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'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 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"'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....