Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Very Random Recap of Our Christmas

I could NOT get into the holiday spirit this year.  I don't know what it was (truly, I don't), but I was dragging my feet all the way to Christmas Day.  One evidence of this: I have a stack of Christmas cards that didn't get given out.  And that doesn't even bother me!

In my brain, I love the idea of creating some Christmas traditions for our family.  Things like have a Decorate-the-Tree evening, where we make hot chocolate or some other tasty drink and eat tasty Christmas snacks and decorate the Christmas tree together.  That didn't happen this year, since we didn't do a tree at all.  

I had really really wanted to do a tree this year.  People are surprised when I admit that we have never had a Christmas tree in our family since we've been married.  Various reasons for this include being pregnant, just moving, being out of town, not wanting to police the tree from little fingers.  But I thought that I could handle the policing this year, and that the girls would enjoy putting on some decorations.

But it just never worked out, so there you go.  The only Christmas decoration I had up was the centrepiece I made at the ladies' night out.  Which was a nice one, but looked oh so lonely.

Another Christmas flop for us was Christmas Day meals.  We had planned to make a Scrambler for breakfast, and individual pizzas for supper.  Well, guess what we found in our fridge Christmas morning?  No cheese.  Oh sorry, two teeny tiny pieces of cheese.  Not enough for anything.  So off scurries Mark to 7-11 to pay $9 for 400g of cheese.  I may or may not have peed myself hearing the price.

But it wasn't all bad.  This year for opening our presents, I borrowed an idea I read over at Living Life Intentionally.  The idea was to let the kids open and play with presents as they went, if they wanted to.  I liked that idea, since it might let the kids appreciate their toys and not get a more-more-MORE mentality as they hopped from present to present.

So we tried this and it seemed to go so well.  We stopped and put together toys (and wow, do some toys have about a million parts.  With no instructions).  And we played.  It took us much longer to get finally done, but at the end, it felt good to me.  It felt like how I have hoped Christmas Day would feel.  Relaxed and together.  

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Week Overdue, But You'll Forgive Me

Last Friday, the ninth, we had a ladies overnight retreat thing.  I just wanted to express my gratitude for having great ladies in my life.  It was a wonderful time of fellowship.  We made some Christmas centrepieces, which all turned out looking great, if not all Martha Stewart worthy (mine definitely not).  We ate food, including chocolate fondue fruit, and heard an amazing testimony, and shared in prayer.

God is so good to give you what you need, when you need it.  This overnight was just the thing to refresh me, especially when I didn't fully realize my need for being refreshed.

I don't know if I can name a particular favourite incident, it was all so great.  I think that most of all I just enjoyed the friendly chatting.  Just talking and laughing together.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Interview With a Very Tired Mama

It's been awhile since I posted that I want to post while I have time right now, but my brain is also a giant piece of mush since I stayed up waaaaaaaaay past my bedtime last night at our ladies' sleepover (GREAT time by the way, but I'll talk about that tomorrow, or the day after, or sometime).   So instead I will fill in this little survey thingy that I got from Chronicler, over at Annals of a Christian Single.  Enjoy, and I hope I make sense!

1.  What's the nerdiest and/or weirdest thing about you? 
I like, ok LOVE, doing simple, mundane things, like filing or picking all the white stringy stuff off oranges or hand stitching

2. If you could live in a fictional universe from any book, movie,  or television show, what would it be?

3. Little or big, practical or frivolous, what are a few of your favorite items in your house?
I love my Kitchen Aid mixer, and my Bread maker (unsure of brand, too lazy to get up and look) and my pasta maker and pretty much all my kitchen stuff

4. Do you like animated movies? If so, what is your favorite?  
I do like animated movies, and my favourites rotate a little bit all the time.  Wall-E is a great one, and some recent ones that I loved were MegaMind and Despicable Me.

5. What is your least favorite household chore?P
Putting away laundry.  I really like laundry, except for this.

6. What's your favorite thing to get at Starbucks 
(or favorite coffee shop)?
Java Chip Frappucino.  I think I order it just to eat the chocolate chips

7. What is your favorite pizza topping?
Ham and Cheese.  Plain, simple and oh so delicious when homemade

8. Waffles or pancakes?

9. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Honestly, I never had a single clue.  I used to hate this question in CAPP.

10. Do you prefer cooking or baking?
I think I prefer cooking, just because it's a little more practical.  Baking is an optional extra, so I never get around to it.  
11. What would be your dream job?
If I didn't have children and any other kind of responsibility and calling, probably accounting.  I love numbers.  

12. Do you make your bed every morning?
I try to.  Not right away, but it is one of the first things I do once I "get started."

13. Picasso or Norman Rockwell?
Norman Rockwell

14. Do you like carpet, tile, or hardwood floors? 
Carpet.  I am in love with carpet.  It's so nice and soft and cushy and soft.  Of course I live in a house with mostly hardwood.

15. What is your least favorite thing about yourself??
Other than the extra 40lbs I'm carrying, my freckles.

16. Last movie you watched??
I started but didn't finish Mrs. Winterbourne

17. Computer or Television??

18. Favorite Sound?
My kids breathing (snoring) while sleeping

19. If you could have a $5000 shopping spree to one store, which store would it be? 
Some home organizing kind of store, like Bed Bath and Beyond.  

20. If you could be any Jane Austen fictional character who would you choose (or if you would prefer any fictional character)? 
Elizabeth Bennet or Anne Elliot.

So there you go.  A quick little survey to entertain you until my brain function returns to normal (or something like that).  Copy this to your blog and redo it if you like, or don't.  It's no skin off my back if you do or don't and if you don't, you won't be plagued with any curses.  Bonus.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

After This I am Starting a Pin-aholics Annonymous

Remember how the other day I wrote about distractions?  And I may have bragged that the computer wasn't a huge distraction for me because I had my iPhone?  (Maybe it didn't come off as bragging, but I will confess, I was proud in my heart!) Well that is no longer true.  Because I have discovered Pinterest.

Follow Me on Pinterest

When I first heard about Pinterest, I scoffed.  I thought, what a waste of time.  I'm not a big one for any kind of decorating, interior or exterior or any kind of terior.  I thought that there was no point for me to even look at it. Just another thing that I don't get, like Twitter.  (I do have a Twitter account, I just am still so confused by it. Somebody help me!)

Well, I finally signed up for Pinterest, and last week I started 'pinning'.  I haven't stopped.

No seriously, I am like non-stop.  I search the internet for things just so I can pin it.  I have over a hundred pins already, and something like 20 boards.  I think I may be addicted.  I have a ton of Christmas ideas for food and decorations and wrapping.  I have ideas for aprons to make, for skirts to make, for a ton of yummy looking desserts.  I even have a board dedicated to things I will never in my life use.

The darn thing just appeals to the organization freak in me.  Secret:  When I worked in an office, I loved sorting things to be filed.  This is like that.  I sort things to be filed on my boards.

I am trying to put a follow me button on my sidebar so you can all see the wonderfulness of my boards, but it hasn't been working so far.  But that button at the top of the post does work so you can just click that one.  Because I'm just so kind, I want everyone to be addicted to pinning just like me!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

How an Auction Gone Crazy (For Me) Leads to an Embarrassing Moment

Last week the preschool my daughter attends held a charity auction.  All the parents donated a couple items, and some businesses from around town donated as well.  I went there not expecting to purchase anything, maybe a toy or two if there were any that I might want as gifts.  I left there $84 poorer.

I am almost ashamed to put that number down.  I was shocked when it all tallied up.  See, I hadn't kept track as I bid and won item after item.  I got a few good deals, like an electric breast pump (no, not pregnant, just for the future) and a haircut for $20.  The only thing I truly regret is the gift certificate for our bakery.  It is a $20 value and I paid...$20.  At least I didn't lose money.  But in my defense, I though I was bidding $17.50.  I think the auctioneer was cheating.  Ok, not.  There were just a lot of "paddles" in the air.

