Hello 2016.

Since I’ve turned into the world’s slackest blogger, I obviously have so so SO much to catch up on. I don’t even know when I blogged last. *hangs head in shame*.

It’s a new year now, though, and one of my goals is to blog more. I don’t really know how or why I got so sucky at blogging. You’d think now that I have three kids in school and only one at home a lot of days that I’d have loads of time, but it seems like there’s never enough time. Never enough hours in the day to get done what I need to do, never mind what I want to do. But things happen, and kids grow up so fast, and this blog is one of the ways I remember those things that happen, and those kids that used to be little. It’s important to me, and so I need to make time for it.

We’re finishing up our last leg of holidays here. Just today and tomorrow and then it’s back to school and back to work. It’s been a busy couple weeks, and now we’re all lazy and tired, and all of the boys are sick with pretty bad coughs. We’re all just hanging around on couches reading, and sitting at tables doing play-doh and puzzles, and fantasizing about naps. Ok I’m sure I’m the only one dreaming of naps, but everyone else sure looks like they could use one. I’m also thinking about eating some vegetables, because those have been in super short supply over the last couple weeks. More vegetables, less cookies, coming right up.

I asked the kids what they would like 2016 to bring. They suggested more vacations (yes) and more dance parties (that was Oliver’s). I’m on board with both of these things, but especially the vacations.

I’m also vowing to get off my phone more, like always. Sometimes I do okay at this, but lots of times I don’t. I heard something on the radio the other day about how kids today don’t know how to be solitary, or quiet, or just “be” because they never see us do it anymore. In the “old days” when your toddler was in the bath, you’d sit in there and let them play while you just were just there, being. Thinking, reading, being, quietly. Now that toddler would see you on your phone, likely, unable to sit for even a minute without something to keep you occupied. They have no one to show them how to “do nothing”, because they never see anyone do it. I’m not cool with that. We’re always annoyed when kids whine that they’re bored, and we wonder why they can’t find something to do, but as adults, aren’t we so easily bored, too? And we turn immediately to our phones or the tv. It’s a weird time we’re living in it. I love phones and I love tvs and I love google, but it’s weird figuring it all out, and trying to find a balance.

I hope 2016 will also bring more meal planning. Making supper is my worst when I don’t have a plan, and that’s like 99% of the time. I don’t know why I don’t just pull up my socks and organize myself a little better. It would make me a lot happier.

And I think that’s about all the goals I’ll set for now. Blog, less phone, and meal plan. I’m the queen of not following through, and if I set too many goals to fail at, I’ll just feel like a loser.

2015 was a pretty good year. Neil was healthy all year. That was amazing. I quit biting my nails, after probably 30 years of biting them. I think I actually quit for real, too. Although it’s just fingernails, this is so huge for me. Fighting that habit for the last forever made me feel so lame so many times. I feel pretty darn awesome when I look at my nice nails now. I had my first full year in business with Seam Allowance, and I had 449 sales that included around 1600 cuts of fabric, sending fabric coast to coast and even all the way down to California. I’m excited about what 2015 will bring for my little shop. Of course there were like a million other good things about 2015, too. It was a good one, but I’m feeling really pumped for 2016. I like me some fresh starts.

So anyway, right now, the dream of that nap is strong, and I think I’m going to go for it. Start 2016 off right, you know?

Happy new year, friends.

 

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Conversations with Ivy.

This is an actual conversation I had with my three year old daughter yesterday morning:

Ivy, you need to sleep in your own bed. You are coming to my bed every night and waking me up.

Well, it’s an accident that I came in your bed.

No. Getting out of your bed and walking to my room and then getting in my bed is not an accident.

Don’t be a jerk.

I mean, I have no words.

Like none.

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And this morning she brought me the heat pack and asked me to “put the hotness back in it.”

Oh darling, don’t you ever grow up.

But quit calling me a jerk.

Oliver says.

Okay first things first. WHY does a week only last 7 minutes now? I know people kept telling me that time starts going by faster and faster as you get older but what. the. hell. is happening?? Are elderly people just going along doing life at warp speed? Honestly it’s always like, oh, it’s Friday again. Even though I swear it was just Friday yesterday. And that’s my excuse for only blogging every ten days. Because every ten days is actually three times a week.

Moving on…

Oliver.

Ivy is over at my sister’s for a couple nights, so Oliver and I are going to have some extremely rare alone time tomorrow. In real life Oliver gets alone time approximately never. In theory Neil and I would love to spend one on one time with each child on a very regular basis. In reality there are FOUR of them. We had too many kids and the consequence of that is no alone time ever. Sorry guys but we’re not made of time. (See previous paragraph.)

But tomorrow, tomorrow Oliver and I will be alone. Obviously we need to go on a date. Oliver suggested the zoo, but since it’s winter here again apparently, I said no to that. Then he suggested a home date. Where we just stay home and hang out. That’s basically my favorite date ever but I really want to take him out somewhere, since it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity here. While I was tucking him in tonight I told him he needs to think of some good ideas for our date tomorrow.

He told me, “I’m going to think of ideas in my brain. Then, they’re going to come out of my mouth. Then…….PARTY TIME.”

Clearly it’s going to be a great date.

While I kissed him goodnight he wanted to tell me how much I love him. It’s a little game we play. I told him I love him to the dinosaur museum and back. He told me he loves me to heaven and back. Followed by “I win!” Then he said, “Because you’re my heart.”

And you’re mine Oliver.

