Friday, March 30, 2007

A Good Day

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Today was a good day. Now don't get me wrong... it certainly wasn't perfect. I still have 3 sick kids in varying degrees, my sons didn't nap because their cough medicine makes them hyper, my house is still a mess and I am still exhausted. But there was lots of good too.

My mom came to help me with the kids and she washed all my dishes.

My sons are very sweet... most of the time... and I got lots of hugs.

It was a beautiful sunny day here and my boys played outside with Grandma.

Olivia has figured out how to play with a rattle and she even managed to get her soother into her mouth all by herself and she didn't require me to hold her every minute of the day.

I managed to wash my kitchen floor and wipe down the spills off the front of my cupboards and make supper for my family (normally my husband cooks the suppers around here as he is really a great chef and it's his hobby... yes, I am lucky).

I even managed to pump 2 - 3 oz bottles... which may not seem like much of an achievement, but trust me, it is.

I found out, by calling the hospital in Saskatoon, that my thyroid tests will only require me to stop breast feeding for 24 hours instead of 48 or 72 like they had originally told me. Basically they were all confused and someone sent me the wrong info in the letter confirming my tests. I was just so relieved because 24 hours seems much more manageable to me.

It's almost payday.

And the best thing of all... it is 7:30pm and ALL THREE of my children are sleeping... AT THE SAME TIME and in their OWN beds. This is a first people. Doug is at work (youth group tonight), my mom went home, I am (effectively) by myself. It's quiet. I love it.

So yes, today has been a good day. Thanks God for small blessings.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Who's in Your Imaginary Audience?

Pin It I saw this on Judy's blog and decided I would like to pass it on. I agree with her that we all have this crazy imaginary audience in our heads passing judgment on us. I maintain this is a trick of Satan to get us feeling crappy about ourselves and when I let that happen I am not letting all God wants for me come through.

The imaginary audience in my head includes (but is not limited to...):
1. the super mom who is perfectly organized and poised and in control at all times and has extremely well behaved children whom she plans creative activities and learning experiences for daily who shakes her head in shock and disbelief at my lack of parenting skills.
2. the perfect pastor's wife who is always an asset to her husbands ministry and tells me if I were more spiritual I'd be better at this.
3. the intellectual who never has trouble keeping up with world events, the latest research into intellectual pursuits, and no mommy-brain moments who mocks my descent into the world of kid's cartoons and poopy diapers.
4. the skinny lady who reminds me how fat I am.
5. the career mom who mocks my stay-at-home-ness.
6. the ultra-spiritual woman with whom I can never compare.
7. that mean lady who always tells me no-one really likes me, they are just being friends with me to be kind.

And the list goes on.
Who's in your imaginary audience that you need to ignore today?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Real Moms

Pin It I was tagged by Amanda to do an entry on what it means to be a Real Mom.



Real Moms know that nothing is sweeter than a sleeping baby.



Real Moms know that some days, no matter how hard you try, you can't get your kids to keep their clothes on.



Real Moms sometimes forget to put their stroller away and leave it outside and don't notice it until the next day after it has snowed all night and is soaking wet and frozen making it especially comfy for baby.



Real Moms have mess.

Ok, that's my view on that. I guess now it's my turn to tag someone so how about I tag Katherine and Erin and any of you moms on the pastor's wives blogroll that read my posts!

Mercy Me

Pin It Mercy.

What a day.

I have 3 sick kids. I foolishly took all three of them to the doctor's office this afternoon at once. I will NEVER do that again. Never. It was insane. I felt trapped like a caged animal with three whining, screaming, insolent beasts. Plus one doctor and one student nurse practitioner who clearly did not want to be stuck with us. Fun.

I even took my mom along so she could watch one or two of them in the waiting room and it was still chaos. It wasn't even embarrassing anymore, it was beyond embarrassing. It was like I had just accepted the fact that my kids are completely out of control and we have failed miserably at communicating to our children that they should act somewhat socially acceptable when we are in public. After all we live in a very small town and there is ALWAYS someone who knows us EVERYWHERE we go. I really miss the anonymity of the city sometimes.

