No Hope of Winning the SuperMom Title

Sitting in my armchair by the fire watching a movie with the family I am feeling quite relaxed, exhausted even. This Christmas season was no different than others, there had been socializing, birthdays and so many wonderful memories.

Although I’ve enjoyed myself I have to admit I’m so ready for the girls to head back to school. I cannot believe how much work it is to keep these girls occupied, didn’t I play by myself by the age of 6 and 8?

Sisters

If only I were a better Mother; that type of Mom I read about who loves to play with their children all day and miraculously cleans her house, labels her pantry and wears matching socks.

Why didn’t I get the labeling gene?

The dark feeling begins to seep over me as I needlessly berate myself for not being SuperMom. My gaze travels around the family room, noticing the empty yoghurt cups, the discarded Lego pieces stuck under the baseboard and scissors lying beside a Barbie with a questionable new hairstyle.

Yup, it’s official I suck.

Squeals of outrage assault my ears mid-thought as my youngest expresses her anger at her sister kicking her in a way that would make Beckham proud. Pulling on my referee shirt, I quell the fight and separate the girls into their own corners on different couches, explaining that normal children can sit on one couch without beating the snot out of each other.

My voice may or may not have been sarcastic…..

Back in my quiet place by the fire I am trying to focus my thoughts on the positive, planning something fun for us to do tomorrow after the girls come back from school.

YES! School is back in…..thank you all that is good in the universe!

I suppose that creative, active, apron-wearing fun Mom wouldn’t think these thoughts but I do.

With the rosy glow of school on the horizon I am feeling like I can cope with as much bickering as they will bring tonight.

Now I feel like SuperMom must.

Feeling fortified once again, I ignore my youngest’s natters with each scene of the movie and my eldest sneaking sips of her Father’s pop when she thinks we’re not looking. My armor is strong, tomorrow there will be silence. Tomorrow I can begin to get back into my routine without feeling like I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off.

I am Mom, hear me roar!!!

“Hey hun, what are you doing with the girls tomorrow?” Hubby asks innocently.

Oh silly man, it’s a school day. “What do you mean, they’ll be at school.”

Hubby’s facial expression changes into that of someone facing a firing squad as he hesitantly says “Umm they’re off school until the 9th Julie.”

……

……

Nothing, my mind slams shut as I hastily pull out my laptop punching in the school board’s website much too vigorously.

As the page loads my heart race increases, my breathing is controlled and I think I may see white spots firing off in my vision.

Why is this page so bloody slow??!!!???

And there it is, right there on the calendar, January 9th return to school.

Oh for the love of all that is good in the world, somebody help me!

Closing the laptop I slowly rise from my chair.

“Where are you going?” Asks Hubby

With a baleful glance I exit the room to have a bath, finally understanding the slogan my Mum used so often as she walked towards the bathroom.

“Calgon take me away”

Bubble bath

***I wrote this in response to the following prompt to “free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments” on Just Write with Heather***

just write

Christmas Pagent + Crazy Christmas Hat~Linky

Tonight was the girls elementary school Christmas pagent, every year my cheeks hurt from smiling.

Isn’t it funny how our outgoing, goofy, LOUD little children become suddenly reserved when put upon a stage for their Christmas Concerts?

Chelsea never, EVER shows her bashful side….except for the scant 5 minutes on stage this one night of the year…

Sydney is always more reserved, she refuses to look in our direction but this is typical for our introvert.

Christmas Concert Grade 3

I have a great shot of her glancing our way and hiding a smile but unfortunately it’s within a HUGE vid file.

Suffice it to say that Sydney was even more reserved than usual, in fact she practically avoided her father and I….

I wonder why that was?

 Crazy Christmas Hat

Love this hat but apparently it’s EMBARRASSING……score one for Dad.

 

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Love

 It has struck me that I haven’t been writing enough lately, not writing in a literary way. I had actually forgotten to until a kind reader left me a comment on an old post. I’m grateful that they did and that Heather continues to offer us the challenge to Just Write

 6th Birthday Girl

Balloons drift lazily across the hardwood floors, evidence of the chaos which has left the house.

The icing is hardening on the plates as I rinse and load the dishwasher.

My ears ring with the silence of the house, accustomed as they’d become with the squeals of little girls.

Dipping my hand in for the last dessert plate, I see your earlier pride as we all sang that annual song to your 6-year-old self.

Pulling the plug from the sink, I wipe the counters clean and taking one last look around I decide I’ve done enough for tonight.

In the dim light I creep down the hall, avoiding the ever-present squeaky spots and stand silently at your door.

Leaning in cautiously I see your shape under your princess comforter.

Gingerly I tiptoe to the bed and lightly pull the blanket off of your oh so darling little blonde head.

