Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Is anyone else glad Christmas is over?

I sure am! We had a pretty good time in Chicago this week, but I am so, so happy to be home. It is really hard on my family to be away from home. The kids don't sleep well and they are a bit crabby at the change in schedule. Add to that, a bunch of parties, lots of junk food and tons of commotion and you have the makings of some sensory meltdowns, temper tantrums and general grouchiness. And I'm talking about myself here.

It was so good to be home and unpack. The kids are having a lot of fun playing with the Christmas toys they hadn't had time for before we left. Also, they are sleeping so much better in their own beds. When we discipline them, we don't have my dad adding his two cents. And best of all, there is no TV blaring in the background constantly.

I have always enjoyed watching TV myself. I have never considered it an evil to be avoided. That is, until recently. We live in a rather small town and have a lot of trees and no reception. Because we are too cheap and self aware (Bil and I know we would both waste all our time in front of the TV if we had the chance) we do not have cable. Why pay for TV? I ask. It has actually been quite a blessing. We are much more productive, spending more time reading, doing crosswords, and yes, playing on the Internet. (I know that is just as much a time waster as the TV, but a girl has to have something, right?)

Another reason this has been a huge blessing is because we have noticed that TV watching has a very deleterious effect on Danny, especially if he watches more than 45 minutes at a stretch. And for some reason, TV is worse on him than videos. I suspect it is the flashing of commercials and the fast pace of it all. Anyway, we can always tell when he has watched too much because he not only gets really, really hyper, but also seriously crabby. Not a good combination.

I keep meaning to look it up on the Internet to see if there has been any research into hyperactivity and TV viewing, though I guess the research would be superfluous. I mean, we have are conducting our own research study right here in our family room and I KNOW that TV screws with Danny's system. I guess that is probably all we need to know, right? We know to limit his viewing time and when we do, all goes well (relatively speaking).

The problem is when we go to other people's houses. It is difficult for me sometimes to explain to friends that I would rather keep the TV off. I know I sound all prudish and judgmental, as if I am so above television. That really isn't the case. I just know how Danny gets and would much rather that all my friends not be witness to his misbehavior. Most people are pretty understanding and once in a while, I just let him watch. He can handle it if it is in very small doses.

We stayed with my father this week for the holidays and my dad is a complete television addict. The TV was on pretty much from the time he woke in the morning until at least 2 AM. My dad would fall asleep in front of the TV and sometime in the wee hours of the morning would wake up, turn it off and go back to sleep. This was bad in a lot of ways. First off, it was seriously depressing to me to see my dad waste his life like that. He has always been this way, but I guess I haven't stayed with him for a while, so I haven't been confronted by it. Next, it was just really, really distracting to have a conversation with him while Alex Trebeck was interviewing Jeopardy contestants. But the worst of all was how riled up and crabby it made the kids. Although it was worse for Danny, it also seemed to affect Charlotte. We just never had a moment of peace and quiet, except for the two times I managed to confiscate the remote.

I guess we learned a valuable lesson. Staying at a TV addict's home is not good for my family....Seems like a small thing, but it definitely affected us all.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

All I want for Christmas....

My brother called last week to get suggestions from me for my birthday present. Apparently, the present he wanted to get me--a "Dwight Schrute is My Sensei" t-shirt--didn't come in my size, which is too bad, because I sure would have loved that. Typically, around this time of year, I have a couple of gift ideas in my head; with having a birthday so close to Christmas, I often have family members asking me for suggestions, so it is best to be prepared. This time, however, my mind was a complete blank (which is happening more and more lately). I had such a hard time coming up with a gift that my brother could get me. Now, that is not to say that I don't have some Christmas wishes. I do. Many. They just happen to be gifts that no one is willing or able to get me. Here is a partial list:

**I would love a guarantee that within 3 months of giving birth to this child I am carrying that I will be down to a siz 10. OK, yes, I know that I was not a size 10 when I got pregnant, but this is the season of miracles, right? So, why not dream big (or I guess I should say "small.")?

**I want my kids to do every single thing I ask them to do as soon as I ask them for a whole day. No arguments or pouting. No, I want them to answer each of my requests with an enthusiastic, "Sure, mom. I would love to! Is there anything else I can do for you?"

