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Category: Holidays

The Never-Ending Summer

The Never-Ending Summer

This will go down in history as the longest summer EVER. The kids haven’t had school since June 13, the teachers strike is now threatening to delay the start of the new school year, and my contract at work ended August 1, so I’m home with my little darlings 24-7. On our latest trip to the library I found a book called “You Can’t Drink All Day if You Don’t Start in the Morning” — am I the only mom who finds that inspirational?

Actually, the kids haven’t been that bad. I’m just having trouble adjusting to life without either educational courses or paid employment. I don’t know what to do when I don’t have deadlines. We’ve been to the beach, and the waterslides, and the mini golf course; we’ve had BBQs and play dates; I’ve even gotten out golfing a few times. But none of that stretches me intellectually. I need to work on developing some new skills…which I plan to do if the kids ever go back to school. Sigh.

Speaking of new skills…Brayden’s printing is finally improving, and he’s getting better at tying his shoes. He went to overnight camp for the first time this week and seemed to love it, although he was so filthy when I picked him up that at first Justin thought he’d had his face painted (eww). He lost a tooth a couple nights ago and was super excited that it bled enough for him to gross out his brother. That one is all boy.

Justin hasn’t had any therapy all summer but seems to be doing great, which makes me wonder (not for the first time) if he really needs the extra help. He didn’t seem bothered when he lost a couple games of Battleship the other day, and he was genuinely excited for me when I got a hole in one in mini golf even though he didn’t. Handling defeat has never been his forte, so this was a big deal. Very cool.

The Labour of Love

The Labour of Love

I was having a drink with one of my single friends the other day, listening to her complain about the trials and tribulations of online dating: sorting through the lies in the profiles, sending messages to prospective dates, wondering what it means when no one responds. “It’s just so much work,” she sighed.

I have long been the only still-married-never-divorced one in my social circle, and I’ve heard all the horror stories about the online dating experience. But this one made me pause. Dating is so much work?

You know what else is lots of work? Marriage. Marriage is a ton of work. Endless, difficult, unpaid work. It’s an ongoing series of compromises and accommodations that frequently has one or both of us thinking evil thoughts about the other.

But it’s not all bad. He might leave toothpaste in the sink and socks on the floor…but he also leaves me the last piece of bread because he knows I like toast for breakfast. He might keep me awake with his snoring…but he’s the first one up if one of the kids has a problem. He might do a half-assed job of wiping the kitchen table…but he does the dishes every night.

And it works both ways. Who else would put up with my leaving the bedside light on to read into the wee hours? How many other people would tolerate my planning every vacation to focus on the stuff I want to do? Who else would accept my anal-retentive need to control everything?

So this Valentine’s Day, I raise my glass to the love of my life, who makes me madder than anyone, and who is with me for the long haul.

And then we’ll get back to work.

A Plague-Free Christmas

A Plague-Free Christmas

I can’t remember the last time we had a major family gathering that didn’t involve at least one person coming down with a communicable disease, but this year we managed to make it through the holidays relatively healthy. When you have 11 people tripping over each other for days at a time, it’s nothing short of a miracle when no one gets sick. (I had a cold for a few days, but that’s nothing compared to the ear infections/bronchitis/pink eye fun that swept through the group last year.)

I’m fairly sure everyone enjoyed themselves. I KNOW everyone ate too much. And I for one am happy to get back to the ol’ routine.

Bring on 2014!

My (Two-Week) Resolutions

My (Two-Week) Resolutions

Everybody makes (and breaks) New Year’s resolutions, right? Who can keep them up for that long? So this year, to maximize my chances for success, I’m making Christmas holiday resolutions.

For the next two weeks, I will:

1. Interact more with my husband and less with my iPad. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in our own personal devices that we barely even speak to each other. We need to play some games, have some laughs, and leave the electronics alone.

2. Play with my kids on their terms. That might mean having snowball fights, doing Pokemon battles, building Lego creations, or playing indoor football. I will not be so busy that I can’t find time to play.

3. Clean my house less often. This should help with #2, though this will probably be the first resolution I break.

4. Take lots and lots of pictures. I’ve taken maybe four photos in the last three months. I wish I could say it’s because we were too busy having great experiences, but really, we were just too busy.

5. Not criticize my family’s fashion choices. None of the males in my house have any sense of what goes with what, but I will not intervene, other than to point out when their clothes are on backwards. Which happens more than you’d think.

6. Not worry about the nutritional content of every meal. I won’t even comment when Chris goes for a third bowl of chips. We’ll see how long that lasts.

7. Not be in a rush all the time. It’s not easy for us Type A personalities to go with the flow, but I’ll do my best.

Most of all, I will cherish this time with family and friends, and not take all this love for granted.

Merry Christmas everybody!

Good Tidings

Good Tidings

Things are going extraordinarily well around here these days (knock on wood). And since I tend to only blog about the annoying stuff, I thought I’d embrace the spirit of the season and celebrate all that is good with the Lee family:

1. I love my job. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I do, but I really think I’ve found my calling. Technical writing is a good fit for me. And working part time rocks.

