Monday, August 29, 2011


Today was one of those "running-off-my-feet" days. Mike went to work in the morning and did not return until after 3 p.m. (Shorter than normal, but he is not officially back at work yet so it feels long to me.) Then he left immediately for town to go grocery shopping. That was fine, but it just happened to be one of those crazy days. Micah is in this phase where he won't nap, so I've been putting him down anyway and letting him stay in his crib in hopes that he will sleep. Maybe that sounds mean, but he talks happily in there, so I figure at the very least he can benefit from the time alone. Yes, I know what you're thinking. I also benefit from a break from him. Very much. There are two problems with this scenario. First, he does not nap. Nine times out of ten, he will not sleep, and sometimes he is in there for two hours. Again, he is happy in there, so it is not a huge problem except for the other aspect. Micah is potty training right now, and he is totally ready for it. As such, he has decided he does not like it when his diaper is wet or dirty. When he is alone in his room, trapped in his crib, he simply takes his clothes off and removes the diaper once it is dirty. He has been doing this for about a week now, and it is not cool. He did it today while I was working out and he was supposed to be napping, and he had pooped. I will spare you the details, but you can imagine it was not good. That was one incident today.

Incident #2, though not necessarily in order ( that case the previous one should be labeled #2...), Jamie and Micah left the house today without telling me. For Jamie that is not unusual, and it does not concern me in the summer because he is good outside. But he took Micah with him, and that is a strict no-no. Luckily, I noticed almost immediately and I charged outside to bring Micah back. I found the two of them on our porch swing. They had broken it, and I mean, beyond repair. They actually broke one of the metal rods off that holds the swing up. I could not believe it. Mere words can not adequately describe just how destructive my boys are. I was very upset, because it was obvious that it did not simply come apart, but the actual metal broke. The whole thing will now have to go to the dump and I officially have nothing to sit on outside. Well, other than my own anatomy, but that doesn't really count.

You can see on the side closer to the camera that there are two bars that hold the swing up. The far side has only one left. I think I might only buy stuff made of rubber or steel from now on.

Incident #3: Somebody, though I can only narrow it down to either Jamie or Micah, plugged the toilet in the main bathroom. Honestly, it looks like there is close to a whole roll of toilet paper in there. This I discovered while I was trying to prepare them all for their baths...Oh, did I mention that immediately after Mike returned from his grocery shopping trip he left for a meeting in one of the nearby towns? It is work-related too. I guess Mike has also been running off his feet all day. I have no idea when he will be home, but I have not heard from him and the meeting started an hour and a quarter ago. Anyway, so I was in charge of supper and bath time, my least favourite time of day. I tried several times to flush away the mess, but I could not. Fortunately, it did not overflow. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a plunger, so Mike will still have to remedy that situation upon his return home tonight.

Mike finally broke down on the weekend and screwed a couple of boards into the wall on either side of our pantry door and we now have a board that we put on as a locking mechanism for the pantry. We just couldn't take all the food theft anymore. So far it is working, though it has only been just over 24 hours since it went up. It is ugly, no offence, Mike, but these are the things we have to do to keep things sane around here...or at least sane-ish. Even still, I caught Micah on top of the piano key cover multiple times today and climbing many other forbidden places in the house. I'd take a picture of the living room to post in here, but I am too ashamed. Popcorn all over the floor. Toys scattered everywhere. There was a consequence for that this evening, but I still have to live with the mess. My feet are aching. My laundry is still running. My eyes are begging me to shut them. I worked hard all day but I wouldn't want anyone to drop in unannounced right now. I keep thinking of that line from Miss Congeniality. (One of my favourite movies!) "In a way, America is like a big ship, and when we all work together, that's when we make it safely back to shore." Or something like that. That's what I keep thinking about my little family, but unfortunately, it feels like the ship is going to break apart in the storm! Don't worry, I'm saying this with some humour, but seriously, my house is taking an unbelievable beating from these kids! Today, Jamie was mad at me for something and he grabbed a crayon and scribbled all over the coffee table just to make me mad. It worked. I threw the crayon in the garbage.

