Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas.....angry with a touch of hostility

Ahhhhh!!! Christmas vacation is in full swing. It's actually not too bad so far- Christmas Day is over (and with it most of the chaos), Emma has been working a ton, thanks to her job in retail and we managed to spend a snowy 4 days at my parents' farm. Right now, we are caught in that valley between Christmas and New Year's. This is the time when we have moments to reflect, to ponder.......and we have been pondering A LOT about Brandon moving home.

I am really, really stuck. He's acting a bit of an asshole, really. Typical teenager mixed with unexplained anger and a bit of defiance. On one hand, I want my kid to move home so badly it actually hurts. On the other hand, I don't want to introduce all of that drama back into our lives....the other kids and Eric have been quite happy without all of the bullshit Brandon just naturally carries along with him. I want Brandon without the bullshit, and I have the feeling that it's just not possible right now....he seems a little lost, a lot angry and it doesn't seem as though there have been a lot of expectations placed on him at his dad's house. When he moves back home he needs to be ready to put some work into himself, and at this point he just doesn't seem too interested.

So- to move him home, or not to move him home?

As soon as I know, I will turn to my blog.....after all, a girl has to have some form of stress relief, right???

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Sometimes I hate being a grown-up. Yeah, I can drink whenever I want and if I don't feel like doing the laundry nobody will yell at me, but sometimes the weight of making life-altering decisions pushes me down. I'm at one of those crossroads in my life. Brandon wants to move home and it's not a decision that I can make with my heart. If I could, he would be at home....but I have 5 other people to consider and that sucks just a little bit.

Turns out he doesn't like living at his dad's house. His dad's girlfriend is "a bitch" (agreed) and it seems as though his dad is sooooo important at his job that he works ridiculous hours and is never home. Add that to the fact that Brandon is missing his siblings and some good home-cooking and you've got a kid that wants to move back home. Seems pretty simple, right? Bad teenager moves away, realizes that life at home was better, moves home and becomes a responsible member of society. Well, I don't have my rose-coloured glasses on this time. That kid can be CHARMING and I refuse to be cast under his spell! I'm sure he has learned that life is better and more comfortable at home but I can't get something out of my mind.......

While we were driving him home on Sunday night, Brandon was talking to us about what he's learned since he left. One of the things he believes is that he was addicted to drugs. Seems that he was addicted to the feeling of being high and that he fell into a crowd of kids who felt the same way. Not his regular group of friends, but some kids that he met at the local coffee shop. Sooooo, while I really want to bring him home, get him counselling and put him in a 12-step program I have to consider the fact that there are other people whose lives will be affected by me "saving" Brandon, yet again. According to Brandon, there is a lot more access to drugs in the small town he currently lives in, but that he's been avoiding that scene. I do believe that because he's passing in school and not skipping class. So, you may ask, why rock the boat if he's doing well? It appears that he's becoming unhappy. I'm afraid that he'll turn to drugs to deal with the pain of not coming home. So, I'm still mulling this situation over. It's not an easy decision to make and in the end I'm sure I'll make the right decision for all 6 of us.

It just sucks.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Just slow down, Jim!!

My dad is an adrenaline junkie- he "retired" to a 100 acre farm with cattle, he's a mechanic and he still dabbles in repairs ("Johnny Cash may be dead, but Jimmy Cash is alive and well!"-Jim Suter), he hunts, he fishes, he still races his mountain bike. Hell, he even takes square-dancing in Florida and makes it a competitive sport!!He's very cool- he introduced me to CCR, dirtbiking and downhill skiing. This is a guy that just won't stop and he's almost 66 years-old....

But in August he had a biking accident that left him unconscious, without memory and a huge headache. Now, he's suffering what seems to be symptoms of an undiagnosed brain injury from that accident. But, true to my dad's youthful spirit, he's still farming and doing manual labour that would make me take Robaxacet for 2 weeks! That guy is unstoppable!! He's admirable, he's wise, he's generous.....I just wish he would slow down. Is that selfish of me? I don't want to banish him to a rocking chair with a pill organizer....I just want him to stop making everything in life a race. But I realize that's not possible for him....he's a competitive spirit no matter what I say or do. AND I love him for that. But it also irritates me. After all, I worry about keeping my dad in one piece while he nurtures his adventurous side.

But when I think about it, I wouldn't know my dad very well without his competitive edge. I guess the secret to my happiness is figuring out how to love him while he lives life the best way he knows how....in first place!

Problem Solved.

My husband tells me that problems are made to be solved. He says that most men are consumed with facing a problem and figuring out a way to make it better. I guess that's why men never seem to be listening! Maybe it's why women think men are the simpler sex...it seems very logical and methodical to consider a problem and find the fastest way to solve it. How hard can that be?? For instance, if a man was on his way to work and his car broke down, he may think "Do I have gas? Yes. Is the engine light on? No. Am I pulled off to the side of the road with my hazards on? Yes. I guess I'll call a tow-truck and have this car towed to the shop." If a woman's car broke down she may think, "Why is this happening to me? Did I piss off Judy at work yesterday? Did she put a curse on me? Does God hate me? Is there a God? Why does the car always break down when I have my 4-inch heels on? Do I look desperate sitting here??" It's nobody's fault. It's just the difference between men and women.

Personally, I think problems are made to be learning opportunities. Instead of looking at everything that happens as a singular event to be worked out, I see these instances as a chance to be introspective and to gain wisdom. Whenever I'm faced with a problem, I try to find the solution in an abstract way....if somebody at work snaps at me, I don't see it as their problem and move on. I am more likely to think, "What is her problem? Maybe she's having a hard time at home...I should try to never snap at my co-workers by working extra hard to maintain harmony at home." You see?? Solving a problem AND deciding to be proactive at avoiding another problem....shit!! Women are awesome! We are multi-taskers by nature. We are complex, yes, but if men could just understand that they would quit trying to figure us out all the time.

I admire the logical way my husband thinks sometimes....it just seems so much more simple. Sometimes, women would like things to be a little simpler. And sometimes, we'd like our men to be a little more complex.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

My friend Sam.

I've got a soul-sister.

I don't get to see her as much as I would like, but when we get together it's like a family reunion. She is one of the smartest, coolest women I know and she is so insightful and wise at such a young age. In fact, sometimes when she speaks you might think she is an old soul in a young woman's body because she just makes so much sense. She struggles to find balance in her busy life of marriage, family and career but she does it without apologizing, which I admire so much.

I find it really interesting that I wouldn't know Sam if it weren't for my husband. It's obvious that he and I are meant for each other because he has considered her one of his best friends since high school. Obviously we appreciate the same qualities in a friend and Sam has them all....she never judges if we haven't talked for months because she gets it.....actually she doesn't just get it, she's living it right alongside us. Her family is important to her and they are a beautiful family, living life and planting roots in their town 2 hours away just as we are. Her marriage isn't perfect because she married a wonderful, real man just as I did. She understands that she has made a huge committment for the next 15 years to raise her family the best that she can, but she also understands that she doesn't need to be perfect to do it. So do I. She is an educated woman but she never makes you feel dumb. She places value on being successful in her life, and she includes her family in her success...it's not easy to find that balance, but she just does it.

