I started this blog in April 2011. Now it’s time to start a new blog about My Life….After 50. Please check out my new blog here .
Author Archives: amg
As many of you may or may not know, and just as many of you may or may not care….I no longer have any children playing in minor sports. Since my youngest daughter’s last minor sport event a few months ago, I have struggled with what to do to fill that gap.
For many, many years my husband and I have spent endless Saturdays at arenas for our children’s hockey practices and games, at soccer fields and gymnasiums for soccer practices and games, at baseball fields for t-ball and baseball practices and games and at parks and schools for track and field events and cross-country practices and races, and now those days are over.
For years I knew what I would be doing on Saturdays and now I am faced with the problem of what to do with myself. I do have a few hobbies which I enjoy so I have filled my time with those, hiking, photography, knitting. I haven’t done any scrap-booking for a while but I have thought about getting back to that. And of course I can pretty much fill up a good chunk of time with my Candy Crush addiction, but what did I do on Saturdays before I had children in sports? What does everyone else do on Saturdays?
I have often heard co-workers talk about this thing called housework that they do on Saturdays, but I never paid too much attention to that in the past because I just didn’t feel I had time for that kind of thing and it honestly didn’t sound all that appealing to me…..then this morning, it hit me, that’s what I need to do on Saturdays!!
I decided to ease into this new project of mine slowly, you know, not take on too much at once, so I started with vacuuming (something that I actually do regularly out of necessity with 2 dogs in the house), but I just nicely got started when I felt compelled to take a break from it to video Emma demonstrating her love for wet towels.
That’s right, the housework got put on hold while Emma mauled what she see’s as her property and I watched. I’m not sure yet how I feel about housework on Saturday’s but I guess I will eventually get used to it, and may even do more than vacuum, which by the way I did finish this morning.
P.S. If you watched the video, that noise you can hear in the background is my husband cleaning up in the kitchen….I’m told that’s a form of housework as well. 🙂 (Don’t worry about the big crash, no one was hurt).
Emma is our 3 ½ year old Border Collie Mix. We have had her for exactly 3 years and yesterday was her very first “Off Leash Dog Park” experience. We have talked about taking her for some time now and yesterday we just decided that it was a nice cool “fallish” kind of day and we should stop talking about it and just do it……so we did. 🙂
Emma loves going for car rides in fact she is a great little traveler so yesterday she hoped into the back seat of our car in great anticipation of what adventure might lie before her. Little did she know it was going to be so awesome.
As soon as we parked outside the fenced off area Emma started barking her fool head off because she is a very brave defender of her people from inside a vehicle, not quite as brave when face to face with the supposed danger…. of other dogs and people.
Once inside the gates we took off her leash and moved forward. Emma was immediately greeted by several of the “regulars” and was welcomed into their “sandbox” to play. It reminded me of Erika when she was 5 years old and would go out to play with the neighborhood kids, she never knew the other kids names but always came home and told us she made new friends in the sandbox.
After the warm welcome (butt sniffing) was taken care of Emma was off to explore on her own and fairly quickly figured out that most of these dogs like to be chased around (not like our nearly 10 year old Lab Cody who prefers to be left alone). However some of them gave up playing with her because she was too fast for them.
Emma’s herding instincts went into action when several of her new friends started running around out of control, she barked and yipped and ran around doing everything in her power to get those unruly dogs into one spot together. Most of them just looked at her and walked away, thinking she was too bossy, and too fast to play with.
Emma seemed to make one friend in particular that she didn’t stray too far from, Lucy. Lucy seemed to be a pro at the whole dog park thing and didn’t mind showing Emma the ropes.
About 45 minutes into her play time, Emma sat down on the ground and just looked at us as if to ask if she could please go home and take a nap, as all this running around had tired a poor little pup completely out. She was quite happy to get back into the car and lie down on the back seat and close her eyes and nap most of the way home.
