Monday, November 07, 2016

End of October catch-up



 I know at some point I'm really going to be kicking myself for all the photos I'm hoarding on various devices and NOT uploading, but so busy. Always. So busy. And I wish I had more time to write about all of the stages my kids are in, and all the cute things they say and do--and the amazing things they are accomplishing, especially the older ones--but I don't. So I won't beat myself up about it because anything is better than nothing.

Here's the last few weeks in a nutshell: Neil's funding got slashed (nightmare, nightmare, I'm not even going to get into how horrible that's been), his grandmother died, he got strep, he went to Utah for four days to attend the funeral, I was alone with six kids and a newborn for four days by myself--and one of those days I took everyone in for flu shots!!--he came home, it was Halloween, I started grading midterms, I got strep, Matthew never sleeps, but he gained 4 lbs, Luke got strep, I'm so tired, I'm grading midterms again.

You guys. I'm exhausted. I'm so incredibly insanely exhausted. Like the crying-because-I'm-so-tired kind of exhausted. Just absolutely wrung out physically, mentally, emotionally...I can't believe I'm even functioning. But I'm still running, even though I'm crazy tired (8 miles today), because running staves off the actual crazy, and after seratonin poisoning with postpartum depression after Nathan's birth, I'm pretty restricted in what I can do medication-wise...so for now my treatment plan is lots of running, lots of John Denver, lots of cleaning. And scented candles.

Can you see the fatigue? My eyes are pretty pouchy these days. This was right before Neil left so my face probably shows some of the impending terror...I was so so so so so worried about having him go. Glad he was able to be with his family, but it was so nerve-wracking thinking about it to the point where I just couldn't contemplate the logistics and told myself I would deal with it when the time came. And we all survived. :-)



And look! He's six weeks old tomorrow, and he'd gained 4 lbs as of 5 weeks.
 


And one month. Baby acne is out in force but he is still beautiful to me. :-) He's thisclose to smiling. And he is an absolute champion at filling his little diapers--complete opposite of my firstborn who only pooped once a week.



Halloween! Everyone but Nathan went dressed up as a Star Wars character. This is the first year that I have not gone trick-or-treating with my kids (I hate passing out candy, so we just leave a big bowl outside). Matthew needed to eat right when they all left, and when he was done I called Neil to meet up with them, and his phone was set to vibrate. I was a tiny bit heartbroken (okay a lot) to miss trick-or-treating because it's seriously one of my favorite things ever, and I made it through all the not-so-fun parts of Halloween (whose bright idea was it to not have school that day so I had 5 kids asking me every 2 seconds when trick-or-treating was going to start) and then missed out on the best part! But Abigail and Juliet scoured the neighborhood for all available Butterfingers and Yorks, so I was not forgotten. Those little sweeties. 



Nathan and I went to a moms' group Halloween party the week before. He had a fun time looking at all the other kids from behind my leg. Hah! He did eventually venture out once he saw balloons, and he was sufficiently intrigued by the idea of eating donuts on a string that we got a dozen pumpkin donuts and proceeded to demolish them with the older kids. I about died laughing watching those donuts bash everyone in the face (this was while Neil was gone, so boy did I need some comic relief!). We also did sugar cookies--twice!--and apple cider and watched The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and made caramel corn and walked on every crunchy-looking leaf we could find...basically tried to suck the marrow out of fall. I won't lie, it's been kind of a hard autumn for me...this is my favorite season and I've spent the vast majority of it inside trying to keep things together. I really miss the freedom of being able to go for a run in the woods, or even just go outside. Newborns are hard. 



Handsome Isaac telling me one of his lengthy stories. Love that kid. :-) 



So last Saturday we had a couple free hours and decided to "just really quick" install a new floor in the foyer...we're planning to redo the kitchen, hallway, and laundry room floors as well, and figured we had time to knock out the easy one. HAH. It took ALL DAY. And every bit of free time Neil could spare on the next day. I was able to help on the subfloor prep (holy crap, the previous owners used SO MUCH GLUE), but after we got the underlayment down, it was pretty much a one-man job for poor Neil. I don't know how we're going to accelerate things to get the other floors done in a timely manner...I'd really like to have them done before we host Thanksgiving, but I don't know if we'll have time. 



But it looked pretty darn good when we were done!



A photo I snapped today (before I raked up all the leaves and dumped them on the chickens, thereby equally irritating Nathan and the chickens) of my sweet Nate. As always, he would rather be outside than anywhere else in the world.



And speaking of rather being outside...my heart and soul are so much lighter in the woods!! This is from our walk yesterday. Just glorious. 



Tonight we went to Dairy Queen for family home evening and we were all sitting around talking about what everyone wanted to be when they grew up, and what we'd do if we had the chance to go anywhere we wanted to go for one week. And I was thinking how much I like these people, and how much I love them, but worrying so much that I don't convey that...that I get so bogged down in the day-to-day details of keeping everyone fed and clean and checking on homework...do they really know how cherished and treasured they are? That's what I pray for every night, but I don't know that I do a good job conveying it as I'm drilling multiplication facts and sending someone back to re-sweep the floor or pick up their coat. I hope it's seeping through. I wish we weren't so busy with all the daily stuff, I wish Neil had more free time to be with us, I wish I was getting more sleep so I could be more purposeful and deliberate in my parenting. Mostly I just wish that I knew for sure that I'm doing enough. I feel like my focus is so split right now--trying to get our house ready to sell, trying to ensure that Neil gets enough work time, trying to get enough sleep, trying to get some running time in every day so I stay physically/emotionally healthy, trying to keep the house running, trying to get all my stuff for work done, thinking about all the stuff I want to try out (projects) or blog about (anyone interested in a Christmas-guide-type post of all my kids' favorite toys over the years? I'm kind of obsessed with reading about great toys so I figure it's high time I write my own down)...there's just so much "other" stuff taking my attention when really all I want to focus on is my children. If you know the magic secret to all of this, please do share. :-)

And for future reference, here's what everyone wants to be when they grow up:
Abigail (11): aerospace engineer specializing in orbital spacecraft
Juliet (on an overnight fieldtrip)
Isaac (7): mechanical engineer
Luke (5): penguin living inside an ice cream cone
Nathan (3): elephant



1 comment:

Meghan said...

I'm reading this about a week after you posted, and I hope some things have improved by now. I suppose other challenges will take their place, but you are doing an outstanding job of creating magical moments for your family amidst all the demands. That's the best you can hope for--an effort to maintain balance and be quick on your feet to adapt and always reminding your family how much love you have for each of them.

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