Thursday, March 29, 2012

Last day!

Here begins the final day in our countdown of Masters madness. Mike is off to the university for the day one last time, and tomorrow we will finally get our one day of spring break. It is a cloudy day again and we are expecting rain yet again. Mike told me this morning we are seeing a significant rise in the water level below our basement, so the flood watch is on once again. It is hard to say at this point what is going to happen, but our pump is running pretty hard now and this is just the beginning of spring. Even with this past week's snowfall, we don't have much snow on the ground to melt, and that will help for sure. But if it is going to rain almost every day, as they keep saying in the forecast, we just might have a problem again this year. The thought is exhausting and discouraging. I guess for now all we can do is prepare the basement as much as we can and then wait and see what is going to happen. Just another reason why I am desperate for sunshine these days.

On an unrelated note, I just remembered I had a dream last night that my mother-in-law had a huge stash of Tim Horton's muffins and cinnamon buns hidden in a secret cupboard in her house. Haha. This is no reflection on her whatsoever, but I remember all the flavours and I counted all the muffins and there were just so many! They all looked good and right about now I am so hungry I wish I had that very same stash hidden in my house. I would love to get my hands on a cinnamon bun right about now. I don't even know whether Tim Horton's makes cinnamon buns. I'm super hungry, but I don't really want to eat this morning. I have been feeling a little off recently for no apparent reason. I can only assume it is pregnancy related. I am also having a major sciatica problem this morning and having trouble walking, so it will be an interesting day! I have a lot of laundry to do, so I'll probably have to get one of the boys to carry the basket to the laundry room for me. Silly. I'm not even in my third trimester yet.

I suppose I don't have much else to report yet this morning. If I can make it through this day, I get one day off. Well, sort of. I mean, Mike will be here. We might go on a family outing, but we're waiting to see how everyone is feeling. Jamie went to bed early last night with a headache and a stomach ache. I left a pail on his bed and a towel lining the floor beside his bed, just in case. But our night was uneventful...with Jamie. Not with Micah, unfortunately, who had an accident in his crib last night. Poor guy was so upset. We had to change his sheets and his clothes and get him all settled again. Thankfully, he was not up again after that, so we had a pretty good night. (The night before was disastrous with Micah and we have no idea why.) But I have a pretty good-sized load of laundry to deal with because of the phase of potty-training we are in.

I suppose I better drag myself to the kitchen for breakfast and make sure my crew eats something more than just yogurt. Here comes my youngest munchkin! Have I mentioned how cute this one is? He does me in. I'm off for now.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Here it comes...

This morning I awoke to rain, and boys who were very excited about the rain. You see, they got new umbrellas a few weeks back and have been dying to use them ever since. I have had strict rules about the umbrellas, saying under no circumstances are they to be played with in the house, and under no circumstances will they be used for anything other than outside on a rainy and not windy day. I even had to put the umbrellas up high in my closet, where even I could not reach them, as the temptation to break the rules was simply too much for my boys to bear.

Today I finally gave in and brought down the umbrellas. Cody and Jamie barrelled outside in the cold to enjoy the rain. I was okay with that. I did not let Micah out as there were only two umbrellas and he's just my little guy. I didn't want him getting frozen out there in the rain. (The temperature was not much above zero, so it was not just a summer rainy day.) Not long after, the boys were inside again and the rain turned to snow. Yep. March in Manitoba is showing its true colours. Unpredictability. That's the name of the game. All three boys went out in the huge, fluffy snowflakes that were tumbling down rapidly from the sky. In truth, it was quite pretty. But it's nearing lunch time and it is still coming down. Enough is enough. I am not joking when I tell you we now have more snow than we had on February 24th, when I took our last photos. We have had no snow on the ground at all for the last two weeks, but you should see it now. And you can, because I took pictures. Check this out.

Yep, that's right. We're back to winter. Time to bring back the winter boots, at least for a day or so. It's hard to say how long this will last, and it is not really that surprising. But it is disappointing.

After the boys came in with their umbrellas, I asked them to hang them up in their cubbies to dry off. Not half an hour later, Jamie came in with a very bent umbrella and proclaimed that Micah broke it. I was beyond frustrated. That was EXACTLY why I had banned them from using them, and exactly why I never intended to buy any umbrellas in the first place. It seems there is just no winning with these boys. Everything must break.

And so I am taking a break in my room again. I am not feeling well this week, and not sure what the problem is. Whatever it is, it is lowering my tolerance level for things like boys fighting, whining, and breaking things. But I have cleaned the kitchen and done a load of laundry and got the boys to clean their room, so at least the morning hasn't been a total loss. Here's hoping things improve this afternoon.

Monday, March 26, 2012


Monday is drawing to a close and I have accomplished nothing. I am beginning to suspect that I might actually have SAD disease, as I think it's called. That stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder. I don't know much about it, but it has to do with how the winter weather and lack of sunshine affect a person. Honestly, I am finding myself awfully depressed these days and today all I managed to do was a few dishes. Add to that a bad headache and a queasy stomach (that I'm pretty sure is NOT a but), and I am starting to suspect the weather is actually taking a toll on my body. Crazy. I have never in my life craved sunshine like I am craving it this spring. In fact, in the past I have always enjoyed a cloudy day. Perhaps the same will apply to me in the heat of July, especially this year when I will be hugely pregnant. But for now, I need some sunshine, and there is none on the horizon.

Mike is still working hard on his Masters presentation. He has volunteered to go tomorrow instead of Wednesday, so his work should officially be done after that, except he still has to spend all of Wednesday and all of Thursday at the University listening to everyone else's presentations and then engaging in a discussion about all of them on Thursday. Ugh. I really can't wait for this to all be done. He is talking about going golfing on Thursday to "party" after he is finished. I know it's selfish of me, because he truly deserves to celebrate, but if I get left here for an extra few hours I think I might burst. I want my break too, and none seems to be forthcoming. I might go away this weekend, but if I do, that means our only break together will consist of me leaving. Doesn't seem very nice. I have been invited on a girls' getaway, though I am not entirely sure it is happening. I would love to go. I would SO love to go. I guess I will see what happens.

