Showing posts from November, 2011

Torture and Worry. Isn't there enough? Why do I do it to myself?

I used to spend a lot of time alone in my car, driving home to Tisdale, back to Brooks, then to PA to watch some hockey. More often than not (especially when I was tired) my drive would get filled with tears. I would let my mind run away with the most terrible thoughts. My dad having a heart attack, my mom getting cancer, my brother getting in a car accident, my sister getting attacked by one of those creeps from the jail, etc. As my ugly cry would be reaching it's peak, I would tell myself that by just thinking of those awful things I had prevented them from happening. I mean really, I'm not psychic. Us regular folk don't get premonitions about the future. So clearly by thinking them, they weren't going to happen. Sometimes I could fool myself with this nonsense, but usually I just wound myself up for some more crying.

Things didn't change when I got married, only now I torture myself lying in bed worrying about Hugh being in an accident as I wait for him to get h…

Those Less Fortunate

Christmas ads are out in full force in the newspaper and on the radio, and TV.  With them come the pleas to help those less fortunate. This year the phrase "less fortunate" has come to take on a whole new meaning meaning for me. Every time I hear it I think of those people who like me will be grieving during the holidays.

I hadn't given much thought to those who are grieving during the holidays before. I guess I have thought of friends without siblings or parents, but I hadn't really thought what it must be like for them. I was consumed with my own life and my own family and was fortunate not to have grief accompany my holiday cheer. And on top of that I hadn't considered that it isn't just the first Christmas that is hard. It is every one.

I have done some searching online. I like to prepare myself as much as possible for any unknown in my life, whether it be moving our cats into a new house, getting a baby to sleep through the night, or in this case the bes…

Another Sunday On My Top 5?

Calder was sick again on Sunday. He had a fever all day and then puked in the evening. He wasn't all about mama yesterday, but he wasn't all about daddy either. It was marvelous (well except for the part where he was sick!).

We cuddled on the couch and even had a nap together. I am currently hearing that music in my head that they play on the Philly Dip commercials just thinking about it. It was a a little taste of heaven.

On top of a day filled with cuddles I was able to get some Christmas baking done and kicked my feet up a bit.

I can't believe that it is December this week. I have most of my shopping done (And yes, I did it online!), but I can't figure out when I am going to get the rest of my baking done or get the house decorated. I am swiftly running out of weekends.

I think I am going to have to get a Hugh-do list started!

UPDATE: I have added an ad to the bottom of the post. To date I have made a whopping $1.38 for the Children's Hospital with the ad on the …

Mount Martensville

I hate being cold. I hate -32 degrees with a windchill. Somedays, I even hate winter.

But other days there is freshly fallen snow.  Minus ten degrees. A hill.  You CAN'T hate that.

Two Saturdays ago, Hugh, Calder, our niece Maddy, and I spent an afternoon at Mount Martensville. (Technically its the hill in North Hills Park, but that's a seriously lame name. I went sledding at Mount Tisdale, so obviously there can't be a better name for it than Mount Martensville!).

After that Calder threw a fit and Hugh and I thought, "what the hell?" Hugh sat Calder on his bum, locked his heels in the handle of the crazy carpet (new and improved from when I was a kid, I might add) and shoved Calder down the hill. We thought he would just tip over to the side. Nope. He raced down at a lightening pace right to the bottom, smiling ear to ear.
I took 64 pictures of our afternoon at the hill, but somehow I didn't manage to get one of him coming down by himself on the crazy carpe…

9 months

Wednesday, 7:21 pm

Today it is 9 months since Tripp died. I used to dread this day and the preceding week with all my might. Now, I certainly don't look forward to the anniversary, but it doesn't consume me like it did before. A number of times the last month I have had to count in my head to see how many months its been. This is the first month I have had to do that. I used to just know.

I didn't even realize it was the 23rd until a 5th period student asked me the date. I had to look at the calendar to figure it out and then I repeated it to him twice. Once for him. Once for me. I thought about telling that group it was the 9 month anniversary, but it didn't feel quite right.
I thought about Tripp a lot on Friday (the 18th) and I thought about what it would be like for me this week. But at that time I didn't dwell on it, nor did I bother to count forward the 5 days to see what day of the week the 23rd would fall on. 
I am sad tonight. But not sad enough to find re…

