Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Does anyone else remember the Halloweens of our childhood?
I don't know what it was like for you, but I grew up in a rather small village. Now, the houses weren't all crowded together; far from it, they were greatly spaced apart. On Halloween night, it would take us a good two hours or more to go around the whole town. Our feet would be aching by the end. And we would have about a half a plastic grocery bag to show for it (more than enough!) I remember a school friend who lived on the outskirts of town who would get driven into town so she and her sister could trick or treat with their friends. Otherwise, she wouldn't have any fun where she lived.
Now, I live in a modern subdivision, in a city. On my street, the lots are slightly bigger than adjacent streets' lots. Across from my house and down a little is a crescent. On that street, the houses are rather packed together. And that's the hotspot. Kids come from other subdivisions to trick or treat in ours, because either they feel that their subdivision doesn't have enough houses, or they are too lazy to walk around to the houses spread farther apart.  They do the crescent across from me, and work their way back up our street. Some kids, by the time they get to my house, have told me they are on their second (!!!) pillow case! SECOND?! Really? And they've probably only been out for about a half hour.
When we were little, we gave out one piece of candy to each child. Not two, or three, or a handful. One. And everyone was ok with that and most said, "Thank you." Now, you're considered cheap if you hand out only one or two. This year, everyone is getting one from me. Maybe none if they tell me it's their second pillowcase!
We used to have kindly old neighbours that would bake us treats, or give us homemade caramel apples. Yum. We knew our neighbours. We knew most of the town, well, I guess that's what you get for a small town. But our neighbours would put a small tag on the cookie, or apple, or whatever that would say, "From the Johnsons" or whoever. And yes, we would get apples from some people, and no, we didn't care we actually would eat them! If I did that today, I know it would be a wasted effort, since most people wouldn't know who we were and would just throw it out.
We used to make our own costumes. I see very few kids these days with homemade costumes, and when I do, I am sure to praise them and comment on them. I appreciate the effort, even though we are guilty of the same thing here (store-bought costumes). Actually, the store-bought costumes from my youth weren't that great. They were plastic aprons basically, with fake ugly plastic face masks. You'd feel sorry for the kids that had to wear those. The best costumes were always the homemade ones made by the kids' moms or grandmas. They were the lucky kids. 
My dad used to delight in finding new ways to freak out the kids coming to our house. That was great. Again, we are guilty of not doing anything spooky or creative here, but it seems to be a dying art in general.
The only thing I feel that has actually gotten better about Halloween, is the pumpkin carving. No one in my youth ever had anything as elaborate as this:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What To Do, What To Do....

I'm in a bit of a pickle. A bit of a conundrum, as it were. I'm not sure what to do here. For the past two years, as a family, we've been enjoying skiing. Ok, when I say enjoying, I guess I mean three out of four of us. Apparently, L doesn't like it. 
Last year, he protested going quite a bit. But once we would get there, he didn't seem to mind too much. 
I still felt we were dragging him along. And this bothers me. I really want him to like it, to enjoy it with us. I need for him to like it, since its something we can do as a family, and it really helps the long winter go by faster when you have something fun to do on the weekends, instead of staying home and staring at the same walls all the time. 
And here lies the problem - L is perfectly happy to stare at the same walls all the time. So is R, but he does like skiing. I swear, both of my kids would easily turn into hermits if I let them. And I'm a home-body too, but even I get cabin fever during the dismal winters we have here. 
So I'm not really sure how much of L's dislike for skiing is spurred on by his dislike for leaving the house,or if he truly doesn't like the sport. He's like that with every activity he's tried: gymnastics, swimming, art class, t-ball, soccer, etc. He just can't be bothered to leave the house. It's also a huge reason why he hates going to school. Because its not home. (But that's not the only reason.) 
So here is my dilemma - we are in a very tight financial situation now. In all honesty, I really shouldn't even be considering skiing this year; it's an expensive sport as I'm sure you know. But I can also honestly say that before we began skiing as a family, I would feel depressed in the winter. The whole SAD thing did, and still does, get to me. When you compound that with stresses about money and other things, it's not great. I don't want to feel that way. Having this to look forward to really does help. And while I don't want to incur more debt on ourselves, I think it's worth it to save my sanity a bit. 
The thing is, is that I have a small window to save money in respect to this sport. The kids annually need new(ish) larger equipment, which I can get at the ski swaps held in October, and the ski resorts often offer discounts on passes and such if you buy early, usually before November. 
I talked to L last night, and asked him if he'd mind if R and I went skiing without him. He said he didn't care, indicating as long as it wasn't during school hours (that pretty much never happens due to work!), which made me think that he really doesn't hate skiing as much as he says if he's willing to go to get out of school. But he did express to me his desire to have more family time. I tried to get him to  give me some of his ideas of what family time means to him, but that's another post. 
So do I :

  1. Get him and his brother the equipment they need anyway,and continue to drag him along, hoping he'll get over it and start enjoying it? **I need to mention here that at the end of the season last year, he ended up falling on the last run of the day and spraining his thumb, so he's probably also scared to ski again, and therefore leads to the whole "Get right back on the horse" adage.
  2. Get R what he needs, passes just for the two of us and only take R when we want to go, leave L with Daddy, also hoping next year he'll change his mind? This means that if he does change his mind in say, Feb he's SOL because he won't have equipment. Then I'll feel badly about leaving him behind.
  3. Give up on skiing altogether for this year and concentrate on trying to be more frugal, risking SAD? 
Thoughts anyone? I'd love to hear them. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It Never Rains...

So by now I'm sure you (all one or two of you, lol) know my financial woes. The stress is getting to me, as my mind is constantly going over all the bills waiting to be paid, how much money is in the bank, how my one and only full time daycare kid has less than two weeks left with me, how I haven't grocery shopped for nearly two weeks now, and even though we still have plenty of food around, I'm trying to stretch it all out. My heart goes into failure every time one of the boys hands me yet another note from school asking for money for this and that.
I refused to pay the $25 for R's trip, which is a ridiculous amount of money, so the school covered it, but then he didn't end up going anyway because he was sick. They just brought home notes about some dance thing they're doing at school, for which they wanted $4 each. That annoys me, because its supposed to be part of the curriculum. Both R and L don't want to do it, as it's taking away from their regular gym time PLUS library time. If they want parents to pay for it, they should make it optional, otherwise, the school should pay for it, or not do it! Plus, L's teacher apparently told the class that "if your parents don't have the money, that THEY should pay out of their OWN money, because she's sure they have some." Um, what?! That's just rude.
But I'm going off on a tangent here...
So, I'm stressed, and it's affecting my sleep, which makes me more emotional and worried, and it's a vicious circle isn't it? I have no idea how I'm going to buy ANY Xmas presents this year, since I'd like to keep whatever credit we have left for a real emergency. But that's another two months away, thank god, so I'll try to push that to the back of my mind for now.
Now, to add some icing to this wonderful cake, my washing machine needs to be repaired. I know I mentioned that before, and we've managed to limp it along for the last few weeks, but I have to wonder if we're causing more damage by continuing to use it. So,this afternoon a guy is coming to look at it. He said he'll fix it for $80 plus parts, and he better stick to that. It's certainly better than what Sears wanted. They wanted $75 just to look at it. Hopefully the part is not too expensive, and it's fixable! I suppose the Sears card will be getting a workout if it's not fixable, and I'd rather not have that since its one of the few cards we have that has only a very small balance on it, due to the high interest rate.
And although it may seem unrelated, DH graduates next week. And since I have to work, I can't attend. I feel really badly, although a small part of me is glad because those things are soooo booooring. (I didn't even attend my own grad ceremony from college.) Since it's the last Tuesday I'll have with two kids here, I feel like we can't really afford for both of us to miss a day of work. DH wants to have the boys there, and I'm feeling ambivalent about that because they've both already missed several days of school this month (R can afford that but L can't) and they'll be bored stiff. There's no way they'd enjoy sitting through a two + hour graduation ceremony. Plus they'd probably act silly or fight or something. But I don't want to make DH go to his grad with no one there to watch him. He's going to ask his mom, and I hope she can get off work to go.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Daycare Musings

