Wednesday, February 26, 2014

In the Middle of the Night

It's 12:41am and I am wide awake.

I was so tired this afternoon, after working last night and not sleeping enough when I got home before Conor had to be picked up from school. (Tuesdays are early-out days, grrrr.) I went to bed at 8:30pm and only woke up to use the bathroom, but that was enough for the Second Wind to hit. My days and nights are all mixed up. I just ate a slice of pizza, answered some emails, and figured a blog post would be nice. I used to never, ever (past the years of nursing babies, that is) see the wee hours of the night time. Now, I know them well.

I actually love working the night shift. I begin at 6:30pm, as the day nurses wrap up and head home to their families. Mine has been fed dinner and left with last-minute instructions for finishing up homework, chores, and preparing for bedtime.

I love that I drive to work in the opposite direction as traffic. I love that the parking is free for the night shift. I love that most of the doctors go home (at least until we have to call them back for delivery) and things calm down somewhat. I love the stillness outside that surrounds the work of birthing inside. I love that my children are at home sleeping, and that I'm not missing the activities of their days. And I really love the nurses I work with.

Having never been a night person before, all of these discoveries have come as a surprise. In fact, I was even offered a position on the day shift, and I turned it down. Managing my sleep has been the only challenge. I actually schedule it in my planner!  But really, I'm doing okay.

So, now it's 12:50am and I'm thinking of things that need to get done this week in between my working and sleeping:

1. Take Aiden's GPA/Gifted identification paperwork down to the high school he's wanting to get into. (We'll see how that whole thing will work, since it's now a charter and there is no bussing. . . and early morning Seminary is non-negotiable. But for now, we at least do the preparatory steps to see if it's even an option.)

2. Clean my bathroom. Holy. Heavens.

3. Mop the kitchen floor.

4. Dust everything everywhere.

5. Make baked goods in exchange for the work a friend in my ward did sewing all the patches onto Aiden's new Scout uniform.

6. Conor needs a doctor's appointment for a bladder issue he's been having.

7. Taxes need to be done for Lyndsay, Aiden, and me. And then FAFSAs updated.

8. Practice a musical number I'll be singing at a little girl's baptism this weekend.

9. Catch up in my journal. (Ha! Catching up! At least write something.)

10. Prepare for the new songs I have to teach in Primary.

11. Choose recital pieces for my piano students (oh, yeah, I'm still teaching piano!) and get the date and location for that recital nailed down.

The list could go on, but these are the most pressing items. I have books I haven't been able to spend much time reading. I haven't even started my garden, and truthfully, I've even thought about letting it go this season. I have so much to deep clean, declutter, and organize. Projects I'd like to start, or finish. And every day people want to eat. You know how it is. Balancing one's time is one of the great challenges of this life. Lately I'm not sure I've been terrific about it, but what I have been getting better at is allowing myself some grace, for doing the best I can right at this moment, in this season of transition and learning in my life.

My nights used to only be for sleeping, but now I have all kinds of new experiences. Last night I delivered a baby boy and prayed while we worked on him for over three minutes that he'd take his first breath, and later, I sat with a couple I'd come to know over the last week, whose baby was born unexpectedly and will pass away within a few days from a condition they didn't know she had. I marvel that these experiences are mine.

Sometimes, when sleep is difficult to find, I lie in bed and pray. I go through my day with my Heavenly Father and thank Him for bringing me here, allowing me these privileges, and then I ask Him for help with all of the things that I'm struggling with. I pray for each of my children, at length. I ask for clarity and wisdom. And sometimes, I just ask for sleep. Which, though never in excess (like I sometimes wish for), comes according to my needs, like every other blessing.

Now, it is 1:11am. My alarm will go off at 5:30, so I guess it's time to try again.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentine's Day

 roses from Adam

My second favorite holiday! Of course I try to show my love every day, but I really enjoy a chance to amp it up a bit just for fun. If I were to use my romantic life as a barometer, Valentine's Days most of my life would be an utter disappointment, but fortunately, there are so many people to love, and I am an optimist. 

I love to find creative Valentine ideas for the kids' classrooms. This year I only had Conor's class to prepare for, and loved this idea I found on Pinterest. 

We set it up factory style. Adam cut the slits in the tags, I slid the rulers through, and Conor affixed the stickers.


I prepared little gift bags for my kids at home (and mailed one to Dylan). I chose special cards for each of them and wrote my love letter to them inside. Unfortunately, I had to work the night before Valentine's, so I didn't get home in time to make them the traditional pink breakfast, but I left their gift bags for them to find.

Valentine carnage.

The sweet card Conor made for me this year. I love it so much.

And though I should have been sleeping, I couldn't help but bake sugar cookies with the kids after school. (And now I can't stop eating them!)

One of the best Valentine treats a mom could ask for! Lyndsay drove home for the long weekend.

Aiden wanted to do something fun for one of his friends for Valentine's Day. She loves elephants, so we went in search of a cute stuffed friend. This guy fit the bill. We mailed him off with a card.

And she sent a card to him! Boy, did she!

A day full of sweetness.  For that, I am grateful.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Bedroom for Aiden: Part 1

Aiden's a pushy kind of guy, in a very sweet way. Adam's home office has been sitting empty now for a year, and it was over the summer that Aiden started hinting that he'd really, really, really like to have his own room. I was thinking maybe a craft room, but Aiden has always had to share a room, and I recognize that as cozy as I think it is with him sharing a room with Conor, he really has outgrown his twin top bunk and could probably use some privacy. I told him we'd do it gradually and he could plan to have his own room before high school.

The room needed some remodeling. I called a friend to come patch some holes, paint, and replace doors, but months went by without room in his schedule. So, I figured, it will be his room, let's let him learn how to do these things! I bought him patch kits, wall putty, tools, and orange peel texture. He watched YouTube videos and figured it out with pretty good results. Then we went to Lowe's and bought some paint. I loved that he was willing to do the work, and I loved the fact that I was saving money with him doing the work!

I also loved that he was willing to let his little brother help out.

My dad did some professional painting and taught me how to paint. I tried to pass on the skills to Aiden, but the testosterone was flying, patience was out the window, and he had his own ideas, so I closed the door and let him have at his own way. It was safer that way.

Eventually, the walls were painted and he was back to his cheerful self. A day of hard work can actually make a teenage boy cheerful, did you know? He is SO proud. He doesn't have a bed yet, but he moved his desk into the room and is patiently (ahem) awaiting Phase 2 of his new room.