Friday, May 28, 2010

One week to go

In one more week we will be gearing up for the Relay for Life.

Being that it's our first year, I'm not really sure what to expect. I know the kids will be tired. I doubt the girls will stay all night, they'll likely go home with Sean and Connor to sleep.

Our campsite is miles away from everything! I'm not sure if that's good or bad, we'll see.

Instead of sitting here and playing online I should be getting my foot x-rayed because I think I re fractured the break I had 15 yrs ago.It hurts like the dickens (did I really just say that?) and I've been favoring it for over a week - not good. So I'm sure the relay is not going to help it.

I'm looking forward to it though. I think it will be a sad night but I think it will be a healing night too. Only 24 more days until we reach the first anniversary of my Dad's death. I can't believe it's been a year already.

When we first signed up for the relay I set a goal of $300. We reached that in a week. So I bumped up the goal to $500 and we got to it but then we stalled.
Sean and I talked and he put forth the challenge - that if we raised $1500 he would shave his head bald. So I put it out there and it seemed like overnight the pledges came in. $5, $15, $100. It was overwhelming. And even more overwhelming was who these pledges were coming from.

I recall a few years ago when my mom's best friend has just died from cancer I was speaking with her daughter (commonly referred to as "Jean's very first friend") and she had said to me "There are people coming out of the woodwork to offer their sympathies but where were these people when she was sick?" It rung out to me and I saw it too when my Dad was sick. It was such a short period of time but his cancer and death really showed us who our real friends are - and more importantly - who isn't.

I think this Relay has been the same thing (for me) I put the call out to my family and friends and I know who heard the call.

Now, before I offend anyone - I want to make something clear - because I know there are people who read my blog who did not pledge to us and I don't want you thinking that I don't think you are a friend or you weren't there to support us...I know who reads my blog and you don't fit into 'not there for us' category and I'll explain why.

There were people I expected to make a pledge. I don't mean I thought they would....I mean for them it shouldn't have been an option. (I'll use my Dad's brother as an example. He did pledge but had he not I would have had some very serious questions as to why he didn't). That's what I mean.

This Relay has really been a part of the healing process for our family. It's still very fresh to us. I know in the grand scheme of things our $1500 is a drop in the bucket for what is really needed but our $1500 with someone else's $1500 and someone else's $1500 adds up.

So when I had pledges flooding in from people who I never in a million years would have expected to pledge to us I was overwhelmed with emotion. So much joy that there are people who care, who understand that it's not about the money (or how much they've pledged) - but it's the support in this horrible journey of bereavement.
But I've also been hurt - by those who should have been there to support us...and weren't. I guess we know who our friends are.

But I won't let it get me down. I am preparing for the great shave. I get to shave Sean's head by proxy (our donor who put us over the $1500 mark lives in the US) and I'm excited to be sleeping with Mr. Clean for a while. hee hee

It's gonna be a hectic week but I'll be sure to post the video of his head shave as soon as I can and I'm sure I'll have a huge post next Saturday after I catch up on my sleep.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Mommy Wars - Part 2

I recently read a message on FF from a woman who wondered if she should giver her daycare provider an extra day off after a paid vacation. Being a home daycare provider I naturally weighed in (oddly enough, I was one of the few that said no, she shouldn't give her daycare provider the day off....but anywho...)

At one point another daycare provider said what most daycare providers feel....if you are at home why would you even consider sending your child to daycare - they want to be at home with you, not with us. And under other circumstances my reply would have been the same but because they would have been on holidays for the two weeks prior they are spending that time together and I and totally understand wanting a day to yourself.

Shortly after another daycare provider (I use that term loosely in this case) piped in with her thoughts which basically consisted of slamming any working parent for being neglectful and selfish and continuing on with how she basically raises other people's kids for them, all the while complaining about the job. It's ironic actually, if it weren't for those neglectful, selfish people she wouldn't have a job.
In short, she gives those of us who take this job seriously a bad name.

All of this started another of my favorite Mommy wars. It's the Working Mom vs Stay at Home Mom war - who is a better mother and who loves their kids more.

