Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Talking up a storm

Margaret and Emily have really started asking questions in the past week more than ever.  Emily repeats a lot of what is said to her in the form of a question.  Margaret will say, ‘Where you goin’ Mommy?’ and I’ll say, ‘We’re going to get groceries.’  Emily will then pipe in, ‘We goin’ to get go-shees?’  Or, ‘I love you, Emily!’  ‘You love me?!’  It’s pretty cute.

A funny one that I wouldn’t have expected is that every time a song comes on they ask, ‘What’s this song called?’  When we were getting the go-shees this morning after dropping Andrew off at school, they wanted to know the name of every song that came on, and I hadn’t heard some of them so I either took a guess or said, ‘I don’t know!’  They get a bit thrown off by the ‘I don’t know’s because they really want an answer, and expect that I should be able to give one!

My aunt and uncle came over in the afternoon today for a couple of hours.  It had been a month since our last visit with them and they could really see a difference in the girls.  Usually I don’t notice their changes as much because I’m with them all the time so it all seems a bit more gradual (except not really, because I definitely notice that they change quite rapidly!)  But this time I can definitely say I’ve noticed huge changes in them lately, too.

Their hair is getting long, but I wish there was more I could do with it.  It looks ADORABLE in pig tails or a single ponytail but they will only keep hair ties in for about 5 minutes, and barrettes and other cute hair accessories, forget it.  So it always looks as if I’ve done nothing with their hair, when in actual fact I DO brush it, and I WANT to do cute braids and styles with it, but they’re not interested.  I’m really excited to one day get to braid their hair for them, though.  I loved braiding my dolls’ hair when I was a kid, and I’m pretty good at it if I do say so myself.  Now I have 2 human dolls, I just need to convince them that sitting and getting their hair done is fun!

Andrew was so much better behaved today, and I made a point of being in a better mood myself.  All around, it made for a much better day for everyone.  The grocery shop this morning was a bit much, though.  It’s exhausting.  I wanted to get a fair bit of stuff so I pushed the girls around in their stroller, and pulled the cart behind me.  It’s not ideal, not even close.  Luckily we went at a time that’s not too busy, but it’s still just not something I would do if I didn’t have to.  I can’t always wait till evening because I’m SO tired by that point, adding a grocery shop to the end of the day seems almost torturous if I don’t have enough energy for it.  Sometimes it’s nice to get the time out on my own, and I look around at other things, too, so it doesn’t feel like ALL I did was get groceries.  But taking the girls and making sure they’re entertained/fed/happy and then getting them home, unloading everything and putting it away...it’s a lot.  I never used to think twice about grocery shopping, and there was a time when I even ENJOYED it and looked forward to the experience, but that’s not really the case these days.  At least it’s done for now, and other than a few things we’ll be stocked for a while.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The day improved

The day improved after nap time.  The girls ended up sleeping for almost 3 hours - wish I’d known they’d do that as I’d have been a bit more productive initially, knowing I would still have time to rest, but still, it was a welcome break.  I managed to sleep off and on for probably about 45 minutes, which definitely helped me get through the afternoon.

When they got up I decided on a whim that we’d go for a visit to my parents’ place after school.  I was feeling bad about how things had been with Andrew in the morning and how sad he seemed when we left him at school (he said Margaret kept waking him up last night and he was tired) so as a treat I picked up some fries from a restaurant nearby that I know he likes.  I was apprehensive to do it because it meant taking both girls in with me and waiting and I wasn’t sure how that would go since we never really do that, but they were so well behaved.  I barely ever put them in the stroller anymore so I just held their hands and we walked in and they were good about staying near me.  I’m still wary at times as they’ll just suddenly rip away from my grasp and take off when I least expect it (despite how often I try to teach them it’s not ok...they don’t do that often but in only takes once so it still worries me).  But it worked out well, and Andrew was not only in a better mood when we picked him up, but he was also SUPER excited to have French Fries for a treat AND to be going to my parents’ house - it was the best day ever in his mind!

We hung out there for quite a while, then walked down to the little park near their place and the kids played for a few minutes before we headed home.  I’d made a crockpot creamy tomato soup for dinner (which worked out, I might change it a little bit if I were to make it again but overall I was happy with it) throughout the day, and once again it was SO NICE to come in the door and know that dinner was pretty well ready to go, I just made a few grilled cheese sandwiches and we were set!  I’d also set the table before we went out so it was one less thing I’d have to think about, which I was also glad I’d done.

My plan was to go do a bit of a grocery shop tonight but I just don’t have it in me to do it, so I’m taking a little break instead, and the groceries can wait till tomorrow.

I just need a little time

The shelf is up in the laundry room and now I’m wishing I’d got one when we first moved here!  Which was 2 years ago today.  Wow, in some ways I can’t believe we’ve been here for 2 years but in others it feels like we’ve been here way longer.  It’s definitely home, and doing these little updates here and there makes it feel even homier, and a little bit new!

So far today I’ve been feeling really overwhelmed.  I think part of it is that I didn’t really get out at all over the weekend.  Yesterday James and Andrew were out for most of the day to attend a concert that the mil was in, so I was at home with the girls and yes we could have gone for a walk I guess, but without the van I wouldn’t be venturing far.  I think I’m feeling sad that James and I pretty much never get to go out just the two of us.  Later this week he’s accompanying me to my doctor’s appointment, and that’s pretty much the biggest outing we’ll have had together in a while.  How sad is that?!  He said we should plan something for my birthday (Feb 5) but how sad is it, too, that the next plan we’re able to make is for a date that’s still nearly 2 weeks away?!  I really wish we had more help so we could have more time just the two of us.  But I’ll stop dwelling on it because it gets me feeling way too overwhelmed if I let it.

The kids were acting up again this morning and I feel like I am going to lose it the more frustrating they become.  Sometimes I feel like NOTHING I do is good enough, even when I feel like I’ve done something extra to make them happy, at least one of them whines and is miserable.  I am kind of getting to the end of my rope.  I need a break!  I reeeeally need a break.  I need some time to get stuff done that I want to do, because I SHOULD occasionally get time to work on projects for me without kids freaking out about it, no?  I don’t think it’s selfish to feel that way.  I need to feel like I’m my own person, but there are days (like this one) where I kind of feel like all I am is a slave to everyone around me, and I’m tired of being treated badly when all I’m doing is everything for everyone else!

End rant.

I think I’ll try to nap now that the girls are sleeping.  It won’t be long before Margaret is up again.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Oooh Snap!

I was able to get the downstairs bathroom painted this morning, so it’s all ready for my dad to put the new shelf up tomorrow and then I can think about decorating (nothing much, but something to spruce it up a bit and give it a ‘theme’).  It’s a bit disappointing when you re-paint a room the same colour it already was, because ultimately no one really sees the effort you put in.  To most people it would look exactly the same.  BUT the ceiling is ALL white now and looks SO MUCH BETTER (James said he never looks at a ceiling and doesn’t get why I care but honestly I must look at ceilings because it has bothered me since we moved in pretty much!) and the walls look clean and all the same colour now without any new drywall showing.  I’m really happy I finally managed to get it finished.  Although I still have the cupboards to do.  My goal is to have those done BY next weekend.  It’s going to look so much better once that’s finished.  Then I can move onto the next project, whatever that may be!


