Back at home… Safe and Sound

August 25, 2008 at 9:05 am (Brody, Evan, Family, Melodie)

I flew home on Saturday so that I could pick the boys up. I said to Michael that I might have to re-learn being a mommy… but I was wrong. It came right back to me – like riding a bike! As I was leaving customs, the boys could see me in between the doors opening and closing – I could hear them scream “momma!” Then the doors would close. Then “momma!” It was hilarious! I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see anyone in my entire life. Brody insisted upon pushing all of my luggage, I think he wanted to show off. After arriving at my parents house, the boys became clingy, whiney, and absolute horrors! Right back to normal, saving all their crap for mommy!

They’ve calmed down a little since then and actually slept by themselves last night.

The weekend was full of family members, home-cooked meals, close friends and homework. My brother is coming today and bringing my neice and nephew; I’m hoping to get some good pictures of all four kids together. I don’t have my hopes up because when the four of them get together, they like to be as silly as possible.

In all of the heartache that Michael and I went through this summer, I believe every ounce was worth it. To see the relationships my kids have created with my parents, my brother, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, pretty much everyone – is just awesome. When you make a decision to move away from your family, it is usually for a certain reason. For selfish reasons, you don’t think that the distance will affect your family or your children. It does. It’s important that these family connections continue through the generations. It’s important that my kids know my family and get an understanding of what it feels like to be Canadian. Will we do it again? Sure. Will my parents? That’s up for a vote.

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State FAIR!

August 18, 2008 at 1:07 pm (Uncategorized)

Michael and I went to the State Fair on Saturday. I have never had such an amazing time at a fair before! I watched a cow in labour, I saw chicks hatching from their eggs, I saw baby kittens and a ton of rabbits! Man, it really makes me want a farm! I spent a fair amount of time on farms while I was growing up, but I don’t think I really appreciated it.  In fact, my parents tell a hilarious story about me when I was about 3 years old. My uncle just received a “batch” of chicks and someone accidentally let the cage open; he had about 300 chicks scattered all over the farm. My uncle swore all the time. Dirty dirty words. I guess he called the chicks the other C-word and I ended up trying to call all the chicks back using that word. I know my mother… I bet she was mortified! I was a good talker! hee

While watching the cow go through contractions, a woman approached me and said “wouldn’t you just love to give birth in front of 200 people?” Um, yes, funny you should ask – but I would have LOVED that! Maybe NEXT time I’ll have an audience. A huge, adoring audience.

The “announcer” kept reminding the crowd to use their “quiet” voices because the cow wouldn’t be able to give birth while everyone was making a lot of noise. Did she realize we were at the fair? With a roller coaster? And about a million screaming children? If the cow needed quiet, why didn’t they find a barn for her? What is she, a movie star? She can’t give birth in front of a crowd? Honestly, I don’t blame her. I didn’t need quiet, but I doubt I could have performed as expected with a roller coaster in the background. The woman that spoke with me had her son and niece with her. All three women were mesmerized by the cow in labour. The boy (age 5) was busy making gagging sounds and holding his nose! I told him to go sit by Michael on the bench because Michael couldn’t take the sights either! At one point the cow was contracting and pushing at the same time, so stuff came out of her bum (we’ve all been there ladies) and he was on point gagging and rolling his eyes all while holding his nose! Yet, he did not leave the scene. Fascinating! She never ended up having the calf while I was there, Michael was so impatient and wanted to see a movie – so we had to leave.

In order to really freak my boss out, I had a lady put a Mehndi design on my hand. Everyone is so cultural here at work, I’ve been asked 10 times if I’ve been to an Indian wedding! It looks amazing and it is so pretty that I cannot stop looking at it. I teased Michael that I loved it so much, I was thinking of heading down to have it tattooed on permanently! He almost died.

Price of Mehndi design: $20
Prince of new Tattoo: $250
Scaring your husband half to death: Priceless

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Revolution

August 13, 2008 at 12:28 pm (Melodie, Work)

The kids here at work are in an uproar! The IT folks have blocked craigslist. Uh… how am I supposed to read the “free” ads? Do they know the stuff I stole negotiated from that website??  An entire set of wooden lockers! For peets sake.

My friend Cindy is the funniest. I sent her an instant message (we have instant messages but NO craigslist?) and told her the news. I was emphatic! I was passionate! She was “can it wait until after lunch?” She’d have never made it in Fidel’s Cuba! I need people to be revolutionaries right now – not after their microwave pizza! By then, it’s too late! Their bellies are full and they are sleepy. You can’t have an uprising, or an up anything for that matter, with a full belly.

Even Michael said “revolution starts now.” That’s what I’m talking about.

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Friends… continued

August 6, 2008 at 3:07 pm (Friends)

All my life, I feel I have struggled with making friends. I’ve always been shy and insecure and never thought I had anything to offer other people. Plus, for me, coming out of that shell was really difficult. I never had issues around my family, but new friends… my throat closes just thinking about it.

