Sleepy-Time Struggles

And the musical beds continue. Liberty can’t go to sleep by herself, and it’s becoming harder and harder for her to stay in her own bed when she does go to sleep. The simplest solution would be to squeeze a king-sized bed in our room, but that’s not going to happen.

I was thinking about giving her melatonin at night, but when Dr. Google told me about the possible side effects, I nixed that. Instead I read about the importance of routines–bath, story, bed, etc. Our schedules make routines like that so incredibly difficult, but how can we be good parents if we can’t manage an evening routine for our child?

So I explained to Liberty yesterday that I read that what helps kids go to sleep at night is no TV in the evenings. Instead, we take a bath, get ready for bed, and then play a game or read a book. She wasn’t thrilled about the no TV part (watching a few minutes of HGTV with me in the evenings has become something of a ritual with us), but was game for the rest of it.

Tonight Derrick took the kids to church with him for choir practice while I worked on my diss for a few hours. We got home around 9 pm, and I hustled Liberty into her pajamas. Then while I was feeding Barrett, she asked for a game. When I said it was too late, she asked, “But didn’t the book say that playing games helps children go to sleep?”


So we used the animals from her Barnyard Uno game as buttons to act out Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons. Then as she was protesting bedtime (“A story! A story!”), I told her to ask her Dad to tell her a story while she was going to sleep.

Now my brain function is steadily deteriorating. It’s time for sleep.

Oh, did I mention that our furnace is out? This morning the indoor temp was 61 degrees; the pilot light was out and won’t stay lit when Derrick relights it. We’re waiting to hear back from the landlord.

In other cheerful news, Barrett’s goopy eyes aren’t getting better (glued shut when he woke up this morning–so distressing for the little guy!) so I made a Dr. appt. for him Friday afternoon. Also I have less than 24 hours to make this house presentable for our guests who are coming for Student Welcome day.

Sleep, spring break and warmer weather can’t come soon enough!


4 Years; 7 Months

On February 25th Barrett turned 7 months old; the next day Liberty turned 4. Liberty’s birthday was also a snow day, so she got to stay home, eat pancakes, and watch TV–exactly the way she’d like to spend every morning. On Saturday we had her party here at our house–10 kids and 9 adults. The requested theme was “Strawshorcake.” I wanted to make a doll cake, but Derrick wisely talked me out of it so we ordered one from Hy-Vee instead. Last year we learned that the kids were more interested in free play than in planned activities so this time we ate cake first and opened presents, then Derrick and some of the other adults took the kids out to play in the snow. When they came back in we had hot chocolate and opened the pinata.

I felt terrible sugaring the kids up like we did, but when you’re trying to do a party on the cheap…

Last night we were playing musical beds again. First Liberty crawled in with us, and then when Barrett woke up hungry around 5:15 I settled into Liberty’s bed with him. A short while later Liberty crawled in with me, and I could feel immediately that she was running a fever. Thankfully it was just 100 F, but high enough to stay home and watch Strawshorcake videos on Youtube all morning.

As if the day wasn’t special enough already, I then learned that George Justice and Devoney Looser are leaving MU to take on new jobs at Arizona State University. As happy as I want to be for them, I’m still processing this one.

This afternoon I realized the Strawshorcake videos on Youtube had suddenly become Barbie videos. When Liberty requested the one with Barbie in a wedding veil and white underwear, I pointed out to her that we don’t take pictures of ourselves in our underwear and put them on the internet, so we don’t watch pictures like that of others. We’ll see how long she’ll go with that.

Later after we had read a chapter from Little House in the Big Woods, I suggested that she watch the BBC documentary Amish: A Secret Life. She’s watched it before and was fascinated with the little kids in it. She provided a running commentary:

“They have no ‘lectricity…like Laura and Mary and Baby Carrie…and no TV!”

“They have God in their life.”
Me: “What does that mean?”
“I think they pray.”

“They’re barefeet! The children are barefeet. [pause to think] It’s the summer there!”

“They’re at Target. They’re at Target!”

“They put sugar in their yogurt. Isn’t that too bad?” [A few days ago I explained to her that I don’t like to buy yogurt at the store because it has so much added sugar.]

“I jus’ don’t like the song, but I do like it, but I don’t like it.” [Referring to a haunting rendition of Salve Regina (a Catholic anthem) set to Pachelbel’s Canon which ironically is the soundtrack to the Sunday morning scene of Anabaptist worshipers gathering.]

I wonder how David and Miriam, the young Old Order Amish couple featured in the film, are doing. A sweet family facing such tough decisions!

Barrett - 7 months

Barrett – 7 months