Friday, December 31, 2010

Good sleeps all around.

I had a really good sleep last night. I really thought we were going to have trouble with Micah or Jamie or both, but Jamie snuck into his bed at 5 p.m. and went to sleep without telling us. We did not hear from him until 7 a.m.  I had a two hour nap in the afternoon and then I also had a really good sleep last night, so hopefully that helped me. My head doesn't seem to hurt today so far, so that's a good sign. I'm going to have to eat today because I'm too hungry not to. My stomach is a bit out of whack, but I think it's just from not eating all day yesterday. Either way, I feel like vegging out with a good book or playing my new Donkey Kong Country Returns game on the Wii. There are no further updates at this point.

Jamie turned three today. He does not want cake because he still feels a bit icky. Cody doesn't want cake either due to continuing stomach pain. I hope it will end right away. I still want to make a special cake for Mike's birthday tomorrow, but we'll see how that goes. I'm too tired to get any more detailed with this post. Mike is now downstairs with Cody & Jamie. He is going to do some drywalling. I'm quite happy about that. Bad timing though, as far as when he is starting, as it is nearly lunch time. Oh well. None of us are on normal eating patterns, so I guess it doesn't really matter at this point. I'm still praying fervently that Micah will not be touched by this yucky bug, and that there will be no further incidents at all in our little family. We still have five days before Mike returns to work. I am hoping they will be good days.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bad Night.

I was up half the night with Jamie, who was barfing and had the runs. It was a difficult night. Changes of clothes, changes of bedding, laundry...etc. My stomach was not well by about 2 a.m. or so, and I was pretty sure I was next. Nothing much came of it though, but today I am not eating. This morning, Cody threw up again. Seems like this cycle is never ending. Mike felt pretty gross this morning too, but he is doing much better now. I went to bed at about 2 p.m. and slept til 4:30, so that was nice. My head is not as sore now. I feel paranoid to feed my kids. I'm scared Micah will get it. He's only 17 months old. I really don't want him getting sick. He's doing well so far. I find myself wishing we could have just skipped Christmas. If it's going to be this way every year, I'd like to pass, thank you. I don't have much else to say for the moment. I hope I will have a more positive post tomorrow. It will be Jamie's third birthday tomorrow, and at this point, I highly doubt we will make cake for him. The next day is Mike's birthday. I had planned to make him a yummy Skor cake. That has yet to be determined now. Will we have to postpone birthday celebrations again this year? Kind of looks that way. Still begging God for a miracle, praying He will spare the rest of us and that Cody and Jamie will be completely fine by tomorrow. I guess that's all for now.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

An update about Christmas holidays.

I guess it's time to do a post in here. Christmas was a bit of a downer for me, which is why I was not in a hurry to write anything about it. Not surprisingly, Jamie barfed twice on Christmas morning, and by morning I mean 4 a.m. and then some time again before 7 a.m.  I was very discouraged, as it seemed we were doomed for a repeat of last Christmas, which was spent throwing up, among other things. Thankfully, this year it didn't get that bad, and since Jamie's two incidents Christmas morning, there have been no others. Cody has a cold and cough, and Jamie does too now. Mike is quite sick with some kind of cold or flu, so he is in bed. It's actually fairly quiet in here for the moment. How long that will last is anybody's guess.

I did have a new nephew born yesterday in the wee hours of the morning. His name is Alex, and I went to see him in the hospital yesterday. He is my little sister's first baby. I'm so proud of her for making it through what was something of a traumatic birth experience. I'll put a couple of pictures of him in here. Here he is:




I had to add that third one because it shows his hair and also how tiny his head is! He was only 7 pounds, 5 ounces. More than two whole pounds lighter than Jamie was, at 9 pounds 9.6 ounces, and almost a full two pounds lighter than Cody, who was 9 pounds, 2 ounces. Even Micah was more than a pound bigger than little Alex, at 8 pounds, 9 ounces. Haha. So, that's the little guy. He is 17 months younger than Micah, almost to the day. 

Alex's birth was the most exciting part of Christmas around here, and certainly the happiest, once we knew he was okay. That's a bit of a story there, but I'm not sure my sister would want me sharing it all in here. Let's just say we were extremely worried about him and even about her because of the way things happened, but they are both healthy. 

We still have two birthdays to make it through this week. Jamie's is on New Year's Eve, and he's turning three. We are not planning a party for him. He is not really a party guy at this point in time. He is happier in a non-crowded situation, so that's what we'll give him. Then the next day is Mike's birthday. Sounds like we may have some company that day, so we will probably not do a party for him either. I hope he is feeling better by then. Mike doesn't normally get sick, and when he does it lasts a day or less. This is the second day of him feeling pretty bad, so I'm not sure how this will go. I have him taking every medicine I can get my hands on, so hopefully it will help clear him up. 

I have to go check on Micah. I am sure he is into trouble. Yep. Here he is with a yogurt container and a straw. I must say, he is at a very cute stage right now, but he also drives me nuts. He is into everything, every moment of every day except when he is sleeping. It is exhausting. Jamie has improved in that department, so at least I don't have two at once who are this bad, but wow. 

Anyway, that's about all I have to say for now. I look forward to getting the Christmas tree down, but Cody wants it up til summer. Ha. I might do it later today, we'll see. I'm off for now.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Up with the birds.

It is only 6:44 a.m. as I begin typing this post...probably my earliest one yet. I am up only because Mike needs muffins for his final day of school today and I forgot last night that it was for today. I had it in my brain that it was for a Friday. Duh. So, after a very late night (after 1 a.m.) due to continual sewer problems, here I am. Up at shortly after 6 a.m. and muffins in the oven. Of course the boys were up when I got up and I had to shush them, hence the reason I woke up in the first place. Micah is also fussing. I think he is teething. If not, he is sick. He had a bad night last night too.

Even still, so far I feel a bit better than I did yesterday morning. I did not feel well at all yesterday, so I napped all afternoon while Micah did and I let the boys watch TV. Of course it made them grumpy, but I really had no choice. I was feeling gross, plus I fell down the stairs on the ice outside when I went out to feed the horses first thing in the morning. I have a big bruise on my very lower back, really my butt, I guess, and one higher on my back too. I felt weird for a while after that. So the nap was needed.

In the evening, while Mike messed with the sewer stuff, I baked some of my sugar cookies. Several. Probably close to eighty. The rest I will do this afternoon with Cody after he is done at preschool. Sheesh. I also made my prune filling for my venetarta. I know it's dumb, but I was a bit stressed out making the filling. I've never done it without my mom's supervision before. I hope it turned out okay. I probably won't make the layers and the rest of it until tomorrow. I'll be busy today with cookies, icing and sprinkles. Some time I will be wrapping too.

I am really hoping we are all feeling better. Cody has a bit of a cold and I do too, but that's no big deal.

Anyway, I am really dopey here, and I think the muffins will be beeping soon, so I'm going to sign out. The boys are now in the living room with me, in the dark, with only the Christmas tree lights on. It's nice. Except for all the vocal engine sounds. But they are making a marginal effort to do it quietly. I'm off for now.

Monday, December 20, 2010

More snow, more yucky highways.

I don't know what to report as far as a health update. Jamie was definitely sick yesterday, though he only threw up the one time. He was fine today, but I am a tad bit paranoid. Micah has shown no symptoms and Mike also seems fine. I seem to be past whatever I had. My sister's kids are very sick, and others that I know have been sick as well. The countdown to Christmas is drawing to a close. If people aren't healthy soon, we may not have a Christmas all together for the third year in a row. (My side of the family, that is.) So I guess we'll see what happens.

Our sewer backed up this afternoon. Mike came home in the afternoon and fixed it, but he had to leave again at suppertime for his school's Christmas concert. It is now 10:11 p.m. and he is not home yet. It is about 40 minutes from here and the roads are really bad. It's snowing a ton and there is a snowfall warning out. I hope he gets here soon. I am listening to Boney M's Christmas album and it is somewhat comforting, but I wish Mike would just get here already. I talked to him over an hour ago and the concert was over but him and the staff were meeting at some hotel to have a staff meeting. Sheesh. I was mad. Why would they do that when the highways are bad and he needs to get home? He said it would only take 15-20 minutes. If that had been the case, he should have been here by now. Yeah. He should be here by now. Oh, and the sewer pump stopped working this evening, so I can't flush the toilet or let any water go down any drain because I had to unplug the pump. So I hope everyone stays healthy tonight.

I did manage to make my cookie dough this evening, and I am soaking my prunes for venetarta, but I probably won't make that tomorrow. Truthfully, I'm so tired I don't know how I'll make it at all. I may have mentioned this already, but I finished my Christmas shopping on Sunday afternoon, so I am relieved to be all done.

I'm too tense to blog right now. I have to sign off and wait for Mike. Maybe I'll play some Wii or something to occupy my brain. Bye for now.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sickness in the Twilight Zone

I think we all have the stomach flu. Sort of. Truly, it's the most bizarre thing. Cody had his one small barfing incident. My stomach was weird all day yesterday, but certainly not unbearable. Then, Jamie came in our room at 3 a.m. and I launched myself out of bed, preparing for major puking. I took him to the bathroom and he said he had a tummy ache, but nothing happened, and he wanted to go back to bed. So, I tucked him in but left a pail there for him and went back to bed. Of course, I couldn't sleep because I was so stressed out, but oh well. Then he came in our room this morning at about 7:30 and said, "My puke is better." I guess he did barf this morning in his pail, but like Cody, only a tiny bit. Now he is acting completely normal. Hyper, climbing on things...etc, and says he feels fine. It is the weirdest thing. Micah has exhibited no symptoms, and Mike sort of has but sort of hasn't. I truly hope this is/was the stomach flu because if we made it through and it was this mild, it was not at all traumatic like our summer with Jamie, or last Christmas. Plus, then we can go to Christmas gatherings without feeling like we might expose people to the bug. I guess we'll see how Micah does now. I'm happy to be able to give such a positive update. We especially worry about Jamie when he is sick because of what happened in the summer.

