Wednesday, April 29, 2009

There's six packs of butter in my fridge

Tonight begins the baking frenzy…

Friday is Charlie’s 3rd birthday, and Caitlyn’s birthday is next week, so we are having a joint party for them this Saturday. A birthday boy and a birthday girl means two cakes (well, an airplane cake and strawberry cupcakes to be exact) plus cookies shaped like ‘1’s and ‘3’s. And a dark dark chocolate cakes for the grown-ups.

But there’s other baking to be done around here – a strategy meeting with my boss tomorrow will be accompanied by brownies. Another batch of brownies for the hotel room of the Territorial Commander who is in Dublin this weekend. Cookies for the coffee time after the Sunday service the TC is leading. Another cake for next Tuesday’s mother and baby group (that’s a weekly bake I do). Probably cupcakes again for Caitlyn’s actual birthday next Wednesday. And then Brunch Church muffins next week…

I like baking. It’s my spiritual gift.

I used to think spiritual gifts were only things like evangelism or teaching or wisdom. I used to think the ministry God was calling me to involved preaching and teaching and saving poor sinners. But now I reach out to the world around me with a baby on my hip and a plate of cake in my hand.

‘I was thinking about you last night, knowing we were going to meet. I stirred with you in mind, hoping to bring a smile to your face. Here is a little treat for you, and tell me, how are you doing?’

Thursday, April 23, 2009


'It's Caitlyn's birthday soon' I said at dinner tonight, and made a sad face.

'What's wrong Mommy? Why do you look like that?'

'Well, Caitlyn is getting bigger. And although I like it when you guys get bigger, I'm sad that she won't be a baby anymore. Because I like babies.'

'Don't worry Mommy,' says my four-year-old. 'I'll have a baby. Then I can be a Mommy too!'

That will be nice sweetheart. I'm already looking forward to it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Farewell, faithful companion. You will be sorely missed.

After weeks (maybe even months) of denying it, I must face facts.

(no, I'm no pregnant)

The afternoon nap is no more. Moment of silence please.

No really, could I get at least a MOMENT of even near-silence in a day?

Caitlyn still naps, of course. And Alannah hasn't for a while now, but she can easily be pawned off with 10 minutes of Mommy time followed by time on her own to make up stories with her ponies or something.

But now Charlie, who is nearly 3, has definitely stopped needing an afternoon sleep. And with 2 kids up, there is just no way around it. Entertaining must occur. And I really don't know what to do. I can think of activities, but everything just feels like a big effort. Just don't feel like dragging out craft supplies or the sandbox or the playdough or whatever. Mostly because then I would have to clean it up, and I already feel annoyed by all the cleaning I have to do (and while I'm cleaning something up, they are dumping the car box or dressing up chest or books all over the floor in another room).

I'm feeling rotten about not wanting to do anything with them. Bleh.

In other news, I fed Charlie tons of apple juice, dried apricots, grapes, and pears over the weekend to get past his refusal to poo on the toilet (he hadn't been for a few days and I was worried). It backfired. Or, fired out the back. A new rug is necessary.

Charlie just came in and told me I smell nice. He is a sweetheart, in spite of everything.

Sunday, April 05, 2009


So Caitlyn and I seemed to have made an uneasy truce…after a week of controlled crying (Marcus calls it ‘controlled cruelty’) we have agreed on 6 am as a wake-up time. She has been requesting a 3am transfer to our bed, and til now it has been granted. But it was time to put my foot down. And it has been a nightmare. Except you have to be asleep to have a nightmare.

At first, when the cry came at 3 am, I would go in and hold her until she fell asleep. Gently, slowly I would lower her back into the cot – as soon as her back touched the mattress, she would scream.

I switched to stroking her head – she played with my hand. I tried stroking her head, then doing ‘gradual withdrawal’. A minute by the side of the cot. Step towards the door. A minute later, another step towards the door. Another minute, another step. But as soon as the door creaked on its hinges to announce my departure, she was wailing again.

I had to do it, the full-on unpleasant way. She cried – I went in, patted her tummy and whispered ‘Mommy loves you but it’s time to sleep now’ (who do you think that little mantra was meant to soothe?) then I left the room. She cried. I went in a minute later, and patted her again, and left. This time I waited 2 minutes. The next time, 3 minutes. And so on.

The first few nights she screamed fairly solidly from 3 until 6, except for the brief moments I came in and patted her. Then she decided to play a trick of her own. She would cry, I would go in and pat her then leave. She would cry a bit, but quiet down. I waited 1 minute, 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes. Smug, I climbed back into my bed. Just, just as I started to drop off to sleep, she would wail. The timing was impeccable.

It’s been a hard few days, with tiredness making me grumpy and impatient. A busy working week hasn’t helped, with my fuzzy sleep deprived brain. Today (after a good, but busy Palm Sunday service) we all sat down for Sunday afternoon. I desperately wanted a nap but Alannah came up to me.

Poor older sister. She shares a room with the baby and has been woken up every night, too. And she doesn’t even drink coffee to help her stay awake during the day. She brought me one of her little sylvanian family figures. ‘Can you make her a scarf Mommy?’

I did it. With bleary eyes, while the baby slept, I knit a teeny tiny scarf and hat for a little cat. And tonight, and tomorrow, and tomorrow night, the mothering marches on…

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