Big thoughts.

Tonight has been full of emotions and thoughts. Big thoughts, big emotions. A dear friend of mine is currently away, on the road to recovery. Recovery from alcoholism. My mind and heart can’t stop thinking about him and how I wish I could be there, in person, letting him know that we’re all rooting for him; cheering him on. I’ve been keeping up with his blog, following along on his journey to recovery, self love and peace.

“Believe in yourself because I do. It will be hard, it will break you down
but it will build you back up to become YOU again. You’ve got this!”

There are few friends in my life that I feel such a connection with. The older I get, the harder it seems to make that close connection so, when someone comes along (over 15 years ago now) who seems to just click, you can’t let them go. Even when they are struggling and you don’t know the reason until they are already on their recovery path ~ and that’s ok. You support true friends; the ones who, as days, months and years pass, you spend less time with but you know that when you’re together again it will all be the same. As if nothing has changed. Although I don’t know the struggle of alcoholism, I do know what it’s like to feel isolated, alone and faking happiness. It was a very long time ago now and I’ve come back from that black hole into a place of love and true happiness.

I wish I could tell him that no one blames him for whatever wrongs he thinks he may have done. Recovery is the road on which he must travel and we are all here on the sidelines, his biggest supporters. I well up with tears when I think of how proud I am that he’s taken this step, to admit there is a problem and then taking action, doing something. I think about how our first visit/conversation will be when we reconnect and how there will be oh so many tears and laughter and hugs, big hugs. Sigh.

One of the best feelings in the world is when you hug someone you care about
and they hug you back even tighter.

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mom.

well, it happened. for the first time in my employment history, i cried in front of my boss. i’m not an overly emotional person and have never been one to break down in front of someone other than my family or close friends, but i did today. i never thought i’d be that person who cries at work, but i crossed that one off this morning.

i went into work for a meeting with my boss about upcoming holidays (i’m hoping to get 2 weeks off, one in July and one in September so that we can have an actual family vacation) and was planning on mentioning my disappointment and frustration with working so many weekends (as of the second weekend in June, i will have worked 7 out of 8 weekends in a row). everything was going fine, and then we started talking about the work schedule and she mentioned that i don’t offer a lot of flexibility so it’s not always easy booking me in (that’s another story). i started to tell her about how the wee man hasn’t been sleeping (for the last 2 months), how he’s sick and teething right now, how hubby is on midnights so it’s just me with the little guy almost every night, how the lack of sleep is draining me mentally & physically, and, add to that, working every weekend, is starting to pile up and is wearing me down. i only have one day a week that i can spend with my husband and son where hubby doesn’t have to go into work (Saturdays). while i don’t expect to have every weekend off (i’m in retail and that’s just part of the job), i also don’t expect to have to work every weekend. i welled up with tears and they lingered there in my eyes for a good 5-10 minutes while we spoke. i told her i’m not normally this emotional and that i’ve just been going through a lot outside of work and it’s all coming down on me. she told me she thought i was going to tell her i was pregnant, ha! i replied with, oh gawd, i hope not. i’m not ready for another one yet.

i don’t want to quit my job. i enjoy where i work. i love the products we sell, our customers are great, and i have fun co-workers. honestly, it’s been a refreshing change after working in the newspaper industry for almost 12 years. and it’s worked out well with it being part time so we don’t have to pay for daycare (which is a little too pricey for us right now).

we sat and talked for a little while longer and she shared some of her personal mom stories and struggles with her 3 kids. we spoke about mom “guilt” and how it has a hold over us in so many situations (when they won’t sleep, when they’re trying to get their way but don’t, etc etc). about taking breaks from our kids, for our own mental health and well being.

mom’s feel like they need to do it all, and take care of everyone and everything. it’s something most of us just do without really realizing it until someone points it out, or until we’re at our breaking point (ahem).

one thing she said really stuck with me and that was that i need to fix myself first and then focus on the little guy. i completely agree. it’s just easier said than done right now.

