Friday, December 7, 2012

Decisions I've had to Make Since Becoming a Mother

  • Cloth vs. Disposable - well, I put this here since it is a tough decision for some folks, but let's be honest: for me, it wasn't a decision at all.  I have never felt the urge to use cloth.  I give a big thumbs up to those who do, but that's about all I do for it.
  • Formula vs. Breastfeeding - I am very pro-breastfeeding but with Abby she had formula as well, so I don't really care what others do.  I like the breast because it is free!  Well, yes it is time, and time is money, but if you had to give them a bottle it is still time so it is money on top of money.  I'm thankful that I've been able to breastfeed my girls.  
  • Diaper bag vs diaper bag - There are so many out there!  I had my first diaper bag given as a gift, so there was no decision there, but then when Leigh was born, my first one was falling apart so I bought another one.  Which I promptly lost, maybe a few months into it's use.  I haven't boughten another one since.  Oh wait, I did buy a cheap $1 one at the secondhand store, but I think that I got rid of it because 1) I don't need it yet and 2) I don't LOVE it and I have decided that I want to LOVE my next diaper bag since I use it all the time.
  • Colour coordinated vs sloppy rainbow - For the first 1-3 (ish) years of their lives, I got to dress my children.  I see pictures of cute children wearing cute, nicely coordinated clothing, and go, "Meh."  I am not a big fashion-type person.  My kids usually ended up wearing whatever came closest to hand and was cleanest.  Now I just let them pick whatever they want to wear and half the time we look a bit like hobos.  (Ok, well dressed hobos.)
  • Independent 3 year old vs emotionally sensitive 5 year old - This is today's dilemma.  We made some mailboxes in school the other day and Abby loves, or maybe is obsessed with is the better term, sending and receiving mail.  But she figures that we all need to sit down at the same time and make cards for each other.  We can't wait for them to be deposited in our mailboxes randomly throughout the day.  But Leigh plays by her own rules and just wants to make a card for herself to put in her own mailbox.  This breaks Abby's heart.  It's like a preschool/kindergarten soap opera.
  • Clothing vs skin - Not so much a battle anymore, but they both went through phases where they didn't want to wear clothes.  We would start the day nicely dressed and end it buck naked.  I finally just gave up figuring that we were home all day anyways, why not let them run free.  Thankfully they reamain clothed most of the time now, though Abby did tell me the other night that she wanted to "sleep in her skin."
These are just a few of the many decisions a mother has to make.  It's a tough life.  Now I've got to go make some cards to mail to some hopefully-clothed children.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Of Robots and Toddlers

So I personally believe that my kids are super cute and say the cutest things every uttered on this Earth. I may be wrong, but I doubt it.  Hahaha.

Anyways, my girls are quite diverse in their interests from the typical girly interests.  They definitely enjoy tea parties and being princesses and dancing ballet, but they also like to pretend to be pirates, and do Kung Fu and they absolutely LOVE Transformers.

Hot Rod/Rodimus Prime, my all-time favourite.  Abby's too.  Leigh prefers Bumblebee

No, I don't let them watch the new, "real-life" Transformer movies.  But we do watch the original Transformers movie, as well as the TV series from the same time.  Much better in my opinion than these new ones which were a huge disappointment to me. (I could write a whole post on that.  Why did they focus so much on humans?  Why wasn't Hot Rod in the movies?  Why why why wasn't the theme song used?!)

We have a few mini Transformer toys, Mirage and Jazz I believe, and one large Sky Fire.  Leigh goes crazy for them, especially for Sky Fire.  And it's super cute to watch her play with them.  Here is a really short but funny conversation she had between two toys the other day. 

Note: I do not let my children be violent to others in real life.  Just to clarify, hahaha!

Penguin Toy: See my family?

Mirage: No!  I shoot your family!

Ok, so it had to be heard to be as cute as it was.  But I laughed.  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Motherhood Award, Maybe Not Here

Last night my kids didn't make it to bed until 8:30.  Well, maybe that's when we walked up the stairs so it really was later than that.  Oops.  I should maybe get a bad mama point for that.  If I was into keeping track of that kind of thing, which I'm not.  Really.  I may sometimes think that I'm not the greatest mother to ever live, but if I'm really honest, I know that I do alright.  Definitely not all the time, but sometimes.  I could do a lot worse.

Like today wasn't the greatest of days.  I got up sort of early (before 7) and even showered (Hallelujah!) but then my early alone time was not-so-alone time because Leigh was up when I came out.  So that's ok.  She ate some cereal, and sat with me some.  I ate my breakfast and then sat in my chair, and read a little of the Word.  But then I sort of dozed in the chair a little.  And I have determined that that doze is what killed my day.  I should have forced myself out of the chair and gotten my blood flowing and my day started.  But instead it sort of made me feel a little lazy and off.

So my day was therefore lazy and off as well.  Abby slept in until 9:15 which is another point that I'm tossed on, whether I should have woken her up or not.  Since we homeschool, I let her sleep.  I had some arguments in my head going, saying that we need to maintain a routine and keep with it and yada yada yada.  But my girls rarely sleep in anymore (they used to sleep in all the time) so I figured that letting her have the one day wouldn't kill either of us.  Besides, we didn't take yesterday off school, and all the public school kids did.  :-)

So today the kids just played and watched tv and played and did whatever else we felt like.  A bit of a lazy day.  Which is fine, I know.  I don't have to be go go go all the time.  But the only reason I feel guilty is that I know I could have done even a little bit better.  I could have done more, like maybe the laundry, especially since I don't want to get caught with 4 large loads of laundry and a broken washer like I had this last Saturday.  That wasn't fun.