I'm very fortunate to have been on both sides of this fence. I've been (and will be again soon) a working mom (for the sake of this post 'working mom' refers to those who work outside of the home because yes, I acknowledge that EVERY mom is a working mom - some just don't get paid for their hard work - at least not in cash) and I've been a stay at home mom. And I've loved both and I've hated both. But the thing is, as a working mom or a stay at home mom I've been the same mom. I love my kids the same. I discipline the same. I worry the same. I was blessed to be able to be home with Mary and Connor both until they were nearly 3 and home with Emily from the time she was 3. I wouldn't trade that time for anything. I also know that that's not a reality for all mom's, no matter how much they might want it. Desperate want doesn't pay the mortgage or put food on the table.
I'm also thrilled to be going back to work. Connor will benefit greatly from being away from me and going to daycare - it will do wonders for his emotional development and it will do wonders for my self esteem and sense of self worth.

I truly enjoy reading this threads on the message board where one mom judges another for her choices. It's even better when it becomes a pissing match about who is the better mom. Occasionally I'll throw my hat in too but for the most part, I just love reading other people's drama. It reminds me that I'm normal.

And working mom or stay at home mom...I'm a damn good mom.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Crisis Averted

And all's well that ends well.

I got a new letter from the Priest and it's just as lovely as lovely can be.

And all is right with the world.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Didn't I tell ya....

It's always something.

So I went for my little document exchange thing with the board. One of the documents required was a Pastoral Reference Letter. (I blogged about getting it before) I said "yep, it's right there with my resume" So the lady pulls it out, takes a look at it and says the only problem is that the Priest checked off the boxes that say he knows my family and me through personal interview but he needs to check off the boxes that say he has personal knowledge of my being a member of the parish. Without that they can't push my file through

Yeah.

So I'm back to square one. I've got a phone call into the Priest and if he doesn't return my call by 3:00 I'll call again. And again and again. Is it wrong to harass a man of the cloth? I will beg and plead and promise to personally come and say hello to him at the end of mass every. single. weekend if he'll click off those two nice little boxes for me.

And then I'll be able to breathe again.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Jinx

I've told my closest friends, my immediate family and my clients about my new job. I was hesitant to tell the clients but I did.

See, the way my life works is that when things are fantastic and great something comes along to shit on it. So I'm certain that because I'm thrilled with my new job something is going to go wrong. I haven't said anything 'publicly' about the job for fear of jinxing it. (and yes, I totally understand the irony in the fact that when I say publicly I mean on Facebook and yes, I know that on my Facebook page there is a link to this very blog so, in fact, any of those Facebook friends could read it, and yes I also see the irony in the fact that my blog is listed publicly so quite literally anyone can read it)

I went for my TB skin test on Monday (a requirement to work with children) I have to go back to get it read today and the note to bring with me tomorrow. So the site where they gave me the needle is red/purple. It's a 'track mark' but in my mind it's a huge swollen red mark and they will read it as a positive (fwiw - you don't need to have TB to get a positive result, just an exposure) and of course I think about the nagging cough that wouldn't go away.....
and in reality I know it's a 'track mark' and it's a negative test and everything is fine.

I'm also slightly worried because they want my current Criminal Background check with vulnerable sector screen. I have one but it's 2 years old. I went to the police station on Monday when I got the letter to order one but it's going to take 2-3 weeks to arrive.

They want references...I gave them references when I went for the interview...they spoke with my references so do I bring them in again or do I get new ones or so I omit that portion?

They want my Pastoral Reference Letter. I gave them one when I applied...I assume I won't need another.

I'm psyching myself out completely and I hate it.

Hopefully I'll feel better about it tomorrow after I go to the office and find out what's what.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Just when things can't suck anymore....

Yesterday was a horrible day...

our washing machine broke down on Sunday so we had to go get a new one. You know, with the millions of dollars we have.
My mom bought it and we're paying her in installments (though she argues that she uses it too but her one load to my 5 doesn't amount to much)

I interviewed someone for the daycare on Friday - the fastest interview ever....again. And it was for a baby, which I didn't really want but beggars can't be choosers.