Here I sit, watching and listening to the kids playing. Today I have three, which these days, is a lot. It`s sad, and I`m feeling kind of desperate. I`ve got to get some more kids in my daycare, or there`s going to be trouble! I don`t know what the problem is, maybe word has got out that I just suck, or something. I want to write LOL after that, but I`m really starting to wonder. I`ve had for the most part, two families leave me in the past month. I know the reasons mostly, but there`s always that doubt in my mind.
One family of the two little boys I love have a crazy schedule now. Mom is a cop, and dad is in fulltime school training to become a nurse. My hours don`t fit their needs, and if it was a case of bending a little on my hours, I`d likely do it, but the bending part would be too much in this case. Like, 6:30 am to 7 pm or something crazy like that. I`ve seen the kids getting picked up at school by a teenaged babysitter, and I miss them. So do my boys. Their mom and dad are both super-nice, and have always been very good to me. I`m sad to lose them, but life changes. There was never any official end date to their time with me, it just kind of happened, which is the sad part. Their mom was convinced, I guess in her mind, that she could make it work somehow for them to still come to me. Ah, well.
The second family I`m not so sad to say goodbye to. I`ve been waiting for this day for a LONG time! So this is the kid that has been a bee in my bonnet, the pebble in my shoe, the, well, you get it...I can`t remember the nickname I gave him previously on here, I think it may have been X, or PIMA (pain in my ass). He`s the one that never got along with my L, who drove me crazy. Finally, his mother has decided in a weird sort of way that he is old enough to go home on his own. We had an issue (of course we did, we ALWAYS had an issue) at the beginning of the school year. It involved him completely disobeying me, and while we were at the park, he took off to the surrounding small wooded area (which we call the forest, although it`s pretty small to be a forest). On occasion, I would let the older kids go off to play in there, while I stayed at the park with the younger ones. But there were rules. If the rules weren`t followed, then there were consequences, namely, no longer being allowed that freedom anymore.
On the evening I told his mother about his infraction, we discussed that he might be old enough (he`s turning 11 in November) to go home on his own. He was bored at my house, and of course the ongoing issue of not listening. My R, who is the same age, is more than mature enough for this himself (but that doesn`t mean X is!) and had generally lost most interest in playing with X anymore. Over that next weekend, X`s parents decided that they would give it a try. I no longer had to collect X from school, just his younger sister A, who is in grade two. And BTW, I like A, she is a sweet girl.
Now, I said earlier that this was in a weird sort of way his mother had decided. What I meant by that is that at first, she was very reticent to give him this freedom and responsibility. But instead of easing him into it by, for example, letting him go home on his own once or twice a week at first, or setting very strict rules, she just proverbially threw up her hands and said, "Go, be free!" I found out later that he wasn`t sent straight home from school to immediately call his mother to let her know he was there. He is allowed to leave school and go to the park, to the forest, or wherever and to be home at five.
Perhaps I`m showing too much of my over-protective side here, but that just seems extreme to me. What if something happened to him? What if he left school at 3:20, went straight to the forest, fell out of a tree, or became kidnapped? His parents wouldn't know until he was missing for several hours. I know, I know, what if, what if.... I know when I was a kid, I roamed free, and I'm still here. Have times changed? Maybe. But when R goes to the park with his friend, I send him with my cell phone, just in case. He has been eased into his freedom, starting with small amounts of time of being left alone at home, and being allowed to walk to school alone and such. Then came walking to and from a friend's house alone, and then bike rides without an adult, taking the dog for a walk alone, and now he goes to the park with a friend, sans adult.
Anyway, it's her kid, her decision. I don't think this kid is mature enough to make the right decisions for himself or to handle that much freedom all of a sudden, but whatever.
So that's how I've lost a bunch of kids. A is only coming to me once or twice a week now at most, as I think her mom has adjusted her work hours in order to be home earlier or something. Maybe she realized she would rather save herself the money, I don't know.
Now I have Kady-bug three days per week, J is in JK now and is here once a week plus his alternate Fridays, and MM is my only fulltime kid. And her mom is having a baby in a month. So that will be it for her. Great. I'm starting to think I will have to get another job. Which will suck, because I have NO idea what to do, other than pour coffee at Tim's, or scan groceries at Zehr's. Which would mean I'd end up working weekends for sure and missing out on family time. Not good.
Maybe we just should win the lottery...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Feeling Bummed

Yeah, this is a mopey, whiny post. You've been warned.

I'm just feeling bummed out. It started with something that happened with my mom. This is going to sound cryptic, but you'll see why by the end, and it's because my dad reads this blog. My mom did something without telling me about it. And I found out through one of my sisters. My sister didn't/wasn't supposed to tell me, but I kind of put her on the spot and in a situation that she either had to lie, or tell me. She isn't into lying, so she told me, then later told my mom she told me. I was kind of surprised my mom didn't tell me, and then a bit hurt. Apparently, my mom didn't tell me because she didn't want my dad to know. (So dad, when you read this, just leave it as is and don't ask questions please, PLEASE! And definitely don't say anything to any of the other "kids" or mom!) And apparently, she doesn't want my dad to know a lot of things. She said that he "always knows stuff, and it's none of his damn business". OKAAAAAYYYYY......
Really, I guess what she was saying was that I am telling him stuff, as if I'm going around gossiping about her to my dad. Which I don't. I tell him small things, things which I've never considered to be personal, but apparently they are. I guess EVERYTHING is personal according to her.
You see, she made me feel like some kind of snitch. Like I'm untrustworthy. Like a child. If she had just said to me to begin with, "Please don't ever discuss me or any aspect of my life with your father," then I could have done that. I didn't know that EVERYTHING was taboo!!
So she called and sort of apologized, meaning, she said she was sorry she didn't tell me but.... And because I didn't want to make our relationship more troubled or rocky, I didn't say anything, about the but part. And I really should have. I should have let her have it. But I didn't of course. Grrrr. And I'm sitting here thinking about the fact that even writing this, and knowing that my dad is going to read it, I probably shouldn't even write it, since it means technically I'm talking about her with my dad. But damn it, this is MY life too, and it has affected and upset me, so I have every right to vent about it, I feel.

So I've been stewing about that, and to top it off, it's the beginning of the month. Which means, bills, bills, bills. Now that DH is working fulltime, I had thought we would have some leeway with our finances, but no. I'm so stressed about money. We're still not making ends meet, and that's scary. I'm struggling to find new kids for the daycare, and now the washing machine has something wrong with it, and both cars have issues, and we really have to change our sliding back door before winter. Yikes! Our credit can't handle much more, and I worry about something happening to one of us. So it's all piling up onto me. Of course once I get my brain working, I think about EVERYTHING, so now I'm thinking, great, Xmas is less than three months away, and I had really wanted to get the kids skiing lessons, but that's out of the question now, and so on, and so on.... I even had to tell the kids we couldn't go to the movies this weekend because of lack of funds. It's my birthday tomorrow, and my dad has kindly offered to watch the boys while DH and I go out for dinner, but being the way I am, I'm thinking we had better not go. It's DH's 40th this year, in November, and that's going to pass by without much celebration either. Perhaps I can just get a few friends to come over for one afternoon for some homemade cake and coffee.

Wow, talk about getting off track! So, I'm moping. And I'm probably also freaking out a little that I'm one step closer to forty tomorrow. 
But thanks for "listening". Venting always makes me feel a tiny bit better. And a good cry, ha ha.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Facebook Frustration

I'm thinking about quitting Facebook. This isn't the first time I've considered it, but my addiction prevents me from going through with it. There are quite a few reasons why:

Facebook keeps changing its privacy settings. I'm getting tired of constantly having to reset them, check them, and reread the agreement. Recently, my sister posted something and pointed out that unless your friends change individual settings for each of their friends, they will see postings on other's posts. Ok, I know that's confusing, and I think Facebook makes it purposely confusing. But if I set my privacy to "only friends can see my posts", then it should stay that way! I don't want my friends' friends seeing what they said when they commented. For example, I might post "I had a great day at the beach!" and my friend Jane comments, "Was the water warm?". Now on Jane's friend Tom's newsfeed, it says, "Jane commented of Jennifer's post 'Was the water warm?' " I don't know Tom, so why should he see that? Because Tom has his settings for Jane to view comments, or something like that.

At least that's the way I've been told it works. And I don't really have the time or will to go through all the friends and limit what I see they post. I don't care anyway. I keep getting stuff on my homepage, my newsfeed that says so-and-so commented on this person's status. Why would I care about that? I don't know them! And so now I'm wondering how much of my own private stuff is showing up in others' newsfeeds. And from what I've been told, I can't change that, it has to be done by my friends!

Another reason I'm considering leaving is other postings by people (or friends). I'm a little tired of being preached at by do-gooders, religious wing-nuts and soapbox-standers. I do realize that Facebook is there for anyone to say what they want, and everyone is entitled to their opinion. But it's so in-your-face. And yes,, I'm guilty I'm sure of doing the same, and it makes me think who wants to hear it? 'Cause I don't. I have my blog, and that's what it's for. And a blog is different. If half the people on my friends list had blogs,I wouldn't be reading most of them, and that would be my choice. But on the newsfeed, it's right there, staring at you, yelling at you, in a way, and begging you to comment, which can get you into trouble.

