Saturday, March 9, 2013

Morning Nostalgia

So in three sleeps my daughter turns 4! I've been sort of having these moments of nostalgia and thinking how in four very seemingly short years how much of my life has changed. I am 32 years old and it feels like anything before the last four years barely existed.

What exactly was life like before kids? Was there really a period in my life that I got to go to the bathroom by myself? Was there really a time when I got to wake-up on my terms and do the things that I wanted to do? Was there any other time in my life that it ever felt this real?

I can honestly say that there are some seriously great memories in my life before my children came into this world. Not one moment in my life came even remotely close to the feeling I had, when the morphine finally wore off, and I realized I had my beautiful baby girl in my arms.

Insert really nasty C-section story here.

I have some regrets from the past 4 years. There are plenty of times I didn't handle being a parent as well as I could have. There were days where I planted my children in front of the TV so I could simply just ignore them for a while, times I yelled and screamed instead of showing them love, times that they got fed over an hour past our regular meal times with a meal of cheese, goldfish and a banana because I just couldn't for the life of me get up the energy to make dinner, times I locked myself into the bathroom for 10 minutes just for some peace and quiet (usually when I have an important phone call to make..."Is there an echo in there?) I somehow don't think I'm alone. With all these negative moments though there are tens of thousands of moments where it was done right.

I always believed that I would be such an amazing mom. I've always loved kids, their imaginations, and their ability to look at the positive in life no matter what the situation. I could relate to it. Once kids fell in my life (snort there was no falling...more like hours of pushing) I found that I was a much more selfish person than I originally thought. I found days where I was resenting the fact that I didn't have a moment to myself, where I could no longer get up in the morning and go for a run without a huge hassle, where I could go out to a restaurant and eat my meal without all the screaming, yelling and downright rottenness.

I was talking to my mom the other day. She said that she always felt the same way, that maybe she was too selfish and wasn't the best mom she could be. I'd have to say that my opinion is completely the opposite. I felt my mom was amazing, she was brilliant (always one step ahead of me), compassionate and loving, fun, involved and seemed to include me in everything. I think it's so hard to know what kind of impact you are making on your kids because you're so wrapped up in your own brain and expectations.

I could not imagine my life without my children and nor would I want to. No matter what kind of good days and bad days we have in the years to come I wholeheartedly believe they are going to be the best days of my life and it's all because my kids are in them. I'm going to try hard not to waste these moments because I know they aren't going to last forever. There is going to be a time soon in my life when I'm no longer the most important person to them in the world but they always will be to me!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Dating for 4?

Ok so the funk of February is GONE!  In its place is a manic like euphoria.  Maybe I’m just undiagnosed bipolar.  Regardless I’m happy to be on this side of the mood swing.  I’d have to say I can credit it a lot to a new friendship I feel developing.  I think I was a little lonlier than I was letting myself believe.

I had just met a woman that I swear I’m so excited about that it feels like I’m dating for the first time in years.  I hope if she reads this then she doesn’t think I’m hitting on her or a massive weirdo.  I have been out of the dating scene for over 10 years now so I’m not exactly sure but if I remember correctly I’m displaying all the signs.  Smiling more often, can’t stop talking about her to my parents, super excited to get together for visits and hope when my phone makes the sound indicating I have a text that it’s her.  Oh god I totally sound creepy desperate, I’m even writing about her in my blog. Well hopefully she would take this as a compliment instead of heading to the cop shop to take out a restraining order on me. 

It’s way more difficult to make friends as an adult, especially when you have two small kids and no employment.  Kids, especially the really small ones, are not exactly everyone’s cup of tea.  They are loud, messy and destructive.  You not only have to prove yourself a decent human being to potential new friends but try to ensure your kids don’t send them bolting for the hills before you get a chance to get to know each other.  It’s usually ideal if you find people that have some similar commonalities such as their own children and maybe even a cool husband that your own husband can be introduced to.  It’s almost like dating for your family, which maybe makes it much more complicated but if it works out can have some seriously amazing results.

