Friday, March 24, 2017

First a flood and now...mice?! PLEASE NO!

I was already beside myself with stress given the current situation of our house being torn apart.  We got word yesterday that the drywall will be put up next Tuesday (so basically 2 weeks after the flood), followed by painting the next day, and carpets the next.  I don’t know how they’re planning to do all the drywall in one day when they only have 2 drywallers and whenever they’ve done drywall here before they’ve only had a few walls to do in one day and it took the entire day just for that.  But that’s what we’re being told.

That doesn’t answer what’s happening with the back door, which due to not being properly sealed has caused the actual frame that is part of what holds the building together to start rotting away.

To make matters way worse than I thought they could be at this point, our next door neighbour came over this morning to inform me that they’ve had a problem with mice in their house for a week now.  Management is of course doing nothing and saying ‘maybe next week’ they’ll get someone to come have a look.  She’s caught 8 mice as of today, and can hear them in the walls upstairs at night time.

I AM TERRIFIED OF MICE AND RATS.  Like, intensely.  To the point that I would have a serious panic attack if I saw one in our house and I literally don’t know how I’d be able to handle going through that right now given everything else that’s going on.

I haven’t seen any signs of mice in our house, and since she mentioned it to me I’ve looked everywhere I can.  Of course, our upstairs in particular looks like an episode of Hoarders at the moment, which is NOT our normal but has been since the flood since everything we could take upstairs from downstairs is cluttering every room and space imaginable up there.  So I’m even more concerned now thinking they have a lot of extra places to hide in our house right now.

Every single little noise I hear now is giving me the heebee jeebees because I think it’s a mouse in the wall!  And given half our walls are non-existent, they wouldn’t have to make any effort to get into our home.

I CAN’T TAKE THIS, seriously I can’t even!  I am going crazy inside.  I just want to move SO BADLY.  I don’t feel safe/comfortable/happy here.  And what makes everything worse is having a management company that skirts around every issue possible, cuts corners on every job that they can, so that we’re left picking up the pieces whenever anything happens.  If they just dealt with things properly, and made the effort to actually get things done when they should be, it wouldn’t irk tenants so much to know we’re paying a lot of money given all the issues that happen here.  I am so beside myself it’s not even funny, not that any of this has EVER been the least bit humorous.

The Flood

(I wrote this on March 20th, so it has now been a week and 2 days...) (I also am way too wrought up right now to proofread so I apologize in advance if I was too wordy!)

It has been an insane almost-week that has felt more like a month at least.  The word ‘whirlwind’ comes to mind, though in reality it was more like a ‘whirlpool.’

Tuesday the 14th was my dad’s 65th birthday.  We’d hosted his party on the Saturday before, which I’m thankful for since if we’d waited to have his party the next weekend, it would have been cancelled.

On his actual day, he and my mom came over later in the afternoon and we visited and then closer to the time that James would be getting home from work we ordered some take away.  The plan was Chinese Food, but our go-to place was closed so we decided on Greek, which ended up being really good.  We had strawberry tall cake with ice cream for dessert.  After my parents left and the kids were in bed, James and I checked out a comedian show on Netflix, Mike Birbiglia.  I highly recommend checking him out.  His show was really funny, and all around enjoyable.  I didn’t find him at all offensive, although of course that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t offend anyone!  I just found his comedy to be the kind I really like.  I’m glad we got to have those laughs, because in all honesty it would be our last for a while!  (I haven’t found myself laughing much at all since).

I didn’t go to bed that night till just before 2am, which in some ways I was kicking myself for as I headed up to bed, because I really do need to start going to bed earlier, and I really do crave better rest, which I’m not going to get if I go to bed that late.  In my defence, however, with it being Spring Break, I was finding the kids SO GOOD about letting me get up on my own, and I’d had sleep ins on both Monday and Tuesday, which was glorious.  The clocks changed last Saturday so my internal clock was a bit wonky, and so it may not have been all that much of a sleep in truly, but it was better than I’d be getting on a school morning.  I actually thought for a second that I was in for TWO WEEKS of awesome sleep ins, that have literally never happened for me in over 8 years (before Andrew was born).  Well, apparently I jinxed myself.

I half-awoke to the realization that EVERYONE was in the bedroom, and without even opening my eyes I knew it was early and my first reaction in my head was, ‘Why am I being woken up so early, it’s SPRING BREAK!!!’  Then my eyes were forced quickly open to James talking, although I’ve got to give it to him, he was very calm and talking in the nicest way possible, under the circumstances!  He said, ‘I don’t want you to freak out, but something very serious happened downstairs, and I need you to get up right now and help me with it!’  I knew nothing had happened to any of the kids since they were all there too, just quietly staring at me (they all had to know I wasn’t going to be pleased with what I was about to see!)  I said, 'What is it?!' And James said something along the lines of, 'Well, imagine the worst leak we've had...and it's way worse than that.' I shot out of bed, grabbed my glasses and went down the stairs to see several inches of water EVERYWHERE throughout the entire downstairs of our house.

Downstairs is everything aside from our bedrooms and our full bathroom.  So we’re talking living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom/laundry room, under the stairs (although the top step under the stairs, where all our xmas stuff and other random things are kept was only just starting to get wet, so LUCKILY, VERY luckily nothing was water-damaged in there), front hall/shoe area, hall closet....Literally every square inch of it was in enough water to come up over the entire sole of my flip flops, and they’re at least if-not-more double-thick flip flops compared to the basic ones you can get!  

I’d never seen anything like it.  I know it could have been far worse (it has since been brought to my attention that ‘it could have been sewage backup’ and yes, that would have been far, far worse, and now I will probably have nightmares that it will happen to us, because PARANOIA/PTSD - both of which I’m feeling effects of over what happened.  Not kidding.)

But it literally is the craziest situation like this that I’ve ever been in, and I found myself going into a sudden state of shock and panic both at the same time.  We quickly made sure the main water to the house was completely off, I ran upstairs and peed and threw some clothes on (thank goodness for capri leggings, since my pj pants were of no use to me with so much water!)  I called the emergency line for maintenance and left a voicemail.  I called my dad, who by this point was at work an hour’s drive away.  I didn’t ask him to leave work and come over, just for advice on what we should be doing first because I was so overwhelmed, no pun intended but my head was ‘swimming!’  (But my dad ended up leaving work immediately and came to help us, which ended up being a lifesaver because my dad is awesome and so knowledgeable about so many things and a true Jack Of All Trades.  If not for him, the whole process of even finding the source of the leak would have taken longer, because the actual maintenance people were slow (which is not surprising because everything is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with the management company...no offence meant to the real Mickey at all!))

