Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Get a job!

My boys are officially “Independent Business People”!

Today, they each signed a contract for a paper route. On September 9th, they will start delivering the Vaughan Citizen in our neighbourhood.

I had a paper route when I was a kid and it is HARD work. In fact, I thinkn it bordered on slave labour, but, I want my boys to learn the value of money and to realize that making money is difficult. I also want them to learn committment. They are not allowed to quit for at LEAST 6 months.

The money they earn with this job is their money…meaning, whatever they want to do with it, they can. Right now, they are planning on pooling their money and saving up for a Wii, but we will see how long they can save for before the dough burns a hole in their pockets!

They are really excited…I know it won’t last and soon they will be begging me not to make them deliver the papers, but for now, they are thrilled.

So, my boys are earning money! YAY Boy Oneder and Middleman!! Pin It

Monday, 27 August 2007

The zoo

It has been a few years since I visited the zoo. I forgot how much fun it can be.

Mom and I took the kids to the Metro Toronto Zoo today and we had SO much fun. There is a dinosaur exhibit, which had life-sized, moving dinosaurs…that was WAY cool. We went to visit Hubster’s relatives the gorillas…I could watch them ALL day. I find them fascinating. We saw the elephants, giraffes, lions, cheetahs and baboons, oh and some boring deer things. That was pretty much all we had time for. The zoo is HUGE and it takes more than one afternoon to walk it all.

I think I may take them back in the fall. I love the zoo. Pin It

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Sleep...at any cost

It’s almost every little girl’s dream to grow up and some day, become a Mommy. There are, of course, exceptions, but for the most part, little girls have something in them that wants to become a Mommy. We take care of our dollies like they were real little babies. If they cry, we meet whatever their needs are…usually a diaper change or a bottle…we make sure that they stop crying and feel good again.

So why, when we grow up, are real babies any different than our dollies? Hold that thought…

I am a member of several “Mommy Boards” where women from all over the world can post messages to one another about the trials and tribulations of motherhood. I have been involved in many different boards since about 1998, when Hubster and I decided to try for Middleman. Many of the women I met way back then are still together now on FUN These boards are fantastic in that they allow us to ask questions of one another and get support on issues from breastfeeding to teething to tantrums and everything in between.

Now that I am on my third child, I find that I am more on the giving side of advice than on the receiving side. I’ve been there, done that in most circumstances and it is nice to be a veteran, able to help first time moms with their questions. Lately though, I am finding myself getting angry at some of the things mothers are posting.

Anyone who has ever even considered having a child knows that with a baby comes disrupted sleep. You may be lucky and have a child who sleeps long stretches very early (like Threepeat, at 5 weeks) or you may have a child who doesn’t sleep through the night until 18 months (like Middleman). You may even have a child who is somewhere in between, who sleeps long stretches at around 6 months (like Boy Oneder). So why then, at four months of age, are mothers desperately seeking ways to make their child sleep through the night? Some of the ideas posted on one of my boards are:

- “Let them cry it out. It’s really hard for a few nights, but she’ll eventually get it. Have your husband deal with her if it’s too hard for you.”

- “Give him tylenol before bed. Maybe he is teething and in pain.”

- “Don’t give her a bottle unless you ABSOLUTELY have to.”

- “NEVER bring him into bed with you. What a terrible habit you would be starting.”

Many of these posts never use the words “Cry it out”…they use “sleep training” or “CIT” instead. I guess that takes the sting out of the way it sounds for them? But I digress….

Going back to my original question…why, when we grow up, are real babies any different than our dollies? And another question…why can’t we use COMFORT as a means to getting them to sleep? These women would rather give their children drugs than to comfort their baby in the night. That is RIDICULOUS!

Hubster and I have shared our bed with all of our children. Boy Oneder was with us until he was 4. Middleman joined us when Boy Oneder was 3 and so we got ourselves a kingsize bed. When Middleman was a year old, we moved the two boys into a queen bed together. They each have their own rooms now, but they choose to stay together…and that’s perfectly fine. Threepeat is in our bed and doesn’t even HAVE a crib.

I’m not saying that co-sleeping is for everyone, but why is it necessary to force our children to adhere to OUR schedule? Why is is so wrong for a baby to want his mommy in the middle of the night? Maybe he just wants to be held. Is that so bad? I can guarantee you that he won’t be crying for comfort every night when he is 18, no matter how much comfort you give him as a baby. In fact, it has been proven that the more comfort a baby gets when he is small, the more independent he is as an older child.

I posted once that I didn’t agree with crying it out and that Hubster and I were a child-led family. I explained that to me, “child-led” meant that we let the children decide when they were ready to meet certain milestones (ie: getting rid of the pacifier). I was scathed that day, saying that I was doing the child an injustice by letting them “rule” my life. That as parents, we need to set the bar and have the children adjust. That they were “family-led” not “child-led”. Ugh…whatever. They told me that I would be raising spoiled brats that no one would want to teach because I met their needs. Ask any of Boy Oneder and Middleman's teachers what they think of them…you will ALWAYS get, “I wish there were more children like them.”