Connor was having a bad morning, exceptionally whiny and arguing about everything. And I had to do my grocery shopping, with my calculator because I only had $90 for the week for groceries (for 5 people plus the daycare)

So, I couldn't have felt any lower yesterday. Just when I thought things couldn't suck anymore...they were sucking even more.

I went and got the mail and lo and behold there was an envelope from the school board. My first thought, it's my "thanks, but no thanks" letter.
So I opened it and read: "We are please to inform you that you have been hired"

AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

So I started crying and jumping up and down. My crying freaked Connor out. I scared Sean because he couldn't make out what I was saying.....

I got the job!!!!!

And now, my new life begins.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dear Mr./Ms. Telemarketer

This is an open letter to all the telemarketers in the world, those who work in sales for cable, phone, newspaper, magazine, duct cleaner, roofers, window/door places, driveway repavers, exterminators, clothing stores......
and yes, for Jehovah Witnesses too.....

I will NOT EVER buy something from someone who calls my house and asks me to.

I own a current copy of my local phone book, as well as a copy of phone books for all the neighbouring cities within 40 kms

I own a current copy of the yellow pages for my city as well as those for every city within 40 kms

If I need my ducts cleaned, driveway repaved, windows washed or lawn fertilized I will look in the phone book and call someone to come and do it.
And moreover, I can promise every one of you telemarketers out there, that even if I did need the service you were offering - I would NOT accept your services simply because YOU called ME.

For those services I already get (especially my bank and cable/internet/phone provider) DON'T call my house and offer me additional products or services....it only makes me want to cancel the services I do have with you and I can promise you I will not buy those additional products and services simply because YOU called ME. I know what products and services you offer and if I want them, I will call you.

I do not want to subscribe to any newspapers...I get all the news I want right here on the internet and on tv. And on those rare occasions that I do want to read an actual newspaper - I can read it for free at any Tim Hortons, McDonalds or at school. And even if I did want to subscribe to a paper - it wouldn't be yours simply because YOU called ME.

I do not need to find God. I know He exists. I have three beautiful children to prove it. I know where He is, in my heart with each and every beat. I think the crucifix hanging on my neck should be an indication that I have Jesus in my life. And since I have that crucifix hanging there for you to see, I think it's a clear indication that I do not have issues with my church and my religion and do not need to join yours. And even if I did have issue with my church and my religion, I would not join yours simply because YOU came to ME. I don't come to your door handing out Sunday Missals so don't come to mine with The Watchtower.

If you call me four days and a row and do not get an answer it's because I have call display and am ignoring your call. I do not want to speak to you. If I do get stuck speaking with you I will not be rude or mean. I understand this is what puts food on your table BUT - when I say don't call this number again and you do the next week....well, then there are no holds barred, I'm gonna let you have it. I'm going to put the phone to my son's face when he's pitching a fit so you can get an earful of toddler scream. I will hang up on you. I will tell you, flat out that if the world were flooded with piss and you were selling stilts I still would not buy them simply because YOU called ME.

Thank you and have a lovely day.

Friday, May 14, 2010

okay so maybe not.....

I'm feeling a little more optimistic today. Maybe not 100% but not as hormonal as I was yesterday.

I toyed with the idea of calling to see if they'd made a decision and decided against it. It's only been a month. They have a lot of people they need to hire and a lot of paperwork to sort out. Besides, calling isn't going to tell me if I got the job, I may end up with more questions than answers and feel even worse!

I'm not necessarily out of the woods yet and while I haven't had a phone call yet, it doesn't mean I won't.

In the meantime, I've just finished an interview for the daycare. I'm rewriting some of my policies and in the wise words of a poster Sean saw when he worked at Leon's.....

be happy with what you have while you work toward what you want.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Giving up the dream

It's been 25 days since my interview.
It's been 13 days since they called my references.

Though I haven't officially been told I didn't get the job, I'm taking the silent phone as a sign that I didn't get the job. Well, that and the fact that I haven't been offered the job.