Facebook has connected me with many people I lost touch with from high school and such, and while it's nice to hear from these people,there are some that I realize there was a reason behind that separation. Part of why I can't cut myself off from Facebook is that I'd miss some of the daily connections I make. 

Lastly, I think I'm too addicted. I have a compulsion to check my iPad every few minutes when I'm home, or at least every hour. It's sick. And I'm pretty sure most of my status updates have people thinking, "Who cares?"

So I'm going to give it a try. Only the people who read this blog will know why I've gone missing. I hope that a certain someone (ROOH) will continue to update her blog, so I don't completely fall out of the loop! And I'm sure I'll check in once in awhile, so I don't miss any cute pictures of my nieces or nephew.

I'll give it a week. I don't think I'll last, to be honest. And if I don't, my next step is going to be culling the connections. I'm will cut back all but the people I interact with most, and goodbye to all those opinion-pushers.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

School Food Insanity

With the start of school now here, I've been reading a lot of articles and comments and postings about school lunches. One article asked the question, "How Far Does Your School Take Banning Food?", and there were many comments after it. I read through most of them, and began to comment with my own opinion, but stopped when it was getting too lengthy and also too opinionated. I figured a better place for that would be here, since I feel this is my blog, and you can agree or disagree with me, but if you don't like it, too bad! Ha ha.
So here we go.
I think some schools are getting too crazy with banning foods. Not ours, thank goodness, although we do have nuts banned as most schools do. I can understand the peanut thing. They have a strong odor, and peanut butter is easily spread around from your fingers to door knobs, tables, chairs, etc. However, that's about all I can agree on. As it stands, neither of my children have a life-threatening food allergy. So no, I can't completely understand the fear a parent has sending their kid off to school where they may come into contact with the allergen. But that's life, isn't it? We have to teach our kids to protect themselves from anything dangerous. We teach them to cross the road safely, we don't shelter them from that. We don't tell them to never cross a road just in case. We teach them to wear a helmet when riding a bike. We don't shelter them by never letting them have one. We teach out children stranger-danger, and eventually let them out on their own. Life has risks, but we teach them how to minimize the risks, and how to deal with them in the best way. Shouldn't parents be teaching their child to wash their hands more, never accept food not packed from home, to always question if it's safe, to keep fingers and objects out of their mouths?
Why is it that a school expects EVERYONE ELSE to change their eating habits to accommodate one or two people in the school? Would we expect a classroom to stop using their eyes to accommodate a blind person's learning style? Or would we expect the curriculum to be limited to only what the student with learning disabilities can learn? Of course not!
I hear so often that children of this generation are growing up feeling entitled to everything. This feeds right into that. Because one child may have a severe milk allergy, doesn't mean the whole class, or school, should stop bringing milk products. This child could grow up thinking everyone else should go out of their way to accommodate him or her. And that's just not the way the world works, unless you're royalty or something.
I had a Facebook friend comment that her child was now not allowed to bring mushrooms, or anything that may have come into contact with mushrooms to accommodate a teacher! I was shocked. Now, I'm not criticizing her acceptance of the rule, but had it been me, I would have been LIVID! Of course, like many children, my kids won't eat mushrooms. The chance that they would bring something to school containing mushrooms would be infinitesimal. But her list of banned foods (which she said was extensive) included pizza and pasta, two things her picky child would eat.  I just don't understand the logic in including things that "may contain" or "may have been in contact with". First, the chance that the food did contain a trace amount is small. Like the pizza. A pepperoni pizza may have been cut up with the same pizza cutter that cut up a previous pizza containing mushrooms. So that little tiny piece of mushroom had to get on the slice that you happen to send your child to school with. And then, that piece of tiny mushroom has to not only fall off, but also somehow find its way into the allergic teacher's system! It is ridiculous!
I never got to ask her if that included homemade pizza with homemade sauce, or likewise the pasta. But I was appalled for her, really. I struggle every day with what to make for my own two picky kids. To have someone tell them they can't have their favourite foods would be awful. 
Which brings me to the second part of this rant. I also saw comments on this posed question about not just allergens, but about some schools banning junk food. And not just junk food. Some schools are banning ANY packaged foods! Some are even going so far as to ban juice! 
Ever hear the expression, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink"? I think that fits well here. I get that the schools are trying to teach kids about healthy eating. I get that they are trying to help fight childhood obesity. But it's not going to work that way. You can take out junk food vending machines, which, by the way, I think is a good idea. (Kids could bring their own pocket money to school and buy junk without the parents knowing [like mine probably would, especially L]). But if you tell parents that they are NOT ALLOWED  to send their kids some treats, then you are taking away their right to parent. Even if parents are not packing their kids' lunches, they are still the ones buying the food that goes into them, are they not? I like that the schools want to promote healthy choices. I like that they encourage the kids (in Kindergarten at least) to eat the healthiest items first. But I would have a big problem with someone telling me that I wasn't allowed to send anything with sugar in it. That's my choice, and my right.
Ok, it's not my right to poison my kids, to feed them whatever I want. I wouldn't feed them sugar and fat all the time, that's neglect. But everything within reason, right? 
My L is picky. I have the hardest time trying to pack his lunch. Some days, he comes home with most of it uneaten, except for the treat (despite the 1003 times I've told him to eat it last!) and his juice box. And he suffers for it. We all do, actually, because his mood is terrible! But whether or not I had included that treat, he would be in the same boat. So I'm thankful for the calories that he has ingested, however undesirable they may be on the nutrition scale.  
So these schools can try all they want to make parents send healthier things. But that doesn't mean that A) the kids will eat it, like my L, or B) that they just don't go home and eat a bowl of Sugar Krisp for dinner. It sounds a lot like a dictatorship to me! And the more you ban things, the more desirable they become. They should focus more on teaching them how their bodies react to certain things, what each nutrient does for the body, and go back to teaching them how to cook!! 
Ok, that's my rant, ha ha. Like I said, I'm very glad the restrictions at my boys' school aren't stringent. And if they were, at least I'd have the luxury of having them come home for lunch.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Sorry it's been so long....again. I'm lying here awake for some unknown reason. I was asleep, only barely, but now it's 12:40 and I'm awake. I hate that. Hope I'm not getting sick, which is usually a reason for wakefulness for me.
Anyhow, I was reading my last posting since today the issue of report cards came up. DH and I were discussing the boys' reports because my MIL had called and wanted to know their marks. Immediately my spidey senses went up. (I was listening to his side of the conversation). I have had an issue with MIL in previous years, rewarding my children for their A's and accomplishments.She snuck it in without me knowing she was doing it.  And I don't like that. Not at all. 
Firstly, that's OUR job, not hers. I get that she wants to spoil her grand kids, so spoil them already, but don't make it about marks!
Secondly, I really have a problem with rewarding my children for marks. I think the marks should be rewards within themselves. They should feel a sense of pride when they see that A, or B, or whatever they're striving for. I want them to want it for themselves, not because they're being paid off.
Thirdly, it's unfair. R gets far better marks than L. Without even trying. Teachers love R, and let's face it, liking your kid can sometimes make a B a B+, or similar. L, I'm not sure. I don't think he's one of those kids teachers dread having, but he's just another kid. It's just his personality. He can't help it. So according to DH, MIL was going to give them $50 for passing (isn't that enough?!) and then $20 for each A.
Why wasn't I a party to this agreement? I went and looked at the reports, added it up, and that would leave R with $430! And his brother with $70. How would that be fair? L can't really achieve A's, although he did get one in Drama I think. After DH talked to MIL, she amended that to B's. Still, L got quite a few C's on his report, many of which I'm convinced should have been B's anyway. How is it fair that L got a crappy teacher, and who possibly gave him C's out of her dislike for him and his parents?
So I told DH to explain it to her. And to also say that L doesn't exactly go in for bribes that way. He hates school. No amount of paying him off is going to make him work harder either. Besides, the reward is far too long term for him. Plus, if he saw his brother get all that money, that would just make him quit. He definitely wouldn't try at that point.
So he did explain some of that, but ever-protective of his family's feelings that he is, he allowed her to still give them something, and some money towards their chosen activity/sport. At least that's what DH explained to me, but it all seemed somewhat confusing to me. He kept backtracking, so I'm wondering how much he's trying to put past me in the end. I don't think he is fully in agreement with me. He said his mother understood, but was hurt and disappointed.
Hurt? Why would she be hurt? Does she think we're saying this to her because we are out to get her? I don't get it. Then DH got all defensive of his mom, of course, and I held my tongue so as not to start an argument.
Same old story. He sides with his family and I can't even reason with him. Sigh.
Anyway, I'll be keeping a watchful eye on this situation. And now, time to try to sleep again.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Report Card Time

The boys both got their report cards today. I kind of hate report card time, at any time of the year. I have one who excels in school, without really even trying, and the other who just gets by. I'm sure from previous posts you can guess which is which. It's not that I'm not proud of my kids, but...... I'm way more proud of one than the other.

