Friday, December 29, 2006

I'm really struggling today. Well, not just today, but today I feel it heavier than usual. Perhaps its from all the illness circulating amongst friends and family and the holiday let down and all that.

My therapist said a few weeks ago that she thinks I'm the type of person who finds parenthood hard to accept. That its my sense of responsibility that keeps me on track, not an overflowing love of children and/or parenting. At first this took me back, but I'm beginning to understand that its true. In all honesty, I don't really enjoy being a parent, at least not at this point. When people say to enjoy this age with the kids, I nod and agree, but inside I'm thinking, "Huh? This is the worst time. I can't wait for them to be older and more self-sufficient".

This doesn't mean that I don't love them. I do. And perhaps even more importantly, I feel a great sense of responsibility for their care and upbringing. Even on the days that I don't feel much love towards them, that responsibility remains.

When the kids were at my Mom's last night, despite being sick, I felt blissfully free. We went out to dinner, and then breakfast. Over to the library, got new tires, all with no rush or stress or concern. I was happy to see them when we got to my Mom's, but as soon as we left the oppression returned. I don't know how else to explain it other than oppression. It feels so ugly and heavy and it makes it impossible to enjoy having children. It sucks all the motivation and enthusiasm out of me. It makes me angry and resentful and bitter. Its an utter hopelessness of looking forward and seeing nothing but hardships and trials and drudgery for the next 18 years.

Oh, I know it sounds all dramatic and such and probably tomorrow I'll snort and say, "I can't believe I wrote that" but tonight its a heavy burden on my back.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

I'm ill... AGAIN... so this blog will be short and to the point. I have tonsillitis. It hurts and makes me uber-cranky, but we're dealing :)

Our Christmas started on Saturday when Grandma Karen, Grandpa Les and Aunt Nicole came to visit. We had a great time and the kids loved their gifts. We played the Wii for hours and Grandma Karen even smacked Ethan on the head with the Wii-mote in the heat of bowling. Good times!

Sunday we got the children all dressed up and headed off to church. After socializing for a bit, we went home and hung out... prepping for the BIG day. Before bed, the kids put out cookies and milk for Santa and were quite excited that he'd come while they slept.

Monday morning came and the kids came down to find a whiteboard/chalkboard easel and some humongous cardboard blocks that came from Santa. A few hours later, the whole clan (Nana, Grandpa, Aunt Becki, Aunt Shelly, Uncle Mike and Aunt Jenni) came over and we had an orgy of gift openings. I got lots of cool stuff (cookbooks, gift cards, etc).

After they left, we got ourselves dressed and headed out to Nana and Grandpa's house for Christmas dinner. Due to the kid's colds, Poppa and Grammy couldn't join us for Christmas dinner. The first time in a VERY long time that we didn't get to see our beloved grandparents on the holiday. They were sorely missed.

Jason is home all this week. My Mom graciously took the kids today and we'll go get them tomorrow. We are looking forward to going to bed when we want and waking when we want, especially since I don't feel well at all. After dropping off the kids, we went and got one my presents... a new cell phone. Finally, my own phone, not a hand-me-down with cracks or other flaws. Yay! I got a Katana, which is an ultra-slim phone similar to the RAZR The best part is that its pink :) We went to Chang's for dinner (haven't been there in ages) and then home. Tomorrow we might hit a movie before getting the kids.

I'll put some pictures soon. Right now I want to go get into comfy clothes and veg for a bit.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Well well well.

If our week before Christmas hasn't been rough enough, my oven stopped working tonight. It worked earlier today just fine, but wouldn't heat for dinner. The broiler and burners work and after some sleuthing, J and I narrowed it down to the electric ignition (we think). Its a gas stove and we are not very familiar with it but that seems the most likely cause.

So it won't be fixed before Christmas. I will have to manage somehow.

I don't even want to think of what else may go wrong with our current run of luck.

I'm not feeling very jolly.
I'd like to take a moment and remember the son of a friend of mine.

Marshall Potter left this world today, 4 years ago. He was only 4 months old, and died as a result of SMA (spinal muscular atrophy).

His mother, Laurie, was the lady I visited in Boston in October. I was able to play with his sister Murphy, see the beautiful home where Marshall spent his short life and enjoy far-too-few hours with this very special family. I wish they didn't live so far away.

Our thoughts are with you today Potter family.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Also, wanted to show off this cute skirt I had custom made for Gwen for only $16! The waist is adjustable and based on how much adjustment they gave me, I think she could easily wear it until she is 4! Its a patchwork skirt, with a good bit of twirl.

Here are some pictures from Spokane. There were some taken of all the kids together and also a family picture, so I'll put those up once we get them (we didn't take any on our camera).

The boys (Tyler, Matthew, Ethan)

The girls (Jamie & Gwen)

Awww... they really did like each other!

