Tuesday, 18 November 2014
Last Sunday, I joined my best friend Mandy for church.
The message was about raising your kids so that they would eventually grow up to be kind, intelligent and good people.
Mandy and I listened intently trying to memorize every word in hopes that one day our children would become adults that wanted to spend time with their parents.
In my mind, this was not an easy thing to do.
I take my parenting role very seriously and for the most part, I think I'm pretty good at my job.
But sometimes I get completely consumed with the everyday struggles that come with my position. The tantrums, the emotional ups and downs, the energy......oh, the energy! The Energizer Bunny has nothing on my kids.........NOTHING!
Some days it is nearly impossible to keep up with them. I've spoken before about collapsing on my couch shortly after I put the kids to bed. Some nights I am even too tired to treat myself to a glass of wine.
Can you believe that? Too tired!! For WINE?? That's a problem.
The night before church, I had planned on a lovely evening with my kiddies at the Santa Claus Parade. Since I had never taken them before, I was excited to share in this special moment with them.
But my special moment had soon turned into a pile of goo as Molly screamed and screamed over her snow pants.
"I WIW NOT WEAW MY SNOW PANTSSSSSS!!"
I took a deep breath and calmly responded "Yes you will. Put them on please."
"NOOOOOOOOO! Tate dose snow pants awaayyyyyy fwom meeeeeee!!"
I looked away from Molly and whispered quietly to myself, serenityyyyyy.......
I thought about my yoga practice and how it could help me at this very challenging moment. But for some reason the only thing that popped into my head was the image of a cat stuck in window blinds......??
After trying to squeeze Molly's big booty into too-tight snow-pants....all while she was kicking and screaming....I decided to give up. I realized that this was a hopeless task....and I didn't want to lose my cool.
But inside...my blood was boiling.
"MOLLY! You can't go see Santa if you don't wear your snowpants!"
She crossed her arms and huffed and looked away.
"I don't tawe. I don't want to see Santa. I want to stay HOME!"
Well, it was clear that Molly was not going to go to the parade.
She would not get to see Santa's belly shake like a bowl full of jelly while he rode down the street in his fancy red sleigh.
Refusing to cancel our plans and disappoint Lola, I instead left Molly with one of her best friends. Maybe Molly wouldn't see Santa or a red sleigh, but she would get perogies and a fancy red sports car.
"Vat?? Vat is going on? Molly! Vat did you do??"
Molly ran into my mom's arms and said, "I wiw stay wit you Babbi. They tan doe to da pawade. We wiw stay hewe otay?? Do you have pewodies??"
I left Mama's house feeling frustrated that things did not go as smoothly as I had planned. I wished that Molly was older so that I wouldn't have to deal with these annoying tantrums anymore.
After a long drive through tons of traffic, we had finally found a parking spot and were soon walking alongside the parade.
Lola held my hand tightly and kept saying "I'm having so much fun Mommy!"
I looked down at her and smiled as a snowflake fell right on her nose and melted away.
"Me too angel. Me too."
I thought about my earlier battle with Molly and her snow-pants. I definitely felt defeated. Just like a fighter in the ring, there were times that my 3 year old got some good shots in......even though I was the one with more experience.
But as I looked down at Lola, who continued to catch snowflakes on her nose and tongue, she suddenly resembled Molly. She looked innocent and very cute and like she was 3 years old again.
I stared at her and realized that she would never be 3 again.
As I watched the snowflakes melt on Lola's warm face, suddenly my frustration from the day had also melted away.
I scooped Lola up and kissed her. And within minutes the sky was filled with fireworks. Her face lit up as she watched the sparkles fall around her.
I made a point to live in that moment and truly soak it all up.
Because I knew, it would never come again.
When I got back to Mama's house, Molly ran into my arms.
"Mommy. I didn't want to go to Santa. And I don't lite my snow-pants."
I started laughing.
"It's ok baby! It doesn't matter".
She kissed me with her tiny little lips and squeezed my neck really hard.
Our fight in the ring was over.
It was a tie.
We both won.
Mandy and I sat listening to the Pastor finish his sermon. And as he did, the band quietly went up on stage.
The lead singer began singing a song by Trace Adkins, and when he got to the chorus, my eyes filled up with tears....
