Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Where is My Mind?

With your feet on the air
And your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it

Your head will collapse
But there's nothing in it
And you'll ask yourself

Where is my mind?


I'm sure I have used this Title for previous posts.  I've had this Pixies' song as my ringtone for waking up in the morning for quite a while now.  It's appropriate.  Every morning feels like waking up from a night of partying.

What?
Where am I?
What day is it?

Some morning as are better than others.  Some mornings feel like some chubby kid is using a paintbrush with thick gobs of liquid glue to paint my eyelids shut and I know that means coffee is on the agenda.  I've been trying not to have it if I don't "need" it.  It's hard.  I have an addictive personality to start with, so having started coffee has been a downhill slope.



I'm going to cry again over my inability to make a sound decision… and be happy with it.  I'm still on the fence with the schooling.  My sister managed to convince me to get the kids baptized.  I don't know why.  She's a Plan B kind of person.  She and my mom have done their fair share for me, it's really a pittance of a thank you.  I'm set to fill out some forms tomorrow morning.  It just so happens that they have a special class for parents to attend on the 3rd Wednesday of every month that is required before doing the deed.  Any Sunday following the class is game for the big douche.  It also just so happens this timing coincides perfectly with my sister's visit.  She will be making a surprise visit for Moses' birthday next weekend so as long as I attend the class that happens to be next week, she can be present as the godparent on the weekend.

it's weird and i'm uncomfortable with it but i'll hold my tongue as best i can.  whatever.  i just have to keep reminding myself that it hasn't changed who i am and people are going to be whoever they are going to be in the end.

also, while we are on the subject of being indecisive, i need to admit that i have been on the fence with Malcolm's name from Day 1.  i've spent every single day on a continuous search for another name.  he's only 4 months, that is NOTHING in the grand scheme of things!  i know because we all just sat as a family this evening watching old videos of the kids from 2-3 years ago AND videos of Moses when he was just learning to walk and his vocabulary was nothing but BAHS and DAHS.

i don't know.  i've been scouring Nameberry.com, going back to old names i liked and trying them on.  still looking at names of Pinners on Pinterest, checking out names in magazines, trying names I've heard on the playground at school…  can I just say that it SUCKS BALLS that girls are taking boy names when girl names are SO EASY to choose with 10 times more to choose from.  and not just any boy names, but GOOD ONES for that matter!  ugh.  so if anyone has anymore names, please feel free to send them my way.



sigh.
can't wait to have a coffee tomorrow.



Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Quinoa Bowl with Peanut Sauce



Quinoa Bowls have landed a safe spot on the Meal Planning frontier.  this one in particular has been a regular since January thanks to my friend Molly who so very kindly made it for us during our early days with Malcolm.  i would say the Peanut Sauce in particular is what really sells it for me as i am a real sucker for peanut sauces.  i love love love ordering Salad Rolls from Vietnamese restaurants just so i can have the peanutty dip that comes with.  i made a similar Veggie Bowl last year with a homemade Miso Gravy but it really just takes too long as it requires cooking.  this peanut sauce requires a list of ingredients but they are all pretty standard save the Miso Paste and once you dump them all in, all you gotta do is blend and you are set!  no chopping or cooking just BLEND.

Ingredients

1 TBS
Miso Paste
Mayo
Plain Yogurt
(i used plain dairy free coconut)
Mustard
Apple Cider Vinegar
Rice Vinegar
Soy Sauce
Brown Sugar
(Extra Virgin) Olive Oil

3 TBS
Plain Yogurt
Peanut Butter

I used dairy free plain coconut yogurt and WOW Butter
since Chloe is sensitive with dairy and allergic to peanuts

BLEND BLEND BLEND
i use a hand blender but a fork or a whisk will work just fine


Purple Cabbage, Cucumbers, Grated Carrot, Red + Yellow Peppers
I usually add kale as well but forgot to pick some up


EXTRA FIRM TOFU
marinated in some soy sauce, a drizzle of EVO and a few drops of rice vinegar
Pan Fried in a wok til golden brown

QUINOA
i'm not sure if anyone else feels this way but cooking quinoa with just plain water tastes like ass.  i found a recipe that cooked quinoa with garlic and stock and i have never looked back.

