Guilty Pleasure

It was Xandra and Jeremy’s Sports Day today.

Xandra & Poojah

In the past we have been “those involved parents”. You know…..the ones helping out in the classroom, helping the teachers with photocopying or with crafts or field trips or at the concession stands at sports days or family fun nights.

You need someone to help out. WE ARE HERE TO SERVE.

This has always been our “way” of doing things. And then……

Then I lost Nathaniel and yet I still plowed on. Then we had the other 3 losses and I still plowed on. Then I got pregnant with Siah and still plowed on. Then my brother just about died in a crash with a semi-truck and I took a tiny break but still I plowed on. Are you sensing a theme here??? Then I had Siah and planned on plowing on, but I realized that I needed to take “sometime” to focus on just us…..and I did still end up heading back into the school to help out but during that time off something shifted.

Running HardI realized that my kids were important, and that I wanted to help out and be involved with them and their school, but WHY???

That became the BIG QUESTION for me.

See, I do think that if it’s possible, that it’s a good, and even a GREAT, idea to be somewhat involved in the school that your kids go to.

1. If you are involved then the teachers actually get to “know” you.
2. The “knowing” leads to relationship and SO MUCH BENEFIT comes from relationship.
3. If there are any problems with your child, it is so much easier to navigate those murkey waters from a position of relationship.
4. If your child needs extra help academically, the “relationship” that you have with the teachers means that you will get better treatment than those who are fringe parents….is this a “fair” thing, nope, but it is what it is…

Relationship is everything. So much in the “real world” is in “who you know”….it can make or break you.

BUT….I have found that finding the balance is SO important.

Am I there? No, in fact this past year has been a wicked brutal year for us and I have probably swung way to far to the other end of the spectrum and and am desperately hanging off the threads of the past few years of relationship to carry me through this year.

Jon and I got hired in town (Vancouver) in January of this year and we live out in the Fraser Valley and that means that typically 3-4 days a week we make the hour’s commute in and then again at the end of the day and we have just been basically trying to survive. All of this with one pre-teen (that right there is enough for a crisis all on it’s own) who is also in her first year of late French Immersion. One other pre-teen who’s moods can flail from one end of the spectrum to the other within the space of 5 minutes. A son with ADD/ADHD who is struggling with all that entails, and a baby. It’s been a bit of a wild ride the past 6 months. Add selling off a part of our company and still maintaining the other part of it….and yah, it’s rocked!!!!

Outta Control

One thing that has TOTALLY fallen off the radar is school volunteering.

We walked onto the school yard today and hearing the comments of “it’s been so long since we’ve seen you around here?” and “You’ve been so busy, eh?” and all the other little comments just nailed home to me how brutal it is to live under all that pressure.

It’s amazing how guilt sits like a cloud around the school.

Siah

We attended the Sports Day today. That’s it. We could have offered to help. We could have squeezed some blood out of that stone and given some more of our time and our selves and yet we chose not to.

We chose to focus only on our kids. We went. We cheered them on. We took pics. We bought them junk food from the concession stand to celebrate the day and then we left before it all finished.

It felt HORRIBLE and yet AMAZING.

Siah & Jon

I felt like we were letting the other parents down by not “doing our part”. I realize that if there are no volunteers then a lot of fun things won’t happen, but sometimes you just have to enjoy your kids without the pressure and responsibility of making it all happen for everyone else. And today…..was that day for us. And I determined that I was going to enjoy every minute that I was there. It was so nice to just “be there” for our kids.

I’m already feeling the pressure of having to start all over again and building relationship with the teachers and principals at the kids new school in September. But I’m hoping that I’ll be able to do it for good reasons and within boundaries that work for me and don’t lead me to feel like I’m giving everything that I have or being taken advantage of.

