Friday, October 31, 2014

The Stomach Flu

Love these little munchkins so much! 

Thankfully we are all over the stomach flu, which took 9 days to make its way through our whole family. Honestly, I really hate calling it "the stomach flu." I want to rather call it by its technical term gastroenteritis, but then people would just think I'm weird, so I call it the stomach flu. It really bugs me to call it that, though. Like, I cringe just typing "the stomach flu." What's wrong with me? I've got issues, I know. Gastroenteritis The stomach flu meant going through 2 large pots of the most amazing chicken noodle soup. I have finally perfected my chicken noodle soup recipe...Mennonite style. I will share the recipe with you soon. I am thrilled to finally have the spice blend the way I like it. Unfortunately, this *ahem* gastroenteritis seems to have weakened our immune systems enough to allow a respiratory virus to take hold. Sorry, I just couldn't "stomach" the thought of referring to it as "the stomach flu" again....hardee har har. My husband is especially sick and is likely going to need to see the doctor soon if things don't take a turn for the better since it seems he has developed a bacterial respiratory infection. I can feel something brewing in my lungs/throat that I'm not too excited about either. 

As for Brielle's lasting improvement there, I'm afraid.  She is still waking up every 1 to 2 hours. every.single.night. As soon as I'm drifting off, the crying begins. I actually get anxiety over it every night because I just know it's coming the moment I lie my head down. Every night around 11 pm  to midnight, just before I fall asleep my husband hears me whisper, "My night shift is about to begin." It never fails - 5 minutes later, she starts screaming. Every time. How's that for optimism? Sigh. We shall keep trying, although I'm feeling terribly discouraged about it. Obviously. The other evening when she woke up again I let her cry it out for what felt like an eternity. She did, eventually, fall back asleep, but it took a very, very long time, and I felt pretty bad about it. I *think* I could handle it (whatever "it" is) way better if I could get 3-4 hours in a row once a week or so, but that's only happened once or twice in 8 months. Actually, 2 hours of sleep in a row has happened less than 10 times in 8 months...but who's counting. You may think I'm exaggerating the facts. I assure you that I am not. She sleeps worse than a newborn. The sleep situation really is that bad. I feel insanely, horribly irritable all the my skin is crawling. That's honestly how I feel. Believe me, the sleep deprivation is bringing to the surface my ugly sinfulness and reminds me of what I wretched person I really am. Apart from Christ, I am nothing but a mess. Apart from Christ, I have nothing to bring that is of any value. HOW GRATEFUL I am that salvation is not based on anything I do but on  the work of Christ....His grace and faith in Him alone. I have to pray like crazy to not turn into a monster mom & wife and repent like crazy when I fail miserably. When I am tempted to make excuses my attitude and behaviour (which, I confess, I have done), I try to remind myself how tired Jesus must have been, especially the night before He died when He was praying in the garden, and yet He did not sin

I'm starting to sound like a broken record about this whole lack-of-sleep thing. I will try not to say much about it until there's something of great importance I think deserves reporting. I am going to try not to talk/complain so much about it. I will try. In the meantime, please pray for me. 

Moving on....

Our family is beyond thrilled about Prime Minister Stephen Harper's announcement yesterday regarding tax breaks for single income families (in the form of income-splitting) and an increase in the Universal Child Care Benefit. Sure, it's likely a very strategic political move (let's not be is an extra chunk of cash a few months before the election NOT going to sway some people....But....don't tell me the other parties wouldn't do the is politics, after all.), but we are not complaining about it!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Quirky Little Jingle

Going on Day 7 of the stomach flu here. It's slowed down but not over yet, sadly. Staying up for almost 48 hours straight is no good. No good. Last night was not quite as bad, but it was still bad.

When 'da babies don't sleep, 'den 'da mamas don't sleep. 
An'den 'da mamas, 'dem poor mamas,  'deir minds dey don't keep. 

This is the kind of stuff that randomly pops up in my head...and yes, there's a tune to that little jingle. I am starting to realize that I'm an awfully weird person. Well, that's not entirely true. I've actually known it for quite some time now. Those of you who have followed this blog for awhile but don't know me in person probably really do think I've lost my mind and wonder if I've changed. I have a feeling, though, that those who know me quite well in person are not at all surprised that these are the kind of things that randomly pop into my head. They know me all too well. Now, so do you.

My heart is to blog about homemaking, frugality, home schooling, and biblical living. That has not changed. My love for the Lord and living for Him has not changed. But for the longest time, I felt like I was hiding my quirky personality and that my blog writing was not totally "me." I wasn't letting my personality infuse my writing. My values have not changed at all. It's just that in order for me to keep writing on here once in a blue moon, I need to quit worrying about people not liking me or my blog because they think I'm a little strange. The truth real life, I am a little strange. a little quirky. a little weird. Or maybe a lot. I can see my relatives nodding their heads.

We have a substantial amount of life-stress going on right now. How do I deal with this? Well, not all that well all the time. But, really....prayer and reading God's Word. Even in the midst of my exhaustion, if I make the time to read even a few verses, I find that God's Word is balm to a tired body, mind, and soul, which should come as no surprise.

