Friday, July 27, 2012

I don't really have words right now, just a giant lump in my chest that sometimes makes me cry. I'm just sad. My father and I had a difficult relationship. For years I hoped he'd hear what I was saying but he never did and after more than ten years of feeling that way, I had to cut myself off to protect myself and my children from his anger. But that does not at all mean I wasn't hopeful that there would one day be a reconciliation. That day will not come.

After being pronounced brain dead at 11:55 AM yesterday, he was finally taken off life support some time today. We were hoping some organs could be donated. The only one that might have been was his heart. I hate the idea that he took his last breath without a family member by his side. I hate the idea that I just don't know if his spirit was still with his body at that point or if it had already moved on. I hate that I haven't had a very strong conviction in my own Christian faith over the past while and so I am not finding huge comfort in what I believe 'should' be happening right now.

I hope the parts of my Dad that were good shine and watch over my children as a guardian angel. I hope the parts of him that I struggled with have been shed and that God has taken then all away. I hope my Dad knows what is in my heart - that despite what my actions may have been telling him, I still loved him.

My heart aches. I don't know how to process this. We booked our flight for Monday and then it felt too far away so we switched it to Sunday (thank you for WestJet who has a good bereavement policy to enable switches like this to happen up to 2 hours before a flight leaves with no charge, and also only charges a regular fare rather than the inflated last minute prices).

So I guess I have some words. But I need some that will comfort me and I can't find any right now. "Mom, don't cry about your Dad." Those don't really help, but they are my little girl not wanting me to be sad.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Dad is either dying or has died. He fell today and his brain injuries are not the kind a person can ever survive from. Our relationship has always been hard but I had hoped so much, in my deepest of hopes, that one day we would be ok and that he could see my kids.

And I can't sleep. And I so desperately wish I could so that we can start planning our trip west.

This just feel too surreal.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

One foot in front of the other

I started something new today. Well, it's not exactly new as there have been times in my life where I've attempted it before but a cramp here or a change in my schedule there would often have me bailing. I'm really hoping that isn't the case this time.

I used to be able to do a little workout in our small office upstairs (because Little Man is still in our room - not what I thought would happen but more on that later) but the kids won't leave me alone. And if they do, I'm stressing about all the sounds going on downstairs so I'm not getting the break I need while exercising to work off some stress.

After talking about it for a few months I went for my first jog this morning. In all honesty I did more walking than jogging but I'm following this Couch to 5k I found and more than anything right now, I want to become someone who runs. I hesitate at thinking of being a runner because I'm scared my body will scream at me and that I won't do more than half an hour or so. But being outside and getting rid of tension and not having children screaming in my ear or climbing on me, well that sounds like bliss even if it only lasts for half an hour.

I thought I'd wait a few more weeks before starting. My sister and her family will arrive a week from today and with some insurance premiums due this month I really didn't feel like we have the money to put out $115 on a new pair of running shoes. But the last few weeks have been hard and as Big Love said, "you just haven't been yourself" just before he put his foot down and said, "we are going to buy you shoes. I don't care how much they cost!" (It's rather comical when he puts his foot down because he doesn't have a big bellowing voice and he's kinda laughing while he's doing it because being 'forceful' is SO not his thing.)

So I got shoes yesterday and got outside this morning. It felt nice. Even after waking up at 5:45 this morning (damn you Little Man!) I felt more functional for a good part of the day.

I really hope I can find a way to do this and not have my body scream at me. My ankle has already been giving me trouble for the past few weeks so I guess we'll see. I'm a little determined, though, and am hoping that my friend's experience holds true for me - after a few months your body might start hurting but if you can get over that hump you're good to go.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

40 Minutes of Hell

Almost a month ago now my best friend came to visit. I decided to treat myself to a few hours of child-free time when she needed to be taken to the airport. We left the house at 7am so that we could stop at the local coffee shop and grab a coffee and then be on our way with enough time for her to catch her flight on time. The big city airport is an hour and a half in absolutely no traffic, which I couldn't expect to happen.

I had a great time driving and hanging out in the airport lineups with her. I sent her off into security and headed off to the Swedish furniture store. I was quite excited. We were in the market for some new bookshelves and a few other small things. I used to live a 20 minute drive from one of these big blue buildings and I've missed it.

