down to the wire time for the test which is more like a pop-quiz with no warning, the inside of me is shown, the inside that is untouched un-composed.

I've made one change as of this last week, it might be a small change but I think it's one of the biggest changes I could make and will only get bigger as time passes. I prayed. First time in almost 3 years. It was a small prayer, not a day long prayer, not one where I really needed something big, just a prayer to let my Father know I was still here. Don't get me wrong because I have always believed in God, never felt his absence and continued to say small prayers but my heart wasn't truly there. I abandoned Him. I felt so unworthy of His blessings in my life that I quit asking for them. I would ask for blessings for others but not myself. I know that God loves me, He loves all His children. But there was something inside of me telling me I was not good enough to pray, not good enough to ask for His help in my life. I won't get into the details of it all, because there are too many and I fear offending anyone or giving off the wrong impression.

I know that change only works from the inside out, I can't change my "answers" to life's tests without first changing the inside. Perhaps I needed this test today to get me working on it all a little bit faster. I canNOT fail it the next time...but hopefully it won't be for a long time.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Another conversation with a very insightful 4 yr old

"Mom, can we say what we are thankful for?"

"Sure sweetie"

"Ummm...I'm thankful for my little brother"

"Oh, good sweetie, and I'm thankful for my two little kiddos"

"I'm thankful for the toys Santa brought for me"

"I'm thankful for Daddy Joe"

"Oh mommy that's a really one. God made you marry him and that was very good of God, huh?! He's kinda smart and knows stuff to make you do. Anyways, I'm thankful for my compooter."

At this point I had to call a time-out on the game so I could document this. So sweet!

Figured it out....hopefully!

Well for about the last week Little Man has woke up screaming every night between 10-11:30 p.m. I usually try to let him cry it out, which in the past has worked. He'd fuss for a maximum of 5 minutes and gfro right back to bed....and it was just a small soft fuss. But like I said this last week he is SCREAMING. A blood curdling scream, the first time I sat and listened in shock when I heard it and then raced up the stairs. He was tossing wildly in his crib. When I reached out to touch him he scream louder. I tried to hold him, he'd arch his back and flip out of my arms. His sweet eyes that are usually so full of love were glossed over and seemed full of hatred. He seriously seemed possessed. There was absolutely no soothing my baby. My heart would just ache for him. What did I do wrong, why wouldn't he let me hold him, why wasn't my voice comforting him? After a few nights of torture and not knowing what to do, I surrendered. I sat one night in my bed while he laid up in his screaming and watched the clock. The minutes ticked by, after about 25 minutes (by this time he had just started coughing) I headed up the stairs. I got him some warm milk in a bottle and took it in with high hopes of being able to calm him down. Milk always works magic with my babies. However this night it had lost it's charm. He threw the bottle across the room and just glared at me with those bloodshot glazed eyes. They reminded me of a much older man's eyes. A man who had a life we would never want to believe existed and the only way for him to escape was through the use of drugs....that's what my baby's eyes reminded me of. I couldn't take it any longer. I put him back in his bed, placed his bottle beside him, and closed the door. I collapsed in the hallway. What could I do? I prayed. Prayed that whatever was happening would pass. If I was the one causing my baby such pain that I could change whatever needed it. I prayed for peace. Nothing happened immediately. Another 5 or 10 minutes passed with him screaming. Then he stopped. The next night it happened again. I knew there was nothing I could do, so I let him scream. After what feels like hours of screaming I began to question myself again...was I being a neglectful and selfish momma as I let him scream and I just sit there? Was I causing him some sort of pain and that is why I couldn't comfort him? My head was ready to explode...Then it hit me, maybe all of this is a night terror. I've heard a little about them, my friend's daughter experienced head raced with how they treated it...was there something about music?? I couldn't remember. Then he stopped, so I decided to sleep and think about it the next day. The next day came, and of course with my "perfect" memory his episode didn't even cross my mind. After a few more days, these outburst of screaming that lasted about 30 minutes just seemed to become part of our nightly routine. Every night between 10 and 11:30 Little Man would scream.

