Thursday, April 29, 2010

Is this because I said I would work on not overreacting?

Do you ever just know it's going to be one of "those" days?

I flicked the kettle on this morning and then went to my tea jar and... no tea. Okay technically I did have tea, just not my favourite tea (Twinings Earl Grey if really want to know).  I have Red Rose which I only use for iced tea.  I have black current tea which I drink sometimes when I'm writing and which makes me think of Hugh's mom who is a writer and the one who introduced me to that particular tea.  And I have Lady Grey which is strictly an afternoon tea because it's so much lighter and more citrus-y than the Earl.

I was feeling mildly panicky as I looked through all my cupboards just be absolutely, 100% sure I had no more Earl Grey tea.  The kids were asking me questions about tea and I actually asked them to stop talking while I tried to get the panic under control.  Panicking about tea? Overreact much? That's a good example to set for my kids.  As I opened up a packet of Lady Grey, I couldn't shake the feeling that this day had just been kiboshed.  But I believe in being proactive and I mentally shook it off even going so far as to brush a hand down each arm, bad attitude begone!  This was not going to ruin my day because I didn't choose for it to ruin my day.


Sometimes things work better in theory than in reality.  I really am a big believer in being proactive and making good choices about our attitude despite our circumstances but sometimes?  Sometimes all you can really do is cry.

Like when on top of not having the right tea I discover Ava has lost a jewelry box I've had since I was a little girl and gave to her to put her "pretties" in after much begging and promising to be careful.

Like when you turn your house upside-down and still can't find it though you are convinced it has to be here somewhere.

Like when it's so blustery and cold out we need to get out our beautiful Padraig slippers which were Christmas gifts from my mom and Ava only has one and the other is nowhere (and I do mean nowhere) to be found.  Though just to be sure you turn your house upside-down for the second time in four hours because like the jewelry box, IT HAS TO BE HERE SOMEWHERE!

Like when your baby who is sleeping for only the second day in a big boy bed wakes up one hour into his nap screaming bloody murder and you haven't had the time you need to calm down and breathe deep and regain your equilibrium.

Like when the wind is blowing so hard it blows your trampoline from one side of your yard to the other and manages to turn it almost upside down in the process, and then you have to call your husband to come home from work, and then you can't get it back upright because every time you get close the wind gusts again and knocks you off your feet, and then your hands and ears start burning in the biting wind and your legs feel numb through your pants.  And then you finally get it upright and discover three of the posts the net is attached to are broken or bent.

And it's only 3:30pm.

Things can only go up from here, right?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Am going to use the word EPIC

My weekend by the numbers:

1 - Ridiculously amazing surprise.

4 - kindred spirits.

7 - kids left back in Smithers with 3 husbands.

18 - hours of sleep over 4 nights.

12 - (at least) hours each day spent laughing till it hurt.

1 - time I peed my pants a little bit.

2 - times I couldn't speak or see for laughing while in the Tim Horton's drive-thru.

1 - time we blasphemed. Laura brought a Tim's steeped tea into Starbucks. I know! I was expecting lightning too.

1 - sip everybody took of my favourite drink - a vodka martini, dirty with as many olives as I can fit on the stick. This was the common consensus. Just a guess but I don't think it's even making their top 10.

1 - time I let the kids eat an ice cream sandwich for breakfast.

3 - kids who also thought this was the best weekend ever.

2 - double batches of crepes made.

Countless - cups of tea and coffee consumed.

Countless - times we teared up while we shared the deepest parts of our hearts.

1 - time we pulled out the Bible.

1 - discussion about our best and worst qualities which now means I have to work on not overreacting. Great. Thanks a lot girls. Like I'm not busy enough already, now I have to work on my CHARACTER!

Zero - times we watched Anne Of Green Gables. We learned our lesson last time!

1,000,000 - times I felt so blessed and thankful to have these women in my life.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April Showers Bring.... a lot of work.