I’ve had a headache for so many days now that I can’t remember how many it’s been.  It keeps getting worse before it gets better and I’m ready for it to go away any time.  I hate taking so much Advil, basically I’m taking close to if not the max dosage per day, every day lately.  I honestly don’t know what I’d do without those migraine pills, if I don’t take one as soon as I start to feel the headache coming on, it’s too late and I end up with a completely debilitating migraine.  Usually I can take one at the first sign of symptoms and it takes the edge off and eventually it’s gone, but this one is just taking it’s sweet time.


Margaret was definitely still out of sorts today after fevering ALL NIGHT last night.  I was really worrying about her, even though I know it can be normal to get a fever and not necessarily something serious.  It’s just that the kids so rarely have fevers, I think Andrew has had one fever other than the mild ones he got when he’d have his immunizations as a baby, and he’s 6 now, so it’s just not something I’m used to dealing with.  She was like a little waif today, for the most part she acted like herself but then she’d just become all waif-like and I’d feel so sorry for her!  


A little before the girls’ nap time I thought it might be nice for them to have a bath and feel refreshed, especially Margaret after sweating so much through the night.  But I didn’t feel like dealing with the rigamarole of bath time at that particular moment, so I suggested that I give them each a ‘sink tub.’  Andrew LOVED having tubs in the sink when he was a baby, it became one of his absolute favorite things to do.  The girls had sink tubs occasionally but with there being 2 of them, as soon as they could sit up on their own it was ‘easier’ to bathe them together (although bathing two babies at once was never really easy!)  Anyway, at first when I said, ‘I’m going to give you a sink tub!’ Emily laughed and said, ‘Noooo!’ as if I was saying something crazy.  But when I said, ‘No, really, I’m serious!’ she immediately said, ‘Emily go first, then Margaret!’  (She has started saying ‘Emily’ instead of ‘Emmy’ just in the past couple of days, I’ve noticed).


Emily LOVED her sink tub.  It was the highlight of her day, I think!!  She was grinning and I think she was enjoying the different vantage point, since she was able to see everything that’s on that part of the counter.  She was just relaxed sitting in there, even though of course she’s a bit big for it.  I finally said that it was Margaret’s turn because it was almost nap time and I really wanted Margaret to get washed.  But there was no way Emily was getting out.  I told her she could have another one later, but that wasn’t good enough.  She said, ‘I get back in this one when Margaret’s out.’  LOL  So she did!  And Margaret pretty much hated the sink tub.  She plunked herself down and looked at the water like, what is this and why am I in here?!  Then she became waif-like again and I had to get her out and dressed and if you could have seen the way she slowly walked to the couch to get herself cozy under a blanket you’d have felt sorry for her, too!  Emily, on the other hand, happily got back into the sink for another 10 minutes or so before I finally convinced her it was time for her nap and baba (that’s what they call their bottle, and yes they still have their baba at nap and bed time, although sometimes they barely drink any of it and we ARE planning to cut it out entirely soon but sleep is such an issue for us as it is so we’ve been putting it off).


Margaret is OBSESSED with the movie The Pirate Fairy, so she’s all about Pixie Hollow and Tinkerbell and friends.  They got The Pirate Fairy for either their birthday or Xmas a year ago and they’ve watched it once in a while but now Margaret requests, ‘Watch Fairies.’  Emily likes it, too, she’s just not as obsessed with TV as her sister so it’s more rare for her to request certain shows.  Both girls also like Tangled, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Garfield and Friends (Andrew likes that one, too), Caillou, ‘Scary Frozen’ which is a version of The Snow Queen on Netflix, Frozen, Curious George...Andrew’s mostly into his Skylanders Xbox game (we don’t actually have the Xbox ourselves but we’ve had my parents’ Xbox on loan ever since Andrew got the Skylanders game from my bro and sil for Christmas).  But he’s also into Star Wars, and has gotten back into Toy Reviews a little bit, though he doesn’t watch it all that much.


Yesterday while the babies napped, Andrew and I were putting the dinosaur puzzle together that my cousins gave him for his birthday.  When we figured out where one of the pieces went, Andrew went, ‘Ooooh SNAP!’ and I burst out laughing.  It made him laugh too and then he said, ‘Well, I’m just repeating what I learn from you and Daddy!  I only say things I hear!’  He’s so funny.  (The only time he hears ‘Oh snap’ from us is when James says it, and he does it jokingly like a character from a show we watched a while back called The Killing - which btw is an AWESOME show).  It’s just hilarious that Andrew picked it up and used it correctly.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Pro D Day

Andrew had a pro-d day today so we didn’t have to get ready and head off to school first thing in the morning.  It was the perfect day for this because it was SO RAINY all day today, like insanely rainy more so than ‘normal’ around here, so it was nice to not have to leave the house!  


The kids were definitely better behaved today than yesterday.  Not without their moments for sure, but over all they were very good.  Margaret had a bit of a fever in the afternoon and has been coughing, so I’m pretty sure she’s got some sort of virus.  I was feeling fine today despite thinking last night I was getting something, until just before dinner when all of a sudden I felt sick and threw up.  I throw up very rarely so it definitely made me wonder if I’ve got something, too (since Margaret threw up suddenly a few times the other day) but I feel ok at the moment.


Andrew played really well independently today.  I noticed that he spent a decent amount of time per activity (for a 6 year old, anyway) and was going about his day in a similar fashion to how I imagine his school day going.  His teacher calls it ‘centers’ where they go from one center to the other, and can choose which ones they want to focus on.  Andrew’s favourite is ‘Drawing and writing’ (to the point that recently he wasn’t allowed to go to that center for a few days because he needed to branch out and try other things!)  I’ve noticed he’s getting more and more creative with his crafts and projects.  Today he took a piece of cardboard and cut out some smaller pieces, made a game board and invented his own little board game.  The game rules may not have quite added up to me, but the point is that he was getting creative and I was impressed with his use of the scissors and how he designed the board and pieces.  We also did a puzzle while the girls napped and it was nice to just have that time the two of us, like we used to have every day before he started Kindergarten.


I noticed Margaret speaking in much longer sentences today than ever before.  Emily has used sentences for quite a while and speaks fairly clearly most of the time.  Not saying Margaret doesn’t, too, but she would usually just use a few words together.  Today she was on the phone with my mom and she said, ‘I’m watching Pirate Fairy, and it’s raining!’  I was impressed.  At dinner she said, ‘My neck hurts’ and given she’s not feeling well that of course made me worry about meningitis.  I asked why it was hurting and she said, ‘Because Andrew pushed me down.’  He claims he didn’t, and I don’t know for sure, but I’m liking that she’s able to tell me things like that.  Interestingly, I also found her asking, ‘Why?’ to things today...maybe rather than interestingly I should say ‘SCARILY’ because once they’re asking why to everything the questions will never stop!!


