Is the Flu Over?

Wow.  That was probably the worst flu we’ve ever had.  Between Chloe throwing up EVERY NIGHT FOR A WEEK, Ben and I started throwing up after a week of nothing, two hospital trips (where the doctors could really do nothing), daily laundry and a broken dryer, I was bawling like a baby all day on Thursday.  Thank God for friends and family who helped out and I think after 3-4 days of Gravol we’ve beat this.

Christmas is in 4 days and today we FINALLY got some baking done and presents wrapped.  I’ll write more next week, but if I don’t talk to you before Christmas, have a  very merry and joy filled day!

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7 Quick Takes (vol. 18)

These are totally going to have to be quick.  Jen’s will certainly be far better and more interesting than mine.

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After a whole day of Chloe not throwing up, we ended the evening with a big, barfy mess.  The casualties: My Pal Violet and her pillow.  We pulled her mattress into our room and she spent the night with us.  Thankfully, she feels better this morning and that Violet is on sale at Walmart for $17.88.

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I woke up at 3:50am and this morning and couldn’t fall back asleep until about 4:45ish (I’m guessing).  Ben cried out and I was going to go to him, but since the crying didn’t continue I stayed in bed.  The reason I couldn’t fall back asleep was that the little baby inside me kept giving me really good kicks and every time I felt one it kept me from falling back asleep.

~3~

Ben must have cried out in the middle of the night because he threw up.  When I got him this morning at 7:30, I found his bed covered in…well, throw up.  Poor baby cried from 7:30am-9:30 when I put him back to bed after he was bathed, snuggled and had some fluids in him.  Please God no more throwing up!  We lost two stuffies and a fitted crib sheet for sure, and we’re trying to see if we can save Scout (the green version of Violet).

~4~

I have a ridiculous pile of laundry to fold and wash right now, but absolutely no energy to do it.  All I’d like to do is sleep or spend the day in bed watching movies with my kids (which will very likely happen).

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~5~

Tremendous mom-guilt here.  We’ve watched a lot of tv lately.  Between the insane amount of snow we’ve been getting (more on that in the next quick take) and the flu bugs we’ve been fighting, we’ve been popping in movie after movie after movie.  I’m hearing of friends who are taking their kids outside, to sports, to recreational swimming and/or gymnastics, and I’m thinking: “I suck.  We’re watching tv and sometimes playing or reading.”  Thankfully right now Chloe is putting magnetic pompoms on the fridge and that’s something better than tv, right?

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~6~

Josh Classen from CTV news: “Total snowfall in #yegwx area since November 1st looks to be in the 70-80cm range.  We average 122cm for an entire winter.”  Ya.  That’s why we’re staying in and not going anywhere.  Also, we’ve somehow managed to lose 3 out of the 4 pairs of mittens Ben owns.

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(Yes, I took this picture from inside my house, through the screen.)

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I found another book I want.  It’s a guide to help meditate on the Rosary.  For $11.51, I may just have to snag it.

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The Service of Motherhood

On the heels of being content with the role of motherhood, I thought this morning how being a mom is like being a missionary, but with little or no recognition (and that’s OK!).

While I held my puking daughter this morning, washed the vomit from her face, and bathed her in warm water, all I could think about was being a servant like Christ calls us to be.  I thought of Mother Teresa who cared for sick individuals who were cast out by society and how she wiped their pussing sores, how she held them tenderly as if they were Christ themselves and the work of caring and cleaning for a child with the stomach flu took on so much more meaning.

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My thoughts led to my new love that has taken a while to implant in my heart: Opus Dei.  How they really enforce how the everyday work you do, in the vocation you’ve been called to is sanctifying work that draws you closer to God.  There are times where I feel like clearing the table and washing dishes is more than I can handle.  The mundane task of wiping the dirty table, putting away laundry and dusting the mantles sometimes seems useless and unimportant.

The Veggie Tales song from the St. Nicholas movie plays in my mind daily now (probably because the kids watch is every morning): “I can love because God loves me, I can give because He gave.  Jesus’ love is why I’m smiling, why I give every day.” which reminds me why I am doing what I am doing as a mother.

(I took a short break from typing this to rock my daughter and get thrown up on.  There was more throw up on me than the rocking chair, Chloe or in the bucket.  Bet you just loooooved that visual eh?)

I don’t actually have that much more to say.  Both my children are sleeping and I’m going to take advantage of this time by taking a very long and in-depth prayer time.

It’s Been a Messy Week

Ok, so I chose the perfect time to start blogging again: right before my house gets hit with the flu.  That being said, I’m going to do a speed blog post today!