I'm sad. I was really hoping this was it. My ticket to a good job, out of the house, with good pay...and more over, with respect for my education and abilities rather than being viewed as a professional babysitter. And though I knew it would have been a hard job, a huge adjustment for our family and for me, I was so looking forward to it.

Instead, I'm deflated. I'm back to plan A, working toward opening a daycare centre. But in the meantime I'm feeling useless, resentful, frustrated, trapped....

I've started advertising spaces for the daycare again. I've got an interview scheduled on Friday. (the mom is a teacher....way to go universe for finding a way of shoving it in my face that I apparently didn't get the job) The thing is, because I've had a glimpse of what could have been, I'm feeling even worse about what is.

Only 44 more days until I'm on holidays. I guess that's something to look forward to.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tom Tom and the Higway of Heros

I got a GPS for mother's day. It's not something that was every high on my list of must have's but I'll admit it's a pretty nifty gadget.


I don't usually go places that I don't already know how to get to and when I do I'm pretty good at being able to see the map (on Mapquest) and then visualize it when I'm driving. But the GPS has a voice so I won't have to do that anymore. Tom Tom (or shall we say Jane Jane since I chose a woman's voice) will tell me where to go.


So last night I decided to use it while driving to school. I know my way to school but thought it would be fun. I live roughly 40 km from school so I got it all programmed, up on the dash and away I went.


Can we talk about distracting?! I swear I spent more time looking at the GPS than the road. I chose a nifty blue sport coupe to represent my mom mobile. And let me tell you, I look hot in that car (okay - you can't really see me in the car but you have to have vision)
Jane Jane told me when I was speeding. (Actually I turned the voice off, disruptive to my radio listening) but speed gauge in the bottom corner turns red when you speed. (Jane Jane is a bit of a goodie two shoes)

Here's what I found interesting though. My mom had mentioned that her GPS doesn't show the new highway off ramp to get to our house - it tells her to get off at the old one (it did for me too) This off ramp has been open for quite some time now (6 months at least) and my mom has downloaded the most recent maps she could.

On the bottom of the screen it shows you what road your are driving on. I was driving on HWY 401 westbound. On the bottom of my screen it said "Highway of Heroes"

For the uniformed, here's the explanation.

When one of our Canadian soldiers is killed in Afghanistan (or anywhere else our military may be) their bodies are brought back to Canada and they are repatriated at CFB Trenton. Their bodies are then driven roughly 500 km from the base to the coroners office in Toronto along HWY 401. From the base to about Oshawa (where I live) there are smaller towns and such but not a lot to speak up. But once you hit Oshawa and then all the way to downtown Toronto the overpasses are lined with thousands of people paying tribute to our fallen soldiers. They wave flags, they salute, they pray. Fire engines, police and ambulances flash their lights and sirens. And this is how it is each and every time a soldier's body is brought home (far too often I'm afraid) Local news stations go so far as to let you know the approximate times the procession will be passing through major cities on the way so that people can plan to stand on an overpass. It's really a sight to behold and very moving.
So at some point a guy started a petition to have that stretch of highway from Trenton to Toronto renamed the Highway of Heroes. It was quickly passed through and now the highway is lined with signs showing a poppy and saying Highway of Heroes.

I think it's a lovely tribute to our soldiers. I get teary eyed every time I see one of the signs. I don't actually know anyone serving in our military (not first hand anyway - I know people who know people) but I still get very sad and scared for our people out there, so far from home.

Theirs is a truly noble life.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I love Mother's Day

I really really do. Not because I get presents (though I love presents!) and not because I get spoiled (I don't -Sean's at work, I still have to make my own meals and break up the cat fights between the girls, do the laundry and dishes and listen to Connor whine)

It's because I get to do those things.

I have three gorgeous, perfect children and sure they make me pull my hair out and sure, as someone said in reference to her own daughter 'they sometimes make you want to do a home tubal ligation', I wouldn't trade this for the world.
I don't sleep through the night anymore, I haven't had a day of relaxation and quiet in over 10 yrs, I don't know what it means to have a clean house or to walk through a room without stepping on Littlest Pet Shops or hot wheels. I haven't used the bathroom alone since Connor was born and a hot bath is usually one of the kids left over water when the bubbles are all gone but I wonder - what would my life be without these things?

