Ok, so I really really need to catch up on everything that happened over lent before it is gone from my brain forever. Ideas and memories don't always have that long of a lifespan in my head these days...
* The first week was really frustrating. I literally spent all day, from when I got up until when I went to bed, doing housework. And the house was only marginally cleaner. It really didn't seem worth all of the extra effort. This was compounded by the fact that Dave was on the computer all day, every day, while I worked my butt off.
* I surprisingly didn't miss the internet OR junk food though. My brain still thought in "status" and "blog" mode for the first week or so, but that eventually went away, as I learned to live in real life again. But I discovered that my "need" for sugar and junk food was related to my time spent online. As much as I love being online, and I need my friends there, it also stresses me out. I get stressed because the kids won't leave me alone while I'm trying to focus on writing something, and also because when I spend too much time away from the computer, I get "behind". But I found I wasn't as stressed when I wasn't online, so I didn't really need my other drug (sugar) to cope.
* I really missed juice though. I'm totally a juice junkie and don't like water. But I managed to survive by drinking ice water (for some reason it goes down better than room temp, even though my teeth are sensitive), and eating fresh fruit.
* After the first week, I decided to change my attitude about the computer, and I felt a lot better. I realized that I can only control myself, and what I do. I can't control what Dave decides to do, and there's no point in getting all bent out of shape about it. It was liberating for me.
* I experienced my first ever postpartum hair-fallout. After the first 2 kids were born, I had dreads, so I didn't have to deal with all of the hair. All I can say is: yuck.
* I also quit shampooing my hair. Now I just wash my scalp with baking soda, and rinse with diluted apple cider vinegar. I still use a little leave-in conditioner on the ends, but I use less and less each time. My hair is surprisingly fabulous! I can leave it down without needing mousse for the first time ever!
* Gideon's surgery, Dave's Dr appointments and Judith's dentist appointments took a lot out of me, but overall everything went well. I've hung in there.
* Dave and I have been watching movies/tv shows at night after the kids go to bed (like all of seasons 5 & 6 of The Office, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and other movies that I can't think of right now...). It has been nice. I'm not looking forward to when he has to go back to work (early June), I've enjoyed actually being able to spend time with him.
* My mom came for a week-long visit. It went by really quickly as usual, but we did lots of fun stuff. Dave and I even got to go on a date! The kids got a little bit of a break with the sugar fast, having chocolate milk a couple times, and ice cream once. We got to see how even that little bit of sugar affected their behaviour, which was good reinforcement for us to keep it up with them.
* Judith is starting to "accidentally" show off what she has learned in her dance class. It's an unparented class, so I never get to see what she has learned. But I can see it in the way she carries herself, and the little things she does sometimes. They learn a lot of actual dance stuff in the class, I can't wait to see the recital in June!
* Ruthie hit her 3-month growth spurt. Eating all the time and fussing more than usual. I'm glad that's over.
* Gideon has become SO talkative! He says new words everyday, and can repeat anything anyone says. He talks in sentences, and they are becoming more and more understandable. He is seriously so adorable, I can't get over it.
* Computer died March 10 and went in for repairs. Mac customer service = awesome. Definitely buy the Apple Care if you buy a Mac!
* DVD player also died, we got a new media player that connects the tv to our computer, so we can watch tv on the tv that is coming from the computer. No need for cable, and no commercials! And we can rip our dvd's to the external hard drive, and then watch them on tv. It's great, we don't have to mess with actual DVD's anymore!
* The engine light came on in the van. Thankfully, one of Dave's friends is a mechanic, and he took a look at it for free. We just had to replace the air filter and clean out the air intake. Hopefully that was it! The light is off now, but still turns on during long drives (Dave has had to drive 3 hours each way to his Dr's appts, really annoying but that's WCB!). I'm glad we didn't have to take it in, it would have cost so much when it wasn't necessary.
* Did some serious introspection and thinking about where we are at as a family and what we want to do. God really confirmed my doula journey (more on that later), and Dave wants to get his A+ certification for computers, since he can't be a roofer forever. So I signed up for the DONA certification/course, and Dave has been studying up so he can challenge the exam soon. We would both like to have our own businesses some day, and then maybe we can travel again while being able to support ourselves. There is a lot of other spiritual stuff we have discussed too, but that might be for another blog...
