Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas is coming...

This is my 3rd blog - have been blogging since 2005 and I have always posted this at Christmas but it really is one of my favorites:

Because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace."
Zechariah's song, Luke 1:78,79

I love these verses.
This is what Christmas is about. Our Messiah coming to save us.

I am really loving my friend Karina's blog these days (and always :). Beautiful pictures and posts that are making me think. She has been doing Advent readings and I'm really enjoying them.



Can't believe it is only 5 days until Christmas! I'm not feeling too stressed. I don't really have any shopping left and other than getting a couple of things ready for work, cleaning my house and doing some baking I am good to go.

Speaking of cleaning my house... that is my one Christmas wish. *a clean house*
That would be wonderful :)

But if I got one of these - I don't think I'd be impressed:


Although we do need a new vacuum...


And some more fun for you :


Yes Santa - nothing says, "I love you like a new ironing board!"

So cheesy:
Hilarious:

And this for my friend Erica:

Thursday, December 16, 2010

like a child

As I was putting my son to bed tonight, I was praying with him, thanking Jesus for the good day and the snow and for Christmas when he piped in and said, "and thank you that you have Papa."
So I asked if he meant that Papa is in Heaven with Jesus and he answered yes.

We have had such a hard time explaining to him that Papa is with Jesus in Heaven and that we will see him again someday when we die. At times - we've wondered what he understands and if we've explained it properly. When I still don't understand everything myself, how do I explain it to a four year old? But it sounds like he's getting it.

So, that made me smile. And cry, at the same time.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Winner, baking, and more links! (just cause I can)

The Winner of some awesome Norwex kitchen helpers is Becky!!! Yay for you! (send me your address and I'll mail you some cool stuff)

Today my son and I made some Monkey Munch and Pumpkin Spice latte. The monkey munch turned out pretty well. I used regular white chocolate chips and I have to say, they are not as nice as Epicure Belgian White chocolate. They didn't melt very well and I ended up having to add more butter and then some Belgian Milk chocolate to make it more smooth. But it worked out. My son's favorite part is shaking the bag to spread the icing sugar around :)
The Pumpkin Spice latte was really good too! I didn't use half and half but milk instead, and didn't have whipped cream to top it off but it still tasted yummy. Will definitely be making that again!

This is kind of a random post, but that's life lately!


Some of my favorite songs lately:






Saturday, December 11, 2010

What a week

I don't mean to be a whiner, really I don't, but this is how our last week has been:

Last Friday - baby girl (I know she's not really a baby anymore but she's MY baby) threw up all night long. Literally every half hour. We kept her in our bed and would just hold a towel, or wipes or whatever we had that was still clean under her while she threw up. Poor girl, she had nothing left in her. Finally at about 5 am she was done. We slept for a couple of hours after that.

Saturday -We decorated our tree and house for Christmas, cleaned up a bit and just hung out at home. Then that night my husband and I went to his staff Christmas party. The kids did fine with the babysitter. Supper was fab, party was fun but the chairs were really uncomfortable. At the end of the night, my back was sore.

Sunday - Early morning, baby girl is throwing up again. No church for us. But our son had to go to Sunday school to practice for his Sunday school Christmas program. Thank goodness for my mom who picked him up and took him there. I tried to clean up, make some food and do laundry, knowing that I might not have the energy to do those things throughout the week if this continued. Later that evening little boy starts throwing up. Every half hour. We let him sit on the couch, drink ginger ale and watch Diego episodes until 10 o'clock. Then put him to bed. My husband and I took turns getting up everytime he threw up in the night.

Monday - I started throwing up. Husband had to come home from work to look after the kids. Enough said.

Tuesday - Kids had upset stomachs, but were ok. I was in some serious pain though. Went for a massage while my lovely friend watched my kids. Found out my hip was displaced. (I've had problems with my SI and hips since giving birth to my daughter)

Wednesday - Tried to get into my chiropractor, couldn't. Called my mom and cried. She brought me some painkillers. ;) Went to my RMT who did an adjustment on my back. Could barely walk. My mom took my kids to their daycare so they could have some attention and I took some painkillers and iced my back. Slept the day away :) (anyone who received an email etc from me that day might have been confused - I was pretty loopy) Missed work.

Thursday - Baby girl threw up, little boy had upset tummy. I felt a bit better, did some dishes etc, but probably pushed it too much and hurt my back more. Missed work again. Then threw up all night long.

Friday - Finally got to my chiropractor for an early morning appointment. Felt a lot better. Actually made muffins with my son. Tidied the house a bit. The kids and I did some colouring and got out some more Christmas decorations. Husband brought supper home but did not eat it.
Then he threw up all night long.

Today - daughter was up at 6am (teething?) is now back down for a nap and my son and I are watching tv. I have a feeling we will not be doing too much today.
I am hoping and praying that this is the end. We have a very busy day tomorrow and I am quite ready to get out of the house, get back to work this week and get ready for Christmas. So many things that I wanted to get done - Christmas photos and cards, wrapping presents, baking, visiting with some friends. My brother and sister-in-law are moving today and we can't even help out.
Two weeks until Christmas! I am so glad I don't have more presents to buy. That is one thing that I was on top of.

*I will do the draw sometime today or tomorrow*

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas, happy things, lots of links aaand a Giveaway!

Big F for me. I did not finish my 30 days of gratitude. Meh, oh well. Move on...
Christmas is coming, our tree is up and we are getting excited! I am done my Christmas shopping and just want to do some baking etc to get ready.

I had a crappy couple of weeks. Might blog about it later but don't really feel like having this blog all about how sad etc I am
Let me say one thing though, one bathroom when everyone is sick is not fun. I really wish we had one more bathroom in this house!

Some nice things that happened to me last week:

I won not one but TWO giveaways on blogs!

The first was on my friend Kim's blog. She made some wonderful things for an at-home pedicure!
I can't wait to try everything! I think I'm going to pick the orange nail polish...
Thanks Kim!

Then one evening after the kids were in bed, I was lurking around on Facebook, saw that Kim had entered in a draw on the Simple Kids FB site and thought - why not? So I did...
and I won! I won one of these awesome playhouses for my kids!
Miss Pretty Pretty Playhouses

Now to choose one that isn't too girly, that both kids will play with AND that my husband and I will agree on...
Being a librarian, I think the Library one is neat, but growing up my dad had a market garden and so this one is pretty cool.

We were all sick with the flu this weekend and a friend brought over some chicken lemon rice soup one night. So sweet of her! Plus that is my favourite kind of soup! That made life so much easier! My husband had to stay home from work yesterday because I was out of commision so having food in the fridge to heat up for meals was so nice! Thanks Connie!

And now... in the spirit of Christmas and to copy my friends Kim, and Erica and Karis who gave away a beautiful hat (check out her website Odd Duck Creations) ....

I am doing a giveaway!!! Because I am not crafty and don't have much creative talent I am going to give away some Norwex (because I sell it and love it). I will do some shameless self promotion in another post about the merits of this wonderful stuff!

But for now in honor of the name of my blog - Washing Dishes, I will give away some of these lovely items to help you wash your dishes better!

So, if you'd like to win, simply leave a comment. And to make it interesting and because everyone else is doing it, answer the question - what is the room you hate cleaning the most in your house?

