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.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Christmas Card & A Happy New Year to All

Here is our Christmas card for 2008! I attempted to send some out and I am sure they were late. (And when our hard drive crashed this summer, I lost a lot of addresses!) It's the effort that counts right?

We hope everyone enjoyed their holidays. We were sure glad to have Mason at home with us this Christmas, rather than in the PICU like last year. His sweet smile brightens up our home everyday! Mason's biggest present was a molar that came through and one more molar swollen trying to come through on Christmas Eve,(that would be a 2 year old molar along with just his bottom two teeth, not quite the right order, but Mason likes to take the unexpected route). That made for a long night, especially mixed in with how busy that night already is.

All of our kiddos had a wonderful Christmas and a fun holiday break. They spent lots of time with cousins and friends sledding, playing roller hockey, riding rip-sticks and scooters in the basement (too snowy outside), and playing Rock Band (that's what Santa brought). It was difficult to visit with all the family and friends this year as I would have liked to, but Mason's health is still delicate and because it is RSV season I have to be so careful. My main concern are large crowds, especially indoors, and lots of children. We have about 50 nieces & nephews who all love Mason and I hope they understand he's just not ready for all the germs yet. (When will he be is my question???)

Besides trying to balance out extended family time and Mason's health which can be stressful, Christmas was wonderful. It was a special time for our family to think about Jesus' birth and His exemplary life. As a family we know we felt His helping hand in our lives this last year. He gave us hope and lifted us up during our saddest, most difficult moments. We hope this new year brings a healthy year for Mason as well as a very happy year for all our dear friends and family.

Here are some cute pictures from the Sunday
before Christmas and Christmas day:

(Notice Mason's Christmas jammies.
They say "I'm one tough cookie"
and that he certainly is!!!)

During the holidays we also went
to see the Christmas lights at Temple Square.
It was very cold, but absolutely beautiful!

A small update:

The day after Cristmas Mason had a checkup (he was almost 13 months). He weighed 15 lbs 6 oz and his lungs were clearer than they had ever been! Yay! He also has a new trick. He's not crawling, but scooting on his bum. Usually he just scoots him self in a circle and leans over as far as he can to reach toys. I am trying to teach him to crawl (I learned that back when Ammon was in therapy), but he doesn't really like it yet. As I already know, every kid comes with his own agenda.

Happy New Year!