Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Day I Stopped Sleeping

Yea right!
My mom tells me the story that when it was nap time that she would lay down and say that she needed me to keep her back warm.  So I would snuggle up against her back and we would go to sleep.  Mom says I was a GREAT napper.
I was never one to sleep really late in the mornings, probably because my mother would pretend to be playing revele if it got too late and she would want us to get up.  BUT, I did sleep well and I would awake pretty much refreshed.

Then I got married.  That was November 30, 1972.  I married a return missionary who was still waking up early and saying crazy things like, "I feel great!  I am ready for the day!" etc.  It might not have been so bad if I hadn't worked swing shift and didn't get off work until 1215 a.m.  Of course, I did ride the bus to work and so he was up until late to come to pick me up, but still!

He also snored, for 36 years until he stopped.

Then a year and a half after we got married I had a baby.  In fact, I had babies in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1980, 1983, and 1985.  You all know that when you have babies you don't sleep.  By the time the last baby came along Robert was off on assignment 5-6 days a week until late, and we had a budding teenager who didn't drive yet but had to get places.

There were also callings at Church that needed attention which often was done early morning or late at night.  Sewing, laundry, housecleaning, and even having fun sometimes.

Then the teenage years arrived in force.  Dances which ended late, football and basketball games, friends coming over, going to friends houses.  Slumber parties.  Luckily I nipped that one in the bud early and limited the number.

Here's a story.  One year it was Amanda's turn to have a slumber party for her birthday.  I think it was her 12th birthday.  We had a house full of pre-teen, hormonal girls.  They stayed up ALL NIGHT.  And so did I. They made noise and they argued, etc. etc.  Amanda's birthday is close to Mother's Day.  So after the girls finally all left Robert was taking me to the mall to find a dress which was our tradition at the time.  We stopped to get gas and I crawled to the back of the van to lay down.  I fell instantly asleep and probably had only been asleep for a minute or two when I woke up.  I was totally freaked out because I didn't know where I was, I didn't know where Robert was, and I thought I had been abandoned or something.  That's what happens to me when I stay up all night, I guess.

I also asked my mom what she did to get us around because she actually was awake all night during the week because she worked grave shift.  She said she would take us places and then wait in the car and sleep. She also took books with her to read.  So when the kids had appointments once I got them in and going.  I went back out to the car and had told them to let me know when the dentist wanted me to come in and see the results.  Instantly I was asleep and when the hygienist came out and got me I was also confused and it took me a minute to figure out what was going on.

Needless to say I didn't go sleep in the car anymore.

When seminary started (early morning seminary) we were up at 5 a.m. doing family scripture reading and breakfast.  If you do the years you will see that I did that from 1988 to 2003.  When I drove the kids I would walk around the church neighborhood and/or read in the car or sleep sometimes, but I was leary of it.

In 1992 I started a part time job.  Or it may have been 1991.  Anyway, that subtracted time from when I could do Church responsibilities and housework.  Hence less sleep.  Then I started working full time in 1995.  What was I thinking?  Every few months I would get home from work at 5, tell them all what they needed to do for dinner and crash.  Robert was still gone alot and alot fell to my shoulders.  Less Sleep.

When the kids were younger we had nap time on Sundays.  It was heaven.  We did have a few mishaps, like the time that Jared left the house when he was three years old on Sunday when we were all asleep.  When we woke up we didn't know how long he was gone.  Robert took off in the car and I stayed home with the girls and in case he came home.  I kept hoping that since we lived on an Air Force Base that the APs wouldn't let a little boy leave the facility by himself.  Then the phone rang and one of the sisters at church said that she had looked out her window and saw Jared.  She told her son she thought that was the little Ottley boy.  So they brought him in and Robert went to get him when he got home.  Of course, he was still freaked out because he didn't know what had transpired.

As the kids got older they didn't want to nap but they still had quiet time or we spread out a blanket on the living room floor and Robert told them stories while I slept on the couch.

Next stage is young adults living in the home.  They think that because they were off at school for a while that they don't have a curfew anymore.  So they were leaving at 8 p.m. and getting home at 4 a.m. I tried to convince them that it was't a good idea and that even though they were "adults" that I still worried and I still couldn't sleep.

Now they have all been out of the house for quite a while.  And they have started to reproduce.  15 now and 1 more on the way, plus four spouses.  Adult problems are worse than child problems. At least it has been so for me.  But adults lose jobs, have their family members have problems.  So many nights I am awake at 2 a.m. worrying about jobs, schooling, homes, sicknesses, and sadnesses of 19 more people than I started out with.  Somebody give me a pill!!!

Now I am getting old and I have aches and pains and restless leg syndrome and insomnia for no apparent reason.  There is also Facebook and this Blog which tend to keep me up.  At least I retired in February and if I absolutely need to I can at least lie down in the middle of the day.  But whomever thought that retirement meant having nothing to do but sit on the beach and nap never retired!

This hasn't been the best description of my lack of sleep.  And I know I have left out lots of activities that keep me awake.

Just please don't call me to teach early morning seminary.  I will stick with the Sunbeams, thank you very much!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Getting Organized

Reasons for stacks.
1.  Difficulty making decisions
2.  Inadequate files
3.  If it is in front of me, I won't forget it.
4.  Fear - if it is filed it may never be seen again

Before I save something I ask the following questions:
1.  Does it make me money, save me money, or improve the quality of my life?
2.  When was the last time I used this?
3.  How likely am I to use this in the future?
4.  Do I need that many copies?
5.  Is it even relevant to my life any more?
6.  Is it replaceable?  Does it have historic value?  Sentimental value?
7.  What is the worst thing that would happen if I threw it away?

