It’s been 12 days since I wrote. 12 days since I tried to sit and write. 12 days since I’ve felt motivated to write a post or even think of anything inspiring to share. I don’t know if I have any of that for you today, I’m running kinda low on me. But this is what I got, hear me out.
J and I have always worked hard to achieve our goals in our life together. To be able to take care of our family and keep everyone safe, happy and healthy. But as you know, achieving these things isn’t easy nor does it come without sacrifice.
J has been working hard and long the last couple of weeks. It’s been quite a challenging one for the two of us and especially on the kids. They rarely see their dad during the day. But with most parents who work, this is the reality. Last night after work, J went to a concert with a few of his buddies from work. Which he deserves. Well this meant, I was alone all day with the kids. He didn’t get home until around 11 p.m. and he was out of the house before the sun even came up. Yesterday was very challenging with Apollo and it proved to me how much I feel like a failure 88% of the time, being his mother.
Apollo had managed to get under my skin, push all the buttons that trigger ‘crazy mom’ and absolutely lose all senses to him that notify him mommy is about to turn hulk. I lost the battle all day and at the end of the night, I just cried.
It was the girls crying, needing all day, on top of necessary duties around the house. It was feed the kids, change their diapers, wash their hands, give them snack, play with them, talk to them, password for the iPad, change the show, sing to me, carry me, and the day seemed endless. Then you top those requests with 2 second intervals of Apollo’s needs, right now, right here. I lost to yesterday. And I’m still paying for it today.
I am super exhausted. I’m tired. I cannot adult today nor mother today. So I’m missing steps, forgetting my knows, and I’ve lost more than half of my brain today.
I realize that in all this, that I can’t do it all. I can’t handle it all. There isn’t enough of me. Today is sad. Today is tired. Today is a write-off. But there are more days to come, I hope they’re better.
I have to prepare myself to have more days like yesterday, because sometime soon, J will be deployed for work. This means, I’ll have to do this alone. My way. My rules. Just me.
It’s been nineteen days since my last post. It’s been crazy busy in the last few weeks, with small minor details consuming our days. It’s not very often when we get ‘down time’. There’s always plenty to do. Aside from mommy duties, there are a ton of stay-at-home mom stuff that needs tending to.
The last three weeks, seemed to have been a little easier with going out. Exactly three weeks ago, I got my license to legally drive. It’s been great to to just go when you have to. I’ve taken Apollo on ‘mommy and kuya’ dates, frozen yogurt treats with Arty, and small ventures to the grocery and Starbucks for some ‘me-time’.
Apollo was to spend two weeks at his grandparents in Toronto, but half-way through his mini-vacation away from home, he missed us and wanted to come home. We drove to Toronto, two consecutive weekends in a row. Dropping him off, and then picking him up. He, of course, changed his mind, the minute we arrived. Bribed with the thoughts of camping in the backyard with Papa, and other small adventures with the person he admires most, Papa. We didn’t end up letting him stay, because missing him was just too much. So now, the house is filled with noise, running around, and constant ‘mommy can I play on the Wii-u”, “watch YouTube”, “play NHL on the PS4”, and so on. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The girls and I have been sick this week. In the middle of summer, it’s always fun to be sick…said nobody! Perhaps, we’re all just a little tired and then some.
Does anybody know what happened to summer? It’s already half way done. It seems like it was just last week, when Apollo finished Grade 1, and we’re excited about the summer at home. Now, it’s half way over and we’re thinking about school shopping for Grade 2. On that same note; Apollo is going to Grade 2. Whoa. Where did the time go? I can’t believe he’s going into Grade 2. It’s all too fast.
Two months from now it’s Halloween, and it’ll be Cassi’s first Halloween. Then two months after that, it’s Christmas. I’m not mad though. Christmas is the most exciting time of the year in my household. We absolutely love Christmas. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m the one who gets everyone riled up about it. But hey, I can’t wait. It’s definitely exciting to decorate and have the kids celebrate this wonderful time. It puts an emphasis on Family, not that it’s not emphasized enough throughout the year. But it makes it a must! I can’t wait!
