Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Year In Review .... The Whittingham Chapter

Yes, the blogging dedication, talent and inspiration went into the toilet this year. Like one big flush and we were gone. 2010 has been a busy one for us and much to my surprise and secret irritation (when YOU make those comments about me never being here), there are people who read this.

Ahem yes. Funny when the whole idea of the blog was to keep family in touch with our lives and amazingly, when you stop blogging, you hear from the lurkers asking me if we are dead. So my dear, loving, endearing and ever loyal family and friends, starting tomorrow, over the next four days, you will get to read an epic narration of the achievements, surprises and yes, ahem, mistakes that the four of us have made and learned from throughout this year.

And because it is the kids that you truly care about and, I am a Mom so rarely miss an opportunity to chat about my children, we will begin with our little hockey buff, Kaelen. It is such riveting reading that I suggest that you come back tomorrow prior to dinner to avoid any chances of this website causing blogger to crash due to so many hits.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The 2nd Annual Pumpkin Quest

On Friday, the kids and I went on our 2nd Annual Pumpkin Quest searching for the perfect pumpkin to add to our Halloween festivities. The pumpkin patch is actually a pumpkin barn, which is so much fun compared to shopping for a pumpkin in the grocery store. The only thing better would be to crawl through the actual patch to pick one ourselves. After my attempt to grow them last year, we have decided that visiting the local farm is a much, much more viable option.

Last year, we went a week earlier and wow - the selection was amazing and the kids had a blast. This year? One week later makes a big difference - the pickings were slim, however we made it a successful trip coming home with three gourds. They were not of course, as big as we had hoped, but nevertheless, we got three and also supported our local farmers market in doing so.

Now we are eagerly waiting to carve them up and roast those fine, delicious seeds. The argument in our house is when is the right time to carve them up. Hubby thinks that you can only do it the night before, but I am wanting to do it earlier so we can light it up nightly to enjoy it for a bit ... you know, kinda of like just sitting there and admiring a Christmas tree. So the question begs: when is the right time to carve up the pumpkin?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Discovering that Missing Something

It has been so easy to get caught up in the hectic pace of life. There never seems to be time to get things done, money to pay for life's essentials nor the money to do the extra specials in life. You start your day running and end it in complete exhaustion yet always feeling like you haven't done enough, forgotten to do something or yearning for more. No one really tells you just how hard life in general is, about how it is all about balance and the key is searching for that balance.

You want the absolute best for your children so you give as much as you can. This may mean you take on extra shifts, work overtime, let them go to bed a half an hour later because you don't want to spoil the moment you have with them, yet know that you will pay for it the next day because they are tired. It means that your marriage gets strained because you are both trying to achieve the same goal and are getting burnt out doing so. It is easy to snap at one another and forget that they are having the same feelings of being overwhelmed, are tired and at a loss of how to change the current cycle of feeling incomplete.

It is so easy to forget your true blessings because the responsibility of paying bills and raising children is such a focused oriented job. We try to be frugal in our every day life: we don't over spend, we try to budget to the point that we really have no adult social life. Our children are spoiled with our love and we try to minimize our need to treat them by buying them things. We instead try to focus on activities that we can do with the children. Like going for bike rides, playing outside, reading books, doing crafts and creating imaginative adventures.

I am truly blessed in all aspects of my life: I have two fabulous children, a solid marriage to a man that I love with all of my heart. I am surrounded by love with family and good friends. I have a great job that I love, and we are all healthy.

I have been missing something of late and I have finally figured it out: I have been missing my outlet to share my life. I have been feeling guilty for not capturing my children's truly magical moments as much as I used to. I have been missing that sounding board that you get when you share your thoughts with others and getting the constructive feedback or encouraging support. So in short, I am back. And I am back for good. Oh, I may not be posting everyday, but I can tell you that I will be here many times throughout a week. I need to do this for my children and most importantly, for me.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

An Apple A Day, Keeps the Doctor Away

Huh. After months of prolonged absence, sporadic postings and mucho complaining, it appears that I am a lucky girl indeed. I DO have people who actually read my feeble attempts of putting life's challenges into words from the perspective of an often lonely, overworked, flighty yet dramatic housewife. And I do thank you from the bottom of my heart for caring, reading and leaving a comment whether it is on this site, or via the standard lurker format of an email or threatening phone call accusing me of leaving the planet Earth.

