Sunday, 13 December 2015

"Where ya been," you ask?

Well, being back in the blog saddle has been something I feel like I've only dreamt of. The thoughts rattle around my head and from time to time I think "Hey, that'd make a good blog!" but before I know it, like the rest of my thoughts, the idea is gone.

It's been since July that I've posted and I can run down exactly why I went MIA and why I probably will continue to seem as though I am living under a rock, only to peak out once in a while. In the summer I battled with the guilt of the decision to go back to work part time or full time. It was a decision that came with many pros and cons, but a lot of false expectations and lack of a realistic assessment of what it would all look like both ways. I took the job. A full time, Grade 2 position not 20 minutes from my door. I took it for my own independent well being, to help support my family and to regain some social/public sanity. But very quickly I got swallowed up in the fast paced, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants whirlwind of FULL TIME WORKING MOM status.

Holy man, I would just like to take the time to give props to those who do it alone. You single moms are a force to be reckoned with. A huge props (although I secretly wish to pretend you don't exist) to moms, furthermore "mom-teachers" with those big beautiful blogs that keep me going. Holy Hannah, how in the world do you have time to do what you do? This blog post you're reading is a rarity; simply a brief moment in time that I have decided to stop procrastinating on Facebook and do something somewhat cathartic and good for myself. I need words. I miss words. I miss my own time.

Last night my husband had a hockey game. It was right around bedtime, but he was going out for a social or two (or 10) afterwards, leaving me with a night to myself! Woooooot! What do to what to do?!!? The sad part is, just crawling into bed will never be something that is an option as any mom know's there's no such thing as early to bed. Too many things to get done first. I had it all planned in my head (which may have been my #1 mistake). It's like the little villians sniffed out my thoughts and plotted to railroad the hot bath I ran for myself. Child #1 wanted to watch another show, have a snack and play with playdoh (I say "play with" but I really mean "crumple it up and let it crumble and fall all over the floor, chair, table etc then refusing to clean it up because it will ruin all her beautiful creations.). Child #2 seemed as though she was ready for bed.... well, things aren't always what they freakin' seem!!!!!!!!! From my early 7pm attempt right through to 9:45pm she bucked the concept of going to bed at all, playing peekaboo in the dark and insisting on reading 5 books, and naming all my facial parts (eyes, ears, nose, mouth) about 20 times all with a big cheesy grin on her face.Yes, such a touching moment and very educational to her development BUT not on the night mummy has a bath in sight. UGHHHHHHH The evening ended in letting a bath full of cold water and Epsom salts out while folding laundry and realizing at that point of the night, it didn't even make sense to pour a glass of wine anymore.

I miss "Me" time. I truly do. Call me selfish, call me ungrateful but gosh darn it I think the last time I picked up a magazine was to fish it out of a toilet put there by mischievous toddler #2 whose fascination for the toilet gives me anxiety. I miss crafting, drawing, playing video games and just plain going to bed early. *Sigh*

From the time I wake to the time I fall asleep my mind is running in a million different directions. I am shocked that most days I look decent at work, got there in a timely fashion and didn't forget to drop both kids off at daycare/school. It amazes me how moms "do," how on the surface most appear to really have their shit together. Some may look at me and think, "wow, she's really doin' it," when the reality of it all is; on a daily basis, I'm frazzled in my mind. I need lists to remind me to do such simple things are "Stop at the mailbox to mail Christmas Cards" (which, by the way, I can only thank the devine miracle of magic to have addressed and sent 78 cards this year). I drop the girls off and my clock starts ticking... I have exactly 9 hours from the time I drop them off to the time I have to pick them up again, before I'm charged more $/girl. This usually leaves me about 20 minutes after the school bell to tidy up my class, wash some grimey germ plastered desks and pack multiple bags with homework to take home with me to get ready for the next day (I seriously look like a bag lady carting obscene amounts of homework home each night). Usually once in the car, this leaves me with 1 x 10 minute stop on my way home. Sometimes this takes careful consideration as although Walmart is a "One-stop-Shop".... it does not fall under the allotted 10 minute allowance bracket. Usually it's either a Mac's Milk where I can double and get milk, cheese AND lunch meat! OR it's shoppers drug mart where I can usually get hairspray and chicken fingers doubling for dinner and a near miss of a morning hair disaster. BOOM!

What I have learned through it all,
I am a force to be reckoned with. I may not be a perfect housewife, I may not always have "Fresh" cooked dinner on the table... but my kids are clean, their library books are returned on time, I get them to and from their required destinations and for the most part I do it with a smile on my face. Above all else, I love them, DEARLY and am trying to set an example for work ethic and sheer independence. Being a full time working mom is the hardest thing I think I will ever do. I'm not asking for praise, nor recognition.... just a good recommendation to a good cleaning lady!

Friday, 10 July 2015

Dear husband.... I kinda hate you sometimes.

Don't get too twisted up about the title folks... I still love my husband, but from time to time, there are moments where I almost loathe him. Times when I actually need to remove myself from seeing his face or get away for a moment.

M and I have a pretty good thing going. We rarely fight and if we do it's usually with a comical/laughing attitude. We rarely hold grudges for longer than a few minutes and never ever threaten to leave or bash talk our marriage. We have a strong one, full of unconditional love, understanding and easy going open minds. BUT... there are many moments I hate him at the same time as loving him;

1. I hate that while I type this blog post you are out galavanting visiting multiple friends without a worry in the world as to what time you should return home or how much your night is going to cost. You left without having to lay out pyjamas, bottles and routine things for the girls. You left without having to pack things for the morning as you will just wake up, hungover and carry on the day that is ready for you (prepared by me). I hate that when you go out, it requires no thinking, like the good old university days and that when I go out I run through a checklist a mile long in my head and even still run through that list periodically through the night while trying to have a "good ole" university "time!".

2. I hate you because you are the breadwinner of the household (for now), and you never get to feel the burn of having to ask me for money. That you get to use that as ammo whenever it comes to budgeting anything in life... "Well, I pay the bills around here..." Ughhh Parrallel to this very blog post topic... I hate money, but love it SO very much, AT THE SAME TIME!

3. I hate that you are so gosh darn calm. The rainbow that streams from your butt seems to keep you grounded to that gleaming pot of gold that makes you so optimistic and collected. It's bull crap if you ask me, and I hate that you are so calm.

4. I hate that you helped produce our children but you didn't help to grow them. Your body harvested nothing but the icecream and pickles I craved. You may have gained a few "sympathy pounds," but your hips didn't open like the freakin' hoover damn, and your man parts remain unscathed. You are also a man, and when men try the tend to drop weight like its hot... I on the other hand feel guilty about going to the gym two nights a week, trying to find my waist.

5. I hate that you say yes all the time after I say no. You get to be the freakin' super hero with an invisible cape on, while I seem to be the witch holding the poison apple. There is a good chance that if the girls are asking you for something that is a treat, its because I already said "no!" And when you cave and say yes RIGHT INFRONT OF ME, I instantly turn into the wicked witch of the west. I love it when they look back at me with that "nah nah nah nah noo noo, daddy said yes," look.

6. I hate that you get to go to work everyday and come home to dinner, clean laundry and clean sheets. I'm not a 100% career woman enough to say that I don't love being a mom... but there are days I wish I could trade places with you, go to work, come home, drop my pants at the door and eat dinner after having a fresh shower after work, like you do. I get that it's also hard work, but on somedays... I yearn for someone to make dinner for me after my day of "work" too.

7. Lucky 7... I hate that you are such a good dad. I really have nothing to complain about because all of the above things that I hate about you are just things I wish I could share with you really. In a sense, I'm jealous of the "freedoms" you have, and yet at the same time, I'm happy you have them.
I LOVE that you say yes to the girls a lot, as their love for you is something I would never trade in for the world. I LOVE that you go to work everyday and work hard to provide for us, I really do appreciate you and if all I can do is clean you laundry, make dinner and let you shower to thank you, then I will. I LOVE that you are so gosh darn optimistic and positive. Without you, I'd be a mess of a dark cloud going slightly senile with the craziness of life or at least the first world problems that I seem to get so wrapped up in.

