Monday, December 31, 2012

End of 2012

Christmas was great in our house. The kids were overwhelmed and spoiled as they are every year and as a result were not the best at the dinner table. Dinner was once again rocked out by Craftymama and I, we are getting great at this. It was a busy time visiting all the family, opening all the gifts, and being actually present with the kids.

Glassman took the rest of his stuff yesterday. I cried like a baby. The girls were home and fine with it all; it was me who had a hard time. He hugged me lots, and brought me kleenex and coffee. He helped me put Christmas crap away, and bring my nicely chopped firewood inside; why does he have to be so helpful. I miss him.

Today is new years eve. A day when we are supposed to reflect on the previous year. What strikes me most about the last year is how little I valued myself. My blog doesn't normally get personal, but here we go. Accepting ny relationship, body, sexuality, personality and everything else has been a challenge for me this year. One in which I haven't completed yet. I feel like after the previous two years of inner emotional turmoil (the effects of extreme depression and mania), that I am going through some sort of mid-20's crisis. I am needing to discover and accept my identity. I need to find peace and balance. And that is my sole goal for the new year - to find peace and balance.

 The kids don't really know what day it is so they will be going to bed at the normal time. Craftymama and I will have a drink or two and watch "Perks of Being a Wallflower" and will ring in the new year quietly and together like we have the past few years.

2012 was the first year of home ownership (something I don't ever want to do again), building a new relationship with Craftymama after my mental collapse, watching other people grow and change into amazing people, seeing my kids flourish (and flounder) but being proud of them every day. 2012 was a year of not so many big changes, but a few powerful small ones. Relationships with my family are changing, C was born, my mishka moved to another town and Glassman moved out. 2012 was a year of growth for everyone. Some grew together, others apart.

I am never sad to see a year over, but after the past couple of years being so chaotic it was nice to have a calmer year in 2012. I hope the calmness and relative chaotic-less times continue.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

So today is Christmas eve - present are almost all wrapped, kids are excited, and so are the parents. Tonight Glassman and Cableman will be spending the night at our house, and tomorrow we will wake up and celebrate Christmas as one big family. Tonight AuntiN is coming over to spend the evening with us with little baby C.

I'm doing a video day in the life today, so I will be sure to post it when it's all done.

Merry Christmas all!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Pictures


The Kids this Summer
The Christmas Picture Andrea Took
Last years Santa Photo - best picture ever!
This Years Santa Photo - look at the improvement!
BigR
K
M
Little R

Me and Craftymama!



Christmas and Advent continue to go well. We went and saw Santa on Sunday and as you can see it went way better than last years! Today we are having hot chocolate under the Christmas tree - R will be so excited, he has been waiting for this one since advent started! All the kids have asked for a stroller for their babies, and we didn't get one, it almost feels like we/Santa have failed them. I know they will be happy with the gifts we did make/procure for them, but when they want something so badly.....

My sister N is coming over to spend Christmas eve with us with her son C. I am stoked to have her over. She is one of the most open minded accepting people I have ever met in my life. I love spending my time with her, and am glad she is in Nanaimo now so we can visit more often - she even brought me a coffee today! 

On boxing day we are going to my mishka's house in qualicum for brunch, as well as Andrea's moms house for dinner - it will be hectic day but one filled with love and family. This sunday we are heading to Andrea's dad's house to set up his Christmas tree, and the Friday after Christmas we are going again to open some presents. Very exciting as well. Our Christmases are full of family and I love every moment of them. 














Saturday, December 15, 2012

Today

Today I am sitting in Nanaimo's smaller library. Craftymama is at home building a wall (I'm thinking of changing her name to constructmama or something of the like - she is quite the whiz when it comes to fixing and building things), and doing some of her schoolwork.

I dropped the boys off with Cableman, and the girls off with Glassman. Glassman actually gave me a hug when I dropped them off, I guess he realized how weird it was too for this to be happening. It was a bittersweet moment for me. The girls left happily though, I will see them again tomorrow when he brings them back.

So that leaves me. I did the grocery list, finished Glassman's Christmas present,  and now have two hours to kill. I'll go pick up a pickle present for Christmas (whoever finds the pickle ornament on Christmas morning gets the present - its an old tradition that no one seems to no it's origins - but it's fun to do.)

I should have brought my knitting.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Welcome Home

I figured I would change the domain name of my web address now that Glassman doesn't live with us anymore. It is no longer Us3 but its Us2 now. So welcome to my new home :)

Glassman and I have our first hand off this weekend. The girls have spent nights away from home before, and I am not nervous about that, or about Glassman's parenting abilities. What's sad to me is that this is the first hand off. This first time signifies the many hand offs to come. It's weird, and this time when the girls are away it will feel a little bit different.

Good thing I have the boys to keep me busy. But I am sad for them as well. They won't get to see Glassman as much anymore and he has been like a father figure to them for the past however many years. There will be no overnight trips for them, no visits to Grandpa S's, and they are just supposed to adapt and adjust, and I know they will. Doesn't help the sadness though.

We all miss each other.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Glassman and Renos and kids

Glassman left this weekend. I watched him grab his clothes and put on his shoes, tears forming behind my eyes. As he was leaving he asked me how long we had lived together, when I replied 9 years he said "weird" and walked out the door. I don't know why he has trouble expressing how hard this is on him. I've tried communicating how hard it is on me, and telling him that I still love him deeply - but he just makes fun of me like he always does. It is weird to not have him around, to have him visit instead of being here overnight. His room seems emptier already even though all his big furniture is still here. I miss him already and will probably cry again.

Craftymama in an ever present need to do thing in the house got a vision for the laundry room shelves and in two days they have come out and the beginning of bead board paneling has gone in. It was a quick project and makes that area look all the bigger. I will post pictures when it's done - assuming she took a before picture. I love how bright it looks - and it actually makes the bathroom look bigger because the door can open all the way. In the tearing down process she found a note from 1969:


very cool. And yes that does say 1969 on it - I guess that's when those shelves went up. It's nice to be restoring an area back to what it was originally. There was even original baseboard behind those shelves. Of course the wall was lath and plaster which is why we had to cover it up. We couldn't find appropriate and budget conscious real bead board so the sheets will have to do - and they do look pretty darn good. 

The kids are enjoying advent. At cableman's house the boy's have one of those chocolate advent calendars and R told me as I was driving them home yesterday that he likes our advent calender better because with the other all you do is eat things. Oh melt my heart, I love that we are creating memories like that. So far we have gotten a christmas tree, decorated, made cottonball snow men, put christmas lights in their rooms, gotten christmas library books, written letters to santa and much more - and we are only 10 days in. R is hoping there is one that involves drinking hot chocolate under the tree - and there just might be. 

I do love christmas in our house, as stressful as it can be. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Glassman, Money, Christmas

It's December 5th. Glassman still hasn't moved out. He gave us notice late so he technically stay for all of December, but he has made no effort to pack his things or made arrangements with his dad to move out. He wants to do it gradually, which I think will make it more difficult for the kids. He is planning to sleep at his dad's this weekend so we will see how that goes.

His staying also means that the room renos are on hold because we can't move rooms when he is still in one. It's frustrating but okay because....

We are broke as all hell. Between Christmas, and the roof, and the van, and a banking mistake we are having to dip into what little savings we have. This is so infuriating. I feel like we will never get ahead and never get out of this. I know we have to because we can't live like this for the rest of our lives, but I don't have any plans for how we can go about getting out of this. There must be a way though, there must be.

The kids are excited for advent. Every year we bring out the advent calendar and there is an activity that we do in each day. Yesterday, for example, we went to the library for  Christmas books, the day before - they made reindeer puppets. It's fun for them to look forward to something every day, rather than just looking forward to Christmas day. It takes some of the pressure off the day.

Speaking of Christmas Day. We have such a nice day planned as always. The morning starts when everyone is awake. Presents are opened one by one while the other family members watch and enjoy the various levels of excitement. It usually lasts until 11:00a. Then the dinner preparations start: with turkey and all the fixins. The day is spent at home having some quality time with family. Then the next day we go visit all the other family members and enjoy Christmas with them. I really like the way we do Christmas in our home. It's quieter, and more wholesome than travelling around every where to see the 5 sets of grandparents the kids have. It's weird not seeing my mom on Christmas as that was our tradition before kids, but it's more important to us that our kids spend Christmas at home and not travelling.

Friday, November 30, 2012

One Year

It's been one year since we moved from the green house. One year since that awful awful move that left Glassman and I unloading until 4am, and then sleeping in the dining room with boxes all around. One year of trying to make this house into our home. One year - and we are still faltering.

The house isn't ours yet, it is more expensive than we ever imagined it to be, and now one year later - Glassman is moving out. Now money will be even tighter, and how are we supposed to get ahead. I have no idea what we are going to do, no idea how we can make the house ours.

