1000 miles in 2011

Saturday, April 30, 2011

soccer practice

Ashton had his first soccer practice this morning. It was supposed to be outside, but with the weather, they moved it to the indoor soccer pitch at the keystone center.

I knew it would be funny to watch a bunch of 3 and 4 year olds run around and attempt to play soccer, but I didn't realized how cute it would be! Very funny. They sure drive those kids hard on the first day. I'm not sure how I'd do it differently but there was a lot of skill teaching that was a little over the heads of these small kids. but still, really cute.

Ashton was so proud of himself in his little shin guards and his new jersey. He thought it was pretty cool that it said Tim Horton's on it. "look at me" he says to his dad.

He had mixed feelings about it. They first got all 4 teams of kids, probably about 7 - 10 kids/team into a big circle and tried to have them dribble the ball. They had to stop the ball by putting their foot on it and then he got them to put various other body parts on the ball. The cutest was their heads, lots of little bums in the air! lol Ashton was not fond of this drill. He came over to us and said he didn't feel well. He is a little on the sick side, he has a terrible cold. We debated on staying home but I'm one of those that doesn't like their kid to miss fun stuff, so I risk the health of all others involved so he doesn't miss out.

The next drill was kicking. This is the part that he wanted to do. All of a sudden, he felt fine. He ran over to his team to do some kicking. He even managed to cut in line. He was very subtle. Just moved up one kid at a time. We left it for the first couple kids, then Jason went and told him to wait his turn. He did very well after that.

It was time for the game now. All the kids were minnows and the guy in the middle was a shark who was going to try and steal their ball while they tried to cross from one end to the other while dribbling their ball, to learn control. If they got their ball taken away, they became a shark in the next round. As soon as the man said go, Ashton was on the move, he ran as fast as his little legs could go and the whole time, keeping his eye on that shark. He made it across a couple times and then he got his ball taken and became a shark. I thought he'd love that and would be chasing the other kids and growling at them but he instead decided he didn't feel well again.

That was the last activity for the day. Their first official game is on Monday. I think he did well for his first organized activity. He's an outgoing kid but has never been in this kind of situation. He wasn't the only kid running to mom and dad though. It's to be expected when they are that age.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

tax man

We finally did our taxes last night. Kind of last minute, well, not last minute, that would be like doing them Saturday right?

Normally I am very anxious to do my taxes as I generally get back a pretty good refund. Being the little saver that I am (or at least was when I had money to save), I'd buy something a bit extravagant (I can't spell worth a darn anymore) and then put the other half or so into savings. This year, I kind of thought it would be a different story. I have been told that people on mat leave don't normally get enough deducted so I wasn't thinking big refund this year. I was actually thinking that with how things have been going in my life the last few weeks, that I'd end up owing them thousands of dollars that I really don't know where it would come from.

Time to face the music. After all is said and done, we got some money back, nothing huge, at least not compared to usual so I was very relieved. Sad part is, there will be no extravagant gifts for us this year. I will likely use this money as my first payment to daycare when the kids head back full time. That will pretty well take care of it all. At least that's money I don't have to come up with now. Maybe things are going to turn around.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

back to square one

I recieved a phone call this morning from the girl who took Crosby for the weekend. He bit her while she was trying to brush him. She didn't seem terribly bothered, was mainly calling to make sure he was up to date on his shots. I assured her he was. She said she still wanted to try things out the rest of the weekend.

I felt better after this call. 2 reasons, she was brushing him, that shows me she is as nice as I hoped and wants to take care of him, I can not remember the last time I brushed him! I know that is terrible. The second reason, she seems to be willing to work with his flaw, if that is a good word for it. I started to think this might be it, he might not be our dog anymore. It was something I was starting to accept. I was enjoying not worrying about him when we arrived home from somewhere. I was able to just put Brayden down and not be afraid he'd grab Crosby and get bitten. It was still going to be hard to make it official but, I was coming to terms with the possibility.

