Monday, March 30, 2009

Everyday Miracles

Holey potholes batman! Spring is sprung! My poor suspension, between the potholes and the snow ruts in my back alley, I am thoroughly rattled.

It is finally melting and sunny here in the northland.
Two weeks ago, it was melty and then we had a huge snow dump that Saturday night. By Sunday morning, the roads were a total hazard. We were driving to church and it was crazy slippery, with 6 inches of slush on all the roads. We were waiting to turn right out of our neighbourhood when a strange thing happened. The lights changed and I was waiting for a man to finish crossing the street so that I could go. I was worried about maneuvering around him, because berms of snow were preventing him from getting up to the sidewalk and he was inches from my bumper. When he was clear, I took my foot off of the brake and my car rolled backwards an inch. I tried the gas, and... nothing. I looked down at my displays, everything looked fine, so I tried it again. Same thing happened. Then I was really distracted, trying to figure out what was going on. I had put on my hazards so cars would go around me. I soon figured out that the van had stalled. So I turned the key off, restarted the car and waited for the intersection to clear and the lights to change again.

All this time, I was troubleshooting out loud, so my kids could hear what was happening. My son piped up, "Mom, good thing the car stalled then, because that truck went right by us."
"What?"
"That big truck went right by us when you couldn't get the car to go."
"You mean that car that went around us while we were stalled?"
"No, that truck went by in front of us while we had the green light."

Now I am confused. I try to clarify. It turns out that while I was distracted by not hitting the man on the side of the road, and then figuring out what had happened to my car, a truck had run the light. A truck that I didn't see. A truck that very likely would have hit us, me and my 5 kids, while we turned right onto the main artery.

Then I was a bit shaken up, "Wow, God gave us a miracle, eh?" I muttered to myself as I tried to blink back the tears that were gathering in my eyes.

"Wow, God really CAN do stuff, hey Mom, " Monkey boy (5) says from the back row.
"Yes, Monkey, God really can," and does, I thought to myself.

The whole rest of the drive, I valiantly held back the waterworks that kept threatening, breathing prayers of thanksgiving.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Today's Grade: Fail

So by this afternoon, I was done. Done like dinner. Oh wait, dinner wasn't done and I still needed to feed the kids. By 4, I was completely wrung out, crying, yelling, frustrated and defeated. But guess what? Just like every other mom out there, I couldn't actually just give in and be done. Nope, there were kids to be fed. Faces to be washed. Teeth to be brushed. Jammies to be wrangled onto small bodies. Stories to be read. Lullabies to be sung. Prayers to be said. Driving teens around to be done. Chores to be done. More prayers and lullabies. Babies to be nursed and comforted. Repeat.

I took the littles to play group this morning and it was great until poor Monkey got something in his eye that we couldn't seem to flush out. So we went home a few minutes early. I had asked the boys to quickly do their chores while I was gone so that we could go out when I got home. Field trip day!
I bet you can't figure out what happened while I was gone! Nothing. They did nothing.
So I was a bit frustrated, but it was early and I asked them to quickly get them done. By 4 o'clock, they had still not completed the 10 to 15 minutes worth of work I had asked of them. For 5 hours I reminded, scolded, reminded, helped along, reminded, separated fighting kids and tried to get them back on task. By 4, I had resorted to trying to scare Superboy (11) with my loud voice into actually finishing the loading of the dishwasher. I had lost it. I was done.
All I had wanted to do was to take them out for some fun. Instead I waited for them all bloody day. And we did nothing. Well, they fought with each other and chased each other around the house. So that is something.
Now, I had been taking it easy on them this week. No school, very little chores. Giving grace and just dropping everything and taking them for a treat or some fun. Today, all I wanted was to not leave a food mess all over the house. So I asked them to do their regular, every day chore and expected it to be done. I thought, and still think, that if I said we could go when they were done, that I need to hold them to that. You know, consistency, follow-through, all that jazz. Anyhoo... needless to say, it was not one of my finest days.
So by evening, I just couldn't cope anymore. I wanted my hubby home desperately. I still had a laundry list of stuff to do before I could have my peace and quiet, a list I couldn't face, but had to. I so wished that I didn't have to make dinner. I just threw some pasta on to go with the yummy sauce I made yesterday and I took a fork to the leftover chocolate cake.
I spent most of my evening in tears. I still did the bedtime routines and there was something redeeming in that. I made sure that I apologized to each kid for yelling and that I spent some special time with them. I made sure that I let myself enjoy each of them and smiled real smiles at them, even though I was feeling kind of dead inside. My big boys even made me laugh with their boxer shorts polka jig!