Cody's birthday is on Sunday too and I am faced with a million dilemmas in that regard. Now that he has school friends, it seems right to have a birthday party for him where he can invite them. Traditionally, he just invites his cousins, and in recent years, the tradition is that nobody comes. It's spring break, after all, and everyone has other things they are busy with. This year I am stressed because I want him to have a good birthday party, but I can't really invite people to come here because our driveway is not easy to navigate right now. Whatever we do, I will have to plan it this week and see whether anyone is able to come next week from his school. It's silly, but I find this stressful. In the city it's so simple. You do the invitations and put your address on there and your phone number. People drop off their kids at the appropriate time and pick them up later. Here, in the boonies, it's a little more complicated. Maps must be included, and in this case, I'd have to provide some sort of off road vehicle for people to use when they got to the driveway. Yeesh. This is an area I feel I fail as a mom. Birthday parties. Interestingly, I feel like I have always failed when it came to birthdays, parties or not. I'm not good at buying presents. I'm not good at getting cards to the birthday person on time. I'm just not good at it. I don't want my child growing up not feeling special on his birthday. This is just not my forte.

Anyway, I'm in my room again, on my own, while Mike works in the other room on his stuff. At least he's here. Cody can't sleep and just hung out with me for a while but I have sent him off to bed. And my baby is inventing the next Cirque du Soleil show for Vegas. I think it's going to be a good one. I'm going to sign off for now.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

On the home stretch.

I survived another day and night alone with these boys. Yesterday was difficult. I don't know if it was the weather, or just general fatigue, or even hormones, but I was really depressed yesterday. I did a lot of laundry but other than that I did not really do anything at all. The boys got up way too early, so there were attitudes and moods to contend with, and the weather was so gross they barely spent any time outside. They did go to bed much earlier than the previous night and settled quickly, so that was good. Micah was up twice in the night with nightmares, but I only had to go to him once, and it was actually only at 9:30 p.m., so that was much better too. Still, I did not sleep well. I think that goes with the territory from now on.

Today is cold and cloudy again, but not wet and gross, so still an improvement. Mike will be home some time today, but I honestly don't know when. He planned to leave first thing in the morning from where he is, but I have no idea what he will define as first thing in the morning. I would love to think he has been on the road an hour already, but somehow I doubt it. If he left early enough, he could even get here by late afternoon, before supper.

For now, the boys are playing quite nicely together, which has been really relaxing for me. I am debating between making my bed, and crawling back under the covers for a while. Hehehe. I think the covers are going to win.

I suppose the most exciting thing that happened yesterday was in the animal kingdom. I looked out the living room window and saw Radar out there having a fight with a muskrat. Muskrats are about half the size of a large house cat, but those beasts are vicious. There was a heck of a battle going on, and we all gathered around the window to watch. Truthfully, we were all laughing because it was so funny to see this thing leaping and chasing this huge dog. I videoed it, but had no zoom, so it's not the best video. Anyway, in the end, it was kind of sad because Radar got a grip on it and shook it to death. Literally. He killed it and then carried it off into the woods somewhere, presumably to bury it. Yuck. Then I felt bad, though I couldn't have saved it anyway. I suppose it was a good thing he killed it. They are really mean, and I don't really want them in the yard. If one of our boys was to go after one, it would get very dangerous very fast.

Anyway, I guess that's it for now. Time to have one last chance to huddle under my blankets before I really get up and face the day. Don't worry, we've all eaten breakfast already, so I'm not neglecting my kids. Bye for now.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

One day down, two to go.

We went to Andrea's yesterday at 5:45 p.m. and Sasha's new owner was waiting there with a woman that I'm assuming was his wife and also another man. Sasha looked really pretty, tied to the fence wearing a red halter and a red lead line. I took the boys over to say goodbye, which was an extremely unemotional affair. They don't really have any attachment to her, despite Cody's protests about selling her. I gave her some rubs on the face and she was sweet to me, which maybe made it worse. Then we gave them some space and they loaded her right up. Of course she gave them no trouble at all. The woman assured me she was going to be in good hands, and that did help me to feel better. So, they left with my horse who is no longer my horse, and I stood there with my wad of cash in my pocket. I did not cry, though I came close once she was in the trailer. I am no longer a horse-owner. I mean, we still have Maybelline, but technically she is Mike's, so I don't know whether I can count her or not. She was upset to see her "friend" loaded into the trailer and apparently was whinnying all evening after that. She is a very social girl. It's really cute. A little silly, seeing she has never really had a good relationship with Sasha. Maybe she feels the same way I do. I didn't have a good relationship with Sasha either.

I got the boys back home at about 7:15 p.m. or so, and got them all bathed, read a story and tucked them all in. Settling them wasn't too bad. Micah had to get up almost immediately to use the potty, but that was a good thing. After that he was out like a light. The other two...not so much. They didn't stop talking and thumping around until almost 9 p.m., which kind of bothered me, but they stayed in their room so I decided to leave it.

The night itself was interesting. I didn't get settled until almost midnight, because at first I couldn't sleep, thinking about Sasha, and wondering about Mike traveling on the yucky roads out in the boonies. Then I was drifting off when Mike texted me to tell me he had arrived safely. Whew! I was relieved to hear that. So I went to sleep. And then Micah had a nightmare. Ugh. I hauled myself out of bed and comforted him and took one of my million bathroom breaks while I was up. Then I went back to bed.