This week has been…messy.

Monday I had an unusual case of pregnancy rage and waterworks.  I totally lost whatever commonsense I had and lost my sh!t at my husband who accidentally took my car keys to work with him.  Finding this out only after I buckled the kids in the car and promised them bakery cookies made this that much worse.  When I say I lost it, I REEEEEALLY lost it.  Swearing, bawling, chest swelling with anger.  Seriously, what was my problem?  I think it was more his non-nonchalant and uncaring attitude that really set me off.  Oh well, I apologized and moved on.

Tuesday morning I was drinking my coffee and reading emails/blogs when Chloe comes to me saying, “Ben made a big mess.”  I walk into the kitchen and see him sitting beside a half empty 3L jug of olive oil directly in this oily, greasy puddle.

photo(4)(Wow, gross.  Our linoleum is sure ugly!)

So this was a pleasant, slippery mess to clean.  I used towels and that was kinda stupid, but I needed to clean it quick.  It took two moppings with hot, dish soapy water to keep us from slip sliding around and two rounds of laundry with hot, dish soapy water to get the towels grease-free.

(Ok, this is turning into a longer post than I originally planned…thank goodness for Cheerios and princess colouring books)…

This morning as we were getting ready to go to Bible study, Chloe threw up.  Lucky for me it was contained on her bedding, clothes, hair, my housecoat and hair.  Oh it was soooo nasty.  When kids get the stomach flu I wish I had 3 washing machines.  She seems to be feeling better now but I cancelled tomorrow’s long anticipated ultrasound just so I didn’t spread this bug to my family (the babysitters).  Now Ben seems to be off, but thankfully no throwing up yet.  We’re going to have an easy day with colouring, Veggie Tales (thank God for Veggie Tales…although we seriously need more variety) and laundry.

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photo(2)Hopefully this is the last of the big messes we have to face this week.   Stay tuned, I have another post brewing in my mind.

 

 

St. Nicholas’ Feast Day Celebrations – Belated

Ok so this post is delayed because on Friday I got some sort of stomach bug.  I threw up 6 times in 40 minutes and the next day I was way too tired to do much than sleep and the household chores that were absolutely necessary.

So our St. Nicholas’ Feast Day Celebrations didn’t really go as planned.  I wanted to have a great celebration on Friday, but turns out Ryan wanted to be present when the kids found their shoes full of goodies: I complied willingly.  We still watched a couple St. Nicholas movies and said special prayers asking for his intercession.  Dinner was meant to be a ‘feast’ with mashed potatoes, glazed carrots and a roasted chicken, buuuuuut…Ryan and I had some miscommunication.  He had agreed to go out to dinner with a friend that night and had thought I was accompanying him, whereas I thought we weren’t doing that any more…So the kids and I made simple chicken sandwiches and Ryan went out.  That was ok.

The next morning I was able to roll my sick, exhausted body off of the couch in order to see my babies find their shoes:

 
photo It’s hard to see but each got an orange, chocolate coins and a gift (Chloe got a Tinkerbell plate/bowl/cup set and Ben got a mega blocks car that included the blocks).  They liked their gifts but LOVED their chocolates.  There was no feast, there was no special movies or stories on Saturday because I was MIA.

Well, at least there is lost of room for improvement for next year!

7 Quick Takes (vol. 17)

I haven’t done one of these in a while!  Linking up today with Jen from the bitterly cold, -40C central Alberta!

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I love that this weather kept us home so that I could get a major amount of cleaning and organizing done.  Most successfully today was cleaning the fridge (a chore I will do once maybe every two years):

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~2~

Little People are my new loves, especially the Disney princess ones.  Chloe cut out naps cold turkey about 3 weeks ago.  Ever since then I’ve been trying to assemble “Quiet Time” bins so that she will spend at least an hour playing quietly while I have some of my own quiet time.  I went to Superstore one day to look for items and these toys had a shelf price tag for only $5!  I thought that was great compared to the regular price of $7.99.  So I grabbed three packages and headed for the checkout.  When they rang up as $5.47 I was able to SCOP one of them thereby getting it for FREE and the other two they gave to me at shelf price.  I used a $10 Superstore gift card that I redeemed using Pampers points and got all three of these for FREE!

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~3~

Books!  I love books, especially educational books about the faith.  Lately I’ve been going on to Amazon.ca and putting book after book after book into my cart, lingering over the “checkout” button, but pressing “save until later” instead.  I have a lot of books and right now with Christmas coming, I probably shouldn’t spend $50-$100 on books.  I’ll get these gems, but it might have to wait a month or two.

