Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The sin of gluttony

Right now I would like very much to be hungry, and to believe that food would be comforting, but I know I'm not and it wouldn't be. So I will pretend to clean the dinging room to have dinner and think about how what I want to want is a box of cream puffs or poutine or something, but I don't actually want them. What I want is for my mother not to have Alzherimer's and for me not to be terribly, terribly sad for her.

Friday, April 18, 2014

I tried

I tried to stay offline for Good Friday, since I didn't manage it much during Lent, but Geoff was gone all day from twelve on, and won't be back until tomorrow afternoon, and I'm tired, and it's rainy so the kids couldn't go outside... so I didn't. Our church's Good Friday stuff was smack in the middle of nap time, too, so we didn't make that. I have been a tired and emotionally absent mum today, but we did read the Passion narrative out loud, and Nat drew several pictures about how he felt about it.

I think it's the first time Thomas and Nathaniel have heard most of the story and paid attention.

I also found a live action Stations of the Cross for children, and we watched it, and I (and very occasionally Nat and Thomas) prayed along.

Yesterday on the way to the store I was telling the kids the story of the Last Supper, and said that Judas betrayed Jesus, and Nat asked what betrayed meant. I thought for a moment, and said, "When Edmund goes to the White Witch"... Nat really got it. He was very upset about Edmund, and he is starting to understand some of the emotions in the Gospel. Geoff and I had an interesting conversation about how literature provides moral framing- I think that's one of the most important parts of it.

Heigh ho. I'm waiting for the girls to quiet down, and then I'm going to unload and reload the dishwasher, sneer at the disaster of a livingroom floor, and pour a small glass of wine. I know it's Good Friday, and I've fasted, and I am also ALONE WITH ALL CHILDREN. So I will have a very moderate amount of alcohol and go to bed before nine.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

I have achieved yogurt!

I haven't made yogurt in years.
That's butterfat on top. I used mostly half and half with about a cup of added whipping cream, and a cup of powdered milk. It made really creamy and thick yogurt. Not very tart. I've got about eight or ten cups of it in the fridge, chilling. I mixed half a cup of sugar and a lot of vanilla extract in, and I'll try the kids on the (probably) 15% yogurt when everyone gets up. This might be a bit of a hassle, making it, but it's $1.99 per litre of half and half, versus $10 for an equivalent amount of high fat yogurt from the store. My children can eat that much in one sitting.

Next time I'm making more.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Am i done now?

I read about twenty poems aloud during breakfast, from When We Were Very Youg, and a child's collection of poetry that Had Robert Louis Stevenson (Nat wanted The Land of Counterpane) and some Louisa May Alcott, plus a bit of Shakespeare. I feel like we've done enough, if I can also maybe get Nat to read aloud this afternoon. Thomas appeared to actually be listening to the poetry, which is a big win.

And now to the part of the day where they get all the drawing stuff down and get paper and crayons all over the floor before I've even cleaned up from breakfast.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Day in the life

Trying to pull together an overview of a regular day from disjointed bits and pieces. Let's see how it goes.

11pm- Nat is having blood sugar problems, nightmares and night screaming because of being too high. Test him and decide not to give him more insulin because his Lantus should keep him stable overnight.

11:15- Geoff goes to sleep with Nat and try to settle him.

12:30- wake up and go wake Geoff to come back to our bed.

2:30- Go in to the girls and resettle Elizabeth. Back to bed.

5:30- Girls and Geoff are up. I take the girls down, get them juice and cookies, and put on Toy Story to keep them mostly quit until the boys get up. Sit on couch with both toddlers on my lap.

6:00- Geoff comes downstairs and says hello to the girls before leaving at 6:10.

6:30- Put on kettle and try to unload dishwasher. Girls help with it. Rewash a few of the dishes they've helped with.

6:35- Get roped into reading a board book I hate. Five times in a row.

6:40- Try to remember if I put the kettle on.

6:45- Make tea and ignore plaintive screaming to drink from my cup. It's too hot.

6:50- Wonder if I should feed the girls something other than arrowroot biscuits.

7:00-  Hear Nat on the stairs. Say good morning to him and his stuffed frog. Girls have gotten out their cooking toys and Nat settles on the chair to watch the end of Toy Story.

7:15- Try to argue Nat into checking his blood sugar. Fail. Decide breakfast won't be until Thomas wakes up. Read another four board books to the girls. Change their diapers.

Watch everyone putter around while I check blogs and Facebook and try to decide if I should start the laundry now or wait until later.

8:30- Check Nat's blood sugar, try to figure out how many helpings of cereal he wants this morning, get his breakfast and everyone else's breakfast ready. Give Nat his injection, fetch milk, clean up milk, listen to girl tantrum about breakfast. Clean up, get more milk, get juice, eat bite of my granola, find girl at my knees begging for my granola. Give up and feed it to her. Hear strange voice from under the table. It's Nat, reading aloud from a board book. I guess he's done, then?

8:45- Clean up after breakfast and start shouting at the boys to get dressed. They start playing lego. Succeed in getting the dishes into the kitchen and piled before I have to go change a diaper and break up a fight over lego pieces.

9:00- Put on video and hope the girls don't die while I shower. They can open doors and get out of cribs. I just shower fast and hope everyone is still alive when I get out.

