Time to Plan a Trip

It’s 9:30pm and thankfully both kids are in bed. Or are they?

Stomp, stomp, stomp… I can hear Adam’s feet pounding down the stairs.

“Mommy, I can’t sleep”.

I sigh and get comfortable for our daily fight about bedtime.

“Go, lie down in your bed and try again.”

“But I have something to tell you. It’s important”

Again, same old ground “You can tell me tomorrow.”

“But I’ll forget!” If the pitch of his whine is any indication, this is a life and death matter. But since this is an extremely recurring matter I now know that a comet is not falling from the sky and charting a course straight to his bed.

“Okay Adam, what is it?”

“We need to go to Mexico.”

Mexico?! Coming from a kid who thought he could catch a plane to Egypt to say hi to his cousin and we could pick him up in two hours before his bedtime. Really?

“How did you learn about Mexico, Adam?”

“From my friend, Layla in class. She didn’t come to school all of last week because she went to Cancun with her parents.” Cancun, wow, this guy’s geography is really good for a first grader. “And you know, she even went to Disneyland. You never took us to Disneyland. I want to go there.”

Oh the joy of peer pressure at such a young age. “You know Adam, maybe one day we will all go to Disneyland together.”

“When? Next week?”

“No sweetie. When Jo turns three. In about a year.”

“A year!!” The ‘Whine’ is picking up pitch “But that’s too far away!”

I’ve had enough. I’m giving up my Bones episode for this. Definitely, not.

“That’s it Adam, go to sleep. Now! We’ll talk in the morning.”

Fifteen minutes of sulking, moaning and stomping later I finally get my peace, quiet and dead bodies.

The next morning, a still sulky Adam comes down looks at me and mutters,

“I’m still sad. I miss all my friends and family in Cairo. And you don’t want to take me to Mexico or Disneyland or anywhere!” accompanied by the strategic tear.

It’s going to be a long day…


One Blue Line? Two Blue Lines?

I’m late. Not for an appointment, or for the bus, or for anything else for that matter. I’m late for that monthly visit that makes all women worldwide wonderful people to be around.

I’m 5 days late for my period. And as a result I’ve been frantically peeing on pregnancy sticks non-stop for the past five days as if getting rid of all that pee on a stick will bring my period around.

Am I pregnant? No! Do I want to be pregnant? Hell, no! Or I don’t know! Or maybe? I’m just so confused and apprehensive and freaked out that I don’t know what I want. Ironically if I do get pregnant it will yet again help me defy all conventions and medical norms by getting pregnant on an IUD. My first two kids were almost miracles, since I was told I would not get pregnant without fertility treatment and both times I was surprised by the little blue lines on the stick without once popping a pill.

Back to the pregnancy scare. Ironically, I’ve been throwing around the idea of a third kid to my husband the past few months, partially to see how it sounds aloud but mainly to see him freak out and go into a deep sweat. But now that it may be true, I’m turning into the coward that I know I am and calling a do-over.

I’m probably not pregnant. The probability of it happening with an IUD is pretty low. My period is probably just taking it’s sweet time to get ready, in the mood and come, much like my arrival to all my appointments. But that’s too much probably’s for me to live comfortably. I need it to come now and I’m willing to do anything to get out of this waiting phase. I wonder if a rain-dance will work? Or does it work like child birth? Do spicy food and sex hurry it along? Should I try jumping up and down?  I’ll try anything to keep me from going crazy.

And so I’m off to the drugstore to buy yet another pregnancy test. I think they’ll start offering me a buy two get one free promotion to help me out after all the money I’m spending on this stuff.


Painful Friday

It’s been a bad weekend. For me, for my best friend, for my son’s school and for thousands of people in Connecticut.

My heart is broken, utterly and literally into tiny fragmented pieces. When you become a parent, you open up your heart to a new and excruciating form of pain. Parenting becomes a source of joy and a source of sorrow. A needle prick in your child’s finger is like a stab to the heart. Your mother’s ailing health send’s you into a spiralling attack of panic.

And this weekend all these boundaries were tested. Ailing children, dying children and dying parents. Friday was a day for the books.

Remember this post? I got an email from the school that they were sending home an important letter today. As I read the email, my heart dropped. I pretty much knew what they were going to say and I braced my self. Still, when I opened the letter to read about the poor third grade boy who had finally succumbed to brain cancer and died peacefully with his family back home, my heart cried out in anguish for all the pain and what-if’s his parents would be living through. When we told Adam what had happened that night, he blanked out at the word ‘died’. I mean, why should a kid his age die? Obviously, next came the inevitable question of why little kids die.

