Monday, August 24, 2009

Let The Brawl Begin

It ain't no Martha perfection, but pretty darn close to it. We managed to finish off the birthday invites for Kaelen's upcoming party and are in the process of handing them out.

The idea came from this fabulous website and we just modified it a little to suit our needs. It was surprisingly easy to do and Kaelen had so much fun helping with the painting, pinning and gluing.
The only downfall? Is that they are too big to fit in a mailbox so we have to ensure that someone is home when we drop them off ....
Curious as to what exactly Bakugan is? You can go here to attempt to follow the story line or alternatively, you can borrow my son to explain it to you.
Off now to start the Character Wall for decorations .........

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Turn Down The Volume Please

It has been tough on my psyche these past weeks. I am a self analyzer, a perfectionist always looking for a flaw within myself. And believe me, I have spent many a minute in my lifetime, particularly when I hit my 30's in reflection upon my actions, words and overall achievement in life. There are days that I wish that I could just go back in time and become that ignorant young woman without a care in the world. That young woman who chalked mistakes up to a life lesson within a second of doing a wrong, wronging someone or being completely selfish.

But something happened when I hit the 30's and I have become this overachiever wanna be. I can't find myself able to just blissfully enjoy a moment of life without thinking about what I could be doing better, how will this affect a person down the road and so on. Perhaps I have too much time on my hands, or perhaps I am still coming to grips with feelings of inadequacy of being able to secure a career kind of job. Perhaps it is the constant inner argument going on in my head, reminding me that I DO have a great job. In fact I have TWO great jobs. I am a Mommy who gets to stay at home to care for my children as well as the privilege to care for other people's most precious treasure as well. And, while the days are long, if given the chance to trade up for a career job, I am not really sure if I could do it.

With that being said, I have hit that time of year where I feel burnt out, frustrated, under appreciated and tired. I am tired of feeling like I am alone and doing everything on my own. Everything from raising my children, to raising other people's children, working a part time evening job, to trying to clean this house, making multiple meals, caring for the lawn, trying to juggle appointments all while feeling like I have no social time. As a result, I find that my patience is on a short fuse and that I catch myself yelling at my children all of the time. It doesn't take much to set me off and within the instant that I yell and see the hurt pass across my child's face, it sets into instant remorse and that ugly silent internal reprimand. It is then that reality sets in and I sit in silence pondering just why I got mad and felt it necessary to yell. I mean, we all know that yelling doesn't get us anywhere .... most of the time. Sometimes it has proven to be a useful tool to get my wayward child's attention, or even to get my point across seeing as I had already tried the patient repetitive way a hundred times before. But the fact of the matter is that yelling is the source of making my days seem long, unappreciated and self reflective.

I read an interesting article in a parenting magazine a couple of weeks ago. It specifically talked about parents who felt like they yelled too much and selected three families with different scenarios to help through their yelling issues. And, to no surprise, the little techniques and suggestions from experts seemed to have helped them along. Of course the cynic in me rolled my eyes at the thought of changing the yelling pattern by a few deep breaths. But the optimist in me was encouraged to try it. For me, taking the few deep breaths before responding or adding a few extra minutes in a routine so the kids weren't rushed into something didn't work. But what has worked is being aware of the need to yell and then stopping myself. Instead of venting that frustration verbally, I am trying use a hug as an outlet. As a result, the yelling on my behalf has practically cut in half. I find that my children are responding to me better when I hug them and then gently, yet firmly talk to them about the issue at hand.

I am not naive enough to think that this is the solution, nor will it work forever, but at least it has provided me with the silence of that nagging internal conflict on how I could have done things better. And believe me when I say, Masyn is trying her best to test out my new skills and my attempts to not yell as she is a handful. My willful little diva thinks and acts like she owns the world and that we should all bow down to her. I joke with my husband that I am terrified of what the teens will be like with her given our love/yell relationship at the tender age of 2. So I beg of you all, should you have some tried and tested advice, please feel free to pass it along to this sound sensitive Momma.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Going On A Lion Hunt

I did it. I achieved a minor milestone that I have been itching to torture myself experience. I am proud to say that I survived without losing my cool, no yelling and managed to come out with minimal bites from the ferocious beasts otherwise known as mosquitos. Upon a whim, we decided to camp in the wilds of the jungle local provincial park located 15 minutes from my front door.

