Archive for December, 2010

My Restless Mind

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

This blog post is going to be an upheaval of random facts to catch you up to speed here a little bit, since I’ve not been updating with photos. Just so you know.

We’ve hit a roadblock with our advent activities – the weekend was busy, and now I’m sick. The kids don’t seem very disappointed, as long as they still get to eat the cheap chocolate in their advent calendars.

Now that I’m done my official 365 project, I’m giving myself grace to not post pictures if I don’t feel like it, and because I’m sick, I don’t feel like it. Part of it’s a cold, and the rest, I don’t know. Could have been a stomach bug thrown in there, or maybe it was just pregnancy related stomach issues, but either way, I’ve not been well. At least sickness has been hitting one person at a time here. Bailey had a nasty cough at the beginning of the month, then Wyatt got croup, now I’m sick, and in Markus’ own words, “I’m snotty, Mommy.” Me too, sweet boy. Me too.

I’m longing and pining for a warm vacation. I always thought I didn’t mind Saskatchewan winters all that much, but I feel like each year they start to wear on me a little more. And sooner. Last year I was tired of winter by February. Now it’s hitting me already. I’m so weary of bundling up the kids when we need to go anywhere, buckling them and their puffy coats into their car seats, unbuckling, trudging through the cold…you get the idea. And now it’s only going to get worse before it gets better, since we’ve got another baby on the way. (Come on, don’t hear me complaining about the baby. This is purely me complaining about the cold. And car seats. And my aching back from hauling kids, and kids in car seats). I’m really starting to understand why people get away to warmer climates for a vacation. If our schedule and bank account were flexible enough, we’d be out of here by the weekend on some last minute deal. Perhaps we need to plan and budget for a real family vacation next winter.

I also wonder if my lack of daily photo has caused me to not see my snowy surroundings in such a poetic and favourable light, as I did last winter.

Also, it should go without saying, but I don’t like winter because it’s cold. Why do people find it enjoyable to be outside in the cold? I don’t understand. Give me my warm house, give me plenty of hot tea, high calorie carbs, and I’m good with hibernating until May. Because let’s be honest, we can’t safely be sure winter is gone until at least May.

My battle with menu planning continues. I’m not winning; however, I would say that I am getting better at winging it without a recipe. So I’ll call that a partial win in the food department.

I don’t think I’ve had the guts to say it in any past posts, but because I’m feeling brazen and nonchalant at the moment, I’m going to talk about it. We’re in the baby stages of homeschooling our kids, and after much, “I can’t do it! I’m not a teacher. This isn’t going to work. I’m not organized enough. I can’t teach grade eleven math, so I won’t be able to teach my kids to read and write either…” I am starting to find a slight groove, and am enjoying it. So are the kids. I’m going through a preschool curriculum with the boys, and they are really enjoying it! My goal was to start with the preschool stuff just to get my feet wet and figure out if and how it was going to work for us. It’s working, and I’m getting more and more brave talking about it. As is evident with me blogging about it.

When I went to see my doctor for a Diclectin Rx, she asked if I had been in for a prenatal checkup yet, to which I responded, “No, I’m actually planning on having a midwife this time.” To which she replied, “Well unfortunately I think you’re a good candidate for that.” She’s funny. I have always appreciated her laid back approach to my pregnancies, but I am so excited for more personal and informed care with my midwife. I had my first appointment with her last month. She’s wonderful. And I have it on good authority from others as well that she’s wonderful – she was my sister’s midwife earlier this year, helping bring my niece into the world, as well as my friend’s baby last year. Speaking of midwives, I am reading an excellent book called Baby Catcher – Chronicles of a modern midwife. If you love a good birth story, you’ll love this book. Some of the stories are about some pretty wacky people, but the beauty and miracle of birth shines through each story.

That’s about all I can think of to unleash off my restless mind at the moment. Thanks for listening.

Advent

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

As our kids get older, I have a growing desire for family traditions and creating memories with them, especially during the Christmas season. Last year I wanted to do something special for them during advent, but didn’t get organized enough to make it happen. I guess I’ve always been a bit of a grinch, in the sense that I didn’t want to do/see/hear anything Christmas-y until December. I had good intentions of doing fun things with them last year, but time got away on me because I didn’t plan ahead of time.

This year is a different story. I read this post on the Simple Kids blog, about advent activities. Between the suggestions given in the post, and in the comments left by other readers, I had almost enough suggestions to get us through all 24 days. I added a few of my own, and we are good to go. I admire the very crafty, scrapbooky type of folks in the world but I do not have the creativity or drive to do such things. All I did was make a simple paper chain, with each day’s activity written inside. It hangs on our curtain rod in the dining room, and each day the boys will take a piece of the chain off to reveal that day’s activity. I tried to keep it as low budget as possible. Some of the activities are very simple, some are more time consuming. I tried to plan things based on what our schedule already held – so days that are hectic, like Sundays often are, we’ll do simple things that don’t take a lot of planning or time. The goal is not to set a new precedent for world’s most creative mom (I am not!) – the goal is making memories, and building anticipation in their little hearts as we celebrate the coming of our great God and savior into the world as a humble baby.

In trying to not be a grinch, I’ll share my list with you. Feel free to use it if you want, and change it to suit your family.

1 Decorate boys’ room with some Christmas lights
2 Make paper snowflakes
3 Make a card for someone far away and send it in the mail
4 Watch Home Alone
5 Drink hot chocolate
6 Go to the library and check out some Christmas books
7 Bake peppernuts
8 Make a card for someone close to home and send it in the mail
9 Colour a picture using only red and green crayons (I’ll get some Christmas colouring sheets online)
10 Make gifts for grandparents
11 Make wrapping paper – if you live in Saskatoon, you can get a roll end of newsprint from the Star Phoenix for only fifty cents! We’ll use that paper, finger paints, and I’ll make some potato stamps.
12 Call someone special and sing Jingle Bells
13 Make homemade Christmas glitter playdough
14 Draw a Christmas picture, and tell a story that goes with it
15 Make gingerbread men – invite friends to join you
16 Watch A Charlie Brown Christmas
17 Go to the grocery store and each pick out a food item for the Food Bank
18 Drive through the Enchanted Forest (a holiday light display here)
19 Go to our church musical
20 Have a Christmas tree picnic
21 Make homemade jar snowglobes – I remember doing this when I was a kid. I’ll find a tutorial online closer to the day.
22 Go for a drive to look at Christmas lights
23 Make paper bag reindeer
24 Open a special early Christmas gift (Christmas jammies – hoping to make this a yearly tradition)

So there you have it! I’m planning on taking a photo of our daily activity for my 365 Project, so feel free to stop in there to check out what we’re doing.

Merry Christmas everyone!