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.