Thursday, July 29, 2010

more of that random stuff

Well, another week has come and gone and I can't believe how fast the days slip by in the normal grind.. er... routine of the day to day.

It is Thursday again, and my house looks like it exploded.

Dishes are mostly clean, most of the clothes are in the laundry bin, but, it is just a bit of scattered stuff about the house.

Last night I faded about 7pm... all the energy I thought I possessed evacuated me, and once the kids were in bed.. I quickly headed there myself. Oh - I am so exciting! 10 o'clock is the new midnight.. I have been lucky to read about 20-30 pages a night of a book, and I have a knitting project on the go that seems to keep stalling out.

I am enjoying work though - nice to be getting in to the swing of things. I like my new office, it is just awesome not having to share. I like being back on campus, I like that Brandon lurves his preschool and that Connor is settling in. Seems like the boys have been going through their summer growth spurt - at least an inch for both of them. This weekend we are heading to the island - my cousin is getting married and then the boys and I are going to stay on the island for some beach time and time hanging out with my Aunt and my cousins.. I cant' wait.

I figure I am taking the first two weeks of August off to cover my home daycare's vacation.. and the weather has finally improved.. I can't wait to go to the beach - Parksville, Nanaimo, Denman Island, White Rock.... gets lots of sun and time close to the water. Ken is flying back from the island on Monday and I think he is gleeful about the prospect of a mini-vacation from the lot of us. Seems like a win-win. I will spend 4 days on the beach and then come home.. and he gets to play x-box and be the king of the castle for a few days..

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I am not super woman.

I am tired.

It seems Fridays just can't come fast enough.

Then Monday comes too soon and I still have laundry on the go, and the floors aren't clean, and well, sometimes the toys are still in the same place they were a week ago. Oh well.

We made 3 and 1/2 dozen cupcakes for tomorrow. B's first birthday in preschool and they do do celebrations. I am bringing in a few extra for work, since it is also a coworker's birthday.

Three weeks in, lots of posts that I have written in my head, and work is going well. Better than I expected after my first few days back. Things are coming back, and I am getting the swing of my new responsibilities, I gave up some of my portfolio, and I am now learning some new stuff. It is nice actually, to be coordinating different aspects of the student finance world rather than immersing myself in the same old, same old.

I came to realize today that in some moments it is just the cumulative effect that gets to you - trying to be a "good worker" and hoping that you are not taking to long to get back up to speed, to arrive at work on time, and not sprinting in from dropping the kids off at daycare where it seems there is always something that could be said, or trying to get there as fast as I can to pick them up again at the end of the day to rush home to make dinner, a little excited my day is done, and to be a "good wife" and a "good mom" and at least a "decent housekeeper" and maybe somewhere in there a "good friend" and then maybe, for a moment be a good daughter and daughter'in'law... just maybe, good to yourself and read a few pages here and there. Work is good, I love my man, my kids are cool (although tiring when they don't go to bed when they should and some downtime with my man would just be so nice) but those moments.. it isn't like it is all overwhelming... it is just that - wow. It's a lot.

It all comes back to balance. I can't say I am struggling with it, but I can't say it is easy either. Some nights I feel like I have lots of gas in the tank and can be funny and cool and some nights, not so much. I feel like I am stumbling between tasks, get dinner happening, then maybe hang out for a little bit, then bath time, then cranky baby time, then maybe some books, or some playtime, and then wind them down for sleep, and hope they fall asleep soon, and then maybe some time on the couch... catch up on a few of our shows. Thank god for our PVR and the ability to speed through shows with so little fuss.

So this post wasn't quite a whinge, but it is a ramble. A little more physical exercise would be nice, although wishful thinking. I am getting out for some walks on my lunch breaks and they are just so awesome. Nothing like walking in nature to put things back in perspective and to realize overall I am pretty damn lucky.

Get up earlier in the morning? You are kidding, right? Actually pretty consistently up about 6:15 and even then it seems the mornings are gone too fast.

Which all comes back full circle to the title. I am not super woman. Trying is everything.. HAHAHAHAHAH (yes, I am laughing at my self here).

