Monday, January 28, 2013

Five Great Things About My Husband

Mike is one of those guys who does it all. He is the kind of person that everybody likes, and he is the kind of husband that makes a person ask herself, "How did I get such a great man?" Today I was pondering Mike and the things that make him great and I decided to list a few. I can't list them all though, because, seriously, I don't have room. So I thought I would list five, in no particular order.

According to Red Green, (a Canadian television show chronicling men and duct tape, or something like that), if the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy. Mike excels in both areas. Since our move, Mike has worked many hours to improve and finish our basement. He is not done yet, but he has accomplished a great deal. This is a huge relief to me, because I have no idea how to finish a basement.

Mike has spent the last couple of days insulating the basement. He has finished that and has now started putting the vapour barrier on. It's clear plastic, and is held together with horrible black glue and red tape. Apparently it's not a fun job by any stretch of the imagination. But it is so great to see progress!

The above picture shows some of the duct work that Mike has been installing. All of the supply vents are done. Once the vapour barrier is finished, I think he will be doing the return air supply.

Mike also does dishes. And laundry. As I have mentioned, I have been very sick these last couple of weeks. As such, the house has gotten very messy, with Mike busy working on the basement and taking care of the kids, for the most part. But yesterday, he took a break from the basement and let me sleep all day. Yes, all day. (I can't tell you how good that felt, by the way. I'm not sure whether it helped me in terms of getting better from this bug, but it certainly put me in a better frame of mind.) While I slept, he did loads of laundry and loads of dishes. I was, and still am, very thankful for that. The dishes are all caught up now, and the laundry is mostly caught up. Hopefully I will be back on track soon so I can do those basic things.

Mike baths the kids every night. Yes, every night, unless he is out somewhere, and even then he often baths them early before he goes so I don't have to. That tradition started when I was pregnant with...probably Jamie. (My second, for those who don't know.) I got to a point where I was simply too pregnant to lean over the bath tub, so Mike stepped in and took over that duty and it has stayed that way ever since. Right now, while he is on holidays, it doesn't necessarily need to be that way, though it still has been. But when I'm home alone with the kids all day every day, it really blesses me to have him spend that time with them and give me a break. I can often be found "hiding" in my room in the dark with a pair of headphones on, drowning out all kid sounds with soothing music.

Mike bakes pies. I'm not even kidding you. Tonight there is a fund raiser in town for the boys' hockey team and we were to donate pies to an auction. In most families, that would mean the wife would bake them, and if not, they would be purchased at a store. Not here. I would like to confess that I have never made pie. Oh, wait. There was that one time, but it was a disaster. (Long story.) Mike has made many pies. Here are the ones he made today while I was in bed, sick.

Cherry on the right and blueberry on the left. They are leaving the premises right now. 

And the last one I'm going to mention for tonight, Mike plays hockey with his boys almost every night after supper. They all head downstairs and there is shouting and laughing and very loud, descriptive play-by-plays. Micah does not usually participate, but often joins them anyway. Tonight he was riding a tricycle or something. I snuck down and took a picture. It's not the best shot, but here it is. 

The basement is not totally set up for this right now, but they don't let that stop them. 

I don't have to be a little boy to know what kind of special memories he is creating with them. I love that they do this, even though it is loud, and sometimes ends with Cody throwing a tantrum when he doesn't win. He's getting better about that though. So after supper, the boys get to spend time playing and laughing with their dad, and in such a physical way. What could be better? In the summer they sometimes went outside and he pushed them on the swings, or played soccer with them. 

Anyway, in light of my last couple of posts, which were a bit on the negative side, I just really wanted to do a bit of a brag about my husband. He is the best, and I love him. I am blessed indeed, but even better, so are my children. It doesn't get better than that!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sleep for medicine?

Well, I did indeed go to another doctor yesterday morning. I will spare you the details, as it will turn into a rant. Suffice it to say, I waited a whole hour to see her even though I was third in line in an otherwise empty waiting room. She barely looked at me, and treated Lauren like an irritation. I have never seen a doctor react to a baby that way. At one point she handed me a wad of kleenex in a panicky motion. I thought it was for me, because I was coughing quite hard at that moment. It turns out she meant it to catch Lauren's drool. Seriously?

