Monday, February 24, 2014

Nightmares: Hers and Mine

Is there such a thing as a 5.5 year sleep regression? Because, I think we're in it.

My poor kid has been waking up 2 or 3 times a night, for the last 15 days. Correction, she did sleep through on 2 separate nights, a week apart, but I suspect it was because she was just too exhausted to wake up. Every single wake up is a bad dream - things in her bed, geese pecking her face, a cat scratching her legs, and last night, after we watched The Little Mermaid sequel, the sea witch "blinked her eye" at her. At that point, she was in the bed with me and she nearly strangled Luke (who is always in the bed with me at some point during the wee morning hours) in her effort to get closer to me.

I've told you how I love sleep, and how nighttime parenting is the hardest part, right? Every night of broken sleep just compounds the problem until I'm a hot mess.

Last night, as I dragged my arm away from her own sea witch-like tentacles that were trying to hold me in place until my limbs were numb, I snapped at her: "You are touching me from your toes to your head. I think we're covered!" She replied in her pitiful voice, "I'm just scared." I was a hot mess.

She is scared; so scared she is waking up sobbing, with tears running down her face. I remember being scared like that from my bad dreams. I remember just needing to be close to my parents to feel safe, so I'm trying so hard to be patient - to pray and cuddle and reassure her through this while also begging God to make it pass. I need it to pass for me and for her; we have matching blue circles under our eyes right now.

In those wakeful moments in the middle of the night last night, with one kid on one side of me and the other on the other side of me, both holding on for dear life, I pondered how one person can feel so many things at one time. Desperation, frustration, anger, heartbreak, empathy, compassion, exhaustion, hopelessness, love, dread, shame - all of it swirling inside me. I prayed and thought and prayed, and finally we all slept for a couple of hours.

When I woke up with the alarm, I wiggled to turn it off without disturbing them and I laid there, picturing the calendar in my head and counting. Two weeks ago, her 6 year molars broke through the skin. I know new teeth have always caused bad dreams, but they are mostly in and the dreams should be going away by now. Then I realized that she started taking Singulair again that same week, after having been off of it for 2 months. I was mulling that over when Dave came in. "Did you sleep at all last night?" I didn't know. "When did she start that medicine?" He was thinking the same thoughts. We talked about it, and I Googled it.

I found this:
"Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but serious side effects occur: mental/mood changes (such as agitation, aggression, anxietytrouble sleeping, abnormal dreams, sleep-walking, memory/attention problems . . . "

I even found some anecdotal "evidence" that some kids experienced the horrible dreams after having taken the medicine for years without issue. Ella was on it for three years with no problem. We started it back after her allergist appointment because her nose stayed stuffy all the time. I don't know if this is happening now because she was off of it for a while, or because her dose was increased, but we're done with it. 

I just hope this resolves it. We can live with a stuffy nose; we cannot live in terror of sleeping at night. 

So, this is a lot of whining to make myself feel better, but also part public service announcement. This is the second time one of the kids was taking medicine that made them crazy, and both times I think it took us too long to figure it out.

If your kids suddenly go wacko, check their meds!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Ten is My Favorite Number

It's been ten years since I entered into a covenant with this man. He probably won't like this picture, but it's one of my favorites.
During Chemo
It isn't always easy, and sometimes I feel like marriage is the hardest thing I do. Not because of him or me, but because it just is hard to consider someone else first over and over again, in every decision, every day. I am selfish and stubborn and proud, and left to my own devices, I'd steamroll him (and everyone around me) because that's my nature. On the flip side, he would do the same, because it's also his nature.
Before Kids
We've walked side by side over mountains, through valleys, across deserts, and on the bottom of the ocean floor, and he is still my safe place. He's the first person I want to tell good news, and bad. He is my secret keeper, my partner in crime, and the one who can always make me laugh.
Two in Diapers
I am a better me because of him, and maybe, hopefully, he's better because of me.

February 21, 2004

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Family Planning Advice

I keep seeing this quiz on Facebook about how many kids you should have.

It reminded me of a conversation I had the pleasure of overhearing last weekend. We were all out in the front yard working on campaign stuff. Dave and the kids were putting together signs, and I was on the porch with the laptop searching for current pictures of the four of us together (they are hard to find!). Our neighbor from across the street came riding down the road on her bike and, seeing us all out there with a stack of Elect Dave Roper signs, she stopped in our driveway to talk.

Luke walked right up to her, interrupting the conversation as usual, and said, "Ms. Holwee (her name is Hollie), it's supposed a be a brother and a sister." He had obviously been planning to talk to her about this for a while.

