Friday, June 24, 2011

The Tortoise and the Hare

Make that "The ADHESIVE and the Hare."

Actually, it was "The adhesive and the HAIR."

Well, really it was more like, "The Adhesive IN the hair."

Little Dude had to get a sleep study done. Because he isn't sleeping well. (Okay, that part might have been obvious.)

He gets up a couple of times a night, which, as everyone knows, means Mommy gets up a couple of times a night. In fact, last month I felt like I had a newborn baby again. Except I didn't have the maternity leave and helpful family & friends around to make it bearable.

Also, Little Dude sounds like Darth Vader when he does sleep.
 It's sad. And loud. We can hear him through his closed door. When his door is open, we can hear him from the foot of the stairs. It's a little funny!

But also, it's not so funny. I feel bad for the little guy. And now that I'm home for the summer, I feel bad for me. Because an interesting thing happens when you have a three year old who doesn't actually sleep: they lose their freaking marbles. (So does Mommy.) Seriously, he is extremely hyper and impulsive, prone to extreme tantrums and is having difficulty learning things that he should know by now.

I know, I know. This sounds like every other three year old you've ever met. But think of the most hyperactive, impulsive and moody preschooler you've ever met.

Now imagine that kid on meth. After downing three espresso's and a case of Red Bull.

Welcome to our family!

So, we took him for a sleep study. (Actually, Matt took him for the "sleepover," but I scheduled it and filled out all the paperwork.)

This is an interesting experience. Have you ever had one? They attached about 50 censors to Riley. He had them wrapped around his chest and belly, taped to his arms, knees and face, and glued to his head. GLUED. To his HEAD. Over his HAIR.

His "do" was hysterical when he came home the next morning! It was sticking out all over his head, and it was really, really funny.

It was really funny... Right up until the moment we tried to get it out of his hair.

Did you know that sleep clinics use INDUSTRIAL strength glue to keep those little things stuck to kids? We tried the special wipes they gave us, but they weren't very useful. We tried a couple of other things, and settled on baby oil as the best sticky-stuff-remover. After a lot of rubbing and scrubbing with the baby oil, we figured there couldn't be much glue left in his hair, so we shampooed him.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat.




The great thing about having boys is that they are dirt magnets, so by the end of the day, it was easy to see all the spots we had missed on his skin.

And by the next morning, it was apparent that we had removed neither all the glue nor the baby oil from his hair.

And this leads me to one of the other great things about boys. They look awesome with short hair. Really short. That has been unceremoniously shaved off in the bathroom by a frustrated mother wielding fourteen year old clippers that make a really annoying sound.

He hates it, and I've promised him that he can grow it back out. For now we're calling it his "summer hair."

What do you think?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Weekend Away

I have to admit to being a "country girl" at heart. I dislike all things "city," and love forests, fields and fauna. If I could, I would have chickens, goats, a couple of sheep or alpacas and a hugemongous garden. Unfortunately, our neighborhood indentures and committees frown on these things, so for now I'm making due with a smallish garden, wool purchased at local yarn stores, and frequent camping trips.

Last weekend we went to a state park we hadn't visited before. We went to Graham Cave State Park. We loaded up the kids and an astonishing amount of normally forbidden junk foods, hooked up our little pop up trailer and headed out into the wild blue yonder. Sort of. The park was only about an hour and a half from our home, but in our part of Missouri, you can drive relatively short distances and be away from everyone and everything.

The weekend was fun. During the day. But both Friday and Saturday night brought us thunderstorms with high winds, a little hail, heavy rain and some scary moments. We found out Saturday morning that a funnel cloud had been spotted just 9 miles from our campground. And the end of each storm inspired prayers of thanks. Check these photos for some of the things we did:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Guilt Steals Joy...

I recently read those words in Kristen Welch's awesome daily devotional "Don't Make Me Come Up There!" I'm enjoying this book quite a bit. Kristen has a wealth of wisdom, and a great sense of humor, about the everyday challenges of motherhood.

But really, those words ring true for everyone, whether you are a mother or not.

"Guilt Steals Joy."

I might have to incorporate that into my next tattoo. I definitely need a consistent reminder to let go of my guilt. We don't need to feel guilty when we sleep in on a Saturday. We don't need to feel guilty when we have that dessert after dinner (or before dinner for that manner). We don't need to feel guilty when we buy that pretty nail polish or purchase that large sweet tea (as in Kristen's case). We don't even need to feel guilty about those three boxes of Girl Scout cookies we have hidden in the chest freezer in the basement, conveniently tucked under a plastic bag clearly marked "chicken gizzards" (but which is actually full of some awesome wool for knitting)...

I'm sorry. Was that last one just me? I'm telling you, you can hide ANYTHING in a freezer under or behind a bag that says "chicken gizzards" and you are practically guaranteed that nobody in your family will go near it!

But I digress. When it comes to guilt, I have quite a bit of experience. I grew up with a mom who has a black belt in guilt. Although she used to heap a good helping of guilt on herself, she was like a ninja with the guilt. She'd sneak up on you, smack you with a healthy dose, and disappear in a puff of smoke without ever actually having been seen. Nowadays, she's a lot better about guilt in every way. I don't think she lugs as much around with her, and she very rarely sneaks it onto me (although I do occasionally get those voice mails about how I don't call or write, and she talks to my three sisters all the time, but she never hears from me, yada-yada-yada).

I have spent a lifetime feeling guilty about everything from that insensitive thing I said to a lady at the grocery store eight years ago to just plain not being as good as I thought God probably wanted me to be. I always assumed that I should feel guilty because I must be disappointing God in some way. Every minute of every day.

These days I'm getting better too. About the guilt. I still need to work on that whole keeping in touch thing. What can I say? I don't like to talk on the phone. Last year when I read the Bible in 90 Days, the biggest lesson I learned is that God is not who I thought He was. He is much better than I ever gave Him credit for. We don't have to drag all that joy stealing guilt around because Jesus already took it away. God created joy so that we could experience it. He wants us to have joy. He doesn't want us to simply exist with the joy stealing guilt monster looming in the back of our consciousness. He wants us to live with joy in our hearts.

So I have been choosing one thing each day that I feel guilty about. And I have been letting it go.

You should try it. It feels good!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Top Ways to Know Summer Break is Here:

10. The cicadas have invaded Missouri and are wreaking havoc on my sanity. And my car.

9. St. Louis has already experienced its first heat advisory.

8. My neighbor's air conditioning hasn't stopped running in 7 weeks.

7. My boys are sporting their "summer hair" (i.e. buzz cuts).

6. I am sporting my "summer hair" (i.e. ponytails and twisty buns every day).

5. My tennis racket has been freed of its bag and cleared of the cobwebs. (Yes, I have cobwebs in my garage... I know. That's a shocker.)

4. My normally quiet house is filled with noisy boy sounds all. day. long.

3. My normally delightful-smelling home suddenly has an air of sweaty dogs (and boys).

2. I am suddenly getting lots of cleaning/organizing knitting projects done.

And the number one way to know summer break is here:


My school year job might drag me (kicking and screaming) from my blog, but summer break mostly leaves me alone to share my extremely interesting crazy blessed life with my friends & family who live far away. (And those who live close, but who apparently lack enough things to do and feel compelled to read this masterpiece train wreck despite having actual social contact with me on a monthly/weekly/daily basis. Yes, I said daily. Feel sad for those people.)