**If my kids developed a new love for vegetables, it would be a dream come true. They wouldn't even have to love all veggies, just a few of the typical ones, like beans and carrots or corn. It doesn't matter, as long as they get vegetables from a source other than ketchup, I would be happy.

**A housecleaner who would come twice a month and who would also declutter and reorganize my entire house. And if I can get really greedy, I would love my house to actually stay clean longer than 10 minutes.

**I would like an entire day all to myself with no one at all to worry about or feed or clean up after. I am not entirely sure what I would do with myself, but I know it would include sleeping in, using the bathroom uninterrupted, reading, relaxing, meeting a friend for a movie, and not doing ANY cooking or cleaning or wiping of any small behinds.

**Speaking of friends, I want one of my close friends to come and live in my town. Or even if one of them could move within a few hours, that would be great. I have friends here, but I so miss the really close friends I have who I have really shared life experiences with--it seems to take so long now to develop those types of relationships...

**This might give me a heart attack, but I want to have my kids and husband put all their dirty clothes in the hamper all the time. No more picking up stray socks and pants in the living room, bathroom, kitchen, etc. And if they could put away their clean clothes instead of just throwing them around the room, that would just be an added bonus.

**I want Charlotte to resume her nap schedule. I need those naps in a serious way. Why do my kids always quit taking their naps right before I am about to give birth and subsequently be incredibly sleep-deprived? Just one more sign that my kids are conspiring to drive me insane.

**I know this is asking a lot, but I would love to be able to perform grooming tasks, like clipping nails, cutting hair, washing hair, combing hair on my children without them screaming like I have poured boiling oil down their backs. As if the neighbors need any more encouragement to report me to DCFS!

But here is the thing I want most, more than anything: (well, besides world peace and an end to the atrocities in the Congo, among other things) that someone come and completely potty train my two angels quickly. Seriously, this would be the best Christmas or birthday present ever. Please? Anyone?

What about you? What's on your list?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Char's shenanigans

Sunday as I prepared to dress Charlotte for church, I pulled out a couple of outfits, hoping that giving her a choice would entice her to cooperate a bit more. (Despite the cold weather, she still much prefers to be naked. I am not sure what to do about this. And typically dresses are her least favorite type of clothing. Can't really blame her there...) Completely out of the blue she informs me that she would like to wear a sparkly dress. Luckily, I remembered tucked away in the back of her closet an uber-fancy sparkly dress that a coworker of my sister's gave us back when Charlotte was born. I pulled it out to show her, convinced that there was no way on earth she would wear this dress. All the sparkles and bows made the dress really stiff and scratchy. I was sure she would prefer a nice cuddly sweater.

Well, not only did she wear the dress, but she LOVED it. When we asked if she liked it she said yes and then proclaimed, "The only thing more exciting would be if I had a pink balloon." Perhaps she will develop a taste for girly things after all.

She has also developed the habit of quoting her favorite movies. Her cartoon of choice at the moment, besides Teletubbies, is Kipper the Dog, a really cute PBS cartoon about a British dog, Kipper, and his friends. Now, here in our house, we are no strangers to quoting movies. Bil does it all the time and Danny loves quoting movies so much that at one time we were worried that it was a sign of autism. The funny thing about Charlotte is that when she quotes Kipper, she actually affects a British accent, which sounds unbearably adorable coupled with her little girl voice and her tendency to mispronounce words.

She definitely keeps life interesting here, along with her brother.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

they never cease to surprise me

I think my kids are playing mind games with me today. Even more than usual. Bil was gone this morning with the church youth group, so I decided to take the kids to the library. Last night I had bought Danny a new pair of Batman gym shoes. The pair he has been wearing don't really fit him well; they are way too big and have a tendency to fall off his feet. When he first started wearing them, I didn't realize how big they were on him and then he got really attached to them. I knew it would be a battle to get him into the new shoes, so I took the old ones last night and hid them. This morning, Danny was really upset that he couldn't find the old shoes. I told him any number of lies about the whereabouts of the shoes, none of which comforted him. He really wanted to go to the library, but did not want to cave in and put on the new shoes, which he claimed were too small for him.