I'm a little scared to eat still, but I will try it this morning. If I feel good, I might go shopping today. (Blech.) I have to finish up Mike's gift and Micah's too. Everyone else is all set, I think. I can't wait to have that all finished and wrap everything. Then I will really feel like we are on holidays here. Hm. Not sure whether I'll eat after all. Wish I was not such a chicken about this stuff.

Anyway, just wanted to update our status on all this stuff. I'm off for now.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sickness is creeping in.

Friday has arrived, and my kitchen is officially clean. So, it only took me a week to clean it. Yikes. In a fit of inspiration, I decided to make french bread. I have never done it before, and I confess, my hopes are high that I will do a spectacular job. Usually that means it will be a flop. Haha. I guess we'll see.

Today I don't have a headache, but I have a sore throat. Feels like the beginning of a mild cold. The bad news is, Cody threw up this afternoon. It was weird, and he says he does not feel sick, so I'm not sure what to think. Is he sick, or not? Well, how could he barf if he was not sick? Unless it was just a weird moment. Either way, my paranoia has skyrocketed, and in the last few minutes, my own stomach feels a little off. I am afraid to eat, but because of my sore throat I just made a mug of hot chocolate, and now I am not sure whether to finish it or not. I guess it's just liquid, so it won't make anything much worse than it is. Also, I am not sure whether my stomach is just reacting to being so hungry. Again, I am too scared to eat. I can't believe this is happening. I am feeling very inclined to boycott all solid foods until I know this has passed. Yuck. I guess I will keep this blog posted on our status. Honestly, I just find this completely depressing. Can't we have a nice Christmas? It has been too long.

I gotta go. Micah is crying and my bread is going to need some attention in the very near future. I'm off for now.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Update on my week.

It has been an interesting week around here. I guess I posted on Monday and not after that. I am happy to report that on Tuesday I officially completed my course and sent in my final assignment. Phew. I can hardly believe after just over two years I have finally finished. That has taken a load off me, and yet I was a bit teary when I sent my email. I won't get the assignment back until sometime between Sunday and Tuesday next week, and after that I will really be done.

My plan was to go hard on my baking and cleaning once my course was done, but I am struggling with weird headaches this week, so I have been taking it easy, a bit. I woke up feeling better this morning, but the headache is now back so I am taking a break. I have been trying to clean my kitchen very thoroughly so I can make my sugar cookies, or sprinkle cookies, as my boys call them. However, it looks like today will not be the day either. I am very paranoid because it seems the stomach flu is running rampant in all the nearby schools and we have had direct contact with one family in particular that now has it, so I am just waiting, kind of holding my breath. Last year was so awful, and I just want this year to be nice. But I find myself discouraged, and tired. If I have a headache every day from now until New Year's, I would take that gladly over a stomach bug. I hope I won't have to experience either scenario.

Cody's preschool Christmas concert was yesterday morning. It was cute. I didn't take my camera along because I knew my hands would be full with Micah and Jamie the whole time. It turns out I needn't have worried about Jamie, but Micah certainly lived up to my expectations. Anyway, it went fine and it was fun to see Cody up there. He looked so serious. Barely a smile, and his lips barely moved as he sang. It's funny because he is so incredibly loud at home. Haha. Funny to see him so quiet and subdued. Jamie was silent the entire time and refused to take even a cookie from the teacher. He is very shy.

Now it is afternoon and I am hiding away, trying to organize my Christmas finances and see what is left to buy. Would be kind of fun if my stupid Microsoft program didn't keep shutting down literally every few seconds. That doesn't usually happen on my computer, so it's time to restart. I'm signing off now.

Monday, December 13, 2010

If I were a...

I wondered this morning how I would feel if I were a housekeeper. Then I realized, I am a housekeeper. So I changed my ponderings to how I would feel if I were a paid housekeeper and this were not my house. I walked in the door to all of this, and had one day to whip it all into shape. I think I would quit on the spot. It is not yet 10 a.m. and I have got a full load in the dishwasher, which is now running. I have also fed the horses and the boys, and baked muffins. If you walked in here right now, you would assume I had done nothing at all. But that's okay. I'm going to see just how much I can accomplish today. This afternoon when Micah naps I will have a few choices. I can shower and make myself presentable, as we are planning to go to a concert tonight with the whole family. I can keep cleaning, and prepare something for supper while I'm at it. Or, I can work on my final homework assignment, due on Wednesday. It really is a toss-up. The only thing I can do to make the choice easier when the time comes is to get it clean in here before then, so I can hopefully eliminate one of the three choices. Oh. Right. I also have to go outside and give the horses their oats, a task that is becoming increasingly unappealing as our temperatures drop further and further below zero. Yesterday was our coldest day yet.

Anyway, I could say more today, but I really don't have time. I must continue in my quest to clean up my messy house. Sigh. I hope I'll have a good report to give tomorrow! I'm off for now.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Jitters...

You know that feeling when you're home alone, in the dark, and suddenly you hear a noise? That's me, tonight, right now. Okay, I am not alone. I have three small boys sleeping in their rooms. But I am the only adult present. For those who do not know, I live in what we like to call "the Boonies". That means in the middle of the bush, completely surrounded by trees with the nearest neighbor at least half a mile away. I'm okay with that. Usually. But tonight I heard something on the back deck by the kitchen door. Something was knocked over out there. There is not a huge wind here tonight, so I know the wind is not the culprit. I also know it was not in my head, as my dog, Radar, reacted too. I was spooked, but thought perhaps Mike had returned home from his staff Christmas party. I called him to find out. He is still at the party. I went to the back door, with Radar, of course. Radar is a shepherd, by the way, so he is big and looks intimidating. He is also harmless to people. I opened the door, my heart pounding a little harder than normal. Radar went out and stood on the deck looking around. The motion detector light did not come on. I saw nothing. I heard nothing. Radar moved a little more and the light came on. The hair on the back of his neck was spiked straight up. I shut the door and left him to find out what was going on. A few minutes later he was barking and growling. The good news is, that means it was an animal, not a person. I brought him back inside, and he seems to be fine now. But I still feel a little jittery. Dumb, I know, but it is eerie here, surrounded by trees and completely isolated. Like I said, normally I like it that way, but once in a while I get scared in these unexplained moments. I am glad it was not a skunk on the deck though. I was worried I'd open the door and Radar would rush out and either get sprayed by a skunk or get in some terrible fight with a wild animal. Looks like we are safe for tonight. He will stay in the house the rest of the night now. Phew. I just had to write that. I am on edge, but okay. Drama queen. Right. Goodnight.

P.S. Here is a picture of my big, brave doggie, taken through the window a couple of days ago. Isn't he gorgeous?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

More literary nightmares??

Okay, please excuse this minor vent. Just over a month ago I posted about Hilary Duff and how she now has a best-selling novel. You may remember this disturbed me greatly, but I also found out she used a ghost writer. So essentially, she did not even write her book, though I understand the idea was hers. All right. I don't think about this every day anymore, and had kind of forgotten about it when I found out last night that Nicole Richie just put out a novel too. In her case, it's her second novel. Her third is in process and is scheduled for release next year. Oh my goodness. I don't think I am going to say any more about this at the moment. The reviews are mixed. I shouldn't think this way, but I can't help but wonder whether she had to labour over her work like a non-famous writer would. Was she published more easily because the publisher knew people would read the book if her name was on it? Sigh. At least she wrote it herself. That's an improvement over some. I must be jealous. That must be why it bothers me so much. I wonder whether I'll ever be the one whose novel is published? If I am, it certainly won't be famous because of the name on the cover.

Now, back to the business of being a mother. That's my reality now. This morning I have fed the kids, fed the horses, cleaned up a whole lot of poop, done some dishes and played vet to the boys' stuffed animals. Just now, Micah purposely head-butted my knee and my laptop because he is mad at me. Time for bed. I was hoping to keep him up a bit longer, but he is not happy to play right now. He needs to go to bed. Poor little guy. Hehe. I have to say though, his temper is actually quite funny. He's still young enough that we find it kind of cute when he has his dramatic meltdowns. He even has a hint of a smile on his face so it is obviously put on, even though he truly is frustrated. I must go before it gets even worse!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Letting loose.

I did something out of character today and had a bit of a dance-fest with my kids. To say that I'm not a dancer is a gross understatement. I have never been good at it, and it does not feel natural to me. I always feel stupid when I dance, so I simply don't. But the boys were all eating lunch and I put on some music on my laptop and started dancing a bit. I commented to myself that I don't know how to dance, and Cody heard me. He told me he knows how to dance, so I asked him to show me some of his moves. Haha. He got up from the table and started doing this crazy dance, arms flailing, eyes wide open, and a huge grin on his face. It just hit me. I started doing silly moves too and he started laughing, all the while dancing too. Jamie joined in. I heard Cody say, "Nice moves, Jame!" Then Micah started bopping really good in his high chair. I complimented his style too. I picked up Jamie and we danced all over the kitchen, twirling, bouncing, dipping and laughing. Honestly, my arms were aching from holding him for so long, but I don't remember the last time I had that much fun with the boys. After that song, I put Jamie down and we all danced. I let go of my inhibitions seeing my boys looked just as ridiculous as I did, but they didn't care. I decided not to care either, and I kept dancing in the kitchen, even after I released Micah from his high chair. Cody and Jamie made it into a game where they would run into the kitchen and if I danced toward them they would run away screaming and laughing. We must have done it for about twenty minutes. It really felt good. I am considering doing it every day. What a fun way to get some exercise and spend some fun time with the boys. They all loved it. Radar stared at me like I had completely lost it, but the rest of us had fun. Of course, I could never do that in public, but how nice to live with such non-judgmental beings...at least in terms of one's dancing abilities.

