Monday, March 31, 2008

Time off!

I am taking the week off.
It is the school kids spring break and I am gonna give my kids the week off too.
I have been feeling so burnt out and like I am floundering without direction. Especially when it comes to my kids' education. I need to regroup.
There are so many things here that require my attention and I feel like none of them are getting what they deserve. It is overwhelming and oppressive to my spirit.

This week I am going to go over a number of schooling options and plan out the rest of their year and get a good grip on next year. I am going to order the things I need for school that I keep putting off buying. I am going to catch up on marking.

In my home, I am going to wash my windows so that I can have a clear view of the world. I think that is the number one chore I can do to give me a better outlook and a clear vision. I also want to get a good start on spring cleaning and to continue purging.

For my children, I want to spend a week without nagging. I want them to go outside and have the sunlight warm their lovely faces. I want to have fun with them. I will take each of them for a little one on one time with mommy and hopefully get in a fieldtrip or two.

I am firstly going to continue to pray on these things and get back in the habit of devotional time, time to refresh the spirit and gird myself for the day ahead.
Maybe I will even spend some time doing things I love, like scrapbooking, writing and reading. Maybe.
Happy Monday!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Time to give.

Have you gone over to Aunt Becky's yet? Made a donation for all those sweet babies and their families? Or done something nice for someone else?
If you do and you let Aunt Becky know in her comments, she is gonna pick one of you to do something nice for in return, in honor of her son's first birthday, a gift for you! Happy Birthday Alex!
I went over to Amy's blog and clicked on her March of Dimes link in her sidebar to contribute to her fundraising efforts. It is really easy, you can even pay with paypal.
So go do something nice for someone else, some RAK's and pass on the love. Don't forget to leave Aunt Becky a link.
Have a wonderful weekend.

Trouble in the Neighbourhood

My ten year old had a rough time the other day. My boys have a number of friends in the cul-de-sac that they run around with when the weather is warm. There are 5 or 6 boys all about the same age, which is a huge part of why we chose this home in this neighbourhood. In the cul-de-sac across the way there is another big group of boys. On Monday, those boys came to get the boys on our street to come and have a big game of street hockey. My kids gladly went, taking their hockey net with them.

Now the boy who comes knocking, we will call him K, has had a few issues with our kids before. He tends to get frustrated and swear at the other kids. When this happens, our kids either ignore him or they just leave. He is the smallest boy in his group, even though he is the same age. He tends to bluster and boss, but not too big a deal.

Well, during the game there was an argument over whether or not a goal counted. Both entire teams were having a loud discussion about it. K came over to my boy, R and got in his face, yelling and swearing. R is the youngest kid in the group and not very big for his age, so I guess he looked like the best target for K's anger. Pretty soon yelling turned into pushing and my little boy found himself standing in the middle of this group of boys being pushed back and forth and yelled at.

Now, I am a bit surprised that he didn't fight back. He is small but strong and has the skills to defend himself as well as a pretty quick tongue. But he just stood there, I think he was a bit shocked!

B, my eldest at 13, stood up. He puffed himself up like a peacock (he does this all the time to the adults in his life to show them how much he is growing. One by one he is outgrowing all of us), so he pulled back his shoulders and did his best Dad voice. "IF YOU TOUCH MY BROTHER AGAIN, I AM GONNA BEAT THE CRAP OUT OF YOU!"

Will you think I am a terrible person if I tell you how blinkin' proud I am of that? Not only did he stand up for his little brother, which is something we expect, he showed remarkable self-confidence in his ability to do so.

This is a quiet, bookish kid. He has never been a very physical boy, there was a time, not that long ago, when he couldn't have done a push-up if you paid him. He has always been extremely friendly and personable, but not confrontational. He had been bullied a bit when he was in school, by older kids who couldn't understand why this little kid kept talking to them and treating them like friends and equals. It totally crushed him.

So my quiet little boy can now roar like a lion. I think taekwondo and hockey have definitely contributed to his self confidence as well as his physical abilities. Now he could do push-ups all day:) But he is also growing up. Growing into a wonderful young man that I am so proud to call my son.

I was happy to hear that one of their friends stood shoulder to shoulder with B to protect little R. The other boys backed off and when some other kids came out, they went in their homes. By this time R. was already headed home.

I am proud of how R handled himself as well. He didn't lose his temper and go off the handle as he has a tendency to do. I feel terrible that he felt so powerless though. Even with his martial arts training, he was paralyzed in the moment. He came home and asked me if he and his brother and friend could go to the corner store. I didn't really want them wandering the neighbourhood so I said no. Then he broke. He started to cry and tell me that K had been swearing at him, I questioned him a bit and got to the part where they were all pushing him around. The reason he wanted to go to the store, was to have a reason for the 3 of them to get away from these kids who had been so mean to him. I thought that was a pretty good strategy.

Even though they had an awful experience, I actually feel better about them going off on their own to play now. I know that they are there for each other and will fight for one another. And I don't think those other kids will be anxious to start trouble again any time soon.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Today is a hopeful day

I am going to be brutally honest with you all. I haven't spoken a lot about my pregnancy here. In fact, I have had a hard time allowing myself to get excited about having a baby at all. I have been almost convinced, almost every day, that there was something wrong with my baby. That maybe it had died and my body was just playing tricks on my or something. I have had such terrible fear and anxiety almost constantly.

Every time I start to talk about when the baby comes or being pregnant, I stop myself. I think about the idea that there might be something wrong. Every time. I am pretty sure that I could feel little baby flutters last week. But I completely convinced myself that I was imagining it.

Until Monday night. I was laying there waiting for Brent to come to bed and I turned on my side and I felt it. I put my right hand to my tummy and pushed to make it easier to feel. There it was! My baby, dancing in my belly. When my husband crawled in beside me I told him and he put his hand by mine and he was sure he could feel it too. I am sure he couldn't possibly have felt the baby at this point, 16 1/2 weeks. But it was magical just the same. I tried so hard to believe in what I felt and not let the doubt creep in. It was really hard. By the next morning I was doubting more and all I could think of was to hold on until the ultrasound and then I would know.

