Friday, April 30, 2010

The kindness of strangers

Last year, I don't remember exactly when but I do know it was after my dad got sick, one of the mom's in my Oct/07 Mom's group posted a desperate message. She was in search of an Easter Egg decorating kit. Her mom was sick and the prognosis was not good. This woman wanted nothing more than to be able to see her mom and her kids have an Easter egg hunt together.

I understood the desperation and urgency in her message and being that I have a storage room that would rival Toys R Us, I naturally had an extra Easter egg decorating kit so I sent it out to her that same day.

Her Mom passed away that following September. Since then, we've exchanged a few messages of support, we're in that club that neither of us wants to be in. We've lost a parent to cancer.

Yesterday I got an email from the Canadian Cancer Society letting me know that someone had pledged our team. It was that friend. I was moved and so very appreciative and I made sure to let her know how thankful I was.

Today I got another email saying we'd received another pledge. I didn't know the donor, though the name rang familiar. At first I thought it was a friend of my mom's but then it struck me, the last name was familiar. It was the maiden name of the friend who had pledged us yesterday (which I only know because we are also Facebook friends)
So with a little searching I deduced that this person was either her brother or father.

I sent him an email, giving my most heartfelt thanks. I also emailed my friend to find out exactly who I was thanking.

My friend told me that it was her Dad. He was pledging in support of cancer research and in honour of my Dad because I had taken the time to send that egg decorating kit so that his love could have a moment to pause and smile and make a wonderful memory with her family during such a hard time.

I don't think I can find the words to really express how I feel. I am so beyond grateful but it's even more than that. I am so moved, not only that they have honoured my dad's memory with their donation but that they were touched by what I really felt was a very simple gesture of kindness to someone who needed a lift. I never would have thought that something so small like some food coloring tablets would make such an impact on someones life.

If my friend is reading - again, thank you so much. Not just for the pledge but for making me feel like I did something that impacted someones life in a positive way. And in doing so, you have done the same.

There is no greater gift.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

It's been a big day

Apparently the school board has started calling my references. Can we say yipee!?!?!

I'm trying not to get ahead of myself. They are checking my references, not offering me the job. But if they are going to offer me the job could they do it before 1 pm tomorrow? I am supposed to take Connor to register him for Nursery School for September. The thing is, I'm cheap and don't really want to pay the $20 registration fee if I'm going to have to sign him up for daycare instead. And then there is the anxiety that the daycare won't have a space for him because sending him to daycare will be hard enough but to have to send him to one I don't know (read - one his sisters didn't go to and I worked at) because at the end of the day my profession makes me a very untrusting and critical person and when looking for daycare for Emily I found 50 that sucked and one that didn't. And that's the one I need for Connor.

I think I have an ear infection too. Crap. I feel like shit. I'm dizzy. My ears hurt and I have a lingering cough that's driving me batty. I need to go to the doctor on Monday and get this straightened out.

Our Relay for Life fundraising efforts are starting to pay off. Sean's commitment to shave his head if we reach $1500 is getting things rolling. My brothers are really getting into the spirit now (they want to see him bald) so I'm hoping they will come home with a lot of pledges.
I've also been truly blessed by my October 07 Mommies. (and I know you hear me say this a lot but it's just yet another shining example of why) so many of them have made pledges to our team. It really warms my heart and brings tears to my eyes because, while I know so many people don't get it and think I'm a bit of a nutjob (my own family included) it tells you something about these people, who I've never even met, that are willing to donate $1, $5, $20, not just because it's a worthy cause but because it means so much to me. And it means so much to me that they have. So my mom can roll her eyes and wonder about my sanity when I talk about my 'friends on the internet' but the proof is in the pudding. They are friends...and truer and more dedicated then even some family. And I would (and have) go to the same lengths for them.

Well, big day tomorrow. Barring an exciting job offer phone call my little man is going to be enrolled in Nursery School. I fear he will not like the visit tomorrow - being that it's during naptime and he's not big on strangers. Fingers crossed!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

In awe

My mom and brothers and I went to a Service of Remembrance last night for all the people who died last year who were associated with Durham Region Hospice. It was at a small church and was about half full of family members who'd lost someone last year as well as staff and volunteers from the Palliative Care and Oncology units from the hospital.