We think we will try to take Emma back to the “sandbox” on a regular basis now since her first experience was such a success, and see what new friends she can make next time. 🙂
Today is my anniversary, not my wedding anniversary, and not the anniversary of when I started my job, but it’s an important anniversary in the history of my husband and me. Fourteen years ago today my husband and I had our first date. He lived in Guelph Ontario and I lived in Cody’s New Brunswick. No need to let a little thing like distance get in the way of a first date. This first date was the start of our “happily ever after”.
My husband and I met in a chat room on the internet 14 years ago. After several months of chatting he suggested that we should see a movie together sometime. Interesting idea, but difficult to carry out considering the distance between us. I quickly agreed thinking it was a pretty safe bet that it wasn’t that likely that we would both be in the same place at the same time any time soon, We discussed for a while when we might be able to do this and then he said why not today. Oh my gosh,so many crazy thoughts went through my mind. Is he on his way here? Is he already here somewhere? How could we possibly watch a movie together? I wasn’t comprehending what he had in mind at all. Then he said we should both go rent the same movie…..any movie I wanted……and then watch it at the same time while we chatted on our computers. Cool idea except for one little problem, my computer and my television were not in the same room and there was no way I could be in front of both at the same time. Sooo, his next idea was for him to call me and we could talk on the phone while watching the movie. ALARM BELLS went off in my head immediately……give him my phone number? What if he wasn’t the really nice guy he seemed to be in the chat room, but was actually a whacko and then he had my phone number? Well after much thought (about 2 minutes) I decided that if it turned out he was a crazy I would just change my phone number, right or wrong I gave him my number.
We decided on a movie that we could both rent, well I decided and he was kind enough to agree. Message in a Bottle with Kevin Costner was the pick, and he agreed so that was definitely a good sign that he was willing to go along with whatever ideas I had no matter how bad they were.
Once we got our movies rented we agreed on a start time and I waited nervously for his phone call. When the phone rang I answered and it was the beginning of our life together. I didn’t really pay that much attention to the movie playing on my TV but did spend the next several hours getting to know the man who is my husband and my best friend 14 years later.
That first phone call was just the beginning of months and months of long, long phone calls, learning everything there was to learn about each other, and that’s why today is an important date in our history together.
Well it is finally here……after 20+ years of taking my four children to their hockey, baseball, soccer, track and field and cross-country practices and games, it all came to an end last night after my youngest daughter’s last soccer game of the season. Minor sports are over. Am I sad?…..A little, but I’m pretty sure I will be able to find something to fill the void.
Growing up, my siblings and I were not involved in playing sports other than school sports, so when I had my first baby I gave no thought to the possibility that I would one day be a hockey/baseball/soccer Mom.
When my son was born he already had some older cousins who were involved in sports, mainly hockey. I remember taking him to the arena to watch his cousins hockey games when he was about two years old, not because I was interested in watching a sport I basically knew nothing about, but because if I wanted to visit with any of my brothers or sisters-in-law during the winter months that’s where they were so that’s where we visited. I hated the arena, it was cold, smelly and loud. I said over and over my kids were not ever playing hockey because I had no intention of spending my time hanging out in a freezing cold arena like my in-laws did. Let’s not kid ourselves here, we can all be in complete control of what our kids do, where they go, who they see……right up until they start school, make friends and get their own ideas of what they want to do, and that’s how it was for me. Ryan decided he wanted to play hockey and since he had all the necessary gear handed down to him from his cousin’s, who was I to stand in the way of his minor hockey career? I ate my words over and over as three of my children ended up playing hockey, one at rep level, three played soccer, again one at rep level, three played baseball, and one did track and field and cross-country running.
