Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Battles and bright spots.

Today is Tuesday but it's the first official day of the week after our long weekend. Our week started off rough this morning, as Cody stole Mike's iPad out of our room which resulted in us confiscating not only the iPad but also one of his stuffed animals. Of course this had a further ripple effect because he threw tantrums and wailed about how we had hurt his feelings and hurt his heart. We are going through a time of trying to teach him that when he takes things of ours without permission there will be consequences that are quite unpleasant for him. So far, all he does is blame us for his consequences, but my hope is that soon he will think before he takes things and eventually he will choose to respect our things and our rules. It seems to be a very long road. We had a rough day yesterday, he and I. We have had a lot of rough days in the last several weeks and I find myself weary of the battles and feeling like I am totally failing at this parenting thing. Sometimes I wish I could have the super nanny here to see what she would say about my kids. And me, I guess, though I wonder whether I could handle her feedback on my mistakes and failures.

One bright spot in my life is that we finally got our fridge lock installed. It is not high tech, and it is actually quite easy to use. My sister gave it to us, knowing how much trouble we have with kids stealing food out of the fridge and cupboards all the time. I was very anxious to put it on, but it requires 24 hours for the adhesive to dry. Ha! I don't have 24 hours where the fridge will be untouched by kids. But we were out most of Sunday, so we put it on Saturday night after the kids went to bed and by the time we got back on Sunday evening it was all set. In reality, Cody and Jamie know how to use it, so technically it will only help us with Micah, but that really is a big help. Now that we threw out our chocolate syrup for making chocolate milk, we don't really have issues with Jamie invading the fridge like he used to. That is one small thing that makes my day significantly easier. Now why the heck didn't we do this when Jamie was little??

Another bright spot for the week is that Mike and I are actually going on a date tonight, though I am finding it hard to believe it will actually happen. All we are doing is going for supper and coming straight home, but at least we get to leave the house together without the kids. That never happens. Ever. So now I have a lot of cleaning to do in preparation, as I don't want the house to be a disaster for Mike's parents when they come to stay with the boys. Hopefully I will be able to get it decent in here. The kitchen is basically done, but we still have a whole day to make it through so it will get messy again before the day is done. Guess I better get going now, seeing all three boys are actually playing nicely at the moment. If that doesn't last, I'll send them out into the swamp to play for a while. Haha. Yes, our yard is a swamp again after a lot of rain on the weekend. It's really cold out too. Only 4 degrees right now. Sheesh. Some summer we're having so far!

Okay, I'm off.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday night.

It's Friday night. I'm home "alone", which means with all three boys, and all the critters of course. Cody and Jamie settled a long time ago, but Micah has been crying for almost an hour now. Recently he has stopped his horrible night time meltdowns, but I guess he decided that seeing I am here by myself this would be a good time for him to lose it. I'm a little stressed as a result. I am waiting to watch a girl movie, but don't really want to start it until he is finished. He's quiet at the moment, but I don't think he's done yet. I'm telling you, this kid has endurance like I've never experienced.

Mike is at a work party celebrating his new position. I was supposed to be there, but we did not have anyone to look after the boys, so here I am. In truth, I could probably go to bed now and sleep all night, but I can't do it while Micah is still fussing, so I will attempt a girl movie and see how it goes.

Outside it is peaceful and green. It is supposed to rain tonight. I ran out about an hour ago to give the horses their evening pellets/grain and of course it began to rain when I went out. It was a soft rain, and oddly, I found it very comforting. Everything smelled so fresh and as I said, the leaves are getting beautiful and green. Rain is the last thing we need, as we are still flooded significantly in our basement, but the few drops that landed on me were not at all unwelcome.

Well, I'm still holding my breath a bit, but I think maybe Micah is done for good now. Phew. It is so draining listening to him cry for that long. Perhaps it is time to start my movie now. I hope everyone has a good long weekend. Ours will be busy, and it looks like it will also be a soggy one. I am praying it will not rain as much as they are saying. Goodnight.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mommy Brain

In our society, women have fought hard to become the equals of men, and even to be better than them. There is not a job out there that a man can do that a woman cannot. Women are frequently as driven in their careers now as men are, and the ones who are can hold their own in the corporate world.

A funny thing happens when a woman becomes a mother. In fact, even when a woman becomes pregnant, things immediately begin to change. Maybe you’ve heard of pregnancy brain, a term commonly used to explain bouts of forgetfulness or excessive “blonde moments” often experienced during pregnancy. Then, once the baby is there, a woman’s focus has to shift entirely onto that child for several months at the very least. In early motherhood, a woman is practically reduced to a robot, wearily changing diapers, feeding the baby and trying to keep up with laundry while keeping the baby happy and trying not to collapse from sleep deprivation.

