They Are The Reason

As my word processing program boots up and blinks back into existence it scowls at me. It’s been a while old friend, I quietly say, as I am hesitant to let people know that I talk to inanimate objects.

It’s been over a month to be precise. But when I say things have been busy, I mean it literally.

The shop is getting busier and busier as the days go by. I’m not complaining because just between you and me I like money. I like it a lot. What I am complaining about is the achy feet, the stiff joints (because apparently I’m 279 years old these days) and the reeling to-do list which accosts the tiny bits of relief that momentarily surface in my brain. Oh the joys of being alive!

This last week however Jamie and I have got a bit of reprieve from the daily grind.  We shipped the small humans up to my parents house to stay with them for the week and by the looks of the photos I’ve been getting they are in their glory. And James and I have gotten a small taste of what it’s like to run a business without having tiny people in tow.

So, I’m just going to throw this out there guys…All of you humans that have no kids, um, what are you doing? Why aren’t you ruling the world right now? How are we, the exhausted parents, not your underlings yet? You are clearly the dominant species and should be prevailing over all civilisation. You surely have the energy for it!

Maybe that’s going a little far but after experiencing this last week, I have a newfound appreciation for ‘the working parent’ that’s for damn sure!

After dropping the babes off and heading back to Lethbridge we were solemn and sad, wondering how we could possibly stand this week without our darling littles.

After day one back to The Hot Wire there we were counting our float with huge grins on our faces, signing;

 

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For the next week we got up early to prep and stayed open late when the customers just kept on rolling in. We seemed to have endless energy! The work we got accomplished was unprecedented. We felt like we had the world by the small and curlies and there wasn’t anything or anyone holding us back.

Now as I am writing all of this there is a tiny screaming voice in the back of my thoughts saying, “there is a special place in hell for people like you Lindsay!” Because really, who actually talks about how much easier and more productive life is without children? It’s fucking blasphemy. It’s despicable. Its ludicrous!

But it is also the truth.

This morning I was in the shower, enjoying the uninterrupted cleansing time thinking about all of this. I thought about how productive life has been these last six days and how thankful I felt that our business was doing well.

And then just like that, discreet images of my two favourite people started nonchalantly dancing around in my memories.  Sophie mopping the floor at the shop while giving me her famous “Sophie look”. Lars, sitting at the table across from the till playing Uno like a pro. The hilarious things they say and the weirdo stuff they do flooded my brain and  it occurred to me that these two small humans ARE the shop.

They are the reason we started this thing up. They are the reason we work so hard to make it successful. Their smiles brighten the place on Saturdays and their presence gives us the drive to keep on going even when things seem impossible.

Yes a week here or there is nice to catch up on the little stuff. We all (including the kids) need a break from the routine now and then. But as I sit here typing my gaze continues to drift towards the clock and I find myself anxious to go pick them up.

Because as fancy-free as life was without them, the real adventure is experiencing the growth and evolution of our beautiful family together. They are the reason for everything we do and I don’t think I will ever be able to thank them enough for that.

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Buck the f*ck up.

 

Tragic was the first word that came to mind when I thought of my morning. Except is wasn’t tragic at all, it was pitiful with a side of wallowing. I slept in which meant I didn’t get my one and a half cups of ultra-strong coffee and Facebook trolling time. I also managed to misplace my keys so as I was pining over my lost caffeine fix I was also madly running around the house looking for something to start my car with.

The roads were awful from the snow storm that so lovingly triumphed over us these last few days so of course everyone was driving like assholes. Including me I’m sure. We all seem to lose our good driving sense when the snow begins to fly, who knows, must be one of those weird collective-thought thingies. You know, like the Berenstain Bears phenomenon. If you don’t know what that is, look it up right now. I won’t be offended if you leave to Google it, I swear. It’s worth it.

So I pull in to the shop and I can feel the inkling of a mental breakdown on the outer edge of my brain. As I nearly chop off my finger while cutting onions for the soup a tiny voice whispers bitter somethings at my inner ear. It asks me what business I have doing a job like this. As I pull my cakes out of the oven to find they have somehow burnt on the outside and are still batter on the inside the voice cackles and reminds me how worthless I am.

But I’m trying my hardest, I say to the voice. I tell it that I’ve done well so far considering I’ve never worked in this industry before. I rationalize that most things I attempt turn out half decent. My confidence begins to waiver however.

