Saturday, 18 May 2013

I Think it is Time to Start Up Again

Wow, it has been a long time, I have missed you Knackeredmama, you really helped me get through what was the hardest time in my life so far.  Many many times over the last year and a bit, I have wanted to talk, but it has not been my priority.  So, I am going to catch you up.

The boys are good, and beautiful and absolutely crazy and just oh so amazing.  BBJ1 is in junior kindergarten and really likes school.  They are in a different day-care, an in-home one close to the school.  They are at the park every morning with their day-care and love it.  BBJ1 sleeps well once he is asleep.  BBJ2 is a nightmare at bed-time, rarely asleep before 10pm.  They are energy vampires, leaving me exhausted by noon on Saturdays, but they fill my heart.

Work has been a lot, I have travelled a lot, averaging about a week (Sunday - Friday) each month.  The job has been stressful, but at the same time I am doing well and getting on.  My mom has stayed with the boys while I have been away.  It is kind of awesome, they have a pretty good relationship, they are closer than I ever was to my Grandmothers.  My mom is retired and I think spending so much time with 2 crazy little rug-rats is keeping her young.  It is hard though, they miss me tons when I am away, as soon as they know i will be going away they start acting badly.  It takes a week after I get home for them to be normal again.

Life has been a lot.  I feel like my life is a rat-race, there is no time for anything.  I am treading water all the time.  Tonight after I left the boys' room, I sat in my room for a few minutes going through e-mail (woohoo, exciting Saturday night eh?), when I walked out to the kitchen and looked through to the dining room, I almost went back to my room to hide, such a disaster.

The boys' father is not around at all, hasn't seen them for a year now.  While it angers me to no end that he isn't there for them, it also really makes things easier for me.

I have a new friend in my life, for about a year now.  The new friend makes me feel good, is very supportive, and is very good with my boys.  It turns out I am alive, and happy.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

PEE!! It's Everywhere It's Everywhere

I hate potty/toilet training!  I hate pee, or worse poop being anywhere except in the toilet or in a diaper.  I have been unbelievably horrified and traumatized over the last couple of years by this process, and am so scared of it all happening again with BBJ2.  However, some of the stories are a teeny bit funny, even to me.

When BBJ1 was a baby I read every book about babies from the local library, one of them was about how you don't need to wait until they 'are ready' to toilet train, that in fact you can toilet train a 6 month old.  So I tried when he was about 8 months old, not a success but not a disaster.  He seemed almost ready just before turning 2, but BBJ2 was coming and I didn't bother because I kept reading that most children that age will revert after a sibling is born, so what was the point?  There was a week shortly after BBJ2 was born when he started using the potty, it was the week that his Nanny was here to help.  As soon as she was gone, he stopped. His usage of the potty was very on again/off again between then and returning to daycare.  Within 3 weeks of being back in daycare surrounded by other children his age who used the toilet, he was in underwear & making it through the day without an accident about 80% of the time - while at daycare.  He is doing really well with the toilet now, goes on his own, and taught himself to pee standing up. Here are just a few of his stories:

"Mom, I just peed on my totally awesome bed", this was said to me a couple of nights ago, within 2 minutes of him getting out of the bath, while I was getting BBJ2 into his pajamas.  BBJ1 received a full bed-set for Christmas to go with his 'big boy bed' that he got earlier this year.  It included a nice soft mattress pad, 2 new pillows, Buzz Light-year & Woody sheets and pillow-cases, a nice blue comforter and a Buzz/Woody soft blanket.  BBJ1 has actually wanted to sleep in his bed (instead of with Mommy) since the addition of his new bedding.  So he peed on it, yay, so much fun to now have to strip & re-make the bed while it is already bed-time.  While I was stripping the bed and putting on clean sheets, he took the pillows & soft blanket (safe from the pee) and all of his stuffed animals and put them in BB2's crib to give him a 'funk bed' (I don't know what he was meaning, sounds like bunk bed but doesn't really make sense).  I left the room to go do something and came back to BBJ1 standing in BBJ2's crib with his penis in his hand, peeing over the crib rail onto the rug.  Yes, it was a good night!

Cleaning the Toilet
BBJ2 loves brooms and sweeping, so someone gave him a cute little toy house cleaning set for Christmas, broom, mop, etc.  One day over the holidays, the boys were sitting quietly on the couch watching a movie, so I went to the kitchen and was doing dishes.  I thought I heard some strange noises, but just wrote it off to the movie or neighbors.  After about a minute, I thought "no, that is coming from the bathroom", I turned the water off, "Uh Oh".  I went to the washroom, one has the toy broom, the other has the toy mop and they are 'cleaning' the toilet, and laughing their buts off.  There is yellow water flying everywhere.  BBJ1 had his pants & pull-ups around his ankles.   The two of them were screaming at me when I took the toys away to be sanitized and when I washed their hands & faces, "Mooommmm we are cleaning!!!".   Not sure if this one is a story about successful toilet training, the disgustingness of little boys, or how sweet my boys are to help clean up.  We did have lots of chats about flushing after this.

