Monday, December 6, 2010

Things that went down in my house before school today

~ Child Number One wakes up in a foul mood and argues with everyone all morning.

~ Child Number Three wakes up late and isn’t in a hurry at all.

~ Child Number Two can’t find a jersey to wear, probably due to the large mountain of washing I didn’t manage to get through on the weekend, and so rolls around the lounge floor half naked whining about it, rather than actively trying to find one.

~ Child Number One throws a wild fit when Child Number Two asks if he can wear one of his hoodies. Apparently asking to wear his clothes is a cardinal sin. Yay, we’re at that age.

~ When Child Number Two continues to insist he has nothing to wear, Child Number One announces “I bet I can find one, and if I do I get to punch you as hard as I can.” He then starts searching through the pile of unfolded washing, totally motivated to “help” his brother find a jersey.

~ Child Number Three sits vacantly in front of her breakfast not eating for more than twenty minutes because she has an itchy bite from the day before and therefore she can’t eat until someone puts some cream on it.

~ The clock keeps ticking.

~ I go to look for a jersey for Child Number Two and almost die when I discover he’s spread all of his clothes and toys across his bedroom floor. I visualize burning the house down and starting over.

~ I find the jersey and give it to him, which prompts another feral argument over whether or not Child Number One still gets to punch Child Number Two. They’re getting technical over the wording of the original agreement. Hubby is now out of the shower and so I leave them to it.

~ Leaving them to it fails, the argument shifts and is now between Hubby and Child Number One. Hubby is in disbelief over the fact that he’s having to tell his twelve year old son why he may not punch his brother, even if they did have a deal.

~ The clock won’t stop bloody ticking.

~ Hubby leaves, later than usual, and childless, despite the fact he usually drops Child Number One off on his way past if it’s wet, as it is this morning. He’s refusing to give him a ride because “his attitude sucks” and so therefore he can bike “and he’s not having any of my Doritos either”.

~ Child Number One announces he can’t make his lunch because there’s nothing in the cupboards. I look at the full pantry and wonder if he needs his eyes checked and then point out a bunch of things he could fill his lunchbox with. He sighs and rolls his eyes. Apparently all he wants is Doritos.

~ Child Number Two tries to sneak out the door without brushing his teeth or washing his face.

~ Child Number Three is still eating breakfast.

~ I visualize throwing the clock out the window. In my mind’s eye it shatters into a thousand pieces and makes a wonderful echoing sound.

~ Child Number One leaves on his bike without a jacket, despite the rain, and despite my telling him three times to put one on. He yells something nasty once more as he goes out the door.

~ I start thinking about boot camp.

~ Child Number Two thinks he left his lunchbox at school on Friday. All our lunchbox sized containers have mysteriously disappeared and I suspect they’re outside in the garden somewhere being used to house “scientific experiments”. He will have to use an ice cream container.

~ Child Number Two leaves on his bike, I look at the clock and relax a little bit knowing he’s going to get to school on time, then look at Child Number Three who is sitting in front of the fire in her pyjamas.

~ Child Number Three finally finishes her breakfast and is sent off to brush her teeth and wash her face when Child Number One turns up, announcing that he needs a ride or he’s never going to make it to school in time. I try explaining that if he’d kept going rather than turning around and coming back home he would have made it in time, but he’s always right so my words fall on deaf ears. I explain that I’ll have to drop Child Number Three off first and so he’ll be late anyway, but he’s made up his mind, and “whatever, who cares”.

~ Finally dressed and ready to go, we head to the car. The dog, who’s rolled in the mud and is covered in it, jumps up on Child Number One in his school uniform. I die a little inside.

~ Child Number Three arrives at school ten minutes after the bell. I try and smile at the teacher in a way that somehow shows her the kind of morning it’s been, but she just looks at me, looks at her watch, and looks back at me again. I’m glad she has no idea there’s another kid waiting outside in the car who is still not at school yet.

~ Child Number One arrives at school fifteen minutes after the bell and has to be dropped off at the office. I visualise pushing him out of the car and taking off at high speed.

~ I realise it’s only Monday. O.M.G.

