Monday, April 6, 2015

My Very Own Nightcrawler

Today has been a sleepy, rainy, back-to-school Monday in my world.  The kids were slow to wake up this morning and even slower to get moving.  After a week filled with warm, sunny days at the beach, and which culminated with a wonderfully busy Easter Sunday, we were desperate to get back into a routine - whether we realized it or not.

Speaking of being sleepy, I wanted to tell a few stories about my eldest child, Rob, on this blog. Partly because the stories are entertaining, but more than anything I want to be able to look back and remember these moments fondly.  For the past couple of years, Rob has been a fairly regular sleepwalker.  Sometimes it worries me and sometimes it creeps me out.  But usually it humors me! says that sleepwalking in children is actually very common.  (My own pediatrician agrees and reassures me not to worry. ) The most common reasons for children's sleepwalking behaviors include the following: 
  • lack of sleep or fatigue
  • irregular sleep schedules
  • illness or fever
  • certain medications
  • stress (sleepwalking is rarely caused by an underlying medical, emotional, or psychological problem)
I would like to believe Rob is not very stressed.  He also is not on any medications and is not ill.  But the first two factors?  Oh yes, you can check those right away.  

Below is a video I took of Rob about a year and half ago.  It shows Rob seemingly awake, but I assure you he is asleep.  The quality of the video isn't great, but in reality Rob has this glazed look in his eyes.  Also, Bobby and I always ask him some standard questions that he is never able to answer: "What is your daddy's name?", "What is your name?", "Where are you?", etc.  
Lately he often runs - literally runs - through the house while saying nothing.  He eventually will take himself back up to his room.  Sometimes he seems to be searching for something.  He'll come into my room and open up my closet doors, he'll turn the bathroom lights on and off, etc.  I always give him a minute or so to wander back up to his room before I go check.  I always find him sound asleep as if nothing ever happened.  

Well, last night was the mother of all sleepwalking nights.  There were two instances in one night!  First at around 11 PM I heard him tromping downstairs (he couldn't sneak up on ANYONE if stairs were ever involved).  Then he did a quick run through the hallway and soon hustled back upstairs.  Lest you think he slept the rest of the night, let me quickly fast forward to 1:00 AM.  I awoke to the sound of my shower running.  That's right, my shower!

I carefully entered the bathroom and gently asked Rob what he was doing.  I could tell by the look in his eyes he was still asleep.  I tried to talk him out of undressing, but he argued with me pretty angrily.  Here is where I remind you that I have seen one-too-many Lifetime movies about sleepwalkers who get violent.  The tiny creeped-out part of my brain activated, so I let him get in the shower.  I could hear him using the shampoo and rinsing body parts under the stream.  This was a legit shower.  However, at some point he must have really woken himself up, because as he was drying off I suggested he go back up stairs.  It was only then that he asked what time it was.

Me: Rob, it's one o'clock in the morning.
Rob: Then why did you wake me up and tell me to get in the shower?
Me: Rob, I didn't wake you up.
Rob: It's not time for the bus?!?
Me: Just let's go back to sleep, okay?

Much later this morning when I really did wake him up, and then stop him from taking shower #2, he first remembered nothing about the previous events.  Then as I retold the story he laughed a little and said, "Oh yeah, that was weird, huh?"

I don't know who originated this image of zombie-like sleepwalking pose, but I'm here to testify, that's not how it happens at our house.  Sometimes, even after all the episodes we've had, it still takes me a while to realize whether Rob is asleep or not. 
Luckily he has never ventured outside.  That doesn't seem to be his "nature".  I have also heard that sleepwalkers usually follow similar patterns each time.  However, this shower story really throws off that theory.  Therefore, next up should likely be high locks on the doors.

