Monday, July 29, 2013


So I got an 'A' in my Marketing class. That's right, in a masters level class, I actually got an A. I am so impressed with myself. I was honestly just expecting to pass my classes, and not do exceedingly well. But I really loved Marketing. I loved the concepts, adored the professor, and really enjoyed the class as a whole.

Still no economics mark - I am still nervous.

The girls spent 4 days at Glassman's house, and I missed them terribly. I think that's the longest I have gone without seeing them. With my work schedule, I went 3 days without seeing the boys - that might be the longest I've gone without seeing them. It's so hard being away from them, and away from my home so much with work and school.

I did get to spend a night at my sisters house, and it's always fun to hang out with her. She made me a nice dinner, we talked, we watched House, and I got to play with her adorable son, and my nephew, C. I wish there was a way that I could spend more time with her. I wish my family were in general closer, and that we were able to see each other more. Perhaps as our kids get older, our schedules become less hectic, and we all mature a little bit - it will become easier.

LittleR's drawings have taken on a new form. She now draws people, like people that look like people. It's quite incredible, as it seems like only last week she was still drawing random shapes and scribbles. BigR is still obsessed with Waldo and draws Waldo scenes (he copies a picture from one of his books) every day. He always hides every little thing, and wants us to find them all. M has been incredibly cute with Ziggy, he is the sweetest of all the children with this pregnancy. He constantly tells Ziggy how he is going to share his cars and blankie, and he felt Ziggy kick just a few days ago. He is such an adorable little boy. K, I think, is missing me most with my new schedule of work/school. I mean, all the kids miss me terribly, but I think she is having the hardest time. She doesn't want to fall asleep, and asks me everyday if she is going to see my the next day and why I have to work all the time. It's heart breaking.

T lounging with a monkey

LittleR's Crazy hair. 

K - she really is quite pretty, and she knows it!

BigR wearing cableman's hat - he was so proud

Thursday, July 25, 2013

It's not failure if you try your best right?

I've never really worked hard at school. It's always come relatively easy for me - and for that I am both grateful and extremely lucky. I took it for granted. I never felt like I ever had anything really to prove to anyone. I was satisfied with passing, happy when I got a B and was honestly used to getting A's. I just never cared all that much.

With this MBA program, I actually care. I feel like I have something to prove to my employer - who is sponsoring me, and to myself. I feel like I need to prove to my employer that I am worthy of being sponsored, and that I will earn it by working harder and applying what I learn. I need to prove to myself that I am capable of going back to school at 28, and capable of doing well. I knew these courses and this program would challenge me. I was looking forward to that.

I am not used to challenges like this. Not only does my brain not think in terms of economics, but it has a difficult time remembering the stuff I am able to comprehend in the first place. Economics is hard. Not just the formulas and graphs to remember, but also the concepts. They just seem so above my thinking level.

I actually completed the recommended homework, as much as I could grasp. I paid attention in class, sat at the front, and took notes. I read the textbook - again and again. When I couldn't grasp the concepts before the midterm, I made an appointment with the professor to seek help, he gave me 10 minutes of his time and told me I needed to understand the concepts better. As a last ditch effort for the midterm, I committed to memory as many of the formulas as I could, and guessed on the rest - I past with a 72%. I didn't feel that I knew 72% of the information, I felt like I had gotten lucky.

For the remainder of the class, which was only two weeks from the time of the midterm to the time of the final (the class is a semesters worth condensed into four weeks of learning), I tried harder. I looked over the notes of my classmates. I worked extremely hard, and with much focus on my group presentation - which I actually think I did well on, more so because I am a great public speaker, and I am proud of that. I studied.

I never study. I put my music on, as I can focus better with music playing, sat down at the table and spent my entire evenings studying. I didn't knit a single stitch. I spent no time with Craftymama. I began to understand some of the graphs. The concepts were becoming a little clearer. The formulas no longer seemed to be written in another language.

Then, today, I had the final. And it was the worst exam I have ever written in my entire life. It was so difficult. Even in talking with my other colleagues afterwards, we all agreed that it was especially challenging.

I took my time. I really thought about each question. Problem was, the concepts, formulas, and graphs I had worked so hard on - were nowhere in the final. I realized afterwards that I wrote about the wrong topic for my essay question. I simply couldn't answer one of the long answer questions.

If I fail this class I don't get into the MBA program. I have to pay my boss back for the money he has invested so far. Potentially the worst thing is that I will have disappointed my boss and even myself.

I honestly tried my best, and my best really doesn't feel like it's going to be good enough.

I don't know the results yet, and I am slightly afraid to.

