My life in pictures, stories and open letters.

My life in pictures, stories and open letters.

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Regardless of the option you choose, I hope you have a fabulous day!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

After a little reflection...

I realized how lucky I am.

Coworkers are expecting babies in the next few months. This is, of course, a new and exciting time for them - one is even expecting TWINS! They have much joy, and much fatigue, in their futures. They have the excitement of all the firsts - steps, smiles, teeth, words. Oh, I remember it well.

My life, these days, however, is different. So much different. And it took giggling over baby bellies for me to realize that many of those differences are actually quite awesome. Yes, I will enjoy watching their bellies grow and will snuggle those little ones endlessly given the opportunity (the babies, not the bellies). I would pat little diaper bums and rub circles on their wee backs. I would look at their beautiful little faces and make gooey noises at them.

But no. You could not pay me a million dollars to go back there myself. I've done my years (almost 18 of them so far at my oh-so-young age of 38) and cherish them. But I'm happy to move on.

Yes, I have teenage girls. And a younger girl who thinks she is a teenager. Yes, they swear at me and roll their eyes and stay up too late and write "I thot you loved me" in the dust on my car. Yes, they can choose their own friends, and it doesn't matter whether or not I like them, seeing as how they schedule their own playdates now. (And trust me, if any of those playdates result in me rocking a babe-in-arms again, heads are gonna roll!)

Yes, there are demands for money and more scheduling and plenty of "that's gay!" comments. There are scantily clad self portraits on facebook and lots of creepers that they trust because that's what big-hearted girls do. There is girl drama and cat fights constantly. And yes, money is extremely tight.

There is more clean up than every before. They are far messier than any toddler, with the exception that they don't fingerpaint on the walls with their own poop. But they are still plenty gross nonetheless. There is still much potty talk and a whole lotta bodily functions.

And keeping the oldest one dressed is almost harder now than it was when she was two.


The majority of my time now is spent driving kids around. Of trying to remember who has to be where when. Of homework (soon) and school nights and late-night phone calls. Of fighting over computer and TV time. Of trying to convince the offspring that it is okay to help with dishes, do their laundry and clean their own room. Of watching them play sports with no car seats or strollers.

And while I no longer stand by a crib carefully watching a little chest move up and down, I do sometimes stand by an empty bed in a pink tinkerbell bedroom wondering when the little body who belongs there will be home. A reminder that my life isn't perfect. (Yet.)

The rest of my time, the time I've been most concerned about over the past years - me time - has come to me in abundance. For the most part. With the exception of the stuff I've already mentioned, my life is my own now.

As I sit here, finally blogging, I have one kid out (somewhere), another watching TV and the third out playing on the block with her friends. I have come down to the computer in peace. There is no screaming. No tantrums. No demands on my time.

And I can sit and read a book on the deck with no interruptions.

As promised, things do get better - and easier - as I become less important in my childrens' lives. Their independence is my independence.

How sweet is that?

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Life without kids?

There are writing prompts that speak to you sometimes, and this was it for me.

3.) Describe what you think your life would be like if you had never had kids.
(inspired by Amy from Somebody's Parent)

A life with no kids?

Let's pretend for a moment that there are some good parents out there who will choose this option - and that I am one of them. Yes, we know better, but work with me here, okay?

I wasn't the youngest mom out there, but I was the youngest of my circle. So, let's take a look at my life for a moment without those cranky, hormonal beings that insist on living here and calling me "mom" (on a good day).

I would get up in the morning with no one to haul out of bed but myself. The shower would be mine, when I want it. My conditioner would be full, AND it would be a salon brand. There would be towels clean and folded, as opposed to wet and crumpled on my floor. I would save an extra five minutes because I wouldn't have to look around for my hairspray. It would just be right where I left it.

I would most certainly not be living here. I would be in some executive apartment style condo with a gym and a pool and I would be mortgage free.

I would leave for work when I was ready. There would be no angry children on my heels waking the neighbourhood. My work phone would be answered to those calling for a real reason, not just wondering what was for supper.

I would have extra money that wouldn't need to be spent on field trips, child care and truck loads of candy for bribes. Money would be plentiful. I would drive a cutesy little convertible two-seater, and my wee little no-baby-body (that I keep this way because I am a most awesome fitness trainer) would be dressed to kill. My fake blond hair would be blowing in the wind. I would be quite amazing.

I would be free to see my friends, who wouldn't be so free to see me due to their own children getting in the way of their lives. And I would be completely judgemental about the way they are raising said children and absolutely and totally upset that they can't just go out at the drop of a hat like I can.

I would take amazing holidays to far away places. I would have so many more options with only one or two people to pay for, instead of five. Greece, Italy, Paris, Hawaii and Fiji. Oh. My. Stars. And did I mention my bikini body?