The office looked pretty bad.  Then it looked worse.  Then it looked better as in the pictures above. Then it looked worse again.  Right now it is pretty good.  But it is going to look bad again, and soon.  New carpet is being installed upstairs and in the basement on Thursday.  So everything in those rooms needs to go somewhere while the carpet is being installed.  The plan is not to put everything back where it was.  The plan is to get rid of the majority of it.

I am having a great time throwing things out, shredding papers, and planning the future look of the rooms after they are truly simplified.  It took me a while to get comfortable with getting rid of what feels like my whole life.  

It's going to be heaven.  Then we will sell the house.  :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Week With Grandchildren

I am really far behind on what I want my blog to be doing for me.  I have been seeing lots of articles on being a Latter-day Saint/Mormon and blogging.  Evidently a whole group of women and maybe some men, read "Young Mormon Mother" blogs.  That was a funny one.  Do they secretly wish they had that kind of life?  Whatever that kind of life means.  There was also one comment on Facebook about being a married person and needing to blog because one is a married person.

Maybe I should be asking people who blog why they blog and when and etc. 
In Mormon Times there was an article from a woman who has worked for 10 years creating a blog about non-traditional Mormon women.  Once again, whatever non-traditional means. (One would think it means: Working outside the home, not a quilter, no homemaking skills, no children, business owner, not married, etc?  It would help if I looked at the blog to get the answer, hummmm?)

In that article there was a reference regarding Elder John Carmack's grandmother and her continuing education after leaving school at the end of her 8th grade year.  She journaled furiously, wrote books, etc, etc.  Maybe that is what I hope to get out of blogging....a continuing education for myself.

Enough of the serious stuff. Here's a portion of my continuing education and I am going to blog about it!

A Week with Grandchildren

On March 3, 2011 at a dreadfully early hour, Bob dropped me off at the Southwest Airlines door to board a plane to spend a little over a week tending some of my grandchildren.  They are ages 9 down to 2 years old.  Four of them.
In my luggage was enough yarn to choke a horse and keeping me happily crocheting for a month, my kindle with lots of classics to expand my reading levels, a couple of DVDs and exercise clothes.  I checked two bags because on Southwest you can still do that with no extra charges.  
In 30 minutes or so a few people started showing up.  And lo and behold a sister from my stake also showed up.  I waved and she sat down to chat until they called our flight.  She was heading off to a 80th birthday party and a funeral.  When I confessed that I was going to tend grandchildren she actually EXCLAIMED,  "Oh MY!!  I will PRAY for you!!"  Then she told me that when she is working at the temple one of the topics is how hard it is to tend grandchildren and how children do not understand the difficulty.  She also confided that for the last four days she had two teenage grandchildren in her home and it was all that she could do to get dinner on the table.  It was all so exhausting.  
Since this was coming from a woman who had spent her career in education I thought that maybe my fears were a little founded.  
My youngest child is 25 years old soon to be 26.  I have managed to avoid changing messy diapers for the whole 9+ years and 15 grandchildren born in our family.  Now I was looking at a 2 year old who was willing but too short to be potty trained.  There was also a 9 year old pre-teen, a 7 year old, and a ROWDY 6 year old.  Not to mention a 6 month old puppy.  
Oh, Dear!

Outcome:  I was exhausted when I finally made it home 9 days later.  The following week contained going back to bed once Bob left for work and naps!  In fact, I could barely function in Church the next day and.... I teach Sunbeams who really gave me a run for my money.
My yarn, kindle, DVDs, and exercise clothes never saw the light of day during those 9 days.
I realized that I was out of practice as a mother of young children and could do a much better job as a Grammie.
One out-of-practice grandma vs 4 lively grandchildren gives the children an unfair advantage.
The dog is very cute but he scared me to death when he escaped and ran in the street!  How could I lose the dog and maybe even worse?
And the there is this....
I loved, loved, loved being with my grandchildren.  It was wonderful to get to know them better and to see their individual personalities shining through.  
I was able to see and visit with 9 others while there.  
My one daughter who lives in town came to "visit" with me and gave me moral support while I was "the mom."  Thank you!
My daughter-in-law who also lives there kindly asked us if we wanted to come spend one evening swimming while their family had a mini-vacation at a Residence Inn.  (Approved by the hotel.) Thank you also!

              Side note:  One of the mini-vacation grandchildren tried to drown himself and I             was responsible for all 10 grandchildren who were present for an hour.  It seemed like and hour or more. I kept counting 10 heads in the pool every minute or so.  I had them all while my daughter-in-law tried to find a store with rice so she could perhaps save her brand new iPhone which had been soaked in chlorine water when she jumped in the water to save her son.  The sacrifice was worth saving a handsome blond grandson. (The rice didn't work, but the store gave her a new one for free!!)  

I was able to allow my daughter and her husband to go on a cruise for their 10th anniversary.  Thank you to  me!
I was able to get to know my grandchildren better.  Sigh.
I was able to appreciate that I am the Grammie and not the parent.  I did that job all ready.

Well, they say "you will never know until you try it."

And I tried it!!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Dancing With My Granddaughter

Just a few minutes this evening dancing with my youngest granddaughter.  It was a sweet moment.

Later I put her to bed where she talked to herself for along time.

She had probably been asleep for a couple of hours when she started crying and wanted to get up.  I made her a sippy cup but told her she would have to go back to bed soon.

She adamantly told me NO.  Now she is snoring again on the couch.

I hope I can get her to bed because I am very tired.  Not such a sweet moment.

Maybe you thought this was going to be a poetic post?  It sounds like it.... Dancing With My Granddaughter.  Sorry maybe another time.