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March 2015

it’s all about sleep baby

So I’m reading a new book, surprise! NutureShock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman. OMG, it is amazing! I was going on and on about it to Bycemaster last night when he ever so politely says, why don’t you blog about it? Was he getting sick of hearing about it? Possibly. Was he very kindly and politely asking me to stop? Probably. Was he right? Definitely!

Every chapter so far has been amazing. Last night was the sleep chapter, I was ironically staying up late to read. But it was so fascinating, and validating! (See kids, mommy DOES know what she’s talking about!) When they studied elementary students they discovered just one hours difference in sleep a night resulted in a two grade level reduction in performance, 2 grade levels! Here’s the quote “a slightly sleepy sixth=grader will perform in class like a mere fourth-grader. A loss of one hour of sleep is equivalent to [the loss of] two years of cognitive maturation and development.” Sleep deprived kids also had problems with impulse control, concentration, emotional stability, and were more likely to be obese. To quote the authors again “The surprise is not merely that sleep matters – but how much it matters, demonstrably, not just to academic performance and emotional stability, but to phenomena that we assumed to be entirely unrelated, such as the international obesity epidemic and the rise of ADHD.” Wow.

After a number of melt down incidents we had over here last week and then our discovery that said incidentor (like that new word, Bycemaster would be proud) had been getting up an extra hour earlier all week, this totally rang true. It truly was a complete regression in “cognitive maturation and development,” which is really frustrating when you know how old they are supposed to be! It’s possible this experience could be exponential in adults…just throwing that out there. I mean you can see it right? It could explain A LOT. Just speculation people!

However, the fact “that sleep-deprived people fail to recall pleasant memories, yet recall gloomy memories just fine” (I haven’t quoted someone so much since my college paper writing days!) is not speculation. Ok excuse my nerd out here, but they actually explained why this is happening and I must at least attempt to pass it on (you really need to read this book people!). So our brain processes and stores the information from the day while we are sleeping. How the person feels about a memory determines what part of the brain processes it. Your amygdala processes your negatives memories/events and positive or neutral stimuli are processed by your hippocampus. But when you get too little sleep the hippocampus suffers first and hardest. Leaving you with a brain full of negativity and little capacity to even add anything neutral or positive to the mix the next day. The situation is compounded for kids due to the different quantities of sleep stages they have at night. The surly teenager stereotype is beginning to make much more sense. I mean I know what I was like as a teenager, I wasn’t nicknamed ice princess for nothing. I was also sleeping 6 or less hours a night for years. My already existing plan of enforcing naps in my teenagers has now been set in stone.

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diapers

It’s still Monday! I didn’t forget! Well I did forget, but I remembered again before it was technically too late. We’re calling this a solid WIN.

I just spent 30 minutes dancing with my daughter to all her favorite picks on Dance Central. My word, she likes the active ones that make you get low to the ground. It’s a little harder to get that low when you’re so much higher off the ground kiddo! I’m skipping any other work out today. It is finished. But it did succeed in waking my brain up enough to remember this, so it’s all good.

Quick adoption update! Not much has changed, still sick of talking about this photobook, hopefully not much longer. We are through with the first round of edits. We had to take a few more pics, add some more verbiage and just shuffle a bit. Over all the editor really liked it. I have a few more things to go over that I received in an email this morning and then tonight I will be ordering one to send to the agency! That will be, Lord willing, the final step before this phase is over. It has to be approved by the crisis pregnancy councilor and then we print them all. Then you can stop hearing about them all the time 🙂 Exciting for all of us!

So now that we are in range of “baby could be here soon” I’m trying to figure out baby stuff, again. I always said I’d cloth diaper if I was home with next one. Well here I am, home. A few of the kids I’ve watched have used cloth, so I’m not a total newbie. I have not, however, done the washing and buying. I know I have a lot of friends out there that do or have cloth diapered in one way shape or form. I’m open to a shape or form that it’s strictly one way or the other. So school me people. I need to know the best compromise. What do I do? Where do I buy? What kinds? Laundry? Cleaning? Stripping? Costs and cost effectiveness? Honestly well you’re at it give me your best sales pitch, cause right now the thought of more laundry kinda has me groaning…

time to do it

I’m here, sitting down to do this thing like I said I would. One problem, I’m sick of talking about this photobook, and I don’t know what else to talk about.

