Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Special Guests

One part I am loving about having older teens Is socializing . Man is it more fun with the friends of young adults than little kids that I feel compelled to play Lego and crazy eights with !

Last night we had a new very close friend of Chase's  over . In college and univeristy it is hard to to know your kid's friends too well as they are always out and at shows and nightclubs or using the house when we are not here on weekends 

I cornered them on this and made it happen .
He is an actor and in plays but we didn't let that stop us . We had dinner at 9:30pm on a weeknight to make it happen . All of us had activities after school and work that night but we stuck to the plan and made it happen 

I love this guy !!!!!! We had cheese and crackers and veggies in the livingroom and he played piano for us and told us all about his life in Lebanon where his parents and family live .
We had such an interesting and animated evening and it was so fun to get to know someone so different that Chase has been hanging out with lots lately 
He has exposed chase to so many new things : theatre and art and boxing and dance and different  cultures they make a fun duo and pick up a lot of woman together !!! Chick magnets both of them :)

But the best part of evening was how special this special guest made Beauty feel . He was super interested  in hearing her thoughts and ideas and asking her about her views and her boyfriend . I think he sensed beauty's  creative side and they connected on that level . He made her feel like a million bucks . And I felt so happy for her . I remembered as a teenager having two older brothers and how I felt when they paid attention to me and were some of the happiest memories of childhood 

He asked her all about her boyfriend whom she adores talking about and she was telling him she one day wants to marry her boyfriend .  He went with this :) He was telling her that  know that he came to our home for dinner she should now consider him one of her brothers and that he would be there to protect her from harm . The cultures are so different and was super cool to experience his .He also casually mentioned that his family would welcome all five of us anytime in their home in Lebanon 

So he invited Beauty to her dance studio on basement and asked her to show him her dances and they sang together and danced together ( chase too believe it or not ! ) . At first she was so so shy but with a lot of pushing by he and I she agreed . and I let her stay up until 11:45pm on a schoolnight uninterrupted  as I knew she would Remember this forever 

Nobody did chores that night . Our guest was way more interesting 

I felt her glow and happiness all evening of feeling special and paid attention by the 20 yr old friend of her oldest brother 

It was truly a great visit with an amazing guy . I am so happy we prioritized this dinner even if it did happen after a choir practice downtown , a hip hop practice , two busy work days and the house barely having time to be tidied . I love meeting who is important to my children . There is no greater joy in parenting for me I think 

And the visits have been plentiful lately ! Beauty's beau came over for an afterschool visit before they went to his house for his bday dinner . They are so cute together and he is so handsome . There is something so special about him and I really enjoy him 

Bear has his late bday dinner with his BFF who we love and who is coming on our punta Cana trip in a few weeks . He is so fun and we are going to his cottage to have dinner with his parents this weekend

Beauty has had friend after friend over and I have been loving that . These girls are so precious 

I am loving sharing our lives with these young people . It truly is an honour and profound privilege 

What I am loving lately is having them share their lives with me ... Not my idea of their lives .. Of what I want to see .. Or what I planned or intended for them 

Their lives . Letting me see them .
Having young adults on a home is like living in a forum e and all figuring it out together in a messy crazy beautiful way 
This stage ( like most dates of childhood and adolescence ) is my favorite stage. And the hardest 

It's a stage that in many ways I wish could last forever . I have no need for them to grow up too quickly or be very mature and worldly . I am having the time of my life ( on many days ) just watching them goof around and fail and succeed and question themselves and grow up and then grow down a bit . It' s quiet an experience to watch it all . And on many days I want to just throw them all of our the house with the trash !!!

The paradox of parenting is always there for me . Moments like last night make it all worth it . I need to remember to make more time for my connecting to my deepest values ... And last night I felt so complete and fulfilled 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Party Time Here!

Last night I had a houseful of girls here . 6 to be exact and then my two boys . 
There was a dance at the highschool for sec 3 and they all came here to sleep last night 
Bear was at a girl's house so we got him at 12:30am . The girls got home at midnight . Through it all Chase was trying to study (in the living room ! )

All that to say it was a crazy night and Hubby and I went to bed well past 2am and of course work this morning where they all have a day off . We left our door open as we were scared that one of the girls  ( no names !! ) was going to sneak into the boys bedrooms !!

