Sunday, May 31, 2009

Homework and Stripping

Sunday evening is here, and I feel like I can relax a little. Just a little though. The kitchen is a major mess, so technically I should be cleaning it, but I think I'm not going to worry about that for now. Mike will be spending yet another evening watching hockey, so I guess I'm stuck on my own again. I got my homework done at suppertime though, so now I don't have that hanging over my head. I do have a slide show to complete though, for my Grandma's 95th birthday party, which is next Saturday. That is next on my list of things to do. There is just not enough time in each day to get everything done that I need to do.

I spent most of my day stripping. Yep, stripping. Diapers, that is. I couldn't resist throwing that in there. It is a process of deep cleaning that needs to be done now and again, if they start to hold odors or repel liquid. Mine were not severe, but were smelling pretty strong as soon as they got wet so I decided it was time to do some stripping. I did a bunch of research online to figure out what to do, and it turned out that I did not have what I needed to do it properly. Bleach. Not that bleach is always a necessary part of the process, but in this case it would have been. I did a bunch of other stuff, but I will have to buy bleach for the next time, which might be really soon if what I did turns out to have been ineffective. So, I guess I do not have what it takes to be a good stripper. Don't tell Mike.

The weekend has gone well with Cody. He has had lots of attention and lots of activity, and it has been good. His attitude has improved and he has even slept in two mornings in a row, although last night we did not get him to bed until after 8 p.m. which frustrated me to no end. It wasn't his fault. He had napped in the van and then had a tough time falling asleep once we did put him down, so that compounded things, but he wasn't really bad or anything. It has been nice to have back-up for the past two days. Mike has tomorrow off too, so that makes this officially a long weekend for us. Much needed, at that. Hm. I can hear Cody having a major tantrum in the bathroom right now. He is with Mike. Thank goodness. My emotions and hormones cannot handle any tantrums right now other than my own. Well, some of Jamie's are pretty cute and funny, but Cody's are downright nasty. Anyway, it is story time for the boys, so I guess I better go. I am too tired to write much else right now anyway. Perhaps I'll have time again tomorrow, seeing I will not be alone with the boys all day. Woo hoo!

Friday, May 29, 2009

The End of the Week. Finally.

Just thought I'd do a quick post, though I am dumb for not being in bed yet. This morning went all right. We went to my sister's place so the boys had a change of scene, which was good for all of us. Cody played with his cousin while Jamie wandered around, perfectly content to do his own thing. Meanwhile, I worked on a musical recording with my brother-in-law, which was really fun and inspiring. I love the production side of music, but it was nice to play piano again, as I don't get much chance to do it around here without having my hands slapped away or unwanted duet partners. Haha.

Anyway, things were a bit rough with Cody in the afternoon starting when we left for home again, but mercifully he fell asleep in the van...about five minutes before we got home. I left him in there with the windows open and set a timer for 20 minutes. He was awake before the timer beeped, but that was probably a good thing.

All in all, I am not as discouraged as I was two days ago, but still kind of concerned about Cody. He was disciplined tonight for coming out of his room repeatedly after being told not to (once he was tucked into bed, that is), and afterwards he was bawling. I heard him ranting, thanks to the monitor, and he was saying things like "I'm not special anymore", and that type of thing. I started to cry. It breaks my heart to hear my three year old talking himself down. Where does this come from? He has also recently told me that he's not a good Cody and that I need a new Cody, and again that he is not special and he is bad. Wow. Please believe me, I am very careful (as is Mike) not to ever tell him that he is a bad boy. We talk about him making bad choices and acting gross, but we always tell him that he is a good boy because we don't want him to label himself. I guess we are too late. How can this happen in such a young child? I went into his room and talked to him for a while once I overheard the things he was saying. He was so incredibly upset. I told him that he was special, and that even when he makes bad choices he is still very special to us and we love him so much. He said "Yeah" and seemed to receive what I was telling him. I prayed with him, and then Mike came in to talk with him too. He said, "I forgive you Dad," regarding being disciplined, and Mike told him he forgave him too for disobeying. After that, he settled. So. I don't know whether he is going through some kind of crisis, or whether he is just ridiculously overtired and cannot handle anything right now. Either way, I cried for a long time thinking of my sweet little boy thinking that he is worthless, or somehow not special. I don't want that for him. Maybe he is more like me than I realized.

Anyway, it is one minute to midnight and this Apple is about to turn into a pumpkin, so I must sign off for now. Goodnight all.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Continuation, Unfortunately

Yesterday was worse than I could have ever imagined. I have never felt so angry at my own child as I did all day yesterday. What I feel this morning must be similar to what a hangover would feel like. Cody is still in a terrible state, as our company did not leave until almost 9 p.m. and the boys were both up late. Now they are even more overtired than they were yesterday, though that is difficult to fathom. It is not quite 10 a.m. and already Cody and I are fighting. It feels gross. I feel like I cannot handle this right now, but I have no choice. I am alone. There is no one to help me. I am desperate to run away, but I cannot. I also have so much to do, but ever two minutes I have to discipline Cody again, so I can't get anything done. I have him in bed right now, but I am not so naive as to believe he will actually have a nap, though that is what he needs. He certainly refused yesterday. Funny thing how when I don't want him to sleep he falls asleep spontaneously, even on the couch or wherever, or he begs for a nap in his bed. But when I know he really needs it, and I ask him to rest, he REFUSES to fall asleep. So, it's like no matter what I do, it is wrong. We are supposed to be trying the early bedtime thing, but after four nights, it was thwarted two of those nights. What is the point if we cannot do it consistently? I guess we should have put them to bed last night even though there were people here, including a boy who is about five months older than Cody. I can't seem to make the right choices no matter what I do. If this day goes like yesterday did, I honestly don't know how I will survive it. I feel like the ultimate loser when I can't even keep my three year old in line. When did he get like this? This is not the true Cody. That's why I'm convinced that it is just lack of sleep on his part, but I just seem to be powerless to change that. I'm in the mood for a good thunderstorm, but there is none in the forecast. I guess I should go see what Jamie is up to. He is in the living room, playing quietly. Oh, correction, here he comes into the kitchen, following Cricket. He loves the cats. He loves all animals.

