Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mommy Madness

Tomorrow is the big day. I send my kiddos on the bus, pack my bags, and head out with three other Moms for a girls weekend away.

Guess how I'm feeling about it? I bet your answer is not going to be right.

I'm a bit anxious! I was even teary last night thinking about being away from my girls. Clearly, I don't go away enough.

I know it's going to be a blast. These other Moms have babies, so they are even more excited than I am to get outta Dodge. We have movies planned, dinners, shopping galore. We're all bringing a bottle of wine.

As one friend said, "We're going to go to dinner at 5pm and not leave the restaurant til 10pm! We're going to savour every moment, even if it means pre-dinner drinks, dinner drinks, and dessert drinks." Umm, I may be passed out at the dinner drink stage.

I know I need this time. I know it's good to recharge my batteries and spend some time in adult company. I know my girls and husband will have a great time here. My husband travels on business once a month, so the girls are used to him being gone a few days and "just" being with me. They aren't however, used to Mommy being gone.

It doesn't help that yesterday at the bus stop my youngest started tearing up about me going away. That got me tearing up as well. Sigh.

Wish me some safe travels, if you can. Oh, and maybe send a little extra thought that I just relax and enjoy and that it makes my homecoming on Sunday even more special.

Maybe I just need a little extra retail therapy.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mrs. Intensity

You know how we always want what we don't have? Like you cut your hair short, and then want it long? Or you'd like straight hair when yours is annoyingly wavy/messy and you have to spend 45 mins straightening it and drying it out. Sigh. Anyways, that kind of thing.

Sometimes I wish I was a less intense person. I'm typically confrontational in life. I don't mean I go around starting fights with people or that I reply to every annoying person in line at the grocery store. I mean that when an issue comes up in my life, I tend to analyze, pick it apart and confront it over and over again.

I just think sometimes that it might be nice to be a "bury your head in the sand" type. How blissful would it be to just ignore things or not let stressful situations totally frazzle you. I imagine it's pretty darn sweet.

I'm easy going when it comes to a lot of things in life. I'm the friend that doesn't really care where we go or what we do-let's just go do it! I don't get my panties in a bunch if someone has to cancel on me for whatever reason. I'm not easily hurt or sensitive about unintentional slights. I'm chill with most of that type of activity. I think most of my friends would say I'm pretty casual and laid back.

Yet, there's that intense side to me that is like a dog with a bone. I just can't let go of something until I feel like I've completely wrestled with it in my mind and pinned it into submission. I mean, I'm intense in other ways too, of course. I'm a control freak about my home and my kids and wanting things "just so." You know that from reading the blog.

I know emotionally though I've been given the advice over and over to just "let it go." I can honestly say that I don't even know how to do that or be that person. I'll let it go when I'm good and ready and done with it, to my satisfaction. Hmmm, maybe that's a control issue again. I know people on the receiving end of my tenacity would like to be let off the hook when I get like that, and sure, sometimes I'd like to catch and release.

It'll just take me longer to do so, once it's been examined from every angle and each aspect of the issue debated and wrangled and made into a "pros and cons" list.

Yep, they call me MRS. Intensity.

Monday, April 26, 2010

POP Culture

I'm a bit of media whore. I admit it freely.

The first things I do in the morning while sipping my coffee are check my email, my social media outlets and then and I follow celeb news and gossip. I tend to know the latest fad, the latest hot song, the latest social buzz. I know both the teenybopper idols as well as most of the hip hoppers.

I guess you never realize until you are living it, but I never thought I'd see some of my friends, some people MY age not knowing this stuff. Remember how your parents always seemed out of tune with "the now." It was the "older folk" that didn't stay up on things that had us chuckling to ourselves and shaking our heads in amusement.

Umm, dudes, that IS some of you!

Now, many of these friends of mine would say that knowing about celebrities is not important. They'd say that music is subjective and they don't have to know about Justin Bieber. In my humble opinion though, it IS important to stay up to date because it makes you more relevant. That's a big statement huh?

I think staying current keeps you young, keeps you abreast of societal movements and norms and trends, and heck, just makes you look fly in front of your kids or grandkids, yo!

Though it may seem that it's "just media buzz," I think the media has a large impact on the social climate and expectations on North American society as a whole. Sure, it doesn't matter "specifically" that Heidi Montag had 10 plastic surgeries in one day, but it does set a new standard for young women out there that worship such celebs. It sets a stage for the preceding up and coming "wannabe's." What will be too excessive 5 years from now?

