Saturday, January 29, 2011

Another hobbling day

We are still limping along. My knee is getting stronger and stronger. I'm hoping that by the end of next week it will not hurt anymore and I'll be able to resume some of my more regular activity, like walking to get Ivan at school and maybe my pilates videos. I am anxious to try skating, but figure I should wait a good month or at least see how it's doing with my regular exercising before trying something that I haven't done in years!

Since I've been at home, non stop and I can walk some, I figured we would try to do potty training once again. My sister had read a book about potty training in a day. While I didn't get the book, I looked up online what they had to say and one idea was to give her a doll that she teaches to go potty with.

That is how I would convince her to take naps and I'd never thought of using the tactic for the potty. It has made a big difference. Before I would suggest she try the potty and it would be a power struggle she would fight me on (she would even fight me on changing her wet diaper). Now she is mostly excited to take her baby to the potty and make smiley faces on their chart. A couple of times she's still fought me, but she's also used the potty WAY more than before and once said that the baby needed to go potty when she had to go. She has never told me when she has to go before the fact, so this was huge! Speaking of, she just woke up from nap and is crying, so I better go. Maybe her baby needs to use the potty too!! ;)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Big little steps

The kids are surviving mommy recovery time. They are still having fun terrorizing each other, creating, discovering, loudly dancing, singing, playing, arguing.

Here Emora was in the "house" the kids were making. It consisted of piles and piles of blankets, toys, books, all sorts of things they were hauling to put under the table as their "house". I think Brian is ready for his own little "house" away from the piles and noise and chaos.

Good news is, that some new skills are developing. Here Dominique was making her and Emora's lunches all by herself (OK, I cut up their apple- but she got all the stuff out and made sandwhiches all by herself, I think Saba was in charge of cleanup).

Emora is so cute these days it's crazy. She is enjoying wearing her big cousin's clothes and acting all grown up, except she doesn't want to use the potty. I'm figuring once I can function again, we will get back to working on that skill.

My big triumphs today were to shower and get dressed, plus I can now hobble around without my crutches. It still tires out both my legs though and I'm mentally zapped pretty quick too. So- here's to naps, my husband, new skills, healing and sanity!

Monday, January 24, 2011

a lot harder than I realized!

So I think my doctor was a little overly optimistic. He said some people have no more pain a couple of hours after surgery or a few days. But then I was reading a pamphlet before surgery that said I would be able to return to a "desk" job a week after surgery and regular activities in 1-2 months. I guess he had injected some numbing into my knee during surgery. When that wore off Sat. it was no longer a fun, easy ride. Felt like someone was hacking off my leg with a hand saw! Poor Brian is getting the brunt of everything, trying to take care of the kids, manage the house and do everything for me. I have some leg exercises I'm supposed to be doing, but two of them I can't do at all yet. If I can't see any improvement when I try them again tonight or tomorrow, I'm going to call the therapist and see if this is normal or to be expected.

Brian learned where all the dishes and spices were tonight. He realized that he hadn't made a meal in our new house yet. I had some leftovers on hand for the first few meals, but we've eaten those. The kids are learning to help out too, so it's a great life lesson in caring for others. I guess I just didn't realize that I wouldn't be able to walk for quite a while or be in this much pain from it. The only thing I had to compare it to was having babies, but that gets better each day once you leave the hospital. I was a bit surprised when it got worse, way worse for my leg. Physical therapy really sucks too. It's so hard and discouraging. But the swelling is going down and I keep hoping that tomorrow I'll be able to do more. I dream of skating and skiing to remind myself that I couldn't keep being restricted in everything forever with the way my knee was.

I have a friend who volunteered to come clean my house Wed! Looking forward to that ;)

Also, I just found out yesterday that my cousin, who was my age, was killed in a car accident yesterday. He is the father of 4 or 5 kids. We gave Ivan his middle name "Truth" after we heard that Wayne had given the name to his son. He loved his kids a lot and was always sending pictures out of them. He has 3 siblings, a wife, the kids, grandma and so many friends just reeling in pain. Be praying for them. I can not imagine their depths of loss and so even with my knee being stupid, I can hug my husband and children and know that this season will pass, we will come through this well, and perhaps even stronger and that we are so very blessed. There is a lot of pain in the world and we have been sheltered from so much.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Our crazy temps.