toddler life.

i have oh-so-many intentions of blogging more often than i actually do it. i am constantly thinking about situations and topics that would make for a good post and then by the time i sit down at my computer i end up doing design work instead. and, of course, the design work needs to be done but, really, when i have so much on my mind i’d rather be writing a blog! well today, i decided to put some of that design work aside and do just that (YAY!).

now, what am i going to write about …

for 10-ish days we’re dog-sitting my parents’ doberman Lola, so things are a little hectic around here. having her, plus our hound, plus a wild toddler (with a little too much energy) equals a crazy house! it’s definitely a change from when we watched her last fall when they went away. both the dogs are the same but i’m working more and my son has grown and changed so much since then, oh, and my hubby is on midnights (happy happy joy joy, right?) … she’s only been here 3 days and i think i’ve swept 10 times (not exaggerating) and vacuumed at least twice (and the dog hair still appears to be everywhere). our hound sheds more than any dog i’ve ever had and Lola is a close second.

oh, and add to that the fact that little man has been having a sort of nighttime sleeping hiatus (the fun we have around here, eh?). the past two and a half weeks have been rough. every few months he seems to go through something like this – whether it be from teething, a new developmental milestone or just being a toddler, it’s hard. on all of us. and of course, this all happens when hubby is working overnight. i now know how single parents feel at nighttime when their children just won’t sleep and they have to work in the morning. patience wears thin. very thin. especially when you’re going on only 4 hours of broken sleep from the night before. doing that more than 2 days in a row makes you go a little nutso, and by a little, i mean a LOT. the middle of the night seems to be when my patience is at it’s lowest. i think it’s even worse when i’ve literally *JUST* fallen asleep and all of a sudden the monitor clicks on and i hear a soft little voice calling out to me, “moooooom, mooooommmy, mom”. i love that little man of mine but my sleep is a close runner-up for things i love most.

when he was younger it was easier to be awoke in the night by his faint little cries. i wasn’t working at the time and he was still nursing so a little milk sometimes solved the problem and if that wasn’t the case, i didn’t mind sitting with him to help him relax again. the fact that he now has oh-so-much energy and enthusiasm (and tantrums, did i mention tantrums?) during the day likely adds to the frustration i feel at night; i’m much more exhausted than i was when he was a wee babe! but, alas, you do what you have to do to help your child feel safe, comforted and loved.

the amount of pure, raw energy that my son possesses never ceases to surprise me. he is a little ball of crazy! he’s always running (and i mean constantly), jumping, screaming and squealing. ALL. DAY. LONG. i’ve spoke to friends, colleagues and parents of toddler boys and i know that his behaviour is (fairly) normal. he does not sit and colour for more than 3 minutes. the crayons become a toy and then dumping them in and out of the container is the new thing to play. or peeling off the wrappers, or trying to eat them, or hide them, or colour on the floor with them. he does not sit and read a book for more than 5 minutes. the stories are changed to a short version with words left out so that we actually can finish “reading” one or two (two, ha!). the only time he’ll sit and listen to a story is at naptime or bedtime, otherwise, pffft, why would he sit down when there’s things to do?! he does not sit and watch an entire movie. he’ll sit for (maybe) 10-15 mins and then get up and play with his toys, but don’t you dare turn that movie off because he’ll tell you he’s watching it. and meal times? forget about sitting for more than a few minutes unless the iPad is on with one of his “shows”. it’s he only way i can get him to eat anything lately, and honestly, i don’t care because he’s actually eating something. i know this too shall pass and one day i’ll be able to sit down and do a fun activity or craft with my son, but until that time comes, i’ll let him be the wild, crazy, funny and loveable little man that he is.