The bottom line here is that I think its' healthy to hate you and love you at the same time. When we married each other, we did it with the understanding that things wouldn't change. Our lives would totally mesh together but that there would still be little gaps where we each kept our individuality and space. The thing I need to work on is the fact that all to often I "love to hate" you. I am hard on you, and take things out on you and resist your attempt to talk me down from the ledge (theoretically speaking).

In finding myself, I need to find that person that Loved to love you, before life got so ... complicated and thought provoking. She's in here, I promise.... she's just learning to balance it all and be a little nicer in the process.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Dad-Bod... the "core" of a few beefs with me...

As of recently I've seen more and more hashtags and lingo for the rising trend of the "Dad Bod." I have to say for a bit I laughed at how kinda hilarious the whole thing is. I mean really, try explaining to people not on the internet everyday that your barrel and manboobs are part of a trend.... good luck to ya. And then the reality of it all sunk in. A mom of two girls struggling with body image and being more positive about myself I began to take in just how much harm this new fad can do. To some it's funny, but to others, just like many things in life, it can be VERY misconstrued.

Doing some research, in actual fact, the "Dad-Bod" concept stems from frat boys who have acquired the ever famous "freshman 5" ... otherwise known as extra weight due to crappy eating, lazy habits, and obscene consumption of alcoholic beverages not low in calories. The idea didn't even involve Dads at all. HOWEVER the idea that the unkept, inactive, couch potato look is gaining respect and being the stereotype for dads is what has my head spinning just a lil'. I also enjoy how "science" believes men to suffer from sympathy weight gain, along with their wives during pregnancy. Like men's bodies are changing too?!  ... more like they are just jumping on the craving train and now get to use "dad-bod" as an excuse at the end of it all.

*** This blog is a little bit of a fist pump to all women out there and a fist punch to those coining the term "dad-bod" ***

I know myself that I loved EVERY minute of being pregnant. Although I never felt truly "beautiful" with a growing belly, I felt wonderful. Suddenly baggy clothing and or tight revealing clothing was very acceptable and the belly provided a perfect accessory to every outfit (well except with heels... but I'm not that type anyway). I loved that I was growing a tiny human inside month by month and that it was such a rush getting to the birth day to meet both our "littles"! So, by no means am I complaining or bashing or meaning offence by this post. Please just take it as yet another public rant.

What I don't appreciate is this excuse for men to be gaining weight or "Letting themselves go" and all the positive attention and props they get for it. I mean really... women produce monthly eggs, all while maintaining a uterus just waiting to house and grow life. If life doesn't present itself we go through what for some can be a monthly, painful and inconveniencing "period" of time getting ready to do it all over again. Men... well... let's see... they just kinda hang out. Ladies, don't you love how they refer to their man parts sometimes as a "Baby maker"? Like basting a turkey; they play their role, but in actuality, they just provide the missing ingredient... the turkey was always already a turkey ;-) ;-) And if not called on to do their job...  well... their little tadpoles just hop on up to the swim-up bar, order another drink and continue on their lounging days.

[I'm not "carving" their input, nor am I suggesting men don't play a VERY large role in babymaking... I'm simply searching for women to get a little more credit in it all]

This "Dad Bod" thing is essentially totally harmless and can be quite comical...  and overall I truly love the idea of lowering our expectations of one another. But... (always a BUT) in a society of growing pressure for both men and women, I think we need to re-evaluate how we treat and perceive one another. Celebrities for a while were BRUTAL at promoting the fact that they were back down to a size 2 not 2 days after giving birth. Or putting themselves on the cover of a magazine preaching how they worked out and dieted to get their "Pre-baby" body back. I can assure you... the last thing I wanted to do after having a baby was put down my bagel with extra cream cheese and jump on a treadmill chasing a kale salad, protein shake with bird seed in it resembling the meal of a small rabbit. Nor could I afford the time or the money to have someone look after the "leech-like" child for me to do something for myself (Before you think it's horrible that I just referred to my child as leech like... have you ever pulled a leech off your leg?..... and now have you ever pulled a toddler from being wrapped around your leg?...  enough said)! LOL The concept of physical activity made me even more tired than I already was. But the pressure remained. I just grew a life. Gave birth to life. Rented out my womb room free of charge and was now providing nourishment through breast feeding for this beautiful little being, and yet I was still consumed with being like the story on the magazine or like the town mom "celebrity" that everyone praised for looking so good after baby (we all have those freakin' friends). And that, my friends, is what needs to change.

We need to adopt more "MOM-BOD" ideologies too. Appreciate stretch marks, spare tires and back boobs as being part of what a woman is/can be (WITH OR WITHOUT CHILDREN). I bet all those dieters with none of the previously mentioned body "upgrades" can honestly look your straight in the eye and tell you they don't yearn for a hotdog on a stick, a croissant with butter or a carb packed grilled cheese sandwich.

I understand that there can be a positive spin to the fact that we are praising not so perfect "Dad-bods" and that the concept is gaining media attention and competition among men... But next time you laugh at the mention of the "Dad-bod" side of things... remember there should be praise for "mom-bods" too. And further more... "letting yourself go" shouldn't be why we praise it either, nor should it be an excuse. Using it as being proud of who you are should be what it's all about. 6 pack or no six pack, love handles or no love handles we all should embrace our different mom and dad bods.
 *PROPS TO PARENTS for just creating and keeping these tiny little humans alive... and if you have a six pack, are a size 2 or have time for a personal trainer... then pat yourself on the back and pray to the lord you get to keep your metabolism for the rest of your life! LOL cause all the rest of us over here are trying to embrace and dress our "Parent-bods" and keep treading water in the life pool.

Being a parent is hard enough... but it's even harder in the world of social media, scrutiny and fish-bowl like characteristics.

Thursday, 28 May 2015


Lately I've been feeling really "thinky" (I tend to make up words...). Really reflective of my world and the life around me. So many days I rush home, put dinner on the table and then attack my poor husband for the list of things that drove me nuts about my morning routine and how many things I came across that he does that drive me crazy. You know... how they leave their "man hair" on the soap, or just fail to replace the soap that they used the last of, setting you up for a bambi like slip slide all over the wet tile trying to find soap in a closet that HE messed up... haha and there ya have it; the perpetual avalanche of what he "COULD have done" that would make life easier.

Lately, I've stopped to think a few times of just how bitchy and ungrateful I am being. I mean really... we do split some of the monetary responsibility, but when it comes down to it... at the moment, he's the main breadwinner... I just buy the bread (good expensive whole wheat bread though! LOL).
I forget to realize... and yes all you feminists may cringe at a few parts of this particular blog... but in a sense I do sorta owe him the silence of just continuing on my day and not drawing attention to EVERY little thing he does wrong. After all... the roof over our heads, cars in the driveway and little extras are all things he is doing exponentially right.

I am SO lucky to have the bond that I do with him. The sort of balance that just sort of works. And when it doesn't.... like a teeter totter, we eventually even back out. And just like the teeter totter, there are times I just plain get off at the top, leaving him to slam to the ground. Uncool, but he does it right back from time to time making it "fair" (I guess). But it's the fact that we get back on, and continue to make this marriage thing work that is truly magical. (I know... "gag me with a spoon" cheesy, right!?)

In reflection, I have to change my perspective on something. I went into marriage super excited that nothing had changed. We said "I do," ran away to Quebec City, travelled a bit and really enjoyed each other on a new level. And then BAM preggo... BAM (way to big for where she came out of) baby born.... and BAM life seemed to take a VERY strange twist. It was like that AHA! moment that everyone talks about. Things just got.... complicated. Suddenly the concept of in-laws became a very "interesting" dynamic and played and VERY different role in our relationship. The way we were raised, the way we wanted to raise our children and just plain the way we were wired were center stage and not always in agreeance. We began to plot each others death a little more often than is probably normal (I can only assume that he plotted my death as I turned into a rather unpleasant human being from time to time). Overall... EVERYTHING CHANGED!
There was a period of time where I hit the panic button. Watched a crazy amount of romance movies and dreamt of a husband that showered me with love in the form of cheesy gifts and well thought out plans. I obsessed over being besties with my MIL, SIL or just going on dates with my husband like all the damn magazines suggest. I freaked out thinking we were doomed for divorce... oh my gosh.. we just fought over the fact that he left the laundry out on the line to get spiders on it, or that he left a whole sink full of dirty cutlery. Or the ever annoying ignorance of the fact that my windshield washer fluid ran out mid mucky winter day... Isn't that a "husband job"?... It must be over... doomed... failed marriage...
I have this real life epiphany;
Driving home from work these last few days I reflect on all that we have. I remember that I'm excited to see him after work and would be sad if he had to work late. The days and weeks he has to work overtime, I'm miserable... because I miss him. I look forward to watching Homeland on Netflix like we always do (A DATE!... sorta... take that magaizines!) and I'm happy I gave him enough S**& in our last fight .... that he will now take the garbage out in the morning. My husband completes me. He keeps me from going crazy, saying things that I will regret and overall relaxing and enjoying the bits of life that I should be grateful for. Kids haven't changed us for the worse... It has literally just made our little Family Unit stronger. Untouchable. Forever. When you get married, you really do become "one," and as he always says "Who cares about everyone else... we're happy!"

