Christmas is just coming up so quickly, isn't it? I know that I say this same thing every year and inevitably feel this way every year. (Actually, since I started getting old(er), I feel this way about a lot of things! Time flies when you're getted old!)Are you/your kids starting to get excited yet? Mine sure are, no thanks to my husband who keeps declaring, "Whoo hoo! I LOVE this time of year", thereby eliciting lots of eager questions and hopping about and "whoo hoo"ing from the kids! (insert good-natured eye-roll here!). Realizing that I'm bordering on sounding Grinch-ey/Scrooge-y, I should say that I really like Christmas too. Really, I do! Truthfully, though, I just don't quite feel that comfortable thinking about Christmas being as imminent as it is. I'll get there, though! I do every year! One of the beautiful things about having children is being able to see the world through their eyes sometimes, and there's no better time to do that than at Christmas! Just thinking that, I can already feel a bit of the magic wash over me...yes, I'll get there alright, and it won't be long before I'm bouncing around, whoo-hooing too!
For anyone in the Metro Vancouver area (still feels a bit weird saying that - I'm a creature of habit, still thinking the 'Lower Mainland'!), I am having an Usborne Books open house at my house on Sunday, November 30, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you're interested in coming by, email me for my address! There'll be snacks/refreshments, and lots of great childrens books to peruse! Also, I'll enter your name in a draw for free books, and if you bring a friend, you get a free book! If you're interested in checking out the online catalogue, go to http://www.usborne.ca/. Any orders made by the end of November will be received before Christmas! You're welcome to bring your kids - our place is small, but we've got a playroom downstairs (and there will be plenty of age-appropriate reading material!) Hope to see you!
It just dawned on me in the last few days or so that my youngest child, my little 'last but not least', my baby...will be two years old in three months! Wow! That just kind of snuck up on me! Almost two! And just thinking, 'almost two!' reminded me of something about both Chanel and Casey at that age. When they were almost two, I taught them how to say, 'almost two' when I asked them how old they were. They'd hold up two fat little fingers and say, 'almost two!' in their cutest little voices. Cody has not learned to say that. Granted, I haven't spent much time trying to teach him, but...really, I don't think he's there yet. And I don't mean to underestimate him, but he really doesn't have the verbal abilities at this stage that his siblings did (though he does like his books at this stage, just as much as his sister and brother did!) Me - "Cody, how old are you?", Cody - "BAH!". Up until a few weeks ago, "BAH!" was about it for him when it came to anything. Now, he's got distinguishable and specific sounds/words for specific things. So it's coming. I'm not worried about it - he's a smart little guy and he knows exactly what people are saying and can respond appropriately to questions and follow directions, etc. He will be fluent one day! Perhaps it's a classic 'third child' scenario...
Today, though...today he impressed me! We were out for a walk and ended up at our little neighbourhood mall/plaza so that I could get my Starbucks, and I bought Casey and Cody both a little Matchbox car at the grocery store. Cody was zooming his car along the sidewalk, stopping to look at whatever happened to grab his attention, and by this time, I was ready to get heading back home so I told him, "Let's keep moving Cody!", but to no avail. "Cody, come on, buddy! Time to get going, time to go home!". Nothing. "Cody - let's go, bud, or Mommy will put you in the buggy!" This is a perfect example of Cody knowing exactly what I'm saying to him, but in this case, choosing to ignore it. So finally, I had to scoop him up to put him in the buggy. Or, wrestle him in as it was. He's screaming and flailing and kicking around (Cody is definitely an intense little dude!) (Guy walks by and tosses out a comment - "Good set of lungs on him!" Yeah, I know, pal!)so I try distraction as a method of getting him to calm down long enough for me to maneuver his arms into the straps. "Cody, did you get a new car at the store?!" Cody nods, uh huh..."What colour is your car, Cody?", and Cody says (in his classic hoarse/froggy, adamant Cody voice), "Boo!". My jaw dropped open and my eyes opened wide. "Yes! That's right, Cody! Your car is blue!". So there you have it. The kid is coming along. And might I point out, Chanel and Casey might have already been chatting up a great, big, wordy, full sentences storm at 'almost two', but they didn't know their colours until much later!
A quick quote, from my daughter this time - the little smart mouth that she is! She was in a bit of a goofy/giddy mood tonight at bedtime, and so she says to me, "I love you! However many pills you need to take, I love you!". So silly, and yet somehow, so poignant...! She's aging me rapidly, this one - but every now and again, she can still give me a good laugh!
Another pristine Autumn day in Vancouver! Bright blue sky, sun shining - gotta love it! I have to say, though, that within the last week or two, I've been noticing a fair amount of people about town wearing gloves, toques, and/or scarves. I've gotta ask - is it really that cold to you people?! Or perhaps some of you are just getting an early jump on late fall/winter fashion? I don't want to come across as insensitive or ignorant to people who may actually have circulatory issues or some such medical condition, but aside from them, come on. This is Vancouver - one of the few places in Canada that doesn't freeze over by Halloween - where hardcore Vancouverites wear shorts year-round! So, really...what is up with all that wool and fleece out there on the streets?!
