Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I'll be back...

So for awhile this blog has been a little off. I started it to document the kids lives and as a place to vent. I was going through some things and needed a non-biased place to discuss what was going on inside my head. Now, all of that is over and it's been months since I really discussed anything to do with the kids. As much as I love the community that I was starting to feel a part of and as often as Im online reading blogs, I've lost the desire to write here. I think it is mostly because I don't know what to write. Or what to write about. I think I need to redefine what I want to use this space for and come back in January with a fresh start. So to anyone who may still be around reading this, I'll be back in about a month with plenty to say.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The one where I ramble a lot and complain about how busy my life is

Things have just been so crazy around here, I barely have a minute to think. Im actually forgetting all sorts of commitments and errands that need to be run. It's madness.

We moved into our new home Sunday officially but were bringing things over since last Monday. The house was in great condition so I didn't have to do much cleaning and that really helped. I did start painting the upstairs bathroom, thinking I would have time to get it finished before we moved in. But that didn't happen. I've done three coats and it needs another one. Then I have to unpack the whole thing. Who knew one family could have four boxes of bathroom stuff? I have no idea how we fit it all in the smaller bathroom in the last house. Sheesh.

Then there was my mother's long-awaited visit. I haven't seen her since last December so I was really looking forward to it. She arrived Tuesday just after four in the afternoon and stayed with me until Yesterday until around two. Less than two days with her just didn't feel like enough but I know I have to share her. From my place, she went to stay with my Aunt for a night, then with Ross and Melissa for a night, then two nights with my other brother, before flying out in the wee hours of Monday morning. Its a tight schedule so I understand, but it was still hard.

We were able to get in some shopping alone together and I don't think I've ever had as much fun. We went for a coffee without the kids, grocery shopping with my younger brother (who just started University and is now living with me), and a career fair, of all places. It was a busy couple of days.

By yesterday I should have heard from my old landlord about getting our deposit back, but instead he hadn't responded to any of my emails in over a week. I was getting really nervous and sent him a final (and somewhat threatening) email about my lease term being up and his responsibility to schedule an inspection. He then calls from his cell phone within an hour to make an appointment for last night. I was already swamped* and hated to take the time then, but wanted it done.

When we actually did the inspection, he pointed out the most ridiculous things and said that I could either re-clean the place or loose my $675 to pay for cleaners. I couldn't believe it. Jason and I spent hours going over that house and he found every little mark on the wall or bit of dust he could. In the kitchen he even checked on top of the cabinets for dust. I was just in shock most of the time and couldn't wait to get out of there. So now I have to go back today somehow with the four kids to fix everything on his list. And the worst part of all of it, is that he may not even give it back when Im done that! I've had to bring a landlord to court before and I will do it again, but it's just annoying.

*Im not sure if I've mentioned this on here, but Rayden and I have started a very large paper route. He wants to go to Florida, like so many of his classmates do every year and because I just can't afford that, we made a plan. If we deliver these papers for a year, we will have saved $5000 and can use that towards any trip we choose. If we continue to deliver them each year, then we can continue to pick a vacation each year and sometimes maybe a couple of smaller ones. The only problem is that it's 460 flyers and both last week and this week, they were really late getting to us, causing our whole schedule to go out of whack. If it's just Rayden and I, we can do the whole lot in about six hours and for $100, that's not bad. It's one day a week in exchange for a vacation every year. I think it's a win for everyone involved, but just a little annoying when there are so many other things going on.

And to top this whole week of madness off, one of my brothers had a cat that caused his allergies to go crazy. He put up with her for so long but in the end decided that she was too much and asked me to take her. Now, I have a cat myself and Jason has two. Adding another cat into the mix seems like a bit too much if you ask me, but I couldn't say no. If I didn't take her, then she would have ended up at the humane society for a little visit and if no one adopted her, she would be destroyed. That was too much to bare and so I took her in. We now have four cats, four kids and three adults in this house; so much for getting some extra room!

Now here it is Friday morning and Im looking forward to the weekend. We have another 230 flyers to deliver today and swimming lessons both today and tomorrow, but then the kids go with their dad for a night and I get to see my mom again at a BBQ. It's going to be a quiet weekend of Jason and I getting our new home in order. Except. Jason's mom just called and she is on her way in for the weekend!!! We knew that she might come out Saturday with her man, but we didn't think she would be staying with us. Apparently that's not the plan though. So there goes my relaxing weekend as now I have to spend the next three hours before they arrive, getting as much unpacked as I can. The blankets and sheets that my mom had for the pull-out couch haven't even been washed yet and I can't find any pants for the two year old.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

tired

Man, I just don't even know what to say. There has been so much going on and so much to talk about but I never feel like doing the actual writing of this blog lately. Im all blah I guess. Seems to be a theme sometimes around here.

We move this coming Sunday. I am in love with my house, it is the nicest place that either Jason or I have ever lived in. Im beyond excited! We went there yesterday to get the key and while everyone else was inside, Jason and I were in the back garden talking about how this house feels too nice for us. It seems like a dream. Its a strange feeling, really. We don't own the house and are in fact just renting, but it feels like ours. We can stay there for the next five to seven years if we choose, and we are allowed to do whatever work we feel like doing in terms of upkeep. Jason is excited to paint the decks and fix the crown molding in the bathroom. Im excited to pick my own damn paint colors (which I already have, more on that later) and tend to my own gardens. It'll be amazing.

Before then though, we have a lot of work to do. I've bought paint for a couple of the rooms and Id like to get that on the walls before we move in. But we also have a lot of work to do around our current house before we meet the landlord for the final inspection. We've repaired the damage to the walls but we still have to paint over those spots. The carpet has a few stains that need an industrial steam cleaner (my job for today), one of the blinds in a bedroom has been broken and the new one has to be installed, the fridge/stove top/dishwasher have to be cleaned and I have to go over all of the walls with a magic eraser. Im tired just thinking about it and the fact that I want to spend every moment in the new house now, makes it all the harder. But Im happy in the direction that our lives are going so I don't mind putting in the hard work to get there.

All in all, Im happy and excited, but also tired. Hopefully I'll get around to posting a bit more in the next week before I loose internet for a couple of days.

Monday, August 31, 2009

the planning begins

I've decided to do a lot of hand-made crafts this year for Christmas. Im not so sure I'll be able to pull that off for the boys but most of the extended family will be getting baskets filled with various hand made things. I've found a few really cute ideas that I can't wait to put together but I need a lot more. Im not super into crafty things, although I do enjoy paper crafts. So, um...HELP!

I know it's only September (almost), but you really have to be organised for this stuff. I will be doing my Christmas shopping for the kids and everyone else right after the move in early October, so I need a list of all supplies soon.

Example:
Yesterday Swistle mentioned the homemade vanilla extract and I fell in love with those cute little bottles. I know that Im going to include those in the baskets but I'd like to do a trial run first and they take a month.

Does anybody have any ideas? There are people of all ages, men and women and even dogs and cats that I can include things for. Any ideas or websites would be super helpful.

********only 116 days to go**********

That makes me a little sick too. Yikes!

Monday, August 24, 2009

decisions, decisions

I've decided not to take the trip. At the moment, I just cant spend the money on something like that knowing that I have so many expenses. The cost of the trip is close to the same amount of all the extra-curriculars that kids want to take this fall. And when I think about it, I would love to spend those few days with my friend and visiting my family, but I would feel guilty if the kids couldn't take swimming or guitar lessons.

Maybe if I get a decent-paying job, I'll go to Ontario with a kid or two next year. I know that Rayden and I have talked about all the fun things there are to do there and maybe that is the better idea. We'll see.

The other decision I've made is to get an evening job while I wait for something better and in my field. I haven't wanted to go this route because with paying for child care, I would need to make about 35 000 just to pay my share of the bills. Take off that child care and its more like 22 000. So if I take something that doesn't pay well but is easy to do and I can tolerate, then I think that is the best route for now. At least it will allow us to remove some of the financial stress and give me some time away from everyone. If I can find something where I work maybe 4/5pm to 12/1am, five days a week, I think it would be perfect for now. I could still be with the children during the day and have time to work on homework with them, while making supper. Then I can leave them with Jason for the evening/bedtime routine and be home early enough that Im not exhausted the next day. Now I mean I would be tired, but I might be able to work in a nap or two through out the week.

So that's the plan. Any advice or thoughts ladies?

Friday, August 21, 2009

What should I do?

Amanda moved out of province almost five years ago to be closer to her family. Last week she came back for a visit and made the quick decision to move back here to NL. Apparently this will happen in less than a month. Im pretty used to the spur of the moment decisions of Amanda, but this one caught me off guard. I'll actually have a good friend in town, something I've been lacking for a couple of years.

The best part of all of it is that Amanda has asked me to make the drive with her. The plan would be for me to fly to Ontario Thursday night and then spend Friday through Sunday driving east. I was immediately excited but now Im doubtful. The whole thing would cost me about $500 and with everything else right now (moving/back to school/Christmas/not working) Im not sure if that would be a wise idea. I feel like I really need the break and getting away for three days with a good friend to just recharge might be what I need.

