Thursday, October 29, 2009

only one child left

Is it possible to have empty nest syndrome while your kids still live at home?

A couple of years ago when the girls school was closing they scheduled an end of year trip to Cedar Park. I asked Emily if she wanted me to go and she shut me down cold. Nope, she didn't want me to go. Give me money for the snack bar and stay home.
It crushed me but I understood. She was getting older (grade 3 then) and didn't want Mom hanging around. I still had Mary and Connor so I was okay.

Mary brought home a note for a trip yesterday. And as it turns out I can go. It's on a day when there are no daycare kids here. Woohoo!
So, all excited I said "Mary, I can go on the trip with you!"
And I got a flat "No thanks, I'd rather go alone"

The show is a presentation from Sharon and Bram (of Sharon, Louis and Bram) and it's called Skinamirink. Apparently she's afraid that I'm going to sing (since I sing that song to Connor all the time)
Despite my best efforts to reassure her that I would never, ever consider singing outside the house, where regular people could hear me....I am still not allowed to go.

2 kids down, one to go. And it happens earlier and earlier. At this rate I'm sure by the time Connor is in kindergarten he's not going to want me to go on class trips.

I have some Facebook friends who are former daycare kids. They are young adults now and they always go on about how cool I was and how much fun they had with me. I think maybe I need to have them speak with my kids and let them know that I'm not the dropping the kids off at school with curlers and slippers kind of mom.....I'm cool!

Oh well, I guess this is just one of those rites of passage in parenthood. It sucks.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Let's talk H1N1

Never before have I been so frustrated, in the dark and confused about what to do.
Let's classify me shall we. I am a pro vax, on schedule Momma. That (for the not so in tune with the lingo) means I get my kids all the recommended vaccinations when they are recommended. We don't delay them, I don't buy into the MMR causing Autism theory and if there is a vaccine out there to protect my kids from a disease (even a normally mundane one like chicken pox) they are getting it.

I went through all sorts of stress when Connors vaccinations were delayed because of his egg allergy. He's all caught up now though so yay!

Now comes swine flu. In the beginning I said, quite adamantly, that I was not getting the shot. We are not a flu shot family, never have been. Usually, during flu season, Sean will get the flu and it will knock him on his ass but the rest of us don't get it. We figure we are a low risk group, we're all otherwise healthy people and a flu is not biggie for us.
But this one is killing people just like us. And that scares me. What scares me more is that even if we decided to get the shot, Connor can't because of his egg allergy. What scares me even more more, is that Sean is exposed to literally thousands of people a day in his job, hence the reason he gets the flu every year. And while he's very conscientious about hand washing etc, no one is that good. He's breathing recirculated subway air all day. So the riddle is, how many people sick with H1N1 does it take to cough on his train before he gets sick too. And brings it home to me, and our kids and the daycare kids and the two pregnant daycare moms......

And the simple fact of the matter is, if there weren't so many conflicting opinions from the Dr's themselves I wouldn't be torn but for every person I talk to who says their Dr says get it, I have another who's Dr says don't. It would seem the professionals don't even know what to do.

My brain is fried. Wake me up when flu season is over.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fascinating

I like cruising around blogger, finding other interesting blogs to read. Some of the blogs I follow belong to friends. Some are suggestions from friends and some I just stumble upon.
A while ago I stumbled onto this blog. I think it's interesting and enjoy reading about the things he finds.
Reading his blog not long ago led me to this blog and specifically to the post it's linked to. It's all about how the guy from the first blog found someones baby book from 1926 and wanted to return it to the family and how the guy from the second blog helped. I've been hooked to the story and it's been so fascinating. Can't wait to read the final installment.

So, what's new.
Well this past weekend was probably the best weekend I've had in I don't know how long. I managed to get my laundry and shopping done on Friday while the kids were in school. This freed up the weekend completely. So on Saturday we went to the mall and walked around. We played in the toy store, we oooh and aaahed the animals in the pet store and we shared fries in the food court. And we managed to get out of there without spending a dime (except on the fries) and with no whiney, cranky kids.
Sunday we went to the zoo. It couldn't have been a better day for it and we got there before the zoo even opened, which meant not only was it deserted but the animals were also still pretty active.
I got some great pics and when I enhanced them with some editing software they looked even more fantastic.
But then this morning I showed Sean the camera I'm lusting after and took some pics with it. He now sees how much better the quality is and I've got my fingers crossed that Santa will bring me one.
Anyway, it's the first time in I don't know how long that I've actually enjoyed my weekend.
Let's hope the week is as good.
















