Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Just Another Night in the Life


As your sitting there, awake, reading your email, I thought you might enjoy hearing about my night to put yours in perspective. ;) To preface my account, I'd like to go back to about 5:00 yesterday afternoon. Let me set the scene, I had just sewn the last seam in our halloween costumes a whole hour earlier than the party we were going to! I was literally holding up a silly little yellow tutu thing that Emily wanted to wear around her face as the center of her flower to show her when my cell phone rang. It was the Realtor with an appointment to show our house at 7:00. I said yes, of course, ignoring the clutter a foot deep in the living room, etc. etc. The party was supposed to start at 6, but we could be late, we were only bringing french bread for their spaghetti dinner, no big deal if we were half an hour late. As my heart began to race and I actually felt a little light headed, I reminded myself that I really did have 2 hours and that it really wasn't that much to put away and that Geoff had almost caught us up on dishes the night before, etc. I was rather proud of myself for not freaking out too much. :) So, rather than go into headless chicken mode, I didn't move fast, but I didn't stop moving. I talked to several lovely people on the phone while I was cleaning and I hoped they couldn't tell that I never stopped moving while we were talking. :) One call was from Angela, I'm so glad you called! It makes me feel good when you guys feel like you can talk to me because I love you more than you know!! One call was about Kindergarten car pool today because it's my turn. One call was switching the spaghetti dinner to pizza (this will be significant later- just keep reading.)

Meanwhile, Geoff is on his way home, but he wasn't even going to stop here, he was going to go straight to the party to get there on time. Instead, he re-routed and stopped here first and got here just in time to buckle the kids in the van while I did one last good luck swipe of the counter tops and we left. We went to a friendly halloween party at my sister-in-law Denise's. I spent my time on the couch with Landon talking and eating. Geoff was either there or in the kitchen talking and eating. Becca chilled on the floor in the room where the kids were playing in and out and the two middle girls ran around and around with their cousins and their cousin's friends. :) They also beat up a homemade Shrek pinata and played halloween bingo with smarties. :) We all had a really great time and even got away at a decent bedtime. It was 9-something when we finally got everyone in bed and Geoff and I discovered we were felling pretty tired, too, so rather than staying up watching nothing on TV and doing nothing together, we decided to hit the hay.

Somewhere around 3 am, Geoff woke up and tossed his cookies. How I wish that meant there were chocolate chip loving geese in our backyard and Geoff was breaking off pieces of a giant cookie for their consumption. No, the first image you got was correct. When I came to full consciousness thanks to Geoff, I heard Becca crying. I went in to find her swimming in Pediasure because her tube had not been closed properly. That is to say her tube was actually clamped on the part that goes into her belly and the med port was open, so not only was it dripping food onto her bed, but absolutely none of it was getting into her at all. Thank heavens for my hare brained idea of covering her mattress with a dollar store table cloth under her sheets! During a nice, warm bath she finally calmed down and quit screaming as I was singing whatever Primary song came into my head. :) It was actually quite pleasant bathing my daughter in the middle of the night. :) When we got done and she was dressed in warm pajamas, I heard the baby crying. So, Landon joined Becca on the floor in her room while I finished changing all of her sheets. I don't know how much food was lost, but I knew she must be hungry, so I put another whole can in the bag and got her hooked up the right way. Trust me, I checked like 3 times! :) Then Landon and I jammed to some country music videos in the living room while he ate. It's a good thing I like country, because that was all that was on at 4-something.

After I fed the baby and put him back in his bed by touch so as not to turn on any more lights, I checked on Geoff. He said he thought it was just the pizza he ate at the party being spicy, etc. and that he was still going to work. Knowing I can only take showers when they're asleep or there's an adult present, and don't you pretend you don't know who "they" are, I decided it was now or never, so I took a much needed shower. When I got out, I could hear Becca again. You probably just thought "Are you kidding me?" because that's what I was thinking. Unfortuneately, the answer is no, I'm not kidding. When I went in to check on her, she had twisted and shimmied around and it looked like she was trying to see out the window where the blacks were starting to turn into grays. I don't know why she was doing that, but she had kicked off her covers and gotten wet hair on her face. So, I smoothed her hair and wrapped her up in her blankets again and after checking the tube again, I gave her a cheek hug until I heard the pump go through 2 revolutions to make sure she was getting fed and to help her relax and make sure she wasn't going to cry again.

By the time my head hit the pillow (again) it was 5:45. Geoff got up around 7 and got Emily most of the way ready for school and I made the obligatory round of phone calls to keep sleepy Becca sleeping. The good news is, my house is really, really clean and maybe, just maybe the people that came last night will make an offer and make me the happiest Mama in the land! :) I love you all so much and part of why I love you is that you will sympathize with me without pitying me. Thanks for listening to me jabber and don't forget to appreciate your pillow!


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I Love My FamiLee

This is what picture day is like for us. We finally chase everyone down and get them in nice clothes that match and their hair is fixed. Then we strap them into the car and talk to them to keep them busy and their hands out of their hair. We tell them as nicely as possible that they better smile at the right time and not make a fuss. Then we get there and it's a lesson in patience to get them all facing the same direction and happy enough to smile at a camera on a tripod. I tell Gracie that not everyone is as patient as Mommy and that she really needs to obey the first time. Amazingly, more often than not, she sits back down just as the shutter clicks.

