Sunday, July 27, 2014

Two Games at the Nat

Last year we took the girls to their first baseball game and had a great time.  Unfortunately we took them to the last game of the season so there wasn't a chance to follow up the first game with a second...until now.

Over the past week we went to two Vancouver Canadians games at Nat Bailey Stadium...and had a great time at both.

First up was a visit that was just the girls and me. I had been invited by a work client to the game and - bonus! - it included dinner in the BBQ area in the outfield. (plus a few drinks for mummy...win win!)

 Game 1 - in pictures...

I bought them little baseball bats. Never thought that they might beat each other with them. So far they haven't....fingers crossed...
our seats in the BBQ area...not too shabby!
Rockstar seats...
Happy to be hanging in the sun with my girls.
watching the opposing team (aka "the yucky guys") warm up.
"mummy...why are their uniforms so UGLY!?"
after dinner we moved up to our seats.
they sat like this for half an inning...
...and then we had to head to the kids area in the outfield.
The kids area at the C's games is seriously awesome.  Three inflatables including a giant slide, bouncy castle and obstacle course. And it's located in left field so I could actually watch some of the game.  They did the slide over and over again as I watched the C's score 6 runs in one inning.

mandatory ice cream before heading home  at the top of the 6th.

A week later we headed back to the Nat to take in a game with family...including my little niece. It was another gorgeous night for baseball and it was also a fireworks night. Of course the game had to go to extra innings so the fireworks didn't start until almost 10 but it was worth the wait...they were AMAZING!

Game 2 - in pictures:

the littlest cousins holding hands...and leading the way.

waiting {not so} patiently...
karate moves in the bouncy castle...

cousins...

I think she's going to a be a baseball fan. She wanted me to explain everything that was happening. Love this kid...
Sushi races! Wasabi won...and I totally called it.
cotton candy monsters!
come from behind win in the bottom of the 10th....
...I think they were happy about it.

little one didn't like the cheering all that much though.
Finally...FIREWORKS!
A perfect way to end the day....
Canadians games are a seriously good time for the price. There isn't a better value in the city if you ask me.

And while I love going with the kids I think my next trip will be without them...so I can actually watch some baseball for a change.

See you again soon C's!


Monday, July 21, 2014

Chopped

My girls have (almost) always had long hair. In fact my youngest - who is now 5! - has never had a real haircut. We've done bangs and a few minor trims but never a major cut.

Recently I hit the end of my rope when it came to crying fits while brushing hair. Because you know...sometimes I just don't want to try and find the hair detangling spray that no one knows where they put it last.  I remember crying while my hair was brushed as a kid. it's a right of passage for all girls...right?

That said, with summer here and the hot weather that comes with it, I thought it was definitely time for a change so I started working on convincing them that short hair was the way to go. 

Last year my friends daughter got her haircut and donated the hair to Wigs for Kids - a service run by BC Children's Hospital where they make wigs for kids fighting cancer. I loved the idea of my little ones hair going to help another child and so did she.  So it didn't take any convincing.

We looked into the requirements and found out she needed at least an 8" ponytail to do it. No problem. Unfortunately my oldest didn't quite have enough but we will make that a future goal.

Once they were excited about the cut it pretty much became a case of me actually prioritizing it and getting it done. ...and so it took several weeks.

This weekend we finally got it done.  We hit up Magicuts in the mall and they were awesome with the girls...


oh my lovely littles before and after...

And we're ready to go...big sister first!
I love that 8 year olds can follow directlions...
the carnage..
"oh my god...your hair is SO short!"
my little drama queen pretending to be sad. Always acting...

the first few cuts are the hardest...
sniff...some of that hair was the first that ever grew on her little head.
i was tempted to leave this mullet as it was...

she was completely unable to sit still. the back of her hair is all crooked as a result.

seeing her little sisters new hair for the first time.
Oldest says she always wants to have short hair.  But I think what she really wants is to always have dramatic hair cuts so she can hear everyone say "oh my god look at you!"

Either way...it's good to know that they look cute no matter what the length of their hair. Phew...


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Trusting my Instincts

Wow...where the hell did July go? I can't believe I haven't written in almost 3 weeks...it's absolutely criminal...

And trust me...it's not like there hasn't been anything to write about. In fact, its more likely that I had so much to write about I just didn't know where to start.

There have been the usual parenting ups and downs. Lots of lovely moments with my girls and quite a few that had me pulling my hair out.

The biggest change since my last post is that I have made the conscious decision to stop second guessing everything and allow myself to just "go with the the flow."


 Now...I'm not really a "go with the flow" kind of girl. I'm a planner. I like order in my life. And a nice colour coded spreadsheet for everything.

But throughout my marital struggles of the last year I have realized that - while in some areas my need for order and structure was helpful - in many others it wasn't. I was very black or white in the way I viewed my life. There just wasn't any room for gray.