When Emily was on the phone with my mom she was going around pointing at things saying, ‘See, see?!’ as if my mom could see what she was looking at.  When she talks on the phone she prances around on her tip-toes like she’s a big shot, so pleased to be doing such a grown up thing.  


Lately Emily’s ‘thing’ (aside from still obsessively telling everyone she loves them!) is saying, ‘You freak?’ as in, if I do this are you going to freak out?  LOL  It’s HILARIOUS.  When Andrew’s at school, for example, and we go into his room because I want to put his clothes away or tidy up and they inevitably go with me, she’ll pick up his toys and say, ‘Andrew freak!’ because she knows if he knew we were in his room he would NOT be happy!  The other day she took the teensy tiny little shoes off their Tinkerbell doll and I glanced over at her and she was turning her head and straining to see my face and said, ‘You freak?’ wondering if I was going to be upset that she took the shoes off.  LOL  I said, ‘No, I won’t freak!’  Then she said, ‘You REALLY happy?’  !!!  She’s so entertaining.  They all are, those 3, you never know what they’re going to say or do next!


In other news, I painted the ceiling in the downstairs bathroom today, and I’m HOPING I’ll have enough energy tonight to paint the walls.  The ceiling took 2 coats of white paint because it was partially white and partially an off-white (that’s also on the walls).  The guy who was supposed to paint it shortly after we moved in did a half-assed job and painted one little section and it has ALWAYS bothered me.  Once we had the water leak in there near Christmas and they changed part of the ceiling, I knew I was going to have to do some updating in there.  One of the maintenance guys was going to do it but I got some paint from him for the walls and I decided I’d just do it myself.  I got tired of having them come and go so often, never knowing when they’d show up or when they’d finish the job, and there was always a mess to clean up afterwards.  I’ll still need someone to bring us some new baseboards once the walls are done, but it will be fresher with a coat of paint anyway.  I was going to paint it a different colour because it would look SO much better if it wasn’t the crappy colour our entire house is (other than the kids’ rooms) but it’s not worth the fact that we have to pay to have it painted back when we move, even though I hope we don’t move for a long time.  I just don’t want to do it right now, even though it would look so much nicer.  Instead I’m having my dad install a shelf behind the washer and dryer, and I can add a few cute decor type items to the room (and not store the laundry detergent etc on the dryer as I’ve always done).  I’m also going to sand and paint the cupboards in there to match the white we did in the kitchen, which will definitely spruce it up.  I’m happy to have got part of it done already, still a ways to go but I’m enjoying it.  VERY sadly though, I am in such rough shape that 2 coats of paint on the ceiling and I can feel it in my arms tonight!  It goes to show how infrequently I do these sorts of things, because back in the day (before kids) when I had all the time in the world for fun projects, I wouldn’t think twice about doing stuff like this and never had a hard time with it!  It was definitely challenging to get the job done while also dealing with the kids the entire time, but they were really patient and good about it, for the most part.  I miss just being able to focus all my attention on a project I’m wanting to complete, but if I waited for that opportunity we’d move before I’d ever get it done, so I had to just go for it!


I also got a wall decal from Ikea recently that I finally put up today.  It’s branches and birds and I made it into my own design on one of the walls in our dining room.  I love it!  It goes with my bird theme which I have throughout the dining room, and it spruces up the wall without any damage since the stickers can easily be removed.  Andrew of course wanted to take over the project and decide where all the decals would go, but while I did let him place two of the birds I had to gently tell him that it was my project and I needed to feel like I could be creative with it.  I feel like I give everything to the kids and everything I do is for them, ALL THE TIME.  Once in a while I need to feel like a project is mine and something I can focus on creatively.  It’s been nice to have a few little projects like that to work on today.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Not one of my finer moments

Today was a terrible, horrible, no good very bad day.  From the very start.  I would have sworn it was a full moon because the kids were acting up beyond belief.  Nothing was good enough for any of them, the girls kept hitting, pinching, and biting each other (well, Margaret is the biter of the two...poor Emily!), they were throwing toys at each other, Andrew was being aggressive toward them and then got angry when they were mean back.  Total gong show, and that was all before 8am!  It just kept going and by the time we were on our way to school I had completely lost it, and DID lose it.  I yelled so loud that I’m sure if people had been walking down the street they’d have heard me.  It was bad.  I told them that this needs to stop, we need to be able to get along and enjoy our time together and not waste it being so negative.  I said I felt like they were all trying to win the prize of who could upset Mommy the most, because all they seemed to do was make me mad or upset and I couldn’t keep doing this.  Not one of my finer moments, but at the same time I noticed after my little speech, all 3 kids were completely silent for the whole way to school.  And once we got there, things improved with the girls but Andrew not so much.  He was just in a total mood ALL DAY no matter what.  I had a talk with him at school while the teacher and another parent helped with the girls (although they sobbed because I’d left the room and they didn’t like that, which added to the stress of the situation) and he seemed a bit better after that, but I don’t know what got into him.

It was one of his classmates’ bday’s today and his mom brought a cake and the teacher was letting them have it first thing in the morning (sugar rush at 9am with a class full of Kindergarteners, fun!) so we stuck around for that and it went well, and Andrew seemed in a bit better mood by the end of it but he was in a funk all day, the teacher told me later.

We went skating today and it went well but I’m always exhausted by the end of it, even though I’m not the one skating.  I don’t know why but it completely wipes me out!  We got home and my mom asked where Fifi was because usually when she visits (she was with the girls while I took Andrew and some of his classmates to skating) she spends time with my mom.  I thought maybe I’d accidentally locked her in my room because I close all the doors but the girls’ door when they go down for their nap, but I checked every room upstairs and she wasn’t up there.  My dad and I searched the entire house and no Fiona.  I started to panic inside a bit because she’s a fully indoor cat, and just last night she was having a cat fight with a neighbourhood kitten through our back door.  I hate the thought of her getting into a real fight and being injured (or worse).  My dad looked around the neighbourhood and I went into our backyard area calling for her.  Then I went into an area near our house where cats seem to often go, but I couldn’t find her anywhere.  I was just about back home when my dad texted to say she had come back.  She had literally been outside ALL DAY since I’m positive I didn’t see her at all this morning (I was just dealing with so much with the kids that I didn’t think twice about it) (so I can blame her escape on James!!) so my guess is that she saw me or my dad or heard me calling out for her and she came back.  At any rate, she ran first to her litter box (because doing her business outside wouldn’t make sense to a litter box trained kitty!), then to her food dish, then she proceeded to barf on the living room carpet, then settled in for a bath.  LOL.  I told her that’s the highlight of her life because she’s not venturing out there like that again!!  We have a lot of raccoons in the area and I’m not ok with her being outdoors.  

James had told me early in the day that there was an emergency at work and everyone had to stay late and he had no idea when he’d be home because there was so much work to do...which also added to the stress of the day, but luckily he was able to get home at his usual time after all (maybe half an hour late) and after dinner I was able to have a bath (with Andrew, but it was still relaxing as he was FINALLY by that point happy and chatting away like his more usual self) and then I had a nap for about half an hour which I desperately needed.  It usually takes me AGES to fall asleep, but I swear my head hit the pillow and I was out, that’s how tired I was.

