Tuesday, February 22, 2011

When the Going Gets Tough....

the tough organize. We had a snow day today and I used it to get things in order. I took Lily to the doctor for the hacking cough, which turns out to be an ear infection and sinus infection. I called numerous doctors. Caroline now has various teen type doctor appointments over spring break (dermatologist and orthodontist). Rob has an entire day of doctor appt on March 2nd. Keep your fingers crossed.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Her Whole World in Her Hands

I used to love to go to Sunday school when I was little and sing "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands." I loved to picture all the brothers and the sisters, and little bitty babies being held safely in a pair of giant loving hands. I had a green chair at my Gramma's that was shaped like a cupped hand. I imagined it was a lot like that.

These days, I feel like I am holding my small world in my hands. There isn't enough room and I am trying desperately not to drop anyone. For every proud happy moments, I have two heartbreaks. I realize it will get better, but right now, I am so tired and so overwhelmed.

My class is doing better. We are reaching the point in the year when most of them have learned some level of independence. I am still under crazy pressure to get everyone on grade level, but I've decided to keep trying, continue what I am doing with some tweaks, and try not to worry too much.

Caroline has ups and downs. She is working her tail off in school. I don't know many 12 year olds who would by choice work on projects over the weekend in order to not feel rushed during the week. She is still struggling in math. I am so worried that she won't pass her state assessment, which means she'll have to miss half a year of band next year in order to attend remediation. After a few sleepless nights, I decided to hire a tutor for her. It was the best decision. First of all, it gave me a feeling of being able to control an uncontrollable situation. Secondly, it will take some pressure off of Caroline. She is very aware of Rob's health now and I can see the stress of it wearing on her.

Now on to Rob, he aggravates me because to explain everything that is going on with him invades his privacy and worries his father (my chief reader). At this point, though Rob and I so entwined, there is no separating us. When he is feeling bad, I fell bad, when he doesn't sleep, I don't sleep. The more stressed he is, the more I worry, the more i have to pick up the slack. I am running a one man show here and it really can't last much longer. The fact is I am getting older. I am tired and when I am tired, I get impatient, overwhelmed, rundown, sick. I move through my days slowly and deliberately. I know when I'm like this it is so easy to screw things up. My coping is to go slow and steady, check each thing off, make it all work. I have a constant inner dialogue of need to dos and trouble shooting. This dialogue is so loud that I can't function with the normal chaos of my house. I can't cook and do homework and laundry all at once. I fake it and it looks like I am. One night as I was making chili for the school cook off and pizza for dinner and getting ready for girl scouts and laundry and dishes, Caroline remarked that I am able to get more done in one night than most stay at home mothers do in a day. At first I was honored, but do I want to raise my daughters to think that being a woman is working yourself to the point of distracted, disconnected exhaustion? Is being a woman about constantly worrying that everything around you can collapse in a minute?

I have a handle on this, for now. I am sitting my husband down and having what my southern friend calls a "Come to Jesus Meeting." I am making a plan of attack and this is coming under control. It has to. For Caroline and Lily's sakes. He'll think I am a busy body, bossy, pain in the ass, but maybe that what being a woman is about. It's about loving those in your hands.

PS Bob, don't worry. I doubt he's told you how stressed he is because he's the master of denial. Please don't call him on it. He'll be beyond angry that I even mentioned it here. I just need to vent. Don't worry, I've got it!

PPS Lighter posts soon, I promise!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Conspiracy Theory

Rob was gone for part of last weekend. I have always thought that when he's gone, the "fates" in my life get together and have a "planning" meeting. I imagine last week's conversation went something like this:

"Ok, ok settle down. Let's here from all parts of Melissa's life. First let's hear from Appliances. I know it's neck and neck between the hot water heater and fridge. Who wants to break this weekend?"

"I vote fridge. It'll be a riot to watch Melissa try to move the fridge out from the wall without swearing. There's also the frustration of the lost food."

"Next let's hear from Health. Which kid should get sick this weekend?"

"Let's switch it up this time. Melissa's had laryngitis all week. How about we amp it up to sinus infection with gross eye gunk?"


"Let's hear form Events. Is there anything she can forget and have to rush to at the last minute?"

"Absolutely! Girl Scout cookie pick up is Friday night. It'd be great if she forgot and had to rush back out with the kids in the cold. There's also a trip to Target for a birthday gift for Lily's friend and supplies for Lily's party next week. Don't forget the 2:00 bowling party for Lily's friend. There's also the 10:45 pm drop off for Caroline's laser tag all nighter. I do feel a little cheated, Melissa was supposed to be a chaperon and Rob was coming home early, but she thought she was too sick, so she found another parent to go in her place."

"See there is a benefit to these little exercises of ours. She gets better and better at juggling and looking for pitfalls."

"Let's hear from Household Management."

"Well, there's the usual: laundry, house to clean, groceries, lesson plans, and kids projects. Hey, did you know Sunday if the Super Bowl?"

"Rob and Caroline should be pretty involved in that, huh? Not much time for dishes and laundry."

"Wait a minute! Look over there in the kitchen! There she is. What is she doing? She has two list going. one with dates and times, one with list of items needed. Wait what's on the counter? Tea? Advil? Mucinex?"

"Do you think she's onto us?"

"Well, we'll have to try harder next time!"