Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Thank God it's OVER!

Well, that's it.

The end of another school year.

I guess technically, tomorrow's the end.  But really, I hardly think an hour and a half of assembly time, with recess, snack, desk and locker cleaning, and dismissal at noon counts as a school day!

This year was...uh...well, it was...interesting.

My son started Kindergarten.  In the beginning, he was all set to go into the full Kindergarten class at the school.  But thanks to some late registration and general administration kerfluffle, they ended up having to add a K/1 split class.  And despite my several pleading requests, both in writing and verbally, to please keep him in the full K, he got placed in the split.  I was pissed.  He was emotionally immature (in my opinion) and he also has a late birthday, so he was still 4 for the first two months of school - and in a class with Grade 1's.  Instead of having 22 peers his own age in his classroom, he only had 6.  I was pretty upset, but I managed to keep Momma Bear in check, and decided it is what it is, and he will be fine.  And he was fine...he was more than fine.  He still made lots of friends from the other class, and academically (that word makes me laugh when we're talking about 5-year-olds!) he is doing extremely well.  So it's good.  It's all good.

In September, my daughter started Grade 2.  Her Grade 1 experience was absolutely fantastic; it was her first year at this school, the teachers were great, and she instantly clicked with a bunch of girls in her class.  Everything about her Grade 1 year was really, really, super.  So, like a bunch of dummies, we headed in to Grade 2 thinking it would be the same.

Big, big mistake.

You know how they say to never assume anything?  Well, they're right.

That whole late-registration thing threw the whole frickin' school into a tizzy for the entire first week of September.  And when the class lists were finally posted, my daughter was completely separated from her peers.  In fact, they could not have made her feel more alone if they had tried.  Out of the 11 little girls in her Grade 1 class, NINE of them had been placed in the other Grade 2 class, and TWO of them in Mackenzie's.  Her, and one other girl.  The REST were together, and MY CHILD was separated.  It should be noted here that not only was she split from her girlfriends, but also a few boys that she had gotten close to as well.  She walked into her Grade 2 classroom completely alone, while 9 (!!!) of her friends walked into their classroom, all together, on the other side of the school.

And you know what I did?

I lost my goddamn mind.

I had what you might call a "complete f***ing temper tantrum" in the principal's office, and went full-out Momma Bear on his ass.  It was awful, and in retrospect, completely embarrassing.  I cried.  I swore.  I accused him of not paying one bit of attention to the class lists.  I told him that it looked like he made it his mission to alienate my child.  I demanded to know how it was even possible to have such an uneven split.  My rational mind knew that she'd been placed with a wonderful teacher, and that she was going to have to face this life experience at some point, but all I wanted to do was stomp my feet, demand that she be moved, shove the principal out of the way, march over to Mackenzie's new classroom, drag her out, and put her in the classroom with her friends.  But, of course, I didn't.  Which is probably a good thing; I'm pretty sure that shoving the principal would be grounds for a restraining order and permanent dismissal from the school forever.  When I finally stopped crying, like, five days later, I thought - OK - she is a strong little girl, and she is going to be fine.

But here's the thing: I don't actually think she was fine.

She made new friends, she absolutely LOVES her teacher, and I know she had a great classroom experience.  We could not have asked for anything better on that front.

But socially, she is shy.  And we worked really hard on her friendships in Grade 1.  And approaching a group of people is very hard for her to do.  And she felt more and more distanced from her friends with every passing school day.  And at least once a week, for an entire school year, she would tell me that she missed her friends and wished she were with them.  It broke my heart, and it still does, and I will never, ever forget the mixture of sadness and rage I felt when I looked at that class list for the first time.  She still had lots of playdates with her old buddies, and birthday parties and sleepovers and stuff like that, but she wasn't with them every day on the school yard, even though she really, really wanted to be.  I literally feel physical pain when I think about it.

So to say that I'm glad this year is over?

Giant understatement.

Friday, June 22, 2012

5 things that are making me stupider.

I decided the other night to sit down and bust through a few shows I had PVR'd over the past few weeks.  I hit "LIST" to see what was on there, and then I laughed out loud.  My taste in TV shows is really rather embarrassing, and I'm quite certain that I kill a significant number of brain cells with every episode I watch.


1. My 600-lb Life.  So obviously, this is about people who are 600 (or more) pounds.  And they can't leave the house, or get themselves dressed, or get up to go pee, or roll over, or do ANYTHING, and frankly, it's fascinating.  Whenever I feel like a fat mess (which happens to be frequently, as of late), I turn this show on, and I instantly feel better.  It's like whenever I feel like my house is out of control, I just check out an episode of Hoarders.  Which doesn't help with getting the house cleaned, you know, because I'm very busy sitting on my ass watching TV, shoving Cheezies into my pie-hole - but hey, at least my house doesn't look like that, and I'm not 600 pounds!