Thursday, October 22, 2009

Oh so discouraged

Each time I go to class or each time I take a workshop I come out of it feeling so much closer to my dream. I have so many ideas and I'm so excited about the future and the prospect of owning a daycare.
My timeline initially was 10 years. I wanted to make sure the kids were old enough that my constant absence wasn't as missed. My timeline then shortened to 2-5 years. Connor will be in school full time at most in 4 years - at best in 2 years, it just depends on where the province goes with their all day kindergarten plan. And by then, Sean will have enough seniority that he can chose work that will have him home when the kids get home from school (at at least shortly after and Emily will be old enough to babysit in interim)

In my enthusiasm I've been trying to gauge what kind of money I'm looking at putting out to get going. See, once I've committed to this plan I can start buying the necessary supplies and equipment slowly and store it. That make the financial strain of that portion of opening a little less. I've also been trying to gauge what the actual property will cost.

And this is where the bad news comes in.
I had planned on looking into a retail type centre, a storefront. The cheapest I've seen in an area that would be even remotely useful was.....wait for it......almost $14000 a month. Are ya shittin' me?! I can see it being doable once you've opened your centre, you've established your clientele and all that but how in the name of God does one pay a lease of $14000 a month while renovating the space to suit the DNA and therefore not actually making any money!? And we all know contractors...a job that should take a month takes 4.

Needless to say, I'm a little, okay a lot, discouraged.

I'm now looking into how feasible it is to either A: buy a house and renovate (I've got few converted houses/daycares that I'm going to tour next week under the guise of looking for care for Connor) or B: buying an existing daycare.

Back to the drawing board.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Miss Sensitivity

I used to make fun of my mom and how she'd cry over tv shows or commercials.

As I got older I became the same way. Nothing gets the tears flowing faster on me that watching the final episode of M*A*S*H, especially the part where Hawkeye and BJ salute Colonial Potter.

The other night I was watching Castaway (Sean calls it a three hour FedEx commercial - be that as it may, I love Tom Hanks so I don't care)
Anyhow, the girls came in halfway through and were asking me why he was talking to the volleyball. I explained the premise of the movie and that "Wilson" was his only friend for 4 years.
So the scene comes up where Tom Hanks is on the raft escaping the island and gets caught in the storm. It cuts then to the scene where it's morning, the sun is shining and he's asleep on the raft. Wilson is bobbing around and falls off, Tom Hanks wakes up, sees it's gone and tries in vain to swim out to get it. Then is shows him on the raft crying hysterically because Wilson is gone.

Mary Jo burst into tears. She cried and cried because Tom Hanks was sad that he lost his best friend.
And even though she knows it's a movie, she's seen Tom Hanks in a number of movies and she knows he's not really sad, she felt terrible for his character.

If she's got this much empathy at 6 I can't wait to see her as an adult.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Did you hear the one about the skunk?

I drove past a freshly dead skunk today and it got me thinking about something that happened when Sean and I first started dating.

Sean moved to Ontario from Newfoundland in the winter time. We met shortly after and began dating the following August.
Our first few dates were group dates, us, his brother and sister in law and a co worker of mine and her husband (I worked with Sean's sister in law and this other girl) Anyhow, our first real alone date was August 13th. We went to a drive in up north. ( don't remember what movie we say, he does though and he also remembers what I ate because he was impressed. I'm not one of these salad eating on a date girls and I had my fill.)

Anyway, on the drive there we must have passed a dead skunk because the whole car filled up with that horrible skunky smell.

Sean later told me that at that moment he'd decided our first date would be our last.

I said "Oh wow, that skunk must have just got hit!"

Sean breathed a sigh of relief and decided maybe it wouldn't be our last date.

You see, they don't have skunks in Newfoundland. Up until then he'd never smelled a skunk. He thought I farted and was mortified that something that smells that bad could come out of someone.

Nice.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Neglect

I'm so sorry my dear blog, I've been neglectful. Call it a combination of not enough sleep, too much homework and PMS. But I'm here and got lots to say.