And that is the question that must have passed through all our minds after what happened to the kids in Connecticut. You kiss your 6 year old in the morning and send him off to school. You then pick him up in the afternoon in a body bag, with his frail and cuddly frame full of numerous bullets. There is no sense or reason to what happened. And whether you have kids or not, you’re still shattered by the cruelty in this world. Oh, how life is fleeting. You wake up in the morning thinking you have all the time in the world for soccer practices and piano lessons and hand-wringing teenage date nights. Then everything is abruptly snatched in a blink of an eye, or the shot of a gun.

So you hold onto those moments.

Which my best friend is trying hard to do, as she recently found out that her beautiful, strong mother’s cancer – which was severe and critical to begin with – has taken a turn for the worst, much, much worst. I was there when she first found out her mother had cancer almost three years ago. Ironically at the funeral of another friend’s mother. I saw the devastation and shock in her eyes and I watched the endless ups and downs throughout the years as prognosis reports came through and chemotherapy took a toll on the family. One month after the initial discovery, she was told that it was inoperable and incurable. Given a 6 months to a year, she surpassed all expectations. She got time to see her youngest get married, her new grandson light up her world and her eldest succeed in business. But it wasn’t without it’s sacrifices. What my best friend, her mother and the family have gone through could bring down any family but they soldered on. And while I may fervently wish that I was physically beside them at this trying time, my heart and soul lies back home where it is still connected to her and everyone else.

In Memory of What Could Have Been

Dear Mommy,

They say that there is no bond stronger then that between a mother and her children. How I wish that were true. I would love to be one of those people who proudly declare their mother as their best friend. I wish I could run into your arms and cry my heart out. I wish that I looked to you for inspiration and hope. Oh how I wish so many things.

But unfortunately none of them are meant to be.

I love you. That I can’t deny. But I want, I need more.

As a child I thought you were mean and unkind. As an adult I know better. The burden you carried, the problems you faced and loneliness you lived through. I now know that it wasn’t entirely your fault. But it doesn’t change anything, the damage is done. The hole inside me is too big to fill and too deep to ignore.

I want to be a different mother to my children but I’m afraid I don’t know how. After all, I am the product of what you made. Oh how I wish you could teach me another way.

You’re far away and I miss you. I miss the concept of family, the physical support and presence in my life, but nothing more. And maybe this is what’s keeping me up. Keeping me going.

You’ve helped me. Not to depend on anyone. Not to look for comfort and emotions. Be practical. Don’t lean, don’t look for support. And it’s keep me strong. But it’s keeping me hollow.

Mommy, I miss you, I love you. But more importantly I miss and ache for what could have been.

Love forever,

Your daughter

Written in response to the Daily Prompt: Dear Mom

OLRC’s News at 8

I know it’s Birthday Craze Week and all, and I promise you I’m not slacking off. In fact I’m working on the very creepy very cool Samurai Power Rangers cupcake toppers. Pictures tomorrow, I promise.

So I decided to take a break from all that and share with you highlights of my day.

You are now listening to the OLRC (On Life Reading’s & Cupcakes) Daily News at 8. Todays top stories are:

-It’s been snowing all day today. No big surprise there. But every thing is white. Again. It had just become green yesterday after all the snow from the last snow-storm had melted. So yay, lucky me, more snow means more shoveling out the driveway. On the bright side maybe I could count that towards my daily exercise routine (See that. I’m trying to imply that I exercise regularly, which I obviously do not. But don’t blame a girl for trying to make a good impression. And this sub-parenthisis comment has gone on much too long).

It’s a white, white world.

– I decided to let Jo have his first hands on experience with snow for the first time today. Needless to say he was not happy.

I am not happy!

– In other news, you know that website ‘Shit My Kids Broke’? Well Jo decided he would like to become a regular subscriber. And his first submission; my IPad. Yes the picture below is correct, he decided that he didn’t like the plain old touch-screen on my IPad and thought it may look prettier with a web of zig-zagged and mangled cracks. So he slammed it on the floor. End of story.

My poor, poor IPad

– On the subject of Jo; he is getting so big and his vocabulary is expanding day by day. He can now say three whole words: ‘Hot dog’, ‘Hello’ (on the phone) and ‘Poo poo’. Yay me! While poo poo is a little icky, it’s actually even weirder to see a 60cm baby toddling around yelling ‘Hot Daw’ at the top of his lungs.

The origin of ‘Hot Dog’

So this is my day and it’s highlights. And much like a small town news report; it is extremely boring and totally uneventful (except for the broken IPad, that is a heinous crime). I just hope your day was much more exciting as mine. And even if it was not, why don’t you share those dull moments. After all even shared boredom becomes exciting.