On another note, today was my first weigh-in/meeting night after coming back/recommiting to Weight Watchers. It is my opinion that the first week is always a doozy, no matter how determined or driven a person may be! I hate to say it, but I was HUNGRY this week, and that pisses me off! But, I battled. I wrestled my own mind daily, hourly - the old demons, bad habits, everyday temptations...I fought it out and persevered. I was excited about weighing in again - I wanted my payoff, I wanted results! Weighing in can be nervewracking - some weeks during my first go at WW this past spring, I'd be SO focused, SO diligent and I'd step up on the scale expecting great news, and...pfft. Only half a pound down. Half a pound?! Is it worth all the blood, sweat, and tears for half a freaking pound?! (And the answer is, yes it is! It's better than nothing, and chances are, if you have a tough week but you're really sticking to it, the next week will make up for it! I must say though, it's sometimes hard to see the bigger picture at times like that). I'd been checking in on my scale at home every now and then, and I hadn't seen much of anything happening (although my home scale is pretty unreliable), and I didn't feel like I'd lost anything...So I got to my meeting, stepped up onto the scale, and lo and behold! I'm down 4.8 pounds!! So it was worth it, and I've got that first week behind me, and I'm off to a great start. So I just have to do it again tomorrow. One more week, one day at a time!
I'm back on the wagon!! The Weight Watchers wagon, that is! I started Weight Watchers back in January or February of this year and BANG!! I shot out of the gate like gangbusters!! I was so focused, so driven, so determined...and I lost 25 pounds! I felt great!
I'd gotten started on Weight Watchers after an epiphany of sorts. It was quite powerful actually, and that's why my commitment to success had been so easy and so effectual. And then, summer came along, routines shifted, patios opened...and just as quickly and thoroughly as I had shot off on my weight loss journey, I totally lost it. Completely, utterly, wholly. The focus, the drive - gone. It's not that I wanted to stop...and I thought about getting back on track every day...but I just couldn't rally the single-mindedness I'd started out with. Being the 'person of extremes' that I am, I had been 'all in' and now I was 'all out'!
I got on the scale almost daily and kept breathing a sigh of relief that I hadn't gained any weight back...and I kept telling myself I'd get back to it. And then another week would pass, and then another...Poor eating habits slowly resumed and stepping up onto the scale became a gamble. How far could I push it without gaining any weight? Drinking wine more often? Fast food here and there? The occasional chocolate bar or ice cream? And somehow, week after week, I got away with it. The scale stuck by me, my stalwart friend.
Then, within the last week or so, I could feel a certain unease niggling at the back of my brain. Something was brewing in there but I wasn't quite sure what. So I waited, slightly apprehensive, slightly excited. What was coming? Something was up...and then, BAM! There it was! The niggling had developed into a fully formed decision that I hadn't even been aware that I was making: 'IT'S TIME. Go back. Start again with Weight Watchers. You're going to do it.' And so I rejoined. From the beginning. And while this time, it wasn't as much an epiphany as it was, perhaps, a more subtle affirmation, I feel that same determination and focus. It's back!
Today was my first full day back on the program. And like my first day back in January/February, it was tough and exhilarating all at once. I found myself mindlessly reaching for snacks a few times, and Jonesing for some munchies, especially in the evening, but I also felt empowered by finding healthy, 'low points' alternatives and also by talking/thinking my way through old habits and reflexes. By the end of the day I'd kept within my points allowance and found Day 1 to be pretty painless overall. So I've got one full, successful day under my belt. What works for me is taking it one day at a time, which I believe is a philosophy used by Alcoholics Anonymous (there are parallels there, me thinks!). I find that it's a phrase that easily comes to mind when working my way through weight loss. All I need to do is get through one full day well and successfully. Then, it's done. One day. And then all I have to do is get through one day again. And again. And again, until I find that a full week has gone by and it's time to step on the scale again at another meeting. And I know that if I've been honest with myself, and diligent - I'm going to get results. If I follow the program, it works. It has to. There really aren't any magic tricks or (easier) back roads to take. It's a pretty straightforward science. Eat less (and eat smart!) and move more, and the weight will come off. Maybe not as quickly as I'd like, but surely, and in a healthy way. I can live with that!
So I feel like a new convert all over again and I'm up on the rooftops, singing and praising! Which makes me feel somewhat goofy and sheepish...but, what the hell. All I've got to say is, whoooooo hooooo!!!! Feels good!
Well, Thanksgiving isn't officially until tomorrow, but being thankful doesn't have to wait, so here are a few things I'm thankful for...
Today was one of those glorious Vancouver autumn days when the sun shines brightly, the sky is clear and blue, and there's just a bit of a chill in the air...the West Coast at it's best, and for this, I'm thankful!
Steve asked Casey at bedtime tonight what he was thankful for and without stopping to think about it, Casey said, "My family". That is classic Casey - pure sweetness! And I am so thankful for him, and my two other wonderful children, and Steve - my true soulmate. And truly, I recognize how fortunate I am every day and consciously note how thankful I am. Every day. I just don't always celebrate by cooking up a big turkey dinner! :) Which leads me into my next point of gratitude...
I'm thankful for my extended family/in-laws - Steve's parents, who are hosting Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, and all the rest of the lot too! :) I've always said that marrying Steve would have been enough. The fact that I've gained an entire extended family chock full of wonderful people, all of whom I love and all of whom have welcomed Chanel and I with open arms from the very beginning - I could never have imagined my incredible good fortune.
Wow - as I write this I realize that if I actually touched on all the most important things about my life that I am thankful for, if I actually provided any amount of explanation, this post would be longer than...well, it would take me longer than the long weekend to write it! So, in point form, I'll finish with this:
I am thankful for, My children and my husband. My sister, and my sister's family - her husband and two children. My brother and his beautiful wife. My extended family, on both sides. My health. Through experience, I know how valuable it is! My hobbies - so much more important than the term 'hobbies' makes them sound! My country. Being born here, being raised here, and raising my own family here. Overall and in simple terms, we are safe, we are peaceful, we are plentiful, and we are free.
