Thursday, January 31, 2008

I hate taekwondo.

I am so not happy with the Master at our Dojang. He has decided to add a teen class. Great, wonderful, terrific idea. Having a teen class means that now I get to drive to the Dojang 7 or 8 times a week instead of 3 or 4. Having a teen class means that I have to be at that bloody Dojang 6 days a week, instead of 3 or 4. Having a teen class means that instead of a manageable 3 lattes a week habit, now I am going to have to have 6 to 8 lattes a week. I honestly do not think there is room in my budget for that. Or in the waistbands of my pants.
A pox on the Master. Argh! Not only do I pay him an exorbitant amount of money each month so that my kids learn how to hit each other more effectively, I now have zero free evenings a week. Not one evening where my kids can eat a home cooked meal at a reasonable hour of the day. I either feed them at 4pm or 7:30pm. Or I feed the preschoolers in the car while shuttling back and forth to the dojang and feed the big kids later.
My dh was thinking that our 4 year old needed to start going to taekwondo too. Thankfully he is feeling too timid to start yet, because yep, you guessed it, that would require adding at least 3 additional trips to the dojang a week. I just don't think so. Not until the big boys are in the same class again. Or I contract amnesia and a huge case of the galloping crazies. And I steal a transporter from the starship Enterprise.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

How I spend my winter weekends: Watching him and his brother play
and chasing her and her brother around the arena

PHOTO REMOVED

Monday, January 28, 2008

It is a new week!

I said I would be back when I had something nice to say, so I will try really hard not to whine. Can I just say how thankful I am for my health and that of my children and husband? So very thankful. And why I didn't want to write a bunch of whiny, "I don't feel good," posts. It was just a cold. I am feeling a bit better, I am pretty sure my cold has become a nice sinus infection as that would explain the searing pain around and above my right eye. I have found that to be quite a distraction while trying to do anything especially writing, reading and housework.

Thanks for all your well wishes, by the way. You warmed the cockles of my heart!

There is a plus! I barely did any housework last week. In fact I spent most of the week in bed. The preschoolers and I came up with some nice games to play while Mommy was laying around. 'I Spy' was a big hit with the boy, he knows all his colours and thought that was a terrific way to pass an hour. It was a bit harder for Girly though, she is only 2.5 and though she knows many colours, this game was frustrating for her because she couldn't get the 'picking something to spy' part.

So we came up with another game. What's That Sound? We all close our eyes (Mommy needed an excuse to shut her eyes for a bit) and then take turn making sounds for the others to guess. My girly loved this one, especially yelling, "Now everiesbodies cwose yours eyes!" over and over 'til we all obeyed. She would then whisper what her sound was and make it. My favourite was the growling shark. She loves to make scary, growling noises. Bears, tigers, deenosaurs, lions, monsters and apparently sharks.

The second time we played, my Monkey Boy came up with a hilarious series of cow sounds. Cow jumping over the moon; Cow falling down stairs; Cow baby crying; Cow falling off the barn; Cow tripping over the moon, etc. His big brothers joined us for part of this series and by the end all 5 of us were rolling around the bed, holding our tummies, wiping our eyes, laughing.

The first part of the week I was fairly patient with the kids. Well actually, I was comatose in bed and they played together and looked after each other. The Boy is a pretty amazing big brother and he did a great job with his tiny siblings for the couple of hours a day that Daddy was out helping his Dad on a job. I literally only got up long enough to feed kids and change diapers/wipe bums.

By the end of the week, I was so tired of being cooped up and sick of being sick that I was a bit testy. I tried to get the boys to do their school. Well, they had been having such a great time ruling the roost that they would not cooperate with me at all. So I descended into yelling and screaming. The worst part was needing to go and lay down, and yelling downstairs at the kids to do whatever it was that I wanted them to do. Nice. I am so proud of my mothering. Apparently I don't cope well with not sleeping and feeling icky.

I promise to do better this week. Really. And to remember, once again, to thank my kids for being so helpful to Mommy. And for just being them, because they are flippin' awesome. And for my husband? I am going to try to have a whine free week. Because if he had been the one doing all that infernal whining, I would have run away until he was better. I was so awful. But now I am gonna be better. Really. You can believe me. It's true!

