First, it was TV. If the TV was on, the boys weren’t listening. So, I did what any parent would do – I banned the TV in the morning. I’m slowly weening them off the TV in general, but you can’t go cold turkey. Like any addiction, you’ve gotta start out slow and work your way towards NONE.
Things were going great, the boys were getting dressed on their own. Brushing their teeth and combing their hair. We even started making breakfast together. I would get out the bread and toaster, they would pop the toast in, I would come back to put something on the toast. It worked (and still works) well.
When we woke up this morning… dun dun dunnnnnn – all heck was about to break loose.
Usually, Evan wakes up in a great mood. I wake him up, tickle him and give him hugs – then he’s good for the day. Happy, smiling, cheery. But Brody, on the other hand, is a freakin bear in the morning. Ahem… I’m not sure (ahem) where he gets that from. He needs to eat first before he does anything else – then after food, he magically turns into a nice kid. This morning was no different. Nothing I could do or say was going to move him from bear into nice kid. His head hurt. His knee hurt. He was cold. Evan was looking at him. Endless…
So I did what any (krazee, tired, and worn out) parent would do who was pushed to her emotional and mental limits by a crying, weeping 7 yr old whiney boy – I banned talking in the morning. It’s perfectly logical if you think about it. Brody is no longer allowed to talk in the morning unless it’s positive or helpful. He’d wake up on the wrong side of the cave and bitch and moan at me – then I would bitch and moan back and all of a sudden, we are all in a bad mood. So I discovered the root cause and have nipped it in the bud. You see, WE have this problem in our house, WE think (and by WE, I mean THEM) it’s okay to talk to people any old way WE feel like – without suffering the consequences of OUR actions (and by actions, I mean words). It’s unacceptable and it’s rude. Manners matter!
I once did an experiment with them where I didn’t talk to them, for what seemed like an eternity (hence 30 minutes) I did not answer them or speak to them at all. They felt it was fine to ignore mommy when she spoke, so I ignored them. As you can imagine, neither child liked that very much. What this did was give me ammunition (should I need it) to stop this behavior in the future. If they don’t listen to me, I can very quickly say “do you want mommy to not listen or speak to you?” and both boys know how THAT felt and can quickly change their actions.
So we will see how the NO SPEAKING (unless it’s positive or helpful) rule goes. I’m determined to make it work. Of course, I have no control over what they do at their dad’s house. Hopefully, with time, Brody will wake up and feel positive about the day rather than bitch and moan and make the rest of us cranky. Wish me luck!
June came and went – kicking my butt in the process. I started two new classes, dropped my kids off in Canada with their suckers… err grandparents and had an amazing visit with friends and family while I was at it. Coming home was a different story.
During the trip home I managed to see Mom, Dad, Bob, Kristy, Auntie Di, Uncle John, Grandma Z, Grandma M, her boyfriend John, Jennifer, Riley, Harper, Tammy, Trevor, Tylynn (sp?), Taylor, a distant cousin of my mom’s and her two grandkids, Bernadette, David, Michaela (SP?), Ericka, Anastasia, SAM, SAM’s family, Robin, Jenae, Richard, Tracey, Matt, Carter, Brad, Anita, Anat, Raffi, Noah, Eva, and last but NOT least Maya. Sorry if I didn’t get to see you – it doesn’t mean I don’t love you. I had an action packed week full of beautiful people! And it made me more homesick than I usually am.
I have an entire summer (give or take) to get the house in order and that is EXACTLY what I am going to do. First and foremost, I need to clean up the horrible clutter and crap that has magically accumulated since moving in in 2001. I want to clean the garage, do some planting in the backyard (or at least plan for the fall), and I want to touch up the paint. I want to hang out with friends and meet new people.
The past couple of weeks have been hard – not only was I physically exhausted, I was mentally pooped as well. Minnie and her babies have been exhausting (I just sighed while saying that). I have 2 kittens adopted out already and am hoping to get the other two into awesome homes as well. They are big now… and fluffy. Fluffy and big.
