Monday, July 30, 2007

Friday, July 27, 2007

Things I'm Grateful For...

Throughout a lot of my teenage and adult life I was depressed a lot. I didn't realize it at the time, but looking back I was a depressing, negative, boring person. I don't mean that to be a downer, but lets face it, I was a downer. I went through a lot of stuff, had an abusive marriage, lived in a place 3000 miles away from my family and long-time friends. I hit a bottom that even in AA is a 'good one'.
Since being in AA and recovery, I'm learning how to change my way of thinking. A lot of the disease of alcoholism is perception. For example, you may say to me with a smile on your face 'hello, Eileen, how are you today?' I may hear 'F you, Eileen, you're a bitch.' That's pretty much it in a netshell.
Anyway, often when Heather or Leah start to be negative about stuff I start them on a 'gratitude list'. They get upset because we can't do some things other families do, like travel and go to 'fun' places. I am not driving right now. They see their father 4 days a month. Other stuff as well that is typical of 4 1/2 and 8 year old girls. Heather is more dramatic than Leah is, so I have the conversation with her more often. We start with 'we can breathe'. We can talk, walk, write, read, we have a great house to live in (yes it's a rental, but it's still our rental), they have two parents that love them, we have family close by, we have lots of friends, etc. Then sometimes we get into silly stuff, like we have a great gelatto place close by, there aren't any boys in our house, we don't watch sports on our tv, we can watch 'Barbie and the magic of Pegasus' 100 times and still like it. You know, normal stuff that other families do.
I'm truly blessed that by the time the conversation is over we are all laughing and having fun.
I'm not 'preaching' about AA by any means, it's just that without it I wouldn't be the person I am today and beable to laugh and have fun with my daughters.
I AM blessed....I'm going to make sure I read this next time I feel even a little bit of 'poor me'.
Before you go to bed tonight, make a mental gratitude list and see how much better your dreams are! Trust me, it does work!!
Happy Weekend.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Moving on....

Leah is starting at her new daycare this Monday. She has been at Mothercraft for the past 2+ years, with the exception of the time she spent with Scott after he 'scooped' them. The daycare at Heather's school has one of the biggest wait-lists ever. We have been on the list for 2 1/2 years, ever since we moved here. The school, Maurice Cody, is around the corner from us, it's so close. Heather got into the daycare last March on a 'contract' spot. That means a kid left during the year and they had a spot for a couple of months but not for Sept. Anyway, one day I got a call that Leah got in. Siblings have priority, so Heather got in as well. Leah is starting this Monday, then she has a month to get adjusted before school starts.
Mothercraft has been amazing for Leah. She has learned so much and the teachers are amazing. There is one male teacher, Rick. I think I've written about him before. He decided to take this week as a vacation week, so our goodbye with him was last Friday. Leah and I got him a card, she drew a nice picture and I wrote some stuff in it. Without question, Rick has been THE most positive influence on Leah, including her father. Rick is amazing. He genuinely cares for the kids, he's funny, and he's great (Michelle, he has a girlfriend that he's had for years...just because I mention a man doesn't mean that I'm interested in him :)).
Our goodbye was so hard. I started to cry when I saw him. He read the card that Leah gave him and he started to cry. I told him how I felt and how much I'm going to miss him in Leah's life. He told me how he felt, which was so nice...he said I'm pretty much the strongest women he has ever met, how he admires the stuff I have gone through and how I have come out of it. By the end we were both bawling. I think a large part of me was also remembering when I left BC and knew that there were some people I was not ready to leave, people I still needed in my life.
It is hard when positive things happen to say goodbye to other things. People and places that have had such a major impact in my, or my kids, life... It is a hard thing to do, but I realize that one more phase of Leah's life is starting next week. We have the rest of the 'goodbyes' this Friday. I'll let you know how they go...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

When I was a little girl, my sister and I had some professional photos taken at a park called Edward's Gardens. When my sister's kids were around the same age as we were at the time, she took them to the same tree and fountain and had pictures of them taken. Now, my girls are the same age, so this past week we took them and a professional photographer to Edward's Gardens for their pictures at the same tree and fountain. One problem: it's now a different fountain and there wasn't any water in it. Oh well, it's the thought that counts. The tree, by the way, is massive now. And, these are my photos. I just hope the photographer doesn't 'missplace' them (dig, dig, Michelle)!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I am SUCH a nice Mommy!