I love him more than he knows and am grateful for him everyday... Shhhhhh!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

"Natural... path!"

I just got back from a Naturopath appointment. Along with other "Alternative method" things I've done in the past (hypnosis for smoking, placental encasulation with D etc), I had my reservations about today but was overall really excited to see what could come of it.

My consultation was 2.5 hours long and he dove as far back as my childhood in painting a picture of who I am and what the problem may be stemming from. Having still not heard back from my doctor about the next step in bloodwork, I had to take things into my own hands and decided on this route. Now in hand I have Vitamin B6 and a remedy to take daily. What I liked about today is how sincerely invested this man was in helping me with what has become and ongoing problem with what he believes to stem from hormones (related to my cyst and the ever so lovely birthcontrol "disruption of evilness".)

What came out of the appointment though was something surprising; a true sense of admiration for my husband (random, right!?). Sitting back and talking out loud about my life and how it's progressed to now, one thing stood out and that was that M is my whole world, my "rock" per se. The naturopath had me speak of what drew me to him in the first place, why I stayed interested and what brought us to marriage and later children. Upon taking off all layers of my personality and past, he came across a lot of "weaknesses" or "frustrations" that ultimately are balanced by M's love for me. Where I crumble, M is there to pick me up and help me put myself back together, continue on, and make no more mention of it again.

My husband is someone I speak harshly to all too frequently. Hard on him for a lot of things, I hold unrealistic (sometimes) expectations that he struggles to meet. But I neglect to see him "Struggling" to meet them and rarely appreciate him for trying.

Ultimately the consultation bordered scientific psychology but served as a sort of sounding board therapy session diving into the inner workings of my psyche. I LOVED IT! And because it wasn't meant to be therapy... he didn't poke too deep around the soft areas of elementary and highschool social inadequacies/eating disorders/breakups etc... and didn't manage to make any tears flow. The only tears that nearly flowed were the parts where I spoke of my love for M. What drew me to him and then later taking about my kids.

The lesson learned here is that I pour so much effort into raising my kids, that I'm not really nourishing our marriage at the same time. I love him more than life itself and tell him often that I don't know what I would do without him... but true caring and a positive tone are something I often lack with him. I dwell on his inadequacies and fail to realize that he really is the best thing that has ever happened (aside from our 2 lovely girls). He understands me on a level I need to appreciate more often as I am a difficult person to understand/withstand! I need to focus more on why he is good for me and just how lucky I am to have him.

So.... although he may not do up Blair's carseat buckle to my liking, know how to work their humidifiers, or empty the diaper genie when I need it to be emptied.... he does provide a pretty amazing life for us and works very hard daily to do so. I may be a stay at home mom, working just over part-time and balancing the kids... but without him, it would all be so much more of a struggle. We are a team. I need to treat him more like a team mate and not an opponent.

I'm Continuing to learn about myself... now on a journey to health and happiness. I'm hard to love... so I need to be thankful of the person who does love me as much as I think he does :-)

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Bat S*&t Crazy!

As I sit and type beside an open deck door, birds chirping and the sun just going down at 8:00 I am reminded of just how lucky I am. The smell of spring, the lake and lingering barbeques from dinner hour puts a lot of things into perspective for me.
I've been reading (or just cracked) a book about using my words. It's a guideline for moms specifically, on how to get back into writing and helping your words to flow. (Use your words. Hopper, Kate; 2012). In it, are mini exercises to help practice getting back into the "flow of words," that touches on smell/scent and their effects on our emotions and memories. I read it while in the waiting room of our local hospital, waiting for what felt like the 50th test result of the weekend.

Saturday morning I woke up ready to take on the day... so I thought. I got out of bed as usual, got the girls up and fed as usual and then it happened. Hit me like a truck... it was like I had been drugged. I had intense pelvic pain/back pain, shortness of breath and my left arm felt like someone had hauled off and punched me square in the shoulder. I battled it all day. With a foggy, delirious head, I dangerously took both girls to swimming lessons (D just spectates her older sister). The power of mom responsibilities is unreal, because if it meant staying and hiding out at home, I would have. My husband was working OT all day, so my hands were tied in the way of going anywhere. And let's face it, it's Saturday, my only option was emerge and that seemed extreme. By 5pm when M got home, I was extreme. I had my coat and purse on and was 1/2 way out the door.

Immediate EKG, bloodwork, chest x-ray, CT scan, blood culture and then ultrasound (today) all led to doctors standing looking at me with confused looks (like a dog cranking it's head to the side when you say the work walk). I had an elevated heart rate, very high white blood cell count (not good... don't google it or you'll think you may have to prepare for my funeral like I did), and a fever (I haven't had a fever since I was little). Weird!? They literally said I needed to be on close watch and am now in the hands of my Dr. to continue testing with extensive bloodwork.
TMI? Well... that's also part of another 'blogger' book I'm reading from a 'blogger friend'. In it it states that people don't care what you have for breakfast every morning, but speaking honestly about life can sometimes catch a few followers who may find comfort or relation in what you are saying. This blog isn't for the masses... if you've read this far.... then, welcome!

Up to this point I had been having this "foggy head" for a while. Like I was dragging my wings behind me while everyone else was flying. I was frustrated and had chalked it up to being female, being a mom and being an over-reactor. I thought it could be PPAD creeping back up on me and put it to the back burner. After all, moms don't really have time to hone in on what's wrong with them. As long as I could still make it to swimming lessons and back home again, I was ahead... right!? Lacking energy I just haven't been myself though and something has to give.

Approaching 30... again, for the first time (hahha), being 30 hasn't really treated me too well. In fact it seems to have chewed me up, spit me out and fed me to the birds. After having D I felt amazing... I had lost all my baby weight within 3 weeks and was feeling like a million bucks dragging out my "pre baby" bin of jeans. In July, just 4 months after having D, my world crashed. Into emerge with severe pelvic pain, they came to realize I had a large dermoid cyst (also don't google, or you may never look at me the same). It needed to be removed as soon as possible. I battled the pain with a new baby and waited for my operation date in September. While on the table to have the cyst removed they also discovered that my IUD had perforated and ripped through my uterus. The recovery was terrible (if it weren't for my mom I would have been lost). I have a low pain tolerance as it is... and it was almost worse than my recovery after giving birth to my 8lb 13oz, B! (that's an entirely other blog hahaha).

Now 5 months with a new IUD I have gained 20lbs in what felt like 20 days and have started to buy big baggy clothing in shame. I am hiding from summer and am petrified to step foot ANYWHERE public unless dress code allows............ a poncho and sweatpants (there's an image for ya!) Where did this come from? .... I know I eat like crap SOMETIMES, and I know that there is an explainable 10lbs of extra flab kicking around my gut and thighs... but this other 10lbs is a mystery. A foreign, self esteem crushing mystery. 20LBS.... HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE!?

Headed into more testing, I've done my own research (and for those of you who know me... it's a heck of a lot of extensive and obsessive research) and I have come to the conclusion suspecting a few things. I'm no longer going to sit back and accept "oh it's just stress," or "you need to eat healthier and exercise more."  or "Oh, you need to slow down and bite off only what you can chew," I'm a 30 (for 18 more days) year old HEALTHY woman with two beautiful children. I don't have time for this, so they better make time to figure it out. They literally were confused as all my tests came back "pristine" and "admirable"...