Anyway, we were there forever and all the doctor told me was "It's a cold. A cold plus their asthma. Keep doing what you are doing and they'll get better." Love that. On the up side I now know that there is nothing seriously wrong with any of them. On the down side I now know that I will not be getting any sleep for at least a few more days. My poor son Aiden sounds like he has croup all night. Poor kid. Poor parents.

I am pretty sure now that I will never catch up on my laundry. I had a pile of it thrown haphazardly at the bottom of my basement stairs and when I went to transfer the pile to the laundry room I realized that the clothes were all wet. "Why are the clothes wet?" I asked myself. Then it dawned on me. When our basement starts collecting water it collects it at the bottom of my stairs first. "Goody" I thought, "that means our basement is sabotaging my laundry efforts as well".

And it snowed today. Again. Apparently spring is never coming to northeastern Saskatchewan. Those of you in warmer climates can say hello to a flower or a bird for me. Thanks.

Did I tell you all that last week when I went to parent/teacher interviews I found out that we had been bringing Aiden to school late EVERY day? Yep, that's right, EVERY day, ALL YEAR. Apparently we thought school started at 9:00 am and in reality it started at 8:45 am. My husband is the one who brings Aiden to school and I asked him if it seemed odd to him that all the kids were sitting down doing something everyday while he was just taking Aiden's coat off. He said he hadn't noticed that. My husband is not always the most observant man on the planet. So now we both feel like complete morons. The teacher told me she didn't want to say anything since we have a new baby and all. I guess she thought I just couldn't get them out the door in time. Nope. We just didn't know what time school started at. Parents of the year right here folks.

Wow is my house ever messy.

All I did today was walk and rock a screaming infant, give out medicines to resisting pre-schoolers, say "No" a lot, more walking, rocking, listening to screaming and whining. Not so much cleaning. In fact I barely got to go to the bathroom to pee never mind clean it! My sons asthma medications give them a bit of an adrenaline rush. I hate that. So every four hours my kids get super hyper (more than normal hyper) for about 20 minutes. I try to avoid giving it to them near bedtime or during the night but when they are sick I sometimes have no choice. It sucks. I have asthma too and I would just like to say I hate that I passed that lovely gene on to my kids.

My mom even came over to help me today. Even with reinforcements I got nothing done. Sadly my mom has to work tomorrow so I will be back on my own again. It's not looking good for a clean house anytime soon.

However I must tell you all that my eldest son and my sweet daughter are developing a lovely relationship. Aiden loves to make Olivia laugh and she loves the entertainment. It really is a beautiful thing to watch a sibling relationship develop. I didn't have any siblings and I just love watching my kids with each other (when they aren't fighting that is).

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Why did I get up this morning?

Pin It I would like to tell you all about my day so far. It is just about 10:00 am and I have been up since 5:45 am. That is just too early to get up. My husband was supposed to go to a seminar in a town a little over an hour away today. I also thought that today was a "parent required to attend" day at my son Owen's preschool. So I arranged with my mom for her to come to our house before she had to go to work so I could drive her to work (with my three kids in tow) and use her car to get us all to preschool etc. I was feeling rather stressed about the whole fiasco of getting all three kids up and ready since all three have colds. As it turned out all three were up just before 6 am anyway so I had plenty of time. I had just gotten everyone almost ready and another mom with kids in the same preschool called and informed me that I had the day wrong. It is NEXT week when we have to go with our child to school. I almost collapsed in relief... and then I burst into hysterical laughter at my inability to keep my own life straight! So I called my mom and told her not to worry about us and called the school and told them my son wasn't coming in today... I just needed to stay home. My husband left for his seminar and called me about 15 minutes later. Our van died on the side of the road just outside of town. It is presently in the shop getting fixed (thank-you mastercard) and my husband is no longer attending his seminar. Then my son spilled my luke-warm tea all over me and Olivia (thank-you God that it was no longer hot). Then I realized that we are completely out of juice so I made red kool-aid. This was a mistake. Now there is red Kool-aid all over. My son thought it was funny to spit it in my tub and sink and on the floor. Yuck. Thanks kiddo. I needed more to do this morning. Not to mention the fact that my house is already a disaster area and I still haven't caught up on laundry from last week, never mind this week.
Today I feel like God, or the universe itself perhaps, was trying to send me a message. The message was this "You should have stayed in bed Tara".

