"Take love, multiply it by infinity and take it to the depths of forever...

... and you still have only a glimpse of how I feel for you."

- Meet Joe Black

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Confessions of a Stay At Home Mama...

Dear Daughter

Recently, Jess Constable of Makeunder My Life wrote a blog post. It sparked a twitter conversation about how over styled and/or perfect our lives can appear on blogs/Facebook/Pinterest yada yada. Most people go on these social media sites to share thoughts, ideas that inspire us, day to day living, photos, gorgeous products or homes we covet etc. From the outside looking in, lives can sometimes appear rosier than they are.

Then look at things from a woman's perspective. Or a mother's. A daughters. A friend.  Most of us can't help it. We look at other peoples Facebook feeds and think "Oh.My.Lanta! That is amazing" or "How does she find the time" or "I wish I had thought of that". Or the past comment I got "Did you really do that , or are you just showing off". Now the last was said in a joking manner, but to me it was hurtful...and thought provoking.  Do I only post, tag, photograph the good, and leave out the bad....  

Heck Ya I do! Why the H.E. Double hockey stick would I photograph a picture of your crib after you decided that "nope, no diaper for me...oh and btw I made a doodie"
Does that  sound like something Id be ecstatic about at 3 in the morning? Nope! 

Now in saying that, I have posted about things that have just driven me up the wall, made me want to cry and induced almost blubbering, but all in all I mostly post about good things. Happy things. Things that make me go "awww, I wish you stayed this size/age/temperament for eva and eva"

Then a challenge was issued. To share things we wouldn't typically talk about on our walls,blogs, and boards . Things like  imperfections, insecurities, quirks, etc.

So here goes...The Confessions of THIS Stay At Home Mama....

1) In the morning (read:every morning) I stick you on the couch with a glass of milk and put Elmo/Dora/Super Readers on until the coffee is made. Until that glorious machine stops sputtering, I'm a walking zombie with no interest in changing out of my sweats.

2) Besides the Go-To Craft Cupboard upstairs, I have 2 large boxes of nothing but scrapbook paper, 13 boxes of misc. craft supplies, 138 balls of yarn, 11 empty scrapbooks and 4, 2 gallon bottles filled with buttons, stamps and beads that I refuse to "Yard Sale" because I know ONE DAY I will use them....You say hoarder, I call it thinking ahead.

3) I own 27.5  of what I call "Happy Socks".  Leopard print, smiley faces, lights, feathers and even Winnie the Pooh are all part of my collection. Others don't know I'm wearing them, but I do. And that gives me a little Happy Oh So Secret Perk Up to my day!

4) On our bed, we have two comforters. One duvet and and a thin quilt. That's right, your Daddy and I rarely share a blanket. You see, he's a human heater and I'm a Popsicle most of the time. We love each other so much, but only seek the "shared blanket time" when my feet are cold or your father and I are....well.. you know...

5)Yes, we really do bake at least twice a week. Yes we really do crafts several times a week. And yes you get your "Canadian Physical Recomendation" of 3 hours  a day of active play. BUT... I'm a homebody, so if the choice is to have that play in at the park/ neighboring field or home...
I choose the playroom or backyard 7 times out of 10.  Why? No really good excuse...But if I'd have to say....As a red head, the sun and I have a love/hate relationship. Mosquitoes think I'm a Kings Palace Buffet, Sand ALWAYS gets in places it shouldn't be, and it never fails I trip/slip/hulk stomp a hole in the ground and end up on my patootie.

6)Our house is clean. I make sure that things are swept,mopped and germ free. But if you want to haggle the difference between Clean Vs Tidy....Well...Let's just say our home looks "lived in" . We have a lot going on throughout the day, so who could blame me if I chose Slime Making over laundry....Who?

7) I'm going to  contradict myself and say I LOVE Going out! (see#5)..I LOVE grocery shopping. I LOVE going to the post office. I LOVE those mundane errands that others think are a nusence because they get me out of the house doing something different. I'm like a puppy as soon as we get in the car. Big smile on my face, head halfway out the window, bopping to some tunes. I easily waste a few hours strolling Walmart's isle's and don't even get me started on the Dollar Store.

