Friday, October 29, 2010

Beautiful Girl.

There are times when being a mom is so exhausting, you think you could lay down and sleep forever. I'm not talking about sleepless nights with a bitchy baby. Those are hard times, for sure, but after awhile, things get better and you catch up on your sleep. That's like the 'sprint' part of the race; I'm talking about the 'endurance' part- the part where you have to have the same 'talks' (about curfews, friends, boyfriends, money, etc....) over and over again. And for the most part, things really don't get totally resolved but everyone feels better for letting it out. Sometimes, it seems as though it takes years of 'talks' to get through to a kid! We take these 'talks' pretty seriously with Emma and Brandon because of the situation with their dad. It's like we are emotionally checking in with them to give them lots of opportunities to talk, vent, cry, whatever. It's our idea of helping them stay healthy because Steve (otherwise known as the sperm donor) drags them down all the time.

We had one of those 'talks' with Emma this week. At 18, she is a beautiful, smart, charismatic young woman. She is, admittedly, insecure about leaving the nest and experiencing new things because she doesn't want to miss us too much. Great. So, now on top of having the courage to actually 'let her go' we have to force her ass out the door, too?!!? It's all too much's the part that exhausts me. But I know that I will continue to build her up so that she will someday see the wonderful woman that I see when I look at her.

Today, as I was reelilng from kids' Halloween costumes, dogs being fed, lunches being made and dealing with Brandon, Emma came up from her room ready for work. She looked in the mirror at herself and said, "I look really pretty today." I said (wearily), "Emma you have always been pretty." To which she replied, "I never felt pretty in high school, but I do now. I'm so happy!"

It was like an energy shot to my exhaustion. It was a glimmer of positive energy. It felt like I could keep up this marathon of positive affirmations!

Until she has PMS again.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

You're Fatter Than you Think.

Trust me on this one.

Lately, I've been feeling kinda crappy. You know, sore joints and tired all the time. I had been thinking that maybe I have something wrong with me medically. But yesterday my knees were hurting and when I looked down at them I felt like I was choking. So, I went over to the mirror and looked at my reflection. Like, really looked. It was bad. Really, really bad. You see, the reason I was choking when I looked down is because I have as many chins as my super-fat Bulldog! The worst part about the realization that I'm so fat is that I had been fooling myself for sooooooo long. I figure, I'm either really stupid or really, really great at talking myself up!!

So what's a girl to do? I joined Weight Watchers today. I told the girl at the desk that I'm a "great signer-upper!". She laughed and gave me a little personal counselling (I'm sure she wants to 'save' me!) She told me that in 4 weeks, when I think about quitting (I always quit around the 4 week mark for some reason??), that I should think about my kids. Not in the I'mgoingtodieifdon'tlosetheweight way.....but in the ifyourkidisn'tdoingwellinmathdoyoutellhimhecanjustquitmath? way. Obviously the answer is no, quitting isn't an option. So, this time I am going to really just look at this on a day-to-day basis and I'm sure sometimes it will be hour-to-hour. I'm not going to turn this into a weight-loss blog because I have a lot of interesting things to write about. But I am going to hold myself accountable from now on and that may include posting about it from time to time.

People are always surprised to hear that I have 4 kids. I always say, "I earned this body!!" But my goal is to become the person who is healthy and happy with myself and to truly feel as if I earned it.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Great Escape.

We did it! We finally managed to organize a mommy and daddy getaway for an entire week...cue the super-sexy music and light the candles! We had it all planned out.....Dominican Republic, a week at a 5-star resort, lots of romance and hotel sex....and no kids, hockey, horseback riding lessons, Beavers, schoolwork, principals or careers to get in the way. It was going to be AWESOME!

The first day there was a little tough because we were up at 4am to make our flight and by the time we landed and took the 45-minute bus ride to the resort we were exhausted! We were so happy to get the key to our love-cave and sleeeeeeep! Until we opened the door. It REEKED like mold!! It was an instant headache and upset tummy all at once. We were trying so hard to be positive, but I finally said, 'I'm sorry, but I can't spend a week in this shithole.' So we went to the desk and got ourselves a new room that didn't smell as bad. As soon as we got settled we knew that we wanted to get some sleep-after all, it was 7:30 at night! Eric plugged in his Cpap machine (for sleep apnea) and guess what? It didn't work. That really sucked for him, because he doesn't sleep well without it. But he was quite positive about and took the 'I can't do anything about it so why get upset?' attitude which was great. It was the attitude that I should have taken when I woke up with my period the next day. The first freakin' morning of my first fricken' vacation in 3 flippin' years. My stupid period was late by 2 weeks and I had actually told myself that I'm sure that it's early menopause, maybe I won't even get it anymore? Very stupid girl. Anyhow, again- not much we could do, so I cried about it then went on my merry way to the pool....