Happy Monday! Happy New Week!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

So I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. I just have nothing positive to say after 4 days with no sleep and the worst cold I have ever had. I WILL be better tomorrow. I promise. really.
Love ya and I will be back when I am not whiny. Hopefully that happens before my husband tires of me. He is being supremely patient. He even went out tonight and bought me 3 kinds of decaf tea (cuz I can only breathe between sips of hot beverages), 2 kinds of saline nasal sprays , cough drops, and of course... chocolate. He so totally rocks. Thanks babe, I so love you.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Dance Party

Two words for you today: Head Cold.
ugh. My head feels like it weighs 100 pounds and is inflated like a cement balloon. Compounding that is the fact that I can not sleep when I can not breathe.
Other than that I am having a terrific morning, I was just witness to some of the funkiest and cutest dancing this side of the circus.
My Monkey Boy's favourite song of the moment is 'Kung Fu Fighting'. And by favourite, I mean he hits repeat on the iPod and it blasts out of the stereo for an hour at a time as he dances. And by dancing I mean he does some insane combo of frantic hip hop/break-dancing and kicking. He doesn't like to kick nothing though. He much prefers to gently kick the leg of whomever in the room is taller than he. Repeatedly. While making loud, guttural, "hah's."
Girly joins him in the dancing, singing and kicking. She is somewhat less gentle.
Dancing has been our main activity in the last week, finding old songs on the iPod that we haven't heard in years (Will Smith anyone?), blasting the stereo and crazy dancing around the living room. What a blast! I had almost forgotten how much fun it was to act like a fool in your own living room with only your children as witnesses. Unfortunately my preschoolers are much better dancers than I, but they don't judge me for it. They let me be as crazy old womanish as I like and they kindly hang out with me and let me feel like part of the gang.

Friday, January 18, 2008

My Pied Piper

My eldest son is such a sweetheart. Just in general. He does his chores and pretty much anything I ask with a willing and generous spirit. He is usually patient with his younger siblings and I have to say that I often watch his interactions with them with a big grin on my face.
The other day we were all coming in the back door and Girly wanted to play in the snow for a minute. Daddy asked the Boy to get her to come inside. My Boy stood on the back deck and sang a little song to the Dora theme song's tune. In the song, he told her to walk down the path, over the deck and into the back door. Dh and I stood in the kitchen listening to this with huge proud smiles, how many 13 year old boys have the patience and kind-heartedness to sing their 2 year old sister into the house? And it worked!
When he came in I had to embarrass him with a huge mommy kiss and hug and tell him how terrific I think he is. I don't think he was embarrassed though, he was beaming. It is always nice to be appreciated. And I so appreciate him.
I would have just gone and picked her up and dragged her into the house, and she would have been mad. Instead she was smiling and singing. What a terrific big brother.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I have my computer open beside me as I drink my tea and wait for my boys to be ready for their spelling and handwriting lessons. My girly came up to me and said, "You play with me?" It took me a second to finish my sip of tea and acknowledge her. As I turned to look at her she said, "Affer you done bloggin'?"
Hmm. I wonder where she could have gotten that idea from?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Grandma

It is my Mother in law's 60th birthday today! We are all going to a buffet restaurant to celebrate with her and Grandpa and the extended family. I am thankful every day that we now live so close to our families and get to celebrate our special moments with each other.
Here is the layout I made for her: The kit I used is All I Need by the Retrodiva

PHOTO REMOVED

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Blah

I am feeling lame today and not much like blogging. My dh is in the midst of updating the plumbing on all of our sinks and I just spent an awesome hour on the phone with my bff. I think I will make a cup of tea and read a book, ahh.
I did update my other blogs though, posted new photos for project 365.
and a very quick post about why I love my kids on my homeschool blog. They totally rock.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Oh Yeah! My sink is fixed! Yeah hubby!

