Siblings…

It is National Siblings Day today… I have been blessed with 2 younger brothers.  They were a pain in my butt as well as knowingI can count on them.  My boys have a ridiculous amount of siblings.  They fight all the time.  There seems to be 2 that are at odds, the combination changes constantly.  I often wonder why I thought having a big family would be cool?  Ignorance.  Lol  I guess I thought they’d be buddies.  All of them.  Stupid, yes I know.  I was very naïve.  As they are growing, the fights that are physical are ones I think I prefer because they beat each up and then they move on.  The ones that are verbal can be so ugly.  You know, only your siblings know how to hit you way below they belt.  They know just where to hurt you.

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Over the years, most of my boys have had to deal with racism.  Some of it based on ignorance and sadly other times based on just being mean.  It’s par for the course raising our family in Peterborough.  Over time, we have taught our boys that most people that spew ugly things about ones race are people you should really feels sad for.  Also when people do this they usually are insecure about a lot of things… the big one being about themselves.

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I remember Sammy being in Kindergarten and coming home hating that he was brown.  He hated being different.  Tyler in Kindergarten wished he was green.    I remember being appalled that here we were, the next year dealing with skin colour again… only to find out that Tyler wished he was green because his favorite colour was green.  Jordan didn’t really deal with it in elementary school, that I can recall.  He hit a kid that was agitating him.  (Again… being younger, you have to learn to defend your self).  Max… he has always been an easy going kid.  He’s become much more intense as he’s growing up and it’s all good.  Then there’s Zachary…who’s also been dealing with it over  a period of time.  This week again.  Now Zach shoved the kid first.  So… despite the other stuff, at home, we held him accountable.  The strangest thing happened…

As I am chatting with Zach about getting physical, despite what happened before or after…this child of mine who is usually the number one target of his brothers, had ALL his brothers pouncing on me verbally about not getting Zach in trouble.  There is nothing that bonds these boys then holding their race against them.

Sigh.  I’d like to have at anyone that messes with my babes.  Yet yesterday and today, I have been so proud of them… to stand up for their sibling.  The brothers all had lots of advice  on how to take care of business… all which I had to quietly remind Zach that none of the actions his brothers were suggesting were appropriate.

It’s siblings day… and I am grateful for my boys and that they have each other to have, hold and beat up.

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Traditions

Sanj and Zachary are back from their 10 year trip.  It’s tradition… on the boys 10th  year,  they chose a place to go with Sanj for the weekend.  It’s one on one time and something they each cherish.

You’re right, Zachary is way past 10, he’s actually 12 years old.  His 10th year, the NHL went on strike.  Hockey is and has been a huge part of the trip.  They are able to watch an NHL game from great seats and some of the boys even met the players.   So with the strike, Zach decided to hold off on his trip.  For some reason, it didn’t happen last year either.  SO this very patient child of mine finally had his time.

Sanj and Zach had a great time.  Tampa had some beautiful weather for them!   They rented a fancy car, eat yummy food, went deep sea fishing (where they caught a boat-load of fish), went swimming and of course took in a hockey game.  One on one time is so special… especially when they have it with Sanj.  They came back rested and mellow.

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Zachary with the catch of the day!

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Birthdays and Beef Wellington

It’s been a roller coaster of a weekend.  Yet it’s Sunday and I am here to say I made it!!!  Last week was Josh’s 9th birthday.  How much I love this child!  Despite all the times I feel too old for a now 9 year old, he is a joy, delight and terror.  He was so excited about his 9th birthday.  When I asked him why, he told me with such earnestness, “Well, I’ve never been 9 before, Mommy.”  Be still my heart.  Usually my boys birthdays mean I will pick them up at lunch and we will spend the remainder of the day together.  With Josh, he  would be anywhere but school, it was a present in itself… a whole day with me… and truthfully, what a treat for me too!!!

Since I had no clue about WWE, Sanj was off from Wed-Sun… Josh and I went to Toys R Us… and all I can say was this picture says it all, doesn’t it?

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He had a grand day with a bunch of special things.  What’s a birthday without it being all about you!!!

This Friday I was hired to cater at our church’s Date Night.  I was quite excited about it.  I love cooking.  I love feeding people.  So I was eagerly anticipating this event… until I realized that Sanj was away the week/weekend.  The other draw back was the church kitchen was under construction.  So  I would be cooking all of it at home and school and transporting it over to the church.

Here’s the thing, even though the boys are older and very able to take care of themselves and each other, I hate knowing that it’s Friday night and they are there doing nothing.  :(  And yet, as it always does, they worked it out.  Zach was off to a friend’s.  So this left Max and Josh.  What a better combo as Josh often proclaims Max to be his best friend.! Max and Josh came and helped for a bit, till Sammy could drive them home.

I was serving Beef Wellington, individual cuties.  Here’s the thing… I made it at home for the family but never tried the individual ones.  I never really dealt with phylo  pastry.   Yikes,  everything was done except the pastry part.  I am pretty sure God knew a heart attack was about to occur and sent my friend and angel in disguise, Dorothy to the rescue!!!