Oh well, today is over and I am really trying to learn to just accept the fact that maybe I didn't do something perfect, maybe I was even a little wrong, but it is done now and I can only try again tomorrow.

I started writing this to contemplate whether I should go make my children be quiet and get back in bed since they are currently playing upstairs.  This has been a parenting question for me ever since Abby started sleeping in a big girl bed and was able to get out on her own.  What are everyone's thoughts on this?  Typically I just let them play, as long as it isn't for hours and hours and hours.  Ideally I think that I would like them not to, but well, I'm kind of lazyish so I tend to take the path that involves less conflict.  Tell me your thoughts.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Weekend Update

Abby had her IHCAN testing on Tuesday.  For those who don't know, that stands for Interior Health Child Assessment Network.  They were doing testing on Abby to determine if she had Autism Spectrum Disorder.

I was almost 100% positive that she didn't, but I wanted some kind of testing done because while she doesn't have any typical autism markers, she is behind a little.  I was a little stressed leading up to this appointment, and I didn't realize how much until after it was over.  Funny how that is.

I was worried, because while I didn't really want her to have a disorder, I knew that if she got a diagnosis, it would be easier to get her some funding.  Right now, because we are going through a private school, she hasn't been getting any speech therapy, which she definitely needs.  We're working on stuff at home, but the extra help would be wonderful.  So I was torn.

Abby did so well.  She didn't fuss about being separated from us, and she was polite and interacted with the doctors.  I was impressed with the doctors too.  They were friendly and not condescending at all.  They had obviously done this with so many parents, they were so excellent at explaining things so that we could understand, not too much medical terminology that only doctors know.

So she did not get diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, but she did get diagnosed with Mixed Receptive/Expressive Language Disorder.

I know, it's a mouthful!  Here's a link to a page where I really liked the description.

So that is my child.  I'm glad that we got a diagnosis of something because now we should be able to get her some speech therapy, hopefully.  I feel like we have something to work with and can move forward.  It was encouraging to hear things that we've known/noticed about her being seen by the doctors as well.  For me, it is like a confirmation that I'm not crazy.

On a completely unrelated note, Abby did something incredibly cute and funny yesterday.  I was in the master bedroom and she came in and told me that she was going to pray with God.  She was very excited about this.  I told her that was great and to let me know what He told her.  She said that she was going to pray upstairs in her room.  So up she went.  A few minutes later I heard Leigh head upstairs and she met Abby there and Abby excitedly told her that she had prayed to God for a baby brother!  and God was going to put him in the tummy (mine, I assume).  Then she came down and told me that.  What a cutie.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Outline of a School Day

Almost done the second month of school.  And I think that we are finally finding some sort of rhythm  to it.  I hope.  Here is what our typical day looks like so far.

Bible:  We have a memory verse that comes from Come Sit by Me, and sometimes they suggest stories to teach and read about.  I will usually find the stories in Kid's Bibles, and then find a craft to go along with that.

Reading: We are working through The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading.

Printing: We are using Handwriting Without Tears.  Abby has fun with using the wooden blocks to make letters, as well as a slate to draw them over sized first.

We usually have a 15 minute break here.  The girls will have a snack and play or draw.

Math: We are using Right Start Math, which has lots of manipulatives to play with.  It's going pretty slowly right now.

Come Sit By Me: For those who don't know, this curriculum covers a variety of subjects.  It has different sections that you do, over a week or two.  You read a selected book every day and then they have activities to do that relate to the book.  Reading a book is always fun for the girls, and they enjoy the different things we get to do.

Depending how things are going we will take a quick break here.

Explode the Code: A mixture of phonics and printing.  It is focusing on lower case right now, and that is a little more frustrating for poor Abby so sometimes this lesson ends in a fight.

And I switch between Bingo games and Sounds Abound, a book and computer game that have kids listening to sounds, like rhyming.

That is the basic outline of how we do school.  Some days, like today, we are done almost everything by 11, but other days we got until almost 1.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

School in September

I just put Leigh down for a time-out/nap and she is crying at the top of the stairs.  I am too lazy to go put her back in her bedroom.  I probably should though.  She is being sooooo incredibly cranky today.  I'm wondering if I am letting her play too many "video games."  Lately while I do school work with Abby, I let Leigh play on my iPhone.  Ideally I don't want to do this every day, but I feel like it's just so much easier.

I'm hoping that once the house gets more organized, I'll have more stuff for her to do.  I have lots of ideas, just none really implemented.  And maybe I should be taking more time with her.  Even while she was playing games on the phone today she wanted to stay cuddled with me.  I think that I don't take more time because I'm selfish and just want to get through the "work" as soon as possible, so that I can sit on the computer wasting my time and mind away.

Last week was a really difficult school week.  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, oh my, it was just rough.  Leigh was fussy and Abby wanted nothing to do with school.  I was stressed out.  I have ladies' Biblestudy on Thursdays, and I asked for prayer for help with school.  We didn't do any school on Friday because, well because I just didn't want to.  But we did some on Saturday, and it was seriously way better.  And so far this week it has gone much better as well.  I am so very excited.

I think that it's not that Abby is any different, well, maybe a little, but I have just more patience.  An that makes a huge difference.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Where is a Horizontal Keyboard Option When You Need One?