Randomness

I sat in the baby’s room last night, listening to him scream and then stop and then scream and then stop and all the while singing and shushing him and desperately hoping that he would just hurry up and “go to sleep” already. Fun Times, I tell you. Fun Times! No, I can’t just leave him in there all alone to scream himself to sleep. One – there is that whole, “life is precious and even more so since I held my son in my arms and then left him at the hospital never to see him again” thing and two he can sort of climb/fall/drop out of his bed and I don’t want him hurting himself. It wasn’t that long and he was stopping and starting which means that he wasn’t really serious….just pissed!

*****

Jon stayed working late in Vancouver last night and so it was all 4 of the the monkey versus me in the evening struggle. Again with the even more funner times. I don’t think “funner” is a word, let alone the phrase “more funner”, but I’m not changing it.

*****

TMI warning…….you’ve been warned…..read at your own comfort level….

Remember last month when I talked about this amazing tea and how it had totally helped me out with regards to extremely heavy flow. At that point it hadn’t done anything about the length of the cycle (42 days I think it was last month which I attributed to nursing, but I’m still nursing right now so…….?) Well, I’m so pleased to be able to say that this month I am ROCKIN’ a whole 29days. Yup! I almost didn’t believe it, but it’s kind of hard to ignore the signs. I was pretty certain I had at least another week or two, and when I counted out the days….WOOO HOO! 29 , BABY! And so far, we’re rocking the lighter flow and so this is truly what I’d call, “A Happy Period!” Thank you, Always! And just so you know….I’ve always (pun intended) hated that slogan.

But I am totally happy with my tea and the way that my body is regulating and cycling “normally”. I wasn’t even as “witchy” as I can sometimes be around this time of the month……that’s good too, eh? AND…..it probably explains a little of my “down” mood over the past week….right? Now that I think about it, it would also explain the wicked tummy ache that I had on Sunday….hmmmm?!?!?

*****

We had the Home Inspector over to the town home yesterday morning and apparently we are buying the best deal on the face of the planet or at least in BC. Two elderly people who have not really lived in the house for the past 14 years, since it was built, are giving us an immaculately cared for place. Little things like the BRAND NEW, installed 2 months ago dishwasher…has never been used because how many dirty dishes can two old people make and really, its faster to just hand wash them. And they are leaving behind their little in perfect working order freezer so we can ditch our energy sucking monster that we can never seem to fill up any how. And the 14 year old water heater, looks like new and only it’s serial number shows it’s true age……honestly…the water heater is the only thing (aside from the roof which we know about) that we might need to replace in the somewhat distant future. The home inspector figured that the water heater might spazz out when actually expected to…you know……work! With 6 people, and at least one load of laundry per day and at least one load of dishes in the BRAND NEW dishwasher…..it’s going to be something that gets a work out….

But…..we are getting a wicked, WICKED deal. And the tools….OH MY GOODNESS….I should let Jon tell you about the tools….some that have never been used and they are leaving them for Jon…He feels like he’s gone to testosterone heaven.

I do believe that we are being given a HUGE blessing in the this town home; and while I’m still struggling with SHARING my property and not just having a stand alone HOUSE….I can see how this is SUCH A BLESSING FOR US in SO MANY ways.

*****

I’ve not packed one more box since the weekend and a huge part of me is FREAKING OUT ABOUT THAT. Another part says….hey, it’ll all get done, right?

*****

I’ve gone to work today and left a brutally messy house behind me. I hate to say this, but honestly….I don’t even want to come home because it’s going to be even messier….unless Jon has done something about it and there is nothing that I care to do about it until tomorrow when I have my next “home” day. And so…it sits….unhappy and messy….and causing stress.

*****

I can’t wait for school to be over because seriously….if we had to go through another month coughing up as much dough as we have this past month for various field trips…..we’d be bankrupt….seriously. Why do they save it up until the last month? Why not spread it out over the year? We are fortunate enough to be able to afford these field trips (times 3 kids), but I GUARANTEE you that there are more than just a few parents who can’t and who are feeling incredibly guilty that they can’t nd so are going into debt so as not to be embarrassed over it. It’s not cool.