Here in Canada, we women are blessed to be allowed a full year of maternity and parental benefits before we have to go back to work, if our finances allow. During that first year after Cody was born, I remember trying to play mental games on my computer to keep my mind sharp as I felt my intelligence draining away. I did go back to work for eight months before I went off again to have Jamie, and I have not been back since, so that’s three straight years now of being a stay-at-home mom.

The other day I read something online that made me acutely aware of my own level of intelligence. What I mean is, it made me feel dumb. I thought to myself, “I used to have something intelligent to say.” Now, I often don’t. A challenging conversation in my day consists of a fifteen to twenty minute negotiating session with a three year old who needs to use the “potty” but refuses to. That’s right, I can negotiate. I can also threaten. I can repeat everything I say a minimum of three times, with no maximum, and I can also employ tickle talk if the moment is right. But nowhere in there is there opportunity for me to discuss anything other than bodily functions, boo-boos, what is and is not on the menu, and of course, the rules.

Sure, my job here at home requires some strategizing skills. I have to strategize on how to most effectively get the boys to be good and do what they are supposed to do. I also have to strategize on things like when it is safe for me to take 72 seconds of time to run to the bathroom without someone being seriously injured or worse while I’m gone.

But despite all of my negotiating and strategizing, the bottom line is, when the kids go to bed in the evening my mind goes completely blank. I don’t know whether I could have an intelligent conversation to save my life. Being a stay-at-home mom is kind of like working on the trade floor. Sheer chaos, high stakes and the necessity to think fast and be able to shout above the rest of the crowd. Except there is no pay and no status for a mom.

I don’t regret my decision to stay at home with my kids. I have tough times here, but I consider it to be worth it. I love my boys and I have fun with them, and I feel very blessed to be able to be here. But I do hope that one day the fatigue will lift and the chaos will diminish a bit and I can brush the cobwebs out of my brain and see what’s left up there. Hopefully then I will still have something intelligent to say once in a while. Until then, I guess I will continue to do what I can to keep my brain from slipping into a motherhood-induced coma.

Hm. I’m not sure whether I’m done, but I forgot what I was going to say. Guess it’s time to sign off.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Still flooded, but dreaming about pools?

Here we are half way through a week and I have not posted in here at all. Things are very similar around here to the way they have been lately. I still have my cough, though it is much improved so I am thankful for that. Our basement still has a lot of water in it, and despite a combination of five pumps running both inside and outside of the house, we cannot seem to get the water out so we can clean up the basement. It is unclear how long we will be in this particular situation, but I'm guessing at least another week.

Today is a school day, so Cody is not here. That's probably really good for me, as he has been having some extremely rebellious times at home and things have been difficult here as a result. He was especially bad yesterday morning, but thankfully he did improve in the afternoon. I'm not sure what the root of the problem is, though I suspect a combination of things. So I have Jamie and Micah, and so far they have both been quite good, for the most part. I think Jamie is heading back outside again, so that is good for him and for me. I have a lot of cleaning to catch up on around here because I have not been doing much since I got sick. I usually manage one load of dishes through the dishwasher a day, which is not enough, and sometimes laundry, but not every day. We are not using cloth diapers right now, which has significantly cut back on my laundry duties. Our water smells like sulphur, and I have been concerned about wrecking the diapers by washing them in water that is stinky, so I have decided to wait until the water situation improves. I'm feeling a bit guilty about throwing all these diapers in the landfill, but I have to remind myself that it is a tiny number compared to what I would be doing if I were not using cloth at all. I do look forward to getting back into it, but again, I'm not sure how long it will take.

Our big news is that Mike got a job. He was already working as a teacher, but his position was a one year term, which he took after leaving a more long-term but less stable position elsewhere. Anyway, this week he secured a permanent position and it is closer to home plus it is a principal position so it is a major step up. This has taken quite a load off our minds, as we were wondering what was going to happen to us this fall. Yay!