I was very overwhelmed in June, but things have calmed down. I have decided to make some changes in my life – big Big BIG changes. Those of you who know me – know when I am serious about something and I am SERIOUS about these changes. I need to get my life back on track for my sake and the sake of my boys. I’m going to do what Franklin Covey told me to do, make long term goals and break them up into short term, achievable goals. Then, I’m going to paste those goals on the fridge so they slap me in my face every single day. I love lists, I usually make them – then the list gets a stain from a glass (or beer), it gets soiled when drops of food fall onto it and serves as scratch paper when I’m trying to find out if the pen still works. This way, by pinning the list up ONTO something, it will stay protected. I might even laminate it.
Honestly, if I knew how hard this was going to be, I’d have kept my mouth shut and lived the rest of my life in a mediocre relationship.
No one deserves mediocre, truly. Everyday I often wonder what the heck (I promised mom no more swearing) is going on – what is really happening with me. I am getting divorced (this from a girl who didn’t believe in divorce) and it’s not easy. It’s probably the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. Divorce does something to a person – to a family. Maybe I’d feel different if kids weren’t involved, it’s hard to say. I can’t (and won’t) say I’m doing this for my kids, I’m not. I’m doing this for me. I’m not saying I didn’t love Michael, I did – and I do. I just wasn’t happy, wasn’t in love and wasn’t willing to sacrifice myself for the cause.
Both of my grandmothers left their husbands. They had their reasons, I’m sure they were good ones. I was a kid at the time – no one talks to kids, so I have no clue why they left. But they did. I think they may have had some of the same feelings that I’m having now, but again, I was a kid – a miniature mushroom left in the dark. No one talked about anything 30 years ago – you just self medicated and went on with life. Now all of a sudden, you are expected to talk about your feelings – to talk about what happened. It’s healthier – but harder.
The hardest part about all of this is the distance between me and my people.
Brody and I just had a discussion about “mama’s people” who lived everywhere else but where we live. He wondered why we couldn’t have a party. He’s such a social animal, it’s amazing that Evan and I put up with him. So there I am in the Costco parking lot having to explain to my first born why we aren’t having parties all the time. Of course, I layered the truth with thick creamy icing – so that he wouldn’t suspect anything was wrong with his mama. We don’t have parties because my people don’t live here. Plain and simple. He’s a logical kid, that made sense to him. I know there will come a time when I have to admit to Brody that I don’t have parties because I don’t really like having parties. That we’re not having parties because mama can barely keep up with the laundry, nevermind clean the entire house and prepare food for company.
I can’t give him what their dad gives him (everyone who knows my kids knows I’m speaking specifically about Brody -Evan couldn’t give a crap about parties). His dad has an entire family surrounding him. He lives 2 minutes from 10 relatives. My best friend lives 2 hours away and I’m not that good at making new friends; It took me 4 years to find her – which is a pretty good average for me. I have no relatives near me and none of them plan on moving closer. This is not a pity party, this is the truth.
I haven’t been talking lately, mostly bitching to Aronne about my ex. But the truth is, if I don’t get some of this stuff out of my head – I may never sleep again (4 hours just isn’t cutting it, especially with a new job that requires I use my brain).
Part of me (a very very large part) wants to pack everything up and move home. I am going through one of those periods where you need to surround yourself with familiarity and love. I need my mom. I need my dad. I need my people (you know who you are). But since I chose to have babies with a man who lives in a different country than I was raised, I am now suffering the consequences of my actions. Did I think it would end like this? No. Of course not. Everyone gets married and thinks they’ll be married for the rest of their life. I certainly did.
I’m sure my grandmothers thought that way too. It’s just what you do.