My heart breaks for Craftymama whose heart is breaking over missing the green house and who is unhappy in this house. It's true - we live a lot messier here than we ever did there - and the reason is, we have gotten used to it. It was never in pristine condition, so we have never seen it that way and thus have no motivation to make it that way. The green house was pristine from the beginning and thus was easy to keep that way. We weren't playing catch up like we are here. It's frustrating.

If only there was more time and more money. I'm sad today - sad for many reasons.

Monday, November 26, 2012

What Glassman Did

Glassman went and told the girls he was moving out - without me. He told them too much information, like he didn't have enough money to live with us, and he told them without me, without me. It's insane to me that he thought it was okay to do this. This was a conversation I should have been there for, this affects all of us, and they shouldn't have had to hear it from just him. Worst of all, the boys had to hear it from the girls instead of from a loving adult.

I'm disappointed.
I'm angry.
I'm upset.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Christmas is coming, and with it the Christmas questions of what to get them. Craftymama and I have differing opinions on Christmas, but we have compromised with a smaller Christmas, but still with Santa.

The kids are each getting a hand knit sweater. I am knitting for K and R and craftymama for LittleR and M. They will also be getting blocks made from tree branches that have been sanded down smooth, and hand sewn stuffed animals. Of course there will be oranges, socks and underwear in the stocking, along with some playsilks. Then each child gets a bigger present. M will be getting a locally made pickup truck with logs, R will be getting a locally made wooden sword and shield, LittleR is getting a bead maze, and K is getting a doll swing for her baby. They are also getting a plan toys car track set that we got used on a local website. It's a pretty awesome and thrifty Christmas, which is nice for me.

Then there are the men, what do we get them? And family, it's so stressful deciding what to do for them. I think we have Glassman nailed down, but Cableman is kind of up in the air. As far as family, I'm not sure what we are doing - there are a lot of family members on my side. My mom, two sisters, 5 nieces and nephews, and then Craftymama's side as well. I wouldn't feel so stressed and pressured about it if they weren't doing anything for me.

Christmas is full of expectations and stress, and I hate that. I would rather spend time with my family as my gift. Give them the gift of my family and spending time one another. I'd rather make dinner for one of them, and have them over at my house to enjoy a meal with us. I like things like that, rather than items. Maybe we can arrange that this year - who knows.

Now what we also need to do is plan Advent - wherein we do one christmassy activity per day - it's quite an exciting and exhausting month for Craftymama and the kids who has to do most of the day time activities. Maybe I can take some holidays (though I doubt it) over Christmas so as to help her where I can.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Living Room

The living room is next on the list. Craftymama wants to tackle it this weekend. I'm nervous. Big projects like that overwhelm me - mostly the "where are all the things going" aspect. I need to be walked through it a little, otherwise I just collapse in a pile of overwhelmdness and can't function. There are built in book shelves covered with books, where are they going? All the furniture, all the everything.

We are lucky we don't need to live in the living room. The dining room is big enough to function as a sitting room, so we can just close the french doors to the living room and not worry about people touching the walls.

We are doing the living room the same colour as the dining room so they will flow into each other. Right now it is a blood red which suits the gothic type nature of the room, or the colour just makes it look gothic - who knows? So it will be interesting to see it cream coloured. It will be much brighter and seem bigger which will be a great thing for us since the house seems quite a bit smaller than the green house.

But how do I get passed my feelings of how to do it. I can help tape, and prime and maybe paint - but the moving of stuff out and around just frightens the bejeezes out of me.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Why I am so Upset

Craftymama asked me last night why I was so upset that glassman was moving out. After all, our relationship as husband and wife has been over for 2 years. We haven't been a couple in that long. That really made me think. Why am I so upset? Why does it matter if he moves out? Shouldn't I be more sad for the kids than I am for myself?

Well yes, I am sad for the kids - all of them. They all, rightly so, see Glassman as a father figure, and I am devastated that they won't have him around every day. But I also know that kids are resilient, and they will persevere. They will adapt. Kids adapt quickly and find a new way to be happy in the moment. I am not worried that they will hate me when they are older because I followed my heart in being with craftymama, and I never once have chased him away - in fact I welcomed him to stay. I am not sad that my kids will grow up in two homes. I know this bothered craftymama when cableman left, because she grew up in two homes and it was awful. I never had that experience. My experience was with an absentee father - so having any father in their lives is a bonus.

But I *am* sad for me. I am upset because this is the end of an era. Glassman and I have been living together for 9 years - that's one third of my life. I know his quirks, he knows mine, we have inside jokes, we get along, we understand what it's like to live together. Not that craftymama doesn't understand what it's like to live with me - she probably does better than he does, but it's still hard going from living with someone for 9 years, seeing them every day, sleeping in the same house, having dinner together - to only seeing them when you drop the kids off. There will be no more seeing him every day - and that hurts my heart.

I am upset because this is also the end of a good friendship. Yes, we will continue to be friends but because we will only see each other during drop off and pick up there is no way to maintain the friendship the same way it is now. He has been my good friend since grade 9 (though he treated me like crap for 2-3 years we were still friends). Having that relationship end is hard for me. It's like losing your best friend, losing a piece of yourself. Craftymama is the best friend I have, but glassman is up there too. I will miss that friendship we have.

I am also upset because it is the loss of a many year conquest. I told his mom is grade 2 that I was going to marry him one day. I know we aren't together - but his moving out is like a final loss to this whole saga. I never, ever, thought we would get back together, and don't even want to get back together with him, but the moving out is like the final nail in our marriage coffin; well I guess second to last nail, the last one being when we sign the divorce papers.

I am worried because we depend on him for things done around the house, we often say "that's a glassman job," and now he won't be here to do it. Who is going to pick up the slack - I know we will, but it was so easy to rely on him, I have come to rely on him - probably in my error, but now that reliance will be cut off.

Most of all - I will simply miss him.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

before and after - dining room


The dining room - before and after. Goodbye ugly puke green, hello beautiful hazelenut cream. Yes, the chandelier is going too.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I may have pictures soon!

We painted the dining room this weekend. And I say "we" because I actually helped this time. I had been taking a back seat to reno's for numerous reasons, but craftymama convinced me that I needed to and had to help and give it a try. So I helped tape and did the primer. (Though the primer had to be fixed and touched up by her - I'm not the best at even coverage lol). Then she painted. It was kind of fun - now if only I could get it even.

Craftymama took before, during, and will take after pictures of this project so I can start posting them here soon. I'm hoping to eventually get pictures up of the whole house so people can see it in all its glory. Well, it will be in all its glory once we finish it. The kitchen and bathroom need the biggest do over.

Next on the list is glassman's room, and that's going to be a bigger project as we need to remove paneling, put in installation and then drywall, on top of taking out the floors, and walls - and then sanding them, and then finally painting them. There are also closet doors that need to be replaced, and some paneling that is missing that we have to find somewhere in the giant mess of construction remnants sitting in our garage.

After that - who knows - hopefully the kitchen. But with the roof, and the boiler, and the van, and Christmas, money is a little bit tight and all these cosmetic things cost a pretty penny.

But - some pictures soon! I promise!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sleeping

I feel like I haven't really slept in 5 years. Until last night :)

You see, LittleR wakes up quite a bit still at night for various unimportant things, and then is up at 5:20a for the day. That involves me going up the stairs frequently throughout the night and trying to coax her to be quiet in the morning so the other kids don't wake up. All of this equals me not sleeping very well.

But last night LittleR was spending the night at her grandpa's house, and there was only 1 child waking by M, and I went to bed early because I was so tired. So I slept. I actually slept. It felt wonderful to wake up this morning and actually be awake and functioning. I drove to work without feeling sleepy in the slightest. I need to sleep more often.

So I guess we are sleep training the 3.5yr old. I'm not sure how to do this. Leaving her in her room while she is yelling for something is an option I am seriously considering. This would teach her that I am not coming upstairs during the night. However, that doesn't stop her from coming downstairs to get me, or from waking up so early. Perhaps a clock like we have for K would work for the early wakings. We got her a clock that has a moon and a sun and we set it for a certain time and she isn't allowed out of bed until the sun comes up. It's like a little kid alarm clock, except it keeps her in her room instead of waking her up :) I'm not sure if LittleR is too young for this though.

Regardless, something needs to be done, because I desperately need more sleep like I got last night. It was glorious.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

So Glassman is moving out :(

He says he can't afford to live with us anymore, and I believe him, even though nothing has changed financially wise in the past year and he could afford it last year. I am sad. I am sad for many reasons...

1) the girls will only see him every other weekend. They are used to seeing him everyday. The boys wont see him at all, well maybe a little, but hardly. I am sad for my kids. Not sad that they will grow up in two houses, but sad at the change they have to go through. They will adapt as they are resilient, but I wish they didn't have to at all.

2) Through this I have realized that I have lost my good friend. I thought glassman and I had each other's backs still, but I guess we don't. I guess we each have to look out for our selves.

