Category Archives: on my own again

Send In The Troops

It has been 19 years, 5 tours of duty, countless courses and field time and I always feel the same butterflies in my stomache when Sgt is about to return home. It is the same feeling I would get when we first started dating and I knew he was on his way to pick me up. I start a project but my mind quickly goes to something else and I find myself leaving a half cleaned rec room to start rearranging kitchen cupboards. I can not focus on one thing for any length of time and as a result it looks like my house has been burgled by very messy, very dirty thieves.

Let’s start with the bedroom. I have several large piles of my clothing on the floor and on Sgts side of the bed. Some are to be taken to the local thrift store for donation. Some are winter items that haven’t been stored yet. Some are clean and I haven’t put them away. And some are my maternity clothes that I am just not able to part with at this time. (But that’s a post for another day … or a session for me and my therapist.)

The laundry has piled up and I am afraid it will topple over and smother one of the children.

The kitchen still has last nights supper dishes sitting on the counter. Rice has yet to be swept up from underneath the highchair. The floor is beyond sticky.

The livingroom looks like Fisher Price stopped by after a night of kegging and threw up all over the floor.

I won’t dare set foot in Will and Charlie’s rooms without HAZMAT gear and a stick to beat off any creatures that may lunge out from under their beds. Teenage boys are gross.

We had a small flood in our storage room in March and everything that was taken out has to be put back with some sense of order.

The only rooms that do not need any cleaning or reorganizing are the bathroom (only because I have OCD when it comes to a clean bathroom) and Henry’s room.

This is my last day as a single parent due to deployment. Sgt is scheduled to return tomorrow night, around 7 o’clock and it may just take a small army to get this house ready for his return.

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Two Sundays and a Shephardess

Last Sunday – It was a beautiful day and I had planned on getting the gardening finished. I had my whole week planned out but following that schedule went to the wayside when #8 decided to take a turn for the worse. 

I was heading out to the barn to collect the eggs for the day and when I turned the corner there she was, lying flat out in the straw*.  My first thought was “Shit, she’s dead.” but upon closer inspection I saw she was breathing. Laboured breathing but still breathing. She looked up at me with her big, brown eyes and I teared up. She looked to be in so much pain at that point I did the only thing I could think of. I called my neighbour. (We’ll call him George)

George is a cattle farmer and a great neighbour to have when you are in a bit of a crisis. He calls in on me often to make sure I’m doing alright with Sgt away and always offers to lend a hand. Our call went a little something like this.

Me – Hey George, it’s MrsSgt from down the road. I have a very sick ewe that is suffering, is there anything you could do to help her out?

George – Sure, let me just call my son. He’s got the rifle in the truck.

Me – Oh.  *followed by stunned silence

George – Or you can call the vet who will charge you emergency fees for a Sunday call and then you will need to call the deadstock disposal folks who will charge you for an emergency Sunday call. It’s up to you MrsSgt.

Me – It’ll be quick right? She won’t suffer right? I don’t need to be in the barn when it happens right?

Now before you get all animal activists on me please understand that this poor creature was suffering and was beyond help.  I do not run amok shooting animals for the hell of it and you will not see my picture on the upper right hand corner of the  TV screen one night with a reporter chatting with the local farmers in co-op all saying how quiet MrsSgt was and how hard it was to believe such a nice lady could keep body parts in her freezer and if anything she should have been arrested and charged with writing a really bad run on sentence.

It turned out George could not track down his son but he did pop by to assess the situation. His conclussion was that #8 was going to expire at any moment and he assured me it would be sooner rather then later. I felt better after his visit knowing she would be off to greener pastures before the sun went down.

Or so I thought.

An hour later I went out to check on her … still breathing. Two hours … still breathing. Three hours … you get the picture. 10:30 that night I sent Charlie out to the barn and he returned to inform me she was still alive!  I headed to bed hoping that sometime in the night she would see the light at the end of the tunnel and head towards it.

6 am and Charlie heads back out to the barn. He returns and says “Mum, she’s still alive.”

“You have got to be kidding me. Please tell me you’re joking Charlie.”

“Yeah, she’s dead. I thought it would be funny to see your reaction.” The little shit.

Let’s flash forward to this weekends events shall we?