Great, here comes the other one. Can I go hide somewhere? I would if I didn't fear for Jamie's safety while I'm out of the room. Maybe I'll put Jamie to bed for a while. He is likely very tired too. He is sucking his thumb, patting Cricket gently. I think he's tired. I better go. Bye for now.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Another Rough Start

Oh boy. It is only 10:30 in the morning and already this day has been a complete disaster. Cody woke up before 6 a.m. this morning, and has not gone back to sleep. I actually have him in bed right now because of a massive blow-out we just had. So far today he has had a rotten attitude, and he has hurt his brother multiple times. He has hit me as well, and had several tantrums. (By the way, this is NOT Cody's normal nature! He is very laid back and sweet, and generally a very good kid. That is why this is so hard when he acts like this!) I was on the phone with my sister-in-law and I can't even count the number of incidents that occurred during that brief time. The one that stands out the most was when I went into the boys' room and they were in there together, playing "baseball". Baseball consisted of Cody holding a very large and heavy flashlight and then smashing it down onto his glasses, which were situated on his night table. Well, this put me into near panic mode as I lunged for the glasses and the flashlight, which I confiscated. That brought on a fresh and violent tantrum, consisting of hitting me multiple times. Yes, I was still on the phone at this time, but I hung up fairly quickly after that. I was so angry. It is a horrible feeling to have such intense anger at your own child. Those are the moments where it is tempting to get very physical in return. I went into my room instead and locked the door. Then I took that opportunity to use my washroom, and during that time I heard a loud thump and then Jamie start bawling. My anger came in another fresh wave. I had to rush out to Jamie. Thankfully he was okay, but I was still really ticked that I could not even use the bathroom without my poor little guy getting hurt. It was deliberate, of course, because Cody was mad at me for locking him out of my room.

I had to take him into his room and have a very serious talk with him, and then tuck him into bed. By the time we were done, his attitude was better but I told him he had to have a sleep. Yes, the very thing that I normally dread I now wish with every fiber of my being that he would do. I doubt very much that it will work though. I told him that we will not make "sprinkle muffins" (Cody's word for cupcakes) together unless he has a sleep. We'll see what happens. He is not sleeping yet, but he is pretty quiet, so that at least helps my sanity to have a fighting chance of returning to me...slowly. I need to clean the kitchen and the living room and the bathroom very thoroughly as we are having company for supper and the evening, but I am so wiped out. I have to cook too. Wish me luck with that. The kitchen is pretty clean already, except for the floor. That is the part I am dreading, and not sure how I will pull it off either because I have to wash the floor and I can't do it with either of the boys around. Anyway, I guess I should not be doing this right now because I have so much to do. I just really needed to vent this out. I desperately hope that Cody will actually nap. If he doesn't, the rest of this day will be very hellish, as has been the first part! I guess I'm off for now, to clean whatever I can, while I can. Bye for now.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Depressed.

Looks like I'll be taking a back seat tonight and tomorrow. I'm feeling very depressed right now faced with an evening of hockey. I hate hockey. I'm sick of hockey. I don't want to be stuck in my room all evening, but I really don't want to sit here and listen to this either. It is depressing because this is the first and only kid free time I get all day, and I have to be subjected to hockey the whole time. Tomorrow I will be abandoned for golf, which is worse. Maybe it isn't worse. It's a toss-up, I guess. I'm not feeling very well this week and I already expressed that, but I guess golf won out over me once again. Well, why wouldn't it? I don't have anything positive to say right now. I am going to take a box of kleenex outside and sit on the porch swing and read, but not because I want to. Only because I have no other choice. I hate feeling like a prisoner in my own house. That's it for today.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Now I'm Getting Nervous.

Well, I had a nephew born yesterday and now I am officially on deck. Yep, I will be the next one to have a baby in this family. That is, unless I am grossly overdue and my next sister-in-law is really early, but both of those are possibilities as I am always late and she is always early. I am only seven weeks from my due date now, and I guess you could say that I am officially getting nervous. Yes, I've done it twice before, but that does not make me less nervous. Maybe it's worse because I know what is coming. I have this feeling that I will be early too, but I think that is probably just wishful thinking. My first two sisters-in-law had girls in April, and everyone told me that was "the trend", and of course therefore that meant that I would also have a girl. (Right. Because we all know how accurate that type of thinking is.) But, now there is a boy, and I figure that means for sure I will also have a boy. Yes, I am also very scientific in my thinking. It all points to boy, in my opinion, but I still have to wait anywhere from five to nine more weeks to find out. I am finding it harder and harder to wait, but on the other hand I am fully aware that I am in an easier situation now than I will be once this baby is born. Haha.

That was typed earlier today. Now we just got home from town, having gone to visit the new baby. Yikes, what an exhausting trip. Unfortunately, Cody was a real brat at the hospital and I was ready to throttle him. He tore down the hallway laughing extremely loudly and would NOT come back. He did that twice, despite the very serious "chat" that his Dad had with him in the family waiting room. He is lucky he did not get a spanking for that. I thought Cody's bolting days were over, but I was mistaken. By the time we left the hospital I felt like crying. I felt like a loser, and I felt bad for bringing my kids along to see the baby because more than likely we just stressed out the new parents. Not that I had an option. Well, other than simply not going to see him, but I really wanted to see him when he was tiny and still in the hospital. Selfish? I guess maybe it was. I should have just let Mike go by himself straight after work rather than meeting him in town. At any rate, it was stressful and I am now feeling drained...both physically and emotionally.

