My Turn

I’m not writing this post to invoke sympathy from friends or family, or to pour out my woes and feel sorry for myself, but as an observation to how life plays out.  Those sayings about what you put out  there comes back to you and karma and such, I think there is some truth in them. I have tried to live my life with those thoughts in mind. Treat others the way you wish to be treated, trying not to burn bridges, don’t judge someone unless you’ve “walked a mile” in their shoes, remember there are always two sides to every story etc, etc and so on. And I think I have done an okay job, I am not perfect, but I always try to make an effort.

Well tonight, yet again, I am sitting at home alone, listening to my girls (who are suppose to be sleeping) arguing about what book to read next and to my very tired baby “complain” about being put in his bed so I can get a few minutes for me.  Now neither of these things are terrible, reading in bed is okay really, and it’s not like Conner is screaming his head off, but after another day by myself  looking after the kids, these noises sound like nails on a chalkboard.  Today again I am a Harvest widow. My husband has been out in the field all day and just informed me that he’ll eat his supper when he’s done, so I don’t need to bring him anything. Yesterday after supper I took all the kids for a quick drive to see him, just to get out of the house and have a break. I know my fellow moms would understand when I say at the end of the day it can be hard not to snap when one of your kids calls…. Mommy! By 8pm that word sends shivers down my spine sometimes, and I have to remind myself, “it’s just because I’m tired and it’s been a long day. I really do love that word” : ) My friend told me once there was a FB post about how bedtime should be at the beginning of day when mommy’s patience hasn’t been used up yet. How true is that hey? I am capable of handling it though. I’ve proven that to myself in the last four months, but it’s certainly nice to have some help. I’ve got tonnes of support that I can call on anytime I need too, so it’s really not as bad as it may seem here. PS the house if quiet now. All three kids sleeping like angels.

So I bet your wondering where this is going. Well it seems like ever since we had our baby boy in the spring,  I have been running this show alone. I know that’s not how it is, but with Dean in the field from morning till after dark and a new baby and two other kids, it gets overwhelming sometimes. It’s better now that Conner is older, he’s still demanding, but before I know it he’ll be running around too. In my husband’s defense, it’s just the timing of everything. Spring, and Fall are a farmers bread and butter. For as long as I’ve known him this is  how its always been, the daily schedule at harvest, but I haven’t been home full time till now to notice how much I miss him when he’s gone all day and then all evening. It’s hard doing the parenting thing all by myself, and then I realize…….. huh this must be how HE felt.

You see when we were first married, I had a business and I had started dancing very regularly. Then we had a baby and I continued to run the flower shop, pursue my dance passion, be a mom and wife. Since dean farmed and he was busy at parts of the year, we naturally fell into the stay-at-home dad routine. And it worked, it really did, he loved his little girl, we managed alright, but I was gone a lot. Eventually I would sell the store and work a bit less, but by then I was part of a professional dance troupe and had started teaching classes. Then Caitlin came along and I worked part time after she was born. I was fortunate to bring her to work with me, and  I still danced in the evening, often leaving Dean with one or more kids. I don’t ever remember him complaining once all those years, he never protested, he always just helped make it work. What an amazing man! Well I realized last summer, that it just wasn’t working for us anymore. Caitlin cried when I went to work and I was so tired that driving to dance and teaching was exhausting. It was time to start subtracting. It was MY TURN to be the stay-at-home parent.  I knew I made the right choice when we had an incredible summer and then God confirmed that I was right where I should be when we found out we were expecting again.  So after all those years of me being the one who worked all day and then having evening commitments, it flipped around, and now it’s my turn to take over the role my husband did so well for many years.

And even if I feel like complaining, I will try not to, he never did and I will just remind myself, that now it’s my turn. Karma’s a bitch right? , but in this case I’m actually thankful cause she kicked me right to where I should be, and probably where I should’ve been a long time ago.  When the kids are older, there will be time again for me to dance and work (if i want), but right now they need me here, Dean needs me here, I need me here. I’ll be thankful also that I am part of a family fortunate enough to be a stay-at-home mom. For I know there are others who do not have that luxury.

