Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Blah days

We all have them.  Those days where we would much rather stay curled up in bed under the covers than venture out to greet the world.  Unfortunately, most of us don't have the option but to drag out butts out from under the covers and face the day.

We should get banners or pins to warn those that cross our paths on those days.  Something that says "just stay out of my way today" to anyone who dares to strike up a conversation.  Or one of those Men in Black pens that makes people forget that we snapped at them for really no good reason.

Today was one of those days for me.  I woke up feeling blah - it took everything for me just to get through the morning routine and head into work.  Then nothing was going right for the first hour I was at the office (I'm sure in retrospect the freaking out I did will seem very unreasonable) AND my computer crashed.  Really...did the universe not know what I needed was just a smooth ride for the first half of the day??

Good thing I work with some great people (who I will apologize to tomorrow).  By 2:00 I had had enough.  I headed out into the snowstorm (OK...by a Canadian's standards not yet a true storm but it was snowing and I had to clean off my car) and made my way home.  Now I'm looking forward to hanging out with my sister for a bit tonight...maybe talking babies with her will cheer me up.

And maybe not.  Maybe today I was destined to just be in "one of those moods"...and that's ok.  Who says we have to be happy and jovial all the time.  Tomorrow when I wake up, I will try to roll out of bed with a smile...for today I may just choose to wallow in feeling blah.  And heaven help anyone who tries to convince me to snap out of it...fair warning that my response (which will include a nasty look and an eye roll) will reflect my mood today.

Interesting thing?  Now that I've shared my lousy mood, I'm actually feeling a tiny bit better.  Am reserving the right to eye roll though...

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cool Experience

This weekend my daughters had the opportunity to participate in, what I think, is on every little girls' wishlist.  They got to be in the Ottawa Wedding fashion show and model some gorgeous gowns.  Did I mention they also got to have their hair and makeup done, and everyone ran around to find whatever they needed?  Forget little girl dreams - I think that makes it onto the wish lists of most women I know!

It was so much fun to watch them get all dolled up and twirl around in their pretty gowns - my real life princesses.  We took lots of pics (I think my camera-loving hubby took about 600 over two days) - which was great for me cause I didn't actually get to see them walk the runway.  I was their "dresser" and was relegated to back stage.  Note to self...next time hire someone so I can enjoy the show too!

For the oldest, the glitz had lost its shine between shows 3 and 4.  I asked her what was up as she sat slumped into a chair.  Her answer?  "Mom, it was fun for awhile, but man its hard work to do this stuff."  My little tomboy was tired of being hair-sprayed and lip glossed, and the speed changes between dresses were very stressful on us both!

As for my youngest, she was right in her glory.  She loves this stuff - at one point she asked me to get the hair lady because a piece of hair was falling over her tiara...and then she waved her hand at me.  Sheesh...one weekend and she goes all diva on me!  Truth be told, this is the same little girl who doesn't like to do anything that makes her sweat, and informed me at 4-years old she needed to marry a real prince so she didn't have to work.  Good luck, my love!!

It was tons of fun, and I gained an appreciation for what goes on behind the scenes at these shows.  The audience gets to see the gorgeous final product, but there is a ton of hard work that goes into it.  Hats off to all those that make a living doing this!  For now, it was just a crazy weekend full of laughs (mostly) and we got some amazing pics for the scrapbook.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I'm Neurotic and I know it

My bestest friends who have known since BC (before children) know I've always been a bit of a worry wart.  I would obsess over everything...are my marks good enough?  Is my new hair colour ok?  How will I get everything done?  These were some of the burning questions that were part of my adolescence and early adult-hood.

Then I got married.

My worries turned to how will I be a good wife?  How will I make sure not to lose myself?  How will I get everything done?  Same type of questions, different scenario.  Still I managed to keep my neurosis pretty much under control.

Then I had kids.  Control out the window.

I now worry about every tummy ache being a sign of something more.  Every fever leading to a trip to the doctor.  Every tear meaning my amazing child will not see their potential.  Every broken heart not fully healing.  My neurosis moved from "how will I do it all" to "how will I make sure the kids never experience anything bad".  Rationally, I know I can't protect them from everything, and most days I've accepted that and am willing to let things run their course.  Then something happens that makes my "worry wart" nature come screaming forward.

Like there is a couple of kids in our area who are approached by strangers in masks to get into a car.  All rational thought disappears and every ungodly scenario creeps into my mind.  We were told today that there was such an attempt very close to my girls' elementary school (I remind myself to breathe every time I think about it).  Very scary...and makes my neurosis rational, right??