**I will do the draw on the weekend!**

Good Luck!





Monday, November 22, 2010

New week

I just couldn't get my act together to blog something that I am grateful for everyday. Last week was hard.
I'll try again. It's a new week.

Working backwards:
Today I am grateful for my husband who gets up early every morning, drives to work in the dark and cold, works all day and then comes home to help me with the house and kids. We decided when we had kids that it was important for me to be home with them and I am thankful that he works hard to support our family so that I can be.

Yesterday I got to go out for supper with three of my dearest friends. And although I tire of hearing about calorie counting (probably typical for a group of women our age but so frustrating) it was still a great night. I love my friends and am so grateful to have them in my life.

Saturday was relaxing rituals. Oh I am so grateful for a husband who lets me sleep in on Saturdays and who lets me unwind in a bubble bath if I need it in the evening. I love having a bath, enjoying a cup of tea and then curling up with a good book. So relaxing!

Friday was being grateful for water. Yes I am grateful that we don't have to worry about our drinking water or how we will have a bath or wash clothes etc.

Thursday was being grateful for a mentor. I can't pick one, there are so many women in my life who have helped me on this journey.
Of course my mom is the biggest influence in my life. We've always been close but we are closer now than ever since losing my dad. She is such a strong, smart wonderful woman. I can go to her with anything. She is the best mom and grandma.

My two grandmothers are great examples to me and I love them both. Both of my grandpa's died in 1995 - I've watched how my grandmothers have kept going and loved their families. They are both strong women and I am thankful that they are my heritage.

My mother in law is a huge blessing to me. I know she prays for us constantly and her faith encourages me. She is a great mom, mom in law and grandma. Just wish we got to see her more often!

My aunt whom I've always admired. One of her many admirable missions in life is body acceptance at any size. She has made me think a lot about this issue and I am grateful for that.

Lorna, my second mom when I was a teenager. She is one of the sweetest people I have ever met and I knew I could talk to her about anything.

Carol who is a surrogate sister, mom and grandma to so many who know her. I can talk to her about anything, she has such faith and loves unconditionally.

Others who have made a difference in my life: Joanne, Kim, Holly, Nicole, Bonnie, Joanne N, and my other friends who are so wonderful to me.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

If my heart wasn't already broken...

This is a picture that my little sister drew a little while ago.



If you can't read it it says
My family
- Me Mom Dad (Happy) Happy Happy
My family without my Dad (Sad)
- Me Mom Sad Sad Very Sad

(and then there's a dinosaur or something beside my mom - not sure what that is? :) )

I am missing my dad lots right now. I don't mean to be depressing and don't even really tell people anymore. I know people think I/we should be "getting over it" already. It's been almost two years. But we miss him and feel his loss every single day.

I baked cookies with my little sister the other night. We talked about how dad liked black licorice allsorts. My sister and I would both always try them because they were so pretty and we liked the coloured candy parts but not the black licorice part.
She mentioned that she dreamt about dad the night before. I had dreamt about him as well so we thought that was kind of neat.

It makes me so sad that she doesn't have our dad for this part of her life. She doesn't have her daddy that she needs very much as she becomes a teenager. He won't be there to bug her about her crushes and her first boyfriend. He won't be there to bug the boys that come around and make them nervous when he takes his fake leg off.He's not here to help her make some of the most important decisions of her life. He won't be there to walk her down the aisle when she gets married.
Sad sad very sad.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Nov.15

Local Shop or Group

I'm grateful for all the stores we have in our little town. We can buy milk if we're out, get supper from the restaurant if we don't feel like cooking and buy almost anything you need from the Drugstore (snacks, medicine, cookbooks, toys, candles - you name it)

I am also grateful that we have a library in our town. And not just because I'm the librarian... :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Nov.14

Yesterday was being grateful for Home Sweet Home...

I am grateful that my husband and I were able to buy our own home when we did. And as much as I complain about this 102 year old house, I am still thankful for it. It keeps us warm and sheltered, has room for us all and people always say it is "cute" when they walk in.


Today - Sunday Special - What am I thankful for right now?

Yesterday we spent time with my family, celebrating my little sister's 10th birthday. It was her birthday on Friday and they were spending last night at a hotel so the kids (my sister, nieces and nephew and mine) could swim.
I am so extremely grateful for a family that I love and that I love to spend time with. These past 20 months without my dad have been so hard, but I am grateful that we have stuck together and are still close.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cultural Heritage #12

My Heritage:

I have a big mix - I am Russian, Polish, English, Scottish, Irish, Metis, American *gasp* (my grandmother's family came from the USA in the early 1900's) and probably some more in there. In the past couple of years we have found out that my great great grandmother was Jewish, married a Polish man and they decided to hide her Jewish heritage. We don't know the whole story, but the timing of it makes sense.

I love my Scottish history. I loved being in Scotland, the people are so wonderful and the country is so beautiful. So that is the one I relate to the most. I need to find out more about the rest of my heritage and am proud of it all. But I am most definitely a Proud Scotswoman!

My dad at my brother's wedding - so proud wearing a kilt!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

two for one

oops.
I have a good excuse. really...

So #10
aha moment. I've had a couple lately but don't have time to write a novel.
I am slowly changing my views on a couple of things that I grew up thinking were black and white.
There are a lot of grey areas that need explaining to me. So I am searching, reading, praying and thinking. Will do a long post on this in the near future.

#11
Thankful for those who fought and those who lost their lives. My grandfather fought in WWII. He never talked about it. So many horrific things then and so many continuing now, in the Middle East, in Africa, all over the world.
War is horrible, I don't believe it is ever right. But today is a day of honouring and remembering.



Excuse: my kids are sick, snotty, coughing all hours of the day and night. My husband is sick. Our cat is sick. And I am lazy sometimes. That's my excuse.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

#9

A Good friend you are thankful for.

I can't pick just one. I know it's a cop out and I'm lame.

But I am so thankful for all of my friends. You find out who your real friends are when tragedy strikes. I am so thankful for those who stuck by me.

My friends who: write me a note when they are thinking of me, watch my kids when they know I need a break, let me know they are praying for me, bring me flowers, pick up an item or two from Costco for us, stop by for a quick visit, phone me on my birthday, cry with me, listen to me whine, help me clean my house, love my kids, send me cards or letters, drive "all the way out" from Saskatoon to visit ;) and who love me no matter what.

Thanks friends.

Friends are those rare people who ask how you are and then wait for the answer.
~Author Unknown

It is the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter. ~Marlene Dietrich

Friendship is a sheltering tree. ~Samuel Taylor Coleridge



*Phillip the cat update*
Phil is home!
We were ready to say goodbye. But when the vet called this morning, we were pleasantly surprised. She said he was doing a bit better on fluids and that we could bring him home and continue getting food into him. He also has to have fluids by IV once a day. (That will be my husband's job. He is a former body piercer. I can't stand stuff like that)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Nov.8

Too sad to write something happy today.

It has been a sad past couple of weeks.
A friend of a friend lost her dad to cancer a couple weeks ago.
A man from this town passed away from cancer recently and left behind a wife and two young kids.
My mom's cousin lost her son in a tragic car accident last week. He was only 21.