memories of grandpa g

as i sat down tonight with a cup of tea and some chocolate chip cookies tonight, memories of my grandfather came to mind. my hubby had just left for work and i decided i’d have a little snack before heading downstairs to do some freelance. i quite enjoy dipping cookies (especially chocolate chip or rainbow chocolate chip) in my tea. that warm, soft, goey texture is just soooo good! especially after a long day chasing around my adorable, little-ball-of-crazy-energy son. although, i must admit, it’s hard to not eat the whole bag! we can’t keep cookies in the house for that very reason; i just love them too much, and i get it honestly. when i was a child i, apparently, used to always need to have 2 of everything, especially cookies. and now, my son is following in my footsteps but, really, can you blame him? who wants just one cookie! that’s crazy talk.

i fondly remember my dad’s father telling me that he’d wake up every night between 3-4am, head upstairs, eat 5 cookies and then go back to bed. he used to try to bring them back to bed with him but my grandmother wasn’t too fond of being woke up by his crunching and munching, lol. he said, sometimes you just need to have a few cookies; even if it’s the middle of the night. i pictured him sitting in his button down pajamas (a matching dark blue long-sleeved set is the one i remember most) in the rocking chair and enjoying his late night/early morning indulgence. he definitely had a sweet tooth! when i was a child he used to give me a loonie to go to the variety store around the corner from his house to buy candy (and back then, you could get a lot for a dollar!). i think now you’d probably just get one chocolate bar, and really, what fun is that.

as much as he loved his sweets, he was one of the pickiest eaters. when i worked at our local newspaper, i frequently had lunch dates with my grandparents. they’d pick me up from work and we’d go to a restaurant of their choosing. my grandfather’s meal of choice was almost always wieners & beans or a hot-beef sandwich. he’d always bring the leftovers home (as a man in his late 80’s he didn’t eat much), but they were for the dog, of course. he also used to put the little sugar, butter, jam and peanut butter packets in his pocket to take home for later. he tried to sneak them into my grandmother’s purse but she would scold him for trying to do so, haha. i would often get a soup & sandwich combo which, naturally, came with a dill pickle on the side. oh how i LOVE dill pickles! well, my grandpa didn’t. even the smell of them was enough to drive him batty. if a food looked funny he wouldn’t eat it; smelled different, nope; a colour other than the “normal” colours (say pink), no way. ahhh memories.

i often think about how much fun it would be to be able to see him with my son. he’d get a kick out of his silly behaviour and definitely would’ve teased him to a ridiculous extent because, well, that’s what he used to do to us! sadly, he passed away 3 months before the little man was born.

he was a wonderful, silly, old fart who’s family meant more than anything in the world to him. i know that one day i’ll see him again and until then, i’ll do my best to be as wonderful and silly as he was.

MeandGrandpaG

are you tired? i’m tired.

i was sitting here at my computer sending out an email proof for a photobook (for my friends over at Renaissance Studios) and my mind started to wander, like it tends to do, especially when my toddler isn’t around to distract me. i can see him on the monitor, sound asleep, looking rather comfy in his new grobag sleepsack. it reminds me that i probably should get more sleep instead of the 5ish hours i’ve been getting all week since my hubby started midnights. i feel like my free time lately has been spent doing everything except what i’d actually like to be doing (like working on little man’s halloween costume, or sorting through our closets and storage area, or just relaxing, crocheting something new which i haven’t done in over a year).

i need a rest. a day to myself (mostly); a day where i actually go to bed at a decent hour (instead of sometime between 12:30 and 2am). a day where i don’t check my email (hahahahaha). a day just for me. but then when i think about taking a whole day to myself i feel guilty and i know i’ll miss my son … ok, so maybe i just need like half a day – that would work, i think. half a day for me! it’s very tiring working part time at a retail store, designing wedding photo albums, doing freelance graphic design, keeping our house looking (somewhat) decent, not letting the laundry pile up too high, chasing around my 20 month old son (eep! where has the time gone!), oh and squeezing in some time to spend with my amazing husband. it seems as though my 24 hour day is really only 12 hours, 5 of which i’m sleeping, 2 where my son naps (or should be) and then there’s maybe 5 hours to do all those aforementioned things. i know i may be exaggerating a little but it sure doesn’t feel like it!

