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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hockey Time 

My husband is an extremely avid hockey fan. 
He always has been. 
He's particularly partial and devoted to the Vancouver Canuck's.
In fact, there is a wall in our new finished off basement- a noticeable wall at that -  painted the Canuck-blue (yes there is such a colour).  Said wall will also have a large decal in the likeness of a jersey stuck on it.  There are two closets along this wall and the doors of these closets will be printed with various Canuck snapshots.  Our pool table near this wall is also recently been recovered in Canuck-blue felt.  Trevor has a large closet in our office full of collectible memorabilia of the hockey persuasion.  We have to have to the TV hockey package every year so that he can watch all 80 or so games.
Maybe 'avid' is a mildly conservative word to describe his love of hockey...
The reason I'm thinking about hockey is not because I am equally into the sport  (I do quite enjoy and follow the NHL just not with the same enthusiasm as Trevor), but because it is the playoffs.  Vancouver finished #1 in the league this year and is a strong Stanley Cup contender.
Part of the advantage of being number one is that in the first round of playoffs they get to play the eighth place team who barely even made eighth place.  It should have been a sweep; winning the necessary four games to advance to the next round all in a row. Nope. 
They had to make it interesting.  The first three games were won relatively calmly and comfortably.  Game 4 occurred and it was the lost quite decidedly along with game 5.  Game 6 looked a little better but it still resulted in a seventh game. 
I hate game 7's.
I doubly hate overtimes in game 7's. 
I was forced to suffer through both last night.
It's a good thing we had an impromptu party with 10 adults and 9 kids last night so there was a bit of distraction.  What a nail-biting, hair-pulling, heart-pounding, perch-on-the-edge-of-my-seat game!!! 
I nearly wet myself when the 'other' team tied the game up with less the two minutes left therefore propelling the game into overtime.  Then to make matters worse the other team got a penalty advantage in overtime!!!!  A rather rare occurrence in overtime in the playoffs! 
The sigh of relief and cheers of excitement in our house when Vancouver managed to score the series winning goal nearly blew the roof off of our house.
And this could go on until June....

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Work - Away From My Kids

Blog land has been a little quiet lately.  
I've been reading that people are finding themselves a little busy with life and therefore blogging is taking a back seat.  
Understandable.  I'm not the most regular blogger myself despite the best of intentions.

This past week has blessed us with absolutely gorgeous weather.  We've been wearing shorts and spending every waking minute outside enjoying the feel of a warm sun.  I've been watching Sierra marvel at the trees "waking up", the new green grass poking through the old dead brown stuff, and listening to the birds' noisy return from down south.
Spring has sprung!


In my dreams maybe.
I'm pretty sure our area of the world has gotten stuck in February.  We experienced a blizzard this past weekend with well over 6 inches of snow and it was -12 degrees Celsius the other night.


It is April!!!!

Okay.  I'm done ranting. I've made my point.  The weather sucks.

About my job.
I mean the one I get paid money to perform.
The one I've been back at for four months since maternity leave.
I sell glasses as my job.  I help victims patients select the perfect set of frames.  I measure up the lenses for the lab to make.  I also fit and adjust and repair glasses.  Sometimes I get to figure out why someone can't see out of their new glasses when they should be able to.
I am called an optician.  Or, more formally, an 'ophthalmic dispenser'.

I quite enjoy going to work. 
I work for an optometrists' office owned by three - soon-to-be-two (but that's a story in itself) - doctors.  They are great employers.  The rest of the staff are also all very pleasant to work with.  Most of the patients are fairly agreeable and nice which also ensures that my day is good.  Of course there are always the quacks that cause one's blood to boil over in anger, or one to have fits of frustration over their ridiculousness but they are the people that make things "interesting".
Who am I kidding?
They are the ones that make us wonder why we showed up at work those days!

Most of the time being at work is a bit of a break from my life.  I don't ever have 150 demands coming at me all at once.  I do not have to deal with squabbles or tears. I get a half-an hour for lunch entirely to myself! (on the one day I work a full shift)  I'm not constantly cleaning up only to have it immediately messed again behind me.  It feels good to earn a paycheck.  I've been doing this type of work for over ten years so I'm pretty comfortable with it.  Being an optician has just enough variety amid the consistency to keep it interesting.
For me anyway.

Unfortunately there are stresses related to working outside the home, and they all have to do with external factors.  Getting my kids out the door on time and fed and dressed is nearly always a panic and yet somehow I always manage to accomplish it.  On time even.
Then there is coming home:
Two cranky, tired kids who have missed their mommy.  A somewhat frazzled husband who has also worked all day, picked up the kids and attempting to meet the 150 I-need-it-now demands.  A hungry me.
Get supper made. Eat.  Clean up.  Kids in bed.
And I only do this one day a week.  Mondays.
I also work a four hour shift on Thursday evenings which is still a gong show but not quite as tiring for me, and Saturdays which are calmer because I'm the only one needing to get things done and go somewhere in a timely manner.

