I am a garbage picker

As it happens, each year around this time of the Great Melt, a plethora of garbage and litter become painstakingly evident along our walks, green spaces and lots. It is the devastating reveal after a long and heavy snow-covered winter. And it gets me in the same soft spot every year.

I am a garbage picker. My mother is a garbage picker. And I’m sure her mother was too. We willingly choose, as crazy and outlandish as it may seem, to pick up haplessly strewn garbage when seeing it lying on the earth. Gasp.

“Um you do know that there are town workers for that kind of thing.” A woman informed me the other day on one of my cleansing missions. I held a rather fat grocery bag of sodden waste dripping from my left hand at the time.

I am aware, to be clear, that town workers get out with their poky sticks at a certain time of the year and in the more travelled areas of town, stab a few pieces of eyesore up and outta there. If you ask me, I would much prefer my tax money going towards a more lofty cause- something I’m not able to easily rectify myself perhaps. What I was not aware of was that it is truly that offensive to want to clean up this place that I live on my own accord.

The war on litter and waste would be a hell of a lot easier to rein in if every resident of planet Earth would be a little more considerate. The toxins from a cigarette butt ill fatedly flicked onto the grass, for example, will undoubtedly seep into our earth and water. Now think about what the areas outside your local bar looks like. Piled with butts and garbage, I bet, and each one of those little chemical stubs will eventually infiltrate our land and lakes.

But we all know that don’t we? You don’t have to be a scientist to conclude that litter and excess waste is bad for the environment. We hear about filling landfills and floating garbage islands every day.  So instead let’s look at it from a different angle- one that people from around my neck of the woods may understand a bit better. Money.

The amount of money we spend in taxes for pointless waste removal from our beach and walking paths is heinous. If each one of us picked up ten pieces of garbage on our walk to work, or the dog park, or wherever our little ol’ feet want to carry us, we wouldn’t be in need of paying these employees to do such for our own lazy and apathetic asses.

Even better, why not stop littering all together? Instead of watching that Wendy’s bag float out of your car like a thumb-up-your-butt-asshole, go and grab it, and shove it in a garbage can.

Our municipal government has passed a bylaw this summer to allow mobile food vendors into our town. Many a tourist passes through these parts in the summer months and I’m sure will be in seventh heaven when hitting up the convenience of some delicious to-go grub.  Of course some of the more environmentally conscious individuals found this worrisome because of the amount of disposable food containers that will be being pumped out of these specific areas. Obviously with this in mind, the fear of even more litter accosting our beach and parks is palpable. The town council put this matter to rest quickly and with ease stating that of course they would be adding additional garbage cans to the areas where the vendors will be present.

I find this a laughable conclusion to come to seeing as how there is already a surfeit of garbage cans around the downtown core, due to excess foot traffic, and still, the good people of town and abroad choose to flip their butts and toss their trash aimlessly to the land.  I’ve seen it many times first hand, our town looks like a dumpsite in the early hours of the morning during those busy summer weeks, sandwich wrappers, juice containers, and pop bottles all sully the ground. However eventually, before the tourists pile in, we pay unnecessary wages to multiple town workers to prettify something we, humanity, should do out of a deep-seated knowledge of simple mindfulness. Yet regrettably that notion has slipped away from many people nowadays.

There is a huge need surfacing, and not only in my meager town. It is the education of the earth and how we must stop mistreating this home we live on, for her sake and ours.

I for one will do as my mother did and teach my children how to recycle and sort as well as how to use a garbage can instead of the ground. It is painfully simple really. I will teach them how utterly despicable it is to allow a piece of their own trash to flit off their person and onto earthen soil; not once thinking about the consequences. And I will teach them there is no harm in picking up a few pieces of rouge garbage as they pass it by, how could there be?

Let’s create a generation of garbage pickers, and clean this mother up.

556388_10151202946901068_2057515136_n

When Everything is, “All Our Fault”

I woke up with a start. I was dreaming that in some perverse and twisted universe, my husband’s stinky work clothes had gotten mixed in with my whites. I’d tell you more about it but thankfully memory-loss has dulled the nightmare almost completely from my recollection. At the time however, the sudden awakening made me wonder about my own real life washing adventures. I ran down to the basement while still wiping the sleep out of my droopy eyelids. Perhaps it is a mothering thing, or a pinprick of OCD, but I knew something had gone awry in the laundry room.

Our roommate, as sweet as he was trying to be, had unknowingly swapped a load of my delicates into the dryer.  Some of items were unharmed, some salvageable and others…well, may they rest in peace. I shouldn’t have left them in the washing machine to hang dry at a later time; I should have just finished the job then and there. It was my own fault.

And that exact sentence seemed to become the ongoing theme of my awful day.

I had set out cleaning, doing some really great work on the kitchen floors as we were planning on hosting a get together that night. Lars had a birthday party to attend at one in the afternoon which was going to work out perfectly because I’d be down one kid to go and do groceries for said evening party.

By noon Lars was bugging me almost every other minute, asking when we were to set off to the party. I finally got fed up and walked over to the brightly colored invitation hung on our fridge to show him the time posted on it.

I froze upon opening up the card. It was not 1pm that the party started but actually 11am. It was as though my guts had swiftly moved up into my throat and any sudden movement would cause them to come pouring out of me. Eventually I would have to move- eventually I would have to tell Lars about my senselessness.

We raced to the car and sped to the party locale. We had missed the first half but we were just in time for cake and pizza. Lars didn’t let me forget that I was the one who made him miss half the party and guilt gobbled me up with every side-eyed look I received from the on-time moms. But what was I supposed to say- it was my own fault for being unorganized.

We go grocery shopping after the last half of the party; Lars is still stewing about his loss of partying time. He is being very uncooperative and Sophie has decided to follow suit with her big brother. I have two cantankerous children, a cart with a bum wheel and a dinner menu list in my head that is quickly being pushed out by mounting anxieties.

As I unpack all the groceries at home I realize I’ve forgotten more than half of what I needed. Need I say it? Sure, I’ll say it- it was my own fault; a list probably would have been a good thing.

I decide I can make due however and set in on peeling beets for my beet and goat cheese salad. To top my day off I have just finished wiping down some particularly dirty mushrooms and it seems that the purple beetroot combined with the excess mushroom mess on my fingertips makes for an extremely unpleasing visual. Thank God I was done leaving my house for the day.

Think again.

Lars rushes me while I chop up a rather juicy beet and says, “Don’t get mad- but there is a bead stuck in my ear.”  You’re joking right? No siree- no joke. And it is really in there too, so far back in fact, that it can only be seen if his head is tilted at the perfect angle with a very intense light shining in there.

As we sat in the emergency waiting room I glanced down at my disgusting looking hands. They reminded me of a marker explosion combined with a diaper job gone terribly wrong.  I should have washed them before we left. I should have checked the birthday party invitation twice. I should have been watching more closely so he didn’t stick a bead in his damn ear.

But as Lars lays his head on my shoulder I feel easiness between us. I am here for him now, and always will be when he needs me.  As parents we are going to drop the proverbial ball- let’s face it, with these 24 hour work days and the teeming pressure we face, it’s inevitable.

And even though some days, it seems to be all our fault, I’m just glad I can be the one who holds his hand and tells him that everything is going to “bead” okay.

And he laughs and tells me that I’m the best.