There, I said it. I feel terrible for even thinking that. It doesn't mean I love one more than the other, because I don't, but looking at a report card filled with A's and then looking at another report card filled with C's is like thinking you've just won the lottery, and then finding out you're holding last week's ticket.

I really struggle with this. I want to praise R, tell him how amazing he is and how happy I am with him, but I don't want to hurt L. I know L can't achieve A's right now. But I'm fairly sure he could achieve some more B's if he put a bit more effort into it. But he really hates school. I fight with him on school issues all year long. To chastise him over a not-so-stellar report card at this time of year, well, I kind of feel like its beating a dead horse. And I definitely feel that if I sing the praises of his brother too loudly, that he'll become more defiant, more rejecting of school. He's not the type to take that as a challenge to do better. It would have the opposite effect on him.

But back to R. It's not fair that he's put in the effort, the hard work and isn't receiving his just rewards either. I did tell him at bedtime that I was so proud of him, that I was very pleased with his report card but I didn't want to make his brother feel bad. Maybe that's not even fair to him either. Why should we be hush hush about how great he is doing, just because his brother isn't?

It goes without saying at this point that I'm disappointed in L's report card. And I don't know who to be mad at. Him, for not trying harder? Me, or his dad, for not making him try harder, for not instilling a better attitude towards school? (And BTW, If anyone knows how to do that, email me to give me step by step instructions!)Or his teacher? He had a different one halfway through the year,due to the first one having a baby.( I mean really, of all the nerve, having a baby in the middle of the school year! LOL.)The first teacher likely gave out many of his marks on the second term report. The third term report, this latest one, almost ALL his marks went down! Seriously? Some stayed the same, and one, only one, went up by a grade and that was drama or something I don't care about. I couldn't believe it. Was he doing THAT poorly? Or was the first teacher's assessment that skewed? Or is this teacher just a bitch who really knows nothing about my son? I'd have to think some of that last statement is true. I know he's way better than what she says he is in math, or science. And how in the HELL did he go from an A+ in Social Studies, to a C+ in one term?

Part of me wants to march into that school tomorrow and demand answers. And you're probably thinking I should. But part of me says, who cares? I know what he's capable of, and who looks at grade three marks in the long run anyway? Plus, I don't like his teacher at all,I've never respected her since he had her in kindergarten, and I don't believe much of what comes out of her mouth! So why bother? She'd just patronize me, and stand there with that stupid smile on her face. Plus, the year is over. Time to start fresh next year.

Oh, and BTW, I had L's meeting, and all my worries were for nought. He's getting a good strong teacher next year. She's an older teacher, and R had her in second grade. She knows what she's doing. Plus, she's strict, and won't stand for any monkey-business, which is good for my monkey! Well, he doesn't think so, but it's a good thing he's a little concerned that she's stern (or "mean" as he would put it). I do remember thinking that she was quite harsh when R was in her class, but she's the type of teacher that starts the year off being very strict to get everyone in line, then she eases off a bit.

So he's not getting the teacher I wanted exactly,but for once, he's getting a decent one. Better late than never, I guess. Plus, he found out as well one of his best buddies is going to be in that class with him! He's happy about that!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Update, If Anyone Is Still There

Wow. I havent posted for a loooonngg time! So here's an update on my life:


I went to see a specialist in the field of gynecology, apparently the best in the province. I was pleased to hear that I don't need surgery at this time, and that I should stick with the medication. Ok, 99% pleased. 1% disappointed. Is that weird? I think it's the whole "someone else taking care of ME for once" thing that I was looking forward to. Not the pain, or the surgery, or the loss of my woman-hood. I guess it's just nice to get looked after. Oh, and the fun drugs are a plus as well.

Anyhow, I'm sticking with a medication called Visanne, for now. I've been on it for three months now, and my body has now adjusted to it. At first, I had bleeding/spotting that went on for over two weeks. That was annoying. Then there was the constipation. Nice. But my body seems to have adjusted to it and moved on for now, and I haven't had any bleeding or period for at least six weeks. Nice! The constipation part seems to be over too, thank god, and I've had no pain now due to the endo so it's doing it's job. The dr said I could be on it for ten more years or so. When I hit menopause age, that's when I'll likely have to have surgery. Unless it gets worse between now and then. He was also nice enough to give me three more months' worth for free (samples). That's great because we have one income and no drug plan.


L seems to be doing well lately. I attribute this to a few things. One, DH has been around a LOT more because he's in school, and this semester that's only three days a week. Two, it's summer, and who can feel down when the weather is so much nicer? (Ok, I know depression doesn't care what time of year it is, but I mean feeling low, as opposed to depressed). And three, school is almost over, with the prospect of eight weeks filled without homework or teachers. I have a meeting this coming week (Tues) with the principal to discuss L's placement next year. I mean, what class he'll be in. I feel a little sick about this and I'll tell you why: it's because I know I'm going to be disappointed and upset with the class he'll be in. And no, I don't know which one it is yet, but this is just the pattern with him. I don't know what it is, but aside from his first school year (in which he had the most AMAZING TEACHER EVER!), every year after he has got the royal shaft.
Screwed over.
Every year.
Every September I think "this year will be better, this year he can't possibly have bad luck again. This year, he'll get the teacher I want, or the next best one. His luck has GOT to CHANGE!"
But it doesn't. And now, I don't have any hope. Because even though in May, when DH and I sat down with the principal and his teacher and had a frank heart-to-heart about all our concerns and how they could help, even though the principal assured me that things would be ok for next Sept, even though he told me we'd talk about his teacher at the end of this school year, I STILL don't believe he'll get a good teacher for once. And I'll tell you why.
I know of two grade four teachers right now. There were only two gr. 4 classes this year. The one teacher, Mrs. G, is fantastic. R had her. I LOVE her! The other, Mrs. M, every other parent I've talked to hates her. She's useless.
Next sept, there has to be at least three gr.4 classes. There are four gr.3 classes now. So that means, another teacher. Who? I have no idea. I know some of the "floater" teachers in the school. Ones they call LTOs (long term occasional)and tend to teach a different grade every year. But one is moving down to K next year (the good one of course) and the other is one L has right now. For the second time in his school career. The worst thing is, is that I heard Mrs.G is not going to be teaching gr.4 next year, that she's moving down to primary. That really upset me. Because I had this small tiny hope in me, this little spark that L's luck might actually change, that I'd go into this meeting next week and the principal would tell me and L that next year his teacher would be Mrs.G. Now that hope is dashed, and I'm sick, just sick, because I know his luck hasn't changed and that he'll go in and he'll tell me L is going to be in Mrs.M's class, mainly because they have no idea who the other two teachers will be, or that one of the other teachers will be Ms.R, the teacher he has now (2x) and it definitely can't be her.
I know, I'm borrowing trouble. But if I go in to the meeting all hopeful, I'm just going to be that much more upset when I come out, so I may as well assume the worst now.

Anyway,aside from school, L was recommended through this program called Kinark that he go to this summer camp. That would be for two weeks, day camp only, and there they would talk about feelings and stuff, and also do things like play (like he would do at home),go to the beach (like he would do at home),go in the backyard (like he would...) and go to the park (again,....) They also go to Santa's Village towards the end of the second week, which I think is too juvenile for him, personally. I mean, he had pretty much stopped believing in Santa last year. The bonus is, it's all free, even the food is included, and while I feel very grateful and blessed that this was offered to us, I have my reservations about it. I would like to send him for just the counseling part, but that wouldn't be fair to do that, as other kids are waiting for his spot for a full day of camp. The rest of it we could do without. It's basically the same as home daycare, which is what I do. Plus, they go out in a van, which I strangely don't feel comfortable with, having some stranger tote my kid around. And the biggest issue is getting him there and back. If I had a minivan, maybe I could, but I don't. I can't even tell right now how many kids I'll have on any given day during the summer to look after. And that sucks. DH can do pick up and drop off most days, but not all. So, he won't be going.