3) I'll miss him.

4) I'll miss, the house will miss, and craftymama will miss his extra income into the place. We are worried about finances, but what can you do but make it work.

So many reasons to be upset. There are reasons to be angry too, but I won't get into those as dwelling is not helpful and I am trying to let the anger go.

So, with the move comes bedroom changes. We will upgrade glassman's room with floor, ceiling, and wall removal/painting and move the boys into there. Then we will move into the boys' old room. Our current room downstairs will be turned into a playroom for the kids which we think they will love. It really will make a cute little playroom, I'm excited for that - but getting there will take some time and effort and money...which we don't have an abundance of because....

Our ceiling started leaking. Which means are roof needs repair or replacing. Fun times. Who has $8000 sitting around for a new roof? We certainly don't. We can't even borrow against our mortgage because we haven't even owned the house for a year yet. *sigh* owning a house is hard. But at least the roof will stop leaking and we can move the pot from our dining room floor soon....

Thursday, November 1, 2012

House and Hallows Eve

First the house. Our roof is leaking. Yup. Its leaking across a beam in the dining room, which, according to my reading, is the worst kind of leak - means there is a puddle somewhere and things will need to be replaced. Hello money we simply don't have. We have an estimator coming tomorrow, and then I'll call my insurance company and see if they will help cover it. The estimator is coming on the same day as the chimney sweep and the boiler guy - so we will finally have some reliable heat going on. So between the roof guy, the sweeper, and boiler dude - it's a lot of maintenance going on up in here.

Which is why I am trying to remember why we bought this house and why we moved to Duncan. The answer is the school, and sometimes I forget why we send them there. There is always so much involvement, and the cost, and everything else. But last night I was reminded.

We went to their pumpkin path instead of going trick or treating. The kids dressed up as special ghosts which entailed sheets, construction hats, pink gypsy pants and Hawaiian leis. They loved it and that's all that matters. The school was covered in lit jack o lanterns. Every family was asked to bring one during that day to help cover the school. We were led through a lit hallway (in which Craftymama's pumpkin was featured) and into the back area which was filled with even more pumpkins making a path for us to follow.

First we heard the beginning of a story of a little acorn child named tip toes lightly. After that we met her mother, Mother Wind who gave us all a feather to help blow the wind for autumn. Then we met a friendly owl and Jeremy mouse who had made cookies for everyone to share on this long journey to tip toes. We then saw a gnome cafe where the children could eat their cookies. We were then taken to a leaf boat where we heard the story of how the leaf boat was made and floated down a river thanks to Mother Wind. He gave all the children a river rock from his river. Then we traveled to the bakers shop where we received muffins from the bakers. Finally we made our way to Tip Toes Lightly's house where she sang us a song to put the bulb children to sleep, and then serenaded us on her violin. She presented us with acorn necklaces that had fallen from her trees. After that we walked down a path and got cider and popcorn and proceeded to a bon fire where we enjoyed our feast.

The weather held off and it was a magical time. The kids were enthralled with the stories and the pumpkins (and the being out late). It was a wonderful evening. And it is one of the many reasons I live in a house that needs so much maintenance and renovations - so my kids can experience the magic that is childhood and create memories that will last them for years to come.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

All Hallows Eve

We are gearing up for Halloween. Pumpkins procured and carved, costumes half done kind of maybe. Each kid wanted something different in their pumpkin. Little R wanted a moon, R wanted a house, tree, path, guy with a cape, mountain, car and pumpkin and he got it all, M wanted a face, and K wanted a face with a big mouth. Craftymama was crafty of course and used a cookie cutter to make perfect stars in her pumpkin. Cableman did a nice smiling face in his. As for me and glassman - we helped the kids. Now we are enjoying plentiful pumpkin seeds.

Halloween is not how this holiday started. It started as All Hallow's Eve, which was a celebration of the coming darkness. Families gathered together in their houses around a fire and remembered those who were lost to them. It was a time of celebration of life and death - not a time of scary figures and candy. Today it has morphed into something unrecognizable. I dislike the new Halloween, but the school does this pumpkin path where they hear a story and walk through a maze of lit jack-o-lanterns. At the end there is a bonfire with cider and popcorn. It's a much nicer rendition of Halloween while still honouring the commercial aspects of it. I like it!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Heat

We have none. No seriously. Until this past weekend we were relying on sweaters and one single small space heater. We have since upgraded space heaters (only because the kids accidentally broke the little one). Our boiler is broken and because it's that time of year getting the repair guy and the sweeper coordinated is quite challenging. We have to wait until the beginning of November. Then there was the firewood issue, no one could deliver, people were booked up, no more wood etc. We finally found someone and they delivered this past Sunday - so thank goodness for small miracles.

See, our house is cold. It's 100yrs old and not insulated at all. The windows are single pained, and there is a draft that comes in through them and all the doors. It gets so cold all the time. Sometimes it's warmer outside than it is in our house. Some people bring slippers when they come over. The kids live in wool, which is great because then they wear all the projects we have made for them.

So yes. House=cold. Hopefully King Winter doesn't make an appearance early.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Fall

No, no one fell - this is about the season.

Andrea loves fall - its beautiful, and most importantly it's not summer! Me on the other hand, I like the pretty leaves - when they are on the trees, but we live in a house that is covered with trees, and thus the raking begins. So many leaves already and it's only the 3rd week of October. They haven't even really began to fall yet. This is going to be a long fall of raking and bagging, raking and bagging.

Then there is that rain thing I talked about last time.

Our yard is such a disaster, toys everywhere, little indents in the ground where we get mud puddles, those leaves, and total chaos of plants and shrubs everywhere. The yard is why we bought the house and it is so much more work than I ever anticipated it being. But the whole house has been more work than I anticipated - so I guess it makes sense that the yard is too.

We need a place for the kids to put their toys - and then they need to put them there. We also need a place for them to park their bikes so that they don't get wet and rusted in the rain.

So many things to do.

This entry was pretty pointless, but sometimes, daily life can be pretty mundane.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Teeth and Trouble

R is losing teeth faster than we can imagine! They just keep getting wiggly and falling out. This is typical of the 6yr change, which only proves he is definitely going through it. We do the tooth fairy in our house so I guess she will have to make another visit tonight as I hear he has lost another one today!

Fall is here, and with it the rain and more rain and then a torrential downpour. It has been quite grey and grisly out the last couple of days, though it has brightened up some today. With Autumn comes falling leaves. Leaves which gather on our roof. A gathering which causes a section of our roof to leak. Glassman cleared a path for the water but it is just a matter of time before they return and we start seeing those drips again. Such an old home. I often wonder what we were thinking.

With the rain also comes the trouble with children. See, they don't like spending hours outside like they did when it wasn't raining. They play indoors more, which means more boredom, which means more frustration on theirs and Craftymama's part. They need to have some rainy day indoor activities and find some places to go in Duncan that aren't the library. It's hard to take all four of them swimming with only one parent, parks are out because of the aforementioned rain, the river is less exciting (though it will be cool when the valley floods; there simply just isn't much to do in Duncan.

I try to think of what we did in Nanaimo when it rained and snowed. I honestly can't think of anything. The only difference was we had a playroom. A big space that the kids could call their own and make up all sorts of games. In the new house, there isn't a play room. There is no space that's just for the kids. I think that's most of the problem. We can't really fix that though. We could take LittleR's room and turn it into a playroom and move her into K's room - either in the closet or the bathroom (though this would require removal of the fixtures which we want to do anyways). Maybe that's a decent solution. Give them the little room, and move LittleR. I'll have to bring that up to Craftymama when I get home from work.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Today is thanksgiving - my favourite holiday of them all! Today things have gone smoothly, except for on a nice walk to the river we got attacked my a swarm of bees protecting their nest. Remy and Teo both got two stings on their legs and arms respectively, and I got stung on my head.

Today I am thankful for: My family. They have supported me over the last year and without them I probably wouldn't be the better person I am right now.

Today I am thankful for: The kindness of other people. Over the past year I have been touched by random acts of kindness from a variety of people. It has restored my faith in human nature.

Today I am thankful for: My kids. They have shown me how to live one day at a time and how to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life. Life is about more than simply surviving each day. \

Happy thanksgiving to everyone who passes by this blog. I hope today, and all days, finds you happy and at peace.

Much love,
Resourceful-Mama

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Love

I find myself being amazed and awed by Craftymama. I don't think I could do what she does day in and day out. She makes so many breakfasts, and snacks, and lunches and entertains four children all day. It is so much work and definitely a thankless job.

I realized that though my days are also hard at work - for a variety of reasons, overall it is probably harder to stay at home. Emotionally it may be harder to go to work for me because I miss my kids fiercely, but mentally it must be tougher for her to keep track of the needs and wants of all the kids.

