Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Only a few hours left!

It is January 31st. Less than half a day remains in the month of January, and I can't wait to bid it farewell. We have had an exceptionally warm and beautiful month, and I am grateful for that. Even more, I am grateful for the lack of precipitation that we have had so far this winter. So far, our flooding outlook is pretty good for the spring, though we have a long two months to go yet before we can really get confident in that.

But weather aside, I just really look forward to February. I do every year. February symbolizes hope to me. It is still winter, and can be downright miserable. But February is on the home stretch. It means spring is coming. And it is a happy month. It's full of pink and red and hearts, chocolate and gifts. Yes, Valentine's Day. Am I a fan? Not necessarily. In fact, as a rule I kind of hate pink. But it is a happy colour, and signifies spring and flowers, and freshness. I don't know why. That's just how I think of it. Valentine's Day is hit or miss for most people. It is a terrible, torturous occasion for the single and lonely, a stark reminder of their status. (For those who are unhappy being single, that is.) For those who have someone special, it can be a wonderful day, or it can be a day marked by unfulfilled expectations and disappointment.

For me, I don't much care. I mean, I was never really bothered by Valentine's Day in my single days, and once Mike and I started dating it became a really fun day for me. Now, we don't get out much ever, let alone on Valentine's Day. I would love to go on a date, but I know that's unrealistic, and that's okay. As long as we can spend a fun evening together at home. But I really do look forward to baking my Valentine's Cookies. As a matter of fact, this year I did not make my Christmas cookies, which are the same except cut into Christmas shapes instead of hearts. Valentine's Cookies have been part of our tradition since our first Valentine's together, in 2000. So this year, I am irrationally excited to make them.

Our KitchenAid mixer broke several weeks ago. In fact, it was over the Christmas holidays, in the first week of January. Mike just got it fixed last night when our parts finally all arrived, and now I am excited to have it available again. Yes, I will be making the cookies, despite the ridiculous amount of time it takes me each year to make them. I will put pictures on here once I get to it, which won't be this week.

Anyway, as silly as it is, these little things are enough to inspire me, and I feel like it's going to be a good month. I also have a sneaking suspicion things might get very cold outside, but in Manitoba, you just never know. Either way, I am happy to say January is nearly over and we are coming to the last cold month of the season without having gone through much harsh winter weather at all. That is a small detail, but it certainly is enough to make me smile for the moment.

Now I must sign off. Tonight is a hockey night for Cody, so it is a rushed afternoon as I have to feed the boys supper between 4-4:30 p.m. so he is ready on time to go to his practice. Sadly, I continue to lack in imagination in the culinary department. Sigh. Well, one thing at a time, I guess. We can't all be good at everything!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Houston, we have a problem.

It's business as usual today here at home with the Dynamic Duo. Cody has gone to school and the boys are playing nicely in Jamie & Cody's room. If I'm being completely honest, I will admit that though it is already 9:28 a.m. and I have been up for two and a half hours, I am, shall we say, easing into my day. That's right, I'm hanging out on my bed doing some fun internet browsing looking for ideas for the boys' room, for when we finally fix it up. But as I sit here, I can't help but notice I have a bad chill. Hm. Every night we turn our thermostat to 19 degrees and in the morning I turn it up to 21 degrees. Very reasonable. This morning was no different. The kitchen was very cold when I went in to get Cody is breakfast and Jamie his medicine, so I popped into the living room and turned up the temperature to 21.

So why am I so cold? I just went to check out the situation, figuring the boys had shut off the thermostat, as they frequently do. (Nice, eh?) But it was still set for 21. The problem is, it was only reading 18.5 degrees in the living room. No wonder I feel cold! I checked the heat vent and though it was blowing air, that air could barely be classified as warm. So it looks like our furnace is still not working. Or maybe just not working again.

