Only the Good Ones

Lately, I’ve been thinking about dreams. The ones I have. Those I can’t remember. Why don’t I dream much lately? Why do I only remember nightmares? Recurring dreams I’ve had lately and the ones I remember from being very small. I don’t know why it’s been on my mind so much, but I was inspired to post about it while I was visiting my buddy at Move Over Mary Poppins and reading a post about a dream she had.

It used to be that I dreamed all the time, and when I did, I could remember them vividly, in technicolor detail. Now, if I remember a dream it’s because it was horrifying. Granted, these don’t come along very often. I just can’t see the justice in only recalling the bad ones.

All this wondering brought to mind a recurring nightmare I had when I was young. Very, very young. I wasn’t old enough to have many memories from the time period aside from this dream. I must have been 2 or 3 years old. No. Probably older, because I just remembered the bike.  It was white with pink stars on the seat and streamers on the handlebars.

Maybe I was 4. This bike was my getaway vehicle that starred in this particular dream. On the bike, going as fast as I could with my short little legs, pedaling with ferocity and “running” for my life, I teetered along a ledge that ran the perimeter of a very tall building. This thing I was trying to get away from was a pink “Popples” type anomaly.

It sounds sort of ridiculous and not at all scary, but I can remember waking in cold sweats screaming and crying. Good thing I had my Teddy Ruxpin and my Glow Worm. Those Popples were awful. Check out also this page on great Family Traditions.

Last night as Tim and I were getting the boys dressed after their bath, they spotted their nighttime visitor on their window. It doesn’t show up every night but probably 9 times out of 10.  It’s been hanging around telling them “good night” for quite some time now, maybe a month, month and a half. I find it strange that it always ends up on that particular window at that particular time of day.  The boys LOVE it. So I snapped a few pictures.

Putting the boys to bed is probably my favorite part of the day. It’s not even mostly because it gets so quiet, but it’s the sweetness of it that I love so much. They get rowdy and jump and holler for a while, we rough-house and wrestle a bit, and then they quiet down and get those sleepy, droopy eyelids. They get under their covers, snuggle up with their stuffed animals and do their best to listen as I read Harry Potter.

I get to watch them doze as I read. I get to watch them yawn. It takes me back to when my mom used to read to me and how her voice would lull and soothe. It was perfect. They are perfect. Then, when they are mostly asleep we whisper our “good night’s” to one another, hug, kiss, and tuck blankets. We turn on their night-light, which is a turtle from CloudB.

Their room is quite dreamy when the lights are out for the night.  Sometimes, I want to stay in there with them. I just hope that in due time they will just complete their high school education rather than need to earn their GED diploma. Sweet dreams, little dudes. Only remember the good ones.

Stress Busters for oh, so busy parents

Most parents dream about taking time off from their regular lives to just plain relax. I’m not talking about sleeping a little longer or brewing a fresh pot of coffee. I mean full-blown relaxation as we see in glossy magazines or on television commercials: a plane carrying me off to golden scarlet sunsets over crystal sand beaches; an elegant room service snack awaiting me as I emerge from a 90-minute soak in the hotel’s Jacuzzi; or just several hours to read a great book. With a child in the house, none of that’s going to be happening to me any time soon.

Still, I have discovered ways to step out of reality for a short time to rejuvenate, even if Iím within the same four walls as my loved ones. Fact is that actually, no one is bust. It’s all about setting priorities. From one busy parent to another, I share my collection of stress busters:

Get some fresh air 
A simple walk, either alone, with the dog, or accompanied by bicyclists, scooters, or roller-bladers, can do wonders to relieve the stresses of life’s responsibilities. If you’re feeling really ambitious, try adding more exercise to your outing by picking up the pace and swinging those arms. It does wonders for those aching neck and shoulder muscles. Now if this isn’t an Ah-Ha moment…

Break that routine
You’d be amazed at what doing something out of your normal routine can do for you. Dinner out and a movie with another adult or an afternoon of window shopping by yourself can be very relaxing. Just bringing in a pizza and renting a movie can change the feel of your whole Friday night. Even wandering aimlessly through the aisles of some megastore while your children are safely at home with a babysitter can be wonderful!

Water and candles
Never underestimate the power of scented candles. Whether it’s the dancing flames or the lightly scented warmth they give off, they are downright soothing. Add them to a lightly lit bathroom for a truly “take me away” bathing experience. Even if you’re not a bath person, a 20-minute steamy “spa shower” can add hours to your tranquility fuse. This will help you deal with anger management and motherhood.

A massage, the next best thing to a week in the Bahamas
Perhaps your significant other can cap off your crazy day with a back rub before sleep. Simply put, individuals have been known to be so deliriously relaxed after a fine massage that they have approved requests for reptile pets and agreed to host Thanksgiving for 36.

Throw responsibility to the wind
Just forget about your responsibilities and take some time off. Eat ice cream out of the carton instead of doing another load of laundry, sit down and read a magazine instead of defrosting the freezer, play one of those never-ending board games with your family instead of vacuuming the living room, or call an old friend on the phone instead of balancing your checkbook.