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Tired

Pin It So tired. I am so very tired today. Today is one of those days where I feel like I could go to bed right now at 10:15am and not get up again until sometime next week and still not feel rested. Tired.

Aiden's parent-teacher interview went just fine yesterday. My concerns were unfounded. His teacher loves him and has no reservations about him going on to kindergarten. Yay! It's always nice to hear your child is "right within the normal range". I got to see all his cute school work too. Kids are so funny. They draw hilarious pictures and say incredibly funny things. It was good to laugh. I just have to say that my son's teacher and her assistant are fabulous. Aiden adores them both and they are so good with the kids. I find their patience and creativity phenomenal.

Olivia can roll over from her front to her back now. I am almost a little sad to see her growing up so quick. Other than the exhaustion I am really enjoying her infant stage.

Of course I won't miss some things. Like the other day - Olivia was lying on the floor in her little play gym thingy and I was attempting to pump some more. The boys were being crazy... like normal. So all of a sudden Aiden falls off the couch and sits on Olivia's head which of course makes her scream and he felt so bad he ran to his room crying. So I put the pump down on the floor to pick up Olivia and Owen promptly kicks it over spilling the entire contents all over my carpet. It was great. Really.

Did I mention I am tired?
Really tired.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Report cards

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My son Aiden got his very first report card yesterday. It was... fascinating. The grading system is age appropriate (he is only 4) : N for Not at this Time, S for Sometimes, M for Most of the Time, and A for Always. My son can Always jump with both feet together, turn the pages of a child's book one page at a time, and say his name when asked. Everything else was an M or an S. So he can Sometimes follow directions. He can Sometimes play well with classmates. Most of the time he is able to communicate with his teachers when he needs something. And on it goes. I had mixed reactions to my sons reviews. It is pretty much what I expected and I am so glad he didn't get any "N"'s but at the same time I had hoped for ... more? Better? I want him to enjoy school and do well at it so that it isn't a struggle for him. I know. He's only 4. But my husband didn't enjoy school like I did. I loved school. Loved it. I am a total nerd. I think I have always hoped my children would inherit my enthusiasm for school and my husband's enthusiasm for life. Wouldn't it be great if our kids inherited the best from each of us and all the bad stuff just got left out? To bad that's not the way it is.

Tomorrow I have my first parent-teacher interview as a parent. I feel nervous. It is only 10 minutes long but I still feel a little like I am being sent to the principle's office. Like all of a sudden they are going to say to me "I'm sorry Mrs. Robertson. Your son simply does not play well with others and therefore we recommend you homeschool him." For those of you who homeschool please do not be offended by this but to be forced into homeschooling is the dread of my life. I can't WAIT for my kids to be in full-time school. FINALLY I will get to take a NAP! Of course that is still 5 years away but there is hope. The first year Olivia is in full-time school I fully intend to drop her off at school, come home and take a nap. Get up and have lunch, read a book, take another nap, welcome my darlings home from school fully refreshed, go to bed early. It will take a full year of this for me to catch up on my sleep.
Like I said, I can think of nothing worse than for someone to tell me I will have to be trapped at home with all of my children every single day for like 15 more years and on top of that have to teach them things I barely remember. Honestly I really respect those of you who have the ability to excel in homeschool situations but I think I'd end up in the loony bin.
So there you have it folks. Another reason why I will not be nominated for parent of the year!