It's funny how when I have Internet and computer access, I can sit down and try to think of something to write but I never seem to feel like it or it just doesn't seem interesting enough. But the minute you take away my computer, I have huge urges to share all my thoughts with the world.

We are now moved. And am I ever glad that is done. Now I just have to unpack. I've been thinking, and I'm still not quite sure which is worse, packing or unpacking. I'm leaning towards packing I think, because unpacking has that organizational and fun-to-find-a-place-for-it elements. My problem is that the basement here isn't finished or even ready for storage so I'm trying to stuff everything upstairs. I have too much stuff. If you need any stuff, come see me.

On top of all the adventure of a new house, we started "school" on Tuesday. I had wanted to start a couple weeks ago but that didn't pan out. We've only done two days so far, but everyone is still alive. It is definitely a patience building thing, teaching Madison, and Livi too. But I think it is going to work out just fine.

So this is all I'm going to write for now because I'm on my iPhone and it's ridiculously frustrating typing on here. Hope everyone out there reading his is well. Have a fun filled weekend. I'm hoping to convince my husband to take us to the lake while the good weather lasts.

Friday, August 10, 2012

How Playing Outside Affects Me

Is it just me or is it almost more disruptive when your kids are playing outside?  Ok, maybe not, but it comes close.  I like to think that I'm getting them out of my hair when they want to play outside, but my goodness, this morning it was like they couldn't leave me alone.  They were constantly coming to the door and ringing the doorbell, or else they were screaming at each other for any number of reasons, or they were absolutely silent, sending me into panic mode thinking they had been kidnapped.  Because I am nothing, if not rational.

Seriously, I think I answered the door about 20 times while they were outside.  It's very disruptive to have to stop what I'm doing to walk to the door and open it to find either a dandelion, or some other weed/flower, that I must proclaim beautiful, or the girls calling me Teacher and asking questions, like when are we going to the park?  

The time they were silent today, they were actually playing in the truck.  Which is kind of nice because it occupies them and I don't have to worry about them running onto the road and getting hit by the maniac speeding cars that go by.  But I always have to check to see what buttons they pressed in the truck, because the other day they turned on the lights in the car (unbeknownst to me) and when I went to leave the next morning my car wouldn't start.  Fun times.  But hey, at least they're happy, right?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Summer So Far, In Point Form

  • Camping - We've gone out twice and it's been great.  We're hoping to go again later this month, but this time during the week.  I'm really looking forward to it.  Even though camping is still a lot of work for me, when I'm there it's like I can relax.  I don't have an ongoing list in my head of the million things I should be doing.  
  • VBS - Abby is starting her third VBS this week.  We actually haven't completed a whole week of VBS yet though.  The first two she seemed to really like, but today I was told that she was fine at first but then she didn't want to be there and she hid under a pew for a long time.  One of the leaders basically hung out with her.  The big difference for this one is that her best friend isn't there, so I think she feels alone and left out and shy and all that stuff.  I'm hoping that she will still go the rest of the days though, we'll see.
  • Waterpark - We're a block from the park, so I try to take the girls there at least once a week.  It's a nice way to keep cool.  I enjoy it because I can just relax on a blanket while they run around.  Well, as much relaxing as you can do while a soaking wet child wants to sit on your lap and eat grapes.  
  • Canoeing - We had a canoe given to us, and I bless the couple that gave it to us everytime we go out.  It is the perfect way to spend time together on the weekends.  We went out on Sunday and the girls and Daddy even jumped into the lake from the canoe.  Fun times.
  • Moving - We're moving!  Not until the end of August, but I included it in the list because now my life is filled with packing.  And I'm excited.  There is no basement suite in the house we're moving to.  It will just be us.  Yay!  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Glimpse In the Mind of a Three-Year-Old

What is it with 3-year-olds?  I actually try to avoid saying this because it seems that you could say it for every age.  (What is it with 30-year-olds?)  But seriously, it can be so frustrating.  And funny.  Funstrating.  That just sounds weird.

Being a parent seems to require more patience than I have in me.  I guess that's why I have God, right?  Leigh is only freshly turned three, but it takes a bit of almost manipulating to get her to do what you want.  Here is a typical conversation.

Mama: Here's your stickers, Leigh.  Go play with them at the table.

Leigh: No table!  I want big table.

Mama: Ok, go to the big table.

Leigh: No big table!  Little table!

Mama: Ok, sit at the little table.

Leigh: Yes! (said almost rebelliously, as if she thinks that she is getting one up on me.)

It seems like every decision of hers has to first start with a negative answer, and then she switches to the yes.  Must be some form of control, making it her idea instead of mine.  But I'm not a psychiatrist, I'm not going to analyze too much.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

This is Mostly a Catch-Up Post

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand I'm still here.  It has been a crazy month.  Or even if it wasn't super crazy, just abnormal.  I feel like I haven't really been home for so long, though really we were home most of May.  But we were sick for a good two weeks, so that kind of cuts into it I think.

We're better now, or mostly.  Leigh was finally over her cough, but it came back last weekend, so I'm taking her in to the doctor's tomorrow.  But the rest of us are fine.

My grandpa died last week, so we went down to the Island for his funeral.  That was hard for me, not hte going there, but just his death, because he is the first of my grandparents to die.  And even though it was a long drive for a short visit, I was still very glad that we were able to go.  Everyone thanked me for coming, but the truth was that it was just as much a selfish thing for me to go.  I needed to be around my family at a time like this.  All of my cousins except for one were able to make it, so we got to visit with people we really haven't seen in almost ten years.

