Friday, June 29, 2012

Going out with a bang.

Nothing is ever simple. Today is the last day that I have to be home alone with the boys. I should be rejoicing. I should feel relieved. He will even be home early, soon, in fact. But we are going away. Today, my job consisted of packing, cleaning, and taking care of the boys. Sounds easy enough, right? Especially seeing our house was spotless yesterday. (That is excluding my bedroom, which is last on the priority list right now.)

Well, in a shocking turn of events, our house is already a disaster again. That's right, after one glorious evening (Wednesday) and a couple of hours yesterday morning of a nice clean house, it looks like something exploded and/or died in here. Fine. So our house is messy. I could still get ready for our trip, right? So I began packing this morning and started the first load of laundry. My job was to do mine and Mike's laundry and then the boys'. That was a total of two full baskets. I did ours first. It was just before lunch time when it was ready to go in the dryer so I could start the next load and have all done by the time we were ready to leave. Here's where things got really ugly. I loaded the dryer. Closed the door. And pressed the button. Nothing. I tried again, and again. Nothing. So, our dryer picked TODAY to die again. I did not know what to do. I had to try hanging it all on our rack on the deck. I discovered a few things in this process. One, it is unbearably hot in the beating sun on our deck. Two, a full basket of grown-up laundry does not fit on the rack. Three, our rack has been destroyed by the boys and comes apart if you hang too much stuff on it. And four, (and my personal favourite), if you leave a laundry rack set up on our deck for several days or weeks, multiple spiders will take up residence on it. Lovely. I had to use a tennis racket to swipe all the webs off and to attempt to beat said spiders into a pulp, or at least to motivate them to get as far away from my laundry as possible.

I had to hang the rest of the laundry throughout the house. But the boys' stuff is still dirty and in a basket, which we now have to bring along with us. Fabulous. To top this off, all three boys have been exceptionally grouchy and badly behaved today, so I am beyond fried. Again. I did not clean the house. I decided after all the stress of trying to figure out the laundry and everything else, that the house can wait. Mike can help me clean it on Sunday, when we get back. In truth, I don't even want to go now. I wanted to bless our boys with a special trip. Well, actually we planned to go regardless because it's a celebration of my grandmother's 98th birthday, which is coming up next week. But we decided to make it extra fun for them by getting a hotel with a pool and a play structure and staying two nights. Now I feel so angry at them I don't even want to go at all. I certainly don't want to stay in a room with them all weekend. I know that sounds horrible, but I am so incredibly burnt out that what I really want is to go to a hotel without them and have a quiet night. Not going to happen. All I can say is, the attitudes and the behaviour better improve vastly by the time we are en route, or this is going to be a very unhappy "holiday" all around. If it wasn't my own grandma, I think I'd be seriously considering staying home alone at this point. In fact, the very idea is pure bliss. But not an option. I don't want to miss my grandma's party. She is awesome.

So this is my last post prior to Mike being home for the summer. Here's hoping things will calm down soon because this mommy needs a break. I am 37 weeks pregnant today, for the record, so I guess the baby could come anywhere from 1 to 5 weeks from now. At this point, I don't even know what I'm hoping for. I think maybe I'm not quite ready. A couple of weeks to get everything in order might be really nice.

Anyway, I'm off. Mike is almost home and we will have to do the last of the running around before we leave. I might post from the hotel if things are going well. We shall see. Happy weekend, everyone.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Date night...or not.

Date night. The elusive, almost mythical event that only rarely touches the lives of many married couples with young kids. Mike and I have been married almost twelve years. Date nights for us are extremely rare, and I'm talking once, maybe twice a year. Yes, I know, I'm told that's not very healthy. Let me assure you, it is not for lack of desire. The fact is, Mike gets out frequently. I get out occasionally. But together? Never. Not without the kids. The last time we had a true date was...March. Ah, yes, a rare occurrence indeed, we actually got to stay at a hotel for a night and leave the kids with my parents. That was a first since Micah was one. It only happened because Mike has a work-related trip and had a hotel paid for. My parents were nice enough to take our boys and we got to go out for supper together in the big city. Prior to March, we had an anniversary planned in September, but it got cancelled.

That's why tonight was going to be a special night. We had baby sitting all arranged. We were going out for supper in the city. I have to confess, I am so much in "nesting" mode right now that I would have been happy to just run baby-related errands all evening, but Mike said, no, we should go on a real date. Okay, I can do that. After all, when do those ever happen? So it was all planned. We would be leaving here between 5:30-6:00 p.m., and even skipping the boys' bedtime routine.