I'll stop here for now. It feels good to think about this stuff.
(Please note: This blog post was written yesterday, October 4th, and not posted until today. You are NOT in a time warp! I, however, am a day late and a dollar short. As is often the case!)
Today is a great day for three reasons! (Well, for more than three reasons, but for the purpose of this blog post, I’m going for three main reasons with many other sub-reasons scattered throughout!).
#1. My firstborn baby girl is 13 today!! She has chosen to spend the day at a Tae Kwon Do seminar with Master Tran who is, I gather, the high muck-a-muck of the International Tae Kwon Do Association. She also attended last year and really enjoyed it. I’m so proud of her and her accomplishments in sport in general, and TKD specifically. She’s a lot of steel packed into a little package and her sports provide a great channel for her. And, although she is only officially a teenager as of 6 a.m. this morning to be precise, it has felt like we have been living with a teenager for a lot longer than this! Thankfully, between tae kwon do, hockey, and soccer, some of the intensity of the ‘Tween’ experience has been dispersed and diffused remarkably well. I cringe to think of where any of us would be right now had my little birthday girl not found an outlet in sports! Between Chanel and I and also collectively as a family, we have had some trying times, some challenging moments, some downright dark days with our sweet and cherished Chanel at the centre of it all but alongside the less-than-stellar moments, there have been some truly rewarding and affirming moments as well. I have seen my tiny, newborn baby girl grow into a happy, gurgly baby into an amazingly articulate and clever little toddler/preschooler, into a witty, engaging little kid, and now into an increasingly beautiful, complex, and fascinating girl. I’m looking forward to all that is ahead (except for the getting emotionally shit-kicked part) and I have no doubt that on the other side of these intense and turbulent times we call ‘The Teens’, Chanel and I will both be standing, relatively intact, together arm in arm, looking back with fondness (and a huge amount of relief) that here we are on the other side of it all and, well, trendy rose-coloured sunglasses smartly in place, wasn’t it was a helluva ride?! Then we can stroll off together into the sunset, both of us complementing the other on our fashionable outfits and cute accessories and why don’t we go out for lunch and share something decadent for dessert and then go shopping for scrapbooking supplies?!
#2 - And speaking of scrapbooking supplies, today is World Cardmaking Day! Very exciting for us papercrafters! Lots of LSS’s offering make ‘n takes, etc. In fact, since I was already out in PoCo dropping my daughter off at her seminar, I thought I’d keep on heading east and finally pop into Photo Express. Yes, that’s right - I’ve never been there which is a big shocking thing apparently for someone who loves scrapbooking and lives in Metro Vancouver. So I made the pilgrimage and was it ever worth it! I’m heading back there with my next paycheque! They had some very nice make ‘n take cards presented by some very lovely employees. And talk about tons of inspiration everywhere I turned! Product and layouts and cards aplenty! Well worth the drive, although I must say - lil’ Pitt Meadows/Maple Ridge definitely has their share of traffic issues! And I know that there is all kinds of construction and capital improvements being made…and not one second too soon! They’s got themselves some serious growing pains right now! The region has EXPLODED since I used to live out there. Yes, I used to live in Maple Ridge many, many moons ago…back when EVERY night was half price night at Tommy’s…yes, that’s right. Tommy’s. At the Haney Hotel. Me old stompin’ grounds. I drove by it today on my way to PE…quite the trip down memory lane! Although I actually don’t remember too much about it all, quite honestly. I was nineteen, working full time, and living on my own and I spent the majority of my spare time seriously inebriated and dancing at Tommy’s until the fluorescents came on and nobody looked nearly as good as they had just moments before…myself included. I guess it’s changed a bit since then, but as I drove by it today I realized that I couldn’t really tell if much had changed because I don’t think I’ve ever seen it by daylight before…Oh come on! I sowed my wild oats and it’s in the distant past now…I’m (almost) not too embarrassed to admit it! Sheesh…I’ve really digressed from the original # 2 heading content. Oh well. I feel somewhat cleansed - like I’ve been to confession and have been given a whole new fresh start to mess up!
Maple Ridge really has changed a LOT since then…back before there was public transit or Tim Hortons or a shiny new library or free WiFi for the masses in the downtown core. It has grown up into a delightful, sophisticated little almost-city that has still managed to preserve it’s small town charm. And as for Photo Express - well, back in the olden days when I worked at Haney Place Mall, it was just a modest little photo-finishing place. Now - well, now! It is the motherlode of all things photographic and scrapworthy!! A veritable Mecca of creativity and paperstuff. Me likey! Me likey a lot! Photo Express and me…both getting better with age!
#3 - And lastly, today is officially the first day of the 2008-2009 NHL season! Can I get a hell yeah?! (HELL YEAH!!!). And the Canucks have ushered in a new era under the cute and competent Roberto Luongo, wearing the ‘C’. Well, okay. Not really wearing the ‘C’, but the captain nevertheless! I’m looking forward to an exciting, injury-free, winning season!! GO CANUCKS GO!!!
So there you have it. Three great reasons for having a great day! Can't ask for more than that!
