Saturday, November 26, 2005

Happy Birthday, Baby

Dear Hallie,
Today you turned 5 years old. 5 years old!!!? It is so hard to believe that it has been 5 years since I first looked into your beautiful blue eyes and heard your first breath of air. It seems like only yesterday that I was craddling you in my arms listening to your gentle coos and feeling your soft warm breath on my cheek as you slept on me. It seems like only yesterday that I found myself crying when I looked at you and realized how completely overwhelmed I was, once more, that my heart could be this full of love.

Today as I look at you I see a beautiful, smart, kind hearted young girl who has turned into all and so much more than I ever could have imagined in those first few minutes of your life. Today I see a gentle spirit whose heart breaks when someone else is hurting. Today, I still find myself crying when I look at you and realize how I am still so completely overwhelmed with how full of love my heart is for you.

Hallie, I am so proud of who you are and of the person you are becoming. You have such a compassionate and loving heart. I admire your strength for you don't give up but seem to strive to improve. In one year you have made such a huge improvement in your speaking and you have done so with determination and with grace. It was just a short time ago that you could not speak at all and you overcame that obsticle with so much grace, never feeling sorry for yourself and never being angry.

Happy birthday, Baby. I hope your day is special and I hope it brings you good memories. I am so compeletly proud of you and so completely in love with you. You are my beautiful little Jellybean.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Vandersluys vs Vandersluys

This right here and here, people, is why I love my friends so much. There really is never a dull moment, even in the normalcy of life...never a dull moment.

Now, just to keep up with the legal aspect, I would like to clarify that the order of appearance on my blog does not in any way represent favoritism or attempt to imply any bias. The order they appear on my blog has only to do with the order they were posted. Any further comments on this matter may be made in the presence of my lawyer...

I will add, against my lawyers better judgement, that it is a pity that their marriage has come to this terrible bitter custody battle over the eggnog... Can't we all just get along?!?!? (wink!)

Talk about breaking your heart

Hallie and I had a brief yet heartbreaking conversation just a few minutes ago. You can read about it over here. It really makes my heart feel...heavy is the only word I can think of but it is not the most accurate. It hurts that she is hurting so much and missing her brother so much. I also dread how she is going to react when she finds out that Jenn is graduating this year and may be moving out sooner than later. How much can a poor little heart take...?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

It's a Boy!!! It's a Boy!!! It's a Boy!!!

Obviously I don't need to say it again's a boy! Mom and baby are both doing well. We don't know his name yet because they want to tell people when they are both together and Brenda was still in the recovery room. We also don't know how big the little guy is. Mom and Dad held onto him as long as they could and then Shane went to Bill's office to tell him the news. Bill fed our poor friend as he hadn't had anything to eat since last night so his mind was on other his sandwich.

Anyway, a big old congratulations goes out to these wonderful friends of ours!!! I am so excited!!! I am also so relieved for you that it was a boy and now you don't have to worry about Bill nicknaming a girl Charlie for no reason other than the fact that he thinks it sounds cool.

Hallie has been busy packing up all of her toys so that she can give them all to the baby because she knows he doesn't have a stuffed puppy and she knows he doesn't have a doll and she knows he doesn't have crayons or a coloring book....


While shopping at Wal Mart this morning, I got a call on my cell. I had a twinge of nervousness because the only ones who know this number are the hospital and Bill. I didn't think Bill would be calling me as I had just talked to him so that first solo shift at the hospital. However, when I answered the phone I was surprised to hear a familiar voice, my friend, Dixie. As it turns out, prayer is needed. Other friends of ours, Shane and Brenda, are having a baby and she started having pains yesterday (baby is due the 24th). In the hospital she wasn't progressing. Having had a c-section before there was fear of rupturing or hemorraging; the doctors were gently leaning towards them having a c-section but were giving them an hour to see how things went.

I got off the phone with Bill moments ago for an update and he said that Brenda was in surgery as we were speaking and that the baby was probably all ready here. He just hadn't found that part out yet. So please pray for things to turn out all right for both mom and baby. Please pray for emotional strength for her as she was really really hoping to not have to go through a c-section again.