Spring Cleaning

A miniature green and yellow triceratops greets me when I open my eyes. He is plopped on top of my chaotic bedside table and for some reason, upon waking, my eyes move automatically to him. “Well good morning small play thing.” I say, but not loud enough to give my husband a reason to commit me. Dino tells me he is there to remind me of the shambles in which my house resides.

“No, surely you are mistaken dinosaur.” I say calmly- coolly even.

He informs me that I am the one who is mistaken. Even though I did stay up until the wee hours of 10 pm tidying up the crumbs from the counters, the dishes in the sink and the toys from the floor- little dinosaur speaks of a different kind of cleaning this early morning.

Spring-cleaning.

I groan deeply (and not the good kind of groan) in my bed where I lay and I think about the dreadfulness that is spring-cleaning. I think about the undersides of the living room couch cushions and shudder. I think about the cutlery drawer and all of the crumbs and junk that manages to find its way in there and a wave of nausea overcomes me. I think about the awful amounts of dust that would perhaps asphyxiate my pink colored blinds if they had breathing capabilities and a single tear rolls down my cheek.

Each year this moment of realization comes, usually in some surprising and creative way, and each year I’ve learned to fight it vigorously. Spring-cleaning can only lead to heartache and woe.

Let me tell you about it…

A few years back, when spring cleaning didn’t have the same sickening ring to it as it does now; I decided to clean my closet. This was a time when Lars was beginning to potty train. It was a time before I became neurotic about my loathing for all things potty training. I am clearing away the shoes and purses that are stuffed in the back of my closet when I begin to smell something familiar. What could it be? What could that darn smell be that makes me want to stuff tampons up my nostrils. I grab for one of my purses and feel the pleather (I’m classy like that) is sodden and stinky. I immediately become conscious of the smell- later in my potty training quest; I will undoubtedly be able to distinguish it from miles away. Urine- hello old friend. At the time I had thought, due to the dry pull-ups, that small Lars had been proficient in his toilet training endeavors but instead he had simply been using my closet as his own personal pee place.

In later years of spring-cleaning, I would come to discover more unbearable surprises, each year the grossness gauge rising. One time it was poo streaked Thomas the Tank Engine undies stashed discreetly under the bathroom sink. The next year it was curdled milk bottles hidden away in secret corners for later consumption. Apple cores in heat registers. Bread crusts in the Tupperware drawer. My children are obviously terrified that one day I will stop feeding them and they have come to realize they must keep reserves.

And please don’t even get me started on the basement conditions!

So instead of getting out of bed I lay there stock-still and silent. Maybe, just maybe, if I try hard I can forget that the prophesized time of spring-cleaning is closing in. I had hit the snooze button when the dinosaur began his talk with me this morning and now once again my time has ran out and the bleep, bleep, bleep of the device is scratching at my ears.

I roll over to push snooze once more when the dinosaur catches my eye again. He stands on the bedside table with a half drunk water bottle, a bottle of hand lotion, a used sting of floss, and a decorative box that holds all sorts o knick knacks in it. To be truthful I’m not even sure what the contents in that box are.

Again, the prehistoric plaything reminds me about my cleaning quest. I tell him to shut it because it’s my house and it really isn’t as bad as he is making it out to be.

The dinosaur begrudgingly agrees and I feel accomplished for winning a battle of wits with a small inanimate object.

But then the Barbie reminds me, as I step on her head while moving towards the bathroom, that Spring-cleaning probably wouldn’t seem so terrible if I was an overall better housekeeper in the first place.

IMG_1343[1]

Shut it Barbie- what do you know anyways.

Walking on Thin Ice

Sophie 2 editAlthough ‘walking on thin ice’ may be the more readily used phrase, this winter I’ve come to the conclusion that any kind of ice walking is a dodgy endeavor. I think back to a time when I could spritely move across the slippery substance with a cool self-confidence. In light of recent events, I’ve come to discover, sadly, my children have not inherited this trait. And no longer can I myself glide to a sought out destination- I am much too fragile for that in present day.

The children and I decided to take the dog for a walk yesterday. The sun shone its rays of warmth down for us to catch on the ends of our rosy noses. A chinook wind urged us to keep on as we made our way to a local park to play. The beauty of the day was certainly not lost on me and I reveled in the togetherness that I had with my kids and yes, even the dog. As soon as the four of us stepped out of our front door, I could tell it was going to be a great day.

We walked upon a path that lead almost straight from our home to the park. It was mid afternoon so the sun had been shining on it for the better half of the day, which left it sodden but free of slips. It was one of those good refreshing kind of walks.

Sophie 3 edit_1

We arrived at the park and the children had their play. I read a little on the bench, because yes, I am one of those mothers who read on the bench instead of participating on the adult death trap they call playground equipment. Plus, who would have looked after the dog?

When it was time to leave I spontaneously thought, hey let’s have an adventure and explore a different route home. Amazing. Ingenious. Spectacular!

Stupid.

I didn’t stop to realize that the road less traveled was also shaded by large buildings and trees. It also didn’t occur to me that there was a surplus of construction projects yielding a loss of travelable sidewalk on this particular route. Moreover, logical reasoning seemed to slither away when I managed to forget the difficulties that occur when trying to do anything at all with two small humans and a sometimes-ornery shih tzu.

“OH MY GOSH- this is ridiculous!” Were my overtly censored feelings as I tiptoed gingerly across the uneven surface. At this exact moment I was holding on to Sophie by the underarm- basically dragging the child along because as it seems she is extremely challenged when it comes to keeping herself upright on said slippery surfaces. I hold the dog leash in my alternative hand but even the canine is having troubles keeping himself vertical.  Lars holds tightly onto the back of my jacket and I am positive he is doing absolutely no legwork (literally) to assist our cause. Instead, he holds his grasp tightly and slides upon his grip-less boots from the propellant of my efforts.

We fall about half a dozen times within a half block radius and I am about to say, “Screw it” and risk the oncoming traffic to make the rest of our journey when I see an escape. There in front of us, as though a beautiful mirage in the middle of a heat stricken desert- is sidewalk. And to titivate the situation even more, it is clean of ice and slips.

I feel like a football coach in the ending minutes of the big game. I am cheering my people on, in a we-can-do-this kind of attitude!

“Okay guys, see- we just have to get to that sidewalk, walk carefully, we’re almost there…” Sophie has begun crying for no reason other than she is “bored” of walking on the ice. Lars still slides eagerly behind me but I can feel the sloppiness in his stature, which isn’t helping my balancing act. We are 3 feet from sanctuary when it happens- he sticks his foot out and it lands between my shuffling fur-lined boots. I trip. We all fall. Sophie screams. Lars begins crying. I say a string of curse words I shall never repeat.

These days it seems that when it comes to winter roving, choosing the path more travelled is by far the much safer choice. As for the rest of our trip; we ended up making it, but just by the hairs of our fur-lined boots.

Lars 2 edit

Storytelling

Have I told you about my two little parrots? I’m sure I’ve mentioned them in an article or two- I have come to quite enjoy their antics you know. These two little parrots currently reside in my home but once upon a time (at different times of course) they set up residence in my uterus, which is probably why I can never manage to get too angry when they start in on their tricks.

“Um Mama?” Lars begins in a tentative, treading softly sort of voice.

“Yes Lars.” I reply.

