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.

Dad + Help = pissed off me

Today my father offered (or insisted I'm not sure) me some monetary assistance and the whole thing just pissed me off, trying to work through why.

Right now, I'm really tight for money.  I have June's rent in the bank, but that is it.  BBJ2's daycare is payed until the end of May, BBJ1's is not paid and I need to put a deposit & his first week down a week tomorrow.  There should be some money coming in, but I can't count on anything until the 15th of June.

This morning I was chatting with my step-mom and we were talking about the toughness of being alone without having geographically close support for helping with day-care drop-off/pick-up or when one of the boys are sick, etc.  I mentioned that I was probably going to try to find someone in the building who could do mornings with the boys.  My idea is that when I leave in the morning, I could drop them off (or the care-giver could come here), and the care-giver would give them breakfast, get them dressed and take them to day-care.  When I was talking about it I said that I was going to wait until I was back at work and had a couple of pay-checks in.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Does Every Parent Panic?

Do you panic when your child is sick?  I don't panic over colds, or mild fevers, but I did panic last night.

Close to bed-time, BBJ2 was nursing himself to sleep when he started crying then pulling off and then nursing again.  After a few times, I switched sides thinking that might be the problem, although he normally just bites me when he wants to switch.  When I switched him, I noticed a red mark on his cheek, but just thought it was from the pressure against my arm.  Then he pulled off and cried again and I noticed his entire cheek on the other side was red.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

I Miss My Grandma

I have been thinking about my PGrandma (paternal grandmother) a lot lately, and wishing that I could talk to her.  She died when I was in 2nd grade (I think), so I didn't really get to know her.  I know that I loved her and she loved me.  Her death was the first time I questioned God.  I was angry that she was gone, and who else was there to blame?

She was a great grandma, she taught my brother and I to play softball, she let us make tents out of her old Hudson Bay blankets (Dad wasn't allowed to play with them when he was a boy), she hugged us, she gave me tea in proper china teacups and she tried to teach me manners and etiquette.

Friday, 13 May 2011

My Breasts are Magic

Like pretty much every woman I know, I have had a very up and down relationship with my breasts.  Currently I think they are amazing and can do magical things.

I remember when I was young wanting to have breasts.  My friend and I used to do the "I must, I must, I must increase my bust" exercises, to no avail.  When we started 6th grade, one of the girls had grown a pair, a substantial pair, over the summer and I was jealous as was pretty much every girl in our class.  (Years later, there was a rumour that she was stuffing, I have no idea if this was true or not, but when I heard it I felt a little satisfied)

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Mother's Day is Everyday

My interpretation of Mother's Day is that it is a day designated for people to show appreciation to the people who have mothered them.  Mother's do so much for their children everyday, often putting aside their own needs and wants.  For a long time the children are too young to give formal appreciation and don't understand that their mother needs or wants to be appreciated.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

We Started Daycare This Week

I have about a month until my maternity leave is over and I go back to work, so we started BBJ2's transition to daycare this week.

After much debate on nanny vs daycare centre vs at-home daycare, the boys will be attending a daycare centre (the same one that BBJ1 attended prior to BBJ2's birth), while I am at work.  The daycare is wonderful and I know that both the boys will be happy there, will make friends, learn to socialize, and will learn so much.  It will add about an hour to both ends of my commute, and it will be tough getting all 3 of us fed and ready and out the door, and it is not cheap, but I feel it is the best thing for my boys and therefore will hopefully tough it out.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

I Am Back

I really haven't resolved anything except that blogging helps me, and I need it, so I am going to be writing again, and sharing my life.

When I write I will try to not be mean in my intent,  and therefore hopefully not in impact.

I don't promise that everyone reading my words will feel good about them, and maybe that is a good thing.

Friday, 15 April 2011

I am taking a Hiatus

I am going to stop posting for a while, I don't know how long, could be a week, could be a month, I'll have to see how things go.

I have been writing about my life, how I feel, and what happens to me.  It has been an outlet for all the stuff scrunched up inside me.  I didn't write to someone or for someone, and I was not trying to influence anyone.  However, my words have hurt someone and for that I apologize.  It was not my intention, but that was the impact of my words.

So, I am taking some time away to figure this out.

My Poor Sweet Boy

I feel so sad for my boys, that they don't have their Dad, who they love and want so much, with them.

BBJ2 seems to be o.k., he is only 10 months old and in just less than 4 months he will have spent half his life with Dad and the other half without.  When he is with his Dad, he just melts into him and he doesn't want to let go, however I don't see any indications that it is a problem for him that Dad isn't around all the time.  I am guessing though, that at some point he will understand and want Dad around more, but he will be used to it.  I hope that he will be o.k.

BBJ1 is a whole different ball of wax.  He is sad and angry.  This morning he said he wanted Dad here, he wanted to go to the elevator and meet him, when I told him that Dad wasn't here and wasn't coming he became very angry and hit me.  A phone call helped for a little while, but he brought it up again a few hours later.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

WooHoo My Life Does Suck

I feel better today, because I received confirmation that I am not just a big cry-baby loser who can't handle stuff, but in fact my life does suck right now.

This last week was not a good week.  BBJ1 misses his dad and is sad and angry.  I miss my husband and am sad and angry.  I broke a tooth.  BBJ2 still doesn't sleep enough.  A family heirloom lamp was broken.  I had PMS.  It was my birthday.  Everyone else's needs come before mine.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Regret Can Be A Good Thing

"No Regrets"  How many times have you heard this?  I have heard it a lot lately and it bugs me.  I don't think that you should spend your life dwelling in your regrets.  I do think that regret (and remorse, and guilt) have a purpose and that if you try to just go on with your life, ignoring the purpose of the feeling then you will spend your life mired in the muck.

The feeling of regret has purpose, to act as a warning "don't repeat your mistakes", and to make amends for your mistake.  Often making amends will help alleviate the bad feeling of regret.  There is a wide range of things that we humans are capable of achieving and there is a wide range of harm that we humans are capable of perpetrating.  The regret should relate to the action that was done, there should be no blanket statement that there are no regrets (unless you live in some magical world where you can wave your fairy wand and change/fix everything).  Would you tell a murderer that they should not feel regret?  I doubt it.  Would you tell someone who dropped out of college that they should not feel regret?  Probably.

I don't think that everything in your life that doesn't turn out perfect, should be regretted.  I have had some really terrible hair-cuts, I didn't dwell in regret, I just figured out how to deal with them - hats, head-bands, gel, etc.

I regret being bitchy and mean when I was in high school.  I don't carry it around like a ball and chain, I can't undo what was done.  I did recognize how I behaved, I learned that it was a reaction to my own pain, and I stopped being that way and hurting people.

I regret not standing up for myself in my marriage.  There were times that I tried, but I gave up, and things got worse.  I don't believe that the outcome would have necessarily been any different, but I do believe that I would feel better about myself.  I have been standing up for myself a lot more lately and calling mean/bad behavior when it occurs.  I believe that in my next relationship I will be stronger and that may not work for the man, but since I am the only me I have, I need to take care of me.

This is my best example of regret being a good thing.  My Dad is an alcoholic and he was drunk for my childhood and my teen years.  He loved me, and I saw him on a regular basis, this did not make him a good dad.  He caused a lot of pain for a lot of people, people that he loved and who loved him back.  The realization of the pain he caused - the regret - is part of what helped him become sober and emotionally healthy.  He no longer causes pain, in fact he now has a career helping addicted youths in the criminal system.  He is a loving and supportive father, husband, and friend.  Of course he wasn't able to undo the past, he wasn't able to give me or my brother the childhood that we wanted, but he has made amends, and now we have real relationships.  That is what regret is for, it is about taking your mistakes and learning from them and using them for good.

I am suspicious of people who think that they can go through life and not have any regrets. It is possible that someone could live their entire life and never hurt another person and therefore not have a need to regret their actions, but I have never met someone who was so perfect.  I know that I am not that perfect, I have done things that I have regretted and I have tried to learn, apologize and make amends where I could.  I guess life would be easier if you didn't regret anything that you did, but it would also be a lot more selfish.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

I had a Crapptastic Week

This week has been pretty bad, there has been some good stuff, but I think on the balance scale it leans towards sucky.

