And the Winner is…

March 27, 2014

I won an award at work.  Apparently they make a really big deal about this award.

It started with the first congratulatory email from the CEO.  It came as a surprise to me.  I was reading the email and thought it was just about the award, and talking about the winners.  I had to read it twice before I realized that they were telling me I’d won.

This is for that huge project I worked on all last year.  Looking back, I can honestly say that I had a great time.  It was a good group of people I worked with, we all had a common goal, the pressure was intense and I loved every minute of it.  I’m not sure what it says about me that I’m not truly happy at work unless I am under undue pressure and ridiculous deadlines.

I had to go for a photo shoot.  How crazy is that?  They took dozens of headshots, profile pictures and a whole bunch of video.  I was told they have life-sized video screens set up in the lobby and they show the winners during cocktails.  That is just going to be weird.  Maybe I will get a picture of me standing beside myself…

This year the gala is being held in my city.  They alternate it with other major cities where we have offices and I’m a little disappointed it is local and they’re not having to fly me in.  They are putting everyone up at a hotel though, so I guess I shouldn’t complain.

Of course a big party like this meant that I needed to buy myself a new dress, so off I went dragging my poor guy with me.  I tried on a lot of dresses but nothing really stood out.  Some were awful and some were just ok…there wasn’t anything that said WOW.

We were heading home and I decided to stop at one more store and we had more luck there.  I tried on a couple of really beautiful dresses.  I finally narrowed it down to two possibilities.  The were two very different dresses.  One was kind of flowy and elegant.  The other was tighter and sexier.

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Which one do you think I chose?

March break

March 16, 2014

March break is almost over.  The kids are back in school tomorrow and I dread waking my daughter up and getting her on the bus.  She will not be impressed.  

My ex went away last week for March break so I had the kids at home for the whole week.  I took a week’s vacation and I’d planned on maybe going out of town for a couple of days. There is a hotel I know a couple of hours away that is small and has an indoor water slide.  I didn’t think there would be too much March break traffic at the hotel but in the end we didn’t go anywhere.  I was sick the week before and for a good portion of March break.  The kids and I spent some time swimming at grandma’s pool and other days just hanging in the house playing games, watching tv and reading books.  All in all it was a nice vacation, if a little bit tough since it was just me and the kids for 9 days straight.

Yes, I know lots of parents spend 9 days straight with their kids, but it’s hard when you don’t have another adult to talk to, or when you realize at 10 pm that you don’t have milk for the morning but you can’t do anything about it because your kids are sleeping and there isn’t anyone to stay with the kids while you run to the store.

I am incredibly lucky though because on Wednesday my guy came by after work and shoveled my driveway after yet another winter snow storm.  My mother also picked up some groceries for me before the kids and I came over for a swim so it meant I didn’t have to drag the two of them to the store.

My ex came back from vacation on Friday so the kids were at her house for the weekend and I was able to have a very restful and relaxing weekend and I’ve recharged my batteries yet again.  Good thing because I’m going to need all my strength for the fight tomorrow morning before school.

 

Valentine’s Day Surprise

February 13, 2014

I gave my Valentine an early Valentine’s Day surprise last night.

No.  Not that.  Get your mind out of the gutter.

I had told him I wanted to celebrate Valentine’s Day a little early.  I said I wanted to take him out to dinner but, since we wouldn’t be able to get a table on Friday (or Saturday) that I wanted to do it last night.  He showed up here to pick me up and I told him that we didn’t have time to go the restaurant I had originally planned because we wouldn’t be done before 8.  Since that’s the time I usually have to be home on a Wednesday night he said ok, no problem.

I gave him a Valentine card and he opened it and inside were two tickets to see Elton John.

I told him the concert started at 8 pm so that’s why we were going to have to change our dinner plans.

He was very surprised by the gift and very excited about going to the concert.  

My guy loves music.  He loves all music and he plays the drums and guitar (swoon).  A couple of times we’ve headed out to bars in the area to listen to local bands so I knew that the concert tickets were a great idea.

We had a great time.  Fabulous seats, terrific show.