I admire my soul-sister. I love her. I even model myself after her.

But most of all, I miss her.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wordless Wednesday on a Thursday with a few words....

Bulldog Fairy takes down nasty teenager.......

Lists and Blessings...

Well, I've decided to put on my Big Girl panties and be, well, a big girl. I'm taking each day as it comes and trying to be grateful for all that I have. I have a lot and my new outlook is helping me deal with the day-to-day stress I wrote about in my last blog post. So, I have decided to compile a list of the "blessings" in my life. They are as follows:

I have not one, but TWO bulldogs now. I am so lucky that one of them (the baby) shits and pisses on the floor regularily. But at least I have a floor for her to defecate on, right? I swear her bladder is the size of a chickpea because she can't hold it in at all. But I am truly grateful to have her and her screwed-upeyethatissurelygoingtocostusafortunetofix in my life.

I love my kids and they are a constant reminder of the great sex Eric and I used to have. What a joy and a privilege it is for us to put ourselves last for these grateful creatures! Whether it be waking up in the middle of the night to catch the puke or getting up at 5am with Sam to make sure he's not watching soft-core porn on satellite television, it is an honour to give sleep/money/sex/our souls for people that appreciate it soooo much.

Work is a joy that never ends. My job is very rewarding most of the time and I really don't mind working 12 hours straight without a break because some woman I don't know has cracked and bleeding nipples. I feel very happy to contribute to our family's bottom line so we can pay for the lessons and groups that our kids participate in! It's always a great feeling when we can give our 17 year-old (who has a job) money to go and eat dinner at the Keg for her friend's birthday while her friend stands in the doorway waiting to go! I'm sure Emma appreciates my hard efforts at work!

Marrying Eric was the best decision I've ever made. Who else would be willing to work so hard at a relationship under these circumstances? He's a Taurus and he's half-French, half- Italian AND he's so stubborn and pushy that he never gives up on us....I just covet that guy!

I have some really great friends. Unfortunately, I see the girls at the Starbucks drive-thru more than I see most of my friends. It's not really a choice. It's just all the above blessings that prevent me from seeing everyone as much as I'd like. Especially the far-away friends! I wish I could gather all of my girls and put them in the house next door so I could just go over anytime I want!

So, you see, I'm really focussing on the positives in my life. There are so many! Now go and make a list of your own.....

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Raising a family is tough shit work.

I am struggling here, folks.

I'm struggling with kids, work, dogs, marriage, kids, kids, kids........I'm sure it's the same bullshit most other families are dealing with, but right now it seems like it's all about me! I'm tapped out, babies!!!! The noise that Sam and Kristen make during their waking hours would make most people's ears bleed. It's unbelievable and it's my reality at the same time. Sam, as the youngest, refuses to grow up at all. Kristen, one of the middles, refuses to accept that she's NOT a parent. Brandon, another middle, won't call home. And Emma, the oldest, seems to be breaking under the pressure of being the firstborn a little bit. You know how it is with these kids- she comes home in time to make curfew because she's a "good girl" but then she pukes in the toilet from too much fun. I am just living the FREAKIN' DREAM here people!!

A couple of weeks ago, when I realized that I could also be an active participant in my own life, I decided to send a resume to my local hospital for a position in their operating room. Now I have a job interview! It's wonderful and it's scary all at the same time....I do love my job in the Childbirth Centre and I would love to stay on in some capacity, but I did just spend 7 precious months of my time becoming an operating room nurse. And I'm pretty sure that they have waaaay better hours than the 12 hour night shifts I've been pulling for the last 4 months! Don't get me wrong- I really enjoy my job and I hope to stay on in some capacity (maybe casual?). But I have to think about myself as a mid-life aged nurse and I'm not sure that working 40 minutes from home working nights is a long-long-term plan. The only problem is that I LOVE the babies.

Anyhow, career crisis and kid clusterf**ks aside, I am looking for a little breathing room. Eric is awesome (as always) but we struggle to find time alone. The kids are eating us alive and we swore it would never happen! But, somehow, it just started happening and now we are having a hard time stopping it. Suddenly, we are trapped on this treadmill of appointments, extracurricular activities (not our own!), and responsibility...Ewww!

Raising a family is tough shit work. And I'm not a weak person....but I'm feeling a little worn out.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday.....

Just a couple of words, actually.

Bahamas. Booze Cruise. Stranger.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Best Damn Thing.

You know how great it feels when you make a good decision? Like, when you buy a top that you KNOW is going to look great with at least 3 pairs of the pants hanging in your closet? Or like a pair of shoes that you are going to wear with a bunch of different outfits? That's how I feel about my decision to marry Eric. Since the moment I said "Yes!!" I have never second-guessed myself. He is the yin to my yang, the Clyde to my Bonnie....he's my everything. He's my cheering section, my second opinion, my better half.

He makes me a better parent.
I'm better at my job because of him. I'm a better friend because of him. I love myself more because of him.

I actually love him more than a great top or any pair of shoes. He's more like the best bra you could ever buy with support and lift.

He's my greatest accessory.

He's Eric.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

You Can't Always Get What You Want.

It's funny how you can't always get what you want, but you do get what you need....there was a great Rolling Stones song about that, and man!! Mick Jagger was right on the money with that one!

Brandon is home for a couple of days while his dad is away at a conference. The Brandon that left this house in June is not the same Brandon that is sitting in my tv room right now playing XBox with Sam and Kristen. I have never seen him so happy. And not happy in a pot-induced way...more of a contented, focused kind of happy. He has patience that I haven't seen in a long time and he seems to be having a good time with his little brother and sister.

It makes me want him to live at home with us again.

But- I know for a FACT that he wouldn't stay like this if he lived at home. Instead, he would fall into his old habits with his old, bad friends. And even though I am a bit of a selfish person, I would never want him to go back to the ditch he used to live in, ya know what I mean? I really want Brandon to become a happy, well-adjusted person and for whatever reason, he isn't able to find that person here with us.

So, although I really, really, really want Brandon to live with us I know that I can't have it right now. But I do get these brief glimpses of a new and improved Brandon that warms my heart. And that's what I need.

Triplets Became Twins:(

Ya know, life is pretty strange. They say that everything happens for a reason and I truly believe it.....it's just hard to see the reason when something bad is happening to you. Recently, we lost one of our beloved bulldog puppies to a congenital illness. It was heart-wrenching for us, because we had become so attached to our little "Sicky" over the 4 weeks she was alive. We knew she wasn't right- we were hand feeding her around the clock and holding her all the time to keep her comfortable. In the back of our minds we knew she wasn't going to be healthy if she lived...but we fell in love with her sweet face and we probably kept her alive longer because we were selfish. In the end, our sweet little Sicky couldn't breathe and couldn't eat so we made the decision to euthanize her:(

This happened a little less than a week ago and the pain is still there. I'm surprised at how much it actually hurt in the end considering we knew, we knew that she was very sick. But we are moving on with the 2 remaining puppies and loving them while they are with us. We are keeping one of them, for sure, and it sure is hard to consider losing another puppy by selling the remaining one....