Now, the house is silent. Micah is asleep and I just booted the other two out for some outdoor time. It is pretty nice out and I had just come in from feeding the horses their oats. I was out there for a while and the cold didn't get to me, so I figured there was no excuse for the boys to miss out on some fresh air. I think they're trying to toboggan on our big hill. I can hear a shout now and again. It's time for me to begin a little work on my final homework assignment. It's due in just over a week. Phew. Almost done! I better sign off for now. The silence will only last so long!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

An aimless day.

Today marks the first day of Christmas music in our house this season. I have been aloof with the boys for the last week or more, always shooing them away from me and desperately needing space. I intend to try not to do that today. For some reason, I am utterly exhausted this morning, so I plan to take it easy today. I've had headaches for several days in a row...again, probably due to fatigue. If my kitchen was clean, I'd probably attempt a little baking with the boys this afternoon, but alas, it is not. Hm. Well, that's okay. I'm not too stressed about Christmas baking. I'm more concerned with shopping. Of course I did not finish my shopping in November. Not even close. But I did at least start, so that helps a bit.

This morning, Jamie's pyjama bottoms and top did not match. I wondered whether he had wet his pants in the night. I asked Cody whether Jamie had had an accident, and he said yes. So I just assumed Mike had changed Jamie's pants in the morning. But Cody went on to tell me that it happened in the middle of the night and he helped Jamie change into different pants without anyone else's help. I have to ask Mike about that later, but Cody never lies about stuff like that, so it is probably true. I thought that was fairly impressive. I mean, it's a bummer about the accident, but for Cody to take responsibility for Jamie without even calling us...wow. Nice, actually, though I do wonder at what time that actually happened. Seems weird that Jamie wouldn't have come to us for help.

I'm too blah to be doing this right now, I suppose. I better go have some breakfast, seeing it is nearly 10 a.m. and I have not bothered to eat yet. Lately I don't really want anything. We don't seem to have any food that appeals to me in any way. And no, I'm not pregnant. It's nothing like that. I really should get some house work done, seeing that's my job. Sorry for the boring post.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Life is a scream.

I didn't do a post yesterday, but I certainly had an interesting day. I suppose overall, it was just business as usual. I was glad to be back in the routine, at home with the boys. Micah has reached a difficult stage. All he wants to do is endanger his life, and he's good at it, so I have to spend a great deal of my time chasing him. I did so yesterday, and I did dishes, baked cookies and cooked a chicken dinner complete with mashed potatoes. And laundry. Not for dinner. I mean I did laundry. Like I said, business as usual.

Except when I went out to feed the horses in the afternoon. Of course, I was back to forking hay first thing in the morning, after a somewhat extensive break since last Wednesday morning. After lunch, once Micah was down for his nap, I ventured out in all my layers and Mike's clompy boots to feed them their pellets and oats. Never a fun job, due to having to separate them so they each get the correct amount. Yesterday, that was not the fun part. I went to the shed first to scoop the feed into each of their pails. I grabbed the ice cream pail and dipped it into the large bag of oats. Uh oh. Something moved in there. I have been half-expecting this day to come, but then I second guessed myself because we have had pellets and/or oats in the shed since we got horses and this has never happened before. I tentatively peeked into the bag. It is not terribly light in the shed, but it was certainly bright enough in there for me to positively identify the mouse that was running in frantic circles inside of the oats. The bag is tall, probably three feet, and the bag is about two thirds full right now. Clearly, I needed to catch the mouse and get it out of there. I dipped the pail in again and tried to scoop up the mouse. I missed. It panicked. I tried again. Missed again. More panic. Then the darn thing started to burrow under the oats. Soon it was completely out of sight. I had to stick my hand in and try to sift it out. If anyone is shrieking in horror right now, no need. I was wearing winter gloves or I would never have dared such a stunt. Don't get me wrong. I am not afraid of mice, but I have no desire to be bitten by one either. It took two handfuls of oats, but I sifted the little guy back into view and plunged my pail back in once again. Then he did something I didn't expect. He jumped. High. Like ten inches. I screamed. Nervously, I stuck my pail back in again and caught him. He jumped at me from the bottom of the pail. I screamed again. Then, he was perched on the very rim of the pail. He was in a quandary. He eyed me and the distance to the ground. I too had a decision to make. I couldn't very well let the little guy eat our oats. I also didn't want him camping out in our van, like his little buddies have been doing. I called the dog. This is extremely out of character for me, but I knew it was not good to have mice around in our stuff. Radar was very excited and gladly grabbed the mouse when I tossed it off the pail into the snow. However, he also lost it shortly afterward, and the crazy thing ran up the ramp at my feet. I screamed again. Sheesh. The mouse hid in the shed, and I'm sure it has enjoyed many lovely snacks since our encounter, but I have not laid eyes on it since. I told the boys my story and Cody loved it. He jumped when I described with animation how the mouse jumped at me. It was pretty funny.

Today I was a little on the jumpy side too. Radar was barking and being annoying outside so I went to the door by the pantry in the kitchen and threw it open. I called him as warm air was sucked out of the house at an alarming rate and cold air rushed in mercilessly. Radar made his appearance after a clumsy moment on the stairs and charged in the kitchen. I told him to stay by the door and promptly slammed it, preserving what warmth was left in the house. I turned toward the pantry to exit the area and saw movement. I jumped and screamed. It was a little boy. Jamie, to be more specific, and he was naked from the waist down. He was holding a small pylon which he had filled with the last of our pancake syrup and I can only guess that he was about to drink it. And here I thought he was getting less eccentric. I don't know what gave me that idea. 

And now I am listening to Micah wail in his bed, as he does every night. He piles on the guilt. I wish I were less susceptible to it, but alas, he knows my weakness. Or maybe I should say one of my weaknesses. He is good at it. I feel bad for him every single night. But he has to go to bed and he does eventually have to go to sleep too. I've never had a kid who protested so loudly and for so long every single night at bedtime. You'd think he'd be used to the routine by now, but I suppose not. I am going out tonight soon for my moms' group. I don't look forward to braving the elements, as I already have a chill from my horsey moments today, but hopefully we'll have a nice time together. 

Oh, I should also mention we got our piano tuned again yesterday, just in time for Christmas. I am quite happy about that, though I cannot play when the boys are awake as everyone else bangs on the keys and makes it impossible, and I can't play when they are in bed, for obvious reasons...so it is difficult to get the enjoyment out of it that I'd like. However, I fully intend to play Christmas carols as much as possible for the next month or so. My wrist still hurts, so it will be more challenging than usual, but hopefully I will be able to enjoy it anyway.

One last thing. This afternoon I completed and submitted my second-last homework assignment for my course, which I started two years ago. I have only one assignment left and then I'm homework-free, unless I decide to take the Journeyman level immediately. I have not decided yet what to do. So. On that note, I better close this entry and get ready to go. Shiver. I'm off for now.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Incredible Journey

I went. I braved the roads, and hit the highways in ridiculous travel conditions for a gruelling three hour drive on Wednesday. I don't know what came over me, or why I thought it would be okay to go. I was nervous, even scared, but for some reason I felt like I didn't have a good enough reason not to go. The drive there was stressful, with a few scary moments thrown in for good measure. Jamie slept for a good portion of the drive, thankfully, as did Micah, so it was quiet in the van. Cody was good the whole time, which was a relief to me, as I was very tense driving in the poor visibility. Snow was swirling like ghostly snakes all over the highway, and making horizontal tornadoes behind every semi. Being passed brought on white-outs leaving me straining to see the tiny bits of white lines that were still visible on the road; the only things guiding me to stay in my lane and out of the ditch. Fortunately, there were only a few moments of complete white-outs, but the radio reports I was hearing half way there were more than enough to make me question my sanity and upset me significantly.

Either way, I made it. I left in the morning in order to beat at least a portion of the storm, which I kind of did. The last half hour of my drive was clear, and wouldn't have been had I waited any longer to leave. As a result, Cody missed his preschool, which was a disappointment to me. I also did the bulk of my packing and preparing that very morning, which added to the stress. When we arrived, the house was locked and my parents weren't home. Oh dear. My boys were all on the front steps and were not wearing their winter coats as it was too warm in the van, so I had to put them all back in the van and lock it while I ran to find the spare key. I found it, though I had to dig in the snow to do it. We got in the house and I unloaded the van and then got everyone lunch. Breakfast for me. I had not had time to eat. By then it was 1 p.m. The rest of that day was okay, except that my dad said he was not sure we'd make the appointment the next day due to the terrible driving conditions in the city. I was stressed about this too, as I knew we were not going to be able to make it home the next day. I couldn't imagine having driven with my precious cargo through that horrible storm for three hours only to get stranded in the city and miss the appointment anyway.

We made the appointment. It took an hour to get there, which is double what it should have, but driving conditions were bad and the traffic was very slow-moving. The appointment was quick and positive. I had my usual misgivings about the staff there, but we made it through with no disastrous encounters, and without too severe a blow to my self-esteem. Cody got a decent report. His eyes have not changed, but he is still borderline for needing surgery, so we have to watch closely. If things get any worse, he will need surgery, but then again, things have not gotten worse in a long, long time, so he may be all right yet. Phew. So that was done.