“So umm,” he pauses to gather his thoughts, “well I have some bad news.” This is never something you want to hear come out of your 6 years old’s mouth, I think immediately. “So you know how sometimes the toilet gets plugged?”

“Yes I am aware of that.” I say, desperately hoping I’m not actually hearing the sound of drip drip dripping water in the background.

“Well,” another long pause, this time I’m sure, because he does not know how to move forward in our conversation without getting in trouble. “Well, you see I didn’t realize it was plugged, and well, I flushed it.”

“Okay.” I say in a long hopeful and drawn out sort of way.

“Well the water started going up, and then up some more…” His eyes are wide now and I can blatantly see the pure exhilaration the ordeal has caused the small human. “And Mom it suddenly just went flowing over the sides of the toilet! It was like a waterfall Mom and it just kept coming and coming!” He is using grandiose hand gestures now- a telltale tale sign that one is at the heart of a great story.

I know I need to move. In truth, I should have been running towards the main bathroom as soon as he began telling me his restroom account. But it’s not really a restroom at the moment now is it? Seemingly, judging by my sons version I should begin gathering coupled flora and fauna, erecting a vessel and preparing to wait out a lengthy downpour. But perhaps in our specific case: we could call the trouble an Outpour.

If I am about to walk in on that kind of tempest I must have my wits about me. So I sit. I collect myself within the frame of a second or two. I cannot take longer than that because if I do I will have soggy floorboards to contend with and God knows what the contents of that seeping toilet water contain. My son has managed to keep such details behind his yapping gums.

Husband, with clearly a snappier reaction time than I, grabs an armload of towels from the linen closet and with words that are appropriate for neither a Day-Writers description nor the ears of a child, stomps his way to the bathroom.

I follow close behind him because I cannot be the weirdo spouse that does nothing except dwell on the utter horror of the untimely situation they’ve been put in. Well, not so much put in rather than pandered too. Who lets their kids hang out and create shenanigans in a bathroom anyways? So I get up and walk towards the mess.

“What can I do- is it as bad as Lars said?” I ask.

“There’s a lot of water- I just don’t understand how it could have came from the toilet. It is all under the sink and not even close to the toilet. I don’t think the floor slants that much.” This is an inside joke that we often mull over- referring to the shoddiness of our homes structural integrity.

“Lars are you sure it came from the toilet?” I ask realizing both of the parrots are right behind me.

“Well…” and it is not long before I find out the truthful story of how delightfully mesmerizing it was to watch Sophie fill cups of water from the sink and dump them upon the floor.

So you must be wondering where the parrot part comes in- yes often I call them parrots because unfortunately they seem to pick up on the less than lovely (albeit inspired) words I spit out in times of frustration. However I’ve also coined the phrase for the two because each day they exhibit another trait that I too can call my own.

Some may call it fibbing, but when you do it with the kind of flair Lars had this evening, I can’t imagine naming it anything other than polished exaggeration- and hell, there are a lot worse things in this world than a good story teller.

1454564_10152577673761068_5071330362608671057_n

A Late Valentines Post

As the kids made there way home from school, bellies filled with candy hearts and suckers made from red dye No. 5, I began to wonder about the inevitable. The inevitable being when they would finally realize that their father and I abstain from the remarkably popular holiday which falls on February the fourteenth.

I know what you are thinking, we’ve been getting the same accusatory statements for as long as our relationship has existed. “Well he is just too cheap to do anything for you on Valentine’s Day obviously.” Or “That’s just a cop-out, an excuse to be lazy.” And so on to the power of ten.

Because truly the only people that are supposed to veto this jovial day of Cherubs Arrows and lusty lover-boys are the singles that are loud and proud to be alone or the devastatingly elderly that don’t know the difference between their spouse and the left tit they refer to as Sherman. And let’s not forget the too-cool-for-school hipsters that simply go against anything that happens to fall into the realm of normal.

The madly in love couples; the boyfriends, girlfriends, wives and husbands, they must be celebrating this esteemed holiday of paper roses. We, the people in love, must embrace the Valentine’s Day merriment- it is the Day of Love after all.

Are you aware who Saint Valentine was? Because I wasn’t until this evening when I decided to write an article on Valentines days and actually looked into the man himself. It turns out he was not some horrific human being that ripped the hearts out of the innocent, like I had hoped, that would have obviously made for a much more interesting post.

The year was somewhere around 270 AD, the place- Rome, and under the rule of Claudius the Cruel, and cruel he was! During this time the emperor believed that there was a lack of soldiers because men were hesitant to go to battle with wives and children waiting at home. Which doesn’t make much sense…But whateves I won’t argue with ol’ Clauds right yet. (Perhaps Valentine should have done the same…But we wouldn’t have story then would we.) To rectify this problem he placed a ban on all marriages and engagements in Rome.

A holy priest named, you guessed it- Valentine, thought this was downright despicable and secretly continued to perform matrimonies- rebelling against his punishing and probably insane emperor’s rule. It didn’t end happily my friends. On February 14th 278 AD Valentine, later named a saint, was executed by order of Claudius the Cruel. It is said that while awaiting his execution he wrote one last note to the jailer’s daughter, as they had become friends, and signed it, “From Your Valentine.”

Oh my God just like the ones that we hand out in school!

Well aside from one palpable variance- we aren’t getting beheaded moments later. Okay okay so it is a pretty romantic back story in Valentines Day’s defense. And if you want to celebrate it don’t let my catty and sarcastic remarks shake ya.

For those of you who love the day the great news is you can actually celebrate it more than once a year! There were actually quite a few Saint Valentines on the Roman Catholic timetable so go ahead and Google your little heart out and take your pick- it is a fruitful yield for such topics. Each one has a pretty great backstory that I’m sure you could relate to love and adoration in some way or another.

I digress and will spare you anymore derisive bullshit. You’ve got your jabs at me for not celebrating and now I’ve stooped and got mine in too. Poke me parched- I’m done.

Valentine’s Day is an interesting idea, and I’m sure at some point in time it was even commendable. But now, here, I think that the meaning of love should be more than a few red roses because the calendar and Radio DJ reminded you to.

Love shouldn’t be made through the terms of a datebook. Adoration is about the deep sanctity of togetherness. It is standing in a pit of obstacles and knowing you will never hurdle over them but with the company of another you can plow the fuck through.  Love is taking a chance on all of the things you hate about someone. Love is mundane and terrifying and exciting and usually pretty damn random too.

Which is why love, and all of the thousands of definitions that can explain the emotion, should not be designated for celebration to one single day.

I cannot believe in a day vested to celebrating love- because that day should exist each time you open your eyes to see the person who sleeps next to you. It should exist in each waking moment you know in your heart that there is another person out there that adores you- each second you truly know that you have that same kind of love for another. Devotion is not made in one-day-a-year offers so why should it be celebrated as such?

It is the everyday splendours that reaffirm our love. The small and sensitive gestures that keep a relationship strong and healthy.

If you celebrate Valentine’s Day for its true meaning and pay homage to the man that once sacrificed his life for young men and women to marry then I commend you my good man! If you are using this day as a reminder to stop by the closest Grab N’ Go off your evening commute to get some cheap tulips and a card that announces your undying love for your partner then please re-evaluate yourself before you devaluate yourself. (Yep- that just happened)

For me, no amount of fancy dinners in packed restaurants or cheese filled greeting cards can trump the awe inspiring eccentricity that my husband and I share with each other in some small way every single day. And if it that is an odd and outlandish way to celebrate ourselves…

Well then, I guess we are just a couple of weirdo’s.