* By week 3, I was starting to really miss my friends online. And I was craving sugar (mostly juice and good quality dark chocolate) again. Although I could easily never eat candy or pop again. It sounds so disgusting now. Even bread was starting to taste overwhelmingly sweet.
* I started going to the gym again, and surprisingly had no problem doing 20 mins on the eliptical, and started right where I left off with weights. I guess having 3 kids will do that. I was surprised that I was actually in shape, I guess it's just hiding under all the baby fat.
* I didn't lose any weight over the break, despite going to the gym, not eating junk, and breastfeeding. Well, I lost 4 pounds during Ruthie's growth spurt, but then gained it all back right away. I guess I just can't set any weight loss goals until I'm done breastfeeding, it's always like that for me. Although I do need to go and get some clothes that actually fit... instead of letting my butt hang out of everything while convincing myself I will lose the fat soon.
* I had to move Judith up to size 5 clothes, Ruthie wasn't the only one with a growth spurt over the break! Judith is quite tall for her age, I think. She definitely doesn't get that from me!
* Gideon changed a lot too, although mostly in looks. He's now definitely a toddler, my little boy, with very few traces of baby left in his face.
* I really enjoyed doing a lot of reading. It was great because it was therapeutic for me, and I could still be present with the kids, unlike the computer. It's a hobby that I am definitely going to keep up! I have to figure out what to cut from my computer time in order t o make room for more reading...
* Even without the computer though, I found my mind wandering all the time. It was honestly hard to focus 100% on the kids and just play. I had to fight really hard for it. That saddens me a lot, but is something I want to work on.
* Judith got to perform infront of people for the first time! They are practicing their routine for the recital already, and they came out after class one day and performed it for the teenagers' class. I guess they will be doing that a lot, to get used to it. Judith was SO cute! The other 2 girls in the class (there are just 4 kids), were way too shy and just stood there. The little boy liked the spotlight, but often forgot to actually dance. But Judith, she danced her heart out and soaked up the attention! Half the time she did her own thing instead of what the teacher was doing, but it was SO cute! She does not lack confidence!
* I have been doing Pilates with Ruthie (the PeeWee Pilates book is good!), and Judith likes to do it alongside me, with Lambie. It's so adorable, I keep forgetting to get a photo.
* Ruthie learned to suck her fingers to self-soothe (just like Judith did as a baby), and that has made my life SO much easier! She's a lot quieter, and nurses a bit less (I still have a ton of milk though). She seems to need something in her other hand though, in order to put her fingers in her mouth, and seems drawn to blankies more than stuffies, so I got her a blanket. I hope she gets attached to it, Judith having her Lambie and Gideon having his Blankie has been a huge help in comforting them.
* The last 2 weeks were HARD. I really missed everyone! But I'm glad I stuck it out.
* My friend Jen came to visit! She is one of my best friends, and it was so good and refreshing to connect with her!
* I got to hang out with some of my local friends during lent too, which was really nice. I probably talked too much because I was lacking the interaction, I hope they didn't mind. =) I'm so thankful that I do have friends here now, they are seriously awesome.
* Ruthie laughed for the first time March 28! She laughed for Dave in the morning, and for me in the evening, it was so cute!
* Had to upsize Ruthie to her intermediate sized diapers, and thus also move her into her size 6 months clothing. She's growing up too quickly! She was 16 pounds 4 oz at her 4 month appointment.
* We took the kids to Chuck E Cheese to celebrate Gideon's birthday, and he loved it! Judith loved it more though, haha.
Overall, it was a really good experience. But I'm not going to do it again any time soon, haha! I just need to figure out how to spend less time online, while still being able to connect with my friends and get my thoughts out through writing. I didn't get to rest at all, as I had hoped, I think rest and relaxation are just things that's aren't going to happen while the kids are young. But that's ok, they're worth it. I'm glad that I have this time with the kids while they are little! The less I sleep, the more time I get to spend with my little loves (as long as I get enough sleep to actually function, but now that I have coffee, that amount is less, haha). I was actually way busier than usual, always on my feet, it seemed. I was either doing housework, tending to the kids, running errands, or reading. It was nice to only have to worry about my own little existence for a while, and not about what's going on with everyone else, or the world. I realized that I do totally run on empty all the time, but there isn't much I can do about it. So I carry on. I have learned the meaning of "God's mercies are new every morning." He truly does get me through every day. I'm so thankful that I'm not depressed this time around. I can actually keep up with life, and do simple things like get out of bed, and face the day with a smile. =)