*****

I think that’s all I got for ya right now….but I’ll leave you with two questions?

Are you a sock person or a no sock person? (I’m a “no sock” person, year round)

What is your favorite “summer” colour? (my favourite “summer” color is red…think strawberries, watermelon, cherries)

Starting the Year Off Right

ILast night I was SO EXCITED because today was the first day back at school for the kids.

BUT………even though it’s the first Day of School for the New Year……..it’s a freakin’ snow day!

Can you believe it?

Because I sure can’t. I mean, I was thrilled that I got a little bit of a sleep in, BUT….when I woke up at 7:45am and FREAKED OUT because we were going to be late – that was not so nice. But, after being told that it was in fact a snow day and after my heart moved back out of my throat…

Well, then I didn’t know what to think. On one hand there was no running around trying to get everyone off to school, BUT…..on the other hand – everyone is home for the day!

I was SOOOOOOO looking forward to the day without all the kids and to be able to clean up the house and to get a TON of stuff accomplished – Yah NOT!

So, I will be wrangling the kids into helping out today and that might just encourage them enough to head outside and play for a good long time.

The snow this year has been AMAZING. And I love it that my kids are getting the opportunity to have some “real snow time”. So often, we get just a skiff of snow and it’s hardly even enough to make a snowball, and then it washes away within the day.

I remember getting a big dump of snow similar to this one when I was about 12 years old living in North Vancouver and we all thought it was the best things ever. In fact, I think that the private school that I went to even cancelled for one day, and that was a miracle because it was NEVER cancelled – not for any reason.

So, like I was saying, I love that my kids are able to get out and really enjoy the snow. It is sure making for a fun winter and some great memories.

Do you have snow this winter? Have you got any good memories of snowy times in your past? Have you been able to make any great memories this year?

Some News

Alright, so I’m feeling a bit better – Thanks to all who asked, commented or e-mailed. I haven’t had such a sore throat in a long time. But I think I’m on the mend. It was weird…no other symptoms except a wicked sore throat.

AND…..YES!!!! It was my birthday yesterday. I’m now officially 33 years old. I’m easy 10 years older than Xandra’s teacher this year….and THAT makes me feel like a geezer. Okay, maybe not 10, but he’s a guy and he looks younger than he actually is – which is a good thing because he looks really young…..really REALLY young. But he seems like a really nice guy so it’s all good – I guess, eh?

So, thanks for all the Facebook messages, and the e-mails and the phone calls and texts, and well – I felt totally loved and spolied.

Jon took me out for breafast in the morning (I love going out for breakfast – It’s my favorite!) and then two of my girlfriends took me out for all you can eat Sushi for lunch (that’s my next favorite) and then my brother was going to take me (and Jon) out for dinner, but at that point I was “yucking out in my pants” ……ha ha ha ha – that was something I said a very long time ago, and I can’t believe that it just popped into my head right then. Actually, I was feeling very full, but still excited about going out for dinner – Can you imagine a whole day without me having to prepare ONE SINGLE MEAL…yah, me either, so this was AWESOME.

BUT….and there’s always a but, eh? But, we remembered that it was “Meet the Teacher Night” at both the Middle and the Elementary School, and so we rescheduled for early next week…..was it Monday or Tuesday? I don’t remember? Hmmmmm Chris????? Help me out?

And, in the middle of all this, my house is an absolute disaster and looks and feels like a bomb exploded and a camel threw up. Fortunately, my natural deodorant is still working and so it doens’t stink and above all else…..THAT IS AWESOME. I cannot tell you how amazing it is to go to out, and to sweat, and to stay in those same clothes all day, and then to take them off at the end of the day and to do a pit sniff and other than the fact that you “know” you sweated in them – THERE IS NO STENCH! So much so that if you wanted to be gross and disgusting – which I don’t – you could totally get away wth wearing them again the next day…..which I wouldn’t, but I could….I totally could.

