Cold and heartless!

There is something of a sensitive subject that I would like to bring up for my post today, and it’s not like it’s something new! It happens every year, and time and time again it seems to creep up on me and bites deep to my bones. It makes me want to curl up and stay in bed, closing the curtains and hiding away until it’s done with.

It seem’s that once again WINTER is coming! It was more apparent than ever on Saturday when our cozy little town was donned with a light dusting of the white stuff.

Most popular tags for this image include: climate, ecard, love, sleep and winter

Now I know I am not the only one out there who feels yucky about winter – just check out Facebook while it’s snowing. So you can all come out from behind your scarves, coats, parkas and show your faces. I refuse to stand alone in this season. Winter is the only time that everyone becomes fascinated with snow or at least it seems like I have a ton of meteorologists to let me know what it is I am looking at (it’s very helpful!).

It seems to be that the same people who complain about the heat during the summer also complain about the cold during the winter. They may require a map, as we do live in Canada where we have four seasons and snow can occur in the fall – hard to believe, I know!

Now, to get serious, please allow me to shrug off the sassy for a moment. The Winter Blues are something that I get and I know that Toni is also a fellow blue battler. I love being outside during the summer, and I have not quite yet perfected the art of running during the winter, and my skin HATES the dry winter air as it cracks, breaks, and scabs up in protest. Future Floridian, right here people! Although, I don’t think I could handle all the alligators.

It’s becoming the time when we get up and it’s dark out, we get out of work and it’s dark out, and it’s because of our decreased exposure to light our body doesn’t kick in to make the feel good juice, serotonin, that pumps through our body. The serotonin factory is kicked into gear when your body is exposed to light. Another fun fact about serotonin – it converts into melatonin, which is your body’s self-made sleep aid that leaves you feeling even worse! Gosh winter, you really are a bitch!

Preach, ecard, preach!

I know winter isn’t all bad. It does hold the most wonderful time of the year, Christmas, (can’t you hear those sleigh bells?!), but with my seretonin level decreasing as we speak it’s getting hard for me to be optimistic. Don’t worry, I am going to put on my big girl pants and then my snow pants and suck it up, because let’s face it, Southern Ontario gets it pretty easy during the winter compared to, let’s say, the east coast? I have a girlfriend who has recently come home from Newfoundland where she temporarily set up shop as her husband works out there (that’s right, she is superwoman (love you Court)), and it turns out she volunteered to go into super winter land! There are many other reasons she is superwoman, but I digress – this post is all about the evil mistress winter!

Hey guys, where’d your cars go? Guys?

This year I am going to be prepared! I have my daily dose of sun booked, TLT, our workout group is back in full force, which will help with my endorphins (just ask Elle Woods – they make people happy), I have a Costco-size multi-vitamin bottle that should get me through until mid-December 2020, I have purchased some winter hiking boots that are pretty impressive, and I am fully prepared to hike throughout the winter trying to make the best out of this cold, heartless season!

In the meantime, I am welcoming the beauty that comes from our trees preparing to tuck in for the winter – there is the silver lining.

Bring it winter! I am ready for alllllll your crazy!

~ Jacqui

Jitters no more

This week is Sophie’s last week of her first year of school. It’s ‘only’ junior kindergarten, but it’s so momentous…especially because she’s our first baby. Our first baby went to her first school. And she not only survived, she THRIVED. Thank goodness.

At the beginning of the school year I had a bunch of worries for a bunch of reasons. 1. I’m a worrier. Period. The end. It’s something that has always been part of my psyche and something I’m working on stamping out…or at least, getting under control. 2. My first day of school was filled with tears. Horrible, awful, ugly-cry tears. My mom put me on the bus to go to kindergarten and I was bawling. The old, curmudgeonly bus driver rasped, “Leave her. She’ll be fine.” The bus doors closed, my mom disappeared and I ended up sitting in the wrong seat (there was a boy side and a girl side and it was organized by grade – I sat on the boy side in an older grade’s row) crying all the way to school. 3. I’m a worrier. So yeah.

On this last Monday of this school year, I thought I’d recount some of the worries I’d had at the beginning of the year…and they all turned out okay in the end.

