Baby Slow Down

Do you ever feel time slipping through your fingers? Kids are very good at making time more tangent. Those moments when you become aware of the changes in them and see the growth. It becomes harder and harder to remember how small they were when you gave birth to them. To bring back the memories of what it felt like to hold them in your arms. All of them. And for them to have completely relied on you for everything. Seeing them be people and act, think and feel for themselves is an honour but also a heartache. After all we have so little time being their world and them letting us keep them close. Soon they will be too big. It makes me sad for purely selfish reasons. I know that the ultimate goal is to make them strong and smart enough to survive our crazy world on their own. But they are my loves. They are my life. And knowing that as they grow up they grow away is a sad realization.

My one twin came to me this morning and told me his tooth could wiggle against his tongue. I almost cried. He’s only five. My daughter, who is seven is well on her way to a half empty mouth at the moment, having just lost a bottom tooth and the front two being almost ready to pop. This is just another one if those milestones that makes you realize that they don’t stay little forever. And I feel like I’m flying through then faster than I’d like.

My friend and I held a baby shower for our pregnant friend yesterday. Putting it together, making her a blanket and shopping for baby stuff brought back a lot memories. Although I have to admit the first six months of the twins’ life is a blur. Still it seems so long ago now that I held and cared for a baby. I find myself hoping to be asked to babysit for my friend just to get the chance again.

Time is so fleeting. You blink and it’s gone. I know that there is still lost to look forward too. I’m being a bit melodramatic here. They are after all only seven and five. But having had so many babies at once made enjoying the time difficult. I’m sure others with twins or closely born kids can relate. I’d give anything to have even a few seconds back to enjoy what I was too tired to back then. The next best thing for me is soaking up all the moments now. Like my giant snuggle fest this morning before getting ready for school. I think I’m also going to invest in shares of Kleenex for the next thousand milestones!

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A Life With A View

Our opinion of people, of jobs and of places is based on a few factors, like how we are raised. I think age and life experience also play a huge factor is the way we see things.

Like many teenagers I thought I knew it all and that the world would be laid out at my feet, especially if I went to university and got a degree. Of course I was about as good at knowing what career best suited me then as I am now, so my choice in subject matter in school soon became a scrambled mess if indecision. But what it didn’t become was a career. I had preconceived ideas about how important or desirable jobs were and a snobbish view on which were good enough for me. It’s funny how coming full circle in life can make you see how wrong you were. I find myself back at minimum wage jobs just trying to have a job to go to. I also find myself kicking myself for not grabbing hold of opportunities when I was young that I thought weren’t good enough.

You just never know where life is going take you. And most importantly you never know where life has taken other people. I feel humbled by the last few years of my life. Having had several traumatic events and having to return to work scrounging for anything I can get, has made me realize that you really can’t judge a book by it’s cover. I have made it my goal not to be so judgemental of people because you just never know what fires they’ve had to walk through to be standing in front of you now. Most people would be shocked by my journey. You also can’t assume that just because a person’s livelihood dictates their personality and humanity. It isn’t at all easy not to judge. We are hard wired to do so. I think it’s a form of protection and a way for our brains to quickly make sense of our world. But I do think it’s important to try really hard to fight through that instinct and view life with a 360 degree eye. You just never know what you might see and what path might open up for you if you do.

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Just Feel It

Do you ever stop to just feel?  And I don’t necessarily mean emotions, but instead being in the moment enough to feel the world around you.   Do you ever let yourself feel the wind against your face,  the water cascading down over your head in the shower, or the touch of your child’s hand against your arm?  I don’t always take the time to do this but when I do I realize what an incredible experience it is.

 

Our lives are so crammed full of activities, responsibilities and media that we often forget to recognize the little, simple things in life.  I know how hard it is to make time do anything, but this is something that really takes no time at all and can change the way you see the world and your day.  It is really just a matter of focusing on where you are at any given moment and allowing yourself to drop the filters we put up to actually experience the little stimuli in our lives.   Now there may be times when you don’t want to do this, like when you cut yourself chopping veggies for instance,  but most of are external stimuli is of a relatively positive nature and can make you feel alive.  Sometimes the simplest of things can give us the most pleasure.

 

So the next time you step out your door to go to work in the morning or you’re hugging a loved one.  Close your eyes for half a second and truly FEEL the wind, the sun, the rain, or the warmth, the strength, and the fragility of what you are experiencing in that moment.  Trust me, it’ll make your day!

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Some days

Some days are harder than others. There are times when I just don’t feel like trying, when I just want to go to bed and sleep for a very long time. When I don’t want to go to work. Or make dinner or clean the house or listen to all the crying, yelling, whining and asking my kids do in a day. But the thing is, not doing these things is lot and option. No matter how I feel, I have to go to work, clean the house, make dinner and cater to my kids’ needs because that’s what parents do. So here’s to all the parents out there that do it even though some days are harder than others!

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Wake Up, Get Up, Hurry Up!