I'd have money. I'd have all the gadgets I want. I'd have a job (outside of the home) I'd have a clean home and nice clothes. I might even wear high heels and make up.

But I'd have no purpose. Nothing to work for. No reason to get up in the morning.

I'm sure there are a multitude of childless women out there who are very happy and fulfilled and more power to them, I am happy for them. But that life is not for me.

And so, I am blessed. My purpose in life was to be a mom. I couldn't ask for a greater gift than the one I got today. Three perfect, smiling faces giving me kisses and hugs and singing out "Happy Mother's Day!" right before one spilled the milk, one stole the others stuffed animal and one burst out into tears.

I love my life!!
Happy Mother's Day to all of you Mom's who are cleaning up your own spilled milk.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Come on over and visit

I'm starting a new blog for my photos. I've really been bitten by the photography bug and though I'm certainly no where near being a pro, I am having a lot of fun.

So pop on over and have a visit and feel free to tell me what you think - even if they suck...I'm not going to learn anything if everyone is just nice to me! ;)

Three Little Chickadees

Friday, May 7, 2010

Melting my heart

When I was a kid there was nothing better than my mom singing me a lullaby before bed. In later years though I realized that all these songs she sang to me were horribly sad.

She sang one called "Turn Around" I challenge you to listen to the words of that song and not want to hang on to your kids with a death grip. As I got older and listened to the words of the song when my mom sang it used to make me so sad because I didn't want to grow up.

Then there's "Lonely Little Robin" Now until I just searched for it on YouTube I didn't know it was an actual song. My Nana (my great grandmother) sang it to my mother who sang it to my brothers and I. Not the whole song though, just the chorus. And I've always sung it to my kids. But listen to the words of the chorus, again, depressing!

And let's not forget You Are My Sunshine. While it's not as depressing, the first verse is pretty sad... (it also reminds me of a lady I used to work with in a daycare centre. She was an older lady, very grandmotherly, so it was always surprising to hear her sing "....when I awoke, dear I was mistaken, so I hung myself and I died." Good times.

Lonely Little Robin and You Are My Sunshine are Connor's current favorites. I have to sing them before every nap and at night. And as of yesterday, he now sings them with me. So we can carry on the family tradition - that one day he will be able to sing these horribly depressing songs to his babies and love every single minute of it.

Oh, and the heart melting. After I sang his uber depressing lullabies while rubbing his head he sang "AlphaBlackSheepTwinkleStar" to me while he rubbed my head.

That's what makes being a mom worth all the shit they put us through.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Anti-Hoarder

That's me!

Ever watch the show Hoarders? Scary stuff right? I kind of have a weird love affair with that show. I watch it and it makes me feel nauseous. Not because of the goo, grime, feces and moldy rotten food but because of the clutter.

I can remember being younger and my mother making a big deal about cleaning this room or that room. I don't remember our house ever being untidy or cluttered. But I do remember being annoyed by my mom's incessant need to have everything in it's place.

I get it now. And I think my kids are probably as equally annoyed as I was.

But for me it goes further. Clutter stresses me out. It stresses me out to the point that I feel anxious and sick thinking about it (or worse yet seeing it) So when I start feeling overwhelmed by clutter I start to purge. I sell, throw out, donate and freecycle everything that hasn't been used in the last month (which sometimes causes a problem when something has been used in the past 3-4 months and will be used again but I've gone and gotten rid of it.

Let's have a little for instance. Right now I have two 20" televisions and a VCR in the basement. They are working fine. They are just not needed right now. It's not to say they won't be needed...Mary's TV is getting old and could crap out any day. Eventually Connor will get older and realize his sisters have TV's in their room and he doesn't have one in his. The one in our bedroom could crap out. The joke of it is, for all the tv's we have, only the one in the two living rooms get watched. So I feel this strong need to get rid of them but I know the minute I do...I'll regret it.
I have a crawl space that is overflowing with toys. Most of which we use on a rotating basis but honestly, how many toys can one person use? I have a strong urge to get it all out and have a garage sale.
I have clothes....piles and piles and piles of clothes. Not mine, but for Connor. A friend graciously gave me all her son's size 4, 5 and 6 clothes and don't get me wrong, I am most grateful! I won't have to buy clothes for him for 3 years! But it feels like clutter.

