Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sleeping Alone...

I never sleep alone...ever...Kathleen always makes sure that if half the bed is empty, she will occupy it happily. the trouble with Miss Kathleen is she really doesn't like to sleep...she can go on 2-3 hours in a 24 hour period...oh ya! I have never seen a kid that can eat as much and sleep as little as this monkey!

Josh and the boys are all great sleepers (when healthy...when sick, I am up hourly nursing cause you know guys and colds??), once asleep I hear nothing till 6:50am.

Me? Well, I am a former insomniac (guess where Kathleen gets her tendencies?) but since having chillans I have learned to TREASURE sleep! I still have an issue with GOING to bed at a decent hour...I just want to stay up, keep reading, keep checking things online, keep cleaning (no, not that very often, I will be honest but there have been a few times...), keep watching television.
I feel guilty because I harp at my kids and husband to go to bed at a decent hour, my kids are in bed between 6:30pm and 7pm, I kid you not. Josh falls asleep at 10pm, every night in front of the television...then I growl at him to go to bed, which he finally does around 12:30pm and I am up till 1pm...then woken 3-4 times by Kathleen...and up at 6:50am (thanks to Charles, who has an internal clock like a rooster).
Josh also works shift  work...and works night shift. I have such a hard time going to that cold bed alone, locking up for the night...not because I am nervous or scared. I have three yappy dogs that bark if a snowflake falls too hard, and yes the big guy gets nasty with strangers when Josh is not home (wonder why no one pops by in the evening??), and my parents are next door.
It is really the loneliness of doing the bedtime ritual by myself. The finality of the day...to me, it is a wee bit depressing. So, I put it off and off and off and then out of pure exhaustion I realize it is SOOO late and I am going to be SOOO tired the next morning and I dread the morning. Nice self destructive pattern!

I was at church on Sunday (yes, I FINALLY made it back!! I was sicker then a dog but I decided no more excuses, and me dying wasn't going to count), and a friend commented that when her husband worked nights she did not go to bed at all, she stays up the entire night and HATES it...I completely understood but at the same time I had one of those moments! I was not alone in this but i really have to learn to accept it and make it better in some way or form.

This shift of nights, that Josh has been working, I have been getting my chores all finished before 9pm, then I allow myself that luxury of ME time. 10pm is a nice hot bath, jammies, a book. I have made new ritual I am LOVING!! I have a cold bed, our house is ancient and COLD upstairs...our room is the worst because I keep the door shut to keep the pets out...and no warm air. So, I took a pop bottle, filled it with HOT water, nice tight cap and placed it in bed! It is SOOOO nice to slip into a bed with fleece sheets and warm bottle at my feet! My toes are so toasty warm! It literally stay warm till morning.

Kathleen always joins my bed by at least 4am and we snuggle till morning. Our days of snuggling will get less and less as she gets older. I also know that part of her problem of not sleeping is being alone is her little bedroom...she needs a sister;)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sew what's Up?

I love to craft, I have always been crafty. Going to my grandmother's house was a treat because we would be sewing, or making crafts with fabric. My mother encouraged any art work, bought me a sewing machine when I was in grade two or three.

I always thought that when I had a baby girl I would sew her anything and everything...I would be one of THOSE mothers....well life got in the way or rather work did.

In the past few months I have been crafting up a storm, I started making hair bows, started sewing for my daughter for the FIRST time...

I am such an oddball around people I know due to the fact I owned a sewing machine, I was excited that I got a serger for Christmas...and I knew what a serger WAS!

Then I discovered CRAFT blogs!! I was so excited!!! I am still excited when I see a new post!

So I have been having a little bit of fun, learning new things, getting new ideas, trying new things and going out of my comfort zone.

My projects so far:

The headband from Prudent Baby had me grinning, I whipped my version up for Kathleen and she was quite happy with my results, not perfect but we love it:)

My next project was pure excitement because it followed a long day of trying to figure out my new serger...only to find out I was doing it correctly. 

So, I had to tackle the pillowcase dress, and yes, I did have this fabric just laying around because it was so pretty and girly...and I bought it before Kathleen was born...

Only picture I have of her wearing it...the blond twin cuties are not mine but cousins of my kiddies..cute huh?
I cannot wait till have have some free time and energy (aka no cold...) I have some BIGGER plans in mind...and I need to learn how to use power tools (told you I was going out of my comfort zone!)...Josh is scared!

Baby Power

Someone very dear to me is trying to quit smoking. Now, I have never smoked and have no idea how hard it is but I obviously understand that the struggle is tough.

She called yesterday trying to hang on to day three, she has helps in the way of meds but it was a difficult moment.

Straight to the point I asked the REAL reason why she was quitting...well she wants a baby and feels strongly about having her body clean and home clean for her child. So, as much as she LOVES cigarettes and as much as her body craves this one desire she was giving it up, making her self miserable, cranky, irritated...she wants her own family.

