Why I Heart Today’s Parent

While flipping through Twitter last week I spied a tweet that jazzed me up. I first got to know Nadine when she was in the driver’s seat at Sweet Mama. At that time I was new to the blogging world and it showed in my work. Nadine took my hand to guide me to do something better, grammar flaws and all. She saw more in my writing voice than I did at that point. What transpired after her guidance was a mother writing masterpiece that stays in my portfolio today. Later that year she invited me to be the featured Sweet Mama for August 2010.

This memory resonates with me as I hold my younger daughter’s hand while we go through autism assessments. We need to a proper diagnosis if there is something more going on other than global delays, which are already evident. From the moment she was born we suspected she would not hit milestones that her older sister flew threw. It is so challenging to not compare your kids. Just like each pregnancy is not the same, neither are the kids. The process to get there is challenging. Many times we stumbled upon other resources that we didn’t know otherwise.  There is no guidebook for each child or a map for parents with kids of challenges.

This unchosen path is what I would love to bring to Today’s Parent as their new blogger. Writing about the journey to find answers and how we manage (or not) as a family. I would include specific resources in hopes to speed up the process for another family. Time is so crucial when it comes to a child’s early intervention.

Thank you Nadine and Today’s Parent for making this opportunity open to all.

Three of my proudest posts:

hthttp://justdworld.com/2011/11/14/i-married-my-bff/

tp://www.sweetspot.ca/SweetMama/guest_blogger/21025/nice_things/

http://justdworld.com/2011/04/15/a-rare-separate-vacation/

I haven’t written much yet about my girl. I want to break my silence.

Renewed Christmas

 

“Bye. Talk soon. I love you. “I hang up the phone. I just fleshed out the Christmas plans with my sister. She is the closest family we have near and will be spending dinner at her house. We are keeping plans and times loose. I will call her after my kids open their gifts. No pressure of schedules.  We can spend the morning in our pajamas! This is new to us. We spent year after year rushing to get out of the house to visit family in the next city. Spend all day there and have to travel back in the same day. It made for an exhausting time.  I can’t stop smiling at the new plan.

Also, what makes us giddy for this Christmas is last year we didn’t know if my sister would make it to this one. She spent last year in the hospital healing from her second cancer surgery. As a family, we spent Christmas lunch in the hospital cafeteria. Even though the kids had fun, it was the bleakest, darkest Christmas ever.

I once dreaded this Christmas for another reason. I turned 38 two months ago. It’s the age my mother died. Rationally I know that I might not have the same fate as her. The fear is still emblazed on my heart. Once my sister was in the clear for the second time, it was my wake-up call. Life is too short. It takes more energy to be negative than happy.

I owe it to my children to make their tinsel memories filled with delights, not darkness.  My mom gave me that gift. I only knew what she really went through when I was older. My daughters are very perceptive to how I feel. That motivates me to be a better mom by being happy with the now.

I will work on giving my mother’s only grandchildren the same happy and positive mom she gave me. It feels so freeing to not only survive being motherless, but thriving by rewriting my story. I confirm the details with my husband. He, too, looks forward to not rushing on Christmas Day and celebrating our small and happy family.

Our daughters come running in and we make a family hug. I love how this Christmas will be the best one because we will be together, in happiness.

Empire Theatres Holiday Treat For You

Kids are snug in their beds as I pour over the Christmas Gift List with my husband. For the most part, we can fill in what to get loved ones. We hesitate at the few hard-to-get folks. You know, the ones that tell you to not get them anything. It is always a struggle to get them something they don’t have, or don’t need.

I remember working many years in retail and trying to help customers fill their gift list. Almost everyone had one or two challenging gifts to pick out. With the postal costs rising, sending large packages across Canada to family is over-stretching our gift budget. When I worked in malls I would be done my shopping by Halloween. I do not like the crowds at the holiday time.

I remember how much fun it is to get a gift card. There is never any strife to return or exchange.  I remember a favorite from last year when I was given an Empire Theatres gift card bundle. As a stay-at-home mom going to the theatre is a rare occasion. The bundle included coupons for the upcoming months for admissions and concession deals. We used every last one.

This year Empire Theatres has brought back the popular bundle. When you purchase $30.00 in Empire Theatres’ Gift Cards you will receive an additional $30.00 in Empire Theatre Coupons. For example: If you buy 3 cards for $10.00 each you get the bundle. If you purchase $60.00 you get two coupon bundles.

