Friday, December 31, 2010

Out with a Bang!

As soon as I can get some time, there will be a 2010 - Year in Photos post. Someday. Hopefully before 2011 comes to a close!

The city put on an awesome celebration for families last night. There were children's entertainers, then a mock countdown to fireworks at 7:30, followed by Auld Lang Syne. The boys were mesmerized. I've been wanting to get them out to see fireworks for the last 4 years. But they're always at 10pm and it's a half hour walk each way to view.

The look of awe on their little faces was priceless. I cried. It's not everyday you get to achieve one of your parenting dreams!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

View from the bottom

We had a wonderful Christmas. The boys shocked us and slept in. Then they played with their new toys I knew they'd love their new train set  but I didn't expect it to completely engross them until bedtime. 

Cooked a smallish turkey for just us, with enough leftovers for casserole, soup and some sandwiches. Very civilized! And all but Elliot were in our pajamas all day long. Cozy! And here I sit at 8:30, exhausted but fighting the urge to go to bed. Have to finish the soup at least.....and you'll notice a few changes to the look over here. I got bored. Sorry.

Merry Christmas, happy holidays and all that jazz to everyone, and to all a good night!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Love Shack

My mom came for a visit this week. On Wednesday, we cleaned. The floors. The dishes. It took all day. Yesterday, we baked. Starting at 10am, cosmopolitans in hand, we made fudge, skor squares, almond bark, candy cane bark, sugar cookies, orange-almond biscotti, truffles (which I finished today because holy crap! What a long and messy process!) and gingerbread. There was just enough gingerbread left after rolling out slabs for a house to make 4 little people and some trees.

Today, I found an icing recipe that was suitable for sticking the gingerbread house together and we got creative. I honestly didn't think it was going to work. But voila!

Poor melted snowman.

Elliot decorated this person. That's a belly button, I'm told.
So we'll see how long it lasts. Elliot even said while making it, "One smartie for me. One for the house!" The boys were on a sugar high allllll afternoon. Then again, so was I. Candida Protocol be damned!

We also spent some time out in the SNOW! Yay, we finally got some white stuff. And it was perfect snow, too. Played in the backyard. Trekked over to the high school and used their hill for sledding. Good times!

Soooooo, we're thinking of spending 7-8 hours in the (borrowed) car tomorrow to go to a family Christmas party for about 3 hours. Not sure if we will. What say you - should we do it?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wish List

This morning I took the boys to meet Carol. She's a Waldorf-trained Early Childhood Educator. I feel as if I'm drowning and have been in uncontrollable tears more days than not lately. The boys are feral monkeys and I'm a sleep-deprived zombie with all the patience and nurturing of a sack of rocks. It's a wild time of year, there's crazy energy in the air and the boys are broadcasting all my negativity back at me at twice the volume.
I needed help. Carol's Calm Parenting approach appealed to me. Her home sits in a beautiful historic area of the city. It's all hardwood floors and clean lines inside. Very soothing. It felt homey and comfortable and smelled fresh - lavender and other herbs lightly scented the air. I never wanted to leave. Her playroom is on the third floor; a sunny and bright space with quietly tucked away baskets of toys - which the boys dumped out unceremoniously into a huge pile. My favourite was a large felted turtle with a pocket on each end that contained a total of 4 baby turtles. There were hand-knit animals: lots of cats, ducks, geese. And adorable crocheted farm animals. And lots of wooden cars, trucks and trains - "Made with homemade wood, mama!" Elliot exclaimed.

The boys played and discovered, giving Carol and I time to talk. When I told her I was in school, working, and running my own small business in addition to being a mom and housewife (I like that term, so sue me!), she put down her notebook and gave me a long look. And I cried. We watched the boys play and soon enough, they began to fight over the same basket of toys. Before I could drum up the energy to step in, Carol quietly asked me to simply observe for a few minutes.

