Maybe We Need More…

I am not sure if this is a sign of normality or a subtle hint in disguise.

Ella has now taken on interacting with inanimate objects. Not the usual baby doll intermingling- giving a bottle, feeding them her unwanted peas. The photo to the left is of her chair cushions. Yes, orange crab chair cushions she sits on. And it appears as if they were thirsty because she’s giving them refreshing, hot imaginary tea from her Disney Princess teapot.

I assure you, my daughter is not a caged monkey with a fake cloth mother sitting in the corner. She socializes nearly everyday with other children, either through a play date, class, or trip to the playground. But it is always the same once we arrive home. There is no one left to play with, except me.

It is times like these I wonder if she needs something more- like a sibling. All of her friends have siblings. She has now reached an age where everyone she knows either has a brother, sister, or one on the way. And lately, she seems especially lonely in her car seat when I peer through my rear-view mirror. She gazes at the passing cars, looks down at her own fingers, and usually just sits alone quietly.

If it were up to my husband, we would have had another child already. But I am not sure if I’m ready to re-live another 9-months of relentless pregnancy. He did not have to give up contact with the outside world while imprisoned by bed rest. He did not have to stay on a restricted diet due to gestational diabetes, never to taste a slice of bread or sugar for months. He did not have to take Terbutaline everyday to hold back premature contractions, a drug that makes a human heart race faster than a greyhounds. He never endured any of it. In fact, he was hardly there to witness it. He was always at work. And still is.

I guess for now all she has for company at home besides me is our dog Pete. Their relationship very much resembles a brother and sister’s. They both compete for my attention. His world fell apart once she was born. She pulls his hair. He loyally protects her. And she annoys him to no end.

I know. Maybe we need fish.

It’s Falling!

After spending 28 years in southern tropical climates, I can barely sit still with the idea of experiencing a real autumn this year. South Florida fall weather pretty much only means the end of Hurricane season and temperatures slightly below 80 degrees. The only images I’ve seen of seasons have been on TV, paintings, or on a postcard.

One semester in college, my best friend sent me a letter from Wellesley College. Inside her beige envelope, I found her much anticipated chicken scratch penmanship on a beautiful Fall landscaped postcard of New England, as well as a single, delicately flattened maple leaf that had already transformed into the brilliant shades of the autumn. It was my first contact with an actual season besides summer. In a sense it felt like a moon rock from another galaxy. Never in my life did my friend feel so far away.

Ten years later, I now find myself living in the very place that single leaf grew, turned, and fell. It’s funny how life unfolds. So needless to say, I can hardly contain myself anticipating this first chance to live within that postcard.

When my cousin invited us to New Hampshire to get a glimpse of the fall foliage this Columbus Day weekend, it was a no brainer. I could have had plans for a free shopping spree in New York City, and I would cancel (well, probably).

I Used Behind My Husband’s Back….

Have I ever mentioned how much I dislike mornings? Besides peeling myself from my warm and welcoming bed, the entire process of getting my family and myself ready for the day is quite unpleasant. I am NOT a morning person at all. I’ve spent the greater part of my adult life getting home from work and eating dinner at 8 am, and now I find myself still adjusting to the more human sleep/wake cycle. I can barely utter a word before a cup of coffee, and on weekends, I can shuffle around like an 80-year old man in Pj’s for a good few hours.

Sadly, my weekdays don’t allow that. My recent alarm clock has been a 2-year old tugging at my arm saying “mommy! Wake…UP!” So I have two choices:

1) Get out of bed and shower so I can drive my husband to work on time and get my daughter out of the house
2) or, Let my husband watch her for 10 more minutes so I can continue to be in a
half-asleep/awake state.

Today, I chose option 2. Which meant shower time was going to be tight. I did my usual bathroom routine- brushed my pearly whites, washed my tired face, and then stepped into the steamy shower. Everything was typical, until I realized I needed to shave. Yup, definitely needed to shave. I turned around and looked for my razor, and it wasn’t there. I pushed aside the wet shower curtain to check the counter; it was nowhere to be found! It must have made it into the trash somehow. This was an emergency. I needed something, now! In a state of desperation, I looked up and found this…

Note to self…

Don’t watch anything romantic, anything that contains happy couples, even unhappy couples for that matter, while your spouse is seperated from you for a prolonged period of time. You will Cry, with a capital C. Big huge sobs will start pouring out and there’s not going to be a damn thing you can do about it but go with the flow (of tears and snot) and let it all out.

Being apart sucks. There’s nothing good coming out of it, other than it will be worth it in the long run.

IT WILL BE WORTH IT IN THE LONG RUN.

I don’t know how many times a day I have to repeat that to myself. How many times I see someone being picked up by their Daddy at nursery. Every day now Zack cries for his daddy, and you know what – I want to cry along with him. I want to stamp my feet and cry and scream because it’s NOT FAIR that we have to be apart. It’s NOT FAIR that my sons are having to be without their daddy. It’s NOT FAIR that none of it rests in our hands, that we have to rely on someone wanting to buy our house (in this financial climate – HA) to be together again.

