Monday, August 30, 2010

nice

Back from the dead again.

Last night is a bit of a blur.
I wandered in and out of my head,
sometimes covering my eyes from the light,
sometimes holding very still,
and then trying to function,
to take my mind off the pain,
mostly going back to my bed,
to my pillows,
that block out sound.

While everyone slept,
I considered how long the pain would last.
Finally,
at 4am,
after the 4th dose of meds,
I fell asleep.

I woke up at 8am,
just in time to see the kids walk out the door.

This morning in the kitchen,
when it was just Dan and me and our 3 littlest minions,
we talked about motivation.
I told him about my weekend.
I scrubbed the baseboards,
the walls,
the counters.
Sydney polished furniture.
Colin cleaned carpets.
Reagan vacuumed.
Presley never complained.
Corbin and Cade were my shadows.
Maryn was disappointed to see her favorite objects disappear from her grasp.
We did not work together.
They helped in shifts,
and when they were finished,
they stayed in their rooms
of their own free choosing.
I was grateful when they were helping,
and fine when they wanted a break.
My main concern for children who are not busy is that they tend to get into trouble.

I told the kids about my philosophy,
that I want to help them,
but I can't do it all.
They seemed to understand.
Except when they got hungry,
and I directed them to the instant oatmeal.
And sometimes they complained,
because they had to wash out their own bowl to make their own food,
and maybe that's not so cool,
but I was trying to accomplish a lot,
and it was a little overwhelming.

Late evening Saturday,
I had Colin, Caleb, Reagan, Presley and Maryn with me.
I was feeling sorry about the oatmeal,
and we were hungry.
They told me they were fine with oatmeal for dinner.
I felt worse.
So I turned right instead of left and we ended up in the drive-thru of In-N-Out Burger.
As is customary,
they asked for a shake.
As is customary,
I immediately said no.
And then I thought,
"It's okay to have a shake,
just for no reason at all.
It's okay."

So I ordered five shakes.
And then I remembered that we could, actually,
eat inside.

It's rare when we can do something like that.

So we went in.
And the children felt good about it.

This is probably a strange post for most people.
I wonder if I'm the only one who religiously believes in drive-thru's:
Banks,
dry-cleaners,
post office,
book drops,
movie returns,
etc, etc, etc.
Loading and unloading is exhausting.

I do not care for fast food.
I oppose junk food.
I exclude most products made with milk.

But I love my kids.
And sometimes it's okay,
and they don't even have to "earn" every special thing in their world.
Sometimes,
it's good to just get a gift,
out of nowhere.

I decided that no matter what,
I was going to treat them special,
just to be nice,
no-strings-attached.
Because I think it's how life is supposed to be.

Must we always work overly, super hard for good things?

Anyway,
Today was a good day.
Most days are good days,
just kind of long.

Maybe tomorrow is a good day to write down some of my recent theories.
Tonight,
I am really tired.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

because I love you

Guess what?
It's "amok", not "a muck."
But I like my way better,
so I'm stickin to it.

It's Sunday night.
My head is pounding.
Came out of nowhere.
The medicine only took a slight edge off.
So I feel groggy,
and pained.

To my children:
I love you,
although the sound of your little voices makes me nauseous tonight.
Sleep well in your clean sheets.
Have a good week in your clean clothes.
Enjoy your time in your clean house.
Remember that everything I do,
I do for you,
because I love you.

Goodnight.
Love,
Mom

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Alternative

(Post Edit included at the end.)

I have been waiting for my inspiration.
It finally came yesterday,
at 8:45am.


Sadly,
My inspiration came in the words to a Prince song.
(I like old Prince songs,
although Dan tells me that he doesn't think I would like that guy in person.)

Anyway,

it's okay if you sing along in your head,
and dance a little....