Micah was at an all time high for neediness, and he was my toughest kid this trip. He was into everything and my parents' house is not very childproof, so I barely had a moment to sit down. I was overtired from a poor sleep the first night there, and the afternoon after Cody's appointment I got hit with a migraine. That was unpleasant, as migraines always are, but also discouraging. I was dealing with enough other issues as it was. Then that night, last night, we did indeed stay over again due to the continuing dangerous travel conditions. I shared a room with Micah. He had a crib, I had the spare bed. The first night he tossed a lot, which may have been the reason for my very light sleep. Last night was much worse. I went to bed at 9:30 p.m. and fell asleep some time just after 10 p.m. At 3 a.m. Micah started to fuss. He had done the same thing the previous night, and every time he did I would just whisper, "Sshhh! Mommy's here," and he would settle right back down. (Another reason for my light sleep.) So I tried again last night. I was not as successful. In fact, for some reason, Micah would not settle. It isn't that  he cried non-stop. He didn't. But he wouldn't go back to sleep either. He would toss, and then let out a cry again, and I'd have to shh him again. Time started to drag on, and I was getting discouraged. I knew I was going to have to drive three little boys home for three long hours the next day and I did not want to be up the rest of the night. By 4:30 a.m. we were still battling this out and I finally turned on the light and changed his diaper. He was very wet. I hoped he would settle after that. He didn't. He was very upset when I turned the light off again. When he calmed down, he started talking and making clucking sounds with his tongue. Great. Now he wanted to play. Did I mention my parents' house is entirely hardwood flooring in the bedroom area? There is no soundproofness at all. So I knew they were hearing every little sound he made. I had to go to the bathroom. I knew I couldn't or he would go hysterical. I was stressed out by then, and very uncomfortable. Eventually I held him and he melted into me. I laid him down on the bed beside me with my arms around him, and within moments his breathing got even and I knew he was either asleep or close to it. I stayed like that a while, but I knew I would not sleep. I eventually snuck my arms out from under him and stood up. The bed is very creaky, so it was impossible to do that quietly. He stirred. I froze and stood there for a moment, watching to see what he'd do. He moved every half a minute or so, and got closer and closer to the edge of the bed. Finally, I gave up. It was 6:00 a.m. I had been up for three hours with this baby and I was fried. I picked him up and put him in his crib, knowing if I did not, he'd fall out of the bed. He lost it. I left anyway, needing the bathroom desperately. I cried. I couldn't help it. In fact, I have been on the edge of tears all day since then. I am terribly tired and so overwhelmed from the last few days.

Anyway, when I came back in my room I picked him up again and he wrapped around me like a little monkey, laying his head on my shoulder. I lay on the bed and let him rest on me for a few minutes, but I knew I couldn't sleep like that even though he was obviously going to. I moved him beside me and he slept there until 8:45 a.m. I slept too, though I don't know how deeply. Single mothers, how do you manage? I know it is different in your own home. Had I been at my place, things would have been different. But that's reality. Sometimes you have to travel, and with my kids, I find things can get pretty rough. I am glad to report that nobody needed to use the bathroom at any time during our actual travel time, and that was a huge blessing. That would have complicated things significantly.

That's about all I will report for now. I could say more, but I don't think I will. Hopefully we'll be back to normal life next week. The boys are in bed now, and for once, only Micah is quiet. Jamie is wild because he slept too much in the van. He will keep Cody up as a result. I don't care. I do, but this is better than a stressful trip. I am hoping for some kind of therapy this evening. A feel-good movie. Maybe even just an early bed time with actual deep sleep. Regardless, I am glad to be home safe once again. I'm off for now.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

To Travel, or Not To Travel...

So I'm supposed to be taking the boys to the big city tomorrow and staying overnight for Cody's specialist appointment. I was already a bit stressed over this trip because I will have to travel for three hours with three little boys and no other adults. Add to that my busy morning with Cody's preschool, and trying to decide whether to take him out early or not in order to leave here by 1 p.m. Now there is a snowfall warning in effect for all of the southern part of the province, particularly along the TransCanada highway, which would be 100% of my route. So. Now I am faced with two decisions. One: Do I go anyway, or do I stay home? Two: If I go, do I leave first thing in the morning and skip preschool, or stick with my original plan? The thing is, in some major form of denial today, I did no packing of any sort to prepare for this trip. I did do all the boys' laundry, so I have plenty to choose from, although I did neglect my own laundry. Oops. So if there is any chance of me going at all, it is going to require me staying up late tonight to pack, or getting up at an ungodly hour to get ready. I don't even have a list for what to pack, which I normally would. Everything in me at this point wants to stay home. I hate winter highway driving. This particular stretch tends to be bad. I am apprehensive to say the least. I'm off to watch a bit of TV. More denial. It has always worked well for me. I'll keep you posted on whether we go or not. Goodnight.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Chilly Monday

We are nearing the worst time of day here, and the house is literally vibrating with activity. Cody and Jamie have literally been running from one end of the house to the other for at least half an hour now. The floor is shaking. I am shaking. My nerves are oddly relaxed. In fact, their activity may be the only thing keeping me awake. I am glad they are running, as a good portion of the day today was spent vegging out a bit. My bad. I barely got any sleep last night. Well, maybe that's not true. What I do know is something happened around 3 a.m. that involved Jamie coming in our room and requesting that his nose be wiped. Then I had to go tuck him into his bed again. I'm pretty sure that was the incident at 3 a.m. Maybe that was the earlier incident. Either way, when my supposed sleep was interrupted at 3 a.m. I remember thinking that I had not even fallen asleep yet. I was stressed. The second time Jamie came in I begged Mike to deal with it, as I was very close to sleep. Then I had bizarre dreams all night. I barely remember them now, though I did this morning. All very strange.

And so, I have made it mostly through my Monday, but I did not accomplish anything. I did not wash a single dish yet, nor have I even made my bed. I have fed the boys two meals, and I now have supper in the oven, so I guess I have accomplished that much. I also fed the horses their morning meal and their afternoon pellets and oats. That is not a fun job right now, with the frigid weather.

I just got an email from Mike saying he would be late getting home, so I am glad I did not make the chicken I was going to make. I'm too tired to make gravy and mash potatoes tonight. This is a big week for us. Cody has his specialist appointment in the big city and we have to leave nearly right after preschool on Wednesday. I'm not looking forward to it. I will be traveling alone with three kids ages four and under in sub-zero temperatures for a good three hours. My main worry is that someone will need to use the bathroom. Oh boy. I can't leave anyone in the van, so they'd all have to come in. And while I help Jamie use the toilet, or even Cody, who is going to make sure Micah doesn't touch something disgusting in a public bathroom? Gross. Am I stressed about this? Yes. I am, a little. It's not my ideal. I especially don't like doing this in winter. Around here, winter is treacherous, and you never know what the highways will be like. One adult to three very young boys is not a good ratio, and I just hope we'll make it there with no stops, and all the way back home too.

So, I probably won't be posting often in here this week. Tomorrow I will be home all day as far as I know, but I will probably be preparing for my trip. It will be one of those times that gives me an appreciation for single mothers and how difficult things must be for them. Fathers too. I'm going to sign off now. Micah is attempting to make a phone call and Jamie is driving my laundry basket full of clean clothes and clumps of bunny hair, which he deposited there earlier when he brought Oreo out of his cage and distributed black and white fur all over the living room and the kitchen. I was not in the house to rescue my half-blind rabbit. I saw him dangling from Jamie's arms through the kitchen window when I was outside feeding the horses. Sigh.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Winter is here in full force.

8:40 a.m.: I am alone in a quiet living room. Cody and Jamie are playing happily in their room. Micah is sleeping in his, or at least, I don't hear any sounds from him. Outside the snow is falling rapidly; some straight down, and some cutting across diagonally in different directions. I came in about 15 minutes ago from my first taste of a true wintertime feeding of the horses. We are currently under a snowfall warning, but this time it looks like the report will be accurate. I'm glad I don't have to go anywhere today, but Mike does. Two separate highway excursions; one about 40 minutes west of here, and one about 40 minutes east of here. I hope the roads don't get too bad, but the winds are supposed to be gusting up to 50 km/hr today. Gross. I have to say though, from inside a cozy house, it is quite pretty to watch. All we're missing is a Christmas tree and some Christmas music...and maybe some warm baking. I will possibly attempt to bake buns today. In fact, that is what I should be prepping right now.

11:32 a.m: A full-fledged snowstorm is pummelling us now and the yard is hazy from all the white. The flakes are smaller than before, with more of a look of falling powder. The wind has picked up, and the highway reports are already showing poor visibility all over the southwestern part of the province. I wonder whether Mike will be making his afternoon trip to the dentist or not. I kind of hope he'll come home for the afternoon and decide not to go after all.

Micah is standing beside me having a massive tantrum because I am not holding him. I am sure it sounds mean, but I have been cuddling with him lots today and I just need a few minutes to myself. The nerves can only take so much of being screamed at per day. He is not technically screaming, but it is a very loud and angry cry. Sheesh. I can't help but feel sorry for him.

As for my buns, I took the plunge, but I miscalculated. My dough is rising in the kitchen and is nearly ready to shape into buns. The problem? After that it has to rise another hour and a half before I bake them. I was planning to make a chicken for supper, which would need to go in the oven at 1 p.m. That is when I will need to be baking my buns. Hm. I'm not much of an expert in bun-making, so I don't know whether it's okay to just let the buns sit on the pans all afternoon while the chicken cooks, or not. Hm. Maybe I can sneak them in the oven before the chicken. I don't know. Guess I have to sign off again for the moment to put out the fire in my baby's fragile psyche.