Isn't that pretty? These are the lengths we must go to. A lock on the fridge. A board to bolt the pantry shut. Really, is this ridiculous? For us, it's normal life. Notice the pantry still has no frame around it. That was one of those details that fell by the wayside when we built this house. It is also, ironically, a reminder that this house is only five and a half years old. You wouldn't know it to look around. 

Anyway, it seems all the boys are sleeping now, and thank goodness. I am exhausted, and my work is not even done yet. But it may remain undone for the evening. I am due for some writing, or possibly to finish a book I am currently reading. For now, I am going to sign off. Hopefully Mike will be home soon, but if not, I need to enjoy this time to myself seeing it's the first I've had all day. Bye for now.

Friday, August 26, 2011

A sigh of relief for a quiet evening...hopefully.

This week has ended with a bigger challenge than usual because Mike is away. He left last night after he bathed the boys, so around 6:30 p.m. and I have been on my own with them ever since. It has been all right, I guess. They have not been too bad, but last night I had a terrible time settling them all. I thought I had settled the older two and then at 7:50 p.m. I was putting Micah to bed when Cody got up. He could not sleep. So I tucked Micah in and took Cody out to the living room to sit with me for a while. It was kind of sweet. Cody and I don't get a lot of quality one on one time, so it was nice to chat with him. He was so cute, and at one point he looked at me almost with a shy smile and said, "Mom, I just really want to marry you." It was the sweetest thing. I gave him a hug and he said, "You're my best mom ever!" That's my Cody. Very sweet and encouraging and so incredibly loving.

I put him back to bed about half an hour later, but shortly after that Micah woke up. Yeesh. He was crying at first. I went to check him and there was not really anything wrong. I tucked him in again, but after that he was just singing at the top of his lungs in there. I had planned to spend my solitary evening writing and enjoying some quiet time, reading and relaxing. But I just couldn't relax knowing my kids were not settled. This went on until 9:40 p.m. It was so frustrating. I ended up reading because I was too frazzled to write, so I was up later than I planned, but before I even turned out the lights (somewhere around midnight), Jamie was up. I guess he was thirsty because I heard him leave his room and go to the kitchen. A few minutes later he returned to his room and shut the door. I did not even see him and was not sure which one of them had been up, but he did it again a few minutes later so I went to see if everything was okay. Well, it was, but I could not believe they had all been up. I was anticipating a horrible night. I managed to sleep until 5:30 a.m. After that, Radar went nuts outside and at 6 a.m. I had to yell at him to be quiet. So I got up on the wrong side of the bed. I was not a happy camper.

We spent the day at my sister's place where the boys played with their cousins (also three boys) and we met their new puppy. He is yet nameless, but check out this amazing cutie.

I expect Mike home tonight, but not until well after I am in bed. Probably 1:30 or 2 a.m. Tonight was better though, in that everyone was asleep by 7:30 p.m. I am doing diaper laundry right now, but once it's done I will move into my room and either read or work on my book some more. I really hope none of the boys will be up during the night tonight. I am also considering bringing the dog in overnight, as I was ready to kill him this morning!

The only other news around here is that we are still busy trying to organize this place, and Mike took our white racks out of the closet and built shelves and new hanging racks in there so we could get organized. I took some pictures, but none of them do it justice. Honestly, I love it so much I actually feel like hanging out in the closet. Haha. It's like a nice quiet little room. I'll post a picture or two from before we got all our stuff back in. It looks better now, but this gives an idea what it's like. 

And other than that, life is the same as ever. I woke up in the morning a couple of days ago to this scene in the boys room, which had been cleaned just the day before. 

Yep. The boys took Jamie's bed apart. They use the mattress for "skydiving", in which they "fly" off Cody's bed and land on the mattress. Notice the bedding and other junk all over the floor. 

