Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The iPod

I've been quieter these days because between work and home, things are a bit hectic. And yes, I did say work. I'm doing a couple of contracts in technical writing.

I've rediscovered my iPod. It used to be just for running, but running hasn't been happening for months (I did run last week and felt like I could solve all the world's problems afterward). Over the weekend I used the music to calm my little beast. Xander was overstimulated, so the music centered him. Fun!

Today I am working and listening to it. The work goes a little smoother this way, but the funny part is that with each new song I am transported to a different me. I am suddenly in university and then back to high school summers, laying in the late evening on the grass...counting stars and laughing with my girlfriends. Sometimes I am still 10 and living in Europe with my family. It all flashes with a song. The songs are long enough for me to see her, remember her vividly, and almost touch her. I remember being her. She is still in me.

I'd forgotten that part.

So I am gathering flashes of me in this tiny cubicle as I write.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Those Stolen Moments

Sometimes the best moments with your children are the stolen ones. The unexpected. And the rare. I love those moments. As a mother, they keep me going.

Last night we had one of them with Xander. He woke up around 11 pm, climbed into bed with us and told us he had had a bad dream. Snuggled down and was asleep for about 5 minutes or so. Suddenly, we woke right up and complained about being hungry.

Yesterday I had an IBS attack. All. Day. Long. It hurts and I don't feel like eating much. By evening things were calming down and the two mini-meals I had had all day were long gone. I was hungry too.

Xander choose to continue to snuggle with me and we sent Daddy down for snacks. I ended up with a half of a small sub that was a leftover (fine by me!) and Xander got cookies and milk. The three of us had a little picnic on the bed. Xander snuggled down for a moment after and started complaining about crumbs.

Nice, they are in my bed, not his. But I can't blame him much, because I feel the same way about crumbs in my bed. Ray brushed them off.

A few more moments passed and we sent him back to his own bed. Snack and cuddles were over.

About 2 minutes after he is all settled, we hear from the other room, "Great, now there's crumbs in MY bed too." in a grumbling voice.

Ray and I laughed that open-mouthed-almost-no-sound laugh from our own bed. It was just one of those moments.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Fenced Yard

It's a good thing that our yard is fenced and locked. Xander was never a child to go off and play by himself. To this day, he will be somewhere close by. If he is quiet, he's having screen time. But mostly he is underfoot.

Liam is another creature. I heard the back screen door creak open yesterday, only to find he'd decided to play in the backyard. Oiee. We got his sandals, sunscreen, hat, and bug spray on and let him go. With the window open and very frequent checks on him.

He had a blast and was in and out about three times.

How interesting that this is the same child who was the baby who cried all the time and was stuck to me. And now we have a little boy who plays by himself joyfully.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Little Bit for Me

I've been pondering things lately. Work and life in general. The state of my body...sometimes the state of my brain.

In short, I am feeling like it is finally time for me these days.

I feel like working. I am tired of earning very little money. I was ranting about this the other day to a few friends. I love my kids, but I am kind of over being 90% SAHM and struggling to chip away enough time for even 10% for me and work. It's not balanced and my brain is rotting away, bit by bit. I worked hard for that brain, so it is not unreasonable to think about how it is doing these days.

Funny enough, I just had a pile of work land on my lap between now and the beginning of September, which will put some of that urge off.

Then there is the whole desire to do things for myself. I have had the reoccurring thought that I too deserve this. My body deserves the time and energy for me to work out: running, walking, swimming. Things I rarely do, because it means balancing the kids and Ray and all the 900 things on my list of things that need doing. But the voice whispers at me loudly: "You do deserve this." And I am checking out gym options that include childcare. Options that mean I can put a little bit into myself.

Like everything else, I am a work in progress too. In the middle of diapers and nursing and teaching your toddler to swim or swing or potty train, sometimes we mothers forget that part. I remember to get new clothes for my kids, because they outgrow them at regular intervals. I remember to feed them and everyone around us. I remember to clean the house and do the laundry (okay, most of the time). But sometimes I forget about me.

That little voice is no longer allowing me to forget about me though.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed some more

A few years ago we put a stain on our deck. It's a Behr Premium stain and guaranteed for 6 years on horizontal surfaces and 8 on vertical (or something like that). Let's say that no one was impressed when it began peeling after 6 months.

Yes, you read that right: 6 months.

The next summer we had an infant Liam. The following summer was still nutty. And this year I have finally tackled the deck. Let's say that I miscalculated how long the job would take. After days of scrubbing with the chemical remover, plus several chemical burns to my legs and knees and chin (splatter sucks), I decided a hazmat suit would be required if I ever did that again and rented a power washer. The power washer helped, but I still had hours of scrubbing to do. I got it to a point where I could live with the results and we went forward. Ray has replaced a few boards and removed a railing that the previous owners of our property put in the middle of the deck. I like that a LOT. And we've sanded everything down and then used the neutralizer chemical.

It was a long, long time. I'd do pictures, but we're having one of those wild weather days where it can't decide what it is doing out there.

I've also managed to clean the oven and stovetop. And I sold a dresser we were no longer using. Not bad for a lazy Sunday.

All in all, I am just glad that the deck job is done and our yard will return to normal shortly. The kids have missed it and I have too.

Thursday, August 05, 2010


I've been in the mood to get rid of things. Mostly by donating, giving to friends and selling things. So far, I have put a small dresser and a kid's activity table up on Kijiji. I've also given a few things, including a baby swing, away.

And I like the feeling. LOTS!

In fact, I am contemplating selling all of my baby gear now. I have an Ergo carrier and a Medela breast pump that may go next.

Ah...the great purge of 2010. ;)

Anyone else in the mood for a purge?

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Where oh where did July go?

It seems like school ended yesterday. But in the heat and family vacation and ice cream haze, time really has passed. It's already August.

We've been to New Brunswick and PEI and back. We've had one round of swimming lessons (and Xander passed!) and are doing soccer camp. Ray and I have been busy around the house and outside: the deck is being stripped and fixed, the fireplace has its screen, and we have new shelves and bins for the toys. (I still want to know how we can work that much around here and still have a massive mess, but that's another blog post, I am sure.)

I struggle to work and to balance life with my family. I also wonder if this is the time to go back to a regular job; I suspect this might be a yearly summer time pondering.

And time passes.

We're good. I've not felt like writing a whole lot, so I have been fairly quiet in my online world. But we are motoring along and generally enjoying ourselves.