Thursday, September 30, 2010

the bus

For the first week of school we lived in Cochrane so I drove the kids all the way to Willow Park, it took an hour and fifteen minutes.

The second week of school they started to take the bus from our new house. I wanted Amelia in afternoon kindergarten, I don't know why but I did, but they didn't offer the bus for afternoon kids so I put her morning kindergarten just so she could take the bus. In my cluttered over-stressed mind, this made perfect sense.

So every morning I drove the three kids to the bus stop. At noon I drove to a different bus stop further away to get Amelia. After school the two boys just walked home from the bus stop.

The school is literally one more minute driving from the bus stop.

The first week in the new house we were 15 minutes late for martial arts, both days, which is on the other side of town. So I decided that the boys needed to be picked up from school in order to make it in time which means that I am paying four hundred dollars for the boys to walk home from the bus 3 days a week, otherwise they get driven to and from. Even in my cluttered over-stressed mind this makes no sense.

So I cancelled the bus service and now I drive them the extra 60 seconds to the school. Which, surprisingly, I really enjoy.

I'm sure that little story held zero interest for you, I guess it's just another look into my mind and it's psychosis. Here is what actually prompted the story.

The first day Amelia took the bus they didn't return her to me. I sat at the bus stop for 30 minutes after I knew the bell had rung and then I called the school.

me: Hi there, I am waiting at the bus stop for my daughter but she never came and I can't imagine that the bus takes 30 minutes to get from the school to this stop 60 seconds away.

them: What do you mean 60 seconds? Copperfield is much further than that. I'm sure they are on their way.

me: I don't live in Copperfield. I live in Willow Park.

them: Oh no!!! I'll phone you back.

See, I live in one of these communities that is full of big old schools and old people. There are very few children who attend these schools who actually live in the community. This explains a lot. But still.....

They called me back.

them: We are so sorry. She is on the bus and the driver will bring her to you as soon as she is done in Copperfield. We overlooked that there might be a child not from Copperfield on the bus. We're so sorry!!

me: Honest mistake.

An hour later she was returned to me and my stomach finally settled down. I was nice on the phone but as a parent it just confirms my fears that no one is really looking after my children while they are away from me. I don't care for that feeling at all.

I was so relieved to see her I kissed her face off as soon as she stepped off the bus. I put her in the truck and asked her how her day was and what was her favourite part. She said, "The bus ride."

Of course it was...... Then she told me this story.

"Mom, there is a little boy in my class named Teo. He has dark hair and his mama puts it into a mohawk. He wears a red hoodie and he is so handsome I just can't take it. Today he was so handsome I had to kiss his face off."

me: "Amelia, did you really kiss his face off?"

her: "Yes, I just couldn't take it, he is so handsome."

Oh boy, I guess that since they don't take the bus anymore and I don't have to worry about anyone losing my children I will focus my attention on teaching the 4 year old some boundaries.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

moving day, part 2

Moving day. Started off bad and got progressively worse. I had to take the man out to the Uhaul truck rental in Timbucknowhere. I left him there and made my way back to Cochrane to buy donuts and muffins for the moving help. Once I neared the city limits I received a call from the man.

"I don't have any money and they don't have interac"

Are you kidding me?? Who doesn't have interac? Of course credit cards are out because the only one we have left after the reno with anything on it doesn't work in Timbucknowhere.

I had to go into Cochrane, hit the bank, and drive all the way back out to him. My anxiety was through the roof. I hate making people wait and by this time a bunch of men were at my house waiting for the Uhaul.

You get the picture. But this waiting made it so that the new group of men waiting to help at the new house had to wait even longer. I wanted to throw up all day long.

Finally they arrive. The front lawn has a huge slant to it. They tried to get the Uhaul up on the lawn. It was making a mess. So out comes this question from one of the men, "do you care what happens to the lawn?"

Me, in my head, "um, yes, of course I care what happens to the lawn. I am going to try and sell this place in a month and I would like for the lawn not to be trashed. Why would you ask me such a silly question?" Like I said, only in my head.

From behind me the man responds "Nope, have at er' "

Me, in my head again, "we really don't care what happens to the lawn?? um.....okay."

They drove that giant, multi tonne Uhaul up on my lawn. And then when it was unloaded they tried to drive it off. This is where my mood picked up. It was so funny I wanted to cry. Or maybe I wanted to cry because it was so appropriate to how things roll around here. No one should be surprised when things don't go as they should.

One stuck truck

Wreaking minor havoc

Hmmmm......what to do......

The man, showing that truck who's boss (or so he thinks)

Finally, the chain makes an appearance and saves the day.

