Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The World is a Good Place

I have had a lot of good happen to me recently.

On my birthday I got up early, grabbed some CD's and drove to Nanaimo to pick up my nephew, C. Of course I grabbed the largest coffee from starbucks first! Then we drove out to Qualicum to see my mom. I got a tour of her house, she has significantly redecorated. It looks great! There are nice touches of my grandparents in every corner while at the same time keeping true to my mom's style and charm - it is now her house after all. Also, I love the black front door - I want one!

Then we went out to this hippie store she had been talking about for awhile. C loved the toy busses and I got some pretty cool clothes - including new yoga shorts which is awesome! We then went to this great big thrift store in Parksville. It's 18000 square feet of thrifty goodness - I could have spent hours in there.

Then we went back to her place and had a fondue and the lovely wafer cake that always will remind me of my sister N's 16th birthday where I was snuck a piece upstairs in the middle of her party downstairs. My mom and I talked, shared stories about each other neither of us had every heard, and basically started a relationship as adults. We both have boundaries and we both need to respect those boundaries. I left happy.

On the drive home I blasted my music, drove a little too fast, had my sunglasses on and enjoyed the breeze through my windows.

As I pulled up to my driveway I saw about 10 cars and balloons. Craftymama had indeed planned a party. I will admit, I was angry at first. I drove in and was just shaking my head. Everyone was there! Work friends, friends from highschool, friends who just moved back into town, new friends from the kids' school. There was lost to eat, lots to drink and lots of catching up to do. I made the rounds and had a great visit with everyone. It was so wonderful to feel so loved and held on that day, a day which has traditionally not been very good for me. If these people, all of these people, from all stages of my life, were willing to come out and give up there time for a party for my birthday then I must have effected them in some way, they must care - it was truly a heart warming experience for me. I am sad my sister E and her family didn't come, or the couple of friends that couldn't make it. But I am so very happy with everyone who came out. I am also grateful to my kids and craftymama and glassman (whose birthday it also was) for doing this for me. I nearly cried.

The next day I had to drive the boys to Nanaimo to see cableman. On the way back I got a flat and for the life of could not find the tire jack. These two nice men offered to change my tire for me and helped me do it all. They didn't have to, they just did it out of the goodness of their heart. Those are the types of people I want my kids to be. I want them to help when they can - just because.

Later that day I was at Subway because I didn't have time to grocery shop and as I was about to pay another man walks in and returns $10 to the cashier because he was over paid in change. He didn't have to do that either, but he said he works in retail as well and knows how infuriating it can be to have your cash be out at the end of the day. He acted like of course he would return it.

The world is a good place - at the heart of it all. There are people who care. People who are honest. People who will help.

I strive to be one of those people.

Friday, May 22, 2015


  • Tomorrow is my 30th birthday. I am spending the majority of the day with my mother. I am worried, yes. Things haven't been the best between us. But we are both committed to working on that and are both doing the best we know how to do with each other. We are having a fondue and then I am going to check out a thrift store that I evidently used to love. 
  • Being 30 scares me. This isn't where I thought I would be. I am a lot of things I wish I wasn't, and I don't feel, in the sense of my success/worth as a person, that I am where I should be. I am right where I am supposed to be, I trust the universe with this (or am trying to), but it's hard not to feel like I have disappointed my younger self. I need to learn to trust myself more. That is my goal for 30 - to trust myself more, to follow my instincts, to follow my passions. 
  • My sister isn't talking to me. I am immensely sad and disappointed. I thought we were on track. I thought we were doing well. I was excited for the the future. I was excited to be close to someone from that part of my family. I don't know what I did. I don't know what happened. The silence pains me. 
  • Craftymama's parents continue to amaze me. Her mom sought out bikes for the all the kids to ride. Her dad accepts our lifestyle and loves all of us. I feel scared to feel as close to him as I do. I don't have an adult relationship with either of my parents: my dad died, and my mom and I haven't developed one yet. I feel like a traitor being closer to him than I am my own family. I worry about disappointing him. His acceptance of me, the girls, of glassman - of everything has just been so amazing. When we were out at the trailor last, his wife (craftymama's step mom) danced a slow dance with BigR and he danced one with K and the sight of that nearly brought tears to my eyes. It was beautiful. Family is important - whatever shape it takes, and whoever makes up your family - it's important. 
  • I am trying. I am flawed. I am not perfect. We all do the best we can. I cannot fault anyone else for my relationships with them, but I cannot simply fault myself. Relationships are a two way street. Perhaps this is how it needs to be right now. Perhaps I am meant to garner that familial support from those that did not help raise me - perhaps they are meant to teach me something. I can't be sure. I do know that I do not need toxicity or negativity in my life. I do that enough on my own. I will not apologize for being who I am - even if I don't know exactly who that is yet. I will treat everyone with respect, I will go into every interaction with love in my heart - but I will no longer be made to feel less than because of my choices. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Letting them be their own people

