Saturday, July 12, 2014

Breakfast


"Mommy, I have more cereal?"

"Sure honey."

Mommy pours more Rice Krispies into Finleigh's bowl.

Dump. Bowl is overturned.

"I NO WANT MORE CEREAL!!!!"

I don't know how I still fall for this. I usually say no, but my brain turned off today, and I poured her more cereal.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Off Finleigh goes to let off some steam. I snap this picture.

Then comes the "cleaning up" of said cereal while I pretend not to watch.

Cereal is now all over floor and a seven year old is rolling around in said cereal. Yelling.

Seven year old is sent to her room while mommy cleans up mess.

I don't know how my sons are still asleep.

And... I have turned into a yeller. It seems about the only way I can snap her into action anymore. I don't like yelling. But I keep hearing it come out of my mouth.

Good morning.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Shoes



I snapped the above picture awhile ago when my 9 year old son had some friends over.

Something about a bunch of boys shoes, left right in the doorway, that I find charming. I imagine them coming in as quick as they can, absorbed in their play yet taking time to take off their shoes. But not enough time to move them out of the way.

Oh, to be a child again.

Monday, June 16, 2014

me

I'm writing this post for me this morning. I actually write all posts for me, but this morning I want to be able to go back and remember this because it tells me something about myself. Something that I think is important to remember. Something that tells me that while I'm ultimately responsible for how I respond to things, my situation really is having an impact on who and how I am.

Last night, Finleigh woke up somewhere around midnight. She'd gone to bed at about 8pm, but didn't fall asleep until 9. She was now wide awake. And I mean WIDE awake. I stayed with her until 1am, trying to lull her into a sleepy state but finally gave up when she asked me to go back to my bed.

Nearly asleep, I left her room and as I was walking down the hallway to my room, she turned on her bedroom light, closed her door and exclaimed to herself, "YES!"

It was cute, even for 1 o'clock in the morning.

Once I got to bed, I tried to stay awake until she fell asleep, but I quickly failed. I remember waking up for quick snippets and hearing a very frustrated husband, but mostly I slept. After I hit my snooze button for the 5th time, my husband filled me in on how his night went. He said something about Finleigh not falling asleep until about...4:30am? Something like that, anyways. It might have been 5. But she was asleep now, so I got out of bed, leaving Brian and Finleigh (who was snuggled into Brian's arm) to sleep.

Downstairs, I packed the kids' lunches while my boys got themselves some breakfast and had some input into what I packed. We chatted a bit. Then they headed out the door, got on their bikes, and went to school.

It was as simple as that. No yelling. No repeated reminders to get dressed. No ducking punches to brush knotty hair. Nothing thrown. No TV, computer, or iPod screens on. Just a peaceful and reasonable morning.

And now?

Now, I feel almost like myself. My head is clear. And yes, I'm tired... but I don't feel drained. I feel like I could do almost anything today. What a difference.

This morning made me realize that I would have been a different person had we not been dropped into this life that we have. I would have been calmer. I wouldn't be so exhausted. These episodes with Finleigh really do have a huge impact on me. They really do drain me, no matter how cavalier I try to be about them. No matter how often they happen (which is multiple times every single day), I don't get used to them. I detach myself from them, but they still hurt.

And I'm not exaggerating when I say that our family is living in survival mode.

It's possible that lots of people could handle this situation better than I am, but I can't allow myself to feel guilty for not doing all those things I'd like to do. Or should do. Or whatever.

It is what it is and I really have to remember that I'm doing the best I can. It may take me longer to get where I want to be and I may not even get there, but I could have. Of that I am sure. So I'll give myself a little grace and be thankful for this peaceful morning that I got to experience and try not to dwell on what could have been.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

To Daddy

Finleigh's school-made Father's day offering.

I've mentioned before, I think, that my husband is a pretty great father. And I'm relatively certain that I have also told you, on a few occasions, that I'm not really sure how I'd get through this thing we call life without him. If I haven't, I've been remiss, because it's true.

We don't really celebrate Mother's and Father's day in our house. When the kids are little, it's more about them anyways. Oh'ing and awe'ing over their little school-made gifts and making them feel like they're making us feel special. It's actually a lot of work. And Brian and I are pretty good throughout the year of letting each other know just how much we appreciate each other. Also, we want to recognize our own parents in this whole thing. Plus, working shift work means that Brian is gone every other one anyways. So we don't buy presents or anything... we just try to make each other feel appreciated and loved.

But this year, I've taken it to a new level of not celebrating. After going out last night with the girls, today I am up to my ears in homework that really just has to be done. In fact, I even forgot that this Sunday was Father's Day until the other day. So Brian will really be fathering this year on Father's Day. No sitting with his feet up watching TV. No hanging out at the lake. No breakfast in bed. No supper cooked for him.

Nope. He'll be entertaining Finleigh all day, while trying not to ignore the boys. Because that's the kind of dad he is. He cares about his kids. He cares about his relationship with his kids. He knows that the time he spends with them is valuable and meaningful. In fact, I often think that he's a better parent than I am. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be the parent I am were it not for his gentle reminders and his example of pursuing quality relationships with our kids.

He's the kind of guy who works a 12 hour night shift and then comes home and runs a garage sale for four hours (including the kids in it all), naps for a couple hours, and then cooks supper for the kids while his wife gets ready to go out. He's the kind of guy who swoops in and saves the day when I'm at the end of my rope... which is often, in case you were wondering. He's the kind of guy, for whom all those "dumb" and "useless" dad stereotypes just don't apply. Not even a little bit.

(He will also likely find at least one typo in here that I will then go back and correct, shaking my head because no matter how many times I read over what I write, I always have at least one. And he always finds it. Luckily he never critiques my content.)

So, this Father's day, I'll write him this disjointed little post that I wrote while trying to let him sleep in.

But not too long, because I've got lots of stuff to do.



Friday, June 13, 2014

Concentrate

Concentration is elusive.

The ability to concentrate, that is.

I sit here with my brain full of fuzz. Or maybe... lead. My head is heavy on my neck.

My legs feel antsy. I want to get up and move around. Walk. Run. Bike. Do anything that doesn't involve sitting in front of the computer.

And yet, I want to sleep. Snuggle back in my bed and enjoy the nothingness that is sleep. If only my sleep was dreamless - which it's not these days at least.

And yet, I must (and I mean MUST) concentrate. It has to happen. Words must be written in an intelligent and clear fashion. Concepts must be studied. They must be committed to memory.

I am wasting time.

Then I wonder, how did I do this before? How did I learn and study and achieve? Was I better at concentration? I suspect the answer is no. I suspect, that in fact, I just had more time.

Time when I wasn't making supper and cleaning the house. Packing lunches and grocery shopping. Doing laundry for five people, rather than one. Encouraging children and mediating meltdowns. Lots and lots and lots of meltdowns. Going to meeting after meeting and appointment after appointment. Time to stay up all night and then sleep-in the next day to make up for it. Time to have fun with my friends who were just down the hall.

How simple life was back then... when procrastination didn't seem to have such dire consequences and I always got things done on time because I could put myself first. And I could put my learning first - except that I'm pretty sure my social life competed successfully with it.

Now I tell myself that my head feels a little lighter. And I convince myself that the front of my brain needs its exercise as well as my legs. I take a deep breathe and I find that speck of light in my deep, dark brain that allows me to concentrate. To think in full paragraphs. To explain the information I've interacted with for days now. I put all my other thoughts aside. I forget about SMS and our upcoming garage sale and the appointment I have to take Nate to this afternoon and I concentrate.

Concentrate.