9.19.2007

Random Is As Random Does

Yay! Here's an article to explain all my problems. I knew it was true and am so happy to find actual scientific proof. Not to mention an excuse for complete idiocy for about the next three months, until my brain cells have recouped. It could also explain why I can start a post at 9:50 a.m. and not actually finish it until 7:58 p.m.

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If you have google mail, you may have noticed at the top of your spam inbox that there is always a new recipe for using SPAM - not the crap e-mail kind, but the crap processed meat kind. Today's featured recipe? Spam Vegetable Strudel. Yum, yum, no? It's cookies (the computer kind) gone awry, I'd say. And yet somehow I feel this bizarre compulsion to try it out. Dare me?

***

Here's a bit of a grumble - I'm counting on those of you who do music to hear what I'm saying, here...

Over the course of the last few months, I've had to find people to stand in for me in leading the children's music at church, and occasionally I've had to also find someone who would play the piano. It has amazed and perplexed me how many people say, "I can't do it for you, because, well, I play the piano, but I don't know any of the children's songs," or even, "I can only play two hymns from the hymnbook."

I'll be the first to admit that I lived through eight years of piano lessons by sight-reading - I didn't practice, but could pull it off well enough each week. I could probably play really well if I had ever applied myself. But I've never thought to use the excuse that I only know a few songs to get out of helping someone out.

It was just always my understanding that once you know how to read music, you can pretty much figure out any music, particularly simplified arrangements for church. It's not like I'm asking people who have only rarely played the piano to suddenly stand in for me and do a full-blown Rachmaninov concert at Carnegie Hall or something, which I could understand being nervous about. It's not performing solo, it's accompanying. For a very forgiving audience/congregation.

Do these people really only learn to read two or three songs? I don't get it. What do you take piano lessons for, if not to learn to read music, any music? I mean, wouldn't it be silly to say, "I can read English, but only Hop on Pop or (if they're really accomplished) War and Peace?"

***

My previously pleasant baby has been irritable and pretty much sucking on me around the clock (that's the only thing that soothes him) since Monday night. Which makes me irritable and pretty much sucking at everything I would like to do.

I am tired and frustrated because I can't figure out what is wrong. Maybe just a crying jag/growth spurt, I know that happens. It's just exhausting.

And I'm about to give up breastfeeding because I feel like he's not getting enough or he wouldn't need to eat all the blessed time and I am HURTING at this point. And when Mama's not happy, ain't nobody happy.

But then I feel incompetency and guilt, even though I know I absolutely should not...So I'm in one of those happy self-whipping cycles that begins with, "If I was a really good mom, I would..."

***

The boys are loving preschool and I am glad now that I went ahead and enrolled them. However, I come home after dropping them off in the morning and instead of using the undistracted time to clean my house or run my errands or do my reading or take a private shower, I just sit still. In the quiet. Wasting time and thoroughly enjoying it.

At least that was until my baby started crying 24/7...

At any rate, my hope is that the baby will return to his pleasant, cooing, lovey self soon and that sometime shortly after that the novelty of three "free" hours every day will wear off and I'll get down to productivity. But I doubt it. (More guilt.)

Interestingly enough, I was so overwhelmed with school when I just had Calvin (that's why I took a four year hiatus and have waffled about going back every day for four years) and now that I "just" have one baby two mornings a week and "just" a baby and a 3yo the rest of the mornings, I feel like school for me is totally possible since I have all this "free time."

Which probably means that I have officially crossed the line into crazy land. I guess that remains to be seen. Only having half my brain cells and all...

***

Speaking of preschool, it appears that my Henry has a little inside joke with his teacher already. Kinda sad. She tickled his knee as she put him in the car and said, "Have a good day, Puddin' Pop." To which he grinned from ear to ear and giggled.

I asked him about it at home and apparently they played a name game that they had to guess what their funny name was (on their back) and his was Puddin' Pop, which he apparently thinks is hilarious (the alliteration, maybe?).

