Hooligan Zoo

Two Zookeepers… many Hooligans… It's always feeding time at this zoo!

Supermom

A few weeks ago, we had some friends over for tea and dessert.  We were sitting around the table just chatting and laughing, getting to know each other better.  At one point, one friend said, “wow, you really are Supermom.”

It stopped me in my tracks.  I laughed, and just sidestepped what I assumed was meant to be a compliment, changing the topic, moving on.

Supermom?  Me?

I homeschool my kids, sure, I cook healthy food, for the most part, we’re involved in our church.

My kids are reasonably well behaved and articulate little monsters when we’re out in public.

 Funny faces for AmyJ

But, I think that calling me Supermom?  It puts down every other mother who may be doing something different in their parenting journey.

I think the woman who works all day, comes home, does homework/housework/quality time all in an evening is also a Supermom.

 Funny faces for AmyJ

The single mother who struggles to make ends meet, yet still manages to let her kids know that she loves them?  She is Supermom.

The woman who occasionally loses it and yells?  She is also a Supermom.

The one who spends six days a week in some arena or another?  Supermom.

The homeschooling mother who occasionally lets weeks go by without doing anything official for school?  She is Supermom.

 Funny faces for AmyJ

I don’t think that what you do with your kids is what makes you a mother.  If you let them fingerpaint in the dining room, even though it’s winter, if you grind your own flour, bake your own bread, have a 5 acre garden.  If your five year old is doing algebra, that is not what makes you a Supermom.

Women, especially mothers, are the worst group of people that I know of for comparing and judging each other.  We only let the “good” parts of ourselves shine out, so that when people see us, they don’t have a chance to know about the giant pile of dirty laundry in the laundryroom.  Or the fact that you had macaroni and cheese three days in a row.  Or that you haven’t picked up the math work in at least two weeks.  We don’t share that, and it makes us each think that every other mother on the face of the earth has it together… and we don’t.

When we are only portraying our Supermom traits?  And yes, we all have them, we are doing a disservice to other mothers.  We all struggle.  We all can only make it with the help of someone higher.

Here’s the truth of my Supermom-ness this week.  Monday was the only day we got dressed.  We have had oven baked fries twice this week, and eggs and toast for dinner the other nights.  The laundry is piled up.  The kids have watched an entire season of Little House on the Prairie in just a few days (and I am totally calling that our history lesson.)  My bathroom has mold build up in the shower and the walls, and I can’t get the disgusting crusty scum out of the toilet.  My kitchen floor is sticky from a maple syrup spill that happened on Monday.  Most days this week, I couldn’t be bothered making sure that the hooligans had brushed their teeth before bed.

Do I sometimes have it all together?  Sure I do.  But, most often?  I do not.

If your children go to bed at night, knowing that they are loved unconditionally.  If your children are raised with a love of the Lord, wanting to serve Him, knowing that He created them, and that He has a plan for them, then you, you are Supermom.

Even if your cape is a little tattered and torn.

 Funny faces for AmyJ

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Shameless Self Promotion

Unbelievable!  Seriously!!  Especially after that downer post way down there where someone hacked into my account and was whining away… *ahem*

Some crazy people nominated me for Funniest Homeschool Blog!  I am up against some great people, some woman with Pioneer in her name?  I’m certain that she won’t get ANY votes… hardly anyone reads over there, right???

**hurriedly scurries to delete her link from my sidebar….**

But please!  Vote!  If not for me, then for someone else in the great categories that are there!!  There are nifty prizes to be won!

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Different… and yet the same.

It’s funny you know, when you’re growing up, in the home of your mother and your father, who are inevitably the most idiotic, embarrassing and stupid people in the world, you have this idea of yourself.  Of who you are.  Of who you’re going to be.

That person that you are, that you are going to be is definitely NOT like your parents.

You will never say the things to your children that they said to you.  You will never yell.  You will never say, “Because I said so,” the most loathed response of parents to a child’s question.

You will do things better, you will do things differently, you will have better, you will have bigger.  The dream goes on and on.

And then, and then, real life hits.  You become older and become a parent yourself.  And your parents get older and become grandparents.  You get to watch them play with your own kids in ways that you don’t get to play with them, in ways that they never played with you.  Your relationship with your parents, with your mother, is deeper, it’s wider, it’s mutual.  You’re on a more level footing.  You do some things like your mother, and you start to think, well, maybe it’s okay.

It’s not as important to be different just to be different.

This woman right here, this is my mom.

July 080

Right now she is very busy kicking cancer’s ass.

She is doing it with grace, with pomp and with style.