  • I chopped off all my hair and have had rave reviews.  I feel lighter and there is a lot less for BBJ2 to grab and pull.  
  • exHusband said that I am crazy if I think that he doesn't ever want to be with me or that he doesn't love me 
  • exHusband told me that he misses me everyday
  • BBJ2 took his first unassisted steps!
  • The boys spent an afternoon with their half-brother and half-sister, this makes them so happy and I miss my step-kids a lot so it was good for me too.
  • I was diagnosed with hyper-thyroidism (this shows up in the bad list too), good because there is an explanation for a bunch of stuff going on.  I have been having heart palpitations, anxiety attacks, and tremors for about 7 months and some pretty drastic weight loss.  I had these things written off to post-partum hormones, being really active with 2 little kids while nursing, and going through a life-changing break-up.
  • exHusband requested photos of me to help him relieve some tension (I know that probably doesn't seem like a good thing, but it is an ego boost to know that even with all the women throwing themselves at him since our split became public knowledge, he still wants me - guess it is hard to find anyone as hot or as good as me)
  • The boys are going to their father's for the first time this week-end, so I have been looking forward to having time to myself.
  • No sleep for me.
  • BBJ1 is refusing baths, fighting diaper changes (forget the potty - he is in full regression mode),  is throwing lots of temper tantrums and is sad
  • BBJ1 pulled the curtains including the curtain rod out of the ceiling in his bedroom.  So on top of the time change there are no curtains to block out the street lights.
  • I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism.  So it is good to know what has been going on with me and to know that there is treatment, but bad because:
    • I have had this since at least the summer (it is pretty common for it to take up to 2 years to be diagnosed because the symptoms are very common to other issues), and some of the symptoms may have created some issues in my marriage.  Anxiety and irritablity and trouble concentrating are all symptoms and I have been having them for quite a while.  My Doctor advised that even though my life may have given me reason to be irritable, that the sickness would have intensified it.  Irritable, anxious wife does not equate to happy husband.
    • If it is being caused by Graves Disease (a common cause and starting to look more and more likely since I found out today that my Grandmother had it, and it runs in families), then the treatment is rougher and I will probably have to stop nursing BBJ2.
    • I could go into a hyperthyroid coma, which is terrifying.  I am alone with 2 little boys, what are they going to do if mom is suddenly passed out?  I don't think that BBJ1 is ready to learn how to phone 911, his phone conversations consist of Hi Daddy, Hi Daddy, Bye Daddy.
  • The boys are going to be staying at their father's for the first time this week-end, so I am sad.  This will be the first time that either of them has spent a night anywhere but home since they came home from the hospital.  I had always thought that their first over-night would be at a grand-parent's home so that exHusband and I could spend some dedicated time fornicating.
  • I realized that regardless of the fact that exHusband loves me with all his heart, and has a sexual obsession with me, and wants me to be his best friend, he doesn't want to be with me now.  
  • I realized that exHusband is not going to deal with the issues that he has, and is not going to learn how to handle his fears and insecurities.  He has big baggage, not carry-on, not regularly checked, but the kind where you have to go to that special counter.  He can get lost in his fears, even when they are irrational. He absolutely believes untruths, even when shown evidence to the contrary.
  • I realized that although exHusband wants me to be his best friend, he isn't going to be my friend.
  • I realized that I have to accept that regardless of how wrong it is, my marriage is really over.  I'm sad because I have lost the best friend I ever had, I have lost the best sex ever, I have lost great conversations, I have lost my DJ, and I have lost the warmest hands that have ever held me.
I can't have a relationship with someone who doesn't want what I want and who isn't willing to get help when they so obviously need it.  I need a partner, someone I can trust who will be there for me when I need them.  Someone who will give me a big hug and let me soak their shoulder in my tears when I have just been diagnosed with a sickness.  Someone who will understand how I am feeling and let me vent.  Someone who will not get angry and bitchy when told the truth.

So from now on my exHusband, is simply the father of my children.  I will continue to do everything I can to ensure that my boys have a good and healthy relationship with their father.  The only problem is that I don't know how to do this.  I don't know how to just turn off my heart.  It took me years to open my heart, I hope it doesn't take as long to close it back up tight so that I will be safe again.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

My Son Could be One of the Jackasses

Johnny Knoxville, Bam Magera, Steve-O, my older boy is one of you.  BBJ1 has seen Jackass at least once, however his crazy started way before the viewing.

Crazy physical stunts, check:
He will climb anything.  He will use a truck as the first step in climbing, trucks have wheels and will slip out from under you.  He will drag furniture around to help him get up.  He uses the stroller to take pictures down from the wall.  He likes to stand with one foot on top of his brother's crib and the other foot on the ladder to the bunk-bed - about 3 feet away.  He thinks that the Diaper Genie is a safe climbing tool.

One of his favorite things to do is to stand on the coffee table, on top of a pillow and then jump onto the couch.  He throws himself back and forth on the couch, not caring that there is a glass topped coffee table a foot away.  He will dive from anything to anything.  He once took a dive from one end of the bed to the other end, smashing his face into the metal bed frame.

He has excellent balance, he often stands and walks on the couch arm (about 2 inches wide).  Lately he has taken to walking on the edge of the tub while I take my shower, and even when wet he hasn't fallen.

Dangerous weapons, check:
He is currently obsessed with swords.  The other day I was on the couch nursing BBJ2, and BBJ1 was on the kitchen counter.  I wasn't worried, I just thought "great more flour to clean up", forgetting that there was a big bread knife in the sink.  He runs out from the kitchen, plants his feet and holds the knife just like a sword and yelled something.  I made him a sword out of cardboard, but he rejected it and keeps asking for his sword.

Anything he finds that could be used to swing around, he will.  We've been having curtain rod problems, so there has been a few of them hidden behind doors until they are re-installed.  These are constantly being swung around and held while running.

Handles physical pain, check:
Today I broke a vase in the kitchen, when I was finished cleaning it up, BBJ1 took the vacuum so that he could clean the couch (such a good boy).  I was doing dishes when he started yelling for me, he had the vacuum hose stuck to his cheek.  I turned the vacuum off to stop the suction, he had a fit, "put it back on mommy, need to clean face mommy, meanwhile he had a huge really red round mark on his face.  He has had more split lips, bloody noses, and bumps on the head than I have had in my entire life.

Gross stuff, check:
The kid will put his hand in a poopy diaper to touch his penis, enough said.

Eating weird stuff, maybe:
He does eat some weird things, like Cheesies dipped in milk, but there are lots of things that he will not eat based solely on a visual inspection.

Getting his hands dirty, probably not:
He does not care if his entire body, face and head are covered in any kind of disgusting goo, but he hates having the palms of his hands dirty or wet.  If he falls down in the mud, he will try to get up without using his hands (hilarious stuff, I have some great video footage).  When he is eating, he will stop and ask for his hands to be cleaned so that he can continue.

Walking on stuff bare foot, maybe:
He generally doesn't like getting things on the bottom of his feet.  He is almost always barefoot at home (his preference), and if he steps on a cheerio he will stop, hold his foot up until it is cleaned.  He doesn't like walking on sand barefoot.

So overall, I think he has a lot of the right qualities to be a famous fool, he does have some stuff to work on, we'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

I'm Going Surfing

I'm going surfing, someday.

Recently on Twitter,  BloggingDangerously  tweeted the question "If you could be anyplace in the world for 2 weeks, where would it be?" I responded "Hawaii so that I could learn how to surf like I have wanted to since I was a little girl".  It then kept popping into my head how I have wanted to do this for so long.  I then realised that I don't have any personal goals that are just for me and about me.  I have the goal of raising my boys to be the best people they can be.  I sometimes have career goals, but those are not real goals for me, they help me to keep going at my job.

I have wanted to surf for ever.  I love being in the water and I really love the ocean, I have been known to spend hours just floating in the warm salt water when I have been down south.  I like to go fast (ask almost anyone who has been in a car I was driving), and I have a bit of the daredevil in me, even though I often logic myself out of really risky stuff.

Years ago when I pictured myself surfing I did picture myself in a bikini, but now after two babies and 2 c-sections, it might be a one-piece or a wet-suit.  I also pictured myself single and hanging out dancing and drinking the evenings away, and it is quite possible that when I do get there that I might have 2 little boys in tow and maybe won't be able to party all night.  I've always associated surfing with Hawaii, but maybe it will be California or Australia.  It doesn't matter if the picture of how I will look or who I am with, or where changes, it is the doing it that matters.