Drizzle of EVO
2 Garlic Cloves Minced
1 cup quinoa
2 cups stock

Heat EVO on medium and add garlic
Cook for 3 minutes
Add quinoa and stock
Simmer on low for 20 minutes

I usually spread my quinoa on a baking sheet to cool down


Assemble your bowl
Top with a few tablespoons of peanut sauce
Add a little Sriracha for extra spice

Actually if you don't have kids or one picky kid, I'd say you could add the Sriracha to the peanut sauce itself.  As much or as little as you like!
 


Crunchy, fresh, delicious and you feel super good
(especially after two bowls)


OTHER POTENTIAL COMBINATIONS

Tofu / Edamame / Mushrooms / Spinach / Radish

Tofu / Arugula / Avocado / Tomatoes / Scallions / Cilantro

Black Beans / Roasted Corn / Poblano Pepper / Cheese / Lime




Have a great week!

xo






Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day at the Beach


Happy Mother's Day!
(i put on a bra, changed my shirt, tied my hair up and put on some eyebrows)

not much going on today.
kevin made waffles and took a few photos of me with the kids in bed.

i am actually booked to shoot a wedding downtown this evening which makes me feel sad, but then again, i'm doing this blog instead of running around outside with the kids.  really, i just wanted to enjoy our usual Sunday night dinners with my in-laws, taking it easy, watching the kids play with their cousins and enjoying some dessert with tea.

i've been having anxiety all week over this wedding.  as mentioned in previous posts, having babies has upped my anxiety levels like crazy.  i never used to worry and now i worry about the tiniest things.  i'm booked from 4-8pm, not including travel time.  Malcolm usually naps around 12-2 or 1-3.  he was up a bit earlier today and just went down about 20 minutes ago.  that works perfectly for today and has eased my anxiety about how i will manage to feed him and work for 5-6 hours with a giant chest full of milk.  if things work well, he will wake up at 1pm and be happy for an hour or so before i can feed him and therefor have empty breasts right before i need to leave.  i don't plan on pumping in a washroom, so i was really freaking out about timing everything.  #momproblems


yesterday started of fantastic with the girls receiving their costumes for this year's dance recital!  the class will be dressed as little LADYBUGS!!!!  there is also a cute little fascinator for their hair.  as you saw above, chloe put it on first thing this morning before jumping into bed with me!


too adorable for words

the kids and i headed to Centennial for Mother's day with my mom and my Lola.  the beach was packed.  absolutely packed.  summer is going to be insane for sure.  perhaps i should not have bragged so heavily about our beach and ask people to move out here?  it's been getting busier and busier each year!


Chloe with her Lola-Lola



the third photo of this guy NOT smiling



wearing Momo's old maillot and Chloe's sunhat!



my mom brought 3 umbrellas to shield us from the sun lol


kevin made the orange pudding cake for my mom upon her request
delicious as always...


he just keeps getting older and older
two weeks til this guy turns 6 years old


enjoying her littlest Palallum


it was a perfect day, warm with a breeze





this girl is outta control
2015's Flagmingo bathing suit, also out of control
(Old Navy)


completely hilarious
  

i never thought i would be here.

i had hoped and envisioned it, but now that i am here, it feels pretty surreal.  so much of my time and energy is pooled into these guys makes it easy to forget who you are, or not recognize the person you become when you enter Motherhood.  there isn't a lot of inner reflective time, and it is usually months that pass in between each small pocket of this alone time.  it's just go, go, go; survival mode; get through the day reasonably unscathed…  i can't believe i have three beautiful amazing hilarious kids to call my own.  it's awesome and terrifying at the same time to have 3 little lives depend on you and love you so so so much.  what will this photo look like in 5 years, in 10 years, in 20 years…  who will we all have become when they are my age?  i hope that even with all the time that passes, they will remember snippets of this beautiful time when they were so young and innocent, when they were all still small enough that i could still carry each of them like the babies they are.  i'm so very blessed in this life.  we definitely may not be rich in the pocket, but i'd choose these three souls over all the money in the world.