Regardless, so far this new person in my life almost seems too good to be true.  We have a lot of similarities right down to what we drink, movies we like to watch, small people in our lives and general matching moral viewpoints.  I think what’s the best part of it all is that she seems as interested at making new friends as I am.  I know that I tend to come across too enthusiastic a lot of the time and can scare people off.   In this way it’s a lot like dating I guess.  When two people meet each other and have a desire to make a relationship work then it will.  We don’t have to be exactly alike but compatibility and chemistry play a big role.  

Spring is around the corner and it always feels like a fresh start.  I’m glad to see February behind me and look forward to what a new season will bring.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Sorting Out Parenting Issues

Wow the Responses

Let me give you a bit of background first. Yesterday my mom and I were having a conversation on the phone (which happens usually more than once a day, even if we just saw each other 2 hours previous).  We were talking about how kids don’t seem to appreciate their toys as much as we did when we were children. I am fortunate enough to have a room we keep designated especially just for toys. My kids are currently sharing a room (long story) and therefore the room we were going to designate to my daughter has now turned into the “playroom.” Now this playroom has EVERYTHING and I’m not exaggerating. It’s got a train table, a play kitchen (so yes it even has a kitchen sink), two beds, a doll house with tonnes of accessories, a book shelf, musical instruments, Legos, a matt on the floor with little roadways designed on, a dress-up clothing box, a huge tote for stuffed animals and a shelf that has bins full of other random assorted toys.

Any parent reading this will see the problem here. Too many freaking toys! There is so much going on in there that the kids don’t actually play with anything, they from what I can tell just dump every item on the floor in search of the next. The result is two bored children and one mad and tired mom. Mom is mad not only because the toys are not doing their job by entertaining the kids but also because it literally takes an hour to clean the room and only 20 seconds to destroy it.

So let’s go back to the conversation I was having with my mom. We were talking about how kids just have too much stuff, most of it crappy plastic and they have never known any different. My house looks like Toys R Us has barfed all over it since the day my first born came home.  There's no way a child would have any appreciation when they've never been lacking. Mom finally said something along the lines of “I wonder what would happen if you took all the toys away, every single one for an entire week? Do you think it would force them into appreciating their toys more?” Then we started to think logistically about what that would look like for a full week. How insane would I go by the end of that week? Would the children survive? Would I?
I decided to put this question out to my fellow friends on my Facebook page and see what they thought. Well who knew that it would create such a stir? It seemed everyone had an opinion on the matter, people with several kids, people with no kids, people who have older kids that are no longer in the house, young people, older people, people who have tried similar things and people who think you’re crazy for just suggesting such a “silly idea”. It was really interesting to see how differently people reacted and sometimes really strongly.

Really I don’t think there is one right answer. I mean is there really ever when it comes to parenting? Kids, like all humans, have such different personalities and value systems. The only real way to know would be to test it out and I’m thinking that we wouldn’t survive a day.

Instead I spent my afternoon sorting through ALL the toys and separating them into 4 different piles. Yes, you read that right, 4 piles. And these are not small piles; each pile is enough to fill a large tote. It's amazing how much stuff a 2 and almost 4 year old can accumulate. Now that it's all sorted and labeled in their own Rubbermaid bins I'll be able to rotate all their toys every couple of weeks to keep things seeming new and interesting. I know this concept isn't a new idea to the parenting world but it was the happiest medium I was willing to partake in. I think by downsizing the mass into smaller to handle portions they’ll find more time for each toy and instead and hopefully keep them from becoming crazy obsessed because I'm depriving them of their toys. Plus we can't forget that the real reason why I'm actually motivated to do this, I now won't have to spend countless hours cleaning the playroom anymore.