This morning while waiting in line at Starbucks, I noticed the black and white wedding photo of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward on the front cover of the Globe and Mail. I'd been away all weekend at the BC Crop For Kids event, and somehow, without being sequestered or stuck in a vacuum, I hadn't heard of Paul Newman's death. For me, it's fitting that the photo of Mr. Newman on the paper's front cover was his wedding photo because, as the accompanying article talks about, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward were married for fifty years. As far as I'm concerned, that's quite a feat for any couple - never mind with the added circumstances of acting, fame, and Hollywood. And even with Mr. Newman's lengthy and legendary acting career, and the huge success of his Newman's Own natural food line, at the top of my list of 'Things that come to mind when considering Paul Newman' is his lifelong love affair with his wife. It's heartening. My heart goes out to Ms. Woodward - the article says that she has been in seclusion since her husband's death on Friday. I can't even imagine. Losing your spouse after a lifetime together - what a huge void you would suddenly be faced with. I get a glimpse of that kind of loss on a fairly regular basis at work. Husbands and wives either losing their partners heartbreakingly slowly to dementia or other illnesses, or themselves declining into depression and illness having already been widowed. It really makes me thankful for each and every day I spend enjoying the life that I have. I do find myself letting go of a lot of petty irritations or minor annoyances because I appreciate the more important things and can see the bigger picture although I do NOT practice this 100% of the time and have a long way to go before I'm anywhere near being as enlightened as I'd like to be! But I do recognize the gifts that I have in my life and it's the unexpected reminders, like Mr. Newman's death, that make me pause and reflect on the goodness in my life. So now seems like a good time to refocus and recommit to making each day count because time waits for no one and things can change in the blink of an eye and for some things, of this I'm sure - no amount of time could ever seem like enough.
...how much would you censor yourself, or how would you find it influencing what you do or don't do? Would your behaviour change?
I started thinking about this a few days ago while walking home from work. I arrived at a very well marked crosswalk in my very residential neighbourhood. A black pickup truck was approaching (and going obviously faster than the speed limit, I might add!). The driver slowed to turn left, but didn't stop for me to cross. And it seemed to me that the driver 'pretended' not to notice me. Do you know that look that I mean? It's that look that people get when they are passing you in a crowded mall or grocery store and aren't going to yield any of 'their' space, or when you are both approaching a checkout and perhaps they don't want to have to go through the polite dance of 'who got here first - oh, you go ahead, no you...', or a store clerk or receptionist who is so absorbed in their business that they don't notice you standing right in front of them and don't look up to greet you or inquire as to whether or not you could use any help...Come on, you know the look...it's not just me being paranoid or delusional...is it?! ;) No, I trust you know what I mean. Anyway, I'm wandering off a bit here...
The point I'm driving at (no pun intended!) is that if that guy driving the truck knew that, say, his wife was watching, or his boss...would he then have been inclined to stop to let me cross? I mean, the man did not commit a mortal sin by not stopping, though my understanding of the law here in BC is that a pedestrian at a crosswalk (and certainly IN a crosswalk!) has the right of way. I personally view it as basic consideration, a courtesy, a good gesture.
What if the man driving the truck saw his wife or child waiting at a crosswalk while a driver blew by...what would his perspective be then?
I'll confess to 'getting caught' doing something that I felt embarrassed by...
Typical afternoon of driving home from work, always in a rush, always thinking ahead to the next thing that needs to be done...and I'm tailgating. I'm behind a driver who is dawdling along like a DOPE for gosh sakes, and it is so frickin' frustrating!! What is wrong with them?! I'm trying to get somewhere!! So I'm tailgating, and I'm really pushing it. I'm not pushing this person at all, they're not budging. FINALLY, I get to my turnoff, so glad to see that the slowpoke idiot is carrying on straight. A couple of days later, my neighbour, my friend, the woman whose son I was looking after two days a week, is walking by my house while I'm out on the balcony and so she stops to chat. "You were really in a hurry the other day" she says. "What? What do you mean?" I answer, a goofy, 'I-don't-get-it' look on my face. "You were tailgating me" she replied. Oh. My. God. I felt like SUCH an ass! I was embarrassed, ashamed, mortified!
So - how about those people who pick their noses while sitting in their car at the red light. WE CAN SEE YOU! You did not enter Invisible Land when you shut your car door and snapped on your seatbelt!
What about men who leer at or stare after girls, young girls, who walk by them at the mall or on the street? (YUCK!) Do you not realize that you are out in public and visible to all others out in public? We can see you!
And to the people who roll their eyes and shift impatiently from foot to foot and sigh loudly in exasperation when they are walking behind an elderly person moving along slowly with their walker, or in line behind a person who doesn't speak English who is trying to figure out how much change to count out to pay for their purchase, or at the coffee shop where a mom is trying to buy herself a coffee with a struggling and screaming toddler along in the stroller - what if you knew that somebody was observing you, your behaviour, your responses and attitude. Would you still be acting that way? Would it make a difference whether the person who was watching you was a stranger, or someone you knew - like your wife, your boss, your mom, your neighbour, your children?
I have my less-than-stellar moments. And thinking about getting 'caught' by somebody I know is one thing that crosses my mind but it's really not my main moral compass. I do like to think that I can recognize the good in me from the bad in me (or at least the lame/dumb/sloppy in me!) and police myself accordingly, the desire to be a decent person being my biggest motivation. So where am I going with all of this? I don't even know. It's one of those 'random' thought processes I've mentioned in previous posts. Just one of those things I think about when my mind gets to wandering a bit. And I've been trying to come up with a tidy little sentence or two to wrap this story up and bring it full circle...but I can't. That's all I got! So that's all from me for now - Jillian...OUT!
No, it isn't Thanksgiving. But it's always a good time to pause and reflect on what you are thankful for, isn't it? And I can honestly say that I consciously take note of how thankful I am for my husband and for my children every day. There's not a day I take if for granted. So here are some things I am thankful for...
- My husband. He is truly my soul mate. My best friend.