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photo 2Are they not little beauties!  :)

So thank you Dorothy for making my evening a success instead of me having a huge meltdown!!!

Anyways… we all survived the busy weekend.  Sanj made it home last night and all is well that ends well.

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Cousin Love, Toilet Fun and Baby Days…

Teddy, Tina and Trina are Sanj’s first cousins.  Their dads are brothers. Sanj lived with their family while he was going to school at George Washington in Maryland.  I met them  probably 26 + years ago.  They were young … (well, in reality, so was I).  From that first day of  meeting them, our lives have been intertwined… by friendship and marriage.  We love each other deeply.  And we love each others spouses too. Our children love their aunties and uncles and their  children.  It feels like Christmas whenever we are together.

Teddy and family are here visiting.  They have two little girls and a boy just for Josh.  Oh my goodness…. I see now why we didn’t get a daughter.  Sanj would be a goner.  Little Rachel, went to her Uncle Sanj ( who was not turning off the game so we could watch Frozen) and asked, “Could you please turn this off and put Frozen on, Uncle? Wow!  Never has Sanj turned the game off that quickly!!!  Loved it!  This little ones have some power!!!

Yesterday we all went skiing.  This was the little ones first time.  After the lesson, they rocked!!! Impressive!  It was cold but  no one seemed to feel it… unless you weren’t skiing.  Now I understand why you learning skiing when you are a wee one… there isn’t far too fall!!!

Today the younger boys played hooky from school and went to TO to the new aquarium with Uncle Teddy and Auntie Yeka.  They are always so thoughtful of the boys.  Tomorrow after school, they are planning something with the older boys.  So thoughtful.

I am home today to attack the laundry!  I’m not sure who is attacking whom, but I am hoping to to win the battle!!!  It’s another busy week.  Sanj is away W-Sunday on a conference in Fl.  Yah, rough life.  Josh’s birthday is this Thursday… he is turning 9 years old!!!  And he has high expectations… OyE!  Then there’s a catering gig I have Friday night for a 100 people… and of course it’s just Murphy’s Law that Sanj is away. (Sigh).  It’s all good.  Next Saturday I plan on a day with the boys just doing something fun.  But I have to get through this week.

1797541_10152666950785828_1212138223_nI am sitting at my desk writing and this picture is right in front of me.  OMG!!! I love this picture!  This moment is engraved my mind!!!  We were renting a little house in Peterborough, I had 4 babies…  This was in the playroom and attached was this little bathroom.  This is my Max…  Despite that this room had more toys then Toys R Us… all over the floor, Max found a new place to play.  The toliet.  This picture doesn’t’ show it but he ended up sitting in it.  Sanj was cracking up, taking the pic and then Max sits in it, dips his fingers in the water (I can’t even think if there was pee in it or not) and then proceeds to suck his FINGERS!!!  I’m screaming at Sanj to stop the picture taking and laughing and get him out!!!  I ended up grabbing Max by the scruff of his shirt, all the while he is grinning…. lol  OMG.  Obviously it didn’t hurt him too much.

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Isn’t he such a cutie!!! He was such a happy delightful baby.  How I love my boys! Do they drive me crazy?  Yup!  And yet… it’s these moments that … Sigh.  Babyhood went too fast. Teen years, seemingly quite    s….l……o….w….

It’s a new week.  Happy Monday.

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Stupid Cancer, Angels and Parenthood

Oh my goodness.  What a week it has been!  By Wednesday I was done.  And I had two more sleeps to get through.  Monday and  Tuesday consisted of one of my sons having a HUGE meltdown.  You know (or maybe you don’t know) the kind that shakes you to the core? The kind that makes you have a meltdown? The kind that makes you question what the heck you are doing parenting? Yes, it was ugly.  I am so grateful for friends that I can bounce things off, for friends that love my kids and can be there when I am not or when they don’t want me.  For friends that don’t judge.  For friends that understand that praying – when there is nothing else to do- really does work.  Yesterday, kid that I wanted to give way, came and apologized.  Wow, motherhood!  It’s not for the weak at heart.  Be warned.  Of course unless you have perfect kids, then I probably really hate you. :)

Wednesday ( a word I always spell wrong regardless of how hard I try to get it right) was the day I took my FIL to TO for his appointment.  I’ve said it before, it’s a grueling day of doing nothing but waiting and yet the most exhausting day, ever.  My FIL was finished with his first bout of treatments.  Unfortunately, he thought he was done with chemo.  :(  The doc comes in and tells him now he is to started his second course of chemo, a little milder dosage.  Then she said words that I will likely never forget.  She told him he had 72 treatments in this next set, once every 3 weeks.  Isn’t that like a year and some?  Isn’t that forever?  Those were my thoughts.  My poor FIL looked shocked and overwhelmed.  In that moment I felt my heart hurt, for him.  After hearing this news, we went to get his treatment of a lumbar puncture… yup, they hunch him over and tell him to hold still while the stick a huge long needle in his spine and push more chemo.

Don’t me wrong.  I am so grateful that my FIL is a strong man.  He handled this like someone half his age.  He is one of the healthier people in the waiting room.  We have been given a gift.  Every day is a gift.