8)The Library is like my little piece of Heaven on Earth. Really, I could go there everyday and never be bored. You and I go a handful of  times a week. Between drop in play, Rhyme Time and our weekly family stop off, we probably spend upwards of 6 hours at the library every week. (ok, sometimes more) Reading might be an obsession in our house, but there are worse obsessions. Emirite?!!?

9) I sometimes bribe you to eat your meals by promising candy or ice cream afterwards... then sometimes I conveniently forget.....Then I  give you Yogurt Popcicles or Fruit Kabobs instead. Yes. I'm a briber, and a  liar...... and I ate your candy.

10) Sometimes I think I'm becoming my mother . Don't get me wrong, I love my mother! But I find myself saying some of the things  she used to say, that at the time I thought were ridiculous and drove me to the brink of insanity. Of course, anything I might say is not serious, and just something that happens to fit the situation...
Like ...
"Let me finish doing your hair or I will snatch you bald headed"(what does that even mean?)
"Ohh Baby, did you squat your finger in the cupboard...lemme kissem better!" (squat??)
"Noo lovey, those are Mama's candies....you get these yummy dried fruit ones" (total B.S.)
"You look like an orphan" (short pants, holey clothes, stains etc)
"Don't have a canary!" or "Conniption Fit!" (Is that even possible?Nope!)
"Open Your Ears By'"(She still says this, and now I do....I still don't know what it means...)

I also find myself laughing like her, that full body-throw your head back-hear you a block away, laugh. I'm sure 20-30- years from now, you'll be saying the same things, and shaking your head thinking "Oh, No! I'm turning into my mother!"

So there it is. Well a few of them at least. I assure there are other things I do that would make "scaredy face" on some other parents, that I do with no hesitation. 

 I've said it before, and I'll say it again....

Nope, I'm not perfect. But I do my best. I love deeply and whole heartily. I truly BELIEVE that good things are going to happen, and I try to be thankful at least once a day...

I love you little girl
Always & Forever

Monday, May 14, 2012

Dear Mother...

Dear Daughter

Mother's Day has come and gone for another year. We spent the day at the lake, having a picnic with your Daddy. We played in the sand, put our feet in the water, and chased bubbles across the park. It was a very relaxed, and very perfect day spent with the two loves of my life.

After we came home, had you bathed, fed, read, and in bed, I finally got a chance to call my mother. We spent a good hour on the phone chatting about nothing and everything. How we spent out day, books we are reading, Avon catalogs and Old Navy must haves. The usual. Later on that night, I started some philosophical thinking. You know...The woulda, shoulda, coulda's. With us out here in Alberta, and your Nanny, Aunties, Uncles and other countless amount of Catholic-Newfie sized family out on the East Coast,  you can imagine we don't get to see them much. I started thinking back on all the grief, and hell-fire I put your Nanny through. All the late night card games, confessions and cuppa's in the kitchen. All the advice I didn't listen to and wish I had. And all of the numerous things we did together.

And I started thinking, if I had to make make a list, one that had all of the highlighted (in my mind anyways) points of those times. What would it look like? What would I say? Could I express how I really felt?  Her and I still write letters to one another, on top of the many phone calls. Mostly, we write about our days, recipes etc. But I really wanted her to know how much those chats, cuppa's, games etc meant to me. Not at the time.:) At the time my sole goals were to A) Spend as much time as I could with my girlfiriends. B)Marry the grade school crush. C) Look like anyone but me.

Now that I''m grown up, I finally have the chance to tell her what a great mother she really is. How is raised me to be confidant, kind and generous. To work hard for what I want and always follow my dreams. She told me to always keep smiling. Inspire others. Appreciate a good sense of humor. She raised me to be creative and use my imagination. And most of all, to love. Deeply, wholeheartedly, and without reservation. 

So here it is! A compilation of just a few of the things I want My Mother to know. Things I hope she knows, I still remember. Things that, for that time in my life, meant everything...

Dear Mom. 
I dyed my hair blue with Kool Aid, and you didn't say I told you so.
Thank You
Love, Your Kid.

