in which…

:: in which I am useless

My prediction about Five Minutes was spot on.

We did get the keys to our new house.  We did buy paint.

(Dear geometry teacher, Why didn’t we just calculate how much paint a house needs, including hallways, in geometry class?  That would have been so useful.  Oh, I never took geometry.  Right.  And this is why my children are playing with pattern blocks and tangrams.)

And over the course of two full days “working” on the new house, I “worked” for approximately 35 minutes.  It took four separate tries to sweep up the smallest room in the house.  And I did a lovely job of priming a two foot section of wall down near the molding.

It was funny.

But at the end of the weekend, I decided that enough was enough and I would return with the children to our regularly scheduled life and get out of the way of progress.

Personally, I think Kiri likes to fuss at the new house because her voice echoes in the empty space.

We love our little house and I’m getting anxious to move in.  We had planned to do X, Y, and Z before moving in, but now I’m getting antsy and wondering what things on that list we can postpone to a “Sunday project”.

:: in which I tell a story

So we brought some friends over to show them our new house.  It was a summery evening.  The kids were playing, the adults were chatting, the babies were enjoying the echoes.

A wail arose from the backyard.

And I said to Marni as we rushed out the back door, “I wonder if we’re going to the hospital.”  (I’m always wondering if we’re going to the hospital when I hear a wail.)

We were.

Levi had been running on the grass when he tripped and his mouth landed on the raised patio.  Chipped front teeth, with one pushed back out of place.

As we left Urgent Care that evening (with only a dose of tylenol and a tetanus shot), I just couldn’t help but be terribly relieved.  We’ve been to the ER in life-threatening situations, and chipped teeth just seem so…comparatively easy.  Like we’ve escaped tragedy once again.  Worthy of a little skip and a jump on the way out.

Poor little fella, all banged up.  But he’s on the mend and I think that tooth is moving forward again, yay.

Thus we have baptized our house.  It is now a home.

And somewhere in the grass are two little pieces of teeth.

:: in which I make a shift

I was mulling over my life recently and the image that came to mind was a ship.  A ship on a stormy sea, being battered and beaten, blown off course, tossed with the waves, deluged.  But the ship still struggles on.  The ship Must. Keep. Moving. Forward. or risk sinking.

I’m tired of being that ship.

In an effort to find some new methods of coping, I would go back to a particularly trying point of the day and see if, hours removed, I could formulate a better way of handling it, a more peaceful and less wild-eyed way of existing in its midst.  But just thinking about said part of the day would raise my hackles and I would find no workable alternatives that didn’t start and end with something that sounded very much like, “failing again, oh yes you are.”

I treated myself to a copy of Jamie Martin’s Mindset for Moms (less than $5 with Mother’s Day coming right up!) and have been working my way through it, using her chapter titles as mantras.

Talk less.

Fake it.

This week, I’ve been working REALLY HARD on my self-talk.  Stopping anything remotely negative in its tracks.  Stopping that annoying and currently useless habit of analyzing stuff (is this good or bad?  do I feel good or bad about this?  oh no! I feel bad!  why do I feel bad?  what can I do to feel good?…it hasn’t been helping at all).

Instead I’ve been visualizing another ship.  (What’s with the ships?)

This ship is also moving forward towards a destination.  But it’s sunny, and the sky is blue, and the sea is wide and calm, and the breeze is light.  And the ship is smiling.  (Because, obviously, I’m supposed to be the ship.  And I like to smile.)

This ship on it’s open sea has been enormously helpful to me.  When in the midst of what I would previously experience as that Stormy Ship, I think about that other ship on it’s sunny sea.  I like that ship.

:: in which I seek advice or commiseration

Bedtime around these parts is 7ish.  Everyone is asleep by 8 usually.  And then between bedtime and about 11:30, Levi and Kiri play tag.

First Kiri wakes up (she’s up right now, as a matter of fact) and I nurse her back to sleep.

Then Levi wakes up and either wants water, his diaper changed, or goes non-verbal and just cries and cries.