Happy Mother's Day

xo


Friday, May 8, 2015

French Wins

so our final decision was based on the deadline of our current school's EduPac.
i did receive feedback from a handful of people i know and trust.  it is not to say that this is forever, either, but certainly for the time being.  the kids have had a fantastic introduction to French and have taken it in so well, it would really be a shame to change paths now.  that said, the thought of changing them in later years (grades 4, 5, or 6) would be cruel but they would manage.  i remember having new students arrive in these later years.  they adapt.  sigh.

i feel like i used to be better at decision-making.  it is now the greatest generator of anxiety in my life.  i'm constantly living in fear of making the "wrong" decision and suffering regret.  i want to make the "right" choices, but with decisions like these, there are too many factors at hand to be able to make a true and concise decision.  i'm still panicking inside, wondering if we should have switched schools, afraid that i've ruined the rest of my kids' lives forever and they will hate me and blame me for not giving them the tools they needed for their future/present.  like all parents, all i want is to give them a better life (or the same great life with great jobs, a great house with a great swimming pool and a few great cars…not jealous).  but what IS this "better life".  i still don't know what what the future holds for me.  i'm still trying to find out what i want to be when i grow up.  in fact, we both kevin and i are still trying to figure it out and it takes a lot of mental and emotional strength to not let the unknown get us down.  we are blessed to have family helping us in pretty much every aspect of life.

i think our current feelings of uncertainty are fuelling our panic for their future.  it's not a great feeling to have a career set with three kids.  it's not a great feeling for kevin to know that he physically can not continue to do his job forever and i worry how long he will be able to perform while he is still the breadwinner.  when and how will he have time to figure out what he wants to do.  will he need to go back to school?  how the hell will we pay for that???  i guess there is student loans…  it feels scary to have three kids with no 5 year plan in sight.

we don't want that for our kids.  of course, things happen.  we hadn't planned to become a family at age 26.  it happened and careers got put on hold.  i can only hope that once we get Malcolm settled into school in another 5 years (OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it's going to be the longest and shortest 5 years of all time!!!!), we will have paved some pathways into the right direction.  hopefully by then we will be better off and perhaps even able to start thinking about paying back my inlaws for helping us to get this house.  and if our kids end up having kids a little earlier like we did, i hope that if they haven't managed to get their shit together, that we will be in a place to help them out they same way we have been receiving support.

this parenting thing is a lot.  it's not just OMG WE'RE HAVING A BABY FOREVER, it's a baby that will one day become a person and you have a LOT of input on how that person turns out.  how is anyone to know how to CREATE a person when most people don't even know who they are themselves in their 20's, 30's, 40's hell ANY age.  there is no godamn handbook to this parenting thing!  it's all on the fly!  you can only make decisions based on your personal beliefs and experiences which very well may be the opposite end of the spectrum from your offspring.  how can you ever know what is right or what is best.  and then what?

"oops!  sorry!  i guess that wasn't the best decision…"

it's hard.
it's totally the hardest.

i've had a rough week with Malcolm.
ok it's not anything compared to anything i've ever had with the previous two, but it was rougher than usual and therefor the week was a little topsy turvy…

i don't know.  i never know what to say.
at the end of most days, all i want to do is sit here and write.  write about how i am currently feeling to look back and remember.  i want to be honest and talk about how i am feeling and struggling, but i can't complain.  i just can't.  i have a handful of friends that are going through some real ass shit right now that is exponentially worse than 10 of my worst days rolled into one and my heart aches for them.

i have my health.
my family has their health.
i have amazing family and amazing friends everywhere i look.


i'm tired but grateful.


