Sleepless in Fairfield

I’m eating my coffee.

I told my son to leave the dryer door open when he takes the clothes out of the washer, because it needs to dry out. (Dad caught and corrected that one, for the perplexed teenager.)

WANTED puppy feeder. Must be able to tolerate growling, ankle-biting, chihuahua mommy, while simultaneously handling wriggling puppies with an eye dropper full of formula. Needs to be able to operate scale, identify and record correct puppy weights, with no sleep. Feedings are every three hours, must provide own, clean towel, as all of mine are dirty.

🙂 Happy Monday!

Out of Whack

Unwell This is me today. I’m seeing puppies everywhere. Alexander the Great likes to pop out of the box. I walk into my living room and think I see a puppy on the floor. It’s just a blanket.

I’m talking in my sleep. My husband poked me to turn off my alarm, and I said, “I know”. After he determined I wasn’t going to turn it off, he did. I’d left it in with the puppies. I told him “thank you”. He woke me up at 0715, and I rolled back over and snored, before finally managing to drag my butt out of bed. I guess it’s a good thing I lock my secrets in boxes, because he could be dragging them out of me, and I wouldn’t have a clue.

I’m walking like a punch-drunk pedestrian, in the middle of the road. Yes, I’m tired.

The puppies are on a 3 hour feeding schedule. It lasts 24 and 7. The little guys were ‘t gaining weight. Queen Victoria isn’t making enough milk. I can relate to that, having had twins. She’s finally getting her zip back, and I’m losing mine. I know I ate something yesterday, but I don’t know what. My pill calendar is empty, so goodness only knows when I last took all of those vitamins and stuff. My coffee bar is stocked, but it helps to remember what flavours you’re putting in your latte.

And my captors? I’m about to wake them up. Queen V needs a walk in the grass. They all need to be weighed. And when I look at their milk sodden faces, I cheer up a little bit. It’s hard to let a little 6 oz, blind and deaf litter of pups get you down. They are too cute for my own good.

Good thing that this only lasts a few weeks before they can see, romp, poo everywhere, and most importantly, eat on their own. I’ve survived twins for six years, and this is not my first litter of pups. I do hope it will be my last!

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20130425-102948.jpg there’s a pic in their of my twins for puppy similarity comparisons :0P~

Classics

Bare with me, I may ramble. I have thoughts ricocheting in my head, and I need to get them out. If you get bored or lost, my feelings won’t be hurt.

I plan conversations. I rehearse so that I can manoeuver the conversation the direction I want it to go. I had coffee with a friend/acquaintance this morning. He’s one of those guys you can talk to about anything, and for the most part he keeps a good game face on. I had wanted to ask him about a stranger who dumped his whole life in my lap, last week. But, the conversation turned interesting, and I completely sat passive, watching the direction it went. Kind of like planning a dinner party and watching it be hijacked by the cool kid in the room, or the alcohol.

At any rate, we ended up talking about jazz music, as he is a fan. I am not. Most jazz encompasses too much emotion or not enough to capture my attention. I have heard the greats and take small doses. He said that the great jazz players spoke the language of music. I disagree.

Music, math, languages, knitting- they are all patterns. I love patterns. But the great jazz players, classical composers, poets and mathematicians don’t just speak the language. They channel it to create something more than just the parts. For those with gods, it is a spiritual thing. They create works of art that captivate the mind and body. They live with all of their senses. It’s not just music that makes you want to tap your feet, or a painting that stirs you to the core, or a blanket that makes you remember childhood memories. It is taking all those parts and giving it a life of its own.

I can’t listen to Pachelbal’s Cannon without wanting to move. The freedom and joy it inspires in me is flight without wings, toes that never touch the dance floor, a pure happiness that just is. Rimbaud, Thoreau(?), Baudelaire, Voltaire, Hemingway, Ayn Rand – they all used words that created emotions. They push through creating pictures in your mind to catching it, and keeping it entranced.

I want to knit that way. I want to create pieces that make you want to feel them, to run your hands over the textures, and never let go. If I knit a rabbit, I want to be able to capture the essence of it. I’m not that good yet. I dream knitting. I know where I want to be, I just have to find my way there. I want to make things that speak to people, not just make a thing that will be thrown on the floor or dresser, and be forgotten.

Can Someone Find Me a Bathtub, PLEASE

Ok, let’s see… I’ve been

1) poo’d on
2) Pee’d on
3) Coated with wet dog food (hands, pants)
4) Screamed at
5) Bitten (giving meds)
6) Kicked

And that was just Queen Victoria and pups. My big boys were worse.

I could use a Cosmo, mojito, even a Riesling (the whole bottle), a bath, and a nice hotel room with a view and comfy comforter. Maybe a trip to Denver or Seattle for a toke. 🙂

A girl can dream.

