Monday, January 25, 2010

Sleep - that far-fetched idea

My sweet little baby is not a good sleeper. THAT is an understatement, actually. She has had good bouts of sleep, to be fair, but the norm is bad, bad, bad. Add to the fact that I am no longer a spring-chicken-mommy, and the result is one exhausted mammamilk.

Take, for example, last night. Little K was up at 12:20 to nurse ( a mere hour and a half after I went to sleep). I dragged myself to her room, fed her and put her back down. I slept blissfully until 5:00, when she woke again. At 6:00 I was soothing her again, giving up all hope of any more rest. She finally seemed quiet, so I curled up in bed at 6:15, hoping for 15 more minutes. Almost immediately, I heard wailing from the boys' room. I mumbled under my breath as I schlepped into their room. My 3 year old was crying, saying, "I don't want Spiderman to get his hair cut!".

This is a recurring problem - I have blogged about it before (you can read it here). Maybe if I had a little more rest, I wouldn't repeat myself.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Another of my many shortcomings

I am a horrible storyteller. I am one of those people who starts a story, then stops, then starts again, only to finally say that I don't really remember exactly what happened.

My other storytelling problem is that I give way too much extraneous information. If the story is about how the cashier at the grocery was really rude to me (which happens all the time at a mega-store that shall remain unnamed), I somehow feel it is important to include all sorts of details about:
- what I was shopping for
- how naughty or well-behaved the children were
- what day of the week it was
- what I was wearing

These details have nothing to do with the point of the story (the rudeness of the cashier), yet they come flying unbidden from my mouth. I hear them as they exit my mouth, and I know they are superfluous, yet I cannot keep them from being said. I am actually annoyed that I am giving needless information that has nothing to do with the point of the story, but still the words come.

You might be sitting at your computer thinking . . ."yes - this whole post is extraneous!" I'm sorry. You're probably right, but I had to get it off of my chest. Just remember this post the next time I am talking to you. I really want to be short and to the point, but it seems like a lofty goal. Be patient with me.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The vacuum in my arms

The other day in church, I discovered a strange, fascinating phenomenon. I was holding the 3 year old in my lap (simultaneously rocking the infant carrier in hopes of getting the baby to sleep), when he suddenly got down to sit somewhere else in our row. Relieved for the breather, and hoping for a chance to look at the baby to see the sleep-to-wake-ratio, I leaned over.

But only for a moment.

For in that split second when I had empty arms, my 5 year old took note and rapidly claimed my lap as his own. It was as if I was a human vacuum. As soon as one child moved, another rapidly took his place. I continued to observe this pattern the entire service. I was later holding the 5 year old again when my 8 year old noticed a thigh with available real estate. "Aha!" he must have thought. "I can place my head right there!". And he did.

Only when I was standing did I not have an older child on my body (of course I was holding the baby and holding hands with one or more children while standing). I think the children have a radar. When Mommy's lap/arm/thigh is open, they hear a loud high pitched sound, directing them immediately to the open body part.

It goes without saying that I do very little actual worshiping during church. I know that someday I will worship again. Though it will be lovely to hear more than a snippet of a reading or a phrase from the homily, perhaps I will miss my arms being full of children. Perhaps.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A self portrait

The other day, my husband was asking me for pictures of the kids for his desk at church. I jokingly asked him if he had a picture of me(an 11 x 14 would be appropriate, I think) up in his office. Of course he does not, because there are very few pictures of me out there.

So - perhaps I should have my picture taken. Professionally. A couple of years ago, my mother-in-law asked my husband to have his portrait done. Since he is a pastor, this meant in his full vestments, in our beautiful church. The portrait is lovely and is now hanging on our living room wall.

Now, if I get my picture taken of me in my "professional surroundings", what would that mean? Hhmm. . .

Setting: the kitchen, piled high with dishes, sippy cups, dinner-in-progress. In the background, you can see the laundry on the table waiting to be folded. There are also toys scattered and many crumbs on the floor.

My clothing: Sweats, t-shirt from 1993 (complete with spit-up on the shoulder and a splash of spaghetti sauce on the front), tennies.

My hair: In a ponytail, possibly washed that day, perhaps the day before. A few wisps frame my face, not necessarily flatteringly.

In my arms: At least one child, with more clambering to be held. The babe-in-arms is grabbing handfuls of my face with one hand, and pulling my hair with the other.

My face: Trying to smile for the camera, but in severe pain due to the pulling being done by the baby. Every other second, I stop smiling to reprimand or compliment a child, break up a fight, or say "Calgon, take me away".

Okay, okay, this is not exactly how I look or my house looks. These are all plausible scenarios, they just do not (thankfully!!) converge on me at one time (usually!). Still, I think it best if I do not try for a professional picture. There's not point in tempting fate.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Merry, merry Christmas!

Last Christmas, as I lay (moaning and groaning) on the couch with all-day-sickness due to my new pregnancy, I dreamed of this Christmas. We will have a new baby, I thought! I will be able to stand for more than three minutes without keeling over! Next Christmas, I dreamed, will be amazing.

Well, that did not turn out to be exactly true.

Thankfully, we were all able to worship on Christmas Eve, but from then on, things got messy. I came home from singing at the late service to find our dear friend who was babysitting holding the baby, who had been coughing horribly. Our three year old was in our bed with a fever. By 3 a.m., we were ready to go the ER, but thankfully received a prescription for an antibiotic from the doctor on call. Eventually all three younger kids had some version of fever/coughing/congestion.

Still, we made it to our family celebrations three hours south. Everyone seemed to be mostly better, until we headed five hours north to be with friends for New Year's. Less than 24 hours later, we were beating an unexpected path home, fleeing the vomiting ickies. We did not make it home alone. The ickies followed, and three of the kids and my husband succumbed over the last two days. Blessedly, everyone seems to be out of the woods now.

It was definitely not the Christmas I dreamed of last year, but it was still filled with many blessings. We were able to worship our newborn King together as a family, get together with all of our immediate family and lots of extended family and friends as well.

Perhaps I will just wait and see what next year brings. No point in jinxing it by wishing for perfection!