I called the manager’s mobile right after I hung up with my dad and she ended up calling me back soon after and said that she’d left a message with the plumber but didn’t have an ETA, other than that he was notified.  I texted a neighbour friend of ours from a few houses down, which sadly had a huge leak throughout his place before as well (all our neighbours have had leaks), and he came over a little while later to take a look/take some video for documentation/and also brought us some water so we could make some coffee, which was much appreciated!

We just started frantically moving things and it was crazy to discover just how much stuff we have, and how much of it can’t be near that much water!  THANK GAWD neither our family laptop nor James’ work computer were on the floor, as we often had a habit of just resting them against a piece of furniture on the floor at night time.  I say ‘had’ because NEVER AGAIN, obviously.  It would have killed me to have lost those, or our backup thingie, which thankfully was tucked safely in a cupboard and the power cord didn’t fry.  The power cord to James’ work laptop didn’t survive, though - he had a meeting at 9 that he had no choice but to attend, so when he took his computer upstairs to plug it in he found the adapter got super hot and seemed like it was going to do something bad so he unplugged it.  When he tested it again later it was for sure toast.  So he couldn’t work more than a few minutes because his computer was almost without power, although he wouldn’t have been getting much work done anyway because there was way too much house stuff to do.

We just kept moving things, and the plumber fixed the leak.  He then informed me that all the walls in the house with pipes would be cut in order to change ALL the pipes in the house, which they would be doing the next day.

I LITERALLY PAINTED OUR ENTIRE HOUSE LAST YEAR AND ALMOST EVERY WALL WAS GOING TO BE CUT OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was (and still am) so upset.  This was by far the worst leak we’ve ever experienced, but it was also our TENTH since moving here 4 years ago!  That’s insane.  And this is not the first leak to cause a lot of damage, although it wasn’t to this extent.  All the downstairs carpet had to be replaced in December of 2014 due to a leak IN THE EXACT SAME PLACE as this leak.  I guess we just caught it earlier, because it didn’t travel into the rest of the downstairs area, and it wasn’t nearly as deep either.  But still.  Something’s gotta give, I am completely NOT ok with this continuing to happen, always having to live in fear of what’s next because the workers do such shitty work time and time again.

A little later the carpet people came and ripped up all our carpet and the underlay and sucked out as much of the water as they could and then brought a big fan in.  (When they first came in they said they were going to try to save the carpets and just get as much water our as possible - SERIOUSLY! It was a few inches of water EVERYWHERE! They realized once they cut them up that they wouldn't have been able to get that much water out, but imagine if we'd said OK to that, we would have major mould issues starting by now!) We also had them get as much of the water as they could out of our living room rug THAT I JUST BOUGHT ABOUT 6 WEEKS AGO FOR $250!!!!!  I was totally freaking about my rug, since I LOVE that rug and looked around at a million stores before I found it, and now it’s tainted.  But anyway...that and my new ‘pouf’ chair, which I got for $75 with the gift card I got for my birthday from a group of my friends.  It got soaked right through and while I THINK it’s dry now, I’m not entire convinced it doesn’t have an odour to it that could get worse with time.  We will have to see.  (I’m also concerned about our couch, which luckily does have legs but it still managed to get quite wet in parts and could end up with mould issues in time).

Anyway…

So the rug was left to dry and literally only seemed dry as of yesterday, so it took 6 days to dry out.  I THINK it’s salvaged but it’s definitely not the same as it was, and it’s definitely dirty and just not the new rug I had before this happened.

The XBOX was in water, since we had it on the floor (which we never will again!) but LUCKILY it managed to survive.  We put it in front of a fan for a day and a half before we even attempted to turn it on, and it worked.  I would have been so heartbroken for the kids if they’d lost that since we just got it for them for Christmas.  The power adapter for James’ work computer fried, and he lost a full day of work because he couldn’t put in any hours once he lost power to his computer.  Luckily his work replaced the cord, but that doesn’t account for the fact that he had to use up a vacation day because of this stupid leak.

We lost several books from my childhood that had been on the floor, as well as some puzzles (although thankfully not the ones that were from my brother and my early childhood, which would have killed me a little to lose!)  There is some furniture that only time will tell whether it’s OK, as it’s possible with particle board stuff that it will warp, and we have yet to test out the subwoofer which was quite saturated with water, as well as the piano pedals, which were in water.  The feet for the piano are thankfully plastic, but water getting in where the pedals are may have rendered them useless.  Which would really be upsetting considering I gave that to James for Christmas and it cost me around $150 between buying and the shipping charges.

I know it could have been much worse.  But, you know, it also could have just NOT HAPPENED.  And the thing that really pisses me off is that IT SHOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED considering that area was supposedly replaced just a short time ago, which means whoever did the job didn’t do it properly.  Knowing that all of this was completely avoidable makes me angry.

I’m sure I’m forgetting things that were damaged but it’s all such a blur right now and I felt like I was just thrown into this crazy mode where I was both panicking and completely numb at the same time.  In some ways those feelings haven’t changed a whole lot since.

I should mention my dad had taken Andrew back to my parents’ place and left him with my mom, and a little later (before the carpet people had arrived) I took the girls over and the kids stayed with my mom for the day so that James, my dad and I could just work on moving things and figuring things out at home.  That was a lifesaver because I can’t imagine being as stressed as I was and in that crazy situation and also have the kids in my care the entire day! I picked them up around dinner time, swung home to get James, and we went to Boston Pizza for dinner.  The dining room was chockablock full of stuff and unusable, and the kitchen wasn’t much better, and with everything we’d been through there was no way I was up to cooking a meal.  We ate there, and then came home and James set the TV up in our bedroom so the kids would at least have some entertainment, because even their toys in their bedrooms were a disaster because everything from downstairs was randomly placed upstairs and it was just CHAOS.

So the norm has become that everyone piles onto our bed and watches TV in our what-feels-like tiny cramped bedroom.  In reality we have a big bedroom, and thank goodness for that because it’s currently storing a LOT from our living room!  So it’s crammed in and it feels claustrophobic to me when we’re all in there for hours and hours on end, since there’s really nowhere else to go in our house.  We spend the majority of our time in there for sure.

