Once again I am terribly behind on pretty much everything. Laundry, cleaning, Christmas stuff, blogging. Well, I've got a load in the washer, a load in the dryer, everything else is sorted and ready. The dishwasher is just finishing a load and, thanks to a kind volunteer babysitter from my church, I got some Christmas shopping done today (now comes the wrapping). So I'm going to try to catch you all up on the latest goings on.
Last week I was getting mentally prepared to head up to my sister's for the weekend. A midweek weather report for freezing weather and possible snow put the halt on that since I knew I couldn't leave the dog in the yard all weekend. Too cold for poor Towz. Any other weekend I would have been content to just hang out at home but last weekend was my birthday weekend and sitting at home alone (yeah. "alone". just me and three kids under 4) just didn't feel right so I called my neighbor who agreed to let the dog in and out for me. Woohoo! Thanks Jennifer and Keith! So Friday after the kids' swim classes and my water aerobics class we headed up to my sister's.
Saturday the 13th AKA my birthday
My wonderful nieces and their friend Paisley give me their gift which was to watch the kids so my sister and I can go out. Yeehaw! I felt like a new colt fresh out of the barn on a sunny day. Or whatever visual helps you understand that it felt really great to get to go shopping and out to lunch and I didn't have to buckle anyone else's seatbelt, change a diaper, dry a tear, feed someone else or hear three demanding but loving voices crying "mama" every few minutes. Jamie and I went to a craft store and the mall and a little restaurant that I'd never been to called PF Chang's. Talk about yummy! Really, really yummy! I think we were out for about 5 hours. That is the longest that I've been away from Gideon since he was still in my belly. He is doing much better now that he'll eat some solids. The little stinker still won't take a bottle and he eats frequently so up until recently even two hours apart took some planning.
Bob makes an amazing dinner we've fondly come to call That Sausage Thing. I know. Makes you want to beg the recipe doesn't it? Well if you tasted it you would. It's SO good!
Later that night it snows. While I was in her family room Jamie took Zion out in the yard and showed her how to throw a snowball. When they came in Zion was in rare form talking madly and gesticulating wildly and telling such a story eyes like saucers and with a huge smile. I had to ask my sister what she was talking about, Zion was so excited that I couldn't understand what she was saying. I followed them back outside to see a demonstration of Zion throwing a snowball armed with Jamie's camera. I got some good shots of the kids playing in the snow but I'll have to wait to post them until I get them from my sis.
Sunday the 14th AKA my mom's birthday
Today I'm supposed to drive home. I spend most of the morning hemming and hawing over whether or not this will actually occur. Ultimately I decide that it's safest to wait a day to give the roads more time to dry out. The hills by both my sister's house and my house are notoriously bad when it's icy and it's just not worth the risk. On the flip side it gives us a chance to walk down to say "happy birthday!" and bring birthday cake to my mom.
Later I am reminded via e-mail that I've signed up to make a loaf of bread for the nursery workers at my MOPS group. I'm also reminded that it's my table's turn to bring food for the brunch which also reminds me that I was going to make a special treat for the ladies at my table which reminds me that Monday night is my Bible study's potluck and I'm supposed to bring a dish. After a few moments of mental panic because I know there's no way I can get all that done on time I call the Bible study leader to let her know that since I won't be getting back until Monday I'm going to skip our potluck. I then make plans to use my trusty breadmachine to make the bread instead of from scratch, will pick up something store bought for the brunch and will make Turtle candies instead of truffles for my ladies (less time consuming). With that I'm able to enjoy been "snowed in" at Jamie's for another day.
Jamie and the family had a commitment they must fulfill so they head out for a couple of hours. During that time I develop a "lovely" sore throat and by the time they come back feel pretty crappy. Great.
Monday the 15th and nobody's birthday that I know
I wake and my throat is so puffy and sore that I can barely swallow or talk, my sinuses are gooky and I feel generally yucky. *sigh* Still, by the time we leave at lunch time it feels like the worst is over and I feel good enough to hit Walmart on the way home. Ah, home. I can't wait to get back and crank out the goodies I need to make and relax a bit. As soon as I walked in the door I knew it was not going to be so. Without going into too many details I'll just tell you that I spent half the night cleaning up after what I'll call The Infamous Litterbox Incident of 2008 (which comes in a close second to The Infamous Litterbox Incident of 2007, story for another time). Apparently my wonderful neighbors thought to check the box on Sunday but were unaware that if you put too much litter in my cats' self-cleaning litterbox the rake won't dock and it will just keep running back and forth, back and forth through the litter.
Cats can't use a litterbox where the rake won't stop moving.
That was Sunday afternoon.
I got home Monday afternoon.
The cats have no access to the out of doors.
You get the picture.
Well, it wasn't the evening that I'd hoped for with a lot more cleaning then I had planned and I was up past midnight but at least everything got made that needed to get made and I even got a shower and a load of laundry done.