So I was surprised when I looked at the back of the business card for the hair salon, that it had an appointment time for the next week penciled in.  I though 'Perfect.  I don't even have to make one.'  So today I trucked my kids over to my friend's house and then headed over to the salon.

On the way, I'm pep talking myself about being confident.  Talking confidently with the hair dresser, and saying what I want without it sounding like I'm a little mouse hiding in a corner.  Confidence, confidence, confidence.  And as I'm driving I have a vague thought, like "what if that appointment was actually someone else's and they lost the card, or something like that."  But I proceed anyways because better to find out than just run away, just in case.

I get there, and someone else is arriving at the same time as me.  That is a slight blip to my confidence, since I can be so intimidated by people.  We are walking up at the same time, when I see the closed sign in the window.

Blip number two.  I stop, and then ask if that sign is for the salon.  The other lady, who I actually recognized as another mom from the preschool but I don't know her at all so can't even claim acquaintanceship, said that she must have forgotten to flip it.

Blip number three comes once we're inside.  The hair stylist is still working on someone's hair.  She says to the woman who came in with me, "you must be my 2:15."  To which she replies yes.  At this point  I feel like melting into the floor, because I quickly realized that we can't both be the 2:15 appointment.

As it turned out, the preschool mom was one who helped out at the auction and she had stapled the business card to the gift certificate, but had accidentally stapled the one with her appointment time on it.  Oops.  So now I have my very own appointment for the coming Monday at 6.

I hate these kind of instances.  And I really shouldn't, because it isn't that big of a deal.  To me it feels like everyone must be thinking of how stupid I am, for assuming it was my appointment.  I should have called.  And yes, I totally should have called.  In fact, I actually thought of calling just to confirm.  But I didn't.  The reason?  Because I'm scared of talking to people.  I just feel awkward.  But a little awkwardness on the phone would have been a lot less awkward than standing there with three other people listening in.

So the moral today is to pick up the phone and just call the people already!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Yes, This Post Counts as a Distraction

There are so many distractions in this world, it's enough to drive me to distraction.  Wow, that was lamer written out than in my head!  Haha.  But seriously, that is all I am about today, distraction.  Maybe I am just more susceptible to distraction than every other person out there, but it just seems hard to get away from.

There's my iPhone.  Wonderful thing that it is.  It's handy for phoning and texting.  Also handy for Facebook and Solitaire and Civilization and stupid, mindless games that have no point but I play anyways.  That's the problem, it's handy.  I can take it all over the house with me.  I can stop for a quick sit down in the kitchen and bam, spend half an hour moving cards around.  Wow.

There's books.  Some people, like my hubs, aren't readers and so they don't have trouble resisting the temptation to open a book and read and read and read.  I am kind of jealous of them.  Because I am a reader, and I sure have a hard time resisting that temptation.  In fact, I usually don't resist, I just give in and read and read and read and, well you get the picture.  I remember when I was a teenager and I shared a room with my sister, and I would read in our hallway by the light of the bathroom light so she could get some sleep.

There's the computer.  Since I have my iPhone, this isn't quite as big a distraction, but it definitely can be.  I can check my e-mail and then zoom around, maybe shopping, maybe just window shopping (yep, definitely window) and sometimes the stuff I'm looking at is 'good' stuff, stuff that I might need to know or use eventually, but really, I should be doing something else at that moment.

But, here's some points for me.  The TV isn't really a distraction for me!  Hurray!  We don't have any kind of cable or satellite so that's mostly the reason for that.  If we did have some kind of channels, I know that I would watch "just one show" and end up watching four.  I'm just that person.  

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Getting Snowhere

Here is my front yard.

And just so you know, at the bottom is my weed patch, I mean vegetable garden

I like the look of snow.  Winter is here now.  I wouldn't mind winter if it weren't for the having-to-bundle-up factor.  Snow is so pretty, and can be fun.  It's the before and after math that isn't fun, namely wet boots, mitts, coats, pants, etc, etc.

Snow and winter mean changes.  Simple changes like not wearing flip-flops (so sad!!!!) and start wearing a warmer jacket, and bigger changes, like putting cellophane around all the windows in your house to eliminate drafts (speaking of which...).  Another change is that I pretty much have stopped walking with the girls to Abby's preschool, and drive the ONE SINGLE block there.  I admit, I do feel ridiculous.

But my strollers wheels are not made for this!  I really need to think about these things more before I buy something I suppose.  Anyways.  It's just nicer to drive, though it takes almost as much time when you factor in the time it takes to do up and undo car seat buckles.  Though if we don't warm up the truck, then I don't really think it's that worth it since it is just as cold.

One big bump that has come as a result of the snow is that dear Abby (hahaha) refuses to wear her snowpants.  When this snow first came, last Thursday, she was excited to go outside and build a snowman (which would have been pretty impossible since it is not sticky-together snow, just fluff).  I got the snowpants on, but right after that it was like something clicked in her brain and she whipped those things off as fast as she could go.

She practically spits on you if you mention them.  This could be a loooooooooong winter.  I could deal with her never playing in the snow, fine.  But her class goes outside two out of three days!  I can send the pants with her, but I don't know if she would put them on, even for someone who wasn't Mama.  I guess we'll find out.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The After-Party

So I'm finally doing a recap of my adventure into hosting a surprise party, almost a week later.  Ah well, I'm sure that you guys will all forgive me, since I just know that you were waiting at your computers for my post to publish.  Hahahaha.  I can dream ;-)

Well, he was actually surprised.  And the fact that he didn't know there was a party for him until he walked in the door surprised me.  And this was despite the fact that he walked in 45 minutes before the party started to pick something up!  He still didn't know.  Gotta love a man's brain, so focused on one thing he missed realizing what was going on before his eyes.

So, one thing I learned, or rather realized anew, was my horrible lack of judgment regarding, well anything like estimating the amount of food needed.  We had TONS of leftovers.  And I mean TONS.  Granted, though, that there were a few couples who didn't make it, so if they would have come, we would have had slightly less than a ton.  And I had way too much punch.  Almost everyone had coffee or tea.  So instead of a punch bowl, I really needed a second coffee machine.

Seating.  I didn't truly think of seating until the day before.  But since we had a few less people than planned, I actually had enough chairs without having to borrow.  (Though my dear friend did bring some over just in case, without even asking! Yay for friends!)

I think that everyone had a good time.  This is what they have told me, and they've always been honest with me (as far as I know...) so I believe them.  I worry that I could have done more, like party games or something!  Do something hostess like.  I can make food, and place it in a convenient place for people to reach it, but I am such a social dud (it seems to me) that I don't want them to be bored.  'We ate food, now what?'

But that's me just over-analyzing.  I love our friends and I know they love me and my family.  And that was what the party was about, showing my hubs that we love him.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Happy Birthday to my Hubby!

Today is my hubby's 30th birthday.  Hurray!! Happy Birthday Hun!  (I just said that for the sake of saying it publicly.  He doesn't read my blog.)

I have a desire to make birthdays in our family a special time, maybe starting some traditions that carry on through the years, but I have yet to reach anything close to my ideal picture.  Last year definitely didn't turn out like I thought it would, as I shared with you.  But this year I have a plan.  This year I am throwing a surprise dessert party.  With people invited.

Yes, I have chosen to host my first, more-than-just-best-friends party this Saturday.  And a surprise to boot.  I'm nothing if not ambitious (actually I am quite a few things more than ambitious, but I won't get into that now!).

Since the party is Saturday night, I am not doing anything huge today.  I am making a cake for him to have, and supper will be...well actually supper isn't super special since we didn't get our pay-cheque until yesterday so I haven't been able to replenish our meat supply.  But the cake he requested is a Lemon Chiffon cake.  I have never made one before.  Things that I haven't made before sometimes go very, very wrong.  So I'm crossing my fingers and praying that it turns out.

I have been busy cleaning the house and baking all the desserts this week.  I had a nice plan where I would make one dessert a day this week, but that flopped since yesterday I had a really bad headache, so I didn't get any baking, or any cleaning at all done.  So now I'm bunching up a little the last couple days.

