• I’ve been awake since 3:30am.

    This is where I was from 3:30 – 5:30am last night.

    I heard P wake up first, and I crept in hoping to quickly settle him, but he was upset and wiiiiiide awake. For the most part he just lay quietly in his bed, as long as I was next to him.

    H decided to join the party around 4:15am. I heard him start whimpering in his bed, but it was completely nonsensical. He mumbled something about the nintendo and toys, then he started crying because he wanted to go to my parent’s house.

    At 4:15 in the morning.

    I was trying to settle him when suddenly he bolted upright and said he needed to go to the washroom. That excursion woke him right up and then I had two boys I was trying to keep in their bed until a reasonable hour. I knew H would be a hot mess at school if he didn’t get a bit more sleep, so I did my best to rest on the floor while trying to get them down.  P was really restless, so I eventually just picked him up and started walking laps back and forth to try and get him to sleep… it brought me right back to his early months.

    I swear I wore a track in the carpet from all the walking I did trying to get him to sleep at night.

    H fell asleep watching me pace back and forth, and P finally did too. I trudged back to my bed around 5:30m and got a solid 15 minutes in before my alarm for work went off.

    I did not want to go this morning. But I did, and it was okay. I survived. I yawned all day long and am on my 18th wind, but I made it.

    And now I’m going to bed, and hopefully I’ll actually stay in it tonight.

    I’m so tired.

  • I Just Can’t Even*

    My day began at 4:30am today.

    I heard P stirring on the monitor, and as he started crying I slipped out of bed and dashed down the hall to comfort him so he wouldn’t wake H & S. I was in with him for a few minutes, then I crept back down the hall and into bed.

    Of course, that’s when my head started spinning with all the many, many things I have on my to-do list this week and I couldn’t fall back asleep. After a half hour or so, I managed to quiet my mind and started to drift off..

    …just as I heard the door to the kids’ room click open. Thinking it might be P again, I rolled out and tip toed into the hallway. I found H creeping down the stairs. When I stopped him and asked him what he was doing, he said that he wanted to go play toys or the Nintendo DS. As it was only 5:20am, I kiboshed that idea and herded him back into bed. I knew he was still tired and would cry if I left, so I crawled into bed with him thinking he would fall back asleep in a few minutes.

    I was wrong.

    He squirmed and wiggled, sang the ABCs quietly, flipped and flopped and sighed great sighs. After an hour, I finally just told him to go down and play quietly and I trudged back to my own bed, hoping for 15 minutes of sleep before I had to begin the day.

    M took care of breakfast for me so that I could try and wake up a bit and shower, and then we traded off as he left for work and I started school prep for H & S. We have our morning routine down to a science, and there are really very few variations. They know the drills and usually play quietly until it’s time to go. Occasionally there is a squabble or two, but generally they are pretty good.

    And then today happened. Today was an abomination.

    S & H were bickering non-stop all. morning. long. They fought over toys, they fought over space, they fought over different interpretations of my instructions, they fought over who started what and who didn’t do what. P threw himself into the mix now and again by throwing toys at H or tackling S. All of this of course upsets my very sensitive H who cries very easily.

    Except this morning he wasn’t crying. It was like he knew the fights were so lame that they couldn’t produce a real cry, so he was trying to fake it. And the noise that was coming out of him was this awful, low moaning sound, like, “Uuuunnnnoooooaaaaaaauuuuggggghhhhhhh.”

    I’d hear S say something, then, “Uuuunnnnoooooaaaaaaauuuuggggghhhhhhh.”

    Then he’d say something back, followed by another, “Uuuunnnnoooooaaaaaaauuuuggggghhhhhhh.”

    By the time it was time to put coats and shoes on, Mama had had enough. I lost my cool. I yelled the great yell and put my angry face on. I threatened the end of their advent calendars. I threatened the loss of toys. I was about ready cancel Christmas when they finally realized that I was serious.

    Somehow we all made it to school in one piece. We were running into the yard as the bell was ringing, but we made it. It was only 9am, but I was already ready to throw in the towel and end the day.

    I didn’t, but I wanted to. I ran a zillion errands and cleaned my house all day instead. (WHY do I do this instead of napping? I’m losing it.)