Ok, guess that's it for now, whew!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

New Family Member

Yes, that's a puppy. And our newest family member. Isn't he cute? And yes, I believe I have lost my mind. 
About three weeks ago, I decided to finally take the plunge and get our family a new puppy. We had a dog for 12 years, and he passed away about two years ago. I didn't miss the mess, or the poop, or being tied down to another creature. The freedom when he was gone was so easy to get used to. And caring for an elderly, sick dog is no fun. Especially when you have so many other bodies to look after. The care and love you put in is not reciprocated as much as it once was. It was hard to justify in my mind why I was doing it. I came to resent him for his illness, and his dependence. That wasn't fair to either of us. 
So I was very hesitant to get another dog. I knew that I would be mainly responsible for the little guy, for cleaning up after him, for feeding him and making his various appointments. And there's always the financial side of it too. 
But lately, I started to wonder if getting a dog would help L. He dearly misses Vader, our old pooch. He cries over him once in a while, and gets sad when we talk about him. And there was that part in my mind that has read so many stories of how dogs are great therapy for many different issues, including autism, depression, etc, etc. I wondered if having a puppy would bring some lightness into his life. 
It was a hard decision to make. What if it didn't help? What if I resented this creature like I did our old dog? What if the boys reneged on their promises to ever help out with him? We can't send him back. 
I decided that we would go visit the breeder of these puppies. I wanted this breed, a wheaten/schnauzer cross, and we knew someone through a friend of DH that bred them. I figured that if we went to see them, we could talk about it, and perhaps get a puppy when she had another litter. But once we arrived at the breeder's house, several things happened: we all fell in love with these cute, roly-poly teddy bears, and the woman told us this was the last litter she'd be breeding. This particular mix is hard to find. Especially in such close proximity to us! (Only a half hour drive!) So the decision was made. In retrospect, I'm glad we did it now. I had forgotten just how much I'd have to be outside with him, in all kinds of weather and times of day (and night). Being outside at 3 in the morning is much easier to take in the spring than in the dead of winter,or even the cold chill of fall. 
He is now eleven weeks old. Training is.....slow. I never realized what a fantastic, amazing dog our Vader was! He was practically trained when we got him. And it didn't hurt that he went to my MIL's every day while we were at work. She had an older dog that helped I his training. 
This puppy had accidents CONSTANTLY. And I am trying to stick to a schedule and trying to make sure that he goes outside with every change in routine. I'm making sure I "project a calm-assertive energy" with him (as the great Cesar Milan) would say, and not dwell on negative vibes when he has accidents. 
But man......
It's so HARD! 
He'll have these really great days (or maybe that's WE have), and then some days it's like ten accidents. The there's the whole peeing-on-the-deck thing. Sometimes he just goes out, and instead of going to the grass,he just goes on the deck. Which I don't really want, but I'm just so damn happy it's not on my carpet, and too damn busy getting dinner/looking after children/making lunches/whatever that I can't be bothered to go outside with him each. and. every. time. 
But who can be upset with that face? It's just so darn cute!
Oh, and BTW, he's named Jasper. That was my pick. I figured I should get to name him since I'm the main cleaner-upper. And yes, it's from Twilight, because Jasper was one of my favorite characters, and the actor who played him was sexy as hell,and the character in the books is described as having blonde, curly hair,which is likely what this guy will have. Well, I know for sure he'll be blonde at least. The kids wanted to keep his breeder name, Gizmo, but I really don't love that movie, the kids haven't seen it, and my sister's cat is named that. He was almost Wicket, which really would have suited him since he does resemble an Ewok, and would have been in keeping with the Star Wars theme. But it's too cutesy for me, and I was still stuck on the Twilight theme, ha ha. (The kids definitely wouldn't go for Edward!) 

That's how he likes to sleep in his bed. Weird dog. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Bored Of All The Sameness

Yes, this is a moping post. So, I don't blame you if you don't read it. Go on ahead to the asterisk.
I'm just tired. I'm done.
I've had enough with the same thing, day in, day out. I'm tired of having the same arguments with J (the three year old). "Keep you hands to yourself", "Stop being so bossy", "No running in the house" etc, etc, etc,. I'm tired of time-outs not working, of having to report the same thing to his mom. I'm tired of his sauciness and sass-back. (And to be honest, I'm tired of not being able to REALLY do what I want when he does that.) And I'm tired of nothing changing as a result of his mom's non-helpfulness.
I'm tired of having the same arguments with the older kids. "Stop wrestling", "Be nicer to the little kids", "No kicking (or insert any form of physical violence here)" etc, etc, etc,.
I'm tired of L not eating his lunch. I'm tired of trying to come up with ideas for something that he'll both eat, and that is healthy enough to sustain his energy for the day. I'm tired of his grumpy, grumpy moods when he doesn't eat (so, basically every day) and his crying fits and anger tantrums. I'm tired of trying to understand him, and trying to pacify him.
I'm tired of never having enough money. I'm tired of looking at credit card bills, LOC bills, and the unpaid property tax bills. I'm tired of feeling guilty every time we indulge in a movie, or take-out, or other "not necessary" things.
I'm tired of my husband being in school. There are some positives, like he's home more, but at the same time, that's a negative. I know, that doesn't make sense. I like that he's home more for the boys, but I tire of seeing him sitting around doing nothing while I'm working. I'm tired of hearing how he's "studying" with his classmates and they're out for wings, or beer, or pizza, or whatever, while I'm working. I'm tired of not having money BECAUSE he's in school. I fully realize that this is a means to an end, but the meantime is hard.
I'm tired of making lunches, dealing with morning chaos, working all day, trying to fit in household duties into my "breaktime", thinking of what to make and making said dinner, cleaning up the dinner, making sure the kids are ready for and transported to various activities, and making sure they have a bath/shower and are in bed at a reasonable time. Oh, and I'm tired of trying to do my taxes in and amongst all that stuff. And I'm tired of collapsing into bed and waking up early the next day to do it all over again.
I'm tired of the weekend flying by in a haze of nothing but errand-running, laundry-doing, and house-cleaning, and never feeling like we've accomplished anything. I'm tired of the house never really being clean, and seeing the dust thick on top of things, or dirt built up on stuff, and not having the time or will to do anything about it. Trying to keep up with regular cleaning like vacuuming and bathrooms is hard enough.
I'm tired of being too far away from my sisters and family. I'm tired of missing them, of having to plan just to visit them, as opposed to just popping by, and considering the price of gas whenever I do make the trek. I'm tired of feeling guilty for wanting people to come to me, after all, it should be a 50/50 effort really.
I'm tired of our stupid Canadian spring weather. I really hate spring. I wish it could go from snowy to warm and deliciously sunny shorts weather in a few days. Well, it did do that, and then it reverted back to cold and miserable and windy. I'm tired of the spring dirt, all over my house, all over my front entry. Ugh.
*So there's my misery rant. On a positive note, we are off to Niagara Falls for the weekend. We haven't been to Niagara for about a year and a half. We haven't had any sort of vacation for a year now, as it's been a year since Disney. And yes, I know I whined and complained about not having money, but I am desperate, DESPERATE, for this! And I think my family is too. We all really need this getaway. Badly.

Monday, April 2, 2012

A Bit of This, A Bit of That

I have some updates, and some recommendations here. First, I'll do the recommendations...
**CAUTION** If you don't like anything remotely smutty or have a huge aversion to erotica, then don't bother reading this. Recently, I purchased for my Kobo app and read the Fifty Shades Of Grey Trilogy, by E.L. James. I've actually read it before, back when it was under a different name and was classified as Twilight Fan Fiction. But it was such a good story, that I wanted to read it again, and it didn't disappoint. The books are centred around a love story between a very unlikely couple. She's a student, he's rich and powerful. She's loving and kind, he's damaged, but oh, so sweet and sexy. I don't want to give away too much of the story, but it's a great read, and I'll likely read it again soon! The author obviously had to make some changes, since it was originally a piece of fan fiction, but the characters and story are all hers. Be warned though, you can not read just the first book. Actually, I don't even think there is a true end to it. It just leaves you hanging. You could read just the first two books on their own, but then, they're good, so why wouldn't you want more? 

Now, an update on L. We had an appointment with the pediatrician, (DH took him) and the pediatrician really didn't think there was much to worry about. *WHEW* He said a lot of it comes from school, and from being one of the youngest in the class. Plus, let's face it, school hasn't been too good to him. He's had a lot of incompetent teachers. So I spent some time blaming myself, even though I knew I shouldn't, but I couldn't help it. It was more of a "Why didn't I listen to my instincts?" type of thing. I was lamenting the fact that I really should not have started him in school when I did. I should have waited until he was at least four. It all spiraled from there. Well, what's done is done. I can't change the past.
Now, we are waiting for an appointment with a counsellor. Even though the Dr. thought he was ok, he still referred us to a counselling service, so that's good. I've answered so many questions to these counsellors already, I'm starting to second-guess myself. Plus, he's been so much better lately. Not as moody, although there are of course, plenty of outbursts. I attribute most of his problem to DH. When he's around more, L is happier. Simple fact. But he can't be around more, that's all there is to it, it's life. He will have to graduate school and go back to working full time. So, I don't know if his moodiness will get worse again then. Plus, when DH goes back to work this time, it will coincide with the beginning of a new school year, another tough time for L. It won't be a good combo.

