Life is Wonderful when I`m Busy!

The past 4 days has been a blur of paint and phone calls. I start early in the morning to get ready to paint all day and into the evening. It really feels wonderful to be doing something productive again.

I love to work - well anything but housework - and I am happiest when I`m occupied so I`m really happy that we have this huge project with such a short deadline.... 3 days to go `til we start moving in and lots of rooms left to paint.

To top it off my phone is ringing with job interviews. Thankfully they are phone interviews this week so I just take a break from painting. Its really exciting how God is bringing everything together right when it is time to. My time of rest is coming to an end and I look forward to being busy working again.

The downside to working again is that my focus will be off my kids and back onto work. I tend to work long hours, not because I have to but because I want to succeed quickly. I am fortunate though because my kids are wonderful about it and they then value their one on one time with me even more. I feel guilty about not regretting the 6 months I was on the road and away from them. I don`t - I still value that time away traveling focused on work and I think the kids did benefit from it because they got more time with dad.

I`ve been blessed through the years to have opportunities to stay home, whether by self employment, home based employment, or employment insurance benefits. Many people I know think that my kids are sometimes getting the short end of the stick because I`ve merged work with family but I think its made them even more amazing. My son, although lazy, has a healthy desire to work and takes his paper route job very seriously. Now if I could just get him to work as hard for me as he does for them.

I fully believe the time I spent with them working from home when they were young benefited them more then if I had continued working outside the home. It meant long hours taking care of other people`s children but it was worth it. I`ve been a good mom and now its time for a solid new start and I`m looking forward to a career outside the home again.

Quality Does Make a Difference. - Can You Have a Love Affair With Paint?

What luck! Home Depot was out of the base we needed in the 5 gallon pail of CIL so we bought the Behr 5 gallon pail and what a difference. I was thrilled painting with the CIL paint compared to the no name crap my husband usually comes home with. However, after using Behr the CIL was like painting with water. If one could paint with butter that would be the same as painting with the Behr paint. It`s going to cut our painting time in half.

Painting can be fun - with each stroke I was falling more in love. I know it sounds crazy but really it was an amazing experience. Quality paint where have you been all my life? and how did I ever paint without you? My husband is in trouble now, I`m spoiled I can never go back to economical paint again.

Who Knew Painting Could Be So Relaxing....

I am enjoying some of the painting process at least. The edging is my favorite part probably because I'm using a brush instead of the roller. Much more my style. The roller makes such a mess and I always manage to hit something I'm not suppose to with it.

So far the fuscia kiss pink has been the messiest experience ever. It started the minute I opened the can and the lid went flying off. The can was almost over flowing because it needed so much tint to get the colour. When I poured it into a container it went all over the drop cloth. I've got it everywhere. I got some on my son's bedroom carpet - no his walls are not pink. My jeans are covered in pink and I hit the ceiling with the roller, no where close to the wall but almost dead center of the room. The colour is so bright it almost hurts the eyes. It needs another coat but I've been finding other rooms to start painting instead. I need to just suck it up get it done and then I'll never have to paint with that colour again.

I've got 5 days and 7 rooms to paint before move in day.... I don't know that I'll make the deadline since I've only done 3 rooms in 3 days but I'll try. I really wanted the carpet pulled out before we moved in but I'm not sure there will be time. Priority... get it out of the kids room before move in date.

What Colour to Paint the New Place?

I've been busy the last couple of days painting the kids rooms the colours they chose - now it's time to pick a main colour for the house.

I don't know what I was thinking letting a 7 year old pick her own colour from the wall of paint chips but I did. Painting her room was like being inside a huge pink bubble gum bubble. The theme of her room is Rock n Roll - specifically her favorite - Avril Lavigne. I'm going to try to find a small black crystal chandelier and some large black poster frames. I'm going to paint a rock n roll tattoo image in black on the main wall and a guitar in black on a small side wall. I'll stain the closet doors as black as I can and put really big crystal door handles on them.

My son's room is grey - concrete grey. He wants an urban themed room. I'm going to put up some brick wall paper, find some metal for one wall and some chain link fencing to make frames with. The closet door will be stained black and I'll use old skateboard wheels as handles. The skateboard will be affixed to the back of the door. I found a street light lamp to put in the room and I still need to find a cool urban light fixture.

