Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Shame, shame, double shame....

I've been bad about blogging lately and I'm sorry. I've been wrapped up in everything that has happened over the past few weeks. We had Sean's birthday (uneventful, he worked) We had Father's Day (uneventful, he worked again) We had the first anniversary of losing my dad. Connor and I took my mom out to lunch. We also bought a new koi for the pond. I think that will be our thing on the 21st of June every year. Of course, in order to accommodate this new tradition we'll need to have a fishgate before had to make room in the pond.
What's fishgate you ask? Well, I'll tell you.
My dad's thing was the pond. Eventually, as his health failed he didn't have the dexterity to tinker with the cars, he couldn't golf and couldn't work. He couldn't even drive. But - he had his pond and he took care of that thing like it was his baby.
When he died my mom took over this task (good thing too - I don't think I have the patience to deal with it) and cleans the pond on a regular basis. So one day, if I recall, early in June, mom decided to empty the pond and give it a good scrub (this needs to be done several times over the season in order to keep the pond healthy) But she needed to get right to the bottom of it (the pond is roughly 5 ft deep)
So she caught all the fish (4 large koi and 5 smaller pond goldfish) and put them in a big Rubbermaid garbage can to hold them while she cleaned the pond out. When she was done and had enough water put back in she started putting the fish back. But being on the horizontally challenged side she couldn't reach them in the garbage can, tipped it over and fish were flopping all over the lawn. My mom scrambled to grab them all and literally throw them back into the pond.
All but one large koi survived fishgate. Ironically he was the one the kids had named Lucky. Just not so.

I had my garage sale. It was an overwhelming flop. If it weren't for my brother (or should I say my pushiness in not letting him leave with money in his wallet) I would have barely sold a thing. The girls did sell their golf balls though and a couple of ribbons so they were pleased! I posted the leftovers for sale on Kijiji and so far I've sold $100 worth of stuff in two days. Nice!! Now if only I hadn't have blown half of that taking the kids to Cedar Park today. Especially since it was cold!! (that's a relative term. It was about 18 degrees Celsius (64 for my Fahrenheit minded friends) but it was also a north wind blowing and being in water - cold.

That brings me to my confessions. A lot of them.
Get ready.

Confession #1. Though I am *officially* finished doing home daycare I still have one daycare child for the summer. I figured that Mary would be nagging me to invite her with us whenever we went somewhere anyway, I may as well get paid for it. Plus, I really do love this kid. It's impossible to be a caregiver to someone for 6 yrs and not grow to love/care for them. But I also know I won't miss her since she will undoubtedly be invited over on weekend often.

Confession #2. Though I will miss the other kids I care for I am not the least bit sad to be done with home daycare. I will miss working from home (especially when I have to commute in the winter) but I am not sorry to not have to deal with the issues home daycare brings. More importantly I'm not sorry that I don't have to deal with other people's toddlers on a regular basis anymore.

Confession #3. I will miss the parents. I truly like them all. I think in other circumstances we could have even been friends and though I'm sure if I really tried I could build that personal friendship with some of them, when it comes to the personal level I'm just too shy of a person. But for a while it was really nice knowing (in real life) people who had kids in the same age group as Connor and Mary.

Confession #4. I'm terrified that I'm either going to really really suck at my new job or that I'm going to hate it. Either one would be disastrous.

There you have it.

We interviewed a babysitter this evening. She's only 14 but she's not babysitting Connor, only the girls on random days after school when my mom can't pick them up. I liked her. She's innocent. She's smart and she's got a wonderful 'resume'. I met her mom too (which was important because it gives me an idea of where she's coming from) In fact, this girl was so squeaky clean that Sean joked afterward...."So what, is she running for Jesus?" But it was genuine, not an act.
What I liked most about her was that she wasn't that much older than Emily. I didn't want a babysitter for Emily, she's 11 and doesn't need it. But she'll be a good mentor for her I think and that is something Em could benefit from. I hope it works out.