2. Gene Simmons Family Jewels.  I've always gotten a kick out of this show.  It's always been fun, but lately, it got a little more serious - there's a lot about the family in therapy, and Gene Simmons' indiscretions with multitudes of women over the past bunch of years.  One episode revolved around a key that his wife, Shannon, found in their garage, which turned out to be for a safety deposit box that held like 12 portfolios, hundreds of pages in each, with thousands of pictures of naked women he had taken with a Polaroid over the years.  Is this good for their marriage?  Of course not.  Is it quality television programming?  Oh, HELL yes.  But the real question here is, SERIOUSLY?!  Have these women SEEN Gene Simmons??  Like actually LOOKED at him??  He ain't pretty, folks.  Not even a little.

3. Sister Wives.  We've talked about this one before.  I need sister wives.  I really, really do.  My friends and I do something that we call "Fun Friday", where a bunch of us gather at someone's house with all of our kids, they run around and play and have a great time, and we mommies eat our faces off and drink wine and visit.  It's so fun.  But I had to leave Drunk Friday early today, stone-cold sober, so I could take Mackenzie to piano lessons.  If I had sister wives, I would've just sent her off with one of them, stayed at the shindig, and really made something out of Drunk Friday.  See?  YET ANOTHER REASON WHY SISTER WIVES ARE A GENIUS SOLUTION TO ALL OF YOUR FAMILY PROBLEMS.

4. My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.  This shit is bananas.  I love it.  I can't believe it's real.  I can't believe people live like this.  Where do they get the money for all of their fancy stuff?  Those insane wedding dresses must be like $40,000 each.  They might live in travel-trailers, but still.  They have very expensive clothes, very expensive cars, and just a very extravagant lifestyle, and they certainly don't seem to do anything that looks like it would be enough to pay for such a lifestyle.  It's mind-blowing.  Since my kids were babies I have always used the threat, "If you don't stop (hitting, biting, talking back, taking your clothes off at inappropriate times, kicking me, kicking your brother, etc), I am going to send you to live with the gypsies."  But I've had to stop using that one with Mackenzie, because she's seen enough of the show to know that those people have the BEST DRESSES EVER (to a 7-year-old) and would gladly ditch us to go live with them, just for the chance to wear an 80-pound floofy giant glitter-bombed dress shaped like a peacock that lights up with 1000 tiny Christmas lights with every move she makes.

5. Monster-In-Laws.  Seriously, just watch it.  Then go and hug your inlaws, no matter how freaking nuts they are, and thank them for being SO NORMAL.

Oh, and hey, guess what:  BIG BROTHER STARTS JULY 12!

Clearly there is no hope for me.

I should probably go buy more Cheezies.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mommy's feeling crazy right now...

Do you ever feel like you want to crawl into a hole, any hole, even if it's filled with angry carpenter ants, just to hide from your kids?  Are you guilty of locking yourself in the bathroom and sitting in an empty bathtub, just to get five seconds of silence?  Have you found yourself bringing beer (or perhaps something stronger) in a metal travel mug to their soccer games?  Did you spend any time last week crying on your kitchen floor because they're JUST SO GODDAMN DIFFICULT THAT YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THE HELL TO DO ANYMORE?!?!

If your answer to any of the above is "yes", then congratulations, my humble opinion you are 100% normal.  If you answered "no", you are either a) NOT a momma; b) you are a very NEW momma; or c) you spend most of your life drunk and oblivious.

Again - just my humble opinion.

So the reason behind this post, is my 5-year-old son.  My sweet, loving, adorably handsome, brilliant little boy.  I love that kid more than words could ever describe.  I am guilty of making him promise me that he will always love me more than he loves his wife.  Shawn says I'm traumatizing him by doing this.  I don't care.  He's my baby boy, and dammit, he always will be.

And sometimes?  He is a giant shit.