That's okay. It is supposed to go up to -3 outside today, and it looks like the sun will be shining brightly, so there is a good chance it will warm up in here at least a degree, maybe even two. But wow. It is still January in Manitoba, and once the temperatures drop back to normal again in a few days, we will be in serious trouble if we can't keep it warm in here. These are the moments when I think we should really invest in an electric fireplace or something. Yikes.

Jamie is wearing a fleece sleeper, complete with feet, so he should be okay. I put Micah in a very thick, fuzzy fleece sweat suit and socks, so he will probably be fine too. But this is quite irritating. I am so tempted to just crawl under my covers and have a nice cozy nap. But, obviously I can't do that. Here's hoping the sun shines with a little extra intensity into our living room window today.

Meanwhile, I will continue looking forward to February with much anticipation. Is it silly that I'm already excited about Valentine's Day? Yeah, I thought so. I have no plans. I just really want to make heart shaped sugar cookies and ice them in pink. More on that when we get closer to that day! Bye for now.

Monday, January 23, 2012

It is Monday afternoon. I should be in the middle of "quiet time" right now, but sadly, quiet time has taken a serious turn for the worse in this house. Micah spent his whole "nap" shouting, "I want a banana! I WANT A BANANA, I SAID!" He also sang a Coldplay song and requested ice cream. A few minutes ago, Jamie looked as though he was about to have a narcoleptic episode and I asked him to think of what he wanted to do. He said he wanted to play with Micah. Well, I decided to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. Micah is now out and about with Jamie, playing "kitty and puppy". Micah is a kitty and crawls around meowing, until such time that he wants something. Then he talks to me in his "kitty voice". Jamie pretends he is "Oddball", one of the puppies from 102 Dalmatians. They have never seen the movie, but they have the book. I don't know what triggered the sudden obsession, but it is there. Mike and I secretly think that Oddball is quite a fitting name for Jamie, who is and has always been a tad bit eccentric.

Cody is here too. He was doing some math in a book we bought for him for Christmas, but now that Micah and Jamie are playing, he doesn't want to be left out so he is right in there too. They have this ball that is covered in suction cups and they take turns hurling it violently at the window. If it sticks, that is considered a goal. I played a little yesterday. I won. It was strangely satisfying. In fact, I wish I had one with me right now so I could hurl it at something. Maybe I'll borrow it after they go to bed tonight.

Jamie is feeling a lot better, but he is still grouchy. I don't know about Mike. He went to work, so I'm assuming he is okay. But then, who knows what will happen once he gets home. The rest of us still have colds, but not strep so far, so I am thankful for that.

My domestic accomplishments for the day? Well, I have folded two baskets of laundry so far and I hear that my third one is ready now too. Not a huge accomplishment, but somehow it always makes me feel like I have done something worthwhile. I had Cody on garbage collection duty this morning and we went around with a garbage bag and he picked up all the things they have dumped on the floor including (but not limited to) broccoli, grapes, a multitude of granola bar wrappers, kleenex, empty sticker packages, candy wrappers from Cody's birthday party he attended on Friday... Sadly, I could go on. The good news is, the floor is close to being ready to be vacuumed. That's right. In my house, you can't just vacuum. It's like a three day process to get ready first. All discarded laundry must be picked up. (That would mostly be Jamie's socks, which are found anywhere and everywhere on a daily basis.) All toys must be picked up and put in their proper places. This alone is a two day job. Garbage must be collected and discarded. I wish I could just pull the vacuum out and go for it, but it is seriously that difficult. Every day I am awed by how much mess three boys can make and how much destruction they can reap. It is amazing.

And even so, I have my heart set on fixing up their rooms in the spring. Well, mostly just the one room which has been ruined so badly by them. Time to paint over my once beautiful baby room and remove what is left of the tattered border. I will have to post before and after pics once we get around to that. We will wait until spring so we can set aside some funds for the job. I can't wait, even though it will be painful to watch the room get torn apart once again. Our hope is, if they are part of the fixing up, they will be less likely to write on the walls...etc. Naive? Yes. But that's okay. It's either that or we have to leave their room like this for another five years or more, and I just can't do it. After the destruction that the flood hit us with in the spring, we are just ready to make our upstairs look as nice as possible, seeing our basement is pretty much ruined.

