Coming Up Roses

Things have been good in the last month or so.

The girls are growing.  Kitten has started going to a French Immersion school, which has been difficult for her, but I think is challenging and growing her brain in ways that English school wasn’t.  It always surprises and amazes me when I hear her reading in French.  Granted, she’s not opening up her French library book and just spouting stuff out, but she can read me what is in her agenda, and the words on her spelling lists.  So I count that as great.  We are able to have very simple conversation in French, hello, how are you, good night, etc.  I find that I am missing her and missing seeing her growth more and more when she is away.  Not something I was entirely expecting.

Birdie is not growing.  Ha ha.  She’s a tiny peanut, as ever.  But this is her first year of preschool, and we are working very much on her independence and (for me, anyway) on her language skills.  She’s quiet, doesn’t talk a lot, and doesn’t speak overly clearly.  And we all let her just get away with it a lot of the time.  So while she’s with me, I’ve tried to make a point of her doing things for herself and asking for things with full sentences and manners.  She’s as adorable as they come, though, which buys her loads of grace.  She’s ever my snuggle bug, the most affectionate kid I’ve known.  She easily tells me she loves me and that she misses me, which warms a mama’s heart like nothing else.  She’s not as advance in art or other scholarly things as her sister was at this age, but she is inquisitive and adventurous.  While Kitten would have run screaming, Birdie will squat down and study insects she finds.  It is amazing to see her little mind work.  Kitten would be happy to sit and draw all day (always has been), whereas Birdie must change activities often, switching between stationary (reading, colouring) to something more active (running, climbing things).  If anything, Birdie is turning into a bit of a tomboy… which is fine in my books.  Currently, her favourite outfit is a pair of jeggings and her “race shirt”, which has a picture of an open wheel car on it (think Formula 1).  A few nights ago she told me that she wants a race car when she grows up.  She’s going to grow and grow and grow and grow until she is big enough and then she will drive one!

As for me… my world is ever changing.  I have an interview with the provincial government for an administrative supervisor job.  Basically, I’d be supervising a team of administrators.  It sounds terrifying.  Ha ha.  I would be able to do it, but the learning curve would be steep.  However, the pay is worth it.  Definitely can’t complain about that.  I would be increasing my salary by over half as much as I’m making now.  Kind of awesome.  I do worry about how much I’ll end up with after taxes vs. how much I am making now with the support payments and all that noise.  But realistically… it’s better to be self-sufficient anyway.  I am also exploring the option of getting into the data and communication trade.  So I would be hired on to a company as an apprentice and would end up running wire, finishing wire ends, etc.  The first couple of years are pretty menial tasks… but eventually I would be able to get into doing things like programming fire alarms in large buildings and other cool stuff.  I’m not like WHOO!!!  I love data lines!!!! or anything like that, but it would be a steady job that I can get better at, and that will change with every contract the company takes on.  Plus, it’s a good way to get an education without really having to take much time off.  In 4 years of working (vs. going to school), I’ll walk away with a journeyman’s ticket and very little school debt… if any at all.  And with it being a trade… I could very well end up running my own company or branching into other things.  And I love that it’s not a desk job.  That’s really the only thing that bothers me about taking the govt job if it’s offered… sitting at a desk.  Yuck.

I have been taking an Understanding Medical Terminology class through Mount Royal University.  It is challenging me in ways I didn’t expect.  I was really stressed out this week about finishing the course, but I am on the 4th kilometre of the 5 km race this course is 😉 I am not sure whether I am going to sign up for part 2 or not.  I haven decided if I want to see the whole thing through and get my certificate or not.  I originally started it just to open up my options when it came to jobs available to me… but I feel like I’m maybe going in a completely opposite direction.  Not a bad thing… but I don’t want to waste money that I don’t need to waste, either.

As for the not-work portion of my life… I’ve been busy.  Currently, I am working with a team of 3 others (well… 5 others?  Maybe?) to build a Vega/Astre/Monza hybrid vehicle to race in the Chump Car championships at Laguna Seca in December.  It’s all very exciting, and very boring at the same time.  But it allows me to go on adventures, like helping load a car with only a front axel onto a trailer while it’s rear end is suspended from a tractor with it’s bucket way in the air.  Plus, I actually know a few things about cars now.  Only a few.

