Momlog 2018: Night Terrors

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Usually the Momlog is light-hearted and funny.  Today I’m going to take on a more serious topic.

Preface this by sharing that our family is Christ-centered.  We are Christians.  We not only attend services on Sundays we pray, read our Bibles, teach our kids about Jesus.  We believe Jesus is real.  We believe that God has power today.   (Having said that, you are welcome to have your own thoughts, opinions, ideas, etc about this.  I welcome comments, questions, discussion and even disagreement…I do not welcome shaming, name calling, or putting down people. )

The boy has had night terrors on and off for a while.  At one point I noticed that it happened quite a lot when he had been over stimulated around bedtime.  Or when he was very tired.  We aren’t super rigid about bedtime but we keep a schedule.

Some of the timeline on these events were overlapping.  Our boy is 9 1/2 now.  I first noticed the night terrors around age 5.  He kept telling me about a bad “farmer” outside his window.  (I wrote about this in another Momlog).  It turned out he was trying to say “Transformer”.  My husband, is not as conservative about what he allows our son to watch: I am error on the side of conservative.  He had allowed our son to watch part of a Transformers movie.   It clearly made an impression on our son.  I prayed for him and ask that God would remove all of his memories about the show.

I monitor what our kids watch.  I do not allow shows that include witchcraft (think “Sophia the First” ), disrespecting attitudes (think Spongebob…I’m sorry, I despise this show or any of the teenie bopper Disney sitcom shows – I have strong opinions about how parents are portrayed in these shows), zombies (or any type of death culture).  Yes, I am conservative.  We do watch educational shows (think PBS, WildKratts, Odd Squad, etc).  There is something to be said for the saying “garbage in, garbage out.”  Kids will think about what we allow them to put in their mind.  In our home, we talk about self-monitoring and not watching things that mom and dad do not allow even when mom and dad are not around.  Yes, we have Netflix.  Yes, we have Amazon Prime.

We love going to the movies.  Most movies we watch before taking our kids to see them. Yes, this NOT convenient.  Parenting is not always convenient.

I wrote all of that to tell this story.

In the past 5 or 6 months, I had gotten a little relaxed on some of my own convictions.  I wasn’t watching programs with my kids but allowing them to watch some shows on their own.  I tend to like the Lego shows and Starwars show.  I wasn’t monitoring those shows.

My son loves Legos.  He had been asking me about some Legos called Bionicles.  In general I like Legos because they promote creativity and learning to follow directions and build things is good for young minds.  I looked at these Bionicles and thought, “Eewh.”  They are kind of creepy.  I’m not a big fan of children’s toys with skulls on them (see comment above…promotes a death culture).  He asked if he could watch Bionicles on Demand (I think it’s a Cartoon Network show).  I said “yes”.  At Christmas, He asked for Lego Bionicles.  Being that I’m his mom and he is a great kid who rarely asks for anything, I wanted to get him what he wanted. I found some on eBay.  I bought him one.

We had our Christmas a few days early as we were traveling for Christmas.  He was super excited about his Bionicle.  Two days later, by Christmas, he was having night terrors again.

No, I didn’t put any of this together until weeks later.

Here is what happened.  I woke up around 4 a.m. I could hear my son in his room screaming.  Normally, I would get up and go wake him up, sending him to the bathroom, basically breaking his REM cycle.  This night, I just started praying, asking God to send His peace into his room and calm his dreams.  Almost immediately, he calmed down.

When I was younger (in my 20s) I had serious night terrors and would wake up in a cold sweat.  Once or twice I would wake myself up praying.  Even in the past 10 years, on occasion, I have woken my husband up praying because I was praying in my dream.  When I have had night terrors, I have recognized a spirit of fear that I have somehow allowed in by something I read or watched.  I had somehow opened a spiritual door that allowed a bad spirit into my mind.

As I layed in bed praying for my son, I asked God, if we had any open doors that were causing these frequent night terrors.  IMMEDIATELY, I saw the Bionicle that my son had been carrying around everywhere since Christmas.  I was bummed.  How am I going to handle this?  Deep in my heart, I want the best for my kids and I do not want to have any spirits in my house other than the Holy Spirit (God’s Spirit).  As I lay awake, I decided to investigate these Bionicles (Thank God for iPhones and google).

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As I read the story behind the Bionicles (on Wikapedia), I realized there was a “spiritual” story behind the toy that does not align with the Bible or our belief system. It seems innocent enough…but is it?

I prayed, asking God for wisdom.  (James 1:5).