And the other thing on my mind lately? Well, this is just really silly, but I really badly want a pool. I don't mean a kiddie wading pool. I want a pool. I have wanted one my whole life, and I have never had one. I recognize that I will likely never have an in ground pool, as they are just too darn expensive, plus I think maybe here that would be a problem as the water table is so high under the ground that we'd probably have to build the ground up really high to get the bottom of a pool above the water. But there has to be a way of getting some kind of above ground pool that is big enough for me to actually swim in but that won't break the bank. Haha. I'm mostly dreaming, but this really has been a lifelong dream of mine, and I really want a pool. I'm telling you, if I were rich, that is one of the things I would have for sure, and it would have landscaping. It would have a waterfall, and lights around it and also under the water. I love swimming, but I hate being in a bathing suit in public, so that's why the idea of having my own private pool is so appealing to me. I would probably use it almost every single day in the summer.

Okay, indulge in a little fantasy with me, will you? Here are some pictures I found online of backyard pools that I could handle seeing outside my window every day.

Okay, the pool above and the pool below are the same pool from a different angle. It is called a disappearing edge pool, so from the right angle, it looks like the water just drops into nothing. That's why there's that extra little bit of water at the bottom. These are popular if you live at the top of a cliff or high hill as it looks like it drops away into nothing. I should see if I can find a better picture of one in the daylight. 

Here's a great example of a pool with a disappearing edge.

Here's another place I could handle swimming. Wow.

The one above even has a fire going beside the waterfall. Haha! I wouldn't go that far, but the rest I love.

I really like this one. It is so pretty and a little simpler than some of the others. Doesn't it look therapeutic? 

I have always loved to dream about pools and about the kind of pool I would someday have. I will very likely never have a pool like any of these, or maybe even a pool at all. It is hard to say at this point. I hope I will have something some day, but meanwhile, I can dream. 

I better sign off for now before I get too caught up in my pool ideas! Bye for now.

October 5, 2011: I am editing this post because it has been brought to my attention that I used these photographs without permission. I did so out of sheer ignorance, not even realizing these (or several of them) came from a design website. I just pulled them off of Google images, and had no idea where they had come from. I have now learned who they belong to, and he has asked me to please credit him for the photos as well as put a link on to his website. His name is Chris Capriano, and the website is www.plantnj.com. If you are interested in any of his other designs, or even his blog, please visit his link. To Chris, I apologize for having used your photographs without permission. It was my error, and was done unintentionally. (I'm a bit naive about things like that.) Thank you for graciously allowing me to keep your photographs on my blog post. Your designs truly are beautiful, and though I am not in a position to get a pool myself at this time, I do enjoy dreaming about it and photos like yours are truly inspiring!

Friday, May 13, 2011

What a week!

I missed yesterday, seeing this site was down all day, but it has been quite a week around here. I am still very sick with a bad cough which is making my voice extremely weak and of course, yodely. My favourite. It makes things difficult when trying to get the attention of three wild little boys who are already naturally louder than I am. In addition to that, Cody seemed to get into a very rebellious state this week and decided to challenge me on everything. The word "challenge" is a bit of an understatement. Maybe it would be better to describe it as waging war. Today was the worst day as far as his attitude and actions go, though Wednesday was also brutally bad.

Bad attitude days can be survivable, or they can break the stay-at-home mom. I find that it depends on the day for me. This week I was not functioning, due to being so sick myself, so Wednesday I pretty much lost it all day. Today was better in a way. I was still upset and discouraged by the way things were going, but I tried to maintain my calm as much as possible. Things would have been less stressful if we hadn't needed to leave the house.

As it turns out, Cody contracted pink eye at school this week. I knew it was going around, and sure enough, he got it yesterday, though I was not aware until the end of the day. Anyway, I was advised by the public health nurse that I should take him to the doctor. Let me tell you, this did not thrill me, and here is why. First, going to the doctor with all three of the boys was sure to be a "challenge", and again, that is an understatement. Second, I was not up for said challenge, being that I am feeling weak and sick. Third, I strongly suspected it would be a wasted trip seeing it was very likely to be viral and in that case, they would just tell us to let it run its course.

So after a badly failed attempt at a badly needed nap, I got up and dragged all three of my boys to the van and off to a nearby town to see a doctor. The waiting room was interesting. Thankfully, it was not very full. I was like a mother duck whose ducklings were all over the place. They followed me, but in very loose formation and they strayed a lot. When we were sitting waiting, Micah climbed onto a chair and came within less than an inch of pulling the fire alarm. Did I mention this clinic is in a hospital? Do you have any idea how much trouble I would be in if my kid pulled the fire alarm in a hospital? In the actual doctor's office, I had to feed them a constant stream of soda crackers, which they devoured like army ants on a carcass, littering crumbs everywhere in his very nice office. They fought over the crackers and Micah continually tried to escape out the door. It was embarrassing to say the least.