But then something happened last night. Jamie started complaining of a sore throat, and a tummy ache. Warning bells went off immediately for me. At first, I figured he was getting a cold, seeing he seemed to be struggling with phlegm in his throat. But a tummy ache too? It sounded suspiciously like strep throat to me. This morning, he was still complaining of both symptoms and he went back to bed around 8 a.m. I checked on him and took his temperature sometime before 8:30 a.m. His fever was 102.2 F. Fabulous. Now I had to fit a trip to the doctor in today some time. Truthfully, I had been considering taking Cody anyway, as he has some kind of horrible infection on one of his fingers. So, I made an appointment for just before lunch and we went.

Once we got onto the highway, the van started rattling horribly from what seemed like the front passenger side wheel. I had to pull over on the shoulder and check it out. Well, as it happens, the wheel was about to fall off. Wonderful. I called Mike and he told me how to check the nuts, which were so loose they were barely hanging on. I found the socket wrench (I think?) and had to tighten each nut. So there I was, eight months pregnant, bent over and straining with this wrench on the side of the highway. I was stressed and I was late for my appointment, but thankfully, we were safe. Had I ignored the sound, our wheel would have come off for sure and we would have had a bad accident.

The appointment went fairly smoothly, seeing we arrived late and we were taking right in. Well, except that Jamie had a panic attack and it took us about ten minutes to get a throat swab. The swab was positive for strep. Of course. And Cody's finger is indeed infected.

So date night is now officially off. Instead, we are home with the boys, and I must say, my oldest is in a horrible mood yet again today, so I am struggling here. Micah poured chocolate milk on the kitchen floor and tried to steal Jamie's antibiotics while I was folding laundry. He also drank out of Jamie's cup as soon as we got home, which just about guarantees him to get strep throat too. We are invited to a pool party on Sunday, but if someone else gets sick between now and then, we will be staying home that day too. Sometimes it feels like I can't win. It's hard to adequately describe in words how badly I needed a break tonight. But I did. I do. And now I can't have it. I am hoping we can at least work on the baby stuff, seeing we can't go out. The good news is, now I don't have to break my back trying to clean the house in preparation for someone being over here tonight. But that's the only good news.

Now I'm off to try to do at least a little bit of cleaning. Maybe some other day we will get a date. But I am due in four weeks and once the baby is here, dates will be even more rare. I guess that's just how it is going to be for now.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The first official full day of summer

Another week is nearly over and summer holidays are almost here. Cody is in school today and also has his final swimming lesson this afternoon. Yes, we actually made it through all ten sessions, even though for the first six or more he begged me to let him quit. Poor Cody. He has never been very good around the water. Now he likes it, but I think he still prefers a different context than a swimming lesson. I can't really blame him. I do not recall ever loving my swimming lessons, but I always loved swimming.

The Dynamic Duo are happily munching their lunch now, which is good. We have had a quiet morning here. That's because I cheated. Yes, I turned on the TV. Well, Netflix, actually, which means they only have access to certain kids' shows, so it's not like I let them watch anything and everything. I try very hard to ban TV and any kind of video games almost every single day, but this morning I could not stay awake so I had to resort to desperate measures. It was Jamie's idea, actually. Haha. But at only a little past 9 a.m. I already needed a nap, and it wasn't just that I was tired. These days, when I need a nap, my body doesn't even give me any choice in the matter. It will not stay awake, so my best bet is to make sure the boys are safely occupied and then surrender to slumber. I must say, it felt awfully good. Especially after a night of nightmares and interrupted sleep. (And the nightmares were mine, not the boys'! Though Micah did come in at around 5 a.m. for some reason. I never did understand what he was saying. I sent him back to bed.)

Mike has one more full week of school (work) left and then he will be home for the summer. I can't tell you how relieved I am that he will be here full time in the very near future. There is so much to be done and I am having quite a time getting any of it accomplished. So for the rest of the afternoon, I will attempt to get as much cleaning done as I can do without hurting myself. Beyond that, I have no plans. I am really looking forward to getting some of my energy back, but it may not happen until some time in August.

I suppose I don't have a ton to report today, despite having a busy week. Cody had his Kindergarten grad on Tuesday, which was fun. Yesterday we went to my sister's place for the day. I left the boys there in the morning while I drove to town for my doctor appointment and then we spent the afternoon there. Then last night I went to my very first ever town meeting. Now I feel like a true small town girl.

