Musings

Yummy Mummy!

Did you ever tumble headlong into a world you had no idea existed? I was looking for something to pass the time last week and after visiting a few YouTube pages and finding little to entertain, I opened up the Netflix app on my phone and clicked on a title called Yummy Mummies. I thought back to the period just after I had my son and I would watch TLC (The Learning Channel) for hours on end. I particularly loved shows about pregnancy and babies and thought about this nostalgicly as I settled in to watch a show about some pregnant moms-to-be from down under. This was a rabbit hole I didn’t climb out of for many hours: it was ridiculously addicting.

It was also unlike any other reality tv show I have ever watched and I have a couple of seasons of RHOBH under my belt. These ladies (particularly Maria from Adelaide) take diva to a level that makes me fairly uncomfortable as they nest by accumulating designer baby gear (Dior bottles, Versace receiving blankets, matching baby and mum Burberry pajamas), peruse for “push” gifts (diamonds, Rolexes and Range Rovers) and plan babymoons on the Gold Coast. I live in a completely different world where Michael Kors and Coach are the highest of my designer aspirations and where my kid grew up in clothes from Target and occasionally Macy’s.

I admit I was completely taken in by these characters and couldn’t stop watching (my favorite was Rachel). There was a bit of a feud/competition between the Melbourne moms (Lorinska, Jane and Rachel) and Maria (mostly on Maria’s part) about who would have the better baby shower, etc. They would constantly make fun of each other and I guess the entertainment value was to find out who would do what next. Maria’s mom (mum) was, just, WOW! I can’t even find the word for it. She certainly had a hand in raising her daughter to be the narcissistic diva she is today.

The other ladies were fairly tame and reminded me of the characters from Sex and the City if they had kept going and all had babies. They dressed to the nines as they shopped for their push presents and induldged in lunches, pampering and more as they got ready for motherhood. I’m not saying this has been the best way to pass the time, but it sure was an eye opener about how the other half lives. I was never happier to settle into bed in my Target pajamas at the end of the day.

Do you have any guilty pleasures reality tv?

MC

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parenting

Parenting with a clean slate

cleanslate

What are the first four words you don’t want to hear as soon as you walk into the kitchen in the morning? Today, for me, it was “we’re out of coffee”. What!? How is this even possible? This is 2018. Amazon delivers our coffee pods like clockwork. Something went awry. But we have those make your own coffee pods and regular coffee, right? Nope. I decided our new kitchen needed a new Keurig and those don’t fit in the new machine. I opened the cupboard and there it was. The sample set that came with the new Keurig. So officially I saved the day, right? You betcha.

Today is my day off. Aka, the day I schedule all those pesky appointments that sound ok when you make them months ago. Today was mammogram day. I always like to get the earliest appointments but this morning I was cursing myself because I really wanted to lie in bed for a while even though I have so much to do to prep for the holidays that are coming at us fast. On my way home from the appointment, I did a quick swerve into Walmart to stock up on Pike Place Keurig pods. I am going to hide some in our bedroom just in case this happens again!

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parenting

Raw Parenting

A week ago we had our first parent teacher meeting for the sixth grade school year. I always have a bit of anxiety around these meetings because I’m never sure what I’m going to hear, but I was going in with optimism since the school year had barely started.

Admittedly it did not start off uneventfully as we received email communication from a teacher within the first week about a long-standing issue with his talking in class. We addressed it and started anew. The next week we stopped in for a talk with his advisor who will help him navigate the year and this conversation was also mixed. He’s a good kid, a smart kid, but his emotions run high and he’s often in conflict with a few of his classmates. Deep breath. Start anew.

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Life

Having a “me” day

self care.png

Today is a small miracle. A gift, really. Even with the rain and the damp and the lingering sad thoughts from watching the Kavanaugh/Ford hearing yesterday.  Today is good. I can finally rest and do what I want to do for me today.

I don’t take this gift lightly and promise myself not to spend any time on my phone cruising twitter for the aftermath of yesterday’s hearing or browsing other social media sites to kill time. I am not going to an exercise class or to the grocery store and I’m not going to do any laundry. Thanks to the very fun girl’s night (another important form of self-care!) at my house last Friday, the house is still in decent shape.

