Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Give Me The Time of Day

My favourite time of day is at 6:45 AM or so. It's when Frances usually gets up (if we are lucky). I'm not a morning person, I never have been, but having children has forced early mornings on me, and I'm really starting to enjoy them. Anyways, Frances wakes up around the same time as Ian does when he's starting work at 8. He will go bring her to me, and I change her diaper and give her a bottle. She's always incredibly cute and cheerful in the mornings, and it's the best time to cuddle with her. After getting some cuddles in and eating, I put her back in her crib for a while. She's always happy to go back (nothing really makes her unhappy in the mornings) and she looks at her mobile, plays with her toys and chats with herself. I climb back into bed, and if things are timed right, Mary gets up about 5 minutes later. She runs into my room, carrying Lightening McQueen and White Owl, and scrambles into bed with me. After getting everyone organized, the stuffed toys under the blankets, she snuggles beside me while I doze for another 45 minutes. At around 8 she starts saying "G'up, Mummy, g'up!" If I don't get up right away she opens the curtains, pulls the blankets off of me, and heads into the kitchen and starts moving chairs around. I don't know what it is about our morning routine that I love so much, but I really get miserable if it's interrupted.

Last night when we were putting Frances to bed Mary just had to be a part of it. She "helped" me carry the baby to her room, gave her hugs and kisses, and "helped" me put the baby in her crib. As I was leaving the room she lingered there for a moment by the crib watching Frances, and when I told her we had to go, she said "Night night, Frances. Sweet dreams, I love you." My heart melted. It was the very first time that Mary has ever said I love you with any real meaning and without a great deal of prompting. It's a lot easier for me to like Frances when I see how much she and Mary love each other. It's amazing, when Frances is grumpy and crying, all it takes is a smile from Mary to make her happy.

I've decided to try to blog at least once every couple of days. Even if it's just a bit of Mummy blogging (this is a mummy blog, after all), it makes me feel better to organize my thoughts and put them down. Today I am going to call a 1-800 number that came with Ian's work health plan. I had forgotten all about it until I was obsessively rearranging the magnets on the fridge yesterday, and I realized that it is there for exactly the type of problems that I'm having. Wish me luck, hopefully talking to someone who doesn't know me at all will help a bit.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Sooooooo Cute!

So, on Saturday Mary and I got our hair cut. She went first and it was very traumatic for all involved, especially the poor young thing who was trying to give Mary a fashionable cut. The girl kept trying to cut it "properly" rather than just snipping straight and quick, and Mary kept screaming, bawling and shoving the scissors and comb away. It was eventually accomplished and all the hair that kept falling in Mary's face has been transformed into incredibly cute, thick bangs. When I was getting my hair cut Ian, Frances and Mary wandered around the mall. They came back just as the girl was finishing up and Mary came right up to me, her beautiful blue eyes wide with amazement, and she said "Mummy! Oh, Mummy is SOOOO CUTE!!" It was so adorable I could have puked. Unfortunately the haircut is so bad that it is taking all my willpower not to take Ian's razor and shave all my hair off to start again. Ugh.

Monday, October 29, 2007


Is it Monday already? Is it almost the end of October already? You certainly wouldn't know it by the weather, it's another gorgeous day outside. When Frances wakes up from her nap I am determined to take the girls for a long walk...This is Saskatchewan after all, the weather will change in a heartbeat and snow will fly soon I'm sure. The town has a snow fence up at the end of our street (less than a block away) to keep the snow drifting out in the open prairie, rather than in our driveway.