My parents (ergo Mom) are quite sensitive to the fact that I am now a single parent. She didn’t say so, but I know my mom has a hard time hearing her daughter is a single parent (especially because she likes Michael so much). Trust me, it’s the last phrase I ever wanted to use to describe myself. My dad is different, he’s a very “matter of fact” kind of guy (just like my Brody), Michael left – so now he’s out – he’s off the island. End of story. Dad’s the guy you call when you need to know how to work the lawn mower or want to be slapped up side the head with the reality of a situation – or when you need to laugh. Admitting to anyone (especially your dad) that your life isn’t how you thought it would be is not that easy. For Dad, the facts are – someone needs to cut the lawn, take out the garbage and feed the boys – get it done. I can admire that, but sometimes you just want someone to tell you everything is going to be okay. He’ll do this – on his own time. I can’t rush it, even though I desperately need him to say it. I need someone I’m going to be okay.
So, how am I feeling? Honestly, I am so overwhelmed with life right now that I’m having a hard time figuring out my feelings. I’m numb most of the time. I’m busy with school and a new job – so taking time out to “feel” is not easy. Usually, it’s my top priority, but there has been so much change lately that I haven’t been able to concentrate on myself. Until things settle down, I’m probably not going to be able to concentrate on myself or moving on from this divorce. That’s just the way life goes. Until then, I’m probably going to feel numb and am probably not going to want to talk about it. That’s just how I roll.
Alright, I think I’m finally ready to update this blog on a regular basis. The last two months of the year really proved to be the hardest in my life. But – with the new year brings change and I am really starting to feel more like myself. More like the person I was prior to being married. I had a great Christmas break, no school and a visit home to see family and friends was exactly what I needed. I start school on Monday and am looking forward to getting this year over (it’s half over so far).
I bought new tiles for the kitchen and a new faucet yesterday. It was an awesome feeling! I’m going to have new countertops put in (hence the tiles). I’ve been busy deep cleaning the house before school starts, I spent 3 hours in the bathroom. Yes, 3! It needed a deep clean, scrubbing and polishing really helps me work through some aggressions! I even recaulked the bathtub! Today, the new faucet will go in and I’m having a friend help me get a quote for new countertops.
Speaking of friends, (man this post is all over today) I have some of the best friends a girl could ask for. I feel so fortunate to have such awesome people in my life.
Okay, Christmas recap – over the break I went to Canada with the boys for Christmas. My brother had been yakking about Rockband since his birthday so I was anxious to give it a whirl. I have never had so MUCH FUN with a video game! I think I might have Carpel Tunnel from playing the guitar on “medium” rather than “easy.” I even sang and played the drums! Mom gave him an extra guitar for Christmas – so that becomes the bass guitar and I played that too! I don’t want to brag… but I did really well! I kept thinking “i could never buy Rockband – my homework would suffer!” Plus, if any of you have seen my house, it’s a little tiny bird’s nest – where would I keep the gear? We bought my brother the 2 guitar stand, he got a mic stand – we went on tour! He and his girlfriend are seasoned professionals at rockband – which was helpful!
The boys had a great time in Canada. It was fricken freezing! The day we got there it was -25 (without the windchill) and hovered around that temp until a couple days before we left. The warmest it got was -11 or so. The weather didn’t stop them from getting bundled up and helping their grandpa around the yard. I was encouraged to “get outside” but I’m a Canadian, I know what it feels like to get outside for an hour in the snow. Ya, no thanks! I was very happy to be inside reading or knitting.
I saw some friends while I was there, I had high hopes for seeing everyone – but it just didn’t work out. I was feeling a tad overwhelmed and unmotivated at times. I needed to veg out and relax. I’m going to try and plan another trip out when it’s warmer (because seriously, holy shit!) and have a big get together with EVERYONE.
I have a lot of plans for the first quarter of 2009. I’m heading to Vancouver to see a girlfriend in January then spending the first weekend of February with a girlfriend in Vegas. I might have plans to return to Vegas at the end of Feb, but I’ll have to see. I do want to head some place warm – but again, I’ll have to see. I’m hoping to use my work bonus for a proper vacation to a spot with sun. Anyone interested in coming with?
In general, my life is getting better. I’ve been eating on a regular basis again (thanks Mom!) and have thought about attending yoga on a regular basis (the last class I took kicked my ASS). I have positive thoughts for the future and am looking forward to the future. so YAY!!
I am not, however, looking forward to going back to work on Monday after being off for the past two weeks. ACK!