"Dearly beloved, we have gathered here today
To get through this thing called life
Electric word life it means forever and that's a mighty long time
But I'm here to tell you there's something else
The afterworld, a world of never ending happiness
You can always see the sun, day or night

And if the elevator tries to bring you down
Go crazy punch a higher floor

If you don't like the world you're living in
Take a look around you at least you got friends

Are we gonna let the elevator
Bring us down, oh, no let's go
Let's go crazy, let's get nuts
Look for the purple banana
'Til they put us in the truck, let's go

Come on baby let's get nuts
Yeah, crazy

Let's go crazy"

I left out all the words that hindered my inspiration,

and I have no idea what the purple banana is,
but I am sure it's probably something bad,
that Dan will explain later.

Corbin, Cade and Maryn were all rocking with me.
I think they will like old Prince songs too.

Sometimes my inspiration is very random.

Anyway,
we loaded all the laundry
and cruised to the mat.

I must like to work in the hot pouring rain,
because it was coming down hard,
and that made the laundrymat extra muggy.
This time,
Corbin helped me load the machines.
Only 12 loads.

Sydney and I got home with 2 hours to spare before the crew returned.
We started cleaning.
She had some good inspiration to finish the work,
and I was ready to listen to any advice that might help.

The day before had been a fiasco.

Almost every day,
the children come home from school
and I gather them,
and we make a plan,
and we start the afternoon.
Some days are really bad,
and no one wants to work.
That day,
I yelled
and tried to force them to help me.
After an hour,
I gave up.
Really, truly gave up.

I am pretty sure that something changed in me.
Maybe it will be the last time I ever yell at them.
I love the children,
more than anything.
And I am broken.
I cannot yell at them.
I don't want to force them.

It's really hard to be the one in charge.

What I told Dan:

I would rather clean up after them all their years here,
than lose my dignity in an effort to force them.

I don't have the energy or the time to keep up after 10,
but I will do my best,
and try not to complain,
because I love them,
and I never mind helping them if I am able.

It's pretty much an impossible effort,
but I would rather preserve my relationships
and their very young memories of me.
I even prefer a messy house to the harsh alternative.

It will not be this way forever,
only while we have little guys leaving wakes of disasters.

Someday,
the children will be on their own,
with their own homes and families.
They will want to care for them properly,
because it's already their desire.
Someday,
it will be their ambition too.

So,
on Friday,
I planned to work alone.
But Sydney was very helpful.
I was grateful.
And the children came home from school and began working without being asked.

Last night,
we had peace.

Well, at least until the ice cream truck music started playing.

This morning,
I have tons on my mind,
and not nearly enough time for it all.

Today is Saturday.
My hands are raw from working with the dog for an hour,
outside,
in my pjs,
while getting bit by mosquitoes.
And I think the dog really hates me now.

He is huge and takes all my energy just to keep him on his leash.
I know there are things I can do.
I need to run with him.
It was his purpose here.
Mostly,
I feel like kicking him,
because he is so rough.

And to my sweet husband:
I wish you were here going crazy with us today.


Post Edit:

I should probably include another thought as well,
in case anyone is picturing me trailing behind banshee children,
scooping up their debris whilst they run a muck.

If my children choose not to help,
they will be comfortably parked in their beds,
reading.

I have to preserve my self respect as well guys.

And just as a side note:
If I can't finish all the work,
it will make it nearly impossible to have any fun.

Remember Dad's motto:
Work Hard,
Play Hard,
something, something.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wednesday

The kids are dropping like flies around here.
Colin was very sick in the night.
Dan was up 3 times with him.
Maryn is feeling a little better.
Caleb is down.

The dog got busted today.
Finally,
justice.

I always forget what sleepless nights feel like.
Dan said he was going back to the station to get some rest.
I don't blame him.

I still believe the best policy to adopt is a very low expectation of sleep.
If you don't plan on it,
you won't miss it.
And if you get some sleep,
it's a treat.

And so begins Wednesday.
I didn't finish Maryn's room yesterday,
and so it must be first priority today.
I will also add "Laundry Room."
:(
Because the washer is no longer working properly at all,
and that's a really big problem.

