It's been a long week

I think the title says it all. It’s been a long long week at our house. We’ve had one or two sick kids everyday and I don’t think I’ve slept in my bed in 3 or 4 nights. Otto started it last Sunday. I hosted a bridal shower at our house last week. The boys were kicked out to the church for a little while. Otto came home with a fever. It’s all kind of a blur from there. Fevers…snot…coughing…more fevers…not sleeping well…fevers…more snot…more not sleeping well…You get the idea.
Zeke got it (still has it), Titus got it (still has it) and now Gabe is coming down with the same blooming thing.
Kerry and I have been alternating holding Titus in the recliner each night so that he can sleep. He’s been sleeping in 20-30 min spurts and squirms the whole time. He can’t seem to get comfortable. We’ve been trying the whole tylenol/motrin thing, but it doesn’t seem to help very much. His nose is stuffy, he runs a fever and in general just feels rotten.
Zeke tries to feel good. He runs a fever then plays, then sits or naps.
Both Gabe and Otto have taken naps almost every day this week, which is highly unusual. And they’ve been voluntary. I didn’t have to suggest it to them. I’d just go upstairs and find them sleeping. Poor guys.
So it’s been a long week. I hate having sick kids. I’m so thankful that it hasn’t been the stomach flu, but golly. I don’t think I’ve heard a laugh out of Titus since Wednesday and my normally happy smiling baby has been reduced to a pile of sniffles wanting to be held all day long.
It’s been frustrating and hard to deal with this whole mess. We’ve been through enough tylenol and motrin to stock a pharmacy and Kleenex to stuff a bra.
It’s been a long week. We’re praying that this week is filled with healthy kids, happy news and is much shorter that this last week. Oh and sleep…lots of restful sleep.

The skin I'm in

I thought that it would end when I got out of highschool, or at least college. This uncomfortableness in my own skin. I’ve grown accustomed to it, but not comfortable. I can tolerate it, but it still just doesn’t seem to fit right sometimes.
I thought that someday it would seem like I just kind of grew into it, that it would fit me and I would embrace it. I’m still waiting for that “moment”. I feel so much of the time that I still have a lot of growing and changing to do. Like I’m stuck in this whole pre-pubescent state of personhood development.
I wonder sometimes if it comes from my desire to “master” everything I do and be good at it. Like cinnamon rolls, it doesn’t matter how many times I mess those suckers up I’m going to keep making them till I figure them out. But this whole “me” thing…shouldn’t I already have it down by now? I mean gee whiz, I’ve been at this for 31 years and I still don’t feel like a master of myself. I’m afraid though that I will spend my entire time here on earth figuring out who I am that I will get to the end and miss who I was (or was supposed to be).
I know I’m the person God made me to be and that He who began a good work will be faithful to complete it. But…I always have this feeling of a turbulent undercurrent just beneath the surface. This unsettled feeling with who I am.
I could blame it on the “never being good enough” from when I was growing up. I could blame it on moving in to and growing up in a small town where I never quite fit because even though I was only 8, I was still an outsider.
Then there is the fear. The fear that what if the proverbial “they” doesn’t like it. What if I don’t like it? Worse yet…what if this is it? What if this uncomfortable me is the state I’m supposed to be in. This constant state of question and attempt at improvement and wondering.
And then other times I hit that sweet spot and know…yup…this is it. But it never seems to last long. There is always something more, something pushing, driving the change that is to come. There is always change, rarely a map and never a lull. I saw a quote this week…”Change is inevitable, growth is intentional”. True that. True that.

Just a quick post

We’re still alive. I haven’t posted for a few days because it’s seemed like we’ve been running around like chickens with our heads cut off. We’re surviving. And cleaning. I’m hosting a bridal shower tomorrow so I’ve been trying to do little things each day to get ready and get cleaned. However, with 4 little boys it doesn’t matter when you start…you’re still going to run around the day before and the day of to make sure the house is clean. Trust me. Doing it now.

Kerry has been working on my days off, which has been a welcome opportunity for him. School is winding down and I am so ready! I’ll be teaching a summer class this year, but only for 5 weeks and I don’t plan on doing anything school related the month of July. At all. Except for my online teaching.

Okay. So that’s it. Just a quick post to let everyone know we’re still alive and doing well. I’m hoping I’ll have time tomorrow evening to post a little more about our happenings and my thoughts.

Oh…something kind of cool…I can hear an owl outside “whoooing”. It’s kind of neat, especially since we don’t have any trees, so I assume it’s a burrowing owl. Neato.