Oh, and besides the laundry and garbage I forgot to mention I'm making a roast beef dinner tonight complete with mashed potatoes, gravy and some kind of vegetables that are as yet undetermined. That definitely counts as a domestic accomplishment, right? Now I am off to grab my next basket of laundry to fold and organize. Maybe I'll even vacuum before Mike gets home!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Improvements

Yesterday Mike called me at lunch to tell me his throat was incredibly sore. He went to the doctor and was diagnosed with strep throat. With that in mind, we took Jamie in. He also has strep. So they are both on antibiotics and Jamie was substantially improved today. He played and he had no stomach troubles at all. Mike's throat was better in the morning but got bad again later in the day. I am hoping and praying that the rest of us don't get it, but we will have to wait and see, I suppose. The boys were all very grouchy today. Actually, all of us were. But we made it through. We have to wake Jamie up at 11 p.m. every night now to give him a dose of his medicine because it has to be every eight hours. I thought he'd cry and whine, but he was so sweet last night and even thanked me for the medicine. He knows it will happen again tonight. I remember my mom doing that for me when I was really sick. There is something very comforting for a child who is sick to be taken care of by their mother, or their father. My dad, like most, was a working man, so he was not the one there for me during the day. But he always checked on me when he got home from work.

Anyway, that's it for my update. I hope I don't have any further strep updates to give. I'd love to see everyone even more improved by tomorrow, but I don't know if that's realistic. Apparently it takes three to five days of treatment to clear it up. So I'm off to enjoy the rest of the quiet evening until Micah wakes up crying, like he does every night. Goodnight.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Big Day Here. UPDATE at bottom of page.

I'd love to say, "Thank goodness it's Friday", but in truth, I will be relieved when today is over. Cody is off to school this morning. From there, he goes straight to a birthday party in town. From there, he goes straight to hockey, also in town. It's a huge day for him, and I am feeling kind of bad about it. This morning, I had to wake him up to get him ready on time, and that is not normal for him. It turns out, both he and Jamie are complaining of sore throats today. We've all been struggling with colds for a long time in this house. Well, maybe not Mike, but the rest of us are. Micah has been sick for weeks, and I have been for over a week now too.

Anyway, Jamie was looking pale and was whimpering when he got up. He didn't eat any of his breakfast. He seems to have a fever, so I told him to get his pillow and I have him set up on the couch watching TV with a blanket over him. I gave him some Tylenol too, partly for the fever but also in hopes it might help his throat pain. Poor boy. This is not normal behaviour for him either.

Micah is in my room with me, peeling billions of small stickers off of a roll and sticking them on me. I have  21 on my arms so far, but I see he is coming in with another one. I keep telling him to stop, but he is addicted. It isn't that I mind being covered in stickers. My only concern is that these may not be his stickers, and if they're not, there will be backlash later when the rightful owner finds out. Nothing makes Micah happy like stickers. Haha. It's pretty cute. He woke up crying at around 6 a.m. begging me to blow his nose, so he is not feeling awesome either. I hope this will go away soon. It's annoying.

So I anticipate a very quiet day here, seeing I won't even see Cody again until about 7 p.m., and Jamie will probably veg out all day. Micah is always pretty quiet, though he does get into trouble. Maybe we'll all even get to nap this afternoon! That would be nice. This cold has me losing sleep too, so I could do with the extra rest.

That's all from my frigid corner of the world this morning. I will quickly add though, I am very glad we are nearing the end of January. February is cold too, but psychologically it just feels better.