Now I feel like I might be coming down with something, and I’m pretty sure Margaret is, but hopefully I can fight it.  So not in the mood to finish off this week with a virus...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Zero faith in doctors

I’ve been bothered for a while by my lack of keeping up on recording our daily life on my blog the way I used to do when I only had Andrew.  It has been SO challenging since the twins came along to find the time/energy for it, but I’ve got the kick in the butt that I need to force myself now.  


I’ve had some issues with our family doctor recently that I’m kicking myself for not having documented, as back in the day I’ve been able to just check my archives and found the info I’ve needed for things.  I’ve actually used my blog lots of times to go back and find information that I need for some reason or another.  But blogging so sporadically since having the girls, I can’t rely on that anymore.  And it’s frustrating, so I HAVE to get back into it.


When Andrew was just shy of turning 5, we were going to a doctor’s appointment as a family to have our flu shots, and so we also booked the appointment for Andrew to get his Kindergarten booster shots.  You get those between the ages of 4-6 so we decided why not get him immunized then, and know he’s covered for everything.  I remember the appointment very clearly in my mind, Andrew remembers having had the needle, James was there to witness it also, and my mom remembered us having gone.  BUT the doctor failed to record the information in Andrew’s file, and so it looks as if he only had the flumist, when in actual fac we know otherwise.  The problem is, without having his written record of what he gave him in the shot, we don’t know with 100% certainty that Andrew actually got the full vaccinations.  After talking to the Public Health Nurse today, I have my doubts, as she said the Kindergarten booster is in 2 shots, and I know for a fact Andrew only had one.  SO he might not be fully vaccinated against chicken pox, which bothers me because if he was to get it, the girls are likely to get it, too, since they can’t be fully vaccinated till they’re at least 4.


I DID take a picture of Andrew in the waiting room before the appointment, and have the date attached to the picture (which is 4 days earlier than the date the doctor’s office has recorded for when we were there...which is bizarrre…) but beyond that it’s my word against his.  I’m REALLY upset at the fact that they didn’t even apologize to me, they’re basically sticking to their guns that it never happened, even though I KNOW he had vaccinations that day.


Anyway, I won’t get into it too much.  We’re looking for a new family doctor.  Not just because of this - he’s actually no longer a family doctor as of March and will only see walk-in patients, and the clinic he works at is downtown, which isn’t convenient for us anyway.  But this was definitely the push I needed to no longer see him, and truthfully not be all that bothered to know he’s no longer our doctor.  I held him on a pedestal because compared to all the walk-in doctors I’ve been to in the past he was AMAZING, so caring and compassionate and just the way you’d want a doctor to be.  It would just be nice to know he actually recorded the key points of each visit in case of situations like this…


Fraser Health wants proof that Andrew is immunized, given that he’s now part of the school system.  But I can’t offer that proof.  I’ve been reassured by several people, including nurses, that there is no harm to Andrew in getting the vaccinations again even if he did have them already.  I’m trusting that, because I’d rather he get them again than end up with an illness he could have avoided, or be a carrier and give those illnesses to others.  But I’m not happy about it.


I don’t know if recording the appointment on my blog would have made a difference in this situation, really, because ultimately I still wouldn’t have a list of what was in the shot to be sure he was covered for everything.  What the doctor didn’t tell me, but that several people have since, is that doctors don’t usually give vaccinations, it’s generally up to the health unit to do it, so despite that HE RECOMMENDED WE GET IT DONE THERE, it wasn’t even my idea till he said we could book the appointment with him if we wanted, I’m guessing he’s not really that experienced at doing it and probably just shouldn’t be.


Regardless, what’s done is done, and I’ve learned my lesson.  For one, never forget the kids’ Health Passports when they’re getting vaccinated (because now Fraser Health is also claiming they have NO RECORD of Andrew EVER being vaccinated, even with them, which is another story entirely but I have it all written in his booklet by the health nurses so there’s proof right there, at least, and I KNOW he got all his shots because I took him every time and it was a big deal to me each time!)  So always get the info written out so there’s proof is one thing, and the other is to always be an advocate for the family and never assume the doctor is doing things correctly because they’re the doctor.  Just because they SHOULD be doing things a certain way doesn’t mean they are, so it’s best to document things oneself and not rely on their so-called expertise to get the job done.

At any rate, I want to be recording all the cute things the kids do and say and I want to be able to remember little tidbits from our days, so the blog can’t be neglected any longer and that’s all there is to it!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

'I love you, Mommy!'

Emily has become obsessed with telling us she loves us, and when she’s not telling us she loves us, she’s asking us if we love her.  It’s really cute!  There have been quite a few times already where it has really boosted my mood to have her sweet little self wrap her arms around me and smile her adorable smile and say, ‘I love you, Mommy!’  Talk about melting my heart!

Last night at dinner and again tonight, Margaret sang, ‘Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg!’  Although Andrew taught her other lyrics and tonight it was, ‘MOMMY smells’ because she was looking at me while she sang it.  Most of the words come out quite clearly, though it’s possible someone who didn’t know that version of the song might not completely understand the whole thing.  It’s amazing how much both girls are talking, though.  Definitely in full sentences, and they seem to understand most of what we say.  There’s the odd thing where you can tell they’re not clear on what we’re asking them, but that happens rarely.  I can ask them to go get something or take something somewhere and they know exactly what to do.  They’re still at the stage of (usually) wanting to be helpful, too, which is nice!

Yesterday Emily said, ‘Let’s play my room, Mommy.’  I said, ‘You want to go upstairs and play in your room?’  She said, ‘Yes.  I LOVE my room, Mommy!’  LOL  Now that I think about it, she might have just said that because her ‘thing’ is to LOVE everything!  But I actually think she genuinely does like her room.  They just have a few toys in there but she’s currently hooked on playing with this magnetic doll, kind of like a paper doll that you put outfits on, only it’s magnetized and perfect for toddler play.  It’s kept on one of the shelves in their room. Margaret likes that toy, too, but Emily LOVES it =D

I made a batch of play dough last week and the girls (and Andrew) have been enjoying that.  ‘I play pay dough’ is how they ask for it (the girls, not Andrew!!)  They get into ruts quite easily, and if I don’t get their new Frozen placemats (that Fifi gave them for Christmas) out before getting their play dough out of the bag, gawd help me.  I find it interesting that in no time at all, Emily had melded all the colours of her play dough together so there is a chunk that’s purple and a chunk that’s a greenish grey.  Whereas Margaret still has all the different neon colours, some mixed but mostly still visibly separate colours.  Yet they’ve both played with their play dough the same amount of times, and for the same length of time.  They definitely have a twin sister bond, but there’s no question they are two completely different people!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Andrew skates

This week Andrew started skating lessons with his Kindergarten class.  They only have 4 sessions total, but I think it’s an awesome introduction to skating, and it’s something I love about school - he’s getting into activities that I might not be inclined to get him into on my own.  I know one might argue that skating is a stereotypical ‘Canadian’ thing to do, but the truth is I don’t personally know how to skate.  Like, at all.  I went skating a few times in my childhood, but never enough to get truly comfortable balancing on the ice.  Let’s put it this way, the last time I went skating was on my Dry Grad night (so...um...in June of 1998…) and I may or may not have used one of those bars that little kids usually use for skating.  So yeah...I wish I could take Andrew skating but the truth of the matter is, not being able to skate myself means I can’t unless I enroll him in a class.

