Sunday, July 27, 2014

that's it...i quit

Well there were some fun times had over the last three weeks.  I have some great stuff to blog about and will pick away at doing so over the next while.

I had a paper due this last week and ended up sick.  A wonderful summer cold and cough.  Absolutely brutal.  So that on top of a good bout of procrastination had me stressed a bit.  Not the best combination for my last week of holidays.  The paper got finished thankfully.


Many cups of tea helped in a new tea cup.....the message says: A cup of tea just for me.


On top of all this there was Shelby feeling down.  Her and I butt heads so completely sometimes.  So somehow it comes out that at one point I told her...like apparently years ago, that she should not depend on her friends so much.  I can't recall ever really saying this...no doubt it happened in a fit of frustration as I dealt with something else around her care at midnight.  I have always encourage her to "make plans" with friends.  Always I have tried to accommodate her having friends over...going places with friends...like recently I went to Toronto to assist her while she attended a concert (of course there is a blog post about this in the works). I can only think that I may have said this looking at her moods and depression from my point of view and how utterly exhausting it is to deal with someone who does not have a happy medium approach to life. Having to be in such close proximity with a person that deals with times of depression and anxiety can be draining and I suppose that my worry was she would push friends away if she was at all moody and down as she was around me sometimes.  That if she expressed her unhappiness to said friends too much they might find it as overwhelming as I sometimes have and start to pull away from her.  I guess I worried if she would have the inner knowledge of where to draw that line were you are just venting to a friend and not becoming a emotion vampire and sucking every ounce of their energy with your issues.  I have a tough time as well because I am a happy go lucky kind of person and she can honestly just suck me into her bad mood so easily.  I do feel bad if I caused her grief with some off handed remark that obviously has stuck with her.  That was not at all my intention and I did tell her this.  

It doesn't matter if you are the parent of a special needs child or not....at one point you will sit here as I have on many occasions and just wish you could retire from being a parent.  The moms that say this isn't so are lying to you or have not hit that point in motherhood where they are just done.  The odd few that never feel that way...well clearly the aliens have got to some of us and not others.

It is up there with that whole being torn at the whole having kids thing.  You are not told of how it all will completely change your life before you make that leap.  Then you have them and you love them very very much but there is an element, at least for me, where I think had I not known that love but knew the challenge of being a parent, I may not have had children.  Knowing all that goes on, all the scenarios that cause parents upset, heartache, stress....ahead of the love for your child could honestly make one chose a childless path.

There are times I want to be void of being a mom to everyone.  I am not sure if it has to do with the path a mother takes when her child has special needs.  The extra that happens that I have no choice about maybe drives these times when I just wanna say, fuck this shit, I am outta here and board the first plane to somewhere far away.  I am not sure because this isn't really a conversation you bring up with other moms. There is somewhat a taboo I think around a mom expressing that, hey you know this all sucks quite a lot.  I do think society does not allow moms to love parenting and equally hate it often.  If you hate it you must be a terrible person. Let me tell you that I am far from a terrible person.  I imagine there are a lot of moms that suffer with guilt from having such feelings.  I have no guilt.  I love my girls but Lord above there are times they suck the ever loving life out of me.  Period.

I like to think that as they get older and venture into their own lives and maybe (unless they read too much of my blog) begin families of their own that the thoughts of jumping on the first jet plane to some warm destination on the other side of the world will disperse.  That this is just a stage in the world of being a mother were I need to figure out which stepping stone is my safest route across the rapids of parenthood. You just have to pull up your socks and dust of your frock and move forward and hope to hell you don't get a big huge soaker if you chose the wrong fucking stepping stone!    

Obviously knitting makes everything better.  I was so happy to have finished this pretty shawl during holidays.  I have done this pattern multiple times and love the outcome every time.


I try to remember to slow down and forgive myself for having thoughts of high tailing it outta parenthood.  I make sure I remember to spoil myself even if it is just breakfast in the backyard and a few magazines to catch up on.


I enjoyed my break from technology.  To be honest I could probably continue along without it all because not blogging and instagramming was not really a big deal.  I missed it but didn't miss it.  Like an old coat you have to give away.  You miss it but you keep warm other ways.  I am a person that can fill my time with anything and everything and so times when I may have been blogging or whatnot were times I slept more, knitted more and read more.  I can't say I felt it allowed me to connect more with my family and I assume maybe because in the grand scheme of things I feel pretty connected that way and often I cheat my time as opposed to their time to blog...for example going to bed far too late to accomplish blogging, not knitting to accomplish blogging and so forth.  Usually I am alone when I do that sort of stuff so it didn't really matter that way.  I think my mind enjoyed the blankness that comes without worrying about texting someone back, checking email, browsing social media and blogging.  It was kinda nice to fall back into the old school way of doing life.  It was quiet and calm.  Hopefully I can transition back into the chaos this week and keep some of that quiet and calm!!!