Meanwhile, I guess I’ll do the dishes and laundry. After all, I married a Chief in the Navy. I know how to suck it up and press on.

Good news is that the puppies have gained weight, Victoria is eating, and I took time off this evening. Lukas lost his other front tooth. AND, stop the presses, the twins ate mayo on their sandwiches tonight! There is hope that the human race won’t survive the apocalypse on chicken nuggets and french fries.

You Don’t Have To Go Home, But You Can’t Stay Here

Everyday I take a break from my house and kids. Every day that I can. Two to three hours of nobody wanting anything. I’ve talked about it before, but right now, it’s my time to think, knit, and type. Soon, I will have to give it up or cut down on my jaunts.

The weather is turning up the temperature. I’ve already burned two or three times. A hat and sunglasses don’t really protect against the sun glaring off the water. Also, it is starting to get crowded. Blech!

I returned yesterday to find my chihuahua in labor. We were expecting it, after I felt the puppies moving earlier this week. We thought it was another phantom pregnancy, but no such luck. $2,000.00 later, we have four precious, precocious Chuggles and a ‘fixed’ momma. We had to take her to the vet E.R., as the pups were too big to come out. She came thru the surgery fine, at 0130 this morning. By 8, she had eaten, cleaned her pups, and was doing well. Try telling 6 yo twins that they have to be quiet around newborn pups- Hah!

Today, after a shortened break, it was time for me to come home. I didn’t want to. I was burning, so I knew I shouldn’t stay out. I got that silly lump in my throat that makes it hard to breathe. My eyes started closing, in the desire to escape. All the worries that I had left, jumped back on my shoulders. My knitting had gone less than perfect, and I wished that I could go anywhere that did not contain four boys, two cats, two adult dogs and four newborn puppies. Alaska might have been far enough away.

I pondered stopping by Michael’s. I heard they got some new yarn in. It has been a few months since I bought any. Then that huge vet bill flashed before my eyes. I slowed down, then sped up again. Maybe I could stop for dinner? I knew I’d be walking into a house that smelled good. Sundays, my hubby makes breakfast for dinner. He’s a great cook. I passed Subway by.I thought about pulling into the parking lot across from our housing section. Too visible, and the cops might get curious. As I pulled into our drive, I knew the inevitable was upon me. If I stayed in the drive too long, someone would come check on me.

My oldest opened the door for me, with a little tidbit of news. The twins were crowded on the floor of their bedroom, watching “Thomas the Train” videos. Hubby was sitting out back, after having worked in the yard. I wish I could say it was good to be home.

I had to force the new momma outside. I changed the liner on the puppy bed. Fed momma some food, and started a list for the store. Then, it was a load of laundry and sending my oldest to the shower. I got yelled at by the twins, when I asked them to pick up their dirty clothes. My hubby had to make a run to the store for short term supplies.

There are days, and then days, when you wish you didn’t have to go home. Today was that day for me. My excitement has waned, my worries grow bigger, and the everyday joys disappear. I watch the sunset, and I hope that tomorrow will be different.

It usually is.

(For those who don’t know what Chuggles are, they are 1/2 Chihuahua and 1/2 Puggle. Puggles are 1/2 Pug and 1/2 Beagle.)

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Getting Rid of a Kid

Yup, I’m getting rid of a kid. My oldest will be flying solo to Texas at the end of the school year. I am overjoyed! I’m also terrified.

My son has been flying since he was a baby. His first trip to his grandparents’ was at 6 months, when the Air Force sent me to leadership school for 6 weeks. As a single parent, I had few qualms about unloading him with his gp’s. He was the first grandchild, and has developed a special bond with his gp’s.

I was able to have a special bond with my grandmother, as she kept my brother and I for long periods of time, before we were adopted. I wanted the same for my kids. Now, twins would be a little bit hard, but as they get older, we’ll see.

But for Sebastian, a trip to Gammy’s means lots of one-on-one attention, complete with swimming, trips to the parks and movies. It also gives him a chance to hang with his cousins. None of whom are as pesky as his twin brothers.

He will get to look forward to the White family reunion, where my larger than life family, gets together and parties. They have amazing fun and great times. Swimming, games, cookouts… I’m a little bit jealous 🙂

My twins, on the other hand, will get a few months free of big, bossy, brother. (Until they get stuck on one of their video games that mom and dad can’t bail them out). Oh, and someone will have to help do his chores. I’m sure they won’t mind training the puppies, but kitty litter and dog poo aren’t anyone’s favorites.

In a normal world, odds are good that we’d live close to family of some kind. Unfortunately, in the last 17 years, the closest I’ve been was 3 hours away from my folks. That was before my kids came along. Since then, we’ve lived an average of 24 hours away. We don’t get free babysitting or holidays together all that often. We’ve made one Christmas and one Thanksgiving. Odds aren’t great.