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In reference to the above post, that’s ok because I DID buy ONE book on Monday.  At the last Opus Dei recollection there was a talk about the Liturgy of the Mass and its importance.  They mentioned two books that were excellent on this topic; one was

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They said that this book was excellent, but a very heavy read so they recommended an easier read:

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I ordered “The Lamb’s Supper” and received it in the mail yesterday!  I can’t wait to start reading it.

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Fitting into size zero skinny jeans should have actually been my #1 this week.  I went to American Eagle on Monday and bought two awesome pairs of skinny jeans for $60!  Not only was the price great, but it felt amazing being 16 1/2 weeks pregnant and being able to do up the button on size zero pants!  Not sure how long I’ll be able to keep buttoning them up, but so far so good!

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Another great deal I took advantage of what a Joovy Big Caboose Sit and Stand Double Stroller for only *drumroll* $55 dollars!!!  Regular price this bad boy is $379.99!  I went through shop.ca and used a whole bunch of promo codes and rebates and THAT is how I’m going to cart around my three children come May :)

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Last, but not least, today is the feast of St. Nicholas and it did NOT go like I planned at all.  Usually that would result in bitter disappointment, but today I must have been graced with an abundance of graces and blessings because I’m honestly ok with that.  Tomorrow we will be celebrating St. Nicholas’ feast and I’ll let you know how it goes.

Stay warm!

Preparing for St. Nicholas Feast Day!

This is our first year incorporating the celebration of St. Nicholas’ feast day into our family!  I was briefly raised with the whole Santa Claus idea until my mom put a halt to it when I was around 8 years old.  As I’ve grown in my Catholic faith and am learning how to raise a family in that faith, I’ve decided that I don’t want to even go near Santa Claus, but celebrate his Catholic origins instead.

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St. Nicholas’ feast is widely celebrated in Europe where children will put shoes near the door, by the fireplace or even outside to receive a small gift “from” this saint (usually gold coins, fruit and/or some other small token).  The tradition comes from the generous spirit of St. Nicholas who was very wealthy and gave to those in need.  The coin/shoe tradition comes from St. Nicholas helping three poor sisters who could not afford a dowry to marry, so they were at risk of being sold into slavery/prostitution.  Upon hearing this, Nicholas anonymously tossed some coins down their chimney and the tradition says the coin purses landed in some socks that were drying by the fireplace.

Why We Are Celebrating This Feast

1. I really want to start living the liturgical life of the Catholic Church and make our faith something we LIVE and not something that just happens on Sundays.  One way I’m working on that is by trying to implement suggestions from Hallie’s Book “FEAST! Real Food, Reflections and Simple Living for the Christian Year”. What a great time to start this than at the beginning of the Liturgical year!

2. Santa Claus is a twist on the true story of St. Nicholas, but I find that the celebration of the two are quite different.  Growing up I always wondered why Santa preferred the rich children to the poor children who couldn’t even afford food or clothing.  My little sister upon finding out that Santa wasn’t real was confused by the unintentional lie and asked, “Is Jesus not real too?”  I want my children to grow up knowing truths and celebrating these truths!

3. As the children get older and ask about the gifts they received, I will tell them that St. Nicholas was a follower of Christ and gave generously because he loved our Lord.  We’re giving gifts on this feast to mimic this generosity.

How We Are Celebrating This Feast

It’s our first year celebrating and I wanted to go ALL OUT.  I read blogs, e-books, pinned things on Pinterest and had big plans.  Today is the day before the feast and I’m letting go of some of these big plans in order to simplify and remember why we are celebrating.  So this year, we won’t have fancy St. Nicholas styled cookies, we won’t have any fancy decorations and we don’t even have a book.  But that’s ok.  We have many, many years to build on this tradition.  Instead:

1. The kids will place their shoes/boots by our fireplace tonight.

2. Tomorrow morning Ryan’s shoe will be filled (I can’t resist treating him too).  I can’t decide when to give the kids their shoes as I’m sure Ryan would like to be there, but at some point they will get their shoes.

3. We have a simple St. Nicholas movie they can watch and colouring sheets for Chloe.

4. During the morning we will prepare for our charitable act.  We decided to be an example like St. Nicholas and provide some things for someone less fortunate than ourselves.  This year it is a single mother we know who is in great need.  So tomorrow morning, I will get the kids to help put some basic household and food items into a basket and we will deliver it.

5. Supper will be a feast!  Chicken with mashed potatoes and maple glazed carrots.  We will have dessert, but I haven’t decided what that will be yet.  We will end the day with a special prayer to St. Nicholas, thanking him for his example in the faith and his generosity.