I realize this post barely has anything for you to ponder about. But then again, I said I would only share what I had in mind.
Hope you have a wonderful Tuesday…wait, it’s Wednesday!
I was sitting in bed last night contemplating whether or not to turn the fan on in the room. And suddenly I realized how lucky I am. I am sitting there with a controller for the fan that sits above us. No I didn’t need to get up to press a button, or turn a switch on. I could sit in bed and have this controller do it for me. I got to thinking about how J and I started…
J and I lived in Scarborough, ON while I was pregnant with Apollo. J worked as a Reservations Manager, and I as customer service rep for U-Haul. I lost my job, for some petty stuff, and we had to make due with J bringing in the one income. We eventually moved in with his parents, to help with cost, just a few months before I was due to have Apollo. I remember J telling them I was pregnant. It was the most difficult thing in the world for him to do at the time. While I was twenty, and he was twenty-three, we weren’t financially stable. This was our fear for starting a family, as well as his parents’. We understood that. But this wasn’t a yes or no answer. This was a moment in both our lives we had to stand-up to our responsibilities and move forward from there. For those thinking ” You could have had an abortion.”, this was not an option for either of us. My beliefs are strong with life-changing situations such as this, and I wasn’t going to be selfish and run away.
When Apollo was born, J had taken parental leave to help me with the first few months of caring for a baby. After all, I had no clue what to do. I don’t have siblings, never did I have to take care of a baby alone. While my experiences in babysitting my little cousins, and baby nephews and nieces, it was a completely different experience to care for my own baby. Luckily J had a baby brother, who was sixteen years younger than him. He had gained experience in diaper changing, feeding, and changing clothes of a tiny baby. I, on the other hand, was too afraid to touch the baby. So him being home helped a lot. But this meant what he was earning was cut to almost half of what it was before. He didn’t earn much at U-Haul to begin with. When he returned to work, I had to be home alone with a newborn baby. This proved to be the most difficult thing in the world. But in moments as such, you find your way. You figure it out. You do what you can. Luckily his work moved closer to where we had moved and it was an easier commute for him.
It wasn’t easy sharing living space with his family. Personalities butt heads, and decision making was difficult for our little family, when you’ve got to be considerate of others. In times when we would fight, it would become embarrassing when we’re yelling at each other and trying to figure out our way together. When you first start a family, it’s not easy. You’re both learning to live together, both learning to do things together. You’re understanding responsibilities together and it puts strains on your relationship. We had to work on this, however way we had to, as long as we figured it out.
When Apollo was five months, we decided it was time for us to take charge of our lives, live through the choices we’ve made, and do our best to do things on our own. Well, we still required help from our families. It got really hard financially. J’s income for two weeks was the amount of what we had to pay for rent. We had gotten a car because we needed to get around and that added on to our costs per month. We had less than the bills we’ve accumulated. We were deep in waters, way above the waist. I had applied for a job at Tim Hortons, because I hadn’t gone to post-secondary studies to have a career. When would I have been able to find the time? That’s the mentality you have when you don’t know any better.Thankfully his uncle, and sometimes my Dad, would help babysit Apollo. This job helped a tiny bit with costs but it still wasn’t enough. Even worse, we had gotten into a car accident, had to get rid of the car, and now we’re down to one income again. J was injured and had to take leave from work. It was one unfortunate event after another. We had a couple floods occur during the few years we lived in that basement apartment. There wasn’t enough money to re-direct to various places. We were late on rent payments, struggled with all our other bills, and could barely afford the luxuries we took for granted when we were single. We ended up having to move back to his parents house again. One night, an infomercial on the television for post-secondary education had popped up while Apollo slept. We were sleeping in the living room on a blow-up bed, since J’s room had become a storage room shortly after we moved out. I thought about it in that moment, ” What would it take for me to upgrade my skills and provide a better life for our family?” I was set on going to school from that point on. Apollo was two and a half. I applied to Humber College and from there we had to move forward. We found an apartment north of where we were which would provide a closer distance from the school I would eventually attend. School was to begin in May and I had to figure out what I would do with Apollo while we were both gone. J had returned to work, and I was going to need someone to watch Apollo. My dad had offered; after a while it was no longer possible. Apollo would eventually turn four and he would require some type of social experience. We opted for child care. The good thing about being in Canada is you get some kind of help with child care fees. We were able to put Apollo in childcare without breaking our banks with the cost because most of the fees have been covered by child care assistance from the government. I felt at ease, knowing someone is watching Apollo while I was in school and J at work. But the feeling of being incapable of caring for my own child was always there. I had to do what I had to do. I worked really hard as a student, and in the end I attained Honours in Early Childhood Education. I graduated Honours.