Maybe I'm "Just not right in the head" and really am "batshit crazy". hahahhahaha!

Until next blog.... I promise there will be a next blog... I'm not dying (I don't think). I'm living... and that's something to be thankful for :-)

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Do I just need to relax? ... can I google that?

Diving deep tonight...

Lately I've been feeling like I'm on autopilot. It's the same feeling I got just before succumbing to realizing I had some sort of postpartum issues going on just before my first born turned 1. Whether it has to do with this dreadful weather, or it actually has some sort of chemical explanation something is just feeling sort of blah.

I watched a commercial today about the apple watch set to come out later this month. All the incredible things it did both excited me and terrified me at the same time. How cool is it that you can change the face of your watch daily with infinite options!... was my simplest thought. And then, WTH am I thinking... being able to read e-mails, answer phone calls, tell the time, track your calories, steps, children.... on a WATCH..... AHHHHHHHHHHH What is the world coming to? No freakin' wonder I have post partum anxiety. After this commercial I immediately daydreamed these things were non existant. And then, not really wishing on a star because the sky is disgustingly clouded over beneath the blackness of night, I pretended to wish I was back in the 80s. During this time there were a couple basic things coming on the market in the way of technology, but there was no dependency on constant contact with.... THE WORLD. No sort of fascination with people you didn't know... unless it was your neighbour across the road who had a fetish with dressing up in costumes year round or the lady down the street that was having an affair with the mailman (none of these things happened in real life... but they sure sound kinda cool if they were... haahhaha). It was still the time where rules were set by parents, guidelines at school were REQUIRED to be followed and being a kid was unbelievably fun and slightly innocent (I appreciate this more now).

Touching back on this blog thing being a way for me to learn about myself, to find happiness and clarity in life, I have realized one of my biggest insecurities stems from "what other people think."
I am a very confident person. I speak my mind (very often when I shouldn't), I debate topics that are important to me (very often with too much passion) and I have no trouble speaking in public (or some may say I love to hear myself talk). This trait I am happy to still have. Elementary and secondary years provided first real look at my biggest insecurity. Because of my apparent social awkwardness and my thirst to be heard/poke my nose where it shouldn't be... my school years were... well... let's say, something that I have locked away TIGHTLY in a vault never to be revisited. What people thought of me guided my every move. If it weren't for a brief break in the dark clouds of my adolescence where, I, the bottom of the totem pole highschool nerd dated the captain of the highschool football team, I may not even be a blogger... and may be living deep in the woods somewhere without wifi drowning in my weirdness.

My problem is, I haven't ever really grown out of it. Still kinda socially awkward, speak out of turn and off topic, say the most random things at the most inappropriate time kind of person... I struggle.
I'm an introvert whose worst enemy has started to become social media.
I love sharing pictures of my beautiful family. My 2 gorgeous girls and my fur baby Charles. I have a tremendous career that I worked very hard to obtain and a fabulous husband who I often think is crazy to be putting up with me. My thirst for affirmation though has become debilitating. Often times I wish I was a reality show just so I could hear what people thought. Am I crazy? Is my house really that messy? Am I borderline on the classification of a hoarder (I keep the most random collection of things). But most of all my insecurities have crept into my abilities as a mom.

I think to myself... am I a bad mom for not taking my children outside in the frigid windy cold? Do my kids watch too much tv? If I sit on the couch for 10 minutes to catch my breath and drink a coffee while my kids play, am I lazy?.... because I'm not making 2 dozen carrot/apple/quinoa/stevia/other random healthy shit muffins from scratch and taking a picture of them for insta followers.
Am I a bad mom for piling my kids in the car just to go to Tim Hortons 10 mins up the road and then drive around the country side so I can enjoy my steeped tea whilst my kids are confined to their carseats (mostly sleeping... never unhappy). Is it awful that I can help build a fort, but then draw the line at re-building it for the 17th time in one day? Should I be letting my child play with water in the house? Am I doing her a disservice by not letting her find out what orange juice that's sat in a hot car all day tastes like? Can I google any of the above questions... sadly.... probably... because this generation is so dependent on what someone else did in these situations... we can't just think for and trust ourselves.

Do I need to relax more.... do you see where this is going?

It's like we have so many opportunities now with social media, to judge other people....that actually we just wish to be "judged" ourselves. I wonder if our parents ever had these feelings of inadequacy? Whether they wished someone could come in and tell them they were doing a good job, or whether they just kept on truckin'. They were none the wiser to BettyLou and SuzyQ harvesting their own spices or making wheatfreeglutenfreecaloriefreesuperboring varieties of regular food and were still just as excited to see hotdogs and refried beans come on sale. When it all comes down to it... is "forgetting what other people think" even achievable anymore in the way of the world? Is me being a social media whore my problem, and if so... where do I sign up for social media rehab.

Ughh.... apologies for the "all over the place" blog. My thoughts seem a bit scattered surrounding this topic.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Being a mom is Expensive on all fronts! :-)

Ok, so this blog thing is off to a slow and triple weekly start... I swear I write blogs in my head as I'm showering in the morning and those thoughts literally wash down the drain. Note: Our water has returned!!! (*Cue MAJOR fresh smelling happy dance)

I receive the odd private message from people in response to facebook, instagram or blog posts that praise me for my positivity. Today, I am coming clean. Turning myself in so to speak.
If there's one thing I do well, it's present myself as an optimist on the outside. What you (most) don't know is I am the definition of pessimist on the inside. In fact "poopy pants" and "Debbie downer" are nicknames my husband whips out once in a while. My coping mechanism is to make it seem alright, and to mask that with humour. It is something I am totally aware of and struggle with daily. Why can't I live my own mantra?

I struggle with daily frustrations and road blocks just like the rest of us, but choose to attempt to be the positive for someone (just not myself) with my uplifting and positive posts. If I lift a few people up... I'm doing what I intended. Lately I've been reading too many articles and news stories about mental illness and/or suicide. I truly believe if you surround yourself with people who post and preach those positive encouraging words, it will help at least bring a little light to a dark day. I have my entourage of people, I myself follow, for those uplifting messages.. and have done my best to remove anyone who poops on that parade of people. I also live with the very most positive person I have ever met, my husband. He keeps me grounded (I don't know how) and reminds me not to sweat the small stuff ... or big stuff on a daily basis. Without him.... well... I'd be more crazy!

I'm a mom of 2 beautiful girls coming off maternity leave pennies. Yes I am grateful for the goverments grace of 1 whole year of "paid" maternity leave and the ability to raise my babies myself for that long... however... when all is said and done I COMMEND those who are able to do it without a significant and supportive other. People preach that money doesn't equal happiness.... but in my world, it equals emotional stability! The shift between the end of mat leave and the beginning of working life is like missing a bus on a deserted route. You've gotta sit at a standstill and wait forever for the next bus... or in this case the paycheque. In the meantime, you're left to call on that supportive significant other to help fill in the gap. This has proven to be "delightful" (see the attempt at optimism there!). Having to explain why I need name brand peanut butter, another sippy cup (I have a slight obsession) or why I paid an outrageous $1.79 PER avocado is exhausting! (in my defense it was because I needed them right away and the organic $$$ ones were ripe!... I got bonus PC points at least, but explaining that concept is not even worth it) I have had to space out the "diaper/wipe run" with the "grocery run" and then the "what I forgot run" to alleviate the total bill (avoid that "WHAT? You spent how much? ON WHAT? Where IS IT ALL?")... and yet having to go all those times and still even spend money is foreign and debate provoking enough that we have started to secretely survive on "the cupboard."

* "The Cupboard" - you know that pantry that is full of "on sale" soup, crackers, granola bars, canned vegetables and fruit, beans .... you can't have enough beans... and any other non-perishable stagnant processed and in my words "dead foods". It pains me to have to ever eat too much from this cupboard in the event that the zombie apocalypse or a Y2K repeat (real this time) were to happen. For some reason I see soup (and other sales) and panic thinking this may be the last time we as humans are ever able to buy this stuff  LOL so I better stock up! Yep...  if you see the lady with a grocery checkout belt with 50 cans of soup on it, accompanied by coupons and disputing that some of the dented ones should be cheaper... that could be me!