Friday, May 1, 2015

French or Jesus

first world problems

Continue sending the kids to public French immersion
vs
Transfer them to private Catholic school

it's a big decision.  when you first get pregnant, school is so very very far away from your mind.  getting through 100 sleepless nights is usually the priority, but one day you find yourself surrounded by the mom friends you have accumulated over your first 3-4 years and suddenly everyone is yammering back and forth about what they have heard from pre-schools A, B, and C.

we've had a decent experience this year.  school started late with the teacher strike and of course there was much adjustment for many kids transitioning from 3 days of 2.5 hour preschool to 5 full consecutive days of a new classroom, new teacher, new lessons, new kids and for many, their first introduction to a new language.

the behaviour issues aside, Moses has excelled with the French.  his vocabulary has grown and he has received 3 GOTCHA notes for "speaking French".  his R's are all deep in his throat, his pronunciation is incredible.  i can tell because my high school French teacher tortured us with pronunciation.  if you were in class with me you might remember a particular instance where teacher and student went back and forth a dozen times with the word BONHEUR… yes Boner vs Bonheur.  classic.  Moses loves it.  he knows half a dozen songs which he also translates in English.  he knows the days of the week.  he can count by 10's to 100, he can count to 30 the last time i heard though i'm sure he can probably count to 100 by now since he already understand how to count to 100 in english.  if he knows the 10's he understands he just needs to add 1-9 in between.  he can identify his numbers (do simple addition and subtraction) and letters (spelling) in French which is amazing since i've known how to count to 10 in Chinese since i was a kid but i could not identify them or know which number is which if asked at age 31.  blah blah blah...

i love it.  i love the French and i know that i am being selfish about it.  i love hearing it and i love how proud he is of himself.  I AM PROUD OF HIM.  i know he will excel in it, that he will absorb it easily, but i have to ask myself how much i am weighing having a second language against his overall academic achievement.  i know that having a second language is supposed to have many benefits for the brain, but every person is different and these benefits may not always be as obvious or especially useful despite what studies find.

...it has been shown to enhance children's cognitive development. Children who learn a foreign language beginning in early childhood demonstrate certain cognitive advantages over children who do not. Research conducted in Canada with young children shows that those who are bilingual develop the concept of "object permanence" at an earlier age. Bilingual students learn sooner that an object remains the same, even though the object has a different name in another language. For example, a foot remains a foot and performs the function of a foot, whether it is labeled a foot in English or un pied in French.

Additionally, foreign language learning is much more a cognitive problem solving activity than a linguistic activity, overall. Studies have shown repeatedly that foreign language learning increases critical thinking skills, creativity, and flexibility of mind in young children. Students who are learning a foreign language out-score their non-foreign language learning peers in the verbal and, surprisingly to some, the math sections of standardized tests. This relationship between foreign language study and increased mathematical skill development, particularly in the area of problem solving, points once again to the fact that second language learning is more of a cognitive than linguistic activity.  

it's hard to shake off the benefits of a second language for the sake of academics.  i've considered keeping the kids in immersion until grade 4 and then transferring them, but is that still so young that they will just forget everything they learned?  will their once exercised minds lose those benefits over time?  would those 5 years + 2 years of bilingual preschool have been a "waste of time"?  would the roots wither up and die to be forgotten forever???   I DON'T KNOW.  

that said, i shouldn't rule academics out since Moses clearly thrives in a challenging and academic environment.  it is second nature for him to learn, in fact he ENJOYS learning and absorbs information like a sponge.  i feel like learning French IS the challenge for him at the moment, that if he were in the English program, he might be absolutely bored as hell.  he needs the challenge and i feel like private school will make more time and more opportunity for him.

private schools, and Catholic in particular do tend to focus on behaviour more in accordance with the teachings of the religion.  i'm sure many of you who know me are laughing tears right now wondering what private school did for me since every second word that comes out of my mouth is simply foul and i'm pretty disgusting in general.  during my crazy hell-bent teenage years, i clearly recall my Dad asking me why the hell he was paying so much money to send me to LFA if i was going to be so shitty.  i responded, of course, with a smart ass answer: Just think how much worse I would be if you DIDN'T send me to private school!  A total Chloe answer.