Dear Mom, 
You always told me I could be and do whatever I set my heart to. Seeing how you were so good at it, I just want to be a good mommy and wife. But if I had to choose an actual job...
I want to be a(n)_____ (musician/Dr/actress/ninja turtle/lawyer/hippi/bad ass police officer/the person who owns Franks downtown).
Love, Your Kid

Dear Mom,
Remember when I _______ (tried to do the dishes & flooded the kitchen / thought a snake would be a good pet / painted a moustache on you while you were sleeping) & you totally forgave me?
Thanks for that. 
Love, your Kid.

Dear Mom,
You always made my pancakes into shapes and letters. I always loved that.
Now I do that for Macaroni.
Love, your Kid

Dear Mom,
You always pointed out that spitting/picking your nose/ 'hawking a lougi'/cussing weren't "Lady-Like" things to do. I didn't appreciate it, and now say the same things to MJ. 
You were right!
Love, your Kid

Dear Mom,
You sang to me. Sometimes you rhymed, sometimes you sang stories, and sometimes Dr. Hook lyrics stuck in my head for weeks. Sometimes songs were silly, sometimes they made no sense, and sometimes they involved kindly spoken threats if I didn't clean my room.
In my book; Happiness=Singing while you clean. You sang to me a lot.
Love, your Kid
P.S. "I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck. A barrel and a heap, and I'm talking in my seep....about you!"

Dear Mom,
When Daddy passed away, you held things together, and kept me sane. I never appreciated the strength you showed, when in hindsight, you were hurting too. Thank you for being you. Being there. Loving. 
Love, your Kid

Dear Mom,
So, remember that time that your Ashley-Morgan knocked your huge spider plant over and it made a big mess?
Yeah, that was me. Sorry. Forgive and forget yada yada yada
Love, your Kid

Dear Mom,
I made your special Christmastime Snowball recipe this year without you. I followed your plans to a tee (a dash or this, and now put in a good handful of that) and they turned out delicious. Still not like yours, but good.
Love, your Kid

Dear Mom,
"Did you ever know that your my hero" Having a Bette  Middler/Beaches moment. I loved watching that movie with you.
Love, your Kid

Dear Mom,
You wouldn't have REALLY beat us with the giant four foot spoon......would ya?
Love, your Kid

Dear Mom,
I wouldn't exist without you. Literally.
Thanks for that.
Love, your Kid.

Dear Mom,
Although we live far away, and we don't get to see each other much; I hope you know that I think about you everyday. We talk to Macaroni about you, show her pictures and tell her stories. We look forward to our skyping dates, long phone calls and letters in the mail. 
We love you. We miss you. We hope to see you soon.
Love, the Daughter you raised, inspired, and grew up to want to be just like you.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Mark For Every Breath You Took...

Dear Daughter

When you were born, you changed our lives in so many way. You made me love more, sleep less, have more patience, and be more creative. You made me be thankful for the little things. Count my blessings. Brush off negative thoughts and be who I am, to the best of my ability.  I became your mama the moment I learned you were coming. From that day on, I promised to do my best. I also learned that I'm not perfect. Far from it. I have faults, I get mad and  make mistakes. But I learn from them. 

Another change you made in  me is a little more visual. I laugh more. Smile more. I have creases on  my forehead from worry, and lines on my face from how absolutely, outrageously happy I am. And lower, on my tummy, where only you, my sweet baby girl, heard my heart beating, you left your mark there too.

There's a mark for every breath you took. Every blink. Every sleepy yawn. One for every time you sucked your thumb.Waved hello. Rolled around. And slept in the most perfect darkness. There's one for every hiccup, every smile and every dream you dreamed within me. 

I've got a mark for every worry, and trust me, there were a few. One for every kick, stretch and push. One for each of your perfect little toes, fingers, ears and nose. Clearly outlined in those first few photo's. 

I watched my body swell. Grow round. Create magic.
My feet were gone from sight, clothes didn't fit and from now till forever, my tummy wont be the same. You left your mark. Some call them stripes or badges of honor. Some might think they're ugly. But not me.

No, not me. These marks are there to remind me how much you wanted to be here. What a miracle you are. They show my pride, and my love. They adorn that special place that held you, when my arms couldn't.... yet. They are there forever. Now light silver lines, that once were raw and red. 

And I'd do it all over again, because those marks.....they'd mean I'd have you.