And one final note.
I have 12 days left on my membership for Fertility Friend and though it's only $10 for a 300 day renewal I've decided not to renew. To some this seems inconsequential but not only did this site help me through trying to conceive, two losses and my pregnancy with Connor but it brought me to my support system. I don't know anyone outside of my brother who has children Connor's age and while I can talk to my brother and sister in law about all things toddler it's only one point of view. And hearing about the habits of 20 two and a half year olds is better than hearing about only 1. Because ever kid is different but if he's pretty well on par with the other then I know things are okay. And there are more momma's out there who understand.
But - my time is done. I'm not planning anymore kids. I've got a new home with my sister in the pumpkin patch and I'm to the point now that I'm tired of reading the same posts over and over about weaning from the pacifier and how cows milk is white poison (yahuh! I kid you not! It's there) It's time to move on. I think I'll have a bit of withdrawal but I'm sure once I start work it will be enough to update my status on FB and check in with the pumpkin patch in between the real life I lead.

Wow - see what happens when I don't post for a long time. I get blogging diarreah!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

So much to do!

I'm slowly but surely wading through the pile of toys in the basement in preparation for my daycare closing garage sale. I'm excited, though it is bittersweet. I'll be happy to have the storage room available for storage again (of more than just toys)

So, at our garage sale the kids are having a fund raising table. They will be selling cookies and juice as well as the golf balls I wrote about before and we also made awareness ribbon pins. I've printed a list of what colour represents which kinds of cancer and our hope is to sell the whole batch of them (there are 60) for $1 each. That money will be what the girls raise for the relay next year.

I'm finding, as we approach the 1 yr anniversary of my dad's passing that this little endeavor, whether it pans out or not, is helping me process this all.

I can't believe it's been a year already. I miss my dad so much it hurts.

Here are the golf balls we made.

And here are our pins

So, I made the executive decision to decline the interview with the Durham District School Board. The more I thought about it the more I realized, I didn't want their job. I don't want to work in Oshawa, mainly because my daycare is in Ajax and I'm not switching his daycare. Plus, I look at all the positives of working in Toronto. I've met the principal. I've met the teacher. I like the other ECE who is working there (and we've come to an agreement about which teacher we'd both prefer to work with so we're going to both let the Principal know that next week) I know the neighbourhood and the school. I don't mind commuting, I LOVE that time alone, no kids, no husband, just me and my radio. And it's a bigger school board in a much bigger city so my opportunity for everything is better there.

I'm happy with my choice.

The downside is that I discovered yesterday that the kids school is not slated to have Full Day Learning in the 2011/2012 school year so now we have to figure out our childcare situation when Connor starts kindergarten. UGH!

If this is the only glitch I have in this new "I have a job!" plan then I'm happy.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Daycare Family BBQ and how I'm becoming my mother

At the suggestion of one of my daycare mom's (a conversation in passing) I decided to have a BBQ for my daycare families. One last hurrah, if you will. So I planned and invited and cleaned and prepared.

And I was so very unprepared.

Two of my mom's got together and bought me a beautiful sterling silver necklace with the kids names engraved on them. They also wrote me letters telling me how thankful they were to have me as their daycare provider for the last year and how much they'll miss me.

My other daycare mom bought me a mug with one of my favourite quotes on it "Be the change you wish to see in the world" (Gandhi)
She also wrote me a lovely letter and it meant a lot since I've become especially attached to her daughter. She's been in my care for 6 years. She's Mary's best friend and though I know that friendship will continue I know it will be a difficult adjustment for them both.

The BBQ was a lot of fun. It was nice to be social with these people rather than just provider/parent and I genuinely do hope to continue a friendship with them after I close. Not just for the kids but for me as well.

So the letters I received, they made me cry. The of the mom's had a cake specially made with my custom made daycare logo on it....made me cry. The gifts made me cry. I'm becoming my mom.

I used to laugh at my mom and she'd cry at tv shows. But as I get older I find myself doing the same. Just yesterday we went to the girls talent show at school. There was a little boy, I'm guessing kindergarten aged dressed up as Spiderman and he sang the entire Spiderman theme song. I got choked up because it was just so frigging cute. I don't know this kid, why am I crying?? I hear a song on the radio that I really really love, that triggers a memory, happy or sad and I get teary eyed. I'm a hot mess.

And I'd love to say it's just PMS but it's not. It's ALL THE TIME.

So all these years I said I was a cynic and a realist like my dad....and it turns out I'm just as much like my mom. Just don't tell might make her cry.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Be careful what you wish for...

I could be putting the cart before the horse but how awesome would it be to have to really sit down and decide between two awesome, perfect, fantastic dream jobs??

I got a phone call today inviting me to an interview for the Durham District School Board. And if I were offered a job I'd have to weigh the in Toronto for probably more money and better benefits....but with the commute and possibility of having to work past the school year....
or work in Durham, closer to home, less money and probably not as great benefits but virtually no commute probably not more than the school year......

