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Monday, 2 February 2015

Coulda Woulda Shoulda

What's the main ingredient in hand sanitizer?

Ahhhh.....the 'coulda woulda shoulda' revelation. That feeling, while examining scenarios, circumstances, predicaments, when one feels that another course of action, or even better, REACTION, would have been more suited to the situation. It leads you to mull. Re-examine. Go around and around, dissecting your words, the words of others, pondering, why? How? What could have been better?

It has everything to do with one of my most serious New Years resolutions to date, of which I'm committing to for 2015. A conscious decision to really make my choices in life count, for real this time. Mostly because being a mom of two littles, I have very very little time for anything. So therefore, logically, let's put a real effort into making the time that you do have really count. Translation? Choosing the best words. The best reactions. The best people. The best path. Most of all, choosing happiness.

For example: don't PVR that extra show. Because then you'll feel obliged to watch it. And the pressure to watch it will inevitably take away from the effort that you are putting into making funny (and let's not forget consistent) character voices for your daughter's story time. You absolutely have to have continuity in the voices. Your kid WILL notice if one week, the gingerbread girl's voice is squeaky, and the next week, it's husky. And she will call you out on it. Trust me.

Anyway, I'm really trying to commit to this state of mind. So far it seems to be going well.

Truthfully, what inspired this post was an event that occurred almost 4 years ago. I was at the hospital, just having birthed my first child. To say that I was shocked and in awe of this is the understatement of the year. I remember looking at my new baby girl, totally rattled on adrenaline and remnants of laughing gas, looking around in disbelief that the hospital was actually going to let me take this little human home with me. I felt like I had cheated on an exam and had taken home a congratulatory A+.

We were waiting nervously for the go ahead to leave, and also waiting for that one test that they do, the PKU test (I believe?), that checks your kid for some nearly eradicated blood disease (which they had conveniently forgotten about, and subsequently, left us sitting waiting for 3 hours in a room). 

So I hid in the bathroom while the nurse took the blood.

Which is really weird in itself, because I don't usually hide from anything. I remember standing there in that hospital washroom, staring in the mirror, not fully recognizing myself - only knowing that some little human that I didn't even know yet had succeeded in really stressing me out already. I wasn't so much upset about it....I just felt very....peculiar. It was like I was trying on a new costume, that sort of fit, but didn't quite feel right yet. Peculiar.

When I finally came out of the bathroom, I felt sheepish that I wasn't there for my baby's first needle. I felt guilt, already, less than 24 hours in.

So I made a joke, made light of it. Told the nurse with a giggle "I hid in the bathroom cuz I hate needles"

You know what the *%# said to me?

"Paranoia will destroy ya" all snarky and stone faced.

I remember looking at my husband, puzzled. Not sure if this was a joke. Not sure if she was trying t be funny, or trite, or if she was just plain insensitive. Maybe I was missing the point? Never mind that I had just laboured for 10 hours, been sliced and diced, cried and lost all dignity, and I was the one who felt responsible to lighten the mood about my little hiding in the bathroom joke? Only to be sarcastically shot down by this nurse that clearly needed a coffee break, or a hug, or something.

So coulda woulda shoulda? I've gone over the situation so many times. What I should,have said to her, instead of just staring at her, wide mouthed, until she left out hospital room. In one scenario I call her a name. In another, I cry and return to the bathroom, sulking over the prospect of a paranoia ridden life that will inevitably ruin my and my child's future, in another scenario, I just give her a hug. Because that's probably what she needed most.

But in all seriousness, what am I going to tell my kids about people like this? That feel the need to kick you while you're down, or that simply just don't know their timing when it comes to offering their opinions.

All I know is that when one of my kids is having a meltdown, even though I want to scream at them, I find the most effective thing is to just get down and hug them. It takes them down a notch, and decompresses the situation.

Coulda woulda shoulda. Teach kindness. Try harder to make that moment count. Don't look back on the coulda woulda shoulda situations, because they're everywhere. Just make it count in the present. That's all.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Conversations with a 3 year old

Sometimes chatting with my toddler makes my brain hurt. There always seems to be an endless barrage of "why's" and "why not's" (usually in the incorrect context, btw). But then she makes me double over with laughter thanks to some cheeky or quirky comment, and I remember that she's brand new and life for her is too! I have to remember these moments because before I know it, she'll be moving out and off to college, and all I will want is to transport myself back to these days where her view on life is as fresh and wonderful as it will ever be!

Here are some of my fave conversations

3 year old: "Do we have a horse?"
Me: "No"
3 year old: "Why?"
Me: "Ummmm....because we don't have room in our yard?"
3 year old: "why?" get the idea

3 year old: (aggravating her baby sister, baby sister starts to wail)
Me: what did you do to her?
3 year old: I just smashed her
Me: why?
3 year old: because I'm a naughty princess

3 year old: (sipping her milk) mmmmm....this milk is so cold. So silky

(Me, noticing the 3 year old has colored all over her face)
Me: when did you do that?
3 year old: on Friday
(Keep in mind it was Monday)

3 year old: mommy will you rub cream on my legs?
Me: sure love (I start massaging her feet and legs)
3 year old: thanks mom. That feels fantastic

Happy Friday everyone :)

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

The Blackout

                                      Ahhh, the blackout.