Seriously, If I had known about this I would not have had children:
One day BBJ1 is doing a naked day.  I am sitting on the couch nursing BBJ2 hopefully to sleep.  BBJ1 goes into my bedroom, I think that he is going to look out the window.  Some time goes by.  BBJ1 walks from my bedroom into the bathroom, he is carrying something in his hand, a baby hat that he had been wearing for fun earlier.  I hear a splash, then the water in the sink is turned on and off, then he leaves the bathroom.  "Umm, what did you just do? Did you put something in the toilet?" "Yes, my poop" "Really"  "Yes"  At this point BBJ2 was asleep and I managed to transfer him into his crib without waking him (a miracle), and I went to investigate.  There was poop in the toilet, the hat (with poop smears on the inside) was in the sink and wet.  Then I think "wait a minute where did he go poop, did he hold the hat under his bum? I doubt it.  He was in my room. OH NO".  "BBJ1, where did you go poop?" "In your room" "OK, but where, show me"  He points to my bed, with the mostly white duvet cover.  In my head "NOOOOOO".  I'm looking but I don't see anything, I move closer and he yells at me to stop.  I was about to step on the poop, but was saved.  So, he pooped on my bedroom floor, scooped the poop up in a hat, carried it into the washroom, dumped the poop in the toilet and then 'washed' the hat out.  So, not a toilet training success story, but a good cleaning up story.

I'm just crossing my fingers that BBJ2 will follow a different path.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Putting Grandma's New Year's Superstition to the Test

My maternal Grandmother was a superstitious, sometimes mean, sometimes sweet, controlling, manipulative hypochondriac, so a bit of a whack-job.  I do non envy my Mother and Aunt's childhood.  Grandma had a lot of superstitions, and a lot of them were pretty common; 'don't open an umbrella inside', 'don't walk under a ladder', 'a black cat crossing in front of you is bad luck', etc.  I don't think that all of them were common, she believed dreams came true, she believed in omens, she thought it was bad luck to put shoes on a table. Even knowing that Grandma was a bit of a nut case, and growing up believing in science and evidence, I still have found myself following her superstitions.

There are a lot of different superstitions and rituals surrounding the New Year.  One of my favourites is one that a friend grew up with, at mid-night she would open the front door to let the New Year in and open the back door to let the Old Year out.  Grandma's belief was that anything left undone as of New Year would stay undone for the year.

For many year's of my life I have tried to get everything done for New Year's; clean the home, do all the laundry, mending, cleaning out closets, repairs, etc.  This year that did not happen.  I was home with both the boys for the week prior to New Year's.  BBJ2 was sick which meant a baby stuck to me and a 3 year old running wild.  The weather was yucky, rainy, snowy, windy, and cold so we didn't venture out much.  The boys did not want to sleep by themselves, especially BBJ2 who went 4 days straight only sleeping if he was attached to me.

I have decided to look at the lack of getting stuff done as an experiment instead of a failure.  I'm going to see if the superstition comes true or not.  Here are the things that I would have wanted done prior to mid-night New Year's:
- take down & put away the Christmas tree and decorations
- clean the apartment, including washing the floors
- paint the boys' bedroom
- clean out the storage locker - specifically rearrange so that the sleds are in easy reach
- fix the toy problem (there are more toys than fit on the toy shelves and they are taking over)
- put up new pictures of us and our loved ones (very quickly after the boys' father left I took down all the pictures with him in them, but there are holes in the picture wall that have not been filled, plus there isn't one picture of BBJ2 hanging up)
- mending and altering of clothes
- find the missing pillow case that matches my duvet cover
- print pictures of the boys and put together a photo album for them
- get my hair cut & a pedicure

That is it, I think, probably should be a longer list, but that seems like enough.  Next New Year's I plan on checking back to this list to see if the superstition holds true or not.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

An Old Year

When people have a bad year they often say something like "good riddance" at New Year's.  I had a really bad year, but I wouldn't wish away the year if I could.  (I would wish away some of what happened this past year, but that is a different story.) Yes, bad things happened, but amazing things happened too.

I became a single mom, against my will, against everything I wanted for me and for my boys.  It totally sucked and there were many many times I didn't think I could do it.  I also became a good single mom, it took some work, it took a crap-load of energy and it took a lot of intelligence and insight.  I'm not where I want to be yet, but my boys are pretty happy, they are healthy, they are intelligent, and they are loved.  I had to change things about myself to do it, I had to accept help, I had to be more selfless, and I had to be more selfish.

