Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What do my addiction and Eddie Vedder have in common?

In order to answer that question you have to know what my addiction is first.

I am addicted to Breathe Right Nose Strips. (well, in fairness, the generic version because the Breathe Right are expensive)
See, I snore. I'll admit it. I snore pretty loud too. I think it's a combination of sleep apnea, excess weight and a narrow palate. And when I'm pregnant it's 100 times worse (no, I'm not pregnant) So when I was pregnant with Connor I started using the nose strips to help reduce the snoring a bit. I discovered that I really could breathe better. I slept better. I didn't wake up with the pasty mouth. So after Connor was born I kept using them. And now I can't stop.

I've been having some sinus pain in the last few days and it's starts in my nose and moves into my eye. I don't have a sinus infection, I'm not sick, so I think it's because of the pulling of these strips on my nose. But I can't get into the Dr to see for sure for another two weeks. (well I could but I don't want to take time off work) So last night, on Sean's recommendation I went to bed without my nose strip on.

At 11:00 I was still awake. At 12:00 I was in a mid sleep but still aware of Sean next to me. At 12:45 Connor started crying because he couldn't find his soother. So I got up, got a nose strip on and was asleep in minutes. I could breathe. Oh wonderful breathing!!

So, I'll happily deal with whatever sinus issue this is causing me because Lord knows, I need my sleep!

Now what does this having in common with Eddie Vedder? Well, I'm sure any Pearl Jam fans have put it together by now. But if not go watch this video and then come back.

I'm not a huge Pearl Jam fan. I don't own any of their albums. I think I had one, back in the 90's when I was dating a guy who was a giant Pearl Jam fan but like I said, I'm not going to any concerts anytime soon.
I am however, a big Eddie Vedder fan. I truly think he's got the best voice there is. He just makes you feel it. So when I heard 'Just Breathe' on the radio a few weeks ago I had to have it and immediately went to iTunes for it. It reminded me of the soundtrack for Into The Wild (which if you haven't seen this movie...you are missing one hell of a movie) which is at first what I thought it was from. It's an awesome movie but the soundtrack makes it even better - no one can inspire you and make you want to hurl yourself from a bridge all at the same time like Eddie Vedder can.

And so now I have my song, I also got the soundtrack from the movie and it's all nicely mixed into my playlist now.

And so, if you still haven't figured it out yet....what do my addiction and Eddie Vedder have in common? Just Breathe.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Dreams

I've been having a lot of bizarre and very vivid dreams lately.

The other night I dreamt about one of my online friends. I dreamt that she came to visit me to ask some marital advice but I got held up at the border (??) and was late getting home. By the time I got here she was having a spaghetti dinner with her husband and my mom and my mom was telling her to just ignore my advice. My friend then jumped on the back of her husbands motorcycle and left for Mexico, all the while I'm shouting, "No, don't go with him. It's not worth it!"
And this is weird on so many levels because I've not met this person in real life, I've never even seen a picture of her husband, they don't live in Mexico and I haven't the first clue if he drives a motorcycle.

Last night I dreamt that I was visiting my grandma at her nursing home. I was supposed to give her a sponge bath. But instead I ended up in someone else's room, not an elderly person but someone in a wheelchair. I realized I wasn't in my grandma's room but felt bad about saying I was going to give her a sponge bath and then not giving her one so I did. Then I noticed that in her room there was a water cooler that was leaking so I went to the nurses station to get a mop but there was a huge crowd in the hallways with the media and all kinds of RCMP officers but they were all in their dress uniforms. I thought to myself "Oh an officer must have been shot"

I know the source of these dreams. I was talking with that friend about marital issues. I'm sure that was why I had that dream. I'm not sure why I dreamt about sponge baths and my grandma but there were two RCMP officers bodies brought home from Haiti the other day and I was watching clips of the repatriation on the news.

I like having bizarre dreams. Gives me something to look forward to when I go to bed.

Stupid, I know.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I'm still here

Sorry it's been a while. I've been struggling with my professional life and it's getting to me.

I am not usually a very confident person. I am shy, I don't have very high self esteem most days and often think I'm not very good at very much.
But the one thing I've always been confident in was my abilities as an early childhood educator. I'm good at my job. I love my job. And I do suffer from burn out every now and then but something always happens to lift me back up and give me a renewed sense of purpose in my field. At the moment that is my goal to open a centre of my own. So school is my driving force (well, that and to pay off my windows so that I can have the money to open a daycare centre)
I come out of school each week feeling on top of the world, excited and full of ideas.

So let's talk about my job at home. I used to think that one of the perks of being a home daycare provider was that I could be very selective about the children I take. Not that I'm not up for a challenge but lets face it, this job is challenging even with the best of kids so given a child who is a little more demanding, a little more high needs and it adds to the challenge. And working alone means I take the challenge on alone. I'm not always willing to accept the challenge.

