Thursday, January 29, 2015

Hindsight is 20/20

Layla scribbles busily in her notebook.  "Yook!!" she says happily to Zion. She holds out her notebook for his perusal.  "Yook what I drawed!"

"Ohh!!" Zion exclaims supportively.  They both examine her work together.  "It's a...wooster!!" Zion guesses.  "It's a...bird!!"

Layla examines her work carefully.  "Yes," she decides.  "It's a bird."  She nods decisively.  "I drawed it for mom," she says, and hands me her love offering, one of many such pieces of decorated paper I receive during the day.

I find this activity of deciding what you drew and who you drew it for after the fact satisfying. Because......why not??

Cough cough cough and other equally fascinating news

Last evening was cozy.  The pellet stove was warmly humming; I was crashed exhaustedly on the couch beside it and at one point realized all five of us were in the room.  Tim was reading in the chair on other side of the stove, the baby was playing on the floor, Gabe was listening to music on the computer and Israel and Zion were on the couch with me.  Pretty sure even the cat was there. :)

Yesterday the two older boys started piano lessons.  They LOVED it.  They are taking lessons from a teenager that we know in Bridgeville.  She is teaching them chording to worship music and how to read music.  The first song they are learning is How Great is Our God and Gabe especially can already play and sing along it.  He is going to play and sing it for the Fine Arts Program next month.

Zion was reading to me out of his little booklet that he brings home.  If someone listens to him read then he gets to pick a prize out of a box.  I looooooove the excitement of them learning to read - it's just one of the best things.  I also love the first pronunciations.  All the vowels are stretched waaaaay out and sort of change shape mid-word.  "Haaaaaaaaaaat"  "Nooooooooot".

Gabe spent a long time last evening doing long division on the chalkboard in the hallway.  Math makes him happy.  He likes it and feels good at it and is good at it.  He did not inherit this from his mother.


Since the girls got sick last week, sleep has been EXTREMELY SPARSE.  But....I FINALLY got a blessed, wonderful, amazing solid night of sleep last night.  Felt like a new werman today.  (prounced like "vermin".)

The night before last I was thinking about how I felt like sleep deprivation was like a steady hammer chinking away the foundation of my functionability.  Chink chink chink chink.

Recipe for One Sleep Deprived Exhausted Insane Person: Two children with fevers and misery followed by one round of RSV and coughing till they vomit and neb treatments every 3 hours around the clock and not hardly sleeping for over a week and having the dumb virus yourself.  And then needing to get up at 7 AM to get the boys to school every morning during the week.

Oh. my. word. I was so exhausted after a week and a half of this.  Tim was also helping steadily by the way.
But last night everyone slept so much better and today I felt so much better, and the difference was just about joy inducing.  I was driving to pick the boys up from school being SO JOYFULLY HAPPY that I wasn't EXHAUSTED.  That my brain felt normal and not sleep fogged and headachy and my eyes felt bright and I felt simply springy and I could do a normal chore without dread and fatigue.


1.  Cough medicine is amazing.
2.  Friends who bring you food when life is less than stellar are amazing. (That's YOU, Nikki and Deb!!) 
3.  I NEEEEEED at least 45 minutes to 1 hour BY MYSELF at some point in the evening to best handle staying up all hours of the night or getting up repeatedly.  If I don't have just a little bit of time of my own, all the children everywhere aaaaaalllll tthhhhheee tiiiiiimmmmeee all feels way more overwhelming and intolerable.

You are SO. WELCOME. for all my "interesting" news.  I'm off to do exciting things like...not cough.  And...listen to everyone sleep.  Splendid and marvelous things, these.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Birfdays and Balenetime's Day

Somewhere along the line I turned 37 this month.  37 seems significantly older than 36, in case you are interested.  I'll likely be having grandchildren next month I think.  Here I am in all my agedness, with lines forming rapidly on my face probably as we speak.  Just look at 'em.

Ahhhh.  Nothing like a tell it like it is photo for your birthday.  Cough.  That's ok though.  I am grateful to be 37.

I had a uber-relaxed, mostly non-eventful, still completely content in my heart to stay home after all the Christmas gallivanting we just finished doing birthday where I made DELICIOUS chicken taco bowls (just on the stovetop, not in the slow cooker) for our supper that I had a craving for, and bought my cake at Walmart mostly for the sake of the kids who just LOVE a good birthday.  There was much happiness in their hearts over this cake.  They had a most excellent time putting candles on it.  I love them.  :)  I bought myself two can openers for my birthday, which gave me an unreasonable amount of happiness.  One is orange and one is red.  Contented sigh.