The next day I talked to my son about the toy and the show (he had only watched a few episodes).  We prayed as a family together later that day and gave our son some choice about giving up the toy.  I did agree to get him a replacement of some type in the future.  He gladly gave up the toy.  He had another dream a few night later…then I found the box to the toy and also got rid of that.  He has been sleeping soundly.

Some children are more spiritually sensetive than other kids.  Some kids just manifest differently.  (I banned Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” for a while because my daughter had been watching it over and over and then she was yelling at her dad – Ariel yells at her dad very disrespectfully in that movie.  As soon as she stopped watching it and we explained that her behavior wasn’t honoring to her dad, she stopped yelling at him. She’s sassy and doesn’t need any thing pushing her to be more sassy).

I am also thanking God that He doesn’t remember any of the dreams he had and he didn’t even wake up.

The Bible says this:

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.  – I John 4:1-4

We need not fear.  God in us is greater than any evil spirit.

Pray and ask God.  The good news is, God loves your kids even more than you do; He does!  He wants them to be  safe, feel loved, have confidence, grow in kindness and be a light in a dark world.  He doesn’t want thier minds filled with darkness.

I’m all for real.  My kids are adopted.  They know they are adopted and why…there is plenty of darkness in the world without adding scary movies, creepy shows and toys, ghost stories, zombies, etc.

If your kids are experiencing night terrors, there are certainly physical issues you can check out.  I’m not discounting all physical issues.  There are times when it’s a spiritual issue.

Questions to ask:

  • Has anything happened to my child recently (These can also be a result of being molested, bullied, fearful – prayer can also help with any of these issues but other steps may need to be taken.)
  • Have any new toys or shows been introduced? (check those things out)
  • Have there been any big life changes going on in my child’s life? (Are you in the middle of a divorce?  Has someone died recently?)
  • Have you moved into a new house? (spirits will linger until you pray and tell them to leave, in Jesus name.   John 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. “)

Talk to your child and find out if anything unusual has been going on.  Pray for them.  Take them to the doctor if you feel it’s a physical issue.

Remember, God made you the mom (or the dad).  God believes you are the best mom (or dad) for your child.  Those gut feelings are most often God communicating with us.

God Bless you and thank you for taking the time to read this.

 

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Momlog 2018: NO TV

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Hey readers!  How has 2018 been so far?

Mine, pretty good.

In January each year, our church has a fast (interestingly, Webster’s doesn’t have a religious connotation definition… to abstain from food or activities for a set about of time).  This year, we decided, I decided and my husband has gone along with me, that our family is giving up TV for 36 days at the beginning of this year.  Why 36 days?  Because there are 365 days in the year and I wanted it to be a “first fruits” kind of fast.  36 days, is a 10% tithe on the year, we are doing it in January so it will be our “first fruits”.

I admittedly have become an Netflix junkie.  My daughter is not far behind me.  The Boy, he’s all about “Clash of Clans”, so I made it a “no device” kind of fast.  Yes, I am still on my phone but no games and cutting back on the social media (except for my business “stuff”).

What does this mean?  This means I have a 4-year-old following me around all day asking, “Mom, can I play ‘ebucational’ games on my device?” (yes, she calls it a device.)  She’s very animated with her hands while asking.  I keep saying, “no”.   Ordinarily, I would allow her to play a game because she does have some educational games and I am working on homeschooling and, and, and….bottom line….it’s easier for me.  BUT the Girl switches to a movie as soon as she can go hide in the tent in her room.  I am busy and do not track her down until five hours later when I realize how quiet it has gotten or she gets hungry.

Moms of preschoolers, admit it.  Four-year-olds talk a lot; A LOT!  I went through this with the Boy at this age.  I would tell him, “Mamma needs to think.  Your mouth is on a time out.”  He still goes through phases sometimes….yesterday, after 20 minutes of talking about Legos and Starwars Legos and which Legos his friends have…I was done.  I enjoy Legos, it is kind of like doing a puzzle with instructions.  However, if it wasn’t for the Boy, I would not be putting together Legos.  Mom’s of boys have to have quiet a few interests.  We have had to know about sports and aerodynamics.  Seriously, I find myself having to explain some pretty significant scientific questions.   Then there is the Girl.  I have put together a Frozen Lego set and many Dupulo towers but she wants to have a tea party everyday.   Last weekend, she hosted a tea party with Dad, brother and many dolls/stuffed animal friends.

Bottom line, this no TV thing boils down to us having to entertain our kids more.  This shouldn’t be my attitude about any of it.  Because really, it isn’t entertaining so much as spending time with them. Spending time with them shouldn’t be a chore but a joy.

I did order a family devotional that I have been wanting to do to teach the children about Godly character traits.  Hopefully, it will come in soon.  I’ll let y’all know how this goes with a four-year-old.