An up side to that is that Mark was able to come, so he got to meet my family and see where I used to spend my summers.  We got to see my Great-Grandma, who turned 99 this year.  I was glad that she was able to meet him.

So now it is back to life, at least for a few months!  If this rain would stop, maybe the girls and I could do some gardening.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Just To Let You Know

I hate being sick.  I hate my kids being sick.  I hate my husband being sick.  Thankfully, he isn't sick.  But the rest of us are.  I even spent Friday night overnight at the hospital with Abby.  Leigh should have been there too.  Hopefully she won't have to go though.  So that is about all I have to talk about right now because my brain is kind of stuffy and foggy.  I'll resume more interesting posts when I'm not so tired. :-)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Now You Know What I Wear Under My Day Clothes, Lucky You

Guess what?  I got me some Spanx!

Yes, I purchased a Slim Cognito Mid-Thigh Body Suit.  I will admit that I was very very excited waiting for it to come.  And it got here last week.  Or I should say it was at the gas station over the border waiting for me to pick it up since last week.  I've only had it in my actual possession since Tuesday.

I think that in my thoughts, or more like my dreams, I figured that the Spanx would change my life.  Not like drastically or anything, but I think I was hoping it would make me look at least a size smaller.  Because I've sort of given up on the diet thing for the last few weeks.  But that's a sob story to be told another day.

So this new body suit was to make me look and feel good.  And it actually does make a bit of a difference.  Just not the huge one I was hoping and crossing my fingers for.  So I was a little let down with the actual results.  And that just serves me right for being lazy and hoping Spanx could do what I wasn't willing to do (exercise).

I was actually going to take some pictures for you all to see of me in my glory.  Don't worry, I would be wearing clothes, not just Spanx!  But I just haven't gotten around to it so you'll have to wait with patience.

So the point tonight is that Spanx is great and helps smooth over you lines, but get off your lazy butt and just exercise once in awhile Erica and you would be happier and most likely a few pounds lighter too.  (That line was solely for myself so please don't think I'm yelling at you)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Cute and Sometimes Embarrassing Things Kids Say

Setting: Boston Pizza Bathroom, wheelchair accessible stall so Abby, Leigh and I can all fit in together.

Scene: Abby went pee, and Leigh went second (YAY).  Then it was my turn.  After I was done Leigh loudly says "Good Job Mama!!"

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

It Was Supposed to be About Him, But It's All About Me Instead

Tonight it is pressed on my heart how important it is to be encouragements to our husbands.  And this is an area I feel that I'm not the greatest at.  (Ok, so I don't think I have many areas that I'm good at.)  But it's one I want to get better at.

I think my problem is that I am so emotionally driven that if he is upset or frustrated at something, I just pick it up and run until it's suddenly all about me and how I'm stressed because he's stressed and why can't he just understand and be nice and not get mad?  Why?  Oh wait, there I go again!

I'm realizing that it comes from being very self-centred.  I constantly think of how hard I feel my life is, how stressed I am.  His stresses are far removed from me.  It's usually things or people at work, and I have a hard time picturing it sometimes, since I don't see it first hand.  If I don't experience it, it doesn't exist, right?

But it does exist!  His life isn't perfect either.  Yesterday he worked from 6:30 am until 2:30 am.  And then had to go to work at 7 am again this morning.  I complain when I go to bed later than 11 and get up sooner than 7.

So he was a little short-tempered this morning, which was really understandable since he only had about 3 hours of sleep.  He anticipated being at odds with his boss all day.  I wanted to encourage him somehow to act Christ-like, to not get frustrated.  But I didn't think it was something he wanted to hear, so I didn't say anything.  And besides, I had only gotten maybe 4ish hours of sleep so I wasn't much better than him.

But the day turned out all right for him, so far.  I talked to him in the late morning and he was mostly cheerful sounding.  So I was very thankful for that because I had been praying that his day would go smoothly.  Hopefully it still is.  He still is at work, but he won't have to stay quite as late tonight since they have another guy to come and spell him off.  I'm very glad because I have such a hard time sleeping when he's not here, and especially when he's working.  I'm always imagining horrific accidents.

There I go, making it all about me again.  Gotta work on that.

Monday, March 19, 2012

My Kids Are Featherless Birds

I got crafty last month.  I saw these wings a few months ago at Ordinary Time, and decided I wanted to make them for my girls.  I didn't do it right away but started earlier this year.  I finished them a little while ago and was quite pleased with the results.

My hubs suggested adding the streamers on the bottom, and I think it makes it that much more fun.  And actually, they differ a fair bit from the original original design, which is found here at All Dressed Up and Nowhere To Go.

Abby and Leigh had been playing Baby Bird quite a bit lately, making nests from blankets and pretending to hatch and be a baby bird.  So I figured that they would love these wings and had visions of them wearing them constantly and flapping their way through life.

Turns out reality is not so much what I though it would be. They refuse to wear them.  I think we managed to get Abby to wear them twice, for periods of time no longer than 5 minutes.  Leigh wore them once, and only just long enough to get them on before she demanded them off.

