How to Survive Night Terrors: A Totally and Completely Serious Guide to Endure and Not Die

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This blog originally appeared on the Knoxville Moms Blog on March 28, 2016. To continue reading the entire post, please click the link at the bottom of the page.

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for: the baby is sleeping through the night! Whether you were one of those blessed souls who endured years of nighttime feedings or one – whom all the enduring moms hate – whose precious lamb snoozed a full eight hours the first week home from the hospital, this is a day to be celebrated. Suddenly, with a few nights of uninterrupted sleep under your belt, the sun shines brighter, the birds sing more sweetly, and the world spins a little more gently in your well-rested world.

Just when you get to feeling like a real human being again, you start getting used to this “sleeping” thing, you get a little overconfident and take a trip with your tiny offspring. A few hours in the car, sleeping in a strange place, overstimulation from family or activities, and then you find yourself in the danger zone: enter night terrors.

If you are so lucky to have never experienced a child with night terrors, let me first congratulate you, and second I must warn you, because these little episodes have certainly earned the moniker “terror.” Imagine you are in a deep sleep – you know, the ones you never had before baby started sleeping so well – after patting yourself on the back for a great trip with your perfect little angel baby traveler. Suddenly you awake to a scream – nay, a blood-curdling shriek coming from your child’s room. Anticipating a knife-weilding intruder or the cat seeking revenge for eating its food, you run into baby’s room to find her standing in her crib, back pushed against the rail with her eyes wide open in a wild, frightened stare, screaming like the first time she met the Easter Bunny and thought it was Donnie Darko.


To continue reading the full post – and catch some great advice from the founder of helpmommy.com – please click here to visit the KMB page!

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I Love My Dog: for a Passionately Pet-Loving Principal

Behold, the late, great Cherry Bhutan Caldwell (only her vet knew her full name), along with my Sweet Prince. She passed away 4 years ago last week. I loved her *almost* enough to write a song about it. Almost.

Behold, the late, great Cherry Bhutan Caldwell (only her vet knew her full name), along with my Sweet Prince. She passed away 4 years ago last week. I loved her *almost* enough to write a song about it. Almost.

One of the best and worst parts about being in youth ministry is watching the teens you love and have poured your life into graduate high school and move on. It’s such a bittersweet feeling, being so proud as they step into the next phase of their lives yet mourning them leaving your care and journeying their own path into adulthood.

In order to keep my pregnant emotions in check, lately I’ve been just shutting down that whole “feeling” mess and trying to laugh as much as possible. Yeah, it will all hit me like a train eventually, but I’m going to be a wreck for a while anyway, so I may as well put it off while I can, right? So yesterday while I sat among some of my favorite people and watched some of my other favorite people play in the band and walk across that stage, I was goofing off and making sarcastic comments to anyone who could hear me. Hey, we sat towards the back and away from other people, okay?

Sunday afternoon I witnessed a high school principal present one of the strangest graduation speeches I’ve ever heard. What he lacked in inspiration he made up for in overuse of the word “experience” (I actually counted 4 times in a single sentence at one point)… although I don’t think that’s really a fair trade. From the vagueness and tone of the life lessons he was attempting to impart to this graduating class, it seems this guy had a tough year personally, so I don’t want to be too hard on him. I simply appreciate his assistance in my quest to laugh through the coming weeks of overwhelming emotion.

The point where my equally giggly husband lost it was when Mr. Principal started talking about his pets. Apparently this man has rescued several animals from dumpsters and other tragic circumstances, all of which is quite noble and certainly rewarding for canine and human alike. However, the quantity of time he spent discussing his pet-owner relationships, coupled with the sudden passion and conviction with which he delivered this portion of his otherwise monotonous speech, had to make you laugh. It was, much to our enjoyment, a hot topic of conversation at the graduation party we attended, as well as many more today, I’m sure.

So here’s to you, Mr. Animal-Loving High School Administrator! You have filled my day with laughter and given the class of 2015 something to talk about for years to come. I don’t remember a single thing about my high school graduation ceremony, so I think we could all use a little more of people like you to keep things interesting. And just so you always know you are not alone in your devotion to the pets that would “die for [you] if it came to that” and “with one look can melt away all my problems and struggles of the day” (both quotes from Mr. Principal’s speech), I dedicate this video to you. In a strangely ironic twist of fate, the iconic Cat Stevens has written a timeless song about his love for dogs, and today, Mr. Principal, this one is for you!

Come on, y’all; share the love. Tell me about your favorite pet that you love more than humans!