So all of this made me feel ..... Well ... Alive again 
We used to put so much emphasis on our kids social lives and having their friends over and getting to know them ... But for some reason last couple of years have done less and less . Lack of energy ? Motivation ? Scared of teen world ?  Other stuff going on? Self absorbed ? Focusing on other family stuff ? Selfish ? I don't know ... But we went through a bigger dry spell in this as we used to be amazing at it . We still often see their friends but are not "the" place anymore

In the last month I have noticed this deficit and placed intentional focus on it more . I am using our free time to have thier friends over more . During the week - on weekends  at cottage . Prioritizing it all more again . Even next week Chase's new really good friend coming over as I demanded I meet him even thought Chase claims he " is way to old for this "

It's funny how when we focus on some things in life - things change .

It was damn hard and scary having these teens here last night in many ways . Now conversations have shifted from " let's show you a dance ! " to what boy got suspended who had alcohol in his bag at the dance to them all pairing off with boyfriends and talking obsessively about that . To my boys actually having any interest whatsoever in hanging with Beauty's friends . The conversations  , the interests , the topics . Everything has changed and change scares me 

I feel the peer pressure too as we are always way behind the times with our kids . All of these girls are allowed their boyfriends at their cottages and on trips with them ... While I am still thinking I am so generous to allow mine one Valentine's Date .Truly thought was so nice of me and not strict

I am confused where my values lie . What I think is right . And wrong . And what may be right for me might be wrong for my girl ? Or opposite ? I feel the pull of peer pressure - of what my friends think of me and what other parents think of me . What my daughter thinks of me . It's like being a teen all over again myself ! Lol Everyone seems to have a different opinion on this subject!!! and I like them all!

It's a tough and beautiful stage just as every phase with my kids seems to be 

But it felt amazing to have a houseful of their friends just like the old days ( 2 yrs ago and every year before that ) I hugged and hugged those girls and never wanted to let them go . I adore them - I truly do . And they scare me to with their self confidence and assertiveness  and power and beauty . My own daughter glows with friends and is adored . I love seeing that for her. These girls are power houses-I cant wait to see where life takes them all.

And I will never forget after one of the new girls  met me and hubby and chase and bear she turns to me in French y and says " Beaute fatale ta famille !!! " (everyone has fatal beauty in your family)

I love their aliveness . And how alive they make me feel. For the first time in a while I felt like dressing cool today:) 

(And they stills scare me too) 

There is something about raising teens that we feel we come undone oursleves . It's such a challenge . So confusing . Sometimes I have no clue if I am doing it right or wrong . With three of them here two years apart I seem to be dealing with every teen issue under the sun all at once in a rotation . That being said I feel in my element - and alive with happiness and stress and self doubt . I am so much better as a teen mom than I was of young kids . I feel like with each new experience I live with them - I am more capable and we are closer with each disagreement and each rage and problem . It's such a damn hassle but so needed to live this all with them-one frustrating beautiful moment at a time (with chase had a huge houserules talk for 2 hrs too amidst this all!)

I feel in my element 

And scared !!!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Girl stuff

Having a daughter was always a dream of mine 

And one that i was lucky enough to  have come true 

To be honest though besides her always having had beautiful clothes to dress her up in as a little girl .. and now her buying clothes and  purses that i adore - and people often commenting that she looks like me in this or that way - it has not been that different than having boys in many wAys. My friend and i were discussing this together just a month ago in the sense that having a daughter can be overated as in so many ways it is so unique and very similar to having a son in fact
Until now i have felt that although a different experience not too too different . Then my daughter turned 15 - and fell in love and shares that with me . 15 is a whole new age for a mother and daughter. Its the age when a girl often has her first love , and goes from a young teen to more of a real teen, where her identity as a female really begins to shift and grow and where she gets closer or further from her mom . Needs her more or less. When a girl loves a boy she needs her mama

Beauty is getting closer to me and letting me in more - and to be honest i could cry of happiness . As she is growing up so is that relationship blossoming. I can see that she wants so much more of me than she ever has in the past and i am very eager to give it to her
Last weekend she spent an hour telling her brother and her dad and i about how she feels about a boy . It was truly the sweetest thing ever.
This week she has been off school and has had friend after friend over home and at cottage and it has been so fun . It feels like it did a few years ago when her friends were so much a part of our lives and our hearts. That is how it has been this week getting to know even better some newer friends . She has always really lucked out in the friend dept and truly each on is a precious gem 

I adore having teen girls around to go in jacuzzi with and watch then dance and hear about thier friend issues and boyfriends. It simply : really really fun 

Tonight i realized there is a whole new territory to explore with my daughter and one i am still unfamiliar with but one i have always wanted to be invited too . This last week i feel i an becoming part of a world that i never really knew existed . 

