Round and round-W.I.S.E. Project 2016

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I am just going to sit here for five minutes, if you talk to me please know that I am not listening

I know I keep saying it but I really love fall. I am just as sad as anyone when summer comes to an end, mostly because I know that the bitter cold of winter is right around the corner.

Fall I can appreciate. I like the cooler mornings and comfortable temperatures for sleeping in the evening; I love cardigans, homemade soup and hot drinks. I like the way the trees huddle together showing off their colors, proudly boasting stunning shades of gold, orange and red, and lightly dusting the landscape with a layer upon layer of vibrant color. My shade of lipstick changes, my clothes change, and my choice in foods change but the biggest change of all, one that I can never quite prepare for is the change in my sleep patterns.

Changes to temperature, the amount of sunlight we take in per day, atmospheric pressure, humidity and precipitation influence us in many ways, both positive and negative. For the last three weeks I have been struggling to get up and going but once I do I am happy to enjoy the rewards of a crisp autumn day. I feel grateful and fulfilled and I sail through my work days with plans to be productive in the evening only to be hit in the face with the three o’clock brain break.  So I struggle through my afternoons with tired eyes and big yawns. I am barely finding the energy to throw together meals for my family before putting on my jammies.  It’s hard to be productive when your brain is dormant from 3 pm onwards.

So I give in to the sweet promise of an early sleep, hoping for an early rise but repose is futile. My brain is lethargic, my body is already in a coma like state but something is compelling both of them to get up and move. So I lie there suspended somewhere between awake and dreaming, easy and agitated, tranquility and tempered.

When you go to bed exhausted expecting a soft fall into dreamland that ends up to be a fitful night of  restlessness, it is the equivalent of biting into a chocolate chip cookie only to find out that it is oatmeal raisin, the result is less than gratifying and quite frankly it leaves you a little pissed off.

Yesterday I dragged my tired ass out of bed and stumbled through my morning routine. The kids had made supper the previous evening and promised to clean up so I found the kitchen in shambles, which they refer to as spotless. I picked at the clutter for a bit and decided to leave it till after work and maybe it would be better. I lumbered through my day as sluggishly as the day before knowing that I had a bank appointment to sign papers, I had to drop books at the library and my youngest had voice lessons. I really just wanted to make it home in time to shower and change into comfy jammies and pour a glass of wine in time for Greys Anatomy. I talk about drinking wine a lot; I find the time to drink wine a lot less than I talk about.

I arrived in the bank in lots of time to be able to sign the papers, pick up Haley, run to the library and get Haley to lessons on time. I waited in line at the bank which seemed to take forever and a day. Clearly some people have not discovered online banking. The teller was super pleasant and went on an unsuccessful hunt for my papers. She could not find them and consulted everyone in the building before a kind lady took over and informed me that the papers were at my bank branch 20 minutes away. Why in the world would I have thought I could walk into any branch and sign the papers is beyond me. This branch was close and convenient for me and my brain was already two hours into break. I think the kind lady could tell that I was frazzled and that I my day was a succession of going round and round and stifling yawns. She was able to help me from that branch and I was able to continue on with the rest of my responsibilities on time and they only thing I had to give up was peeing and brushing my teeth. That seemed to buy me some extra time and on the way to lessons and I was able to stop and pick up my very first pumpkin spice latte of the season.

I read a little at lessons and on the way home my daughter was full of stories from welcome week at Junior High. I still have a hard time believing she is now a Junior High student. In my head she is still eight years old. She was talking away and not even breathing in between and I sort of zoned out. I went on a little vacation. In my head I was still and quiet. Then I hear “Mommy, Mom, Mommy…are you there? Why are you not talking? I am talking and talking and talking and you are not saying anything.” I needed to figuratively splash cold water on my face and re-engage. We talked about school and the birthday party she is going to on Saturday and her friend that is a boy but not her boyfriend that she would be upset if any of her friends dated him but only because it would be weird not because she likes him that way even though his name comes up constantly and she thinks he is so funny!

It was late so we picked up Subway as we had a two for one coupon. We got home and the dogs met us at the door, Rocky’s black fur was full of White powder, he had cardboard hanging out of his mouth and Buddy was walking around in circles and hanging his head, the pantry door was wide open and the remnants of Aunt Jemima Pancake mix and an empty box of Trix was on the living room floor. I was so mad but all I could think of was “Silly dogs, Twix are for kids!”

As annoyed as I get with them I love them to pieces and I feel like they are just kids faced with temptation. Like when I was a kid and my mom would bake cookies and tell us we couldn’t have any till later and then she would find the cookie container half empty and at least one of us kids with traces of chocolate on their face. I also like to believe that the dogs love me so much that if they could clean up they really would. I wouldn’t have to tell them the same things over and over.