I was dreaming that someone used a giant loader and dumped a thousand pounds of marbles on our roof when I woke up next. It was pouring. I mean, pouring, and there was lightning and thunder and the whole works. The power was going on and off and it was just ridiculous. All I could think about was the amount of water pouring down and what if our power went off and the sump pumps quit and the basement flooded? Technically, we are not in immediate danger of that happening, but my mind couldn't help but go there after last spring. I was up many times in the night, and all of them it was pouring. Now, our trees are literally covered in ice, and the drops are actually frozen like tiny icicles all down every little branch. It is freezing out, and gross. Ice covers both of our decks to a degree that I will not even dare set foot out there today. This is the kind of day I am extremely thankful to not have any horse-related chores to do. But if Andrea got this same kind of weather at her place, there are probably some very miserable and icy horses over there.

This morning was extra early, just for me, I guess. The boys were already up with all the lights on at 6 a.m. I was not impressed. I had to get up anyway, because Micah had an accident in his bed, which is very unusual for him, believe it or not. So I had to change his clothes and all his bedding because he was not ready to get up. Incidentally, it is not easy bending over a crib rail to put on a crib sheet when you're 23 weeks pregnant. Somehow I survived, and I gave in to the boys' request and put the tv on for them so Micah and I could both go back to sleep. It wasn't completely successful, (Micah started singing "the wheels on the bus go vound and vound..." at 6:30 a.m.) but at least I didn't have to get "up" up right then.

So that was our first night on our own. Sigh. It's too gross outside to really expect them to be out there much today, with huge puddles everywhere and mud and sand too. Oh well. Believe it or not, the sun just poked its head through an opening in the gloom and is illuminating our yard. Wouldn't it be fantastic if it decided to stay?! Well, that is unlikely, but we will make it through somehow. I'm glad we are not required to go anywhere today. I doubt I'd make it out our driveway after the amount of rain that assaulted us overnight. The driveway was already very rough. I wouldn't even attempt it now. I hope it dries up quickly or I'll be housebound for quite a while.

Laundry is my only plan for the day, and I'm okay with that. I did a massive amount of housework yesterday, so if I get more done today, great. Otherwise, I'm going back in survival mode. Here's hoping I don't have any crazy updates to give by the end of the day. Bye for now.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Let the games begin.

It's Friday morning. Outside, the air is absolutely still and thick fog surrounds our bare trees. Actually, it looks something like a scene from halloween, or a horror movie. It's dark in the house. Mike left an hour ago, not only for work, but also for the entire weekend. I will see him again on Sunday, though there is no telling what time of day, evening or night he will be back. When he left, he took Cody to drop him off at the bus so I put on a show for Jamie. Micah was sleeping, and I wanted to have a shower while I still could. I gathered my clothes and put them in the bathroom and then...nothing. The power went out. Seriously? This is what happens the second Mike leaves us for a whole three days? Okay, so it's not the end of the world. So I can't shower? Big deal. But wait, did our internet just get messed up too? And what if the power does not come back? What are we supposed to do here in the boonies by ourselves for three straight days without power??

I suppose I shouldn't have worried about that. At least, not then. The power came back on after a few long minutes. I had to call Mike to get our TV setup going again. (It's complicated. Everything technological around here is complicated.) But we did it. I even got to shower, and no, the power has not gone off again. Yet. It better not. The day feels incredibly gloomy to me. I don't even want to do anything. In fact, if I had no kids with me, I would simply crawl back into bed and stay there until the sun came out. Yesterday was so beautiful and I thought to myself, this won't be so bad. Having the boys all weekend with no backup will be great if the weather is like this. They can play outside and have a blast. Maybe we'll go to a playground or something. But then I checked the forecast again last night. What?? The high tomorrow is ZERO? And the next day three. Lovely. So, it should be an interesting time.

Tonight, we are all heading over to my sister's place to sell Sasha officially. I am nervous. I just want to get it done. I am not sure how I will react afterwards. I will be sad, yes. Definitely. But will I lose it and have an emotional meltdown while the guy is still there? I certainly hope not. Bad enough I have to drive all that way and drag the boys with me because I have nobody to look after them here. When we get back, I will have to fight all the grouchies to get them in the tub and ready for bed.

Oh, and here's a lovely thought for you. Yesterday, I found a wood tick embedded in Cody's head behind his ear. A wood tick. In March. That is seriously wrong. So ever since I have had the creepy-crawlies and I am preparing for the infestation, which lasts until late July around here. So starting in late March is a real bonus. Or not. Either way, nobody is skipping their bath, no matter how grouchy they might be.

I have done this before. Stayed home alone for a few days with the kids, I mean. And you know, I have always survived it. But this time, I just feel completely unprepared for this. I'm just not up for the challenge. I am burnt out, tired, and yes, I am also grouchy. I am hoping we can find some ways to make this weekend fun for all of us, but right now, I'm drawing a blank. To quote a Raffi song from my childhood, "Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. golden sun, please shine down on me." I hope this will happen soon. Right now, I need to go dry my hair. Then, maybe I will be inspired to do some kind of housework. Let's hope so, or it will be a terrible disaster in here by the time Mike gets back. I'd love to surprise him with a clean house, but at this point, survival is my primary goal. I guess I'm off for now.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A New Hobby?

I have discovered the joy of online shopping. Okay, so I'm a bit behind the times. I'm sure most people out there have been enjoying this pastime for years already, but I have always been intimidated by all the processes, not to mention wary of giving out my credit card information over the internet. But lo and behold, apparently there are safe ways of doing this. Then there is the dilemma of the shipping costs, which are no big deal if you live in the good old USA, seeing almost everything that can be bought can be bought there, and they seem to have very low shipping costs. But here in Canada, it is a different story.

But in recent times, I have come across problems that go beyond paying for shipping. My issue? The stuff I really want is simply not available here. What on earth? Okay, so the population of our entire country could fit inside of Los Angeles, CA and its surrounding settlements. So what? Canada is still a bigger country, and we use the same products they do. Or at least, we want to.

Back in February, we decided that with a new baby coming, we were going to have to do some rearranging as far as the kids' bedrooms goes. We do not want a newborn sharing a room with any of them, for many reasons, not the least of which is that we don't want the baby keeping them awake all night. So, we decided Micah would move in with Cody and Jamie, at least for the first year of baby's life, and we'd see what happened after that. Well, that is no easy process. Much has to be done, and I am in that proverbial "nesting" phase that I have heard so much about. I suppose it's real after all.