So now I have a personal goal of going surfing.  I have even started getting ready.  About 7 years ago, I did some research on learning to surf and read that you should be in pretty good shape and be up to 100 push ups a day to handle all the dog paddling.  So I have started a push up regimen.   I am going to start paying attention and copying my son since he has great balance and recovery.  I believe he gets his awesome physical abilities from me (go ahead and disagree exHusband), and that I have just forgotten how to use my body as well as he does.

I feel good, something for me alone about me alone.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Sickness Sucks

Man! It has been a tough week.  Both the boys and I have been sick, yucky sick.

I have been pretty lucky so far with the boys health.  BBJ1 had runny noses when he was teething, but was pretty healthy the first year until he hit daycare.  Within the first couple of months of starting daycare, he had croup, an ear infection, a cold, and one night of dreadful vomiting, other than that he has been healthy. During all of those sicknesses exHusband was here to share in the care-giving.  We took turns taking time off work to be home with BBJ1, even sometimes splitting the day.  We both cleaned vomit, we both cleaned the nose, we both held him and rocked him to make him feel better - we shared the load.  This is the first time that BBJ2 has been sick.

It started with BBJ2, and for the first 2 days, I could rarely put him down, he was either nursing or in my arms.  Those days were exhausting, it is hard almost constantly holding the baby, while also trying to keep a toddler alive.  Then BBJ2 started to get better, he was crawling around, but he still wouldn't eat any solid food which means lots more nursing than normal.  As BBJ2 was getting better BBJ1 started to become sick.  I must say the kid is such a trouper, diarrhea & vomiting and not one complaint from him, just demands to clean the mess.  He was exhausted, slept more than normal and was unbelievably calm.  It was like a little holiday for me that made me very sad.

I get scared when my kids are not feeling well.  I was taking temperatures constantly.  I was watching them like a hawk.  There was more than once when I was on the verge of packing them up to go to the hospital or the pediatric walk-in clinic.  There was no need to take them, they were just sick, but it really freaks me out when they are not o.k.

I was also exhausted.  The first night of BBJ2's sickness, I didn't sleep and he barely slept, I don't remember if the sleep got any better for the following nights.  Diaper changes were occurring about 4 times more frequently than normal.  I had to do laundry so that we would all have clean sheets in our beds, then had to laundry the next day so that they would have clean pajamas, they were going through them so fast.  I was constantly trying to clean everything to make sure that the germs weren't going back in to them.

Then I got hit with it, just as they both were through the worst of it.  Bloody rough.   Most of yesterday I was fighting to not pass out and leave the 2 of them fending for themselves.  BBJ1 was now fully recovered and was jumping on me, on my nauseous belly, and would not calm down.  I tried explaining that mommy was sick like he had been - he did not give a rat's ass.

I know that if I wasn't a single mother, it still would have been hard dealing with all of the sickness, but I missed having that in person second opinion (I think that it is pretty hard to understand how sick someone is by text message), I missed having an extra pair of hands to help with the heavy lifting, I think the boys missed having the second person to hug, while I was busy with the other one.  The being sick myself is completely different without a partner, I remember exHusband staying home from work when I was on mat leave with BBJ1 when I was really sick, so that BBJ1 would be taken care of properly and so that I could recuperate better.

How do you handle sickness in your home?  Any tips for the next time?

Saturday, 5 March 2011

My First Divorce - I was 7

There are so many things that happen to us, so many people who touch us, and so many things we choose to do/feel/think that make us who we are.  Many of these things are small things,  having a mom who gives you lots of hugs and reads to you every night, having a brother who calls you thunder thighs, or having nice friendly neighbors.  Some are really big things that have a huge impact on you, this is the first big thing that happened to me, that shaped a lot of how I think and feel.

My first divorce happened when I was about 7.   Being young, I had no clue about relationships and how they work.  My parents didn't fight - there was one loud argument shortly before the split - but that is it.  My Dad wasn't around a lot, he worked long hours, traveled on business, and partied (I didn't know that at the time).  My mom was a stay-at-home mom so she was there all the time.  I don't remember much at all about the break-up.  I have one memory of me running through the house crying.  I remembered the running & crying, my Dad filled in for me that it occurred when my mom and dad explained to my brother and I that they were splitting up.

My whole life changed, not just the moment but the rest of my life changed.

The immediate impact was that Dad was gone, and Mom, Brother & I moved.  My best friend was my next door neighbor, and while we were still going to the same school, it was different.  My mom's parents became even less visible after the break-up - they did not approve of divorce.  My dad's mother was just as visible but pretty much only with my mother (she disapproved strongly and blamed it on her son).  I had two homes (sort of).  I had to split all holidays between two parents.

Shortly after my parents split up, my father moved in with another woman, who I suspect (but have no evidence for) he was seeing before the break.  So I had a step-mother and she wasn't fun.  We got to do lots of fun stuff with Dad, DisneyWorld, a trip across the country, we went to nice restaurants and shows, but we also were driven around by a drunk driver, exposed to lots of very loud yelling matches, and saw things thrown at people in anger.  We were emotionally manipulated and there was anger directed at us by our step-mother.  They broke up about 15 years later, shortly after that my father stopped drinking, met a lovely woman who is now my step-mother and they are great.

My mother raised us in a village of her friends, we often were at fun activities with her friends and their children.  My mom's life was not easy.  She went back to work after a decade of being at home.  She tried to give us all the stuff we wanted and tried to compete with what my dad was able to do with us, but she ended up having to declare bankruptcy and we had to move to a cheap apartment building.  The change in neighborhood and school was like landing on the moon.  I had to toughen up and get street-smart really quickly.

I always knew stuff about my parents and their divorce that any expert today says a child should never know.  I used to carry my Dad's support cheques home from visits.  I knew that the support wasn't enough.  I heard bad stuff spoken about both of my parents, not really bad stuff, but not nice.

I was torn apart.  I loved both of my parents and wanted to be with both of them.  The two houses had different rules and different atmospheres so I was constantly adjusting to what were supposed to be my homes.  I didn't always want to go to my Dad's, I liked mom's and my friends were there, but I had no choice.  Sometimes I wanted to be at Dad's, cooler toys, and even though my Dad was a drunk I loved him.

My parent's divorce changed me from being a care-free little girl into a cautious, scared too grown-up little girl.  My parent's divorce and the scars it gave me is why I chose not to settle for the wrong Mr. Right.  Why I chose to wait to get married until I found the one person I knew I could love and trust my whole life.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

What Happened to My Dog?

So for the one or two people out there who don't personally know me and read my blog, you may have noticed that when I was on mat leave with BBJ1 there was a dog in the mix, and since I have been writing again, the dog is absent.  Here is the story of Dog.

When exHusband and I were almost living together we discussed that we both wanted a dog, I hadn't had a dog in years and exHusband had recently lost his dog.   One day we were out shopping and stopped in the pet store, they had beagle puppies (exHusband had always wanted a beagle).  The puppies were cute, I asked to hold one, he licked my nose, and that was that.  Dog came home with us.

He was so cute, I don't think that there has ever been a cuter dog.  He was really sweet.  We loved him.

We tried to train him, but we failed.  We never got him house-trained.  It was terrible.  We tried crate training but too late and not consistently enough.  I tried a bunch of The Dog Whisperer's stuff and it helped a bit but it was hard.  He was a barker, not the when left alone he barks the whole time barker, but the excited barker and the if anyone is in the hallway or stairwell barker.  He had tons of energy and wanted to play all the time.  He jumped up on people.  He was a garbage hound, he would eat anything he could get, he ate the most beautiful chicken sandwich that exHusband had made for himself, right off the table.  He ate chicken bones and broken light bulbs, which resulted in vet visits and disgusting messes.  We loved him.

BBJ1 came along and we were really nervous about the dog.  He was very energetic, he was a jumper and didn't seem to have any control over himself when he was excited.  When we brought BBJ1 home from the hospital, it was amazing, he was a totally different dog.  He was very protective over the baby, on day 1, he actually barked at exHusband the first time he held the baby, in front of Dog.  He was calmer and just all around better.  We loved him.

