Saturday, April 21, 2012

Run Down

Who knew water was such a vital part of being healthy. I mean, I know it's good for us. If we don't have water we could die, blah blah blah. Really, though, unless it happens to you, it just doesn't sink in. For me, it happens countless times and it still doesn't sink in. Add on excuses like "I'm too busy to drink anything but that one cup of coffee in the morning. If I even manage to get that in." And you are on the road to what happened to me today. What has happened to me many times before. Apparently, I need more than one incident to learn my lesson and stick with it.

I have been doing a lot lately. Probalby not in the most effective manner. Which is most likely why I feel run down. I need a lot of sleep, however, I also need to keep busy to ensure I don't get sick with depression among other things. Add on insomnia. Oh and the desire to go to Chicago, so I'm trying to pick up quite a few hours. Then wanting to put in support for different things here and there and it's just a recipe for running myself ragged. The thing is I know my tolerance level, but others think it's too little. I myself think it's too little some days. That's just it though. I am too concerned about what others think. I know too well that if I run myself hard one day, the next I need to pull back a lot. Then I can go again the next day. I haven't been. I have been trying to keep up the pace with everyone else and then some. Not smart. Oh yeah, and we were all sick for over a week with colds. I still have a bit of mine.

So because of this, today I woke up and felt like I had a hangover. I had one, count them one, glass of wine when I got home last night. It was not even a full glass. Yet I woke up feeling like I partied all night long. My head pounded, my vision was dulled. Light killed, and I could barely stay awake. Oh and holy, growly. So I had no choice but to call in sick to work. I could kick myself. I called in sick and started to down my water. I have felt this way before, although not this bad, and self diagnosed as dehydrated. Looks like I might be right. I am feeling a touch better, but need to drink more. I plan on going to bed at a somewhat decent hour as well, hopefully that will help.

Lesson: If nothing else, listen to your body. Slow down when needed. It will all fall into place anyway. Forcing it will only make you crazy. Drink water. For every other drink you have, drink a glass of water right after it. If you don't want anything else, but are hungry, drink a glass of water, wait a bit, and then eat if still hungry. Get sleep! Sleep is very important. Learn how to follow through and stick with your knowledge, you'll live longer. Yeah, this last one, I need a.s.a.p.

***Please note that I looked up signs of dehydration and they all fit. If I felt it was more serious I would be making an appointment with a doctor. Never self diagnose and take medication without a doctors okay.***

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Assignment Exercise.

I am not sure if I am completely happy with how this turned out. Probably because I know that it will not be going into the story. At least that is not the plan. But also because it keeps changing. I keep learning more about my character through this process. Interesting to say the least. Especially when I am trying to give her her own voice, yet she is trying to give me her own voice as well. I can say that I have never analyzed so much in order to make sure I was creating a clean character and not making an autobiography. Here is what I wrote:

Willow Vance spotted Angeline from across the Church foyer. Willow walked with the confidence and grace one would associate with a rich hoity-toity woman, but when she spoke her words dripped with a humility Angeline found she envied more often than not.
“Hello Angeline. How are you today? I see the children are growing fast. Christian says he’s doing really well this year in school and thinking of going to Bible College, possibly some missionary work after high school next year.”
Angeline smiled on the outside, but on the inside she was a wreck. Her body cringed at the thought of her oldest son branching out and leaving her. She could feel the walls of the foyer closing in, her lungs quickly pushing the breath from her body threatening never to expand again.
Angeline’s thoughts drifted back to two weeks prior. She had just walked in the front door from running a few errands and picking up Elliot, Anya and Levi from school. Angeline ran through her normal routine, dropping her keys on the mudroom table, slipping of her flats; sweeping them under the table with her left foot. She hung her jacket and purse on the hook on the back of the door as she rifled through the mail. As she made her way into the kitchen that is when she saw it. A letter from Steinbach Bible College fell to the floor from the pile of letters Angeline held in her hand. The college’s logo emblazoned on the front of the manila envelope. She stared at it, jostled back to reality as the kids broke into a free run toward the couch to watch a little bit of television before dinner, squealing as they went. The alarm for the front door beeped, as Christian walked in.
Angeline cleared her throat and passed the envelope to Christian. “Thanks Mom, I was waiting for this.” Christian took the envelope and made his way to the fridge for a glass of milk.
Angeline put the cutting board on the counter and grabbed a straight edge knife. “Steinbach Bible College eh. I didn’t realize that you were looking at a college so far away.”
Christian made his way to the kitchen table, put his glass of milk down and began to open the letter. “It’s not that far away Mom. It’s only a two-hour drive from here. It’s not like I am moving to another Province or across the country.” Angeline crossed the room to the fridge. “I know that, I just thought you would look at a college in the city so you wouldn’t have to travel so far to school. You know, save on gas.”
Christian swiveled in his chair to look at his mom. “I won’t have to worry about the cost of gas Mom. Brayden’s parents offered a place for me to stay during the school year so I could focus on my grades and not have to worry about having a job, a place to rent, or any of that other stuff.”
Angeline gave Christian her biggest, fakest smile as her heart began to break. She placed her hand firmly on his shoulder. “It looks like you have it all figured out then. Congrats on making it in Hun. I am so proud of you.”
Angeline snapped back to the present conversation. “Hello Willow. I am doing quite well.” Her fidgeting hands betraying her words. “Yes, Christian has begun to change into a man right before my eyes. He appears to have everything set up to help him get where he wants to go; at least for the coming year. He has already been accepted into a college and has a place to stay. His maturity and “go get them” attitude really shows me his dad and I did a pretty decent job raising him. I cannot wait to see what he does after college. Maybe he will get to that missionary work he mentioned.”

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Raising Winnipeg

So I am not raising the whole city of Winnipeg. Just four members of it. I like this city in that it is small, yet big, but not crazy big like Edmonton or Toronto. If ever you are passing through you should really stay a while and check it out. I think this city is pretty good for raising your kids in. Minus the insane crime stats these last five to ten years. We have now been called the Detroit of the North. Great. Yet, some things are universal. Kids become a mystery once you have them. When you are a kid, teen, young adult. Basically any time before you yourself actually have children, you know everything there is to know about raising children. Then you have children and your years of "experience" and pre-plotted child manual are utterly useless.

Here we are, the year 2012 and my jaded life experience and know-it-all pretense has become just that. A pretense. What in the world happened to having all the answers? What happened to me not doing everything my parents did? Not that my parents were horrible parents. Sure I gave dirty looks, and didn't like to do my chores and would rather hang out with my friends. Sure I slept in my clothes so I wouldn't have to waste time getting dressed in the am and skipped a lot of school. (Who needed an education. I didn't.) Sure I thought my parents had it easy and thought that they should understand how I was feeling because they were kids too. They were just on a control trip. Um, yeah. I was going to be my child's best friend and understand everything they were going through. I would be able to make everything perfect and every one would live happily ever after, never having to go through what my parents did. Ha ha ha ha. Yes, I am laughing at past self and my obvious ignorance. Because now, I am doing everything I said I would never do.

I yell. I worry. I don't want my kids playing in the front yard by themselves. I try to fix everything with my kids. I am over protective. I have issues with letting go to let them grow on their own. I tell my kids that they have freedom, yet want to know their every move. I want to keep them from pain and heartache and beat up anyone who inflicts it upon them. When did I go from throwing them to the dogs attitude to wanting them kept in a bubble? This is never proved so obvious a reaction and the most difficult time to deal with than when my oldest became a teenager. I know what it's like to want to branch out and be my own person. To make my own decisions, feeling like I know what's right for me, not seeing the dangers for what they really are. Hindsight is always 20/20 isn't it. Yet, when it comes to my teen this drives me nuts. I have discovered that I need to pull back on my need to fix things. To focus on how he is at home and train him up right here, hoping he'll bring it into the world. To be okay with him not telling me everything anymore. (I want him to have some things to himself, just not ready to follow through with the reality of it). So where is this understanding perfect mom I wanted to be? Where is this confident woman who knew how she would talk to her teen so that he'd show immediate respect and help out when needed, no fights, no questions asked? This mom got tossed out the window by a giant blast of teen hormones meets the woman who needs to keep balance and order in the home. Guess it's time to figure out how to survive this time with the least amount of damage to either one of us as possible. We both need to learn. I have got three more children who have yet to hit the teen years. I need to learn how to survive this a.s.a.p.