Our recent happenings are beginning to sound like a bad country song,
except I like country music,
and so I don't mind singing along.

I will post my updates at the end of this day.
I am kind of really hoping that no one vomits today,
because I really don't like cleaning that up,
and I can't handle more loads to wash.

Remember,
the key to all success is a good hair day.
Since I added the workouts into my day,
I have had trouble getting my hair combed.
So the schedule needs some adjusting,
Funny that I have to re-order my day in order to fit that in.

Happy Wednesday,
because I found my iPod,
and so now I can clean.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

....

Today's room:
Maryn's room

Because my friend asked,
and it sparked the thought that Maryn has been slacking off in her chores.
So I will help,
especially since she doesn't feel well.

And Colin is sick too.

And the dog keeps eating the wiring to the A/C unit.
He's cute,
and I am posting a nice ad for him on Craigslist,
because I think he will fetch a good price.
Any takers?
Someone with dog-owning skills could make something useful of him.
Otherwise,
it's one more skill I will have to add to my repertoire.

Today is Tuesday.
It's build-a-fence-to-keep-the-dog-out-of-trouble day.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Everything

For my own purposes,
I sometimes list out my day.
I do so,
because I might want to remember all this someday.

At our very middle age,
we are still strong,
stronger than we were ten years ago,
when we were supposedly in our prime.
And it feels good to work hard all day long.
Some days
are extra longer and harder than others.

Friday was one of those days.
Our 5th straight day of workouts,
and every (I mean every) muscle group was sore.
We had worked many hours last week,
and done lots of stuff.
Finally,
by 9:30am on Friday morning,
after a nearly sleepless night,
and early morning yardwork,
and loading the car,
and getting the kids off to school
I headed to the laundrymat to crank through 33 loads.
Sydney was amazing to help me.
It was nearly record timing,
and she never once complained.
We laughed and laughed for 2.5 hours of washing and folding.
We did the fastest Costco run ever,
and cleaned the house in a whirlwind.
It was a marathon day.....
All so Dan and I could get away for the night.

By the time we pulled into the hotel place,
we were dog-tired
(except our yappy dog is never tired,
so I am not sure where that expression comes from).
Anyway,
the lady at the front desk kept suggesting fun activities we could attend during our visit.
Dan said,
"I just want to sit alone in the room."

And that has become our new fantasy,
"Being Alone."
(It's why we like the movie Date Night so much).

We did go out and find some food that night,
dressed in t-shirts,
feeling ragged,
in snooty Scottsdale.
Dan had way too many rootbeers
and gabbed my ear off.
I laughed at him because he is so funny when he gets on a roll.

We channel-surfed on cable,
(which is what we do at hotels,
since we don't have that here).

And we slept in.
Well, I tried.
I woke up at 5:30am,
but I didn't wake him till 6.

We didn't take any work out clothes.
(That's kind of a big deal for us).

Dan made us breakfast.
We sat in the little clean hotel
pretending that someday
it would be just like that for us,
when all the children leave
and we are alone.

Dan would be standing in the kitchen
eliminating his energy
by making food.
I would be sitting on the other side of the counter
watching him cook,
because it has always impressed me.

We would eat our breakfast
and talk
in quiet peace.

Then we laughed out-loud at the thought,
and he said,
"It will never be like that for us."
8 children means at least 25 grand children.
There is no chance we will ever be alone.

And I believe him.

By 8am,
we were sitting by the pool.
And I called to see if I could have the kids brought over,
because they need a break too,
and they love that pool.

They arrived around 11am.

During the time alone,
Dan and I sat in silence,
not even on the same couch.

Within an hour of having the kids with us again,
we were back to the usual degree of loudness,
and there was no more sitting.

Such is life for us.

He went on to work,
and I missed him more than usual.
I admit that I was a little grouchy because of his absence.
I was feeling selfish,
and wished for a minute that he worked the 9-5 gig like everyone else we know.

