Friday, December 23, 2011

2 days, just 2 days

The insanity in the house has hit an all time high - complete with tears, melt downs and hysteria ... and that's just me!

The big news is that 9 is now 10 - double digits! Though 10 scoffs at the age because secretly he's been double digits for about 5 years now, I have just failed to acknowledge it.  We celebrated with a night out on the town, renting a room at the Sheraton Hotel on Queen Street with their indoor/outdoor pool - sadly the pool was under construction but fortunately we had a big white dented non-working fridge in our room! That and two bottles of water to make up for the inconvenience was totally worth it! Bit of a disappointment but we also had a family party on Sunday and asked for everyone to donate money towards an iPod to replace the one stolen by our no-longer part-time foster son.

What happened to 15b? Sadly his life spiraled out of control and CCAS moved him to Pickering where he is only a 10 minute bus ride from his mom and far enough away from us that we won't see him. But I suppose it's probably for the best if he's beginning to STEAL from us. I was hurt though, that CCAS would make this decision considering how involved we were in his life, our feelings for him, and how far in the fostering process we were, to up and move him without telling us - and that they continue to adhere to the philosophy that the mother he buys pot for is a more important relationship to maintain.

Oh well.

So back to me - I have hit the wall. I am going to drink wine all night, not think about presents and everything that I still need to do before Christmas, and instead watch It's a Wonderful Life so that I can get weepy and feel only love for my family.

Enjoy your night!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

While on hold for a cab

9: Why that's horrible! That's so racist! Listen to what they just said: please continue holding and an Asian will take your call shortly

Me: Agent, an Agent will take your call.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Math and irritation

There is a direct correlation between number of days counting down to 9's birthday and his absolute annoying behaviour - with each day closer, he doubles in irritation. And I don't know why I always forget about this, year after year. Probably self preservation.

He is trying to explain why it only makes good sense we give him his presents now, rather than wait until his actual birthday. In fact, it's a win-win situation ... for him. He gets presents now, we throw him a party for his birthday, he gets presents then. All good.

Except for the wrench I threw into his thinking, the wrench known as No Way.

This wrench, which totally messed up his well thought out plan, had him yelling, crying, tantruming and threatening to run away.

This then led to me yelling, not crying, swearing and threatening to send him away.

I said  "I must be the worst parent ever because how else did I produce such a spoiled child and perhaps we should return the gifts because of your behaviour and also, this whole getting stuff throughout the year rather than waiting for a special occasion? OVER. DONE."

There was a really long happy moment after that comment, I tell you.

The only parent worse than me in 9's mind is his father. He also tried his failed logic on Husband, and I'm not exactly sure what was said, but 9 stormed out of the garage muttering DAMN YOU.

The only upside is that after 9's birthday, we count down to Christmas so we can begin this dance all over again.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Obviously I thrive on stress

The past couple of months have been insanely busy for me ... but like any good protestant, I drink and carry on. I mean I keep calm and carry on.

One of my annual projects is creating a painting for the company I work for which will first be used as our Canadian Christmas card and then donated to the United Way for auction.

So this year, because of my insane schedule ... I cheated.

I borrowed a painting I gave my brother a few years ago and photographed it for the card and then created this one for the auction:

And by created I mean finding a painting in the basement and reworking it. Technically new, kind of recycled. Very green. And still very wet. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Change

And for once I'm not talking about the changing brain of my teenage son, I'm talking about my change.

While I was at an office function on Friday, conversation with friends inevitably turned to menopause and peri-menopause and our personal experiences. My friend said she's been feeling sad and have I been? I said no, not really - I haven't notice mood changes...but then thought yes I have! And it is sadness, and it's like it's blowing into me, filling me up. And it's different from the hormonal mood swings brought on by PMS because I don't feel the hormonal anxiety encouraging certain moods. Just this weight of sadness.

And I realized it's one of the major reasons I haven't been working with on this blog or feeling particularly creative (a huge light bulb moment for me).

She said her friend is being hit really hard and she wants to help but doesn't know how so spoke to her doctor and had a therapist recommended.

Now having been ravaged by the black dogs of depression in my teens and early 20s, I know, for me, this is different from that kind of dehabiliting sadness and I definitely don't need medication to help me through this time.

But I just wanted to put it out to you if you ever want to contribute your own personal story or ask me anything about my experience, please do!

Now on to a quick story about 9.

9 was hit in the head with a tennis ball yesterday (no NOT BY ME this time) and decided by last night that it could have killed him and he is offended that I'm not taking him seriously. After all, it was very close to his temple. Getting hit in the temple means certain death. He feels that if he has even the slightest of headaches in the morning, he will need to stay home.

Being completely unsympathetic I had to tell him that he is going to school, even though he did bravely face death, and if I get even one call from the school I will tell them that there is no way he is being sent home and he is to return to his class. And I will give him only fruit for his birthday.

And, AND, I was hit in the face by a rock, just below my eye, when I was his age and my mother had my grandfather determine whether I needed a trip to the hospital and once he said NO, she went back to ignoring me. And I could have lost an eye! But that's just how it was in the 1970s and you grew up in a large family. You were ignored and so you sucked it up.

He's not happy with me.

Plus according to 9, he faced death, I would merely have been blinded in one eye - one would consider that only an inconvenience.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The holiday season count down

Is it only in my house that the Santa Claus parade is viewed as punishment? Even with promises of hot chocolate with Baileys* marshmallows?

