Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pretending It's Fall

The first "official" day of Fall passed and yet here in Ontario it's still as hot as hell. Oh, I know, I know. There are many people that "love" this weather and are so happy to see it still warm out. There are people all abuzz over how thankful we should be to have such "great" temperatures still and other individuals warning us to be thankful because when winter is upon us we'll WISH for these hot, sunny, sweaty days.

Umm, no I won't and I'm not one of those lovers of the heat.

So, while it doesn't feel like Fall to me AT ALL, it IS the official start and I'm a girl that is all about the brief season we call Autumn. In that same vein, I've decided to start fall types of activities.

We took my Mom, my nephew and my youngest to an apple orchard this weekend where we picked apples (mostly off the ground!) and played in mazes and went on a wagon ride. Of course it was blazing hot out but I refused to give in and wore a hoodie. Yep. That's how I roll. Anyways, we had a great time and the kids wore themselves out running and jumping and trying to find the perfect apple to put in their bags to take home.

After school yesterday, I assembled the group (I watch my sister's two kiddos after school) and we made some apple turnovers and a crisp. They each got to have a turnover with some vanilla ice cream for snack, and I sent some home with my sister as well. I still have an entire bag of apples left to use up, so I'm thinking I'll make two small crisps and freeze them for some comfort food down the frosty winter line.

Continuing in the spirit of all things fall, I took a deep look into my closet to peek on what I shamefully call my "fall wardrobe." To be honest, it isn't much of one. I have a few pairs of jeans, leggings, some sweaters and a few hoodies. There isn't really anything exciting. I'm torn between doing some clothes shopping for a few more pieces, or waiting a bit until it's ACTUALLY slightly cooler out and I've MAYBE lost a few more pounds. That may be wishful thinking with all the crisps and such. Ahem. All that being said, there are a few items I'd like to add to my puny closet, so maybe in the next month or so I'll get on that. As Stacey and Clinton say-dress for the body you have NOW. No sense in looking awful in the meantime right? Plus, it's always a false ego boost when you try on skinny jeans and can take like two sizes smaller due to their stretch. Thank you Lycra or Spandex or whatever it is that puts the stretchiness into clothing and makes us feel all skinny and stuff.

September has just flown by, and while it's usually my month to get back on track, I find that with the move into our new place and trying to set that up, school set up, activities and visits from family-it just hasn't happened. I have a hair appointment tomorrow for some darker fall locks and we have Thanksgiving plans with the inlaws at the beginning of October.

After that, it's ON, Fall. Bring your best game face and um, some cooler weather, please!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Barf and Christmas!

I know, what do vomit and the most wonderful time of the year have in common, right? The answer is nothing really, unless you live my life!

Sunday night my youngest wasn't really hungry and didn't feel like eating too much at dinner. She DID decide to have the chocolate cake I had bought that day though. As all were peacefully asleep, she did what she has NEVER, EVER done. She barfed a sweet chocolate delight all over the bed and herself. This is my persnickety kid. The one that hates mess and disorder. The one who brings her lunch home many a day because she couldn't eat due to the fact that other kids at her table are "gross." So, ya. She was not a happy camper.

As you can see by the date on this 'ol blog post, it's now Wednesday. It's been a fun few days, folks! My nephew also got sick all over his bed and his Mom. My sister was sick, my eldest was sick, my husband and I both felt awful. It's been pretty darn disgusting around here. Unlike my kids, my motto when I feel nauseous is to continue to eat. I also tend to eat more. Somehow I've convinced myself that it settles my stomach to have food in it. I know, stick to my day job and stop the self diagnosis.

The sliver of a silver lining in all of this rampant disease has been that my Type A, OCD personality has been satisfied for awhile with the promise of some Christmas shopping completed in SEPTEMBER. You heard that right!

My friend is travelling to New York this weekend for her daughter's 12th birthday. While she's there, she's scoring me some top secret items for my girls. They had requested these items for their "lists" this year, and now I'm saving having them shipped, PLUS, I get to feel smug that I have some gifts checked off. IN SEPTEMBER. Booyah! Thanks Claire!

My husband also went to California a few days this week, and while there managed to pick up a few more exciting gifts that will be tucked away for a cold wintry day. I'm seriously giddy about all of this and the fact that my list is already dwindling and it's still like 25C outside.