Lately, it's been especially bad.  It's hard sometimes to really pinpoint exactly what it is he does that makes me so crazy, but it's mostly just general behavioral and lack of respect issues, and it is constant.  I will ask him to do something non-negotiable, such as brush his teeth before school; he will argue with me over it (little side note here, NOTHING pisses me off more than having something like that argued.  You do not have a choice in this.  Brushing your teeth before school is mandatory and it is a battle you will never win.  So why, oh why, are you fighting me on it?!?!)  I will try to hug him; he will punch me in the arm and giggle.  I will send him for a time out; he will stick his tongue out at me, or make this spitting motion and sound without actually spitting at me.  And this one is a teeny-tiny bit funny now, but at the time it sure wasn't: last week after soccer, he came into the house, stripped down to nothing but his shin pads and soccer socks, and started shakin' his thang in the front window.  WHO DOES THAT!?!?  Seriously!!!  WTF??

And what's especially frustrating is that this kid is the textbook definition of a perfect student when he is at school.  I had one teacher tell me she wishes she "had a classroom full of AJ's."  Another informed me that he is the role model for the other students in the class.  And it needs to be noted that these comments are not one-off's - I get this A LOT.  Eventually, instead of making me happy and proud, like they did in the beginning, these comments from his teachers and coaches actually started to really piss me off.  WHO is this kid?  And WHY do I never, ever get to have him?  Why do they get this perfect child, and I get someone who I am constantly fighting with?  He pulls shit with me that he would never even dream of doing with his teachers, the principal, his coaches, his grandparents, and so on.  Everybody else gets this model child, and I get a brat - all. the. time.

I've taken away his Wii and iPad privileges.  He doesn't care.

I've taken away his special blanket.  He doesn't care.

I made him sit out the first five minutes of his soccer game yesterday.  He still got to play after that, so he doesn't care.

I've made him stay in his room alone for hours on end while Mackenzie and I enjoy some fun activity.  Say it with me now - He. Doesn't. Care.

We started a reward system using uncooked pasta noodles (25 noodles and they get a prize).  Mackenzie has 21.  AJ has 3.  He keeps losing them, thanks to his craptastic behavior.  And yep, you guessed it - he doesn't care.

I'm out of ideas, I'm at a loss, and I'm really, really f***ing frustrated (hence the crying fit in my kitchen last Wednesday.  It wasn't pretty, and if there was ever a time I felt like I had no right to be a mother, it was that moment.)  I know he understands.  I know he's aware of how he's behaving.  I know that he knows how to behave appropriately, because he does it at school and with his sports teams.  He understands right from wrong and he knows damn well what he's doing.

He just refuses to exhibit any sort of appropriate behavior when he is with me.  And my patience with him is totally gone.  I'm not proud of this, and frankly it's embarrassing to have no idea what to do with your own child.  But it's the truth.  I am starting to feel like I might actually be losing my freaking mind.

I was chatting with my friend V about it this morning.  Her kids are young too and she understands.  She had a great piece of advice: whenever you're feeling that mad at him, and you're still mad when he goes to bed, make sure you go back in  his room at some point and watch him sleep.

Tonight?  It kinda worked.

Tomorrow's a new day...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Apparently, it's do-nothing Monday.

I've just returned home from a few days of shopping in the states with my friend J.  It was awesome.  We shopped our asses off.  I'm not even kidding.  We left our hotel room at 9:30 on Friday morning, and we got back at 10:15 that night.  And that didn't even include any time devoted to a real sit-down meal, only a quick (and GIANT) plate of Panda Express at one of the food courts along the way.  I was armed with loads of diet Coke, she had her trusty iced tea at the ready, we ate Auntie Anne's pretzels from the mall kiosks whenever we got hungry, and we just shopped the ENTIRE time.

It was so much fun.

And, of course, as you can imagine, we came home with a ton of new stuff (thank you, Very Important Government People, for changing the border limits!!!)  Clothes for ourselves, clothes for our kids, toys, stuff for our houses, makeup and beauty products, all the awesome junk food and fun groceries we can't get in Canada, cheap alcohol, coolers full of cheese, and so on.  We took full advantage of the Stow'N'Go option in my minivan, and baby, we filled that bitch to the top.

We got home Saturday evening.

And all the shit I bought still isn't unpacked.

Not to mention the fact that Shawn was home alone with the kids while I was gone, and while the house was certainly tidy when I returned home, it definitely wasn't "clean" the way I like it to be (I'm a bit of a freak that way.)

And you know, I thought, oh, well, I'll do it on Sunday.  But Shawn had to work on Sunday, and it didn't seem fair to make the kids entertain themselves while I unpacked and cleaned up.  It seemed like a far better idea to just leave the house in its state of chaos, and go to my parents' nice clean tidy house and sit on my ass over there for much of the day.  Then, Shawn and I went to the Bryan Adams concert last night, so obviously nothing got done then either.  Which is all well and fine, really, considering the fact that my kids have school during the day and I have dick-all to do all day, so I told myself that yes, definitely, for sure I would get all the shit unpacked and the house cleaned today, and I would start as soon as I got home from taking them to school at 8:30.