The good moments alone,
make the time apart longer.

Still,
There is no way I would give up those moments.

So yesterday (Sunday by myself)
was all about mind over matter.
I am thankful for good kids who occupy the hours of my days and nights.
I hope they know how much I really do enjoy spending time with them.
The little ones keep us hopping,
and sometimes we all get tired.
I hope we remember
that every little child
deserves every advantage that they are entitled to,
despite the fact that it's sometimes hard to give.

Thank you for helping.
It means everything.

Today is Monday,
and today it begins all over again.

My goal:
To make this week better than the last.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

pathetic

It's way past my bedtime.

Last night,
while I was being a loser on FB,
I ended up in 2 IM's,
and my 2 friends laughed at what loser moms we were last night,
'cause the men were on their way home,
(Or had come home)
and the house was messy,
and the kids were hungry,
but there wasn't a mom to be found willing to take on the arduous task of feeding, bathing and putting the children away.

I am not sure what we were thinking.
Like the men were going to want to do it?

Anyway,
we laughed online for awhile.

The common theme of the night revolved around the housework,
and lack of motivation to accomplish anything productive.
So a plan was made with my one friend
(my best friend that I only see a few times a decade).
She chose the room,
and we had to finish it by the time today ended.

So after a long, busy day,
I hopped online at 9pm tonight to check status.
Neither of us had started the room.
We set a goal of 10pm as the first check-in time.

I did lots of stuff,
and she did too,
but not all 'the room' stuff.

So the next check-in time was 10:30,
'cause I think she developed ADHD over the years.
And I know for sure I did.

We did better.
By 11pm,
both rooms were cleaned and vacuumed.
ahhhhh......

And now I am finishing my report for today.
I feel satisfied that by 11pm,
I had finally made my bed.

I am pretty sure that Dan thinks I am crazy.
It's okay.
I am.

Tomorrow,
I am more than likely going to cheat on my friend by going to the laundrymat without her.
That's on account of the fact that we are down to underwear here.

Almost everyone here knows that when the pile gets too high,
it means a hot, sweaty afternoon in the hood.
And so,
my family tries to spread out the laundry in inconspicuous places.
No matter where Dan and the children try to stash the laundry,
I find it,
and we load it,
and we wash it,
and we fold it,
and most of the time,
we even put it in the drawers where it belongs.

Tomorrow is a Rambo kind of day.
If I had a red bandanna,
I would wear it proudly.
I have a huge knife,
and you never know when it will come in handy,
especially in the neighborhoods where I do laundry.

Well,
have a good night.
Tomorrow's room is my bathroom.
Today was my bedroom,
and today was a huge, pathetic success.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

pain

yesterday's little work out was ever-so-painful,
(but I don't admit stuff like that to my personal trainer,
because he enjoys it too much,
and then he has to do more dishes as punishment for enjoying my pain).

and today's teeth cleaning,
very-much-more painful.

you know if they have to numb you before they take that scraper under your gums,
and the cleaning costs $520 (I paid $124)
that it's going to be really painful.

and it was
and I still feel it too.

tonight:
scouts.
pack meeting.
loud.

caleb earns his bear.
NICE WORK, son.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

beauty

It took all day for my inspiration to manifest.

It did NOT come
when Dan came home this morning.
I was kind of hazy from "Picture Day" preparation,
which is a day I loathe.
Usually,
I am excited to see him,
but I kind of felt like crawling back under my pile of pillows and calling it a day.

My inspiration did NOT show up later either
when
Dan dragged us out to the gym for free-weighted squats.
It's been several months since I did that.
And now my legs are jello.
Since the whole 'broken bone' thing,
I really appreciate being as active as I desire.

I didn't feel any inspiration when the kids walked through the door,
OR
when it was time for dinner,
although whatever that stuff was,
was really good.

I finally started feeling better after I took a shower and combed my hair.
I admit that the key to all success is a good hair day.
Any day I comb my hair,
is a good hair day.

