Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Good Night Story

I wrote a while ago about how I had changed our nightly tuck in routine. After moving Saylah to her own room, I loved the opportunity to have one-on-one time with each of my kids. We are still going strong on this new routine and I still love it.

I start with Isaac, who wants a lullaby or two before his prayers and being plopped into his crib. His songs are not of the typical variety however, and if anyone else tried to tuck him in, they would be hard-pressed to know what he was requesting. He asks for “la la” which is the Smurf theme song. (Get it … La la lalalala, la la la laaaa) or “choo choo” – a song I made up:
Chuga chuga chuga chuga chuga chuga
Choo choo
Chuga chuga chuga chuga chuga chuga
Choo choo
I love, I love, I love
You you
I love, I love, I love
You you
Of course the usuals are sometimes sprinkled in there; minkle minkle (twinkle twinkle) and open shut them but mostly La La and Choo Choo are the big hits these days. (Now you know my super secret and amazing lyrical talents.)

Audrey likes a back scratch and to be read a story. And, sometimes she wants to scratch my back too. Saylah requests talk time, where we talk about everything from what she will sing when she’s a rock star to evolution and creationism.

This is only part of our bedtime story though. Each night, after our sweet time, the real fun begins. At least one will get out of bed (of course) and there’s always the request to turn a bathroom light brighter, crack a door wider, or change a CD.

But after a while and the more-than-occasional threats, they finally fall asleep. After a couple of hours of TV watching (the much needed veg out of the day), I head myself up the stairs to check on my kiddos one last time before I hit the hay.

This is my last little present of the day; my last gift from God today of the joys He’s given me in my life; my last little giggle before I fall fast asleep.

I go into Audrey’s room, tip-toeing over strewn out clothes and dressed up dolls to turn off her fan. Currently, she’s got a fort up on her bed, so I pull back the wall (sheet) and it’s always fun to see the scene set up in her bed. I can tell if she was tired or still had a little bit more energy. I can tell if she was nervous of the dark or too sleepy to notice. Typically, she’s taken to hanging her dream lite by its tag on the bunk bed slats above her head to serve as a light to ward off any monsters or ghosts. She’s usually wrapped up in a blankie that is two years too small for her that she insists on using that night. Note: it’s a different “special” blankie each night. And often she lies on her back, like her Daddy, which I find really cute.  I kiss her cheek and head on to Isaac’s room.

I can tell if I put Isaac to bed or if Ben did based on what was left in his crib when I go check on him. If it wasn’t me, he may have a ginormous Spider Man blanket in there or some random Barbie doll his sisters threw in there. No matter the tucker inner, his dream lite puppy and turtle are both always, always on blue (per his insistence) and his bink (pacifier) is always near his head. I always resist picking him up (well almost always), kiss my hand, gently touch his cheek with it, and head on to 
Saylah’s room.

My final giggle of night happens here. First of all, Saylah, if you don’t know her, is tiny. She’s just and idget. But she sleeps on a queen size bed – our hand me down when we got our king bed and used for our guests when they come in town. Her bed contains at least four pillows (two cover pillows and two real pillows) and then a bottom sheet, top sheet, comforter and soft blankie. Sometimes it has two more small throw pillows on it as well. Think that’s a lot? That doesn’t even account for half of it – I think there is an estimated 15 dolls on her bed and sometimes accompanying doll beds for a couple of them.
So each night when I come in her room, I first – have to find Saylah. You think I’m kidding don’t you? Seriously it’s like Where’s Waldo for my daughter. Once I locate her I have to make sure she hasn’t buried herself under her pillows. Then I take in the wonder of what her post-tuck in bedtime must have entailed.

She likes to build houses and caves and statues out of the contents of her bed. One night, I kid you not; she had created four “rooms” out of pillows and dolls. In each room some of the stuffed residents were placed. Others were used as pillars to hold up walls. But always Kaitlyn (her like-American girl doll), her American girl doll (whose name I don't recall) and Sunshine (a baby who she insists is a boy) are always in the “room” with her.  Another night she had every pillow and baby stacked up to create a cave in which only her head was under. I felt like it was the stuffed reenactment of a Looney Toons Cartoon where the rocks were going plummet down and bury her at the slightest sneeze. (She got pulled out of that one.) Two nights ago she had unearthed the body pillow from under her bed and was using it and it’s pillowcase as a sleeping bag … I suppose she and the dolls were having a camp out.

I know that each day is chock full of stuff to do, places to go, and distractions galore. I’m on a kick of trying to remind myself to be present with my kids. But I absolutely love that I get one more little bit of time each night to stare at them, enjoy their peacefulness, and to “listen” to the stories they have yet to tell. I am blessed. 


Friday, February 1, 2013

Isaac's Snake

I hate snakes. And when I mean I hate them, I mean I really, really, REALLY hate them. So much so in fact that I am strangely drawn to them – kind of like how you can’t turn away from a car accident when you drive by ... you have to slow down and look at it.

With me, snakes are the same way. Attempting to get over this phobia of those slithery little villains I’ve had my fair share of touching, holding and observing them over the years. Really I can’t look away. But something at the core of me is heebied out by them to no extent.

Ben is of the belief that if you see a black snake or whatever – you let it live. Those are the kind that eat the mice.  Me? I chop of their heads. Screaming bloody murder as I do. Considering that perhaps the mice would be a better visitor?

One time, I was reading and relaxing in our lanai and a little yucko thing went slithering out of the corner of my eye. No one was home, no neighbor around to get rid of it, there it was, the size of worm, invading MY space. After much squalin’ and hiding behind the sliding glass door where I could keep a keen eye on it, I decided I needed to “man up” and take care of the intruder on my own. I grabbed Ben’s (not mine) shoe and squashed the bajeebers out it. Had anyone been around during this episode, they surely would have called the cops with all the screaming coming out of me as I did the deed. Darn snakes.

It’s pretty much my only “thing” – my only truly girly “thing.” My kids know I hate snakes as well. And, like any good daughter would, since I hate them so much, guess what? Saylah has decided that she loves them. I mean absolutely loves them. They are her “favorite animal” (gross) Of, course they are.

For Christmas this year, Saylah’s school had a Holiday Shop where the kids could buy presents for their family. (No she did not buy me a snake, I got a ring.) But she did however buy Isaac a stuffed snake. It is the one and only snake toy in our house. My sister in law bought a real looking toy for Saylah a while back but sadly it got “lost” – so this blue stuffed critter is the only snake toy in our house. The problem – Saylah bought it for Isaac with her own earned money. With that kind of sentiment and consideration, I’m certain there is a designated amount of time necessary to wait before this guy gets lost as well. So typically he gets stuffed under a bunch of toys in Isaac’s toy box – out my sight. Because yes, even the bright blue stuffed ones ick me out.  

Periodically he gets unearthed from the mound of toys and someone plays with him. Two nights ago, Isaac grabbed him and started chasing his sisters around the playroom with it, hissing as he went. The laughter, squeals and giggles from this game piqued my interest and lightened my heart from a looong day; so much so that I opted to join the game. Isaac hissed towards me. I let out my most girlish squeal I could muster and off I ran. Giggles abound the four of us took turns chasing each other around the house, hissing and snake biting each other in the bootie.

I even went so far as to hide with the snake and strike at them from under the covers. (Truly my biggest nightmare come true) We’ve played our snake game for two nights now and it’s still a ton of giggles and glee.


I am definitely not a fan of the vermin still, but I am starting to warm up to the blue version of these cold-blooded creatures. Maybe he can stay a while longer.