As I pull it further back I see that you’re lying on your back with your arms and legs askew, utterly relaxed with your lips pursed just as you’d done as an infant.

Surrounding you are the cards from your friends, bits of tissue paper, 2 Barbies, a talking pig and a goodie bag which mysteriously didn’t go home with a guest.

Slowly I gather your treasures, placing them into a basket beside your bed so that you won’t worry as you wake.

Smoothing the covers over you, I am once again struck by your beauty.

Your 6-year-old sleeping scent reaches my nose as I kiss your soft cheek lightly.

Creeping back to the door I turn just once more and inhale the moment, hoping to store it somewhere safe.

As I reluctantly retrace my path down the hall the feeling of being blessed graciously remains with me.

The word Love just doesn’t seem enough.

Just Write

 

Unexpected Blessing

6 years ago today God blessed me with a little soul we named Chelsea.

God gave me this gift before I knew I wanted it.

It was almost a week before our scheduled C-section and I had gone into the hospital for a stress test due to my blood pressure being high.

Without realizing it I’d been in labor for a few days, I’d felt unwell but I think I’d just become used to it and didn’t pay attention. The doctor decided to do the C-section that evening because my blood pressure was irratic and baby was beginning to show signs of distress.

We weren’t prepared to say the least, Hubby was at home sleeping (he worked nights) and it took a series of phone calls and finally someone to go over to the house to wake him. Imagine waking to that news!

He looks like he’s 16 in this photo which ticks me off, I swear I’m no Mrs. Robinson.

The surgery went well, my first C-section was a nightmare which I’ll recount another day but this one was GREAT. I was awake and able to experience everything without pain.

Here’s our GORGEOUS girl:

She is our unexpected blessing, I’d always joked that it wasn’t fair because Sydney looks so much like Hubby and yet I’d done all of the work.

God certainly has a sense of humor, Chelsea came out of the oven looking like my mini-me from the get-go.

We had been very aware of the changes which would come in Sydney’s life with the birth of her sister and involved her in the pregnancy and preparations for Chelsea’s arrival. When she came to the hospital that day she was cautious, finally deciding that Chelsea could come to our house “for a little bit”. Some things haven’t changed…..Syd still asks if we have to keep her some days.

Today I’m reflecting and taking time to realize how amazing life is!!

Happy Birthday Chelsea Belle, thank you for all of the unexpected blessings you bring us!

Chelsea’s favorite verse from the Bible:

Joshua 1:9

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Family Christmas Photos

This past weekend we had our family photos done, it’s been 2 years since we did them and it was time.

Public Service Announcement: Moms who are arranging family photo shoots, pray for Serenity!

Now usually I don’t like the “sitting” look, the one you saw in all of your friends houses growing up but I trusted our photographer’s vision. Frankly with my eldest daughter hating her photo taken I thought this could be a nightmare!

My photographer of choice here in suburbia is Femkke Photography, Femkke is a wonderful lady! She has a nack for getting clients (ok me) to pose in the appropriate position to show off their best features (double chin) and get the shot she wants. However, could she handle Sydney??

(Note: Femkke hasn`t edited the pics yet, these are my clumsy edits)

After cajoling and bribing the girls into the outfits (which I chose) and arriving at the studio I was flustered. Children are so bloody stressful at times like these, I had only booked a 1/2 hr mini-session and to say I was rushed would be an understatement.

Deep breaths for me and we were off and running!

Chelsea was up first, as I expected it was so simple for her…all those hours in front of the mirror are paying off.

If anyone has a contact at the Gap looking for models, let us know.

Next up was Sydney, I wasn’t even going to try and get photos of her by herself so we went straight into the ‘sister’ shots.

This is a really cute shot but ummm Sydney why the wrinkly nose?

Yeah Sydney, you look impressed.

But this one, this is my favorite shot! It looks like my angelic daughters are playing….they`re actually fighting!

In the end we did get some FANTASTIC shots, I cannot wait to see them after Femkke edits them.

In the meantime I went ahead and did some edits to make our Christmas card.

Which do you like best

 

 

 

Santa won't get all the credit this year!

Here it is December 2nd and I have sitting back having a brew, feeling quite confident that I have the majority of Christmas shopping completed. We planned well this year…ok Hubby did the finances and I was the idea woman…that is the hard part by the way! I digress…

This evening of course my 2 darling daughters decided to rock my All-Prepared-for-Christmas feeling by writing yet another list for Santa. Why is it that every year I fall for this? I should know by now that there are new commercials on TV, new toys being promoted to the kids and the trends change much more quickly than my Christmas-list-making-pen can keep up with.

Tonight their squeals of delight when they talked with each other about their new choices echoed irritatingly through my head. All that thought and effort that I had put into finding their first choices at a good price went down the drain. My heart was sinking and I had some nasty, not blogworthy thoughts. You parents out there know what thoughts I’m talking about…the ones where you would like to ignore their wishes and say “Forget it, they already made their bloody lists!”