This being said I have also come to realize the sacrafices you make as a parent for your children. I just recently treated myself (who am I kidding... bribed, pleaded and practically stole "our" money) to a hair cut and colour. It had been months and the struggle to find the time was real. But man... it's amazing what a new pair of socks and a fresh hair cut can do for the confidence! LOL (the socks were on sale hahahah!!!). My wardrobe is screaming "help me" as we speak from the sad looking black, black, grey, black, grey, navy blue, black, black ... weight conscious, "fluff" hiding, muffin top concealing closet of mine. And yet my children are dressed to the nines, have a shoe/boot and sandal for every degree of temperature a day could be. That is where I find happiness. Providing for my girls. I said to my husband yesterday morning that on this bridge to a paycheque, I've even run out of my expensive facial cleanser and am slowly joining the "reborn acne proned teenager" zone, along with having to use dollar store hair spray for those days I don't have to be out in public hahahah! And yet, I continue to make these sacrafices to be able to afford "princess edition" goldfish, cheese strings and an $80 "all the rage" lunch box so B can be ready for kindergarten in style.

Mom's, we should be paid for being moms! It's a tough job... and yet doing it for free is just as enjoyable :-) Oh poor pitiful me, right?... Wrong. I am truly blessed, and would go without a hair cut and colour for as long as my husband would let me LOL The sacrifices I make for my girls are out of love. But the one thing I wish someone would have told me (and people actually did, and I ignored)... don't spend so much money on a fancy crib, carseat accessories and pointless non functional baby shoes... there are better things in life to be spending money on.... like adorable floral spring jeans and $80 lunch boxes for kindergarten... hahahha!

The things we do for our kids :-)

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Just one of those days

Alright, seriously... since seeing The Truman Show I honestly have this undeniable fear that someone is watching me at all times. Like I am on a TV show and I don't know it. Sometimes I even make decisions based on this possibility... eeesh, that sounds crazy doesn't it! Today was a day for the books... or the blog! (unless you've already seen the episode hahah!)

It was the girls first full day at their new daycare. Simple enough you'd think... HA! I am lucky to be a part-time worker wife. However, the days I work, I put my full week in in two days it seems. I'm not striking up the band to play in a pity party, but I am giving TREMENDOUS props to moms who do the morning routine SOLO! My husband leaves at 4:30am while we are sleeping, so I essentially wake up a single mom (but not really as I am truly grateful that my husband is working hard to support us). My alarm goes off and it's GO TIME! Literally not a second to spare to even vere from the original plan. I probably yell out to the girls 50 million times are morning "We've gotta get going or we're going to be late,"... I think to myself how much I am probably creating anxiety for them in rushing everything they do.... but frig... kids are like molasses... it's like everything they do when you are in a hurry is in S..L...OoOwwww... Mo...tion! Ughhhh Listen kid... I'm putting your socks on today, it's just what's going to happen, you can pick your toes slowly and put your socks on tomorrow... but today, we have a timeline.

Side note: After waiting for the Dr. this week for 50 minutes with both girls in tow (sinus infection for this cat)... I preached to B about patience. Another prideful moment where I should listen to myself.

Anyways, both girls hit their carseats having eaten breakfast, with clean faces, bags packed and smelling squeaky clean. I was feeling like a seasoned vet!

Other side note: We ran out of water this week. Yep... multiple days... no water.... I'm watching survivor right now, and I'm jealous of their water supply, UGHHHH. Serious country problems and a serious HATRID for mother nature this year. She better start getting mad in the form of heat, no one needs another Elsa here. So this day started with my bathing like a cat under what felt like a drip from a leaky faucet. Try rinsing out conditioner like that! (Yes, I had to use conditioner, this city girl is still stubborn in desperate times! hahaah).

Back to the day... The girls get to daycare in time, smooth first day drop off, no tears (well except mine, that threatened to ruin my makeup on the way to work). It's a slushy day... DING, Out of windshield washer fluid, LOVELY. Thanks hunny dearest. Question: Does anyone else think this should be a husband job. Car maintenance includes watching over the squirt squirt (eeeek feminists galore would be ALL over me for that one). I pull into the work parking lot, DING, Low fuel... Awesome! Rollin' with it, I get to the class, I teach for the first 20 mins of the day and BLECHHHHHH... kid pukes on floor of the classroom mid lesson... Amazing, this day is just cruisin' for a blog!

Anyone else have these days? I swear if it weren't for my husband who has literally retrained my psycho snapcase mind, I would have been a ball of tears incapable of carrying on with my day. But he has provided me with a "it could be worse" mentality that stops my meltdowns in their tracks.

Another Side Note: My husband S*&t% rainbows... everyday... all day. He's like a freak of nature, glass IS full, pillar of positivity disgustingly optimistic kind of person. ewww

The bell rings... I scrape up enough cash from my wallet, coat pocket and car console/floor to buy a jug of overpriced squirt squirt, $20 of gas and a lil beef jerky protein snack (remember I'm flat broke, working 1-3 days a week not wanting to ask my husband for $ and have to explain things like the beef jerkey splurge).

 I hit the gas and zip home to get my girls... my reason for everything, what truly makes any bad day seem so insignificant. Cheers to tomorrow followers, it WILL be a better day!

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Not throwing in the dish towel and vacuum quite yet...

Sorry all, been busy being cooped up inside during these frigid -30 days. Have I mentioned cabin fever? HOLY HANNAH... it's a good thing I didn't blog, or I might have one of many authorities knocking at my door for being crazy! I had so many blog ideas drawn up in my head... eeeesh they weren't very friendly....

This winter BLOWS! I'm using that term in caps because, well... it literally BLOWS! The windchills are deadly, and with an almost one year old (I keep saying "almost" for fear I'll break into tears if I actually call her a one year old... she turns 1 in 4 days), it's impossible to go out in this. I would have to tether her to my body in fear of her blowing away! A few weeks back we attempted to get the mail. Now, getting the mail means walking up a hill and down 2 blocks... not far... very manageable. After one embarrassing fail of an attempt that resulted in my 2 year old crying because she couldn't fit in the sled and couldn't see past her sister jammed on her lap, I switched gears, came home and strapped them into the jogging stroller. And then it happened.... totally manageable distance... 2nd embarrassing FAIL. It turned into the baby (ahhh she's not really a baby) crying because ... oh just because, turning her body into the straightest stiffest board possible and turning blue with anger. And then the toddler crying because Oooohhhh the world is ending... "we didn't make it to the mail box... I wanted to get the mail... WANNNHHHHH" ... Ughhhh. Home again home again jiggity jig. I unbundled the little Michelin marshmallows, made luke warm toddler safe hot chocolate and pretended the whole thing never happened. When my husband got home he asked "did you go out today?" ... my reply... "Nope."

Anyways... the blog may get more interesting as this momma has returned to work! Or at least that is what I'm calling it even though my return is a slow crawling integration to .... wait for it .... 3 DAYS A WEEK! So awesome, right? So why do I feel so guilty? Often times I think to myself I could NEVER be a housewife. I admire those that are confident in being and doing such, but I have SUCH a hard time asking for money. *****GASP***** Did she say "asking for money"... yes, a married woman such as myself still feels like it's asking for a handout. I like my independence. Not having to explain why I bought 4 different colours of a high end sippy cups because they actually don't leak, are easy to clean and cool looking! So, I probably only needed 2 (one for each kid)... but who doesn't like variety?! I spend my money stupidly... but I like that it's MY money to spend stupidly. Don't get me wrong, I take care of the responsibilities in life and contribute in the way that worked for us, but now that mat leave has ended and work has started S...L...O...W...L...Y.... the $ well is running dangerously dry! I've even stopped searching the local momswap page for used stuff, because I'm not sure I can even muster up enough cash in the couch for a coffee, let alone more doll house furniture (this dollhouse has become and addiction).

I'm teaching tomorrow at a fabulous school that I have taught long term at in the past. There's a position for 3 week LTO (long term occasional) job closing tomorrow at lunch for the very same school and I'm sitting here blogging whilst freshening up my resume. I have sat, torn on my decision for a week. Do I, or don't I apply? For the first time ever, my husband is supporting my decision and actually begging that I don't. We have settled with the fact that I was to do part time, keep the girls out of daycare full time until the fall.