That all changed with a phone call at 9pm. It was this girl again. He has bitten someone else in her family. I asked if she wanted me to come and pick him up. She said that I could because the people she was living with at this time were concerned. I promptly jumped in the car and headed across town. My stomach again in knots which seems to be the way it likes to be lately. I don't know if it's because I felt bad, or because I feel we may never find him a good home or what it might be, but I felt crappy.

When I got there, he was in his kennel. I carried the kennel to the car, sat it on the passengers seat and got in. I opened the door thinking he'd be excited to see me. He came out and sat on my lap (which I normally don't let him, this was a special circumstance), but he wouldn't look at me. He just sat there. When we got home, I put him in the house and he walked right past Jason sitting on the couch. I thought he'd run and jump up on his lap, but no. He went outside, did his business and came back in. Jason and I were petting him and he started to growl. The same way he always does when he feels he's in trouble. As I was petting him, I noticed his eye was all goopy. An eye infection, well, I was afraid to wipe it off because I didn't want to be bitten, so off to his kennel he headed with his goopy eye. I'll have to have a look at it in the morning when he's hopefully in a better mood.

So we are back to square one. I don't know what to do. I don't know if the next person that attempts to take him will be so understanding. I don't want to even allow anyone with kids to take him for any amount of time. I thought maybe a different environment might cut down on this alpha male problem I believe it is he has. I think he'd just be happy roaming freely, doing whatever he wants to do. Unfortunatly, I do not know where I would find such a place.

Friday, April 22, 2011

hard day

Today a young girl came to meet Crosby. It has been a few weeks since I posted the ad to give him up. We recieved a number or responses to the ad because he is a cutie! I had to continuously tell people not to be fooled by appearances, he is a bit of a grump. I really want to find him the right home but at the same time I don't want to give him up.

This girl, I'd say around 18 or so, is moving out on her own and would like someone to keep her company. She came by to meet Crosby and of course he barked like crazy at her when she ran the door bell. After a minute, he calmed down and licked her to death. We chatted briefly and we decided that she would take him for the weekend and we'd talk Sunday night and see how it all goes. I sent her a couple of his toys, his kennel and some food. That's it, everything else is still here. He has a lot of stuff. One year my mom and sister thought they each needed to buy him one of those puppy stockings that has like 6 or 7 toys in each. Well, he doesn't destroy toys like some dogs, so he has a lot of toys!

I felt very relieved as I'm sure things will go fine for Crosby this weekend but I am also very sad right now. I only got her first name and phone number but I'm having crazy thoughts that she gave me a fake number something and that I'll never see him again. I'm sure that's not the case. She seemed really nice and hopefully she'll give him the attention he deserves. It was really weird coming home from supper and not having him greet us at the door and that will get more real as time goes on, should she decide to keep him.

Ashton isn't sure of what's going on. We have told him that we need to find a new home for Crosby because he is to mean to us sometimes. He doesn't not like that idea at all. Today when she was here to meet Crosby, we told Ashton that Crosby was going to go to stay with her for the weekend. His response was "but not forever". It will be hard for him at first but I think he'll be fine.

Needless to say I am a bit emotional right now. I know it is for the best and I will be ok soon enough

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

cold meds

Is cold medicine really that good for you?

I wonder this today as I may be a bit high from it as I write this. Sunday night I went to bed with a bit of a sore throat. Not big deal, I normally just wait it out but on Monday I decided to buy some Halls just to soothe my throat a little. I am beginning to think the Halls are the reason my cold got worse today. It seems the last few times I had a sore throat, if I popped a cold Fx twice/day as directed, that sore throat was gone and nothing more came of the cold, but each time that I had a Halls cough drop, my cold got worse and turned into a head cold. This makes me wonder, is it the Halls that are causing the cold?

I went to bed last night with a phlemmy throat and a headache. I thought the headache was just because I was tired and normally I can sleep it off but last night I just couldn't shake it. My throat was dry and my head was killing me. It felt like my head was about to explode! It went on like that all night.

When I got up this morning, I didn't think I'd make it through the day without some help. I remember taking some cold and sinus stuff one time and it seemed to really help so I hoped we'd still have some in the cupboard. We did not. All we had was 2 loose capsules of sudafed cold and cough. It was labelled on the back of the pills or I wouldn't have taken them. I thought I'd try it out. I would normally only take 1 but today, it really hurt, so I went for 2 right off the start.