Autumn Arrives

What an absolutely perfect Autumn day in Canada today. It was warm and a light breeze and the colorful leaves in the trees are breathtaking. I was out and about today, headed to the city, and was driving the beautiful back country roads. I believe that fall can only truly be appreciated on these back roads, where the coulees and hillsides are full of changing leaves and the fields are being harvested by combines driven by people like my husband.  The ditches turn a burnt orange, not from the grass, but from the leaves that fall there. Many times today I thought how wonderful it is to see these fall landscapes in person, not just on a calendar, and these areas are picture perfect in my mind. My neighbor brought me a beautiful bouquet of sunflowers the other-day in many colors. As a florist, fall was always my favorite time of  year for all the many colored sunflowers. Yes the many beautiful  signs of autumn are all around us, but in Canada, another sure sign that summer is over and Autumn has arrived, is the furnace kicks in around 4am. I heard it the other morning as I was putting the baby back to bed after a nighttime feeding.  And as strange as it seems, for me the sound of the furnace means the seasons have definitely changed.

This time of year also means putting away the fans we used twice this summer and hauling out the room heaters.  Are we crazy to live in a country where houses need heaters 9 months of the year, and cars HAVE to have a block heater? Where we complain how hot it is in August and wish we had air conditioning for like one week each year? Can we really justify the price of airconditioning? I have a friend who did! He said it was +33 Celsius in his house this summer for more than two days. Lol. So…. in went the air conditioner, just in time for the change of season.

Yep we live in a country where warm jackets hang on our hooks all year, and I’m still not sure why I bother to put the toques and mitts away for summer. But my mom often says how blessed we are to experience the different seasons, to see the trees change colors, and the fresh white snow in winter, and then the new grass peaking through the snow in spring. The changing seasons in Canada and particularly in our province are beautiful and breathtaking if you take a step back and just look.

When I was young the changing seasons even inspired me to write a poem and I submitted it into a contest. My poem was accepted to be published in a book compiling all of  the winning poems. So I guess you could say I’m published??? I wonder if I could find that book now on Amazon.ca, Wouldn’t that be strange.

Anyway I got sidetracked. I’ve made myself a warm drink and am cuddled in my housecoat thinking of all the beautiful things I saw on this fall day, and then I am reminded of another reason I enjoy Autumn. In my Family it is birthday season (if there is such a thing) In my immediate family there are 6 of us who have fall birthdays. Including, ahhhh, my own! But I’ll just focus on everyone else for now. It really is true that the older you get, birthdays are not such a big deal. Maybe it’s that we enjoy our kids birthdays more as we see the joy in there faces and feel the love in our hearts for what we created. Maybe it that we understand that life will continue around us no matter what age we are, or maybe there are less “milestones” after that coveted 18/ 21. I know there are “big” birthdays, but as an adult, your birthday isn’t about the gifts you get, or the icing color on the cake, or even where you go or what you do, but whats most important is who you are with. Your loved ones, your friends, your family.  I hope that I can teach my own children that it’s not the gifts that matter, but the people who bought them.

Well I’m raising my coffee mug, to a toast, to a wonderful season and hopefully a great harvest for my husband too.  And to his birthday too and my mom’s and my dad’s birthday and his dad’s and, well you get the point. Autumn is a great time of year, even if it means summer is officially over.

Rock-a-bye-baby

If I was a morning coffee drinker, today would be the morning I pour myself an extra cup of Joe.

