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!




Friday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

Many thanks to our “rescue rangers” JennQKW and Mom of Twins for filling in for me while I was on a much-needed vacation with extended family. After a few intense weeks of long days at work, it was wonderful to catch up with my four cousins from the east coast over leisurely dinners, plenty of beach time and sunshine, and baseball games in southern California.

While I had seen many of the spots that I had taken them to, it was my first time at the Anaheim baseball stadium and Pfeiffer Beach, which is in central California and known for its purple sand.

Thank you all! I also received much-needed respite from the news. My heart breaks for the four children and two adults shot dead in Texas, apparently by an estranged father, according to ABC News.

And ICYMI, the Box Tops Marketplace program will close at the end of the month. Box top seals from products purchased up to July 31, 2014 will be honored, the company stated in an e-mail.

Also, this Washington Post op-ed by a mom who happened to own a mercedes when she fell into poverty and required food stamps is a must-read. It is bizarre the value judgements people in the U.S. make on the poor — including what a poor person should look like and behave. It’s enough pressure to make anyone crack!

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?


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!


Wednesday Open Thread

Good morning!

Today I am thinking about summer reading, since Sister Q recently asked for book recommendations over on the Facebook group. I have recently finished 2 books that I enjoyed enough to recommend — Where’d You Go, Bernadette and Let the Great World Spin. Very different books — the first one is a fairly light, humorous look at competitive parents, difficult neighbors and creative geniuses. The second , is more of an epic tale that intertwines several different stories with thecommon backdrop of a man walking on a tightrope between the World Trade Center towers. Very different books, but both worth a read.

Next up, I am reading Party of the Century: The Fabulous Story of Truman Capote and his Black and White Ball — I love light non-fiction in the summer, and plan to read Rob Lowe’s second memoir soon.

What are you all reading, or what do you recommend? What’s everyone up to today?


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!


Monday Open Thread

Good morning, ladies! I hope everyone had a great, long weekend!

Today, my DH and I celebrate 24 years of marriage. We don’t do gifts, but we will go out to dinner somewhere. At times, in the past, we have gone away together, either for the night or a few days. This year, we had recently gone away with friends [kristieval and her husband] to have a late celebration of her birthday – a little trip to a B&B a couple of hours away, and then some winery tours, and good food. So our anniversary will just be dinner for the two of us. How do you all celebrate your anniversary?

What’s going on with everyone today?


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!


Fourth of July Friday Open Thread

One of my favorite things, perhaps my favorite thing about the Fourth of July is that brand new citizens are being made.  That people from all over the world still want to leave everything they ever knew, go through a difficult journey, continue with complicated legal issues, and patiently wait until they have a chance to take the oath of citizenship. 

This speaks to independence, immigration reform, civil rights, and so much more.

Foreign-adopted children used to have to wait until they were 18 to apply for citizenship.  Then a congresscritter went through the foreign adoption process.  Now, if both parents are citizens, and if both parents return to the USA with the child, the child is automatically a citizenship the first time they clear customs.

Happy Fourth to all those who celebrate this day.  Happy Friday to all of us!


Wednesday Open Thread

So Target caved and put out a statement “respectfully requesting” that customers not bring firearms into their stores. Some groups are hailing this as a big win, while others are saying that the move has no teeth and Target should impose an outright ban, where legal. What do you think?

Also, this was a mighty disgusting display put on by some proud ‘Muricans out in Murrieta, Calif. yesterday. They turned out in ugly, xenophobic, illiterate droves to turn away busloads of immigrant children who were going to be processed at a Border Patrol facility there. All in all, this has been a depressing week.

Rage along, cheer me up, talk to me, ladies! What’s on your mind?

(and sorry for the late thread, Elisa is on vacation and I think there was some confusion as to who was supposed to cover for her.)