And now we will probably lose our cat in the next couple of days. Not that that is comparable to the pain those other families are going through. Trust me, I know. But we are still very sad.

Phillip the cat was a 1 month anniversary gift to my husband. I rescued him from the SPCA.
We call him our firstborn and although I love all three cats that we've had - I have to admit I love Phillip the most.
Phillip is the nicest cat. He likes to drink coffee. He sticks his paw in the cup and then licks it off. Everyone loves Phil. All of our neighbours know him and love him. He even used to go hang out downtown by the grocery store and post office and visit with people there. He lets the kids pull his tail and has never scratched them. He even let my little sister and niece trim his whiskers one time...

Phillip has had liver failure. He hasn't been himself for months. He stayed at the vet for a week in September, he came home and slowly improved for awhile but now he is worse. So we are trying a day or two of fluids to see if that helps but we have declined the feeding tube and another round of tests that would be at least $2000. I hate that we are giving up in a way. But we just can't afford it and as much as we love Phil, we aren't guaranteed that even that would fix him. So if he does not improve in the next two days we are going to have to make a very hard decision.
This sucks.


Our son giving Phil a kiss. (2007)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Nov.7

What am I grateful for right now?

For living in a country where I can freely go to church and not have to hide my faith or worry that my family is in danger for our beliefs.

This should not be taken for granted. So many others do not have this privilege.

http://www.persecution.net/

Saturday, November 6, 2010

#6

A Nice Surprise....

Hmm,
Cliche I know - but finding out I was pregnant with my daughter is one of my fav's.

It was almost exactly two years ago.
I went to my Doctor to start on some drugs to help me get pregnant. We decided I should take a test just to be sure. I had taken so many negative tests it was depressing.
So the whole time I was waiting for my Doctor to come in, I kept telling myself, "don't get your hopes up, you're not pregnant."
She walked in with a smile on her face and said, "So, do you feel pregnant?"
I was shocked. She said it was very faint but it was there, my doctor told me to come back the next week to do one more. But I knew.

That evening I tried to get our son to tell my husband that there was a baby in my tummy but he kept whispering it and my husband didn't understand. Finally I just told him. He was surprised but very excited.


And now we have our two beautiful children. The best surprises you can get :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

#5 - Tough Job

My toughest job was when I worked in a group home for adults with disabilities. Some of these people dealt with severe cerebral palsy, autism, and learning disablilities among other things.

I am grateful for the experience. It taught me patience, love and that everyone is special. There were a lot of things I didn't enjoy about the job and people would ask me how I could do it, but they were part of the job and just had to be done. That's life.

I am grateful for the people in this world who do jobs like that everyday. The jobs that need to be done everyday, that are taken for granted but are so important.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

#4

Gratitude for a Nature Spot.

This is an easy one for me. Canada is a beautiful country and I love the mountains and the beaches, especially the east coast. (and I do like Saskatchewan too)

BUT my favorite nature spot would have to be Scotland.
I got to spend 5 months there almost 10 years ago. It is the most beautiful country.
The beaches are rugged and rocky but so gorgeous. The mountains are inspiring.
Probably my favorite spot in Scotland was in the glen by a stream down from the Seamill Centre where I stayed.
I loved to go sit my a little bridge, enjoy the misty rain and relax, do some thinking and lots of times some praying.
I don't have any photos because all of my photos are on 35mm. I have yet to scan them. Someday I will.

These are some photos I found online of the school I stayed at in West Kilbride.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

#3

Today is a family member you are grateful for.

Hmmm, this is a hard one because I am grateful for all of my family and love them all equally.
My aunt and uncle gave us a car and even bought a "family truck" so any of us can borrow it when we need to, my grandma has looked after my children so many times I can't even count, my uncle has helped us scrape and paint our house, my brother helped my husband renovate our bathroom, my sister in law has looked after my kids numerous times.
I am also really grateful for all of my husband's family in Nova Scotia. I don't know all of them very well and have actually only met them a handful of times, but they have always made me feel comfortable and are so good to us. My mother and father in law have been very good to us and always spoil us rotten when are there. I feel like I am completely part of their family and always have a good time when go visit.

So I am grateful for ALL of my family.
And because this is my blog, I can do whatever I want. So there.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Small town life

Apparently for 30 days of Gratitude you are given a theme each day...I might follow that some days. We'll see what I feel like.
Yesterday's theme was where you live.
So I'll do that today

I am grateful that my husband and I moved back to the town that I grew up in a year after we were married. I spent a lot of time at my parents house when my son was first born and my dad and my son were very close. We had talked many times of moving to the East Coast but never did. Had we done so, I would have regretted it immensely when my dad died. As it turned out - we stayed and I was very close to my dad. Something I will always be thankful for.
I am also grateful that I have my mom, sister and Grandma (and uncle at present time) living in the same town as us. It is so nice to be close to family.

Sometimes small town life is annoying. But for the most part - I love where I live. I love getting to know new people at my job and chatting with those I already know. I love being able to go for a walk and saying hi to everyone I pass whether I know them or not.

Sometimes though, I think I should move here:

Dana, Saskatchewan
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hamlet of Dana is located in Saskatchewan
Hamlet of Dana
Country Canada
Province Saskatchewan

Dana is a hamlet in Saskatchewan located and the intersection of Saskatchewan Highway 637 and Saskatchewan Highway 5. The hamlet is an un-incorporated place within the Rural Municipality of Bayne.

The hamlet at one point in time was closely associated with the CFS Dana, a nearby military installation that closed in 1987.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Apparently for 30 days of Gratitude you are given a theme each day...I might follow that some days. We'll see what I feel like.
Yesterday's theme was where you live.
So I'll do that today

I am grateful that my husband and I moved back to the town that I grew up in a year after we were married. I spent a lot of time at my parents house when my son was first born and my dad and my son were very close. We had talked many times of moving to the East Coast but never did. Had we done so, I would have regretted it immensely when my dad died. As it turned out - we stayed at I was very close to my dad. Something I will always be thankful for.
I am also grateful that I have my my mom, sister and Grandma (and uncle at present time) living in the same town as us. It is so nice to be close to family.

November

It's been over a month! How did that happen?
It has been very busy in our house. My husband and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary! He started his new job. Our kids have been sick with colds and coughs. Work has been busy. The snow has fallen and we had to pull out all of our "winter gear". We had nice weather for taking the kids trick or treating yesterday though! Our son was Batman and our daughter was a Ballerina Princess. They were adorable. We only took them to 6 houses and they got lots of candy! (enough to keep mommy and daddy full of chocolate for awhile)

So it is blogging month and there is a 30 days of Gratitude movement in November. So in keeping with my birthday resolution I am going to try to blog something I am grateful for everyday.

Grateful fact #1

Today I am grateful for my healthy children. So often us parents with healthy kids take this granted. Yes my kids have had colds and we've had sleepless nights. I worry when my son won't stop coughing and needs his inhaler but I've never had to leave them overnight in the hospital or worry that I won't be bringing them home with me.
For this I am so grateful.


On another note -for Halloween some good friends had "The Best Halloween Party Since Elementary School".
It was so much fun! My husband and I got a night out and my mom even had both kids over for a sleepover (our first night away from our daughter!)
We ate lots of yummy food. (spider cupcakes, tombstone puddings etc) played pictionary and pin the tail on the cat. Everyone dressed up and we had a fabulous night! Now to plan costumes for next year...