As nice of a change of pace going to a job outside the home is, it would be simpler if I could just stay at home.  Sadly, our budget does not permit that.  Economy and circumstance have meant that Trevor does not have the job he went to university for which in turn means no salary that we can live solely live on.  The plan was for me not to have to work after Sierra was born.
When we built our house we even set the budget based on a mortgage we could afford on a single (expected teacher's salary) income.  We had it all figured out.
I've spent my share of time and more being bitter about that and I'm over it for the most part.  Being at work isn't so bad, it's the aspects surrounding it.

Child care has been my hugest stress by far.  We've chosen the shifts I work to minimize the amount of childcare needed.  It's amazing how when one's kids are concerned how everything just erupts.  When the care of my children is an issue than everything is an issue the I-wasn't-supposed-to-be-working and poor-mes start surfacing.
My friend with two kids of her own started out by taking my kids on Mondays but in March made the difficult decision to quit.  I don't blame her or begrudge her one bit, four kids is a lot of work. A fantastic temporary replacement was quickly discovered but she is having a baby in summer.  So I've been searching and the search has given me a not in my stomach and sour taste in my mouth.  I want someone/someplace that is reliable and good for my kids. How does one determine who's worthy of caring for your kids or not?  What do you look for? Ask?  What is a reasonable fee?
Day care facilities do not take part-time kids for part time fees and it is also a challenge to find registered day-homes taking part-time.  Usually if people decide that caring for others' kids is their occupation than they prefer the consistency of full-time. Private day-homes are the next option and those can be really good or really sketchy.  I got the sketchy feeling about one yesterday.

Go with your gut.
That's the advice I've been given from several sources.
My gut doesn't speak English very well so it can be hard to understand.  The brain and heart like to interfere too.

There are more options out there than  I initially thought.  It's just a process and a rather annoying one at that.  I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt and so to be discerning is a challenge and I've been praying for wisdom and guidance for the right place to come along and for me to make the right decision.
There's a promising option that I'm interviewing next week.

Overall I've been very fortunate with how things have worked out.
I feel blessed that I can stay home as much as I do, that the job I go to is enjoyable, and that my children and husband seem good with our current schedule.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wild-Boy and Fashionista-Girl

Wild do! 
Trevor is begging me to get his hair cut - but he has the cutest curls in the back!

Wildly emptying the drawers, he literally sends stuff flying as fast as he can.

Wild walker!
A mere few weeks ago this little car-walker was required.  Now he does quite well on his own.

Fingernail painting.  It makes me nervous everytime.

After trying to get her to wear a skirt all winter she finally is!

My mom bought her this outfit and she wears it regularly and with pride.

Ummmm - okay, not quite working as well but this represents her true style!

Monday, April 11, 2011


It is a quiet Sunday morning in my home - yes I said quiet.  Sawyer is lethargic and feverish from what I am assuming is the result of his poor little mouth working on pushing out three molars. Trevor and Sierra went to church and I stayed home to cuddle my boy.  Now he's sleeping.

When Trevor and I embarked on the journey of marriage I was only 20 and he was 23.  The last thing on our minds was being parents.  For the first five years of wedded bliss the mere idea of us having a baby was my biggest nightmare.  I simply could not imagine being a mom and cheered monthly when proof that I was not pregnant presented itself.  I know we would have dealt with it if it had happened but I am super thankful that birth control worked accordingly.  I have never been the type of person that gravitates towards kids, babysat every chance I could, or longed for the day I could be a mom.
Trevor and I finally reached a point where we decided being parents would no longer be a nightmare, in fact we thought it would be kinda cool.   This life altering decision was made when I was almost 29 and he was 32 so not only did we finally feel mature, our life circumstances seemed to be as ideal as they were going to get.  We weren't given any time to change our mind because I got pregnant right away. 

Four and half years and two kids later I look at the toys cluttering my house, the crumbs littering the floor and the constant food and snot smears on my clothes and I wouldn't want any other life.  I am thankful on a daily basis that we were able to completely choose to have kids and when to have them.  I am so blessed for the kids we have.  Having the responsibility of being a parent is huge.  The immense love, joy, fun, aggravation, frustration, pain and even anger associated with raising kids is bigger than I could ever have imagined.  It's a good thing we were created with parenting instincts because there is no book or no person that can truly prepare a person for having children.