Then I hear that one of my dear friends that I have such a heart for (she is the first person  that took my boys, all of them – ages 6-1 something crazy like that, and gave me a break.  Just time to literally do nothing. And she wasn’t overwhelmed with them.  She’s from a family of 6).  I will never forget that gift.  Last week her dad died.  Brain cancer, died one week after being diagnosed.  She adores her parents.  I know she’s heartbroken.  My heart has been aching for her.  Today is the funeral.   Sammy and a friend will go with me to TO.  They were classmates with one of her sons.  My heart is breaking for her and her family.

Then it’s Friday.  You know, my favorite day of the week. Except I am not ready for it.  We have one of our cousins and family coming for the weekend.  We love them. And are so excited.  But I haven’t grocery shopped.  I don’t even have a menu.  I feel unprepared.

And yet… this week is over.  In all of it, I have been able to see God’s hand.  Oh, can I tell you a little ( but really a huge) God sighting?  Yesterday I was backing out of the boys high school.  I was full of thought.  I changed from reverse to drive and then realized that I was literally inches from bashing into a car behind me that I didn’t see, that was in the blind spot.  And because I didn’t see any vehicle, I reversed faster… so had I  hit that car, impact and damage would have been significant.  I know… really know… my angel was standing there behind my car… saving me from a event that would have been so horrid to cope with.  It’s the little things some times that can make or break you.  I’m so grateful to have faith that there is Someone much bigger than me, that has my back.  And with that knowledge, I can face tomorrow.

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Head Biting, Skiing and Time Changes

It’s that time to change the clocks back.  We lose an hour of sleep.  I’m glad that this time change is occurring during March Break so we can adjust to the loss of sleep by the time school is back in session.

Sanj took the Josh and Zach skiing today.  He was so amazing when the boys were young, to pack up Sammy, Tyler and Jordan every Sunday and take them to the ski hill for lessons.  All our boys are great skiers.  I credit this all to Sanj.  I remember the first time I went with them and saw the whole huge ordeal of renting skis, helmets, boats, tying them on etc… wow.  My husband became my hero in that moment.  Today he takes the youngest two to spend the day on the ski hill.  Zach is learning to snowboard and Josh is practicing his skiing.

Lately, I’ve been pretty restless in my sleep.  Sanj woke up and yelled at me.  It scared me.  I didn’t know what I was doing.  Apparently I was messing with his ear and over time it annoyed him.  Yikes!  I didn’t even know it!

Josh usually wakes up around 5 ish and then heads to our room.  I was snuggling in with him and drifted back to sleep.  In my sleep, I was so mad at someone, I reached over and bit their head.  Next thing I know, I have hair in my mouth and Josh is crying beside me.  OMG- I  bit my child!  I bit his head!!!  I was so disturbed as was Josh.

Sigh.  I’m crazy.  Apparently becoming crazier every day!!!

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Pancake Tuesday and Seniors…

Today is still crazy cold.  I feel bad because I saw Josh’s snow pant was left behind.  I didn’t see it in time to take it to him.  :( I’m sure he froze!!!  Oh well, I can hope that he will remember next time.

It’s Pancake Tuesday… I must be so out of the loop.  I didn’t realize this was a real thing.  You probably knew this but “Shrove Tuesday is observed by many Christians, who “make a special point of self-examination, of considering what wrongs they need to repent, and what amendments of life or areas of spiritual growth they especially need to ask God’s help in dealing with.”

What wrongs do I need to repent?  Sadly, my biggest flaw is the impatience I have with my children.  I hate that they know how to push my buttons.  Buttons that I don’t even know I have.  I hate when I am spazzing about something and then the phone rings… immediately my tone changes.  Uhhh… I think that every time with guilt.  I love these beings of mine more than anything. Patience, is what I need to seek.  Long-suffering is another thing I could improve on.   Today for supper, I’ll make pancakes and seek God’s help in my weak areas!

Today I had to make lunch for the Ear Company.  I had it all planned out.  I left in plenty of time to make a stop at the grocery store for my last few items.  As I was checking out, my card was declined.  Grrrrr.. I knew I had money and this was so frustrating.  I need a new bank card.  I then felt flustered.  I raced over to the office, grabbed Sanj’s card and headed back to the store.  Of course, there was no parking.  Then the checkout line was long.  As I was rushing by, I couldn’t help notice the senior citizens, as I maneuvered around them, as they were going to slow… as I made eye contact, this senior smiles, such a sweet smile.

I made it to the office in plenty of time.  I had lunch served with time to spare.  I couldn’t help but think of that senior.  I wish I could pace myself  like that, now.  I want to enjoy life now too, as well as when I retire.  Sometimes rushing around is pointless.  Sometimes the only one suffering is me.

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Busy Weekend…

It’s Monday and it’s -28 degrees C. outside.  What a winter we are having!  Brrrr…. I feel like the house can’t quite get warm enough this morning.  The weekend was busier than usual.  Saturday Sanj was off to Simcoe, his hometown, with his parents for a funeral of a friend of theirs.  I’m sure it was nice for his family to be together and see folks that they haven’t seen in forever.