- My children. There is no way to quantify what they mean to me. To have three children all born healthy, grow strong and rosy, cute as anything and smart as whips, is absolute felicity.
- My in-laws. Marrying Steve was enough in and of itself. Getting all the family that came with him was luck beyond measure. I love every single one of them. I can't imagine my life without them. One of the most meaningful things I've ever heard Steve say (and he comes up with good stuff on a pretty regular basis!) is that if you put us all in a room together and asked someone who didn't know us to pick which person was the one married into the family, there would be no way to differentiate. That chokes me up!
- Being born in Canada. Just the luck of the draw, but here I am - a Canadian. And as a Canadian, I gripe about politics, the weather, the economy, taxes, our medical system, etc. But please. I am damn grateful! The freedom we enjoy here, the quality of living - there are very few countries in the same league as Canada and SO many countries where people live and survive in the face of unimaginable oppression and disadvantage. I love my country! There is no where I'd rather be!
- My health. My goodness. I have had my share of issues - from an unexpected and life-threatening illness, a chronic and ungoing illness, frequent migraines since I was an adolescent,
…Not the most original title for a blog posting - but appropriate in this case! In fact, most of what I think of writing about would fall into the ‘Random’ category…I seem to have a lot to say about nothing in particular. Nothing earth shattering, nothing purposeful…just bits and pieces of this and that. And I’m okay with that! I’m sure there are blogs out there with lofty aspirations, that are driven, on a righteous mission. Intellectually sound, well researched, and grammatically flawless . Alas, this is not one of them. Sometimes I feel like I have a lot to blog about and other times...I got nuthin'. And yet I always have an urge to write. So I do, and wherever it goes, so it goes. The purpose of this paragraph, I suppose, is not so much to serve as a warning, but more of a disclaimer. So here goes…
I’m walking home from work yesterday. Late afternoon, glorious sunshine - a brilliant Vancouver-in-early-September day. A lot of people are out walking with their dogs, children, etc. I’m powering along, making it count, and eager to get home for an evening out with my husband (thank you, Grandma and Grandpa L for taking all three children overnight!). I’m rapidly gaining on an older/elderly-looking woman who is making her way along the sidewalk slowly but surely (in alarmingly wobbly-looking wedgie slip-on sandals - yikes! I‘m praying that she doesn’t twist her ankle or fall down!). As I am close enough behind her that I’m beginning to move onto the grass strip between the sidewalk and the road so as not to bump into her and also to ensure that she doesn’t have to maneuver over to allow me to pass, the thought crosses my mind - should I give her some kind of warning that somebody is approaching behind her? Shout out a little ‘passing on your right!’, or ‘Oop! Pardon me, excuse me, coming round!’ but then I decide, nah, that might startle her more than anything else and now I’m close enough that even if I gave my keys a little jingle (which I can’t because they’re buried in my oversized and cluttered purse) or cleared my throat/gave a little cough/ahem, I’d already be past her, so I just pull out and start to pass. Well. That little old lady jumped and shrieked and clutched her hands and purse to her chest because apparently, I’d caught her quite unawares and gave her a dreadful fright! I slowed and looked at her - I think my eyes were as wide-open as they’d ever been because I was so surprised and horrified that I’d scared her so badly. Once she got a look at me and realized I was just a harmless, decent-appearing (and casually but chicly dressed as well, I might add!) fellow woman, she smiled somewhat shakily but sheepishly and apologized, all at the same time I was already offering forth my sincere apologies. We continued apologizing to each other for some time, both of us earnestly and adamantly excusing the other while claiming the responsibility of the little incident as our own, then we got to chatting briefly about oh, whereabouts in the neighbourhood do you live, I’m just walking down to the store for milk, it’s very nice to meet you, etc, etc. and then I said good-bye, big wave, and powered on again.
So now I’m thinking - why didn’t I just call out a little warning for her? I know what it’s like to have somebody come up from behind and startle me while I’m out walking or shopping or whatever…why didn’t I show her the consideration and sensitivity that I myself have a personal awareness of? And the reason why is really the reason why I don’t do a lot of seemingly ’little things’…I overthought it. I questioned myself. I didn’t go with my ’gut instinct’. And I regret that! And I am going to make a very real and conscious attempt to NOT do that anymore! Because this is not the first time that I’ve found myself thinking about something after the fact and wishing I’d done it differently. Done it the way I’d FIRST thought about doing it before I muddled my head up with numerous other questions and considerations. So, nice little lady out there in the ‘hood - my sincere apologies once again. And, my sincere pledge that I will do better than that next time. I will do what I feel to be the right thing to do as I would appreciate someone doing for me! And I hope to see you ‘round here again - most definitely under less alarming circumstances!
My daughter started Grade 8 this week. She’s been looking forward to high school since the beginning of Grade 7 so she’s finally arrived. And she’s taken to it like a little fish to water! I’m so pleased for her and so excited about all the possibilities that lie ahead for her. Do I sound sage and well adjusted? Well, let’s just say it’s been a process! And it ain't over yet! But I'm taking things in stride far better than I was several months ago when the end of Grade 7 was looming. And a lot of it is just me putting on my brave face. The image I have of myself on the inside is hands tightly clasped to my heart, standing up on my toes a little bit, leaving forward slightly, an expectant/hopeful/cringing expression on my face…smiling tightly and trying not to let on that, along with feeling hopeful and proud and confident in my daughter’s abilities…I am also terrified! There she goes – out there into the world. Without me. On the bus!! With teenagers! To the largest high school in all of Vancouver. The one that I left midway through Grade 10.