It's not a true failure if you try your best. Or so I am told.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Time Apart

Raising blended kids can be hard. You want them to grow up believing they are siblings, and not seeing a difference between each other - which I think we have done successfully; they don't even comprehend that they aren't 'true' siblings (what is a true sibling anyways).

But they often break off into groups. Lately, the boys have wanted to play by themselves a lot, doing boy things I guess - or maybe they are at the right age difference right now, who knows?

The girls on the other hand are at each others throats most of the time, or playing house the rest of the time.

I think it's important to give each sibling group (that is R & M, or R & little R or any combination thereof) a chance to be in the home by themselves together. To create their own bond and their own unique relationship separate from the main group. With so many kids this can be hard to facilitate. What usually ends up happening is that they are divided by biological sibling groups. The girls will go to glassman's house, and the boys to cabelman's house or the men will take their bio children out somewhere leaving the others at home.

I'd love to be able to give the non bio sibling groups a chance to hang out in the home and develop their own routines and there own games, I am just not sure how to go about facilitating that. With me gone so much working, and just craftymama being at home it's not like she can just randomly pick two kids and leave the others at home - it's an all or nothing deal.

Plus, I'd like to give each of them some alone time, some times, with me or craftymama. I often get alone time with BigR because he stays up later with the kids, but when I get home from work I don't want to single anyone out so I read stories to all of them or play with all of them. I need to make sure they are all seeing me when I get home. So how do I spend some alone time with the other kids. This will become even more important when Ziggy is born. I imagine they will all be pining for attention from me and craftymama, and there simply will be less time.

LittleR, by virtue of her school hours, will get some alone time with Craftymama and Ziggy, but the other kids will be in school most of the day and will not have that same opportunity.

Maybe I do need to separate them a little when I get home from work. Have some one on one time each day with one of them rather than always doing all of them. I don't know how that will work though - they all crave my attention when I am at home. I think all it would take is a story or two to reconnect with them, and then I'd have the rest of my limited evening with all of them.

I love spending time with my kids, I just need to find a way to do it one on one, thereby giving the other sibling groups a chance to play on their own as well.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Being an Adult

Being an adult can be so hard sometimes, oh, who am I kidding, it's pretty much hard all the time.

We have reached a point where decisions need to be made that will greatly affect our future, and where we are and what we do. They are scary decisions that we don't at all feel qualified to make. Things don't always go the way you want them, and sometimes you make mistakes. Sometimes these mistakes are large, and they are hard to fix.

That's where we are now.

The kids are great. Our pregnancy goes well as well. We are 23 weeks now, and given Craftymama's track record we are probably about 15 weeks away from having our little Ziggy in our arms. We are slowly getting things prepared.

The living room is nearing completion in terms of paint - just one more coat, but the blood red is officially dead - to Craftymama's delight! It looks so much bigger and brighter - I am amazed at how much taller the ceiling looks now that it's this hazelnut cream colour.

We are planning on painting the stairs, the upstairs landing, and the boys' room in mid August. Cableman (who no longer works there but has an at home business), is going to take the boys over night to his parents house, and Glassman will have the girls so it'll just be Craftymama and myself - this will make it a lot easier to do and to paint. It will be a pain in the butt taking all the boys' crap out of their room though - there is a lot of it!

I have finals for my first set of classes next week, and then I am half done my foundation courses, I am praying and hoping I pass. More than that though - I am actually studying and doing my non required homework - something I never used to do. I am trying so hard to do well in these classes, I need to do well, I *have* to do well. But I know all I can do is my best, and so long as I am doing that I shouldn't be ashamed. I get my mark back for my Economics midterm today (hopefully) and I am so scared. My brain just does not compute economics well, even though I study every day (minus a day here or there) and I ask questions in class. The knowledge just does not want to sink in. But I did my best on that midterm, and all I am hoping for is a pass.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Bike Rides

I don't know how to ride a bike. Well, in theory I do, but I haven't ridden one in so long, that I would be terrified to try.

The kids on the other hand - they love their bikes! LittleR got her first pedal bike for her birthday from my mom, and has just started to pedal it on her own. Before she was using it like her old balance bike.

This weekend, before I went to work, I took all the kids, solo, to go for a quick bike ride and to play at the park near our house. I wanted some one on one time with them, and wanted to see them ride their prized possessions. They are all such different kids.

LittleR, wanted to go for a short bike ride - she is still learning so she goes slower, and then play peek a boo at the park. Yes, my 4yr old wanted to play peek a boo.

M went super quick and rode back and forth along the sidewalk and parking lot waiting for me to catch up. At the part he wanted to play hide n seek - he is a big cheater lol.