Any ideas or links to products for these two themes would be appreciated.

Now for the big decision..... which colour to paint the rest of the house. Which colour do you like? This picture and the picture at the top of this post are of the same colours, just in different rooms and different lights. Funny how light works on colour.

Darkest colour is Belgium Sweet
Medium colour is Toffee Crunch
Lightest colour is Bison Beige

The Grey is out... too cold.

Possession of the House Today - Now the WORK Starts

We just received the keys to our new place. It is going to be a lot of work over the next few years but in the end it will be worth it.

My husband and I couldn't agree on the priority of some things but in the end we've come up with a solid plan. We are going to keep the carpet for the short term, 30 year old carpet. The good news - it's beige and in decent shape so it won't be too bad. We really want hardwood throughout the house but until I'm working price would dictate the choice and I'd rather wait and get the "good" stuff.

We start painting tomorrow. This should be FUN - Not. I'm sure there will be a lot of yelling at each other and miscommunication as there always is. Oh well, hopefully we come through it without too many hurt feelings. The big fight will be when I first use the dishwasher and demand that we replace it now! The one I've picked is only $1200.00 plus tax... What's the big deal?

Is saying I Love You Enough? - Building Kids Self Esteem.

I am trying something new. My kids are getting older and their self-esteem is going to be a huge factor in their success both in high school and beyond. When we moved here it was obvious that my son’s self esteem wasn’t as secure as I thought it was. He was so unsure of himself, who he was and how he’d fit in. For my daughter the opposite was true, she came out of her shell and developed more confidence in herself.

When my kids were young they found pride in themselves whenever they learned a new skill. I always gave them opportunities to learn how to do things on their own. They were proud of themselves when they learned to put on their own clothes, their own shoes and then tie those shoes (which took my son a little longer than most). They became more skilled as they figured out computer games and toys on their own. Often they would ask me how to show them how to do stuff before they even tried, I’d always say "figure it out." They almost always did. When they couldn’t then I’d step in and show them a step or two. They’ve become very capable in their own abilities.

Now that they are older, especially my son, things are different. At 10 he’s starting to care about his appearance, be interested in girls, worrying about fitting in. He’s questioning himself and if he’s good enough. So I started thinking, how can I help him love himself?

I’ve always told my kids that "I love you" on a regular basis however I think I need to do more. I’m trying to tell them why I love them and what I love about them more often. So instead of just saying "I love you," I’ll say "I love your ability to problem solve," or "I love you because you have the cutest freckles." Not just "I love your freckles" because if they don’t then they’ll just ignore it, but I’m hoping that if they know that I love them because of their cute freckles they’ll learn to value those freckles.

This new approach has made me realise all the things I love about them. I’ve had to really look at who they are and what their strengths are. I’ve had to take time to talk to them, get to know what’s important to them and then let them know that I love them because of it.

My husband doesn't agree with me and thinks "I Love You" encompasses everything so therefore it's enough. Which may be one of the reasons I don't always feel secure in his love for me.

I don’t know if this will help to build their self-esteem but it can’t hurt. I asked my daughter why she loved me the other day and she just said "because." I don’t want them wondering why I love them, I want them to know I love them because of who they are. I don’t ever want them to question my love for them or assume I love them because I have to. I want them to know that I value them for them and not because I’m their mom.

Other Online Resources for building kid's self esteem:

Kids Edge on Self Esteem
Building Your Child's Self Esteem
Child development info Website

A Nightmare - A Dream - A Sign?

Last night I dreamed that we moved into our new place and it was located in my home town, a small town in the middle of nowhere. My husband was thrilled and driving me nuts, I was unhappy, very unhappy. What I was feeling didn't matter to my husband and he got pissed off because I wasn't as happy as him.

I miss Calgary, my friends, my house, my job, my life there. Vancouver isn't so bad, it just rains a lot. I love that the flowers are out and there are so many different plants here. I know that once we are in the house, once I've made friends, and once I have a job things will be better here.

I know it was just a dream, but I should be excited about the new place and all the changes we are going to make. I feel drained and tired. 2 days to go 'til possession day and I just don't care.