One thing I know is, I'll be up to date on it all.

It helps that I have a curiosity about literally everything out there, but even if I didn't I think I'd still be watching for that next big thing. My Mom is 65 and compared to her friends has a whole encyclopedia of knowledge about the top books, music and clothing for kids on up. She's always reading the new top novels or scoping out the newest jewellery fad. She just got a Kameleon ring with the pop outs-something I just saw teen girls and Moms on the block in my neighbourhood discussing and planning on purchasing, if not already wearing one. I don't think there's anything more ageing that not being somewhat in the know or up to date on current affairs, whether they be CNN worthy or more ET worthy.

It doesn't mean, either, that we have to buy into everything that we're reading or being shown. Of course not. I'd hope people have an internal radar that filters out excessive garbage. I think what I'm trying to recommend is "keeping a finger on the pulse."

My finger is always poised and ready!

Friday, April 23, 2010


Both of my nieces turned 18 this last little while. My sister's daughter turned 18 last Friday, and my brother in law's daughter today. I cannot believe how the time has flown.

Those two girls were little 4 year olds in yellow dresses dancing through bubbles at my wedding. They were my flower girls, and looked absolutely adorable.

My sisters daughter spent a lot of time with my husband and I and I've delighted in watching her grow and change every step of the way. I have fond memories of camping trips and dressing her up to play at the park. I was a student back then, working part time. Anytime I had extra money, I'd be shopping for little dresses for her. She was, and is, sweet and kind and easy going.

We visited my other niece in their home in Sooke, flying out when my own daughter was 15 months old. At the time, she was a little girl on the verge of entering the preteen stage. We went fishing and watched Disney movies. She, too, is an easy going, laid back type of girl.

Now, here we are so many years later. I've been busy raising my own family, and my nieces have grown from girls into women. They are both graduating highschool this year, off to the big world of University and the experiences they'll have there. They have so much ahead of them, and they are in an incredible moment in their lives.

I know that my time with my own daughters is going to go by just as fast. Our time with our little ones really isn't very long before they are off building dreams and ambitions and a life of their own.

When I look at my nieces, and my little girls, I can see their little baby faces and their first steps and words. I can also see the women they are and will become, and it makes me proud to see this group of females in my family. They are strong, smart and kind. Their Moms did incredible jobs with them. I hope my girls turn out as wonderful as my two nieces.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It Has Finally Dawned On Me....

As I go about my daily life, out there in the big, wide world, I try to be a nice person. It's really important to me to be kind, and to teach my daughters that virtue as well. I hold doors for people, I offer to carry grocery bags for the elderly I see hobbling to their vehicles, I give up my seat for those that need, I always say please and thank you.

I really and truly, naively perhaps, thought that most people were conscientious enough to want to be nice to their fellow man. Huh, call me silly, but it turns out a lot of folks out there really don't care.

It makes me sad that so many people are just thinking about number 1. Their focus is on themselves, getting there first, getting or being the best, and rushing through their own little lives without a second thought to the rest of humanity.

On top of that, it turns out that to many folks, being a good person isn't really important. It's not something they strive for or aim for in their everyday lives. Again, back to themselves and what is going on only in their own small circle of the Universe.

Don't get me wrong, I know that there are many individuals out there like me. There are people doing way bigger things to improve lives and the planet. I know that there are simple folks leading simple lives and struggling to do the best they can for themselves while still being mindful of others.

It's that saying though that one rotten banana spoils the bunch. Ummm, or something like that.

It brings me down to know that there is always going to be someone to knock the wind out of your sails or to delight in your loss. Who raised these people? Seriously! I know I can only "be the change I want to see" and hope my girls emulate that in their lives.

I guess the part that has me writing this blog, today, about this topic is that the realization finally hit me. I truly thought that everyone aspired to be "a good person." Turns out, some people could care less about that moniker. Shocker!

I feel bad for them, and what they're missing out on from just doing good. That warm feeling of making someone else's day, carrying their burden or making their load a little lighter, well, they'll just never experience those things. I hope being pissy all of the time works out for them. I really do.

'Cause....I'm a good person like that.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hump Day Happenin's

Soooo here we are mid-week and it seems to be flying by, well for me. The rest of the world isn't doing much "flying" as we speak. How often do volcanoes screw up worldwide flights? So bizarre.

Anyhoo. What have I been up to?