So all of this reflection still leads me to wonder: why did a helpless little bulldog puppy have to die? What is the reason??

One thing I know about this for sure? We will NEVER raise another litter of bulldog puppies. We are awesome at taking care of them and any litter of puppies would be lucky to be co-raised by our family.....but we are too soft-hearted to accept how fragile life is.

Rest in Peace, Sicky.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


The pain of loss is profound. It is a lonely, cold and empty feeling. Yearning, wishing, hoping....they are all useless when it comes to loss. I've noticed that there has been a process that I've had to endure since Brandon moved away; and it looks a lot like the grieving process...denial, anger, sadness....these are all familiar to me. I am now at a point of acceptance. I accept that he is gone. I accept that I am no longer a big part of his life. I even accept that he doesn't return my calls very often.

I know that Eric has been worried about me and I'm sure he thought that I would have a much harder time with the fact that Brandon is no longer an active member of this family. I mean, it's hard for me to even type that statement. But I am honestly getting used to the peace and quiet in the house, but even more so, in my mind. I am no longer plagued with thoughts, thoughts, emotions surrounding Brandon. My mind is starting to feel freed from the prison of never-ending anxiety. My heart is starting to heal. My feelings are still hurt, but they won't be forever.

I love that kid so much.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tired and just....tired.

I know I'm getting old and tired. I feel it in my bones, the way I wake up at 5:30am every day, the way I fall asleep on the couch at 8pm....I can feel it when I'm raising my second 'round of kids too. Kristen and Sam are not getting the same amount of discipline as Emma and Brandon because, quite frankly, I'm tired as hell.

I get mad at myself sometimes, but not for long because I don't want to waste my precious energy on beating myself up over it. I have a lot of other things to beat myself over, believe me!

So today, in the Fracture Clinic, I really saw myself through the eyes of others. There were about 100 of us in the waiting room. The clinic ran about 90 minutes late, so I had lots of chances to not discipline my kids....it's not that they were horrible little assholes, running around and banging into people's broken limbs or anything. They just fought a lot and tattled a lot (ugh!)...I know that they were bored and that's cool; I was bored too! But today I noticed that I'm not as uptight about teaching them lessons EVERY time I have the chance.

Maybe, just maybe, I'm not as old as I feel. Maybe I'm just mature enough to know that a dog chasing his tail is just that- a dog chasing his tail. He never catches it, right? I think I have just realized that I am not going to gain anything by nailing the kids every time I get the chance. Plus, I don't want to get out of my rocking chair everytime I have an opportunity. Can ya blame me?!!?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Intimate Moments.

Our dog gave birth to triplets last week and it was one of the most intimate moments that my husband and I have had.

Isn't that weird?!!?

I mean, we're not weird people....we realize that Jewel is only a dog. But she has been such a part of our family and we felt such pride and excitement when those puppies were born! As a woman who's had 4 kids I felt, for the first time, the excitement and anxiety that comes with waiting for a birth.

It started a few weeks ago when the local vet did the xrays and said, "I'm sorry. There is nothing on the xray that suggests that Jewel is pregnant. There is a condition called a false pregnancy that some dogs will experience." I left that vet's office in tears. I know my dog and I knew that she was changing, physically and emotionally. But I tried to accept the fact that there was a good chance that she wasn't pregnant.

Until I felt those suckers moving.

It was almost as exciting as when I felt my own children move about in my stomach! It was the confirmation that we needed to continue to nurture our dog and to bring those puppies to term. It was the reason we planned a week of vacation around a c-section. And it was the reason we were so excited when the vet technician brought us a box with 3 brand-spankin'-new girl bulldog puppies. It was as though we knew in our hearts that Jewel was pregnant and technology hadn't quite caught up with it yet.

An entire series of events happened to make our sweet, sweet Jewel give birth to her triplets. And we were so excited and ecstatic to be a part of it that it became a very, very intimate moment for us.

What marriage doesn't need more of those?

Girl Power!!

It amazes me sometimes, how painful life can be. I have felt it during my 38 years and I am certain that I'll feel it again. But when you have a friend (or two) in pain, it can feel just as excruciating as if you were going through it yourself. Especially if you know what they are going through....because, you can't make the pain go away and you KNOW that it is a long road back to feeling good about yourself again. So, what is a friend to do??? I've come to realize that the only thing you can do is implement the 3 L's- Listen, Love and Laugh. The trick is not to laugh when you should be listening. This is why men are not great at implementing the 3 L's. Let's be realistic here- men are great at a LOT of things but listening really isn't one of them. This is the reason that I cherish my girlfriends soooo much! I mean, I really, really love my husband. He is the person I chose to walk through life with! But, my girls are listening when they should and they never, EVER ask me, "Do you want me to listen right now? Or offer you advice?? My girls know when to call, when to suggest wine-drinking and what to say at ALL TIMES. My girls are a great group of women- we all share the same issues with children, aging, husbands and life. My girls are all from different geographical areas and walks of life....most of them don't even know each other! But I guarantee that if I gathered all my girls into the same room at the same time they would all LOVE each other.

Maybe that's not such a bad idea?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Dreams not Lost

So much to report....so little time......

The vet's x-ray reports no babies in our beloved Bulldog's belly at this time. But I refuse to accept! The dog has teats hanging down to "here" and her personality has changed to a sweet, calm bulldog. She has grown a belly and she is unable to walk more than 150 feet, so I refuse to accept the fact that she isn't pregnant. NOT to mention the fact that I am sure I FELT movement in her belly just today! We are taking her to the breeder's vet on Friday, so I am certain that I'll have good news by then. Our breeder assures us that an x-ray is NOT an accurate measure of whether a bulldog is pregnant or not, especially if the pregnancy isn't far enough along. So I am using my Childbirth Nurse instincts to gauge her signs of pregnancy and, I'm sorry, but I KNOW that I felt some movement in her belly today.

We finally went camping this weekend. It was FUN!! My husband did an amazing job on the floor in the trailer and it doesn't smell at all. I am really looking forward to taking the kids to Niagara Falls next week in it! We had Brandon for the weekend and he was a bit of a teenaged-asshole.....found friends, dumped us for friends, didn't see him enough. I guess some of it has to do with his age, but some also has to do with his personality and that is HARD to accept. But I do. When his dad dropped him off at the campsite, he stayed for a beer so that is moving forward!! I was so happy to have the extra 20 minutes with him to talk about BJ and what is going on in his life! I guess that is progression right there, right?!!?

Kristen broke her wrist on Saturday, which really sucked. We spent 4 hrs in the emergency department at Northumberland Hospital in Cobourg on Saturday morning. She was a trooper and when we got back to our campsite, she managed her pain with Tylenol, a cast and a sling. We refused to let it ruin our first camping trip this year. The really suck-y part is that she'll have a cast on for 4-6 weeks.....that just about covers our 2 weeks of holidays in Niagara Falls and Manitoulin Island.....poor Krissy!! In the meantime, we are looking for a device to cover her cast that allows her to swim without getting it wet!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Blogger Hell....