Oops. I said I would not give details so I will stop myself. After I left her office, I cried and cried, which hurt so badly, but I couldn't stop. I knew I would not get antibiotics, but I was in agony in my throat and ears and I naively hoped she might be able to do something to relieve the pain. No. I swore up and down I would not ever do that again. See a walk-in doctor, that is, for something I knew I would not get medicine for. But in spite of those very strong feelings, this morning I was tempted to go to the local ER for some help because I couldn't even swallow water.

The good news is, I slept like a log for most of the night. I don't know whether it was from the pain killer I took before bed or whether my body was catching up after five nights of tossing and turning. But I slept until 5:20 a.m. or so, at which point I got up long enough to use the bathroom and swallow some water, and some Advil. Then I went back to sleep until around 8 a.m. when I fed Lauren. As soon as she was done eating, I conked out again until about 11:30 a.m., at which point I fed her again. And some time after 12:30 p.m. I fell asleep again until around 3 p.m., when I had to force myself to get out of bed. I would fall asleep in a heartbeat if I could go to bed again, but I am here alone with Lauren and Micah, so that is not a possibility right now. Mike is at hockey with the boys.

Anyway, I know that's not an exciting update, but I feel extremely relieved to have slept, and I hope I can do the same tonight. I am still in terrible pain, and desperate for a solution there, but it seems there is none for now. I had this little fantasy that instead of prescribing antibiotics or other medicine, doctors prescribed sleep. Somehow they would induce a sleep for however many days your body would need to fight off the illness uninterrupted. They would put a patch of some kind on your skin through which your body would absorb nourishment during that time. Wouldn't that be great? When sick, instead of feeling the horrible pain, or fever...etc., we could just sleep until it was better.

And speaking of sleep, Lauren just woke up. So time to go feed her.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


As a qualified physician pointed out to me, I am sick. As it turns out, he was right. One of the benefits of being this sick is that I don't sleep at night. Or during the day. I'd love to tell you that being up in the night has its perks, but that would be stretching things. I suppose it feels slightly less jarring when your baby wakes in the night if you are already awake. Last night was my fourth or fifth (I'm losing track)  consecutive night of barely any sleep. Lauren did indeed wake up, as she has several times recently. You see, she is sick too. I feel sorry for her. I hope she will not get as sick as I am, but I don't know what her odds are of avoiding it.

Sleepless nights may not have any perks, but they can certainly be educational. Let's take Thursday night, for an example. Much of the night is a blur. I know I went to bed before 11 p.m. and was still awake at 1:30 a.m. I know that Lauren got up at 3:15 and it took half an hour to feed her and get her settled again. But the real eye opener happened at 4:29 a.m.  I was still not really sleeping, which is perhaps why I even noticed what I noticed. I heard a sound. That sounds a lot better than saying I heard voices. Maybe I heard both. I told Mike I was pretty sure somebody was watching TV. In his mercy for my ridiculous sick state, he got up to deal with it. Indeed, Cody was up and though he was not watching TV, he certainly was playing on the play station. At 4:29 a.m. He is six, by the way. I was so angry. Mike got him back to bed and came back to bed himself. About twenty minutes later I heard Cody in the kitchen making himself some breakfast. I dragged myself out of bed and did my whisper yell. You know what I'm talking about. It went a little something like this: "Do you have ANY idea what time it is? It's the MIDDLE of the NIGHT! Now you go back to bed RIGHT now and don't you EVER do this EVER again. EVER!" I could have easily added the cliche "That hurt me a lot more than it hurt you", because whispering, talking, swallowing is incredibly painful for me right now. And it is not improving. In fact, I may even be going to the doctor today even though it is Saturday, because I cannot stand this any longer.

Anyway, Cody was a bag when we woke him up at 7 a.m. to get ready for school. It made me wonder, how often does he get up in the middle of the night and stay up until it's time for school? The irony? We bought him a projection alarm clock last Christmas to avoid just this problem. It's a little rocket and it projects the time and a little space-related picture on the ceiling, like a moon, stars...etc. The only problem is, they broke it within about a week of having it. Big shock there. That's what they do. Every single time. Sometimes it feels like there are just no options left for us. Last night at supper I told Cody if he ever gets up in the morning and he is the only one awake he is to look at the clock on the oven or the microwave and if the first number is lower than 6 he is to march his butt straight back to bed and go to sleep again. He is allowed to make breakfast (pour cereal) if it says 6 or 7, but anything else is unacceptable. I guess we will see how that goes.

And now Lauren is up again, so I must feed her and get ready to go to another doctor. Let's see what this one will say. Bye for now.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sneezing and scurrying.

