Johnny Cash on Heartburn

My blog has been rather serious lately, so I decided it’s time for a laugh. What better way, when up with pregnancy heartburn and insomnia, than to write a spoof of a Johnny Cash country song? When you’re seven months pregnant and can’t sleep, you get to do stuff like that—it says so in the manual, pg 136. (What manual?? This girl is making stuff up…)

So put on your cowboy hats, strum your imaginary guitars, and enjoy…and if you’re up with heartburn, too, just pretend your TUMS are marshmallows…

🔥 Burning Ring of Fire 🔥

Heartburn’s a burning thing

And it makes a fiery ring

Round and full of gas

I am a pregnant lass

🔥

I lay down and a burning ring of fire

Shoots up my throat like an electric wire

And it burns burns burns

That ring of fire

I am on fire

🔥

I lay down and a burning ring of fire

Shoots up my throat like an electric wire

And it burns burns burns

That ring of fire

I am on fire

🔥

The taste of love is sweet

But it keeps me on my feet

I lay down like a sleepy child

Oh, but the fire went wild

🔥

I lay down and a burning ring of fire

Shoots up my throat like an electric wire

And it burns burns burns

That ring of fire

I am on fire

🔥 🔥 🔥

Cookies and Milk at 3 am

Of course, after admonishing our kids not to wake up too early for Christmas (they once woke up at midnight to open the stockings on the ends of their beds) it would be me, their mom, who woke up at 2:30 am and couldn’t get back to sleep. So silly, as the kids and I had worked so hard to prepare ahead, had finished wrapping and had even stuffed the stockings and stowed them in a box days ago, so I wouldn’t have to burn the midnight oil playing Mrs Clause. Yet I woke up. Was it pregnancy heartburn, excitement, or insomnia?

Whatever it was, I decided Santa’s tradition of the post-midnight snack was a good idea and got up to have an angel sugar cookie and a glass of milk. I’d say I had a snack with Santa, but you’d know from Google Santa Tracker that he was already safely back home in the North Pole by this hour.

So while I’m up, I thought I’d take this quiet moment chance to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, despite everything, and a lot of hope for better things to come in 2021. Thank you so much to all our family and friends who supported us from afar this year, as we went through the pandemic, and through the illness and loss of my Dad, Bob, to cancer. Your loving words, encouragement, cards, flowers or food dropped at our door have meant a lot.

Shortly after my Dad passed away, in the morning of November 9th, it began snowing, which is rare on the rainy coast. “Mum, Mum,” said the kids with excitement, “Grandpa is sending us snow from Heaven with Josephine!” It’s amazing how positive and resilient kids can be in the face of loss. Here are a few pictures from our house, where we have tried to find all the joy and sparkle we can this Advent.

May God in his humble nearness at Christmas surround you with blessings and give you the eyes to see them, so the little hidden miracles of each day can shine and bring you hope.

Lots of love from all the Eastlands here at Just East of Crazy Land! Thanks for being here, making me feel less alone as I eat cookies and milk at 3 am, and await the sparkly madness of Christmas morning with 7 kids! ✨🌲✨🎁✨🌲✨

It Is Worth It

It is worth it to stay up half the night

to see the misty moon

disappear and re-emerge behind the scattered clouds

that drift like silver ribbons across the sky.

It is worth it to peer up at the quiet stars

and hear above the faint roar of a few cars

on the highway far below

the gentle hoot of an owl.

It is worth it so see the silhouette of trees

standing like living paintbrushes

solemn and still

against the pearly grey night sky.

It it worth it to feel the summer air

on my skin at midnight

and know that the goosebumps

are more from awe

than the slight cool of the breeze.

It is worth it to stay up half the night

to be in love with the ever-changing sky

and write it poetry.

Creation is so beautiful—

my heart is bursting with it!

Can anyone feel so happy as I am

alone with the moon,

in the company of memories?

Ballad of the Pirate Bard

I am a pirate and I do not sleep!

I thief night jewels for me to keep.

My Lady with her treasures bold

is generous when the wee hours wax old.

The words upon her golden tongue

are by the midnight spirits sung.

I catch the songs in my jolly heart,

then bursting full I do depart,

‘n sail away to the break of day

to spread her tales far and away!

I am a pirate and I do not sleep,

my treasure is the tears you weep,

my prize is the laughter in your eyes,

for Insomnia’s bedfellow is a pirate wise.

🌴This silly song was brought to you care of
sleep deprivation and my pirate pjs! 🌴

The snow lies still

The snow lies still upon the rooftops.

From a few houses

smoke rises in a misty haze

and the streetlights blaze

like midnight suns.

All is silent

except the steady breathing of my toddler

whom I’m rocking back to sleep.

In the upper bedroom

across the street

insomnia reigns

and the blue lights of the television

flash out a noiseless dance.

But the snow lies still upon the rooftops

and silence greets my sleepy glance outside.

The Persistant Insomniac

Late at night

her eyes are wide open

as two full moons

beaming out in the dark.

Inside fires burn

flames flicker and refuse

the stillness of sleep.

 

She gets up

grabs her book

a sweater

a snack

and keeps a late night kitchen vigil

with insomnia…

–this date with quiet–

delicious silent solitude.

 

She feeds her soul

with bread and words,

then rubs her fingers together,

lights the surrounding gloom with sparks

and writes fire!

Sleepless Bluegrass Blues

The kids and I recently watched a documentary on Netflix called “Can You Canoe?” about the Okee-Dokee Brothers, musicians who paddled down the Missisppi River and wrote songs. Here’s the link if you’d like to see a preview on ITunes: Can you canoe?

So read this post as a bluegrass song with plenty of twang and a side of lively banjo…

I’m a stranger to the land of sleep

There are foreigners there, whose company I do not keep

And sometimes it’s enough to make me weep

To see the dawn rise upon my open eyes

I’m a stranger to the land of sleep. 

Now there must be, a secret lock and key

Something secure, but hidden from me

A way inside the sleepy isles,

Of that much desired country of sleep. 

So if you know a trick or two

A special drink, or ‘haps some ruby shoes

A certain way, to sleep before the day

Take me along, I’ll travel with you

As a stranger to the land of sleep. 

awake

In the dim, dark house

the furnace rumbles and blows

breathy hellos into the corner of each room.

In this airy darkness

I try to lie still

while my toddler—

having made his nocturnal migration

into my bed—

sleeps beside me.

The baby in my belly wiggles 

and flutters, 

hoping for a snack.

Such a boy…

not yet born

and already wanting breakfast before dawn.

Why motherhood, insomnia and writing are perfect bedfellows

1. As a mom you have tons of inspiration and new material every day: kids are so creative and unafraid to be original. Only a five year old making spanakopita with her mom would imagine that leaving the thicker stems on the fresh dill in the recipe might lead to jail time. 

If we leave the hard bits the people at the potluck will say “Ugh! Gross!” And then they might put you in jail. But I’d be sad cause I like you. But then we’d say it was an accident and we tried to take them off, and then they’d let you out again.

Whew! Who knew making spinach pie was so dangerous!

2. You might think moms get no “me time” to do quiet things like writing, but that problem is easily solved by insomnia. It’s very quiet at 1:30 am. Perfect for writing! After all, you can’t wash dishes or do laundry at this hour, so you may as well do something creative! 

3. If you don’t have insomnia, don’t worry: third trimester pregnancy will solve that for you! Between heartburn, baby kicks, and Braxton Hicks contractions you’ll be all set!

So you see, motherhood, insomnia and writing are perfect bedfellows! Just forget about the sleeping part…and rejoice in being a mom blogger!