How did these children shoot from my loins and have no love for the magical spectacle of Christmas? The lights, the decorations, the parade, the windows at Queen St. Bay? They (and by they I also mean husband - oh right, that where they got the humbug gene) cringe at the thought of exposure.

Anyway, I need help. December 16 is also when 9 graduates to double digits and I am at a loss as to what to get him. Where he has inherited my defective gene is in his inability to make decisions for fear of making the wrong one. He can't decide on what he would like most because there might be something even better out there; something that 15 would want and therefore he should have first even if he has no interest in it! If he was to make the wrong decision and miss out on 15's mysterious object of desire - well, his world would end as he knows it and mine would involve sneaking off with the unsharable Baileys.

I'm not sure if anyone still reads my little blog since I so seldom write but I consider this the equivalent of putting a help note into a bottle and throwing it out into the big blue ocean in hopes that someone will find it and rescue me.

Check in tomorrow - I had an interesting conversation on Friday at a party regarding THE CHANGE and really want to write about it.

*I would never share my Baileys.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


15 had an essay to write, 750 words supporting the idea of lowering the legal drinking age.

His argument: you have to be 19 to drink yet 16 to acquire a drivers license, 18 to join the army and also to vote. There were a few holes in his argument and areas he didn't even want to consider investigating such as how does alcohol further impair judgment of teenagers who are already impaired? How does alcohol effect or damage the brain especially when it's still developing?

"I am not writing about that" 15 says.

His final argument? His piece de resistance written with great flourish?

The legal drinking age should be lowered because then there would be less teens getting in trouble and charged with under-age drinking.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I'm curious

If I post pictures of my cat and my obnoxious chidren, can I have a new roof too? I know, rude. But I'm curious, can I?

Are you freaking kidding me?

After 2 days of harassment for a duplicate copy of a $70 xbox game this is my conversation with 9:

9: I want a duplicate copy of a $70 xbox game (or something like that)

Me: Are you freaking kidding? $70 would feed 2 people in our family for a week! So who should go without food? You and 15? Or me and your father?

9: Well I do have $5, that would feed someone for a day.

I have totally failed.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Time off for good behaviour

I haven't written much the past few weeks because frankly I have been finding being a mother of only boys hard lately.

One of my hidden secrets is that I'm actually a mother to 2.5 boys, the .5 boy will be named 15 until 14 turns 15 next Monday (okay 14 is now 15 because I've taken so much time off from blog world his birthday is past) and then 14 will be 15 and 15 will become 15b - I know, confusing, so perhaps I'll settle this by just referring to him as 15b.

15b is my part-time foster son - not technically because the process was halted by CCAS because we were taking too long and 15b was becoming unstable. What they were actually inferring was that 15b's acting out was ALL OUR FAULT and none of theirs and definitely not a product of their draconian system. They do want him to spend as much time as possible with us because they consider us incredibly positive influences and perhaps our involvement will be what makes him grow into one of the few success stories.

Also I think they want him to spend as much time with us as possible because it means less work for the group home and I pay for everything - a win-win for them.

So I'm the mother of 2.5 boys, the wife of a boy and the owner of a pissy male cat who spends his time bitter. And I have no ovaries.

A side note, 9 asked if I'm now a man because I have no ovaries. Thanks 9 for making me feel better - I have no ovaries and only one breast but yes, I am still the woman who gave birth to you and nursed you for 2 years and man, you owe me.

So back to the beginning of the story.

I'm finding it really hard being the mother to only boys and in my personal history I was a tomboy, I desperately wanted to be a boy with all their freedoms: playing war, climbing trees, spending as much time in the woods as I possibly could, hanging out with boys ... in fact, I entered grade 9 wearing only denim! So why don't I get them? 15 is crass, rude, a bully to 9, annoying, lazy ... 9 is irritating, narcissitic, ego-centric, volatile, hyper-sensitive, refuses to sleep in his own room ...

... and don't get me started on the smell and broken furniture. I'll never stop writing!

Part of the reason I took so long to post is because I knew this not-quite-finished essay thick with self pity was waiting for me and I wasn't ready to deal with it. But after being told to get my act together and start writing, I figured after two glasses of wine, it was time.

And I know my life will swing like a 60s key party for the next few years, but I also know the boys are worth it and I love them ... even though they drive me freaking insane.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I'm surprised the Brothers Ford didn't quarantine us, but they probably don't know how to spell the word

Completely wiped out - we have been hit hard by a summer flu.

First 9 was laid low but surprisingly for only a few days, he totally could have milked it for longer.

14 was hit really hard and now that food finally stays where it belongs, I'm desperately trying to get him to eat anything to pack on some of the weight he's lost this past week.

Good thing parents are used to poo and vomit, not usually from such a large source of course, because it's amazing how fast old habits return and how efficient you immediately become ... and how adept at mouth breathing.

Also helpful? That I'm still barely sleeping so tend to wander the house at night which comes in useful when sheets need to be changed and tossed in the washing machine and backs rubbed as children are found slumped over the toilet bowl.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I have the mouth of a fisherman's wife

It's true ... but I blame the children. Mostly.