It was a lovely service, short and non denominational (which I thought was nice and inclusive) They lit candles, recited a few poems and about grief, gave everyone an empty box that went with a song about having a box of love and memories. A minister talked (a little too long, in my opinion, about our journey's through life)

The part that moved me most though was that up in front of the altar were pictures of all the people that were there to be honoured (about 30 or so) Each person was given a flower upon arrival and as their loved ones name was called their families were invited up to put their flower in a vase. And as much as it's expected, it's hard to hear your family members name being called out.
After all the family members had put their flowers in the vases the staff and volunteers were asked to come up and put a flower in the vases for all the people who had passed away in their care over the last year.

I got to thinking about those people; the staff and volunteers of the palliative care unit.
I could think of worse jobs, I'm sure, but this is high on the list. Nobel, for sure, but I don't know how they do it.
They are fabulous people. I can't find the right words to say it well enough. And more so the volunteers. To care for those in their very last days of life - and to care for the ones they are leaving behind. I would be a big blubbering mess every. single. day. And yet they do it, day in and day out with such strength and compassion.

I don't know where one finds that kind of strength but I would love to have even a small piece of it. And for all those who need palliative care, I'm glad there are those out there with that strength.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Dear Penthouse - I'm one satisfied customer

I believe good work should be rewarded. Good customer service is not uncommon but great customer service is hard to find. I've had it 4 times this past week!

So, in the past week I've had a technological meltdown. My computer went on the fritz (again) the cable wasn't working right and then Emily's phone line crapped out.

So we'll start with the computer. We all know the adventure I had with the computer. I wrote about it here. Well, I shipped it out to HP on Monday. On Tuesday they emailed to confirm it has arrived. On Wednesday they called to say they had a backlog and I wouldn't get the computer back until the 29th. I got an email on Thursday saying the computer was fixed and shipped to me and I'd get it on Friday. So - first bit of awesome customer service - someone actually fixed my computer, in a timely fashion, and kept me informed. And I'm on it now and it works great (here's hoping it stays that way this time!)

Second. UPS is supposed to come yesterday afternoon to deliver the computer. Naturally, because there is a 20 min window in which I have to leave the house that is when UPS comes. And I knew it too because I saw a UPS truck around the corner from my house. So I left a note for the UPS guy telling him exactly what time I'd be back and could he please, please wait. Well, he didn't wait, but instead of leaving my package at the store for me to pick up he left me a nice little note saying he'd stop back in 1o min later. And he did. And I was sooooo greatful!

Third. Our cable service has sucked for the past 3 yrs or so. It's partially due to all the splitters that were running through the lines and partially due to stronger signals running through older cables and the cable outside being damaged in a storm last summer. So I finally caved in and called them to come and fix it when my mom's tv signal went caput. (I was worried we'd get in trouble for all the splitters which is why I never called before)
So the cable guy came (he showed up 15 minutes early...so automatically he was in my 'I big puffy heart you' books)
He and Sean took probably 500 feet of old raggedy cable out of the basement ceiling. He then ran 5 lovely brand new lines into the house. Only then did he discover that his efforts were fruitless because of the cable damage outside. So he then had to replace all that (and put up with my asshat neighbour who wouldn't let him into his backyard to run the cable line)
All tolled he spent 7 loooong hours at my house and now all our tv's work great and the picture has never been better. I made a point of emailing Rogers to let them know how fantastic their technician was and how hard he worked (and stayed pleasant the whole time!) and the assurred me they would forward my email to his manager. I hope they do.