Man! I guess I'm going to blogger hell for not posting enough these days....between a family, a new job and a pregnant bulldog, I guess I just haven't been posting like I used to.

The job is going well. I have 4 more shifts of orientation. That means 48 hrs and then I'm on my own. SCARY. I really enjoy the work....I mean, it's a job made for me. It just sucks that I have to spend sooooo much time on paperwork. Paperwork that I'm not used to.....blood tests that I'm not familiar with, community resources that I didn't know existed and soooo much teaching. But I am enjoying myself and I haven't even made it into the OR yet. Apparently, the other nurses on the floor are not jumping with joy to hear that I'm coming into the Operating Room. Apparently, they enjoy scrubbing into the C-Sections because it gives them a "break" from the regular floor routine. Apparently, I am the only nurse on a floor of about 100 nurses that is actually qualified to work the OR. Scary thought, considering I've only done 6 weeks in the main Operating Room Suites.....anyhow, I have a bit of a challenge ahead. That really sucks, because just going back to work after so many years and nursing is challenge enough!

The kids and Eric are adjusting magnificently to me going back to work. My husband is an enigma.....masculine at the core, yet so nuturing. The kids are having a great time with him and they are LOVING the time they spend alone. Emma is pretty much on her own schedule and Brandon is at his dad's, so it has been a huge adjustment-period for all of us. I went grocery shopping the other day and instead of the usual $230, it only cost me $120! It was wonderful!! Not to mention that the noise level has reduced significantly and the taxi services are dwindling...I miss Brandon like crazy, but I'm kinda getting used to this.

Kristen's 7th birthday is on Thursday and here's what she wants, " an iPod, a Blackberry or a boyfriend". Holy F'n speechless!! What does a parent say to that? Yesterday, I had to change the channel on the tv because I caught her watching MTV's Cribs....I'm not sure how this child's youth is going to play out, but I am determined to see her retain her innocence for as looooong as possible. Even as she fights me every step of the way.

We still aren't 100% sure about whether Jewel is pregnant or not because there's no test for dogs....but judging by the way her teats are hanging down, we are willing to bet some money on the positive. We are planning our holidays around her caesarean section during the second week of August, so we are kinda certain. We have decided to keep one of her female pups as our own! Long live the Bulldog breed!! This is the greatest dog we have ever owned and she has convinced us that the breed is second to none for a family. So- we hope she has a female puppy in her belly!!

Eric has just purchased another car and that puts us at 5 cars in a family with 2 drivers. No comment. The way I see it? At least he's collecting cars and not women.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

There's no "Secret"

Wow. I am doing ok! I thought I would be much more overwhelmed by getting back into nursing, but so far so good. I still think/know that the hours are going to suck after awhile...but I'm going to stay positive about it. It's "The Secret" to success. I've never actually read the book "The Secret", but it's a concept that I have applied to my life since I was left on my own with no money, no job and 2 kids to feed. If you visualize yourself being successful you will be. It's THAT simple. Your vision creates a life path for you and it takes you to the place you want to be. I'm not trying to sound all New-Agey or anything like that, but it DOES work!! I don't call goal-setting or working your ass off for what you really want a secret. It is just a way to set yourself up for success.

I'm hoping that Brandon will visualize himself passing his summer school courses.

I'm still having a hard time with that whole "situation". I have many days in a row where I can talk myself into accepting the fact that he doesn't live here anymore and isn't an active member of this family. And then, out of the blue, I will walk past his room and it hits me....then Eric will swoop in and comfort me and make me feel a bit better. I have to admit that I am not missing the constant drama and fighting, although I think that all of that becomes a "norm" and when it suddenly disappears everyone affected has to adjust to the deafening quiet. That includes Sam and Kristen who are just now getting used having the bulk of our attention. Emma would like to have everyone's attention, all the time, but she spends so much time with her boyfriend now that even she realizes it's not possible.

Well, I now need to study so I can start IV's and collect bloodwork. I know that I will be successful because I WANT to be. Sometimes I fantasize that you could wish that hard for someone else to focus their attention on what they want when they don't have the strength to do so. But I guess I'm (finally!) realizing that you have to let people travel their own paths. Even asshole teenagers.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Love Unlimited.

Tonight I am feeling VERY proud of myself. It occurs to me that on Monday I officially start my new job and Goddammit, I'm proud of myself for getting that job! I knew that it was mine from the minute I saw the job listing online. It basically had my name written all over it so it was easy for me to keep my focus. I am proud to call myself a nurse, proud to be working at a great hospital and proud to have followed my calling in the "birth world" without actually having any more kids myself!!

But at the same time, I'm scared shitless.

What if this job isn't everything I have imagined it will be? What if I hate it? What if I try and fail?!!? When I went back to school I had no choice but to succeed. I took a leap of faith by becoming an Operating Room nurse and it worked out for me but what if I can't handle the stress of working weekends/nights/with all those hormones?? Whenever I have these thoughts I try to think about the one person who believes in me ALL THE TIME. He totally believes that I will be amazing, just as he never doubted for a minute that I could go back to school and be successful. Just as he never for a second doubted that I would get my dream job. My Eric is the one person who tells me I can do something before my brain figures it out because he sees me as a strong, succulent, smart woman.

So, while I am suffering my pre-job jitters I will stabilize my urge to freak out by trying to see myself through his eyes. Because not only does he see me as a happy, fulfilled, successful birth centre nurse he also sees me as a woman with a great perky set of breasts! I'll take it:)

Friday, July 3, 2009

My Little Sponge.

It's not easy, having a brainiac for a kid. I'm no dull penny, but my 6 year-old can blurt out facts and retain information better than I retain water! She has a wealth of information in her little brain about things like, electric eels and hammerhead whales. I didn't even know these existed! It tickles Eric to no end because he calls himself the "Cliff Clavin" (from Cheers) of useless information. I'm sure that's where Kristen gets her sponge-like brain from! But, in addition to filing information like an encyclopedia she can put together information to form a certain amount of deductive reasoning. It's a little bit scary, actually, because most kids her age are playing with dolls or Webkins while she's interested in finding all the information she can about her Webkins. For instance, she doesn't just have a cute brown and white dog Webkins....she has a Cocker Spaniel Webkins...

Eric started to express some Santa concerns last year. He knows that she is not going to be fooled for long. I would like her to just keep pretending until she's, like, 10 so I can keep having fun. As my consolation, there's always Sam. Sweet, clueless Sam.....I'm sure he'll never question anything until he's well into his teens! And as long as Kristen doesn't corrupt him, we may keep the spirit of Christmas alive for years to come....

Having a kid like this is a blessing and a curse; she's been reading since preschool, but now, at 6 years old, she has progressed to reading chapter books like Goosebumps. And if Emma leaves a copy of Cosmopolitan around (Ack!!) Kristen can learn "20 New Positions to Make Him Beg for More".....Good GOD, that's the challenge of having young and older kids at the same time!!