I am not entirely sure why I am so apprehensive this time. Yes I had a stillborn baby almost 6 years ago. I did not know I was carrying a dead baby in my womb for, well maybe weeks. And carrying the Monkey boy after that was very scary. But even then I didn't feel like I do now. And with the Girly, I was way more easy going. It was a terrific pregnancy with only a bit more fear than usual. This time, it is crazy out of proportion.

A friend lost her baby at 34 weeks on November 1 of last year, I have been reading her blog and her mourning definitely brought a lot of my grief back to the surface. My heart just aches for her every day. But this does not account for my fears.

Well today I had an ultrasound. It was not as satisfying as I had hoped. Last time I was pregnant, there was a screen that I got to look at the whole time and I could hear that lovely shush sound of the baby's heart. None of those things happened today. I did finally get to sort of see the baby at the end, and I did see it's little heart beating! I did see it's little hands moving. So that was awesome. I know I have a living baby in my womb, growing and moving. I am so thankful!

When I asked the woman if my baby looked healthy, she paused and then said, "It looks like it has all it's parts." What? I am not sure what to make of that. I am trying to assume it means the baby looks fine. But it wasn't the most reassuring phrase.

She wasn't the most personable ultrasound tech I have ever had. And that would have been fine if she had been completely professional and not personal in any way. But that wasn't the case. I had asked about the sex of the baby and asked me if I was sure I wanted to know. I told her yes, I had 3 boys and a girl and I wanted to figure out where I was gonna put everyone. She said, "Well you will probably have the baby in with you for a while anyway."
"In my day, women didn't do that. This having your baby sleep in your room..."
Okay then. I wasn't sure how her opinion on that was applicable there, but whatever.

Anyway, I feel a bit better today, knowing my baby is alive and kicking. I have some pictures to look at and cherish, and I have little flutters and kicks to try to sit quietly and feel. I am hoping that as the baby grows and kicks harder that my anxiety will be relieved and pass from me. I am praying that God gives me comfort and faith that all is okay.

Oh, please click on over to Mommy Wants Vodka, where Aunt Becky is donating to baby loss charities in honor of her son's 1st birthday and friends who have experienced losses and is encouraging us to get involved.

edited to add: I did ask for the sex and she gave me a "it looks like you are having a ..." I am not ready to share that information yet. I want to at least wait til my 20 week and then I will see. I actually haven't even told my dh what she said;) Oh! and the tech was actually a doctor, so if she had seen something wrong, I am quite sure she would be free to tell me. When I was pregnant with Kalila, the Ultrasound doctor told me at my 18 week ultrasound about the cyst they saw in her brain and suggested genetic counseling and then it was the ultrasound doctor who told me that she had died a couple weeks later. My doctor had actually left it to them, rather than telling me that she couldnt' find a heartbeat. Now that it is a new day, I am sure all is well with my babe, or I would have been told.
Thank you all for you kind words and encouragement. I actually feel a bit better about it all in the bright morning light.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Monkey Boy Makes Toast

A couple days ago, I woke up and came downstairs right away as I could hear My Monkey Boy making noise. I was worried that he was climbing stuff in the kitchen trying to cook breakfast. Turns out he was just changing a cd. Phew!

My relief was short-lived when I found a frozen loaf of raisin bread on the counter and a big knife laying on top. I assumed he had used the knife to pry a piece off the loaf. I put some in the toaster and told him I was making toast for him. The toaster was unplugged so I had to plug it in. Strange.

Make it for Girly, he told me, he had toast already. What??!! Like cold bread or hot toast?? Hot toast. Okay then, he made himself toast. My next questions were why was the toaster unplugged and what was the big knife for. I had a bad feeling that I knew the answer already. He had used the knife to get the bread out of the toaster, but had thought to unplug the toaster first. Thank goodness!

At least half the week, he wakes up at some point, usually strips, and then crawls into bed with us. Once he crawls in, I have a very hard time getting back to sleep. I have written about it before and about my mixed feelings. I love to cuddle up in his warm little baby arms. But he should sleep in his own bed. I haven't slept through the night in the four months I have been pregnant.

Until last night. I slept through until just before Brent's alarm went off at 6:30. I didn't get up to pee or too dry because I was breathing through my mouth. (that has been many nights because I am now working through my fourth cold since January!) It was so amazing to wake up and feel rested. And no Monkey in my bed. Only problem with that being that he then gets up early, goes downstairs before I wake up and helps himself to food. This time it was a large bowl of canned fruit he found in the fridge that I then stepped in when I went downstairs. Ick!

Tomorrow I have an ultrasound and I am looking so forward to it. I will tell you all about it tomorrow night and maybe post a pic if I can get my scanner to work!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Birth Story # 1

There is a Birth Story Carnival happening over at Lotus' blog and after seeing it at Alex Year One, I decided to join too. I have never shared these stories in print, so it should be fun.

Disclaimer: This post will be super long and be somewhat graphic. And I blame all memory gaps on 13+ years, intense pain and the 4 births I have experienced since. And I tried to add photos, but I can't get my scanner to work, so I will have to add them later.

Picture a very young, short haired girl of 19 and her baby faced husband of 20. Look down, see her enormous belly bulging beneath her ripe melon breasts, now look back up at her face. See the innocent excitement there? The hopeful expectancy? The utter naivety? That girl had no idea what she was in for.

When I was expecting my eldest, The Boy, we lived in a small town, about an hour and a half by mostly dirt road, from the nearest hospital. I was due November 7th, 1994 and winter was already upon us in our northern town. By the middle of October I was so ready to have that baby, I was so big and uncomfortable, and had not learned a lot of patience yet. Time passed excruciatingly slowly. By the time my due date rolled around and I had not one sign that labour was anywhere on the horizon, I thought I would burst if I had to wait much longer.