Monday, July 7, 2014

my top ten for the summer

Hooking up once again with the ever wonderful Mama Kat and her great writing prompts.  I love doing these prompts.  They get my mind moving and make me feel inspired.

Writing prompt: 10 Things you hope to accomplish this summer.


1. Finishing this beautiful shawl.

I began it a few months back to figure out a mistake that was in the pattern.  I have made it a few times before and was going to give it to a patron at work and wanted to be able to tell her where the mistake was. There is just this and the crackghan on my needles.....(see numbers 2 and 7).


2. Get some mileage behind me on my crackghan.  

I am so close!!!!



3. More dinners with family and friends.  

Particularly with our new found space due to the renovation. I find myself just wanting to have company over and enjoy the ones I love!

The spread at our friends house on Canada Day.  
I love this sort of stuff.  I always feel so fortunate 
to have so many great people in our lives.

4. More walks with this boy.





5.  Make cupcakes like these ones my niece made.  

Oh my goodness.  Mini Peanut Butter cups inside them!!!


6. Eat more great pizza... 

.....out with John....okay does not even need to be pizza....just him and I alone enjoying each others company minus kids.  I will write about this pizza another day.


7.  Begin this beauty. 

The shawl needs done and the crackghan needs progress first....it is killing me not starting it...honestly can not wait.



8.  Be still more often.

Take time to sit and do nothing but day dream.



9.  Go see a movie.  

We rarely go and I love going to the movies.  It needs to happen soon!

                                                  

10. Take a break from technology.

Tomorrow commences three weeks worth of vacation time for me.  I plan on only going near the internet to work on my assignments that need done.  I am taking a break from it all.....my beloved instagram and blog. I think it is good to do that every once and a while.  Disconnect.  I want my three weeks to include as little computer and phone use as possible.  I want to focus on the ones I love wholeheartedly.  Maybe a few good books and knitting.  I am actually looking forward to it.


I will see you all in a few weeks. xo

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

finally saying goodbye for good

Okay so over the years I have had a love hate relationship with long hair.  I often have grown it long because society views that as appealing.  Long hair equals femininity. Women with short hair are not perceived as feminine compared to the women with long locks...I know it is pure and utter bullshit but I don't make the rules...generally a large population of men do.  I know women with short hair...they are sexy.  They are beautiful.  They are 100% feminine.  

I have cut it pixie short and loved it (except one time a hairdresser went pixie cut on crack short and I didn't have my hair cut again for two years).  I have cut it all off above my shoulders a few times however I somehow always end up back in this same rut, growing it back long and constantly wearing it up in a bun and for me I feel that just makes me look old...I feel old....with it weighing me down.  Dragging my youthfulness into the bowels of hell!!!  I feel like long hair drags my facial features down and succeeds in making me look more haggard then I am thus making me feel like crap.  As well at almost 44 years old, my hair does not behave like it did at 20 and to get my long hair to look nice is a lot of work hence the constantly in a bun thing. I want easier. Shorter is easier. I also was dying it dark to hide gray.  Bottomline, I just was not feeling the love for long or dark anymore.

I decided it was time to do something different.  Time to step out from under the comfort zone blanket and put to rest the struggle I have faced for years and years and years once and for all....that long hair is not needed to for me to be considered feminine....beautiful or sexy.


Before.


Stuck in foils...beginning the process of lightening my hair.  
I am told it is a bit of a process.  Process equals change and change is good.

After.

I can't even begin to tell you how amazing this leap way out of my comfort zone felt.  I can honestly say I have no desire to go back to long hair.  Truth be told at one point I may want it shorter.  I love how free I feel.  Free from some stupid expectation that long hair determines my beauty...my sex appeal....my happiness.  I am finally saying goodbye for good to long hair!!!  I am slowly going to get it lighter and lighter.  It will take a few tries I am told.  I just love it!!  

We had a lazy day today.  Ended up at friends for a Canada Day bbq.  I hope my fellow Canadians have enjoyed a nice Canada Day.
I got all creative and made Canada flag bunting.  Royal pain in the arse but they came out sort of cute.