I feel so happy right now 
And i am loving having a girl 
And very excited for all that is to come in the future 

Just like with the boys - although this teen stage is challenging and hard to navigate - i think it is also the stage i am best at as a parent too . I feel in my element most days of the week . And i remember those days of lying on my moms bed ans talking about anything and everything with my mom daily before bed as the most precious moments of my life .
I still do . ( i still lie in bed with my mama bear all the time:)

I am starting to feel that opening with my own daughter and it is amazing . This week was truly precious.

Thank you universe for never letting my heart give up on my precious beautiful girl - or her on me 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Stuff Not To Forget

I am having a hard time with this blog lately
After about 6-7 yrs I think of writing very consistently, I find my mind and heart are pulling me in other directions lately

For one in 2017 I want to write a book. My energy needs to go there . I spent 4 days alone at cottage planning the skeleton of my book and since have not been able to carve out another second to write it.:(

Secondly , I have taken on a whole new aspect to my career ( virtual leadership training around the world ) which is very demanding. In addition to my existing career and also writing a book. 
 All that to say doesn't leave much time to blog but I still want to keep it up for family records purposes mostly.

So may be alot less interesting for you to read :((( but will be wondeful for my family later on and for me to look back on . And i will try to not bore you too much but forgive me if i do ? Hopefully my new book will make up for it all .

Here are a few things about the last few months i want to remember :

Dinner out with these great friends at fave downtown resto that we introduced them to

 This fun skating day with Chase that was such a rarity to have him to myself for the afternoon

This great afternoon the three of us the next weekend. Wow we have been spoiled ! Since now Chase comes to cottage only maybe once a month we all make sure it is quality time 

And then Bear funny bday without his dad or didi but we had a great time anyways . Our fave part of Saturday nights at cottage are all going from table to couches and long chats ( no phones or ipads! ) our souls seem to crave it. Ps his real bday dinner will be a month later 

This girl in last 2 weeks has danced 48 hrs ! Workshop after workshop and competition etc. All wonderful but grades starting to suffer so need to work on that

Lots and lots of alone time for us at cottage in the snow as kids even when here working and very social with their own stuff. They really all have their own lives now . And their parents working on figuring our their own lives ! 

We got these guys on free snowmobile rides on the lake 

We had a great day and last minute sleepover at the cottage with this amazing family . Always so fun and truly feels like a second family to us . We are so close to their munchkins and them to ours . Guys go out together . Girls have cottage dates alone and lunch dates. We trade favors . Its the whole package deal and what i have always wanted in my life and now have ! We are blessed 

Mom had surgery and is recovering well but with big scar as expected. Its been nice spending more time with her and giving lots of tlc ( although hard on agenda well worth it ! )

All three kids busier than ever . Bear ski instructor and Beauty when not dancing assistant ski instructor . I hired Chase 6 -10 hrs a week  for the next month to do groceries and cook 2 meals and drive his sister all over town for dance. ( in addition to his expected regular non paid work around the house )
And all three huge social lives lately . Parties and events and celebrations. Its really hard to keep up ! And pick them up at 1am and then wait for other to get home at 3:30am ! 

Boys both don't have girlfriends anymore so some broken hearts around here lately ( with pretty quick recoveries as they are both popular with all the other girls in waiting ! )

Beauty has a valentine and we made a special exception that they went on a valentine date ( trying to wait for 16 yrs old for more official dating but hard ! )
We met him and he came  over for homework and then we drove them to the movies and a quick bite 
Was so adorable and they gave eachother the cutest gifts and so cute together:)

Beauty's fave bedtime things

Saw a new side of our daughter emerge in this night  and with her sweet beau . Some interesting times ahead ! Was cool to watch young love ...

