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Archive for January, 2013

Loneliest Day of the Week

I typically work every other weekend. Weekends I don’t work are the weekends the kids are with me and they go with their Dad when I’m working. I cherish the weekends with my kids and not having to worry about who needs to be where when and do the kids have everything they need for where they need to be. We don’t often go on amazing outtings and more often than not those weekends are filled with chores, netflix, maybe hot chocolate and popcorn. Perfect. Weekends they are with their Dad I work. I’m not home alone rattling around and it is easy to stay busy and engaged in work. There are a few downsides to the system, but over all it works well. {biggest downside is I very rarely have a Friday or Saturday off without the kids if I want to go do something and I value my time with them enough that I rarely leave them to go do something on my own but it’s not like I have the opportunity to go out often so it’s not a big deal)

Then it’s a Sunday night and I end up on call.  It’s raining/freezing raining/snowing so I can’t go for a long wandering walk and I have things that need to be done, but there is something about a Sunday night with an empty house that lets lonely in so intense that I feel it inside my chest.

I’ll find something soul warming on Netflix for company and sit down with a couple of baskets of laundry while listening to the dishwasher in the background and count down the time until after school tomorrow when the house will be filled with homework, hungry kids, and happy.

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Just a few things to note, no I didn’t get everything done (please no one look in my kitchen right now) and a few things aren’t optional in my life.  My mid-day nap makes it so I can flip between days and nights with less trouble than if I don’t, without the nap my ability to function at home or work just isn’t there and doing direct patient care I think I should be able to function well.  I think my patients like it too.  Having the computer on throughout the day helps me stay focused, I see reminders of what I wanted to accomplish today otherwise I get sidetracked and spend the day on the couch crocheting and watching Downton Abbey or Doctor Who.  The last thing I’m not giving up is my lunches out.  Once a week I have lunch out with a friend and I’m starting the same tradition with Charlet to build a communication bridge — it’s safe time where I’m not worried about homework, chores or behavior and it’s staying.  All that said, for those of you who wonder if my life is really all that busy.

{okay, a rant.  Why do people say things like that?  Why do they get back to the people they were said about?  It’s nothing but hurtful.  Even if I’m busy because my time management skills suck does it matter why I’m frustrated and struggling?  Can’t we just support people where they are at instead of where we think they should be?  Maybe with some support they’d get to a better place?  Bah!  Really I don’t want anyone’s sympathy and I don’t need anyone to do anything for me, just realize that when someone says “it won’t take much time if you just look at it/read/spent 10 minutes a day on whatever project is the most important thing” that it may not be possible}