Gwen barely tolerated this hat

Daddy and Ethan reading Bob the Builder

Gwen and Aunt Christie

Ethan doing his normal mess-making with popcorn

"Wow, this tree has decorations on it!" (our tree just has lights)


And for good measure, a picture of the bread I made with that recipe I posted the other day. The only change is that I cooked it in a 3qt saucepan instead of the 6-8qt dutch oven. Purty, isn't it?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

There is much to blog about since I've been offline for so long.

However, I don't feel like typing it because we have been hit with a flu since Sunday.

Imagine being so dreadfully sick and having to drive 6 hours home. Two hours into that drive, imagine that your daughter starts throwing up too. Monday, all is good. You think, hey only two of us got hit, yay. But then imagine that right before bedtime your son starts throwing up and throws up all night. Then your husband starts today.

Luckily this nasty bug lasts only 6 hours, but its a horrible, draining 6 hours. Its been two days since I had it and my body is still weak and weary.

Now that I've really got your mind on pleasent and lovely things, I'm going to share a recipe.

Its probably the easiest and best tasting bread you'll ever make, hands down.

Its called no-knead bread and it was originally published in the New York Times. Its sweeping across the internet and makes the best homemade bread I've ever tasted.

I'll paste the recipe below, but if you click here you can download the recipe, with pictures, plus the original article and further notes from the author. Well worth the read in my opinion.

No Knead Bread

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.

Ok, all for now. Off to tend to the sick family.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Hey look, we're back. After 1 1/2 weeks, our blog was finally fixed. Wow. Perhaps my standards for customer support are too high, after doing it for 5 years myself, but 1 1/2 weeks to fix a problem, with no contact from support letting you know what is going on is rather irritating, to say the least.

But, that is behind us now. I have returned!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I am tired.

I am weak.

I am lazy.

I am frustrated.

I am unmotivated.

I am distractible.

I am obsessive about some things and careless about other things.

I am stressed.

I am selfish.

This makes me feel sad.

This makes me feel angry.

This makes me feel ambivalent.

This makes me feel like a failure as a wife, mother, human.

I think I need a good cry.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

This blog will not be about the inane little details of my life, nor about my occasional obsessions with finding just the right Christmas dress for Gwen.

No, this blog will be a brag about Ethan and Gwennie-pooh.

Next time you see Ethan, ask him if he had a dream and what it was about. He really loves to talk about his dreams and they are sometimes quite facinating. For instance, for a number of days, every morning he told me that he dreamed of "Mommy being home". Sweet, but a little boring don't you think? Sometimes he'll say he dreamed Blues Clues, or Wonder Pets. Other times, its about elephants. This week, he surprised us by saying he dreamed about dragons. Dragons? Where did he see/hear about dragons? The best we can surmise is that he saw that trailer for the movie, Eragorn, which is all about dragons. Sometimes he dreams about car washes and those are always scary.

He's also quite the singer and belts out, "Twinkle Twinkle" or "Row your boat" or "ABC's" quite often while we're in the car. Of course, his favorite song (much to my embarassment) is "SexyBack". That kid will demand you play the song over and over and over again.

Gwen is no slouch either. Lately she has taken to hopping all over the house. Well, we call it hopping, but her feet rarely leave the ground. Rather, she propels herself up on tiptoes over and over again. Sometimes she actually gets air. Its a work in progress. Its terribly cute though :)

Her verbal skills are coming along very well. She's at the point where she will say a whole sentence, but you'll only make out a word or two. One of her favorite queries is, "Momma?", "Yes Gwen?", "Sound?" when she wants to know what she just heard. Its cute.

Ok, well, thats all for now... I'll include pics of what we did today and funny story to go along with it.

First, what we did.

Yep, we put up lights. Its the most lights I think we've ever done. We didn't do the front peak as its quite high and even with the ladder I just wasn't feeling brave enough to do it. It was a lot of work, mainly because we had to coordinate so many cords on so few outlets.

So here's the funny story. I go out to take these pictures at like 8pm. Jason locks the door behind me so the kids can't get out. Well, I head off the porch and spot this small white dog in the street. No big deal. There seems to be quite a few small dogs that wander around here.

However, this dog sees me, starts growling and dashes right at me. I turn back and try to open the door to the house, but its locked. The dog is now at the bottom of the steps and is growling and I'm swinging the camera thing that goes around your neck at it trying to keep him away. Keep in mind that the slightest nudge of my foot would have sent this dog flying but for some reason I was terrified. I'm yelling at Jason to open up and the meanie is laughing SO hard that he is incapable. Finally he does and I barge in and slam the door on the vicious little wretch. As son as I was inside, the humor became evident and I started laughing too.

After peeking out and seeing the coast was clear, I went back out and took these pictures. J was still giggling when I came back. Evidently, seeing your wife terrified of a small dog is good for a laugh :)

Friday, December 01, 2006

I'm struggling with something.

A dreadful addiction.

It occupies my mind, I can't stop thinking about it.

I just spent two hours seeking a fix and feel like I could go for hours more.

Holidays or special occasions always make it worse.

What is this craving?

A dress for Gwen.

Uh huh. A dress. Thats all.

And yet it haunts...