Thursday has arrived and has brought with it the promise of...well, a desperate need for bed rest. I saw a doctor on Monday and after examining me, he sat me down and looked me in the eye and said very seriously, "You are sick". I was speechless. Clearly he went to a top medical school. He did two throat swabs and sent me for blood work and chest x-rays. He also wanted to admit me to the hospital for dehydration, which I thought was a little over the top. I knew the issue was simply that I hadn't drank a single drop of liquid yet that day, nor had I eaten. I refused the IV, but had the rest of the tests done. When I saw him again with the results he informed me that I had bronchitis, but he refused to give me antibiotics. Is this normal? I have never been diagnosed with bronchitis and not had antibiotics before. He said it would be the wrong action. Why? Because I am young and strong and I can fight it off myself.

While I appreciate the compliment, here is the truth about that statement. My children are young and strong. I have not seen much of my own strength since my second baby was born back at the end of 2007. I am almost always exhausted, and in truth, not feeling terribly youthful these days, although I'm sure that would change if I could just get healthy for five minutes! And so here I sit in my bed, on my eighth day of this intense illness wondering just how long it's going to take my young strong body to fight this off. He did give me an antibiotic eye ointment for my extremely gross pink eye. Yes, I feel very attractive, which made it all the more ironic that I got my Mary Kay starter kit in the mail yesterday. It was fun to open it, even though I felt so sick.

But aside from all the sickness, today also has the potential for some adventure. You see, Cricket, my faithful and neurotic black and white kitty, is acting strangely. Okay, the truth is, she always acts weird. She's not a typical cat. But what I mean is, she has been skulking around on the floor beside my side of the bed. Last time she did this I wondered whether there was another rodent lurking about. There was. This morning I wondered the same thing. I have not seen anything yet, but I believe there is one in my room. She was really staring and poking around, and I heard movement. Mike came in and emptied my very large garbage can, which was overflowing with kleenex, thanks to this wonderful bug I have, and I said to him, "If you accidentally grab a mouse, will you freak out and drop it?" He said he might drop it, but he wouldn't freak out or yell or anything. I said, "So you won't scream like a little girl? Because that would be very funny. In fact, it would be good blogging material." He assured me he would not scream like a little girl. A minute later he jumped, bumping into me with the garbage can, and let out a little yell. I screamed like a little girl. And he laughed like a bratty boy. Some things never change.

And now Lauren is awake, so I must tend to her. She had me up in the night, which is unusual for her. It didn't much matter, seeing I wasn't sleeping anyway, but I hope she is not getting what I have. I'm off for now.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A few updates and a little news.

Posts in here continue to be infrequent. I am down again with another round of sickness, though I'm not sure what I'm dealing with this time. Influenza again? I don't know. My throat is so sore I can barely speak or swallow and I have had bad headaches and a low fever on and off. But I didn't come in here to post about sickness.

Actually, I don't even know what I intended to post about. That's how focused my brain is these days. There haven't been any crazy rodent incidents recently. Our water situation is resolved, or at least temporarily resolved. Even the boys have been less wild than I normally experience. I'm guessing this is due to having Mike home, despite him often running errands or working in the basement. Micah, who is now three and a half, has become obsessed with the boys' roller blades and has been wearing them every day for the last few days. I suppose the influence of his older brothers playing hockey is finally kicking in. He can't skate worth beans, but now he has decided it is fun. It's cute watching him spaz out on the skates, though I have a mild freakout every time he approaches the stairs. Jamie is also still into the rollerblades, but he is much, much faster. But you know, rollerblading boys are something I can handle. I don't even mind it, though I wish our space was a little bigger so they had more room to go.

Has my life as a stay-at-home mom become boring? Hahaha. No. I don't think that could ever happen. But just in case, I signed up to be a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant. Some of you who have known me for many years may be shocked by that. I have never been one to wear a ton of makeup. More often than not, I don't wear any at all. But I just love Mary Kay products and I am excited to give this a try. Maybe, just maybe I could contribute financially around here, even if it's just a little bit. I'm sure it wouldn't hurt me to get out of the house now and then too. I was putting on makeup the other day and Jamie (now five) and Micah just stood there staring like it was the most fascinating thing they had ever seen. Jamie said to me, "Mom, why are you drawing on your face?" It will be interesting to see whether face drawing becomes a trend around here. Nothing would surprise me in this house. Jamie has asked me before about makeup. "Mom, what is that stuff?" Me: "It's called makeup. It's just for girls." Jamie: "What's it for?" Me: "It's to make Mommy look less tired." Yep. That's what it has come down to.