In the end, the doctor declared Cody to have a viral case of pink eye. Big shock. So there is nothing I can do and there is a good chance all of our kids will get it. In addition to that, I had him check me while I was there, seeing I am sick. I knew it would be for nothing, but I figured I would regret it if I did not. He offered me antibiotics, saying that in my case there was a chance it was bacterial but he could not tell for sure. I declined. I am not going to take antibiotics if it is unnecessary. So, my long, stressful outing was completely useless in the end. I guess in a sense it was not, because at least now I have something to tell the school next week, if he is not better by then.

All in all, a nasty way to end the week. And of course, we still have over an inch of water in the basement. I know it's not much, but it is a constant presence that hangs over our heads. It could cause mould. It has ruined the bottom of all our drywall, which Mike just completed, and it has likely ruined some of our belongings, though we will have to assess that better when the time comes. At the very least, I am glad it is Friday and Mike is home with us. Hopefully we will have some positive experiences this weekend to counter the week. I'm signing off for now.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Our yard is a swamp land.

I took the boys outside this morning to take some pictures. Cody has his class mascot home, a huge stuffed beaver, and he is supposed to have the beaver's picture taken doing various activities. So we headed out in our rubber boots, all three boys and myself, and we took some pictures. First on the trampoline, which is in the front yard. Before we were close to done there, I saw that Micah had headed straight for trouble and was already wet from standing in a deep puddle. He has rubber boots, but they are not tall because he is so small. He ended up with his pants very wet. I don't have the pictures of the beaver, as I had to use the class camera to take them, but here are a couple I took last night with our camera.

 Above, he is posing on the one (formerly) dry spot on the basement floor. You can see how the water was advancing there. 
Here he is invading our fridge. See how big he is?

And Micah loves him. He is nearly bigger than Micah, and makes a great pillow or ride-on toy.

So that's the beaver. His name is Barkley, though I am not sure how they spell it. He actually normally wears a red t-shirt but we misplaced it last night so he was naked in these shots! Hehe. I think he looks much cuter that way, seeing it makes him look more real, but we put the shirt on for his school shots. 

Now here are a few pictures of our yard this morning. Let me preface this by saying that we live on very sandy soil. We rarely get puddles at all, and when we do, they disappear often in less than a day. I have never seen this much water in our yard, and the year we built it was a very wet summer with a high water table. It did not compare to this. 

Of course, Jamie played hockey in the water. That is pretty much his number one passion. Hockey. Any time, any place. He was using a hockey stick and a golf ball. 

Cody and Micah are in this one. Not sure if you can tell how deep that water is, but this picture shows how swampy our yard is. It might not look like much but all of those puddles were ankle deep on me.

Here they are, my three musketeers. Can you see how far up Jamie's boot the water goes? Notice how wet Micah's pant legs are here too. He has been through three outfits today so far, though only one from the puddles. The second one involved a lot of yogurt. He is working on the third one now. We'll see what he comes up with.

And here's Micah standing very happily in the middle of the biggest "puddle" out there. He was beyond delighted to be outside, but when he discovered the water he was ecstatic.

The battle rages on in the basement. I suppose I may have made it sound worse than it is. I should clarify that what is in our basement is not deep. It is, however, enough to cover the whole floor, which is just under 1500 square feet. I don't know how deep it is today. Yesterday I'd say it was getting close to an inch deep in places, but we pumped a lot out last night and it did improve. However, it has not been pumped since and I can see looking down the stairs that it is significantly worse than it was even before we pumped it yesterday. Our sump pumps are still running, but the one we bought to get rid of the standing water in the basement is not in use right now. I'd love to vacuum it all out, but it would be impossible unless we were running several vacuums at the same time. Right now they are saying that there is no more rain in the forecast for the next week, but they change it so frequently it is hard to put any stock in that. I hope they are right. 

It is nearly lunch time, so I will make something for the boys to eat and then get Micah down for a nap. I told Cody we'd bake cookies today so we could take pictures of Barkley baking with us, but I'm really not feeling well still so I'm not sure whether I'm up for it. We already have enough pictures of him, and I really need to have a rest this afternoon. I guess I'll see how I'm doing. Mike is not going to get home tonight until the boys are in bed, I think, or very close to it, so it is going to be a long day for me. I'm not sleeping that well, dreaming about flood water all night every night. I hope this situation improves soon. My heart goes out to everyone who is in far worse situations than I am. Those who have been evacuated, or had their basements or even their whole homes destroyed by this flood. And of course the people in Japan and the ones in the U.S. where those terrible tornadoes hit. (Hm. I had a tornado dream last night too.) Those are my reminders to be thankful for how good things really are here. 