I am categorically NOT a morning person. No matter how much of my life I have spent getting up at horribly early hours to go to work, I just can’t get used to it. My kids are morning people. Well at least two of them. They missed the memo on sleeping in. But that doesn’t mean that they are easy to get ready for school in the morning. No it just means that there is more time to convince them that they need to hurry up.

I really don’t like the whole getting the kids ready for school thing. It’s a lot of work. Not only do you have to do the regular feed them, dress them and brush their teeth thing, but there’s that added element of making preparations for the rest of their day. School lunches are a nightmare in our house because not only do not all of my kids like the same thing, but they are all so picking there aren’t many choices of what to give them. It feels like I’m rolling the dice with every lunch. Will it get eaten or will it come home? Then there is the making sure you have their agenda, their homework, their hats and mitts. So now you have all that packed up, x3, and it’s time to peel them away from whatever they may be doing to get bundled up for the bus. And one never knows of the bus will be early, on time or late. Nothing against the driver, I used to be one I know how it is! By the time you get them out the door and on the bus you feel like you’ve just run a marathon and want to go back to bed. But you can’t because now you have to get you to where you need to be.

Yeah, I don’t like mornings!

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Do Dreams Come True?

Disney has made a fortune telling us that “when you wish upon a star, your dreams come true”.  And they aren’t the first or only ones that do that.  Think back; what did you dream of or wish for when you were little?  What do your kids wish for now?  What do you wish for now?  Do you encourage your children in dreaming, or do you try to orient them to the harsh realities of life?

 

Let’s face it, not many people get to do what they love for a career.  And even if you do achieve success in your career, do you achieve it elsewhere in life too (love, friendships, health).  Or is it just a fact that you can’t “have it all?”  You certainly can’t be a hundred percent satisfied ALL the time.  But what about those dreams?  The ones that stick with you, that nag at you.  Is it ever too late for those?

 

Something hit me like a ton of bricks recently.  A self-realization.  I’ll be 34 next month and after many years of total indecisiveness and doubt I realized exactly what I should have done as a career.  A journalist.  It may seem a little obvious, or dumbfounding that I didn’t figure this out sooner, but that’s just one of my many quirks. So now I have 3 kids, a husband, and a job and I wouldn’t trade my family for anything, so how do I make my dreams come true?  It would also appear that I have picked an area that is undergoing massive change and decline.  Good choice huh?  It’s not to say that I am complaining here.  Like I said I have been lucky to find my love and have 3 beautiful children with him.   It’s just that I almost feel like my career clock is ticking and that I have been missing, partly through choice and partly through happenstance, the opportunities to make a clear path for myself.  After all the kids are getting older by the day, and soon they wont need me as much, so what will I do then?  The last thing I want to do when I am old a grey, is look back with regret for not trying to achieve something.

 

So what do you think?  Is there a point in time when you should give up on your dreams and focus on making your reality better?  Is there a way to have your responsibilities taken care of and achieve your goals?  Would you be just as satisfied if you could achieve a small piece of your dream instead of the big shebang?  My indecisiveness tell me that I’m not sure of any of this yet.  But I intend to be prepared with an umbrella for the next blow of self-realization!

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Always The Quiet One

I have always known that my one twin was a little more stealthy than the other two kids.  He is quiet and super cute, but if he wants something  he knows how to pull off the ninja act to get it.  He was the one to realize that he could use a chair to get up on the cupboard for cookies, for instance.  Today we reached a new level of sneaky.  Today he figured out that if he acted sick he would get to stay home from school.  Luckily, Mommy has been around the block a few times and saw right through his cute little facade.

One would think that he would love school as he is VERY smart.  Too smart really.  And he loves to learn.  For fun he writes out the alphabet and corresponding pictures for the letters.  He loves Leap Frog, the shows, the games, he is a little learner.   School though is not something he likes.  In fact he hates it.  Where he is advanced mentally he is behind socially.  He isn’t big on group activities or loud situations.  So school for him is an uncomfortable environment.  Still I didn’t think he would go quit this far.  

To be fair though, I think most of us tried this as kids.  Lets face it a lot of people try this as adults – sick days at work, used for “I don’t feel like going to work today” days.  Man I wish I had sick days.  So I’m not overly concerned that he would try the fake cough to stay home thing.  But I|do think it important that he saw that it didn’t work.  That when mommy and daddy saw him running  around the house building train tracks, he was immediately dressed and readied for school.  Score one for mom and dad!

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A Chance For Opportunity

It’ s funny the turns and twists that life takes.  How different circumstances play out in either a positive or negative way, or even start out as being one way and end up another.  One just never knows where their journey will take them, but learning to enjoy, embrace and be educated by the steps along the way is perhaps the most important life lesson one can learn.

 

I think everyone has one of those stories.  You know the ones that involve them going through some sort of hardship or crisis in their life.  The struggle of life is something ALL living things share.  We are all just trying to make the best out of whatever circumstance we find ourselves in.  I think that coming to this realization has taught me humility.  Tragedy does not make you special or unique, it makes you a part of life.  I say humility because it is very easy to judge people by the circumstances we see; by the exterior facade.  What isn’t easy is understanding that what lead to these circumstances, and the struggles of that person is something that we do not necessarily know or can appreciate.  So having compassion or reserving judgement can bring you a certain peace.