Me, I was busy being in denial.  Sunday was a wedding show that I had signed up to be in.  Yet, I didn’t really know what I was going to serve and felt frustrated and overwhelmed with this looming in front of me.  Of course, as usual, life happens whether you’re ready or not and it was all good.  I had some of the boys with me.  My little appetizers I had were a hit… phew.  It was a long day and for me boredom sets in probably too easy.  Interesting people walked by.  Is there such a thing as normal?  I remember growing up, all I wanted was a normal family.  What is that? Normalness? (I realize that it may not be a real word as it came up on spell check- it’s what Sanj calls Reema-isms).

While at the bride show, there were lots of young girls and teens that were there as models.  As they were walking around after the show, I couldn’t help but notice with alarm, the length of their “dresses.”  I mean at one point I was worried this girl’s bottom was going to peek out if she moved another inch.  I mean at the risk of sounding like my mom- I was appalled at the length of their outfits.

As a mom of 6 boys I am constantly trying to teach my boys that women are to be respected.  Here’s the thing, when girls (not all) are walking around wearing nothing to the imagination, how can they be upset when they are treated like an object?  Is this classy?  Is this attractive?  I really don’t think so. I’m feeling so old.  Yet even when I was younger, I felt embarrassed for girls that dressed leaving nothing to the imagination.  I also wonder, where are their parents?  Do they not care?

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Hockey and Being Canadian…

It’s the weekend!!!  My favorite part of the week.  Today we slept in (well all except Josh, who woke up and told me he was too sick for school today- and I said ok).  Some of the boys came and crashed in our bed and we watched a movie.  Then everyone dispersed  and found breakfast.

The hockey game is on -for bronze on the Olympics – its US (who lost to Canada yesterday) vs Finland.  I love watching this kinda hockey.  It’s a few day, it’s exciting and then it ends.  Yesterday was a crazy day as Team Canada won over US.  I think it matters more to Canadians. Life seemed to literally stop yesterday while the game was on.  Most schools had it on.  Offices were streaming it… it was a big deal.

I love this picture as it seemed to sum it all up:

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One of my younger boys  came home and told me that a girl in his class said he wasn’t Canadian because he was brown.  He explained that he was born here- in Peterborough and was as Canadian as her.  She said he wasn’t because he was not white.

It’s funny how some of my boys have had to deal with the race issue at such a young age.  It’s frustrating and makes me mad because this foolishness usually starts coming from home.

I saw this child  yesterday.  I wanted to hurt her.   (I know, not very grown up of me).  Of course I didn’t.  Sanj wouldn’t let me.  lol Just kidding.

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Another World..

Yesterday I took my FIL to Toronto for his chemo appointment.

It’s such an experience going to Princess Margaret (one of our cancer hospitals) with my FIL.  From the moment I walk in the door I feel a change in my being.  I feel like I’ve entered another country or planet.  There is such quietness.  There is the occasional crying out  of someone when it becomes too much.  There’s a lot of touching here, hand on hand, arm around a shoulder, a pat on the knee, there is comforting and encouraging  happening by way of touch.  There are many bald heads as you look around.  Yesterday as I looked at this gorgeous lady, maybe 6 feet and a bit with a body that … actually I don’t even know about the rest of her… her face captured me.  Her baldness seemed like a trophy, like she had pride that she was fighting and fighting hard.  Her baldness added to her attractiveness.  And her smile.  She radiated hope.  She mesmerized me.

There are those that are older and should be living their glory years.  Yet they are busy fighting for those years.  They are usually accompanied by their spouse or child.  They tend to shuffle when they walk.  They speak a little louder.  Their faces seem to say they don’t want it to end this way.  So they too, fight.

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I hope this is Sanj and I in 35+ years.  You could feel their love.  You could see their love.  It almost made my heart hurt.  Imagine their story.

Of course there are those that are so sick, that even moving is painful.  I don’t usually see them as they’d be admitted but occasionally I hear a cry out and it makes me shiver. It makes me utter a pray for them.  It makes me stop.

Yesterday this chatty and very happy man sat beside us.  He beat cancer.  He comes for his check up.  You could see that he loved this day.  He meets his buddy,  whom he befriended through his cancer journey.  They meet and they chat. It’s a social event.  He loves the staff as if they are family.  He’s in love with the hospital.

Time seems to stand still in this place.  You’re done when you’re done.   My FIL’s levels were too low for chemo yesterday.  We have to come back.  Tuesday.  And then again, Wednesday.  Since dying isn’t an option, we fight.  They help us fight.

This place… it’s a world all unto itself.

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Ranting…

 

Warning:  This is a depressing post.

I’m usually pretty easy going when it comes to my kids.  Oh, I yell and lose it maybe a little more then most but I figured I’m entitled because I have twice and in some cases triple the kids as most normal people.  Normal is the key word.  I am anything but normal. Oye!  The bottom line is I adore my kids.  I love us hanging out together most times on my bed just vegging and will usually get the day’s tidbits around this time.  This time is usually the 3 younger ones.  The 3 older ones will pop in, lay on the bed and pop out, at different intervals.

