Category Archives: All things mommy and daddy related

Early to bed, and early to rise…

Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise??  Is that how it goes?

I’ve checked, and yes, that’s what it says, and it was Benjamin Franklin who said it.  Note the use of the word “man”. 

So what about women?  What good does it do us humble housewives to go to bed early and get up early?  Well, I have one answer to the early to bed part, anyway.

We went to bed early last night (yes, that’s where I’m going with this) and it turned out to be a smart decision.  We were asleep, I’ll bet, by ten o’clock, which is a feat for us – we are up past eleven on most nights.  I was soundly asleep when I heard Jenny crying.  This is not unusual, as she wakes up crying quite often, usually just because she has to go to the bathroom.  I shook off my stupor and went in to find out what the problem was.  Jenny was very disoriented and carrying on about someone getting her.  She kept saying, “Look, look!” and pointing at the bed, but all I saw was a little something that I quickly brushed off, assuming it was fuzz.  But then I felt the front of her pajamas and they were wet.  I couldn’t imagine that she had cried all that much, but I still figured she was just having a nightmare and so I tried to lay her back down in bed.  That’s when the back of my hand came into contact with her pillow and it was wet.  And lumpy.  And then I smelled it.  How I didn’t smell that sickly sweet scent when I walked into the room, I’ll never know.

We had lentil soup for supper and that’s what I found all over Jenny’s bed last night.  And a bit on the wall as well, for good measure.  Jenny has taken to sleeping with five or six blankets lately (just baby blankets, not comforters), and there was puke on EVERY SINGLE ONE.  I could hardly believe that – I thought I could at least salvage a few to put over her when the sheets were changed. 

So, once the vomit was discovered, I directed Jenny to the bathroom and started stripping the bed.  She had puke all over her pajamas and when I tried to take them off, I realized that it wasn’t going to happen without depositing a fair amount of that into her hair.  She already had a bit in her hair, but I thought that maybe I could just wipe it out with a washcloth.  The goal here was to avoid giving her a bath in the middle of the night, in part because it just wasn’t something I felt like doing, and in part because she had just had a bath before bed.  However, there was simply no way around it, so I quickly washed her up and put her in new pajamas. 

As far as I can tell, the whole process only took me fifteen or twenty minutes, right up to getting her back into bed with a new pillow, clean sheets and a king sized blanket folded over to cover her up.  I got back into bed, was just trying to go to sleep and she yelled to say she had to go to the bathroom.  Ugh (I wish there was a better way to type that sound…).

It was at least midnight when I got to sleep and then Erik picked two o’clock as a good time to get up.  He is so ready for solids – I can’t wait for next week!

Oh, yeah, on that note: I’m anal.  Ask anyone who really knows me and they’ll tell you that I’m annoyingly anal about some things.  When I start solids is one that even I don’t totally get.  I mean, I know that it’s not good for their stomachs until they are six months old, but what difference can a week make?  Erik has been acting hungrier than normal for the last week or so and I’m sure it’s because he wants more than just breastmilk.  But because of my personality (flaw), I am waiting until he is officially six months old, which is Monday.  I did this with Jenny and Elias and they turned out just fine.  I know it’s weird, but whatever. 

There’s a whole lot more to write about, but all this remembering about missing sleep is making me tired and I just can’t bear to go on.  So, next time you can hear about my early mornings, my lack of Christmas decorating and planning, my schedule conflicts and how the economy is affecting our household.  Doesn’t that just sound terrific?  Stay tuned…

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Filed under All things mommy and daddy related, Illness and Injury, Kiddos, Life, in general

My coming home story – meme

I’ve been tagged by a virtuous woman (L.H. over at Virtuous Living)!  I’m not incredibly familiar with the whole “meme” thing, but I’m going to do my best.  And anyway, this is a subject that I would love to share about.  If my story can be an encouragement to young girls on their way to womanhood, my mission will be accomplished.

While many women choose to “come home” when they have a baby because they’ve been working outside the home prior to the birth of their first child, I stayed home.  From the time of my marriage in February, 2004 until the birth of my daughter in June, 2005, I was at home.  The reasons were simple – I couldn’t legally work without a whole lot of paperwork, and we had plenty of paperwork to begin with.

Since I have readers who aren’t familiar with my story, I’ll start at the beginning.

