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2008 March » Philoxenos

Philoxenos

The Mommy fog is lifting

31st March 2008

The Mommy fog is lifting

As mentioned previously, my son celebrated his first birthday early in March. You can read about his arrival here. Well, I just went searching for the post about his birth so I could link to it but have now discovered I never wrote it! I’ll have to take care of that.

Now, I love my little boy. He’s precious. He looks EXACTLY like his daddy. He giggles and plays and loves to snuggle. But he is a miserable failure in the sleep department. At nine months he was still waking in the middle of the night. Even as he approached one he was waking sometime before 5am and would only sometimes go back to sleep. And his daytime naps weren’t all that regular either. He had them every day but it was difficult to know when they would be.

Part of his sleep issues I blame entirely on the inter-continental move and the hub-bub that preceded it. Our lives were all mixed up for several months. I wasn’t consistent with sleep training him like I did with the girls. And then I was just so tired from prolonged sleep loss that I just couldn’t think to do anything about it. So, anyway, that’s the way it goes. And if we ever have another one I can guarantee that I’ll be much more on top of it. Frankly, I don’t even want to think about what another year of sleep deprivation would be like.

He now sleeps relatively well, from about 7pm to sometime after 6am. He is weaned as well, so if he does wake up in the night or quite early in the morning, I will go and comfort him and put him back to sleep. No chance that the milk bar is re-opening for him.

The result of his sleeping better is that I am sleeping better. Most nights I go to bed around 9:30 or 10pm and won’t wake again until 4 or 5 when I hear Precious get up to use the toilet or the neighbour’s dog barks or something like that. To most people that doesn’t sound all that great, but believe me, it’s working wonders for my brain function.

I still like to rest for a bit in the afternoon, but I find that I don’t require it every day just to survive the afternoon and evening. I’m able to think about things a bit more logically and am starting to have new ideas. For a major part of this year, my brain was focussed on our big move to America and getting settled and sorting out our lives here. It’s been focussed on pure survival. And although a new idea might briefly  flitter through my head, it quick flittered out when it saw the “No Vacancy” sign. I simply didn’t have the ability to process new ideas.

But now! Wow! It’s like my brain is functioning in Technicolor! I have ideas and ideas and ideas. The only thing stopping me now is lack of time, rather than lack of energy. I’ve always known that a new baby changes things. And I was prepared for the fact that #3 would possibly be the hardest to adjust to, simply because of the immense amount of work required to take care of three young children. But because my girls both slept through the night by 5-6 months, I wasn’t prepared for the inertia I began to experience. Now that it’s fading, I feel like breaking out in the Hallelujah Chorus!

Hopefully another side benefit is that I’ll be blogging a bit more regularly and, occasionally  with a bit more substance.

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28th March 2008

Another valuable way to spend my time

I’m such a sucker for these things! And I did horribly, of course. I’ll have Handsome give it a try when he gets home and I’m sure he’ll kick my butt. But the key is to spell them correctly!

64

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25th March 2008

Deja vu

Is it Monday again? It’s not? Then why am I washing the sheets again?

That would be because of all the vomiting last night.

Oh yeah, lots of fun at the Philoxenos house about 2am this morning.

About 2 am I heard a little person walk into our room and quietly say “I’m don’t feel very go–” as she pukes up on our floor. Fortunately my motherly instincts were well honed because once I heard her start to heave I pushed her away from the bed so she would puke on the floor instead of on our clean sheets. Unfortunately, there was some splash.

Then every 10-15 minutes she threw up until she finally went to sleep about 5am. I, on the other hand, didn’t. I think I dozed but didn’t get any real sleep after she first threw up at 2am. I’m a little bit tired.

First order of the day was washing the sheets on her bed, which are currently in the dryer. In some ways, it was no big deal because her sister had an overfull Pull Up which got her sheets wet, so they also needed re-washing. So, clean sheets all around.

Hopefully tonight will not be a repeat. Been there, done that, got the smell out. Let’s not do it again.

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25th March 2008

I’m ashamed to say…

… I kept feeding our one year old graham crackers while he sat in his high chair after breakfast in order to buy myself some time to use the computer this morning. Although I was able to use the computer I think I still cost myself some time because while I was busy he smeared his whole head with graham cracker crumbs, requiring a thorough cleaning.

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24th March 2008

Please don’t make that again

There are lots of things that I love about Handsome. But one in particular is that he will eat anything. Literally. Unless it’s burned beyond recognition, which I haven’t done since we were very newly married, he’ll eat it. There are some times that we’ve finished dinner and I’ve asked if he wants to take the leftovers for lunch the next day and he has said no, indicating that it wasn’t one of his favourite meals.There have been a few times that he’s finished dinner and looked at me and said “Please don’t make that again.”

Tonight was one of those nights.

I made Beef Stroganoff. I’ve made it from scratch in the past. It’s not particularly hard. In New Zealand I usually used a little meal packet from Maggi, just cook the meat, add mushrooms and onions, seasoning packet and water and you’re done. When I was at the store a few weeks ago I bought a packet from a reputable company, thinking it would work the same.

Instead of using flank steak I used a bit of beef mince that I left from dinner on Saturday, knowing that I needed to use it up. I followed the directions, adding a bit more onion and asparagus that needed using too.

C-R-A-P.

Honestly, it was pretty bad. Handsome worked late tonight so I ate dinner with the children. I ate some of my dinner in order to encourage them to eat it. Guess what? THEY’RE NOT STUPID!

They did eat the noodles. But they weren’t going to TOUCH the meat. They wouldn’t even eat the noodles that had touched the sauce.

In the end both of the girls eat Weetbix and I would have, too, but we’re out of milk :)

When Handsome came home he heated up his dinner. I pre-warned him that it might not taste very good and I didn’t mind if he just threw it away and fixed something else. But, like the trooper he is, he ate it. And asked that I never make it again.

