Sunday, July 28, 2013

What happened to my little girl?

My daughter changed her profile picture on Facebook the other day and it blew my mind.  She looks so adult!  Who is this young woman with my daughter’s name?  She’s only going to be thirteen in September; not nearly old enough to look so grown up.  Right? 

Yes, I’m a bit delusional.  Deep down though, I know that she’s growing up.  She’s had her period for a while now along with fully developed boobies and the curves that go with it.  I hyperventilate a bit when she puts on those short shorts that all the girls are wearing and hold myself back from throwing a blanket over her.  Her father is pricing shotguns as we speak.  This whole “developing body” thing has been pretty hard on him.  When she has her first date, he may just have a stroke. 

Her personality is developing right along with her body.  She may be just heading into her teens but she has the whole act well worked out.  My former early-bird is just about impossible to get out of bed in the mornings now and boy is she grumpy!  There is a small, sadistic part of me that gets a thrill out of dragging her out of bed the way she used to do to me.  When she was younger, I actually had to make a rule that she wasn’t allowed to set foot out of bed until after 6:00 am!   

She has her own distinct style and knows exactly what she likes.  It’s rare, while we’re shopping, that she’ll like something that I point out.  I’ll hold up a cute shirt or some pants and I get “Meh” with a shrug.  Sigh……  I rarely try to buy a piece of clothing for her when she’s not with me since I tend to end up returning it. 

My early teen years were so damned hard.  I had a terrible time with low confidence; in my body, my personality, you name it……  Although I wasn’t as overweight as I am now, I was never a skinny little thing and never had any co-ordination to speak of so I was that kid who was always chosen last in gym class.  Add to this that I was painfully shy with a very small social circle and you’ve got a formula for misery.  Bullying was something that I was unfortunately familiar with.  Thankfully my daughter takes after her father in all of the good ways – we’ll save what her brother got from their father for another post.  She is confident and outgoing; able to make friends everywhere that she goes.  She is never chosen last because she has too many friends who want her to be with them.   She has a personality that draws people to her.  I am so grateful for this but am always alert to any changes.   I don’t ever want her to have to deal with the body image issues or rejection that I had to deal with.  I just have to be careful not to project my past experience on to her.

Despite my worries, she seems to be navigating high school and all of its challenges with grace and for that I am grateful.  

I love the young lady that she is becoming but it's still nice to see the occasional glimpse of my little girl in there.  


Sunday, July 21, 2013


Last week, at The Girl’s soccer game, her step-mom handed me a small ziplock bag with some green leaves in it.  I asked her if she had started dealing and she laughed and told me it was catnip.  They had tried to plant some in the garden a few years ago but the neighbourhood cats had come and decimated it within days.  Now that they have two big dogs hanging out in the backyard, they decided to try again and this plant is thriving.  There is too much for their cats so she’s currently “dealing”. 

I have never bought it for my cat and wondered how she would like it.  Well, the result was just too funny.  By the time I got home, I had other things on my mind and had forgotten about it.  I put my purse down on the floor and went about my business.  When I came back in the room, I found my cat rubbing and rolling all over my purse and meowing at me.  I guess she smelled something good! 

I took the bag out, removed one little leaf and put it down on the floor in front of her.  I have never seen her go so bonkers over anything before!  She started by circling it, meowing her head off.  I mean, it was quite a performance for a cat who almost never vocalizes.  Usually, she only talks to us when the food bowl is empty and, even then, it’s only little squeaky meows. 

Then she flopped over and rolled her body all over this tiny little leaf; back and forth, soaking as much of the scent into her fur as possible.  She ended her performance by wrapping her body around the leg of one of the dining room chairs and proceeded to trap her tail with paws and mouth as if it was going to detach and run away.  I’ve never seen my quiet little cat behave like that and thought that it was hilarious! 

