Diary of a Whiny Bitch!

On my way to work a couple of days ago I found myself in tears at a red light; in fact I am tearing up just thinking about it. I was thinking about an argument that I had with my husband that morning that really shouldn’t have been an argument at all, it should have been two people supporting and encouraging each other but it turned into a pissing match over who was busier, whose day was the fullest, who put in the most effort. There wasn’t a winner and nor should there have been and at that moment I was feeling apologetic that those few minutes we are lucky enough to get together in the morning were wasted.

I was sitting at that red light with hot tears threatening to spill down my cheeks and ruin the make up I had carefully applied in the five minutes I had between making sure my daughters were out of bed and had something to eat before I ran out the door for work crossing my fingers that they would get to school on time. The haunting melody to James Blunts 1973 catapulted me out of my trance to answer the incoming call from my husband. 1973 is his ringtone not just because it is the year of his birth but because we have often danced to that the song when it comes on the radio. There just doesn’t seem to a be a lot of time to dance lately.

My husband had been working in the Alberta Oil sands for seven years. That is seven long years, working long hours in extreme weather and living in remote camps away from his family for 250 days out of a 365 day year. Circumstances led to him deciding to come home and try to run his business in Edmonton. It means even longer hours, a lot of worry about making ends meet and a great deal of faith but we all go to bed under the same roof every night and that is huge. I have returned to work full time as well so my job, my volunteer work, shuffling my kids activities and trying to make sure that my house doesn’t resemble a college dorm (and smell like one) gives me very little time to dedicate to my own sanity. My husband’s business is in infancy so he doesn’t have time to help me and I don’t have time to help him.

Insert frustration, lack of sleep, worry, not enough vegetables in your diet, yelling in place of talking, fear of epic mom failures and waking up with gray hairs where your eyebrows used to be and then the waterworks begin.

For ten days I have been promising myself a glass of wine and a kit kat bar. A “give myself a break” reward. In ten days I haven’t found the time. I really need to get my priorities straight!

As soon as I get to that last load of laundry, go on my fourteen year old daughters school zone which I haven’t signed into in six months (she swears she doesn’t have homework) and convince my 9 year old the importance of taking baths and showers I will get to it. The wine is waiting…..waiting….waiting. I hope it doesn’t turn to vinegar.

I was watching a show on my laptop in bed the other night and I remember the days where I used to envy an actresses hair, body or trendy clothes. Now I just envy how clean the houses are on TV. I am getting older by the second and my laundry is piling up, dust is accumulating in corners and the dishes that have not broken are in the dishwasher. The hot bath I had planned turned into a quick tepid shower followed by my oldest daughters forty five minute tropical shower.

I eat left-overs, I wear left overs, I pull grey hair out of places that shouldn’t even have hair, I calculate bills and schedules in my head as soon as it hits the pillows. I dream of days where there is nothing to do. I yell a lot and yet nobody hears me, I go to the store to get milk and come home with an armload of groceries and no milk.

I am a MOTHER, hear me ROAR, Ok I know, it sounds more like a yawn!! It’s 8 pm and I am yawning. My bottle of wine is looking at me disapprovingly, mockingly as if I’ve done it some disservice. I have no milk and no gas and very little patience.

I had a great laugh tonight with a friend about vaginas, penises, pasta salad and poop. I needed it and it is in those moments that I am reminded how lucky I really am. My kids are doing OK, they have food to eat, clothes to wear and they love their mama. Today they even cleaned the house and made cupcakes. I have a husband who works harder then any man I know and still asks me to dance at the end of the day. I don’t have a model’s body, a millionaires money, a show home, the patience of a saint or a mother of the year award but this whiny bitch has five free minutes, an open bottle of wine and 5 confetti cupcakes….dare me???

Love you all and happy Easter xoxox
Michelle

Mom’s everywhere, watch this and then pat yourself on the back because you ROCK!! Especially mine!