After completing my post-secondary studies, I began working part-time, while J worked full-time still at U-haul. Things got complicated for us at that time, because as much we have finally accomplished one of our many goals, he was beginning to hate his job. Five years at U-Haul, it felt like forever. It felt like he wasn’t going anywhere with working there. He felt stuck. He felt unhappy. He didn’t feel like it was enough to provide for his family. We had gotten into a huge fight one night, most likely because his unhappy attitude effected his home life. I’ve had it with the fights and arguments. I needed him to get better. I needed him to be happy again. I needed him to be the J I know. He was lost, far in there, hoping to be saved. Well he’s not one to ask to be saved. I couldn’t save him. I had one thing left to help him. Being the paper-hoarder that I am. I loved keeping papers in boxes for no reason. I had kept his acceptance letters from colleges when he first graduated from high school. WELL before we had Apollo. In this file was a variety of different types of programs he applied for, not knowing exactly what he wanted to do. A few of his options were, Fashion Design, Electro-mechanical Engineering Technician, Business Administration, and a few other ones. Well, I wasn’t too fond of Fashion Design. I had no clue what Electro-mechanical Engineering was, and he’s already had a go at Business Administration and didn’t like it. So he had to choose. I gave him that night to figure it out. It was four in the morning, and he was concerned about what we were going to do for him to achieve this. Well, I had taken out a loan from the government to pay for my studies until I was finished. It was a debt, I was willing to take for the sake of achieving an education to better our lives. J had to do the same. We were about to venture into more hardships and sacrifices to achieve one more goal from our list. We had to move again, Apollo would be starting Jr. Kindergarten at a new school. We moved back around his parents and lived in a much better apartment with two bedrooms. It seemed big for our little family. I worked and J went to school. We were doing what we can with the income I had, and sometimes we still needed help.
J’s program ran for three years. The first two years happened so fast and just before fourth semester in his second year, we found out we were pregnant with a second baby. This was tough. It was about to get even harder financially. But the thought of being blessed with another child was everything for J and I. We were ecstatic. We knew that it was going to be difficult after she was born but we were going to do whatever it took, as we have always done in any difficult situations we found ourselves in.
J had a couple of semesters left to complete, before we could get our lives going accordingly. It was tough being home alone most of the time to tend to the kids. I’d have the responsibility of taking Apollo to school, and picking him up after school. I’d have to tow Artemis in a stroller with me, get home do some house chores. Sometimes I’d be too exhausted to keep up with the cooking, laundry, cleaning, etc., but I’d pick-up where I’ve left off and continue. Sometimes I wonder how J and I did it. How we managed all this time to do what we had to do for our family. I don’t guarantee that there were never fights or misunderstandings. There were plenty of that to go around. But just like in everything else in life, stress is rooted from the overwhelming loads of responsibilities. Then just before J was to finish his third year, we were granted another blessing, Cassiopeia. She came, just in time for the transition of all the new changes we were about to venture into. J finished school. Honours, at that. I am so proud of what he has accomplished thus far. He has worked hard in everything. The demands were a lot, even for any other persons, but he did his best at all turns. I am so proud to be his partner through this adventure. While it was all hard and we struggled through and through, we have completed our five year goal, from the time I decided to pursue post-secondary education, to J completing his program. We had achieved a house, and a career to be proud of.