Both boys are in bed now, but they are talking, laughing, squealing, throwing things...etc. The usual routine, really. I don't care, I guess, except that we formulated a plan yesterday to try to deal with Cody's raunchy moods lately. The plan was to put him to bed at 7 p.m. rather than close to 8 p.m. every day. Okay, you may be thinking that sounds like a no-brainer, but there was a reason we stopped putting him to bed that early. We didn't want to get up earlier than we already are. However, it has come to my attention lately that Cody gets up around the same time each day regardless of how late he stays up, so I thought maybe the same principle would apply for an earlier bed time. We tried it last night, and it worked wonderfully. On Cody anyway. Jamie was up til almost 9:30 p.m. for some reason, but I guess sometimes you just can't win! Anyway, because of our trek into town today we didn't get home until almost 7 p.m. and that threw the whole bedtime thing off. Now they got put down closer to 8 p.m. and they are still awake. I suspect they will be for quite some time yet. It is frustrating, but what can you do? Sometimes the routine gets upset, and things go awry. I was just hoping that we could at least be consistent for a week or so to test things out before we messed up a bedtime again.

Now I am feeling emotional and wishing for some peace and quiet. That is not happening. Hm. Daddy is intervening. Not sure whether that will be effective or not. Here's hoping. Hm. Doesn't sound promising. At least they are not fighting. Cody is singing now.

I had something I wanted to write about tonight, but wouldn't you know it, it has completely escaped me and I am having serious doubts that it is ever coming back, so I am going to sign off for now. Hopefully no one will be up in the middle of the night tonight. Cody got up last night at around 1 a.m. I was still awake, but was terribly dizzy, so I had to send Mike to put him back to bed. I'm off for now.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Who Needs a Rooster When You've Got Cody???

Here begins the sixth night of the room-sharing saga in this crazy house. The boys are tired, though Jamie is not too bad because he is still napping during the day. Cody, on the other hand, begs me daily for naps, but I refuse to give in. I know all too well what will happen if I allow even a 20 minute snooze. He will be up all evening. The weird part is, he still doesn't go to sleep until about 8:30 p.m. and he is getting up at obscene hours in the morning. Usually by 6:20 a.m. at the latest.

This morning was particularly ridiculous and began an hour earlier than normal. That's right, at 5:30 a.m. Cody stumbled into our room and came up beside my side of the bed, asking me to please come and tuck him in because his blankets had fallen onto the floor. Sadly, I had anticipated that the night before, and I did make marginal efforts to put the blankets further onto his bed, but I obviously did not do a good enough job. I followed him to his room, shushing him all the while and thinking to myself how disturbing it was that it was already light outside. In the boys' room, I got Cody all tucked in, but not before Jamie's little voice piped up. Great. I knew what that meant. Even still, in the true spirit of denial, I told them both to go back to sleep and I exited the room and shut the door behind me, having turned the starry night-light back on at Cody's request. I guess he considered it like some kind of cowboy sleepover under the stars, because not five minutes later, he started to play the harmonica. Yes, that's right, the harmonica. Listening to the strains of a three year old harmonica player being broadcast through a monitor into your bedroom at 5:30 in the morning brings on a range of emotions. First, "What the HECK is that??", followed by utter disbelief. ("I can't believe this is happening to me.") Then, there is amusement, because let's face it, it is pretty funny. Then there is the appropriate indignation, leading to the confiscation of the offending harmonica, followed by a serenade of a crying three year old.

Well, that was the start of the day. You'd think I would have been exhausted after such an early beginning, but somehow I had an incredible burst of energy. Seriously, it was like I was in my 39th week of pregnancy and was suddenly pumped...the whirlwind before labour kicks in. Fortunately, that was not the case, but I really got a lot accomplished for the first time in a really long time! I did seven loads of laundry. Well, okay, the sixth is still drying and the seventh is waiting for its turn in the dryer, but still. You might be wondering how I managed to accumulate seven loads worth of laundry. Yes, that is a valid question. I didn't even wash diapers today. That will be on tomorrow's agenda, of course. My bedroom has been a terrible mess for a long time, but I have only had the energy to worry about the more "visible" rooms in the house. Visible to the general public, that is. Even those have been a sorry sight, but I have really not kept our room up at all and today I just was sick of the mess. Mike helped me get the kitchen in great shape over the weekend, so I have been very diligent to keep it nice because it is easier to keep it nice than to let it get bad and then try to tackle a huge cleaning job. So, now that the kitchen was nice, I decided that today was the day I would tackle the master bedroom. Okay, I made progress, but it still needs work. We rearranged our furniture quite a while back and a lot of stuff just got shoved in the closet "to deal with later", which translates more like, "we might look at this in a few months...or not". Okay, correction, my seventh load is now in the dryer. Phew. That means I am cleared to go to bed whenever I want.

So, Cody was amazing all morning, and Jamie played nicely by himself too in his former room. This afternoon was not so warm and fuzzy. Cody's crankiness reared its ugly head, and we had some moments, but we baked a cake together and that helped, and I kicked him outside several times, so that helped too. He begged me to let him sleep this afternoon, but I would not. I figured he'd drop like a sack of lead when we put him to bed, but I was wrong. Him and Jamie had a veritable party in their room complete with singing, screaming, running (Cody only), throwing inanimate objects and of course, raucous laughter. It was very cute, and we heard it all in the monitor, but we had to do the parental thing and give them several stern warnings to go to sleep. At one point I even heard Cody say, "Jamie, it's time to sleep now." That was followed about five seconds later by more peals of laughter and screaming by both of them.

Sigh. Oh well. We anticipated this. The party did not stop until almost 8:30 p.m., which is not a big deal except that inevitably, they will still wake up at an ungodly hour tomorrow morning. It makes things difficult for me. For Mike too. But all day I struggle with the dilemma of whether to let Cody sleep or not. Clearly, he needs to, but if I let him he will keep Jamie up ALL evening, which will result in TWO grumpy boys the next day. I am just hoping that if I stick with the routine, he will eventually sleep as much as he needs to. Parenting is all about facing the unknown. I have no idea what to expect over the next couple of months, years, or even overnight each night. It is hard for me not to be anxious, but of course, anxiety does not do anything to alleviate the troubles that may arise.