I'm still not feeling quite right in the head. Last week did get a bit better, but I'm still scaring myself. I may go to the doctor about it, I really don't know what else to do. When I'm not weeping or baking like a crazy person, I worry....not just normal worrying, but really bizarre things, overwhelming panicky things that take my breath away and make it so I can't sleep at night. I worry that Ian will be in a terrible accident on the way home from work, I worry that my father will die, I worry that my mother will die, I dwell on the terror of me dying and not getting to see the girls grow up (that one really makes me sick), I worry that Mary will fall down the stairs and break her neck to the point that sometimes I won't let her go down the stairs by herself. I don't worry about Frances, but I do worry about the fact that I don't worry enough about Frances. When we go for walks I'm afraid that Mary will get hit by a car, I don't walk near the tracks anymore (even though Railway Ave is a decent distance from the actual tracks) because I'm terrified that Mary will escape and get smucked by a train. I worry that I have cancer, I worry that there's something wrong with my womanly bits (for good reason that I won't go into here). I worry that I'm going to get pregnant again which, along with my womanly bit issues affects Ian a great deal. I know that I'm not being rational, I know that it doesn't make sense, but once I start I get so wrapped up that I can hardly breathe. I worry that if I go to the doctor he'll put me on anti-somethings, and I had such a terrible experience with Effexor 5 years ago that the thought of going through that terrifies me.

Ahem. Anyways. Here are some pictures.

My closest and only friend in MIlestone, Mr. Squirrel. When I took this picture I got close enough that I reached out and touched his tail.

My girls hanging out on the couch. Frances is really turning into a beautiful looking baby.

My first ever pie. I learned very quickly that I despise making pastry, but boy was it heavenly. The apple and blueberry filling was delicious, and the crust was flaky and melted in your mouth.

Frances in one of our new, incredibly cheap, Walmart rocking chairs in the basement.

Mary and Ian with our Jack'O'Lanterns that we carved last night. Not the most artistically talented family, but we had fun.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Yesterday was a particularly bad day. I won't go into it too much here because I know I'll sound crazy and desperate for attention and pity. I'm feeling a little crazy and out of control in a very bad way to be honest, and I'm not really sure what to do about it. Once I figure it out, maybe I'll let you know, maybe I won't. Needless to say, I'm lonely, unhappy, and bordering on scaring myself (check that, I crossed the scaring myself line yesterday). Certain people in my life aren't helping by dumping their own issues on my door, making me feel like even worse of a mother than I already do (which is pretty awful, given the thoughts I've been having about the newest member of our family), and essentially blaming me and my children for their marital problems.

By the way, I hope no one who does take anti-depressants was offended by my last post (Mary). I know that those drugs do help a lot of people. My problem is when you go to the doctor, say "I'm feeling a little sad" and they immediately put you on powerful, mind altering drugs. I also don't like the trend of medicating pre-schoolers for things like depression, ADHD, and bi-polar disorder. In my opinion, toddlers are by nature bi-polar, hyper, and attention deficient, and they shouldn't be drugged for any of those things.

So, I haven't much else to say. This past week I have baked more cinnamon buns, a beautiful apple blueberry pie (I despise making pastry, but man I'm good at it!), graham crackers for Mary and today I will bake some more bread to go with the beef barley stew I'm making for supper tonight. I think this weekend I will start baking sugar cookies to send to Ian's work, to give to the many families with kids that live on our block, and to stuff my sorrows with. Sugar cookies have to be better than the bottle of coconut rum in the liquor cabinet, right?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Equal (Rant)

"The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal."

Have you read the short story Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut? If you haven't, you should (you can find it here It's scary in its plausibility.

It comes to mind because this morning on CBC radio the Sunday Edition host was interviewing a man named Christopher Lane who has just had a book published. His book is called "Shyness: How Normal Behaviour Became an Illness" and it's all about the mental health industry. Yes, I say industry, because that's what it is, an industry run by the drug companies. Did you know that if you are nervous about talking in front of a group of people, that if you don't like the idea of eating by yourself in a restaurant, if your hands tremble a little when you meet new people, or if you don't like using public washrooms you are sick in the head? You likely have Social Anxiety Disorder, but never fear, all you have to do is take the drug Paxil or one of these powerful anti-psychotics (or possibly a combination) and you'll be all better. Never mind the side effects, just take your drugs and you can be "normal." Oh, and don't forget to drug your child if they show any anti-social behaviour too. There's all sorts of antidepressants and anti-psychotic drugs out there that you can use to alter your child's developing personality and central nervous system. Don't worry if you come down with the newest "disorder" in the books, Apathy disorder. It's actually caused by the drugs that you're taking to keep "normal," but they're developing new drugs to take for that one too. Good God, no, don't stop taking those likely unnecessary antidepressants, we'll just add on another drug to combat your drug induced apathetic haze, that way the drug companies will make twice as much off one person! Oh, you're a woman too? Well, if you have a period, you likely have Pre-Menstrual dysphoric disorder. It used to be relatively rare, but the drug companies decided that PMS would be a good thing to make money off of, so they've changed the diagnoses criteria to be identical. We'll just give you yet another antidepressant to deal with those ugly female hormones (and make more money for the drug companies too).