BigR just wanted to ride his bike and tell me all about it. So he rode around and around the parking lot, stopping to have me watch him standing up, or see him riding on the grass. He did not want a park visit.

Now, to be honest, I didn't take K for a ride, Glassman did - he had her during the time I had before work. She wanted to do a long bike ride and no park visit, so they went around the block. No stopping for talking, just straight to business and straight riding.

It's these moments with the kids that I cherish. Along with them all crowded around and on top of me after they hadn't seen me for a few days. We read stories, and I watched their games, we did puzzles, and I saw their games. It's the little moments with the kids too.

It's hard, especially in the mornings, for me not to just doze as they play. It's so easy to just nod off a little bit as they play around you, and frankly, I did a couple of times. But, I hope I was present enough to make them feel loved, make them feel important, and let them know that I will be there whenever I can to watch them play.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Parenting Moments

We all have those moments. Those moments where we look  back at something we have said or done as a parent and wish we hadn't. They needn't be big, sometimes even the smallest of things can have the most profound effect on us and our kids.

I was driving into work this morning and suddenly it hit me, my parenting moment, one of them anyways. I have this pet peeve, I hate when the kids play with my shoes. I hate when they put them on, and I hate when they walk around the house in them. This is because we don't allow shoes in the house, for a variety of reasons, and because their little feet, when they are walking, have a tendency to start breaking my shoes - and I need those things. I immediately go to frustration, and tell them to take my shoes off and return them to the front room.

Why is this a big deal you ask?

Kids are kids. Kids try on their parent's shoes. When they do, in those moments, they are pretending they are the adult. They are having pure, innocent, fun with simply a pair of my shoes. Instead of embracing that, I go to frustration and try to end it as quickly as possible.

What's the big deal if they try on and wear my shoes? Maybe instead of telling them to put them back right away, I could show them how to wear them properly so they don't break. Maybe I could play with them, and try to put their shoes on. Maybe we could make it a dress up game where they wear some of my clothes too. I have so many other options, but I take the one that is most convenient to my frustrated mood.

This is not the way I wanted to parent.

In trying to constrain the kids, control them, I fear that we have gotten ourselves into a situation where we could stifle their creativity. I want them to feel free, in their own home and anywhere, that they can express themselves, and let their imaginations run wild. Imagination is also a fleeting thing, they won't have this childlike imagination their whole lives. I should be embracing it, instead of giving in to my annoyances.

It really isn't a big deal that they put on my shoes....

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Long Weekend

I was working this past weekend, on Saturday and Monday (I was supposed to work Sunday, but opted to take it off).

I spent Sunday, all day, in my pj's blissfully dozing on the couch, knitting, and reading stories to the kids. It was a wonderful day. The only reason I got dressed was because I had to walk the dog in the evening.

On Saturday, I went grocery shopping at 7:00a and then went to work for 8:30a.  Craftymama took the kids up to Nanaimo to drop off the girls to Glassman (who had them overnight), and to take the boys to see Cableman for the day. BigR also had a birthday party in Ladysmith so it was a lot of traveling around for her. Meanwhile - I worked.

On Sunday, the girls went for a picnic and to Fuller Lake on their way back into Duncan - and absolutely loved it. The boys played nicely and happily with their cars all morning. Craftymama was sanding furniture, but then all of a sudden switched gears and decided she was going to paint the living room trim. Off to Home Depot she went to pick up paint and what not, while I started to declutter and remove things from shelves. Then, while the boys played, Craftymama and I sanded and washed all the trim in the living room for her to paint. That's what she did Sunday - on the hottest day of the year thus far, in the hottest room in the house.

On Monday, I went to work, and after picking up her sewing dolls for the week decided she was taking the kids up to her dad's trailer for Canada Day. I was so sad to be missing that, I love the trailer. They went swimming, and played on the beach, went for rides in the golf car (BigR crashed it into a parked car causing some injury) and ate a whole bunch of crap food that one only gets at the grandparent's house. On the drive back, all the kids fell asleep.

Today, Tuesday, is my first official day of classes - I start in 2 hours and 15minutes. I am so nervous it will be too overwhelming for me, and also so nervous it will be too easy. I need something right in the middle. Something that will keep me awake during class, but not make me so frustrated that I cry and throw my textbook up against the wall. I'm cautiously optimistic.

A trip to the river in the rain last week

BigR sent me a picture of his favourite smooth rock

T built a sandcastle

I love this picture of K. It sums up her attitude, and beauty all in one go. 

LittleR playing in the water.

This is a picture from the trailer this past weekend