So, what has brought all of this on? Well, to be truthful, I wish it were something adventurous like living through a temperamental volcano mood swing like my good buddy Dader is experiencing right now. Or even something as distinguished as Goofball has suggested like publishing a book chronicling my life's most humbling and embarrassing moments to even suggesting that I am NASA's newest employee. I wish. I would make a most excellent astronaut and would be the first to volunteer to be hooked up to a hose and fix an external blip of our shuttle. And no, however I may dream for an "oops" moment to occur much to my husband's horror, there will not be another playmate for my children. I think my husband would rather conquer his fear of heights by bungee jumping off of the Eiffel Tower than be informed that he is going to be a Daddy again.

Instead, this exciting announcement is all about me, personally. You see, for the past two years I have struggled. I have struggled with feeling like a failure for not being able to obtain employment, so taking the bull by the horns, I took upon opening a daycare within my home. Two years later, I am done with it. It has been an excellent experience for me and a privilege to care for other people's children but my days were getting too long. Particularly during the golf season when my husband is never around. I was beginning to get resentful of never having me time. For being around children 24/7 and always making meals, cleaning the house or doing yardwork. It has taken me a long time to accept the truth that I am not the special kind of person that is needed to be able to do that kind of stuff. Instead, I want to appreciate every moment with my children without feeling resentful of being around them all of the time. I want to enjoy my house. I want to feel happy and not beaten down. I want to be social and not being too tired or touched out to do so. So my doors are officially closing in that chapter of my life labelled DAYHOME, come the end of the month.

Now I get to focus on the next chapter of my life: OFFICE MOTHER. I received a fantastic opportunity that I am super grateful to have been approached with and ultimately offered employment. Commencing the beginning of July, I will be working on a part time basis for an Ear, Nose, Throat Specialist's office. I will be trained in all aspects of the working environment short of being a surgery assistant. I will be able to utilize my rusty administrative skills, my overachieving organizations skills and fulfill that need for socializing by offering positive yet compassionate customer service to all of the doctor's patients. Within two years, my position will phase into full time (if I want) and it is with hopes of both parties (mine and the doctor) that we evolve into a stellar team that can conquer all medical challenges within that field for years to come. The doc and I are of the same age, with our children the same age, so ideally, he is hoping that I will remain with him up until time of his retirement. So, Miss Sara, no, this means that we will not be moving back to Calgary anytime soon, unless Paul is offered some swanky high paying job.

Most importantly out of all of this, is that I am feeling like I am getting control of my life again. Already the excitement is there to learn and do something challenging and new. I am looking forward to having the opportunity to do things at my son's school (because I will only be working part time), as well as at my daughter's, who will begin preschool come the fall. It means that will be able to spend time with my children and enjoy every moment of life with them again. I can focus solely upon them rather than having to share my time with them and other children. It means that I could have time for me and do things for me like start up running again or have a coffee date with a friend. For the first time in two years, life feels full of possibilities again rather than feeling like I am stuck in a rut. I look back upon our life since moving to Cranbrook and while I feel blessed with all that I have, it has been hard. It has been disappointing and it has been lonely. I found myself seeking validation and the need for appreciation being so alone but I was never finding what I was looking for. In the big picture, we are all busy. We are all overworked and have days where we feel totally unappreciated. I was dreaming of changing it, but was never given any kind of opportunity to do so ..... until now.

I feel so liberated. I feel so happy. There is a new spring in my step and I feel like I can conquer the world and all of the challenges that come with it. So, when I hit that first hurdle in the next few months and begin to question the whys of it all, just give me a gentle nudge okay? And, perhaps just maybe send me the link to this post to remind me of my own words and the feeling of this moment.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Shhhh .....

Shhhh ..... lets see if anyone reads this blog still. Something super exciting is about to happen in my life.

The first one to ask is the first one to receive the answer .....

Saturday, May 08, 2010

The New, Improved Look

I took the kids to the Children's Festival today that was put on by a group of local organizations and businesses. The festival was very well done much to the credit of the incredible efforts of all of the volunteers.

However, upon entering the mayhem of events occurring, it became apparent that keeping tabs on your own children could become an issue. That thought didn't occur to me though until I got home and realized that two creatures were in the truck with me as opposed to my sweet, beautiful children:

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Not Enough Time

Two months ago it seemed like a great idea: enroll kids into spring sports. Both my husband and I believe that being involved in sports and being part of a team is important not only for the physical aspect but that of the emotional as well. It works for our family and may not for others, which is okay. Our children are starting to get to that age where they can participate in many different sports and we are open to letting them try pretty much everything while they are young and while it is relatively affordable. By next year, at the age of six, Kaelen's sporting endeavors will likely be cut in half due to cost and because of the time that is involved. School becomes a priority and as much as we would like to support our children in all that they want to do (which Kaelen would do every sport if given a chance), there just is not enough time in a day to do so.