You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days
Hadn't gone by so fast.
I sat listening to the lyrics of the song trying to hold back the tears, wondering if anyone else was getting choked up.
And then I heard my best friend sniffle, and reach into her purse for a tissue.
The days may be long.....but the years are short.
And I just have to keep reminding myself that in the blink of an eye, these kids will be adults. And hopefully good ones if I continue to do my job right.
Raising children is a transition......and I need to remember to love my transitions. Good or bad.
Because some moments will be spent struggling with your 3 year old as she refuses to put on her snow-pants. And those will be the tough times.
But other moments will be amazing.
They will be incredible.
They will be......fireworks.
But even fireworks, they light up the sky, and then they are gone.
So if I know that and remember that every moment in my life only happens once.....then perhaps that moment becomes that much more special ;)
Tuesday, 11 November 2014
You all know my struggle with working out right?
My struggle being that I don't want to work out.
I will pretty much do anything to stay out of a gym environment, similar to a cat who refuses to take a bath.
But for some reason, I always look forward to my next yoga class. I go at least twice a week and I'm starting to get pretty good at it! I can almost do a headstand!
And my flexibility and strength have remarkably improved!
But as with any exercise, there will always be challenges. And new things to learn. And you may just get yourself into a compromising position that you don't know how to get out of.
Just recently my yoga teacher said something to the class while I was struggling trying to get into triangle pose.
My legs were shaking, my hands were sweating and I just couldn't seem to get the position right. I just wanted to get into the pose and stop struggling.
I was getting very frustrated.
My yoga teacher must have felt my frustration, because she calmly said,
"Sometimes we rush to get to the next phase, and we forget to live in the moment. Try to just love your transitions."
Why have I never thought of that before?
What a simple, yet glorious concept.
Love your transitions.
How perfect was that?
It made SO much sense!
Not just with yoga....but with MY LIFE!
If I think back over the years, I have always been focused on my future. Looking for the end result. Waiting for a time when things would be easier, effortless, painless, and simple.
What I failed to realize is that the path that was getting me to my end result was a part of my life, and a part of my journey.
And who knows if things would ever be easier or simpler?
What I needed to realize was that every transition I went through was helping to create the new me. A better me. A stronger me.
Realizing this made me so happy.
Suddenly I was open to a whole new way of thinking.
That everything I was going through, at any given moment in my life, good or bad, was helping shape the person I needed to become. And without those difficult and challenging transitions, I probably wouldn't change. And I definitely wouldn't grow.
Everything was happening for a reason. And instead of being frustrated, and hating the process, why not just give in to it?
After all, it was a rite of passage, wasn't it? Who knows what amazing things life has in store for you once you get through the tough times.
Suddenly I had a huge appreciation for the transitions in my life and what they were actually doing for me.
And I was grateful.
Suddenly I felt very strong. Like I could do anything.
And I relaxed my muscles, took a deep breath, and finally got into that triangle pose.
Realizing that my path would eventually get me to where I needed to be, it gave me the peace of mind to just relax and let go. And even though the struggles are real, and difficult, and the tunnels may be long and dark......there's always a light at the end.
So why stress and get frustrated over the process?
Why not try to enjoy it?
And in the words of Ferris Bueller,
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it".
Anyway, that's what my yoga teacher taught me the other day :)
I have to go now.
I'm off to yet another yoga class.
I need to go and meditate.
You're still here??
This blog is dedicated to Marcy Barbaro. Thank you for everything. But mostly, for teaching me to love my transitions :) I will miss you xo
Tuesday, 4 November 2014
I have a cold.
It's one of those stupid colds that lingers around forever. And you know how much I hate "lingerers". Ughhh.....lingerers.
It's one of those stupid colds that no doctor will prescribe any medication for because it's a "virus and not a bacterial infection".
Great. That doesn't help me at all.
So..... I just cough.
And cough some more.
Sometimes the cough gets so bad that I have to drink hot water with lemon and honey for hours on end. And if that doesn't work, then I take cough medicine. And if that doesn't work, then I suck on a Polish eucalyptus candy. And if THAT doesn't work......then I spray Chloraseptic spray a million times down my throat.
I know what you're thinking. How could something from Poland NOT work? I know right?? It boggles my mind too. I might have to contact the Polish Consulate about this....