UPDATE: About an hour ago, Jamie threw up on the living room floor. He is weak and pale, and his voice is so quiet. He has finally fallen asleep on the couch. I have laundry going from the barf. I'm not as stressed out as I normally get about stomach sickness, but I am worried about Cody. This morning he said he had a stomach ache, but he used the bathroom and then seemed fine. Now I'm wondering whether he really is fine or not. I hope I will not have to go pick him up. That would mean dragging Jamie out in the freezing cold and making him endure a van ride with a bucket in his lap. Ugh. I hadn't even thought about that part of things. I SO hope that doesn't happen. But I wonder whether Cody will be okay after a day this big when clearly he was off to start with. Cody never sleeps in. Ever. Sigh. Okay, I am definitely a bit stressed out.

Micah is playing very quietly on the floor in my room, which is fine with me. I will probably try to keep him in here for a lot of the day to avoid contact with Jamie. (For Micah, I mean.) This is just not cool. I hope it will be a mild one and not get really horrible. I've been trying to call Mike so he is aware that Cody may not be up for hockey tonight, but I can't get a hold of him, as usual. Yuck. This is definitely depressing. Hopefully I will have a good update tomorrow, or whenever I post next.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

More Invitations...

Last week I posted about Cody's birthday party that he was invited to and how that was a milestone for me as a mom. I am sure I overreacted to the whole thing, but regardless, I was somewhat stressed out for many reasons. I told myself it was good, I would have to get used to it because there were bound to be more invitations in the future. What I forgot to update in here was, the very next day, I found another invitation in his backpack! It's for this Friday, so at least this time I had more notice. Once again I am a little bit stressed, but only because that day will be so huge for him. He will get on the bus to go to school at 7:40 a.m. Crazy, right? Then, at 3 p.m. when school is over, he will go directly to the birthday party, which will go until 5 p.m. Then, Mike will have to pick him up and rush him straight over to hockey, which starts at 5:30 p.m., and he really should be there by 5 so he can get dressed in all his equipment. I'm not sure how the whole thing is going to be coordinated. I haven't talked to the mom yet, but her son is also on Cody's hockey team, so I am thinking she will want him to rush over there too. But then I wonder, will she be feeding them supper? If not, Cody will not eat before practice, and that will NOT work. I have this and many other questions, but what I really need to do is call her. I will be doing that later, to sort out the details. I also need to know whether I have to drive to town and pick Cody up and drive him over to the birthday boy's house, or whether she is going to walk them all over from the school. I'm guessing that won't be the case, seeing it is ridiculously cold out this week.

Yes, winter has bared her fangs at us here, and we have been under an extreme wind chill warning all day, and it will continue all through tomorrow as well. The wind chill will be as low as -43 tomorrow morning. I heard it was -50 in parts of Saskatchewan and Alberta today. That's just gross! As it was, I had to take the Dynamic Duo out today, which was not thrilling for me. I had to see my ophthalmologist yet again, and it was early in the morning. So I had to take them over to Mike's parents' place at 8 a.m. and then brave the highways. I was nervous about that because there was a lot of blowing snow, but it turned out the visibility was pretty good. Ironically, just as I was exiting my house to leave, I got hit with a migraine, and when that happens to me, my vision goes very weird and it's hard to see. So even though road conditions were pretty decent, my eyes were not that good. It turned out okay, but I was worried I might have to pull over on the highway and wait until I could see again. Fortunately, it didn't get as severe as it did last night. I guess it was one of those kind that continues into the next day. I feel fine now, so that's a relief.

And now, I have one of those permanent chills you get when you have been outside in weather that was not made to be out in, and the only way to get rid of that kind of chill is with hot water. Man, I wish I had a hot tub. That would be so awesome. Not that it would matter. In 25 minutes, I have to go outside AGAIN and walk to the road to get Cody from the bus. How I wish I could stay inside today! At least tomorrow I get to, though I am going to get my hair done in the evening, so I will freeze then again.