What I Do NOT like

Pin It I do not like the sound of 3 children crying all at once.
I do not like the feeling of spilled sugar sticking to the bottom of my bare feet.
I do not like tripping over Lego.
I do not like pumping breast milk from sore breasts.
I do not like the fact that I inevitably spill things on my clothes within minutes of putting them on.
I do not like knowing that my sons may or may not have missed the toilet when peeing.
I do not like brawling pre-schoolers.
I do not like losing my keys and having to spend 20 mins in a panic looking for them in order to get my son to pre-school on time... and failing.
I do not like the fact that my daughter falls asleep nursing and every time I try to put her down in her crib she wakes up almost immediately.
I do not like piles of unpaid bills.
I do not like that my eldest son has learned the term "or I'll kill you" from someone somewhere and uses it on my youngest son regularly.
I do not like endless housecleaning that never gets finished.
I do not like attending events for people I don't know simply because I am the pastor's wife.
I do not like loud screaming children. Even loud happy screaming children.
I do not like cracker crumbs on my living room carpet.

I do not like that every single one of these things has happened to me today.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Laundry

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This is my sweet Olivia "helping" me do laundry this morning. More accurately this is Olivia perched on top of my huge mound of ever-increasing laundry watching me attempt to provide my family with enough clean clothes to finish out the week.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Screaming Olivia

Pin It Poor Olivia. She had an ear infection last week (which I found out by taking her to the doctor for a fever on Friday) and she has been on this prescription. Well I figured by day 5 of the prescription she should start to feel better but she seemed to be getting worse! I would give her the meds and about 15-20 mins later she would just scream for almost an hour. I had to do this 3 times a day and I finally figured out today that the MEDS were making her tummy hurt. She'd scrunch up her legs and arch her back and just scream. So I called the doctor and she told me that sometimes babies respond poorly to medications and to just take her off them. If she gets better, yay. If she gets worse bring her back in and we'll try a different medication. It is always so hard to figure out what is bothering an infant. It is a relief when they can finally TELL you what is wrong. But I will admit I hope this baby stage with Olivia doesn't go by too quickly. She is my last baby and I am really enjoying her baby-hood... sickness and all.




Miss. Olivia also laughed for us this weekend for the first time. Of course it was for daddy, not me... but it was still adorable. She finally laughed for me this morning. There is no better noise than a laughing baby.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Blustery Snowy Saskatchewan

Pin It Ok people, I am getting very tired of winter. Snow, snow, snow, and more snow. I used to live in BC and there are already flowers blooming there. Beautiful flowers and above freezing temperatures. (Which my friends out there are quick to remind me of.) But no. Here I sit in the freezing cold praries on a blustery sunday morning attempting to get my troops ready for church and watching it snow, for the millionth time, out my living room window. We walk to church and I am already not looking forward to that trek with the stroller. Snow.

Speaking of sundays... I remember when I used to get up with just enough time to get ready and go. You know, those years before kids? When all you had to take care of was yourself? And I always managed to get to church on time, despite the fact that I had been up less than 1 hour. Not anymore. I have been up since 6 am and church isn't until 10:30am. You would think that 4.5 hours would be plenty of time to get ready and get to the church which is about a block away from our house. However, no matter how hard I try it seems that we are always rushing around like crazy people leaving later than we had planned. I blame it on the snow.

By the way, you will all be happy to hear that I convinced my son to take a bath. The germs are gone whether he minds them or not :)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Icky

Pin It Sometimes I find it super gross being the mom of sons. This morning my son Aiden was scratching his... um... bum rather excessively (in my humble opinion) and I told him that sometimes an itchy bum means you need to take a bath. Would he like a bath? No. He says "No mom, it's ok, I can scratch the inside of my bum with my finger and I don't mind the germs". Yucky.
Aren't you glad I shared that with you all?

Friday, March 16, 2007

Worry vs. Trust

Pin It Well, I successfully survived yesterday. My sons were unusually well behaved while our counsellor was here at our house. Olivia cried almost the entire time though. I spent most of the appointment walking and rocking and bouncing her. The counsellor focused mainly on my dear husband and even gave him some homework. I use the term "homework" loosely since he is supposed to go and get a professional massage, spend some time doing physical activity (which he loves to do), and spend time with his mentor. Rough eh? My only hope is that next appointment will be my turn and he will tell me I'm supposed to go and get a professional massage as homework. I could really use a massage.