Anyway, for some reason the Polish eucalyptus candies won't work for this cough, but the Chloraseptic spray does. The fact that I get SOME relief from this God awful cough is good enough for me. But the results are only temporary so I have to plan my day very carefully around this cold.
I did my whole spray routine the other day right before I had to run some errands, in hopes that I wouldn't have an embarrassing attack outside of my home. Because looking and sounding disgusting in the privacy of your own home is one thing.....but doing it in front of complete strangers? Well that's completely unacceptable.
I went to the library first. But as I made my way to the kids section, I felt it.
That tiny and annoying little tickle that scratches the back of your throat. I knew what was happening. The cough attack was coming. I quickly threw all my books down on a table and walked at a very quick pace to the bathroom.
I tried very, very hard to stifle the cough.....but it was coming....and it was fierce. I couldn't hold it in any longer. I started gagging. I gagged and made weird hacking noises as I burst into the women's washroom and ran into a stall.
There, in the bathroom stall, I coughed violently for 5 minutes straight. My throat and chest were hurting, my stomach was aching and there were tears pouring down my face.
When my cough finally subsided....I felt such relief. I took a deep breath and relaxed.......until I realized that I was deep-breathing in a public bathroom.
I finally felt good enough to leave. And when I opened the door to the stall, I was surprised to come face to face with a very disheveled looking old lady.
"You arrright??" she said in a slurred and raspy voice.
"Oh yes. I'm so sorry. I have this yucky cough. Were you in here the whole time?" I asked while making my way to the sink.
"Yeahhhh. You sound ROUGH! You need to get to a dawc-tor" She pulled out a pack of cigarettes and flicked them in her hands.
"Oh, yeah. I did. They sent me home. Said I should just rest and drink hot fluids. But that was over a week ago. I'm sure it'll go away soon".
"Nawwwww. You have whooping cough." She said very confidently as she looked me right in the eyes.
There was a moment of silence as we stared at each other.
"Ummmm. No....I don't think so? The doctor checked me. He said I just have a virus".
"Nope. It's whooping cough. I can tell. I've had it before." She pulled out a cigarette from the pack and stuck it in her mouth.
"Oh. Ok. Thanks. I'll look into it." I washed my hands and walked over to the air dryer.
She wasn't leaving the bathroom though. In fact, she stepped even closer towards me.
"You.....you need some good meds. Like, REALLY good meds." She said while pointing her cigarette at me.
"Oh ok. You think? Like what?" Why I was asking her advice, I have no clue. But clearly she had my best interests at heart.
"Like...strong stuff. Really strong stuff. Cough medicine with co....co.....what's it called again? Oh yeah! CODEINE! You needs lots of codeine." She sniffed and brushed her long curly grey hair out of her face.
"Codeine. Ok. Got it. Thanks. I will. Bye!"
I walked out of the bathroom thinking that our encounter was finally over, but she walked out with me!
"My grandkid had whooping cough. It was really bad. We went to the hospital and everything".
"Oh geez. I'm sorry. Is he ok now??" Now I felt bad for her.
"Oh yeah. He's 20 now."
Without saying goodbye, she finally just turned towards the door and left, still muttering about whooping cough.
I walked away from her wondering how is it that I always get stuck in these weird little conversations with strangers? Why does this always seem to happen to me?
I finally made it back to the kid's section and was quickly grabbing a few movies and books for Lola and Molly when I felt the tickle again.
I grabbed what I could and ran to the computer to check out my items. As I scanned my card, I started hacking again. I stepped away from the computer so that I wouldn't cough my germs onto the screen. And as I backed up, I bumped into an old man who worked at the library.
"Oh dearrr. That's a pretty bad cough you got there eh? I remember one time I got this bad cold. Oh man. It was rough. I was on all sorts of meds. But the only thing that helped me sleep and rest was this strong stuff. I think it had....what's that drug called again?"
I was now leaning over the computer table coughing, my head buried in my hands.
I managed to stop hacking for just a second and look up so that I could whisper one word......
"YEAH! Haha! How'd you know? Anyway.....it was a bad cough. Have you seen a doctor yet?? I've got this great guy! Old friend of mine. He became a doctor but I've always loved the library, that's why I got this job here....."