on that note, there is definitely a little of the US vs THEM with private and public schools.  back in the day, i was definitely snobby about being a private school kid.  high-school set the motions of change for that school of thought, especially since one of my high school best friends to date attended public French Immersion for elementary and is pretty much a genius and was our Valedictorian…  to some extent, i feel like people are going to be who they are going to be.  their environment will surely have an impact on them, but i feel like once they become adults, they basically settle into the person they have always been since they were 6 years old.  on top of my sailor mouth, i can't say how much private school contributed to my life.  i wasn't an academic even though i had decent grades.  i'm an artsy fartsy creative individual and Catholic private schools just don't seem to care about that.  i feel like public schools offer more opportunities in that area.  plus, just look at me, i'm 32 and i still don't know what the hell i am doing with my life!

in terms of school ratings, their current school is rated 5.5 out of 10 whereas the private school we have in mind rates 8.5.  the scores have meaning but it is hard to grasp their true meaning and i cant help but consider the trade offs between choosing one over the other.  yes, the private school will probably offer a better academic education but is it too narrow minded to think that academics are what really get a person further in life?  it is wonderful for getting good grades that will help you get into UBC SFU or into a post-secondary institution of your choice, but what if that is not the path you wish to take?  and if it is not your path to thrive in academics in your field of work, would you have missed out on the benefits of a second language?  would you have missed out on a possibly greater pool of the population that seems a little truer to that of "the real world"?  in some ways, i feel like private school can be a little sheltered and although they may provide opportunities academically, perhaps they are less flexible and open to different ways of thinking and interacting.  it is a completely different social circle!

these scores rate writing and reading and numerics but that is not the only thing that makes a good school.  community needs to be included and this is where i get selfish again.  i've had a year to meet and get to know the parents/families of Moses' classmates.  i'm a social person and the thought of not seeing these familiar friendly faces in the morning make me sad.  and can we discuss the whole WALKING ACROSS THE STREET TO SCHOOL vs DRIVING 10 MINUTES.  not so bad if you have 1 kid, but i've got 3 to shout at every morning and between the 3 of them, it will be TWELVE years of driving.  SELFISH SELFISH SELFISH.

i know i will meet other parents.  plus, one of my good mama friends has just officially transferred her son over and the boys get along well.  i will have her to drop F-bombs with (because dropping f-bombs is what takes you from acquaintance to BFFS with me HA!).  i can't help but be nervous because of the religious factor despite the fact that more than 50% of the students are non-Catholic.  i had such an intense religious upbringing that i am really uncomfortable having my kids immersed in it.  when we visited the school last Friday, my stomach turned seeing photos and statues in the halls and in every classroom even though i shared the same experience as a child.  i should admit that up until grade 7 i had a very positive relationship with my religion.  it was comforting.  however, i can also say that i was one of those kids that were all "YOU ARE GOING TO HELL" if you didn't believe in God.  i don't want my children to become narrow minded Christians that develop a US vs THEM mentality.  i don't want them to be close minded about other religions and ways of life.  i believe in the general message of Catholicism but isn't it every parents' hope that their kids will BE A GOOD PERSON????  Mostly it is the ideas of Creationism and all the anti-gay, anti-divorce, anti-women-as-priests-and-popes-etc and all these antiquated ideas that make me sick to my stomach.  IT'S HYPOCRACY.  you can't preach about LOVE and then go hating on everyone that isn't Catholic.  PS Jesus didn't create Catholicism, dudes created it after he died thanks to the Jews.  i don't know, maybe i would crucify someone who kept claiming he was the King of the Jews and hung out with tax collectors and prostitutes?  no i wouldn't, but whatever.  he was seriously JUST A GUY.  the whole Loaves and Fishes story was not a miracle, it is just a really old version of the Stone Soup story where if everyone shares a little, everyone gets fed.  i don't understand how people take a book that is thousands of years old literally!  haven't you ever played Telephone?  the Bible is a bunch of guys playing Telephone and not just in one language, it has been translated over and over and there are multiple versions!  Have you not heard of the term LOST IN TRANSLATION?  i think what bothers me the most is the blind faith, that people do the motions and the devotions but don't actually give a clear thought about any of it or put in the time or effort to research and really learn their religion and its history.  i know not every Catholic has brain damage, but i didn't meet them until after i was tainted and bitter.  honestly, all i can say is THANK GOD THE NEW POPE IS DOPE.  i can see all the blind faith minions feeling uncomfortable as the new Pope advocates all the things they knew deep down were totally ok the whoooollleee time.