I must sign off and prepare some kind of vittles for this crew. They are foraging. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Wet, wet, wet.

As expected, our basement filled with water overnight. It is not deep, but the floor is covered. We had to move our cats' litter box upstairs as they would have had to wade through the water to get to it and I doubt that would have happened. Mike is going to town tonight to try to get more supplies to see if we can get all fixed up or not. I hope we can do something. A lot of his drywall that he just put up is ruined. Our spare bedroom, which currently holds our computer and all of our stuff that needed storing, now has the floor covered too. Ironically, the driest room in the basement is the storage room, where the drain is. Obviously something was not done right when the basement floor was done. And of course, it rained all night last night. It was raining this morning too, though I think for the moment it has stopped. Now it is just gloomy and wet, and windy to boot. There is a lot more rain in our forecast and I don't know how we're going to handle it.

Cody is at school today, so it's pretty quiet in here right now. Micah is asleep and Jamie is on the couch, zoned out. He is watching a show, but he was zoned out before that. I suspect he needs a nap, but I'd like to avoid that if possible. It looks like I will be on my own this evening for supper and probably bath time as well, as Mike will be going to town for supplies. That will be interesting in itself, as the city is in dire straits from the flooding. Our water smells like sulphur coming out of the tap, and I just did the boys' laundry in it. I had to bleach it to get the smell out. I have to wonder whether it's okay to be doing our dishes in it. We are certainly not drinking it, and I am not allowing anyone to brush their teeth with tap water. I'm thinking I might even have to switch to disposable diapers until we get this situation under control, as the water might cause stink issues. Ick. I guess we'll have to see what kind of solution Mike can come up with tonight. Here's hoping he gets something working. It does appear that the water in the basement is not getting any deeper now, so I'm not sure what to make of that. I'm hoping that means it is even with the water table and won't get any higher. If that is the case, things won't get too severe. I mean, stuff is already wrecked, but maybe we'll be spared from any more damage.

Anyway, there is not much else to report today. I'm off to have a snack and maybe do some other writing  before I have to pick Cody up from school. Bye for now.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Here comes the flood.

I have been somewhat absent from this blog recently, and that is largely due to very busy days and sickness to boot. Yes, I am sick and have finally caught what my boys have had for close to seven weeks now. I can't seem to stop coughing and as a result my throat is very tender and sore. I am also exhausted, presumably from fighting it off. Here is a brief recap of what happened since my last post.

I did go to the pirates and princesses party at Cody's school. I put Micah and Jamie in little pirate bandanas and drew beards and goatees on them. I wish I had taken a picture because I had not done that to Micah before and he was truly adorable. We survived the party, though it was tiring, and Cody's whole face lit up when he saw us because he didn't think we would come. That made it all worthwhile.

Thursday my sister Andrea came and we did a bunch of horse stuff. I was with Sasha for well over an hour, though I don't remember fully how long. It went well despite some very distracting boys.

Friday morning first thing I found out I was on lunch supervision duty in Cody's class. The teachers in his school division have it in their contract that they have to be on break during lunch so they get us moms to volunteer for lunch supervision duty. Or at least that's what they're doing in the kindergarten class. Well, of course I freaked out because that's what I do. But I went and took my boys because I had no one to leave them with. Yikes. It was difficult. I supervised about fifteen five year olds (a couple were likely four and at least one was six) while they ate their lunches, and that had its challenges. I did have to break up more than one round of rough play between two boys, including an incident where one was pulling the other by a long rope-like scarf which was around the second boy's neck. I have worked at a day care before, though it has been many moons since those days, but the most challenging part of my day was having Micah along. Seriously, the first thing he did while I was running off my feet helping kids with their lunches was to pull a large jar of small beads off the shelf and then open it and dump the whole thing on the floor. That's pretty much the way the entire thing went. He went in all the kids' lockers, grabbed their stuff out, took a dry erase marker, grabbed a bottle of hand sanitizer, which is very scary stuff for kids. Anyway, I was there less than an hour and I was completely wiped out afterwards.

Then I went home and put Micah to bed after feeding him and Jamie, and then I spent another hour or so with Sasha, which was mostly positive.