I am thinking these things because I just finished watching what Trevor calls one of my "train wreck" shows 'Teen Mom 2'.  It is a real life show about four (five?) teen moms and life with a baby.  This is the second series following them and the babies are now nearing a year old.  I think about how hard it was to have a baby at the age of 29 with an awesome husband and pretty stable life so I watch these girls and my mind whirls.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

If I Had A Million Dollars....

 In no particular order I've allowed myself to dream just a tiny bit.  I know I have a fantastically rich life in uncountable and unmeasurable ways and I wouldn't trade it for anything but a girl can let her mind wander once in awhile and have a little

(Oh, and sadly these days a million isn't that much anymore but you get the point)
1.  All my bras and underwear would be matching sets.  I don't really know why but this sounds totally frivolous and oddly appealing.

2. I'd change my bedding every day.  I absolutely love the feel and smell of clean bedding. 

3.  No, wait!! I'd have someone else change my bedding every day!  

4.  I'd have someone else buy my groceries too.   Grocery shopping is one of those irritatingly necessary tasks that makes me shudder.

5.  No matter who does the grocery shopping - or any shopping for that matter it would not be at Walmart.  I can't afford not to shop at Walmart these days but I don't like it.  The amount of money that chain makes is sinful and I'd rather not contribute to it.

6. I'd hire a landscaper to transform my yard into an exquisite garden and then have a gardener to maintain it.  I mostly can't stand yard work, it makes me grumpy.  I know this makes no sense since we have a large yard.  Oh yeah, we chose a large lot so the kids could have a great outdoor play space.

7. I would travel more.  Anywhere and everywhere.  I'd especially like to tour Canada and we have family and friends in many diverse, spread apart locations in North America who I would love to visit more often.

8. I would either have someone clean my house or have someone watch my kids so I could clean my house.  I may strongly dislike gardening but housekeeping doesn't bother me.

9. The shoes I would have!  I love shoes but exert extreme self-control in this area.

10. I think my grocery shopper would also be a person who prepares my meal menu and cooks my meals.  Oh, and while we're at it they might as well be a personal trainer too and help whip me into fabulous shape!

....I'd be rich!

Friday, April 1, 2011

For the Umpteenth Time

I cannot believe it is April.
We woke up to rain around here.
I'm thrilled because rain means it is not cold, anything is better than the white stuff which shall remain unnamed, and it gives me hope that we might actually get to experience spring one of these days.
(I spoke too soon, I just checked the Environment Canada website for our forecast and there's a big red banner across the top warning our area of a winter storm warning tonight and tomorrow!!!!!!!)

Back in January when I was grossed out with the Thanksgiving/Halloween/Christmas gorging on vast amounts of food - and I don't mean fruits and vegetables! - I resolved to get back on the health bandwagon.  I didn't feel well and my body was still clinging to a few pounds of baby. Since Trevor was repeatedly declaring his satisfaction with having two kids and not hiding his firm stance that he desires no more I also figured that I might as well go for the body I wanted.  I had goals of losing three pounds first, than another three, followed by aiming for a final five. Not too loft I didn't think.  I embarked on Weight Watchers and P90X with vigor and determination and lost those first three.  Then one more pound disappeared.  I was feeling good.

Then we got sick, and sick again, and sick again, and Trevor's RA kicked into high gear, and the crappy weather refused to let up, and my mood fell into a pit of despair and....
you get the point.
I fell off the wagon.

Exercise became a foreign word in my vocabulary.  Calorie rich foods graced my taste-buds a little too frequently and, at times, a little too abundantly.  Oh I tried, I'd get in a day or two of exercise, be more controlled with what went in my mouth, and feel pretty good.  Then before I knew it another week had gone by with both eating better and exercising falling as distant a concept as warmer weather.  I'm not sure if I gained any weight back or not but one or two of 'my inches' expanded.   So that is partly why I marvel at the fact that it is April already and I've only met goal number one and I really should be well on my way to goal number three if not already there.
But, it is never too late nor are there ever too many times to try again.
"If at first you don't succeed, try, again." and again, and again, and again.....

I'm trying again.
At this exact moment I have no excuses, and if one comes up I must give it a good ole' kick in the rear end and boot it out of the excuse line.  One, or two, or three, will come up, that is for sure, I just need to be prepared to fight them.

I talk big don't I?  I've talked before.
I'm getter tired of it so you must be.  I also know we've (well I have anyway) all read countless blogs and articles, seen many TV shows, and spoken with many of our friends who are attempting the same: a healthier lifestyle.  So as not to bore you with the topic's tedium I promise not to mention it again until goal number two is met, and then goal number three.
Hopefully I get to blog about them soon!