Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter weekend

The kids have a couple days off here, which is lovely. They could all use the rest right now to be honest. They are all pretty tired.

It is snowing today so they are indoors and Wes is also working on the house - mudding etc. So I am trying to keep them downstairs. There is to be honest quite a bit of fighting and send to rooms etc. We've lost an ipod, OH HEAVENS WHAT SHALL WE EVER DO!!!

I'm thinking that today is one of those days we just have to live through. As my Grandma used to say, This too will pass. And so it shall, hopefully with minimal casualties.

Last weekend was not warm, but it wasn't snowing, so the kids were on their bikes. Bronwyn picked up from last summer and is doing great. Mari is also on a regular bike now. After a few pushes up the street by Dad she is riding on her own. She just struggles with getting started, figuring out how to push and get on the go. It will come. We are pretty impressed with how she is doing!

I'm hoping we can get the walls primed soon, so the lengthy process of mudding and sanding can be over! Its getting close... so close... and yet so far...


Thursday, April 03, 2014

Spring break

We made it through spring break. It wasn't really "spring" break this year. Well, honestly it never is!

Gavin had a lacrosse camp most of the week, which he really enjoyed and he also took a couple ski lessons, which he loved. I'm so pleased that he is enjoying a couple sports, just don't know why he had to pick such an expensive one (skiing), maybe he could take up yachting next?? The girls do activities all winter, but Gavin has had nothing on this year. So he crammed everything into one week! Ha!

Wes and Gavin also took a snowboard lesson. I asked Gavin how Wes did and he said, "Well," big sigh, "he fell a LOT." I'm just so proud of Wes! So proud that he is willing to try new things and spend time with his boy!

The girls had a more relaxed week, we still did lots of fun stuff, just more casual fun stuff.

We were all a bit bummed to be back at school, but they love it and the routine is good for them. And, I finally got my laundry folded. It is amazing how my time gets sucked away when they are home. But, they are pretty good company!

Mari and I are off to Ikea with a friend. I'd say a friend of mine, but Mari loves her to bits, so she would take exception to that!!

Oh and I finally downloaded pictures and found some! Wow! I guess I do take pictures, I just forget.
 






Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Last of the deep thoughts

Does anyone else miss Jack Handey's Deep Thoughts. Sigh. They were awesome!

I promise my next post will be of children playing and being cute as buttons, but I haven't been taking pictures and the kids haven't been doing anything terribly cute, thanks to the super cold weather - that is unless you consider playing on their various tablets cute! Which I don't! But warmer weather is coming and so is the cuteness - I can just feel it.

Recently I saw on Facebook an initiative to encourage "random acts of kindness." I love this! Love it! The world can always use more random kindness - this is exciting.

But...

This got my mind whirling. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could start a campaign for "Consistent Consideration." Where we could bring consistent change to our daily lives in how we see others and our concern for their well being.

Take for an example a soar spot for most of us - driving.

Imagine how things would change is we (and I am including myself in this):

- left room between our car and the one in front of us, not only to have the room, but to allow for others to merge into the lane we are in. Positioning our car in a considerate way.

- or upon seeing someone signal that they want to enter the lane we are in, we slowed down and let them in rather than speeding up to get ahead of them.

- or really believed that people merging onto Deerfoot also have the right away as the sign says, and not treating a merge sign as a yield.

In short, what if we treated other drivers with a courteousness that they may or may not deserve. Because as in most things how we treat someone says less about them than it does about us.

If even a few drivers did this it would make life so much more bearable, as I discovered this morning when a driver allowed me to turn on to a very busy road and even smiled at me!

Will this prevent accidents and incidents - no. People are human and make mistakes, machines malfunction. But, wouldn't it be an encouragement.

This is just one example, imagine if everyone in the office put their own dishes in the dishwasher and didn't expect the receptionist to clean up after them. There are a million little things we can do.

I have to confess I am often thoughtless and self absorbed. But I have also discovered that making changes to other people and my surroundings can be quite difficult. Perhaps I could focus on changing myself and my own attitudes, what will be the outcome?