Finally,
the inspiration came,
at 6:45 this evening,
when the monsoon kicked into overdrive
right in the middle of football practice.
It was pouring....golf ball sized drops,
and Dan had the boys running sprints and doing push ups.

I am not a sports girl,
but even I can't contain my excitement for football season to begin.

When everyone was gone,
it was just Dan and me,
sitting on his tail gate,
watching the lightning storm
with a few of our kids playing in the gutter.
I commented on our red-necked-ness.
He agreed.

It was a beautiful day.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Monday

The other day,
right in the middle of working,
my computer shut down,
and would not come back.
:(

I wanted to take a quick minute to write some thoughts.
(I had started this post Saturday,
and have added a little every day).

Saturday began at 3:30am.
I woke Dan at 4.
We spent some good time together
and by 7am,
he was on the field,
beginning the first practice of football season.


They drilled for an hour,
and then hit the pool for a little party time - team building to be exact.
These have to be 11 of the best boys around,
coming from some of the finest families we know.


By 9:30, the girls were far into their Tea Party preparations.
They asked for help cleaning,
making food,
setting the table,
and culminating an atmosphere fit for tea in mom's best China.


11:30am,
and a house full of little girls,
dressed in Tea Party attire,
and using their most polite manners.


The rowdy football boys were banned from the party.
They ventured out in 112 degree heat
and found themselves consumed in a painting project.
Apparently,
'The Fort'
(from a few months ago)
didn't quite meet their 11 year old expectations.
So they were neck deep in a re-paint.
I did not know,
and at 1:30pm went out to check on them.
With their red faces,
they had opened every can of paint in the shed.
The Fort was now somewhat disastrous looking,
as was the job site.


I took a breath,
and decided to make the situation a teaching opportunity.
Even boys with good intentions need instruction.
So we talked about cleaning and preserving paint and paint brushes.
We talked about drop cloths (but skipped taping and caulking).
We discussed the idea of checking first to be sure you have enough paint in a can to finish a project.
I suspected that concept had several trial and error attempts.
There were many empty cans,
and not one completed wall.


We took stock,
and decided to hit the Home Depot paint department,
specifically in search of mis-tint $5 paint.


I speedily sent Dan out to oversee the rest of the project.
We made the trip to the hardware store,
and Dan set to work finishing the project with the boys.


They chose a dark blue (rather than light blue).
The chose a forest green (rather than teal) for the trim.
with red and black accents.
They replaced the cute hula skirt decor
with skulls.


And now,
they own it,
because their minds created it,
and their hands finished it.


One of the boys asked if there was a scouting merit badge for painting.
There has to be.

The afternoon came to a close with a final swim.
All the extra children went back to the places they came from.
I fed my peeps hotdogs and fruit as quickly as I could before they started dropping like flies.
Our first Netflix DVD arrived in the mail.
Ghost Whisperer Season 1 Disc 1,
And it became the babysitter to the crowd of children cuddled on my bed.

Dan and I dragged our tired selves out to the temple.
I was teaching Sunday and needed some extra insight,
which was provided in a few hours at my favorite place.
I remembered exactly the source of my material in precisely the place I pictured in my mind.

Sunday morning,
Dan vacated early,
but he left the children with plenty of waffles.
He left me with a smile and a prayer,
and I was grateful.

The morning was spent quietly,
right until the last 15 minutes before we were to walk out the door.
I am still working on overcoming those hard moments.
Someday......

And I was very touched in church yesterday.
It occured to me,
that my level of preparedness seems to coincide with the depth of understanding I feel in my meetings.
It's probably self-centered to say this,
but I kind of think it was all about me yesterday.
Some of the thoughts shared seemed to be exactly meant for me.
I wondered if other people felt that way.

Anyway,
we survived the day.
Really,
we enjoyed it.

I had tons of blank stares in my lesson.
I admit,
the topic was presented,
laced heavily in deeper doctrine.
So it wasn't extremely entertaining,
but it was touching,
at least to me.