I found out on Sunday that my Dad and his wife had been hit in their van by a guy in a pickup truck speeding along and deciding to run a stop sign. My Dad is pretty banged up with his hair shaved off one patch and 14 stitches. He also got a stitch in his eyebrow and has a 6 inch gash ripped open behind his elbow. My Dad has also been blind in one eye since birth, and now his other eye is swollen completely closed and purple. So, he can't see at all. Remember my post the other day about "if I didn't have bad luck, I'd have no luck at all?" Ya, apparently it's genetic. The guy that hit them was airlifted and apparently isn't doing great. My Dad's wife has burns from the air bags and a broken thumb and smashed her knee. Luckily, her daughter and son in law are able to come stay and help them out. The creepy thing is, my Dad's wife sent pictures of my Dad looking gruesome. It would be an understatement to say it looks like a hostage situation photo. He looks dead. That was a lovely email to open along with Easter pics. Anyhoo. My Dad is still healing from everything else he has going on, and now just throw this onto the ever growing pile.

Other than that continual roller coaster, we went the other night to an award ceremony for my girls and they only have one week left to attend in that class. Phew. That will free up yet another night of the week where we don't have to be eating and running, which will be nice.

I've been having really bad munchies lately and I don't know what's up with me. For some reason, I never seem to feel full. I've been snacking on fruit but you can only eat so much fruit. Any suggestions for a healthy, crunchy snack that you can eat a bowl of (not just 3) and feel satiated? I'm desperate before I balloon up! You'd think I was a pot head with all of these snacking habits!

I'm currently counting down to my hair cut and highlights next Tuesday, which allows me a few hours of bliss. My hairdresser always books extra time when I come in because my hair is so thick. Yes, THAT thick. It's a great excuse to be gone so long so I don't mind! After that is also my weekend away with my friends! WOOHOO. That will be Friday to Sunday. We have grand plans to sleep in and nap, but know we probably will be up late and wake up early. Dang kids resetting our inner clocks!

One last vent before I go. I have a temper, but I'm really not a violent person. Sometimes though, there are just people that push your buttons so much that punching them right in the face seems not only appropriate, but necessary. Oh, I wouldn't ever do that, but a girl can dream.

On that note, I bid you goodnight. Sleep with one eye open!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Another Award!!!

Woohoo! Another award! This one is super cool too because it's a "Kreativ Blogger" award, and nothing thrills me more than being called creative-even when it's spelled in a kitschy way.

I was nominated by the lovely Meanie is a friend I went to high school with and enjoyed laughing with at the back of the classroom. She had a humour and style all her own, and it's refreshing to read her blog due in large part because she still carries those traits. She makes me laugh out loud and is even more anal retentive about order and organization than I am! (I'm so stealing that binder idea! I needs more deets on that!)

So, rules. There's always got to be a catch with an award, huh? Luckily I didn't have to spend any time on the casting couch for this one!

1. You must thank the person who has given you the award.

2. Copy the award logo and place it on your blog.

3. Link the person who has nominated you for the award.

4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.

5. Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers.

6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.

7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs to let them know they have been nominated

So......Seven things about myself. After the Honest Scrap last week, I don't know that I can let you all in on more psychosis' but I'll definitely try.

1.I not only like things in order, but I like them placed the exact way that aesthetically speaks to me. If I enter a room and a vase or tchosky is placed alternately than how I left it, my eye will be drawn immediately there and I'll have to place it back right away or my entire being is thrown off kilter. I wish I was joking, but alas, I'm not.

2. I used to alphabetize my CD collection. I don't anymore because I got married and my husband thinks that's nuts. WTH? HE'S nuts.

3. If I'm at a restaurant, I clean the table for the servers. I clean up all of the plates and stack them and I tidy the condiments etc. All that's left for them to do is take the plates away and wipe the table. Again, my husband has issue with this habit.

4. One thing my husband REALLY likes though, he'll take something out of the fridge or cupboard and plan on using it. He usually walks away though and I come in behind him and put it back in the fridge or cupboard again. He gets all pissy pants and irate, "I haven't even used that yet!!" Pffft. Whateves.

5. My husband really loves my quirkiness. No, really.

6. When the song "Fighter" from Christina Aguilera comes up on my iPod when I'm on the treadmill, well, let's just say I'm glad I work out at home. I sing at the top of my lungs and I fist pump. I even swagger my walk a little. Hells yeah. It's my theme song ya know. At least it's one of many.