I have 5 kids. I have 5 kids who are not my slaves, not my mini me's, and not mine to control. They are their own people. They have their own thoughts, their own wants. The most important job I can do as a parent is to guide them to make smart choices, even if I would make a different choice. I must teach them and show them to have confidence in themselves, to believe in themselves, to have faith in themselves. I must teach them to listen to themselves and their own hearts and minds. I must also, unfortunately, be there for them when others do not care for their choices, or their wants. I must be a safe place for them to land when things don't go right. I must be open for them, I must accept them for who they are - even if what and who they are wasn't in my grand plan for them. My dreams for them don't need to come true in order for them to be successful. They are successful by being who they are.

BigR wants to be a bushman, he wants to survive off the land in the wilderness. He is learning all about what plants he can eat, and how to build shelters. If he grows up and does it and is happy - than I am happy for him. I want him to be happy. I'm sure no parent has a dream or a goal for their child to be a bushman, but - so what? We don't get to pick.

K wants to be a Doctor, Midwife, and a nurse. She is watching births, learning anatomy, and is practicing first aid. It's what she wants to pursue right now. If she does become those things, there is a whole slew of people who will deem her more successful than BigR...but why? Simply because it is more conventional. She will be successful if she follows her heart - regardless of where that takes her.

That being said...

K has dreads. She has been asking for them for 3 months. We debated, because, stereo-typically she is quite the girly girl and likes doing her hair and all that fun stuff. But she kept insisting. We went over that she would have to cut them out if she ever wanted them out. She thought about it and decided she did. So craftymama put them in. She is rocking them. I am worried what people are going to say to her. Everyone always comments on her red hair and how beautiful it is. It can still be beautiful in dreads. She loves them, they make her happy. She feels beautiful. That's all that matters. Not what other people think of her. We have had the conversation with her that some people may judge her or ask her why she did that to her hair. She seems okay with standing up for herself. But it's my job as a parent to stand up for her to. And I will.

I will stand up for all my kids. Because regardless of their hairstyles, their chosen careers, the educational paths they decide to take as we move forward - they are proudly, and without shame being themselves. That's all I want. They don't need to fit into anyone else's preconceived ideas for what they should or shouldn't be. I want them to be good, happy people.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

So.....Yeah...Where to go? and When?

So the landlord is selling the house. We aren't sure what this means for us and haven't been able to get a hold of him to ask. We don't know if this means he wants us out when the lease is up, or if we can stay while he sells, or what. We also don't know where we are going - still.

When the house was for sale before it didn't sell and it was on the market for some time so there may be no rush to get out because at least with us living there he pays the mortgage on it each month. But at the same time I don't want to be at the mercy of someone else. I want to take charge.

Craftymama wants to set up her school, I want to become a funeral director and those can't stay on hold until we figure out where we are going. If we stay in the cowichan valley than its not that big of a deal to stay at the farm until it sells, but do we want to stay here?

I kind just want to decide where we are going to live and then move there and stay there for a long time. I don't want to wait around to be kicked out eventually, no matter how perfect the house is. The longer we stay, the more settled we will get here, and the harder it will be to leave when we have to. I'd rather bite the bullet and leave now.

I have no idea what we are going to. Glassman still isn't back at work any sort of permanently and he does have some side work but if we move out of the valley that job will probably be over. So he will have no work. I work here, but I can commute if we pick Nanaimo. There is a house in qualicum that I keep thinking about, but its qualicum - and that doesn't work for oh so many reasons. Even though the funeral industry might be busy there.

I don't know how to make this decision, but I want to make it. I want to stick to it. I want to find a house and not move from it for a while. I am tired of moving. 8 moves in 8 years. Moved last November, and then July before that. I'm tired and I'm drained of it. But I am excited to get somewhere and stay - and that is the goal. To Stay. To Settle.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Happy Anniversary

On April 25th, Glassman and I celebrated our 8 year anniversary. 8 years since we got married with my mom and his parents in Jamaica. 8 years since we said our vows and made promises. So much has changed. 

What was a big change was that for the first time this year we didn't fight the whole day. Normally we fight, who knows why. 

