Sunday, January 5, 2014

Going Backwards

I don't know what I did with my life when I only had one kid, but for all I complain about being so busy, I definitely don't like going backwards.  Jamie and Charlie spent the week with my parents, and my life was boring sad existence without them.   Oh sure, I got lots accomplished...all the school stuff reorganized and packed, books organized, their room reorganized and packed as much as possible, laundry done, meals on time...the kitchen was obnoxiously clean.  Robbie and I played with play dough, read books, did puzzles...and I still had time left over.    Where was all this time when it was just Jamie and I?  I swear it's a time warp continuum thing of some kind.

And it was so quiet, which had nothing to do with Robbie being a quiet kid (his idea of quiet, is stomping on his toys and hollering like a gorilla claiming his territory), and everything to do with the lack of Jamie's nonstop commentary on life.  Sometimes I think God gave him to me just to teach me structure.   I spend a great deal of effort remaining spontaneous and flexible, only to have it constantly thwarted by my eldest trying to weasel his way from "maybe" and "that could be a good idea" to distinct yes's and noes. Ho hum.

Christmas break is officially over, and school starts tomorrow morning.  I don't know who is dreading it more...Jamie or I.  I'd had grand plans for our two week vacation....lots of of reading books as a family, going over memory work, and making math equations with cookie dough.  Instead we spent it traveling, making memories with far away family members and reveling in just general merrymaking.   I guess it was a fair trade. 

I don't have any New Year's resolutions, but I do have new tricks and schemes up my sleeve for remaining sane this year, and my new secret weapon for getting my kids to calm down at night is magnesium oil, which I'm renaming "Magic Kid Sleeping Potion".  I already knew it worked well to help Jamie sleep, because I've mixed magnesium in juice and forced it down him when he's crazier than a cat in a shower with a tin can tied on its tail.   It doesn't help Jamie sleep longer per se, but it does help him to go to sleep faster.

"Magnesium is vital for the function of GABA receptors, which exist across all areas of the brain and nervous system. GABA is a calming neurotransmitter that the brain requires to switch off; without it, we remain tense, our thoughts race and we lie in bed staring at the ceiling. Whether the brain is in 'on' of 'off' mode is a very complex area, and can also be affected by chemicals like noradrenaline, serotonin and histamine. However, on a more simple level, the most crucial balance is that of GABA vs glutamate. Whereas GABA calms, glutamate fires the brain into higher states of activity; you use the latter when solving sudoku puzzles, but you need GABA to prevail in order to go to sleep."

Basically, if you have problems shutting your brain off at night like certain little superheros in my household sometimes do, you might find magnesium helps. 

Speaking's time to dose up and go to bed.   Those math lessons aren't going to get done by themselves tomorrow.  :-/ 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Next Chapter

     In the words of my illustrious Grandmother, it feels like someone threw my whole family up in the air and we're still trying to land...some of us with more success than others.  To all of you who have helped the Ramsey faction, I don't really know what to say on a public blog that would mean anything in the grand scheme of things, but every tiny little thing you did helped.   And I promise to pass the torch and help in any way we can when someone else is suffering.

       For those who know, and those who don't... we moved out of our home in the beginning of September and are crashing with (super awesome, gracious, generous) friends until next week when we will do our best impression of the country mouse family moving to the big city.   We've leased a little third floor apartment in the actual real city of San Diego, and I'm guessing the boys won't be running around in their underwear anymore. :-P   I feel like we should apologize in advance to the tenants under us.     My knowledge of city living comes mostly from TV shows like Friends... so I don't know.... but would it be appropriate to drop off a box of doughnuts, an advance apology letter, and a broomstick for banging the ceiling when three little boys go tearing across the floor at six a.m.?   Ahem.

    Apartment living with no backyard might be a bit of an adjustment for us, trading an endless backyard for a 3x8 balcony.    We'll take any suggestions, and are currently scoping out the closest parks, library, etc.   It feels great though.   I truly thought we might end up homeless for a little while there.  We were looking at campgrounds to live in...suddenly having three kids felt like way more of a responsibility.  It's harder to figure out what to do when you're not only worried about a roof over just your own head, but for three tinies as well.   I know Jim felt the pressure way more than I did, embarrassingly, he also handled it remarkably coolly despite being on a jury in the middle of it all.   But God is faithful, and he got a new position at work, and so here we are: Happily about to make the transition from a 45-60 min commute, to a 20 min commute.  Yay. 

    Robbie is a little barbarian, with wild long hair and bright blue eyes.   Every time he looks at me, I see Jim's Finnish Grandma staring back at me.  We miss her, and I wish she'd gotten to meet him.  Charlie is going through a bit of a rough phase,  he doesn't like to talk much, and he's always worried people will laugh at him.   Jamie continues to run on high octane all the time.  He goes in for testing this month to see if we can help his auditory and concentration struggles at all.   I'm glad I had Jamie first.... he cured me of the need for sleep.  Consequently I can actually get a lot done when Robbie naps like a freaking olympic medalist in the sport of slumber.
                                   (photo credit: The House of Hefner)

So that's it 2013.   You kicked my butt, and so did the year before (yes I'm looking at you 2012).   
2014, you'll have to forgive me if I'm rather dubious and cranky about your arrival.    Please be gentle to us, my family, and the rest of mankind.