Until next time,

Friday, April 3, 2015

Spring Break 2015

Spring Break 2015 has come and gone, but it ended up being a wonderful week of fun in the sun!  Mom, the kids and I headed down to Gulf Shores for a few days, while poor Bobby stayed behind to work.  (Someone had to do it.)  We stayed in Laguna Bella townhomes where -- interesting fact -- my mom and stepdad used to be owners.  Sadly they sold our place shortly before Rob was born.  It's such a nice, quaint little area way down on west beach.  In the image below, you can see a huge eyesore condominium tower to the right that was built after Hurricane Ivan cleared some land in 2004.  Nevertheless, this area still qualifies as "low density".  It's right across the street from the beach, and backs up to the lagoon, complete with a fishing pier.  Heaven!

image source
We arrived late Sunday afternoon and, ironically enough, the sky looked a lot like the picture above.  It was cloudy, windy, and cool, but that did not deter us from getting straight into our swimsuits and heading to the sand.

While Caroline and Will wasted no time playing in the sand, Rob started snorkeling.  I should mention here that the water temperature could not have been more thank 65 degrees.  It was frigid! But you'd never know it by the way Rob went right in and got to work!

The next day, Monday, we headed out bright and early to the beach.  We had a blast playing, sunbathing, and kite flying.  I set up a canopy/tent and lathered the kids down with SPF 50, but still they got a little too much sun.  Actually, I did, too.  Oops.
Rob and his new buddy also named William flew a kite for a long time.  Sadly they accidentally let go and the wind took it straight into the powerlines across the street.  Bye bye kite!
So on Tuesday morning, we skipped the beach for a few hours and headed to the Gulf Coast Zoo.
We love to go to a zoo, watch the animals play, explore their habitats, etc.  But this zoo is, well, it's a little on the small-side.  It's almost like the little-zoo-that-could.  The majority of the time we spent feeding deer, goats, and a donkey.  Yep, there's a donkey.

When we got back to the condo Will took a nap and the rest of us went to explore the Lagoon.  That quickly gave us the idea that we could play and splash around in its warm shallow waters much more comfortably than the freezing gulf.  (Well, I should say Caroline and I played.  Rob wanted no part of the first) That's when we discovered that the lagoon is home to 1000's of hermit crabs.  We even saw one hermit crab that appeared to have been someone's discarded souvenir pet crab! We ended up going back to the lagoon a couple more times this week.  We even got Rob in on the action.  He, too, was fascinated by all of the crabs and set up a crab race!

We ate out several times, and I have to brag on my children's behavior.  They were so wonderful -- not perfect, but well above expectations for over sunned, under rested young people.  In fact, they were so good, that the last evening they warranted some reward-style fun activities.  First up...go carts!

After we left "The Track" we thought we would try Lulu's for dinner, knowing there would be a lot of entertainment for the kids while we waited for a table.  Let me fast forward and say we never did eat at Lulu's because the wait was 2+ hours.  Anyway, while we attempted the wait, naively thinking it would not be quite as long as the quoted time, Rob got a wild hair and wanted to do this:
image source
It's this climbing obstacle course on which you are harnessed and attached to a guide track overhead. There are several different paths to take, all of which involve narrow balance beams, wooden ladders, tight ropes, and a plank at the very top -- three stories high.
Funny story:  Rob was harnessed in and climbed the staircase to the first level.  He crossed his first wooden bridge to a platform, looked around, and started heading back to the staircase.  From the ground mom and I called out to him "Where are you going now?"  He looked at us with a "duh" expression and said "I'm coming back down!"  I was partly heartbroken for him and partly relieved that he sensed his life was in danger (it wasn't, actually).  Somehow, though, he stood there for a moment and you could see this determination cross his mind.  He turned back, and ended up scaling all three levels.  He was on the course for well over an hour!  (There is no time limit).  I was so proud of him for conquering his fear!

That, friends, is my firstborn walking the plank!

We came home on Thursday.  It was a short trip, but just what we needed to finish this spring strong!  Next up is Easter and then summer!  We have no less than 2 more beach trips planned.  Can you believe it?  I'm so excited.  It's safe to say the beach is my "happy place" and I am so thankfully blessed to have the opportunity to instill this love into my kids.  

Until next time, here is what happy looks like:

Stay sunny, friends!