Elliot exerted his authority. Felix whined and screamed and followed his big brother all over the room. I was on edge and Carol remarked that yes, it was a highly annoying sound! She made gentle comments: to Felix, "Yes, you do really want that toy, I can tell", and to Elliot "He really wants to play too. What can we do?" Very quickly, Elliot came over to me and spread out a small red blanket that was in the basket and then set up for a picnic. Felix whined louder but came over to investigate when Elliot out out a dish for him. And just like that, the tears were gone and we were having a nice picnic together. Eventually, Elliot went to play with something else and Felix climbed over our 'table' and claimed the bowl of felted fruit for his own.
The Felted Pear
They actually solved their own issue. When I told Jay about it tonight, he pointed out that it was over an easily shareable toy, which was lucky. The other night, when Elliot was playing with his Lego and Felix wanted a closer look, Elliot became so enraged he got in Felix's face and bit him on the bridge of his nose, breaking the skin in 2 spots. Which nicely matched the scrape down Felix's cheek from Elliot's fingernail when they fought over a Christmas decoration the day before. I want to let them figure things out on their own, but 1) Felix has got the "Someone broke my puppy!" scream and tears down to a science and 2) Things escalate quickly and seemingly without notice.
The Wood Garden
My homework is to start a notebook chronicling altercations the boys have with each other or with me and to exam what was happening at that moment - was I on the computer? Off my game due to exhaustion or hunger - or were they? Were we just coming home? Getting ready to go out? Rushed? Late? Whatever. I know many, if not all, of those situations are the hot button times around here, so I will be watching for them.

Additional homework is a change in how we come home on the 3 daycare nights per week. Usually, I pick them up at the last possible minute, bringing a snack for them with me. We get home, undress and then they watch TV while I get supper ready. The new routine will be similar, but instead of a full snack when I pick them up, they'll get something much smaller. And then when we get home, we'll just sit together, having another snack or tea or something for 10-15 minutes, and then I'll slip out to get supper ready. With their help. Setting the table, whatever. This means I'll need to alter my timetable a bit, which is possible, and I'll pick them each up a bit earlier so we don't end up eating supper at bedtime. Meal planning (which we already do) will be key.
Oh, and I'm going to drop my lone winter course that starts in 3 weeks' time. It's an unnecessary stress, since I have to admit that I can't be superwoman and do everything at once. There. You've got it in writing. I may never admit that again. I will be going back to class full time in September, and that one measly little class will just have to wait until then. As soon as she suggested it - and it wasn't even a suggestion, just a subtle questioning of my need to take that course right now - and it felt like the right choice. And Jay wholeheartedly agrees. I'll be working 3-5 full days a week from January-April, so I don't know why or when I thought I would fit in school. Plus my business. Since I have a small client base, I should be able to handle that. As long as I don't take on any new clients.  Or any extra businesses. (I've recently become an independent Epicure Selections consultant. I loooove their product but doing home parties kinda scares me. Maybe over the summer I'll jump back into that??)
Green Mountain Wee Woolies
The next step with Carol is a home visit. See the boys in their natural habitat. We're going to look at toy cleanup - so should probably schedule this meeting for after the holidays as I know there will be a huge pile o' loot for them to sort through. I've been trying to guide gift-givers towards more natural toys. Handmade. Wooden. Things that have a story to tell and can have many purposes. Toys that have been lovingly handcrafted. Or at least look that way. I'm tired of all the plastic and battery operated crap we have. They're becoming more and more hard and ugly and loud and toxic. I want gentleness. Calmness. Whirled peas. I really wish I could put into words how I feel. I did a ginormous toy purge not that long ago and tried to explain to Jay why I wanted to get rid of the ones I did. And what I wanted to replace them with. Less commercial, more love. Words fail me, but I'm just trying to get some happiness. And being at Carol's today, watching the boys play with those beautiful and graceful toys, that's what I want. Right there.

Wish me luck. Send me tips. Wanna join a commune with me?

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I was worried when we brought the boys to pick out a tree this past weekend. It was snowy, Jay and I were both there, it wasn't toooooo far a walk away. All good, right? But, the trees were in a busy grocery store parking lot. And it was snowing. And it was a good 15-20 minute walk away. And I was recalling, in great detail, this cringe worthy tree outing. Kudos to her, huh?! Mad skillz!