I am a little nervous about having all these people in my house.  We've had Biblestudies here, but this is different.  The only purpose is to come socialize and eat our food.  I don't want everyone to be bored!  I don't want them to hate my food!  What if there are large amounts of awkward silence?!  Oh goodness.  I think I'm just going to not think about it.

I love the idea of hospitality, but am definitely a little more socially awkward than not.  So this is a big leap for me.  But Mark loves being social.  So I knew that he would so appreciate having all his friends with him.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I Want a Pill for Myself

I have deep suspicions that today, my children swallowed a drive-Mama-crazy-any-way-we-can pill.  I can find no other idea for the outrageous behavior we have experienced today.  They went to bed on time (and slept soon after), they are fed, clothed, not sick...well a little snotty...and ok, Leigh is cutting her molars, but she wasn't the bad one.  That title goes to Abby.

The day started ok enough, but after a couple hours some screaming and fits started, I can't remember over what now.  So I put Abby into her time-out chair in the corner.  This is my latest attempt of correction.  She hates being there.  I usually give her just a minute, upping it if she gets off or is too rowdy.  I usually let her scream and fuss, I just go on with whatever I'm doing, ignoring her.  And boy, does she HATE that.

So today I put her there, and she did ok, just some screaming.  But later she got a second (and third and possibly fourth) time-out, and she spit on the ground.  SPIT!  And when I was dragging  walking her to the corner she bit me!

She has been biting a lot lately actually, when I am forced to restrain her to get something done, like get her jacket on so we can leave wherever we are.  So it's not too surprising, but still upsetting.  And I will admit to those that don't know, I have a bit of a temper, so when she chomps down it is so very hard for me to remain calm.

I just wish I knew that what I am doing is working.  Am I getting through to her?  I don't know!  I tell my hubs that she is a child, it just takes lots and lots of time and repetition.  But I think I need to have a wife myself to talk to me...ok, maybe not.

Oh, I just looked at the time and I need to go make some mashed potatoes for supper (again, we just had them last night but hubby wants them because he wants gravy again tonight.  Oh the things I do!).

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I Might Be Wiping Away Tears Just Thinking of Them

This past weekend we went to Edmonton, Alberta (Canada) to see some family.  Well, actually, I guess you could say we went to see a football game, and the family just all happened to go to the same game...I'm confusing even myself now.  Our family doesn't live there, they too had to travel to come watch the game; they just didn't have quite as far to go as we did.  Their drive is about 5-6 hours, our was 9 1/2 (ish).

Trips with kids, as anyone with children can tell you, are definitely two sided.  There's great fun times, having the kids experience new things, such as a huge waterpark, and there's the horrible stressful times, such as when the mother (you) breaks down while in the hotel parking lot and exits the car to sit on the curb while others drive by.  Not that that happened at all.  Or maybe it did.

We only went for three days.  No, that's not quite right.  We had three days total on the trip, which means we spent two days travelling, and one actual day in the city.  So that is the first thing I would have changed about this trip if I could have.  At least, at LEAST, one more day.  One more day would have allowed more relaxing visiting, as well as some shopping.  Because I have a shocker, I went to the world's largest mall, and didn't shop.  All I bought were some swimming shorts since I forgot mine at home and some cheap food court Chinese food for lunch.  So exciting!

The kids LOVED the water park, like I knew they would.  They didn't stop laughing while we were in the wave pool as they got blasted by wave after wave.  And they liked the little (crowded) kiddie pool with mini-slides.  The bummer was that the kids' playground complete with slightly bigger-kid-friendly slides was closed for construction.  So that was why the only remaining kiddie pool was crowded.

After a couple hours playing in the water, we went back to the hotel and everyone except for me, the kids, my mom and my sis-in-law went to the go-carts/batting cages.  I was so tired, partly from lack of sleep in a strange bed and partly from swimming, that I just wanted to relax before we had to leave for the football game.  It was nice to get time to visit in a little more intimate setting, not with a gaggle of people around, everyone trying to talk to everyone at once.

The hard part was the leaving.  Since we had a longer drive, we wanted to be gone by around 9.  We got away by 9:30, and that still felt too early.  Every time that we either go up to visit, or someone comes down here to visit, the goodbyes get me.

I love where I live now.  It just feels right.  I don't miss the city that I used to live, but I DO long for the people still there.  Our family and friends.  I wish that while I was there, living minutes away from them, that we had taken time to see them more, do more, visit more, ANYTHING more.  Because now it's not like I can just call them to come over for coffee, ha!  And sometimes e-mailing, or talking on the phone or skyping just isn't the same.  (I have to admit that skyping slightly weirds me out.  Maybe I'm too old-fashioned...)  But it's still something and I'm glad we have it.  And I'm glad for cars, that make it so we can travel that distance without too much effort.

So here's to my family and friends.  I LOVE and MISS you all so much!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Oh My Aching Back

That sums me up right now.  My back feels like it is trying to kill me.  I have been on my feet all day, or most of it.  And I have a cold, so that makes all the standing-on-my-feet even more miserable.  Wah, wah, wah.  Poor me.

Okay, so enough whining.  I did spend a lot of today standing in the kitchen, but I got most of what I wanted to do, done (sort of).  I have been given a box of plums, so I wanted to make jam with them today.  My first time ever.  Last year I canned peaches and pears, so I'm branching out further this year.  So far I have done cherries and peaches, though those stories have little success.

All but 2 of my cherry jars failed to seal properly and therefore spoiled (I had 12).  And I only had 3 jars of peaches, and one of them broke while in the water bath.  So now I only have 2.  (In case you can't do basic math...)

Wow, is making jam a lot of work, or else I'm just doing it wrong!  Hahaha, no.  I actually like it, just once I was started I couldn't really stop, though I wanted to.  And the girls sometimes wanted to.  Over all they were good today.  I brought out our Mega Bloks (I think that's what they are, giant duplo) and they played with that for awhile since we haven't had them out for months now.  But eventually they got a little whiny.  So I popped on a show.  (The Great Muppet Caper for the millionth time.)

So I made one batch of jam, which gave me 8 1/2 250mL jars.  And used only 1/4 (if that) of my box.  Now I have a dilemma.  I still have a ton of plums!  So I might have to repeat the process again this weekend.  Though I will need to buy more jars and more pectin.  But I think to myself, why do I need more than 8 jars of jam? We don't eat a ton of it, just a few sandwiches for Leigh and the odd day of toast for the girls and my hubs.  But I think I will try to give some to my family and friends.  Then they can all praise my skills.  Yes, I give so I can receive praise.  I'm nothing if not humble...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Friday Edition

So I wasn't going to post since I already posted a picture today, but I figured I should at least try to stick to my word.  Since I said Friday was "Weigh-in" day, I should really give the update on Fridays.  Instead of just not.  And yes, it is Saturday already in most of the world.  But I still have 20 minutes here...though maybe by the time I hit publish it will be tomorrow.  Oh well, can't help that now.

I have done horrible, and I mean HORRIBLE, with my eating this last week.  It's so bad, I have to say it again.  HORRIBLE!  And it's such a disappointment after how well I was doing.  So the damage is, I'm 164, and that was yesterday.  I've been doing so bad, I didn't bother weighing myself today.  I don't like to bring on depression purposely.

And I had planned on being 'good' today, but nah.  There were tortilla chips in the house.  And I don't remember if I've said it before, but salty foods are just my thing.  My hubby is amazed at the amount of crackers I can eat, all by myself.  When I think about it, I myself am actually amazed too.  So I have just stopped buying them.  Or actually I buy the unsalted saltines.  No good at all.  So now I don't eat them.  Unless I'm desperate...which happened this week.

So there it is.  

Friday, September 30, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Reason I Don't Add Up is I'm Using the Wrong Equation

I have a confession that will shock the world.  Ready?

I am NOT Super-Wife/Mom/Woman. 

Ok, maybe not so shocking.  And I can already hear all you moms saying, 'Me neither!'  And you probably all believe that.  You would say that you are just living as best you can, and you make mistakes the same as everyone.  But, I have to say, please don't take offense, I just don't believe you.  I believe that every other mom out there (with the exception of the truly crazy ones) is light-years ahead of me.