It was -33 celcius here last week. Sunday it's supposed to get to -3 or so and Monday +1C. To my dear friends in the South and others who haven't lived in cold climates. This sudden winter warming is called a chinook. It is a weird time when people will suddenly feel act summer is here, although it is what is considered "winter cold" in Abilene, here, I can about guarantee that I will see some crazy Canadian outside in shorts and others in t-shirts. Hey when it is much colder than that and I will see insane teenagers in a shirt with no jacket or someone with no mitts, meanwhile I am bundled up with my little eye slits showing. But when the temperature suddenly swings 30 degrees, it really does feel very warm, it's all perspective I guess.

So to give you some perspective. Here is a visual of just how cold -30 is. They say -40 Celcius is the same as -40 F, but most people who live in the world of Fareinheit have probably never been somewhere when it dipped down to minus 40. I have friends who read this (Tighe, this one is for you!) who asks me how cold it actually gets. Dad was saying that frozen water turns into steam/snow when thrown up in the air in -30. Some people in the city of Regina, just next door to us, did just that. The link is here. There are more videos on youtube.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Surgery update

Surgery went really well, I guess. I'm feeling ok anyways. We'll see how my knee goes after the effects of recent surgery wear off. I had the best nap of my entire life! I didn't get a lot of sleep the night before, there were several interruptions, one of which was Emora from 2am until 5am! The alarm went off at 6am and we were on the road by 6:30. The road was not a friendly place. Mom said there was a fatal accident on a road to the South of Regina. We were coming from the SE and while they weren't slippery, visibility was a bit rough, with it still being dark and the wind blasting snow across the highway, but it cleared up some after Balgonie and we made it at the exact time they told us to be there.

The nurses were so nice. I was pretty relaxed about the whole thing, except when the doctor asked what my questions were that I had been contacting him all week about and I just as quickly forgot what they all were once again. Ah, well, I asked the nurses some of them when I remembered and prayed that the best thing would be done.

He removed part of my meniscus, which never sounds like a good idea to me (removing body parts), but it's not like my knee was doing so good before and I did see on the internet, which is also what the doc said that repairing a meniscus tear isn't all that possible, especially considering my tear is a good 1 1/2 years old. They recommend repairing them in the first 2 weeks of getting one!

I'm at home now with crutches and codene. Brian is trying to corral the kids and cater to me. I give him A+ for effort, C+ for success rate ;) ah, well, the kids are pretty rowdy, it's not really a one person job. Ivan had a blast sleeping over at Arwen's house and the girls enjoyed playing at our neighbor's Char's house with her teens coming over to be in the house at 6:30, until they woke up and Char taking care of them and her other 2 kids the rest of the day.

Brian just told the kids to find a game that does not involve throwing things, making a mess, jumping on the furniture or running around. They are not sure what else there is to do! ha, ha, ha. Welcome to mommy world babe. Really, he already knew what it's like, but usually when it gets like this, he escapes down to the basement and starts slapping plaster on the walls.

Also, I'm considered "impaired" for the next 24 hours! What fun! I was told not to drive, operate machinery or sign any important documents. Sounds so serious ;) Do you think I've had too much codene yet? I need another one of those fancy naps they gave me! Hum, maybe while I'm on the computer I'll make a sign for my door "Sorry kids, the momma is off duty!"

Surgery day!

Brian took some pictures of the place to show you how high our snow banks are getting. He should have put one of the kids beside it so you would get a better perspective. The tall snow piles are taller than them. You can see with the truck that it is up to the top of the truck bed or so, and here we are not even done January. Dominique was asking me when summer will get here. On a day like today, we are all asking the same question. It was minus 33 C, which is crazy cold for you Fareinheit folks.

Our little quinzee is in this big pile. We need to dig it out some more. The girls would be able to stand up inside it then, but I'm waiting for the temps to get a little bit nicer. Brian said they are predicting -1 C for Sunday. I'll believe it when I see it. He said they are also predicting lots of flooding come spring. It flooded last year and all this snow has got to go somewhere, so I would not be surprised. Brian was extremely glad he put the sump pump in when he'd heard that. For those of you who don't know, a sump pump sucks water out from under the house's foundation once it gets to a certain level. We knew that would be a good idea, when we saw water right up to the foundation when we first moved in, in Aug.