Kudos to you Craftymama. I'm sorry if it ever seems like I don't appreciate what you do. I love you.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Training

So with my weight still being an issue - a big issue - we decided it was finally time to hire some outside help. I have tried everything I can think of over the past 9 months to lose weight and all I have done is gained. So, hire a trainer I did.

I had my first session with her yesterday at 5:30 in the morning. Holy early batman. It was hard but it was good. She pushed me harder than I've worked before and I really saw what I was capable of. It has motivated me to continue to work that hard and hopefully see some results.

I'll be honest though, I am a little ashamed to be seeing a trainer. After all, she is just making me exercise; couldn't I do that on my own? Shouldn't I be able to do this without outside help? This fact is tormenting me nearly daily.

I meet with her again next Friday at 5:30 again. Hopefully I have just as much fun the second time as I did the first.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

6 years

Btw - craftymama painted the yellow room. lol. So much for one thing at a time. She wants to paint the dining room now.

 Michaelmas is coming at the school and marks the first festival of the year. Their will be talk of bravery, of courage, of standing up for others. There will also be plenty of apples. I love the festivals at the kids' school - they are celebrated with mind, body, and spirit and thus create a whole energy around one central theme. Its amazing to watch the kids come alive with excitement over these days, and to experience it with them.

 I also attended a parent evening on the 6 yr change. To be honest I knew most of it. But in case I forget one day....

 The 6year old change is also known as the first puberty. It is when a child undergoes their first transformation. The ethereal life force is beginning to supersede the physical and the individual is truly being born. Just as the mother can tell naturally when her child stirs or instinctively what her child needs so to does the child possess this innate knowledge and does not lose it until undergoing the 6 year change. Physical signs that this change is occurring is the losing of teeth, the loss of baby fat, the inability to sit still, fascination with people older themselves, joint and muscle pains, mild fevers (that are actually growth spurts), and changes in their drawings; which I'll get to in a moments.

 Changes you might not notice are the stomach pains a child may experience when sitting still, the sudden knowledge that they are separate from the world and thus begin to compare themselves to others. With that comes the realization of what others can potentially think of them. They also begin to internally, and externally, question authority and desire to be the boss themselves.

 As mentioned, their drawings change as well. Instead of random pictures of people or things - the ideas become more concrete and each image has a meaning. The drawing of grids or series' of windows often symbolizes the loss of teeth or the stretching of the abdominal muscles. Smoke in a fireplace - with the absense of seeing inside the house to see the fire, symbolizes internal feelings that cannot be explained but are billowing out. Seeing inside of a house instead of just the outside shows a child who is very internal and sees things in exact detail where seeing the outside of a house shows a child who is external, extroverted if you will, and sees the world in a bigger way. There are so many ways to interpret their drawings.

 Also, children begin to question and want to know more about where they came from. Not in a sperm/egg sort of way - but in a higher power sort of way. This provides a great opportunity to talk about angels, and your spiritual beliefs. Even if you are an atheist the child needs to be reassured that they came from somewhere and be left to make their own spiritual decisions.

 So many changes at 6 years.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Jump Around

We jump around from project to project don't we?

The boy's floor is almost done, the airlock chamber is almost done, and then craftymama got excited about the yellow room (this little non room off the kitchen) and we have bought a desk for it, refurbished a chair for the desk, and found a comfy chair to sit in in the corner. Craftymama now feels the urge to paint the room. One thing at a time!

But that's not the way we do things...ha ha ha

M is all but potty trained during the day now! Which makes taking him to school less nerve wracking now. It's a relief to not have to go through so many pairs of pants. I would say I'm proud of him, and I am to an extent, but he was potty trained before and then just stopped. So I guess I more expect him to be there now. I am happy for him, elated, but idk - I found myself getting quite frustrated near the end.

Just like I'm frustrated with LittleR going into Glassman's room every night. She does it from the nights I wasn't there and she was just told to go see daddy. Now it's a nightly thing, and because he doesn't wake up, she gets to sleep there all night. I suppose it's not a bad thing - it's just frustrating.

My motivation at work is still really low. It's like I need some sort of boost. I'm hoping when this guy Mark comes over to take over a lot of the marketing that I will focus more on the day to day stuff and won't be stressing over marketing like I am now. Maybe then, without the stress, I'll be able to focus and concentrate more as I will have an actual job description and what not. Here's hoping anyways.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

C et al.

K turned 5! When did she get so big. We got her a bike and she rides it like a pro. Her birthday was celebrated quietly with family and GrandpaS in attendance. She loved it, and of course loved the attention.

Craftymama has picked up a few random projects. There is the airlock chamber which is now just waiting for a floor which is waiting for us to roll all those pennies so we have money for said floor. She has also taken up the outside deck and prettied it up by getting an adirondack chair and table. It looks cute and so much bigger out there now. And with the shoes in the hole (what we call the old cold storage area in the back of the house off the kitchen) things are much more organized. I'm not sure what her next random project will be but I'm pretty sure it will be the yellow room. She has already bought a desk and wants to use it to study. So we shall see where her motivation takes her.

BTW, do you know how hard it is to find a front door. Sheesh they are so expensive!

I'm doing well I think. I'm looking to get the waldorf required reading texts and hoping to continue on with them. I'm worried this is never going to happen for me, which would be crushing. I want a career so bad. I want *this* career so bad. I feel like it's a perfect match for me and I would excel at it. But with cost and time and other things it just seem like an impossibility. I am supporting Craftymama with her school, as it is vitally important to her, and I hope hope hope we continue to make this happen for her. I must ensure that it does.

I'm lacking motivation at work again. I can't seem to make myself care. My boss was telling me about a raise - but I don't think I deserve it at all.

Speaking of work, I have already missed so many things at the kids's school. I hate that. I want to be the involved mom, socializing and gossiping with other moms. I make their lunches which I like - at least this far, and I made K's birthday snack. I'm being as involved as I can be.

I've also started sewing for Bamboletta Dolls - the same company that Craftymama works for. It's exciting and very nerve wracking. I put so much pressure on myself to be perfect like she is - but logically I know I won't and can't be. I'm just sewing my first doll and its so rough. But it'll be some extra money which is always nice, and it will hopefully give me something to do in the evenings. Though I really miss having the motivation to knit. What's happened to all my drive and desire. I feel so baseline lately and I dislike it.

My running also goes well. I ran 5k finally! Granted it was in 41.5 minutes - but the point is I did it. I ran and I floated off the ground and used proper form that Craftymama advised me on - and it felt good. I felt like I could have kept going forever. I'm now nervous to run again (tonight). Why do I put so much pressure on myself?

Lastly, I welcomed my nephew C into the world on September 6th. It was an amazing experience being her 'birth partner' and helping her through everything. It was reliving to see how much I cared for and about her. C is absolutely perfect and such a great little baby - granted he is still small and curled up so he will stop his tons of sleeping that he is currently doing, I really enjoy going to visit them on my lunch breaks.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Renoing our lives

The boys' room has had its floor removed and half painted! Yay, we really need to find some matching beds for them now. We are looking for some vintagy ones we can paint to match their room kind of like we did with K's.

Also, Craftymama built a bench (with power tools cause she's a Boss with them now), in the airlock chamber (what we call the front room). It looks great. It's set back in what used to be a closet and there is this cool beaming on the walls behind (I'm sure there is a word for it, but heck if I know what it is). Our house really is making progress.

But in all this progress there is a lot of mess. Our garage is full of construction debris. Got Junk is coming on Thursday to give us a quote and if it's a good one we will be dealing with it right then. I'm hopeful the quote isn't too high.

Kids started school today, or two of them did. K starts tomorrow. It's crazy not to be involved and not to be there. It still makes me upset and feel like a bad mom for not being there with all of them to guide them through this process. I still hate not being at home, and miss it terribly. I don't hate my work (though I heartily dislike it at times), I would much prefer to be at home. I can't help but thing though that there is no way I could do it like Craftymama does. She is amazing. She manages to work, go to school, and take wonderful care of our kids and herself. I am envious of her. But I also know she is envious of me for other reasons.

Craftymama and I have the most exciting news to share - but we can't yet.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fixing and Freezing

So the boys' room is being done now. I have given up control of it as I am never home to do it. So Craftymama is doing it with my input. I'm so lucky to have someone like her home. She is really into the reno's and without her we wouldn't have gotten this much done. So far she has taken out a closet, removed ceiling panels, scraped the bead board, primed and painted the ceiling, and primed and painted the walls. My job: cleanup lol, and in doing so I stepped on an old rusty nail and got it lodged 2" or so in my foot. Hello tetanus shot. It hurt.

After the boys' room we are going to be doing the bathroom. *deep breath* (for me anyways). It really needs a facelift...actually a whole body lift. We are moving all the fixtures to the right, getting a new vanity and bathtub, tiling the floor, replacing the subfloor, and painting. My boss at work is willing to help us out financially (bless him), and has recommended a guy that can help us to the installs, plumbing, and floors. So hopefully, this doesn't end up costing us an arm and a leg. I know it will though.