A great weekend with Bear just the three of us . Bad weather kept him home from his ski job so we hang out. Some bonding at home for Chase and Beauty as he is now her personal hip hop chauffeur on dates we can't be there

Chase is the best haircutter now!

And the rest has been work work work work ! 


Thursday, February 16, 2017

How Bear occurs to me at 17yrs old

Bear is 17!!! (ok.. so I am 2 weeks late!)

This is my " easy " child . Trust me if you meet him you may not think he is so easy at all ( very very hard headed and strong willed and debating all the time ) but to me .... He is a dreamboat 

At 17 bear occurs to me in the following ways 

  • and unbelievable committed student . He is often found studying all day long and all evening long even in Saturday nights . Never ever ever do we push him in this way . This is just him . And his marks show it. He has an amazing average already and he continually strives to make it better and better which amazes us all 

  • I love looking at his desk and the way he organizes himself . Everything so perfect and lined up and tagged with his name and clean . When it comes to schoolwork there is no joking around for this kid 

  • From the above you may assume he is the more brainy type with peers . Not at all . Athletic and involved and implicated and big social life 

  • he is kind and gentle . He loves children and is amazing with all his little cousins . He is generous of spirit and always asks my mom if she needs help and what he can do for her etc 
  • he cares about his looks and is gorgeous . Dresses well and cares about style and his hair and his overall look is always pretty impeccable 

  • he is totally eccentric . From day he was born makes strange sounds always and strange body movements and somehow everyone around him has come to expect it and just kinda ignores it . My mom adores it and joins in !

  • his work ethic is  A plus . Always on top of his work as ski instructor and lifeguard and always on time and plans for future and totally independent 

  • he is an athlete . Top of his class for sports program for 5 yrs now and good at anything physical . A natural team leader in sports 

  • is an amazing guy to girls .So kind and sweet and considerate and loving and FUN . Whoever dates and one day Marries this guy one day is so so so so lucky . 

  • he is so incredibly hard headed and a debater and in your face . It is almost a joke in our family . So many interactions with him feel like we are in court . For now funny as hardly any rules ! And it's not rules he disagree with but facts . He always has to be right under any circumstance . It's truly annoying 

  • he is very often quite emotionally intelligent . He can have difficult conversations  and honest ones . He is sensitive to feelings and deals with anger and sadness and guilt etc in healthy ways 

  • he walks out of the room for a break when discussions get heated between he and I and it drives me crazy ( but is the right thing to do ! ) 

  • he loves his food . We went on a date the other night for burritos and caramel churros and all we speak about it how incredible the food is . We agree this is one of life's biggest pleasures . He eats anything and everything 

  • When he says he will do something he does it . Has completely changed his body and religiously finds time for his workouts at the gym no matter what 

  • he is growing up :( orders coffee now at Tim's  . Yikes !

  • he is honest and tells it like it is to his parents and tells the Truth as much as we may not be ready for it 

  • he is an incredible brother and just is so wonderful with his brother and sister and such a great role model too 

  • he is affectionate and loving with his parents . In general so respectful of us ( I said in general !! ) and listens to our rules and lifestyle and when disagrees fights it out very loudly . He always has great points though and hard not to negotiate with him as such a logical and rational brain 

  • he knows what he wants in life and does it . Since 5 yrs old always wanted to be an orthodontist or dentist . Now maybe a lawyer or in business or teacher . I have no worries this kid will find his way and do what he loves whatever that is . He is a driver 

  • he is a great car driver and had had his permit for 9 months now and will get the real thing i. April hopefully 

Just overall an amazing wonderful teen that is the love of all our lives . He truly makes being a parent rewarding and wonderful and easy !!

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Mommy is Safe

My Mama Bear is safely out of surgery a couple of hrs ago . I can breathe ....

Paratoid surgery to remove a growing Tumor . Something unexpected and completely unrelated to all of her other head , stomach and overall arthritis chronic pain conditions . I guess the universe felt she didn't have enough to handle ?