My husband was the Raisin Bran Lumberjack and I was Octomom :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

and on it goes

Survived birthday number two with no dad. It was actually okay. Of course I was sad. Everyday is tinged with sadness no matter what. But it was a nice day.
I was spoiled by family and friends. Reminded over and over again how blessed I really am and how thankful I should be.
I really do have a great life.

I have slowly come to the realization (and this will be a long post another time) that God wasn't picking on our family when he let (for lack of a better term) my dad die. I still choose to love God and even though I've been angry and will probably never understand the why's of everything. I am still going to love the Lord.

It's the same thing as having an argument with my husband. We still love each other, and don't decide to get a divorce when we disagree about something or even don't like each other for awhile.
I am still a Christian (even though I sometimes don't want to be associated with others who call themselves that). I am not going to throw away my faith because my life hasn't gone the way I planned. Life is choosing joy, happiness, faith and sometimes accepting (not always liking) the things that come your way.
I am not alone in grief. Others are walking this with me and making it more bearable.

I was so lucky to have my dad for 26 years when others don't have one at all. I miss my dad so much because he was wonderful. So many others are not so lucky. I really was and am blessed.
I know I will see my dad again. Others do not have the same assurance.

So, for my 28th year, I am going to try to be positive and always see something bright everyday. Even when I don't feel like it...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

Comfort Food

Potato Lentil Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) Epicure’s Toasted Onion (I added some garlic as well)
  • 2 cups (500 ml) diced potatoes
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) diced celery
  • 2 cups (500 ml) red lentils
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) Epicure’s Roasted Red Pepper Dip Mix
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) Epicure’s Seasoning for Cheese Chives & Bacon Dip
  • 8 cups (2 L) Epicure’s Vegetable Bouillon, prepared
  • Epicure’s Sea Salt, to taste
  • Epicure’s Black Pepper, to taste

Instructions

1. Combine first 8 ingredients in a large Epicure's Multi-Purpose Pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes.
2. Season with Epicure's Sea Salt and Epicure's Black Pepper.

Per Serving: Calories 400, Fat 8 g (Saturated 1 g, Trans 0 g), Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 170 mg, Carbohydrate 58 g (Fibre 12 g, Sugars 4 g), Protein 27 g.

Tips: Serve with freshly baked Epicure's Focaccia Bread or Epicure's Cheddar Herb & Garlic Biscuits.


Obviously this can switched up a bit and you do not have to use Epicure spices. I just happen to have a cupboard full of them because I sell them. I didn't use the Roasted red pepper or the cheese chives and bacon. I used some Louisiana hot and spicy dip and some Herb and Garlic. I also heated the oil with the onion and garlic a bit first, then added the lentils, then everything else.I like to improvise. I made this soup yesterday and it tastes even better today.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The end of summer

It has been a busy month. Summer is pretty much over and everything is starting up again.

I have been back at work for a month now. I am working ten hours a week. And I do not know how other moms keep it all together. I am only working ten hours a week, that is how much most work in a day. I have always had great admiration for moms who work full time. And single parents - wow (but that's a whole other post).
After my son was born I went back to work 15 hours a week but this time I knew I wanted to do less. I am so lucky to be able to do this. I have a great co-worker who let me pick what hours I wanted and a pretty nice job that although can be stressful, is not hard. Plus I am basically my own boss, which is good for me because I don't like being told what to do.
My children only have to go to daycare for 6 hours a week and are loving it. So overall the going back to work thing has been positive.

August and September are Birthday months for our family. August was my dad's 2nd birthday in Heaven. My sister-in-law, niece, uncle, mom and son all had birthdays as well. September has my husband's, my grandma's and my birthday.

This year is the big 3 0 for my husband and he is celebrating it with a new job - just to keep things interesting!

Yes, this past month has been a busy one. But I am feeling so blessed. There are stresses and worries, lots of things that still need doing and it doesn't always go the way I want it to, but there are so many things to be thankful for. So I will do that.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Oodles of Zucchini

It is feeling more like Fall here these days. It's only supposed to get to 16 degrees. So I decided we would do some baking today.
My friend runs a gardening program http://www.chep.org/cg/index.html and gave me a great deal on some fresh veggies. The zucchini are pretty big so I thought I'd make some muffins and bread from them. I also tried making fried green tomatoes (from my own tomato plants!!!) and zucchini last night for supper. The tomatoes turned out soggy but I thought the zucchini were pretty good. The kids disagreed.
A friend of mine made some super yummy chocolate zucchini bread the other night and I made that on Saturday.
Then today with my kids "helping" me in the kitchen we made this:

ZUCCHINI BREAD

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  4. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.
I was out of eggs so used applesauce instead and didn't add nuts because my daughter is still too young. I added some poudre douce spice with the cinnamon. I also used less sugar, about 1 3/4 cups instead of the 2 1/4 cups it called for.
I tend to do this a lot - substituting and almost always use less sugar than the recipe calls for. It usually works out- sometimes not, but I'm learning what works. We made one loaf and then used the rest of the batter for muffins.

Tonight I'm going to try pasta with zucchini ribbons and salmon. Hoping the kids will eat that as readily as the muffins.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

new normal

Grieving is hard. Missing someone is awful. Expecting them to be there and then realizing they are not can make you physically ill.

But do you know what is worse? When life starts to feel normal without that person around.

I am starting to not look for my dad when I go to my mom's house. I don't expect to see him in his chair when I walk through the door. I am starting to forget his laugh and his voice. I don't expect to hear him answer the phone. I don't pick up the phone to ask him a question. I don't worry about the coming winter and all of the icy sidewalks and stairs that he could slip on.
When I dream of him, I know that he is gone and wake up sad instead of hopeful. Because I want to just keep dreaming.
I no longer think of things to bake to take over to him. I can't ask him what my mom would like for her birthday.

I know this is normal and probably good...? But it feels much much worse.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

it waits for no one

Time is going by way too fast for me these days.
My little boy just turned 4 and my daughter has started to walk!

I am back at work and the kids will start their new daycare tomorrow.

I am trying to enjoy my children, not get too stressed out about things that won't matter tomorrow and just be a mommy.

I remember how fast my son's first year went and when my daughter was born I told myself to enjoy every minute because I knew it would fly. It went even faster than the first one.
I want it to stand still - just for a moment...

Babies Don’t Keep
By Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due,
Lullabye, rockaby, lullabye loo.
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo,
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo,
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs;
Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

August 3

Today would have been my dad's 58th birthday.

Happy 2nd Birthday in Heaven dad.
I love you and miss you.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Yesterday, my mom, little sister and I met one of my "new" blogging friends and her mom for breakfast.
I say "new" because I kind of knew her from camp when I was a kid and she was a counselor. I also have been reading her blog for a long time.

She lost her dad in October. We connected awhile after that and have been in touch ever since. We have been trying to get together, with our moms (since they are in the same boat as well) since May and yesterday it finally worked!

We had a really nice time - chatted, cried a bit, laughed and talked some more. It was nice being with someone who is going through the same thing as I am and totally understands. Their loss is still so new and I feel for them going through this first summer without him.