Mark was very upset that they didn't like the wings and was almost ready to forcefully make them wear them.  I am sad that they didn't want them, but I won't make them do something they really really REALLY don't want to do.  So my wings that I slaved hours and hours over are relegated to the dress-up box.  But I am still holding out hope that they will discover them there one day and think "Wow, I should be a bird today!"

It could happen.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Someone Remind Me Why I Have Kids?

I usually try to write posts that are more on the cheerful, optimistic kind of side because I know that I could easily just sit here day after day and complain about anything and everything.  But unfortunately this is not a post like that.  It is a venting post.  Please excuse it.  It's been a bit of a trying week.

My kids are driving me nuts!  And right now it's mostly Leigh, dear that she is.  She has been sick the last few days with a fever, so I've given grace to her crankiness because I get cranky when I'm sick too.  But today, she threw the biggest fit I have ever seen her have.

She was inconsolable.  Seriously, nothing was making her happy.  Not food, not her monkey (blanket), not even a tv show.  She was hyperventilating a bit and just keep screaming and crying.  We began to worry that she had something wrong with her, like a sickness or who knows what.

I finally got her bundled to take to emerg and Mark took her outside to put in the car.  I came out shortly after and she was playing on our little ship/slide in the yard.  Not crying.  Hmmmmm, that's suspicious.  Maybe she isn't sick.

She was fine outside until I told her she couldn't ride her bike on the road.  That started the fit again.  So I figured that it was just an attitude thing, and she was not ill.  At least that worry is gone.  But how am I supposed to deal with the rest of it?

We got the painting easel set up for the girls, and Abby happily started painting a cow, of course.  Everytime she paints, she says she's painting a cow.

Leigh started to get ready but then started freaking out again.  But after she saw Abby painting for awhile she quietly got on her painting smock and wanted some paint.  And she was fine again.

She didn't throw another fit until right now when I put her to bed.  I am currently listening to her cry at her bedroom door.  Today is the first day in her "big girl bed."  It is just her crib, lowered and with the railing taken off.  But apparently it is not acceptable.  Or maybe it's just the whole bed time that is not acceptable.

Some days I feel like God is gracious and gives me lots of strength to make it, and other days I feel so stretched that I don't think I will make it through the next ten minutes without doing something I regret.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

She's a Winner!

Well, way back last summer I boldly stated that we were potty training Leigh.  And then I think I didn't mention it for about 6 months.  Mainly because I stopped because it seemed to take too long and was frustrating.  But in January we began potty training, again.   And this time I was determined to see it through to the end.  It was panties or die.  Or maybe something a little less drastic.  Like cleaning poop off the floor for the rest of my life.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaanyways.  I wanted to boast to  update you all on our progress.  And I am pleased to report that Leigh seems to have 'gotten it'.  She only wears diapers at night, though that seems sporadic now since she likes to rip them off in the middle of the night.  But all day she is diaper free.  And while she still has the occasional accident, most of the time the pee and poop end up where they are supposed to go.  

And the beauty of it now?  I don't even have to give her candy for going, or even ask her if she has to go.  She just goes on her own.  She can take her potty cup and dump it in the big toilet all by herself too.  Though I usually come because I like to rinse it.  

Monday, February 27, 2012

I'm All Alone With Only Myself For Company, Somebody Help Me!

I have a few things I want to share with you but our only camera is my iPhone and I don't have the sync cord since Mark is gone for this week and took it away with him.  I know we have another one somewhere, but I don't know where it is.  So what is the point in sharing things with no pictures to go along?  It kind of makes a bland post, I think.

So instead I will whine to you all about how I have to spend 3 nights all alone (well, obviously not completely alone, since the kids will be here) while hubs is out of town working.  I admit, I cried on the phone to him.  I'm horribly whiny and mopey when I'm the one left home alone.

Yet I am totally gung-ho when it's me who gets to go somewhere.  Like last summer when I went to Chilliwack and Nanaimo for a week.  And in just two months I'll be headed back north for a quick trip before going down south to the Okanagan for my sister's wedding.  All while leaving Mark at home.  Though he will join me for the wedding.  I should probably feel sorry for him, since when I go, he is COMPLETELY alone because I take the kids with me.  At least I get a warm body to sleep with.

And what about all those families where the husband has to work on the rigs for weeks at a time?  I have it super easy compared to that.  Or military families.  Obviously God knew that I wouldn't be able to survive any kind of deployment.  I barely survive a weekend.

And you know what is the frustrating thing?  I was missing him a lot and feeling super lonely, and was glad he called before heading to bed.  And I still fight with him!  I mean, couldn't I put things aside and just let them go?  Why do we have to fight?

It's probably because I'm hungry.  I'm frantically dieting at the moment (so I can fit my dress for the wedding) and have only lost 7ish pounds since I started.  Ok, so when I write that down, it actually seems like a bit of an accomplishment.  But I think to me it doesn't count because it's 7 pounds that I regained after my last weight loss, on top of gaining back what I had lost.

But now I'm tempted to go on a rant about weight loss.  I won't subject you to that...tonight.  Tomorrow is fair game.

Good night, pray that I am able to sleep.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

At Least I Got a Hot Chocolate Out of It

Yesterday's car-tastrophe (hehehe, I hate/love this kind of play on words), I know you all are waiting in impatient anxiety to hear my tale of woe.  Or you have completely forgotten my promise of telling you this tale and are busy doing more important things like clipping your toe nails.  Which reminds me, Leigh really needs a nail clip, toes and fingers.  She's quite dangerous.