Looking at Mama Kat's writing prompts for this week.  Maybe a top ten list of things to accomplish for the summer.....I have a few ideas!!! 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Alisha .B.

Hooking up with Mama Kat and her awesome writing prompts.


Writing Prompt:  Talk about a club from your childhood you belonged to (or wanted to belong to).




When Shelby was little she was in Brownies for a year or so and at first she was missing the scarf they wore with their uniforms. Well at one meeting the leader came in with a box of scarves her daughter had picked up at Goodwill and said anyone who did not have a scarf could take one. So I picked one out for Shelby and I noticed later after we were home that on the tag it said Alisha .B. 


It has faded quite a bit over the last 15 years so you will just have to believe me!!


I use to be in Brownies as a kid and Alisha was an unusual name not to mention being spelled the way my name was was.    The first time I met someone with the same name was in middle school and she spelled it Alicia.  It has only been as an adult that I have ran across it spelled my way.  Most recently being that sweet co-worker and friend Alisha "small". 

My maiden name initial was B.  It really looked like my dads printing and the scarf was definitely older. What do you think? I think maybe it could have been my scarf from when I was a kid and even if it wasn't my scarf it still is a pretty neat story!!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

father's day recap

I had a nice phone conversation with my dad yesterday morning before my day got away on me.  I am sad he is not closer but I know that even with the distance I am so lucky to have him in my life.  I know many people who do not have their dads still here with them and I imagine that must be so hard. So I value and appreciate each day we are given to love each other, each long distance phone conversation we have that usually has his humor radiating through the phone receiver and I very much value and appreciate each visit like it were my last with him.  How uncertain our time here is.  You can't put things off, hold grudges, treat people badly and not appreciate the ones you love.  I think we all fall into ruts were we get a little too caught up in the rat race of life and we sometimes need to redirect ourselves to the basics in life.  We need to remember that life isn't about bigger, better and busier.  It is about the moment you are experiencing right now.  It is about calm and peace.

The other weekend when we were away for Amber's basketball I was in Kohls....my favorite indulgence when we go across the boarder....and another mom who I really enjoy was there and we began a conversation about clothing and shopping for clothing.  She said how she hates the way this or that looks and like most moms she misses the way she use to look.  I can relate with this and told her so.  How much nicer it would be if we could learn to co-exist with our beautiful bodies.  I am slowly trying to.  I told her about a quote I had heard.  I could not quite recall it but gave her the general idea as we stood there.  I did find it to share...

"If you are depressed, you are living in the past.  If you are anxious, you are living in the future.  If you are at peace, you are living in the moment." 

I do hope she walked away from that conversation knowing she is such a beautiful person....I know she reads here and so I will say it again.....you are beautiful!!!!  Wear what you love and I think your hair looks cute!

This seems to be a topic that has come up more and more with the circle of people that I love and feel inspired by......the inability of women to love their bodies today.  Not the body before children, not the body they will have after they lose 20 lbs. but instead the body that is in the here and now.  What I am finding....and let me say that I did not mean to hijack this post....I will get back to the amazing day that is for the fathers in a moment.....but what I am finding as I slowly wash away the residue from years of beating my body up in my mind...is that as I slowly work toward total and complete in the moment love for myself, I have moments that are almost overwhelming in a peace and gratitude that covers me like a warm, comfortable and secure blanket.  I could be walking to work and just be so in that moment where the sun is shining, birds are singing and I am so happy and at peace that I almost feel like I want to cry tears of joy.  Or be watching John or the girls doing something and again that blanket settles on me and the gratitude and love for that moment encompasses me.  Now I have my thoughts on these moments and I suppose if I was religious you could say that is those times that God is in my heart and soul surrounding me with His love.  I am not religious in that way although I do believe in higher forces....what I will venture to guess is that the self love I am discovering is creating a domino effect.  The love I am slowly finding and tuning into for myself, is pouring over into other aspects of my life.  It is allowing me to be in the present wholeheartedly and well that is so wonderful.  Now don't get me wrong...there are days were I take 100 steps backward but they are becoming fewer and further between and that is progress!!

Back to the dads.

John had been looking at some cool earrings over here and so the girls and I ordered them and had them sent to my sisters house so he would have no clue.  It worked pretty much up until he opened the present and it was the box from the entry way light we bought...once he found the hot tub chlorine tablet container inside the box with tons of newspaper he was onto us.....upon shaking it prior to opening it he thought he was getting Lego!!!


