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I finished the first pair of three pajama shorts for Gwen just in time for bed. They are adorably bright pink with sparkly pink polka dots. She also chose a black and white spotted animal print and large ladybugs flying across a pink background.

Gwen: Who knew Hobby Lobby had cute fabric too?

She’s too funny. We looked at the Crayola aisle for a new coloring book. Gwen wanted to spend her money and didn’t find anything great at Target. Once again disappointed with the selection, we continued to browse. Gwen found some books she liked. They were classic stories abridged for young readers. She chose The Secret Garden and The Wind in the Willows.

Reading has taken over this girl’s mind. She reads any second she can. Especially at night. She loves to read herself to sleep. I love it too but it does make it hard to convince her to turn off her light. She has gotten into the habit of “needing” her light on. I have gotten out of the habit of turning it off when I go to bed. Half the time I open her door and she looks up from a book wondering why I’m opening her door.

Her light bulb had burned out so Heath replaced it for her when she went to bed. We want to get her some sort of lamp or other light source she can keep closer to her bed to make things easier. Until then we tried to convince her to turn her light off when she finished reading.

I think her light was off when we went up to bed. We turned in earlier than usual. As we shut off all the house lights Gwen got upset. Her door was opened a crack. This is one way she agrees to a dark room because she finds comfort in the lights from the rest of the house. Darkness was her new companion much sooner than she was ready for. Silently I flipped her light on and shut her door. We could try again another night.

In the wee hours of the morning I awoke to my bed vibrating. We have a Tempur-pedic bed. It came with two remotes that can adjust the head and feet. The remotes also offer a vibrating feature. We never use it because it’s weird. I feel like it’s more noisy than soothing. I don’t know what I’m supposed to get out of the feature. I just think it’s weird.

Once or twice our bed has started vibrating on its own. It shakes the chandelier in the kitchen. When I have gone up to investigate I see that something is pushing on that button on the remote. Kind of strange but what are you going to do?

Waking up at 2:00 am to a vibrating bed was strange indeed. I reached over to Heath to wake him and say something about the remotes. He reached out to me and grabbed my hand. The vibrating stopped and the bed started shaking in waves distinctive to an earthquake. I knew exactly what was happening. My hand squeezed Heath’s hard.

Heath: It’s okay, it’s just an earthquake.
Me: I know but I’m scared for the kids.

As soon as we finished this brief conversation, the earthquake was over. Still I was bracing myself for somebody’s cries. Heath immediately jumped out of bed and went down the hall to the kids’ rooms. He opened Gwen’s door first. She was sitting bolt upright in her bed with a surprised and confused look on her face. Heath asked if she was okay and she said her headboard was hitting the wall. I put on a cheery voice and told her it was an earthquake, exclamation point. As if it was the coolest thing in the world. Then I told her to go back to sleep.

We checked on the boys. Gavin knew it was an earthquake and was fine. Parker continued to sleep. He had no idea this morning! I think he was a little bummed he missed out. Heath and I climbed back into bed our hearts still pounding. Never before have I been so grateful for Gwen having her light on all night. Of all the nights to keep it on, that was a night I believe she deserved to have it on. She never cried but went right back to sleep.

By 7:00 this morning there had been thirteen aftershocks. We only felt two of them. The earthquake was downgraded from a 4.2 to a 4.0 magnitude. Not a big earthquake but enough to be felt. The aftershocks were very small. Mostly 1’s and 2’s. We felt the 2.something magnitude aftershocks. The news reporter said she hadn’t felt anything and she had been on scene at the epicenter since 4:00 am. That’s how small a 1.0 magnitude aftershock is.

It took a while for us to find sleep again. Our parental protective instincts were on full alert. Heath said the second he woke up his first thought was how could he protect his family. My first thought after realizing it wasn’t something wrong with the bed was to comfort my babies.

While it wasn’t a large earthquake at all I had this sense of finality. As if this could be it. The world may end. I found it interesting that many people on the news had the same reaction. There was no reported damage. The people interviewed said it made them want to make sure they had their emergency food in place.

One guy said he ran in to check on his 2 year old grandson. Apparently the toddler slept through the entire thing. Absolutely no idea even though they were near the epicenter. It reminded me of something I said to Heath while we were trying to calm down enough to sleep again.

Me: Curse motherhood for making me a light sleeper and so aware of any sound!

I kept hearing popping sounds as if the alarm clock was about to come on. I even told Heath that it seemed like I could hear things outside even though I knew it was just the constant whir of the fan. We had no windows open. The nighttime low was too high for that. Heath fell asleep before I did. He was comforted by not hearing any sirens.

Nothing happened and earthquakes are common in the Bay Area. It was a very interesting wakeup call. Looking at Gwen’s new pajama shorts reminded me of the night’s adventures. For some reason it affected me to think she wore those new shorts to bed on such a crazy night.

Me: How were your new shorts last night?
Gwen: They were great.
Me: Did they give you sparkly fairy dreams?
Gwen: Yes! Maybe the animal ones will make me dream about pets and the ladybug shorts will make me dream about ladybugs!

No lasting mental damage from the night’s events. When you’re 7 years old you should be able to have sparkly fairy dreams and a short memory for the scary events in the world.

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