Wednesday, October 30

Dear Anonymous,

Dear Anonymous,

Today has been a rough day for me. Today I woke up after only getting a few hours of sleep because I worked until midnight last night but had to get up early to get my 4 kids ready for school, alone.

Today I struggled with trying to figure out how many more hours I will have to work my second job to make enough money to pay the remaining amount of property taxes due at the end of the year, while still finding spare money for a child's birthday next month and Christmas which is right around the corner.

Today I bought myself flowers because I couldn't remember the last time I got flowers, and yes, it might seem like a waste of money, but for whatever stupid reason wanted some.

Today I spent most of the afternoon looking at my child's school project sitting on the kitchen table that was done by my ex husbands new girlfriend and feeling like I don't get enough time with my kids, worrying that they might like her better and feeling hugely inarticulate as a mother because I wasn't the one who helped him with it.

Today I got a phone call from my half brother who I have not spoken to in years telling me what a crap daughter I have been to my bio father and how I should contact him more and how much my bio father misses me..yet doesn't call me himself.

Today I fell in love with the most beautiful skirt and was getting it for free, but couldn't because I have put on weight and it didn't fit nicely so I had to pick the plain one instead.

Today I felt like I might be alone forever...

So at the end of my day anonymous, when I sat down at my computer to check my email and found this that you posted on my blog but then removed it so only I would see it in my inbox....


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Family Visit And Horse Poop":

When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you Queen for a day
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what THAT one has to say!

You may fool the world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
Cause you've cheated the one in the glass!

Some people may think you're a wonderful chum
But the one in the glass says you're only a bum!




This was how you ended my day. Thank you. 

Thank you for making me cry until my hands were shaking. Thank you for making me feel lower than I have felt in months. Thank you for spreading you venom and making my, already empty emotional bucket, drain that much more. 

I hope you feel good. I hope your don't get a nose bleed from standing on that soap box of yours because I wouldn't want that for you. 

I am drained beyond words now. You can rest assured, you were successful. Thank you. 

I am going to bed now with a crying headache and a broken heart. 

I am exhausted and raw and need to sleep. 

My children thank you too, because that is what they need more than anything, a mother that feels bad about herself. Job well done. 

So I am off to bed now. To lick my wounds and forget there are people like you in this world. 

But tomorrow will be different. Tomorrow I will be better and you will still just be the person who sent that. 

J





My Ex's Girl Friend Is The BOMB!

Gabe has a school project due this week and things like this always stress me out to no end. I am in NO way creative. I have always hated arts crafts, even when I was younger, so when my kids have to make something important for class I would rather sand down my teeth then help. I know I should love it, other moms do, I am just not other moms. So with this social project I was more than happy to outsource it to my ex husband to do while the kids were at his house last week.

last night R came over to drop off the finished project for Gabe to add the "final touches" before handing it in on Friday. So when I got home last night from work and saw it...my socks were completely blown off!






Holy Crap!! Everyone should have an Ex's new girlfriend to do stuff like this with their kids!  ...Wait?..

She even made a pumpkin out of modeling clay for the thing! Geez!
My little boy is so excited and proud of his project and for that I am eternally grateful.

Today

I am grateful for the mindset of "it takes a village to raise a child"

I am grateful we all have different strengths.

I am grateful, so very grateful for the love my children get.

J


Not even a bleeding nose can interrupt a good game on the iPod. 





Tuesday, October 29

Uncle Ricos Glamour Shot


The kids brought home their school picture order forms this week. I asked Ethan if he wanted me to order them and which pose he likes best. As he handed me the forms in a zip lock bag and I open them to look, he said, "NO! Can we not order them, please!" 
I laughed, Why not (having not seen them yet)
He says, "I look like a perv..I look like uncle Rico's glamour shot off Nepolian Dynamite."
I giggled as I was opening the bag to see, "They cant be THAT bad Ethan"

Me, "Ooh my..."
He says,"See, I told you!"
As we both laugh, he said the best part of the pictures was the photographer told him to pose like this, then said "you could be a model."  







I think the trouble with school pictures is I have always gotten quality pictures done of my kids. I grew up in a house where we only got one family picture done when I was 10 and the only ones of me were from school..and they are often not the best quality. So when I had kids they always had beautiful pictures done of them. I have clearly spoiled them and set the standard of photography way too high. I am raising picture snobs. What can I say, I prefer pictures with personality and less solid green back drops. I know I know..I am picky. 




So I think today I will go get the kids hair cut and then get a group shot of us. I think it's time this little family gets a picture done together. And we will opt for less crown, less pervy glamour shot and maybe a little less green, maybe. 

Today:

I am grateful to have children with a sharp sense of humor. There are so many things in this world that will drag them down, I am so happy they are learning to see the witty aspects of life and see the silver lining in most situations. The ability to laugh will serve them so well. 

I am grateful for grateful children. We were given a gift this past weekend and it warms my heart that they all wanted to say thank you themselves to the giver. I am grateful for my new apple TV!! (Thank you)

I am grateful for a job that I love and allows me to work with good people who make me laugh. 