Life isn’t easy. But if you try your best for any cause, I can guarantee you the outcome is that much sweeter. There is no good in giving up. You will fall time and time again, but if you get up, just get up, you’ll succeed in whichever way. Trust that you can, and believe that you will. It’s that important, to give yourself the chance. If it doesn’t work the first time, try again, you’ll always get an outcome. Good or bad, what have you got to lose?
Before I begin this entry, let me be the first to tell you that while most of my entries appear to be very personal and almost pitiful..the intention of what I share isn’t to influence your negative feelings or request your negative rants in response to how this may allow you to feel.
I have taken these honest views of my life so that others who may find comfort in knowing they aren’t alone in these real, life matter ‘situations’.
As I was…
Yesterday was Fathers Day. We celebrated this event with my father- in-law since we’ve been in Toronto staying with them since last Tuesday, and we would be heading home a few hours after this. It was your usual, cater to the Dads day. While I sat at the dining table having brunch with the family, I couldn’t help but wonder if I should call my Dad. He is after all, a dad nonetheless even if not biologically.
As I continued to think what my calls would bring about or if he would even answer, the thought began to disappear. It began to feel more like a chore and not from the heart.
I used to have the same sweet messages that most ‘child-of-someone’ had written and shared yesterday.
But..in the last few years I’ve accepted that I’m no longer anyone’s child, and I no longer have a father that cares to be one. I merely have one now, just to say I’m still his adopted daughter because that can’t be changed, and vice versa.
I realize that in moments like these in my life, I’ve learned to turn off the emotion one is to feel about these types of things. I felt no ways about Fathers day. I only felt that my children should show their father appreciation everyday for loving them like no other. I felt my husband should convey to his dad whatever it is to let him know he loves him. But I..well, it was just another day. Just like mothers day. I expected nothing and the day went on like any other.
Perhaps that part of me that envied others for the things and relationships they have which I’ll never be able to understand, have learned to switch itself off. I used to cry about it. I used to be so jealous. And now..as these days pass without a thought, the easier it gets for my heart to block it off. I’ve lost all emotions. My heat is as stiff as it gets. My mind, it’s taught itself to forget.
One day I’ll figure this part of me out. Until then..let’s keep going.
I’m laying in bed, holding Cassi, after she had fallen asleep from her feed. She’s a little over a month. She’s grown so fast, developed her own facial features, and she’s the sweetest little angry muncher there is. As I lay there, trying to get my website going (stay tuned), I had this quote in my head, “It’s not what you’ve lost but what you have gained with being a mom, that’s important”.
I realize that it’s so frustrating as a parent, evermore so, as a mom that your life no longer belongs to you. You have become slave-like to everyone else’s needs but your own. You no longer tend to your needs first, and maybe never. I hate that I can’t shower when I want; eat when I want; watch television, or the show I like when I want; get out of the door, or go anywhere on time when I want; get my zero to a hundred done; write when I want; have all of my coffee when I want; eat ALL of my food when I want; wear nice clothes when I want; go out with my husband, alone, when I want; sleep in my bed, alone, when I want. There’s always someone else calling out to me, there’s always someone squeezing into my ribs, as if they have yet to be born, and they find such comfort in giving me discomfort.
…but these frustrations, they keep me going. This frustration, motivates me in my life. It pushes me to be who I am, without second guessing myself, it gives me confidence, it makes me powerful, it gives me superpowers, it keeps my life interesting.
A lot of the times, mothering is tough. It’s never a dull moment. It’s always crazy. It’s always on the go. But, how would you rather have it? How would my life have kept going, if I didn’t have my son, when I did? How will our lives be, especially Apollo, if Artemis didn’t come? How would their lives be as adults, if there wasn’t one more to add to crazy, if Cassi wasn’t made? These blessings, they have reasons, they a purpose, they are my purpose in life.
..and when you think it doesn’t get much crazier, then there’s also my husband. He’s a well of humour. That’s just putting it nicely.