Alright, I had the thought but the reality is that the things they LOVE now aren’t expensive and I still have some money in the budget so I’m shopping again and I shall be victorious! I will be “The Best Mom Ever” on Christmas day when Sydney opens her new figit friends and Chelsea her new Barbie puppy swim school.

Tonight I raise my coffee cup to Moms and Dads everywhere as Christmas approaches and we pull out the big guns and scrawl “Mom & Dad” on these very special last minute gifts….

Santa won’t be getting all the credit in this house!

 

Scary Mommy Guest Post

 Have you heard of my friend Jill who has a little seriously wicked awesome blog which keeps so many of us laughing and admiring her witty outlook…I’m swooning a bit here folks.

 

 Yes friends, it’s Jill from Scary Mommy fame who has honored my Blogiversary celebration by allowing me to choose from her archive of goodies one fantastic piece to share with you all.

I find Jill to be the Mom we can all relate to, she writes about life as a Mommy just as it actually is. There’s no sugar-coating it on Scary Mommy and I’m thankful for that.

Please welcome Jill today my friends, I’m honored to have her here.

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09 · 08 · 2008

Before & After

Before I had children, I had a lengthy mental list of things I would never do as a parent. My non-nos included things such as a never letting my children teethe on car keys, chew gum or sit on the floor in restaurants (gross, classless and impolite, in no particular order.) Needless to say, I’ve broken every single one of those self-imposed rules, and it’s only getting worse by the day.

Previous to having children, I thought a toddler with a Mohawk was as trashy as it gets. Now that I have my own little two year old, I think it looks adorable. Ben spent today at the mall looking like a pint sized delinquent.

I used to judge parents who made their children special meals to eat, rather than dining on what the grown ups were. Now, I’ll do just about anything to get dinner into them. Ravioli, grilled cheese, lasagna, chicken fingers and macaroni get rotated throughout the week. Kraft Mac & Cheese used to be epitome of all things bad, served up in a bowl. Now, when I cook my children delicious, homemade macaroni and cheese, they whine and ask for the “real” one in the blue box.

Parents who let their children dress themselves in clashing outfits they picked themselves used to be lazy and negligent. Now, they (I) are instilling creativity and responsibility. Princess dress to school? Fine. Mismatched shoes? Whatever. Character shirts used to make me cringe. Now, much to my dismay, we have Dora, Diego and Scooby Doo. Before, playing outside naked would have been totally inappropriate, Now, if it passes the time, it’s not only acceptable, but genius.

I grew up resenting having a camera shoved in my face at all times. Most of my childhood pictures contain me rolling my eyes at father. He was so annoying about it–why did he have to document everything? I swore I’d never subject my own offspring to such atrocities. Now, I’ll venture to say I’m even worse than he ever was. Want to know what Lily’s first phrase was? “No cheese, Mommy!” When my dad visits, I challenge him with getting the perfect shot of all three. I barely let him put the lens down the entire time. How did this happen?

I’ve learned, in the past four and a half years, never to say never where my children are involved. These little things are just not worth the fight, especially at six o’clock in the morning. I’ll leave the promises and judgment to the next generation of parents to be. Soon enough, they’ll be breaking all of their own self imposed rules as well. I think it’s a rite of parenthood passage. But please, please shoot me if I ever employ a child-leash or dress Lily in a skimpy bikini. That is where this mommy draws the line. And I really mean that.

2 Hours & 13 Minutes

My skin tingled; the hair on the back of my neck stood on end as I sat rigidly upon the ultra-firm foam seat beneath me. For the thousandth time my eyes flitted to the clock….2 hours and 13 minutes had passed since they rolled you passed that wretched yellow taped line on the high gloss floor.

You were so small and brave in the stripped flannel pyjamas they had given you, your hair still pushed back off of your face the way you despise from my loving caresses. As the gurney turned into the operating room you craned your neck to find me, the relief in your eyes evident as you saw me upon that yellow line. I waved and made a heart with my fingers, smiling with my false confidence while my heart broke. I felt like a caged bird; like I was being tortured as I handed over my precious child to the hands of another….out of my control….knowing that I had no choice….having to trust that God would watch over you; praying you would come back to me fully. That you would still be that fascinating, brilliant piece of my heart which I had never believed I deserved.

Turning on that yellow line I did the only thing I could, I breathed in a rhythmic pattern and focused upon my heart beat. The sterile environment around me blurred by the tears which silently flowed from my eyes as I sleep-walked to my waiting cell. Within this vanilla coloured cube I spent 2 hours and 13 minutes of broken time. Time where I fought the impending panic attack, where my breathing and silent prayers kept me from completely shattering.