Scott was telling me that it's his best friend's daughter's 6th birthday party this weekend and that the girls were invited. Normally, I would tell him that it's my weekend and tough crap for him. I didn't. I told him he could take the girls for the majority of the day, eventhough it's my Sat. Why??? Certainly wasn't for him, that much I'm sure about. I did it for Heather and Leah. I know that they need their father in their lives, and Cassidy is their friend.
I've really been trying to think of what is best for my daughter's first and to try to put my feelings aside. It's hard, because their father is such an idiot. I'm not just saying that, he really is. This post is not about how I feel about him, it's about my personal development and doing what is right for the girls. Putting them first is one of the most important things I can do for myself and for them. Don't get me wrong, they are not spoiled little brats. I discipline them, get mad at them, and generally do what most parent's do. The difference I'm trying to make is to put their needs infront of my own. We really didn't have too much planned this weekend.
I go to an AA women's meeting almost every Sat. The Sat the I have the girls, my mother comes to watch them. This Sat we were invited to an AA picnic/bbq on Centre Island (an Island in Toronto). I just found out about it tonight. Sounds like lots of fun. I may just go without them and enjoy myself there.
Bottom line....I'm nowhere near perfect, and never will be, but I do want the girls to grow up knowing that I didn't do everything to limit their time with their father. I may not like him as a person, but he is their father. I have to deal with that and know that one day they will thank me for it.
The End!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Roger Waters...

I went to see Roger Waters tonight at the Roger's Centre. It was AMAZING!! I've been a Floyd fan for years. I have seen Pink Floyd 4 times, I have at least 10 CD's, The Wall was the first movie I ever bought (and I still have it), and I named a dog Floyd. I think that qualifies me.
My neighbour, Eric, this morning was playing basketball with his son, told me that a radio station was having a Floyd weekend, and that Roger Waters was playing tonight. I said, 'Wow, I want to go'. Anyway, after checking with his wife (we are great friends), Eric and I decided that we would go and get tickets from scalpers. I've never done that before, but lots of people do so it can't be too bad. We got to the stadium, had a limit for us of $100 each. Went to a few scalpers, ended up 'bargoning' for tickets that were not half bad. We get to the gate and are told that there is a problem with the tickets, we have to go to another gate. To make a long story short, the tickets were not good (someone had cancelled them). We sold them to another scalper for $80, then went back to the ticket place and bought real tickets for $50. The seats were way high up and Roger Waters was hard to see, but really, with the screens it didn't matter. They were actually good seats. We were high up, but centre. Soon we forgot about the scalper thing, we agreed that the important thing was that we were seeing the concert and it was great. Afterward, we talked to a couple of scalpers and told them what happened. We don't know if the guy who sold us the tickets even knew they were not good. Chances are someone knew, traded them plus money for better seats and walked away. The scalpers are a 'business' where all of them know each other. Doesn't matter. We loved the show, Roger Waters was great. The music was out of this world. It's been years since I saw a concert and this was a great concert to see. Certainly made a difference seeing it sober. It also helped that Eric is in AA as well. The people beside us smoked a few joints and were downing beer. I think we probably got a bit stoned from all of the smoke. It was kind of funny-sitting so far up and smoke rises...
From not having too many plans this weekend while the girls are with Scott, this has turned into one of the best weekends!
There are few things in this life that make me truly, honestly, genuinely happy...this was one of those things...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