Coupon Bundle includes:
BOGO Admission (January 9 to January 31, 2012)
$2.00 off any Combo – excluding Kid’s Pack (January 9 to January 31, 2012)

$9.99 (Admission, Regular Drink, Small Popcorn) (February 1st to February 29th, 2012)
Buy a Large Popcorn, get a Large Drink Free (March 1st to March 31st, 2012)
$6.99 General Admission(March 1st to March 31st, 2012)
Get $4.00 off a General Admission Ticket(April 1st to April 30th, 2012)

Also, the Gift Tins are back again this year to be used as a “gift box”. Empire Theatres are selling them for $1.00  plus tax with the net proceeds going to Kids Help Phone. Anyone can purchase a Tin; you do not have to purchase $30 in Gift cards mentioned in this post to be able to purchase one. You can even purchase them online.

To learn more about Empire Theatres and their Holiday Gift Pack Bundles – check out their site at: http://www.empiretheatres.com/gift Available until December 24th.

Now as a busy mom, I love online shopping. I adore that Empire Theatres allows easy gift card shopping on their site. I can put them on my wish list!

With the list done, my husband and I pour a glass of wine. Shopping done in our pjs with wine = stress-free!

Disclosure – I am participating in the Empire Theatre Gift Card Holiday Campaign by Mom Central Canada. I received compensation for my participation in this campaign. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Motherless FTW!!!

 

With my pen in hand to update the holiday calendar, I flip the page over to November. It seems like a lifetime ago it was this time last year. I was feeling very down. Not only was my sister going to be in the hospital for cancer surgery and miss Christmas, but I was missing my mom.  If it were not for my kids, I would have happily skipped the holidays.  Christmas has not been the same since our last Christmas together when I was ten years old.

And now it is one year later and I am looking forward to the holidays once again. My plans to make a new holiday tradition are being received by my family well. We will be opening gifts, eat a lot and have fun. Then, we will proceed to my sister’s house to celebrate the holiday. Yes, she has since been cancer-free again after two major surgeries. We have a lot to celebrate.

What changed it for me was turning 38 last month. I dreaded that birthday for over 25 years. It’s the age that my mom died. I know, logistically, I should see my 39th birthday. My soul can’t be positive. So my brain took over. If this is might be my last Christmas with my family then I want them to remember it as a happy one. A happy verses a depressed me makes more sense.

I will always love my mom. I never knew her as an adult. On bad days I do feel dark in the heart. I need to remember that today is now. I owe it to my children to make their memories filled with delights and not dark. My mom did that for me. I never knew what she was really going through until I became an adult and more details arose of her final months.

I hear my friends complain turning 40. I can’t wait. It’s what my mom didn’t get to do. I will work on giving her granddaughters the same happy and positive mom that she gave me.  I start to fill in the calendar with all my daughters Christmas and birthday events. I am amazed at myself. Once I felt that I am just surviving being motherless. With my new found faith in life, I feel like I am thriving.

 

Helpless Nights

 

The cries pelt through he night like a thunder storm. I rise on auto-pilot and race towards my daughter’s bedroom. I am met at the door by my youngest that is waking up from a nightmare of sorts. I scoop her up and unlock the safety gate to go downstairs so the rest of the house does not wake up.

I go to our usual spot on the main floor, the brown Lazy boy rocking chair. I start rocking and rocking. As my brain begins to wake-up the emotions start to bubble in my heart. It has been five years of overnight duty that I have done. I did it for many reasons, not to mention that my girls needed me. It was a feeling I all too well shared with them. I am thirty-eight – years old and I still want my mommy. Only, my mommy has been passed for some time. I am still here.

The only light that is illuminating is from the kitchen a few feet away. I look around at the oh so familiar sights. Many nights I have stared at the walls thinking, dreaming and mostly, feeling helpless. I don’t know what else to do for my children when they wake with such trauma. All I know is to hug them, cuddle them and to soothe them.

The tears start to fall from my face as I realize that it is three o-clock in the wee hours. I will have no hope to sleep before my oldest daughter and husband wake up and come down for breakfast. It is no wonder why I am grumpy a lot, if not all the time. I miss sleep.

My three-year-old hugs my neck tight, lets out a sigh and nestles her sweet head in the crook of my shoulder. Maybe I am not helpless after all. She starts to softly snore and then goes into a full train engine sound. While she may not remember the nights, I will. I was her rescuer. Both my daughters know that I am here, always.

