Saturday, March 31, 2007

Baby N. meets the wonderful teething biscuit

M3 W4 D1: Spoke too soon

The Hubby called last night. And the news is not great.

His posting is restricted. That means he goes to Esquimalt alone on April 27th. He will then meet with his commanding officer and start to work out the family's move.

That means I will be alone in Yellowknife for even longer than originally expected.

At first, I was nonchalant. Heck, what's another few weeks?

Then it started to sink in. I have been operating with an attainable goal. That goal is now out the window.

I've been a mess ever since. I had a screaming, bawling breakdown in the front porch today as I tried to chivvy Little I. into mittens. I just can't DO this anymore. I can't, I can't.

And yet I have to, so I will. There is no way out now. I have to keep going. Necessity is my only motivation now.

In more amusing news.... I took the boys to a movie today: Meet the Robinsons. It was rated G and looked pleasant.

The boys were terrified after the first ten minutes. Little I. was shaking. A. was almost yelling, "Let's go home!!!!!"

We sat in the lobby and finished our treats. The boys seemed to enjoy the outing based on the fact they ate popcorn and M&M's in public.

Congrats to my best friend E. on finishing her PhD thesis and handing it in yesterday. Hooray and way to go!

Monday, March 26, 2007

M3 W3 D3: I will never again see the midnight sun

The Hubby called this afternoon, bursting with excitement. He has received his posting message.

The posting message is the official information you get when the military posts a member to a location (ie. when you move). You can do absolutely nothing before you get that posting message -- can't book the movers or the school or your recreation passes. And you especially can't get on the waiting list for married quarters.

Once you get your posting message, things tend to move quickly.

The Hubby has been posted with DFE -- dependents, furniture and effects. So me, the kids and all our stuff. And the posting is happening as soon as he graduates from basic officer training on April 26th.

He will come home, help me pack, and drive us to our new home in Victoria.

I will be in Yellowknife for about six more weeks.

Six weeks to say good-bye to seven and a half years. To friends and people who are practically family. To wrap up my job at Mother Corp and make sure they give me my superannuation. To get all our stuff packed, our extra stuff garage-saled, our house on the market. To gather up the medical records and immunization records for myself and the children.

Six weeks to set up our new life in Victoria. To get on the married quarters list and get a house. To choose a school for A. To move our bank accounts, our mailing address (especially with EI and the federal child care payments) and find out about moving our health care cards. To get Little I. on a pre-school waiting list.

Six weeks to say good-bye to the place where I had all my children, where I began my career as a journalist, to the professional contacts I've made and the reporters I've worked with.

I've waited for this day since last summer; however, I now feel as if I don't have nearly enough time to do everything I need to do.

All of a sudden, I don't want to go. I can't bear the thought of leaving this place. I will never see the midnight sun again. I will be gone before the nights turn into a long sunset, before the time when I hang one last load of clothes on the line to dry in the sunshine while I sleep.

No, it can't be.

And yet... a small part of my old self, the wanderer and adventurer, is still inside. And she is saying, "On to a new home, to a place I've never been and never seen with my own eyes! On to new people and stories and challenges! Woooo-peeeee!"

Sunday, March 25, 2007

M3 W3 D2: Random weekend musings

  • I took A. and Little I. to Caribou Carnival this weekend, and forgot my camera. But it was all right, since: a. Little I. slept in the Chariot the entire time, waking only for cotton candy; b. there was NOTHING to do for kids this year (no children's area); and c. I was much too busy eating le tire d'erable (maple sugar taffy) to take pictures.
  • My fourth weigh-in for Weight Watchers is tomorrow. My last weigh-in was 152 lbs. That's 11 pounds gone. But I had an extremely bad WW week, so I'm simply hoping I maintain my weight. Having sick kids pushed me right back into some of my old eating habits. I'm just gonna dust myself off and keep trying.
  • I have a confession. I have been secretly reading a blog of another Yellowknife mom for quite some time. I just wanted to say, Other Mom, that I know you read here because you've linked to me (thanks!), and I think you're a funny and perceptive writer. I think we share the same sense of humour. We should do coffee sometime, if we can find some time away from our combo of six kids. More mom friends are good.
  • My friend E.'s grandmother fell and broke some bones. Praying types, get out those rosaries! Thanks.

Friday, March 23, 2007

M3 W2 D7: Emerging

Sorry about the radio silence here. It took FOREVER and a trip to the hospital to get Little I. more or less back to normal. He had a "para-influenza" with delusions of grandeur, and got a bit dehydrated for awhile. He's fine, although he sounds like a barking seal. (Yum, muktuk.)

Anyway, things are settling in here. Still have a week of March Break, though.

Caribou Carnival started today; the fireworks are popping outside as I type, but I'm also nursing a cranky baby, so I'm stuck. I'm taking the boys to the ice tomorrow, so I'll post pics then. Yum, tire d'erable!

As for housework, the kitchen, floor, fridge, bathroom and laundry are done; still trying to get the polishing, Windexing, dusting, vacuuming and fish tanks done.