in conclusion to this rant, the atheist kid next door told me that learning about Catholicism was NBD when she came knocking for Walkathon pledges yesterday so i should simmer down.  plus, if they can get in touch with their spiritual side, i'm down.  it doesn't mean they will be crazy or that they will even stay with the religion into their teens or adult life.  people are people.  faith is faith.  do what works the best for your life.

religion aside, i have heard nothing but raving praise for the school.  parents are so happy with every aspect from the community to the academics and the programs/clubs offered.  the Principal was so kind and patient with the kids as he interviewed us and gave us a tour of the school.  Chloe came home saying "Mr K was so nice, i didn't think he was going to be THAT nice!" and they have chimed about wanting to attend the school despite the newness and not having French and not seeing their current classmates.

the uniforms that will save my life with Chloe



I AM TORN.
i can hardly manage to order a drink at a coffee shop never mind what school to put my kids in.

it's 1am.  i may or may not add to this post but we need to make a decision VERY soon.  UGH.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

4 Months


i have been waiting for like EVER
Mr Muffin finally found his toes!  he found one set last week
and then both pairs of feet this past week!


two weekends ago...


this past weekend!



i love it love it love it love it love it love it love it!!!!!!!!



check out that sweet chub on his thighs
they are DEEEE-lish!!!!!

He is rolling over from his tummy onto his back
He is grabbing everything in his reach and putting it into his mouth
He is doing amazing on his tummy, pushing up strong with a very stable neck

I can't wait to feed him!!!!


...and my happy guy is hungry

xoxo





Sunday, April 26, 2015

Inside Voice

i don't know where to start.
everyday i have the urge to write but of course there is rarely a time when i am not playing catch-up with chores and/or work, tending to children, breastfeeding, or wanting to just sit and let my eyes glaze over in front of PVR-ed episodes of Conan, Louis (C.K.) or the first season of 30Rock.

life is busy.  it is and it isn't.
people still ask me how life with three is going for me.
i still never really know what to say or how to feel.
i'm doing it and i'm not suffering postpartum and i'm less tired than i thought i would be so i figure i am doing just fine.  i knew it was going to be harder and it is as hard as i thought it would be so i've adapted well based on that.  of course, there is the fact that this is my last baby so i am really trying to soak everything in as much as i possibly can.  also he is the sweetest and handsomest little guy so that goes a long way too!

i will say that having Ainge over last week was a bit strange.  i did actually have her and Natalie over a month or so prior to her last visit and i felt great.  perhaps because it was such a short visit?  this last one was longer and though i have known her more than half my life, and although she is one of my best friends that knows me so well, i experienced a few instances of shame and embarrassment.  i was shocked to feel this way.  she is so comfortable with children and is so easy going.  she has spent years babysitting her cousins who are now old enough to babysit.  still, i had this sudden feeling of vulnerability and being exposed, as if i had been living a secret life that nobody knew about.  we picked her up from Bridgeport Station and arrived home around 4pm and the house was upside down.  i had to tidy, i had to prep dinner for kevin to throw together when he arrived from work; it was 3-4 hours until dinner which meant i needed to make food for everyone to tide us over.  i felt ashamed of my flustered state, that this was my life, that this was how i had to function, that i couldn't entertain her the way i could with two older kids and that i might be making her feel uncomfortable in the process…

of course, Ainge, being the laid back fob she is, couldn't have cared less.  this occurred to me and put me at ease, but i still couldn't get over my sudden shame.

what was i feeling so ashamed of?  that my my house was a mess?  i know she doesn't care.  that i was running around like a crazy person?  a little, yes!  for the first time in 4 months, i was seeing myself from outside of myself, from the perspective of someone sans children.  i was seeing the real answer to the question: So, how is life with three?