Forth. Cable guy had to drill into the house from the outside and in doing so he accidently cut the phone line. We didn't know this until Emily's friend tried calling and the phone just rang and rang and rang and we never heard a thing. So I called Ma Bell to come on out and fix it. Ma Bell asked me if I would be available from 8-6 today. After I finished laughing I said, "Um, no, I have a life. Can I get a smaller window?" Apparently they don't do small windows on weekends so I said fine, book me in for a 3 hour afternoon block on Monday. At the end of the call the rep. said to me "Are you happy with the service you received today?" I said, very honestly, "I'd be a hell of a lot happier if someone was on their way over to fix my phone but if that's the best you can do then sure, I guess so"

So I went about my business, getting all my programs and files uploaded onto my freshly delivered computer. By now I've changed into my jammies (cause when the last daycare kid leaves, if I'm not going out my PJ's are on!) and (gasp) no bra. I see a truck pull into my driveway. It's a Bell truck. So I run into the bedroom to throw on a bra. After three kids the girls just aren't 'up to it' anymore and no one outside the family needs to suffer through that sight. I answer the door and there standing before me is the cutest phone company guy ever. I'm talking if I were single and there weren't kids all over the place we'd have us a Dear Penthouse moment.
Anyhow, as I catch my breath he says "Hi, I'm ???? from Bell." (You see, I didn't actually hear his name....this is what I heard )
I said "Yeah" as I stare with my jaw on the floor. He says "I'm a but early" I snapped out of it and welcomed him in to fix my phone (all the while wondering what else I have from Bell that I can screw up while he's here)
So hot Bell guy replaced the damaged line. He was very smiley. He was oh so hot. Honestly, I'll dream about him, I'm sure.

So my forth fantastic customer service is that Bell not only showed up 3 days early to fix my phone but they send some delicious eye candy to do it.

I almost feel bad for having called yesterday morning to arrange for our phone service to be switched from Bell to Rogers.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Satisfaction

One of my brothers is a drama queen. It's widely known. He's not content if there is not some kind of drama, conflict or battle for the greater good in his life. Every job he's had he has some type of conflict with his boss. He's got conflict with family and friends. That's just him and we take him at face value.

The thing is, I think I'm a lot more like him than I care to admit. Take for instance my job. I love being at home with my kids. Right now Connor is in his bed, almost sleeping. I've got Oprah on (I hate Oprah but there's nothing else on at this hour) I've surfed through FF and The Pumpkin Patch. I've done my facebooking. I've even worked on my daycare newsletter a bit. Now how great is my job??!!
Of course, I'm also flat broke and with no new clients in sight (actually I have an interview on Monday night) there is that familiar nag of getting a "real job" with a stable paycheck and a benefits package.
So I applied to the school boards, went to my interview and now that I'm faced with the prospect of possibly being offered this much sought after position I'm scared. What if I hate it. What if I miss Connor so much I can't function? What if I'm not good at it? Or even worse, what if I don't even get the job. Everyone who's anyone knows I went for the interview so if I don't get the job I suffer the humiliation of everyone knowing I didn't get the job (which makes me further question my own abilities)

I always look forward to when I have a day off work. But then when that day comes I don't know what to do with myself and I end up bored stiff. Like today. And then I eat food I don't need and
spend money I don't have.

I think it's just a grass is greener type of thing. I wonder when I'll ever feel satisfied?

And now, completely off track. I'm watching Oprah. She's got this family on Skype talking to her about living a 'green' lifestyle. There is are two girls, I'm guessing close to Emily and Mary's ages. The younger one is sitting on her dad's lap and older one is sitting at the end with mom and dad between her and the younger one. The younger one keeps taking her foot and putting it over in the older daughters lap and the older daughter is pushing her foot away and mouthing "Stop" to her sister.
I have two thoughts. First - do I find this so distracting because I am the parent of two kids who would probably be doing the Exact. Same. Thing. I want to say to the little one "get your feet off your sister and stop being a pain the neck - don't you know you're on Oprah!?!" and I want to say to the older kid "Geez, get over it, it's only a foot. Ignore her and she'll stop!"
Second, I feel for the parents because you can see the dad isn't really noticing and you can see the mom is noticing but isn't sure how to handle it, being on Oprah and all.

I wonder - do people who aren't parents even notice these things?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bye bye baby....