When you buy the dried stuff in the store, you never know what they have added to it but this is fresh from the garden so I can sit back and enjoy the show knowing that it’s the “good stuff”, lol! 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


One of Mama Kat’s Writing Prompts this week is the theme “currently”.  She actually got this prompt from Danielle at Sometimes Sweet .  It's a great way to tell everyone that what’s happening in small snippets without boring you with a whole post about my favourite show or my latest craving. 

What I’m reading – Right now I am reading Scarecrow Returns by Matthew Reilly.  Of course, it turns out that this is his second book with this character and I haven’t read the first but, luckily, it’s the kind of book that stands alone well.  It’s one of those “save the world from doomsday” thrillers that can be an entertaining, rollicking good time.  I mean, really, who wants to read War and Peace on a hot summer afternoon?  You know that I’ll definitely be going out and getting the first book after this! 

What I’m listening to – The last albums that I bought (back in January) were David Bowie’s latest and Bon Jovi’s.  Can you tell whose teens years were in the eighties?  I have always thought that Bowie is a phenomenal talent and was thrilled to hear new material from him after all this time.  Of course, I “came of age” listening to Bon Jovi and the other rock bands of the era and will always have a soft spot for them.  Jon Bon Jovi has just gotten better with age.  Don’t tell his wife but, secretly, he’s my boyfriend  ;)   

What gets me down – There actually isn’t much that’s getting me down in my own life these days until I read the news of course.  The news coming from the train derailment in nearby Lac Megantic (in Quebec near the US border) is enough to make you want to hold your loved ones tight.  It seems that every time I look, more bodies are being pulled from the wreckage of their town center.  My heart bleeds for that small town in the wake of such destruction. 

Thinking about – I’ve been enjoying getting back to this blog and am always thinking about things to post.  I’ve gotten rather hooked on these Writing Workshop prompts too and have been finding some really great bloggers because of it.   I’ve also had some long distance friends on my mind and realize that I haven’t been very good about staying in touch.  Since I’ve been enjoying spending so much time writing lately, I think that I need to spend some time writing to them and reconnecting. 

What I’m eating  With the heat wave that we’ve been suffering lately, my appetite hasn’t been big but I’ve been enjoying the fresh fruit and veggies that are abundant at this time of year.  I’ve also been addicted to Freezies and ice cream too.  It all balances out in the end, right? 

What I’m watching – I have gone on a real PBS kick lately.  I have always watched the British comedies on Saturday nights but I have expanded my repertoire in the last year or so.  I now love the British mysteries too - Midsomer Murders, Inspector Morse, Inspector Lewis, Endeavour, Sherlock – as well as Antiques Roadshow, Nova, American Masters among other specials.  I really must make a donation soon…..  

What I love  my kids; my family; chocolate; the fact that my kids are out of school and I don’t have to police the homework situation; curling up with a good book; chocolate; deep conversations (and not so deep ones) over a bottle (or two) of wine; my independence, financial and otherwise; chocolate (do you sense a theme here?) 

What’s up with you? 


Mama’s Losin’ It

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Post in 12 Lines (from Mama Kat's writing prompts)

The hot, lazy, hazy days of summer are here. 

I still have to go to work (vacation end of August) but it feels different; easier 

There are no more fights over homework or studying (or not!) for tests. 

The BBQ is being used far more, often with a cold bevvy in hand. 

The air conditioner is also being used to the max – can’t stand a hot apartment!   

We are eating more berries and salads now that the produce is coming from local farms and not Ecuador (or wherever!) 

Soccer season is in full swing and, after a long day in the office, I don’t really mind sitting on the sidelines in the fresh air to cheer them on. 

Sleepovers will be on the rise which means my grocery budget will also go up.  Where do those boys put all the calories?! 

I love that the kids can cycle wherever they want to go. 

Both of my kids love their day camp program and have both found friends there that they already knew as well as new ones. 

Speaking of the program, they are getting far more field trips than I get – I’m jealous! 