The important risk of this surgery was facial paralysis which can happen in up to 25 percent of patients either temporarily or even permanently . But this did not happen to her - thank goodness 

Surgery was delayed by almost 4 hrs . So lots of waiting and then me by myself did about 4 hrs waiting during surgery etc . I was calm - so was my mom too before surgery . A miracle for both of us 

When I heard " code blue " being called on a nearby operating room I lost it for a few mins but other than that was ok . And my mom was a trooper . I think lately we have had so much crisis to deal with - that it's all just building up a ton of resilience in us both . Like two cupcakes - calm and cool and collected Is it possible ?

Believe it or not, hubby and I switched at hospital three times today as I had to give two courses . One early morning and one at 8:30pm tonight . And then two early tomorrow morning . Surgery time was selected only two weeks ago and clearly not based on my work schedule !  Hubby and I and Beauty worked it out though and got it all covered . They are there now with my sweet mommy and just sent a pic that I won't dare post to the Internet as all face is bruised and huge scar and not looking yet like the mom we know . I love the pic personally, but she likely does not 

I am just so thankful that she can smile and use her mouth and her eyes!!! . I ran in intensive care for 5 mins by convincing a male nurse to let me in and he sneaked me in and told her he had a surprise for her . She was so happy to see me . And me see her ! Not much in this world makes me happier than seeing my mom ok 

No other news as about to give this training course now . The adrenaline pumping through my veins is pretty scary . I will get all the news in a couple of hrs when hubby and beauty get home . Right now they are talking to the nurses and stuff 

On days like this when we actually get good news ? Feels damn amazing to be honest . Lately I don't expect good news ... So when it happens I just feel like it's a sweet miracle 

Still a few weeks ahead of recovery as all of this is complicated by my mom's mild brain injury three years now - so right side of head is a bit of a mess  already ( a lot of a mess actually !) but we will take that . Just glad she is out of surgery . And glad that I can stay at her house for a bit and take care of my mama 

Although my work schedule around this has been a bit crazy - I am so thankful that I still have the type of work I have and can often be there and be flexible to take care of the ones I love through these turbulent times . And that my husband has that flexibility too . It's makes for a good team 

Yay mama bear !
And thanks to all the big group of people who were texting today for news . Makes all the difference in the world to us both to feel love and supported 

Sunday, February 05, 2017

A Perfectly Imperfect Day

A perfect imperfect day 

It's Bears 17 bday today !!!
( will be writing his bday blog later this week when I have access to pictures )

So was kinda gonna be a not so perfect bday as has been a not so great overall month around here.  Also his dad can't be here this weekend as at a very important three day  training course that he could not miss . And his Didi was supposed to come for weekend here at cottage but she is having surgery Wednesday and not feeling the best so we decided not best timing to come .
So me and by three chickadees ! At the cottage 

Last night picked up beauty from hip hop and came here late and we all completely crashed . Some of us in beds and some on couches .
Got up early this morning and took my bday boy to breakfast and then drove him to his job as a ski monitor 
Then spent afternoon with Chase who has not been to cottage in 4 weeks ao that was a total treat . We skated together and went out for a yummy lunch and talked about my family history in my dads side and our famous artist aunt  ( his great aunt )

Then got bear and came home to beauty . On the way back chase stopped at drive thru and pretended to get himself something but was for Bear bday . I have never seen Bear as happy as when his big brother  handed him that box of tidbits . Sometimes it's the little gestures in life that make so much difference isn't it ?

And then we get home and Beauty is baking up a storm . We assume for bear bday but no a  such luck -cake in a cup just for her !! ( but I know there is a surprise she has thought up for later for her brother as she told me  )

Anyways so far a really wonderful day 
I am so incredibly grateful for weekends . They are like batteries to me where I recharge . So happy I love winter too as makes it so fun in the snow and something to look forward to on weekends 

While kids studied I fell asleep on the couch and read my book for a couple of hrs . Then we eat our yummy meal and beauty baked Tristan a huge humungous cookie so we had no room left for the chocolate fondue and fruits we bought so we will eat at lunch tomrorow after bears ski job

🎺(Sunday's at the cottage are the best as bear takes the 4 by 4 so I sleep in and then he is home usually minutes before I get out of bed at noon and so We always make a nice yummy lunch for us all and eat it at the counter by candlelight )

So a great day .By tonight I really felt my hubby and my mom not here though . Felt very off and odd and some sadness Despite  that we had a great celebration . More on my 17 yr old boy this week !