7. I have a girl crush on Johnny Depp's wife. I'm not sure what it is about Vanessa Paradis, but I just think she's this laid back, cool chick that always looks good and has cool music and umm, she's married to Johnny Depp!

There ya have it! I don't necessarily know if those are seven things you might find "interesting" about me, but it gives you some fodder to feel better about yourself, no?

Now, on to the nominations! The envelope please......

1. She shares recipes and craft ideas as well as Mommy Moments. On top of which, I love her blogs' name, "Tales From the Fairy Blogmother."

2. Writer, blogger, crafter, friend. She's got a ton of talent and she's sweet to boot!

3. I've been reading and following her blog for a long time now, though I don't think I've ever even commented! Oops! Guess this will be my first one!

4. I want to read her seven things! She's got great, great ideas and tips and she's always full of knowledge and fun! Plus, she's my friend IRL and a wonderful person at that!

5. My friend who is hilarious and writes great tales about her family and kids. Well, they aren't really tales because they are true-which is sometimes funny for me and maybe a little less so for her.

6. Another blog I read faithfully and have for awhile now, but never comment. Geeze. I'm coming out of hiding for this award!

7. Last but not least, another blog I just started reading. I like the "Mom" blogs that are witty and a bit sarcastic or tongue in cheek, but where you also know that the person takes being a Mom pretty seriously. Well, at least seriously funny.

I don't know if I can STAND all of these awards. I hope the cheque's in the mail for my prize money!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Do I HAVE A Personal Style?

Some women I know, even close friends, have a very distinctive style. One of my friends, for example, runs on the "classic" clothing style. Her wardrobe will never go out of style and she always looks fabulous. (Hi Claire!) Actually, I can think of a few friends that have a very distinctive type of "look." You'd never see them in something totally out of that style range.

Yesterday's post featuring "10 Honest Things" got me thinking about style. Even though I sounded like the most shallow human being ever, I'm actually slightly neurotic in my clothing choices. You know on "What Not To Wear" when they ask the participants to stay within their style but with clothes that fit and work with their body types? Ya, I'd be standing there clueless with that task.

My clothing style runs a bit more multiple personality like in that, I like stuff from all categories. Of course, there is always the fact that I say "when I'm thinner I'll wear clothing I REALLY like and want to wear!!" Back to "What Not To Wear." They say dress the size you are now. I prefer just not to buy anything for myself and instead have daughters who need new dressers because theirs cannot contain the amount of clothing they now own. Hey, I'm saving my family money, right? Adult clothing is way more expensive!

On a typical day, I like to look casual, maybe kind of sporty, and a bit trendy. I love me some Converse runners. I had red hightops in highschool, and now own black ones. My local shoe store got in some green ones (finally!) and I'll be picking those up as well. I like yoga pants and sweat capris and flip flops. Really though, who doesn't? The hoodie is a staple in my wardrobe. I tend to even wear them out with constant use.

If I'm dressing up though, I love high wedge shoes (I have a red pair that I absolutely adore) and blazers. I'm big on funky, clunky costume jewellery and artisan pieces. I like to wear something kind of trendy and a bit different. I love to accessorize with a nice Coach purse and some cool shades too.

On the other hand, at heart, I'm truly a hippie chick when it comes to certain items. For my wedding, I wanted to wear my hair down and wavy with flowers in it, and a I found a flowy, white empire waist gown with embroidered daisies. I was hoping for bare feet too. My Mom didn't agree. Sigh. I love the look of braids that are everywhere now, and I love embroidery and flowy shirts and dresses.

I guess my clothing style does really reflect my personality, though. Sometimes, I'm that sporty, casual chick, sometimes I'm a bit of a free spirited hippie, and sometimes I'm a funky, sassy lady. I can't really pick one style, because that wouldn't be fair to the other facets of my personality.

One thing I know I'm NOT though-and that is high maintenance. I don't have the patience to be that picky about everything from head to toe. Also, as a tomboy growing up, it just doesn't interest me or come naturally. You'll never catch me looking overly girly or ruffly or frilly.

I'm trying to think of a celebrity that most matches my style, and I'm having trouble finding a fit. I could say Drew Barrymore in some ways, but in others she's too "out there" for me.

I guess it comes down to my style can't be described as anything but "me." A hodge podge, eclectic mix of many styles.