Best way to wrap gifts...comics!!!


I snagged a picture before I wrapped them.  They are very cool and totally suited him.  He put them in right away.  It was so fun to surprise him.  He works hard for the girls and for me.  We appreciate him very much. In the past I think I can say I have been guilty of getting caught up in the rat race of life and not being sure he knows how much he is appreciated.  I figured the cake would seal the deal for me.  You are loved if you are getting a stormtrooper cake.  It was so good and he totally loved it!!!!  Happy Father's Day John....you're a great daddy to our girls.  I hope your day was perfect!!!



I leave you with one of my favorite old photos of my dad....I love my dad a ton and if you want, you can go read my post from last Father's Day here about him.  He is a pretty awesome guy!!!  Happy Father's Day Dad!!!  I love you!!!  



Wednesday, June 11, 2014

the star that shall not be named

So last week I told Amber that I did not think I would make it to her track meet today.  Just life is busy and I had to simplify.  Between renovations, Shelby's care, a paper that is due and work.....it just was too much.  She was fine with that.....99% of the time either John or I (and very often both of us) are there at whatever event the girls have going on with bells and whistles.

So I told her this morning to text me to let me know how her races went.  So at around 10:30 am I get a text from her.  She came in 3rd in the 1500m.  Oh good heavens.  The one year I do not go to the track meet she does so awesome.  So here I am working on a paper at my kitchen table that is due tomorrow with the drywall guy sanding practically on top of me cause our house is so small.....and I am sitting at my kitchen table over my papers in tears....letting little sniffles out....upset at the fact that I totally feel like a fuck up of a parent.  Honestly, the drywall guy must have thought...get me the hell outta here she is bat shit crazy.

Although I felt better later...after Amber text me back saying it was okay I wasn't there she had lots of people cheering her on, I had a bit of  mini rant about the star that shall not be named.  She was on the cover of some stupid magazine...in fact two different stupid magazines that where being returned. (mental note to self...don't read magazines that put unrealistic people on the cover)  You know...wearing all white because us real moms totally wear all white...what better color to get stains out of...in fact we have no problem buying white tops...they totally don't discolor under the armpits after one or two wearings....I bet the star that shall not be named wears a white shirt once and throws it out...insert eye roll here.  And her stupid ass book that is so totally unrealistic that it only causes us normal moms to wonder what the heck is wrong with us...why can't we feed our children all organically and clean with only earth friendly products...I will tell you why...because Kraft dinner is bloody easy...in fact by 13 years old they can totally make it themselves...and my dog barfs occasionally and he is 75 lbs with no regard for muddy paws, my cats spit up hairballs...and all those pets shed...a lot.....and my oldest kid wheels daily outside and I can't have her take her wheels off her chair and so generally to clean my house I need some solid bleach worthy products...because if in fact you have children and are not someone like the star that shall not be named and you clean your own house, raise your own children, and generally are not rich.....your home is dirty and some shitty ass natural vinegar and water product ain't gonna cut it.  Period.

I am coming to a point in my life were I loathe these public figures that are just unrealistic.....by the way the star that shall not be named is so not Jennifer Garner.....in case your wondering....I think she is one of the moms in celebritiville that is as authentic as it gets.  And it isn't just in Hollywood.  With the internet becoming a place were anyone can take part we are even bombarded by not so public figures.  When I began blogging I fell into a rut of thinking I wasn't cutting it because I would read these blogs where these women were perfect...they had perfect homes, perfect kids, perfect husbands and perfect marriages.....a big fat "X" to all of those things.  Real moms have homes that are not perfect, kids that are little buggers sometimes, husbands that make them wanna sometimes jump from a moving vehicle and real moms have to work at marriage...and real moms don't wear all white...just saying.

Even when I first blogged I think I was more worried about how I was portrayed.....I would try to have perfect pictures...perfect posts.  I even took a year off of blogging because it was just not fun anymore...well of course it was not because I felt like I wasn't measuring up to all the blogs I perceived as perfect.  Even facebook, instagram and pinterest can set you up to feel like you are not good enough....you are not skinny enough if you look at some of the selfies on instagram, your family isn't perfect enough if you go by some of your friends on facebook and well you just ain't crafty enough if your not making everything from scratch with DIY directions from pinterest.  Don't get me wrong...I love me some instagram and pinterest is very fun but I have a very different outlook now in my life that keeps my visions realistic.  I have come along way in my blogging journey and generally in life and the bottom line is authentic life is messy and tiring and sometimes just plain crappy.  But no one wants to talk about that part of it all...and when these public figures put out some dumb ass book that belongs in rainbow puppy land well I feel the urge to poke my eyes out if you must know.  This second time around blogging I am far more honest and I frigging love that.  I hope that real moms stumble across my blog and breath a sigh of relief because they totally can relate and walk away from reading with a realistic outlook on motherhood and life.