Well, that really flew by didn’t it? It seems that it was only yesterday that I was leaving work on Friday afternoon. We really did have a great weekend. The weather was perfect-o and our activities were just the right amount. I don’t like to do a lot of socializing over the weekend, I’m a bit of an introvert and prefer to have my head in either a book or a case of beer. I’m not picky…
We went into SF to see the Blue Angels AND the Canadian Snowbirds fly. I put on extra necklaces to show my love for my country. I wore a maple leaf, a heart and a bead (which doesn’t really fit with the theme – but it looks cute). From our vantage point (which wasn’t really an ADvantage) I could barely see the snowbirds fly. I tried to take photos, but my “big” lens is only good for about 400 feet. The next time I go to fleet week, I want to have the lens that has it’s OWN tripod.
The children were… shall we say … less than excited to look at airplanes all day. You’d think they would be super excited to see them doing tricks. Not so much. But they did manage to completely ignore our requests to “be quiet already and watch the planes.” We only asked about 200 times during the afternoon. We bought a wagon (thankfully) because I was certain the boys would want us to carry them. They are now bigga boys who weigh about 45 lbs each… it’s like carrying two big bags of potatoes. Except stinkier. And whinier (if that’s possible… i know potatoes are pretty whiney.. but the boys would give them a run for their money!).
It was about 80 degrees out with a nice wind, so Michael decided to buy the boys some ice cream. Why you ask?? Well, because he’s just as maniacal as they are! You can imagine how KRAZEE they were with a little sugar in them. it was stupid!
We stopped at the ferry building after the show because we love to hear our children whine. Actually, they have an amazing cheese shop (or is it shoppe?) and it’s the only place to go if you are looking to spend $16.00 for a half pound of Irish cheese. And they make you take a number to spend this kind of money. According to my husband, it’s quality NOT quantity. Needless to say, we’ll be feeding the boys the Tillamook that we get in large QUANTITIES rather than the fine, exquisite Irish cheese that melts in your mouth. Michael and I were pooped and had wine for dinner (and beer for dessert).
My legs and shins are kiiling me today! We probably walked about 30 miles yesterday. After all the walking and the train ride, the boys (my youngin’s) were on their own for dinner. What? They are old enough to get their own dinner. Brody had chips and salsa AND chips and dip. Evan had cereal. I feel “mother of the year” coming on…
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.
My boys are in Canada with their grandparents. This is the first time that they’ll be gone for such an extended period. Before they left, you could tell we were all sick of each other. We live in a small house, we commute together 5 days a week, we have chores around the house on weekends – everyone was ready to be away from one another. This break is needed. The boys need to be with their grandparents and extended family – they need to have the summer off to be free. Obviously, the boys have been on my mind every single day since we left them with my parents.
It’s a beautiful sunny day and I am trying to do my homework so that I can get outside. I am quietly watching this woman and her child right outside my window. He is a little tyke… probably around 14 months old. Cute as a button, dressed up in his little jeans and sneakers. She’s cleaning out her trunk… and throwing things on the ground… in front of my house. This happens a lot in my neighbourhood – no one gives a crap about littering or who will have to clean up their mess. I mean, it’s not like I go to their house and throw out junk food wrappers and dirty diapers. Ah I digress. So, she’s talking on her phone and littering and he’s trying (with all his might) to get a cup from the street. This cup was left there by someone else. His body was on the sidewalk and instead of getting on his knees – he was bent over at the waist. Anyone who has seen a little kid this age knows their head weighs twice their body – as he was leaning to grab the cup he lost his balance and fell into the street – right on his face (I think the exact phrase is “ass over tea kettle). Had this happened to one of my boys, my reaction would have been immediate. He literally scraped the skin off his nose and mushed his face into the pavement. The “mom” meandered over to him, phone crooked in her neck and picked him up. All the while continuing to talk on the phone. The baby was screaming his little head off and was the lovely recipient of “be quiet – I’m on the phone.” No kisses, no shh’s, nothing. It amazes me how she cared more about a conversation on the phone than her own flesh and blood. Don’t have a child unless you are prepared to have that relationship be the most important relationship you’ve ever had. Don’t have unprotected sex with some stupid boy because he doesn’t “like” to use condoms. Don’t have a child unless you are fully prepared to give them every bit of your attention.