To give her mind ease we talked about babies, names, clothes, supplies...she felt stronger and then I had inspiration. I told her if she could hang on ONE week...just four more days, I will bring her a baby gift and a nice tote to start packing into. I will keep adding to this gift stash and when the scent and desire of smoking feels too much, go and open the 'Baby Box', smell that baby scent, look at those items and and feel the strength that you have!

When we got off the phone she said she was alright, excited and fine till the next round.

I lover her to death and I am excited to start shopping for this much wanted baby. I know there is a little one waiting and cheering her on across the veil.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Go..No, RUN!!!

I never win stuff. but here goes to hoping! I love blog's, I love what people say, what the create, how the reacte.

If you love beautiful homes and such go to the House of Smiths, her stuff is AMAZING!! Makes me wish my house were more beuatiful!

Better yet she is having a nice giveaway a lovely Silhouette!! It is on my list of things I GOTTA have!! Oh the things I will make!! I already have big plans...like a church shelf (not revealing what I totally mean till I get one!!)

The best part about the Silhouette? They will take your house from boring generic to one of the homes you sigh when you enter from contentment! I have always wanted a home that was memorable for GOOD reasons...(at the moment no one is forgetting the half finished reno's or the the falling plaster walls...

So run over and enter and hope *I* win;)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hockey Hookey and other Ramblings

I hate hockey...really loathe it...not the game itself, that is exciting, fun to watch, fun to cheer on! But the practices!!! UGH!!!! Josh is gone three nights a week to his games...i wish he was home but the alone time is nice and he gets out with his friends. It does get annoying when he has been working like crazy and I have not seen him in a while but he has to run out to hockey!!
Peter also plays...he is cute, so little, he loves it!! When Josh takes him, he volunteers as a coach, the kids LIVE for Tues nights and Sat mornings.
But when Josh is working? Oh the fun! I have to rush home from work (some days it is harder then others), pick up the kids from daycare, scrounge some food.
I can say I am now pretty proficient about getting him in his gear, that I can do quickly but it is interjected with Peter telling me I am doing it in the wrong order...but he cannot remember the order either...
Once he is on the ice, I then have the fun hour is freezing in an unheated arena, entertaining a 2 year old and a 4 yeard old...who only want to run the length of the bleachers, to the annoyance of the the other watching parents. They fight and throw tantrums, complain they are hungry, whine they are cold...
Other parents give me the 'look', you know the, 'If they were MY kids...' look. Majority of the parents have one of two children, that are respectively spaced 4-5 years apart. if I only had to watch one, it would be a different story but two??
They are tired becauyse hockey ends AFTER their bedtime...and we have not even had supper...home we go, supper is quick and usually toast.
Bedtime is filled with the sounds of howling and yelling.

So, here I sit. I am so tired, work was what I call a failure. Half of the clients called on Sunday and cancelled, I go into work on Tues so I arrive and half my pay is gone already and no time to rebook. I am over tired from Kathleen being up half the night, slightly shaky from not eating (there were 6 pieces of bread left...the kids got two each, you do the math). The kids all went to bed howling, the boys are cold and tired, the house is cold from the fire not being tended all day.

I wanted to play hooky!! OH I SOOO wanted to!!! But I played hooky Saturday morning, and he missed that practice...and Josh was NOT happy. He called me this afternoon to make sure I took him down.
(***Please note that Josh has NEVER taken all three kids to hockey, directly after daycare, or working all day***)

I know my kids LOVE their activities and I want them to be involved but it is hard working a physical job (with a bum  shoulder...nother vent for nother day), on 4-5 hours of sleep, having a messy house that I have no time or energy to clean, no meals made because their is not enough time to even throw a crockpot meal together...

I should add the roads were horribly slippery because of the snow that is coming down rapidly...summer tires just aint cuttin 'it!!

I am really living for my weekends...I love the money I bring in but on days like today...I made no money. The kids are unhappy, I am unhappy...this evening would have been 100% better if I could have laid down for 15 mins, had a decent lunch, cooked a nice supper and we all ate early, little ones bathed before we left, homework done. That I could suffer out, coming home to a nice warm house, kids could go to bed knowing that if they are tired in the morning no biggie cause we have no reason to be up at the crack of dawn.

I got through my day thinking of exit strategies! I am going to start packing up the stuff that has accumulated at the shop and is not needed! I am pushing dear Joshua to get the plans ready for the home shop, I have to call my landlord and find out what steps need to be taken to leave my rental (thankful I have NO lease and it is month to month!!!)

I am trying to keep my motivation going by thinking about the things I want to buy. I need to order some stuff for my crafting. I just scored a Sizzix BigKick for $32 at Michael's! Still in original package, never opened...there was a little plastic doo-hickey that was bent and kinda broken, but when I was looking at it I realized it was a cap that comes OFF and you insert the handle into it!! I was SOOO excited because I have been price shopping and trying to find the best deal on these babies!
I did not buy any dyes yet, I am going to order them online (so much cheaper then what our local store was selling them for). I also need to order some felt...I did my research and I want wool, not the fake stuff...wool. Now the hunt for the best price and quality...