Now stay tuned for sports and the weather.

It’s Birthday Craze Week

Know this now; I am not a morning person! So if you ever happen to meet me anytime before 10am be warned; I will not be friendly. And if it’s before 10am and I haven’t had my first cup of coffee for the day, then run for your life!

Unfortunately I do not have the luxury of being myself and avoiding mornings all together. Ahh, the good old days pre-kids, when my weekend would mean getting out of bed at 12pm to have breakfast, then getting back in again until 3 in the afternoon. Now, I’m the defeated and low-down mom who gets up every morning at 6:30 to grumble, complain and basically run around at the beck and call of a 14 month old tyrant.

20121106-225643.jpgThis is what I look like without my coffee – blue messy hair and all

So this morning as I was walking around in my half-a-sleep state, Adam; my eldest looks at the calendar on our fridge and says

“Mom, can I have a pen.”

I stop butchering the bagel that is Adam’s lunch; “Why?”

“I want to write my birthday down on the 11th so you don’t forget.”

Shit, his birthday is next week! “Of course, I didn’t forget sweetie! See I’ll write it down and I’ll even put up a sticker.”

I hurriedly shuffle him out the door to school, put Jo down for his nap, brew a bucket of coffee and plonk down on the internet trying to figure out what the hell I’m gonna do for his birthday.

Do I throw a party? It’s too short a notice. Plus I’m worried none of the kids will come. Yes, it’s depressing, I know, the possibility that none of his classmates will come to his birthday. But he’s the new kid and all, and yada-yada-yada…. Come on! I don’t have time for this. What am I gonna do?!

Ok, calm down. Deep breathes. I need a plan. That’s it, I’ll make Sunday all about him, make him his favorite breakfast, lunch and dinner and take him wherever he wants to go. And I’ll send cupcakes and goody-bags to his class on Monday. But if only it were that easy. So many questions to answer, so little time.

Let’s start off with the cupcakes; what kind of cupcakes, I wonder? Well, Adam is currently obsessed with Samurai Power Rangers (see his last Halloween costume).He is so into them that I’m pretty sure he’ll start dropping Smaurai poop any minute now. In that case, a Power Rangers birthday it is.

Ok, now that I got the cake covered; let’s head to Michaels and pay hunderds of dollars for random supplies to celebrate a kids birthday. After all I don’t need the money, even though I haven’t bought a bed yet and am currently sleeping on a mattress on the floor. But the kids have to be happy right?

Onto the goody bags, do I have time to order supplies off the net? Of course – Not! Being the lazy mom that I am, I forgot left it to the last minute and now it’s too late. But have no fear, maybe I can convince his classmates to adopt Jo instead of the goody bags. You know, kind of like the class pet hamsters we had when we were kids.

So I am now officially in the party planning mood, which I love because it’s cool and hate because it’s a lot of work and turns me into crazy-stressed-out-super-freaky mom. I also now know more about Power Rangers Samurai than I know about my husband (that Jayden is actually kind of cute – even though he’s like 15 years 5 years younger than me). And my husband is on cupcake-topper-maker duty. That doesn’t make sense I know, it’s just a job I made up. Anything to make him suffer alongside me.

Adam has decided that he wants birthday pancakes for breakfast, cupcakes for lunch and a birthday cake for dinner. And I, will be spending the night somewhere else. I have just changed my husbands job to; kids-sugar-crash-handler.

And Jo, well I’m thinking of using him instead of a piñata.

Finally, if anyone out there has any suggestions for making the birthday extra special (preferably sugar-less so mommy and daddy are crazy-less) please tell me. It’s Adams first birthday away from all his friends and family so I kind of want to make a big deal out of it.

Press Reset

So what’s new?

Nothing much; gave birth. Got mastitis – had an operation. Got my dream job, worked on my dream job for 6 months, travelled half of them, missed my family, missed my kids. Then my husband got his dream job – in Canada! Quit my dream job. Packed my life, my two kids and moved to Canada. Currently living in a city where I know no-one and no-one knows me. Have become the dreaded stay-at-home-mom/housewife. Career going no-where, social life non-existent and completely killed my sense of self.

But life is still good. So I’m back to blogging. Especially since I had to give up my weekly blog on Supermama. Up till now haven’t decided where this blog will head; parenting? Interior design? Life? Writing? Life as a transported expat?Who knows, maybe one of the above, maybe all of them, maybe none of them. Either way,  I’m on for the ride…