Nothing causes me more anxiety than the thought of being without my computer. As a work at home mom this computer is my lifeline to the outside world and being without means I'm cut off.

I bought an HP computer when Emily was about a year old. We had it for 8 solid years before it crapped out and then even then it was fixed on the cheap by my brother and back to normal in days.
We got this computer not long after my dad died last summer. Since then we've had the power supply changed, the hard drive changed and the mother board changed. In the infinite wisdom of the dickheads at Future Shop when they changed the motherboard they neglected to input all the numbers correctly so now my computer and Windows are not recognizing one another. I have a black screen that tells me that my copy of Windows is not genuine.

As you can well see, my computer is otherwise working just fine, I can still go online, download my pics and music, my automatic updaters are even working fine. If it weren't for the fact that my computer is still under the factory warranty I'd not worry about it at all.
But since it's not going to cost me anything to have it fixed, we may as well git 'er done.

I called the fine people at HP on Thursday. My first call reached a call centre in India. My experienced documentary watching eye (ear?) told me that what I saw in Morgan Spurlock's show "30 Days" was what I was dealing with. A call centre in India, where the staff take American Accent lessons and get paid peanuts compared to US call centre employees get. Now don't get me wrong. I don't have a problem with that per se. People in India need to make a living too, I have nothing against any of them (for all you who know the story of my recently being called a racist....don't get me started!!) But I had 3 - yes 3 screaming toddlers that day. The guy who I was talking to was very helpful and clearly knew how to fix my problem but I couldn't understand more than half of what he said. It could have been the crying kids, normally accents don't throw me like that, but his was thick so it made it harder and more frustrating to deal with. As it turned out I had to spend 3 hours removing all the important data (musics, pictures and documents) from my computer so that they could fix it and I had to hang up from him with my problem only semi resolved.

I called back at nap time and got an American call centre (and I know it wasn't an Indian who did well in accent training 101 because we were joking about it being tax deadline day for him.)
Long story short (ha - too late right?!) I was UPS'd a box in which to send my pretty little computer back to HP to be properly fixed and sorted out.

So, I will be left to using my mom's laptop for a week or so. And that sucks because it means no photo editing. It means not getting online as much as I'm used to and ugh, no mouse (I hate that little finger tracker mouse crap on laptops.)

But I guess it's for the best so my little connection to the outside world can last me a long time to come.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The wait begins

The interview is over and I came out of it feeling somewhat confident. I didn't sound like a bumbling fool. I had an answer for every question. I didn't have to spend time humming and hawing over my answers (thanks to Judy and her sister and their help prepping me!)

The Principal who was part of the interview team (him and and board HR lady) was from one of the schools I'm hoping to be placed in. Emily was baptised at the church affiliated with the school so that was a bonus. He joked that he's hire me based solely on my 'good Irish name'.

Anyhow, I had two stories I held onto to tell. One was about dealing with a conflict with another staff member and the other was in dealing with a behaviour management issue with a child. I was able to use both stories as a direct answer to questions so I was happy about that. And apparently my post diploma studies are an asset at this point too. And despite all my worrying, stressing, anger and frustration, all four of my references came though and were fantastic.

So now the wait begins. I should hear within about month if I've been successful. Fingers, toes, arm and legs crossed.

On another note, I've been stressing about money and getting kids in to the daycare. Well, on Friday my old boss called (one of my references) and asked if I could supply at the daycare for the day. It was a PA day for the kids so I couldn't. But it got me thinking about my current daycare schedule so I've done a little juggling with my toddler schedules and now I have either 2-3 days a week off work in which to spend with Connor OR 2-3 days a week in which I can supply at the daycare I used to work at. Not a a bad deal.

I know at this point I'm putting all my eggs in the school board basket and despite the financial crap I'll continue to deal with if I don't get the job I've got the added humiliation of everyone knowing I've interviewed for this job and then to NOT get it.....yeah, awesome.