As BBJ1 became older and more mobile, there was a bit more of his old behavior coming through.  I was pretty frustrated with him.  Having your baby crawl into a puddle of dog urine is not good.  BBJ1 was not a great sleeper and the dog would always start whining or barking just when I got him down, waking him up.  It was also a big pain having to take him out with the baby in the winter, and the timing of needed walks often coincided with BBJ1 sleeping.  We loved him.

I went back to work and while the behavior didn't change it wasn't as noticeable  of a problem.  We were all out all day, so it was just evenings and week-ends that we were all together.  And there was an awesome benefit of having a garbage hound when you have a baby then toddler eating, I didn't need to sweep up all of the dropped/spilled/thrown food because the Dog would get it.  We loved him.

Then BBJ2 came home.  When that happened, BBJ1 and I were at home full-time.  Things were not good.  Once again Dog became very protective over the baby against everyone else.  BBJ1 was not good with Dog, he chased the dog, grabbed the dog's tail, hit the dog, tried to ride the dog, etc.  Dog reacted badly to BBJ1.  He didn't hurt him but he was growling at him, and did snap at him.  We were done.

My mother took him to try and find a home (a childless home) for him.  She wasn't successful and Dog was being aggressive with her dog, so he went to the humane society.  I wrote a very honest letter about him, about how sweet and loving he is, how he needs lots of attention and exercise and that he should not be around young children.  He was adopted.

For a very long time (before the aggression to BBJ1) I felt like I failed with Dog.  I really felt that if I could have been more consistent and sterner and and and, that he would have been a better dog.  I don't feel that anymore, I think that he was a great dog, but not for our family.  We still miss him, and still love him.

Monday, 28 February 2011

I Almost Registered For a Dating Site

I know that I am not ready to date.  I know that if I went on a date I would be completely pathetic and the poor sucker sitting across from me would run to the nearest monastery and never date again.  I know that if I went on a date, I wouldn't be cute & funny & playful.  All that said, I got an email from and clicked on the link, I was curious.

Before I met exHusband, I had a whole list of rules/criteria about meeting men to date:
- no blondes
- not shorter than me
- no family connection
- no set-ups
- if you meet in a bar then it is a one-night stand only - no relationship
- not at work
- no dating services, no internet
- no divorces
- no children
But none of this seems to be applicable anymore.

So anyway, I clicked on the link and was taken to the registration for the dating service.  It asked me all kinds of questions about myself and then it started to ask me questions about the person I wanted to date.  Salary range, ethnicity, job, physical characteristics, etc.  I kept putting them all as "no preference".  I had no idea what I would want and it just seemed so wrong.

It doesn't matter how much money someone makes or if they are an artist or an ad exec.  It doesn't matter if someone is blonde or slender.  It matters that you get along with the person, it matters if they appreciate you, it matters if they make you laugh, it matters if they laugh at your jokes, it matters if when you hold their hand you feel safe like that hand will stop all the bad things in the world from happening to you, it matters that when you kiss them you feel like you are home.

I had that all once and I hope that I can have it again some day, but I don't think that I will find it from a dating service, I need to see & hear & feel the person.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

I Took Off For A Couple of Days

This week I went on a business trip to England.  I had mixed feelings about going on the trip, but am glad that I did.

- I haven't been off the North American continent in about 5 years, and hadn't been to England in about 8 years.
- I thought that I would be able to catch up on sleep.
- I was going to use my brain again
- I was going to be in a completely adult world
- I was going to be able to have a drink
- I was going to be able to wear clothes that had nothing to do with nursing or trekking through the snow or pushing a swing
- exHusband would be spending a lot of time with the boys alone and would finally understand why I was such a crank

- I was very worried that I hadn't stock-piled enough breast-milk for BBJ2
- I was worried that I might lose my milk
- I was worried that BBJ2 might decide that he prefers a bottle to the breast
- I was nervous about meeting lots of new colleagues
- I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to have a conversation if it didn't involve Dora or Buzz Lightyear
- I was a bit worried that my emotions might run amuck and I wouldn't be able to hold it together

The Results:
- Spent 2 days in England and saw the airport, and 2 hotels, so I didn't really get to explore or shop the way I like to when I travel.
- Came home more tired than before I left.  Couldn't sleep on the plane even though I was in Executive Class with the fancy full bed/seat.  Stuck at a Holiday Inn next to a theme park during a week that was a school break, so there were children running up and down the halls screaming and laughing, and I think my hotel room was haunted.  Again on the plane home couldn't sleep.
- I did use my brain and it was awesome.
- Completely adult world = excellent.  I did get to do some baby/child talk though because some of my colleagues have children and one was pregnant, so of course lots of baby chit chat.
- I got drunk on a glass and a half of wine.  I've been pretty much pregnant or nursing (or both) for over 3 years now, so my tolerance is a bit low.  I did not make a fool of myself - so that was good.
- Clothes - WooHoo, loved wearing clothes that were for me.
- I think he gets it
- There is still milk in the freezer - Whew!
- Still producing - while I was away my breasts were huge and felt like they were filled with milk, I was  pumping to keep up supply but wasn't able to pump as frequently as BBJ2 nurses.
- Still nursing
- I don't know why I always get nervous about meeting new people, it is almost always o.k., and this time was no problem.
- I did have a conversation about Dora, but otherwise was able to have intelligent conversations
- Emotions stayed in check while I was at the conference, I did lost it a bit on the plane home, but otherwise o.k.

Overall, it was a success, I was able to function in a work environment and I made some great contacts for when I return to work, BBJ1 had an excellent time with Dad, BBJ2 had a hard time without breast-feeding but he was fine, and exHusband had some good dedicated parenting time with his boys.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Living Single

I was feeling pretty good about not having to share my home with a man anymore, feeling a little bit like my old self, with my own place (although with a lot more toy cars than I remember), then it hit me, I'm single again.  This might be a problem.

What happens if I have a heart attack or fall down and crack my head open?  The boys don't know how to use the phone properly yet.  There isn't someone coming home from work in a couple of hours to find me.  No one will know.  What if the pizza delivery guy is a crazy pervert?  I know the odds of this happenning are very very low, but it wasn't something I needed to worry about a few months ago.

Here is the really bad thing - I am going to have to date again - OH MY GOD!!!!!!

I just remembered how terrible dating is.  On the subway yesterday, I saw a man that for some reason reminded me of a guy that I brought home once.  He didn't stay long, thankfully, because he scared the crap out of me.  He kept saying strange things about being dangerous, and I was completely creeped out by him.  I was convinced that he was involved in some scary stuff.  And then I got a bit mad, why didn't he steal me and sell me into the sex trade, what, I wasn't good enough?  In the end I decided that he was just some lame guy who believed that women like bad boys, so he was trying to be a bad boy, but in a really bad way.

It took over 2 months with one of ex-boyfriends before I was sure that we were dating and not buddies.  We kept going out, but so often one of his buddies would be with us, we always did fun stuff, always in casual clothes.  I was never sure if he was just a new friend or a new boy-friend.  Turned out he was the latter, he was taking his time, and sometimes taking your time with a woman can be a good thing!!

There was the guy that I sat in Fran's with until 4 in the morning, drinking coffee and maple syrup, we laughed almost continuously, flirted non-stop.  We had worked together for a while before this first date,  so we knew each other, and it didn't feel like a first date.  At 4am, we ended up heading back to my place, as he was too tired to drive himself home way out beyond suburbia.  He slept on the couch, not even a kiss, and he farted loudly and smellily all night.

By the way, I am not a slut, I know that two thirds of my bad dating examples involved me bringing home men on first dates, but I didn't do that with all of them.  Sometimes I went to their place.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

My Body is an Amazing Miracle

Last night I wrote about how I do not like my body (among other things), but today while I was nursing my baby, I remembered that my body is amazing.

My body made people.  What could be better than that?  My children were created from my body.  Sure exhusband contributed some DNA, but my body made them.  I think of it like exhusband and I were co-architects, he contributed some of the design plans to the babies, but my body took the plans, found the materials, and constructed them.

Not only did my body make the babies, it also provided their only sustenance for 6 months.  (I am discounting the 2 ounces of formula that BBJ1 was given while in the NICU, the night he was born.  I always feel bad that he had any formula, but he was born 5.5 weeks early by an emergency c-section and I didn't know what I needed to know.)  Both of my boys were exclusively breast-fed for their first 6 months and both continued to breast-feed after starting solid foods.  So until they reached 6 months they were completely manufactured by my body.  AMAZING!

