Category Archives: Mi familia

And then the walls came down

After feeling pity for myself and shedding a few tears over my bad day, I got a phone call to put it all in perspective.  My sister-in-law, who is due July 7th with her second baby, was taken out of town in an ambulance to be induced after being in the hospital here overnight with high blood pressure.  The baby is small, the placenta looks bad and I am terrified that something is going to happen to her or the baby.  I have such love for her and that baby and her thirteen month old son.  Our nephew was small – 5 lb 8 oz – and only two days early, so it seems this baby could be even smaller.

At the heart of my fears, right next to my worst one, which would be something happening to her or the baby, is another one – that regardless of what happens, things are going to get worse for me.  That my situation will be ignored by everyone who knows her, and especially by Mike’s family.  It is terribly selfish and an awful thing to feel, I’m sure, but I can’t help it.  I am desperate for my own family right now.  For parents or siblings who love me.  For aunts or uncles or cousins who would offer help.  But they are all so far away and can’t do a thing for me right now except pray.  I guess the best I can do is to ask them to do that much, for me and especially for Mike’s sister.

So I’ll ask you as well (whoever you may be) to pray for our family – for Mike’s sister and her unborn baby, for her husband and their son and for Mike, Jenny, Elias, Erik and me.  And pray that this would all serve to prove God’s power and purpose in our lives.

1 Comment

Filed under Faith, Illness and Injury, Mi familia

Day 4: Psalm 18:1

For a reminder of what I am doing this month, read this post.

Psalm 18:1

I love you, Lord; you are my strength.

For some reason, VOTD has not posted a new verse of the day for today, so I searched “March 31, 2009 verse of the day” and this one came up, from www.air1.com.  Not where I would have searched for a verse of the day, but it will do. 

This is simplicity in a verse.  I do love my Saviour, and He is my strength.  The key here is acknowledging day in, day out, that He is my strength and He alone.  Without Him I am nothing, and I can accomplish nothing.  I have tried this path in the past, and it leads to destruction and disappointment.  If I hold onto my love for Him, and continue to get to know Him each day, this strength can truly be felt in my life.  It is similar (although far greater) to my relationship with Mike.  I love him, and he is a great help to me.  He can help lift me up when I fall down and is always a shoulder I can cry on.  When I work towards better knowing and understanding my husband, I love him more and am more accepting of the strength he offers to me.  Take this earthly relationship and multiply it by thousands upon thousands, and this is what God offers us – unconditional love, a constant listening ear, forgiveness from all our sins, eternal life with Him.

Today, I felt God’s strength in tangible ways – patience with my children (not at each moment, but better than most days), motivation to work in my home.  I made caramelized onions and vegetable soup, using all the produce I spent so much money on to make nourishing and tasty things for my family to eat.  The vegetable soup is my effort to feed the kids veggies without them balking at the plate.  I pureed it and they haven’t had it like that yet, so we’ll see if it works.  Erik did have some that I put through the hand mill and he seemed to enjoy it.

Tomorrow I have the day off, or mostly, from my oldest children.  I’m running errands in the morning while they all stay with my friend, and then I’ll have lunch with them and take Erik home with me to get some house work done.  I’m trying to do some work now so that I can get more accomplished tomorrow, but it’s hard to know where to start.  At the very least, I need to get laundry done today, even if I have to do it after Mike gets home.

Anyway, I know that all this will get done and it will be easier to do if I don’t think of it as too trivial to ask God to help me.  He cares about my home life and my family and can help me even in this thing that I hate doing – cleaning. 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under Faith, Food Blogs, Mi familia, The H Word

Day 3: Matthew 16:26

For a reminder of what I’m doing this month, read this post.