This is so unbelieveble to me. I am starting to grasp the fact that I am not a stinky hippie any longer. YAAAAAAHHHH!

Okay, so back to the bomb exploding, camel vomiting disaster of a house…….

A while back my favorite earrings broke.

It was hell!

My sister made these earrings for me back when she worked in a Rock and Gem Store in North Vancouver. They went with just about every piece of clothing that I owned and they were the perfect mix of not too dressy, but not too casual. They were perfect! PERFECT, I tell you!

Well, I wore them right out! One of them broke on me after YEARS of almost daily wear.

I was devestated, and so after an appropriate mourning period, I decided to move on and attempt to recreate a new pair that was as close to the originals as possible.

I headed to Michaels, and found some stuff and whipped up a new pair in no time at all.

While I was there, I got sucked into the black hole of the beading and jewelry section, and I will never again be able to climb my way out of there again. THE END!

Actually, I was overcome with ideas and possibilities, and well….in any spare time – like nap time or after bed time in the evenings – I started making some jewelry.

A friend of mine came over and saw some of the stuff and well….she picked up a few pieces, and then I had the opportunity to go and hang out for an evening with a bunch of ladies, and I sold a bunch more pieces…..and so….with a huge amount of panic little bit of stress…..I am now going to be selling some jewelery on-line.

I’ve not uploaded all the pieces into the store, and we still have bugs and glitches that we are working out, but if you’re interested – go and take a look and maybe…just maybe, there will be something that you like.

Keep checking back regularly as I still have pieces to add, and I’m making new pieces in my spare time…HA HA HA HA HA! Spare time, what is that?

Also, if you see something that you like, but you are wondering about different colors – let me know and we’ll try to work something out.

If you come across any glitches or *gasp* spelling mistakes (I would never make any of those) and you have the time….let me know so that I can make everything look as good as possible.

Hey, something in my life has to be neat and tidy and it sure ain’t my house, right now.

I’ll be adding some more product to the store today and then once again, we are off to Vancouver this weekend AND….AND…..I’m getting my hair done on Saturday! YAH! So I’ll post pictures, as soon as I can.

And hopefully, things will be getting back to normal and my regularly scheduled blatherings will resume and life will be grand, eh?

Am I nuts to think of hope for that?

I Could Hardly Wait

I was so excited that today was the first day of school, and now that it’s finally here……I really, really, REALLY can’t wait for tomorrow.

See, today is just a teaser. I had kids that couldn’t sleep last night, they were so excited that they were going to go to school tomorrow, and when I woke up to feed the baby at 4am – I found a middle sized child alseep in the floor in the hallway. Lovely, eh?

No, it wasn’t sleep walking or sleeping or whatever you want to call it. She had a whole bed of blankets and pillows all laid out. Whatever she did obviously took some planning and effort on her part, and she must have done it AFTER we went to bed around 10:30pm or so…little goof ball!

I am SO excited that it’s fall. This always seems like the beginning of a year. It’s like I get two new years…one in the fall, and the normal one in January. Do you feel like that, too?

Anyway, I was talking about today, and how I was so excited, but really it’s just a joke, because the kids are all home before lunch time. SERIOUSLY! Who planned this? Not a parent, obviously! Mind you, I don’t deal with separation anxiety and so I have no crying children wanting to be with me and no crying parents wanting to be with the children.

So, I am thrilled with my quiet moments this morning, and then will be even MORE thrilled with my quiet day tomorrow.

I think Siah is thrilled for the quiet too. It’s been a bit of a “maulled” summer. Siah has been a GIANT DOLL, and while that can be fun for the older kids….yah…not so much for the baby or the mom.

Well, I’m off to make the most of my “quiet time” They’ll be ready for pick up, WAY TOO SOON!