Lastly, an update on me. Back in the beginning of Feb, I had laproscopic surgery.Yesterday, I had my follow up appointment. Since I received my diagnosis of stage four endometriosis, I've been doing some reading, helped along by my good friend Lisa who sent me some info on the disease itself plus info on new medication that is available. I felt much more prepared going in to this appointment having some background information and questions prepared. Plus, DH came with me and had questions too. I can't imagine how I would have felt not knowing I even had this before my appointment. Again, I have to wonder, why wouldn't the doctor have come to see me after my surgery? Why did I have to make what was made to seem as an unorthodox phone call, to see what happened? Anyway, that was one question I forgot to ask. It doesn't change anything anyway.
Basically, I need a hysterectomy. There is no way around it. It's only a matter of when. Right now, I can keep going along as I am. I haven't had an "attack" for several months, so here's hoping it stays that way. The new medication is supposed to prevent any further growth of the endo. Eventually, if I never have the surgery, the endo could compromise my bowel. I don't want that.
So I have two choices. #1. I can wait for an indefinite amount of time to see a specialist in Hamilton. My OBGYN here recommended him, saying he's the best of the best around, and he specializes in removing endo and performing hysterectomies by laproscopic surgery. My OBGYN said himself that he wasn't good enough to perform the hysterectomy by laproscopy (not sure if that's the word or not). He is too worried about the attachment to my bowel, and that is a very touchy area. The slightest wrong move, and he could nick the bowel. Then I'd have a whole host of other problems! So the pros to this is that A) I don't have to have invasive surgery, therefore less dangerous  B) the recovery would be faster. The cons are that A) it's in Hamilton (at least 2 hour drive from here) B) I don't know this doctor yet (what if he's an arrogant asshole?) C) I may have to wait a long time for an appointment and surgery D) the OBGYN said I don't need to stay in hospital, they send you home (WHAT?! Not what I would want at all, I'd like at least one night in hospital so I know everything is ok). That all being said, I'd say the pros still outweigh the cons.
My #2 choice is to stay here with my own OBGYN, have the surgery whenever, and it's a three or so day stay in hospital with a *GULP* 6 to 8 week recovery time. That's for most people to go back to work. I'm sure that people who work for themselves and/or have young children go back to work far sooner than that. The surgery is far more invasive, involving cutting me open, and manhandling of all my innards, including the bowel. My mom, who is an OR nurse, says that even if they don't cut the bowel, just handling it can cause it to shut down, or stick together inside or other really "fun" stuff. The only real pros I see to this scenario are A) it's faster (being resolved), B) I know the doctor and he's very kind and considerate, C) I would get to stay in my own hospital and have friends visit me, D) I wouldn't have a long, uncomfortable drive home after surgery, just a short one.
For now, I'm waiting to see how long I'll have to wait for an appt with Dr. Fantastic. I keep taking my new pill, and in three months I have an appt to go back to my own OBGYN and let him know how I'm progressing with that. Hopefully if I am doing well on this pill, he'll give me more for free.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Kony 2012

I'm not usually a jump-on-the-bandwagon type of person. Videos that go viral overnight are usually viewed, and then I don't think about them again. But last night I watched this video, and I can't stop thinking about it. I had no idea who Joseph Kony was. This man is the epitome of evil. And I know, I don't have the full story. I have one viewpoint. But really, how could his side of the story make ANY of it any better? I've read blurbs criticizing the campaign carried out by the group Invisible Children, and I can see these criticisms as valid points. I'm not going to try to convince anyone that they should or shouldn't join this campaign. Maybe launching a campaign to encourage our governments to hunt down this man is unethical. Maybe it will lead to more killings, more death. Personally, I feel that this man needs to be stopped. I would hope that no one else needs to get hurt. But I would hope that at the very least, anyone willing to fight for this man's capture realizes that they may be giving their life for it. And that would mean they were giving their life for any number of children's lives. I think that bringing an awareness of who this man is, and the atrocities he's committed will help. If everyone knows about it, knows about him, and he's so famous he can't even walk out in public, maybe he'll be stopped. Maybe he'll be captured.
So please take a half hour to watch this, and share it as much as you can, on FB, on Twitter, on your own blog, with your own opinions.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Recently I've read a couple of books that were really good, and I'd like to recommend them to anyone who enjoys a nice piece of fiction. The first book is Secret Daughter, by Shilpi Somaya Gowda, a Canadian-born author!
This is the story of two different families; an American family who adopts a girl from an Indian orphanage, and the Indian family who gave her away. I loved it because it gave me insight into the Indian culture, something I've never read about before.

The second book is called Before I Go To Sleep, by S J Watson.
This story centres around a woman who has lost her memory and can only retain memories until she goes to sleep for the night. Every morning she wakes up, and has to start all over again. Once she starts keeping a daily journal, she starts to be able to put pieces of her past together. It takes you on a fantastic journey of discovery right along with her, and keeps you turning the pages to keep revealing the secrets of her past.

I would have loved to have posted pictures of the covers of the books, but I couldn't really figure out how to copy and paste pictures using my iPad. But click on the links and have a look for yourself. They're great reads!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Not So Wheat Free

Yesterday our family finally got to do some more skiing! I've been wanting to go for weeks, but for one reason or another, we couldn't get out to go. So in the morning, I hopped right out of bed and into the shower at 7:30 and got everyone else motivated. Skiing is pretty much one of the only things that is going to get me out of bed and into the shower on a cold March Sunday morning!
Since I hadn't been feeling the best Saturday, I hadn't prepped anything that day/night to go skiing the next day, like a dinner for the slowcooker, or lunches or even snacks. So all I had time for in the morning was to throw some snacks into a bag along with waters and juice. This resulted in us having to buy our lunch from the ski chalet, which I do not like to do because it is always expensive!
Of course, buying lunch out from either a fast food restaurant or a cafeteria always presents problems to anyone with dietary restrictions. So after merely three weeks of sticking to my wheat-free diet, I had to either starve or break the diet. So break the diet I did.
I ordered a pulled pork sandwich on a soft white bun, and mmmmm, was it good. All afternoon I waited to see how my body would react to the gluten and aside from a very heavy lump in my stomach for a few hours (which also could have been because it was white bread), I had no adverse side effects. Not yet, anyway. I know I need to give my body a day or so to decide if it's ok with the wheat or not.
Anyhow, I know I'm not doing this diet because I have a huge problem with wheat; rather, I'm doing it for other reasons. It's good to know though, that I can handle a bit now and then.
But that's not the end of my story!
As we were finishing the last run for the day, R and I arrived back at the chalet only to turn around and wonder where L and DH were. When they didn't catch up soon after, I surmised that L must have fallen.
And fall he did.
He arrived back at the chalet with tears and a rather misshapen looking thumb. Yikes! DH took him to the first aid station, and about 15 minutes later, came back to get R and I and inform us that we were headed for an x-ray at the hospital.
I'll spare you all the boring waiting-around-the-emerg storyline, and just say that three hours later, we went home with a little guy with a splinted thumb, though not broken. (Thank GOD!) He had pulled the ligaments in his thumb when he fell against his ski pole, and caused an injury very common with skiers called "skier's thumb". The splint is to help him from accidentally knocking his thumb back and causing pain.
So while at the hospital, we were starving of course, since we were supposed to be headed home for dinner. Again, I had to break my diet and I went down to the Tim's and grabbed a bagel for R and a muffin for myself (L wasn't allowed to have anything until the Dr. saw him).
Now that I've had these two "forbidden" items after three weeks of being so strict with myself, I feel like it's going to be so much harder to tell myself no once again. But I'm going to keep trying, if anything, merely for the fact that I've lost a few pounds and felt far less bloated than usual. I think I'm going to let myself have something with wheat once a week, on a weekend, if the occasion calls for it. It will be my treat to myself for being "good" the rest of the week.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wheat Free

