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LEGO Creativity. And Spider-Man.

This is the kind messy room I like to walk in and see. LEGO creativity at it’s best. A friend (thanks, Delia) dropped off some hand-me-downs and some absolute treasures: LEGO manuals. Judah (15), Enoch (12) and Mordecai (10) have been busy rifling through our LEGO stash and working on reconstructing some models. Pretty cool.

In other cool news, we have a brand new theater (just opened this week) in our community and they were offering $2 movies for a very limited time. Not wanting to turn down a bargain, we may have skipped school this afternoon and headed out to see The Amazing Spider-Man. Don’t worry, I let the kids involved know that they would make up for the missing lessons tomorrow. Just one more perk of homeschool-hood.

Do you know what today is? Exactly six weeks since Apollo’s second heart surgery. He is now officially out of quarantine (from the heart surgeons, though not his pulmonologist). We can lift him up under the arms again! I even plan to take him to our Christmas Eve Candlelight service if he stays healthy. Apollo never (really, never) goes to church. Chuck and I take turns staying home with him each week.

Last night was day five of no melatonin. He didn’t fall asleep until 11 pm πŸ™ He wouldn’t let me turn the light off (I finally did after he fell asleep) and this morning he woke up crying and angry that I turned the light off. Never mind that he spent all night in bed between me and Chuck. I will definitely try to contact someone who can help him with his Β trauma. He is now upset about any talk involving: beds, bedtime, doctors or surgery. Β A simple google search will show that it is not totally uncommon for a child (even a toddler) to have PTSD after major surgery- cardiac surgery in particular.

Okay, I’ve literally been working on this post all day- life kept interrupting.

Signing off.







  1. Kelly

    Do you all have one of those nightlights that projects a pretty image onto the ceiling? I know there is a really cool one that has all of the planets on it that slowly rotates around the room. You might also try taking him to Lowes or Home Depot or some similar store and picking out a mood light. Certain colors release different receptors in the brain, but the white light that most light bulbs are will make the melatonin naturally released by his body less effective. I found the purple worked well the other night on myself and my neighbor’s children. They got sleepy about 20 minutes after insisting that they wanted to use that color. I think the bright blue and yellow are the big ones to stay away from if you are going for making him sleepy.

    I am just talking about normal light bulbs. The were in the bottom of the middle of the light bulb wall at my Lowes. The side of the box had the information about which color light should stimulate what effect. Like there is a happy one you can use in the mornings and another color for relaxing, another one for being energized. I’m not sure how much to believe it all, but it’s a very cheap thing you can try.


  2. bakersdozenandapolloxiv

    No nightlight yet. I mean, he’s sleeping in our room in our BED. You wouldn’t think it was necessary. We did try with one, but he wanted the nightlight AND light on πŸ™ Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll have to look into that.

    • Kelly

      Try changing whatever light he wants to one of the lightbulbs that will not give off as much light. Have him pick out the lightbulb and then at least it wouldn’t be so bright and would make it easier for him to actually feel tired. There are very nice at nighttime. Maybe the melatonin holiday will help with the nightmares though and they won’t start back up.

  3. Peg

    Last summer I bought some fake candles on-line. They are battery operated and the ‘flame’ flickers just like a real candle. The candle is about 10 inches high and the flame is at the bottom. The whole thing is somewhat translucent so the light is very soft, not blinding. The ones I have give off a very, very, slight vanilla scent. My husband can’t stand any scent but he hasn’t complained about these. The outside of the ‘candle’ has a waxy feel to it, just as a real candle would.
    These may be something Apollo might find interesting but more important could be bright enough to please him.. Plus the light wouldn’t be a nuisance to you and Chuck while you’re trying to fall asleep. The one drawback is the battery compartment isn’t child proof.

  4. Kelly

    Not trying to be mean but how do you know that waking up mad and crying and the other stuff is not just a good ole fashion temper tantrum. Control issues from sick kids or kids that have been in the hospital are very real toward their parents, even at his age.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Kelly- this is a great question! My first response would be that he is my 11th two year old, so we have plenty of experience. His anger was a control issue- I told him we wouldn’t get up until he “talked nicely” to me. My other answer would be, anyone, parent or not can tell the difference between a cry of sheer terror and any other cry. I have actually looked for books on how to raise a chronically sick child, because it is so different and not found much help.

  5. Sue

    I think the light bulbs might be a good thing. when we moved into our house the ceiling fan in our guest room now kids room is clear plastic and has a black light in it.. No idea what the prior owners were thinking.. But the great thing is that we call it the anit monster light.. it does seem to give the kids a calming effect but not as bright as a normal light.It also scares away all the monsters !
    I hope something works soon… It is so hard to be a parent when you do not have enough sleep ! Hoping for you all !
    Sue in NJ

  6. LoriSfargo

    I agree with Kelly. My first thought each time I read about this is your need for discernment regarding behaviour vs trauma. May God give you discernment with wisdom.

  7. Anna

    Wouldn’t it be a relief if the sleeping issues were just part of his normal development? πŸ™‚ Renee, you have plenty of experience with different two year old personalities and how each manages that transition to sleeping solo in the dark and learning how to understand nightmares/dreams. My 5th two year old is much different from my first four. He needs to be in control-especially of me (good luck with that, kid) and won’t sleep alone. He is a major temper tantrum thrower-again, so different from the first four. The other four transitioned to sleeping in their own beds so much nicer, but this guy won’t leave and he gets so angry when his plans are thwarted. You are doing what you need to do-trying different techniques, tossing them when they don’t work, trying a new way, and then just accepting it and riding it out. And it wouldn’t surprise me if Apollo was going through some major brain growth now that he is getting all that great nutrition that he wasn’t able to get before. His little brain is just making connection after connection as he sleeps and it must be just so stimulating. Even in kids without extra health issues it’s a crazy time. Aren’t two year olds GREAT? Here’s another smile for you πŸ™‚

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      I *love* two-year-olds. It’s one of my favorite ages. Yes, we are trying a little of everything. If all else fails, he move out of the house some day, right?

  8. LoriSfargo

    Oh I just completely agree with how Anna put together her comment. God is good to bring her along today with such wisdom. I have compassion for you, Renee. I do not articulate well at all. Thank you, Anna!!!!!

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      I gave in and gave him some last night (night six) at 10:45…I was so tired I could barely keep MY eyes open and he wasn’t even tired πŸ™ He had no nightmares though…

  9. Kate

    I admire both your caution with regard to melatonin as well as your willingness to give it a shot. For my 10-yr-old son, melatonin has been a minor miracle. He routinely gets 2 hours more sleep a night since he started taking 1 mg before bed. No sleep disturbances. In the past he has become depressed and angry as the school year wore on. This year he has shown a marked improvement in both mood and resilience.
    In short, if melatonin helps Apollo get to sleep at night and doesn’t lead to nightmares (and I would be surprised if his traumatic experiences did NOT cause bad dreams, poor kid!) then I don’t see why you need to feel like you are “giving in” if you give him some. If he takes it without noticeable side effects, I think the extra sleep and reduced nighttime stress far outweigh any potential negatives – which, according to my research, are very unlikely if the dosage and usage are managed appropriately.

  10. kelly

    I know everyone else posted about your main concern…..Apollo…..but there is a place I found on pinterest that had a TON of Lego manuals on it. I will look for it if you’re interested.

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