In the meantime,  we have played Uno and a memory game each night.  I’m longing for some adult interaction (this reminds me that I need to make actual contact with friends outside of Facebook.

Can we go 35 days including 5 weekends with NO TV?  No cartoons? No Criminal Minds (the kids aren’t allowed to watch this show, this is one of mine)?  We can do it!  Can we do it without going crazy?  Well, that’s a better question…and I’m not so sure.

I have already listened to one book on Audible and I’m pretty sure we do not have enough Audible credits for me to continue to run through books this quickly.   I have also started reading again.  I have always loved reading but I am pretty sure, I need reading glasses (thanks to my sister).  Which means I’m going to become one of those ladies who always has a pair of glasses in her hair because one set is for reading and one is for driving and she keeps misplacing them so she just wears them in her hair but feels she is “too young” for bifocals.

Have I lost my mind with this latest endeavor?  (I’m really asking myself).

Momlog 2015: life with a 6 year old

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6 year olds bring their own challenges.  Mine is keeping me on my toes mainly because I never know what he’s going to say. 

In the fall we took a field trip with our local homeschool group to the Blue Bell factory (the best ice cream in the south that I’ve found).  He’s all about Blue Bell ice cream now.  I am definitely a fan as I grew up eating Blue Bell….that’s pretty much all my parents will buy.  I remember growing up, when we visited my grandma (who lived in Karnes City) we would pack a cooler with Blue Bell and take it to her since it wasn’t carried in her local grocery store.  My family is a fan of the Blue Bell.  



This past week we had lunch with friends at Jason’s Deli.   The Boy loves Jason’s because they offer good Mac-n-cheese.  I like it because of their California club and the fruity mix up salad…and the soups.  They offer some great healthy options but turkey, bacon and avacado on a croissant….that’s good stuff.  Plus they have great fresh fruit and fruit dip.  Most kids love it because they have a soft serve ice cream machine and free ice cream.  All the other kids in our group were begging for ice cream as soon as they ate some of their lunch (ages 6 to 11). I asked my son if he would like some.  He said “Nah.”  I told him “You like it”. He said, “I’ll get some Blue Bell ice cream when we get home. I don’t like this ice cream”. My son is an ice cream snob.  I can’t blame home because I’m a coffee snob and a dounut snob and probably some other snob too.  I did tell him there would be no ice cream once we get home, it’s now or never.  He opted out of the soft serve.  

He certainly is forming his own opinions.  TheGirl loved the soft serve.  She’s not so snobby about her snacks. 

Momlog 2015: A Moment

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I wish I could have taken a picture or recorded a video.  It was a priceless moment.

Almost all day today, The Boy, for lack of a better term, was listless.  We went to the playground and he moped around.  I’m one of those relentless moms who keeps asking, “What’s wrong with you?”  Sorry, all you great moms who gentle check your kids temperature and say things like, “Show, mamma where it hurts.” I’m just not that mom.  He poked around all day.  He’s a pokey kind of kid (I have a deep belief that God gave me a child who is pokey to slow me down because I typically have one speed and it is full charge ahead).  He told me all these pitiful problems he was having today.  Seriously, I laughed at him a little.  His stomach hurt. Of course I asked him if he had pooped today.  He said “No” but I suspect he couldn’t really remember.  He is 6 and 1/2 now (and don’t forget the half because he sure doesn’t) so I don’t monitor his poops.  Naturally, I gave him a bunch of fruit at dinner.  I know he had yogurt at breakfast and not that yoplay stuff either the good Greek yogurt that has all the probiotics.   I checked to make sure he didn’t have a bruise or something on his stomach.  Yet he continued to mope around.  His next answer, after he moped around at the park and drank 1/2 of a large McDonald’s sweet tea (1/2 sweet, 1/2 unsweet because sweet tea is just too sweet) was that he was needed water.  He was seriously pitiful.  I prayed for him because I’m not at all tolerant of self-pity….in myself or anyone in my family.  No pity parties.  There are kids in Africa who drink dirt water once a day and you just drank my whole tea.  (I was a bit concerned that if he did have some kind of stomach thing going on that we will all get it because we shared that tea.)

He came home and moped his way through some school work.  Then he went and laid down on his bed at 6:15 p.m.  I made him get up to eat dinner.

He did eat dinner which made me think, maybe it wasn’t a stomach thing.

A prayer group from our church meets at our house on Tuesday evenings so after dinner I sent him upstairs.  I told him he could play or get ready for bed since he wasn’t feeling well and he was so tired.  He chose to stay up and play (big surprise).