This is all courtesy of this dude that I’ve been seeing for a little while now.  He’s nice.  He is a mechanic but is currently managing a garage for someone else (and not really doing much under the cars these days).  Has a couple of kids older than mine, loves cars and beer, and all living things.  We seem to get along pretty well, and he’s very supportive of my mama-hood, always encouraging me to spend lots of time with my girls and to mommy-up.  It’s nice.  I was worried that it would be hard to find someone who really understands how much kids need from you, and I think he gets it.  My girls like visiting his house, with the giant dog, the race car, and the huge fish tank.  Only Birdie likes the snake… Kitten is not really a fan.  I adore his children, which makes being around them easier.

I haven’t been running all that much.  I did do the Climb of Hope run again this year, and place well within the first 1/4 of runners.  So I was relatively chuffed with the result… especially since I hadn’t really been training at all.  I had signed up to do the Color Me RAD run, but ended up being in Spokane with the Chump Car 36 hour endurance race.  It was an amazing amount of fun and I am really glad that I made the decision to go.  I am taking a dance class… Pole dancing.  Don’t laugh – it’s really fun and it’s a crazy upper body work out.  Although my legs are often sore after class as well.  I like to joke around that if all my other job options don’t pan out, I could always resort to stripping!  Ha ha.  Never going to happen.  At any rate, who would want to watch that?  No one.  That’s who.

I haven’t done too much to my apartment in the past couple of months.  I started to paint my bedroom… but ran out of steam.  Ha ha.  Maybe next week that the girls are here, I will do some painting in there.  After my course is done.  Then I won’t have to worry about that any more.

So that’s how things are with me, these days.  I’m happy.  Feeling pretty settled.  Would like to change a few things, but I have a plan and it’s being put into action.  About the only thing lacking is that I’d like to drop the stress weight that I’ve gained… but I’m not sure when I’ll do that.  Not ready to tighten down the diet and increase the activity, yet.  Hope things are well with all the blog people out there in blog land.

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Trepidation

I have started this post over so many times, never sure where to start. Or if there is even a reason. My readership is probably at about 3, and I think all of you actually know me… So why even tell it? It’s not that I need a voice – I have one. It’s not for sympathy, I deserve none (not do I want pity). Maybe to find other who have travelled a similar path? I don’t know.

I see great struggle in my future, and why not revisit my blog. Where I have laid out so many of my struggles previously. Before I got married. Through my babies. Losing weight. Then things got easy and I stopped writing. All together, stopped. Or maybe just got busy. I don’t know.

Rob and I are perusing a divorce. We have been married for 8 years, after getting married young and fast (not as fast as some, but faster then most of my peers). There are lots of “reasons”, and none at all, at the same time.

I am lonely. I have been in a relationship of some sort since I was 19. I am 32. This is foreign and weird and uncomfortable. And clearly… A place to grow, if I let myself. I am not lonely in the sense of being alone. I am not. I have good friends, good family, good work/social life. It is just very strange, not “belonging” to someone in particular.

There is no despair in me, only trepidation. A bit of worry. But a keen sense of hope, of “things will get better”.

V is for Vulnerable

I looked at a book at the bookstore today, an ABC book for adults. It’s called “V is for Vulnerable” by Seth Godin. It’s essentially a book for creators, for artists. While most of it didn’t speak to me (I don’t feel that I am an artist), there were a couple of poignant pages that stirred thought in me.

The first is that L is for lonely, because everyone is (and he finishes that thought with how the artist tries to help with the loneliness).

It just made me ponder. I am constantly surrounded by people. At work, at home. I am rarely alone. But I can still feel it, the feeling of loneliness. When did we lose connection with each other, in the face to face? Today I stood in line between two people waiting for coffee. I did not have my phone with me, just a little change in my pocket. I stood and watched as both people stayed glued to their screens, only looking up to place their order, barely acknowledging their barista. I wonder if this is part of the loneliness. We are so attached to our screens that we have stopped being people?

V is for Vulnerable, because if you refuse to share yourself or your art because of fear, there is no point to the art. I am tired of living in this world of nice-nice. I want to be vulnerable with people I don’t know all that well. I want the freedom to say “XYZ is shitty” or “ABC is amazing” regardless of what the reaction is. I want to be honest about what I think and where I am.

Living is hard sometimes. Sometimes it’s easy and amazing and just plain fun. Some days it’s full of pain and disappointment and suffering. I seek connection in my fellow human beings, and hope that maybe by being honest, by being a little bit vulnerable, I can find that connection.