I love you my sweet baby girl.
Always & Forever

Monday, April 9, 2012

I'm Tired of Making Lemonade....

* Note: This was difficult to write. I wasn't sure that I should or could. But getting it off my chest, has made me feel lighter, and that I'm not alone. If you would like a little background info on our Miracle Baby, you can find it here.How You Came To Be Thanks again for reading, and all your kind words.

Dear Daughter

This has been probably one of the most difficult letters to write you to date. I'm sorry that I haven't written one in a while. I wasn't able to talk about this yet. Before you get worried, no, Mama's not sick. Just....tired of all this lemonade. 

They say, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. But when is it acceptable to throw your hands in the air and say "I don't WANT anymore Freakin lemonade!!!" I feel like that. Like the glass half empty girl. And I'm sorry for that. It's not me. It's not how I wish to be. For me, and for you and Daddy. I am usually a pretty positive, happy person. Optimistic. But right now, I'm finding it a little difficult....

Let's rewind a bit....Back in December, your Daddy and I made the decision to try for another baby. We love you so much. Your our world. We were hoping for one just like you in the male variety.lol. We also new that there was a chance it might not happen. But hey, we beat the odds before hadn't we. So, off we went to our Dr. After getting labs done, physicals, more labs etc we were called in a month or so later. I'll let you in on a little something.... When the Dr. Called I thought for SURE that she was going to tell me I was pregnant. I was so excited. Planning how I was going to tell our family and friends. Boy was I wrong. I walked into that Drs office, and I noticed all these pamphlets on the table......For Menopause.

"Your labs have come back, there are some things we need to talk about." That's what the Dr said. The blood work had made two things clear. The first (which we knew) was that I had Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. Which basically means that I only ovulate a few times a year. I knew this. Knew it would lessen our chances. The labs also reported a few numbers. Not good ones either. Now I hope this makes sense because the Dr had diagrams and I wasn't really listening through it all. Your Pituitary gland in your brain sends out "signals" for two hormones to be released. Which then does the same for your ovaries, uterus, thyroid etc. At any given time those hormone levels run roughly from 72 to 1300. My labs came back at 136. This number is had by someone usually in their forty's. Someone going through menopause. I was told, at 118, you have officially become menopausal.

I'm in the beginning stages of menopause. These low numbers basically mean that my ovaries are slowing down and ceasing to function. Once they stop, there is nothing they can do. There is no medication that will reverse what's going on inside me.....

And it's just not fair!

I didn't really feel anything when she told me. I didn't know what to think. What to feel. i didn't want to believe it. I'm 27. I'm too young to go through this. This is ridiculous. Why me? It can't be happening.  Later, after explaining everything to your Daddy...then it began to set in. And let me tell you. I was pissed!

It wasn't fair. For many reasons this whole thing made me think this is some cosmic joke set out to make my life more difficult. People have babies all the time. People who don't even want them.Who beings menopause in their 20?!?! Because of my other health concerns, this could open up a bunch of other potential risks and conditions.Heart Disease? Me?  Don't I have enough? I've joked before that the day the Lord gave out immunity I slept in. But C'MON!!! I'm on all sorts of medications, have labs done monthly, why not add this one more thing on. I'm Epileptic and on medication to control the seizures.  Hypothyroidism with more pills to manage the hormones. PCOS, but hey, a lot of women have that right?  I'm Asthmatic (with 3 inhalers) , have low blood  pressure, iron deficiency, wear coke bottle glasses and am allergic to every GOD DAMN thing that grows outside along with a whole wack of foods to make life more fun. So what's one more thing to add to my plate, as if I don't have enough to deal with. I didn't understand why HE, why the world would do this to me when I considered myself a good person. I don't smoke, drink or do drugs. I volunteer every week for cripes sake! I call my family every week, write them letters every month and bake freaking cookies for the freaking neighbors and yes...make all the lemonade I can stand to make! And yet.....this is really happening.