When I get some perspective, I have a frank conversation with my girls to remind them of what to do if anything like that (God forbid) ever happens to them.  And I try to have this conversation without letting my sheer panic show through.  Then I hug them and tuck them into bed...where I am sure they are safe for one more night.

Truthfully, I follow this up with a little prayer.  Please help to keep my girls safe.  Please help me to keep things in perspective.  Please help me to remember to breathe.  And please help me to enjoy all the amazingness that I am blessed with and not focus on the what-ifs.  For although all the stuff that scares the shit out of me is easy to focus on, I want to focus on the stuff that makes me smile.  Then I check on the girls one more time before I turn in just to make sure they are still ok.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Weekends how I love thee!

What's your definition of a perfect weekend?  I've thought about that question quite a bit...if I could plan a perfect weekend what would it entail?  Usually, my thoughts stray to visions of sandy beaches, warm weather and lots of shoe and bag shopping.  Or jet setting to Europe just to have crepes in France and Arroz de Mariscos in Portugal.  All of these, although out there, would fall into a perfect weekend category.

So would this weekend.  It was a weekend filled with some of my favorite things - scrapbooking, painting (not the kind on the walls - that I hate), hanging out with some fantastic ladies, shopping with a friend, and spending time with hubby and my girls. 

While there was no warm weather (cause it was downright cold this weekend), and no amazing Portugese seafood dishes (although that may come at my MIL's tomorrow - fingers crossed), as I sat on the couch beside my hubby tonight with a glass of wine I felt all warm and smushy inside.  Perhaps its time for me to re-think my definition of a perfect weekend...and there is still tomorrow!

Who am I kidding...still think a jet set weekend to Europe would still pretty awesome, but if I can't have the fantasy, weekends like this one are pretty damn good!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mama Lessons

When I imagined what kind of mom I would be, I had grandiose ideas.  I would be the "cool" mom, the "go with the flow" mom, the mom who taught their kids to just deal with things as they came up and ignore anyone who was being mean.  Theory is excellent...then I became a mom.

I still think I can be the cool mom, and I try to go with the flow (although those who know me know that I tend to plan even my go with the flow moments) - its the letting the kids deal with things I'm having trouble with.  How can I preach patience and walking away when all I want to do is head to the school yard and make sure my kids are not being picked on?

This especially rings true when you have a child with a sensitive soul...who takes everything to heart and hangs on to hurt feelings until they all come pouring out.  We talk about strategies to help her with the "mean kids" and how important it is for her to share her feelings.  And there are lots of hugs...lots and lots of hugs. 

My advice to new moms...strive to be the cool mom, the go with the flow mom.  As for the other lesson, strive to let them work out some of it, but don't be afraid to intervene when you need to (sometimes Mama Bear does need to show herself).  For me, I've also learned to bite my tongue and breathe.  I'm sure that is better than me following my daughter around in the schoolyard and preaching for everyone to play nice, right?  And if that doesn't work, I go for more hugs.  For now, at least, that seems to make it better for both of us.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Perfect Gift..

OK...from the title you're probably thinking this is going to be some deep post about getting the gift of time, my children or something along those lines.  It's not...it is about a gift my daughter got for Christmas.

For at least 2 years, my oldest daughter has been fascinated with dinosaurs.  She has insisted that she wants to become a paleontologist.  Since she found out there was a career where she could study dinosaurs and go dig out their bones, this has all she has talked about.  And, although she doesn't love school, she doesn't bat an eye when we tell her she will have to study a long time.

For Christmas, my sister gave her a dino excavation kit.  Yesterday she cracked it open, and she could barely contain herself when she saw it was a REAL excavation kit.  It's basically this big piece of clay, and you use the tools they give you to chisel out the dinosaur bones.  With great care, she got every piece of the bones out...the look of determination on her face as she swept the dust from around the exposed pieces was awesome.

She finished it today, and assembled the pieces of the wooly mammoth.  She was so proud, and told us it was her first of many digs.  I love that she loves this stuff...and without a doubt it was one of the gifts that stood out the most.

Thanks Sis...you further convinced your niece that digging in the dirt is what she wants to do.  And watching her smile and be excited through it all was a side gift for me...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Finally worked up the courage!

I will admit it...I don't take constructive criticism well.  I tend to get defensive and tune things out - not a good thing when you ask people for their opinion, right?  I finally worked up the courage to share my blog address with some of my family and asked for their comments.  Sucker for punishment I know...but I figured if I was going to take the time to write opinions/events, I might as well have someone read them.

Here is where the sigh of relief goes...they liked it.  Means that I can keep writing in a style that I like, and I'm on the right track with topics so far (I admit I haven't tackled anything controversial yet, but haven't decided yet if I will).