Late Friday the sheep got into the feed room and devoured approximately 25 lbs of chicken feed.  This is not a good thing for sheep to be doing because it can cause complications like bloat. Sheep may be long on cute but they are most definitely short on smarts and will eat themselves to death. Saturday morning I notice one of the lambs is looking poorly. His head is hanging down and he’s not moving about as much as the others. I can tell he’s not well so I decide to move him to the back of the barn where we gather the sheep for handling. While I was at that I figured it would be a good time to update the vaccinations and drench everyone for worms. Once I had all the sheep in the catch I notice the #10 ewe is looking a bit hangdown as well and decide to keep her and her lamb in the catch with the other lamb. We continue to check on them throughout the day and both seem to be coming about.  After dinner Will is out in the barn and shouts to me that #7 is going down now too.

Fuck.

Now I have 3 sick sheep and a husband that is 10,000 kms away. I am really starting to dislike this whole army thing about this time. And the whole “Let’s raise some sheep” idea that was mine in the first place. What the hell was I thinking?

Sunday morning comes and out in the barn I have two ewes and a lamb. All very dead and all very bloated. Will and Charlie head out to the back pasture to start digging a hole for the lamb and I call the dead-stock removal folks.

Guess who doesn’t work Sundays? Dead-stock. Guess what the weather forecast was for the day. Satan’s Bowels Hot with a dash of Rain Forrest Humidity.

Will and Charlie move the ewes into the empty hay storage area where it is shaded and hopefully cooler. While moving them the ewes belch and fart out all of the gases that have built up in them.**

Finally this morning (Monday) the dead-stock folks call and ask if I still need them to come by for the sheep. I think I surprised the man on the phone when I hollered “Hell yes! When can you be here?”

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Sgt will be home in just over a week and I wouldn’t blame him for filing for divorce citing failure to keep livestock alive as his reason.

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*For those who are not familiar with sheep this is uncommon unless they are extremely ill. Most sheep will jump and run when people approach them.

**My intention was to have you throw up just a little in your mouth. Was I successful?

Hodgepodge

Op CIO has, so far, been sucessful. I will admit the first night was hell. The second a bit better and by the third we had it worked out. Now if Henry wakes in the middle of the night gtting him back to sleep is as simple as me going into his room to find his pacifier, pop it back into his mouth, give him his lion to snuggle, and cover him back up in his blanket.

My time spent up and awake is less than 3 minutes. Huge thanks to Shannon for encouraging me to do it and assuring me I wasn’t going to damage Henry.

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The vet was out here yesterday to look at our #8 ewe. She has been rapidly losing weight and has scours. Our vet seems to think it is coccidiosis, a small parasite that affects the ruminant. #8 is on a short course of treatment and, if correct, we should see a marked improvement in about 5 days.

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I find myself laying awake at night as more information about the Air France disaster is released. Last week I read that an 11 year old boy was travelling alone back home to Britain. I was at work when I read this and it took everything I had not to sob out loud for that boy. I am sure he was terrified and have visions of him crying out for his mum. In my mind I picture him as one of my boys and it’s this that keeps me up at night.

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Will, the 16 year old, has been up to his usual misguided shenanigans. A few weeks ago there was a dance at the school and he had a couple of friends over for the night. The next day while I was at work they thought it would be a great idea to take out the van for a ride in the countryside. I found out about the adventure because Will had posted a video of the event online and bragged about it to his friends on MSN and even had the balls to say I wasn’t smart enough to know how to read chat logs and find the link.  He no longer thinks I’m a techno idiot and is doing hard labour. Living on a farm has its advantages when it comes to punishing a teen.

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Parenting Tip Of The Day

If you want to stop your teens from bickering with one another threaten to walk about the house in only your bra and knickers. Be fully prepared to follow through on that threat if the call your bluff.

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The countdown to Sgts return is on. Today marks 28 days until he is home again. 28 days until I can abandon the solo sex and get the clean sheets dirty with crazy, monkey lovin’.

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I’m not asleep … but that doesn’t mean I’m awake.

Every night I have sat down at the keyboard ready to put up a post. Several are saved as drafts right now and I am sure one day they will see the light of day however Henry is going through a bit of a sleep regression.