The other perk of taking her up on her offer is that I would get a night back home. I've been in NL for 8 years and only visited home once. Ontario is still my home and probably always will be but I think Im bound to NL. My grandfather is 88 and may not be around much longer so a visit with him would mean a lot to me, not to mention all of my child hood friends that I would like to see again. The last time I was home, the whole facebook craze hadn't quite caught on yet so I didn't have contact with so many people.

Sigh. I'd love to go and do this but Im really not sure. Part of me wants to just book the ticket and part of me is saying no. What do you think?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

sons and daughters

“But boys are so much easier!” They told me, “Why would you want a girl? It’s all drama, drama drama...” And so the conversations would go. Every time I mentioned my desire to have a girl, almost every mother in the room felt the need to fill me in on how lucky I was that mine turned out to be boys. I couldn’t argue with them, I am lucky to have four wonderful, healthy boys. But that shouldn’t negate my desire to raise a daughter.

Boys and girls are different, just as one child is different from the next. All four of my boys have different personalities and dispositions that have nothing to do with their gender. My oldest is thoughtful, skilled in spatial thinking and hyper. My second son would rather play video games then eat and is as cuddly as a teddy bear. My only niece is a rambunctious two year old that loves to dance and has a firey temper. None of these personalities are tied to the gender of the child that owns them. Just imagine the description of my niece’s personality, had I said she was a boy. It wouldn’t make a difference, would it? Any child could be rambunctious, love to dance and have a temper.

So why do we hold on to this stereotype that girls as a group, are harder to parent? Why do we think that our sons will love their mothers deeper than our daughters will? Parenting and raising children is so much more than the everyday struggles that those flawed arguments focus on.
My longing to raise a daughter has nothing to do with the frilly dresses or pink barrettes (though they are adorable!). I want to be the mother of a girl because I want to raise a woman. I want to teach her everything that I was taught and everything that I wish I had been taught. I want to give her confidence and teach her humility; show her her worth and teach her to love; embrace her sexuality and teach her not to be ashamed; give her the tools to become anything that she wants to be and the courage to find her path.

I want to be the mother of a daughter so that I can be a part of that mother line. We come from our mothers and we live on through our daughters. We connect through our shared experience of being female and being mothers. As women we share a special strength and I believe that the relationship between mothers and daughters is an expression of that strength.

I am a mother, and I am lucky to be one. In time, I may be granted the honour of raising a daughter or I might not. If that is the case then I will continue to raise my sons to be the best men that they can be and through them my granddaughters will come. If I teach those same skills of worth, love, confidence and courage to my sons, they will pass those on to their daughters.

I may not be a part of the mother line, in the way that I had always hoped I would be. But with my sons, I am still a mother and I have the same job to do.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

more blahness

It's been two full weeks now but it feels like an eternity. except for a few times when I lost my balance, I haven't put any weight on my right foot since I hurt it. Which means no driving, walking or standing. Basically I either crawl or hop around the house and the two times that I had to go out were nightmares with the crutches. It royally sucks.

I am fully aware that the summer is passing me by. Where I live, you have to take full advantage of the nice days because they will be gone very soon. In fact, we had planned to go camping this weekend and my biggest concern was the weather. Now Im stuck home with a foot that I cant use and it's absolutely gorgeous outside.

The kids have been suffering too. I've let them play outside a little but mostly Im afraid that something will happen and I wont be able to get to them on time. There are no windows where I can sit with my leg up and keep an eye on them either. It's just frustrating. School starts again in three weeks and I may be going back to work full time around then as well. I need this foot to heal but damn it, I have no idea when that will be.

When I was in emerg the second time, the doctor went back and forth as to whether or not to put a cast on my ankle. She knew there was a crack in one of the bones but I had already gone 6 days without a cast and there was no change. From that I got the impression that it wasn't that bad. In the end she decided to cast it and told me that I would hear Monday when I needed to come back to see the orthopedic doctor. He could then decide if I needed a cast or not. So when I got home that night and there was a big crack in the cast as well as a large area that didn't set properly, I thought the whole thing foolish. But then the pain set in. I've never had a cast before but I didn't think they were supposed to be painful. If I didn't keep my leg completely straight, the cast would shift and put pressure on all the wrong areas. Before long, I cut that damn thing off.

But now Im wondering. I didn't hear about my appointment until Thursday and now Im forced to go in on Monday, the day that I have an interview on. I don't know if taking the cast off was the right thing to do, but I don't think I could have made it 10 days with that thing anyway. All I want is an idea of how long this is going to take to heal and instructions on how to make that happen. I need to know if the small stretches that I've been doing to keep it loose are OK or if a little weight on it would break it worse. I have absolutely no idea. If the first doctor that I saw hadn't decided to send my x-ray to the radiologist as an after-thought, I would never have known of the break and I would have been putting weight on it now.

Im at the point now where Im considering having someone come in to clean the house. Jason can do some things but his idea of clean is well below mine so I am continually frustrated with the state of the house. My bathroom hasn't been cleaned since the day before I hurt my ankle, that's 15 days people! Jason will spend a couple of hours doing a few things around here every day or two but what takes him an hour, I could do in 15 minutes. He talks about it never ending and all I can think is well, duh! We've been very, very low on food lately and so I have to send Jason out to pick things up every night for supper. The thing is, he spends way too much money on a single meal and never picks up anything else. I even went through the effort to compile a complete list of everything we need, including brands, sizes and prices. Then I set it on the desk with my points cards for the various stores and waited for him to come home from work so that he could go get the stuff. But then the man decided to stop by the grocery store on his way home and spend another $40 on a single meal to save him the effort of going out again, even though I TOLD HIM that I needed him to do a full grocery shop that night.

Don't even get me started on all the errands that I have to run. I cant leave it to him either. I have a cheque sitting here that needs to be deposited into my account but he keeps forgetting to do it and I cant even find another way because he hasn't remembered to give me back my bank card from two weeks ago! I have a bunch of things I need to mail and I have to do the kids' back to school clothes shopping this week.

If only I knew how long I had to stay off my ankle. If it's one more week, then I can deal. I can plan everything for the following week and I can make a reservation at one of the camp grounds for another weekend. We aren't doing any other vacations this year so camping was supposed to be our treat. I can plan out my packing schedule and start buying the few things we'll need for the new house. I can actually envision my house being CLEAN again, and to my standards! We could go to the beach a few more times and check out a few playgrounds. I could show the kids the new house and community we'll be living in.

In the mean time though, Im left to sit here and fret about maybe having to stay like this for another month or two. Then that brings all the worries about how I'd get the kids to school or actually get my house all packed up and cleaned. We have a few repairs around here that need to be done before we leave and a few things that need to be replaced and if I leave it all to Jason, we just wont get it all done. Sitting around and thinking about all of these things is crap for my anxious, obsessive personality and Im sure Im driving everyone nuts.

Until I see the orthopedic doctor on Monday, Im going to continue to make my lists and browse decorating web sites for the new house. I pretty much have everything decided already but maybe there's something I haven't seen yet but would just love. All I know is that I have to keep busy with other things or Ill go insane waiting to walk again.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

this is the result of two weeks on the couch...

I haven't given in to the twitter hype yet but those of you who are friends on facebook would already know that we are moving next month. I got the email last night from the woman who we will be renting from confirming that we are the chosen tenants and to call her with a time to sign the paperwork. We are so excited! This house is absolutely gorgeous and in a very family-friendly neighborhood. The owners are going to be out of the province for at least five years so the plan is to stay in the house until they come back and hopefully have the money by that point to buy our own.

There are so many great things about this move that my mind keeps bouncing back between them all. First, there are four bedrooms instead of the three that we have now. Josiah has been sharing with us up until now but we've been thinking that he needs his own room. He still wakes up once or twice each night and we're hoping that by giving him his own space, he'll give up that little annoyance. Rayden will have his own room, as he does now, but it will be on it's own floor. He is really excited about that.

The yard is beautifully landscaped with a deck and workshop for Jason. We wanted to get a small pool but Im not sure there will be room for one because so much of the yard is done in flowers and such. But all the kids on the street make up for it and Im sure the boys will be back and forth between each other's houses anyway.

The one down side to the move is that even though it's only about 15 minutes from where we live now, it is actually in another city, which brings all sorts of problems with it. There will be new by-laws to learn and we'll have to figure out a new Y, swimming pool, parks, grocery store, schools. We are actually fairly close to a large shopping area so I know I wont have trouble with most of our daily needs, but there is still a fair amount of anxiety over it all. The Y that we go to now is on the far side of the city we currently live in so if we were to continue to go to that one, it would be a 30-45 minute drive. I know that there is one in our new city but I think it's actually spread out through-out the city. The pool is separate from the gym and the children's programs are separate still. Not my idea of convenience. So that sucks.