I have started the process of pumping enough milk to feed Olivia for the two days when I take my thyroid test. I am finding it hard. Hard physically to get enough milk pumped. Hard emotionally because I don't really want to do it. All around hard. But I realized that I need to trust God for this too. He is more than able to keep Olivia from getting overly confused and refusing to go back to breastfeeding. I am praying it will all go smoothly and there will be no problems. I know, intellectually, that worry is useless and against God's plan for me but I am sure finding it hard to let it go.

I remember a professor of mine at Capernwray Bible school saying once that when we worry we are essentially telling God that we don't trust Him to do what is best for us in our lives. And so today I will focus on trusting that God does in fact know what He is doing and cares about me and my family - even something as small as breastfeeding issues.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Clean house dilema

Pin It As I have said before I have trouble keeping up with the demands of housekeeping. So perhaps you can see why a moment like this must be shared. My kitchen is lovely and clean, no dirty dishes, floors swept, counters wiped. My living room is tidy, toys put away, floor vacuumed, hallway swept. My son Aiden (age 4) is coloring at the kitchen table (which has had it's pile of stuff that seems to always live there removed), my son Owen (age 3) is watching TV, still groggy from his afternoon nap and therefore in a sweet "I love you mommy" state of mind, and my daughter Olivia (age 3 mos) is in her swing and mostly ok with the fact that I am not holding her at this present moment in time. The counsellor will arrive at our home in an hour and a half. I am earnestly hoping this state of unusual tidiness can carry on for that brief amount of time. I am also hoping that my sons will, miraculously and entirely unlike themselves, behave in a civilized manner while our guest is here. My pessimistic self thinks that in the next hour and a half my kids will go nuts, Olivia will be screaming, some food items will be dropped on my clean living room carpet, and the supper dishes will be nowhere near getting done by the time the doorbell rings. We'll see. But here is written proof, I did clean my house today. I did. Even if it doesn't look like it in an hour.

Stupid Thyroid

Pin It Yesterday I went to a specialist appointment in Saskatoon (2.5 hour drive each way from our house, half of which was in a raging blizzard on this particular trip). I have thyroid issues. I was diagnosed with a thyroid problem a few years ago and now I have to re-do a whole bunch of tests to see what is going on now. Having kids can screw things up more. One of the tests my specialist wants to send me for is called a thyroid uptake scan and it requires me to stop breastfeeding for 48 hours. This is giving me anxiety. I understand that it is necessary because if my thyroid is screwed up my milk will dry up anyway and this is the way to fix it. Unfortunately the last time I did this test was when my son Owen (now 3) was 6 weeks old and he refused to go back to breastfeeding after discovering the ease of bottle feeding. So I am afraid the same thing will happen with Olivia. And I really don't want it to. I am loving breastfeeding her. She is easy to feed (unlike my sons who were both dreadful). I don't want to give that up. The doctor is giving me a couple weeks to pump enough milk so that I don't have to give her formula. I started this morning and I must admit I found it frustrating. I pumped for what seemed like forever and barely got 2 ounces. At this rate it will take forever to get enough for two days. And I am also worried about Olivia since she even refuses most soothers. I doubt she is going to take easily to the bottle. It will likely be a miserable couple days. Plus I have to pump during those two days to get the toxins out of my system so they won't transfer to her. Fun. I am also really hoping all this doesn't happen during the same time that I am supposed to be going away on my pastor's wives retreat. That would really suck. I called and made an appointment with our local lactation consultant and I am hoping she will have some tricks for me so that Olivia and I can both come out of this ok and still breastfeeding with ease. Seems like a crazy thing to be stressed about but I am really distraught over the whole thing. Sigh.

The specialist also told me that my thyroid could be causing my post-partum depression. But it might not be. Hard to tell. Gotta love that decisiveness.

And to top it all off tonight is our counselling session and our counsellor is coming TO OUR HOUSE to meet with us. My kids will be here... likely putting on their best show of insanity. My house right now looks like a bomb went off in it. I have a whole lot of cleaning to do. I have mountains of laundry. We'll be lucky if I am still coherent by the time the counsellor arrives. I may just be sitting in a corner rocking back and forth mumbling and drooling saying over and over again "everything will be ok, everything will be ok".

