• Quick Update

    Date: 2013.05.31 | Category: Family Life | Tags:

    I haven’t been getting much sleep.  The kids are pretty much up at different times all through the night.  I get two to sleep and then the other wakes up.  I feel like I have triplets.  My hat is off to all the parents of multiples out there.  I have been sleeping from 7 a.m to 9:30 a.m. every day.  It’s the only time everyone is consistently asleep at the same time.  So last night, I had just called in Zach at 3:00 to help me try to get Eli back to sleep.  (Zach is a computer programmer and works odd hours.)  Zach came in and we had a nice little talk while rocking Eli.  Poor little Eli has no clue how to self-comfort.  He doesn’t take a bottle, use his thumb, doesn’t like blankets or stuffed animals.  The only way he gets to sleep is by laying his head on your shoulder.  You can’t cradle him or sit down with him.  You have to be standing, with his head on your right shoulder.  He just won’t let you put him down.  This has made for some very long nights.  We had to take more drastic measures so when we got home, we let him cry it out.  This is a hard task with a heart child.  He is stubborn, unbelievably stubborn.  He cried for almost 3 hours straight.  I sat right there, as I’ve seen them do on the SuperNanny.  Yes, I was resorting to parenting techniques learned from t.v.  It’s been a long couple of days. Please don’t judge.  I let him know I was there.  I patted him and I sat.  He finally gave in.  My heart was breaking.  This mommying business is tough.

    Today a friend of ours brought over lunch.  It was so nice not to have to think about cooking.  The kids loved it.

    Part of the reason that I am so tired is that the person who would have helped me in the afternoon so I could sleep is my mom.  I posted a little bit about it the other day.  Zach ended up taking my mom in for emergency surgery while we were in China.  She had a perforated gastric ulcer.  To top it off when they opened her up, they found a mass.  Suffice it to say that my mama who is 67 and would love nothing more than to be here helping, is out of the picture.  24 staples will put you on your back no matter what your age is.  The initial tests came back non-cancerous so we are all cautiously optimistic that all well be well with time.

    Dan has to work.  He has to sleep.  He has patients he has to care for.  It’s a big deal for him to keep his job.   Plus, he has to drive Eli, Evie, Lainey and I to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics tomorrow.  Someone has to be awake in this household.   Zach and Cassie have been trying to relieve me as much as possible.  It just never seems to line up for me to sleep in the afternoon or early evening, but tonight was different.  I got to sleep from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and I feel like a new woman.  It’s not helping me right now at 2 a.m., but I do feel so much better. Everyone is asleep right now so I took a benadryl in hopes that I can drift off for the next 4 hours before we have to get up to go to Iowa City.

    In the midst of all the chaos of trying to figure out sleep schedules and meals, there have been so many wonderful moments.  Yes, it is hectic.  Yes, it is tiring.  Yes, it can be frustrating especially for the woman who likes her chaos organized, but there have been so many wonderful moments throughout the day.  Gracie and Shuang are always together.  Shuang is teaching Gracie Mandarin.  Ben wakes up every day and tells me how much he loves everyone.  Maisey is in love with Evie or “her baby” as she calls her.  Lainey is so much better.  Her first couple of days with us felt like it was all temper tantrums.  Now she runs through the house, giggling, running up to you for hugs, and playing with the other little ones.   They all play well together. They share.  They want to be together.   At 4 a.m. yesterday, when I was at the end of my rope and was finally going to go wake up Dan, the littles (Ben, Maisey, Eli and Lainey) all chased each other around in the sunroom.  They were laughing so loud and hugging each other. Evie sat and cheered them on.   Suddenly, it didn’t matter that it was 4 a.m.  I would have hated to miss that.  What a beautiful memory to treasure.

    Once the sleep schedules are fixed, I can see that this will work.  Even with the harder diagnoses and more work involved, it is going to work better than I had hoped.  That makes this mama’s heart very, very happy.  We’ve even got to go shopping and it went well.  Watching Shuang pick out clothes was so much fun.  She got three new pairs of shoes and sat and giggled at Payless.   Everything is possible with time and effort.  My house might even get picked up some day.  I’m gonna go ahead and say without outside help, perfectly clean is way out of the picture, but liveable is well within reach.   We are working on our new normal and I must admit I really like it!