So here is my suggestion. For today lets try to see the world through the eyes of others and try to make the world better for them. It may do nothing to change the world, but I bet it will change us!

What do you think?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The modern mom

There is so much pressure in our world, our society to be a great Mom. Now while I think my mom was a great mom, I know she didn't spend a lot of time obsessing about how she was doing it or if she was making better choices than other moms. Maybe its the internet, blogs, pinterest or facebook, or maybe its older moms looking to find the same markers and job satisfaction they had before entering the world of snotty toddlers.

I'm not sure what is causing it, but it is undeniably - out there. I read blogs that refer to the "judgy-ness" of other Moms (Yes I did just make up that word - its my blog!). The stay at home Mom writes about the virtues of her role and defends her choices, rightfully so. The working Mom writes about the complexities and struggles of balancing all of her responsibilities, and rightfully so.

Being a mom, no matter how you do it is hard. But I think maybe we are making it harder. We parent like we are living in a mirror, watching our own movements, playing back the tape, reviewing our errors and vowing to make changes. Momming (yes I made up another word), has become "competitive," like Olympic figure skating, or bobsleigh.

In the face of that atmosphere, I have a confession. They say confession is good for the soul right? Well, by any standard set by any group or camp, I fail. I suck. You just need to come visit my house, after stepping on a few dozen fish crackers and cheerios (and no my kids aren't toddlers any more so there is no excuse for me), you will see that I am not a good house keeper. I'm not even a sort of good house keeper. Now in my defense, my house has and likely always will be in various states of renovation. A joy to try to work around I assure you. But, not even being to hard on myself, I quite happily admit that I do not like house work and I only do it when forced, or when the family members start making comments.

So, I must be good at something, at least you work right? No don't do that either. OK I try, and try is the operative word to do my husbands book keeping. I'm not a book keeper and frankly I suck at that too - just ask our tax accountant! Don't she might be too candid.

I occasionally pick up a few jobs here and there with the company I used to work with, but I fear I've lost my edge, I don't have the same "clued-in-ness" (yeah I know - I'm on a role) that I used to have.

It would seem the only thing I am still good at is making up words! I'm good at that you have to concur.

Having said all this, I don't mind one bit. I rather like being in this no-man's land of the mom world. You have no idea the respect I have for my working mom friends. How they manage it is beyond me. I know men mean well, but the decisions about the kids and the house and the cleaning and the laundry and the childcare, usually (not to lump all men together), usually fall at the feet of the mom, whether she works or not. So to you moms that work and make the worlds still turn for your families, kudos! You are my hero.

For the mom who stays at home and may even (horror of my personal horrors) home school their children. I don't know how you do it. To bring such meaning and earnestness to your work at home, to your children and their successes. You too are my hero!

Lets just remember that being a mom is just part of who we are. We are whole people and lets not judge ourselves solely on our success or failure in one area of our lives. Even if it is super important (I get that - don't worry).

Because, it is important, even for the more mediocre of mothers to have heroes! So press on and stop being so stinking critical of yourselves. No one else sees your mistakes and if they did, they should sympathize not judge. If you feel judged, sit down and ask yourself, am I actually being judged or am I doing this to myself. If you are being judged, brush it off (easily said I know). You are permitted mistakes, you are allowed to be imperfect.

If you are reading this and you feel judged - DONT! I love the many and wonderful ways we express ourselves as Moms. So go out today and express yourself as who you are and remember you are "fearfully and wonderfully made."

Thursday, February 06, 2014

The problem with platitudes

Our world is full of them, platitudes. Sayings that typify or answer a great question. You've seen them - if you've ever been on Facebook. Usually written on some lovely picture, for added inspirational value.

Here are a few I have heard over the years:
 - God never gives you more than you can handle.
 - What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.
 - Whenever one door closes another will open.

Here is a story about a platitude that I have more respect for than the above mentioned. "This too will pass." Let me talk about the last one, as an example of my issue with platitudes. When I was in University and I would be all bent out of shape about something, my Grandma used to say. "This too will pass." And I'd grind my teeth and huff under my breath. Because at the time I didn't understand. I was young and I had no idea that there would be a time in my life when I could care less what I got for a grade in eighteenth century restoration fiction.