I had a really great idea for a blog post this week…

But I forgot it. I said before that my best blog ideas come at night when I’m falling asleep, but the bummer is that I can’t remember them most of the time when I wake up in the morning. Yeah I know I need a notebook so I can write them down, but you know what? I’m so blooming tired that if I’m falling asleep, I’m going with it. I guess you’ll just have to settle for random ramblings tonight, stuff that’s been on my mind lately.
Zeke is talking more. Yay! He’s at least putting 2 words together. For those who have been following our run with speech therapy you know what a big deal this is. When we ask him what he said he’ll say “yeah ______”. It goes something like this…
Me: “What do you want Zeke?”
Zeke: “dink”
Me: “You want a drink?”
Zeke: “Yeah, dink”
It’s 2 words. We’ll take it. ūüôā

Otto broke a tooth at church today and didn’t tell us until supper tonight. He and Gabe were playing on the playground outside and were throwing rocks. Not at eachother, but apparently in the general direction of eachother. A “stray” rock hit Otto and chipped off part of his tooth. A permanent one. Fantastic. But it brings back memories of when Kerry and I were first dating. He was playing football and I remember waiting for him after a game. He walked out of the locker room and smiled. He was missing part of his front top tooth and looked ridiculous. Ha! He got it fixed the next day, but it still makes me laugh a little thinking of that hole in his mouth. Thankfully Otto isn’t seeing anyone, so we’ll just have to remember it for later.

I’m sick of the wind. That’s pretty much it. I’m sick of it. I hate how it blows dust everywhere leaving a fine layer all over my clean(ish) house and floor. I hate how it blows my hair and makes it stick to my lipgloss. A little superficial I know, but still. It’s one of those things. I really hate that when I open my car door and the kids open theirs on the other side, it blows every scrap of paper, trash, plastic and whatever else out the door and into our neighboors yards. Trust me while my house is clean(ish) my car is not.

As I plant my garden I still long for the country. I would love to be out in the sticks. I know I know. I posted about this last week, but it’s still true. I’m trying really hard to be content where I am, but still dream of it.

I had a weird dream at nap time today. I dreamt I was advocating for a pregnant friend of mine (who isn’t really pregnant and I haven’t seen her since highschool). I was advocating for a VBAC so she could have the birth she wanted. I even told her to go to a hotel away from the hospital to keep the doctor from forcing her c/s. I’m not sure why it was dreaming it, but I was incredibly passionate about and kind of upset when I woke up. Weird.

I miss thunderstorms. We don’t get many here in PW. In fact, we maybe get 2 a year. In August. Where I grew up we had them every spring and early summer. I miss seeing the thunder clouds build. I miss the rain. For now, I guess I’ll wait until the one we have in August.

Well I guess that’s it. Next time I’ll just wake Kerry up and tell him my idea for a blog post. Not like he’ll remember, but I’ll try.

Scrimp or splurge

My best blog ideas come just as I’m drifting off to sleep. Although there are a few that seem more genius in that twilight sleep than they do in the bright light of day. I’m not a big fan of “top ten” lists, but I’m a list maker by nature. I like to cross things off my to-do list, I like to have a list of stuff I need when I go shopping and I have a list of stuff I want to get done before the year is over. I also like to save money, I’m thrifty…not cheap. So I’ll combine the two. A list of things it’s okay to scrimp on and a list of things that the splurge is totally worth it.

Scrimp:

Dairy products. I’m not advocating buying all your milk from the day old bin, but seriously…I can’t tell the difference between the name brand milk and the cheap store brand. In fact, around here the Colorado Proud milk is way tastier than the Viva milk that is a buck more a gallon. Most of the time cheese really doesn’t taste different either and with as quickly as our boys go through it I refuse to splurge on this. Now, I have to admit that I have my own little cheese stash that I splurge on, like smoked mozzarella (Weight Watchers String Cheese…thanks Teri for getting me hooked).

Bread. Really. The Safeway brand of wheat bread is just as good as the Roman Meal that my grandparents buy. I prefer to make my own most weeks, but lately just haven’t had the time.

Laundry soap. Well…I’m not sure I should include this one here, because I make my own. It’s much much cheaper and works just as well as the stuff you buy at the store. And it doesn’t include the irritants that make my kids break out and itch. I should also probably mention that I make my own scouring powder and other cleaning stuff. The only thing I don’t make is dishwashing detergent and that’s mostly because I haven’t mastered the recipe yet. It’s coming though…

Shoes for kids. Especially tennis shoes. I don’t know about you, but my kids go through a pair of tennies at least once every 6 months. As long as they fit and are comfortable it’s okay to spend $10.00 on a pair of shoes. I think it’s kind of silly to spend $40.00 for a pair of shoes their going to grow out of or wear holes through in less than a year.

Diapers. I have to say first that we primarily use cloth diapers at home. I bought good high quality diapers 8 years ago when we had Gabe. We’re still using them for Titus. We do use disposables when we go out and at night time. We buy a box of 96 diapers every 2-3 months. And we buy cheap. We usually buy the Target brand which seem to work just as well as any of the high end brands that are twice the price. If we buy wipes we buy cheap Target brand too…again most of the time we use either cloth wipes (especially before baby starts solid food) or we make our own. Way cheaper and work just as well.