I'm sure I've said this about things before but I really want this in a big bad way. And I know it will be a giant adjustment for me (working out of the home and away from my babies again) and it will be an incredibly huge adjustment for the kids (especially if I'm required to work school holidays because that means daycare for them too...) but the opportunity was too good to pass up. And I have to remind myself that I've made a living for the past 15 years off of working parents...and their kids are fine. Mine will be too.

So, now I hope and I wait.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Frustrated and impatient

Did I mention I'm frustrated? Still!

I spoke with my former employer and she's going to give me a letter of reference, I'll pick it up Friday.
I spoke with my oldest friend, she's going to give me a letter - just waiting for it to be emailed. UGH!
I emailed my former daycare parent again, gently nagging. No reply. Double UGH!

I know for sure I have my former employers letter, I will have it Friday. I can bring the names and number of existing clients with the stipulation that they don't call unless I am being offered the job.
And then I thought, it would be great to have a former co worker. Well, I'm still chatty with a couple of them....
then it hit me. DUH!!!! My sister in law is a former co worker. It's how I met Sean!!!

So I called my sister in law and asked if she'd do me a letter as a former co worker and since my sister in law hyphenates her name I asked that she just omit her married name (same as mine) and use only her maiden name.
Done and done. I have no worries that her letter will be in my inbox tomorrow.

And, my best friends sister is a teacher so she emailed me a pretty awesome outline of the questions her sister was asked (different school board but how different could the process be?)

So now, while I stress about having these references in my hands and what am I going to wear and if I get the job should I put Connor in daycare full time or should Sean switch his schedule and crap, maybe I should put Connor on the waiting list at the daycare while I'm there getting my letter I am studying the questions and developing my answers.

Nothing like putting the cart before the horse.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Control

I am a control freak. There is no arguing about it and I readily admit it. It's why I fear flying, it's why I'm a terrible passenger in a car, it's why things are not done right if they are not done my way.
I try to go easy on people, it's not their fault I need to be in control but when I'm not it makes me anxious.

Right now, I am so bloody anxious I'm about to crawl out of my skin. My heart is pounding, I feel nauseous and I can't think of anything else.

I got a phone call on Sunday night asking me to come for an interview with the Toronto Catholic District School Board to work as an ECE within the Early Learning Program. I'm pretty sure I mentioned this somewhere in the blog, that I'd applied to 4 different school boards for this position. Well, got the call and as my brother in law told Sean once, the hardest part is over now. It's my job to lose.
Here's the catch. The lady said to me "Bring your references with you." (Jesus, I'm getting even more queasy just typing it)
References? Shit. Well, typically when a daycare parent asks for references I point them to my daycare parents. HA. I can't go that route. I can't tell my clients I'm interviewing for an actual job, outside of my house, no more home daycare, find someone else.....

So I facebooked an old client, a mom who've I've gotten friendly with since her kids left my care and asked if she would be so kind as to do me a letter. That was on Sunday night and she replied that she most certainly would and would work on in Monday. I said great, thanks you can email it to me and I'll print it. It's Tuesday and I don't have a letter yet. I realize that the interview isn't until Saturday but I need to be in control and know I have my references lined up. Because without the references I don't stand a chance at the job!

I called my former employer at the daycare. I've been in contact with her several times over the past few months, she's helped me with some school things. So I thought, perfect, I can use her for a reference. I left her a message on voicemail yesterday morning. No return call yet. SHIT!
I'm going to drop by the daycare today I think.

My mom also mentioned my "oldest friend". She's a girl I've known for over 30 years now. We went to kindergarten together (ironically in the same school I hope to work in - and her kids will be going to school there this coming fall) So my mom called her and then I called her as well. She's apparently anxious to give me a reference, though I haven't spoken with her myself yet.

So I wait. I don't like to wait, it makes me feel out of control. I need my references lined up so I can go into the interview armed. If I don't have the references I may as well not even go to the interview. I'm not a last minute person I'm a right now person.

Well, I guess these people can add into their references that I'm pushy and naggy because I'm going to be on them like a bum on a bologna sandwich until they hand the references over.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

What I've learned

I've learned some things about myself lately. Some good, some not so good. I'm in a bit of a funk and I'm sure that's part of the reason why I'm focusing on these things.

