Monday, October 25, 2010


So, I'm up again.  It is 4:11 am.  I did the laundry, cleaned the girls' room, did a load of dishes, have a loaf of bread rising, put wassail on the stove and I'm still wide awake.  This is becoming more and more usual.  For so many years I have been walking around exhausted, pleading for a nap.  Now that I don't need to be awake with a baby and my body isn't so huge and cumbersome that it fits nicely in my bed, I have insomnia.  It's a big problem.  It's irritating.

But, since I'm up, I decided to try something new with my blog.  There is poll over there.  (After you have voted, you have to scroll to the right to see the results.)

If you are a church goer, do you let your children bring toys to church?  I'll tell you, I used to, but it became more and more the focus of everyone's attention.  The older pods, who could have been listening much more by then, we caught up in whatever imaginary play their younger sister had going.  The younger ones fought over toys.  Mom was so busy trying to intervene that I got nothing out of my meetings.  I cut back to just notebooks and pencils.  I even tried crayons or colored pencils, but the kids would bicker about "I wanted the blue one!!!" and I would want to poke hot rods into my ears to silence their whining forever.  Not a healthy emotion at church.  My sister lets her daughters bring their special dolls to church if they sit quietly with them.  Some people have massive bags of goodies and treats that are only for church.  They have quilted darling little quiet books, supplied puzzles and cardboard books and other special activities for little hands.  I don't know the right answer (and maybe it is different for different families and same families at different ages), but I'm curious as to what you think.

So, what do you think?


  1. When my kids were very little (3 and under), we let them bring very quiet toys (a small stuffed animal or something--nothing that could be whacked against the bench to make noise). Now that the youngest is 5, we are a notebook and pencils only family. We also bring the scriptures for kids books that the distribution center sells.

    And we bring a small, non messy snack like gummy fruit snacks or dried apples depending on our schedule for the year. Right now our schedule is such that we save the snacks for in the van on the way home.

    As for the insomnia, have you tried melatonin? It's the brain's natural sleep chemical. It's not a drug that makes you sleepy, it just tells your brain that it's time to sleep. It's sold right in with the vitamins and supplements at Wal-Mart (and other stores). It can even be given to children. Our pediatrician recommended it to help with jet lag when we used to live in Germany and visited the US.

  2. I don't ever wake up during the night and check things off my to do list. HOWEVER, about five nights a week I can't go to sleep. It's maddening. I started keeping a legal pad and pen in my bedroom and sometimes it helps if I unload my brain onto the legal pad before bed. I think it's just that I never have the luxury of uninterrupted time to think so at night, when the house is quiet (eerily quiet) my mind races.
    I try and take quiet toys to church but the honest answer is that we've taken a short break from church. My 15month old twins take a nap every morning the same time as church. The church we used to attend has a chaotic nursery where kids can't nap and big kids are rough. Our current church has no nursery so by the time church is over I feel like I've lived through a wrestling match. and lost.
    I like the poll on your blog! :)

  3. I am very inconsistent. I change the bag every week. Sometimes just notebook and pencils, sometimes a book or two, sometimes coloring pencils, but the worst bag packer is my husband. He will pack toys, Oreos, zesta crackers, chocolate, suckers, big toys (like a giant sparkling pink unicorn), and pretty much whatever the kids want. There always seems to be trouble when he packs, so I try to do it most of the time. I think he really packs like he is one of the kids! One time he brought Doritos--I couldn't believe it! I do pack a little snack like Cheerios or raisins.

    As for the insomnia, I am in the same boat right now-although I am waiting for my baby to come. Every night it is harder to get to sleep because all I do is wonder if tonight is the night. Normally, I can zonk in just minutes!

  4. I'm sorry about the sleeping, I don't really have any suggestions.

    But things that I have found with church. I have found that we have a much better time after 2 there are no more snacks. They are in nursery they get a snack there they really don't need another one in sacrament meeting, it has cut down the noise as well as the begging. I have stopped bring toys as well, we have copies of the friend, a notepad to color and I switch between the scripture readers from distribution or the new picture book that they just recently released as well. Of course its difficult for the children when people sit in front of you and feed their children lunch right there but its a choice that my husband and I have found works best for our family and allows us to feel the spirit more in the meetings and hopefully shows to our children how important sacrament meeting is to us. I also try to wait to get things out until after the sacrament has been passed.

  5. I mean after the age of 2 sorry.

  6. Didn't your Mom deal with insomnia?

    I think often about the whole toy food thing during sacrament meeting- when their 18 months and squirly, toys and snacks seem almost Godsend.

    There is a family of 5 children in our ward- the oldest is 6. They sit there with their arms folded the entire Sacrament meeting. It is just amazing. They are so so reverent. I guess the Dad has made a big deal about the importance of being reverent and they have strict rules about no toys and food. I think they were just taught from day one that Sacrament meeting is a time to be still and quiet.

    We on the other hand don't have such rules and I wish we did- because Bad habits are forming with the girls and Sacrament meeting is becoming a time to play and eat snacks- not what I want. I wish I would have just said NO to snacks and toys from the beginning and then offered some reward when we got home for being reverent.

    I don't like how snacks leave crumbs in the Lord's beautiful chapel. I just don't feel good about it- so I am going with feelings- and I have decided to take the girls to the bathroom, give them a drink, and give them a little snack before we enter the chapel. (Sacrament is last in our ward).

    But on the flipside- we have been judged for bringing snacks for our children and so from a learning lesson- just don't judge what other parents are doing- we are all in this together and trying the best we can.

    But we can always learn and try something new if we are willing and have good enough motivation.

    We've had family home evenings where we play Mock Church and we set up chairs like the pews and we practice being quiet and is kind of fun.

  7. I wouldn't call mine insomnia. I sleep fine when left to my own schedule. I'm just a night owl in a world of morning people. But it isn't fun still being up at 4am when you know you have to be up in 4 hours.

    As far as the toy thing goes, I don't have kids, but my parents never brought anything for us when we were little. No toys or snacks or anything. We were expected to sit quietly and listen.

  8. On my desk was a small sign for years that said

    "Don't you feel sorry for the rest of the world, who have to sleep all night and don't get anything done?"

    It was my effort to have a decent attitude about not sleeping. My insomnia is seasonal, I have found. I sleep much better in the summer than winter months.

    As far as toys-- whatever the sanity of the major caregiver requires... and I do NOT judge young mothers. I am just glad you are there with your little people.

  9. I love the picture of the big brother helping get the younger sister ready for church.
    We too have gone to through different stages with bringing stuff to church. I've found paper and pencils (not colored) to be the most peaceful, but if I don't regularly monitor the "church bag" other items seem to find their way in. It's probably about time to purge the bag.

  10. April-- There have been people in various wards we've been in that have really been hard on families who bring snacks and it makes me angry. When you have church at 11:00 with sacrament last,a snack really becomes a serious consideration.

    Also, I'm diabetic, so I'm often snacking to maintain stable blood sugar. I get a lot of dirty looks on Fast Sunday. :)