Or none?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Honest Scrap Award

Yippee! I've been nominated for my first "Honest Scrap" Award by Liisa over at "Fit For A Kid".( ) Thanks Liisa! Check out her blog, fairly new in conception, but full of great info, reviews and musings. I find Liisa's blog informative and refreshing. She gives me ideas for things to try and honestly, makes me want to do more-both in general and in the sense that it's okay to be a Mom but also be "me" first. I need that wake up call more often than not.

So, part of the award involves me divulging ten things about myself that are straight up honest. Geeze. That's kind of scary. What kind of Pandora's Box might that resemble? Nevertheless, here it is, in all it's glory.

1. I just started collecting Fire King Jadeite pieces about a year ago. Green is my favourite colour, for one, but I just love the milky look of the pieces. If you know of any, have any, or feel the need to send me a gift-please do so!

2. I'm a Coach-a-holic. I love Coach bags, glasses, name it. Again, gifts welcome.

3. I've been toying with the idea of a tattoo and a nose piercing for over 10 years now. At some point, I'm going to have to either just do it, or just forget it. As I near 40, the just forget it seems more likely.

4. I feel like Micheal Jackson in a way. I had a mole beside my nose removed, I have contact lenses, I had porcelain veneers done on my front teeth and I'm looking forward to lasik and a tummy tuck in the future. I would never go as far as Joan Rivers or Heidi Montag or anything....but I'm not opposed to getting a little work done either.

5. The above "honesty" makes me sound very vain. In truth, I'm a yoga pant wearing, messy bedheaded chick in converse runners most days. To describe my style as relaxed is a huge understatement.

6. I read voraciously. If I like a book-watch out. It doesn't matter how long it is, I'll read it in a day. (case in point-The Book of Negroes) That said, I love the classics. Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice are two of my most favourite books, ever. I can't even count how many times I've read them.

7. I also love Beatrix Potter. I used to collect her books and anything I could get my hands on. My eldest daughter's nursery was decorated in anything and everything Potter. I love the illustrations and the way the animals have personalities and lives.

8. I got biogel nails a few months back, to try, and loved the way they made my tiny, child sized hands seem more ladylike. However, I cannot function in my daily life with these things!!! I'm going on Monday to have them removed. I figure that if I am willing to spend 35 dollars a month on maintaining fake nails, surely I could spend 15 dollars on manicures for my own nails upkeep? Of course, I've thought about doing that many times and never end up doing it and that's why my nails often look like crap.

9. I'm a perfectionist, but a procrastinator. I want everything just "so," but it'll take me forever to just do it. I'm also a list maker and nothing makes me happier than crossing something off. You'd think that would make the procrastination less appealing, but no.

10. For Mother's day, and I say this every year, honestly, the best gift I could get would be my house cleaned top to bottom and my appliances scrubbed down within an inch of their lives. I hate cleaning the appliances for one. For two, just having someone else do that for me, for one week, would truly be the best gift EVER. Add some fresh flowers into a few rooms and change the beds too......and I'd be revelling in complete and total bliss for a long time.

There you have it, folks. Those are some true and scary facts regarding "moi." The next order of business is to award the Honest Scrap on to the next blogger! So, I'm awarding this honour to my friend, and sister from another mother, Laura over at "A Legend In My Own Mind." ( Have fun Laura!

Dream A Little Dream.....

As a Mom, I think I've thought about this, cried about this, vented about this, and blogged about this before today. I guess it's a pervasive process; one that keeps me going in circles with no real resolution. Nonetheless, I keep throwing it out to the universe at large.

I grew up with a decent childhood between the ages of birth and around eight. From there, though my Mom tried to keep things normal, it was pretty much shite. My stepfather was a violent and abusive alcoholic and he made our lives pretty hellish. He shot guns in the house (retired cop) and shut off power and heat if we stayed home sick from school. Fun times! Definitely not.

I think somewhere in that time frame, I decided that when I had a family, I'd make everything "perfect" for them. I dreamt of the idyllic life for my future kiddos.

I had other dreams, of course, too. I wanted my life to be a certain way, and I wanted to travel, and I wanted to be a writer and.....well, a million other fantasies big and small. When you're a teenager or twenty something-the world's possibilities seem endless.

I met my husband and we started our family, and I made that my singular focus in life. I think I've challenged myself to be a great Mom. I really try, very hard, to do all that I can for my kids, while not overdoing it so that they build character. I walk that tightrope daily and try to balance it all out. The shadow of what I lived is always hanging over my shoulder, so I'm conscious of making sure my kids live as wonderful a life as I can provide for them. I would say that it has shaped how I parent and how I live and it's become, right or wrong, my "everything."