1:51 p.m: The dishwasher is running in the kitchen. It's a sound I have grown to love. I find it comforting. Our dishwasher is on the loud side, but what I am hearing is mainly water sloshing around, reminding me that yes, I have accomplished something today. It is the second load I have run, so at the very least I have done two loads of dishes. (Those weren't just sitting in a pile waiting to be done, either. They were dishes used today.) But that is not all I have done. I just folded a basket of laundry and tidied up the living room, plus I now have my first pan of buns in the oven. Let's hope they turn out well. I have also fed the masses two meals so far, and one for the horses too. I shouldn't be sitting because there is still much cleaning to be done, but I am taking a break while it is quiet in here once again. The boys are playing nicely downstairs and Micah is napping peacefully in his room. An unusual bonus for me is the fact that Mike is on his way home. He has a dentist appointment this afternoon, but is coming home first. On the other hand, upon looking at the clock I don't think he'll be home more than twenty minutes before he has to head out again. Dang. I thought I might have him here for an hour or so. Hm. Now I'm feeling a little bit sad. I think I might have heard him pull up just now. I'm going to sign off. Hopefully the rest of the day will be uneventful. I intend to make a lasagna for supper, as I missed the timing for the chicken. I'm off. And here's Mike!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Phew! Been gone for a while!

Hm. So it seems I skipped a whole week in here. I don't even really remember what I did last week. I know Mike had Thursday off because it was Remembrance Day. I had intended to get a chunk of homework done that day, but Mike did his work instead, so I was stuck. But I'm happy to say that even though my assignment is due today, I managed to get it done and submitted by Saturday afternoon. Phew. I only have two assignments left; one more month of work. Then I have to decide whether to accept their invitation into the next level, or whether to dive in and work on my book. Hm.

One significant thing that happened last week is the snow finally hit. I am not thrilled about it, but mainly because I dread the driving. Other than that, the blanket of white made it quite pretty here, and yesterday we had thick, white hoarfrost covering all our trees and it looks beautiful...kind of like Narnia.

Today I had two of my nieces here all morning and part of the afternoon. The boys had fun. Cody, in particular. Jamie pretty much stuck to himself, in typical Jamie fashion. Now I am finally sitting down and having a hard time staying awake.

As far as noteworthy moments for the blog, two come to mind. Micah raided the pantry again a few days ago and found a large box of spaghetti noodles. He pulled the box down and dumped the whole thing on the floor. It was basically brand new. We don't eat a lot of spaghetti, so it's safe to say that box probably could have lasted us a whole year. Being that the area he dumped it in is where Radar sleeps at night, I had no inclination to salvage any of it. Micah bawled when it happened. I think he knew he had done something wrong and he felt guilty. I left it there for Mike to see when he got home. When he arrived, he came in the door by the pantry because he had groceries to bring in. He saw the mess and laughed. Micah happened to be standing right there. Mike said, "Did you do this?" and Micah just looked at him and said, "Uh oh!" It was pretty cute.

Then, a couple of days ago when I got up in the morning, I discovered cat barf outside our bedroom door at the end of the hall. Cat barf is a part of life around here, as one of our cats is bulimic, though you can't tell by looking at her. Anyway, she had left three piles of barf for us, which was lovely. The only difference between the three piles was that Jamie had taken a rolling pin to the one outside my bedroom. Seriously. I'm sure the act was perfectly natural on his part. Jamie doesn't think the way the rest of us do. Somewhere in his beautiful little mind, it made perfect sense to go to the kitchen and find a rolling pin so he could deal with Tabu's mess. I think I'll be throwing it in the garbage. I mean, technically I could wash it, but I noticed it has a crack in it and that makes it a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. I might have thrown it out already. I don't remember. If not, that's on my agenda soon!

Other than that, it's life as usual around here. Breaking up fights. Being called names. Dealing with potty training and diapers and preschool and making meals and trying to keep this place clean. Yesterday I had an epiphany about my job here. What I do is similar to being a janitor at a garbage dump. It's impossible. As you clean, people come along and mess up everything you just did, or make it worse than ever. And so, I forge on, doing my best to keep this place from looking like a dump and trying not to think about the futility of my actions when I clean...especially the floor. But, the job is not without its perks either. I get to cuddle my boys on a daily basis. I have an excuse to bake cookies whenever I feel like it. I can wear my pyjama bottoms all day if I want to. I can read a good book in my quiet moments, when they occur. I even get to nap once in a while...though not often! I think the benefits outweigh the dark moments, even though sometimes I want to get in my vehicle, alone, and drive as far away from here as possible. And as I type that, I hear an adorable 15-month-old voice chatting happily from his crib. Time to get him up from his nap. I'm off for now.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fog and grumps!

Today feels odd after the beautiful sunny days we have had all the last week. Fog has rolled in to the point where I actually saw some blowing like smoke across our yard. It is strange. Fog is not terribly unusual around here, but normally if we get fog, we wake up with it and it dissipates as the morning goes on. Today there was no fog when I got up, but it is getting thicker and thicker now. Not only that, but I had to put Jamie back to bed by about 9:00 a.m. and he stayed there. He is very grouchy and I'm wondering what is going on. His nose is runny, but that is the only symptom I have seen as far as physical illness goes.

It is about an hour and a half later, after many interruptions! Jamie is up now, and still very grouchy. He got up at 10:30 a.m. and still refuses to use the toilet. As far as I know, he has not gone today. I had to force him to wear a diaper because he vehemently refused to pee on the toilet, even after I put him on there. This is the first time in several days that he has even had a diaper on, including overnight. It is frustrating, but he is in a mood, and when Jamie decides something, good luck changing his mind.

It is still gloomy here, though a moment ago a determined beam of sunshine broke through the clouds, only to be smothered again. Still, it is not bad out for November in Manitoba. All in all, it is a very blah day. We are all reeling from the time change, as we do every year, twice a year. I wish we could just forego the time change, like Saskatchewan does, but I suppose that ship sailed long ago and I doubt it will ever be revisited. On days like this, I would love to curl up with a book or even a good movie and a bowl of popcorn. I might cave in later and grab a book. I have two more new ones to read, but I have been avoiding them in order to not interfere with my homework.

Sigh. Micah is crying, and he is on his way in to see me. I can hear him approaching. Oh, he is really cute. He just burst in here with a little satisfied look on his face. Hahaha! He just threw another tantrum. Today, his tantrums consist of throwing himself down on the floor on his tummy, and then slamming his forehead into the ground, followed by loud wailing. Hehe. He just did it again, but this time he was still standing and like the proverbial ostrich, he just tipped over and slammed his face on the floor. He is yelling at me now, calling me "MAMA". I can't not laugh. At this stage, it is more funny than anything. He is moving on to another challenge. Trying to find some way to irritate me into giving him what he wants, which, by the way, is my bedside clock. He is somewhat obsessed with it these days and enjoys changing the time zone so the time is wrong, not to mention turning my alarm on so at six in the morning  I am jarred from my sleep by an errant alarm that my brain can't process because I have no reason to set an alarm anymore. I have kids for that.

I have to go. He is really doing an admirable job of looking for trouble. I think maybe I should get him some lunch so I can put him to bed. Sorry this post is so blah. I seem to be so overtired lately that despite many thoughts running through my brain, when I actually sit down to my blog, I go suddenly and completely blank. Well, time to go see who Micah is phoning. I'm off for now.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Domestic day and disaster.

It is 2:30 p.m. and I just sat down for my first break of the day. It has been crazy busy, as was yesterday. I am kicking into domestic high gear here, trying hard to keep a clean house and feed my family. Yikes. I have never been terribly good at this job, and in truth, it really is hard to prioritize between kids and the other tasks assigned to me. Yesterday I spent the entire day cleaning. Sadly, it was not done in a fit of inspiration to do a better job. Instead, it was because I knew there were relatives from far away coming to see our place and I wanted it to look nice in here. The kicker is, I always want it to look nice in here, but getting it that way is so difficult I often get overwhelmed. (Ironically, I just got interrupted to feed the boys a snack. I probably sat for a total of four minutes. Ha.)

Anyway, yesterday I got the place looking pretty nice and I even washed the kitchen floor...a job I do too infrequently to admit. I polished my piano, also a rare job, but not nearly as rare as the floor washing. Without listing every chore I did, suffice it to say, I ran off my feet all day and by the time Mike got home I was exhausted and kind of burnt out. (Did I mention I cooked too??)

Today I got up and my house was spic and span. That is inspiring. I was happy with my accomplishments and determined to keep it beautiful in here. Hm. With the existence of a spotless kitchen, I decided today would be a good day to bake buns. I have not baked buns in many, many months. Maybe even since spring. No matter. I decided to go for it, seeing we are running out of bread in this house. After all, I had nothing else to do seeing my house was so clean. So I started the yeast rising in the mixing bowl while I unloaded the dishwasher so I could clean up the breakfast dishes right away. It took a lot longer than normal to mix the dough because I was doing so many things at once, but my Micah interruptions were not too frequent and Cody had gone downstairs to play.

Downstairs. Right. That brings me to an important point in my story. Yesterday, Cody broke the baby gate. I mean, he basically ripped it off its hinges. (This is a homemade gate.) So we had to put the piano bench in front of it in order to hold it in place and keep Micah from disaster. Last night, Mike put a regular baby gate on. It was the kind you just open so it presses on the walls or doorway on either side of it, holding it in place. I hate that gate, and because we didn't use hinges to attach it, it's really awkward to put on and off. So, whenever a boy wanted to go downstairs, I had to lift him over the gate and place him carefully on the stairs so he could carefully proceed downward. I don't know what Cody weighs. I just know he was 42 pounds about a year and a half ago. He's a big boy. Jamie weighs about 33 pounds. Jamie is not a problem to lift over. Cody is a challenge, but I can do it.