J

Monday, October 28

Family Visit And Horse Poop

I enjoy my job. I love every part of it actually. The hours work well for me and are conducive to a semi normal family life. The only things I miss out on are holidays. When families all get together for things like Thanksgiving, Rob and I are working. Thankfully it's not the entire day, so we still get a little bit of time off.

This Thanksgiving thought, I did miss out a little. My parents came up from Calgary, along with my brother and his GF Adele so the kids could see them for an afternoon and we could all be together a little for the long weekend. It was really nice.

As my mother often does, she decided to plan an activity for everyone to make the time more fun...so of course, what better activity then a private horse riding lesson for my kids.

My brother and I were far from privileged children growing up. My mom was a single parent for a few of our younger years then after marring Steve, we were still a modest home...but Dawson and I were fortunate enough to grow up with horses.
Me winning a ribbon for some riding event. 

We were taught to ride by our mother from the time we were babies. She is an English riding instructor.  We even did rodeo and she taught us to ride western too.

Because of the cost of horses and lifestyle of more organized sports we were involved with we stopped having horses when I was a teenager. I was one of those kids who took that gift for granted..."yeah we have horses, they are ok" .....
 I see it differently now, my parents were so great to make that happen for us, we were very lucky (and I was a horribly ungrateful) child in regards to the horses we had.

It's something my mother has always wanted for my kids, but because we live so far away it just has never worked out, until now. My mom got the kids an introductory riding lesson thanksgiving weekend and then signed them all up for riding lessons all winter. To be honest I am not sure who is more excited, her or them. She bought everyone boots and Nora has not stopped wearing them and has even named her future horse.
It's fun listening to the children talk about how excited they all are for the lessons and what they want to learn to do, it's also fun listening to my mother talk about the lessons and what she wants the kids to learn to do.

It's not often you get to help your parent fulfill a dream they have, so I eagerly look forward to driving into the city in a rush and freezing my ass off in that stinky barn every week for months watching my children learn to ride..because it will make my mother so very happy. I think I am doing it more for her then them..watching her eyes light up when she was telling me how good they did at their lesson will be worth every freezing second of this.











I missed all the riding, but I did get a little time with everyone at the house after work.




yes, my dad is flipping me off...




It was a nice day with everyone. My family even met Drew and R and the new baby when they came to pick up the kids. It was a nice Thanksgiving weekend. 

Today:

I am grateful for my family. They are supportive beyond words and I am lucky to have them. 

I am grateful I don't miss out on special times, and that my kids don't miss out. 

I am grateful for a mom who wants to give my kids a gift I could never afford to. I hope my children feel how loved they really are. 

J


Monday, October 21

Cinderella Is Having A Beer

I got a second job. I have had it for a month now. I was debating whether or not to talk about it because, if I am being honest, I was a little embarrassed about it all. But now, after a little time to decide how I feel about it all, and in the spirit of being more unapologetic about my life, I can talk about it openly and laugh about it.

I clean houses in my spare time. When kids are in school and during the times when they are with their father for a week I clean. It is easy money and for the most part I enjoy it. It doesn't leave much time for a life, but I don't have loads of things to do anyway. 

I work for a darling woman and with a few young girls. We have a pretty good time together. I just crank my music and clean. I really love cleaning old peoples homes, that's my favorite. I feel like I am doing a real service for them because they can't do it for themselves. It's a fairly decent work out too. I'll often just listen to music and think about things that need my attention, solve my own issues. I started referring to myself as Cinderella. 

The days I don't enjoy are the days I am just re-cleaning clean, the owner is breathing over my shoulder while I clean or the times I get yelled at. 

Yes, that has happened. Today actually. I just got back. And now because of an incident where Cinderella, all sweaty and with arms full of towels, got spoken to rather loudly regarding a plastic bottle falling down a flight of stairs that could have "dented the floor"
 ...she is having a beer with lunch.



Cinderella diaries might become a regular feature here for a while.  

Days like today I see how completely and entirely wrong I am for the service industry. If people could hear my thoughts, I would probably be arrested. 

But it's humbling and has proven to be rewarding in ways I could never have imagined. For example the other day when I was talking to the kids about it (me having a second job and cleaning) one of the boys said to me, "it's cool that you do that for us and that you don't think you're too good to clean someone else house." 

I was feeling humbled after that conversation with them, cause to be honest,  I did feel that way a little..but now I don't. Now I see how this is teaching them you just do what you have to do and when you do it happily it makes life that much better. 

So I am going to finish my well deserved beer then have a nap before I go to work tonight. 

Life is good, I just wish those damn mice and stupid birds actually came to help when you sang. Disney, you're a liar! 

Today:

I am grateful for doing this on my own. The sense of accomplishment is beyond anything I have ever experienced so far. 

I am grateful for my friends who keep me sane and children who keep me humble. 

I am grateful for this beautiful fall day. It's warm and perfect outside. I love days like today.  