Matthew 16:26

For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

This verse comes on a day when I was determined to get things done and instead just feel tired and mildly sick.  To me, gaining the whole world may mean having a house that is a perfect, peaceful haven of cleanliness, or perhaps having children that impress everyone with their perfection, or even having more material goods that I feel would make my life easier (a newer van, a bigger house, the ability to go on nice vacations).  Even if I have all of this someday, the most important thing I can do is to have a relationship with my Saviour.  There will come a day, in eternity, where all of this will only matter if I used my time wisely or wasted it.  It won’t have anything to do with how often I mopped my kitchen floor, but rather, how often did I reach out to my neighbours? how often did I tell my kids I love them and that Jesus loves them, too? did I make time for God in my daily life?  This is both reassuring and terrifying.  I focus all too often on the daily chores I have to do as being all important and too often worry about what other people will think of my skill (or lack thereof) as a homemaker, when really, I should be putting my first thoughts and greatest efforts towards Godly living.  I know deep down that if I put this effort in, I would have an easier time keeping things in order, or at the very least, having a lot less stress about it.  The last thing I want to do is reach the end of my life and realize that I put too much of my time into worrying about my house or what people think about me, and not enough time with my family and friends, and most importantly, God.

 

This verse of the day comes from VOTD.

Leave a comment

Filed under Faith, Home Sweet Home, Mi familia, The H Word

Day 1: Galatians 6:7-8

For a reminder of what I’m doing here, see this post.

Galatians 6:7-8

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for
whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap
corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of
the Spirit reap everlasting life.

 

This one was easy – I knew what I would write as soon as I read the first part of the verse.  What you sow, you will reap.  What you plant in the ground will surely grow up and there will be no changing it.  What I have planted in my home, in my children, in my marriage, will either reap benefits or consequences later in my life.  In relation to housework, when I repeatedly throw tags from new clothing, socks, clothes that aren’t quite dirty and other random things on the floor at the end of my bed, I will eventually have quite a mess on my hands and I will have to clean it up, like I did today.  With my children, if I tell them I love them and show them by being the mom they need me to be, I will hopefully be helping them along to being healthy and happy adults.  In my marriage, when I take the time to talk to Mike about what is bothering me or what I like, things won’t pile up inside me and spill out all at once. 

In relation to the second half of this verse, what I do for myself selfishly will only benefit me and possibly hurt others, whereas what I do for others and what I do to work towards growth in Christ’s love will only reap rewards, whether here or in Heaven.  Making these choices for good time usage is not always easy.  It is easier to sit around doing a whole bunch of nothing that makes me feel good than to spend time investing in other people’s lives.  It is easier to make the mess and leave it for someone else to clean up, but it will always be my responsibility as long as I am alive.

 

This verse of the day comes from VOTD.

Leave a comment

Filed under Faith, Mi familia, The H Word

Christmas traditions

My parents separated when I was seven, so after that year, I remember Christmases the same way – Christmas Eve opening gifts with my dad’s family, a trip to my mom’s late at night, waking up to open gifts at her house in the morning and then going to spend the rest of the day with her family.  We seldom deviated from this routine, and so when I married Mike, it was not a strange idea at all to open gifts on Christmas Eve.  We always opened gifts from my dad before we went to his sister’s house, and opened our stockings from him when we came back from my mom’s.  Mike’s family had a tradition of doing everything on Christmas Eve – stockings included.  Because I’m all for immediate gratification, celebrating Christmas the day before it actually comes doesn’t bother me one bit.  We open gifts and stockings on Christmas Eve at Mike’s parents house and Christmas morning we get to sleep in and then go back to their house for breakfast.  The last few years, we’ve left the kids to spend the night (when they weren’t nursing anymore) and spent the night alone at our house.  Since I don’t have  much space for Christmas decorations, it is nice to spend most of the holiday at my in-laws, where it feels warm and cozy and is well-decorated.

The other part of Christmas Eve tradition is all the food we eat.  There is a nice spread of appetizer type foods – smoked salmon, chicken wings, spanikopita, chips, crackers, cheese, dips, and lots of cookies and other desserts.  Usually accompanied by eggnog and wine (not mixed together, don’t worry), this is a food lovers dream.  So, tonight, I will eat myself to oblivion – or at least get as close as I can without vomiting.  And we’ll open gifts, sing carols and take lots of pictures. 