IMG_0351

The Infamous Mom-Bash

If I were to tell you that I’ve never bad-mouthed another mother’s parenting style I would be a dirty, stinking, no-good storyteller. I admit here and now that I have, and to make myself sound even more disgraceful- whilst doing so I enjoyed every minute of it.

I suppose it goes back to the rudimentary definition of bullying which is hurting others to make oneself feel superior. And man alive does it ever!

Each time I roll my eyes at the mother in Walmart that is spanking her bratty kid I can feel my awesomeness grow by leaps and bounds. Or when I gossip endlessly about so and so and her innate obsession with all things sanitizer I feel this floating air of supremacy that encircles me like the first radical effects of a psychedelic drug.

(Not that I would understand what that feeling is like…Pft.)

150_7299867703_2085_n

Eventually the high ends and it is in the aftermath of Mama-Bashing when the cool claws of guilt begin to skulk into my quickly blackening soul. I will be sitting there, for once, minding my own business and begin to think about what others are saying about my mothering skills.

The God-awful fact that I spew mine and my children’s dirty laundry all over the place for a few chuckles and some possible fandom.

The absolute horrors of my home and it’s constantly dirty floors. OH HOW I HATE DOING THE FLOORS!

The wretchedness that is me when I get exasperated with the tiny humans I call Lars & Sophie.

The Dishonor of my loud and proud approach when I am out with the girls and yell to the world that I am ecstatic to be rid of the kids for a few hours. The fact that I do this without shame.

I wonder what the other moms, the strangers who do not know me, the people who only identify with me through the words I write and even my best of friends, think of me in these times of frenzy. It occurs to me that probably as I am screaming at my children to “pick up the damn toys in the living room” my neighbors have already set in on the topic of how terrible of a mother I am.

And I wonder if this is why we all try to be so fucking perfect?

As I write, a concept if you will, floats somewhere between a to-do list and the finishing of this blog post. It begins to take shape and with it a new realization is haplessly coming into view. I don’t know if I will enjoy the execution of my brains pioneering idea- but in times like these- we cannot worry about such superficial things such as enjoyment. This is mothering we’re talking about.

It is a vicious circle- the mothering effect that is. We do our best to be the moms that we mentally showcased in our fantasies while pregnant and still utterly wistful. But somewhere between the fetid smell of infant feces on your cheek and the awful reality that this is only the beginning we start to play this thing called parenting discordantly rather than cohesively

Do we hurt each other- call our fellow mothers down- for mere sport? I desperately hope the answer is no. I hope for us, the people raising this next generation, we have not stooped to such a level.

I am starting to believe there is a pattern when it comes to this mom bashing thing…

I think we indulge in the act when we ourselves desire something more in our child raising regime. Perchance we knock down the ‘faults’ of our fellow mothers to mentally take the strain off what we are worrying about in our own routines. But why are we worrying in the first place? Well, simply put, there is a catty eyed mom peering at you down the produce aisle just waiting for you to fuck up so she can go and gossip to all her friends about it.

Vicious. Circle.

But what if we step back, focus on ourselves, our families and our own well-being before looking in on the lives of others? What if we uplift instead of criticize? What if we support instead of censure? What would happen if each time we had the urge to bad-mouth each other we instead put forth an act of love and understanding?

I don’t know. I don’t know what the answers to these questions are- maybe there is no one answer to any of them.

I do know that appearance means little when it comes to the mothering condition. I cannot control what anyone else thinks of my choices. What I can control is how happy my children are, how content my family and I feel together, and how I treat the other women I share this beautiful label of Mom with.

IMG_1963[1]

Thoughts From Sophie on all Things Sandwich Related

  • “You know I’m kind of hungry…And I can’t stop thinking about SANDWICHES!!!”
  • “Mama did you hear me? My favorite thing in the world is SANDWICHES!”
  • “I could eat a sandwich for every meal…As long as it was a different one each time.”
  • “I JUST LOVE THEM SO MUCH.”
  • “Ahhh Sandwiches…”
  • “…Maybe you could go make me a sandwich?”

“But it’s only 9 am Soph? Don’t you think that is a little early for sandwiches?

  • “It. Is. Never. Too. Early. For. Sandwiches.”
  • “Now my mouth is watering for a sandwich Mom…”
  • “I’m so excited you’re making me this sandwich. Make sure it’s a good one okay?”
  • “Thanks Mama, this is really what I needed this morning.”

IMG_1961[1]

060

Do You Remember the Days of an Interruption-Free Life?

060It seems to me that telephone use and/or important work of any kind must give off some kind of high frequency pitch that only dogs and children can hear. Dogs, because dogs seem to be able to hear things of this nature.  Kids, because well, have you ever answered an important phone call or tried to work on the computer in the close vicinity of a child?

The idea of this high frequency pitch has been tickling the back of my brain for a while now. Each time I spend the better half of the morning wasting time on Facebook, perusing around the house doing not much of anything or say, watch a show on Netflix, the kids seem to forget about me altogether. “Mama who?” I can usually get one and a half episodes of Orange is the New Black in before one of them are telling me they’re hungry- and that is just short of a miracle because recently they seem to be a never-ending chasm of consumption. I can walk past the bedroom where they play 27 times before they note my presence and begin questioning what I am doing. There was this one time I read an entire short story without having to break once- that was one in a million however.

Yet as soon as my body gets close to a telephone or laptop it is all, “Mama, I’m hungry.” “Mama, I’m bored.”

Today we had a fabulous day. We woke up and I got in a quick work-out while the kiddies ate their breakfast and watched Pokémon. We then got ourselves readied in our finest threads and met some friends for lunch at the local Boston Pizza. I had the roasted peach and beat salad and it was the most fabulous salad I have ever put in my mouth. Throughout lunch the kids were angels. Well as close to angles as kids can be. There may have been some crawling around on the floor and table licking going on but we can’t ask for the world right?!

After our outing we took the dog for a walk and enjoyed the beautiful sunshine. Oh we laughed and talked and laughed some more. It was a glorious afternoon filled with magical moments.

It was when we got home that things took a hairy turn for the worst.

I was prepping for dinner when the phone rang. It was my sister-in-law Ashley. The kids seemed occupied with a game of Monopoly for the moment so I believed I was safe to answer. As it generally happens we had become engrossed in our conversation and as usual at the worst possible time Sophie decided to begin screaming at the top of her lungs. I had no idea though what she was screaming about. There were no tears visible and she was not physically hurt. I gave her one of the silent but deadly arm waves accompanied with the famous mom fiery eyes. 

The sheer terror of the mom fiery eyes would stop Lars in a jiffy but not Soph- never Soph.  She barreled through my obstinate waving and continued to scream that she was hungry. Or maybe it was that Lars called her a tattletale. Possibly she had lost her sparkly Sophia the First lip-gloss and thought I had stolen it from her. Who really knows with that kid?

I eventually had to tell Ashley I would let her go because I know better than anyone how annoying it is trying talk to someone on the phone when there is some little brat in background ranting and raving.

After hanging up I explain to the girl that it is unacceptable to scream at me when I’m on the phone and unless it is an emergency she can wait until I am done. I realize as she is walking away though that her emergency and mine are probably very different circumstances.