So, I am anxious. I am anxious to know if they are well. I am anxious to know if it is a boy or a girl. I am anxious to know what his/her name is and I am anxious to be able to go see my dear friend.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Getting into the Spirit

Today we started, let me stress "started", to decorate our house for the joyous winter/Christmas season. We have our lights up outside and some on the inside of a window (living room). We still need to do the lights in the dining room window. We have some pine garland on our bookshelf with cranberries and pinecones scattered throughout it and we purchased some candles with cranberry decorations for around the candle holders. I also have sugar cookie scented wax blocks for the oil burner candles. Does it ever smell yummy in our house tonight. A few other purchases...both of the Griswold adventures, "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation", and "The Charlie Brown Christmas" on DVD. I am still looking for "The Little Drummer Boy" on DVD and the "Nutcracker Prince" (animated and not). So here are some pictures of our house at about halfway through outside decorations.

The kids are so-o excited...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Enjoying my Job

Okay so today was day number two of working in Housekeeping at the hospital and I am enjoying my job thus far. I worked in the E.R. yesteday and I have to admit that it really made me realize where my heart is as far as becoming a nurse. I was chomping at the bit when I was there cleaning floors and beds wishing that I were taking care of the patients. Today I wasn't anywhere exciting but it was still all right. It sounds like tomorrow I will be in and out of E.R. again. Being in the hospital only fuels the fire about becoming an LPN. I need to get the lead out and start really working on that math....

Monday, November 14, 2005

They're shutting us down!!

I just got an email that myblogspot is shutting down at the end of this month. We will no longer be able to access our posts so I just finished copying and pasting mine. I don't know if there is anywhere else we can go or what...but this is the end of here.......
Goodbye everyone...goodbye....

Just in the Nick of Time

I got a new job!!! I am now employed at the hospital in the Housekeeping Dept. as relief which means they call me in when someone is sick, is taking holidays or what not. It couldn't have come at a better time! I will still be at BP's, for now, as I doubt I will get enough hours to be able to quit. However, why did it come in the nick of time? It is so slow at work that today I was sent home after being at work for 45 minutes!!!! I can not live on that!!! Thank you God for seeing the big picture and for preparing a way for us and for taking care of us...

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Poppy Remembers...Rememberance Day 2005, The Year of the Veteran

Every year on November 11, I remember. I think every Canadian has their own personal stories, their own special person, memory or family member they think of. For me, I think of my great uncle who went to war to fight for our freedom and never, ever came home. No one knows what happened to him. My family was told that he was KIA then they thought he may be a POW and then they were told that no one knew what really happened to him. He is gone and I always wonder what happened to him. What did he go through? What did he endure? What was his fate?

I think 2 of my grandfathers were in the war as well. I do know one was for sure. He was a supply truck driver on the front lines of the war. His name was Peaches. Whatever he saw during the war stayed his private secret and, perhaps, his private hell. He never talked about it, ever. It hurt him too much. He died a few years ago never telling any of us about it and never once mentioning to us that he had even been in the war.

Their eyes have seen such terrible, terrible things. How do you forget that? How can we forget them? The sacrifices these men and women made and continue to make for us. We can't just say that the sacrifices were made during the war and ended at that. Their lives were forever changed, forever scarred by what they saw, what they lived through, what they lost... It is hard not to cry when I look into the eyes of a veteran because I see pain in them and I see something that there is no way for me to explain. Look into their eyes and you will see a life lived that we can not fathom. Lives of soldiers continue to be changed today. While watching the Remeberance Day Service on tv today we saw Canadian soldiers (peacekeepers) holding their own service in Afghanistan, a powerful, powerful picture for me.

The grave of the unknown soldier sends shivers down my spine and fills my eyes with tears. Who is he? What did he go through? His family... A monument has been built and at 11:00 today the sun shone on the unknown solier's tombstone and framed it in a beautiful window of light. I bawled...