So, yesterday I headed out of town to drop my daughter off at a friend's house.  It was my parent duty day at Abby's preschool.  Just after dropping Leigh off, I noticed that my heat vents were throwing out cold air.  I thought it was odd and annoying but shut it off and didn't think too much further.  But then I noticed that little light on my dash that said "Check Gages."  I thought Crap!

And then I looked at my gages and said Crap! again.  Because the temperature in my engine was close to the red line, AGAIN.  See, last summer we had problems with our water pump that caused all our coolant to leak out and the engine to overheat.  And it always seemed to overheat when I was driving.  Fixed that in the fall, and life was fine and dandy (well, in the vehicle department anyways).

And then just a couple weeks ago, I came out of the grocery store and saw a big puddle of neon coloured liquid under the truck again.  Flashbacks of last summer haunted me and I was praying that my hubs wouldn't blow a gasket when I got home and told him the news.  It turns out the plug was loose, and once he tightened it, it was fine.  Or so we thought.  Until yesterday happened.

So I noticed the over-heating situation, and pulled over.  I was only about 5 minutes from my friend's place.  Still out of town, so not like I could walk there or home or anything.  I called my hubby who said he was on his way, once he stopped to pick up a new plug, since that's what we figured the leak was from.  The downside of this is that he was also working out of town, but on the OTHER side, so he didn't come for about 40-45 minutes.

Abby and I just hung out, in a turned off truck.  At least it wasn't anything like -20, maybe only -10ish.  I had her sit with me because my legs were cold.  Haha, and to keep her warm too.  Thankfully we had cell service so we watched some You Tube videos to pass the time.  But despite the service, I couldn't get a hold of the nursery school because their number isn't listed.

Anyways, that's the gist of it.  I didn't make it home until 10:30 (I left the house that morning at 8).

But so I don't leave you all depressed about our vehicle situation (Ok, maybe it's just me) here is a conversation with Abby.

Me: It's supper time now.

Abby: Soup?

Me: No, we're having chicken and rice.

Abby: I don't want chicken.

Me: Yes you do, you love chicken.

Abby: No!  No Chicken!

*I take the chicken out of the oven and put it on top of the stove.*

Abby: What's that?

Me: Chicken.

Abby: I have some? (said very hopefully)

Me: Yes, you may have some chicken.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Who Doesn't Have Children Just to Get a Higher Score?

Some days I still feel like a petty, competitive high schooler.  Because of the fact that I still feel like life is a competition and I have to try to "be better" or ahead of others.  I've said before that I compare myself to others even though I know I shouldn't.  And I am definitely working on that with God too.  But obviously the journey is still closer to the beginning than the end of my responses to the news of others having babies, for instance.

Yay for babies!  I'm glad for my friends who are having more.  But it gives me some frustrating feelings.  One, Baby Fever!!!!!!  Oh my goodness, all these babies and talk of babies and what not, I just need one!  2 1/2 years old is no longer baby enough.  And two, the competition thing.

I have a Facebook friend who was married the same year as me, and also has two kids like me, just a little younger than my girls.  She just announced that she is having another baby this summer.  And then she will beat me.

Isn't it pathetic that that was me first thought when I read the news?  That she will beat me?  Just because she will have three kids before me, doesn't mean she's better.  It doesn't make me less.  Yet this is what I feel, with her news and others as well.

My good friend here in town has a daughter who is almost 8 now.  And I constantly feel like I'm behind in the game and will never catch up because her oldest daughter is older than mine.  (And I know what she is going to say when she reads this!  She will probably be like "Oh Erica!  That's ridiculous!"  And then she would give some good, godly encouragement.  she's so good at that.  Thanks girl!)

I need to get it through my brain!  It's not a game or competition or anything resembling that!  God knows all of us and our futures and what we need when we need it!  So stop stressing and just live my life in God's love.

Tomorrow I will share my car frustrations with you all so you can be frustrated with me!  Hahaha.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My Whole House is Now Covered in Glitter...Seriously

I am officially glittered out for today.  We just finished making some Valentine's cards.  Only 12, and I never want to see glitter again.  Or at least a day.  I was just going to make the cards for the girls' grandparents, but then Abby liked the glittering so much we just kept going so I figured these could be for her class too.  So now I need something like 20 cards.  We did 12 today.  So 8 more, plus family cards to do too.

Valentine's is a week away.  I didn't seriously realize this until a friend reminded me of this.  We're not very big holiday people around here anyways, so it's not like I have these huge Valentine's plans.  Hubs and I aren't planning on going out, mostly because it's the month with the cheque with Christmas break on it, so we don't really have the money for a babysitter plus a fancy dinner (or as fancy as you get in a small town!).

But it did remind me that I have some random thoughts floating through my head, not fully developed or anything.  I just kind of wanted to do a bit of a nice dinner at home maybe, and have a sort of "date night" or something.  But I'm not fully sure on any details or ideas of what exactly I want to do.  I'll have to check Pinterest, they have everything there! ;-)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I have two new things in my life today: bangs and boots.

Here are the bangs

It only took about 5 tries to get a photo that was sort of centred, mostly clear, with no cleavage taking over the screen.  But isn't Leigh super cute?!

