Friday, April 26, 2013

On the subject of moving with young children

My advice?


That's about it.  Just don't do it. 

If you must, here are a few things I have learned. 

Pack the children's room last and unpack it first.  This seems to have made the transition easier for Ladybug.  Once we spent a few days in an empty house and then came to her new room, she accepted it and has not had nearly the fall apart she had the first time we went into the empty new house.

Have a tote of clothes for various weather conditions and always keep it on hand.  The various weather conditions is especially important for a spring move.  Don't pack your raincoat in a box!

A picnic basket of basics like a few bottles and sippy cups, plus disposable plates/utensils/coffee cups is also valuable.  Keep snacks for both the kids and yourself in there as well, and some rawhide or treats for the dogs.

Keep a first aid kit in your car, and ensure you have extra medication for your children, yourself, and your pets.  When everything is out of the house is when your dog is guaranteed to discover the chocolate you have for the drive down.  (Yes, this happened last week.)

For the day of the moving truck, buy a red tote and some "do not cross" tape and use it to isolate items that you will need while in transition.  This will save you trips to Walmart to buy a towel, and also save you grief in your new house when you still haven't found the coffee maker a week after moving!  Think ahead on this; it's easy to forget everyday items that are essential. 

Keep your planner with you.  Strap it to your back if you must.  There is simply too much going on for you to try to remember appointments, things that need to be turned on, things that need to be turned off, people to thank, etc.  Write it down!  This is especially critical if you are in transition for several weeks and have appointments in multiple towns. 

Remember, it doesn't have to be perfect.  It won't be.  It won't go smoothly, so prepare yourself mentally for this.  Give yourself time for breakdowns.  Your children will have them, your pets will have them, you will have them.  Make sure you have tissues available for yourself, pacis for the kids, and paper towels and odor remover for the dogs.  And if it gets really bad, just come up with a silly song, like "I hate moving" to the tune of "Wheels on the Bus."  Or "My back, shoulders, knees, and feet really hurt" to the tune of "Head, and shoulders, knees, & toes."

But, if you can avoid it, just don't move with small children.  It simply isn't fun.  =)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Calamity "Ladybug"

My oldest daughter has earned a new nickname in the last few weeks, Toddling Tornado.  Today, she earned the name of Calamity "Ladybug."  It sounds much better with her real name, but I'm just going to make it habit on here to not call my children by their real names.  In my little family's blogging world, DaDa is "the Mechanic," I am "the Beloved," daughter #1 is "Ladybug," daughter #2 is "Turkey," beagle #1 is "Tub 'O Lard," & beagle #2 is "Defective Dog." 

I'm typing on my mother-in-law's laptop, without the "z" key.  It is also missing the "windows" key.  This is what happens when your toddler throws a board book at the computer.  Giving her the benefit of the doubt, I think she was actually throwing it at me.  But since I was trying to figure out how to change our address, I didn't catch it in time.  
I didn't intend to do a post like this right away, and I especially didn't intend to do one today.  But, these 10 minutes were so absurd that I simply had to capture it on camera.  And once I realized just how many pictures I was taking, because my child was giving me so many opportunities, I simply had to do my own "reasons my daughter is screaming" post.  We are officially in full blown toddlerhood.  Complete with the kicking feet, random tantrums for no apparent reason, or at least no reasonable reason, looking at me and saying "nanana" and shaking her head no and then doing it anyway, getting intensely frustrated very easily, and in general wrecking havoc faster than Mommy can keep up.  Being in the middle of a move, with her daddy away, is not helping.  And as a disclaimer, I am fully aware that my house is not childproof in these pictures.  It is impossible to be childproof while moving.

All of these pictures were taken between 1903 and 1914 (7:03pm-7:14pm), while I was preparing Ladybug's dinner of frozen pasta and vegetables.  
This is Ladybug after giving her sister a plastic bag.  Ladybug got the plastic bag by pulling the lid off the clothes tote we are living out of & dumping the dirty clothes out of the bag. 
This is Ladybug after she bumps her head trying to squeeze past the air mattress, after giving her sister a plastic bag.