I have really been able to feel the presence of God surrounding me and uplifting me in the last 3 weeks that my hubby has been gone. I have intensely felt that it has not been my strength, but God's that has sustained me. And apparently I forgot that today. I forgot to let go. I struggled and fought and tonight as I spoke to my hubby and told him that I needed him to come home NOW, I didn't even want to pray for God to help me again. I just wanted to pray for him to bring my hubby home. I didn't want to need God's strength in this. I just wanted it to be done and over with. But I do. I always need God. I am not strong enough, and my husband is not to carry me. That is for God. And He is enough.

hmm... maybe I learned something afterall...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sweet Child of Mine
















Well that baby of mine slept the whole night through, right until 7 am when Monkey started yelling for me to wipe his bottom. I guess I wasn't the only one being disturbed by our bed-sharing. The temptation to midnight-nurse must have just been too great for him while in such close proximity to the milk bar.














He is starting to take a bit of solid food from me now. He eats cheerios or rice crackers on his own (if his sister will let him!) and will eat a few teaspoons of certain veggies at a time. I just had to keep trying I guess. He will not eat the baby cereal. I wouldn't bother with it at all, but it is fortified with iron that he needs now. I guess I will have to keep trying or find another source of iron for him.














Zed is a goer. He just can't wait to get up and play with those big sibs of his. He can get around the floor pretty quick and is really enjoying bouncing in the exersaucer we got second-hand. He can get bouncing pretty hard and he just screeches with joy.
He adores getting his photo taken, (how can you tell he is my child?) he smiles as soon as he sees that flash go off. Of course, if the camera is out, big sister Girly has to be in the shot too!














His big brothers and sister are amazed with him and smother him with kisses and raspberries. How blessed can one family be?!




For more WordFUL Wednesday go see Angie @ Seven Clown Circus

Monday, March 16, 2009

Too tired for paragraphs.

Random thoughts:

My inner monologue voice keeps transitioning into King Julian's voice lately. I wonder what that says about me?
***

Music is the only thing keeping me together some days. I absolutely can't wait to hop in the car and turn up the stereo and sing at the top of my lungs.
***

I have realized that I am often whiny and selfish. Is me now being hyper-aware of this during every interaction I have, helpful in making a change, or does it just mean that I am completely self-absorbed?
***

My Girly told me tonight that, "One thing that I really love is MY JEWELERY and MY TIARA!" Her tiara, the one that she wears every moment of every day. Everywhere. People get such a kick out of her strutting through the grocery store in her tiara. In the morning when she wakes up, she takes her tiara and her jewels out of the hat box she keeps them in, and immediately puts them on. Just before bed, she returns the jewels to their box for safe-keeping. She is 3. I am a little concerned.
***

I am feeling conflicted at this exact second. I just put Zed to sleep in his own bed beside mine. Every night I battle with that decision. When he is snuggled up beside me, warm and sweet breath on my chest as I gaze upon his pale, round cheek and rose bud lips, I don't want to move him. But I know that when he is in my bed, I do not sleep. I will drowse and rest, but deep sleep does not come. When I put him in his own bed, my arms ache for him and my heart longs to hold him close. For most of the last week, I have kept him with me. But tonight I am utterly exhausted, I barely made it through bedtime with the kids. The reading aloud just about killed me. So I put my baby in his bed, hoping for sleep. And now? I want to rush over and scoop him up and wake him so that I can lay with him in my bed and have his eyes smiling up at me over my breast as he soothes himself into a milky stupor, and then feel his shallow breath on my skin as he drifts off to dreamland. without me.
***