I read blog after blog of these moms who cook these great meals.  Not gourmet all the time, but healthy and nutritious and tasty.  They keep the house in at least a decent working order.  They can shelves and shelves of fruit and vegetables, grown in their own backyard.  They do this, and they do that.  Then I look at myself and I seem to be sorely lacking. 

Yet if there is any specific theme to all the stuff God has been speaking to me these past months, it is that everyone's walk with God is unique to them.  And His timing in our lives is different too.  We don't all have these cookie-cutter lives, where they all look the same.  Even if we are all listening to His voice, our decisions may still look different.  Homeschooling, church-going, working or staying at home, family size, head covering, children raising, house buying, so many decisions in life.  And everyone makes different ones.

And while there are a few decisions that only have one right answer, most of them don't.  Two different decisions can both still be correct.  This I have to keep telling and reminding myself.  My life doesn't have to look like Jane Doe's and neither does Jane Doe's life have to look like mine.

So that's it for tonight.  Now I'm off to can some peaches for my husband.  (Though I'm still hoping that some magic Canning Fairy will drop through my roof and do it for me.)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Permanent Sister Sleepovers Beginning Soon

My project today has been to move Leigh over to Abby's room.  I haven't finished yet since Leigh needed her afternoon nap, so I just left her in the old room.  But after the nap, I'm thinking it's time. 

We've discussed moving the girls into the same room for a few months now.  It was never a question of IF we should, it was just WHEN we should.  As soon as we have another baby and that baby needed the crib, Leigh would be moved over to Abby's room to share with her.  But we decided to move her now, while still in the crib.  Really, just for fun?  I don't know if I have any huge, good reasons for moving earlier.

Maybe with all the toys in the one room, I will only have that one room to tidy? (HA fat chance!)  Maybe they will adapt to being in the same room, so that once Leigh moves out of the crib they will be fine to sleep together, since Abby has a double bed and we are planning on making them share it.  So mean, yes we are!  (I say that as I'm thinking of their arguments once they're older.)

Or the reason I'm doing this is that I am stuck at home all day, every day, and I need some variety in my life so I get my kicks by rearranging the furniture!  Yes, I think that's it! 

I am on a rearranging kick, actually.  We moved the TV back OUT of our room now and back into the living room, and I am so so so so so happy for it to be gone.  My room is again a safe haven for me and my hubs.  Yes, the kids still invade it (that probably won't change until they're grown) but there is no more Dora or Diego or Gerbert or any other animated/puppet-like characters in there.  I can sleep in peace.

So my room is being rearranged, we rearranged the living room to fit the TV in again, and now it's the kids' rooms.  And it is such a refreshing feeling.  But back to the girls.

So what are everyone's views on room sharing?  Is it cruel and unusual punishment to make your children share a room?  And even a bed, once it comes to that?   

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What Goes on in the House When Daddy is Away

My hubby is away overnight for work, so the kids and I are on our own.  It's funny, he works long hours in the summer, usually leaving before the kids, and a lot of the time I, are awake, and not returning home until close to 7, which is only a half an hour before it's time to start getting ready for bed.  Yet even though he's only here for those hours in the evening, it still feels different, even during the day, when he is out of town.

It must be the knowledge that he isn't coming home.  It sort of feels like when the boss is out of town.  You know, you can relax a little, not be so work driven, maybe chat with the office ladies a little longer.  For me, it means I don't have to stress over what I am cooking for supper.

Mark eats a fair amount for supper, since he works such a physically hard job.  And on top of that, he likes to take leftovers for his lunches.  This means that I have to make enough food for all of us for supper and at least one more meal for him (bonus if there's enough for me too) and I should try to make the food something that he enjoys.    But we differ in our tastes quite a bit.  My favourite foods are not his, and vice versa. 

I can be very emotionally sensitive sometimes (okay, maybe all the time) (okay and maybe it's more like over-sensitive).  If I make something that he doesn't LOVE and RAVE over, I feel a little bit of a punch to the gut.  Don't get me wrong, he is very appreciative of almost everything I make, whether it's a favourite or not (the only time he is unappreciative is when it's a complete disaster, like Pan-Fried Mustard Glazed Salmon, that both looks and tastes like cat poop).  So because I live to please him (hahahahaha, well I try) I want to make foods that he enjoys.  But man, do I hate planning meals.  I think it is worse than the actual cooking.

So for this reason I try to plan our meals out weeks in advance.  I usually have a four week calendar on the go.  And in it I try to balance out the meals between the ones he likes and the ones I like.  So it is very convienent for me when he goes away because I can make whatever I want and there is no gut-punching regret!  Or, I can eat leftovers for the third time that day.  (he doesn't like to eat the same thing for supper that he ate at lunch.)

Today, for example, I cooked a salmon for supper.  He likes salmon, but he likes it done a little fancier than me, with some kind of lemony-dilly-ish like sauce.  I eat mine with all the goodness of melted butter.  Mmmmmmmmmm.  So I got to cook it plain, and eat it like that.  My kids also get a kind of supper break when Daddy isn't home, since I don't really enforce our dinner table eating time.  They can have what they want, whenever they want it.  Today they wanted toast at 4, and then bread for supper later.  Yes, they ate mainly bread.  Leigh did eat a few potatoes.  Mom of the Year award over here please!

Tomorrow I will be back as a slave to quality(ish) food.  Hubs is coming home, and my in-laws are coming also, so I will really be putting out my best efforts...or just regular ones!  But I have had my salmon, and I'll have it for lunch tomorrow too!  (And maybe breakfast)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Great Combo Post - Only 99¢

I have missed the last two Friday Weigh-In posts.  Just because I'm too lazy to do anything.  Not because I am giving up dieting or that I have binged so bad that I have gained 20 more pounds.  Actually, I am doing quite well and I am so very pleased with myself.  I have lost 10, count 'em 10, pounds since I started as of today!!!  That is a huge victory in my opinion.  There was a part of me that didn't think it was such a huge deal at first since this is actually 10 pounds that I have put on on top of what could be called pregnancy weight.  I have no little children to blame on this.

But that doesn't make it less important of celebration-dance worthy!  Now I am 163lb, and about 40 inches in the waist.  But I'm not confident on my waist measuring skills.  I know it should be easy, but I get different readings almost everytime.  Obviously I made the right choice in not becoming a tailor.

Abby started preschool this week.  She was supposed to start on Friday, but she woke up with a bad chest congestion.  On the first day of school!  Sick days aren't supposed to happen until at least October.  So I was slightly panicky because I wasn't sure how I was supposed to get ahold of the support worker.  But it all worked out, obviously.  I worry for nothing.  And I sent her on Monday, even though she was still a little stuffy.

She had a great time, from everything I can gather.  She isn't the easiest to understand, right, but she wasn't upset when I picked her up so that was a good indication.  And another miracle, was that she didn't throw a fit when we left!  She just let me put her shoes on, grabbed her backpack, and headed out the door with me.  I was amazed, and SO thankful.  That was my biggest worry, that she would have a huge tantrum because she didn't want to leave.

I am so glad that it all worked out.  Oh and something else that made me happy was that, totally by accident, I stumbled across a site of a Christian home schooling group that is in a nearby city.  They do enrolling or registering, and even if I enroll I still can pick our own curriculum, at least for the first 9 grades.  I just feel like it was God leading me because I never found anything about them before or even heard about them here.  But I think that they are what I was looking for.  There is a home group here in town, but they aren't Christian based.  Not necessarily a big issue, but if I had to choose, it's always nice to have people who are on the same page as I am.

So this is my sort of catch-up topics that I've thought about for the last week.  All in one convienent place.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Start of September

Where on earth did July and August go?  I sure would like to know.  One minute they were here, and now, POOF!  They're gone.  Suddenly September is upon me with all this new school/speech stuff.  And then swimming lessons and Awanas and who knows what else.