So I was trying to ellicit the same wonderful grin from him that Ms. Casey got by calling him Puddin' Pop a little later. To which he bristled and exclaimed, "My name is NOT Puddin' Pop! It's HEN-OH-WEE!"

Well, OK then. I guess I'm not the funniest woman in his world anymore. That's not so bad. Maybe he'll reserve his knock-knock jokes exclusively for Ms. Casey.

(I do love how his name has evolved over the last few years: When Calvin told people what his baby brother was named, it was "Hemmy." When Henry first learned to say his own name, it was "Hen-nay." And now, "Hen-oh-wee." Very sweet. Hope he doesn't learn to say his "r"s for a while yet.)

***

Just to round off the randomness of this post and keep myself from completely belly-aching about ev.er.y.thing (which is what I'm inclined to do today), here's a sweet little video that my sister e-mailed me a week or so ago. It was entirely new to me and thought y'all might like it:



***

And now I must say that between sleepiness, busy-ness, soreness, grumpiness, and laziness, I am going to be scarce here at the blog. I've got to get my feet under me better and organize my time. Oh, and feed my children, maybe pay a little bit of attention to them. Just don't be alarmed if posts are few and far between for a bit. I'll be back. And no doubt sooner than I should be.

18 comments:

Nobody said...

The video didn't work for me.

Daniel has bouts of wanting to suck all the time and I worry he's not getting enough. He is. I suspect they are getting to the age where they figure out it's mommy time, it feels good, it's yummy, soothing, etc and perhaps begin to work the system. You can try supplementing with formula and I give him a binky, and both seem to work.

I yelled "HALLELUJAH THERE'S PROOF!" when I read the article you linked to. So funny!

And, you talked about Spam that is gross food and cookies you can't eat in one paragraph. That's backwards.

In defense of people who can't play that well (me) I had lessons, I can play many things well, but I learned them by practicing a lot. I can't sight read and I think "winging it" might be a LOT easier for sight readers. But I would never turn you down if you called me for help. Evoh.

Thorny Tree Lady said...

You're SO awesome! I laughed my head off at every paragraph (btw: how do you get paragraphs...I can't seem to get them on Blogger). I laughed because I understand, all too well, how you're feeling about EVERYTHING!!! Excuse me, but the PCSB is SOOOOO intricate and advanced that you can't take 20 minutes to learn a song or two??? And the sucking non-stop...got one of those right now. And my last post took 3 days to actually POST!! Thanks for the support via your writings today. I needed it.

S said...

With my RED pregnancy I had NO brain cells to work with, it was the most unbelievable thing. I still am waiting for the knock on the door that I didn't pass the last semester of nursing school. My teacher says the placenta sucks all the brain cells, and when you deliever out goes the brain cells. Anyhow we had a festival for labor day and they had SPAM samples. IT was very good, so I actually bought a can. It was de-lish (Fried with potato&onions), maybe not as cookies.

No Cool Story said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
No Cool Story said...

*Sorry, link malfunction*

No video awesomeness :(
I only had 2 kids but my brain shrunk a lot...and I didn't even have a lot of it to start.

About brestfeeding, don't feel guilty, really. There comes a time when all must end, if he wants to eat all the time, then maybe that's the time to graduate.

My name is HEN-OH-WEE! aww, cute little guy.

I saw this, this and this on YouTube a while back, do you think that works?

Code Yellow Mom said...

OK, everybody...the video works now. So come back and watch it. It's very cool.

And NCS - LOVE the links. My mom is a hairdresser - maybe that's why I don't remember any extreme fussiness growing up, even with six younger sibs? - the hairdryer was always going? I might just have to give it a whirl...

Jen4 @ Amazing Trips said...

Your brain DOES shrink following pregnancy ... I heard about it for the first time last year, a week before I got pregnant AGAIN. (Here's my link wherein I found out about pregnancy induced senility - http://amazingtrips.blogspot.com/2006/09/where-am-i.html).

