The Rantings - For Everyone

Birthdays & Back-To-School

This is probably the first summer ever that I have not been totally overwhelmed by the kids. That was, until this morning…

Most summers, by this point, I’m almost literally pulling my hair out in frustration. Normally, I’m yelling all the time because it feels like no one is listening. Typically, I can’t wait for school to start back up just to get a break from them. But this summer hasn’t really felt like that.

They’ve all been so great this summer. I mean, they’ve been kids – so it’s been a handful and a half. There’s also a baby, been a handful and a half. But, they’ve all been helpful, they’ve all been well-behaved and relatively well-mannered. They’ve still been themselves, attitudes and all, but I haven’t felt utterly overwhelmed by them.

However, I woke up today and I’ve just been in this mood. This place, this state-of-mind, and I just suddenly feel entirely consumed by motherhood.

It’s back-to-school. It’s gotta be. It starts tomorrow and I feel like we’ve never been less prepared. Again, I know in my rational brain that we are this unprepared almost every year. Kaeidyn pointed out to me yesterday that this year is no different from last in terms of unpreparedness. But, it hit me like a ton of bricks today immediately upon waking.

I woke up just irritated and annoyed and I can’t seem to shake the feeling. Every time one of the kids makes a sound, I’m having to take a deep breath not to snap at them. Kenzie talks back and I immediately feel personally attacked – like he’s trying to pick a fight with me. And it has nothing to do with them at all and everything to do with me…

I hate when I feel like a total failure as a parent, as a Mom. It’s this time of year, I swear.

Four out of five of the kids have birthdays all one right after another – all at a time when we can’t do anything special for anyone’s birthdays because we’ve just spent every extra penny on school supplies. Which we haven’t even done yet because of the way paydays worked this year. Yet another thing that just stacks against me. It’s not the first time it’s happened – it happens more often than I’d like to admit – and we always figure it out and roll with it and make it work. But it just feels like crap.

My baby also turns one tomorrow…

I can’t even begin to describe how I feel about that. Every time anyone mentions it, I just groan loudly. How did it go by so fast?!? I mean, I remember it going fast with all the other kids, but not this fast. It doesn’t feel like he’s been around for that long. And don’t even get me started on how much I hate the ages we’re getting close to.

I’ve gone through toddlerhood four times now and hated every single moment of it, every single time. I can say pretty confidently that I despise toddlerhood. Teenagehood is being hard, but toddlerhood was harder. Toddlerhood is physically, mentally, emotionally hard. Other age stages are one or two of those things – physically and mentally hard or mentally and emotionally hard – but toddlerhood packs it all into one punch. One punch that lasts a number of years!

I hate that I’m feeling it all the day before back-to-school. It was supposed to hit a week ago so that I could deal and process before the ultimate stress began. But having it hit all at once like this, and not having the excuse of “I’m in the hospital in labor” like last year, is just making my day a crappy day.

Is it bedtime yet?!?

The Rantings - For Everyone

Projects Underway

I have been a very busy girl over the last few days. Lots of online work getting done and plenty of projects underway!

The Erotic Writers Group has probably been the top of my priority list this week. Summer always seems to bring me a lot of inspiration for the group and I always do a lot of work during the summer months. I am determined, utterly, to re-launch this thing by the end of the year. I’ve said it almost every year, but I’m working harder than ever!

The first big thing that I plan to bring back for The Erotic Writers Group is our #WritingPrompts for #EroticWriters. I seriously miss doing these so much, I miss using the prompts and I miss the community building these provided for us. I’ve got plans like crazy and now it’s just a matter of sorting it all out and getting down to the details of it.

I’m seriously thinking that I need to write a few posts about all the lessons I’m learning and utilizing this time around with my processes.

I’ve also been working on a few of my own personal projects.

I suddenly had the idea one day to compile all of my erotic limericks into a book. This has since evolved and changed and become a pretty amazing set of ideas and I have been utterly consumed by this project – and it shows across all of my social networks! I even officially #BucketListed: Publish My First Book. And in the last few days have written about 30 new limericks. Who knows when/if this project will finish but it is something that I’m working on.

Finally, I’ve almost completed work on the return of WTMFI (Way Too Much F***ing Information) Wednesdays. I’ve just got a few tweaks to make and then it’s time to start queuing up the questions and then, promotion. I’m super excited to bring this back. It’s interesting to me that while the world of TV and movies is in reboot mania, so am I! But it’s fun and I’m enjoying the inspiration!