She has been very honest in her blog and sometimes I feel like I could have written her posts. I am very thankful that we met and can be of some help to each other.

We had a really nice time and I'm looking forward to hanging out again.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

sorry for myself

I am having one of "those" days today. Pretty sure it can all be attributed to pms (sorry if that's too much information but it's true).

This weather is driving me crazy. We've had way too much rain. At 8 am it was thundering and now it is sunny. Maybe the sun will last but who knows. We were supposed to go out this morning to a friend's house. But I decided not to risk walking over with the kids in case it started to rain again. Not having a car is so annoying some days. I would love to be able to pack the kids up and go to the zoo or something.

The rain is also making our lives miserable by gathering in our basement. Our sump pump is running all the time, but you can still smell the water from the cold storage and laundry rooms. I used to love the rain. Now I hate it. It is wrecking my summer. We can hardly get any work done outside due to the wet and the mosquitoes.

I am feeling extremely overwhelmed with trying to spend time with my kids, worrying about our house, do laundry, cook and keep the house clean after being totally spoiled for the two weeks we were gone. Plus I start work next month and even though it's very part-time I'm wondering how I will manage.

Our phone has been out since Saturday. Super fun.

In my Grief Share book it talks about how every day/week/month/whatever, you miss something new about the person you lost. There are more facets to a relationship with a person then you even realize. Today I am missing my Fix-it dad who knew how to fix everything and would tell me all the answers to what we should be doing with our house. I could just call him and he would come over and make it better. I don't have anyone like that anymore. I was so spoiled to have a dad like that, and I miss him so much.
I am bawling as I type this, and my son is telling me not to be sad. I hate this. Of course I miss him everyday but for some reason, it hurts a lot more today. It's been 16 months. I just want to talk to him. I want to see his face and hear his voice. I want to see him with my mom. I want him to play with my sister and my kids and my nieces and nephew. I want him to answer the phone when I call their house.

I miss my dad.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Where I've been

We just returned home after two weeks in Nova Scotia. This is a bit of what we did there:

Blew some bubbles

More bubbles

Looked at rocks and threw some in the ocean


walked on the beach

watched the water





Saw a "sea monster"

Saw some boats

Ate the best Fish 'n Chips ever!


We had a great time! Saw lots of family, celebrated my daughter's 1st Birthday, relaxed and spent lots of time near the ocean. The kids were great - and even did well on the flights. Two weeks flew by - now it's back to reality. My son is having a hard time adjusting to only having me around after two weeks of undivided daddy and grandparent attention. We are still a bit jet-lagged and are trying to get used to being back at home.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

2nd Father's Day

Tomorrow will be our second Father's Day with no dad. For some reason this year is worse than last.
Last year it was so new and fresh, it was really awful. But this year, because it's been so much longer and we know that it is really permanent and that he's really not ever coming back - it's even worse.

I am grateful for the 26 years I did have with my dad. He really was a wonderful man and the best dad a person could ask for. As much as I will celebrate the dad that he was, tomorrow will be bittersweet because we miss him, we wish he was here and we would like to celebrate with him.

I am so thankful that my husband is so understanding and knows that I am not thrilled for this holiday. Of course I realize that he is a dad and needs recognition as well. We will celebrate him tomorrow but it will be a sad day as well.

As I was looking at all the of the Father's Day cards in the store today, I saw all of the cute cards for Grandpa's and it made me sad that I couldn't get one for him from my kids.
Then I saw the cards for Daddy's from their little girls and it made me sad that my little sister doesn't have him around. She decided to miss the parts of school where they made crafts for their dads. How awful for her. How unfair.
Then I saw the cards for dad's from grown up kids. The long poems about all the special things they did and how thankful the kids are for having a wonderful, loving dad. And that made me sad for myself.
Then I saw the funny cards and it made me smile as I remembered all of the funny cards that my brother and I would get for my dad. We always tried to outdo each other with the funny cards to make dad laugh. He really did have the best sense of humor.

So, like so many other times and holidays, I am sad. But I am grateful.

I am truly thankful that God decided to make my dad my dad. Even thought it was shorter than I think it should have been. I wouldn't change it.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

when I get older...




This is my dad's mom, my Granny Lil (and my aunt). We celebrated her 90th birthday this past weekend. It was a very nice party, held at the Western Development Museum. Family came from all over the country and even one from the States.

Doesn't she look great? She said she gets a lot of comments about her skin and questions about what her secret is.
Her answer? Take vitamins, stay out of the sun and use Avon. Granny has been using Avon since 1942. And her skin looks amazing.

I've always been told I take after this side of my family. So hopefully I have inherited these good genes.

Seeing all of the men together was pretty interesting. Especially my dad's brothers. At times I would hear my dad's voice or see an expression that made me think I was looking at his face. It was a wonderful celebration for my Granny but it was also so hard to be there without my dad. He loved his family so much and it would have been so nice if him and my grandfather could have been there. (They and my cousin's daughter are the only ones in the immediate family that have passed away)
At one point my brother had to leave the room because he was choked up and it broke my heart. It's not fair. It is so not fair that there are men out there who don't care about their families and abuse them and are deadbeats and they get to go on with their lives while my dad had to die. The whole evening, all I could think was this is a nice time but it's just not fair. I know life isn't fair. I know all the "answers" people would say to me, he's happy in Heaven, it was God's timing, we can't question God. But it's still not fair. He would have had a fabulous time. Maybe God let him have a glimpse of the party...I think it would have made him smile.

Earlier that day we all went out to the graveyard and planted a tree at my dad's headstone. It was good for all of the family to see it and have that time out there. Maybe it made the party a bit easier, I don't know. Just to have had that grieving part of the day over with so we could all try to be happy at Granny's party. I'm sure it did make it better for most. Probably a bit harder for us though.
Overall it was a good weekend. I saw family I hadn't seen for fifteen years, they all got to see all the kids and it was just nice for us all to be together.
It is definitely nice to get together for something other than a funeral...maybe we should do it more often.




Sunday, April 25, 2010

brick wall

Today my son randomly said something about Papa being dead and why was Papa dead, how did it happen and on and on.
I was in the other room and my husband was a bit shocked but managed to say something about Papa's body not working properly and he died and now he was in Heaven. I, of course got all choked up.

It never ends. When you think you are managing a bit better and that life is moving on a bit, just one question brings you back to the start.
I honestly was almost starting to feel like my old self again lately. I've been keeping busy and have felt happy and have been getting things done.
I guess this will come and go.
But today I am angry.
This is not fair.
I am too young to not have a dad. My kids need a grandpa close to them. My mom needs her husband. My sister needs her daddy. My husband needs a Godly man around. My brother needs him. We all need him. And he's gone.

My dear friend is getting married soon. She was like another daughter to him. He would have really enjoyed knowing she met a wonderful guy. Another dear friend just had a baby. Another had twins. Good friends of his just became grandparents. My dad would have been so happy to hear the news.

I know all the Biblical answers. God's timing and how our days are numbered from the start, and how this is in the Master Plan. But right now I am struggling to understand how anything good can possibly come out of this.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Life these days.