Saturday we ended up at Mike's parents' place for a somewhat spontaneous family gathering. It was a really good day, albeit long, and the weather was perfect. His whole family including the kids comes to a total of 38 people. Yeah. It's big. The kids were outside nearly the whole time, and I was outside quite a bit too, on the deck. All in all, it was relaxing and very enjoyable. It is rare for the whole family to be together like that, particularly unplanned.

Sunday. Ah, Sunday. Mother's day. I was not feeling well that day with this blasted cough so I rested a lot. Mike played Mr. Mom, which gave me a major break from parenting and even household duties. I was very grateful. He really did a lot of cleaning. Cody gave me a card and a frame with a picture of him that he made at Kindergarten. He was really sweet about it.

And that brings me to today. My cough is worse now, so I'm feeling quite gross. I took Jamie for preschool screening today and left the other two with my sister-in-law, thankfully. Jamie did well, which was nice. We were not sure what to expect, seeing he is so different than Cody. He does not think like most kids. Anyway, it went very well and he was given some great books including a Dr. Seuss one that we did not previously own, along with a ball and some play-doh.

I must skip back for one moment to mention that yesterday evening at around 6:30 p.m., we were hit with a torrential downpour that lasted quite a while. After that it rained all night and drizzled some today. Our basement officially flooded in the middle of the night. Our two sump pumps are running full time and cannot keep up. We are trying to vacuum the excess water with the shop vac, but we can't keep up there either. It is coming in quite quickly, and I don't know what will happen overnight if we don't get up every hour to vacuum it. Mike is with two of his brothers right now trying to rig a system with a third pump outside to pull the water away from the house where it is coming in. (That spot is at the opposite end from where our sump pumps are running, so they appear to be doing their job quite well.)

Anyway, the flooding is quite stressful, and Mike and I both have worked our butts off all day between me with the boys and fighting the basement waters, and Mike working all day and then coming home and working ever since. It is 9:17 p.m. now and they are not done. I don't know how much longer they will work. Their plan does not seem to be working. Hm. I see they have the tractor out now. The fork lift is right in front of the living room window. I can't imagine what they are planning to do with that. Three heads are better than one though, so I'm really glad Mike has the help.

Tomorrow is a school day, so I'll be running around. That combined with fighting the flood may keep me from my blog for a while, but we'll see how things go.

I'm signing off now. It is 10:45 p.m. Mike's brothers just left and they were not successful, so we will continue to fill with water. I will report back when I can. Goodnight.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Exhausted and indecisive!

It was a very eventful night last night. I find myself wondering whether I will ever have normal sleep patterns again. At 1:55 a.m. I woke up because Micah was crying in the monitor, calling me. I thought I'd use the bathroom before checking on him, so I did, but then he was quiet again. I decided to leave him alone, but I heard something else. An odd noise that sounded like it was coming from the kitchen. I knew it couldn't be the dog. He is pretty quiet at night, and somehow the sound was not something he could have done. I knew there was a kid up, but I didn't know who and I didn't know why. I stumbled down the brightly lit hall, eyes squinting, hair all over the place, and what I found rendered me utterly speechless. Jamie was there, wide awake, making slapshots with a real hockey stick in the living room and the kitchen. I could NOT believe it. What the heck was he doing? It was 2 a.m. I had a hard time not freaking out. I informed him that it was the middle of the night and he had to go back to bed. I removed the hockey stick from his hands with disastrous consequences. He had a massive meltdown, and it was loud. I was already feeling extremely irritated, and now I was mad and stressed. Micah had already settled and I did not want him waking again. 

Meanwhile, Radar, the dog, was going nuts in the kitchen. I assumed it was because Jamie was making such a big ruckus with his hockey playing, so I yelled at him (the dog) and carried Jamie kicking and hollering back to his bed. I even had to cover his mouth in his room for a moment because he was shouting and crying so loudly. That, of course, made him cry harder. Honestly, it was so ridiculous. I finally got him to agree to stay in bed and then Cody woke up and requested water. Then they both wanted water. Fine. I went back to the kitchen to get their water. There was dog poop on the floor. 

Radar does NOT have accidents in the house. Ever. I wondered if it had to do with our miscommunication earlier when we both fed him his nightly ration of food. I fed him once, and I guess he ate it all immediately, so when Mike came through the kitchen he just assumed Radar needed food and gave him his ration all over again. Maybe it proved too much for Radar's system. I don't know. So now I had to let the dog outside to finish the job. (It was clear that what he left on the floor was only a very small portion of what was to come.) 