  • 1:00 AM  Laundry switched over for the last time, heading to bed.
  • 1:30 AM  Last time looked at the clock while awake.
  • 2:59 AM  Woke up with legs in an itching fire that nearly made me scream.  Nothing is helping, too late for benadryl and not enough sleep to get up.  Compromise with 1/2 a benadryl and fall asleep from exhaustion with itching legs that continue to wake me through the night.
  • 6:00 AM Alarm goes off.  Hit snooze button, moan and roll over feeling the sedation from the benadryl.  Legs still itch even though I’ve since ripped off the infernal compression stockings convinced I’d see legs covered in hives.
  • 6:05 AM  Alarm.  Mutter unkind words.  Hit snooze.
  • 6:10 AM  Alarm.  Mutter unkind words.  Hit snooze.  Hear big kids up and moving around, make mental note to thank them later when I’m more functional.  Snuggle back down under the covers pushing the day we move family prayer and scripture to morning back one more day — I’ll struggle with it again tonight.
  • 7:00 AM Make sure Michael has signed course disclosure with him and see him off.  Normally I’d be taking him to band and honestly I’m missing the 1:1 time with him even though it’s just a few minutes a day — it works kind of like I hope my lunches with Charlet do but it’s an issue I don’t know how to fix right now and in the big scheme of things not a huge deal so it falls to the bottom of the list.  The bottom of the list is big and things get lost easily there.
  • 7:20 AM  Wrestle back into the infernal stockings counting down the days until I can try to not wear them when I get a reminder of how painful my legs are without them and make the choice to wear them.  At least tomorrow I’m allowed to take them off at night and to shower, I’ll get better sleep then.
  • 7:30 AM Take Charlet to school, discussing lunch plans on the way.  Makes me smile and warms my heart to see her excited about it.
  • 7:40 AM  Breakfast and planning my day while Kaede wakes up.  Sitting here typing this now.
  • 8:00 AM  Make sure Kaede is out of bed and at least zombie walking through the house, try to tame her hair and get her out of PJ’s
  • 8:30 AM  Kaede to school
  • 8:40 AM  Bring in trash cans, feed chickens, walk dogs outside (why oh why has Mitzi started running away, it use to be easier)
  • 9:00 AM Start laundry, unload dishwasher, sort dishes washing pots and pans while making a stack to go in the dishwasher — all while brainstorming how to shower when I can’t get either leg wet.
  • 9:30 AM Sit down with choffy and work on a weekly schedule + chores for the kids with a side of budget and bills.  Yay!  Fight desire to go back to bed, ponder why the dryer doesn’t have a fold setting.
  • 10:00 AM Set alarms on phones so I dont’ forget important times for today.  Settle for a spit bath and hair washing instead of a shower and start count down to tomorrow afternoon when I can take a nice long shower.
  • 10:40 AM Go pick up Charlet for lunch at The Little Brick House.
  • 11:40 AM  Errands.  Wander around Wal-mart trying to remember what is on my list that is sitting on my desk and then to Deseret Book to run into the Distrabution Center.  I think it’s a marketing scheme to put it inside of DB.  I could easily spend crazy amounts of money in there, today the draw was more than normal so I also created a mental reading list.  I really, really, really want the two Women of Faith books.  I’ve heard of them before but never felt drawn to them before today.  In Charlet’s words, “I want it, I want it, I want it”
  • 12:30 PM  Load the dishwasher with soaking dishes, switch over the laundry and fold what is in the dryer.
  •  1:00 PM  Computer time, straightening desk, removing programs, typing up kids stuff for their new schedule thingy I’m trying to keep us more organized (ha!) and just maybe some Facebook.
  •  1:45 PM  Dogs need outside again.  In the rain.  yes, not to long ago we were having lows around twenty below and today it’s raining.  Welcome to Utah.
  •  2:00 PM  Mop bathroom ceiling.  Yes, you read that right and I’m not going to explain right now but no it doesn’t happen often and it’s one of my least favorite chores.
  • 2:15 PM  Kitchen again, been soaking things in small batches and only half of them go into the dishwasher but it’s a full load this time.  Soaking side of the sink has the cooling racks I cooked bacon on that refuse to scrub the grease off.  Folded more laundry.
  •  2:30 PM  Walked to a neighbors that no one has been able to get a hold of all day, not typical of them.  Their car (was there earlier) was gone.
  •  2:45 PM  More laundry folding {yes, I was behind on both dishes and laundry per my usual} and scrubbed the soaking cooling racks.  Dishes are at a stand still until dishwasher is through running, but definite headway has been made.
  •  3:00 PM  Realized that while I’ve made headway with laundry, dishes, and the bathroom ceiling {go ahead,laugh} that the rest of my house is as it was and we’re at count downtime until after school chaos hits.  Almost nothing gets accomplished housework wise after that.
