Friday, January 17, 2014

When the weather gives you spring...

We've had basically no snow this winter, and lately the temperature has been getting above freezing during the sunny daytimes. It feels like spring, but it is still January. My husband said the other day, well, if the weather is acting like spring, then we should act like spring, and start working on our normal spring-time chores and property fixups.

We walked around, and decided where the next side of the yard fence would go, to keep the dogs a bit better contained (hard to stop the disgusting poo-eating behavior when you can't see them, ahem), and to better define the distinction between maintained yard/orchard/future pasture.

One of our goals this year is to get the rest of the yard fenced, so we have a safer place for the dogs to be, and a safer place for the kids to be, requiring a little less parent supervision. This way we are hoping that the dogs and kids (and thus us!) can be outside a lot more, but in a more contained space. That was part of the idea behind having the new side garden, and the playstructure right there, so that we could be close enough, but each be doing our own thing if desired.

As you can see from the pictures (taken at dawn as the moon set and the sun rays then started to hit the mountains to our west), there really isn't much snow! It might be a bad year for the river levels, and for wildfires, if we don't get any significant snow in the next couple of months. And this canadian expat is seriously jonesing for some white blanketed views!

I think this is going to be one of those 'when life gives you lemons, make lemonade' times, and the mister was already out earlier this week doing some pick up of leftover logs/boards from the side garden fencing we did last spring, and used them to keep working on burning the stumps out of the bottom of the yard. There is always work to be done, and if winter snow isn't going to force the work to stop, then I guess we had better make use of this time, who knows what weather the next months will hold!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A 2 minute chore rant

So as usual this time of the year, there is a lot of talk about to do lists, simplifying, and setting goals. One of the things I keep reading about, and this isn't just lately, is how if you have a to do item that would take under 2 minutes, to just get it done already. Well, it seems to me that the people who say this don't have little kids. Or a husband who sleeps during the day. Cause let me tell you, the number of 2 minute things I can think of that need to be done, but that under no circumstances can I possibly do right now, is about a mile long at any given moment of time.

Let's see, what sort of items make that list for me? Well, one that is often on that 2 minute list is swiffer the floors. When the baby is being needy, there is no way I can swiffer the floors. Wait, you say, can't you wear said baby and still swiffer? Well, yes, I would say, but to swiffer, I must first get a new swiffer rag (We use washable microfiber cloths on our swiffer), and put the dirty one in the laundry, which involves bending over, grabbing all the junk from under the rag, and shaking the rag out outside before throwing it in the laundry. Bending over with little one on my front? Difficult. Shaking the rag out outside in the cold winter temps we've been experiencing? Not advisable.

There. And so swiffering goes on my to do list, and does not get 'done immediately'. I could list a bunch of other things, but seriously, there are a whole bunch of simple chores or to do items that most of the time I simply can't get to, due to either baby or sleeping husband, or both. So needless to say, every time I read about how I shouldn't be writing down 2 minute tasks on my (limited daily to 10 items) to do list, I shake my head at their well intentioned advise, and write those simple things down anyway!

Regardless though, I'm doing fine entering into the New Year with my wits about me, and not setting myself overly ambitious goals. Because seriously, I'm keeping the kids alive and the husband asleep, so 2 minutes will just have to wait, because those mean success in my life right now. (Besides, who doesn't love crossing even 2 minute tasks off their to do list?) :)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Fish Tanks & Parenthood

We got a rather used fish tank from a friend last week, whose youngest is a little bit older than Little M. I've had a tank on my mind for a while now, and have gone back and forth on what to put in it. A rotating cycle of natural captures from the property? A captive bred snake or lizard? Or perhaps just a few fish, to see how it all goes?

Yup, we went the cheap, easy route, and picked up a handful of fish the other day. Molly's that hopefully will last a while.

Of course, writing this, one day after we introduced them to the tank, I've already had to bring the tongs of death out to collect one dead fish, drifting on the substrate. Little M didn't notice that one wasn't swimming too upright today, but I did, as his rapid breathing progressed into sideways floating, and then into sinking. He's in the garbage now, sad little guy, and I'm moved into the next stage of parenthood. One I never saw coming before it hit me. The disposer of dead fish stage. Not that I haven't had fish, and dead fish, myself since leaving my childhood home, where I can't recall if it was my Dad or Mom, but likely my Dad, who was the disposer of dead fish. But disposing your kid's fish, that's a new one for me. Hmmm...

Regardless, Little M loves the fish, as does Baby E, and neither has noticed that there is now one less (going from 4 down to 5 apparently isn't too noticeable, although I'm sure after this there won't be any fooling Little M, 4 to 3, or much worse, 3 to 2, will be much more apt to hit her counting radar). The mister is none too convinced that fish, or a water-filled tank, are a good idea, but I put up with a lot of his things around the house, so he can put up with this one for at least a while, at least until the kids grow past the fish tank stage - if they ever do! :)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Closing out 2013

This past year has been a challenging one, for a variety of reasons. But it has also been a wonderful one. Our newest addition, Baby E, has added a depth of family to our lives that I wasn't expecting, making us, at 4, feel very much a solid unit.

The past almost two weeks has been filled to the brim of relaxing family time. I've had a few days of work, but most of my time has been spent with the girls, with the addition of sometimes the mister, and sometimes with his mother's side of the family too. My 'spare' time (if there is such a thing with 2 littles!) has been filled with a high percentage of reading, and some crafting as well, as my mother-in-law and myself crocheted to make the girls a pair of matching fox hats.

At home, we finally have a tiny bit of snow on the ground, so the world at least seems a bit more wintery, which is nice.

Little M got a new sled for Christmas, and has been having a lot of fun sledding on small hills here and there. She's not much for longer hills, or steep hills, and needs a nice flat spot at the top for getting on the sled, but she is sure loving sledding on her terms!

Wishing you all a happy start to 2014!
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