3 Days Until We Take Possession of the New House - Why Aren't I Excited.

The relocation to the Lower Mainland BC has been a long haul for our family but its finally coming to an end, we take possession of our new house in 3 days. Since its been months of unsettled living arrangements I should be thrilled but I don't feel excited or anything for that matter.

I've been packing because I know I have to pack, not because I want to. I've picked paint colours and looked at flooring samples but I feel detached from the whole process. I drive by the house everyday - twice - when I drop off and pick the kids up from school, the house is right there in front of me but it doesn't feel like mine.

I've packed up the house for the 3rd time in less than a year for the last time for a long time. I've gotten so used to living with boxes of stuff it feels normal to not know which box marked kitchen a bowl is in.

I have to wonder, if I can't get excited about moving into our new house, will I ever be excited about anything?

Can I please just be sick? A Mother must Push On

The kids are home on spring break and I've got a wicked head cold. A head cold is the worst kind of cold because although I feel like crap I don't look sick enough for my husband to get off my case. To top it off he's home with the same head cold and is freaking out on me because I sat down to rest. I've been cleaning the house and getting the kids (and him) lunch and I just sit down to check my email, have a hot tea and he starts yelling at me to finish cleaning the house.

I can't blame him in some ways because I don't get the house completely cleaned and organized. I clean a room or two and then go off and do something else, usually something on the computer. Its never ever 100% done, even the rooms I do get finished are usually destroyed within hours.

The kids are scared to play with anything when he's around because he freaks if they don't clean it up afterwards. Yes they need to learn to clean up after themselves and if they can't maybe they shouldn't be able to play with the truckload of toys in the playroom. I certainly get sick of picking up after them.

My break time is about up - I had 1/2 hour to check email (and vent here) before I get harassed again for not getting everything done. The good news is that my head is so clogged up I can't think straight so I don't get distracted from doing thoughtless chores.

The Imperfect Wife

I am not the best wife, it's not that I don't love my husband - I do, its just that I can't seem to make him happy. He's a perfectionist and he demands that the house be clean, organized, and everything done. I'm not working and my kids are in school so I have the time to devote to housework. So why don't I?

If I was a great little wifey I'd want to make him happy, I'd be motivated to get the house work done, but I can't. I find it boring and draining. I am easily distracted by my thoughts and anything else that may catch my attention for a moment, no matter how fleeting.

It's not uncommon to find a load of wet laundry in the washer that's been there for a couple of days. A full can of garbage pushed down so much the bag is hard to pull out. Dishes piled on the counter, waiting for the dishwasher to hurry up and clean the dishes from last nights dinner, are always glaring at anyone who walks into the kitchen.

I try to get the house tidied up before my husband gets home and I think everything looks good but he always finds something. He says he isn't looking for it but it just jumps out and screams at him biting me in the ass. He freaks out, looses it after days and days of walking into the same situation day in and day out.

I should care more, I should be striving to be a Sally homemaker extraordinaire but I'm just not wired that way. I spend my day reading books that make me think, listening to pod casts that cause me to wonder, and updates from the news caster that make me wonder if its worth it. Sometimes I get creative and make cards or scrapbook my children's childhood. I spend time getting caught up watching missed episodes of my favorite shows online. I go to yoga, I window shop, I go to the library to learn about great resumes and cover letters. Anything to fill the minutes between now and getting back to work.

Why You Shouldn't Watch Soap Operas With Your Kids in the Room.

My son is home sick today and since we don't have many TV channels to choose from and I caught him watching an episode of the Young and the Restless. I don't think he's about to get hooked on soap operas but it got me thinking about how damaging a message they play out for young minds.

I had a 5 year old girl in my dayhome who was "boy" crazy, she was determined to marry herself off sooner rather than later. She was very aggressive and at the horror of more than one boy she was obsessed with kissing. Her mother was a fan of soap operas and during her time home with the kids she watched soap operas with her daughter every afternoon.

Soap Operas are unhealthy for kids because they don't teach wholesome family values. Their characters get married and divorced so much that they should provide a cheat sheet of how all characters are linked to each other. Marriage getting difficult? That's OK have an affair, get divorced and marry someone else.

There are enough unhealthy messages for little girls in the media without subjecting them to soap operas.


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