So the day after the flood, workers came and spent the entire day cutting down walls and changing pipes.  When they were done they told me that a cleaner had been in to clean up, but literally NOTHING was clean.  I wasn’t expecting there to be no dust, but I didn’t expect the toilets to be left with dust all over them, or for there to be a layer of drywall dust on every piece of fruit in our kitchen, the counters, etc.  There’s no way anyone ‘cleaned’ ANYTHING.  Also, they hadn’t covered our couch with plastic, only one chair was covered, so literally EVERYTHING else has massive amounts of dust, and not realizing it I sat down on the couch and a huge cloud of drywall dust came up at my face and I could taste it.  After having just finished cleaning the kitchen as best I could and the toilets and the stuff we would NEED clean for the next day, I had to spend the late evening vacuuming the dust out of the couch.

Oh and to add insult to injury, when I was cleaning up the kitchen I discovered that the workers had dropped something ON THE BRAND NEW COUNTERS THAT HAD LITERALLY BEEN INSTALLED LESS THAN 2 WEEKS EARLIER and CHIPPED one of the counters.  Seriously.

Also, my great grandmother’s antique sugar container had been used as a step stool (I could see by the footprints on top) and the lid was indented (and now always will be because it’s nearly 100 years if not older and obviously can’t be fixed.

I’m sure there’s more, too, I know there is…

I can’t even remember that evening...But I do know that day I talked with management and they said that replacing the drywall wouldn’t be happening till Monday or Tuesday.  The next day was Friday (St. Patrick’s Day) and James had the day booked off as a vacation day so we could do something fun during Spring Break as a family.  (Spring Break was/is all last week and this week here).  I was already feeling bummed that James had booked a day off that wouldn’t be as fun nor relaxing as we had originally planned it to be, but they have a policy at his office where if you book a day you shouldn’t change it around without some notice.  I told management that since they’d told us no one was starting the drywall the next day, that just a heads up to know we would be going out by around noon and wouldn’t be home for several hours, as given it was a vacation day, I didn’t want to be waiting around at home all day for workers to come over.  I was assured that nothing would be starting till Monday at the earliest, so that was fine.  The only thing we had to be home for was the carpet people (different than the ones who ripped it all out) who would be coming at some point to measure the area.  Which worked out because they arrived around 10:30 or so and it was done in a flash.  (And might I add, unlike ANYONE who works directly for the management company we rent from, who never introduce themselves or say why they’re here), the carpet guy introduced himself, told me the company he works for, and was immediately pleasant and made sure it was OK to come in to take the measurements.  Which is what I’d expect from anyone even remotely professional.  Which I guess is why people who work directly for the management company DON’T do that, because let’s face it, they are NOT professionals.

We also had to have a maintenance guy come and reattach the hoses to the pipes for the washer, because the guys the day before had not informed me that our washer wasn’t re-hooked up, and I needed to wash some stuff that was covered in drywall dust due to no one covering anything.  He also had to fix a fuse for the electrical in the upstairs bathroom because obviously it was blown the day before from all the equipment the workers were using, and of course our panel doesn’t say the right thing for what breaker is for what so we had tried to no avail to fix it ourselves.  Luckily all of that got done before noon when we wanted to head out, and as well the other carpet guy had come back and collected his big fan.  The place was mostly dry by that point but under the stairs still needed more time, and of course our rug that still needed days of drying.  Luckily we have several fans so we brought them downstairs and set them up where need be and ran them 24/7 for days.

So Friday afternoon we went and checked out what was happening for ‘Feel Good Fridays’ at Brentwood Mall.  They have a DJ every Friday afternoon, and some other fun ‘free’ thing (like the one time I took the kids and they had a caricaturist who drew such cute pics of the kids that we had them laminated and put on their walls!)  This week it was a free 5 minute massage, which James ended up partaking in but it was too bad there wasn’t something more fun for the kids.  That being said, they made several song requests to the DJ and he came through for them (after some waiting!) and their songs got played, which was pretty cool, and they did some dancing.  They requested Scream and Shout by Will.I.Am and Britney, Good Feeling by Flo Rida, and something else that escapes me at the moment.

We went to Taco Time for lunch because I again couldn’t fathom going home and having to cook, especially since that day we had the stove pulled out into the middle of the kitchen, as well as the fridge, in order to dry out the sides of the cabinets where water had seeped.

That evening I went on my own to Walmart and bought some plastic bins to put our Christmas stuff in because I had a lot of it in cardboard and NOTHING can be in cardboard in this house every again.  LUCKILY the water hadn’t made it’s way high enough under the stairs yet to cause damage, because everything in their is on a step above the floor.  The wooden board was only just starting to soak through with water, which would have ruined our Christmas tree  and other ornaments if the leak had gone another hour I’m guessing.  So I got 4 bins which cost me about $60 and that was with the bins being on sale.  And I’m going to need to get more before all is said and done.

On Saturday I went out for a while on my own because I just couldn’t stand being at home given the conditions, and a little later because it was so sunny out (although it ended up being freezing cold and windy despite the sun) we took the kids for a walk at Deer Lake and then to the Burnaby Village Museum so they could enjoy a few rides on the carousel.  

On Sunday I took Andrew to his dance class to be able to get out for a while, and then I don’t even remember the rest of the day.  Everything is a blur to me right now!  I think we had the kids playing out in the backyard a bit, even though it was still cold it was sunny again.  We just can’t keep them cooped up inside upstairs in our room all hours of the day, but there also isn’t much we can do when the weather isn’t cooperating to be outside (and of course now we’re back to rain so the yard isn’t even an option).

On Monday the manager came by to look at what had been done and I had a chat with her about things.  I had left a note for her at the office on the weekend so she had got that, which detailed my displeasure with how things were being handled in terms of the damage being caused by the people who were supposed to be ‘fixing’ things, and the fact that I want some monetary compensation for what we’re going through this time.  The fact is, with all the leaks we’ve had in these past 4 years we’ve had a lot of upheaval and have spent a lot of time waiting around for workers and cleaning up after them because NO ONE EVER CLEANS UP AFTER THEMSELVES around here.  I am so beyond tired of how much of a disruption this is, and I’m not ok with paying full rent for a living space that is half, if not more, unusable.  Enough is enough and I feel we deserve some compensation for what we’ve been put through.  We’ve had way more than our fair share of issues here, and the vast majority of them were avoidable because if they had people doing the work the first time who were actually qualified and knew what they were doing, we wouldn’t be in this situation at all.  Why should we have to pay for their mistakes?!  