I get it.  The teen years are full of these little and yet big people, trying to find themselves, assert their independence.  They feel they know it all and that the adults in their lives are lame and so don’t get it.  I know that there is confusion and frustration of so many levels and yet it would be detrimental to show that. Often you don’t realize they can smile or laugh until you see them with their peers.  You don’t realize that they do remember manners and kindness unless you see them in a public setting. Things in their world are immediate.  I mean, if they don’t get the _________ today, now, they may actually die.  Or how can they not go _________ otherwise they will let their bud down.  Gasp.

Now- disclaimer:  I know I can’t speak for the other families with teens… as I know there are many that have the perfect teen and don’t have issues… and all I can say is God does play favorites!!! LOL JUST KIDDDING!

So, today I am dealing with a bunch of things, mainly the inconvenience of a vehicle down…  anyways after arguing with one of my teens about foolishness related to wanting the vehicle … I said to him… “Do you know that you are never wrong?”

In all seriousness he looks at me and answers, “Yes, because you are never right.”

And then at that moment I knew God was there with me and gave me this laugh today.

Poor Foolish Child of Mine…

 

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Weekend Ramblings…

I survived and actually enjoyed my three days at Camp Medeba with Zachary and his class!  I will blog about that later this week.  I am here at Sanj’s office waiting for the bank to open and get a few errands done before picking up Sammy later this morning.

It was a good weekend.  I love long weekends.  I love being with my family and just hanging out.  We went to the car show in TO. Later we ate at this Indian restaurant in Scarborough, where I had the biggest dosa ever!  It’s probably our new favorite Indian restaurant.   We were all exhausted from a full day.  Sunday I took Josh to see the Lego Movie, which we both didn’t get.  I think you either love or hate this movie.  Monday was vegging with the boys and we went to the inlaws for a bit and finished our long weekend with dinner at Jack Astors.

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Today was brutal.  Tears and claims of hating school from my youngest.  I hate that.  I breaks my heart to forcefully send him off.  I’m pretty sure once he gets there he’s happy enough to be with his friends but boy, if Josh had a choice, he’d be with me all day.

I’ve been a type 2 diabetic for a while now. I’ve been on meds to help control my sugars.  Recently my girlfriend told me about Victoza, a drug for diabetics which seems to have had great results.  I got excited until I hear… it’s a shot.  There’s always a catch with things that seems too good!!!  I am the world’s biggest chicken when it comes to shots.  Any kind of shots.  I don’t cry now… lol but believe me, if it wouldn’t make me look like an idiot… I  would likely love to give in to tears.  Sigh.  Here’s the thing, the shot is in my tummy.  That just seems crazy!  Doesn’t it?  I’ve seen my mom give herself insulin and it looks easy but… she’s a nurse.

I went to the doc made the decision to try this new drug and my doc probably saw my hesitation  suggested that I do the first one then and there. Yikes!!!  Here’s the thing, while this may seem like such a little thing… it was huge for me.  And… guess what, I did it!  It does pinch ( I hate when people say it doesn’t hurt- liar) but it’s doable.  So… I’m proud of myself.

So on to my tackle my next mountain- the mess at my house!

Hope you had a great weekend and here’s to a great short week!!!

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Another Winter Day…

It’s another day, another school day much to the disappointment of my youngest two.  How they dislike school!  Every morning Josh tells me he’s not feeling well.  Every school day morning that is… he’s a home body.  He would love to be my sidekick all day along.  And Zach, would rather be playing with his buddies, hanging out rather then being at school.  :(

Frankly, it’s exhausting.  The hardest part of my day is 7am-8:15 am … I feel like I should tape myself… Hurry up guys, Let’s go!  Eat something.  Here’s your lunch.  Sock! You need socks. Where’s your backpack?  And then finally, when they are out the door… I am yelling, “Love you, have a good day!”

Sigh.  I think our family, my boys, live for summer.  I love being with them (despite the fighting and annoyances that come with us all together).  I love taking them on trips.  Road trips.  It doesn’t matter where we go, as long as its away from home and the crazy rat race that is life.

Maybe the winter is finally getting to us… it’s been cold, very cold and the boys are exhausted.  We need down time.  Monday is Family Day… a made up holiday but I’ve never been so glad to know that a 3 day weekend is upon us shortly.

This isn’t a happy post, is it?  Oye!  OK well, I can tell you about Josh yesterday.  He had me grinning most of the evening.  Josh loves so HUGE!  It’s really a privilege to be loved that like.  I am always thinking… is it going to go away?  We went to Zach’s game out of town. Usually I wouldn’t have gone, knowing we would get in way to late but we did, since  Zach asked me to come. Through the night Josh just kept asking random questions!  Like …

How many people do you think are in the world?

Do you think there is the letter R in the truck somewhere?

Do you know that photosynthesis is?

I’m so glad poo doesn’t come from our mouth.  

In between his questions and chatter I’d get a “Mommy I love you so much!”