Remembering Tripp at Christmas

I have been thinking a lot about what Christmas is going to be like for us. Holidays are for families to be together and ours is missing a piece. I wanted some way to recognize Tripp so I started googling, "remembering loved ones" and "remembering lost loved ones at Christmas" for ideas. The first thing I knew was that I wanted to get a special candle to light for Tripp at Christmas. I recently bought a special one for our everyday use from Partylite. Tripp's candle is the one on the far left. I like how the pillar looks protected. I will let you know how it looks in our house once the order arrives. I want a Christmas Candle that I can pull out every year that is specifically for Tripp. I am not sure if I want it to be an angel, but I do know that I want its style to be able to stand the test of time and I know that price doesn't matter. I have looked and looked and haven't been able to find anything that speaks to me. So I will continue to look. I wi…

Missing Tripp, but living in the moment

As the months get further away from Tripp, I find myself more comfortable around babies his age. Time is the obvious factor. Time for me to grow more comfortable with my grief and time for babies to grow. Tripp will forever be newborn and the more time that passes, the further kids his age are away from being newborn.

When I see babies at the grocery store sitting up by themselves or others crawling around at the library, I think of Tripp. It does hurts, but I can honestly say that the pang of grief is far worse when I see newborns.

Being around my nephew, Pace, the last few weeks has been significant in my healing and on Saturday I looked after him and niece, Maddy on my own (Hugh was at hockey). Pace will always remind me of Tripp, but that pang of deep sadness has gotten less stabbing in the almost 9 months since Tripp passed away. On Saturday I relished the opportunity to get to know my nephew. We played, we danced, we cuddled. There were moments I truly ached for Tripp, but there…

Top Notch Day

Sunday was easily one of my top 5 happiest days of the year. Calder was sick. He had no appetite and a fever all day. In fact he was so sick that he didn't play hockey once all day, nor did he pull out his bucket of cars. Calder was down and out.

How could my son being sick be one of the best days of the year? Easy. Calder cuddled with me almost all day. Calder virtually never wants me for anything (in fact we recently had to implement a "mom takes you to the potty every other time" rule, because Calder doesn't even want me to help him with that).  Sunday was different. He cuddled with me on the couch without needing to be coerced. He hopped up on my lap at the table when Hugh was just two chairs over. He curled up on my lap while we watched Toy Story. Sunday I felt like I was a mother to my sick son. It was amazing.

You may think I am exaggerating how Calder is with me, but I'm not. And its not a phase.  As my sister, Jes, said after Hugh was fake whinning about…

My Loving and Insightful Son

Thursday, 7:05 pm

As Calder was having his snack, I sat at the table picking away on the internet. I have been debating for a while how I wanted to display a picture of Tripp and a month or so ago I decided I wanted to get a portrait done. This would allow us to have a picture of how he truly looked without any of the tubes or swelling. (I am also going to get a portrait done of Calder at the same time. That way I can display two similar pictures of the boys.) 
I eventually exhausted my search on I think I found someone, but I'm not sure if she is the one so if you have any suggestions, I would appreciate them. I then turned my search from an artist to the right picture. I scoured through the few "good" pictures of Tripp trying to find the right one (and at the same time wishing I would have taken one from a bit different angle or a bit closer up). I started to cry. 
Calder looked up from his corn flakes and asked, "what are you sad about?"  

Online Christmas Shopping

I don't have much to buy for Christmas this year, but my first choice of venue to shop is online. I already picked up a mini-stick hockey net and am in the process of purchasing some of Disney's Cars for Calder (he has really been into Red lately). This week I also picked up a couple of birthday gifts and some stuff for a craft online.

I am not a big fan of shopping. I find making a decision hard when I am on the spot. I hate wondering if I will find something better later, or if I could get it cheaper elsewhere. I'm also not a fan of hopping in and out of a vehicle when it is cold, nor do I like battling crowds.

At home, under a blanket, a couple of lit candles and maybe even a glass of wine (the really cheap stuff that tastes more like pop than wine) is how I like to do my shopping.

So that's it. I am out of here. I need to get this shopping done ASAP to prevent the stress of wondering if it is going to arrive on time. My favorite online stores are Costco, ebay, and …

Calder's Big Boy Room

Calder has been sleeping in his big boy room since Friday. Last night was the first night he crawled out after we put him down. Hugh and I suppressed our laughter as Calder slunk out the first time. He was trying to be so sneaky. He had his back pressed against the hallway wall as he shuffled along. Hugh and I got a hold of ourselves, said goodnight and I laid him back down. Not 30 seconds later we heard rustling. I got up from the kitchen table just in time to catch Calder opening his bedroom door. I didn't say a word, just put him back in bed. We didn't hear from him again. . . until 11:30 pm. Calder called for Hugh because he had to go to the bathroom! We were pretty proud of him this morning when he had a totally dry diaper!