I was basically told that it was beyond her control but that the drywall wouldn’t even START to be redone until ‘at least’ next week, meaning this whole week we are left in limbo, and even then there is no actual date for when they’ll be starting.  She said there would be no monetary compensation unless I take the issue to arbitration.  She first said that there would be absolutely no reimbursement for the paint I would have to buy in order to repaint it the colour I chose (because there’s no freaking way I am going back to the beige they would paint it!)  I spent hundreds to paint our house last year, only finished it a couple of months ago, and when I think I put so much effort into it and all my ‘spare time’ of which I have so little to begin with, and then I have to rebuy the paint because of the errors of the unskilled workers who didn’t fix the pipes properly last time?!  Seriously?!  That just doesn’t sit well with me AT ALL.  By the end of our conversation she said that she could make it work that they would buy one can of paint, which sure if better than none at all but it’s still completely not good enough.

Obviously she herself wanted to make some effort to appease me, so that afternoon she had her maintenance guys come and ‘fix’ the drywall above the light fixture in the kitchen.  Which all I will say about that is, luckily no one can actually see it.  They fixed the drywall by duct taping pieces of drywall to the outline of drywall that was still there.  I couldn’t have done that myself, really, but whatever.  I can’t even question it at this point.  Luckily other than leaving some drywall bits and dust in the sink and our new kitchen faucet that we bought and installed ourselves after our new counters were installed 2 weeks ago (because our old one leaked and had a bucket catching water from under the sink area for YEARS because no one would ever come to fix it...and the guy told me it needed replaced but that they only had the same style which would have the same problem so I was better off buying what I wanted myself...so I did...for a rental unit...and you better believe I will take it with me when we move from here one day, too, even if I don’t need it where we’re going!!) they actually did clean up after themselves, which I am sure they were told they’d better for fear I would drop off another letter of my disdain!!!  But seriously, who could blame me for that?!   This is beyond unacceptable at this point.

So I basically told the manager I WOULD be taking this to arbitration if nothing is offered to us for compensation because this is beyond being unfair.  After setting up to have the maintenance guys come to ‘fix’ the drywall above the kitchen lights, she called again to say that the flooring in the very front of the house (vinyl) could be installed the next (yesterday) morning.  She had told me when she was here on Monday that they’d be done, but last because it was the least priority of everything we needed done.  But it turned out it was the only thing available to be done and that they’d be too busy to do it if it was left any later so best to get it done now.  So that was done all day yesterday, while the kids and I were basically confined to upstairs, which by early afternoon was proving to be hellish because we were all totally stir crazy.  But at least the floors in the front did get done, and I’m glad we have actual baseboards now and not the ugly plastic ones we used to have.  Which we still have in the bathrooms but I’m hoping to have them replaced soon, too.  We can get tile put into the downstairs bathroom but I’m kind of hoping to leave the linoleum since it’s easier to clean.  We’ll see what happens there.

The workers were friendly enough, and over all I do like the more modern look of the new floor, but of course it’s not without its flaws, too.  There are areas that are cut too short and don’t match up, and the way it’s cut around the bathroom door area is questionable.  I also had to use an exacto knife to cut down one piece that was way too long on one part and was already lifting up.  Several pieces need more glue under them.  A friend who installs flooring as a living came over to check out their job and even had to lift one of the pieces up because it was sticking up so high in the middle and it turned out there were a pebble underneath the vinyl.  This is what we’re up against!  If you don’t look too closely at the things, they tend to look OK, but the closer you look the more you’re going to notice that things aren’t quite how they should be, and that pretty much sums up everything around here, aside from the stuff we’ve done ourselves.

I should make note as well of the fact that the back door is creating so much condensation (which I’ve been mentioning to management for at least 3 years now, but was obviously a problem long before we even moved here) that it is now rotting the wood frame around the door/window, which is part of what holds the house together!  I mentioned to the manager what the problem is and the only way to fix it but didn’t get an actual answer as to what will be done about it.  There are so many other problems that desperately need attention, too, such as our carport roof that eventually WILL cave in, it’s not a matter of if, but when, and the gutters that all need to be replaced.  They were cleaned recently, but our neighbour’s gutter has fallen and is hanging into their yard, and ours leaks through the middle and isn’t even functioning and now I worry it could fall, too, and potentially hurt the kids if they happened to be outside.  SO MANY THINGS.

As the saying goes, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day,’ and I’m aware that despite how much needs to be done, it can’t all be done immediately.  But I would at the very least expect they’d get the drywall done right away so that the painting could be completed, so that the carpet could be installed, so that we could get our house back to working order and feel like we’re actually LIVING here, and then get the rest done in a timely fashion.  It really doesn’t have to be as complicated as it’s made out to be, it just has to actually happen.

Another side note, the dryer ducts by law have to be cleaned out 'in a timely fashion' - most places I know of do it once per year...and it’s been well over 2 years now since ours were done, and they’ve been done once since we’ve lived here and who knows how long it had been before that.  They only did it the one time because I asked them to.  Our neighbours who I’ve talked to have lived here several years longer than us and have literally NEVER had theirs done.  That’s a fire hazard!  Our furnace only gets serviced if we request it and even then they do it only once per year when it should be every 6 months according to one furnace inspector I spoke with.  They had our chimney cleaned for us once a few years ago, which should be done every 2 years at most but have no said they will no longer do that for us and we have to pay to have it done ourselves.  Like I said, there are SO MANY THINGS.  And yet they’ve raised our rent starting May 1 by $62 per month, and what are we getting?!  We are going to be paying that much more soon, and they won’t even compensate us for all the crap we’ve been dealt since we moved in.  What a total slap in the face.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Last Day of Preschool for my 'Babies' :S

Today is the girls’ very last day of preschool!  I told James last night that I was feeling a bit sentimental about that, and he said, ‘But don’t they start pre-Kindergarten next month?!’  Yes...they do...and at the same school...and as I found out this morning, with the same teacher...But still!!!  Pre-K will be more about learning and getting ready for Kindergarten, whereas their preschool was just about playing and getting used to a bit of a routine.  Most of the kids in their class just turned 3 and are like babies compared to the girls (which is crazy, seeing how different kids are just from age 3 to 4!)  In pre-k they are likely to be some of the youngest kids rather than the oldest, given that they don’t turn 5 till 6 weeks into the school year.

Anyway, not sure why, but I do get sentimental about these things!  On the other hand, the part of me that doesn’t love change is excited to know that they’ll have their same teacher and will be in the same classroom, which will make the transition a piece of cake (for them AND for me!)