On Wednesday the 16th, I had an OB appointment in Dawson Creek, the town that had the hospital I would deliver at. The doctors decided that since I was already a week overdue, effacing, and there was a winter storm in the forecast, that it was time to induce me. The storm was as big a factor as anything else because it meant I would have to travel those terrible roads in a storm if I went into labour on my own.

They gave us a time to be at the hospital, I think it was about 3 or 4, so we went to have lunch and do some last minute baby shopping. I remember getting a new, big wallet so that I could take everything out of my purse and put it in my diaper bag. I did this in the hospital parking lot before we went up to labour and delivery. We called my parents back home and told them the doctors would induce me that afternoon. Mom and Dad decided to drive in and see me, they didn't want to miss the big moment.

I got checked in and met the nurses. One of them was a friend from youth group at church. She was 3 years older than me and had been away at nursing school for a couple of years. Joanne was her name, a lovely girl who was so excited that she was working when I was going to have my baby. The doctor was on time and prescribed the prostaglandin vaginal insert to ripen my cervix and get things going. I was so scared and excited.

A nurse came to start my IV. She couldn't get it and another woman had to come and take over. By the time they got an IV in, both of my wrists were bruised and bloody with needle pricks. I felt a bit like crying, all the hormones rushing around and the prodding around with the needles in my skin looking for an elusive vein kinda hurt. The IV ended up being on the back of my hand was was inconvenient for moving my arm at all. At least it was my left hand.

Once the insert was in place the waiting began. I had to lay on my back in bed for an hour and then they told me to walk. Walk we did. I had lots of cramping, almost immediately. But everytime the nurses checked on me, they told me that nothing was happening. I kept staring at the tape on the monitor, trying to convince myself that I could see contractions. No such luck. How could I be in so much pain and not be in labour??

My parents and husband sat in the room, watching me and waiting. I can tell you that it was more than a little disconcerting, knowing they were all waiting for my body to get it together and go into labour already.

After a few hours they gave me another dose. I got to have some broth and jello for dinner. yay. I hate hospital jello, horrid stuff.

At 9pm my parents and husband had to leave, visiting hours were over. I honestly had no idea that they would make my husband leave. I mean, I hadn't been alone in a hospital room since I was 3 years old. I was so frightened of what was going to happen, I was in constant pain and I sure as hell did not want to be alone. It was a pretty old fashioned hospital I guess, they didn't have birthing rooms, you had to deliver in an operating room, they only allowed one person in with you (your husband), they didn't have rooming in and they didn't even allow your dh to stay with you.

So I passed a very long night alone. The constant cramping kept me from sleeping at all, along with the nurses coming in and out all night. They had told my dh to expect a call within a few hours, that I would be in labour.

Well Thursday morning came and still no 'real' contrations. The doctor decided to add oxytocin to my drip. Well, if I thought I had cramping before, I really had no idea what cramping was. The pain was pretty fierce now, but no pattern to it. No contractions. I felt like I was just one giant contraction. Brent and I spent time playing cards and I tried to read and listen to music, but I couldn't concentrate. My parents had driven back in and popped in and out. It was hard for me to have them there all the time, watching me and waiting. I felt all pressured! Silly girl.
I was so sad to have to say goodbye to nurse Joanne, we were both disappointed that she wouldn't be there for the delivery, but her 2 night shifts were over and she was going home for her break.

Every time the nurses came in and checked on me and told me that no, I wasn't in labour yet, I felt more discouraged. They kept turning the drip up, but even at full strength there was nothing more than constant crampiness. I just wanted to hold my precious baby in my arms. Soon!

By that evening I still had not gone into labour. The doctor and nurses wanted me to rest that night so that I would have the strength to go through labour and delivery. They stopped the oxytocin for the night and gave me actual food for dinner. I was so hungry after being on liquids only for 36 hours. I was told they would break my water at 8 the next morning and start the drip back up. So now I had something to hold onto. They told me that no matter what, I would hold my baby tomorrow. Finally.

I don't think I slept much that night, once again alone in the hospital. All I could think of was getting to meet my sweet baby the next day.

Next morning, Brent and Mom and Dad arrived at 8 sharp. I was hooked back up to the oxytocin. The doc was running a bit late, so I think it was almost 9 when they broke my water. ( I could be wrong, this was over 13 years ago!) I started having contractions very soon after. The nurse showed me what they looked like on the monitor, because to me, they felt exactly as I had felt the last few days, just more painful. Like one giant, constant contraction. And in reality it was almost like that. There was almost no time between each contraction. It was not long before the pain was so intense that I was pretty much incoherent. The nurses would encourage me to try a different position to ease the pain, or use the bathroom and I almost could not stand to move.

Within a few hours they moved me to the transition room. A little closet off of the operating room where I had to go through transition listening to another lady 3 feet from my bed screaming her way through hers. (Except when she blessedly went outside for a smoke break) The nurses told my dh that it could still be many hours yet so he and my Dad decided that they would go and grab a sub from Subway to tide them over. My amazing Mom stayed with me and soothed me, talking and praying me through the contractions. They kept turning my oxytocin down and then the labour would stall, but with it on the contractions were too intense.
They lost my baby's heartbeat. The nurse told me to turn over on my side. I didn't want to, it hurt to much. She had to tell me that my baby needed me to turn over so it could get oxygen. I turned fast. One of the nurses had heard my mom praying with me and told her that it was time to pray hard.
I have to say that I was pretty out of it and was not really aware of what was going on. I felt fear, but I instinctively knew that Mom was praying and it would be okay. The doctor reached in and put a monitor right on my baby's head. They got a heartbeat again! Thank you God! Every contraction they would lose the heartbeat though. The intense contractions were stressing my baby, his heart rate was erratic. They turned down my drip again, hoping that it would ease the stress, but they explained that they may have to take him surgically if I couldn't deliver him soon.