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Deadliest Catch

I admit it. Some reality tv is entertaining. I ended up getting hooked (ha ha) on Deadliest Catch a few years ago - it is compelling stuff watching those guys fight for those crabs... gives you a different perspective on work, leadership, teamwork, blowing off steam... this is a harder to season to watch as one of my favourite captains leaves behind an empty throne (capt'ns chair). I was just looking over this website, and stumbled on a quote that I can relate to quite well and are tuly words to live by -

When asked once what lesson he most hoped that Jake and Josh [Capt. Phil's sons] learned during the last season, Capt. Phil again showed who he was. “I don’t know if there’s one lesson, but in general, if I died tonight and was gone, I hope they’d have the integrity to do what they say, be honest, and do honest work for an honest wage and not short change themselves or anyone else. To be honest about how they live and work. Don’t sidestep things or try to cut corners. Do an honest hard job, and do it to the best of their ability."

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hump Day

Three days in to this new routine and I am doing okay. Aside from a slightly emotional moment on Monday morning when I had to give Connor to Ken to take him to daycare... I have been fine. Okay.. maybe another moment dropping Brandon off at preschool.. but who is counting???

Monday, I felt like a scatter-brain. Shared drive? Jabber? Appendix 3's? What is this strange language you are speaking to me and expect me to understand?

Tuesday, well, after a lengthy catch-up meeting I slowly began to feel the shimmer of work-type intelligence start to sparkle again.

This morning? Well, it is starting to feel like I never left as I am getting familiar with all the old programs. Getting authority back for some programs has been an issue, but so far so good.

Once again, I begin my tenure at work with some records management. I have a great new office space, but of course, the last person left two full drawers in the cabinet... from 1997! It never ceases to amaze me that many folks don't rock the boat. So, considering those two drawers didn't make the afternoon, and I reorientated all the office furniture by lunch time.. what does that say to me? I feel badly for the person who left the office because the way they had things organized there was no room - now it is a spacious great office.... I could easily make myself at home here for a while! I am slowly bringing me here - printed out some pictures, brought in some of Brandon's art work.. looking like my space. People are stopping by and are surprised at the difference in the office since the furniture started to shift...

As far as I am concerned, if I am at work for 7 hours, 12 minutes (36 hour week... gotta love those extra minutes they squeezed out of last round of bargaining) I am going to make my space as palatable as possible.

I also have a beef with Mother Nature. It has been a terrible spring weather wise. No sooner do I get back to work than the heat wave starts. I need an office fan.

It still feels like a novelty being here, and I miss the boys in the morning when I have to leave them and when I get back in to the car... it is a huge shift for me. It really helps that I feel good about where they spend their days - I have always said that is what lets me do what I need to do during the day.

Speaking of which.. there goes my lunch hour! Back to it...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A working stiff again

Minutes are ticking by way too quickly.

Work is upon me tomorrow morning. I am sure it will be a bit of a chaotic morning. My DH and youngest go one way, and then my oldest and I will head up the hill. It will be interesting to see how it all comes together. If I get lucky, both boys will sleep until wakened, but they both seem to have some kind of Jedi sense when I am stirring, and they both seem to wake up soon after I do.

I spent a few minutes going though my work clothes tonight (yes, I have been in denial) and they mostly all fit. I am sure some of it is dated (didn't get a lot of new things in between kids, didn't seem to be a point) and there will be some shopping in the future, but I am pleased with most of it. My body has shifted a bit, and I would like to see a few parts of me shrink, and maybe that will come with a little extra walking now that I am back at work.

I had a few oddly affirming phone calls with family today. I am glad to be going back to work. I do believe that I am a better person/mom for my working self. I think the kids are better at being them by being with kids their own age too - they get things from their interactions I/Ken can't provide. Working part-time one day may be an awesome option, it isn't right now. So, the affirming part about going back to work happened in a back handed way when I was speaking to an Aunt on my mom's side... she asked me what my "goal" was in going back to work. I nearly choked. My first answer was "financial" I almost said "eating". My cousin followed this brilliant question (I was making phone calls for a family birthday celebration for the boys) up with a winner of her own ""so, if you bought say, less clothes for yourself, would you really need to go back to work?" I should note that although I have bought a few things here and there over the last year, I have been using coupons or going to a certain outlet store to do so. More replacing things that just don't fit anymore... okay, so I bought two pairs of shoes in Vegas...