On that note, I'm going to get ready for bed and hope for a decent sleep tonight. I had a great day for productivity, but let me tell you, by 4 p.m. I was completely exhausted and I don't anticipate another day of energy tomorrow, though it would be nice! I will try to be more consistent updating this crazy blog. I have been too addicted to this online contest I'm in for the month. It's called the Great Cloth Diaper Hunt. Sounds ridiculous, I know, but there are amazing prizes. My odds of winning? I have no idea. I'm guessing none. Haha. But I have to try. So, I'm off to my semi-clean room to get into my unmade bed. Yep, I did not manage to make the bed today. My bad. It was buried under all the laundry I was sorting through! Tomorrow I will make the bed, even if I don't accomplish anything else. Goodnight.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Adventures in Room-Sharing

Saturday was day one of the boys' room-sharing. Well, not really day one, but night one, I suppose. The evening was tense for me and I think for Mike as well, but the boys did settle within about an hour. That is not too bad, actually. I still went to bed in fear and trembling, but somehow they made it through the first night without waking up. I cannot say the same for the next morning. They were both talking by 6:30 a.m., so that was a little rough, but still, I will take it. Better that than up in the middle of the night, right? Which brings me to the update on the second night.

Hm. Well, last night did not go as well. Both boys were settled before 8:30 p.m., so that was quite good. Cody comes out quite a bit to ask us for things or just to stall in general, which he has not been doing recently until they started sharing a room. It is a pain, but the worst part about it is that every time he leaves his room, Jamie starts crying again. It is frustrating. Last night, Cody settled before Jamie did, and even when Mike changed Jamie's diaper and put him back to bed, Cody did not wake up. Jamie was crying pretty loud, so that is a good sign. Not that I should be surprised that Cody could sleep through that, as he sleeps like a hibernating bear once he falls asleep.

The problems started in the middle of the night. I think I mentioned the special night light that we got for the boys, but just in case I didn't, it's a ladybug that glows either red, blue or green and projects stars and the moon onto the ceiling and walls. On the first night, the light did not work well because it was simply to bright in their room when they went to bed. Last night I took great pains to hang an extra bed sheet (a dark one), around the edges of the blinds in their room so that it was really dark in there. It worked. The ladybug made a very cool atmosphere in there with stars all over the room. The issue is that the ladybug shuts off automatically after 45 minutes, to save the batteries. A brilliant idea, but I wondered what might happen if Cody woke up in the middle of the night one night to find it pitch black in there. He has been quite dependent on his night light in recent months, so I thought this could become an issue. It turns out, I was right. Last night at almost 4:30 a.m. we heard his voice in the monitor very loudly protesting that it was dark in the room and he could not see. I had to run in there to silence him before he would wake Jamie up. I nearly killed myself tripping on all the obstacles between my bed and the hall, and when I got there and peered into the room, I could see the shape of Jamie's head at the end of the crib, peeking over the side. Great. He was already awake. I went in the room and settled Cody, and turned the ladybug back on. He was happy then, but Jamie waited expectantly for me to come and pick him up. I hugged him, but did not pick him up. He freaked out. I gritted my teeth and left the room, closing the door behind me. Jamie wailed and wailed. After a couple of minutes, he did stop, and I was relieved. Not for long though. Cody then started talking and playing. Then I knew we were in trouble. Soon, they were both conversing and clearly having a wonderful time in their starry wonderland. We were not having as splendid a time in our plain old boring room. There was laughter, shouting, squealing, thumping, talking...oh boy. It just went on and on. It was a good hour before there was silence once again, and we could finally go back to sleep. Well, I say "we", but I'm guessing Mike was already asleep. I was not. Bad enough that I had already been up literally every 2 hours to go to the bathroom, but it would have been nice to have slept between potty breaks.

That was day two of the shared room saga. Yikes. I do not look forward to another night tonight. The good news is, it was almost 9 a.m. before they both woke up this morning. I attribute that at least in part to how dark it is in their room now, with the bed sheet in there. Cody is very grouchy today, but we cannot let him nap or he will be up all evening, which will keep Jamie up all evening crying. I'm guessing this transition will take at least a month before bedtime starts to go smoothly once again. Oh boy. I hope it does not take all the way until the baby comes. I don't know whether I could take that.

I think that's it for today. I am tired, and I am considering going to hide out in my room for a while. Cody is watching a show and Jamie is sleeping. Mike is working in the basement, which is a good thing. This might be my big chance to go lie down. Hopefully I won't have too many dramatic updates in the future about this bedroom situation. I am thankful that Cody seems to be happy to have Jamie in there. I think it is going to work out well, once they get into their routine. Phew. Bye for now.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

We Took the Plunge

Well, it's official. Our boys now share a room. We moved Jamie's crib into Cody's room this afternoon and got them all set up in there. I am very stressed out about it, though I have been trying to project excitement about it. Cody seems excited now, but I am truly worried about how Jamie is going to adjust. This might be the end of sleep as we know it. We bought them a special night light to ease the transition. It is a ladybug that glows either red, blue or green and projects stars in actual constellations onto the ceiling. Cody is pumped about the night light, which he picked out. I planned on getting them one, but I really thought we were going to get a turtle. I was surprised when he insisted on the ladybug instead, but he was adamant and despite my fears, he never once complained on the way home that "I wanted the turtle!!!" Phew. That's one battle avoided.

I had hoped to be back from town early enough to put Jamie down for a nap in his new room before he had to go down for the night, but no such luck. We simply could not get everything done fast enough to make it back on time to move the furniture and enforce a nap time. Tonight will be the first true test, and it will test all of us. I'm most worried about Jamie, but the less Cody sleeps, the less Jamie will sleep too, so how one does is going to depend at least partially on how the other does. Tonight could be a breeze, or it could be a disaster. I am really scared. I know that probably sounds pathetic to anyone who either does not have kids, or has never had to have kids share a room this young, but believe me, it is nerve-wracking. I am very stressed out and I feel very alone, and quite depressed, actually. I have all of these things that I want to get prepared before the baby comes, and it seems like I am not getting anywhere, but it is up to me to do it all.