By the way, if you're the praying type, please remember my friend Brooke in yours. She is 22 weeks pregnant, has HG, and is in the ICU with a blood infection (sepsis). Her baby's name is Gabbey. St. Gianna and St. Gerard, pray for Brooke and Gabbey. Lord Jesus, give Brooke strength and please bring them through this. Amen.

Monday, March 19, 2007

M3 W2 D3: Welcome to puke city

Little I. is sick with a fever, vomiting and the most tenacious case of the whines I have ever encountered.

"Buuuuuttttttt it'sssss miinnnnnneeeeee! I want iiiiiiiit!"

"Nooooooo, I want to put on my snowsuiiiiiiit!" (followed by laying on the floor and refusing to do anything, then screams of rage when Mom puts on the suit.)

Multiply this by oh, 50 million times, and that was my day.

The baby is also feeling unwell and clingy, so by the end of the evening I was so fed up I was cursing under my breath and wishing to high heaven I had never given birth to any of them. I had two crying jags today; I haven't cried from exhaustion and frustration in a long time.

A. was a trooper, though. He distracted his siblings as much as he could, making them laugh every once in a while, and helping me in countless little ways. That boy really does have a compassionate heart. He put his arms around me at one point, looked in my eyes and said, "Tomorrow will be better, Mom."

Well, maybe I'm just wishing I'd stopped after A.

One of the reasons I'm feeling this way, of course, is the housework. I have a hard time keeping up on the best of days; add two sick children to the mix and it's darn near impossible. (Warning to HGers: GROSSMENT) My fridge smells like something is rotting, although I can't find it. My kitchen floor is sticky and grimy. My living room is full of clean, unfolded laundry. And my bathroom WAS a toothpasty, smelly mess until an hour ago. I scrubbed it out as soon as I got all the kids to bed. END GROSSMENT

I also managed to start the washer and dryer, wash the dishes and start the dishwasher tonight. Tomorrow night I'll scrub the fridge, the kitchen floor and clean the little appliances in the kitchen. Wednesday night is dusting and polishing. Day times will be laundry folding and vacuuming. By Friday the place should be clean enough to allow visitors.

A. spent yesterday afternoon and this afternoon at friends' houses (it's March break here, so no playschool for TWO. ENDLESS. WEEKS!) I'm hoping he can go out and have fun tomorrow, too, while the siblings recover.

Five weeks and 5 days to go.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

M3 W2 D1: A visit to His Majesty

Every year, a man named Tony Foliot (who calls himself Yellowknife's "local colour") rallies a small army of volunteers and builds a castle of ice and snow out of Great Slave Lake. From the moment the castle opens to the public, however, he is no longer Tony. He must be addressed and His Majesty the SnowKing. (I love this guy. He's a hoot.)
I took the boys to the Ice Castle this afternoon, while Baby N. snoozed away at Grandma G.'s. While I didn't get any photos of the ice castle in full, I got some great ones of A. and I. playing with A.'s schoolmate M. (M.'s parents, by the way, are wonderful people who help me out whenever we bump into them in public. The last time was at A.'s play school pool party. M.'s dad P. played with Little I. for half an hour straight while A. and I lounged in the hot tub. Thanks, P.!)
Look at the posts below for pics.

Playing in a winter wonderland, pt. 1

M., A. and Little I. in the SnowKing's tiny igloo (perhaps this is his version of a garage?)

Little I., mighty Northern explorer.

M. whips down the last turn in the snowslide. Little I. and I went down once; after screaming our lungs out, we agreed it was "too scawwy."

A. catches air at the bottom of the snowslide. He and M. went down that thing about 40 times.

Playing in a winter wonderland, pt. 2

Little I. gets tired of waiting for A. and M. in all this cold and hits the Castle Cafe and a cup of hot chocolate.

The adventuresome five-year-olds finally stop sliding and join I. for a hot drink. Yes, the table is made of ice.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Little I. sings

Baby N. Lurves A.

M3 W1 D5: On solo parenting

As I enter well into my third month of being home alone with three small children, I think I'm doing all right. My home is never truly clean and I still have fits of the sullens (and the occasional rage caused by pure frustration). But I'm coping, and coping well.

In the end, I'm grateful for this experience of solo parenting, because I have a small insight into the life of a single parent. I now understand the exhaustion, the boredom, and the feeling of being completely overwhlemed. But I also understand I am NOT a single parent.

Single parents are alone, usually, for the duration of the child-raising experience. They get no break today and they know they will not get a break until their youngest child is about 18 years old. There is no end date, no spouse on the phone with whom to vent or share milestones. No husband or wife saying, "I wish I was there. You're doing a great job. I love you."

I know this will end soon. I know The Hubby can't wait to get his hands on our rugrats. I know my work is appreciated by another adult. I am blessed and I know it.

My deepest admiration for all the single parents out there. You're doing a great job.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

M3 W1 D3: Just can't compose a post

I dealt with business taxes tonight, and everything I want to say is either unkind or much too melodramatic. So I will say only this: I miss the good money I used to make and how, at one point, my debt load was shrinking quickly and efficiently.

I remember when tax return season meant another student loan gone forever. Not anymore.

The Hubby better not be sailing during next tax season.