Yes, there are people out there who are mentally ill, people who do need these drugs. Not everyone does though, and the way things are going people who aren't drugged for something are going to be a minority. Why does every personality quirk and emotion have to be a disease, and what exactly is this "normal" that everyone is striving to reach by drugging themselves? You know, sadness is normal, anxiety is normal, a little fear, well that's normal too. We live in a scary world, bad things happen that we should feel sad and fearful about. Anxiety isn't always a bad thing, it's a natural thing and it can keep us safe. Being shy and bookish is not a mental disorder, it's the way I am, and the way millions of people throughout history have been. Yes, being a shy, awkward, bookish teenager was miserable, but I wouldn't take it back in a million years. I wouldn't want to have been drugged to be more "normal," those years helped form me into the person I am today, a person that I actually like and am proud of most of the time.

I'm trying to judge when the best time for me to pack up my family and move to a remote commune will be. We'll be the whacko's in the bush who refuse to drug their children, who refuse to be "normal." Anyone want to come with me? I seem to be able to make a mean loaf of bread...

Huh, who knew I could rant so early in the morning?

Friday, October 19, 2007


I'm giving up on clever titles. I just can't be bothered.

Mary's toe is doing well, though I'm quite positive that the nail will fall off. It was pretty ugly, red and swollen for a while, and although the swelling has gone down, the toenail is a dark blackish purple and she won't let me touch it (can you blame her?) Anyways, she's doing well, and keeping busy.

Frances had her second set of vaccines on Wednesday, and boy was that miserable. She dealt very well with the pokes, but as the day went on she got more and more miserable and feverish, the poor little thing. She recovered nicely by Thursday morning though.

Tonight Ian and I are going to a Medieval feast in Moose Jaw of all places. I'm really looking forward to it, this will be the first time that Ian and I have been out together without the girls since mid-July.

This week I baked:

More of Goody's wonderful oat bread,
2 loaves of old fashioned rye bread,
a large banana coffee cake,
2 dozen lemon honey cookies,
2 loaves of sourdough,
and I'm in the process of baking cinnamon buns.

Diet? pfft. The good news is that I get lots of exercise kneading the dough.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Shoot Me

I am a terrible mother. At least, that's how I feel right now.

So, I was sitting at the computer in the big wooden chair when Mary came up to visit me. She was feeling peevish today, and she whimpered to be picked up. So, I moved the chair back a bit so I could do just that. As I moved the chair, I heard and felt a distinct crunchy sound. As soon as I heard it I just closed my eyes and uttered a soft prayer "Dear God, please don't let that have been what I think it was." I then looked at Mary, whose eyes were wide and filled with tears, her mouth wide open in a silent shriek of pain, and her lips blue from holding the silent shriek for so long without breathing. I quickly grabbed her and pulled her up into my lap, and the nail of her second toe was already turning black, and blood was leaking from beneath it. She started to scream in earnest, and I rushed her up to the bathroom to tend her wound, babbling apologies the whole way. She screamed for a good long time, and let me tell you, while I once believed things would be better when she could talk, it's not. There's nothing worse than your baby sobbing "Mummy, it hurts!" over and over again, knowing that you were the one that hurt her, and not being able to do anything about it. She seems to be recovering, though she won't put her toe on the ground which results in a hobbling pathetic sort of limp, which dashes my heart into even smaller pieces every time I see it. She will occasionally whimper softly "Mummy, I need hurts." She's in bed now, but she milked every ounce she could get out of my guilty conscience before snuggling up with Lightening McQueen and going to sleep.