Calder has still been sleeping 12 plus hours. Last night he was asleep around 6:45 pm and this morning at 7 am we had to open his door to get him to wake up. We are beginning to wonder if he needs his nap back. Hugh and I are going to give this new bed…

Back On The Treadmill

We had PD today that showed a chart of the number of people in the U.S. that are obese (it is over 30%). It is frightening, because Canada isn't much different. In fact we were told that Saskatchewan has the 2nd largest percentage of obese people in Canada.

The speaker asked us two questions that really hit home for me: Have you met with a financial planner to figure out what your retirement is going to look like (when you plan to retire, what you plan to do in retirement, etc.)?Have you met with anyone to discuss what your health is going to look like when you retire? Hugh and I are on top of our finances and we are pretty healthy people, but we have never thought of our health in terms of 10 or 20 years from now. We just think about our health in the now. Right now, we are a healthy weight and we eat fruits and veggies, but one area we can improve on in order to maintain our health through our retirement is getting physical activtive for 20 minutes at least 3 times a week. 
You m…

Tripp's Bench

I just want to formally thank Dianne and all those who donated to have the bench in North Hills Park dedicated to Tripp. Check out Dianne's post for the list of donors. I tooks a gorgeous photo of Calder on the bench this weekend, so it feels like the perfect time to share it on my blog.

You can just make out Tripp's Tree in the background.

Empty Nursery

Calder is currently sleeping in his big boy bed in his big boy room. He went to sleep without a hitch. Calder was supposed to have his first night in the big boy room February 18 (the first night of the break), but obviously Tripp had other plans. We have tried a couple times since then to move Calder in, but all attempts have failed(and quite frankly we didn't try that hard). I shed a couple of tears after I said goodnight and closed the door. The nursery is now officially empty.

Lest We Forget

A friend was talking in the staff room yesterday. He said that he was so glad he was able to attend a Remembrance Day service at school. I couldn't agree more.  Our Remembrance Day service is highly organized (there are auditions for singing and speaking roles) and students in attendance show the utmost respect. It really feels like a privilege to be part of it. And truth be told, if I didn't attend the one at my school I am not sure I would make the effort it takes to attend one on Remembrance Day. That sounds awful. But its the truth.

Our Remembrance Day service always brings me to tears. The bravery and devotion to the fight for justice shown by men and woman in service is astounding.

Hugh and I spent last night watching Saving Private Ryan. It is our Remembrance Day tradition to watch a couple of war movies. Sometimes we watch a new release, but usually we lean toward the more "classic" films. We like to be reminded of the sacrifices that have been made so that w…

Very Early Goodnight

Wednesday, 6:50 pm

I think I have mentioned that we have cut out Calder's nap. He had just been doing too much partying in his bed at night (sometimes not falling asleep until past 8:30). Calder's regular bedtime is 7:30 pm and for the first 3 weeks of no naps we had pretty smooth sailing. Calder was a bit grumpy in the evening, but Calder likes to get his way, so we couldn't say for sure if it was the tired or just plain old Calder who was freaking out over trivial things.

This past weekend Calder went to bed both Friday and Saturday night at his normal time, but didn't get up in the morning until 8:00 am. It was sweet for Hugh and I to have a sleep in, but it was a wake-up call as well. Calder needs more sleep than the 11.5 hours he is getting on a normal weekday night. In fact, Calder probably needs more than 12.

The last few nights we have put him down at 7 pm and have still had to wake him up at 7 am. You need to know, Calder DOES NOT like to be woken up in the morni…

From High to Low

Saturday I was motivated by my friend, Deena (who got me thinking - you will see later this month in her 2nd addition of the Mommy Diaries) and by my sister-in-law Abbey (who just moved into a beautiful house in Martensville). I decided to get some serious cleaning/organizing done!

I started with the pantry. My friend, Danielle, has a pantry from a magazine.  All of her pasta and cereal are in neatly stack organized containers (mine are in bags spilling off the shelves). She even has dishes stacked up in decreasing size. My pantry could possibly cause us to be sued. There are no guarantees that when you open the door something won't fall down on your head and if you take the risk of stepping in, there is nothing stopping you from rolling an ankle. Enough was enough on Saturday. I didn't get containers to organize my pasta, but I did move everything back from the edge and put it in it's proper place. As well, I vacuumed up the half a bag of puffed wheat that had been spille…

Next Time

Yesterday's post, Career Education High Five, was written at the end of September. At the end of the post I summed up by saying, "I shared lots of this with my students, but nothing about Tripp. I wanted to share him, but the one time I tried to include him I got choked up and couldn’t say it out loud. Life is a journey on which I am constantly learning. Maybe next time I will be in a place to share one of the most important people in my life."