Transition hit me like a load of bricks. I remember moaning to my Mom that I couldn't do this anymore, could we just try it again tomorrow? She and the nurse kinda giggled and told me that we were too far along now, pretty soon I would see my baby's lovely face. I felt a bit petulant at their reaction, but I did really want to see him. At this point I could have really used some pain meds, but they told me it was too late! What?! Nothing I learned in childbirth class had prepared me for this, let me tell you.

Well it seemed like moments later that I was fully dilated. They were about to wheel me into delivery! It was 12 noon by now. My husband wasn't back yet, I was aware enough to be angry because I knew they wouldn't allow him in after I started. My mom would be with me though, and her presence was so comforting. She was so strong and confident, she knew just where to rub my back (horrid awful back labour!) or exactly what Bible verse to recite to me.
They were just wheeling me through the door when my husband arrived, panting from running down the hall. They allowed him to come in too. CORRECTION: my hubby just got home from work and told me that in reality, he came sauntering in, sub in hand only to be told that they were taking me into delivery. "What?! I haven't even eaten my sub yet!" my darling husband exclaimed.

Pushing was the most difficult work I have ever done. The doctor thought it would be great if I squatted during my contractions to help things along. So for 2 and one half hours, the nurse and either my mom or husband helped me to my feet for each contraction, holding my arms as I squatted and pushed. The nurses had to keep relieving each other as they tired out hoisting my burgeoning frame up off that bed into the squat every 1 or 2 or 3 minutes. My contractions started to wane a bit so they turned up the drip again and again.

In between contractions Mom and Brent ministered to me and encouraged me. Brent, at one point was using cool cloth to wipe my brow. But in reality he was scrubbing my whole face with it. I was so irritated. Pretty much the only words out of my mouth for those few hours was to tell him to bugger off. Thankfully my mom took over and placed the icy cool cloth on my forehead. Easing the nausea and irritation wonderfully. For about 4 seconds.

It didn't seem long before I could see the top of my baby's head in the mirror as I pushed. But after each push, he would slip back inside. That stubborn baby did not want to leave my body, he seriously crowned for at least an hour if not longer. He stretched my body so much that I didn't even tear when he finally came.

I am sure that my poor body was so tired by this point that I was not pushing as effectively as I should have. But I kept refocusing and finally, at 2:25pm, his teensy body slipped from mine. "A boy!" (2.5 hours of pushing!)

They quickly laid him on my chest and the doctor and nurses busied themselves at my feet. I was completely unaware of them as I gazed upon his beautiful face. My heart could hardly be contained in my chest, I was so overwhelmed with love for this tiny being I was blessed with. How could he possibly be mine? I literally could not see anything beyond his little face, the rest of the world was immediately blurry. It seemed to be a big effort to hold onto him though, my body wasn't cooperating, my arms felt heavy. I also remember my legs shaking uncontrollably and my mom requesting hot blankets for me. I didn't notice the nurses trying desperately to get another IV in my arm as I had pulled the other out during delivery. I kept pulling my arm back to hang onto my baby boy. Finally my Mom touched my face and told me to give the nurse my arm.

My husband helped me with the baby and finally took him and held him. I watched them with incredible, bursting love and joy in my heart as I watched my big, strong husband's eyes fill with tears as he held his firstborn son for the first time. My mom got to hold him too and she just balled, of course I hadn't stopped crying yet, no wonder my vision was a bit blurry.

My poor husband and mother were so frightened at this point. The reason the medical staff was so desperate to get an iv in was because they wanted to start a transfusion. I was hemorrhaging. My uterus was so exhausted that it wouldn't contract properly. They were trying to stop the bleeding and massaging my uterus to get it to contract. That was painful. Brent told me some years later that all the blood scared the hell out of him and he was sure I was dying.

The doctor managed to stem the bleeding and he decided to not give me the transfusion. I hadn't even noticed the blood recipient bracelet on my wrist. I was feeling pretty weak and tired, but I was still focused on my dear child. I got to try to nurse him and the nurses cleaned me all up, which I thought would be more embarrassing, but in reality was wonderful. It is amazing how the ministering, gentle hands of another can make you feel so taken care of. I got more warm blankets and they wheeled me back to my room.

I don't remember when they took my boy and cleaned him up. I do know that he was 8lb 3 oz and almost 21 inches long. He had this super long, skinny body with extra skin that looked like it should be filled with some nice baby fat. And his head was enormous, with big chubby cheeks, so wrapped up he looked much bigger.

I was so shaky and weak that I was not allowed to have by baby by myself. I had to have a family member or nurse present, because they were afraid I would drop him. To go to the bathroom, my hubby lifted me into a wheelchair and then the nurse had to go in with me. That registered on my embarrassment scale. She gave me self-care instructions and then helped me back to my room.

My dad got to come in and see my darling son, he told me that he was proud of me and I could see some of the emotional roller coaster he must have gone through, sitting in the waiting room. Especially after the birth, knowing that I was in pretty serious condition and there was nothing he could do. I can't tell you how it felt to watch my father holding my child, absolutely incredible.

That first night alone in the hospital was pretty intense, in fact the whole couple of days I had to stay there were pretty awful. I cried a lot. The woman who had the bed across from me was so chipper and happy, calling friends and family, chattering away. And I felt like death, slightly warmed over. I remember my mom telling me that I had worked so hard and done so well, she was proud of how strong I was, but I had been through a very rough ordeal. Some women had it much, much easier. Gosh I love my mom, she always knows exactly what to say to me. We both agreed that it was utterly unfair.

