Saturday, September 15, 2007

Letting Go

I thought I've had a pretty good handle on things that have been going on lately in my life. Boy, was I wrong! Today I feel completely incapable of dealing with a minor thing, and I'm wondering how the hell I can get through the big stuff, when something little sets me into a crying jag... Where to begin? How about the events of the summer?

In the last three months, I:

* made the difficult decision to return to work outside the home.
* started a new job I wasn't really crazy about.
* sent my thirteen year old to Army Cadet Camp in New Brunswick for six weeks.
* found out I need to have a hysterectomy.
* quit new job.
* had to let my ex have my ten year old daughter for the month of July. He involved his lawyer.
* visited my parents and grandparents in Nova Scotia. (they're not all bad things!)
* did not receive child support payment. Had to deal with ex again.
* returned to Nova Scotia for my grandfather's funeral.
* had to deal with ex again, this time about buying school supplies. Involved his lawyer again.
* drove my four year old to his first day of school (Montessori- he loves it)
*watched the bus take my daughter to grade five and my son to his last year of Jr. High.
* started new job that I absolutely LOVE!
* took daughter to Dr., saw a teacher there, discovered daughter has Ringworm but is OK to be at school.
* dealt with teacher questioning daughter on reason for Dr. visit, making daughter tell other teacher, which made daughter feel humiliated and embarrased.

OK. I dealt with all the above and the things that surround them. I cried, I bitched, I did whatever I needed to do to help me cope, and I dealt with them all and got on to the next thing. EXCEPT this one:

* was informed by husband today that we were giving Connor's jogging stroller to someone TOMORROW.

Compared to everything on the list, this is SO minor. Not even a blip on the radar. But I haven't been able to stop the feelings of sadness that are crashing over me and I'm not sure why I'm feeling as if my husband is asking me to give away a part of myself. I mean, it's a STROLLER!! I haven't used it since May because of work and the heat of the summer. I should be happy to get rid of it, right? Free up some space? I got rid of the crib and some other baby stuff - why not the stroller?

I'm trying to sort through all this in my head. Is it about the actual stroller or that One Last Thing, the proverbial "Straw"? The fact that two months ago he told this girl she could have it before he spoke to me about it first? The fact that he first mentioned it to me IN FRONT OF HER later that day?
Is it the fact that I told him later that I felt he put me on the spot and I wasn't ready to part with it, that I still do use it for the long walks? Or is it because it is the very first thing we bought for our son when he was two months old, that it was a birthday present to me?
Is it because I have four years of memories of Connor in that stroller, and because it can hold kids up to 60lb, I thought I would have it longer?
Am I upset because I thought that two months ago he was going to set things right, explain that he spoke before he discussed it with me and that I wasn't all right with giving it up just yet? Or am I upset because he hasn't done this, and he cannot figure out WHY I'm upset about it, so now I'm feeling as if he's heard my words but hasn't listened to my heart.

I'm upset about all of these. I wasn't ready. I'm NOT ready. I still planned to use it. I love going for long walks with Connor on crisp fall days. I'm truly in a tailspin. After all I had to face this summer, I never thought that something like a stroller could set me into such a state. As I was leaving the house to come write this, he was in the kitchen getting it cleaned up a little. I couldn't talk to him as I was leaving, and he couldn't understand.

Once I got here, and sat for a minute, I realized that it IS more than just a stroller. It is my solace. Had the day been nice today, I would've put Connor in the stroller and walked. I walk to calm my mind. I walked to ease my depression in the early days of new motherhood. I walked with Connor to hear first his excited babbles, later to lull him to sleep, and now to enjoy his budding curiosity, his questions and comments of the world we pass by. I have always felt that I would pass it on when I no longer feel a need for it, and to someone who I am close to. It has meaning to me, and even though it may seem silly, it does hold a tremendous amount of sentimental value. His crib? Given to us. Connor slept with us 90% of the time anyways. Maybe that's why I could part with it without a second thought. But this damn stroller... I know it's only a stroller and not my actual child, but still...
Is it normal to feel this way about an object? Is this just the icing on the cake of a mostly miserable summer? I know that I've had a lot of stuff going on in the last three months, a lot of big changes. Is it a Mom Thing to not want to part with the baby things until you're ready? Is this my wake-up call, that I haven't dealt with things at all if I can't cope with this? Should I talk to my doctor? Should I just suck it up and deal with this too? Let's hear your thoughts...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I Spy

The twilight had finally fallen and Connor was giggling in that excited way only four year olds seem to know how to do.