I’m learning so much this week.
Wii would like to play. And play wii will. Wii bought a Wii over the weekend. Brody calls it a wiitendo. So cute! I was busy writing my paper last night so the boys played while I watched from the sidelines. It was so fun to watch Brody and Evan run the 100 meter in the Olympics! Their little arms were just a pumpin from running!
We had a bbq on Saturday night to “shove” the boys off to Canada. I realize now that I was really stressed out about the bbq and all the other to-do items we needed to accomplish. The closer we get to taking them to Canada, the more sad I become. I know this is good for all people involved – but I’m going to miss my little monsters this summer. I’ve also realized that I am a stress eater. I was full, but continued to eat like it was my last meal.
Ok, so this is a little later than a usual weekend wrap up – but I’ve been swamped! I started Brody’s “Templeton” costume last night. I’m tempted to head to a costume shop and get him a pre-made costume. I do this all the time, I bite off more than I can chew! And seriously, the play is tomorrow – where am I going to find a rat’s costume tonight? sigh…
We are having dinner with the hippies tonight. I don’t know what it is about brody but that kid is so social! Evan and I would prefer to be at home snuggling under the blankets – but Brody and Michael are social butterflies. Yesterday, on the way home, he asked us if a million people could come over. Uh jeezz… let’s see – I have a rat’s costume to make, lots of homework due, 10 loads of laundry, 3 people to pack clothes for, dishes to wash (so we don’t get ants), and a car to clean out. I’m gonna say “no.” Then he cried and cried. He stopped because we told him we were going to dinner tonight. GAWD
Work is hell for me right now. We are contracting with a consultant who has made it his mission in life to ruin my days. I thought I would be free of him for a few days but he managed to bother me remotely. Doesn’t he know that my brain is already on vacation? It’s been on vacation since Monday! I can’t possibly be expected to be here, at work, working! argh!
Anyway, after we drop the boys off with their grandparents, Michael and I are taking a much needed break – far away from work, consultants, clients, children and cats. Ooooh and I just got the most brilliant idea – Brody’s tail is going to be made out of a long black balloon that is tied on to his pants. Brilliant!!
Evan calls a vacation – a ‘cation. We are on our way up to the big bustling town of Arnold for the weekend. This is the town that we visit in the winter when we “go to the snow.” For a girl from Canada who couldn’t get away from the snow for 8 months out of the year, it sounds funny to say “go to the snow.” Like there’s a choice. Arnold is a neat town with pretty scenery, hiking close by, antique shops and a fantastic yarn shop. While on our way, we stopped at McDonalds for a McFlurry. I happen to be addicted to the oreo mcflurry and although I’ve eaten my weight in Texas Fries and Chips n’ Salsa from Chili’s – I figured we could all do with a little dessert.
While in line, Michael and I began our mctalk. He’s got the funniest sense of humour and it comes in stages. I can make him laugh all the time. Usually, I’ll start the funny talk and he’ll be inspired to join in. err…. Mcjoin in. After mctalking about mcdonalds, we started on the smurfs. Like the f-bomb – smurf is a versatile word. Adjective, noun, verb – it does it all. Michael started with the smurf dirty talk – like “Smurfette is getting smurfed out by the old smurf tree.” Stuff like that. As an adult, a female adult, I’m not supposed to laugh at that – but I do. And it’s something that I’ll laugh about for days to come. I loved the smurfs when I was growing up. That love has died over the years, I’m sure my current feelings for the smurfs resemble my mom and dad’s feelings when they had to deal with me watching it. But Jimmy Neutron – well now we’re talking.
Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of options for cartoons. Scratch that – I didn’t have a lot of options for cartoons. My brother watched spiderman, transformers, and Batman. I wasn’t in to those cartoons and I still don’t like them. I view cartoons the same way I view movies or tv shows – it better entertain me or I’m turning it off. I want to laugh. I don’t want to keep up with complex story lines. I don’t want to see cartoon characters fighting, I don’t want to have to think – it’s a freakin cartoon! I’m pretty easy to please – make me laugh. Fortunately for me, I married a guy who can make me laugh and encourages my humour. I’m told this will be handy in our “later” years when we aren’t interested in kissing and junk – at least we’ll have laughter. And McFlurries.
Good gracious… I’ve had a crappy weekend. It should have been lovely. Evan got sent home from school on Friday because he threw up and had a fever. I was barely at work for an hour. There is nothing like a 3 day work week!
Saturday, Michael had to work – was supposed to only work until noon but ended up working all day – the boys and I moved the desk from Brody’s room into my craft room. This did two things, it gave the boys more room in their cramped space and gave me a proper desk for blogging, downloading podcasts… oh and homework. It’s so comfortable!
Sunday’s usually aren’t good days for me; I’m usually swamped with laundry. I try to do our weekly meal plans. And on occasional Sundays, I tend to decompress and move within myself – which is exactly what happened today. The only problem was Michael had to work and the boys were intent on driving me bonkers. Which is what little boys do. I get that… but I don’t think I was emotionally prepared for today. Evan spent almost the whole afternoon in time out and Brody got a lecture on lying. grrrr
Michael was happy to work the whole weekend, it makes him feel secure – I was okay with him working as well. I just wish it wasn’t for the whole weekend. I wasn’t having any particular issues with the boys, I just don’t think I was emotionally “present” for them this weekend. We had a great day yesterday because we were busy – but I needed to do some computer things and some dreaded math homework – so I wasn’t “with” them. Evan took the stylus and storage card out of my phone and promptly lost them – which was one of the reasons he was in time out. He also insisted on lying to me – another reason for time out. What is it about kids? My boys think either they are so smart or I’m so stupid – that I won’t catch them lying. Don’t they realize that I’m smarter?
The storage card is going to be an issue. All of my cell phone pictures were on it, along with “notes” and to-do items. He loves putting small things into small containers, so I’ve been searching every small container to see if these two relatively small items are inside. Because I was emotionally drained, when I realized Evan was lying to me I started to cry. I don’t think either boy was ready for that. To be honest, I don’t think mommy was ready for it either. I have a unique bond with both boys, but Evan is my baby – to think that my baby is lying right to my face was too much for me to deal with today. I feel much better right now – I took a shower and finished the computer tasks I needed to complete.
I have a hard enough time remembering to do crap – now my list is gone. I hope none of you are waiting for something from me… Which brings me to another realization moment I had today. I am no longer going to volunteer to help people do crap. I know… it makes me sound like a selfish bitch – but I am slightly tired of being taken advantage of. I offer to help people and end up getting kicked in the teeth for it. OR I sacrifice my time or my familys’ time – and end up getting kicked in the teeth. Or disappointed – or both. I’m just not in the mood. I’m going to focus my time on clearing my house of clutter, NOT shopping, and landscaping the backyard. Three very good activities that benefits me, my family or my sanity (in that order).
Speaking of the backyard… I am totally in love with Black Bamboo! I saw some over the weekend and have become instantly obsessed with it. The kind I want has black stocks that can get to be about 4″ in diameter and is of the clumping variety. It’s gorgeous! I bought some German Striped tomato plants, a hydrangea, a birch tree (oooh how I miss them), some purple planty thing, and a few other plants. Now, I just need to decide where to put them. The hydrangea is going to go where my flowering maple used to be. I just found out the poor thing has scales… it’s dying a horrifying death. I’ve not decided on the birch tree.. but the tomato plants are going in bags of potting soil. I hear that is the best way to grow them. Michael bought me a 70 gallon container so that I can create a water garden (with a fountain and fish!) so I’m going to be shopping for water plants this week. I’m hoping I can score some on craigslist – we all know how addicted I am to the free section!
Honestly, I’m just glad the weekend is over. oooh that is so sad!