being a parent is tiring more than anything. i love my son, a bigger love than i ever thought possible, but i also love my sleep (and really, who doesn’t). and, i need sleep to function a little better than i have been lately. hubby and i haven’t really had much time to ourselves since he started midnights last Sunday (and he worked OT last night, is there right now working and will be working more OT again tomorrow night. long weekend? nah). he’s at work when i’m sleeping and i wake up shortly after he gets home. he sleeps until around the time the little guy wakes up from his nap and then it’s the 3 of us until wee man goes to bed and then the routine starts over. i’m sure things will get easier as he gets comfortable in his new schedule but this first week has been long. add to that me being at work, hubby doing a few photoshoots on the side (check out his work here!), oh and it’s Thanksgiving this weekend too so pile on the turkey, pie and visiting … aaaaaand being with our son, who seems to be a bit of a mama’s boy lately. i don’t really mind this, except for when we’re at the grocery store, like today, for example, when any time i stepped more than a foot away from the cart (2 feet maybe to grab an item off a shelf – don’t go shopping on Thanksgiving weekend, it was a zoo! but i didn’t have much choice as our cupboards were looking pretty bare) little man would shout, “mom! mom! moooooom!”. let me tell you, an hour and a half of that, plus him pulling every item he could reach out of the cart wore my patience thin. oh, and add in his defiance towards his car seat. sorry sweetie, seatbelts and carseats are not optional, especially at your age.

i feel like i’m falling asleep while i type this so perhaps i should turn in for the night; or at least go upstairs and crawl into bed and maybe read (or shop around on Etsy, hehe). i miss the days when little man would just cuddle up and snooze on me; where i could crawl into bed and if he fussed just bring him in to sleep curled up beside me. i miss his newborn smell, his little coos and big sighs BUT i love, so much, the little boy he’s becoming. he may not be a baby anymore but he’ll always be my baby.

i really should be doing something else right now …

i wasn’t going to blog tonight but well, here i am. i have a thousand other little things on my mind right now …

• i’m tired
• i don’t want to finish the laundry but there’s little boy clothes in the dryer and bed sheets, towels and more just waiting to be washed
• i need to tidy the back laundry/storage room
• the fall wreath should go on the door
• where can i get some orange & yellow mums for the pot on the front porch
• i wonder if hubby will notice the little sticker face (with moustache) that i added to one of the pumpkins on the front step
• the dishes are piling up but i don’t want to make any extra noise because little man had a tough time going to bed tonight and i wonder how long it’s going to take him to fall asleep (he’s still up right now, turning his glow worm on and off and talking to himself, babbling and saying mom! mom! and it’s almost 10pm)
• will he wake up in the night and need comforting
• will i be able to get to sleep at a decent time tonight
• why is there dog hair on my keyboard
• why does our hound lose more hair than any pet i’ve ever owned
• the house needs to be vacuumed/dusted/swept
• i wish we had more storage space
• speaking of that i need to organize the laundry room (yes, again)
• i need to make time this weekend to read up on the new products coming into work (before my shift on Monday)
• i hope i’m happy with my hair appointment tomorrow morning
• i should be on the treadmill instead of sitting on my ass typing this right now
• i need to go through our things and make some donations
• why can’t i just win the lottery, move to the country and be debt free?
• i hope the little guy is asleep by the time hubby gets home from work tonight (he rode the Triumph soooo it’s a little noiser than, you know, anything else we own, well, except for our son)
• maybe we should visit my parents this weekend and get them to take our dog for a few days before we dog-sit their dog next week
• where is the dog?
• i should work on my new business cards
• i want ketchup chips right now, mmm
• maybe i should have a cider?