That first week was horrible. Yes, I threw myself a little pity party, complete with balloons. I didn't return friends calls. Didn't leave the house. And cried sporadically in the bathroom. All the while I tried my damndest to make sure this didn't effect how I parented you. We made crafts, baked, sang songs and read books just like we usually do. I was  determined to make sure you never felt one ounce of my sadness. But on the inside I was crying. No, I didn't want to talk about it. No I didn't want to call anyone. Next week, Id say. Next week I will talk. But now, right now, I wanted to cry, and scream, and not be accepting. And there was sadness. Everyday, for the next few weeks I woke up feeling down.  What did I do to deserve this. All we wanted was another baby to love. Why was I such a failure. As a wife. A mother. A woman.

I eventually took you out and about again....showered lol.....started talking to your Daddy about how I was feeling. And then one Tuesday rolled around. I had taken you to the park for a little Teddy Bear Picnic, complete with more then enough stuffies, lunch and as fate would have it...lemonade.  A group of women were there with their own children, chatting among themselves. On their way out two of the ladies stopped by our blanket. "Is she yours?" (cause apparently I look like I'm 12) "Yep, goofy laugh, double chin and all!" "She's really cute, and looks like she's having fun. Your such a good mummy to do things like this with her."

And there it was. The moment when I realized how selfish I was being. How ungrateful. Here is this little ball of crazy sunshine that your Daddy and I made. One who makes me laugh and smile and want to just squeeze everyday, and here I was, wanting...no expecting more. That's when I woke up a gave myself a shake. You, my Sweet Baby Girl are our little Miracle Baby. You are my reason for breathing. I am so proud of every little thing you do and accomplish everyday. You make me want to be a better person. Not just mother and wife, but a person. One who loves herself, flaws and all.

That night I told your Daddy that everything was going to be ok. I was going to be ok. We're not giving up. Ohh nooooo nelly! We are still going to try. I've made an appt with our OB. She says that the window is still open. There there are a few things we can try before the opportunity is gone.  So no siree, we are not giving up. I'm going to go on some medication that might give us a little help, and your Daddy is 100% on the try try again train. Who knows, you might get a little brother or sister in your future.

But one thing I know for certain now. Something I should have known before. Weather we are successful at this go ahead or not...we are already blessed. We were already given the best thing that anyone could ever hope for. We were given you, against the odds, and in our favor. So for that....everyday I will be thankful.

And next time.....I'll just make pie....everyone loves pie.

I love you little girl
Always & Forever

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fine The Time...

Dear Daughter

Too often in our lives we miss the little things because we are too busy with the everyday. Next thing we know, opportunity has passed us by, and we must wait for the next one. When I became your mother I realized many things about myself. About love. About fear. About hope. About life. I don't presume to know everything, as you teach me something new everyday. But what I do know, good and bad, is yours to have...all you need to do is ask.

I've learned that life....Life, in the grand scheme of things is so short, and so precious. To even regret one moment in life is very difficult. I, like most have said at one time; "I wish I had said this" or "I wish I had done that". Let me be clear. I do not regret one moment of my life so far. Having the know how now, I might have changed some decisions, made different choices. But how can I regret something that a pebble skip away, could have brought me you.

It's hard, after the fact to think to myself...."Jeeze, I wish I....." All because I was on a schedule, or late, or on my way, or didn't have the time. Sometimes we forget to find the time to step back and take it all in.

So...all this boils down to is simply this....I want you to do something for me, a favor if you will. I want you to take five minutes, at least, everyday to find the time to .....just BE. Morning, noon or night....stop and, for a lack of a better phrase, "Stop and smell the bloody roses!"

Find the time skip those pebbles. To wiggle your toes in the grass. Find the time to enjoy that first sip of coffee in the morning.(and as I was recently reminded, make sure it's the GOOD stuff. Life's to short to scrimp by on just decent coffee)  Find the time to read a really good smutty novel just for the hell of it, and flip through a trashy tabloid to read about aliens. I want you to yes, stop and smell the flowers.Maybe even grow some. Take the time to watch a sunset. I don't mean sit there for hours by yourself, but great company and, in my case, a cheap glass of wine, are great ways to wind down at the end of the day. Find the time to hold hands. Child, teen, adult or seasoned; go for a walk, holding the hand of one you love. Take a moment for hugs, kisses and I love yous. You don't want to wish you had later, do it! Find the the for bubble baths and candles. For laughing so hard you cry, and for each and every person you deem important. A five minute phone call just to say "where ye at?" can go such a long way. Find the time to have fun. To make silly faces from across the room and tell a dirty joke at a semi-inappropriate place or time.