Next time, which wasn't exactly the immediate, "next time", turned out to be this past Friday. I was introducing Health to my girls (I teach them PE/Career Ed/Health) and we are talking about relationships, the roles others see us playing (daughter, sister, student, athlete, etc.) and how we are all connected. For the first time in my teaching career I participated in a sharing circle. Each girl got an opportunity to share what relationships meant to them. It was a really cool experience. We then did an activity that …

Career Education High Five

Something I learned in order to teach my students. . .

What Is The Difference Between Job, Occupation, and Career?
Often the terms job, occupation, and career are used interchangeably. In fact, they have very different meanings.

A job is work for which you receive pay.
Example: biologist at XYZ Biotice Company.

An occupation is a wide category of jobs with similar characteristics.
Example: physician, engineer, educator, or scientist.

A career is a lifetime journey of building and making good use of your skills, knowledge and experiences. It is the total of all events and relationships in our lives: family, friends, education, work, and leisure activities.

Career Education is part of the grade 9 PE course at my school. My students are doing an assignment on the High 5’s of Career Development. We talked about each section as a class and shared personal examples. It is good stuff, so when my girls were working on their assignment, I did one myself.

Career Education isn’t about a job, it is abo…

More Time, More Thinking

Deena posted a link on facebook to THIS article about blogging on Wednesday.

This stuck with me: " blog is to teach yourself what you think."

Writing helps me sort through thoughts in my head. I realized sometime between Wednesday and now that I have not been spending enough time blogging. I have been posting, but the last two weeks have been more about powering through, just getting something down, than it has been really thinking about how I feel.

The last 2 weeks have been super busy for me between volleyball, school, and family it has been go, go, go. I just haven't had the time or the energy to really think about things. 

I need to do better at thinking about things next week. Between a visit with friends and a couple emails, I realized I haven't made much progress in a area or two I want to work on. I might even try posting every couple of days. That way I can write on the same post a couple days in a row. Hmmmmm. . . .

Next week.


Today I am inspired by THIS.

I am grateful for the hug I got from Calder last night. It was the kind of hug that almost knocks you over and is so tight you have to hold your breath.

I am grateful for a husband who takes care of me, which includes packing my lunch and bringing me coffee EVERY SINGLE MORNING. I am also grateful for a husband who likes to hold my hand.

I am grateful for a job I love and for the most magnificent pink and orange streaked sunrise on my way to work this morning (I was so wishing I had my camera).

I am grateful for friends who make time zoom by and for a family that accepts me for who I am.

Right Where I Am

I function better day-to-day than I did 2 months ago. I don't cry every day on the way to or from work, just most days. I rarely need an afternoon to myself in my sanctuary.

I enjoyed work more in October than I did in September. The disappointment of being back to work babyless wore off and I was able to focus more on what I love there, kids and teaching.

Halloween came and went. Another holiday without my baby. I didn't bother me that much. I definitely thought of him, but didn't pine over what he would be wearing. I did wonder if he would have been crawling yet. Calder was Charles (our cat) his first halloween and he crawled around the house his costume (Calder and Tripp's due dates were a week apart).  I guess maybe it did bother me a bit. I had to stop looking through my facebook news feed the last couple of days. Too many families with their babies dressed up.

When people ask me how I am, I have started to say, "good." I didn't do that before. I alw…

Halloween Wrestlemania

Calder's buddy, Dylan and his dad, Chris met us for some Trick-or-Treating on Monday night. Calder was so pumped to see Dylan that in the morning when I pulled him out of his crib and wished him a happy halloween he immediately quipped, "Dylan here yet?"
Hugh's partner in crime at work (the Principal:-) ordered 2 angry bird costumes for her and Hugh to wear at work on Monday. Hugh was so pumped about them he brought them home to get a bit more wear out of them. Chris was more than happy to join in!
 These were the best group shots I could get of the boys. Dylan was afraid of the angry birds. I don't blame him.
I think the boys had a great time. Apparently after every house Calder and Dylan were tackling each other and giggling as they wrestled on the sidewalk. Hugh and Chris thought it was hilarious. I got a taste of the wrestling it while Calder and Dylan were in the basement wearing off a bit of energy. I might be in a bit of trouble from Kerri (Dylan's mo…