PS. Today was weigh-in day. I lost another 2.5 pounds! Total loss: 7.5 lbs

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Baby N. is getting on her knees!

M3 W1 D1: Sitting pretty

Baby N.'s new high chair arrived from Sears this week. (Thanks, Aunt G. and Uncle C.!) The children and I thought a picture was in order:

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

M2 W4 D5: Half-way point

Today marks the exact centre of my journey into solo parenthood, and The Hubby's basic training. There are many things I'd like to write about; I could fill several pages. But for the sake of brevity, I'll only give you a few:

  • I am amazed at how good and kind and caring the people around us truly are. I thank God every single day for such wonderful friends. I also thank Him for the opportunity to rediscover that.
  • I'm getting through this day by day. Some days I don't do well. Others I do amazingly well, and my home and children just seem to sing with order and cleanliness and happiness. The bad days often outnumber the amazing ones, however.
  • Busy and hectic as it is, I've discovered this time is a great time to work on myself and to do some small things for me. I don't think I could have started Weight Watchers with Hubby here, although I don't know why. He would have been supportive. I just think I need to start this on my own.
  • My children are adjusting as best as little ones can to essentially losing a parent for a quarter of a year. I am mostly proud of them, but that pride is well mixed with exasperation most days.
  • Baby N. is so cute I want to eat her! Except now she's discovered roaring like a lion gets everyone to run to her to see what's the matter. She laughs now after she does it. Drama queen.
  • Although my mother is an entire country away, she is still my rock. Thanks, Mom.

Thank you, Lord, for giving me strength one minute at a time, one day at a time. Seven and a half weeks down. Seven and a half weeks to go.

PS. By the way, the Dr. Phil show will be airing an entire segment on hyperemesis gravidarum, or HG, sometime in the next three weeks. Stay tuned to find out the exact date.

Monday, March 05, 2007

M2 W4 D3: Beginning of success

Today was my first weigh-in day. I lost 5 pounds!!! Can't think of a better motivation to continue.

I'm feeling much better mentally, too. The boys behaved very well at Mass yesterday, then they spent the afternoon at Grandma G.'s. It was sunny and cold; I took Baby N. out in the Chariot stroller, wrapped in a cocoon of blankets, and went for a long walk. I was even able to shovel my driveway.

Off to make breakfast. Lalala!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Calm out the window

I can't believe how much can change in less than 12 hours.

I'm done. I'm just done with being ignored and picked on and provoked. If these kids weren't my very heart, I would walk out the door.

The baby cried all day -- every time I put her down. EVERY time! So I got nothing done. I stayed home all day to clean and got no cleaning done.

I am also getting another intraductal yeast infection. It hurts to nurse. Thanks, antibiotics.

Little I. moped and whined and tantrumed and refused to talk to his father on the phone.

A. blatantly ignored me all evening, even as I was telling him he had poop on his bum and to NOT touch it. He looked me straight in the eyes, touched it and almost put his freaking finger in his mouth. I grabbed it just in time and frog-marched him to the sink. I wanted to shake him. It took every last ounce of my strength, and probably the arms of his guardian angel, to hold me back.

I ended the night a bawling mess. I would never hurt my kids, but I think my emotional state frightened them.

I sat down on their bed and apologized, making it clear that I am responsible for my actions, not them. They sweetly forgave. "Mommy," Little I. said, shaking a finger, "you frew a tantwum! You need to cool off!"

I want to EAT, but just keep telling myself that food fixes hunger, not a broken mommy heart.

M2 W4 D1: A period of calm

Things seem to be on an even keel around here for a change. The children are behaving much better than last week (especially last weekend, when A. threw a giant tantrum at a friend's house).

The boys are asleep by 8:30 every night, and up at 6:30 every morning. The early rise is tiring but it's worth it. I enjoy having a few hours to myself in the evenings. It helps me unwind, even when I'm doing chores.

Baby N. is learning all sorts of new things lately. She can clap her hands, and has started to creep forwards rather than backwards. She is also starting to try to get up on her hands and knees. I have video of that; I will post it shortly.

My diet is going well, too. I weighed myself yesterday morning after I dreamed I had gained weight (couldn't resist some reassurance after that!) I had already lost 3.5 pounds. My official "weigh-in" is on Monday morning. I often find I'm hungry, but I am eating very balanced meals. I think the hunger is due to my stomach not having shrunk yet. At least, that's what I'm hoping.

I'm totally addicted to the online Points Tracker at Weight Watchers. It's like a new toy! Some things I've learned:
  • McDonald's food is NOT worth the points. I have 32 points in a day. A McDonald's hamburger cost me 5 the other day. A Big Mac would cost 12! A medium fries is 10! That's most of a day's worth of calories. And you're hungry an hour later. No thanks.
  • Every type of lettuce costs 0 points. I'm eating lots of lettuce.
  • I was eating enormous portions at every meal and every time I had a 16 oz. glass of milk. No wonder I couldn't lose weight.
  • You get to eat more if you exercise. So I'm going to go do my Pilates video.

Eight weeks until The Hubby finishes his training. Almost halfway there.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

Happy 33rd wedding anniversary, Mom and Dad. We love you!