Also, The Mermaid is coming along – albeit very slowly. It’s turning out much longer than I had anticipated it would be, which is a good thing, so far. It has definitely taken a backseat to these other projects, but I add a few paragraphs here and there every couple of days and am continuously collecting up inspiration and information to keep myself going.

Needless to sayI have been a very busy girl over the last few days. Lots of online work getting done and plenty of projects underway!

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The Day We Went to Crescent Falls – Beautiful Landscapes

For the entirety of our relationship, The Boyfriend has always desperately wanted to take us to Crescent Falls. He has fond memories of his youth at the falls and always delights in the chance to share any part of his youth with us. I wanted to go for the waterfall. Since moving to Alberta, I haven’t gotten to see nearly as many as I used to living in BC.

Finally, after years of talking about it, we took a wonderful day trip out to Crescent Falls and were sure to take our cameras along to get as many pictures as possible. The whole day was a whirlwind experience and one that will definitely go down in the history books.

This day will be broken down into a series of posts, because there are really just too many great photos to put in one post. Today, I want to share the beautiful landscapes as we drove out there and explored the falls. The next post, I’d like to do some of the fun videos we got from our time there. And finally, I’d like to end with all the amazing pictures of family that we got at Crescent Falls. Enjoy the view and be sure to check back for those next posts!

Crescent Falls – Landscapes 2015

It was honestly some of the most beautiful surroundings I’ve seen since I moved to Alberta almost 13 years ago. And although I discovered an extreme fear of the insane heights and especially the kids being free-to-roam around those heights, and although I definitely didn’t wear the right shoes for climbing and rocky path walking, it was definitely the perfect setting for an amazing summer adventure.

Again, be sure to check back for a collection of videos from the day, including an adorable moment between The Boyfriend and Carter (in which The Boyfriend dances) and our release of signed soccer balls over the falls. Then, a smattering of photos of all the kids enjoying the exploration, like the boys learning bear safety or their amazing climbing adventures and a few really awesome selfies! You should see them all up here within the next week or two, so stay tuned!

The Rantings - For Everyone

Stressed Out Mommy, But Not Tonight…

I haven’t been feeling very well the last couple of days, which accounts for the lack of posts around here. It starts with a pain in my tooth (one day, I’ll go see a dentist…) and then I get a headache. I take some Tylenol thinking I’m being smart, and this always seems to make me incredibly tired. So I end up dozing off most of the evening.

It’s made for a very stressed out Mommy and I am incredibly lucky to be surrounded by people who understand how I process pain and who try their hardest to comfort me in the best way possible. They have all been absolutely wonderful and I have spent the last few days feeling full of love, which is a great squanderer of pain.

What We’ve Done…

The holidays home with The Boyfriend were beyond amazing and you can expect a couple posts recapping the week in the coming days. He went back to work two nights ago and now has two nights off again (because he managed to work his schedule like a freaking genius!) and it has to be one of the best August’s on record for us.

Even though all of the initial plans we had made for his holidays – which had included many things including going up to visit my sister, going to the Calgary Zoo, camping for the first time in my adult life and checking out the Royal Tyrrell Museum – it was still full of adventure and fun.

It was more of a staycation and we did a lot of things around us. Went to a nearby beach and the local spray park, drove out to the middle of nowhere to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower and managed to see six shooting stars between us (and the adults had a great time making fun of the kids who were terrified of the barely dark darkness), and even got to see my brother, which we hadn’t been planning for. We’ve also had a few really fun days just chilling out at home on the rainy days – everyone’s getting along surprisingly well for how long they’ve been relatively stuck together.

This upcoming week is all about getting prepared to check a lot of things off of our perpetual to-do list. The “fun” of back-to-school is fast approaching and as a serious procrastinator and a person who tends to stress out over the tiniest of things (things that aren’t even necessary to worry about…), I’m feeling a huge weight on my shoulders. I feel like I need to prepare to actually get the stuff done, you know, psych myself up for it.

Terrifying Stress

My biggest stress is my oldest, Kaeidyn, going into middle school. She is so excited about it, which only makes me stress out more. It honestly feels like such a huge step for all of us, especially being that it’s like the pulling of the pin in the grenade of her life. It’s when everything starts to happen for her that will take her further and further away from being my baby, and I am terrified of itand I never expected to feel that way.