Hm. A fireplace would also be nice. At any rate, as you can tell, I don't have anything profound to say today. I'm off for now.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Things you do NOT want to overhear your four year old saying...

Well, I just had my adrenaline rush for the day. Cody is at school today, so I am just here with the Dynamic Duo. It has been very quiet in here for the last few minutes. I am in my room, where I do my laundry folding and putting away, and I heard Jamie say, "Now hold still, this won't hurt." My eyes popped open and I headed for the living room. On my way, I heard Jamie say, "Now don't move. I'm just going to cut around your ears." AAAHHHHH!!! Well, I supposed it was time. I have been a mom for almost six years now, and I don't think any of my kids have given themselves a haircut yet, let alone giving each other one. I bolted into the living room, my jaw already hanging open, and I stopped short. Jamie looked up, guilt in his eyes, but he was not holding scissors. He had a pair of pliers! Phew! Oh my goodness, that got the heart pumping. I really thought he was hacking Micah's hair, and I only hoped I would get there before he cut one of his ears while he was at it. I can't tell you how nice it was to walk in on a scene like that and feel relief instead of horror. Too many times I have been in the other boat.

Now I'm going to make some lunch for them and maybe I'll get some of their stuff cleaned up. It's like somebody set off a bomb in Santa's workshop. I'd love to get rid of some toys. I think that will be on the agenda soon. I also need to go through all my boys' clothes and "retire" the ones that are not fitting them and then bring out the ones that have been outgrown by someone but will now fit someone else. Endless cycle! I have been avoiding it because it is such a big job, but I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet soon and do it. Micah has a ton of clothes in his drawers that should have been retired a long time ago, and I think Jamie has some in storage that were Cody's but will fit him now. One day, when they are all past the youngest stage, I will be able to box up ALL the clothes and get rid of them. Not that I won't be sad to see some of them go, particularly the really small ones, but it will be nice to have some more storage space again too.

Micah is crying and needs some help. I'm off for now.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I'm in my room by myself with a tall glass of chocolate milk. Mmm. Outside, huge fluffy snowflakes are falling gently to the ground. It is mild out again today, but starting tomorrow it's going to get super cold for the whole week, which I'm not looking forward to! I'm tired and a bit run down these days from a yucky cold, which I'm sure I got from Micah. It's really not that bad except the congestion gives me headaches and I find it hard to sleep at night because I can't breathe, so I'm tired most days. Hopefully it will clear up soon, and Micah's too. He has been sick for weeks.

Just wanted to follow up on two things. First, Cody's birthday party for his friend went all right. All in all, he had a good time and even though they watched part of a movie (we picked him up before it was over), the mom skipped the part that I was concerned about, so she must have been thinking the same way. I'm sure there will be many more birthday parties to come, so it should be interesting to see how that goes! Hopefully I won't be as nervous for all of them.

Also, I wanted to mention that Mike's dad came over and helped him fix the furnace. Well, apparently it still has a problem, but they did get the new elements installed and we actually have heat! I was beyond relieved. Anyone who knows me will tell you I am more often hot than I am cold, so it is ironic that it bothered me so much, but honestly, it was really uncomfortable in here. Whenever I sat still or stood still I had a chill and even under blankets I was shivering. The day after it got fixed, the boys and I all gathered on the floor in the living room around the most accessible heat vent and we just enjoyed the warm air coming out. Yes, that was very nice!

I don't have a ton more to report today. Cody has a hockey game today out of town, and as I watch the snow outside I wonder how the roads will be. In the few minutes I have been typing this post, the snow has gone from one of those romantic, gently drifting down snowfalls, to something a lot more intense. Still big flakes, but they are coming down much harder and faster than before.