1. I am done having children. This is a big thing for me to say. I'm done to the point that Sean could say tomorrow that he was going to get a snippity snip done and I'd drive him there myself. The thought of pregnancy, labour, delivery, night waking, newborn neediness, infant milestones...all of it makes me want to crawl under a very big blanket and hide.
I will ohh and ahh other women's big bellies and goo gaa over other women's newborn babies and all the while I am thanking God it's not me. And I'm okay with that.

2. I'm fat. I don't mean that in a "I wear a size 6 so I'm fat" kind of way. I mean it in a "I weigh 12 lbs more than I did when I delivered Mary Jo" kind of way.

3. I think I have a food addiction. I quit smoking 6 years ago so I know about addiction. I know the mental games I played when I tried to quit the 10 times prior to when I succeeded. It was the "I'll have this last smoke and that will be it. I will do it. I can do it." Until the nicotine wore off an hour later and then I lit another smoke. I have much of the same conversations about eating. "I will eat more veggies/fruits/salads. I will eat smaller portions. I will change my carb intake to more fibrous carbs rather than starchy ones and I'll balance them with protein. I will do it. I can do it." Until I get bored/hungry/tired/upset or see chicken wings on sale. I know how I should eat. And I know I don't eat that way. I'm not a believer in diets, they don't work. I know it's a lifestyle change that's needed but I can't seem to get over that hump.

4. I need to exercise more. I had a class a few weeks ago on the third floor of my school. So in walking from the Timmy's on the first floor, up a flight of stairs, down a hall and up another flight of stairs I got horribly winded.
I try doing my Wii Fit but I just don't have the gumption. Plus, I need some cardio work to get my heart going and hoola hooping just ain't cutting it. I'm thinking of taking up jogging but again, it's all about taking that first step. (which I did take...I'm charging my iPod in anticipation of trying to go for a run tonight.....though I'm also already making excuses about how tired I am, I have blisters from my damn high heels yesterday and I might run into crazy naked lady and go blind (more on her later)

5. I'm getting bitter in my old age. About anything and everything. I'm going to be one of those old blue haired ladies who complains about E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.

I guess I'm just a general mess.

So yesterday morning I'm taking Emily out to a class she goes to on Saturdays. We come out the front door and I notice traffic in front of our house is moving really slowly. That usually means an accident so I look down the street and something in front of my neighbours house catches my eye. It's an elderly naked woman.
There is a a group home around the corner for (I suspect) people with minor mental illnesses. I see this woman all the time. She walks past my house daily. She's usually dressed decently, never wears her teeth and has some wild grey/white hair. Well, I'm guessing that yesterday she was off her meds because she clearly forgot her clothes.

I saw her and said to Em "Holy crap! Look at that!" Then I realize I'm talking to my 10 yr old and said, "No, don't look, go in!" So I call Sean out to watch where she's going while I call 911 to come and collect her. Meanwhile another neighbour is following her down the street and some lady came out of Timmy's and put a coat over her.

The police and ambulance showed up about 10 min later to collect her.
An hour later she was being dropped back off at home.

I'm sure this woman is of no harm and hopefully when I see her next she'll be clothed but it was one of those surreal moments when you say to yourself, am I really seeing that??? And it's an image stuck in my mind now. Blech!!

So there is one more reason to get myself in better shape. One day I might be the crazy naked lady on the street....I at least want to look good!

Friday, April 9, 2010

French lessons from Raffi

Connor loves Raffi. I mean loves loves loves. He'll listen to Raffi all the live long day.

I don't mind. There are certainly worse children's singers out there and his songs are fun and he's got a pretty soothing voice.

Connor loves the number 5 too. I'm not sure where it came from but when he's putting his CD's on in his room he always skips ahead to number 5 and then hits repeat. If I am putting a CD on for him he asks me for number 5. Song number 5 on the "One Light One Sun" CD (my personal Raffi favorite) is "Fais Do Do". It's a french song about a girl telling her brother to go to sleep so he can get treats. His mom is making cake and his dad is making chocolate.