It was a really wonderful night.  

Checking In

February 9, 2014

So apparently it has been 112 days since my last post.

During that time we’ve had Halloween (boy child dressed as a cowboy and had a lot of fun), then there was Christmas.

Christmas was a wonderful.  My house was decorated early (mid November) and completely.  We had a lot of fun creating a Christmas village and our two Christmas trees were beautiful.  The children spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with their other mother.  I spent it with my guy and his family.  It was interesting to see the different traditions that people have.  His parents and his kids have really welcomed me into their family.

The kids came home on the 26th and we had our big family dinner.  Originally it was supposed to be held at my house but oven difficulties meant the venue was switched to my brother’s place.  As usual, way too much was given and way too many toys ended up back at my house.

New Years saw the kids back at their other mother’s house and the first fight between me and my guy.  He claims it wasn’t a fight because both people have to be mad/upset for it to be a fight but since it ended up with me telling him to turn the car around and take me home…and then me spending NYE alone eating ice cream…it counts as a fight to me.

On the positive side, I was able to tell him that he was annoying me and I was able to tell him to take me home.  I didn’t just cave in to keep the peace and we were able to talk the next day about what happened and why I was so mad/upset.

The first weekend in January saw the kids and I on our way to Cuba.  We went with my mom and had a fantastic time.  We didn’t tell the kids until the morning we were leaving…we just woke them up and said, “we’re going to the airport”.  It was a lot of fun.  My son was thrilled, and my daughter…well she was finally getting what she wanted (she’d been saying “want airplane” and “go to the beach” since mid November).

The trip was great.  Very relaxing, even with the kids along.  We had a 2 bedroom suite and the extra space was amazing when travelling with kids.  It was great that they could go upstairs and go to bed while we stayed downstairs and watched tv.  While I didn’t like the resort that much (small, run down, food wasn’t great), I’d go back just for the room alone.

Yesterday we celebrated my mom’s 65th birthday.  It was a good day, full of family and friends and I was once again shown how blessed I am.

I can’t believe that my son will be 9 in 3 weeks and my daughter will be 11 4 weeks later.

Trailer season is coming and I alternate being worried and excited about the new trailer arrangements with my guy.

We have spoken about moving in together but he’s not ready to make that leap yet.  And neither am I if I’m being completely honest.  But damn if it doesn’t piss me off just a little bit that he won’t even ask.

Welcome to the weekend

October 18, 2013

Now that the park is closed, the kids and I are going to be home for the weekend and I’ve been trying to figure out something for us to do.  

My son has hockey on Saturday afternoon and a practice on Sunday so that means we have to stay close to home and work around his schedule.  My ex will be picking him up and taking him…hockey is her thing and she takes him regardless of whose weekend it is.

Saturday evening we are going to my mom’s for dinner.  The kids love going there.  My son loves to build a fort under her coffee table and my daughter likes to sit in the window in her room (12th floor) and watch the lights and traffic go by.  It also helps that she has an indoor pool and we all love to go swimming.  

We spent a lot of time there when my ex and I first split up and we were waiting for our house to sell.  As you can imagine, things were very tense living in the same house so the kids and I would pack up and go to grandma’s every weekend.  It was our home away from home even though Grandma wasn’t there, she was in Florida for the winter.  

On Sunday afternoon we are having family pictures taken.  This is something we have never done.  Never.  I haven’t even had professional pictures of my kids taken since they were babies.  

We are schedule to have them taken outside and I worry that it’s going to be too cold or it’s going to rain.  I don’t want a bunch of pictures of us all wearing coats, but it’s not like I can layer up the shirts/sweaters on my daughter.  I have been going through our closets trying to find something for us all to wear but so far I haven’t figured it out yet. 

Then there are my own body issues to deal with.  I hate having my picture taken.  Most days I don’t mind my body.  I’m comfortable in my own skin and generally happy with the way I look.  Pictures…those are another story, and I can’t quite figure out why.  I look in the mirror and I’m happy with what I see and think “wow, I look good”.  And then someone takes a picture and I think “wow, is that how I really look?”.