 

My own journey has not been one that I could have foreseen, but I can say that it has brought me to happy circumstances now.  We of course still have the ordinary everyday struggles of work, kids and home, but we find ourselves on the brink of a promising future.  I have hope and optimism for what lays ahead.  Something that I have long been without.  The path I now find myself on has so much potential and although I know that there will always be bumps in the road, there is so much that is going right and even set backs can be looked upon with a positive light.  Sometimes I think I am dreaming.   That all this good luck cannot possibly be real, and then some bad luck will strike and I know that it is real.  Even the bad, is fixable though.   And being able to see and believe that is what gives me hope.  More than anything it is seeing that there is a way, an alternative or answer.  For me that is all the difference in the world to feeling hopeful.  Because when you feel stuck or are paralyzed by fear and poor  decisions, it is hard to find hope and see that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.  Viewing life as a possibility for new and exciting things is enough to uplift and spirit.  Keeping the positive the forefront of my thinking is perhaps the most hopeful thing I can do.

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I’m Turning That OFF!

I can remember when Nintendo came out with their first gaming system and we could play Super Mario Brothers at home.   I had to wait for the second generation of systems and the game in my household, which I am quite sure I begged for.  This was arguably the beginning of a new era in how kids play.  Of course we still had to go outside and play for the most part and we did so happily.  Now some 20 odd years later I find myself with the Wii, the PlayStation 3  and a referee whistle.

 

My kids do like going outside to play and have a daily game of tag and hide and go seek in our house, but they also love their video games.  What I find fascinating is how the game itself can change the dynamics of the children playing it.  My daughter loves her newly acquired  princess game and will play it quietly by herself, rarely asking for help.  And when she’s had enough, she turns it off and walks away.  My boys are a different story.

 

Keeping in mind the age difference of almost two years between the boys and their sister, they are much less equipped to manage their emotions and time when it comes to playing something like Super Mario.  The boys, much like the characters themselves, will play the game together.   I don’t know about any of you “gamers” out there, but I find playing multi player on these games much more difficult and frustrating, so I can totally understand how five-year olds would also find it such, but they insist on playing it this way.   Which of course erupts into all sorts of yelling and crying about how someone stole someone’s mushroom or flower power, or someone pushed someone into the lava.  No matter how many times you say it, these arguments only end with the turning off of the game.  But they LOVE to play it despite all the heart ache and self-inflicted stress.  I find myself giving them a time limit and then forcing them to walk away.  And Daddy and I have of course been brought into the picture as the third wheel in playing.  They even try to enlist their sister, who has smartly given up playing the game with them.  Now I don’t mind playing the video games with them as it allows me to see exactly what they see, to intervene when needed and because I like playing the easier kids games,  but playing this game with them has become less fun and more stress, because they take so very seriously.

 

Now here comes the interesting part……

 

After X-Mas I grabbed up the starter kit Skylanders Swap force for PlayStation 3  for the steal of $30.  Yeah I know great deal.  Although if I had known that the characters are $10-$16 a piece and there are like 200 of them, I would have reconsidered the buy.  But that’s a different vent altogether.   All three of my kids adore this game.  And all three of my kids can take turns and play it, for the most part, without much arguing.  So what is the difference???  Why is that when they play one game they get all fired up to the point of tears and yet they can play another in happiness?  I truly am stumped.  About the only thing I can come up with is that they have to play the one game solo.  It seems that when they try to play more than one player, the trouble begins.  But here’s my dilemma;  life is full of moments and instances when you MUST work with someone, like them or their style or not, and just like in a two person video game, you can end up frustrated and upset.  SO does it serve my twins well to learn how to play these games together in a civilized manner (which they clearly need work on at the moment), or am I stretching the usefulness of this activity and putting off being the “mean mommy” who took away their X-Mas present till they can learn to play nice?  And if it is the latter, how do they learn to play nice, if not given the scenarios in which to practice the act?  No parent wants to see their child suffer undo stress, but having them confront and conquer their challenges in a safe way is an important part of making them life ready.

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The Truth About Parenthood

Parenthood is the hardest job you will ever have!  There are no real breaks, no vacation time or sick days.  You will never sleep the same again and patience will take on a whole new meaning for you.  Your pay, or gratuity for parenthood is your children.  It is their smiles, laughter and their love.  If you need  another reason to lay your life down for another human being….parenthood isn’t for you.

I look back now and laugh at myself for reading books and thinking I would somehow have a clue what parenthood would entail.   It’s not in any book.  In fact, nothing can prepare you for parenthood.  It is the hardest and most wonderful role you will ever have.  Some days your children will more frustrated than any bad boss, tailgating jerk or lazy coworker could ever compare too.  You will have to walk away to keep from pulling your hair out and yelling.  You feel like talking to a brick wall would you more satisfaction.  Other days you will gaze in wonder at your children, with more pride, joy and love than you ever thought possible.  And everyday you will lay down your life to keep them safe and happy.

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