A look within

In general I have considered myself to be a fairly compassionate and non-judgmental person. Yesterday it was brought to my attention that my heart attitude is not always what it should be. There is a boy who plays sports with one of my son's, whom I have been guilty of harboring not so generous feelings towards. I have watched this child's interactions with his mother, watched the temper tantrums and outbursts and wondered why she did not deal with them more effectually. He suffers with ADHD, which was obvious to me immediately, but also has other behavioral and psychological issues I knew nothing about.
My husband took the time to speak with her recently and she shared a bit about her children with him. She has another child who is just entering adolescence with bi-polar disorder. This woman has been through the wringer with her children and still she has a smile and a mostly positive attitude every time I see her. She gets her son to his sporting events on her own, while also working and caring for both of these children.
I have no idea what it would be like to walk in her shoes, nor had I really tried to put myself there. In the past, when she has engaged me in conversation I have nodded (politely, I thought at the time) and made appropriate responses, but not really engaged with her. I am not really sure why except that I felt uncomfortable with her, maybe because I was judging her parenting in my heart. I feel completely ashamed.
I forgot one very important thing. There, but for the grace of God, go I. A lesson that Don Mills Diva wrote about in a very touching post. God has blessed me with healthy, wonderful, well-behaved children. They have their moments that is for sure, but I have not had to walk the path this other mother has had to walk. The doctors and psychologists and hospitals and medications. The defiance and tantrums and the wondering what the heck could I have possibly done to have my children behave this way. The finding out that there is nothing I did, but that nature made them this way. That there is no parenting technique you can learn to help your child behave better. That your child may have to be medicated for the rest of their life and if they choose as adults to go off of their meds that they could be a danger to themselves or even to other people. I have not had to make decisions about how much medication is enough for my child to function well, but not so much that they have difficulty being present and aware.
Is it terrible that I am so thankful to not have to go where she has to go? I think I can be thankful as long as that does not mean that I have a superior attitude. That I don't think I am somehow better because my kids don't have issues. I need to remember what she is going through and offer support in any way I can. Does your child need a ride? I would love to help you out. And prayer. I can pray for another mother and her children with compassion in my heart. Allow my heart to be soft and broken for another's pain.
I believe it is also my job to not sit idly by while people make snide remarks about other mothers, other people. To not just smile or ignore those statements, but to encourage understanding in my friends and acquaintances.
It is sometimes hard to look in the mirror and see things in yourself that are not pretty. Things that make you feel ashamed. But it is infinitely better to really look within and find the ugly so that it can be purged. I am thankful that God has shown my poor attitude to me so that I can work on changing it. I really do love and care about people and I want to take every opportunity to show God's love to those I encounter.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Anyone have an Ark?

This morning I was feeling a bit irritated at all the things in my house that need fixing or updating and how little progress is being made. I have been a wee bit grumpy about it actually. Like my bathroom sink. The drain is a bit sluggish. By a bit, I mean that when I washed my hands the sink almost completely filled.
A few moments ago my daughter came downstairs telling my something about water. I admit to being preoccupied and not listening very carefully. I took my tea cup to the kitchen and answered the phone when my dh called. I told him that she had been playing in water. He and the big boys came in the back door and I told them what needed to be done before we left for hockey in an hour and that I was going upstairs for a quick shower.
I went downstairs and got a towel and headed up to my bathroom. The water was running in my sink. I leapt across the room to the bathroom door to see exactly what I expected. Water running everywhere! All my things were sopping wet and the floor was covered in water. I started mopping up and screamed for more towels. Immediately after my husband answered my bellows, the Boy screamed that it was raining in his bedroom. (located directly under ours) Ugh. Good thing that we haven't got around to painting his room yet. About 20 towels later, I have most of the water mopped up and now we are running late for hockey.
Guess I should run, just had to vent for a second.
One plus, dh called his dad for advice on clearing the blockage in the sink. Maybe he will fix it today. Or next week?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Mighty Idol

Okay, I am a little late joining this bandwagon, but my kids love High School Musical and Santa brought the movies in their stockings this Christmas. Last night I finally got around to watching one of them. I loved it! I had to watch it because their Dad rented the karaoke game for the wii and the kids challenged us to a sing-off. Well Dh and I did not know any of the songs, so we thought we should bone up on them while the kids were out at taekwondo. We were just going to skip to the songs, but I got caught up in the movie and watched it straight through to the end.
We had such a blast with the boys having our sing-off. Of course the kids whooped our butts, but at least I beat Brent. I had such fun that I challenged dh to another round after the boys went to bed. We kept that up until both boys ran into the family room complaining that someone was slowly killing a cat or a moose and they couldn't fall asleep. (It was their Dad, not me!) I loved it though, I think I was singing You Are the Music in Me til midnight last night!
Karaoke anyone?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Husband Matters