My son hated the hospital as much as I do, he cried the entire time. The night nurses kept bringing him to me saying he was hungry. I tried to nurse him for hours and hours, no one ever came back to get him, and he never stopped crying. They ignored the order that I was not to be alone holding him and they didn't want him in the nursery waking the other babes.
Nursing was hard, very hard. Once I could get him latched we did okay though. I think he was about 6 months before I figured out how to nurse him in anything but the football hold.

I remember my mom walking into the hospital in a day or two, looking at me and saying, "OH! Your milk came in!" Had it ever. My breasts were enormous torpedoes standing straight out from my chest. There was no bra within 600 km that would contain those mothers. Yikes!

I definitely had the baby blues right away. I remember my wonderful doctor sitting on the bed beside me, holding my hand with his arm around me as I balled and balled. He was extremely sympathetic, reiterated that what I had gone through was pretty intense and I shouldn't put any pressure on myself to feel any way but how I did. He gave me lots of coping tips and signs to look out for. I adored him and wish he could have delivered all of my children.

Oh, I also got to see my nurse friend again! She came back for the second half of her shift and got to care for me and my baby a bit.

I was so relieved when my doc told me that I could finally go home. No more lonely nights in the hospital room with 3 other women and no hubby. My baby and I were both relieved to be home and he started nursing well and sleeping well as soon as we were home. The crying greatly subsided and the 3 of us spent all of our time getting to know each other, loving on each other. Pure bliss, at last.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter! (warning graphic grossness)

I hope that you are all having a lovely day with your families.

We, in the Mighty household, have been engaging in some family bonding. Since 2 or 3 am. Poor little Monkey boy woke up screaming, "I'm puking!" And he was, all over his floor. I wiped him up and tucked him into my bed, while daddy got Girly, who was now screaming from her bed too. (They share a room.) The four of us tucked in, hoping his puking was just from coughing. We have all had colds again this week and he has a particularly bad cough. No such luck. Every fifteen minutes or so he would sit bolt upright, "I am puking!" and after the first time I managed to get the bucket under his chin in time and would comfort him as he sobbed and puked. Wipe him up, give him a sip of water and tuck back in.

Girly thought it was a party and would sit up and talk to us. Finally, during one bad bout and Girly screaming because she was now frightened, Daddy finally went and cleaned up the puke in the nursery and put her back to bed. She cried for all of 47 seconds and then she went back to sleep.

My poor baby boy, at about 7 this morning the mouth sick was joined by the bowel sick and he is truly miserable. There is nothing left in his belly but acid and blood from his nose that bleeds every time he pukes or cries. The acid is so corrosive that the few drops that landed on my bedside table in the dark, have completely taked the finish off the wood and left nice little divots.

There were a few bright spots in our morning. We had a lovely little chat just before dawn. He has had a lot of questions lately about the time of day. 'Is is suppertime? Is it morning supper? no? Is it in-between time?' He is all cuteness and questions. So this morning it was, "Is it night-morning?" So we chatted about the wonderful time just before the dawn and he told me that the time right when there is nothing in the sky is sunset. So we chatted about sunrise for a bit. And then the birds started to chirp. "It's morning!" He was as excited as any lethargic, dehydrated, sick little boy could be. He told me that Mr. Sun was coming up. It had been a very long night I am sure he was glad it was over. For my part, I wished it could be night for about 5 more hours, but that he felt better and slept.

He got up ready to hunt Easter eggs, so psyched up. Especially when he found the most eggs in record time. This year, my biggest boy (13) did not hunt for his own eggs. He helped Girly find eggs and was more than happy to do so. I was a little shocked at how grown-up he is, I am sure that he still wanted to look for his own eggs last year.

My little Monkey Boy did not eat one bite of his candy, but put himself back to bed. Poor guy.

He continued to be sick til about 4, though he had a big sleep in the afternoon. And some Popsicles to rehydrate him a bit, while having an hour long bath. By dinner he was up to eating a bit, but he put himself back to bed before dessert. Boy did he miss out! My hubby really wanted to try a recipe we saw on the Pioneer Woman Cooks. I adore her blog for all the beautiful food photography and yummy looking recipes. Not many are diet friendly however, making them all the more yummy. Anyway, we made the apple dumplings and they were perfectly delish.

Thankfully, I think he is on the mend. I am still cleaning smelly disgusting things out of my carpet and praying that no one else gets sick. I have utter phobia of stomach flu, especially vomiting. We actually had a pretty nice day, just relaxing and hanging out at home. Hubby went to church with the big boys to teach my Sunday school class. He was just going to ask them to find someone else to take them for today, since he hadn't any sleep either, but he stayed and had a fairly good time with all of our adorable 4 year olds. Then I got to have him here for the rest of the day. Perfect. Spent lots of time tucked up in bed with the kids, I can't complain about that.

Thank you God for my beautiful family and thank you for sending your Son to die so that we may live. And live knowing your presence in our lives every day.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The thoughts running through my head today...

Monkey boy told me 2 days ago that my tummy was fat. I just said yep.
Yesterday he told me that my tummy didn't look like there was a baby inside. He said it just looked like it always does. Nice.

Apparently my daughter does not do well after her nap anymore. Again today she woke up miserable and whiny. And didn't eat dinner. And whined. and moped. I don't really think she is sick. Just wanting to make my evenings as difficult as possible? I feel a bit bad, I only have so much patience for that stuff. I cuddled her and kissed her for a while, but she just got worse and was being awful to her brother. Finally, I was like, 'Enough! No more whining.' That just made her cry louder.
Please don't tell me that she needs to stop napping. I need nap. but I need sanity in the evening too.