9:15- Out of shower and everyone is still alive. Answer Nat about whether Narnia is a real place by telling him I am going to Narnia when I die. Get into thorny conversation about how he doesn't ever want to die because there might not be Minecraft in Heaven.

9:30- Notice Miriam has a huge scratch on her face. Worry about how she got it while I was showering. Hug Thomas, who is part lap-cat and always wants to be hugged. Worry some more. Break up fight. Tell Thomas his drawing is very blue and it's a nice TARDIS.

10:00- Start dinner while the kids draw. Put on a story (internet audio book) while I cook and despair at the thought of four loads of laundry that need to be sorted, folded, and put away. Think about how I need to organize the entire pantry. Don't try. Call the bank on my parents' behalf, get phone call about children's appointments.

11:00- Dinner is made and in the fridge. Good. Laundry started in the machine but not sorted or folded because toddler help with laundry makes me want to die. Resolve to look over Nat's glucose monitor records and email his nurse about a sudden morning insulin resistance.

11:30- Wonder why I don't put all the children in boarding school. Look at the paper and crayons all over the floor and think about how I mopped it yesterday. Try not to die.

11:45- Start lunch, while putting the breakfast dishes in the dishwasher. Answer objections about how no one wants that for lunch. Nat stomps off. He doesn't want leftovers, peanut butter on bread, or cheese on crackers. He wants something impossible. Ignore him.

12:00 Remind Nat to wash his hands and do his blood sugar check. Calculate his dose while getting everyone milk, bread, butter, crackers, cucumber, juice, cold noodles (for Thomas), lefotvers (for me, which I eat standing up for a while).

12:05- Sit down to eat after giving Nat his injection. Girls both climb on my lap and start to eat my lunch. Give up. Leave them to it and go get a piece of bread in the kitchen.

Okay. It has taken me two days to get this far. I'll continue it sometime when I have more energy, like maybe in a week.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Seven Quick Takes- could be long

1. The creme fraiche didn't work. I think I didn't add enough yogurt and mix it enough. I'm going to try it again, and I'm going to try making high-fat yogurt in the crockpot, too. Sometime this coming week, I hope. Nat is adamant that yogurt is something you BUY, just like bread is something you MAKE but SHOULD buy, because sandwich bread is better. Poor suffering lamb.

2. Nat had his clinic on Monday, and Geoff's dad and stepmom came in to help wrangle the kids. It went very well- Nat's doing great overall, and his blood sugar is pretty under control. Or more realisitically, when it isn't, we know why, which is a relief. Geoff's Dad had Angry Birds on his iPhone. This helped ensure Nat's general cooperation and relative good behaviour.

3. We've had a lot of outside time, which is a huge relief. We've been in back yard every day, and out to a playground.
Nat failed to traumatize any of the kids we met, and there were a number of exciting games of chase. The girls discovered that they are now too big to both go in one swing, and were sad. I think they're recovering emotionally because they've found out again that throwing sand is one of the greatest joys in life. We're going to work on that.

4. Geoff's gone all Sunday. I'm trying to figure out if I can take all the children anywhere for Palm Sunday and survive. All of the kids simultaneously trying to run away or screaming + me will probably equal nervous breakdown. I am still thinking about it. 

5. I'd like to do a day in the life sort of post, but I am getting almost no computer time- during the day either I am interrupted every twenty seconds or the boys are on the computer. Nat and Thomas dominate computer time the whole of post-lunch-till-dinner, and it's really hard to find time to post. All the children are in the back yard right now, while I write this, and I have gotten up no less than thirty times in the twenty minutes it's taken, to get cookies and arbitrate and reassure Miriam that outside is okay and help children with boots. I have a lot of things I'm working through- I have an underlying grief about my parents' condition that is in the background of my awareness all the time, and I am simultaneously working on managing everyone else (diabetes! Girls need fattening! Must pay more attention to trying to get Thomas educated! The laundry never stops! Why is Nat screaming this time?!), and while I feel like stealing off somewhere and thinking and being quiet, I have almost no opportunity to do it.

6. I looked over my educational goals for this year and was very surprised to find we've achieved most of them. It feels like this year has been a total wash in terms of constant illness and houseboundness and general disaster, but both the guys are actually ahead of where I wanted them. Okay, Thomas doesn't know all his letters yet, but he's not even in JK, and we're working on it, plus now he can count and do colours, and Nat is educationally ahead or where I wanted him by summer. This inspires a strong desire to start panning for next year. I assume we're homeschooling them next year because, well, we haven't registered them for public school or boarding school or anything. So maybe I'll start looking for fun things to do, and plan this New School Year to start in the summer? I don't think we'll cease our rigourous academics (five minutes a day! Plus reading aloud!) since it isn't a strain for anyone.

6. I took down Elizabeth and Miriam's cribs today. This is why:

That's Elizabeth sleeping in the glider. That was yesterday morning. This morning she was sleeping in it face-down with her legs off at a ninety-degree angle. They have graduated to big girl mattresses on the floor and the pathetic hope that they will stay in them. Pray for us.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Creme Fraiche

I just read that I could make creme fraiche by puttign a couple of spoonfuls of yogurt into whipping cream and leaving it out on the counter for 12-24 hours. I'll let you know how the experiment has gone tomorrow. I'm hoping for a 35% milk fat type yogurt to feed Miriam....