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Feeling happier + Kids update

I just realized that tomorrow is the 1st of March...Wow, this year is already flying by!  Not complaining though, since we’re getting closer to Spring which I kind of can’t wait for at this point.  As I look out the window and watch the SNOW falling...yes, snow...AGAIN...We’ve had more snow here this winter than we’ve had in many years combined.  So done with it!

We’ve had 3 good mornings before school - last Friday, yesterday, and today, and I am really noticing the difference it makes in my days over all.  I think Andrew may be ‘getting it’, too, that by being happier in the mornings Mommy is happier, too.  I’m really hoping it’s becoming a pattern.  It's true what they say - 'If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.' I can’t expect to never have rough mornings with the kids, but every day should not be the norm.  I feel so much better emotionally right now than I have in a while.  Obviously our mornings aren’t the only contributing factor, but it’s one of the biggest, I think.

On Saturday I attended a Ladies’ Night Out event with several friends.  We get together at one of their houses and drink and play games and it was just what I needed.  We played about a million rounds of Cards Against Humanity, and a bit of Catch Phrase and laughed so much.  It was great.  I only had 4 coolers, which is less than I’ve drank the other times we’ve had these Ladies’ Nights.  The other times I may have felt tired the next day but certainly not hung over.  Well on Sunday morning I was barf central and my head was pounding and I thought I was going to die.  It was bad.  I was also worried because we had plans to go to my aunt’s birthday party downtown that afternoon and there was no way I was going to make it if those symptoms kept up.  (When we got the invite to her party I was at least honest and said what my plans were for the night before, so if I couldn’t go it wouldn’t have been a total surprise!)  I knew I would feel bad if I didn’t get to go, though, because my parents and brother and sil and cousin were all going to be there, too, and I wanted to see everyone.  

Luckily I have the awesomest husband ever, and he took point with the kids till it was time to take Andrew to his dance class.  When they left I dragged myself out of bed because the girls wanted me to be downstairs with them, and I pulled myself together and even managed to make a big breakfast/brunch for us to eat before we left for the party.  I still felt off for the rest of the day but not to the point that I was throwing up.  Crazy, I have no idea what happened there but obviously I didn’t drink enough water, and maybe the fact that we all brought fairly unhealthy foods to share didn’t help my stomach either!  It was still really fun, though, and we already have another date in mind for next time.  I will be extra careful about how much I drink though, since clearly I can’t handle booze!  (And of course I don’t ‘have’ to drink at all, it’s not like I’m being forced to, it’s just fun to be able to let loose every once in a while, so I want to be able to...I just wish my body could handle it better afterwards!)

I feel like I don’t update enough on the kids and the actual details of what they’re up to and all of that.  There’s so little time to really think about the little things when living them day to day, but I wish I could hold on to all the little memories of what they say and do because they’re so delightful (much of the time, anyway!!)  

Andrew is really into reading now, he finishes chapter books so fast and I know he’s really reading them because afterwards he talks all about the stories and his favourite parts.  My cousin-in-law gave him a Star Wars book on Sunday and by yesterday morning he had read the whole thing and was taking the little quizzes at the back of the book!  He’s obsessed with Star Wars and thoroughly enjoyed going to see Rogue One with Daddy several weeks ago.  But his absolute fave is Force Awakens and in particular all things Kylo Ren.  He loves math and science and has taken up writing in a little journal on a fairly regular basis.  He’s a smart boy, and while he can be very attitudinal with me at times these days, he’s also a very sweet, and kind little guy.  I guess he’s not so little anymore, he’s actually grown up a ton already this past year, but he’s still my baby boy in some ways.  He doesn’t cuddle as much as he used to but he does still enjoy cuddles.  He doesn’t hold my hand anymore when we’re out together, although he probably would take my hand if I suggested it!  I sometimes catch myself automatically going to take his hand if we’re crossing the street or whatever, but then I remind myself that he’s 8 and he really shouldn’t have to hold my hand for such things anymore!  It’s hard sometimes, that realization that he’s growing up so quickly.  He’s still not shy to give me a kiss before he heads into his classroom in the morning, and I would say I’m the only parent getting a hug and kiss like that, but I know it’s only a matter of time before that’s a thing of the past as well!  Last year he would practically be attacking me with hugs and kisses before school, whereas now it’s a quick hug and kiss, but he’s still not shy about it!  I often drop him off and pick him up now without even getting out of the van, I just park close to where his classroom is and he makes his way to and from on his own.  Although I won’t be able to do that next year as once the girls are in Kindergarten I will be back to spending 15-20 minutes in the classroom every morning, but he’ll be having to make his way to his class on his own.  It’s kind of a saving grace now to have their age difference between them, because he’s old enough to do things on his own that way, whereas if he was a few years younger I would be stressing over how I’d get him to class and make sure he felt safe and happy while also not getting the girls to class late.  Obviously people do it and manage just fine, but Andrew was such a mama’s boy and such a little cling-on that I don’t think he’d have handled it entirely well if we’d had to do things that way!

Margaret and Emily are so sweet and wonderful (nope, I’m not the least bit biased!!)  They still play really well together for the most part.  Margaret will still bite Emily once in awhile if she’s annoyed with her for something, but it’s fairly infrequent now.  She doesn’t bite anyone else, just her sister!  Poor Emily!  She’s my Golden Girl.  LOL  She can still be super whiny every now and then which in all honesty can grate my nerves, but most of the time she is so well-behaved and just not really a troublemaker in the least.  She doesn’t like to get in trouble, and even if she’s not in trouble but a voice is raised for any reason whatsoever and she thinks it’s directed at her, she will start bawling.  She’s quite sensitive!  But she’s also very secure and happy, and just has a very sweet nature to her.  So does Margaret.  As much as she is the mischievous one and sometimes will fudge the truth a bit because she knows she’s done something naughty, she is such a little sweetheart.  Very compassionate toward others, and will even remember months after seeing someone to ask how they’re doing as she’ll remember whatever may have been ailing them the last time we visited.  She’s a people person for sure, and an animal lover (especially dogs).  Emily is more shy than her sister but is definitely opening up a lot, which I’ve really noticed recently at the school.  On some of the nicer days (cold, but sunny) we’ve stuck around after school to play at the playground and both the girls have so many friends who are around Andrew’s age.  Margaret tends to go off and, after running around for a bit, sits with some of the girls and chats as if she’s in grade 2 or 3 like they are!  Whereas Emily finds another group of friends and plays tag or hide and seek with them.  I love that they are such close sisters and do love to be near each other, but are also individually confident enough to do their own thing and have their own group of friends.