Anyway, I guess I should be working out there instead of hiding in my room. I just got so discouraged that I had to get away for a bit. I guess I should go vacuum what I can now no longer refer to as "Jamie's room". I guess it is "the baby's room" now. I feel sad about it, but only because to me, Jamie is still my baby. He's so little. I hope he is going to be okay through all of this. He has no idea there is a baby coming. I don't know how to explain it to him. At least Cody is prepared this time around. He gets it, and even spent a good portion of yesterday afternoon shoving his toy bunny up inside of his shirt and patting it, telling me it was kicking and that it would be in there for 30 hours and then he would have a tummy ache and go to the hospital where the doctor would help him get it out. Hm. I hope the 30 hour reference was not prophetic.

Anyway, I better be a responsible adult and face the music. I'm sure I will have updates in the near future as to how the room sharing is going. Bye for now.

Friday, May 15, 2009

More Insanity

It's Friday at last, and not a moment too soon! Yesterday, Radar got sprayed by a skunk again. Yes, AGAIN. Some dogs are smart. Some dogs are dumb. Some dogs are somewhere in between. I guess Radar is one who falls in between. When he was a year old, he went after a porcupine and learned a very swift, very painful lesson. That was two summers ago, and he has not touched a porcupine since. Somehow, we never had a skunk incident back then and I was so grateful, but I knew that living out in the middle of the bush in Manitoba it was only a matter of time before he encountered one. I was right. Last summer he got sprayed by a skunk late one evening. He started barking and ran off the deck and then there was a yelp. I was worried, and ran to see what had happened. At the time, I brought him in the house and he stood there for a moment before the wave assaulted my nose. I panicked and kicked him back outside immediately, but it was already too late. Our whole house smelled like skunk. I guess I was not thinking, as we had all the windows open. After a few minutes it dawned on me that the smell was coming in the windows, so we ran around and closed them all. Looking back, I can't decide whether that was better or worse than our sewage smell that we had early this week. Perhaps it is fair to say that it was equally unpleasant.

Back then, I hoped and prayed that Radar had learned his lesson, but within a month he had done it again, and this time it was WAY worse! I know some people would be all about bathing him in tomato juice, but I really can't think of a good place to do that. There is no way I am bringing him in the house to bath him, skunk or not. He would scratch the living daylights out of the bathtub. Clearly, hosing him off would do no good, so I will probably do what I did last time and just let the odor gradually leave him. Fortunately, this time around is not as severe as his second skunk encounter, so hopefully in a couple of weeks the smell will not be noticeable anymore. Poor dog has a rejection complex now. I will not let him near any of us, including (especially) the kids.

This morning I woke up with a bad headache, even though Cody slept in. He was up last night with nightmares. It is 9:14 a.m. and Jamie is still sleeping. That is very unusual. I'm okay with it though! Cody came and cuddled with me in my bed for a bit, but he was begging for a snack. He finally left when I told him to go to the bathroom. He did not go to the bathroom though. I heard the distinct clinking of a spoon inside of a bowl, and I figured he was probably scrounging for remnants of ice cream in Mike's bowl from last night. Kind of gross, but I was not too concerned. You'd think I would have learned my lesson by now. When I came out, he was sitting by the couch with the canister of brown sugar open in front of him. He had a bowl full on the coffee table, and a spoon inside of the canister, and brown sugar all over his face and both hands. I freaked out a little and shouted, "NO NO NO!!!!!!" He then shrunk down on the floor between the couch and the table and started bawling. Then I felt bad. I was not really mad, but I cringe at the thought of the cooties in the brown sugar now. Obviously it is not good for him to be eating brown sugar by the bowlful either, but that was not my main source of horror. I just didn't want his germs in the main supply. I will have to try to assume that he only contaminated the stuff in his own bowl. Naive? Yes, of course. This is how I survive. It is akin to denial, really.

Jamie is now stirring, so I should go make him breakfast. I will probably not be back today because I am still struggling to finish my homework which is due today. I did a bunch of work last night, but I am not done yet, so if I get any quiet moments where my head is not threatening to explode, I will have to prioritize my homework above everything else. Bring on the long weekend!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Today is Looking Up

When I said I was having a bad day yesterday, I was not aware of how much worse it was going to get! At the end of the school day, Mike's laptop got stolen. It is basically known that it was one of his students who did it, and it is also fairly obvious which one or ones. He is beyond upset. Mike does not get upset easily. I keep thinking that to steal is low down and dirty, but to steal from someone you know is utter betrayal and even spiteful. I am very angry about it, and so is he, but there is little that can be done. The police will be contacted, of course, but unless they catch the kid or kids with the laptop on them, I don't think they can prove anything. Incidentally, the two people in question did not show up for school today. Shocking. I guess they are cowards too.

So, Mike got home quite late yesterday, after 6 p.m., and went straight to the basement to work on the septic. He got sewage on him at one point, so he washed his foot off, thinking that was the only place that was affected. Much later in the evening, he discovered that it was on him elsewhere as well, because he still smelled. So, he had a shower. He informed me that during his shower he asked himself whether his day could get much worse...a question that can be dangerous. At that moment, he accidentally squirted himself in the eye with shampoo. He came out of the shower and told me the story, and we both laughed pretty hard. It was nice to have something lighten the load.

Today is much better so far. Mike charged the van battery overnight, and it is working fine today, though I did not drive it because I have switched the car seats into the Matrix. I took the boys to get the mail, and the diapers were there, which made my day. Yes, I know it is sad when diapers are the highlight of a person's day, but that is the way it is right now. There was also a golf club there for Mike, so when he gets home he will also have an exciting highlight to his day. We think the septic system may be up and running now too, but the only way to know for sure is to go about our normal daily routine, which I am doing now. There is laundry going, and I even got to shower this morning. Yay! I guess we should know by the end of the day if everything is going all right or not. I have to listen for the sound of the pump...oh, and there it is now. It just started, so I have to wait to see whether it will go off on its own or whether it goes til the cows come home. If it does not shut off, we are not out of the woods yet, plus it means I have to go downstairs and enter the area where the pump has been leaking. Oh joy. Here's hoping the pump will shut off on its own!