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This bad day.

I feel like I’m in a depressing rut, just spinning my wheels every day but not getting anywhere. Laundry, housework, sewing work, hospital work, cooking, answering pointless questions from preschoolers, etc., etc. Repeat times a million. I need a fresh start. A clean house. A menu plan. A blank slate. And I feel like it’s never going to happen.

Sometimes it just feels like too much. Like I just can’t do it; I’m drowning. Or like I just don’t WANT to to do it. 

And then I’m going crazy. Feeling like I’m going to snap, then snapping. Raging around, yelling, swearing, fighting, and crying.

And feeling like an absolute failure. Like the worst mom ever. 

Then apologizing to the sweet kids who have taken the brunt of everything. To the three year old that I actually got in a screaming match with, both of us yelling and crying and me knowing just how she feels but doing nothing to help her. 

I hug them and I tell them I’m sorry and they forgive instantly, like children do. Their grace is astounding, really. And I need it, and I’m so thankful for it.

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Thank goodness for the gift that is my children, and thank goodness that tomorrow is a new day. 

January 12 in the morning.

7:02 am A small warm body climbs into bed and curls into me. “I duddle you a lil bit Mom”, she says. I wrap my arms around her and she kisses my cheek. We listen to the sounds outside of my room. I hear Seth and Ben letting Dotty out of her kennel, then feeding her, then putting her outside. They are a well-oiled machine. A machine that I created, and I am proud of them, so independent in their morning routines. I lay in my cozy bed, cuddling with my sweet child, listening to the sounds of my smoothly running household, and I feel so good about life.

7:18 am Seth reports he’s done all his morning chores. I hear Oliver crying from the kitchen. Ben is refusing him his breakfast because he won’t apologize for something he likely didn’t even do. I sort it out and make sure everyone has a bowl of cereal, then throw sheets in the laundry. Monday is sheets day.

7:23 am I remind Ben that he’s on dishwasher emptying duty this week. He protests that he did it yesterday. I explain that yesterday was the first day of the week. He balks and insists that a sibling help him. I tell him to get started and maybe someone will help him in a minute. He whines, he yells, he cries. Eventually he drags his feet down the hall to the kitchen where he proceeds to empty the dishwasher as slowly as humanly possible, sobbing the entire time. He ends up taking almost a full half hour to empty it.

7:40 am Ivy keeps straight out hitting Oliver because he’s playing with his own toys. His own toys that she wants. After a scolding she proceeds to the hallways where she screams as loudly as she can while throwing her purse (yes she has a purse, doesn’t your two year old?) to the ground repeatedly. Eventually she cools down, wanders off, and starts playing contentedly on her own.

7:55 am I remind Seth that he should find his school library books.

8:00 am Seth can’t find his school library books. He’s crying now.

8:10 am I realize Scholastic book orders are due. Ben hastily chooses a book and I fill out the form and chuck it in his backpack.

8:14 am The kids should have started getting their snowsuits on a couple minutes ago. Now they’re rushed. Seth wants to leave without Ben but I won’t let him. Miraculously Ben gets dressed in a mere five minutes. I kiss their faces and send them out the door frazzled, Seth’s cheeks still damp with tears about his books. It’s only been an hour but I’ve gone from feeling like I was totally winning at parenting to feeling like I’m a total dink. Nothing new, really.

8:40 am I pack the littles up in their snowsuits and we head to the freezing cold car.

8:50 am I unload Oliver and Ivy at Tiny Tots preschool and we run through the parking lot, bracing against the -40 windchill.

9:05 am I am home, alone. I pour a cup of coffee and sit down for a few minutes. The day seems so full already and it’s barely begun. I’m thankful that I have so many more hours to try to show my children how much I love them, and to try to bring more peace than chaos to our home. I’m going to give it my best shot, anyway.

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Oliver says.

Last night Oliver said to me,

“I fell in love with you when I was a baby. That’s why I’m a ladies’ man. I fell in love with your kisses.”

I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried you guys. He’s four! Ladies’ man is right. Yeesh.

Melt my heart, I just love that kid and his sweet sweet words.

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It still hurts.

I’m still laid up on an ice pack, all these days later. It’s better than it was; I can now change positions, go from laying to sitting or sitting to standing almost normally, without taking an excessive amount of time to do it. But my back still hurts almost constantly. I’ve been to the chiropractor three times and had three massages since Friday (life of leisure I tell you!), but still, sore. It’s hard being trapped in one place, being forced to slow down, cancelling shifts and seeing money disappear and feeling bad for coworkers on busy wards (why are one million people having babies every week? Stop it ladies!). But like a few people have said, it’s not the worst thing being forced to stop. Maybe I just needed a little bit of a life break or something. Anyway I’m hoping I feel very much better by Wednesday, when Neil goes away for a few days. He’s been taking such good care of me, feeding me T3’s and replenishing my ice pack, making suppers and cleaning up afterwards. I’m lucky to have such a good man in my life. My kids have been great too, helping out where they can, waiting patiently in doctor’s offices (the chiropractor said he’d never seen four such well-behaved children before).

My niece Talasi turns one today, and we celebrated on Saturday. I dragged myself out to Portage with my ice pack, mainly because I knew my massage therapist mother would help me out with a massage or two. I didn’t want the kids to miss their cousin’s first birthday either.

Happy birthday Tali. You’re basically the cutest, squishiest one year old ever.

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(Tank tops last week, sweaters and jackets this week. Boo.) Continue reading