I need to order my ribbon (of course!), desperately need to get my flower stock back up (It is VERY low), order some tulle...oh ya! Craft show season is coming up...I have two shows in May...then November I have three major ones and one minor.

But my next big toy? I want a Silhouette!! Oooh!!!! Oh the fun I am gonna have with that!!! I have some BIG plans! Christmas Gifts are going to be 100% handmade by ME this year!

Where am I going to find time? Well since no one I know reads my blog, I am going to spill the beans...we are planning to start trying for a baby in April! I am REALLY excited! My baby is now 2.5 yrs, I miss having someone who wants to cuddle all the time, or can walk (I really love'em when they are immobile!)

Some people in our families do NOT want us to have more kids, we constantly get glares or speeches of why we should not have more kids, why it is a bad idea and not to dare tell them we are expecting.
With the way things are now, I can see their point, we are too busy (well I am)...but my big worry of course is the morning sickness. When I was preggers with Peter, it was not an issue, with Charlie...well there were a couple of weeks that were rough but Kathleen? it was BAD! I know I cannot go through that again and try to work.

Josh of course wants me to work till he gets the new shop completed (around August), i am thinking of a different course...more like get my orders all completed and set for craft show season, get my entries all paid. Set a wee bit of money aside...by then I will was TTC...slowly clean out my shop, have my exit plan in place. So, if and when morning sickness hits, I will be OFF, DONE, KAPUT! I would rather suffer it out at home, in privacy, then try to function as a human being working with the public!

Maybe I am jinxing myself and I I will not get MS at all? Doubt it! My gut feeling is saying I will be the same as last time.

And is all truth I want OUT!! I am not a budget er by any means but I would rather learn to be frugal and learn to budget them keep working outside the home and try to raise the family.

My mother kept saying, 'you are not superwoman', she is 100% correct, I am tired of trying to pretend I am. I know what I truly want and that is to be home with my kids. I won't mind making a little money on the side with my crafts and grooming from home but not at the pace I am going at now!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Waiting for Silence

It snowed last night, the sticky stuff that froze this morning. The roads are nice and slippery...I am not brave enough to venture out in our van. Summer tires are just not cutting it, the new tires are due to arrive this week. Doesn't make the driving less treacherous but it does give me a little more of a chance.

Peter had a difficult morning and we finally convinced him to go outside with his brother. They love the snow and I think if they never got wet or cold they would stay out till bedtime. Last night they begged to be allowed to play in the dark, didn't happen, maybe some evening when their father is home but not now. I worry too much about them, plus it is hard to watch them from the windows if i cannot see them.

Kathleen is fussing and wailing only like Kathleen can. She is miserable because of some molars trying to peek through her little gums. My kids have never been 'easy' teethers but Kathleen takes the cake. She is miserable, feels rotten and is making sure everyone knows it!! Trying to get her to nap it like trying to cuddle a porcupine! It can be done but who wants to go through with it?? The alternative of letting her stay up? No, I prefer MY sanity!! By 5pm she will start screaming that will last till 6:30pm...IF she falls asleep or we go into the realm of over tiredness...then the game is over and no one wins.

I only had to work three days this week, one day I cancelled due to another snowstorm. I LOVE staying home!! I really do! I never get bored, I have so much to do, things get done, laundry get folded and put away, dishes washed, yummy suppers concocted. I thinking today I would love make doughnuts...I have not made them since university days. I only made them once and they turned out but I have yet to even try them again.

Josh commented the other day that the number of loaves of bread we consume is staggering...I mentioned it would probably be cheaper to make it...another project for when I get to stay home permanently!

I do feel guilty about the thought of staying home! I am always wondering what my good and loyal clients would think? They have been coming to my shop every 4-6 weeks, faithfully staying with me and keeping my business going. But my shop is 40+ minutes away from my house, the drive is getting to me, my babysitting fees are over $800 a month, my rent is going up, I pay over $100 a week in gas, wear and tear on the car...I do make a good income but I could work from home and do only 20% of the work and make more money.

But some grooming injuries are showing up...back issues, a rotary cuff that is damaged, carpal tunnel, sciatica (and to think that while pregnant I worked and worked HARD with all these fun ailments!)...it is getting worse and worse and I do not want to rely on pills to get me through the day...knowing if I just stopped working like I do I wouldn't have problems.

Sad, us groomers love our jobs but the job doesn't love our bodies:(

While writing this post Kathleen feel asleep to the rhythmic sounds of me clicking on the keys.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Couch War

You would think that a blog,as such titles, would be referring to couch space, who takes up too much room, or the kids fighting on the couch...but no.

This fight is between me and the dogs. (I gave up on the cat, cause he is down right evil and never obeys).

Before we had kids we had dogs, two cute little yorkies...and then we started our family and added a standard poodle...and more kids...
We spoiled our dogs because we, frankly, felt guilty. Guilty because they don't get walked as often as they should, don't get played with are often ignored and hushed and pushed aside due to the two legged children coming first. So, we let them on the couches. They cuddled with us, kept our spots warm, snuggled in blankets on the couch and made us say, 'Awwww!' at their cuteness.