So much to write, so little time.
Life is busy busy. Babies have been born. (with at least 9 more on the way!) Weddings happening soon. Kids are keeping me on my toes. Trying to get our yard looking half decent. Trying to get our house in order after recently doing some renos (which still need to get finished). Getting rid of baby clothes and accessories feels rather good!

I am loving the nice weather. And missing my dad these days. He would be outside almost non-stop once the weather turned nice. He would be telling us what we should be doing in our yard and planning what to do next in theirs. He would already have his dark brown tan that he got every year. He would be building something fun for my son and all the other kids to play on. And he would be doing lots of BBQ ing :)

My GriefShare group will be done next week. I feel as though I've come a long way in the past four months. Of course the pain won't ever be gone. But managing it is better I guess.
This past year has been a huge test of faith for me. I think I've survived, a bit stronger than I thought I was. And maybe I'll be able to articulate my thoughts at some point. But for now, all I can say is that if I wasn't completely sure I needed Jesus in my life before I do now. I do not know how those who grieve can do it without the assurance that their loved ones are in Heaven. I could go on and on. But I am not one to push my faith in one's face.
I am still grieving. Will never stop grieving. But I mourn with Hope. And that is what keeps me going day after day.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Birth

A couple of weeks ago I went to the chiropractor. I thought my tailbone was broken from childbirth and so she asked about my birth experiences. (turns out my back pain is my SI joint stuck in place from both pregnancies - painful but getting better)
I told her that with my first I had a long labour and eventually had an epidural and IV drugs to speed up my labour. With my second baby, I had a pretty short labour and drug free delivery. She then said, "You sound disappointed that you had an epidural, why is that?"
At this point I got a bit choked up and explained what had happened with my first delivery.
I totally had not realized how emotional I was about my son's birth!

I was 23 years old. Had a birthplan that was pretty much disregarded. My water had broken, I had been in labour for 12 hours and was basically forced into having an epidural. (or so I feel - emotions run high when you're in labour) The only reason I was listened to at all was that my mom was with us and is a nurse.

I had made up my mind when I was pregnant not to be a martyr and to get drugs if I felt I needed them. However, this was not supported by the nurses that I had for my labour. They kept telling me that I should just get an epidural. They were not very supportive of alternative methods. I am so thankful that my husband and mom were there to speak for me. It would have been an even more negative experience had they not.

When I wasn't dilating fast enough, I was told that my labour could take another 12-24 hours and that getting IV drugs (sintocin) and an epidural would speed things up.
At this point, I was exhausted, discouraged and felt like I really couldn't do it any longer (with little encouragement to just keep going, I guess I gave up) I just wanted to see my baby. I was given the epidural and he was born a short time later. My doctor barely made it to his delivery.
As it happens, my son's heart rate dropped when I was pushing and they had to use the vacuum to try to get him out. He then turned a bit, tore me with his shoulder and I was able to push him out.
In the long run I am thankful that my son was healthy. That is the most important thing.
Maybe I would have decided to have the epidural on my own, and that's okay, but the fact that I felt pressured into it left me feeling sad and a bit powerless.
I still have resentful feelings towards the staff that was there when he was born and am a bit negative about his birth. My husband and I felt patronized a lot throughout our hospital stay and were thankful when we were able to come home and learn to look after our baby ourselves, our own way.

Thankfully I had a better experience with my daughter's birth (even with some awful staff again). I was able to deliver her with no drugs and feel like I recovered a lot more quickly.

I am not adamantly against drugs and interventions for childbirth. They have their place - when needed. I just feel like some doctors and nurses are too pushy and really need to take a step back and listen to the person who is giving birth. Women have been giving birth for thousands of years - our bodies know what to do. Yes it is painful but it doesn't last and at the end you have a beautiful baby to hold on to.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

babyweight

My aunt sent me a link to this site:
http://theshapeofamother.com/

It inspired me to write this post.

I haven't lost my baby weight. I have stretchmarks lining my stomach and breasts. My stomach is not flat or smooth. My thighs jiggle a bit. My breasts are big and I will never fit the cute little bras I have sitting in the back of my closet again.

But the stretchmarks show where my babies grew inside me. Like a map of the world, they show where I felt little kicks, punches, rolls and hiccups. My breasts are full of milk to give my daughter the nutrients she needs. My arms may not be trim but they are strong enough to carry my children and a diaper bag and the phone all at the same time. My legs carry me quickly when I hear my child calling for me and can still run up the stairs when my son is scared by the monsters in the dark.

I may never fit into my wedding dress again. Or the clothes that I have sitting on the floor of my closet, beautiful clothes that make me sigh when I see them. I will not be twenty pounds lighter when I am a bridesmaid in May, like I tricked myself into thinking was more than doable, it was "healthy". I will NEVER wear a bikini, no matter how many ads tell me I can.

This is me.
If I lose some more weight, fine. I do not need to drive myself crazy to do so.
If not, my husband still loves me. I am healthy. I am alive.
I need to stop comparing myself to others and be happy that my body let me carry two beautiful, healthy, perfect babies.
Those that cannot get pregant would gladly take stretchmarks and saggy boobs if it meant they could carry a baby.
So I will rejoice in my body. The body that God gave me. I will eat healthy food and run around with my children but I will not obsess.

Psalm 139: 13-16

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

Monday, March 15, 2010

conversations

This morning my son and I had to have a conversation about how Papa won't have any more birthdays or birthday parties because he is dead and in Heaven. He kept asking, "Cause Papa's dead?" and I would have to say, "yes, Papa is dead."
Did we not tell him this crucial piece of information? I still choke up when I talk to him about his Papa. He's always been told his Papa is in Heaven now, and we've read books about Heaven and what it's like, but did we forget to mention that Papa died? Those days after my dad died are a blur, but I hope one of us sat down with my son and explained it to him. He was only two years old but toddlers are a lot smarter than we give them credit for.

We recently celebrated my brother's birthday and then shortly after that, had the little celebration of my dad's life. Soon we will celebrate my aunt's birthday.

I think all of this is confusing my son, thus all the questions about Papa's birthday.

I hope and pray that I am answering these questions correctly and won't further confuse my son.
Parenting is exhausting and I feel at a loss these days...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A whole year

Tuesday is over and I am glad. It wasn't as bad as I had thought it would be though.

We had a family supper with all of my dad's favorite foods. Corn and clam chowder, farmer sausage, homemade bread, ribs, greek salad and for dessert cherry cheesecake and ice cream cake.
After supper we all sat down and shared some favorite memories. Some family that live far away sent their stories to my mom so she read those. I heard some stories I hadn't heard before. My dad was a pretty funny guy. He also got up to lots of trouble with his brothers.

When he was four, his two older brothers found a case of beer stashed in a barn. They loaded it up into a wagon with my dad sitting on top and went all over town selling the beer. Apparently my dad was the one who ended up selling it to an old bachelor.
My Grandpa was the high school English teacher as well as the Sunday School superintendent and did not drink beer.
He was not impressed.
(My dad is the smiley guy in the bottom left. I think my son resembles him quite a bit. I showed him this photo and asked him who the smiley boy is and he said, "ME!")