In the selfish quest for a full night’s sleep, women are failing their children. We would hug and hold our dollies with so much love in our hearts, but we will only do that for our real babies if it’s convenient. If not, just lay them in their cribs and let them learn that life doesn’t revolve around them. If that doesn’t work, give them medication. Pretty damned sad.

I’m not perfect, not by ANY stretch. I make many, many mistakes as a mother. But at least I can say that I devoted myself to them as babies. I let them know that Mommy was there for them whether it was 2:00 in the afternoon or 2:00 in the morning.

My children, not sleep, are my priority…I have the bags under my eyes to prove it. Pin It

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Road Trip

Hubster and his mom are on a road trip to Virginia.

Hubster has a new venture. He is going to try to import and sell Japanese Red Maples. There is a farmer down in Virginia who has given him a good price, so he ordered 34 trees. He rented a cube van and off he went this morning to pick up the trees.

At the last minute, he asked his Mom to go along for the ride. She hemmed and hawed a little and then made the decision to go with him. I can’t help but laugh when I picture the two of them, sitting in the front seat of the cube van, rolling down the highway.

My mother-in-law likes to talk…I hope Hubster is still sane when he gets back tomorrow night! LOL!!!

In the meantime, I will enjoy the two days of having the house to myself (with Threepeat)…Boy Oneder and Middleman go to day camp. It’s rare that my mother-in-law ever goes out, so it will be so nice to have the house (and the baby) to myself for a change! YAY! Pin It

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Bittersweet

We spent the afternoon and evening at Mom’s today, to celebrate my birthday. Mark and the girls were there as well.

We had such a nice time. The kids all get along SO well and of course, the girls can’t get enough of Threepeat! BIL borrowed his brother’s Mustang convertible, and *I* got to take her for a spin…WOW…what a car! After that excitement, we took the kids swimming at the clubhouse. After a GREAT roast dinner (thanks Mom), we all played a very competitive game of shuffleboard, S vs B. I say WE won…Mark says THEY won. Either way, it was alot of fun.

It’s only now that I sit here at my computer that I realize that for the first time that I was with the girls, I didn’t miss Joanne. By that, I mean, I didn’t feel like crying when I looked at the girls. It didn’t break my heart to leave them. The empty spot at the table wasn’t so overwhelming. Things have righted themselves a little bit.

Mark is doing a phemomenal job with the girls. Courtney is such a little lady now…so mature and yet such a little girl. Rebekah is so attached to her Dad…she has really opened up and shown affection lately. Danielle…well that little muffin is just perfect. Mark loves those girls more than life and it shines through every time we are together. He is still teaching his daughters the values and morals that Joanne worked so hard to instill in them.

And so, it is bittersweet. Joanne isn’t here anymore, but we have all found a new normal. That’s not to say that Joanne will ever, EVER be forgotten…not for one moment, but we can still be a closeknit family.

Thank you Mark…for raising my nieces on your own…for being such a great dad, a great uncle and a fantastic brother-in-law. I love you. Pin It

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Getting old

It’s my birthday tomorrow. I’ll be 38 years old. Thirty-FREAKING-eight. That’s old.

I had a laugh with Boy Oneder and Middleman the other day when they were complaining about having to get up early to go to camp. I told them to count their blessings, as their father and I had to walk 2 miles uphill BOTH ways to school and back, barefoot, in 6 feet of snow. The following conversation then took place:

Middleman pipes up with, “Mom, were there dinosaurs when you were little?”

I chuckled under my breath and replied, “Of COURSE there were! On top of all the snow, Auntie Joanne and I had to run most days to get away from the t-Rexes!”

At that point, Boy Oneder, the resident bubble-burster says, “She’s lying Middleman. Dinosaurs were on the earth millions of years ago, not when Mom was small.”

Middleman, almost disappointed at the truth, says, “Did you have cars back then?”

I responded, “Yes, but have you ever watched ‘The Flintstones’?

“Yes…”

“Well, when I had my first car, I had to run like they do to make it work.”

Bubble-burster jumps in again…”Liar!”

Damn. Foiled again.

I now realize that I *am* old. My 11 year old is too smart to buy all of my tall tales…and he even tells his brother about it. He is big enough to borrow my Crocs too. Sigh…next thing, he won’t believe in Santa or the Tooth Fairy.

And so, another year has come and gone and I will be 38. 38 and old. Pin It

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Mean girls

All my life, I have dealt with mean girls, and it hasn’t ended yet.

It began when I was about 10 years old. Angie, this wicked, evil child who I am sure is in a mental institution these days, threatened me, chased me home and when she finally caught me, kicked the CRAP outta me. There were others too, who just took pleasure in my pain and my fear.