    I did want to let the kids know that their behaviour this morning was unacceptable though. So, when I got home from my hours-long errand expedition with P, I hid the elves. I can’t remember if I mentioned it before, but I now have two elves, not one. I went and bought one Elf on the Shelf at Dollarama after S asked me about it a couple of weeks ago, but then as we were decorating the tree on Sunday, guess what I found in our tote? ANOTHER Elf on the Shelf. (When will I learn to check the totes first!?) Apparently I knew this would happen last year and bought and Elf in advance. So, when the kids found it there was much shock and awe… which I explained away with “this elf has been hiding and sleeping as he didn’t have a name yet!”

    They bought it, hook line and sinker.

    Moral of the story: We now have two elves.

    So, every evening M & I have been moving the elves into different spots around the house. I have to admit, we’ve having way more fun with it than I thought we would. We’re not doing anything crazy, basically just playing hide and seek with the kids. And they LOVE it. S races down the stairs every morning to look for them, with H hot on her tails.

    After the fiasco that was this morning, I took the elves down from their perch this morning and put them away. I knew the kids would come check to see if they were still there as soon as they walked in the house, and I needed them to understand that this morning was not okay. When they came home I explained that the elves had been missing as soon as I got back from school. That they had heard all the fighting and had left, and that I wasn’t sure if they were coming back.

    S was sad, but logically proposed a solution: maybe if everyone was kind to each other, didn’t fight and helped Mom and Dad then the elves might come back. She seemed to take it to heart, and our evening was worlds better than the morning. There was much less bickering, less moaning (“Uuuunnnnoooooaaaaaaauuuuggggghhhhhhh”) and less talking back.

    I put “Candy Cane” and “Frosty” back out, and I’m hoping that S and H will be able to decipher their message to the kids.

    More love, less fighting.

    I’m so tired. Time for bed.

  • Note to self: Always Check Receipts*

    It has been yet another busy morning.

    I think I need to stop saying that and just accept that this is my life now… busy is the new normal. Anyway.

    M was up and out the door early as he’s working in Toronto today. I heard P stirring shortly after M jumped in the shower, and slipped into the kids room to get him before he woke S & H up. We had a lovely snuggle while I procrastinated getting ready, but as I had the neighbour kids coming over at 7:15 I eventually had to accept reality and leave my lovely bed.

    I watch my neighbour 6 year’s old twins in the morning before school a few times a month when she’s at work. They come stampeding in a little after 7, we do breakfast then they play until it’s time to leave for school. We all bundled up and made a slow trek to school–H is still moving a little slowly with his sore foot. I had to rush back so that I could have time to get groceries before a playdate I had scheduled this morning. I made it to the store and ran around trying to remember everything I needed. I certainly had a full cart by the time I reached the checkout, and P had had more than enough of being in the cart. I didn’t have time to let him walk home from school like I normally do, so he was cooped up in the stroller, then cooped up in the cart while I shopped. I was distracted while the cashier was ringing me through, and a little anxious as I was running behind and I wanted to get to my friend’s house.

    When she gave me the total it was more than I expected, but again I was distracted and late, and I had bought a lot of groceries today. I quickly checked out and made a mad dash to the car with a crying toddler who did not want to wear his mittens. It was so lovely.

    I made it to my friend’s house and P had a ball playing with her little ones in the basement. She runs a home daycare, and will be looking after P a few days a week in the new year. He settled right in and made himself at home with the toys, and an hour flew by before I knew it.

    Then it was a mad rush to get home, get the groceries away and get lunch together so I could get P down for a nap. I knew he’d be tired as his 5:40am wake up today was over an hour earlier than his usual morning start. Just as I got him to bed, my neighbour popped in for a visit and we had a lovely chat. It was just half an hour ago when I finally got to put the rest of my (non-perishable) groceries away and the total of my bill was still bothering me.

    I just dug out my wallet and looked at my receipt, and sure enough there are two items right at the start that I don’t recognize… and they total almost $50! I tried googling the codes on the receipt and it looks like two frozen turkeys. Not one, but TWO. I went through all my bags, and believe me–no turkeys came home. I’ve been trying to get through to customer service at the store but no one is answering… ugh. I am definitely going to go back in with my receipt before I pick up the kids to try and sort this out, but what are the odds that they will believe me?

    I hope someone out there is going to have a nice dinner… *sigh* (You’re welcome!)