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sockless Sunday

I am really finding that every day is an adventure. Especially when I try to go anywhere with my very large crew. Just getting everyone clean and dressed is quite the thing, my poor kids rarely have socks on their feet when we leave. Oops! I always tell them to put socks on, but I rarely think to check if they have. So we will get somewhere and mine are the poor sockless waifs with uncombed hair. When did that happen? When did I go from being the Mom of the cute, clean and perfectly dressed kids to the Mom of the mismatched, sockless, dirty-faced gaggle? I think it was sometime between babies 4 and 5.
It was about the same time that I had to stop micro-managing my family and let them start getting themselves ready.
It was about the same time that I stopped getting my hair cut, using my blowdryer and putting make-up on. I have become a cliche. An unkempt cliche. An unkempt cliche with nothing to wear. Nothing to wear because she is too chubby for her old clothes and can't seem to find an hour to run to the mall and use her gift cards and buy something to wear.
Yeah.
I haven't gotten my hair cut in a year. It is longer than my bra strap. And my eight grey hairs show. In fact they stand straight up! They are kinky and grey and stand up from my head like some geriatric mohawk. I am starting to look a bit like a comic strip character I think. As soon as my hubby comes home, I am going for a haircut. And highlights to mask the grey. Maybe I will get my nails done! Or buy some clothes! And I am ordering some new makeup and skin care, oh yes I am. I have been using Vaseline as moisturizer for a few weeks, now that is just sad. And when I have managed to put some makeup on, I have been dusting the bottom of my makeup bag for powder, because I am out. And out of foundation. And mascara. And all the good colours of eyeshadow. You know the ones. The ones that run out first and all you are left with is the odd purple that makes you look like you were punched, or the blue that went out with the bouffant.
Oh well, these baby days are fleeting and one day I will have some me time again. Maybe my kids will even have paired socks again. Wouldn't that be the day! (and they wouldn't be shunned at the McD's playplace for pulling their bare toesies out of their rubber boots and climbing on in. Bad Mommy!)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Waiting...

Waiting for my son to finish cleaning the kitchen. I have been waiting for him all week. He is 11 and he tries my patience every.single.day. He and his brother trade dish days. Superboy is M, W, F and The Boy is T, T, Sat. Well, Superboy has not finished his dishes once this week. The consequence is that you then have to do the dishes the next day too. Well, instead of convincing my son that he should maybe get down to his job and get it done, I have spent an extremely frustrating week with a very messy kitchen. Every.single.day.
School has been the same, I don't think he has actually put in a full school day's worth of work once this week. He has spent hours upon hours sitting and avoiding and sneaking off, but not one day just finishing his stuff. Today, he is supposed be finishing yesterday's work. Which is really Thursday's work... Well, actually I let them have Thursday off.
We spent the afternoon going for lunch and then at chapters. We read books and then spent an hour in the Starbucks having a hot bevvy and a cookie. It was so wonderful. I even got them each a book. And I finally bought Monkey a hand puppet to cuddle at night to discourage thumb sucking.
The first night went great, he didn't suck his thumb all night. Last night, not so much. He took it off in defiance apparently. At least that is what I got by the way he told me this morning. Oh well.
After our bookstore adventure, the big boys had Karate, so we dropped them off and headed out to get groceries at Superst0re. Me and the 3 littles. uh huh. I put Zed in the sling, Girly in the cart and had Monkey walk with me. It was okay, Monkey helped a lot. (even though I almost rolled him over with the cart a dozen times as he helped.) Getting the 20lb bag of potatoes into the bottom of the cart was a bit tricky, pushing the cart while slinging a baby who kept trying to turn around and eat the cart was very tricky to do without dropping said baby. But the kids were terrifically behaved, and it all went pretty smoothly. Until I got to the check out and tried to unload and then bag and reload the cart. While carrying baby in the sling. While baby tried to lean out and grab stuff. While working around helpful preschoolers. Not so easy. I was totally huffing and puffing by the time I got to the last bag. I am not sure how I did it, but I eventually got everything back on the cart. The nice man behind me kept telling me not to hurry, relax, everyone understood how hard that was to do. Which was great, but I think it would have been great if someone could have hauled the bag of potatoes or the cases of diapers and wipes onto the cart for me:)
The boy is sleeping today. He had a all-night birthday party last night. We don't usually allow them to spend the night at other people's homes, but he is 14 and feeling a bit lonely lately. So off he went. They did not sleep at all. I just pray he doesn't get sick this time!
Baby Zed is six months old, can you believe it? He is getting around all over the place, getting into everything. It is wonderful! And a wee bit inconvenient. Just a bit. Also? We are apparently passing around a fungus.(thrush) Both of us are screaming in pain when he nurses, and when he stops, my pain doesn't stop. It shoots through my breast like burning daggers for hours after. Ouch!
I just hope the doc can fit us in next week, because this has got to stop. Like soon!