~ I arrive home and reheat my coffee in the microwave. I close all the curtains so that if any visitors show up in the next little while I can stay quiet and pretend I’m not home.

~ I sit down and write a blog post about my hellish morning in an attempt to make light of it so that I won’t remain in a stressed out, grumpy mood for the rest of the day. It helps.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Get Away, Darkness

Things have been a little tough for me lately.  Being pregnant is actually a lot harder this time around. I’m gaining weight already, tired all the time and moody and just generally pretty blah. I tell myself that this baby is kicking my butt because it’s strong and healthy, which is true, but mostly the reason I’m struggling so much is because I’ve had to go off my depression medication for a while. It was either stop taking it or risk the baby developing a heart condition. Wasn’t really a tough choice.

But even though the choice was easy, dealing with the symptoms of depression is not. Suddenly I remember why I went to the doctor for medication in the first place. I can’t concentrate or think straight, my mind races most of the time and it’s exhausting. I can’t seem to keep up with the housework because every little task takes so much longer, since I can’t focus long enough to know what I’m supposed to be doing. So I have a constant mountain of washing to do, there’s always dishes piled on the sink and the house looks pretty much like a bomb’s hit it. It’s depressing, but every little thing requires so much effort that I feel like I’ve run a marathon pretty much every minute of the day. So I’m constantly trying and failing when it comes to the state of the house.

And the worst part is, grumpy Mum is back. Grumpy mum who flies off the handle over stupid things, and takes every little child’s tantrum personally and just can’t cope with the kids. I hate grumpy mum.  I hate that I’m aware of her but can’t seem to put a lid on her, especially in that morning rush before school.

It’s not all bad. I’m making sure to get one on one time with each of the kids so that there are moments of joy and peace where they get to connect with Normal Mum. I’ve been open with them, explaining my illness and how it affects me. And Hubby is being a great support, reminding me to be realistic about what I can manage, and giving me rest when I need it. He helps with the housework (which actually makes me feel worse, but I appreciate the thought...) and cooking, and doesn’t say anything about what hasn’t been done that day, even though he’s a major clean freak.

So I’m surviving, but seriously needed to vent a little bit, to just get it out so all the guilty feelings about being inadequate and useless are actually on the outside of me for once, instead of rolling around inside my head over and over again.

Get away from me, Darkness.
Come fill me, Light.
Fire of God
Within me ignite.

Quit now, Discouragement.
Run away, Fear.
I may be damaged
But Faith can repair.

Surround me now, Stillness.
Draw nearer, Peace.
Leave me now, Sorrow.
Anxiety, cease.

Eyes, lift your focus.
Turn back towards the Son.
Soul, keep momentum
Towards the beautiful horizon.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

5 weeks

I met my midwife today, she's totally lovely, very laid back and cruisy which is what I need from a midwife, so I'm happy. Then this afternoon had a scan to find out my estimated due date, which is 20 June 2011. Good times.
So I'm about 5 weeks along, which is very surprising as we thought I was further along than that. I've been feeling unwell for weeks already, although this week it has stepped up a notch. I can tell the time of day by how nauseous I am now (if I'm ready to puke and the couch is looking cosy it must be somewhere between 1.30 and 2pm). The very worst part though is not being able to think straight lol my head is all over the place (even as I type this I get halfway through a sentence and forget what the heck I was going to say!) So please forgive me if my posts ramble on at times or make little sense or just tell you a bunch of things that you didn't want to know. Or if a sentence or subject doesn't really have any connection to the one that came before it.

You'll understand, right?

Anyway so the midwife (did I mention I really like her?) she gave me a Bounty pack, as they do, when you are pregnant in NZ. It's basically a little information pack, with some discount vouchers and a few freebies thrown in. I was flipping through the "Your Pregnancy" book, and actually was surprised by how much of it seemed unfamiliar. It was a long time ago that I was pregnant, and some things have changed. These days they want to test for down syndrome and as well as taking folic acid and iron, you take iodine supplements too. Prams look like you need a licence to operate them and there's about a million different products you 'need' to make breastfeeding easier. When I had my babies your boobs were all you needed. And it helped if you sat near a water cooler cos ya got thirsty.