Oh well, I’m going to suck it up and get the pictures done because it’s something we’ve never done before and I’m always the one behind the camera.  I have lots of pictures of the children but I want pictures of the 3 of us.  I don’t want to look back years from now and wonder where I was in our visual history.

Now that we are in the midst of autumn, I’m loving the cooler weather, the early sunsets and the beginning of the holiday season.  I know that we haven’t even gotten through Halloween yet but I thought I’d leave you with this thought…

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Closed for the season

October 17, 2013

I closed up the trailer last weekend.  It was a little bitter-sweet.  It has been a wonderful summer and it will be a long 7 months until the park is open again.  There were also a lot of changes that occurred in the last few weeks.

The biggest change is that my guy sold his trailer.  We talked about it.  And talked about it.  And it just didn’t make sense for us to have two trailers.  This summer we spent all of our time at either one or the other.  My trailer when my kids were there, his when they weren’t.  With annual fees at the park being in the thousands of dollars, it just didn’t make sense for us to spend that kind of money when we weren’t really using one of the trailers.

It happened really fast.  We talked about it for a couple of weeks and decided with only a couple of days left in the season to put the trailer up for sale.  Turns out that the parents of one of his neighbours were looking for a trailer so they came up, took a look, made an offer and bought it.  The timing couldn’t have been better.

Once the trailer was sold we decided that we really didn’t need two golf carts and we’d put mine up for sale in the spring.  However, on the last weekend someone approached me about my golf cart and it was sold as well.

So next May, when the trailer park opens again, we will all be living in my trailer.

It was one thing to talk about it, but now that it has happened….wow, It seems like a really big step.

I guess I’m going to have that conversation with my son about our relationship some time before that.

How much is too much?

October 3, 2013

I struggle with how much to share here.

Those who know me, who know my story, know that I blogged before.  That blog hurt my ex greatly.  In it I wrote about my life, the challenges and all of the difficulties I was having in my relationship.  I cataloged every slight and every frustration.  And even though the blog was long gone before my relationship ended, the betrayal my ex felt was still there even years later.

When the relationship finally ended, I used this blog as a way to process my feelings. I needed to rage and scream and blogging provided me that outlet.  But there was still a part of me that felt guilty for the pain I’d caused, so I made those very angry posts password protected.  That way I had some control of who I was sharing my rage with and I wasn’t just spreading it around the internet like I had done before.  But once I had moved on, once I no longer felt like the rage was controlling me, the existence of those posts felt wrong.

Maybe wrong isn’t the right word.  It’s not that the posts themselves were wrong…they were about my anger, my feelings about the break up, but I knew how much damage they could do to the fragile co-parenting relationship I was trying to carve out with my ex.  The very existence of those posts, password protected or not, would cause irreparable damage so I took them down.

And that left me unsure of what to write.

Sure I’ve come back over the last year to talk about the changes in my life (um, hello….straight now!), but I always struggle with what to write.   I make sure that I am only talking about MY feelings or how I am perceiving the situation.

I can talk about my man because he is aware of the blog and that I write about our relationship.  I wanted to make sure right from the start that he knew so that it couldn’t jump up and bite me in the ass again.

I try very hard NOT to write about my ex except in the broadest terms.

I write about my children, and about some of the challenges and joys that they bring.  But again, how much of their story is my story to tell?

One of the things I’ve figured out as I struggle to find something, anything, to write about…is that I’m an angry/crisis blogger.  When life gets hard and I am over whelmed with ….feelings….I blog about it.

I try to avoid any and all confrontation in my life.  The thought of having a difficult conversations fills me with dread.  All of the things I want to say get stuck in my throat and I would rather do ANYTHING than sit down and talk about hard things.  I get anxious and my fight or flight instinct kicks in and I’m running for the hills.

Or, if I’m angry and I have no way of letting it out (because, you know, I ran away!) then I want to write.  And write and spew out all of the anger and the rage.  All of those things I can never say come out when I’m writing.