What needs to be done? Well, first off, we will have to clear all the furniture out of Cody and Jamie's room and move them into Micah's. Then, we will shampoo their carpet. (The thought of this alone nearly brings me to tears of joy.) After that, we are painting. We have decided on a theme for their room that they will all love, and that is not limited to super young boys. The Winnipeg Jets. Yes! It fits. They are all obsessed with hockey, and we do live in Manitoba, so they all love the Jets. Great. We settled that decision in February. Then we began seeking out Winnipeg Jets bedding and room-related things. No problem, right? We live in Manitoba. Surely there is bound to be an abundance of Jets merchandise here. What? There isn't? Okay, there are plenty of shirts and other clothing items, though in a slightly off topic observation here, I will add that they have a poor selection of baby clothing. But bedding? Forget about it. We had to turn to our dear friend, Google.

I did a lot of researching online. Where can we get this bedding? What will it cost? What is the cheapest possible combination of products we can buy? I spent hours pouring over this, but eventually we found what seemed to be the best deal. Was it in Winnipeg, at the Jets' own personal store? Nope. (I'm not even sure they have one, but shouldn't they? The Blue Bombers do...) In fact, not only was it not in Winnipeg, it was not even in Canada. Oh wait, eventually we DID find it in Canada. Way more expensive. Sigh. Well, all that aside, let's just say we eventually did get the bedding ordered, plus a separate order of plain, white bedsheets, plus an eBay order of a couple of large Jets wall decals for decorating, after we paint.

Slowly, these items started to trickle in. That's when the excitement began. Wow! These things were being delivered right to our...well, not to our door. We do live in the boonies. But some came to our post office, and others that required a physical address (so picky) were sent to Mike at work. The white sheets arrived weeks ago, and I must admit, they were a disappointment, but the price was right, so we will live with that for now. Then, early this week our logos arrived. We were just waiting on the bedding. Well, it arrived yesterday in a huge box! (We had to order 3 sets, for 3 boys.) Wow! It was like Christmas in March!

I have found that tracking packages is its own kind of delightful hobby. I hit "refresh" all day long, hoping to see a change in the status...though more often than not I am disappointed. Once my package arrives, I close that tracking page and experience just a tiny bit of a letdown. Luckily, I now have another item in the mail, and apparently it is currently in Los Angeles, California. (I kind of wish I was in Los Angeles...) It is a very cool item. It's called a "snap plier", which is a lighter and less expensive version of a snap press. A sewing thing, if that is not in your lingo. It certainly hasn't been in mine for long either. Here's the scoop on that one.

I told you I was nesting, right? Well, we have had three babies before, so obviously we don't have a ton of stuff to buy to prepare for this one. But being that we are now cloth diaperers, we have to rebuild our stash for this new baby. Some of our other ones have worn out after being used for two different boys for almost three straight years now, which, I suppose, is understandable. But we have a few that are Bum Genius brand that have been unusable for a while, and only because the velcro closures have worn out. So the diaper is perfectly good, but the velcro won't stay fastened, and therefore the diaper falls off. Not good. I intended to ship these to someone who could convert them to snaps for me, but once I found someone, she was, of course, in the States. Suddenly shipping became an issue. So I found this snap plier, and a bunch of snaps to go with it, and found that it was slightly cheaper than sending mine away. I have no risk of losing my diapers, plus in the end I have tons of snaps left over and the means to fix more diapers, if I want. On top of that, I can sell the snap plier and the snaps if I want to, so financially it makes the most sense.

Of course, the project itself may be way above my head, but I will deal with that when it arrives. I think in pregnancy when this bizarre "nesting" urge hits, you are capable of doing much greater feats than under normal circumstances. Kind of like someone who lifts a car off someone else in an accident because of all the adrenaline. I will have to do a post about my "conversions" once the item arrives.

But for now, I have discovered that just the joy of having something new and exciting on its way to my doorstep...ten minutes away at the post enough to keep a slight smile on my face much of the time. I will still have to purchase more diapers online, and baby bedding will be in order when we are ready to decorate a nursery, so I'm not done yet! This could be addictive for sure. I will have to use incredible restraint from now on in order to keep from going crazy and ordering all kinds of things over the internet!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Wednesday has arrived, and was supposed to be something of a milestone day for me. Today was the day I was scheduled to meet Sasha's buyer and collect the rest of the money for her and send her on her way with him. A day that promised both tears of sadness, and also relief. But now he is not coming least, not this morning, as planned. In fact, we do not have a solid plan anymore. This is making me nervous. I am probably overreacting, but the tension is building in me with every day I still own her, given that I have turned away about four or five other interested buyers because this man put a cash deposit on her. I'm sure everything will be fine, but part of me keeps thinking he will back out some how, and it is making me a little bit stressed. He might want me to meet him in the evening instead, which will be awkward, as I will not have my sister there to help me and I am still being extra cautious about going in the pen with all the horses when they are in their spring "silly mode". I'm sure nothing would happen, but I just don't want to take any chances with this baby. On top of that, he might want me to come Friday evening, which is good in a way. Andrea will be available that night, but the problem is, Mike will be away, so I would have to bring the boys with me. He is going away to a wedding so I will be on my own with the boys. Most of his family will also be there, so I won't have anyone around here who can watch them while I run out in the evening. So, I might have to take them out after their bedtime, which could be interesting.

Anyway, selling Sasha has been a task that has appeared impossible for almost six months now, so it's hard for me to believe this is really going to go through. It would just be one less thing I had to stress about, so the sooner we can make it official, the better. I guess I will just have to wait and see what this guy says about when he can make it work for sure. I hope it is soon. I will be very sad to see her go, but right now she is a financial burden we do not need. (She would be worth it, if we were able to use her, but right now we can't.)