I know that God gave me this child that loves so hard.  Sometimes it hurts me, his love.  How I hope he doesn’t lose this spark he has.  Sometimes the boys will say, “Josh your 8 years old, you are so weird!”  And the thing is, Josh embraces his weirdness!!! I love that!!!

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Tomorrow I am off to Camp Medeba with Zach and the 5-6th graders.  Oye!  Hope I don’t freeze.  I’m much happier a home body in the winter.  I am not too great at winter activities. But… I’m so excited about going with Zach and hanging out.

I’m sure I’ll have pics and lots to say when I am back.

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Under the Locks…

The weekend is the Under the Locks Tournament here in Peterborough. This means that  from Friday morning despite the cold cold temps Dave Smith and Sanj Sukumaran along with their team of volunteers turned the canal in town into a crazy rink and hosted the Under the Locks tourney.

This is Dave’s Facebook post from yesterday:

“Day 1 of Under The Lock 2014 is in the books. 58 games in, only 46 more to go!  1000 hot dogs consumed, 3000 cups of coffee, 5000 bottles of Gatorade. Not sure if it’s a hockey tournament or an eating contest!

Here are some pics that Sanj posted:

1888878_814109501937729_869747357_oPicture here of the set up taking place…

1799891_814493555232657_1325661776_oGuess this is what it’s all about…

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Its quite a sight, the amount of people that come to participate or watch despite the brrrrr temps.

This morning when Sanj left at 6am the temps were -26 degrees C.  Craziness.  That’s all I can say.  There is something about  hockey…. it doesn’t seem to matter what crazy hour or how cold it is, hockey player just don’t seem to care.  I am convinced it’s the stench of their uniforms that hypnotize them!

Only Zach was playing this year in the tournament and he loves it.  We went yesterday with his hair painted green for his team.  This is him, Lucky #8!

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Last night I came home and made rice and chicken curry as it seems to be just the right thing to end the day, comfort food.  Most of the older boys were score keepers and I know they were cold!

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A great arial view from last year’s tournament.

I’m going to have to ask Dave Smith who had the vision for this craziness and Sanj, why they do it?

I’m really curious.  It’s a huge undertaking.  And just as huge to take it all down and apart.  Then go to their jobs the next day.

And yet as I watched the kids play, the parents chatting over coffee and blankets, I can see the beauty in a weekend like this.  And so, while I am eager to get my family back, I am grateful for guys that unselfishlly give of their time, age a few years and share their talents to bring this to our town.

Thanks Dave and Sanj… for your dedication, generousness  and vision.

487741_603912679624080_1448210061_n 2These to boys with the Stanley Cup!

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Happy Birthday To My Favorite Guy…

Lots of snow yesterday, again.  I must say that Sanj was happy with the weather… as he spent the day snowboarding.  Yesterday was his birthday!  If you know him, you’d be very surprised he took the day off.  Well technically, he didn’t book the day off…

Years ago, i was tired of Sanj being such a worker that he never took a day off for himself.  Ever.  I went to his secretary(back in the day when he just had one) and told her to book his day but with fake patients.  She thought this was grand and took great pains to make it look authentic.

The morning of his birthday (or realistically probably the night before, since I wouldn’t have been able to wait…), I told him tomorrow for his birthday, he had the day off.  He said, “No, I don’t, I saw the book.”  I wish I could have videoed his reaction.  He was pretty speechless.  I loved it!!!

Ever since then, minus one year when he told me not to because… and I believed him.  When the morning of his birthday came, he didn’t believe he had to go to work.  :(  It was a sad day for us both.  Since then, I have learned to read his mind and not listen to his words.!!!

Yesterday Sanj chose to go snowboarding alone.  (The alone part was very disturbing for me but he assured me this is what he wanted).  He is such a weird person.  I actually will admit I find most introverts odd, as I can’t imagine a whole day alone and having fun.  Yet at noon he called me and told me it was amazing up there, fresh snow and he had the mountain mainly to himself. He was in heaven.

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After a day on the slopes, he came home and laid by the fire and became engrossed  in his book.  This would have been a perfect day.

Until… I made plans for dinner out with a few friends.  Oh boy.  He obviously didn’t want to go out. Sigh.

Anyways after much whining, he came and had a great time in the end.  PHEW!

All’s well that ended well.

Happy Birthday to my dear man.  I adore you.  Even if you are a little strange and like spending a lot of time alone.  lol

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Brotherly Love or Something…

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This was the post my youngest brother put on Facebook about his sermon today.  Of course he got lots of comments because he is that kind of charismatic extrovert and demands attention.

I thought I’d add my input on this subject because we have this ongoing battle at home.  And.. it is exhausting!  While I didn’t hear my brother, Kumar’s, sermon, he said it was on Joseph and his brothers and how this actually stemmed from their father, Esau and Jacob.

What is sibling rivalry? The dictionary says it’s competition between siblings especially for the attention, affection and approval of their parents.

Over the last year this is an ongoing battle at home.   I always thought my older two, being 12 months apart, would be super close and best of buds.  Here’s the thing about motherhood, or perhaps parenthood in generally… there’s so much I didn’t know or even fathom as a young mom with obviously very unrealistic ideals.  Why didn’t anyone tell me???

