The Rantings - For Everyone

Down Three Kids

Well, we dropped the three older kids off yesterday. The drive out to Leduc was nice and the highways were clear. The kids were all pretty tired, so they mostly dozed or sat quietly in the back. Even though we got lost in Leduc (mainly because The Boyfriend and I never trust my navigating instincts – mainly because I’ve proven I suck at it), it was a good time and the kids were all super excited to get to go to their Dad’s, or in Carter’s case, get rid of the kids.

The Boyfriend went to sleep once we got home because he had to work that night and my plan was to stay up with Carter. About an hour later, I was dozing off on the couch while Carter played games. He must’ve realized how tired I was because he sat down quietly next to me and let me nap for the next two hours and it was beautiful. Then we had my brother over and Carter had a great night hanging out with Uncle.

Today, The Boyfriend and I ended up sleeping basically the entire day away. Just couldn’t wake ourselves up for anything. Luckily, my brother stuck around and played with Carter and it was a generally great sleep. I feel a lot more rested now than I have in a while.

Honestly, I’ve been feeling all sorts of exhausted, all the time. It doesn’t help that I’m not eating properly, not getting out of the house enough, basically not taking very good care of myself AND that my sleep schedule has shifted from normal to graveyard. I’ve been finding it very hard to fall asleep any earlier than six in the morning, even when I head up to bed hours earlier. And while this is the most routine sleep schedule that I’ve been on in years, I can just feel it kicking my ass.

Once I’m awake, I just don’t want to do anything, at all. Motivating myself to do any of the things that I’m supposed to be doing is incredibly difficult right now. All I want to do is wrap myself up in warmth and veg. And I spend all of that time that I’m vegging, beating myself up for not doing all the things that I’m supposed to be doing. Of course, instead of just getting up off my ass and doing those things, I just sit there down-talking myself and my actions. It’s unproductive and adds to the exhausted feeling.

In other, less depressing news, we’ve got big plans to get the house cleaned while we’re down three kids. I’ve already decided that we’re taking a portion of our gift cards to get ourselves a device that will make our floors easier to clean. We’ve been using mops but we haven’t been able to find one that works good enough. So, I want to look for other options for getting these floors clean. I’m also hoping that we’ll finally take all the broken or unused pieces of furniture to the dump, because it’s been on my to-do list all year and¬†it’s absolutely time. We can’t start replacing all the crap stuff until we get rid of it!

I’m not sure how long the kids are going to be gone at this point. I like to play it by ear instead of setting a specific date. Sometimes, I end up missing the kids a lot and want them back sooner. Sometimes, plans get made and it’s easier to have them stay longer. Sometimes, their Dad needs to send them home earlier or wants to keep them an extra couple days. Sometimes, the weather is bad. So, we play it by ear. I know it’s going to be at least a week and The Boyfriend has a couple of those days off, so we should be able to go all of my cleaning to-do list done and I’m quite excited about it.

But for today, he has one night off and for him, that means it’s a gaming night. I’m glad to have him distracted right now because for the last couple of nights, all he’s wanted to do is talk about is Star Wars. While I have great respect for Star Wars and would consider myself a fan, I’m nowhere near obsessed as he is and it is incredibly exhausting to “fake” interest. And I put “fake” in quotations because it’s not that I’m faking, it’s that I’m not nearly as interested as he is.

For example, I don’t care enough to watch every trailer before the release of the movie. I figure, I’ll see the movie when it comes out. I don’t care to pick apart those trailers to try to figure out the movie before it’s released. I figure, I’ll see the movie when it comes out and figure it out at that point (and all the times that I watch it after that first time…). However, that stuff is exciting for him and important to his experience. So, I pay attention to what he’s telling me so that I can ask him questions about those interests, “faking” this extreme interest, because it’s important for him to be able to share that experience with me. It’s one of my favorite parts of being me in a relationship, but I sure do love getting a break!

Now I just have to figure out what I’m going to do while he’s gaming it up ūüėČ

Internet Detox

It took way longer than I would’ve liked, but finally (and I type that with a massive sigh of relief), we have internet again.

The last week and a half/two weeks of our life seriously dragged on endlessly. The first four days were the most brutal, especially for the kids who complained relentlessly about their boredom, even though the parents were working hard to entertain them. We bothered Grandma and overstayed our welcome on more than one occasion just so that we could get a few minutes break from the constancy of their complaining.