Today was preschool orientation.  We got to go for one hour and let the kids play while us adults learned what all our duties would be on our duty day at the school.  Well, obviously we won't be having any separation anxiety issues about leaving Abby there.  She was gone from me first thing, straight to the rice table.  (Boy am I glad we don't have one of those at home.  Sweeping rice would get really old really fast.)

I am so very glad that she liked it there.  She even told the teacher her name when asked!  Score!  I was a little worried that her shy side would win out.  But that didn't come until we had a meeting with the speech pathologists and the support worker she will have with her.

It was just a sort of meet and greet meeting, since I hadn't met the worker yet.  And I am so SO thankful to my Lord that He obviously worked His ways because I felt good, almost great, after the meeting.  I didn't feel antagonistic or defensive with the one speech worker, and actually felt like we were working as a team for my girl.  Hurrah.

So Abby's first official day is Friday.  This day I will pack a snack in her new Barbie lunch box (that is not a metal one but I suppose I can survive) and put it in her not-new backpack and send her off into the world for 3 hours without me.  I think I might start having an anxiety attack now. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Who Wants To Know What Erica Thinks Late at Night

It is late.  Yes it is.  This is not an unusual fact since this time of day (or night) comes every 24 hours.  Yes, brilliant conversation I know.  But what is not so usual is that I am not asleep.  I usually shut my lights out by 11.  Ideally this would be 10 but lets face it, I almost never reach my ideals.

Case in point, ideally I should be sleeping.  I am not.  So obviously I need to work on hitting my goals more often.  Since I am forced (sort of, technically I guess I'm forcing myself since it's my own brain keeping me from my comfy bed) to be here, therefore you shall be forced to read my late night thoughts.  I'm scared, and so should you be!

Does anyone else have troubles falling asleep?  I know my mom has the same issues as me, and I suspect that my oldest daughter does too since of the times I've slept with her, she takes forever to settle down and sometimes she wakes up in the middle of the night wide awake.  Seriously, WIDE. 

My brain refuses to shut off.  That is my problem.  It just keeps thinking of this and that.  The things I didn't do today, the things I did.  What I should do tomorrow.  The statistics of whether I actually will do them or not.  How long it will take to lose my weight.  When will we have more kids.  Am I really going to be able to teach my kids at home?  Am I crazy for wanting to try? 

This list could go on, but I'll stop there and spare you the agony of reading it.  It must be boring reading someone else's thoughts.  Well, when they are randomly posted like this.  But oh!  I have a great sort of "praise report" thingy about my being up late:  I haven't snacked on anything yet!  That is a miracle.  I have discovered these last few years, that I eat just to fill the time (eating is so much more fun than mopping the floor yet again).  And especially in the evening I like to snack.  So it is a huge thumbs up to me for not consuming any food as I type this.

Well, I think this might be enough late night rambling for you all to take in.  Maybe I'll be able to sleep now that I've wrote this out for you all.  Or maybe not.  It's not like I actually wrote anything of substance tonight. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Day of Accountability has Come!

Summary of my week:

  • I can't remember past Sunday, but I know I had a bad give in day (it might have been last Friday after I posted! Oops!)
  • Sunday we went down to the lake in the US and afterwards went to Pizza Hut.  I totally don't like Pizza Hut.  I went at least 200 calories over my limit that day, and I completely blame the gross and greasy bread sticks.  Why on earth did we order them?!
  • Because of poor eating I had gained a couple pounds.  I don't know how it happens so fast!  Frustrating, to say the least.  I was now 175 lbs.  
  • The rest of this week, especially the last three days, has been Great (totally with a capital G).  I had a couple days of over my limit, but only by 60ish calories.  These last few days I have been at the end of the day with over a hundred cals left.  And last night I didn't even use them up with ice cream.  (Ok, so I like ice cream, but don't love it so it's not super hard to turn down)
So because of this I am now 172 lbs.  I think.  We have one of those scales with a needle, and it's kind of hard to read exactly where it is.  But I'm going for 172! My waist is I think 40.5 ish, maybe even 40.  But I think that it isn't due to drastic weight lose, but simply just bad measurments.  Who knows.  I'm not too particular.  So that is my week.  I am still feeling very motivated about it, even that I am starting to think about exercise.  But just thinking!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Princess Abby

Compromises.  Life is full of them.  You go to the grocery store, they don't have the large size of salsa, you compromise and get the small jar in the meantime.  We lived in a trailer 15 minutes outside of town with one vehicle, we compromise and move into a main level house suite where we can hear everything that the basement suite people are doing (and vice versa).  I want to eat chocolate, I also want to lose weight.  I compromise and eat one teeny-tiny-itty-bitty piece of chocolate that takes up all the rest of my calories for the week.  They are everywhere.

So I am willing to compromise with my children.  Or another way to look at it is to pick my battles.  My husband isn't so convinced on this pick and choose theory, but I figure that he isn't home every day having to deal with all of the warfare that I do.

Abby is a wonderful, wonderful girl.  The cuddliest thing since they invented teddy bears (hmmm, I wonder when that was?  Maybe I should investigate, might be interesting).  She won't give you kisses on the lips, only the cheeks, but she is known to spontaneously, without any kind of prodding or threatening, say that she loves you.  Melt my heart.  But she is also very VERY strong-willed.  If she doesn't want to do it, I don't think wild horses could make her.

So when she decides, almost every afternoon, that she is done wearing clothes for the day, I usually let her.  Yes, I let my child run naked through our house.  I will even admit that sometimes she has been nude when her friends came over.  Horrible, isn't it.  But it's summer and it's hot, and I really hate fighting issues.  Somedays I think that clothes are overrated, but don't worry!  I don't prance around in my birthday suit.  I just go for pjs.

But Abby recently has found one article of clothing that she is in love with, and I am just happy that she's wearing clothing for most of the day.  Almost every day for a week now she has been dressing up in one of her princess dress-up dresses.  It is supremely adorable seeing her waltz around the house with her regal attitude, almost looking down her nose at you.  She likes to have tea parties while she is a princess, and sometimes will even share the royalty with her sister.

I am extremely happy to see this happy, firstly because of the clothing issue, but also because until she started this last week, she would never dress up, except on the rare occasion that her friends were over to play and they started it first and she would follow along.  I would try to get her to play dress-up with me, but she would always refuse.  So this is showing that she's growing and changing. 

The only problem I have with it is that she only likes to wear the one dress.  We have a decent sized chest of dress-up clothes, but that one pink dress is all she wants to wear.  So once it gets dirty, which it has, it needs to be washed.  But I am notorious for taking clothes to the laundry room and then leaving them there for a few days if the load they're in isn't ready.  Also if they require special care, which this dress does.  Hand Wash Only.  Why on earth would they make dress-up clothes hand wash only?  Do they know what a hassle hand washing is for me?  I don't have a laundry tub, I have to wash them in my kitchen sink! 

Oh the trials! 

Friday, August 19, 2011

And Again (AGAIN!!!) with the Dieting

I know that I haven't posted tons on my weight loss journey, but I think that's because I feel like I have the same thing to say EVERY SINGLE TIME.  Nothing seems to change, least of all my waistline.  But I am going to try posting something once a week, probably a Friday, to maybe keep myself a little more accountable.  Because there is maybe nothing more embarassing than posting your weight online for the world to see and having it constantly go up (well, actually, there are maybe a few more things embarrassing than that but still).

I am still using My Fitness Pal, and these last two days have been good.  I have two friends that have used this to count their calories and both have lost over 50 lbs each!  If they can do it, so can I!  Right? 

I have also figured out that just using a calorie counter doesn't actually make you lose weight.  Weird, I know.  You actually have to not eat over your calories and also eat better.  Who would have thought.  And that is my trouble.  But I do feel more determined this time (yeah, I know, I said that LAST time). 

So, I guess I will dish out my information, just to keep it all out there, no turning back, ok, here it is, just wait for it...

I am currently 173 lbs.  Darn, I was hoping that the smallest font was smaller than that!  Well, no point in using it anymore I guess.  

My waist is 41.5ish inches, though it is closer to 41, but I thought I should be fair and give it to the higher length.  Plus once I lose inches it will look like I lost more, wink wink.