My husband has been home from work for about a month and I am reminded of why we are married. We truly like each other. In general, the more time we get to spend together, the better we get along. Of course, my love language is 'quality time' and that means that I want people to sit with me and look at me and talk with me. I need my partner to pay attention to me and and to hear me. I also love doing active things together, working out, running, playing, anything that promotes togetherness.
So he is home everyday, we are out and about doing things with the kids and with each other and... I kinda like the guy. That was not necessarily the case a few weeks ago, I mean I love him. That is a choice I make each day. But when he is working a lot or out of town, communication breaks down. I feel completely alone at times, that all the stress of running a household and raising kids falls on my shoulders. But that is never really true. I have a partner in this journey of life, in parenting, even if he is just a voice on the phone at the end of a very long day. He truly does want to be a part of every aspect of our family, and is often frustrated that his distance from us prevents him from participating fully.
Those first few days home are always difficult. He has been away from the craziness that is our house, away from the hustle and bustle of family life, away from the whining and laughing and crying and fighting. He has been in the land of grownups and answering only to himself. So it is always an adjustment for him to be at home. He has to acclimate to us once again and that is not always a gentle transition.
For my part, I have to adjust all my patterns and schedules and my ideas of doing things MY way to accommodate another adult in the home. There is often some butting of heads in the first few days as we learn to make compromises for each other. I have a tendency to expect too much of my husband in those first few days and therefore I am a bit impatient with his need for transition time. When he loses his temper with the kids, I get indignant and say things like, "I am the one who has had to deal with these kids all by myself for the last month, why do you have the right to get frustrated with them?" This is usually done in a rather loud, obnoxious voice in an octave that my husband can barely hear.
For the most part though, my husband and I are so thankful to be together once again that we are pretty forgiving and learn to make things work. Right now I am so enjoying his company and support. He is putting himself fully into our family, more than he has in months and I can not begin to express how grateful for that. I need him and the children need him, we think he is pretty terrific. And now it is really looking like he may have to go away again. I don't know how I will stand that again. God's grace is sufficient for all my needs, my brain knows this, but is has yet to tell my heart.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Bad Dream

Can toddlers have nightmares? I knew that little ones often have night terrors, we have experienced that with a child or two. But my little 2 year old girl had a vivid nightmare that she was able to articulate to me. She told me that we were falling, falling, falling, falling. And we were in the van and we couldn't get out. And that she was vewy scared. Daddy and I talked with her about it for a bit and she and daddy came up with a happy ending for her dream. She said she was a leedy (lady) butterfly and she flew down and rescued all of us. I wasn't sure what Daddy was doing when he started asking her leading questions like, "Then did you save us?" I thought he was messing with the memory of the dream she was explaining to us. But when I thought about it, I realized how wonderful it was that he gave her an empowering resolution to a dream of helplessness.
I still feel awful that she had such a scary dream, it would have scared me too.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Girly Moments

This morning DH and I were sitting at the table together and our Girly pipes up from the living room, "I want some water." We were talking and didn't answer her right away. "Daddy, I want some water, du-uh!" My 2 year old said this with about as much disdain and inflection as any 14 year old girl ever did. ugh.

* * *
A couple of days ago, Girly was prancing around the living room wearing her tiara. When she put it down on the couch, I picked it up and placed it on my head. She proceeded to rip it off my head proclaiming, "You not a pwincess Mommy. Gumbo!" Gumbo is her bad word. I think she means Dumbo, but I am choosing to ignore it right now cuz I think Gumbo is kinda cute.
A few moments later, she placed the tiara on Daddy's head, "Daddy pwincess!" Daddy and I decided that she must perceive me as a threat to her princess status, but Daddy is pretty safe cuz he just looks goofy in a pink tiara. Actually he looks pretty sweet dancing with his little girly, doesn't he?

* * *
One morning we were cuddling in bed with our Girly and she started to talk to us about a baby she had seen the day before. Daddy told her that she had been a baby once. "No, I big girl." So Daddy explained to her that yes she was a big girl now but she had been a baby, just like Mommy had been a baby, then a little girl, then a big girl, then a teenager, and then a woman and then a mommy. He then told her the same about him self from baby boy to man. My girly looked up at her daddy, put her hand to his cheek and said, "Now you a Super Man!" I can tell you that he sure felt like Superman after that!

* * *
A Boy Story
On my Juju Monkey's birthday we went to the New Year's Eve family fireworks in a neighbouring community. We stood beside a playground and watched the displays and after a bit my kids went to play on the playground while watching. Afterwards my little boy was a bit perturbed. He told me that a little girl said, "Be careful little boy," to him while he was playing. He was so offended, "I am not a little boy anymore, I am now 4! I guess she didn't know it was my birthday. ugh"

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Oh What a Night!