I was raised in Washington state and after high school, went to Westbank, British Columbia to the Youth With a Mission base there.  I met my husband there in our school of ten students.  We knew each other for six months before we got engaged – the day after our school ended.  We had a year long engagement and were married in the states on February 28, 2004.  In order to live in Canada and apply for permanent residence, I had to first have a visitor visa that was valid for the time before being approved for residence.  The visitor visa does not allow you to work, and although I could have applied for a work visa, it would have been a great deal of…work.  Mike’s income and savings were more than enough for us to live on, so we saw no reason to push for employment for me.

Here I have to go back a bit further to how I saw my future when I was a teenager. 

I felt called to work with kids – my plan was to be a youth pastor after high school.  Had I stuck to my guns and gone to university immediately after high school, I more than likely would not be here and would not have three gorgeous children right now.  I think I imagined myself working until having kids, and then putting the kids in school and going back to work.  I wanted three, maybe four kids when I was still pretty young, and had no reason to think I wouldn’t work for a few years after getting married.  And then I discovered the truth behind birth control and my mind started to change.  I committed to not getting married until I also felt ready to have kids.  By the time I became engaged to Mike, I was very decided on this and also that I wanted more than four kids and wanted to homeschool.  I guess maturity had taught me that working isn’t everything.  It’s not so much that my goal of being a stay at home mom evolved, because I had always wanted that – I never imagined putting my kids in daycare, anyway.  I think what happened is that the time I imagined spending as a stay at home mom lengthened.  It went from beginning two or three years into marriage to possibly nine months into marriage; from the ten years or so it would take all three or four of my kids to enter school to the twenty or so years it will take for all of my kids (six if I have as many as Mike will let me) to be homeschooled and on to bigger things.

The great thing is that Mike agreed with all of it!  We had been engaged for a few months when I had the birth control talk with him.  I explained that it was possible that I would agree to some barrier method of birth control, but that I would not under any circumstances take hormonal birth control.  I also told him that I dreamed of a house full of kids and of homeschooling those kids to keep certain propaganda out of their heads when they were young and impressionable.  He just nodded his head and said he felt exactly the same way.  I had been a bit concerned that he may disagree with me and we’d have to call off our engagement, but this was a joyful moment instead. 

On to the birth of Jenny – God blessed us with six months of marriage before we conceived Jenny.  I felt ready to become a mother and apparently God knew that I was.  Many people assume that Jenny was an “accident”, but like all of our kids will be, she was and is a blessing, regardless of how early in our marriage she came.  Not only that, but we had expected to get pregnant in the first weeks of marriage.  Obviously, God had other plans.  Mike had found steady employment and gotten a raise just weeks before we found out about my pregnancy.  Fifteen months after our wedding, we welcomed our daughter into our little apartment, and two months later, we bought our first house – another blessing and surprise.

For me, staying home is a blessing.  I am so thankful that we can rely on God to provide for our financial needs so that I do not “have” to work.  I believe firmly that many women (and their husbands) feel it is necessary for them to work because of all the extras they deem necessary in their lives.  Two vehicles, big screen TVs, expensive yearly vacations, a four bedroom home before children are even born.  We determined that these are things we don’t need.  We would love a four bedroom home now, with three kids in a two bedroom home, but God has not said it’s time yet.  A vacation would be nice, but it is enough for us to travel back down to Washington this summer to visit my family and friends.  We have two vehicles most of the time now, but only because Mike’s new employer has provided him with a truck – we don’t pay for any of it. 

Maybe this is a big run-on and not quite according to the rules of the meme, but when I get going on this subject, it’s hard to stop.  The births of my children have been joyous occasions and I can’t imagine turning around in mere months to put them into daycare – it would break my heart.  I’m thankful for Mike and his willingness to work extra hours when he has to and put in the time it takes to become better at his job so that he can securely provide for us in the future.  I’m especially thankful that God tied my heart to this job.  Someday, when my kids are grown or don’t need me with them all the time, I will go to school and eventually have a “career”.  But for now, this is the best (and yes, the hardest) career I could ask for.

I would tag other people, but L.H.’s blog is more or less the only mom blog I read regularly.  I was going to tag someone, but it looks as though their blog is pretty inactive.  So if you read this entry and you’d like to tell your story, post a comment linking to the entry in your blog and I’ll read it, or if you don’t have a blog, post your story in the comment.  Thanks (and thanks, L.H., for the idea)!!

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“Overwhelmed” doesn’t even begin to describe it…

I am so tired.  I have been sick since before Erik was born and my kids have been sick off and on since then, too.  Erik was safe for awhile, but caught the cold as well around the ninth or tenth day after he was born.  I haven’t been eating well, either, due to a stand still in the kitchen brought on by extreme exhaustion and laziness.  Most of my nights recently have been spent with Erik sleeping next to me or in my arms because he won’t sleep otherwise.  I’m too tired to stay awake long enough to get him to sleep, so he stays with me instead.  I could lie down right now and be out in about a minute, I would guess. 