No biggie? Well, now a new problem has emerged...and it stinks. Well. the couches stink. They smell like dog...and it is GROSS! I will admit I was nasally (is that a word?) blind. I could not smell it...I mean I work with dogs all day, and my dogs are probably slightly cleaner then the dogs I groom daily. Coming home I never smelled a thing.

Then we renovated and the couches were moved temporarily into a new room and for some strange reason my nose woke up in the strange surrounding and could smell the couches!

I think I turned red...and I was alone...I was THAT embarrassed!! How gross! How nasty!! I hate doggy smells!! ( I know someone is scratching their head wondering if I hate doggy smells that bad why I work as a dog groomer...well I make that gross smell go away!!). My girlfriend has a house full of dogs and cats and it NEVER smells doggie, it just smells clean at all times.

There is only one solution, get the couches professionally cleaned...but what would be the point if the stinkier-then-I-realized dogs get back on it...

I went to Costco and bought a nice large round dog bed, all for $22.47 (gotta love a deal) and brought that home...and officially BANNED the dogs from the couch.
Sounds easy?

Well my dogs are spoiled, and daily, hourly, ever 10 minutes...defy my orders and jump back on and I yell, 'OFF!' and they glare, I then stand up and stamp my foot and yell again and sometimes they stand up (hoping I will forget what I just said) and turn around and lay down again to go back to sleep...

But the key to training a dog is to be smarter and more stubborn then the dog.

The battle continues...I keep kicking them off the couch and they keep trying to get back on...it is working a little, now and then they voluntarily go to the huge dog bed by themselves without me ordering them there and now they get off the couch at one command because they know I am not letting them get away with nuttin...

I am a sad little woman cause I am so excited to get the couches all clean!!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Day Sucked...

Today was the first day back to work...I should have been elated to get out of the house! I should have reveled in the child free time! I should have been excited about making some money!!

I really should have stayed in bed!

The day started fine, I was a smart girl and had made lunches the night before, laid out clothes, did shop laundry, piled everything I need to take with me in the morning. So we were moving along fine. Peter had a mild meltdown when getting his outdoor gear on but I was ready for this and had his favorite shirt set aside for him to wear, a special lunch and we chatted about his friends and the possibility of sliding at school.

In all honestly I was horribly sad and depressed driving him to school and then the little ones to the sitter's. I was so down about leaving them, I wanted to turn around and drive home! But I needed groceries and I have obligations to meet, people have been waiting for their appointment for months.

I arrived and had some tummy troubles...now this is a problem when you work alone! Rush to the washroom, pray your client doesn't arrive, pray your tummy settles, curse the entire issue!

But alas no client...and they never showed. Another NO-SHOW! Now for anyone who has missed an appointment for their hairdresser or dentist, please go in the washroom, look in the mirror and slap yourself.  I know things happen in life and we miss appointments but please put yourself in that other person's shoes. Imagine going to work daily (or your spouse), and then payday comes and GUESS WHAT!! You are not being shorted 4 hours of work! Yay!!! Know why??? Cause the person who was supposed to pay you didn't, cause they never showed up (I know YOU were there to work and had set aside the time and realized 15 mins into the appointment timing slot, they were not showing and now cannot fill that spot)!  Lovely huh?? I have about 2 no-shows a week (or last minute cancellers)...that averages about $5000 a year in lost income...so folks try taking THAT off you yearly paycheck, and smile about it! Kinda hard to do? ya, me too.

So, needless to say I get really twitchy with no-shows. Today I had three. Great start.

The dogs that did shows up? One is lovable but crazy as she barks and screams constantly and jumps around when you are scissoring.

And a puppy...

Someone out there is thinking, 'OOOOHHHHHH!! PUPPIES!!!! YOU PLAY WITH PUPPIES ALL DAY!!!!! HOW FUN!!!!!!'

Please allow me to burst your bubble. Puppies are NOT fun to groom. They looks cute but they are babies, usually very spoiled babies and I am a meanie and I am going to tech and train them to stand still. Folks, when you picture a puppy, I know what your mind sees...a bouncing, frolicking little dog!!  You are so right....now picture that sweet little furball having a temper tantrum, yup. BIG fun. (that was dripping in sarcasm)

This puppy hates water so he yodeled and screamed when the water was running (it had not even touched him yet) and them he started doing back flips and clawing my arm and hand (which was holding on to him safely so he didn't injure himself). Every second he behaved he got praise but those were few and far between.
The groom was no better because he was not having anyone touch his head...so lots of training and clawing.
One nail went through my thumb, which is now nicely infected only hours later.
My arms/hands look like I put them in a lawnmower.

I had 57 messages to answers.
I had 4 people who I had to call and tell them I don't take new clients and then listen to two of them give me an ear full because it was a DOGGY EMERGENCY!! (they were not thrilled when I told them it was not, it was just dog hair)
I had clients that were late and then come to pick up their dogs early.
I had dogs that barked the whole time.