We talk about different schooling options for her because she is advanced right now...but she'll probably even out in the next year or so and be on par with her peers.

Well, she may have more "experience" from those Cosmo magazines, but hopefully she will forget it all in favour of retaining some useless information about plankton or algae or something.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Parents are great, aren't they?

Aren't parents wonderful? At my age, I find myself needing my parents more than I ever imagined. I guess the needs are different than they used to be; I don't need them to spot me $50 or buy me groceries.....but, they help me in situations I could have never foreseen. Situations like, when my husband goes to Ireland for 3 weeks out of a month while I'm in school! I couldn't have even considered doing it without my mom. Yesterday, we found ourselves with a broken down housetrailer and there was my dad with his welding supplies to fix it!! I guess it's not just the fact that parents help us, it's the fact that we can ask them for help still, at age 38, that amazes me. And it also scares the hell out of me too!

When my kids are 38 and they need my help, how will I know what to do?? I'm still turning to my mommy and daddy!! How will Eric and I ever become parents who just seem to know everything and what to do in any situation?!!? It's frightening to think that our kids will come to us as ADULT children and ask us questions about things that we are unsure of now. I guess our only hope is that we will gain enough life-experience between now and then to help them out.

If not, they can always go and ask my mom and dad.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Jewel, My Diamond in the Ruff

Nothing in life is certain. Teenagers may decide to not come home, kids may decide to not behave in public and bulldogs may decide to absorb their babies....WAIT!! WTF?? Absorb their babies?!!? Yup. Apparently, our beloved Jewel could get too hot and decide to absorb her puppies. Just like that! No "morning after pill" or pesky appointments in the Operating Room, just simply absorb. So, we wait. We keep her cool, feed her lots of great fresh raw foods and we wait. And wait.

It's been 2 weeks since we got her back and almost 3 weeks since her first insemination. She puked a couple of times in the first week and was LETHARGIC until yesterday. I mean, lethargic, even for a bulldog! Now, it would seem as though her infection is clearing itself up. I measured her tummy yesterday and it's 1 inch wider than last week, so we are really hoping that this is it!! I'm feeling like a new mom all over again as I watch her nipples get darker! But I don't want to get my hopes up too high just in case. I mean, we've never had a pregnant bulldog before and her expanding girth could be from the increase in raw food, right? So, we wait. And we wonder. And we love her whether she's got a belly full of bullies or not....

Waiting for the pool to go up yesterday (It's still not up today)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Forgive me.....

Forgive me bloggers, for I have sinned.....it's been, well, um....a looooong time since my last post. It's not that I haven't thought about it! It's just been busy. I hate to admit it, but I have been too busy to sit and puke my thoughts out to everyone in cyberspace. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I've been too busy to put my thoughts into words?? Anyhow, I'm here now and I'm going to try to keep it simple......

Kids are now finished school and my summer glow has officially dulled. Kidding!! I'm happy to have some time to spend with them, but for the first few weeks of July I'm going to be busy WORKING! I'm sad that our annual vacay to Cape Breton is cancelled, but happy to have a job. I'm sure I won't start really complaining about my job until at least September...

Brandon is back at Steve's house after writing his exams. It seems as though he's failed math and science, so he'll have a nice summer of school. We are seriously trying to adjust to this new living arrangement, but it's hard for a control freak like me. I actually have to keep my mouth shut! It's a new concept and it's killing me!! I'm sure that this will all play out in it's own time and whatever happens will happen. I'm not quite as weepy as I was last week, but it's still very tough.

Jewel has been home from the breeder's for 2 weeks and we still don't know if she's preggers. What we do know? She's got an infection....a vaginal infection. Our vet says it's a "raging infection!" but he didn't put her on anything. He just took cultures to see what it is. So I called our breeder who, in turn, called his vet (who specializes in Bulldogs) who said, "Sounds like vulvitis. Unless it becomes epic, she's fine." So, we wait. And we wonder- "is she pregnant or isn't she???" The breeder thinks she is, due to her lethargy. I'm just waiting 42 days until she can have an x-ray to prove it. It has been a very interesting process, and one that is very painful for an impatient woman like me.

So, the last update is regarding Emma. I think she still lives here, but she's NEVER here. She is ALWAYS at her boyfriend's house because his mom is a gourmet cook. She did get a job in the mall at Aeropostale, however, that she is loving. So, I'm not going to bitch about her....it is just very weird to have a family that went from 6 to what feels like 4. I actually feel a bit of the Empty Nest Syndrome and I don't like it! I have lots to keep me busy, so why am I feeling like this??? Maybe it's time to go back to school......

I kid! I kid!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Well, it turns out that old habits die hard. Brandon has been home for 31 hours and out of that, he has spent about 6 with his family. He went and wrote his exam today and then came home briefly, and he's been out at his friends' house since then. I am NOT taking this personally, I AM NOT. Well, maybe just a little personally.....just a tiny bit....

What's wrong with us?? Why can't he stand to be around us??? We cook for him, clean up after him, talk to him and listen to him. What am I doing wrong?

I guess this visit has been good because it just makes me realize that I did the right thing by sending him to his father's house. As my dad puts it, "He went from being a middle child in your house to being an only child at his dad's house." And that, my friends, is a kid that needs to be the centre of attention all the time.

So, I have decided to attribute his disinterest in us as two things: 1) he's a teenager and 2) he's a teenager. AND- I'm cutting myself a little slack because I am only human...and raising teenagers is a task that requires superhuman powers.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Unsolved Puzzle

I wish I knew how to feel whole again. Ever since Brandon moved out, I can't help but feel like something big is missing....and it is! A mother should never have to feel like this. It's the strangest thing- I know he's not dead. I realize that he's just living somewhere else and I know deep down that it's been really healthy for our family to have the constant stress gone. But it hurts so badly to know that as his mother, I couldn't fix his problems or make him better. It seems so unfair that after all the pain and suffering we've endured as parents to this kid, that we couldn't "see it through" as far as his issues are concerned. To put it simply, it seems as though we ran a marathon for the last 10 years and didn't get to finish. That just sucks.

I'm picking up Brandon for a visit tomorrow. He's staying for 5 days. I can't wait to see him, and I'm dreading the stress at the same time. We are bracing ourselves, I have been preparing the kids for his arrival and they are not impressed. We'll see how it goes......I'm sure I'll be blogging about it in the days to come......

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sam and I.

I'm spending the day with my little man, Sam. We bought him some new shoes (his toes were through his old ones!), I made him his favorite lunch (Kraft dinner with weenies!) and we've been outside all day. He is happy to have me home:)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A little pissed-off with a chance of happiness...

I have 3 weeks off before I start my new job and I'm a little pissed. I would have loved to do some camping before I start to work weekends again, but our trailer has been leaking water for a year and we just realized it. That's right, an entire year. A year of water damage, a year of water leaking into the trailer and rotting out the floor.....so now we are repairing it! Well, Eric is repairing it. I took the kids for a bike ride on the Georgian Trail while Eric scraped, taped and filled the leak! It seems as though he has found the leak, but we're not too sure....we'll find out the next time it rains, I guess. For now, we've got a dehumidifier in it for a few days to suck the moisture out of the floors.