I love my new bangs.  I had a few before, but they were wispy and tended to mostly look greasy and lonely.  My friend cut them for me and at first I was needing a little adjustment time but now I am in love.  How did I live before?  I think I look so much better.  I pity my previous self for looking so pathetic.  :-)

And the boots

A photo on might show them off better, but meh.  I bought these throw a Facebook buy and sell group.  These again were an adjustment, but now I love them.  Though I don't think I have many clothes that are worthy to be paired with them.  And I have a desire now to try to wear them with a skirt but I think that might be too daring for me.  We'll see.

I got lots of compliments on my boots.  Okay, by lots I mean two people, but still!  It's two of my friends so that means lots to me.

New things just jazz life up a little and I was needing that.  I was contemplating trying to rearrange the furniture in my room but I don't think my hubs wants me to do that.  Plus I don't know if all the stuff would fit in the room any other way.  

I have lots of ideas for organization in my house, but I don't have all my items to do that, so I kind of feel stuck in that area.  Like I want to organize all our craft supplies, and my scrapbooking stuff.  I was planning on buying a cabinet at Christmas, but that fell through when we needed to fix our truck tire.  But I still hold onto that idea.  I have decided that I might be able to put supplies in boxes or baskets or something and use my baby change table as a shelf, since I'm not using it for babies currently.  But then I need more boxes or whatever.  And I don't want to buy them here, since they're like expensive, I think $5 at Extra Foods.  There is a Dollar Tree (which is pretty much my favourite non-secondhand store) just an hour south of me in Idaho, but I have to get my passport renewal sent off before I can go down again.

So those are my thoughts tonight.  Glad you were able to share them with me!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Of Headaches and Julia Roberts

This day sure got away from me.  I had our Ladies'/Moms' Group this morning at my house and it was a nice refreshing time for my spirit.  Encouraging me to keep it up and seek God.

But after lunch my head started to KILL me.  I had gone to bed late last night, so I attributed it to that.  I am not much of a napper, but I figured it was worth a try since the headache wasn't going anywhere.  I locked the door, threw the Netflix on the Wii (since the kids can work that remote and not the XBox one) and went to my room to lie down.

An hour and a half later I had yet to even doze.  ARGH!

So I just gave up and vegged on the couch all afternoon.  I texted my husband to see if he could come home early since the kids were driving me nuts and I was responding very poorly but he couldn't.  Can't his boss see that I am a poor, sick woman who needs a break from needy children? (Did I sound pathetic enough?  haha, his boss is actually mostly good if I'm seriously ill and can't deal on my own, which isn't often)

And then hubby had to go to youth tonight, so he wasn't home very long before he left again.  So now I'm on my own.  But my head isn't quite as bad as it was before so that's a bit of a relief.  I am going to go watch some nice, light chick flick soon and possibly eat some popcorn for supper.

And while doing this I am not going to stress and worry about the state my house is in.  The dishes aren't done, no laundry is done, the toy room is a sort of mess (it's actually usually worse) and my floor needs to be mopped, for the second time this week.  When I get my own house, I am so making sure I have a floor that does NOT show every little speck on it.  So annoying.

So here's to Friday nights at home alone.  And not in a lonely way. In a I-can-watch-a-cheesy-rom-com-without-sarcastic-commentary kind of way.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Currently On-Going Saga of the Potty

I wonder how many litres of pee I have cleaned off my floor in the past few months?  I guess when I think of it, it won't be many litre wise, but it might be lots cup wise.  What a delightful thought.

Potty training is not high on my list of thrills.  I think I'm just watching and waiting for Leigh to train herself.  I know in theory how we trained Abby, but I actually don't remember the specifics.  Though parts of it come back as this goes on.  Like the hours I spent sitting on the edge of the tub.  

Leigh is different though.  She likes to "use" the little kid's potty, not the big toilet.  Abby never used the little one, she always used the big one.  Maybe there's just more going on, Leigh doesn't want to miss it.

But Leigh still hates to use the potty.  I can get her on there for about 10 seconds and then she's jumping up and around and ready to go, and not 2 minutes later has peed on the floor.  

At home we are always wearing panties now, no diapers unless we are leaving the house.  I think that it is sort of cluing through her brain that when she pees, she gets wet.  

And the other day, I think it was Monday, I found half a poop in the potty!!!!!  (Insert celebratory trumpet band here)  Abby alerted me that Leigh smelled like poop and sure enough, she had some poop on her bum, but I couldn't find it anywhere!  Finally I looked in the potty and there it was.  

Though she proceeded to finish her business on the bedroom floor.  But it's a start!  It's the first we've got.  I gave her a Lindor chocolate.  Hopefully that encourages her to do it again.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Nothing Really Important to Say, Just Blabbering About My Offspring's Cuteness

I'm sitting here, wishing that I had a cup of tea but am feeling a little too lazy to go make one, listening to my girls play together and hearing them say things like, "More water!" "10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1, BOOM!" "The flowers" "Quuaaaaack, quuuuuaaaaaaaaaaaack"

One of my favourite things is to watch and listen to them play together.  The things that they imagine are sometimes so funny.  And a lot of the time, they don't even need toys to play.  One of their favourite things is to take all the condiments out of the fridge door.  Leigh likes to line them all in a row and count them over and over, while Abby likes to play with them.  The salad dressing might turn into a super hero, while the BBQ sauce is an animal in trouble.  Apparently all the toys in the play room are over rated.

I'm thankful that they like to play together, but am also constantly reminded that they definitely aren't perfect.  Just now they started a loud whining "Nooooo, No, No."  I think Leigh wanted the toy Abby had, or something.     