Beginning this week, our household feels like it has been thrown into the midst of a boot camp training session. Where physical endurance is a must but an emotional endurance is a challenge yet is absolutely essential. I should qualify though that the emotional endurance is a requirement amongst the parents. The biggest obstacle is that little thing called effective time management. As parents, we all know that our once perfected skill gets thrown out of the window and fades into a distant, fond memory upon having children. Children have that uncanny knack of doing things their way and throwing you that wicked good ol curve ball. So in order for a parent to have emotional endurance amongst active children, we must be able to adapt to any situation with a smile on our face and the drive to get it done anyways.

I find myself complaining of late: a lot. I feel the need to need explain myself because people misunderstand or just give me that nod as if I am the neurotic mom. Truth be told, I likely am but with good reason. You see, I am the golf widow, so that means I have to jump into the ranks of those super moms that do everything on their own. I work full time raising other people's children which I might add, is not the easiest job. I am with my own children 24/7 with no breaks from them. I also manage the house as in pay the bills, do all of the yard work, fix all toilets, leaky faucets, grocery shop, do the laundry, attempt to keep it clean. On the good days, I done the fun cape and play with my kids, do silly dances and just forget about the list of Needs-To-Get-Done that never seems to shrink. Over the winter, I added hockey mom to my list and now I get the privilege of doing baseball on Mondays and Wednesdays, double soccer on Tuesdays with golf lessons on Thursdays. Of course, all of these extracurricular activities are at the perfect time of 5:30 pm on weeknights, because you know, there is so much time to wrap up work, eat dinner and relax afterwards.

And because I have so much time and apparently haven't learned the word that my daughter knows all too well (yes ... that would be NO), I am likely going to coach one of these soccer times on Tuesday nights, likely help run the hockey division come winter, become part of the PAC council for Kaelen's school and yes, even attempt to go to school albeit online. And somewhere with all of my free time, I will enjoy this hectic thing called life and remember to exhale if given a moment to do so.

So. How is your life going?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

On Being Competitive

I just recently read a really interesting article in the Canadian Todays Parent magazine. It discussed the issue of competitive mothers and why women as a whole appear to be ultra competitive with our children. Whether your child knows their ABC's by the age of 2 to eating 100% organic without a lick of sugar ever to pass a child's mouth. It discussed the way that mothers are quick to judge or at least appear to judge. And well, it feels like the truth doesn't it? There are times that I have been made to feel like such an utter, complete failure yet there have been times where I feel that I can hold my head up high with pride in knowing that I am doing something right. But, what exactly is right?

Trust me when I say that I am guilty of being one of the most judgemental and competitive people born on earth. I am getting better now, but I used to carry such a burden of envy, self pity and bitterness upon my shoulders and I wasn't afraid to use those traits verbally to make my point. However, since becoming a mother, I am learning that sometimes it is okay to say that you can't do something, that it is okay to ask for help or that it is normal to admit that you don't know something. My children have humbled me and they have taught me that things aren't always what they seem on the outside. They are teaching me that to truly be happy, you need to let go and just love unconditionally. To just accept what is happening and deal with it accordingly. It is tough. Especially for an individual like me who has a tendency to jump in to fix things, to want to fix things and to not know when to keep their mouth shut and hold back opinions. It is hard not to want to let go of all of those emotional frustrations when other people and children are involved. It is hard to not voice my opinion when it directly affects my children or if behaviours are witnessed that I don't want my children exposed to. But I am learning that this is a part of growing up for my children and for myself. No one is capable of raising the perfect child (although mine are pretty damn close) and it is healthy for everyone to make mistakes to learn from.

I am guilty of judging other parents and tend to forget that they too are struggling to figure out this thing called parenthood. But in my defense, I am aware of this flaw in my almost perfect personality, and I am working on it. I think twice now before opening my mouth in an attempt to offer my advice and may instead opt to clench my jaw and take a deep breath. Lord knows that I wish in the past that others had practiced this on me. I am tired of feeling like I am failing and instead am going to focus on how I am in the big picture perfecting. Perfecting because even though I am making mistakes in parenting, I am loving my children with my whole heart. I am loving them to my very best ability and supporting them in their journey of life.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Welcome Back

Ah Ha!! I FINALLY figured it out and have fixed my laptop issues all on my own!! I am now eager to report and give you some warning that I am back - and have the total itch to blog on a regular basis again!!

