Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Yowza.  Life for me at this moment feels like pure survival.  There is so much to do, so many needs and wants to tend to, and only one of me to go around.  I'm not overly stressed, but it doesn't leave much time for anything else.

So instead of a thoughtful post, a list-post.

  • I have had a rash in the creases of my armpits.  What the?  I seem to have finally knocked it out with tea tree oil, but it had been hanging around since before the baby was born.  Annoying.  But at least it isn't on my face.
  • I seem to have caught up with Squeeze's need for tidiness.  I feel irritable when the house is strewn with toys or messy, significantly more than I ever have.  My tolerance for messes has always been very high, but since I've started structuring my life more, that level has gone down.  I'm sure it has something to do with the amount of labor I put into, say, cleaning the bathroom, only to have the bathroom sink muddied with tempera paint residue a couple of hours later.  Or, "Didn't I just sweep?!"
  • With that in mind, I have incorporated the older boys into the structure more than I ever have.  Sure, I had them pick up, or clear their spot after they ate, but I've amped it up a level.  I have them help put away laundry, vacuum the kitchen floor, wipe up their spills, and pick up (almost) every afternoon.  I think that last one is key.  The toys are strewn everywhere because of them, not me.  They need to be responsible to clean it up.  Daily.  I will help, but it is primarily their responsibility.
  • I give them certain jobs, (i.e. "Truen, you pick up the Duplo blocks while you work on the Star Wars guys, Diego") to keep them on task, because they look at the mess and their eyes just glaze over -- they literally have no idea what to do.  A very familiar feeling for me, though it has eased over the years of practice and maturity.
  • So then I become a drill sergeant.  They have a hard time staying focused, which means that I need to stay on top of them until the task is done.  It can be fun -- like when we pretend they are robots or "grabbers" (Truen-grabber and Diego-grabber, they call themselves).  Or it can be maddening.  Then they go and sit until they are ready to cooperate.
  • This is one of my discipline tactics: I want them to take responsibility for their actions, so I give them choices.  "You can do this, or you can do that -- it's your choice," I say.  In a situation where they don't want to do something I've asked them to do, their choices are as follows: "You can do after-breakfast clean-up, or you can go sit in your bed until you are ready to do after-breakfast clean-up."  Sometimes they, and actually, I should say this is primarily Truen, not Diego, choose to clean up right away, and sometimes he chooses to sit.  Whatever.  Eventually, he bends to my will.  And almost always without a fight.
  • I've been making custard quite regularly recently -- it tastes so delicious, like warm, velvety ice cream.  The best one ever was a luscious chocolate with shredded coconut.  Yo.  Delicious.  Like I've said in the past, I want to beat them at their own fight.
  • Little Jamie is 6 weeks old.  I can hardly believe it.  He is so sweet, nice and chunky.  Love it. 
  • He also has his first cold.  Such a bummer.  The other boys didn't get sick until they were several months old.  I feel like this is just so young and that I am a bad mama because of it.  I could have prevented it.  In fact, I think I'm the one who gave it to him -- I couldn't stop smooching his face this weekend when I wasn't quite sure if I was going to get sick.  I am thankful that it is an extremely mild cold.  Both Diego and Truen were over it in a day or so; Jamie can breathe out of his nose easily and there's been just a bit of cute little sneezes and some wetness under his nose.  Not bad at all.  Thank goodness.
  • Another thing about Jamie: he complains all the time.  Seriously.  He regularly gives out those half-strength complaining cries that sound like talking more than crying.  Over nothing!  It is so weird.  And funny. 
  • He also gets extremely mad when he needs to belch and he's nursing.  You know - the kind where he is just writhing and trying to nurse, but can't.  Every time, almost without fail, he rages with an extremely angry cry when I lift him up to burp him.  He cries stormily, fights with his body, and then that giant "BUAAAAAAAP!" comes out.  He complains a little more, then goes right back to the breast.  Now that I'm used to it I think it is fairly humorous, though it was a little confusing at first.  It must be just his personality, I guess.  It will be so interesting to watch that develop...


lil' mama said...

I like your list post. I do list posts all the time now because I want to blog but my mind is too tired to make complete or thoughtful sentences. I'm impressed.

I need to be better at having C help with pick up every day. He helps throughout the day with picking up messes but I like that you have the boys doing more :)

The chocolate custard sounded yummmmmmy!

mschirber said...

oh you guys have a lot going on! and instead of posting on mine, i am catching up on yours! so glad! i love hearing how your are juggling three!!