Friday, July 31, 2009


Today is the last day of the boys' summer daycamp. Despite the fact that I said I enjoy having them home with me, I also have enjoyed having them in camp. Due to some work schedules on behalf of the parents of the kids I care for, I actually had a real and true, honest-to-goodness day to myself on Tuesday. Let me tell you, that NEVER happens!! NEVER NEVER NEVER!

I have been doing home daycare for 7 years now, and I've never had that sort of thing happen, where the planets align and the stars are in the right position. I have had days when no other kids were scheduled (mostly in the summer), but mine have always been here. It was like a tease though.

I spent the morning vacuuming and washing floors, and cleaning the main floor bathroom. Yeah, I know, what a waste, but I just never seem to have time on the weekends in the summer, there aren't many opportunities during the day with looking after other kids, and I have a strict policy against housework past 5:00 p.m. So it left me no choice. Besides, I don't mind housework as much if I can do it alone (meaning no interruptions) and with my music blasting.

Anyhow, then I took the dog to the groomer, and met DH for lunch. That was nice, it was like a date, only with a time limit. Speed dating anyone?? LOL No time for anything other than eating... Oh well :)

So what was my point in all this??? Oh yeah, the boys have been in camp. And my week has been much lighter and less stressful.

So the two brothers I care for weren't scheduled to arrive until 9:30, which left me a half hour to myself. Not much, but I'll take what I can get. Since we had ridden our bikes to the school where camp is, I decided to go for a solo bike ride. I rode down the street towards the lake, which you can see from the school (and the top floors of my house, actually). At the end of the road is a small, quiet beach only known to locals. We never go there, mainly due to the fact that the bike ride has always been a bit much for two young boys (especially back which is ALL uphill), and you can't exactly drive to it, only really walk or ride. But for me, it was fine.

And the view was beautiful. The water was calm, the sun was shining, and no one was around. It was perfect solitude, and I wished I could have spent the day there just like that, sitting on the beach with a book. Everyone needs alone time, and this week has made me realize just how much I really need it and should try to get more of it.

Unfortunately, I didn't bring a camera, but I will try to get a shot of this beach one day and post it, it's so nice. As I approached the beach, there was a family of ducks following me, regarding me with much anticipation. Not long after, a man came along with a bag of bread, at which point all the ducks flocked to him, quacking and peeping. He shared some with me, and told me he went there mostly everyday, which was obvious from the ducks' reactions. It was such a simple thing, standing there, feeding ducks with a stranger, but it was so peaceful and pleasant that I will be using it for my "happy" place when I need to for awhile.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Sound familiar? Yeah, if you're a mom, it probably does.

But wait - here's the kicker..... it wasn't one of my kids saying this, it's ME!!

Yep, me. 30- ahemmm, mumblemumble- something years old and I am acting like a five year old. But I can't help it, I just don't wanna go!

Go where, you say?

To the cottage.


Now why wouldn't anyone want to go to the cottage? Am I crazy, you say? No.

Here's the thing. First of all, the cottage is not our cottage, it's DH's Grandmother's cottage. 80-something (3, I think)-year-old-almost-practically-deaf-and-extremely-stubborn Grandmother. And during the summer months, she lives there. Is that enough for you yet? Ahh, but the plot thickens.

Now imagine further. Taking two boys with plenty of energy to a cottage where they may or may not be stuck inside (likely will be due to the completely CRAPPY weather we've had this summer!) and not allowed to touch much of anything, do much of anything and VERY LIMITED SPACE to play! Yikes.

But wait, there's more! Despite the fact that there are four bedrooms in this cottage, they are all very tiny as cottage rooms tend to be, very stuffy, and there is only one small main room and one bathroom for all to share. And that means not just the four of us + Grandma, it also includes DH's mother and ever-fragrant father (and I mean that in the most loving of ways, NOT!) Not to mention our dog (a 12 yr old mini-schnauzer) and my SIL's waaaaaaayyyyy too hyper and obnoxious dog as well (same breed). Gah.