He seriously cried for over half an hour about his old shoes and how he didn't want to wear the new ones. I tried not to make a big deal of it, but calmly explained that if he wanted to leave the house, he would have to wear shoes. Just as I was about to give up on getting out of the house today, Danny asked me to help him with his shoes. With a few sniffles and my help, he got his shoes on and never looked back. He wore the things all morning and never complained. I have no idea what made him finally acquiesce; in fact, I am not even sure why he resisted in the first place. Difficulty dealing with something new? Didn't like the feel of the new shoes? Who knows?

After the library, I took the kids through the Wendy's drive-thru since we had no food in the house. For some reason, Charlotte was not eating her chicken nuggets, so when the time came to share the Frosty with the kids, she couldn't have any. She wailed and protested that she wanted her ice cream. I repeatedly told her she had to eat her nuggets first (because I am sure those deep-fried chicken pieces are so much healthier than the Frosty, but whatever), but she just screamed and screamed. I kept having to move the Frosty to all sorts of places to get it out of her reach. The screaming started riling up Danny, so finally after what felt like hours of her wails, I relocated her to her bedroom so we could enjoy our Frosty in peace.

Charlotte stayed in her room less than 2 minutes, but when she exited, she calmly returned to the table and ate all the rest of her lunch with absolutely no protests.

Again, I have no idea what precipitated this change of heart. I think my kids just want to remind me that I have no clue as to what is going on in their heads. This is their way of maintaining control, I think, because even though I managed to get them to do what I wanted them to do, I don't know how it happened. And I have no idea if it will ever happen again.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

what is up with Illinois political corruption????

I don't know if any of you are following all the craziness surrounding Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, but wow, is it fascinating to me. Having grown up in Chicago (Cook County, no less, which has a really bad rep for unethical leaders) I am not unused to political corruption; in fact, it is almost a joke in Chicago, especially when elections come around. Older people will reminisce about the days where it was actually a bit dangerous to go to the voting polls, especially if you were Republican. They had pollsters who were very, shall we say, persuasive.

Still, when I found out that our governor had been arrested Tuesday morning for allegedly trying to sell the Senate seat that Obama has left vacant (and a whole bunch of other offenses, as well), I was flabbergasted for several reasons. First off, obviously this is serious corruption, but what really amazed me was that Blagojevich had made the incriminating phone calls from his HOME phone. Has he never watched a spy movie? Does he not know that if one wants to make criminally incriminating phone calls, one should never use a landline phone, especially not his own line? I mean, really, if he wants to get away with criminal activity, he should really be a lot smarter. Then, on top of all that, everyone here knows that Blagojevich has been under investigation for at least a year or more for some other criminal activity. If I knew they were keeping an eye on him, how did he not know? And why did he not curtail his crime spree a bit at least until things died down?

Sadly, this is the second Illinois governor in a row who will probably serve jail time. Our previous governor, George Ryan was convicted in a big illegal license scheme where unlicensed truck drivers obtained licenses through bribes. One of those unlicensed truck drivers was involved in an accident that killed a family's six chileren. Not only that, but he is the fourth of the last 7 governors who has been arrested. What is happening here?

This quote about sums it up: “Government in Illinois isn’t about political ideology or helping people,” said Christopher Mooney, who teaches political science at the University of Illinois-Springfield. “It’s about which idiot brother-in-law are you going to get a job on a road crew because he helped you get into office.” That is actually really pretty accurate. And sad. Not to mention embarrassing.

Monday, December 8, 2008

speaking of heartwarming holiday traditions....

Charlotte has yet again managed to keep alive one of our most consistent holiday tradition. I heard a crash in the living room and then frantic screaming. Charlotte had pulled the Christmas tree down on herself.

She was writhing beneath a pile of tree branches and broken ornaments.

I am pretty sure this has happened every year since we have lived in this house. I know for sure Danny pulled the tree down the year Charlotte was born. Actually, he did it the very day Char was born. We often blame that (along with all the other stress he brought on) for Charlotte's very early arrival. I also have pictures of Charlotte with the small tree at her feet when she was one year old. This is actually already the second time our tree has toppled this year. The first time was our small 3-foot tree and Danny brought that one crashing down. In his defense, the tree was very unstable and toppled easily. This time, Charlotte was after the candy canes I just hung on the tree today.

Note to self: do not put candy canes on tree and do not allow Charlotte within a 10-foot radius of tree. Can I get a restraining order out on her?

So, now I get to redecorate the tree for the THIRD time this year and it isn't even the middle of the month. Sigh. I am beginning to feel my Christmas spirit seeping away.