I’m feeling sorry for myself (did you guess??). I woke up this morning AT 4AM (thank you Zack) with a hellish cough and my voice seems to have gone walkabout. Did you know that when you try to talk in your “don’t mess with Mummy” deep voice when you have lost your voice it comes out in a squeak and makes your almost-4-yr-old burst out laughing? Well, it does. To be fair both Zack and Max have been pretty good today, so I can only hope this continues till I start to feel better.

Then there’s the other side of things. When we do finally move up there, what if I don’t like it? What if we can’t afford a decent place? What if I don’t make any friends? I’ve finally made an awesome friend here, the first time I’ve had a girly friend like this for about 3 years, and I’m going to be moving away.

IT WILL BE WORTH IT IN THE LONG RUN.

Right?

He’s back! He’s gone again… /sigh

Well, anyone who follows me on Twitter will know that J was here over the weekend. He came down on friday afternoon and headed back up yesterday afternoon.

We had a great weekend! It was absolutely pouring with rain for the friday and saturday so we had chilled out indoor-days then, but luckily the sun came out to play on sunday, and so we obliged and enjoyed a walk into town and some play at Junglee Fun (a soft-play area for the little ones, followed by a look in Borders the bookstore to indulge in my stationery fetish. Unfortunately their lack of Moleskine’s was fairly depressing, looks like it’s online ordering for the best bits there.

Max was his usual happy self and Zack was beside himself that “Daddyishere!!! Daddyishere!!!”

Once the boys were settled in at Junglee Fun J even let me go off on my own for a bit with my camera and my iPhone for company. It was only 30 minutes, but it was blissful. 🙂

I had no idea just how much “absence makes the heart grow fonder”… I was so! happy! all! weekend! Except for when I thought of him leaving… that kinda brought me to tears, so I tried not to think of it too much. What’s the point of spending time together when he’s having to listen to my crying about him not being there – that’s what phonecalls in the middle of the night are for!

It was almost harder this time when he left though. Knowing just how hard it is to be away from him. On the other hand, he’s booked off some time at the beginning of June, so he’ll be back for 5 days in just over two weeks. I think I can handle that. 🙂

Oh, and yes… that really is the best photo I got of him…

What did you do this weekend?

I am so lucky…

I’ve just finished watching a program called “The Secret Millionaire“.

This episode was based in Dundee. I recognised all the places that were in the footage. I have walked past or through most of the city at some point in the almost seven years I’ve been here, but the groups that were mentioned I knew nothing about, I didn’t even know they existed. I live directly behind the place in today’s episode – the Hilltown.

We’ve been through some tough times over the past year. Most of you know that by now. It’s not been the easiest for us, and with J being away now it’s even harder in some ways. Still, sometimes I forget how priveleged we are. Even when neither of us had a job we had hot water, electricity and gas central heating, a home big enough for us to live in, and enough money for food.

The family that was showcased tonight didn’t have enough money for bills AND food. A young couple around ages with J and I, with three children living in a 1 bedroom apartment. He was working all hours of the day. They were relying on food packages from the church to feed their children.I feel so sad knowing that these are people living in my city. I know Dundee is one of the worst cities in Scotland for poverty, I just didn’t really take in what that meant.

Here I am, sitting in my warm house, with my kids cosy in their beds in their own room. I’m sitting in front of my shiny iMac connected up to the net, writing this while wondering how many loads of laundry I can get done. I don’t need to think about ‘what if we’ve not enough to pay the lecky*?’.

I am so lucky. I’m going to try not to forget that in a hurry.

What have you got that reminds you you’re lucky?

*’lecky’ = electricity

Freak-out!

So… J leaves tomorrow to start work on monday. I’ve just about managed to keep it together, but as he was packing this afternoon I guess it’s all just clicked that I probably won’t see him very much at all over the next 6 months or more.

I’m terrified!

Trying so hard not to let myself get upset, I don’t want to let myself start crying as I’m afraid I won’t stop.

I know I can handle this. I will, it’s just going to be hard. Really hard.

I’ll keep myself busy. There’s plenty to be doing: kids, housework, decluttering, studying, blogging and some WoW when I have the time or just need to escape for an evening (I am going to post about that sometime Kelly, promise!).

Not much time left to spend with him though, and I’m being grouchy and snapping. I really should be making the most of it shouldn’t I?

*breathes*

OK, better go compose myself before he comes back with Zack from nursery… I guess I just needed to wallow for a wee bit.

If you enjoyed reading this, pass it on!

Missing my music!

You know, I really hadn’t realised how much I missed listening to music regularly until this weekend when I didn’t have ‘game music’ blaring all the time from J and Zack playing together and was able to have my OWN music on.

I’d seen a few people on Plurk talking about Last.fm a few times, but never really took much notice. As of Saturday though, I’ve become hooked. I can listen to a ton of music related to my favourite artists, and oh my word the variety! I think there’s a way to ‘friend’ people or something, but I’ve not really looked into it much – I just love having decent music playing again.