Get him back to sleep and pretty soon Kiri wakes up.

And so on and so forth.

I suspect that Levi is generally overtired on these nights.  He has recently gotten rid of naps (and if he has even a short one, he won’t fall asleep until about 9 and wake up the next day even more tired).

Kiri, though, I don’t know why she does this.  After about 11, she wakes up her ‘normal’ amount – every two or so hours.

But during the evenings I only have segments of about 20 to 45 minutes when everyone is sleeping at the same time.  And they’re pushing it so late I’m losing sleep and am getting really tired.  More than usual.

Dish up, friends.  Advice or commiseration desired.


3 thoughts on “in which…

  1. Oh man. I’m so so so very sorry. That evening routine sounds torturous! I’m tired from my long nap-less day with two mostly happy and somewhat self-entertaining lovelies. But they are zonked by 7 or 8pm. As am I. I just can’t imagine what you’re going through. You are a TOUGH mama. And homeschooling during the day. With crawler and tooth-chipped silly man. Wowsers. Ummmmm….I certainly commiserate. Advice? Shoot. I can’t remember what I used to do with a nursing baby. Getting them on a three hour feeding schedule helped and then on the path to sleeping longer stretches at night. But I totally totally forget how I did that. I guess that’s why my mom didn’t sympathize or have much advice for me. We forget so soon. Got any books about infant sleep patterns? I’ll agree with you on the over-tired bit. Maybe get Levi to bed a bit earlier? I dunno. I’m not much help at all!! But I would certainly take you out for some mama time and give you a nap if I could. Mindset for Moms is good. Keep thinking happy ship thoughts. And don’t save too much for Sunday projects. Better to get it done now. 🙂 hugs to you. 🙂

  2. I feel your pain. Life over here has been similar.

    Ideas (that I’m trying too!):
    Is Kiri teething? Perrin just worked through his second set. I’m a big fan of the Ibuprofen Test. If a cranky, wakeful baby sleeps longer and better with a dose of ibuprofen, then it must be teething!

    Have you ever read Wonder Weeks? I wonder if Kiri is going through one of the big developmental jumps. That doesn’t fix it, but for me knowing when the jumps will happen and when they will be over makes it easier to cope. Look at

    If neither of those seem to be the explanation, you could revisit Kiri’s bedtime ritual. We had awful times with Holly and sleep. I read a gazillion books and they all agreed that nursing/rocking to sleep can contribute to more waking especially within the first few hours after going to sleep–one author likened it to falling asleep with your pillow and waking up to find your pillow missing. Some babies can’t transition into the next sleep cycle without returning to their previous falling asleep state. The two most helpful books to me were Dr Ferber’s How To Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems (his gave the most scientific explanation of sleep although I didn’t agree with some of his methods) and Elizabeth Pantley’s The No Cry Sleep Solution (we used these methods along with “Pick Up Put Down” to wean Holly from sucking/rocking to sleep).

    The waking up every 2-3 hours to nurse is rough too. I do so much better on a stretch of at least 5-6 hours. Is there any chance that your hubby could take one of Kiri’s night wakings (maybe the first one after 11:30) and rock her back to sleep? It might take a couple nights, but once her body adjusts to not nursing at that time she may sleep through it instead. Mark’s help was vital in lengthening both Holly and Perrin’s sleep cycles.

    Holly has been going through something similar to what you described with Levi as well. Is he having night terrors (upset and disoriented, maybe even eyes closed)? Night terrors tend to happen early in the night while nightmares happen later. After a couple months of waking 3-4 times a night, Holly’s sleep has gotten better again. It seems to be related to a developmental leap for her, although I think it was exacerbated by sleepiness. Does Levi have quiet time in the afternoon even without a nap? I used to make Holly have quiet time but since Perrin’s arrival I haven’t been as consistent.

    I hope you (and I!) find a solution soon! I know for me lack of sleep is a great sanity stealer!

  3. Pingback: house stuff, plus a lot of exclamation points | spinning in my teacup

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