Connor knows the words to the song. It's kind of cute to hear him singing them. (though he's shy and only sings when he thinks we can't hear him or see him)
I guess I should be happy. Connor is getting an early French lesson. But God help me, I know I've heard enough of it when I am able to translate it with my crappy 9th grade French ability.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Cancer touches us all

Yep double post today. I felt this was worthy of its own post.

In 2 short months Sean and I, my brothers and sisters in law, our kids and my mother will be participating in the Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life.

Our team is called Papa's Pride and it doesn't take a genius to figure out why.

We are walking in memory of my Dad, Michael, who died on Father's Day, June 21, 2009. He battled lung cancer for 32 days. Yes, you read that right. I was not a long and drawn out years long battle. My dad went to the doctor in mid May 2009 with a pain in his groin. He came home with Stage 4 lung cancer. He was officially diagnosed on my brother, John's birthday, May 17 and he died a month later.

I thank God every day that it wasn't a long drawn out battle. I thank God for my mom, my dad and my kids that they didn't have to go through that. I never asked God to make him better because I knew that wasn't an option, so I asked for it to be quick. And He listened.

And I miss my dad. Every. Single. Day.
I miss that Connor won't get to know him. Connor still remembers Papa's shoes. He sees black or blue crocks and calls them Papa shoes. He still remembers his Papa coat. And when he sees a picture of him he still knows Papa. But I know that one day these memories will be artificial ones that we've given him and not his own.

The reason for my post today is to ask those of you who haven't already to please, please make a donation. You can click the picture on the right hand side of the page and it will link you right to our team page. All it takes is 2 minutes and a credit card and all the money goes straight to the Canadian Cancer Society. And for my friends south of the border (or anywhere else in the world) a credit card is a credit card - it will work for you too. And even better, our dollar is trading on par with the US dollar so every dollar my American friends donate will be the same in Canadian dollars. $5, $10, $20. Every little bit helps.

We all know someone who has been touched by cancer, either directly or indirectly. But together, we can make cancer history.

Up, down and running really fast

I sometimes wonder if I have a touch of bipolar disorder. I seem to go up and down so darn quickly. Of course it could just be pms.

In March of 2009 Sean and I went to Vegas to celebrate our 11th anniversary. The month before that my period was a week (exactly 7 days) late. Because of that my period came the next cycle one week early (exactly 7 days) it was like my body self corrected. It also meant that I shared the first child free holiday Sean and I have had since Emily was born with that old Bitch Aunt Flo.
Why am telling you this? Well, last month my period came late again. By exactly 7 days. And guess what, the old bitch is back again, 7 days early.

I know some of you are shaking your head and saying WTF? Why is this woman sharing her menstrual cycle with us? And I know that my FF are nodding their heads and going, yup, I get it.

I just think it's an unusual irony that in my otherwise like clockwork 33 day cycle it gets messed up by a week and then self corrects the next month and it happened twice - exactly one year apart. (insert Twilight Zone music here)

The other day I was at the school waiting to pick up the kids. I was sitting in the van watching the grade 1 kids outside playing and watching some of the grade 5/6 girls come out of their portable to go to the school. And it struck me. Kid's don't walk. Ever.

If I take the kids to the park, they don't walk there, they run the whole way. The only time they stop is at a crossing to wait for me to catch up. Even Connor, now that he can run without falling, doesn't walk anywhere. Of course, when he runs he needs to announce it. "Run, run! I running! Connor run!" Mary and Emily are incapable of walking down the hall, they need to run. (though I've noticed in Emily's old age she runs a little less)
That makes me sad though. It's almost like you can see the end of childhood when they stop running everywhere they go.

Oh, to be that enthused about life that you need to run everywhere because you just can't wait to get there! I have to run to my bedroom to get my pj's on. I need to run to the front door to get my coat. I have to run to the store to get milk. I wish I felt that enthused. These days the only thing I run for is to catch Connor from running away. Though I will run for chicken wings and beer.