It's 1:45 right now.

So far, I've put my pajamas back on, climbed back into bed, had a quick power nap, read some of my book, played a little Words With Friends, eaten some pop tarts and half a box of Kraft Dinner, sharpened all the pencil crayons in the kids' craft drawers, texted people, talked on the phone for an hour and a half, and farted around on Facebook.

I have NOT made beds, cleaned the bathrooms, vacuumed, done laundry, unloaded the dishwasher, dusted, or unpacked from the trip I got home from two days ago.

I'm now trying to figure out how to make it LOOK like I actually did something know, without actually having to DO anything...because clearly, getting anything done today just isn't in the cards.

Any ideas???

Sunday, June 3, 2012


This weekend was a little bit crazy.

It was the annual Errol Wild Memorial Soccer Tournament, which means each of my kids had two soccer games per day.  On top of that, AJ had two lacrosse games in Armstrong on Saturday, so we needed to make a decision about what to do.  In the end, because the lacrosse season is short and those games were the last of the season, we decided to skip soccer on Saturday and head to Armstrong for the day.  After AJ's last game ended shortly after 2:00, my dad and Shawn decided to stay in the Okanagan and play a round of golf.  They headed off to Vernon, I took the kids to a park for a bit, then we grabbed some ice cream cones and $1 drinks from McD's and headed home.

All was well with the world.

We rolled in to the driveway at about 4:30.  The kids wanted to go swimming, which sounded good to me.  So, the three of us got our swimsuits on, packed up our swim bag, and were just about to head out, when for some reason, and frankly I don't even know why I did this, I looked at the soccer schedule.

Mackenzie had a game at 5:45.


I did not know this, because I am a dumbass who didn't bother to check the soccer schedule for Saturday.  I knew we would be in Armstrong for the day and just had it in my head that that meant we wouldn't be able to make any soccer games on Saturday.  Now, I want to kick myself.  Hard.  WHY DIDN'T I CHECK!?  I have no idea.  But I didn't.

Again: SHIT.

So my first instinct, to be completely honest, is to just ignore it - we're all ready for swimming, it's been a long day, and I had already planned for no soccer on Saturday.  As we load into the van, I very quickly fluctuate back and forth in my head between: "bad mommy!!  Your kid has a responsibility to her team, and she doesn't even know there's a game!" and "bad mommy!!  AJ is going the freak the f*** out if you suddenly tell him we can't go swimming, and you know what, you deserve it!"  I suddenly decide, with a flash of conscience, that I need to at least tell her that she has a game.  So I turn around and say, "Mackenzie, it turns out you have a soccer game at 5:45.  We can make it to that one.  It's your choice, I know we didn't plan on soccer today so it's up to you."

She immediately says, "I want to go to soccer!!"  And, as predicted, AJ immediately starts screaming his bloody head off.

At this point, it's 4:50 and we need a half hour to get to the soccer field.  So Mackenzie gets out of the van to come inside and eat something and get ready.  AJ, however, refuses to get out of the van.  He's sitting there in his booster seat, with his seatbelt on, wearing his bathing suit and holding his goggles, and believe me when I say this kid is about fifty different kinds of pissed off.  If I didn't feel so bad, it would have been hilarious.  He wants to go swimming, dammit, and Mommy PROMISED we'd go swimming, and WE ALREADY HAVE OUR BATHING SUITS ON, and HE IS ABSOLUTELY NOT GOING TO MACKENZIE'S SOCCER GAME, HE IS GOING TO THE POOL IF HE HAS TO HITCH A RIDE WITH A TRUCKER TO GET THERE AND HE DOESN'T CARE WHAT YOU SAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He spent the 20 minutes we took to get ready for soccer, screaming in the van.  Sorry, neighbors.

I spent the 25 minute drive to the soccer field trying to talk him down.  "AJ, this is totally Mom's fault.  I made a mistake, I forgot to check the schedule, I am REALLY sorry.  We are going to your sister's game and we can't go swimming.  You have every right to be mad, but Mackenzie had to watch two of your lacrosse games today and now you have to watch her play soccer, I'm sorry I didn't know about the game, we all know Mommy's not all that bright sometimes.  We will go swimming another day soon, I promise."

Then, even thought it's a little inappropriate, I decide to try and get a smile by using a word that is always guaranteed to make him laugh: "You know what buddy, I already had my bathing suit on too, and you know it's hard work for me to get my bathing suit on because I have a big ass!"