Do you have Christmas traditions that are unique to your family?  Leave comments and tell me about them!  Merry Christmas!!

Leave a comment

Filed under Holidays, Life, in general, Mi familia

P is for Procrastination

P has previously stood for progress, but this week, it stands for that obnoxious, ugly step-sister to progress – procrastination. 

I actually have a saved draft of a post I started writing our first day back from vacation, but it was feeling too wordy to me, so I quit.  It took me a good three days to even attempt to unpack our clothes and start doing laundry and now the house is a mess again.  We were planning to have a birthday party for Elias on his birthday (the 6th), but I felt totally unprepared and wasn’t ready to have people invade my house, so we’re postponing until the 13th.  Now I just have to hope that I can get things done and feel ready for it by then. 

Our trip was good – my sister got married, I finally got to see my mother’s awesome house and yard (small house, huge yard that feels like a park…I’m so envious), we went to the zoo, hung out with some of my close friends who I haven’t seen in a long time, and ate a lot of good food (judging by my scale, a bit too much good food).  Our kids did pretty good, although we had a few days of misery with Elias over some pain in his mouth (so he said, by saying “owie” and pointing to his mouth over and over again).  My family went nuts over the kids – especially Erik – and nearly everyone said that Jenny is like me all over again.  I got a break almost the whole time from bathing and changing and general entertaining as my family is populated with kid-lovers who are more than willing to do all of that.  By the end of the trip, we were ready to come home, but I’m still glad we had as long as we did.  It sort of gets it out of my system better when we take more than a week.  I’m still thinking about my mom’s place, though, and I’ve decided that if I could go down by myself or just take one kid, I would go for a week and do a bunch of painting and other projects there.  There’s a lot of existing work there, but it felt like an artists’ paradise in the sense that you could just keep adding things to it and it would never be overdone.  There is a blank wall of fence over a pond in their backyard that I would love to paint some huge leaves and poetry onto.  I’m going to paint some rocks here and send them to my mom to put in the pathways in her yard – when you’re walking on the path, little bits of colour will look up at you.  It’s making my fingers itch just thinking about it.

Aside from the trip and the after effects of the trip, life has been pretty busy here.  Mike came back to a huge load of work and put in 76 hours between Tuesday and Sunday.  I don’t think he’s ever worked so much since we’ve been married.  The credit card bill from our trip is going to be steep, but this paycheck will more than cover it.  I’d be pretty happy if that was the end of the crazy overtime, but I’m sure there will be a bit of it left before work slows down at the start of winter.  I’m trying to be a good wife and put up with it, but if it was like this year round, I think Mike would have to change jobs.  Early in our marriage, we made a commitment to ourselves and our family that Mike would never work a camp job (for those of you not from these parts – a camp job is oilfield and often means that guys go out for weeks or months at a time without coming home at all).  He loves his job now and thankfully, it doesn’t require much travel and so far has not kept him away overnight. 

My friend brought something to my attention and I’m not sure how I feel about it.  She reads my blog and is amazed that I “have time” to write so much and yet my house is a mess.  She says she’s the opposite.  She doesn’t have time to sit down and write, but keeps her house pretty immaculate.  I guess it’s just a matter of how we spend our time.  I hate to clean and clutter doesn’t bother me immensely, so I spend a lot of my free time writing or working on some form of arts or crafts.  She hates a messy or cluttered house and so chooses to spend her time keeping her house clean.  The moral?  From now on, I’m going to make an effort never to say, “I don’t have time to clean,” because it’s simply not true on most days.  I’ll just be honest and say, “I don’t want to clean,” and leave it at that.  Because that’s the truth.