Hopefully, when the trailer is fixed and we've laid a new floor in it, we'll have an opportunity to get out and have some fun. Going to the East coast is out for this year, but we can still do some local camping. Eric and I would LOVE to go out for a weekend alone, just to read and relax. Camping with kids is not so relaxing!!

On another note, we got our cherished bulldog back from the breeder today. We're hoping for a big 'ole litter of puppies on August the 11th! And then we'll be hoping for a litter of bulldog buyers with big 'ole wallets!! The experience has been very interesting so far and it can only get more interesting when the pups are delivered. I guess it's not a horrible thing that we can't go away for a month in our trailer this year because with a pregnant bulldog it might have been a bit tricky. So, we'll stay around the house and do some weekend trips this summer. And I will be working which makes me happy:) Happy, happy, happy!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Life is Good.

It's been a great week. On Tuesday, on my way home from the hospital, I got a phone call- I got the job!! The job that I completely "went for", the job that I switched placements at the last minute for.....the one that is made for me! The job that encompasses every skill that I possess.....

The job that I hope I love.

I also finished school today. So that makes my week even BETTER. I am done working for free. I am done with taking everyone's "advice" about how to fold towels or load a suture.


Now, I have a few weeks off before I get back on the working train. I plan on taking the time to relax (and NOT do homework or excessive reading about sterility), organize my closet (again), and start running again. I have been very negligent with my running for the last 5 weeks and I feel horrible.....so lazy and weak! I gave myself a "hall pass" when it came to running while I was working fulltime in the hospital. Getting up at 5:30 am to drag my ass to work wasn't conducive to running or any workout routine, for that matter! I know that sounds like an excuse, but running just wasn't as big of a priority for me as sleeping! So for the next 3 weeks- I will be running and weight lifting!!

On another note, I sent my mom home today... she has been an absolute God-send. Even with pneumonia! She came, she stayed, she babysat, she even did some gardening! The woman is an enigma! And when I gave her a hug and kiss goodbye she said, "I am so proud of you for doing it, Joanne." It made me want to cry! At 38 years old, my momma made me feel like crying for being proud of me!! It was worth the blood, sweat and tears just to make make my parents proud.

Any-hoo-hah, it's time for me to start my decompression. Deep breathing, red wine and some Indian food for a little celebratory dinner.....can't get much better than that, can it? Oh yeah! PLUS- my super hot husband!

Life is good.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Look!! Something Shiny!!!!!

People who meet me think I'm quite normal. People who know me are not fooled. I am a sucker for punishment, a glutton for pain! I have a problem with over-extending myself with "things"...not, like, playdates or appointments....but more like I have this compulsion to be doing 10 different things at once and none of them "jive" with each other. For example, right now I am working fulltime in the OR, selling a line of jewellery, being a mom and breeding our bulldog. I am CRAZY!! I just can't say no to anything that interests me at the time. It's great for learning time-management skills but it's horrible when I have 4 or 5 balls in the air at once and I feel like I'm about to drop one (or all)... Nevertheless, I am crazy and always have been so those who love me just learn to accept me.

We took the dog to the breeder's house today to become impregnated. She has to stay for 7 days and then we hope she comes home knocked-up...he's had 100% success rate with his inseminations for the past year so we're pretty optimistic that she'll come home with a bellyfull. He was concerned that the kids would miss their pet so he sent us home with a "loaner" bulldog named Darlington. Can you imagine?? A loaner dog?!!? Anyhow, she's not nearly as cute as our beloved Jewel, but the kids are loving her because she's new and different. It's kinda funny- the kids like new and different things and so do I. Hmmmm....maybe I need to grow up? Whatever. I figure that if I need new and different things in my life often it just means that I don't want to get bored. And being me never gets boring!!

Thank GOD for my sweet, understanding, level-headed husband because he loves me no matter what shiny, new thing I'm chasing next.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


I recently had a conversation with my mom about, well, being a mom. She asked me, "if you had known what you know about having kids, would you still have had them?" I had to think about that for a few minutes......I mean, I LOVE my kids. But I realize that I have absolutely no time to myself. This is not some "ah-hah!" moment for me- I have felt it for about 17 years! So I had to be honest with my mom and say, "sometimes I would like to be childless."

Maybe I'm a monster for saying that. I don't feel like one, but I have to keep it real, here....I'm sure there are moments for every parent where they reminisce about all the time they used to have. As Eric says, "I never knew how much time I had until I had kids and it was all gone." Well, as a woman who started having kids early I guess I never had too much time to "sow my oats" before I had a kid attached to my young, perky breasts. So, yeah, I do wish I could go back and experience my 20's in a reckless, immature manner sometimes. But I would never, ever change the fact that I had my 4 beautiful, healthy kids.

Time is a funny thing. It seems that when you are young and short on time, it's when you need it the most; when you are old and have lots of time, you go to bed at 8:30pm and waste it all....No matter how hard I try to find some for myself these days, time eludes me....

It also occurs to me that I have just wasted 15 minutes of precious time bitching about having no time. ;-)

Sunday, May 31, 2009


As part of my attempt to accept Brandon not living here anymore, I decided to paint his room. In the last few months I had allowed him to use his walls for graffiti because a) it was an artistic outlet and b)I was planning on painting it soon anyhow. So, I spent the weekend in his room cleaning and painting.....partly to clean it up and partly because I just miss him so much.

Here are the before and after shots.......

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Worst Week. Ever.

Boy this has been a tough week! Husband in Ireland for 2 weeks, tough job interview, work, Brandon leaving home......it's been one of the harder ones, for sure. I'm reflecting tonight, just trying to put everything in its place. And that's a tough thing to do!

I cleaned Brandon's room out today. It seems as though his room hasn't been truly cleaned for some time. I found a LOT of stuff in there, but now it's all either in a garbage bag or in a box for him to pick up. It's been a very sad process, cleaning all his stuff up and packing it away....my heart is absolutely broken in half.....but I'm hoping that this is a good thing for Brandon.

I've spoken to him and his dad today, and there is some talk about placing him in a private arts school in Trenton. Of course, that's only if marks aren't a considering factor. But I'm satisfied that his dad is actually thinking about what's best for him.

I am really hoping for that job on the Birth Unit. If it doesn't happen though, I'm sure I'll find a job in an OR somewhere with better hours. Usually, they only work 1 out of every 6 weekends in the Operating Rooms....those are some amazing hours when you consider it's nursing we're talking about!

I'm missing my husband TREMENDOUSLY this week. It's been a bad week for him to be away, but there's nothing we could do about that. He'll be home in a week and I just can't wait. I can't believe how much I love and miss him after all these years....he's the one I want when I'm feeling like this, more than anything (even chocolate or wine!).

Tomorrow I plan to blog with a more positive outlook and less despair. I thank you all for giving me this one day of sadness. After all that I've been through with my Brandon, I deserve it.