The fates have smiled upon me and I have been so fortunate to have three incredibly wonderful , healthy children – I marvel at my life every single day. My daughter, like me, was born first, thereby making her the one among her siblings to take all the steps, reach all the milestones, try everything out, well, first! Like I did. And as a girl. Like me. So, while I can remember and relate to all lot of these experiences she’s having and these adventures she’s starting out on, I am also now in the lovely position of being the Mom this time. And that puts a whole new spin on things! And although growing up in my household as a kid, as a teen, there was a completely different dynamic (I like to say we put the ‘fun’ in dysfunctional! NOT!), there have been many times along this parenting journey where I have found myself thinking about my parents and finding some common ground, some understanding of what they were going through and what might have been driving them. But I think I am getting sidetracked…
The point I think I might be trying to make is…this is big! Wish me luck! It is only the beginning!! And may whatever whispers of fortune that had to have been following me through my teenage years that allowed me to come through my adolescence ALIVE and somewhat intact, please, PLEASE be with my daughter in even greater force! I’m going to do my damndest as her parent, and I believe she is starting from a much better place, but there’s so much out there and so much ahead…I’m hopeful though. And with Chanel feeling so positive and so excited and so motivated – I’m going to concentrate on that and support her to keep it going. My experiences don’t have to be hers – this is a time in her life that could one day be looked back upon with fondness and good memories.
And now I’ve about used up all my positivity! We’ll just take it ‘one day at a time’ as the old adage goes!
Every day on my way to work, I arrive at the busy, pedestrian-controlled crosswalk and I join the other people waiting for the light to change and inevitably, I end up wondering...has anybody actually pressed the signal button or has everybody just assumed that somebody else has and so we're all going to end up standing here indefinitely?
Inevitably, after suffering through several bad hair days in a row and deciding - f*ck it - I'm getting a haircut tomorrow, I wake up, shower, get ready - and my hair turns out perfectly! So then I think - maybe this is it, the turning point, and my hair has reached a great new stage...only to put off the haircut, wake up the NEXT morning - and have the worst hair day ever! That's not Murphy's Law - that's some entirely different kind of evil!
When I was a teenager, I was a real smart ass! Of course, at the time, I thought I was SO cool!So mature, so advanced...so evolved. My parents were clueless. They just didn't get it. And neither did some of my peers. Of course, looking back now, I realize how clueless I was! I was really quite an idiot! I was pondering this recently, and smiling to myself while shaking my head...I've come so far, grown so much...then an unsettling thought crept into my head...What if I'm actually a big idiot NOW?! What if, again - in fifteen years or so, I look back at myself where I am today and realize what a big ol' idiot I am RIGHT NOW - right now while I'm patting myself on the back for having grown so much as a human being?!
When dollar stores first sprang up (at least in their current manifestation vs. Ye Olde Five and Dime), I was dumbfounded! I mean, how can a business survive when selling everything for only a dollar?! Fifteen minutes later, walking out one bag heavier and forty bucks lighter, I had a better understanding of it all.
These are just some of the things that make me go 'hmmmm...'. ;)
Kids say the darndest things! Especially 5 year-old boy kids! A conversation with Casey from a few mornings ago...
Casey: "Mommy! Girls don't have penises!"
Me: "That's right, Casey. That's one of the ways that girls and boys are different."
Casey: "But Mommy, do you know what that means?"
Casey: "That means that girls have one less bone than boys do!"
I started to fumble my way through an explanation and then I stopped and said, "You go ask Daddy to talk with you about this". I mean, really. I've given up my Super Mom ways. I DON'T have to do it all! :)
Insomnia sucks. I don't get it. I'm on the go all day. By 7:30 pm, I'm barely functioning. I'm counting the seconds until the kids go to bed because I am wiped out. I have no energy left to do anything that I need to do (laundry, dishes, etc.) and sadly and with certainty, no energy left to do anything pleasurable just for me (Photoshop, scrapbooking, etc.). I can't keep my eyes open so I either fall asleep on the couch, or - with great effort and feeling so hard done by, I make my way up to bed. I have no problem falling asleep. The first time. But come 3 am, sometimes not until 4 am, and last night - as damn early as 1 am - I wake up. Not for any reason except that it is time. Time to wake up and lie there. Awake. And tired. But unable to sleep. Uncomfortable. Tossing. Turning. Getting up to pee. Getting up again for water. Getting up again to go back down to the couch in the hopes that this time, the couch might actually be the final, magical solution. Doing some Sudoko. Flipping through a magazine. Working on a crossword. Just lying there doing nothing. And I can't sleep! I try not to look at the time because I don't want to know how much time is left before I have to get up. Thinking that even if I get back to sleep and end up having to wake up in twenty minutes, if I don't know that it was only twenty minutes, I might be able to tell myself it was a longer, more significant amount of time and therefore feel the benefits! And the most frustrating thing about not being able to sleep is that I am tired. And although I consider doing something just so as not to be lying there getting increasingly frustrated, and I toy with the idea of doing something purely indulgent that I most often do not have the time to do, I can't bring myself to bother doing anything because I am too tired to do anything. INCLUDING sleep, it seems! That's the only damn thing I want to be doing at 1 or 3 or 4 a.m. Aaarrgh!!! Am I insane?! It's absolutely maddening!! And what is happening now is that I am beginning to obsess about my sleep patterns in my waking hours. And I try not to because I don't want to give these issues any more power than they already have, but I'm painfully, stressfully, strainingly tired and I can't ignore it! So I start worrying about tonight. What if it happens tonight?! It can't possibly because I am beyond tired now, and yet...maybe it could happen. Maybe it will happen. And then what?! Good God! And I mean, please...I NEED my beauty sleep! Like, REALLY badly! There's nothing worse than feeling like a hag inside and then getting a look at yourself in the mirror only to realize that you actually look like that inner hag! On the outside! This is all too much for me. Truly. What's the answer...the magic solution?! Wine? Ativan? Sex? Exercise? Meditation? All of the above, not necessarily in that order?! I just don't know. And - I'm too tired to even be thinking about it. So - another evening is upon me and I'll be giving it another shot. Maybe this phase is passing and I won't have to spend another day at work nodding off in mid-task then looking around in panic, desperately hoping that nobody noticed! Another evening of praying that in the two hours or so that I spend with my children between dinner time and bedtime, I can muster some enthusiasm and humour. Rustle me up some patience and energy with which to savour this quality time...