So here we go, first draft is done. I just need to edit it before it gets sent off for review. Usually editing is my favorite part, I like refining things down to their best, it’s what I do. I don’t know what’s wrong with me now, but I don’t want to do it, I mean really don’t want to do it. I put it at the top of my list this morning and have instead worked up from the bottom doing everything but the writing I am currently doing and the photobook. I’ve got laundry going, kitchen cleaned, crockpot going, workout done, bills done. I even finished my current reading book AND got a shower, in the morning (showers in the AM hours do not happen for me). My avoidance of this task has made me extremely productive! Yay procrastination…wait…that’s not right…

In semi related news, one of my goals for the year was to get the real camera out at least once a month and just take pictures with it. When I first bought it almost 5 years ago (you can read about those trying circumstances here) I fancied myself a bit of a photographer. I used it all the time, I got some photos I really love (like the one in the post above), and then life got busier and I started looking at all these real photographers photos and I just got discouraged and stopped. Its been years, and that super special meaningful camera has caused me nothing but guilt as it’s sat their literally collecting dust…like cough your brains out when you try to touch it kinda dust. Possibly another reason it wasn’t getting touched…

But this year I made the goal tangible, once a month. Instead of my usual vague, take more pictures (gee I don’t know why that wasn’t working..). I also gave myself permission to not be a professional and still like what I take. Besides just like writing and running and pretty much anything, you don’t stumble on the good ones without a lot of bad ones.

I didn’t end up using the picture below in the book, but it did come out of one of our neighbhood park sessions last week. I know how some people get nervous with climbing, not what I was trying to provoke! It was completely kid prompted (mom take a picture of us!) and their happy faces show it! I am super pleased with it.

IMG_3353

Look at that. Guess I did have something to talk about.

short and super sweet

decided to do photo book work before the blog this morning. Good for the book! Bad for the blog. The book is moving, captions and letter portions are all drafted, I have pages and pages and pages of pictures. It’s very odd creating something that is supposed to capture the essence of who you are as a family. I work my way through all these categories we’ve been given and then I sit back and look at it. And it still doesn’t show all about us and our personalities…and the search for more photos commences…again. I have a feeling my inner perfectionist may be peaking her slumbering head back up for this…and I’m ok with that…if she doesn’t take longer than this week to wrap things up!

Anyway I’m off to our neighborhood park, to finally get those pictures! It’s a beautiful day out there, and the kids messed up time changed little bodies won’t get hungry for an extra hour today. Bonus time! Off we go!

Oh almost forgot! How could I forget?!? We received a completely unexpected, overly generous check for the adoption fund from a wonderful family, you know who you are! Thank you for being an answer to prayer, it made me cry, the timing could not have been more perfect, I’m humbled to be on the receiving end of such generosity and it is a good place to be. We are so excited and encouraged to see how God is going to provide the rest 🙂

i do not belong in seatle

If there was ever a doubt that I was born, here, in the sunshine state, for a reason, it was removed this last week. Days and days and days and days and days (and yes more days!) of complete cloudy weather is for all you northern crazies. I don’t care if it’s cold, just give me sunshine! I sat down to blog this morning, but then the sun peaked out and lunch and school were bumped to earlier in the day and moved outside! I had to, you understand. There was a magnetic pull on my poor vitamin D deprived body, it made me go outside. And you’re still getting this post today, so what’s the harm, really? Come on…

But onto important matters, the home study visits are done! Yippie! The fire extinguisher saga is over, it passed! The report is being written up as we speak, they told us it takes 4-6 weeks for a home study report to be finalized, they are, after all, out on visits for a large portion of their job, which doesn’t really lend well to report writing.

In the meantime, I plug away at this profile book, our final step. It is coming along. The progress from last week’s blank book with cover photo and 200 pictures uploaded to this weeks 22 pages of haphazardly thrown together pictures and verbal diarrhea while not done, is definitely improvement! I still need to take park/neighborhood pictures, and this is turning out to be the most difficult part. Again with this infernal weather, pictures of the wonders of your neighborhood and parks when it’s dreary and drizzling and no one is out playing DO NOT WORK WONDERS! See our wonderful home where the sun never shines and no other children live or play EVER. You know you want to pick us! Hmmm…maybe I should make it a satire page and we’ll get a sarcastic birth family and we’ll all live happily every after. It’s something to consider.

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