Case in point. I currently care for Connor (duh), who, if you're not keeping track is 2 yrs 3 months old. I also care for two 19 month olds. I have three toddlers 3 days a week and the other 2 days I have 2 toddlers. Let's not forget the three older kids, and granted they are at school all day they get home when I am at my most tired from dealing with 3 toddlers all day.
One of the toddlers had a really hard time adjusting to daycare. You've read about him before. He cried. A lot. He didn't sleep well. I was ready to throw in the towel but didn't because A: I needed the money and B: his mom is good friends with another of my daycare mom's and I didn't want to look bad.
So I rose the the challenge and I'm happy to say that 6 months later he is thriving, doing great and adjusted wonderfully. We still have our moments but he is only 19 months old.

I decided to stretch myself and accepted a 13 month old into the fold. After all, both toddler mom's are going on mat leave in a month and while they will still be here on a part time basis, I need to pay the bills. I discovered, before the little one even started, that she was a co sleeper, had never slept in a crib or playpen. Ever. I was pretty straight forward with mom that the little one would have no choice but to sleep in a playpen so it might be best to work with her while she still had the chance.
Fast forward a month and the little one starts and sure enough, she's no more going to sleep in the playpen then I'm going to sprout wings and fly. We went 4 days with this little one not sleeping, except for 15 minute cat naps in the stroller or car. No nap makes baby very cranky. Cranky baby makes it hard to work with 3 other toddlers. Not getting enough attention or needs met in a timely fashion makes 3 toddlers cranky. 3 cranky children 2 and under make me want to blow my brains out and cause me to wonder why I work from home.
So I let the little one go.

Now here's where I struggle. I was not required to give notice as per our contract. However, the decent thing to do would have been to give a week or so notice. I, however, in my emotional haste gave 3 days notice (two of those days being weekends). Needless to say mom was ever so pissed. She threatened to sue me (and I secretly fear she still will but at the end of the day I have a pretty clearly worded policy which she agreed to when she signed her contract). So it's really that I feel like shit for having a menstrual moment and making decisions based on my frustration rather than my brain.

I'm actually known for this and am aware of this problem I have and try to talk myself down when I know I am being hasty but this time, it just didn't work.

So now I'm out $700 a month. I while I'm not sorry she's gone I'm sorry I wasn't more 'human' about it.

On a positive note, the little guy I worked so hard with....he was supposed to be leaving in the spring when his family moves but his mom has decided to keep him here because of how happy he is (and they are) here.
And as I approach the 6 year mark of one of the kids being in my care, I guess I can take heart in knowing that I must be doing something right. Maybe, despite my sometimes hormonal decisions, I really am good at this job after all.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Shopping with the girls.

Who'd have thought that A: I would have so much fun shopping and not have spent a dime on myself and B: I would actually be exhausted from said shopping trip.

Yesterday was our post Christmas girls only shopping day. This is the day that Emily, Mary Jo and I go shopping with our Christmas money, no boys allowed. The thing is, because of my extravagant gift this year I didn't get any shopping money so I was armed with the girls cash and Connor's cash (in case I saw a 'must have')

Emily has grown out of shopping in the 'kid' stores. She doesn't want to go to Gymboree or Children's Place. She wants to go to Aeropostal and Garage. She wants to wear Bench and Hollister clothes. My only saving grace with this is that she does understand the value of a dollar and though she could easily blow through $100 of my money she's more careful with her own. She doesn't want to spend $94 on a hoody at lululemon when she can get an equally nice one on sale at Garage for $20. In the end she got two hoodies, a t-shirt and the ever popular animal hat and matching mittens for $50. Not too shabby.

Mary was good too. She spent all of her money ($80) but got some toys, some webkinz and a pretty cute outfit (that matches!!) at Children's Place.

But what I loved about the day was the time with the girls. I love spending time with them, not doing chores or errands, not distracted by the tv, computer or wii. Time for us. We don't get it often and when we do I soak it all in. Say what you will about people who give gift cards or cash as Christmas presents but I love it. Because it buys us so much more than stuff. It buys us that time together, mother and daughters, to shop, be silly, have lunch and not worry about spending money that could be paying the window debt. This is our Mother Daughter Bonding money....no greater gift could someone give my kids.

And truth be known I did get myself a little something. I bought a little cloth to clean my lense with. hee hee.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Don't mind me, just playing with feet





Still learning some tricks with my new camera and software and I needed a place online to look at these.

Cute feet huh?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I love my computer because my friends live in it.

The title of the post was a blinkie I saw on FF. I always got a chuckle from it. And I just learned how really fitting and true it is.

My computer crashed over the New Years long weekend. My only saving grace was that my mom got a laptop for Christmas so I was still able to get online, albeit not as easily as I can with my computer. Odd really, you'd think a laptop would make life easier for me, internet on the go but I've discovered that despite my families opinions I do a whole lot more on the computer than just surf the net.