Schools are the other major decisions we have to make. There is one within walking distance but it doesn't have french immersion. The only options we have are to keep the kids where they are which would mean a 20-30 minute drive or switch them to the only french one in our new city, but still have to drive them. The new school has bus routes, but we don't happen to be on them because we are so close to the other school. Guh! The drive is probably only about five minutes to the new french school but Im wondering if it's worth the anxiety for Rayden now that he has had three years with the same kids. I will probably be working in our current city so it may just make sense to keep them in their current school and just arrange for child care before and after school. Decisions! I tell ya, if we were on the bus route for the new school I would just deal with the switch for the ease of putting them on a bus every morning.

____________

In other major news I've got another interview for Monday morning. They wanted to meet with me tomorrow but because of my ankle, I asked if we could book a later day. I still hadn't heard from the doctor at that point, so I just hoped that Monday would work. Then I got a call from the hospital with an appointment for Monday morning as well. The doctor is at 9:40 and the interview is at 11:30 so I could possibly have time for both, but there is no way to tell. Im just going to have to bring a watch with me and leave by 11 if the doctor is running behind. I know my ankle is important but Im really getting frustrated with the level of care my hospital is giving me. The sprain is better and I am getting my range of motion back but Im afraid to put any weight on it at all in case that does damage to the fracture. I need the OK from the doctor before I even attempt that. So yes, it is important that I see him but if he wants to put a cast on it or something, I probably wont have time.

I know it sounds like the obvious solution would be to change one of the appointments, but the hospital makes the doc appointments and I would have to wait another week to see someone and by then I could have done more damage if Im doing something wrong. As for the interview, I could call them back and try to go in tomorrow but Im not prepared at all and Im still hopping around a bit too much to look very professional. Another five days and an OK from the doctor may be just enough to give me a touch of gracefulness as I enter the interview room.

But yes, back to the interview. This is actually for two jobs within the same organization. One of the local non-profits is starting a new housing resource centre and they are hiring four new people for it. The positions that I applied for are a housing and tenant relations officer and a housing support worker. Both are entry-levelish but the pay is decent. The non-profit has a good reputation in town and if I can get a foot in the door with them, I think it will be the beginning of a good career. So Im definitely excited!

I've been applying like crazy for the last two weeks again for every job that Im even a little qualified for, so Im not worried. Even if this one doesn't work out, there have been lots of other opportunities lately and hopefully I'll get a few other interviews.
____________

I feel like there is just so much going on. We're moving and obviously there's a ton of stuff that needs to be done with that. But then Im also hoping to secure a job in the next couple of weeks, get the kids ready for school (It's Chris's first year OMG!), and deal with a broken ankle. Oh! And my mom is coming for a visit at the end of September. If all the dates work out, she will be here and staying with us for a couple of days, about three days after we move. So not only will we be trying to get everything packed up here and moved over to the new house, I'll also be a bit frantic trying to unpack enough to have a house guest. It's my mom so I shouldn't be too worried about it all, it not like she'll care. But when I think about trying to visit with her around all the boxes and crap everywhere, I don't like the image. AND it's also the first time that she will meet Jason. So wow, big visit!

I haven't spoken to Melissa or our other SIL since the incident a few months back and I've only seen one of my brothers so Im not so sure how the whole family time with my mom will work out either. Every time I speak with my mom on the phone she brings it up and tries to get me to let go of it all. I just cant do that. This SIL is the same person who attacked me last year when I lost my house and then almost a year later, does it again but this time PUBLICLY. How can I just let her back into my life and open myself up for it again?

There is no way to know if she'll do it again next year or the year later and I don't want to give her the opportunity. The way I explained it to my mom was that I've had enough of a struggle myself trying to get out of the depression and such that I've been dealing with over the last couple of years. If I allow someone in my life that has the power to one day, out of the blue throw me back into all of that, then Im going to be on egg shells. I want to be happy and live a normal life. I don't want to have to struggle and fight my way back out of depression because someone who is supposed to be family decided to attack me again. So I leave it and avoid calling their house or having anything to do with her. My brother still calls me for various reasons and comes by, but I haven't seen my two little nephews since it all started. Nor have I spoken to Ross or Violet. Melissa is different, because she is the one who had the conversations with SIL about me but pretended like she had no issues with me. I don't mind what she did so much but the way that my brother and her made such an effort to cut me off from them, there is no repairing that. They are expecting another baby and I don't so much as get an email. My mom forwarded on the email they sent to her so that I would be aware, but that's how much they have cut me off. They have both removed me from facebook and msn and unlike my other brother, I haven't heard a word from Ross. So Im guessing that they don't want anything to do with me as much as I don't want anything to do with SIL. It's all a shame really and something I try not to think about. But now with my mother's visit and her wanted to spend time with everyone, I have to decide whether or not to give in and participate or loose out on the extra time with my mom and brothers.

Anyway, before I go on any further with that crap (like it wasn't enough already!), Im going to end this. I've got a lot going on at the moment and very little of it is what I though I would be doing at the end of this summer. But then again, I'd gladly replace a camping trip and a visit to the strawberry patch with a new house and job.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

the sprain that wasn't

So after 8 hours at the hospital again yesterday, it was determined that my sprained ankle was in fact a fractured ankle. It actually took about 7.5 hours for a doctor to actually look at my chart to determine that I was only there to be told of the fracture. To me, that's insane. I waited four hours last weekend and was sent home and told to keep it up for a few days. Then I get a call to come back in and Im the one that's supposed to wait for them? They messed up in the first place!

Anyway, they put a loose cast on it and sent me home. I should hear from another department on Monday about an appointment to see if I actually need a cast or if I should just stay off of it for a few weeks. The cast that was put on it was more of a precautionary thing, but that after a week of it just being wrapped, it was still just as it was when I hurt it.

So I cut off the cast.

I seriously tried to sleep with that damn thing on but the part that was covering the fractured bone wasn't even solid because the doctor did something weird to it and the side ended up not hardening. After about ten minutes of laying in bed with pain shooting through my foot I said 'fuck it' and went off in search of scissors. 20 minutes later I was back in bed and falling peacefully asleep. Damn doctors.

First they mess up what the problem is, then they make me wait 8 hours to be told how they messed up. To make up for it they quickly cast my leg, only to mess that up too and cause me more pain then I had to begin with. They should have just made me an appointment the other day when they called me to come back in. I mean really, what did they expect they would be able to do? If they had made the appointment, I'd be two days sooner actually knowing anything about it. At this point I have no idea how long this will take to heal or if I'll need a real cast or anything.

Im cranky and tired and want my damn ankle to feel better.

On the plus side, it's Rayden's 8th birthday today. We're not doing much because of the ankle but we've got a few plans. He's busy playing his wii with his cousin at the moment but I should get off this thing and start on the tacos for lunch.

Have a great weekend ladies.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Updates

#1. So the foot:
Sunday morning, almost 24 hours after it happened



.....And today:



Yes, it hurts. I got a call this morning from the radiologist asking that I come back for more x-rays and a reassessment. I couldn't make it today, which really freaking sucks because now Im all worried and stressy thinking about what could be wrong. It's been five full days and I still can't put any weight on it. Fail!

#2. Astarte also asked about the job and I realised that I forgot to tell you all. I actually turned down the job. It was seriously low pay and would actually barely pay for child care. Im still hopeful that I will find something in my field soon. I have three job ads saved in windows on my computer at the moment waiting for me to put together application packages for each of them. Then tomorrow the careers section of the local paper is released online for the week. So we'll see.

#3. I've been reading a lot of fiction lately. And not just any fiction, this stuff is trashy, sometimes badly written, and pointless. But I'm loving it. Jason is a big movie buff and Im not so much. So reading now gives me the perfect opportunity to sit with him without being bored to death! I spent 6 years in school without so much as a summer off and so I stayed away from books for awhile but now I seem to be in full force. I devour them in days or even hours. The best part is the last three that I have picked up were from stores within five minutes from my house and they were all under 5 dollars, on clearance. Love it!

Now all I need is for this ankle to heal up so I can enjoy the rest of this summer.

On second thought, keeping my leg elevated gives me lots of time to read. Hmmm....

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Owie, ow

Saturday evening we had planned to have a BBQ with a few friends in the backyard. To prepare, Jason and I were doing little cleaning projects in and around the house. We didn't have a huge amount of things to do, but it was enough to have me a little stressed. Around noon I spotted the pack n play and decided to bring it outside just in case we need to throw Josiah in it at some point during the evening. So I grabbed it and headed outside. As I was stepping through our back door onto the patio, I happened to see Jason across the lawn and I called something out to him. In regular me fashion, I didn't bother to pay attention to what I was doing and instead totally focused on what Jason was doing (sitting down, drinking a beer).

In an instant I was on the ground screaming in pain. Jason came running over and I screamed at him to just leave me alone! don't touch it! OMG! Within about 5 seconds my ankle had swollen to look like a freaking baseball was sitting under the skin.