Last, but certainly not least, I would have no one to do 17 loads of laundry for every week. No one to come home to cook and clean for. No one to tell me that I'm effing stupid, or that they hate me. No one to embarrass by playing my Glee Rocky Horror Picture Show music full bast with all the windows down. No one to shout "I love you" to outside of their school in front of their friends. I would have no tiny little soccer players of my own to watch and cheer for. No cheerleaders or singers to make my heart full.

There would not be a precious little seven year old snoring and sneaking her thumb under the blanket in bed here beside me.

And that would really suck. My time will come. And I will try to be patient and wait it out.

They're worth it, after all. I think.

A Repost from exactly two years ago, in honour of our upcoming first camping trip of the season.

And all he's left with is a blubbery, blubbering wife.

So, we went camping in our new-to-us trailer for the first time this weekend.

Oh. My. Stars.

I'm one of those wives who tends to think about things before diving in. Thus, my endless questions about how much weight our truck can pull. More questions about "What if we push on the slideout without the bars being put on (because it would be just like us to forget....)?" Does he know how to pump out the crap? Load the fresh water? Are the stabilizer bars on okay? What are those boards for? Are you sure we don't need one of those triangle things on both sides? How is the truck doing? Maybe if you take it out of cruise control on the hills it won't be so hard on the motor. Are you sure the dog isn't going to jump out? Aren't we too close to the neighbours fire pit? Isn't our own fire pit going to burn our awning? You should be using your emergency break.

Yup. That's me.

Aren't I amazing? Leon is so lucky to have me. Just consider everything he would have screwed up if I wasn't there. In fact, he is so confident that I helped iron out all the bugs this first time out that he figures he's okay going without me from now on.

I'm just kidding. He's stuck with me most times.

Although, I do have to say that for someone who is so on the go all the time - and I do seriously mean all the time - camping is incredibly boring. I mean, really, what the heck do you do out there? And let us remember that I'm a boredom eater. A Costco size bag of M&M's, ice cream, raw weiners, coolers. I'm going to be a house if I go camping very often!!

You get up in the morning and brush your teeth outside in front of your neighbours so you don't waste water or grey water tank space. Then you have breakfast outside in front of all of your neighbours. Then you sit outside and scratch your butt in front of all your neighbours. It's a little weird when you think about how much of yourself you are sharing with these neighbours.

And then the neighbours get to delight in watching this first time trailer family.

They can laugh at you while you back into your stall, get everything set up, and then realize you forgot to stop at the water tap and fill up, so you hook the trailer back up and head out to get water. Then you think the water is full, so you go back to your stall and set up and realize the hose is a little funky so you actually didn't get any water at all, so you make trips to the water tap with a jug and fill it manually anyway.

They can watch while I pull out the lawn chair/bed thing. I laid it out so carefully and got the back and legs just where I want them. With my book in one hand and drink in the other, I go to sit down and suddenly I'm laying on the ground with my legs in the air. I guess the one set of legs didn't lock into place. And if they didn't see it actually happen, the laughter from my family most definitely made them look after the fact. (I was a little stunned and laid there for a few minutes, laughing foolishly at myself.)

They watch, and smell, while the girls scam poor Olivia into scooping up dog poop. Really big dog poop.

They listen while my dysfunctional children (hey, it's them, not me!) have atter in their high-pitch, blood-curdling ways.

They get to enjoy the singing around the campfire (decked out in winter jackets for crying loud!) as my girls put on a concert. Lordy, do they sound beautiful together!

Then finally, they help while Leon "breaks" the trailer. Our jack broke and he had to try a make shift jack to get the ball/hitch thing hooked up on the truck. CRASH! Down goes our trailer. Thankfully we had a farm girl next door who just the week before had to learn this process when their tire fell off their combine.

It was not pretty. At all. I had to walk away to have a meltdown. At that moment I decided this camping thing was just too stressful. And really really really frigging cold. Did I mention that?

Then we got home. And there was almost nothing to unpack, save two loads of laundry and the perishables from the fridge/freezer.

How totally handy is THAT??

I think I'll go out again after all.

Originally posted June 8 2009

Saturday, June 04, 2011

The Executive Chef

Olivia's big commercial debut! Well done baby girl!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Is It Wrong?

Is it wrong that my daughter loves to get zipped into a collapsible Dora laundry hamper?

Is it wrong that she rolls around behind me
while I tidy around the house?

Is it wrong that she wiggles and giggles in this thing?

For hours?

Yeah, I don't think so either.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cassie's Big Day

Cassie's 14.

Oh. My. God.

Isn't she beautiful?

And she has her learner's license.

Lord help us all.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Another Year --- Another Cheer

Just some pics of the Victoria Co-Ed awesomeness. This is the 25th year Vic has won the Cities competition. And Oh. My. God. Is it fabulous!

See the post below for the video!