We went to bed a little exhausted again.
This morning,
the children popped right out of bed and were ready for school extra early.
I love Mondays.

Sydney courageously stepped up to attempt her first spin class at the gym.
It's really hot right now,
so we opted for a temporary membership,
where we can sweat in the air conditioning.
About $6 a month for 3 months.
Such a bargain.

Spin class is on stationary cycles,
It's really like a rock concert on wheels.
And oh so sweaty.
At the end of the 45 minute class,
she told me how relaxed she felt.
Me too.

We just had BLT's
and Corbin is already gone to school.

I have tons on my mind,
lots of good stuff.
Mostly,
I finally feel like I am functioning at 100%.
Dan is a little freaked out.
I can honestly say that he never likes my highest-potential-output.
It's exhausting,
and means waking up at 4am,
and over-the-top projects.
Sorry, babe.
It is what you were hoping for, wasn't it?

Happy Monday.
Today is the day.




Thursday, August 12, 2010

...

It's the afternoon.
Cade and Maryn are napping.
Sydney is studying something about mythology
which,
I am sure,
she will tell me all about later.

Currently,
I am having my daily battle with the fax machine.
It happens to be the most frustrating entity that exists in this house.
It has tantrums.
It has meltdowns.
I spend almost every afternoon with it.

ahhh....but it does NOT color the furniture.
It never wipes peanut butter on the wall.
It has a button called "power" that I regularly press when it gets really out of sorts.

If only the children came with power buttons.

Do you ever get the feeling you are not doing what you were meant to do in life?
Sometimes I do.
It's not the kids,
because I know
without a doubt
that they were meant for us,
all of them.
But I know I am meant to doing something else too.
I just can't seem to put my finger on that thing though.
So,
as of lately,
I am going to put some extra effort into finding out what it is.

Oh,
and I planned the next few months based on a change of shifts for Dan.
He was scheduled to move stations and shifts. (A, B or C)
That made me happy because I was looking forward to a better holiday schedule.
It was all finalized,
but then he came home yesterday and said, "Oh by the way....."

Right.

And what more do I say?

So we will be spending the holidays with his current crew,
(which is better than spending it with a stranger crew),
but definitely not as cool as spending it with family.

No Turkey Trot.
No Thanksgiving Day Parade.
No Black Friday....whelp.
And we will have Christmas breakfast well before the crack of dawn.
New Years Eve....not this year.
New Years Day? No.

It will be ping-pong at the station,
but at least the crew prepares all the food.
I wonder if we can set off fire crackers in the parking lot?



And so life goes on....

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Today

"Bewitching hour" was coined from Grandma Cindi, I think.
(Kelli will have to confirm)

Yesterdays after school activities went well.
I started dinner at 2:30.
The kids hit the couch at 3pm.
By 4, we were eating,
(and we had side dishes and dessert)
and Ghost Whisperer was a rerun,
so we had an extra hour.
Corbin went to eat at Grandma's
because he seems to have demons by that time of day.

We finished dinner and cleaning and went swimming at Grandma's.
Corbin is doing so well.
We spent a long time playing Marco Polo.
Cade loves to call "MARGO."
I forget how much I love to play with the kids.
We had showers and turned in.

Colin has informed me that he will be taking Fridays off.
Son...you must attend school on the required days.
Friday is a required day.
Sorry.

And yesterday was the very first time I have ever given a punishment to Corbin and Cade.
They colored on the couch and the wall and broke something.
Of course,
my first response was: Clean it up. Don't get upset.
And then I paused to consider that just possibly they are capable of learning NOT to be so destructive.
So I arranged 2 chairs in front of the couch
and parked their little fannies.
I gave them a lecture
while I cleaned the couch.
They seemed to understand,
because they didn't move.

And then they had to sit there on the hard chairs
and they weren't allowed on the couch any more.