So my only plans for the day have been thwarted and I am finding myself thinking "now what?". I should do a bunch of cleaning. But today I have a bad headache, perhaps brought on by two consecutive days of terrible sleep.

Well, ironically I just had to sweep the kitchen floor whether I wanted to or not due to a sudden parmesan cheese crisis that was brought to my attention. Now the house smells like someone has a sick digestive system. (That's how parmesan cheese smells to me. Yuck.) I guess it's time to sign off here for now. The Dynamic Duo are in full swing and there is no telling what they will do next.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ushering in a new season.

Today is the first day of spring. It is a happy occasion, and the sun is brightening up this house yet again. Outside, however, there is a strong wind and the temperature is a little brisk compared to how spoiled we have been this year. But that's okay.

Despite the cheery look of the sun lighting the bedrooms, hall and living room, the atmosphere in this house today is not awesome. I guess it's going to be one of those days with my oldest, and in all honesty, I just don't have the energy to deal with it today. He dumped a whole box of Mini-Wheats on the floor this morning. And when I say a whole box, I mean it was literally bought yesterday and opened this morning. I was extremely upset, due to the absolute waste of money. You'd think I'd be used to this by now, but I just can't adjust to having whole boxes of brand new cereal poured out and rendered inedible. This one was at least one of those pathetic, skinny boxes and not a bulk one, like what we have seen dumped in the past. But still. I could have handled it, despite my extreme frustration, but then he refused to clean up the mess. Mini-Wheats are not hard to pick up because of their size, so I could have done it myself, but that didn't seem right. I mean, he dumped them, so shouldn't he be responsible to deal with the mess? Amid all the individual "biscuits", as they call them on the box, there was also a healthy pile of the crushed stuff that always settles to the bottom of each box. When I told Cody he would be cleaning up the mess, he informed me in less than civil terms that he would be doing no such thing and that it was my problem.

I must say, I am not very patient these days. Maybe I never am, I'm not sure. But in this pregnancy I find myself very short-tempered and I don't handle that kind of back-talk very well. I have terrible sciatic pain this morning and having trouble walking without a ridiculous limp. I just do not have the stamina to take down the little leader of the pack. So I have to wonder how the rest of my day is going to go. I know there will certainly be no TV, which guarantees me a more difficult day. I don't often allow TV anymore, but sometimes it is a nice way to wind them down, particularly if I need to be working on making supper. Or even if I need to have a nap, which would be quite nice today. I don't think that's going to happen. I suppose my best hope is to kick them outside for a lengthy time this afternoon and put Micah down in his crib for a quiet time. We'll see how that goes.

And just for the sake of recording this for history, I must mention that yesterday, my dear middle child, Jamie, took it upon himself to remove ALL of his clothing (which was full of burrs) and traipse around outside buck naked. Not even a sock or shoe remained. Not even a hat. Nope. The last official day of winter, and he was grinning at me like it was the best time of his life, running around without a stitch of clothing on. In March. Lucky for him it was pretty warm out, though not as warm as the day before. I tried to get after him and tell him it was not funny, but in truth, it really was. It also served as yet further confirmation of why we do NOT live in the city. Or even in a small town. Or anywhere with neighbours or a clear line of vision to the road. Boys can be very uncivilized. I only have one nudist far. We'll see what this next one will be like. I'm hoping for calm and sweet. Haha. I guess time will tell.

Anyway, it is time to sign off. My internet is not working properly today for reasons unknown. I'm guessing it has to do with the wind, because it's our provider who is having the difficulty. I will try posting this and see if it works.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy Sunday, Dreary Monday.

After a gorgeous weekend of extremely high seasonal temperatures, today is dreary and drizzly, and I am finding myself altogether too affected by it. I am still in my pyjamas (it is nearly 9 a.m.) and I am sitting in my bed, completely uninspired. I do have a load of laundry on the go, which was a necessity, but other than that...nothing. I have not made my bed. I have no plan or even hopes for the day. I suppose that is not entirely true. I might run to the post office today to find out about pricing for mailing a package. But we'll see. With our very fast melt this year, our driveway is very precarious, covered in very wet mud and puddles, and now deep tire tracks. Our Subaru is an all wheel drive and has no trouble making it, but the van struggles, and I have to navigate the driveway today regardless. Cody will be getting off the school bus just after 3 p.m. and the driveway is way too waterlogged to make him walk on it.

I suppose it's okay if I have a day that is less productive. Yesterday I got a lot done. I took all three boys to town to shop for rubber boots and left Mike here to work on his homework. I am normally too gutless to take my whole crew in with me without another adult for backup, but yesterday it was necessary. I knew Cody needed rubber boots and also outdoor runners, seeing our weather has officially become too warm for winter boots. But I couldn't take just him because Mike needed to do his work and would not have been able to do it with the other two boys at home to watch. So off we went. I was quite nervous, but the trip was very successful and quite uneventful. Micah rode in the shopping cart nicely without complaining, as did Jamie. There were no fights, which is a huge miracle in itself. I got rubber boots for all three plus new outdoor runners for Cody and two umbrellas. (I couldn't justify spending the money for all three to have their own, but I knew Cody needed one for school, so I decided the other two could share one of their own.) Then I got some new socks for Jamie, whose current ones are almost all full of holes, and some new and adorable underwear for Micah. It's Tigger underwear, and it is seriously cute. I figured he needed more than his six pairs, so now he has nine. Much more convenient for these potty training days. He is doing great, but we still have accidents...some days more than others.

Then we got home and Mike took Cody to his wind-up hockey party, which was a game against his own team at the rink in our little town nearby. Meanwhile, I cleaned the kitchen and made a casserole for the potluck that was to follow the game. The sun was shining and the windows were open. Honestly, the day was amazing. We all wore t-shirts to town with no jackets and it was perfectly warm. I loved it. Oh, and I must also add that even though it was only March 18th, the stores were already running out of rubber boots. I was annoyed. I know we're having an early and weird spring, but still.