For explain to me why "14,  I want you to empty the dishwasher and clean up the living room before I get home" in loving motherly tones doesn't work. Especially when he accepts the challenge on the phone and promises me that he will spend the not even 10 minutes making sure it gets done leaving me filled with false hope?

Instead it takes me going nuclear when I get into the house finding the kitchen a mess, the dishwasher still full, wrappers and tin cans all over the kitchen and living room, paintball gun on the sofa, electric guitar on the sofa, a pile of 25 DVDs scattered all over the floor, the sofa cushions on the floor... and the boys playing x-Box.

Then my face turns red, spins around a few times and "14 GET DOWN HERE NOW AND EMPTY THE DISHWASHER AND START CLEANING UP AND WHY THE FUCK DO I HAVE TO SCREAM AT YOU TO GET IT DONE!" comes flying out of my otherwise civilized mouth.

Oh this summer will be the end of me.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Summer Camp: Week 2

To quickly finish up last week's program, fencing camp with the cold blooded, heartless Russian instructor (according to 9, I myself loved her!), by Wednesday Jakob began to embrace the camp. By Friday, he liked it. Though Russian instructor conceded that "9 is very stubborn" they won each other over and developed mutual affection. Was he transformed? I don't think so. Can I get my money back? I don't think so.

Week 2: Lego camp.

9 LOVED it! When I picked him up at the end of each day he was happy and would even spend a few extra minutes adding wonderful touches to his giant yellow pyramid. Was he hot and sweaty by end of day? Not on your life! My nerdy little boy was in heaven. This camp would horrify the Russian fencing instructor.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Summer camp: Week 1

9 started camp this week - he's bitter.

Before summer I had 9 actively involved in choosing camps - he hated them all but some were less offensive then others so we focused on those. This week he has fencing camp. My thinking was all boys love sword fighting, it's in the neighbourhood and it's physical... perfect!

9 HATES it.

An overview of his despair:
  1. He's hot, sweaty and exhausted at the end of the day (9 does not like to physically exert himself in anyway - other than his fingers while playing xbox - or be hot)
  2. His instructor is Russian and has a very Eastern European approach to teaching: no warmth and fuzziness with the kids, and is determined to transform him in the 5 days he's with her
  3. Se tells him repeatedly that he is not listening and she is tired of repeating herself (he feels she must think he's brain damaged because he promises me he is listening to her, he's just not looking at her) 
  4. His instructor has deemed some of his snacks unhealthy (which they totally are but has husband shaking his head as he pulls the ritz bits filled with weird cheese filling back out of the lunch bag).
I knew it wasn't good when I picked 9 up the first day and she came over to talk to me, specifically to say "9 is not athletic is he, he's more intellectual." Day 2 I got the "I will transform him by the end of the week!" message.

Not that I'm complaining, I quite like her and really enjoy the directness and her accent - and if she can transform 9 by exposing him to exercise ... fantastic!

But I did over hear 9 say to husband that the only reason I put him in that camp must be because I don't love him.

Let's hope next week goes a little better - it's lego camp.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Wanted: one exorcist

I now understand why women had children in their teens and 20s a generation or two ago because I'm surprised the combination of 14's and my hormonal upheaval hasn't set the world ablaze ... yet.

14's emotional outbursts has my head spinning so fast that I feel a little like Linda Blair from the Exorcist minus the green vomit. But it's not me that needs the exorcist, oh no... it's 14 (husband may wonder about a 2-for-1 special to deal with us both but he would be wise to keep that thinking to himself).

Some samplings:
  • Husband takes a quick look at 14's yearbook left on the coffee table and the words that came out of 14's mouth would make a pirate blush.
  • Husband asks 14 if he's wearing cologne and the rage: face red, seething, eyes watering, storming into the house waxing poetically of acts of revenge. Made me pretty happy I was on the other side of the table.  
  • Me innocently asking (from a safe distance of course) if 14 was okay and then explosions and swearing and finger pointing identifying us all as irritants.

I've taking to warning 9 that 14 is in a teenage mood and best to stay far away.

I have also taken to warning guests to come baring holy water and crucifixes ... you know, just to be safe.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Innocence lost

Well, it happened. And I know I should have been preparing myself through prayer and medication but I really didn't expect it to happen this soon.

14 went to an end-of-year school party ... and when I picked him up at 11pm, he was hammered. HAMMERED! Fortunately 14 likes to tell me in great detail everything he does so he told me exactly how much he had to drink. 3 beers and lots of shooters mostly consisting of vodka. I spent the entire drive home quizzing him with "are you going to throw up?" And once home encouraged him to drink water.

 The crazy thing was how many drunken teens were wobbling around the property, across the street from the property, in the middle of the road in front of the property - there were at least 50 (14 said 80) and this was a really nice house on a really nice street in a very expensive area (annex/yorkville) and the parents were supposedly home. One 14-year-old boy was vomiting on their lawn and then passed out according to 14, I may have referred to this boy as freakishly tall boy in previous posts ... or perhaps not.

I get the sense that the parents lost control and evicted everyone just before 11:00 and while I was waiting in my car for 14 to jump in, I assumed every car that turned the corner would carry police.

I think my shock over the permissiveness of the parents and how drunk the underage kids were, kind of overshadowed any sense of irritation towards 14.  What if something had happened to the kids? Specifically the one vomiting and then passed out? Did the parents leave him outside? I'm really a bit horrified.