So there I was, still gathering ingredients and getting started on my bun-making expedition when Jamie requested to go downstairs. This was a good thing. I had to take a break to take him to the toilet, which has turned into a small battle every single time, but we got it done. Then I carefully lifted him over the gate and he went downstairs. Phew! Yay! I went back to my buns and got eggs out to add to the yeast mixture. Uh oh. Jamie was at the gate again complaining he wanted to come upstairs. I was annoyed. He JUST went down there, and I was not about to lift him over again and have him turn around and request to go back down again. So I said no. The reaction was not good. He got very mad and was shouting at me to let him upstairs. I told him to go back down and play for a while first, but it was too late. He was already working into a big tantrum and he began shaking the gate while shouting. Big mistake. The gate came off with a crash and Jamie flew down the stairs backwards, screaming all the way down. I freaked out. I ran to see him and he was laying on his back at the bottom of the stairs. Concrete, by the way. We have no carpet yet. The stairs do, but not the basement floor. I wanted to rush down to him, but I could not. Instead, I had to run for Micah and get him into his room where I deposited him in his crib so he wouldn't come tumbling down next. Then I ran down the stairs. (Now I had two boys balling; one upstairs and one down.) Jamie was okay. He said his bum hurt, not his head. I was so mad but so terrified at the same time. He didn't just trip. I am thinking he went down very forcefully because he was yanking on that gate. Then I was also faced with the dilemma of not having a gate. I could not get that darn thing on again. I now have a coffee table on its side against the stairwell.

So the first part of my morning was dicey. Did I mention I was making a lasagna at the same time? I had meat in a frying pan and ingredients all over the place. I spent literally my entire morning and the first two hours of my afternoon in the kitchen. Not my favorite place to be, but I made a lasagna which I will cook for supper tonight, plus buns and cinnamon buns which I just made the icing for and iced. Phew. The kitchen is not spotless, but hopefully I will get it there in a while. I realized today that no matter how clean your house is when you wake up in the morning, a day of meal preparation and child care will take it down so it is just as hard to clean. And now, Micah is awake, so my disjointed blogging session will have to come to a close. It will be a tough evening for me as Mike is going away overnight. I might break out a good book or something. I gotta get Micah! He sounds mad.

Monday, November 1, 2010

It's an ordinary Monday.

So, November arrives with no snow yet. Today it is supposed to be 11 degrees Celsius, and tomorrow too. This is both unexpected and appreciated. The weekend was a busy one, beginning Saturday morning with me finishing my homework after having done the majority of it by the end of last week. It is always a relief to finish and submit an assignment, though this next one will be far more difficult for me so I want to start today if possible. Then, on Saturday afternoon we all trekked off to my sister's place, 45 minutes away, for her housewarming party. We then high-tailed it back here and a dear friend of mine came for supper and part of the evening, with her two kids. I have not seen this friend in over a year, and it was a real treat to have her and her kids here. They got to feed the horses and hang out with our boys, and I think they had a good time. They came back Sunday morning and stayed for lunch and the first part of the afternoon. While they were here, the farrier came and my sister Andrea came too as well as her husband. All three horses got trimmed without incident and they also got de-wormed, so we are pretty much set for facing the winter now with our horses. Phew!

Today, I have not set any goals yet, which is probably a bad sign. I suppose I should make it my goal to make this place as clean as I possibly can. Laundry. Yes, I need to fold and put away a bunch of laundry, so maybe that will be my first goal. We got our house nice and clean on Saturday, but my ensuite bathroom needs some work, so maybe I could do that too. I don't know. I'm tired from not sleeping well these days. I am still sick, believe it or not, and not sure whether to see a doctor again or just wait it out. I am far better than I was, but I'm still not well, so I'm not sure what to think.

Micah has pretty much a non-stop flow of stuff coming out of his nose these days, which is very gross. I must say though, this morning I put him in his high chair and he was so sweet. He just said, "Mama, mama, mama, mama," over and over again. There is something irresistible about your baby calling you mama. Maybe it's just because Cody only ever called me "Dada", even until he was probably almost 18 months old. He was talking a lot by then, but he thought it was funny to call me dada instead of mama, so he continued long beyond when he was capable of speaking well.

Hm. Jamie is silent and in a room with the door closed. Bad sign. Cody is trying to phone someone on the phone, despite repeated instructions to put it down. Micah is alternately dragging jelly-covered toast crusts into the living room to chew on, and sneezing all over the place. Gross. I should get out of denial now and start working.

Okay, that was a while ago. Jamie was trying to have a nap. He seems under the weather lately. While I checked on him, Micah pulled my freezie mug off the table and dumped the whole thing on the lazy-boy and on himself. That's 1 3/4 cups of water and there wasn't a drop left in the cup. I have now started a load of laundry and folded one, but time to do some serious work around here. I'm off for now.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bombs away.

Being a mom is like being on the bomb squad. Every day is spent rushing to diffuse situation after situation, and each success is followed by another call. It's stressful. It's messy. Occasionally it's dangerous, if only for the mental health. You have to be able to negotiate. You're on call 24 hours a day, every day. There are no holidays, unless you're lucky enough to have a retired bomb squad member living near enough to take a shift now and then. If the bomb goes off, it's always your fault. If the bomb goes off, you still have to diffuse it afterwards, and risk a worse, secondary explosion. There are sometimes casualties. You are sometimes one of them. Even if you are hurt, you cannot have a day off to recuperate.

Yesterday I diffused a bad situation in the morning. It was a successful day that way. Cody was in a bad state, and I took him to his room again with a stack of books and enforced a quiet time. Somehow, I got him calmed down enough to submit to it, and he came out of there about half an hour later doing much better than he had been earlier. A victory. Rare, and definitely appreciated.

Later, my mother-in-law invited them over for the afternoon. Well, she actually invited all of us, but Micah needed a nap and I needed to work on my homework, so I dropped off Cody and Jamie and then I had a quiet afternoon here, working on my homework and also doing some much needed cleaning and organizing of the front closet.

The evening brought on some other developments that were very upsetting to me. Micah got fussy, as usual. He is not a fussy boy, but in the evenings, toward his bedtime, he gets very fussy and demanding, and he only wants me. He won't let Mike hold him. It has to be me. So he followed me around, crying and crying. I gave him a sippy cup of water to distract him, as I was not quite ready to sit down and cuddle with him, the only sure fire way to get him to relax and be happy again. As he followed me around the island counter in the kitchen (I was pretending to run just ahead of him, attempting to make him laugh), I heard a splatter and turned around. He had barfed on the floor. Okay. I was freaking out a little. Anyone who knows me is aware of just how much I can't handle barf. It wasn't that gross. It was mostly water, but the mere fact that it happened was disturbing me greatly. Okay, fine. I cleaned it up and changed his sleeper, and then I sat with him for a bit. Then we put him to bed. He cried. He always does. But he didn't stop. He would calm down now and then for a minute or two, but then started again. Eventually we checked on him, and wouldn't you know it, he had barfed in his crib. Oh boy. Panic started to overtake me. Again, it was not very gross other than the smell, but now I was sure he was sick and I was also sure I was going to get it. The thing is, over the last six weeks I have had bronchitis, a sinus infection, pink eye and a bladder infection. That also included a severe sore throat that lasted nearly  five weeks. The thought of adding barfing to my list of ailments literally brought me to tears. I also felt terrible for Micah.

So I went to bed dreading the night. I was pleasantly surprised when Micah slept all night and had no further vomiting issues. I am now wondering whether he just guzzled too much water and then got so hysterical he did a bit of a hiccup and the water came spewing back out. Both times he had just guzzled a whole bunch of water, so it is possible. I am hoping that is all it was.

This morning there was a disaster of another kind. Last night, Mike baked brownies. Why did he do that? Was it just to torture me? Well, not entirely. Mike promised his students he'd bring goodies today. I guess being the last school day before Halloween they are having some kind of party at school. I was sad that he didn't make two pans, but let's face it, it's probably better that way. I needn't have worried. This morning, the boys dug into the pan with spoons and destroyed a third of the brownie. Mike had to leave it home. I was not in the kitchen when the mess was discovered, but I am guessing Mike was livid. I certainly was...though secretly a tiny bit glad the brownies could stay home for the day. Still, that was particularly bad, and they knew it too. The pan was covered. It never occurred to me they would look in it and eat out of it. Nothing is safe in this house. Nothing. Mike took the Wii with him and Super Mario Kart. Cody was pretty ripped off about this. I figure it kind of serves him right. I am not sure whether Mike planned to take the Wii all along, but if he didn't, it probably was to make up for arriving empty handed as far as treats go. Sheesh.

So, now the boys are playing downstairs again, which is a relief to me. Micah is toddling around, making happy sounds. He has a very runny nose, but other than that seems to be okay. And now I must do as much cleaning as I can in the morning so I can focus on my homework this afternoon. I also get to take a trip to the post office today to pick up a package. Oooo! That's always exciting. This time it's books. What could be better than that?! Too bad I'll be too busy to read them. Oh well. My plan today is to stay on my feet as much as possible, other than this afternoon when I do my homework. So, I better end this post and get going. I certainly have more than enough cleaning to keep me very busy for a long time. I'm off for now.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Broken toys, sick bunnies and literary nightmares.

Micah is 15 months old today. How time flies. He is napping right now, and I just sent the other two to their room with a stack of books for a quiet time. I wonder whether it will work? There has been altogether too much fighting around here, and I can't take it anymore.