I’ve got an amazing life. Hardships in life, it’s all part of it. That’s normal. It’s normal to be challenged in life. Otherwise, how would you make it better, at every point? But the win; the prize; the epic story, it’s having a family that’s all yours to keep.
xoxo, til next time.
p.s. more updates on the move soon. ALSO, it’s not Lakeshore anymore, it’s just Windsor.
Remember at the end of last year when I mentioned that, there are a ton of changes to happen this year?
The first of the amazing things to look forward to this year was the birth of our Third child, Cassiopeia. She was born this month, and boy is it amazing to have three children. It’s quite chaotic, and an adjustment on its own. I mean, having one child was an adjustment, then came the second, and that was even more of an adjustment because, the second time around we had a girl. For the last six years, we raised a boy. But we managed. We learned, we conquered, still conquering, and now, I think we’re doing okay raising Artemis who is now a one year old. It’s a lot to be alone with three kids. Getting one child ready for school, and then getting the other two ready to tag along was overwhelming the first time. What I have learned so far is that, there’s absolutely no such thing as being well prepared ahead of time. There’s no such thing as timing specific things so that it works out you’re on time. If J, and I managed to be on time for things with the first two children, having five people in our family definitely means, now, that we’ll be punctual in our definition of time. But the good of all of this is, the moments that make it all worth while. Just like the car ride is filled with laughter in the back seat because, Apollo and Artemis is now sitting beside each other, and the fun is great. I love how Arty constantly kisses her baby sister. Unlimited, slobbery, kisses for Cassi. There’s so much love. My home is filled with so much love, and it’s all I ever wanted.
On to the next;
J, recently accepted to team up with an automation company in Michigan, USA. That means, we’re required to move. While we have decided not to move to the USA for the job, because it’s just too much with a newborn, we have decided to relocate near the boarder. That means, Windsor, ON. We actually found a house fifteen minutes outside of Windsor, in Lakeshore, ON. It’s quite a nice place, in a nice neighbourhood, safe for the kids. This means, goodbye Toronto. The home, we grew-up in, the neighbourhood we only know to be home. It’s going to be quite a change. A scary one at that, since we don’t know much about being three and a half hours away. The move is scary, the transition is scary, but nothing is greater than knowing our lives continue to move forward.
J, and I are goal oriented people. We do our best for our kids, and we work hard as a family. So, this next adventure is definitely one for the books. Now we don’t expect to be gone forever. We don’t expect to be over there forever, but we do expect to make that place our home for the next few years.
This change is bittersweet. As much as I like to believe being far away is going to strengthen our bonds within our immediate family, it is going to be hard to be away from everyone we know; our family, our friends, our neighbourhood, the things we enjoy within our city, and the things that aK has grown up to know within his surrounding for the last seven years. This move isn’t just going to be a transition for us, but also for the kids, especially aK. aK’s been to two schools in the last three years of his academic life. He’s about to venture into another one, and rebuild again, in terms of his relationships with teachers, and peers. He’ll be leaving his best friend behind, and find a new one over there. I’m certain he’ll be fine, but the soft-heart mommy in me can’t help but worry he may struggle at first. But this is a struggle we’ll all be tackling together, as a family, and that’s all that matters.
Anyway, this is all the time I have folks. I’ll be sure to update you with more great news soon!
I have yet to do review posts on anything, since it requires a lot of research and time to put together information. That’s time I don’t really have, but I will share my experience on using a variety of different types of baby bottles, since I’ve got seven years under my belt of pass and fail with baby bottles. (*insert wink emoticon here*)
Here are five types of bottles that I have used:
1. Playtex VentAire Advanced Bottle
My son used these when he was born back in 2009. At the time, it seemed like every mom had colicy, gasy babies. So every mom was using these bottles. Apollo was a gasy baby. It seemed like he was always eating after the first few months, so we had to make sure we invested in bottles that was going to help with the bubbles, and reduce gasyness.