I need to listen more and maybe take down notes of his mind changes. I am pretty sure now it changes moment to moment. He now is saying he no longer gets teased and that he has friends. I think the teasing thing mentioned is now a poor me tactic when he gets into trouble. (I saw him walking with a group of people yesterday at lunch time). He also says he wants to stay in the school he is in and wants to learn the trumpet to play in jazz band. Well, if he has a plan, even if it's just one day at a time, I guess it's better than nothing. Part of the controlling me still wishes he had his future mapped out like my nephew. Then again, maybe he does, I just haven't earned his trust to tell me what it is.

If any of my readers have a teen, 13-19 living at home, let me know how you are surviving. I could use all the help I can get.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Spring In My Step

I am loving that this warmer weather is here. It really puts a spring in my step, as well as improves my mood significantly. I do suffer from depression and it gets really bad near the end of Febraury. So the really early spring weather has been a very welcome surprise.

Since warmer weather is here, we are trying to walk the mile to and from the kids school twice a day. Going to school one runs, one bikes and the other one is in the stroller. The laugh, they babble and the baby giggles and points. On the way home I bring the other bike and the two older ones bike home while the baby and I try to keep up.

On this particular day E was pretty upset that his younger sister (younger and a girl), was kicking his tush in the speedy bike riding department. He cried most of the way home. However, before the meltdown, I caught a nice peaceful ride that lasted the first ten minutes of our journey home at the end of the school day.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I Love You. Why Is It Such A Struggle?

Raising a child is tough. Raising four is tougher. Raising one child in the teen years has got to be the toughest of all. So far.

When I was a teen I knew all of the things I wouldn't do as a parent. No way would I be like my parents. I wouldn't yell. I wouldn't say my child wasn't trying hard enough. I would help my child through every school assignment. I would provide an environment where the side effect of living there would provide growth and ultimate intelligence unsurpassed by anyone else. My children would be happy, popular, well rounded, have a future vision of themselves and reach for that vision no matter the cost. Becoming everything they ever wanted to be.

Let's get back to reality. I yell. A lot. My impatience and irritability has always been a weak point for me. When it's work or dealing with someone else's child I am patient and kind and I don't yell. With my own I'm a maniac jonesing for my next fix of silence. I am not a teacher and have no patience for people who argue with everything I say. If I say it is white, it is my house, it is white. Keep in mind that I have lived 30+ years and I have seen more right and been corrected and changed my views to get to this stage of knowing everything. I know also that I don't know everything, but I do know that a 14 year old doesn't know everything. My 14 year old is exactly where I was when I was his age. A know-it-all, with no idea what is going on in the present life. No goals for the future. Because heck, the future isn't right now. Add on bullying that has been a constant for the last four years, no friends and from a broken home and he's more difficult to deal with than ever. After last nights blowout, this is what I do know.