I arrived a few minutes before it opened and decided to grab myself a 99 cent breakfast. It wasn't great but the sun was shining in the enormous windows and I could take as long as I wanted. Well, not really because I was hoping I'd only take 30 minutes in the store. That didn't happen. An hour later I was on my way, stopping at St. Arbuck's for a decaf Americano and then I was on my way home.

It was a nice drive. I wasn't too worried. I bathed in the quiet time for myself because it hadn't happened in .... well, I had no idea.

When I got home, Little Man was sleeping and Sweet One was on her way to sleep. I crawled in and gave her a snuggle. Little Man woke up and refused to go to sleep without me holding him.

This would continue every day, in varying degrees, until today. I just couldn't take it anymore and so, just like when he was 5 months old, I decided it was time for him to get himself to sleep.

I hate coming to this decision every time but I know that it will only be a few shitty days and a good result. After all, I've had little issues with Little Man's sleeping in over six months. I read to him and snuggled him for almost 15 minutes and put a very calm baby into his crib. I went into Sweet One's room to read her books, hoping that by the time I was done the books Little Man would be sleeping. Twenty minutes later this was not the case. I said prayers and snuggled with Sweet One for 8 or so more minutes and he was still not sleeping. While I hate the idea of making him 'cry it out', I hate thinking of him being by himself even more and so I stay close to him. Maybe it's self-flagellation, penance or loving support, I'm not sure. I went into the bathroom and scrubbed the tub. (I really hate scrubbing the tub. Why do I need to clean it? The shower cleans me!*) Twelve minutes later he gave two hardcore screams which I translated as, "You bitch! Why the fukk are you doing this to me?" and he's been quiet now for about 40 minutes.

I went downstairs, washed my kitchen and laundry room floors and now I'm finishing a very strong gin and tonic.

We are making small strides with Sweet One and the biting recurrence. And I've managed to get some sleep in the past two nights so I feel a little better.

*Do you like New Girl? I love it. And this is borrowed, with a slight change, on a very funny moment that had me rolling on the floor.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Today was going alright. I was actually happy about how I was feeling after a few days of being unable to shake off some anxiety and depression. We spent a chunk of the morning in health care facilities - Little Man needed a blood test to check on his iron levels (no more anemia!) and then we had his 15 month appointment where he was diagnosed with the start of an ear infection (which explains a lot of his behavior change over the preceding 24 hour). Both kids are also dealing with allergies. Yay.

The afternoon came and Sweet One bit her brother. Again. We seem to be in a regression after a very long time of her not doing it. When the hell will I ever learn to stop getting my hopes up?! I'm not handling it well. I yelled. A lot. "YOU CAN NOT BITE YOUR BROTHER! YOU HAVE TO STOP BITING YOUR BROTHER!"  Desperately trying to scare her a bit so she'd realize how bad it is to bite her brother. He has marks on his face and his arm. I really don't know what the fukk to do at this point. I've felt like I was at my wits end before about things like this and then relief came. But relief has been hard to come by since I yelled. It's almost 8 hours later and I still feel gross. I have no forgiveness for myself. I know damn well that yelling at her doesn't really help but in the midst of it I'm desperately hoping I can find a way to motivate her to stop, perhaps "scare some sense" into her. But really I'm sickened that I remind myself of my father and then I remember what used to happen to me when I'd make him that angry. I didn't take my belt off and lash her bare bottom multiple times leaving welts and a humiliated, screaming child in my wake. Because my anger is my responsibility and no matter what she does, nothing will ever give me the excuse to do that to her. I have to be better. I don't feel like I am. Having as much anger inside of me as I did today scares me. It feels awful. Dark and thick. I still feel sick.

I want to go to sleep, actually sleep through the night for once, and wake up to a new day "with no mistakes in it yet." Please, God. Could you just answer this one and help me stop her from biting her brother? Could you please show me how to deal with this without screaming at her? She doesn't deserve that. She deserves a better mother.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Coffee, coffee, no coffee

This is one of those moments I wish I were a high profile blogger. I could wail "woe is me" because my itty bitty espresso machine is no longer making me espresso and then I'd have handfuls of offers to have new ones shipped me and then arrive on my doorstep, completely free of charge.

For the past year and a half I have made myself an espresso and enjoyed it a few times in latte form but mostly as an americano. In these hot days where I am melting all over, I've poured the espresso over ice and it is lovely. Sweet One sometimes asks for a coffee and since I drink decaf I pour a wee bit of espresso over some milk for her and the two of us enjoy our coffee together.