Let's start with my great Uncle Roy.
Uncle Roy passed away over the weekend. He was 90 (I believe) so he was blessed with a long life but it doesn't make it any easier for those who loved him most.
Connor is named for his side of the family, Campbell. Uncle Roy was my mothers uncle, her mother's brother. Now try and keep up with this. I was named Dorothy Carolyn Jean, after my maternal grandmother and great grandmother (Uncle Roy's mother and sister) got that? Emily carries on the name Carolyn which is the common thread (she is the 9th generation of Carolyn in the family. Uncle Roy was the male Campbell in the family and I wanted to be able to carry on that part of the family (my mom has so few ties with her mothers family left, really only her cousin) so Connor was middle named Campbell. We knew that would be the middle name of our first son from when we were pregnant with Emily.
Uncle Roy lived across the country so while I do have some memories of him, they are mostly from childhood.
I remember when I was 5 my mom took my by train to go visit Nana (my mother's grandmother - Uncle Roy's mother) I can remember Uncle Roy taking me to a beach (a rocky one) and telling me that pirates often hid treasure there. Sure enough we spent the day looking under rocks marked with X's and found all kinds of coins. Of course it wasn't until years later that I learned that it wasn't pirates at all, Uncle Roy had hidden all those coins and marked the rocks himself. I remember in that same trip he took me to an ice cream parlour and told me if I told the cashier that ice cream was "scrumdillyishus" I would get free ice cream. Again, I'm sure this was something on the sly.
When I was 12 I went alone to visit my mom's cousin (Uncle Roy's daughter) and her family for a month. Never having recalled meeting them before then I was nervous but with her at the airport to greet me was Uncle Roy and that made the start of my first trip away from home better, more relaxed and less nerve wracking.
And I remember, not long after Emily was born when I sent pictures of her to Uncle Roy and Aunt Baden getting a proper tongue lashing in a letter back telling me that I was an adult now and there was no need to call them Aunt and Uncle anymore.
And yet, I still do. :)

Most of all I'm sad for my Aunt, my cousins and their families. And I'm sad for my mom as it's just one more connection to her own mother that is gone.
RIP Uncle Roy.


Mary Jo is starting the process for first Communion. She'll be receiving it in April. Now here's the thing. I was supposed to go to church to register her for it. But instead we opted to do see toy Story 1 and 2. (yes I know, shame on us!) and then last weekend was Thanksgiving. And my mom was away and frankly anyone who's spent even a moment of time in the same room as Mary Jo and Connor knows that the two of them feed off each other and let's face it, the glass in the cry room at the church is not thick enough to contain that noise.
So I caved in this morning and called Father and asked if it was too late to register her. Apparently this Sunday is the enrollment (huh?) so we are going to mass on Sunday and I have to hang around after to fill out the forms. Yippee. Now I hear you asking me, why do I go through all this if I don't really like going to church anyway? Simple answer, because it's right. I might not be the best church going catholic out there....frankly I'm not even that good of a Catholic, I used birth control, I'm pro choice, I support same sex marriage, I've only been to confession once and think we should be allowed to divorce. BUT - I got that way because of who I am and what I've experienced in my life. And no matter what I still have my strong faith in God and Jesus.
So, I hate going to church but all of my children will receive their sacraments because I strongly believe that we all need some sort of religious foundation on which to build ourselves...and since Sean and I were raised Catholic, it's the logical choice.

I've made a very sad discovery recently. It would appear as though I will not get my certificate for the course I am taking. You see, the final field placement is 210 hours. That would be 5 weeks of 40 hour work. I can see how this is doable for someone who's doing a field placement within their own work environment but for me it would mean closing the daycare for 210 hours. Somehow I'm thinking that is not an option.
So, my new strategy is that I will again speak with my old supervisor and ask her if she'll mentor me. Just a few hours here and there to give me a feel of what the office stuff is like. I'm not really too concerned about the interpersonal aspects and staff management but the nitty gritty paperwork stuff that I'm not familiar with.
Hopefully she'll be agreeable to this. We shall see!

Alrighty, that's it for now. I'm hungry and need to fill my belly before the babies wake.

TTFN!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Thanksgiving

It's that time again. The last hurrah before the official start of Christmas season. I just wish we had Black Friday here.