Grandma came over to see them like that.
I think she felt sorry for them.
I admit,
they looked cute,
but she took them back to her house,
where they seem to be much better behaved.

We are making progress though.
I was just kind of hoping that the last children would Just Get It.
And I wouldn't have to explain that
stupid behavior gets you busted.

Anyway,
some good things worked out yesterday,
and my stress was relieved enough that I could sleep.

So maybe,
maybe,
today is the day?

One of these days has to be the day.
Why not today?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

48/96 report

Tuesday.
I don't think I have posted yet about this new shift schedule.
In the fire world,
it's a highly debatable topic.
People often ask Dan's opinion on it,
and specifically mine.

People were curious how a family like ours might survive.
Some families had complaints such as,
"Dad is the disciplinarian, and 48 hours is too long."
No offense,
but we kind of laughed at that one.
"Wait till your father comes home," sounds funny now.

The way I see it,
lots of families have dads away a lot.
For me,
it's kind of weird knowing he is not here,
but he's still in town,
not even very far away.

So it's been a few weeks on this new schedule
and I can report somewhat on it.

First, we supposedly have 60 more mornings together,
and more weekends.
And he only works 2 Sundays in a row,
and if we are having practices or classes,
you only miss one night instead of two.

The old schedule:
1 day on, 1 day off, 1 day on, 1 day off, 1 day on, 4 days off.
I love the four days off.

I still envy the 9-5ers for the fact that it is a reliable schedule.
Every weekend together.
Normal holidays.

Our life is a little more random.
He now works 2 days on, 4 days off.

With the old way,
on a crazy day,
I could let things go knowing that he would be back tomorrow.
Or
I had 24 hours to really pull things together to impress him.

Depending on the busy-ness of life,
he was,
more often than not,
bailing me out after a long shift.

If he had a busy shift,
22 hours home in between was not really long enough to recoup.
By the end of a set,
we were all hammered.
At least one of the 4 days was spent recovering.

I have noticed that with a 48 hour shift,
I have to continue to make progress every day,
so I try to pretend that we are 9-5ers
and still adhere to that kind of schedule.

In a former life,
we used to pick up the house at 4pm,
and do a 10 minute tidy at night.
We did dishes after every meal.
The laundry stayed caught up.
I used to wash loads of laundry with socks in them,
and every load came out with exactly matching pairs of socks.
(In a mom's world,
that is really impressive.)

Little by little,
day by day,
I am finding my way back to my old ways.
I think maybe the schedule is helping some.
Dan only drives away from home 5 days a month,
even though he is gone for 10.
Every time he comes home,
he has 4 days away from the station.

So far,
it works.

Last night,
I was somewhat in need.
I am sure I could have survived,
or I could have called Dan home.

Calling him home is not like it used to be when he just slipped out of the office early.
Calling Dan home means talking with the captain,
who calls the battalion chief,
who has to find a guy to come in and cover the shift.
EVERYONE knows if there is something going on.

Instead I called my home teachers.
In our church,
every family gets assigned some guys who look over them.
I rarely call those guys,
but last night I was needing some extra attention.
So my home teacher brought my Bishop.
The kids were excited to see them.
The home teacher brought treats
which I later used as leverage for vacuuming.
The Bishop has a very wonderfully, calming effect.

When they walked out the door,
they left peace with us here,
and I was so grateful.


48 hours is a long time to be away,
and I miss Dan terribly when he is gone,
but since he has to work,
this schedule is good for us.

School started right when the new shift change began
So this new school start is new in many ways.

One thing about the 48 hour shift,
I find myself being able to finish some of the projects I start.
For example,
last week,
I got rid of tons of stuff.
It takes my mind off missing Dan.
When he came home one day,
I told him what I had done.
He gave me the biggest hug ever
and sincerely said, "I love you."
I didn't know that getting rid of useless, cluttering stuff would make him so happy.
I am not a pack rat,
(debatable as well)
but lots of stuff ends up in our house.


