Excited to embark on a bit of a change. Just accepted a job offer for a Real Job (tm) ... Color me excited and just a little bit nervous.

I am somewhat nervous about some of the new responsibilities this job will entail, but honestly am mostly nervous about how my kids will do with me working outside the home. I think in some ways it will be a good thing, they will have to work harder at home and be more responsible. But, as parents (and maybe especially moms) know, there is that ever-present specter of guilt hanging overhead.

Monday is when it all gets Real around here.

Wish me luck!


The One Where I Hope I Get A Good Mark.

The Princess is in the middle of her first stint of high school finals, a new experience that has her a little nervous. She has always been an excellent student (say it with me, please..."just like her mother...") who works hard and is bright and capable and well-loved by her teachers.

She is actually a way better student than I ever was. I was terrible for procrastinating on projects and assignments and a think there were more than a few report cards in grade eight that mentioned how much better my marks would be if I hadn't been docked so much for late assignments. Ouch.

Anyhow, last Monday, she was assigned a final project in Science/English. A big project that would count heavily towards her her final mark in the class and it was due in just four days. Four days in which she was also supposed to study and write other finals.

She set to work immediately and cooked up a rather brilliant project -- top notch work -- And wanted a bit of help sticking it all together. Somehow, once you know your mama is a graphic artist and can "do stuff" on the computer... good old cut and paste methods just don't cut it anymore. So, I spent a lot of time with her helping pull the physical elements of her project together.

Maybe too much, cause I'm very curious to know what her teacher says and what her final mark is. ;)



Two weeks off target, but here it is, my 300th post.

Let's give this little post a hand.  *polite smattering of applause* 

I could be wrong but I think it's a bad sign that just two weeks into January I've managed to get a giant case of spring fever.  And it doesn't help that this week we are enjoying unseasonably warm temperatures.  Today I think we hit -2*C and tomorrow will be about the same.

Seriously.  That's torture. 

Sweet, sweet torture.

Thankfully, I am the type of girl who can enjoy a little bit of teasing and so I will make the most of the nice weather while we have it.

But I still want SPRING. 



Small Blessings

Coaching derby has been likened to herding cats and I suppose that coaching jr. derby could be likened to coaching giddy, crazy, attention-impaired cats. It's been a year and a half, now, that I have coached our Jr. Derby League -- a challenge at times, but one that usually puts a smile on my face.

Today we finished up our Level One benchmarking process with our latest fall session girls. These girls started just four months ago; many of them not even knowing how to propel themselves on skates.  Shaky, doe-kneed cuties they were.  It gave me a great thrill today to see their smiles and pride in accomplishing this goal that they were working towards; testing and passing a fairly long list of basic skills.  Once benchmarked, they are now able to participate in non-contact scrimmage and bouts. It's kinda a big deal.

As always, there are some for whom these sorts of pursuits come easy.  Divine combinations of natural athleticism, a healthy disrespect for bodily limits and possession of their body movements/actions (which roughly translates as athleticism, although after years spent training new skaters, I can say that these two facets are not mutually exclusive) make for an easy experience for some of our new skaters.  They adapt and acquire these new skills with without difficulty, if not straight up Ease.

Many, however, are not so lucky.  As a coach, they are my greatest challenge.  Not because it is hard to teach them -- for the most part they are my eagerest pupils and very determined; a true pleasure to have in the group.  But because most of them believe -- either due to school-ground or other organized sport experience -- that they are simply not good enough.  They are full of fear and you can see through their gritted smiles the wariness of being singled out or ridiculed.  It honestly sometimes breaks my heart to see an innocent little girl of 8, or a fragile-ego'd pre-teen already bearing scars of being told she is not adequate. The teens are better and worse all at once.  Better at hiding it; but also, not able to show their true state of being in class.  My challenge is to reach them all; to impart instruction that doesn't burden them with greater fear, but gives them hope and encouragement.  To put a smile on their face when they're struggling with a certain skill or drill and hopefully to help them see that inside of them is something pretty awesome.

These ones are the ones who hold a special place in my heart.  For sure, I enjoy seeing all my girls grow and yes, even blossom into the skaters they become.  But it's these girls who strive and try and give their all to finally be "good" at something who touch me deeply and give me the greatest satisfaction in my job of coaching.  And it gave me great joy today to tell each of them that their hard work had paid off, to see the shy grins and the big smiles and sense their pride in their accomplishment.

To be honest, there are days when I contemplate leaving this coaching role. Days when I'd rather not have to block out time in my schedule for practice, or have to plan practices or fit in extra admin time for emails, etc. Times when herding my group of willy-nilly cats leaves me with a hoarse voice and a head clouded with frustration and I wonder why I am still doing this.  But today reminded me why.  Little MacAdam's freckled face and Mighty's intense efforts and Devilyn's fortitude and Danimyte's shy smile and T-Bomb's enthusiasm... all just a few of the reminders I enjoyed today.