So what's a person to do? Well, you can go outside and hunt for berries in the thick, mosquito-ey bush. Hmmmm, nah. You can go for a walk on the dusty road, where mosquitos are also abundant (for some reason they LOVE me, and L too, we must have sweet blood or something) and you have to watch out for traffic moving up and down the road. OR, you could go swimming in the frigid water. The lake we're on doesn't ever get higher than 75 at the most, and that's in the hottest of summers, I can't imagine what it's like this year but I'm a suck when it comes to cold water. Or you could play on the beach, wait, what beach, it disappeared this year when the water level moved up several feet. Two square feet of beach is enough for two boys to play on isn't it??? No, didn't think so. OR you could sit inside the cottage, trying to relax and read your book, but you'll either be #1) asked to complete some mundane chore, #2)be soothed {right} by blasting Musak (ok I don't know what else to call it, but it's the crap you here when you've been put on hold on the phone, or coming out of the speakers in Wal-mart or some such place) being played at full volume for the benefit of the hearing impaired (or soon to be...) or #3) die a slow death of heat exhaustion due to the temperature inside the uninsulated cottage. Or, you could try to watch tv on the three fuzzy channels that come in, or maybe a movie IF you're lucky.

Ok, enough whining, you say. But no, I want to whine more.

If I wanted to spend my very precious long weekend (first one of the summer, by the way) doing menial household chores by hand (I'm talkin' dishes here, peeps) then I would be happy to go. But silly me, I don't want to, guess I'm just weird that way. Why in hell would I want to go live like that, on MY TIME OFF when I can just stay home and have this wonderful invention called an AUTOMATIC DISHWASHER do it for me? Grrrr. Apparantly, in DH's family's world, we are still living in the 1920's, 'cause it's "women's work". WTF? Not what I'm trying to teach my boys.

Oh, well, maybe I'll just go for a nice long ride in the boat.

Oh, right, we don't have a boat. Unless you consider one powered by human legs one. Ya know, a paddle boat? Gee, fun. And oh so exhilerating on the ever-choppy waters that surround us.

Ok, one more whine (or two).

On top of all this really fun stuff, we also have to attend a wedding this weekend. Whoopty-freakin'-doo. I'm not a lover of weddings, as such. The boring ceremony, the even more boring and cheesy speaches, the questionable food, the uncomfortable clothing, the trying-to-make-small-talk-with-strangers, and yes, I'm effing cheap. I'm sorry, but if I wanted to spend a hundred or something dollars on someone, it's going to be someone I love, not someone I barely know. Good friends getting married, I'm happy. Close family, I'm happier. But estranged cousins, workmates/aquaintances, and cottage neighbours?? Nope. Can't be bothered.

But, we got guilted into going (as usual, DH has NO, ZERO, BALLS when it comes to standing up to his family, sigh), so now we have to go witness the third marriage of the next-door-cottage-neighbour at someone else's cottage that's almost an hour away from our own! Crap. Plus, we aren't supposed to drive there. We're supposed to take some shuttle bus they've arranged for due to the limited parking. So we can't leave when we want, we're stuck there for the day, or at least until the first shuttle leaves at 9:30 at night. And this is with the kids in tow.

So that's the Saturday of my coming long weekend. Sunday, I'm sure will involve me desperately trying to escape from the other family members as much as possible while looking after my own children and my husband succumbs to the will of The Overlord Grandma to do her bidding, all this time, begging my DH to let us leave that night and not put us (and my back) through one more night of torture. But it won't happen, guarantee we'll be there till Monday. Tuesday I'll return to work and mounds of laundry refreshed and relaxed {yeah, right} . I am very seriously considering asking my darling SIL to drop me off at home when she leaves on Sunday (who, by the way, very WISELY decided to stay in the local hotel with her new BF instead of subjecting him to the hell that is this family and scaring him off early. Good for her).

Ok, so do you blame me whining a bit? Or do you think I'm a total wench, should suck it up and think myself lucky? And let's not forget all the other things that go along with going away for the weekend that always falls to the Mom to do: the packing of clothes, food, toys, supplies, and the subsequent unpacking of it all.

Ok, whining is over.

For now.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ottawa Trip

The Canadian Parliament Buildings

The locks on the Rideau Canal

So we are back from our trip to Ottawa. It was fantastic, lots of fun! If you are looking for a nice, small trip to take, I highly recommend it. Oddly enough, I'd never been to the capital of my country! I'm ashamed of myself, but now we are planning to go back in the winter when the canal freezes over for lots of skating fun!

We took the train (VIA Rail) there, which was a five hour trip. We didn't have a car when we got there, but found that we didn't really need one for the most part. Everything is within walking distance (some walks much longer than others) and there isn't much parking around anyway. Where there is, you are going to pay through the nose!

My one complaint about the trip would be the expense, as food was very pricey. But that's to be expected, as it's a touristy area, and trendy too. But the people were all very friendly, all completely bilingual (switching easily back and forth from french to english) and the city is so clean! Even though they say that Toronto is a pretty clean city (I disagree, especially with the current garbage strike ~P.U.!~ but perhaps I need to travel more and experience other, dirtier cities) it's got NOTHING on Ottawa. There were quite a lot of homeless people, but for the most part, they were also very polite, inobtrusive, and not as scary as some I've experienced in T.O.