I had one dog who is usually cranky and nippy, be an angel and give  me some comfort. I was so tired and discouraged. I was finishing his groom and I sighed...that 'I may run out of here screaming but I am too tired' sigh. He leaned against me and rest his head against my own. When I looked down at him he gave me a look with those brown eyes and then snuggled in a bit more.
Those are moments that make me love my job.

Got my mail and found a lovely notice that my shop's rent is going up, but not high enough that I can say it is insane and time to close! Just enough to make me gripe.

I braved the grocery store. There is normally two large grocery stores in this town but because of the flooding we are down to one and it is a nut house. After massive lineups I was feeling a wee big lightheaded and realized I had forgotten to eat lunch (heck, I forgot to pack a lunch) and I didn't buy anything to snack on...off to pick up kids, rush home, rag Peter to get ready for hockey, massive meltdown, wake Josh up (who is taking Peter to hockey)...poor Josh has been working straight since December and has no days off in sight.

All the while all three kids are wailing because they want supper...which is yet to be cooked because the groceries are still in bags...

While making supper Kathleen dropped a glass (which her brother shared...how can I get mad at him for sharing?)...while trying to clean it up I sliced my hand...the dogs are trying to lick the broken glass, supper was burning...


Kids are in bed, no baths, dishes are not getting finished because my poor fingers are aching and hurting, cut and bruised. I need to do the shop laundry (the towels are brought home each night), clean, put away groceries, feed dogs, play with dogs, etc ....ugh!!!!!!

I am cold, whiney, stinky (the irony of dog groomer's...dog's leave smelling good, we leave smelling like they did when they entered), sore and discouraged.

A hot bath is calling my name!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Raindrops are falling on my kitchen floor...

Today is the second anniversary of my 29th birthday...tis!! My cake even says so!! ( I think Josh was afraid of the sad look he would get when I read the truth)

Nothing special about the day except cute cards from Josh and kids, no gifts but no problem...I know what I am buying myself! (yes, when you get no gifts that is a gift itself...means you now can go buy what you want, guilt free)

What did make this birthday special and memorable...cute little words from Charlie, ''Mom you gotta come see this! it is RAINING in the kitchen!"

Darling Kathleen decided to shove tissue in the bathroom sink...let me remind you that our house is OLD...ANCIENT...the plumbing is a little ion the old side...the taps are pre-WWII and they drip...(soundlessly, thank goodness for small blessings)

When I raced upstairs I found 2 inches of water, on one side of the bathroom (the floors are sloped too...nice feature), a full sink, full potty underneath filled with water...

Many towels later, one super smart 6 year old who grabbed some popcorn buckets and shoved them under the pouring water (nasty yellow/brown water)

And then the worry...the ceiling was bowed!!!! We have had collapsing ceiling problems before (will share that story someday!) and I was panicked that history would repeat itself....but birthday wishes DO come true!!!

The ceiling held! The plugged sink was remedied with a pair of tweezers! And it was a happy birthday!

Bad Mormon

Ya, I said it...no secret here, we are bad Mormons.

In any other religion being born into a religion is enough, if you were born into a Jewish family, you are and always (unless you convert) Jewish, and the same of Catholics and Anglicans...but Latter Day Saints? You ARE or you are 'inactive'...or our pet term, 'Bad'.

We have a terrible record of inactivity, we will be faithful, going weekly, 'good' Mormons for months and months. For no apparent reason we stop. Jobs change, schedules get tight and we find excuses.

One Sunday I had every intention of attending, the kids were excited because they LOVE church and Miss Kathleen decided to get up at 4am and stay up...the kind of night where she screams and fusses and fights...by 8am I was such a zombie and so tired. I knew I wasn't safe to drive an hour on icy roads with no snow tires (we keep meaning to get them but saving $1000 for tires has not been easy with me off work!).

The last Sunday I was in the mind set that I was going no matter what...and to find out that both boys have no good church shoes, their little feet...well frankly they are not so little anymore. I could NOT take my kids to church wearing big clunk snow boots or ratty dirty sneakers...(yes, my ego and pride got in the way...sounds petty...okay it IS petty!!!)

Some Sundays, Josh needs the van for work (we share a vehicle cause we are cheap), the weather does not always cooperate, or kids sick or us sick...

But we try to keep the Spirit in out homes. We do bless our meals, have evening prayers, read scriptures, do bible stories, sing hymns (well what I call singing...never in tune but thank goodness for online church music!!!). We watch online church messages and General Conference we watch it all as a family (if you count the kids playing, fighting, wrestling...being snapped at to be reverent, answering questions....)

I am always ashamed at our inactivity. It is hard some days being an hour away from our ward, and being the only LDS family in our town. I know we have to try harder.

I really try to go DEEPER and find out why I am such a slacker? I LOVE my faith! I love how I feel when we leave! I love dressing up and seeing my kids all nicely dressed....what is my problem?