Anyway, the Dynamic Duo and I joined Mike and Cody after the game for the potluck and it was nice. We got to sit with the little girl that Cody has a crush on. (And it's mutual too, so really adorable.) And after the meal they did some awards. Cody thought he did not get one, after all the medals were handed out. But then they had some plaques, and Cody got the award for the player who treated everyone with respect and kindness on and off the ice. So he gets his name on this plaque and it gets put up in the arena where it stays for years and years. He felt really special, and I was so proud of him.

Well, my laundry has stopped so I have to pop it in the dryer, which is functioning properly now, and then put my next load in.

In a very quick update, Tabu is still not happy outside, though the last three nights we have brought her in the house to sleep, for which she is extremely grateful. I have put her outside again first thing each morning, so she is out there today and probably not too happy about it given the wet weather. It is not raining, but it obviously did overnight as everything is quite wet. Yes, I forgot to mention but we actually got a thunderstorm last night. Not sure whether I have ever experienced that in the month of March before. Very strange.

And, I did sell Sasha. But this is not the official update on that, because the person put a deposit down but has not paid in full and has not picked her up yet. That is supposed to be happening on Wednesday, so I will update properly once it is official.

I'm off to do more laundry. That always makes me feel like i have accomplished something. Bye for now.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sad and happy pet news.

Living with animals brings with it a range of emotions and experiences. I have always been an animal love and to me, a pet is part of the family. We love them deeply and want what's best for them. Losing a pet is a devastating event and is something I dread from the moment I get a new pet.

This is on my mind today for two reasons. First, our cat Tabu (pronounced Taboo) has been giving us trouble for quite some time. She is coming up ten years old some time this summer. We don't know exactly when because we got her from the pound as a kitten and only guessed at how many months old she was. Same with our other cat, Cricket. Tabu has always been a very sweet and affectionate cat, and she is quite beautiful too, but she has had her quirks. We called her bulimic for a long time because she threw up nearly every time she ate. We never did get any answers as to why, but best we figured, she was eating too fast in a panic to make sure Cricket didn't get all the food. Well, the barfing is not cool, and it gets old pretty fast, but we are used to it and I would say it has even improved over the last couple of years. But recently, Tabu started peeing on our boys' things. If they leave their clothes on the bathroom floor after a bath, she has peed there. (Once for sure I caught her in the act.) And worse yet, she has been peeing on Jamie's bed. This has been extremely upsetting for us, but we got strict about leaving all the bedroom doors shut and I thought we were okay.

But yesterday I found Jamie's bedding all over the floor (that was his fault, as he removes it all every day. EXTREMELY annoying), and it was all covered in cat pee. I would venture to say that his mattress is ruined. Now that's not too devastating because we have to buy him a new one right away anyway, but the principle is still very disturbing. So yet again I had to bleach and launder all his bedding, and this without a properly functioning dryer. (Though it is partially fixed, so at least it runs.) For anyone wondering, there is a very distinct smell to cat pee, so it is an absolute certainty that a cat was the culprit and NOT a little boy.

So, Tabu got evicted yesterday. I am very upset about it, but we are going to have to try her a while as an outdoor cat. We are really not sure what else we can do for now. It is obviously extremely unsanitary to have an animal peeing on our beds, not to mention just plain gross. I feel terrible because I can hear her howling out there. And I worry about her too. We locked her in the dog's crate last night so she'd be safe from coyotes...etc. I am hoping she will adjust in time, and that I will too. Cricket is also upset, wondering why her friend is not coming in and why she has no one to curl up with at night. I feel like a horrible person doing this to her, but I don't know what else to do.

So that's my first bit of upsetting pet news. The other news is bittersweet, I guess you could say. Mostly it is a good thing, but my emotional self is a bit sad about it. I listed Sasha for sale again on Saturday and I have had a surprising number of people interested in her. I showed her to a young girl yesterday, and she was interested, and this morning I have to show her to a man who really seems to want her. So it is going to be a rushed day for me, but if I can sell Sasha, it will take a real load off of me, and Mike too. I obviously can't ride any horse right now, and if I could, it wouldn't be her. So we are paying board for a horse we can't use. Our horses are still at my sister, Andrea's place. We moved them out during our flood last year and have not brought them back. I doubt they will return this year.

Today will be a rushed day, but I guess we will find out whether it turns out to be worthwhile or not. Hopefully Sasha will be a good girl and not do anything silly or stupid when he is there. It was super windy yesterday, and she was really good, but sometimes they get crazy in the wind.

Anyway, I have to go so I can get ready. I will be leaving in about an hour and a half, but I have a lot to do before then. I will update on my Sasha situation once I know what is happening. It really would be amazing if I could sell her. Bye for now!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Ahhh. Quiet.

I am at a hotel, sitting in a pile of pillows all by myself. No, I didn't take the plunge and get myself a room for the weekend. Mike was with me too. We came to the big city for a work-related event for him, and we had a hotel room paid for, so we left the boys with my parents (who also live here) and we got the evening to ourselves. In addition to that, I did not have to get up once in the night to calm a child with nightmares. That is not to say I did not have to get up at all in the night, haha, because at this stage of the game that is a given for me. But we left the boys at supper time and went out for supper together at one of our favourite restaurants, a place we went to on our very first Valentine's Day twelve years ago. We had a relaxing evening and now Mike is at his workshop and I am here alone. I have only a few things left with me to carry to the van in about 20 minutes and then I am meeting a dear sister-in-law to do a little bit of shopping before I go back to my parents' place to hang out until Mike is done. Then we will load up and come and get him, and head home.

It's a dreary, drizzly day here, but I don't care. I mean, sunshine would be nice, but it's just so amazing to not have anyone to take care of just for a few hours. I was up earlier than normal anyway, but I'm okay with that. It may not have been a lengthy or exotic getaway, but this was a lovely, refreshing time and I just wanted to say how thankful I am to have had this chance. I hope Micah wasn't too scared last night. He was the only one I was really worried about. I will find out later when I go see them!