As you read this, I will actually be undergoing knee surgery or somewhere in recovery, maybe even on my way home! I'm not sure how mobile I will be, so the kids and I tried to prepare some. We made muffins and have a couple of meals set, laundry done (ok, they didn't help with that part, and Brian did a lot, when the washer quit working on us this morning at 7am, yeah, that's for another story!)

We loaded up on some chapter books, have some movies we could watch and soup in the fridge, so no matter the temps and my mobility or lack thereof, we will be set to face what ever comes.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Happy 2nd birthday Emora!

We celebrated Brian and Emora's birthdays together last weekend at the party house, er, the Koop's house. They have a perfect party spot with lots of room for tons of cousins and friends.

Speaking of cousins and friends, here were some of the guests.

and some more- this side of the room was a bit tamer than the other.

Emora loved her Roughrider jacket and her many, many other gifts, even though I told everyone not to worry about gifts. All she cares about is singing the song and cake, but she did enjoy opening them all- with the help of her siblings who could not keep their hands off all the gift paper and bags.

Dominique bought her dad his favorite gum.

This is one of our favorite cakes- it's the moistest chocolate cake ever and so easy to make!

Dominique bought herself these same butterfly wings and wand in pink a week or so ago, so when I told her that Emora's birthday was coming up, she knew immediately what she wanted to get her little sister- the purple ones!

Emora had a hard time trying to get a bite though, while holding her wand. Finally she figured out that she had to set the wand down to eat her cake!

2 years ago, we convinced Emora to make her appearance. She thought it was pretty cozy in the womb, but we thought her much more comfortable in our arms. She continues to bring joy, laughter and surprises our way and we are loving to know her more and more.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

our hedge

wanna see it closer?


Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Here is my neighbor's tree in the fall of this year. It gave me so much joy to look out my kitchen window and watch it's colors change.

A few days ago, we had a thick frost and the world was transformed once again into a winter wonderland. The tree was filled with frost and once again looked so pretty against the blue sky. I am really enjoying having seasons again. I know that eventually the tree will start to bud, then fill with leaves, then undergo it's colorful transformation again. It's a nice rhythm and so nice to be gifted with a glimpse of beauty out the window- whatever the season.

Speaking of transformations... I've told you Emora likes to dress up right? She did this herself. She'll be 2 on Thursday. It seems like that was an eternity ago, with all the changes we have faced. She was born in our other life, in Abilene. And yet I know it was not so long ago at all.

Ivan made a couple of bird seed ornaments for the tree outside. The birds haven't quite clued into them yet, although down the street a lady has a feeder and a whole flock will stop and devour it all. He has his first test tomorrow- spelling. He should do super well on it if he will try to work at a regular speed (he likes to be super slow) and if he remembers which way the letter "p" faces.

I've introduced you to our kitchen right? It's the smallest kitchen known to mankind I'm sure, apart from when I lived in a dorm about twice the size of this and the kitchen was my microwave and a mini fridge I guess. It's not such a problem, except when all three of the kids want to help me with cooking and the dog wants to be right there too! Yeah, let's say that gets interesting. I usually let them do computer games while I cook to keep them occupied, but Ivan is not interested in the computer these days and Dominique (who wants to be on it non stop) is banned for the week as a punishment for lying to us 3 days in a row! It's driving her batty and me nearly, but we only have a day left and she is doing much better at telling the truth.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Happy 40th Birthday Brian!

To my amazing husband, who took on radical change and this crazy adventure because he feels in his heart that this is what we are being called to do... who embraces more and more who he is and isn't afraid to be counter culture, who says he is excited to be in the here and now even if the number 40 is beside it because he is not afraid of a number or time in life, that there are benefits to each time in life and that he is happy to have reached 40, to have the wealth of experience he has accumulated thus far, who is a wonderful partner to journey with and an involved loving father, who cares about those around him and is so faithful and diligent, even when it hurts-- I love you and Happy, Happy Birthday! May it be one of your best ever. May this year bring such deep fulfillment, identity and purpose to you that you will know beyond a doubt that the Lover has smiled upon you and said well done, my son... May you have many times of rejoicing and victory, rest and inspiration this year. May you be launched into this next season of your life with strength, grace and integrity, taking sure steps into your future, knowing that Love has found a way.

To the next 40 years- cheers!

To ALL my readers, yes that is you-- you are invited to leave well wishes, encouragement, love, "hey have a good day" in the comments for Brian on this MOMENTOUS day!