After receiving my endometriosis diagnosis, I started doing some research on the Internet. One site I came across mentioned the "endo diet". It's basically eliminating pretty much all food aside from fruits and veggies.
My mom and family are quite into natural healing, and healthy eating. Granola, is the term some would use, I think. Radical, is probably the term my DH thinks in his head. Being the Libran that I am, I try to find a happy balance. I'm easily convinced of new theories, which is probably why I get walked all over a lot in life. And DH always takes the opposing viewpoint of ANY issue I bring up (read: non-supportive) so he is on the other side of the fence. So....somewhere there's a happy balance.
But that's neither here nor there.
I do believe that much of what we eat greatly affects us. Look around you at all the health problems people have, all the obesity, even mental health problems. We eat more processed food, more genetically modified food, more chemical and hormone saturated food than we did fifty years ago. How can anyone ignore the fact that it's probably related?
And it's hard to go back to a more "natural" lifestyle, although more and more are realizing it, that we need to. It's not only hard to give up the easy food lifestyle we're accustomed to, it's also expensive! I wish I could afford to only buy organic foods. But a bag of organic milk for $8? A few chicken drumsticks for $10? Sorry, but no. It's just not within my means.
So here is what I read, as far as this diet goes (which is meant to reduce, if not, rid one of endo):
  • no wheat (gluten)
  • no dairy
  • no soy (products)
  • no red meat
  • limited  organic chicken and fish
  • no sugars (aside from organic maple syrup or agave)
  • no caffeine (that one will be very difficult)
  • no alcohol (not so difficult, I barely drink three drinks a year) 
  • no eggs (I LOVE eggs!)
I'm sure there was more, but I can't think of it. There's no way I'm going to be able to do all that. I'd starve on nothing but veggies, fruits and nuts. And I would miss cheese.
So much.
But I thought I would try. I would start with one step (or two) and go from there. I will gradually wean myself of some of these things, gradually get them out of my life.
I started with wheat, as this made the most sense to me. First, because my mom has a problem with wheat, my sister has a problem with wheat, and so does my niece, to some extent. It seems to be in the family, although I'm thinking that if you picked ten people out of a crowd at random, and made them eliminate wheat from their diet, I'm betting at least five of them would notice a difference (in their health, I mean, not their palate!) so maybe it's not exactly in the genes...
I've always been somewhat, ahem, gassy. And that seems to run in the family too... I have known since high school that lactose is a huge contributor to that problem, and so I avoid it as much as I can. But I never really thought about other foods giving me that problem. Well, I sort of did, but didn't really care. After all, I do work from home, LOL. No need to worry about it too much.
I also chose to start eliminating wheat because a friend did and lost weight. I'm not deluding myself into thinking that I'll magically drop ten pounds, but I was thinking that if I'm not eating wheat, I'm also not eating cookies, muffins, cakes, buttery crackers, fattening pizzas and starchy pastas. It's like being forced to go on a diet.
So I've been wheat-free (as much as I can, but not 100%, I'll explain later) for 9 days now. Today would be the tenth day. Is the tenth day! I'm not giving up! And what have I noticed so far?
  1. I'm less bloated.
  2. I'm less gassy (although not like, 90% less, so I'm thinking something else is a culprit here...corn maybe? It's in EVERYTHING!)
  3. Aside from today, as I think I may have a cold coming on, I haven't had one headache in nine days. That's unusual for me. 
  4. I can almost move my belt in a notch (it's a little too tight if I do)
One of the less pleasant side effects from this "experiment" has been the discovery that I need to up my fibre intake some other way now. I always relied on whole grain breads, and high fibre cereals in the morning. Since I've replaced the bread with a much less fibrous gluten-free bread, and the cereal with mainly oatmeal, I'm kind of missing out. I won't go into details, don't worry. But I'm going to buy some steel-cut oats this weekend, and experiment with making oatmeal that way, and I'm also going to buy some flax seed or ground flax to add in. That should help.
I hope.
So while I thought I was wheat-free, after researching some more on gluten-free diets, I learned that there are so many products with hidden wheat in them. Like, soy sauce! And, stock (for soups, etc). And malt vinegar. Things you don't really think of. Things I was eating.
Oh well. Now I know.
I haven't baked yet. For the kids, for my family. I've lost the want and will to do that completely. I should though, because they enjoy it, and because DH was complaining about having no treats to eat after I yelled at him for going after my gluten-free ginger cookies I bought. Maybe today.
I hope I can stand the smell of freshly baked cookies.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Best Valentine's Gift Ever

I don't really care for Valentine's Day. It's no secret. I think it's an excuse to sell stupid cheap stuffed toys, or chocolate, or over-priced cards and half-dead flowers. It's for the young, the teen-aged and early twenties set. The kids like it because they get to bug their parents to buy more crap and eat crap for really no reason other than Hallmark says it's ok.
I really should one day research the actual meaning and origin of Valentine's Day. I'm curious to know who started it.
I don't hate it. It does provide a much needed break and splash of colour in an otherwise dreary and long winter haul. It also gives me a theme to work crafts around for the kids. The sugar-high part, I could do without.
But as far as my own love life, I don't need Hallmark and mass marketing to tell me I need to tell my DH I love him. I tell him that anyway. And cards have never been much of big thing around here. My DH believes in only funny cards, for any occasion, and has never been one to express any sentiment whatsoever via the written word, unlike my sis's sweet hubby. (Perhaps he should give lessons)
To me, actions speak louder than words, written or spoken. And this morning, my DH gave me a most fabulous gift:
He did the dishes from last night.
Without being asked to, or hinted at.
I told him I loved him, and thank you. And that he really couldn't have given me a better gift.
L objected, saying that he's sure lots of things would have been better. But I don't think so. Flowers are pretty, but a waste of money. Chocolates are yummy but fattening and they generally don't agree with me anyway. Even a maid service would be great, but I would have been annoyed at the money spent to get it.
Nope. Doing the dishes was truly the best Valentine's gift I've ever received.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

So Now What?

On Tuesday, I went in for my laparoscopic surgery to remove my dermoid cyst, look for endometriosis, and tubal ligation. The surgery itself went fine, I guess. I mean, I'm still alive, no lasting damage done.
The day was very long. I had to be at the hospital for 11:00 a.m., which meant no food after midnight, and no liquids after 8:00 a.m. (and only clear ones before that.) it was a long time to wait to be without fluids. That really sucked. I was so thirsty. I have no problem going without food, not that I could have eaten with my nerves anyway, but I hate being unable to drink. My head was pounding by the time surgery came around 2 in the afternoon!
My mom came with me, and I felt bad for her. It was a lot of waiting around for her. At least I was unconscious for part of it.
So this was my first experience with anesthetic and surgery. I was very worried about the coming around part, but it wasn't that bad. They didn't rush me, or tell me to stay awake, so that was good. They did, however shove pills into my mouth when I was half conscious. I thought that was weird. I think I was coming to, and losing consciousness a fair bit, although it didn't see like it at the time. I remember coming to, coughing, and then feeling like I didn't want to open my eyes, so I didn't. In my half-lucid state, I was thinking rather childishly that if I pretended to be asleep, they'd leave me alone. HA HA! The next thing I remember is someone calling my name and shoving a straw between my lips, then telling me to open and shoving pills in my mouth! Lucky for them I take pills easily, unlike some people I know that can't take pills at all.
The next thing I remember is them moving me to the next recovery room. I did manage to look at a clock and was shocked to see it was around four. I was in a fair amount of pain, like really bad cramps. They were asking me how bad the pain was, on a scale of one to ten, ten being the worst pain I ever felt. Well, I've felt some really bad pain in my life. I've had two children without any drugs, so I know pain! But telling them that this pain compared to that was merely a three wasn't going to get me any more pain meds. I'm learning that the hard way. Thankfully they took pity on me when they couldn't take watching me lie there grimacing and writhing anymore. They shot me up with something, and then I was better.
But I was so sleepy. My mom came into the room,we talked for a bit, then I went to sleep on her. So she just played solitaire on my ipad When I woke up, I felt a bit nauseous, so even though the nurse was hoping to get rid of me, she shot me up with gravol, which meant that I had to stay another half hour. I was ok with that. I promptly passed out again.
The next time I woke, I realized the whole place was pretty much vacant. But I still felt sick. Mom helped me dress, then got my drunken self into a wheelchair and wheeled me out. That was the worst ride I've ever had. By the time mom got to the doors, I was opening the barf bag and holding it up to my face. When she went to get the car, I asked her to leave me outside, despite the negative temperatures. Actually, that's the only thing that helped; the cold, cold fresh air.
When I got home, I went to the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror. I was shocked by how grey I looked. Horrible.
I basically slept on and off since two o'clock that day until seven the next morning. That's a lot of sleep, even if some of it was drug-induced!
Since then, I've been ok. The incisions aren't too sore, it's more the air that's stuck inside of me that's killing me. They pump air into you so they can see what they're doing, but don't remove it. So it's stuck in my abdominal cavity, bubbling around and driving me crazy. It's painful, as gas can be. Only I can't burp or fart it out (forgive the crudeness!), I can just hope for it to somehow dissipate.
The weird part of this experience is that the doc never came to talk to me afterwards. I had to call his office the next day to find out what happened. I also had to make a follow up appt for six weeks away.
So as it turned out, I never actually had a dermoid cyst. What I do have, is stage four endometriosis, which is severe, and a lot of scarring on my uterus and ovary. Apparently, my ovary is stuck to my bowel, so he couldn't remove it without fear of putting a hole in my bowel.
So basically, he said my option is to have a hysterectomy. Which I guess doesn't really make it an option. Unless I choose to not have one, but then what? I'll continue to have these painful episodes. And likely they'll get worse. But even a hysterectomy doesn't guarantee the endometriosis will go away.
So that's my story. I don't know what to do,but I'm guessing the next time the endo flares up, I'll be making a solid vow then to end the pain by any means possible.