Ice cream!  (no elaboration needed here) 

Mama’s Losin’ It


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Reflections on Life

My co-worker and her twin just turned twenty-six.  They are young and care-free and I’m a little bit jealous.  They were born just after I graduated high school which means that I’ve been out of high school for twenty-six years!!  How the heck did that happen?  I have lived through so much since then – marriage, two kids, divorce, a few good and not so good jobs – yet I feel like it was just yesterday that I was graduating and looking at a long life ahead of me.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t want to go back to that time.  The experiences that I have lived through since that time have made me who I am today and (for the most part) I rather like who I am today.    I am far more confident, knowledgeable and (hopefully) wise. 

Looking back, I do have regrets, like most people. 

I wish that I had continued my education and that I hadn’t stuck with the “safe” business classes.  I could have had a career that excited me instead of sitting at a desk.  I could have been digging up fossils in Peru right now!  On the plus side, I do have a regular paycheque hitting my bank account every week like clock-work and that is something to be grateful for.  So many people don’t have that.

Of course, if I had gone for a different career path, I may never have met my ex-husband and I would not have my two wonderful kids.  Despite my less than perfect parenting, they have grown into two strong, healthy, intelligent, well-balanced people.  That being said, although they are no more perfect than I am,  I not only love them but I LIKE them as people as well.  That counts for a lot.

With the various twists and turns that my life has taken, people have come and gone.  Some of them were around only for a short while and rightfully so.  When someone stops enriching your life, you know that their purpose in your life is over.  There are those, however, that I do regret losing touch with and who I think could/should have been in my life longer.  That is one thing that I am trying to teach my kids.  If somebody makes your life better, be sure to nurture that relationship.  Don’t let go of a good friendship before its “expiry date” out of laziness or because you take it for granted that the person isn’t going anywhere.

All in all, I really don’t mind being where I am.  There may be a few regrets and “what if’s” but I have also made some pretty good choices too.

It’s amazing how somebody else’s birthday can make you think about your own life.  It makes me wish that I had appreciated my twenties a little bit more.  As they say, hindsight is twenty-twenty.
That's the bday girl in the middle (I love my coworkers!)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Ten Things That I've Learned

Mama’s Losin’ It

One of this week’s writing prompts from Mama Kat is “10 things I learned in June”.  Hmmmmm…. did I learn 10 things in June?  I don’t feel any smarter but perhaps I do have a few observations that I could put in writing 

1 – Kids seem to be spending less and less time in school these days.  Between ped days, multiple holidays and the fact that, in high school (gr. 7 and 9) their last day of class was June 7, they hardly seem to be there.  They had a full two weeks on their own until the start of day camp during which we had to make sure they were entertained and out of trouble.  That’s not easy when you’re at the office. 

2 – As they get older, keeping my kids entertained and out of trouble is getting more expensive. 

 I’m not keen on the heat and humidity of a Montreal summer but the clouds and rain that we had through June have been worse.  I’ve never minded rain too much but, this past month, I’ve learned to dread waking up to it yet again. 

 Just when I think that the popular media and trash mags can’t get worse, they do.  I am so sick of seeing Kanye and Kim everywhere I look.  Enough already!  It’s bad enough that they are breeding but, aside from that, they really aren’t all that interesting; just a couple of leeches sucking up our attention as if it was life-giving blood. 

 Long weekends are MUCH better when you actually have some money in the bank to spend.  The Canada Day long weekend was so much more fun that the St. Jean Baptiste one. 

6 – Never, ever take your family and close friends for granted.  They are what make life worth living.  Tell them you love them every chance you get. 

7 – Not enough of us have a schedule that allows us to volunteer for our kids sports.  In some cases, it’s a lack of willingness which is even sadder.  Thankfully my ex is able to coach The Girl’s team – that's definitely a good thing! 

8 – My daughter is old enough (almost 13) now to be embarrassed by her parents’ goofiness in public places.  Cue the eye rolls and pretending she doesn’t know us…… 

9 – Leaky roofs are a pain in the butt! 

10  I already knew this but was reminded last weekend just how much I enjoy cracking open a cold beer and firing up the BBQ with good food and good company. 

What have you learned/observed lately?