Over the course of the week we adopted a routine which went like this: beach, pool bar, lunch. Infinity pool, nap, dinner. All week, that's basically what we did. It was lovely, except for the shits that set in around day 4. That day, we went to the pool and laid on chairs very close to the bathrooms!

As we navigated our way through our all-inclusive coma (we just aren't used to doing nothing for an entire week!) I think we realized that we could relax in spite of our setbacks. That even planning a holiday around my monthly cycle is not a guarantee. That Eric doesn't need sleep as much as he thought he did. That the shits suck, but Imodium helps. A lot. And above all else, no matter what is going wrong, it can all be made right again by drinking the appropriate amounts of Cuba Libres or Mojitos in the pool. Amen mon amigos.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Quest for Balance.

Well it finally happened. I finally went back to work this weekend and it was beautiful and horrifying at the same time. I was so happy to be back but shit! It was busy and we were understaffed. It had been 6 months since I had worked there, and things had changed! New paging system, new policies, new documents to complete and things were moved around. I struggled on Saturday but on Sunday I was hitting my groove again and it felt, well, like home I feel more "balanced" than I have in a looooong time. You can't buy balance and you can't wish have to create it. I finally feel that (as a wife and mother of 4 kids) I can have a career that excites me and interests me. Right now I'm only working part-time, but I know that when the kids are a little older that will change. And I am looking forward to that day!!

Another great part about working this weekend was that I didn't have to put my "Random Comment Generator" on autopilot to spend time with Sam. I love, LOVE Sam. He is a very sweet, busy, fashion-conscious boy. But I get so tired of his constant need to converse. It is exhausting. I realize that this is a stage and in 15 years I'll be wishing for this time back blah, blah, blah. I have four kids, ok? By the time the fourth kid hits the less desirable stages (non-stop questions, peeing the bed, sniffing their fingers all the time) I am a little tired. Don't get me wrong here- I am very laid back and calm. But I know from experience that the only way to escape the "shitty stages" of my kids' lives is to actually escape. A lot of parents look for solutions to these stages by scouring the internet or reading "kid help books" but I have learned that these times are to be endured, not solved.

Brandon came home for a visit this weekend and, unfortunately, I didn't get to see him much. I'm okay with it, though, because I am not the only person in this family who needs to have a relationship with Brandon. So, (thank all that is holy for Eric) the fam-jam spent some time together without momma-bear. They had a fabulous, stress-free time thanks to that man-angel husband of mine. He drove the 5-hour 'round trip twice this weekend just so we could be a complete family again. I know that it was a great visit because Brandon is begging to move back home now. I told him he needs to finish his school year and then we'll talk. After all, we all know Brandon changes his mind faster than I can change a diaper, and that's pretty damn fast. The truth of the matter is that I have made a pretty sweet scrapbooking room out of his old bedroom. Around here we call it "The Happiest Place on Earth", and I'm not so sure that I'm willing to give it up! Does that make me selfish??

We all need to find a way to fit the "wants" and "needs" into our lives, that's what balance is all about, right? I just hope that Sam will find balance between talking and silence soon.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

That Little Voice!

Have you ever had one of those moments where everything in your busy little life seems to stand still and you realize that you are actually playing a large part in what happens to you? That you are not a victim, but more of

I had one of those moments today. I was cleaning carpets, washing windows, nursing a sick teenager and (sigh) playing referee to the dogs. I ate a plate of nachos with cheese while I sat on my fat ass and watched the View. I also felt the pain in my knee from running yesterday.

In my one little moment, I realized that my life is exactly how I want it to be. If it wasn't, then I would do things differently, right? For example, I want to keep a clean house and I love being a mom (most of the time) so I try hard in my quest to be good at those things. I ate nachos and watched the View because they are both slightly rebellious (hey, some things about me may never change). My knee hurts because I don't get out to run enough to be able to eat nachos without adding stress to my joints. The dogs, well, we all know that the dogs both arrived at moments of boredom in my life. Really, all I can say about that is Thank GOD for Tubal Ligation.

In my small moment today I found clarity. My subconscious self was screaming at me. SCREAMING!