Truly, I vacillate between being proud of it, and contemplating if it's enough. On the one hand, I've met my ambitions. (with many years still to climb of course. The teenage years? Ya. We'll see) On the other hand, life is short and where the hell am "I" in it?

The truth is, I don't even dream for myself anymore. I don't think I have since I looked upon my first daughters face. That moment changed everything for me, and any dreams for myself became visions for my children. That's both virtuous and martyred in the same breath, I know.

I was reading yesterday, as I do everyday. Rick Shroeder was featured with his family. They had moved to Spain for a year because it was his wife's dream. He was quoted as saying (and I paraphrase here) that "how could he not let her have her dream?" I sighed a little when I read it and thought to myself that I'd love to do that too. How cool would that be for my kids? What an education they'd receive in culture and "life." Then I felt kind of startled, too.

Since when did "I" dream about living in a foreign city for a year? Me, that hates to fly and has never been to Europe at all? This is the same chick that worries about moving to a new city in the same province?? What the heck was this sighing about Spain all about???

The smack in the head realization hit me again, and not for the first time. I've let go of so many of my dreams, that I don't even recognize them, or myself, much of the time. I know my girls need to see me do things for myself as well. I know it's healthy for them to watch me soar as well. I know all of this consciously but then life itself seems to prevent it as I juggle their classes, their feelings, their schedules and daily "stuff" for my family and my home. When does a Mom have time to think about herself?

I know life is short. I've witnessed it's brevity time and again. I see friends and family members travelling, entertaining, taking classes, challenging themselves to take risks and sometimes I feel like I'm on slow motion or I'm just watching the world go by.

The brass ring keeps circling me back to these thoughts and feelings, but therein lies the conundrum too. I've decided to take some time over the next little while and dream a little. I'm hoping to put my dreams down on paper and start living them a little, one small step at a time. At this point, I can't even fathom any dreams that I don't then discount because they "wouldn't work" or because they are impractical. I guess part of the process will be challenging myself to stop talking myself out of not just dreaming, but doing.

Sweet Dreams.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


My Mom left yesterday to head back home after her visit here with us for a few weeks. It felt a bit bittersweet to see her climb the steps and wave us all goodbye. She's back in another six weeks or so, but every visit, though wonderful, also opens up the door for a bit of sadness.

Most days, I'm okay with living far away from family and friends back home, because we've made a life here. We have friends here that have become almost like a secondary family, which makes the distance to my "real" family not seem so far or so painful.

However, the visits make the fact that we can't just visit friends and family whenever we want that much more bittersweet. My Mom used to live with us, and while I don't think that is what either of us would want again, it would be nice to be able to stop in and chat or get together more often or more easily. That goes for my sister and her kids too.

If we get moved far away, or farther away I should say, I know it'll be hard. I know we'll make friends and memories and be fine, wherever we are located geographically.

Those visits though will still be bittersweet. But oh so welcome, too.

Friday, April 9, 2010

I Hate What I Love About You

Have you ever noticed that the very qualities about the people you love are the exact same ones that drive you ridiculously crazy? What's THAT about? It's attraction and repulsion in the same breath!

I think with my kids, it's easier to see how their more....ahem....."trying" traits will likely serve them well as adults. That annoying stubbornness? How great will that be when they need to persevere with something, or even just stick to their guns? What about that argumentative streak? How could that not help them believe in and stand up for themselves and their convictions?

It seems more confusing when it comes to our spouses or significant others, though.

When I met my husband, I loved his sensitive side. He comes across as a bit of an arrogant, abrasive guy to the rest of the world, but I saw through that hard shell to the soft, gooey core. I loved that contradiction of hard and tender. Who knew that seventeen years later, that sensitivity would drive me a little nutty.

Don't get me wrong, I love that my husband uses that sensitivity to be the hands on father that he is with our girls. I've definitely lucked out in that department. Right from the beginning of our parenting journey, my husband and I have been partners. As I was laid up in a bed after a torturous thirty + hours of labour, which resulted in an emergency c-section and a baby with a fractured skull, my husband did all diapers and many bottles and much of the care I just wasn't able to do. I hear friends talking about their spouses and how the guys had only changed a handful of diapers (if that) or had never done a bath-and I'm aghast. We had decided from day 1 that we would split all parenting duties, but even without that vow, I can't see my husband not WANTING to do those things. He's a wonderful father and I'm thrilled that my girls are lucky enough to have him in their lives.