I've sprained my ankle many times but this one was bad. It was a lot like the last one which had me laid up in my apartment for a week. I couldn't even think about leaving because 1) I couldn't get down the three flights of stairs and 2) I couldn't drive. This is a lot like that time. Im doing a lot of crawling around the house and Im basically useless when it comes to looking after the kids. Jason has to work all week even though he is owed a stat holiday and he took on a side job tonight after work. This all means that it's pretty miserable around here.

I haven't uploaded the pics from this time because I cant muster up the energy to hop myself into the kitchen and rummage around for the cord. It looks horrible though. The bruise is so dark and reaches from almost my toes to half way up my calf and all the way around the ankle.

I don't know how I keep doing this to myself. It seems that every other summer I end up doing it again and it's always the same ankle. My mother has the same curse and has had to learn to walk extremely careful. Im usually very conscious of how I walk or what I wear on my feet but here I am again, because of one split second of stupidity. Damn.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I made the list

I'm going to incorporate this list into the permanent area of the blog eventually, but for now this is what I've got. I didn't think I'd be able to come up with much but after finding this site, I did pretty well. There were a lot of things listed on the site that I had already accomplished which made me feel really good. I wanted to include more but it felt weird to add something that I've already done unless I want to specifically redo it with the kids.

So, the list:

1. Pay off consumer debt
2. Pay off student loans
3. Save a down payment for a house
4. Buy a house
5. Bring the kids to Disney
6. Bring the kids to Ontario
7. Hike in Gros Mourne
8. Visit the US(other than Hawaii)
9. Go to India
10. Take a lingering vacation in Europe
11. Learn to Garden
12. Find a hobby just for me, outside of the house
13. Make reading for pleasure more of a priority and don’t feel guilty about it
14. Become fluent in French
15. Learn a third language
16. Run a 5k
17. Stay committed to a gym for over a year
18. Run the tely10 (10 miles)
19. Complete a triathlon
20. Take a belly dancing class
21. Take a cooking class
22. Throw a Christmas party
23. Go camping with the family
24. Buy a cabin
25. Visit a western province
26. Build the kid’s RESP so that we can actually pay for their education
27. Get married
28. Have a daughter
29. Get a tattoo
30. Go to a strip club
31. Write a published work
32. Complete NaNoWriMo 5 years in a row
33. Go Sea kayaking
34. Have a giant backyard BBQ with all of our friends and family
35. Have an office of my very own
36. Bake bread from scratch
37. Swim with dolphins
38. Go to Hawaii
39. Own my own business
40. Visit my parents
41. Complete another degree
42. Put money in someone else’s meter
43. Achieve my ideal weight and maintain it
44. Get a makeover
45. Take a dance class
46. Find the job that I love
47. Make my own jam
48. Get my kids to adulthood
49. Go 6 months without eating fast food
50. See a Cirque du soleil performance
51. See a movie by myself in the theatre
52. Go to a blueberry festival
53. Bring the kids berry picking
54. Achieve 70 words per minute
55. Have a stress-free and happy Christmas season
56. Go to a spa
57. Earn a certificate in Leadership
58. Meet someone from the blogosphere
59. Take a couples class of anything
60. Buy a punching bag and use it
61. Get all of my dental work done
62. Save $10 000 for nothing in particular
63. Finish the kids’ scrapbooks
64. Establish a regular date night
65. Participate in a book club
66. Work in a foreign country
67. Throw a dinner party
68. Join the PTA
69. Take an art class
70. Find and leave flowers at the graves of my grandmothers
71. Dance in the rain
72. Meet girlfriends for cocktails
73. Bring the kids apple picking
74. Bake 10 different kinds of Christmas cookies for family and friends
75. Find a long-lost friend
76. Maintain a weekly family night
77. Write a will
78. Sponsor a family for Christmas
79. Give $100 to a stranger
80. Buy a van
81. Take the kids to a drive in
82. Walk all the trails in the grand concourse
83. Build sand castles with my kids
84. Do something nice for Jason’s mom
85. Teach all of my children to ride a bicycle
86. Make homemade ice cream
87. Host a girl’s night

lists and links

I've been thinking about creating a life list for awhile now. Miss Grace has one and Tara has something similar. The idea is pretty simple; make a list of all the things you want to accomplish during your lifetime, a la The Bucket List. Tara's is a little different in that it has a definite time limit (101 things in 1001 days). Personally I love both ideas and I plan to have both kinds of lists. But what the heck do I put on them? I have some ideas obv. of things I want to do but both Miss Grace's and Tara's lists are super long and I doubt I could come up with enough stuff to make it a decent list. I guess it's one of those things that are constantly changing and evolving and so it wouldn't have to be complete right now. But that is so against my personality. Anyway, that's something I'll just have to deal with if I want to make that list now isn't it?

Tell me, what would be on your list?

Monday, July 27, 2009

pros and cons

So I got the job.

...and I start Monday.

OMG!

Honestly, Im on two minds about it. Of course Im excited that I finally got a job and especially so considering they offered it to me within hours of my initial interview. Its close to home, the hours are good and the people are nice.

But...the pay sucks.

They said twice during the interview that I was over qualified and even said that there wasn't much room for growth. Im not sure how to take this. I need a job and Im ready to work but am I really ready to accept such a low salary? I checked out the NOC listing for the position title and I've been offered 20 000 less than the national average. I am entry level, so that accounts for some of it, but really? Im eligible for a special incentive program that will provide the employer with 10 000 towards my salary so I might be able to close the gap a little with that. I hope.

I meet with them tomorrow afternoon again to get the official offer and I think Im more nervous than I was for my interview today.

What if I accept this position and then get a call to interview somewhere else next week? Not only would I have to take time off to interview but I'd feel bad about leaving somewhere so soon after starting. If I commit to this place then I think I should at least put 6 months in.

What do you think?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Job Interview on Monday...wish me luck!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

sh@t!!!

OMG Swistle just wrote about having a stellar parenting day ruined by the CONSTANT neediness of the childrens. I AM SO HAVING ONE OF THOSE DAYS!

I've been feeling great about everything all week and even today, with a bunch of bills to pay and errands to run, I was still in a good mood. That was until we got home from a shopping trip where I retained my amazing mood dispite 2 of the four actually RUNNING around the store! BUT that was ruined when the 2 year old spilled an entire can on pop all over my job search binder. That binder included EVERYTHING involved in my job search including my DEGREE and all of my certificates/letters of reference. I swear I saw red when I found it. I had everything in there that needed to be copied and kept in my portfolio, only they weren't, they were all still the originals. I still dont know what Im going to do. Orange pop doesnt really come out of much.

I think this qualifies for an "FML"

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

yesterday, tomorrow

So it has been a year. Last July I was living in a shelter and last July I began this blog. Thankfully the shelter is a distant memory, and the blog is still kicking along.

I am amazed at how much can change in a year and yet how incredibly LONG some changes take. It really does feel like Im light years away from the place I was last summer and yet when I try to think of specific changes, not many come to mind. Take for example my mental health. I was obviously messed up last year and although I feel like Im no longer living in a dark world of complete shittiness, I cant say that Im not still depressed. I can still feel the anxiety try to grip me and sometimes I have to be careful to not let it.

Im still unemployed, not sure of the future and financially scared to death. My kids still require much more of me than I can give. Im a full 35lbs heavier than I was last fall.

And yet, my life IS better. I am happier overall. The depression is still there and can sneak up on me sometimes, but overall, Im OK. I've been getting out of the house more and actively working on our future. I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. I KNOW that one day we will be out of all of this mess and stress.

Maybe next July Ill be looking back and thinking about how incredibly different and satisfying my life has become! Or maybe I'll be saying the same as I am now.

Life goes on and the years will pass by; regardless of whether or not I make the changes I want in my life. So for today and for tomorrow I will keep putting one foot in front of the other and trust that eventually, with enough work, I will be living the life I dream of.

Monday, July 13, 2009

random updates, with pictures!!

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE summer?

Between my job search class and all of the activities we've been involved in, the time is just flying by. I never have time to write here anymore but there is always something I want to say so that when I do sit down, it's all jumbled. Sigh.

_____


Josiah's birthday was last Thursday. We didn't do much really because I had my class all morning and then he napped for the rest of the afternoon. He was only awake for maybe an hour when Jason got home from work so we waited for him for cake and presents. Jason's mom had bought a cake for Josiah and the boys and I baked cup cakes.



My mom sent him some money as a gift so we brought him out shopping Saturday evening, after the other kids had gone with their dad. We ended up getting him some sort of leap frog doll that sings/talks with a flashing light. So far, it hasn't left his hands much since we brought it home. He even dances to it, which is obviously completely adorable!

