Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Journal of the Longest Winter

Day 354 of Winter 2014.

February 5, 2014

Dear Log,

It's Thursday. The fifth consecutive day of -20 C temperatures with a windchill around -30 C. I've been outside long enough to run to the car, run into my mom's house, run to the car, run back into my house, and curse in that time. The kids even less.

The walls are slowly closing in bit by bit, day by day. I wonder if I would have known it was Thursday without my iPhone app alerting me to Friday appointments for tomorrow. The days have become so similar, my mind so fuzzy.

If there had been no sunshine today, I'm not sure if I would have made it out of bed, or at the very least off the couch. We must grab hold of these small inspirations so as to not lose hope. Our spirit must not be crushed. I now speak of myself in some vague collective plural.

Here are some of the pressing events of these days.

I feel like I'm feeding people all the time. Not really a change from anything, but now I feel as if it's all I do. Feeding the baby multiple times a night. Wake up to starving toddlers and children who now have full vocabularies and the ability to dictate demands. As soon as breakfast is cleaned up, and I feed the baby, someone wants a snack. Five minutes later another someone wants a snack. On and on and on until I call a moratorium on all eating and declare a day of fasting. Until lunch.

Thanking God my kids are healthy. Thankfully I can get up and make food for them. I'm not feeling awful like a couple weeks ago, I'm not nauseous and pregnant. I'm not chronically ill and can easily get around and quickly procure them something - even when I'm not cranking out gourmet grub. 

Are they gathered around a giant bag of rice crackers at 9 am? Why yes. It brought at least five minutes of almost silence.

So many fights! I'm sure a small altercation seems to arise every five minutes. Toys. Games. Fighting over who can live in the treehouse they see in the Backyardigans. Arguing over who can sing the song they just made up. Add that to the two year olds tantrums and it's a barrage of noise! I spent twenty minutes trying to put the cream cheese on Max's cracker just the way he wanted yesterday before I completely capitulated, gave him the whole container and let him dip 5 crackers in it at once. I didn't even feel bad about it.

Thankful for the fact they have siblings to entertain them. They play with each other to the point they don't like to be away from the action if they hear it somewhere else in the house. It's really a good thing. Maybe eventually they won't fight as much?? And Max will learn to talk eventually....right?? One day he'll talk and I'll forget that he was a fluent communicator using only grunts, taps, and 3 words to get by swimmingly. 

I don't even remember what he was mad about.

The more noise the more I figure out how small this house is. I think a house with at least four wings, maybe four levels, would be great. Imagine separating each screaming baby at least a floor away from where I was for just a little break! You'd think people in Canada would have figured this out about 50 winters ago and built houses conducive to life lived completely indoors for 6 months of the year!

So thankful for a heated house. For not worrying about the heating bill. For not having to go outside everyday to take my kids to school, because if I wasn't already dedicated to homeschooling in principle, that practicality would push me way over the edge, or my kids would go to school in September, October, April and May. I'm lucky to work indoors on days like this when my dad is outside feeding cows for a good 6 hours everyday no matter the temperature, or my husband who doesn't know if he'll be needed to work outside or not on days like this. And our house is cozy.

Deeply confused about what season it is.

I'm all out of patience this week. School has been done pretty well by us all, but I'm starting to fray! I can tell I'm about to lose it if they start to guess at reading a word. The crafts are getting a bit out of control. Let's colour. I clean up. An hour later, play-doh. An hour later, Valentines. An hour later, colouring. More books. More reading. More tv. Repeat.

I honestly forget how much crafting and colouring and reading goes on in the wintertime. I remember feeling bad last summer that not one kid had touched a crayon in weeks and that I was stifling their creativity! But, I guess it is true that to everything there is a season. I'm hoping that this influx of activities sustains them in the warmer months when we hardly do any at all!

Colour faster, colour stronger!