By day five, we had kinda started to relax about it, it wasn’t so overwhelming. The kids had finally realized that they were going to have to deal with their boredom and eventually the boys spent more and more time consumed in their lego sets and Kaeidyn picked up some yarn and started finger knitting again.

I don’t think we truly went a full two weeks without internet, because we were able to check in on it when we went places with WiFi, but it was still a serious shock to the system to not just have immediate access. One day, we’ll do it by choice instead of inconvenience. That way it feels more like cleansing rather than detoxing.

I think I was most surprised when, on the first day with internet back, the only thing that got used was YouTube on the TV. Nary a computer or online game nor a single tweet went out that day! And we watched fail videos with the kids, because we’re suckers for ’em.

Then, The Boyfriend had to go to work, but the kids were wide awake and ready to party. So, we fired up the karaoke which hasn’t been used in forever and a day. An hour later, all the boys were beat. Kenzie had had an upset stomach, Carter was feeling tuckered out from running all over the place all day and Keirnan had danced hard during his serenading. The former two went up to bed, the latter fell asleep on the couch and Kaeidyn and I spent the remainder of the night binging on Grey’s Anatomy.

The next day, everyone seemed to have never experienced the purge. It’s as if we never went a day without internet and everyone has fallen right back into the exact same constant connectedness. The Boyfriend got a video game that he’s been waiting awhile for, and so has been blissfully swept up in Star Wars: Battlefront and all the boys have followed his lead entirely. Kaeidyn’s been all too happy to veg on YouTube with my phone. I, on the other hand, have sat most of the time¬†staring blankly at my computer. Just kinda not sure where to start first.

These next few days will be all about reconnecting. Which only really sucks, because starting tomorrow, the whole week needs to be dedicated to cleaning. I have been making a mental to-do list of all the things I want to get done this week for awhile now and I’ve officially gone through every room with the most critical of eyes. And being that The Boyfriend is on a week of holidays, it’s the perfect time to teamwork and power through the lack of motivation I always seem to feel about cleaning.

In other news, my brother is moving back to Red Deer. He honestly doesn’t seem as crazy as everyone was making him sound – sounds like a lot of the problem was specifically with our Dad. Today he’s spent a huge chunk of the day at our house and I haven’t seen a single symptom – he’s been engaged, talkative (and not once only to himself) and according to him, he’s still taking his meds – so my worry with him is dramatically eased for the moment. It sounds like he’s coming back here with a plan in mind and like he’s ready to do what he needs to do, so now I get to be supportive sister, instead of worried sister. I like that more!

The boys over the last two days have given me a bunch of new gray hairs! They have just been a little out of control. I think that I understand why, especially being that they’re not spending as much time running around outside now that it’s started to get cold. They seem to spend the daytime being relatively decent but then dinnertime hits and they all get WAY out of control. Screaming, rough housing almost to the point of injury, constantly picking on and bugging each other, literally crawling and jumping over all the furniture…

I feel like it’s been many years that I’ve felt this level of irritation with them. I was having so much fun in the hardcore appreciation of my children mode and while I obviously still do, it’s not nearly as glaringly obvious as it was, even as little as a month or so ago. They feel like toddlers again, 2 or 3 year olds. Just incapable of listening, edging on disrespectful, always getting into crap, where you feel like pulling your hair out and locking yourself in the bathroom to cry is a normal daily occurrence.

I was preparing for Kaeidyn to be the next thing I would have to worry about. Puberty, menarche, resting bitch face (which she has already mastered!), door-slamming, suspensions, losing her virginity. That’s what I thought I was supposed to be preparing for. But apparently, I should’ve been preparing for my super prepubescent group of boys turning into terrible toddlers again – because I can tell you, I wasn’t prepared and it has hit me like a ton of bricks.

And you’d think, with me already having gone through the toddler years (four times!), that I’d have some idea of how to deal with them when they’re out of control – but in the moment, I literally have no idea. I’m quick to respond the way I don’t want to respond, I’m slow to come up with any type of disciplinary action and I’m even slower at implementing or enforcing that discipline (and The Boyfriend will tell you that I don’t at all).

