Saturday, January 12, 2013

First week reflections... (Day 8).. (and day 9)

This is the candle I light every night, after all the kids are in bed. I light it, think of you, and pray for our family. It is wonderful, and I love it. It feels like a welcome friend, here to comfort and kindle. 

Last night, after I put the kids to bed and finished writing to you, I lit my little candle, and then I hit a wall. There simply are not enough hours in a day, especially if Seraphina is going to cry for most of them.

As you know, your call did not help.

I talked to a friend, and she helped me settle down a bit, and reminded me that as a man you are programmed to "fix things." While that is wonderful and great, all I really wanted was a hug. You and I had the same goals, but were on different pages of the program. I appreciate your motives, but please understand that after a day where there was at least one child screaming and crying for almost the entire day, "fix it" discussions need to be set on the backburner until I can calm my nerves. I love you so much, and I know you meant well, but that really hurt my feelings, as I translated your "Let me fix this!" into "I have to fix it because you must be doing something wrong."

It is not about time. It is not about wasted time, anyway. I am actually quite efficient, and most days I can tell you exactly where our time went. Lazy days are something I occasionally indulge in, but I can assure you we have not been having a laziness problem. This is simply a problem of too much and too little time. Can it be managed when Seraphina is not completely out-of-her-mind-inconsolable? YES. However, apparently we are bound to have some bad days, and we need to figure out how to manage them better. I mean, seriously, Kurt- my own mother couldn't have managed that day better (and she is an efficiency EXPERT!)

I thought hard about what I could cut out, or do, to help with the day:

  • Go to disposable diapers?
  • Hire a housekeeper to come a few times a week?
  • Cut out our reading challenge?
  • Put the kids in public school?
  • Stop blogging to you?
  • Move now?
  • Drop my classes?
  • Lean on more convenience foods, and stop making meals myself?
  • Allow Seraphina to cry it out?  (Notice it is crossed out. There is no way I can do this. It is not my parenting style. YES- I had moments where I had to walk away from her yesterday, but Carter took care of her at those times- I cannot allow her to cry it out alone. I am fully aware that if I had just allowed her to scream and cry herself into exhaustion I could have gotten my work done, physically, but not mentally- crying infants unnerve me to no end, and there is just no way I can do it.)
As you can see, I have some options...

I am going to start with blogging. However, rather than stop completely, I am going to change how I do it: I am going to try and stop attempting to post at the end of the day, as it only seems to work out every other day! So, instead I will try and "check in" here a few times a day to post thoughts or funny stories about the kids. Pictures, too!

As I write this, Carter is downstairs getting dressed. (The little angel used all the hot water for his own shower, and didn't give a thought to the three others that need showers this morning. I am not angry, more annoyed- we are supposed to meet Melissa in a few hours, and we all need showers! Carter doesn't normally do things like that- so I just asked him to be more considerate next time.) Harrison is entertaining Seraphina- here are a few pictures I just took:

 Harrison said he needed to teach "Baby School" and that it was very important Seraphina learn her math.

****36 hours later....****

 And now I am sitting down again, lol!

Fina at McDonalds. Apparently the excitement wore her out!

Yesterday afternoon I went to McDonalds to see Melissa and her bunch. What fun! The kids played for nearly four hours! They really needed to run off some steam! Our kids always get along so well, it is really a joy to be around them! Seraphina had a much better day, it was wonderful!

I decided that I will be reading textbooks during many of my nursing sessions. I will not read them during the night sessions, or the first or last feeding of her day, but the others I will. I managed to get an average of 12 pages in per session- not bad! I finished up the reading later that evening, and then ended up reading most of the chapter for another class. Good job, self! (As usual, I will do all I can to stop doing any kind of work after 9pm, so I can focus on unwinding.)

I read while nursing! **To readers: I do not normally allow my infant to sleep like this. Seraphina is on a hospital-grade home monitor, so I feel comfortable allowing her to nap in a cushy bed with blankets. If she did not have a monitor, I would not be comfortable doing this. So, before anyone freaks out- know that she is monitored! 

The night went pretty well, except I couldn't sleep! I woke up and thought it was early morning, and decided I was alert enough to start my day, only to find it was 12:40am. Oops! So, I called you. We had a good chat. I miss our talks. We don't get many anymore- it seems like a little person needs something, you are at work, or I am sleeping!

Friday nights without you - thrilling. (no!)