I survived a raucous sleepover last weekend with my son and his friends. I survived a week with my husband out of the country, running Liam to activities every night during the week and because he doesn’t take a bus, I’ve done drop off and pick up duty too. Plus there is the job I get paid to do as well. I am tired.

This is by no means a complaint. Being productive is a fulfilling achievement in its own right. I love ticking things off. I can handle the unexpected errands (like how I had to run and buy Liam a new school blazer – the fourth one since the beginning of the last school year – because he is a serial misplacer of things and because school pictures) and how we ran out of dog treats mid-week. I’ve got this.

But I don’t have to do any of that today. I can have a day for me and knowing that is enough to lift my tired soul. I can read. I can write. I can go to a movie if I want. I can stay in my pajamas all day or not. I can make cookies or do nothing. I can breathe.

MC

 

Life, Uncategorized

This and that

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My brother and I, age 8 and 6

Today would have been my brother‘s 53rd birthday, so far he has missed 32 of them. It used to be a very painful day for me because our birthdays fall just 10 days apart and we often had a dual celebration when we were growing up. They say time heals all wounds and while that doesn’t fit in most cases of lost loved ones, it seems to have dulled the ache over the past three decades. These days I sometimes fleetingly think about what could have been if he hadn’t died, but living in the past is good for no one. It’s all about accepting our current reality.

Time is a true healer and the things that seemed urgent and insurmountable a couple of weeks ago are background noise today. I mentioned in a previous post that my dad had been the victim of a fraud scam (to the tune of $4,400). I was so angry about this and to be honest, initially, I couldn’t fathom how he could have fallen for the scam which is known as the “grandparent scam“.  After hearing him tell what happened I understood how he could have been duped and only felt the deepest heartache for a man who has only approached life with optimism and trust in his fellow humans. He has given the shirt off his back on many occasions over the years and is always willing to lend a helping hand. He is the last person who should have been the victim of a scam. My siblings and I have pitched in to make him whole and it has been a learning and growing experience for all of us.

That same week we were at the bottom of our patience reserves with our pre-teen. Every day was bringing more fighting than peace and my husband and I didn’t know how we were going to survive the summer and quite possibly the rest of his years until he was safely through his teen angst. We called in an expert and came up with a plan together to at least get through the next few weeks. It hasn’t been without its bumps but it no longer feels insurmountable. I’m constantly reminded that below all the turmoil is a good kid with a big heart and he often makes me laugh. The other day he posed the question “what if Wakanda didn’t exist” and then proceeded to tell me how all the other Marvel plots would fall apart if that had been the case. He is even making a Marvel lover out of me(this is a genre I had always avoided)! He loves magic and jokes and is always trying to entertain us. He is not out to get us! I have to remind myself he is trying to come into his own now and it’s time to loosen the strings.

This week will bring our contractor back to us. In the middle of our home renovation project, he had the audacity to get married and go on a honeymoon. The nerve! No, seriously, he is a great guy and I’m so happy for him and his new wife. He has been a tremendous worker and cares a great deal about his craftsmanship that I have no doubt we will be blown away by the end product. We are definitely in the final weeks of the project and the house will be back together by the time September arrives.

Happy Sunday.

MC

parenting

Letting our kids grow up

Children at school classroom

Hello, readers! Today I’m tackling a hairy parenting topic known as letting our kids grow up and find their way. I feel this is necessary after I witnessed a meet and greet with a new teacher this week that can only be described as a well intentioned assembly that went off the rails. Yes, it’s late in the school year. Yes, our school had to replace one of their teachers (who I previously wrote about here). Yes, we can do this.

If you don’t want to click the link for the backstory, here’s a brief synopsis of the issue. New teacher acts inappropriately many times. New teacher enjoys a great deal of “bathroom/locker room humor” with 10-14 year olds. Kids, of course, love said teacher because he acts like a peer and not an authoritative, adult teacher. Teacher not a good fit and leaves with seven weeks to go in the school year. I don’t know all the whats and whys behind the leaving but I trust the school did what was appropriate. Yesterday we got to meet his replacement, a highly qualified individual with a doctorate, and from what I could tell from his message to parents, many years experience with a variety of grade levels and sound teaching practices.