Holiday pressure

Is it just me or do women, generally speaking, put a lot of pressure on themselves to be perfect? Or at least to measure up in some small way? I have given up on perfection; I know it is a completely lost cause in my case, yet I still find myself comparing my housekeeping or parenting skills or organizational abilities or hair or thighs to someone close to me. Of course, I always compare myself to someone who seems to achieve standards that defy the laws of probability.

Lately, I have been hearing from many, many friends (and reading on many blogs) how depressing and stressful the holidays are for them. And the common theme seems to be the pressure to make it a perfectly idyllic holiday for their families.
I recently attended a MOPS meeting and the speaker talked all about teaching our kids the true meaning of Christmas and keeping balance, etc. She was an excellent speaker, yet at times I began to feel the defensive feeling I usually get when I sense that yet again I am not measuring up. The speaker stressed that if we didn't make the decision as mothers to teach our kids the true meaning of Christmas, our kids would never learn it. She spoke about her Christmas traditions and how she has eliminated some of the extras that weren't important; she spoke about the importance of balance.

Yet, ironically, I still felt this enormous pressure to begin these amazing traditions that would instill all the most important values (compassion, love for God, selflessness, etc) in my kids' hearts. I started calculating how I would integrate all the traditions she spoke about and I almost broke out in a cold sweat. After pausing and thinking about it, I realized I couldn't make those traditions work. She has her kids memorize Luke 2, for example, and I am just not that interested in quizzing my children throughout the Christmas season. Sounds way too much like homework to me.

Anyway, that is when I realized that I needed my own traditions, ones I choose for myself, not because someone else does them, but because they work for my family. I also realized I am teaching my kids good values yearlong, not just the month before Christmas. This took a lot of the pressure off.

What is it about the holidays that makes us feel this pressure to measure up? Why do I expect my house to look like a BH&G spread? It never does, so why would it now? Why do I think if I find the exact right gift for my mother or husband or child that everything will be right in the world? Why do I even worry about what I get my brother? He is next to impossible to shop for so why do I worry? Why not just try my best and let it go? What do I really think I will accomplish if I find the most delectable dessert to make for Christmas? (I am always in charge of the desserts for my sister's house and I start planning and leafing through recipes in October. I am seriously deranged!)

What about you? Are there parts of the Christmas season or traditions that really stress you out? What have you done about it? Have any of you simplified in order to bring back the joy of Christmas? I have decided to let a lot of things go over the last couple of years, and this year I have let go of even more. I am learning that the more I simplify, the happier I am, which directly translates into how happy the rest of my family is. Forget about the annual bakefest, where in a storm of flour and sugar, I bake and bake and bake so that I can give cookies and candies to every last person I know. We aren't going overboard in our decorating this year (though, truly, we never really have. Bil just isn't all that enthusiastic about stringing lights on every surface inside and outside our house. And I am ok with that.) Instead, we are doing the simple, but fun things that the kids love: driving around town to see all the lights, decorating gingerbread houses (thanks to my MIL who sends us a Wilton kit every year. She is brilliant!), and sitting on the couch with only the Christmas lights on and admiring our haphazardly decorated tree.
Maybe that is why my Christmas spirit is stronger this year than ever before. That and I have been avoiding Wal-mart!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas letters

If you haven't already noticed, my husband and I are pretty geeky. We love crossword puzzles and regularly debate whether we are using a word correctly. We actually consult a dictionary on a semi-regular basis. We like puns and laugh at dumb things. This is apparent in our annual Christmas letters. See, my philosophy on Christmas cards is I like to hear a little bit about what is going on in the sender's life. Just a picture is not enough for me. I like some information. That said, I have my limits. I think, like resumes, Christmas letters should be one page, if possible, and should be to the point. If they are funny, all the better. I don't appreciate the letters that are braggy, but prefer more down-to-earth letters.

Sometimes, though, I have difficulty writing these letters, because I don't feel like when we get to my paragraph, I have anything very interesting to say. I mean, who wants to hear how many poopy messes I cleaned up or how often I had to separate my squabbling children? On the other hand, I don't want to downplay my contribution to the family. It may be really, really mundane and menial stuff I do, for the most part, but someone's got to do it. And it does take a certain amount of panache and creativity to manage the job of motherhood, in my humble opinion.

