Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Working Parent's Life

I'm a working parent as we all know. It's hard some days, and really hard other days. I miss my kids, I miss craftymama, and I miss being at home. I don't, at all, hate my job though, I like coming to work, I like what I do - which makes me feel even more guilty about being away from home. 

Usually I leave for work just after the kids wake up, and I am home just before dinner. That gives me a total of about 3 hours to see them during the week. On the weekends the boys go to cableman's house on Saturdays, and he comes here on Sundays. Glassman takes the girls to his house every other weekend, or stays at our house - so the weekends are filled with daddy time. It's a hard balance trying to get my time in on the weekends, which is why I enjoyed being the one to drive them to Nanaimo every Saturday. It gave me about an hour of uninterrupted alone time with them. I would turn the radio off and we would just talk for the hour it took my to get here - I would even drive the speed limit so I had more time with them. 

Time is a valuable thing, and there is never enough of it. 

Craftymama works from home too, so she misses out on a lot of what the kids do in the mornings (while she does her work). She works extremely hard at her job, as well as taking care of the kids. I couldn't ask for a better partner to share the working life with. I hate that she has to work too, I wish neither of us had to work and that we could both be at home, together, and parenting the children. 

This week, however, I have a crazy schedule between working and going to school. It's the only week it will be like this. I, originally, wasn't going to see the kids from Monday night until Sunday night. Thankfully, I got done early yesterday and was able to see them after dinner, and help put them to bed - I was so excited to be home with all of them. Yet, I think yesterday will be the only day I get off early, so I won't see the kids now until Sunday night, wherein I have promised them I would read the Berenstein Bears story to them, and they will remember. 

Because they will miss me, and I will miss them, Craftymama had the great idea of having a mailbox at home where they could write me letters and colour me pictures, and I would respond to them. So I would have some mail, and the kids would have a letter or pictures from me. I thought that was a great idea. Craftymama and the kids set it all up yesterday and I got my first Mii Mii Mail last night. It was wonderful to see their pictures and the captions on their pictures. It nearly brought a tear to my eye. I brought the pictures to work and they went in the binder where I keep all the kids' art they give to me for my work. I flip through it from time to time seeing how their drawings have changed over the course of two years. 

This is the only week it will be like this, just one week, and then we are back to our new normal schedule. I, and them, can make it through the week. Plus, I plan on calling them every day just to talk to them and see how they are doing. 

My Mii Mii Mail Box!

M makes a castle out of some cardboard he found - very creative for him. He was very proud. 

The boys reading their cousin C stories when he came to visit. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

LittleR Turns Four

So LittleR is 4 now. I am having a harder time with this birthday than any of the others (aside for when she turned 1 - I may have cried that day). She is an actual big kid now. The time of toddlerhood is way behind her (she did start walking at 10months afterall). She has a quirky, weird personality, and not a lot of specific interests. She plays with cars with her brothers, and house with her sisters. She loves when I read her stories.

Her favourite story as of late has been The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Yes it's a bit young for her, but she likes that she knows some of the words and knows when to turn the pages, so we indulge her in the younger book.

Her birthday was good, we had some family over. Of course I was late coming from work so I missed most of the visiting. That sucked, I like seeing my family - especially my nephew C who is the most adorable little man ever. We had cake, and of course sang happy birthday. Then she opened presents. She got a book, some chocolate (her favourite thing ever), a mini train set, a pedal bike from my mom (she had a balance bike but it is now too small for her so she got her very first big kid bike!), and from Craftymama and myself she got a new baby. You see, all of our kids get a special waldorf inspired doll on their first birthday to be their baby's. LitteR probably loved hers the most or BigR - it's hard to tell, she brought it outside when she was staying at Glassman's house and threw it up in the air. It came down somewhere and no one could find it. Since then she has been going from stuffed animal to stuffed animal trying to find something she likes to sleep with. So we thought it would be nice to get her a new baby for her 4th birthday, we have reinforced the rule that babies do NOT go outside.

Her birthday ring. Look how little she was in that picture!

The birthday girl wearing her crown!

Her Very Hungry Caterpillar 'Cake'

Monday, June 24, 2013

Today and This week

Today marks day three of a very very busy week. Between all my work, and the starting of school, and birthdays and what not - I'll have very little (read: none) downtime. I am excited to start school today, and actually brought my school binder to work - I smiled like a dork as I was getting it ready. I love school supplies, and school supply shopping. I got to go to the bookstore last week and get my textbook (only one for the four courses I am taking - which was a surprise) and I smiled like a dork then too. I love textbook shopping!