Breast-feeding was fairly easy for me, I didn't go through all the pain and trauma that so many other mothers go through.  The only pain I ever had was from pumping or from biting.  Even how my body provided milk was pretty amazing.  BBJ1 breast-fed whenever he wanted until he was one and went to daycare.  He would breast-feed in the morning when he woke up and as soon as we got home from work/daycare, and again before bed.  Here is the amazing thing, on week-ends he would nurse more often and my body still had milk for him.

My body also hugs my children, dances with my children, carries my children, lifts them up, lets them fly, plays with them, sees their beauty, hears their voices, smells their yumminess, talks to them, holds their hands.

My body is amazing, it has created and sustained miracles.

What am I Worth?

How much am I worth?  How do you measure the value of a person?  If I auctioned myself off on eBay, what would I get?

I measure my value by feedback I receive from other people.  Most of the time, I discount any praise but take any criticism at 100 %.  I don't know how to measure myself just for me based on my own opinion. I see myself as a reflection of how I think others see me.  I measure my competence against other peoples accomplishments.

I have a huge connection between my physical appearance and my self-worth.  I have rarely thought that I was beautiful.  There have been many times in my life when people have told me that they thought I was attractive and I didn't believe them.  When my father tells me I am beautiful, I think "he has to say that, that is what fathers tell their daughters".  When men in bars told me I am beautiful, I would think "he just wants to get laid".  It took quite a while before I believed exhusband thought I was beautiful, but I often thought he was crazy.  I did believe him, our marriage was one of the only times in my life where I felt consistently o.k. about my looks, I saw a reflection of myself that was beautiful when I saw him looking at me.  Right now I am having trouble looking in a real mirror and seeing that beautiful person.

Most of the time, I know that I am intelligent.  This is probably one of the characteristics that I value the least, even though it is one of the positive ones for me.  When I was young, in primary school, intelligence was not valued by my schoolmates.  The children that received good grades or who knew the answers were picked on.  I very quickly picked up on this and stopped raising my hand and did not publicize my grades.  I often refer to myself as stupid, although that is generally because I have done something stupid, which most often happens when I react without thinking.  I have done more stupid things over the past few months then is normal.  I was reacting on emotions instead of thinking things through.

I often compare myself negatively to other women who appear to accomplish so much compared to me.  I have a friend who went through law school while married to a very busy man and with 4 children.  I was in awe of how she could juggle everything.  There are so many women at my company who have successful careers while raising children, having hobbies and volunteering at charities and I always think "wow, I am barely keeping my head above water with the little that I have".  My mother raised my brother and I while working, volunteering, having an active social life, and helping her elderly parents.  I found it a struggle to be at home with one baby, a struggle to be working with one baby, and a struggle to be home with two babies.  How will I manage working with two little guys?

I struggle with being a mother, a good mother.  I've read tons of books about raising children, spent tons of time looking for parenting advice on the net.  I try to apply that information with the boys, I try to be the mom that I think my boys deserve.  Very often though, I am chastising myself for not being good enough, for making mistakes.

If I think about it and try to be honest with myself, I know that I am not as pathetic as I often feel I am.  I know that I am not ugly or fat, I know that I am doing a decent job raising my two boys, I know that I am good at my job.  But it is so hard to remember this, it is so hard to remember that I bring lots of good things to the table.  It is hard to remember that I am worth a lot more than I feel I am worth.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Cannot Eat, Pray, Love

I watched "Eat, Pray, Love" last night and it made me wistful.

I wish that I was able to take a year to travel and find myself.  I really love to travel, to see different things, to experience different cultures, meet interesting people, and to eat.  I have never been able to meditate (I'm great at doing the yoga poses - very flexible), but I cannot get my mind to shut up.  I thought I knew how to love, but I'm no longer sure.  I so badly want a Balinese Medicine Man to read my palm.  That isn't going to happen, I don't have a year of travel money socked away and I have 2 little boys that need to be taken care of.

I know lots of people who eat when they are stressed, I don't, I stopped eating.  At first I couldn't eat, I felt nauseous all the time.  I did eat a bit, but it was just enough to make sure I didn't faint on the kids.  I started to eat more after my mom reminded me that I was nursing.  After the nauseousness went away I still wasn't eating lots and that is part of my crazy.  I totally connect being thin with being attractive and worthwhile.  When exHusband broke up with me, I instantly went into a really bad place where I felt like I must be ugly, mean, terrible, stupid, etc.  How could I be anything but all around terrible, if I wasn't, he wouldn't have left me.  I know this isn't true, but it is what crazy does to me.  But here is the really bad thing, I like being thin again, I haven't been this thin in a really really long time.  The crazy in me makes me think that if I am thin, then maybe I am o.k.  However, the last time I was this thin, I was young and had lots of collagen in my body, and I hadn't recently had a baby.  So I'm thin but now I have this extra skin on my belly and my face looks a bit older.

I don't' know what to pray for, I don't know what I want to happen.  I guess maybe I should just pray for peace and to be a good mother.

For a huge part of my life I didn't think that I would ever love.  I was so terrified of being left, of being hurt, that I wouldn't let myself love.  Over time I knew that I needed to change and not be scared or I would be alone for ever.  I didn't plan on falling in love with my exHusband, it just happened and I couldn't stop it, and I didn't want to.  It was the most fantastic thing to be in love with someone who I felt loved me back.  I don't know if I will be able to do it again.  Time will tell.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Cherish the Little Moments

Lots of little happy sweet things have happened today, they happen every day, but today I noticed them and told myself to remember them.  The big stuff (vacations, big firsts) are important to remember but it is the little things that happen everyday that make us happy, if we want to be.

Little Moments - hugs - the last few days BBJ1 has been very loving and it is so sweet, I have been getting lots of hugs accompanied by "I love you too, mom".  (he says it first, but always says too)  Some of them come at inopportune times like during diaper change or while I'm trying to nurse BBJ2, but I just melt into them and feel so loved.

Little Moments - dancing -  my bedroom has become a dance club, we turn on the music and dance and laugh

Little Moments - flying - I lie on my back and the boys take turns flying on my legs.  BBJ1 loves this and laughs and screams, the really great moment is when BBJ2 has his turn and his face goes from stoic when I put him up to a huge grin as he very gently bounces up and down.

Little Moments - running through our home on tiptoe today with BBJ1, we took turns being the chaser and chasee and the chaser always says "I'm gonna get you" and then we both end up collapsing on the bean bag or the bed with a "I got you" and lots of giggles at the end.

Little Moments - BBJ1 passed gas while in the tub, there was a look of surprise and then a huge smile and tons and tons of laughter.

Little Moments - when I am nursing BBJ2 and BBJ1 cuddles up next to him on the nursing pillow, it is crowded, but the sweetness is worth it.

Little Moments - the day that BBJ2 first followed me from one room to another.

Little Moments - peaking in on them while they are sleeping and seeing the peace on their beautiful little faces.

Little Moments - when BBJ2 gave me a huge smile followed by his sweet head tilt while I was feeding him his cereal.

Little Moments - playing cars with BBJ1, he is very serious about the playing, but also just glows from the attention.

Little Moments - when holding BBJ2 and he just leans his head on my chest, makes me want to melt.

All these little moments are so important, they let me know that my children love me and trust me, they let me know that my children are happy, these are the moments that are really important.  I hope that I am able to always recognize the little moments and be present with my children during them.  I think that these little moments are what really makes the relationship, not the big stuff.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Sleep Training?

I'm at the end of my rope.  BBJ2's sleeping pattern is too much to handle right now.  I am contemplating "sleep training" but don't think I should (I don't think it is the correct thing to do for a baby) or that I can.

I did not do sleep training or crying it out with BBJ1.  I received lots of suggestions to let him cry it out which always included examples of success stories, but exhusband and I did not think it was the right thing to do for our baby and toughed it out.  He didn't sleep through the night until he was 1 and at daycare.   He was able to fall asleep without nursing, if exhusband put him down by holding him and swaying while singing to him.  He is now able to put himself to sleep without any 'crutches'.