Well,
it's been 15 minutes,
and I have to quit wasting time now.
I have 1 hour to perform miracles here this afternoon.
Cade and Maryn are sleeping.
Corbin is at school.
The house is virtually quiet.

At 3pm,
it's "Game On."
I am having trouble juggling our new tv show.
We really like it,
but we might have to let it go a bit.
I love that the children are occupado during the worst hours of the day.
We call those hours from 3-5,
"The Bewitching Hours".
Ghost Whisperer definitely eases the strain long enough to get through the tough times,
but homework isn't getting finished,
and dinner isn't getting made,
so some kind of adjustments need made.


Monday, August 9, 2010

Suicide watch

Monday.
He left really early,
and I miss him already.


Yesterday was a good day,
although
we are going to have to work on keeping our wiggles in check at church.
It is possible to sit for one solid hour and just be still.
I think it's even healthy.


My little shadow has been with me this morning.
He's a morning kid,
and I am too,
so it's nice to have company.


The other morning after Dan left early for work,
I was moving heavy things around
and it was hot and muggy.
The sky was threatening rain again,
but I like rain.
Anyway,
I looked up and noticed a rainbow.
It was not complete,
and it sat right in the middle of the storm.
I am not one for creative expression
or wondrous beauty,
but I couldn't help but notice how I felt.
It was assuring peace,
and it helped me through that day.


A few weeks ago,
Dan taught a lesson in church about King Solomon.
It made an impression on my mind.
Solomon,
the son of the fallen David,
was humble and good.
He was favored of God.
He could have asked Him for anything in the world,
but what he asked for was wisdom.
And it pleased God,
and he was blessed with wisdom.


It made me wonder what I ask for in my prayers.
I paid attention the next few weeks,
and what I notice I ask for most
is the ability to follow the Spirit.
I figure that I can't go too wrong if I am able to follow divine inspiration.
Probably the toughest thing about that is keeping myself in a position that I might feel the spirit.
It takes work,
and the most perfect of conditions.
No fighting,
yelling,
or badness of any kind.


In a busy house,
it's sometimes difficult to keep our dignity in tact.


Anyway,
that's what's on my mind today.
This post began early this morning,
and it is now 2:45pm.
The kids will come busting through my door at any minute.
I am not really ready because I spent the day in the office.


At the station,
when guys get bad news,
or mope around too much
(because they did poorly in training,
or maybe they didn't test as well as they wanted)
they are put on "Suicide Watch."
Dan hinted that if I didn't change the tune of my posts,
my friends would put me on suicide watch.

Really,
I am not complaining.
We are here.
We are alive.
We are even happy.
I don't give up that easily.

My SIL came over with some kind of fabulous serenity oil.
It seemed to work.
The peppermint oil I used for my headache this morning,
however,
didn't really help.
Not much helps that kind of pain,
But Relpax did,
and I can have 2 more headaches in the next 2 weeks and not run out of medicine.

What would help me most is:
if the cleaning fairy came to my house today.
Ever since the tooth fairy quit her job,
we have needed a new fairy.

ahhhh....wouldn't it be cool if we really had fairies?
Instead, I have a husband who makes bomb-a-lishish meals,
which is better,
because he comes with other benefits too....
'cept he's not here.
And this week,
my mom has helped with the laundry,
and dinner.
She is also the bomb.
And it helps that she can't go out in public because of her new tattoo.
(Maybe I shouldn't say that).
I promised I wouldn't post a picture of her.
Too bad. It's pretty funny.

Okay,
back to fairyland,
and the music we play to pull us through our day,
because maybe the dishes will find their home in the cupboard,
and the markers will magically disappear from sight,
and floors will become mysteriously clean.
The toilets don't need a fairy,
they need a troll.
Perhaps my oldest sons would be willing???
Please.

And to my children:
I love you,
in case I fall asleep before you again tonight :)
(jk....I can't do that tonight)
You guys make every day more....um....adventurous.