When it isn’t Sophie it is Lars. The boy has learnt that attempting to get my attention while on the phone is not a wise decision- he probably considers it child’s play. His aim is to bombard me each and every time I open my laptop to get some work done. It is like he knows the difference between screwing around on the web and being on a roll with a great set of prose. He always chooses to find me when I am smack dab in the middle of the latter. So quite some time ago the decision to leave work to the early morning hours or long after the children’s bedtime was made.

I’m pretty sure I’m on to something with the high frequency pitch of a phone or laptop but even if I am what are you going to do?

I suppose at this point in the parenting game it is a matter of sitting back and appreciating the time we do have with those special little humans. While secretly dreaming of the day when we will not have to lock ourselves in the bathroom for two minutes of peaceful telephone time.

IMG_1883

The Death of A 20-Something is lonely

Hello my bloggy blogger friends!

Remember to please take a second to pop by my brand spankin’ new blog

The Death of a 20-Something

It is fabulous and has some pretty neat-o writing there too!

And it isn’t only for 20-Somethings as the title may suggest.

Oh no…

It is for anyone who wants a fun spin on thoughts about growth and maturity.

So feel free to follow the link and check it out!

And remember if you enjoy it please to Like our Facebook page or click follow to receive more posts

As well as share with your friends!

Click here to be transported to the awesome land of-

The Death of a 20-Something

IMG_1883

IMG_1943[1]

Kindergarten Homework: and why it makes me feel dumb

Lars has begun bringing home schoolwork. Yes apparently Kindergarteners have homework and yes, if you were curious, it is extremely difficult. Never have I felt so dumb in my entire life until I realized I was reading the instructions to his alphabet matching game three times to try and grasp the concept of it.

There in the desolate ambiance of our dim-lit kitchen Jamie and I hover over a photocopied slab of paper. Jamie is slamming his fist insistently on the kitchen table out of pure frustration. We cannot comprehend this child’s worksheet. This child’s worksheet that happens to house 3 smiling cartoon dinosaurs that seem to be pointing their prehistoric hooves at our bewildered mugs as though mocking our stupidity. What has happened to us? Eventually I think I figure it out but no quicker than I do, Lars begins having a meltdown because he doesn’t understand what it is I am trying to explain to him. Jamie holds his standpoint of discreet exasperation beside us.

Why can’t you just tell me to go over the letters of the alphabet with my kid awkward paper sent home from kindergarten class?

No no that would be too easy.

You see Jamie and I have nearly come to blows due to our difference of opinions when it comes to the homework thing. I believe we should stay true to the school systems process and use the worksheets that are sent home to our full advantage (that is once we figure out how to do them ourselves). Jamie thinks that his methods of teaching are much simpler and on many an occasion I find him attempting to teach our son his own way.

“No you can’t do that!” I say in a desperate sort of tone, “They have this specific way they do things with the kids and if you try teaching him something different you will only screw him up. And then what if you delay him and he becomes traumatized from the whole experience! What if he ends up being semiliterate?!  But then he is so ashamed of it he spends the rest of his days pretending his way through life when it comes to anything written.” At this point Jamie and Lars are both staring at me with blank looks. But for some reason something compels me to keep going to really get my point drawn.

“His friends, coworkers, random Joe’s on the street will ask him if he has read the latest and greatest coming of age novel that everyone has read and he will have to lie and say yes. That night he will set out on a wild goose chase in search of the audio version and then have to listen to that really boring monotone voice read an entire book! It would be terrible!” I am near hysterics when I think about my own blood unable to enjoy the written word that is until I remember that this whole scenario is my own head-fiction.

Apparently my rant got the point across however because Jamie has stepped back from teaching Lars his own way and continues to struggle right alongside me to understand this new way of schooling.

I’m certainly not knocking it, I assume it works and can see the improvement in Lars from the beginning of the year to now, but change is sometimes difficult for us fogies. And maybe it isn’t that different anyways, maybe Jamie and I have just been out of the game for too long.

Once again I find myself pondering over another extremely complicated and busy looking worksheet. It has been sent home with minimal instructions as though assuming I’m some kind of elementary school guru. I feel the anxiety rising. I sit down, I really have a good long concentrated look at what I am supposed to get my child to do and again I’m stumped. Are they supposed to be drawing the lines to match from letter to word? Or are they supposed to be drawing a picture that resembles the word? And how does that help in the first place!?

But I’m no teacher- not even close. So what I am going to do, is do my best to translate these unholy worksheets and get my child to complete them. And in addition I will read every day to the kids, introduce sounds and letters, and explain how the alphabet works in hopes of preparing them for our literary world. I will be supportive and try my best not to let my frustrations about change and misunderstandings get in the way of their education. Because that is what we do as parents, we are there is assist and challenge. We are there to support and cheer on. We are there to nurture them so they can become the best they can be.

And in the meantime I will quietly stress about what the damn worksheets will look like when high school algebra comes along.

wpid-IMAG0741.jpg

Pretty, Pink and Proud: A Response to Pathetic in Pink

For the first year of my daughter’s life she was surrounded by Thomas the Train and dinky cars. Her room was painted a fresh teal green and her nickname was Soph-a-loaf.  The only thing that Sophie cared about was the boob, watching her dad make funny faces and when she was going to have to endure her next bath.

I cannot recall shoving princesses and self-riotousness down her throat but according to a newspaper column I’ve recently stumbled upon I realize I must have. Surely her love of My Little Pony, magical lands, and makeup must be an instilled trait. Because as it seems, my 4 year old does not have the competence or wherewithal to possess her own agenda.

Aside from the shit storm of unbelievably rude and uninformed ideas this writer was putting forth in her article I was especially taken aback by the fact that she portrayed it to be the parent’s fault that little girls idolized princesses.  Right off the hop I take two offenses to this statement. First being that there is no fault to be had. And secondly as I have already mentioned, 4 year old human beings are more than capable of having their own likes and dislikes. My daughter has watched many an episode of Dora the Explorer and still does not especially enjoy the program. It is simply not to her taste. Whereas I try to keep Caillou as far away from her as possible, simply because I can’t stand his annoying voice, and yet she loves the guy!

The author of the viral article, Robin McGrath, admits to disliking young girls with blond hair; and how her repugnance intensifies when a tiara or gown is thrown in the mix.  As you can imagine the internet went mad when this article hit newsstands. Twitter exploded and Facebook, of course, devoured the gong show like it was front page news. But in all seriousness why wouldn’t we? McGrath went as far to say, “I react to them [little girls in princess dresses] the same way I do when I turn over a log or stone to find creepy albino bugs wriggling around underneath.”

I suppose in some way however I take enjoyment in the fact that my blond haired, blue eyed, princess can frighten this kind of an immoral, atrocious and appalling human being to such great lengths.

I loved princesses when I was young. Hell, I still love them- loud and proud baby! They have voices like angels and their hair flows like freshly fallen lilac petals. My mother never once recoiled in horror when I would exit my room decked out in pink from head to toe and ready to walk to the school bus. She allowed her daughter to make her own decisions. I enjoyed pink, just like my best friend enjoyed blue- and I cannot believe that that made her any better than me.