And then, the icing? Was when Brett, the man driving the Uhaul. The wonderful friend who stayed all day and helped. The wonderful friend who helps us move into all our houses, lost his keys. I still don't know what happened with that. I really hope you found them Brett and thank-you for being such a great guy.

The house was still so dirty and dusty from the reno'ing. When I first showed up at the house to wait for the movers my amazing, lovely, gracious, kind neighbour came over with a mop, a bucket, some rags and her slippers and said "put me to work". I cry when I think of what she did that day because that has never happened to me before. The kindness of strangers. It was a tender mercy for sure. She vacuumed out all the bedrooms and when I say vacuum that includes the walls. The closets were freed from their three inches of dust and all ready for the kids' things as we moved in.

As the sun went down and the man was still gone gathering the rest of our things because they don't make a Uhaul big enough for all my crap, I collapsed on the couch and surveyed the mess. I looked out the dark window and saw this,

The Elders were there. And they helped, amongst many others, and I remembered how much I love my religion and the service I can count on from people who don't even know me.

I am a lucky lady. I'm very grateful.

Now it's time to wash some windows.......

Monday, September 27, 2010

i'm back!

I am back! Oh blog, I have missed you so. Who knew this old house had such issues with their phone line? Trust me when I say we weren't surprised that there were issues but nevertheless, the issues kept me from my blog for two whole weeks. Fear not. I am back and a whole blog post will be dedicated to Telus and their amazing contribution to my sanity. What a lovely bunch of people, but alas, today is part one of the actual glorious act of moving.

There is so much to say, life has carried on since the move and in true "Catherine" form it has been dramatic and chaotic and a total nuisance! This would be the longest post ever if I put it all here at once so over the next few days I will share the highlights of the move and life thereafter.

The day before we moved I took all the kids downstairs and told them they had to help me clear out the food storage room. Cicely worked hard on occasion, and the boys? Well the boys were distracted by the awesomeness that is empty water containers.

First, the stacking......

then, the jumping head first into.....

and finally, the landing......

This is what they did the entire time I cleaned out the food storage. When I was done I sat down and Jack said "are we done?"

Boys...... honestly.

The night before we moved in the man and I spent at Willacy finishing the floors.

They looked like this a few days before from our first attempt at staining.....

Totally hideous.

I detest sanding floors. One more thing we can add to the list of things I never, ever want to do again.

You'll have to come back tomorrow though if you want to find out what the highlight of moving day was. Here is a sneak peek:

Stay tuned......

Saturday, September 11, 2010

it is what it is

It is 12:59 am on Friday night. The man and I just got home from putting the last coat of poly on the floors before we move into Willacy in 9 hours. The floors look alright. Not perfect by any standard and not even good enough by my standards but .....

" is what it is."

This seems to be my mantra of late.

Tomorrow as we move in the plumber will be there hooking up sinks and toilets because with 7 people in a house sinks and toilets are a necessity. The furnace guys will be there as well cleaning out the battered and dust encrusted vents. Because it is cold outside. And I want to turn on the heat so I don't freeze. That's not too much to ask is it? I didn't think so.

Nothing like having all the excitement happen at once.

Oh well..... it is what it is.

Now I must sleep for tomorrow the impossible will become possible. Just watch me move mountains.

I am woman. Hear me roar!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What day is it?

Today is Thursday. We move on Saturday. On Monday we sanded the floors AGAIN and then we continued to sand them on Tuesday. On Wednesday we showed up to clear coat the floors with polyurethane. As I was doing one last vacuum I entered the back bedroom and was almost knocked off my feet. A third of the floor from wall to wall was under water. I gasped. I stepped back. I madly tried to think of a way to keep the gargantuan eyesore from the man. I had to tell him.

He took it well. No yelling, or throwing, or growling or cursing, maybe a little cursing. He held it together. He went to Rona, bought some plastic and went up to that freaking roof and water proofed it. We had a leak into the basement for a while early on but we fixed it and didn't have any problems with for a long time, until Wednesday. It was shortly after that I shed my first tear because of Willacy. I am nearing the end of my rope, I can feel it.

And.....we need a new roof.

Today I put coat 2 of the polyurethane. It needs another coat. We move Saturday. I can't believe we are moving into this house. I can't believe we are moving in two sleeps. I need to go pack but I needed to sit for a second. I don't ever sit anymore, except to drive the hour to school and then home at 8 at night. I have never in my life been so exhausted.

The other day the man and I were commiserating about our lives and we started to joke around about the things we would rather be doing than this stupid reno.