I took 400 pictures in the time that the computer was gone (I took it in on January 2nd and got it back last night (Jan 5th)) 400 pictures in three days. And I couldn't look at them, edit them, print them....

I recently rewrote most of my daycare forms in Word and hadn't yet saved them to a stick so I wasn't able to access any of those files. Again, the saving grace was that my printer is a copier but in those three days I had two inquiries into daycare and couldn't email the policies to the parents.

My iPod is slowly dying and before the computer crashed I had been using iTunes so I wasn't completely sure that it wasn't iTunes that caused the crash so I didn't plug my iPod into my mother's computer for fear of killing her computer.

But back to that blinkie...
I am a work at home mom. So the extent of my adult interaction during the day is with my mom or...you got it....online.
Sean works bizarre and long hours. So my social life is planned out even more than the average parent. He rarely gets off work at the time he's supposed to and that puts a kibosh on making plans on work nights. So again, in order to keep in contact with friends...it's online.
We are no longer a landline family. We use cell phones and while I don't mind chatting a bit on the phone, I'm really not a phone person. I'm busy...all the time...and when I do have a free moment, no offence to anyone, but I don't want to talk to you. I'd rather fire off an email to catch up because I can continue to multitask that way.

There is one other thing. See, besides family and a few close friends, my social circle consists of a lot of people I've never even met. And the prospect of not being able to chat with them made me sad. Where else am I going to hear a story about how one friend peed on her sisters head in a shopping cart when they were kids. (hahaha...I loved that story!!) I have unlimited parenting resources at my fingertips and not just any parenting resources but ones from people who are going through the exact same thing I am because their kids were born at the same time as mine.
Any time one of them throws me for a loop I can fire off a message and within minutes I have suggestions, sympathy and even some playful teasing.

And if I didn't have my internet I wouldn't have that.

So I guess the long and short of it is that yes, I am a junkie for my computer but I'm also willing to admit it, have no desire to seek help for it. I have not turned into one of those hermits who wears sweats and hides in the basement while in chatrooms. But I'm not getting rid of my computer anytime soon. I'd be lost.

Friday, January 1, 2010

so long 2009, hello 2010

I'm not sorry to see the end of that year. It's been shit.

So on FF there was a thread about where you were during Y2K and where you thought you'd be 10 yrs later.

In 1999 we lived in Scarborough. Emily was 3 months old. We had a poker party with John and Jen and my mom and Dad. Sean fell asleep with Emily on his chest at about 11:30 and I didn't want to wake him at midnight but I didn't want to not wake him either.

10 years later, it's hard to believe how much has changed.

We bought and sold out first house and are in our second. We have two more kids. My marriage is stronger than ever. Sean has an awesome job that allows me to be a work at home mom. I've gone back to school and have a plan for the future.
We spent new years eve the same way we did 10 years ago, playing poker with John and Jen and this time, Neil and Bev too. And between us we won $65. Not bad!
Those are the good things.

Of course it wasn't all good, the most obvious being losing my dad. Nothing makes me happier to see the end of 2009 than that. I've learned in the last 10 yrs that life is measured in befores and afters.
There is our life before 2006 - the year from hell. Full of rainbows, sunshine and ignorant bliss. But in 2006 I lost two babies and almost my marriage. Life after 2006, where pregnancy is not fun but stressful and you think twice before you say things.
Life before 2009, when I was able to say with pride and confidence (and again, ignorant bliss) that cancer had not been something in our bloodline (not to say that we haven't lost people we love to cancer but there was that little bit of arrogance that it was not a blood relative so my odds and more importantly, my kids odds, were good) Life after 2009, where I not only realize that my arrogance was ignorant, that my life has been touched by cancer, forever changed and I've had to bury a parent because of it.

And if I could go back over the last 10 yrs there are a few things I would change. My dad would still be here, that would be the biggest. I don't know about the babies I lost because had I not lost them I wouldn't have Connor and I can't imagine life without him. And though 2006 was the year from hell on my marriage, in the long run it made it stronger.

So here's to a new year and a new decade. One in which we look forward instead of back. I am making resolutions this year and with any luck this time next year I can say I kept them. I will lose that 30 lbs. Wii Fit Plus with help with that. (and maybe less chicken wings and beer) I will tighten the purse straps and pay down 50% of the window debt, and not accumulate more. I will continue to get A's in school and work toward my ultimate goal of opening a daycare centre. I will learn to use my new fancy camera and will take our own family portrait for the Christmas card next year.
Most of all though, I plan to finish off 2010 with all the people in my life who started the year with me. And if I'm lucky, maybe I'll even be able to finish it off with a new friend or two.

Happy New Year Everyone!