Happy Monday to everyone.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Yay for Fridays!

Friday has arrived and is bringing with it temperatures above zero, which are expected to last all the next week! I am very excited about this because, well, I'm Manitoban, and we are obsessed with the weather. You would be too if you lived in a climate that was this unpredictable. Here is an example.

This weekend, on Sunday, we are going away. Just overnight, but this is still a big deal for us because we never go anywhere. Mike has a work thing on Monday in the big city, so his work is getting us a hotel for Sunday night. The day we leave home, Sunday, it is supposed to be 15 degrees here. That's Celsius, and let me tell you, that means we won't even need jackets. But the next day it will only be 5 degrees, cold enough to still justify wearing a winter jacket. It's confusing! How do we dress our kids in the van? This is that transitional time of year when I don't know how to dress Cody for school either.

But who cares about all that? Guess what the exciting part of my weekend is? On Sunday night, we are staying in a hotel...wait for it...(drumroll here............) without our kids. Hahaha! This is miraculous to say the least. My parents will be taking them overnight at their place and Mike and I will get an evening to ourselves. Okay, so we get every evening to ourselves, because our kids go to bed pretty early and they stay in bed. But this is different! We will be in the city with no kids to take care of. That means if we decide to go out, we can! We can just leave and go to a movie, or go out for supper...etc. Anything we want to do, we can just get up and go. In the morning, I will leave and go back to my parents' place and hang out there for the day with the kids. Then in the afternoon we will pick up Mike and head back home. It's a short trip, but it means a real date night with no real curfew. Of course, Mike will have to be at his conference, or whatever it is, first thing in the morning, so odds are we will not be up late. But that doesn't matter! The point is, we CAN. Hopefully the kids will do all right sleeping over without us. None of them have ever done that anywhere. I am guessing they will all be fine except for Micah, who wakes up every night with nightmares even at home.

Oh, and the best part for the kids is that we are taking them to the hotel first, for the check-in time, so they can swim in the pool before going back to Grandma and Grandpa's! They are super excited about it. I just hope nobody gets sick this time around!

My only other Friday news is pregnancy related. My due date has changed, so that makes me officially 21 weeks today. I had an appointment on Wednesday during which I found out that both of my ultrasounds yielded good and normal results, so looks like things are on track with this very strong, active baby. Hopefully now I can relax a little!

I have no earth-shattering plans for the day. I had a play date scheduled, but it fell through due to sickness issues. Now my only big plans are to drive to the post office to pick up the mail, which will likely consist of a few fliers and that's it. But I'm excited to go anyway, just to get out of the house for a little bit.

Uh oh. Fighting kids. Crying boy. Time to go.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Not again!

I woke up this morning before 7 a.m., and I was done sleeping. I'm not sure I got enough, but no matter. I knew I needed to get up by 7 a.m. anyway to get Cody ready for school, so I got up and started my day. Cody was slow this morning, so it was a crunch to get him out the door on time to catch the bus at 7:40 a.m. but we did it. Then I got everyone else fed, seeing they were all up too. I don't know why we all woke up so early this morning. Mike was up at about 5 a.m. which is extremely unusual for him. It does not make me look forward to the time change this weekend, that's for sure!

Anyway, even though it is something of a gloomy day outside, for some reason I was inspired this morning to get my house all cleaned up. Maybe it's because I wasn't here all day yesterday and the house was so disastrous. Whatever the case, I got to work immediately, and before 8 a.m. I had already filled and started the dishwasher and started my first load of boy laundry, and made my bed and started the process of cleaning my room and bits and pieces of the other rooms in this place. I was feeling pretty good, and figured at that pace I'd have this place sparkling by the afternoon for sure.

That didn't happen. I fizzled out somewhere before 9 a.m., which is okay, I suppose. I figured I would take a little rest and then get back at it. Indeed, I did manage to start my second load of laundry and fold the first load, and even start a third load in the washer when I put the second one in the dryer. I even unloaded the dishwasher and began filling it a second time.

But not long ago I went to check the laundry situation, feeling pretty good about how much I was going to accomplish today, and I discovered the dryer has quit. Now I guess I did not write about this a few weeks back, but our dryer quit back in mid-February too. Thankfully, it happened AFTER all the yucky sickness had passed, but it was still a problem. I have only one laundry rack for drying, which I normally use for cloth diapers, so it is a stretch to get a full load of laundry hung on there. We went about three days with no dryer, and believe it or not, I normally do laundry almost every day, even without the cloth diapers. Our clothes and towels were very crunchy from hanging to dry, and of course it took longer, plus I always had this rather ugly bunch of laundry hanging in my living room in front of our big window so it would catch as much sunlight as possible.

Mike spent many hours disassembling the entire thing and figuring out what was wrong. It was great, because in the end he fixed it and we once again had a dryer. Of course, there were a couple of issues that still needed to be dealt with. For example, I think maybe the hose was not on properly because our tiny laundry room was instantly transformed into a rainforest climate, and was nearly unbearable to go in. But, I still had a dryer that worked.

Today, when the second load was in the dryer and the third one was completely soaked in the washer, I discovered that the dryer had completely quit once again. Oh boy. Well, once upon a time I would have pulled it apart myself, but right now I am 20 weeks pregnant and not really in much of a position to be hauling heavy appliances around and taking them apart. So I will have to wait. I called Mike. He told me the part he bought last time was $50. If the same part broke a second time, that's going to start getting pricy. It has only been working for about three weeks now. Maybe more like two, I guess. Oh dear! I just looked at a calendar and it turns out it has only been fixed for a week and a half. I'm not even sure what we are going to do about this. We can't really buy a new dryer right now. We have a million other expenses to contend with. But I can't really expect to keep up with the laundry with no dryer either. Maybe I just need to buy another laundry rack to hang our stuff on. It might just come to that.

Oh well. I suppose these are the things that keep life exciting. Ugh. And now, the boys have gone deadly silent. I better find out what they are doing or things will get even more exciting around here.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Baby, baby!