Friday, February 3, 2012

So Frustrating

Not knowing what to do in a situation can be one of the most frustrating things ever. Especially when the situation has happened before, and you did what your instincts told you to do, and everything was ok. But every situation has variables. No two are the same. Especially when it comes to L.
L is eight years old now. Not a teen, not even a pre-teen really. So when he shuts me out, and refuses to talk to me like a teenager might do to their parents, it DRIVES. ME. CRAZY!
I'm so lost. I don't know what to do. I've never faced this problem before. And yeah, it's such a small problem in relation to other problems other kids have, but this is my dilemma, my blog.
Here's an example:
Yesterday, I picked him and other kids up from school. Outside the school there is a small hill, that's covered in ice. Not a safe situation, but a fun one for any kid not concerned with head injuries. The kids were playing on said hill, blowing off after-school steam. Everyone was fine. L was fine. L was happy.
I gave the "one more turn" warning, and after that, turned and left. Like the Pied Piper, children followed me.
As we approached home, I noticed the gloomy look on L's face. "Now, what?" I thought. I asked him what was wrong, and he ignored me. I tried to stop him walking and look in his eyes, but he wouldn't meet my gaze. I asked again, and again, he shrugged me off and pushed past to continue on home.
And again this morning. We were walking to school, everything was hunky-dory. L stopped to slide on some ice against my advice, and the other kids were still continuing on to school, so I did too. We were only next door to the school, and I left him behind. He was not crying, he wasn't shouting, "Wait!". He didn't seem to care. And he's 8, so he can manage to walk that short distance by himself.
When we arrived at the school, he had caught up, but had that disgruntled look on his face again. I asked what was wrong, and he wouldn't answer. Again.
This kind of thing just makes my blood boil. I can't even begin to describe the inner turmoil I feel, how ANGRY and FRUSTRATED it makes me feel! I want to take him, and shake him. I want to force him to tell me what is wrong, why he is behaving like this. I want to threaten him with punishments if he continues like this.
But I don't.
It takes EVERYTHING, every ounce of control I have to walk away and leave it be. Because there isn't anything I can do. It's out of my hands. It's out of my control.
But it's not right. He shouldn't be shutting me out. Not at his age. He is still young, I feel. Logically, your mother should be the one you turn to for comfort at his age. He should be looking to me to make it better. Why is he bottling up these feelings? Is it to punish me? To make me hurt too? Because that's what it feels like.
And the frustrating thing about it is that I can't see what the sudden mood swing is from. What happened between minutes 35 and 36 of that hour? He wasn't hurt, he wasn't shouted at, he wasn't ridiculed or poked fun of. What was it?
It angers me too, because he is ignoring me, and to ignore someone when they ask you a question is just the height of rudeness in my book. And you don't ignore your parents.
So what do I do? Do I continue to question him, to demand an answer because he should not be getting away with this behaviour? Is it just bad behaviour, another form of manipulation?
Or do I leave him alone, respect his wishes? Do I allow him his privacy to brood? Do I recognize that maybe he can't help this behaviour?
But bottling up your emotions isn't healthy, right? Doesn't that lead to more problems? Shouldn't he be forced to explain what he's feeling?
The dark looks directed at me during these times (and those two examples are MERELY the tip of the iceberg!) scream to me that his ire is focused on me. That I've done something wrong, or that he wants me to notice that he's upset at something. But if the goal is to get me to notice something is wrong, then bloody well tell me what it is!!
So if he has a problem, a real issue with feelings and sorting through them, then I need to help him. But I don't know how.
And if it's a behaviour thing, then the answer to me is obvious; I need to ignore the behaviour and show him that if he wants attention, he can get it by cooperating.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Update on L

So back in November I posted a little about L, and the troubles he was having. Finally, this week, we had a doctor's appointment. I have to say, I felt kind of weird making him go to the doctor when he isn't physically sick, and he was a little confused too. It's not like we ever go there at all really. As you can see, this is how long I had to wait to get him in to even see the doctor. So we don't go there for other stuff, like sore throats, or sore ears, or anything that needs to be looked at within the next day or so. And because the appointments are so difficult to make (between the scarcity of them and mine and DH's schedules), my kids never have check-ups either. I think the last time they had one they were toddlers. Come to think of it, I'm not even sure my Dr.'s office DOES check-ups. There are all kinds of weird restrictions they have, like "only one problem at a time" (SERIOUSLY? What if the two problems are related?) and they don't do vaccinations either. You have to go to the public health office for those. Sigh.
Anyway, I'm getting off topic.
L went with DH, since I had other kids to look after. Plus, I felt like I might turn into Hysterical Sobbing Mother if I had to talk about this out loud to another person, so I felt DH was the better choice here. He's more level-headed than I when it comes to the kids. He's the one that says, "He's fine," when the kids tell me they have a headache, while I'm thinking, "OMG, do we need an MRI?"
I gave him a small list of my biggest concerns, and when DH came home after dropping L off at school for the day, he said the Dr. is referring him to a pediatrician. The good part of this is that he took it all seriously. He didn't blow it off, although a part of me did want him to just say, "You worry too much, he's fine."
Of course the not-so-good part is that he said he may have a form of childhood depression. And also, the fact that now we will have to wait months and months I'm sure for anything else to be done. Getting a pediatrician appt in this town is next to impossible. I'm sure it will be at least July if we're lucky.
He also said it could simply be something is bothering him; something he can't even figure out himself. But of course, he isn't exactly qualified to make any sort of diagnosis. He isn't a specialist, only a family doctor.
And then of course, we will have to wait for the pediatrician to refer us to a further specialist.
So much waiting. And we haven't even begun. I feel badly for the parents who have children with disablilities and are waiting for support services. It must be agonizing.
Right now, I can just thank god that he isn't too bad. He hasn't had a really "down" episode since that one. His need isn't as urgent as others, although that doesn't make it less important. I've been trying to do some reading on childhood depression, but I need to delve deeper. If I could find the time. That kind of reading calls for uninterrupted quiet time, something scarce around here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The End Of An Era

Ok, maybe not an era, but it's the end of an age, a term, a life-stage.

Next month I'm getting my tubes tied. And I'm a little sad, but mostly I know this is the right decision. Let's face it, 38 is getting a little old to have a baby. And please don't be offended if you're reading this and you're pregnant and like, forty or something. I'm not judging others, I'm just saying 38 is too old for ME to have another child.

I'd be freaking out but also happy if I found out I was pregnant right now. It definitely wouldn't be an intentional thing though. I know lots of people get pregnant "accidentally", but how "accidental" is it, really?

"The condom broke" : Really? How rough are you when putting it on? Those things are pretty tough!

"My pill didn't work" : Hm. There are things that can affect the efficiency of the pill, but if you're on a medication, you should educate yourself! Mostly, I think people aren't taking it properly. I've had moments when I worried about being pregnant while on the pill, and it's NEVER happened. Even with me screwing up the day I should have started the next month's pack, or missing a pill in the middle, it still hasn't happened.

"We were using the withdrawal method" : Ok, and you're surprised about being pregnant?

Anyway, we're done. As much as I love my kids, and love babies, I just can't imagine starting all over again. The lack of sleep, being a slave to someone helpless, not owning my own body for years, the sickness and all the other fun pregnancy symptoms, the added stress of someone else to worry about - all things I can live happily without.

So next month when I go in for my cyst removal, I'm also getting my tubes tied. Might as well, since they will already have me there on the table and in that same area.

Mostly I'm sad because the biggest pat of it is that it means I'm getting old. Moving past the child-bearing years is huge to me. Too old to have kids = too old in general.

At least I don't have grey hair yet.