It;s probably NOT in my best interest to divulge how exactly I sorted these bins.  Let’s just say that my OCD kicked in and the bins are sorted into different themes. I can already see my hubby shaking his head at me like I'm a crazy lady. I can't really deny it either.

I think what I’ve really learned here is no one really knows what the hell we’re doing. Oh I’m sure there are experts that would tell me what I’m doing will be beneficial for their growth and development. Then I’m sure another would be telling me I’m well on my way to signing them up for A&E's Hoarders as I'm teaching them to hold on to their possessions harder so they don't disappear. It’s just bizarre that after how many years humans have been parenting children that no one really knows. If we don’t have a clue on how to raise children properly then what the heck do we have? Well I’m NOT putting this question out to the Facebook world because I’m not sure if I want to know the answer.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mood Swings

Not only is Mother Nature in the middle of one of her mood swings but apparently so am I. Today can't feel more different than yesterday if it tried. It's like my brain is magically tuned into the fact that the end of February is here and it can go back to being a normal functioning organ (well maybe not so normal but at least functioning).  I wish the weather would get the memo too.

It was not only a productive day but it was really good for the psyche.  I had a lovely time going for a walk with one of the moms who also brings her daughter to the same preschool as my daughter.  I then managed to clean my house, prep supper for tomorrow and speak with one of my very close friends from BC who just had a beautiful baby boy.  To top it off this evening I had a great conversation, albeit a texting style conversation, with a really cool person I met a couple days ago.  I really feel after the few chats that we’ve had that this is someone that I feel might just pan out into a really great friendship.  To top it all off I also am 2 ½ weeks into not yelling at my children, not even once.

I spent some serious time this evening going through some of the posts in the Orange Rhino blog ( from the other parents.  I signed up for a 30 day challenge that the inventor of this site has created.  It has been amazing so far.  I won’t go into much detail because the “challenge site” is in a secure setting and I don’t want to infringe on anyone’s privacy.  Recently we’ve been asked to identify triggers (of why a person would yell at their children) and I have been literally overwhelmed.  It’s incredibly enlightening reading other people’s stories and listening to their deep insights into why exactly this is a trigger for them.  This has done two really important things for me.  One it makes me feel that we are not alone in this parenthood endeavor.  Everyone in this challenge, save the person who introduced me to the site, is a complete stranger to me.  These strangers seem to be able to read my mind. It's so amazing that people who don't know anything about each other can feel exactly the same way. Two is the solutions people have offered to help with the issues that have been plaguing me since the moment my pee stick showed a positive symbol in the window.  It’s like someone has thrown me a life line and is teaching me how to tread water.

Today has been a great day.  I’m however looking at my clock and thinking that I’m WAY past my bed time.  I had planned to go to bed about 2 hours ago and instead I got sucked into computer land.  I know that one of my triggers (and 90% of the people who posted) is lack of sleep so I better get my butt into bed before my mood swings south tomorrow! 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

March is on the Horizon

Well that time has arrived again.  My husband packed up his bags and is back off to work for his 4 week stint.  We have spent the last month doing some serious budgeting and financial problem solving as we have found ourselves over spending ourselves into a pickle.   It really feels good to get a solid handle on the issue and pay more attention.  However with the budget in place and the children on high destruction mode it’s making life feel a little restrictive.
I spent the last month in a bit of a funk.  I think there are several factors weighing in on my mind at the moment.  For one it’s February.  I despise this month.  The only redeeming quality to February is that it’s the shortest month of the year.  I’m not a huge Valentine’s Day celebrator and I think that Groundhog’s Day is a kid’s thing , I really don’t hold a lot of precedence over a weather predicting rodent.  It’s that awful last real kick at winter and often the coldest month.  Some of the other issues that have been bringing me down include being disappointed about our poor budget planning and instead of being ahead like we hoped by this point we managed to put ourselves behind.  This of course resulted in my husband having to go back to his old schedule of 4 weeks gone and 2 weeks at home to make extra money to bail us back out.  Now that the husband is gone for longer periods of time and home less I’ve been feeling like I’ve been lacking in some desperately needed adult interaction and it’s been a little slower than I anticipated making a friend or two in my new home area.  The last thing that has really been getting to me is how I feel about what kind of parent I’m turning out to be.