"I think those are for Balentime's Day", Zion says with satisfaction, pointing to red flowers with hearts on the vase.

I look at him. "Oh, you do?  What do you think they are for?"

"Balentime's Day.  And I think those are for Balemtime's Day too."

I looooove misprounciations and milk them for all they are worth.  I just relish them, and usually get him to repeat them like five times without ever correcting them and hoping he keeps saying them the same way for a while.

Lately every night, he has been asking me if it is "Movie Night" that night.  As in, from Monday on.  Fridays are when we have our Movie Night.  Today I said, "Zion!! What is it about Movie Night that has you all excited??"

He sat there for a moment on the arm of the couch with his arms wrapped around his knees and looked all Zion-y.  "Because we get to have pizza and pop," he said after a pause, his eyes looking around a little uncertainly.  I had to immediately pounce on him and give him a big hug and a bunch of kisses because he was so stinking cute.

The. boy. loves. pop.  Loves with giant capital letters.   He loves sugar, period, and soda he just savors and it's a like a little party of joy in his heart whenever he gets it.


Tonight I tucked one feverish girl into bed (Caroline) and came out to check on the other feverish one  (Layla) tucked into her daddy's lap for some sick awake time.  Caroline got sick on Tuesday, and was almost inconsolable from about 2 PM that afternoon until Thursday afternoon unless you were holding her.  Tuesday night she slept terribly and would wake up and be inconsolable and nothing normal would get her back to sleep.  One time I got into her crib with her and laid her on my chest and after a while she woke up and realized she was in her crib and cried and cried until she realized she was laying on top of me, and then she put her head down and went right back to sleep.  Another time I had her in the chair beside her bed and she was crying and fighting to get down and she slid down my lap until her legs were hanging down and her head was in my lap, and then she stopped and immediately went to sleep.  :D  Mostly, she wanted to be held with her head on my chest or carried in the Ergo.  I don't think I have ever had a child in so much discomfort while they were sick.

She would cry and cry even when I was holding her sometimes.  She had a slight fever and wouldn't hardly eat and I had to work to get her to drink, and she was drooling PROFUSELY, and her mouth obviously hurt her a lot.  She is getting a bunch of teeth at once and I wasn't sure if it was that or something else.  Today after she woke up from her nap she was feeling a lot better and was playing happily all evening...and boom - down goes Layla.  Fever and obvious discomfort somewhere.


We seemed to have had a break-through in terms of Layla's sleep issues.  For about a year and a half, sleep has been a major issue with her.  Getting her to sleep and her waking up and having disoriented tantrums in the middle of the night that would last up to two hours.  For months those happened every single night.  The past while they had tapered down to once a week or so.  Lately I had been really feeling that we needed to get her to fall asleep on her own, because I felt like it would help with her sleeping more soundly in the middle of the night.  Now she is sleeping in the fourth bunk in her brother's room, and she goes to sleep on her own (yes, this was a fight that we fought for 3 nights before putting her in there) with no fussing.  She still often comes and crawls into bed with us at some point, but the tantrums in the middle of the night have disappeared, and the absence of both the struggle of getting her to get to sleep and dealing with a screaming, raging child in the small hours of the night, night after night after night after week after month over a year is just....glorious.  SUCH a relief.

This last year and a half, between her sleep issues and day time tantrums and having a newborn that is now a baby that still wakes up some to nurse has been one of the hardest, most laborious stages of parenting yet, I think.  Not not-enjoyable - there's been plenty of good and happy things along the way, and I haven't felt depressed or anything and have enjoyed my life - just exhausting.  I have just felt like all of my creative energies just dried up and have been non-existent for this entire length of time, and to write about life as it was happening was just too tiring.  I haven't even wanted to remember all of the sheer WORK of this stage, much less laboriously write it out, even though I love reading back in my blog.  I thought it was significant that tonight I felt a blog post germinate in my head, for about the first time since all of these sleep issues began (everything since has been dutiful recording of events, not writing I have enjoyed), and HOPE that the added sleep I have just started getting (well. the few nights before the girls got sick!!!) means that the desert of creative ambition is over and that my brain might feel well watered again and work more properly-er.  ;)