This time is tougher, I now have 2 boys to take care of all day, no chance for a nap (BBJ1 almost never naps), and I think that BBJ2's sleep pattern is worse.  So, I have been researching, looking for a magic bullet.  One of the things I keep reading is "children need to learn how to put themselves to sleep" "this is a skill they need to learn to become adults", o.k. this may be true, but when?  My child will need to drive one day but I'm not going to give him the keys to the car when he is 4.  My boys will need to take the subway by themselves at some point, I'm not going to send them off with their tokens just yet.  People need to eat solid food, but you don't give a one month old a steak.  Most people seem to understand that children need to be introduced to different things at the appropriate age, and you can often tell the appropriate age by watching your children.  It seems like the one exception to this is sleeping.  If your baby can't put them-self to sleep, maybe they are not ready, maybe they still need you to parent them.

If your baby is crying, they need something, why is it o.k. to deny a helpless innocent child something they need, because it is inconvenient to you?  Parents don't deny their babies a clean diaper or food when the baby is hungry.  So the crying might not be due to a physical requirement, it may be emotional but so what?  If you were crying about something for 20 minutes and your spouse was in the next room and didn't come and give you a hug how would you feel?

Regardless of my feelings on sleep training, I have tried a couple of things along the lines of sleep-training over the last two days, with no success.  I have put BBJ2 in his crib when I know that he is tired, but he is awake.  This results in either him crying immediately or him standing up and "calling" out.  Last night I put him down and left him, I made it one minute before I had to go get him.  I was balling my eyes out.  I was crying for a few reasons;
1. for myself - so tired - so frustrated
2. for BBJ2 -  he was so sad
3. for BBJ2 - poor guy has an evil mom who left him crying for all that time.

Even after last night's experience, I am still feeling desperate and wanting some solution, I just don't know what that solution is.  I know that at some point he will sleep all night, I just want it to be now.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

BBJ1 is a Comedian

BBJ1 was funny tonight.

He had a late afternoon nap, falling asleep in the stroller when we went to the drugstore.  I had to wake him up for dinner and he was grumpy at the time.  We had roast beef, mashed potatoes, vegies and gravy.  He said "no, I want lunch from the cupboard", I went through everything in the cupboard, and he said no to everything.  He then requested waffles, so I made the waffles and presented them to him and I received this response "I want more, I want more".  I asked "more what?", "more".  This went on for quite a while until he came up with "candy, I want more candy".  From this point on he was just funny.

I was in the bedroom putting on BBJ2's pajamas.  BBJ2 was wailing (tired and teething).  BBJ1 walks in and says "what is going on in here mom?"  in this totally serious and stern voice.

He was eating these gummy candy things that came in a cup.  He removed them from the cup and they were stuck together in one huge lump.  He was standing on the coffee table while I was nursing BBJ2.  I requested one of his candies.  He took the lump of candies, hid it behind his back and said "I am putting them away now", again in a very serious voice.

Later while I was trying to put BBJ2 down, BBJ1 came in and was playing with the candies, I took one and put it in my mouth.  He gave me a funny face, held out his hand and said "my candy, I need that back", so I took it out of my mouth and returned it to him.  He inspected and then said "OK" and put it down.

He accidently left a couple of the candies on the chair, so when he left the room, I put one in my mouth, when he came back I was chewing, he gave me the mad face, held out his hand and said "mom, those are my candies, leave them"  when I explained that it was too late, I had already eaten, he shook his head at me.

I'm sure there was more but that is all I can remember right now.

And yes, you caught it, my son had gummies for dinner and that is o.k.

Another fun thing, I'm pretty sure that BBJ2 said "mom" tonight.

Need Comments/Help - Pumping

I'm trying to build a milk supply for BBJ2 for when I need to go out and for my upcoming trip to London.  The supply in the freezer is growing, but not at the rate I think is necessary.  I am hoping that there is someone reading this who can offer some help/feedback.

Timing of pumping:
I really only try to pump when he is a asleep.  I wait about an hour after he has gone down before I pump.  There are some problems with this method.  He rarely naps during the day, if he is in the stroller and we go out, he will nap, but with the weather we've had this is not happening very often.  Without the stroller he will sleep in my arms, and sometimes I can get him down but it only lasts 45 minutes tops.  In the evening, we are in this continuous cycle of nurse, fall asleep, put in crib, wake up (tonight I have been him down 6 different times already).  It often gets to the point that I am just so tired I can't stay up any longer.

So, anyone out there pumping during the day while their baby is awake?  How does that work for you and your baby?  What happens if your baby wants/needs to nurse and you are empty because you just pumped?

Pumping is easier since I picked up an electric pump, but I still find it to be a pain.  Constantly washing & sterilizing the equipment just adds to the already too big task list.  But the big thing is that no matter how long I leave the pump on, it stops getting milk but there is still milk in my breast.  I end up hand squeezing for a minute or so to get all the milk.

Does anyone else have this issue about the pump not getting all the milk?  Any tips?

How much do I need?
BBJ2 nurses, I am not away from him very much and never for more than a few hours.  I have no idea how much milk he takes in when he nurses.

How much milk do they need?  How do you figure it out?

Monday, 7 February 2011

OK, OK, Going to be OK

The last 2 days have been ok.  Not too bad, not too good.

Yesterday ex came over with the 2 steps to visit.  I didn't cry, I wasn't even sad.  Actually happy at numerous times watching the 4 kids together, they really love and like each other.  BBJ1 was happy to see his big brother and sister, he misses them, he missed them before, as they didn't come over as regularly as he would have liked, but it has been over a month since he has seen them which is a long time.

Today my step-mom and step-brother came over to watch the boys while I went to my therapy session.  BBJ1 was of course happy, he loves playing with guys, he was pushing me out the door "mommy go now!", with literally a shove.  BBJ2 had a bit of a harder time.  He was o.k. as long as he was being held, but any attempt to put him down resulted in crying.

I'm finding the therapy a bit weird, but feels good and helpful.  I talk and then there is a long pause, and sometimes he says stuff, or asks a question, but he really doesn't say much at all.  There are times when he closes his eyes during a pause (mine or sometimes his) and I think "is he falling asleep or is he thinking", one time I almost did an AHEM, but he is just thinking and putting his words together.  It reminds me of this boss I once had who literally would fall asleep in meetings, he did once in my annual review session, I did get an unbelievably good review that year.  He didn't last very long, and I have no idea if there was stuff going on with him.  Weird.

The not so great part of the last 2 days is that BBJ2's sleeping is worse, probably my fault.  I have been trying to put him down earlier, since supposedly they will sleep longer and better the earlier you put them down.  Instead he is waking up in the middle of the night and being totally awake, trying to crawl around and explore.

Feel like ex and I are working towards being friends.  Feels like I am getting better, but not sure if it is real, or my facade.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Knackered Out

So tired, I have been tired for for over 3 months or for a few years, depends on how I look at it.

When I was pregnant with BBJ1, I was exhausted, I couldn't get enough sleep.  Spent a year at home with BBJ1 who slept through the night maybe 4 times.  Spent a year back at work, taking care of BBJ1 and  pregnant with BBJ2 for 9 months.  The second pregnancy was not as exhausting as the first, but still tiring. For the last 8 months taking care of 2 little guys full time.

For the last 3.5 months BBJ2 has not slept through the night.  For the last 2 or 3 months BBJ1 hasn't napped (he naps if Daddy is home and puts him down, but that is it), which means that I cannot take a nap during the day to catch up.  BBJ2 often sleeps for 45 min - 1hour at a time from about 8pm until 2pm, at that point I give up trying to put him back in his crib and take him to bed with me.  I have nothing against sleeping with your baby, it can be quite beneficial for everyone if everyone is happy with it, but I'm not.  I find that when the baby is in bed with me I don't sleep as well, I wake up frequently to check on him, make sure I have rolled on him or covered his face with the blankets, etc.

On top of BBJ2's sleeping pattern, I am trying to express milk to prepare for my upcoming trip to London.  I find that I need to wait about an hour after nursing to get a good amount of milk.  So every time I do get him down, I wait to try to pump instead of going to bed.  Very often he wakes up just before I start or while I am pumping.  BBJ2 does not have a schedule for nursing or sleeping during the day.  I'm nervous to pump during the day unless he is napping in the stroller (almost guaranteed that he will sleep for about 3 hours if he is in the stroller and we go), I never know when he is going to need to nurse and don't want to be empty.

