It seems cruel that I should be getting such terrible sleep just before I have a newborn who will undoubtedly cause me to only get terrible sleep, but here we are. I’ve never been a great sleeper. I sleep super lightly and anything wakes me up. That’d be fine except that then I can’t go back to sleep. Or I can but it takes 20-30 minutes. And if I wake up after 4 am? It takes an hour or more. I know I’ve mentioned that my kids get up at the crack of dawn which means I usually fall back to sleep juuuuust before they get up.

Waking too early in the morning and not being able to get back to sleep is known as sleep maintenance insomnia or sometimes as early-rising insomnia. I don’t generally have a problem falling asleep at the beginning of the night (although that also usually takes 20 minutes or so) but man it sucks to lay in bed at 4 or 5 am unable to sleep. Sleeping pills don’t help any. I mean, I guess they do in the sense that I have less trouble falling back asleep int he middle of the night, but I never feel well rested after taking a unisom, (even if I’ve adjusted to the effects after taking it for several days.) As a result, even if I get 8 hours of sleep I still feel like I haven’t had enough. And, the worst part, taking something to help me sleep makes me irritable the next day and drops my patience level with my kids to the bare minimum. So it’s no good all around.

I follow all the “rules” for preventing insomnia, with one exception. If you have insomnia, it’s often suggested that you not sleep where you can see a clock. Theoretically it prevents you from counting the minutes, focusing on how long you’ve been awake or how long until you have to wake up. But for me? It drives me INSANE not to know what time it is when I wake up. And if I can’t see a clock I will lay in bed ASSUMING I need to be up any minute waking myself up more and more until I track down a clock and find out what time it actually is. (Generally not anywhere close to time that I need to be up.) When I wake up (even in the middle of the night) it’s like a light switch being flipped. I am asleep and then I’m NOT. There’s no gradual coming to consciousness, it’s just BOOM. Eyes open, awake. Which means I canNOT rely how sleepy I feel to know if I should be going back to sleep or not. Hence the need for a clock.

Anyway, I’m not sure I have a point here except that insomnia sucks and I really wish I could get a good night’s sleep.

Books and stuff

It’s after 10 here, because there’s nothing that inspires me to write like last minute panic!

Actually, I was at book club this evening which is why I didn’t write sooner. And book club put me in the mood to write some bookish thoughts this evening (night.)

First, my Goodreads goal. My goal for this year was 50 books. It seemed totally doable! I mean, I belong to 2 book clubs so that’s already 2 books a month, so all I needed was to add 2 books a month of my own. Except then I got pregnant and basically quit reading. Now, if I want to make my goal I’d need to read like 17 books before the end of the year and you know what? Not happening. With Brian graduating and us moving and everything else going on I’ll be surprised if I read ANY more books before the end of the year. Oh well. Try again next year!

Related: 2 book clubs. Have I talked about this before? I’m in 2 book clubs. The first is more serious (and much longer running.) We take turns hosting, and the host provides some information on the author and the book to go with our discussion. The host also provides some sort of treats. (Because what’s a book club without treats, RIGHT?) This book club reads a little of everything. Classics, contemporary fiction, non-fiction, all kinds of stuff. We all have a say in what we read, we pick the next years worth of books in December, and then set up hosting based on who is most interested in what. The second book club is much more relaxed. We meet at Barnes & Noble, nobody has any info on anything, and those of us who have read it mostly discuss whether or not we liked it. (Often more people DON’T read the book than do.) This book club reads exclusively young adult stuff. And you know what? They’re both fun! I’m gonna have to find some new book clubs (at least one) when we move.

I love recommending a book that somebody else ends up loving. As a result I feel bad if I don’t love a book somebody else recommended to me. There’s SO much that factors into whether or not I like a book or not. And yet! I always WANT to like the books that get recommended to me.

I have a kindle app, and I’ve read books on a reader, but I still prefer actual books. I love the convenience of electronic reading, but it won’t be replacing books for me any time soon.

Any book thoughts from you?

