In case you’re wondering where I’ve been

I mean I guess there isn’t really one great answer to this question.  Depending on the day/week/month it could be something like…

…I’m over it.  I thought I liked writing — I thought I was pretty good at writing — but it turns out I’m just not.

…My kids are at that age where they will just not leave me alone!

…I haven’t had something spark any sort of inspiration in me for months.  I feel sort of comatose.

…Oh yeah!  I have a blog.  What’s my password again?

But I can say at least for the last month I have been here.  

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And I have been looooving it.  Please join me if you’d like 😉  I’ll be back here eventually.

My growing playlist

 

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The Insomniac Child

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Ever since my little Calder was an infant it has been a real struggle to get him to bed at night.  The twins have always shared a room, but when we first put them in separate beds Calder began his nightly ritual of screaming himself hoarse.  Luckily, at the time our closest neighbors were about a half a mile away so no one reported us.

Despite the lack of sleep, I do have fond memories of cuddling with my little boy as he stared at me, refusing to close his eyes.  I remember one night when he was about 18 months old that I sat in the rocker with him sprawled across my lap, gazing wide-eyed into my face, my arms falling asleep, and thought he’s so big, I’m not going to be able to do this for much longer. 

Eventually his terrified howls turned into hysterical laughter.  After an hour-long bedtime routine, the lights are turned off and we slowly exit the room.  Seconds later, the laughter starts.  I peek in his room and whisper “Quiet, Calder,” and the giggles instantly halt.  Before I’ve taken 2 steps out of the door frame, it starts right back up.

After a few minutes the room is quiet.  But then we hear a soft creak in the door and look to see two little eyes peeping through the crack.  As I start towards his room, he turns to run and I hear a fast pitter-patter as he jumps back into bed.  When I enter the room, I approach the bed and kneel beside it.  I whisper, “Calder, everyone is sleeping.  Can you go to sleep too?”  “Yes,” he says.  “You promise?”  “Promise,” he replies.  “Okay…I love you.  Goodnight”.

You can guess how this goes on for the next hour or so.  Promises mean nothing to a three-year-old.  Sometimes it results in a firm pat on the bottom and a few tears shed.  Many nights the same thing happens in the middle of the night.  Aaron and I take turns going to his room and trying to coax him into falling asleep.  Once he (and we) have exhausted all our tricks, there’s nothing left to do but just wait it out.

Several days ago, this happened.  At about 3 AM, I laid in bed looking up at the ceiling with my eyes wide opened, thinking about what I needed to do the next day and if any of it required a well-rested body and mind.

Suddenly I remembered that the previous evening, as we tried “the usual” to get Calder to bed, Jade burst into a song that went something like “Go to sleep, go to sleep, you need to get your re-e-est…”, to the tune of — what else? — Let it Go.  Aaron and I laughed and tried to continue with the song.

And that night, at 3 AM, I did continue the song.  And this is what transpired:

The light still shines through my window tonight.
Jammies on and teeth are brushed,
lullabies of twinkling stars, ABC’s and babies hushed.
The sun is setting but I’m still awake inside.
Couldn’t close my eyes even if I tried.

I need a drink, my diaper’s wet,
there’s a monster underneath my bed.
One more light on so I can see, Mom, please.

Stay awake, stay awake, don’t wanna sleep anymore.
Stay awake, stay awake, don’t know what this beds for.
Parents still watching TV.
Maybe Oso’s on…
I don’t think sleeping is for me.

Funny how the darkness makes everything more fun,
but despite my curiosity I can’t play with anyone.

Brother, wake up and play with me.
It’s more fun than your bed, you’ll see.
We’ll play dress up with our dirty laundry.

Stay awake, stay awake, I’m having so much fun.
Stay awake, stay awake, can’t be the only one.
Mom thinks its necessary,
but I’m not tired.

My bed is soaring through the air to outer space.
I’m strapped into my bright blue car and I’m ready to race.
My yellow submarine’s submerged beneath the sea.
Fire truck’s on it’s way with help to those in need.

Stay awake, stay awake, I’ll miss something if I blink.
Stay awake, stay awake, I’ll never sleep a wink.
There’s so much to do and see!
When will the sun rise?
I don’t think sleeping is for me…

I would like to take credit, but if it weren’t for my clever daughter and my insomniac son, none of this would have taken place.  Oh, how I love them!

In the days that followed, I got it in my head that this was going to be something big.  So I pondered and worked and sang and edited and three short days later…

 

 

 

I’m still here

Well so much for simplifying.  The last week has proven that I’m not capable of it.  And I’m feeling it now.

In one week I have driven probably several thousand miles taking kids and family to swimming lessons, the zoo, the water park, restaurants, and musical productions;  I visited with parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, grandparents; I wrote and presented a talk in church; and the week culminated in a 3 hour hospital visit for my monthly MS infusion, and a decision to start teaching ballet lessons in the fall.  This week I need to get my 5 year old (and myself…) ready for her FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!