The girls love their dolls and dollhouse, Barbies and stuffies.  Emily gravitates more toward dolls and the smaller toys like Barbies and dollhouse stuff.  Or Lego, or pretty much anything she can set up.  One thing I find really cute with all 3 kids is that they call a lot of their toys their ‘set.’  Where is my Lego set, or let’s play with my castle set, etc.  Margaret loves all those types of toys, too, but tends to have a bit less of an attention span for playing with things like that for a longer period of time.  I think Emily has the best attention span of all 3 kids for staying focused on something, and her most favourite thing in the world is for someone to sit down and play with her.  Margaret is obsessed with stuffies and would own a million of them if she could.  She’s already getting close!!  We have a ridiculous amount of stuffed toys.  It’s actually out of control.  But she truly loves them, and goes through cycles of which are her favourites.  Before bed she will pick which one she will want for the night, and I am to ‘warm it up’ for her and then when I go to bed, give it to her along with ‘going right by her side and kissing her 6 times, and Emmy, too!’ :D  She expects me to sit there all evening with the stuffed animal being warmed up by my armpit, when in reality I leave the stuffy by the stairs to remind myself to take it up with me when I’m going to bed!  Margaret still often wakes up several times before I go to bed but is fairly good about not waking us up through the night even if she does wake up.  The kids would all be up by 6am every morning if they had their way, but they’re ‘trained’ now to wait for James (or me, but let’s face it, it’s usually James!) to get up, which is usually closer to 7am lately.  Even if they’re awake they just lay in bed waiting till someone gets up so they can go downstairs.  We’d love for them to just get up on their own and go downstairs and play or watch a show on their own, but it hasn’t happened yet!

The kids are pretty much up for anything, and I look forward to all the fun we’ll have out at parks and doing spring and summery stuff in the coming months.  With them being that much older now, they’re even more able to do things without James and I having to rip our hair out.  We took them to a park on Saturday afternoon and actually stopped by Starbucks to get ourselves coffee (Mmmm, Chai Tea Latte!  I only have Starbucks a few times a year so it’s such a treat and I always get the same thing!) and told them we wanted to be able to just sit and sip our drinks while they played and they LISTENED!  We were shocked, as usually even if we said that there’s no way it would actually happen.  We did push them on the swings and play hide and seek with them, but not till after we’d both actually finished our drinks and enjoyed just sitting together for a bit.  We honestly thought this day would never come, but it did!

Birthday Celebrations

Despite not getting to go out on my ‘birthday weekend’, my parents came over for nibblies and cake on my actual day.  The cake was a DQ cookie dough blizzard ice cream cake!  YUM!  It was done completely with pink icing and black lettering so it looked really beautiful, it was unlike any DQ cake I’ve ever seen.  I was just happy it all worked out that we weren’t eating ice cream soup, as the power went out the night before and if it had stayed out like a lot of other people’s power had, it would not have been so pretty!  Luckily it was only out for an hour and a half.

A few days after my birthday I put the last bit of cake into a smaller container and put the big plastic DQ cake plate and lid outside our front door.  I sealed it up before doing so, and told James he could deal with it in the morning.  It still had a bit of icing inside and tiny bits of ice cream that I didn’t scrape off the bottom, but it was sealed with the lid so I figured it was no big deal to just put it outside.  Wrong!  Around 11pm I heard a loud noise outside.  At first I thought it was the icy rain that was in the forecast, but as I got closer to the front of the house to investigate, I knew that wasn’t it because the noise was coming from right outside the front door and the door area is covered so rain wouldn’t hit against it even with heavy winds.  I looked through the peephole but couldn’t see anything, but realized right away that it had to be an animal trying to get into the ice cream container!

I was too afraid to open the door for fear that whatever it was would get into the house and/or attack me, so I quickly flicked the outdoor light on and off and I saw just a hint of something run off beside our van.  Then I heard the noise again of the cake plate moving around but still couldn’t see anything, so I turned off the lights inside and peered out the front window.  From there I could see one of the biggest raccoons ever,  madly licking the last bit of icing off the cake tray over by our van.  LOL!  It was kind of hilarious.  It definitely didn’t look like it was his first experience with cake.  I can’t get over how big it was!  He finished up and left, and luckily James was still up so I was able to get him to go out and collect up the garbage and bring it back inside for the night so it wouldn’t be strewn over the carport for the neighbours to see in the morning!

Luckily the snow melted with all the heavy rain we got and last weekend James and I were finally able to get out for a date night.  My parents came over to watch the kids, and they brought some treats for them and we ordered pizza so they wouldn’t have to worry about dinner.  We also got the movie Denace the Menace (from the early 90s) so they had a new movie to watch (which ended up being a huge hit with the kids!)  James and I decided to transit to our destination so that we could both have some drinks.  We skytrained to New West Station and originally were going to eat at El Santo (which we’ve both heard is good) but then saw Hops Pub right at New West Station and decided to go there instead.  We liked the idea of being able to sit outside under the heat lamps, despite how wintery it still was outside.  It was so toasty warm under the lamps that we had our jackets off, so it felt like a warm summer evening!  We shared a plate of nachos and drank beer and it was just wonderful to be out just the two of us.

After that we headed over to Lafflines for the 8pm show.  We got there right at 7 thinking it would be crazy busy (we’ve only ever been to the comedy club downtown, where it IS super busy as soon as it opens!) but it turns out we actually had plenty of time to arrive and the place never filled up entirely.  We got a great little table right near the stage but off to the side, which was perfect, and we ordered drinks and chatted and it was just a really fun time.  The show itself was good, there were 3 people before the main act and one of them in particular was HILARIOUS.  I can’t remember his name but he was a black guy who was going blind and he talked about his blackness and his blindness and his delivery of everything was so funny.  It was worth it to go just to see him!  The main performer was John Beuhler and while I did find him funny at times, I could have left part way through and been fine with that.  Comedians are really hit and miss for me, and he’s 39 and single and goes on a lot about that, which just doesn’t really resonate with me.  He went on a lot about being single, the online dating world, how he feels about other people’s children, and so on...which is fine to a point, but after a while it just gets annoying and I couldn’t help but think to myself I know exactly why you’re still single!  It was just plain annoying to me after a while.  But not to the point that it was ruining my evening out, I had a great time with James and I’m so glad we went.  I wouldn’t pay to see his act again, but it was a great night out nonetheless!  It was just so nice to have an actual date night, and feel like we were out for a decent chunk of time and did something we didn’t normally do.  I also had a 2 for 1 coupon for Lafflines from the Entertainment Book, so that was a bonus, too!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Winter's almost over!