Well, I just got a txt that my mum wants me to call her, so better go.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pregnant Again!

Yes, that's right, I'm pregnant...again. Apparently it was obvious to everyone but me. Even my doctor laughed at me, although it did take some effort to convince me I was in fact 100% pregnant, despite four positive pregnancy tests. 

So the family are all buzzing with excitement right now - and I gotta say sometimes their excitement is a little annoying (lol) - it's hard to be excited while fighting the urge to throw up. Not that a new baby wouldn't be a wonderful thing, I just find it hard to focus on anything other than nausea at the moment!

And I'm very aware that I'm 30 this time, and not 24. I feel ollllld and already heavy and so very unsure of myself. It was 6 years ago that I had my last baby.

And my head is slow and I'm all ditzy and forgetful, which hubby thinks is adorable but I find very frustrating! Preggy brain sucks! (Although it could make for some very random blog posts in the next few weeks.)

But our family is growing. Apparently I am not past my use-by date yet. Good to know.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Better Story

So I've been reading this book:
for the last week or so. It's about how the elements of story, as considered from the writer's perspective, can also be applied to the creation of our life's story. Kind of. That's really over-summarising a bit, but you get the idea.

Anyway so I've been reading this book. Just slowly chewing through Part One. And I've been thinking that when we don't like the story we're in we can change it.

I don't like the story I'm in right now. I'm pretty sure my husband doesn't like the story we're in either, or he wouldn't be so busy trying to be the hero in a different story. So my prayer for this week is: Help me, God, to create a better story for myself and my family. A story that provides a role for all of us.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I want to say thanks to those of you who have sent messages of love and prayers over the past few months that I have been MIA. Even when I failed to reply your messages were read and appreciated.
Things have been...rough. I wish I could say that I'm coming through the other side of the tunnel now, but the truth is I'm still flailing about in the dark trying to figure out which direction I should be going.
Last week my hometown Christchurch experienced a magnitude 7.1 earthquake. I am grateful to God that no one died as a result, as some of the stories, pictures and video footage coming out of Christchurch has been shocking.

As I look at my beautiful, broken home city, I feel so sad knowing that this quake has changed the city forever. Holes in the earth, houses and buildings falling down, some damaged beyond repair and having to be torn down by demolition crews. My home, like a symbol of my whole life, destroyed beyond recognition.

My world came crashing down around me long before the earthquake. Someone took everything I knew and loved and shook it all up to such a degree that nothing will ever quite be the same again. Now I'm standing in the ruins, trying to gauge what can be restored out of this mess. I'm so afraid there might be nothing left.

As Christchurch rebuilds, I will be too. But before I can rebuild I, like the city, need to clear out the rubble left behind by the big shake, need to assess what is still strong enough to hold on to, and what parts need to be let go of.

It all looks like rubble right now, it all looks damaged. It's so hard to see anything but the cracks. They were not there before, now they're a part of what I've spent so long building, and they're weakening the whole structure. Every aftershock that comes is causing a little more damage. What if the next one, however small, brings the whole thing down?

I'll survive. We all will.
It's just tough picking up the pieces of a life so carefully put together.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Things That Don't Suck

My poor little bloggy, how I have neglected you!
It’s been chaotic and pretty darn tough around here lately, so I haven’t much felt like blogging. Or rather, I have felt like blogging, but didn’t think I could come up with anything worth blogging about. I’m clinically depressed - I think my life sucks.

So, just for thrills, I’ve decided to just write a post about the things that don’t suck about my life right now. Because I’m sick of thinking about the problems, which mostly aren’t real anyway, but they seem real, because of the depression. So here goes:

Things That Don’t Suck About My Life Right Now (in no particular order):

Hubby and I went through a rough patch for a while, and I wasn’t even sure if we were going to make it. But lately it seems that we’re finally past that and our relationship is strong again. We’re communicating better, he’s sexier than ever and I’m totally in love with him. He’s been a major support to me too, which is great, because I feel a bit like the bottom’s fallen out of my world (or my brain) and only a decent hubby could be so cruisy as he has been with my weekly trips to the doctor, new meds, brain farts and tearing up over a broken zip. LOL!

