Monday, April 25, 2005

The Cloud

Yesterday started off on a strange note. When I awoke, my mood was as grey as the sky above, and my mind as clouded. I was not feeling unhappy, I have so much to be thankful for. I had finished preparing the taxes for the year, we were going to be able to afford the new roof after all, and Levi and I were excitedly counting down the months until the wedding. We were all healthy, and things were going along as they should be. I'm not quite sure why, but I felt the sudden need for space and solitude, and my soul in need of rejuvenation. I snuggled deeper into the warmth of my blankets, closed my eyes, and let my mind wander. Whatever the reason for my blue funk, I found myself revisiting the past, and missing my childhood.

There were happy memories of my family playing a sort of volleyball game on the beach, sliding around in the wet sloppy sand and gleefully getting covered in the soothing goop. There was the time that my grandmother took my sister and I for a drive, and we found ourselves in the provincial park hiking through the woods. That was the day my sister was chewing gum and lost a tooth, while we were listening to Nana Mouskouri crooning "Love is a Rose". There was the really long bike ride my cousin and I went on, we rode all over the countryside that day, and visited my grandparents and later my godparents. There were memories of early mornings with my dad, heading to my grandfather's barn to milk Bessie the cow.

I seem to have a lot of memories about the barn, I loved playing in there. I used to love searching for the newest litter of kittens, or singing to the animals. My favorite was when my sisters and I would climb up into the loft and set up our own little "houses" with the hay bales. We would visit each other's houses, sit on the sofas made of straw, and pretend we were grown up ladies with families. Other times, I would go the loft myself and just daydream the hours away. There was something soothing about being there by myself, surrounded by the sweet smell of the hay, as a gentle breeze blew through the open doors below. The only sounds were of the of the cows moving about, the bleats of the new lambs as they frisked in their pen, and the chirping of the birds outside in the trees. The barn cats, many of them tame, would spend hours clamoring for the attention that I loved to lavish on them. The contented sound of their purring as they rubbed against me often lulled me to sleep in the warm sunny patch that I would build my "nest" in.

It may have been at that point that I dozed off for a few minutes. When I opened my eyes again, the sun was trying to peek through a cloudy veil and was warming my face. I took a deep breath and stretched. I was still feeling a little lost in my own thoughts, but my mood had shifted considerably and I finally felt ready to face the day, whatever it might bring.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


My daughter, Madeline, tiptoed into our room this morning as the sun was just peeking over the horizon. Giddy with delight, she whispered loudly, "Mommy! I'm eight!"
Smiling, I stared for an instant at this person who had once lived in my body. How beautiful she is, with her stunning blue eyes, long dark hair and porcelain skin. I was instantly reminded of the morning that she was born.
After a merciful two hours of labor, my wailing baby entered the world at a mere 6 lbs. 14 oz. I remember the doctor asking what name I had chosen for a girl. "Madeline" I had whispered, exhausted. I was unable to believe that I had the daughter I had so desperately wished for. "Well hello, Miss Madeline!" he said to her as he cleaned her up. "She's a dainty little lady!" he commented later as the nurse placed her on my chest.
After she was was safely in my arms, I gazed in awe at her tiny fingers and toes. A dainty little lady indeed! My heart was bursting with joy. I had a daughter!!
"Mommy! It's my birthday!" She whispered again, her eyes sparkling with excitement, returning my thoughts back to the present moment. I hugged her close to me. "Happy Birthday Sweetie!" I said into her hair. Connor, who had arrived in our bed only moments before Madeline did, was nestled between Levi and I. Poking his head up from his little nest of pillows, he said in his politest, grown up two year old voice, "Happy-day Maddie!" Giggling, she thanked him with a hug.
I want to savour every moment of her girlhood. Her contagious giggle could melt even the coldest of hearts, and her compassion for other people shows a maturity beyond her eight years. She is still very much a little girl though, and loves wearing pretty skirts to school, playing dress up with my shoes, and wants to decorate her room in pastel pinks and purples. I know that someday I will miss the days of pony-tails, barbie dolls and hysterical giggling over the word underwear. Until then, however, I will embrace the joys and challenges of parenting an eight year old girl. I will enjoy the fleeting years of her childhood with her. Just as she is learning from me, I am learning from her - about life, love, and family.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Visitor