Sunday School Picnic

Last spring, we decided to start attending a more local church, which happens to be MUCH larger than any other church we’ve attended before. Like, has 3 services on Sundays (2 English, 1 Mandarin), big. We attended fairly sporadically in the summer (we were seduced by the sunshine and farmers markets… and sometimes, just sleep), but have been making and effort to get back in to the swing of things as their fall programming starts up.

Today was the kick-off Sunday. The usually have one service in the summer, as people attend less during this season, so why run two (English – the Mandarin service always runs) half full services instead of one full one? Today was the last single service and it was SO BUSY! I worked in the nursery and it was NUTS. I am looking forward to the dual service again, where we’ll only have a half dozen or so babies instead of 18. ::sigh::

The best thing about today was that they had a barbeque after! We were told that they supplied the meat & buns and that we should bring our own snacks and drink. So I packed up our mini cooler this morning, and we went to church. Rob didn’t have that great of a time wrangling Kitten in the service until her class started, and well, I was super busy bouncing crying sleepy babies in the nursery. But after, we got to wait in a huge long line for lunch. I was SO SURPRISED when I saw tables and tables of burgers/hot dogs and salads and fruit and all sorts of interesting snacks and desserts! I didn’t have to pack up food at all!

We did have a few lunch-related incidents. We ate outside on the grass… which was fine, except that Kitten is a very finicky eater at the best of times. She’ll eat half of her meal then declare “I no want it” or “I no like it”, even though she’s already eaten most of it. So, it was busy and crazy and she just wasn’t interested in eating… which was fine. I also managed to squirt mustard all over her sweater sleeve (gah) and drip some on my jeans (double gah – I just washed these on Friday night… with no way to wash them until after Tuesday… did I mention that I only have one pair of jeans? Yeah). But we survived.

It was hot out, and Kitten was pretty tired, but we stayed for a little bit to enjoy some of the festivities. The balloon animal guy made Kitten cry (but what else is new)… but that was very quickly forgotten when we visited the petting zoo (seriously, they had a petting zoo at the sunday school picnic! The benefits of a large church!). Kitten LOVED petting the sheep and the goats. She also loved the tiny bunnies and guinea pigs, but wanted NOTHING to do with the ducks and chickens. I, however, looooved the chickens. They had all sorts of funny fancy ones, and the ducks kept splashing us from their little buckets that they were wading in. They also had a small cow-ish type animal, but it was in a “time-out” because it knocked a kid over (probably around 4 or 5 years old… the kid, not the cow).

We didn’t stay to participate in the bounce house, nor to watch the Sumo-suit fights, or the gladiator bounce house/fights. We were tired and hot and decided to go home.

I’m definitely enjoying attending church here, although it will be nice to get to sit in the service without being distracted by Kitten. Now that she’s in the 2’s & 3’s class, she’s MUCH happier to go to church than she ever was in the nursery. This morning she declared “I love church” as we were getting ready to go! Ha ha! It cracked me up. I am going to be in the nursery every month or so, but that’s not too bad. I feel bad that Rob’s sitting by himself for those days, but hopefully he won’t be too lonely. I suppose that over time we’ll make friends and maybe on my nursery days he can sit with our friends? We’ll see, I guess.

I’m also hoping that we’ll get to meet more people who we’ll have more in common with. Sadly, it seems like all the moms stand around and talk to each other while the dad’s run off with the kids – which is awkward for Rob because then he doesn’t really get to meet any of them, you know? They’re already off with the kids, so they’re not even around when we see them. ::sigh:: I’m sure that these are just “new church” things that will get worked out (and as we get used to being in a big church, instead of a small one).

Now I’m super tired, and thinking about laying down on the couch for the remainder of Kitten’s nap.

Bits and Bites

I’m lazy and tired and have WAY too many things to do, so here’s a short list of things that you might want to know.