Above you can see a white substance spread all over the carpet. That would be coconut, stolen from a high cupboard at an ungodly hour in the morning. It was all over the floor and each bed. The room smelled like a tropical vacation. Too bad it didn't look like one. I was very frustrated, and made the boys clean it up, including vacuuming. But the next morning Jamie dumped iced tea powder all over his bed and Cody's. Will I ever win this battle?

Now I am going to see whether I can lock Radar in his crate for the night. It's getting dark out, so I'll have to do it right now. That way, at least if he barks he can't do it outside my window. Bye for now.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back In the Saddle

I have not written in here in several days, and I do have a report to give, but first I have to update my salamander story from my last post. I got Mike to read the post that evening when he was home again. He laughed and said, "That explains it!" He told me that Jamie had told him repeatedly that the salamander was in the van and he wanted to get it out. But here's the catch. Jamie told him that Micah put it there. Obviously Micah is way too small to be able to open the van, so Mike knew Jamie was lying. Therefore he did not believe him, and did not check the van. In addition to that, Mike had locked the van, obviously after the salamander was in there, so Jamie could not get back in. Jamie tried several times to tell Mike, but each time he lied, either saying that Micah did it, or that the salamander crawled into the van by itself. So, we used the whole thing as a lesson on lying for Jamie, explaining that had he told the truth, the salamander could have been saved. It was also a lesson to us. Jamie tells tales, (we're working on that), but there is often an element of truth in it...especially if he is casting blame on someone else. So we will have to be careful to listen to what he says and check it out, even if it sounds like a tall tale.

Okay, on to my other update. The day after the salamander fiasco, we went to my sister Andrea's place. My brother-in-law, Steve, went fishing with Mike and Cody and Jamie, and us girls stayed back with Micah and my almost 8 month old nephew, Alex. We had a nice time, and the guys got back at lunch time. But after lunch, I changed into my riding clothes and Andrea and I headed out to see the horses. If I have not mentioned it before, she has our horses right now, because we had to move them in the flood.

My horse, Sasha, got kicked a couple of weeks ago and has not been ridden since because she has been quite sore. In addition to that, I have not ridden her since August 4th last year, when I fell off and broke my right wrist, my right ankle and sprained my left wrist, for anyone who does not remember or has not been reading this that long. I have not been on any horse since then for a variety of reasons. But on Saturday, Andrea saddled up her horse, Indy, and I rode him. She gave me a lesson in the round pen, just to refresh me and get me past my nerves. Yes, I was quite nervous. I was even scared to go faster than a walk, but I did. Indy is a very "up and down" horse, so his gaits are not the easiest to sit. I was a complete spaz the first time I trotted him, but I improved quickly, so I was very happy with that. Then I dared to lope in the round pen, which is not the easiest, seeing it is quite small for that speed. I was nervous, again, but I did it. So after a good 15 or 20 minutes in there, Andrea saddled her new horse, Phoenix, (formerly Sasha until I ended up with a Sasha before Andrea bought hers), and we went out on the trail. The plan was to just walk, and we did mostly walk, but I did trot a couple of times and even did a short lope. I rode for at least an hour in total, and I must say, it felt quite good. I plan to go again as soon as possible, which will not be until at least Sunday. I will still be very nervous to ride Sasha again, but she is coming along very nicely for Andrea, so by the time I ride her, she should be a much different horse than she was when I had my disaster fall.

I do not have any pictures of me riding, but here are a couple of the horses.

This first one is Indy, the one I rode. He is an appaloosa, but has no markings to show it. Haha. He's a great horse, and he was perfect for me, which was nice.

This is Phoenix. She is a Quarter Horse, and she is sort of a blue roan, but not quite. She is actually a tank. She is only five, and Andrea is still working the kinks out of her, but she will be a good horse with more hours on her. She is already doing well. She's the biggest one in the herd now.
Above is Maybelline, looking very well fed. She will be starting some training very shortly, and hopefully will be ridden this fall.