On the weekend I put out some daycare flyers around the neighbourhood. I think they've worked a bit. My website has seen a few more hits. I noticed that one of the flyers had all the little tabs ripped off but I suspect it wasn't grateful parents, rather is was some bitterly competitive provider not wanting to share the kids.
I don't get that really. When I first opened my daycare I held an open house. I put signs up all over the place and I noticed in one neighbourhood in particular they all got torn down. Obviously a fellow (I use that word loosely - there is obviously no camaraderie there) provider not wanting potential clients to know.

The thing is, I wouldn't care if I have another daycare provider living right next door. I'm not for everyone and everyone is not for me. And what's more we can only have 5 kids on the roster so when you're full, share the love! (of course there are plenty out there who have more than 5 and I'm so not above reporting them. I might be willing to share parents but I don't abide the illegals)
Anyhow, in the meantime my extreme budget make over is going well for the first week despite the unexpected annual fee on the visa we don't use but keep for emergency and the fact that I forgot that I need to pay my taxes by the end of the month and that we have to feed 20 people on Saturday for Mary's first communion.

Gah - I think I'm going down again.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Blah

I'm afraid to look back at just how many of my posts have this very same title.

I'm feeling blah.

My financial woes are catching up to me and I'm starting to get that itch to go out and 'get a real job' in order to deal with this.

We got windows put on our house last year to the tune of $13,000. We were smart though and got them on deferred payment. You know, it's the ambitious plan where you say, "Sure I can pay that off in a year NO PROBLEM!!" and go on your merry way. Well, the reality is that sure, we paid off a computer on a deferred plan no problem - it was only $2000. We paid off a bedroom set on a deferred plan no problem, it was only $1000. But when it's this much....well, we didn't even make a dent.
So the choice was, take it at 28% accrued interest or put it on the line of credit at prime + 1. Well duh.
The problem is that now we have a maxed out line of credit so no safety net. This means, more than ever before, we live on cash.

However, this is the worst possible time and me in my shortsightedness, rather than jumping all over the 4 or 5 calls I've had for daycare I turned them away because they were infants.
And since then I've seen the error of my ways and have replied to every single daycare needed ad I've seen and nothing. Argh!! Payback's a bitch!

So, for now anyway, we're just getting by...and I hate that feeling. I'm hoping something turns around soon and I get a new kid in or a job offer with the school board...

I've discovered that it isn't likely that I'll get hired on to the two larger boards that I've applied for. You see, I'm white. I don't mean this is in a negative way but quite simply, I don't fit the demographic of big city Toronto. It is, after all, the most multicultural city in the world. That, however, puts me at a disadvantage for certain jobs. I'm still holding out for the two local boards though, as I'm more in keeping with the demographic here.

In the meantime, maybe I'll become a Passions Party consultant to make some extra money. I wonder though, how do I explain to Emily and Mary Jo where mom is going on a Saturday afternoon with a big rubbermaid bin. "Mom's just off to sell some dildos to some horny housewives sweetie. See you in a bit!"

Speaking of horny....a little tidbit for you all, and for one in particular....

I learned the word horny and it's meaning when I was 12 from my dear sweet cousin Sarah. And I remember clear as day her mother shooting the two of us the worst look when we were in the back of the car saying "That person is wearing green, she must be horny!" I don't remember what green clothes had to do with it but hell, I was 12 and I'd learned a new unacceptable word, yay me!

On an entirely different note, Mary Jo is having her First Communion next week. I am so excited for her. She's going to be so pretty in her dress. She's excited to be 'getting bread'. I hate to burst her bubble, I think she thinks the host will taste like vanilla wafer or something. Cardboard flavour is not high on the yum meter. She doesn't really get the significance, she's too young but she's excited to be wearing the beautiful dress and pretty shoes and having a party in her honour.
We're having the big dinner afterward, with, apparently, deep fried turkey. Sean's brother will be making it. Not sure what I think about that but I guess I'm happy it's one less thing for me to worry about cooking. HA!

Well, I've rambled enough. I'm going to go print up some daycare fliers and post them around the neighbourhood. Cross your fingers that the money tree starts growing soon!