Everywhere you go, people are biking in Ottawa! I think it's wonderful, and you can see for yourself that the obesity rate doesn't seem to be as high there. I would love to take our bikes there next time, and do some of the trails, but seeing as how we plan to go in the winter, mmmmmm, not gonna happen!

We stayed at the Residense Marriott, and while the hotel itself seemed a little older, I had no complaints. The rooms were clean, even the kitchenette which housed it's own dishwasher, and the service was great. There was a complimentary breakfast every morning, with everything you could want; eggs, pancakes, waffles, yogurt, cereal, fruit, bagels, toast, muffins, oatmeal, the list goes on...The pool was also nice; the water was warm and there was a hottub too. There was also a great gym, but I didn't use it, walking all day was enough.

We visited many museums, including a wonderful children's museum that had lots for kids to pretend. It was sectioned into different "dramatic" areas, with some parts as dwellings from different countries. It was really great, but boring for parents. We were wishing that we could just leave the kids there while we saw the rest of the museum (it was inside the Canadian Museum of Civilization) and exhibits. We also visited the Royal Canadian Mint, which only makes collector coins, not the coins we use (they are made in Winnipeg) and also the Parliament buildings (see top, I still can't get pictures to go where I want, RRRRGGGHHH).

Ok, that's about it for now, gotta post photos on Facebook now.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Guilt, guilt and more guilt

What a horrible morning I've had.
What a not-so-great summer I've had, so far.
I guess it begins with the kids I'm looking after. The dynamics of the group are such that there is an awful lot of fighting and arguing.
And it's wearing on me, day by day.
I don't know how much more I can take; something's gotta give, and soon.
I have five boys I look after, including my own. Who knew boys were such handfuls? There are two 7 year olds, one five, one four, and one just turned three. Aside from R (my angel, LOL) the other four are CONSTANTLY trying to "one-up" the others. I just don't get it. I guess it's a male thing, the whole "leader of the pack", "male dominance" BS. But it causes sooooooo much fighting. I can't take it anymore.
And as it turns out, neither can my own kids. At one point during the morning, R left the group to come into the kitchen with me (the others were outside) and said he didn't want to hear it anymore. I hear ya.
That was when I happened to witness another fight in the making. L was screaming at the four year old because he got to the swing first. Then he hauled off and punched him in the stomach!
I just couldn't believe my eyes. My kids are taught never to hit, or otherwise, and for most part they don't. L has his moments, with a swat here or there, but a full on sock to the gut?!
Being the red-head that I am, I immediately lost it - my temper that is.
That indiscretion just compounded on top of everything else that was getting on my nerves, and I completely lost my mind. I ran out the screen door, screaming at L to get inside, at which point I smacked him on the stomach (open handed though) to prove to him that it hurts. I also screamed at him at the top of my lungs; I'm sure the whole neighbourhood heard, the windows are open. I sent him up to his room and stayed in the kitchen, pacing, and literally shaking with anger.
And then it hit me.
I had done exactly what he had. I was no better than a five year old. I let all the day's (or week's) stress get to me, and I laid into him as I am not allowed to lay into the children that aren't mine. The ones that I truly want to lay into. Get it?
I feel horrible. I should be a better person that this. I just couldn't believe I had done that.
I dissolved into tears, trying not to get any in the KD I was mixing up. Then I went upstairs and apologized and cuddled with L for a while. And the look he gave me. It will haunt me forever. That trustful, sad look. The trust, that I didn't deserve.
Now I'm crying again. But I just feel so awful for doing that. Why do I let my temper get to me like that?
So now, I am trying something to hopefully help the situation from escalating again. I gave all the kids a stern talking-to at lunch. A whole big speach on being nice, not arguing, and following the rules. I also told them that I am implementing a new points system, where they will be losing points for arguing, and gaining ones for acts of kindness. The points will allow them to play video games, or not, if they don't have enough. I'm not quite sure how it's going to work out. These things always seem like a good idea at the time, but then end up being more work for me somehow. We'll see.
If this doesn't help though, I'm really afraid of my next step. I am going to have to "fire" someone. And I know who that someone is. I will have to admit failure, and just swallow my pride and tell his mother she has to find new care for him. I just can't continue to allow him to keep provoking me into this stressed out state. It's not fair, to me, or to my kids, or to the other kids either. And there doesn't seem to be a whole lot more I can do with him. I've looked after him for five long years now, and his behaviour has always been an issue. But timeouts are too juvenile for kids his age, and I am running out of ideas for punishments. I'm very limited with what I can do. So I'm praying, PRAYING, that the loss of video games will work with him.
Please let it work.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


So, I know I've been a little absent from the blogs for a few days, and this is due to my newfound addiction that I had to share with all of you. If you haven't read the Twilight series, by Stephenie Meyer, then you probably won't understand my obsession. If you have read them, and found them as enthralling as I did, then have I got a website for you!