It's getting colder, and with our old house we definitely feel it early. We still sleep with blankets on, and sometimes the temperature requires my warm fuzzy pants. I know we will have to turn the boiler on before I normally like to, but I'm holding out as long as possible.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Blerp

M LEARNED TO RIDE HIS BIKE!!! Well mostly, he still can't figure out how to start peddling so still needs help with that.

School starts in two weeks. I am stoked. Stoked for them, and stocked for Craftymama. She made it through the summer, and I think it was memorable for her and the kids. I know it was for me.

Speaking of school...M,M,M. He still isn't fully potty trained and that's a requirement for him to start. What if he doesn't get there? We have to take him out of school this semester and hopefully start him in January. I'll feel so disappointed in myself for not being able to help him with this, even though it seems he doesn't really care either way. That's kind of been M though, he really doesn't care to help himself.

We started the boys' room this past weekend. We took down the ceiling tiles, scraped and painted the boards underneath, pick up the carpet, and demolished a closet. It was quite destructive and left us with a lot of debris. We really need to cal 1-800 got junk or something - the garage is getting full of all these materials we have ripped out. We have taken out a lot since the very first day we were here when we took off the lino on the stairs!

I'm getting more responsibility at work now, and was offered a big opportunity today. I can't say what it is, but it doesn't come without risk. However, it does come with a big payoff should all things go well. Work, lately, has been very over whelming and yet a little bit boring. I think I'm going through my 6month phase where I hate my job, or dislike it, or want to leave it every 6months or so.

Craftymama and I are doing well these days. We have both been incredibly supportive and understanding in a lot of matters and I am extremely in love with her. I've realized this week how stunning and wonderful she has been, and sometimes just can't help but stare at her. She is so amazing, and I am so lucky.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ouchies and good pain

M broke his finger :( R accidentally slammed it in a door. It was so hard not being home for that. I just wanted to hold him and snuggle him and make it all okay and better. Apparently he was screaming quite hard (no doubt) and had to go to the hospital. It is in a splint now for 10 days. My poor little babyman. But he is strong, and tough and will get lots of love.

Reno's go. Craftymama was painting trim and posts and railings today and the pictures are phenomenal. Part of me wants to be more involved with the renos but I feel so detached. I mean, we need Glassman and his tools and he does a lot of the constructiony work, and craftymama is home during the day so she gets the other stuff done. None of the projects really feel like mine. I mean, I have input, don't get me wrong, but I rarely do any of the work. I suppose I should try harder if I want to be involved, I think I am just making excuses and feeling sorry for myself for not being home during the day - like I want to be, to actually do them yk? I need to find a way to be okay, with all parts, of working during the day but I suspect there will always be some guilt.

Craftymama has the week off of sewing so is making use of it by taking the kids out anywhere she can, getting some knitting done, and doing all the things she wants to be doing. I'm elated for her. It must be hard to have to work like that and be home.

Running goes well. My pace is still slow but I'm doing it! I can run 25minutes straight now, which I am kind of proud now, and I only have like 3 runs left in the program. After that I may go back to week 5 and work on my pace a bit to make it faster. I want to get back up to running at least 5km in 30 minutes. I'm also doing workouts every other day (inbetween running), and am starting to love it. It feels good to sweat that much. Now if only my body would respond accordingly and lose some weight. Craftymama has told me about this BMR BME thing, and while it makes scientific sense it's hard to tell myself to eat *more* calories in order to lose weight - but I'm trying it out. Everything is worth trying at this point in my weight loss goals.

Bikes continue to be a hit, with the exception of M, who has boycotted his bike now - though doesn't want anyone else to ride it. I've also really enjoyed taking the kids to the lake every Saturday morning before Cableman gets there to visit the boys. THis next weekend, I'm thinking the beach to play in the ocean, find shells, and pick up crabs. It's wonderful to spend that one on one time with all of them; even if it can be trying at times.

So that's us - and that's our lives lately.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Growing Pains

Well, its mostly not painful.

We got M a pedal bike yesterday. He had been riding LittleR's run bike and had been doing so well. We intended to get him a run bike of his own but the guy at the bike store convinced us he would be ready for a pedal bike - and goodness was he right! Within like 10 minutes of having it he could go for 5 feet without someone holding on. Now, just to teach him how to get going! Im so so so so so so proud of him.

In typical sibling rivalry, R wanted his training wheels taken off (we hadn't even let M try to use them, we had them taken off before we even got home). He managed to go a good 5 feet as well, though slightly more cautiously in typical R style. I was quietly proud of him. Loud exclamations would just draw attention to it and I don't think he would like that.

R has also gone two nights in a row now without peeing his pants. So stoked for us and for him. For us because its less laundry to do, and for him because its gotta feel good to not wear a diaper at night both physically and mentally!

However...there have been a few pains.

K was less than stoked for M's new bike. She has this complex where everything should be for her, and as a result she flipped her sh*t when we brought home his bike. Like full on on the ground screaming. It didn't help that I snapped at her because I was frustrated with her for screaming and taking the moment from M, and Craftymama and I had gotten into a bit of a disagreement earlier so it was just all culminated in one frustrating moment.

R has also been painful. This stage of 6 is so hard. He is going through some growth stages, and some developmental stages which is typical for his age but it is such a challenge. In the quest to separate himself both from his parents for the first time and from the earth/spirit world he has become mean, and rude, and downright hard to deal with sometimes. He was such a quiet boy that it's hard to imagine him being like this now.I think that's part of our problem too. At least on my part. I keep expecting him to continue to be the boy he was at 3, when really he has doubled his age since then, and he is not the same kid. Expectations just make people frustrated and disappointed - and it certainly has in this case.

Monday, July 30, 2012

BANISTER!!!

OMG. We did the stair banister over the weekend much to my fears and worries about not knowing how. And it completely changes the look of upstairs. Its so open and bright up there now. The upstairs is really coming along. I'm stoked. Its starting to look like an actual house up there. We haven't even been here and we have completely transformed up there. K's room is done (Andrea is constantly adding cute things though). The boys room is next (after we add molding to the ceiling/wall, which we should have done before the banister in hindsight).

Owning a house has been hard work. The constant stress of money. The constant need to upgrade/improve etc, and the impatience with being unable to do it when we want to.

In other news....

R and LittleR are going to be going to a Snoezelen room next week. It's supposed to be great for kids with sensory issues or autism and they both have sensory issues. I'm excited for them to get to experience an environment where I think there true interests will show and where they will feel more comfortable and not overwhelmed by their surroundings. I can't believe there is one of these in Nanaimo, and I can't believe not more people know about it. I heard about them a while ago, but never thought to look for one close by - that'll teach me.

Still in other news....

My waldorf studies go well. I have finished 3 books of my 8 - which is impressive considering that are by Rudolf Steiner and written in the 1920's. Sometimes its hard for me to keep up, but I'm trying. I'm taking notes and everything. I really hope I get to go to the West Coast Institute, but I may not, I may just volunteer at the kids' school and get some experience that way.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Life update

We are doing the stairwell upstairs this weekend. I'm stoked. It's getting done which is so nice! I did some labels and built a website for my company so I get a bit of a bonus - this is giving us some play room with the renos. We are taking out the solid wall paneled banister and replacing it with spindles and some sort of square block thing on the corners that Craftymama knows the name of but I do not. She is the architectural housing buff around these parts. Its going to open up the space SO SO much.

The girls have been spending some time away from home at Grandpa S's. I miss them terribly, but I know they are having a good time and building a relationship that will hopefully be strong and last well into their adulthood. After having lost my grandmother, I see how important grandparents can be - if only for us as parents. I, for one, want my kids to know their grandparents well. And I've learned that through my grandma's passing. I can see in my mother's eyes her love for her mom, and how much she wanted to share that with her daughters. How it was important to her that we, her children, knew her roots - her livelihood. It may not seem important to me now, but I know it will as I get older and as my mother gets older. Time really is short.

Speaking of spending time away, I wish often that the boys had the opportunity to spend time with their grandparents - for the same reasons above. Their grandparents are amazing people, and I love them. They have been supportive, and welcoming, and have embraced me and the girls into their family. I never feel like an outcast, which is simply wonderful. We are lucky to have them in our lives. I guess I wish for all the kids to spend time with Craftymama's parents, and with my mom. Grandpa S is Glassman's dad, and given our separation I don't know about his relationship with the boys. I know he never forgets about them, or Craftymama, on birthdays or at Christmas - which is more than he needs to be doing. I just wish the boys has the opportunity to spend the night away, to know what that is like to be spoiled and given 100% attention by the grandparents. It's a special thing. Hopefully that happens soon.