AJ does not think I am funny at all.  And Mackenzie, my sweet, darling little girl, seizes this golden opportunity and says, "Oh, you know what mom, you REALLY do!!  I mean it, like it is SO wide, really, REALLY wide, I don't even know how you ever found a bathing suit that would go up over your huge butt!"

We made it to the soccer game.

We didn't go swimming.

AJ stayed mad at me until this morning.

My ass is still the same size.

Last night, I had wine for dinner.

I am so glad this weekend is over.

Friday, June 1, 2012

5 Things - the musical!

(This part has nothing to do with 5 Things Friday.  But I just wanted to say a big ol' THANK YOU to everyone who has taken the time this week to let me know that they've read, and enjoyed, this blog so far!  It's great to hear and I appreciate the feedback so much.  So thank you for reading, maybe giggling a little, perhaps thinking I'm a total idiot, and then passing it on to anyone you think might enjoy it too!!)

Alright.  On to today's 5 things!!

When I love a song, I LOOOOOOOOVE a song, to the point that it drives everyone around me completely freaking crazy, because I will play it over and over and OVER again until everyone within 10 feet of me and my iPod either runs away, or starts wishing they were deaf.  When I first met my husband a whole bunch of years ago, I was obsessed with the song "Without Me" by Eminem (oh, you've TOTALLY started humming "two trailer park girls go 'round the outside...").  Eventually, Shawn was like, OK, listen, I totally want to get with you, so I'm trying to be tolerant, but seriously, I am going to stab my friggin eyes out, could we please listen to something else??  And the answer was no.  No, we couldn't.  Not until I got that song out of my system.  It took about 3 months.  True story.  Many songs would follow, including but not limited to Cee Lo's Forget You; Sugarland's Stuck Like Glue; Nickelback's Shakin' Hands; Rihanna's S&M...seriously, it's a long (and in some cases, such as my One Direction Infection, totally embarrassing) list.

Which leads me to today's post - FIVE SONGS I CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF RIGHT NOW!

1. Carly Rae Jepsen - Call Me Maybe.  OMG, this is, like, totally, the BEST SONG EVER.  I mean it.  I love it.  I got Mackenzie and me tickets to the Justin Bieber show in Vancouver in October, and Carly Rae is opening.  I think I might lose my shit (and completely embarrass my daughter in the process) when she does this song live.  There's a Youtube video of the Biebs, Ashley Tisdale, Selena Gomez, and a bunch of other people who are a hundred years younger than I am, lip-synching and dancing to this song and just looking like they are having the BEST TIME EVER, and I find myself secretly watching it every once in awhile and wishing I was 20, skinny, rich, famous, and fake-singing into a banana phone/tennis ball/gatorade bottle (just watch the video.  You'll love it too.  You might not admit it, but you will love it.)

2. Carrie Underwood - Good Girl.  OK, my love for this song might have something to do with the video.  Yes, I am a woman, and yes, I am completely straight, but I can certainly recognize a hot piece of ass when I see it.  Her clothes, her body, her hair, oh my!  Singing this song very loudly when I'm alone in my kitchen is usually a big highlight of my day.  I'm sure my neighbors can hear me (and see me, for that matter), and I don't even care.  I just wish I had a pair of "goodbye shoes" to wear during my one-woman Kitchen Dance Parties.  I'm not sure what "goodbye shoes" actually look like, but I definitely know that I want a pair.

3. Eric Church - Springsteen.  Eric Church is just all kinds of awesome and every song he does is my favorite for at least a month.  This one is casual and laid-back, and it makes you think of summer and all the boys you thought you loved when you were 17, and how grown up you thought you were when you were a teenager.  "...back then when I was 17, and this old tattoo had brand-new ink, and we didn't care what your mom would think about your name on my arm..."  It's just good.  That's it.  I wish he was famous-er.

4. Train - Drive By.  The good thing about this one, is that you don't even need to exhaust your iPod by playing it on repeat, because as soon as you hear it once, it plays over and over in your own head until you can't stand it anymore and either give in and play it, or remove it completely from your device and stop listening to the radio/satellite/Shaw's MaxTrax/etc, just so you never have to hear it again.  "...Oh, I swear to ya...I'll be there for ya...this is not a drive by-ay-ay-ay-ay..."  Come on friends, sing it with me!

5. Kip Moore - Something 'bout a Truck.  Great song.  Period.

I totally have a hankering to listen to that Eminem song.  iTunes, here I come!

What are some of your favorites, or musical guilty pleasures?