17 October 2014

Seven Quick Takes on sleep, fire, food and a happy announcement

Lazy blogger syndrome is back... I'll keep trying, I promise. Thank goodness for Jen's Seven Quick Takes linkup, which usually ensures I post at least once a week!

We've woken up at way-too-early o'clock three out of the last eight days with wet sheets... Little Bear's overnight diapers are not doing their job. Then he's cold and wet, and we all have to tumble out of bed and strip the sheets and get him changed and by that point we are all awake enough for there to not be a point to going back to bed, but still tired enough to be grumpy about it. Is there a brand that works better than Huggies Overnights? Or do I have to admit that it's probably time to potty train? So not looking forward to that...

Up early, plus up early yesterday, plus no naps/short naps all week, leaves me ridiculously tired today. Even beyond the lack of sleep, though, I've been tired; everything seems like it takes so much energy, even thinking. Hopefully I'll be able to fall asleep for a little bit before Little Bear wakes up from his nap today.

He's napping in his own bed, though; we've made pretty good progress on teaching him that he goes to sleep in his own bed at nap time and bed time every day. He usually winds up in our bed by midnight, but if I wasn't so cold and tired in the middle of the night, I don't think it would be too hard to sooth him back to sleep in his own bed at that point instead of bringing him into our room. The cold is probably part of why he's waking up: he's getting better about falling asleep under blankets, but he still often pushes them off while he sleeps. And his room is by far the coldest in our apartment, which makes no sense because his door is literally six feet from the fireplace, and with the fireplace going in the evenings we regularly get the living room up over 70 degrees.

As soon as Matt learned the fire-building technique my dad uses for his fireplace, he had no trouble building fires at home. It's taken me a little longer, but the past two evenings while Matt has been in class, I've successfully built good several-hour one-match fires that really warmed up the living room. Last night it took me an hour to put Little Bear to bed, and when I finally got out to the living room I still had enough glowing coals to rebuild the fire enough to put several more logs on without using any paper or more matches! I was pretty proud of myself. 

I was even more proud of myself earlier yesterday evening for not freaking out when I went to start building the fire and found that one of the logs Matt had brought in to thaw the night before was riddled with bug-tunnels, and there on the hearth was a 1x3cm larvae of some kind that had woken up and wiggled out of the log. No picture; you're welcome. "Not freaking out" is here defined as "not calling Matt while he was in class"... It was definitely unsettling. I made sure the bug-log was the first one into the fire!

Matt is hoping to get out grouse hunting again this weekend, and hopefully moose hunting as well. It's making him a little bit crazy that, despite hunting in an area with such a heavy grouse population that the bag limit is 20 per day, he has yet to see a grouse while within reach of his gun all season. The other day Little Bear and I were over at my mom's house, and they had four grouse running around the yard and eating from their mountain ash tree. I snapped a photo from the window and sent it to Matt, and he wrote back, "I can't see any grouse... as usual :-)" The photo is kind of grainy, taken with my phone through a window with a layer of shrink wrap on the inside and fiberglass on the outside (because triple-pane windows just aren't enough insulation for the winters here), so I've circled the grouse:

"Help Mama cook!"
"Mama mixer, round and round! All done!"
"Bring chair, Little Bear do it, help cook!"
(Holding out a mixing bowl and a fork) "More powder sugar, okay?"

I've had such an enthusiastic kitchen helper all week! Every time I've been cooking, he has been very sure that I need his help. I don't want to discourage him from wanting to help cook, so recently Little Bear has gotten to help me make yemas, rice pudding, squash bake, bran muffins, broccoli-egg strata... I don't remember what all. There's generally a lot more to clean up when he helps, but he's learning and having fun, and I'm having fun cooking with him, too.

And saving the best "take" for last... We are expecting again! We're looking forward to meeting the newest member of the Shifflerhaushalt in the latter part of June 2015. 

I'm a little nervous after losing Alex this spring, but mostly just happy and excited. For the most part I'm feeling well, although I'm definitely feeling the first trimester fatigue again. For blog purposes, as well as our own use until baby is born and named, we are continuing our tradition (now that we've done it three times it's a tradition, right?) of picking small(-ish) animal names: Little Bear, Squirrel (Alex), and now we've begun referring to the new baby as Kit. (As in a baby fox, not as in kitten. My brothers will definitely care about that clarification.)

Have a good weekend!


  1. I am SO excited for you!!!!!! :-D Praying all goes well for you and the baby!

    Also, I'm very impressed with your fire-making skills and ability to cook with a toddler in the kitchen. You are going to have a little chef on your hands soon enough!