One of the reasons it isn't happening is that R still wears a diaper at night. He can, occasionally, go without one, but for the most part he pees every night. At just a touch over 6 I am unsure if this is normal or not. I know boys do things slower, but I want to help him in some way. I know he is embarrassed and for that reason is nervous about being away, but maybe that would give him the push that he needs to really make it an effort instead of relying on the pull ups.

What else?

- M had his hearing tested, he's fine, but they made some comments on his speech so he is going to be seeing a speech therapist.
- LittleR is going to have an OT appointment soon.
- K continues to be a diva princess.
- And I continue to fall more in love with Craftymama every day.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Family

My Sister writes: "I love my family. I don't always love what they do, or how they behave, or what they believe in, but I love them.

For once, something she wrote really resonating with me, and didn't feel like it was a personal attack on something I am doing. And maybe that's why I work so hard to make sure they; my mom, sisters, everyone, approve of me. I try to do the things that are needed, or required - and I always feel I come up short. But maybe I am not supposed to try to appease them. If they will love me no matter what, then why am I so afraid to be who I am?

My grandma's tea was this past weekend. There were so many people there. My grandma is a quiet proud person, and to see how many lives her life touched really moved me. People were talking about their memories and their fondness of her. I was in awe of her. I didn't know my grandma very well, and that saddens me, but what I did know made me realize that even the proudest most stubborn of people develop lifelong relationships with others. Relationships that will last through death. It is my hope to be that kind of person.

We also spent a night at the trailer, me and Craftymama and the kids that is, it was a lot of work, and I missed half the second day - but it was so much fun. That was a memory that I won't forget and I hope they remember it too. They adored sleeping in a tent, and staying up late. And all of them, even R fell asleep on the short drive home. Wiped out indeed.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Passion and Growth

Renovations are coming along swimmingly. The only thing really left to do upstairs is moldings around the door...oh and I guess get those closet doors moved back and the bedroom doors painted, and the floor painted....I'm aware that sounds like a lot, but really - in the grand scheme of things, that's so minor. We did light fixtures yesterday - rewiring is interesting. No idea how we would have done it if any one of us was on our own.

I finished my first waldorf book - and I'm stoked at having finished it. Parts of it resonate so well with me. And I love starting something new that I am interested in. I'm excited at the possibility of going to school and actually making a difference, and doing something I might actually love to do. Getting to be on my feet, working with kids in an imaginative playful environment. Hopefully it will happen, and if not, I will volunteer and fill my cup that way.

Craftymama has also followed her passion into old houses with a bunch of books about, well, different kinds of old houses I guess. The excitement in her voice and the genuine interest is so amazing, I hope she sticks with it and actually pursues it even when it becomes difficult. Which it will because getting the Masters is hard, logically and financially.

Kids are good. R lost his first tooth - OMG BIG. It was an amazing experience. I very rarely get to experience a true first with R. Most of the firsts come when they are babies (first steps, words, foods etc) but this one, this one is big. It is a step from young child to older child and I consider it a privilege that I was there for it. Now if only we could find the tooth in his bed. He lost it while sleeping....

Oh, and I am beginning to night wean LittleR. She has been day weaned for quite some time, but I am getting, or starting to get squeaked out by it at night. It's not too early, or too late - I feel it's the right time. LittleR seems to be doing okay with it, not a lot of screaming at night. But the littlest is getting big too, and soon I won't be nursing anymore - and that's a weird thought to think.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Family Days

Family days are fun and I wish I could participate in them more often - not that they happen often but if me and craftymama were home some of the time or at least more of the day time week time then they would. This past Sunday we took all 4 kids, and 2 dogs to the beach to play. It was so awesome to watch the kids just frolic in the water and throw the ball for the dogs who would enthusiastically chase it. What made it all the nicer was sharing it with the woman I love and getting to stop and kiss her every once in a while. I wonder if they feel like family days when its just craftymama taking the kids. Today they travelled all the way to Nanaimo, to the Departure Bay waterpark. I wonder how it felt. I wonder if it feels like any sort of family - like we felt before 'life' when we would take R and K to the waterpark. I wonder if she enjoyed it as much. I know it's work, I really do, and I appreciate how hard it must be, and I know I am lucky that my work doesn't have that kind of mental stress....but God, I miss it.

I'm also aware I haven't written about my grandma. She passed on Sunday in the early morning with her family around her. I don't want to say more because no words can convey what I feel and saying anything would be untrue.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

K, K, K

K has been SO WHINY lately. Sometimes, most of the time, she whines in a pitch that I swear only our dogs can understand; cause we certainly can't. It's been going out for a while. At first I thought it was a lack of routine, but then I realized they do have a routine during the day, and we do as well when glassman and I get home from work. Then I thought it was a lack of one on one time, so we tried to give her a little more of that, that just made her whinier. Then we tried some more discipline - separating her from the kids, taking away privelges etc - that didn't work either. We thought maybe she would like some time with extended family, so she went for sleepovers at Grandpa S, Nana J, and Auntie E - and that has made it worse still.

I don't know what to do with her, it's like nothing can go right for her - ever, no matter how much we try to find something.

Maybe this is just the kind of kid she is.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The June Babies

R turned 6 and it was a wonderful day of family. All of us in the morning opened a few presents and then we went to a local pottery studio where we each pade something for the kiln. The kids just liked playing in the mess. R kept making thing after things and after thing. It was so much fun, I love spending time as a family. Then we came back home we immersed outselves in family and love and had a quiet day. At about 4, people started arriving. He got a cool red metal retro wagon and I am in completel glee over it. The kids all love with it, which is a bonus. His cake was all little rectagulars with different flags on them. He is so into his atlaas lately. He had a great day -I think. I love how Roman's birthdays are always so full of love and family. It really is a special time.

Little R's birthday came and it was weird.It is also Craftymama's birthday. First for Craftynana I had had two idea the first was to do the side garden as a memorial like garden for D and J. I was going to collect sand and rocks from pipers, and put a water thing there. Make it a peaceful place far away from where she really wishes she could be. The other idea was to make a bird house in the shape of the bastion building but that was a logisitcal nightmare. Instead I got her tools and shoes. I can't wait to see them.

For LittleR, I didnt get her anything (much like I didn;t for R). It was a different kind of day. We all, minus Craftymama who deserves a good child free existence, went to chemainus lake. Where they played in the water, and dug in the sand. For dinner we had pizza, as for Little R's request. Her cake was this awesome awesomely executed rainbow cake. All was yummy - and all went to bed.

See my family more lately - hating my job a little less (I think)

Im really looking for some sort of giant snap to just set me on the right track so I know what work I need to do. Im okay with work - I need some direction,

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

We are struggling to find a household balance - the 3 of us. Putting aside the fact that the kids are now on summer vacation (OMG POOR CRAFTYMAMA), there have also been issues of people pulling their weight and I think we are all feeling it in different ways.

I know Glassman in the past has said he was tired of doing the dinner dishes all the time, and Craftymama said he doesn't do half of them anyways. Craftymama feeling like she is doing the majority of the cleaning, and she is right - and me, well I'm stuck in a learning place. Before I used to get extremely overwhelmed and angry at the cleaning things and felt like I needed to do them all. Then I was reaffirmed that I didn't that others were there, and that things didn't need to be so clean. So I slacked off a bit, but maybe it was too much. I'm trying to find the proper balance between not doing enough enough and doing it all. I feel awful that I'm failing right now....

It's almost Little R's and craftymamas' birthday. I had a great gift idea for craftymama but that fell through twice :( lol and no ideas as usual for the child. I'm not too goo with gifts.

Craftymama painted the upstairs hallway - its nearing completion. Its exciting, I think. I'm waiting for an emotion to come out in terms of how I feel about the house.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Happy Birthday Roman!

R turned 6 today!

Oh he is such a sweetheart of a kid. He was giggling, and smiling, and so happy with absolutely everything. He loved making and painting the clay, and loved his flag cakes. It was a glorious family day - at least in my mind, hopefully this is a birthday he will remember - its these ages that they start to remember them.

K kept asking why I didnt get him a present; awkward. But, K is like that. I just skirted the question. The day isnt about presents - the day is about being present. And I partly was, as much as I felt I could handle without being overwhelmed myself.

So another year older, another birthday past...so crazy how big they get!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Birthdays

It's R's birthday tomorrow! He has decided he isn't going to be six. He is going to stay five but just get taller tomorrow. He's a cute kid. Craftymama made a bunch of mini cakes that have flag designs in icing - he is quite into his atlas. She also has spent like the last 3 weeks handcrafting him a waldorf inspired doll with clothes - it looks quite awesome. I realized that I am the only one who didnt get him anything - and that makes me feel like an awful parent. Even Glassman got him something.

I love the way we do birthdays - simple, family orientated - but I can't get on board with gifts, and maybe that's just how its going to be - no one gets gifts from me. Though I realized that when glassman and I were together and we would get a gift for someone, or I would make something for someone mutual then it was always from the both of us - even if he had nothing to do with the actual crafting or procurring of it. I wondered why that was, and why it's not that way anymore. Perhaps because Craftymama sees the boys as so firmly her boys that doing that would just seem weird, and glassman and I doing that now would just seem very relationshippy, I dont know - stupid holidays and my constantly overthinking them.