At the skating rink we’re going to with his school, they don’t believe in those bars because they don’t feel you learn properly unless you just get out there on the ice and start trying.  Almost all the kids did awesome today, despite it being many kids’ first time on the ice.  Andrew went skating twice with his nana in the past, but not enough to really ‘know how to skate.’  He hadn’t been for ages, either.  Yet within about a minute he had mastered how to get back up when he fell, and it wasn’t long at all before he was (slowly but surely) skating around!  I remember when I was little, even WITH the bar I tended to want to stay close to the sides of the rink for fear that if I ventured out too far into the middle I may never make it back again.  Not Andrew, he hardly ever came BACK to the sides!  I was really impressed.  With the other kids, too.  I really love the kids in Andrew’s class and I feel I’ve gotten to know them a little bit over the school year so far, and I enjoyed seeing their different skill/comfort levels on the ice.  I was surprised to learn that a few of them are excellent skaters already, and one little boy is already in a figure skating class and he was doing amazing.  I was envious of his skill, TBH!

My mom spent the day at our house, and looked after the girls so I could take Andrew to the rink.  I also drove 3 of his classmates, and the teacher!  It went well and the kids were all good.  The teacher felt she should go with me since I had no one as a helper and she thought 4 kids might be overwhelming.  I enjoy her company so it was nice to ride with her, but I hadn’t even thought of being overwhelmed with 4 in my car!  I guess because I typically have 3 with me anyway LOL.  I’m used to a zoo full, it’s my life!  It’s true, 4 Kindergarteners is a different type of handful than a 6 year old and two 2 year olds, but still.  I could handle it!

That being said, I was COMPLETELY EXHAUSTED once all was said and done.  We came home and brought one of the kids with us that I’d drove, because he lives around the corner from us and I thought it’d be a nice break for his mom to not have to walk to the school to get him, since she has another child she has to bring with her, and it was so cold out.  So Andrew had a little play date after school, which was pretty cute.  It was with one of the boys who came to his birthday party, so he was already comfortable being at our house.  We walked him home after and hung out at his house for a few.  It’s so nice to feel connected to some people who live right in the neighbourhood.  Sadly, we don’t have many connections right in our area, but having Andrew in school has made a huge difference, and it’s pretty cool that his new routine has also helped us along in making some new friends.

Andrew has been doing really well in Kindergarten.  His teacher is always telling me little things he says and does that she loves.  Yesterday she told me that he’s wise beyond his years, and is an old soul.  I’ve had so many people tell me that, since he was a little baby.  He’s always seemed like an old man in a little body.  She said he grasps certain concepts that are not typical for a person his age to understand.  On the one hand I think it’s just him and that’s how he is, but I also think part of it is how we talk to him.  Not patting myself on the back or anything, to me the stuff we chat about is stuff I’d expect any and every parent to discuss with their kids, but I realize that’s not necessarily so.  For example, it’s apparently unusual that a child Andrew’s age can fully understand the concept of a ‘resolution’ and the fact that it’s about bettering one’s self.  The act of bettering one’s self usually goes over their heads.  But when his teacher asked the kids to give an at-school and an at-home resolution for the year, Andrew right away had his answers and they were definitely resolutions.  The thing is, to me I guess I don’t find that hugely impressive, because we talk about resolutions each year at new year time, so he’s been exposed to the idea of what they are for a few years now.  I guess more so it makes me wonder what parents talk about with their children?  Or maybe it’s that a lot of families aren’t sitting down and spending enough quality time together?  This is something I love about dinner time.  While right now (and for a while now) it’s been a bit of a gong show for us as there are often screaming children and arguments about who needs to eat what and how much and so on, it’s also a time that’s so important for us to talk about our days.  We occasionally have a casual meal where we just eat in the living room (and feed the girls from our plates) but I’d say 98% of the time (at least) we sit at the table and it’s a time when we talk about things, such as resolutions, or whatever is on our minds at the time.  

Anyway...I enjoy hearing from Andrew’s teacher what she thinks of the things he says, and she definitely thinks very highly of him.  He’s a really good boy at school, plays by the rules and is good with the other kids.  When Kindergarten first started he basically latched onto one of the lunch monitors and she was his best friend and he shadowed her every day at recess and lunch.  Now, he has a group of friends that he likes to play soccer with every day, and while he still enjoys saying hi to the monitor and might share a few thoughts with her, he primarily plays with his friends.  So I’m happy there’s progress being made there.

Initially we thought we’d want to move to a different area before the girls start Kindergarten, but now I’m crossing my fingers that we continue to have quiet neighbours (as we currently do on both sides) and nothing else major goes wrong with our place, because I kind of want the girls to be in Andrew’s teachers’ class for Kindergarten!  She’s already talked about teaching long enough for them to be in her class, and I’m really hoping it can happen.  (They got Minnie Mouse backpacks from my parents for Christmas and wear them to school in the mornings now and act as if they’re already a part of the class!)  I really love Andrew’s school, and more importantly, he loves it, and I think it would be great to give him the opportunity to stay at that school long term.  Of course, I know things can change, and I’m open to that, too.  A lot of the kids in his class are in rentals like ours, which I guess means all our situations are potentially less stable than if we owned, so who knows if Andrew will grow up with a lot of these same kids he’s started out with.  Regardless, it’s nice to feel good about where we’re at right now.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Last Sunday's post that's getting posted now

Written on Jan 11...

Today it was just me and Emily for most of the day.  James took Margaret to the mil’s (who is moving soon, long story, but yeah) and he and Andrew went to Science World and met up with some friends there.  Emily is such a sweetheart and so easy to please.  Not saying Margaret isn’t a sweetie-pie, too, it’s just that she’s a lot higher maintenance in the sense that she is mischievous and also doesn’t like to sleep much.  Emily was happy to ‘play toys’ - mostly we played with the dollhouse and other playmobil toys they got for Christmas, as well as her Anna and Elsa dolls (both adult and child versions of each, of course!)  We also spent some time colouring and she loved it when I traced her hands on paper.

The terrible twos seem to have begun, although not really...I mean, I KNOW it could be so much worse!  Both the girls are generally very good throughout the day, exhausting yes, of course, what child isn’t, but fun and good-natured more often than not.  But sleep time is becoming a major issue, particularly with Margaret, although at bed time last night Emily followed suit and ended up being the worse of the two…

About a week ago (although it feels like it’s been A LOT longer, hello sleep deprivation worse than usual!) Andrew thought he heard a witch cackling in the morning and mentioned it to James, but the girls also heard him say it, and witnessed him acting scared by it.  Margaret kept going on about the ‘scary witch’ all morning but seemed to forget about it.  Then at night she wouldn’t sleep and freaked out every single time we tried to leave the room.  (As mentioned in my last post). She was up at least 30 times that night between me and James getting up with her.  I asked her if it was the witch she was scared of (and assured her that it wasn’t real etc) but she said no, that wasn’t it.  So we didn’t think much of it and chalked it up to her being a crappy sleeper from the get go, because she’s really never been a good sleeper and to this day has only slept through the night a handful of times.  