2. I finally got my grades from my tech comm program, so now I officially get to graduate.

3. Justin had an amazing report card, PLUS he actually passed his swimming lessons. That’s the first time either of my kids has passed swimming. Awesome.

4. Brayden just lost his first tooth. I had to physically yank it out of his mouth cause the adult tooth is fully in and needed space, but hey, all’s well that ends well. He was pretty stoked about his first visit from the tooth fairy.

5. We’re not travelling for Christmas this year. Technically I’m hosting, but the way it worked out, none of the out-of-town relatives is actually sleeping at my place. Bonus.

6. We’re all healthy. Last year at this time we were three weeks into a brutal stretch of colds, flu, ear infections, bronchitis and eye infections that didn’t end until mid-January. Things are looking up this year.

So that’s the latest on us. Ho ho ho!

Summer Fun

Summer Fun

I haven’t taken many pictures this summer, which is odd considering this is the first year I’ve had a phone with a camera and could technically take photos all the time. At any rate, here’s a random sampling of what we’ve been up to over the past month or so. Enjoy.

Summer Holidays: 10 Days Down, 57 to Go

Summer Holidays: 10 Days Down, 57 to Go

Not that I’m counting.

Actually, it hasn’t been too bad. It helps that we spent a week in Saskatoon, where there were lots of relatives to keep the kids occupied, and where the food and drink was abundant and free (thanks Mom!) It also helps that the boys are old enough that I don’t need to watch them every second. But after 10 months of having the house to myself for a big chunk of the day, it’s a little disconcerting to have the kids around 24/7. Thankfully they’re doing a gymnastics camp this week that will give me a few hours to myself in the mornings.

And I need that time. I’m plodding through the second-last course in my technical communication program, and “plodding” is definitely the best word. It’s hard to get motivated when I’ve handed in three major assignments and haven’t had feedback on any of them yet. I STILL don’t know if I even passed the last class, and that one ended a month ago. And that @&$! instructor will also be teaching the final class. Great.

At least it’s sunny…

Easter Fun

Easter Fun

I know many parts of the country had a white Easter (ha!) but we had an unbelievably beautiful one — no clouds, lots of sun, and temperatures in the low 20s. It just doesn’t get any better than that at the end of March!

The boys were super hyper all weekend because Uncle Greg was in town from Prince George. Uncle Greg used to live here in Kelowna and saw the boys all the time (he was our go-to babysitter cause he would do it for free and he was almost always available…it was a sad day when he got a job up north). Justin’s always been particularly attached to Greg, so he was beyond thrilled to have four days with him; he was also beyond upset when Greg had to go, but he seems to be over that now.

Back to school tomorrow!!!

The Truth About Love

The Truth About Love

It’s that time of year again, when everything is hearts and roses and the radio offers a never-ending parade of sappy love songs with titles like You Are Perfect and Stay With Me Always.

Oh, please.

Let’s face it: life is not a romantic ballad. It’s much more like a bad country song. Titles like You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly or If I Had Shot You When I Wanted to, I’d Be Out By Now may not be uplifting and inspirational, but they’re much more reflective of real life. (Or my personal favorite: If I Can’t Be Number One in Your Life, Then Number Two On You).

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been happily married for over 10 years. It’s just that being in love is so much different than falling in love. I remember the exciting rush of a new relationship, when everything is sweetness and light, and the guy is still afraid to fart in front of you. Those days are long gone.

Hey, we’re human. We yell. We cry. We say hurtful things.

But he still makes me laugh. He sometimes lets me hold the TV remote. And we both know we’d be lost without each other.

Think about it: your spouse is the only person in the world who knows everything about you and chooses to live with you anyway. Even your mother, who has known you since birth and loves you beyond measure, does not actually want you in her house. For someone to see the whole you, warts and all, and still say “I choose you”, is pretty astounding.

So this Valentine’s Day, hug that special non-perfect person in your life and show them how they make your heart sing.

Let’s just hope it’s not a country song.

Bah Humbug

Bah Humbug

It’s been over a month of vomiting, runny noses, sneezes, coughs, sinus infections, earaches, eye infections…I’m so done. I realize there are far greater tragedies in the world, but could I just ask that my kids finally get healthy? For more than half a day? Pretty please?

Cause I really don’t want to deal with the medical system anymore. Get this:

Brayden complained of an earache yesterday, so I dragged him off to two different walk-in clinics (the first one closed early because of too many patients), where we waited two hours to be told he’s fine, just needs Tylenol (which seems to be true, since his ears are OK now, but after all that? Argh.)

Also last night, I noticed Justin’s eye was oozing a bit, but not too bad — but the school called me this morning and wanted me to have him checked out, so it was back to the clinic. After another two-hour wait, we were told we could get a prescription, but there were over-the-counter drops at the downstairs pharmacy that would be just as good. Then the pharmacist informed me those drops are no longer available. Imagine how impressed I was as we went back to the clinic to get the prescription.

Now the challenge is getting the stuff into his eyes. Have you ever tried giving eye drops to a seven-year-old with anxiety issues? I dimly recall doing this when he was three, and it wasn’t anywhere near this traumatic. Three times a day for a week? Seriously?

Ho ho ho…