Within 1/2 an hour, I started to feel dizzy! If I was sitting still I was fine but as soon as I'd stand up, I felt like I was going to fall over. I also started to feel sick. Thank goodness my kids were cooperative today, they played really well together while I sat and tried to overcome my side effects. When I tried to eat something, my tongue felt numb which sometimes happens to me when I've had too much to drink. It was weird. I felt like I was on the gas they gave me during my labour with Brayden. I didn't like that feeling. I prefered the pain of labour to that uncontrolable dizzy, nauseous feeling.

That was me all over again this morning. There is always a warning on the label (or at least there would have been if I had the box!) that says do not operate heavy machinary but it should say "do not take care of small children". I figured that 4 hours later, the effect should wear off. It was a little longer than that but now I'm stuffed up again, I am debating which is worse. I may have to make a run to the drug store later.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

what's on my mind, are you sure you want to know?

I have too much on the go right now. Just thought I'd share with you.

#1 - Finding a new home for my dog - this was not an easy decision but as you know, he is not good with the kids and I am not willing to put in the time it would require to retrain him and even if I did, there is no guarentee that I would work.

I have put an ad on ebrandon, our local website, and I have actually gotten a lot of response. All I wrote was I have to give him up because he is not good with children. Some of the people are probably just seeing a picture of a cute dog and thinking, "oh that would be so much fun". I am being completely honest with people, I will not say he is a good dog. I do believe he just needs a new environment, one that is a little bit more calm. Ashton is far to hyper and Brayden will be there soon too. My stomach was in knots last weekend at the thought of him meeting a possible new family. I had one lady that I spoke with on the phone last Saturday, she had planned to come on Sunday to meet him. She never called and hasn't responded to my emails since then. Then one other lady, I emailed back and forth with her for a day and then Monday she was going to call me to set up a time. She sounded really interested. I called there after supper Monday to leave my cell number with her husband because we were going out. I didn't recieve a call when we were out and there was no message on the home phone when we got back. I checked my email and apparently her husband was not on board with getting another dog. She really didn't think he'd have a problem with it. So that didn't work out.

Too bad. That's the only serious interest I've had. I really want to find him a new home before the end of the month but at the same time, I don't want to give him to just anyone. If he goes to a new home and they decide they don't like his temperament, you never know where he'll end up because they won't have the same attachment to him as we do.

#2 - finding a job - things aren't looking promising. I am due back to work in 2 weeks and I have sent out 10 resumes. I have only heard back from 2 of those jobs so there is still a possibility but the reality of going back to Herbal Magic is slowly coming to be.

I am trying to convince myself that it won't be so bad. The biggest reason is financially. I will be making less/hr than I am now (if I only worked 8 hours/day right now lol) and I will be adding $1000/month in daycare costs. I'm not a math whiz but that does not equal having enough money to pay bills. I was going to try to get more money out of them, like asking about being assistant manager or something (since I stepped down from the manager position before I left, I am not entitled to that back) but I don't think I'd have a case because they know I don't want to be there. That is partly what I dread, them knowing I'm only there because I have to be. I can see them treating me even worse than they did before. That's just how my supervisor rolls. She is not a nice person.

I am still very hopeful that something good comes up in the next couple weeks. I am going to go and chat with the current manager next week to try to work out something on my behalf.

#3 - soccer - part of my reason for wanting a stictly day job is because of soccer. I know, I should have other priorities but soccer is a huge priority to me. It's the one thing I have left that is all mine, not my kids, not my husband, just me. I know I won't be able to play it forever so I need to play it while I can. Plus, that amount of exercise is crutial in keeping my weight off in the summer (or in this case, maybe getting an extra 5 lbs off me)

We are starting a new team this year so that makes things a bit more complicated. In order to decide on the number of players to allow on our team, we need to know the commitment level of each player. I do not know mine due to the work situation. I am also in charge of the money for the team so I have to start hunting down money so I can pay for things when they come due. I don't know half the people on my team so that makes it even harder.

