Time Warp!

The most remarkable thing has happened!

This wee lad…

2013-12-03 14.06.19

woke this morning looking like this!!!

2014-11-01 10.36.40

It’s hard to believe that Second Born Son turns 14 tomorrow. The same kid who required two hour-long trips to the hospital in order to get into this world, is now in high school! It seems like yesterday that we took him to speech therapy! Yes – don’t get me started on the fact that I devoted hours to helping get this kid to talk. I’m painfully aware every time he starts discussing his latest video console obsession!

SBS is such a wonderful combination of light and fun. He hates it when animals or the elderly are endangered. He could care less about what other people think of him. For example, he’s not fazed by an unusual coat or jeans he’s grown out of; after all, he’s comfortable!

Our son has impeccable comedic timing, so it’s no surprise that he’s joined the Improv Club at school. He’s always been a fish around water…
2014-11-24 22.47.28

and has now earned Bronze Medallion with his eye set on the Bronze Cross in the spring!

His artistic ability is amazing!

Original on left, SBS's rendition on the right…crazy, right?

Original on left, SBS’s rendition on the right…crazy, right?

Artist at work!

Artist at work!

He’s a good friend, a great brother and a wonderful son!

2014-10-30 09.18.25

2014-10-30 06.50.36

I cannot imagine our lives without him!

2014-10-22 15.19.54

Happy Birthday Sweetie!

Winter/Jobs/Exam Stress/Seniors – yes, it all makes sense….

Nothing like two jobs hitting me at the same time; one with three days of brain-numbing tech training, the other with just the first really big meeting (everyone meet Sarah/holy-crap what have I gotten myself in to) in the middle of that training, sprinkled with some truly nasty snow storms. Yup – all in the same week folks. It’s how we roll around here.

At least he had snow shovelling to burn off the pre-exam anxiety!

At least he had snow shovelling to burn off the pre-exam anxiety!

So, forgive me for not throwing more out at you last week, but if I had asked any more of my brain, it would have looked just like this…. EHRIAOGHR !!!oanbf [r d9403q bdzfjojb. One could say I saved you from witnessing a visual breakdown, so, you are welcome!

It’s been a pretty crazy week for First Born Son as well. While he only had two exams to write, the “traditional” winter weather forced the schedule back two days, meaning he had to anticipate a math exam two days longer than necessary. Since he is My Son, math is like an allergen to him and he spent those extra days on a borderline hive breakout. Thankfully, he is now done and ready to move on to his second semester.

Which reminded me.

When I was his age (cue the whimsical music and black and white footage) I too loathed exams. When I was in Grade 11 (where he is now) my parents sold our home farm and purchased the land where they now reside. They were building a house which was ready for occupancy over the Christmas holidays. In the chaos of the move, it was lost on all of us that while I would have to transfer to a new high school, I WOULD STILL HAVE TO FINISH EXAMS AT MY OLD SCHOOL.

Since driving back and forth was out of the question, it required some creative thinking to come up with a solution.

That came in the form of  my Gramma. She lived in the same town as my old high school. She lived only three short blocks away from the school itself. What a perfect solution!! Could this be more convenient?

Did I mention she lived in Semi-Care?

So for two weeks, while I finished my exams, I slept at my grandmother’s apartment in a senior care centre. I would try to sneak out to be unseen by the staff doing their daily checks on the residents, since “visitors” were not people who stayed overnight, and certainly not for multiple nights. For those of you who have not had the “pleasure” of staying at such an establishment, let me tell you this; the smells and sounds of a Seniors’ Residence are not something one can get over in the short term. I still have flashbacks!

I would actually take a longer route to school, in the hopes that anyone who noticed me would not connect the fact that I was living in the local seniors’ home. Come on – I was 16. This was THE. WORST. SOLUTION. EVER.

There was no long-term impact for my Gramma, or myself. Or so I thought.

Recently, certain commercials have caught the eye of Second Born Son. He has announced that when he’s an adult, he’s going to move into a Seniors’ Home; after all, with all the down home cooking, bus trips and conga lines they are promoting, he’s thinking it’s Club Med.

I don’t have the heart to tell him about the smells and sounds…..

Better Than a Bouquet of Flowers

Wanna see something sexy?

I mean something that gets you really turned on?

Brace yourself….

….

….hope you can handle this…

….

Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

 

It's the suds, I'm telling' ya!

 

The cleaning of the truck was followed by the cleaning of the inside of the truck, which was followed by an impromptu driving lesson for First Born Son. This was not discussed with me, nor was it endorsed by me. My truck is a standard so The Big Guy thought it would be good practice for FBS.

I refrained from expressing my displeasure because I no longer clean the outside of the truck with my dress pants and don’t have to crawl over gravel once I get in.

Still…totally sexy….

Letters That Need to be Written – Part II

Dear Joseph Cordes,

I’m sure you are hiding out following the embarrassment you have heaped upon yourself, your daughter, your family and your community at large.

You should.