I’m terrified of her first real boyfriend or of the pressure she’ll feel (and therefore, I’ll feel) to get a cellphone and be on sites that she’s not currently really old enough to be on. I’m terrified of her first day and the way she’s going to behave in a new school. I’m terrified of her first kiss and her first menstruation and her first real bra. I’m terrified of the teenager within her and I’m terrified of the type of parent I will be to a teenager – especially a teenage girl…

Middle school signifies so much more than just her next step in education. It’s a rite of passage and one that I didn’t have until I was two years older than her and that is probably the most terrifying thing of all.

I’m also incredibly worried about Kenzie and his reading because he is not doing well at it. Not only is he highly uninterested in reading but he’s also struggling to comprehend what he’s reading. He’ll often get the words right but has no idea what he just read or what those words mean when they are put together. And we know from last year that he was struggling throughout the school year because of his disinterest in reading, and we just can’t seem to spark his fire.

The End…

Tonight, I am not letting that worry get to me. That is what the upcoming week is for. Tonight, is all about enjoying the night off with my wonderful man and my great kids. Tonight, is all about not thinking about tomorrow, or the next day or the next week. Tonight, I am letting it all go and having one last moment of relaxation before the waves come crashing over me!

Anyone else stressing about back-to-school or is it just me?

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Late Afternoon at Gull Lake

Last night, The Boyfriend’s sister called and asked if we’d like to go to Gull Lake. It’s probably our favorite beach around here because the water is incredibly shallow, so the kids get to feel like they’re going deep because they’re so far away from the shoreline, when really, the water never goes above anyone’s chest.

The sun was shining bright, the water was nice and warm and we had a good two hours of beachtime. It was a wonderful late afternoon at Gull Lake.

I keep forgetting that I have a camera when I remember to bring my phone along, so I didn’t get nearly as many photos as I could (or should) have. However, I did manage to snap a few after the kids reminded me 😉

The ride home was loud since we brought our nephew home with us and everyone was beyond excited, but it was super relaxing. We realized today though that every plan we keep on making for the summer seems to not work out, but when we don’t plan anything, we manage to have really amazing days. YAY for spontaneity 😉

The sun on our drive home.
The sun on our drive home.
The Rantings - For Everyone

Unexpectedly Great

Today was an unexpectedly great day filled with new adventure. Last night, my Mom had taken Kenzie and Keirnan for the night because they were desperate to get a sleepover at her house. Today, I was awoken by a phone call asking if we’d like to go to lunch.

Great Change of Plans

The place that we were planning to go to was closed, so we drove across town and decided to check out a restaurant none of us had ever been before. The kids were all so well behaved and ate tons of their food and two hours later, we were walking out fully stuffed and ready for more fun.

I suggested the Sunnybrook Farm Museum and Mom seriously loved the idea, so we spent quite awhile wandering around there. The kids loved the little petting farm area and Carter got scared out of his mind when the turkey gobbled right in his face. They played for quite awhile on the little park that they had there and we all enjoyed checking out the old cabins.

Mom decided she wasn’t ready to head home yet, so we went down to the Kerrywood Nature Centre. We had originally planned on walking out and watching the birds, but came across a little park with a long slide and the kids were more than happy to spend the next little while going up and down the slide.

Then all the kids begged to go to Mom’s house to spend some time there. Kenzie loves going to Grandma’s right now, because she has puzzles and for some reason he is seriously into those lately. He sits incredibly quietly and focuses so hard and has a lot of fun doing them. It was a nice hour or so of relaxing before we headed back home.

Holidays Soon

It’s probably the longest sleep The Boyfriend has gotten on a work day in a really long time. We left around 2 PM and didn’t get home until after 7 PM, and he had been sleeping since about 9 AM. Normally, I wake him up at 4 PM. I hate being awake while he’s sleeping and that hasn’t changed in 7 years!

We’ve only got one more night after tonight before he starts his holidays and we are both incredibly excited. We had hoped to do a whole bunch of things but think we’ll probably end up doing a lot less, for a whole bunch of reasons – mostly time and money. We hope to definitely go see my brother and possibly head up to Whitecourt to see my sister and at some point, Alfie wants to see the kids again before school starts. It’s a shame that The Boyfriend only has one week. But we do that intentionally, so that he gets another week off closer to Christmas time.

Tonight, Kaeidyn’s spending the night down at Mom’s and it’s just me and the boys here. They are being so darn good that I’m actually really surprised. I haven’t had to raise my voice and they aren’t giving me a headache – they’re all sitting nicely together and they’re watching shows like best buds. I’m not used to everyone being so good and it’s been a really great first few days back home with all of them. I wasn’t expecting it to be so good, so it’s a huge relief.

Only a few weeks left of summer before school starts and the weather gets dramatically cooler. How will you be spending your last few days?