My mom and I have had issues over the past 32 years of my life.  I’m sure she’d tell you that I’ve always been strong willed, stubborn, speak my own mind even when maybe I should keep my mouth shut… that kind of thing.

If I were to describe my mom?  I would say that she’s strong willed, stubborn, speaks her own mind even when maybe she should keep her mouth shut… that kind of thing.

July 078

I have very few pictures of my mom. She is always the one behind the camera, always the one ordering us to smile, to look more natural, turn this way, move that way, stop pinching your sister, “Jamie Dawn Marie!” She would yell.

She drives me crazy when I tell her something and she says, “Been there, done that.”  She makes me insane when she lets the hooligans get away with stuff that we as hooligans would never have gotten away with.  When I have to “deprogram” them after they’ve been to a sleepover at Gramma’s house.

december 263

My mom crochets.  She’s left handed.  She has blue eyes that none of us girls inherited, but several of her grandchildren did.  She was raised in a Catholic church.  She was adopted by my grandfather.

She is a wealth of knowledge.  She has lived through tough times and has lived to talk about it.  She traveled parts of the world while my Grampa was in the Forces.  She has canned, lived without hydro for months on end, had the phone cut off, reconnected it, paid off her mortgage, and been working for as long as I can remember.

She is stubborn.  She is strong willed.  She is kicking cancer’s ass.  She will continue to kick cancer’s ass, and she is my hero.

I am thankful for any part of her that I’ve inherited.  It’s made me stronger, it’s made me capable.  It’s made me who I am.

And I hope that she can be proud of that too.

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And… she's two.

Aw, Talya. Two years ago you came screaming into the world after a labour that lasted an hour and a half.

It seems like such a cliche, to say that it goes so quickly. That it seems like yesterday we were in the hospital, rejoicing in your safe delivery. Such a cliche, and yet so true at the same time.

It’s been such a ride, these past two years with you. You’ve had a hard couple of months with moving, not sure what’s going on, teasing Uncle Barry… a little extra clingy and needing ‘moo’ a bit more often.

You are such a funny little thing. Over the past month your language skills have developed in leaps and bounds. Instead of having a new word every day, you moved to having new sentences and phrases. The first long string of intelligible words that you said was, “ook, Daddy, chukka!” (translated means, “Look, Daddy, I’m brushing my teeth!”) From that day on there was no slowing you down.

You love to do everything that your older brother and sister do. You hate to be left out of anything, and have a pretty huge fit if you are, shouting, “I too! I too!”

I love the way you strut around as if you own the place. Your giggle is infectious, and it cracks both your daddy and I up when you run away giggling. You are tenacious, stubborn, and your favourite word is “NO.” Usually said emphatically even when you mean yes.

You are definitely a wee bit spoiled. The last baby, you get to nurse the longest, are pandered to by your big brother and sister… you did, however, just start sleeping in a “Big Bed” and it thrills you to no end.

Talya, you are such a joy and a blessing to us. Even when you’re making us nuts with getting into the cupboards… and the closets… and the drawers… your happy go lucky nature and sly grin get you out of trouble.

Just don’t grow up too fast, okay?

Love,

Momma

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Email

I’m always connected to Ja via email and messenger during the day.  Some days we send each other little things, teasing, encouraging, whathaveyou.  It does brighten my day when he takes the time to send me a little something.

We’ve both been feeling pretty down lately, and I was reminded by a good friend of this verse that we used in our wedding ceremony, so I sent it to him.

“Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.”

I still mean it.  smooch

So then he sent me back this,

Hunna,

You are amazing and wonderful and I love you!

Always,

Moi!!

Which totally made me cry, the big jerk.

To which I responded,

Well, I mean it except for in the bathroom.  I won’t go in the bathroom while you’re pooping.  cuz ew. W

We gotta keep it real, don’t we? And then the final,

Well no, naturally not the bathroom.  And though it may SMELL as if I died in the bathroom, chances are that I didn’t…. so don’t go in cause it COULD kill you!  Heh heh!

Strangeo!

Moi!

And that, my friends, is why I love that man.  He can make me laugh even when there doesn’t seem to be anything to laugh about.  And really, poop is always funny, isn’t it?

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10:00 and All's Well

Well well well.  It's ten o'clock right now, and MY baby (not Ja's baby… his baby is the one who screams uncontrollably for no apparent reason…) has been asleep in the crib for an hour. 

Yup.

You heard it here first, folks, she's sleeping away AND SHE IS NOT TOUCHING ME!

Well, not too much has been happening in these parts of late.  Just the usual stuff.  Changing diapers, keeping peace, boobing, changing diapers, keeping peace, boobing.  That's pretty much it really.