My dad loved to laugh. Christmas 2006 sticks out in my mind, my aunt and uncle gave my little sister and niece whoopie cushions. They thought that was the best thing in the world and we spent that whole Christmas laughing at the farty noises. My dad most of all, because that's the sense of humor he had. So, my husband and I gave whoopie cushions to all the kids the other night. They thought it was hilarious and it made everyone laugh. It was nice to remember the good times.

It was sad and we all cried while watching the slideshow from the funeral. But it was also nice to laugh about the good times.

I cannot believe it's been a year since he died. It has gone by very fast. That awful day still seems like yesterday sometimes. But hopefully the painful memories will recede and we will start to only remember the good stuff.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

One year

Miss you Dad XOXO

Sunday, March 7, 2010

today

It's been a year since the last time I saw my dad.

We went to visit him in the hospital after his surgery. He was in a really good mood for being in lots of pain. We laughed and joked around with him like normal. To this day I wish we had brought our son so he could have seen him one last time. We stayed for almost an hour, I gave him a hug and kiss and that was it. I would never get to see him again.

He was supposed to come home two days later. Instead, a blood clot developed and killed him.

It will sound weird but I don't really want this year to be over. Because it means that now it will be over a year since he was here. Can't explain it any better than that.

I feel like a bundle of nerves these days. Memories are coming back, and with them feelings of dread and extreme sadness. I really hate reliving the day he died. I hate the fact that I was the one who had to call my brother. I hate the fact that I was the one who had to tell my little sister that our daddy was dead. I hate that day.

I am not looking forward to March 9th. But it will come and then it will be gone.

I am telling myself that things are going to be okay. He really wouldn't want us to be sad on that day. He would want us to laugh and joke and tell funny stories about him and to celebrate his life.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What my husband does in his spare time:

http://thebridgecitizen.com/


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

everyday

A friend of mine recently asked if I still think of my dad everyday. Yes I do.
I started thinking about how often a thought about my dad passes through my mind.

A typical day goes like this:
I wake up, think about what needs to be done during the day, and then remember my dad is dead. It feels like a kick in the stomach. I literally feel sick whenever I am reminded of this. I think about how much I miss him and all that he is missing here.

I feed my daughter and make my son's breakfast, we play, read some stories and again I am reminded by some unknown force that I have no dad to call and tell what my kids have been up to. Another kick.

We have lunch, I put my daughter down for her nap and as I hold her in my arms, my eyes well up as I think of how much my dad would have liked to have held her, just once.
Kick.

My son and I might read or watch some tv or play on the Wii (Nintendo). When I see my dad's Mii character on the Wii and my son says something about what Papa is doing, I get kicked again. I try to talk about happy things with my son and remind him of what fun he used to have with his Papa, but it still makes me sad.

Then I make some supper, talk to my mom on the phone and am kicked when I think about her and my little sister alone in their house. No dad.

Throughout the evening, we have some family time, play a game, watch some tv and then put our son to bed. As we pray with our son, we thank Jesus for the good day and ask him to send his angels to watch over us and to say hi to Papa in Heaven. Another little kick. This is a bittersweet time for me as I try to remember that Heaven is way better than here on Earth. But I am still sad.

Then we play with our daughter, talk about our day, discuss something that needs doing in our house and get kicked again when reminded that we don't have my dad around to ask advice, put our daughter to bed and go to bed ourselves. My last thought at night is always, oh yeah, dad is really gone, this sucks, don't cry, you don't need to cry, go to sleep. But it never works.
So yes, I do still think about my dad EVERYDAY.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Monkey Toast

We had a lovely brunch the other day. With lovely company.
Thick white bread with Nutella and banana slices sandwiched in between. Dipped in a chocolate french toast batter and fried to perfection. Topped with chocolate whipped cream. So yummy.
Christened Monkey Toast by my three year old because anything involving bananas and chocolate is associated with monkeys.
Try it sometime. I think we have found our new family holiday favorite.


On another note, my last GriefShare was about kids and grief. It was very interesting. Most things I had heard or realized. The one thing that stuck out in my mind was how kids might regress. Grief affects everything that is going on in life. I realized that when my dad died, our son's potty training flew out the window. I had never put the two together before. Of course!
Of course he stopped. I barely remember those first months now but I remember that they were extremely stressful. No wonder it has taken so long and still continues to be a battle somedays.
Man, I wish I'd realized this sooner.

They also suggested that people write a letter to children who have lost a parent. Close friends or family can write a letter telling the child how much their loved one meant to them, special memories and things like that. So I am going to write a letter to my little sister. It might not mean a lot now, but when she's older she will really appreciate it. So, if you are family or a friend who knew and loved my dad, you could do the same if so inclined. It would mean a lot to me and will to her as well.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Inspired

I've been inspired by a couple of things lately.

First:


http://flylady.net/

Anyone who knows me, knows that I hate cleaning with a passion. But now I am inspired to get it done. One baby step at a time. The FlyLady says you can do anything for 15 minutes at a time. She also says that I am not lazy. Which is what I tell myself when I can't keep my house clean.

She says, "Your problem is that you don't know what to do first and when you decide on a course of action, you are continually spinning your wheels and unable to finish anything. By the end of the day you are exhausted, the house is trashed and you have accomplished nothing."

That is exactly my problem, I start something, see something else that needs doing (because I'm a multi-tasker) and start that,and so on. I don't get anything done, then feel as if there's no point because I like things done right and if it's not getting done right it might as well not get done at all.

FlyLady says to focus on one thing/room for 15 minutes a day. Eventually it will get done. She also says to focus on getting rid of clutter. Are the things we own blessing our house or just taking up space? We have so much crap around that doesn't need to be here. Also, when you buy something, throw out or give away something else. For example when you buy a new pair of shoes, throw out your old ones. We really live in a culture of excess - how many pairs of shoes does one person need?

Second:


For awhile now I've been asking myself if i'm genuinely interested in people's lives or just nosy. I check everyone's status, look at pictures and "like" people's comments etc. But do I really need to do it 5 times a day? Is this enriching my life?
Is it taking time away from other more important things?

I started by deleting some of my contacts or friends on facebook. People that I probably wouldn't talk to if I saw them walking on the street. I also (while in a bad, feeling sorry for myself mood) "defriended" the people who didn't write me or acknowledge my dad's death when I KNEW they for sure would have heard about it. Some of them I was very close to while growing up and felt that at least some sort of acknowledgement was necessary.

So now I am taking a FAST from facebook. For Lent. I might check my own profile once in awhile just to see if anyone has written to me but I am not going to snoop on others profiles or look on the Home page to see what others are up to. As my inspiration for doing this said, I am going to live in the real world for awhile.


So hopefully with my newfound skills at tackling and cleaning and organizing my house and the free time to do so because I am not constantly checking the computer I will also be a better mother and wife.
I will probably be blogging a bit more too:)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Peaches and Cream




When I was little (around 8 or 9 I think) there was a Barbie that every little girl wanted and lots of my friends had. It was called "Peaches and Cream Barbie" She had the most beautiful peach dress with a long flowing skirt and a peach wraparound.

I had always heard the term "peaches and cream" and wondered what it would taste like. If they named a Barbie after it, it must be a really wonderful dessert.

So, my dad went out to the store and bought a peach and some real cream. Then he cut up the peach,put it in a bowl and poured some cream over it and gave it to me.