My hips are 43.5.  

So now you know.  This is my body for now, but I hope to improve!  If you think of me ever, say a quick prayer that I am not eating anything chocolate at that time!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Quest for the World's Best Long John

Mark had the day off yesterday, so we took a family day.  The plan was to head over to a neighbouring city and eat some pasta at a restaurant that we have heard good things about and then hop over to a bakery we had tried before and get some donuts and apple pie.  The baked goods at this bakery are beyond my description.  They are simply phenomenal.  I have never had such a delicious long john donut in my life.

The pasta restaurant fell far below our expectations.  We had both heard, from different sources, that they had great food.  Well first off, once inside I thought I was blind.  The lighting was so dim.  Lots of restaurants have dimmer lighting, trying for a mood or something right?  But this was just beyond anything.  There were only windows at the very front, and these were just some small ones up high.  And the lights were only down the aisles, not over the tables.  I am a bit of a light sensitive freak, so this was a huge issue for me. 

Both my hubs and I ordered the 'pasta of the day' which happened to be penne, with two meatballs.  And that's all I really can say about it.  It was just that, nothing great, nothing horrendous, just penne.  Slightly disappointing.  And to top it off, they didn't even have fries.  What restaurant doesn't have fries?  They had "JoJos".  What are "JoJos" you may ask?  This is exactly the question I asked our waitress since she seemed to assume that we knew what "JoJos" were when she explained that they didn't have fries.  "JoJos" are small roasted potatoes.  They are actually quite tasty, but don't really cut it with picky 4-year-olds who only eat fries in restaurants.

I didn't eat much lunch, both because I didn't really like it and also to save some calorie room for long johns!  We truck over one block to the bakery and are greeted with a sign saying they are on vacation for the month.  Words cannot express my disappointment. 

We perked up though and decided to try a bakery we saw a block over.  But they didn't have much of a selection, just a few cookies and what are cookies to long johns? 

So we decide to run over to the town next door, so to speak, since it's just 20kms away.  I looked up some bakeries to try and we didn't have too hard a time finding them.  But, no joking, this one was closed too.  So we decided (again) to try the NEXT town, about 50ish kms away. 

This town was so stinking busy and so funnily laid out, we looped the main street blocks a few times, first looking for the bakeries, then looking for places to park.  We tried 3 or 4 there, but none had what we were looking for.  Just cakes and muffins, no DONUTS!!!

I admitted defeat and we went to Safeway and got some donuts and cookies from there, and two frappucinos for us, since I was in need of a huge caffeine burst.  These donuts fell so short of what I had been hoping for, I could only eat a few bites.

But a plus of our three-town-search was that we got to go home across the lake ferry and the girls just loved it.  And while we were waiting for the ferry they got to watch some ducks.  So that was almost worth it.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Downfall of the Lounging Day

Mark was heading out of town early this morning (5:30) and was going to be gone overnight.  I usually try to get up to say goodbye when he's gone for a few days, but last time I got up I wasn't able to get back to sleep and ended up with a horrible headache and just had a crumby day so I figured I would stay in bed and try to sleep.  Maybe if I would get myself to bed at a decent time I could get up earlier, which I would love to do, but that's a whole other story.

But Abby woke up around this time so he dumped her in bed with me and that hampered me getting back to sleep until she fell asleep again since she squirmed and fussed and fidgeted.  And insisted on drinking from a metal water bottle that went clink, clink, clink.  But I did get a few more minutes of sleep before Leigh woke up.  Leigh cuddled in bed with me for a little while before demanding "Hot Dogs!" for breakfast.  Well, I didn't have any hot dogs, and even if I did, I probably wouldn't give them for breakfast.  She settled for toast.

I sat (laid down under a quilt) on the couch while she was eating, half dozing, half trying to wake up by playing games on my iPhone.  Abby slept in until nine, the time when I was conveniently making myself some toast so I just gave her one of my pieces.  Then we proceeded to just do nothing much.  They played, and screamed and fussed and fought, while I read and played and sat there like a blob.  None of us were dressed.  I did change Leigh's diaper though, since she was STINKY. 

And guess who walks in the door just before the lunch hour?  Mark!  My wonderful husband that I want to impress with all my wonderful housewifely skills.  Yes, he caught me on a lounging day. 

I was so embarrassed!  Not that the house is always perfect and this will ruin any kind of image I have with him.  No, he's pretty much seen me (and our house) much worse than this.  But I have been trying so hard to keep up with cleaning and all that kind of stuff and to not slack off by reading or playing on my iPhone or wasting time on Facebook (curse you FB!!!  Why are you so addictive and revolting at the same time?).  He goes to work 5, sometimes 6, days a week, and he doesn't get to sit around.  But I am supposed to be manning the homefront.

Oh well!  So that is my secret of the day.  If I ever try to portray myself as this perfect super-mom/wife, you all know differently.  You know that my husband came home and found me in an old, hole-y tank top with no dishes or laundry done at all. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Panic Attack Mom in All the Wrong Moments

Last year I took a first aid course hoping to help me be prepared for the worst.  And also to maybe lessen the amount of freak-out-panicking I do when something happens to the children, like falling off a chair (and not even getting a scratch).  Because I do freak out.  A lot.  I see them fall or about to fall and I suddenly envision their broken bodies on the floor, limbs all turned out in the wrong directions.  A pretty vision...ok, so not.

So I thought, 'First aid will help me to do what to do and how to react in these situations."  But I don't think that my panic lessened any.  I am "trained" to do CPR and all that on adults and children, but I don't know if I would trust myself.  I get in a bad situation, and just freeze! 

So today we went over to a good friend's house where they have a swimming pool.  It was a hot day so it was nice to get in the water.  Well, before any of us even got in, Abby decides to take the first leap in.  Without any water wings or a life jacket.  I was on the other side of the pool, while Abby had been walking with her friends.  I heard a splash, and looked over to see who had jumped in, not really cluing in that it was my flotation-device-less child.  Then I saw her head pop up, and my friend jump in after her at the same time.

Thinking of it now gives me chills, but at the time, if I'm honest, I wasn't really as panicky or concerned as I probably should have been.  I am so very thankful for the quick thinking of my dear friend, and also thankful that my daughter can actually get to the surface herself.  She usually uses water wings, so she's used to treading water and such.  And I'm so thankful that God is watching over her.  Maybe her angel gave her a push up. 

There were no more crazy incidents today (Thank You so much God!) and they had a great time. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Once Upon a Potty

If only I would post oftener, I wouldn't feel conflicted about what to write about.  Since I haven't written in awhile, there feels like so much to tell.  Like the girls and my trip to Chiliwack and Nanaimo for a wedding and visit with their great-grandparents, or my trip to Spokane with my hubby (sans kids), or our multiple vehicle and air conditioner break downs which could lead to a large rant on money and the evils of it.

But I think I will write about potty-training.  That's interesting, right? 

Leigh is currently potty-training.  We started once we got home from our little vacation.  My mom had been here the end of June, and she said that she thought Leigh was ready since Leigh always said poop, and then she would have a poop in her diaper.  So once we got home it was panties only for little Miss Leigh (except for nap and bed times, and also when we go out somewhere). 

Leigh hasn't fussed about not being in diapers, though that's not a surprise since it seems to be trait that children are born with to love running around naked.  This must seem like one step closer to naked to her.  But she has yet to do anything on the toilet.  But it's only the first week.  Some people might wonder if she truly is ready yet, she's only just turned 2, but I am fairly positive she is because she consistently tells me "poop" right after she pees in her pants. 

And once she says poop, we both run to the washroom, her leading the way.  So she has the concept down, just not the timing.  But she will get it, I'm sure.  I am actually being much more patient with her about this (most days) than I thought I would be.  Usually having to take time away from "my" day to do things irritates me, but I guess God is working in my heart (thank goodness!) and making me more aware of what is truly important in "my" day, i.e. my kids.