Wow. This is turning into quite the melodramatic sob story! Must just be my diminished, fragile, sleep deprived state of mind. Oh lawd, I can't stop! It's time for me to cut and run! Here's hoping for an inspirational turn around for tomorrow! Night night! Sleep tight!
Yes, that's right. This entry is about flatulence. Well, actually - it's not directly about flatulence, but like a lot of things in my household it seems, flatulence plays a key role...
Anyway, today was a 'work' morning for me and so I was up extra early, doing my thing - trying to get ready and out of the house on time. A MAJOR challenge and accomplishment, I might add!! So just Casey was up - he seems to listen for me on the mornings I have to work and, as he at one time announced to Grandma Margaret, he is an early riser, so he was up with me (which I love, although the boy needs more sleep than he gets!! But, it's nice having some one-on-one time with him to start the day while the house is quiet!) I digress! (So unusual, I know! ;) ) So Casey asks me for some cereal. I had bought one of those Kelloggs assorted packs of mini boxes of cereal (NOT something I do very often at all! SUGAR cereals! Yuck! Big no no!) so I offered him a choice. He picked 'Corn Pops' (the 'assortment' had quickly been reduced to either that, or Rice Krispies! I mean, come on, we all know that the Fruit Loops go first!!) and of course, he wanted to eat it out of the box like you're meant to when you're camping, so I mutter under my breath about Steve ever showing Casey that option - I'd have never started that, grump, grump, grump...I then spend too many precious minutes finding a (dull like all the others) but clean (unlike all the others) knife to slice the box open because of course, there are no 'kitchen' scissors to be found (they are off galavanting with the better halves of all the kids socks in the land of 'Lost & Never Never Found' apparently...), and serve him his little cavity-causing, diabetes-inducing treat of Corn Pops for breakfast. He's munching away, happy as a sugary little clam, while I am slapping on my makeup, when - in the hushed quiet of our 'just Mommy and me' morning moment, he let's out a huge, long, reverberating, classic Casey toot. (Yes, that's right - in my house we still call them 'toots' - 'farts' just sounds too harsh and raunchy for my delicate sensibilities...). I glance over at him, one eyebrow raised, with an 'are you kidding me?! And where are your manners?!' look. Casey looks back at me, not sheepish or remorseful at all, and says,"Now I know why they call them 'Corn POPS'!". And just like that, our 'nice' morning together has been transformed into a 'magical' morning - my precious, brown-eyed baby boy has just made his first 'official' sophisticated joke! A 'mark it on the calendar' moment! And all because of a...toot!
Hello, Blog! Yes, I've been away for a long time. But now I'm back so let's just carry on without any explanations or excuses, shall we?!
Scrapbooking! That's what I want to talk about today! I haven't done any scrapbooking for awhile, and I feel a big urge coming on...I've been card making because it somehow seems like less of a time commitment, but it's time for scrappin'! I've had all kinds of ideas percolating in my brain today and I've decided to start work on an album about family. In fact, I just might call the album "It's About Family"! I want to incorporate stories about traditions and sayings and random memories from my side, Steve's side, AND from our little big-ish family that we've got together! Once the mind starts running, all kinds of funny thoughts and memories come forward out of the mist! :) Just off the top of my head, under the heading of 'Random Childhood Memories', I've got 'The Green Chair', 'Sneaking up on Grandma and Grandpa', 'The Magic Fish', 'Banana Pancakes (including Dad's vibrating hum)', "The Mall", the Easter of the Ralph Lauren perfume, the morning that I came downstairs to find the cut-up construction paper...See?! The memories just come pouring out! And under the heading of 'Family Sayings/Isms'? There's 'Pernima', 'Jid, Did, and Nels', 'Dad's Foghorn', 'Mr. Hey Hey', and also 'Qua' - but that one will have to be handled 'delicately', so as not to embarrass or anger certain individuals...And what about 'Family Secrets - AKA - 'The embarrassing/unflattering/tough kind of stuff'?' Like...the wooden spoon, 'The Mary Jane Discovery', the CB, painting with poo. Ah yes. Quite the list. These are the stories that (mostly) just make me and my brother and sister laugh (cringe?!), the stories that MY children have maybe heard bits and pieces of, and that I want to have written out so that they can be looked back upon over the years, laughed about all over again, and also - added to! So now - I can leave the blogging of it for now, and actually get to the 'getting it started' phase. And this is one of those projects that, while eventually ongoing, I really hope to 'finish' soon so that the groundwork is done, and the 'adding to' process can begin! So here I go! Wish me luck, and 'chat' with you again soon! :)