25 weeks

I’m doing my glucose test this week. Very exciting huh?? I’m not looking forward to it. It hasn’t bothered me in the past, but this pregnancy I get super nauseated anytime I have a lot of sugar, especially if it’s sugar without anything else. So! Looks like I’ll get to spend 3 hours feeling like death. I’m probably setting myself up for for a disappointing Thanksgiving doing this the week before, but OH WELL.

In other news I called to reschedule an OB appointment today and they didn’t have the original appointment in their system. I was reading the time and the date from the little card they’d given me, but NOPE. Nothing there. Soooooo, good thing I didn’t just show up for that? I hope my new one actually got scheduled.

Otherwise: lots of braxton hicks, my knees hurt all the time, getting up from a seated position is an ordeal, and I’m starting to really hate any pants but yoga pants.

(My hair looks terrible because I washed it this morning and then didn’t do anything with it.)




Will at almost 4

Will is going to be four years old next month which is kind of blowing my mind. When did he get so old?! Anyway, here are some tidbits about Will.

His parrot costume at Halloween really was appropriate. He often repeats Kalena word for word, especially when they’re telling me what they’d like to do. It’s quite amusing, because he wouldn’t construct sentences like that on his own.

He still uses the “w” sound in lots of words that don’t actually have it. For instance, “I am” sounds like “why wham” when he says it. And “for reals” sounds like “four wheels” (we tease him with that one a lot.)

When he wants someone’s attention he says “Excuse me” generally followed by the person’s name, although sometimes it’s “excuse me please” instead of a name. We taught the kids a while back that if they needed to interrupt someone they should say “excuse me” instead of just butting in, but Will has taken it a step farther and uses it ALL THE TIME. (Which I love. I just find the politeness extra adorable because he’s so young.) However, he insists on saying it until whoever he’s talking to acknowledges him. This has backfired on occasion. The other day he had a friend over and the conversation went like this:

Will: Excuse me! Excuse me, Jackson! Excuse me! Excuse me, Jackson! Excuse me, Jackson! Excuse me!

Jackson (staring at Will): If I’m looking at you it means I hear you.

Over and over and over.

He still sucks his finger and seems to not be anywhere close to giving it up, although we’ve successfully gotten him to stop for several days on a few occasions. (He won’t suck on it if he’s wearing a band aid. Goes right back to it when the band aid is off.) Nasty tasting nail polish has been employed to no effect. His answer varies if you ask when he’s going to quit. Sometimes he’ll pick an age, “When I’m 7.” Sometimes just a generic, “When I’m a big boy. I’m still a little boy.” Sometimes it’s contingent on something, “When we get a dog.” So WHO KNOWS.

The dinosaur obsession is still going strong. It also includes crocodiles and sometimes extends to other reptiles and to sharks. The other day the kids were asking me to spell different words and Will’s choices were: crocodile, dinosaur, fish, super croc, and ichthyosaurus. (I didn’t even attempt the last one. I told him we could look it up.)

While he and Daniel play in the morning he usually declares Daniel to be his baby animal. What kind of animal they are varies (about every 3 minutes) but he’s the daddy and Daniel is the baby.

He likes to watch me play Candy Crush. Seriously. He’ll snuggle up next to me on the couch and say, “Will you play canny crush?” His favorite is the growing chocolate, because he likes to watch it grow.

If you say “What?” to him (and you’re not asking him to clarify, just asking a general “what?”) his response is, “Nothin’ what yo-self?” It’s the best.

And that’s Will these days.






Pictures? Okay, pictures. Will is in a phase of not wanting his picture taken, so I have no new ones of him.

Kalena got her hair cut again! She really doesn’t like to do anything with it, so short hair makes the most sense. She’s pleased.



Unsure why she’s still smiling.



Daniel likes to smile at me from around the side of my phone when I get it out to take pictures.




But if I stick him in a chair he won’t lean!



And don’t let his “who me?” face fool you. This kid is always into some mischief.