  •  3:01 PM  Take a big sigh and realize that regardless of what ends up undone it’s been a good day, even without a nap and for that you are very grateful.
  •  3:01 PM  Set alarm so you don’t forget Kaede and Meghan and see how much of the remaining clean laundry can get folded.
  •  3:25 PM {typing ahead, but if this doesn’t happen the next entry will be “answers phone call from school”} head to school to pick up the little kids.
  • 3:40 PM  Drop Meghan off, notice neighbors are home and stop to check on them/let them know about their phone
  • 4:10 PM  Pick Charlet up from Track, drop the starving girls off
  • 4:20 PM  Pick Michael up early from 4-H
  • 4:30 PM  Suppose to be at church ball, not there yet.
  • 4:40 PM  Finally make it to church ball with Charlet and one other girl from the Ward there.
  • 5:40 PM  Make it home to notice that it does NOT smell like pork roast cooking.  Toss pork roast, potatoes, and carrots in a pan and toss it in the oven.  Take note of children who appear to be wasting away from hunger.
  • 5:45 PM  Take Charlet to her Dads to see if he has found her band shirt yet.  Grumble in the car about him losing the shirt while the kids aren’t there to hear me.
  • 6:00 PM  Run to Smiths for bread, cheese and ham {yes tomorrow is grocery day and it’s a little on the Mother Hubbard side of things right now}
  • 6:05 PM  Drop Michael off to pull up grades on the computer
  • 6:07 PM  Pick up for Pep Band {my day for carpool, yay for not working and being able to contribute to the get the kids to the high school movement}
  • 6:15 PM  Finally make it home and look at missing assignments on PowerSchool {ugh} and start grilled ham and cheese for Kaede, Michael and me.  Folding yet more laundry inbetween sandwich flips.
  • 6:45 PM  Sit down to eat for a few minutes.
  • 7:00 PM  Check email to see if I have any  more e-mails from teachers and update this list {this list is turning into a pain now that all the kids are home, it kept me going earlier}
  • 7:30 PM  Make sure kids are putting away all the laundry I folded and not just dumping it somewhere/doing their homework/doing their chore for the day while putting away my laundry.  Also ventured into Michael’s backpack for organization.
  • 8:00 PM  Kaede into bathtub, dishwasher emptied.
  • 8:30 PM  Took a phone call saying that I didn’t need to pick Charlet up from Pep Band!  Woot!  Phone call took longer than it seems covered a variety of subjects and I’m grateful.  While on the phone Charlet showed up hyper and hungry so I made her a grill cheese, put away laundry, wiped down the floor in the bathroom from Kaede’s bath, put things that were there that belong here away while walking around.  I’m amazingly productive on the phone with things I can do one handed.
  • 9:15 PM  Family prayer and chat time, nice pleasant and of course longer than normal {which is just fine}
  • 9:30 PM  Kids heading towards bed, now EVERYONE is hyper, thanks Charlet.  Fortunately exhausted because it didn’t last very long.
  • 9:55 PM  I’m going post this now so I can shut down the computer and focus on laundry and whatever series I find on Netflix to interest me, I’m not much in the mood for Doctor Who right now.
Things accomplished that didn’t fit into the time frame because I was either doing something else or it wasn’t a ton of time at once.
  • Walked Michael through what could have been a huge problem when hockey practice was cancelled.
  • Discussed appropriate times/places to let me know you don’t want to do something.
  • Fielded 4 (I think?) phone calls.
  • Let the dogs out about 4 more times, 2 of which were to just go say hi to people.
  • As I’m walking through the house I look at the room I’m in and think of the room I’m going to (sometimes those I pass too) and take something that needs to go where I’m headed.
  • Sorted things to donate or trash as I folded laundry.
{written about 8 PM}The Giant List of Things To Do is nowhere near finished, in fact front part of my house still looks trashed, I haven’t sat down and sewn any of the stuff I was planning on sewing today or worked on the baby gift I really kind of needed to have done by tomorrow.  We saved an hour by hockey being cancelled.  Today was particularly productive, I’m certain in part because of the accountability of the list but I don’t have to work tonight, Charlet hasn’t yet been home more than to change clothes and grab a sandwich and I have no idea what her homework will entail.  Laundry is far from done, although I’m caught up with what has been washed the last few weeks, the baskets that I sorted by child through the end of last year when I was really struggling with time sit taunting me as do the baskets in my bedroom.  Dishes are closer to being done but not yet there, and anyways it’s not like they stay done.  Fridge didn’t get cleaned out {it’s a set chore for day before grocery shopping so we can know what’s in there} I didn’t have a lot of other stuff in here like phone calls, appts, or required leg resting — I also didn’t have anyone help me with shuffling kids etc like I often do either.  Don’t tell, but I also didn’t work out (taking a few weeks off for my legs)