Perhaps you have no grasp of what you did, and attempted to do, and refuse to hold yourself in any other regard than a passionate parent.

But as the mother of a goalie, I cannot imagine anything lower than aiming a laser pointer in the eyes of someone playing this position. Aside from the stigma most goalies wrestle with regarding their role in “losing” games, there is the simple fact that the goalie is the only person facing the rush of on-coming players. They have to handle frozen rubber pucks being fired at them at tremendous speeds. They have to be flexible to shut down rebounds; employ cat-like reflexes; possess the ability to see through well-meaning defenseman; be the fastest skaters on the team. Goalies need the mental strength to pick themselves up when five other players on the team make mistakes without consequence, but the third rebound on him/her gets posted on the score board.

Now they have to be able to deal with distractions from the stands from asses like you. Massachusetts must be so proud.

Hockey has a dark enough reputation; what with the legacy of debilitating concussions, gratuitous violence, sexual deviance and questionable team spirit. Did you really have to go and make hockey parents look like half-wits?

I hope you realize the message you are sending your daughter is that A) cheating is completely acceptable; B) adults don’t have to act any better than punk juvenile delinquents; and C) you didn’t have faith in her team to win without your intervention.

It’s like the Perfect Storm for Least Sportsmanlike Conduct.

You are damn lucky that your antics didn’t result in injury. The vision in a goalie helmet is limited at the best of times, and now you want to fry the player’s retinas??? What if she’d lost focus on a rush and ended up with a broken neck, slit throat, snapped collar-bone? Would that be worth it for a championship?

In the end, your team won 3-1. I’m sure the embarrassment of your actions has tempered any sense of accomplishment your team could have enjoyed. Your daughter will likely have to bear the burden of your deeds. I’m sure she would have preferred you to simply cheer for her from the stands.

I hope the competing team is successful in its appeal of this game. It takes very little to change the momentum of a game, and this low-brow discovery was made when the game was tied 1-1 in the third period. How shaken was the goalie following your ejection? How much focus was lost by the team as they realized they were competing against parents as well?

I also hope the authorities are successful in filing Breach of Peace charges against you.

It’s too bad there wasn’t legislation against being a Jackass.

Emphatically,

Sarah

What He Said…

After a particularly exasperating exchange with Second Born Son, I exclaim in frustration,

Me: “LORD help ME!”

SBS: “I think he’s busy with someone else right now!”

TBG

We are watching First Bon Son’s hockey team. He’s the goalie, and it’s been a particularly busy night for him. Second Born Son’s only interest in the game is the fact that his brother is playing. He spends most of the time biting his tongue as we watch FBS stop second and third rebounds while teammates stand back in admiration.

One of mothers on our team is sharing her personal opinion of the official’s call, or rather lack there of. The word she uses rhymes with luck, truck, duck and schmuck.

SBS: Really…was that necessary? (Shakes head in disgust.) ADULTS!

TBG

SBS: “We played The Game of Life at school today. I love that game.”

Me: “Oh ya?”

SBS: “Ya, I saved all this money, because I didn’t get married, didn’t have any kids and I lived in a house trailer.”

Me: “Oh – that sounds kind of lonely.”

SBS: “It was AWESOME! I had the most money!!!”

Valentine’s Day in Three Parts….

It’s only two days after Valentine’s Day, and the Easter swag is on the shelves, but I’m still reflecting on the events of two days ago….

111

I’ve been watching the commercials that start in rotation every January 2nd. The message is the same. If you have someone special in your life, you’d better do something for them on February 14th.

Or risk not having someone on February 15th.

I will admit, when I was young and naive, I bought into this commercialism. I’m not sounding very romantic right now, but if you stand back and set aside the Pink coloured glasses, you will see that there is nothing romantic about being forced to show how you feel about someone. Even the most emotionally emotive man gets a heavy dose of insecurity in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. The bar is set high. Anything less will result in disappointment and frustration, not to mention reliving the moment for years after – if you are “fortunate” enough to stay with your loved one.

What is romantic about that??

I remember dating The Big Guy and he brought me a Valentine’s Day arrangement. A teddy bear clutching a plastic vase with fresh cut flowers. I was thrilled – such an obvious gesture of love and affection! Totally cute at the time and it impressed several of my friends, because we know it’s all about the brag factor. Wouldn’t thank you for it now. I love the idea of the unexpected. What is romantic is not what happens on one day, but the connection, the listening you do, on all the other days, that makes that one day memorable. And it doesn’t have to be V-day.

*A special note for you guys – you DON’T have to buy a piece of jewelry to get her attention. <Cue the Crickets>

I’m serious here girls! What would you rather have? A piece of jewelry that you basically TOLD him to buy for you, or a night in with your man, your favourite movie in hand because he LISTENED to you when you said you desperately wanted to see it. He also has your favourite snacks!! One is forced, one is genuine. When it comes to relationships, I prefer the latter.

That’s not to say I will turn away a hinged furry box! But let’s put it in context….