The sun is actually peeking out through the clouds this morning.  I’m really hoping the winter is behind us now, although rumour has it that it might snow again this Friday.  I’m choosing not to believe it.  

I’m so looking forward to the nicer weather, and a bit of weight has lifted off my shoulders knowing that we have the entire Spring and Summer right around the corner.  Winter is almost over!  Hallelujah!

In a few weeks Andrew will be off for 2 weeks for Spring Break.  I’m hoping it will be nice enough that we’ll be able to get our outside stuff out from storage and start thinking about using the backyard again.  I can’t wait to have our living room and off-the-kitchen room extensions back again!  So much to look forward to when Winter is done.

The girls are at preschool so I’m footloose and fancy free for another hour.  It doesn’t last long.  But it’s a little breather that makes me feel a little more refreshed for the rest of the day.

Today Andrew’s class is doing a ‘multicultural luncheon.’  We had to make something ‘from our culture’ to share with the class.  Our favourite food (aside from veggie tacos!) is Thai so Andrew joked that we should make a Thai dish and just tell everyone we’re from Thailand.  LOL!  It’s true, what is Canadian food?!  Seriously couldn’t come up with anything for that, so I made mini carrot cake cupcakes.  I even made homemade cream cheese icing that omg is DELICIOUS.  It turns out it’s unknown where carrot cake originates from, but it’s certainly popular enough here, so that’s what we did.  I’m just hoping Andrew won’t be hungry at the end of the luncheon, as from what I heard a lot of the dishes were going to have meat in them.  I told him if all else fails, he can load up on the cupcakes!  But I’m sure there will be vegetarian foods, too, and not just desserts!

Yesterday after school Andrew convinced me that we should go to the park, even though it was freezing out and I could have quite nicely just stayed home.  We were walking to a park a little farther away but then he decided we should go to the smaller park that’s closer, so we did.  The kids had a great time playing.  We were the only ones there.  I was really cold just sitting watching them, but they were warming up, with Andrew down to a t-shirt and Emily without her jacket, too.  (Margaret kept her cozy fleece on, though!)  I ended up running around with them to warm up, and we played a fun game of hide and seek, even though there weren’t all that many places to hide.  It was great to get out for some fresh air and not spend all of the witching hour stuck inside where more than likely bickering and fighting would ensue.  When we got home I found the kids quite good about playing nicely together while I got dinner sorted.

I’ve still been feeling ups and downs in terms of the blahs, but maybe it’s not as bad as it was before.  It seems to come and go.  I’m hoping as the nicer weather comes and we get out more I’ll feel even better.  

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Almost 37...

Tomorrow I turn 37.  I was chatting with a friend the other day who’s just a few days older than me, about how crazy it is that we’re already this age...In our minds we still feel like we’re so much younger, the years have just flown by so fast.  On the other hand I pointed out that one day many years from now we’ll think about being this age and it will seem so young to us, so it’s all relative!  I really don’t ‘feel old’, and I don’t think 37 is super old or anything!  But still, it feels weird to say I’ll be that age.

I want 37 to be a great year, and I want to start feeling more positive and happy and excited about life.  I feel like I’ve been in such a funk this past little while, and I have felt a bit better this past week but definitely not where I’d like to be.  

I was really looking forward to this weekend because after the leap year, I lost having my birthday on a Saturday, so this year is the first in many that I’ve had a weekend birthday.  James and I had plans to go on a date just the two of us tonight, while my parents watched the kids, and then tomorrow we’d have them over for dinner.  But instead it decided to snow like crazy, and it’s still snowing now as I type this, and so we didn’t feel comfortable with the date night (my parents are basically snowed in at the moment even more so than us since they live on a hill) so that’s that.  At this point we don’t even know if they’ll be coming over tomorrow, it all depends on the snow gods!  

I am so tired of this weather, and feeling cooped up inside all the time.  The girls and I went out front today for quite a while and I got lots of shovelling done because our complex does absolutely no plowing whatsoever and it’s just getting deeper and deeper and we don’t want it all turning to ice like it did last time.  So the girls played while I got some of that done, and then James took over.  I feel like they got some play time in the snow (Andrew is already over it since he can play in it during recess and lunch at school, and even at that tries to avoid it wherever possible!) so it’s not like there’s even any point to a family snow walk or something.  Next year I want to get a toboggan or something so we have something fun like sledding to enjoy, but for right now it’s just not happening.  

I feel like I’m at home WAY too often, I’m sick of it, and bored by almost everything at this point.  Which I know is RIDICULOUS, obviously there are things for me to do, and I’m not saying I don’t do anything.  I’m just kind of sick of the same thing all the time.  Also with the girls getting Andrew’s cold this past week, we had to break all the plans we’d made, so we weren’t even able to socialize when we’d planned to.  

I was excited that James and I would finally get some time just the two of us to go out together and I can’t help but feel blah that it’s once again not happening.  Seriously, 3 months and no date?  I just can’t believe that.  It’s lame.  It’s sad.  I don’t know how else to put it.  We do spend time together, obviously, but always being at home hanging out is getting boring.  I feel really sad that we have zero opportunities these days.

I’m blah, what can I say?!  I don’t want to be, I’m trying not to be, but it is what it is.

I hope this year proves to IMprove and be a good one.  I just need something to look forward to!

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Fiona, always in our hearts

Last night shortly after getting Margaret tucked into bed, she started sobbing.  This isn’t necessarily out of the ordinary.  (In fact, if I recall correctly she started off sobbing because she wanted a piece of cheese brought up to her and we refused to cater to that).  She’s constantly using stall tactics when it comes to bedtime, because she takes after me and has trouble falling asleep (whereas Emily loves her sleep and nods off very soon after her head hits the pillow, lucky girl!)  Margaret has even said a number of times when I’ve gone in to see why she’s not asleep yet, ‘I’ve tried and tried, but I just can’t stop my thoughts from running through my head!’  Yup, that’s me pretty much every single night, too...

So at first her sobbing was easy to ignore, but when she just couldn’t seem to stop and was muttering things between sobs that we couldn’t quite understand, James went up to see what her problem was.  (I was playing with Andrew at the time, as it wasn’t quite his bedtime yet).

I heard James ask her what the matter was, and Margaret’s reply was completely heart-wrenching.  She said (between wails), ‘I miss Fifi!’  And then I heard her explain that she was thinking about Fifi and then it hit her that she’s dead and we’ll never see her again, and it made her heart hurt.