But besides all that, I just want to leave you with a few photos of what it looks like in our bush right now. These don't really do it justice, but as you drive down our winding driveway (which is a terrible, mucky mess right now), looking into the lush green trees you can see an absolute explosion of pink. For some reason, this year wild roses have bloomed everywhere and they are beautiful. You might have to click on these pictures to get them big enough to see what I'm talking about. In real life, it's more beautiful and it's hard to believe how many roses there are. But here are a few shots to give you an idea. Happy summer, everyone.





Friday, June 15, 2012

Attack of the Dynamic Duo

I'd love to say thank goodness it's Friday, but today there is no relief in the end of the week. Mike will be leaving earlier tomorrow than he even does on work days and will likely be gone just as long, at a golf tournament. There won't be much of a weekend, and there is much to get done, so I was hoping for a somewhat successful Friday. Success would be defined, at this point, by getting something done. Anything. Instead, the Dynamic Duo has launched a full scale attack and is going strong.

The morning started very early. I'm not sure what time it was, I just know it was before 7 a.m. when Micah came in our room and pretty much screamed in my ears that one of his brothers had woken him up. How nice of him to pay it forward. Shortly after that, Cody stole the Caramilk bar that Mike had brought home as a treat for us last night. He stole it, and ate it. All of it. Of course. No food items are safe in this house. None. I had to get up and get Cody ready for school. When I entered the kitchen I found a puddle on the floor that I learned was pee. Well, that would explain why Micah was now wearing a pyjama shirt and nothing else. I guess he had an accident. To their credit, they did try to clean it up. They left two soaked, yellow wads of paper towel on the floor under the kitchen table. I was thrilled. Not only did that mean there was something disgusting on the floor, it also necessitated bending over. I can't do that right now. So I had to get Mike to clean up the rest of the mess.

Mike was a good sport about it, despite being in his work clothes already. He cleaned it up. It was not long after that that we discovered our septic system had backed up in the basement. Oh joy. So Mike had to mess around with that for a while, which meant I had to get Cody to the bus. That requires driving him to the end of our driveway, as it is too mucky and wet to walk there. It took a lot of frantic nagging, but I got him there on time. Mike got the pump going, sort-of. I'm not allowed to do laundry today, which is the only chore I am good at. I am nervous about the septic situation, but I'm holding my breath hoping it will not continue to be an issue. I have a ton of laundry I'd like to do, but for now my hands are tied. Mike left later than usual, but he made it. Since then, here are a few things the Dynamic Duo have done.

Cody's bus driver called to make special arrangements for the rest of the school year because apparently our road is being closed. While I spoke to her, there was much screaming and crying going on in the kitchen. Micah came down the hall bawling. He was wearing shorts and no shirt. His belly and shorts were covered in caesar salad dressing. Yes. Apparently his partner in crime turned on him and shot him with it. I was NOT happy. While I talked to the bus driver I tried to clean him up with a cloth. I was blissfully unaware at that point that they had also poured it all over the floor in front of the fridge and oven. That was a discovery I made later. Did you know caesar salad dressing is really sticky when it's on the floor? I didn't. Yesterday it was honey on the floor. That, I KNEW would be sticky. There was also sugar and soya sauce. But that was yesterday.

I have not cleaned up the salad dressing. I mean, it was wiped up by the boys, but the extreme sticky floor remains. I simply cannot crawl around on the floor right now. Even mopping is painful, so it's not going to happen. I was frustrated, to say the least.

Shortly after that, they dumped Fruit Loops on the floor. Repeatedly. Why is it so hard to just sit at the table and eat? Why do they have to pour from bowl to bowl, back and forth, and carry them around the kitchen and other parts of the house? At least there was no milk in the bowls, but still, I now have cereal galore to sweep, and I can't sweep on such a sticky floor. Ugh!

Finally, they decided to go outside to play. I thought that might have been God's mercy until a while later I heard a horn honking. It was the van horn. I ran around looking for the keys. I am very picky about keeping the van locked so they do not go in there. (I grew up in the city, where it is not the norm to leave your keys in your ignition when you are not using your vehicle. Mike has different habits, a result of a different upbringing. Farm life versus city life. Very different.) I did not find the keys. I ran outside to the van where Micah was happily sitting in the driver's seat. Jamie was also in the van, though he tried to hide on the other side of it when he saw me approaching. The van was locked, ironically. I gave Micah a look and demanded that he open his door. He did. I pulled him out and searched. No keys. Jamie finally relinquished them to me, after doing a few laps around the van. I informed them in very clear mom terms that they were not to play in our vehicles. Ever. And that the keys were off limits. Then I stormed back inside.