Earlier that evening, he and his Daddy had set up the tent in the back yard. It was going to be their first camp out together. I had watched, silently amused as he made the many trips up and down the stairs to gather all the important things necessary for his night of camping. There was “Lion Keekee” of course, his beloved and tattered flannel receiving blanket from babyhood. There was also “Sunshine Keekee”, a newer blanket sometimes used when Lion was in the wash, a teddy simply named “Bear”, his pillow, and a little green striped fleece cushion he lovingly calls “Pidda”.

Once the tent was filled and the bonfire had been started, Connor came into the house to get me. “You have to close your eyes and I will show you my tent,” he instructed as he led me by the hand to the back yard. “And we have a CAMPFIRE!” he exclaimed as he jumped up and down with his arm extended towards the firepit. “Let’s roast some marshmallows!” he said in his best “Let-The Games-Begin” kind of voice.

Once the marshmallow roasting began, he snuggled onto my lap. He had been waving his marshmallow around on an old wire coat hanger that has been straightened, and was not having much luck with this particular one. After I had asked if he wanted me to roast it for him, he gave the wire to me. Now he could concentrate on more important stuff.

“Hey Dad, wanna play I spy?” he asks.

“Sure buddy! You go first.”

“Ok! I spy with my little eye, something that is Shingle-y!” he said, eyeing up the barn roof.

“Umm, the house?” guessed Levi, trying not to chuckle.


“The barn?”

“Nope!” Connor took the marshmallow that I had roasted for him and was looking at it admiringly.

“Mommy is a good marshmallow roaster, isn’t she Bud?” Levi too had noticed the golden piece of perfection *snicker* that Connor was now biting into. “Hmm…Is it the roof?”

“Yeah, the barn roof!! Yay! You got it!! Your turn now!”

“Ok… I spy with my little eye, something that is white and sticky!” he grinned towards Connor’s marshmallow.

Connor looked down at the marshmallow he was holding.

“Me!” was his immediate reply.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Flattery Will Get You Everywhere

The hard thing about working from home is the lack of entertainment for the little guy during the time I have to get some work done. It is only at these times he realizes that he even has a mother and will climb on my lap, plead with me to play hockey with him, get him a snack or read him a story. Repeatedly. But if I'm not busy and I ask him? Well, you know how it goes. "No thank you Mama! I just wanna look at stuff with my magnifying glass OK? You can read to me later if you want, OK Mama?"


This morning I was sitting at the computer working on a proposal for a new fitness program for the YMCA. Connor had been interrupting me all morning asking for snuggles, would I put on a particular movie, would I play a certain game, or could I get him a snack. After the movie was playing, his granola bar gone, the cup of soy milk emptied and the orange eaten, he came into the room once again and asked for a fruit cup.

"You're not gonna let me get any work done today, are you buddy?" I asked him as we made our way to the cupboard.

"Well, you're very nice Mama!" he beamed at me.

"I am, huh? I still need to get my work done though..." I chuckled.

"And you're very pretty too!" he piped up as I reached for the fruit cups.

"Well!" I laughed. "That's nice of you to say..."

He points a little finger at me and says "Mama? You are loved!"

I laughed again as I scooped him up into my arms and buried my face into his wild hair, breathing in his sweet little boy smell and told him that he too was loved.

Then we sat down and ate our fruit cups, together.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Humble Pie

Have you ever noticed how your little angels have an uncanny ability to crack the lid off your composure and you totally bust into hysterical giggles at the most inappropriate moment?
Or how you're having a "my-butt-looks-not-too-bad-in-these-jeans-today" kinda day and they stick that little pin of reality into your bubble of vanity, mid-strut?
Or how they just come out with the most honest of observations (loudly) and you wish the floor would open up and devour you?

Connor is a charmer and he knows it. Little old ladies want to pinch his cheeks and the rest of them always tell him how cute he is. He's got these huge green eyes, long, thick dark lashes and dimples I could drown in. He's so much like his Daddy...