Seriously, this is what my 4 year old is thinking about when she’s supposed to be sleeping!  I felt so bad for her, but at the same time found it amazing that her little mind is able to comprehend something so big in the same way an adult would.  Grief is hard at any age, although I know it’s not till 7-8 that it’s really supposed to hit a person (like it did for Andrew when Fiona died).  Margaret is very intuitive though, and she is so compassionate and her heart is huge.  Emily’s is, too, I’m not meaning to not include her here (twin problems - it’s always going to be a challenge making sure it’s known I’m not only praising one and not the other!  Emily also has a big heart and loves and misses her kitty cat, but Margaret does tend to think about it more deeply).  

After James consoled her for a while I went up with a little cat stuffed animal that I made for Margaret recently and told her if she was missing Fiona she could hug her stuffy.  She ended up sleeping with Pearl, our ‘Perfect Pet’ cat that looks like it’s breathing, which seemed to be a bit of a comfort to her, but she was definitely still dealing with some sadness as she went to sleep last night.  We talked a bit more about Fiona, and our happy memories of her.  We imagined what she would have done that very moment if she was still with us, and we agreed that she would probably be having her crazies, where her ears would go back and out of nowhere she’d race upstairs and into the bedrooms and then back downstairs and moan and meow.  Margaret saw the humour in that and through her tears she was also able to smile and laugh.  

She still can’t grasp where Fiona is now, which is something Emily also struggles with.  Emily will sometimes announce that we used to have a cat but she died, and that now she’s at the vet.  I keep having to explain that she WAS at the vet, because they will inevitably ask me what she’s doing at the vet and if she’s happy there.  I feel I always have to correct them on that, because I don’t want them thinking our cat got sick so we took her to the vet and left her there to stay so we wouldn’t have to look after her anymore!  I don’t know how to properly go about explaining death to 4 year olds, but I’m as open about it as I can be without totally freaking them out.  I tell them that she was at the vet, and she died there, but that after she died her body was gone.  They wanted to know where it went and in reality she was cremated but how do you tell a young child that her body was burned to ashes?  I don’t even like to think about it, in fact I feel very disturbed no matter how her body was disposed of.  It makes me feel terrible, and also completely freaks me out in relation to my own eventual death and what will be done to me, and all of us for that matter.  I’m not ‘one’ with death, let’s put it that way!  It terrifies me and makes me feel sad.  Which obviously I don’t want to instill in my children, as it’s a part of life and I know that.  I just felt uneasy about the idea of the girls focusing on this image of Fiona’s body being burnt up.  I said that when someone dies their body disintegrates over time and goes back into the earth to help other life grow.  Luckily we were able to leave it at that and they didn’t ask any more questions!

It’s been just over 6 months now since Fiona died, and while it has gotten easier in some ways, we clearly all still miss her.  The finality of death is so hard to deal with, my heart does feel heavy when I’m reminded that we’ll never see our sweet little Fifi again.  But it’s true what I told Margaret - she is always in our hearts and in our memories, and we can talk about her to keep those memories alive.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Our morning rut needs to change

More venting, I know...I just really need to right now.

Yesterday a friend and her two kids came over for a visit in the morning.  It’s so great having a friend who you really get along with, whose kids also really get along with yours.  It makes a huge difference!  Her son is almost a year older than the girls but will be starting Kindergarten at the same time as them (unfortunately not at the same school though) and her daughter is two but also has a fun time playing with Margaret and Emily.  Sadly Andrew always misses out on the visits (occasionally he gets to see them) because he’s at school, which I realize come September will be sad for her daughter because when we get together on a week day she won’t have any kids to play with!  But still, it’s nice to have friends with kids a similar age, and a similar lifestyle.  I find a lot of people may be great to hang out with sometimes, but it makes a big difference feeling like we have similar lives.  

Anyway, even though I’ve been in this funk and feeling out of sorts and could easily cut myself off from bothering to do anything, I’ve been forcing myself to make an effort to still socialize and do things.  And it does help, for sure.  

Case in point though...When feeling on the verge of burning out, a scenario like this really makes it difficult not to be negative: This morning Andrew was relatively good for me, which is saying a lot because most mornings it seems to be a screaming match between us just getting out the door to school.  It has been really rough lately that way.  So this morning he was good and in a better mood, so instead of parking right near where his classroom is and just watching him go to his class from the car (which we do in part because the girls find it too cold to get out and wait with him, but also I have a rule that bad behaviour in the morning means we don’t walk him to class) I parked a little further up the street and said we would see him into his class today.  I felt like I was doing a good thing, and for a very fleeting moment I felt happy because I knew Andrew would be pleased.  Unfortunately, Margaret was having none of that, and started screaming and crying and having a full on tantrum at the mere idea of having to get out of the car because she was cold and didn’t want to.  I know that I could have pulled her out of the car anyway, kicking and screaming and all, to take Andrew to his classroom.  But I felt immediately broken just by the fact that once again I couldn’t make everyone happy at once, there always has to be an issue for someone with what I’m suggesting we do.  I’ve also dealt with far too many tantrumy moments in the presence of the other parents at school drop off this school year, mostly with Andrew freaking out at me about something.  So I really try to avoid drawing attention to myself where possible!  So I told Andrew I was sorry, but that I could walk him down as far as the sidewalk was concerned but not go right to his classroom due to his sister’s poor behaviour.  Instead of being able to reason with him, it all just made him angry and he grabbed up all of his stuff in a huff and got out of the van and slammed the door and walked off, glaring back at me periodically as he went.

Now, normally even if we’re in the van I always wait till the bell rings and see that Andrew got into his class before I drive away.  This time I was so fed up - and upset - with all of it that I left right away, and took the girls home for a few before it was time to go take them to preschool.

I feel like I do so much for everyone and try my very best to make everyone happy.  But I can’t please everyone, although sometimes it would seem I can’t please anyone.  I’m so tired of it.  I sometimes wonder why I even bother, because everything always ends up in tears or a screaming matching or glares.  It’s very, very tiresome.

It’s not always like this, definitely the kids can get along and play well together and they do love each other.  But I have been finding myself feeling dejected more often than not lately due to how our mornings start, and that sets the tone for the day, which clearly isn’t working for me.  Once I’m thrown off like that, I end up less patient, more bitter, and just without the pep needed to want to put in more effort.  I know I’ve said before I dislike change but this is an area where change is badly needed!!


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