______

Friday Josiah had to get his immunizations which I was not looking forward to. He did really well though without even crying for any of the three needles. I don't remember his measurements except that he's 21lbs now and meets all of the requirements to switch to a forward facing car seat. Im a little worried about how to go about all of that because I drive a car and all three car seats only just fit across the back as it is. To change any of them makes me worry that I wont be able to make them fit and then we're screwed. I also need to weigh Michael because he may be big enough soon to switch to a booster and then I can give his car seat to Josiah. Im not sure though on the age requirements for boosters so he may be too young.

_______

One awesome thing about Jason is that he is really into being active in the summer. The winter is another story but if it's a nice, sunny day, he wants to be outside. So Friday evening after he got home from work we decided to go for a walk. The kids wanted to walk to the candy store, which is what they call the little neighborhood store, but that only takes about 15 minutes. I wanted to drive downtown and walk around down there, visiting the real candy store. Jason wanted to walk a scenic route. So in the end we decided to walk on a nearby trail that goes all the way downtown. From there we crossed the main part of downtown and visited the candy store where everyone got an ice cream cone. Then we walked back along the harbour to the trail that we came from and headed home. All together it was almost 9km. The kids were beat out by the end of it, which was nice but that last half hour was nothing but whining! I doubt we'll be going on those types of walks with the kids anymore but it was still nice.


On Sunday while the kids were still gone with their dad, Jason and I walked around a local lake. That walk is only 3.8 km so it didn't take long. We would have gone around again but Josiah needed a diaper change and we were running out of time before the kids were getting home. So we went home and got everything ready to go to the beach when the kids got back.




It was such a relaxing, but active weekend. The weather was beautiful and we all really enjoyed ourselves.

_____


A few years ago when Rayden was in kindergarten, some of his friends visited Florida. At the time, I was doing alright and had a plan set out for how our lives would go. So I worked it out in my head and told him that maybe when he was 8 we would be able to go. Fast forward to now. Many more of his friends have now gone to Florida and he'll be 8 in a few weeks. Obviously Im not in the financial position to be planning a trip, so I came up with a plan. I told Rayden that it would take at least $15/day for a whole year to pay for a trip like that and we talked about how much work it would take for someone to save that much money. For someone who is working, it wouldn't be a big deal to just take that off of each pay cheque, but right now that's impossible for us. I tried to use the situation as a tool for him to learn some financial planning skills. As a kid I wasn't taught a thing about money and neither was Jason. Now with my kids, I hate the idea of them reaching adulthood with the same misconceptions as I had. So, long story short; Rayden and I are going to work on special projects until we can save the money for a trip to Florida.



This past Saturday we held a garage sale and were able to make $46. At our goal rate of $15/day, we're right on track but need to come up with some more ideas soon. I know that bake sales can bring in a good bit of money, but Im not sure of where we would be able to hold one. We've also talked about getting a paper route that he and I would do together and maybe doing a bit of babysitting in the evenings. Id like to come up with some sort of christmasy craft that we could make now to sell at all those markets that pop up around the holiday too. Any suggestions would be really appreciated. $105/week is a lofty goal for anyone, and Im not really expecting to make it, but I want him to really understand the sacrifice that goes into saving for things we really want. In the end, if we don't make our goal in 1 year, we can probably do it in 2.

______

My class is going awesome. I thought I had a really good resume until we started working on them and I had mine graded by a professional HR person. Apparently, it was crap. It's all re-done now though and I've found 5-6 new job ads to apply for. We were working on networking last week as well and I was able to find about 50 people in my personal network and through other sources that I need to contact now this week to see what I can find. We're also working on cover letters, interviews and cold calling this coming week. Busy, busy, busy! I've been spending about 5-6 hours each day on this whole job search thing and now this week I have to step that up to a full 7-8 hours each day. It's going to be quite a week! But all I have is another 9 days to gain all of the skills I need to find a job and really, I don't want there to be too much down time between finishing this course and finding a new job. As it is, we're getting into a routine and the kids really like their babysitter. I think she's only available for the summer, but it would still be nice to continue with her for the rest of the summer while I look for other arrangements. Im getting ahead of myself though. Right now I need to continue to network, check all those job ads, and improve on my interview skills. The rest will come in time.


So that has been my busy week. I hope everyone is having as much fun as I am and please, if you have any ideas on some fundraising projects that Rayden and I can do, please let me know.

Monday, July 6, 2009

a house guest and a birthday

Some of you may have gathered that my boyfriend, Jason has moved in with me. This only became official as of this month but he has been here more often than not for the past month or two. I know it's fast, but it works for us. His lease was up but mine continues until September 30, so it made sense for him to move in with me instead of looking for a place for a few months or breaking a lease down the road.

But Jason moving in came with its own set of issues. The biggest one was his sister's visit to the province scheduled for the day he was to officially move in. We had been moving his stuff over for awhile, so that wasn't a huge problem; but it was still crappy timing. Having never met her before, I was optimistic that things would go over well and we would end up having a nice week, regardless of all the warnings I received. Sadly, I was wrong.

Wednesday started off with Jason and I cleaning like mad because I wasn't able to do anything in the days leading up to Anna's visit. I spent so much time at Jason's apartment on Monday and Tuesday that our house went to hell, especially with all the extra boxes and STUFF we had to incorporate. So that had me stressed. When it came time to pick her up from the airport, Jason asked if I would go in his place because his GPS had been stolen out of his truck and he didn't know how to get there. Great! I don't know this woman and here I am having to pick her up from the airport. Yay me!

When I finally locate her and get her into the truck, she immediately lights up a cigarette. I had been warned that she would probably want one after her 8 hour flight, but I didn't realise she would be rude enough to actually have one in the truck. So that was an awkward drive back through the city to my house, which also took an extra 10 minutes or so because of all the Canada Day road closures.

Thursday and Friday were a true test of my patience while Anna and I were forced to spend most of both days together, in the house. Jason was working and I happened to have a lot of things to do around the house. I was able to get out for two hours Friday afternoon for a work meeting, but by Friday night, I was spent. I ended up just leaving and driving around the city at 10:30, just to get away for awhile.

It isn't that Anna is a bad person, or even a mean person. She tries to be nice and she certainly wants to be friendly and get along. The problem is that she doesn't really understand when enough is enough. There were actually about 10 hours on Friday where I was forced to listen to her tell me the same things over and over again. She literally did not stop talking the entire time we were together. Our personalities wouldn't normally mix anyway, but that much time with anyone is just too much to ask of a person.

So Im here now recuperating. She left yesterday and wont be back again until next week for a night, before she catches her flight home. I doubt Ill have any trouble then because Ill have had a great break and her mom will also be here, who I actually get along with.

All in all it was a stressful week and Im looking forward to the one ahead. I started my seminar today and Josiah's first birthday is on Thursday. We aren't doing too much for it but I hope to do his first hair cut and possibly some family pictures. I think it'll be fun, and I'll be sure to post lots of pictures.

Happy Monday everyone!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer



I love summer. The only downside is that we're usually so busy that it's hard to find time for things that we do during the rest of the year. I've only been to the gym twice in the last 2 weeks, for example. Kinda sucky.


This past weekend, Jason and I drove four hours to his hometown to attend a wedding, sans kids. We couldn't leave early enough to make the ceremony but it worked out anyway because we needed a break after the drive and it gave us a chance to visit a few friends and relatives of his. My little brother watched the kids for the day Saturday until they went with The Ex late Saturday afternoon. Josiah came with us and Jason's mom watched him for most of the time that we were there so it was a really nice break for us. The reception was really fun, even though most of the people there were at least 20 years older than us. The only few that were younger were actually involved in the bridal party so we spent a lot of time just the two of us.





We slept for four hours Saturday night and left before noon to make it back to the city in time for the kids to be dropped off. I was exhausted and had to have Jason drive for the last hour after we stopped for lunch. But we made it back right on time and hung out with the kids for a few minutes before Rayden and I left for a birthday party. Then came a few errands and before you know it we were putting the kids to bed and enjoying a relaxing visit with one of my brothers.



After all of that, I wasn't ready to hear the alarm this morning. But that was until I remembered that it's SUMMER and I didn't actually have to get up. Most of the kids were still sleeping and it was only Jason that had to get up to go to work. So that was a nice little treat this morning. I still have a disaster of a house to clean up, grocery shopping to do, piles of laundry to wash and so many errands to run today and tomorrow before Jason's sister comes to stay with us for a few days. Busy, busy, busy...


Next week I start a three week session designed to help its participants find a job in their field. It's an intensive skills-training/networking course and Im really exciting to start. The job search has been going on for long enough and this feels like Im taking a more active approach. Child care is paid for and they even pay for the gas in my car to get back and forth. What more could I ask for? Their success rate is 75% and with my education and skills Im certainly ahead of the game. So fingers crossed that this works and I come out of it with a job for August!