"Your little life is a big eff'n deal. People are counting on you, children are watching you to see how you will react to adversity. Their future families are being developed long before you will be be done raising them."

This is a huge freaking revelation! To think that the way I clean, what I eat, how I exercise, how much I yell at those fricken' dogs is, essentially, determining the quality of life of my future grandchildren?? My GOD! This is huge...this is massive!! And then I heard it. A little, teeny-tiny voice. It was my subconscious' subconscious. And you know what it was saying???

"You need to get back to your career, loser."


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire.....

I don't know why, but after having 4 kids I am still amazed by the chaos they can cause without really trying. They can turn a simple shopping excursion into absolute purgatory. They can turn a quiet family dinner discussion into a dramatic performance worthy of a frickin' Academy Award. They can ask so many questions that your ears start to bleed.
They can tell a lie.
Most kids lie all the time and we never really notice. A little, "I didn't do it!!" here and a little "I brushed my teeth" there. It's all seeminglyy harmless, right? Well Kristen told a doozy a couple of weeks ago that created an immense amount of chaos which included the police, the Children's Aid and it probably shaved about 10 years off my life.
It all started with a sleepover at her bestest friend's house on a Saturday night a couple of weeks ago. They went out for dinner, went skating and had a sleepover. We've known this little girl and her parents for about 4 years. The girls go back and forth to each other's houses often for playdates. So, on Sunday night I put Kristen in the shower. She's lathering up, doing her thing....then I tell her it's time to wash her hair. As I'm holding the shampoo over her cupped hand she says it. Like this-
"Amanda's dad already washed my hair last night"
Um. Blood swishing in my head.......WHAT?!!? WTF DID MY BABY JUST SAY TO ME???
So, I started asking her questions...when did he give you a shower? What did he wash? How did you feel? And on and on....and SHE sees my interest and she knows that she has to answer my questions. So, after our discussion I say to her, "We have to talk to Amanda's dad or to the police, honey." She freaks out. Full-on crying and pleading, "Please don't tell Amanda's dad! Please, please, please!" So, I am thinking that this monster has touched and then threatened my baby because why else would she be so terrified of him? He is a monster, monster, monster who must be punished!
So Eric and I head into the police station to find out what we should do.
Within 2 hours (on a Sunday) they had a team of Special Investigators, the Children's Aid and interviews were being conducted in a special audio/video room. I interviewed first, then Kristen. (Because she disclosed to me, I was a witness and I could not be told what happened in Kristen's interview.) After a couple of hours with the police, we left and they assured us that Amanda's family would be brought in for questioning next. At this point, they had no idea that this was even going on. So, we had to go on with our lives for a couple of days until the police couldl figure out what they would be charging this asshole with.
After a day of worry, tears and specualation we get the call from the police.
Um. Yeah. Kristen lied about the shower.
She admitted it all when I confronted her and said she was so scared that she would be caught lying that she didn't want us to talk to Amanda's dad because then he would call her out! The entire thing started when Kristen decided she didn't want her hair washed so she made up the lie about Amanda's dad washing her hair the night before. It just started a snowball effect that ended with Amanda's dad having his ass hauled in for questioning!!
The first thing we did was take Kristen straight over to Amanda's house for apologies. It was heartfelt and we were mortified, but her family was really cool about it. I learned something really important from that experience though....
Kristen opens her eyes and mouth really wide when she lies.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Faking It.

No matter how hard I try, I am starting to realize that I can't please everybody all of the time. It's a very tough lesson to learn (especially for a woman) but it's something that I am trying, trying to pass onto my daughters so they are saved from a lifetime of heartache.
Okay. So maybe I'm being a little dramatic.
I have realized that I don't want my girls to grow up thinking that they have to spend their lifetimes pleasing other people. I mean, we aren't here for all that long are we? Why spend it doing what we think other people think we should do? Why don't we spend our time doing things that feed and nourish our spirits and souls? I guess the biggest challenge to that is figuring out what it is that makes us feel whole and complete.
I am struggling to balance making a paycheque and feeling fulfilled by my career. It's just not happening....but I am not sure that it really does for many women? How am I supposed to pass along the message to my girls if the message is isn't being delivered in full, to me? Sometimes, I feel as lost as my 18 year-old trying to figure out what she wants out of life and I am 39!!
While I am searching the abyss for my career happiness, I will continue to learn my skill and collect my paycheque. And even though I am struggling to find inner peace and tranquility with my own job, I guess I can "fake it 'til I make it" for my girls' sake.