It started a few weeks ago when he had a terrible cold causing awful congestion. Because snotty noses and sleeping toddlers are not the best combination I spent the better part of a week getting up every two hours. Usually Sgt and I take turns with this sort of thing but when your tag team partner is over 10,000 kms away it makes that sort of thing pretty much impossible.

Last week while having a bath Henry slipped and bumped his chin off the side of the tub, biting his tongue in the process. After getting him calmed down and taking a better look I saw that it wasn’t just a little nip, he had taken a chunk out of the side of his little tongue. That night was hell for both of us with him up every 30 minutes because it hurt to have a pacifier* in his mouth. The only way he would get some sleep was in my arms cuddled up. Desperate to get some sleep I did something Sgt and I had not done before, I brought him into bed** with me.

That night we both got to sleep but the consequences of that night have come back to bite me in the ass. Henry is now getting up around 2am expecting to come into bed with me and becomes inconsolable if he is left on his own to get back to sleep. Most nights it takes a short cuddle in the rocking chair with me to get him settled and back in his own bed but there have been a couple of nights when I am so tired that I have tucked him in with me once again. I know I am the root of this vicious merry-go-round but when you are stumbling about your day because of sleep deprivation you will do whatever it takes to get some shuteye.

Last night was our worst night so far. I made a firm decision that there would be no more coming into my bed and Henry would fall back to sleep in his own bed without cuddling in with me in the rocking chair.

How did that work out for us you ask? Between 12:00 and 2:30 am I was either going into his room to lay him down, find his pacifier or listening to him shout “Mummy” while sobbing. Let me just say I am taking a personal day from work today.

I have tried The No Cry Sleep Solution, I have tried CIO. Now I am at a loss as to what to do next. Internets if you have experienced this and have any assvice please, please, PLEASE let me know.

My fuzzy brain is counting on you.

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*I know some people will not agree that a 22 month old should have a paci but it works for us.
**Some swear by co-sleeping, it’s not for us.

Snips, Snails & Puppy Dog Tails (S&T)

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I have not made it a secret to anyone that I had always wanted a little girl. Someone I could dress up in pretty clothes and have tea parties with. Someone who would be just as frustrated with toilet seats left up and hockey sticks left about.

When I was trying to get, and subsequently stay, pregnant with our third child I often dreamed of what she would look like. I imagined a tiny little thing with big blue eyes and blonde curls like me. I though having another girl in the house would soften things up a bit. When the fifth pregnancy looked like it was going to stick I was looking forward to the 20 week ultrasound so I could get a glimpse of who I was carrying. When the technician told us we were having another boy I will admit for a brief moment I was a bit disappointed. Visions of ballet shoes and frilly frocks were replaced by soccer cleats and grass stained jeans. I realized just how stupid I was being and I should be grateful for a healthy pregnancy and eventually a healthy baby boy.

Sgt always seems to be away when a crisis arises so I have had to rely on myself a lot. One time my dishwasher went on strike halfway through its cycle and spewed water all over the kitchen floor. Because I realized how much I loathe washing dishes by hand I grabbed some tools, took it apart and fixed the problem. I was also too cheap to call in a repairman. This tour he left during our lambing season. I rely on the older boys, Will and Charlie, to lend a hand with the docking, and castration of the lambs.  The latter being a bit difficult for them to watch but they do so because they know how much I need them when their dad is gone.

This week I was clearing out the garage and asked bribed the boys to help out. While cleaning out the cupboard where we keep the painting supplies we came across this beast.

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I handled myself with dignity and grace jumped and ran inside the house screaming like, well like a girl, while the boys pissed themselves laughing. Later that night I thanked my brave boys for saving me from the dead vermin and I knew at that moment why I was chosen to be the mother of sons and not daughters. A daughter would have screamed and ran with me leaving the rat corpse in the garage until Sgt came home in July.

Henry is just like his brothers. Rough and tumble. He swings a hockey stick with uncanny accuracey, digs in the dirt and pulls out worms for me to see. He brings me pebbles and sticks that he has found so I can carry them home for him. He loves being in the barn helping with the evening chores. I can only hope that one day he will be able to save his mom from a  dead rat.

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