J




Tuesday, October 15

The Best Kind Of Human

I have the greatest group of girlfriends. They are a diverse collection of women. Some I have known for almost all of my life, others I have found along the way. They have taught me so many different things and have walked with me through some of the best and worst times of my life.

Some have taken me to different parts of the world and have shown me things I never thought I would ever get to see in my life. One was in the military and now works in corrections and has some of the best stories. I know without a doubt she can make me laugh within seconds when I need it the most. One started running marathons and triathlons and is a huge inspiration to me. I work with one who never fails to make me laugh and feel great about myself and is a constant with sound advice.  One has helped me raise my children and supported me through some of the hardest times I have ever gone through. I have amazing friends.

Melanie is one of those women. I have known Melanie for 30 years. We grew up together and we have been part of each others lives through it all. We have seen each other through marriages and divorces, children and moves, religion and self discovery. Melanie is the best kind of human.



A few years ago Melanie had this crazy idea that she wanted to start fostering children. For years I watched as children would come and go, some making longer stops with Mel while others were only there for brief stints as they transitioned to forever homes. I have watched as Mel lovingly cared for all of them and their needs while somehow maintaining her own sanity and her families. I have watched as she has cried when they move on to different homes because no matter how long they stay, Mel willingly gets attached and then subsequently has her heart broken when they leave. I have watched as she has protested "this one is my last, I can't do this again.." then 3 days later she welcomes another child into her home with the same giddy excitement as the first, doing it all over again.

5 years ago Mel got a call about a little boy. She phoned me and invited me to come with her as she had to pick him up from the hospital. This little boy was 3 days old when I first met him and to say he melted her heart the second she touched him would be a gross understatement. R was her whole world from day one.
It has been an uphill battle from the start. I have watched Mel deal with the government and aspects of it that would have broken lesser women.

This summer the fighting ended. Melanie and Dave, along with R's biological family have now made this little boys future more solid and certain. I was allowed to join them in court to watch when it was all done legally, for the last time.

As the judge rendered his final decision I watched as Mel and her husband Dave nervously hold hands. When it was all done, I fought back tears of pure relief and joy. It was like I was watching her deliver him like I have watched so many other women bring babies into this world. The feeling was the same. Elation and relief minus the amniotic fluid all over my shoes.

I could not be happier for this beautiful family, it has been a long 5 years but I am sure Mel would be the first to say, it has been worth every sleepless night, bottle of beer, tear and worry this journey as caused.

Congrats my friend.




We are NOT driving here. we stopped to feed him. 








I am such a lucky woman to know such amazing women. To share in their joys and accomplishments and to have their support and wisdom through hard times.

My new bucket list addition (after crossing off the motorcycle lessons) is to start a yearly women's weekend. I have, in the works, a weekend planned where all the women I am lucky enough to call friends can go away together and visit. To share stories and just be. Where we can laugh, eat, just catch up and be reminded that we are still girls that can have fun.



Today:

I am grateful for the wisdom and perspective that my friends give me on a very regular basis.

I am grateful for knowing that even when I feel the most alone, a laugh and a hug is only ever a phone call away.

I am grateful for knowing a group of women who know the absolute worst in me, and still stick around anyway. Maybe I won't actually die alone.

J


Wednesday, October 2

HAPPY 6th BIRTHDAY NORA


              Happy 6th Birthday Nora. I love you




































The apple didn't fall too far from the tree did it my girl? You are an amazing little woman in training. I have every confidence you will move mountains. Remember to be kind to everyone. No one is better then anyone. Everybody deserves the same rights as you do. Do not ever let anyone tell you different. DO NOT allow any one's opinions override what you feel is right, that includes me. Only you will know what is best and right for you.

Do not laugh unless something is actually funny, pretending to laugh to make a boy feel good is dumb. Don't ever fight with any of your girlfriends over a boy. No man is worth losing a girlfriend over. Always take care of your brothers and be nice to the women in their lives. You are a powerful force and will be intimidating. Be welcoming to them, teach them how to make our family cookies from the chocolate chip bag and tell them it's our family secret. Never get involved in any fight. Stay neutral and show everyone love.

Dress the body you have, not the body you want. Always have at least one good bra. Never make any major life decision under pressure of someone else. You do not need to get married if you don't want to. You can get married 5 times if you want to. You can have no children or a house full. You are the boss of you.

Try lots of new things. Make mistakes, and then make more. That's the best way to learn. (make good decisions too.) But remember no matter what you pick and what you do, you can ALWAYS change your mind, or pick a new direction. It might not be easy, you can't choose the consequences of your decisions, but if you do want to change your mind, I will always support you.

You are welcome for those eyebrows and cheekbones.

Have fun, be happy and know you and the boys are the greatest things I have ever done, and motherhood is my greatest accomplished in life. Sorry you never got a sister, you'll just have to pick good girlfriends and they can be your sisters. That's what mine are.

You are pure gold kiddo.

I love you

Mom