Dh and I were just getting ready for bed when I heard my 4 year old coughing and whimpering. He has had a cold since before Christmas and I had hoped it was going away, poor guy. I peeked in the door of his room just as he was coming out. The smell hit me just as he said, "I puked!" I took him immediately to the bathroom where his Dad was showering and undressed him and put him in the shower. While Daddy cleaned him up I went into his room and cleaned up his bed as quietly as I could as to not wake up my Girly sleeping 3 feet away. Thankfully he is in a toddler bed with a crib mattress so I could easily wipe it up and make the bed up fresh. I was pretty confident that he would not be sick again as I assumed he had just been coughing so hard that he threw up. I placed a 'just in case' bucket beside the bed and a glass of water and after some big cuddles and fresh jammies, we put our little boy back to bed.
Dh took the dirty bedding down to the washer and we crawled into bed just as the wretching started again. He was such a big boy, he was using the bucket, but it still went everywhere. I cleaned him up this time as Daddy gathered the bedding again, then the three of us tucked into our bed with bucket close at hand. We were just falling asleep when we heard more crying.
Our Girly was up. Daddy tried a few times to put her back to bed, but there was no way. So now we had 4 of us in our queen sized bed. 2 little ones who love to cuddle and kick and push. I balanced on one edge tucked around our sick little boy, while Daddy was smushed between two little sets of kicking feet and cuddling arms. At one point Girly had her arm under Daddy's neck, cuddling and holding him! So cute!
My little monkey boy was up puking a number of times, every time I would get close to sleep, he would sit bolt upright in bed and I would fall out of the bed grabbing for the bucket, placing it under his chin just in time. It was a very long night, but now it is over and my Boy seems to be doing alright. He has been laughing and playing all morning. Daddy and I are like zombies, and Daddy is a bit tender from the preschooler feet, but we are just happy that he is alright now and maybe we can sleep tonight.
Oh and we are praying hard that the stomach flu will flee our home never to return. Right now.

Oh, I told you about my resolution to take photos every day and I have started a blog to post those photos at www.immortalityart.blogspot.com. Come and visit sometime:)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

My New Year's Resolution is:

To take pictures, especially of my kids, every day with my Christmas present! My new Canon Rebel xti, with an extra 300mm telescopic lens, a speedlite flash, tripod and all the accessories! I am totally spoiled, I have so wanted a digital slr, I haven't used my old school slr since I got a digital camera and I so miss it. Yay hubby! Good job on the gift, I can't wait to take some photography classes to make the best use of my gift.
Please scroll down to my New Year's/ Monkey boy's birthday post!

Happy New Year! and the last day

My little boy has long been awaiting 'the last day'. The last day of the year is his birthday, and he finally turned 4! He feels like four is a big boy and honestly, so do I. Yesterday he was so excited about every moment of his day and his joy was so contagious. We also wanted it to be a very special day for him, as his birthday could get lost in the midst of the holiday season if we let it.
But today I feel a bit wistful for 3. I love 3, they are discovering the world around them at hyper-speed and we get to observe some of what goes on in their tiny, adorable heads. But 4 is pretty amazing too and I can't wait to watch him growing every day and to enjoy 4 with him.
Papa and Auntie Angela and cousin Elizabeth came in on the evening of the 30th so they were all there yesterday morning to wish Juju a happy birthday. He got to play with his cousin and brothers and sister all day, we played air soccer on the mini table that Papa got him, and he got some time to enjoy his 'DS' (his leapster that Santa brought, he calls it his Nintendo DS like his brothers have). He wanted pizza and black forest cake for dinner, so I made a black forest cake for him and we had pizza along with spaghetti and meat balls for dinner.
After dinner we all bundled up and headed into a nearby community to watch their family New Year's fireworks. They have them at 8:30pm, early enough for our little kids to enjoy and not go to bed too late! I think we have found a new family tradition. Happy Birthday fireworks for my little Juju Monkey. I sang happy birthday to my little guy during the fireworks, but he was more interested in going back to the playground to play. Oh well, it was special for me:)
We went back home, had cake and put the little kids to bed before having a board game night with Papa and my big boys. A pretty perfect way to ring in the New Year.
Happy New Year to all, may this year be full of joy and blessings for you and yours.
Here is the birthday card I made for my boy, front cover and inside: Kit is Seeing stars by Weeds n Wildflowers

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