Ms. Hollie, who has two boys, bent down to eye level and said, "A brother and a sister? So, are you saying we got it messed up over here?"

Luke nodded seriously and emphatically, "Yes."

So, ya'll just go ahead and take the quiz about how many kids you should have, but I'm here to tell you, the answer is 2 - and they better be a brother and a sister, else, you'll have some 'splainin to do.

P.S. The quiz really did say I should have two.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

We Have An Announcement

Hold on to your hats, people!

I'm a politician's wife.

Dave has decided to run for a judge position in Shelby County. It's not terribly surprising; when he finally made the decision to go to law school all those years ago, he was already talking about being a judge one day. Lots of things have changed since he opened his law practice, but one thing that hasn't is his goal to be a judge. I guess now is as good a time as any to get started on that.

This is really happening.
As much as I doubt my own qualifications for being a politician's wife, I believe he will make a good judge. He knows the law, he genuinely cares about the people he serves, and he wants to make an impact in this world. When he told me he was thinking about doing this, I started praying and I was reminded of God's instructions to Moses.

“You shall appoint judges and officers in all your gates, which the Lord your God gives you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with just judgment. You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. You shall follow what is altogether just, that you may live and inherit the land which the Lord your God is giving you." - Deuteronomy 16:18-20 

I don't know if he'll win, but this did give me a sense of peace about stepping way outside of our comfort zone for this new adventure. 

We'll need some help to get there. Money is good (and it takes some to run a campaign), networking is helpful, and votes are necessary to win an election. I don't intend to turn this blog into a political forum, because that would be boring and also because he has a separate website and Facebook page set up for that. You can read more about him and his beliefs in those places (though if you've been reading here, you already know a lot of that stuff). You can also make a donation, if you feel so led, and contact him if you want to help with the campaign. We would greatly appreciate any help you want to give us.

Click here to visit his website: Dave Roper for Judge.
Click here to visit his Facebook page: Dave Roper for Judge.  (Go Like it!)

And, if he wins the election, I solemnly promise to teach our children to call him Your Honor and Judge - especially in public places.  

Sunday, February 02, 2014

All Who Wander

After a week of snow, ice, and single digit mornings, our weekend begged us to play outside, and we did.

We wandered around Lay Lake and dreamed about buying a house out there. It would be close enough to spend regular weekends there; we wouldn't have to worry about leaving the dog with someone; we would have lots of outdoor time with the kids; we could get a pontoon boat. Even the kids loved the idea. Maybe one day.

We wandered around the college lake on the new (to us) Fit Trail and talked about how we've never taken Georgia there to swim. We watched some of a UM baseball game and entertained the people in front of us by calling the man out on his manners when he talked with his mouth full. Yes, we did. Thankfully, a three year old Batman is cute enough to get away with such a faux pas.

We wandered five miles around the town on the walking trail that we've been meaning to use for years. That's the longest we've ever walked the kids. Ella did every step of five miles. Luke walked a solid three before I had to piggy-back him most of the rest of the way. He did ride Dave's shoulders at the end when my arms felt like noodles, but generally all the baby wearing I've done has left me better conditioned to haul him on my back for miles. If I'd had a pouch big enough to carry his 40 pounds, he would have been in it. Though they were dragging at the end of it, I was reassured that, should we be stranded and need to trek for miles to get somewhere, they can handle it.

We stopped at the college lake again for a rest, and this time Georgia was with us so she got to swim. Luke went fishing with a piece of stick that he found early in the walk and carried all the way to the lake. We really have to buy some fishing poles and let the kids teach themselves how to put a worm on the hook.
Fishing with a Stick
When we finally made it home, we soaked them in the tub and then went to a princess birthday party. Cinderella was there. Ella was starstruck. When Cinderella announced that she was going to do everyone's makeup, she quietly got in line as Luke announced, "I don't want to have my make up done." He settled for a tattoo. He also did to Cinderella what he does to me: "Cinderella. Cinderella, can I have another coloring sheet? Cinderella, can I have another coloring sheet?" Over and over again.
Her first real makeup.
As Dave and I sat watching the interaction, he predicted that we would need to have a princess party. When we got in the truck to leave, I said that I thought it was a fun party, and Ella told me, "I think I might want to have Ariel come to my birthday party."

She also told me that she didn't think it was the real Cinderella; she was just someone dressed up who came from Disney World because she left in a regular car, not a carriage. And, she asked me how we could invite a princess all the way from Disney World.

Now, at 6:30 pm, despite the fact that they walked miles and miles and skipped nap, one is hanging on the arm of the chair asking what I'm typing while the other jumps off the same arm repeatedly, yelling, "To infinity and beyond!"