Well, I think I'm about to drive myself crazy. I have spent most of my weekend planning and researching in preparation for this baby to arrive. Maybe a little soon to be this intense about the planning, but I seem to be in full swing nesting mode. I guess there are worse things. If there is anything I have discovered about myself in the last few years it's that I have an obsessive personality. When I was pregnant with Micah, I discovered cloth diapers. I got very excited and I began to research them, only to find that the amount of variety out there and the necessary learning was staggering. Yes, it was overwhelming, but instead of giving up, I dove in full force. I spent hours and hours every day online trying to learn as much as I could about the different kinds of diapers, what their advantages and disadvantages were, how many I would need, the cost involved, how in the world to use and launder them...etc. I could hardly think about anything other than cloth diapers.

Fortunately, once I got into the groove, the obsession lessened and I was able to begin acting like a normal human being once again. Except that once Micah was a few months old, Mike told me I could finally get my horse the following summer. What?? You mean I can now start searching the online classifieds day in and day out to see what kinds of horses are available in my area, the price range, what kind of fencing we were going to need, what kind of saddle to buy...well, you get the picture. I began an intense nine month process of extensive research and phone calls on potential horses for me, and even a few visits in person. Phew. The process was admittedly even more exciting than shopping for diapers. Diapers are cute and very practical, and oh so soft...but horses are, well, horses! I did not spend any of my childhood dreaming of future cloth diapers, but I sure spent a great deal of time thinking about horses, and also a great deal of time riding them, seeing we had two. Once I bought Sasha, a mistake, by the way, I felt a little lost. What would I research now? Hm. Well, I could always continue looking at saddles, seeing we still needed another one. Secretly, I never stopped looking at the horse classifieds! And in the end, that was probably a good thing, seeing I now have to sell Sasha and I am very well acquainted with the horse market right now. If I can sell her, once I am in a position to buy again I will be much more informed, with years of research under my belt, not to mention experience. Broken bones experience, which has quite an impact on a person.

From cloth diapers to horses, I have managed to keep quite busy, mentally speaking, for a few years. Now, here I am pregnant again and that opens a whole world of possible obsessions for me! I am back to researching cloth diapers because some of mine have worn out and I will need new ones. Joy! Now I get to try new styles, and hopefully some really tiny ones for when this baby is first born. But more than that, we are planning a room for our three boys. They will all be sharing a room, at least for the first year of this baby's life, so we have decided to redo their room. It's only right. Their room is destroyed, and as much as it pains me to paint and decorate again in case they are equally destructive a second time, it just has to be done. So now we get to choose a theme, but not only that, we also get to choose paint colours and we will have to buy new furniture. Bunk bed research occupied a good solid week or two for me sometime in early February. I have put that on the back burner for now, but it will rise again toward the end of this month. We have chosen bedding and a theme, and all of our bedding and accessories have now been ordered, as of this afternoon. Phew! That was the culmination of a few weeks of obsessing and one solid weekend (this one) of searching in great detail for the best possible deal on all this merchandise. Wow. This will be our most expensive baby yet! After all, we intend to do a nursery for this one. We have not done one since we did Cody's, and we want to pull out all the stops for this one. That means yet another room to choose a theme, bedding and paint colours. Fortunately, we don't need any furniture for the baby, so the nursery will be significantly cheaper than the boys' room.

Anyway, having said all that, my only other significant news is that tomorrow I will be 20 weeks, officially halfway through this pregnancy. (Though traditionally I like to extend mine much longer than the textbook 40 weeks. Hehe.) I have an ultrasound in the morning, which I am quite nervous about, but hopefully things will go well and we will get good news at our follow-up on Wednesday morning. For anyone who might wonder, they do not tell you the gender at our ultrasounds here. It's a very strict policy, so I will not be returning tomorrow knowing what we are having. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is entirely a matter of personal preference. I suppose there are advantages and disadvantages either way. It sure would be easier to plan and decorate a nursery if we knew, but on the other hand, we have never known before the birth and there is something pretty cool about that too. Either way, we do not have the option tomorrow, so as I said, there will be no huge update!

Now I think I have more than made up for my lack of posts in here in recent weeks. Phew. I must be in a really talkative mood. It's the adrenaline from all the obsessing. I'm not even sleeping at night. Seriously. So, on that note, I hope everyone has a wonderful Monday, and I hope my bladder survives the trauma of the ultrasound. More on that later, for anyone who has not had the privilege of that experience. Bye for now.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

March is here!!!

Wasn't it only a few days ago I was posting about how excited I was that it was February? Now here we are in March already, only three weeks away from spring. It is snowing outside, and I am still hoping we don't get much between now and the final melt. I have spring fever. I have for a long time. I don't know whether it's because of the time of year, or just because I'm pregnant, but I'm bursting to do some cleaning and renovating around here. I guess it's not technically renovating, but I want to paint the boys' bedrooms and get the three of them moved in together. That will mean buying a bunk bed plus new mattresses, and new bedding for all three. Then we will be painting and decorating their room, and once they are all settled, we will have to put together some kind of nursery. Okay, technically we don't have to, but we decided we would. This will be our fourth baby, and we have only done a nursery once, for Cody. This time we thought we should pull out all the stops. Go out with a bang, if you will. Sure, it's hard to plan that when you don't know whether it's a boy or a girl, but we will come up with something special. We want this baby to be celebrated, not just seen as "just another one". So we have much to do, and really not that much time to do it in. Mike will be working on his Masters throughout all of March, but come the end of spring break, he will be finished! Woo hoo!!! After that, we will be free to prepare for this baby in every way we need to, plus we may need to do more flood preparations for this year, though at the moment a drought is looking more likely.

Anyway, I am being summoned to sew some buttons onto Mike's coat, so I will do that for now. I know things are not exactly exciting in this blog recently. I suppose I don't have the most enthralling life, but it works for me. I'm off for now.