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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Claire Huxtable I salute you!

Do you remember the episode of The Cosby Show where Claire is sick and tired of everyone and everything, so Cliff books her a weekend alone at a rustic resort in the woods so she can get some peace and quiet? I sure do. When I need to go to my "happy place" I picture myself on my very own private vacation. A sleep vacation. Just Places and times such as these only existed in fairy tales (and Cosby Show re-runs) UNTIL this past Christmas.
My family gave me the greatest gift of all, the gift of leaving me the hell alone. 2 nights ALONE in a nice hotel in downtown Vancouver. 2 days of shopping ALONE where ever I want for as long as I want. 2 days of eating ALONE when ever I want. 2 days of sleeping in ALONE as late as I want. Oh god.
Ok,  I feel sick...ALONE? I can't handle alone. I haven't been alone for 2 days in...well...EVER. Oh god, I can't breathe....I feel nauseous. Just breathe. breathe. breathe. This is supposed to be the weekend that moms dream of, and here I am freaking out that I might get lonely and what if my whole family falls to pieces because I'm not there? How will they know when to eat? Sleep? Bathe? Who will I nag? Who will yell at me to come wipe their bums? Who will need me to explain why Cialis is NOT right for them (Princess A has been quoting this commercial lately...awkward.) How will I sleep without being woken up 12 times while hubby sleeps blissfully next to me and is none the wiser when he wakes up from his beauty sleep the next morning? Ok...this might be awesome after all...I think.
But seriously though, how is it that we moms who constantly crave "a break", when finally given one, often don't know what to do with ourselves. We rely so much on being relied on. With no one to care for, no elbows to kiss, no noses to wipe, often we are lost. We've lost part of ourselves. But for the most part, I think I'm ok with that. I will often describe myself as very independent, but what I have learned is that I have shifted to a more co-dependent role. I depend on my daughters and husband to need's what I was born to do. I know that in their eyes, nobody cooks macaroni and cheese like I do. Nobody can colour as good as I can. Nobody finds a missing stuffy like I can, but most of all NOBODY can love them like I can.
So here I am on the eve of my big sleep vacation and the more I think about it the more excited I get. My kids will be here with their dad, who in all honesty, quite enjoys the odd time I go away. Not only does it give him a chance to spend some quality one on 3 time with his littlest ladies, but it gives him 2 days to do what he wants when he wants without Mrs. Control Freak nagging his ass...and let me tell you, and this isn't easy (gulp, deep breath) he does a fantastic
So I will head downtown tomorrow with no agenda what so ever and I will savour every minute of it, and when those moments come, where I feel lonely and feel the urge to call home for a status report, I will imagine myself back home on Monday morning, making 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, wiping 1 butt, settling 5 screaming matches, and I will pour myself another glass of wine and make a toast to ol' Mrs. Huxtable and the brilliant idea she pioneered for us all!

Saturday, January 22, 2011 you hear that? It's the sound of the ground opening up to swallow me whole!

There is no better job in life to test your ability to handle embarrassment than motherhood. How many times has your child said or done something that you are tempted to or actually have pretended that they aren't yours. I seem to have been "blessed" with children who are so incredibly skilled at embarrassing me that I swear I spend half my life waiting for hidden camera people to jump out and let me know I've been had.
Princess I, at 2.5 years old, has all the tact that a two and a half year old should have. Picture this, we're out shopping recently and I had to visit the washroom. It was quite busy in the ladies room and her and I managed to get into a larger stall. To my surprise, mother nature had surprised me with her "gift" a bit early. Already this is as bad as this story should get...but littlest lady, in her sweet toddler talk and with her volume turned to 11 starts to say "OH NOOOOO MOMMY YOU WENT POOPOO IN YOUR PANTIES!" Are you frickin' kidding me??!!  "Shhhhhhhh, no, mommy didn't poopoo in her panties, shhhhhhh", but of course asking a 2 year old to be quiet is like asking Lady Gaga to stick to khakis and polo shirts. " LOOK MOMMY IT'S RIGHT THERE, POOPOO IN YOUR PANTIES, IT'S OK MOMMY, DON'T WORRY!" Seriously??? "shhhhhhhhhhhhhh, hush, it's ok, mommy's fine, let's be realllllly quiet now." Like that should have taken care of it " HERE MOMMY DO YOU WANT SOME TOILET PAPER FOR YOUR POOPOO IN YOUR PANTIES?" Ok, I'm done..."yes luvvy, mommy would love some toilet paper for the poopoo in her panties....thank you." If you can't beat em', shut em' up by agreeing with them.
For my children, in terms of their preferred venues to unintentionally humiliate me, the more crowded the better.
A famous story of mine is when my first princess was almost 2 years old and she and a VERY pregnant me went to do our big Costco shop. She was beginning to get restless so I decided to give her little "jobs" to help me while I shopped. Now it should be mentioned, that at that time, while she was still learning all her words and sounds, she was always confusing her T's and K's. So here we are at Costco, in the shampoo isle and I ask her to help me find some things. "Mommy is looking for the cotton balls, can you try and find them with me? Let's call them and see where they are." This is great she's listening, she's calmed down, she has a job and she's going to do it. "COKKON BALLS, COKKON BALLS WHERE ARE YOU?" Say it out loud to yourself. There is my sweet, adorable baby walking up and down the isle at Costco yelling cock n' balls. "COKKON BALLS WHERE ARE YOU, I CAN'T SEE YOU!" It kept going and going, and the more I tried to shush her, of course, the louder she got. Finally thank god, there they were, the coTTon balls.
Then there is the time we were at Walmart on a very rainy day, and to my horror I turn around to see her running her tongue down the entire row of shopping buggies to catch the drops of water that were dripping off of them. GROOOOOOOOSSSSSSSSSSS.
Of course then there is embarrassment by temper tantrum. Usually timed perfectly to the moment when you are in the exact middle of your grocery shop and at the farthest corner of the store, and usually whilst surrounded by those mothers who give you the "my child would never" look. My vet assistant training has come in handy a time or two, when they have begun thrashing like a feral cat or foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog. It's too bad carrying them by the scruff of the neck is "frowned" upon. It does give me a new understanding for those animals who eat their young.
Of course, it should go without saying, but I'll say it anyway, these moments are few and far between, and in the end provide me with countless stories to laugh about for years to come. Our family is one that thrives on humour. It surrounds us every day. We use it to laugh and bring happiness to our home in good times and bad. Honestly, in my opinion, a sense of humour is integral to a happy, well rounded family...after all...if you can't laugh at yourself, then laugh at your kids.
I'm rambled out...until next time.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