I am still waiting for hubby to have a day off and come home to see us. We are doing okay, I really feel like God is sustaining me and keeping me. I just know I couldn't handle this on my own. Thankfully, I don't have to.

I think I shall take a walk to Starbucks this afternoon. I wish I had some rubber boots, it is so sloppy out, but I should make it if I load the kiddles into the chariot and go. The sun just came out! Have a great weekend!

Friday, March 13, 2009

My Voice

As varied as are my reasons for blogging, are my reasons to not blog. One of the biggest being that I can`t find the space to use the bathroom by myself, never mind finding a half hour to write or the hour or two needed to keep up with my lovely blog friends. And I almost hate to write if I can't read and comment and email with you all.
Another thing that has been inhibiting me is how exposed I sometimes feel. It has become apparent to me that everyone I am acquainted with, reads my blog. It seems like every time I have a conversation with someone, I hear the words, "Oh, yeah, I read that on your blog!"
You did? I did not realize that you read my blog! You have never left a comment or anything!
And though I love that people read, I want them to know what is going on with us, it started to weird me out a little! Because this is mostly a journal, and having a relative stranger read your inner thoughts is one thing, having your family, friends and acquaintances read them is a whole other thing entirely.
So, I think I have reconciled that. I want to be transparent. I want people to really know me, and I think I have something to offer people through my experiences and my faith.
My last reason for my frequent blogging hiatuses(*?) is more problematic, but I think it is easily remedied. I often find it difficult to find my authentic voice when writing. I know that when something I have written resonates with people, it is because I am writing in my voice, from within, where the real me resides. It is when I can write just like I would talk to you if you were sitting write here beside me.
I am sure that no one reads my blog for my excellent grasp of grammar and editing. I know this because I never edit or worry about grammar, because I am writing just as I would speak to you. (And if I took the time to edit, I would never post a blessed thing.)
So I often want to blog, but don't, because my voice seems to be eluding me. And I hate just posting a list of happenings or what have you. If I can't write from a place of who I really am, then why bother?
How can I find my voice every time I try to write? How can I be consistent? Well, I think I have an idea. I need to write every day. I need to be consistent and then the words should flow more easily, don't you think? Writing is like anything else, you need to practice!
What about you? How do you find your voice? What keeps you blogging, day in and day out? Where do you find your inspiration? Inquiring minds NEED to know!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Yay! It's Monday!

Did I happen to mention that it is 30 below zero C? And blowing snow. It is darn cold. I would definitely have to say that March has come in like a lion. I spent two days last week without a vehicle, as it was so cold my battery died and I couldn't start my car until Grandpa D came to my rescue.

Anyhoo, I am feeling much better today. I had a nice long chat with my sister last night. We haven't talked in ages, we have let our busy lives get in the way, I guess. She is an amazing Mary Kay consultant and had just finished a seminar weekend. She was setting new goals and making plans, very exciting. I am really proud of her for making such a success of her business. Her passion for her company and for women is totally inspiring.

Today is clean up my house day (mostly? folding laundry and scrubbing bathrooms day. Every day is scrubbing bathrooms day, my boys are gross) My girlfriend called and then came to pick up my preschoolers for the morning. Isn't that sweet? Another friend is coming for coffee tomorrow morning and then two of my sisters will be here. And my Dad! The rest of the week is adequately full as well. And when I am busy, I am much less lonely for my hubby. I still miss him terribly, but distraction is good.

I hope you guys have an amazing week, I look forward to chatting with you as the week progresses.
I am totally crying right now. My sister had called a week or two ago and said she would be in town for the weekend (for a conference) in a couple weeks and would like to see us. I wrote it on my calendar for next weekend. Not this weekend. It was this weekend.
Needless to say, I missed her. I even saw the phone number on my phone and listened to the messages. I missed her message and assumed the number was the number of another message that I did hear, that was for my hubby and was someone that I didn't want to talk to, so I didn't even answer.
And in my stupidity, I missed my sister. I so needed to see her. I miss her! I was so very lonesome this weekend and really wanted to talk to her. I haven't seen my sister since last summer, she has never met Zed. And I screwed it up. I miss her!
I was really excited for the coming week, I am going to see my other two sisters on Tuesday and then I thought H would be here from Wed to Sun and that we could visit and maybe shop together. But, I missed her. WAH!
I love you H! I miss you so! I am so sorry that I messed up!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Alone?