In truth I have relented from my frequent pink wearing since, well, turning about 13 or so and realizing I enjoyed all of the colors of the rainbow. And no, unfortunately for Robin McGraths theory, I did not turn out to be a sparkly clad supercilious attention whore from wearing pink and enjoying the company of princesses in my early years. In actuality those days proved to be no more than a miasma of tea parties and tree climbing. Some days I would lovingly slap on some play makeup and pretend I was Cinderella while others I would climb the rafters of our barn and chase puppy dogs around the farm.

And not to brag but I turned out okay. Just as my daughter will. These are the facts I know for sure- these are a few of the things that do not keep me up at night.

What I do worry about is Robin McGrath. I feel sorry for any person who could have such an unadorned hatred towards children. Girls, boys, brown or white- they are children plain and simple. It is unnatural and upsetting to say the least. Maybe this tirade of hypocrisy was simply conjured up in the depths of her mind in spite of misfortunes that have come across her own family- and if that is the case, she truly has my deepest sympathies. However fighting hatred with hatred gets us nowhere; especially when we involve the children. She speaks frequently about her daughter in the article and it begs the question: What kind of morals are you instilling into your child with this kind of a malicious approach?

So in ending, yes my 4 year old daughter is a princess, but she is also so much more.

For the link to the ‘Pathetic in Pink’ article Click Here.

IMAG0113

Embracing the Wild Child

It is always her bedroom that has muffled sounds of mischief radiating from it long after the bedtime rituals are through.

She is the one singing her tune loud and unabashed as I desperately try to hear what my Mother-in-law is saying to me on the other end of the telephone line.

She is thunderous not only in voice but also in spirit. At any given moment her hair flows freely and untamed. And each time she glances in my direction her glinting eyes capture me with a knowing waywardness.

She is my wild child.

On any given day I can recount about a hundred times where I find myself pulling my hair out in accordance to her antics. Maybe she managed to lock the dog in the 1 X 1 square enclosure that is her dollhouse. Or perhaps she has divvied up her play dough and buried it in the many many remote places of her bedroom and is now calling it hidden treasure.   The point is, usually, we live in chaos.

Just the other night I was writing this exact post. I sat propped up in my bed and looked across the hallway to where my daughter should have been sleeping. Instead of doing such however she was standing atop her princess sheets attempting to reach the shelf that hangs over where she lays her head.

“Sophie go to sleep- it is an hour past bedtime!” I say not even wondering what she is doing because at this point I cannot care to.

“I can’t until I lock up the beast!” She screams back at me. She sounds extremely put off that I would even question the very actions of her plight.

“Lay down!” I begin to get perturbed.

“BUT THE BEAST!!” She counters. You see this is the thing with the girl. She doesn’t relent. She doesn’t give in. If she finds herself in the midst of a quest- it is all- there is no nothing.

“Sophie this is ridiculous! It is getting too late to be screwing around.” And this is where we butt heads my daughter and I; because I do not enjoy relenting either.

The next thing I know a four year old is stomping her feet towards my bedroom while her hands are compressed into fists and she wears this scowl that is about to implode an adorableness computing device somewhere.

She parades right up to my bedside and looks me dead in the face and says, “Look Mama. Barry (her huge stuffed bear) has a pet beast. But he needs to be locked up at night because if he isn’t…” A pause- I’m assuming for dramatic effect. “Well, he’ll eat everyone in the house. And sorry- but his favorites are Moms.”

Well there it is. There is that pivotal line that comes discharging out of the kid’s mouth that makes me laugh and suddenly all is forgiven. She peruses back to her room, gets the beast in its cage and seconds after her head falls upon her pillow she is asleep.

She is my wild child.

She lives to push boundaries and play center stage. She is abrupt, forthright and utterly honest. It seems as though trouble follows her and around any corner I could find my Sophie in some sort of mind-boggling shenanigans.

Time and time again I’ve told myself, it’s just a stage- this too shall pass. But as I get to know my daughter more and more with each passing day I realize it is no stage- it is her.

She is free. She is free from the worries that many children have. She could care less what other people think of her. Her mind is of one in its own and does not seem to be easily swayed. She is strong in her resolve when it comes to anything at all.

And it is all of these things that make me realize that I cannot wish away these traits of hers. Yes it can be trying walking into your bathroom with a four year old covered in blush and sloppy mascara lines running down her face. And yeah sure, it is a little depressing when she tells me that she is better at doing her own hair because she likes it in 7 hair clips haphazardly positioned around her skull. The sheer ideas that float in and out of her head are pure genius and absolute absurdity all at the same time.

But when all is said and done- I am going to let her be her. I will embrace the unique human being she is and enjoy the beauty she creates in this world.

Because she is my wild child- and she is my daughter.

2014-08-23 15.09.27

Guest Post- Ten Things I Know For Sure

lyndzeerae27:

Friends! Swing over to The Death of a 20-Something to read a rocking guest post by my own Auntie!

It is definitely worth a read!

And remember to follow the blog if you want to be updated with more fun filled posts on life, growth, and the often hilarious condition when it comes to the aging process.

Originally posted on The Death of a 20-Something:

10 Things I know  For Sure 001

10 Things I know  For Sure 002

10 Things I know  For Sure 003

10 Things I know  For Sure 004

A huge thank you to my Auntie Deb for this wonderfully Authentic post!

We love wisdom-filled gems just like this one here on The death of a 20-Something- so keep ‘em coming Friends! 

If you’re interested in submitting a piece to The Death of a 20-Something then please feel to email Lindsay at lyndzeerae@hotmail.com

View original

IMG_0022

An open letter to my well rested family

Now before I set in on the ramblings of my sleep deprived ways, I will start off by telling you all that I love you.

I love you son- who to this day continues to disrupt my good night’s sleep by listlessly collapsing over my legs at all hours of the night. I’m not even entirely sure if you are awake when you do this. I think it could possibly be some strange sleep walking pattern developed solely to annoy me and threaten the very thought of your mother getting a good night sleep.

How naive of me to have boasted upon your arrival to this world of your great sleep patterns. How inexperienced I was when I told the others that I preferred the ‘family bed’ theory as I felt it was important for bonding purposes. How innocent and wistful these ideas once were.

Six long sleepless years later I see the error of my ways. At two I could still see the cuteness in it. My baby boy still needs his Mama, “how sweet” I would coo to my friends over ingesting copious amounts of caffeine to merely get through the day. At four I was beginning to get a tad worried… And now at six years old I’ve begun to question the normalcy of it all, but am too occupied with the girl child’s sleeping habits to deal with any one problem head on.

Which brings me to you daughter- oh how I love you. I love the way you refuse to go to sleep until I have kissed every single stuffed animal you own goodnight. All 53 of them. And then after that ordeal you still proceed to tell me you are too bored to go to sleep. I’m sorry to be the one to break it to you babe but I think you are using that word in the wrong context. But that’s another story.

Furthermore there are the late night lamp runs I have began to concede to. This is when, at all hours of night, you wake and realize you are in darkness…Aside from the LED nightlight I have plugged in an arm’s reach away from your bed (that also just happens to shine into my bedroom and directly into my line of sight). Upon realizing this sort of darkness you begin to scream bloody murder awaking me from the half sleep state that all mothers permanently reside in once acquiring their offspring. I awake with a start but nanoseconds later understand it is just your nightly routine you are yelping about and stumble towards your room to turn on your secondary light source.