Yesterday Cody broke one of my childhood toys, and I was really devastated by it. Maybe there is something wrong with me, but that toy was really special to me, and I had told him he was not allowed to play with it. You can't get that toy anymore. I know it's lame, but I was saving it for my little girl someday. Obviously I was misguided, seeing I do not have a little girl. But part of me was still thinking, maybe I will have granddaughters some day who would enjoy the same things I did as a child. I was so upset I felt like just throwing everything out. Who needs sentimentality? How dumb is it to get attached to an inanimate object? Of course it is not the toy itself but the ideas and memories attached to it that are so special to me. I wish I were more practical and the kind of person who can just throw things out without batting an eye. My mom is like that. For some reason, I did not inherit that trait.

In other news, we have no snow on the ground. Our winter storm rages on, and yesterday we had no power for 45 minutes, but the temperature outside has stayed just above zero so any snow that has fallen has melted. However, it is icy outside. It is snowing right now, but barely at all. I'm happy to report that it is not raining right now. It is very windy though. Yesterday the horses were all shivering violently and I felt so bad for them. I am told that is normal for this time of year. I gave them all some oats and after that they were all better. They are dry today and not shivering so far.

Great. The boys just woke up Micah. Great. I was about to start my homework.

I called a vet this morning. Oreo, our bunny, is not really doing so great. I have been upset about it for a long time, but I am considering taking him to the vet to be looked at. He is blind in one eye, but I think the other one is now going too. He has stuff coming out of both eyes, and also his ears. I did bring him out of his cage this morning to groom him, as he was moulting and he looked mangy and horrible. However, even with a nice neat fur coat, he is still not in good health. He is nine years old. If we take him to the vet, there is a good chance they will suggest putting him down. He won't come out of his cage anymore because he can't see well.

And one last thing. I found out yesterday, to my great shock and horror, Hilary Duff wrote a novel and it is number ten on the New York Times bestseller list. I was extremely dismayed to hear this. Okay, I know that's not really cool, but I could not understand how Hilary Duff wrote a book. I think the reason it shocked me so much is because she seems like a dabbler to me. She acts, but not really well. (I don't mind her movies. I'm just saying, she won't be winning an Oscar in this lifetime.) She also sings, but again, not really well. So how is it that she wrote a book good enough to make it on the New York Times bestseller list? I mean, if she's that good a writer, why wasn't she writing all along rather than doing all that other stuff? Truthfully, I had to wonder whether the reason it is selling so well is because her name is on it, and everyone is wondering what kind of book she wrote. I did a little Googling on the subject, as I was feeling mighty disturbed about the whole thing. Then I found out she used a ghost writer. In other words, she had an idea, but she hired someone else to do the actual writing for her. Ah. It is all making sense now. So what I learned from this is, if you have money, and you are famous, you can have a best selling novel with your name on it, even if you never wrote it. If you are not famous, you have to write your own novel, and then you have to claw your way in just to get published, never mind getting famous and having a best seller. Don't get me wrong. I want to do it the honest way. I would take no satisfaction in hiring someone else to do my writing for me. But, I must confess, it really irks me that people think Hilary Duff wrote a best selling novel.

That is my rant for the day. I better sign off so I can do some homework. It is due on Monday and I have not really started on it this time around. I'm off for now.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Snowfall warning?

Apparently we are under a snowfall warning right now, but it doesn't give any details. Yes, it has snowed today, but mostly it is pouring rain. All in all, very gross weather this morning. It is only 1 degree above zero and windy, and yes, very wet. The rain changes to snow intermittently, but I can't figure out what the warning is about. Are they just saying, "Hey everyone, prepare yourselves because today you will see snow for the first time this fall"? Or are they saying that by the end of the day we might need a tractor to plough our way out of the yard? I don't know. Either way, I am perfectly happy to stay inside today. In fact, last night for the first time in about a month I got Mike to do the evening feeding of the horses instead of volunteering to do it myself. We had originally agreed that I'd do the morning feeding and he would do the evening, but I find most nights I want to do it myself so I just do it. Last night it was not only cold, it was also raining. I chickened out. Here comes the winter, and feeding the horses is going to be less and less fun, I'm pretty sure. Never mind the watering. Yikes.

Our day was off to a very rough start, when I caught Cody under his covers with Mike's iPad (strictly forbidden, as I had reminded him at least five times this very morning) and a bag of M&Ms from the cupboard, which we were saving for baking. I was very angry. Cody and I had a rough afternoon yesterday too, so it seemed to carry over into this morning. I was extremely angry and asked him why he was so bad. He said he wasn't bad. I knew I shouldn't have said it, but I was SO angry because of how he has been acting. Later I had a chat with him and apologized. I told him he is a good boy, but he has been making a lot of bad choices. He apologized too, and he hugged me and told me he loved me. He's so amazing. He has been an angel ever since. I hope our day will be all right. Right now, all three boys are playing nicely so I am enjoying a few moments to myself. What I need to do right now is my homework, but what I plan to do today is a lot of cleaning. I was at the ophthalmologist yesterday, so didn't get much done in the way of household chores. I got a good report on my eyes, by the way.

So, I guess on this miserable day I should sign off and maybe crank some tunes or something so I can get inspired to clean. Mike will be late getting home tonight, so I will be doing the supper and bath and bed time with no back up. That also probably means I will be feeding the horses at 8:00 p.m., in the dark, in the rain. Ew. So, now to make things as easy as possible so the day doesn't feel too awful. As I sign off, it continues to pour, but I don't see any snowflakes at the moment. Maybe I'll have a picture in here tomorrow of a white yard. I'm off for now.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Power outage.


As I type this, our house has a deeper silence than we usually experience, other than the sound of Cody and Jamie playing downstairs. What I mean is, our power went out. Odd. It is October. It is chilly out, but not even below zero. There is no snow or ice outside, and not even much wind. What has taken out our power? I just finished baking a birthday cake for my mother-in-law. I can’t tell you how close the timing was. I would probably be despairing now if the cake had still been in the oven. I had just turned on the washing machine to do my diaper laundry when everything quit. Oh dear. In the absence of electricity, I become much more aware of how much I depend on it. What can I do now? I can’t watch TV or play Wii. No problem. I’ll surf the net. Oh wait, I can’t do that without power either. We have wireless internet, and when we have no power, I can’t connect to it. Hm. Can’t call anyone to chat because the phones are all cordless. Somewhere we have one with a cord, and it works when we need it, but it is not currently plugged in. So I decided to blog, but even that is more complex without electricity. I have to type this in Word, using my laptop, of course, and later when I have power again I will cut and paste it into my blog and post it. Crazy. I feel like there’s nothing to do without power. It shouldn’t be that way. I am out of books to read, or I’d gladly indulge in that pass-time. Actually, what I should be doing is homework, but I just don’t feel like it. I think I am a tad bit rebellious right now about homework. I am so close to being done and it’s like that psychological tendency to slow down when you see the finish line is close. I was always told to run as hard as you can right past the finish line, but here I am, slowing down and desperate to be done. Silly, as I have enjoyed my course and learned a ton from it.
Our horses could pose a problem too, as our fence is electric. Most of it, anyway. I guess we could put them all in the round pen when we leave if we still have no power. Here’s where an automatic waterer might not be advantageous. Who knows? Our horses are very weird. We bought a new trough for them; a real trough, that holds 100 gallons. That’s not that much, but it works for three horses. So yesterday afternoon we surrounded it with straw bales to help insulate it from the cold. This morning, we looked out and the horses had moved all of the bales and pulled them apart and have now been eating them. Even with a ton of hay out there, they are still munching on the straw too. Weird. Funny, but weird.
The day is over and the power is back on. It came on after only about half an hour. Tomorrow will be a long day. I may or may not have time for blogging. Goodnight.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Super Busy Day!

It has been a very full day today. We started the morning preparing to take Cody to preschool. Today was different than most Wednesday mornings because preschool was to take place outside of the church where it is normally held. We were to drop off the children at this little place that has hay mazes, a petting zoo, and all kinds of fun things like that. I did not know its exact location because I had never been there before, but I knew it was just minutes away from the town nearest to us, so I knew it shouldn't be too much of a strain. To add to the excitement, we were going to take Cody's second cousin, Indiana, along with us because he did not have a ride there. So I went over there with the intention of leaving Jamie and Micah with Indiana's mom while I drove Cody and Indiana to their outing. However, we decided it would be more fun to cram two more car seats into the van and go all together. Haha. It was a challenge, and the back row was quite squishy, but I must say, it was absolutely hilarious having five boys in the van at once, all between the ages of 14 months and four and a half years old. They all laughed and loved the ride.

After we dropped off the two four year olds, we went back to Gabrielle's house and hung out there until it was time to pick them up again. We had a nice time, and it was the first time we had done that in a very long time because I have been so sick. So, we went and picked up the boys and then I dropped off everyone that wasn't mine and brought my crew back home. We ate a hurried lunch and I put Micah to bed, and then two of my nieces got dropped off to spend the afternoon. The kids have been playing all afternoon while I did a bunch of cleaning and laundry, and soon their mom, my sister-in-law, will be here with pizza for all. In the meantime, I made a laundry blunder and I am kicking myself. Oh, before I mention that, I must report that I baked cookies this afternoon so the kids would all have a fun snack. I felt very mother-ish. Haha.

So I got inspired and decided I had enough time to wash the boys' bedding. I did not anticipate it taking up so much room in the washer, but I decided to cram it in there anyway and just get it over with. Hm. I have had plenty of experience overloading washing machines in my lifetime, and this was by no means the worst case, but it was bad enough that the spin cycle was not terribly effective and it is just about guaranteed that the bedding is not going to be dry by bed time. So, I am in a bit of a panic here wondering what I am going to do. I don't think I have enough spare bedding to fit both of their beds, so we might have to keep them up late just so I can finish drying the laundry. Grr. The worst part is, I have to dry it on low heat so as not to damage it, so it will take even longer than it would if I put it on high heat. Back in the day, I would have just cranked it up to high and not worried about it. However, back in the day, I also ruined my really nice bedspread that way...so I am more paranoid now. Yeesh.