I’m exhausted, part by my significant lack of sleep last night but I really should stay up late tonight so I can sleep decent tomorrow because I do work tomorrow night.  I’ll likely fold as much as I can of the baskets that are taunting me while I help Charlet with homework then when kids are in bed settle down on the couch with Netflix and some yarn.

Oh what I wouldn’t give to feel like this.  Both the warm summer sun and the carefree attitude. {yes, it’s an old shot — I haven’t posted anything new in a while}


07230632

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I believe not just with my heart but with every part of me down to my toenails what I said in my “Are You Happy?” post.  Some of the hardest times in my life have been the happiest.  While the difficulties were falling down around me I was actively dealing with the ones that could be dealt with even laughing at some of the attempts to derail me and I made a conscious decision to let others lie where they fell for the time being because I didn’t have the ability to clear them away.  I was in the midst of a storm  and I was happy, perhaps even dancing in the rain.

{Happiness aside, I’m using this picture that I’ve seen viral from FB, youtube, miscellaneous blogs but it’s mine.  I took it, it’s Charlet on the street in front of our house.  My image, my editing, my camera, my daughter, heaven’s rainstorm on a summer day.  Did I mention mine?}



Dance like no one is watching
I’m not certain where the strength came from but it’s not always easy.  Some days, weeks, months it takes everything I’ve got to roll out of bed.  Sure, having somewhere concrete to be will grudingly get me moving but reality is I’d rather be in bed or sitting on the couch doing nothing.  I’ve had days where my goal was to just get outside and see the sunshine but trying to accomplish it was like you’d ask me to do long division in my head.  Happiness was a fairytale I heard about and wanted to believe in but seemed as far away as Cinderella’s castle.  This winter has been particularly gloomy between working nights the short days and the bitter cold I’ve struggled more days than not to just get moving.

Please know that I fully believe in my happiness post, I do know that it’s possible regardless of your situation.  I also know that no matter your situation it can be difficult.  Today has been a good day, I forced myself to get moving early on and spent some time researching working nights and the use of light therapy.  I might just invest in a light and I think I’m going to have my Vitamin D levels checked again.

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Are you happy?

I’m going to preface this in a way that makes me grateful that my English teachers and/or debate teachers aren’t likely to be reading this because I can see my grade dropping regardless of the wonderful content that could potentially follow.  I’ve had a lot of thoughts on happiness floating around in my head the past month with increasing frequency but my thoughts aren’t forming nice words let alone sentences or complete blog posts so be prepared for the brainstorming version.  I’m also beat after a long night at work and that doesn’t help so please try to ignore my rambling.

There are people that I know that I’ve intentionally gotten to know better simply because they seem happy.  They have an infectious smile, a sense of peace, or their eyes always have that happy twinkle in them.  I enjoy being around them and find myself feeling happier just because I had the opportunity to spend some time with them even if it’s as brief as chatting in the grocery store line.

There is a point in my life that I was jealous of them, I wanted their life.  Obviously, if they are that happy nearly all the time their life must be better than mine.  Right?  I know that some areas that I was really struggling with they were not and they were always happy.  Their life is definitely better than mine.  Right?

Wrong.

As I’ve gotten to know a couple of these individuals better I learned that their life isn’t without struggles, they are lonely sometimes, sunshine doesn’t always fall before their feet, and just maybe their wonderful teenagers behave like teenagers.  They are happy because that is simply who they are.  Their happiness isn’t conditional on life letting you take the easy road and in fact I’m willing to bet that they are happier because of their trials, stresses, hardships, {whatever label makes you happy will work}  Happiness is not dependent on a perfect life free from conflict and stress.

Okay, great!  I can be happy!  I can do happy, I quite enjoy being happy in fact.

Until Mom Guilt shows up at least.  How dare I be happy when things aren’t perfect for my kids.  They don’t have fresh baked bread, the soup in the crock pot is cheater soup, I can’t buy every gadget and gizmo they want, and there is always a list of things that must be done that is never done.  The audacity of me being happy in the face of all that?!?

Wrong again.