Other than attempting to rip my daughters toe nails off, I had a decent weekend. Yesterday DeeDee was in town visiting her folks and we went over for a short visit which turned into a 6 hour visit complete with an excellent supper. Her Mum is a very neat woman, her house is jam packed full of niknacks and Mrs. DeeDee loved Mary and Frances so much that she made me promise to come back. It was nice to spend time with a friend (sweet jesus I miss having friends) and there is even photographic evidence of DeeDee holding an infant! Today I made jelly. Lots and lots of jelly. Mint, apple and cranberry merlot. My mincemeat is soaking in its own juices, and all I have to do is get my act together and make a tonne of salsa or chutney and Christmas gifts will be done.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Oops. It's been a while again, hasn't it? I don't even have no internet access as an excuse this time.

It's been a busy week. Thanksgiving weekend was lovely. I cooked supper for my Dad and his wife on Saturday, and it went surprisingly well. I made turkey (of course) with stuffing, potatoes, broccoli, buns and a pie for desert. Then Sunday we had a repeat at Dad's place, without the home made buns and pie. On Monday I made the worlds grossest turkey soup which we ate for supper that night, and I threw away the next day. I put too much rice in the soup and it was more of a slimy turkey risotto glop instead. I've never liked turkey soup at the best of times, and it was just too much for me to take.

Wednesday Dad came out with a curtain rod for our living room, and now we have even more privacy! Yay! Curtains in our bedroom and the living room, and soon there will be curtains for the girls rooms. Mum is going around to all the East Indian fabric stores in Abbotsford to find beautiful, exotic fabrics to make curtains out of.

I've been putting bird seed out lately, and I am obsessed with the giant flocks of birds that hang around the house all day (so, as you might have guessed, are the cats). We have all sorts of neat birds, apparently we are on a migratory path and just about everyone stops by. We had a couple of blue jays, a whole pile of juncos, hundreds of sparrows, red poles, yellow breasted nuthatches, downey flickers, ring-necked doves...and more, but I don't know all their names. My Christmas list is getting longer and longer with the addition of all sorts of baking and cooking implements, and now bird books.

The other day we got word that my uncle who just went to Tanzinia to teach has come down with Malaria. He was taking his meds, but somehow managed to pick the disease up within a month or so of getting to Africa. We were quite worried about him, but it turns out that of the different types of malaria, he has the "best" one you can get. He's already out of the hospital and getting better. My dad took anti-malarial drugs when he was in Africa, and he said that he was almost willing to risk getting the disease rather than take the drugs. I guess the side effects are horrible and frightening. They actually think that the drug Mefloquine has much to do with the Canadian soldiers in Rwanda torturing a young boy to death and the subsequent dissolution of the Airborne.

Anyways, other than that, I've not been up to much. The girls and I are hanging out, I'm still baking like a crazy person. Last night I made honey-lemon cookies with frosting in the middle, and today I am in the process of baking a recipe I got from Goody's cooking blog for oatmeal bread. I tried out my Grandmothers cinnamon bun recipe, but it didn't work out too well, I'll have to try again.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Save Me From Myself (Updated!)