I would like to finish there but I must add in your unusually early wake up routine. It seems that just as your nightly lighting issues end I find you standing directly beside me breathing heavily upon my face whispering, “Mama…Mama, I hangry…” I should have never taught you that word. I thought it would be funny coming from a little kid.  In reality it is just annoying. I get it, you are so hungry you’re angry and need your cereal now! Oh…And there is your brother laying atop my now deadweight legs.

Oh glorious mornings!

Finally Husband, I love you too. I love that in the unusual circumstance you come down with a flu bug, every ache and pain that sullies your body during the night becomes a verbal gasp of sheer anguish. But your being sick is a very remote occurrence so I shouldn’t complain about that.

How about the fact that when we first met, you were the lightest sleeper I had ever come across. You would wake from someone opening the fridge door or sometimes you just wouldn’t sleep at all. But almost as if the eerie hand of magic was in tow you now seem to be able to sleep through almost anything. Small children’s cries in the middle of the night? “What? You were up 15 times with them? Wow sorry hun, I didn’t even hear a thing.” Some shenanigan wielding hoodlum comes a knocking on the front door at 3:00am in the morning? “Oh hunny, you shouldn’t answer the door at that time it could be dangerous. Next time wake me up.” Sorry to break it to you bud but you weren’t moving no matter how much I elbowed you.

So there it is, some incoherent ramblings of a sleep deprived Mom. I wish I had a memorable line to end this article with but instead I think I will take this time to steal a nap.

Yeah right.

1888879_10152264432151068_1451936441_o

Sorry kid, it’s not my problem you’re bored

“I’m too board to eat lunch.”

“I’m too bored to clean my room.”

“I’m too bored to play outside.”

“I’m too bored to go to sleep.”

“I’m too bored I can’t even watch TV.”

Somehow my daughter has learnt the word ‘bored’. How she learnt this word is beyond me, because since having children I can’t recall one moment where I have felt the sensation of boredom. Therefore I cannot possibly imagine me readily using the saying. To be one hundred percent truthful I would actually relish in boredom these days. But I suppose then, it wouldn’t be called boredom would it.

But somewhere in her circle of hardcore 4 year old friends or the real ways of the neighborhood park little Soph has picked up the jargon.

From my recent encounters of her slurring it in my general direction I believe she thinks the word is used as a form of excuse to get out of things. It seems to me when she is hesitant or unwilling to do something, she will tell me she is too ‘bored’ to indulge in such activity- attempting to put the onus of her discontent on me.

Well if there is one thing I’ve learnt since becoming a parent…Or even a human being in the broad spectrum of things- there is ALWAYS a cure for boredom.

Growing up we never dared mumble the word bored. I’m sure this was the case in many of your childhood homes too. In the off chance we accidentally spewed the worse-than-a-swear-word on a snowy Sunday afternoon, mere seconds later we would find ourselves shoveling our nearly a kilometer long driveway by hand while Dad followed behind us on the tractor to assure we were doing a stand up job of it. And when it comes to physical labor my parent’s standards are through the roof. Say we managed to muster up the courage to nonchalantly swing the B-word out to Mother on a scorching summer afternoon. No quicker than we could say “what did you just do?!” to each other with absolute fear dripping off every word, Mama had us weeding her gratuitously large garden. Every row. Every weed.

So soon it became an unsaid rule that we simply never use the word. Ever. Even now writing this post I find it an extremely uncomfortable topic to talk about.

And as history and parenting somehow tends to intertwine, here I am many moons later about to implement the very same rule in my home.

The way I see it, the word bored could be considered a swearword. It would be about the only one that actually made any sense to censor yourself with.  Bored is a feeling- a sentiment that is completely changeable and duly so.

What my parents taught me, maybe without even realizing it, is that it is a shameful thing to admit to boredom. There I was as a small child with an entire farm at my fingertips. We had small nooks to explore and dogs to chase. We had trees to climb and old decrepit sheds to tell ghost stories in. Not to mention the enchanted forest that was just beyond my back yard. I thank the high heavens my parents did not indulge in my rants of boredom, if they had I may never have attained the wonderful childhood memories I carry today. The looming threat of manual labor literally saved my imagination.

Only those who cannot think for themselves or brainstorm or have the ability to problem solve would confess to dullness in life. To admit boredom would be to admit defeat in day to day existence. And who the hell is going to do that- this life is chalk full of adventures just waiting to be discovered.

I want to show my children how to take a lame afternoon of bedroom cleaning and make it a fun-filled musical number just like our good friend Mary Poppins used to do. Or how a completely unremarkable living room set can almost immediately be turned into a fortress that houses the last remains of the dread pirate Hooks loot.

The possibilities are endless; therefore the sheer idea of boredom is relevant to a swift kick to the psyche. And that is why my parents unintentionally banned the word ‘Bored’ from mine and my brother’s vocabulary.

I intend to do the same for my children. Of course I’m sure for the first ten years or so they will loathe my attempts and become annoyed with the relentless drudgery.

But eventually they will get it. And eventually they will thank their notably clever mother for teaching them how to be, well, awesome. I did.

29 and ready for something new…

Hello Bloggers, Facebookers and Friends alike!

As you may or may not know yesterday was my birthday. Ah thank you, ah thank you. I am now officially 29- my last year as a 20-something. And as it happens I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this monumental occasion. I’ve been wondering how I can capture the excitement and anticipation that this last year of 20-Somethingry will bring. I’ve also came to the liberating conclusion that I need not worry about spelling errors anymore and will probably start making up even more words than I usually do- just because I can.

And it was then that it occurred to me! I’m a writer! I will log my experiences on a new blog called The Death of a 20-Something.

AND IT SHALL BE GLORIOUS!

It doesn’t matter it you’re a 20-something, 30-something, 40-something…You get the point. The Death of a 20-Something isn’t literally about age it’s about the journey of self-exploration. About the insecurities we sometimes face in this changing world. It is about togetherness and the reality that no one is truly alone in the journey. I could keep going on but instead why don’t you just check it out for yourself.

I’m not saying you have to love it, but take a look around. If it is something you’d be interested in then go ahead and follow to get more reads from The Death of a 20-Something!

The Death of a 20-Something 

 IMG_1883

375728_10151145906504913_1069802199_n

Tell Your Tale- #003 Birthday Edition

I woke up this morning with one of the best ‘day of birth’ gifts anyone could have ever given me- words! And what’s even more exciting is that these specific words were written solely for me! (Yes, I can still be a little narcissistic at times…)

My sister-in-law and (not to mention) amazing friend, Ashley, had written me a post to blog on The Blogging Mama! What a truly superb lady! Just the thought of somebody writing about little ol’ me gets the warm and fuzzies just a brewing in the ol’ tum and I am feeling mighty awful loved right now.

So instead of me blabbing on and on and on and…Okay, okay,  here is the awesome guest post Ashley wrote for my 29th birthday!

292158_10151063578739913_1016741741_n

She was born on a nipping cold January 11th afternoon… Central Alberta in the mid 80’s… So you know it was really cold. 12:34pm to be precise… That’s 1,2,3,4… Is your mind blown? 

Mine is!!!! 

Well well Lyndzee Rae, allow me to be the first to welcome you to 29! Scary isn’t it? I can distinctly remember as if it was yesterday- the two of us huddled together under a blanket topped tent, laying on the warmth of the bedroom floor, thinking of the day we would be grownups… We thought we would be so sophisticated didn’t we?

375728_10151145906504913_1069802199_n

We assumed by then, we would be well beyond our mediocre dreams, only to be focusing in on new adult type things.