yes, i am certainly coping and managing but only because i am going a mile a minute!  i'm juggling like a circus clown and i think i realized that, like a circus clown, i have become some sort of nutty-looking spectacle in my role as Mom of Three.  this is who i have become.  i used to be someone else, a mom of two older kids that had emerged from the fog and was just about to partake in society once again until being blasted into a Mom of Three.  i don't know what other term to give it.  i'm doing so much and nothing at the same time, there never seems to be a lot of in between, it's all or nothing!  either i'm a drill seargant doing my daily morning marathon of getting the kids and i ready for school (shouting and trying not to shout) or i am on the couch RESTfeeding and watching TV, looking and feeling like a lazy slob.

the one positive thing about the addition of another child is that i really really need to get my butt organized.  the Meal Planning has helped me immensely as i have mentioned numerous time.  so much so that i am obsessed with it and treat it like it is this really really really important project that i am getting graded on or paid big bucks for.  sometimes it makes me feel stupid that it is the one thing in my life that is sort of like a goal, a focus.  big whoop, we all gotta eat dinner!  it is a big deal to me.  it represents something more, that i am able to organize myself in a way that i have never been able to do before.  it is the focus i require to get me through each day.  it is the hardest part of the day at the hardest time of the day, and if i can manage to score every single time, then it is one part of the day that i know i can feel really good about.  i would quite literally drown if i didn't have the meal planning set in place.  life is too chaotic to not know what dinner will be and to have to plan it on the fly while running to the grocery store with 2 kids and a baby at 4pm.  hell to the no.  i'm running too low on gas by that time of the day!  case and point:    

My Wednesday Morning
8:05am - Look at the alarm for the 5th time and realize I need to be up NOW NOW NOW.

Is Malcolm sleeping?  Good, Thank God… Whose legs are those at the end of the bed, Chloe or Moses?  Barelegs mean that must be Chloe in her nightgown.  

Slowly creep out of bed so Malcolm doesn't wake.  Shake Chloe awake and immediately give her the wide eyed SHHHHHH!!!!! face to not wake Malcolm before telling her she needs to get up RIGHT NOW or else we will be late.  My heart rate goes up in a panic as she stretches and I fear she will start crying that she is tired.  I rush to the kitchen and fill my pot with water for egg poaching, fill the kettle for tea.

8:10am - Brush teeth.  Tell Chloe to hurry up and get dressed FOR SHOW AND TELL.  Please God say that she gets excited about Show and Tell and gets dressed super duper fast…

8:15am - Get dressed and do half my face.  Check on Chloe on my way to the kitchen.  Tell her tired butt to hurry up.  The pot is boiling.  Grab the egg, swirl it, add vinegar, crack it into the rammekin, swirl with spoon and slowly pour egg into the water, set timer to 3 minutes, throw a piece of toast in the toaster.  Sprinkle tea into tea strainer and fill mug with hot water.

Thankfully, Moses is up.  He is done eating cereal but not dressed and I can tell he has his mind on fiddling around with his latest Lego project.  I send him to his room to get dressed and NOT play with Lego.  Run back to my room to finish make up and remind Chloe not to pour too much cereal and milk into her bowl.

8:25am - Timer is beeping for my egg, run back to kitchen and remove egg and toast.  Simultaneously prep my breakfast while chopping up fruit for both kids' snack (thank god kevin managed to do their sandwiches…).  Pile their lunch boxes and remind them to pack their backpacks.. and LIBRARY BOOKS!  I shovel breakfast and hot tea into my face between running things back into the fridge and acknowledging Moses' outfit of the day.  Thank god Malcolm is still sleeping… usually he would hang out in bed with kids interchanging watching him before having to carry him around and pawning him off into the Exersaucer where the kids would have to take turns entertaining him again.  Sometimes I end up having to pick him up again because he is just too grumpy or worse, HUNGRY and I don't have time to feed him!

