"Change, when it comes, cracks everything open."
Dorothy Allen

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Eve- Rousseau style

I wanted to write a quick note about our Christmas Eve, because I want to remember.  Here are some highlights:
  • I managed to get all my shopping done by 1130 in the morning.  And I was working.  :) 
  • Sawyer, terrified of Santa, has decided that she will not accept any presents from him.
  • Sawyer, in a compromise, has decided to agree that a magical Christmas pony is coming to our house tonight, and leaving presents.
  • Sebastian, after being threatened, bribed and completely coerced, agreed to leave pineapple squares and apple cider for Santa.
  • For the magical Christmas pony and/or Rudolph, Sebastian decided against carrots, celery or even a banana.  He decided that what they really wanted to eat was chicken fingers.  So that's what we left.
  • In my last minute scramble to find Christmas pyjamas for Sebastian, I compromised with a pair of small ladies pjs.  They are just red, with snowflakes on them, so who cares?
  • Said pyjamas are remarkably large on him.  Huge in fact.  Ridiculously so.
  • Even though we have run out of bags and wrapping paper, Geoff and I managed to get it all wrapped and done.
  • Both kids, before going to bed, put out their treats, gathered around the computer to track Santa's progress on the NORAD website, and then blew a kiss to the screen and said good night to Santa (aka magic Christmas pony.) 
  • Both of them were asleep by 930.  A record for Christmas eve.
This was a good day.  Christmas is going to be great.

A million blessings to all of you,
Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for Noel.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas is coming!

I am getting pretty excited for Christmas.  In no small part, because I am off for 4 days.  In a row.  Fuck yeah.

But I love Christmas.  It is so special and fun.  I always stress like crazy, about presents- did I get enough for everyone?  Did I get the right things?  Will people like them?  In the end, though, I guess it doesn't matter, even if they don't like them, they can always return them.  I just hope everyone knows that some real thought went into the gifts.  So if you don't like them, don't break my heart, don't tell me. :)  I also stress about decorations- did I do enough?  Too much?  Does everything look nice, or cheap?  I stess about baking, and cleaning and school, and work and everything else to do with the holiday.  It's like a tradition in and of itself.  I am trying to back off the stress a bit, and take it easy.  It's a work in progress. :)

There is snow this Christmas, which is fantastic.  I love white Christmases.  I don't know how people live in the south and don't have them.  Granted, we often don't have them here, but there is always the possibility, and that's what counts.

We aren't doing anything special this Christmas Eve.  Geoff and I both work through the day, and then the night will be last minute running around and prep for the next day.  We always open one gift on Christmas Eve, and that is everyone's Christmas pjs.  I still have to find a pair for Sebastian.  Boo.  If I am stuck, I will have to just get a pair of red or green ones, and make due.  But it will hurt my feelings.
Anyway, we open our pjs, and get ready for bed.  When the kids put out milk and cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer, then they toddle off to bed and hopefully to sleep.  After that.....Santa comes!

Yeah for Santa!!  I want my kids to believe in Santa until they are 45.  I don't care.  I love it.  Because of his issues, it has only been the last couple of years that Sebastian is really starting to grasp what it is that Santa does.  This year, he did awesome when he was talking to him, and even gave a list for Sawyer.  Sawyer loves the idea of Santa, but the "reality" of him is something she can do without.  I think she will be ok with getting gifts from him, though.  I think I just want both of them to be super stoked that Santa came.  I want them to always have that hope and happiness that comes with thinking about Santa. 

I know they won't always have it, though.  Sad. 

I remember having a conversation with my dad about Santa.  I had finally screwed up the courage to ask if Santa was real.  I think the previous year, I had woken up and caught my parents putting stuff under the tree, that was supposed to be from Santa.  Also, my mom was getting a little lax, and "Santa" gifts would appear under the tree much earlier than Christmas Eve, even though they were buried under others, and stashed in the back.  So I had my doubts, and some evidence to back it up.  I went to my dad for answers.