I burn myself for the third time and yell, “FOR FUCK SAKES!” and chuck the empty soup pot into the sink. It clanks loudly against the stainless-steel basin which irritates me even further. The voice pipes up again. Stop kidding yourself. You’re no cook and you’re certainly not a baker. Jamie is the only talented one when it comes to this stuff. You are just here for the grunt work. It’s what you do best. It’s the only thing you’ve ever been good for.

Tears dribble down my cheeks as I look around at the kitchen. I’ve accomplished nothing this morning except scorching myself and perhaps denting our sink with my temper tantrum. I hear the back door open. Jamie’s here. I try to wipe away the wet from my face. The voice chants at me persistently.

You’re never going to be good enough and Jamie will resent you for it.

I know that it’s ridiculous. I know that none of what this voice says is true and it is just insecurity wrapping its ugly talons around my feelings. I know I’m worth more than what this voice tells me. But for the moment I am defeated. My husband walks in to find a woman broken down and emotionally beaten by her own silly reservations. I sloppily relay what the voice reiterates in my brain every few minutes or so. I tell him I don’t know what I’m doing. I tell him I feel lost sometimes. I say that I don’t think I am good enough.

I know what his reaction will be. He will tell me I am wrong. He will say that I am amazing and that he couldn’t do this without me. This is what we do, we hold each other up when the other begins to back step.

Being married is difficult. Being an adult is difficult. Opening a business where you’ve put everything on the line is totally terrifying. So yeah in the last year there has been many a meltdown between the two of us. Our secret to not falling totally and utterly apart? One of us always finds the strength to tell the other one to buck the fuck up.

This morning my best friend held me together for the umpteenth time in our life together. I won’t go into details (because my mother reads this blog) about what exactly he did to pull me out of my funk, but I will tell you that it was fun and it worked.

We all have moments where we wonder if we are good enough. We wonder if we chose the right path. We wonder if there is room enough to grow into the position we find ourselves in. I think the answer is always yes, regardless of circumstance. As individuals we decide who to become in life. But what makes that journey less painful, less scary, is having the people you love ready to pick you up when you falter.

This morning, as I sobbed into Jamie’s shoulder, he grabbed my face and told me to shut up. He kissed me hard and said, “Maybe you aren’t the best cook or the greatest baker but I went to school for this and was trained by professionals and I still have cakes that fall and eclairs that go to shit. We’ve built this thing together and we will keep learning together. We are in this together.”

So it wasn’t a tragic morning after all. It was just another morning where a life lesson presented itself. And sometimes life lessons—despite all the emotions and junk—can end up making you feel pretty damn great.

 

“stop trying to do everything by yourself.”

I woke up last Friday to find that my seven year old’s cheek was the size of a golf ball. It was red, swollen and looking very very painful. I asked him if it hurt and he said, “No but it feels a little weird.” I swear to God if I’d never seen him react to a stubbed toe I would think his tolerance for pain was extraordinary.

Turns out the poor guy had an infected tooth. We got the medicine and I am happy to report that he is well on his way to healing.

The whole experience threw me for a loop. Hello, worst Mother of the year over here, what with allowing my kid’s cavity to get so bad it became infected. We have the appointment booked to get it fixed but not until early November.  Until then, I guess I just have to let this enveloping feeling of guilt peppered with a bit of failure consume me.

Uhh yes the dramatics, hop on board, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the ride.

But seriously, the anxiety as of late, is coming at me from every direction and I don’t know what else I can do to fend this bitch off.

I worry about Lars and his tooth, I worry about Sophie and this newfound teenage attitude she’s dowsing herself in. I worry about school and if I am doing enough to help them along in what is the most important endeavour of their young lives. I worry about the shop and how to bring more customers in. I worry about money. I worry about time, because there’s never enough of it. And each time I conquer a hurdle I am oh so fucking worried about another worry pops up from the shadows. It’s as though it was just waiting there, ready to pounce as soon as I let out the tiniest sigh of relief.

Yesterday I started crying, like, what else is new? I was crying because of this overwhelming quilt of stress that started asphyxiating me. I didn’t exactly know how to remedy it. So I figured after a good ole blubber sesh I’d be able to pull myself together and pretend to be a functioning adult.