For our relationship though, look out. I'm not the romantic, sensitive, sentimental type. I joke that I'm the dude in our relationship. I'm critical and picky and very much a realist. I can also have a very sharp tongue. Sometimes, I don't even realize that my husband's feelings are hurt by words I threw out in passing. When he gets moody or withdrawn, there are times (I must admit) where I feel like he's being ridiculous. Sometimes, I just roll my eyes and say a quick "suck it up! #%*" in my head. Yep, that very quality that I so love in him also is the one that most drives me nuts.

I've heard couples that are married for a lifetime say the same thing. I don't know psychologically what that means, though. Is it like that old saying goes, "be careful what you wish for?" I sometimes think it's a way for us to compensate for a trait we lack, by finding it in our partners. Then we realize we don't have that trait because it's actually crazy annoying. At least some of the time. Okay, mostly the times when we want to be right, or alternatively, know that we did wrong.

Hmmm....or maybe I'm just being too sensitive about this?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Your Smile Is Hideous!

I preface the following tale with the disclaimer that my husband has a beautiful smile and some of the whitest teeth I have ever seen not from a strip. When we met, it was one of the first things I noticed (along with incredible eyes and shamefully long eyelashes for a man!) that drew me like a moth to a six footed flame.

Apparently, not everyone agrees with this assessment.

I had to miss going to my daughters dance class because my eldest had a stomach ache. The two of us stayed home, while my youngest, my husband and my Mom headed to watch the theatrics.

I'm not sure how it all came about, given the broken telephone nature of this recounting, but I guess my youngest was upset about something and my husband was trying to cheer her up. He said one thing he really liked about her was her new smile with lost teeth. This upset her and she began to get agitated. To further smooth her now ruffled feathers, he carried staunchly forward, telling her how her smile was beautiful and that he loved when she did her little characteristic close mouthed grin. He decided to emphasize his point by turning in his seat and showing her the cute little re-enactment of said smile.

"When you smile like "this," (pause for imitation of smile) it's so cute. I just love it."

Cheer her up, this did not. Instead, he was met with wailing crying from the back seat.

"What's wrong? I'm showing you your little grin that I love!"

"Daddy, that's NOT how I smile. At all. Are you saying that's what I look like when I smile? That looks HIDEOUS!!"

Oops. Now not only was my daughter fraught with angst about her smile, but my husband was a little chagrined to learn he too looked hideous when he grinned. Tear inducingly so!

I guess at that point my husband tried to back peddle and tell my daughter that he didn't have a very nice smile, and that clearly he wasn't able to REALLY imitate the beauty of hers. She wasn't buying what he was selling at that point.

I wish I had been there to witness this little exchange. In my eyes, those two individual smiles light up my life. One of them is a big, wide, white expanse of devilish gleam and the other is a sly, mischievous lopsided grin. Both are beautiful and quirky and unique in their own rights.

At that moment, I'm sure I would have had a little Cheshire Cat grin of my own.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Blog Rules

Did you know that certain bloggers out there in cyberspace have made it their duty to create "rules" for blogging. For instance, did you know that doing the occasional "bullet blog" is considered a faux pas? Or that writing a short paragraph is taking the "easy route"? Or that writing something too long is not conducive to a large audience? That using short forms or slang negates your writing ability?

To that, I say, WTH?

I write a blog, primarily, for myself. I write because it's what I "do." It's what I've always done. I have felt a need to put pen to paper, hand to keyboard, feather to quill (ha!) since I was a little girl.

Of course it's great to have people who want to read my rambling thoughts and rants and feelings and vents. It's nice to know I'm reaching somebody out there and that someone is enjoying my musings. I love reading about other people like me, reading about their daily struggles and their tips for survival in this jungle of life.

However, I will not be confined to a certain set of standards and rules set upon me by the self-appointed "Blog Police." I write for enjoyment, and I don't think there should be impositions to erode that contentment. Those who want to read, will. Those who don't, won't. Simple as that.

I've never been good with following the status quo. Tell me not to do something, and I'll usually go the opposite way. Tell me "everyone" is doing something, and I will rebel against it wholeheartedly.

In that vein, look for bullet blogs, rambling diatribes and short catch phrases in the future. If it offends you, look away. You've been warned.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I May Need To Re-Cleanse

After my Mom leaves, I may have to do my fourteen day cleanse all over again.