I'm not trying to tell you what to do with your live Sweetheart. I want you to be who you want to be and do what you want to do. If you tell me you want to join the circus, I will be first in line for cotton candy. What I'm  asking from you....What I'm wanting for you, is to just live your life to the fullest. I want you to look back on your life when your older and remember all the amazing things you did or said. I also want you to look back and remember the little things. The small things you took the time to enjoy just because. I want you to be able to say to your little girl...."When I was younger, your Nanny and Poppy and I....." Find the time to run through some leaves, catch snowflakes on your tongue and dance in the rain. Find the Time.

These last few are really important. So are the others, but really really remember these. Find the time to be Grateful. For all you had, have and will have. Find the time the to tell the ones you care about the why's and what-for's. Take the time to just breath when you wake up, and be thankful you are alive. Most importantly. Find the time to call your Mama. Cause I'll be there, morning, noon or night. Always.

So, my little lovey, heed  my advice. Find the time for the little things.
They take part in shaping you into the wonderful girl I know you'll be.

I love you Sweet Baby Girl
Always & Forever

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dear 16 Year Old Me...

Dear Daughter

A while back I uploaded a Facebook Album titled "A Box Full Of Polaroids!" I recently found some more pictures floating around in random boxes and was BLOWN AWAY at several recurring themes.
1. I had really bad fashion sense!
2. My definition of "Hawt Stuff" has c hanged....Dramatically!
3. I'd give ALL my New Kids On The Block collectibles to charity if Proactive had come out in the 80's
4. The same handful of people were there...always there.
5. Those same people and I share some AMAZING memories.

I've heard from others that they "wish they could go back in time and do" this. Or "if only I didn't say that." Sure, there are moments I'd like to relive, but would I want to change the outcome? Maybe. Maybe not.For the most part, I can honestly say no. I wouldn't.. Anything in my past that I have said or done, good or bad, has made me in to the person I am today. If I un-did something, would I still be a wife, a mother, a crafty, book lover, baker and frugalista. Maybe. Maybe not. But I love my life. I'm happy. I'm in love. There are times in ones life to reflect on their past, good and bad and learn from it. I hope you read this over, and decided ahead of time what is or is not a good idea...in case you were thinking of doing the same.
So, in honor of those lost years, here is another rendition of the same title floating around you-tube....

Dear 16 Year Old Me...
Continue writing in your diary. It's a very strong link to your past. You might need it one day.
Put down the Cheetos! You might THINK you have the metabolism of a young boy...but you dont.
Putting BYOB on your birthday party invite is NOT A GOOD IDEA
The Hippie Stage? Really?
STOP rushing, there really is plenty of time.
Let your little sister tag along......sometimes. You grow up and wish you were closer.
Spend more time with family and tell them you love them...everyday.
Appreciate Mom. She does so much for you right now. 
Hold your friendships tight. Whether they come in to your life for a reason or a lifetime. They shape you too.
Buck Up and Do the Airband Dance "Get Down" Don't be nervous, enjoy it!
Join more clubs/teams/committees! You love being involved now, you will then!
Hug Daddy. Walk with him. Talk with him. Tell jokes with him. Savor the time you have with him.
You are NOT going to marry Billy, get over it already! 5th time is not the charm!  :)
If you say something that hurts someone, apologize. Don't wait. You could be too late.
Stay in touch. We all move on with  our own lives, but hold those dear, close to you.
In the same vein, let others move on too. They will still have time for you, and their new life too.
No matter what anyone says, 90210, Buffy and Charmed are AWESOME shows. Cheesy, but cool
Keep your Winnie the Pooh box of memories...Your daughters name is on that future baby list!
Take more pictures. People might tease, but they will love looking at them in the future.
Stay with him at the hospital. Don't leave. 
Your not ugly, or a geek. Someone is going to love you one day. more then you could ever imagine.

Ha! So there are a few things that I'd say to me in the way back if I could. There are more, sure, there are more. But this is a good start. Basically, what I want you to take from this is enjoy the things that make you happy. Don't waste time on the things that don't. And appreciate what you have, because one day, it might not be there.
I love you Baby Girl

Always and Forever