And now a few before and after pictures of my Sasha. She came through the winter very well, but lost a lot of weight in the spring. She got terribly thin and we had to put her on a high calorie, high fat diet to shape her up. This first picture is horrible, but it shows how skinny she got. I think it was partly due to the bugs being so horrific at our place that the horses would just run all day to get away from them. 
So there she is, looking her absolute worst. 
And here she is now. Fantastic. She looks better now than she did when we got her. I finally have hope she is going to fill out and look like a normal Quarter Horse! 

She is still getting lots of extra feed besides the hay and grass. It's good to see her looking so healthy. Other than the lump on her face that appeared a few months ago for no apparent reason. 

Anyway, so there they are. I hope I will get a chance to ride Sasha this year, but I guess we'll see how it goes. They will not be coming back to our place for the winter, so once the snow flies I won't see much of them, I'm pretty sure. That's okay. Andrea will do lots of work with them, which is what they need. Mike does not have time with all this flood stuff we are still dealing with, and I don't have the nerve to do the training stuff, particularly with Maybelline. 

I have a lot more to say, but I will save it for tomorrow or this will get too long. Hope everyone has a good Tuesday.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Only with boys...

All right, for anyone who follows this blog on a regular basis, you know we have been struggling with flooding for four months now. We are still fighting it, and yesterday Mike's brother was here with his backhoe, digging what is called a dry well. I don't feel like getting into the details of what a dry well is, because quite frankly, I'm tired of talking about all of our efforts to beat this flood...particularly because we seem to fail with everything we try!

Anyway, all you really need to know is that the day before yesterday, Mike spent the evening getting ready for the backhoe adventures. He had to dig up some equipment that was buried in a hole right against the north side of the house. I'm assuming it was some kind of pump, but I don't know. Not really relevant to my story. So he was standing in this hole, which was a good three feet wide and maybe as deep. It was also full of water, probably a foot deep, so he had to brace his feet on the sides to stay out of the water. The ground is all sand, so it caves in very easily, and the surface of the water was covered in a caramel-brown-ish foam. He was in the hole and I was standing beside it when I saw something splash in the water. Something alive. I had a minor freak out and told him a fish just jumped. Obviously that was impossible, but there was indeed a creature in our brown lagoon. It was a salamander, and a pretty big one at that. Mike could barely see it because its head was the only part out of the water, and it was covered in that foam, but he caught it and I put it in a pail and washed it off. The idea was, we'd leave it in a safe place overnight and let the boys play with it for a while the next day, seeing they have a huge obsession with salamanders.

So, we did, and sure enough, yesterday they played with it and had a great time. I made it very clear that they were not to hurt it, and that at the end of the day it would be released again into the wild. I was gone for the whole afternoon yesterday and did not return until nearly 6 p.m. When I got home, I asked about the salamander and where it was. I asked whether they had let it go. I got some vague and mixed answers. When I asked where it was, Jamie said, "Somewhere", which is a typical response for him. Cody said it escaped and he did not know how. Mike confirmed that it had indeed escaped. Cody told me how sad they were about it, but I told him it was good that it got away because now it gets to live.

Fast forward to today. I am on the phone with my mom, late morning. Cody continually interrupts me, despite promising not to, but he came in from outside with an urgent request that I give him the van keys. What? I demanded to know why he wanted the van keys. He told me it was to get the salamander out. What?? I asked him what he was talking about and he said the salamander was crawling around in the van. I told him that was impossible, seeing it had escaped yesterday. I asked whether the van was locked and he said yes. So I asked him if it was locked, how did he know the salamander was in there. He said Jamie saw it. Oh yes, and that Jamie was on the roof of the van. WHAT???

For kicks, I kept my mom on the phone while I grabbed the keys and followed Cody to the van. Sure enough, Jamie was sitting on the roof, in nothing but his underwear. We don't call him Mowgli for nothing.  I hollered at him to get down from there and never to do that again. Then I unlocked the van and opened the driver's door. On the floor was an ice cream pail with a lid, and slits cut in it so air could get in. I picked it up and tried to see through. Something thumped inside. Great. I opened the lid, and just like they said, a salamander was inside. Well, not exactly as they said. You see, this one was dead and stiff as a board.