So this week could potentially be my only bit of vacation this summer and I've certainly come up with a lot of ideas for things to do. The only problem is that there is just no time to do any of them. Seriously its almost 11am and by about 2 this afternoon I have to have as much of my housework done as I can so that I can get all of my errands done in time to bring the kids to the beach for an hour before supper. Then tonight we're cutting the grass and moving the last of Jason's things out of his apartment. Tomorrow is the rest of the cleaning of the house, a bunch of baking/cooking for Jason's sister's visit, cleaning Jason's apartment and grocery shopping. Wednesday is a holiday and Im leaving it open because Nicole gets here that day and Im not sure what her plans will be. Then Thursday I've got a work meeting, a bunch of phone calls/office-type things to do and a few meetings with prospective babysitters for Josiah. I don't even remember what Im doing Friday, but the weekend includes a yard sale and a trip to the nature park. Combine all of that with visiting family and all of the kids home from school and its a little nuts around here.

I hope all of you are having fantastic summers so far! Regardless of how busy we all get, I still think this is the most fun, most relaxing and most enjoyable time of year.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

So I deleted my post from yesterday. Mostly because I realised that it was written from a place of hurt and anger and really none of you needed to read it. In it though I mentioned how I was feeling towards Melissa and she feels that I painted her in the wrong light. My rant was not about her and I don't think that I said anything about who Melissa is or what kind of person she was. I only said to her that I was hurt and upset by her actions, along with those of my other SIL. I purposefully left the specifics about Melissa and I out of it so as not to cause trouble within the blogging circle that we find ourselves. She however now feels that she needs to delete her blog because she didn't have the chance to explain. That is really too bad and not what I meant to have happen. But it is her choice and I will not interfere. This is my blog, just as both of my SILs had their own blogs, and we can write in them how we feel. I stand by words as I feel that I was entitled to them after all that happened. Im just sorry that Melissa feels that she must remove herself from blogging as a result.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

2.5 weeks in

It could be the gorgeous weather we've been having.


It could be the new routine we've developed.


It could be the chemical response to all of the exercise I've been doing.


It could be the amazing boyfriend and supportive family that I have.


Or it could be none of these things. Whatever the reason, my depression seems to have subsided for the last few weeks. I am a procrastinator by nature and so even though I mostly agreed with all of you that I should at least speak to a doctor about medication, I kept putting it off. Instead I've just been focusing on getting healthier and loosing weight. Personally, I think that's what has helped me the most.


I joined the Y 17 days ago and since then I have been 15 times. I can already tell the difference in my endurance and strength. It's amazing! I do a ball fit class each week and another class using the bosu ball. Both can be pretty challenging, and I like them because they let me focus on toning and strength. The rest of the week, I pretty much just do cardio either on the elliptical, treadmill or bike.


There is a 90 minute time limit on the child minding service so once I drop the kids off, I change my shoes quickly and get at it because my minimum goal each day is to burn 500 calories and depending on what Im doing, I usually need at least an hour. The elliptical is great for burning calories fast but I don't really feel like its engaging many muscles. Sometimes I try to sit back with my arms stationary and just use my feet because then I can at least feel it in my butt and thighs.


I want to start the C25K program but Im a little self conscious about running on a treadmill around a bunch of other people. There are a few others that are larger like me, but most of the people that I've seen are quite fit. I don't mind it so much with anything else that I do there, but Im worried that if I set the speed so that Im jogging, I'll end up having to jump off or quit after a few seconds and look like a tool. I know its silly because I can walk pretty fast on it with a decent incline and that doesn't even raise my heart rate above about 70%. When I'm on the elliptical my heart rate stays above 80% for the full half hour and Im fine. I don't know. My head tells me I would be OK but my social anxiety keeps kicking in and I can't bring myself to do it. Maybe if I give myself a definite goal and day to start. Like maybe next Monday? We'll see.


So I'm doing well. Michael loves going every morning so even on those days where I don't feel like it, I still end up going because he wants to go so badly. Even when I don't have the kids, I seem to have the motivation to keep going, which is refreshing. On Sunday I put Josiah in the stroller and we went for a two hour walk with some pretty challenging hills. By the time I got home, I had walked 7 kms and we only came home because Josiah was fussy and wanted to nap. Next time I'm going to try for 10kms. Um....wow, I never thought I'd be excited to try to walk 10kms for the hell of it!
Me after a work out:

Thursday, May 7, 2009

directing your attention

So I've got some things that I want to write about but until I actually get around to doing anything about it, Im going to leave you with this:

Tara at the brain is having a giant, super-fun, internet present swapping thing...um, just go check it out for yourself!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Where I've been

So technically I haven't gone anywhere. I've still been reading all of you regularly and I've been visiting my own blog daily. I just wasn't posting. The only reason that I can come up with for my lack of interest in this blog is that I've been dealing with depression a lot lately. Now that's not official, I haven't been to a doctor or anything, but I think it's pretty safe to say that's what it is.

My mom is working on her PhD in psychology at the moment and is the only mental health professional in her community and she suggested that I talk with someone about medication. I have always been against medication for myself, although I've never had a problem with others taking it. Looking back though, this is a problem that has been with me for the last few years at least and something that I don't want to continue. I want to be happy and live a normal life. I just don't know how to make that happen. The idea of taking some sort of medication to make my problems seem less shitty just seems like the wrong answer. I don't know.

I keep thinking that once I get a job things will be better. Problem is that its now May and I gave myself until June to find a new full-time position. I start working back on my project again in a couple weeks but that will be over next month. After that my involvement will be very little and wont even be enough to pay a single bill. So definitely need a job soon. My bills are starting to catch up with me and there are times when I cant even make the minimum payment on all of them and still eat. I've had to resort to taking help from my parents again and I always hate doing that. Something will come up though, it just has to.

So that's why I haven't been writing.

I finally joined the Y yesterday and we went this morning for the first time. Im now exhausted but we had a lot of fun. I got to spend 40 minutes on the treadmill, play with the baby a little and bring Michael into the gym area where they had a huge bouncy castle and a bunch of scooters/balls/slides set up. That was the best part; I actually got to have some one-on-one time with Michael who doesn't ever really get that. Every morning he watches his older brothers go off to "school" and he always wants to join them. So today I had him pack his very own little back pack and I told him he was going to his own school. The child minding area there is close enough to a school for him to feel as grown up as his brothers, I think.

The worst part of the last few months is that I have gained an obscene amount of weight. Last October I weighed in at my smallest weight of 161. By the beginning of January I was up to 175. I was able to loose 3lbs within the first couple weeks of the year, only to gain them back by March. Now in the last two months, I have gained an additional 16lbs bringing me to a whopping 191. I know a huge part of that is giving up breast feeding, which not only causes hormonal issues, but I also now need less calories each day. So the gym is a big deal for me in a lot of ways.

I get to work out and try to loose some of this nasty fat

I get up to an hour and a half of alone time every time I go. I don't have to schedule the kids attendance in the child minding either so as long as its during their operating hours, I can drop the kids and go.

I have access to a bunch of interesting a fun classes (belly dancing, anyone?)

The kids get to interact with other children instead of fighting with each other at home

They also have access to a variety of classes and parent/child activities

Every Saturday and Sunday I can bring the older kids to the bouncy castle thing for an hour while I socialize with the other parents

I think this will be really good for us and who knows, it might just be what I need to get out of this funk.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

ok so it wasn't Michael...

but I think Rayden did a fine job randomly generating the number 5!

Which means our winner is Erin of Mama Said No!

Yipee!

Erin, I'll be sending off an email to you in a minute, but if you don't get it or something freaky happens, then just send me a quick email with your address.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Let's have some fun, shall we?

It seems that I've let my blog go the last couple of months. I can't really even believe it has been so long since I was posting here regularly.

Things have been weird, to say the least.

So without getting into all of that jazz, I propose we do something fun around here instead. Something like a PAY IT FORWARD contest??? Sound good?

I've already started picking up a few things for the winner, but I'd like to add some more when I actually know who it is.

So to Enter, leave a comment here before Saturday May 2nd and Ill use a random number generator (who quite possibly goes by the name Michael) to pick a winner.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Yay!

I received my third DVD from Mommy Daisy in the mail today. I was able to hide it from the kids so that I can bring it out for Chris's birthday sleepover. It's silly but Im always so excited when I get fun stuff in the mail, even plain old letters.

Mommy Daisy has started a brand new review blog where she will be hosting the DVD giveaways as well as a few other reviews... so go check it out. Like now.

breastfeeding

Breastfeeding and I have never really had a very good relationship.

With Rayden, things were fine in the beginning but after a couple of weeks, he started to have problems and I chose to switch him to formula. He would scream for most of the time that he was awake and his belly was always swollen, as if it was filled with a lot of gas. My pediatrician was no help and any tests that were performed, came back fine. I was living with my parents at the time and had lots of help so I know that it wasn't just that I was doing something wrong. My mother had five children herself and Rayden was her third grandchild, she knew her shit. But even she couldn't figure out what was wrong.