And to think I asked 14 if he wanted to take pop and chips to the party.

Monday, June 20, 2011


I had my annual MRI on Wednesday and this was one of the many irritating conversations I had with the nurse checking me in:

N: Have you had abdominal surgery in the past.

Me: Yes, I had this one procedure done years ago and this other thing done and I had my ovaries removed 5 weeks ago.

N: And when was your last period.

Me: In April.

N: Oh... and you are positive you are not pregnant?

Me: No, because I had my OVARIES REMOVED 5 WEEKS AGO.

N:  Right.

It was like she had morphed into my children.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I'm looking for someone to slap

This is how tired I am - I nearly fell asleep while having my teeth attacked by my dental hygienist.

Except for when she had me laughing - she told me the story of a colleague's wife who was going through menopause and she would enter the kitchen each morning, hands on hip, and say 'I'm looking for someone to slap' and the husband and children would dart.

I just might have to incorporate that into my morning routine.

Though husband did say to me yesterday that I seem to be coping quite well without sleep.

Something else had me laughing yesterday too - while talking to a colleague about how school ending is really closing down on me, hard, like a rusty prison cell door slamming shut, I mentioned how it has been really hard finding camps that 9 would be willing to embrace. We came up with the concept of SLOTH camp which I thought was brilliant! What a money maker and all you would need is a TV, an xBox a fridge ... a few other electronic products and voila! Done! I would have chapters throughout all of North America and endless children on a waiting list. Would hardly need staff or counsellors - all I would have to do is throw food at them occasionally and keep fingers crossed that there would be no power outages.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Science and hot flashes

40+ temperature outside + hot flashes = one very confused hot mama!

I no longer know if I'm hot because I'm in the throes of a hot flash or if it's just the damn temperature outside. Or to be honest, my blood pressure because everyone is driving me insane.

Random example of insanity running rampid in my house as exemplified in a dialogue between husband and teen:

Husband: 14, why is your lunch bag always covered in mud?

14: How should I know?

H: Because it's your lunch bag!

14: Dad, when is the house going to fall down?

H: What?

14: When is the house going to fall down? You should know because it's your house.

H: What does that have to do with your filthy lunch bag?

14: Because it's exactly the same thing!


I can only shake my head.

Anyway, regarding menopause (because it's much more fun talking about myself) this is how it is impacting me so far:
  • I get hot flashes but so far, keeping fingers crossed, I don't break down in a massive sweat soaking bedding and clothes ... I just get hot and at night, wake up.
  • I barely sleep. It doesn't matter if I have a glass or 3 of wine or I don't have a glass or 3 of wine, I don't sleep.
  • I am exhausted.
  • I am a bit cranky because of exhaustion.
  • My family is a little nervous.
  • Last night I might have had a massive mood swing because I became insanely angry at my undeserving* family but it could also have been because I only had 2 or 3 hours of sleep the night before and they were being unhelpful.
  • I am very appreciative of make-up but am going through foundation and concealer at an alarming rate.
Now this might have a bit to do with the fear I've inspired but 9 is being very sweet saying that I look beautiful and he loves me. If only it worked with the older ones.

* They totally deserved it.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dream world ... or is it?

Sorry - I've been asleep this past week ... well trying to sleep. The one department of menopause that I'm struggling with is the absolute exhaustion. Yet even though I'm drop dead tired, as soon as I go to bed, I can't sleep. Then I do sleep, then I have a hot flash, then I'm awake, then I'm asleep, then Molly licks my face, then I'm awake, then I'm hot, then I'm...

And then the alarm clock goes off.

How am I even lucid? But then maybe I'm not? But only I don't notice?

A small digression before I re-attach the IV drip of coffee to my vein: while biking to work this morning I noticed that all the garbage bins were lined up perfectly on a very long street. Like surreal 1950s-era Tim Burton movie kind of perfect. And as I biked along began to think that perhaps, just maybe, this was actually a dream and I was still asleep in bed because who on earth would walk down a long street and align all the bins like that?

Life in the house with 14 has been very annoying lately. In addition to everything being sexual, he constantly comes up with absolute bizarre scenarios prefaced with: Mom, what would you do if... 

... if I ate my left arm
... if I ate that lamp post
... if I ate myself and then crapped myself out
... if I broke Jakob's arm off
... if the world exploded
... if I was killed by a dinosaur

I'm saving you from the really horrifying ones, ones that occasionally make me very angry. Ones also that to be honest I can't remember because I'm so freaking tired.

I can only now ignore or respond with stupid comments like "I would be sad because then you wouldn't be able to play the guitar anymore" even  if it's in response to what would you do if I ate that lamp post.

You know what sucks about being so tired and forgetting everything right now? I had a burning question that I wanted to position for feedback and now... gone, right out of my head.

Time for more coffee.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Just can't win

You know what sucks? Other than having no ovaries, buying your mother-in-law a necklace from TIFFANY'S and having her phone up confused, not really liking it but also thinking she actually needs to return it to Tiffany's in New York.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I know I've been missing in action which is not a great thing having just returned to blog world but I have a very good reason:

my ovaries are gone and I kind of miss them.

Life has been a bit frantic - I received a call late in the afternoon on Thursday, May 5 informing me my new surgery date was Monday, May 9 at 11:00 am. After shaking my head a few dozen times I quickly lined up husband, work, friends and then sat back to try to get my mind around the idea of being launched into immediate menopause.