I gave my oldest daughter grief about leaving the dogs in the house when she left and leaving the panty door open, she quickly informed me that it must have been her sisters fault and recounted to me how she had already cleaned up the garbage they got into. I noted the garbage that was stuffed back into the container so full that the lid would not even latch. More temptation for the dogs, like sitting me at an all you can eat buffet and telling me I can only look.

Nobody would think to change that garbage and nobody had fed the dogs, or the cat, or picked up their laundry off the bathroom floor, or wiped off the stove they cooked on or cleaned the tomato sauce they dropped off the tiles in the kitchen. But alas, I am too tired to even argue so I wiped up the tomato sauce, cleaned off the stove, tidied the counters and  ignore the wisps of dog fur that have collected around chairs and table legs and in every visible and invisible nook and cranny. I pour myself the glass of red I have been promising myself for a month and mentally prepared to go round and round again tomorrow.

I am not going to lie, September was a difficult month for me, but I kept trying and in that there is no failure.

Be W.I.S.E. friends. .

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!

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

Game Called life

Courtesy of momlogic.com

I had one of those days. Not only am I sick to death of Miley videos, jokes, references, tweets, and innuendo, as well as devastated by the events happening in Syria I have had my own personal struggles in the form of a hormonal teenage daughter, a truck that won’t start and a husband that is hours away for the next ten days. All things considered I know that I have it so much better than a lot of people. My husband may be away but he offered to drive home to my rescue. For those of you who know me, you are aware that as much as I may think I want to be rescued it would make me feel weak and needy. I have the most wonderful friends that jumped at the chance to come to my rescue and gave me something I didn’t even know I needed. A moment to breathe, to laugh, to share a glass of wine with friends. A moment to feel like it was OK to be something other then a wife and a mother. Sometimes I need to just be me. Also, my teenage daughter really is amazing. However, she is sometimes an emotional ball of hormones that she doesn’t quite know how to handle and we are trying so hard to navigate a neatly painted line somewhere in-between crying and screaming. I am trying hard to raise a smart, capable and accountable young lady in a world full of entitled youth of Generation “I”

Recently I have been faced with that all too familiar struggle of trying to split 200% of myself between all the things that matter in my life. When one thing requires more attention I seem to lose my balance and the balls I am juggling come crashing down. I stand tall against whatever I am faced with in life but sometimes I feel like I am inevitably going to fall.

I know that a lot of people feel how I am feeling right now. Wondering how they can be everything they need to be to the people in their lives and still have enough left over for themselves. I know how important it is to take time for myself. If I were to give advice to any of my friends I would most definitely tell them that they are the most important person in their lives and they need to make the time for themselves. Giving advice is always the easy part.

It has been fifteen months since I quit my job to stay at home. My biggest fear was losing myself, being insignificant and dependent. I think my family has absolutely benefited from me being home but often I feel I am spending way too much time trying to convince them that I am not a maid. I am an involved parent, sometimes to the point that I am not the wife I would like to be or a good friend to myself. I am still figuring it all out. I don’t strive for perfection, just quiet imperfection and happiness. I pray sometimes and I still wish on stars.

My goal is laugh more, to steal time for myself to do the things that are important to me, to say no to things that I don’t have time for and that add stress that I don’t need. I want to experience the moment without worry or anticipation of the next. I want to be present and accounted for in my own life. I want to learn from my mistakes without holding myself in constant judgment. I want to expect less of people but quietly encourage more. I want to abandon the idea of who I think I should be and be the person I know I can be. I want to love more, and forgive things that weigh me down.

Here I go….wish me luck as I continue to play my hand at this game called life!

P.S. I also need to make more time for wine!!

Game Called Life (The Big C Main Title) by Leftover Cuties

It’s so hard to turn your life over
Step out of your comfort zone
It’s so hard to choose one direction
When your future is unknown
Is this some kind of a joke, will someone wake me up soon?
And tell me this was just a game we played, called life.
Are we, are we all really slaves?
By the hands of ourselves
id I really make all of those mistakes?
Am I really getting older?Then why do I feel so lost?
Is this some kind of a joke, will someone wake me up soon?
And tell me this was just a game we played, called life.
And at the end of the road, is there someone waiting?
Do I get a medal for surviving this long?
Is this some kind of a joke, will someone wake me up soon?
And tell me this was just a game we played, called life.
Is this some kind of a joke, will someone wake me up soon?
And tell me this was just a game we played, called life.

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Talking with teens

Photo compliments of http://imgfave.com/

“why fit in when you were born to stand out? -Dr. Suess

It has been a busy week and even though I have a beautiful new laptop and plenty to say on a multitude of subjects, I took a little hiatus to catch up with friends and hang out with my daughters. It may seem a little lazy but below is a quote taken directly from Facebook, it is advice I gave to my daughters thirteen year old friend after a post she made about society and it’s ugliness. So many teens feel that they are not good enough, not skinny enough, not pretty enough, unloved and unwanted.