We'll just have to see what the interview brings.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I think I found my niche...

I'm inspired.

I've registered my team for the 2011 Relay for Life. I've also been tossing around a few fundraising ideas for the kids in particular.

My Dad was a big golfer. So I'm thinking about getting used golf balls donated to us, clean them up and have the girls draw/write a logo or catchy slogan on them and then sell them for a few bucks a dozen at garage sales, etc. When people see all the proceeds are going to cancer research they are more inclined to buy them (and more so when they see it's kids selling them)

I'm at a loss for a catchy phrase or slogan though. Papa's Balls sounds a little too crude.
Feel free to throw some ideas out to me.

I'm one of these people who tends to go a little overboard when I find something I really like. I think this is one of those cases. As much as being in the rain and being cold and tired and sore was, I felt so great for doing it and I know my $1500 was but a drop in the bucket but it was $1500 more than they had when I didn't participate. And I was focusing on something worthwhile and important and it made me feel good. And more importantly, it makes me feel as though my Dad didn't die in vain.

So, I think this might be my 'thing'. I know it will drive my family crazy (in particular my brothers) but too bad. This is too important to not try.

So, the link to our 2011 team is on the right side of the page. I'm going to get the kids registered just as soon as I have the money and we're going to get started. We raised over $1500 on our first time out. I'm determined to beat that next year.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Relay For Life 2010

First off, thanks again to all of your who pledged out team. You've touched my heart.

I have a few friends who are "relay" experts. They've done it enough times that I sort of new what to expect. But it wasn't anything like I expected. I only wish the weather had have cooperated a little more because I would have had some fantastic pictures to take. People wear costumes, they decorate their tents and campsites with's an odd mixture of celebration and mourning.

Sean and I got there early and set up our tent and gear and got the team signed in. I checked out our luminaries and started was only 4:30...the walk didn't start until 7:00!

The kids were fantastic. They walked around the track like pros. Connor especially enjoyed all the sewers and a lot of the participants were quite taken with him. They lasted until about 10 pm before Sean took them all home to bed. Connor threw up in the car (a combination of too much excitement and too many timbits) and Emily had a moment of sadness, she felt like she let us down by coming home rather than staying the night. I was so proud of what she did, she couldn't possibly let me down and I made sure I told her so.

The luminary ceremony was very moving. They had a lone bagpiper play Amazing Grace and the lit all the luminaries. Then on the big screen they showed pictures sent in by the participants of their loved ones. There were about 6 of my Dad and it was a very emotional moment.

We did get rained on a bit and then drizzled on the rest of the night - the reason I don't have as many pictures as I wanted to. I bought luminaries for two very special friends in honour of their parents who they also lost to cancer last year. I was so focused on getting a good shot of their luminaries before they got ruined in the rain that I forgot to take a picture of ours. It's okay though, I'm planning to relight them on the 21st, beside my Dad's pond and I'll take pics then.

All in all it was a fantastic night. I was inspired by how many yellow shirts I saw (survivors!) and saddened by how many people I saw on the screen in yellow shirts from relays passed...the ones who didn't make it.

My foot was in horrible shape, I thought I'd re broken it (I've since had it x-rayed and it's not - thank goodness) but it made it hard to walk but I did - I walked like a mad woman. I figured - as much as my foot was hurting me - how much was cancer hurting someone right at that moment and they didn't have the option to throw in the towel and say "I quit" so I wasn't going to either.

I'm hoping next year to double our take - $3000! I've got big plans for our team flag and shirts and Connor will be old enough that we can all stay (I know Sean was disappointed about having to come home but we had no other options)

Anyhow, here's a few pics from our Relay.

Our team
Top row, left to right,
Catherine, John, Mom, Jennifer, Johnny, Brian, Sean (AKA baldy)
Connor in his stroller
Bottom left to right
Emily, Mary Jo, Carl, Mary Catherine, and Steven

Me and my brother John

Me and Connor - he was so excited about stepping on all the sewers...but lovey had to join us because Connor and crowds don't mix

Our team shirt.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Head Shaving.

For those of you who aren't FB friends, here are the links to Sean's head shaving. We surpassed our $1500 goal for the Relay for Life.


Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

I'm off to catch a nap now in preparation for the walk tonight.