A Penny for your thoughts…

MYlife

How it must feel to pack up thirty years of memories into boxes, to decide what gets put in the trash pile and what comes with you to your new home. I remember six years ago when I packed up my house and moved 5300 kms away to Edmonton, Alberta. It was a huge process and whenever I was upset my Mom would say “take the memories!” They don’t take up a lot of room and there will always be a use for them.

I spoke with my Mom today and she is in the throes of packing up thirty years into boxes and I wish I could be there to share in every smile and every tear, I am sure there are many. I can’t even imagine the things you would come across and the memories they would evoke. I jokingly said “Don’t throw anything of mine out!” My Mom said she is sending me a little envelope and I am so excited to see what is inside. When I was home last spring she gave me a package with newspaper clippings, awkward school photos and poems I wrote. You really cannot give someone a better gift then a memory that transports them back in time. I frequently dig out that envelope and thumb through my past and though I always wonder what the heck my mother was thinking with some of those haircuts I was sporting I will treasure the contents of that package forever.

The house my Mom is packing up was my home since I was about 11. I believe we moved the summer I was going into grade six. If I remember correctly my Dad had lost his job and we put our house up for sale and when things took a turn for the better and my parents wanted to take it off the market the Real Estate company held us to the three month contract and though my parents wished it wouldn’t our house sold. I recall my parents apologizing to my brothers and I about the house they were moving to. It was a “fixer upper” and the rooms were much smaller but it had room for my Dad’s business ventures and he could be his own boss. We didn’t really care, it was a roof over our head!

We were about to embark on a humid Nova Scotia summer, we had endless sunny adventure filled days on our minds. Moving was no biggie for us, just a different spot to lay our heads at night!

Our parents even allowed us to attend the same school in the fall, grade 6 for me, grade five for my younger brother and the same Junior High for my older brother. These were the days when kids actually played outside and I really don’t remember it being such a big deal. I am sure it stressed my Mom out a great deal but we all adapted.

We only had a few short years at that house while my Dad was alive but it was great to have him with his business at home. I got to make him and the guys coffee and clean his office which for some reason I thought was super fun! I remember thinking how glamorous it would be to have my own office someday! Ha!

My Dad owned an Auto Body shop and he also had a dealers license so we grew up with several different vehicles. My older brother had a car from the day he turned sixteen and he never quite learned not to get attached. He took a shine to a Bronco Dad had brought home for him and was quite disappointed when he came home from school one day and Dad had sold it and got him something else. Anyone who knew my brother during those teenage years will recall how much he liked his cars. He had a black Monte Carlo that he treated better then anyone in his life. One day he bought another Monte Carlo, black as well but a bit newer, he decided to sell his original love to an acquaintance. Apparently my brother was getting reports that the new owner was driving the car erratically (burning the piss out of it) was the term he animatedly used to describe the treatment of his true love he had sold to another. I shrugged my shoulders when he told me. I really didn’t understand what this had to do with him. My brother couldn’t get past it though so he contacted the new owner and made arrangements to buy the car back! My brother now had twin black Monte Carlos. I secretly hope that in the envelope coming is a picture of me beside one of those sexy black Montes with my long glorious black permed hair and poufy eighties bangs!

I remember how my friends and I used to spray the product called “sun in” in our hair in hopes of getting au natural highlights and lather ourselves up with suntan lotion and lay on the roof of the spray booth during the July heat waves with L.L. Cool J beats playing on my bright orange boombox! In the cooler monthes we used to pack into the tiny hallway of the upstairs to play Risk afterschool and sometimes we carried on the game for days!

I’ll never forget the time my younger brother and his friends decided in their “everything’s a great idea” teen years to take a newly painted car out of the shop and go on a joyride when my parents were away. They got to the bottom of our road and panicked when they thought they saw my parents and put the car in the ditch. They took the smashed car back to the house, put it back in the garage and locked up as if nothing happened. My older brother and mother met us at the bus stop the next day and my brother immediately knew why and tried to walk in the other direction. There were a couple of tense days to follow in that little house. Later that night I tried to sneak my brother a peanut butter and jam sandwich but my Dad intercepted me. Under the circumstances, and I can sympathize with his frame of mind, he thought it best that my brother go without supper for the night! After awhile it blew over and we moved on, as a family in that little house.