  • Kitten has renamed Nybbles.  She’s now called “Moses”.  Don’t ask me why, but it is what it is.  Also, Kitten has learned how to make that “pssss psss pssss” noise and rub her fingers together when she wants the cats to come to her!  It’s hilarious.  “Moses” usually ignores her, but Tych has been known to come on the occassion (depending on how much love he’s received lately). 
  • I’ve still bee knitting like I have lost my brain.  Here are some of my most current items:

I did a set of three pairs of shorties for a wonderful lady on Cloth Diaper Nation. Here they are (please excuse the terrible photography in the first picture)

RoxyRocks Shorties

RoxyRocks Shorties

RoxyRocks Shorties

I also had time to crank out a skirtie for Kitten. I really love it, even though it took nearly 12 oz of wool (that’s a lot) and a zillion hours to do!

Kitten in her new skirt

  • My site was hacked.  It was kind of funny, but I’m just grateful that they didn’t do anything malicious… like corrupting my files and such.  So I’m doing a backup again today, and trying to figure out how to change my ftp password.  It’s lame right now, so I want to make sure it’s more secure in the future.  It’s possible that they guy just hacked everyone on the server… but I’d like to be a little responsible for my own security, you know?  Anyway, I have high hopes of moving my blog hosting to our server, but Rob isn’t sure if  it will slow my blog down and such.  But if it loads in half a second or one second… does it really matter?  I assume that *most* people use a feed-reader, anyway, so they’re not really loading my site as it is. 
  • Our air conditioner is on the fritz.  Some days it works, and others NOT AT ALL.  Apparently I am now a big spoiled baby because the heat makes me CRANKY.  Which sucks.  We have a repair guy coming tomorrow, and it’s been working *ok* (but not as efficiently as I think it could be), but when you buy something new, you don’t expect it to break barely a year after you’ve bought it, you know?
  • Also broken:  My washing machine.  Although not unusable, it makes a really loud squeaking noise… some times.  I originally thought that I had destroyed it by using too much soap, but the squeaking comes and goes, and happens when the drum is pushed on (we have a front-loader).  So… I’m using it until the it squeaks all the time and then we’ll have the repair guy out to look at it.  I don’t want to use it into the ground (and then buy a snookem new one)… or do I?  I have my eye on the LG fancypants one.  But in white, because we’re not replacing our perfectly good dryer.
  • We’re on week 4 of our homeschooling, and thing seem to be going ok.  How do I judge it?  I mean, Kitten doesn’t learn and use her vocabulary word every week (seriously, how do you work “vines” into every day conversation, other than “Hey kid, go get me a glass of Wild Vines Wine out of the fridge?”), nor does she always remember the sign language sign for the week (but “cat” was a hit, and she totally knows that one!!!), but she DOES remember shapes, colours, letters and numbers.  So I guess that’s better than nothing.  This week the topic is eyes and the vocab word is “iris”, so I try to talk about “mommy’s iris’ are blue, auntie’s iris’ are brown” after explaining what an iris is (the coloured part of your eye).  We try to review our learning poster every day to help with retention, but I don’t know if what I’m doing is “right”, you know?  Regardless, it helps me to interact with her a little more and helps me to plan pointed activities, rather that just letting her play independantly all day long. 
  • We had AWFUL ammonia stink in our diapers.  Probably a mixture of detergent and mineral build-up.  I finally found some RLR locally (Sobeys!  WOOT!), so I have officially stripped all of Kitten’s diapers and they are so soft and sweet smelling now.  Hopefully I won’t have to worry about that again any time soon.  However, I’ve decided to strip our microfiber because it’s all so dingy and gets smelly fast, so there must be yuck in there still.  First I have to catch up on some regular laundry.  I am so tired of doing laundry.  ::sigh::
  • I haven’t talked about Jamie Oliver in a long time (I know, what’s wrong with me?), but I recently bought his new book “Jamie’s Food Revolution”.  It’s a recipe book where the whole idea is to learn a handful of simple but tasty recipes and to teach them to your friends.  Then your friends teach them to their friends, and so on.  That way, everyone’s learning how to cook a few great meals and eating less take-out, which is ALWAYS a good thing.  Now, some people don’t need cooking lessons (I’m looking at you, Hanna), but for the rest of us who get stuck in the same rut all the time (spagetti, pancakes, KD, that was typical around here!) it’s great to be able to plan out a week of exciting different foods.  I especially love his curries section (mmm!  Curry!) and stir frys.  If you have a chance to even just peek at the book, it’s SO PRETTY!  I think I pet it for like, four days, before I started to cook out of it. 
  • I’ve started using the Oil Cleansing Method for facial care.   I still get terrible acne and there doesn’t seem to be anything that is helping it.  Plus, I am STILL struggling to find a good moistuizer.  So, the premise of this method is that you mix castor oil (plant based, aparently magical) with cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil and rub it into your skin.  Then you use a very hot, wet cloth and hold it over your face, then gently swoop the oil off, rinsing the cloth a lot.  I used it last night at the sink and this morning in the shower.  The sink method works better, because you’re not sweating in the shower (or is that only me?).  I liked how smooth my face felt after, and especially how that always dry and flaky patch between my eyebrows was just normal skin (although I could still see my angry elevens).  I don’t really need to use a moisturizer after doing this, and I liked that part best of all! 🙂  I’ll let you know how it all continues, especially during the hormonal acne I get during my period! 