We may get a thunderstorm later this afternoon. I would enjoy that. As long as it is not too severe, of course. That's about all I have to say for now. The boys are eating lunch and Jamie is starting to complain, so I'm thinking I better tend to him. He will be going to bed very soon! He missed his nap this morning! Bye for now.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Air Freshener, Anyone??

Our day around here should be an interesting one. Right now, it is 16 degrees in this house, which is an improvement of a whole degree from this morning. We are having major issues with our septic system, and as a result this entire house stunk of sewage all night. It was so horrible. We had to open the basement windows as well as the two windows in our bedroom. It was much too cold to open the boys' windows, but their doors were closed and we turned off the air circulation, so I don't think the smell got in their rooms as badly. I was literally finding it difficult to breathe, and all I could think about was how this was going to poison us in our sleep. I was worried about myself, the baby and the kids. Mike did not seem to be bothered by it the same way I was until the heat came on. At that point, the furnace managed to pull the horrible air from the basement and shoot it into all of the rooms upstairs. That was when the smell went from gross to unbearable. Mike had to run and shut off the heat and then open windows. It was not a good night. I was up several times, as part of my third trimester rituals, and every time I got up I could hear Jamie talking in his room. I did not dare go check on him for fear that I would trigger a bawling session that would last an hour or more. At 5:45 a.m. I finally did check on him because he was crying. His diaper was not even wet. I think the real problem was that he was cold. Well, join the club!

This morning, my bedroom smells like cow manure, from the cattle that live not far from here. I consider it a vast improvement over last night. Eau de Cow Manure. Yes, much more my style, and believe me, I hate the smell of cows. I cannot turn the heat on or the air from downstairs will come up again, but it is supposed to get up to 21 degrees today, so it should get warmer in here fairly quickly. I'm not allowed to run laundry today, or flush much for that matter. Mike said I can run the dishwasher, but in truth I am still somewhat paranoid about it. The problem is, whatever water goes down the drain will not get pumped out, so if too much goes in, everything will overflow into the basement. Not my idea of a good time. The good news is, the house does not reek today, other than the bovine aura in my room, that is. I will not be showering today, which is unfortunate as well. I intend to go to get the mail today with the boys, probably in an hour or so. I am still expecting some mail that is kind of exciting, and I don't want to wait for Mike to get home to pick it up. Besides, it gives us an excuse to get out of here, if only for 25 minutes or so. I hope the mail is there, or I will be sorely disappointed. I am expecting more diapers to complete Jamie's stash, and also some other work-related mail that is very important. I am more stressed about getting that, at this point. I hope it comes today.

The rest of my day will consist of the usual. Policing the boys, feeding them, and trying my best to get it cleaner in here!!!! I will also try to prevent Jamie from doing things like feeding Tupperware to the rabbit. I'm guessing that their lifetime warranty does not include lids chewed through by rabbits. So much for that container. It was one I used often too. I'm glad that Oreo didn't eat the whole thing, as I'm pretty sure his little digestive system would not have done well with it. His cage tends to be a drop off zone for things like cheap plastic harmonicas, foam alphabet letters, puzzle pieces, and even occasionally a remote control. (Took us weeks to find that one. For some reason we never thought to check the rabbit's cage. Hm. That one was Cody though.)

Anyway, I'm off to get ready for my exciting outing of the day. I was not here this weekend for the weekly dump run, so I kind of got gypped of my "small-town outing" of the week. Going to the town where our mail is will be strikingly similar to a dump run, so I will get my fix after all. There is plenty of junk there, and it is very much like a ghost town. Bye for now.

Update: Okay, well my day now officially sucks. I finally got everyone ready to go and the van wouldn't start. It is dead. Completely dead. There wasn't even a click when I turned the keys. Guess what else? The keys were already turned part way when I got in there, which means that either MIke left them on the "accessories" setting, or he let Cody mess with them. Either way, I am extremely upset. Now I am stuck here. Trapped. No outing to break up the monotony. No new diapers. No money from work. Nothing to brighten my sewer-tainted day. Maybe if my hormones weren't all over the place from this pregnancy I might be able to handle this. As it is, I cannot. This will no doubt be a long day.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sad

I'm feeling incredibly sad today. Nothing happened. I just feel sad. Jamie is bawling again, and there is no obvious cause for the crying. This makes it impossible for me to relax, and harder still to be happy. I hope he gets over this phase soon. Cody is sleeping nicely, so that is good. Our house smells like sewage. Mike is standing in front of me flexing, as he does his workout. All I want is to go somewhere. Somewhere peaceful. The lake, a resort somewhere...I don't know. I'm worried about this pregnancy and this baby. I am so tired that I cannot function. I slept for an hour and a half this afternoon, and that was after sleeping in until almost 8:30 this morning. Is this normal? I have no idea. My hands are swollen and I had to remove my wedding rings today. I was hoping to avoid that this pregnancy, at least until the very end. Last time I had them off for the last three months or so.

I'm frustrated too because I really want to get ready for this baby, but most of the things I have to do are out of my control and I can't do them yet. I feel very unprepared. I don't like the names we've chosen anymore. Well, that's not entirely true. It isn't that I don't like them. I just don't know anymore if I want to use them.

I'm stressed about my homework too, and don't feel like I am going to have the energy to get it done this week. It is due on Friday. It is a big assignment. I'm doing very well in my course, but it is very hard to have any quiet time to focus in, and these days whenever it is quiet in here I can't seem to stay conscious.

Sorry, this is just me dumping, I guess. I will feel better once I know Jamie is sleeping tonight. He did not cry during the night last night, so that helps too. Yep, there he goes again. He stops for a minute and then he starts up again. When I go in there, he just leans on me and hugs me. He seems to want comfort, but I don't know what from.

I don't have much positive to say in here, so I might as well sign off for now. I just want a big bowl of hot, buttery popcorn and a feel-good movie. I need to have a laugh, or at least a smile. No tear-jerkers for me tonight. Hopefully the week will be looking better tomorrow. I'm off.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Genuinely sad baby, or manipulation??