BC Friends

I've talked a bit about my life in BC. Scott (the ex) and I moved to BC about 10 years ago. At the time, I was 30, had a great job at a family business, all of my family being in Toronto, where I had spent my entire life. My father died when I was a teenager, and my mother's idea of 'roughing it' is a 3-star hotel. I never spent a lot of time in the wilderness. I found out that I really loved it.
Anyway, we moved to BC, both got jobs, and settled in a smaller community called Maple Ridge. It was 'country', especially for someone who grew up in a big city like Toronto. We bought a house. We got 2 dogs, then had 2 kids. We camped, hiked, and generally spent a lot of time outdoors. I also made a lot of great friends.
In life, one is always meeting new people. That's what life is all about. Sometimes you meet people you just 'click' with and they come to mean a lot to you. I have some friends from my life in BC that are like that. My old neighbours were like that. A mom, a (deadbeat) dad (who is no longer in the picture), and 5 kids. One of the daughters and I became very close. We were like siblings, friends, mother/ Her name is Mandi. Another close friend is Cindy. Cindy and I clicked like few other people and I have. We became so close, we still talk at least once a week, and we also keep a 'messenger' window open all the time. Because of the time difference we don't get on the computer at the same time as often as we'd like to, but we 'communicate' several times a day. One other close friend is Michelle. Michelle and I met by chance, I was interested in my own business and it turned out that Michelle was into the same thing. Our kids were roughly the same age and they became friends as well. We had lots of talks about stuff and got to know each other very well.
Once Scott and I separated and I decided to move back to Toronto with the girls, I had 3 weeks to put my BC life in order. One of the hardest things I've EVER had to do was to say goodbye to my BC friends. Some I couldn't, it was too hard and the tears wouldn't stop long enough for words. Leaving Toronto was never hard, because I always knew that I'd be back for visits. Leaving BC was much harder. The girls and left Oct/04 with promises of visits, cards, phone calls, and emails. For the most part, I have kept in touch with those I wanted to keep in touch with. The promises of visits have not happened, but it's more expensive to fly Toronto/Vancouver than it is to go to England. It's hard to believe that it's been 2 1/2 years without seeing these people.
I got an email from Mandi, who is now in her early 20's. She has been talking about visiting here for a long time. She was booked to come here, but it was Jetsco and she lost the money and the visit. Anyway, she now wants to visit end of the summer/early fall. Leah turns 5 Sept 13, and Mandi wants to be here for that. Mandi was exceptionally close to my girls, especially Heather. Mandi was one of the first visiters at the hospital with both girls. She was there almost every day until we moved. I can't believe she's finally going to visit!
I am so thankful for those friends and more I have not mentioned. I feel that it's such a special gift to have friends like that, and to be so far away and still keep in touch is a wonderful feeling. These people have also been there to support me in my difficulties the past couple of years. How could I get through things without Cindy and the emotional support of the other friends I have mentioned?
One great thing is seeing how their lives have changed and improved. I am so happy some of things...Michelle meeting the man of her dreams and finally getting married to him. I'm sad that I wasn't there in person to see it, but I am so thrilled for her. Cindy's husband found the birth family he never knew about and now has a relationship with a family he didn't know. Mandi has a great new job, her mother is finally happy after living years with an abusive ass of a husband.
Most of all, I'm thankful for these friends who still want to keep in touch with me. It's one thing for me to miss people who were in my life on an almost-weekly basis, but it's another thing for those same people to miss me as well. With communication the way it is now, we may not be able to see each other in person as much as we'd like to, but we can email. Thanks to Michelle I have this blog. I know few read it, but at least some friends so.
That's it for now. I'm feeling good about these friends!!!

Monday, July 9, 2007

I'm getting old(er)

I'm over 40 now, actually I'm 41 1/2. Yes, it's scary. I always thought 'by the time I'm 30 I'll be..?' Didn't really make that one. But wait, there was hope...'by the time I'm 40 I'll...??'. Well, that didn't really happen either. Single at 30, single at 40, with 2 kids and lots of stuff inbetween.
I'm noticing my age more these days. After talking to other women, I"m not alone in this.
I noticed a couple of months ago that I wasn't seeing as cleary as I normally do. I've worn glasses for years, can barely see without them. It's getting worse. I tried to thread a needle last week and couldn't. Ouch.
A few years ago I had a wicked bunion and had it 'removed'. That's a nice way to say that I had my bone shaved, my toes broken, and a pin stuck into my foot. No prob. The surgery was very painful, but after while (well, many months), it was a lot better. Didn't think of it again.
About 4 years ago I fell while carrying a then-baby Leah. To make a very long story short, I fractured my hip, a horizontal fracture in the femur...I was told I needed surgery that day and if I put pressure on my leg the bone would snap and that would mean hip replacement. I had the surgery, spent a few months in a wheelchair, did many months of rehab, then didn't really think about it. I have 3 long pins in my hip, around 6 inches or so. Anyway, over this past winter I realized that I was in a lot of pain a lot of time. My foot (right) where I had the bunion was killing me, thought I had broken it. Went for x-rays and turns out I have arthritis in it. Talked to the dr last week, he's going to get me into a specialist sometime in 2008. Okay, so now my hip (left) is really sore. In the winter I can feel the pins in there. Stairs are still a bitch, and this is 4 years later. Asked the dr about that and he examined me. I'm going for an xray of my hip, but he said it's likely one of two things...the pins have moved or I have bursitis. I'm not sure which one is better. My foot, he said, if it gets worse, can be fused together so the pain isn't there when I move my foot or toes.
I'm kind of laughing about this. I know it's far from funny. I've often heard of women going to ??? once they hit 40, but I thought it was just words. With me and a lot of women I've talked to it's not...It's REALLY happening.
I'm going for blood tests and xrays, so hopefully I will find out soon what is wrong. I've come to a conclusion about that, finding out what is 'wrong'. It doesn't really matter what the label is, but the label does sort of make me feel better. I can't walk because my right foot and left hip hurt...'oh, that's okay, it's arthritis and bursitis'. There, I feel better already, don't you?!?