Regarding the BF'ing, I'll bet it is a growth spurt. My Hen-oh-wee has been a bit fussy for the past few days and nursing almost nonstop. I'm hoping it's a growth spurt for him too and not the awful cold that everyone in our family has been battling. Your little Charlie might be getting close to the point of needing some solids soon, too? Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if my Henry sprouts teeth and asks me for a steak within the next month.

You've got a lot on your plate, definitely cut yourself some slack. I can't even imagine taking on school with a new baby in the house. I think that earns you some SERIOUS Hero Points.

S said...

That is a very cool video, how the hecka does he do that? When Jen speaks:you listen! Thank heavens her blog allows us to imagen how the hecka she does it.
BTW please do not go away....we can't support you if we can't hear you. Just blog an "aaaaaaagggggggg" and we will respond! I ditto Jen! 1zillionpoints

Katrina said...

Thought I'd chime in on the music thing, since I'm probably one of "those people." :)

I took piano lessons for 8 years, and can read music. However, I can't read it quickly. I can eventually play anything, but I have to work and work and work at it -- I can't just sit down and play. Well, let me modify that. If there are only 2 notes played at a time, I can probably sit down and play. :) But any more than that, and I have to dedicate myself to practice. My mom is one that can pick up a hymnal and play anything out of it, right off the bat. Alas, I can not do the same.

My in-laws have a lovely baby grand piano (and none of them play!) and they were so happy to find they had a daughter-in-law who knew how to play the piano. But I fear I've disappointed them, in that I can only play the songs I'm currently well-practiced in.

I wonder how all that work, though... why I can read music, but not be able to translate it to my hands quickly and easily.

Jamie said...

I've had to fill in once (I can play the right hand only in a pinch) until someone figured they couldn't do worse and saved me after the opening song. We have new electic pianos now that have all the hymns and children's hymns on them. Bad thing is that they don't work in a power outage.
Don't sweat the BFing. He just might be needing some extra cuddles.
When my 7 yo daughter went to check out her class before school started, she saw on the bulletin board that her teacher was a monkey and the kids were all bananas. I laughed and told her that she was now monkey poo. She didn't find the humour in it that I did. But she wrinkles her nose at me really cute when I call her that.

Jen4 @ Amazing Trips said...

OK, I'm back ... my children have watched the video 10 times and are asking to see it again. Should I thank you?? Probably ... I love to see them so happy this early in the morning!!!

I hope your day to day is WONDERFUL!

T with Honey said...

I have a feeling that most of those pianists were trained like myself. I was given music to learn how to play and that was it. A little theory, but not enough. And definitely not enough improvisation and sight reading lessons. Just keep practicing these few songs until you get them right.

After quite a few years of piano lessons I can sight read but then the perfectionist in me reared its ugly head. I would only play in public if I knew I could get it right. But any more I don't have a piano at home and only get to touch one a few times each year. My fingers are "rusty". I've played the melody line and gotten through children's choir practice on my own. But I'd never attempt to be their accompanist during mass.

Liz said...

I'm not so good with the sight reading any more either, but I know enough music theory that I can fake it with chords that sound like they were supposed to be there.

Scribbit said...

Don't tell but my husband likes Spam. He asks me to buy it for family camping trips and it cracks me up. Maybe I should surprise him with spam and vegetables :)

Sketchy said...

I dig the video. Groovy man.

And don't worry about the rest of it. Things will settle down and you'll feel more like yourself again.

My Ice Cream Diary said...

My boys and I thank you for the shadow puppets show. We watched it several times. I'm still laughing about the spam recipes. I had never noticed that before.

megachick said...

bug went through that constant nursing phase. i was sooooo sore and grouchy. i wept daily. but i didn't give up and i eventually healed. she is growing strong and i'm very glad i persevered.

i love 'hen-oh-wee'. too cute.

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

I love the randomness. I'm glad that Henry is doing okay in preschool. Kyle is too! I love the name thing. I am the same way about Kyle's evolution of saying big sister Amanda's name. It started out Duh-duh, and then Danda, and now it has 3 whole syllables sometimes--A-duh-duh. However, I just asked him what his sister's name was and he said very clearly "Manda." Now that's not all that cute. He's growing up.