The other thing on my mind in the last few days is home improvements. I really have this strong urge to go to Home Depot and buy a whole bunch of paint and other supplies and really fix up our place. I'm so tired of the writing on the walls...literally. So much writing, and much of it is in blue ball point pen, so it does not come off. I just want to paint this place, but then if we do, the boys will probably just do it all over again as soon as we're done. I just keep wondering how many years we'll have to wait before we can really get this place nice again. Oh well. Tis the season, I suppose. The season of life, that is.

I'm off to eat some breakfast. Bye for now.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A New Mommy Milestone For Me

I suppose I am a bit of a sheltered mommy in a way. This year, Cody is in Kindergarten, obviously. I found that to be a hard transition in terms of having to let him go a little bit. Well, he just started back on Tuesday after a couple of weeks off for Christmas break, and I found a birthday party invitation in his bag. It was for today. Wow. It was very short notice, and I didn't know how we would possibly get a present between then and now. In addition to that, the invitation only had the boy's first name on it and not the name of the parent. I have not been particularly informed of Cody's classmates' last names, so even though I know a few of the parents' names, I don't know whose kid is whose. There was a phone number and a note that the kids would take the bus home with her son.

As silly as this might sound, I have been stressing over this ever since. I called the phone number on the invitation and found out his mother was one of Cody's preschool teachers, so I had at least met her before. But this is not the city, and their place is a minimum of ten miles from here, in the boonies (like we are) and even though a map was included, I must say it felt very odd to agree to send my child to someone's house that I have never been to, who has siblings that I have never met. In fact, I don't even think I have ever met the birthday boy himself.

Anyway, after much deliberating (with myself) I decided Cody could go. He was really excited about it, but I have been so nervous. I pretty much grilled the other mom to find out the details of the bussing arrangements, and what would be taking place at this party. She said they would be playing some games and making a craft and that she might put a movie on. That's when I got really nervous. Cody is very sensitive and finds a lot of things scary that some kids might not, and especially that many parents would not consider scary. I told her how sensitive he is and she said it would just be a cartoon. Well, that is not very comforting for me. Cody has barely seen any movies in his life, and most cartoon Disney type movies have at least one scary part in them, if not more. She listed a few movies, none of which thrilled me. Then she told me her five year old watches the Harry Potter movies. Oh dear! That is way beyond what I would ever show any of my boys. I don't say that in judgment of her. I don't care what other parents show their kids. But I know my boys, and something like that would have lasting damage on them, particularly fear issues and nightmares. Anyway, she assured me they would not watch anything like that, and I know she meant it. Still, I was left feeling nervous because I know Cody and I didn't want him to end up feeling uncomfortable and trapped.

So I told her my name and phone number and told her to please call me if Cody was having any problems and I would come and get him early. I also told Cody to have her call me if he was uncomfortable or scared if they watched a movie, and he's the kind of kid who would, so at least I had that.

All in all, the average mom would find me overprotective, but I can't help myself. This is way out of my element, beyond my comfort zone. It will be time to get him in about fifteen minutes, and I look forward to having him home again. It would be different if I knew the birthday boy, or his family. Sigh. This is such a drop in the bucket compared to all the moments I will face of uncertainty and worry in my mothering future. Hopefully I will get a good report from Cody when he gets home!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Shivering...

This is Manitoba. It is January. We get cold, harsh winters here, and that is no secret. It is not unexpected, though it is usually unwelcome. This year we have been spoiled with amazing weather and I'm going to venture a guess that we have broken some records with our high temperatures. One day last week it was +9 here, and I think I mentioned it in my blog. That translates to 48.2 Fahrenheit, for those who don't speak Celsius.

Today, the tide has finally turned and we are getting a blast of that arctic cold that is typical for this time of year here. I get it. This is normal, and I should not be upset about it. Right now, the temperature with the wind chill outside is -29 C, which is -20.2 F. No problem. We have a nice, cozy house, right? Well, we used to. Our house was once so well insulated people joked that we could light a candle and it would heat the place. Right now we have two problems. One, we tore out the majority of our insulation in the basement this spring when it flooded and got all mouldy. That has not been replaced for a number of reasons, one of which is that my husband assured me we would be fine because that part of the basement is underground. That logic doesn't work for me, but okay. I told myself, I'm just a girl who knows nothing about the logistics of house building/maintaining, so I should listen to what I'm told.