So, last year, I was determined to not be self-deprecatory; I was going to celebrate each of our accomplishments. What resulted was we pretended to be a family of superheroes. Charlotte was Streaker because she is constantly getting naked. I was the Juggler because of my marvelous multi-tasking skills, Danny was the Whirling Dervish, because of his amazing energy and Bil was Captain Conniption because he cheered up the kids just by walking in the door each night. You get the point. Well, personally, I thought it was pretty amusing. Definitely nerdy, but fun.

Last night, I found out that my sister doesn't enjoy our Christmas letters. She said she would prefer to just get the picture, because she doesn't have the time or patience to wade through what she referred to as my "fluff." She was mostly joking, but it still hurt my feelings. This apparently is also why she never reads my blog. I am just too long-winded. She also implied the only reason I write this stuff is because I am lonely. It's true. I am a bit lonely sometimes, (who isn't?) but that really isn't the reason I write. I just like it, which is probably why I majored in English in college and taught writing afterwards. It is cathartic to me, it helps me work through my problems and laugh at the ridiculous in my life. It is also nice to use my brain for a bit.

Now I am second-guessing myself and this year's letter, which we are almost done writing. Maybe I should just forget about the stupid letters and order those picture cards from Walgreens. Are we totally annoying everyone who gets them? Surely, there are other people out there who wouldn't mind a small glimpse into our family life. People who get a small smile, as I do, after reading about the adventures of their friend's family.

Would it just be better to spare the energy and time? The thing is, Bil and I usually have a lot of fun writing the letters. We sit together in front of the computer and brainstorm and laugh at our goofiness. It is a creative outlet for me, something silly and fun to think about, but also something for Bil and I to bond over that is not stressful.

I don't know. I think I will just take my sister off our Christmas letter list and send them to everyone else. I mean, if someone really would prefer not to take the 5 minutes it would take to read it, that is their prerogative, right? This is a tradition we enjoy, so why should I let someone else's opinion ruin that?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Care Bear Cake

Just thought I would share a picture of the cake that Bil made for Charlotte's birthday. Since we moved here, Bil has semi-jokingly said that we should open up a bakery, since this town doesn't really have one. I would make the baked goods and he could decorate any cakes. The idea doesn't really appeal to me. Besides, I think the real reason he wants to open one is because he has what he considers a great idea for a name: Muffin's Gonna Change My World. (He's big on puns AND the Beatles....)

I forgot to take my happy pill today

I am in a bad mood. Actually, a mood that feels a lot like the mood I get in when I am PMSing. Is it possible that along with the pregnancy weight gain, sciatica problems and heartburn, I am still to be subjected to my PMS rages? Doesn't seem fair at all. On the way home from the grocery shopping trip from hell, I was composing this post in my head; it was full of vitriol and anger and wasn't pretty.

When I got home, though, I changed my mind. I remembered the post I wrote about being grateful and not blowing things out of proportion and thought this would be a good time to practice what I preach. So what that the checkout lady at Wal-Mart seemed to deliberately slow down once I got to the front of the line and once she noticed my little girl acting like a demon? Big deal that the woman in front of us in the checkout lane stopped her cart with her son in it and seriously stared at me while I ran to retrieve my daughter from the optical department? And she kept staring as I dragged my daughter back to the checkout lane. I am sure she had a fabulous reason, like I don't know, maybe she used this as a teaching moment for her small son. I can hear her saying, "Now, Jimmy, that is exactly how you shouldn't act in public. That little girl is obviously a wild animal and we should feel sorry for her that her mommy has absolutely no control over her. See how lucky you are that you don't have a mommy like that?" It's not the end of the world that Charlotte kept running away from me at both stores we visited, right?

OK, enough of my bitterness. Instead, I am going to write about all the wonderful moments I had with my family this holiday weekend. So, here are a few in no particular order. Hopefully, this, along with the copious amounts of chocolate I bought after our escapades in Wal-Mart, should cheer me up.

** Sunday morning, I was awakened to the most excited little boy ever. Danny was thrilled to wake up to find that it had snowed the night before. He said, "Mommy, mommy, wake up! It snowed! There is snow on the ground." He climbed into bed with me and Bil, snuggled under the covers and we looked out the window at all the pretty snow. It really touched me that the first person he wanted to share his excitement with was me. And talk about turning something that could be construed as an inconvenience into something magical!