A Nice Surprise.

When my kids were just littles, it was so easy to see all the wonderful ways they could and would have me wrapped around their itty bitty chubby fingers. 

I loved being a mama through those years.  Despite being sleep-deprived and not remembering all of it (Lord, have mercy, the Kid simply didn't know what it meant to sleep through a single sleep phase) and at times just a moment away from locking myself in the bathroom and crying on the floor... wait, I'm pretty sure I actually did that... I look back on those years with these two adorable little toddlers and feel utterly lucky and blessed to have been their mother.

I don't know what I thought, then, of being mom to a growing pre-teen/teen combo; I'm pretty sure, though, that I felt it would somehow pale in comparison to those all-consuming years of mothering, years of being so Vital and Needed to another little being.  Being the center of their little world.

And so, I am thrilled and overjoyed to find that, still -- with these children of mine growing and becoming their Own -- they can melt my heart like no other.

Like when I drop the Kid off at school after lunch; after crossing the street, he turns back to wave at me.  And not just wave, but to give me a mittened version of our I Love You sign language. 

Like when I hear the Princess playing guitar and singing in her room.  Her door is closed and so she sings with abandon and feeling and so much heart.  It brings tears to my eyes.

Like the Kid asking for a hug while I'm helping him with his homework after school because he "hasn't hugged me since lunch".

Like how the Princess and I have little inside jokes that make us both crack up when we look at each other.

Like when the Kid brings out a blanket and book to the couch and asks me to read to him.  And when I finish the chapter, he wheedles and pleads for another.

Like when the Princess kinda hangs around a bit in the evening and know that she is wanting me to tuck her in and say goodnight, but doesn't want to ask.

To be sure, there are times where I rather miss having these two as their small, cute toddler selves.  I miss the Princess' teeny little voice and the Kid's antics.  Miss seeing those little faces as they were.  But I have to say, this mama gig is a pretty darn good one at any stage.  I am blessed. 


The One Where I Make a Regrettable Parenting Decision.

Let us go back in time a few months to revisit this disaster in the making:

Scene:  The Princess' first love came to a crashing, abrupt halt a few days earlier and she is wrecked.  Fluttermama is doing her level best to ride the emotion with her and see her through, while still pushing her to grab onto herself, here.  A delicate balance of allowing her to "FEEL" stuff and talk it through and also be pushed to live life in the Now.  Cause, you know, it's supposed to go on after this kind of thing, and all.   Easier said than done, sometimes, but I have to hope for the best for her.

Evenings seem to be toughest for her.  Her emotions take a deeper, darker tone as it gets closer to bedtime.  We've spent a few nights now cuddling and talking and wiping tears and I am feeling like she needs to move on from this developing pattern.  I tend to be affected by twilight hours the same way when things aren't well, and I know that shaking things up can be just what's needed.

Sounds good so far.

Except that, at that moment... the only thing that comes to mind is zombies.  Well, the idea of immersing our imaginations into something heart-poundingly electrically NOW, something more dire and emergent than broken hearts and lost love.  Something shocking and riveting.  And The Walking Dead seems to fit the bill.

It actually does, perfectly.  Mission Accomplished. 

The show is actually pretty decent, so far a scare-gore goes.  Very little sexual content.  Typical over-the-top hollywood zombie gore (which I normally don't watch nor let my kids watch)... but fake enough to not leave a mental scar -- well, MUCH of a mental scar.  

The only problem is that I am now locked in to watching this show with her.  The heartbreak has dissipated.  Not so much the zombies. 

And I rather dislike the show.  Or rather, the gore factor.  I know it's fake.  To the point of ridiculousness, really.  I still find it a little disturbing.  I'm just wired like that, I guess.  I guess you can't win 'em all.  We just finished the Netflix seasons.  Hopefully until the recent season hits Netflix, she will be over her Walking Dead interest.  I know that I am. 

Just... Can't... Reach...


Looks like I came up just 5 posts short of my goal for the year. 

While I could be sad about that, I will instead choose to focus on all the awesome stuff I was doing instead of posting on my blog.

Like... living life. And having fun with my kiddos.  And applying for jobs.  And cooking.  Cleaning.  Laundering.  Planning a surprise 40th bday party.  Packing. Unpacking. Visiting with family and friends.  Actually using my treadmill and actually running.  (whatwhat??) And actually enjoying it. 

You get the idea.

I'm sure the other 5 posts will hit the log books soon.  Until then, enjoy, you know... life.