I was very disturbed, and more than a little mystified. I let them look at it, told them it was dead, and then, flung its body into the bush where it would never be found again. At least, not by them.

My conclusions about this incident? First, Jamie must have taken the salamander without Cody, or Mike, knowing it, and put it in that pail. Then, he hid it in the van and told nobody. Second, Jamie knows how to climb on top of the vehicle. Third, it seems I will never be able to get Jamie to wear clothing. Fourth, I cannot, cannot, cannot keep up with these boys. And fifth, I will not capture animals for my boys to play with anymore, unless I am there to supervise the entire thing and personally witness the release of said animal.

I suppose it was another lesson on death, but none of them understand. Cody said it would get to go to heaven now. I said no. He said maybe Jesus would bring it back to life again. I said he would not, and that the salamander will never be happy again because it only got one chance and now it is dead. But no matter what I say, the cannot grasp the concept at this point, which is okay, I guess. There are things they cannot understand, just as there are things my female brain cannot grasp, after being raised with only sisters and now having only boys in my home. I learn as I go, but the lessons I learn come from experience rather than some kind of supernatural anticipation so I can prevent these things before they happen. Somehow, I will have to adopt the mindset that truly anything can happen in a household full of boys, and perhaps then I will not be caught by surprise so frequently in their day to day antics. I'll let you know how that goes. I'm off to start the afternoon.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Battling kids, mess and flooding.

This morning, like every morning, Cody and Jamie got up before us. Mike had left them each a little paper bag of popcorn to snack on, so they would not raid our cupboards. As usual, it did not work. Oh, they were thrilled with their popcorn treats, that's for sure. But they completely misinterpreted our kindness. Let me just say that when I got up I heard incriminating sounds in the kitchen so I charged past Micah's room, where he was hollering for us to get him out of his crib, and into the kitchen. Jamie was ducking behind the island counter. He had the canister of brown sugar, and there was a spoon in it. I was so mad. Oh, did I mention that he was naked from the waist down and was covered on his legs and bum in green, brown and orange marker? Yep. Tatoos, Jamie style. Well, not totally Jamie style. Cody was also covered. His arms and legs were completely coloured. I was mad. Yes, I know it's funny. Had Jamie been wearing underwear, I probably would have photographed the moment. But it's still maddening. I told them I would no longer be purchasing brown sugar and that I am done making cookies. Yesterday I made raisin cookies because they ate the chocolate chips, or a good portion of them, and we have none left, so I bought raisins instead. Cody was mad at me, but I told him I will not be buying chocolate chips anymore. So, the battle rages on. I cannot keep my house from being destroyed. I cannot keep my baking ingredients from being stolen and desecrated, no matter how high up I keep them. And I cannot get my three-and-a-half-year-old to use markers on paper instead of on his own body, and on our furniture, and on the walls. Oh, and the carpet. Yes, that's right. They even colour the carpet. My kids will be way behind in school because I will not have let them draw in their youth. Well, this is why. Even Cody wrote all over himself today, and I'm sure it was just to impress his brother.

In other news, ever since our holiday I have been cleaning like crazy, and it feels good. Bit by bit we are getting this place more and more organized, but I have also been doing detail cleaning. I mean, the stuff I don't normally have time to pay attention to, including getting all the pen and other marks off the walls, polishing my piano...those kinds of details. Today I would like to make a cover for my dining room chair. That sounds funny. We have six chairs, but I want to start with one so I can possibly move Micah out of his high chair and into a booster seat. But I know from experience that if I put him into a booster without covering the seat underneath, he'll destroy the chair, and I don't want another one stained like Jamie's. If I can come up with a good pattern, I'd like to cover all of the boys' chairs to prevent further spills. It would be much easier to clean up after them if now and again I could just remove the covers and throw them in the wash. But I will be using bath towels to do it, so I will be destroying some. I have been wondering whether they sell towels at the dollar store, but somehow I doubt it. It's okay. I have a lot of old and very ugly towels that I have been using since I moved out of my parents' house for university, many years ago. I won't say how many. Haha.