I got to escape. I've got to get even just to my mom and dad's house for a couple hours to get a little variety. It's so cold it takes maybe 10 minutes to get everyone bundled enough for the two minute car ride. Of course getting them bundled is a logistical conundrum. You can't get Max dressed too soon or else he'll take everything off by the time everyone's ready to go outside. You have to pick whoever is the least whiney to get dressed first because by the time I've got the baby bundled up they've got a good sweat going on. So much effort. I should offer up this chore because it kills me! KILLS ME! At least at my mom's bigger house the boys can run in circles for an hour or so and burn off some energy. So loud. But I'll take it?!

Dressing five babies seems a herculean feat sometimes. I should be happier just taking my time and not try to rush rush rush like I always do. I wish I could adapt a kid's sense of time. So relaxed, never worried, moving along with everyone when the time is right. 

Random adorableness.

Oi. The forecast is the same frigid temperatures till next Thursday! Why?! Why?! It's getting to feel like a marathon. And if you knew how much I hate running you'd know how rough it feels! The being around my children for all the minutes of the day! There is someone always touching me! Always talking to me! I think I need a detox, or a hermitage. I'm checking my stores of wine and chocolate right now to see if I can last that long!

But really, these days are the definition of mundane. And the mundane is where life happens. They're the days where your kids make memories of what life was like in their home. It's where you love them when it's boring. It's the tough grind where the work goes in. It's the days that creep by where you somehow get by on grace and a prayer. I know I'm not getting through them perfectly, but I hope I can make it through them with a bit of sanity left over. Fingers crossed!

Is this Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real? It feels kinda crazy, depressed, ranting, and real, but I'll link up anyway!

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  1. I love your observation about a child's sense of time. I really wish I could cultivate one, too. When do we lose it, do you think? Is it even possible to get it back? And let's face it- I'm not GOING anywhere, why do I still cling to this adult sense of time? It's stupid and doesn't serve me in this time and place of snowbound housewife.

  2. haha, I'll take crazy, depressed, ranting, and real anytime.

    You are like a friggin pioneer up there in the tundra, Christy. Seriously I hope you are taking long hot baths with glasses of wine and candles on these frigid nights because a mama has got to 'escape' for a few minutes on days as long as these.

  3. I can so completely relate! Getting 3 kids bundled out and out the door is such an exhausting feat. My kids are going crazy, as am I! Add to that that I'm overdue with baby #4 and these walls are feeling mighty tight. My 4 year old keeps saying, "momma the winter is sooooo long!".

  4. Right there with you. Such a long winter here in Michigan. Epic cold. Epic snowfall. Epic meltdown on mom's part pretty much daily. So nice to know I am not the only one. I try to be thankful for all the things you mention, but I forget. I just moved here too, so I have no family, no friends to break it up. Just the library. Oh someday summer will come. If I can make it that far. Must go now, baby figured out how to open the drawer with great grandma's china in it.

  5. Thank you for your honesty. You're doing good.

  6. Would this be a bad time to tell you my kids are outside. In the pool. Yes? Okay, I won't.

    It IS kind of overcast if that makes it any less annoying.

  7. Love, love this post. Thank you for writing.

  8. Reminds me of why we moved from Minnesota when my kids were little back to my family in Florida. Keep warm and remember your summers are glorious!

  9. Oh my goodness, every word is so very true... the fighting.... the messing... the eating!! It's -3 here which is a heat wave compared to you, but really, once it gets so cold does it really make a difference? February is my undoing. My long, cold, lonely (even though I'm never alone!) undoing.

  10. Oh, that warm cup of coffee looks very well deserved. You're so right- mundane is where life happens. Some of my strongest childhood memories are of linoleum and making up languages with my sisters and Ritz crackers with peanut butter and marshmallow fluff. February is almost half way over! The sun will come back soon.

  11. I like your ramblings. Well done on seeing both sides. That's how it is. Life all wrapped up into one ball of good and bad! It's all good though!


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