And yet, if you were to come into my house, you would not think it to be a cluttered place. It's not crowded or overdone. I don't have a lot of 'trinkety' type stuff about. Most of what is out is useful or of some sentiment. But it all feels like clutter to me.

I've learned something about myself though. I became this way during the year from hell. It was my way of controlling my life, the only way I could.I decluttered my house in order to gain control of the clutter in my mind and heart.

So, knowing this begs the question - if I am feeling like this right now, what is it I'm feeling internally cluttered about? I think my anxiety about not having heard back about the job yet is the big one. They called my references last Thursday. Either call and offer me the job or call and tell me I don't have the job so that I can plan my future.

I think I'll go check what my collector dolls would fetch on ebay.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Mommy Wars

It's all around us. The need to judge other mothers on their parenting styles, what they do or don't do and to point our fingers and whisper "Can you believe she did (or didn't) do that?!?!"

You can pretty well hit any parenting forum on the internet and find a war raging between two groups of Mom's on whose parenting philosophy is better and whose kids are going to suffer irreparable harm because of what they've done or haven't done.

I honestly find it laughable, to be judged by other mom's on how I raise my kids. But for the record....

I used 'cry it out' to sleep train all three of my kids.

I vaccinate on schedule.

One kid was formula fed, one kid was exclusively breast fed for 5 months and one was both formula fed and breast fed.

I do not co sleep.

I put my kids in strollers. (when they are little - not when they are older than about 3)

I don't like slings or snugglys (though I did use one maybe three times with Connor)

I don't spank and I never ever will (and yes, for those doubters on this one....I can not conceive of an event that would cause my to spank one of my kids and because of my occupation I've had far too much training in alternative behaviour techniques to use spanking as one. After all, even if I did spank my own kids, I can't spank other people's kids)

My kids eat hot dogs and chocolate (not together though - that would be wrong!)

I sunscreen my kids from toes to forehead before they leave the house.

I use disposable diapers

I gave my children pacifiers

My children drink milk....from a cow.

They are not allowed to drink pop (or soda or fizzy drink...where ever you happen to be reading from) (oh, except at parties - then they can have 1 pop if it's offered)

My kids watch tv, play video games and play on the internet (closely monitored) Connor even has his own computer - not a crappy little kid one, an actual circa 2002 rebuilt Toshiba laptop

I'm sure I could go on but the point is, I own my parenting choices. I don't care what others think of them. I don't care if others think they are better parents than Sean and I.

And more importantly, I don't give a fig about how someone else parents their child. I totally don't agree with spanking (that's my big one) I don't agree with not vaccinating your children (if it's solely for philosophical reasons) I don't agree with many of the aspects of attachment parenting. I don't agree with elimination communication (google it if you don't know) BUT - if you want to swat your kid on the butt, not get an MMR, co sleep until your child is 10 and put your 5 month old on the potty, be my guest. Whatever floats your boat.

It's a sad state of affairs really when so many of us are really just walking around in the dark, looking for a little light and guidance that rather than being uplifted, offered advice (not judgement) and given support we are shot down, trampled on and told we are horrible parents and that our children are to be pitied because of it. That to me is the sign of an insecure person. Much like the school yard bully who feels bigger and better when he picks on the weak kid...the mom who judges another mom is unsure and looking to feel justified and accepted in her own parenting choices.

So to all my 'polar opposite of me' non vaxing, baby wearing, cloth diapering, crunchy, co sleeping, no cry sleep training, spanking, EC mom friends....you rock. You are doing an outstanding job and your kids are very lucky to have you as their mom.

And to all those who judge me for my choices....I rock too and my kids are damn lucky to have me as their mom as well.

So go judge someone who might give a shit about your opinion.