I folded my arms on the table in front of the computer and rested my head on top of them.
It was clear I wasn't going anywhere. So I just lay there as the old man went on and on about his job.
Sometimes you just need to give your body what it needs. And you need to stop moving and just rest.
And sometimes...........you just need codeine ;)
Tuesday, 28 October 2014
Sometimes I like to go back through my blog and read my old entries. I'm always curious to see which ones garnered the most attention from my readers.
This blog has sort of become a window into my life. A place where I can share my thoughts, ideas and daily happenings. And of course, it has become a place where I can document and have fun with every silly and ridiculous thing that seems to happen to me on a regular basis!
I'm sure it is no surprise to anyone that my "funny" blogs seem to get the most attention.
Everyone loves to laugh. Everyone NEEDS to laugh. And it is always my mission to bring happiness to those around me....no matter what is going on in my life, or with the rest of the world.
After the horrific events that took place in Ottawa last Wednesday, I so desperately wanted to write about something funny today. Replace some sadness with a bit of laughter and joy. But for some reason, I couldn't. Every time I start typing a joke or writing about a silly thing that happened to me, I was instead hit with an image of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, or Sergeant Kevin Vickers, or the Highway of Heroes.
So instead of trying to fight my instincts, I decided to go with them... and I wrote what I needed to write about.
Last Wednesday, I was in pure Mommy-mode. I took my little Molly swimming, to the library, and to the park. At 2pm, I prepared a small snack while Molly played with her barbies. As she ate her apples and cheese, I finally had a quiet moment to check my computer and see what was happening in the real world......or rather the Facebook world. It was as close to real I was going to get that day.
The first status update I read was written by a very close friend, who is a paramedic, and was sharing her thoughts and sadness on the recommendation that uniformed soldiers go immediately home after work.
I was very confused. What was going on?
I quickly scanned the rest of the page. I felt a pit in my stomach as I pieced the days events together.
I put my phone down and said a prayer for the Soldier who was just shot at the War Memorial in Ottawa.
I can't describe the devastation I felt in that moment.....for that man...his family....and our nation.
The days following however, upset me even more.
For the next 5 days, Facebook was covered in theories, debates and opinions regarding the shooting and "why" it took place. I saw friends who were engaging in discussions trying to figure out whether Nathan Cirillo was in fact the victim of a terrorist attack or a gunman who was deranged and mentally unstable.
I also saw friends who were giving their own opinions on the members of ISIS and their threat on our country.
But I soon noticed that the discussions went from opinionated.....to just plain evil. One person's opinion sent another into pure rage, which resulted in one verbal attack after the other. Some of my friends handled the heated discussions with great humility and intellect, trying to get people to think out loud and work together to figure out what went wrong on Wednesday, October 22nd.
And then others .....just seemed to fuel the fire.
In a time when we should be bonding together, I saw people turning on each other. I saw innocent people being exposed and threatened to hatred against their culture and religious beliefs.
This was going too far.
I finally stopped reading the status updates and their replies, and I stopped reading the news, because I could no longer stomach the attacks which had become so hurtful, offensive and scarey.
I know that there will always be bad people in the world, people who want to control and hurt others. But in my heart, I believe that there are more good people.
This event has made me question many things in my life.
What can I do to help?
Can I make a difference?
Do I have ANY power to change things for the better?
I don't know the answer to those questions.
I really don't.
What I do know however, is that I have a very small avenue which I can use to make people smile.
My life, and my simple blog, can perhaps take people out of their daily routine for a few minutes and make them laugh....or even just smile.
Because if more people looked at each other and smiled, rather than looked at each other with hate....then maybe.....just maybe, we might be able to shift the world.
Just a little bit....
It may not stop some people from doing bad....but perhaps.....it will spread a little bit of joy and happiness....one person at a time. And maybe it will have a ripple effect? Who knows?
Perhaps that's all it takes.
And for our fallen, Cpl Nathan Cirillo, your smile will be a testament of peace for years to come.
You were a true hero.
Rest in peace.
Tuesday, 21 October 2014
So I ended my last entry with a question to my readers:
Is it possible for a man to have a platonic friendship with a woman if he is already in a relationship?
I posed this question in an effort to get some advice on a neighbor who is in a long-distance relationship but seems to be sending me some mixed signals on the side.