Tuesday the 16th - today (for another 18 minutes)
My alarm goes off at 7:30 so I can get us all up and out the door for MOPS. I don't know why I bother setting an alarm since Gideon is always awake by then but anyway. I succeed in getting us all dressed and in the car by 8:35. I'm backing the car out of the garage and as I'm slowly and carefully making my way past the Mustang and then Rob's truck I see that overnight some wonderful person egged the truck. What the heck?! In July some wonderful (probably the same) person paintballed the truck and it splattered the Mustang. It cost a shameful amount of money to have the Mustang detailed and the truck was only partially done (mostly because it hit the window and getting paint of glass is easier than getting paint off paint) and now there's frozen egg all over the darn thing (but not the Mustang that I can tell). Arg! I've already been feeling completely overwhelmed lately with my to-do list and I really didn't need to add to it. I would love to find the person who did it so I can make THEM wash the egg off!
So I do what I do when faced with disappointment. I call my sis. So, I'm on the way to MOPS still (and yes, I'm driving and talking on my cell legally using my Bluetooth) and I unload my frustration and hurt at being targeted by vandals for the second time and when I'm done she lets me know that our mom is in the hospital. Apparently a fall she had a week or so ago that broke her shoulder caused some internal bleeding at the break so she needed some blood and fluids for dehydration but she should be released in a day or so. Good news.
My MOPS meeting goes well. Turns out I hadn't forgotten anything at home. Cause for celebration! On the way home I pick up the girl from my church who has volunteered to babysit so that I can go Christmas shopping. After settling her and the kids in I head out for a little retail therapy and to cross a couple of things off my evergrowing to-do list. After a bit I'm actually feeling better. A little (a lot) cat pee, frozen egg and bad mom news can't get me down after all. I got a lot done in a few hours and headed for home. The moment I open my car door back in my garage and I know something is wrong. There's an odd sound coming from the corner. I turn. I look. I find a waterfall in my garage. That's funny. I don't remember our house having that particular water feature when I left. Have I mentioned recently that we're having temperatures in the teens around here? If you haven't yet figured it out I'll just come right now and tell you that we had a pipe freeze and burst and now water is spraying everywhere both inside and out of our garage. Yes. I did cry. But thanks to the babysitter's dad who showed up to pick her up and a kind neighbor we got the water shut off, found the break, shut off a different valve, got the water to the house turned back on, swept the water out of the garage, moved the soaked boxes to a dry spot (will have to go through those later) and wrapped as much of the pipe as possible in an old blanket so more won't freeze and break.
The bad news, I had yet another frustrating and disappointing evening, we have a broken pipe, about half a dozen boxes and their contents got soaked or at least partially wet, and my to-do list is growing faster than bunnies can multiply.
The good news, there just happened to be a babysitter at the house to handle the kids while I dealt with the indoor rain, the Christmas gifts and recent Costco purchases that I had stashed in the garage just barely missed being soaked, the break was in a place that we could shut off so the house still has water, a guy in my Bible study is a plumber and he has already promised to come out on Saturday to fix the break, and God is still good. That last one is a big one.
Drowning, floundering, overwhelmed, alone. All words that have described me lately. Oh yeah, and exhausted. I frequently don't talk about this sort of thing because I can't stand the thought that someone might pity me. So I may share these things in a lighthearted way but not in a true honest fashion that really lets people see the kind of place where I'm at. So I share with you that I'm not really in a good place right now. Not so you can pity me or feel bad for me because Rob's gone and I'm "doing this" alone but so you can pray for me. For us. And if you have promised to watch my kids or offered to help clean my house or whatever and maybe your life got busy too and you forgot, maybe to take a look at your calendar to see if there might be time for that in the next few weeks. Doesn't have to be before Christmas, I know we're all busy. But it is a relief for me mentally to know that I have a break coming or help and it is always good to know that we are being covered in prayer.
That said, you can specifically pray for Gideon and me in the next few days and nights. I've signed Gideon up for "Sleep Boot Camp" and it starts tonight. I've tried everything I can think of to get that kid to sleep more than 2-3 hours in a row at night and nothing has worked. He wakes. He wants to nurse. He will NOT accept anything but without a screaming fight that can last an hour or two or until I give in and nurse him. I am too bone tired to accept that challenge many nights so I often just nurse him and put him back down and repeat in a couple/few hours. When I have felt up to it, I've tried to soothe him through feedings in every way I can think and have every heard of anyone else trying. I've also tried to let him "cry it out". I've even left him in my room where his bed is and sleep in the guest room to try to get some sleep and none of it has worked to actually get him to sleep better.
Most if not all of you have probably already jumped to a conclusion as to why he's not sleeping and what I should do about it and you can stop that right now. This isn't my first rodeo people. Third child here. Been there and done that twice already and have really tried and tried and tried with this kid. So, tonight begins the Boot Camp. I've moved Gabe to the guest room for sleeping purposes and moved Gideon's crib to Gabe's room where he will be staying until he starts sleeping. After that I'm not sure what the arrangement will be but at least for now he's gonna have his own room. I'm not even sure what I hope to accomplish with this move except that, at the very least, I hope that his screaming tirades will be easier to sleep through. Wish me luck!
On that note, it's no longer Tuesday and I really need to get to bed. I feel better having caught you all up. Sorry that I had no pics to post. Soon. I promise.