Saturday, December 19, 2009

It's the most wonderful (busiest) time of the year

The kids played violin and piano at a retirement/assisted living facility this week, much to the delight of the residents. It was so neat to see them perform in that context and thereby deliver such a blessing.

We got home so late tonight from the candlelight concert and reception. We had agreed to do the reception months ago and G joined the orchestra a few weeks back, so thank God for technology -- we watched/listened on CC tv while stirring soup and arranging tables.

The kids are on again in the morning, with violins and singing. So they're sleeping fast and hard and I'm about to do the same. Q had a nice big drink of water when we got home so I came here to write while waiting for the ensuing burps and falling back to sleep. Seems he out.

Merriest of Christmas performances and engagements to you and yours. Hope you're having as much fun being this busy as we are. And it'll be over before we know it.


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Frustration and whining


I have been trying to install the software for Q's touchscreen. It seemed as though it was going well. We've had it for three weeks, maybe I should get it done, huh? Heavy and heavier sighs.

Right now I would bet that it's not working because it needs Windows XP or 2000. I have Vista here and will need to go cannibalize something from the CPU graveyard to make this work. This is not exactly a problem. I mean, in a past life I was reasonably handy with tech stuff, with confidence planted in a programming class I took in the early eighties. I mean, I don't think I was ever going to do things technical as a career, but I could at least figure out what my own set-up needed in college (not that it was hard, trust me).

But now? I am overscheduled, out of practice, and after a couple of decades of having consigned that portion of my brain to the back room? It doesn't want to come out and play anymore. (Have I mentioned the overscheduling part? Good. That part of my brain is afraid of the rest of the brain parts out on the playground. It wants a nap.)

This all renders me a tetch frustrated and whiny. Not really the most attractive qualities in a person, so I'll try to be succinct in my complaint(s). Tonight I need to rewrite school paperwork for all four older children, find books for certain people for certain gifts, fill out Q paperwork, figure out hiccups in kids' medical coverage, finish another hundred pieces of a project, grade a bunch of math/algebra papers, and get this thing hooked up so the software can go back to the school district. After I do that, I need to run another load of laundry, organize Q's clothes and food for tomorrow, start oatmeal for morning, recheck portions of workbooks, stack and pack up the kids' schoolwork for the day, and finally, go to bed.

Q had a nap this evening, so I may in fact be "awake" long enough to accomplish most of the above. Our day tomorrow will include four hours of lessons, an hour of PreK for Q, and appointments. Some of these things require that I be in more than one place at a time, and we do this every week. Tomorrow my mom is off and has offered to help with that, but honestly, sometimes it's all I can do to keep the details aligned in my own head, much less explain any portion of the convoluted process to someone else. (Thus the dilemma of often needing help of some kind, but being too busy keeping my head above water to actually ask for any.)

Anyway. It's 11:45pm and I really, truly, with everything in me, just want. to. go. to. bed. Instead, I'm spouting off here, which as you may have noticed, gets me no closer to having ticked off any of the above. It's called avoidance. Rowr.

Most days things really are groovy here. The kids are almost always a hoot, nothing's ever dull, and we do manage to get through practices and school stuff with astonishing forward motion. But today? I'm fried. I want to sleep and I want someone else to divide the burdens with. I can't quite stop the thought creeping in, "This is not what I signed up for." It's not a useful thought. It isn't helpful, constructive, or welcome. It isn't the whole story, or healing, or funny. But sometimes, when Tired has become my address, it's the thought that breaks down the door and tries to steal everything happy.

So now that I've thoroughly bored even myself of this topic, it's time for a small refocusing before I go to check on Q again.

Today four fallen police officers were honored in a memorial service attended by more than 23,000 people. Tonight I am not tucking in babies whose daddy was murdered. I am not dealing with that magnitude of loss. My stuff is sort of petty in comparison, really. My stuff is maybe even mostly the flip-side of blessings, if you will.

I have the means, financial and otherwise, to get my children to two sets of music lessons every week. This is so enormous, there may not be words for it.
I am capable of creative planning, financial and otherwise, in order to make sure that such things can happen here.
Q is rounder this week than last, in part because I've been stuffing a few extra bites into him at every meal. Lord willing, December 2009 will not include a g-tube discussion.
I am here, with the kids, in a role that blisses me out regularly and keeps me thoroughly amazed. That I get to watch them learn and grow and even wrastle back as they formulate arguments based on principles of formal logic... how do we discuss that kind of cool?
It is very cold out tonight, probably in the lower single digits, but the punkins are tucked in warm. Miraculous, I tell you.
My darling auntie came today and stayed with the bigger ones so I could take just Q to his speech appointment. She is the sock maven, sock whisperer, comptroller of the sock collection. When she visits, she works magic over that basket and lo, we've footwear. It's astonishing to me, every time. Not that she matches them, that she finds their matches. You know what I mean, don't you? Yes, yes. I see you nodding.

And there's so much more, you know? Laundry = clothes to wear. Dishes = food enjoyed. Appointments = living, breathing, healthy kidlets. Obligations = the blessings of people and those relationships held dear. And so we give thanks in all things.

Now that I've talked myself out of a spiralling fit of exasperation, I'm going to check on Q. If he's asleep, I shall reorganize my to-do list above and see how much I can pack along to do while the kids are busy in workbooks during lessons. Still? I could kick something over the whole XP vs. Vista scenario. I want to say that I used to be smarter about this stuff, but the truth is I either had the time to take it on or someone upon whom I could rely for either small tweaks or Herculean help. More, but diminishing rowrs.

G'night, you lovely people. Hope you're resting well, or already have.

Saturday, December 05, 2009


So much has happened since I posted last. I'll get to the most special parts, but not all right now. I'm trying to hit bed before 2am, which will be an hour earlier than last night. Q's wanting to sleep, but is needing turning and repositioning, really having a tough time getting comfortable.

Perhaps one of the most incredible things to take place recently was that a dear friend's husband had a pretty frightening health emergency. He's more or less out of the woods but will continue to need watching and testing for quite some time. After nearly a week in the hospital, he's glad to be home and his family is thrilled to have him. They can use continuing prayers as he heals, more tests are ordered, and he resumes his search for work.

We've seen rather a lot of car accidents lately, twisted metal and crunched up fenders and windshields. We're feeling a little twitchy about all that and it's shown up in us walking a bit more carefully around each other, taking a little extra time for hugs and backscratches. (Go squeeze someone you love right now. I'll wait here.)

G and E were baptized and Q dedicated a week ago. It was such a lovely service, with other very dear families involved, music that helped the spirit soar, and a really good and blessedly short sermon. One of the best parts of the whole thing was Q grinning "cherubically" through the pastor's words and prayer. Here are the poems read during the service (go with the "becoming" imagery in the first, and remember that it's special to us in part because all three girls have memorized it during their respective first grade years).

The Caterpillar
Brown and furry
Caterpillar in a hurry;
Take your walk
To the shady leaf, or stalk.
May no toad spy you,
May the little birds pass by you;
Spin and die,
To live again a butterfly.

Holy Innocents

Sleep, little Baby, sleep,
The holy Angels love thee,
And guard thy bed, and keep
A blessed watch above thee.
No spirit can come near
Nor evil beast to harm thee:
Sleep, Sweet, devoid of fear
Where nothing need alarm thee.

The Love which doth not sleep,
The eternal arms around thee:
The shepherd of the sheep
In perfect love has found thee.
Sleep through the holy night,
Christ-kept from snare and sorrow,
Until thou wake to light
And love and warmth to-morrow.

Both belong to Christina G. Rossetti.

Wishing you peace and delight this weekend. Or just lots of sleep.