So I tried a few bottles of some formula and after a few days, there was no improvement. I was at my end with it all and had no idea what to do. But then at our last doc appointment before moving across the country, my GP gave me a few samples of a lactose free formula to try. His first bottle was the evening we left Ontario and that night was the first time that Rayden slept through the night. All of his issues magically disappeared with that first bottle. No one really believed that he had any real issues with breast milk, but there was no denying that he was a million times better on the lactose free formula.

When Chris was a few weeks old, his dad got mono and this was a few days before another move. This time it was only to a neighboring town, but with two small children and a sick SO, it was just as difficult. I had to keep baby Chris away from his father completely because mono is scary when it comes to newborns. With everything going on, I ended up missing too much school and had to drop the semester, leaving us with a lot less money than planned. So instead of pushing The Ex to get a job on top of his schooling, I decided to get something just to get us through the summer.

When Chris was two months old, I went to work from 7:30 to 4:30 each day at an office that literally had no where for me to pump, except the bathroom. So we started to supplement with formula during the day and I continued to breastfeed him in the evenings and throughout the night. After a month though it was clear that my supply was just not keeping up and I decided to give it up completely.

For someone who was so determined to breast feed, this was crushing. I had had two babies and only breast fed for a combined total of five months. I felt like a failure and I was ashamed to tell anyone. I would always go into the whole story if anyone asked about it just because I didn't want them to judge me, which is insane.

When Michael came along, I was determined to make it work. I spent a lot of my pregnancy reading everything I could on the topic and by the time he was born, I had created my action plan; I would do nothing. With the first two I was so caught up with what I should have been doing or what everyone else told me to do that I think I missed out on finding what was right for my baby and I. When Michael was born, I gave all that up and instead allowed him to eat when he wanted, how he wanted. I usually only ever offered him one side and he would eat until he was finished. Sometimes he would eat again a half hour later and sometimes he would go four or five hours in between. With time, he created his own routine and never once did I stress over it. He didn't use me as a pacifier, and if he ever did try to just suck without eating, I would unlatch him. I was lucky enough that I could bring him with me to work and I had so few classes at that it was rarely an issue to be away from him.

Michael and I lasted a year like that until I had to go away for five days to a conference. I only found out that I was going the week before so I had no time to prepare. My poor mother was stuck with the horrible job of switching him to cow's milk while I was away. The first night he didn't sleep at all, but by the second he was better.

Unknown to me at the time, I actually conceived Josiah while at that conference. I don't think I ever actually stopped making milk during my entire pregnancy and Josiah began breast feeding without a problem. With him the issue was mine, I was done. I've never particularly enjoyed breastfeeding but always thought that it was best for them, so I did it. Unfortunately for Josiah though, I just had this longing to be done with it all from the time he was only a few months old. By six months I was ready to just stop. He'll be nine months next week and we have finally finished. He ate last night in the middle of the night and I think that will probably be his very last time. He still wants it from time to time but he is usually just as happy with a bottle.

Im happy that it's over but a little sad too. I don't want anymore babies and so this will probably be the end of that time in my life. I've given up breast feeding this time for completely selfish reasons but I don't feel bad like I did with my first two. I know that this is the right decision for me and Im sure Ill be a happier mom because of it.

Friday, March 27, 2009

He's a keeper

This whole dating this is obviously hit or miss and doing it with kids makes it really difficult to actually find someone. Apparently though, I seem to have found a definite candidate for the role of My Prince Charming.

Jason surprised me last night by showing up after work with a bunch of groceries to make dinner for the kids and I. Because it was a surprise, I obviously didn't know and had just given the kids their dinner; but that just made it all the nicer when we did sit down to eat together. He was a little disappointed that we couldn't talk much without interruptions, but it was still lovely.

Excuse the blur on the picture, my camera was on some weird setting....

Thursday, March 26, 2009

catching up

Well, hi

It's been awhile

I don't really have a reason for my absence, I just didn't feel like writing. Hopefully that's over and Ill actually get back to regular postings. Maybe. I hate the idea of just letting this blog turn into another one of my forgotten projects.

So, whats new with us?

Chris started preschool and he seems to be doing ok. He doesn't like going each morning but I'm not surprised. He will literally spend his entire day in front of the computer or tv if I let him. The very thought of having to spend an entire morning away from his beloved electronics has him crying and whining until his bus arrives to pick him up. When he gets home, his shoes are barely off before he is asking to play on the computer. Then he gets an hour, maybe a little more before I banish him upstairs to play with his brothers. So far, I think this schedule has really helped him be a little more active and improve his willingness to play with his toys.

I met with Rayden's teacher last week after a kind of crappy report card. It was probably a B average overall, but definitely a drop from his usual grades. Apparently he is having some major behavior issues as well including disrespecting the teachers and vice-principal. We worked out an action plan and hopefully with a little work, we can head this off before it seriously affects his learning and social development. So far, I've had to spend at least an hour each day with just him and I, one-on-one style to get through the massive amounts of work. I'm sure that his drop is related to my inability to find the time to help him as much as he needs. Right now though it has to take priority, so that's what we're doing.

Michael hasn't changed much in the last few months, other than his increasing vocabulary. I don't really know how to describe the changes in his communication because he has always been ahead with it, but he seems to have advanced somehow. I had no trouble understanding his words and desires in the fall but it just seems like its more so now, without any real changes. If that makes any sense.

Josiah has been sick for the last week so that seriously sucks. He is down to a tiny breast feeding session in the middle of the night followed immediately by a bottle. I'm sure we'll drop that one as soon as he is feeling better, but I'm not pushing it. He is still doing his army crawl thing, but with more lifting of the torso. He is all over the living room in no time and I've had to re-train myself not to walk out of the room with him on the floor anymore. We have this small step at the entrance way to the living room and so far he hasn't tried to go over it, but I cant trust that obviously. As for food, he is eating everything other than those obvious choking/allergy things that have to wait.

I've been weird lately. I don't know what it is or how to even describe it. I'm ready to be doing something with my life again and it's hard to just sit around and wait. There are only so many times I can clean out the closets or try to organize the kids toys before I get a little bored with this whole domestic thing. My writing has been as neglected as this blog. I haven't even spent much time with anyone or done anything. I have lots of time on my hands but I just don't feel like doing anything, half the time. Damn, I don't know how to get out of this.

One really great thing to come out of the last couple of weeks is that I started seeing a new guy, Jason. So far it's really going well and I'm happy with it.

But to balance that out, I've been having trouble with P again. I very stupidly asked The Ex if he would contribute something to Chris's birthday party. He didn't respond but I got a text from P telling me not to contact The Ex and obviously they wouldn't be doing anything that would help me out. Duh. How could I even think such a thing? I should have just let it go but I was in a mood and we continued back and forth until she insulted the kids saying how ridiculous it was that Rayden has bed wetting issues* and Chris cant read (he's five and just started preschool, I don't see the problem). According to her, those things make me a terrible mother. I doubt it occurred to her that maybe The Ex and even herself would also be responsible for you know, parenting. We're all supposed to be in this together, but apparently they just get to play video games and eat junk food with the kids a couple times each month, leaving me to deal with everything else. She even told me to get my new man to help me with whatever I needed because The Ex was not interested. Because that makes sense. Get the man that I've been seeing for a couple of weeks to do the things their father should be doing. Um, no.

Sometimes I wish they would just walk away and stop causing problems; those kids deserve loving, responsible parents.

So that's what's been happening with us. Im hopeful that some more jobs will be coming available soon and maybe the change of getting back to work will help with my blah feeling.

*Rayden has always had issues wetting the bed but he now goes maybe a month or so between bouts of it where he will do it every night for a few nights. When he sleeps over anywhere or sleeps at The Ex's, he wears good nights to protect the mattress but doesn't need them at home because he has special sheets. I've tried everything (and so did The Ex, when he was around) but nothing seems to help so we are waiting it out. We've talked to doctors and have a fairly painless routine when it does happen, so I don't consider it a problem.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Brighter Days

So wow, over a week has gone by. That's kinda crappy. There is very little going on with us to update, but I'll try to pull a few things out for ya.


1. Josiah is doing the almost crawl thing where he has most of the mechanics figured out but he falls down between each push forward. He is quick too and we've had to resort to moving the coffee table so that it blocks the doorway out of the living room. There is a small step there and without depth perception, Im sure the little guy would be falling on his face over and over.


This morning he had a great time crawling over to his toy basket that I keep beside his play pen. He tried to climb on it to get the toys but (although funny) I couldn't let him struggle like that and so I tipped it over for him. That kept him occupied for a good half hour! OMG! It was amazing. He only stopped when he got tired and ready for a nap.


Speaking of naps, I have switched him to formula during the day. Right before he goes down for a nap he will drink about 4oz and he does that 3-4 times/day. He still gets the boob in the evenings and throughout the night. This arrangement is working perfectly for me. My supply is still there for those few feedings at night and yet I don't feel like he is attached to me all of the time. He rarely bites me anymore either so that's just amazing.