Anyhoo, it took mere seconds for us to pick out a tree. I didn't even have time to pull out the camera to capture the boys running through the lot, slipping on ice, climbing in the baler. Probably for the best. I would have loved to have gotten a picture of our salesman - a young teenager who asked Jay if he wanted him to give the tree "a fresh cut on the butt" before we took it home.

Jay used his strong man arms to carry it home, the boys helped drag it into the house, and there it sat, in the stand and tied to the wall, until tonight when I encouraged the boys to decorate it instead of watching TV while I prepared supper. (Turkey lasagna, yum!)

I found the collection of cinnamon ornaments we'd made last year, wrapped tightly, that still smell awesome. I keep thinking there's some hot guy in my living room and I want to lick him. Apparently, I have a thing for cinnamon. Who knew?!

Tonight when the boys asked for lullabies, I sang Christmas carols - O Holy Night, Silent Night, White Christmas... I love this time of year!! Now to get on with that huge list of holiday baking...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I'm going to show you the latest picture of my fingernail. You - yes, you! -  may wish to avert your eyes or go read about fluffy kittens for a while.

I'm totally fascinated by the morphology of the crushed nail bed. My doctor said I might not lose the nail. Well, she was wrong.

At least it's not oozing anymore. It started by lifting at one corner, which then spread along the base of the nail. Then it kinda flapped there for a while, snagging on clothes and bed sheets. Then this morning I saw that it was splitting up the middle, so I grabbed the clippers and hacked away at it. Eventually, it'll grow out, I guess, so I can remove the rest of it. The exposed skin and crud is hard (and luckily doesn't hurt) but it's not a new nail surface yet. Hopefully that fills in soon. Right now, it's doing a good job of holding the kids' attention at Elliot's preschool - they are as fascinated as I am and ask if they can touch it!

Ok, and since you looked even though I warned you, here's some happiness:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Didn't Beth Die From That?

Scarlet Fever has hit the RainyDay house. Happy happy joy joy! Thankfully, it's not of the "Little Women" death variety.

Elliot woke with a high fever around eleven Saturday night. At 5am we shot out of bed to cries of "I'm going to throw up!!!" The fever continued all day. We did drag him outside on a nature walk at a new trail we found. He loved it, but was shivering and threatening to throw up again as we were leaving. And was asleep within moments of getting home, fever raging once more.
He woke in a sweat after his nap and I was hoping that the fever had broken and he would start feeling better. He asked for a snack, which was promising, but as the afternoon went on, he looked more and more pitiful and refused to eat and drink. I called our Nurse Link line and they said it sounded like strep (he'd started saying his throat hurt, but wouldn't let me look inside his mouth). There's only 1 walk in clinic open in the city on Sundays, but they were full. I figured I could get him into his doctor the next morning, so we were waiting.

His fever didn't respond to Advil. It kept going up, which is the opposite of down. We had a car for the evening, as my mom was visiting, so Jay and I decided to take him to the ER. I felt silly when the intake nurse wrote "sore throat" as the reason for the visit. But he needed medicine. After a long wait, we made it into a room to wait even more for a doctor. As I was changing him into the hospital gown, I saw the rash on his stomach and sides. The nurse scribbled a note and we waited more.
When the doctor finally came in, she was gowned, gloved and masked. Yep, we were a contagion. She didn't do a swab, but said it was most likely strep and prescribed antibiotics. She didn't comment on the rash, but fever? nasty sore throat? rash? simply screams scarlet fever to me. Especially since there was a confirmed case at his preschool a week ago. Poor kid. I hope we didn't infect everyone in the Santa line on Saturday. Bad parents!

To add another dollop of fun to this mixture, Felix has an ear infection and a body-shaking smoker's cough. I had both boys home with me And the power went out due to high winds and rain. We're all home again today. I'm pretty well shot. And trying not to shoot them. We have errands to do, but the boys are rather feral from being sick and cooped up and I don't dare turn them loose on the world.

Time for an arts & crafts and baking day! I want to recycle some crayons. Put up the Christmas decorations? Make cookies? Homemade play dough? Gingerbread house? Tea party?  Hmmm, the toys and laundry do need to be put away. And someone should tackle all the dishes and crap in the kitchen. Speaking of crap, the cat litter needs to be changed as the Floor Pooper struck again.