Now! Now... I get it.. well, at least I understand more than I did at the time.

Some times we say things to help encourage others. We mean well, really we do. We often don't know what to say and we sure as heck don't know how to fix the problem so we start looking for silver linings, ways to encourage. And this my friends is beautiful in itself, the motivation is always good.

The problem is that sometimes these things can ring empty. But we still need to say them, because we care and we are helpless to do anything else.

I have had several conversations lately where I have been at a loss for words. Friends whose lives have taken such complicated turns that I wouldn't know where to start. So I default to platitudes. Ughhh!!! What the hell is wrong with me!

Perhaps the platitudes are better really because without them my usual repertoire includes things like:
 - Wow that sucks!
 - Go big or go home!

See, as I have said before, sympathy and understanding are not my strong suites.

The problem is that we can't answer the problems of life with a saying or a statement. Our worlds are messy, our worlds are complex. The answers can't be simple and pre-planned.

For me, I am discovering (too bad I'm a slow learner), that I am a better friend when I stop trying to help and just simply listen.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Postscript

So the inevitable and unenviable happened... I got sick Friday night and shortly after I started Bronwyn also began. So we all got it. Unfortunately the timing meant that Bronwyn couldn't go to her dance recital.

The good news is that I was sick enough that it prompted me to feel a bit more sympathetic to my wonderful children and husband who suffered it before me! I vow to be a better wife and mother. I promise!! (wink wink)

Friday, January 31, 2014

Sick week

About a week ago I was thinking about how healthy we have all been this winter, so far. I was surprised that other than the odd snotty nose we'd had a pretty great run. I should have known better...

Friday night Wes came home and announced he had the flu and went to bed. Which meant no furthering of the renovations for me!! See how sympathetic I am.

Sunday Gavin and Mari woke with bad coughs, so we all stayed home for morning, but it just seemed to be a head cold nothing more.

Monday Wes felt well enough to go to work so off he went - to work on other people's homes (not that I'm dwelling on that fact - ahem!). I kept Mari and Gavin home, not that I thought they were that sick, but their coughs sounded bad and I figured people wouldn't appreciate them coughing everywhere. My fear of what people think out weighs my concern for my children's health.

Late Monday night Mari obviously had the flu, and based on the frequent trips to the bathroom, so did Wes. GREAT!

Tuesday I kept Mari home but sent the other two to school as they were fine.

Mari seemed to rally, Wes had a very restful day.

Tuesday night, Mari wasn't over it.

Wednesday kept Mari home, Wes went off to work and I wondered what we were going to eat, since I had not had a chance to get to the grocery store. Not an issue for Mari, she wasn't hungry, but what about me, I asked, yes, what about me? So I found and ate chocolate - yes old Halloween chocolate, by the handful. By the evening Mari has rallied and is playing with her siblings.

Wednesday night Mari throws up again. REALLY!

Oh but wait, now its Gavin's turn. Unlike his little sister who is excellent at making her way to the toilet, Gavin has now puked everywhere in his room. With no warning, no calling for Mom and Dad, just there you are!!

The whole house is now awake as we clean up the mess and the kid and I try to be the sympathetic mom. I do not sleep for the rest of the night. I lay there half resting waiting for any sound that he might start up again. At the first sounds of rustling I run grab the bucket and try to chase his flailing head so we can minimize the clean up. This is fun for me. Sort of a game of catch in the middle of the night.

I call the school in the middle of the night and say that none of the Davis kids are coming. What about Bronwyn you ask? No, she is not sick, but I figure with the interruptions to her sleep she needs the rest. We all finally sleep. Until our lovely neighbor calls to offer the kids a lift to school. Such a kind offer.

Long story and yes, I realize this took as long to read as it did to live through. They are all on the mend now and its a PD day so they are resting and eating home made chicken soup - although I've been told that its a bit yucky and they would prefer Lipton's noodle soup. Thank you offspring! Thank you!

YEAH!