You know, I had bought a nice little key rack for Mike for his stocking this past Christmas and we had finally put it up at the front door. I have been enjoying the novelty of hanging my keys there and always knowing where they are. Now it is no longer an option. Is there any hope??????

I came back inside and did some tidying up in my room. After a while I realized it was way too quiet. I went to check on the boys outside. There was no sign nor sound of them. I called. I called louder. I started to get nervous. Apparently we have a bear in the area. I found this out this morning. Finally, after frantic yelling, Jamie appeared, looking happy and guilty. I asked him where he was. He didn't answer. I asked him where Micah was. He said "On the tractor". I then had to run outside, again. Yes, Micah was indeed on the tractor, and not the lawn tractor. The big one. I was so mad. They took a tricycle over there so they could climb on. Now I have forbidden them to play outside.

What am I supposed to do around here? We have a million toys on the floor and nobody wants to play with them. Instead, Jamie produces a meat thermometer. Micah wraps himself in a skate shoelace. They play with storage bins. They dump household food products. They turn on the fan and shove objects into the rapidly turning blades. Honestly, I am at a total loss here. My sanity is not even hanging by a thread. It's gone. I don't know whether I have ever been more desperate for a break. But it's not coming. Not soon enough.

And so that is my Friday. So far, anyway. They are small; only four and a half, and almost three years old respectively. But I am no match for them. Even now I had to confiscate a butter knife from Jamie, who was using it to slaughter Fruit Loops. While he did that, Micah choked on his water. He is now yelling in a most excited voice, "Jamie! I spilled water from my nose!" Sigh. I have no more words.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Indignities.

One of the things I least enjoy about being pregnant is the doctor visits. I have a great doctor, it's just that it's annoying having to drive all the way to town and back (40 minutes each way from here) and wait in the waiting room only to do the same little routine that takes all of 5 minutes every time. I get it. Sometimes something can change and medical attention can be required. I understand why they want us to go so often. But it still drives me crazy. I am now on a bi-weekly schedule, which means I'm going every two weeks. Next week I have my appointment and after that it becomes a weekly occurrence.

I learned in my first pregnancy that the things they do at each appointment are as follows: 1 - They weigh you. (Well, every girl loves getting weighed, right? Especially when the nurses feel free to give opinions on how much you've gained or not gained. I have learned to tell them up front that I don't want to know, just so they don't have to announce it in front of everyone else in the room.) 2 - They take your blood pressure. (For me, this is never an issue as mine is always on the low end of normal, so quite ideal. At least I'm doing something right.) 3 - They test your urine. These three things are done by the nurses, before you see the doctor. The doctor looks at the chart and then listens to the baby's heartbeat with a doppler. That's all he does, in my case, other than ask me how I'm feeling.

Let me stop there for a minute. Don't you just love it when you go to the doctor and they give you a little jar and send you to the bathroom to pee? Sure, everybody loves urine samples. Especially us women, who have a tougher time aiming for the tiny jar. My clinic does things a little differently for pregnant women. They give you a test tube with a very tight fitting lid and they send you home with it. Then, before each appointment, you have to pee in it first thing in the morning and bring it in with you. I always wonder what constitutes the first urine of the morning. Is it the one at 2 a.m.? No, that's more like the middle of the night. What about the 3:30 a.m. one? Hm. Maybe still too early. Okay, 5:15 a.m. It summer. it's getting light out by then. That must be the first urine of the morning. But I'm not getting up yet. Maybe we'll wait for 6:45? Whatever the case, I have to make sure I remember, and that is no easy feat after a night of sleep deprivation. Besides that, when you wake up in a state of emergency and have to charge to the bathroom so as not to lose it right on the spot, carefully collecting a sample is the last thing on your mind. (When I say "charge" to the bathroom, I'm talking about something comparable to the desperate sprint of a 100 year old tortoise. It's that fast, and that painful.)