The response, from both women and men, was quite interesting.
Most of you think that it is impossible for a man, who is in a relationship, to have a female platonic friend on the side. Then there's the few who believe that it is absolutely possible for a man to have a female friend. And then there's the rest of you, who think that my neighbor is confused.....and that possibly me flirting with him will give me the answers that I am looking for.
It amazed me that so many of my friends had such strong, and differing opinions about the same topic.
But WHY did this intrigue me so much? Everyone is different right? Everyone has their own opinion right?
So why did your opinions leave me so confused?
And why was this topic.....and this neighbor of mine bothering me so much?
And then it hit me.
Everyone has formulated their opinions based on their own life experiences, right?
So if that's the case, then obviously something in my past was causing me to question my neighbor and his slight advances.
I thought back to the last time I had heard the term "just friends".
Without getting into too much detail, my personal experience was that a man could NOT be friends with a woman while he was in a relationship.
It just didn't work.
But.....I am not that naive to believe that it can't happen.
Back to my neighbor.
Could he be a good guy that just likes my company and likes that our daughters are friends?
OR.......does he want something more and is just treading the water lightly to see how I respond to his subtle moves?
At the end of the day......I truly think it depends on the guy.
And since I don't really know him.....and I don't really know what his intentions are.....I guess then, it doesn't matter what he wants.
It matters what I want.
And what I want is a platonic relationship with my nice neighbor and his kids. If he wants something more......then he's knocking on the wrong door ;)
Tuesday, 14 October 2014
I tried to think of a clever way to start this blog entry........but we don't have time. I have a ton of questions that need answering, so we have to get started right away.
Remember my post about my cute neighbor? The one with the 2 little girls? The one who my other neighbors think is interested in me, but I'm pretty sure he has a girlfriend....remember that guy?? If you don't, then you have to read that entry first.
Please read it quickly though. Remember....we don't have time! (By the way -you should have ALL of my entries memorized but I don't even have time to reprimand you for this. You're lucky.)
Click on: Fuzzy was he?
Ok! You're all caught up now? Good.
So, my cute neighbor came over AGAIN to ask if our girls wanted to have a play date. Seeing as how it was a rainy day and I was running out of crafts to do and movies to watch, I decided that a play date was a good idea. He suggested his place because he just finished his basement.
So within 5 minutes, the kids were running around and the neighbor and I were chatting in his kitchen.
"Do you want to see the finished basement?" he suddenly asked, "I did the whole thing myself."
As we went down the stairs, I noticed a bar off to the side.
"You built a bar down here? That's awesome!" I said while laughing out loud.
"Yup. Every house needs a bar" he winked "Do you want a drink?"
And within minutes, we were drinking gin and 7's and chatting about his work....at the basement bar.
I was secretly hoping to get some more information on his status and his "girlfriend". The one I saw only once or twice in front of his house.
Suddenly....I knew the perfect segue.
"So, why did you finish the basement? Are you planning on moving? Was this place an investment for you?" I noticed that my eyes slightly narrowed, as if I was interrogating the guy. I quickly opened them wider so I wouldn't look so devious (mou hahahhahaha!)
"Nope. Definitely not moving. The girls and I are here to stay. We love it here".
"It IS a great neighborhood. We love it here too. I'm guessing your girlfriend lives close by then?" I took a sip of my drink right after so that the reasoning for my question wouldn't appear so forward.
"No actually. She lives in Halifax."
I had soon learned that she had also gone through a big divorce (surprise, surprise) and she had 3 kids with her ex who also lived in Halifax, and which prevented her from moving.
"So.... you guys just do this long-distance thing?"
"Yup. 3 years now!"
"3 years!?? Wow. Good for you guys. That's actually very impressive."
A short while later, I left his place feeling happy and confident that I finally knew my answer. This man was in a committed relationship and seemed happy. And as for us.....we were just gonna be friends.
But.....over the last few weeks, my neighbor has been somewhat more ...."friendly".
The knocks on my door for play dates has become MUCH more frequent recently, and there is never a missed opportunity to come over and chat when he sees me outside.
If I know someone has a girlfriend, then the proverbial doors for me are closed. Shut. Bolted. Alarmed. But somehow I felt that this neighbor didn't see things the same way.