Years later after my dad passed away and my stepdad came along to give my Mom a new lease on life and someone me and my brothers could count on always, we made new memories in that little house. We became adults, married and brought our own children there for family dinners.

When my mom and stepdad pack up those boxes I wonder what kind of things they will recall, what stories they will tell. Which ones will make them laugh and which ones will make them cry? Whatever they choose to put in the throw away pile, I hope it’s regret and sadness. I hope they take with them thirty years of memories from that little house and they pack all the love our family has for each other and fill each and every room in their new home with it!

Cheers! I am off now to open my wine and drink my book…or something like that.

xo Michelle

P.S. Always take the memories.

Help Me to Fly

It’s the last night of my “Dirty Thirties” and I am lying in bed eating a coffee mug full of Ice Cream. The last couple of weeks have been emotionally draining and my initial excitement about turning forty sort of fizzled and died. I am generally a pretty upbeat person who tries to see the good and the lessons in every day problems but there have been a couple of days lately that I had a hard time getting out of my pajamas and I curled up and cried.

I have a fourteen year old daughter.

I could stop here and for some of you another word would not have to be typed without you sighing knowingly and feeling empathy for me…a virtual stranger.

One day the little girl who once looked at me like I was more important than the moon and the stars decided she didn’t like me much. It came out in her words, her actions, her body language and her disrespect. It put a Valley between us, a river of tears and hurt ran through it turning compassion into compulsion. I have always been told that you can only be a parent or a friend, not both! I know my child deserves discipline and boundaries. I know that understanding accountability will make her a better person in the future but every day I miss the little girl who hung on my every word, who thought that the sun shone because of me, that I was responsible for rainbows, cherry flavored jello and all the other good things!

I decided to break the parenting rule, I miss being her friend. I found that it was exactly what we both needed. We needed each other. I found out that my scared little girl who likes to think she is all grown up is feeling the weight of the world on her shoulders. At fourteen she is so worried about figuring out life and worrying about the future that she is miserable right now. I let my hurt fool me into thinking that she didn’t need me when in reality the more she pushed the more she wanted me to love her back! She wants to know that I will love her no matter what and when times are overwhelming will I just listen and not judge. Will I hold her and laugh with her and be happy for her? Will I treat her like a young lady but love her like a little girl.

Our expectations cannot be so great that our children will constantly fear disappointing us. Teenagers feel a lot of pressure in today’s society to be smart, attractive and popular and in turn we as parents want to do our very best to make our little humans into people they are proud of. There comes a time when we need to allow them to learn from their mistakes instead of making them fear taking chances. We need to be quietly encouraging and supportive, even if we don’t always understand. We have to remind them that life will happen, ready or not and they cannot plan their entire life in advance. We need to remind them that the biggest regrets they will have in life are the chances that they never took. They will make mistakes, we need to tell them that we will love them anyway.

The best we can do is help them to fly and let them decide where to go!

If you are a parent you need to watch this video. Sometimes the hardest thing is watching our children grow up but I believe that they will always need us as much as we need them!

A ticket to visit Mum

HIBERNATION

Photo Credit McQueen Photography https://www.facebook.com/pages/McQueen-Photography/164760966993552?ref=br_tf
Photo Credit McQueen Photography
https://www.facebook.com/pages/McQueen-Photography/164760966993552?ref=br_tf

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and rang in a rockin New Year with those you love. My Christmas was very quiet, spent just with family. I had a couple of moments where I was very homesick for our family and friends in Nova Scotia, especially upon hearing some bad news from home but when I take a second to reflect I am always reminded of how incredibly blessed I am.