Also, I met this guy recently who, although he’s a cool guy and a great friend he’s got serious issues and has cheated on his girlfriend so many times they’ve lost count! Nothing like meeting a guy like that to give you a little perspective eh?

Teachers Who Care
Boy is doing SO well at school this year, and is actually SMILING a lot more, it’s fantastic to see. His teacher this year is without a doubt, an answer to prayer. She seems to understand already that he’s a boy who responds best to praise, that words stick in his mind so you have to be careful with what words you speak to him, and that he will do well at school if he gets regular encouragement and one on one conversation. Last year he struggled, his teacher was quite old school, and so during the holidays I prayed a LOT about his teacher for this year, because by the end of the year I felt his spirit had been crushed a little bit. Not that she was mean to him, just that her way of doing things didn’t match up to his needs. She would point out the things he needed to work on a lot more than what he was doing well at, because she thought this was the way to get more out of him. He worked hard to impress, but always felt like a failure, because when he improved on one thing, she’d point out another thing he could improve on. This year’s teacher seems to know every little thing he’s interested in, tells him that he’s good, he’s wise, he’s funny, he’s good at things, and actually leaves him little notes in his homework book that says things like: “You were so great on athletics day” and “It’s been great getting to know you these last few weeks.” Maybe these little notes don’t seem like a big deal to her, but his face absolutely lights up when he reads them, and they have become the highlight of his week. Thanks God, for teachers who care.

Crazy Chick Friends
I know I’ve already mentioned T, but this chick is definitely something that doesn’t suck about my life right now. I love that she’s the sort of person I can cry with, and talk things over with, but also laugh with. She’s mature enough that I can tell her honestly how much I’m struggling with the depression right now, and she’ll come over and rip the curtains open and force me off the couch. “What have we got to do today?”

Then again she’ll also get drunk and come up with a dance routine called “The Pelican” which I have yet to actually see without her falling in a giggling mess on the floor, but I gather involves a lot of flapping and some jazz hands.

I love a crazy chick who is mature enough to cope with my mess of a brain, but not afraid to do immature things because I need that too.

~ Moments with Wiseguy, when he shares with me the surprisingly grown-up thoughts that swim around in his head these days.

~ Watching Princess get greeted by group hugs when she arrives at school every morning. Her small class is like a little family.

~ I’m on the old Telecom network, so the problems with XT have not affected me.

~ My mental health worker is awesome. She actually listens and gives great advice.

~ Cadbury Fudge Duets.

~ Hubby’s beef stew. Mmmmmm.

~ Coffee. Always coffee.

OK so now I’m just talking about food and drink. I guess I’m hungry.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Back to school

So the kids have had their first couple of weeks back at school and I’m stoked about how much they are loving their new classes. Wiseguy especially, who loves his new school SO MUCH he can’t stop talking about it, and when I woke up Saturday morning to find him doing his homework and he saw the SHOCK on my face he said “I love homework”. I had no words. (It gets even better – he actually thanked me for sewing his name onto his socks! All I could think was ‘who are you and where is my son?’) So I’m loving the fact that the school year has gotten off to a reasonably smooth(ish) start. Even if for the first week I felt like I’d been run over by a bus because I had sooo gotten out of the early morning routine! Only a small bus.

It’s been so good being able to have adult conversations with actual adult people. Not that my kids are boring or anything, they just aren’t GIRLFRIENDS.

So I’m thanking God this week for my newish friend T, because even though we met less than a year ago, it feels as though we’ve known each other forever. T is the mother of my oldest child’s BFF, that’s how we met originally, although it’s hard to tell that now because the kids aren’t always around when we get together. They used to be the whole reason why we talked, now the fact that they get along is just a bonus, and the boys love it because they get to hang out more at each other’s houses.