Ashton is also playing soccer this year. He will play on Monday and Wednesday nights and I will play on Tuesday and Thursday nights. At first I was excited about that but then I realized if I'm back to HM, I will have to work til 7:30 a couple days/week and so I will have to choose between missing his games or my games. Again, good reason to have a day job. I will have to work something out with Jason, hopefully I can take him one night and Jason can take him another night and I won't have to miss too many of my games.

Did I mention I love soccer?

#4 - spring cleaning - I really wanted to get something done in this house while I was off. I have not accomplished much. I did manage to take a good number of boxes to Value Village yesterday. That was good, but I'm no where near done organizing. I'm also going to be losing 8 hours/day to do that when I get back to work.

I would also like to do some painting. We have been here for 2 years this July and we have only redone Ashton's room. That's it. I don't mind painting, and it's not really that expensive either, I just don't know what colors to do. I am not crafty like that. I went to an Uppercase Living party the other day. I ordered 2 slogans to put on my walls. One is for Ashton's room. I had to order it, it was so him. It says "Boy, n: a noise with dirt on it" I couldn't resisit. I also ordered one for the livingroom. I didn't know what color to get it in because our walls all over the house are cream colored. I decided I'd paint my one wall red (or some form of it) as I have black curtains and I like black, red and white together. I ordered the saying in black and white so now I have to paint that wall or I won't be able to put it up. I also bought a new shower curtain a short time ago. It has black, blue and cream colored spots on it, so I am thinking of painting some of the walls in the bathroom blue. I just have to get at it. I think I will do that next week when I take the boys for their day at daycare.

#5 - Brayden's birthday - it's coming up quick and I am trying to have a birthday party for him. A big one like I had for Ashton's first with some extended family from both sides. I am having a heck of a time finding a weekend that my mom is off and Jason's mom is off too. Plus Jason's sister doesn't want to come out the weekend after Easter because it's too much. I say poo on her. lol

I found out a couple days ago that Jason's step brother, his wife and their 3 kids will actually be out the weekend of May 7th for their son's hockey tourney (they live in Saskatoon) so I might try that weekend cause that would be great if they could be here too. My mom is off that weekend and Jason's mom was already going to try to get it off for them to come. That would work great. Except when we come back to this work thing. What if they won't give me that weekend off? Oh I hope they do, that would be one less thing to worry about.

#6 - weight loss - that has been weighing on my mind a lot. I am happier than I was, that is for sure, but I know if I could just buckle down and do it, I could lose 5 more lbs. I do want to do it before I go back to work but I'm just not putting in any effort at all. I am still exercising 4 - 6 days/week but I am not cutting out enough bad stuff. I shouldn't let it bother me, but I think I'm using the excuse of all the other stuff I have going on as reasons not to worry about it right now. I should just suck it up.

Some of the other things are a bit more minor. We have not gotten our taxes done, we are running out of time!! I am hoping that there will be a big lump of money that we'll get back, that would really help us out right now, but with my luck and the way things have been going, we'll owe money or something like that. Maternity leave is great but they really don't take off a lot of taxes, so I really don't know.

We'd also like to go to Minot for May long weekend so I need to get passports for us, they take 2 weeks so again, running out of time. That brings us back to the work thing too, will they give me that weekend off? Oh if only I didn't have to work. Maybe winning the lottery would be the way to go. Any tips on that? I guess buying a ticket would be the first step.

I wonder how I am going to do it when I go back to work. Even the things that I have got figured out, like making supper everyday, getting dishes done, doing laundry and things like that. How do all you super moms do it? I guess I will have to figure it out, too bad there isn't a manual or something.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Ashton's first movie

I decided to try and take Ashton to his first movie this weekend. We have waited a very long time to take him because he is a very hyper kid and I really didn't believe he'd sit through an entire movie and not talk. He does lay on the couch downstairs and watch movies by himself quite often and that isn't a problem, but when he sits with us to watch a movie, he can't sit still or stop talking. There's just too much excitement when others are around.

