Friday, October 21, 2016

SQT: How is it Friday?

Linking up with Kelly and the other takers. Go check them out!

This weekend I've been promised by my loving husband that I can lay around and watch Netflix and sleep as much as the kids will let me!  So, not as much sleep as I'd like, but I'm still nursing a baby who doesn't really like many foods (He's a fatty though, so my milk must be awesome). I'm only lying around because I'm sick, not for the pure joy of it, but I'll enjoy it as best I can! Recommend me some (Canadian) Netflix! 



We are going on week 4 of someone being some kind of sick in our house. I'm hoping by Christmas (because I'm not an optimist) that all the kids have formed some immunity and we can enjoy a day without some sort of bodily fluid needing attending to. Ew! I know. 
I'm amazed at how many days I've kept the kids home from school. Then when they're well, it's back to the cesspool of bad hygiene and sick kids who have to be there because their parents have to work. Again, another reason to question why I'm not homeschooling.


This is really turning out to be quite negative! Apologies. I'm wracking my brain for something awesome.  A cute photo of Martin will do the trick. He's just about 1! I can't quite believe that. My baby isn't going to be a baby anymore!
The kids are gearing up for another sibling though, and have told people, "When our next baby is born..." which elicits some shocked stares and hasty assurance that no, I'm not currently gestating anybody.  Then comes the awkward, "Are you done?" and all I can do is smile and say, "You never know!" Not that it is anyone's business anyway.


All the election coverage has me avoiding papers, news and to some extent, my own newsfeed on Facebook. Though it has made me realize that my mix of friends is quite politically eclectic, as I'm seeing lots posts from both sides of the spectrum. I'm just so disillusioned at the entire spectacle, but also enraged and sad. My poor little heart can't take much more! "Lord have mercy!" is the thing I'm praying over and over.



These two are getting so big and hilarious. Patrick can read! Carter is making up far-fetched tales (cognitive development here). Patrick can cut up vegetables for me! Carter can feed Martin for me. They're just making me simultaneously proud and a little but crazy with all their growth!


Right right now the "big boys" are gone with their dad to a football game. Because it's unseasonably cold for October, and because I'm not that dedicated to football (call me a fair weather fan - I totally am) I'm staying home with the "little boys". So far it's been a lot of consoling Zachary who didn't get to go due to illness. It's really very sad because he is the one who loves football with Daddy the most.  It's not quite the same with the game on TV, but he's ok with it. 


I'm going to use the time between now and bedtime to iron some quilt fabric (which I bought while pregnant with Martin) and prep it for cutting. I'm bound and determined that one of the "little boys" Christmas presents will be quilts for the bedroom they share! I might be over-ambitious considering the current needy state of Martin, my general lack of quilting knowledge, and the fact that I'm really busy!
But I find sewing so soothing - I need to do it more!

Have a great weekend all! If you just stopped by, I can't promise I'll get more interesting, but I hope you enjoyed just a little bit. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

SQT: It's been too long!

It has been way too long since I joined Kelly and the other quick takers.


It's a cloudy day, so all I feel like doing is whining. I was trying to think of something positive for the first take to set the tone for great things to come, but really... clouds make me sad. I need a sun lamp or something.
A happy baby who has cut his 7th tooth and is almost ready to walk does cheer me up a little.



With two kids in school, albiet only Kindergarten and grade one, I feel like we are entering a new plane of existence. Suddenly there is all these things that need to be thought about and lots of the things are small, like 10 minutes of reading each night with the grade 1 child, and little projects that get sent home for the "family" to do with the Kindergartener or getting a six-year-old to find 3 things in our house that begin with the letter "H" that he can feasibly take to school without losing or breaking them.
Then there are the forms to fill out requiring my consent to be given. In some sense I feel like I'm signing their lives away with every form I read over and send back. I am that parent who has all the extra questions and concerns about everything, which I think might be a bit shocking to the principal and teachers, because even though I am not at all on the warpath, they seem always to feel the need to defend themselves when I simply want to know more. Am I not supposed to care? Am I just supposed to blindly allow my child to be swept into a system I know nothing about? But I'd rather be that parent than the one who has no clue. I guess I best get used to it. Or homeschool. As a case of successful homeschooling, I always have it in the back of my mind.


The two older guys in school has brought a different dynamic to our family. I'm getting alone time with my 2.5 year old, Zachary, while the baby naps, which has never really happened in his entire life. He and I have built block castles to knock them down, read lots and lots of our favourite books and watched a couple episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine, which my older boys say is a "baby show". We've made a couple trips to Starbucks too. It's a can of worms I might regret, but cute when he says "Mom, should we go to Starbucks and get an apple spice for myself and a coffee for yourself?"  Sometimes we go to a small local cafe too, but they don't have a drive-thru, and someone told one of the baristas that "My baby brudder is sleepin' in the van." (which was parked right outside the door where I could see it on a semi-cold day where he wouldn't overheat or freeze). But she looked at me like I was physically torturing a cat, so we promptly took our order and left.



It's afternoon now and the baby has woken up from his nap, so the two littlest get to play in our playroom and be cute together. Zachary is currently trying to coax the baby into a nylon tunnel. It's not going so well. Martin is probably right not to trust him. Ah brotherhood.


Something I realized today is that I've inadvertently been pulled into the world of roughhousing. I'm not the touchy-feely wrestling type. I never had the urge to tickle someone till they peed their pants or tackle someone to the ground. Maybe my siblings remember things differently, but I can definitely say I stuck to the sidelines of this in my years beyond childhood.  But I have 4 boys beneath age 7 now. Things have changed. This morning I spent a good 10 minutes after dressing Martin, just tickling and wrestling the 5-, 2.5 year and 10-month-old on the floor. I often finish such an encounter with my sons and think to myself, "What was that?" Same weird feeling I get when I pass a huge track-hoe or dump-truck and get mildly excited. These boys have changed their mother. It'll be interesting to look back in a decade and see what other things I do purely as a result of having sons.