I am sure there are thousands of other LDS families in the same mindset, falling away from the church is so easy!

 I will admit I hate going without my husband. Josh works shift works and has months when he works every single weekend. Trying to manage all three kids alone is never fun...it is honestly stressful and makes me grit my teeth.
My other great excuse is that all week I am so busy with work and kids, and activites and Satuday there is hockey...and Sunday there is no pressing obligation to go anywhere...(sad thinking I know!!!!)

I really should have no excuse...there is a lady in my ward with many more kiddos then me and is ALWAYS there...I can barely function when I am over tired, but I need a backup plan.

I am hoping this post will shame me enough to get my bottom moving and get myself to church.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Forget toys...get boxes!!

My dear children love their toys...they keep them entertained from minutes to a an hour or two depending on the toy.

But a simple box?  Oh the fun!!!! It becomes a house, an airplane, a hideout, a shell, a car, a tank...oh ya!!! Boxes are FUN!!!

I think next year I am going to save myself a whole lotta hard earned cash by just picking up a few free boxes from the grocery store and giving those for gifts!! I think I would be voted coolest (or cheapest) Mom of the year!

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Peter has always been special. He was  our first child, he was our parents first grandchild and the first nephew to our siblings.

He was born after 26 hours of labor and 5 of those lovely hours were pushing...and he was PERFECT! We stared and stared at him for hours, looking at his tiny hands, staring at his lovely eyes (when they were open). We were 23 years old, he was only a minute old and the world was right.

When he was about a week old we received an urgent call from the doctor's office to rush to the blood clinic at the hospital, something was seriously wrong and they were keeping the clinic open.
We were in a panic, Josh FLEW....and got pulled over and we begged as any terrified parent would do to ticket us later just let us get to the hospital. That blessed RCMP officer let us go but told us to go slower and then followed us.

After blood work and sad looks from the nurses who would say nothing we raced to our doctors office to learn that our son had failed his thyroid test.
We learned that with treatment who would be 'near normal'. As parents we were horrified! What the heck does a doctor mean by 'near normal'? Would he read? Ride a bike? Get a job? Talk?
We spent 3 days, surrounded by family, crying and praying and begging. Our prayers were answered on day three when his blood work showed his thyroid WAS working and at perfectly normal levels. We were thankful and felt as if we had dodged a bullet.

Over the years Peter tested every ones limits, as  baby he was easy going, happy in his routine, but we soon learned that letting other people hold him would mean a very long night of him screaming.
As a toddler he was the master of tantrums! My parents would grin and giggle and say it was the universes way of balancing things...God was just giving us a taste of what i was like...and so I plundered through days peppered with 20-30 tantrums a day, head banging, and wails. Peter was very touchy as a toddler, he liked his routine to be as tight as a ship's schedule. If his granola bar broke...there was hell to pay!
When his little brother arrived there were many nights I sat up with a fussy infant and a screaming toddler.

Day cares and family members learned very quickly that Peter liked things one certain way and his temper could rival the best. When things went his way and were in order he was the happiest little guy. He played, danced, followed my father (Papa) and babbled.

At two I worried about his babbling but was assured he would form words any day, at three he used two words put together here and there, babbled and lisped the rest and then 18 month old Charlie started speaking clearer then his older brother.

Off to speech therapy we went!! Peter made great strives, threw some mighty tantrums, and some days shut down and refused to do anything. In his good moods he was a dear!! But with Peter he was night and day...

Time marched along and a new sister arrived, school started and new worries for Josh and I...school. I worried about his temper but was assured he was just 'young for his age'...the tantrums continued, odd little behaviours emerged, bathroom routines that became such elaborate rituals that this 5 year old little boy would hold his bladder till he got home. After school was a nightmare of crying jags and tantrums. He showed to be very, very bright but easy to tear, easy to agitate, and some days just terrible difficult.

Phone calls home were commonplace and he got the reputation as being 'difficult', 'bratty' and people openly pitied his teacher.

As horrified parents we spoke firmly to Peter, tried to get to the root of the crying, put him in sports to burn off some of this energy. Josh coached his hockey team and many practices ended early because Peter was crying. We kept in constant contact with his teacher, discussed each incident.

Then around March, at school his behaviour seemed to settle, he was quiet, withdrawn but at home he was moody and volatile.

April we received a phone call from a stressed out teacher,

"If you do not find out what is wrong with him, he cannot return to school."

My heart dropped, I mean expelled at 5 years old? Nice...
Part of me was sick...wondering what was wrong with him? One part prayed we found the answer but another part prayed that there was nothing wrong with him and it was just us.

Appointments with a clinical psychologist, a referral to a pediatrician who specialized in social disorders...and we had the diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Extensive testing revealed he doesn't understand facial expressions, crowded areas and large crowds can cause him to feel like he is overloading. He has OCD, high anxiety, issues with pain receptors. This year we are dealing with texture issues that we have never had trouble with before.