On Friday I decided I would take a shot at this movie theatre thing. I checked what was playing and I thought he might enjoy HOP, the movie about the Easter bunny. I showed him the trailer and asked him if he'd like to go to the movie theater and see this movie. He was very excited about it. I don't think he really knew what a movie theatre was.

The movie was to begin at 1:20 on Saturday afternoon. I figured if we left by 1, that would give us plenty of time because it's only a 2 minute drive to the theatre from our house. I was wrong. It has been so long since I have been to the theatre, I forgot about a few things.

First, I decided to take a different route than I normally would. Thinking I was smart going around the traffic actually became sitting in the traffic. I guess you can't really call it traffic but I wanted to turn north onto 18th street past the theatre and there were a lot of vehicles coming into town. I waited there for what felt like forever!

Once we finally got to the theatre, the office that sells tickets was closed, so I couldn't just go there and say "two for HOP please", instead I had to do the machine that had a lot of different options and I was all worried I'd push the wrong button so I was kind of slow. Once we have our tickets, I look at the line up for the popcorn. Yep, forgot about line ups. I promised Ashton that we'd get popcorn because I wanted to give him the full theatre experience for his first time. When we were kids, we hardly ever had a treat when we went to the theatre, well I shouldn't say we didn't have a treat, we did, we just didn't buy a treat at the theatre. Mom always snuck food in for us. lol Good times. Anyway, we get in line for popcorn and I realize that I drank a lot of water while I was running on the treadmill just before so I figured I'd better go to the bathroom again so the 2 of us left the line and went to the bathroom.

Back to the line up. It didn't take too long but by this time, it was already 1:20. No big deal, there will be lots of previews, we won't miss anything. Guess what else I forgot? We went into the theatre and sure enough the previews were playing and what I forgot is the lights would be out already. This wouldn't have been a big deal if the theatre wasn't already almost full. I scanned the seats to see if I could see 2 seats together anywhere. We went to the top and there were 2 seats but they were right behind the wall that is above the entrance so Ashton couldn't seen over it. I stood there at the top of the theatre, scanning the seats to see what I could find. Finally a lady across from these 2 seats asks me if I would like her to move over one with her daughter, leaving an open seat in the isle for Ashton and there was a seat up behind him as well. I thanked her as it was very nice of her to offer. I'm not sure why everyone is so scared of the people next to them that they think they need to leave a seat in between everyone.

I sat Ashton in that seat, gave him his popcorn, which we were supposed to share and I saved room for after lunch, but would not get any now, and told him I'd be sitting right behind him if he needed anything. He sat so nicely and ate his popcorn watching the previews. Every once and a while I'd see his little arm sneak over and grab his drink. It was so cute. I was really upset that I couldn't sit beside him for his first movie to see his reactions but I guess it's my own fault for being late. I know better for next time.

After the movie started, I decided to sit on the steps next to him for a bit and share his popcorn. I was really hunger and I purposely went to the movies like that so I could have some popcorn. Plus, I didn't really want him to eat that much. lol I finished some of the popcorn, and went back up to my seat. Not long after that, Ashton turned around and came up to my seat. He sat down on my lap. He said he didn't want to sit there anymore because he couldn't see, which he obviously could. He sat on my lap and chatted with me a bit. I reminded him that he couldn't talk at the movies so he sat quietly, on my knee, for the rest of the movie. It wasn't that comfortable but I did understand he didn't want to sit by himself there.

When the movie was over, I discovered something that made me really mad. I was sitting beside 2 little girls, they were probably about 9 or so. Then there was an empty seat beside them and then a man was sitting in the corner by himself. I thought it was weird that this man had come to this movie alone, but to each their own. I realized after the movie, these girls started talking to him. It ended up being their dad. I was really upset at this point because he saw me sitting on the steps to sit with my little 3 year old and then saw this 3 year old sitting on my lap through 3/4 of the movie and he didn't have the decency to ask his girls to move over one seat and sit next to him so Ashton could have a seat?! That is just plain rude. I almost said something to him, if I'd realized he was with them earlier, I would have asked them to move over. I didn't want to make 2 little girls go sit by a strange man they didn't know.