Problem number two...our furnace is not working. I told Mike about a month ago that our furnace had a problem and was no longer keeping up. He changed the filter on it and felt like that helped, which at the time, it did. However, we also had the most ridiculously mild winter weather ever, so it didn't take much to keep it warm in here. Now, on the first day of extreme cold in a long time, our furnace is NOT working. It is currently 17.4 C in here. That is 63.32 F. That's pretty chilly. I told Mike I believed one of the elements in the furnace must be burnt out. But he insisted it was this filter. Again, I felt like I guess I'm just a girl who knows nothing about furnaces, which in all fairness, I don't. But, his dad came over tonight and checked (Mike is not home) and sure enough three out of four of the elements are burnt out.

Now let me tell you, it is very icy in this house. I had to give all of my boys extra quilts in hopes that they will make it through the night without frostbite, and our furnace will not be fixed until at the earliest tomorrow afternoon. It is still supposed to drop another ten degrees tonight, so I can't see the temperature staying as high as it is right now in here. Right now I have a cat on my lap, which is helping some, but I hope the other one will join us soon. Even the dog refuses to go outside right now, and he has a good coat on him. (Though he is also a wimp.)

So that is how we are starting our full blown winter. I imagine it won't be fun getting out of bed in the morning. I might have to break out my hair dryer to stay warm!

Anyway, I'm going to watch tv for a while, I think, seeing I'm on my own tonight. Stay warm everyone.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Holiday Ends

School starts today in our area, which means Mike is gone to work. Cody does not start until tomorrow, seeing kindergarten is every second day. So we are back to the grind, as they say. Things started out in their typical fashion, with all three boys up and every light in the house on by 6:30 a.m., which is not even as early as many of our mornings have been this past couple of weeks. That wouldn't be so bad if they didn't proceed to make a huge racket out there, stomping, screaming, throwing things, yelling, sometime having very loud fights, and recently they have also made a habit (the older two) of going into Micah's room while he is still sleeping to steal his toys. That wakes him up, and then it's all over. I've said it before, but I will say it again. It is very difficult when you wake up angry every single morning, which we both have been. They have started this routine as early as 5 a.m.

Well, once I finally dragged my butt out of bed to face the lovely music, I found that my oldest was in a terrible state indeed. He goes through these cycles and of course it has to start as soon as Mike is gone and I'm on my own. I have him in quiet time right now in his room, and hopefully that will have been enough to snap him out of his foul mood. It seems to be working so far.

My goals for today? Well, I have already made my bed, an accomplishment in my books even though it's an easy job. I find it gives me satisfaction because it gives me something to cross off my endless list of housework, and it gives visual proof that I did something during the day. I could do three loads of dishes, or laundry for that matter, and once they are put away, no proof remains that I did them, seeing the mess is just accumulated instantly again anyway. But when I make my bed, it makes my room look cleaner, and I like that. I might try to clean my whole room today. Sadly, that's a big job. There are several things in here that have no place, so it is looking very cluttered right now. I don't like it, but I'm not good at figuring out where to put things, so I have not done anything about it for a long time. Maybe today will be the day. And if not, I think I will clean our bathroom. Maybe the boys' bathroom too if I get really ambitious. And I have the oven preheating so I can make muffins for the boys to snack on soon.

Beyond all that, we shall see. We are a little run down here, having been through colds and Micah had a mysterious rash all over his body and high fever for a few days. He's doing much better now, but it was a rough few days, and he still has a bad cold. But, I'm happy to report that nobody threw up over the holidays, even though I had some kind of food poisoning a few days before Christmas. I can't tell you how much that lifted my spirits. (Not the food poisoning. Just the whole celebrating without stomach flu situation.) Hopefully next year we can do it again!