The phenomenon that happens to all new moms, and plagues us for anywhere from 2-10+ years after your child is born. For some, it never goes away.

It's that moment when you walk into a room with the intention to do/grab/make/change something, and like a magician waving his magic wand, "POOF".....the thought is gone.

Gone. Evaporated. Vanished into thin air.

You stand there in the blackout, trying to remember why you entered the room. What was it you were coming in here to do? Ok, let's retrace our steps. You back out of the room, searching for triggers that will remind you why you went in there in the first place.

But sadly, it's gone. Sometimes forever.

My fave is when you're mid conversation with someone, and like a crow that is attracted to a shiny object, something draws your attention elsewhere, and you forget MID SENTENCE

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

When do we determine if a complaint is just a complaint, or a cry for help?

What I mean is this......

When we text our husband and tell him that today, managing a toddler that pees on the floor and an infant that has an ear infection is almost unmanageable? And he responds that he's already paid for golf, so he can't cancel now?

He assumes you're just having a bad day, and that your complaint is only a complaint, and not a cry for help?

Or when you text a family member to joke "want to come over?", when you know full certain that this said family member will most definitely not come over, due to being "very busy today" doing stuff that you think is dumb stuff, but that secretly you would give your right arm at this point to be able to muddle around luxuriously doing this "dumb stuff" instead of lugging around a crying, snotty 22lb sack of sand all day long?

The family member gives you the standard canned "pep talk" (soon they'll be 16 and you'll wonder where the time went, I'm sure the Advil will kick in soon, I didn't have any help when I was your age etc) and you reply that you were "only kidding, you're doing fine, just complaining" and that your asking them to come over and help has turned into a joke so to deflect the real disappointment that they can't detect your cry for help.

Responses like these always make you reevaluate the difficulty of your situation (it can't be that hard, or else they truly would sense it and come to my rescue), and you reach, for the 50th time today, into the seemingly bottomless pit of your reserve of patience, and pull out a bit more, just to make it through the next few hours.

Reading over this, it all seems quite melodramatic.

But trust me, in the moment, while one can't be soothed and the other has locked herself in the bathroom, and you're surviving on stale triscuits and cold coffee, it tends to feel like the end of the world.

There's my complaint for the day. Trust me, that's all this is....a complaint.

Xox Me

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

I wish

I wish people would smile more, and complain less

I wish that the feeling you get on that first real sunny day of spring lasted all year

I wish I liked country music

I wish cake was good for you

I wish I didn't have to worry about pesticides on my strawberries, GMOs in my cornflakes or radiation in my salmon

I wish people would put down their phones and play with their children

I wish time would freeze

I wish cancer didn't take little children

Rest in peace, sweet Connor. Heaven has another angel today

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The learning curve: Hockey - 1, Melly - 0

So far, 2014 has been a year of learning.

I've learned now that I am a mother of 2, that life is insanely busy and some days I don't bother to change out of jammies. I've learned that sometimes I can't remember if I've brushed my teeth that day. I've also learned that I have now completely metamorphosized (spelling???) from someone who used to like to fold the clothing and put them away, into someone who just tosses the clothes into the drawer and worries about wrinkles later. Chasing after 2 kids is something like a cross between the movie Groundhog Day and going for a run with your excellent runner friend while you have a hangover. Both somewhat amusing, but have their moments of eye rolling and WTFs.

Most of all, I've learned that I enjoy different things now. Life's little pleasures completely took on a new meaning as soon as the first kid was born, and especially changed after baby #2 entered our lives.

This became a very powerful and pertinent realization while on a recent trip to Arizona with my family.

We've always wanted to visit Arizona, to do some shopping and golf. While looking at dates to travel, my husband and I literally planned our trip around the Vancouver Canuck's hockey schedule. We desperately wanted to see our hometown boys play in another city. To our delight, everything worked out perfectly and we were able to fit our travel plans accordingly.

Sadly, within 6 hours of arriving in Phoenix, my husband and I were both violently ill with the stomach flu. Horrific doesn't even describe it. We both were sick all night long, and into the early hours of the morning. Thankfully, the vomiting dissipated by the next day, but as many of you know, after a night of puking your guts out, you don't feel right for a few days. Your back aches, your stomach is uneasy, and you just feel weak.

What a damper on the trip.

We kept our heads up and crossed our fingers that no one else in our travelling brood (in laws and our children) would get this majorly contagious asshole of a virus. A few days passed and we did the tourist thing, and everything seemed on the upswing.

