Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Our Party Of Five

I'll never forget my first day of Grade Six. It was November, I was eleven years old, this was my third school in less than a year and my mother made me wear a kilt on my first day. The teacher sat me beside Cheri and basically told her to be my friend. Neeru was also in my class that year and she was kind enough to hang out with me, the new kid in town, even though I clearly did not fit in. Everyone else was wearing Vuarnet shirts and I was in a KILT! Nee & I were probably the only 2 girls in the class that didn't have a 'mushroom haircut' like most of the other girls. Thankfully, we didn't have a mushroom haircut like most of the girls, really. (no offense to you, Cheri! It was a GREAT look on you!) I met Laura in grade seven. We were both invited to Denise's roller skating birthday party and neither one of us were looking forward to roller skating. She didn't know how and I said I didn't either. (well, I told her I wasn't good even though I had taken roller skating lessons for years as a kid and was once in the Yellow Rose Of Texas performance that was aired on the local TV station.... I lied to her. I was awesome.) I actually told her I couldn't skate because I wanted to hang out with her and so a friendship began... I met Jill in grade 10 and she has always been a combination of sweet/straighforward. She is the one who will tell it like it is and won't hold back. Love her, love her, love her. Love all of them. Anyways, it's been almost 23 years since that first day of school and I am so proud to say that the five of us have all stayed connected. We all go off and live our lives for awhile at a time, but we always seem to reunite at some point to catch up and make plans which create new memories. Often we'll meet somewhere for a girls night and make a reservation for a 'party of five' at a grown up restaurant often unsuitable for kids which for those of us with kids is nice to get out to a place without highchairs sometimes. Other times, we plan to get together with all the men & children in our lives and have family gatherings. To this day, that makes it a party of sixteen and it's still growing! Love it, love it, love it! Every Thanksgiving when I stop to think of all I am thankful for in my life, I smile from my heart as this group of girls crosses my mind.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I'm A Provider

I am an Early Childhood Educator who cares for approximately 4-5 children per day who I treat as though they are my own. I call myself a "stay-at-home mom" even though we are seldom ever in my home. We go on nature walks, visit indoor playgrounds, go to preschool and Early Years Centers. We go to Provincial parks, water parks, neighbourhood parks & amusement parks. We are a busy bunch and I love what I do.

When I worked outside of my home full time, I always felt like there weren't enough hours in the day. I was on salary which meant I spent more time at work than I got paid for. By the time I got home, I had dinner to get together, laundry to do, groceries to buy and homework to do. (Yes, like many of us I'd spend 45 hours + at work each week and would still have homework to do in the evening) All my life, I had wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. Here I was with a two year old son in daycare and another on the way..... I liked my job but I love my family most and at that point hated how I was living my life. I continued this lifestyle until I went on maternity leave with my second child and decided I needed to make a change.

Two weeks after my youngest was born, I got a call from my boss telling me there was some re-organization happening in my department and that there would be changes made to my position. I didn't agree with the changes being implemented and discovered this was the push I needed to make the decision to be at home with my boys. My husband however, had just recently decided to pursue his dream of learning a trade and had taken on a five year apprenticeship. This was going to mean a drop in wages for him at the start as well as blocks of time where he would be in school and not have a steady income. I thought to myself, how can I be a stay-at-home mom now when I had just made this commitment to support him?? I was going to have to go back to work. I felt nauseous. I felt weak. I felt ripped off.

That is when I made the decision to offer a home child care program. I told myself if I was going to do this, I was putting my whole self into it and would merge my ideal version of a stay-at-home mother with a full-time working one. Until very recently I had children arriving at my home around 6:30 am and some didn't leave until 6:30pm (sometimes later) I only do house work if the mess was a result of one of the children having a mishap and it cannot wait. (spilled apple juice turns black on a white tile floor within minutes of a navy sock stepping into it. This I know for sure.) I seldom do laundry during the day (unless the apple juice was actually dumped onto one of the kids or if someone has peed themselves) and dinner gets started when the children have left the building. I pretty much have the same evening routine as I did before I stayed home.