Last week we braved the bitter cold to visit a local department store for some new threads. I had chosen a pair of workout pants and a cute bikini to try on. I was feeling pretty good about my new fitness regime and was quite happy with the results I was seeing in my butt. I pranced towards the fitting rooms, feeling confident that my tush looked better than it had in a long time, and I was having a good hair day too. Connor started flirting with the young lady that was working there. He asked her a ton of questions about everything, and was drawing a crowd of admiring bystanders. (I guess the staff had nothing better to do maybe?) I had one of those "My kid is so cute and smart-I love him to pieces" moments as he and I went into the fitting room.

Still chattering away, he admired himself in the mirror as I tried on the pants. "Uh, Mama? I think you shouldn't get those pants." He lowered his eyes, turned slightly and coyly glanced over one shoulder at himself. "They're too exercise-y! I think that you have a big booty!" I could hear the girls outside giggling at his critique.
Thankful he was at least distracting himself with his own vanity, I ditched the pants and began to try on the bikini over my undies. "Hey Mama! I see your booty crack!" The girls outside were trying not to snicker too loudly. " Uh, Mama? Why do you have a 'shina?"

There was a split second of silence in which I was prepared to explain again the difference between boys and girls, knowing that we were being overheard. The girls were fighting the urge to bust out laughing.

At that exact second, Connor broke wind. Loudly. "Dude! I just farted! Ugh! That's rotten!" he announced proudly as he giggled. The girls outside howled with laughter. I wanted to die.

I made him excuse himself and got dressed to make the walk of shame back out of the fitting room. As I opened the door, some of the girls were still red faced and giggling. "How'd you get along in there?" one asked me, smiling broadly as I handed her the pants and put the bikini in the cart.

"Oh, it was a blast!" I giggled. "Which way to the Humble Pie?"

Sunday, January 14, 2007


Connor and I were at Burger Thing with my mother, my sister and her friend (both 16). It was 1pm on a Thursday. The place was pretty much empty. Besides us, there was another little family - a mother, her infant son and four year old daughter. There were also four rowdy teenagers, three girls and a boy, probably all around the age of 15 or 16. Before I go any further, please don't think that I discriminate against teenagers because of the way they look or act. My son is a teen now, and I would hate to think that someone doesn't like or trust him just because he is male, of a certain age, noisy, and might dress differently. I prefer to think all kids are good kids until they prove otherwise.

Connor decided he had to use the bathroom. I took him by the hand and walked in to the ladies washroom. There inside were the three teenage girls, AND the boy. IN THE LADIES WASHROOM!!! He was trying to "hide" by turning his back towards me, two of the girls were nervously giggling, the other was glaring at me with a cold look, almost challenging me to say something to her.

I looked at the guy and said "You know this is a GIRLS bathroom right?"

"Yeah." he says, snickering.

"Ok then - Buh-bye!" I hold the door open for him to leave.

"They made me come in here" he laughs, almost embarassed as he walked toward the door.

The other girl continues to stare at me cooly.

"You can't think for yourself?" I'm shocked to hear myself say this to him.

My three year old son is right there with me, after all. And this teenager is not my son, this is another woman's child. Would she be pissed at me for speaking sharply to her son like that? How dare I speak to him like that? - I'm a stranger to him. Would she be mortified at her son's behavior like I would be if it was my oldest and tell him that he's lucky "that lady" only told him to leave? And that I thought I taught him about being true to himself and about not giving in to peer pressure?

They all file out of the washroom and not another word is said. Connor does his thing, we wash our hands, and go back out into the restaurant. The teenagers have left.

This incident itself was harmless enough. I think the boy's pride was the only thing that was hurt. We live in a small place, and even the "city" is fairly small, where most people know who you are or who your family is. That in itself is the dangerous part. It sets us up for a false sense of security.

My nine year old daughter likes to be independent. She gets offended when she needs me to escort her to the bathroom in a public place. I refuse to let her go to a public washroom alone. She's never alone in public, for that matter. My thirteen year old son knows that I will wait by the door of a public washroom that he is in. He usually goes before we leave the house to avoid this "embarassment". I'm just not ready to put them in a situation that they may not be able to get out of. Does this make me overprotective?

We hear too many stories on the news about horrible things happening to children. But isn't that how these stories get on the news? We feel safe enough, comfortable enough at one o'clock on a Thursday afternoon at a "family restaurant" to let our children run to the bathroom unattended?