Knowing that Talya is going to be our last baby has made me really want to cherish every moment.  I don't even mind that she wants me to hold her all the time.  It's sweet the way she nurses and plays with my nursing necklace.  Her coos and giggles are enough to melt any heart.

And the older hooligans.  Oh my goodness do they adore the peanut.  Ephraim will look at her in awe and say, “You're so beautiful, Talya.”  Keyzia sings her lullabies so that she can go to sleep.

I was always told by good friends of mine that you just KNOW when you're finished having kids.  You feel full.  The urge to have more, the need to expand is gone.  I have definitely hit that stage. 

Even after having Ephraim, I knew that we would have another baby.  I was wanting to put it off for a good long time, but our family didn't feel complete.

After I had Ephraim, I had some pretty wicked post partum depression.  This time it started before I even had the baby.  Knowing that it would probably just get worse with another one is the key factor in our decision not to have any more.

We have had such amazing support from this crazy group of friends who we can also call brothers and sisters.  The body of Christ has banned together and helped us through this difficult time.  My eyes have been opened, and I have never felt so loved and accepted in all my life.  We have been given so much by so many people that it just makes me want to give and give and give in return.

But that deserves it's own blog post.

Here I am wasting my not being touched time on the computer. 

What am I, a first time mom or something??

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Herein lies way too much information.

No.  Really.  I am about to write an article and post on the WORLD WIDE WEB that contains way too much information.

Dad?  Step away from the computer.  I promise that tomorrow I shall post something happy about… bunnies!  or puppy dogs!  With absolutely no talk whatsoever about my girlie parts or their functionings.

That said…

Here we go.

A few weeks ago I bought something a little nutty.  I had done some research, found a supplier, and purchased the Diva Cup.  ((You'll really really have to click on the link to even get a vague understanding of what this is.))  Think…  a diaphragm, sort of, but for your period! 

Thus follows a review, of sorts, of said Diva Cup and my thoughts to it's uses and whether it was worth the crazy amount of money it cost me.

To sum up, the Diva cup rocks my world and I can't believe I waited so long to get it.

The end.

Hunh?  More details?  Awrighty, here we go.

It's this crazy cup shaped thing that you insert into your, er, girlie bits.  It catches all those monthly nasties, then you empty it out, wash it, and re-insert.  Or put in your cupboard in the handy dandy draw string bag until next month.

A typical period for me lasts about 7 days.  The first two days are usually brutal horrifying nasty things, where if you look at me, I just might rip your face off and have it for dinner.  I will soak through the big tampons in about two hours or so, and be quite heavy even while sleeping.  It does generally taper off a bit by day 3, and then down to almost nothing by day 7.

This time?  I was very uncomfortable, as per usual on day one.  Day two (yesterday) totally fine.  Today?  It's tapering off, and I think that'll probably be it by tonight.

I have yet to fill the cup and I left it in there for 6 hours or more yesterday.  And for a good 8 hours today.  I didn't even need to empty it when I did.

The tricky parts?  Learning how to get it in is tricky.  Especially as a die hard tampon woman.  The lesson I learned is that you do not insert it the way you would a tampon.  It actually sits very low, just inside the vaginal opening.  Surprisingly tho, I cannot feel it when it's in there properly.  I had to go back and read the directions on it to really figure the thing out.

One thing that is weird is peeing with it in.  I have been assured by some cyber buddies that it will not fall out, but it does kind of feel like it.  Maybe it's just my superior vaginal muscles!  After pushing out a ten pound baby!  ha!

I'm convinced that it's the lack of chemicals in these things that's doing my body good.  I also switched to cloth pads for at night, but I haven't even really needed anything on at night, so that part doesn't even matter.

A three day period??  That's unheard of for me!  But, I will take it.  Oh yes, I will take it.

Now I'll probably get pregnant or something.  Figures, eh?

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Sometimes you just get through the day

You know, when I'm miserable and crabby, I really don't want to be
around cheery people.  I would much rather wallow in my
misery.  Content to spread the crab to all who see me and are
forced to be in my presence…

I was going to hit the library
today.  But then the thought of trying to keep the kids relatively
quiet just made me tired.  Then I had to sit down.  All this
while the two horribles are giggling and running around like maniacs…

SO,
a change of plans.  I kick them outside so that I can sit in the
peace and quiet for twenty minutes.  Maybe I'll pick up my bible,
look for that renewing sense of peace.  Hope that I'll be granted
a fifth wind.

It's the tired that kills me.  That bone
numbing tired that just makes you want to sleep for a year or
two.  When I'm this tired, the life just seems to be sucked right
out of me.  It leaves me barely enough to get by, never mind with
enough to pass over to the kidlets.