One cute thing that my girls do is switch places.  They seem to have their system worked out perfectly.  Like the other night they were both sitting in a laundry basket listening to Daddy play the guitar and sing songs to them.  And after each song, one of them would get up and say "OK" and move to switch spots.  And the other girl would get right up and move.  Then it would happen again.  They do this with colouring books, or playdough too.  It's pretty cute.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My Newest Inamimate Object Love

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!  Wheeeeeeeeeee!

That is me laughing and doing a very happy dance.  I used my new laminator for the first time tonight and it works woooooooooooooooooonderful.

I had previously had a different laminator, a Sircle Lam something or other.  It worked alright...sometimes.  If you didn't put too many things in the pouch and if it was heated up enough between times and if you crossed all your fingers and toes and held your breath while it was running.

It drove me nuts because of the amount of things I had to redo.  Probably over 50%.  I was so frustrated.  But I figured that it was my own fault for cheaping out.  I don't remember exactly how much it was, but not much.  Finally after another night of me practically throwing all my papers on the floor because of it, my hubby suggested buying a different one, one that worked and didn't give me the twitches.

So I bought a Scotch TL901 Thermal Laminator, and as you can tell it works.  And bonus for me, I paid less for this one than the other one because it was on sale on Amazon, like somewhere around 80% off I think!  Dude!

I picked it because Carisa from 1+1+1=1 uses it, and I'm sure she does way more laminating than I do, so if she uses it it probably works great.

So tonight I finally got my calendar pieces fixed.  Hurrah!   I would do calendar time with them, but it was difficult, to say the least, when we didn't have the month, or the day.  So I would be like, "Well, today is the 12th, but we don't have that number, so we'll use 23."  Doesn't seem to have quite the same effect.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Creating a Memorable New Year's Weekend

First off, can anyone else wrap their minds around the fact that it's 2012?  I certainly can't.  I'm pretty sure that it should still be something like 2007.

We headed up to Edmonton last Thursday to meet my parents (Dad and Step-mom) and brother who were flying back in from Arizona.  I used to scorn the idea of spending Christmas, the winter holiday, in a warm climate, but lately I've decided that it's not a bad idea.  I could use a little warm.  Not that it has been all that cold, mind you.  It's actually been really warm.  But it can always get warmer.  I'm ready for Spring already.

Anyways, off the bunny trail.  We were going to meet them at the hotel in the evening.  The plan was that we would probably be there a few hours before them since their plane didn't get in until 7:30 and they would have to get their luggage and van and then drive to the hotel, which was a little ways away.  Our drive was about 9 hours, not super long, so even if we didn't leave until 10 (which is exactly what we did) we should still get there somewhere around 7-7:30, depending on gas and food stops.

Well, the first delay, or maybe I should call it the second since the first could technically be sleeping in until 9, was when my dear oldest daughter Abby said she had to puke.  So we quickly pulled over to the side of the road, and I'm opening the door while putting on my shoes at the same time (I like to travel barefoot, with my feet usually on the dash which irritates the snot out of dear ole hubs because it leaves toeprints all over the windshield).  I open her door in the back and quickly unbuckle her and proceed to help her "puke" on the ground.  But it was to no avail, she didn't puke.

Our kids have a history of car sickness on long trips (only the long ones, never the short ones.  Somehow, they know) so I didn't want her to get back in the car and then throw up.  But nothing was happening so we started off again.  Only 10 minutes down the road, Leigh starts to hold her mouth.  But there was no time for intervention.  She started and right away so did Abby.  Oh Happy Day.

That took a fair amount of time to clean up.  While on the side of the road.  With baby wipes.  And the wind was blowing.  My poor children's bare bottoms that were waiting for some clean clothes.

So we were on our way again, stopped in the next town for some much needed Gravol (why could we never remember at the BEGINNING!).  We were about forty minutes out of this city when suddenly our truck is shaking and the front wheel is wobbling.  Enter delay number 3.

Couldn't figure out what was wrong, so we turned around to hobble back to the previous city, Edmonton trip cancelled.  But God sent a highway maintenance man to help us.  He pulled over in front of us and diagnosed that our lugnuts(?) were loose.  Brilliant.  Tightened those and then we continued heading back to town so we could get to a tire shop to fix the tire.

(Wow, this is getting long.  I'll shorten up here. Sorry!)

This was around 12:30.  We didn't leave town again until 4:30.  Did I mention we were just one hour from home?  Eight hours of driving still ahead of us!  I really didn't want to give up my weekend, so I convinced Mark to drive to Calgary, which was only about 4 hours away, and spend the night and drive the remainder the next morning.

It was so nice to see my family and spend the time with them.  We went to the waterpark at the West Ed Mall, and the kids had a BLAST there.  We did some shopping, which was alright, nothing spectacular.  It was just so nice to be around them, especially since it will be 5 more months before we see them again.

But on Saturday, Abby got sick while Mark and I were shopping.  My parents were watching the girls while we went alone.  Poor kid.  And once we got back, Mark started feeling ill.  And then he was sick all night.  And in the middle of the night, I was lying there, feeling perfectly fine (well, I did have a cold, but no nausea) when my stomach tweaked and started to feel just a little off.  Wonderful.  We were supposed to leave the next day.

We did leave, and Mark was well enough to drive, which was good because I was NOT.  I didn't actually throw up, just felt generally terrible.  Abby seemed fine, but Leigh threw up a few times.

So that was our weekend away.  Could this post have been any longer?!