This is will be an especially unusual Thanksgiving this year. I still remember last years thanksgiving as if it had just happened. We had Connor's first birthday party on the Saturday. And on Sunday I made dinner for our family. (it wasn't a turkey - that would be this year)



My mom goes away every year at thanksgiving. She goes to visit friends in Sault Ste Marie. So last year we had dinner here, me, Sean, the kids and my dad. We went around the table talking about what we were thankful for and of course everyone says the same thing "I'm thankful for my family....blah blah blah." My dad, in true form, says "I'm thankful just to be alive for another Thanksgiving."

We got a laugh out of that. With my dad's diabetes, heart problems and recent stroke history, we knew it wasn't likely he would live to be in his 80's. We'd all kind of accepted that, begrudgingly, and though there was a grain of truth in what he said, humor was how these things were handled. Of course, we also didn't think that that was going to be his last thanksgiving.

Life has a way of getting the last laugh.



So this year it's just me, Sean and the kids. My brothers do thanksgiving with their in laws and we used to do it with Sean's family but after 13 years of always going to their places for Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas dinner and them never coming to ours for those holiday dinners we got tired of it. Don't get me wrong, I love having other people cook for me....but once it a while it would be nice to host too.

So, we just do our own thing now.



So I've been thinking a lot about what I'm thankful for and yes, there are the big ones like my family and friends (don't mistaken that for me minimizing the importance of all of you, my family and friends - but for the sake of this blog, we're going to just to for granted that I love you all and am very thankful to have each and every one of you in my life.



But here are some things that I'm also thankful for.



I'm thankful that I've been given the opportunity to be a work at home mom. Strange coming from someone in my line of work but I am so thankful that I am able to be home to raise my kids. I missed so much of Emily's early years and I hated that. I see the new and funny or cute things Connor does everyday and I am so glad I didn't miss them or hear about them second hand.



I'm thankful for the internet. Being a wahm means being cut off from adults. I don't have the same luxuries that some SAHM's do because I can't join playgroups and stuff, I have the daycare kids to consider. So if it weren't for internet I wouldn't have any adult conversation in the daytime. That little bit of time I can tweek out a nap time or snack is just enough to remind me that I have a vocabulary outside of "Do you need a new bummy?" and some through provoking conversation.



I'm thankful for those little 100 calorie snacks. They give me that little zip of sweetness when I need it most. Of course eating a whole box in one day is a little counter productive for the weight loss journey.

I'm thankful for Freecycle. There is nothing better than being able to purge clutter and not have to go anywhere to get rid of it or feel guilty for throwing out something perfectly useful....just not useful to me.

I'm thankful for craisins and mandarin oranges for without them my salad would suck.

I'm thankful for some of the awesome clients I've had through the years. They are the reason my job is as easy as it is. There can be some real duds out there but I've been lucky enough to not get many.

I am thankful for all the help and advice people give me, even if I don't want to hear and even if I don't follow it. The simple fact that it was offered shows you care.

I'm thankful for Universal Health Care. I never worry about taking my kids to the Dr. And without it my dad probably wouldn't have lived as long as he did and my parents would likely be bankrupt.

And okay...I'm thankful for all of my friends (both up close and in person and those on the other side of my computer screen) You guys all rock and you all mean so much to me for too many different reason to mention here. So lets just say you know who you are and why I love you.

And of course my family. No matter how much I gripe or complain or roll my eyes or want to hide under the bed, I would be nothing without my family.

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I AM SUPERWOMAN!

Yes, I know, my title is shouting. But seriously I am on one hell of a streak and I'm enjoying the ride. Of course, I know just by posting this it will all crash down but for now. WOO HOO!

So, I got my essay done for school. I'm quite happy with it. I lucked out and Connor and his cohort both napped for three hours two days in a row so I knocked out the essay. I handed it in last night (one week early - yeah, call me an ass kisser, I don't care. I'm making my very first Thanksgiving turkey on Sunday, there is the distinct possibility I'll have food poisoning and not be able to go to school on Tuesday and then my assignment would be late!)
Also, last night in class we picked out topics for assignment 3 (this is the partner one I was stressing about) Well, my partner and I got to pick our topic third which meant we got our first choice. The assignment is to do a mini staff development workshop for the class. Our topic....wait for it.....school age programs. Now the reason why this is so freakin' awesome is because I was a school age coordinator/teacher for 6 or the 8 years I was in one particular daycare. It's MY thing. And what's even better, my partner is a current school age teacher. So yeah, we're going to rock that assignment.