All in all he is just wired a little differently.

The more I learn about autism, the more my head hurts. No case is the same, it is political, it is social, for others it rules their lives, for some there is shame.

Two weeks ago, I braved the malls and took the three kids shopping alone. We were having a fairly good day and the kids all had gift cards from Christmas. We had just bought a few new books, and the boys spied the video game store.
Parents can see where this is going...big tantrum!!! But not for what you think...Peter noticed all the games had bar codes and he was reading the bar codes...after 10 mins he was frantic...and we left.

To the woman who walked by and saw me standing new two my three toddlers, one who was standing quietly (Charles), one who was in the stroller and being good (Kathleen) and the one who was on the floor screaming, 'GO BACK!!!', she commented to her partner, 'What a brat!'...
Ma'am, if I did not have the worry that my screaming little boy would not bolt and run (which he does and why we keep a firm grip on him at all times), I would have chased after you and told you he is autistic. He is high functioning, he is brilliant, he can remember conversations from 2 years ago, he is athletically gifted and is in gymnastics. I would have told you to keep your comments to yourself and instead of judging why not asking if you could help. Instead of laughing, why not walk over and offer encouragement. Instead of assuming why not ponder that maybe there is more going on then meets the eye?

I still cry for my son, I don't want him labeled, I don't want him to be set apart, I don't want him to be ridiculed.  I want him to be perfect, I want him to be accepted, I wish for people to understand.
I am thankful and blessed that now that he has a diagnosis his school has stepped in to offer him every resource available.  He has speech therapy, social play therapy and soon to come occupational therapy.
In so many ways he is a normal little boy, he plays with trucks, he fights with his brother, he loves intensely and in so many ways he is a little out of sync with the world.

But I would not trade him for a million 'perfect' boys, he is my son, he is autistic and he is special and I am so very blessed to be granted the chance to be his mother.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Homey Resolutions

I get very ambitious, especially when I lie awake at 3am, then I am at my most ambitious, lying in bed vowing vehemetly that I will eat better! Excerise more! Clean more! Oh yes!!! I can do anything I put my mind to at 3am...

8am is a totally different story...I have no ambitions at that hour except sleep (however my children's only ambition is to rouse me enough to cook them food...)

Every New Years brings out more diet books, new exericise equipment...sore legs from squats!! You would think after decades of this madness I would realize that my ambition is all spoiled by the 10th because it is my birthday and by Zeus! I am eating CAKE!!
And from the cake it is a downhill ski hill of ambition...

This year I kept joking that my New Year's resolution was to eat junk food, gain weight and clean less...

Knowing my track record I decided on some resolutions that I would actually enjoy...

#1. Doing the dishes after supper each night.
This is something I hate to do, and I honestly rarely do! Gorwing up we did dishes immediatly after supper, no matter what. When I moved out I drove roomates to distraction by my advid hatred of dishes. My husband joins me on this hatred (what  apair we make). So, dishes were often only done from necessity...because there were no clean ones left.
I am turning 30 this year and it is time for a LITTLE self discipline!! Since, Jan 1st i have been very good about doing the dishes after supper. I have also been teaching the kids to help. Just little things like bringing the dirty dishes to the counter, sweeping the floor and washing the table. There 'help' is not always pefect but it is better then not being done at all!! Plus, they are helping!

#2 Be more crafty. I love to craft, I love to create and I get a weird little high from people commenting on my pretty things I make. When it comes to the house?? ugh! This house is getting mildly generic and ugly. We live in an old, drafty, 1850's farmhouse...we are slowly renovating and the house is looking better and better. People always get that stars in their eyes look when I tell them about the house and they comment on how 'romantic' it must be...well in truth the romance is long over. Somedays my house and I are not on speaking terms.
There is no storage, no closets, no shower (one dinky little bathtub)...and a whole lotta ugly!! Our furniture is mostly hand-me-downs, press board cheap, broken and mismatched...
Reading crafting and renovating blogs has inspired me to work a little harder to get some creative juices flowing...this house has POTENTIAL. So, I have been happlily wasting time online getting ideas of how I can spruce up this place and agree with people that this house is romantic and beautiful! (on a budget of course!)

Really my resolutions are about making this house a home, a nice refuge for our family.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Twas the Season....

Well the holidays are now over and I can say with a full heart is was FUN!

Josh was lucky enough to be off on the morning of the 24th, so we had plenty of fun at our family's annual Christmas Eve Party.
The party is held at my parents house, next door, tons of food, family and friends and this year we decided we needed a few giggles and did an ugly sweater competition (glue guns were out in full force!) and an ugly gift competition.

My sister Sam had to 'plug' her sweater in!

Notice my pink sweater...and the sleeves? Nothing says festive like feathers!!

This was Sam's ugly gift....I have been staring at this for 4 years...not by choice! the store next to me is a pawn shop and this beauty has graced their front window.

Josh brought this lovely! What every home needs! A shiney horse head!

A 'BABY' and kitchen set...everytime someone asked her what Santa was bringing she would scream 'BABY!!!' for a month now.