Last weekend I made a 2 week menu plan and grocery list so that I wouldn't be tempted to take fast food shortcuts for dinner or be running to the store every day for a couple of items. We went to Costco and got all the big stuff and I had planned to go to the grocery store to get all the supplementary items. I still haven't made it there. And every single recipe requires something that I haven't picked up yet. So frustrating. I have managed to make due though, I have made a wonderful, balanced meal each day.
Today, my Monkey Boy was looking through one of my cookbooks and found a picture of a meal that he wanted. They showed pork chops laying on a bed of rice with carrots surrounding the rim of the platter. So when I served up his dinner I had to make it look just like the photo. We had chicken, but he said that was okay, and then we added some grape tomatoes between the baby carrots around his plate. He balked at that, but he really loves them so he was easily placated.
I totally love how interested he is in food, even the aesthetics of food, so cool. He is the only person on earth who is interested and engaged in the minutiae of my day as a homemaker. He is fascinated with all aspects of doing laundry for gosh sakes! He wants to make meals and present them in an attractive manner. He has to watch me even when I am scrubbing toilets. He is 4, I wonder how long I have until he joins the ranks of the uninterested and the violently opposed to chipping in with the chores.

It is 10pm and my big boys are still awake. I have asked their father to help me by checking on their school in the evenings. The boys have been giving me a hard time almost daily, doing the minimums or absolutely nothing. Often I am too frustrated by the end of the day to care enough to mark. Needless to say, Daddy had a few words for his boys tonight and now they are writing lines about penmanship. I honestly just want them to go to bed. I want my evening for just me and dh. But I am thankful that he is taking an interest and trying to support their education.
*edited to add
at 11:30pm when dh and I were getting into bed, it started. The nightly ritual of creeping out of their rooms for a drink, or in this case paper? Usually they will get up 2 or 3 times while we are still up, but by the time we are in bed they are tucked in. Last night they had a sleep over together in Superboy's bunkbeds. I balked at this because we let them the night before and they were up still when we went to bed and kept getting up. They just egg each other on and keep each other awake.
Last night they decided it was safe to begin creeping when they heard our bedroom door shut. Daddy bolted out of bed, into the hall with a rather loud voice. He took away their stereo (which they were still listening to) and took The Boy downstairs to his own room. Then I waited. and waited. and waited. I guess he felt bad for yelling and wanted to make sure they went to sleep feeling loved and secure. He spent some time with each boy talking and praying. He really is a good Daddy. But his wifey was pretty asleep by the time he came to bed.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I wish...

It has been a while since I have felt like writing, opening my computer has felt like a chore and my head hurts as soon as I do. Today I figured I had better just write something, anything.

This morning my Dad was on his way out the door to go back home and he was talking with the kids about flying on an airplane to and from work. Girly pipes in, "I wish I could fly in an airplane!" So I told her that she would, someday. She said, "I wish I could fly a PINK airplane! I would take you all with me in my pink airplane." That girl likes pink more than Barbie.
She is really into 'I wish ...' She must say it 5o times a day. A couple of days ago she was pointing at my breasts and saying, "Those yours bras." I explained that no, those were my breasts. "Oh, yours breasts," and she kind of pats them and then pats her own little chest. I told her that when she was a woman, she would have bigger breasts like Mommy and that she could even nurse a baby with them.
"I wish...I wish...I wish that I was a mommy." She looks down at her flat chest as she pats my significantly larger one. "I wish I am a mommy and I have a baby. I wish I had a PINK baby!" I am still trying to figure out what she meant by a pink baby, if she wants a girl baby or if she wants a literally pink baby? Not too sure.
Today my girly is flippin' miserable. She was fine all day until she went down for a nap, when I got her up she started whining. She hasn't stopped yet. She says that her tummy is sick and that her leg hurts. She is mostly laying lethargically with a completely pathetic look on her face and a pouty lip, while continually whimpering. I am kinda thinking that she may have a touch of the flu, poor girly.
Dh and I and the 2 big kids went to the dentist and that caused more whining because Monkey Boy wanted to see the dentist and get a toy as well. Other than that, the dentist thing went well, the littles were super well behaved in the waiting room for almost 2 hours. I had no cavities! A big deal for me as I have naturally very thin enamel and very deep crevices on my chewing surfaces. But, I have exceptionally clean teeth. And yes, I am proud;)
Superboy also was cavity free and apparently does a good job cleaning his teeth. Not what I wanted them to tell him. That kid never brushes. ever. I have to ask him about ten times each evening before he will even put paste on his brush . I guess he has great teeth. Lucky kid. The Boy had one cavity and a referral to the orthodontist. Now that he is 13 he finally has almost all of his teeth, except one baby eye tooth that won't fall out because there is no room for it. His wisdom teeth are also growing right into his back teeth. Nice. We are gonna make that ortho much richer.
I wish I was an orthodontist. Maybe I could have spent less time having babies and more time going to school? Ah heck, I like the little twerps, even their crooked teeth.

Oh Yvonne! Thanks so much for dropping in this morning, loved seeing you. Sorry I was kinda sleepy and out of it. I think I have pregnancy brain and it has robbed me of the ability to make intelligent conversation. As is evidenced here on my blog. Yikes! And I am really hoping for your sake that Girly does not have the flu. I would hate to have passed on those germs!

Friday, March 14, 2008

bits and bites

Well I just finished making 4 batches of play dough with my 4 year old and my hands are stained with food colouring. I made the mistake of doubling up the batch for batch 3 and 4. Ick. It didn't cook through enough and I had to knead it for 30 minutes to get it unsticky, and now it is kind of tough. Don't double the recipe!
I just made the traditional one, I have 2 books of dough recipes, but I always come back to this one.
1c. flour
1/2 c. salt
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1tsp oil
1 c. warm water
food colouring
stir in heavy bottomed pot over medium heat til it comes away from the pot. Then knead til smooth.
easy peasy.