Regardless, it shall be a fun day of clay making/painting, playing, presents, dinner, and cake. And then we will do it all again in less than three weeks for LittleR....

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Toronto

So I went away to Toronto for work. It was so hard to leave everyone. I had a mild panic attack at being so far away from my kids. I wanted to run away and go back to them. It felt so wrong to be so far away from them. And being without Craftymama was like being without air, it was so hard to function. I thought about them all the time.

They were all fine. Kids had lots of fun, and K's room got finished: complete with new hardwood floors, painted ceilings, walls, trim and all the fun stuff. It's like the most done room in all of the house now. Slowly but surely I suppose we are making it ours - and yet in the back of at least my head I know that when the kids move out in the many years to come we will be selling it and moving back to Nanaimo. Our place is not Duncan. We are destined to return to Nanaimo - and something tells me we are destined to return to the Green House. It is Andrea's dream house, and her kindred soul, but more than that - it is something for me - but I don't know what yet. Figuring out the green house isn't at the forefront of my thoughts lately.

My grandma is still in the hospital - multiple seizures, brain surgery. I feel awful at not being able to see her, but I don't want to stress her out, or get her sick - and I still have a cough. If she goes home I am going to visit her there. Even if it's just to say a silent goodbye. I wasn't there for my grandpa, I want to be there for her.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Tick Tock

It's been quite the week.

I am leaving for Toronto today, I got to say a great goodbye to R last night because he is never up in the morning. K gave me the most gigantic of hugs. And M actually let me kiss him, he is normally very cranky in the morning and wants nothing but food. He also told me he would miss me. *Ded from cute*. LittleR slept in, which us weird for her - so I didn't get to say goodbye. I am so sad to leave the kids - it's the longest I've ever been away from them. My heart is aching already.

I don't want to leave Craftymama. She is my love, my happiness, my comfort - every day and every night. Even when we are frustrated, there is nothing better than finding her hand in the middle of the night.

My birthday was two days ago. It was all right. I'm 27 now, and that just feels absolutely unreal to me. I had my favourite dinner - and my favourite cake, and then went to R's teacher/parent evening. It was fun, and it solidified my want to be a waldorf teacher.

Oh...I guess I haven't shared that. I've been trying to figure out what I want to do. I want a career, and something with benefits, closer to home, and that fits in with my values. Everyone has always told me I'd make a good teacher (and lawyer lol), but I couldn't stand teaching in the public or private school system. But the more I come to learn about and witness waldorf the more it seems to click with me. I may not agree with everything - but no workplace is going to be perfect. I am hoping to start school in 4 years, there was another program this year starting but we just couldn't afford it.

I wan't to talk about my Grandma, but I don't know what to say. She is in the hospital, and has been diagnosed with brain cancer and multiple tumors. For so so many years, and even now - I looked at her and her life and always wanted it to be my own - or at least similar. She successfully raised 6 wonderful children, who are all so vastly different its amazing. She had an incredible relationship with my Grandfather. She was strong, and proud, and confident. She was a stay at home mom, and did all those things you would expect from the 1950's. I looked up to her. And I still do. Even now, in her weakened state - the values she instilled in her children are showing. Together, they have taken turns staying by her side all the time - she is never alone, they have been her advocate to the doctors, and they have not been afraid to show their emotions and reach out for help.

Though I do not agree with my grandmother on everything, and I know she doesn't agree with me about everything - there is still that connection. She was the first person who taught me how to clean a chicken coop, chase a chicken, and feed them. She let me wonder The Property and told me all about the different plants I would find. When I was little and spent weekends there, she found my crying in the closet because I missed home - and she comforted me, and we made cookies. She made me exquisite bubble baths with candles and lots of bubbles in her giant soaker tub and let me play there for hours. She would show me pictures of my mom growing up, and talk about the past so clearly I could picture it. She and my Grandpa got me my first guitar, and encouraged my love of my music. She has a wonderful spirit.

I only wish I got to know her better, that we were closer - but that's what happens in life, we don't actually realize how many memories we have with a person until their life is ending. We don't realize all the time we wasted being angry, or doing other things until its too late. I know my grandma and I could never have been best friends - but I wish I could have shown her what all those memories and all those times with her taught me. I wish I could let her see how those strong family values, and the ability to just make-do with what you have has shaped who I am.

I love my grandma - even if she doesn't know it.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Building, Growing, Learning

We had a weird moment yesterday. We were renovating the upstairs: taking up the floors, scraping ceilings and the three of us were drinking some drinks, listening to music and it was just all working. And then later on, Craftymama pointed out that we couldn't do half the stuff we are doing without a man. Sexist yes - but I have had that thought a few times as well. Not that females can't reno like we are, but that us two specifically could not. We are thankful for Glassman in that regard.

We got our yard landscaped a few weeks back - and it has changed the entire house. It has given it a new life. It's nice to see it looking so fresh, and so inhabited, rather than overgrown and forgotten. So many things left to do - but its a start.

Craftymama is busy sewing dolls every evening, I am preparing to head to Toronto next weekend for a trade show, and glassman goes between playing video games and practicing his martial arts. R is going through a rough time - and its so testing. K is a princess and the world owes her. M is SO WHINY, but intermixed with adorableness. And finally, Little R...well she is the same - crazy.

R's birthday is soon. He will be 6. Seriously...this little kid will be six. I remeber being six. As he gets older I remember my own childhood. I also begin to realize that we aren't raising babies or toddlers, what we are raising are adults - these beings, these souls will one day be adults - and watching R go through the first of these stages is very humbling.

LittleR's birthday is also coming. She is *my* last baby. Historically speaking on her birthday - when she was born, when she turned 1, and when she turned 2 - only Glassman, Craftymama, and myself has been there. She doesn't seem important to anyone outside our immediate family. No one makes time for her - she just is. And that makes me sad. I love her so fiercely, and as she gets older - I find myself feeling older. She is aging me - but not inn a bad way.

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Struggle with Words

I would love to write here more. I started a blog in hopes of recording events in our lives. Actually - I originally started this blog as a poly blog, but as life transformed so too did this place.

So now I am left in a grey place. How to write about normal mundane daily activities in a way that will refresh my memory in years to come, and maybe be of interest to anyone else who stumbles across my blog.

So without further ado, here is my first crack at it!

I attended my first kids birthday party yesterday. Well, first since becoming a working parent, and since life completely exploded a couple of years back. It was weird. It was weird interacting with moms again. I found I was much more at home with the kids - I even juggled for them much to their amazement (for the record those little bags of carrots make the perfect juggling balls, little gravel rocks do not).

K's good friend from school was the birthday boy, and his sister happens to be R's best friend so he got to go too! We rode on a train, played at the park for hours - oh to be a kid again and to be able to play on those structures for so long. We had cake, and sang, and it was just a chill time. And then we went home - and dealt with the sugar and excitement crash that inevitably follows any birthday party. However, there were no goody bags to fight over so that was a small blessing.

LittleR is have her occupational therapy appointment in a few weeks and to say I am nervous is an understatement. You always want your kids to be perfect, and if not perfect you certainly hope there is nothing actually wrong with them. I know in the end it will be okay, but it is the not knowing that has killed me for nearly three years.

M starts preschool in the fall. He is all registered and accepted. I remember when M was born - and I find it so impossible to believe that he is going into school. This one is even harder than K was. When K went to school I was excited for her. I was sad at the growing up of course, but I was so excited as I felt school would appeal to her sociable nature. With M, I can't describe what my worry is. Maybe because he still seems so little - speech wise and physical ability wise. Or maybe it's because with M entering school we are one step closer to having them all in school - and then they will only get bigger, and bigger and we will see less and less of them.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Stuck in the Middle

I'm so stuck in the middle sometimes between Craftymama and Glassman. It's a hard situation and one I am not so good at dealing with.

I don't know what it's like nor can I even begin to fathom how it feels for them to be living in the same house. On the one hand Glassman has to watch me be in a relationship with someone else. Plus, that someone else is someone who he used to be in a relationship. On the other hand Craftymama has to live withher current partners ex whom her partner has children with and thus will always be connected to. Plus, she used to be in a relationship with him.

Its all very complicated.

Plus like all people there is conflict and frustrations, only because they aren't in love anymore - there isn't that buffer. I am the buffer. When Glassman does something stupid - I hear it from Craftymama. When Craftymama is being high maintenance I hear it from Glassman. It's hard to remain neutral but still supportive.

I can't remain completely neutral. Afterall, I am in a relationship with Craftymama and as a result I need to support her through her fustrations, not encourage them, but support none the less. And with Glassman, well, I will always love him - I've known him for just too long. I am no where near in love with him anymore, he is a really good friend, but there are still those need to protect feelings.