Charlie got his beloved tool bench.

Daddy was tired....did you know that kitchen set was 1000 pieces??? Needless to say he was up late trying to put it together. Took her 2 seconds to rip the top part off.

The kids were thrilled with their spoils...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Midlife Crisis??

Yes, I think I am in the middle of one...

I love my job! How many people can say that? But, the truth is I really do love my job! I am a dog groomer by day and mommy after hours. Dog grooming to me is making a math equation beautiful! There is art and there is math, and then of course there are soulful doggie stares. I know you are thinking puppy kisses but let's get one thing straight...puppies SUCK. And so do doggie kisses...why? Well puppies, wiggle and bite. and scream, and throw tantrums, and paw and scratch....and you are holding a sharp pair of scissors close to their eyeballs and pray you don't cut yourself or worse the dog. And kisses? I have trained the client dogs to NOT kiss...kissing scissors and clippers equals lots of blood...I know and do not care to repeat it, plus dogs have bad breath and lick unmentionables. Nuff said!

I own my very own store in another town, it is tiny about 300 square feet but it is on the main street, it is cute and it is MINE! I have been open now for 4 years, by appointment only. At my grooming shop I am queen and I like it that way. Somedays are yucky, like when you are drying a dog with a high force dryer and the dog poops and it hits the air wave and then you look and you have splashed poop all over the wall, the floor, the dog, the table...yup those days are poopy. Majority of the days are great, the time FLIES by and I am always shocked that the day is over.
It also pays really well. When I leave work I can easily talk 'dog' with other people for hours, most of my friends are dog groomers, I can research hair cuts and techniques for hours and never lose focus.
I like it so much that I went in a grooming competition in Toronto and placed second in my division...2nd in my division for Canada is purty awesome...so not only do I love my job but I am also really GOOD.

The downside? My kids. Well, they are not a downside but I adore/love/worship...you get it, the mornings are nuts here. We are always rushing, some mornings with Peter are rough, he does not do good in rushed situations. The commute is an hour and then an hour back. Kids have to go to a sitter...now I LOVE my sitter! She is truly awesome and I appreciate everything she does but flat out she is not ME.
Evenings are rushed for supper, errands, activities, homework, laundry, bathtime, bedtime...
My job is very, very physical. I am sore and physically tired at the end of the day. Housework is not high on the agenda...so by the end of the week the house looks like a bomb went off. Everyone is short tempered because we cannot find items, clothes, homework, shoes...

Josh has a great job now but it is contract work and ends shortly...my nerves are on edge because right now there is no work at the end of the yellow brick road. He is confident that something will come up in his field soon.

So obviously you can see my 'midlife crisis'...work vs kids. I want to stay home, I did when the boys are were VERY small for a short time and I admit I was so excited to go back to school and then off to work. It was exciting to have a career! Most importantly it was exciting to be making MONEY!!! (we were horribly poor!)
Now, three kiddies later and dreams of more babies, I am tired!!! I am older (I hit thirty in a few days) and more patient.

In some ways it seems stupid to leave my career, I am at the top of my skill level, my business is BOOMING, I get paid awesome money and to top it off I really do LOVE it!

But I miss my kids.

I had been struggling with this little personal battle for a few months and I kept thinking about how I had a career and how awesome business was and how I loved the money and could buy my kids things. One day, I left work a bit early (due to someone not showing up for their appointment) and hit the grocery store and was waiting at the check out line (funny how so many events happen at the checkout line?) and saw a woman struggling with her two naughty kids that were about the age of my boys. The kids were cranky and showing it and she was tired....and suddenly I was WICKEDLY homesick for my kids!!!! I missed my three little monkeys sooooo bad!!
I had hated taking my kids to the grocery store, alone, before that moment. But I envied that woman so much!!

This little epiphany happened about two months ago and since then I have ventured shopping more and more with my kids and weirdly enough I am SOOO patient with them and all their rotten behaviour. I still hate grocery shopping but I have learned I would rather go with them then alone.

I have been on vacation since the 22nd of December and I do not go back till Jan 11th and I am NOT looking forward to it at all! I am really enjoying staying home with the kids! I am enjoying getting my house clean for the first time in 4 years! I love being able to laugh at their little antics, hold a sick toddler cause the cold is a rotten thing, nurse boo-boo's, listen to the tails of a 4 year old, and get caught up on the mountain of dirty clothes that threatened to take over the upstairs hallway.

Once upon a time I never thought I could walk away from my shop and my grooming clients but a clever little six year old is pleading his case.

Peter: 'Mommy, how bout you take some more time off from work.'

Me: 'Is two weeks not enough? How much more time?'

Peter: 'You could stay off till I grow up and I am big enough to go to work with you but if I have to stay home then you can too.'

Peter, buddy, I am struggling with that decision more then you will ever realize! It isn't about love or ego anymore, it comes down to finances and placing my trust and my faith in Josh to provide for our family.

We will see what the future brings!