I’m wiped out.

But that explains why I’ve been neglecting things such as this.  I do have so much on my mind and so many things I need/want to share.

I did fulfill goal #1 on my list.  In fact I had 2 fabulous dates with my husband 2 days in a row this week!  I also finished/repaired some cover songs I’ve been working on (listen here).  Onto goal #2.  No, of course its not ‘get a good nights rest’.  Finish the book I started 6 months ago.  And while we’re at it, how about goal #3, create a work of art.  I’ve got some ideas…

 

Synergy, Assembly Lines, and a song

If you’ve seen the movie The Impossible, then you vividly remember the very long tsunami scene where the mother is being thrown around under the water with absolutely no control over what she gets hit by, gasping for breath every time she comes to the surface but then just as quickly being pulled back under and tossed around some more.  When everything “calms down”, she is pretty beat up, unable to fully comprehend what just happened to her but still forcing herself to move forward, unsure of whether another wave will quickly come and sweep her under again.

Now I don’t mean to compare my trials to what the victims of a tsunami go through by any means.  But this is without a doubt the best way I can describe what is going on in my head most of the time.  Complete uncontrollable chaos.  Trust me, I get many MANY people telling me how lucky I am, or giving me advice on how to combat the demands of motherhood with young children, or telling me I just have to accept that this is “survival mode” time.  I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

But this is how I survive a day.

syn•er•gy |ˈsinərjē|)
noun
The interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.

For example, I keep my kids on a strict schedule that includes a nap.  If we miss out on nap time that day may as well have not existed, for any of us.

But nap time alone doesn’t make for a successful day.  I’ve found that without a doubt if I do not change out of my pj’s BEFORE I go into the kids room in the morning, I am already regretting it by breakfast time.

This co-op also includes but is not limited to having a meal plan, keeping an open mind about how long it will be before daddy comes home, not looking at the clock, saying “yes” sometimes, having a great mother-in-law, breathing, and praying.  Lots of praying.  Do I do all of these things? Rarely to never.

What I DO do numerous times daily is accomplish a lot of menial tasks in a mechanical sort of fashion.  Take diaper changing for example: diapers and wipes to my right, 3 blankets on floor, 3 boys on blankets, bottoms off, wipe, diaper, bottoms off, wipe diaper, bottoms off, wipe, diaper.  If I have time I’ll put the bottoms back on but usually the first 2 are up and running before I get the chance.  I’ll chase them down later.  And sometimes I get a chance to throw away the dirty diapers, but not always.  Lunch time is much the same.

Of course, what I added to my regime the last few days was covering the cups song.  I did this during nap time, bedtime, occasionally for a couple of minutes while the boys were strapped in eating lunch, in the morning while they hollered at me to come get them out of bed, basically any chance I got.  And as promised, here it is…

Cups (When I’m Gone)

It really did work.  In fact, I had a moment where I was rocking baby in his room and as I stared into his gorgeous eyes, smiling even, I actually said to him out loud “maybe you’ll have a little sister one day”.

In the movie there were many peaceful moments between the parents and their children, or one of the parents and a new friend, where despite the hardships they were okay.  Most importantly there were so many kind people along their journey whose service, in the end, reunited the family.

Whether or not the chaos ensuing daily for me is really happening or only in my head, there are moments of peace, and people, that I am very grateful for.

Reaching My Potential: A Ritalin Story

Let me tell you about my Ritalin experience.

I tried it.  I loved it.

For two days.

First I need to explain my reason for taking it.  I have Multiple Sclerosis, and the most common symptoms of MS are fatigue and depression {It is important to note that I’d say these are also common side effects of having two 2 year olds and an infant}.  My doc recommended that I get on something to combat at least the fatigue, but what he recommended would cost me $600/mo.  So he said “well no big deal, methylphenidate does the same thing”.  I filled the prescription and found out it was just a generic form of Ritalin.  “Well ok, I guess I’ll try it”.

I would imagine that my experience was similar to that of a blind person seeing for the first time.  Within minutes of popping this pill I looked at my kids and thought “where did you perfect children come from and how long have you been here??”  I spent 2 days in a state of bliss, making plans and being patient.  Remember the movie Limitless?  I was reaching my full potential.  I could only imagine that this is exactly the way I was made to be.  Everyone should be lucky enough to live with this love of life!

And then I woke up.  Or lost my sight again I guess.  I had high expectations that this was the magical cure for my lost life.  And now I guess I’m back to square one.  But the point is that I had a glimpse of who I want to be and who I think I SHOULD be, and it was pretty great.  I know I can get that person back.  How?  Well today my brilliant idea is to learn this song.  I’m gonna do it!  It will work, and when it does I will not only share how I’m feeling but I’ll share the song too.