So not near enough sleep + nursing + pumping + no chance to nap + playing with the boys + pushing a stroller with 2 kids in it (or wearing one in a carrier) + + + + = one very knackered mama.

Friday, 4 February 2011

I Can Do This

Today was a much better day. I know that I can do this, I can be a good mom to my boys, I can be friends with exHusband, I can be myself and I can love and like myself.

I have been very worried about handling mornings by myself after I am back at work. I am not even close to being a morning person. When I was working after BBJ1's mat leave, exHusband did the morning, I got out of bed, had a shower, dressed, grabbed the coffee that exHusband made for me, said good-bye and left. He fed and dressed BBJ1 (while taking his shower and getting ready for work) and took him to daycare. This morning we needed to go to the passport office and I wanted to go as early as possible to avoid huge line-ups. It took one and a half hours from the time we got out of bed to out the door, we all had breakfast, I had a shower, and put on makeup. Not bad, it is workable.

The trip to the passport office was good. BBJ2 slept in the carrier most of the time, but when he was awake he wasn't fussy. BBJ1 was amazing, held my hand all the time, no tantrums (okay, there was about 20 seconds of bad behavior on the platform at St. George subway), he stayed close to me at the passport office (pulled out Buzz Lightyear and a chocolate chip cereal bar when we arrived), and displayed good behavior all the way home.

In the afternoon, BBJ1 helped me polyfil some holes in my bedroom wall (nail holes, not fist holes), and we danced to Motown Classics. It was great fun, even BBJ2 was bopping a bit. It did make BBJ1 go a bit insane, really hyper but the moment was awesome.

At some point today I put on my Grandma's ring. I have my grandmother's engagement ring, and it is very special to me. I loved my grandmother so much and she passed when I was quite young. I used to wear the ring all the time, it makes me feel good to have a piece of grandma with me. I stopped wearing the ring when exHusband put my engagement ring on my hand. It was totally me that stopped myself from wearing the ring. I think that I felt like if I was wearing Grandma's big diamond that I was competing or belittling my engagement ring, like the engagement ring was so important that it needed to stand alone. I love the ring and I love how I feel when I wear it, so I am wearing it again.

Since we broke up, I have been focusing on all the 'problems', I have been spending my time and energy worrying about how I was going to do this, it felt like too much. I have been in a very negative space and blaming exHusband for doing this to me. But the thing is that he didn't do it to me, we did it together, I just didn't see it. We fell in love together, we built our relationship together, we built our home and our family together, we also took our marriage apart together. I did lots of things that contributed to our relationship breaking. I took his love for granted. I focused on what I didn't have or what I wasn't getting and ignored what I did have and what I was getting. I became terrified of losing him and acted on that fear, I was suspicious and jealous. I was angry a lot. I don't think that I would have liked being around me.

I'm going to try to focus on what I do have and what I can do instead of what I don't have or can't do. I'm going to work with exHusband to raise our children in a happy, loving, nurturing family that just happens to have two separate homes.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

What a Day!

Today was not a fun day.

In a couple of weeks I am going to England for a business meeting. I need to get my passport renewed since my existing one expires next month. I have just enough time to get a new one if I can get the application in by tomorrow. I arranged for my mom to come and watch BBJ1 so that I could wait in the line ups toddler free. I was expecting her to come in the morning and therefore did not take the boys to the park even though it was a beautiful day. Mom showed up around noon.

So the morning consisted mostly of BBJ1 going through all of my stuff and standing on furniture. At one point he came to me "here mom, for you" with my grandmother's perfume atomizer. It is blown glass and is one of the few things I have of her, I cherish it, and every once in a while I open it and smell Grandma.

After Grandma arrived, I headed out with BBJ2 to go to the passport office. I was wearing BBJ2 in a carrier under my mamajacket. As we neared the subway station, a man walking towards me hit me in the face with a bag of McDonalds and said something like "stop crying about that baby...". I was stunned and confused - I wasn't crying, I was actually in a pretty good mood. I turned around and said "what the fuck?". There was another man behind me who had seen what happened and started to tell the crazy guy off, and received a bag of McDonalds in his face. The two men then fought until the witness guy was holding crazy down on the street in the snow. I was on the phone with 911. There was a third man who had just come off the subway who also was on the phone with 911, he said that crazy had tried to pick fights with numerous people on the subway just prior. It felt like forever before the police showed up. The poor guy holding down crazy was really great, he did keep asking if anyone was coming, but he showed huge restraint, crazy called him the 'N'word and he did not retaliate or beat the dust out of him, but just continued to hold him in place. The police arrived, put crazy in a car, took statements, etc. I was not hurt and BBJ2 was absolutely fine, he slept through almost all of this.

So the hardest part of this was that the only person I wanted to call was ExHusband, but I couldn't call him. I felt like, ok, we are broken up I need to buck up and take care of myself again. I did it for years before I met him and I was o.k., I need to do it again. Later ExHusband texted me about something and I ended up telling him what happened. So I tried to not go to him for support but ended up there anyway.

So once the police said I could go, I headed to the passport office. Once there, waited in line only to find out that the particular office I went to can not turn around a passport as quickly as I need. We headed home, I just didn't have it in me to head downtown to the other office.

Later in the afternoon, at home, BBJ1 was in his chair having a snack and I was trying to get my work laptop connected to the office network, when BBJ1 said "mom, go to the big door, check the door". When he said that I noticed a funny burning smell. I went out into the hallway and the smell was quite strong and there were other neighbors checking it out. We determined that it was coming from the apartment in between us and that neighbor is away. I called building management to have someone check it out. I kept the door open so that I would know when the super came so that I could know if everything was ok. This meant that we had to be in the hallway while BBJ1 ran up and down. At one point some neighbors on the other end of our floor were in the hallway talking, BBJ1 was off, by the time I got there he was inside someone else's apartment sitting on an elderly ladies lap in her dining room. It was a pain to get him out and the man of the apartment kept saying "it's ok, he can stay" and I'm looking at the crystal bowl on the coffee table, so I got him out as quick as possible. BBJ1 decided that we should go into the stairwell. I told him that you have to have shoes on to go into the stairwell, so he went and got his shoes. We ended up going up and down 7 flights of stairs. (I have been thinking that I need to start working out - tighten the glutes - if I'm going to start dating again, so not a bad thing to do stairs). I don't know if the super ever showed up, I managed to get BBJ1 back inside after the stairs, but the smell did go away.

This evening I tried to get back to work work, but needed to call the HelpDesk, they were unable to help me, said to call back later when their tool would be fixed. But after fiddling around with stuff, had trouble getting my personal computer on the internet. While doing all this was nursing and putting down BBJ2 numerous times.

On the plus of today, BBJ2 started to clap his hands again. When he first started clapping, he used to do it a lot. At some point he stopped clapping, but I didn't even notice. This morning BBJ1 was making the music on a toy play and BBJ2 started to clap. I realized then that I haven't seen him clap in ages. I hope that the clapping hiatus was just because he was busy learning other new skills and not because he didn't have anything to clap about.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better, although I will be heading downtown with both the boys to try the passport again.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The Balance Sheet of Marriage and Parenthood

I think I now understand why some divorces are so ugly. During our marriage I didn't do things for my husband thinking about what I would get in return, however, now that our marriage is over I keep thinking that he owes me, and since I won't get the emotional support now, and since he isn't going to show up and clean my home, I have been focusing on money. The focus is there because I am broke right now, if he had left when I was back at work instead of on mat leave, it wouldn't bother me so much.

When things were good, I didn't think about who was doing more or less, contributing more or less. When things were stressful for me, (stress caused by external or internal forces) I found myself weighing our contributions against each other. When things were good, it didn't matter if I was doing more of one thing because I was getting more of other stuff. When things were good, I was getting tons of emotional support and love, so nothing else mattered.

Now that our marriage is over I am looking at back at everything and reassessing. I look back and think "Oh my god, why did I do that, of course he would have hated me for that", but at the time I was just reacting to a situation. I look back and wonder if I made the right decisions for me. If I had known that he was going to leave me, would I have done what I did? I look back and wonder how I ended up here. At some point in our marriage I lost myself, it wasn't my husband's fault. For a long time I didn't need or want anyone else, he was enough. Then I became very isolated during my mat leaves and ended up relying on him more.