Quick! Look innocent!

this & that

I have some ideas for posts rambling around in my head, but can’t get my thoughts together on any of them tonight, so how about some random tidbits about me? Great. Here you go.

1. I love to read, but I’m not a fan of being read to. I don’t like audio books for this reason. I keep trying them, because I could get stuff done WHILE listening to a book, but no. Unless the narrator is fabulous I just can’t do it.

2. While we’re on the subject of reading, I rarely notice swearing in books. If you ask me whether a book has bad language or not I probably can’t tell you. (Unless it’s REALLY excessive.) However, I DO notice it if I’m listening to an audiobook. I don’t know why.

3. If I have seen a movie, I can tell you whether it has vomit in it. Growing up with Kari who is a total vomit-phobe has made me hyper aware of it. It used to be I paid attention so I could warn her, but now it’s just habit. (Although she HAS called me as an adult and asked about a movie. Her husband was sure I wouldn’t know. I did.)

4. I love to bake, but I cannot seem to manage anything with yeast. I can make pie, cake, cookies, brownies, (basically any baked dessert) but I can’t make a loaf of bread to save my life.

5. My feet are tiny. I wear a size 5 1/2 (6 when I’m pregnant.) Did you know lots of stores don’t even stock smaller than a size 6 in women’s shoes? I’ve been known to buy from the kids’ section, especially tennis shoes.

6. I have a pretty high tolerance for singing toys, even if the songs are obnoxious, but toys that make non-music noise drive me insane. For instance, the kids toy vacuum makes a “vacuuming” noise and I canNOT tolerate it. It hasn’t had new batteries since the first set died. Also? The noise that the little motorized trains make. Can’t deal.

7. I can’t stand melon of any kind. Watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, it’s all disgusting. I try watermelon every couple years because it LOOKS good, but nope. Still don’t like it. Can’t even do cantaloupe flavored jelly-bellies.

8. I love the IDEA of dressing up for Halloween, but every year when it comes down to it I can’t stand to spend the money on something I’ll only wear for a few hours. I shouldn’t be surprised by this, seeing as I wore a $20 sundress to get married in.

9. As a teenager I always figured that when I was “a grown up” I’d have a whole matched bedding set with a comforter and pillow shams and decorative pillows. Turns out I don’t like decorative pillows and I prefer traditional quilts to comforters.

10. I really hate watching TV because I find commercials obnoxious. I also hate waiting for new episodes every week. I basically only watch shows I can get on Netflix.

So. Anything random you’d like to share about yourself?

Daniel’s evaluation

Daniel had another early intervention evaluation yesterday. They happen every six months to reevaluate goals and see how therapy is going. He’s met some of his goals: pulling to stand and cruising along furniture. Imitating sounds. Playing social games. Others weren’t met exactly, but we discarded them anyway. For instance: says “hi” and “bye.” He still doesn’t say them, but he does wave, so he’s *communicating* hi & bye. Those particular words aren’t any more important than other words in terms of speech. (We really didn’t word that goal well to start with.) Anyway, here are his goals for the next 6 months. (Test my memory here to see if I can remember them all.)

1: Walking independently. This is one that we had set at the last evaluation knowing it was a stretch. Hopefully we’ll actually make it this time! (This particular goal is a big reason we brought in the physical therapist and got him fitted for orthotics.)

2: Imitate words and sounds. This was one of his goals last time too, but he’s still not saying any words, so even though he’ll imitate some sounds we’re leaving it on there.

3: Eat with a utensil. So far handing Daniel a spoon results in said spoon being thrown immediately on the floor.

4: Transition from a bottle to a sippy cup. Daniel is capable of drinking out of a sippy cup, but mostly he won’t.

5: Point to something he wants. I’ll really have to work at modeling this one. I’m not much of a pointer.

I feel like there was one more, but if so I’ve forgotten already. Good thing my short term memory is so great. Woohoo for goals!