Well, the plan would have worked if not for my meddling husband. He was all, “What’s wrong Hunny?” and, “How can I help you right now Lindsay?”  Which was totally sweet, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes a gal just needs to wallow for a little while to get her wits about her.

So with a wrinkled cry-face and on the verge of hyperventilating I told my husband what was wrong.

“I’m just so stressed out Jamie.” I said because I thought it may not be very clear at that point. “I feel like an awful mother. I’m always such a basket case of anxiety, I don’t think I’ve been spending enough time with the kids, I should be helping out more at the school and I just feel like I’m totally failing my family.” My words were barely comprehensible, but Jamie being the star he is, knew just what to say.

“Stop being so stupid.” Awe so sweet. “Stop trying to do everything by yourself. There are two of us you know.” He said grabbing my shoulders and looking into my soul as he does from time to time.

“But what about tomorrow?” I said, “Tomorrow I need to make a fruit platter for Sophie’s class, talk to the office about Lars’ medication, make Halloween treats for the shop, get the kids ready for the Halloween parade at school, AND OPEN THE STORE!” I’m not going to lie, I was hysterical by this time and unravelling more and more by the second.

He pulled me in close and hugged me hard, almost as though he knew that I may explode at any moment and he was merely trying to hold me together. It worked. Once again my brilliant husband held me together. Man, I love that guy.

“Lindsay, you do the things you need to do at the school tomorrow. I will open the store.” He said calmly – not to spook the monster that was retreating back into her hiding spot. “We are a team, we can do this.” He smiled at me, “I fucking love you.”

“I fucking love you too.” I said.

And with the help of my best friend I moved on to the next hurdle that needed slaying.

 

 

It all started with a bathroom….

 I was bored, my extremely handy sister-in-law Ashley was over and we got the bright idea to paint the main bathroom. So we did, that is when everything quickly spiraled out of control from that point on.

Next I embarked on my bedroom, and it turned out beautiful. Oh how lovely it was to have a fresh new look in the boudoir area. And from the positivity that was exuded from this space, it only took a matter of minutes for my current hellish fate to begin.

“I’m going to paint the house! And none of this, doing it room by room crap, I am going to paint the entire house, and it will be awesome!”

I now understand the phrase, “famous last words” because these were indeed my famous last words.

 

So here it is;  green painting tape lining the ceilings, baseboards, cupboards and anything else I don’t want paint on (because did I mention I am a TERRIBLE painter?). The house is in complete disarray, ladders placed in odd places, drop sheets everywhere since in my euphoric renovating state I decide that getting new living room furniture BEFORE painting will be a great idea.  

It is literally difficult to walk around in this house without stepping in a tray of paint or tripping over rollers, paint brushes or other painting paraphernalia.

I have exiled the children to the basement area, the only part of the house that is not brimming with danger and mishap, although a week ago I would have told you that our basement is NOT childproof, today it seems like the safest alternative to the torturous upstairs.

They seem satisfied there, since they have total run of the place. If and when I get done up here, I will need to do a complete overhaul on the vicinity as they have destroyed it…How one can destroy an unfinished basement is beyond me, but with my babes nothing in regards to messiness surprises me anymore.

 

Yesterday was the worst. I have come to the conclusion (with my home at least) that for every 5 minutes of painting there is a friggen hour of prep work, what with taping cleaning the baseboards so the tape will actually stick on to them, puttying, sanding, and wiping away putty debris.

At one point a teensy weensy tid bit of putty somehow made it into my eye. I Did not think much of it at the time, just wiped it away with my paint covered hands because unfortunately we do not have an emergency eye wash station on hand.

Moments later this insatiable stinging begins, my eye is watering heavily and I am 10 feet up on a ladder cutting in the ceiling. SHIT! How do I get myself out of this one. No one is around, not even the kids, but I’m sure they wouldn’t be much help in the first place.

Slowly oh so slowly I creep down to solid ground and stumble my way towards the kitchen sink. By that point there is this green gunk oozing out of my eyeball and it is quickly sealing shut.

I’m done for.

I decide to call er’ in for the night because I can’t imagine getting much more done with a gimp eye plus I’m in need of more supplies.