As for my house (since I’m back to being a messy housewife and not a pregnant one anymore) – it’s a wreck.  I mention this to people and they tell me to let it go, get my rest instead of letting it bother me, it will still be there when I’m better, and so on.  This is a very nice thing to hear, but if I don’t do it, it doesn’t get done, aside from Mike emptying the dishes and taking out the garbage.  The kitchen floor will not be swept or mopped unless I do it, the laundry will not be done unless I do it, etc. etc.  Today, in my stupor (that’s really how tired I feel..seriously), I emptied the dishes and swept the floor in the kitchen.  I want to mop (well, okay, I need to mop..I never want to clean anything) but the best time to do it is when the kids are napping, and as soon as they are in bed today, I’m going to bed.  If I don’t have a nap today, I might not make it through the evening without having a nervous breakdown.

The good news/bad news is that tomorrow is Canada Day.  Good news because Mike has the day off and because I will probably have opportunity to nap even when the kids are awake.  Bad news because just like weekends, the house will probably just get worse tomorrow.

Bah.  I could sleep sitting here at the computer.  I think I’d better lie down or something. 

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Pregnancy

Well, on the fifteenth of September, we found out that my husband’s sister and her husband were expecting their first baby.  I was actually quite surprised to not be pregnant by then (as our son was a year old…one year, no birth control, no pregnancy seemed a little strange), and I said to Mike after they made their announcement, “Okay, now I really want to have another baby.”  Well, I found out yesterday for sure (after a week and a half of feeling pretty sick) that I’m pregnant and due June 8th, just less than a month after my sister-in-law.  Hooray! 

So I’m actually going to start another blog for anyone who is actually interested in my pregnancy in particular…and as a sort of journal of my pregnancy.  I decided that the messy housewife blog just wasn’t a good place to carry on about puking and doctor’s appointments and labour, etc.  I’ll write again when I’ve got the new one set up.

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Filed under All things mommy and daddy related, Kiddos, Life, in general, Mi familia, Nine Months

Moving, Weddings and Houseguests

Well, apparently, it’s been quite a while since I last wrote.  How do I let it get so bad?!  Life, I suppose, keeps me from staying on top of most things. 

My house has gone the way of six months ago…my husband’s grandmother moved south and basically cleared out half of her possessions and either gave them to family or threw them away.  So we came home with a number of new things for our house, many of which don’t actually fit in our house.  For instance, we inherited an upright freezer.  Thankfully, it can be kept on the back porch…all the food Grandma was giving away has to fill my kitchen, though.  She decided not to take any food at all with her.  No spices, no canned food, no nothing.  So we came home with an awful lot – which is great for us – but we hardly have room for it all.  I had to reorganize a few things to fit most of it, then ended up getting even more when she cleaned out her fridge just before moving.  My refrigerator is packed at the moment, mostly with things like teriyaki sauce and mustard.  

Add to all of that the fact that I agreed to help bake for my sister-in-law’s wedding this coming Saturday.  My mother-in-law called me one day last week and said she was coming over with supplies for lemon squares.  The perk was that I got to keep everything I didn’t actually use for the lemon squares.  Quite convenient since I was nearly out of sugar and unbleached flour before she brought them to me.  It’s not so bad now that the six trays have been baked, sugared and frozen in the back porch freezer, but for a while it looked like I was attempting to start up a bakery in my little kitchen.  I still have a few things left to do in the kitchen before Thursday, but then, I swear I’m not touching a whisk or mixing bowl for two weeks.  (I’m also pretty certain that I’ll go back on that word)

Again, another wrench is that my dad is coming up for the wedding and staying with us Friday night through Tuesday afternoon.  We have no guest room and no basement and the mattress on our sofa bed is rather uncomfortable, so my dad will be sleeping on our extra bunk bed mattress in the middle of the living room floor.  This requires re-arranging of furniture because one of the things we acquired is a locking video cabinet, which is currently taking up space that we don’t really have.  A bit of moving around and I think we’ll be okay…but first I have to feel up to doing all that moving around…and, you guessed it – cleaning up. 