I’m a full believer of the idea that “a happy mommy makes for a happy family.”  I quite often feel as, probably like most women, that I am the glue that holds the family together and ensures the household runs smoothly.  Granted I’m super lucky that I have a husband who works very hard and sacrifices so much to support us and is an amazing father but I still feel the weight of the world on my shoulders, or at least the weight of the house and we have a pretty big house.  When I’m feeling blue or un-motivated I can really see how it affects my family and those around me.  Not only am I feeling like I don’t have any motivation to get out and participate in my usual overabundance of activities in the community but I also feel like I’m not living up to my potential as a stay at home mom.  I know that in my heart I’m not giving it my all and the kids are not getting the best out of me that they deserve.  I feel extremely absent in the day and each night when I go to bed I feel guilty for wasting this precious time in my kid’s lives and I resolve in the morning that I’m going to work harder at it, but morning comes and this cloud of gloom sets over my head and the cycle repeats.

Even through the funk I’ve been having, I have however been doing extremely well with my Orange Rhino challenge and it’s been over two weeks already and I have not yet yelled once at my children.  Don’t get me wrong I’ve come so close about 1000 times and there are moments when I’ve wanted nothing more than to scream and rant and rave but my challenge has kept me true.  I’ve noticed that by not yelling I’ve been forced into stopping and look at each situation individually instead of letting incidents build up.  It has also forced me into dealing with discrepancies right away instead of putting it off for a minute or two more which just seems to build up the stress level.  Just recently the author of Orange Rhino decided to run a 30 day challenge to help anyone interested in attempting to learn how to yell at their own children less.  I immediately signed on, even though I already started on my own two weeks ago and I want to do a full year, but I figured that because the start day she projected for this challenge was two days before my husband had to go back to work and I knew I’d need all the support I could get.  Today is Day 3 of that challenge. 
March is just around the corner and there is a bit of hope in my forecast.  The weather will get nicer and that always cheers me up.   I have also, in the most unexpected place, have made a possible new friend.  I’m 2 weeks and 2 days into a challenge that’s forcing me into better parenting.   Lastly my daughter turns 4 in two weeks.  I know that it’s not a magic number and that each stage has its challenges but 4 years old is a milestone in my mind.  I will no longer have two kids in that difficult “terrible twos and even worse threes” stage.  Hopefully it will also see an improvement in my blogging commitment as well.  One thing is for certain at least we can all agree that St. Patrick’s Day is WAY more fun than Valentine’s Day!

Have a good night!

Monday, February 11, 2013


I don't know what happened. Prior to the New Year I was all gung-ho on the ole blog writing bit. Then after the last of the ornaments and decorations were put away and the remainder of the post-Christmas haul was organized I was out of stuff to say. Anyone who knows me might laugh A LOT at this statement. I'm not normally a person who finds myself with nothing to say. Alas it's true. I've had no insights, no funny stories to mention. My brain I've decided is in Hibernation mode.  They might have been happening around me but I had no gumption to do anything about it or even bother to remember. Hopefully as the winter thaws outside so will the iced up regions of my brain.

Yesterday I was just getting the kids ready to go to bed. My daughter was in a mood where she was hell bent on pushing all my buttons. It's like children sometimes go into self-destruct mode and do everything humanly possible to make their parents upset. Last night was one of those nights, that coupled with my already less than chipper mood and not much sleep the night before was a perfect recipe for disaster. I had a bit of a meltdown on her and ended up putting her and her brother down to sleep 45 minutes earlier than I normally do...don't worry I punished myself as well and was down as soon as I finished my own night time routine.