i could go on but i don’t want to bore you (or myself) any longer. it was a long day today and i’m hoping that tonight goes smooth … little man has 4 more teeth coming in (he currently has 12 so this will just leave his 2 year molars yet to come, oh joy) so he’s been extra whiny, cuddly, picky, hyper, crazy etc. plus, i like to say he’s going into the terrible two’s at 19.5 months. he’s into everything! it’s a fun age but a tiring one nonetheless. because he’s so busy during the day, he’s been extra snuggly at bedtime, which is fine by me. i love the way his little hand grabs my face and pulls me close so that i kiss his forehead and when i pull back after kissing him he reaches up again and rests his hand on my neck. i need to think about those times when he’s been wild and crazy and just running through the house screaming for no reason other than the fact that he can do just that. ahhh life with a little boy.

as much as i’m exhausted both mentally and physically from working part time, designing wedding photobooks, doing freelance design, chasing around my toddler, spending time with my amazing husband and trying to keep up with friends and family, i wouldn’t trade it for the world.

a long day … zzz …

today was a long day for me. although i was pretty happy that i didn’t have to go into work! (it’s still odd saying that) … i planned to get up early, do some laundry and tidy up a few things around the house. that did not happen. apparently i was exhausted and woke up with just enough time to run through the shower before the little guy started to stir! we did our morning bath-day routine and headed downstairs for milk, breakfast and to let the puppies out for a pee (we don’t actually have any puppies per say – we’re watching my parents’ almost 5 year old doberman while they’re away – they had a not-so-pleasant experience with the house sitter last time they went on vaca so hubby and i said we’ll just watch her from now on! – and our almost 6 year old coonhound are both big sucks, so they’re our puppy-dogs). while the 2 hounds ran around (wildly) outside i swept the floor and got my son’s breakfast ready.

we played and watched some cartoons. he had a snack, some more playing, lunch and then he went down for a nap. more sweeping ensued (a lot more). out the dogs went (again) for some more roughhousing (which really, i don’t mind because it tires both of them out! i can’t easily take both dogs and my toddler for a walk, so this is second best). down to the basement i went to work on changes for a few photobooks and edit some business cards for a client (oh and finish up a little laundry). back upstairs for lunch (kinda late, as usual). then i packed up some dinner foods for the little guy and went up to his room to wake up from his nap. we packed up his gear (diaper bag, snacks, milk etc) and headed out the door to my in-laws place where hubby was working on his dad’s ’63 Triumph (he’s been rebuilding it from the ground up for the past 3 years). we visited there for a bit, had dinner and then i packed him back up to head home and do our night time routine.

both of us were pretty sleepy so we just snuggled on the couch and watched some cartoons while he had his bedtime milk & snack. hubby stuck around his parents’ place to try and figure out why the bike wasn’t cooperating with him. he got home shortly after 9, just as i was heading back downstairs from putting the little guy to bed. i grabbed a few oatmeal choco-chip cookies (yum!) and a glass of water and we went down to the basement to each work on our own things on the computer. we haven’t really seen each other much today and it’s 11:30pm now. he just went upstairs to let the dogs out for a pee and get ready for bed (and i’m finishing up this blog). hopefully he’s not asleep before i get up there. he’s getting up early to work some O/T tomorrow and Sunday but thankfully will only be gone a few hours so we’ll all get to spend some much needed time together … i feel like the only times we aren’t busy (with our little guy, working, visiting family & friends, doing laundry) is just before we go to sleep. by then we’re usually both so exhausted that one of us ends up “fading fast” (as hubby says) and the conversation ends quickly. i know this time in our lives is busier because we have a toddler who’s learning more and more each day but it’s nice to have that quiet time with each other every night before we slip into (a not-long-enough) slumber.

i need more hours in the day to just do whatever i want without having to worry about working around hubby’s schedule, visiting friends & family, taking care of the dog(s), working or my son’s naps/bedtime schedule. i know the years when he naps won’t last long so i feel like i need to take advantage of my free time while i still have some (haha). before i know it he’ll be in school and i’ll be wishing he was around to just sit, cuddle and watch cartoons with 🙂