Surgery went off without a hitch, though they were 2 1/2 hours late bringing me in but at least I had the operation right? Unlike LAST time where I was sent home 15 minutes before the procedure was supposed to begin.

But I'm feeling a bit wiped - I describe the first week of recovery feeling like I had survived a gang war, having been shot, stabbed and beaten. One thing I didn't expect was being pumped full of gas and the resulting pain in my shoulders was ridiculous - I think the oxycodone was used more to manage that pain rather than the abdominal pain.

If you're all curious about my menopausal symptoms, even if it's to measure how wise it is to be in my company (note: I have NOT hurt husband or children ... yet. I did come close to throwing a green plastic toy at husband's head but I did NOT. I have keen self control.) I'm finding night time the hardest. I am having hot flashes but haven't broken out in sweats, I'll wake up for whatever reason (hot, cats, pain, husband snoring) and once awake, am awake for a very long time so feel like I walk around in a permanent state of exhaustion. Mood swings are not bad though I did yell at a driver for being incapable of making an expedient right hand turn, that it's not brain surgery, but that's acceptable ... I mean they have to learn, right? And I did have a mild discussion with husband on the same drive about the flipping heat in the car and was he trying to kill me?

I'm still waiting to hear from my oncologist to see if I can use an estrogen patch to manage symptoms but he's not freaking getting back to me.

Should make for interesting blog writing as I work through the mood swings - I'll make sure I use these prime times to write.

Wish us luck!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Identity crisis

I have been trapped at home with a very sick child since Easter.

Poor 9, it's been a rough week. Started Easter Sunday with a slight sore throat - I ignored him as any mother would convinced it was caused by all the chocolate he had eaten. By Monday it was really bad and then for the rest of the week the symptoms kept changing - from sore throat to stomach to fever to head cold...

Damn Easter bunny.

Friday I returned him to school with the gentle reminder to CONTACT HIS FATHER for any reason but when I picked him up at the end of the day he was crying. His ears hurt.

WHY ME!? I screamed at the heavens. I have a new blog to update! I have spent the past week blowing off special events, working from home, catering to 9's every whim, the list is endless.

So last weekend was a bit of a bust too.

9 has been at school this week but has also been telling his friends and teachers that he's been living on pain medication since Easter, the little pill-popping junkie that he is.

Yesterday I kind of lost it, he tore his finger nail and announced that ONCE AGAIN, he would need to stay home for the rest of the week to recover.

I'm changing 9's name to Mildred.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Easter checklist

Easter basket stuffed with goodies for three boys - check.

Easter egg hunt for crazy amounts of chocolate and plastic eggs stuffed with jellybeans - done.

Easter bunny myth destroyed for 9? Yep!

Peeling strung-out-on-sugar children off ceiling? Just looking for the stepladder.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

If only

Today has become a day where I dream of going back in time to when 14 was still young, innocent and fully controllable instead of today - a day broken by calls from the VP at his school with threats of suspension and police involvement if certain 4-20 behaviour is discovered again.

Because if I could go back in time I would completely embrace our relationship ... and then start planning for military school.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

29 ... again

Yesterday was my birthday.

The end.

Actually no, it was way better than that!

Husband was wonderful, surprising me with a unique piece of jewellery before going out for dinner with no children. A date! To classify as a date my standards are not high, for example if the kids fall asleep in the backseat while driving to London, in my mind that is a date. So to actually go to a restaurant and spend a fortune on martinis and food and be able to carry a conversation without interruption (mostly about the kids but whatever) was pretty fantastic!

And 14 brought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers picked out and paid for by himself! This is the FIRST (hopefully not only) time he has done this, in fact he's been a little thoughtless the past 4+ years. At least when he was young he would make me something which I would love and then I would cry.

But not only did 14 have flowers for me, he returned to his roots and made something as well - a symbol of his affection for me on an xBox game where he has created a crazy world for himself. As he leads me though tunnels and up staircases we come to a walkway high up in the sky where he has built himself a throne (he has a bit of an ego, that one) and behind his throne he has I love Mom floating in the air.

9 has spent the past week trying to get me to open the present he picked out (and I paid for) at the drug store (a movie: Time Travellers Wife - I was impressed and relieved, 9 could pretty much have picked out anything sordid and violent but he chose a chick flick!) and has plied me with homemade chocolate bars (quick recipe: melt chocolate chips and then freeze) which he's pretty proud of and thinks we should turn into a home business and sell).

After we invited good friends and neighbours over for cake and champagne and laughter.

A fantastic way to spend a birthday. And note that I did not once mention the f**cking snow.

My heart is full.

Friday, April 15, 2011

This will be brief...

I have 9 people living in my little house right now - 5 children, 4 adults, 4 rooms, no sleep.

The t-shirt that I am wearing this very fragile moment, courtesy of, reflects exactly how I feel.

And to make it even more overwhelming, it's supposed to rain all weekend while we watch the children. And I'm old.

Time to get creative.

First on the agenda: teach them how to mix a drink and serve hors d'oeuvres.

Second on the agenda: drink and eat hors d'oeuvres

Third: I wonder how the parents feel about child labour?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Life lessons

14 started swim lessons last night after a 2-year break. It was like dead man walking taking the trip to the school.