Tinsel Town Mommy

 

Finally, I could put my feet up and relax. The monitor is on and wine is poured. Hubby is making sure our oldest is snug in bed. I grab the remote to find something mindless to watch. I flip and discover’ Liberty Stands Still.’ A lifetime ago I did work on that movie. I met the main stars, Linda Fiorentino and Wesley Snipes, and saw Oliver Platt from a distance. It was a great film to work on. The stars and crew made all the background actors feel welcome.

Then, there on my television at home was my face passing by the hot dog stand. I had completely forgotten working so close to camera. I was strangely giddy.  Just as fast as I passed through screen, I was gone.  It had been years since I left my last film job. The thrill I felt tonight was surreal. Times have changed for sure.  When I see celebrities on various websites and talk shows, I remember all too well who was naughty and nice. Sometimes it took the tinsel off my eyes when I saw how a celebrity truly is in real life. There were many who surprised me in their charm and charisma. I became a fan (still today) of many, and have stopped watching a few actors/actresses whose egos could fill a movie theatre.

It was shortly after I left film work I began my journey to my next chapter, writing.  A stick turning blue side-railed that path for a time.  Today I work-at-home writing while being mom to my dear daughters. The celebrities that make me giddy now are those whose books inspire me, or articles that have made me think.  I have met many authors now who are just as wonderful in real life.

The key factor in those who are a celebrity of the screen or page is kindness. The ones whose kindness I experienced first-hand is who I still follow. I strive to teach my daughters to be kind at every opportunity. You never know who is watching or listening.  I could write a tell-all reference book on naming names on those who are wonderful, and those who are not. But then I might have to disappear.  In the meantime, I still enjoy the ‘celeb’ encounter or tweet. It makes me feel young. Nothing wrong with that.

Motherless Thrival

 

With my pen in hand to update the holiday calendar, I flip the page over to November. It seems like a lifetime ago it was this time last year. I was feeling very down. Not only was my sister going to be in the hospital for cancer surgery and miss Christmas, but I was missing my mom.  If it were not for my kids, I would have happily skipped the holidays.  Christmas has not been the same since our last Christmas together when I was ten years old.

And now it is one year later and I am looking forward to the holidays once again. My plans to make a new holiday tradition are being received by my family well. We will be opening gifts, eat a lot and have fun. Then, we will proceed to my sister’s house to celebrate the holiday. Yes, she has since been cancer-free again after two major surgeries. We have a lot to celebrate.

What changed it for me was turning 38 last month. I dreaded that birthday for over 25 years. It’s the age that my mom died. I know, logistically, I should see my 39th birthday. My soul can’t be positive. So my brain took over. If this is might be my last Christmas with my family then I want them to remember it as a happy one. A happy verses a depressed me makes more sense.

I will always love my mom. I never knew her as an adult. On bad days I do feel dark in the heart. I need to remember that today is now. I owe it to my children to make their memories filled with delights and not dark. My mom did that for me. I never knew what she was really going through until I became an adult and more details arose of her final months.

I hear my friends complain turning 40. I can’t wait. It’s what my mom didn’t get to do. I will work on giving her granddaughters the same happy and positive mom that she gave me.  I start to fill in the calendar with all my daughters Christmas and birthday events. I am amazed at myself. Once I felt that I am just surviving being motherless. With my new found faith in life, I feel like I am thriving.

 

A Mother’s Rant

 

My blood is about to steam out of my ears. I am beyond all control now. I bite my lip in effort to try not to say anything I will regret. I mean, of course, they don’t know any better. Maybe I lead them astray when my silence is construed to acceptance instead. But really, would it kill them to remember just once.

I give my kids everything, including the last pieces of garlic bread, or sharing my spaghetti from my bowl.  I even take the heel of toast as no one else likes them. I do what every mother does-give everything to my household. Through lost sleep years and never going to the bathroom alone, I do it. I do it because I know one day it will change. They will not need me as much.

I clutch my fork in the last straw of self-control and deeply breathe. I look around at the dirty dishes strewn through the top of the table. Pieces of wrapping paper at our feet. I feel like I am about to cry. I never ask for much. I am ready to make my demand clear. I see the glint in my five-year-olds eyes looking at dessert. When my dear husband reaches the cake to give her the last slice, I can’t take it.

“It’s my birthday cake and I will have the last slice!” I bellow.  Silence surrounds the table. Their stunned looks almost make me regret saying anything. Almost.

“Of course, honey.” My smart husband says as he slides the last slice onto my plate.

I take the first sweet bite and am glad with my decision. Sometimes Moms need to have their cake and eat it too, if only one day a year.