Anyway, as much as I'd love to make the covers, I think it would require a bit of sewing, and it is extremely difficult for me to sew because I can't do it with the boys around, and they are always around. So I guess we'll see whether I get to that or not.

We are still fighting the flood here. Mike shut off one of our four pumps in the basement yesterday as an experiment to see whether three pumps could handle the water. They couldn't. I don't know how long the pump was off. Maybe a couple of hours? But sure enough, water came into the basement again, so we still need all four pumps running. Crazy. We are halfway through August and have been flooded since May. It's hard to believe this is still happening. We still have no answers as to whether we will get any financial assistance to get us through this. We also have no answers about what we will have to do to ensure this does not happen again next spring. So far, things are not looking good. There is a smell in our house that is not always noticeable, but sometimes it smells really gross, from all the moisture in the basement. I hate it, and also wonder about health concerns. Last night I was thrilled for a cool evening, so I opened all the windows in the house and let this beautiful breeze in. It felt amazing. Until bed time. The wind totally died, and when we went to bed there was a slight scent of sewer in the air. Mike checked the basement, which was fine, so we went to bed. But I was up in the middle of the night, and the smell was totally overpowering. Our whole house smelled like that, and again Mike checked and we are fine in the basement. We came to the conclusion that the issue is all the standing water in our round pen, which is not far from the house. So it is still gross to live here.

Today I put some dish cloths and towels through the laundry with bleach, so now it smells faintly of chlorine in our kitchen. I have to say, it smells quite lovely. Clean. It has been a long time since our house smelled clean. I sincerely hope we can have it nice in here by October. I keep moving our goal back further and further. I really thought by the end of July we'd be fine. Then by September. Now, I'm thinking October is fairly optimistic. It is difficult not to despair sometimes. Maybe that's why I'm so desperate to make things nicer upstairs. Maybe some part of me believes if it's nice enough up here it will balance out the disaster below.

I have to intervene in the kitchen now. The boys are eating in there alone. Yes, Mike is gone again, so I am fighting the battles alone. Micah refused to use his high chair for lunch, so he is loose in there. Scary. I better go make sure everything is still standing.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Rainy Friday

It is just after 10:30 in the morning and I am sitting on my bed in my room, in darkness. My blinds are not closed. Okay, I don't even have blinds. Where we live, we can do that, though it still makes me uneasy! Outside it is dark and rainy, very gloomy, hence the reason my room is so dark despite my lack of blinds. We are still in no position to be welcoming more rain, but here it is, so we will have an indoor day here and hopefully the fighting will be kept to a minimum.

I guess I have not written in here this week at all. At the moment, I don't remember much about my week. It has been quiet. We did go to town one day to do errands, but that was about the extent of our activities, other than supper at the farm one evening. I don't even remember which one. Yikes. The days are all blending together in the absence of defined weekends.

The one exciting thing about my week has been cleaning. Ha. So exciting, right? Well, for some reason, ever since my trip I have been extra inspired to get this place clean, or at least as organized as possible. I have done way more cleaning than I have in a long time, other than the day Micah was sick and I just sat with him most of the day because that was the only thing that made him happy. (Wow, the rain is REALLY coming down out there!)

Anyway, as I was reflecting on our house and how difficult it is to keep it clean (or even get it clean in the first place), I was struck with a perfect metaphor. My house is basically Humpty Dumpty. Five years ago we moved in to our brand new, freshly completed house. Okay, it was not even quite completed, but it was close enough, seeing I was eight months pregnant with Cody and we needed to move before I had him. Our house was beautiful. Well, to me it was. Everything was "fresh, with no mistakes in it", to quote from Anne of Green Gables. My baby room was perfect and even though our house is not even close to a mansion or anything remotely fancy, I was so incredibly grateful to be moving into this spotless place. I had lived in many apartments before it, and the mobile home just before, and all of them were filled with years of grime from previous tenants. Not this time. Here was my place. Our place. Let's call it, Humpty.