The bagpipes playing, the bugle...the 21 gun salute...this morning I sat, glued to my television set an emotional, bawling wreck. I can't find the words to express what I feel in my heart on Remeberance Day. Gratitude is not enough. These men and women are my heroes. What they did for you and me so selfless...I am speechless. I absolutely do not know what to say to these people. Thank you seems so insignificant but thank you. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

We watched the veterans parade as well and watching these men and women marching to the applause of 25000 people was...again, speechless. The announcers said that there are 5 known veterans still alive from World War One. Wow! What I would give to talk to some of these people, to catch a glimpse of what their lives have been...

When I was in grade 9 I wrote a poem for the poetry contest for Remeberance Day. I won first place at my school, for the region and I got 3 in Provincials. I don't have a copy of this poem. I gave my only copy to them and I am hoping to try to find it. I may contact the Royal Canadian Legion to see if they still have a copy or not. It was called The Poppy Remembers.

We must never forget what the men and women of past years have done for us and what the men and women of today continue to do to protect our freedom. Whether you,personally agree with war or not, these people are still sacrificing their lives for us everyday to ensure our safety and our freedom.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Happy Dance...Doing the Happy Dance...

All right, for those of you who don't really know my I am not bi-polar but the contradiction in my posts today will probably leave you wondering. I am so happy right now I feel like I am floating!

I just got back 2 of my math (grade 12) assignments and I got 98% on BOTH of them!!! BOTH OF THEM!!! Did you hear me?!?!? B-O-T-H O-F T-H-E-M!!!!!! Waaaaaahooooooooo!!!! I hate math. I am terrified of math. You put 2 numbers in front of me add an x and a y and say the words quadratic equation and you have a trembling, babbling, full fledge math phobic on your hands. So, those marks arriving in the mail today were just the thing I needed to throw me miles back from the edge of that nuclear meltdown I was telling you about.

I am going to leave this post as a short one because it is extremely hard to type while you are doing the happy dance.

Nuclear Meltdown

Oh yes, people, a nuclear meltdown has been had by all in this house; perhaps even a few times each today.

At school today the girls attended a Remembrance Day assembly. I haven't been able to make out all the details but Hallie has informed me there were soldiers (I am assuming a video) and that she got real sad and the tears fell off her face. (Her words.) While telling bill about this on the phone a few minutes ago. I posed the question "why get kindergarten kids to watch stuff like this? Look at how it affects them." Bill, ever so kind and gentle Bill says," Yes, Ang but think about it for a second, not all Kindergarten students are related to you." (inferrence to my tear ducts being too close to my bladder).

Before school I had to give Hallie an emergency hair cut because her sister gave her gum last night and Hallie refused to take it out at bedtime when said sister told her to. Mom and Dad were not informed of this dilema. Anywho, as I was getting Hallie ready for school I notice big gob o' gum in her hair. What the *%$#?! Out come the scissors and snip, snip, snip. I now have a lopsided kid.

Aren has gotten into the phase of wanting to watch movie after movie and some members of this family oblige. I only let him watch one movie today and the rest of the day was tears, begging and turmoil. I tried to send him downstairs to play with his toys only to find him trying to figure out how to put a movie on downstairs. However I have triumphed and and he has only watched ONE movie... (and the crowd goes wild).

Anyway, with all of this...I am close myself to a nuclear meltdown myself. You all know the kind; the crying, the snotting, the bawling, the screaming, the sobs, the blubbering, the nobody ever listens to me, nobody loves me, mom nuclear meltdown. However, I will rise above it. I refuse to have this meltdown today...

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Buckle your seatbelts; it's about to get bumpy.

Okay, why on earth am I feeling sad that my son has stepped foot onto the path of potty train lane? Why does my heart feel heavy and why do I feel like weeping every time I look at him, a beautiful young man? Ah, that's right. I am a sap! I am a softy, a baby...what is it Bill says? Oh yes, my bladder is too close to my tear ducts or perhaps it is that my tear ducts are just too close to my uterus. Aren is my last baby...there will be no more...this is the end, my friend, the end....