I decided to be a good mother today and not ignore my children for my computer or hide from them in my room with a book. I sat with them all morning while they did school, something I need to do every day but have been neglecting. The little ones were driving me crazy though. They were running around, screaming and bugging their brothers. Hence the playdough. Next week I will be bringing out the dough, the paints and craft stuff while the boys are doing school so that the littles will be occupied. I am also hoping to start some basic school stuff with the 4 year old, he is really keen, but I haven't spent much time teaching him.

Right now it is snowing and blowing outside, so much for the spring weather. Oh well, I know at this point that any cold weather will be short-lived.

Had my first prenatal appointment yesterday. I had it booked before, but the doctor had to run over to the hospital so I showed up only to be told I had to rebook. I will get to go have an ultrasound on the 26th and then another a couple of weeks later. I can't wait, it always gives me a bit of a respite from my anxiety. I tried to speak to my doc a bit about the anxiety I was having and had hoped to segue into the mild prenatal depression, but she kinda rushed me out the door. That was a bit upsetting. I didn't even get to listen to the heartbeat or anything, cuz it was a 'talking' appointment. Now she is only one of the 5 doctors I will see at this clinic and I know some of the others are great listeners and will address my concerns. I also should have been more forceful. I did write out all my concerns in the 6 page questionnaire I had to fill out, so once she reads them I am sure she will be more open to listening. I left a bit disheartened, especially because I had misgivings about going back to this clinic because of the 5 doctor thing. They have a new policy of having you see one doc for the first 20 weeks and then 20 - 30 weeks you meet the other doctors and then finally you go back to one doctor leading up to delivery to promote continuity of care. I hope that is how it actually works, because with Girly I kept getting different docs even in the last 4 weeks. I guess we shall see. If I am not happy, I will find another doc. I know tons of child-bearing women with doctors they love!

Tonight begins another hockey marathon. Running around, playoff games, eating on the run, over-tired toddlers, these are what makes up my weekends. I do get to go to an Oil Kings game tonight with my 10 year old and his whole hockey team. I am looking forward to it, but my son would rather his Dad took him. Daddy is way more likely to spend tons of money on crap at the game. Mommy is way too practical for that. Poor kid.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Pregnancy Number 5, 2005

These shots are from when I was preggo with Girly. I am trying to finish off her baby book. The kit I used is Beginnings by Weeds and Wildflowers, I think they are my fave right now!
Check out Immortality Art for some other new layouts!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Tidbits from Mama's Day

My Girly is a bit annoyed with her dad, he keeps trying to put her back in her bed for a nap. She just put a pirate hat on him, handed him a sword and said, "You're a pirate. Have a good trip pirate!" She was trying to get rid of him. He wasn't all that cooperative. "Get on your own ship and go for a trip" Daddy still wasn't taking the hint.
"You, Girly Pirate, are going in your crib-ship and taking a nap. arrr."
She is now screaming from said ship, "I don't like you Daddy Pirate!"
Maybe if we are lucky, she will scream til she is tired and sail away to dreamland.
Nope, no sleeping. Just spitting milk all over herself and her bed. For fun. And the occasional screeching.

3:30pm We are stellar parents.
My dh said we had to take a photo and post this so that everyone would know how Canadian we are. Yep, there are our preschoolers, riding their bikes in the snow in their short-sleeves. It was over 55 degrees F out there! Positively balmy! and I did put their coats on after the photo op. and yes, Girly did pick out her own outfit. with the help of her dad.
I have to add that as a true Canadian, I grew up in the frozen far north, where we literally had 2 months of summer. And by summer I mean that the temperatures were sometimes in the high teens to low twenties Celsius (think 65 to 70 Fahrenheit). And it only snowed maybe 2 or 3 days of that.
We were not allowed to run through the sprinkler or go in the little pool unless the temperature hit 20 degrees (70 F). Brr.! I can not imagine, as an adult, even being remotely tempted by the water at 20 degrees. I remember my Mom boiling water in big pots to add to the kiddy pool so that we didn't end up with hypothermia. Good Mom!

Girly was indulging in some attention-seeking behavior at dinner today. This involved gargling chocolate milk so it would spill out of her mouth; spitting food, throwing things at mommy, screaming...
We made a concerted effort to listen to her talk and give positive reinforcement for more positive behavior. There are a lot of people vying for our attention at the dinner table and it can be easy for someone to get left out. Though, she is pretty hard to ignore and not likely to let herself be left out of anything!
While her brother was telling me a story, she decided that she had something to say. I told her quietly that I would listen to her in a minute, not to interrupt her brother. So then she starts in. "Shh. Shhhh. SH SUPERBOY! SHHOOOOOOOOSH!!!!"
Yeah, she is not likely to get lost in the shuffle.

The Zoo. No not my house, the REAL zoo.

My mom and sister and niece all came here for the weekend. I miss my family all the time and was so excited to have them here for a few days. Saturday was a gorgeous day outside and we just had to get out and enjoy the sunshine and the spring feel in the air. Dh thought it would be nice to head out to the zoo and that is what we did. It was a bit muddy and mucky in parts, but the kids sure didn't mind. They chased each other around, threw snowballs and checked out the animals. We enjoyed their laughter and the sun warm on our faces.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Friday's here!

A tulip teaser, a birthday card I made for my dear friend Yvonne. I had a wonderful visit with her today and all 3 littles got along amazingly well! I brought a chocolate birthday cake which was so yummy, I think I need to make one for here too.
Check out immortality art for another layout of my Girly being a poser and some more tulip shots.
If you haven't gotten an invite to my photo blog yet and you would like one, email me! addy in sidebar
Happy weekend everyone!
Birthday card: New Beginnings by Weeds and Wildflowers

Thursday, March 06, 2008

A gift.

Today's post is below, but I have a spring bouquet over at Immortality Art to warm your winter blues. Especially for you Yvonne, happy belated birthday girl! Love you.

Pregnant and Hungry

So my husband decided that he was going to make dinner tonight while we were at the grocery store and I have to say that he did a terrific job. It was so yummy! I had my camera out so I even got a shot before I sat down.