I don't know what it is about Moms, or maybe it's just my Mom, but my food choices when she is around are not the best. My Mom is a great cook, and we share a love of all things food. It's no surprise that she makes yummy things for me and the fam, as well as buys us little treats and such.

That's what Moms/Granny's do right?

To add to that indulging, it was also Easter weekend and I've never met a Mini Egg that I could walk away from for good. The feasting and the treating over the last two weeks will have caught up with me, I'm sure.

So, Monday my Mom heads back home and I'll head back on the cleanse wagon. My body isn't going to know what hit it!!!! I imagine the withdrawal headache may be worse this go around as well. I don't know that I'll do it for the full two weeks, I may play with the boundaries somewhat, but somethings gotta give!

I wouldn't change a thing though. Life, to me, is about enjoying each moment you can. When we die, no one is going to care how slim we were or if we exercised daily. I believe in being healthy, of course, and that to me also means moderation. I think as long as you live a healthy balanced lifestyle 80 percent of the time, going a little nuts the other 20 percent is A-Okay. If you constantly restrict yourself, you start obsessing about food and diet and exercise, which is even worse than if you had just had that chocolate bar in the first place!

That brings new meaning to the phrase, "Live a Little." I've lived a little more than a little these last few weeks, and it's time to reign it in to just a moderate binge every now and then.

It all starts back up Monday, April 12th. Mark your calendars.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Mr. Telephone Man....

Does anybody talk on the actual PHONE anymore?

I do everything I can, basically, to avoid having to talk on the phone. I tend to email my friends and family, or Skype or text. Heck, I even Blackberry Messenger. If I have to call a company, I try to pawn off the task to my husband.

I've never been a real "phone person." I would only talk to a handful of friends or family on the phone for any period of time, otherwise, I'd rather not. It's not that I'm not chatty either. I'm not really sure what that's about but it's never been my thing. I guess it's like most "girl traits" that you associate with women. I tend to be anti-type with almost all of those assignations.

I think most people tend to write these days, via whatever technological means handy to them, rather than make phone calls. The scary part of that is that I don't know if you could even really call it "writing." I read a stat that said in 50 years time, society will only have a small number of individuals that know how to read or write. Shocking, right? Yet with all of the short forms and texts nowadays, is it really that much of a surprise? Btw, omg, WTH? When I look at my teenage niece's school work, it leaves no doubt. Didn't we fight and struggle for the right to an education? Didn't we challenge to be able to read and write? We're going to throw it all away for the right to say "l8tr"? Please. As a voracious reader and with a lifelong need to write, that's a personal affront to me.

That circles back to the telephone though. I definitely feel I've lessened the amount I use the phone over the years. Will it also become obsolete? Am I simply following trend and contributing to the decline (0r incline?) of societal communication?

What about you? Do you still use the phone daily? Do you find it easier to fire off a quick text?

Friday, April 2, 2010

It Was A Good Friday

Though my husband is still hobbling around on crutches and the swelling hasn't gone away, we still managed to have an amazing family day out by the lake.

Through my friend, I met some other families here and we've been invited to various events that included their group. I think I blogged way back about going on a sleigh ride and then back to their place on the lake for skating and dinner.

Today, they invited us back for a family day in the sun. It was a steamy 25C here today, and made for the perfect backdrop to sitting with a glass of wine. The kids played on the beach making sandcastles (in April??!!) and jumped in a huge bouncy house. The adults enjoyed some wine and some snacks and just general tomfoolery.

We all brought something for the potluck which was served buffet style up on the screened in porch. There was ham and asparagus and whole wheat rolls, couscous salad and an Asian salad with Ramen noodles. There were several kinds of cheeses and crackers and olives and pickles. Oh, and the desserts!!! Angel food cake with strawberries and whip, lemon meringue pie, chocolate butterfly lollipops, two bite cupcakes and salt water taffy.

We spent the entire afternoon just hanging out chatting with kids playing around us, intermittently asking for swing pushing or delicate bucket removals for the perfect castle. We got some nice sun on our faces, we laughed til our sides hurt, and we ate like Kings and Queens.
The best part of the whole day was the companionship of the four families intermingling, with children ranging from 6 months to 10 years. Our kids played great together, we played great together.

I'm heading on a girls weekend at the end of April with these new friends, and I cannot wait. If today was a small taste of what that weekend will be, I know I'll come home happy and less stressed, with a good ache from raucous laughing in my sides.