Our conversation went like this:

14: I fucking hate swim lessons.

Me: Language.

14: Fine, I just do. I can't believe you're making me do this. I have fucking swim lessons. When I have children, I will never make them take swim lessons.

Me: It's mandated by law, children have to learn to swim.

14: Whatever, I'll let them drop out as soon as they want to. I fucking hate swim lessons.

Me: Language. (In my head I thought oh no, you'll make them suffer just like I'm making you. It's called retribution ... and good sense!)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A lightbulb moment

I had a revelation this morning:

Living through the teen years is a lot like going through pregnancy.

After 9 months of pregnancy a woman will pretty much do anything, go through any amount of pain, to get that baby out of her body. She is psychologically ready.

After 5 years of living with an emotionally unstable, hormonally unbalanced, smelly teen who eats the same amount as a small village in Africa and creates paths of mass destruction wherever he goes, you will pretty much do what you have to to get him out of the house.

I'm only in year two but I have a hunch this is where we are headed.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Problem solving at its best

9: Mom, I came up with a solution to that hair cutting problem! (calling out from the living room)

Me: What hair cutting problem? What solution?

9: Well you know how I don't want to go get my hair cut? I did it myself and it looks good! (enters the kitchen brandishing the kitchen scissors)

Me: Noooooooo!!!!!

9: No wait Mom, I did a good job! And here's the ball of hair I cut off.

Bangs gone, appointment with professional booked.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ovaries ... still got 'em

I wasn't going to write about this because it really has nothing to do with my children right now but then I realized a connection which I will enlighten you with later.

I was scheduled for surgery today to have my ovaries removed, specifically at 1:30 I would be saying good bye to those two little cyst-covered nuggets. The stress has been wearing me down, in part the surgery but also the idea of being launched into menopause and all of the implications that comes with it.

I'm pretty confident it has nothing to do with wanting more children because I know deep down in my heart that if I had another child, it would be a boy, and then I would lose my mind and the gods are cruel enough to let that happen to me.

So I get to the hospital for 11:30 as required, fill out forms, get my id bracelet, change into hospital gown, sit in a room with crazy people for nearly 2 hours, answer questions (one question I asked was is my surgery on schedule? answer: YES), have temperature, blood pressure and heart rate taken, and then 15 minutes before my scheduled time, get taken aside by two doctors to tell me they have bad news, my surgery has in fact been cancelled.

I was barely holding my shit together as it was being hungry, thirsty, having had no coffee and facing the loss of my ovaries, and I was pleasant to the two doctors as they told me the news, but then I lost it.

But then I ate, and now I am drinking.

So to tie this little story to 14, one of his favourite threats against 9 is that he is going to kick him in the ovaries.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Mortal coil

So in an effort to be a reasonable mother (I don't like to set the bar too high, just in case) I took 9 out biking yesterday (before the freaking snow started - ack don't get me started!) and he fell.

That should be the end of the story but it's not because... he nearly DIED. According to 9.

He fell while turning in the schoolyard, unfortunately in front of a classmate, and suffered the smallest of cuts on one hand and 2 little cuts on one knee. He limped home coming up with various scenarios on how the outcome of the fall could have been much worse, as in "he could have died" worse, i.e., arm torn off, head smashed, leg - broken!

He rushed into the house to tell all the sympathetic (heavy sarcasm being used here) guys who were watching a stupid scary movie about his near death experience and they IGNORED him. He was devastated!

Where is his life value if no one reacts to his near death! Not good.

I encouraged 9 not to tell his friends that he nearly died after falling off his bike but no luck. First thing out of his mouth.

And he doesn't want to take drama. But he could probably write for Charlie Sheen!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Make it a double...

I really should be more sympathetic and much more patient ... after all, they can't help that they have a serious disability!

How would I feel trying to function in life profoundly deaf and with tunnel-like focus? It would be brutal of course.

And then throw in the brain damage! I need to manage my expectations, treat them either like small children or an elderly person suffering from dementia. At least they're not peeing in their underwear!

It is remarkable to me how good they are on the xbox yet can't put a dish in the dishwasher, or pick up their mess off the floor ... but I suppose that's part of their disability, like Dustin Hoffman in Rainman.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Snot-nosed little freak - you have stepped too far

9 is being bullied - not physically but harassed and insulted constantly by this other 9 year old little snot who reminds me of Harper with his blonde hair and cold dead blue eyes. Yesterday evil 9 escalated his reign of terror and 9 reacted by stabbing him with a pencil to the arm (after repeatedly telling him to leave him alone - according to counsellor).

This is not good because 1) the pencil move no doubt wasn't hard enough to make evil 9 learn a lesson and leave my 9 alone and 2) because 9 reacted physically he could be kicked out of the after school program which he attends twice a week.

Nothing brings out the ferociousness in a mother than when her children are being harassed. Now where to begin because this needs to stop.

Call to principal, call to teacher, smear campaign ...

Hmmm, time to get creative.

Suggestions anyone?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

No return

I just told 9 that the gun he made with his new iPhone app was pretty.

This is it, no going back ... ever.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Gym: the wrestling segment

Who knew schools still did this but considering that all 14 wants to do is try to throw his brother, his father and his friends around with moves he's picked up from UFC - it does kind of make sense. 