I have been absentee on here throughout the holidays to give my family my full attention. We have basically been hibernating. Late nights, late mornings, lots of movies, board games, card games. A whole bunch of togetherness!! Just the act of providing my family with three meals a day, cleaning up after those meals and laundering my families clothes seems to take up a great deal of time. The sleeping in may sound blissful but truthfully I am just trying desperately to sneak some shut eye in in between fighting for blankets and bed space. With hubby working away most of the time we are both very used to sleeping on our own. Most of the year we spend four solid days together at best and then he is gone for ten. Both of us are very used to our own space. I feel I adapt fairly well and respectfully to the addition of the extra body in my bed but it has been over three weeks now and in the wee hours of the morning while the moon hung low and the sun had not yet kissed the winter sky I woke to shots in the rib. I have no idea what my husband was dreaming of but he was lightly punching me in the ribs. I managed to roll him over but woke awhile later to an elbow in my face. He was spread eagled with his arms behind his head like he was lazily tanning on a beach hammock. He looked so adorably relaxed I settled myself onto a very small fraction of the bed, hugging the side so that I didn’t fall off. I dozed off once again and woke freezing. Hubby had all of the blankets wrapped around him tight and was snuggled in like a mummy. This is how I have been sleeping for weeks, here and there!

I came down the stairs to make coffee the other morning and found soil from my Mandevilla Vine all over the floor. It has started to dry up recently and I caught my cat in getting in it one day right in front of me. Today after seeing the soil all over the floor I inspected the plant to find that my cat has been using it as her personal potty. Unwilling to give up on a living thing I cut out the roots, disposed of the soil and I am soaking the roots to see if I can salvage them! My family thinks I am crazy. On top of this my allergic reactions to my cat are getting more severe so in turn she takes every opportunity to rub up against me and wrap herself around my neck with no regard to my swelled up eyes and congestion.

Our 9 year old Haley has been having Crazy eight tournaments with us in the garage. Her and I can not seem to win but if the mood strikes us we will keep playing till 4 am….NEVER GIVE UP!! I have great memories of playing cards with my parents growing up and I want to share that with my children but so far only Haley is interested. Morgan is fourteen so therefore not very interested in us at all!

We even did some Telus Christmas karaoke over the Holidays. I learned that after a couple of glasses of red wine I can do a pretty good rendition of Patsy Cline. Please note my standards are low and I am tone deaf.

As you can see nothing too exciting is happening and my brain is mash potato mush. I wanted to thank all of you for continuing to stop by during my hiatus and when my Staycation is over I will be back, I promise.

I figure by now most of you have sobered up and decided that your New Years resolutions were little more then drunk talk. I was stone cold sober on NYE so therefore I didn’t make a bunch of grand New Years resolutions. Too much pressure 😉

I am just going to fly by the seat of my pants. Welcome 2014, let’s have a fantastic year together!

Wanna be Startin Somethin

Me and the little assholes. Miss those little shits!

It was February 1984, the 29th to be exact. It was a leap year so there were 306 days left in that year. Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney were sitting pretty at the top of the Billboard Charts with their hit Say Say Say and Van Halen was waiting in the wings ready to JUMP.

I think fashion could easily be described as “anything goes” highlighted by mismatched colors and textures, cheap jewelry and lots of it, billowy, flowing, cropped and carefree. Hair was big and about to get bigger.

When you are ten Pop Culture is important and you look up to and emulate your role models. 1984 was a big year. Cyndi Lauper made the bold statement that “Girls just wanna have fun” Madonna burst onto the scene telling us it was sexy to be “Like A Virgin” Frankie goes to Hollywood and tells the world to “Relax” George Michaels Wham wants you to “Wake me Up Before you Go Go”, Prince had “Purple Rain” falling out of the sky and the big haired super couple of the year was Demi Moore and Emilio Estevez, I guess today they would be called De-milio. Michael Jackson starred in the Classic Pepsi commercial making Cream Soda so yesterday.