A perfect day! Granted, it was my turn to get up with the kids...they didn't get up as painfully early as they usually do! And, thanks to my brilliant new water/sand table purchase, were happy and busy, and all without me! THEN - they both ended up napping on the couch with me from 9:30 am to 11:00 am, which meant that I too got to catch a bit of snooze time! :) Steve was still asleep so it was high time he was awoken, and then me 'n the boys headed out to the backyard so that they could play and I could get some yard/garden work done. Steve headed out for his own bunch of garden/landscaping supplies AND an iced coffee for me, and by the time he got home at 3 pm (yes, he was gone for three hours!!), I'd gotten a ton done in the back, I'd had some 'me' time on the computer, and had fed the kids lunch! SUCH a productive morning/early afternoon! :) And the fun wasn't over yet! Chanel was lurking about so I forced her to spend some quality time with her littlest brother while I got even more done in the yard! I now feel like the back yard is in good shape for summer and can be used and enjoyed fully from this point forward! :) And did I mention that the last two days have been PERFECTLY summery?! Super hot, super sunny...super good for my frame of mind! And the fun continues still with Steve prepping the BBQ (steak), me with two very cold, very refreshing Coors Light (1 point each on my Weight Watchers plan!) under me belt, and the boys (plus Julia) running amok through the house and happy! My plans for the rest of the evening include word games on Facebook, some scrappin' mags, laundry continued at a leisurely pace, Stevie bathing the boys and getting them to bed, a hot bath for me to scrub off all the dirt and grime from my earlier hard work, and then the couch, the TV, and the husband - it's the simple pleasures, ya know?! A perfectly spent Sunday on the May long weekend, with a day at the Point to look forward to tomorrow. Oh yeah, and it's MY turn to sleep in! Yeehaw! :) Also worth mentioning - Steve finished some more of the cobblestone patio in the front yard and finally got tomatoes planted...something he's been talking about doing for about three years! Good stuff!
I believe...that I might attempt to enter the Memory Makers Masters 2008 contest. One of the requirements is to submit an original 12X12 layout based on the theme, 'I Believe' so here are some thoughts so far...
"I believe that family is everything.
I believe that I just might make it to summer!
I believe that I will never be completely organized
I believe I can and I will reach my weight loss/healthier lifestyle goals!
I believe that there is a diaper that needs changing right now.
I believe that it's 5 o'clock somewhere!
I believe that redheads can wear any darn colour that they'd like!
I believe that a lot of clouds have silver linings, and that it is always darkest before the dawn.
I believe that I am a good mother.
I believe in keeping all my scraps because I really will use them all up one day!
I believe that within any child, there really is unlimited possibilities...
I believe in the wisdom of our elders.
I believe that when I am alone, I'm a really great singer!
I believe that my husband is my one true soul mate.
I believe we all need a girls night out every now and then!
I believe that books and music are good for the soul.
I believe that right here, right now, there really is no place I'd rather be!"
I think this pretty much sums it up right now! Feels good to think about this stuff! :)
...and another post from me. In the last post I made, I vowed to start a 'photo of the day' posting or 'sub-blog'...well, surprise! I haven't done that. I've probably almost taken at least a photo a day, but I haven't gone beyond that (i.e. the uploading, sorting, organizing, editing, posting, etc.)! I have a whole whack of reasons - NO TIME being the main one! So, I'm officially tossing the photo-a-day commitment out the window, and I commit to making no more commitments!!
I've got more I could type, but it's almost bedtime for Casey and Cody so NOW is NOT the most optimal time. Which is quite often the case, isn't it?! Ciao for now! :)
...but I have to say - I've been having fun. Mostly.
I can't believe it's been EIGHT months since I last wrote something here. Well, I mean, I CAN believe it because I haven't even entertained the thought of trying because I've been so busy in my primarily disheveled and inefficient way...but I'm so glad to be back! And I want to make this blog a real priority because I'm in tears just reading back over the few posts that I made! Which is in keeping with my original reasons for starting this blog up - I wanted to capture my thoughts about my children (and husband! :)) and our life so that one day, we could look back - in months, or even years, and remember, reflect, laugh, and tear up too! So it's working! I did just that tonight! And I vow to keep at it - and NOT think of it as just another chore or obligation to get to because really - it's therapeutic for me. And of value. So call it a 'delayed' resolution for the New Year.
I was also inspired to revisit this blog because of something I read on somebody else's blog. She's not somebody I know - she is a Design Team member at a scrapbooking website I visit. I linked to her blog from a post she made and I was caught up in her photos and her resolve to start a 'Photo Of The Day' posting. I love that idea! So - I have a lot to learn about managing the technical side of this whole blog thing, but starting tomorrow, I'm going to get on this photo thing! And I have a whole heckuva lot more to write about my amazing children - like the fact that my baby Cody is now 11 months old! He was only 8 WEEKS old in the last post I made here!! And Chanel and her incredible dedication to her sports...and Casey and his continuing sweetness...And Steve. My less-often mentioned but fully appreciated wonderful husband whose negotiating skills are truly admirable! ;) Gotta remember that the new furniture is being delivered this Tuesday...
I could write all night but fear I won't be able to drink enough tea tomorrow to compensate for the lack of sleep...never mind all the trips to the bathroom with Cody hot on my heels and complaining loudly and persistently about me leaving him for 30 seconds...it's already almost 1 a.m. Ack! Tomorrow is the first day back to school after the Christmas break for Chanel and Casey and it always takes awhile to get back into the swing of things...I project that the morning is going to be a bit...hectic. And hopefully these stirring sounds that are coming over the baby monitor don't amount to anything! Oh Lawd! Must...stop...typing...