So now it is after 2 a.m. and I have two out of three kids awake and poop on the kitchen floor. I was so angry. I got the boys settled and cleaned up the poop, then brought the dog back in so he would not keep us awake all night with barking. Then I washed my hands thoroughly and headed back to bed. I had not been in there five minutes when Jamie was up again. The rest is kind of a blur. He was up at least twelve times in the span of half an hour. Once to pee, evidenced by the fact that when he entered our room he was naked from the waist down and requesting help getting his pants back on. Once he came in with a hockey puck and laid it beside the stick, telling us he wanted to leave it with its friend, the hockey stick. At least a couple of times it was to ask, "Is it closer to morning yet?" I had to wonder what the heck he had consumed at supper time. He did not nap yesterday, so there was no reason for him to have insomnia. The only explanation was that he was so pumped about hockey that it kept him awake for much of the night. He really does have a passion for hockey. He was up before 7 a.m. asking if he could play yet. 

I feel like death warmed over, and Micah has a fever again, as far as I can tell. He is grouchy and snotty, and crying over every little thing. Well, on a normal day I would just cuddle him all day (off and on) and do my best to comfort him. Today, however, we are invited to Cody's school this afternoon for a "pirates and princesses party" from 2:30 p.m. til 4 p.m. I am feeling like a horrible mother because I do not know whether to go or not. Obviously Cody is going to be disappointed if I don't go, though he does understand that I may not be able to go because of the boys. But really, what am I to do? Micah seems to be sick, and Jamie was up for a long time in the middle of the night. I am exhausted myself for the same reason. 

And I have to stop writing now because Micah is bawling in front of me, begging me to hold him and read a book. This is crazy. I guess I'm off for now. I have no idea whether to go to the party or not. I guess I'll have to see what happens. Bye for now.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dilemmas, dilemmas!

I am hoping for a quiet afternoon as I settle into my chair for some rest. Micah is in bed, hopefully sleeping, and the other two just finally went outside. It is a beautiful day out there, and I am going to head out soon myself to give the horses their pellets.

Despite my relatively clean living room, which I accomplished this morning, and the sound of the dishwasher running in the background, today has been somewhat disastrous so far. I guess that is an exaggeration. It's just that Cody woke up on the wrong side of the bed and has needed a ton of disciplining all morning. His attitude is really bad today, and I'm not sure why. On top of that, Micah seems to have a fever, and he feels hotter than he did the last time he had a mild one. He is still coughing, and I just don't know what to do. Maybe it seems like a no-brainer. Take him to the doctor, right? Well, I have a few issues with that. First, taking him to the doctor is a complex ordeal as I have to take all three of them along, which turns into a very crazy and difficult experience. Second, every time I take the boys to the doctor, even when they are much sicker than this, I am told that it's viral and it has to just run its course. I do not want to go to the hassle of going all that way with all of them to find out there's nothing I can do. I am positive that is what I would be told.

My third dilemma, and perhaps the most pressing one, is that I lost my driver's license. No, I did not do anything illegal. I mean it is lost. Missing. It has disappeared. This is a source of great frustration and mystery to me, as I always keep it in the same place in my wallet, and I never remove it. Ever. There are only two possible explanations for this situation. One is that one of my boys removed it. This is very possible, as Micah goes after my purse every single time I leave it in reach, which is not often, but it does happen. Many times he has gone through Mike's wallet. I am sure he has been through mine too, though mine has a snap which helps, and usually when he gets my purse he goes for my cell phone, not my wallet. But he still could have done it. Jamie and Cody both used to do the same thing. Cody is too old for that now, and I honestly can't remember whether Jamie still does it or not.

The second possible explanation is that when I received my new license with my absolutely lovely photo that is good for five years (oh wait, it was hideous), I never put it in my wallet. I do remember receiving it, as it was quite horrifying. So did I not put it in my wallet? I can't imagine why I wouldn't have. But the more I think about it, the more I doubt myself and think this is somehow my fault. It is doing nothing to bolster my opinion of myself, which is not overly high these days...or ever, I suppose.

I guess the worst part about this license thing is that I discovered it on my way to go vote last night. We had to turn around and come home and turn the house upside down, to no avail, and then we had to just go ahead and feed the boys their supper, as it was getting late. I never found it, and I couldn't go back alone, so I did not vote last night.