Amber did well in her second race as well.  She text me at work....2nd in the 4 x 100 m relay.  Tonight when she come home she sat here at the kitchen table and gave me the scoop on it all.  It wasn't perfect but it was realistically perfect for my life.

Speaking of my life....

The new floor in the old front porch portion of the house was in the other day...sturdy as heck.  Jump test for proof of that.


Drywall taping and sanding as been going on the last few days.  The painting will start tomorrow.  We are so excited to be so close to the end of this renovation.  It has gone so smoothly but it is hard to have this sort of chaos.  It makes you tired!!




He just loves this spot.  Rainy day nosy dog spot.


Oh and dinner was so easy today.  Porscha works part time for a catering company.  They totally spoil her and send food home all the time.  I was so happy to come home from work and not have to make dinner!!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

it was a good year

We were away over night Saturday in Buffalo for one last tournament for Amber's basketball.  It was a break away from the chaos that is renovations.  I am grateful but look forward to everything wrapping up over the next few days.  It is hard to co-exist with chaos.  Me and chaos do not get along well.  I like predictable, calm and neat.  Life works better for me on those terms.

The girls did very well.  No medal but they all worked hard.  Amber played awesome.  I always love to watch her play.  After such a disappointing year last season and watching as she was just not used to her full potential, I am so grateful to she her moving forward  and getting back what she lost last season.  I love the respect her skill gets from her coaches this year.  She also began a summer round of training sessions from here. She loves it and it will really push her.  Over the years Porscha did different basketball camps but the problem is that most camps are in it to take in as many kids as they can to turn a profit.......the volume does not allow for personal.  In this program they cap the enrollment and place people on waiting lists so the athletes attending get the attention that is needed to really grow and come away a better player.  That can't be done at a ratio most camps offer.  I wish this program had been around when Porscha was looking to practice over the summer.  I think she would have loved it as well.

On Saturday night a few of the parents gathered together outside on the patio at the hotel while our girls ran amok inside the hotel.....yep, if you where staying that the Courtyard Merriot in Buffalo across from the Airport.... that was our group of girls giggling their way through the halls causing havoc.  I won't apologize though because you know what....your only 13 once!!  There is only a small window of opportunity that you can run amok in a hotel and get away with it without the cops being called and quite honestly security was totally gunning for the boys on the fourth floor that were way nosier then our girls.

I love the craziness these girls bring with them on these basketball weekends.  I have so many fond memories of Porscha and her basketball hotel excursions.  I remember the one time they sang the song Halo at the top of their lungs and all us parents were down the hall and we could hear them and it was actually the most beautiful thing ever.  There are amazing memories being made during these weekends.

On Sunday morning while we were sitting eating breakfast a team mate and her parents stop to sit with us for a few minutes and the dad said to me, "They had a good year"....but it was like he was second guessing and I think it is because we didn't win a lot.  We didn't medal at the year end provincials and I guess society makes you think you  have to win to be successful.  I suppose all of us want to win...that is human nature but sometimes the wins are not gold plated with the memories that just being are.  I told him that yes they did have a good year and we both agreed it is these extra memories that happen off the court that will follow them through life...shape them as they embark on the path into adulthood.  Will they remember that gold medal as much as they remember when they came to all us parents sitting on the patio drinking and asked if they could walk to the MacDonalds beside the hotel...that so and so's sister agreed to take them and that she is seventeen and how us parents said hell to the no and a few of us moms offered to chaperon them over to the MacDonalds walk up window at midnight were they ordered ice cream and fries?  Where they all stood under those golden arches making a memory that will remain even when they hang up their basketball shoes and step into the next phase of their lives.


It is those moments that make life perfect......well that and coolers with awesome basketball moms.  I had a nice bit of time away.  I slept in Sunday until I woke on my own.  I enjoyed great conversation and laughs. A visit to Kohls and York Peppermint Patties.  I felt rejuvenated.  I look forward to next season and more weekend basketball getaways!!!