My nerves are officially shot. Last night, Jamie woke up bawling at 1 a.m. I was not too thrilled with this development, but I went to check him and he didn't even have so much as a wet diaper. At that point I was pretty sure I was in trouble. I gave him tylenol, for lack of any other ideas, and went back to bed. This hurt his feelings excruciatingly. He cried loudly and emphatically for an hour. I did not go back into his room because I was beginning to get the distinct feeling that I was being manipulated. What else do you call it when a 16 month old is perfectly happy when you are holding him, but as soon as he is back in his crib he is devastated? Obviously it can't be a pain issue, as that would not be alleviated by me holding him. He couldn't have been hungry or thirsty because again, that would not change if I were holding him. The only thing that I could come up with was that perhaps he was cold and when I held him he felt warm. I didn't know what to do about it though. Sounds dumb, I guess, but he is still too young to sleep with a blanket. He sleeps in a sleeper or pajamas with a fleece sleep sack over top. Is this enough? It always has been before, but recently I have wondered. Cody sleeps with two quilts, a sheet and two fleece blankets. Oh, and a baby quilt too. We have two, no three quilts on our bed right now. So, is one little fleece sleep sack enough for Jamie? I just don't know. It was for Cody. It always was for Jamie before too.

All day I felt like the walking dead and I had to nap again this afternoon. In truth, I feel ill from fatigue. I don't know whether that is from my rough nights this week, from being pregnant, or if I am simply fighting something. We did not put Jamie to bed until after 8 p.m. tonight as he slept most of the afternoon today. (He missed his morning nap.) But guess what? As soon as he knew we were getting ready to put him to bed he freaked out and started wailing again. By the time we put Cody to bed, I was crying because I did not know how much more of Jamie's bawling I could take. I currently have ear phones in, but fortunately, he did stop after about half an hour and is sleeping now. That is little comfort though, because I have a strong feeling that he is going to do the same thing tonight. We put him in a onesie and a sleeper and put socks on him, all under his long-sleeved fleece sleep sack. I hope that will help. I also gave him water in his bed. Still, he seemed mostly hurt that we put him to bed. He just wanted me to stand there and hug him. Well guess what?? I can't do that all night every night!!!!!!!! What am I supposed to do when this baby comes? And somehow, we are supposed to be moving Jamie into Cody's room in the next week or so. I am not ready for this. How are we going to do this?? None of us are going to get any sleep at all. This is beyond my ability to handle. I am hoping that a few days of crying it off will cure Jamie. I know there are some people who don't believe in crying it out because it seems cruel. Honestly, I feel like a huge meanie doing it, but I really think that if I go in there every time, he will get exactly what he wants and he will continue to cry. I cannot do that.

That's all I have to say for now. I am burnt. I need to do something mindless for a while. I will probably not do an entry tomorrow because I'm going away for the day. (Thank goodness.) If I'm back early enough, maybe I will. Goodnight.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Strange Times

Yesterday turned out to be something of a rough day for me. For some reason, things have been "off" around here fore quite some time. It is difficult to explain, but something just doesn't seem right with Jamie, for starters. We have had issues with him waking up and crying for extended periods of time for no apparent reason. He did this yesterday evening for two hours. That means that my entire evening was spent alternately trying to console him and trying to ignore the ceaseless bawling. It was difficult, and eventually brought me to the point where I felt like I needed to get outside and scream at the top of my lungs. I was terrified that he would cry all night. I was in tears by 10 p.m. and I was absolutely fried.

Cody was also acting a bit strange, and when I put him to bed he complained of being really cold. I had to give him an extra blanket for the night, which is unusual for him, and his forehead felt a little warm to me. I was concerned, but I put him to bed anyway. He woke up before the evening was over and asked for water. Mike was home by then and agreed there was something wrong, but it was hard to put a finger on what the problem was.

Then there was me. I have been feeling somewhat weak and at times queasy lately, and yesterday was no exception. Then, during all the stress of the evening I realized that I hadn't felt my baby move all evening. That is unusual also, as I usually have the tar kicked out of me for the entire evening. I then began to worry about the baby. By the time the evening was over, I did feel movement, but not as extreme as normal. As it turns out, baby is back to "kickboxing pro" status tonight. Phew.

Today, after we went out to get the mail (our big outing for the day) I put both boys and myself to bed. That was at 10:30 a.m. I did not expect Cody to sleep, and by extension I did not figure that I would sleep either. I was wrong. He woke me up just before 1 p.m., and Jamie slept til 1:40 p.m. Wow! That felt good! I think we were all slightly better today, but I am still exhausted. The baby is moving though, and that is what is important. Hopefully Jamie will not be up tonight with issues, whatever they may be. I think I'll sign off for now, as it is late and I am getting a bit of a headache. Tomorrow is a new day, and I pray it will be a good one for all of us. Goodnight.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Me and My Buns

The week is going all right so far. This could potentially be a challenging day for me because Mike will not be home until after the boys are in bed. That means no breaks for me, and I have been somewhat exhausted lately. It will be interesting to see how everything goes. Jamie is sleeping right now, and Cody is watching his show before lunch. I am actually in the process of making buns. Hm.

As is typical of me, I did run into a small crisis at the beginning of my bun-making crusade this morning. I started before 9 a.m. in order that I would be able to complete my project by early afternoon, but soon I discovered a significant problem. I already had my yeast rising in the warm water, sugar and salt, when I discovered that I did not have enough flour for my recipe. Great. So, I then wondered whether to run to the store for more, or not. I figured that a big bag of flour would be much more expensive here at the Co-op than in Brandon so I was not really thrilled with that idea, plus I did not relish the idea of taking both boys to town when I am completely disheveled, as usual. So, I went downstairs to the freezer to see whether we had any more in there. (We keep our flour in the freezer as it is supposedly better done that way. I guess it keeps it from going bad and keeps the bugs out or something.) Well, we had a bag and a half of flour down there, but it was whole wheat, and I was making a white recipe.