 

Kids? What are those? That wasn’t a part of our big plan… Something we never really thought of in our young and selfish 8 year old minds.
However, seeing you now Lindsay- you have nailed it girl. You are the epitome of success. Besides from travelling afar, as you once hoped, you still lived the lifestyle you expected your travel days to entail.

 252273_10150988470411068_1875067804_n

You’ve swam in deep oceans, hiked enchanted lands, met exotic people, and had your mind blown by a few REAL hippies throughout your journeys. You’ve hitchhiked. You’ve learnt what it is to be down on your luck (I’m one to know- I was right there beside you!)

 And you probably had some of the best independent times of your life in the slums this world has to offer. You’ve ruffed it. You’ve been on many an adventure. Thinking back, there were so many adventures we had just in our own back yards.

479139_10151247472244913_1657448024_o
You’ve fulfilled your dream of becoming a writer. You even went as far as becoming, “columnist”, “author” and “blogger”. You have fans. You have been recognized for your work and you, yourself have been written about. Small as you may see it be, you have done what any writer should hope to accomplish; to be appreciated and recognized for your work. You’ve left an imprint on people. 

10868210_10152878907321068_8747250424327616859_n
You have found your soul mate!!!! How many people can say the same? You’ve grown to be a loving wife, opening your once narcissistic self (I’m sorry for the harsh description, but let’s face it- you know it’s a good word for what you once were!) into a duo. I couldn’t be happier for the woman Jamie has helped shape you into.
You’ve given 2 amazing new lives to this world. Bizarre, I can’t even imagine life without those two precious souls. You’ve raised babies into children. They too have helped shape the woman you are today. What would your blog be worth without the “Mama” what would ‘Me Plus 3’ be without the 3? They are your inspiration, your models, and that is simply beautiful. The way you can just roll with it. You find beauty and craft out of everything that comes your way. You can tell a story and have people in tears of sadness and laughter. You have the ability to intrigue the mind and that is something you have taught yourself.

 
You’ve made the claim lately that 30 will be your year but I’m thinking 29 is looking mighty fine!!! You have accomplished so much these past few years between writing your first novel, to potty training 2 toddlers. (I’m still not sure what would be MORE difficult) you’ve taken advantage of every moment of spare time to work on your skills and talents. You’ve made over 4,000 meals for your kids… You’ve become quite the chef (well, slow cookerer).

 

You’ve overcome obstacles of humility, morality, self-acceptance and even loss. And you’ve learned something about yourself and the world through each of these bounds. 
So for your 29th, I wish you a day of reminiscence of your 20’s. To take a glance back on the road you have paved for yourself. To truly recognize the success you think you are still waiting for. Give yourself nothing but credit and sit back and absorb the fruition. 
30 will be good… It may even be GREAT, but don’t forget what 29 will have contributed to creating those perfect 30’s. 
You have been an amazing friend through our journey together. Your laugh alone has picked me up from some pretty dark places. You’ve cried with me, you’ve even cried for me. You’ve been there for so many important days in my life. You’ve been a crutch and a loving shoulder. You’ve been an open door, which I never thought I’d have again. This is the kind of friend you are. This is the kind of person you’ve always been and I’m so lucky to have had you throughout all these years. 

2014-08-23 21.15.38
I wrote this for your blog today to give your audience just a glimpse of the woman behind the blog- from a different person’s perspective. You’re a truly inspirational woman who knows what she wants in life. I wish I could be more like that. A person that has helped put my mind at ease when I’ve felt alone and trapped with my thoughts and given me a feeling of acceptance in my new world of motherhood.

Thank god for you, and thank god for the friendship I have been so lucky to have had throughout my life.

Happy birthday m’lady. I love you beyond any words. 

Your sister, friend, P.I.C. If you will,
Ashley Blackburn 

IMG_1821

The Many Faces of 29

Lately I’ve heard much talk about how wonderful 30 is. How once we reach this brilliant age all of the insecurities of our twenties will flit away as though never having been there in the first place. A newfound confidence will wash over us and we will walk with that thirty something bounce that makes all of the awkward twenty year olds green with envy.

I will soon be the ripe age of twenty nine- my very last year as a twenty something. And all I can think about is how much evolving I still have to do before I get to that awesomely self-assured lady of thirty I’ve been hearing so much about these days. I am nowhere near that person that everyone says I will miraculously become once hitting this very specific and very conceivable age.

Many times I feel less like that person than I did when I was a weirdo teenager with no purpose on this earth other than terrorizing my brother and striking unabashed fear into the souls of my blameless parents. At least then I was comfortable in my skin. I was me. Plain and simple. And how beautifully simple it was. How easy it was!

Now on any given day I can wake up being a different Lindsay. Most days I wake up as Mom. I groggily get out of bed swearing under my breath about tiredness and etcetera. I pour cereal and more times than not change a set of peed on sheets before the sun rises. I make lunches and walk kids to school in below freezing temperatures- coffee mug in hand. I plan play dates. I try to decipher what my lisp-y four year old is saying without hurting her feelings. I end my days as Mom and I feel good. I’ve helped. I’ve assisted. I continue to do my part to raise this upcoming generation with love, intelligence and compassion.  And at end of the day that is a wonderful feeling.

I wake up some mornings with the sunshine glistening through the cracks of our heavily draped window. I see my husband’s nose wrinkle in just the way I have learnt it does when his deep sleep is disturbed by morning daylight. These mornings I am Wife.  I will gently kiss his clammy sleep sweaty forehead to wake him for work and as he rouses I will pour him a coffee in his favorite mug. I will send him to work and wait for his arrival home that evening expectantly. I listen to his woes and support him in his decisions. We will make inside jokes and talk quietly about our budding life over wine, mussels and blue cheese on Ritz crackers. We will imagine the future and make plans for what’s to come. We play fight. We real argue. We understand we are opposites but appreciate each other’s ideals. And I will love him, because I chose him and he chose me and together we created two beautiful little human beings. It is these days that I am reaffirmed that I am doing things right. I am doing what I was meant to do.

Other days I wake up with artful words plucking at my fingertips- waiting for that pivotal moment of release. These days I am Writer. These are the days I am invincible.

Some days I wake up and immediately am deemed Friend- I can be a shoulder to cry on or an ear to vent at. Or maybe simply just a friend to chatter with.

I am Daughter. I am sister. I am Confidant. I am Secret Keeper. I am Gossiper. I am Feminist. I am Peace Keeper. I am Trouble Maker.

And with so many different personas that I take on daily I can feel myself being pulled in fifty different directions. There are days when I wake up wondering what Lindsay will be called upon first and I am overwhelmed by the possibilities. I find the idea of coming into ones ‘own’ a difficult to process.

It feels like now more than ever I am a hundred different women just trying to get through the day without falling over that proverbial edge of insanity. Because god forbid we offend the guidelines of what women of a certain age should behave like.

So yes, here I am in my bed typing away currently indulging in my role as Writer. Maybe I will always be more than one woman. Maybe I will always find myself pondering the mysteries of womanhood and life in general. And possibly, that’s okay too.

Maybe it’s not about blindly listening to what we ‘should’ be feeling by thirty but instead accepting the realities of who we truly are and embracing that to the absolute fullest.

anniversary-1x

2014 in review- The Blogging Mama

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for The Blogging Mama!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.