Until then (which will be during either nap time or after work), for those of you who are not on Facebook and forget what we look like, here is a little picture of us taken a couple of weeks ago at the Kraft Hockeyville events.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Laptop Blues

Dear Mr. Laptop,

I was so very excited when I first got you. I dreamed of what a fabulous relationship that we would have and together, we would capture all of life's finer and not so fine moments together. Your sleek look and design would allow for me to be portable and not stuck at a desk with Mr. Archaic PC.

The relationship while starting out great has soured over the past 7 months. You are becoming increasingly difficult to work with and make it all to easy for me to waive the white flag in defeat. Your obstinance in allowing me to access Blogger on a daily basis is down right rude and shall I even mention your mood swings with Facebook?

So my darling, you have forced my hand and I am now obligated to take drastic measures. In the very near future, you are going to be wiped out. Like totally wiped out. Lose all of your memories and bad habits. And hopefully, I will luck out and find a fabulous program that will allow you to be trained and work with me in a professional, friendly manner.

In the meantime, I am working on renewing my bond with Mr. Archaic PC because he seems to be pleased when I use him and cooperates accordingly. Sadly for him, he is stuck in a corner of the basement in a drafty, dark old office and sadly for me, that means I will have to battle the evil basement monsters on a nightly basis in order to share my life with the rest of the world on blogger.

Yours truly,

A Frustrated Mom

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Getting the Grief

Blogger is getting even with me - it has been virtually impossible to get into my blog to post for almost a week now.

But as Murphy's Law prevails, I can get in now but I don't have to time to post as the munchkins are getting rowdy.


Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Losing Touch

Dear Facebook, Blogger, Loyal Readers and Silent Lurkers,

At one time, I was one of those who were dead set against you, Facebook. I pegged you as a passing fad and there was no way on earth that I was going to jump on that bandwagon. I had been there and done that with MSN chatting and well, I became obsessed with it. My passion at that time was to capture my life and my experiences with Motherhood, enter Blogger. Blogger, you were my passion and I still think about you often. You poke me with silent guilt every day as I steadily ignore you and find multiple excuses as to why I can't sit down for five minutes and diarize my life. The blame of my lack of ability to keep you updated on my life can be placed solely on the smug shoulders of Facebook. I am sorry I am letting you down Blogger, but I will endeavour to make it up to you by attempting to post at least twice a week. It is a small goal really, but if I can accomplish that, then I will be fired up to do it at least four times a week.

As for my loyal readers, gosh I love you guys. But lets be honest here, you are most of my friends on Facebook too so my lack of initiative to post is also your fault cause we talk amongst each other everyday.

And you lurkers? Well .... you might give me more incentive to post our life adventures a little more if you didn't lurk and chose to leave me a comment as opposed to the occasional guilt ridden phone call or email.

In the big picture though, I am back and watch out. Equipped with that handy new camera and children who are entertaining as hell, I have the goods to keep everyone happy whether you Facebook me, Blog comment me, phone me or email me.

Yours truly,


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Is There A Tooth Fairy In The House?

He has wiggled, pulled and twisted on it since the moment of the great discovery: the first loose tooth. And, after three weeks of intense anticipation, eagerness and a bajillion questions about the beautiful, yet elusive fairy, the all too great moment has arrived:

He has been on Cloud Nine since the great loss. And dinner? Lets just say that he could not stop marvelling at the fact that he could eat dinner with only 19 teeth. Going to bed was an ordeal because well, how does that fairy know that his tooth came out tonight? And/or, how will she find his tooth which is lovingly wrapped up and tucked away in a tooth pocket on a tooth fairy pillow.

I wonder if he will actually get any sleep tonight or not ......

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Princess Blessing

Three years ago today, you my dear Masyn, blessed our lives. You were a precious gift beyond my imagination and dreams.

I look back and shake my head at myself and the instant fear that I experienced when I was told that you were going to be a girl. Your dad and I were given the confirmation during an ultrasound at 28 weeks during one of your routine gymnastics performances within my belly. Just the thought of a girl had me worrying about how to raise one, how to love her to the fullest and of course, how to deal with the dramatics that comes with raising a female. I have always been boy crazy and have always found that they were the much easier gender to relate to on many occasions. I was terrified that we would never relate to one another and have poor communication. But the moment that I heard your precious cry upon leaving my stomach, all of those fears vanished. The instant I had you within my arms, the feeling of contentment and rightness was overwhelming.

Now, three years later, you have proven to me that girls are a precious gift indeed. How silly I was with those fears because I just can't imagine my life without my girl. Your diva like dramatics are both entertaining and enlightening. Dressing you in style and watching you come up with your own sense of style is so satisfying. Teaching you to believe in yourself and that you can do anything that you dream to, is fulfilling. I look forward to the future and watching you grow into a beautiful young woman, whose radiance will brighten all within your path.