1 Comment

Filed under Home Sweet Home, Life, in general, Mi familia, The H Word

Emergency Cleanup

What happens when members of your family want to come over to play a game and your kids are napping so you can’t really go anywhere (therefore, the suggestion of going to their house is out)?  You say, okay, and you clean.  Frantically.  In half an hour or less, usually.  And the best part?  Your husband helps!

Mike talked to his sister after we came home from a birthday party yesterday and she and her husband wanted to play a game.  Because our kids were napping, we had to stay here and having done not much of anything social, we wanted some interaction.  Mike passed the phone to me and I asked his sister why I was talking to her.  Her response?  “Mike wasn’t sure if it was okay if we came over.”  Like I’m his mom.  But he’s looking out for me.  At least…well…a dozen times? now, he’s invited people over not giving any thought to the mess in our house and it’s totally freaked me out.  So this was a nice gesture, and as soon as I hung up the phone (after saying yes), we went to work.  I started Mike on the dishes while I did some basic pick up.  We swapped jobs the rest of the time, sweeping, wiping down the table and countertops, picking up clothes and toys.  In the end, it only took about half an hour and the whole first part of the house (living room/dining room) was clean!  Not perfectly clean, but pretty good.  It has actually been a number of months since I could see my entire tabletop.  Okay, maybe it’s been almost a year.  Still, it’s clean now – wiped down and de-junked.  We were able to play a game on it and not push things out of the way.  Mike and I even played another game after the kids went to bed.  Usually I’m too lazy to want to push the mess aside and so I turn down game playing.  I was falling asleep by the end of the game, but it was still quite nice to do it.  It’s not like the house is perfect, but I’d invite almost anyone over right now, while usually I have a restricted list that is kept to Mike’s single guy friends (what will they care?) and my closest girlfriends and one sister-in-law (the one with a child..who can’t blame me for having a messy house now that she knows how easy it is with kids).

It’s not the same kind of satisfaction felt when the cleanup is thorough and far reaching and well thought through, but it’s still satisfaction that I felt this morning.  And maybe it will inspire me to do a bit more.  Maybe.  I’m not making promises here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Life, in general, Mi familia, The H Word

Not sure whether to laugh or cry.

I’ll try to make this short because I don’t want to become obnoxious.  Then again, I write for me more than anything else, so if it gets long, so be it.  It’s a release for me, which I definitely need.

What would I like to do right now?  If I had a lawn chair or a hammock, I’d go outside, away from the chaos of my house and go to sleep in it.  I would sleep for hours and just enjoy the feeling of the sun on my skin when I woke up, not rushing inside to work, but taking my time.  I would be able to afford for someone to come in and fully organize and clean my house and when I came back inside in three or four hours time, it would be done and I could start supper in peace, not worrying about being without certain dishes or utensils because the sink was full of dirty ones.  Wait – I’m starting to focus on the negative.  Stay with the dream..

Mike would come home and play with the kids in the backyard while I fed Erik on the deck and snapped pictures of all the fun they were having.  We’d sit down after that for a nice healthy supper where everyone eats proper portions of things and doesn’t whine or complain.  After that, the kids would go and play in their room while Mike was cleaning up the dishes.  We’d sit together for awhile and maybe watch a movie with the kids before bed.  Then they would get ready for bed and go to sleep within minutes of closing their little eyes.

Mike and I would then have time to spend together – playing a game or watching a movie or just talking.  Erik would go to bed and sleep a nice long stretch before waking me up to eat.

Okay, so the part about someone coming in and cleaning has got to be the most outlandish thing I’ve ever heard..or written.  However, aside from that, the rest of these things aren’t totally out of reach.