It's going to be a lot of work. When this semester actually starts (next tuesday), I will be getting to work for 5:00a, working until my classes start at 10:00a, going to school until 3:00p and then coming back here to work until like 4:30-5:00p. That way I get close to a full day of work in so I don't lose too many hours. I have also been working Saturdays and coming in early previously to store up some banked hours to use while I am in school. I think I got this covered - it's just going to be a very busy and very tiring 8 weeks. I also feel I have something to prove. With my work paying for my schooling it's like I HAVE to do well, I have to prove to them that I am capable of this schooling, and worthy of it. When I was in university before I didn't really care about getting top of my class because all I wanted to do was pass. I did well, don't get my wrong, but trying my hardest was never in my radar. Now I feel I have to try my hardest, I want to be top of my class, I really want to do well. I want to prove to my boss that I can do this, I want to prove to myself that I can still go to school successfully after all these years of not going, and I want to show my kids that it's never to late to go after what you want, and to do well at it.

Today is Craftymama's and LittleR's birthday. Craftymama is 26 (she feels old) and LittleR is 4. I can't believe LittleR is four already. She still seems to small to me, and it feels like not too long ago I was giving birth to her. I can still relive those moments, some more vivid than others, and I can still feel that post birth rush that one gets. I still remember how primal I was when she was born, and how in love I was with this little creature who I was sure was a boy. I will write more on her and her birthday after her get together with family tonight - I hope to post pictures.

Monday, June 17, 2013


I'm not sure how many different people who read this, but I'm wondering:

Who thinks we should find out the sex of the baby?

Craftymama and I can't make up our minds, we keep wavering back and forth. In the beginning we wanted to find out so that we could better bond with the baby, which we were both not doing well at in the beginning. But now, all that has changed, and both of us are bonding more. (As I have said - I'm in love with her belly!). Craftymama has never had the surprise at birth, whereas I have had it twice. But I've also never found out during pregnancy - we are both on opposite sides.

We think we have names, no I'm not telling, so it would be interesting to actually be able to pick one, and use it (in secret away from the chatting kids). But the surprise is so wonderful, and I'd love to experience it from this side. To watch the awe and anticipation on Craftymama's face as she learns if it's a boy or a girl.

Such a hard choice!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Summer Break Has Begun

The kids are officially done school for the year. BigR will move up to grade 1, K will stay in kindergarten for another year, M moves up from kindercottage to kindergarten, and LittleR will stay in kindercottage for another year. So there were some big changes, and a few tears on Craftymama's part. (I was called heartless, lol, because I don't get emotional over these types of things).

For the final fieldtrip BigR and K sailed boats that they made (hammering nails, sanding wood, painting a silk for the sail - everything) at a local little river/stream. M and LittleR had a puppet show and picnic for their final day - and did amazingly well for having to sit still and listen for 25minutes.

Now comes the long days of playing outside, picnics in the garden, trips to the river, bike rides, beach visits, and everything else that comes with kids on summer break. We are hoping to take the kids camping this summer, I know a guy who has a place in Tofino by the beach, but at the very least we want to take them to Craftymama's dad's trailer for some pseudo camping.

There is a pressure to 'do more' in the summer because there is more time to do actual things what with no school. However, we feel that kids also need some continuity, and some time to just be. So while they may get to stay up a little later, it wont be much later, and there will be times they say they are bored, or don't know what to do. But that's part of being a kid and part of summer. One learns to find their own fun.

LittleR and M with their teachers

The little kids getting ready for their last homemade bun day

K sailing her boat

BigR sailing his boat

The little kids digging in the epic sandbox at school for the last time this year. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

R Turns 7

His birthday ring, complete with new Cat decoration representing his cat (Pink Flower)

All of the people at his birthday party. 

Distorted Picture: his birthday muffins

Distorted Picture: A tomato plant from a friend

Distorted Picture: Snuffing out his birthday candles at his school's birthday celebration

Distorted Picture: Waldo Cake

Distorted Picture: He got a magic set, and this is his magicians pose

Distorted Picture: He got a cool pirate card from my mom that doubles as a hat and eye patch!

Distorted Picture: Everyone gathered around our big table - we fit! 

So R turned 7. Such a big day for someone who still seems so young and small. I remember his 2nd birthday with the race car cake, and his pirate cake, and his flag cake - so many birthdays, each cake - each birthday marks another year he is closer to adulthood. I'm aware adulthood is a long time away, but we are approaching double digits, then teenhood, then adulthood. He is no longer a small kid - he is a big kid. A big kid who is going into grade 1 next year!

Next year he will enter gradeschool, and more formal learning will begin. He will read, begin to do math, learn some history (which he will be all over), and continue learning from stories and fables that Waldorf School prides itself on. He is growing up.

With that growth comes the realization that experiences he has now will greatly affect the man he is to become. He will more concretely remember these days, these memories, and they will form the basis of his knowledge of his childhood. I am acutely aware of this. It is important, with all the kids - no matter the age, that we give them an enriching and memorable childhood, but there is added pressure when you come to the realization that his childhood memories are being made now. Will he remember his waldo cake? Probably, as will he remember his firth birthday party with friends. (7 is the age they first have birthday parties outside of the family one).