We moved from a small town to a larger town when I was in grade ten. I wasn’t actually that upset, there wasn’t anything I could do about it – so my perception is that I went along with it. My mom might have a different perception about how things went down. This time, we’ll go with my perceptions.

I started grade 10, then moved 2 months later. To a new school – in the middle of a semester. I was the kid that walked in during the lesson, followed by the principal or vice-principal – OR I had to walk in on my own (GAG). I remember not really meeting anyone at all. There were kids on my school bus that I could talk to, lots of boys and such. In fact, I’m better friends with one of those girls NOW than I ever was during high school.

Not only was I shy, but I didn’t play sports and the thought of any organized group made my palms sweat. I also lived in a different town than my high school was in – so after school stuff was out of the question because I took the bus home. I always seemed to have friends, but I remember those friends changing every year. Also, the other person had to make the move – there was no way I was confident enough or lonely enough to offer myself up as a valuable friend. One year my best friend was Samantha, then Shannon, then Laura, then Lori. I’m still friends with Laura and Lori. I count myself lucky to have the friends that I do. I cherish my memories, I cherish the people.

I live a million miles away from these girlfriends and don’t get to see them as often as I used to. Lori and I were inseparable for many many years. She is an amazing person and I don’t have to try very hard to be her friend. We are so used to each other that we can go months without talking – then pick up the phone and fall right back into the ease of our friendship. She was the other daughter at my house. In fact, I’m sure there were times when mom would have switched her for me if she could have.

My brother has a great friend, Brad, and he’s my other brother. Literally. I swear, he spent more time at our house than he did at his own house. I couldn’t tell you what his sister’s name is, or what she looks like. I can’t remember his mom’s name – but I can tell you that Brad is a part of our family.

People like Lori and Brad really don’t come along that often. Since I’ve been in California, I’ve had a really hard time keeping girlfriends. They are either too flakey or too fake and that doesn’t JIVE with me. Or we get along for a little while – then we split apart.  I did manage to make some really good friends at work and through Michael – which has been really helpful. I tease that Cindy (my last work partner) is my second longest relationship. We worked together for 3 years – that’s a long time for me.

I spent this past week fighting with my best friend. And I mean fighting. The f-word was dropped, guilt ensued, lives changed. Hopefully, it changed our relationship for the better. AJ could be my sister. Her parents are almost exactly like my parents (age, situation, relationship etc.). I look more like her sister than her sister’s do! We both have red hair, fair skin and freckles. Our tans come out of a bottle, freckles are cheap and plentiful. Our kids are similar ages, in fact, our youngest kids are a month apart. It was really hard fighting with her… but if she knew my history with friends and how a lot of people have let me down or couldn’t live up to my expectations – she’d understand why i reacted the way I did. Why I took things as far as they went.

When feelings are hurt and hearts are broken… it’s really hard to get passed that. It’s hard to be completely honest with someone that you feel has let you down. It’s hard to let it go and get back to being friends again.  I cried almost everyday over this fight. I’m sure I made michael’s life miserable. Not only did I cry, but I was spitting mad – that is a horrible combination by the way. I emailed a few good friends and said “am I being unreasonable? am I being stupid?” I love these women for telling me the truth. For having the guts to be honest when I needed them to be.

Then, I cooled down a bit. I thought of what my life would be without AJ. What my kids’ life would be without her family in our lives. I knew it would totally suck and that I couldn’t live without her in my life (so dramatic!).  This post is for AJ. Thank you for being my girlfriend, my sister.

My birthday dinner.

My birthday dinner.

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Weekend Wrap-Up

August 4, 2008 at 11:38 am (Weekend)

Michael and I had a great weekend! We went camping in Armstrong Redwood Forrest (or something) and had an awesome time riding our bikes, lounging around in the sun and eating WAY too much! I got a bit of sun, but not sunburned!  We were amazed at how serene and peaceful the campsite was, how quiet and dark it got. It’s an amazing place! I have video to share, but we cleaned the garage out last night and I wasn’t in the mood to actually touch a computer.

Michael and I rented a canoe and headed up the Russian River for a leisurely boat ride. I had to keep reminding him and myself that as far as we paddled one way, we had the same exact distance back! We ended up turning back a little closer than we’d have liked, with the intentions of going out again – but after that my whole entire core was a little too sore for more paddling. We decided to lay on the beach and drink beers – not a bad way to spend an afternoon!

Brody lost his first tooth yesterday! The tooth fairy left him $5! Yes, it’s a large sum for one measely tooth, but it’s the equivalent of guilt money! The tooth fairy is guilty she/he is not there with him for this monumentous occasion! Thankfully, the substitute tooth fairy is keeping the tooth. 🙂 Brody is such a good boy, he actually shared his money with his brother and cousins – which I thought was very nice! They have an appointment at the photographer on Wednesday, so Grandma is taking them to “dollarrama” for treats!

It seems the “honeymoon” of having no children at home is now over. Michael and I cleaned the garage yesterday, we are going to do laundry tonight, I’m back to school, the boys’ room still needs to be finished and we have a shed to organize and move! oy. Wish us luck!

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