Both James and I were wrecks the next day due to no sleep, but I figured I would make up for it at least a little bit by napping while the girls slept, since Andrew would be at school during the day.  Unfortunately, Margaret then did the same thing all over again and I wasn’t able to leave her sight and I ended up not getting any sleep at all.  I was really worried it was going to ruin nap time altogether moving forward, since it was starting to feel like this was going to be the new pattern.  And it sort of has become that, although she still naps eventually, it just takes longer to get her settled.

It turns out it’s monsters she’s scared of, and reading up on it and talking to some friends about it, it turns out that between 2-3 it’s normal for this to happen because kids are starting to get their imaginations and monsters are a natural part of that.  It certainly doesn’t help the girls case that Andrew is OBSESSED with monster/zombie/ghoul type stuff and has therefore exposed them to all sorts of things that he wasn’t exposed to yet at his age!  He likely went through the same fear of monsters around their age, it’s just that he slept with us primarily (and was a terrible sleeper like Margaret) so we didn’t really have to deal with it in the same way, and he likely felt safer most of the time anyway, because he was with us.  

It has been a really rough week because James and I have been running on fumes most days, and it gets really frustrating trying to get Margaret to go to sleep and stop freaking out if she thinks we’re going to be out of sight.  We think we might have a system going that’s starting to work better, and last night DID go a bit better than some nights previous, so there is hope!  But it’s challenging for sure.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Elizabeth and the terrible, horrible, no good very bad (even worse than that) day

That’s what it was, because Margaret is (or at least SHOULD BE) the current world’s record holder for Worst At Sleeping.  

She literally had me going upstairs TWENTY TIMES to get her back to bed from about 10:30pm-1:30am.  I felt like dying by the time I went to bed and was SO SURE she would sleep better after that because how can one person need to get up any more times than that through the night.  She didn’t even NEED anything.  She just ‘wanted hugs’ or ‘kisses’ or ‘tucked in.’  MADNESS.

But as soon as I went to bed she went from standing at the top of the stairs waiting for me to come up, to crying/screaming/beating on our bedroom door and calling for us.  I told James how things had been since he went to bed, and he took over.

The sucky thing is that with how close all our rooms are, it’s impossible for me to fall asleep when Margaret is continually screaming right across the hall. It’s one thing if I’ve already been asleep for hours and it wakes me up, it might take a bit of time but I can fall back asleep much easier than when I’ve just gone to bed.  I have a heck of a time falling asleep at the best of times.  So I was awake till I’m guessing 2-2:30am.  Then there were pretty much as many ‘wake ups’ (if you can call it a wake up if you’ve never really fallen back asleep after the first one) for James as there had been for me, so ultimately we were awake for nearly the entire night.  (‘Luckily’ James got about 3 hours of sleep before I went to bed, that right there is more than I got the entire night through!)  Margaret also went into Andrew’s room and woke him up in the night, which is especially not good to have happen on a school night.  He came flailing into our room around 5am sobbing from an apparent nightmare...once Margaret had FINALLY fallen asleep!  I had him stay in our bed (which he NEVER does anymore, I can’t even remember the last time he slept with us) because I didn’t want to deal with getting up, since it was still so early, but late enough that I could totally see Margaret deciding it was time to get up for the day.

I slept terribly (as in, almost not at all) once Andrew was in the bed with us.  For one thing, it was way too boiling hot with an extra person in the bed.  And for another, I was practically falling right off the side and basically couldn’t move AT ALL.  It wasn’t comfortable.

When I got up at 7 I looked like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, I was all hunkered down, it took too much energy to even stay standing.  But I had no choice but to go about our usual routine of getting everyone ready and dropping Andrew off at school.  We didn’t stay for reading time because I didn’t have the energy for it.

The day was a complete and utter disaster, and needless to say a total write off.  Which pisses me off because I have had such high hopes of all I’m going to accomplish in a day, and I’ve been trying so hard to have more patience with the kids and feel like I’m being the best mom I can be.  I need energy for that, I can’t be running on fumes and not blow a gasket when I’m constantly being ordered around and treated like a very poorly treated slave.  It just doesn’t work.

I was SO hopefully that at nap time Margaret would be extra tired from being up essentially all night (I can’t believe Emily was able to sleep through all her racket, that girl is seriously an ANGEL) (Although she did scream and cry for over half an hour straight at witching hour and I ‘angel’ was not the word that came to mind at that time).  But no.  Instead of sleeping better or should I say sleeping AT ALL, Margaret instead did the EXACT SAME THING TO ME AS SHE DID LAST NIGHT.  She sobbed, freaked out, screamed, cried out, and beat at her bedroom door (which gets closed at nap time), yet would stop if I was in the room and tucked her back in.  If she thought I was going to stay with her, she was fine.  It just makes no sense.  I asked her all sorts of questions to try to figure out what was wrong, and yes her communication isn’t what it will be in another year or more, but it’s pretty good, so I feel if there was something specific wrong she’d be able to tell me.  I honestly don’t think there is anything, though - she just likes the attention and wants the extra affection.  And before you go and judge me for making it seem like I don’t want to cuddle my daughter when she needs it and I should realize how fleeting this time is and just do it, the reality is that I cuddle her A LOT.  I give her so many hugs and kisses and tell her how much I love her and how special she is and beautiful and the whole nine yards.  She should be able to take her usual nap without having to be held the entire time, and that’s the reality of the situation!  I was so BEAT by that time that I wanted to either have a nap or have someone push me out the window and put an end to my misery, and I’m really not entirely joking.  Total sleep deprivation is HARD on one’s psyche, I emotionally just couldn’t take it anymore.

I tried everything from giving her a few extra hugs, to being firm and saying goodnight and that it was nap time and she had to stay in her bed and walking out and closing the door.  Nothing I did worked, and after leaving her for 20 minutes crying and freaking out, I couldn’t take it anymore, and also didn’t think it was fair to Emily who really needs her sleep, so I had to get up and let Margaret out of her room and take her downstairs.  I had to forgo nap time altogether, for her, and even worse, for me.  I was DESPERATE for sleep, it was getting to the point of being beyond desperation, if that’s even possible.  It was BAD, no matter how you look at it.  But I had no choice but to continue on with the day, the demands, pick Andrew up, etc.  I had to pick my mom up and drop her off for a dentist appointment, which wasn’t a big deal because she lives close to Andrew’s school and her dentist is also very close by.  But in the process of dropping her off and then stopping to get gas because we had a fair bit of time to kill still before it would be time to pick Andrew up, Margaret fell asleep.  And I’d say I wanted to strangle her for it, except obviously I would never do such a thing!  I was VERY angry about it though.  I forced her to wake up and gave her a snack to keep her occupied while we drove to the school, and then even though we were way too early still, and I was way too tired to be running around on the grass or by the playground with them, I had to run them around in order to keep Margaret awake.