On the up side we had a wonderful lunch with dear friends of ours while we were in the city (I love you Dan & Connie, thanks for all your support and encouragement). And we also got to meet up for a brief visit with our dear cousin Chris (my husband's cousin) who lives in Toronto and was in Saskatoon on business. It was fabulous to see him because we haven't seen eachother since we left Ontario over two years ago. Chris and his wife had a lovely baby boy in January whom we have not yet met (maybe this summer?). Chris held Olivia and gave the appropriate oohs and aahhs that she deserves :) Family is good. It is hard to be so far away from those we love.

Friday, March 09, 2007

3 months

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Olivia turned 3 months old yesterday. Time flies!

Retreat

Pin It I signed up to go to a pastor's wives retreat in April and I am quite excited about it. I find that I have had difficulty keeping up with my personal quiet times with God. Actually I have very few quiet times period. With myself, my husband, or my God. I also spend almost every sunday morning in the pre-school room watching my boys or in the nursery watching my little girl. Which means I have heard about 3 sermons in the past two years. I do feel like God meets me where I am at, in the chaos of my life. Despite my lack of input from other sources (sermons, devotional books, the Bible itself) I do feel like God has taught me many things in the past year. I find it phenomenal that we have a God who is willing to meet us where we are at and who can use our daily things to teach us more about Himself and who we are in Him. Nothing has taught me more about God's love for us than my love for my children.
However I would like to make more time for my personal devotional life. Any improvement shouldn't be hard since it's pretty much non-existent right now. And I am thrilled for the opportunity for some interaction with and teaching from some fellow pastor's wives. I will be bringing Olivia since I am still breast-feeding but having only one child to tend to and no house to clean will make it seem like a true holiday!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Procrastination

Pin It I don't want to clean my house right now. I should be cleaning my house right now.

But I am tired.

Sweet Olivia is asleep. Owen is asleep. Aiden is not asleep. No sleep for mommy.

Perhaps I should drink a caffeinated beverage. I really don't feel like cleaning. However, I have several ladies from the church coming over tomorrow for a planning meeting. Since I don't want them to have to meet in the midst of my disasterous home I shall clean.

Aiden just woke Owen up. Fabulous. Now I can have two not-so-helpful helpers.

Hi ho, Hi ho, it's off to clean I go.

Homework

Pin It As I have mentioned before we started going to a counsellor to help with the post-partum depression.

He gave us some homework to do this week before we have our next session and I thought I would share the assignment with you all since I actually think it is a really good idea for everyone to do.

First of all you list all the things that cause stress in your life, everything, even if it is a list of 300 things.

Then you prioritize the list in order of what causes you the most stress to the least.

Then you write down how you cope with those stresses- what coping mechanisms do you use.

This will show you the healthy coping mechanisms you have as well as the unhealthy ones that need to be changed.

I started my homework last night- I don't recommend starting this excercise just before bed because then you spend forever in bed thinking of all the things you should have written down but forgot. Then you either have to get up out of bed and write them down while you are thinking of them or go to sleep and hope you remember in the morning. I chose sleep and I don't remember this morning what I was thinking about last night.

Oh well.

Family Photo Circus

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We tried to take some family photos yesterday of the 5 of us... what a circus! It was absolutely impossible to get all three kids happy at the same time. My 3 year old, Owen, was especially unwilling to cooperate. It was my mom's 64th birthday... what a way to celebrate!





Friday, March 02, 2007

Sleep deprivation

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I should be SO well rested this morning. My sweet Olivia slept an entire 5 hours in a row for the first time last night.

Unfortunately for me my sons thought they should make up for the difference and keep me up on her behalf. In the five glorious hours that Olivia slept my sons got up 5 times. 5. Doug and I shared getting up but apparantly I have a hard time sleeping through all the hoopla. So I am exhausted today.

On the up side I think my depression meds are making a bit of a difference. It has only been a week but it is a good start.

We also had our first counselling session and that went well too.

My house is a mess. My boys are napping because they are so tired from being up so much last night. But Olivia is wide awake since she slept so well. Still no sleep for me.
 
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