My 14 year old doesn't know what is real and what is not. (I am not sure what he means by that. He just repeats that he doesn't even know). He is continually teased. At school and at home. He says he can ignore most of it at school, but some still really hurts him. He just wants to fit in. Or at least the bullying to stop. At home while our teasing isn't the same as at school. We are not trying to hurt him. He feels it's the same thing. He feels there is no escape from it anywhere. I have decided we need to stop teasing him. I see his point about it being just too much. I expect a certain level of clean that he cannot seem to keep up with. I know he can, he just sees it as he can't. Unsure why. He is struggling with school work and doing the one thing he does enjoy doing Cadets. So he has stated he wants to turn in his mess kit. This scares me as he says he has no interest in doing anything else. As someone who knows the signs of depression that does lead to suicidal behaviour, this is a huge red flag for me. He also wants his dad and I to be friends, but doesn't understand that I refuse to talk about anything else besides my son with his dad. I cannot make him understand. I cannot tell him the full reason. So I went with, when people break up, it is very rare they stay friends, especially if they had children. My job is to not use him as a pawn and just raise him to be the best kid he can be. I let him know that if I didn't have him, I wouldn't even talk to his dad at all. We would be strangers. He knows a kid whose parents were divorced and still hang out. He doesn't believe me that this is a rarity and not the norm. He struggles with remembering the simplest tasks and doesn't see why I get upset at having to repeat myself. He is angry with me and says nasty things because he feels the safest with me. He refuses to go to counselling because counsellors are "nosey" and "want to know to much". He feels like he's a piece of electronics for them to figure out, not a person. His description not mine. See he's smart. Pretty great analogy if I say so myself.

After yesterday I have decided to look into homeschooling. I have no idea what I am doing here. I know I have to wait until this school year is done. Also I worry about things I have no clue how to teach. Like calculus. My husband does, but I am not sure he'd be up to helping teach that. I love my son, he makes living with him so hard lately. I'm glad we talked. I feel let in even if it was just a little. I just still don't know how to fix it. As a true mom. I just want to fix it and make it better. Since I cannot, I struggle. I feel like a failure. I see everything that I wanted to do when I had kids slip down the drain, and I'm flowing with it. Why is raising a teen so hard? Why do I forget a lot of how I was feeling? Or at least feel that because I know life will change and it's better when your done school, that I want to shake him and tell him to grow up and see what I see and get on with it? Ugh.

Maybe I'm asking what I am doing right. Maybe I'm asking what I am doing wrong. I know I want to know if this is normal and my kid isn't going to be some statistic of death because I can't get my act together. I don't know how to help him. What I do know, he shoots down.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Things That Go Bump In The Night. (So Glad It's Not At My House)

Firstly, if you are easily frightened by what you don't understand than this is not the post for you. Secondly, I do believe in God. He is my Lord and Saviour. My rock. My salvation. But I am not oblivious to the very real aspects of the spirits that are out there. I may sound off my rocker to many of you, but I have seen and experienced my fair share of things that "go bump in the night". A lot of times, it did not happen at night. Which is probably a good thing, the dark sucks. I don't need bippity boppity boo things shooting off as well. I do like to bring different things to my blog as well. Some of my friends like a good "ghost story". So here is one for you.

In 2007, my mother, father and their friends went off on the Ghost Tours offered here in the Summer to late Fall months. They visited quite a few places, where my mum captured a ton of ghostly things. Here are just a few examples. The only thing I've done to them is circle in red where the "ghosts" are seen.

This one was awesome to see on film once developed.

This next one is two pictures of the same building taken seconds apart. What do you see?

This last one is from the Dalnavert Museum & Visitors' Centre. I went with my parents back to the home on this one. We went on the tour. The historical aspect was amazing. I definitely wasn't expecting the "visitor" just behind me.

Hope you saw something to make your heart race and give you something to wonder about and maybe take a crack at seeing if you can take your own "ghost pictures" this summer. If not, at least you'll learn some awesome history on your adventures.

****I am having a hard time getting the middle pictures big enough so you all can see what is in the windows. If anyone can give me a clue on what to do that would be appreciated. I'll fix the post as soon as I can figure it out.*****

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. It Hurts So Good.

Nope not the post I was talking about yesterday. I will get there. I am just too tired to do some picture editing required. Wait. Before you all start calling me lazy. Get it right. I am a procrastinator by nature. What I can put off today, you can guarantee I will put off tomorrow as well. Bad habit, I know. But it's a piece of me, so it's sort of all good.