 

I wake up the next morning and my eye is completely swelled shut, red and puffy. This does not stop me. I am on a mission to finish the job and finish it I will! So I flush it out as good as I can, make my way to the car and drive around half blinded picking up paint supplies from around town.

Several comments are flung my way about ‘maybe going to see a doctor about that eye’ and ‘should you be driving like that?’

All of the remarks in one ear and out the other, not scathing me in the slightest.

 By the time I get home, it is feeling better and I begin my undertaking once more.

Today I am a lot further than I was yesterday and tomorrow I will be close to done. There may have been some bumps along the road, but if I have one piece of advice for you in the painting your home department it is this;

As frustrating as it may be, when your whole world is turned upside down, it will get done if perseverance is placed into it…That and, set up an emergency eye wash station, you never know when they will come in handy!

…Or just remember your eye protection when doing renovations. Ya that seems a bit more legit.

Confessions Part 3; The Dog Edition.

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Dear Lindsay;

I feel it may be time to put it all out there, what with having your undivided attention and all…

I am not your dog, I am your Mother-in-Law’s dog. Sheila? Remember her?

You cannot keep stealing me from my home. I like it there, and am confused when you take me away in times that are unnecessary. I have literally heard you say as you walk in the door, “Don’t mind me, just stealing the dog for a few days…” And then you don’t return me for weeks!

Maybe it is time to just get a dog of your own?

But while I’m here anyways I had better get a few more things off my chest…

Dear Lindsay;

Do you really need to guess why I try to escape from your house in my unfortunate times of captivity there?

Okay, let me lay a few points down for you…

1. Your children are obsessed with me…It’s like I’m Channing Tatum after that awful stripper movie…Always touching me and whatnot, obviously it has became too much when the DOG is telling you to back off. Catch a hint kids…

2. You are constantly forgetting to feed me, and when you finally do you think it will be- Oh how do you put it? CUTE- to let the kids feed me. Ya! Real cute Lady, it takes them an hour to get it over with. All I want is my damn Cesar for small dogs blend.

3. You blame every tiny poo on the carpet to be mine…Aren’t you the one who is always writing about how much your kids excrete in a day? Why all the sudden is the hammer coming down on me?

Dear Lindsay;

I do not find it amusing when you put on your ridiculous Cabaret music and puppeteer me to dance along to ‘All That Jazz’.

It degrades me, in a way I cannot explain.

Dear Lindsay;

I do not require to be spoken to in a foolish baby-talk voice. You are making an idiot of yourself.

Dear Lindsay;

I want a treat, I want a treat, I want a treat, I want a treat…Oh shoot I peed.

Dear Lindsay;

Sorry I apologize for that, your tempting me with the bag of dog treats got away from me.

Yes…Yes I will sit and shake your hand for that treat.

Despite the fact we already know each other rather well and these kind of formalities are quite unnecessary.

Dear Lindsay;

Currently Sophie lays on top of me, and Lars’ nose is about a half inch away from mine and he is yelling incomprehensible words in my general direction.

All I have to say is that you are lucky I’m one of those, ‘good with kids’ dogs.

Dear Lindsay;

Remember last night when I hopped into bed and Jamie callously thrust me back on the floor, where I ended up sleeping singly all night?

Well, I guess I just wanted to let you know; that sort of, kind of… hurt my feelings.

Dear Lindsay;

I am very sorry for eating the fecal matter out of Sophie’s portable waste disposal unit today. I could not resist myself, the temptation was just too much for me.

Obviously next time you should be more diligent on removing its contents.

Or don’t…Whatever.

Dear Lindsay;

I suppose we both know by now that I love garbage. I love when I sneak it from the trash can in your bathroom, tear it open from the sweltering bag on the back deck, I even love it when it isn`t technically garbage yet and still just food that happens to drop off the plates of a two and four year old.

I love it so much.

That is all.

Dear Lindsay;

Please consider this last note a formal withdrawal of the first I had wrote. Come to think of it, it may just not be so bad around here as I had first thought.

Once getting past the horror of your children, the oddness that is YOU, and the complete lack of interest Jamie has in me…Other aspects of your home are quite appealing.

So with this being said, I suppose I can stay a little while longer. And as long as you try to tone it down on your overbearingly trying habits, perhaps I will grace you with my presence in future occasions.