At 13, you’d think he’d be all right flying by himself, but he’s an Aspie with ADHD. We’ll probably take a trip up to Sacramento to practice reading the monitors. We’ll definitely be practicing to use the cell phone, and calling Gammy. We may even rehearse how to ask for help, and who to ask for help. We’re trying to set up a stranger danger situation with his therapist. Yes, I’m terrified. I couldn’t find any direct flights, but he shouldn’t have to change planes. Hopefully.

Yup, I’m happy to get rid of him. I know I will be happy to have him back. I look forward to hearing about his adventures, and not hearing three boy arguments or fighting for a little bit.

Music Soothes the Savage Beast (Me)

CNN published an article this week on music and the brain. Can you imagine a poster with the title “This is your brain on music”, with a big smiley face on your brain? Well, science has proved music makes a body feel good. Duh.

If you can’t tell, I am a huge fan of music. I played lots of instruments in my younger days. Need more bass, I’ll play a trombone. Need someone with piano experience (back then), np. I can still pick up a beginner’s book and try anything. There is nothing in the world like playing a great piece of music, in a group, and doing it well. Think of lots of warm fuzzies.

I still use music to fill empty space. Unfortunately, my twins are adverse to prerecorded music. They can handle Mom and Dad struggling through Silent Night, every night for the last 4 years, but put on a little classical, pop, rock or country, and they spazz like you dropped the f-bomb in a church. So my music listening is either when I’m alone in the car, or wearing headphones.

Right now I’m jamming out to some Matchbox20. It’s angsty enough with a mild upbeat edge. It has been a frustrating, stressful few days. When you can’t scream, you need someone else’s angst to feed on. Solidarity.

Sometime this week, I’ll be making a speed playlist. I have several knitting projects that need to be finished. Quickly. I’m being commissioned to make some ruffle skirts for granddaughters of a friend of mine. I want to be able to get them done quickly, and while I have other projects going, I’ll have a hard time concentrating.

Runners use music to control their pace, knitters can too. You want to find songs that have a good rhythm, that are upbeat, and most importantly- not distracting. If music makes you want to stop and sing, don’t use it. You’ll lose your train of thought.

For normal knitting, I go with some Beatles, Simon and Garfunkle, CCR, Blake Shelton, Starship, Boston, etc. I mix and match for songs that will raise my spirits, but that I can put in the background. I think I have some Guns ‘n Roses in that mix, as well.

For delicate work, I go for classical. Pachelbel, Beethoven, Latour… They encourage consistency and calm for me. They also don’t have words 🙂 If my feet tap, well, that’s okay.

For a speed list, I will probably use dance music. Few words, good speedy rhythms, and not distracting. There are a variety of tracks on Amazon and ITunes in the Excercise section. Some even tell you how many beats per minute (bpm) are in the songs. Try a few and see what fits your style. There’s a group called Bond that plays instrumental music with electric additives. They are good for quick paced knitting as well. My husband loves their James Bond album, “Bond on Bond”. Seriously good knitting music.

If you’re feeling down, make a feel good playlist. It helps. My problem is that when I’m down or mad, I go to the heavy metal or alternative style musics to push. Push what? I don’t know, but when you want to bang your head on the wall because your oldest stole your chocolate, your twins are telling you that you obviously aren’t cooking dinner because you are sitting down, and you discover you’re going to have puppies soon, a little Tesla, Metallica or something- helps. My kids are still alive, anyways 🙂 So it does some good.

Most people use music, without thinking actively, of what they are doing. I say use it. Everyday. It’s a drug that doesn’t stay in your system, and some good music therapy can last a long time. It’s a tool in your toolbox, a weapon for those days when you just won’t or will.

Science hasn’t gotten far enough to prove all of that, but one day it will.

Superheroes

I grew up watching Superman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers, you name it, I watched it. We tell our children stories of extraordinary people who do the right thing, no matter the personal costs involved. But how many people actually do that?

I’m trying to teach my kids two rules for life:
1) Do the right thing, even when nobody is looking.
2) Nobody is perfect.
For me, those two rules encompass everything, every situation. I try to practice what I preach. I try not to get angry when people do stupid things, and I don’t yell at the parents who yell at me. Everyone has a different perspective and mine might not always be the best.

Every night for the last few months, I’ve been taking time off to knit and find a little bit of peace. It is a luxury I am grateful for. It also provides a perfect time for my hubby to bond with his sons.

I picked a quiet park, that is about as safe as can be expected. Most of the time no one bothers me there. Last week, there were two boys, full of life and mischief. One of the boys climbed on top of a giant rock at the entrance to the walking path. The rock was about 10 feet tall, and 6-8 feet away from a busy street. The boy was waving to cars and kind of dancing. Even with my headphones on, I could hear him proclaim, “I’m king of the world!”. Lovely thought. I was a bit jealous of that freedom. Then, I saw him slip.