This year, with some help from Craftymama we even completed our rose tradition thing and went out for dinner - though we did watch the hockey game during dinner. It was fun.

So much is different. When we got married I was pregnant with K. Now we have 5 kids. I hadn't even met Craftymama 8 years ago and now I can't imagine my life without her. We've lived in 8 different houses in 8 years, in 4 different cities. It's been a roller coaster. 

Yes we took a break so some may say it starts again, that it hasn't really been 8 years. Honestly though, that break was better for the continuing health of our relationship as anything we've done during it. We needed that 'maturity break' to grow out of the people we had grown up with and become the people we are now. We needed that break.

Now things are working, now we are happy. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

More Decisions, More Changes

Maybe, maybe there are decisions in our future. A few months back we had decided to take K out of school so now BigR and K are unschooled. We don't follow a set curriculum at home we let their interests and desires guide us. So far BigR has learned intensely about Ancient Egypt and is working on his reading, as well as learning about surviving in the wild as his dream is to build a house and live in the bush when he's older, K has taken a little while to find an interest that is lasting beyond a couple of days (like seals) but seems to really be interested in anatomy. Actually, it's more she has her heart set on being a doctor, and nurse, and midwife, and I mentioned they need to learn how the body works - so she has been working on that, along with mastering her reading as well.

M is set to go to grade 1 next year, though we haven't decided if we are sending him, and recently LittleR has been saying she doesn't want to go to school anymore. While I believe there is a place for traditional education, and that home schooling or unschooling can work - I truly believe there is inherent value in this ECE kindergarten they're in and would like them to stick it out. It is a magical place and I think it helps instill confidence in the individual which all kids need.

So there is the school decision....which is compounded by....

The house. We have the beautiful property and house right now, but we only signed a 7 month lease and from talking to our landlord last he doesn't seem like he is in a good place financially and we are now quite concerned he is going to want his house back. His kids do live in a different town which is why he moved in the first place, but he still works in our town. We don't know what he will do. If he decides he wants his house back than we have the decision of where we live. We moved to the Cowichan Valley for the school, that's the sole reason. Now half of our kids don't go there and the other half may just be on the way out - so there is nothing holding us here. We could move back to Nanaimo if we wanted.

The problem is...we don't know what we want. Well Craftymama wants the farm life, actually she wants this house and this property as she says it's perfect for her, and Glassman wants something similar I think. I miss being able to walk to things or being closer to things. I don't hate where we live, it is beautiful and it has many benefits but if we get to pick where we live I'm not sure it would be my first choice. I don't know what we will do or where we will live. But our lease is theoretically up in June...and June isn't that far away. I feel like we need to figure this out before we are given just 30 days.

I caught BigR and K snuggling on the couch reading to each other. 

BigR does math, of his own accord - no forcing here. 

I knit this headband for LittleR our of 'her' yarn. 

J doing important baby things
My new fav. picture of Craftymama and I
M doesn't like his picture taken - ever; I've tried.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Meet Orso

Yes - that picture is hard to see. The house has crappy lighting, and the dog is black. We (read: everyone else in my family) has been pining after a dog. Glassman has been nearly begging for a German Shepherd for as long as I can remember. Craftymama loves her golden retrievers and labs. And me, if I had to pick a dog it would be a malamute of a husky.

We (they) had been looking at the SPCA site for weeks and had actually gone to see a few dogs. One butt ugly dog, a husky, and a german shepherd. The SPCA is ridiculous, to be honest. I get it they have to look out for what's in the nest interests of a dog, but, if you're going to say no because I have kids than tell me that over the phone instead of making me drive to Victoria and visit with the dog. Ugh! They were just not helpful. Then they recommended this other dog to us, and we visited with him and he literally just nipped at and jumped all over the kids and was insane. I don't see how they thought this dog would be a good fit for us.

Regardless, craftymama found this guy. They went up to visit him and they all fell in love. He is an 8 month old Lab crossed with something. His name is Orso (it's Italian for Bear). The SPCA told us he was past most of his puppy behaviours, as I really didn't want a puppy. Turns out he jumps, he nips, he is hyper - he is most certainly still a puppy - except that he is house trained, which is a severe plus.

Craftymama tried to train him, but he really seems to be responding to Glassman. He already knows sit, down, and is learning stay. He is also walking a lot better on a leash than we first got him - so there is hope.

So we have a dog. The next dog we get is a malamute. An older malamute - cause there is no way in hell I'm doing a puppy.