Can a person be broken for a time in their lives and return to whole again?

For 2 hours and 13 minutes my brain was busy; fighting to stay focused upon my heart beat and my breathing as if they were yours.

As long as I breathed, you breathed. 

As long as my heart beat, your heart was beating.

Staring at the dotted linoleum floor, unmoving and silent I must have been a sight to my fellow inmates. Cheerful chatter wafted past me as thoughts of side effects and surgery risks drifted unwanted into my consciousness. Silently screaming in agony at these dark thoughts I swept passed them with my deep breaths, feeling the warmth of your sticky 7-year-old hand on my face that morning as we cuddled in bed.

For 2 hours and 13 minutes my life stopped, I learned what it truly meant to wait and to give up control.

For 2 hours and 13 minutes I was stuck, couldn’t move or think.

For 2 hours and 13 minutes your heart was in mine.

For 2 hours and 13 minutes I fought crumbling, fought to keep my sanity.

The moment the recovery room door swished open and I heard your anaesthetic laden-gut-wrenching howl for “Mama” my spasmodic muscles leapt to action, the pieces of my brain slammed together and honed in on its target. In one blast of effort I was up off the vinyl chair and through the door past the clipboard laden nurse, my gaze sweeping over empty beds until I sighted your writhing form.

You were surrounded by nurses who were frightened by your night-terror like screams; their attempts to soothe you were futile as your ear-piercing horror filled the room.

20 feet flew beneath my feet as I reached out and touched your forehead, smoothing your hair back softly, telling you “shhh Mama’s here” calmly over your fear. Your brain finally heard me, your body visibly relaxed as I stroked back the monsters of your dreams and you sighed and murmured “Mama”.

And then after 2 hours and 14 I breathed slowly along with you, my hand on your chest feeling your heartbeat and felt the pieces of my soul coming together once again.

***I wrote this in response to the following prompt to “write freely about a moment” on Just Write with Heather***

Wordless Wednesday – Autumn Sunset

It was the last weekend our family would spend at our trailer in Muskoka this year.

We decided to head to the lake to watch the sun set.

 Our excitement level was high, we scrambled to find the perfect spot before we lost the sun.

 Mr. Sun took a while to set, hubby’s look tells it all.

The lighting at sunset is beautiful.

After many gasps and held breaths, Mr Sun finally set.

Halloween, Tim Hortons & #Equal Canada

Fall has officially arrived here in suburbia Ontario! We mark the event each year by attending the Downtown Halloween celebrations. The local business association puts this celebration on each year, the stores hold Trick or Treating for children who are dressed in costume.

So Saturday morning came and the girls excitement level hit the roof! Who can blame them, they’d had their costumes for a few weeks and hadn’t been able to wear them.  We have a firm DO NOT TOUCH rule after having costumes ruined in the past before the big day. The girls LOVE being able to wear their costumes twice each year.

There they are, a skeleton girl and the cutest Dorothy who doesn’t really know what the Wizard of Oz is…we’ll be watching that movie before Halloween!

We met up with friends and their daughter and the race was on! They ran from store to store while the 4 parents strolled along sipping coffees and attempted to snap photos.

I did manage to get one, yes just one really great shot between the chattering of my teeth on this cold day, I love this photos of Chelsea.

The town really went all out, there were decorations, bands playing on the street, face painting, Farmer’s Markets and much more. Here are the children guessing the # of eyeballs in a jar.

Once the goodie bags were full and the kids were freezing we all headed to one of our favorite coffee places, Tim Hortons to warm up. It’s not often all 4 of us and the children can get out together so we were looking forward to it.

When we arrived at this freestanding location we realized that everyone in Town must have had the same idea. It was packed! Everyone piled back into the vehicles and I went into get us take out, we agreed to meet at our friends house to enjoy our time together.

While there I saw that Tim Hortons has a promotion to win a year’s free coffee, how amazing that would be!

I also saw that they have gift cards which for us is valuable knowledge, Christmas is creeping up on us quickly and we have more than a few people on our lists who are difficult to buy for. Hint: if you have me on your list, this is a GREAT idea!

 Busy places drive me nuts but the staff was friendly and got my CRAZY BIG order correct. I asked about sweeteners, they do not carry Equal sweetener…in fact they only had one choice which has aspartame. Huh Tim Hortons get on board here will you? People like myself who take sweetener would appreciate a choice, mine would be to have Equal, in your delicious coffee.

 Our large variety of bagels, donuts, 4 coffees and 4 hot chocolates wasn’t easy to carry but Hubby and I made it to our friends house and we all thawed out over laughs.

**This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias #CBias @EqualCanada #EqualCanada, Equal Canada Facebook but ALL of the opinions are strictly my own.**