For those that don't know him, let me tell you about my dad.  He is a great guy, super handy, can do about anything that I ask him to do.  He is totally old-school, and very blue collar.  He is hard working, and rough around the edges, but super loving.  His grandkids ADORE him, and call him Papa.  He has mellowed a lot as he has gotten older, though.  This is the man that could strike fear in my heart with a raised voice.  I have confrontation issues to this day, because of my dealings with my dad.  But then, this isn't therapy, so we won't get into that. 
With all that, my dad is not the most eloquent person on the planet.  Once in grade school, I needed a note for school, to show that I had my parents' permission to leave the school grounds for lunch.  I must have forgotten to ask my mother, because I got stuck with the note my dad wrote to my teacher, Mr. Weaver.

Dear Mr. Weiner,
Anita can eat lunch anywhere she wants to.
Anita's Dad.

This is - literally- what it said.  Needless to say, I ate lunch at school, until I could get a note from my mother.

So, this is the man I asked about Santa.  Scary, huh?

But his answer was surprising.  He didn't lie, and continue to claim that Santa was real.  He didn't agree with me and dash all my hopes by confirming that Santa was make believe.

Instead, he told me that what Santa really was- was the spirit of giving.  That as long as we believed in giving and charity and magic, that Santa was real.  Every kindness paid, and every smile earned, we celebrated Santa. 

Wow.  I still can't believe that came from him. :)

So, I think I am going to steal that, when it comes time for my kids to ask.  Way to go, Daddy-o.

Merry Christmas, everyone. 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "non-believers get socks and underwear."

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I broke a promise to myself

So, this week has been crazy.  I know I mentioned that I have a new job at work.  I am a new "interim" manager, because the person in the job before me has left.  So I am filling in, until they can fill that spot full time.  I am still undecided about whether or not that person might be me. Right now, I am floundering in the dark, trying to put the pieces together and figure out what the frig I should be doing every day.  My days are filled with requests from people that I haven't ever talked to before, and everyone needs everything right now!  Most are pretty understanding when they realize I am new, and usually have NO idea what they are asking for.  But I know I can only play that card for so long (and that time frame is shorter than you might think!). 
As well, one of our team of 3 is off on vacation until the beginning of January.  So that means we are working short handed. 
Oh, and they launched a big system upgrade at the beginning of December and we are in a backlog, since the system went down for a couple of days, and there were some glitches when we got up and going again.  So, things built up and built up until now there is weeks worth of work to do, and some processes that we still don't know.  Even though we were honest and forthright and told everyone from the get-go that we were behind, they now want to know why we are STILL behind.  Hmmmmm...maybe because nothing has changed and in fact keeps getting worse?
Oh, did I also mention that my manager is out on vacation for 2 and a half weeks, and I am his back up.  Yep. 

So, here I am trying to juggle all of this, plus Geoff being back to work, and Christmas coming up, and friends, and family and trip out of town, and groceries and doctor's appointment (naturopath, pediatrician, heart murmur stuff!), decorating the house, shopping.......

I found myself doing something that I promised myself that I would NEVER do again.

I was wishing time away.

I used to do this alot, especially when I was on the phones at work (which I hated with a passion!) or when we were really poor and had no money until payday, or when stuff with Sebastian was particularily bad.  I would sit and wish for time to go faster, for a day to end, for the year to be over...anything to get me through this.  And one day, no day in particular, I realized I was, in effect, wishing my life away.  I realized that every moment I have is precious, and one that I will never, ever have again.  So yes, it might suck.  It might be so awful that I don't think I can live through it.  I might be crying, or hurt, or so angry I see red.  My chest and back might ache, my feet are sore, my head hurts and my heart is broken. 
But somewhere, in that moment, is something special, and precious and magical.

I'm alive.  My kids are safe, relatively  healthy and happy.  I have love in my life.  I have a roof over my head, and food in the cupboard.  My life is pretty amazing.  I am so blessed, in so many ways, that I can never count them.
So for me to wish that any of that would end, and go away, is the ultimate insult.  A slap in the face to the Great Creator.  Fuck you and all you gave me, I am a whiny bitch and I want something better. 

You see what I mean.

So I started looking to find the good, instead of wishing it all away.  I remember on so many of my drives back and forth to Hamilton, when I was trying to have Sawyer.  I would be 3 weeks into a cycle, and so tired I could barely see straight.  I was hurt and angry and beginning to think "why me?". 
And then the sun would come up.  And the sky would go from murky grey to pink and yellow and orange.  And the sun would heat my face.  And I would smile.