Music has always been a big part of my life. My mum and dad both play the piano, as do I (albeit not much anymore) and I was always singing around the house. Once I was at boarding school I was able to get singing lessons and took part in the school choirs. Music was a HUGE part of my life.

When I went to uni, I lived for clubbing – feeling the music pulling me to the dance floor, pounding in my chest. I guess I was able to just let go of anything and everything when I the music was blaring like that.

It lifts me up when I need it, energises me, calms me down and generally just makes me feel happier in myself.

Who knows, one day we’ll have a piano, maybe our sons will play instruments. I’m pretty damn sure they’ll be good singers – they’ve both got quite a good ear already.

One thing is for sure though, now I’ve got my music back in my life I’m not going to let it out again

A Weekend Alone. Ish.

It was J’s birthday on friday – yes I know, I’m a Bad Blogger and didn’t give him a shout out, bite me – and he was feeling a little sad that his brothers didn’t have any cash to be able to come down for the weekend to help him celebrate. So I had a lightbulb moment and suggested advised packed his bags and told him he was going for the weekend and Zack would be too.
Luckily he and Zack were delighted with the idea and off they toddled to catch a train yesterday morning at 9.30am.

It will have been Zack’s first ever ride on a train, and also the first time he’ll remember having been staying with his grandparents, although he was there once before when he was around 5 months old. I’ll hopefully hear more than just a few vague bits and pieces from J when they get back tomorrow.

Needless to say my weekend has been oh-so peaceful and, although I’m really looking forward to seeing my boys tomorrow, I might just have to arrange for them to do this more often!

Max has been a wee star and has started WALKING!!!! loads over the course of today. I think he’s more confident when there’s not a big brother careering around the place like a monkey on crack all the time. Not that I’d ever compare my oldest son to a monkey.

He’s started calling me Mumma! Finally! Took you’re time little dude… sheesh! Now you’d better perform these awesome acts of not-so-babyness tomorrow when your dad n brother get back or you’re gonna make Mumma look like a fool! Whaddayamean I already look like a fool?? /slap!

Oh, and most importantly? I haven’t been being woken up repeatedly from 4.30-5am onwards from a certain 3 year old and am feling MUCH better for it. 🙂

Aaaanyhoo… that’s what’s been going on in our lives this weekend, what have you been up to?

Bits and pieces, again!

I shouldn’t have stayed up so late last night. I think it was around 3.30am when I last looked at the time. I really *should* start going to bed earlier… but every time I do, I end up awake, tossing and turning, and keeping J awake till around 2am. So what’s the point when I can stay up till then and at least he can get some kip n let me sleep a little in the morning, right?

I am officially starting my Open Uni course on saturday. That’s when our weeks begin, due to it being a distance learning facility I suppose. Either way, I’m excited and slightly daunted by it all. I’ve had a look at the first unit or two, and I’m pretty sure I will do fine with the actual content, it’s more like when am I going to find the time? I’ll just have to cut down on the WoW playing I suppose… (*cries uncontrollably at the thought of losing her addiction hobby*). The course is Data, computing and information, just incase anyone could possibly have forgotten…

Over the past month J and I have come to a decision. A pretty damn big one at that. We’re going to move ‘up north’ to Dingwall/Ross shire area to be closer to his family! It’s going to be a huge change for us, but I think it’s the right one. J has been much happier with the job-hunting since we’ve decided this. I have two half-brothers up that way too, so it’ll be nice to finally get the chance to get to know them properly, and my two little nephews as well!

Something that I never had growing up was much of an extended family. It’s not that it was intended that way, but there is pretty much a full generation gap between me and all my cousins. They grew up together (my brothers included), and then I was the extra that was born from my mum and dad getting together.

Now don’t get me wrong – I don’t resent it or anything, but I do wonder what it would have been like to have more family around. I’ve already done what I can to ‘combat’ that by having Max – now they will always have each other, I can only imagine how nice it would be for them to grow up with their cousins (who are 8 and almost-5) being ‘regular’ in their lives.

So, now it’s just a matter of J finding a job up there, getting our names down on the housing list, selling the place we’re in just now, and moving our butts up there. Not too much to think about eh?

I will really miss seeing my mum and dad as often as I have, but just because I’ll be further away doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll see them too much less than I have been. With J’s family around, I’ll be more likely to be able to take the odd night or two away to see them, which will be nice for all of us!

I just hope that we have an internet connection that’s stable up there… imagine if I couldn’t keep up with my interwebz! Thank goodness for my iPhone, I can always catch up from that and update every now and then if I really am stuck.

So… now it’s just a waiting game really. Lots to do, but it’s all based on one of a few things – the house selling, us getting a place up there, or J getting a job. Which ever of these comes first will set the ball rolling. Keep your fingers crossed for us that it’s the job, cause we *really* need a steady income again.

Well, that’s what’s been going on in my life, what about yours?