If I manage to teach my kids how to find happiness in the mist of whatever life throws at them I will consider that a success.  In Finding Peace, Joy, and Happiness there is a quote I’d like to find about happiness that I am willing to attempt to paraphrase because you know as well as I do that I’m not actually going to come back and fill it in no matter how great my intentions are.  Richard G. Scott says that happiness is rooted in obedience.  It’s not in the flashy fun things of the world that disappear quickly but true lasting happiness is found in obedience.  Gospel teachings aside, I think there is an important difference for everyone regardless of religious beliefs between fun and happy. If I’m given the choice I’ll choose happy.  Dirty dishes, piles of bills, homework, kid shuffling, loneliness and all — I choose happy.

Kaede Spinning

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Becoming

Fireside last night {raise of hands, who would have liked to have a fire in the middle of the chapel last night with the cold raging outside?} Judge Higbee spoke about choices and he referenced an older conference talk that I can’t remember who gave and it’s making finding it difficult {if you know where it is I’d love to read it} but it was about living the Gospel not being a tally mark of what good we do, what bad we avoid with demerit marks for sins we commit but instead about who we are becoming.  This was piggybacked on a comment that Bishop made in Ward Conference that we don’t stay where we are at.  It’s difficult, if not impossible for some, to stand in one place for 8 hours but an 8 hour hike?  Sure, that I can do even though it’s long and hard with weather around these parts that will either be freezing or boiling but I can do it.  Same with our spiritual self, we do much better in motion and I’d rather my motion be forward.  Besides, it’s hard to become anything when you are just standing around.

When I toss in a side of challenges and trials that no one wants to go through but we all have to the image of becoming grows very clear in my mind.  I don’t read and study because of a tally mark I get on some celestial blackboard, I read and study because of who I become when it’s regular habit.  I’m more patient, increasingly patient, more likely to hear and follow promptings.  I kept picturing a flower budding, the bud is beautiful {okay, depending on the flower} but with continued sunshine, water, healthy soil that bud is going to become a beautiful flower.

It’s not too big of a step as head of house to take a step back and look at what my family is becoming.  What are our choices and decisions helping us to become?  The trials we are going through together as a family are indeed helping us become something, how are our choices around that situation helping us to become something beautiful?

What are you becoming?  Are your choices and decisions helping you become what you want to be?

Chives

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Important updates first.  I have heat!  

Church ball starts this week and while I was very excited about volleyball none of our girls were and it’s hard to be excited about something for very long that no one else is.  There is a lot more excitement about basketball and while it’s not my favorite sport or my best teenage girl excitement is contagious.  We got together tonight before Young Women’s and scrimmaged.  Turns out I’m not 16, I’d forgotten how much running basketball entails, and wearing a sweatshirt and jeans {I’d just come from staff meeting} wasn’t the best idea it was fun.

I know so very little about basketball {unless all there is to know is the ball is suppose to go in the hoop} it’s not like I’m going to teach them much but we’ll have fun.  Stake wide scrimmage tomorrow at 4.

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But I don’t dare, and I know that there are a million things that can go wrong so I’ll just keep my mouth shut for now. Somewhat off topic, but I hate Facebook asking “how are you feeling, Heather?” because the times I really want to answer I guarantee that my answers wouldn’t be nice and kind.  Not even kind of nice.

Last week I needed a new battery in the car after having being stranded at home in the before school rush then in Beaver and finally trying to get to work.  New battery in and now the car starts amazingly well — negative teens lows and all.  Now I think my alignment is out, back driver side tire on the inside is bald.  Very bald.  Hope we make it to Friday bald.  Not too bad, Friday isn’t too far away and I don’t have a ton of places to be.  One of those places was a work meeting tomorrow {I won’t go into how unhappy I was about that meeting} but now I’ll be dealing with {drum roll please} getting my furnace working.

I have a wood burning stove with a blower attached, a space heater, and the low tonight is only suppose to be 7 instead of the previously mentioned negative teens {yes that is in Fahrenheit} I’m going to go shovel off some snow and bring some wood in, stay warm everyone.

Yes, I’m considering going to bed looking something like this {without the happy eyes}


Warmth -- 30 days of gratitude Day 1

Came back to add in how very grateful I am that I dusted last week!  I swept in and around everywhere I could think of with the blower and it still shot out a huge cloud of ash and dust.  Yay!

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