Weekend Open Thread

I did not read Fifty Shades of Grey, but I couldn’t resist watching the trailer, as it was all over my facebook feed. I described it later to my DH, chuckling at how the female lead is presented as mousy and meek.

“You know, because she’s wearing a drab sweater and has bad bangs,” I said.

So I was roaring with laughter the next day, when I saw this think piece on the cardigan sweater or: How To Make A Beautiful Actress Less Beautiful.

The cardigan sweater/bad bangs combo is second only to the librarian glasses/hair in a bun combo. ACTING!

Which movies have you enjoyed lately? Which ones are you looking forward to?

What else is up this weekend? Chat away!


Thursday Open Thread

How do you keep your kids’ minds engaged during their summer break?

I remember months of boredom as a kid. Yes, I played outside, but it got hot. There was a lot of TV watching. And after a while, I looked forward to going back to school, just so I would actually have something to do and someplace to go.

So I try to avoid boredom for my own kiddos, especially DD. She is hyper curious and engaged, so she has had various day camps. I also buy her the Scholastic Summer Express workbooks, in hopes of helping her retain what she learned. She also has a weekly piano lesson and the occasional play date.

There is also a fair amount of iPad time, and video game playing. Today DD asked, “Mami, can we watch Property Brothers tomorrow?” She is delightful.

What’s on tap for these waning days of summer? Chat away!


Tuesday Open Thread

Weird Al is back!

He released eight videos in eight days and created quite a buzz. He was relevant when I was 9, and he’s relevant now that I’m 39. Gotta love it!

I found myself playing his videos for my 16-year-old niece and giving her context about who the heck he is. She giggled at his takes on Pharell’s “Happy” and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.”

But my all-time favorite Weird Al song? Amish Paradise. What’s yours?

What’s on your mind today? Chat away!


Tuesday Open Thread

Apologies for the late thread! Insomnia is still kicking our butts, plus all the sightseeing with our niece has run me ragged and I plum forgot.

But, we have had a blast! Yesterday we closed down Universal Studios. Today, the beach (if this cloud cover goes away). Tomorrow we say goodbye. My niece is the kind of kid who gives me hope that my kids’ teen years might actually be pleasant. She is a delight.

How are you today?


Weekend Open Thread

After two nights of decent sleep, we hit another bump in the road on the Insomnia Highway of Suckage. For some reason DD insists on lying in the dark, trying to force sleep, until she drives herself to tears of despair and frustration. The night before last it climaxed with her literally screaming and wailing, “WHY CAN’T I SLEEP?!” at 12:30 a.m., waking DH, me, and our visiting niece (but not DS, thankfully).

Well, we hit our limit, so to speak. We made it VERY clear that there would be no more Benadryl, no more warm milk, no more babying. She is to turn on a light and read until she is tired and ready to sleep, even if it takes an hour or two. So that’s what she did last night after her freak out: read for a while, then fell asleep. LIKE I’VE BEEN TELLING HER ALL ALONG.

Our niece said she had an insomnia spell at this exact age, the summer between 3rd and 4th grades. She read books, and eventually it passed. I hope the same will happen for DD but if it doesn’t, then we will seek a therapist to help her learn how to cope. ‘Cause AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THIS.

On the bright side, we are having a lovely visit with our niece. We took her to a new Mythbusters exhibit at a local science museum, and she got to meet Kari from the show! I also accompanied her on a tour at a lovely local university, and it made me sorta look forward to doing it with my own children someday.

Yesterday we saw the space shuttle Endeavour, walked through the Exposition Park Rose Gardens and strolled down Olvera Street. For a grand finale we hit an amazing food truck fest. I have a tendency to tire my visitors out, but there is so much to see and do that I like to squeeze in as much as I can. Hee.

Today we will take a tour of the Warner Brothers studios, because my delightful niece is a Friends geek and she wants to see the Central Perk set. How adorable is that?!

What do you like to do with visitors? Are there any local activities or attractions that you always include?

What are you up to this fine weekend? Chat away!




Thursday Open Thread

Hello! Thanks so much for your kindness and concern as we’ve navigated this insomnia thing with DD9. I’m happy to report that the night before last, it took her less than an hour to fall asleep, and she slept through the night. THANK YOU, Benadryl!

It’s just past midnight as I write this and I have yet to hear her stir, so I am hoping and praying tonight was as successful. We repeated the Benadryl, plus I gave her a little foot rub with some lavender oil, as advised by a few different facebook friends.

If all goes well, we will cut the Benadryl dose in half, then discontinue it altogether. I will say that in many ways it felt like having a newborn again- interrupted sleep, never knowing when she’d stir, listening for the littlest noise. But scarier because newborns are supposed to wake up. Having my normally solid sleeper go through this was unnerving, to say the least.

We also removed the digital clock from her room, as I am convinced that watching the hours go by was only making her feel more helpless and frustrated. And it’s nice to know her pediatrician is in the loop, should this problem recur. Did I mention she gave us her mobile number and told us to text her any time? I love that woman.

Today our 15-year-old niece arrives from Connecticut for a week-long visit. We plan to do lots of sightseeing and sunning, and will even visit a nearby college. I still remember her as a newborn, and now she’s going to be a junior in high school. Should be a fun little preview of DD’s teen years. Our niece is the type of kid that makes me look forward to having a teen!

What are you up to? Chat away!


Tuesday Open Thread

Last night was night #5 of DD9 having trouble falling asleep. Granted, it has improved (took her 6 hours the first night, 3 the next, and now it’s ranging between 2 and 2.5 hours) but THIS STILL F*CKING SUCKS.

I have done everything I can think of. A few sips of warm chamomile tea. A sleep meditation for children podcast. A nice bath before bed. Making sure she gets exercise. No caffeine, ever. Giving her explicit permission to turn on the lamp, sit in her book nook and read for a while if she gets tired of tossing and turning. Letting her know this is no big deal, happens to everyone, and it’s summer so she shouldn’t worry, it will pass. And still she works herself into a tearful frenzy of guilt and frustration.

And I’m getting no sleep because she’s knocking on my door some nights, and waking me as she paces to the restroom on others. Plus I’m just worried. And running out of my gentle, Zen patience.

I’m trying Benadryl tonight. If that doesn’t work, then we’re seeing the pediatrician for next steps. Because I can’t have a 9-year-old with a sleep disorder, KWIM? I have always been a shitty sleeper and ascribed it to my parents never having me on any schedule, letting me stay up as late as I wanted from an early age. We have worked like dogs to give our kids consistent sleep schedules and it has worked really well – until now.

What say you, ladies? Am I overreacting? Is it too early to be this worried, or should I be seeking medical advice?

What’s on your mind today? Chat away!


Weekend Open Thread

Our 4th of July celebrations were curtailed because we had to get our kids to bed early last night. My poor sweet Maya had an awful bout of insomnia the night prior, so we pulled out all the stops– warm milk, a little reading, and some sleep meditations. Of course, our Great Insomnia Showdown had to coincide with all the really loud f*cking fireworks going off outside. SERENITY NOW.

The cutest part? She called it “amnesia.” My goofy baby doll.

Of course even though I didn’t have insomnia, I got next to no sleep right alongside her. It was truly painful watching her beat herself up and perpetuate the vicious cycle of trying (and failing) to go to sleep. She’s the kind of kid who has a hard time turning her brain off, so we’ll just have to experiment and see what works.

Did I mention she also sleepwalks on occasion? Good times.

What are you up to this weekend? Chat away!