My other exciting news? I have ordered new cloth diapers. I know, I know. You can barely contain your jealousy, while at the same time feeling incredibly happy for me. Oh wait, maybe most people don't consider cloth diapers exciting. Well, the old ones are getting a bit shabby. Actually, they are starting to leak, and that's not really what I'm looking for in a diaper. I was hovering on the brink of just giving up and doing disposables full time, but Mike convinced me we should invest some money in some more good diapers and keep on keeping on. So I got to order girly colours. The only downside is that I want our water tested before I start using them. No sense in ruining them if our water has issues. I want to test it and then install some kind of filtration system that will take out the minerals and also make our water drinkable. I will keep you posted on that situation.

And just briefly, I'll mention that our furnace is now in its proper place and connected to our duct work. Warm air is coming through the vents and we are another step closer to having a normal house. Yay! I'm hoping for more excitement this coming week. Or not. It's a toss-up.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

And We're Up and Running!

I am back after a month long break from blogging. Since we moved back into our house in mid-November, we have not had internet except through our phones. I am not very patient with what I call "one-thumb-typing", so I have not done much emailing or any blogging, or anything else requiring extensive typing. But yesterday, we got our internet tower back up so here I am! This post will just be a quick update on where we are at.

Our house is still a work-in-progress, and will be for quite some time. That's okay. Some important changes have been made so it no longer has that dangerous feel that it had when we moved in. The furnace is still at the bottom of the stairs, but is no longer leaning on them. Maybe I updated that one already. I can't remember. Either way, the furnace is almost ready to be moved into its proper place because the duct work is almost in. Well, the first half, anyway. The return air has not been started yet, but that's okay. It's on the list.

Instead of boring you with the list, let me just tell you the big news. (No, I am not pregnant again! Phew!) Mike is taking some parental leave from work, so he is home with me for the next several weeks. He will use this time to enjoy Lauren while she is little, and the boys too, and also to continue moving forward with the basement stuff. I'm hoping this will be just what I need to get through the worst months of the year without the usual extreme difficulties. Just having Mike here means I have back-up at most times. Suddenly, medical appointments are not as complicated because I don't have to drag every child along. Driving Jamie to school is much easier because one of us can take him and the other kids do not need to get bundled and stuffed in the van...etc. So I am very thankful for this time.

Other than that, life is somewhat normal. Not completely, because we have a bit of a house-related dilemma going on right now. Two days ago, Mike "shocked the well". We have not had a well before, (a sand point is different), so this is new for both of us. Basically, our water was starting to smell like sulphur, or rotten eggs, if you prefer. Showering was...ironic. So Mike read that bacteria in the well can cause that smell. He went ahead and dumped bleach into the well to kill the bacteria. That's how you shock a well, apparently. (Actually, there are better instructions than that, but this is what he did.) What he did not anticipate was how much that would affect the water in the house. Bleach. The smell of chlorine. Sounds like a good thing, right? To me, it is. I love the smell of swimming pools. So clean and fresh. Not long after he shocked the well, Mike told me he just had a "swimming pool shower". I thought that sounded rather pleasant, and he said it was. But that was just the beginning.

Next thing, the boys were shouting that the water in the bathroom was orange. Huh? I checked it out, and guess what? They were right. The water was coming out rusty-coloured, and the bleach smell was over-powering. It was not the pleasant pool smell. It was much stronger and more bitter. So, I did what anyone would do when their water came out that colour. I turned the tap on full blast, thinking it would clear up. Nope. In fact, for the rest of that entire day, our water was rusty and stinky. Hm. Funny how when the water is having an issue it brings the whole day to a screeching halt. Suddenly I couldn't do laundry or dishes. The boys had hockey that night, and they went, but we couldn't bath them afterwards. Yuck! I had no clean pyjamas for Micah, so he had to wear sweats to bed. I still have not done their laundry. That's right, this is an ongoing dilemma, and that was on Tuesday. It is now Thursday, and I have not yet checked to see what is happening today. It has improved for sure, but whether I am able to risk doing laundry or not (not to mention showering!), I don't know.

So today, my goal is to catch up with my laundry and other cleaning, if at all possible. If not, I might have to go borrow somebody else's laundry machines! Now that we're back online, I will try to post much more often. We have had three dead rodents since the last post, and other fun times, so I'm sure there will be no shortage of material. For now, I'm off to check out the water situation!