8:35am - Chloe finally comes out and I praise her for her outfit and tell her to hurry because she only has 15 minutes to eat her cereal and remind both of them to pack their lunches again.  I gather the dishes into the sink since I haven't yet had time to unload last night's load and run to my room to do finishing touches on my signature ghetto morning look of black tights, a loose top and a big jacket with either my Nike's, my Converse or if i'm feeling sassy my brown leopard loafers.

8:45am - Tell Chloe she doesn't get to come drop off Moses if she isn't finished her cereal yet.  I grab  the carrier, tell the kids to get their shoes and jackets on, ask them if they have packed their bags and head to my room to get Malcolm.  A deliciously sleeping Malcolm is still in my bed, I gently gather him into my arms and kiss him a million times down the hall to the door as i fit him into the carrier.  I shove my feet into the shoes of the day and do my low and wide squat while one of the kids buckles up the carrier.  I take a few more gulps of hot tea and we run out the door.  I run back in for my cell phone and grab a piece of chocolate and one last gulp of tea.

We get to school and I chat with equally dishevelled smiling Mamas while the kids play for 5 minutes prior to the first bell.  Once that bell goes, the kids line up and hugs and kisses are exchanged.

9:00am - Chloe and I hurry back home.  Jess is parked in our driveway as usual and she says she is hitting up Starbucks before taking her son and daycare kid of the day to Winskill Park.  I'll meet them there.  Chloe jumps in the car asking me if she can go to Jess's house later while I run back inside to take Malcolm out of his carrier and buckle him up with a super happy face and playful tickles to distract him from any hunger or neediness he might feel as we separate bodily warmth.  I haul the 20lbs of carseat and baby out the door once again (perhaps with another piece of chocolate and swig of tea) and into the car to drive Chloe up the hill to preschool.

Shit.  Kevin forgot gas again.
Park illegally close in the teacher's parking lot and run in with Chloe.  Help her get her inside shoes on, give her a big hug and kiss and run back to car.

Normally I would have hung out at Franc Depart/Strong Start with Jess and Christine and the other regulars until Chloe finished school but it was closed today.

I'm grateful for the amazing Mamas that I have met out here.  I don't know what I would do without them, without their kindness, their support, their recipes, their gross sense of humour, their generosity and their solidarity.  Today was so beautiful.  I hung out in the glorious sunshine with Jess and Molly at the park with our younger kids and chatted for 2 hours with hot coffees.  We pushed our kids on the swings.  I breastfed.  Jess had to take both her kids two the stupid swimming pool washroom that is too far away from the park because one kid had to poop for the 4th time that morning.  We talked about how we had been feeling the last couple of days, our husbands, food we ate, teachers, uncertainties, our pasts and our hopes for the future.

I have to say, as grateful as I am for everything I have and as much as I am soaking up every last drop of this baby time, I was feeling a little left behind seeing a bunch of mom friends having done a collaborative project over the weekend.  It was that same feeling that started rising up in my chest again, feeling embarrassed and ashamed of my gross state.  my giant tits hanging over my still bloated baby belly, looking at my two of my favourite blondies, smiling brightly in the sun in their sunglasses and fancied up hair.  i had to keep telling myself that my time would come again, i would get back there and not to be so hard on myself.  of course, the monster crept back up and asked me what the hell i was going to do with my life anyway…  to which i still have no answer.  IS IT BECAUSE I AM THE SECOND BORN CHILD?  UGH.

in the meantime, i'm still doing little projects.  my newborn/family shoot from sunday went well.  i'm working on another logo for another mama who is stoked so far with the work i've done for her.  i'm so glad i am still getting to be creative and feel like i am doing something that is ME, that is FOR ME, that is NOT A MOM THING.  i'm happy to get to do creative work even if it means doing it on a graveyard shift.  it's too easy to lose yourself when you become a mom, and even harder when you have 3 of them to juggle.  i'm making it work.  somehow i am managing.  yes, managing with the help of my family and my friends, both here in our little town, stretched over the lower mainland, across the country and south of the border.



i always wonder who i will still be friends with when i am old.