It's almost time to head back to school and pick up the older two boys. It's sunny now, so I'll likely give them a half-hour on the playground while I chat to the playground moms about our weekend plans, kid's activities etc. It's an interesting social situation, as everyone makes small-talk and tries not to go too deep or get awkward. Most conversations are happy, and it's like a school situation all over again as we separate ourselves into categories of parent. There's the cool hipster parents (which I don't think I'm a part of), the tight group of girls (women) who actually socialize outside of this setting, and there's a Filipino crowd, which is hilarious, as they stand around speaking in Tagalog to each other, love it. There's a smattering more people who've been there longer than I have. It's going to be interesting to see how this all develops if we continue with this school for the forseeable future. As an introvert, it's taken me a long time to come to grips with well, socializing every single day for the sake of giving the kids some run-around time. Don't get me wrong, the people I've befriended are great people, but I've ceased reaching out to friends for play-dates because this is all the social I can handle right now. 


September brought us a slew of illness. There is so much going around right now. It makes me crazy. Case and point: my natural-remedy loving side is coming out as I brew pot after pot of lemon-honey-ginger concoction and foist it upon the ill, with elderberry tincture whether they like it or not. Here's the crazy part: I attempted making some honey-lemon throat lozenges (because buying the ones that contain only honey and lemon with no added sugar was apparently too easy). I wish I had a photo of the disgusting, sticky, slightly burned goop I made, but I threw it out in shame!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Growing up: Moments of truth in crappy old cars.

Greetings readers, (if indeed any of you are still out there)
It was really quite by accident that I took almost an entire year off of blogging. I really meant to get back to it, but because of my last post, I experienced a crisis of authenticity:

I decided I needed to do a little more practicing what I was preaching, and get myself together a little more. Organizing takes time. Also, we were pregnant with our fourth, and I was experiencing a difficult bout of post-natal depression.  I needed to, well, NOT whine on the internet about how horrible I felt life was, despite being blessed with another baby. Then, come November, we welcomed Martin into the world and all became clearer and brighter again. I love the newborn stage, and wanted to blog my birth story, my insights into the world of baby toes and drool and coos and giggles and diapers, but I let myself just be caught up in it, and enjoyed all of the newborn and small baby moments. Life moved along, but I always had imaginary blog posts going throughout.

I turned 30 in May. I love saying I'm 30 - it feels so comfortable. I'm finally comfortable in my own skin, which is a funny concept because I'm 60 or so pounds overweight, I have four little people with me almost every time I enter the public eye, and I drive a mini-van. I have finally shed that sense of longing that stems from vanity. I can laugh at and with myself now, and just enjoy being, instead of looking over my shoulder, or through dark lenses to see who is looking. I don't know if this has to do with being 30, but I like to think age helps you realize you're okay in the world.

Case and point: I  took a visit the other day to my hometown with Joseph, and ended up driving around in his parents' old Plymouth Voyager, which has peeling paint, a grey hood  and front right panel, to contrast the burgundy that covers the rest of it.  My kids told me that this is what the grandparents refer to as "the garbage van," because that is what they use to haul their trash into town. I wish I had a picture. I was just grateful I had a way to go to town and visit while my husband worked further away with the only vehicle we brought.

I drove past the cemetery where my Dad is buried, and then it hit me:
The entire reason I was unwilling to obtain my learner's permit at 14 years old, is because my parents drove a 1976 Colony Park station wagon affectionately named by one friend, "the shaggin' wagon" (oh the indignity). I was petrified to be seen driving it. I just couldn't bring myself to do it, even if it meant my mode of transport was my own two legs and my bike. I never voiced this to my parents, but I'm sure they figured it out. I just stood by and watched as my friends all learned to drive and I did not. My father took care of this car, you see, and he loved it. He sang a song about it at my parent's 25th Anniversary party.

As I drove past the cemetery, I took stock of "the garbage van" which runs fine, but the doors stick, it has no rearview mirror, the shifter is a little wonky, and only one side mirror adjusts. Also, it has curtains (ahem. shaggin' wagon. ahem)  "Well, would you look at that..." I imagined my Dad chuckle as I drove down those very streets where that old car would've driven, and I began to laugh. That Colony Park, lovingly cared for by my Dad, didn't look so bad now...

I could practically hear my dear Dad laughing with me as I drove into town, down main street - a pivotal landmark of my youth - in this old, two-coloured van with peeling paint and curtains. People were looking. I laughed a hearty, long, belly laugh and tears were rolling down my face. My kids were concerned!

"Mom!" Patrick said, "You might not want to drive if you're laughing so hard!"
"Mom, stop!" Carter cried, "Before we crash!"
Zachary just giggled. Martin, my 9-month-old let out a "hahaha!" along with me.

I continued to laugh until my sides hurt, laughing at myself 16 years ago, laughing at the look I imagined might be on my Dad's face as I drove through town with people looking, and laughing for the pure joy of being free from that care, now that I simply needed to get to a friend's in the vehicle available to me. I was still laughing as I pulled into her driveway.

I laughed with my friend over coffee, unashamed to share my little epiphany, and thankful that I was able to get there.

Much like the feeling you get when you're done laughing - that exhaustion combined with giddiness and mirth, I feel like I've made a little step in my life toward being a little bit better than before.