And to add to the overall experience, we had to stalk all campers within the campsite in hopes that someone would vacate a site pad. Luckily for us, we found some friendly fellow campers who decided to pull up stakes due to the weather warning of thunderstorms and rain for the latter part of the day. I must commend them as well for they didn't appear bothered much as we helped throw load stuff into their vehicles in an effort to speed up their departure time. But, should you be thinking that I am slightly neurotic (which I am), there were others just like me stalking the site and stewing in envy that I got to these friendly fellow campers first.

Being the true girl scout that I am, I came prepared with my tent in the event that I needed to stake my claim immediately. The friendly fellow campers hadn't even closed their vehicle doors before I began to set up my tent. Truth be told though, I figured that I needed as much time as possible to set my abode up for the night as it was a new tent that has only been used once – in my backyard a few weeks prior. In true competitive spirit, I set out to beat my previous time of 2 hours to set this fine establishment up. Armed with a rock, no instructions and kiddy hands rooting through everything, I managed to erect our mansion within 45 minutes. Giving myself a pat on the back and doing a jig in celebration with the kids, we jumped back into our vehicle, hunted down the park ranger and paid our fee. Then it was back home for us to pack up food, blankets and all other necessities needed for roughing it in the wild.

Three hours later, we returned to our little jungle haven and immediately emmersed ourselves in the experience of living with Mother Nature. Armed with sticks we battled many a squirrel lion, hunted and cooked our food over a portable BBQ roasting pit fire and taught the kids to pee in the bush bond with Earth. We even managed to use our vivid imaginations and sing campfire songs over a citronella candle and lantern as campfires were not permitted due to a province wide ban. Before long, the sun had set and it was off to bed, nestled all cozy within our airbed and sleeping bags pine needles and sheltered from the gentle rain within our tent lean-to.

Truthfully, it was a great experience and one that I would gladly do again (with the help of a few beers or wine). The kids were fabulous and used their active imaginations to ensure that our experience was fun, filled with laughter yet educational (to Mommy anyways).

The kids, with a fellow camping friend, searching in the jungle for the ferocious lion (squirrel) within the bush.
Gourmet cooking at its finest: hot dogs.

The morning after: getting a thumbs up is a good thing .....

Saturday, August 08, 2009


Sometimes it is a snapshot of a picture or life that may not be of the greatest quality that makes you just stop and exhale. I find myself doing that a lot lately. It is within the still moments of Masyn's life that I just sit, stare, marvel and wonder at all of the possibilities for her.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Summertime Reflection

I love this picture, like truly love it. For me, it captures the essence of my children's love for one another. These two are like two peas in a pod. Masyn worships her older brother and copies everything that he does; his other shadow. She is his little parrot and one must exercise extreme patience when speaking with him for she is parroting (or attempting to) verbatim everything that he says. And Kaelen? He is the big brother I always wished that I had: he happily includes her in on all of his adventures, he watches out for her and is quick to reprimand her if she steps out of line. But most of all, it is the love that each of them has for the other that is so incredibly precious. They are always cuddling, hugging and kissing one another. And it is moments like this that shows you that they even enjoy the quiet times in life together too.

Tonsils and Tubes

It is official - Kaelen is having another surgery. We have been placed on the cancellation list in hopes that he can receive the surgery prior to the beginning of the school season. If not, then we will have to wait until sometime in October (we are thinking) as we haven't been assigned a formal date.

This time around Kaelen will be having his tonsils removed as they have evolved into perpetual tonsillitis as well as possible tube insertion to his left ear. There is a chance that Kaelen's left ear is not effectively draining, hence causing the consistent pain and minor hearing loss in it. Having the tube insertion will be "a during surgery" decision once the specialist can get in there to assess what exactly is going on.

The good news is that the adenoid surgery back in March wasn't a total loss as Kaelen's hearing has improved in his right ear substantially. And with this new needed surgery, we are all hoping that this will help Kaelen's overall hearing, his speech enunciation issues, his minor sleep apnea and, help us avoid having to shell out thousands of dollars in orthodontics to correct an overbite that will develop due to his snoring and open mouthed breathing while sleeping.

Sigh .... while some days the issues just never seem to end, it also hits home just how resilient these little gaffers are. I mean, would you be able to live in constant ear and throat pain, poor muffled hearing and just think that it was normal? I couldn't, hence just another reason why my son is my hero.