And yet, I will pull
through.  I'll have another cup of tea.  Read some
blogs.  Tidy up a little.  Then I'll look at my children
tucked snuggly in their beds, and I will know that I would do it all
again tomorrow.


Edited to add:

Had a nap today, and am feeling much much better.  It's amazing what a little bit of sleep will do for you, isn't it???

 

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It has been demanded of me that I blog, so blog I will…

I received an email from my Great Aunt Joyce today demanding that I keep on blogging…  it's funny, actually, I've been kind of planning some articles in my head, and yet it's just so much easier not to write them.  It's easier to just sit around and let the holidays wash over me with all the myriad of feelings that go along with it.

But, Aunt Joyce, you have forced my hand!  Or, at least my fingers!  I could blog about the neat felted bag that I just made, post pictures of the Christmas presents, talk about how we have three get togethers down, and two more to go…

There's something about Christmas that turns me into this raving insane lunatic.  I get super annoyed super easily, nothing ever seems to go “right”, and really, the whole meaning of Christmas gets lost in the rushing, and the presents, and the buying, and the travelling, and the trying to make everyone happy.

This year we had Christmas day at our house.  It was great.  Keyzia spent the entire day in her pyjamas, and she was ecstatic.  My parents and my sister Glenna came up and we had turkey, played games, and generally stuffed ourselves silly.  Christmas Eve was a little more hectic.  Lots of yummy food, get together with all the sisters, and presents coming out the wazoo.

Boxing day saw us at the yearly gathering of Wolters' in Brighton.  It was chaos personified.  We did not have a good time at all what with the trying to help in the kitchen and the chasing of the children, and the thirty or fourty relatives who were present…

New Year's day will see us with Ja's immediate family, his brothers, his sister, parents and significant others. 

Some people glory in this hustle and bustle.  They love stressing about what to get for who, don't worry about going into debt to buy things that are going to last such a short time.  These people adore decorating and wrapping and all the jazz that seems to go with the season now.

Me?  Not only did I not want to put up the Christmas tree, but I wanted to take it down Christmas Night.

I love giving gifts to people, but I hate that I'm forced to do it by the consumerist way that Christmas has become.  I hate that people look at me funny in stores when I say Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays or Season's Greetings.  I hate that God hasn't been invited to Christmas Celebrations that were conceived to celebrate his birth on earth for a long long time.  ((Don't worry, I totally understand that the odds of Jesus' birthday actually being on December 25th are… well, about 1 in 365, but I see nothing wrong with a day that is to remind us of such a gift…))

What's the solution?  How do we keep Christ in Christmas in our home?  We did put candles in a cake and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.  We read the story of Christmas as a family on Christmas Eve from the bible.  At every moment we tried to instill in our children that we give gifts to each other to celebrate the greatest gift that was given to us. 

And yet… and yet… something was still lacking.

I think it might be me.  I got some great presents.  I love being with my family…  even though they're all nuts…  Why do I feel like I have to stress out about everyone getting the exact perfect present?  Why do I feel like we need to see everyone, do everything, be everywhere for everyone?  What is it about the way Christmas has become that makes me dread the countdown with every part of my being?

The biggest question is how do we simplify this whole season?  And how do we keep the focus on Christ and off of the consumerism that is forced on us at every turn?

I don't know.  I don't know what the solution is, but I have 360 days to figure it out for next year.

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Bigger is not always better…

We got a new to us monitor today…  (Thanks Barry!)  and I had no idea what I was missing!  It's quite a bit smaller than the old one, but the colour, people, the colour!  The greens!  The blues!  The contrasting white!  The beauty of it all!

You see, our old monitor wasn't compatible with our computer and hasn't been for years now.  Everything was really dark.  Like, the banner over at Dooce?  Yah, I just thought it was a solid red bar. Thought it was quite unoriginal of her, to be honest…  But then!  The new monitor has shown me the light!

Pictures on people's blogs that I had to squint to figure out what they were are now crystal clear!  The detail!  The colour!  The imagery!  Wow.

Unfortunately, I also noticed how sucky my blog was.  And how the banner did not at all match the colours.  Bah.  Why did no one tell me??  So, I changed the colours.  But the banner needs to change.  But I am tired.  Tired and also?  Crocheting and knitting like a madwoman with only 7 days until Christmas.  It's not looking good, people.  Not looking good at all.

The problem is that I keep adding myself new projects.  These projects that I must not talk about or the potential recipients will know what they are getting.

Ah yes, Christmas.  'Tis the season for lies and deception.

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