Something that matters

I enjoy writing about nothing whatsoever, however, I was unable to sleep on Sunday night, thinking about all the ways I used to do things that mattered. I don’t do anything anymore. Mostly because I consider raising my kids something that matters and they take up all the time I have outside of work.

When I was younger, I did stuff, lots of stuff that contributed to, you know, mankind, I volunteered at a homeless shelter, I tried (and failed, but that is beside the point) to put together a fund in my high school to “adopt” a child in a 3rd world country and I spent a large portion of my time in University working with high school girls, reminding them that Engineering is a perfectly respectable place for them.  I spent a year and half doing research on osteoporosis and tutored other kids from the time I was about 10 years old.  I contributed, I helped, I did stuff that mattered.

I fully recognize that I won’t have time/energy in the next few years to do anything that matters beyond looking after my family,  but I do want to do something. I will try to dedicate a post here and there to other people who do stuff that matters and that is about the best I can offer.

This month, I choose Movember, which is not just about growing horrible facial hair, but more importantly about raising awareness and raising funds for research for Men’s health, in particular prostate and testicular cancer and mental health.

The Canadian Movember site  can provide you with a lot of information about what is going on and how you can get involved. You can donate money, go to one of their events or join a Movember team. All in all it is a pretty great way to do something great.

Something is coming to get us

So, here is how my day went, Squishy got up from the table after lunch at 12:30, and asked to go bed. Squishy has never really complained about going to bed, but she rarely asks to go to bed, and definitely never before her regular nap time. To be completely accurate, she asked to have a cuddle in our bed. Within about 15 minutes, she was out like a light. She then slept for more than 3 hours. 

Later today, while Crazy was in the bath, I washed his hair, and while rinsing his head he started to freak out. I was apparently rinsing his hair incorrectly. He then started to cry uncontrollably. I recognized that cry, I invented that cry, it was the cry of utter exhaustion, the cry of I don’t know what the freak is happening anymore. He cried for the next ten minutes, the time it took me to get him out of the bath, into his pyjamas, and on the couch. We put on a movie, and left him in peace.  He was out by 6:45 p.m., without eating dinner. 

Some bug has invaded my children, this much sleep is only the calm before the storm, and now I am totally freaked out about what is about to hit this home.

Laughter is the best medicine

This week has been busy and stressful, and this was my first week working five days again. Since Squishy was born nearly two years ago, I had reorganised my work schedule and my salary to work four days a week, and have one day alone with my kids.

For reasons that change every time people ask me, I went back to full time. I don’t regret it and I’m looking forward to getting back into the rhythm of it, it was just a mini shock to the system this week. For over a year now, I spent my Wednesday mornings watching cartoons with my kids in pyjamas, and this past Wednesday, I had to shower and get dressed and leave my tiny ass apartment home before 8:30 a.m.

After having someone I will only refer to as “The Google” come into my office about 3 times a day reminding me to smile, I realised I needed to snap out my funk. I wasn’t sure how when someone posted a ridiculously hilarious page on Facebook. I sat at my desk; laughing right out loud, repetitively, keeled over, barely able to breathe. I couldn’t keep this for myself and instantly re-posted on Facebook, and sent it off in a couple of emails, because I actually have friends who don’t have Facebook (weird). I spent the afternoon, alternately re-reading the post, or watching other people’s reaction to it. It was awesome.

Disclaimer for anybody I work worth who might read this, I also got a butt load of work done, mostly writing, which none of you want to do, so not only did I bring you joy, but I took care of the work you don’t want to do. 

I loved every reaction I saw, and every comment I saw on the link, but my favourite part was watching Hubby laugh until he cried while the kids stared at him, half scared and half curious.

The important thing is I laughed…a lot…and then I didn’t have to fake smile anymore when the Google stopped in to give me some kind of disastrous news (I think that may be what brings him joy), I was stress-free again, just in time for the weekend.