It tasted awful. Not sweet at all. Not what I was expecting at all.

So I didn't eat it.
What a waste.

My dad was probably a bit annoyed. But I don't remember it being a big deal.
I wanted to try it, so he let me.

That's what kind of dad my dad was.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Letter

This is an assignment from the GriefShare support group that I am in. We are supposed to write this and give copies to friends. I choose to share it this way.
I realize some might find it awkward, so it's here if you want to read it.


To my friends,

This past year has been the hardest in my life. My Dad died suddenly and unexpectedly in March. We did not even get to say goodbye to him. Even though it has been almost eleven months, I (and my family) am still hurting. Some days are okay and others I don't want to get out of bed. It is going to take my family and I a long time to recover from our loss. Please don't rush us.

I want to say thank you to those who have supported me and grieved with me. Thank you for understanding when I have been aloof and angry and sad. Thank you for continuing to be there for me. To those who brought food, and sent cards and did other things to make our family's life easier - thanks so much.
Please understand if I have not been a good friend during this time. I simply have not had the energy to keep up with phone calls and visits. It is not because I don't care about you.

Right now, we (my whole family) need your prayers. And even if you don't know what to say, a hug or listening ear is great. Don't be scared by my tears. They are necessary.
And Please don't be afraid to mention my dad to any of us. Especially to my little sister and my children. They need to hear how wonderful he was. It hurts more when you pretend he didn't exist. He was a wonderful man and we need to talk about him. It hurts so much to know that my dad never got to meet my daughter. Having her this year was a wonderful thing - it gave us all some light at the end of the tunnel. But it was very difficult as well. The stress of grieving and having a newborn was more than I could handle somedays.

Slowly things are getting easier. But I realize there is no magic number.
I know that God has a plan. Even if it doesn't make sense to me. Like Rick said at my dad's funeral: God doesn't make mistakes - his timing is perfect - even if we don't get it. Dad trusted this. We need to as well. In his wallet he carried around a piece of paper with the verse Isaiah 41:10.

Please continue to check in. A simple note or phone call or visit lets me know you care. Things are never going to be the same again, especially for my mom and sister. We all need lots of time and patience.
And sometimes some practical help. If you want to help out with something, tell us. Don't expect us to ask for help. We won't.

Don't be afraid to mention this to me. I am putting it out there on purpose.
Thanks for reading and for continuing to pray for us.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Little boys

A quote from my three year old.

Son - Do you have a penis mommy?
Me - No, just boys have penises.
Son - lots of boys?
Me - Yes. (trying not to laugh)

We have had MANY conversations like this. He just can't believe that girls don't have a penis.

He's also learning how complicated the English language is.
After my husbands' mom left yesterday he said - "I miss Grandma so well".


At least he doesn't ask for Beer anymore!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Blah Thursday

So many things I want to write about, but don't think I'll get it all out today:

My mother-in-law was here for the past two weeks. She left this morning. It was SO nice to have some adult company during the day. She helped me with the kids, did dishes, laundry, swept, let me get some extra sleep, etc etc. My husband's family live on the East Coast so we usually only get to see them once a year. We usually go there in the summer so we can visit with everyone. But this year, I didn't want to travel with a newborn so his parents came to visit in late summer. Then my MIL came out for this visit because the price was right and to spend some more time with the kids. It was great! My son made her read him so many stories - I'm sure she was tired of reading but he loved it!

I am going to have to get out more - having someone around to talk to makes you feel so lonely when they're gone. I love my kids, and talking with my son is great, but he's still only 3!
To top it off, we all now have colds. Perfect. I just mentioned the other day that we've been so healthy this winter so far. Usually it seems like my son has a constant cold during winter, but this one was good. Until now. Oh well.

I have so many other thoughts I want to get out, but am out of energy.
Plus I still have to figure out what to make for supper. So, I hope to return to faithful blogging soon. One of these days I will actually write more than one post in a week.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Prepare yourself

grief  /grif/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [greef] Show IPA

–noun
1. keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret.
2. a cause or occasion of keen distress or sorrow.


I have joined a Grief Share group at the church we have been attending.
I went to the first meeting last night. It was quiet, a bit uncomfortable, but good. I'm sure we will all warm up to each other in the coming weeks.
I think it is going to be a good thing for me to actually DEAL with some things rather than pushing them away to deal with "later on".

Prepare to be inundated with quotes, comments and thoughts all pertaining to GRIEF.

Grief is a normal process that will take as much time as it takes. I will not allow others to tell me how long I should be grieving. Or allow others to tell me how I should be grieving. It is an individual, complicated thing.
I am going to do what I need to do. I am going to allow God to show me Compassion and Grace and work with me through this process.
Even Jesus experienced grief. I am not weak because I am grieving. I loved my dad. He died. I am sad.
And I am not over it just because it's been 10 months. Some days it feels like it was yesterday.

Last night I told my husband, when you don't ask about or mention anything about my dad, it feels like you don't care.

I know he cares and is sad as well. But that's how I feel.

If you know someone who's grieving (this is not a call for attention to myself - I know whoever reads this loves me and most of my friends have been wonderful in this way) just send a note or call or let them know you are thinking of them and missing the person they lost too.

That's all.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

a new year

2010. I cannot believe Y2K / New Years 2000 was ten whole years ago. I remember that night vividly. I was in grade 12. Excited for everything to come. We had a party at my friends house, hung out, watched some movies, ate some food and thought we were so mature and cool.

I had so many plans and dreams. I was going to move out with some friends for awhile, travel the world and then go to school. I was going to become a famous photojournalist and not settle down for a long time.

It's so funny how plans change. I did move out with friends, travelled and went to school in Scotland and came home and went to University. But then I got married, quit school, and worked in a flower shop, as a nanny and eventually became the community librarian. Now, I'm back where I started with two kids of my own. I love my life, but I honestly didn't think I would settle down in the same town I grew up in. It's just worked out this way.

I always knew I wanted to get married and have kids. I just thought it would be a bit later in life. If you had told me I would be where I am now, I would have laughed. Yet I am living a wonderful life. If I had to do it all over again, I would.

I do long for adventure, and maybe someday we will move, at least temporarily somewhere exciting. Right now, we are where we should be. I can't imagine leaving now. I need to be close to my mom, sister and grandma. We need each other more than ever.

I am so lucky that I got to spend as much time with my dad as I did before he died. When I was on maternity leave with my son, we only had one car, so I would call my dad to come pick me up and we would go hang out at my parents house. He would take me shopping at Costco and my son got to know him really well. I will always be thankful for that. Had we not been living around here I wouldn't have known my dad as well. I think I would have a lot of regrets if we had moved away.

I have so many thoughts for the New Year. But right now, they are pretty concentrated on my dad. How hard 2009 was. What a rotten thing it is to lose someone unexpectedly. How badly I wish I could have said goodbye and told him how much he meant to me and all of us.
I'm also trying to reconcile that 2009 was a wonderful year. My beautiful daughter was born. That makes it a great year. This is a difficult thing to process.

So here's to a New Year. Full of promise and hope. I know God has a lot of things in store for our family and me individually. There's a lot to look forward to. And Like I've said before: every day that I am missing my dad is another day closer to seeing him again.