After the meltdown and once I was lying in bed just settling in for the night, checking my Facebook for any new gossip and trying to turn my brain off I came across another blog off a friend's page. It is a blog called The Orange Rhino dedicated to setting the goal of NOT yelling at your children. This woman who just successfully completed a year of not yelling at her 4 very young boys for an entire 365 days! Well what perfect timing. As of recent the words of Buddha have been haunting my path "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."

I have no idea how many times this phrase has crossed my mind in a month but everywhere I turn it seems to be relevant. I'm going to give it a shot anyhow. I originally thought that 365 days seemed a ridiculous goal to achieve.  But as today is my DAY ONE I have thought about it a lot throughout.  Why is a month any more difficult than a year?  I mean yes it’s a lot longer of a time frame but if I can manage to go 30 days without yelling then you can surely strive for a year.  Once you’ve hit a year you’d think your entire thought patterns will be changed by it and it becomes a regular part of life.

So along with a few other projects I’m interested in taking on this year I’m going to attempt to stop yelling at my kids.  I’m really happy the hubby comes home tomorrow and will at least be a sounding board for the next 2 weeks.  I think that having him home for support will be essential to get me started.

Well other than a massive snow storm, my daughter starting a dance class and me starting to turn into a vegetable nothing else is new.  It turns out my brain isn’t the only thing hibernating.  Usually winter is good for me and I’m more than motivated to get active.  I’ve got to drag myself out of the funk I’ve found myself in and do what I do best, find solutions.  I know it can be done, it’s really just about getting started. 

So here’s to another start, if you never try it will never happen.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Grateful I'm Not Living in the 30's

For the obvious reasons I'm so grateful I'm not currently living in the 30's. As if The Great Depression and the start of World War II were not enough, they also had really crappy viewing entertainment.

I'm currently on a really pointless escapade of watching all of the movies in history that ever won Best Picture of the Academy Awards. Not that I'm really into the Academy Awards or think that their first pick in movies are always the best of that year but it's something that I've always inexplicably wanted to do.  I’m always curious of the allusions that historical movies are mentioned in so much of the literature I read.  I may possibly go back and pick out some of the other nominations of each year and watch them one day as well but since they’ve started giving out Oscars since 1928 I already have over 80 movies to watch.  I think I’ve also decided that I won’t be watching any more movies from the 1930’s if at all possible unless for some reason one of the names pops out at me from somewhere and I feel compelled to be utterly depressed for an afternoon.

My children have been amazing throughout this entire ordeal.  One good thing about watching movies from this time is they are a lot cleaner than they are now.  I’m not as nervous letting the kids pop in and out of the living room because the sex scenes are virtually not existent and all of the fighting or battle scenes look like a kid’s playground compared to our todays films.  They are also incredibly boring and in black and white so the kids pretty much take one look and run to somewhere else.

I don’t mind so much the movies being in black and white, I can appreciate how far we’ve come now and appreciate the time it came from.  I can now also say that I think Clark Gable was a fantastic actor, especially for his day.  It’s not a real surprise that I’ve currently watched 3 movies that won Academy Awards that he was the lead actor for.  I can however say that I don’t think that I’ll be subjecting myself to watching “Gone with the Wind” ever again and for sure will never watch “Cimarron” or any of its remakes for as long as I shall live, once was enough torture for one lifetime.

I’m excited to be getting into the 1940’s films.  There are already a few names in there that I actually recognize.  From there on I have seen a lot of the movies.  I’m going to sit through all of them and have been giving them my own personal score based on how much I actually liked it and trying to take into account of when it was made.  I will NOT however be subjecting myself through the Godfather movies again. I watched them a couple years back and can honestly say I’ll never get the hype (and usually like a good gangster flick, Sopranos was one of my favorite HBO series).

Anyhow the kids are napping so that means I know I have at least a couple hours where I will be in peace while watching my next movie. I will sign off for now and crossing my fingers that “The Great Ziegfeld” (1936) isn’t a waste of some precious me-time!