Thursday, April 19, 2012

Blogging from my iPhone

Once again I'm on Vacation. I'm fortunate enough to travel all the time but let me tell ya I'm just about done hauling all this kid crap around. I actually forgot the kid's carseats this trip, have battled with a SUPER jerk on the airplane, brought the kids to a tonne of attractions and activities but all deserve more of a tale than my fingers will allow on my iPhone. In fact they're going numb as I type so I'll now sign off. I just wanted to prove I'm a little more committed to this as opposed to my previous attempts!! Ciao until next week!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Leporiphobia must be a genetic childhood ailment.

Oh Google. I just knew that if I looked up the technical name for the fear of rabbits that I would, at the press of the enter key, get the desired result. I also discovered that acerophobia is the fear of sourness, globophobia is the fear of balloons, vuteuthindion is the fear of picnics and there are even a whole slew of names for fear different cultures like the French, the English, people from Singapore and the Walloon people (had to “Google” that one too and to save you the time Wikipedia states “Walloons are a French-speaking people who live in Belgium, principally in Wallonia“). Anyway not here nor there I have discovered that both my daughter and I share a childhood version of a fear of the Easter Bunny.

The first Easter I can remember (my mom said I was around 4 years old) lying in bed the night before envisioning this giant, adult human sized rabbit hiding eggs for me. By the morning I reeeeally wanted to partake in the search for treats but there was NO WAY I was going out there on my own in case he hadn‘t left. Rabbits were my favourite animal but I knew they had big sharp teeth and I’d was pretty sure I didn’t want to see one that big. My mom said her and dad tried everything but were unsuccessful in their attempt to get me to go out to the livingroom by myself (I think they just wanted to sleep in for a bit).

Flash forward to yesterday and my girlfriend decided to take my daughter to the mall to do some shopping. There was a display out at the mall in celebration of the Easter Holiday. The first time they walked by there were just decorations and Easter paraphernalia arranged for the kids to look at. The second time they walked by they had someone dressed in an Easter Bunny suit so the kids could go meet him and take their picture with him. Apparently once the Bunny waved at my daughter she was not impressed. Since then I’ve lost count in the number of times we’ve discussed that the Easter Bunny does not in fact EAT children but just leaves chocolates and candies for them to find.

We did however have a very successful egg hunt this year. The same friend who took my daughter to the mall has two boys and has been apparently doing egg hunts for several years in a park near her house. She invited a bunch of us to dinner and designated a couple of us to be responsible for stuffing plastic eggs with treats that we can use to hide. It was really fun. The kids thought it was amazing and I think secretly us parents get to live vicariously through them and re-live a bit of our own past. It was a really great group of kids and I’m truly going to miss this family we’ve created when we leave here in a couple months.

It’s really endearing right now to be able to relate to my kids on this kind of level. I know that these are the good moments and that these kind of events are where the stories come from. I’m not looking forward to the day that I won’t be able to get involved and our issues become older and bigger. One can say I suffer from a bit of Ephebiphobia. I’ll let you look that one up!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Trip down memory lane

I just went through and read all 10 entries of my previous attempts at blogging. I've come to the realization that I'm heading down the path I've been asking for the past couple years.

I'm in a much better frame of mind when it comes to parenting. That unnecessary guilty consciousness of not being the best parent in the world is no longer taking up a vast amount of space in my brain. I no longer have to squish all belongings into every nook and cranny of my vehicle when going on road trips because we invested in a definite “Mommy Wagon” (Dodge Caravan minivan). Then there’s my wish of moving close to my parents which is drawing nearer and nearer. In fact the hubby and I purchased an amazing lake front house in January but our move in day isn‘t until July 1st. I seriously cannot stop fantasizing about spending our mornings drinking hot beverages on the deck, our afternoons swimming with the kiddies and soaking up the sun, hanging out with my parents and the evenings relaxing in the hot tub possibly drinking something with a little more zip than tea.
I noticed in a previous blog that I was already planning for this move and began purging the house from all of our so called “unnecessary baggage“. Although this task was already done once in the not too distant past I just finished doing the exact same thing over again. It’s funny how your priority list changes from when it’s just the notion of moving as opposed to the OMG we’re ACTUALLY moving in about two months.

During this recent purge of accumulated junk I happened to go through a tote I have labelled “Sam’s Memories.” In this box I have several different types of bits of nostalgia that I haven’t been willing to part with. There are things in this box such as my baby blankets, my journals that I kept every day of every year of my adolescence and really bad poetry I wrote as a teenager. While going through some of these memories I realized how fast life really does fly by. After going through my own memories I’ve tackled two more recently labelled totes of my kids memories. My children are still considered babies in the grand scheme of a human life but it’s amazing how much has changed in just a couple short years.

I pulled out items like the first outfit each of them came home in, pictures, the mini cast my daughter wore when she broke her first bone, baby books (mostly filled out…wow I’m glad I did that). It helps to look through this stuff every once and awhile because I think it reminds you to really cherish this time you have. Soon it will be my kids going through their old belongings deciding what they want to take with them when the move from place to place.

It’s weird to think that they are going to have no memories of living in British Columbia at a young age. They’re going to grow up feeling as if they are Nova Scotians. It’s funny how you can’t predict where life is going to bring you, nor can you change your past and history. But that’s where we spend most of our time in our heads as humans, in your memories and dreaming of the future. For now my goal is to enjoy today. Today is the day I am really living in and this is the stage my kids are at. While it’s good to take a peek down memory lane to remind you of your lessons learned and it’s never a bad thing to have dreams and goals, it’s more important to love the moment you’re in because it’s truly the only one that exists!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Potty Training Blues

I've always heard toilet training is one of the hardest skills to teach your children. Even people with very gifted children can have problems. I have what I believe to be the near insurmountable challenge of training my daughter.