These are the confessions of a Bichon Shih tzu, from the perspective of a lady who claims not to be a `dog person`  but secretly loves that damn dog like no other.

A Simple Thought For The Day

Currently there is an unforgivable smell of urine lingering in my living room. As hard as I may, the smell will not scrub away. I look at the home that I toil with daily to keep clean, and presently it rests in a state of upheaval.

Thoughts of financial stress have currently burdened my mind, forcing me to make some tough decisions.

I think of some of my unhealthy, bad habits, and the knowledge that I must give these things up is flagrant. Yet not even remotely on my list of things to do.

I have managed to gain ten pounds this fine summer, despite my moving more- in accordance with this busy schedule. Stress can do some amazingly horrid things to one’s body.

Writing has become a very, very secondary task in my life as of late. Between the heat, the schedule, the family visits and the house; there is simply no time to write. When I do type up a blog post, it comes to surface as superficial, stereotypical almost.

And to top everything off, I have been living the last few years with kidney issues. And unfortunately are, and always will be living on and off of antibiotics for infections that are inevitable….This though, is another story which I will write about- Sometime…If ever I am given the allowance to conjure up the words to write this story.

This morning I woke, with my husband on one side of me, my daughter snuggled closely on the other and my son atop the lower half of my legs (it still amazes me that he finds this a comfortable position to sleep in).

Instead of feeling perturbed by the sudden cramped sleeping quarters, I reveled in the condition. I woke up happy to be so close with my kids and husband and laid there for a few moments watching my sleeping family amidst me.

Like every other day of wakening, the thoughts which burden my mind came to head quickly, but I was able to push them aside this morning. And instead of rising frantically with lists of the tasks I must complete, I thought of the things that have already been achieved.

I thought of my kids, and that they are happy, healthy and well adjusted children. I thought about my husband and I, not of all of our short fallings but of our triumphs in these last 5 years together.

This morning I realized that life will pass by us regardless of our victories, regardless of our failings. And instead of keeping track to gage  our success in this lifetime, merely participating is achievement enough.

Today as I madly try to rid the carpet of its pungent pee smell and take my antibiotics, and clean up for my in-laws upcoming visit, and vamp up my resume for job searching, I will not dwell.

Today I realize that this is all part of life, of growing up. Because growing up never truly ends.

Today I would like to call my morning thoughts of happiness and bliss an epiphany of sorts, although I don’t think it is. Again maybe a little to surfaced and stereotypical, but meaningful to me non-the-less.

Today, I will not worry about tomorrow. I will be with my kids, do what I can, and choose happiness over tension.  Today I will make a change not only for my family, but for myself.

Growing up sucks!

I will now take you down an utterly cliché road and tell you that when I was young, I always wanted to be a grownup. It just looked like they were all having so much fun, doing whatever they wanted and what not…always so debonair and unruffled. Grownups always seemed so darn ‘put together’.

So I always tried to act older, do older, grownup kind of things.

But once I reached my goal of adulthood I realized how much it actually blows!

Jamie and I have been through our fair share of house hold issues. I refer you to a post written months ago named ‘The dreaded household appliance’ this is just a small example of our life on a daily basis.

When it isn’t household issues going awry, it is the vehicles.

I know it isn’t just us that lives with shit-show debacles daily, but sometimes it feels that way.

The time is 10:00 pm, Jamie has just got home from work and we are talking about his day when I think, ‘hey I haven’t heard the sump pump go off lately’. So I send my beloved down to the basement to check on it.

I hear exactly what I do not want to hear echo up from the cellar.

“Fuck!”

Great!

I run downstairs and before he can even tell me what’s going on, I see it. There is about a quarter of an inch leeway until the hole in which the sump pump lies will be over flowing into our insanely cluttered basement.

We start bailing water.

Bucket after bucket after bucket. The knowledge that we need to get someone on the phone and figure this out is flagrant. The pump has completely stopped working. But how do we find the time, when we are desperately trying to keep water from accosting our basement floor!?

And the rain is coming down in funnels, this is not looking very promising.

We stay surprisingly calm, which I chalk up to simply being adapt to this type of condition, almost as though it is second nature to us, to be in precarious circumstances.

I tell Jamie to get on the blower and try and see if anyone has an extra sump pump we can borrow for the night until we can get to an open store and buy a new one.