Nothing in my life got better.  Nothing changed, save me.  I chose to not wish for something else, but to find what I needed in that moment.

There is always something there.  ALWAYS.  Sometimes I forget to look. Sometimes, I don't want to.
But when I do look, I always find.  It's always worth it.

So, anyway, this week, I found myself wishing away time.  So I stopped and looked and found.

Nothing is easier.  Nothing is better, except me.  I'm better now. 

Keep your fingers crossed for me tomorrow.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "namaste".  LOL...yeah, it's like that.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Concert of a lifetime

There is something about a school Christmas concert that hits me- HARD.  Small children singing, older kids acting their hearts out, teachers working like crazy behind the scenes- I love it.  I love the small town, Norman Rockwell feel to it. 

Sebastian's school had their Christmas concert tonight.  It was really great.  Geoff had to work, so my mom and dad and Sawyer and I went.  It was a crazy madhouse, of course, but Sebastian handled it like a trouper.  He was in the choir, so he had to wear a festive colour- red, green or white.  He looked sharp in his red sweater, with the white button down underneath.

Side note:  I am always amazed at how some of the people dress their kids.  I know some people don't have a lot of money, but can you brush their hair, maybe clean their face?  How about you send them with pants that don't have holes in them???  Oh well, I am sure those kids have bigger issues than that.  :(

We picked out seats and Sawyer waited and waited and WAITED for her "Basti" to come out.  She couldn't wait to see him.  But once the play started and the kids were up singing and dancing, she was mesmerized.  Eventually though, she fell alseep, completely missing her brother's part.

They did A Christmas Carol.  They had all the typical stuff, but mxed it up too.  When I realized that alot of the songs they were singing were from the Muppet Christmas Carol, I nearly lost it.  That is one of my favorite Christmas movies ever, and the songs always make me weepy.  Tonight was no exception.

Sebastian and his class only sang one song, but they were awesome.  I saw him come out, and look around smiling- looking for me.  I was about half way back, with Sawyer asleep heavily in my lap, so I couldn't jump up and wave and smile, like I wanted to.  I had to sit, smiling like a lunatic, crying too, watching my baby boy up there, doing his part, singing his song.  God, that fucking kid is magic.

This, to me, is Christmas.  The corny tradition, the noisy gym, the some-what cheesy, but wonderfully awesome sets...that is my holiday.

Thanks for inviting me.  Thanks for including us.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "noel".


Another busy weekend...

Friday - found out I have a new job.  Holy shit.  I am excited/nervous about it.  I have been enjoying my nice little quiet corner, doing my job and coming home, and not thinking about it in between.  I am not looking forward to having to be on call, or travelling, or having to log in at night.  I have been working on my work/life balance, and I am afraid of what this will do to that. 
But on the other hand, I have been getting increasingly frustrated and bored with the job I am doing now, so I guess I need a change.  Here's hoping I do well, and that the people around me are patient and understanding.

Friday was the gift exchange and lunch out at work- Sahla Thai- YUMMERS!  Gifts were nice and fun, thanks everyone.

Friday night was the social get-together.  Not allowed to call it a Christmas party.  Food was ok, lots of shrimp.  Company was better.  Hung out with Dawn R., Dawn C., Teresa, Michelle and Kevin, Terressa, Jolene, Judy, Lynnie, Jamie and his wife, Nicole, and lots of others.  Drank lots and had fun.  Thanks to Joel K for the cigar and prop.  If you see the pictures, you know what I mean.

Had to get up early on Saturday to drive down to Leamington for Geoff's grandma's 90th birthday party.  The kids went to my mom and dad's and Dawn came with us.  It was a good drive, we made great time.  The party, in and of itself, was fine.  Grandma Hyatt seemed to have a good time, she was surrounded by her friends and family.  I got to see and meet some people that I have either not seen in years, or never met before.  How Geoff and his sisters keep all these people straight, I have no idea.  I can barely remember my immediate family, let alone all their great aunts and uncles and such.   But it is always nice to catch up with the people that I DO know.