So hopefully by the next time I write about this, we will have some victories to report!  Because I am so ready to have no more diapers, at least until the next one!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

How to Get Your Daughter to Try on Her Dress so You Can Adjust the Straps Accordingly

The title is slightly misleading since I haven't figured out how to do this myself 100% of the time, only 50%.  Leigh was a great model putting on the dress and taking it off when I needed to.  But Abby, no way. 

I was even prepared for some resistance, so I had candy as a bribe.  Some nice, big, blue whale candies.  I gave her one right away, and then popped her shirt off.  But as soon as I tried to put the dress over her head, well, that was when the cooperation ended. 

I then proceeded to pry the candy from her mouth, since the candy was for trying on the dress.  She naturally got upset about that so I tried to put the dress on again, all the time explaining why she got the candy and that it was conditional.

Nope, not happening.  So I shoved my finger in her mouth, trying to avoid her sharp little teeth, and amazingly enough, I got the entire candy out of her mouth.  Not something I really want to do everyday though; saliva, gross.

I gave her a little time-out in her room since she was freaking out.  And then we tried again.  But still she refused!

This has now turned into a battle of the wills and I am determined to win.  But I know from experience (just last night for example) that Abby sticks to her guns pretty strongly.  So I'll let you know the winner!

On a completely different matter, does anyone know how to remove the security tags from clothing?  I bought Abby a skirt while I was away and they didn't remove the tag and the store is a good two plus hours away.  And I live in a small town where I don't think any stores use security tags...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Preschool is Coming Along

Today Abby was sick.  And without any warning.  Well, she was cuddly and not wanting to run around and play, she just wanted to lie with me on the couch, but sometimes she's like that.  I didn't think anything of it until after she threw up all over the couch, rug, herself, and myself.  Poor kid.  She couldn't keep anything down today.  So we haven't done much except watch movies. 

Yes, I let her watch movies all day.  Poor mom award, right here.  But honestly, I don't think there's anything wrong with a movie day once in awhile.  It's not like she's sick every day.  Plus I needed something to get her mind off of food because despite being sick, she still wants to eat.  But I can't let her.  So the movies sufficiently distract her.

We didn't do any kind of "work" today, but I have to toot my own horn and say that we have actually been doing "work" almost every day this week, and even most of last week!  By "work" I am meaning preschool activities intended to teach her stuff. 

We have been using the Raising Rock Stars Preschool activities from 1+1+1=1, as well as preschool packs from there and Homeschool Creations.  We don't do everything but kind of piece things together.  I also will just look over the internet for crafty ideas for the letters and such.

We have been working through the alphabet, and are currently on C.  Each week there is a verse and song, that we sing every day and Abby really enjoys that.  She will even drag me over to the chart so we can go through them.  It is encouraging to see her wanting to do this.  She will either repeat the words after me for the verse, or try to say them with me.  And she will sing the song.  Even if she doesn't know it.  It's so cute. 

After that we usually do some little worksheets or craft or something.  There are some tracing ones, and she isn't too keen on staying on the line.  I think that she could, but she just likes to follow the gist of where the line is going.  The ends justifies the means, kind of thing.  But she enjoys this and that's what counts! 
I was trying to get a picture of her matching pictures and words; 
she just wanted to make faces at the camera

Monday, June 13, 2011

Good Morning Girls Book Club - Week 4 (ok, and 2 and 3) Thoughts

I am horribly behind in my reading.  I am just starting chapter 4.  I don't even want to admit this because I am doing my reading during my quiet time with God.  So if I haven't read in a bunch of days, then the obvious conclusion is that I haven't even sat down to read God's Word either.  Wow, that's a horrible confession to make for me.

But I can change!  Right! 

But even though I'm not "caught up" I am still wowed by the chapters I have read.  It totally brought tears to my eyes.  I probably could have sobbed for quite awhile actually, but I held it in since I was in bed with my hubby and he was watching some TV show (can't remember what now).  I didn't want to interrupt, haha.  No, he wouldn't care, but I seem to have a disinclination against giving in to crying.  Maybe it's a sign that I am trying to be strong and rely on myself and not give into weakness.

Anyways, off-track.  Everything she writes about feel like it is hitting me, BAM BAM, right in the heart.  Holy Spirit has been convicting me over so much.  Especially the encouraging words.  I realize that when the girls mess up, I can tend to say some mean, sarcastic things, like "Do you really think that I wanted to spend my afternoon cleaning up the bathroom?  Why on earth would you turn on the water under the sink?  Do you think this is fun?" 

What does that do to my girls?  Do they feel stupid, or embarassed?  Oh my heart aches when I think of all the idle words that I have spoken without thought.  It is so wrong of me to just let my emotions control me.

And the other side, to speak encouragement to them.  I need to do that more.  I know that I do try to praise them when they do good, such as sharing a toy or treat, or even asking me if I'm ok when I get hurt.  but I also want to speak life into them.  To observe and acknowledge their strengths, and to help them build on those (with God's help of course) and also to help them take their weaknesses to Him. 

I guess what I want is to show them the Father's love and to have them know how much He loves them and for them to love Him back.  That's what this mothering thing is about. 

This was a little more personal and revealing than I planned.  But I shouldn't be ashamed because I know that our Father forgave me and I don't want to put on a front that pretends to have it all together.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

On the Road and Nothing Gets Done

Yesterday I went to my ladies' Biblestudy in the morning and ran errands in the afternoon, so i didn't get home until 2.  Today I took Abby to the city an hour away for an appointment with a pediatricin, didn't get home until 1:30.  Both days, I have found it a huge difficulty to get anything done.  Partly from being gone for a fair amount of hours, but mostly from the resulting laziness.

But nobody wants to hear a complainer, especially someone continually complaining about themselves.  Instead I will inform everyone of how the doctor appointment went.

We went to the pediatrician on a referral from the hearing specialist.  The apointment was to see if we could pinpoint why Abby has speech problems.  I was apprehensive about the appointment since I didn't feel a super-great connection with the speech pathologist.  The speech pathologist actually made me feel like a huge piece of dog poo.  But that's a whole other topic that I don't need to get into since I've come to terms with it (really).

Anyways, blah blah blah, the appointment went fine, and the doctor is pretty positive that Abby does not have autism.  Which has been an on and off again fear of mine.  I knew that she didn't, deep down, but I still feared that she did.  Basically there are no physical reasons that can explain why Abby is delayed.  All her other developmental areas are fine.  So the doctor says, just start the speech therapy when they call, and that will be the best thing for her.

And despite the fact that I didn't really learn anything new, it felt reassuring to me.  Driving home, I felt empowered to do what I needed to do.  I could continue to do "preschool" at home with Abby, and send her to an actual preschool in the fall.  I could deal with the intimidating speech pathologist and stand my ground about my beliefs.  I could even clean and tidy my house...maybe.

Friday, May 27, 2011

My To-Do List for Today

  • Tidy Kitchen.  Though tidy seems to imply that it just needs a few quick minutes to organize or put away dishes.  I could probably split this point up into at least 5 or 6 points : Empty dishwasher, fill dishwasher, run dishwasher, hand-wash cutting board and dishes that don't fit in dishwasher, wipe down counters and fridge and stove, put away miscellaneous papers behind stereo, clear off table.  See what I mean?  But I like one point, it makes it feel do-able.
  • Make Pizza Dough.  Actually make two pizza doughs.  But the bread maker does most of the work so this is fairly easy.
  • Make Cinnamon Buns.  I can't start this until after the pizza dough is done since I use the bread maker for all my kneading.  And for this one it is dependent on me cleaning up the kitchen since I don't want dirty crumbs in my buns.
  • Do Laundry, including bed sheets.  I actually don't have a ton of laundry to do, which is nice.  I just want to have my hamper cleared before we leave tomorrow.  Our bed sheets are desperately in need of a wash though, since they are our only ones at the moment.  My lovely daughters somehow managed to rip my other bottom sheet to pieces.  I have no clue how.  So now when I need to wash our sheets I have to strip the bed and can't make it until I wash the sheets again.  Hence they haven't been washed in awhile.
  • Pack.  Hopefully shouldn't take long, we're only gone until Tuesday.  I'm hoping to fit all our clothes into a small suitcase.  I doubt I can do it.  I am a notorious over-packer.
  • Get the Food Ready for the Trip.  Basically put everything into a large reusable grocery bag to be taken out to the car and consumed on our long drive tomorrow.
  • Clean Out Car.  This will kill two birds with one stone as it will give the girls a little outside play time.
  • Tidy House.  Like the kitchen, it entails much more than it sounds.  I doubt I will get close to done on this one, but I can dream.  If the floor is at least cleared I can feel ok.  My secret for that is to toss everything into laundry baskets to be put away whenever I get the time.
  • Make Cream Cheese Icing.  This should probably be located up by my other food points, but my list is basically random.  But this is an essential point.  Icing for our cinnamon buns.  Mmmmmm.
  • Pick Out Toys for Trip.  Gather together books, toys, and other random objects that will hopefully keep our girls entertained, along with large amounts of snacks, for roughly 14 hours.  Usually we have a DVD player for the car, but it is mysteriously missing (I think it was stolen).  

