Lions, tigers and bears, oh my

Lil' Miss threw us a curve ball last night. She has suddenly developed a fear of mysterious animals under the bed. I actually think it started the night before, but we didn't quite understand what was going on. Everytime we turned off the lights and closed the door, she began crying for us to come back. The night before, we thought she was just giving us a hard time. Last night, she actually told me that she hears "animal sounds" under the bed after we close the door. I was required to check under the bed with the light on, and then again with the light off. Those safety checks did not make her feel any better. I asked her what kind of animals are under the bed. She told me there were lions under the bed. I patiently explained that lions do not live under beds, they live in the jungle. Then she told me maybe it's a bear. I explained that bears cannot fit under her little bed. She then asks, "Can jaguars fit under there?" I could see that this conversation could go on for a very long time. I explained to her that no animals can fit under our bed, not even our dog. No animals can get into our house because all the doors are locked.

I thought about telling her that the only person in the room with her (besides her brother who sleeps in the bunk below) is God. But she has not been quite clear on who God is. I think she understands that God made the heavens and the earth and all of us, and controls all things, but she quite often asks what God looks like, where does God live, can we take a plane to visit God, can we spend the night at God's house, you get the picture. I thought that if I mentioned that God is in the room, she might spend the rest of the night looking for a mysterious person instead of mysterious animals. She was already in tears and in an unstable frame of mind.

I did a bit of research after she finally went to sleep. It turns out that a sudden development of nighttime fears is normal for children her age. Here is some of what I discovered:
  • It's fairly common for young children to experience bedtime fears. Their little imaginations are developing like wildfire, and they don't have the ability to distinguish fantasy from reality. In her mind, there really IS an animal under the bed.
  • She could simply be going through a "scared of the dark" phase, and she will outgrow it in time.
  • She might be reacting to some kind of stress in her environment. As I mentioned in an earlier post, there are upcoming changes in her life that could be stressful to her.
  • Ask her if she's been feeling worried or scared about anything lately. We could encourage her to draw some pictures of anything that's been bothering her.
  • Make sure the night light in their room doesn't cast any scary shadows on the wall.
  • Though she sleeps with several of her dolls, we could also pick out a stuffed animal that can be her special "bedtime friend," providing her with comfort when we're not there.
  • We could pick out some special kids worship songs to play in the little CD player in their room - right now they just listen to lullabies and classical music.
  • Most importantly, remind her that God loves her and promises to always be with us and take care of us. Teach her to pray simple prayers if she wakes up in the night, asking God to help her to not be afraid.


A little anxiety?

Since we found out we were pregnant, we told our children about it. They both seemed very excited, though the Little Guy went through a short period of hitting my belly and saying, "I don't want the baby." That only lasted a few weeks. The older child has been so excited, coming up with names for the baby, preparing a place for the baby to sleep (some blankets and a shoebox - how cute), and kissing my belly. Recently however, she has been acting quite out of character. Lil' Miss has always been a moody one, but it has been off the charts lately. Today, every little thing set her off - either into a screaming fit or a ball of tears. I am thinking that even though she is excited about the new baby, she still has some anxiety about upcoming change. I wonder if she is unsure of what her place will be in the family. Maybe wondering if it will be another brother - she finds the one she has to be a bit overwhelming. Maybe wondering if it is another girl, where does that leave her? I am not sure what to do about this new behavior. Of course, we will still act in the firm way that we do and expect her to be respectful and obedient. However, I feel led to have a heart to heart with her and find out how she truly feels about the coming baby. I don't know how realistic it is to have such a conversation with a young child, but hopefully I can alleviate some of her anxiety. I also will make an extra effort to spend more one on one time with her. As I've posted before, time is hard to come by - I am still as exhausted as I was in the first trimester, but making sure my little girl is emotionally okay must take precedence over sleep for a little while.


How hard can it be?

I recently inherited a very old serger. So old that the manufacturing company doesn't even exist anymore (at least I haven't been able to find it as of yet - and I've been searching for at least a month). I'm a pretty confident person and thought, I can figure out how to use this thing. I mean, I can sew, so I'm sure I can serge. Well, those little machines are apparently a whole different species than a sewing machine! Just trying to work out the threading alone (upper loopers, lower loopers - whoever heard of such things?) was like taking a logic test. I finally thought I had it and oh so proud of myself began serging. You should see the mess it made! The thread got tangled so badly that it jammed up the whole machine. So off I went again in search of some online help. I finally found the blog of someone who has the same exact serger and was able to get a manual from them. Erika uses her serger to make all sorts of beautiful items which she sells in her etsy shop Please take a moment to check it out, as I am so thankful to have found it myself!

Once my manual arrived, I happily took it to my craft room to figure the thing out. I quickly realized that the serger came with several little helpers that I didn't get with my hand me down. Yesterday I headed off to Ms. JoAnn's who was able to help me out with most of it, for a not so small fee. While picking up all of the little screwdrivers, serger tweezers, threaders and other items, I also found a few scrapbooking items for my other passion (I'll blog about that another day!). Though they were having a great sale, a full basket of sewing and scrapbooking goodies is not so cheap. Thank goodness I had a gift card left over from Mother's Day and didn't have to spend a dime!

I was so excited to get home and put all of my purchases to use. Then reality set in. The kids hadn't eaten, clothes that I had folded before I left were mysteriously knocked down off the couch and all over the floor, the kitchen sink was full, and I had a report to be handed in the next morning at work. I thought maybe after all was done, I'd be able to get back to my little project, but who was I kidding? After the kids went to bed and I finished my work, I fell asleep on the couch! Oh well. Hopefully this evening I'll have a bit more energy. Everyone has already had dinner, the kitchen is clean and my wonderful hubby is bathing the kids as I type, so things are looking good so far. Those clothes are still unfolded -- off the floor, but unfolded. Really though, what's more important? Folded clothes or getting a moment to do something I love (or at least I think I will)?


Let's get crafty

I found a great tutorial on how to crochet a drop-stitch scarf. Growing in Grace Magazine (GGM) profiled a woman who created the scarf for her daughter. The woman found the pattern online at, a free online magazine for crochet. The tutorial is posted on the GGM website along with some tips throughout the pattern that helped her make the scarf.

What's even better is that she donated one of her scarves to giveaway at GGM. All I had to do was just leave a comment on my website with my thoughts on fall, announce the giveaway on my blog, and add the icon to my sidebar! How easy is that?!

Not so easy for me. This being only my second blog, it took me a minute to figure out just exactly how to add the icon to my sidebar! But that challenge has been overcome and I can now move on to bigger and better things like crocheting! I just love crafting. I sew, scrapbook, crochet, and anything else crafty I can get my hands on. My only problem is finding time to actually do it. I used to do a lot of my handiwork after the kids went to bed, but now I'm so tired by that time, I can only dream of it - literally! The good thing about crochet is that you can take it with you anywhere and work on the project whenever you get a spare moment. Though, the last time I tried that I ended up with less than desirable results. I took my little project to my oldest child's soccer practice, and while I was modeling a bit of active participation, my youngest decided it would be fun to unravel my project and trail it all around the field!

Okay, I'm off to find my stash of ribbon yarn!