Friday, January 16, 2009

Three Ring Circus

Three Ring Circus = The Strickland Home at 2 am!

Now don't get me wrong I would choose no other career than the one I have right now; Motherhood. But somethings I could have never fathomed would be part of my life as a mother. I did a lot of babysitting growing up (Thanks especially to the Larks and anyone else who could sneak and schedule me first and then have to answer to Dad Lark! ) and I also took care of my two baby brothers quite often in my teenage years (they didn't appreciate having 2 mothers I am sure!), and had a lot of all-nighters in college studying for finals, but nothing prepared me for multitasking a three ring circus in the wee hours of the night!

If any of you saw "Marley and Me" that is so my life x 10,. Just add two more kids and take out the dog, but My dear Ammon alone has more energy than Marley the dog plus the three kids in that movie! And needless to say Mark has the same talent as the Dad in that movie. It is an incredible talent to sleep through ANYTHING! (Kids always want Mom in the middle of the night anyways!) Although I can sort of wake him up and put one of the kids in bed with him while I help another kiddo, cleanup throw-up, walk Mason to sleep until I can put him in the swing etc... But this week to add to the 2 am Circus, Mark is out of town on business, so if Ammon happens to wake up Mark can't keep him in bed for me while I "multitask" my other kiddos' wee hour needs!

So imagine Mr. Energy (Ammon) and Mason on my hip during
all of the following:

1) Ammon's sleep meds don't seem to be working. He now wakes up at 2am ready to play!
2) Mason has the stomach flu Monday and Tuesday. (Thank goodness it is
not respiratory.)
3) I (Mom) have the stomach flu Tuesday and Wednesday.
4) Mason still thinks I need to hold him all night, except for an occasional 1 or 2
hours he might sleep in his own bed. (I still don't let him cry it out 'cuz of his
broken heart!)
5) Braiden gets sick Thursday and literally throws-up and is on the toilet all
night long (he got it the worst so far)
6) Mason gets another tooth Thursday night. (That means he gets even less sleep than normal)
7) Washing bedding, clothing, and carpet in the wee hours.
8) Rub upset tummies and serve saltines & 7-up.

So what do you do? Wake up sleeping kids to help? Turn on the T.V. in the family room at 2 am for entertainment? Rock Mason and Ammon at the same time? Go Crazy? Well, yes! A little bit of all the mentioned along with some creativity! And when the sun comes up....Mom is ready for bed!

Someday I hope, when my kids are all teenagers I can look back and say this is nothing compared to their early years. And it better not be the other way around, "oh, that was nothing when they were younger compared to now when they are teenagers"!!! My patients may well be spent by then!

Okay so its been "one of those weeks", but I wouldn't trade being a mother for anything. Although, an easy day everyone once in awhile would sure be welcomed. And I am grateful Mason's not in the hospital and has not had any respiratory sickies for awhile now. We go for a heart checkup in February, but as far as I can tell he is doing well.

Goodbye for now. We need a nap.


Camille Bailey Aagard said...

Summer! AAACK! That is just too much. WAAAAAAAYYYYYY too much. Like, you need more sleep than that to function. I would be a combination of crying in a puddle and angry at everyone. I've been through years of Jessy's disturbed sleep (unbelievable how these kids can't sleep, on top of everything else). When I realized that her hyperactivity meds were messing with her sleep, I took her off of them. Yes, she is really really hyper during the day, but she sleeps from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. consistently now, often times without waking up. If she does wake up, I can verbally prompt her back to bed from my bed, and she'll turn around and go back upstairs and get in bed. I CANNOT imagine having a continuously sick baby who doesn't sleep on top of all that. YOU NEED HELP. Can I help you locate some more assistance?

Heather said...

Wish I lived closer so I could help! I hope Mark is coming home soon so you at least can sneak off to the bathroom by yourself.

queenieweenie said...

Oh girl...hang in there. It DOES get easier.

Erin Goff said...

Hey, what can I do! Let me know. Can I take kids to church for you?

Michele said...

Oh Summer!!!! I can't believe what you are dealing with on a daily basis!!! I'm really surprised you haven't CRACKED!! Hang in there, it feels like this challenging time will go on FOREVER but hopefully someday it will get better!!!

Rachel Lund said...

Oh Summer, that is crazy!!! And that is what these blog journals are for--so you can record all the craziness and you will look back on it and realize how tough and amazing you are! When Mark gets home, at least have him take you out for a break, or have him take over and you go take a nap!! Sometimes that seems like the best treat of all!

Stephanie said...

Summer, you are amazing!

Hilary said...

Random stranger here :-) . . . I just had to say I could so sympathize with you. My first baby NEVER slept (for the first about 16 months), and I remember just becoming the living dead after the first month or so. After the first few weeks I would sing her the "ABCs" instead of lullaby's, because in my sleep deprived state I couldn't remember a single lullaby, song, hymn, nursery rhyme . . . then one day I was singing it, got to "E-F-G-" and COULD NOT remember what came next! I had no idea anyone could ever be so tired they couldn't remember their ABCs! :-) I called my husband sobbing uncontrollably and told him it'd taken me far to long to come up with the letter that came after G and he needed to come home from work and hold the baby while I got a nap :-)
Good luck! I have no advice, just empathy! :-)
Your family is gorgeous!

Mandee said...

next time... call me. even if it's at 2am.

Stephanie said...

My parents were no dummies!! They had to have the BEST babysitter on the block!! We love you just as much now as we did then....actually more because of the wonderful example you set of selflessness and service. Keep up the good (and exhausting) work! I know you're being blessed for all you do...