So earlier in the year somewhere. Possibly my New Years post. Who the heck knows. I don't even remember. What I do remember is that I wanted to lose 50 lbs by the time the year comes to a close. Giving me a ton of time to screw up and pull myself together, as well as tackle whatever craziness life decides to throw at me. Because that is what life does. It gives you great gifts and then smacks you in the face when you get a bit too happy and start to take it for granted. Then if you are really having a great time it slams you to the mat and pummels the shit out of you. And just when you think Life has had enough of bruising you physically and emotionally it kicks you in the gut with it's giant combat boots when you are already lying in a giant puddle full of mud and blood. Then she builds you right back up again. Like wtf is up with that Life? So yeah, I gave myself oceans of room for those moments of failure.

I've already made it through failure #1. I was doing Body For Life, but did not do the workout part of it. Oh there were many excuses. Near the end I even went back to a lot of my old eating habits, but picked up a few new ones and kept those. I wanted to lost 20 lbs in 12 weeks. Wah Wah Wah. No deal baby. I did lose though. I lost a total of 9 lbs in 12 weeks. So I am on my way even though it is not as fast as I'd like at this point.

What am I doing now? Well, now that I have Project Chicago I really want to lose at least 10 lbs by June 22. So what I am sticking with so far from my 12 week trip is keeping pictures of myself 12 years ago at 155 lbs. While that isn't my goal weight, I still looked good in those pictures and it's only 15 lbs off from where I'd like to be. The pictures are sitting on my dresser, so I look at them every time I go to get dressed. Also, what I have learned from my co-workers I am eating from smaller plates. I find this is helping me keep my portions fist sized. They don't like to fit on those smaller plates otherwise. As well I am trying to avoid going for seconds. I am trying to get in two glasses of water first thing in the morning as well. (Another hint from the book) Last week I also attended a nutrition class for work. I knew a lot, but learned a valuable lesson about what those percentages mean on the food package labels. You can read more about it on here.
This link is to the Health Canada website and goes into more details about how to use the % DV shown below:

This knowledge has given me a new look into how I read my labels. Sure when I read them I know to add the Carb and Sugar numbers together and see how much sugar is really going into my body. I never did understand the point of the percentages to the right of these numbers. It really gives great insight into prepackaged foods. I know my kids eat more of them and I am shocked how much junk I'm putting into their bodies. I am not sure I can go clean eating yet, but this is helping my food choices.

I am also putting in some workout time these days. The price of gas shooting up is helping me eliminate the lazy drive to drop my son off at Kindergarten. (It's only a mile there and back. So 2 miles a day in total). This allows my kids to burn off energy as well as do things like ride their bikes. It's hard to fit in time after a long day of screaming kids and work related shennanigans when you want to curl up and sleep for the next ten years. So this is getting it in and the kids enjoy it. Also for a bonus. Today we met a really nice park mummy! Not those cliquey types. A and the lady's little one are about one year apart, but they played well. Afterwards, sleep not wanted, A still fell asleep for an hour nap. So both kidlets napped and I got some quiet! As well this A.M. I got a workout in. Day 1 of Week 1 of Jillian Michaels ripped in 30. I am hoping to stick it out and in 30 days be a little bit slimmer. I'd like 5 lbs off. We will see. If it works, then 10 lbs by Project Chicago will be a piece of cake. (yes, I'll save the cake eating for Chicago).

Well that is about all for now. I'm still on task for losing 50 lbs by the end of 2012, and now striving for 10 lbs down just in time for #cheesychicago. If I'm really lucky, I'll slim down so much I'll HAVE to buy a whole new wardrobe for the trip.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I Had A Great Post Idea. Then My Daughter Threw A Bedtime Fit And The Baby Is Still Up From An Inpromptu Power Nap

I guess my heading says it all. Is that even allowed? Well it is today seeing as the baby is now trying to wake everyone up in the household. Guess the means I need to go to bed.

Seeing as I couldn't do the post I wanted to do thanks to my wonderful three year old who hates to sleep and is certain there are spiders in her room, crawling all over her body. I decided to give my blog a makeover instead. I hope you enjoy the brighter page. I am finding while I still love pink, my fave colour this spring is orange, followed by yellow in a close second.

See you with my wanted post soon.
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