Screw it. We'll be parked in front of the TV all day.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Saw the big fat man today!

And Santa was there, too....

I kid, I kid.

We had the use of my mother's car today, so went out early to get groceries. And to do a quick pick up of another Candida Cleanse from my chiropractor's office. The office was closed, but they left it in the front porch for me. How ironic is it that as I was leaving, I slipped on some wet wood, fell hard, and wrenched my foot? Now I need to go see my chip due to a visit to my chiro... *sigh* It'll work itself out. At least it's my other foot. But that other one, well, it's starting to act up again, too.

Then on to groceries. And I forgot the list. But lucky for me, I'd only compiled it this morning so remembered everything on it. Booyah!

Then, even though the boys were not having patient days and were getting feisty, we still decided to go see Santa. His photo hours started at 10 and I was anticipating a huge line-up when we got there at 10:30. But it wasn't too bad, maybe 15 people in front of us. Took nearly half an hour to get through. The boys tested their boundaries and toed all the lines, but we made it through. They were super excited to see Santa. Elliot ran up and gave him a huge hug and Felix told him over and over how much he LOVED trains.

Felix looks like a doofus, but it does capture their personalities quite well. Similar poses to last year, too. (Felix was trying to figure out why the photographer was shaking a box of Smarties at them.) Plus, they're both sick with colds, so all in all, a good day! While we were in line, Felix ran over to a man sitting on a bench and gave him a hug. Whoops - gotta curb Mr. Friendly before he gets stolen, I guess. Eep!

So yes, I'm doing another round of the Candida Cleanse. My energy levels are high right now and I want to keep them that way. But I'm still craving sugar like no one's business, so I know it's not out of my system yet.  I lost 5 lbs in the last 15 days, pretty much all of which was in the first week. I've also started jumping on my trampoline for 30 minutes every other night. (Should be doing that right now, but I'm tired.)

I'm totally off of my antidepressant now. But I've added in a homeopathic "wet blanket" that has been helping tamp down my crazy. I take 3 a day. Plus 4 probiotics. Plus an iron supplement 3 times. Plus my vitamins (4) twice a day. Add in the 2 candida pills twice a day, my birth control and the synthroid and I'm up to a whopping 24 pills per day. Holy guacamole!!! And I thought coming off the antidepressant would lessen the stuff I was putting in my body...

**And I forgot the antibiotics for strep throat that I'm taking 3x a day....

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Time of my life

Tomorrow is day 15 on the candida cleanse. Are you as excited as I am to find out how it's been? Stay tuned! Any guesses on how much, if any, weight I've lost? Or on how many supplements I'm now taking? Or on what my latest bloodwork results will be? (Well, we'll all have to wait until Monday for that one.)

Until then, this makes me happy...

****But then that makes me sad. You Tube pulled the vid for violating terms of service. Search for Glee - Time of my Life on youtube. Should still be there somewhere.**

I wish they did the lift, though. Pretty silly not too, right? Yes, I'm a Gleek. Grudgingly. And I grew up watching Dirty Dancing. My sister and I practiced so hard to get that lift right. I think we might have nailed it a time or two. And broken some furniture.

And in other news, being December (ALREADY??!) the NaNoWriMo has come to an end. And I stalled out at just over 6000 words at the end of the first week. I'm disappointed but not upset. The words are still in my head. Someday, I'll get them out.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


It's that time again - a new issue of Rhythm of the Home is up!! I want to sit and sip a hot tea and spend time on each beautiful page.

Too bad I have an exam tomorrow that is eating away at my brain. And my time. And my patience.  I took my afternoon class off to give me the whole day to study. And guess what? After 5 hours,  I figured out that the parts I knew previously, I still know. And the parts I was foggy on before - well, those are even foggier.

I had to run out in the middle of the mock exam and buy a new calculator - something I'm been putting off for the last 5 weeks. Glad I remembered today, before getting into things tomorrow.

Recovering from strep, hoping the boys stay healthy - Felix has been coughing and snotting and last night his eye started gooping. Sure make you wanna come visit us, doesn't it?!
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