Somtimes I wish there was a pause button...oooh! or a fast forward button!

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Kidlets

So R and K have been going to a waldorf school for quite some time now - well in the grand scheme of things I guess it isn't quite some time. But regardless. Last year, at their old school they were in the same class. The sadness at separating at the beginning of this year was heartbreaking - but they powered through.

Now we are facing the end of another year.

R will be doing another year of kindergarten - waiting for kids to be developmentally ready to move on, and to allow them to live in the innocence of childhood is fundamental to waldorf. But K will also be entering kindergarten next year - as she has now aged out of the preschool program. So we faced the decision of whether or not to put them in the same class again, or separate them. We have decided to separate them - allow them to be their own people, develop their own education journeys.

M and LittleR will be entering the preschool program next year - we definitely don't want them in the same class. They just aren't suited to be in the same class, and it will be detrimental to the both of them. We have decided to have one of the little kids go two days a week and the other go three days a week. Next year M will probably be moving to kindergarten, at that point R will be in grade one so M will go into R's kindergarten class. The year after R will go into grade 2, K will go into grade 1, M will still be in kindergarten and LittleR will go into K's old kindergarten. Oh the constant shuffling and arranging of children and their schools!

We have had the parent teacher interviews. The kids are doing well. K is excelling in her artistic expression, and R is so engrossed in childhood that it's inspiring to watch apparently. I am so glad to hear that, and so relieved to hear they are doing so well, making friends, and enjoying their childhoods.

Waldorf offers them such a great chance to experience all aspects of living, and of childhood. All aspects of nature and the seasons - and above all else of acceptance. R's class motto is "All Friends are Welcome", which is a great value to have in a class. Though all the families must have similar values to send their kids to a waldorf school, there are still some variances. Still opportunities for teasing or mockery - especially for sensitive R who is so easily influenced by others.

As time goes forward, I realize we made the right decision in sending our kids to this school. Though Unschooling is still how I believe kids learn best, it isn't right for my family, waldorf is - and its fitting. It's working. I'm proud that my kids go there.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sexuality part 2

Why is sexuality an okay thing to joke about or make fun of? The past week has shown me just how far we haven't come in all out accepting people who are different than our own.

I was sent to an all girls private school when I was 15. Apparently, and I play along too, that just leaves so many jokes available to my bisexuality. That I should have known, or others should have known. Apparently, growing up, my whole family suspected or knew I would be gay - and told my mom as such. Further - they made jokes that two out of 3 of her daughters were gay. I was made fun of - by my sisters. And one of my sisters was gay. I was taunted in elementary school when my sister came out, and all through high school because people thought I was a boy.

All of this through my development years. Since my change in sexuality, or embracing loving a woman - I have been going through these years of my life wondering that if I had been more supported, or if people had been more open minded then maybe I would have embraced my sexuality sooner. Maybe I never would have gotten married to glassman, or maybe I would have but would have explored my gay side a little more completely before getting married. I don't know what would have happened - but I can't help but feeling that I allowed myself to be oppressed to avoid all the stigma and all the negative attention that would have come from allowing myself to be publicly out.

Why are the jokes okay? Why do I play along with them like they don't bother me? Why don't I ever speak up? In highschool I can remember going home or being reduced to tears because people called me a boy or called me gay or whatever. Maybe it hit me so hard because I really was/am.

Even now, I have realized that I don't fit the typical girl attributes. I don't have a curvy figure, I am quite rectangular, I have the short butch haircut, I can't stand wearing tight fitting clothing. I am the butch lesbian - as horribly stereotypical as that sounds. If there is a male and female in lesbian relationships - I am clearly the male, and craftymama: the nail polish wearing, hair curling, primping one, is clearly the female. This fact bothers me.

But why does it bother me? I mean - I don't like wearing tight fitting clothing. It makes me feel large and uncomfortable. Nail polish makes me feel self conscious. I do like wearing makeup sometimes - but all in all I don't enjoy being that person. But part of me feels I must. I am a girl. This is what girls do. This is what girls look like, this is what a girl is. And I am a girl - aren't I? So the fact that I don't fit what the norm is, makes me so uncomfortable and so self loathing. I am not angry or resentful of Craftymama for doing those things - its who she is. I guess a part of me just wishes I was like that and because I am so uncomfortable in my own skin I am envious of the fact that she is so comfortable in hers.

I just want to feel comfortable. In the person I am, in how I look, how I dress, my own sexuality. I want to be able to walk down the street in the clothes that feel comfortable to me (even though I don't own them yet), hold craftymama's hand and not think of all the jokes and ridicule that are out there. I want to not feel like everyone was right growing up - even if they were.

Because how would they know my sexuality before me? And if they did, who were they to tell me or even more so make fun of me for it? Who were they to determine something before I had? Maybe if they hadn't have tried to force it on me I would have found out sooner, and maybe then I'd be comfortable in my own less than feminine skin now.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Step Parenting

Craftymama and I had a conversation the other day about how I view her parenting of K and LittleR. I guess I am protective. Further, I have always compared her love for the boys to my love for the girls. Hers is so deep and unconditional...me..I don't get as excited about pictures and random flowers. I don't have that same pull or whatever to my bio kids as she does. As a result, I always thought and felt that she was harder on the girls and that she obviously favoured them. I never thought for even a second that she didn't love the girls, I knew she did, but I questioned whether she showed it enough for them to know it.

Since that conversation I have been forcing myself to look at not the differences between how she parents the kids but instead just focus on how she shows her love for the girls. I have been amazed at the things I was missing. I was caught off guard by the little things I hadn't seen before. How when LittleR went for a sleepover as soon as Craftymama saw her she demanded a hug and picked her right up.

I am elated to see these relationships developing, and even more elated that I have opened my mind and heart up to that possibility. It's so awesome that these kids have so many parents who can express their love in a variety of ways. I think what we all have to be careful of though is each of their insecurities. I know I have to be extra careful with R to sit down with him, on his level, and look him in the eye. He doesn't give eye contact very often, but its important for us to develop trust. With K, I know we have to be careful with our words - things like leaving her behind when she is going too slowly, or someone put a bug in her stomach really stick with her. With so many different influences there are so many more opportunities to mess them up ha ha ha.

Regardless, relationships are blossoming - and its beautiful to watch.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sexuality

There have been many things lately that have caused me to think about my own sexuality. I needn't get into what they are.

However, what I've realized is that part of my stigma or thoughts on sexuality stem from what is normal and what is expected. Things you don't notice like the lack of movies, books, general media that feature gay/lesbian couples. I would love to watch a romantic comedy (or two or three or four) with a lesbian couple starring. Why can't their be a Gay version of The Notebook? Surely, there is a market for it - even if it is smaller, even if it doesn't make it a blockbuster. Surely, there must be other people in a same sex relationship out there who would love to have a movie they relate to?

Better yet, there is a book called "Dear John, I love Jane" about women who were in committed relationships with men who then realized they wanted to be with women. Come on - there is an awesome movie idea there!

I happened on a picture today of Ellen and Portia's wedding. In it they are dancing their first dance together. They had an amazing ceremony - they sat on cushions surrounded by flowers as they said their vows with only 19 people in attendance. It sounded like such a beautiful and lovely day. It was then that I realized that I would never have that with Craftymama. Our families aren't amazingly supportive. I think parents would come - but would they even take us seriously? I would love nothing more than to have a beautiful and simple ceremony with the woman I love and have my close family and friends be there to witness it. But after divorce - does anyone take the second marriage seriously?

I worry about what other people think of our relationship far to frequently. I worry that I am disappointing someone (who, I have no idea!) by being with a woman, and I worry even more that our relationship will never get the ceremony it deserves.

But man those pictures were beautiful and almost made me cry a little.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

And two dogs make..

We are getting two dogs...!

Yes, we got a puppy before, but after that experience we realized that our house isn't ready for the work of a puppy quite yet. We were still set on rescuing a dog, when we happened on an ad on craigslist for two older dogs (8 and 11) who desperately needed to be rehomed. They had grown up together and were essentially brothers. One is a northern breed mixed dog named Jake and the other is a golden retriever mix named Colby. This works well for Andrea and I because she wanted a golden retriever desperately and I just LOVE northern breed dogs and their stubborn intelligence.

They come with all of their things - and there are a lot of things!

We cleaned up the side back yard, put up a big 10x10 pen and are using one of the outlying buildings as a big doghouse for them. They are used to pretty much living outside, so we wanted to make sure that we could give them enough space outside.

We pick them up Saturday - I am quite excited and nervous. Two dogs! This is a huge commitment. But I think we are ready. We have gone to meet them, and brought the kids along and the kids like them. They dogs are so gentle and sweet and know so many commands. They were very well looked after and it seems they are the perfect dog for us.

Let's see where this journey takes us!