At first, I wasn't too sure about fan fiction. I thought, "how could any of the stories written by common, everyday people be anywhere near as good as Stephenie's stories??" I thought, "it would just diminish the quality of the originals."

But wait! I got lead somehow by one of those annoying Facebook ads on the right side of the page to a Twilight fansite. It was there that I saw all these posts raving about this story called "The List" by Laura Cullen. SO I just HAD to find this story, and I Googled it.

Oh, you should know, that this story is many chapters long, and gets smuttier and sexier and steamier as they go along. Fantastic! It was sooooooo well writtten to be fair, and if you, like me, felt that the YA rating on the whole series left sooo much to be desired, then this just picked up all those pieces, if you get my drift.

Am I making sense?

After I finally finished reading the story (that has yet to be completed being written), I went on to look for more. There are soooo many stories on this website. Some are tamer than others, some are just as steamy, and some are rather imaginitive. There's no way that I could read them all, and some I just really don't want to. I'm not a "team Jacob" person, so I am not interested in any of the stories that are written in the terms of, what if Jacob had won Bella's heart?

Now that I've got that off my chest, I will return to my reading....

Check it out. (You have to "sign up" for the site, and they give you a password just so you know, but it's free!!)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sick, again.

The curse continues. I am sick, again! What is with this???

People are supposed to be healthier in the summer, not sicker!

L is FINALLY fever free, after 7 looooooonnnngggg days and two visits to the clinic. Who knows what it was, all I care is that it's gone now. But I somehow think that maybe he was fighting two viruses at once. The one that caused flu-like symptoms, that I caught last week, and then this cold. Fortunately for him, other than the fever, the cold hasn't been too bad for him, unlike me.
I feel like death warmed over today. I am just thankful that it is not a beautiful sunny day; it is miserable and rainy today. So I don't feel guilty about not taking the kids outside to play.

On a completely different note, I got to see my nephew yesterday. He is, of course, gorgeous!! I was sad that this cold kept me from getting too close to him, or my sister, but you must do what you must do. I would feel terrible if he got sick and was only a few days old.

My niece, M (she'll be 3 in Aug) was already starting to feel the effects of jealousy. She is very used to being the cute one, the centre of attention from all, the Princess. This is going to be very hard on her, and hard on my sister as well. You see, she is the youngest cousin (well, was) and so was doted on by all her aunties as well as Grandmas and Grandpas. Plus, my sister, who is a teacher, would take her to school with her in the mornings (where she would get picked up by her babysitter) and was loved and adored by all manner of staff and student.


What a kick in the teeth for her. Within a half hour of my sister arriving home from the hospital, she had already had a tantrum about not getting enough cookies. My poor sister, N, is in for a rough ride. Lucky my mom lives around the corner from her to relieve her.

I was lucky that way. We didn't have too many issues like that, as R was already more than used to sharing his mother's affections with many other children. I think that must have helped a lot.

On a sadder note, my poor dad is probably NEVER going to get to meet this baby. N has some kind of irrational hate for him, stemming from when my parents split up last October. At first, she was angry with him for "doing this to Mom and our family", which I could understand, but didn't really share. Then it went on from there. I just don't understand why she hates him so much, and what is it that he's supposedly done to make her deny him access to her house, her life and her family.

I don't talk with her about it, as I'm afraid that it would cause an argument between the two of us, and if you knew me, you would know that I am such a WIMP when if comes to confrontation.

But I feel so bad for my dad. He really hasn't done anything to deserve this kind of ostricization (is that a word?) and it's just sooooo unfair that he doesn't get to meet and hold his newest grandchild.

The weird thing is, is that my mom and dad are quite civil with each other. Yes, my mom hates what he did, but she is accepting it now, and probably doesn't see the point in being a hateful nasty person towards him for the rest of their lives.

Oh, I could go on and on, as one subject leads to another, but I think this post is probably long enough, and rambling enough too!