Friday, February 25, 2011

Snow Art!

Get some spray bottles from the Dollar Store, fill them with water and food coloring.

Give them to your children to decorate the snow:

And just like that you have your very own Snow Art
AND as a bonus, it keeps the children entertained for as long as it takes to use up all the water!

Note to self:
Maybe next time, don't use yellow food coloring. Looks too much like pee and takes away from the pretty-ness of it all. ;)

Single Parenting - Clarification

Wow. Apparently my post about single parenting hit a nerve with some people.

I got a few private emails about it and some of them weren't very nice at all.

So, just to clarify- I realize that there are people out there who single parent for whatever reason; people that truly are single parents 100% of the time. These are NOT the people I was talking about. I believe that "true" single parents are strong and I admire them. They don't have a date to count down to til their partner is home. There is no break in sight.

I was talking about MY relationship with MY husband and HIS relationship with OUR kids.

I do not like it when my husband is gone. The kids do not like it.

See, we are used to having him home, so when he goes away, everything is turned on its head. We don't have a smooth routine that works well when he is away.

Instead, which has been obvious this trip, is that Luca acts up. He has been whiney, disobedient and mean to his brother. He even had to be spoken to at school for not listening and that just isn't like him.

Levi cried every morning when he came into our bedroom expecting to see Daddy on his side of the bed and didn't find him there. Every night Levi cried, saying "I miss my Daddy". This is heartbreaking to me.

At 2 and 4 years old, the boys still struggle with the passing of time and how long 12 days is. To them, it is a lifetime.

Plus, just to add insult to injury, I've been sick for nearly the entire time Chris has been gone.

So, for those of you that took offence to my post about how I don't want to be a single parent and that I didn't sign on to do this all the time, take it for what it is. Take it for what I said.

I don't want to do this all the time.

And I don't have to.

Thank God for that.

Chris comes home tonight!!!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Single Parenting

Chris is in Houston for 12 days. We have 6 more days to go.

I won't lie. Its been tough. I hate when he has to go away and this is the longest he has had to go in as long as I can remember. The boys are at an age now where they really miss their Daddy when he is gone and as much as I love being able to sleep diagonally across our bed, I miss the warm, solid, comforting body of my husband lying next to me more.

Plus this has been a trying week with me being sick - first with a vicious flu and now with a nasty head cold.

Being a single parent is not something that I enjoy. At all.

When Chris and I were dating, we lived an hour apart. I was in college an hour away from the city he lived and worked in. Three years of our relationship as a couple was spent over the phone Monday to Friday and at either our parents' houses on the weekend or in Edmonton where he lived. We got really good at communicating verbally but I couldn't wait for the day that we could be married and share a home.

When we got married, the first few months of adjusting to living with someone else was tough, but spending every evening and weekend together was so worth it.

Shortly after we both graduated from our programs, Chris got a well paying job in the field he had gone to school for. Unfortunately, this job required him to be away quite a bit. I was working full time before I became pregant so it wasn't as lonely as I thought. Until I was pregnant and feeling rotten all the time and then I was an exhausted new mom.

Chris did this job for a few years, right up until Luca was a year old. It was really tough. The majority of Luca's first year dealing with sleep deprivation, teething, illness, and big milestones was "enjoyed" by me alone. It was really difficult being the one at home to have to shoulder the difficulties of life with a baby all by myself. But it was equally as hard for Chris to have to miss out on the first time Luca crawled, his first steps, and his first words.

We didn't choose to get married and have children so we could live apart and he could be a Daddy a few days out of the month. It was tough on everyone.

When the opportunity came up for Chris to take an office position within his company, we had many serious conversations about it. It would mean moving 2 hours away - to a place where we didn't really know anyone and had no connections. There were tears on my part because I was scared to leave the town I knew, the family and friends that were nearby and our first home.

And taking the job would mean a pay cut. Gone would be the overtime, the "bonus" pay for working away, etc. Being at the peak time for the housing market in Alberta, it would also mean leaving our relatively low mortgage and taking on a much larger one.

It was a decision that we didn't take lightly.

But what ultimately won out was that Chris would be home every night at dinner time and every weekend. We would be a married couple living together and a Daddy that got to tuck his son into bed every night. That was worth every penny lost in pay to us.

With this office job comes some travel, but it is usually just Monday to Friday one week out of every few months. Its not ideal, but we can handle that.

Just like the choice we made for me to be at home with our children during these precious young years, it was equally as important that Chris be home during these years as well.

When Levi was born, Chris didn't have to miss out on his big milestones. In fact, I'm fairly certain that it was Chris that got Levi to crawl for the first time.

This is the life that we wanted for our family.

I am missing Chris so much this trip. And I'm getting tired of people saying to me "you should try being a single parent all the time" or "you should try doing it every other week".

No thank you.

I didn't choose to be a part time single parent, part time partner. We made sacrifices so that we didn't have to live that life.

I realize that for some, this isn't an option. Some people have to deal with working away for whatever reason. We had to do it too for a few years. But, when there was an opportunity for us to live as a full time family, we took it.

One thing that Chris and I firmly believe is that our family comes first. Any major decision is always weighed against what would be best for our family.

And what is best for our family is that our boys have their Daddy home every night. When Chris walks in the door at 6 o'clock, the boys are as excited to see him as if he'd just been gone for days. We share a family dinner together at the table every night, even though it means that I deal with hungry, crabby kids from 5-6 until Daddy gets home. Its important to us, so we make it work.

After supper, Chris bathes the boys and gets them jammied and reads them stories, then we both tuck them into bed. Then we spend the evening together, the two of us, husband and wife - talking, watching tv, whatever.

This is our routine. This is our family. This is our life. I wouldn't change it for anything.

So, for those of you that have challenged me to "do it all the time", sorry but I won't be taking that challenge. I don't want to and we have made the choice to not have to.

The boys miss their Daddy so much and I miss my husband, my partner. Friday night can't come soon enough.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Disneyland! (a teaser)

I promise that I have an entire post about our trip in my head and I will sit down to write it very soon, but until then, one of my favorite photos from our trip...