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parenting

Courage in Parenting

On Tuesday evening after picking my son Liam up from school (5th grade), he told me something that happened in one of his classes that day and I had a deep pit in my stomach that lasted for a good hour. He rarely wants to talk about his day, let alone relay something he feels uncomfortable about. I went into full mother alert and began texting other moms to see if they could corroborate if anything weird happened in religion class.

It took forever for anyone to respond to me so I called my husband to relate the incident. I had initially tried texting the details and he wasn’t getting it so I called him. Yes, the teacher said something completely offensive about a student’s mother and it was sexist and suggestive and completely inappropriate for a 5th grade RELIGION class.

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Life

The Rhythms of Life

life-is-a-rollar-coaster

I tend to get suspicious when life is going along just fine. After a while I get used to it and then when an issue comes up, I’m unprepared and knocked back just a little bit. Oh, right, life isn’t supposed to always be easy, I remind myself! This is an important life lesson that I keep trying to instill in my son Liam who is elven. He seems to be coming home with different issues from school these days and I try to give him my best advice to help him along.

Sometimes it has to do with academics – a poor test grade or missed assignment. He will get very upset when he doesn’t do well on a test even if his grade is in the low 90’s. I do not want him to put so much emphasis on one grade or one assignment. I simply tell him to learn from these situations and just to always do his best. We can never be doing everything perfectly.

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Musings

A crazy idea

I am forever trying to get my act together. You’d think by 50 I’d have things well under control, but instead I find myself still messing things up several times a week and this morning’s was a doozy.

Liam is playing basketball over the winter so he’s had to miss Sunday school for the past few weeks because his games have been on Sunday morning. I was very excited we didn’t have a game this weekend and while Jim ran him over to church, I got back in bed with a cup of tea and a book – sounds heavenly, right? I still had to shower before we went to collect him before mass and I kept telling myself just one more chapter.

Then Jim came in and announced there was a family activity during his class today where we were all supposed to make Valentine’s together. Jim had thrown on jeans and a sweatshirt and didn’t stay with him because he also needed to shower before mass. I was upset because I could picture him at a table all by himself in a corner sulking that we did’t love him as much as the other kids parents. I pictured him in many years hence describing to a therapist the various ways we had let him down through the childhood and I hightailed it to the shower and was ready in an astounding 15 minutes, makeup and all. I managed to get there with 20 minutes left in class but I could tell he was sad.

I’m sure I have an unread (or worse, an unread and deleted email) from the organizer because we always get reminders when something special is going on. I usually make time to read these because I am trying to be more organized but sometimes my email gets so overwhelming I just delete a bunch without reading – most of it is junk.

I really don’t know how to get it all together and that’s where my crazy idea comes in. Last week I had the idea to start a vlog about “getting it together”, but I’m not really sure there would be any interest in it. I myself love to follow several vlogs but they are run by extremely put together people. By all appearances they have perfect homes, cleaning routines, flawless makeup, healthy diets and excercise schedules and just all around good organizational skills. I was thinking of something more realistic for the rest of us who might not have it all together.

I did end up shooting a five minute video to introduce it last week, but I’m not sure how to even edit and publish such a thing. These people all have good camera presence and editing skills and I am just so raw. What do you think? Would you watch such a thing? It might be kind of like looking at a trainwreck!

I’ll have to think on it some more.

MC

parenting

Disrupted sleep leads to a hard topic

I’m drifting off to sleep when I feel something jostling my arm. A soft voice whispering but I can’t make it out. I want to sleep. The jerky nudging continues until I can’t ignore it anymore and my eyes adjust to see the hazy outline of Liam bending over me, loud whispering something I still can’t hear. The words are lost but I can hear the urgency in his voice, a mother’s fine-tuned sense of when something is wrong with your kid.

This is the third time over the past week we’ve been through this. I urge him to tell me louder what’s the matter since I’ve taken my hearing aids off for the night and sound is like an underwater cacophony to me without them. He tells me in a louder voice, right next to my ear, he can’t fall asleep. He’s ten and five feet tall, nearly my height, practically adult sized but he wants to get in bed with us. I try to dissuade him telling him he’ll sleep better in his own bed, knowing I’ll sleep better if he’s in his own bed.

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