Sometimes I get it right

I spend a lot of time as a parent feeling inadequate. I feel bad when I am at work instead of being with my kids, I feel bad when I am tired and don’t play with them, and I feel guilty when I turn on the T.V. because I just need them to be quiet for a few minutes. I also get down on myself when I can’t understand the words they are so desperately trying to articulate and I need someone else to translate my children. But today, I don’t feel inadequate, I feel excited and happy and I am feeling pretty awesome as a parent.

I did most of my Christmas shopping yesterday. This is not so much about my obsessive compulsive control freak nature as it is about my utter dislike of shopping in busy stores. I was out for about six hours yesterday, marathon Christmas shopping, okay, like four of those hours were shopping for me, but that is beside the point. I got home and ran to my bedroom to immediately stash the goods before any little eyes could see them.

I hadn’t warned Hubby about my plans, telling him that I needed some girl time (first four hours), and he was a little concerned when I came home with Christmas done before the kids had had a chance to make their letters to Santa. I wasn’t too concerned and suggested that we just let the Grandmas and the Grandpas know about the items on the list so the kids can still get some of what they asked for if it doesn’t line up with what I had purchased.

Well, no need for that.

While Squishy and Hubby were napping, Crazy and I worked on his Christmas list. We got the catalogues out and cut out the pictures of the things he wants and pasted them on a paper that we will “mail” to Santa (by mail, I mean stash in my treasure drawer for years to come).

Guess what was the first and most important picture he cut out (I consider it the most important because he kept reminding me that it was on the list)? Well, it was the thing that is in the box, hidden on the top shelf of my closet. Christmas is going to rock this year.

No longer living with a three year old

For the next 13 months, 2 weeks and 3 days I will no longer be living with a three year old. My baby boy is now 4 years old.

4 days old vs 4 years old

4 days old

Dear Crazy,

Today is your 4th birthday and you have already grown so much since I first met you. I hope your father and I will be able to teach you and help you to learn so many things. There are a few things that are so fundamental and important to me that I hope if I fail at anything it is not on these points.

You are crazy

Never ever lose your spirit and your drive for adventure. You are a handful, but your curiosity, energizer-bunny like demeanor and fearlessness will take you far. (but not too far away from me okay?)

You are strong

I have seen you fall, I have seen you face disappointment and you have done this with pride and dignity and with more self control than what should be expected from someone with so few years. You will face many more challenges, some we have all known and some that are particular to you, but never forget your inner strength and you will get through them all. I will be there as much a you want me to be, at times you will say too much. I can’t help that, you will always be my baby boy. Just remember that when I overstep any boundaries it is out of love. Let me know when this happens and I promise I will try to back off.

You are beautiful

You are unique, you are original and you are beautiful just as you are.

You are not perfect

I know this may seem surprising to hear coming from your mom, but it is true. I will build you up as much as I can and help you to have all the self confidence you need, but I hope to keep you down to Earth as well. You will make mistakes and that is okay, own up to them, accept them, and learn from them. Be ready to compromise, admit your faults, and grow.

You are loved.

xx,

Mom

Was the vomiting really necessary?

So, it took a week, but I finally got a couple of good nights of sleep. I don’t usually hate jet lag this much. It is always less than a good time, but this time it was just inhumane. Part of that was of course my fault, we landed on Sunday, and I sent the family off to school, work, nanny on Monday. Part of that wasn’t my fault, another sinus infection decided to kick my ass, the writer and producers of Homeland created a show that is far too addictive and the kids coped in opposing ways with their tiredness leaving me with but four tiny hours of sleep per night for about a week.

I am surprised that I only had one meltdown, oh no wait, two, but still, for someone who prefers 9 hours of sleep a night, I throw that in the win column.

I did also plan a busy week for myself, which may not have been brilliant but was totally worth it. One of my bridesmaids was in town and we went out for drinks…in a bar, with other adult people, yelling over top of the music, rather than alone in my living room while whispering so that we don’t wake my kids. It was fantastic, and I loved every minute of it. She is fantastic, and fun and so full of life. She made me feel a little less tired, and not just the jet lag tired, but the general tired I have been feeling for about four years now.

