Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Almost 2009!

Well, this year is winding down quickly. 2008 is almost over, and we anticipate what 2009 holds in store for us all. 

I am quite honestly ready to put the year behind me. It was such a good year, and such a bad year all at the same time. So many highs, and then so many lows.

I look forward every year to a 'fresh start' and I step forward into 2009 with great intentions! 

So, tonight as I ring in the new year with my husband (and friends and family!) I will wish all you a happy new year too!

Make it a beautiful year!

Cathy xo

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Goals 2009 - Family

We have some goals for 2009:

  • No Starbucks for 6 months/at that point perhaps we will introduce in or not.
  • Try to buy more second hand clothing for the kids from the VV.
  • Check Craigslist more often for items we require.
  • Get to bed (Cliff and I before 10:30 pm)
  • No eating after 9 pm (Cliff and I)
  • Try to buy everything on sale (and try not to buy full price for items--groceries we will try also)
  • Keep the kids active/exercise daily (hopefully one hour a day)
  • Use cash instead of debit cards

Friday, December 26, 2008

Boxing Day!

I love boxing day. I love Christmas too, but there is something to be said for packing up, and cleaning up and getting a chance at a fresh start. Especially with all of this snow we have been getting!

We are stuck at home. I haven't been out of the house since my pathetic run around the mall on Tuesday evening. Our road is too bad for us to get out. I am feeling rather bloated, house bound and ready to get a start on my Happy New Year that is for sure! 

This year was not a great one for us, and I look forward to greeting 2009 with a sense of rebirth and a way to start over! I will not be birthing any kids in 2009, I will not be pregnant in 2009. It appears that I still will be breastfeeding in 2009. (OK Coco enough is enough LOL) and I truly just want a fresh start! 

We usually take everything down on Boxing Day (we go for the literal use of the term!!) and bring our house back to neutral. BUT, we have family coming over on the 28th to do our annual appy and gift exchange. I look forward to that. SO, we will leave up the tree and put away most of the decor. 

Cliff is outside shovelling our drive way AGAIN. I am sore from shovelling snow. I wonder when I will be able to get out and get stuff done. 

Last night my BIL (to be) my sis Amy, and parents came over with a complete turkey dinner! As I have said we have been house-bound. So, thankfully Tyler has a 4wd in his truck. After their shifts they drove from Vancouver to get my parents and all of the food, and drove them and the food to our place. LOVELY, unplanned and fun! We just hosted (we were prepared to have turkey tacos) and we had a really late night dinner around 9 pm and it was just a lovely low key Christmas. My MIL joined us and it was much better than what we had pictured in our heads.

Well, time to start some of that clean up! 

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

OK, so this may not be 'the best' Christmas we have had . I haven't taken any photos, I haven't done any Christmas cards. I didn't do any baking this year. Thankfully though, we have each other. That is what I am going to focus on this Christmas.

Enjoy your families and friends! 

Cathy xo

PS If we get snowed in for tomorrow we are going to have turkey tacos. Sounds pretty good right :D and we will have our fun breakfast tomorrow like we have done for the past 12 years together except "Dad" Earl will not be with us.  That makes us sad. We are looking forward to seeing the excitement of the kids tomorrow. 

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas DYK

DYK or Did You Know:

  • We cannot put presents under our tree until Christmas Eve after the kids are all sleeping.
  • We only have stockings hung up (also Christmas Eve) for the six kids.
  • We bring home a live tree instead of a fake. We had a fake tree the first Christmas we celebrated, when Cameron was born we then decided to go fresh green tree.
  • Our tree has white lights and all decorations made by our kids.
  • Our good decorations are packed up until we know they will be safe!
  • I have never cooked a turkey dinner
  • I spoiled my own Christmas when I was a kid, I found all of the presents hidden for us kids. Since that moment I have never cheated like that ever again. 
  • This is our twelfth Christmas together.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

White Christmas?

I think we are going to have a white Christmas this year!  How exciting!

I just wished I had bought those snow pants for my kids a couple of days ago. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Tooth Fairy FORGOT!!

How did the Tooth Fairy forget to do a pick up last night?! Poor Claire. She lost her tooth yesterday after school. Was so excited, went to bed easily. Woke up and found her TOOTH. She was so disappointed. You could see it written on her face.

So, we took her tooth back and told the tooth fairy must have had troubles with all of the snow! We told her to go look out the window. She was like wow! So, I said to her Daddy why don't you give her some money today, and the tooth fairy can bring her something special tonight.


PS The tooth fairy had a reminder from me last night before bed!! 

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Into chunks

I am feeling a tad (well make that very overwhelmed these days) overwhelmed. I am having to break down everything into manageable chunks because my list of 'to-do's' has grown to three pages. I have to say I am a very organized person, and for me to feel this overwhelmed and admit is saying something. I actually have an eye twitch (that has been twitching on and off for several months), and I am having stress issues that are manifesting in my throat. Even my running is not allowing me to get rid of the stress. I run, I feel less stress I stop running and all of it comes to the forefront of my brain. Same when I actually go to bed and sleep. I am tired, but my brain is not stopping. Lists, thoughts, fears all swimming around in there keeping me awake. 