The boys did some amazing things this year and I got to see all of it.  BBJ2 took his first steps, learned to walk, learned to climb, said his first word, has hundreds of words and many phrases now, and he said "I love you mommy".  BBJ1 is toilet trained (mostly), and taught himself to pee standing up.  It hasn't been an easy year for the boys, mostly for BBJ1.  He had a really hard time when Daddy moved out, but he seemed to be adjusting, he had a hard time when Daddy visits became erratic, and even harder when Daddy visits stopped, but he seems to be adjusting again.  We (BBJ1 and I, with a lot of advice from my Therapist) have been working on dealing with his anger and temper and it does seem to be helping, tantrums and violence are much less frequent than before.  Overall though he is an amazing little guy, sweet and loving, intelligent, sensitive, creative and imaginative, and most of the time happy (and he has the most beautiful skin ever - I am so envious).   BBJ2 has gone from being a baby to a little person with his own personality and quirks.  He went from a quiet little guy to a chatterbox and recently developed the need to shriek NO at me numerous times a day, but he also says "Hi Mom" to me about 20 times a day and each time it is so sweet.  One of the coolest things is that they went from being my 2 sons, to being brothers, they fight, they are possessive, they are sweet, and they care about each other.

It was a hard year, I spent the first half of the year home alone with the boys and the second half of the year back at work trying to balance everything.  I became totally broke trying to cover rent, daycare, bills, food, and diapers by myself.  I have managed to get myself to a place where I am ok but still broke.  The only people I was able to buy Christmas presents for were the boys, and it was one gift from me, one gift from Santa, and their stockings and that was all.  An amazing thing happened though, people helped, a lot of the help came from my father, but there were lots of other people who don't have much to give, but gave me a little something.  A couple of family members are paying me back money I lent them years ago and never expected to see again.  My step-mom sent diapers when my Dad came to visit.  My brothers helped with some heavy lifting, van providing, and moving of furniture.  My girlfriends gave me some cash. A couple of the women I work with gave me Christmas presents, for me, which is not the norm at my office.  I have often given/lent people money in the past when I had it to give and had always 'written it off', I thought of it as a gift not a loan.  Well, those 'gifts' have been paid back, not always by the person who I gifted, but it came back when I needed it the most.  I'm now living on a pretty tight budget that doesn't leave room for an emergency or anything fun, and it is not easy for me, but it will get better and I don't think that I will ever hit a time when the cable, internet, cell phone, and home phone all get cut off in the same week again.

Going back to work was both tough and a really good thing.  Work gave me a place to use my mind, and a place to be away from memories, and a place to be a social grown-up.  Work also gave me back travel.  I love to travel but haven't for the last bunch of years.  This year I've been to England 3 times, Montreal, the Northeast US, and to Paris.  It was really tough doing the travel, for both me and the boys. They were not o.k. with mom going away, and I don't blame them.  I felt guilty, guilty for leaving them knowing that they were not o.k. with it, I felt guilty for having my mom take care of them (she isn't a spring-chicken), I felt guilty for wanting to be away.  But it has been o.k.  The boys seem to be better with my last trip.  My mom is totally good for continuing to do this, she enjoys the time with the boys, who are better behaved, better eaters, and better sleepers for Grandma than they are for mom.  My trips have been up and down, but the last one was to Paris and I had an amazing time, it was exhausting, long meetings (including conference calls with people in N.A. after the day had finished over there), but I was in Paris, had great food, great wine, and some nice company.

I think though, that the most important thing that happened this past year, is that I remembered that I am valuable, that I am worth a lot.  I had lost sight of that, partly the marriage and partly the children, but the break-up really squashed my sense of worth.  It took a long time to really remember and see how great I am.  I'm not perfect, I have many flaws, but at the same time I have many positive attributes.  People would tell me these things and many of them I could agree with intellectually but not emotionally.  There are so many people in my life who love me and think that I am pretty great, and now I agree with them.

So, a very tough year, but a year filled with amazing stuff and good learnings.  I hope that the next year brings more good than bad.  I hope that when the bad happens I am able to remember what I learned this year.  I am strong and I am a mother, I will survive because I have to, I have two very precious little guys who need me.  But, I won't just survive,  because I choose to live my life my way.  I won't wallow in my pain and chalk it up to fate or punishment, pain is a lesson (so far honestly I haven't figured out my lesson) and without it, joy wouldn't be so joyful.  I choose to be me and I choose to see the goodness in the world, I choose to see the unbelievable beauty we are surrounded with, I choose to try to be a good person, a good sister, a good daughter, and a good mother, I choose to smile, I choose to laugh, I choose to breath, I choose to melt when I have a boy sitting on each side of me and they both lean into me, and I choose to be happy.

