Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Other reasons I can't sleep

It's not just my thoughts that keep me awake. It's also:

1. The baby is still sleeping in our room, with her sniffling, snorting, sighing, squirming, and 'thwuck thwup thwup nm nm nm' thumb sucking. Not only noisy, but I hve to lie very still so she doesn't open her eyes, see me, and want a bit of attention.

2. The two year old often wakes up and comes to our room to get in our bed. He stands by my head and stage-whispers 'Mommy, I brought my blanket. I wuv yu Mommy.' Aww, climb on in, then.

3. And probably the most likely culprit, my husband got a new espresso machine for Christmas and our afternoon tea break has been replaced with an afternoon cappucino break!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Me and my thoughts

I struggle to fall asleep. No matter how tired I am (even when the kids were newborns) it takes me a while to shut off my brain, relax and go to sleep.

Evenings are when I tend to get overly emotional. In fact, my husband and I have a no-fighting-after-10 pm rule. If I start to pick an argument, he’ll point out the time and tell me to go to bed instead of getting worked up (do I sometimes still go ahead and arue until I get worked up? Yes. Does he sometimes deserve it? Yes.) But even though I can avoid fighting with him late at night, I still lie in bed and fight with myself.

My top themes include: I’m not being a good mother -- I was too mean /impatient /shouty /unimaginative with the kids today (I always resolve that tomorrow we will build the couch fort, bake cookies, get out of the house and go to the park). Or, I’m not doing a good job with my ministry – I’m not working hard enough, I’m putting things off instead of getting them done on time, I’m not praying hard enough, the reason there’s not more people coming to church is entirely my fault. Or I wasn’t a good friend today – I talked when I should have listened, I told stupid stories that no one cares about, I should have offered to help, I should have called…hey, why isn’t anyone calling me? I don’t have any friends, no one likes me, that’s why this ministry thing will never work, because I’m unlikebale and I don’t pray enough and I shout at my kids…

So, you can see why Marcus has to stop me from fighting with him, right? Because my thoughts snowball so rapidly I might as well build a fort and invite the neighborhood over for a snowball fight.

Now, don’t worry, these are late at night thoughts, not all the time thoughts. There is some truth to these self-criticisms, but in the light of day I can give myself much more of a break.
I have had this problem of over –self-evaluating at night for a long time, so I have a few strategies to help me relax and go to sleep. Trying to remember every detail of the walk I used to take to school each morning. Remembering all the names of people in the high school band. Assigning each letter a numerical value and adding up the numbers in each family members’ names (that’s for when my thoughts are really down and I need something big to occupy my mind).

But lately I have taken to composing blog entries in my head. Sometimes they are sharing my frustrations with the day, sometimes a funny story that happened. The thing is, I start to obsess over the wording I want. And then, because it’s late and I’m not in a good emotional place, I think ‘Why would anyone want to read this anyway? I’ll bore the whole of the internet with my sad-sack tales, which is just as bad as talking too much and not listening to my friends). And the thing that was supposed to help me calm down and go to sleep has me all wound up again.
And the worst part? I don’t even then write it on my blog. So the next night I either re-compose it in my head, or beat myself up over the fact that I don’t keep up with my blog! Sheesh. Would you just give yourself a break, woman?

So, I am going to try to write some of these blog entries down, because I do want to write, and that will take away some of the blog guilt. And I do think they help me get a perspective on my life – even as I wrote this, I can see how ridiculous some of my thinking is, and that makes me feel better. The thing is, it’s not like monopolising the conversation. No one has to read this if they don’t want to. But if you are reading this, don’t worry. Life is always better in the morning than I think it is late at night.

And by the way, my name adds up to 234.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I'm looking for a doctor...

who will surgically implant a magnetic chip in the baby's hand. Then I will go around putting metal strips on everything, and when I hand her a toy, cup, spoon, etc. she won't automatically drop it on the floor. And I won't have to spend half my day bending over to pick stuff up, handing it to her, and then repeating the process over and over again.

Especially in a cafe, where I feel the disapproving eyes looking at me: 'That mother is giving the cup back to the child? After it's been on the floor?' So when the 2 1/2 year old drops his muffin on the floor, I let the disapproving eyes get to me and tell him not to eat it because it's yucky. And he cries.

Then the 4 year old chimes in with 'We CAN'T waste food Mommy, or you will smack our bottoms!' Yes, my sweetheart, that only applies when I have cooked a nice delicious meal (that until today was your absolute favorite) which you refuse to even taste, and the thought of scraping it all into the bin (that's the trash, my American friends) is really irritating me. Attention, disapproving eyes: I don't smack her bottom every time she doesn't clear her plate, really I don't.

So a magnetic chip for the baby: invisible so the disapproving eyes don't see. A snack for the boy that he won't drop and then pick up and eat. A volume control for the girl who likes to broadcast my predilection to adminster discipline over seemingly minor matters.

And for myself, a strong nerve that doesn't think everyone is looking at me disapprovingly. They have their own things to worry about, after all. Why would they even notice me?

Until I bundle everyone up to leave and notice every one of my children is going out to face the winter's day with a bare head and bare hands because I forgot hats and mittens. And then the boy picks up my coffee cup to finish off the dregs of cappucino foam...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Daddy Long Legs

Marcus and the kids are still gone, so today Caitlyn and I went to the mall. Amongst other bits and pieces we picked up, I had to get Alannah some new jeans.
I haven't started taking her in to try clothes on yet (when do you start doing that?) but I did measure her the other day. The kids clothes (shirts, dresses, trousers) go by age and list the height, so I checked to see how tall she is. She's 111 cm (we're metric! It's Europe!) tall.
I went to buy her jeans, and size 5 (which I think is for ages 4-5) went up to 110 cm, so I bought size 6. Size 6! The child won't even be 4 1/2 until next month!
It sent me into a panic -- is she too big for her age? Am I feeding her too much? Not getting enough exercise? Will she be picked on at school (she'll already be ne of the oldest, so wll she be absolutely huge compared ot the others)?
Breathe, jane. Calm down. The child is not skin and bone, but she is on the lanky side of normal, not the chubby side. She is in size 6 jeans because she is tall, not overweight. And she is tall because of her 6'1 father (he's English so doesn't believe in metric) who has incredibly long legs.
She's got my eyes, my freckles, my stubborness and my clumsiness, but those legs are from Daddy!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

So here's what happened...

In my last post, I talked about giving my baby boy his first taste of solid food. Well, that boy is now 2 and 8 months, eats everything you put in front of him, anbd is now the middle child with a baby sister added to the family.

I had started blogging on Blogger, then switched to Xanga because I knew more people on there, and was getting more comments. But I have been meaning to come back to blogger for let me think now...oh, about 2 years. Somehow blogging is something that I want to do but never get around to writing posts. But I will spend tons of time on the computer reading other people's posts. And lie in bed composing posts about things that have happened to us recently.

So I am going to try to be better. First of all, I will try to move some of the 'vintage' xanga posts over here so if you are reading this but not that, you can get an idea of what life has been like around here. And I wll try to be a regular contributer to the blogosphere. And I will exercise, eat right, never shout at my kids again, always make healthy delicious meals and fruit for snacks, keep my husband in iron shirts and never nag him again.

You hold me to that!

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