The occasional quirky little jingle doesn't hurt either.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Sleeping...or Lack Thereof

After two nights of sleeping for 3 hours in a row last week, our system kind of fell apart with not being home enough over the last few days. Of course, we had good reasons for not being home :-). We enjoyed some visiting with relatives we don't get to see too often and also celebrated a niece's birthday.

After the 2 nights of semi-hopefulness, Brielle was back to her usual sleepless antics. I am seriously tired, dude. So tired, I'm saying dude. So tired, saying dude makes me laugh like a hyena. Dude is a funny word. Dude. bahahahaha. Okay, now I'm acting like I'm 10. Be quiet, Jenna. Seriously. See, I'm even talking to myself. I'm also hallucinating some days. I was absolutely convinced I saw a mouse scurry under my dryer the other day. Then, I saw something run across the floor yesterday. My first thought was mouse! Then, giant spider! Turned out, I had kicked a cheerio. Freaky little things, those cheerios are.

I fear I look like a walking dead woman most days. I'm afraid to go out in public or have to talk to anyone as all that wants to come out of my mouth is garbled up jibberish that make no sense. Gratefully, my Mom-in-law took my two oldest for an afternoon. Though the house was a disaster, I put Brielle in her crib to play and crawled into my bed for a nap. This morning, my husband offered to keep the kids occupied in the morning, and I had a two hour nap. I felt like a new woman after that nap. I'd like to feel like a new woman every day. Today, I was trying to get her back on track with her naps and bedtime. She ate a huge bowl of food for supper tonight and went to bed at 6:45 pm on her own, so I'm feeling hopeful. But, now she's crying.... Start the timer for 10 minutes. I feel hope slipping away...

In other news, I went to the doctor regarding my neck pain and numb/tingling/weird sensations in my arm. I have a cyst in my wrist that is causing my wrist pain. The neck/arm/shoulder thing is a little weird, but all basic neurological stuff seems to check out fine. I will be trying physio, massage, and chiro for that. It's kind of a pain. Literally. Why am I just so funny, sometimes?

Timer's up. Time to go. Toodles.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Sleep Training Day 3 & Kindergarten

I am almost afraid to say it...

I think we are making progress with Brielle.

Today is Day 3 of using the Sleep Sense Program

Night 1...She went to bed around 6:30 p.m. (Yes, there was intermittent crying as was expected, and she didn't really settle into sleep for a longggg time.) It was much like previous evenings, but we handled it according the the book this time. I nursed her awake again at 11 p.m., she woke up at 12:30 a.m., again, crying. I changed her and put her back in her crib awake and followed the program with how to deal with the crying, but I did not feed her. She fell asleep again around 1 a.m. Woke up at 4:45 a.m. I ended up nursing her awake again around 5:00 a.m. since she really did seem hungry. She fell asleep on her own and then woke up for the day at 7 a.m. This is a HUGE improvement. I cannot even tell you how awesome it was to get 3 1/2 hours of sleep in. a. row. I'm feeling optimistic.

Night 2: I'm following the books suggestions for naps and daytime routines, etc. She had a pretty good nap in the morning (from 9 to 11). She pretty much has NEVER napped this well before, so I am shocked and amazed and thrilled. The afternoon nap did not go as well. I'm not really sure why. I am trying to figure out if she should be having 2 or 3 naps as she is borderline between the two it seems.
She went to bed around 7 p.m. I followed the book's suggestions again for dealing with the crying and waking up. I nursed her again at 10:30 p.m. and again at 2:30 a.m. After the 2:30 a.m. wake up, she slept all the way until 7 a.m. This is insane progress. Like, I can't even tell you how massive an improvement this is. I'm so excited. Too bad my 2 year old decides to protest and gets up a few times in the night and is up for the day at 6:15 a.m. (he has learned how to climb over his baby gate now....ugh. Seriously, child...). I am seriously frustrated with the fact that my 2 year old (who used to be a great sleeper) has decided to act up in the night. Just when Brielle starts to improve... If it wasn't for my 2 year old, I would have had one pretty awesome night.

Day 3: We are off to a great start. She was up happy at 7 a.m., ate, had breakfast, down for nap at 9 a.m. with very little fussing this time and is just starting to stir at 10:45 .

I'm so crazy excited, nervous, and hopeful that she will soon be almost sleeping through the night that I'm afraid to even mention it...I'm just praying this progress continues and that my son will stay in bed now, too.


This morning I ordered the Little Hearts for His Glory curriculum from Heart of Dakota. I really, really like what I'm seeing from them and still think out of all the curriculums I've looked at, it suits my teaching style and our family the best. In later years, it's pretty heavily-centred around American History, which is a concern I've had. However, in researching curriculums, I've found that there are lots of Canadians who still use Heart of Dakota and just supplement it with Canadian material. Next year, I plan on supplementing with Donna Ward's curriculum Canada, My Country. For now, we have just been doing school very informally. We've been doing a few phonics lessons a week from the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons book. We are half-way through the book. By the end, she should be reading around a Grade 2 level. We are also reading lots of books from the library, including classics like Beatrix Potter and also non-fiction books, such as Canada's Arctic Animals as one example. I am eagerly anticipating my Little Hearts for His Glory curriculum to arrive.
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