So the one thing that I feel like he really owes me is time. Time to get back out there, time to reconnect with my friends, time to find and be me. A big part of me are my boys, but I need to have an adult me too.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Karma is a Task Master

Recently I told someone that Karma is a bitch. This was interpreted as they will get what is coming to them for what they have done. I was trying to say that if they changed how they treated people, they would then be treated better.

I just realized that I must have done some terrible things that I don't remember, or that I did things that I didn't thing were terrible but had a disastrous impact to others, because I feel like I am in the middle of a shit storm.

It isn't just that my husband left me, it is everything that happens as a result of that. I'm in emotional turmoil. Most of today I was really good, but just started crying as I edited the photos in the screen-saver on the computer. It is one of the things that really suck about being left. The person who leaves gets to pick what they want to take, they leave behind all the memories, all the pictures, all the things you bought together. The person who is left has all this stuff around to remind them. My husband picked out the paint colour in our living room/dining room. We picked out the couch together, and I'm pretty sure the choice was more him than me. I made the curtain in our bedroom when he was working nights so that it would block out the sun so he could sleep during the day. It goes on and on. While I have already started to make changes (re-arranged the bedroom furniture), I can't just change everything else instantly. I do plan on making more changes over time, but money is tight and the boys will wreck everything anyway so it makes more sense to wait until they are older and are no longer colouring the chairs.

It's knowing that I'm not going to get my turn career wise. A few years ago we decided that my husband would pursue a new career. It meant that I was the income for the family for at least a year. However there was the possibility that once he was established he would become the income for the family and I could pursue a different career. I'm good at what I do, I'm successful in my company, and there are parts of my job that I really enjoy, but it is not a passion. Now that we are broken up and I am supporting myself and 2 children who will need daycare, I won't be able to start from scratch, I'm now a lifer.

It's being alone in the responsibility with the boys. I know that my husband is there for the boys, but it feels really different. I feel so much more responsibility than I did before, which is hard because it was already a lot. Part of the extra responsibility is now I have to help them deal with their father not being here. Part of it is just being alone 24 hours a day with them.

I was pretty bitchy when I was a teen-ager, maybe it is finally coming back to haunt me.

Monday, 31 January 2011

Do I Miss My Husband or Miss Having a Husband

Today was a crappy day and I had no one to vent to. This made me start to wonder if I was missing my husband or missing having a husband. I miss having someone to talk to about my day, about the kids, about whatever. I miss hearing about an adult's day. I miss the companionship.

Before I met my husband, I lived alone and was o.k. with it, but after having over 6 years of talking to the same person everyday, over 5 years of having another warm adult body in my bed at night, I'm no longer o.k. being alone. I know that I am not really alone, the boys are here with me, all the time with me, but it isn't the same.

I don't know the answer yet, maybe I will someday.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

I need to give myself time-outs

So another week has gone by, thought I was doing much better but then lost it tonight. I saw something tonight that I assumed my husband had written and posted on FB and lost it, dropped him as a friend and then texted him. Turns out that the post was automatically generated by an app. This is not the first time over the last month or so that I cursed myself for moving too quickly when upset. I really need to implement some sort of timeout for myself before I text. Probably should stop texting too.

Leading up to this incident, the week felt like most weeks, did normal stuff with the boys, went to the park, ran errands, cleaned makeup off the toddler's face, changed diapers, fed the boys, etc. Only difference is husband is not here and I had a lot more company than usual. (the support hasn't stopped)

I went to my counseling session was o.k. It is really nice to talk to someone who does not have any history with me or my husband or our families. I don't feel like he is judging me or husband, which seems pretty rare. He also seemed to think that I am pretty pulled together considering, but warned that I could totally lose at any point in the future, now there is something to look forward to.

My mother-in-law came for a visit this week. I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about it, but thought I would just see how it went before making any decisions on no in-laws or yes in-laws. It was o.k. I think that it was mostly o.k. because she was quite sympathetic to me and upset with her son. It was kind of boosting but at the same time a bit sad. It seems like the only people that my husband has on his side are his 'friends'. I'm not sure that these friends are true friends that will help him move forward in a mature healthy way. I could be wrong and I hope I am.

The boys are doing well. There have been moments this week when my toddler has been sad, hopefully this will fade. An amazing thing did happen this week, baby took a bottle from my mother while I was at my counseling session, this bodes well for my sanity.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Angry Angry Angry

It has been a bitch of a week.

I am so angry at my husband that I just want to smack him, of course I won't, because that isn't me and I've been trying really hard to get my toddler to stop hitting (and pinching, and biting, and head-butting) so it wouldn't set a good example.

I am positive that he has lied to me about some stuff and he doesn't show any respect for the fact that we are married and were not broken up at the time of some of his antics.

Mostly I'm pissed because I am left holding the bag.

The only way I can get the baby to sleep at night for ages is to have him sleep in my arms or in bed with me. He often sleeps for 2/3 hours in the late evening in his crib, but after that it is with me. The baby is crawling and pulling himself up and starting to get into stuff. I have a rambunctious, curious, fun, crazy toddler who can (and will) get anything he wants to, there is nowhere to hide stuff, he will climb, move furniture, anything he needs to get something he wants.

So my husband is starting his new life, he's couch flopping with a buddy until he gets his new apartment in 2 weeks. He's out partying with his 'friends' while I'm here alone with 2 little ones. The baby doesn't take a bottle and the only way he'll go to sleep is nursing, so I can't really go out, even if I could find someone to babysit. I have no problem getting people to sit during the day or evening, but late evening gets to be trickier.

I really wonder about myself. I always thought I was such a good judge of character and I really believed my husband was going to stand beside me for the rest of my life. I knew from the beginning that he wasn't perfect and that he had big issues, but I loved him anyway. Even when he was the biggest ass in the world, and I had trouble looking at him, I still loved him. He had said to me when we were breaking up that he didn't want to lose our friendship because I had been a true friend to him. I'm not sure that I will be able to do it. I will try but it is going to be rough.

On the plus side, my family and friends are being hugely supportive. Everybody is offering up anything I need. My brother showed up with a t.v. last night to replace the one that the toddler fried. (I told my husband he could have the t.v., haha!).

Both of the boys seem to be o.k. Tonight was the first time that my older boy asked when daddy was coming home and didn't seem to upset by it. It is going to take a while for them to get used to the change, but I think that if I can hold myself together and be nice towards the husband, the boys will be o.k.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

1 year, 3 months later and sad as hell

So, it has been a long time since I last posted. What has happened during that time?
I got pregnant again, had another beautiful boy, and my husband left me.

I'm currently on mat leave with both of my little guys home with me. My husband left 3 days ago. Tonight is the first night it is just the 3 of us here in our home.

Catch up:
I was back at work for just over a year before #2 was born. I thought it was a good year. Work went really well, worked on some tough projects, got lots of kudos, managed to not get hit during a re-org. #1 son seemed to flourish at daycare, everyone there loved him and he loved it. The pregnancy went pretty well, full-term this time, but another c-section. Husband pulled his weight, he did mornings with #1 son (I got out of bed, hit the shower, got dressed, said good-bye and left), I did evenings while husband worked.

The pregnancy was a complete surprise. When #2 son arrived, the surprise turned out to be the most wonderful gift that I had no idea I wanted or needed. He is a wonderful baby, so calm and sweet and happy. He slept lots and for over 2 months he slept from 10pm to 5/6/7am every night. This of course did not last and now I get maybe 4 hours of non-contiguous sleep a night,

Being on mat leave has been tough. #1 Son is a ball of energy. All summer we were at the park twice a day every day - it was the only way to keep my sanity. He can get into everything and anything in our home. We live in a 2 bedroom apt and it has been really cramped. I was really stressed about our living situation for quite a while, but it passed (mostly). We have to make do with what we have, right? About the same time that #2 stopped sleeping at night, #1 stopped napping and refused to have a quiet time.

So less than 2 weeks ago, I learned that my husband no longer wanted to be married to me. This is the saddest thing that I have ever gone through. I am heartbroken and angry. I never wanted to be a single mom, but here I am, a single mom. I had really thought that we were one of those special couples that make it all the way. We used to joke about changing each other's diapers. I used to picture us sitting in rockers on a porch surrounded by our grandchildren.

Now I picture myself alone.