However, we did find out something about Kenzie this week, during his emotional rollercoasting. He had mentioned to The Boyfriend a while ago that he would like to create a YouTube channel. So, on one of the days that he was being semi-rotten, I joked that if he kept being terrible he wouldn’t get a YouTube channel. The water works were immediate and streams of tears rolled down his cheeks. After he had collected himself and calmed down a little, he got up and started cleaning and tried really hard to be an angel the rest of the night (although the brothers made it hard…). So now, every time he’s getting out of hand, I give him “the look” and ask sternly, “You want a YouTube channel?” and he immediately takes me very seriously.

Of course, him wanting a YouTube channel spawned the idea into every kid’s head and we spent an entire night with pens and paper jotting down ideas for videos that each of them want to do. Kaeidyn’s got quite a few ideas and she’s been so cute setting up schedules and making logo designs. Kenzie has a general idea of what he’d like to do but it sounds like he’s not really sure where to go after that or what he’s really wanting to do. Keirnan and Carter have no ideas whatsoever, but they definitely want to be included in the whole thing – preferably as first player!

Add to all that, The Boyfriend’s gamer-related plans for himself, and I’m getting to share my blog-a-holic knowledge left and right. I’m actually learning that I know a lot more than I thought I did. So now, there’s all this knowledge and all these ideas floating around all over the place, and no one seems to be taking any real action towards everything – and is it terrible that I’m incredibly delighted by this?!?

I’ve never shared this itchy sweater with anyone, and I’m loving every minute of it!!

It’s Happening Again…

We had a really great Halloween this year, even though three of the kids were gone. Friday, we woke up and got Kaeidyn’s makeup all done for school. She had an epically hard time picking what she was going to be this year and finally narrowed it down to a scarecrow or a creepy doll. Ultimately, she ended up going with the creepy doll.¬†I had a lot of fun doing her makeup and was surprised at how much I didn’t suck.

Carter went as a cop, Kenzie went as a ketchup bottle and Keirnan went as a pig and a monkey mixed together for their school Halloween party. It was a super exciting day for them and when they got home, none of them were ready to get out of their costumes. Then, we took the long ride out to their Dad’s.

It rained most of the way there and by the time we left, it was super dark. I forgot how much I hate driving (even when I’m just the passenger) at night. My hands hurt from gripping the seat so hard, especially as we followed behind a semi-truck that kept swerving around on the windy highway. The best part of the drive though was when The Boyfriend and I saw a shooting star!

We found out some not-so-good news about The Boyfriend’s Mom the other night and so the mood around the house has been kind of depressing. It was made worse when I got a phonecall today informing me that my little brother is going crazy again. I knew it was coming because he started posting a lot of poetry to Facebook but I was really hoping that it wouldn’t happen.

I’ve written about my brother’s craziness before on my previous blogs. A few years back (quite a few now…), he had lived as a veritable nomad, bouncing around from town to town, province to province. During this time, he was experimenting heavily with drugs and who knows what else. He claims that one night he did a lot of Ketamine and had some pretty intense hallucinations and this was the beginning of the crazy journey.

Over the years, his “Psychosis – Unknown Origin”, has come and gone. He’s gone through really intense times where it’s so bad that he’s not even recognizable as my brother. He’s also been medicated and hated it, claims that it “kills” him. He’s also had times when he seems fine and functional and okay. After a couple years of relative okayness, he has suddenly dipped back into crazy – so much so that he got kicked out of my Dad’s, where he’s been living for quite awhile now.

It’s always a stressful time when we become officially aware of his symptoms. We know exactly what he needs to do when it’s like this and the biggest thing is to begin the process of getting help – because often, it can take awhile to find something good, something that fits right. However, when he’s in this beginning stage, there is absolutely no way to convince him that he needs help.

He doesn’t want to leave this time, as I’m sure it’s quite a fun time for him. He gets incredibly creative, soaks up knowledge better than usual and gets away with mind wandering and inappropriate behavior while everyone catches up to what’s going on. I get why he doesn’t want to come out of it. And that probably just makes the whole thing feel more burdensome to me.

Tomorrow, we are going to a head shaving party for The Boyfriend’s Mom. I’m hoping that, since we’ll be surrounded by family and it’s a night to be sad, that I can support him however he needs. I can tell that he’s struggling to figure out how he feels and I know he’s got a lot of questions that he can’t seem to ask. Right now, I’m letting him have his silence as he works through it on his own. And I know we’re both just constantly sending positive thoughts out into the universe.

I have a feeling, these next few months are going to be incredibly difficult on him and our family in general.