Happy Birthday Princess; I love you so very much.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Like Father, Like Child

It is scary really at how much my children look like their father first thing in the morning ....

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mexico: The Drunken Version

Ahhh .... the much anticipated truth and revelation has arrived. The question begs to be asked: what do you get when:

  • You have one mother away from her children for the first time;
  • Another mother on a vacation with her two adult children for the first time in six years;
  • A daughter with a massive work load due to the upcoming Winter Olympics;
  • An all inclusive, non limiting paradise resort facility;
  • When Mother Earth decides that it should rain rather than allow for us to become sun goddesses?

The answer is as follows. However, the following disclaimer must be presented first:

We, the drunken entertainers, vacationers and ladies extraordinaire, do not take responsibility for the poor quality of the photos as shown below. We would like to say that all photos were taken during times of extreme laughter, the occasional slur and eagerness to consume more of the fine Mexican tequila and rum, and can say with certainty, that while you may not see the humor within these pictures, we do and will break into giggles upon looking at them. So having said that, peruse these pictures at your own risk.

And now we begin:The fun began right in the Vancouver Airport. After a few Bellinis at Milestones, we were pretty convinced that Christie was going to have a few issues in her quest for gold at the Olympics.

After a few glasses of champagne, gin and tonics, Baileys and coffee and a 6 hour flight in first class, this is what we were greeted to upon stepping out of the Cancun Airport in search of our shuttle:
One beer and two shuttles later, this is what we were greeted to upon sitting in the shuttle that was finally going to take us to the correct hotel. Needless to say, we giggled and had to take proof that we were going to heed to the subtle suggestion:

The Mexican Fiesta Festival. Perfect for our first night and it gave us a chance to take mental notes of activities that we were likely to partake in later on in the week. Activities such as singing with the mariachi band, tequila tasting or even bull riding. For me, I knew that two of the three were likely a shoe in and it wasn't going to be in an attempt to eat the worm.

Us three ladies after waaayyyy too many Banana Sexy drinks on our first rainy day

Me erm .... performing as usual to Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go by Wham! This was all due to excessive consumption of Banana Sexys

Said evil drink: Banana Sexy

Our rainy day bartender extraordinaire, Benjamin along with a drunken Christie attempting to make a Banana Sexy

Christie giving up and just hoping for a little coconut rum direct from the source

The three chocolate messes still sitting at the pool side bar, in the rain at 5:00 pm

Us, one hour later at the Italian restaurant. We won't mention that Miss Sherry was so intoxicated that she does not remember eating at this restaurant and her only form of communication was an attempted slur.

Christie practising her pirate ways ..... in an Italian restaurant.

Christie and I the next night at the Asian restaurant, only slightly intoxicated. A large improvement from the previous day.

And due to the slight intoxication, I was amazed at this large hummingbird like moth. While Sherry and Christie were running away screaming, I had to pick it up to check it out and of course take a picture. Don't worry, my scream came shortly thereafter when it wouldn't get off my hand.

Sherry (my mom) and me at the Pure Restaurant, which is a 8 course fancy establishment. How on earth did they let us in?

And this is just one of the many reasons why we were permanently intoxicated: a help yourself premium bar. Not only do you have bartenders and bars everywhere, when you stay in the adult section, you also have free access to pretty much whatever you want liquor wise.

Another day, another drink and another situation where I thought that I was a glamor goddess.

Yes, we were bellied up to the pool bar on one of our only sunny days.

The glamor goddess was back .....

Some of the local wild life and no .... I am not capable to making something as such.

Sherry and Christie sampling some of Mexico's finest ....

After days of trying to convince the lifeguard to re-enact a Baywatch scene with me, he decided instead to drop his drawers, thinking that is was a much safer option.

And of course, I couldn't resist riding the mechanical bull .... twice. But I can proudly say that I stayed on for 8 seconds my second go around.

Sigh ... I am so going to miss Pancho, the donkey with a moustache.

Well, that is it .... for now folks. Until next year or my next trip, Adios Amigos!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Mexico - The Magazine Version

Located in a quaint little village called Puerto Morelos, only 15 minutes from the Cancun Airport, the NH Riviera Cancun Resort is a little gem pretty close to paradise. The facility has only been open since November of 2008 with the air of trendy sophistication in the decor and the lushness of tropical beauty on the outside.

Need a break from the dreary winter outside? Look no further than below for a little dreamy getaway! Tomorrow's post? Mexico - The Drunken Version.

And yes, if you were wondering, these photos were taken by me with my fabulous new camera that Santa so thoughtful gave me for Christmas.