Meanwhile I keep bailing. Good thing I got some serious muscles of steel in the ol’ bicep department.

I hear Jamie talking to various friends on the phone. No go thus far.

Things are looking pretty grim.

“Go put something on Facebook, someone is bound to respond.” Jamie says in a half frantic, half despondent sort of way.

I oblige without saying much.

I come back telling him I put up statuses on both his and my Facebook pages, while adding in wistfully, “Here’s hoping!”

We are about to call a 24 hour plumber and spend a small fortune on a sump pump when Jamie’s phone starts singing a melodic tune.

Jamie runs to answer it, but takes a second look at the number before doing so. I hear his voice become ecstatic and he runs towards the door.

“Who was that?” I ask while looking at his goofy and over eccentric smile.

“Shaun and Abigail from next door have an extra sump pump that we can borrow! They saw our Facebook post.”

I don’t even have enough time to respond because my husband is out the door before he even finishes his zealous statement.

Thank God for neighbors, thank God for social media, and thank God Jamie and I are so versed in this kind of crap that we had enough wits about us to think logically about the situation.

As Jamie has the entirety of his upper body deep within the dark depths of the sump pump hole, installing the thing, he looks up at me and says,

“Make sure you keep that flashlight on this hole, I don’t need any damn swamp monsters spooking up on me and dragging me down to their layer!”

It was completely and utterly the best thing he could have said at that moment. We were fatigued and battered from our long night and the stress of adulthood was quickly coming down upon us.

I then realized it is never too late to look on the lighter side and for a moment of relief,  just be a kid again!

Maybe Lars and Sophie will think that the adult life is the life for them, and like me try too quickly to grow up.  But I will do my best to get across to them that they should cherish their youth while they can, because in reality they will have much more years of pressured adulthood than carefree adolescence.

If I could, I would appreciate those days a lot more now in later years.

But for now, we will keep doing what we are doing, and hopefully steer clear of any swamp monsters in the near future.

A Fresh Start

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I have been having a hard time lately thinking of blog posts, as our weather in the fine province of Alberta is finally shaping up! OH how lovely it is, to walk outside and be hit with the rays of hot sun that I’m sure most of us have been craving since the mid winter season.
The kids and I have been spending most our time outside, I working in my gardens…Them, digging up the work I had just finished. I am attempting to teach them about Flora and Fauna this summer, as we spend so much time out at my parents farm and it provides to be a great landscape for education in this respective area.
Yesterday as I was out doing some weeding, and moving of certain perennials that I wanted to relocate, I began to notice…Like really notice the new growth that was starting to pop out of the rich black soil I worked upon.
Thick shoots of green and pink rhubarb jutted out in a completely random fashion, yet somehow looking totally uniform in their own way. Bright lime green Day Lilies, in their beginning stage stretched to find the warmth of the sun while the immature buds of a lilac bush greeted their arrival.
All of this beautiful new growth got me thinking about my babies and their development. How far they have come in the long winter spell.
Lars, and the ideas he has the ability to come up with, his mind is constantly spinning with concepts I had no idea he could even grasp. He told me the other day, as he practiced scrolling out his name with chalk on our cement pad, that it may not look perfect now but he just needs to practice and one day it will be. A simple idea at first grasp, but when I think back to last September when he began writing his name, and how frustrated he would get over it, it made me realize how much patience and persistence he has gained over these last few months.
Today we will be getting Sophie her first bike, and oh how excited she is for this milestone. As I type away, her and Lars wait uncomplainingly for Jamie to get out of the shower so we can begin the hunt for Sophie’s perfect tricycle.
It is a well known fact that with Springtime, begins new life and novel beginnings. I have always been in my prime at this time of year, but have never really took much thought to it. Finally I have been given the allowance to understand the magnitude of this season.
When I look towards the large poplar trees that grow uninhibitedly behind our house, and see the faint green tinge of new buds coming to life, I am able to breathe a sigh of relief.
Although the winter months have their fair share of fun activities to engage in and fall is beautiful with its deep colors of red and orange, summer and its heat; I can’t help but revel in the wonderfulness of spring.
My worries, although not completely relieved, seem to fade away into a place where they do not guide my thoughts, I take more pleasure in my accomplishments and dwell less on the things that need to be done, because now I know that I have a fresh new start ahead of me.