Thursday rolled around, and we were feeling almost 100%. We had a great day, sitting by the pool in 22 degree weather and sipping on cocktails. The kids laughed and squealed in the water, and my husband and father in law and I chatted excitedly about the hockey game that we would be attending that night. I was beyond excited to be going out solo with my hubby -  no kids, while enjoying dinner, drinks and Canucks - how lucky was I?!

As we all returned to the room to start getting decked out in our jerseys for the game, I noticed my older daughter looking rather pale and lethargic on the couch. I spoke softly to her, held her face in my hands, and felt her forehead.

She was burning.

I whipped out the thermometer to find that she was running a mid-grade temperature. My anxiety levels spiked as I remembered my puking adventures from the other night. My immediate instinct was to forfeit my ticket to the game and wrap my daughter in my arms to comfort her for the night.

It took a lot of convincing on behalf of my husband and my in-laws, but eventually, they coerced me to go to the game. They said that I needed a night out, and that my daughter would be fine.

I knew that they were right. I did need a night out. And of course she would be fine. She's in the trusted and gentle hands of my mother in law, whom she adores.

Nevertheless, I just didn't want to go. And it wasn't totally because my daughter was sick; it just was what it was: I didn't want to go. I had no interest in hockey anymore. It was gone.

It was a shocking revelation for someone like myself who could, at one time, recite all the players names and numbers, spout stats like a guy, and invested time and energy into the playoffs like a true fan. I'd plan my schedules at work around their games. Some of my best memories of my life are of my dad and I attending the games at the Coliseum, listening to cow bells and team chants from the stands. I cheered until I lost my voice at the televised screen in the Coliseum in the Stanley Cup Final game in '94.

My relationship with hockey was over.

If I do say so, it was a gentle breakup. We're still friends, hockey and I. I'll still tune into the games now and then. But I'd much rather be doing a Dora puzzle with my daughter than watching my husband turn blue in the face because the refereeing is "diabolical". LOL

I think my face says it all in this photo. We made it onto TV at the Phoenix Coyotes Game. Don't we look impressed?

Thankfully, neither of my kids caught that flu from us. However, the eldest's fever spiked to 103 on the plane ride home, which turned into a trip directly to the clinic and a round of meds for a chest infection. Sigh. Kids!! Little germ factories!!

Thanks for reading! xox Melly

Friday, 10 January 2014

The Child-Rearing Olympics

Hi all

In celebration of the upcoming Sochi 2014 Olympic Games, I thought that I would talk about a few "events" that I feel are missing from the games, and if they were included, I would be well-decorated with gold medals by now. And maybe a silver or bronze or two. I'm sure all of you moms out there would be well decorated too.


-difficulty: moderate, dependant on the mobility/fussiness/hunger of the infant the said onesie is being buttoned onto

Picture it: it's 3am and your kid just crapped their pants. The bad mommy in you wants to fall back asleep and leave him/her in a poopy diaper until morning comes at 5:30 am. But the ethical mommy overrides and you fumble in the dark trying to change their bum. Cue the moment when you attempt to do up those damn buttons on their onesie, which NEVER EVER seem to align properly and you end up with a gaping section in the leg upon which their foot gets tangled after it wiggles its way out of the hole. Bravo to whoever invented onesise with zippers, and note to self: I need to buy more onesies with zippers.


-difficulty: moderate to severe, depending on the age of the children of which you are trying to usher out the door, hunger factors, interest in the party, etc.

In my opinion, this event goes from severe to extreme difficulty if you add a 3 year old to the equation. For instance, my 3 year old has decided the time has come for her to completely stop listening. I'm trying to get her shoes on and out the door before the little one, who is already in her car seat carrier, realizes we're not yet in the car, which in her opinion is unacceptable (why aren't we moving?? I will scream my head off in protest). Meanwhile, the 3 year old runs away from you and the shoes and hides in a nook of which you are too large to retrieve her (e.g.: under the bed) (damn you baby weight!). When you finally arrive at the party, ON TIME, make sure you and the children appear cute, cheerful and well-rested for a gold medal. Bonus points if the crepe paper in the birthday gift bag is brand new and not all crinkly.


-difficulty: crazy

This event is all about endurance and patience. Thank god my husband possesses both these traits, because I sure don't. I kind of picture this event as something out of TV's Survivor, in more ways than one. It's like my husband is the guy who is standing on a skinny piece of wood, suspended over the ocean, and he can barely get his footing. If he can stay standing on this piece of wood the longest, he wins immunity for that week. In the opinion of the child who has to eat the yucky vegetable, it's kind of like that Survivor challenge when you have to eat a gross giant maggot or a pig testicle; either way, it needs to be chewed, not swallowed whole, and you have to show the judge (my husband) an empty mouth once you've eaten it. Be prepared to commit to this event for the long haul, and remember that immunity only lasts a week.

Hold on, someone's at my door.....
Ah! It's my gold medals! I'll have to go now, as I need to find somewhere to display them ;)