The Hubs was late getting home from work.  I told the Boy to get ready for bed and come say good night.  That means he stayed up a little later than usual.

He came bounding down the stairs.  He says, “Mama, mama, I know why my stomach has been hurting.”  (He’s pointing at me).  I ask, “Why?”.  He says, “Because I didn’t say I was sorry yesterday.”  His little six year old face was so serious.

Rewind to yesterday.  Because of our sleep issues (Baby Girl has been waking up around 3 a.m. every other night and she’s sooo loud) I was tired.  The weather was so nice, I sent the kids out to play while I sat down to do some reading before we started school.  I was watching out the window and I had the back door open.   Baby girl is not yet two so she is still in a diaper.  And she one tough cookie.  Seriously, she falls down and gets right back on and goes on with her life.  She was in the yard doing “downward puppy” (think yoga “downward dog”  I have no idea why).  He kicked her on her bottom (Her bottom was right there in the air, I can see the temptation).  Twice.  And he probably would have done it again except I started yelling at him.  She didn’t fall down or even seem phased by the kick.  However, I want to teach him to be protective over her and not a mean brother.   I told him, he would have a consequence for the kicking.

When he was little-little (he’s still kind of little to me) we would make him tell us “I’m sorry” when he behaved badly.  We have been teaching Baby Girl to say “sorry” too (she uses sign language at this point).  In our family we say “sorry” when we mess up…we take responsibility when we do the wrong thing or hurt someone whether is was intentional or accidental.  It’s part of our DNA.  This is also how we start teaching our kids about repentance. I have been giving The Boy a little more leeway in apologizing because I want him to do it by his own choice not because I force him too.  I kind of let the “sorry” slide yesterday.

Fast forward to this evening,  The Boy says, “Mr. Eddie (his teacher at church) said that when we do things wrong it makes our heart heavy.  That’s why my stomach hurt.  I told Jesus that I’m sorry but I forgot to tell you.” (he was talking to me).  My response was (and he was so sincere that The Hubs and I were trying not to laugh and cry at the same time) , “I love you and forgive you.  It’s not okay to kick your sister.  I think the person you need to apologize to is your sister.”  He told her he was sorry and gave her a hug then came and sat with me.

He seemed to be completely healed of his stomach issue.

In a related matter, about 7 minutes later, his sister launched herself over him onto me, ramming his face and she had to tell brother, “sorry”.

It was one of those moments…those moments when 4 years of parenting paid off.  All of the things we have been teaching him came together for a brief moment and we had a glimpse of the godly man we are preparing to change the world.  It made me want to cry.  We know, it’s not all us or what we are doing.  Mr. Eddie has been teaching him some of the same things in Sunday school and everyone knows that sometimes mom’s words go in one ear and out the other but when someone like Mr. Eddie teaches the same thing… it sticks.  Mostly I lecture…Mr. Eddie has all these cool activities.  Seriously, I’m so thankful for our church and children’s department.

And I want to remember my son’s sweet face and big blue eyes as he told me this.  I hope that it was his lack of repentance that was bothering him because I want him to be sensitive to God’s leading.  I hope that when he hurts others it leaves an ache in him.  I hope that will lead him to repentance.

Momlog; 2014 Boys

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It’s been a while since I wrote a “Momlog”. My days are super busy now and I’ve discovered that many of the things I’ve thought are “crazy” because they turned my life upside down are really “normal” things for people who have kids. The truth has been revealed…life with kids is crazy. And life with little boys is really strange at times.

Recently I walked into my son’s bedroom and he was spitting on his Nabi (kid’s electronic tablet). I was pretty disgusted and upset because we have been teaching him (or trying to teach him) to take care of his things. I confiscated the tablet. After cleaning it off, I decided to investigate the situation.

It opened my eyes to the life of a 5 1/2 year old boy. I watched all of his videos.  Little kids are extremely self-absorbed and little boys do weird things.  He had several videos of himself…one of him punching the Nabi, jumping on the Nabi, spitting on the Nabi, and several of a Hulk action figure punching the Nabi (that was a popular one).

Since I had already lectured him about taking care of his things and the spitting, I made him a video of me on the Nabi.  Then I waited.

It took him two months to find the video.

Yesterday, he took a video of his babysitter and he found the video I made for him. He thought it was funny. In it, I told him that we do not hit, kick, punch, or spit on our things and I also asked him to please make videos of people other than himself. I need to remember to download the videos before he deletes them as some of them were creative for a 5 year old. He totally doesn’t “get” where the camera is on his devise though…he thinks the camera is the screen I think.

He is growing up so fast.

from this….

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to this….

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(Mom tearing up a little…sniff…sniff).