On top of some fine chef skills, my husband possesses an uncanny ability to get preschoolers to try their veggies. Tonight we had asparagus and salad. The four year old was resistant to eating the asparagus. Daddy pipes up, "Oh Monkey, don't eat Junior Asparagus! Don't eat Archibald either! No, don't eat him, aaaaaahhhhhh!"
Wow, tell my kid that he is eating one of his favourite characters from Veggie Tales and he gobbles those suckers right up. Almost seems wrong to me.

I have mentioned before how much I love grocery shopping with my 4 year old boy. He is so enthusiastic and interested in everything. We could spend vast amounts of time in the produce section. There have been many occasions where he has shown interest in an interesting fruit or veggie and we have to try it. Today it was Vietnamese Dragon Fruit. Looks kinda scary, but it was surprisingly delicious. It is supposed to taste like a cross between strawberry and pear, which it did, kind of like a mild kiwi. The kids had fun devouring it!
Check out Immortality Art for more shots of our meal. scroll down for the ones of the kids enjoying their Dragon Fruit.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Slip and Fall

My girly was being a big girl and using the potty and then disaster struck. She toppled that teeny potty full of pee and then fell right in the puddle. She freaked out exactly how I would have had I been her. Icky! While she squealed and panicked, I undressed her and got her into a bath. I ran back into my bathroom to get my special body wash and poured a bit under the running water, watched Girly's delighted grin as the rich, foamy bubbles started to fill the tub. My little monkey boy came in at that point, "Put more bubbles in Mom!"
"No, that is enough, the bubbles will grow as the water fills the tub." When the water was high enough, I ran downstairs to grab a towel for her. I came back up to shouts of, "Girly let the water disappear!"
and, "It's show swippery!"
I quickly deduced that my dear son had gotten the bubble bath and poured the rest of the bottle into the tub. Almost immediately after, the Girly had let the plug out and all the water had emptied. Leaving a sudsy, slippery tub. Girly was still delighted as she scooped up handfuls of suds and rubbed them onto her tummy. I was less than impressed. The Monkey boy kept telling me to refill the tub, to which I had to explain to them both that there was only enough hot water to fill the tub once. I rinsed the Girly with tepid water and wrapped her up in her towel. She wasn't too disappointed, especially because then she got to put on yotion. She loves my body butter.
Darn, too bad I didn't think to grab my camera while she was in that super sudsy tub!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A Snowy Trick

Edited: I have also updated over at Immortality Art (photography and scrapbooking) (scroll beneath the scrapbook layout) and Learning and Growing at Home ( home education)

After 2 weeks of above zero temperatures, sunshine and melting snow, the spring tease fled the region. Sunday was cold, very cold, minus 20 degrees cold. Yesterday was much warmer but the snow returned. It must have snowed 4 inches of huge, fluffy and wet flakes. It was melting here while the snow fell and the kids had a blast playing outside and getting completely soaked.
Papa was here for his 2 days before going up north to work. (It is minus 50 degrees Celcius where he is going!) The littles enjoyed showing off for him. Check out my Hockey Warrior Princess and her foe, the Dark (but adorable) Knight. Her ensemble of hockey jersey and full, pink, tulle, princess skirt is one that only my Girly could pull off.

Here she is giving her warrior princess yell.

After a full day of running circles around the living room and yelling at the top of their lungs, it was time to curl up with Papa and some books. He gets to read a LOT of books while he is here. Girly says, "Papa, you like to read me a story?" and when she gets a non-committal answer, she grabs his hand. "Papa, you DO like to read me a story!" She pulls him to the couch, pushes him down and picks out at least 3 more books to add to the pile.
The best part of the whole thing is that he keeps her occupied and I don't have to yawningly read a dozen stories. Thanks Dad!
Oh! Check out how long Girly's hair has gotten!

Monday, March 03, 2008

My Pregnancy Book

Also posted at Immortality Art.
Credits: Paper, No Room For Grey by Retrodiva
frame, Beauty Marks by Two Sisters Designs
Scribbly Flowers brush set by Gypsy Chick

Go Team Go!

In the fall we had bought tickets to an NHL game at my son's hockey team's silent auction. We have been looking forward to going to the game with our older boys for months. My dh asked his mom to come and babysit for us and she agreed. Last night as we are about to leave, he calls her and it was like she just realized it was for last night. She said she couldn't come. ACK! I decided that I wouldn't go, that the boys could just go with their dad and I would stay home with the littles.
At about 5:30 (the game was at 6)we decided to just bite the bullet and take the whole family. We had 4 really good seats so we would just buy a nosebleed ticket and sit with the littles on our laps. Maybe. We all threw on our hockey jerseys and climbed into the van.
It worked out great! The preschoolers were so excited to be there and for most of the game they sat nicely on our laps and watched in rapt attention. We sat right behind the opposing team's net, we could see the player's facial expressions and hear the chatter on the ice. We jumped as players were thrown into the boards. And when our team finally started scoring in the third period, we jumped and screamed and cheered. Girly was the biggest cheerleader of the group, she was jumping up and down on my knee and screaming 'Let's go, Oilers! Let's Go!" to the delight of many people around us.
I think the only person not that enthused was the poor guy sitting directly in front of me. He took the brunt of wiggly kidlets and screeching, teensy fans. I tried really hard to keep them contained and to not let them hit his seat, but it was impossible to shield him entirely from toddlerville.
It was a surprisingly great night for our family, but not one likely to be repeated very often. Costs a fortune!
Oh, best of all, our team won! In the shootout! We got to see Hemsky skating right towards us with the puck, deke out the goalie and shoot it in. Our seats were awesome, we could see the puck bouncing off the net. And my oldest boy doesn't feel like a jinx anymore. This is the first time he has been to a game where our team won.