By the time I was preparing dinner (oh yeah, my weekly meal plan?  Hasn’t worked out at all.  Meals have all been good and have gone well, but aside from the lasagna that I made on Monday instead of Tuesday, I’ve not used the plan AT ALL...it just doesn’t work for me I think, but I might give it another try) Margaret was having a fit because she was so over tired, and then Emily was whinging about gawd knows what, and Andrew was getting annoyed with both of them, and I had enough and said, ‘That’s IT, Mommy is unavailable for the next 5 minutes!’ and I escaped to the kitchen, only of course hearing the words ‘Mommy is unavailable’ made the kids believe they needed me then more than ever before in their lives!  AAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!  Anyone ever watch She Devil, starring Rosanne Barr?  I sort of felt like her when she went outside and just screamed at the top of her lungs…..

James said he’d come home early because he knew how fragile I was feeling, but getting here 15 minutes before he normally does didn’t feel early to me.  In fact, that just makes no sense to me no matter how I look at it.  And there’s more, but I won’t even go there.

Instead, I’m going to nap now, as who knows what the night will bring.  If Margaret keeps us up all night again tonight, gawd help us all.  I don’t know how much longer I can handle being on my own all day taking care of the kids when I’m in such desperate need of some care myself!

Monday, January 05, 2015

Woes of the day

First hint of dejection and it’s only January 5th…(my bro’s 38th bday, just a little tidbit of info!)

James went back to work today, after being off since Christmas Eve.  I felt exhausted (as did he) the entire ‘holiday’, as ultimately Margaret sucks at sleeping and neither of us ever gets a good, solid sleep.  Ever.  So I never felt RESTED, but at least I was getting on average an extra hour of sleep than what I do usually.  James let me sleep a little longer in the mornings when he was here, but I’m up at 7 now that he’s back to the grind.  I was a zombie before I even dragged myself out of bed this morning, and the feeling never fully went away.  I managed to get about 20 minutes of sleep in while the girls napped, and may have slept longer if someone hadn’t knocked on the door (our Entertainment Book arrived, which I could have done without having my nap destroyed for...there’s no coupon for sleep in there!)  But the fact is, I felt tired all day regardless, and I bet if I’d managed another 20 minutes of rest I still would have felt wasted.

Andrew wasn’t being very nice to his sisters in the morning, which put me in a bad mood.  He can be fairly aggressive with all of us at times.  He’s usually very good and has a very sweet and genuinely caring and compassionate demeanor, but when his temper gets the better of him, watch out.  He doesn’t lash out at anyone but his family, but that’s still not OK behaviour!  And I’m kind of at the end of my rope with it, particularly on days when I’m especially tired.

So the morning started off a tad rocky, and then the rest of the day was just a usual day, but I had no get up and go to accomplish anything.  I started going through the kids toys (with Margaret and Emily ‘helping’) but I didn’t get very far with it before I felt overwhelmed.  I really need some bins or storage solution of some kind in order to complete the project, and right now I don’t have those things so I’m not quite sure what I’m supposed to do with all the toys I want to collect up and store somewhere to put on rotation later.

My mom needed some help with something this afternoon so at the last minute I decided to take the kids to her place after school.  Which meant I had to change our dinner plans, because the slow cooker Enchiladas I wanted to make were a bit more time-sensitive (LOL).  I decided to do slow cooker Lasagna instead, and while it could have used a bit more time letting the liquid soak into the noodles, it was REALLY good.  I love that I was able to prep it, set it to cook, and LEAVE THE HOUSE without worrying it would overcook or I’d burn the house down!  I would never leave the house with the oven on.  I was pretty frazzled by the time we got home just before 6 (traffic was INSANE, it was pouring rain, the girls were fighting and crying in their car seats...it was the witching hour, and had been since about 4pm…) but it was nice to walk into the house and smell the lasagna and know it was ready for supper!  It took no time at all to whip up some homemade (vegetarian of course) Caesar salad dressing for a salad, and get the table set and lasagna on the plates.  I know slow cookers have been around since the 70s (my mom was given one for Xmas 1979, shortly before I was born, when they were all the rage!) but it’s all so new to me.

Where am I go with all of this?  I guess my point is that the tiredness and the frazzledness and the chaos of the day (getting used to the school routine again reminded me how much I hate strapping the kids into their car seats so many times a day, with their same grumbling about having to get strapped in and fussing and resisting when they KNOW they have no choice) left me wanting to run away from it all (figuratively, not literally).  I just wanted to SCREAM by mid afternoon, and I hate it when I end up raising my voice a hundred million times in a day, but it happens some days.  I feel overwhelmed and like I just can’t take one more second of feeling like I’m under constant attack by these 3 little beings that I do everything and then some for, with zero return.  (Which obviously isn’t actually true, because the return is the love I get from them, and nothing could replace that.  Lately Emily just randomly comes up to me and gives me a hug or a little nuzzle and says, ‘Mommy, I love you!’)  I love my kids, they mean the world to me, but they also overwhelm me and sometimes give the impression that I’m completely worthless to them (even though I know I’m not, in fact I’m their #1 when it comes down to it, I DO know that, there are just moments…)  

All this to say, I remember now, and this is a prime example of it, why I didn’t reach my goals last year fitness wise.  I AM TIRED.  And by the time James is home and we’ve eaten and I’ve cleaned up from dinner and usually bathed the kids, it’s 7pm or later AND I AM DONE.  I am basically on my own with the kids from 7:15am-6:20pm, (and then usually help with tucking Andrew in or we have some mommy/son time before bed doing a project) and it can feel like a VERY long stretch of time with no breaks other than feeling like I’m breaking my back to get everything done for everyone and the house!  (Which isn’t to say I don’t enjoy spending time with my littles BECAUSE I DO, of course, I just need more breaks and more sleep is the issue).

I guess I feel dejected because I wonder how it is that I’m supposed to accomplish something so important for myself (getting fit/feeling healthier/taking care of ME) when by the time I get the chance I just want to give up and be done with the day.  I KNOW I have to work on this, and I KNOW I can’t let this exhaustion get the better of me, because ultimately part of the reason I’m so tired is that I’m not taking as good of care of myself as I should.  But it’s a very vicious circle.  A very vicious circle, indeed!

Sunday, January 04, 2015

The writer inside

When I was a child I imagined myself growing up to write novels.  In grade 2 my teacher, Mrs. Aspen, had us make book covers with our parents, and then she laminated them and stapled paper into them and gave us a title and off we went, writing our own little books.  At the back there were ‘Reader’s Comments’ and other kids in the class could tell you what they liked about your book, and we even had family members join the class so we could each read out our books and talk about them.  This was probably one of my favourite activities, ever (more so the writing of the book, rather than the reading of it out loud!)  We all had black and white photos taken of us outside in the school courtyard especially to have attached to our books, in the ‘About the Author’ section.  Along with having our pictures taken, we were asked a few questions, and when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, at first I said, ‘A nurse’ but then I quickly changed that to ‘A writer.’