By class 2, Thursday, he's injured himself. 

Friday, chiropractor. A 10:15 appointment met with bitterness because of the ungodly hour he now needs to get up.

A quick digression: Toronto has been hit with January-like temperatures and lots of snow. When I left the house for work it was -10*C, when I called 14 with his appointment and to tell him to GET OUT OF BED, HAVE A SHOWER AND MEET ME AT MY OFFICE IN ONE HOUR in a motherly tone filled with love and concern, the temperature warmed up to -9*C.

14 complains but gets up and has the fastest shower ever, dresses and races outside to take the transit to my office. 

Then my phone rings.

14: Mom, I'm locked out and I don't have a coat...and it's cold.

Me: Go next door and get a key from the neighbour and get your winter coat.

14: No it's okay, I'll be fine - I'm dressed in layers. 

Me: What are you wearing? It's freezing outside!

14: A t-shirt and a long-sleeve t-shirt.

Me: That does not constitute layers.

But that's how the teen brain works: layers equals 2+ articles of clothing = warmth. Comparable to a winter coat. And have I forgotten he's Canadian?

14 runs to the streetcar stop to generate heat and thankfully there's a streetcar. He calls me to let me know when he's off the subway and I run out to get him - in my parka and mittens. Everyone is looking at him like he's insane and I feel like saying, he's 14 so that everyone understands and feels my pain.

Tomorrow: the chiropractor performs miracles on Quasimodo while I pine for coffee.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The gods are messing with us

I can only believe that this is happening because the gods are mourning the greatness that was Dame Elizabeth Taylor.

Because otherwise this makes no sense and is just plain cruel.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Not surviving the teenage years...

You know what a good birth control would be? Spending time in a house with teenage boys. My experience with teen girls is nearly 0, outside of remembering myself at that age and frankly I was perfect, but boys? It is all I can do right now to not freak at my lovely first boy who just said "screw you" because I dared to ask why he was being rude to his younger brother.

But in the next breath asks me to front him some money to help fund his paintball passion.

Ummmm.  NO!

Colicky newborns and terrible twos have NOTHING on the evil that resides within those long lanky bodies.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Music to my ears

If you listen closely, you can hear the collective sigh of over one million mothers who's children returned to school today. And the sound of one million cocktails being poured in celebration.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Counting the hours

It's almost over - March break 2011 is soon to be a thing of the past. Stuff of nightmares. 

We took the kids to the States for 3 days to relax, swim, shop and it was, well,  HORRIBLE. 

At one point we were all in the pool and visions of moving out and renting an apartment danced through my head.

They fight all the time. The first words out of their mouths upon waking are usually obscene. And now 14's favourite word is "tit" or "tits", used as a descriptive, an example would be "cold as tits" or "tired as tits."

A dialogue in progress:

14: Man, I'm tired as tits.
Me: What? Tits don't get tired. People get tired, but tits? They just hang there. Not tired.
14: Mom, you're ruining my word.
Later in the car

14: He must be rich as tits.
Me: Tits aren't rich. The person who has the tits might be rich, but tits aren't rich.

Tell me, where did I go wrong?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March break: Day 3

The strangeness of motherhood, takes me along paths I never expect.

I taught my 14 year old son to shave what he swears is a mustache today. Most people would have thought husband would have swept in and embraced this milestone but surprisingly he didn't really care have a problem with passing it off, even if I am a woman without a facial hair problem.

So I took everything I've ever gleamed from tv commercials, made up a few extra steps, and put all that knowledge to use. And at the end, 14's upper lip was hairless and I was very proud of myself.

In an effort to not kill spend quality time with 9, we made stained glass Easter eggs. Yes he was bitter... but very proud of the end result. After craft time we biked for an hour where he mastered turns and stopped regularly to shake out his hands, the pressure of holding onto the handlebars was a bit much. 9 is a bitter drama queen, he's a bit like Terrence Stamp's character in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

God help me.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sometimes it's the little things that bring the most happiness

I took 9 to the Sufferin' Mall for a sweet new bike but that's not what excites me, this does:

A boot mat, specifically a beautiful black $4.50 boot mat from Walmart!

The Hunter wedge heel boots kind of make me happy too.

March break: Day 2

I can honestly say that so far, and it is only the second day so there is hope that things will change, I am not enjoing March Break.

14's goal: to stay in his boxers or pajama pants the entire week. So far, successful.

9's goal: to drive me insane and not leave the house. Can't even be bribed, which I tried to do with a Starbucks hot chocolate complete with whip cream and chocolate sauce and a NEW BIKE. A new freaking bike and he still feels that what I am suggesting is nothing shy of torture. And so far he has been very successful in the driving me insane part of his agenda.

Am I the only mother who's children do not like to leave the house ever? What is wrong with them? It's sunshine and blue skies out! I blame their father.

And meanwhile I pace. And do things that I'm sure I will regret like stripping the pillow covers off all the sofa cushions and cram them into the washing machine and hope for the best.

Monday, March 14, 2011

March break: Day 1

Trying to be very quiet and make coffee without children hearing me - I'm hoping for one peaceful cup before madness and demands start. Thankfully laptop has a quiet keyboard.

I'm getting nervous, I can hear talking and footsteps. Crap - why is the coffee machine beep so loud and seemingly endless?!

Agenda today: Hockey hall of fame except that I forgot we have guitar lessons. Must do some juggling. 