That was an experience. What did I learn? First, Ashton can handle going to a movie, which is great because Jason doesn't like going to movies so now I have someone to go with (and it's an excuse to watch kids movies again lol). Second, go like 45 minutes early so you can get tickets, go pee, get popcorn and sit together

dog problem

This might be a tough week. We have unofficially decided we need to get rid of our dog. It is just not working anymore. I'm very torn. When we decided last night, I was happy about it because it is a stress that I don't need right now with everything else but then the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to cry.

The kids are going to be devistated! Ashton cries when I even mention giving Crosby away. Brayden LOVES the dog, he wants to pet him all the time and he follows him around going "caw, caw, caw" which when he says it sounds so much like Cros, that's what he's trying to say anyway. He is so full of smiles when he sees the dog.

The last couple weeks with Brayden on the move, I've had to keep Crosby locked up. I can't just put him in his kennel in the kitchen because Brayden will go over, stick his fingers in the kennel and get bitten. So I have to lock him in my room. I feel like it's a bit nicer than locking him in the kennel anyway because it gives him room to move around at least, but really, it's not fair to Crosby to have to be locked up all the time.

At least now that it's a bit nicer outside (with the exception of the heavy, wet snow yesterday), so he can go outside and he'll spend a lot of time out there, but that also leads up to our second problem, Barking. Anytime he thinks he hears something, he barks and barks, constantly. And being that it's nicer out, there are more people out too so that doesn't help the barking situation. He doesn't listen to stop, and when you go get him, he growls at you when you try to pick him up to bring him in. Then when you try to put him down when you get in, he snaps at you. This is not someone that I want around my kids, who don't always know how to be careful around him.

The only time the poor dog is not locked up is when Brayden is napping and that's only if he doesn't stand at the front door and bark at people walking by, which again, with the nice weather, means more people walking by. I do have a blanket tacked up over the door (it's a full window door) so he can't see, but sometimes he just sticks his head under the blanket, so off to the kennel again.

I try to leave him out when we are eating but he lingers under the table and if you move your feet and bump him, he bites your toes.

I know, you are all thinking, how do you still have this dog when he acts like this! We've had him for 5 1/2  years, he is still our pet and that's what makes it hard. As much as he makes me mad, I see how happy he makes the kids and I am worried about what we can do with him when he bites, who's going to want him?

I feel like I'm giving up on him because I could probably spend a bunch of money and spend hours training him but I just don't believe I'd put in that kind of time. I don't think I'd have the kind of time I need to change those habits, especially when I head back to work in a month. It feels like I'm giving up on him but I just don't see any other option right now. I am worried that we won't find anyone for him. Putting him down is not an option for me.

Another problem is that any time we want to go away, we have to find somewhere for him to go. Most of the time we take him to mom and dads but he's started being grumpy there too now and he snaps at them when they move if he's sleeping on their lap. He's always done that to us (well, for the last 4 or more years anyway) but he never used to do that to them. I think my dad is a bit irritated with that, not that he says that, I just kind of get that feeling. Mom always says its no problem to take him but I know it's a pain for them. If we don't go in that direction though, then we end up driving an extra 2 hours to take him there anyway. We've never put him in a kennel. I was against it when he was smaller because I felt bad. Now, what would the difference be from him being locked up here all the time, besides how much it costs.

Next step is figuring out what we are going to do with him. I might put an ad on ebrandon. I have to see if I can word it to let people know honestly how he behaves but not to sound like he's a horrible dog. If that doesn't work, I will have to contact Funds for Furry Friends. It's an organization here that finds homes for unwanted dogs. Next step is the humaine society. I don't want to do that. I'm torn. This isn't going to be easy.

I know down the line, we may want to get another dog, when the kids are bigger and know more of what they are doing. I know big dogs are a lot better with kids (generally anyway) but I just don't want a big dog. I loved our little lap dog and I know that his behavior is not all his fault. Obviously, just as it is with kids, they learn their behavior somewhere and I know we treated him too much like a baby rather than a dog when he was little and now he has attitude. So unless someone has a way for us to get a hold of Cesar Milan (the dog whisperer) then we will be dogless. :(