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20th March 2008

Baker’s Dipping Chocolate

Around November I discovered a great product that I’ve used a couple of times and plan to use many more in the future: Baker’s Dipping Chocolate .

I was at Walgreen’s one day and saw they had it for 99 cents per container. I decided I could make chocolate dipped apricots for Christmas presents so I bought a couple. I never actually made them for Christmas but we did make them for Valentines Day. The girls and I made apricots for their BSF teachers  and I gave some away to friends. It’s so easy!

The container is microwaveable so you nuke it until the chocolate is able to be stirred and then you dip away! Stick it in the  fridge for a few minutes and it hardens.

After Valentines Day I found them 75% off at Walgreens and the expiration date was in 2009, so I bought several more and will use them throughout the year. I’m thinking chocolate strawberries are in the future!

Today we had some little marshmallow bunnies which we dipped in chocolate and rolled in graham cracker crumbs. SMORES!

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19th March 2008

A bit of a natter

This post will attempt to catch you up on what’s been going on in our lives as I seem to have lost all letter-writing ability. I’m sorry, to those of you who send me emails and haven’t heard back or only get a few sentences in response. I just can’t seem to get myself motivated to write back.

  • We are officially hunting for a house. Prices are down, interest rates are good, and we’re looking. I looked at a great house today which is bank-owned and is priced right, but the landscaping is basically non-existent, unless it’s a weeds and tumbleweed theme. It was built in 2006 and looks like it was either never done or just was neglected. I need to check to see if there were sprinklers installed. That’s not a deal-breaker, but we’d need to work something into the deal so we got some cash back in order to invest in some landscaping. I’m not worried about the front as much as having a place for the kids to play outside in the back.
  •  I am still having some discomfort where my wisdom tooth was pulled. There’s still rather large hole, too, so I have to irrigate it frequently during the day with warm salt water to make sure food doesn’t get trapped in there. I have had two c-sections and I can honestly say that I think this whole experience was more painful than recovering from abdominal surgery.
  • Spring is here! Tomorrow is officially the first day of spring but it’s definitely arrived already. We’re spending lots of time outside blowing bubbles, digging holes, chasing birds. It’s been great to be outside and enjoy the warm weather. One thing I can’t wait for is installing a washing line at whatever house we buy. One advantage to buying a house that needs to have the landscaping completely redone is we can design it with this in mind.
  • And with spring comes allergies. I have never suffered from allergies, which is almost rare considering where I live, but it would appear that our little boy, who turned one last week, does. Horrible congestion, runny nose, red watery eyes. Last night he was almost strangling on the drainage from his sinuses. I took him in to the doctor and she confirmed that yes, it looked like allergies. She suggested an over the counter medication and it appears to be working because he went straight to sleep at 7 and hasn’t made a peep since and it’s almost ten now.
  • We have begun to potty train Cutie, our 2.5 year old daughter. She’s doing very well, considering we just started on Monday. I was determined to make this is a much more pleasant experience than we had with Precious. Cutie is also a few months older than when we started with Cutie so hopefully that makes a difference as well.
  • Handsome has been away on a business trip for three nights. I’m expecting him back home before midnight. It’s hard when he’s gone. In order to combat the loneliness I tend to keep us busier outside the home, which means our normal routines are a bit off. Well, by dinnertime tonight the kids were pretty wasted. They were just normal tired, but I could tell that they really missed their daddy. I’m looking forward to a day to just stay home.

I think I’ll finish there. I’m pretty tired and need to brush my teeth!

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12th March 2008

The oddities of our power bill

Some time late last year we received notification from our power company that they were introducing a programme to encourage people to decrease their natural gas usage. Essentially it’s a rebate based on the net decrease over the same period the previous year. I read through the material because, of course, I’m always interested in a rebate! It stated that we would be automatically enrolled and no action was needed.

Today we received our power bill for March, which was actually for February. We received a $15 credit! I couldn’t remember what it was for, so I went on the website to refresh my memory.

According to PG&E:

For every 1% decrease in usage you’ll receive a 1% credit, up to 9%. Reduce your natural gas usage by 10% or more and your credit will jump to 20%.

I read our bill further and discovered that we  had decreased the usage at this address by 27%, compared to the previous three years. 27%!! That’s not chicken feed. I was just discussing it with Handsome and we both felt toasty warm all winter and a few times I even though - oh, what the heck, I’ll turn it up a bit just because I’m too lazy to put on a sweater. And it also included the times that I kept the heater higher at night when the kids were sick.

Just in case you’re wondering, we normally kept the heater at 64-66F during the day and turned it down to 62F at night.

If we are still in this apartment next winter (which we don’t anticipate) it would be interesting to see if we manage to keep the usage the same or if we adjust to the climate and find ourselves colder and therefore using the heater more.

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12th March 2008

Preheat

*Note to self - Adjusting the temperature deal to preheat the oven doesn’t do any good if you don’t turn it on!

Needless to say, dinner tonight was cooked via the microwave.

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10th March 2008

Pinkilicious

Several weeks ago we checked out a book from the library called Pinkalicious. It was about a girl that ate too many pink cupcakes and woke up one morning pink all over. She, of course, thought this was fantastic because she loved pink. She said her new name was Pinkerella.

This book resonated deeply with the oldest girl in our family because her favourite colour is pink. She wants everything to be pink and is incredibly frustrated when none of her pink clothes are clean.

Now that our younger daughter is talking, she too has expressed her love for pink. There are fights over the pink cups at meal times, pink plates at snack times, who gets the pink towel, etc.

I just put a load of clothes in the washing machine and about 50% of the clothes I put in were pink. When does the madness stop? Anyone with older daughters able to give me a heads up?

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