During this same time, Little Man has refused REFUSED his 2nd nap of the day. It really doesn't work out very well for anyone. He used to take his first nap around 9, 9:30 and then his second around 2. So around 2 I lay him in his bed. He fights it and plays and talks. I don't mind that because eventually he'll take his nap...but after about 30 minutes of play he cries to get out. I'm not a mom who just gives in when baby cries. I let him cry, I go check on him after a while to make sure he is ok and kiss his cheeks and cover him with the blankie, but he needs his nap and I'm not going to give in. Until he cries for over an hour...then I'll give in with a bottle. He's quiet and I think I've won, until 20 minutes pass by (about the time for him to drink the bottle) and he's crying again. By this time he's been in bed over 2 hours. I give in. I take him out and let him play with his big sister.
It's very stressful for him as well as the rest of us when he misses his naps. He's fussy and that makes for one stressed out mommy and a frustrated sister. I still try each day on the same schedule but there's no having it, he simply won't take a nap.

Last night when Little Man started screaming at 10:26 I was exhausted..."not tonight Little Man, mommy doesn't have energy for this". I layed in bed while he scream for 34 minutes (I did time it, how can you not?!)...the tears started down my cheeks...this wasn't just a phase, I should take him to the doctor, get him a blessing from my dad, clear his energy, I needed to find a solution a treatment for this. I walked in his room and tried to hold him, he flipped out of my arms and onto my legs. I placed him back in his bed where he'd be safer than me dropping him and rubbed his back. My touch seemed to irritate him more. He rolled over and glared at me with those eyes. Those awful eyes. I couldn't take it, but I couldn't leave. I tried singing "I am a Child of God", he scream louder. I rubbed his forehead and he smacked my arm. He started to calm down slightly...this was the longest episode he'd had to date. I figured I'd get him some milk to comfort him. When I got back to his room he was screaming again. After an hour of him screaming I thought that maybe if I forced the bottle in his mouth and held it there he'd eventually latch on and calm down. BAD IDEA!! He freaked out! I didn't know what to do, I again decided it best if I leave and let him cry before I get too worn out and frustrated. I came to my laptop and searched night terrors. I hate to self diagnose things without fully understanding I'd better find out before I just assume this is what it is. Here's what I found on

Night terrors are a common sleep problem among children. By some estimates, about 15% of younger children have occasional night terrors. Although most common in children between the ages of 2 and 6 years, they can occur at almost any age.

Although usually considered to be normal or benign, they are often very scary and distressing to parents who often overreact, especially during a child's first night terror.


When you hear how most experts describe night terrors, it is easy to see why parents find them distressing. Children who have night terrors are usually described as 'bolting upright' with their eyes wide open, with a look of fear and panic, and letting out a 'blood curdling scream'. These kids will usually also be sweating, breathing fast and have a rapid heart rate (autonomic signs). And although it will seem like they are awake, during a night terror, children will appear confused, will not be consolable and won't recognize you.

Typical night terrors last about 5 to 30 minutes and afterwards, children usually return to a regular sleep. If you are able to wake your child up during a night terror, he is likely to become scared and agitated, mostly because of your own reaction to the night terror, especially if you were shaking or yelling at him to wake up. Instead of trying to wake up a child having a night terror, it is usually better to just make sure he is safe, comfort him if you can, and help him return to sleep once it is over.


The diagnosis of night terrors is usually made by the history of a child 'waking' early in the night screaming and being inconsolable. Night terrors are most often confused with nightmares, but unlike night terrors, a child having a nightmare is usually easily woken up and comforted.

The other worry for many parents is that these episodes are a type of seizure. Although different types of partial seizures, including temporal lobe and frontal lobe epilepsy, can appear similar to night terrors, they are usually brief (30 seconds to a few minutes) and are more common in older children and adults.


No treatment is usually necessary for routine night terrors. Since they are often triggered in children who are overtired, sticking to a good bedtime routine and making sure your child is getting enough rest can help to prevent them.

For children who get frequent night terrors, it might help to wake your child up before the time that he usually has a night terror. This is thought to interrupt or alter the sleep cycle and prevent night terrors from occuring (it also works for sleepwalking).

Rarely, sleep medications might be used for a short time if your child gets very frequent night terrors.

What You Need To Know

  • Night terrors are also called sleep terrors or pavor nocturnus.

  • Similar to sleepwalking and sleeptalking, night terrors are considered to be a disorder of arousal and are a partial arousal from non-REM sleep.

  • Unlike a nightmare, children usually don't recall having a night terror.

  • Also unlike nightmares, night terrors usually occur in the early part of the night, about 1 to 4 hours after going to sleep.