He regained his footing and his shenanigans. I packed my stuff up and walked over. Our conversation went a bit like this:
“Are you going to get down, or should I call the cops?”
“Why? What am I doing wrong?”
“Well, I think it looks like fun up there, and I am a wee bit jealous. I don’t want to be the one to tell your folks I did nothing when a gust of wind knocks you off into traffic. Your odds of survival wouldn’t be very good.”
“Okay! Just for you, I’ll come down”
“Thank you.”

No yelling, no attitude. Just pointing out my perspective. Amazingly enough, there were no auto accidents by distracted drivers.

It’s not my job to parent someone else’s kiddo. I know that’s what most people would think. My problem is that I knew the worst that could happen, and I really didn’t want someone else’s mom crying, asking why I didn’t stop him. There are many things I do, that aren’t my job. It takes a village to raise a child, and I hope someday, someone will return the favor.

I don’t want to teach my kids to be superheroes. I want to teach them to speak up, with respect. Saying something that needs to be said, is an important job. People may not like you. They may get mad and try to shut you up. “But a voice, like a whisper, is bound to be heard”.

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The badly behaving mom that yelled at me on Friday, She called and talked the principal, AND left her number, should I want to talk. No thank you. if she wants to talk, she knows where to find me. I volunteer everyday, same time, same place.

Parental just for shins and giggles

My hubby brought home some frappucinos from Starbucks after his grocery run. He also picked up the little freebie cards for a crossword app.

We kinda had fun with this one clue- Fudge alternative. Now, I married a sailor, and spent most of my life surrounded by the male species. My parents were pretty strict in the language department, but I’m sure you could think of several alternatives to Fudge.

F•#k being the most notable.
Next was darn.

We knew it had to be a clean word, as most crosswords are rated PG at the most.

Drat was definitely not high on the list, but until we got a few more letters, we were just s.o.l. :P~

On a side note, apparently the principal from our school called to discuss a call she had gotten from a parent.

Otto says that I should tell her, “I’ve already written ‘I will not piss off moms in white Tahoes, ever again'” a hunnerd’ times on the black board.

If she’s mad that I closed her car door on her, while she was yelling at me, my response is this: I am a volunteer, you don’t pay me enough to yell at me. If she was worried about being embarrassed in front of her kids, she shouldn’t have been behaving like a child herself.

Sorry, just me grinching. I could belabor the fact by discussing my generation’s failings to society, but why bother? I’m not paying you enough to listen to me grinch 🙂

So I had a bad day

It all started yesterday. Yesterday was a good day. A friend of mine was pointing out some books and telling me that if I sold sweaters like the one I am currently making, I could afford to get an Amazon membership. He showed me a lot of books. One of the books was about introverts, and how our society under appreciates them and their contributions. (After extensive thought and replays of his comments, I think he was trying to express a compliment, but it escapes me). The other was Living With Books. It had full spread pictures of different ways to incorporate books in your house. One picture was of a whole tiered wall of books. Yes, I could dig it. In fact, I could lust after it, and did for a while.

But, crystal chandeliers don’t belong in a cardboard box under a freeway overpass. I’m a mom, I try to keep my dreams simple. Manageable. Men have the luxury of big dreams. They can walk away, go make more money, etc. Mother’s have children to feed, clothe and raise. Our society judges women more harshly when they fail, or for having dreams. We dream for our kids. We wish and hope for them.
I didn’t sleep much last night. Neither did my husband. I, apparently, kept him awake.

Fast forward to this morning-
I get up and get the kids fed and dressed, and my husband still hadn’t rolled out of bed. I got everyone out the door, in time. After getting kisses and hugs from the twins (and my hand-held stop signs), I headed over to the Kiss’n’go, to help kids out of cars and keep the traffic moving.

Normally I get thanked. Today was hectic for some reason, but I had some great help. Until I had one mom who thought she knew better than I did, what she should be doing. When I tried to go explain the system, she yelled at me. I just closed her car door and walked off. Scrogg her! Enough people have said that the system works. I wouldn’t even be there if parents wouldn’t behave badly.

Needless to say, after missing my son’s honor roll assembly, missing my alarm to pick up the twins, three meltdowns while riding bikes, having to carry Jamie’s bike and push my own, well, it’s been a day.

The highlight of the day was wonderful. We finally got to do a play date with a friend that we’ve been trying to do for months. Both of our families have multiple special needs kids. Unlike normal families (or should I say neurotypical families), we can’t just schedule play dates. We have to juggle school, doctors, missions, ABA, and diseases.

It was worth every hassle to watch our kids finally get together! They played chase, tag, climbed, ran and rested. I have no doubts that they will all sleep well.

My nerves may be rattled, I might be on edge, I may run screaming out the door with my knitting in hand, but I know there will be good and bad days. Even bad days have some good.