This morning (Saturday) I decided that I would take the day off. It was NECESSARY. By take the day off- I mean, of course, I fed the farm cats, burned the garbage, and did laundry all day long. I also finished my work for that other class. However, I did most of this in my pajamas while the boys played Legos or watched movies in the livingroom while you were on Skype (little Fina ate her teethers and cuddled while I folded or read). I sort of like days where we can Skype like this, because even though you are far, seeing you in the corner of the computer screen is comforting- it isn't scheduled or planned, you are just hanging out with us. It is nice and makes the house feel a bit more normal.

The kids loved to see you!

Harrison fed you popcorn! (I know you must have felt really silly doing this, but he was over-the-moon THRILLED about it. Thanks!)

Fina had a good day, until 5pm! She ended up falling asleep for good at 6, I just couldn't keep her up until 7- she was too tired and it was cruel to try and make her stay awake. The boys stayed up a bit later than usual, and watched an Indiana Jones movie while I read my textbook and sent you odd questions about puberty. I do love how being a student makes a mind expand! I never thought of asking you questions like that (thanks for your honesty)!!!

We had chili today- I have been doing our main meal earlier in the day and then reheating for dinner. I hate leftovers, as you know, and doing this doesn't feel as much like leftovers... doesn't make sense, I am sure, but it is working so I go with it. We will need to grocery shop on Monday, dunn dunn dunnnnnn! Just kidding- I am sure it will go quicker this time! Carter and Harrison helped me make the chili, it was easy as there aren't a lot of ingredients. Harrison really wanted to cut the onion, I talked him out of it.

Carter is sick. It takes an awful lot to make that one sick, so I am hoping it is just a migraine. I called the Primary President, just in case. He looks awful, and it didn't hit him until about 8:00 tonight.

The cats (Jasper, specifically) brought me a dead mouse today.... so, now a dead mouse and a dead snake are in the front yard. How, exactly, do the cats prevent other cats from tampering with these wonderful "gifts?" Ugh... I may end up setting a burn barrel fire tonight and sneaking those in. I don't want the kids to see me burn bodies of animals, but I am not digging the pet cemetery look going on right now.

Tonight was a wee bit stressful. I worked hard to finish the work in one of my classes, and I have been trying to be proactive in schoolwork- as my friend Kaysha suggested, just in case something comes up. Smart idea, especially with Seraphina's history. It is so tempting to do schoolwork or housework on Sundays- but then I remember the enormous blessings that have come from taking Sundays off- and I KNOW the best thing I can do for our family is to just back off and rest. As you know, my Sabbath really starts on Saturday night, once I have decided to "clock out." Clocking out is something I look forward to so much- by the time Saturday night comes both my mind and body are so weary! Lighting my candle and saying my prayer, I can feel the peace of the day wash over me.  I was about to light my little candle after I had put the boys to bed, when Seraphina woke up. I admit I was frustrated- I had looked forward to that moment all week! But then, I took a deep breath, and I realized that I need to let go of the notion of "clocking out" for now. I will be able to do that in a few months, but for now- "clocking out" cannot be done. I know letting go of my beloved clocking out will help me, because if I don't set it up in my mind, I cannot possibly be disappointed about something interfering with it. Instead of feeling disappointment at the alone time I am missing, I need to learn to stop and appreciate the beautiful gift of alone time I manage to get. Yes. A change in perspective is all that is needed to remedy the situation. So, as I nursed our little angel back to sleep, I snuggled her a little longer because I knew it was where I needed to be.

I have boxes for you and for my sister for Fudge Round 2. Anarel is going to FaceTime me and help me out. This WILL be fixed, and you WILL get delicious fudge. I refuse to send either of you shoddy baked goods! I have another box going for you too... it contains your mangled pillow. I am so sorry- the washing machine ate it, horrible thing. I tried to fix it as best as I could, and hopefully it will work out, if not, let me know and I will hunt for the perfect pillow replacement! Carter and Harrison also have things they want to mail to you. We will get them all out on Monday.

I love you very much, and am sorry this took two days to get out!

1 comment:

  1. So great to hear how you transitioned throughout the day from overwhelming stress to a sense of peace. I knew when the post started with your candle, this was going to be a long post. :)

    It NOW makes sense when you asked me to open my mouth for popcorn. That camera doesn't tell the whole story of the room when I'm watching it.

    I hope you're right about Carter and that it is simply a headache. He does get those from time to time, so let's hope that's the deal. Poor guy.

    Love you, thanks so much again for all the isight to your day. I got to spend some good time in Skype with you and the boys, but it's nice to just get messages from you too!