Cost:Walmart $16.99 / Babies R Us – Gift Set $23.17
Cleaning & Convenience: When you have a baby that constantly feeds, you cannot wash bottles enough. This bottle had 6 parts. So if you’re not sleeping through the night, and you’re exhausted, that 3 a.m. washing bottle time is not exactly fun. It’s like zombies trying to get through a door without opening the door. My husband stood by the sink, half awake several times, ready to just scream BREASTFEED instead. After washing 6 bottles x 6 parts which is 36 parts in the sink and then waiting for it to sanitize, you’re better off buying ready milk in those disposable plastic bottles. Especially, if you’re feeding your baby warm milk. That means, heating the milk in the microwave, after washing all those parts, and sanitizing them. WHO IN THE WORLD HAS 2 hours, when you’ve got a screaming, crying baby?
Gasy and Colicky Fix: It did help with the colic aspect and my son was no longer gasy. So it did its job.
2. Evenflo Classic Glass Bottle + Vented Bottles
Apollo had to use these after the Playtex VentAire bottles, because we got sick of having to wash all the parts. I mean, like my husband says, just like Coke, it taste better in a glass bottle. I don’t know how formula taste in a glass bottle and a plastic one, at that, but I would assume, like most drinks, it taste a lot nicer from a glass.
Cost:Babies R Us $11.99 (3 pk, 8 oz size)
Cleaning & Convenience: Cleaning these bottles were fairly easy. It was four parts, and no crazy crevices to tediously wash. The only negative I found was, when sanitizing them, it was a pain. You sanitize it with boiled water, that means you had to wait to cool them before touching it, unless you had super gloves. Then, you had the actual milk warming process, it wasn’t recommended to heat up the bottle, so warming the milk separately was the thing, and then having to cool down the milk was another. It was too long of a wait. Being out, it was hard to serve the baby warm milk. This meant, you had to have a thermos of warm water at the right temperature before leaving the house. So that led us back to the Playtex VentAire.
3. Gerbers First Essentials Clear Bottles
When Artemis, our second child was born. We wanted some easy to clean bottles, where we can use and go right out of the hospital. We had figured we’d use a different type of bottle after a month or so, since these Gerber First Essential bottles were tiny, plastic and small nipples, it was easy and go kinda bottles.
Cost:Walmart $5.96 (3 pk)
Cleaning & Convenience: Cleaning it was easy, it’s got your typical four parts, the only negative aspect was, you can’t really sanitize it well since it’s cheap and plastic material. The nipples wore out so quickly. It leaked at the bottom of the nipple if you close it too tight. I’ve had Arty look like she just downed 3oz of milk in 2 mins, little did I know, the bib soaked it all up. While the cleaning was easy, and not really too complicated, the convenience turned into a nuisance.
4. Playtex Nurser with Drop-Ins Liners
We switched to these for Arty, after we got fed up of the wasted milk.
Cost: Walmart & Babies R Us $19.99
Cleaning & Convenience: Cleaning these bad boys are pretty easy, because it uses liners, you really are just cleaning the cap, nipple and twist cap thoroughly, and quickly washing with soap the body part. I actually bought a microwave-sanitizer for this, so it’s quick. The only extra aspect is buying the inserts every month. The convenience is great! You don’t have to constantly clean the bottles itself. But you do have to change the inserts often, to make sure the milk isn’t gross from several usage and old residue.
Cost:Walmart $9.97 (4 oz.) $11.97 (8 oz)
5. Philips Avent Classic Bottles
With Cassi, I have decided to switch a totally new brand. With Arty just a year old, I didn’t want to have to mix up their bottles and the nipples. It would make it difficult to keep everything sanitary, with the same kind of bottles. So, the other day I picked up these bad boy. The box set I bought is currently on sale at Babies R us. It came with three of these 4 oz size bottles, and two 8 oz bottles. It also came with a pacifier, a brush, and a milk dispenser for when you’re on the road.
Cost:Babies R us $55
Cleaning & Convenience: Cleaning this bottle is pretty straight forward, it’s like cleaning the Gerber First Essential bottles. Good thing I got the sanitizer with it. Two minutes in the microwave, and bam ready bottles again. Convinient? Yeah, so far it’s good. No complains. Aside from Cassi trying to get used to the nipples.