As an addendum, my year by the numbers:
0 - # of times I won the lottery
1 - # of nights that I had more than 8 hours straight sleep (on business trip)
1 - # of my duvets I had to throw out due to disgusting illness of my children
2 - # of chest x-rays BBJ2 had
2 - # of hair-cuts BBJ1 and I have had
4 - # of litres of milk the boys go through in a week-end
5 - # of times I had to clean out the fridge because BBJ2 got in there and spilt stuff
6 - # of nights that I had 7-8 hours of straight sleep (on business trip)
9 - # of times I had to have blood tests
13 - # of times I swept the floor yesterday
14 - # of times BBJ2 has vomited on me
47 - # of times we have watched "Land of the Lost" (BBJ2 is obsessed with "Dr. Rick Marshall" -  I must say that Will Ferrell's comic genius means that even after 40 viewings, I still laugh at the scene where he douses himself with and drinks dinosaur urine)
63 - # of times I have cleaned pee off of the floor (an approximation)
85 - # of times BBJ2 got excited by Christmas lights (this is an approximation, actual number may be a bit lower)
210 - # of loads of laundry (# accurate to 91%)
758 - # of times I have audibly sighed
897 - # of km I put on the stroller (this is an approximation, actual # probably higher)

Monday, 24 October 2011

7 Years Ago

Seven years (and one minute) ago today I was a Strong, Highly-Intelligent, Confident, Kind/Caring/Loving, Financially Stable, Fun-Loving, Independent, Ambitious and Proud, Optimistic/Hopeful/Positive Woman.  I was a bit guarded, scared of being hurt, but at the same time open to the possibilities that life would give me.  I went out lots, dancing, drinking, laughing, and having fun.  I was free, I came and went as I wanted, the only obligation I had was a fat diabetic cat.

Today, I am broken. I feel like I am an alien compared to that woman who 7 years ago today went out with a friend & that friend's work friends, hoping to have a good time, not knowing that my life would be completely and utterly changed after that night.

I know that I am still emotionally strong, if I wasn't I wouldn't have been able to make it through the last 10 months. I don't always feel strong.  There are days where it takes all my strength just to make it through the day, but I keep going.  I feel like I should be fighting harder for my boys, but don't know how. Physical strength - that is gone, I used to bench more than my weight but due to my illness, I have lost a lot of physical strength, and it is worrisome how quickly I become tired carrying the 2 boys in my arms.  Still I am lucky, I am sure that my Doctor will get things worked out, and even though I am weaker than I was, I am still able to push that double stroller of boys over 3 km/day, still able to play with the boys, still able to do 4 loads of laundry a week, still able to get things done.

Monday, 30 May 2011

One Week Left

I am back in the office in a week.  So not ready.  BBJ1 starts his daycare transition today, so I have one week to do everything that is impossible to do with them, and one week to get my fucked up head in place, not feeling confident about the outcome.

There is a bunch of home stuff that I plan on doing, and even more that I would like to do, but won't/can't.  I'm planning on doing a thorough cleaning, cleaning the oven (hasn't been done in years), pulling out the fridge and cleaning under it, that type of stuff.  Plan on installing a blind in the boys room.  Need to sort through their clothes and move stuff to storage.  I had been planning on painting the boys room this week, but that won't happen because there is still some extra furniture in there that I can't paint around.

I need to pull together some sort of wardrobe for work, none of my work clothes are even close to fitting me.  I had expected that once I started my thyroid meds that I would gain back some weight but that hasn't happened.  Might end up doing some sewing to try and put some stuff together.

I need to put some space in my head to fill with work, but I don't know if I can.  This last week has been really tough in so many ways, with the boys, with money, but the worst is that I have been dwelling in anger, and sadness.  In some ways being on mat leave when my marriage crumbled was the worst timing (money & being alone with the boys 24/7), but at the same time if one day at 2pm I lost it, I could just sit on the floor in the kitchen and cry (I tried to limit this as I know it isn't great for the boys), but it is not ok to do that at work.

I'm hoping that I get lots done, but mostly hoping that the boys have a good week.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

There are Attractive Men in the World Again

Ok, so I am sure that there has always been attractive men in the world, I'm just noticing again.

While exHusband & I were together, I didn't feel attraction to other men.  I would see an attractive man and think that they were good-looking or had a nice build, but I wouldn't feel that pull, that HMMMM that you get when you're attracted to someone.

For the first while after he left, I didn't notice any different.   That has changed.  There has been a few lately, sharing an elevator with the cu-tie after my therapy session, on the subway the other day, at the hospital yesterday, and at the park today.  All good-looking, and all a bit of a hmmm.

At one point I was convinced that I would never find anyone who I was attracted to as much as my exHusband - felt a little screwed about it.  The attraction I felt to these guys was not the same as that to exHusband, but it's a start.

Feels good, kind of like coming out of the fog, like my systems are running again, like maybe I'm healing a bit.