Geoff's mother was upset with us, however, and I feel badly about that.  She assumed that we were bringing the kids to the party, and we assumed she knew that we weren't.  I don't rightly understand why it was so important to her that they were there. She sees them more now then she probably ever has, and Grandma Hyatt certainly didn't seem bothered by the fact that they weren't.  Maybe it was to prove a point, I don't know.  Either way, she was upset- upset enough to push the point past our normal, "safe" ground, and get into an almost- almost- confrontational place. 

Let me be clear- I love my mother-in-law.  She is a wonderful person.  We have never had any of the drama that you might expect with that kind of relationship.  She has always made me feel welcome, and we have always been able to chat and visit, even without Geoff as a buffer.  I feel very comfortable with her and my father-in-law both.  They are great people. 

That being said, I think I can only rememer one time that I have ever had anything close to an arguement with her.  That doesn't mean that she hasn't done things to irritate me- of course she has.  Everyone in my life has irritated me at one time or another.  Why should she be any different?  But most of the time, I just bitch about it to Geoff, and it's over. :)  Easy-peasy. 

That's what made the conversations and the overall interaction with her this weekend extra-special weird.  I just got a sense of alot of tension, and unhappiness.  I am sure some of it was carry over stress from having to deal with her mother- that is a relationship with lots of unresolved issues.  But some of it was me and Geoff and our decision to leave the kids at home.  While I stand by that decision, I am sorry it bothered her.  So, if you are reading this, my apologies if I made a stressful day any harder.  And I am sorry I called you a jerk and told you to shut up when we were leaving. :)  I know you know I was joking. 

Anyway- we finished the party and went to visit Geoff's Uncle Larry.  He has breathing issues and has been in the hospital for 8 days.  He looked much better than I expected, but was still uncomfortable, so we didn't stay long- about 45 minutes or so.  It probably would have been shorter, but we all talked to Aunt Nadine on the phone and that added a lot of time to the visit.  :)  They are sweet people, and are probably the ones, out of all Geoff's aunts and uncles, that seem the most like family to me.  All of the aunts and uncles are nice, but Aunt Nadine and Uncle Larry are the best.  Put it this way, I have zero problem calling them Aunt and Uncle. <3

After that visit, we made our way home.  Geoff's dad gave us craptastic directions, so it took us about an hour and 20 minutes longer to get home that it would have normally taken.  By the time we hit Burlington, I was getting really worried about falling asleep at the wheel so I traded off with Geoff and crashed out til we hit home.  I did discover that I probably need glasses for driving at night, and Dawn and I sang our hearts out to Supernatural and Glee songs.  It was great.

Today, I picked up the kids from Grammie and Papa who they had terrorized over night.  Sawyer came straight home, but Bastian wanted to see the Count, so he and I went for a drive up and down Clifton Hill, then picked up lunch for everyone.  We came home, and started to clean the house.  I asked Geoff to help, and he did, but he wasn't happy about it.  I hate having tension in the house, but I knew asking him about why he was so angry that I wanted to clean would just start a fight, so I stayed zipped about it.  He eventually got over it, and everything went back to normal.  I got the cleaning done, and started decorating for the holidays.  The kids' rooms each got a mini tree set up- pink for Sawyer and blue for Sebastian.  Sawyer lost her shit over it, she was so excited.  Hers is still lit, right  beside her bed as she is sleeping.

We acutally got Sawyer to pee in the potty today.  It's the second time.  I am trying not to pressure her about it, so that she can figure out on her own what she wants to do, in her own good time.  But it will be nice when she is finally trained. 

We had chinese for dinner.  Yummy. 

So, now it is time for bed.  Tomorrow is another busy day- work, with just me and Joel.  Val is off til January, so it is going to be crazy.  It is a horrible time for it to be just the two of us, but it is a reality.  I am also supposed to be learning this new job, and I don't know how that is supposed to go.  And tomorrow night is Sebastian's Christmas concert at school.  Prepare for the waterworks, folks.  I always cry when kids sing.

Geoff is yelling at me, because it is so late.  He's right, I can barely keep my eyes open. 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "night, night."  Yeah, I used it before, so what???