Today was Bible study at Tara’s.  The kids played quietly in the yard almost the whole time, but at one point when I went down to check on them, Jenny had taken off her pants and underwear.  Further inspection led me to find said items of clothing discarded and very wet.  Fortunately, I had spare underwear and Tara had pants that she could wear while hers dried.  She later got dog food thrown at her and ants crawling all over her and sand in her mouth and eyes.  Not such a good day for Jenny.  We came  home and had a package from my mother (Thanks, mom!) with clothes for the boys and three new dresses for Jenny, including a fairy dress with a wand and a halo.  I managed to keep Jenny from trying it on because she was so dirty and sat them down for lunch.  They didn’t feel like eating.  Jenny may have had five bites of soup and I’m not sure that Elias ate anything at all.  I gave them a bath after lunch and made the mistake of putting baby oil in their hair.  Jenny has had some flaking on her scalp that looked like cradle cap, and what I always did when they were babies was put baby oil on their heads and then wash it out.  I washed Jenny’s hair twice and it’s still all greasy.  This probably means that she’ll have to have multiple baths in the next week just to get the stuff out of her hair.  Because of her skin being so bad (she has eczema), we don’t bathe her very often.

While I was trying to dry Jenny’s hair, Elias was standing diaper-less in the bathroom.  I moved my foot and found a puddle – he decided to pee on the floor!  What a nice boy.  Seriously, I can’t wait until he is potty trained. 

All of this and the mounting mess led me to my title.  I literally still don’t know whether I should laugh or cry right now.  If I laugh about it, I’ll end up crying anyway, so maybe I should just sit down and have a good cry to begin with.  But then I don’t really feel like crying is going to do me any good.  I guess if I feel like I’m on the verge of tears, I should take a nap.  It’s often a clue that I’m exhausted when I feel like I could cry at any moment. 

But if I sleep, I won’t get anything done. 

But then I’m not getting anything done right now, either.

2 Comments

Filed under Home Sweet Home, Life, in general, Mi familia

The baby who didn’t want to sleep, and other stories.

Okay, so Erik does want to sleep, but he doesn’t know it.  He is too involved with the world around him right now and so he takes a lot of convincing to get him to go to sleep.  Convincing, otherwise known as “the breast”. 

Yesterday, in my infected stupor, I really needed a nap.  It seemed as though I had just drifted off when he woke up crying.  I made a few trips back to the bedroom (I was sleeping on the couch) to put the soother back in his mouth (that’s a pacifier to all you Americans), but then just decided to ignore the crying and go back to sleep myself.  It worked.  Yesterday. 

I put him down just before I put the kids down, maybe forty minutes ago, and every time it seems he’s gone to sleep, he starts up again.  I’m afraid I’m made him too reliant on sucking to go to sleep, which is not such a good thing in my mind.  For the life of me, I can’t remember if we used a soother to make Elias sleep or not.  I just remember that he sucked his thumb really early.  Anyway, today I’m trying to ignore it, even though it seems he’s just going to keep it up.  I know that eventually he’ll have to go to sleep, just because he’s exhausted.

I’m not feeling so awful today, so I whipped up some muffins to take to Bible study tomorrow and I did a bit of lunch clean up (don’t worry, I didn’t do too much).  After the kids had been in bed for a while and I assumed they were asleep, Jenny surprised me by saying she had to go to the bathroom.  When I opened the door, she was stark naked.  Have I mentioned this new obsession?  Yeah, she likes to take her clothes off.  I’m not enjoying it very much, but at least she hasn’t done it in public yet.  It usually doesn’t happen during naps, so I was surprised by that also.  The most common time for stripping is at night – if she gets up in the middle of the night, she’s frequently naked or down to her underwear.  It’s summer, and often warm in the house, so I don’t really mind if she just sleeps in underwear, but I’m kind of down on her being entirely nude.