There are some things in this life that we just naturally take for granted, like good health, digestion, and really soft toilet paper. You guessed it, the flu is visiting our house this week, and everyone is miserable, has been miserable, or is about to be miserable.
It all started with Connor, who, after a night of restless sleep, suddenly sat up in bed and decorated my night shirt with supper. The poor little guy had no idea what was happening, only that he felt awful and had somehow made a mess of the bed. As Levi and I were "cheerfully" cleaning everything (and everyone) up, Connor started saying sleepily, "sorry mom... Sorry". I was heartbroken! We were trying so hard to console him and make him feel better, and his little two year old mind was concerned that he had offended me! After we had changed the sheets on the bed and Connor had settled into sleep again, his fuzzy head nestled under my chin, I lay awake wondering if we were about to enter the Twilight Zone.
Things were fine Friday and Saturday. "Maybe it was just something he ate." Levi and I lied to each other, knowing that we were about to be hit with the flu.
Did it ever hit.
I was the next victim, spending Saturday night/Sunday morning in the bathroom, first in denial (maybe it was the cake I ate before bed...), and then in desperation ( please, God, make it stop, I promise I won't eat cake anymore!) and then finally acceptance ( I have the flu. How did we get the flu? Why do we always get the flu? I HATE the flu!) Needless to say, I was VERY glad that I had bought the Super-Mega-Jumbo size rolls of Charmin toilet Paper. I had gone through half a roll already! The torture continued until sometime early Monday morning, when I awoke feeling as if I was an 80 year old woman made of glass, with an iron belt still cinched around her middle. I learned that Connor had his share of diaper changes Sunday as well, and that Levi was handling everything and all the kids like a pro. What a guy!
Well, today is Tuesday, and Levi came home from work today at 11am. So far, he hasn't been too bad, mainly in that "waiting to puke purgatory" that we all hate so much. I went out yesterday and bought Pepto-Bismol and Immodium, so he will hopefully benefit from some of that. Connor and I are feeling close to normal again, and hopefully Terran and Madeline will be forgotten by this nasty visitor.
In the meantime, I'm taking it easy, and appreciating the little things. The great hubby-to-be, the fact that things could always be worse, and I'm REALLY appreciating the super-big, super-soft rolls of toilet paper!!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Juggling Act

Wow - It's been a busy week, with lots of meetings, appointments, and lots of little loose ends to tie up !!
Sunday was my BORN group, which stands for Birth Options Research Network. We're a volunteer group working towards having Midwifery and Doula services legislated and funded in PEI. (the Atlantic provinces are the last to get on board with this) We're having our first AGM at the end of the month, so there's lots of work to do as far as getting presentations in order.
Monday I spent much of my day on the phone. It turns out that the location in which I was going to start teaching my Pre/Postnatal Fitness Classes shut down! All of a sudden, with no warning... anyhow, now I have to look for another location. It could be worse though, at least my flyers, posters, etc, weren't printed up yet. (That was supposed to be this weeks job!!)
Tuesday Connor had his Dr. appointment - his ear and sinus infection is completely cleared up! Yay! My ND. sent me a protcol to follow the next time he seems to be getting an infection... if we can tackle these things without antibiotics, I'm all for it!! Tuesday evening I had my Home and School meeting. Lots going on in the final months of the school year. There is a new Sobeys scheduled to be going up by the school, and there are safety concerns since there will be a new "main" road going right in front of the school. We are hoping to have a new crosswalk (with lights) and crossing guard as well as a sidewalk put in place for the safety of the walking students. I am in charge of the fundraiser for May, called "Pennies for Learning". I will supply each student with penny rolls, and they will go home and hopefully fill them up with all the pennies laying around the house. If every student contributes $2.00, we will raise around $800.00 for new books for the library. The class that raises the most money will win a movie and popcorn afternoon. Wish us luck! That night, Levi found out that he and his dad have another house to build after this current one is finished!! Whoo hoo!
Wednesday was a beautiful sunny day, but it was a "work day". I went to a business luncheon/seminar on Niche Markets. It was very interesting, and I made some very good contacts. I may have a new location sooner than I think, and two of these new contacts are very interested in working with me and there is even a possibility of some funding!
All this brings us to today. Thursday. Nothing on the calendar except for getting groceries and watching The OC later tonight. I still have a lot of stuff to do, there's more meetings and seminars next week to prepare for, locations to pin down, posters to print up and distribute, a bedroom to paint, but today I'm taking the day off.
I'm thankful for the breathing space. Today I think I'm just going to do regular mom stuff. I might even have a decent supper ready before 6 tonight. Maybe.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Spring Training

Ahhh, spring! A time for renewal and growth. A time when all that lay dormant during the long months of winter begin to stir with new life again...

Apparently my ass got the memo on that one, because after being dormant all winter, it has decided to renew itself as a beach ball. Or maybe a wagon wheel. Whatever it is, it's big and round. I discovered this "juicy" (not so)little piece of information today as I was trying on a jacket and looking at myself in the mirrors at Wal Mart. What the hell?!?! How can a jacket make your butt look big?? Are they trick mirrors, like the ones in the fun house at Old Home Week??

Needless to say, I left the Clothing Section and went to the Sporting Goods section. This booty is gonna need some work before bikini season and the big Wedding Day! (Which, by the way, is in a little less than 6 months!) So, now that spring is finally here, it's time. Forget New Years resolutions - nobody ever keeps those anyways. Time for me to lose the "junk in the trunk". It's time for Spring Training!!!

So, here's my challenge to all of you. Go to Wal Mart and find out where they get their mirrors. Then grab a buddy and get moving. Get motivated. Dance, run, bike, play. Get outside and MOVE! Get rid of all those magazines that tell us we have to look a certain way. Eat less junk, eat more veggies. Do something you love! Have fun with it! Imagine what you can do with all that extra energy and improved health! (Imagine a beach with no fat hairy guys in Speedos!) It's not about losing weight, but about losing the mental picture we have of ourselves right now.

Those baseball guys have the right idea with this spring training thing. Only, I never really understand about all the pats on the rear. Whatever. You take what you can get, right?