  • If your child gets night terrors, make sure that baby sitters and other caregivers are aware of them and know what they should do if one occurs.

  • Most children outgrow night terrors as they get older.
(I highlighted the symptoms of Little Man and italicized the things for a parent to do.) Every thing that I saw in Little Man was listed there...Every symptom listed we'd experienced. I seriously felt so much better after reading this site. Then I went to wikipedia, which said basically the same thing. Then I visited webMD and searched it there...everything was the same. I'm certain that this is what Little man is experiencing, night terrors. When I read about the causes for night terrors, it all made sense. He isn't getting the sleep during the day that his little growing body needs. Today we will try a different nap schedule. Wish us luck, I hope and pray this works and that he can go back to taking 2 naps and avoid those awful awakenings.

Update: After waking Little Man up at 6:00a.m. the last 2 mornings so he's dying to take that 2nd nap, he's slept through the night!! Not one peep out of him! YAY!! I surely don't want to jinx myself with this, but I'm happy for the 2 peaceful nights, and that extra nap each day!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happily Ever After

Well 2009 has come to an end. We had a wonderful year, so much has happened and so many lessons learned (we hope we learned them). As I sit here reflecting on this past year, I am so thankful!! My heart is full of love and joy for 2009.

I was blessed and able to finally do what I have wanted to for 3 1/2 years. I was able to be a stay at home mommy and be with my children. I loved it, although I will admit some days got boring and too routinish for me, I still wouldn't trade it for the world.

I married my "soul-mate", ok so maybe I don't really believe in "soul-mates" but if I did, I'm certain Lover Boy would be mine. We had a nice small simple wedding that was perfect. After our wedding we faced our struggles as I know all newly weds face some sort of struggle in the beginning.

When Lover Boy first lost his job, only days (4 to be exact) after our wedding, we didn't know what to do. Fortunately my dad had asked if I wanted to go back to work 2 days a week, I had agreed to and so when lay offs made their way to Lover Boy we at least knew that I would be bringing in a little bit to help out. Lover Boy made many great attempts and sacrifices to find work...but nothing worked out. Work picked up at my job and I was able to do full time...Such a blessing!! I hated working....HATED IT...but it was a blessing that my family needed.

Through our struggles we grew so much closer. We learned to rely on each other and become each others best friend. We shared almost every moment of every day together for 5 months. Most newly weds can't say that unless they are quite a bit older than we are. It was a trial, but such a wonderful blessing. Our family grew so close to each other and I'm so glad that the little ones were able to spend so much time with their dad.

And we were so blessed with the perfect ending to our year. Lover Boy got a job!! (I'm doing a happy dance as I type this)

We will all live Happily Ever After as we learn to trust in the Lord, trust his timing, and enjoy the day as we live it and not long for the future.

Cheers to 2010 and all the experiences to come:)

Resisting the temptation

Do you find it as hard as I do to hold your sweet baby and not kiss him?

I think that everytime I pick up Little Man there is a magnetic force that draws my lips to his head. It's a sweet gesture however there are times when it's not appropriate. Times like NOW.

My poor children never stand a chance at missing sickness once Momma gets it. I hope so badly that today, this sickness will be different. I hate seeing my children suffer and I'll admit I just don't know how to care for them when they are sick.

Today the flu sickness that my entire family has had hit our house. We thought we'd made it pass the stupid bug, but at 1:30 today Little Princess's teacher called and said that she'd lost all coloring and was complaining of a tummy ache. I rushed over to get her, they'd taken her temperature and she was fine, I felt her skin and it felt fine to me, but they were right her coloring was gone.

Once we were home, I suggested that she just take rest on my bed or the couch. She chose my bed (that's where our only TV is) and laid down groaning. I brought her water and soda crackers. After about 1 1/2 hours she was completely fine. Color restored, energy was bursting from her seams. I hope that was as much as she'll get. How lucky?!

About 1/2 hour after she was running around and playing with her brother it hit me. I just felt queasy for a while, but then it hits hard and fast. You'd think with me feeling so yucky I'd be fully conscious about keeping my germs to myself...but those magnetic forces are far stronger than I.

Perhaps I will just put Little Man down for bed shortly....He did miss his 2nd nap today, so going to bed 30 minutes early shouldn't hurt him, especially since it will keep my germ infested lips far from his sweet chubby cheeks.