After living the terror of bullying, I swore that my children would never, ever be afraid to go to school or to play outside…EVER. So far, so good. Both of my older boys are popular and have alot of friends. The school is very good with the anti-bullying campaigns as well.

We have the boys in karate. Boy Oneder is a blue belt and Middleman is a red belt. At least I know that if anyone ever messes with them, they will be able to defend themselves, unlike me.

When I was bullied, my parents didn’t interfere for fear of making the situation worse. If my parents were seen as “fighting my battles”, it would only serve to fuel the bullies’ terrorfest. I would have been seen as a complete weakling. Bless their hearts, my parents thought they were doing the right thing, but in hindsight, they were dead wrong. Angie should have been stopped. I wasn’t the only one who was terrorized…there were many others. Seriously, this girl was messed up. She was sexually abusive as well as mentally and physically abusive. She needed help. I pray that she has changed today because I understand that she has children. I don’t know how someone so twisted can change, but I pray she has.

I think that my run-ins with Angie have made me the fearful adult I am today. I let certain people walk all over me. I let them get away with saying and doing nasty things. They hurt me emotionally. Obviously, the physical aspect of bullying is gone because I could sue their asses off if they touched me now, but, the old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”, is SO untrue. It was untrue THEN and it remains untrue now. Bruises heal. The hurt inside someone remains…and it continues to hurt.

I think I have made some progress because I do speak up for myself sometimes, but for the most part, I just keep taking it. The bullies in my life know that I won’t fight back, so they continue to dig. I wonder if they really understand that they are hurtful, or if they truly don’t think before they speak. I can’t understand what pleasure one would take from being blatently nasty…it makes no sense to me, but then again, I’m not a mean girl.

But just like a dog who is abused over and over again, one day, I will bite back. One day, this doormat is gonna jump up and kick the mean girl in the ass.

I can tell you one thing…it won’t be pretty Pin It

Thursday, 9 August 2007

One year...

One year ago today, I felt very very ill. I had all kinds of infections (ear, chest, throat) but more importantly, I quit smoking. It has been one year since nicotine filled my veins and tar and poison filled my lungs.

One year ago today, I made the conscious decision to never, EVER smoke again.

I’m not gonna lie to you…I miss it like a dear old friend. I miss the smell, the taste, the feel, the EVERYTHING. I think I always will. But I also know that ONE drag will suck me right back in. I will never be a social smoker…I wish I could be. Have a smoke at a party and not smoke again for 6 months…but alas, it will never be. I am like an alcoholic when it comes to smoking…one drink takes an alcoholic back…one drag takes me back.

I think it will always be difficult not to smoke. I pray that hard, testing situations remain at bay.

For now, I will be proud. I have been smoke free for one whole year. YAY ME! Pin It

Monday, 6 August 2007

Threepeat's Baptism

The day was wonderful. Threepeat was absolutely perfect…SUCH a good boy.

I am so proud of all of my sons…they are truly wonderful human beings.

The photos of his blessed day are here:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=10095&l=25607&id=515968972 Pin It

Saturday, 4 August 2007

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned

Tomorrow, my little schmoopy, Threepeat, will be baptized.

I will post photos and the whole story when we get home.

Would you say a little prayer for him tomorrow? It’s a big day. Thanks. Pin It

Friday, 3 August 2007

Panic

He’s sick. Threepeat has his first cold. So far, it is just a cough and some post nasal drip, but my mind is already going a mile a minute with the “what ifs”. What if he gets a fever? What if he cries all night? What if, what if, what if????

I hate this horrible panic I get when the kids are sick…not so much with Boy Oneder and Middleman now, but with Threepeat being a baby, I freak out.

Any moms out there with advice on how to calm yourself down when you are freaking out about a kid’s sickness? If so, comment or email me, will ya? Pin It

Thursday, 2 August 2007

I think I am melting

This heat is ridiculous. It is 37 degrees out there right now! (That’s 98.6 degrees Faranheit for all my American pals) It has been like this for days and days.

I love summer, don’t get me wrong. I would definitely take this heat over freezing rain or snow ANYDAY, but it is so ridiculously hot that you can’t even enjoy it. A mid-day walk is completely out of the question, so we all huddle inside the meat locker house, in the comfort of our air conditioning. Even with the AC on full blast 24/7, my bedroom is currently 26 degrees.

The grass is hay, yellow and dried out; all my flowers are either dead or on the way out; and the asphalt is so hot, you could fry an egg on it.

Even the evenings are sweltering. Last night, at 9:15, the thermometer read 35 degrees. That’s crazy man!

The City has issued a water ban, so we can’t even run through the sprinkler for relief.

But I’m not really complaining…I just have to think ahead to January to start enjoying the heat again! Pin It
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