Hope you all had a nice Easter weekend.  We had a very fun dinner with friends at our house on Sunday.  When you don't live near your family your friends become family.  My cheeks were aching from laughing by the end of the night.  Easter is always the beginning of Spring for me and Spring always means projects.  Number 1 project for us was getting our fence painted before sprinkler season so we took advantage of the three day weekend and painted our fence.

Wow.  That sentence really does not in any way do justice to the hours and hours of back-(or in my case, leg-)breaking labour that went into painting our 225 linear feet of wood.  On Friday we painted from 11:00 in the morning till 8:30 at night with only the briefest of pauses for meals.  I woke up on Saturday morning and could barely move.  My legs were so stiff from the constant standing and crouching as I moved my way from the top to the bottom of the fence boards.  I hobbled downstairs like a 90-year-old woman and sat down at the table.  Well I tried to sit down.  I got partway there and had to fall the rest of the way.  My muscles were all, "uh...hell NO!"  Hugh had to go back to the paint store for more paint because we had gone through an entire 5 gallon pail on just one half of the fence the day before.  I sat at my kitchen table drinking tea, desperately wishing it was already the end of the day, that we were finished instead of just starting on the other side.

We got back outside at 11am again and I handed each of the kids a couple of cookies to try to stave off lunch for a bit.  I was literally limping over to the fence, wincing with each step.  I may or may not have cried the first time I had to crouch down that day.  Once I got going my muscles loosened up a bit but crouching was still fairly agonizing so instead I did two separate stages of painting: what I could reach on my knees and what I could reach standing up.  Near the end it was all I could do keep going; my shoulders ached, my legs were trembling and my knees were aching and tender.  I had to go back to crouching to give the skin on my knees a break and as I was attempting to paint something just beyond my reach I shuffled sideways a bit and fell over.  My legs literally gave out on me.  I may or may not have cried, though that might have just been the wind.  Did I mention it was incredibly windy the whole two days we painted?  It was not at all head-bangingly frustrating the way the dead grass and bits of tumbleweed would blow against, and attach themselves to, the boards we had just oh-so-carefully painted and it was positively delightful the way the oil paint spattered off the roller and blew back into our faces.  As I lay on my back cursing the wind, the fence, oil paint - my very existence! -  Hugh came and stood over me and said, "How would you like this to be your full-time job?"  I may or may not have used some form of sign language to answer him. We finally finished at 6:00pm and I can't remember the last time I was that sore or tired.  I officially never want to do that again.

Originally when we were deciding on what kind of fence to build we considered a vinyl fence - no hassle, no upkeep, no painting - but it was triple the cost of a wood fence and at the time we thought, "So we have to paint the fence every couple of years, how bad can that be?"  Stupid, stupid, stupid.  Two days after we finished painting I was still limping everywhere and falling into chairs to sit down.  I'm trying really hard not to think about the fact that we are going to have to do this again at some point down the road.  Right now I'm focusing on the fact that it's finished and we can cross it off our Spring "To Do" checklist.  Next up:  Painting the front door and back screen door.  Right now our front door is white against cream siding and I've never been a fan so we're painting it black.  We also just bought a wooden screen door for the back which I'll also paint black.  Plus I finally found some bedding for Ava so we can now do our kids' room switcheroo, both of which will need painting.  And last on our "To Do" list, we scored four Adirondack-style (I think they're actually called Muskoka) chairs and a wooden table for free off of our local Freecyle group that, surprise, surprise, also need painting. 

Aren't they great though?  Imagine that our grass is green and not dead, also, please note our newly-painted fence in the background (and my camera-hog 2-year-old who spent the entire time I was trying to take a picture of this furniture yelling "cheeeeese" to the camera and refusing to move out of the way). Anyway, can't you just picture those chairs Robin's Egg Blue?  Not sure what we'll do with the little table yet but you can guarantee it'll get painted!  By the time all these projects are done I will be such a pro I probably could get a job as a painter.  I never will though.  Never. Never. Never.