A friendly game of would you rather. It went something like this:

Would you rather take five hours to push a baby out and then have a bladder infection because of it for three months or do this reno? Bladder infection. Duh
Would you rather have a c-section or do this reno? C-section. Double duh.
Would you rather have an ectopic pregnancy rupture and almost die because 75% of your blood bled into your gut or do this reno? Ectopic. A week in the hospital by myself? Duh.
Would you rather have cardiac catheter surgery or do this reno? This was a toughie. I really super hated that surgery. But then it was only a day of horror. We'll give it an almost duh.
Would you rather have Bell's Palsy for a year or do this reno? Since my palsy only lasted a couple of weeks the jury is still out on this one. I don't know. Which one's worse? Hopefully I'll never know!

So two things were realized during this productive conversation.

1. I have a pretty unusual medical history. Some good stories to tell at parties, if we were ever invited to parties.
2. I am really hating this reno.

Monday, September 6, 2010

sand and re-sand

I've adopted the whole "if you have nothing nice to say then don't say anything at all" mentality. This is why I haven't blogged since last Wednesday. But then, today, I decided that it's my friggin' blog and if I want to whine and complain then that's what I'm gonna do because it's MY blog and I do what I want on my blog.

I don't even know where to start.

First day of school. Busy but mostly uneventful. We get up at 7. We leave at 7:45. We get to school just before 9. Sounds normal, right? Well it's not normal to drive an hour to school but apparently that's how I roll. Like a total maniac, I do everything the hard way. Last Thursday and Friday I spent a lot of time driving and waiting for kids. Getting the teen registered for high school only took about 7 hours of really annoying tasks. Seven hours I'll never get back. (Yeah, yeah, I'm sure it wasn't seven. But still........)

Jack and Chandler wouldn't let me take any pics. Whatever.......

While I was dealing with children and new registrations and all the driving the man was sanding hardwood. I tried my hand at the sanding and it was dumb and exhausting and was taking forever. He took over and rented many a tool until he found one that worked. I won't comment on the quality of the job he did.

I love you Darcy.

Friday we picked out a stain we both loved. Spice. The paint store only carried it in little bottles. It takes a week to order it in gallon cans (of course it does) which would be half the cost. We don't have a week. Two choices: one, buy 20 little bottles for $300 or find a stain that is similar for cheaper. The man said he would search out the perfect stain look alike on his way home. He came home with a stain that looked nothing like it.

I shook my head no.

"Don't shake your head no at me," said the man.

"It's too dark," said the woman.

The next morning, we set out to gather 20 bottles of this Spice. Three Rona's and one Ben Moore later we had 20 bottles. The guy at Ben Moore said "This is the best stain in the world. It doesn't smell, it only needs one coat and it is seamless". Perfect.

With my mother at my house with the kids, which I am pretty sure is not where she wanted to be, we put the stain on. It took forever, we covered 1000 square feet. It looked BAD so I put on another coat. I still hurt from this 8 hour pilate-like workout.

The next day we went to check on it (after we attended our new ward which only has two words to describe it and they are 'gong' and 'show', but that is neither here nor there).

Floors...... Not perfect. Hideous. Blotchy. Light spots, dark spots, seams up the ying yang and the man's not so stellar sanding job glowing though the stain. We hung our heads in defeat.

This brings us to today. We had only one option. Re-sand the floors.

Even Holden lent a helping hand.

Today we re-sanded floors all day long. The man stayed after I left to sand all night long if need be. He has no bed, no blanket, no pillow, no food, no water, no me.......

We move in 5 sleeps.

You can imagine what the stress of this has to done to him. He is a bear, to say the least. Cranky, miserable, unhappy, exhausted. On Saturday, we had Chinese for dinner and his fortune cookie said 'Your magnetic personality will draw people to you this month'.

I laughed till I cried.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

go away. i'm begging you!

Everyone is waiting. I am waiting for the kids to go to school so I can get back to work on the reno. The children are all waiting to go to school so I stop barking and nagging them to death. This waiting game is killing me. I've had it.

My Dearest Children,

I love you so much, I really do. But you need to go away now. I can't take the bickering, the pestering, the loudness, the laziness, the whining, the fighting, the torturing, the fussing and the endless questions that all begin with "Can I...." any longer.

"Can I eat?"

"Can I play my DS, or the Wii, or the game cube or the computer?"

"Can I buy this?"

"Can I?"
"Can I?"
"Can I?"

These questions, asked millions of time a day, no exaggeration, are driving me mad.

I love you. I love you. I love you. And I'm not trying to talk myself into it, I actually do love you but....


If you don't, my head will explode and you'll get my brain guts all over your pretty little faces.


Your sweet, patient, kind, loving mother.

Yesterday I registered 5 kids in four different schools. This is what that particular activity can do to a person.

Lucky kid......