I try to not get sucked into the “normal age" idea that people have of when your children should be reaching such and such milestones but I’m starting to feel the pressure of this one. Not because I think that she’s not developing properly but because I am tired of changing shitty diapers. It’s bad enough that I have had to change two small children roughly 5-6 times a day for the past couple years but also for the past decade my job has required me to keep people’s bums clean. If there was some sort of tally system or tracking record in the proverbial place in the sky putting a tick on the board every time I changed a bum that somehow brings me closer to Nirvana I believe my reincarnation days are over.

Even though my daughter is smart, beautiful and a truly unique individual she has unfortunately inherited her father’s stubbornness and procrastination skills. We have used every trick in the books to try to motivate, encourage and coerce her into this next stage of her life but she is digging her heels in like a mule and refusing to budge. There are days when she seems really close and uses the potty every time so we think we’re just about there and then the next day she will be playing and just up and disappear. She’s a hider. Loves to hide in a corner to do her business. We at first thought this was really funny and it’s sometimes a good indicator when you can catch her but at this point I’m not really laughing about it anymore.

Another annoying aspect of potty training is how the kid has learned to use it to her advantage. It is the perfect tool for kids to use to try and get out of doing whatever it is they do not want to do.  When we are having a meal my daughter is not too fussy on. “I have to use the potty.” “Do you…really?” Then there is the times when she's just been put to bed, she's already used the potty, had a bath, a drink, has her favourite toy and it’s “I need to pee on the potty mom.” “You’ve already gone!” “I have to pee on the potty, PLEASE mom!” Sigh.

I’ve also found that using the potty is now a source of entertainment for her. We’ve made the mistake of stocking the bathroom with really cool toys and books to amuse her while she sits and waits to do her business. More often than not the bathroom has become so exciting that I catch her in there reading her books on the floor and her brother is busy sticking his hands in the toilet and scrubbing the walls with the toilet brush. Not to mention the various places in town she has decided it’s fun to go to the bathroom in while we’re out trying to shop or partake in other activities. She for some reason loves the bathroom at the grocery store. It’s a super pain in the arse to take her into that bathroom because it is on the very last aisle when our shopping is just about complete. I have to leave the cart in the hall, fish my purse out from under all the groceries I’ve piled on top of it, yank the baby out of the carriage part and usually by this point my patience level is completely depleted and I just want to get the hell out of there. To make matters worse she NEVER actually goes to the bathroom there, it’s just fun for the little bugger.

Did you know there is an app for that? I actually have three Potty Training applications on my iPhone. There is a potty that calls the kid to remind them of when to go, there are games on the app and even videos for the kids to watch. I have used sticker charts, bribing techniques with presents and treats, learned every potty song and dance they have made, bought her a special potty of her own (which she refuses to sit on), I’ve even tried reverse psychology by trying to tell her she isn’t allowed to use the potty anymore.

To my greatest annoyance my 18 month son came up to me yesterday and said “Poop mommy.” I out of sheer curiosity took him to the toilet and sat him down on the potty. He released a bunch of gas and said “All done“. He didn’t quite use the toilet but I can tell he understands. If he is potty trained before she is I’m totally saving it as another fun story I get to spill when she starts to bring marriage prospects home, now how’s that for pay back?  For now I'm just going to keep at it.  Maybe one day I won't have to change bums anymore, but it's not today.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Life as a mother

So it's been a few months short of a year since I've wrote in my blog. I apologise to my four followers. Yes, me included. I think it's so easy to put things like this on the back burner when you are the mom of two very young babies.

Bringing us all up to date will surely be a good place to start. I left off with my son around the 9 month old mark and my daughter just over 2 years old. They are now 1.5 and just 3 respectively. Looking back on the past several months it's actually not a surprise that I didn't write. Ok this is not true. I wrote quite a few drafts half worked on but never posted. I may go through them and see if there was anything interesting to re-visit but alas those mangled thoughts haven't been added to Cyber Space.

I also have the excuse of several added stressors on top of general parenthood that may have something do to with my lack of time to write. There has been a fun but also very trying trip to Europe with the kiddies in tow, a sale of one of our properties, a purchase of a new property 6000 something kilometres away, extensive house renovations in our current home so we can afford the upcoming move which is going to literally bring us across the country. The hubby also took a new job working in the US of A and is gone for a month at a time with 2 weeks in between to come home. Needless to say all busy times of life for the average family and more challenging with two mini daredevils in tow.

There also has been a very recent shift in the way I’m looking at parenthood and in fact my own life since the last blog.  When reading the last entry I can hear the stress in my tone and the internal mental struggle I was denying that I was having. There are still elements of that struggle that sometimes emerge daily but it’s no longer a so called “elephant in the room.”

Several months ago my very good friend and I were talking about how it felt to be a child. The freedom and lack of stress, the enjoyment and wonderment of life, the pureness. We both said that we would be ecstatic if we could feel like that again. What I recently realized that through my own children and watching them grow and learn and go through those feelings of wonderment you can bring yourself back to those feelings if you just go with it. You do what you can to the best of your abilities and let go of the guilt of trying to be the perfect parent. You can not protect your children from stress and the struggle of the world but you can try to make it a better place by being there along side them for the ride and try to guide them through the tough times.

The life of a mother is not normally a relaxed place, it’s not a stress free place, it’s definitely NOT a quiet place, but it’s a good place. It’s a place that one should honour by enjoying it to the fullest and being there in the moment as often as possible.