Getting to the freezer was an ordeal in itself. We are in the process of finishing our basement, so we have most of the walls framed, but not drywalled, and there are piles of lumber and boxes all over the place. Many of the doorways in the framed walls are blocked by stuff, so I had to go through the actual wall itself. As it turns out, I barely fit through the boards now. I'm telling you, give me another month and I will not be able to get in and out of the storage room unless Mike kindly unblocks some of the doorways down there. Yikes.

Anyway, I talked to my sister and my Mom and it turns out I can make the buns with some whole wheat flour and some white, so I am doing an experimental process today. Usually, experiments that take place in the kitchen do not go well for me. Either way, it looks like I will be messing with dough until the cows come home. I have not even punched it down yet, and after that it will still need to rise for at least an hour and a half again once I form it into buns. Should be interesting. I'll have to report on the final product, if there is one. I don't have much confidence in my bread-making skills as of yet...least of all whole wheat, which I have always understood to be more complicated than plain white dough.

At any rate, I am currently avoiding cleaning because I am overwhelmed with mess and literally do not know where to start in here. I better get going so that I can attempt to do something about that. I'm off for now.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Busy Day Today

Today will be a busy day. Had to get up early this morning so that I could shower before Jamie was awake. Cody was up already, of course, and was begging for a toy that he has not played with in months. I told him he'd have to wait, and he cried. I figured we might be in for a rough day. I have a doctor's appointment today, and unfortunately, I was not able to get anyone to take the boys for me so they are both coming with me. Probably sounds like no big deal to some people, but believe me, it is a big deal. I borrowed an umbrella stroller so that I can have something to strap Jamie into. That way I can more easily carry my stuff and hold Cody's hand. It is hard to hang onto him while carrying Jamie because Jamie is 24 pounds (probably more now as he hasn't been weighed since January). Did I mention that Jamie is bawling every few seconds for no reason?? Oh, and Cody screams "NO!" at Jamie for no reason? And I'm taking these two out in public today? As if I don't dread my appointments as it is. I feel kind of depressed. Mike also took the cell phone this morning, and I was supposed to have it, so if I have any trouble I will not be able to call anyone. I am not anticipating trouble, (well, at least not the kind that would require me calling anyone other than a psychiatrist maybe), but having the cell phone along does wonders for my peace of mind.

At any rate, this is not the type of day that I look forward to. Hopefully the doctor will at least not tell me I have a big butt today. I don't think my self-esteem can handle another blow. I'm feeling pretty ugly as it is these days.

Hm. This is sounding pretty negative. I better sign off for now, before it gets worse! I might give an update later, if I am able. Otherwise, maybe I'll wait until tomorrow. I'll be leaving in about half an hour.

UPDATE: Okay, so my day went much better than I anticipated. Mike's Mom called this morning and offered to take the boys for me, so I did not have to drag them to my appointment. That was a major help! Yay! Then, my appointment was short and sweet, with no comments about my butt! Another bonus. After that, I went back to the farm and hung out there with the boys and my mother-in-law for the afternoon and Mike joined us there for supper. The boys were happy, (well, Jamie was a bit fussy...), and it was good to have a change of scene for once. I just felt like I should update seeing I was so negative earlier. I have got to start seeing the cup as half full! I'm off for now. Boys are both sleeping so this is officially my quiet time.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Gross Times

Hm. Looks like I have taken a couple of days off from this blog. We are sick around here, so I have been somewhat preoccupied. On Wednesday I went to town and took Jamie to the doctor, as he has had the runs for a week. Yesterday was his third straight day of fever, and he was really not feeling well at all. Cody joined in the fun yesterday, which made for an overall yucky day for all of us. I'm not sure how Jamie is today yet, but Cody is definitely still sick, and it looks like I am now in the club too. Great. What I really need to do today is laundry, but I can't because we are having a problem with our septic system and I can't use more water than necessary. So, I will have to wait until Mike gets home to do the laundry. Jamie did a very small barf last night before bed, and I was stressed all night after that. Barf is one of the tests of motherhood that I have yet to pass. Well, in truth, I have yet to face it. Baby spit-up doesn't count, though it is kind of gross. In all his life, Cody has only ever really thrown up once, and I was working at the time, so his auntie ended up being the one who dealt with it. I have a major fear of barf. I mean, I'm scared to do it, and I'm scared of the thought of cleaning it up. Cat barf is doable, though gross. But people barf? Oh boy. Believe it or not, it is one of my biggest fears of motherhood. I have gone as long as 12 years without ever throwing up. So far, that is my record, and I hope to beat it some day. I am currently at just over four years. Yes, I am one of the lucky ones who does not throw up when pregnant. I feel like it, but I never do. Phew!

Anyway, that is an unpleasant topic, to say the least. My challenge today, other than dealing with the above, will be to get my homework done. I am almost done, but how I will have any time to myself that goes beyond five minute increments, I do not know. My homework is due today, so I will have to make it happen.

Other than these mundane motherly duties and every day stuff, this week has been a difficult one for us. We found out two days ago that Mike's cousin's husband was just diagnosed with leukemia. This was very sudden and unexpected, and it is very shocking and upsetting for everyone. He is under 30 years old (I think about 27) and is married with a little boy who is turning two soon, and his wife is pregnant and due at the same time as me. He has a very fast-moving cancer and actually begins chemotherapy today, which will last at least a month. His name is Travis, so if anyone out there believes in God, please pray for him and his family. They are in for a rough time. It is so hard to understand why things like this happen. I don't think I want to say any more about it right now. I can only imagine how his wife, Kari, is feeling. Right now, it is hard to think of anything else.

So, my boys are eating (against my better judgment), and I have much to do today. I will probably have more time to post on the weekend than I have the last couple of days. Oh, and as for an update on a previous post, I still have not washed my kitchen floor. Hm. Bye for now.

P.S. Breakfast is over now, and while cuddling with Jamie I found a woodtick stuck up inside of his ear. Eewww! I had to pick it out and kill it. How did Jamie get a woodtick?? And so the season begins.