So here are some splurges…

Toilet Paper. No question. 1. If you buy the cheap 1-ply stuff you use so much each trip to the bathroom that you end up buying twice as much. (The only benefit I see to the cheap stuff is that it seems to break up a little quicker in the toilet decreasing the chance of clogging when you’re children unroll an entire roll in the toilet. So this may be a risk vs benefit situation.) 2. The money you save in buying cheap toilet paper will be spent on buying extra hand soap. Nuff said. ūüôā

Coffee. I’m a little biased here as Kerry would say you don’t spend anything on coffee. I certainly don’t have the bones to pay for a big Starbucks or any other coffee shop coffee every day, but I can brew my own at home and be just as happy (most of the time. There is definitely something to be said for the social aspect of sitting in a coffee shop people watching). I have a new bag of coffee sitting in my pantry that I plan on opening tomorrow. It’s a new brand I’m trying and I can hardly wait. If I didn’t run the risk of it keeping me up all night I might just drink it tonight. For now though I’ll try to wait for morning…like a kid on Christmas. By the way it’s from Hawaii (Yay for US product!) and I’ve heard good things. It was actually $1.00 cheaper than the stuff I usually buy.

Tattoos. If you’re the kind of person who is inclined to get a tattoo or piercing of any time. Seriously spend the money to go someplace good and reputable. I would highly suggest staying away from the buy one get one half off or $10.00 piercing kind of places. I’ve seen some bad body art out there and usually it’s because the person went cheap. It’s something you’re going to be sporting on your body for the rest of your life…dont’ be sorry.

Haircuts. Now this one is a little iffy. If you have short hair totally worth spending the money to make sure you get someone who knows what they’re doing. When I had short hair I walked out more than once from a “cheap” place with something much much shorter than I expected or some goofy looking mop cut. I even had someone say “oops” in the middle of the cut once. She said it right after I pointed to the picture she was supposed to be looking at while cutting my hair. She was looking at the picture right below it…with hair so short that I had to call my husband to warn him before I came home. Long hair though…now that mine has grown out I cut and trim mine at home all the time. Granted I don’t have bangs and I’m not going for some intricate layered look. However, youtube “how to cut your own hair” and you’ll find oodles of videos. Oodles. So I guess if you have the cash..go ahead and splurge…if you feel adventuresome try it yourself.

Socks. I don’t like cheap socks for my boys or for myself. They make your feet stink.

Scrimp or splurge. I should probably also say that splurging for me looks a lot like scrimping to others. Like I said…I’m thrifty…even with my splurges.

What I long for…

I long for a lot of stuff. But here’s what I’ve really been dreaming of lately, other than the classics like “world peace” and all that stuff.
I am so not a city girl. Not by any stretch. At.all. I really long for a place out in the country. In the sticks. Way out there where it’s a big event to go to town for groceries and church on Sunday. I would love to have acres and acres of land where we can raise goats (maybe), cows, pigs, chickens, dogs, cats and kids. Where my boys can run and climb and play in the barn.

I have such fond memories of growing up in the country and that’s I want that for my boys. I remember seeing a momma cat walking towards the house with a flat belly and running to the barn to try to find the babies. Making forts in the loft or down by the creek. I remember working on Saturdays with Dad and Luke to cut wood, clear brush and mow. The smell of burning leaves and branches at the end of the day and the hotdog roast that came after. And the poison ivy. (Well, I don’t miss it, but I certainly remember it!)

I would love to have chickens and ducks and geese. Well…maybe not geese…those buggers are mean and they poop on your sidewalk. But I love watching ducks and chickens. We had bunnies growing up and a goat. once. Until it climbed in the back of mom’s honda and kicked her in the eye. We rescued stray dogs and they were always the best pets. I’d like to try our hand at raising a bucket calf and hog. I dream of a huge garden, shelves in the basement full of home canned veggies, salsa and pickles.

I dream of hauling wood and huddling around the wood burning stove while watching winter storms rage outside. I dream of watching the spring flowers poking their heads out of the ground. I can’t drive by a patch of blooming daffodils without being transported back to the farm where I grew up and the flower patch hidden in the woods.

I would love to have horses again. I love the way they smell, even in the barn. The warmth of their breath on my shoulder. How they listen. The feel of their legs walking under you when you’re walking down the road on their back. They way they breath when they run. Watching little ones pick handfuls of grass and poke it through the fence then pull their hands back squeeling.

While not pleasant, I remember walking out of the front door some mornings and smelling a skunk the dogs cornered in the barn. I still laugh about the time Kerry and I (we bought the farm I grew up on when we were first married) were sleeping with the windows open. We heard something run by underneath the windows and the dogs chasing close after. Then came the smell. We sat up coughing, sputtering and choking on that ripe skunk smell. We couldn’t get the windows closed fast enough.
Sure I know it’s work…but man…that’s the kind of work I like to do. It’s the kind of work that lets you sleep at night and makes you feel like you got something done.  It’s where I want to raise my kids, watch my flowers grow and grow old with the man I love. For now, that place just exists in my dreams and in my “someday”. It’s what I long for.