I haven't been sleeping well. In fact, I have been sleeping on 'Mr. Couch' on most night because I get too tired and I cannot physically move myself up to bed until the wee hours of the morning. Like at 2:30 or 4:30, or 5:30 am. I finally head up the stairs only to have the alarm go off at 6:15 am. I get up and I do it all over again.

I know if I was not taking care of myself life would look a lot worse. And, I think that Fall and Winter take their toll on me too. I expect things to happen. Like wind storms, power outages, and sickness, and even death. It is like I wait for the big bomb to drop. I dread the winter, the rain the cold.  I guess because there has been a lot of losses both physical and emotionally around me in the last few years. Always thinking 'what next' when really I should be thinking of all of the great things that are happening around me. Six healthy kids, a warm house to sleep in. A loving and caring husband. You know, the simple and good things about life. I have to learn to just live in the moment. The past has gone, and tomorrow is not here yet. So why stress right?! But I do. I know I come from a line of worry warts and I am trying to change that. But still, worry is there. 

I certainly feel the pressure of the season, school stuff with the kids, the parties, all of the stuff that goes a long with life. And all of the curve balls life throws our way.

 And, then I am running around the house doing stuff. Lots of stuff. Too much to even type out. Doing this, doing that. Get it done. Get it done. Pick up that, move that. Dust that. Arrange that. Get off the shelf, pick up your shoes, tidy up your room. Please brush your teeth. Please put away your laundry. Clean that again. Blah blah blah. You catch my drift. It is like I just run around in circles. Over and over and over. I want a vacation. Add in Cliff doing some extra work for the neighbour, and a call out on our only day to Christmas shop and it is really enough to make my head explode. How do you fit it all in? Thus the stress of the season!

I want to get away. I really want to run away. I have been waking up these days dreading the busy day ahead. Yes dreading the day ahead. I said that. I am usually a very positive person, and I am a morning person. But I guess even the most positive of people feel the stress and get down a bit. I was wishing and hoping that my husband could call in sick so that we could tackle some of that large looming list together. That never happens. All of his holiday time this year was taken when his Dad was dying. Every last sick day and holiday.  I guess that is on my mind too. The loss of Cliff's Dad has hit us all hard. And just really sits at the front of all of our minds during the holiday season. The loss of a wonderful man. There is certainly an empty hole in my heart when I begin to remember him and all of his goodness.

I also think of the loss my sister experienced, and then I think back to my own loss. I also think of the extreme happiness of my other sister's impending wedding. I also think that possibly in the next year or two maybe I will become an Aunty again. Maybe twice over! Those are all happy thoughts! I look forward to happy things. Those exact thoughts keep me moving forward! I also love having my photography. It is certainly the right outlet for me!

Then I think of how much I miss having a newborn in my house. The sweet baby smells. The sweet little baby. I think of the innocence of babies, and then I think about the terrible two's and all of the diapers. The puke patrol, the flu and the runny noses. The scars, the owies.  Then I go back to feeling jealous of pregnant women. Then I think about the sleepless nights, the colic, the postpartum stage and then I think why would I ever want to go back there. And truly I do not, I just feel that closing this decade of babies has been a very difficult transition for me. Way more difficult than I thought this would be. So, I console myself with cookies, and more running :D

We continue to do well. But not SUPER. I want things to be super! 

And, I wish I had more time to devote to the people I hardly talk to on a regular basis. Like my Granny, my Oma. My sisters. My parents. My neglected friends and family. Oh, and that man I call my husband! This year I will actively work toward spending more time with the man that is more like a roomie to me these days. I need to show him more love, respect and appreciation for all that he does for our family. Poor man has been neglected, worked to the bone. As have I. Something has to go when you have a lot going on. I am sorry that it has been mostly our relationship that has suffered. So, next year he won't know what hit him LOL. Hopefully he notices :D

I know my family and friends understand how crazy our life is with the kids. Yes, I know that this time with young kids is fleeting too. Our life in five years will be a way different picture. No diapers?! Just the thought of no diapers makes me giddy, or a family trip somewhere!!! OR a family outing to say a mountain so we can all ski?! Wow. Will my eldest even want to go and be seen with us LOL. Cameron will be 14, Claire, 12, Carly, 11, Catie, 9 (like Cameron is today!) Caroline, 7 (like Claire is today) and our baby girl will be 6 (like Carly is today!) I think we'd better get another bathroom! Maybe even a new bedroom!  And a great therapist! I am going to need one I think! 

I have probably bored you all, but this is what is floating around in my head. Add in the regular home maintenance, the stuff that will require fixing, the time it will take to get it all done. I will as I say take it all in chunks.