Interruption: OMG my oldest goes to school in the fall.... WANNNHHH (that's a whole other blog... look out for that depressing one soon!)

 We had a plan in place. They were going to daycare two days a week (good for them and me), and are with their dad on Fridays. Yes, he lives in luxury getting fridays off and it pains me to get out of bed those days to go to work leaving him all cozy and warm. Let's just say I'm mean, and kinda make more noise than I have to, flick on the light more than I need to and ask questions to keep him from sleeping in too hard! hahahha So mean!
Anyways... My trigger finger just about clicked the apply button tonight as I dolled up the dusty ole cover letter, resume combo. But I'm stickin' with my husband on this one. I have full support to be a "stay at home, sometimes" mom. WHY am I feeling guilty about not applying? This way I can maintain normalcy in our lives, still put home cooked meals on the table (I've been rocking the homemaker status these days), be present with the kids after work not thinking about work, lesson planing or marking. The money... well.... I'll buy a lottery ticket for the next 3 weeks instead and pray SO HARD we win.

I'm still discovering who I really am, this blog is proving to be the start of that journey. I am stubborn, and take things to heart. I overthink where no thinking at all is required. When I should shut the book.... I read on.

I'm shutting the book. I'm going tomorrow and will be able to stand tall with my decision. It's for our family. It's what we want. I have my whole life to work (damn it)...

So here's to finding balance. A groove, and underlying happiness. As you will learn in another future projected post, my husband really is my rock. He keeps me straight, sane and just a little bit of the right crazy!

Friday, 30 January 2015

A special bond

*Grabbing a Kleenex may be a good idea about now*

My husband and I were driving home last week from a friend's mom's funeral. He asked me what I thought about life after death, where we go when we die and what exactly I believe in. He himself is petrified of dying, I on the other hand find comfort in the idea that there is life after death. That life on earth is only the beginning of the true test of it all. I think when you get up there it's a world of reconnecting with loved ones, meeting for tea so to speak. I don't look forward to dying and am thankful for this life on earth everyday, however I love that I have a little comfort and hope that the end may not really be an end. 

Our family lost a member this week to car accident. 2 weeks after a friend lost his mom. A week after the anniversary of the death of my cousin last year, and a week before the anniversary of the death of friend last year, my emotions, exhausted. I was going to blog about how crazy life can be, how overwhelming life with a threenager has been, and how exhausting it is picking up toys off the floor day in and day out all the while thinking about what to have for dinner... when my mind was stopped in it's tracks. How can I possibly complain at a time like this. 

In relation to those I have lost this week and last year at this time, all I can think about is the mother/daughter/sister relationship. 

I didn't know J that well, but after sitting through her funeral and listening to one of the most touching and tragic eulogies made by her son, our good friend, I can say I got a very good idea of what a beautiful and thoughtful person she really was. At the wake, I cried at the sight of old pictures. She was gorgeous, and her husband truly loved and respected her entirely. But it was the pictures of her and her grandbabies and the pure sadness in her daughter's eyes that really resonated with me. I couldn't relate to her daughters sorrow, but I could imagine the emptiness she would be feeling and couldn't imagine being in her shoes. I literally hugged her and said "I have no words, I'm not even sure I can say anything without..." and I started to cry.

My cousin R was such a beautiful person. People truly were inspired to be more like her. Taken way too early I remember at the time my heart ached for her only sister. She had brothers, but I could relate with the sisterly bond and couldn't imagine what I would be like if something happened to my sister. I am so happy to have had two beautiful little girls who I hope will mimic what my sister and I have. I remember thinking how wonderful it would be to have a little boy for my husband, but how perfect it would be if our 2nd was a sister for B. It's a bond I can't explain. 

A week today, I lost a friend to a winter crash. She was also an inspiration and had a special bond with her sisters and mom. I remember at her funeral being terribly sad for them knowing how devastating it must be. It was my last day of work before leaving my class for maternity leave. I had just mailed a package that morning to her in the board internal mail not knowing that that package would never make it to her. A colleague of mine came through my classroom door at the end of the day and started talking.... I'll never forget, 8 month pregnant, I was awkward to hug, but she did anyway. She told me the news and I crumbled. A friend. A sister. A daughter. lost. 

This week I learned of the death of another family member. Another beautiful woman with 4 children and 5 gorgeous grandchildren. I read her sons post over and over again not wanting to believe what I was reading. This morning, her daughters posted their reflections... and I wept. 
K said: "How do you navigate tragedy when the person you would turn to for help is the one you lost? Yesterday we lost my mom in a traffic accident. You think you have so much time, but you don't. You are gone far too soon, mom and I don't know how to do this without you."

There are moments here and there that stop you dead in your tracks. You've got your nose down trekking through life and suddenly something makes you look up and soak in your surroundings. I don't wish for more of these moments, but when they come, I am thankful for their message.  I can't tell you the number of times my girls eyes have met mine these last few days that I haven't just stopped in the moment, hugged them and told them I loved them. I want to wrap our lives, our bonds and our love up in bubble wrap. But I know that life goes on, you have to live it to it's fullest, love hard and be happy. People come and go in and out of our lives, we have to accept God's decisions, remember people's impact and carry inspiration from special people in our souls. I count my blessings day in and day out, because after all, life is way too fast, too short and too crazy to not be thankful it's even here at all. 


Saturday, 17 January 2015

Pity Pool

One of the crew (my mummy group) shouted out this week to ask if anyone wanted to meet up for a swim at the public pool. Instantly my 26 year old self jumped up like that was such a great idea... and then my post baby, 30 year old, mushier self hit the panic button.

I took our first daughter to the pool all the time. We did mommy and me lessons right through until she was 2. I wore a relatively non-kid friendly bathing suit to which i quickly learned wasn't the greatest for my very buoyant milk factories. (I wonder how the heck Pam Anderson did it in baywatch? She must have struggled). At the time I was in in "1st baby" bliss. I just had a baby.. yeah I was sad about the body those 9 months left me with... but I was high on life. Anyways... now with our second, not only did it become more difficult to take two very small children to a pool at the same time, but it became difficult for me to find AND fit into a child friendly bathing suit that I was somewhat ok with.

We went. We packed our stuff... and went. I didn't even model my bathing suit, shoved it in a bag, said a little prayer and went. A lady swam by me holding both girls in the pool with that "forced/i feel sorry for you" smile on her face and said "Boy, you're brave, aren't you?" I wanted to say... brave? Ha! The bravest/hardest part about what you see, I'm fighting on the inside. Brave was getting in this slightly too small bathing suit and worrying about everyone else but myself. My pasty sunless body is so white, I panicked that if I drown, they would never find me on the bottom of the white tiled pool. Brave was not looking in the mirror first to make sure I wasn't seriously offending anyone with this image. The easiest part was hiding behind  my two beautiful girls who I pray won't struggle with body image as much as their mother does.

I am lucky. I gained 26lbs with my 1st baby and 8lbs with my second. After I had D, I walked out skinnier than I had been in a while. Now, my body image sucks... but my eating habits suck worse. I love hot chocolate, jelly beans and Kraft Dinner. Kids need carbs... and when you can see 'em, and smell 'em... well... it's pretty gosh darn hard to not eat 'em. We eat healthy, don't get me wrong. We love our smoothies, fresh fish, and a very balanced diet full of veggies and dairy. However... we too, love our snacks. Those evil little goldfish (double cheddar = extra evil) and all the candy that comes with special events. I know exactly where and how I pack on my pounds, and I know exactly what it's going to take to get rid of them. So really... it's my own fault. I don't know how many times I've had my thyroid levels checked praying there is an excuse. Awful.

My friend M.H. left me with some pretty powerful words one day. I stuggled with my image following the birth of both my girls. She said "Be careful how much you talk about it, you have 2 little listeners." It really rang true to me. How much I was effecting these beautiful little creatures who don't have a worry in the world (well.. little worries, like how many pontails to sport that day, or whether B wants to wear fashion boots or snowboots). They are listening and analyzing my every move. I am now very careful to not put myself down.... out loud. Now I just need to work on internalizing my love for myself.