Friday, January 14, 2011

a couple of Emora videos

Emora on dad's tractor in Saskatoon over the Christmas holidays

Emora singing "O Christmas tree" the other day, because according to the kids Christmas songs are not restricted to just one month of the year.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

a little excitement for our week

It's going to be a be a bit of a crazy week, but in exciting ways. We have several fun activities planned for the weekend, the biggest of which will be a birthday bash for Brian and Emora. Brian is turning 40!!! and Emora will be 2 next week.

We are getting a children's reading/singing/rhyme time starting up at the Outreach, like our old library time.

And I'm as of this morning, scheduled for knee surgery next week. Looking forward to kicking off this year with a fixed knee and getting to do activities I love again- skating, swimming and maybe skiing some day!!

Dominique was having fun trying out Ivan's guitar. She wants her own guitar or instrument, really she's been talking about playing violin since we were in Abilene, so if she sticks with that idea, we told her maybe she can start on that when she's 6 like Ivan is.

OK, I better get a little someone down for her nap. By the way- sleep is important! I didn't realize how sleep deprived I was, but yesterday I was just so tired. Reading to Dominique and barely keeping my eyes open, then when the kids were getting ready for bed, I crashed and slept for 11 hours! I feel like a whole new person today! Amazing. And I got to start my day in the stillness before the kids were up. It was glorious. I still can't believe though that I was in bed at 8:30. I don't think I've done that since I was a kid, or in bed all day sick!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Prettiest spot

This was down an alley near our house. There is a river in there somewhere, so I would not recommend going out for a walk on that. I'm not exactly sure where the banks are.

Around the corner, we walked onto a lot and discovered this spot. Saba the adventurer was not listening to me and went down the embankment a bit. She decided she'd made the bad choice and scrambled back to where I was after she sunk down into snow up to her shoulders! It would have been really bad if she'd have fallen down there.

my new screen saver. I could have stayed here half the day-- with some hot coffee, a warm snowsuit and chair that is.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Gorgeous, gorgeous day

Two concepts that I always held about Saskatchewan have been obliterated. Growing up here I thought it was always sunny and that it was a very dry place. Then I moved to Abilene and learned what dry really meant. Even then, I knew that Arizona was far worse. We'd come visit Sask. in the summers and it would rain, proving to me that it was not as dry as I'd always believed. When it rained in Texas, we would either go out and dance in it or at least go onto the porch to watch it, record it, smell it...

My other idea that has been blasted out the waters is that it is always sunny here. This may be an off year, and I'm truly hoping that is the case, but it's been very gloomy here so far. Not sure if a lot of that has to do with being by lots of lakes and a river or not. So when the sun does make an appearance, it transforms our world. It goes from dreary and depressing, to resplendent all at once and it calls us out for a little walk if we can. That was what happened last week. I just had to go explore a little as the sun led us on. We walked a block away and found another city snow dump location on the banks of the river. Then followed the alley to another lot where we were so dazzled with beauty. However, by that time, I couldn't really adventure any more, I had frozen popsicle children crying at me to go home, so it was a short walk, but so worth it. Check out tomorrow's pics for the best scenes I've glimpsed so far this winter. So amazing and only a couple of blocks away!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

The chair and the dance

Dad has given each of our kids a rocking chair like this one. Emora got her's for Christmas. The bag for it was as big as her. It came in pieces that the kids can easily fit together and there is a note on the bottom telling her that it was made for her by her grandpa and great uncle.

You can tell, she already loves it. Of course she loves anything that she can say is "MINE!!!" Yep, she's at THAT age, which perhaps never really goes away?

Dominique got dance dvds that she is enjoying. The other day while Emora slept, I got to do my exercise video while Dominique did her "dance class". I kept watching her and when I drifted into her space to help her, she bossed me and told me to go do mine and not bother her! Well, I really am no ballet expert. But her cousin is, so I will snag the princess Victoria to assist her some day. Meanwhile, she is just so amazingly cute and very, very serious about it.

Not only does she have her dvds, but Arwen handed down to her her dance costumes, which Dominique picks out to wear nearly everyday. Today, Emora actually got to wear a tutu over her pants, so that was another whole level of fun. Where I got such frufru girls, I have no idea!

But they are beautiful and goofy and make my heart smile so big!