I mentioned this to my neighbor-couple the other night and the husband burst out laughing.
"Leo! The guy is still after you! No question. Don't you think it's convenient that his girlfriend lives thousands of miles a way and he's not planning on moving?"
His wife immediately jumped in, "He could still like her as a friend! This could be totally innocent."
He looked at his wife and then at me. He had that look on his face when you try to explain something to someone....and they're just not getting it.
"I guarantee you he doesn't want Leo just as a friend. If he wants a friend, he can call up one of his buddies and go watch a football game."
I couldn't help but wonder if he was right?
Was I being super naive about this whole situation? What did my neighbor really want? Were we on two completely different pages?
Is it possible for a man to have a platonic friendship with a woman if he was already in a relationship?
I need some help here people.
What do YOU think??
To be continued.
Tuesday, 7 October 2014
8am this morning
"Yes angel? I'm in Lola's room".
Molly stumbled in with messy hair and squinted eyes.
"Mommy? Tan you tate off my diapew?"
"Of course" I looked at her very rounded bum and laughed. "Wow! It's full!"
"Yeah. I was dweaming and dweaming and peeing awww night long"
"You were dreaming? What did you dream of?"
"I dunno. I cannot wemembah."
I pulled the stickers off Molly's 10 pound diaper and it slammed down to the floor in a giant thud. Molly ran away bare-bummed and happy as can be.
The discussion of dreaming with my 3-year old already had my head spinning. I just LOVED trying to recall my dreams. Especially if they were good ones.
I slept 9 hours last night (great success!), and even though I woke up often to flip and readjust my hands under my pillow, I still managed to have some very long and crazy dreams.
I remembered 2 of them.
The first dream I found myself at a concert watching my new favorite band, Future Islands. I think the lead singer, Samuel Herring, is just amazing, and in my dream, I had managed to score a seat near the front row to get the perfect view of him.
I arrived at the concert alone. I'm not sure why because I've never gone to a concert alone. But for some reason, I was meant to be by myself. I quickly became friends with the woman sitting next to me (of course I did) and we bonded in our love for this amazing band. And as they sang song after amazing song, the lead singer suddenly jumped off the stage and walked straight towards my seat. I remember not being surprised that he did this.
Sam came and sat down beside me and we starting talking........right in the middle of his concert. I felt a little bad that my new girlfriend was missing out on our amazing conversation, so once in awhile, I'd lean over to her and whisper the things that this super cool rock-star was telling me. She was very appreciative of that. What can I say. I'm pretty considerate.
After 20 minutes, he finally just grabbed my hand and we left together.....abandoning the whole concert. The audience was pissed .....and angry.....for the lead singer had chosen me over them.
It was amazing.
My second dream though...... not so amazing.
I had left my rockstar life and was back to my everyday struggles and challenges.
I remember seeing my ex and feeling frustrated with him....and not being able to see eye-to-eye with him on anything. This is actually a recurring dream I often have. And probably a recurring dream most ex's have about each other.
Not only did everything feel gross....but everything looked weird too. We were all dressed in strange clothes, and the homes that we were in were bizarre and open to the outdoors and decorated like it was the 70's. There were also tons of motorcycles parked outside....almost as if we were situated amongst someone's gang hideout.
I wanted nothing more than to escape this weird world.
I guess I finally did when I woke up at 7am.
Or did I??
My good friend Amy is always saying that your dreams are a way of your subconscious telling you how you are really feeling.
Well, if that's the case, then I am feeling like I'm leading 2 completely separate lives. One where I feel happy and care-free and I'm partying like a rock star.
And then there's the other life, where nothing makes sense, and I am frustrated and trapped in a bizarre and strange world.
There was definitely some truth to Amy's theory.
This was EXACTLY how I was feeling lately. The only piece that was missing was my 3rd life....where I was a quiet, stay-at-home Mommy who removed 10 pound diapews from my adorable little 3-year old every morning.
I have not given up hope....hope that things will settle down with my life eventually.......and that all 3 lives will somehow blend into one calm and happy existence.
In my mind that HAS to happen.
It just has to.
I will never stop hoping. And I will always be looking towards a brighter future.
And if that future just happens to have some islands in it........well, then all the better ;)