The first spot picked for picture taking was nowhere near wheelchair accessible, but really nice for big groups, so we took Becca out of her safety zone (read: wheelchair) and tried to sit her supported on a stone step. During individual family pictures, she and I went for a walk so we could "come back to center" after some tears on her part. It upsets me when she's upset and we both needed to walk in the quiet and take deep breaths. She still wasn't very calm when we got back, but it was our turn. She teared up some more and between that and wrangling so you could see everyone... well, it's a lot like herding cats. That's probably part of the reason you can see tear shine in Becca's eyes.

Then, finally, we get to see Becca smile. It's when she's holding her brand new baby brother that her Spirit shines through. It's when they are heart to heart that hers sings. To say that our lives do not revolve around our kids would be completely false. It does and theirs orbit ours, too. We cross often and remain concentric always, but it is true that just about everything I do is for them or because of them or with them... I just have to keep reminding myself how not normal we are and we never will be. We are our own kind of normal. And normal for us means trying for that perfect family picture and accepting that it might not be as great as the little moments you capture by happy accident.

We got some really nice family pictures this day and it's no one's fault that Becca was sad. She does really well making sense of her world with her limited senses most of the time. Who can blame her for feeling insecure once in a while in a new place with new sights and sounds and feelings when the receptors for such information are buffered and hindered by a body one off from the norm? I certainly don't. I do everything I can to help her make sense of her world and protect her from too much all at once, but I am only one person and I really like to document our history with pictures. :)

A BIG thank you to Paul for taking these pictures and for being willing to do it over and over. :)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Hamster in a wheel

One more week that we didn't sell our house in. I'm going bananas. I find disappointment in the smallest tasks because I'm still washing my hands in the same sink, vacuuming the same carpet, driving up the same driveway and I want so badly to be in a different house that is closer to Geoff. If we were closer, he would even be able to come home for lunch once in a while. We could go on dates and to the Temple more often. I wouldn't worry about all of the road and all of the cars between here and there. He wouldn't have to fill up his gas tank every 4 days. It would strip away a heavy layer of stress. It would... We could...

But, you see, I know it's not healthy to live on the woulds, coulds and somedays, but an even bigger BUT is that I can't seem to help it. It's like the proverbial carrot on a stick- always there in front of me, but no matter how many steps I take forward, I never reach the carrot. And lately, I feel like I'm standing still while the carrot somehow moves further and further away. I mean, what can I do besides sit in a clean house that is ready to show? Short of standing on a corner with a sandwich sign that says "Buy My House!" Talk about a lesson in futility. There's just not much I can actually DO to make our house sell any faster.

They're coming to get the portable storage unit today. We've packed away so much stuff! It helps keep the house clean, but it's been in there long enough and we thought we'd be gone before now, so we're starting to miss things. Things like Halloween costumes, the tote with the coats in it, the maternity clothes (for Heather to borrow). How soon before we need the high chair, and some of the other baby stuff we packed? All of the Christmas decorations are in there. It looks like our house is going to be very bare for a very long time.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

9 Years

"I've never been married to anyone for 9 years before." That's what my husband said yesterday morning as we woke up to our 9th Anniversary. I haven't either. I've never had nearly 4 kids with anyone else before either. :) When I step back and look at it that way, 9 years and 4 kids makes me feel really old. But I don't really feel old. I still feel like me. I still like root beer flavored popsicles. I still don't particularly like swimming. I still love to try fixing my hair in different ways. I still care a lot about what people think of me and getting dressed still has a lot to do with the "image" I want to portray. However, I'm not afraid of the dark anymore. I'm in charge of more people than just myself. I'm involved with large (in comparison) amounts of money by managing it and hopefully spending it wisely. I feed and clothe other (smaller) people than myself and help them through their fears of the dark or the water.

I never understood my Mother until I became one myself. I hear her words coming out of my mouth every single day and they make complete sense now. My girls have the same reactions I did to them back then, though. Eyes rolling, breath huffing out in an annoyed fashion, posture changing to that rounded back, defeated pose of one who has been asked to do something that they should have done long ago. I've induced more whining than I'd like to admit and it's WAY annoying! I shudder to think how my Mom must have felt listening to me do that.

I must say just about the greatest feeling in the world is being the person that tearful eyes search for at the park... the one that gets all kinds of hugs and kisses and countless snuggles when a little one is having a hard day... the recipient of excited phrases spoken in triumph when a goal is finally reached. There's really no other feeling greater than being called "Mommy."

I turned 30 this year... something else I never actually visualized doing. Not that I thought that I wouldn't, but that it seemed so far away! Now it's here and it happened so slowly, I didn't even notice. My 4th child is due in 9 more days and assuming everything goes well, we will finally have our boy! I am beyond excited! I guess I'm one of those people that is happy and excited a lot of the time because I feel like NOW is the best time of my life and I remember having this feeling before! :) Life is SO meant to be enjoyed!