Mike is late tonight because he has to ref something at the school, though I am not even sure what sport. I have to assume it is volleyball, seeing that is what he coaches right now. Maybe with our late supper, he will get here just in time to do the bath with the boys and meanwhile I can continue the frantic efforts to dry their bedding on time for them to sleep at a decent hour tonight! Ach!

So, that was our crazy day. My eye seems better today, but my throat is once again sore, so I am not completely normal yet. The boys all seem to be doing quite well though, so I am thankful. I better sign off for now. I'm sure there's probably something important I should be doing! What I really want to do is pay Super Mario Galaxy 2 on the Wii. Is that normal for a thirty-something mom of three small boys? Hm. Times have changed. Well, I admit it, I enjoy a good video game. I am particularly loving the Mario games for the Wii, but Jamie wrecked three of mine. Oh wait, just two. One we fixed. But he did destroy the new version of Super Mario Brothers Wii, and also Super Paper Mario, neither of which I had finished and both of which are awesome games and about $60 each. (Shudder.) That's why I will probably not buy them again, which means I will never play them again. Sigh.

Anyway, that was my little blurb about my silly desire to play video games. And now, my two younger boys demand my attention. Jamie is getting into trouble, and Micah is getting frustrated and having meltdowns. Gotta love this time of day. I'm off for now.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A quiet and sunny day. Aahhhh!

Ah! Sweet silence. Okay, Micah is in the living room with me, trying on rubber boots and toting around a piece of my laundry rack, but he's happy and for the moment, not demanding anything of me. The other two have been booted outside, seeing it has warmed up nicely and I want them to get some fresh air and hopefully have some fun out there. For some reason, they don't fight as badly when they are not in the house. Micah will go down for his nap soon, and then I'm going to see about getting a start on my next homework assignment. Only four left and then I'm done my course! Woo hoo!

I am feeling better today. Still talking with a nasal voice, and my eye is still itchy, but it looks much better today so I am encouraged. Tonight I get to go to my first moms' group. It might be a book study, it might be a Bible study...we are not entirely sure yet, but either way it will be the support of other young moms and that is exciting to me.

I did not accomplish all of my goals yesterday, but I did get the living room nice and clean and the kitchen is also clean, so I am having one of those days where I think to myself, wouldn't it be great if Oprah's crew showed up today? Or Publishers Clearing House or something? Haha. No, I guess I am not wishing for any unexpected company. I just know that if someone did show up, I would not be mortified. Hm. On the other hand, a quick glance at myself tells me I should be mortified if someone were to knock on my door unannounced. I have not showered. I have some kind of weird, white stain on  my very comfy but not-so-pretty blue sweatshirt. (I think it is from Micah's mouth, some kind of slobber or worse.) My hair is not entirely in the ponytail that I whipped up first thing this morning. And I am wearing Mickey Mouse pyjama pants. I think of them as lounge pants now, so to me they are day time clothes. I never wear them to bed. However, they do still have holes in them on the inner thigh, so I'm thinking they have passed beyond the realm of decent into some other place. A place that cries out, "throw me away!" But I don't really listen. Comfortable and practical. That's what I say. I know what happens to my clothes around here. Just a few minutes ago I stepped on a syrupy chunk of pancake that Micah had thrown on the floor and I didn't notice. Blech! Let's not forget that Jamie has in the past attempted to cut my shirt with scissors WHILE I was wearing it. So, with those types of incidents being something of a "norm" around here, why would I risk my only decent clothes? This is my mommy uniform. I put it on deliberately every morning, and if we have company, I change right before they come. If I have to go somewhere, I change into my nice clothes, and as soon as I get home, I change back again. I'm not sure whether I am normal or not. My guess is, there are two camps. There are the fashionable moms, who wear nice clothes all the time (and by nice clothes, I am including jeans and shirts that may be casual, but are flattering and easily appropriate to wear for outings); and then there are the moms like myself. We have a limited wardrobe, and save the good stuff for outings. We wear our old paint shirts and pyjama bottoms because they are comfortable, and any further staining or holes will not devastate us because they are already pretty ugly. As it turns out, the more I type, the more I think there are probably not two camps. I just don't have many nice clothes, so I have to wear them sparingly. Oh well. That's how it is for now, and I'm okay with that.

And now the silence in my house is complete. The boys just got picked up by their grandmother who is taking them over to her house for the afternoon. Woo hoo!!!! Now I don't know whether to nap, cook, clean, or play Wii! Haha. I guess the options are limitless. Oh wait, there's homework to do. That was my plan, right? Well, I'll have a look at it and see what I can do. I better sign off. This is not going to last long, I'm sure!

Monday, October 18, 2010

What now? Quarantine??

Monday morning. I have set my sights low today. My goals? To clean the living room, and to clean my room at least a little bit. Hm. Maybe also to clean the main bathroom, but might save that one for Mike to do after the boys have their baths. Our health around here continues to be compromised. Well, maybe it's just me. I don't know. My eye is extremely red, and it is itchy too. Not my usual eye issue, but it seems I may have pink eye. So now, apparently it is ridiculously contagious, so I feel like I have to be quarantined with my boys for a while. Up to three weeks, is what I read it can last. Lovely. I'm just so tired of missing stuff and cancelling things due to health issues. I just want to feel normal again. When is the last time I did? Who knows.

So today, I am staying home. I will clean, as I mentioned earlier. I have already done some, though not a lot. I had disturbing dreams all night and I think maybe I need a nap this afternoon. Hehe. Maybe I'll do that. Anybody got a magic formula to give me energy?

The boys are eating lunch now, and the horses are still finishing breakfast, which is a good sign that I fed them plenty this morning. I guess it is time to sign off here because I have to clean the kitchen while these three are stuck in their seats...not that Jamie's ever contains him. Even now he is standing like Jack Sparrow on his chair, as though sailing into port on a sinking ship. He actually has a lot in common with Jack Sparrow. Hm. I better get going.

Friday, October 15, 2010

A gross nature walk.

I am relieved to report that I finished my homework and submitted it yesterday afternoon. I don't feel that I did a great job on it though, and after I sent it in I discovered a significant error in one of my scenes. Oh well. What's done is done, I guess. I usually feel like a million bucks the day after I submit my homework, but today I have a bad headache, so I might not get much more than usual done. Too bad, because my house could use some major work. I took some Tylenol this morning, so if it kicks in I will try to go on a big cleaning spree.

So yesterday afternoon I went outside, to water the horses, I think. I found an injured bird on the sidewalk. It was a slate-colored Junco. I love those little birds. I think they are very cute and pretty too. Something a little different from the typical brown sparrows around here. Anyway, I think it was a female. I picked her up because she was flailing around and not able to stand. I was worried the dogs would get her. I say dogs plural because we have my sister's black lab, Magnum, staying with us right now. So I picked up this adorable bird. I could only guess her leg was broken because she could not support herself on that side of her body. She didn't appear capable of flying either, so I wondered whether her wing could be broken too. I wished in that moment that I were a vet. I have tried rescuing birds in our yard before, and I have never succeeded. I prayed for the little bird as I stroked her head. The dogs saw her and Magnum got very excited. I yelled at them to go away. I put her down briefly on the trampoline, hoping that there she would at least be out of reach of the dogs. She started thrashing again and I thought better of leaving her there. What if she fell off into their waiting jaws? So I moved her to the top of the stack of straw bales we have by the round pen. It was high enough that I could hardly get her up there, and wide enough that she should be fairly secure up there. I thought maybe the straw would keep her warm and maybe she would recover enough to fly away on her own. Not long after that I had to go back outside to let Sasha and Maybelline out of the round pen after they had eaten their pellets. I peeked on the bales but did not see the bird. I am short enough that I figured there was still a chance she was up there but I could not see her from my angle. Here are a few pictures of her.






I also found some weird bones around recently. I guess I didn't really find them. Really it was Radar who was toting something around in his mouth, so I had a good look at it, and for the life of me I can't figure out what it is. There is one bone that is about the size of a grapefruit. At first I thought it was a skull, but I don't think it is. I thought maybe a pelvic bone, but I have been googling animal skeletons and can't find a picture of anything like this. So, here it is. Any bone experts out there? What kind of bones are these? 





Any ideas, anyone? I also found some teeth. Here they are:


All I know about these is that they are herbivore teeth, and of course, not human. Haha. A very important distinction to make when you find bones in your yard, which we actually do fairly often. Could be from a cow or calf, could be deer...I don't know. I'd love to know though, just in case. Funny, I have been reading Kathy Reichs books, so when I found these I thought of her and wished I could email them to her to get her opinion. The weird bone has squiggly marks all over it too. I wondered what those meant. 

So yesterday was an interesting day for nature around here. Sadly, when I went out this morning to feed the horses, I found the bird. It was barely recognizable, but I saw a leg that left no doubt in my mind that it was the bird I had hoped to rescue yesterday. It made me sick, honestly, and I was so mad at the dogs. I don't know which one killed it, but either way, I find it tragic. I know, it's only a bird, but it was beautiful to me, and that was her only chance at life. Now it is over for her. The circle of life, right? Well, sometimes that is depressing. Did I mention a mouse also drowned in the dogs' water pail yesterday? Sheesh. Situations you don't often encounter living in the city but we see often enough around here. 

This is getting long, so I'll sign off. The two older boys are playing outside and Micah is hanging out in here with me and the cats. He is cuddling with Cricket right now. It's very sweet. Bye for now.