When the kids nap, I come downstairs and make a coffee and then either watch tv or try to do some sewing in the hour I have. Not for the last two days. For the past two days I've spent nearly all that time trying to get my machine working and it is to no avail. I'm hoping the Delonghi company will email me back with some helpful ideas on how to get my machine back up and running. We have hard water here but I have faithfully descaled it and also cleaned out both of the filters when they've needed it.

I'm a little pathetic, but I am sad. The lovely crema I used to see resting at the top of my cup was absolute poetry to me in the few moments I ever get to myself.

Now I'll go and see if I can actually get some sewing done before the kids wake and hopefully bring myself out of this sad little funk. Where did I put my bodum? It never failed me.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Isn't there something about good fences?

My daughter has a friend who is our next door neighbor. They moved in this past winter and live right behind us. At first it was nice. Sweet One didn't have much for little girls to play with so I was happy for her to have the opportunity and her parents seemed very tickled that their daughter had someone to play with, too.

My backyard. You can't see NK's house but it is right behind that large tree.

The girls didn't really play together until spring came along and it was easy for NK (neighbor kid) to come over and play. We found it a little strange over the first week or two when the parents didn't come over and introduce themselves but we continued to let Sweet and NK play, feeding them oranges whenever NK asked for them. Eventually we met the parents. They stopped over and checked to make sure everything was ok and then disappeared into their house again. A hello there, a short chat here but in the end, they seemed to have no problem allowing their daughter to come and play with people they barely knew. I decided to get through the summer and then things would change once NK starts kindergarten in the fall. For the most part they play quite well together. Sweet One adores NK.

Over passed few weeks things have become more and more frustrating for me. NK is spoiled. It's obvious. She manipulates Sweet One by being rude, pouting and standing just inside her property line while she pretends to go home. This leaves Sweet One screaming and completely heartbroken for a few minutes until NK decides to return as if she is the most important person in the world. A few days ago I looked over and the girls were pretending to beat Little Man with our toy fishing rods because he was being 'mean'. I almost lost my shit. There is no doubt in my mind where that idea came from because Sweet One has never accused him of anything like that before.

NK is also starting to get rude to me. Maybe it's not exactly rude but it is definitely disrespectful. She likes to pretend that what an adult says to her isn't important and that she doesn't have to listen to it by looking away, not listening and covering her ears. The world please escapes her vocabulary every time she asks for help or something to eat or drink. (When I do bring her water to drink, since that is what my children are drinking, she goes home and returns with a bottle/can of root beer or another crap-ass sugary drink that isn't going provide any nutrition at all.)

Yesterday I was enjoying some time in the backyard, tending the garden with the help of Sweet One and Little Man when NK came out and our whole agenda had to change. She wanted Sweet One to play in the kiddie pool. Fine. I won't fight that. It took her less than 5 minutes to get Sweet One crying and ten minutes later she was crying again because she got nailed in the head with her toy fishing rod. A few drops started falling from the sky which I used as an opportunity to say that it was time to go inside. Sweet One didn't even fight it that much. NK told me that she's allowed to go in the pool whenever she wants, with a huge side of attitude.

I hate it that I now feel like I have to plan to leave my house and my yard to avoid 'volunteering' my babysitting services. The 'play dates' have become more frequent lately, sometimes twice a day, and I wish I could put up a fence so that we could have a little privacy. I don't want to feel constantly invaded by a little girl whose parents are "doing the dishes" or "cleaning the litter boxes ... all four of them" and then disappear into a house not to be seen again. I would like my backyard to feel like my own private space but without a fence, that isn't going to happen. This is going to be a long few summer months.

I've vented to a few friends, both of whom have mentioned that there should be absolutely no problem with me setting boundaries and rules when I am the only parent outside - especially if the play is happening in my backyard. I would expect this of my friends just as they would of me if I were watching their kids. If NK doesn't like it, she will not be allowed to play. I may have to talk to her mom about this but I will not continue to allow her to teach Sweet One the behavior that I've been watching over the past few weeks. How is it possible to teach a kid how to behave around people, if the parents are never there to watch it? 

This afternoon we are going to NK's birthday party. The only one excited about it is Sweet One so Big Love and I've found an excuse for us to be late but we really hope it doesn't go too long. Maybe there will be beer. It might take the edge off!