Well, then we had Cody, and the place stayed pretty clean, albeit a bit more cluttered with toys and other baby gear. When he was in his crawling stage, I confined him to the living room and covered the entire floor with bed sheets to catch the extremely frequent spit-ups. Yes, I was a first time mom, and very uptight about that stuff. It worked, but it was quite a process to stay on top of that too.

But once I had three very busy boys, that's when Humpty became Humpty Dumpty. Yep. Toys, clothes, bedding, food, drinks...anything you can think of was dumped everywhere imaginable in this house. It is still that way, and it drives me crazy, but try as I might, I can't seem to get it to change. So I started thinking about poor Humpty and how he/she indeed did have a great fall. Gone was the beautiful unmarred house we had moved into. And all the king's horses...wait, okay, so this is not a castle. We do have horses, but they were no help. And all the king's men...well, all my men...couldn't put Humpty together again. Well no kidding. They were too busy ripping it to pieces. But the biggest of the men built me some shelves yesterday and some locker-like cubbies that I have wanted for a long time. I am hoping this will help the rest of the "king's men" to keep Humpty in better shape at the very least. Here are a few pictures to show you what I am talking about.

Mike put up these shelves in a little nook in Micah's room that was previously empty. We had other plans for that spot originally, but that didn't take into account three boys. I like the shelves, and we can display his toys and his laundry basket also fits underneath, though we may yet move that, I haven't decided yet. Either way, it looks cute, in my opinion, and certainly helps to get the clutter dealt with. 

This picture is a bit on the dark side, but it shows the view from the door. Yes, Micah is still in a crib, and I dread the day we take it down because he will NOT stay in bed. And please excuse the "curtain", which is actually a fleece blanket that doesn't even cover the whole window. We have learned to be creative about stuff like that in this house, seeing the boys destroyed the blinds in their room. We cannot spend the extra cash on stuff they are guaranteed to ruin. That is also the reason I will not paint over the baby room decor, despite the desperate need. I can't do it knowing they'll write on the wall and put dents in it...etc. Some day.

There is Micah, enjoying the fruits of Mike's labour. You can see the corner of the change table in there and also the diaper pail. Hopefully in the next six months or so we will get him out of diapers and then we can get that stuff out too, which will also help. His room will feel huge then!

Okay, this is what I dreamed up, though Mike did all the building, measuring...etc. I have wanted something like this in my front closet forever, so the boys have no excuse not to hang up and put away their own things. They each have their own spot (Cody's on the far left, then Jamie, then Micah), and they can all easily hang up their own stuff and put their shoes in their own spot. This way we will not only have a more organized front entrance, but we will not have to search high and low for each shoe, hat and everything in between every time we want to leave the house. I like it!
The top spots are for their "accessories", so right now their hats and sunglasses, but in the winter they can put their toques (winter hats, for you Americans), and mitts up there, and they can hang their scarves and jackets and ski pants on their hooks. 

Mike spent a good part of the afternoon and evening getting these built, and even though they are simple in design, I am quite thrilled with them. We are one step closer to having a place that doesn't make me want to pull my hair out 24 hours a day. I hope the boys will work with us on this. Well, they'll simply have to. Micah is already trying to pull stuff out, because that's what two-year-olds do, but he'll learn. I'm hoping it will help them having spots designated for them individually. 

Outside the rain continues to pour down, and I must sign off. I will probably have to tackle the rest of the front closet now, though if I can get away with it I would like to work on my book in the quiet of my room. Maybe this afternoon I will be able to. I am nearing the end of chapter nine, so I'm almost in the double digits! I would say I am a little more than a third of the way through, and I am happy with that. I wish everyone a peaceful and happy day, rain or shine. Bye for now.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The end of a year.

