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The Day Turned Upside Down

July 1, 2010

This is what summer looks like at our house this year:

DH works the swing shift–2:30 to 12:30.  We hate it, at least at this point in our lives.  He worked that shift when A was a baby and we loved it then.  No matter what kind of a night we had, he could always sleep in until noon if need be and get back to work by 2:00.  A and I could keep quiet around the house and it just worked out.

Now…not so much.  On a normal schedule, he would go to work, come home, eat, play with the boys, relax, head to bed, and then get up to go to work again.  Now he tries to come home and go right to bed, but his body just doesn’t want to do that.  It wants to stay up, eat, play, and relax like normal before sleeping again.

I try to go to bed early (which has always been a challenge for me) because there’s no telling what kind of a night E will have.  It’s also a challenge to get the boys to bed on time when DH’s not here (sunshine at 9 p.m. doesn’t help either) and I need a certain amount of quiet-nobody-talk-to-me time before I can go to bed.  And some days it feels like DH and I hardly see each other or get a chance to talk and I miss him so I stay up until 12:30 hoping he’ll come home on time just so we can talk for a moment completely uninterrupted.  Then I know E will be up at 5ish to nurse. (And if we’re lucky he won’t be up at 1:30 and 3:20 as well.  He was like clockwork there for a few weeks–up every 2 hours–it was killing us.)  

The other boys get up early no matter what happens at night.   Somedays there are only a couple hours where all six of us are in bed and asleep at the same time.  Murphy’s Law of course says that DH is the lightest sleeper in the household, so no matter how quiet we are in the morning–and the boys are actually doing great–DH just never gets enough sleep.  It’s crazy!

Then there are mealtimes.  DH was making lunch for us which was wonderful.  But that left me with dinnertime all by myself and I hate it when I cook something and I’m the only one who truly likes it.  (“I don’t like this, it doesn’t taste like Grandma’s.”)  So we’ve tried having our big meal of the day at lunchtime with DH and then having sandwiches in the evening.  I like that, except that I’m back to making lunch again and everyone always seems to need yet another short meal before bedtime.  With nursing E and giving him cereal now, I feel like all I do is feed people around here!

We’ve tried to get creative just to liven things up a bit.  Tonight we had a picnic dinner out on the lawn (in 96-degree heat with the wind blowing.)  The other day we had breakfast for dinner…at lunchtime.  I’ve actually been baking more goodies too, except now the heat is getting up there and I don’t want to use the oven during the day.  No-bake cookie recipes, anyone?

The boys are loving the summer days.  We’ve been trying to go to a park or at least play outside in the morning while it’s cooler and while DH tries to get more sleep. 

We haven’t quite added in math or Latin or anything else we said we were going to do over the summer, but we’re doing really great with our daily scripture reading.  A practices the piano, pores over the road atlas (Did you know there’s a town in New York called Versailles?  Or a Napoleon in Ohio?  Yeah, me neither) and he has a huge jigsaw puzzle out on the table.  We do seem to do more reading aloud in the early evenings when I don’t have a big dinner to clean up and that’s been really nice.  We cleaned the basement room out and it’s now the playroom so I don’t have to deal with that chaos upstairs and now I can see what toys we own…so I can get rid of them.  Seriously, I’m on a massive decluttering kick right now.  We simply own too much stuff. 

I know I’m the little girl who cries wolf about this, but we are going to move this year.  I don’t know when, I don’t know where, but I’m getting rid of the junk.  It’s not moving with us this time.  Last year I was too overwhelmed with morning sickness and just the thought of packing all of our possessions made me want to cry.  This year I am too overwhelmed not to move.  We’ve outgrown this house, we need a yard for these boys, and there’s no better way to declutter than to have to pack up and move everything you own.  So this is the year!  

I’m being ruthless…at least when I can get away with it.  Invariably I throw something away and C (most probably) comes upstairs and says, “You can’t throw that away!!  It’s my treasured__________.”  Fill in the blank–toy, coloring page, piece of junk that I didn’t even remember I owned or loved until I saw it sitting there in the garbage can.  It’s such slow going.  He is so attached to Stuff.  Yes, with a capital S.  It’s that important to him.  He actually teared up when I announced that as much as I would like to play and read and have fun all summer long, my job for the summer was primarily going to be sorting through everything we own and getting rid of Stuff.  “The thought of getting rid of our things just makes me so sad, Mom.”  Do I have a hoarder on my hands?  He’s only seven.  Help!


So I try to keep the boys out of DH’s way so he can sleep in the mornings.  I make lunch.  I have them all afternoon.  We have dinner.  I have them all evening.  And now when I should get back to my cleaning, or get to it in the first place, I’m just…tired.  I was even too exhausted to do any of our “summer of fun” activities this week.  Maybe next week.  We still have two more months on this schedule.  I’ve got to do something to get through these upside down days.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 2, 2010 9:31 am

    C makes me laugh! I would never have guessed that a 7 year old could be so attached to Stuff. I’m also not looking forward to having my cooking compared to the Grandmas’ cooking. As much as I hate to see you guys go, I don’t know how you’ve gone this long with so many boys and so little space.

    Every time we pass the little park, Taelyn says “I wanna see boys.” Thanks for inviting us to come with last time. She loved it!

  2. Stephanie permalink
    July 5, 2010 12:09 am

    Wow, your growing family keeps you very busy.

    We’re going to move in a couple of months too.

    For the same reason as yours, our boys need a yard to play.

    But also we needed one more room so my Mom could come stay with us, so I can take care of her, and my husband has been assigned to an area further north, so the driving time and traffic was too much each day.

    I am in a total decluttering mode right now.

    But I just can’t wait to move.

  3. July 6, 2010 10:56 pm

    Finally got MY computer going! Cute baby! Good luck with decluttering. I’m in that mode too. 5 years of putting things in the basement “to deal with later”… and now my “later” has come!
    Best No Bakes
    2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, 1/2 cup milk, 1/3 cup Hershey’s Cocoa (dutch processed isevenbetter), 1 cup whole oats, 2 cups quick oats, 2/3 cup peanut butter, 2 tsp. vanilla, 1/2-1 cup coconut (optional).
    Measure out: Oats, peanut butter (and optional coconut) and set aside. Line a couple of cookie sheets with foil and set aside. Put sugar, butter, milk and cocoa into a pan and bring to a roiling boil. Take pan off heat and add vanilla. (BTW vanilla makes a very cool reaction) Then add peanut butter and stir until melted. Then add oats (and optional coconut) and mix well. Quickly drop No-Bakes by spoonfuls onto foil covered cookie sheets. Let cool.
    Make them without coconut first… then experiement. 🙂
    Good luck with schedule, summer, de-stuffing, cooking, looking for a house (up here near Rose Park is nice! My friend is moving to a neighborhood west of Redwood road and near the northwest jr. high. :), etc.

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