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Good day

Today was a good day.

I actually got some stuff accomplished at work instead of feeling like I am constantly spinning my wheels. 

The kids had a good night with minimal yelling (from both them and me). 

I got a cool Groupon for kettlebell training- which scares me a little but I am excited too.  hmmmm...what else?

Oh right, I got caught up on Glee, which is awesome. 

I did a little laundry, and Geoff agreed to make Sebastian's lunch for tomorrow (for some reason, that is a chore that I HATE.  I have no idea why.)

I had Christmas lunch at work today- turkey and stuffing, my favorite. 

Friday I am going to a work party, that should be fun. 

Saturday, we have to go to Leamington for Geoff's Grandma's birthday.  I can't say I am really looking forward to that, since I just keep thinking about how much stuff I have to do, but I am sure it will be fine.

Oh, yeah, had some pumpkin juice.  Fantastic-o.  Thanks again, Holly, Gage and Roan. :) 

Other than that, not too eventful.  Just an ok, alright day. 


Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "neutrally happy."  If that is even a proper phrase.  Whatevs.

Monday, December 6, 2010


I love snow.  I do get sick of it after a while, and spring is my favorite season.  But this time of year, and this kind of snow- I love it.  I love the way it crunches under my feet.  I like it licking off my eyelashes.  I like seeing it floating in my hair. 

Snow reminds me of a million things.  I always think of my one friend Rachel.  Every year, on the first snowfall, she is one of the very first things that comes to my mind.  She loves snow, as much as I do, and it means as much. She believes in magic Christmas snow, and that makes her special.

Speaking of magic Christmas snow, Sebastian is blessed.  The first seven years of his life, he brought the goods, we always had snow on Christmas.  Sometimes it didn't stick for very long, but it fell, and it was always beautiful.  I remember bundling him up for his first Christmas, he was only about 6 weeks old, and standing on the porch of our old house, watching huge fluffy flakes falling out of the sky.  I remember him being about 5, in the home we are in now, coming out with me to shovel the drive way, and throwing more snow on me, than he cleared.  He laughed and puffed out steam, and he was the perfect little boy.

I remember walking my old dog, Pixon.  I did alot wrong with that dog, and I was a horrible owner.  I regret that so much, it breaks my heart, and it spurs me to be better with Axle.  My only excuse was that I was a stupid kid, and didn't know any better.  But, when I was being a good owner, we would walk at night, in the snow.  At the time, the church down the street from my parents house still owned the big lot, so it was empty, just a big expanse of undisturbed white.  Pixon never walked well on a leash, but I would take her out with a huge long rope, and let her run.  She would run and run, and when she finally got tired, she would come back, and we would sit together and look up at the stars.  She would be calm for a while and I would rub my face in the thick fur on her neck.  They were nice times, happy times.  She was a great dog.

Snow.  The smell of it in the air reminds me of Lindsay and college.  The smell of spring does too.  But I can remember walking home from the bar, half lit.  We would be laughing and joking and pushing each other, Carrie and I and whoever else we had tagging along, and after a while, we would be quiet.  And in that quiet, you could hear distant traffic.  You could hear the last of the leaves in the trees rustling and whispering.  And in the air- that sharp but somehow soft scent.  It would get caught in your nose and your throat, and tighten them up for a minute.  It made you quiet.  It made you pay attention.  You knew snow was coming.  It made me glad.  And once it was there, it was part of everything we did.  My schoolwork was outside alot, tramping along deer trails, tracking hares, and fox and everything else through the snow.  Minus 50 with the wind chill was not uncommon.  It was a cold that would freeze the hairs inside your nose the instant you took a breath.  It was brutal and unforgiving.  But it toughened you up.  It made me proud, to live through it, to thrive in it. 

Good memories.

It snowed today. 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "neige".

Sunday, December 5, 2010

That was then, this is NOW

Ok, so I am back to eat my words.  Not only did Geoff make the kids dinner (just sandwiches, but still...I didn't have to do it!), he emptied the dishwasher and loaded it up again.  Plus he refereed a couple of arguements and did something else I am forgetting.  So he passed.