** Charlotte's third birthday was Sunday, but we decided to celebrate it on Saturday. One of our birthday traditions is we buy the kids a bunch of balloons--at least 10 helium balloons and we blow up a bunch for the floor. Then, while they are sleeping, we fill the kids' room with balloons. It never fails to delight them when they wake up to find balloons everywhere. Charlotte kept squealing, "Balloons! Balloons! Yay!" She definitely spent more time playing with her balloons than with her birthday presents.

** Watching Danny play with the new kitchen set we bought Charlotte was really fun. Once the shopping cart was put together, he asked me to join him on his shopping spree and we wandered through the house with a cart full of fake food. Then, he insisted that he needed money for his shopping and he filled Char's new purse with Monopoly money and some loose change.

** When Charlotte finally got hold of her new purse (which Bil bought and is denim and glittery with a butterfly and flower on it--exactly the type of purse Charlotte would love) she emptied out all the money so she could put her stuffed kitty cats in it. Then, she emptied out the cart and filled it with her three Care Bears, and happily carted them throughout the house.

** Several times this weekend, Charlotte and Danny engaged in one of their newest favorite games. The concept is simple. They chase each other throughout the house laughing hysterically. This game has kept them busy for upwards of an hour. You can't help but laugh along while you listen to their amusement. Plus, it was nice to know they were wearing themselves out.

** Seeing the kids' delight and excitement when we brought out Char's birthday cake was wonderful. My ever talented husband made Charlotte a Grumpy Bear cake. He drew the bear on the cake all by himself. I just made the frosting for him. And it turned out great. The kids loved it.

** Charlotte said to Danny, "I love you very much, Danny!" in her sweet little girl voice. And then, to cheer him up (he had just woken up and was a bit grumpy) she shared her precious kitty cat with him.

** Watching the kids decorate the enormous Wilton snowman cookies with the kit that their grandma sent them was so fun. Danny was so excited that when we called grandma to thank her, he grabbed the phone out of Bil's hand and said clearly and with no prompting, "Grandma, thank you for the snowman cookies. I love them! Talk to you later." Charlotte was too busy eating spoonfuls of frosting to say much on the phone, but my mother-in-law was touched nonetheless.

** We made a gratitude tree last week to teach the kids about the meaning of Thanksgiving. The answers they gave me when I asked them what they were thankful for were a combination of sweet and silly. Charlotte was grateful for Teletubbies, Care Bears and grandma. Danny said he was thankful for friends, maple syrup and Jesus. How sweet is that? (Though maybe I should add that neither of them said they were thankful for me or Bil until I prompted them, but still...)

** Bil made me take a nap while he slaved over dinner: a gourmet pizza with turkey, pine nuts, goat cheese and pesto, along with a homemade whole wheat crust. Heavenly.

** We decorated our Christmas tree. Again. When I discovered that we had no tree this year, Danny and I decorated a little 3 foot tree I had. I had thought to save money and just use that little tree, but when I discovered a tree on sale at Wal-mart for $25, Bil ventured out on Black Friday and bought it for us. So, after dismantling the little tree, we put up and decorated the big tree. Danny was delighted, and kept pointing out to me that we had already decorated "yesterday" and that we were doing it again. How nice that it wasn't a chore to decorate twice.

There. I actually do feel a lot better, and I didn't even finish all the chocolate. I guess being grateful really does make me happy. Who knew?

Monday, December 1, 2008

musical nightmares?

Charlotte has been having a lot of nightmares lately. At least, I am assuming they are nightmares. She wakes up screaming and seems really scared. The other night, I ran to comfort her and she kept repeating in a semi-hysterical tone, "I bonked my music. Mommy, I bonked my music!!" Later in the day after she had fully recovered from the nightmare, I asked her why she was crying when she woke up and she just repeated the line about bonking her music. I have no idea what that means.

Two days later, she yet again woke up at about 4AM yelling hysterically. This time I heard her repeating, "Sing with me! Sing with me!"

It makes me wonder what she could possibly be dreaming about. Is Barney holding her hostage and making her sing to him? Maybe she is dreaming about her Sesame Street Sing-along DVD? Elmo is holding her Care Bears hostage if she won't sing along? That would give me nightmares, that's for sure.