As a stay-at-home mother, I still do not have enough hours in the day. I still find myself doing laundry as I'm trying to get dinner together. I have homework only now it is helping my grade 1 son with his word study or math. How do things differ from when I worked outside of the home? Well, I probably have less time to myself actually than ever before. I don't get a lunch break, I never get to drink my coffee warm unless I've heated it umteen times and at the end of the day, it doesn't amount to the salary I once made. On the flip side though? It's rewarding! At "work" I seldom got a thanks for anything I did, in fact my boss often took credit for my accomplishments. At home, the children I care for, care for me as well. They express their gratitude by saying "thank you" with their words and their smiles show me their appreciation for what I do for them. Who would have thought I could have it both ways?

I have the best job in the world and my title is "mom/full time child care provider"

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Carter's First Time Skating

I love this video. It was made by my sister Lindsay for Carter the first time he ever was on skates. Grandad came to watch and so did Uncle Jeff. I was expecting Callum and didn't go on the ice with him but Chris, like the great Daddy that he is, did. Carter wasn't even two yet in this video, but it feels like just yesterday. He is seven now! I have this video on my ipod and watch it now and then to remind myself how quickly they are growing. They don't stay little for long so I'm loving it while it lasts.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Three Babies

Sinead O'Connor's song Three Babies describes how I feel about the babies I lost due to miscarriage. Avril Lavigne also has a song called Slipped Away that reminds me of my losses.

Everyone once in awhile I listen to these songs and give myself a moment to think about what might have been. I always come to the realization that my life would not look the same as it does today had I carried those children to term. Because I am so grateful for the life I do have, I am able to close my thoughts peacefully and put the lost children back into the place in my heart where they belong. In the moments however where I allow my mind to wander, I get a big lump in my throat and I am overcome with a feeling of sadness. I think about the dates they were due and the dates they were lost.

My first miscarriage happened on Sunday August 3rd 2003. I just had a feeling it was a girl. I named her Isabel. She would have been due on March 18th 2004 and she and Carter would have been exactly 2 years apart. Also, her due date was her Great-Grandma Oakman's birthday.

My second miscarriage happened on Sunday December 2nd, 2006. I had a feeling he was a boy and Chris had really wanted to name him Clarke. I was expecting him to arrive on July 27th, 2008. Callum however referred to him as "Jack" and ironically a friend of ours gave birth to her son Jack on my due date.

My last and most recent loss happened on Tuesday February 12th, 2008 when Chris and I went for a 12 week ultrasound to see if we could determine the sex as we both were guessing I was carrying our daughter. We were told there was a 12 week fetus in there, but it had no heartbeat.... There were no visible signs of a miscarriage to me. This was shocking. I was angry and thought the doctors had it all wrong, until Valentine's Day later that week when the signs and symptoms of miscarriage appeared. We named her Scotia and she was due to be born on September 4th, 2008.

I will never really know the sex of any of these babies or why they never came to be. I don't think it's something I'll ever just get over because they were/are a part of me. Time I suppose can be a good healer and so I can now accept that possibly some things do happen for a reason.

My focus in life is my husband and our 2 beautiful boys but my heart will always hold a spot for the three babies I have lost.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Just For Me.

For years I've been saying I wanted to start a blog... somewhere I could organize my thoughts and post things of importance to me. I love what Facebook offers me in the way of social networking. It's a place where I can connect with friends and family, but I'm hoping this blog will allow me to re-connect with myself. 

As a child I always loved to write. I kept a journal where I'd record my daily events, things about my friends and school. As an adult and a mom of two boys, I discovered scrapbooking which allowed me to record my thoughts and memories of my children's early years. I found it to be very therapeutic but also very time consuming. I have every intention of finishing where I left off (because of course I have more done of Carter than I do of Callum!) but for now as my time so limited and my schedule revolves totally around my kids, I'm gonna give this blogging thing a shot. Obviously I'm a rookie at this whole thing but here goes my attempt at doing something just for me.

About Me

My photo
Life-long Vegetarian and proud to be Canadian. Really, I'm a little bit of everything, all rolled into one. I'm a bitch, I'm a lover, I'm a child, I'm a mother, I'm a sinner, I'm a saint (I do not feel ashamed) I'm your hell, I'm your dream (I'm nothing in between) You know, I wouldn't want it any other way..... (I'd like to think that song was written about me! lol)