Yesterday, took two 14s to Sgt. Splatter - while trying to sign them in, stood in a dark room charged with energy and surrounded by crazed men and boys holding guns, wearing face masks and covered in paint splatter ... so out of my element.

You just couldn't give me girls, could you husband.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

Last night we were at 14's high school for an award ceremony for all 500 kids who made the honour roll, my 14 year old included. Even though the school lowered the bar from 80% to 75% as the average needed to be obtained, we were really proud of him because he did make the 80% average. Though in the car he said "our school's not very smart" as the reason behind the drop.

I should mention for the first time he refused to sit with us and instead sat on the other side of the gym with his friends and texted me. I so wanted to stand up and yell "son, SON, it's me MAAAA'AAAM!!! Over here!! Son! SON!!!!" while he accepted his award, but I held my tongue. Because I socialize occasionally in the same circle as one of the vice principals.

Anyway, husband and I were very proud... or so I thought.

The kids played their usual game of "let's be total asses in the back seat of the car with the end result being Mom & Dad pushed over the edge of sanity." A great game, one all families should play. Especially in poor weather conditions.

Except not only were we pushed to the edge, the kids lost all gaming and tv privileges for the night and husband told 14 that he didn't work hard enough and should have had better marks and dammit RESPECT ALL OF US A LITTLE MORE THAN YOU DO.

9 is now crying because he was really looking forward to back-to-back episodes of Futurama and if you can't watch tv and game, well is there any point to living?

Sure there is ... it's called SCRABBLE!

We tried one game, 9 won, 14 was bitter ... board game put away.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

First rule of the day

Family conversation on a Saturday morning:

Never ask me for anything until at least 2 cups in and only then if you made it for me.

So unless you're feeling lucky, do not ask if I'm depressed, angry or pms-ing until the pot is empty. Why has it taken you 20 years to understand that this is considered playing with fire?

And no eye-rolling thank you.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My nerves...

This represents my nerves, ready to snap, especially after a weekend trapped in the house with my family.

But funny story:

I was standing on a chair, putting the roasting pan on top of the cupboard over the fridge and asked my husband to pass me the rack I forgot but he couldn't because he was stretching. So I hopped off the stool, grabbed it and jumped back up.  After he finished stretching he climbed on the stool for something and asked me to pass him a dishcloth because it was FILTHY on top of the fridge, I said I couldn't because I was washing the dishes (may have also mumbled something obscene under my breath), so he went to hop down but his one leg got STUCK on the stool and he was kind of trapped awkwardly balancing on the other leg. Because I was doing dishes, I wouldn't couldn't help him so instead laughed until tears poured down my face.

I do believe there is a moral to that story.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Next... botox

How's a girl supposed to keep lying about her age if she has teenage boys, taller than her, calling out MOM in very public places?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

It truly is a win-win for me

Do I really need to remind you again what happened the day you were born?

Okay, here goes:

I got up around 7am to get ready for work, while en route to the washroom, my water broke and the mucus plus was lost. Then the searing pain of contractions began shortly after...

Now shall I finish the story or do you want to go clean out the cat litter?

I thought so.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Of course I'm being totally unreasonable

Because the sheer size of the dust balls in your room scares me, for all I know a cat could be trapped in one, and frankly I don't enjoy mouth breathing because the teen stench will either make me throw up or pass out.

Clean your room.

And no I will not pay you.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Family meeting

Last night we had a family meeting with the boys to talk about some of the pressing issues in our home and also to remind them of the rules: no porn surfing on computers, no drugs, stop the constant wrestling and swearing and breaking of my things before I lose my mind AGAIN... usual stuff. All comments were met with derision and eye rolling and 14 (I've decided to call my sons 14 and 9, their ages) would comment "not going to happen" after each. 

Shoot, I forgot to include one biggie - if poo falls on the floor, for whatever reason, instead of making it into the toilet, PICK IT UP!  Why does a girl even have to mention that? 

Anyway, back to the meeting. We ended with typing up the most critical issues and are treating it as a contract and signing in blood.

I figure I might get 24 hours of peace including sleep time and kids being in school but then I've always been a crazy optimist.

Good news! I have a couple of bathroom tips for all mothers who have only boys: 1) keep containers of disinfecting wipes by each toilet to protect yourself before using, and 2) always pour yourself a drink when feeling the need to go rid the bathroom floor of poo - the drink makes it a far more civilized experience.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Feeling a bit rusty

It's been a long time since I abandoned my blog wrote a post but I needed time to figure out a few things. Mainly, where the hell is my sanity? I was positive it was somewhere in the house but the kids are tricky, they move things without telling me.

For those who don't know me, I have an attitude-fueled 14 year old son and a 9 year old son who thinks he's 14 and to be honest, is incredibly cranky. The 14 year old has decided he hates the 9 year old and now spends his time, outside of excessive xbox playing, harassing the 9 year old for sport. Though 9 enjoys the attention, he spends his time yelling and expanding the not so pleasant side of his vocabulary.

I also have a husband and I can promise much will be written about that once I ensure he does not find this blog.

To cope, I like to spend my time investigating reasonably priced wines from all over the world while sobbing, and promise to occasionally post the fabulous finds.

Now off to find my elusive sanity and I look forward to my new relationship with blogworld!