  • It’s Not Cool to be Cold*

    I. am. so. cold.

    I feel like there was no gentle transition into winter this year. It was rainy and fall-ish for so so long, then all of a sudden… BAM. A wee taste of January two months early. It was -19C when I left for work this morning. I bundled up and sang along to Christmas music on the radio to try and keep warm, but I swear I didn’t feel the heat come on in my car until I was already halfway to work.

    At least the sun is shining brilliantly, even though it feels a little deceptive. While I was driving home at noon the sun was so bright and hot in my driver’s side window that I swear I was getting a sun burn on half of my face. And then I stepped outside and got frostbitten on the other side.

    While I was waiting at a red light near the school I had just left, I saw a herd of teenage girls walking back towards the school. I was in my vanimal with the heat on high, rocking out in my parka, headband and leather gloves and I was still cold. These girls were wearing thin green army style jackets, zippers open, no hats, no gloves and jeans that had more holes than jean. I was so cold just looking at them.

    I remember that eternal struggle when I was in high school: to be warm, or to “look cool”? Obviously it’s cool to look as if the weather doesn’t bother you… frostbite goes with everything. I feel like kids today (oh my, I just said that. I’m officially OLD) have way more options to have stylish outerwear that I did. Remember the one piece snowsuits? Or the enormous black Sorel boots? Or the huge buckskin mittens that were the only thing warm enough to survive the walk to school when it was -40C out?

    My favourite was having to leave early enough in the morning so that I could leave time to run to the changeroom and put my makeup on at school. If I tried to do it at home, then the mascara would run everywhere when my eyelashes inevitably froze together while I walked.

    Sometimes that feels so surreal to me. I grew up in a place where it was normal to walk to school in -40 and have your eyelashes freeze together. Northern Ontario is so lovely. <3

    So, as I sat bundled up in layers in my cold car, I knew there was no way those girls weren’t freezing. They still had a good 10 minute walk back to school and I hope they could still feel their fingers when they got there. It made me glad that I’m past that phase… but mostly it made my grateful to have a mom who taught me that it was never cool to be cold. I proudly wear my random collection of winter wear and laugh it off. I’ve made some improvements since my one piece snowsuit days, but as long as I’m toasty and warm, that’s “cool” enough for me.


  • My Body is Broken*

    Why are we still changing clocks back and forth?

    I mean, really now. What is the point? My brain feels like it’s 10pm because it is. So if I go to sleep now, my body clock will wake me at my usual 6:30am, which in the new time will be 5:30am which I am just not okay with. So I’m here, trying to stay awake a little later so we’re not all up obnoxiously early tomorrow. Thankfully my kids have always somehow just done really well with time changes and it hasn’t been an issue… but of course since I just wrote that we’ll all be up at 4am.

    In other news, I did my little video workout again this morning. It’s for beginners and is only 15 minutes, and I felt really good as I was doing it. Not long after I noticed that my back was a little twingy, and just as we were putting the kids to bed I felt my hips go out. I am currently rocking one hip significantly higher than the other, and in case you’re wondering, it feels really lovely. *sigh*

    My body is so broken. I am not giving up, but I guess it means I’ll have to slow down further, and maybe just try working out every other day… and just go for a walk or something on the days in between. Honestly, I’m just so sick of feeling like I can’t do anything because my body will break. I’m trying not to get too frustrated because really, my hips are 1000% better than they were at this point last year, it just feels sometimes like I’ll be like this forever.

    Which is a little discouraging.

    That being said, I’m trying to keep things in perspective. When I injured my shoulder after I had H, I didn’t think that would ever heal properly. It was so painful, and for a long time I couldn’t even lift my arm over my head. Remember that time that I got stuck trying on a shirt at Target? Yep. Thanks shoulder. It was good times. It took 18 months, but I have a full range of motion in my arm again. There is still some scar tissue there, but it doesn’t hurt anymore. At the time it was so painful and I was sure it was going to last forever… and now I don’t even think about it.

    I’m trying to keep that as my focus: that even though my hips are jerks, someday they will be healed and I won’t even think about this anymore. I’ll be able to do whatever I want and not have to worry about them sliding out of place. Someday this will be a distant memory.

    …it’s just not today.

    So, I took it easy tonight and I will again tomorrow. And once my hips have stopped yelling at me, I’ll try again. In the meantime, I can focus on cleaning up what I’m eating and think good thoughts.

    Someday I will not be broken.. and that will be a glorious day. <3



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