New baby: the kids’ perspective

Here’s how the kids are handling the fact that we’ll be adding a new baby next year. They ask me a million questions. Usually the same ones. For example:

When the baby comes, will *Daniel* still be a baby? Or will he be a big kid?

How come your tummy keeps getting bigger?

Can I feel the baby kick? (So far they haven’t.)

Is the baby kicking NOW?

Will the baby come to Kansas City with us? (Not grasping the concept that the baby will be born in Kansas City.)

Can the baby sleep in MY room?? (This is Kalena’s.)

However, there are some things about which they have no questions. For instance, Kalena and Will are both SURE the baby is a girl. So sure that they constantly use “she” when discussing the baby. They use it so much that I find myself thinking of the baby as a “she” also. (I’m trying not to do that though.) Also, they both think we should name her “Beautiful Princess.” Obviously they have no boy name suggestions. I get the feeling they’re going to be disappointed in the name, whatever we choose. And don’t worry, Kalena reassures me that if this baby is a boy I can “just have another one!”

The good news is, they’re both very excited to have another sibling. And Will isn’t hoping it’ll be a dinosaur instead so that’s a step in the right direction!

A biology lesson

After Daniel was born, Brian and I were curious about how exactly Down syndrome occurs. So! Today you get a biology lesson! (Don’t leave, it’s interesting, for real! Okay, maybe we have different definitions of “interesting” in which case, see you tomorrow.)

For simplicity’s sake, I’m only going to go over how it happens when the egg provides the extra chromosome. This is true for something like 90% of cases. Also, this only explains cases of non-disjunction Down syndrome. This is the type Daniel has and roughly 95% of all cases of Down syndrome are non-disjunction.

Anyway, you may have heard at some point in your life that women are born with all their eggs. This isn’t *exactly* true. Women are born with all the cells that will turn into eggs, but they aren’t matured yet. Each group of cells ready to form an egg is called a primary oocyte. These primary oocytes each contain 46 chromosomes like any other cell in the female body. As ovulation approaches the primary oocyte divides into two new cells: a secondary oocyte and a small polar body. The secondary oocyte is what will continue maturing and become an egg. The polar body dies and disintegrates. The primary oocyte SHOULD split the chromosomes evenly, giving the secondary oocyte and the polar body 23 chromosomes each. In cases of Down syndrome the division is uneven, leaving both copies of chromosome 21 with the secondary oocyte. Roughly 80% of the time the error in cell division occurs here.

The secondary oocyte then goes through further maturation, dividing again into 2 cells, this time the mature egg and another polar body. Now the division reproduces the chromosomes (remember that a normal secondary oocyte will have 23 chromosomes) instead of dividing them, but there is a possibility that the mature egg with end up with an extra copy of chromosome 21 due to an error during this division. (If the secondary oocyte already has the extra chromosome it will reproduce here and be present in the mature egg.) About 20% of the time the error happens in this stage.

SO. There you have it. How (most cases of) Down syndrome happen. Exciting huh?

Room sharing update

Well, the boys are still sharing a room! We split them up periodically: when we have company and sleeping arrangements are weird, while Daniel was sick and getting up multiple times a night, etc. Generally though, they’re in the same room.

Bedtime has gotten significantly better; they no longer keep each other up for hours before going to sleep. Actually, I think Daniel misses Will when they aren’t in the same room. They do wake up earlier in the room together than when they’re split up, but they still don’t get up nearly as early as Kalena (most days.) Generally they’re up by about 6:15. When they were in separate rooms it was usually between 6:45 and 7. So it’s not THAT much earlier. Adding a fan for white noise helped a TON with Daniel waking up in the night. Will is quite a noisy sleeper.

I’m glad it’s working out well since chances that we’ll move into a house with 4 bedrooms when we move to Kansas City are basically zero. We can’t stick either of the boys with Kalena, because she gets up every morning at 5 and then thinks everyone else should be awake too. She knows not to come wake us up before 6, but anyone in her room is fair game (in her mind.) Then the only other option would be to stick Daniel in OUR room and no thanks on that. Anyway, woohoo for room sharing!