This is Ladybug getting mad because she's tripping over the trash bag that houses the sheets we're using.  We've talked many times in the last 48 hours about the hazards of walking on this bag. It doesn't seem to be sinking in. 

This is Ladybug screaming because I told her to stop walking on the trash bag.

This is Ladybug about to get mad because she can't get the door open by leaning on it.  Even though it has never, and will never, open towards the outside.  But in a toddler's world, if you push hard enough it will eventually open.

This is Ladybug getting angry at getting sticky because she's walking on the refrigerator shelves that have orange juice spilled on them.  Mommy was cleaning them and told Ladybug not to walk on them.

This is Ladybug getting mad because she is sticky, because she walked on the fridge shelves Mommy told her not to, and now she is sticking to the plastic bag that has a book she wants in it.

This is Ladybug even madder because the book is stuck in the handles of the bag.

This is Ladybug looking at her book.  Does that face look familiar?  It sure does to me!

This is Ladybug pulling down a plate off the window sill, that I told her to leave alone.

This is Ladybug trying to put something she pulled off the window sill, back onto the window sill.

This is Ladybug trying to eat over-microwaved pizza crusts that she pulled off the windowsill.  This resulted in tears.

This is Ladybug screaming because the Oreo's are in the the booster seat, and she is not. Even though she put them there.

This is Ladybug continuing to be mad about the Oreo's and the booster seat, even though she took them out of the booster seat.

This is Ladybug getting mad because Mommy won't give her an Oreo before supper.

This is Ladybug getting even madder because Mommy won't give her an Oreo before supper.

This is Ladybug even madder about the Oreo's, and being sticky, and the fact that there's a box behind her.

This is Ladybug being mad.  About something.  I don't even know what.


When a medication label says not to stop taking the medication suddenly, there's a reason for it. 

Lesson learned.  When moving, make sure you have extra medications stashed in several areas of the car, just in case your husband grabs the wrong bag of medicine. 

Heart palpitations are not pleasant.  Nor is the pounding head with strange sounds, sounds that aren't actually really happening outside my head.  The insomnia isn't great either.  The increased anxiety and tearfulness is also poorly timed. 

But, this has given me incentive to write a few posts about a subject near to my heart.  But, I'll do us all a favor and wait until I am back on my medication before writing that. 

I'm keep telling myself a verse from a hymn that I can't find online, but I know it's in the Trinity Hymnal.  Something about "a joyful mother makes."  Going through medication withdrawal doesn't give me an excuse to not be a joyful mother, it just makes it a bit more challenging.   Whew... but anytime these heart palpitations want to stop is fine with me!  I may end up driving through the night just to knock 12 hours off this misery; not like I can sleep anyway!

You asked for it.

Well, some of you did.  I've been told more than once this year I need to start a blog.  This was actually started over two years ago, simply as a creative outlet.  I used to enjoy writing, especially in college on my Xanga blog.  I like putting my thoughts down by keyboard, somehow making them seem more organized and logical.  I also enjoy going back and reading what I've said, whether 5 minutes ago or a year ago.  It brings me greater clarity and better perspective on my life, as well as providing amusement at times. 

I've gone through and removed some of the more emotionally graphic posts, the ones giving details of what exactly has happened in my life in the last few years.  I sometimes used this as a journal, knowing very few people ever saw this and even fewer actually knew me or my family.  But with the decision to make this more public also comes a responsibility to guard what is said.  I did not remove offensive posts.  Some of my beliefs and opinions are offensive.  If they bother you, stop reading them and find someone with whom you agree.  Or broaden your mind and consider what is written.  What I say on here has been thought through, read more than once, and deemed appropriate. 

Alright, with those disclaimers aside... here are a few more.  =)  I'm a relatively boring person.  My life at this stage consists of diapers, sippy cups, bottles, rice cereal, blocks, Mud Pie For Mother, and the newest exciting development, crayons!  I try to read something on an adult level at least a few times a week, although thanks to this move my Truman next to the air mattress has a layer of dust and cobwebs that have fallen from the recently swiffered walls.  Drudge is my usual source of news, supplemented by my husband, the Mechanic.  The TV shows I watch most often are Yo Gabba Gabba, I Love Lucy, and the Andy Griffith show,  although I also enjoy Psych and Once Upon a Time, as well as another show I don't dare mention because it is not exactly a smiled upon show.  It is my vice.  Some of you know what I'm talking about.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, you probably haven't been around me lately and don't need to know.  