Just to keep my seasons and holidays in check and to show I haven't completely lost touch with reality, my family and I are going to hit up a "U Pick" apple orchard this weekend. We plan on picking a bunch (or is it a barrel? A bushel? A crate?) and then coming home and baking up a storm. I say storm because me + baking will certainly be a flurry of sorts. I found a bunch of apple recipes (read:easy) on Pinterest and our plan is to cook together, save some for eatin' and some for freezin'. When Thanksgiving rolls around I can haul out some of my goods and be ahead of the game!

This all goes to show that in every life a little barf must fall, but around the corner will also be a nice keener shopping extravaganza to save the nerdy day.

Or something.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Second Chances

I've had an absolutely fabulous last few days hanging out with my tried and true buds and getting myself reacquainted with others, even throwing some new blood into the mix! It's been a lot of laughs and craziness, and while I'm exhausted from more booze than I've drank in years and restless sleep patterns, it's also lent itself to some deep(ish) thinking.

According to various psychics, psychologists, spouses and friends, I am a woman that has many walls up to protect my weary heart. I've built these walls with a steady and consistent hand over the years, and it's rare that most get more than a glimpse over the top, much like Wilson on Home Improvement. Ya, I went all retro there.

So, these walls. They are sturdy and they've really served me well. The truth is, anytime I've cautiously removed some bricks while waiting for the whole tower to tumble, my prediction has become reality and the people I let in have ended up disappointing me like I knew they would. Once again, up we build brick by brick.

To this end, I've always considered myself a chick that does not, will not, has not....given second chances. Who in their right mind gives someone a second chance to kick them in the gut if they already did it once? Isn't that the very definition of INSANITY? In the least, I'd say stupidity. What's that saying? "Hurt me once, shame on you. Hurt me twice, shame on me?" I didn't invent that quote so obviously it's not a novel thought. Typically and historically then, if you've found yourself kicked over to the outside perimeter of my walls, you had best stay there. You don't even need to come crawling back with peace offerings because I don't even want to hear it.

That's what I've always felt about myself, anyways.

Yet as I lay in my tipsy insomnia, I realized that I've actually given MANY second chances throughout my lifetime. I would say many of those instances shouldn't have even happened and still just ended up being for naught-but chance away I did.

I've given chances to my parents to make better decisions for themselves and for their kids. It didn't happen. I've given chances to my abusive stepfather to FINALLY just "get better" and apologize. That didn't happen. I even went as far as going to his dying bedside to at least let him know, for my own sake, that I had let everything that he did to me, to my family, "go" and that I was releasing him from my life with that last forgiveness. I think that's an ultimate last chance!

Lately, I've been giving second chances to old friendships in the hopes that people have grown and matured and that the good qualities I enjoyed are still there, but that the ones I didn't have had time to fade away with new found knowledge and life experience. I don't tend to believe that people ever really change that much, but I guess I'm putting some cash down and rolling the dice.

Here's the thing though. I'm no longer blindly giving second chances to situations with no hope or to people with no real understanding of change or of their own actions. You can't make an egocentric narcissist see that the reason they lost a friendship in the first place wasn't the other persons doing-it was theirs. No one walked away from them-they pushed them away irrevocably. You can't make them see that what they did isn't about their sob story-it's about the one they created. Well, you can't make them see anything other than their own stakes in life-that's the very definition of narcissist. Nope, you can't lead a camel to water, or something? When I decide something, I'm pretty clear and resolute in my decision. I've been known to walk away and not even glance over my shoulder, and not feel badly about it either. I have no problem with that. The new me is allowing people to show me their true selves though, if they wish and if they feel they have something of value to offer my life. It'll either turn out all good, or they'll hang themselves with their own rope. Either or and I'll be A-okay.

Life certainly is never dull, is it? I'm realizing that I don't have to let everyone who knocks inside my inner circle, but I don't have to immediately close everyone out either. An inner peep hole to peer at their actions while they await admittance is a perfect solution.

In the end, my walls are still there surrounding my heart, and it's never very hard to do a quick patch job in any one area. When it comes to "guarding and protecting MY heart" (that's a Bachelor reference for those in the know!) I'm a reno expert. I'm the Mike Holmes of heart wall repair. I'm the Handy Manny of inner mortar. I'm the.....well, I'm the woman with the strength to recognize that sometimes people will surprise you for the better if given the second chance, and sometimes they won't. Either way, it's all a calculated leap, best served with the skill of knocking down and building back up.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Finally Bloggin'

So, I'm alive! You know, in case you were wondering. It's been a hectic time, as back to school always is, but more so with a move, new schools, new activities, my birthday yada yada.