For the first time in as long as I can remember, I made a kid cry today. I swam by this cute, relaxed little baby with his grandma in the pool and he took one look at me and started balling. I pretended like I hadn't engaged with him at all and kept moving (weird... wonder why that kid started crying?) Inside I thought to myself that's exactly how I feel about myself when I look in the mirror right now, little guy. The struggle to get ready to go anywhere public, leaves me holding back tears in a mirror and eventually saying... well... this is the best i can do, and leaving. Like an old cottage... after you have kids... everything starts to settle and shift. That strong, solid foundation becomes a little unlevel and not quite as supportive as it once was. To invest in a new foundation would cost 10s of thousands... so for now, all I can do is fix up this ole' cottage and just relax where it stands.

I'm a mum. I helped make and grow two stunningly beautiful little girls. I have the ability to show them what it is like to respect themselves and love their bodies. I just need a little personal refresher course from time to time. My body isn't and never will be what it was the day I got married (God, I worked hard for that body).... but my life isn't the same either. I have been gifted these two lovelies who I look forward to seeing every morning. Let this new year be about discovering myself... maybe my old... 20lb lighter self?! But being a lot less consumed with how fat I look in pictures or how dusty that bin of smaller jeans is getting downstairs.
I've got some work to do ;-)  Now pass the celery... Hold the dip! hahahah

Thursday, 15 January 2015

She's perfect.

Ok, Huggies... Whoever is the smart marketing exec whose idea it was to make a "variety" box of pull-ups for "threenagers" needs to give their head a shake. NO, I do not want a box where every 3rd pull-up is Dr. McStuffins... I want a whole darn box of Dr. McStuffins. The funniest part is, Bs seen the show probably twice... and yet this cute lil' face RULES our bedtime routine. Anyone want a box of pullups size 3T-4T ... missing all Dr. McStuffins pullups? Come on, really! No one wants the fish from the lil mermaid... couldn't that have been better planned.. and if they do... let them buy a whole box of the fish! hahaha
This brings me to my blog for tonight. I left the room having put out numerous toddler fires thinking about a conversation I had with a friend this week. Although, I'm typing quietly because "Duckie" is still M.I.A this evening, and the second that little stuffed "stuffy of the month" shows his head, he's got some explaining to do. If B hears me, she'll know I'm not really still looking for him, like I promised to do an hour ago.

Running some errands this week with D while B was in preschool, I ran into an old friend at the mall. As soon as I left this conversation, I was so touched by what we had talked about I vowed to write about and be inspired by it. (so it took me two days, a mid day well overdue shower and a recharge of my dead laptop to finally get me to sit down and write... that's pretty good... no?!)
My friend KD is a mother an only child. I got to know her and her family many years ago when her now pre-teen was just a little girl. Then, she was brilliant. A smart little book reader who was cute as a button, well behaved and loved her mom. As I stood there and asked how her daughter was, I expected to hear a flood of "OMG my pre-teen" type stories. She started out saying that she's doing pretty good. Despite her choice in friends that could be a bad influence, she's continued to be a little independent, goal driven, smarty. She looked me in the eye and said "Corrie, she's perfect." I have tears as I write this. This mom was giving huge props to her daughter, didn't have a single complaint in the world, acknowledged that it wasn't easy getting to where they were, but that she was simply perfect in her eyes.
After more catching up on other unrelated gossip, we exchanged goodbyes and I got back in my vehicle. I sat there... in awe. What had just taken place was so touching that it has now changed my entire perspective of things. All too often I find myself in conversations surrounding deviant toddlers, excuses for behaviours and complaints about non-compliance, time buying and temper tantrums. I speak of the struggles I have getting my Sr.Baby to eat and not choke, nap and not cry and play while being gentle. I cant' think of many times that I have stood and praised just how wonderful my children are. KD was so proud... not of herself necessarily and her efforts that got her daughter to where she is, but of her daughter and just how awesome a person she was. She stood and spoke of her unique character. How she had dyed her hair so many times and came home and shaved it to start fresh. Something a girl of that age wouldn't really think of doing in a million years. But as KD said, she just doesn't care about what other people think and that is so cool.

 I feel like the world we live in is driven by "one-upping" each other. For some reason social media has created this feeling of competition. I have been criticized for it many times as I post a lot. I'm creative and can do a lot of things myself. I enjoy doing things with my children and sharing those things for people (mostly family) to see. I'm not bragging, or showing off (well... that ombre creamsicle cake i pulled off was pure brag central!). I feel as though I complain because it's just easier to do. It's more readily understood and listened to... or is it? This is where KD has shifted my entire thought process. Why don't I speak of how perfect my children are? Why do I hide those conversations only for family. My girls are perfect. They are the easiest going, always smiling, rarely crying, loving sleeping little balls of perfection that we created and are SO proud of. Sure they have their moments, but I need to think more along the track of "I am so lucky." After all, so many people dream of what I have... and I mean that in the least cockiest way possible. I need to be less afraid to brag. To hold my head up high and not default to speaking of the struggles. I have it made, why do I feel pressured to have to downplay it?

Tonight, I pray, that when I have pre-teens, I too will stand and be able to say "they are just perfect"... although I'm not sure my mother would have said that about me (lol!).

That ombre creamsicle cake:

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Home is where all your heart should be

For years I have struggled to call this place home. Although I've lived here now since my 1st year University, it just never settled in that I was staying here forever. My plan was to get an education, and return to Ottawa to teach. Even after meeting my husband and getting hired on as a contract teacher in the local board, I would always visit Ottawa as if it was still home, and be really sad to have to leave. It's not like I made lasting connections with too many people from back home, (ha, let's be serious, I don't make lasting connections with many people), but for a long long time, I felt like a city girl trapped in the country. I knew nothing about the Peterborough lingo, highschool affiliation politics, or even what mechanic was trustworthy. I felt unsettled and out of my element so to speak. I made friends over the years, but they to moved on either back to their home towns, following their hearts in love or moving to BC (seemed like all the rage for a while). I had a lot of guy friends, or friends attached to previous boyfriends that I had to sort of distance myself from out of respect to my now, husband (although I have come to realize I really miss those friendships and was naive to think I had to let them fizzle).

This year is shaping up to be my biggest year of soul searching and learning about myself. I have had many moments of reflection while off on my second maternity leave. Lots of time to sit back and really let things soak in (between diaper changes, toddler tea parties and daytrips of course). I just got back from a 4 day trip to Ottawa to visit my parents (who still live there) and for the first time ever I didn't cry when I left. Don't get me wrong, I was sad to leave them, but for the first time ever it didn't seem sad to leave the idea of Ottawa. It's not my home anymore. I was excited to get home, here in Ennismore, to walk in the door and smell the smell of us (that I'm still tweaking... trying to find the right Bath and Body Works scent... opinions welcome). To pull in the driveway and see our house, and most of all, to jump into our own beds! There's nothing better than your own bed!!!! That first shower of stinky sulfury well water, was a little sad, but it reminded me that I'm a country girl now. I hang my laundry on the line, the dust in my house is from burning wood, I can't water my lawn with a sprinkler because I'm on a well, and it takes 15 minutes to get anywhere that sells things like construction paper, or printer ink! LOL #firstworldproblems This is where I wanna be. It's strange that it's taken this long, but now raising our children here, I feel settled. Blair is attending preschool 15 minutes up the road, and my girls already have more friends here than I do.

The only thing that could complete this picture is having my family closer. I know i'm lucky that 3 hours is the furthest I have to travel, however having been brought up in a very close knit family way... I struggle having them that far. It was all fine and dandy, fixed with road trips and cottage visits until I had children. I want to share them. Plastering them all over Facebook has become something I'm branching away from (slowly hahaha). I would love to be able to call my mom and meet for lunch. Or call my dad to come help me fix something and in turn get to visit with the girls. In my mummy group there are two sisters who have had children together. Although that's not a possible reality, to be able to have coffee with my sister or meet for lunch would be a total luxury. I shake my head at people who live close to their families and don't take advantage of such potential moments.  Sporadic Sunday dinners together would be nice too... Life doesn't leave a lot of free time, so planning and executing roadtrips can't happen at the drop of a pin like quick visits could. My husband has no clue just how lucky he is. We are able to drive to all his family members houses (even some extending family) in no more than 15 minutes (his immediate family are within' 5 min/walking distance). He has no concept of having to travel to see the people you love and the feeling of having to leave. I made the choice to stay, I just wish he understood at what cost and it's effects.