Why is this? Are we as parents letting our kids know how loved, beautiful and important they are. Are we teaching them the true meaning of beautiful?

I think of my children when they were first born, as pure as the mountain air. All of our children were born that way. Who taught them to hate themselves, dislike their bodies, feel they weren’t good enough? Who taught them to judge themselves and others by an unrealistic version of perfect?

Every single person that notices that something is wrong in society has a responsibility to help change it, man, woman or child. We will never right all the wrongs in the world but we can begin by loving ourselves and showing our children how important that is. If a person truly loves themselves they will love others, not for the clothes they wear, their body type or the way they wear their hair.

Self love is the most important kind of love. When a child loves themselves they make healthy decisions that are in their best interests as an expression of how they feel about themselves. People with no self worth make bad choices inviting people into their lives that can do them harm.

I could rant on about this for hours. I have a teenage daughter that I have to constantly prepare for the big bad world. I have found that the two best ways to teach my daughter how to love herself are:

A) Love myself. Show her I love who I am, with all my quirks and flaws, I embrace all that I am.

B) Love her. Love her enough to say no to her and have her dislike me, show her boundaries and teach her right from wrong. Love her even when I don’t like her much. Focus on the qualities that make her beautiful, her kindness, her enthusiasm, her compassion, her desire to help others. Teach her that happiness is beautiful and that true beauty shines through perceived flaws.

“Wherever you are in life be the soul of that place. The first step in changing society is changing yourself and realizing that imperfect is perfect. Beauty is everywhere and it can’t often be seen with your eyes but it sure can be felt with the heart. Be the light in a world of darkness…that will be amazing. ♥”

Lost- Chronicles of a Mom with a teenage girl

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I have been absentee from my life for the last week because I have been lost. Lost in a web of pain, fear, memories. ..
I have a thirteen year old daughter who overnight went from being a sweet and loving young lady to being an angry, hateful, spiteful entitled animal.

She wants to push the boundaries that we as parents put in place to keep her safe and to shape her into a warm, smart, caring and accountable adult and that I completely understand but she refuses to accept any of the responsibilities that come with the freedom she longs for. I try very hard to understand. I remember the emotional turmoil and anger, I was a teenage girl. Hormones suck and friends understand better then I do, I get it.

I talk to her openly and candidly, I accept her friends, I allow her their constant presence in my house even though I often long for a quiet night. I ask only in return that she take responsibility for her friends.  I am not a maid. When I clean up 20 water bottles with just sips out of them, popsicle wrappers, popsicle sticks, half eaten fruit swarming with fruit flies, slushies in the bathroom, dirty laundry everywhere I want to cry. I make deals, give ultimatums, believe the promises only to be disappointed on a daily basis. My sugar and spice and everything nice girl turns to fire and ice and won’t think twice about accountability or consequences if she is not getting her own way.

Don’t I have a responsibility as a parent to love her enough to make her see how important it is for her to respect herself and her family? Apparently not.

According to her friends mother I am wrong. I need to just accept it. What will be will be. That is basically what she said when she showed up at my door tonight with my daughter who had been missing for hours. I had called and messaged her with no response. As a parent if her child were here I would have let her know she was safe.

I had reached my tolerance level this afternoon when I asked my daughter to go. The blatant disregard for me became too much. Being cursed at, talked down to, told that she was going do whatever she wanted whenever she wanted.

Her friends talk to me. They are here for days on end. I know what lazy parenting is doing for them and it is nothing good.
I miss my little girl. I realize that I may lose her for a little bit because right now I need to be more of a parent and less of a friend. It is my responsibility to make sure she is safe, not for me to be popular with her. I need to teach her that bad actions have consequences,  not rewards. Honestly is rewarded. Accountability,  learn it. It is a lesson I will teach everyday.  Love. I will love her to the ends of the earth no matter what, even the days when I don’t like her very much. I will teach her the importance of loving herself and being someone she can be proud of.

Maybe I won’t be cool or popular for awhile but I am tough, I will handle it. One day she will thank me, of that I am certain. 

Tonight when she came home expecting a fight I approached her with compassionate grace. I will thank a dear friend for that advice.

I am sad and heartbroken but I showed her that I love her enough to care about the person she comes. Trust me it would be so much easier to turn a blind eye. Parenting is not the easy way out but I refuse to believe it is the wrong way.

One day I will comfort this beautiful girl when her own child breaks her heart into a thousand pieces and I hope that she will step up and be the person she was raised to be.

