Saturday, August 29, 2009

Slowing Down

I'm taking the first 3 weeks of September off from my electrolysis job (except the 12th, where I'll be playing catch up for the desperate). I started working from home before Eva was born and I haven't taken much time off since. Even when the babies were born, I was back in the saddle - or white esthetician chair - within a couple weeks. Looking back, I don't think I'd do that again.

It feels so liberating to go about my business at home without worrying about whether or not I'll have all my housework done by 6 pm. Supper dishes not cleaned up? No worries, we can sit at the table and chat a bit. Didn't get my hair done right this morning? 'Tsokay, and may as well keep the comfy clothes on. Graedy throwing a fit on the floor of the waiting area? No clients looking slightly embarrassed and uncomfortable.

It feels a little strange, too. I'm so used to rushing and trying to see my home through a stranger's eyes. It will take some getting used to being so laissez-faire.

I could definetly get used to this.

My mom asked me this morning if I was enjoying my children. No one ever asked me that before. I thought about it, and I've realized that yes, I am. Still, because I work from home, I spend a lot of my time getting ready for receiving my clients. I'd much rather be reading a book with the kids or colouring. Every so often they hit a milestone and I realize that months, years have gone by without my taking particular notice of the individual days. I've been trying very hard lately to make more time for them, not to worry about reaching some status quo in my activities, lifestyle or home.

I know so many mothers who participate in every activity they can with their children. I admire their energy, courage and scheduling abilities. It's not for me, though. There was a time when I tried to cram in Library StoryTime, Cubbies, Gymnastics, Play Group, Play Dates, Moms Night Out, Volunteering, Women's Bible Study and frankly, IT DROVE ME NUTS!! Any of those things are wonderful, but all of them are a sure and certain path toward my mental breakdown.

So, we pick and choose. I believe in volunteering, and so that stays. The kids love Cubbies, so that stays. The occasional play date, one activity per child at a time and as many cuddles, under cover story telling, and impromptu nature walks as we can fit in. It's not fancy, but it's how we love each other.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Decorating Dilemma

Me and decorating, we don't do so well together. It takes me forever to figure out how to make my home aesthetically pleasing, and then it doesn't even look quite right. So, dear blogger friends, this is where you come in.

Check it out.
I bought some little cacti (I've heard they're impossible to kill. We'll see 'bout that.), a shallow bowl and some scented seashells. I know what you're thinking. I bought shells? They're free at the shore! Yup, I could drive the 3 hours to the beach, spend hours picking and sorting, and end up with fishey smelling shells.

So I bought them. On sale. There!

Right, here's a picture of the result.

And another one, from a different angle.

Yay or nay? Do you like, or am I off the mark? Leave a comment :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Walk For Life

Thursday night was the Pregnancy Care Center's annual Walk For Life. It's a fund raiser. Walkers sign up, get sponsors and then walk 2 miles. This year we had 56 walkers, 10 churches, and made over $5000!

The center has an annual budget of almost $100,000 USD. We do about 4 or 5 big fundraisers every year, and those fundraisers must bring about 1/2 to 2/3 of the annual amount we need (I'm guesstimating). It's amazing that the rest is all personal donations from people in the community. There are so many generous people in our towns and cities.

We tend to worry when a fundraiser falls short, or if there's a gap in the budget. God always pulls through, though - usually at the last minute - and saves the day.

We're provided for well.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

When Life Hands You Lemons...

Or, when life makes you forget chocolate bars in your car on 40 celsius afternoon....

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Heat is Killing My Brain

30 degrees Celsius. Hot! Hot! Hot!

5 chocolate bars for $3! Cool! Cool! Cool!

Left them in my purse, in the car all afternoon. Crap! Crap! Crap!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Road Trip Boredom Buster!

My family lives 6 hours away. That makes for a long trip when you bring 3 little ones with you. We don't have a DVD player in the van, nor do we want one. Despite other mothers' claims that they are absolutely necessary for everyone's sanity, I've found that they're realy a luxury we can do without. Here's how we do it:
I dig through the house and find a good mix of small toys. I put them together, and pack them into a small bag or back-pack.

See what I found in our junk drawer, toy box and school cupboard?

Of course, there are Barbies. I chose clothes for her that are easy to pull on and off. That minimizes the frustration, and I can avoid crawling into the back of the van to pull up Barbie pants.

Cars for Graedy - they'll keep him occupied for hours.

Of course there are special snacks.

When all else fails, in goes the CD of kids' music. I'm still humming the ABC song to myself.

The goal of the Boredom Buster is to spread the toys out over the trip. I planned on 1 special thing per hour. I kept the pack next to my seat, and held off for as long as I could (which was about 1.5 hours). Then, I throw a new activity into the backseat every hour or so. Small, simple stuff is best, but not too simple or else they'll tire of it.

It works for us! What do you do to make road trips more bearable?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Wise Maddie

I can't believe how quickly the kids are growing up. Eva, being only 3, still struggles with dressing herself when it comes to putting on and taking off shirts. She doesn't quite have the dexterity to manoeuver it over her head, find the collar with her head, and thread her arms through the sleeves. Last night, I stood in the doorway of their room and watched as Maddie picked out a shirt for Eva. She helped Eva put it over her head, gently instructing her on where to put her hands, and expertly guided her through it. I was so proud of my Maddie!

Mad and I took a walk out into the fields yesterday to pick Shepherd's Purse for a pregnant friend. We spoke of what A was going to do with the plant, and how it could be used to help Mommies if they bleed too much after the baby is born. After I'd shown her once how to identify the plant (by the little heart shaped seed pods and white flowers), Maddie ran off to pick clumps of it. She asked how it worked, and asked what else a midwife could do if there was too much bleeding. I demonstrated fundal pressure and uterine massage and we talked about a midwife's job. Maddie has such wise eyes...always thinking, and always learning.

I think I just might have a future midwife on my hands :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Herbs and Medicinal Plants Workshop

I love love love learning new things! Last weekend I was able to take a workshop at King's Landing on herbs and wild plants that have culinary and medicinal uses.

I've always been very interested in natural healing. One of my favourite books as a kid was My Side of the Mountain. I used to pour over my mom's copy of Sleeping With a Sunflower, and I can't help but be fascinated with how weeds can be helpful, healthy and delicious!

Let's be completely honest though - I have a little extra motivation. Sometime in the future...maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday!...we just might be forced to live in the woods. Whether it's a war (in Canada? It's happened before...), economic meltdown, nuclear explosion, Black Plague (or Swine Flu, I'm not picky), or the Apocalypse, surely someday it will be necessary for us to form renegade bands and high-tail it to the woods. And then, dear friends, what group do you want to be in? The useful group that has basic skills like outdoor cooking, shelter making, emergency medicine, hunting, educating and food finding or the useless group that contributes nothing to the masses? I'd rather be kept around for my skills than "accidentally" pushed down a cliff or eaten for protein.

You'd be wise to acquire some skills, too.

Good golly, what is this blog coming to, anyway? Geesh. Enjoy the pictures of the workshop!

Our guide, Andrew, giving us a tour of his garden.

Comfrey, fennel, burdoch, lavendar and spearmint (in the tea pot).

Our guide, Sherry, demonstrating how to make a poultice.

Making a Comfrey Salve.