I’m also thanking God for the great time we had at church yesterday. Truth is, we haven’t been to church in a while, mostly because we hadn’t found a place that appeals to all 5 of us. We’d looked around, and thought we’d decided on a church, and then we decided to go back to the other one...ended up not going at all because we weren’t comfortable there and didn’t want to be church-hopping. When we discussed it we decided that we were just being proud, and that going back again was probably better than not going at all. And our kids love it, the people are nice and the children’s ministry is excellent. And it starts at 11am so we actually arrive on time without ever having to get stressed at the kids. We have a rule on Sunday mornings, no yelling at each other and then going to church and acting like a happy family lol, so I guess we are late for church a lot. But we decided years ago it’s better to be late than mean and fake. Which is harder for Hubby than me because punctuality is very important to him.

My wee princess starts touch rugby this week, she signed up to play for her school and it’s her first time playing so should be interesting to see how she goes. And oldest son (who is home sick from school today, nasty migraine ugh!) has signed up for a science badge. Are these really my kids?

Anyway this has been a pretty boring, unexciting post, but I wanted to update it just cos it’s been so long. Maybe I’ll win lotto or the Nobel peace prize and the next post will be better.
Here’s hoping!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Change or expire

I’ve been so terrible when it comes to updating this blog. I’m not even really sure why I post so sporadically, but hopefully once the kids are back at school and we get back into a more normal routine, I will find the time for me again.

Tomorrow is the last day of the summer holidays. Not that it’s been much of a summer, although I admit the last couple of weeks we’ve had great weather.

So the kids are almost ready to go back to school. I say almost because I still have the last few books sitting on the kitchen table in need of covering. I’ve been avoiding them all day. I hate covering books with duraseal. 

Wiseguy is off to Junior High School this year, leaving me to feel like I have nothing left that is familiar anymore. Moving here has been one giant constant change. New home, new schools, new friends, new kindy, and now a new year and another new school and it seems like a new child, he’s so different these days. They all are. Princess was 3 when we moved here, now she’s 5 and independent and rolls her eyes at me and has a social life. Boy was 6 and liked cuddles and bedtime stories, now he’s 8 and cares about Playstation, recycling, animals and apparently wearing the same clothes day after day. He hates it when I read to him in bed because it interrupts the book he was reading to himself. And Wiseguy, oh boy, he is just a big bundle of quick-witted insults, hurled with hilarity at whoever dared to speak or look in his direction. He was 9 when we moved here, now he’s going on 12 and expects the whole world to accommodate his rollercoaster of moods which can vary and change like traffic lights. He is all of a sudden ‘cool’ and I am ‘uncool’ and doesn’t want to consider the fact that I might have been ‘cool’ once before but I gave it all up years ago. That there’s only so many times you can rush away from a party or an event early because “I’ve been pooped on/thrown up on and it’s smelly and starting to stain” and still maintain your ‘coolness’ factor.

We’ve gone from this:

To this:

And from this:

To this:

This was my baby: 

Now this:

And Hubby and I? From this:
To this:

Ok that’s an exaggeration. But it feels true. We just celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary.

(I use the word ‘celebrated’ loosely. We acknowledged it, but did absolutely nothing to celebrate it. Why break ten years of tradition?)

It’s been a long two years in Invercargill and I’m homesick. I’m homesick for the closeness that we had as a family before, and homesick for my sisters and my mum, and homesick for the church family we left behind. And I’m sad because even if we packed up and moved back home, it’s not the same anymore, and neither are we. And I’m aware that this change was what we needed, was why we moved here. I agree with Don Miller when he says in his book ‘Through Painted Deserts’: Everybody has to change or they expire. Everybody has to leave, everybody has to leave their home and come back so they can love it again for all new reasons. I want to keep my soul fertile for the changes, so things keep getting born in me, so things keep dying when it is time for things to die. 

But death so often leaves someone mourning. And for someone like me, who at times is hounded by depression, so much change can open doors to a dark place that if you’re not careful can easily swallow you whole. I can’t do it again, the familiar downwards spiral. I am the Mum here, and they need me to keep pressing on. So I do, but in the deep, honest part of me, eating away, is the thought that I fight now with so little hope left, that I fight to survive knowing that even if I do I’ll never be truly happy here.

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