It’s easy to see how important your role as a parent is at 3 O’clock in the morning, in the rocking chair, with a sick child. Yes I have a baby with a cold. And he got it from my daughter, who is also coughing a bit still and asked to snuggle. She settled for a hug and a tuck-me-in, as I was feeding the baby. Poor girl, poor baby, poor me. I understant how important it is to hold a sick child in the night, I still remember cuddling with my mom in the middle of the night with a fever as a young girl, but it is also hard to not feel frustrated for yourself too hey? I thought to my self at 2am and then again at 3am…. why is it still so early? I still have the whole night to get through. And then it was 5am, okay so I got 2hours sleep, feed the baby again, go back to sleep, and then Caitlin is at my bed at 6:30am asking for a drink. Well I’ve got to go to the bathroom, Caitlin settles for some water, and I make my self a hot honey/lemon drink.

I feel a bit like a robot, and the worst part is, I haven’t had the cold yet. I can feel it coming. I know the best thing for a cold is rest, so maybe with a stroke of luck the girls can play outside this afternoon and I can have a nap. My hubby is head deep in Harvest, and will be trying to fix his combine today. So I’m on my own for now,  But I’ll survive.  I’m going to finish my warm drink, cover Conner with a blanket, find the humidifier, and see if I can snuggle up to my hubby for another hour or so, before today really begins.

You Should be Dancing….. Yeah!

For those of you who remember, that phrase brings to mind a man in a white pant suit. Yes great song, and yes “I” Should be Dancing….. literally!

Tuesday nights for  many many years have been my dance night. I would truck off to Airdrie to rehearse with the professional Bellydance group I am part of.  Yes I am a bellydancer too, another role to add to my list,  and I have the closet of costumes to prove it! On Tuesday evenings, the amazing Suzy Q, and wonderful friend,  of Shimmy Dance Productions would lead us in shimmies and undulations and glorious choreographies. Not only is it a great workout for body and mind, it is also my sanity time, a retreat with the gals.  I developed many wonderful friendships with the other dancers, and although the drive was long, I always had a fabulous time there.

Now recently, another great friend of mine started fitness classes at the school by our house. This is great, as they are close to home  and twice a week.  A little less driving for me and still a great workout. Over the summer she did her Zumba certification and so now it’s ZUMBA twice a week.  ARE YOU kidding me!!!! THAT”S SOOOOO AWESOME!!!!  I love Zumba.  I used to go to a studio in Red Deer when I had time, and Natalie’s  Zumba classes rocked the house. Rachel’s classes are just as fun and I am so excited that its right around the corner. Oddly enough Rachel’s classes are on Tues and Thurs. So now I have two wonderful classes I could attend on Tuesday nights. Great! But lately there have been many factors in my life working against me going to dance.

1. My growing family of three kids – with each one comes more demands on my time, and harder and harder to leave all of them with my husband Dean, or babysitter. I have in the past packed the kids up and taken them with me to Airdrie, but with two kids in school and a baby who likes to nurse 24/7, that’s not so realistic right now.

2. Money- well it’s just a little tighter around here as I stay home instead of working. Justifying the gas money, or cost of class can be hard, but it is my physical health after all. Also paying for a sitter has to be considered too, so…….

3. Child Care – Besides the cost of paying for a sitter, evening dance classes mean night time routine up to the sitter, and believe me some-days putting my kids to bed is a hour long drama filled adventure, with cups of water, pj’s that don’t “feel right” and triple hugs and kisses ( I don’t mind that one actually). Needless to say I don’t really want to pay a sitter to fight with my kids for bed. If the Dean is home, then it’s not so bad, which brings me to….

4. My husband farms – And right now its harvest. So as I write this, he is still running the Combine, and will be till after dark. I am a ” Harvest widow” as my mom would say. Now I’ve had this battle in my head and debated it with many friends, but I  need to always remind myself, that Harvest is where the income comes from. It’s our bread and butter.   The short weeks of the year that I am left to fend for my self, come the rewards of having a roof over our heads and food to eat.

So right now I will not complain and know that one day my kids will be old enough to leave at home while I go shake what MY mama gave me. In the mean time I will think of all you ladies in Airdrie and the ones at the school and maybe I’ll put on my own Zumba class in my living room. If fact a friend just got Wii dance, maybe I can borrow it for a few weeks until the crop is off.