Goodnight friends,
the uncool mom

Thousand Acre Heart-Part 12

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I am eating cookies in bed, that is how my day went. After a long day I was relaxing and chatting with Kirk online (he is up North in Kearl Lake). We were both in a playful mood, our conversation was very fun and flirty until Morgan informed me that the coldroom and laundry room was flooded. Instant buzz kill. It was pretty tense here for awhile but equipped with Kirks snowmobile boots, a fire poker 40 soaking towells and my phone (for frantically texting Kirk) I managed to fix the pump and twart any further disaster.  I am not happy about the mess but on the bright side, because of the floor drain in the laundry room the main rec room area was not affected and being forced to clean out the cold room is a good thing. See Kirk I am not even going to mention who filled the cold room with unnecessary crap!!

So to continue where I left you I frantically called Kirk and told him to get there fast and then I called my Mom. Dr Clague said they would induce me at 5:30. Between 5:30 and 6:30 nothing was happening. We were all just joking around with the nurses. At 6:30 I started to feel a significant amount of discomfort and got quiet immediately. I threw up in the bathroom which was a sure sign of hard labour. When the contactions began they were one on top of another. In the same fashion as my other pregnancies I went from zero to sixty in minutes. I guess Kirk mistook my sudden silence for boredom because he said to the nurse “when does labor start?” I was breathing mid contraction and looked at the nurse wide-eyed as if to say “is he friggin kidding me?

The nurse asked Kirk if there was somewhere he needed to be. Poor Kirk had missed Morgans birth so he really just didn’t know what to expect. All he had really seen of actual labour was exaggerated on tv and in movies.

He was great at keeping cold wash clothes on my forehead. It was unbearably warm and trying to keep me cool was a full time job for Mom and Kirk. I started pushing shortly after seven. I was expecting Haley to come into the world in a few pushes. I was getting the regular encouragement “she’s right there, we see her head, she’s coming” I was pushing for everything I was worth. Let’s just say if pushing were an Olympic sport I was going for gold. I thought that Kirk should go to the other side of the room prepared to catch. I pictured her flying across the room like a football.

I recall the doctor saying something about her being stuck. I remember thinking WTF does that mean? I wanted to ask but could barely muster a breath between contractions let alone a question. Turns out her umbilical chord was wrapped around her neck. Once removed she made a speedy entry into our world! Haley Jade Catherine DeBay was born @ 7:45 pm on April 29, 2004.

She was healthy but earlier then the doctors had originally thought and in a certain amount of distress from me pushing with a chord wrapped around her. She was creamy white…full of vermix. She looked like someone had slathered her up with cold cream. She had a headful of dark curls and a beautiful button nose.

Our first picture with her she is in an incubator. I felt completly different about her then I had with Morgan and Jeffrey initially. I felt very protective, I guess that is definitely a parental trait but it lacked that warm and fuzzy feeling because I so badly wanted to make her strong enough to bring her home. I am sure anyone who has ever had a preemie has felt this on a much larger scale. Her first month, even after bringing her home she was so sleepy I had to wake her for feedings and coax her to feed. It felt like a job. She didn’t look at me, she didn’t brighten at the sound of my voice. I silently worried a lot about not bonding with her the way I did Morgan. After the first four weeks once I chubbed her up and she became more alert things changed instantly. She has been an ongoing joy!

I always felt very differently about my girls. Morgan in glorious teenhood likes to say we love Haley more, we always take her side. Truth is I love Haley differently then I do Morgan. She has always been smart and fiercely independent. She has a very analytical mind like her Dad. Morgan is softer, led more by her heart. As smart as she is I worry about her being led astray by her caring and trusting ways. I want her to know how beautiful she is. I want her know that she is smart and that she can be anything she wants. I want her to know that SHE is the person to impress and please. I want her not to seek validation from friends and boys. I want her to pat herself on the back for a job well done and when she fails I want her to have the strength to get back up and try again. Haley at 9 has these tools. She hasn’t let the world beat her down. She told me one day that she will never be able to please everyone but she is happy being herself. Jeffrey and Morgan are a lot alike. They know what they want and they can dream a life for themselves but sometimes overlook the harsh realities that can get in the way of those dreams. Dreams take hard work to make them happen! I heard a saying recently about a mothers constant challenge “the right mix of kindness and dicipline” I think all of my children will agree that I can be a good and fun friend but I will never sugar coat the realties of life!! Life is hard. Prepare!!

This is short and I apologize. I am catching up from a whirlwind visit with my family in Nova Scotia and my new granddaughter. Sometimes I still have to pinch myself to see if it is all real.

P.S for those of you twitterbugs, follow @1000acreheart

Thanks for dropping by, be back soon. I will leave you with a sneak peek of beautiful Gracie. ♥
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