Should I not be rejoicing that soon I will no longer have to buy diapers or pull-ups or baby wipes? I will no longer have to change stinking, soaking wet diapers or filthy gut wrenching poopy bums; why am I not leaping through the streets shouting with glee?

When I had Aren, my third c-section, hubby and I decided that since I was there...we made it official, no more babies. I didn't think it would make me feel different, but it did. For the first little while I felt...empty...lacking...weird...I can no longer have babies...

Aren is 27 months old. He has reached that stage where there is not much baby left to him (and by baby, well, you know what I mean). I have started looking at pregnant bellies, nursing moms and babies of all ages and I feel my spirit plummet to my feet. If I had my way, I would probably have babies until I ran out of time...

I have always been a mom...I became a mom at 18 years old. I feel like I have been a mom forever and in a sense, I have. I became a mom before I stopped being a child. As silly as it seems each day I look at the growth my children are making and realize that I am getting closer to not being a "mom" by leaps and bounds every day. Every day my children get closer and closer to only seeing me on special occassions or at special family events. I hate that. It scares the crap out of me. My entire adult life has been defined by being a mom, by being needed by someone to care for what?

I loved being pregnant. Yes, at the time it was uncomfortable and, apparently, I got really, really cranky when I was pregnant with Hallie but, I LOVE being pregnant. My friend, Dixie talks about how much she enjoys childbirth too and I envy her for that (everybody for that actually). I have never experienced childbirth properly and by that I mean I have never given birth naturally. As I said before 3 biological children, 3 c-sections. I feel ripped off; I feel like I have been denied experiencing a beautiful, natural part of life and then I feel guilty for feeling bad about something so petty. I have 3 gorgeous children so should it really matter how they got here? I have them and that should be all that matters. Why isn't it?

I fear feeling useless when my children are grown; I fear their independence, the very thing I am working to create with them. I fear feeling like an empty vessel, void of use. I fear sounding like a fool when everyone reads this but, we all have our moments of weakness and I wouldn't be being truthful to my friends or to myself if I just deleted this post. I will wake up in the morning, read this and probably say 'wow, hormones, they get you every time...'. In the meantime, this is honestly something I think about. I think about who I am outside of being a mom; I don't know if I really know. I think about things I feel I should have experienced (aka childbirth) and have sometimes thought it made me less of a woman to not have been able to have that experience. Man, sometimes the thought process carries you away on a terrible dark ride. Somebody, stop that train when I get on it. Having c-sections does not make me less of a woman...that logic is so stupid. I don't feel like being barren makes someone less of a woman but I create different standards for myself that I can't live up to. I am my own worst enemy some days.

So I have taken myself (and you) on an adventure where I have done nothing but wallow in self pity and now that I have gotten it off my chest and out of my system for, who knows how long, I will once more rejoice that my job is so far successful. I am raising my children to the best of my ability; I feel I am preparing them and equipping them with the tools they will need to be successful. I am stopping the self-pity train and jumping off. I love being a mom; I will never stop being a mom. My job description will change and I need to change with it. I am, after all, a mom and we can transform ourselves into anything we need to be...a doctor, a chef, a teacher, a dictionary, a chauffeur, a psychologist, a comforter, a disciplinarian...our list of talents is endless.

Oh, the places you'll go. Oh, the things you will do...

As a parent, we find joy in some of the most bizzare things. Parents can have conversations with other parents that non-parents just wouldn't understand or enjoy. How many conversations have you had with other parents (moms) about poop color, poop texture, poop frequency, techniques in relieving baby constipation, sore, cracked nipples, lactating...? How many non-parents would really give a rip about that conversation while other parents will rejoice with you when you tell them that baby had his first poop in over a week? Or that toddler went pee in the potty for the first time?