 

 

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USE THE BAG

I am not an organizational person. There I said it, but to make matters worse, I am one of those people who say,  ‘if my house was super organized I wouldn’t be able to find anything.’ Which brings me to my story. I was about to get into the shower…I know what you’re thinking, what does showering and organizational skill have in common? Everything!

I am about to get into the shower, but it always takes a few minutes for the freezing cold water to warm up, so I stand outside the tub with my arm stretched gingerly inside while the cold water runs off my quickly icing hand. The heat is now sufficient, so I step into the apparatus. I have to do some fancy foot work to avoid the chilly toys that are strewn all over the porcelain bottom. My left foot’s toe supports my body weight while I every so quickly pivot my body into the tub. I step down too soon and my right foot lands directly atop the soaking cold facecloth that who knows how long has been holding its ground there.  It is okay though, because  delightfully warm water now drains over me.

So here I am, lathering and scrubbing when my eye itches. Now I know this is completely cliché but it happened none the less. I rub it. Instantly my eye swells with a burning sensation, I scream some pretty outrageous swear words (hopefully the kids are not in ears reach) then whip around to let the water drain into my eye socket. Well apparently the kids were not in ears reach because I hear the main bathrooms toilet flush faintly in the distance and a second later I am accosted with scalding water being focussed unswervingly into my face.

I take a step back to try and remove myself from the catastrophe that is coming down upon me, but step on a Pony Pal…This is when it happens; between the soap that still flames with a vengeance in my eye, the torrid liquid that is pumping out at me with a devastating stronghold and tripping over that damn Pinky Pony I gyrate the wrong way and go tumbling out of the shower. Taking with me the double sided plastic curtain and the rod on which it hangs. The rod smashes me in the head once we all reach the tiled floor.

I am in shock. I do not move, or even stir. I lay naked, half wrapped in the residue infested drape with my head throbbing and the tears quickly on their way. Sophie waddles in and immediately begins to laugh at the scene, because quite frankly it would be absolutely hilarious if it hadn’t been me that it happened to.  So I laugh right along with my daughter, get up and begin to put the rod back in its place. After I am done cleaning up the destruction, I pick up the 20 plus death-defying objects that lay in the bottom of the tub…I place them in the netted bag we bought for bathing toys years ago, and make a mental note that from now on we must, ‘USE THE BAG!’

 

 

The Living Room Affair

Once again mine and Jamie’s inability to live civilly with another adult has left us roommate-less. Well, not quite the case this time around, but in an attempt not to make matters more ill at ease than they already are, I digress. Like every other time we are left without a human to occupy our basement dwelling I come up with the brilliant idea that, HEY this could be a playroom for the kids! We could have a toy free living room and life will become glorious!

So for the millionth time, we gather up all of the toys from the living room and their bedrooms, lug them downstairs and set up the most awesome playroom that we can conjure up in our minds. There are problems we have encountered in the past with this downstairs playroom idea. These being our basement is very dark, which terrifies Lars, there is a storage area under the stairs which could provide dangerous for the inquisitive Sophie Anne, and since our children are TV hounds we need some sort of viewing aid to accompany their play.

Done and done. We hang up bright colored sheets and put in more lamps for lighting, so it doesn’t seem the least bit scary for Lars and completely block off the danger zone for Soph. I am feeling first-rate right now, thinking that my living room will once again become mine for the taking. Oh how I revel in the idea of no fingerprints on the windows, the ability to only vacuum once every few days rather than a few times a day, not to mention the bulk of their toys localized to one area (a seldom seen area to boot!)

We have even hooked up the cable to a TV we found in our storage vicinity, a place that is quickly turning out to be the beginnings of a future episode on ‘Hoarders’ but at this point I don’t care. Our unfortunate habit of keeping everything that we have ever owned has quickly assisted me in my predicament of alleviating my children’s mess from the living room. Hooray For Hoarding I say, Hooray!