Thank you to those who have read it so far...makes me feel like I could share my writing with a wider group.  Maybe after I relish in their positive comments for awhile!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dress Success and Pressure Points

So here is the first post where I couldn't decide what to focus on (promise it won't be the last!) so two discussions for the price of one!

This promises to be an exciting year for our family.  My youngest sister is having a baby, and about 8 weeks later my middle sister is getting married.  I am so excited for both events that I can't think about either without having this silly grin come across my face.  Yesterday we had a shopping excursion to look at dresses - wedding and bridesmaid.  Was sooo much fun - I got distracted often by all the pretty dresses and sparkly accessories.  I could've been there for hours!

Once they got me to focus, the hunt was on.  Luckily my sister is a pretty laid back bride-to-be so we had free reign to choose.  The only criteria was that it not be too formal (its a Friday night wedding) and had to be comfortable.  After a few duds, am glad to report that my sister found a dress she loved (and looked absolutely fantastic in), and we found a fun dress that is the winner for the bridesmaid pick.  One thing down...

The downside of the shopping trip was towards the end I got a massive headache.  Not unusual for me, but it put a damper on things for me.  While I was trying to deal with it, my little sister grabbed my hand and started to rub a pressure point between my finger and thumb.  After a few seconds all I could think is "where has this pressure point been all my life??".  I've suffered with headaches for as long as I can remember, and have tried lots of things to help deal with them.  This worked - it looks weird but I swear it works.  For those interested, here is what I'm talking about:

Glad to say I have another way to deal with headaches going forward - and I've learned sometimes younger sisters can be wiser.  All in all, yesterday was a good day...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Baby It's Cold Outside...

I hate the cold.  Anyone who knows me knows I would rather hibernate curled up beside a fire with a good book for 5 months rather than venture out during the winter.  Every year around this time I become convinced I should have been born in a warmer climate.  But I live in Canada - which means I have to suck it up and just head out.  On the plus side, winter hasn't been so bad this year.  Above normal temperatures meant that I could go outside without dread...but it was just a tease.  The last couple of days the temperature has dropped and, since it is outside of my control, I am trying not to let it affect my mood.

Given the likelihood of my daughters living their lives in Canada, I am trying not to pass on my aversion to the outdoors in winter to them.  They seem to love bundling up and rolling around in the white stuff *shudder*.  So this year I will try to head out more with them.  I will put on layers of clothes and go out just to hear them giggle when they make a snow angel.  Maybe, just maybe, the sound of them having fun will warm my heart enough to make me forget that my fingers and toes are freezing.  Maybe...

Thursday, January 5, 2012


At the risk of stating the obvious, I HATE being sick.  This will be dubbed the holiday season of the virus that just won't quit.  It has made its rounds through my house, and appears to have chosen me to cling to for dear life.  I know, I know...I should stop whining - it can always be worse.  Just right now, this thing has knocked me flat on my ass and I'm a little peeved at it.  Complaining done.

On the upside, it means I have time to catch up on my reading.  Just finished The Glass House (loved it!) and have started The Birth House.  Can't wait to see where this story leads.

Given I'm chronicling life events here too, yesterday was hubby's birthday.  Will admit adult birthdays around here are low key (which is fine by me!)...we had Chinese food, cupcakes and lots of hugs from 2 little girls who are still excited to see the "age number" next to their name get bigger.  Happy Birthday my love...and to many, many more together.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Looking forward...

I started to think today about all the exciting things that this year has to offer.  My sister is getting married, my baby sister is having a baby, I'm hoping to do some house renos and, in October, I will officially be a mom to a kid in double digits.  Looks like I picked a good year to start chronicling!

While these all promise to be exciting occasions, I was reminded by a friend recently that life is more than just the "occasions", and it's important to find the joy in the things we do daily.  This same friend challenged a bunch of us to do a 365-day photo adventure.  The jist - take a picture everyday for 365 days.  At the end of the year, you have a perfect start to a scrapbook that shows all the things you found joy in that year.  So I'm in...I can already think of a few things that will make the list.  My girls sleeping, unsolicited smiles, my morning coffee.  Can't wait to pull the camera out!

Am also hoping that this will remind me to, every once in awhile, stop and smell the roses...the first step to trying to get balance.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Bring on the New Year!

I wish I could say 2011 went out with a bang, but it was really more like a whisper.  We had a quiet dinner, watched some of the festivities, then tuned in to Mary Poppins (one of my favorite movies).  Sad to say, we didn't even make it to the end of that movie!  In our defense, we have all been sick for the last week, and are still recuperating - that's my story and I'm sticking to it :-)

I gave up making resolutions a long time ago, but always make a little wish that the upcoming year is filled with health, happiness and laughter.  Here is hoping 2012 brings all those things...