I dropped her off at her hotel and got home around midnight, roughly two hours after I would normally be in bed. I was just settling down and putting my head on my pillow when I heard Crazy crying in his bed.

Crazy often has nightmares and cries in his sleep. We just need to cuddle with him for a bit and whatever was scaring him fades away and he falls back into a deep slumber. I got up, and walked into his room. He was sitting straight up in bed. I sat down next to him to ask him what was wrong, I put my hand down on his bed just as he was telling me something and was distracted by the wetness I felt on his pillow. I was totally confused, I mean he was wearing a diaper, and how the hell did he pee on his pillow?

He repeated himself, “I threw up.”

This completely surprised me. Since being on solids, this kid has only vomited once before. When he gets sick, he coughs, his nose runs and he gets wickedly grumpy, but vomiting has never been on the list. Now, after 6 days of not sleeping, the gods of crappiness decided to throw vomit at me. Seriously, was that really necessary?

I took Crazy to the bathroom to get changed and cleaned up and Hubby changed his sheets. A few minutes later he was back in bed and asking for cuddles. I cleaned myself up a bit, and then crawled into his bed with him. While lying there, I started thinking of when I was a child, when I threw up, and how much I hated it. Mostly because I would continue to throw up, or dry heave or vomit bile every 15 minutes for hours. My heart broke a bit and I started screaming in my head. Sure I felt bad that Crazy might have to go through that, but what was really stressing me out was that I wasn’t going to get to sleep and the thought of that was worse than any other pain I know.

If I was ever to be tortutred, they wouldn’t need to threaten pain or whatever else, they could just deprive me of sleep and promise me a bed and I would sing like a bird (sorry for the random tangent, too much Homeland).

As I was reaching the bottom of my bottomless pit of self pity, I suddenly jumped out of Crazy’s bed, ran to the kitchen and grabbed a plastic bowl. I ran back to Crazy’s room just as he sat up again in bed to throw up. I felt like the world moved in slow motion as I matrixed the bowl under his chin, and caught every drop, meaning we wouldn’t need to change his sheets again. I felt like I won a battle.

We got everyone washed up and back in bed. I lied there next to Crazy, listening to every sound he made, listening to Squishy, waiting for the next episode. 15 minutes came and went and everyone was still sleeping. 25 minutes later everyone was sleeping but me. I decided I needed to sleep more than I needed to catch vomit with a bowl and went to bed. If Crazy did get sick again, well, we would jump off that bridge when we got to it.

I crawled into bed again at 2 am. Crazy slept the rest of the night, and woke up as if nothing happened. Hubby and I took turns sleeping the rest of the weekend and we finally feel almost human-ish again.

Oh Canada, my home and native land

So, I still haven’t had a good night sleep, but I think going on and on about how beautiful Canada is might make me feel better.

So we landed after an 8 hour flight, that was proceeded by a 5 hour wait in an airport, that was proceeded by a 2 hour flight that was proceeded by a short drive to the airport, proceeded by waking up at stupid o’clock in the morning. But when we woke up, we went for a walk to get some fresh air and this is what we saw.

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We wandered a little farther to see the horses, but instead we saw this.Image

It’s not exactly the crappiest view while dealing with round one of jet lag. The air was a little crisper than when we left Nice at 4:30 a.m. the previous day, but it was too pretty to matter.

Our first night in Canada we stayed at my aunts awesome country house, and I just loved her decorations.Image

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We took a few walks around, one to the Beasdell Boulder, in Batawa, Ontario which is essentially a big rock, but apparently geologically speaking it is pretty interesting. I’m not a great photographer and couldn’t make the rock look good, so I just settled for taking pictures along the path to get there.Image

Even dew looks pretty in Canada.Image

The next excuse to tire out our children was to visit the Presqu’ile park in Brighton ON. It’s part beach, part marsh, part forest and all kick ass nature.

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And of course the best part of Canada, at least for our kids, is obviously playing in the leaves.Image

Alright that is it, I really have to go to bed because I’m hanging out with one of my bridesmaids tomorrow, someone I haven’t seen in years and must attempt to stay awake past 8 p.m.