I used to journal when I was younger, back when we used paper and pen.  I hated the diaries with all the days in it.  It seemed like so much pressure to write every day.  There would be day after day of teenage angst and then blankness.

And I guess part of my problem right now is that I’m not angry.  I’m happy.  I’m so incredibly content and thrilled with my life right now that I really have nothing to say.

Autumn is in the air

September 25, 2013

How is it possible that it is almost October? Where did the month of September go? Last time I looked it was my birthday and I was getting the kids ready to start school.

Things here are moving right along. Between the kids, work and my relationship there doesn’t seem to be much free time these days. I’m enjoying these cooler fall days. I’m loving that it gets dark earlier and the sun comes up later….although since I don’t set an alarm in the morning we have gotten dangerously close a couple of times to being late for school.

The integration back into school has gone well…with a few hiccups for the boy child. His social issues are becoming a little more pronounced as he gets older but I’m working with the school to see what we can do to help him out. Eventually I might end up having to have him assessed/diagnosed but for now we are trying to manage it internally. I’m not sure if I’ve talked about my concerns about him here but he has some behavioural/social challenges that are consistent with someone on the spectrum.

His issues are obviously much different from my daughter’s. I guess it just reinforces that old adage, if you’ve seen one kid with autism, you’ve seen one kid with autism. We’re working on it. He is a very unique and challenging little boy who is equal parts wonderful and frustrating.

Work is still going well. I’ve been going full out for the last couple of months and it has been fun. Although I can see old habits starting to reassert themselves. As things wind down and become less frantic/chaotic, my interest in the project lessens and I start to procrastinate more and more. I have to try to stay focused until the end…which is more difficult than you might think.

Things with my guy are continuing to evolve. We’ve been talking about the future and have made a decision that next summer we will combine our families and only use one trailer. His kids are older and don’t spend much time up there and it seems silly to have two trailers when we are only using one each weekend. I think this is a good first step. Neither one of us is ready to commit to living together full time at this point but we think we can manage weekends and summer vacation during next season.

Now I just have to figure out how to tell my ex.

The trailer closes in 3 weeks and we are still trying to figure out how we are going to manage our relationship over the winter months. We have spent every free moment together for the last 5 months and we’re not looking forward to going back to every other weekend.

I’m not sure how I feel about overnights when the kids are here, but if we’re moving in together next spring we’re going to be sharing a bedroom eventually. I guess I will just have to wait and see how it all plays out in the next couple of months.

The end of summer

September 3, 2013

Today was the first day of school. I will admit that I was ready for it to start. More than ready. I think the kids were too.

They spent 4 weeks in camp and 5 weeks at the trailer. Which meant that I spent 5 weeks at the trailer. I did have to work so my mom was there with us for 3 of those weeks and we all managed to get along great.

We had a wonderful summer. We swam, rode in the boat, ate spider dogs cooked over the open fire, roasted marshmallows and stayed up way too late. There was bug spray and bug bites, sun burns and sand everywhere. My son found a bit of independence and made some friends.

I spent late nights by the fire holding hands with my man. I fell more in love with him as he let my son help him with some repairs and my daughter giggled while he tickled her.

6 more weekends and then it’s time to close the trailer for another year. We certainly got our money’s worth this year.

The Scared Straight

August 20, 2013

Yeah, that’s the name my brother gave to my boat. I find it amusing so I’ll keep it.

Here is my boat when we were putting it in the water.

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And here it is driving it to the dock. I was so excited that it actually floated!

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On Saturday we took the boat for an hour long cruise and ended up at a restaurant that caters to the boating crowd. There is a dock out front where you can tie up your boat while you go sit up on the patio for lunch. It was a beautiful day for it.

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The kids are enjoying the boat too. A couple of weekends ago we took the boat out to the sandbar. It’s exactly what it sounds like…an area out in the middle of the lake that is shallow and sandy. You ease your boat through the shallow water and throw out your anchor and just hang out there for the day. We usually bring a picnic lunch and a group of us will tie up together and just spend the day in the water.

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This is why I bought the boat. You can’t put a price on the memories I’m making with my children.


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