This is my home... I just wish the other bits of my heart lived a little closer.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Some Days You Gotta Dance...

       First and foremost, our "mummy group" is the best there is. We laughed together last night because we used to call it "Baby Group" and then as we started to get together with 2nd babies, somehow it changed to "mummy group." We agreed that this was most likely because we realized, heck with the babies, it was us mommas that needed the group! Sure they develop together learning the hardships of sharing and being gentle, but we also realized that that precious time should be spent ENJOYING a hot coffee, mowing down on muffins in good company. Coming together in a rather random and sporadic way through mixed and mutual friends, we have been together for both 1st and 2nd babies. There isn't a day that goes by that I'm not grateful for this wonderful group of moms.

Apparent last night as we gathered for S's 30th birthday, we all love each other's company so much and seem to share a bond that doesn't just happen overnight.

      As we sat on the couches, free of our children, with drinks and food we didn't have to prepare or clean up, for the first time in too long ... we still spoke of our children! Gone are the days of "one-upping" each other in a competitive way, like who loves their job more, or who just bought the latest expensive high heels online or where we got our purse with matching wallet (now just a glorified diaper bag/suitcase full of tricks). Instead we sit and "one-up" each other in the way of life's chaotic disasters, starring none other than our children. One of us speaks of the time our child wasn't feeling well, puked all over a retail store while waiting in line, then another offers up the story of how their already potty trained toddler has reverted to crapping in their pants and becomes possessed at night at the strike of bedtime! Another speaks of the time her husband called out gagging with disgust without a clue in the world of what to do when one of their babies had diarrhea in the tub. We spoke of the soother fairy, Santa and the stupid elf on a shelf concept that my husband and I sucked at... badly. We traded tricks and fibs that we tell our children to get them to "eat just 3 more bites" or how to avoid the "can you get daddy to lay with me..." "can you get mummy to lay with me again?" "I didn't get to hug Daddy," "I need a glass of water," "One more story!" or the ever emergency phrase... "I have to poop!" But the best part of it all is we get to confirm with one another, and to ourselves, that our crazy chaotic toddler driven lives, are normal. That those times we've sat on the toilet with the lid down behind a closed locked door, pretending to go to the bathroom, but really were catching up on the latest articles or just plain playing candy crush, we weren't alone. The funniest stories come with the brutally honest sharing of our greatest #parentfail moments. Like the time I let B pee in the sink at a store because the toilet had been destroyed by a very uncoordinated man (I am not being sexist... given the pattern of inaccuracy, it had to be a man... or a dog). I'll never forget her looking up at me with such a confused look on her face! It was that or the garbage can, as a toddler that has to pee is like a little ticking time bomb... there was no other option in sight. (Don't worry all... I ran water AND cleaned the sink after... AND i followed up with a lengthy discussion of why it's not something we do.)

We laugh, we cry, but we're in it together.

     I think back to the days of university being in the exact same bar, and just how different my world was. Then, there wasn't a worry in the world, other than making it to class (or appointing the most sober group member to go sign in and take notes for all). I didn't check my phone 10x an hour to see if there was an emergency post about my kids (who were in happy sweet slumber). I never had a thought in the back of my mind that "if i have 1 more drink, I'm not sure I can parent tomorow," in fact, back then, the worry was more whether or not there'd be a line to get a poutine or pita at the ungodly hour of 4am when the whole young adult world was booming. Last night, it was as if we high fived each other that we made it to closing time at the bar, awake and rarin' to go ... home to bed, drinking obscene amounts of water and taking a nearly lethal does of Tylenol in hopes that we'd be sober, rested and unintoxicated at daybreak. Oh how my world has changed. As my head hit the pillow, I was happy. Thankful for all that I have, for time spent with wonderful positive and hilarious people that help me take things in stride. I lay there missing seeing my tossing and turning toddler on the video monitor or standing next to D's crib watching her hugging her bear, snuggled up sleeping.

I wake up... with the initial thought of "what time is it?" then a slow "ughhh, I need coffeee,,," and then the refreshing excitement that even though I feel like a bag of poop, regret those delicious birthday shots and am reminiscing about my attempt to line dance in public (some days you gotta dance)... I wanna go get my kids! I miss them! They are my world. The house is far to quiet without them. 10 years ago, I'd move from my bed to the couch and watch a marathon of movies. My biggest responsibility would be to not fall asleep while the KD was boiling on the stove. Do I miss those days?... sure... do I want them back? Maybe (but only to really soak it in more!), would I trade the path those days have lead me to today? Not a chance.

2015 is a year of positivity (how is that not a word?... positivism just sounds improper), good company and basking in this life that really is great!
I have come to realize that you only have so much energy to give in a day. Like a battery.. if you give it to the wrong people, then the right ones get a drained version of you. You have to cut those energy wasters out. I give too much time and energy to those who don't help me recharge.
I guess this is what it is to start to understand yourself. I no longer refer to it as aging, rather maturing and growing up.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Changing Person

Hi all,

    Alright, so the blog thing is part of my resolution. The fact that I have made it to post #2 is a slow accomplishment, but I'm not quite applauding myself yet. If you've joined my journey... welcome.
Heading into 2015, I have realized I have some major life cleaning to do. I've been trekking along in this little safe zone of life, not really taking too many risks, putting myself out there or really pushing myself to my full potential. I'm not the greatest at friend making, socializing or keeping strong and lasting relationships. I tend to start projects, and not finish them (i.e. my children's baby books that still have missing pages, photos between the pages and missing data). I struggled with anxiety with Blair after I stopped breastfeeding and realized that I'm the kind of person that requires a limited workload to be truly successful, and yet I bite off way more than I can chew all too often.
This year... I'm really honing in on the person I am. The person I want to be, but more importantly, the person I want to portray to my kids. B is a sponge for information right now, and even though will always probably say "I wanna be just like my mummy," I have to make sure that that mummy she follows is the best possible person for her to idolize. I have some tweaking to do.
Still following?... this blog post is shaping up to be a brutally honest hanging of my laundry.... but you've gotta put it out on the line, let the sun/wind hit it before it emerges fresh! (Side Note: all too often I leave a whole load of laundry out on the line, forget to bring it in, let the bugs and spiders climb all over it at night and have it be a soggy rewashable mess to tackle the next morning...)
I am hard on myself. A imperfect perfectionist. An introvert who loves to hunker down at home, sometimes the thought of leaving my house requires way more thought and preparation than I'd like it to. And yet... I take my kids everywhere :-) That I am proud of myself for! I have been blessed with a wonderful mummy group that has opened so many social avenues for me and my kids. Saturating their early learning lives with real life experiences and opportunities to be social, I wanted to make sure I was doing the best I could for them. Walks, park plays, music classes, playgroups, toydrive donations, zoo visits, craft days, icecream dates, public swims, swimming lessons, preschool... all top my list of enriching experiences I'm proud of myself for providing for them.
The biggest problem with being on Maternity Leave and/or working part-time is there are hours upon hours of time spent with yourself. While folding laundry you think of everything in your life... and others. While staring at your "not so eating her lunch" child, somehow floods of thoughts (often the same cycle of thoughts) run through your mind... you fester, exaggerate, snowball and make mountains out of mole hills... It's a bad thing... and awful thing... and something I need to improve on. Why do I care if that girl read my message and didnt' respond... why do I care if joe blow is working out 5 times a week and looks like a supermodel... good for her. Why do I care if that man just fed his kids cheetos for lunch. Part of my resolution is to start caring more about myself and my own world. To essentially block out all other negativity... and keep thinking to myself ... huh, well that sucks for them... guess she won't get to hang out with us... or, she's probably thirsty on that treadmill or hmmm, maybe there is nutritional value to cheetos?!
I really need to embrace a more positive approach. Giving people the benefit of the doubt may actually help my social ineptness (is that even a word?). And if after giving them a chance, they fumble, well... move along. Essentially, I need to be that 5 year old sitting on the counter with a bar of soap in my mouth... think before I speak...
I'm workin' on it.
Happy 2015 All! I promise a lighter, funnier blog once I find my stride. This whole organizing my thoughts thing is overwhelming.