Today is the first day that I've got the little daycare boy all day (the one who was having trouble adjusting) He's been doing fabulous with his part time schedule and I was worried about how today would go. But do you hear...the quiet....no crying....yep, he's asleep. Can I get another AMEN!

Most of yesterday and even worse last night I was feeling totally crappy. I had the aches, the chills and a fever. I thought for sure the flu was coming. Well today the aches are gone, the fever is gone and I feel fantastic. Go figure.

Now, like I said, I've gone and screwed it all up. I'm going to get a C on my essay, we'll bomb on the workshop assignment, I'm going to be horribly ill over the long weekend and guess who just started crying.

Oh well, it was good while it lasted.

Monday, October 5, 2009

All the recent haps...

It's been a busy few days to say the least.

We had Connor's second birthday party this weekend. His birthday isn't until next Monday but that is Canadian Thanksgiving so needless to say it's a little harder to round up the troops for a party when everyone is in turkey overload.
We had the start of his party at a local fun farm. I love this place, especially at this time of year and the owners really do go all out. Connor had a great time running through the corn maze, climbing the giant hill, painting his pumpkin and petting the bunnies. It rained a little on us but that just made playing in the sand pile more fun.
Afterward we headed home for hot dogs and cake. It really was a nice day.

On Friday I went to see my old boss at the daycare. I haven't been to see her since February '07 and thought I would grease the wheels a bit. I want to do my field placement there when the time comes. I thought, what better learning experience than to practice my supervisory technique in a centre with staff I already know. Plus, I'm hoping for a little mentoring with regards to opening my centre. She's been very successful with her centre and I'd like to learn as much as I can from her.
I was a bit worried though. While I did leave the job on good terms (I quit after my first miscarriage) there has been the passage of time and I wasn't sure how I'd be received. But, Emily went to daycare at the centre only months after she first opened and I worked there and Mary Jo went to daycare there for a year so I guess that gave me the little bit of loyalty points, as it were. It was nice visit. I saw several of the girls I worked with and had a nice chat with the owner/supervisor. And the best part was that she was very receptive to me doing my placement with her so as soon as I get a few other classes under my belt I get going on that. I'm pretty excited. For the first time in so long I'm really excited about what the future holds for me.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Freedom

Thanks to everyone who's already answered the survey. I'd still love more input so if you haven't already, please humour me and read the post below this one.

Don't tell Sean but my kid walks with a leash.

Connor has discovered the joys of walking. If we go out somewhere in the car the first word out of his mouth when we're getting out is "walk?"
When we're taking the kids to school, he's not content to sit in the stroller, he wants to walk.
When I take the daycare kids outside (it's too wet/mucky) to go in the backyard, he lasts two minutes in the 'rumble seat' of the sit and stand and then he wants to walk.

Now in all fairness when it's just me and him or me and the girls and him, he doesn't wear the tether. He holds my hand. But if I'm pushing the stroller with 1 or two other babies in it, I can't do that with one hand so I fashioned a little tether to put on his wrist. He's got lots of leaway to explore but not enough to get into trouble. And I only did it because the other day (before the invention of the tether) he thought he should run into the street to step on the sewer grate. (more on that in a minute)
From there we had a screaming fit that last the rest of our walk (about 5 blocks) because I made him get back into the stroller. Now at least, he can explore and he can't get to the road.

About the sewer grates. He's got a thing with them. Some of them rattle when he steps on them and this is pretty awesome apparently. But we are sometimes required to go out of our way in parking lots because he spots one that he absolutely must step on. I know some of you are saying "really, you go out of your way?" Yeah, I do. I've learned the hard way that it's easier to walk the extra 25 feet to step on the sewer grate than it is to buy a weeks worth of groceries with the tantruming toddler. Some battles aren't worth fighting.

Running is the new fun thing to do. When we go to pick the girls up from school he like to run in the soccer field. And he wants everyone to know what he's doing (in case there is any question) He'll run back and forth the length of the field yelling "Running! Running!"

My little man is enjoying his new found freedom. I'm not sure I like it so much though. It means he's growing up too fast.