People have told me that this sometimes makes me come across unfeeling or aloof. Even rude. Close friends joked that I had a "cold black heart" because I didn't cry during The Notebook and said it was a "sappy, predictable bunch of schmaltz..." (I stand by that assessment by the way...)

But the truth is that my troubles over the past year have made me realize that this need for things to be black or white was a way of protecting myself. By forcing my emotions to fit in this box or the other I was really just avoiding dealing with them and giving myself permission to move forward with the (false) belief that I had dealt with something.

As I work through the issues in my marriage - I can see where this led me wrong. I can see situations where I should have pushed for a better explanation and didn't. Where I let something slide when I knew I wasn't really happy with it but had somehow justified it. I can see very clearly where I should have trusted my instincts...and didn't.

Of course...I was so freakin' young when I got married that I didn't even realize that what I was doing might have repercussions. For the record I wouldn't recommend getting married at 22.

Live a little together first. Experience life with that person. Love them with all of your heart and mind and soul...but also make sure you talk honestly about your dreams...and your fears. Figure out who YOU are an individual before you commit to a lifetime as partners.

Anywho...that said...I decided about a month ago that it was about time I trusted my instincts a a little more. It was a decision borne out of me surviving the most emotionally trying day of this separation. A day where I alternated between screaming obsenities and crying uncontrollably. A day that really made me realized I could no longer view my life as black or white because I was very clearly living in a word of grey.

And since making the decision to just go with my gut...I feel like the weight of the world has lifted from my shoulders. Because instead of spending time and energy debating the pros and cons of EVERY situation I just do what I think is right and deal with the consequesces if it's not.

Because I'm not always going to be right. I'm won't always have the answers. I'm not always going to be able to hold in the tears or hold back the anger. I'm learning how to be me. A new me. In some ways kinder and softer and in others stronger and bolder.

My hope is that trusting my instincts will help me find a balance in my life. And maybe - just maybe - help me fall back in love.

Fingers crossed...


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Empty Promises, Empty Threats

Throughout my separation I have been struggling to control - and understand - my emotions. So many of these feelings are completely foreign to me. My emotions are completely jumbled and I am left feeling out of sync...

The emotion I am struggling with most right now is hope. Hope can be a wonderful thing. A ray of sunshine through the clouds. A light at the end of a bleak tunnel.

It can also be a complete son of a bitch when it lets you down.  When that sense of hopefulness gets crushed by bitter reality.  And empty promises turn out to be just that.

Given all my emotional letdowns during my separation hope is now a rare emotion. I have my guard up...and I am getting pretty cozy behind my fortress wall.  Just me and my bitterness.

It's actually quite a depressing place actually.  I really must pick up a lamp and a throw rug or something.

Anyway...suffice it to say...that this week I allowed myself to hope...just a little.  I let myself believe that change was coming and that it was good for once.

And once again I was made to feel a fool.

Albert Einstein once said that the very defintion of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Well now I know I'm insane. Awesome...

It was with this flagging sense of hope and disappointment that I realized I need to figure out how to spend Canada Day with my girls. I wasn't into facing huge crowds to watch the local parade. I didn't have the energy to host a bunch of people at my house. Honestly...I was kind of wishing it would rain so I wouldn't have to do anything.

There was no rain in the forecast of course...I was getting off the hook that easily.  And so I decided on a somewhat quiet morning/afternoon at home with my girls and some family and then off to a backyard pool party BBQ.  I was hoping it would be the right mix of quiet and loud. Mellow and...well...not so mellow.

In case you were wondering this is where the empty threats part comes in.  Because as a parent - especially now doing it solo - I am very guilty of making empty threats.

"I'm going to count to 3 and if you don't do {random act} by that time we are going to {insert empty threat here}."

"Don't make me come over there or we will {insert empty threat here}."

"If I have to tell you that one more time we are going to {insert empty threat here}."

And so on and so forth. It's bad parenting. It's lazy parenting. I know it. All my friends know it. And worst of all my kids know it.

Every once in a while you have to follow through and it sucks. Because it usually means giving up something I want as well.  Which was exactly the case tonight. After a great afternoon at the bbq I was back at my best friends house relaxing and letting the kids play.

Play turned to arguing. Arguing turned to tears. Tears turned to hysteria. And finally...I had to follow through on my threat to leave. And we did.

All the kids were shocked. I didn't want to leave. My friends didn't want to me to leave. I hadn't even had a freakin' cup of tea yet!  But we left. I loaded my sobbing girls into the car, handed them tissues and started the long drive home.

It was the right thing to do.  And I'm glad I did it because I think it really had an impact on all the kids.

But now - instead of sitting on a deck in the fading sunlight with my friends - I tucked two tear stained faces into bed and am sitting at my computer alone with my thoughts and my emotions.

Sometimes doing the right thing sucks.  Sigh...tomorrow is another day.



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