RIBT 2011 Redmen Invitational Victoria Co-Ed

Saturday, January 01, 2011

My 11 New Year's Resolutions for 2011

  1. I would like to accidentally write 2010 on patient visit sheets only 37 times, which is half my usual, before figuring out that it is actually 2011.
  2. I will get a signed agreement from Olivia that for the remainder of the winter she will only lose left-hand mittens so we can at least make mismatched pairs.
  3. I would like to unclog my bathroom sink.
  4. I would like to be a nicer, kinder person. Except to those who don't deserve it.
  5. I would like to lose 40 pounds, but failing that, would at least like to weigh less than my dog.
  6. I will try really hard not to make nasty assumptions of the person in front of me driving the Toyota 30 kms below the speed limit.
  7. I will try not to swear as much.
  8. Scratch number 7. I'm just setting myself up to fail.
  9. Stop calling Baba a nasty old hagbitch. (It's okay. I'm not that mean. She's not MY Baba.)
  10. De-clutter. I mean, really. A husband, three kids and a dog?? One's going to have to go.
  11. Take on 2011 with an open mind and lots of laughter. It doesn't ALL have to piss me off. Or at least people don't have to actually SEE how much they annoy me.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Christmas Letter

Because I can't find the damned cards that I know I bought last year, I've thrown together a letter to go out in it's place. I've even done up a word search with some words from our past year, but sadly can't get that to load on my blog, but for some fun ,try this link to the word search. Keep in mind, of course, that this letter is printed on beautiful Christmas paper that I chose with great care... from the cheap rack.
That said, for those who think they might receive a letter from me this year, you may or may not want to read this now. Truthfully I'm scaling back on my Christmas greetings for local peeps this year.
December 14, 2010

I hope this letter finds you all healthy and happy! Personally, I’m digging a little deeper this year to find some joy. It’s been a rough one for us, but this letter is going to positively reflect our year, even if I have to B.S you a little bit!

Leon is still enjoying his career as a fire fighter and landed the July page in the 2010 Edmonton Fire Fighter Calendar! I highly recommend you check out his video on you tube – with the volume up for extra chuckles from my mom’s hooting! Leon has also taken up hunting, much to the disappointment of the doe currently residing in my freezer.

Sadly, Leon lost an aunt and uncle this past fall, which was closely followed by his Dad having a heart attack while in Winnipeg for one of the funerals. He is home now and doing well! His parents celebrated their 80th birthdays with a big move out of the long-time family home and into a beautiful senior’s condominium.

Asia is 16 and in grade 11 this year. She is still cheerleading, although she feels it may be her last year at it. She has been fortunate with the travel opportunities in the last few years with trips to California, Florida, Seattle x2 and will be off to Hawaii in April.

On the down side, she has been diagnosed with ADHD and ODD (oppositional defiance disorder) which is causing struggles and tension both at school and at home. She lived with a friend for a few months through the spring and summer, but is home again (home again, jiggity jig). We are hopeful that she will be back on track very soon!

Cassie is in grade 8 and will be 14 in January. She is studying hard for her learner’s license and has been warned that she will be learning to drive in her Dad’s truck, with her Dad’s guidance. This mama is just not cut out for that kind of pressure, nor is my car. She is doing well in school and is very proud of her grades. She is striving for honours next term, and for a chuckle in that regard, check out my blog at She is playing indoor soccer again and loves it. She is a very happy girl with only occasional hormonal meltdowns and I am incredibly thankful for that.

Liv will be 7 on Boxing Day and is in grade 2. Her reading skills are exceptional, especially considering she was only agreeable to learning her letters last year, far behind everyone else in her class. She has some ADHD testing in her near future, because I don’t know the difference between ADHD and being busy and a bit of a brat. She is also playing soccer and has gotten quite good at it. Having her birthday so late in the year means that she plays with kids who are older and bigger and she has learned quickly that she’s going to need to be quick and a little bit aggressive, much to her mama’s delight. She tried out recreational cheerleading this fall, but we quickly discovered that it is just not the sport for her. Overall, she is spoiled rotten and treats us all to many crazy tantrums. I often tell her that she is lucky she’s so cute, even with no front teeth.

Let’s not forget Ringo. He is still a great big goofball. He is incredibly neglected, but somehow continues to love us anyway!

And me? I’m working full time and have been since August 2009. I work at one of our hospitals with a wonderful group of pharmacists. I have scaled back with my photography as it just got to be too much on top of a full time job and running around with the kids. I am still playing soccer and totally love it! Work and soccer keep me sane.

I am stubbornly trying to convince my body that it can achieve a size six again on nothing other than chocolate, cookies and potato chips, but so far it isn’t working. Fear not, I am persistent and refuse to give up my research. Go ahead and laugh, but you just wait. My discovery will make me rich one day, and then won’t you feel silly.

So that is where 2010 has brought us – and I only had to lie a little bit…

Merry Christmas to you all and all the best in 2011!

Love, Rhonda, Leon, Asia, Cassie, Liv and Ringo