Anywhoodle.  I think I’m going to go knit – I have one more skirtie custom to do and then I have a break to knit my own things.  I have oh-so-many things to knit.  Like a tank top for myself, a halter dress for Kitten, my winter cowl, a church shawl for myself… Lots of things.

Stuff and Pictures

A few things that I wanted to share…

Another pair of shorts!  Not for Kitten, for another baby.

mummyluvs222 Shorties

mummyluvs222 Shorties

Here’s a picture of Kitten in her “reading glasses”. She really is obsessed with sunglasses, and we kind of let her have them when she wants. She actually put these ones on herself, which is fairly impressive seeing as how she didn’t lose an eye or anything.

Kitten & the reading glasses

Last Tuesday, we bought Kitten a doll – her first “official” doll, as all the others have been make from fabric only. She’s VERY excited about this and plays with her non-stop. For the first few days we really had to fight with her to get her to do anything OTHER than play with the doll (Buffy, as she has been named)… like eat or go to bed. It’s been a subject of rue for me since we bought it. That, and I totally regret getting the little “accessories” pack. It had a lot of the same stuff in it, plus a lot of little pretend bottles that we don’t use in the house (talcum powder, baby oil, and diaper rash cream) so most of it I’ve put away. The good thing was that it came with two extra diapers (one was a disposable, which has already been torn to shreds – who things these are a good idea for kids? Maybe other kids are better with them, but dude. What a waste. The other was a cloth one, so whatever) and those bottles/sippy cups that have the liquid that disappears when you tip them. I wish I could have bought those things separate, but the bottles they had in single packs weren’t the ones that had the liquid that moved. Anyway, Buffy gets lots of love around here, and Kitten will talk about “baby Buffy” quite often.

Kitten & Buffy

So in order to help corral all the baby stuff that came with Buffy, I brought down this fabric basket from Kitten’s room. I stuffed all the baby paraphernalia in there so Kitten would know where it went. Rather than take my ever so helpful clue, she pulled it all out of the basket and did this:

New Hat

She truly is Rob’s daughter (ha ha, just kidding honey! Kind of!)…

The Last To Know

Apparently, I do not keep up on my fantasy author news.  Did you know that Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series has just become a TV show?  I didn’t, not until I saw the re-release paperbacks (now with a trendy TV cover… yay.). 

I also didn’t know about the Sookie Stackhouse show until I saw it on the re-release new covers.  I suppose that it’s ok.  I do know, however, that HBO have given the go-ahead on filming the pilot for George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire (SQEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!), but other than that, I am apparently on the outs of books-into-film news. 

In other news, I have three blog posts written in my head, but I’m having a hard time spewing them out into the cyber world.  Each time I sit down to type, I’m all “oooh, shiney” and run off (online) doing other things.  It’s slightly frustrating because I enjoy writing blog posts, and discussing the things that are rattling around in my brain.  I think that if I could get some dedicated blogging time, where my mind is sharp and with it (ie. not at 11 pm), maybe I could get it out.  But not tonight, oh, not tonight.

On a personal note, things around here have been quiet.  We enjoyed a nice weekend away with a bunch of friends from church for a couples’ retreat.  It was a nice time of refocusing and relaxing.  I only cried about leaving Kitten behind a little bit.  She did really well staying with Rob’s parents.  Presently, she’s trying to cut her second top tooth (seriously, we STILL only have 3 teeth… 15.5 months old!), and has a runny nose and diaper rash.  She says all sorts of new things all the time, like the other day she said “love you” after I said it to her.  It was super cute, even though I’m well aware that she doesn’t really know what it means yet.  It’s still cute to hear her say it.