I have entered a zone of hyper-domesticity. It's alarming, seriously alarming. Since I got back from Edmonton I have baked 40 cookies, made a huge batch of clam chowder (the good tomatoey stuff, not the nasty white stuff) half of which is now in our increasingly packed freezer (Santa, I want a big deepfreeze for Christmas, okay?), baked a pumpkin pie from a real pumpkin, cooked supper last night, made up my husband's lunch for work, turned 6 lbs of apples into some rockin' spiced applesauce, and I am now in the process of baking bread. I've also somehow managed to invite my dad and his wife over for Thanksgiving supper which we will be having on Saturday. My plan is to make a turkey, steamed veggies, mashed potatoes (Ian's favourite) another pumpkin pie, and home made parker house rolls. Of course depending on how this experiment with bread goes today we may not be having fresh rolls after all. I've cleaned the upstairs of the house, done 6 loads of laundry, scrubbed the bathroom, and this afternoon my plan is to clean the outside windows and bake orange scones...and I'll do it too. This weekend I'm going to make up a giant batch of Mincemeat, it'll have a couple of months to soak in rum and get really yummy before Christmas. Oh, and I'm also stitching stockings for the girls and getting started on Mary's Halloween costume.

I've barely watched any TV at all, which is really a fabulous thing. I love having the TV downstairs, I get so much more done when it isn't there sucking the attention and life right out of me. Now, I get up in the morning, turn on the radio and listen to CBC-1 while I drink my tea. I hang out with the girls for a while, read Mary a few books, and then get started with my day. Mary watches a movie or two (her current favourites are a Winnie the Pooh movie, Little Bear, and Alladin. I try to get out for a walk in the afternoon, but I'm often too busy to bother. I do of course watch my shows in the evenings, although I'm not terribly impressed with them so far. House is kind of blah for some reason, Grey's Anatomy is getting annoying, ER is not great, but it's still the best of the bunch. I started watching Reaper on the advice of a fabulous woman in Edmonton and it's pretty great, I watched the series premier of The Tudors on CBC, and while the costuming is fabulous and Henry VIII is hawt, I found it a little slow and full of boobies (beautiful boobies, but still a little much). Private Practice was a complete bomb in my opinion and Dirty Sexy Money is moderately obnoxious. I've decided to avoid reality TV all together, including America's Next Top Model and Dancing with the Stars, mostly because I'm trying to cut down my TV viewing to only two nights a week. The other nights I intend to spend with Ian after the girls go to sleep. Even if we can't get out, we can still talk, play cards, and do stuff together at home.

For those of you who bake bread, I have a question. Why? Holy crap is it hard work. I tried to mix it up using my electric mixer, but it just balled up and climbed up the mixer deelies. How can I avoid this problem from happening? I'm not strong enough to mix it by hand, and I don't really know how else I can do it. Also, kneading the dough sucks. I worked up a crazy sweat doing that part. I hope my bread turns out okay, but it's my first time ever attempting bread, so I won't be heartbroken if it's a flop.

My weekend in Edmonton was fabulous, even if I didn't get a chance to see everyone I wanted to see. We were busy constantly from the minute we got to town till the moment we left. I had an awfully hard time at a few points, things aren't working out as we had planned/hoped here in Saskatchewan for reasons that I'm not going to go into on a public blog (if you're curious, feel free to email me), so going back to the city that I love and all the people that I adore was tough to take. I spent a good part of the weekend very close to tears. Oh well, I keep telling myself that I love my house (which I do) and it's fantastic to be debt free (which it is), but I'm still desperately lonely and isolated. I miss my husband, we haven't been out together without the children since July. That's a long time, and it doesn't look to change any time soon. The loneliness could possibly be a reason for the frantic domesticity, don't you think?

Mary's preschool is still not running, which is really unfortunate. I've heard no word on the teacher, which is likely bad news. If it weren't West Nile then I suspect she would be back at work by now. I feel bad for Mary, I need to find her some friends here. She was so thrilled to see Jonah when we were in Edmonton, the both of them shrieked and ran around together the whole time we were there. The only time they were quiet was when they got into the water that Jonah's daddy had set aside for his fish tanks. When it was time to go, they hugged like crazy, and Mary kept following Jonah around giving him kisses. We had to drag her from his side and into the van.

Anyways, it's just about time to punch my dough, I guess I'd best wrap this up. Here's a picture of Mary and Ian enjoying some imaginary soup at my Dad's place to take you out.


Hey! Here's a picture of my bread! Looks nice, doesn't it? I'll wait till supper to see if it tastes as good as it looks.