(Interestingly, I recently had someone in a nursing position tell me that I’d ‘be great at the job’ and should look into working in a field where I’m helping people.  I can’t see myself as a nurse as there are too many things about the job that would gross me out, and not to mention the long hours both in school and eventually work, which wouldn’t be conducive to being the primary caregiver of my children.  BUT my degree in Criminology certainly lends itself toward a ‘helping others’ position, and one day I do hope I can take that to the next level...The current level of ‘helping others’ is being a stay at home mom, where there’s a lot of helping others going on, let me tell you!!)

But being a writer...I can’t help but do a big sigh when I think about how huge of a goal it has been for me, and how I feel it hasn’t actually gone where I want it to.  Yet.  I’m not closing myself off to the idea of it, but I can’t help but admit I feel a tad bit intimidated, for lack of a better word.

When I was a kid we used to drive to Parksville at least once per year to go to Rathtrevor Beach.  Along the way I’d make a point to look out the window as we passed a cabin-y looking house right on the water that had one little room built at the top of it with windows instead of walls.  I would always daydream that I would one day live in this house by the water, and the little room on the top would be my writing room.  My oasis, where I would go to escape from the world and to write and write and write.  As if watching the waves of the ocean would be enough to make the words flow and I would find myself the successful novelist I had always dreamed I’d be.  I wouldn’t have to work anywhere else, because I would make enough money writing that it would be my living.

I don’t know if I was destined to have not taken it to that level by now (maybe the dream house was always out of reach, but I mean the Becoming A Writer aspect, even if it was only on the side and not a huge money maker) or if there are circumstances out of my control that have made it a whole lot harder a goal to reach.  Or maybe I’m just making up excuses for myself.  If one truly wants something, one will not stop until they have got it, right?  So I need to work on being an achiever, a go-getter, and I need to go, and I need to get!

I find the internet can be an amazing tool, and I’m not knocking it, because I would imagine there are many writers out there who would argue it’s BECAUSE of the internet that they’ve been successful and are able to reach the audience that they do, AND make money through ads or what have you.  (I’m thinking highly read, far-reaching blogs, for example).  But I also see it from the flip side - that it can feel as though the internet is making it impossible to make a go of this ‘writing’ thing.  There are SO MANY WRITERS out there, ANYONE can be a writer, and when you start searching the internet, it might seem as though everyone and their dog is already doing it.  It can be hard to find your truly creative side when you get that sinking feeling that ‘it’s already been done’ and when confidence is low, it’s easy to feel that there are other people out there who would do a far better job of it.

Someone on James’ side of the family (not his mother this time, ha) once said that I would never write anything that anyone else would want to read, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t still write.  I’m taking it a bit out of context here, it wasn’t meant to sound as harsh and terrible as it does.  But it didn’t come across as positive or kind either, and it is something that has stuck with me, despite that it was in the neighbourhood of 10 years ago that it was said to me.  It has always bothered me when I think about that, and part of me just felt dejected when I heard that, but another part of me is feeling the urge to prove her wrong!  My grade 7 writing teacher told me I was going to be the next Stephen King, and I had high school teachers who were more than encouraging about me being a writer.  I’m not saying I’m ever going to make any best sellers lists, but if I don’t write, how can I ever expect to get anywhere?!  

This is another area I’m working on this year, and I don’t just mean blog posts.  I love writing on my blog, although I’ve wanted to make changes with that for the longest time, too.  I need it as an outlet sometimes, but mostly I like to record things so I have a record of what’s been happening, especially in the kids’ lives.  But I need to be more focused on writing on the computer ‘for my eyes only’, writing a story, being creative, getting into my own head and unleashing the writer within!  She’s there, she’s just been on a way-too-long hiatus.  Enough is enough!  Another goal for 2015 is to get my creative juices flowing, and start writing the novel that I KNOW I’ve got within me.

Just call me Monica

Today I did a big grocery shop.  I actually pretty well stuck to my list (one of my goals moving forward, not getting suckered into buying stuff we don’t actually NEED) and stocked up on things that I have recipe plans for already.  I’ve written out several slow cooker recipes that I want to try, and I even printed off a meal plan for the next week.  It’s something I’ve always wanted to be more organized with, but have never followed through with.  It feels good to know that our entire week of dinners is already planned out, so I won’t have to think about it each day.  I’m only planning Monday to Friday at this point, because James might do some cooking on the weekends, or we can throw whatever together.  For this week I’ve picked 3 slow cooker meals, one super easy to make meal (tacos and Mexican rice), and Friday night is either leftovers or an easy pasta dish with salad.  Done!  Fingers crossed I don’t have any slow cooker fails along the way.  LOL

I have to admit, I’ve totally been hit by the new year I-must-organize-everything-in-my-life-NOW bug.  I actually went out and got some mini plastic drawer bins to work on getting our kitchen drawers more organized.  My dad is a total neat freak beyond the normal person’s standards, so I didn’t take it TOO personally, but over the holidays he did a bit of work around our house and when he brought our screwdriver into the kitchen a few days ago he said to me, ‘Should I just put this back in the junk drawer?’ and proceeded to open up the drawer NEXT to the junk drawer and put it in there!  I said, ‘I know that drawer LOOKS like a junk drawer right now, but it actually isn’t.’  LOL  He felt bad, but I knew it was an honest mistake.  It’s a drawer for napkins, straws, cake candles, baking items (cookie cutters, cupcake liners etc), our corkscrew and wine stoppers.  It’s a mish mash of stuff but it makes sense to have it all in one drawer (although I’m changing it up a bit now that I’m re-organizing).  It DID look junky.  But it really hit home that it’s time I did something about it.

We have a fair bit of cupboard and drawer space, I actually really like the layout of our kitchen.  But sometimes when we have the space we organize things according to having the room, and then suddenly it appears chock a block full when in reality I could probably organize it (and scale back) and have at least one whole cupboard/drawer emptied out (or at least that’s my goal).  I want to do this so that the entire cupboard in the dining room (which currently contains overflow stuff from the kitchen, things I don’t use often or need to get rid of but haven’t) can be a designated game/craft supply area for the kids.  I want there to be lots of paper and supplies on the ready so Andrew can go get everything he needs himself, without me always having to look for his scissors or find his felts or whatever it may be.  He LOVES crafting and is constantly wanting to draw and do art projects, so he will have everything in one place and at his fingertips (and yes, I will monitor it to make sure the girls can’t get his scissors!)

We have SO MUCH STUFF and I want to scale it back and I am ACTUALLY working on doing that finally.  I make myself sound totally neurotic when it comes to organizing, and maybe I am a bit, but I just know I will feel SO MUCH BETTER once it’s all done.  There’s always a lot more that can and should and HAS to be done, but I did manage to get a major chunk of work done on my closet over the ‘holidays’, and it actually is really good for my psyche when I walk into my closet now and it’s not cluttered and for the most part everything is where it should be.  It makes me happy, and if I can extend that throughout the rest of the house, maintaining it will be the only challenge left.  And I guess that’s where things usually go awry, because obviously I’ve had things organized how I want them before, it just never seems to stay that way.  If I declutter in the process of tidying, though, it should be manageable.


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