Though R has been going through some trying times lately, he still shows what a sweet and caring boy he can be. Usually with gifts we allow them to be hoarded by the kid who received them for the day, R took is upon himself to share that very first day, with no questions asked.

A few R quirks:
-He'd still sleep to 11 if you'd let him.
-He is the most rambunctious in the mornings and riles the whole gang up.
-He is obsessed with Waldo and all things Waldo related.
-He is still the most cautious of the bunch
-He tells me he loves me on a near daily basis now (so adorable!)
-He is still a mama's boy
-His favourite food is shepherds pie (though he has been begging for potato skins lately)
-He still has Steve, his 'imaginary' friend.
-He still wears a diaper at night.
-He has theories, interesting ones, about how the world and language came to be.
-He can finally make himself toast and butter it, and often does so for himself and the other kids.

I love this kid with all my heart, and I am excited to see the growth in him when Ziggy comes along. I'm hoping he helps change diapers ;)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Oh My God

BigR is miserable. So miserable all the freaking time, it is so draining. He talks back, he is moody - it's like a mini pms'ing boy. I know I know, he is going through the 7 year change, and I know this is first puberty, and I knew it was going to be hard long before we got here, but every time I think it's at its worst - it just gets worse. This morning he threw his diaper at M (yes, he still wears a diaper, we can't for the life of us get him out of it, we have tried, and we can't be doing sheet and blanket laundry every day as he wets the bed every night - we have enough laundry to do!), and then had a fit when I asked him to pick it up. He then threw a bigger fit when I asked him what he wanted for breakfast.

He just.isn't.listening. I have tried to get down on his level, tried to be more authority like, tried to be completely respectful of this personal change he is going through - but that doesn't make this any easier. Nothing we do is working. Which makes me wonder if there is anything we can actually do, or if this is just something we have to survive. There are many of those moments in parenting where you just have to survive the bad and hope that it gets better soon. I really am counting on it getting better soon.

We have alone time together, me and him, every night while Craftymama puts M to bed, and even that is becoming a strain for me. He demands constant attention, which is fine, I can do that - however, when he has been moody and rude to me the entire time I've been home from work, I don't really want to be around him any longer (*hides in parenting shame*). It's hard to muster up the will to play his imaginative games, and they still are, when he has told me I am a "fat old lady" and he "hates me" and has hit me as he is walking by.

The scary thing is....BigR is our most chilled out child (or he was before now), I am terrified of what K and M will be like at 7 - BigR will probably seem easy in comparison to them!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Breaking New Ground?

Today is LGBT Families Day. We are encouraged to post our stories on what it is like to live in a LGBT family, or to know one in our lives.

I wanted to point out a few different things I have noticed since living in a LGBT family.

  • People ask you who the real or birth mom is all the time. I assume this would be true for two dads. For some reason it is okay to ask these types of inappropriate  questions to same sex couples. 
  • Names on forms actually bother you. At our school all the forms were mother and father - and we never knew how to fill them out. Craftymama and I are together, and have full custody of the kids. They have two mothers who they live with, not a mother and a father. We approached the school, maturely and nicely, and asked them to change the forms to parents, or have the option for two fathers or two mothers. You know what? They did, with no questions or judgments. It feels good to have them listen to us and make the change. 
  • When we go out and hold hands people still stare at us, especially when we have the kids with us. 
  • You are much more aware of how little same sex couples are portrayed in every day media. There are very few movies or shows where gays and lesbians are the prominent figures and not just cast to be the comedic relief. 
  • On that same note, there are very few books for kids with two moms or two dads - you have to really want to search for them. This is unfair to our kids who never get to read stories that have families similar to theirs. Especially Ziggy, who will not know his/her donor in the same way the kids know glassman and cableman. For him/her having that literature to reinforce that our family is completely okay is vitally important to Craftymama and myself. 
  • Our kids are resilient. On Mother's Day Big R insisted on making two of everything because he has two moms. They know their family, and they know how to show their love and support - they are not phased by having to ask for the things they want to equalize their families with all the others - at least not yet.
  • Legally speaking, because I am not a genetic parent to Ziggy - I have to adopt my own child. I will have been there through preplanning, conception, the pregnancy; everything, and yet I still have to pay to and adopt my own child. *This* is unfair. 

It has been quite the experience living in  LGBT household so far, there are not very  many of us in our area, but our community has been so accepting of us. There have been no judgments, at least not to our faces, and everyone has included both of us. It's been wonderful to be a part of such a welcoming community, I can't imagine what it is like for those who have to face homophobia on a daily basis. To face discrimination based on something that is at the very core of their being. It is so unfair. 

I am proud of my family. I am proud of any family, LGBT or not who have the courage to stand up and be who they are, and find peace in who they are.