That morning I rose early and went down to our little work-out room. Aerobics was also big and I was donned in pink tights, a black leotard and leg warmers. I had a cotton head band, not really holding my hair back but it looked super cool. I looked very Olivia Newton-Johnish. I was excited because my Michael Jackson cassette was already loaded in my little black tape player and my blue puffy mats were arranged perfectly and I was all set to do my ten year old version of a Heavenly Bodies work out set to the tune of Wanna be Startin Something. Imagine my surprise when I walked into the work-out room to find all my MJ posters torn and hanging off the walls. I was devastated and I held back tears. My brothers were hiding around the corner stifling their childish giggles.

Little fuckers!! Had I been able to talk through my tears I would have told them to go jerk off in some socks or something!

So here I was in my ridiculous pink outfit, crying like a damn baby and my brothers were laughing at me. It was the worst day of my young life so far. I stomped up the stairs making sure that each step landed harder then the last and when I got to my bedroom I slammed the door and then I opened it and slammed it again, just in case everyone didn’t get it the first time.

I changed into my school clothes and dreaded spending a morning on math problems that at 39 I have never had cause to refer to. At some point during the day I passed both my brothers in the school hallway. The younger one was quiet and hung his head, not feeling like such a big man on his own. The older one was still incredibly smug and looked and me with a sneer.

My mother tried to make it better but in those days I liked to hold onto my surly anger. She must have spoken to my Dad because he came home with the medicine to bring my smile back. He brought a framed picture of Michael Jackson, better then all those torn posters put together, some silver sparkly MJ socks and an imitation of his famous silver glove. I was elated. How cool was I?

The little brats didn’t get anything. Na na na na

Working Man-Building a strong family

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I don’t really believe that there is women’s work and men’s work. I believe that gender roles should be equal but that being said somehow in my marriage we fell into more of traditional roles and I have been lucky enough to not have to get my hands dirty changing my oil, changing tires or taking out the toilet all three times our children decided to flush something that didn’t belong.

About a year and half ago I quit my job. My husband and I thought it was important that I have more time for our children with him away. Initially trepidatious I agreed it was for the best.  I do some work from home and I am a volunteer board member for a local league.  I am a full time wife, mother, cook, taxi driver and role model.

Do not misinterpret this to mean that I love picking up dirty socks or dirty dishes.  I don’t and I can safely say that though my family does not readily change their heathen ways it is not from lack of trying. My displeasure is known and though it would be easier I don’t do it for them. If I have to ask ten times it gets louder everytime and eventually the socks will get picked up.

My husband is away for work more then he is home and I know when he is there everybody wants a piece of him. His phone rings steady, people are in his ear and he is responsible for a crew of young guys that he affectionately calls his kids.

One day last week I was on the phone bitching to him about trying to get our daughter out of bed for school and he asked if I would like to trade him and get five thirteen year olds out of bed in the morning. I changed the subject of the conversation. 

Both if us have our roles and he is exceptional at his and I handle mine. Sometimes we struggle silently because part of our roles as husband and wife is too lift each other up, not weight each other down with complaints. When you live apart from each other sometimes part of supporting each other is learning to lean on yourself.  It’s a unique situation for certain and I don’t know that I will ever master it but I know that I won’t stop trying.

I know that my husband doesn’t tell me everyday how lonesome it gets living up North, how hard it is to miss your childrens special moments and get up and go to work each day, everyday knowing how many people are depending on him.

In turn I try to make sure that all the business here gets taken care of. The children are fed, educated and active, I volunteer at their school and their league, the business paperwork is done on time and I teach our girls about hard work, about integrity, about accountability and about the value of a dollar. I try to have a little life for myself because it is important for me and for them to see.

Our roles are very different but equally important.  I know I miss Kirk somedays more then I say and I definitely appreciate him more then I could ever express. I know that he makes our lives possible  and in turn we make his possible. We are all doing our best and continuing to learn. I do not define him nor he me but I believe that we make each other better!

Our kids are growing up with a family that doesn’t all get to sit down at the dinner table together every night but they are being given opportunities that neigher my husband and I had as children.

Families don’t fit into a little box like they used to. That perfect fifties style family with the Mom serving dinner in a dress to a suit and tie dad while her well groomed children say their prayers and talk about their day over meatloaf and pie!

Tell me about your unique family!

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