The FlyLady system has a term for what lurks in every corner of my house: Hot Spots.  My desk is a pretty bad one, and the plastic organizing towers to each side of the desk.  The table by the front door is a catch all and at the moment is hard to even see under all the junk mail, library books, church bulletins and shopping bags destined for return to the car.  My dresser top can be a pretty bad one, too, but I usually get to it before it is totally covered.  At the moment, I would love to have a day without my kids so that I could run through the house cleaning up all this mess.  Jenny is at the age where she greatly enjoys getting into things she knows she shouldn’t, and Elias has picked the last two weeks to be incredibly clingy.  I try to clean or bake or re-arrange while they are awake, but it’s futile.  And then I’m worn out from chasing or intervening or chastising by the time they have their naps that I don’t feel like doing what needs to be done.  Laziness?  Perhaps. 

Mike has a hockey game tonight at 10:45, which means he will be gone from 10:15 to sometime after midnight.  My body would greatly appreciate it if I went to bed, but I may have to take the opportunity to clean up after everyone’s mess.

Well, off I go…to attempt to do something productive.  Hmm…maybe if I just shut them in their room to play, they’ll leave me alone..Jenny doesn’t know how to open her door yet.

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Stay at home mothering is hard when you’re sick.

I am learning again that being sick makes my job tough.  Yesterday, I felt like going back to bed as soon as I got up.  Getting dressed left me out of breath and picking Jenny up made me dizzy.  Today I’m not much better.  The first few hours weren’t so bad, probably because I got more sleep last night than the night before, but I still feel pretty sick.  On top of feeling so lousy, it’s way too hot here right now.  I know, it’s not nearly as hot as other places in the world are right now, but I wasn’t made for heat.  My week in Supai, Arizona is coming to mind right now…104°F in the shade.  That memory should make me feel better, because right now, it’s only about 80° inside my house.  It’s not working.  It still feels too hot.

In an hour and a half, I will go to the doctor and hopefully be told that I have the flu.  Or an infection that requires something simple to clear it up.  It would be great if my scariest thoughts were way off base and silly to even be thinking.  We’ll see.

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Progress

Today was Father’s Day.  As is our custom, I told Mike he could do anything he wanted with the day (within reason, of course).  We went to church this morning, came home and had some fish and beans for lunch, then after the kids were down for naps, Mike went with his best friend (the one that isn’t me :)) to play some tennis.  I had time to be leisurely and then clean up a bit before they came back and another friend of ours came over.  The guys played some original Nintendo (woohoo), then played Heroscape – one of the games Mike loves to play but seldom gets to.  They stayed for supper – barbeque hamburgers – and finished their game.  Mike’s sister called just beforeeight and she and her fiance (who’s my buddy, just for the record) came over to play Wizard. 

The progress I’m referring to is being able to have that many people over without freaking out about the state the house is in.  Especially being able to have Lacey here – who’s kind of scary to have over because her standards of clean are so much different than mine.  And not only that, but after Mike served Lacey her water in a champagne flute, she said that we should use those when we invite her and Josh over for a fancy dinner.  I know she was hinting, but mostly joking, but I got the feeling that I could totally handle it.  And not only could I do it, but I should.  We have apparently hurt people’s feelings by not inviting them over for dinner or coffee.  This generally has everything to do with my fear of people seeing my mess.  So when I manage to get over it for any occasion, I’ve made progress.  Yes, I regress quite often, but I think it’s two steps forward, one step back.  I think.

So, it was a good day.  I made two separate batches of banana bread, so I even had something to serve for dessert.  Yay, me.  I’m feeling good about myself.  Which for me, is a very good thing.

Signing off.

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Filed under All things mommy and daddy related, Happiness, Holidays, Home Sweet Home, Life, in general, Mi familia, The H Word

Father’s Day

My husband is celebrating his third Father’s Day this year.  It has been such an amazing two years (and a bit) since Jenny was born.  It’s really incredible what you will see in a man after he becomes a father that you never would have before.  I’ll never forget the way he cradled our girl in the hours after her birth.  They have had a special connection since she was born.  I may have been jealous at one point, but then I had baby number two and it was a boy!  I suddenly understood this connection that many mothers seemed to have with their sons.  Elias just melts my heart, and I know that’s how Mike feels about Jenny, too.

As for my own father, I’m sad he’s so far away from me right now.  He raised us on his own from the time I was seven and we were so fortunate to have him.  My siblings didn’t understand this very well when they were young, but I think they do now.  He recently came to visit us and spent the whole time he was here buying us things and helping us fix things in our home.  I’ve never seen that kind of generosity before.  All I can hope is to do the same for my own kids someday.

I wouldn’t call this a great piece of writing, but I thought the weekend called for it and wasn’t sure if I’d get another chance.  Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there!!

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Filed under All things mommy and daddy related, Holidays, Home Sweet Home, Life, in general, Mi familia