I felt horrible about that, and it brought back a memory of a friend of mine in university who reamed me out brutally when I did not vote one time. I can tell you that I am not very politically inclined. I never have been. Now I have Mike, who loves politics, to kind of explain things to me, because I just hate politics and I guess I don't pay enough attention because of that. But back then, I did not have Mike. In addition to that, I did not have a television, so I was not aware of any of the candidates. And, (this will date me a bit), there was no internet available to find information that way. (The internet did exist, it just was not common for every household, or even for many.) Let's take that a step further and mention that I also had no vehicle to get to the voting station. So, even though at the time I felt guilty, I didn't want to go to the polls and just guess, so I chose to opt out. Some people find this very offensive, as voting is an important privilege in our country. I agree. We are very blessed here to have that option, and I have not missed an election for a very long time. But yesterday I did, and I thought of my friend (who is still preaching about voting on her Facebook page), and I felt like a loser. It was horrible.

I think I can get my license re-issued, but it costs money, and I also have to get there, which means driving. Ironic, isn't it? It's not a big deal. It's just one of those stupid things that should not have happened. On occasion, I do misplace things, but not things like this. I guess I'm only human, but sometimes I feel the pressure to be super-human around here.

The boys are playing soccer in a giant puddle of mud on the driveway. They wanted to play soccer outside, but how typical that they would choose to do it in the water instead of on the grass! Our snow has mostly melted, so that is good. What hasn't melted yet will definitely be gone by the end of today. It is a very nice day out. So far we are still not flooded downstairs and things seem to have improved very slightly, so that is good.

Anyway, there is not much else to report for now. I should try to clean the kitchen a little better, I guess. First I will feed the horses. The boys just came in. Jamie is drenched. I'm off for now.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Winter returns.

Our blizzard warning for the weekend did not disappoint. It started pouring rain on Friday evening which lasted all night. Not good, as our basement was in imminent danger of flooding. I expected to wake up to snow, so I thought we might be out of the woods. The rain did not stop, however, and by mid-morning it was snowing. It snowed all day and all night. Our horses were a sight to be seen. They were covered in ice and they were so grouchy. I felt so sorry for them. Here's a shot of Sasha through the window.

You can see she looks like she has a white mane. That's all ice. They fought violently over their food because they were so miserable. It was really pathetic, but kind of funny too. Today, Sasha looks really nice and clean after being showered for twelve hours and then covered in ice. Hehe. They are all much happier today.

Our highways were closed for a long time due to the blizzard, and we got a lot of snow here. It looks like winter once again, even though last week we were at 20 degrees. (That's 68 degrees fahrenheit, for you Americans.) Now it is below zero once again and there is ice and crusty snow everywhere. It is supposed to get warm, (well, warm-ish) today, so it will be doing a lot of melting. We are holding our breath to see whether all our pumps in the basement will be able to prevent us from flooding. We had power flickers all weekend, but we were extremely blessed in that the longest the power was out was about three seconds. Any more than a minute and we would have flooded for sure, as our pump was running every 15 seconds to keep up with all the water. Down the road, the ditches are near overflowing once again. The roads are full of deep ruts too from all the precipitation combined with melting temperatures yesterday afternoon, so I am concerned that I may not be able to get Cody from school later. Wouldn't that be something? What would I do if I couldn't get out of here? Mike got stuck with the van yesterday when he tried to leave. I made it out this morning to take Cody to school, but the ground was frozen then. Later it will be wet and mushy, so I might be in trouble. It should be interesting.

Here are a few shots of the blizzard in our yard on Saturday.

Remember, we had no snow left before the weekend. 
Doesn't look like April 30th to me.
 This was taken on May 1st. Can you tell how much snow we got? That was in one day.

 Here you can see the boys' bikes buried and the large ride-on tractor too.
I just took this to show how much snow was sitting on the railing. It turns out it is a lot deeper than that on the ground. What a crazy storm!

Other than the weather, our weekend was fairly uneventful. Well, not completely, I guess. Micah did dump an entire bottle of syrup on the floor on Saturday. I was just thrilled. He was covered in it too and had to be showered. 

Now I have Micah and Jamie, who are fighting. Micah is throwing a tantrum on the floor right now because I confiscated a drinking glass from him. Looks like it will be another typical day on the home front.

I did manage to write two more pages on my book on the weekend, which doesn't sound like much but it's more than I've done in over a month, so I was thankful for that. I might try some more this afternoon if these crazy boys will cooperate. Right now they are playing with a Pringles chip tin. They are alternately using it as a drum and then pretending to drink out of it. (It's empty.) At least they're not fighting for the moment. I am being offered a turn on the prestigious drum, so I must sign off. Bye for now.