Since I’ve touched on two of my children, I’ll move on to the middle one.  The clingy, emotional, whiny, demanding, adorable, almost two year old boy.  It’s a good thing he’s so cute, because man, is he a cry baby.  I sincerely hope he grows out of this.  Things that happened today to demonstrate his personality: I put soup in the microwave to heat and he promptly burst into tears because he thought I was taking it away and not going to give him lunch.  He came in the kitchen to sit with me but was not being very nice, so I put him down, and he burst into tears.  I would not give him candy when he asked for it and..you guessed it – tears.  The hard thing is to be firm with him and not let him get away with things because he is so beautiful.  If he was our only child, he would be spoiled.  I can almost guarantee it.  The kid has huge dark brown eyes and long eyelashes and can give you a look that just melts you.  Of course, then he asks for “nandy” and you have to say no and those huge dark eyes fill up with tears and his cute pouting mouth opens wide with a near scream.  It’s not very pleasant.

Well, while I’m at it, I may as well say something about myself.  I went this morning for a barium x-ray to check out my esophagus.  My mom and her dad have a condition called either Shotsky’s Ring or Feline Esophagus, which basically makes it very difficult to swallow things unless they are very well chewed.  The esophagus gets narrow where it shouldn’t be with a Shotsky’s Ring, and if I remember right, with Feline Esophagus, the whole thing is bumpy..or something.  I seemed to have inherited one of these conditions as well, but the x-ray will show us how bad it is.  My mom used to have her esophagus stretched, but there are other procedures now that could help me to avoid the pain that comes with getting food stuck in my throat.  It’s not choking, but it hurts pretty bad and it usually requires forced vomiting, which then makes people think you’re bulimic.  I’m not, by the way, in case you ever follow me to the bathroom in a restaurant and hear me puking.  I’m either pregnant or have something stuck.

The irony of it is that I went for my x-ray on an empty stomach (it’s required) and went for some breakfast on my way to pick up the kids.  Two bites into my Tim Horton’s breakfast sandwich, it got stuck.  Badly.  So badly that I had to pull the van over and throw up in a cup.  Sorry.  I hope you’re not eating right now.  I am…man, these muffins are amazing.

Okay, I’ve touched on the kids and myself, how about Mike?  All I can say about Mike right now is that he loves his job and has been working a lot of overtime.  He’ll be working Saturday again, but since we need the money, I don’t mind very much.  I’ll take the good job and required overtime over a job that he hates.  If he hated his job (or just didn’t like it much), it would be hard to ask him to work overtime, even if we needed the money.

On another, completely unrelated note, we’re going south next month.  More than likely around the 23rd, although I haven’t spoken to my sister, so I can’t be completely sure.  I want to know if she wants us there before her wedding so that I can help her a bit, or if it doesn’t matter.  If it doesn’t matter to her, I think we’ll go just before that weekend and stay into the next week, although I don’t know how long yet, either.  Mike is going to find out how much time he can have off before we finalize anything.  If I only had one kid to travel with, I’d consider going down with him and then taking the bus back home, but I can’t imagine doing it with all three by myself.  And anyway, then we’d have the cost of bus tickets and the cost of gas for the van both ways.  And gas is not cheap right now.

I had other things to say, but forgot most of them.  I was going to mention that I feel like painting, and since I bought canvas last night and some crackle medium, I may just do that.  Or maybe I should take a nap, instead.

If it’s not too much trouble, I do have one request of my readers.  If you read this, could you post a comment for me?  I’m wondering how many people are actually reading and how many people just stumble upon the blog because they were searching for “pictures of messy housewives” – something I never intended with my title.  I know I have at least one person who reads most of what I write, but I’d love to know it if there are others who read regularly.  If you don’t mind saying – tell me where you’re from, too.  I know that I read a number of blogs (yes, mostly food blogs) and they’re all over the world, and I rarely post comments (like, I did it twice, I think), so the blogger would have no idea that they have a reader in Northeastern British Columbia.

Anyway, that’s all for now.

Oh, and for those who need convincing on the “Elias is cute” subject, here he is:

Elias in all his ruddy boyhood

6 Comments

Filed under Illness and Injury, Kiddos, Life, in general, Mi familia

“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. 

Leave a comment

Filed under All things mommy and daddy related, Illness and Injury, Life, in general, Mi familia, The H Word