We're beginning to settle in, but it's going to take time. My eldest has made a little group of friends she likes, people keep coming up to her at school and asking if she's "the new pretty girl from Halifax?" and she's been asked to try out for a higher grade's band since she already did a year of clarinet. On paper, she's doing really well. In person? It's a struggle. She has VERY up and down days and she misses Halifax and her life there, a lot.

My youngest has her cousin at school to keep her company and help her adjust. She's making friends and learning the routine, plus she's started Voice Lessons which she LOVES. She seems to be doing well, but also said to me the other day, "Mommy, I like it here....but it's not as nice as Halifax." Sigh. It's how we all feel.

I hate to harp on and on about missing Halifax, because there's nothing that can be done about it and because we have to give life here a fair chance, and because I don't like slagging off my friends and family that are happy to see us back. That being said, I've been on MLS looking at oceanside houses in Halifax, I've searched cottages for the summer, and I've made some seafood dishes already. I'm framing a map of Nova Scotia for my bedroom wall, and my whole house consists of shells, stones, driftwood and anything else I could stuff in my luggage to bring here with me. It's tough and I'm not going to lie-I've cried many a night with my heart just aching.

Crap, I said I was going to stop bitching about this missing it stuff. I swear, I will. It's just going to take time. That ever elusive concept of being patient.

On another note, it was my birthday the other day and it was a great day! My husband and I spent the day together shopping for things for our new home and then he took me out for a fab lunch. It was nice just hanging out he and I-we haven't had much chance to do that and there's another positive about living here-his schedule is better, PLUS, we have family and friends who will watch our kids a few hours so we can actually go on a few dates! WOW! It's a novel concept! He really does still make me laugh and smile, and at the base of all this "Life" business, we truly do get along on a totally unique and deep level. Enough sappiness, you know I don't "do" that stuff.

My birthday continued with lunch with my Mom yesterday at our favourite Thai place and a visit with her at my home afterwards. Tomorrow I'm seeing one of my dearest friends for lunch, Thursday night is dinner out with my besties, and then Friday Margaritas and some laughs. The ongoing birthday celebrating has it's merits! It's downfall is my diet and exercise has gone out the window! I'm weighing in Monday and restarting this fitness train, hopefully with a gym membership to boot. My hubs is looking into his corporate rate so I can get my Zumba/Yoga and whatever else classes started again. It's going to be ugly to begin, but I'll get there eventually. Again. Slow and steady wins the race.

As to the new house, well, it's shaping up but I have to say-it doesn't feel like "me" yet. My husband picked it out, it was his choice. We bid on my choice first but the owners would NOT budge on price, so we immediately bid on our current home. The area is fantastic, better than the other one, and it's very handy for many amenities and close to family. Aesthetically though, whoo boy, there is a LOT I want to change or that frustrates me. I have to cool my jets and realize we aren't going to be able to do all of the "projects" we want to do in the first month, or heck, even year. It's going to be one or two projects a year and that's the way it's going to have to go. Did I mention that patience isn't one of my virtues? Ya. That. My husband has actually been great, trying to help me see the potential and doing little tasks and easy fixes to make it feel more like our style. He's switched out light fixtures and painted doors and garage doors and hung curtain rods and new curtains. Next will be the kitchen counter and backsplash replacements, new stainless appliances, and then that will be it for now. In the summer we'd like to add an above ground pool and build a deck around it, as well as landscape and rebuild the front steps and flower beds, but like I said, everything in due time. Plus? I'm not sure I want to put any extra money there YET when we'd like to go away for March Break and then go to Halifax for a few weeks in the summer, and a maybe a weekend trip to NYC in the fall. Ya, we got big dreams. I wish we'd win the big lottery too. Ha!

For now, I'm going to enjoy the social activities for the week, and do some more organizing and planning for the weeks to come (it's what I do best) and then slow it down a notch to prepare for the upcoming holiday seasons. I've said from the get go that it'll take over a year to really be able to judge how we are feeling about all of this whirlwind change, especially with how quickly it all happened, so I owe it to myself, my husband, my family and my friends to do just that and enjoy. My brain never shuts off it's worry meter, but I have to try.

Part of that routine catch up will be a return to blogging both here and on momnation.ca as well as submitting more articles elsewhere. You might even find my family and I featured in a Today's Parent article in the New Year. You just never know. :)

Stay tuned-there's a lot of changes and news on the horizon, and I want you all to be a part of it.