His food preferences have totally lessened over the last couple of weeks which means that he eats almost anything. I have found that he will eat green veggies as long as they are mixed with orange ones and he loves most fruit. His favorite jarred food is still bananas but he is also really into carrots. He is eating bits of cheese and mini muffins by himself and apples in his little feeder thingy. For breakfast every morning he has yogurt mixed with rice cereal, for the added iron. All in all, I think he is doing quite well with his eating. The only issue I have now is his lack of interest in meats. He will eat bits of whatever we are eating if I make them small enough and just put them right into his mouth but he hates any of the jarred varieties of meat...really who can blame him though.


2. Chris is finally starting preschool on Monday. I have been trying to get this worked out since September but my God it has been hard. I have worked it out so that two different gov't departments will be paying for it and it has really just been all the back and forth between them and myself that has caused it to take so long. Anyway, it is all worked out now and Chris is really excited! Im looking forward to having my mornings with just the two little ones as well. How great will it be to only have two kids to occupy? Oh man, Im excited! We will be able to go for walks and I wont have to constantly be telling someone to stay with me! Usually with all of the kids, I have someone trying to walk off on their own, but now Ill be able to strap Josiah into his wrap and put Michael into his stroller. Oooh, the ease!


3. The weather is finally starting to clear around here. I cant believe that most of the snow is actually gone. It's probably just a little tease of spring but whatever it is, Im all for it. When I finish writing this and Josiah wakes from his nap we are going for a walk and I cant wait. Its amazing how much those yucky dark days can get to ya.


So that's about all that has been going on with us with us this week. Im sure Ill be around a little more now that things are becoming a little easier for us. I hope all is well with everyone, take care!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Blah...oh, and fuck

So I think I've been avoiding writing here for the last week. There are lots of reasons for this but it mainly has to do with the fact that I'd rather not have to update on the crappy weekend I had. Needless to say, the Mr that I told you all about is....hmm, how should we put it? Maybe I'll just go right ahead and call him an asshole. Ya, that works. I dont want to go into specifics but Im pretty sure you would classify him the same. So that sucked.

I haven't been doing much else this week either. I gained about 4 lbs last week somehow and I think Im continuing in that direction this week too. The sun is shining and I want to exercise but I just never get around to actually doing much of anything. Then I get depressed and the cycle starts all over again.

I've also had to cut my grocery budget even more so that I could afford all the damn taxis that I needed to take this week. It's been costing $40/day plus the little bits that I give my brothers for picking up/dropping off Rayden for school. UGH!! Not having a car in this city costs so much more than having one does. And the most ridiculous part is that I gave up my 3 year old car last year so that I could save a bit of money! So far, I haven't saved a penny.

I've been in such a negative mood that I haven't wanted to do anything productive and that always makes me feel guilty. Not only am I gaining weight, feeling lazy, stressed about money, and not interacting with the kids, but then there is the whole guilt about not doing anything to make our lives better. I know that only I can get this family into a better place and yet I find it so hard to motivate myself sometimes. I get those thoughts in my head that Im not good enough or why bother applying for that job because I'll never get it anyway. It's so frustrating!

Not long ago I actually wrote an article that I was extremely proud of. It was one of those moments where I was thinking clearly and felt like everything was just flowing out of me. I emailed the whole thing to my mom and she wrote me a lovely email back encouraging me to submit it for publication. Then I got a similar email from my dad saying that it had brought tears to his eyes. BUT even with their validation, I still feel like Im not worthy/special/good enough to even think about something like that. I mean Im just a nobody that has never even taken a high school English class! Why would I even think that what I had to say or even the way that I chose to say it would be appreciated by anyone but my family? To be honest, I actually spend way too much time reading over my posts before I publish them because Im always worried that I will sound like a total idiot due to my lack of writing ability.

I hate feeling this way. Im usually so determined and ready to take on whatever it takes to reach my goals but Im just not feeling it lately.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Well that was unexpected

So I went out to tackle the huge wall of snow at the end of my driveway and while I was out there, I decided to also clear Neighbor Man's area as well. Part of it was good will and part of it was a freaking hint to do a better job. While I was out there, maybe 45 minutes in, a truck with a snow blower in the back slows right down as it passes me. It turns and comes back around to where I am shovelling.

I suspected that the man was looking to do another driveway for a bit of money so I politely chatted with him for a minute. When he offered to go get his ramp so that he could take down his snow blower and give me a hand, I declined and used every excuse I could think of. I had no intention of paying anyone to do a job that I can do myself and I hate taking favors from anyone. I tried to tell him that I like the exercise, I don't mind, it's ok....no, really, it's ok! But he insisted and finished the job in no time.

I awkwardly continued to shovel the steps and stay out of his way and when he finally finished I tried to make my escape inside. It didn't work. He ended up inviting himself in for a glass of water and really after his help, how could I say no? So in he comes, we talk, he holds the baby, he hits on me and finally leaves. Seriously. The man was probably 40, which to tell you the truth is not even close to some of the age differences that I have experienced in the past. But um, weird.

He managed to find out that Im divorced, do not have a boyfriend, have four children, am 25, have a degree, the age difference of The Ex, I don't get out much, have lived in this house since September, what area I used to live in, my name, my field and I think that may be it. At first I didn't mind answering his questions because it's kind of the culture here to be in everyone else's business. The idea is to never share anything about yourself but to ask a million questions about the other person. Im not terribly interested in strangers though so I don't usually bother to play the game and I end up just telling them way too much info about me.

What a weird experience though. This guy wasn't giving up but eventually I told him I had to give the baby his lunch and off he went. To my surprise, there was no contact info exchanged either so I was off the hook. I expected him to give me a card or something using the snow blowing thing as a reason for contact, but he didn't and can I just say; whew! I was not interested but I have a really hard time actually coming out and saying that to people so instead I try to make sure there is no flirting back or anything that can even be considered flirting.

This isn't the first time that I've been outside shovelling away only to be 'rescued' by a man with a snow blower. Its funny how they see a woman taking care of something that she is perfectly capable of doing herself and they feel the need to swoop in and make it all better. I am a single mother and the last time I checked, I didn't need a man for much of anything. How the hell do I communicate that to strangers though? Do I just shut up and let them think they are saving me from having to do this horrible 'man chore?' I couldn't have declined his offer anymore than I did but Im at a loss as to what I could have done about it.
......

Hehehe, my brother just stopped by (Ross, for those of you who read my SIL) and while I was standing at the door the snow blower man drove past and honked his horn!

I think I just made a new friend...

Ranting about snow, feel free to skip...

Living on an island in the north Atlantic (think Titanic) has allowed me the pleasure of dealing with the mess of quite a few snowstorms. Our most recent one was yesterday and into last night. There was probably only about 15-20 centimeters of snow but the winds reached 100km/hr, leaving many driveways clear of snow while their neighbors had to dig out for hours. This is the fun of winter around here.

As for me, I have a new neighbor in the basement. Neighbor Man seems to think that the driveway is his and that he can park nearly anywhere that he desires. Because of my lovely car situation, there is little I can do to persuade him otherwise.

For over a month I have been clearing both sides of the driveway so that whoever moved in wouldn't have to deal with a mountain of frozen, icy snow. This has been a challenge, let me tell you. Now though that this man has moved in, I seem to have to be paying for it. There was no clear divide as to where he could park because the whole driveway was nice and neat for him. Straight down the middle seems to be his preference.

Yesterday I noticed that he did not have a shovel and so I felt bad for him. That was until I looked out to see that he had borrowed a neighbor's shovel and was moving all of the snow from around his car to the area at the bottom of my steps. We have a walled driveway and so snow needs to be lifted and thrown. This must be too much trouble for him, though I did it all for a month.

Now somehow this morning the end of the driveway (a wall, thanks to the plow) was cleared just enough for his car to squeeze through. Guess where he put the snow? Yup, on top of the rest of the damn wall of snow. Not only does he think he can park anywhere he wants, move the snow so that we cant even go down our front steps, and somehow get through the winter by borrowing everyone else's shovels, he also thinks it ok to do the bare minimum even for himself. One of the biggest things to remember in this area is that there will be more snow. If you don't move your snow far enough from the edges of your driveway, you will end up with huge mountains of it that get in the way later on. We have up to two more months of snow and yet Neighbor Man is too lazy or whatever to properly clear the driveway. Actually no, not 'the driveway' but his HALF of the driveway. Its a tight squeeze as it is but if he lets a foot or two of snow to build up beside his car, there is no way Ill ever fit a car into my spot.

I really don't mind living in this climate. I like to shovel snow! Its a great workout and it allows me some precious thinking time while in the quiet beauty of the outdoors. Seriously, I love it. But I have like zero time for it. The logistics of getting outside to do anything is just crazy when it comes to four young kids. So guh! Im frustrated! I want to be able to just go out and shovel my half of my driveway, making it all nice and clean and then if I feel like it give the neighbor a hand. There is really no reason why I should be forced to do twice the work because he cant be bothered to put in a little extra effort.

/rant