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Knew It!

Just received my glasses and I am very close to hating them.  Actually, I think I do hate them.  Unfortunate.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Shopping Hangover

I can't think of a better name for it.  Does it happen to anyone else?  I guess I should explain what "it" is.  I go shopping, doesn't matter where, could be a department store, a thrift shop, online even, and purchase clothes or accessories for myself.  I am super excited about the stuff I bought.  Hurray!  I can't wait til it gets here (if online shopping) or I can't wait to wear it (if bought from a store and I have it in hand). 

But then I settle down and the cloud of shopping high fades away, and I am left with my shopping hangover.  I hate all my purchases.  Yes, I don't like a single piece.  Okay, maybe one, or two.  But the majority I definitely don't like and will never wear.  If they are from a regular store, I might let them sit in the back of my closet, banished there and probably never to see the light of day again.  If they are a thrift store purchase, I will most likely donate them right back to it. 

Quite stupid, isn't it?!  To buy something just to give it back.  But at least if I'm buying from a charity thrift store it's a good cause for my money.  What sickens me is the money I spend on new items.  Like the glasses I just ordered. 

Clearly Contacts was having a one day sale, where they were giving away free glasses frames, you just had to pay shipping and any costs of upgrading the lenses.  Well, I totally went for that.  My last glasses cost me somewhere around $250 (actually, now that I think about it, my Mother-in-law bought them for me, She's great!).  But that was 2 years ago, and that was definitely a case of "shopping hangover".  And the sad thing is I obviously tried them on.  Picked them out with my eyes wide open.  But once I got them home, totally didn't like them.  And since I was out of contacts, I wore them exclusively for a year.  Nobody can tell me that I don't sacrifice to save money.

So I jumped at the chance for free (relatively) glasses.  I ended up paying $43 since I had to upgrade my lenses.  The free lenses that came with the glasses don't go much past -2.00.  I was very excited about ordering them, though I knew that my husband wouldn't like them.

But now looking at the picture of the ones I ordered, I don't think I like them either!  I am so fickle, or something!  I guess I'll just have to wait until they get here, which should be tomorrow, so maybe you'll be hearing from me again, letting you know the verdict. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Good Morning Girls Book Club - Week 1 Thoughts

I am doing the book club on Good Morning Girls, with an accountability group through Jolanthe at No Ordinary Moments.  We start reading the book next week, though my book isn't here yet and isn't likely to get here in time.  That is my fault for being undecided whether I was actually going to do it or not.

The first three verses of the week were on how nothing happens without God.  Without Him, we can do nothing (nothing that matters anyways).  The last two were about faith legacies in our children.  This is right where God has been speaking to me lately, how I try to be independent and do everything on my own strength.  Yet nothing works and I end up way worse than I ever was!

And I sometimes (most of the time) get very stressed and worried about my children's spiritual lives.  I want them to know and love our Father, but I worry that they won't or that I'm not doing enough to teach them.  Yet if I just trust in God, like the first verses said, it will all come through His will.  He is so good!

He is so good to be patient with me while I keep making the same mistakes over and over again.  Because this is probably one of the biggest areas of struggle with me, relying on God.  Too often I forget that He is here with me.  I am blinded by all the temporary things of earth.  But as I said, they are temporary.  They have no eternal value to me.  I need to "seek first God's kingdom". 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Outdoor Parenting

The warm weather is back!  Hurray.  There was a couple of colder days earlier this week, with rain and wind, but now it is back to sunshiny bliss (though unfortunately the wind is still around).  I am definitely made for the hot days of summer.  I am amazed at how fast my body has adapted to the hotter climate down south.

Abby and Leigh love to play outside.  Absolutely love it.  Leigh will toddle around without a second thought about me, but Abby seems to be happier if I am actually around and watching.  If I am out of sight for more than a couple minutes she usually comes into the house looking for me.  This is where I am not sure exactly what I am supposed to be doing.

Their dad doesn't like me to leave them outside by themselves.  Our neighbour parks his trucks on the street so cars can't see our girls if they happen to step off the driveway.  I get that.  And he's also worried about just the unforseen.  Maybe they might get hurt.  Any number of things could happen.  I can see his points through it all.  But there is another side. 

I don't have a lot of "work" outside.  I could weed my flower bathtub (blech) or I could sweep the driveway (double blech).  I only have garlic planted in my big garden because our landlord will supposedly be putting in a retaining wall, right down the middle of it so there is no point in planting anything since it will be dug up, probably.  The garlic is there because I planted it in the fall.  And according to my husband's calculations it should be within the bounds of the wall, so hopefully I won't have to transplant the poor things.

So sometimes I take some hand sewing/patching outside and sit in the sun mending.  I actually really enjoy it.  Because I enjoy it, I feel like it is just a frivolous waste of time.  I should be doing some work, like vacuuming or cleaning the mold off my bedroom window or picking up the pieces of  'whatever-it-is' that the girls have ripped into tiny, miniscule pieces and thrown down the stairs.  Something that doesn't relax me quite so much.

Therefore I open the windows, at least all the ones that stay up without some kind of support, and I keep the front door wide open.  Every 30 seconds or so I make a trek outside to check on my girls.  This way I can keep working inside, making supper, or doing dishes, or whatever it is I'm supposed to be doing, yet they can play outside and have fun. 

But it does have disadvantages, like I stated above.  So what is the correct choice?  Mark's way or mine?  I don't want to deprive the girls of outdoor play time just because I can't keep up on the house work.  So maybe I just need to be less of a slacker and keep up better so that I have time to stay out there with them.  Because another huge disadvantage of keeping the door open is that we don't have any screen doors.  So all kinds of flies and bees and bugs make their way into our house.  They then proceed to pester us all evening, and possibly into the night.

Is there any winning solution?!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Meal-Planning Thoughts

I am constantly trying to get my life more organized, and a couple months ago I started planning my meals ahead so that I wouldn't be scrambling around at 3 o'clock with no meat defrosted and no idea what I am going to cook for our supper meal.  And I fell in love with it!  I loved planning my meals out.  I had a whole month written out and probably would have done more except I felt slightly nerdy. 

But nerdy is ok if it works!  But I have discovered a flaw in the whole meal-planning thing.  If you don't keep it up, eventually you run out of meals.  Which is where I am today.  I haven't looked at my meal plan calendar this past week, and consequently I have nothing planned past yesterday.  This is unfortunate.  Now I have to sit down and figure out what I am going to do, and that is the worst part. 

On the upside, it's advance pay-day so I will have some money for grocery shopping!  Hurray!  This means no more chicken soup with only celery and homemade noodles (which we had last Wednesday.  It was tasty, just a little boring.  Not even any saltine crackers to put in!). 

So I can plan my meals without having to seriously consider what we have in the house since I can go shopping again.  But I am also trying to be a little more frugal with my grocery shopping since we have a bad habit of just running to the store whenever we need something.  I want to make more budget friendly meals.  Or just budget friendly meal planning. 

I think my next post I write will be about my lack of effective communication skills, as this post is an excellent example of.