(on a total aside, funny this parenting thing has revealed to me what parts of my family I am like and truly close, and then the opposing parts that I am vastly different from)

Wow. I am glad this gene skipped myself (not sure how my mom's bro has done it all these years but he is a bit of an odd duck himself) for just being completely obtuse. In nearly 20 years of marriage, my cousin worked part time for 2 of them. She is a very nice person, but she is very naive and isolated and a princess kept in her house. I have heard rumors that she had her couch redone in teddy bear print (a little out of touch with reality... or other people's realities). She doesn't like computers, and has no desire to really get out there and do much more than take care of her small family and garden (to each their own). I wasn't sure how to explain that I do like to work, and that I do need to work (we like our toys and to eat), and that it would be okay.

I don't need to hear how tough it is going to be going back to work - yes, it will be in a way, but in some ways, once we get through the transition, we will find a new way. Life is about change (for most people) and frankly, I like what working means we can do (like travel on occasion). So the conversations ended up being strange, and I got off of the phone shaking my head, but glad I was getting out and doing my job again, I like what I do and I can make a difference for folks.

It doesn't mean I can't whinge a bit about it - life is a changing and I will miss being with the boys 24/7 but it is also time that Brandon especially gets to preschool (he needs the challenge) and that Connor has other people to interact with... and me, well, speaking to adults again, doing my hair, and wearing a bra again regularly are all good things. HA!

Wish me luck. I have a lone strongbow left in the fridge to help with Monday night.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Poison Garden

A few years ago, a coworker gave me a plant we thought was a gunnera. I thought it would look really cool and fill in a space between a tree and our shed.

Every year it would send out a few tentative shoots, and then it would be so dry beside this hemlock tree that it would never get beyond a few leaves and then die off for the year. Infallibly, it would always revive itself the following spring and the cycle would continue. I always wondered about this plant, and hoped to see it in all it's prehistoric glory (looks like an ancient plant in my books, especially with that size... something from Jurassic Park...).

This year, with our lovely spring that has been so average that the spring weather we had for our winter Olympics was better, our "gunnera" reached new heights. Instead of spreading out in to a glorious looking plant, our plant reached for the sky and then produced great white flower blooms. I was a mite concerned, for this didn't look like what I figured a gunnera would. It being close to heading back to work time, and just me frittering away time with the kids, and not really being out in the garden, I have been actively avoiding this plant.

It turns out this a good thing.

Damn plant is poison.

Thank you to my caring neighbors who saw the 8 foot plant over the fence and saved an article for me from the local rag. Our "gunnera" is an evil, poisonous plant called a Hogweed.

As you can see, slight difference in between the two types of plants. Maybe not so much in infancy, but once a hogweed takes off, there it goes.

Check this out:

Giant Hogweed is a phototoxic plant. Its sap can cause photodermatitis (severe skin inflammations) when the skin is exposed to sunlight or to UV-rays. Initially the skin colours red and starts itching. Then blisters form as in burns within 48 hours. They form black or purplish scars that can last several years. Hospitalisation may be necessary.[1] Presence of minute amounts of sap in the eyes can lead to temporary or even permanent blindness. These reactions are caused by the presence of linear derivatives of furocoumarin in its leaves, roots, stems, flowers and seeds. These chemicals can get into the nucleus of the epithelial cells, forming a bond with the DNA, causing the cells to die. The brown colour is caused by the production of melanin by furocoumarins.

This plant is so evil that most cities, states, and provinces all have warnings on how to deal with this invasive plant. Our hogweed will be disposed of tomorrow... time to break out the hazmat suits!! Even Worksafe BC has produced a video on how to deal with this fiend!!

Be gone evil plant!