I am heading out for a run tonight, and I hope that endorphin rush can help me to re-evaluate my list in time to atleast get my Christmas stuff ready!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Broken jar of salsa

Yes, as we were about to leave I was grabbing stuff out of the fridge for the kids and I was moving a jar of salsa from the top shelf into the door. Well, in my big rush I dropped it. Red salsa, and glass combo all over the white tile floors and cabinets. This is the day we were to be at school a bit 'earlier' for a field trip that Claire is going on today with her classmates. 

So, we got the mess cleaned up. Thanks to the help of the kids. One to keep Coco away, one to grab the vacuum, one to plug it in. Thanks to my kids we had the mess cleaned up in about 5 minutes. 

It is unusually cold around here. We have record lows. Minus 6, maybe more for this time of year. So we all bundled up. Maybe not in the most efficient way. I think I am going to have to give some more lessons on how to dress appropriately for the weather. Cameron went to school in a his hoodie. The girls took off their gloves. I didn't have time to put on my own gloves or even eat breakfast this morning.  So, I will have to make sure we take care of winter dressing 101. Why they cannot remember this info for the last five years makes me crazy LOL

Anyways. Lots on the go. We had 4 hours of Christmas shopping last night which was great. Only one more trip and we will be done with the shopping. Then the wrapping etc. begins. This year we are going to use some home made fabric draw string bags that we can re-use. My Mom did this for us years before it was even a 'green' thing to do. My MIL sewed a whole bunch more. So, that will be good.  I think it is so great that the kids are using the same bags I used way back when I was a kid. And now adding to the collection. Hopefully the kids will still be using them for their kids. :D (you know my future grandchildren!!)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas' Past

I believe this to be Christmas 2002 - That would be Cameron, Claire and Carly (her first Christmas) when we first moved to Cloverdale. 

This was the very last photo we had taken with Santa in 2003. Carly was about 16 months here (too bad that scanner image didn't work, but I don't have the time to try to dig up the original...who knows where I placed it?!)

This is Christmas 2004. It will be one I never forget. You see, the water colour I am holding in my hand was a surprise gift from my lovely Father-In-Law Earl who passed away June 27th of this year. He went and bought this from me from a local Langley art gallery after my water colour lesson with Marilyn Timms in the Stanley Park Rose Garden during our family's stint on Crash Test Mommy (Season 1, Episode 4 that was filmed in July 2004 when we only had 3 kids, and I was pregnant with Catie who was born in September of 2004) on Life Network aka Slice today. This gift had to be one of the best gifts I have ever received. Catie was about 3 months old during this Christmas. Earl is missed so much at this time especially.

Oh, and of course I have to add in a pregnancy photo because seriously, I have been preggers for so many months of the past 10 years! This was Christmas 2005. About half way pregnant with Caroline. We had a very hard pregnancy this go around. With kidney issues for her. I would repeat this part of my life in a heartbeat. I would for all of them. I have to say I still miss being pregnant. If I could have a secret wish it would be to be pregnant until I could not be pregnant anymore. I loved my pregnancies over all. I really miss this phase of my life already. 

And that is all I could find on this computer. 

I hope I will take some good ones this year :D

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Not Ready

We are not ready for Christmas. I have to say, we are not really in the mood for it all. But we go along with it for the kids. We really could care less if we trimmed a tree, or even buy presents. We are feeling a bit overwhelmed with the season this year. With the loss of Cliff's Dad in June, well it still hurts and we just don't feel all of that celebratory. If I could just skim over Christmas, I think it would be better. BUT, with kids we have to keep moving forward.

We have barely started our Christmas shopping. We are going to try to get it all done on Sunday. I have a list to write still, and well we hope to get a tree this weekend as well. 

Today, our three big kids have their annual Christmas Concert at school. They have three one hour performances. That last one being 7:15 makes for a late evening. The video camera is being charged up for the big event. They are usually very heart warming. I know the kids cannot wait to sing and do all of the actions that go along with their songs.

I am in the middle of hill training tonight and I cannot miss, so I get to miss out this year unfortunately. I will watch the tape. This will be my 5th year of concerts and being a part of this school with the kids. Time flies that is for sure! Next year I will have 4 kids in the 'system' which I find hard to believe, because the first year of Kindergarten for Cameron I was VERY pregnant with Catie, and I had her on what would have been Cameron's meet and greet the teacher (I had to reschedule that one LOL) and now Catie is entering K in September. That will leave me with only two little ones at home. How very strange and sad.

Well, I have to run! Plenty of activity today!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Getting out tonight

I was all set to go for an extra run this evening, I even arranged this with my running group yesterday. ONLY to look on my desk at home and remember that I am going to see Robin Williams TONIGHT with Cliff and another couple. Good thing i checked. I cannot wait to get out tonight! So, I will run extra hard this week and add on a run on Friday. 

It has been very busy around here. Two Christmas parades, bits of Christmas shopping. SOOOOOOO not done, unlike last year where we online shopped and were done before Courtney was born! So hopefully a tree on the weekend. 

Tonight will mark night two of no nursing for Coconut. She is not happy about that, but hey she sure is enjoying her sippy cup full of milk. She has figured it out folks. There is hope that this nursing will be finished in time for my sisters wedding at the end of January!