Three days now, the children have occupied their new basement play area for three whole days! They are happy and I am hopeful that this time our scheming will finally pay off.  At long last we have succeeded in creating an acceptable even joyous place for them to carry out playtime. Just as I am about to indulge in a noon-time glass of celebratory wine, I hear a heart stopping scream from their new sanctuary. My heart drops, because it does not sound like a regular ‘I’m annoyed with my sister’ kind of yelp that Lars usually gives into. A million things race through my head as I race towards the basement, has Sophie somehow scaled the barrier we created to the storage area? Has Lars knocked over the lamp I placed in the room  to make him feel safer? It could be anything. As I near the basement, I hear a strange muffled sound coming from the far end of the room, the area in which that thousand year old TV was placed. Lars is still screaming bloody murder and Sophie sits staring at the thing, eyes wide in amazement of the odd sound it resonates.

“MAMA THERE’S A MONSTER IN THE TV! ITS GUNNA COME AND GET US!!!!!” I sprint to the television just to simply turn it off so Lars too will turn off his yelling regime, but when I try to turn it back on, the whole thing is dead. So much for my lucky find from my stockpile of junk.

I have several options at this point; put the money out for a new TV and place the eldest one from upstairs downstairs, try and teach my kids that it is not that important to have a television on at all times (this is a long shot and to be truthful, I’m not going to even attempt this one. Just thought I’d throw it in for good measure.) Or I can simply say good bye to my diminutive life of a child-free living room.

One day I will again attempt this dream of mine, perhaps sooner rather than later. I just yearn so badly for it. The suggestion does not give way to the screams of annoyance that burden my brain as I try to type these words. The kids currently find themselves coddling our upstairs television, with fruitful attention. I do hold onto the hope that someday soon I will be granted the allowance to get up out of this chair without stubbing my toe on a ‘Pony Pal’  or stepping directly on a ‘Thomas Train’ that will more than likely puncture the fragile skin beneath my foot. One day, I will have my living room back. One glorious day.

The Call of The Patio Door

IMG_7142My husband woke up this morning with a headache from hell, so the poor guy is now laid up in our darkened bedroom while I am desperately trying to keep the children quiet, as to not disturb his throbbing cranium even more. To make matters worse spring fever has hit me with a vengeance that is as strong as it is fierce.  I cannot go one more day searching for lost mittens, hang drying sopping wet snow pants or bundling the kiddies up into oblivion before venturing outside of these walls. And with this need for heat, comes a flagrant knowledge that as of lately I have dropped the ball in the outside play department.

It is eight o’clock A.M. no scratch that, nine o’clock this silly time change screws me up every time.  Last night’s dinner dishes have been scraped clean of the dried on gunk that consumed them, and now are in the dishwasher ready to be washed. The kids are eating Goldfish crackers and watching Blue’s Clues in the living room and I am typing at the kitchen table. To the left of me are my fingerprint infested patio doors.  They are badly in need of  some new blinds to hide these famously appearing fingerprints, since currently they have none.  Three months ago my overzealous two year old tore them down in one of her outraged bursts of fury.

The blue skies continue to call out to me, ‘Come out and bask in my glorious warmth Lindsay, your kids will have so much fun out here in the sun.’ Maybe I have been reading too much Dr.Suess, but the prospect does seem rather promising.  I glance towards the living room; I know that the kids would have a wonderful time outside today.  It is the thought of having to go through the motions of outside preparation that hinders my movement.

  1. Struggle to get Sophie dressed in clothes, because in her current existence a lonely diaper is all she seems happy in.
  2. Pry Lars away from his obstinate You-Tube surveillance (Thomas the train, Pingu, and on the off occasion Caillou in Spanish…I am not sure why this is as awesome as he seems to think it is).
  3. Locate all forms of winter wear, a half an hour task in itself (Again, organizational skills are not my forte).
  4. Curse under my breath because I cannot find any damn mittens for Lars.
  5. Remove Sophie’s snow pants, regular pants and take her back to her room, because she has soiled herself once again at the most inopportune time.
  6. Redress female child in winter wear.
  7. Calm Lars, because he is now upset about how warm he has become while waiting for me and his sister, yet refuses to go out into the fenced yard by himself.
  8. Suit myself up in winter clothes.
  9. Curse under my breath because I cannot find my own damn mittens.
  10. Finally get outside, and have a wonderful time playing with my children in the snow.

Well although the first nine steps seem like all they could possibly result in, is plain anguish; I come to the conclusion that step 1o will make it all worth it. There is only another month of snow (hopefully) left, we may as well enjoy it before the incessant complaining about how unbearably hot it has become starts.