So I am doing the single parenting while married thing again. Hubby was laid off a few weeks ago and we have been praying really hard for God's provision and for hubby to be able to stay home. The company that he had been working for called and said that they wanted to send him out of town to work, and since nothing else has come up, Brent left on Sunday to go up north.
I thought I would be fine. That I could handle it. God is here, he is taking care of me. But it is hard. I feel overwhelmed most of the time. It is so noisy here! And I can't sleep! and I have been having migraines. Last night I just wept, wishing someone would come and just hold the baby for a few minutes and give me a break. It has only been 3 days!
Sometimes the everyone needing me, every moment of every day, touching me, whining at me, climbing into my bed at 3 am, when I was finally drifting off to sleep, and then bickering with each other all day while I try not to blow my top and pull out my hair, gets to me.
(Speaking of hair, remember all that hair I lost? It is coming back. Grey. I have all these inch long, wiry, grey hairs sticking up all over my head. I had no grey at all until this last pregnancy. ugh.)
I feel a bit whiny, but this is where I am. I know it is temporary, I keep telling myself this. I know God will carry me. Us. I know there are so many women in the same spot, many of them for much longer and under much scarier circumstances, like those with spouses in the military. But I just want my hubby home. The last 6 months to a year have been an incredible time of growth for us, we are in a wonderful and hopeful place in our relationship and family and I want that to continue. God's blessings are so evident in our life, but I still get worried and scared sometimes.
Thank you God for your provision and abundant blessings and please bring my hubby home safe. Soon.
*edited to add:
Part of my difficulty in his absence is the realization that we are finally finding our rhythm together again. After years of his working out of town off and on; after years of heartaches and upheavals; years of trying to make a go of a business and then letting it go; after years of having babies and even losing one; after all this, I finally feel like we are on the same page, drawing together and drawing closer to God. Not that we have arrived, by any means. But that we are walking in sync, at the beginning of a new path and now we are separated. And I question the wisdom in this. Could this possibly be God's path for us or are we heading off on our own again? Are we letting God, or are we trying to fix it on our own.
It is one thing for me, I just have to stay here and take care of the kids. But what about my husband? The weight of these decisions weighs on him. He wants to be here with us, but he also wants us to have a roof over our heads and food to eat. He desires to walk in God's will, but to do that he has to act and trust that he is making the right decisions. And then he has me at home, crying on the phone and then he questions himself.
I think that by making the best of the opportunities presented to us, being present and open God's direction and remembering to rest in Him, we shall be fine. I need to stop struggling and start trusting.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Mama Guilt Alert!

So I took the kids to the eye doctor today. Well, not only did I find out that I haven't taken them in 3 years (oops!) she also told me that Superboy should have some reading glasses. I took him numerous times, telling the eye doctor that he seemed to be having a lot of trouble focusing during his bookwork and rubbed his eyes and seemed to get headaches. He has a bit of strabismus in one eye, it wanders a bit. The doc kept giving us exercises and saying that his problem was from the strabismus. He also said that he was a bit far-sighted, but all kids are and it shouldn't be a problem.
I kept telling my hubby that I wanted to take him somewhere else and get someone to listen to me. We never did. Hence my guilt. My instincts were right and I didn't didn't listen to them. And I am sure that this has contributed greatly to our school issues with Superboy. Math and writing have been huge sore spots and after a while I just thought he was being disobedient, which was part of it. But I think that it was so hard for him to focus that it created a bad habit in him.
This optometrist said that he really seems to have trouble focusing and even though his prescription is very, very slight, it may make a difference for him in reading and close up work.
Now I am praying that the glasses will help and that we can create some new habits and a positive attitude about school.

Spring comes early...

At least on my new blog header! I whipped this up the other day to refresh things around here, I had the old one since I started this blog 3 years ago...
All the elements I used are from the Delightful collection by Gina Marie Huff from Weeds and Wildflowers