What sparked this little blurb? Aren went pee in the potty today!!!! In fact, he sat on the toilet, not the potty!!! We danced and screamed and cheered!!! Why does that have to end? The simple things becoming a party? Why can't I have an entourage of people watching me pee in the potty and cheering when I am done? When do my bladder and bowel fuctions cease to become news? I am sure I will be cheering and dancing (well, maybe not dancing) when I am 90 years old and making it to the bathroom too and, having worked in a care home I do happen to know that your bladder and bowel functions do become news worthy! In fact, sometimes they are so news worthy you get them put in a book!

So, congratulations, Son, for your accomplishment this evening. May it be the first of many! May I be able to walk past the diaper aisle and dance with glee for not having to purchase them any more; may I be able to snicker secretly at all the moms and dads who still have to drag a diaper bag around and think to myself, "I am SO over THAT!" and, knowing me, I will probably also secretly yearn for another small, cute little butt to wipe, powder and diaper...ah, the joy of grandkids...I will fulfill my desires and send them home when I am sick of it...(evil laughter echoes throughout blog world...)

Edited for clarification...I really, really do NOT want an entourage watching me pee or cheering for me...whatever possessed me to even think that....Oi!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Ball is Rolling

As you all know and have seen, the dress is bought but, the plans officially began tonight. At 7:00 I headed off to the high school for the first of many grad meetings requiring this family's presence. Jenn was at work, obviously Deanna and Darryl couldn't come in to town for a short meeting and Bill was not feeling well. So, there I sat, thinking 'it wasn't really that long ago I was sitting in my own grad meetings, long enough but not long enough to be here for my children.' That feeling always weirds me out; you know like when I was 25 years old and buying school supplies for high school for Billy.

Anyway, having gotten that all off my chest, I am not an executive of any committees this year (nor was I when Billy graduated because we were not informed of THAT meeting); I really don't feel I have time to commit. I may sign up on a committee but I am still debating that as I feel bad about signing up for something that I can't be counted on with 100% certainty (at least 80% certainty).

Jenn & I sat around the kitchen table tonight and discussed grad. We have a checklist going on of things that still need to be done, bought and planned; we have a checklist of fees that need to be paid and approximations of grad video costs and picture fees. This year will be a little different than when Billy graduated. We ran short of time very quickly after the ceremony, family/friend lunch and getting ready for the Grand March and all he had to do was put on a tux. Jenn & I have talked about just getting a reservation for Friday for family (the kids, Bill, myself, Deanna, Darryl and if any grandparents, aunts, uncles, blah, blah, blah want to come...a pay for yourself kind of thing) and then on Saturday (less stressful Saturday) we will have a bbq or buffet lunch for everyone to come to. The big party...the feast...the...I don't know, I'm getting carried away.

So, my life for the next little while, outside of my regular schedule will be getting her scrapbook together. I have some pictures copied, more to find and more to sort but I started this tradition with Billy and will continue it for all the kids. I loved every minute of it.

Anyway, back to the books for me and off to bed.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

38 minutes and here is the dress...

Yes, that is what I said...38 minutes. We were dress shopping for 38 minutes and we found the dress. So we have the shoes and we have the dress; we also have the necklace and the tiarra. We just need to completely figure out the hair, get nails done, make-up done and figure out what exactly we are doing for supper. (not too shabby for only being at mid-terms of the first semester). When Billy graduated we wound up being a bit too rushed for time by having the big family/friends supper the same day as grad so we may just have an immediate family supper that day and save the big supper for Saturday.

Anyway, I am sure none of you are interested in that right now. Here is the dress purchased from my dress hero, Phong. She is so incredible at her job and wants you to have a dress that you will be happy with. She tells you when it looks good; she tells you when it looks bad and she will most definitely point out what parts of your body make or break the dress (but she always does it with the grace of a lady and makes you feel good at the same time).

I digressed again. I am done. Here, ladies and gentlemen is the dress...

You don't get the full feel of the dress without the crinolyn (spelling) but you can get the idea.

The Room...

Okay folks, here is the room, complete with a new big boy bed for my,well, big boy. There are a few more shelves and a bulletin board (sports theme as well) to put up and I need to attempt to make his curtains but I think you will be able to get the idea of what it looks like.