I re-read my earlier post and I want to correct it, a bit.  What I said is correct- about my rage and melancholiness etc...but I don't want anyone to think I had a bad weekend.  On the contrary, it was a really good weekend.  I was super busy with fun thing that I wanted to do (traditions, don't you know!) and the kids were really great for most of it.  I liked seeing everyone and hanging out and although I didn't get the Christmas decorations up, or any shopping done, I still felt like I made good use of my time.  It was really nice!

What I was talking about what the commentary that runs in the back of my mind.  Most times, I turn it down, tune it out...but sometimes, I let it leak through.

Sorry I was leaky, folks.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "no more leaks".


It's been a while, I know.  I'm sorry.

This weekend was busy.  So was the week leading up to it.  In fact, it was so busy, I don't remember what I was doing to make it so.  Work was work, always crazy.  Lot of changes, some good, some bad.  As I don't wish to be fired for anything I post on here, I am not posting anything about that.

Sawyer's swimming lessons are over, so I now have Thursdays free..for a little while anyway.  Geoff is working early, so I have been getting up with the kids and getting Sebastian ready for school.  I haven't had to do that for a while, so it is an adjustment.  Also, with Geoff working, the little bit that he was doing when he was home isn't getting done anymore.  So there is more back on my plate.  He has been pretty good about making dinner- we had a an agreement that the first person home would make dinner- and helping me clean up afterwards.  Unfortunately, his participation seems to end there.  Something to work on, I guess *sigh*.

I am feeling pretty melancholy today.  This post is likely to reflect that. 

Yesterday was the kid's party at work. The Smudge Fundaes played, and both Sebastian and Sawyer really liked them.  We let Sebastian have a piece of pizza and he did great with Santa.  Then we took them both to the movies to see Tangled.  I really liked it, but I am getting a little fed up with the 3-D shit.  I can't get Sebastian to keep the 3-D glasses on, so every movie I take him to see, he gets to watch it fuzzy.  It would be nice if they just offered a 2-d version of the same thing, for those people that don't like or can't watch 3-D.  Oh well. 
It was Sawyer's first time to the movies.  She did pretty well.  She wouldn't wear the glasses either, and got antsy towards the end, but I think she liked it.

Today we went to the Marshville Christmas village with my mom and dad.  It was nice as always, except of course, for the ever present rude people.  I am getting a really short temper, and I am getting sick of rudeness.  I am 100% willing to wait my turn.  I always let people in front of me in traffic.  But when I walk into a place where they are handing out free handmade toys and free popcorn and treats, and I can't move because
every single fatass cheapskate in Wainfleet is in there, filling up 6 and 7 bags of popcorn and perusing the toys, looking for one that isn't "funny looking".....well, I wanted to burn the motherfucker down.  My kids have to go without, because you can't get the fuck out of my way.  I have serious rage issues, but I am really good at tamping them down.  But there are times, when that rage is at the surface, and today, it came pretty close.  I know by not venting that rage, it will smolder for days, maybe weeks, and come out in other ways, but to avoid killing someone, this is really the only option.

I know I can make the choice to let this stuff ruin my day, or carry on, and have a good day.  I try to keep it as a good day for the kids.  But some days, it is really hard.  But I totally know about having the goodness of your day based on the whims and emotions of others.  I don't want that for them. 

I also wanted to go and look at Gemma today.  I know Geoff hates the idea of another dog.  I have been trying to be an adult and really think things through.  I wanted to look, though.  Of course, we get there 2 minutes before they close, and they tell me adoption is pending for her anyway.  So, I guess it wasn't meant to be.  But I want to blame someone, something.  I am pissed that I am not getting what I want.  The "Sawyer" in me is raging.  But I keep it in check.

Not entirely in check.  I am quiet today.  Geoff has asked me 4 times what's wrong.  I don't want to talk about it, I want to not have to look at his mess, and the kids' mess, and the clothes waiting to be folded.  I want him to give the kids a bath, and clean up, and make dinner.  I know he won't do any of those things.  It is another typical Sunday. 

I think I am just tired.  I need a good night's sleep.  Sorry, people, this one was a little too much inside view.  Gonna stop it here, before I say things I shouldn't.

Rosie. N. Grey
The N stands for "not a great day."