3 kids, 2 cats, 1 dog and a husband...oh sure I've got time for a blog.

Let's start this way, "Hi, my name is Siobhan, and I am an imperfect mother". GOD does that feel good. I have 3 beautiful, funny, intelligent and completely imperfect children. I have a helpful, supportive, imperfect husband, as well as 2 imperfect cats and 1 super cute imperfect dog. We have a wonderfully imperfect life and wouldn't have it any other way!
I have been a stay at home mom for 9 years now and love and appreciate that I am able to do so, but have found that the expectations put on ,not just stay at home moms but working moms alike, are at times completely unrealistic. But the most ironic part of it all is that we (moms) have put these expectations upon ourselves. 
So here is my first run at a blog. I hope for it to be a space where I can (in place of a large open field) yell, scream, curse and pull my hair out. And I welcome you all to do it with me. I also want this to be a spot to share the absolute joy of being a mother and to share the heartwarming and sometimes perfectly embarrassing stories of day to day life as a mom of 3 crazy little ladies.
So for those of you brave enough to follow along on my blogging adventure, I say HOORAY, and bear with me.
So, to begin, a brief history of my little family. I have been married for 12.5 years to a pretty great guy. We, unlike 80% of our friends, married relatively young at 22. 4 years later our first princess arrived. Princess A. Easy pregnancy for my maiden voyage...until she needed to come out. Let's just say I am convinced I have the coziest uterus in town. 48 hours, and a pair of forceps later, there she was...all 9 lbs. 2 oz. of her. Fast forward 2 years where we welcomed Princess B to the group. Again, beautiful pregnancy + cozy uterus = C-section. And finally in the spring of 2008, our last and final teacup human arrived, Princess I. I'm sure I don't need to go over it again, easy pregnancy blah..blah..blah...comfy baby.. blah...blah...blah C-section!
These were all some of my first lessons in unrealistic expectations. I worked so hard to ensure safe, easy vaginal births for all 3 of my babies, but my womb, birth canal and body in general had other plans. We set up such perfect little scenarios in our heads of what we want our birth process to be. Water birth, hypno-birth, drugs or no drugs, C-section, home birth. All are terrific options as long as in the end 2 things happen. 1) you can accept that life might have other plans for the most amazing day of your life, and just be proud of the fact that you have just made it through 40 weeks of cramming and one hell of a final exam! 2)no matter which exit mode they choose, you have a healthy, happy baby that will never judge you because you were shrieking profanities incessantly upon his/her arrival instead of moaning your "planned" hypnotic chants.
So 9 years and 3 imperfect deliveries later, here I am. Mommy to an emotional, beautiful and compassionate 9 year old, a funny, beautiful and hot tempered 7 year old and a "spirited", beautiful and sharp 2.5 year old.
Our days range from utter victory to complete disaster, but at the end of each one of those days, each one is tucked in their beds with a hug, kiss and "I love you",  and a cross of the fingers that tomorrow, once again,  we'll all make it out alive.
I'm rambled out...until next time!