I was due with Isaac three weeks after Sophie started school. There was a lot of worry around how I would do it all. How I would make Sophie feel special and loved and supported with a newborn in the house. How I would waddle around post-C-section and be Mom of the Year without losing my mind. How I would keep track of three kids AND a school schedule. How I would have a newborn without the dreamy, sleepy, slow days that newborns had kick started for our family in the past. My C-section was scheduled Friday September 13. Sophie started school the week before. It was tight. It was dicey. I felt like I could totally do it. HA. Isaac showed up four weeks early on his own IGNORING ALL SCHEDULES. So I had a giant, new incision on the first days of school. And a newborn. And Sophie felt loved and cared for. And our dear friends, Heather and Adam, folded Sophie into their morning routine with their children and walked her to school for us for 6 weeks. And it was okay.

Sophie and her BFF Elora

Sophie and her BFF Elora

Would her teacher be nice? It’s a TERRIFYING thing, sending your child into a building you’ve never been in, to do things you have no control over, with adults you’ve never met before, for large expanses of time over and over and over again. TERRIFYING. They don’t tell you this. I didn’t realize this. Sophie wasn’t terrified, but I was SO WORRIED and SCARED for her. What if her teacher was mean? What if her teacher was awful? What if they didn’t understand her? What if they didn’t let her go pee? What if they made her take off her crown? What if what if what if? There was a horrible, no-good, yelling teacher, Mrs. Miller, at my elementary school that my sisters had…and she was HORRENDOUS. What if Sophie got her Mrs. Miller? Nerves, nerves, nerves. But in truth, Sophie didn’t get that teacher. She got AMAZING teachers. Ones that loved her. Ones that she loved. Ones that called her Princess Sophie. Ones that were excited with her. Ones that put all fears about teachers aside. I’m not naive enough to think that she’ll never have a teacher that she doesn’t get along with, or one that isn’t the best, but this year, she had three teachers that were awesome. And to Mrs. Service, Ms. G, and Miss Bunghardt – THANK YOU. Thank you thank you thank you for making her love school. And for making it okay.

What do you mean we have to walk to school EVERY day? That’s nuts. That’s crazy. That’s not possible. Have you seen how short her legs are? Do you know how many children I have? Do you have any idea how hard it is to have any sort of schedule or organization with a newborn and a two-now-three-year old and a non-stop chatting junior kindergartener? Do you know what it’s like in the winter in our town? What happens when there’s so much snow on the ground we can barely walk? What happens when it’s so cold we’d normally not go outside if you paid us? What THEN?? I was ALWAYS a sheltered bus student growing up. The bus came to my driveway. The bus picked me up. The bus kept me safe. The bus dropped me off at school. The bus picked me up at school. The bus kept me safe. The bus dropped me off at my driveway. No walking. No unknown. No weather that I had to deal with directly. But you know? Walking to school every day wasn’t so bad. And when it got SO BAD, my amazing friends Adam and Heather and my incredibly generous sister Toni stepped in to help. And when it got SO MUCH BETTER walking to school every day was awesome – it was fresh air, it was outside, it was time for Lillian to run and Isaac to see the sun and me to get fresh air and for us to meet other walking families with kids our kids’ ages and…it was okay.

What if she gets bullied? It’s all you hear about. Kids getting bullied. Bullies running wild with no repercussions. Children not telling teachers. Teachers not responding. All of the horror stories of school becoming a torturous place. But after healing and walking to and from school with Sophie and meeting her friends (she made FRIENDS!!) and asking her about her day and listening to what problems she was having (“I don’t like it when no one listens to me.”), I calmed down. She wasn’t being bullied. And again, I’m not naive enough to think she’ll never meet a bully (I met my fair share) or get bullied, but this year wasn’t the year. It was okay.

She can’t write any letters. She doesn’t know how to read. She’s going to fail. Again, calm yourself, Julia. CHILL OUT. You know – they teach kids at school. And if, while a hundred years pregnant with a toddler AND a preschooler at home you didn’t get around to teaching your kid everything they’re going to learn at school, it will be okay. You know what else is okay? Getting to school late sometimes. And missing school because of a bad night’s sleep. Or dealing with head lice. Or dealing with croup. Sometimes it sucks. Sometimes it’s hard. But overall…it’ll be okay. Seriously. Calm. Down.

Saucy...and too smart for me

Saucy…and too smart for me

After dealing with all of these worries…I only have one left. How on earth am I going to be as exciting as school this summer? I don’t have a curriculum. She’s going to be SO BORED. !!!! 

Julia