 

Momlog 2014: Puppies and poop

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The boy has been begging us for a puppy.  Yes, I have a toddler and a crawler.  In a temporary complete lapse of judgement and a convenient free (free is never free) puppy, we got this guy

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Well, I just spent 10 minutes trying to rotate this picture.  When we got him, we thought he was a boxer mix buy my dad thinks he’s a Rhodesian Ridgeback…which looks like this…

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So I can see why he thinks that.

In either case…I am now running a zoo.  The boy, almost 6 years old now, is “in charge” of the dog.  I hope he learns some assertiveness but so far the puppy is running the show.  We take him out often however, he has been sneaking off and pooping in the house.  GROSS!

Last night while we were playing Mexican train, he pooped (for the third or fourth time) in the Hubs’ music room.  He was banned from the upstairs when I found poop in my newly painted baby girls’ room.  The Hubs showed the boy how to pick up and clean up the poop.

Sunday mornings are hectic.  The Hubs leaves super early to setup and play the bass.  So I’m on my own.  I get a text around 8:45 (I need to be out the door by 9:20 if I am going to get to church a bit early) from the Hubs that says I need to have the boy pick up the poop in the music room.  I look and it’s a pretty significant pile. I don’t have time to deal with dog crap on Sunday morning!  (This is an appropriate use of the word crap).

After the Boy ate breakfast I told him to pick up the poop.  I called down (I was getting the girls dressed) and asked him what he was doing.  He said that he was cleaning up the poop.  I asked him how…  He should have taking a plastic grocery bag into the music room and using a paper towel, pick up the poop and put in in the bag.  Well, he was carrying the poop to the big trash can (across the house).  I yelled (sometimes there is yelling) to him to get a grocery bag the way daddy taught him.

When I came down he was rubbing some type of cleaner into the carpet.  I told him to go wash his hands we had to go.

We get loaded up and the drive to church was pretty uneventful.  I was reminding him he needed to use grocery bag, etc.

As we pull into the parking lot he says, “I am going to have to walk on my toes.”  (Every mom knows there is some reason to ask)  So I ask him, “Why do you need to walk on your toes?”  He answered, “Because I stepped in the poop.”  (My eyes almost popped out of my head)  “WHAT??”  You walked in my truck with poop on your feet?”  I checked it out.  There was so poop on the shoe.  I wiped it on the underneath of the running board.

Unfortunately, I forgot to to tell him NOT to put the shoes back into the box with all the other shoes.  He’s breaking me, y’all.  In the past I would have marched up removed those shoes, cleaned out the whole box…but I just couldn’t muster the energy to care.  Just another reason the babies aren’t allowed to chew on shoes.

Momlog 2014: Murphy’s Law

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Well, last week, right before we were heading to the “Big D” (Southlake/Ft. Worth really) our washing machine broke.  Not sure what the issue is.  The washer is about 10 years old and it’s small for a household of 7.  In other words, I’ve been wanting one of those low water/high capacity washers but the timing was not great.  I’m a trooper and we hung out and washed two loads at my mom’s house.  Unfortunately, we cannot replace the washer right away.  Fortunately, my brother-in-law has one in storage that we can use until we can get what we ant.  Unfortunately, the Hubs hasn’t had time to move the washers around and get the new one in.

We have been without a washer for 5 days.  I do laundry almost every day.  The dirty laundry is stacking up.

Did I mention that my kindergartner wet his bed last night?

One of our girls has had a bout of diarrhea and severe diaper rash.  I thought it was due to cutting a tooth.  She has had this issue every time she cuts a tooth.

Unfortunately, I might have been wrong about the cause of the diarrhea.  Which I found out this morning when I discovered our other baby girl with poop all over herself and her crib and her bedding and several items in her bed.

I ended up putting her in the bathtub and then all the bedding (after spaying it with laundry stain remover) into a trash bag until I could get it washed.

I will refrain from going into what happened after breakfast…it involved throwing up.

Two outfits later…more dirt laundry…

The timing couldn’t be worse…

My sister-in-law says, “It’s Murphy’s law”.  I responded, “I don’t believe in Murphy…it’s the devil.”

Thankfully, my brother-in-law decided to head to the laundromat and offered to wash the bedding.  So at least it won’t be sitting there until we can get it washed.  And thankfully, I have two sets of sheets for every bed in this house,  which I recognize is a luxury, so I was able to change out the bedding right away because I had the clean items I needed.  (Also, thankful to my sister who also believes in having multiple sheets and who gave me the bedding for my girls’ cribs…praise God!)

Everything has been Lysoled and wiped down.  Hopefully, this will pass soon.

I’m praying!