I learned in my first pregnancy that the nurses at my clinic are very strict about the urine sample. If you show up without one, you are regarded with much contempt, and you are lectured and made to feel like the worst pregnant woman ever. That's why my current situation is so undesirable. You see, at my last appointment, I was given a new test tube, as usual. I store it inside a zip-lock sandwich bag in the cell phone pocket of my purse. My problem? It has been stolen. That's right, it's gone. Missing. I cleaned my purse this morning, so there is no doubt. One of the boys took it, and Micah is my main and most logical suspect, seeing I have caught him after it many times before. But I can't find it anywhere. Now I am faced with the dilemma of how to handle this precarious situation. Do I go to town and go into my clinic and ask for another test tube so that I am prepared for my next appointment? Or do I show up with no sample and risk the ire of the nurses? I don't want to have to give a sample there, but that's likely what they would make me do. But that's silly. I mean, I'm going to be back exactly a week later. Couldn't they just test it then? Probably not.

And so I am fretting over this lost tube. I have nothing in this house that I would consider comparable to use as a carrying container to replace the tube. I will not use one of my Tupperware containers. No. Never. I think the nurses are just going to have to deal with this irresponsible mother accordingly. I wonder what the penalty is for showing up with no pee. I will find out next week.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Week on the Run

This is a week of appointments. Anyone who knows me knows how much I hate appointments. The good news is, one is already over. Today I had to take all three boys to the public health nurse and two of the three of them had to get needles. It was not overly fun, though they did fairly well. I was a bit sneaky and did not tell them they were getting needles. I felt a little bad about that, but at the same time I wondered how it would benefit them to know in advance. Cody was one of them, and I knew if I told him he would stress all day at school about it. I figured he had to get the needles either way, so why stress him out all day? Instead, we went to the appointment and had them all measured for height, and answered a few questions about the youngest, and then I told them about the needles. Hm. They were not excited for some reason. But we made it through, and Mike even met us there after work so he could hold each boy while he received the shots. Thank goodness for that. I really don't have much of a lap left right now, plus it was boiling hot in there. Their air conditioning is not on right now due to some construction, so it was quite horrible in there.

Tomorrow Jamie has an appointment at Cody's school for what they call preschool screening. It will take an hour or so, but unfortunately, I have to take all the boys with me. I hope they will behave. It was only a few weeks ago that we did the same thing with Cody, and all of them came then too. They did quite well, so here's hoping tomorrow will be similar.

Thursday will be my worst, seeing I have a prenatal appointment that day and I will have to take Jamie and Micah with me. Ick. I just don't like medical appointments at all. I guess I have to learn to make these things work, and I will. We will get through it, whether the attitudes are rotten or wonderful. But I can't help hoping for wonderful.

And now Mike is crashing around in the basement trying to finish up his repair job on our air conditioning. Yep, it's not working. I mean, whatever he did on the weekend to fix it definitely helped, but it is still not fixed. I am praying this will work. We are in our hottest days so far this summer and I am not very tolerant of the heat. I'm so tempted to buy a pool! I heard you can buy these above ground pools at Walmart for only about $600. Not that I have $600 to burn, but wow, to be able to swim this summer would be so amazing. I am going to have to look that up online right now.

Well, that was useless. Haha. Walmart has a terrible website and has no pools listed at all. (That's on the Canadian site.) I checked Canadian Tire and didn't find anything that tempted me too greatly. Sigh. I guess my pool dreams will have to wait. It's late and time to sign off.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Summer and graduation.

Summer is here and the weather is turning hot and humid. For most people around here, this is a good thing. For me...well, let's just say I have never been a fan of the heat. Summer is great and all, but since we moved to this house six years ago, our air conditioning has never worked. Not properly, anyway. Yesterday I broke down and turned it on for the first time this year. It froze up within the first hour and did nothing at all to cool or dehumidify this house. I find this incredibly discouraging. Sure, the weather is not that hot yet, but it doesn't matter. Six years, and still no proper air conditioning. Well, at only seven weeks from my due date, I can tell you this disturbs me more than a little. This will be the second time I have a July baby with no proper air conditioning. Last time, the summer was fairly moderate with temperatures, so I survived all right. There were certainly hot times, but not constant. This time, who knows what the weather will bring? This is Manitoba, after all. We could still get a freak snow storm. I can tell you this much. When this mommy gets hot, this mommy gets very grouchy.

Today we have a party. Mike graduated yesterday with his Masters, and his brother graduated this weekend too as a dentist. So there is a big party, the majority of which will be outdoors at the farm. Mike has been working on schooling while working full time for years now. It is finally over and he will have no more homework. It does feel good to finally be able to celebrate the completion of all his hard work. The party should be fun, but secretly, I'm more excited to clean my house today. Is that warped? Yes. I think so. But I have a really strong urge to get the baby room organized and get everything else in order. So, I'm off to get started on that!