Tomorrow is a new day, with a new outlook.

Brandon's gone.....

Last week, after our most recent 'bout of problems with Brandon, I gave him a choice: straighten out or go and live with your dad. Well, after a week of phone calls from the school about Brandon skipping, I had him pack his bags. His dad came last night to pick him up and it was the hardest thing I've ever, ever done...

His dad knows that he hasn't been a father to his kids. It's a little late for him to start now, but I have no other options for this kid. He really didn't want to go, was angry about it, but he made his choice. I have given him so many chances, so many opportunities to get his shit together....but I've realized that I can't be the only one to care about him- Brandon needs to care just as much or he'll never, ever change.

I'm hoping that Bradon can find the will to be a great, responsible person. We have tried to lead by example at home but he is more concerned with rebelling. I know that going to his dad's isn't the best option for him, but if it helps him see the light then I'll know it was for the best. All I want, all I've ever wanted, was for Brandon to be happy. If he finds happiness with his dad, then that's all that matters.

But, man, I'm going to miss that kid like crazy.

Friday, May 29, 2009


I'm stunned by the ability of women to pull together in a crisis. We are creatures who comfort and support each other, gather 'round and try to offer solace and wise advice during some of our lowest moments. It doesn't seem to matter what woman you confide in, most of the time she's there to offer you a shoulder to cry on! I have discovered that the internet has provided me with just such a woman.....her name is Rita and she lives in Australia. I've never physically met her, yet, we chat quite regularily online.
We have a lot in common, Rita and I. We both have deadbeat ex-husbands (she calls hers a Disney Dad- just there for the fun stuff!). We both have older and younger kids. And we have both experienced the joys (NOT!) of a troubled teenager. When I tell her what I'm going through, she knows! She has some great suggestions and some condolences for me.....because she knows EXACTLY how I feel. She has even posted a video on her Facebook page and dedicated it to me, because she knows what I'm going through.....and I've never, ever met her. Yet we know each other so well.
The internet is an amazing place to connect with people. But I have found that sometimes the best of friends turn out to be the ones that we haven't yet met. Even though there's a 12-hour or so time difference and we're a world apart, Rita and I have bonded. She and I are sisters of circumstance. And I appreciate her a lot.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


In the midst of all the drama I got a call from Human Resources about the job I applied for......they are "very interested" in interviewing me....YAYYYYYY!!!!!!
Fingers, toes and everything else crossed please- I'll keep y'all posted!

Return of the Absent Father

I am fascinated with people. The way they react to situations, the way they move about every day and the way they communicate with other people.....watching people can really give you insight about yourself and help you reflect on what you want to change. I've been watching my ex-husband a lot over the last 3 days and there's one thing that I would really like to change-


He has suddenly decided to be a parent! After 13 years apart, while I have raised his kids, he has decided that HE knows what's best for Brandon. He believes that Brandon needs to be phoned 3 or 4 times a day. And let me tell you, when Brandon isn't home I get all the great parenting advice. I guess Steve thinks that Brandon should be locked up in the house with no opportunities to mess up.....but I kinda believe that some people will only ever learn by making BIG mistakes (I'm one of them) and I'm pretty sure that's Brandon. I think that he needs to screw up big time so he can learn lessons- sometimes if his mistakes aren't big enough, he makes them over and over again but that's part of growing up. The truth is that Steve thinks he can step in and be a parent (to ONE of his kids, btw...he doesn't give Emma the time of day) but he has NO IDEA how and to make matters worse, he doesn't know his kid AT ALL.

So, as I sit back and watch Steve try to be a parent to a kid who doesn't know or respect him I realize that I have done a great job raising my kids. Yes, they have moments (some longer than others) where they falter but I sleep great at night with the realization that I know and love my kids. And more importantly, my kids know how much I love them and believe in them.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Red, Red Wine Makes Me Feel So Fine......

I forgive myself. For drinking too much red wine, that is. It's necessary, otherwise I might feel guilty about yet another thing in my life. As if raising kids didn't make me feel guilty enough, right? The fact that I'm in school (3 weeks left!!) and not at home. The fact that I don't have the time or inclination to volunteer at the school for Krissy and Sam (been there, done that). The fact that I sometimes give them soup out of a can for dinner (or worse, out of a box). Even the fact that I have Public Health on my back about immunizations for the younger kids and I really don't care if they get kicked out of school because I know that they've been immunized and I don't want to fill out the forms. I have a lot to feel guilty about so drinking red wine just can't be one of them. Especially after this week....the week from HELL.....

It's no secret to anyone who reads this blog that we've had several issues with Brandon. Not going to school, coming home stoned, getting kicked out of both bands in the last 6 weeks of school for not attending when we drive him there 4 times a week....that kid is totally anti-establishment and there's nothing we can do about it. But this week, I told him that he has to leave. If he refuses to go to school, refuses to do his homework and refuses to stop smoking weed he is not welcome to live at our house. It's pretty straightforward....go to school, do your homework and pass and stop coming home at 4 o'clock stoned. Well, Brandon couldn't seem to get it together so I told him to LEAVE. And he did. It was AWFUL. The first night I didn't sleep a wink and Eric kept reassuring me that he'd come home or sleep in the car. We left the outside light on and the cars unlocked just in case, but no Brandon. I had to get up in the morning and go to work/school as though nothing was out of the ordinary. I had a TERRIBLE day the first day but Emma told me that he had come home to shower and eat while we were at work so I felt better. But the 2nd day, he literally disappeared. Nobody saw him, nobody knew where he was....all of his closest friends didn't even know he wasn't at home!

While he was missing in the first 24-36 hrs, his dad called. When I told him that Brandon was gone and I wasn't totally sure where he was there was MELTDOWN. I mean, total meltdown. Which is really strange for the dad who hasn't bothered to call in 4 MONTHS. While I was at work on the 2nd day of Brandon missing, his dad decided to come to Newmarket to look for him. I guess I felt a little irritated. I mean, I wasn't so concerned that I was willing to take the day off of school. Brandon has always been VERY resourceful and I know him really well, so I was planning on finding him after work on Friday. But Steve came to town, full of drama, and I had to come home from work on Friday just to get in the car with Steve to look for Brandon all over town. After a couple of hours together in the car (more time together than we've spent in the last 15 years!) Steve was clearly a blubbering mess. All worried about Brandon and wanting to call the police....I was irritated and mad that Brandon made me spend this extra time with his dad after a long day in the OR.

When we got back to the house, Emma went on Facebook and found Brandon in 3 minutes. I have and always will say this: teenagers are the BEST networkers.

It seems Brandon stayed at a friend's house that night, but on the first night he stayed nowhere, walking around for the entire night. I can't say that I am upset about that because that kid needed a serious lesson- but man, was it hard!