Exactly one year ago today, in this moment, I was at the emergency room. This was the day I fell off my horse, Sasha, and broke my right wrist and my right ankle, and sprained my left wrist...not to mention the poison ivy I landed in. It was a rough time for me and my family, as I was pretty much unable to do anything for a while. Our year has been a difficult one with a lot of heartache and trials. I guess it started in June of last year when our dear Jamie was so very sick. Either way, today I have been thinking a bit about the anniversary of my fall. I guess what I want is for today to be the end of a really bad year (and a bit) and the start of something full of life, blessings, hope, peace, and health. That's a pretty tall order, I guess, but I'm putting it out there anyway. I know God is more than able to do more than I ask or imagine. Where I struggle is in believing that He will. But I have decided to ask anyway, and He can decide what is right for me and my family. I do hope He will choose to bless us this coming year. I don't feel like I can take any more trials, and it makes me feel weak and faithless. Perhaps I am. Difficult times can bring out the best in us, or the worst. I can't honestly say what is coming out in me. I feel like a toy whose battery is dying and I can't function the way I was intended to anymore. I have no idea how to recharge.

So, may this be the end of my bad year and the beginning of something truly divine. I am now off to work on my book. Micah is sleeping soundly and the other two are in bed, but very loudly playing and hypering in there. I will probably have to issue threats soon. Still, I will enjoy the semi-peace of the moment and hopefully have some inspiration. Tomorrow is bound to be a long day, with Mike gone most of the day for appointments. I'm off for now. But I have to post these few pictures of my sweeties from this evening first.
Cody & Jamie going down the slide together.

Micah trying out the "big boy swing". 

All three enjoying the swings together.

Micah in his "new" baby swing. (Bought last year but we didn't put it up due to circumstances. Mike put it up tonight.)

Maybelline, at my sister's place. I haven't seen her for a month. She's looking beautiful, I think!

And my Sasha. Not the best picture, but she has put on a lot of weight, which is a good thing for her! I hope to ride her some time in the next month.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sick boy.

My little Micah is sick today. He was not himself last night and woke up multiple times before midnight (thankfully) crying hysterically. Nothing would calm him down except for sitting on my lap. I figured he was out of sorts from the trip, or possibly scared. I thought if he was sick he would still be fussy, even on my lap, but he wasn't. Still, he felt warm to me, so I was suspicious. We got him settled eventually, though not that far before midnight. Somehow he slept through the night, and even slept in really late in the morning. He did not get up until 9:45 a.m., which is unheard of in this house. (Though I confess this morning Mike let me sleep in and I got up at that time too! I felt terribly guilty, but my body really needed it.) But this morning, Micah was burning up. He did eat breakfast, but then he would only sit on my lap.

I took his temperature and it was 102.4, which is fairly high. I felt horrible for him. It was a long day. I was home alone with him until lunch time and during that time he lay on my lap, sometimes on his back, sometimes on his tummy, hugging me. His fever went down when we gave him advil (and later tylenol, and then more advil again), but he was not happy all day. I forced him to go down for a nap and he was terribly unhappy about it, but he did sleep eventually. Then he woke up hysterical again so I brought him to my bed and laid down with him. He fell asleep under a blanket beside me and stayed that way quite a while.

He is acting much more normal this evening, but he is horribly grouchy. I put him to bed about ten minutes ago and he is still crying, though not hysterically. I can also hear the other two fooling around. Mike is not here this evening either. I hope the evening is not disastrous. I am scared he may have a stomach issue, though his only indication was a tiny amount of diarrhea once at lunch time, but nothing since then, so he is probably okay in that area. But when he was on my bed with me he would suddenly start crying saying "Owie! Owie!" and being a two-year-old, he could not tell me where it was hurting. He barely drank or ate today, but he did eat some chicken and rice for supper, so that is good. He refused lunch.

I hate having sick kids. It is the most horrible feeling in the world. Really, I think I would rather be sick myself than have them sick. It is such a helpless feeling when there is nothing you can do to make them feel better. If he is really feverish tomorrow I might take him to the doctor. He was shaking this morning when he got up. Poor little guy.

Anyway, it is quiet in here for the moment. I sincerely hope it stays that way all evening, though at this point I still have my doubts. Regardless, I intend to take advantage of the silence and work on my book. I am on chapter eight now, and would love to finish it this week and move on to chapter nine, if possible. So, I am off for now.