My children are the most precious things in the world to me. Of course I want to protect them to the best of my ability. But am I going too far? I know nothing happened. I know that those kids are probably harmless, they're likely adored by their parents and generally good kids. They were just fooling around and being kids. Maybe I am too overprotective, but I don't want to take that chance that whoever is in there with my kids aren't "just kids being kids."

It's not even the fact that it was teenagers, or even a teenage boy for that matter. What shook me the most was how easy it is for Something Horrible to happen to a child. I'm trying to teach my children about peer pressure, doing the right thing, and how to be careful (read Not Scared) of "strangers". After all, friends used to be "strangers" at one point. But how can I convince them of this when all I can think of when something like this happens is "I saw on the news last night about a little girl..."?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

De-Lurking Week!

I'm seeing this all over the place this week, and I gotta come clean. You ready?

I tend to be a lurker more than a commenter. *gasp from the audience*

I know, I know!! I'm such a bad bloggy friend! LOL! Here's the deal then-I'll say hello when I drop by to read your blog if you'll do the same. (please?) I do have some readers, don't I?


Welcome to those of you who have recently left a comment - I love hearing from you! (Yeah, I know. It is all about me, isn't it?) Make sure you check out the blogroll on the left too- I've added a couple of new friends to my list of favorites. They're great blogs, so if you stop by there make sure you say hello!

Ready, set, de-lurk!!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

My Bad!

Since Connor learned how to use the toilet, he has always sat down to do whatever it is that needs to be done. He probably should learn to pee standing up. His dad isn't here though and I don't have the "equipment" to show him how. I've tried once or twice to get him to go standing up, but he's more comfortable sitting. No biggie, he's only 3, right?

Last week (I think it was Saturday maybe?) we were at the Dollar Store and he had to go pee. We found our way to the staff washrooms behind the store and he proceeded to sit down and do his thing. Only he was so busy looking around and asking questions that he forgot to uh...point it downwards into the bowl. So yeah, it kinda went straight onto the back of his underwear and soaked them.

I took them off him, and since his pants were pulled down lower than his undies, they were still dry, so he went commando under the pants. I rinsed his undies in the sink, wrapped them in a huge wad of paper towel and put them in my purse. (They're Bob the Builder!!)

Today I was searching for my Lip Balm and remembered that I left it in my purse. I found Connor's underwear still wrapped in the wad of paper towel - in my purse where I put it FOUR days ago.

I need a new purse.

Monday, January 08, 2007

A Day in Numbers

4: number of hours of sleep I had last night. Note to self: chocolate before bed? Not so good.

3: the number of zits I woke up with this morning. Note to self: chasing chocolate before bed with 2 huge glasses of cow's milk is also a very bad idea. BAD.

1: number of times Connor compared my new horns to that of a Triceratops.

4: number of times I looked in the mirror and was reminded why I don't do the dairy thing.

3: number of times I got growled at by one of my kids for calling him by the other kid's name.

2: number of times I spoke to Levi on the phone today!

3: number of times I lost the cordless phone, my cell phone or my apple(?!) in all the chaos of the day's activities.

3: number of times my heart cracked open a little bit today because of something one of the kids said about how much they miss Levi. (or the Christmas for another day!)

1: number of times I cried today. (getting better!!)

131,426: number of times I thought about Levi and missed him. (roughly)

17,837: number of needles that fell on the floor when taking the decorations off the tree today.

23,674: number of needles that fell on the floor as I dragged the tree outside.

2: number of needles left on the tree.

7: number of hours spent sorting through books in computer/exercise room. Not only are they now sorted, they are also shelved and categorized by theme,subject and um... in descending height...(I know, I need to get out more)

324: number of books I put on the new shelves for the kids. (I wasn't kidding when I said they had hundreds of books!!)

53: number of books we are donating to the library or hospital because we have doubles or have "moved on" since getting those books.

58: number of books I have to toss out because of damage from dampness (long story, we're not gonna go there tonight), crayons, teeth(??), torn covers, age or other.

435: total number of books I have in the same room with me right now, and I'm a bit giddy knowing that this number does not include any of the books on the "grown up" bookshelf in the sitting room (there's lots there!!), nor does it include any of the books or magazines the kids or I have in our rooms or closets!! (Nerd much?)

6: number of hours of sleep I will get before Connor comes tearing into my bedroom with his Diego pillow/doll thingie and Lion Keekee (sookie blanket) flying behind him if I go to sleep right now!