Anyhow, Steve wanted Brandon to come home with him to get straightened out and I was ready to let him go....I figured that Steve's house would be better than wandering around the mean streets of Holland Landing....but Brandon told his dad NO. He is not interested in living with his dad. And that ASTOUNDS me. I thought that all this time, he was behaving badly so that we would cave in and send him there. But it turns out, that is the last thing Brandon wants. So, I told Brandon he could stay but he's on probation for 10 days. If he skips school, does drugs or consumes alcohol, if he doesn't do his homework EVERY NIGHT and if I get any phone calls from the school he's going to live with his dad. It's now the threat. Strange how things take a turn, huh??

So, as I write this blog, I am sitting on the deck and drinking a glass of red wine. And I don't feel a damned bit of guilt, I'll tell you.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Burning Bridges.

Buckle up, folks.....we're having some MAJOR issues with Brandon again. We're still trying to figure the whole situation out, but suffice it to say that Brandon is slowly burning all of his bridges (school, parents, family, etc....) I am beyond being a loving and supportive parent....thank God for Eric's cool head today. More to come........

Saturday, May 9, 2009

drama, Drama, DRAMA!

So, anybody who has kids knows that they bring a certain amount of drama to your lives. When they are babies the drama is more about the parents ("Oh my GOD SHE WON'T STOP CRYING! WTF?!!? What have we done?? We suck as parents."). When they are toddlers/preschoolers the drama is a little more balanced (who hasn't suffered through a Terrific-Two's meltdown? Who hasn't melted down from one??) When they are school-aged there is a bit of a drama reprieve. They don't actually melt down as much, but they do still overreact ("My hand is bleeding!!! I need ice! I need a bandaid!) Then they become teenagers. And when they do, you wish that you could take the last, say, 15 years and combine all the drama instead of taking the abuse those suckers dish out.

I'm sure that's why a lot of parents kinda "check out"....it's simply a coping mechanism. You can only take so much before you snap so you try to block them out at times. I found myself a little bit checked-out last week and before I knew it, Brandon had skipped 3/5 days of school without getting caught by the school. I'm still not sure how he did it, but Emma mentioned to me that a girl on the bus told her that she hadn't seen Brandon lately in the 2 classes that they share. So, I asked Brandon straight up about it. And, of course, he lied. So, I explained to him he is grounded at home from his friends, computer and skateboards and he seemed ok with that. Then I told him that I would be calling his principal and having him suffer a consequence at school as well. THAT got his attention. But I didn't really care how he felt about it because I am honestly quite sick of dealing with the same DRAMA all the time. So I called the principal and he was put on an in-school suspension with the bad kids for the 3rd time this year. And do you know what happened???

A couple of the kids that he had been previously skipping class with got picked up by some undercover cops during school yesterday for some "illegal activities" (I'm sure they weren't inhaling!). When Brandon came home from his suspension he told me about what went down. And then he said, "Mom the first thought in my mind was that if you hadn't got me into trouble with the school, I would have probably been there with them. I'm actually grateful that you called the principal."

And there you have it. Drama averted for a day but definitely not forever. It's ok, though....I'll let those other kids' parents have the drama this time;-)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Spring Cleaning.

It's amazing what you can accomplish after a little spring cleaning. After I finished the classroom portion of my course, I decided to try and take the few days before the clinical portion to clean up, organize and find some order to my chaos. Well, I've managed to organize all of my scrapbooking stuff and boy! Am I inspired! I've managed to complete 2 pages in the last 2 nights and that's a HUGE accomplishment for me. I feel fulfilled creatively and I am very satisfied to have my stuff organized!

But- I'm also very nervous about Monday. On Monday I start at Markham Stouffville Hospital. I'm excited, but also very scared....what if I screw up? What if I look really dumb? I wasn't originally supposed to go to Markham Stouffville, but after I saw that job posting online, I decided to take matters in my own hands.....I approached the coordinator of the Perioperative Programme and told her about the job and how it was made for me. So, after a lot of reorganizing, phone calls and paperwork she moved me to that hospital. Now I'm scared shitless! But I'm going to seize this opportunity and make the most out of it, because I truly believe that it's where I'm supposed to be. So, just pray for me, ok? Send me positive vibes so I don't hand over the wrong instrument in the wrong way, or (worse!) cauterize the wrong blood vessel!

On another note, I can't WAIT for my husband to get back home to us. We are really ridiculous when it comes to long periods of time apart.....he wants to get home as badly as I want him to get his ass home! A lot of it stems from pure love and a desire to be together, but another part of it comes from living in this chaos, I'm sure. I mean, think about it- when a person has NO TIME to themselves ever, is it really a surprise when they miss it? It's really all we know! So, Eric is having a terrible time dealing with the silence, and I'm having a terrible time not having him around. Especially today because it was his 44th birthday and it's the 2nd birthday that I've missed because of his work travel. So.....we're pathetic!!! And we know it!

Spring cleaning is great, but it doesn't include my Eric. Come home to me, baby.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Gallery Night

Last night was Art Gallery night at Kristen and Sam's school. Here's some of their work on display. Well, actually, it was all Kristen's artwork except for the one with the 3 different coloured squares....

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Royal Day Fun.

When it comes to teachers, I often feel as though we're in 2 different worlds: ours and theirs. In our world there is working from 8am-6pm, no prep time for anything and homework to deal with. In their world, there is working from 9-3:30, 12.5 minutes of prep time/day and homework to hand out. I'm sure it's not easy being a teacher but you have to admit, it can't really be that hard either. I'm sure teachers know that the general population feels this way, and I'm POSITIVE that's why Sam's teacher decided to hold "Royal Day" in April.

Royal Day.

Sounds like a lot of fun for the kids, huh? Sounds like fairy tales and a party. But for me, it was hell....

I'm sure it wouldn't be so bad for the parents of a little girl. After all, what little girl doesn't have a fairy princess dress in her closet left over from Halloween? Well, Sam was a fire truck for Halloween last year and I don't think there was many of those in the fairy tale times. So, I set out to buy him a dragon/king/jester/even a dog costume. Yeah. Good luck finding a costume on April the 29th in Newmarket....actually, there is a costume store right on Main Street but apparently they aren't open on April the 29th. So I did what I had to do. I headed straight for the fabric store.

I've always been one for a challenge and making the Royal King costume was a big challenge for me. I chose a metre of beautiful deep red velvet and 3 metres of faux fur to line it with. I was feeling really great because they had what I was looking for!! Then I got to the counter to pay...."O.K.! That will be $77 please." ummmm, PARDON?!!? Apparently, 1 metre of Royal F**king Velvet costs $39! So, he really is royalty in that uber-expensive cape.

I got home with my supplies and blew the dust off my sewing machine. The only thread in it was bright yellow. Hmmm. That's a bit of a problem because I don't know how to thread my bobbin and I can't find the instructions to the machine or my sewing supplies. So, yellow it is!! I spray-painted his crown gold and decorated it with beads and sequins. Three hours later we had a King!

It's funny because it did all turn out ok, but I don't have that sense of happy accomplishment. I'm still kind of bitter with the teacher about Royal Day. But when I got up this morning and Sam wanted me to put his cape on immediately I realized that I didn't go to all that trouble for the teacher. I did it for my kid.