My older two think we give the other more freedom or the car more often or … only God can keep track of all the things they think are unfair.  They don’t see the lectures or scoldings or reprimands the other gets because often its done in private!!!  And… hello, if there is one that gets more privilege, it’s because it’s earned or hasn’t the trust hasn’t been breached.

Do they love each other?  I’m going to take a guess and say YES!  But … it’s not based on daily actions!!!! My brother Rajiv and I are two years apart.  We had many a fight growing up.  It could get ugly!!!  I can’t remember the little things we fought about but I do remember that there was that line… I could do whatever to my brother.  He was mine.  But YOU… kid over there… don’t mess with my brothers.  My brothers and  I are close.  Sanj and the boys are always fascinated with the daily interactions I have with them.  “What do you talk about?”  the boys ask.  I really couldn’t tell you but we just make contact most days, whether texting or actually talking.

My boys can fight.  They can be physical for fun or out of anger.  They can say the most ugly thing  that they know will hit below the belt! Ouch.  And yet… time after time when someone outside the family messes with one of the six… They are ready to do battle!!

Sigh.

So… there is always the joke of who is loved by my mom most.  We all know who it is… the three of us.  She will deny it.  She’s suppose to deny it.  My kids don’t fight over who we love most… it isn’t love they are fighting over it’s privileges.  What i wish they’d understand is that when trust is broken, privileges go with that.

I am sure that someday, the boys will all be friends, of some sort.  Hope I’m alive to see that.  Hope I’m alive to see them parent teenagers.  That is the ultimate payback.  lol

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Happy 12th Birthday, Zachary!

Today marks the 12th year that my 5th son, Zachary Thomas has been in our lives.

From the moment it was time to enter this world, he has been a go getter.  Less then 2 hours and this babe was OUT!  Why waste time, I’m sure is what he was thinking.  And so it goes, Zach is a go getter.  He loves his family.  He is always trying to please or get the attention of his brothers.  He is a social being.  He loves people and being with people.  Zachary loves being with friends and is a great host.  DSC_0007

This is one of my favorites of Zachary taken in PEI many a summer ago.

I love that Zach doesn’t need anyone to play with him outside.  He loves playing with his 4 wheeler, or taking shots on the net or riding his bike… He is able to amuse himself and is a great lover of the outdoors.

He loves cars and knows his stuff.  I can’t wait to see what car he will drive home one day when he is able to make a living.

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Yes, Zach’s a character and then some!

Zach is a sportsman and a good sport.  I love how he is able to play with a team for the team without taking or needing attention or credit.  He looks out for his teammates.

Zach is a hard worker.  He will be the first to help his dad outside and the last to come in.  He is faithful about his chores and usually does them without complaining.

He is a great cook.  For his age, he comes up with some of the yummiest meals!  He doesn’t like the usual fast foods like cereal or bagels for breakfast so he will usually whip up his own concoction that everyone will look to grab a bite of.

Of course there are so many things I could say about his son of mine and yet it all sums up that he is a gift to us from God and we are so blessed to have him in our lives.

Happy Birthday, Zach!!!

I love you so much!

*** Sadly this pictures are dated.  I’ll have to post more recent once soon.

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My Crazy Pill

*** Posting this tonight ) a day early, to not take away from Zach’s birthday tomorrow.

I’m not sure how many years now, but I remember becoming very still when Clara Hughes did the commercial for Bell Let’s Talk.  One, she seemed like an introvert and I was impressed that “we” were coming out and talking about this.

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Do you know what I’m talking about?  Mental illness.  It has such an ugly stigma attached to it.  I feel like it’s something we may talk about in hushed tones, if we talk at all.

Here’s the thing, ever since I came to the realization that I need a happy pill, I’m a much happier person.  Maybe 5 years ago or so, there was a traumatic period in life.  It was such a crazy event and I didn’t even realize how life changing it was but I found myself have very bad, dark thoughts.  I found life and living very hard.  This has nothing to do with my husband and children, I adored them.   It was me.  The stuff happening inside me was so dark and scary and sad and I just didn’t know how to deal with any of it or even what I was dealing with.

Sigh.  Wow.  Even just typing this, is making my heart pound and my head hurt remembering.

I thought I was going crazy.  I wish we could change the words mental illness because maybe more people would be ok with seeking help.  I was having a meltdown of sorts and didn’t even  know if I could fit it into my every day world.

I went to the doctor.  I was scared.  I love when you think you’re the only one in the whole world suffering with something and yet listening to me, my doctor reassured me that I was suffering from postpartum depression, which eventually lead to depression and anxiety.  Me!  I’m such an easy going person.  Me, depressed?  Crazy.

OK…  I have stuff that runs in our family history, just like many others.  It’s life.  It’s genetics.  It’s part of living here.

Once I figured out life with my crazy pill… I was me again.  Happy.  Crazy.  Full speed ahead.

Here’s the thing, I went on and off it … trying to figure out if I needed it long term or short term.  When I went off it… it wasn’t good.  I really felt crazy,  out of control.  It was hard to come to the realization that I needed a crazy pill.