SIXTEEN: number of years ago I attended the birth of my little sister and earned bragging rights as The Very First One To Hold Her. She was a beautiful baby and has blossomed into a stunning, intelligent young lady. I'm so proud of her for who she is and who she will become! Happy Sweet Sixteenth Kayla! I Love you!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Post Where I Blather On...

It's a rainy Saturday night here at my house. It's 11 degrees above zero. And there was LIGHTNING!!! Did Mother Nature forget that it's January in Atlantic Canada?!? Where is all the snow and stuff that makes winter so fun?? Most people would be telling me that rain is easier to deal with than snow - no shovelling. Maybe at their house. Here, not so much. I'd take snow over rain any day. Snow is pretty and makes the ground look clean and bright. A marshmallow world - you can play in it and not get covered in mud. And when it snows, my basement and back porch doesn't leak.

"Ahhh..." you might say with complete understanding. See - I haven't lost my mind- I'm just tired of mopping up leaks off the floor and wearing rubber boots to put wood in the furnace! "Wait - what?" you might ask, "Furnace? Isn't it 11 degrees?" Um, yeah... but it's damp and there is water all over the basement... so I have a fire going and it's just a wee bit warm in here. Normally I like it warm in the house. I'm One Of Those People who like to crank the heat then walk around in my tank top, boxers and fuzzy slippers. Not tonight though. Terran and I were putting together two shelving units for some of the hundreds of books we seem to have everywhere.

Ever try to assemble anything with a thirteen year old who's been up all night playing video games with his buddy? Or with the mother who was up all night trying not to hear the thirteen year old who was up all night playing video games with his buddy? I'm sure to an outsider it was probably not the best way to spend a Saturday night, but it really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I mean, I got a blister on my palm and all, but the shelves are done, I have a place to put some of the books we're currently using and nobody got hurt by airborne screwdrivers. That in itself is pretty sweet! LOL!

Ok, other news. Our van is officially on the way out. It's beginning to cost more just to keep it going than it would to actually have a new(er) vehicle. So we're (I'm) looking. This week I have learned/decided that I do not like car/van/SUV shopping. And that The Next Used Car Dealer that calls me sweetheart had better be wearing a cup. I bet they wouldn't do that if Levi was with me.

I also learned/decided that I can not buy ink for the printer either. I even showed the girl working at The Store what my printer looked like so she could show me what kind of ink cartridges I needed to buy. Turns out that I was close, but not close enough. I got home and realized that having The Transparent Blue Lid on your printer apparently is different than having The Solid Beige Lid, and that even though they may look identical in every other way, the cartridges are just not the same (they looked identical to the ones I took out!) So I had to go back to The Store and get the correct ones, which of course were also twice the cost of the ones I had to exchange. And those were the cheaper Store Brand ones!!

On the homeschooling front, I picked up some of the preschool series workbooks for Connor and he's quite excited to dive into them each day. He tends to go through them quickly and seems to absorb what he is learning, so he'll probably be to Kindergarten level shortly after he turns 4. I don't want to rush him, but I don't want him to get bored either. I'm just following his pace, which I guess is probably the best thing. We're also starting a unit on Dinosaurs. We were at The Dollar Store tonight and picked up a few plastic dinos. He wanted to find out more about them before he went to bed, so we were able to look up a just a few to satisfy his curiosity until morning. His favorites are the T-Rex (of course!) the Maiasaura, the Ankylosaurus and the little(!!) Troodon. He's still into Constellations too, and it's funny to hear him talking about Polaris and satellites and orbits and stuff.

Our Christmas tree is coming down tomorrow. I know, I still have it up. It's so pretty though, even if Lilly has decided that she must help by removing an ornament or three every day by batting it off the lower branches then trotting through the house with it in her mouth. A lot of people tear their trees down a day or two after Christmas is over, but I actually enjoy the tree more after the craziness of the holidays are over. It seems peaceful somehow. We decorated our tree with white lights and star shaped ornaments on Winter Solstice in the spirit of celebrating the return of light and lengthening of days, and welcomed the new solar year with reflections on the year that had passed and wishes for the new year to come. Tomorrow we'll put our Christmas tree in amongst the other trees behind our house to provide additional shelter for some of the little woodland critters - should we ever get some snow! Happy New Year everyone! Here's to another spin around the sun!!