So that's the introduction to this new public phase of my blog.  Why anyone would want to read what I write I'm really not sure.  But perhaps the thought that someone might actually read this will cause me to use my brain a little more often.  My brain is about as out of shape as the rest of my body, which means the muscles that are necessary right now, the child carrying muscles, are well developed, while any other muscle is nothing but flab with a thick layer of fat.  Perhaps now would also be a good time to mention that I am a nurse and so I have no sense of appropriate dinner conversation anymore. 

Enjoy.  Ignore.  Laugh at.  Question.  And if I don't post on Facebook as often, it's because I'm here.  =)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Rain On

Wow... we see how well I did at blogging more frequently this year! 

I heard a song today and it was exactly what I needed.  It's an older song and I hadn't heard it more than a couple of times before, but it's one I'll be listening to frequently in the next few weeks. 

"Rain on, I will not drown.  I'm standing firm on higher ground."
Brother's Keeper's "Rain On"

I'm not usually a fan of songs that repeat the same thing over and over.  But sometimes you need the message drilled into your head, and lately that's exactly what I've needed. 

Here's what has been raining on me recently:
  • The Mechanic accepted a job five hours away in an area that is unsafe for a family to live, leaving me to move with the kids.
  • I got sick with a nasty respiratory bug. 
At that point, about 4 days into my stint as essentially a single parent, I said if I can deal with this illness, I can make it through anything, except cancer. 

That was dumb. 

Here's what's happened since then.
  • A deep freeze full of meat went without power, unknown to anyone, for over a week.
  • We found out a car we had just put $600 into has no A/C which will require over $1000 to fix.
  • The Turkey was found to be down to the 2% in weight on the growth charts.  She was originally ~40%.
  • The computer died.
  • The Mechanic was in a wreck which sent him to the ER in an ambulance and totaled our not-fully-covered car that had A/C.
  • The Turkey lost weight when we started our weekly weight checks. 
  • The wreck wasn't as cut & dried as we thought it was... shouldn't go into detail here but we're currently out over $10,000.
  • The Ladybug got her first stomach bug... 2 hours before I needed to start the drive back from our new house to our current house.
  • The Turkey needs an echocardiogram.
Plus the spilled teas, 8-12 poopy diapers from one kid per day on a regular basis now, chicken nuggets substituted for chocolate chip cookies, and the general chaos my house is in right now.  Those are just the routine daily irritants that would be the same whether anything major was going on or not.

It's nuts.

It's overwhelming.

I have multiple offers of help, but I don't know how to utilize that help.  My house is such a wreck that there's not room for more than one adult in here.  And it's hard to get the kids to someone else. 

Now I'm not saying all this to get sympathy.  There's a family in my prayers right now that are watching their 1lb13oz son fight for his life.  There's another family that lost a baby that never got to leave the hospital. My struggles and problems are nothing compared to theirs.  Part of why I did want to type my problems out in a list like that is because when I do that, they really don't look that bad.  

But despite the chaos, the frustrations, the weight of the world that has made knots in my trapezoid muscles the size of brats, this has been such a rich time.  Because I don't have another person to lean on.  In my own strength, I can't deal with all this.  I can't even begin to figure out how to use the help that might be available.  But, my prayers for a deeper relationship with my Savior are being answered.  I've been given a desire to study the Bible and to know God more.  I'm more sensitive to His correction, His hand over my mouth.  And He no longer feels so far away.

The Sunday that the Mechanic was to leave, we of course were driving separate cars to church so that he could leave straight from there.  I had on the local Christian radio station and they played a song that was perfect for what I was about to face, although I didn't know the extent and still don't.

"Scars and struggles on the way, but with joy our hearts can say:
 Never once did we ever walk alone, never once did You leave us on our own.
 You are faithful, God, You are faithful."
Matt Redman's "Never Once"