Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas is Around the Corner

This quite literally my favourite time of the year.

Not Easter, May 2-4, Mother's day, Canada Day or even my birthday.
But Christmas! oh its the Most Wonderful time of the year!

The tree is lit up, the garland is on the stairs and around the fireplace, presents are reeling in and waiting under the Christmas for the big day to open them all. The excitement of what everyone gets and the shared excitement when its a BIG surprise. On the flip side, I hate surprises. I don't like to be put on the spot...

December is also the most giving time of the year for me. For the past 5 years I have volunteered with friends to hand out turkey's through the local foodbank (Eden Foodbank Mississauga). I look forward to doing this for the people who come to pick up their turkeys. A voucher is sent in the mail to those who use the foodbank throughout the year - it is valid for 1 FREE turkey per household. Pick up location is always accessible, with plenty of parking if needed. This year it was on December 17th - one of the coldest weekends this year. All of us bundled up in layers upon layers, sipping tea and coffee.

 Every year, there are several people who appreciate this free turkey. There are several people who have a Christmas dinner at home because of this free turkey. This is what makes someone's Christmas every year. This is the reason I volunteer my time and recruit others to join me. We don't care how cold it is - raining or snowing or hail even...we show up. The families with vouchers depend on us to show up and help hand out the turkey's as they arrive. After such a giving time, my heart is always full more than anything.

All in the same day, we attended (my) first ballet ever - The Nutcracker. I was amazed by the costumes and the dancing! What a classic story told with such grace and talent. We got tickets in September when they announced the date and had a great view! It was quiet, respectful, and emotional. Ballet was never something I learned (more of a figure skater myself!) but always had a fascination for it.

My ultimate favourite story would be Swan Lake - which happens to be coming in the early summer next year! I can't wait to see how beautiful the costumes and dancing are in that show. I would like to bring Adriana with us then. It will be her first ballet - which she has always wanted to be a ballerina! I think it would be captivating enough for her to sit through quietly, especially when she knows the story line. It is months away to figure out the details....but definitely have to go see that!

I may not post until the New year - its the busiest time and I plan on enjoying every minute. I wish you and your families a Merry Christmas (Happy Holidays!) and a most Happiest New Year. Here is hoping for another great year ahead - Hello 2017! I'm ready for ya.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Next Steps to a Better Self

"You can't pour from an empty cup"

This saying is my parenting motto! I swear by it since I knew I was going to be a parent. It holds the truest of meanings everyday, especially on the super hard day. You know those days...when you literally want to give up, cry, and crawl in bed to hide under the covers. Those days you dont even turn on the TV as a distraction. The days you finally sit down at 9pm, only to pass out immediately from exhaustion. The days when you hold back tears at your desk because you are just (beyond) tired.

We all have those days (err..weeks) and we get down on our self. For what? Trying too much? Having to be both parents? Caring too much? Trying to give our kids the very best? Telling them every day how special they are? Turn some of those words of encouragement to you for a bit. Yes you! Dont ever give up just because it seems hard. Believe that God (yes him) would never give you something you couldn't handle.

There have been so many trying times over the years. One thing I remember is to take care of myself first so I can take care of Adriana. I constantly have these little blue eyes on me at all times. It was to the point that I used "Fake it, 'til ya make it" just so she wouldn't see how hard of a time I was actually having. It had nothing to do with her so I didnt put that thought in her head by being a blubbering mess around her. I would do what any hot mess mommy would do - I let it out in the shower!
I am not ashamed to admit that I put myself to bed at 9pm on a regular basis. This ensures I dont let my mind run away with unnecessary thoughts that keep me awake.

I need to be alert by 630(ish) to make breakfast for Adriana, get ready and take her to school. I go to work and survive on no caffeine too, which has been an amazing journey in itself (thats for another blog post!) In order to keep up with this almost 5yr old little girl, I have to take care of me.
There are nights I wake up for no reason, turn over, fall back to sleep. I know Adriana is safe with me. She is asleep in bed, not a noise from her. Peaceful. Quiet...oh the quiet! She is my muse. She reminds me to get dressed and show up every day. Be present even when you dont really want to. Distract yourself with work for awhile. There's no time for self pity - save that for when she goes to bed and you jump in the shower. Save that for the cup of tea you share with your friends while shes with her Dad. Save the self pity for any other time.
Instead show her how strong you are. That even when things dont work out, you carry on. When something makes you mad, you learn to accept it and move on. You cannot control someone else' decisions.

She will see how strong I am and do the same. She will remember how happy her Mommy is, not how miserable I looked. She will see me as an example and aim to be the same (or better). Monkey see - Monkey do. She is lucky enough to be surrounded by strong women (on both sides) and will fear nothing. I pity the fool who tries to tame her one day.