I won’t forget my 12th wedding anniversary because I received my sapphire and diamond ring from The Big Guy. Not on our 10th or 15th…. Completely unexpected – and I LOVED IT.

Surprise is romantic. The unexpected, is romantic. Pressure, expectation, entitlement…..

No so much.

222

Second Born Son has taken an interest in baking lately. We made kick-ass peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. Not long after, we made cupcakes for a friend’s birthday.

Look at that technique!

In the fashion of all agonizing childhood milestones, Valentine’s Day rolled around for him in his classroom.

At his age, not too many kids are keen on demonstrating affection, so it’s an awkward situation. I’ve told SBS that if wants to take a Valentine to one person, he needs to give one out for each person in his class. Fortunately, he agrees.

But this year, when his peers were marking a day for love and affection, one little shit student was changing the rules.

He handed out his store-bought cupcakes to only a handful of students. SBS was not one of them. To add insult to injury, he walked past SBS’s desk and said, “Jealous??”

To which my son, my little sweetie – who had given this child a Valentine AND a box of Smarties, just like everyone else, came back with this gem.

“No. I can MAKE my own, any time I want them.”

Freakin’ brilliant.

333

It has been documented how our sons feel about our anniversary. Maybe because The Big Guy and I don’t gush over these holidays, we don’t expect much from the boys.

It was mentioned at one point that they had “something” for us, but honestly, with the chaos these past couple of days, I didn’t give it a lot of thought. I have a collection of sweet Valentine cards from my little men, and was looking forward to seeing what they put together this year.

But first, I had something else to attend to.

Made with Love - Half the Calories - ahahahahahahahahah

I always believe the motto “A way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” So these little dreams were sinful!

It looks like The Big Guy had the same idea!

Poetry! Wow!

But for some reason, he thought I was going to share…THIS?!

Uh...YUM

I was ready to mow through dinner, just to get to dessert, but the boys has other ideas. Watch us get our minds blown!

Awwwww!

It was a Valentine’s Day card with a dinner card inside. They plotted and planned with FBS slipping downtown on his lunch to pick up the cards. Who knew they were so thoughtful!

And that, my friends, is the definition of a loving Valentine’s Day.

True love is the soul’s recognition of its counterpart in another.

~ Wedding Crashers

If….Then…..

For the most part, we are blessed with good kids. But every now and then, one of them will pull a boner.

This time it was First Born Son’s turn. Nothing epic, but certainly worth several well thought out words in an elevated tone to drive home how frustrated and disappointed we are. In a day or so, it will all blow over, but for now, there needs to be a line drawn and some consequences.

This has been our approach since we became parents, and fortunately, The Big Guy and I have been on the same page, without really having a discussion about it. I remember while we were dating (long before talk of marriage or children), trying to enjoy a meal at a restaurant while a young upwardly mobile couple tolerated, and indeed coddled their young child. Certainly old enough to know how to behave in a restaurant, it was fairly obvious that we were witnessing a case of the Tail Wagging the Dog. Whining, food thrown and indulgence. Understandable when the child is 2, more than annoying when the kid is 5. We looked at each other and basically said the same thing to each other, “If we have kids, we are NOT letting them get away with crap like THAT!”

One of the worst things I see is when parents use threats or ultimatums. These could also be considered boundaries. Nothing wrong with setting terms, the problem is when the child knows the threat is hollow. We have made a point of not doing this, and it has served us well. Its all about the follow through.

I remember when FBS was just a wee guy. We were at a friend’s house and he was enjoying the pool. I was done for the day and back in my dry clothes (fear not, he had enough safety and flotation devices on him, not to mention I was ALWAYS within arm’s reach). Anyway, I asked him nicely to come out of the pool to dry off; it was time to go home. He refused. I told him he had to the Count of Three (another favourite tactic) to get out of the pool, or I was coming in for him.

One beat after I said “Three” he started to laugh – there was no way Mommy was going to get in, she was in her clothes. I stepped right into the pool, sandals, shorts, tee and all, and hauled his scrawny wet tush out of that pool. From that day forward, he knew. There were consequences and not listening to Momma was not advised.

Years later, I coached his ball team. During a practice we were working on stealing home. I advised the base runner, who was a little meek, that he needed a more substantial lead off. Three pitches later, he’s still take two steps. I need him to take at least four. I tell him, “If you don’t get more of a jump out there, I’m going to make you wish you had.” He looks over at FBS who is the third baseman for this exercise. FBS just shakes his head and says, “She’ll do it man.”

Ironically, the runner had an excellent jump and  was able to get to Home Plate with ease.

I took exception to title the Day Care teachers gave me; Hitler Mom, but that’s only because of the choice of villain, not because of the context. I don’t drop the hammer all the time. The Big Guy isn’t irrational. We save consequences for serious transgressions. Laptops and tablets, iPods and TV privileges have been revoked because of serious breaches of behaviour.

Which is why I identify, and respect the position of this father…..

Dad uses Facebook

Naturally, there are people who feel he is the worst example as a parent.

I feel I’m in pretty good company.