Now I have to run and get started on all my stuff. Bye for now.

3:56 p.m. Can I just add that it is +9 degrees celsius outside? That is unheard of for January in Manitoba. A few days ago it went up to 11. It is indescribably beautiful and I am so thankful. I have survived much of the day now and am headed to the kitchen to make some Shake 'n Bake chicken for supper. Hoping for a nice quiet evening tonight as this will be a busy week!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sad for my sick boy and happy for our beautiful weather.

I'm about to go to bed but thought I would check in quickly. The week has been okay, but Micah is quite sick and I am feeling worried about him. At first he just had a cold, but then he got a fever. I know this is pathetic, but I don't know what his temperature is. I have a thermometer, but it's hard to take a two year old's temperature. I have done it under the armpit before, but it's hard to get them to stay still that long. Then I have to figure out how to convert it to what it would be orally, so usually I don't take it unless it seems like the fever is really high. Well, this time around, he has a significant fever, and we have been alternating tylenol with advil to keep it down. It is working, but in between he gets very hot. His face is red and puffy when he wakes up from a nap or in the morning, and this evening he broke out in this rash all over his body. Red dots and patches all over, and they are raised. I Googled it, which is dumb, I know, but I am wondering whether he has something called roseola. It can't be measles or chicken pox, as he has been vaccinated against both of those. Roseola is not severe, though it can bring high fevers for a week or so, so I guess I should hope for that. But I just feel so bad for him. He's just this sweet little guy and for days he has been miserable. Before the rash appeared, I figured he probably had influenza or something, but now I am probably going to have to take him to the doctor tomorrow. I hope that will be possible. It is supposed to rain overnight and with very high winds and the temperature dropping below zero, the highways might not be good tomorrow.

And that brings me to a lighter note. The weather here is unbelievable right now. I know, I know. Us Manitobans have a reputation for being obsessed with weather. Guilty as charged. But seriously, it is January, the month when things get unbearably frigid, and today the temperature was not only above zero, it went up to 11 degrees here. That's celsius, my American friends, not Fahrenheit. That is basically unheard of here. It has been a very mild winter and I am beyond grateful for that. The less snow we get, the better our chances of not flooding this spring. I know we could still get hit with crazy amounts of snow over the next three or even four months, but at least we are starting the year with barely any. I hope this trend will continue. And besides, it just feels nice to go outside in January and stand there with no hat or mitts and not feel cold. Wow! I'll take it!

Mike is busy with homework so I have picked up on my book where I left off about two months ago. Yikes. I think I'm ready to get back at it, and I am quite excited to do so. My intention was to write the whole first draft in a year and then spend however long it takes rewriting it and perfecting it after that. (Likely at least another year.) But I started in early February last year, so I'm running out of time! Here's hoping I will be very inspired and have lots of quiet time this month. Odds are I will not finish on time, but at least if I can go strong and steady, I will finish it in a couple of months or so.

Phew. That was a fast post, but longer than I expected. Hopefully I will have good news about Micah soon. He is really pathetic and sad and it breaks my heart. He just says, "Can I hold you, Mommy?" and wants to sit on my lap all day and cuddle.

I'm off to bed. Goodnight all.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Good-bye, 2011.

Here begins a new year. I am more than glad to say good-bye to 2011. Our Christmas and New Year's has been much better than the last two years. Nobody was sick other than me on the 22nd, which we are sure was food poisoning, and not contagious. Jamie turned four yesterday and enjoyed a really fun birthday. Mike's birthday was today, and was mostly really quiet, and spent here at home. The holidays have been relaxing for the most part, and not filled with chaos, and I am very thankful. I feel as though I am breathing a sigh of relief to be starting a new year. May it be our best one yet. Happy New Year, everybody.