Here I am today.  The crazy pill (my affectionate name for my sidekick) is a part of my daily life.  People seem appalled when I bring my crazy pill into conversation… but it is a part of me.  I am ok with dealing with the inconvenience of mental illness.  I’m ok with needing help in the form of my crazy pill. I’m so glad that there IS help now a day.

If I had a migraine, I’d find something to stop them.  So why would I not seek help with depression, anxiety  or any other fears?  Sometimes it’s the best thing … talking to someone, especially if you aren’t sure what’s happening.

Today, I’m so grateful for BELL, LET’S TALK …

I’m here if you need someone to take that baby step with… or simply join in the conversation and let’s embrace the fears that are out there as far as mental illness goes.

*** my email is sukreema@hotmail.com

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Snow Day Here…

It’s a wintery Monday, we are home (minus Sanj) having a snow day.  The weather this weekend was crazy!!! Well, we live about 15 to town (Peterborough) and you’d think we live on a totally different planet!  Crazy blowing snow had us home most of the weekend.

Last night we braved the weather and went out with a group of friends, to celebrate a couple of birthdays, my Zach included. He’s turning 12 years old tomorrow!!! How is that possible?  I’ll write more about my Zach tomorrow.  We got home late and everyone hit the hay.  Nothing like sleep!  I was thinking of the blessings friendships are.

I am home with the boys, some are studying for their exams tomorrow.  Others are just relaxing.  And then there’s Josh, whining beside me.  ”Mommy, when can we go to Walmart?”

Jordan went outside to clear off a path between the vehicles.  After a while, I get a call from his cell phone… “Mom, I’m stuck.  Come help me.”

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LOL.. soon Josh went out too…

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We haven’t had a winter like this is a very long time!!!

What’s your favorite thing to do on a snow day?  Mine is to stay in bed with a book, usually surrounded by some of my boys who may be watching a movie.  I love us just hanging out.  I have a few boys that are always with me.  I also like to cook something yummy and let comfort food do it’s thing!

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10 THINGS I WOULD TELL THE 16 YEAR OLD ME…

What kind of a teenager were you?  Or are you?  Are (were)  you confident and secure in yourself?  What would you tell your 16 year old self, if you could do so…

I wish I knew it was all going to be ok.  I thought so much about falling in love and truly wondered who would love me.  You could say I was not in love with me and so I couldn’t image who would want me.  Now… yes I am happily married… but am pretty sure that even if I was single at this place in life… the true me would be happy and ok.

I wish I could have been the real me with the outside world.  I remember being in the Bible room of my high school and we were voting for class officers.  I wanted so bad to be nominated.  I knew I could do the job and yet I wasn’t on anyone’s radar.  I was kinda invisible.  I wish I could have been me… the me that lived inside.  I hated being invisible.

I wish I knew there were different kinds of smarts.   It took me a long time to understand that despite school not being my thing, that I learned different, I am intelligent. (Well, this is still a struggle for me… but I really try to look at ADD as a gift of sorts).

I would tell my 16 year old self to appreciate the body I have.  Stuff drops and sags before you know it. lol  Sanj found a picture of me in my swim suit at camp.  (Even back then, I hated swimsuits).  I wish I had appreciated skinny when I was really skinny.  OK so I still have issues but I really would encourage myself to love the me that is me.  Inside and out.

I would reassure my 16 year old self that God works it all out.  Trust and obey.  There is really no other way. Life is full of hard moments,  yet life comes full circle and sometimes we just have to let it go and breathe and believe.  I was so trusting of God’s will at 16.  I got harder in my 20s but still I always felt that I’d rather believe in God then not.

At 16, it’s ok to not have all the answers.  The reality is I’m 45 now and still looking for some answers.  I still am wondering what I want to be when I grow up.  I did stay at home mom… which I am so grateful to have done and continue to do… but now what?  I dunno.

At 16, I didn’t have a lot of real friends,  actually probably just 2, if I’m being honest.  Sad. When I went to university, you can say, I started unknowingly, finding myself.  And friends.  Who most are still in my life.  And I love and adore.  You know what, 16 Year Old Self… friends over boys. Always.  Your true friends … you can’t replace them.  Ever.  They are there through thick and thin… (literally lol), break ups and bigger hurts.  (Yes, 16 year old self… there are bigger hurts)!!!

As annoying as your parents are, to my 16 year old self… they are your parents.  I would do anything for my boys, regardless of the size of pain in the butt they may be.  It’s amazing how much teens know!  And yet … one day… sooner than later, you will likely see they, your parents, do know what they are talking about.  Parents… they are yours forever.  Be nice.  Control the eye rolling and know that they love you.

School is cool.  It may stink at times but there is a reason we are made to go to school.  Keep going as far as you can.  University isn’t just about furthering your education, it’s about growing up, leaving the nest and finding yourself.  It is a great phase of life!

Remember… You are awesome.  There is no one like you. In my case, not sure the world could handle another one like us! lol  God made you … just as you are.

imagesWHAT IS ONE THING YOU’D SAY TO YOUR 16 YEAR OLD SELF?

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