Over the years when all four kids were playing sports at the same time there were some hectic evenings and some creative planning to get them all where they needed to be and on time. With only one vehicle to do the transporting it got a little crazy by times. We had evenings when we had to drop off our oldest with his brother at the ball field early, (before any other parents or coaches were there) then take our oldest daughter to her soccer field and wait until at least one other parent showed up, scoot to our youngest daughter’s t-ball field and one of us would stay with her while the other one went back to the first field to pick up our oldest son to get him from his brother’s baseball game or practice (which had now started) and take him to his ball field for his game, and then hurry back to watch our youngest daughter’s game and as soon as it was over rush off to the next child’s game see what we could have of it and move on until we managed to catch as much of each one as we could and get them all collected and back home again. Those nights were memorable indeed, it meant a quick supper at home right after work, that was pre-prepared or take-out (we ate a lot of take-out, I’m not really ambitious enough to be a pre-preparer of meals). We missed a lot of some of their games but took in as many as we could of each of them. There were a few snags in our system, like forgetting to pick up our daughter from a soccer game, arriving at the wrong field for a game and rushing around to try to figure out where we were supposed to be, and things like that, but we generally managed to make it work.
I will say my years as a “sports Mom” were very entertaining and educational. It took so long for me to figure out what an “off-side” was in hockey. Every time the referee blew the whistle I asked whoever was beside me what it was for (I’m sure I was the most annoying “new” sports mom ever), I eventually figured it out along with many other infractions of the game, thanks to the patience of the other parents who took the time to explain it to me……over and over. Of course once the off-side in hockey was figured out I was stumped by how anyone could be off-side in soccer…..I saw no line on the field to indicate an off-side.
I have to admit that the last few years have been a little easier with just one child in sports, however she was involved in Rep Hockey, Rep Soccer, Track and Field and competitive Cross Country running all at the same time, so while we just had the one child to transport, there were just as many places to transport her to and sometimes there were conflicts where we would need to take her to a hockey game right after a soccer practice or vice versa.
It is true what they say, your kids sports become your social life. My husband and I have met some really great people, and made some good friends over the years at the arena, soccer field, the track and cross-country races. When you spend a couple of hours at least twice a week, every week, with the same people you definitely build friendships. We will miss this as much as we will miss watching our kids play their sports with the skills and passion that gave them the desire to play in the first place.
Now that the days of living our lives based on kids sports schedules have come to an end my husband and will finally have some “us” time. I think it might take me a while to adjust to not having to plan out every evening meal depending on how much time we have before having to be somewhere, but I’m ready to start getting used to it. I say bring on the next chapter of my life……maybe there will be some grand-kids in our future and we can start watching sports all over again. 🙂
Today was a day of mixed emotions…..the youngest of my four kids graduated from High School today.
It’s been a long road since my oldest started grade one 22 years ago so while it was a big day for Erika it was an even bigger one for me. Today marked the end of an era. The days of making lunches every morning….because I didn’t feel like making them at night, are long gone…..HAPPY :). Each of my kids liked something different in their sandwich, and of course they were in love with peanut butter but because of nut allergies in the schools I had to get creative and come up with something else they might eat. Creativity first thing in the morning did not always turn out so well, but they all lived. 🙂
Buying school supplies every fall, always was and still is one of my favorite things to do. It gets expensive for four kids but I have always loved looking through all the new accessories, especially when I went to school (a million years ago). Picking out that perfect pencil-case and buying all the pens, pencils and erasers that right after the first day of school were never again seen inside that pencil-case or were anywhere else to be found when needed for homework. Buying the math set every year that also never had all the pieces in it by the time they came to that section in their math classes (which is why I needed to buy a new one for them each year….I have never figured out where all those pieces go). And of course the greatest purchase ever…..the mandatory agenda that the schools insisted every child needed in order to stay organized all year and to be used for communication between teacher and parent…..which never had a single piece of information written in it and by the end of the year if they even still knew where it was still looked brand new. No more shopping for the indoor and outdoor shoes that was necessary for elementary school. Ahhhhh, what will I do with all that money that I will no longer be spending on school supplies?
I know every parent loves getting that phone call from the school in the middle of the day saying that your child doesn’t feel good and maybe you should come and pick him/her up. Ok so what I want to know is if they are projectile vomiting? or do they have a headache? or do they have a test in the afternoon that they just don’t want to write so they want to go home? I think I know my kids pretty well so if I could see them I would know if they were really sick or not but once I got permission to take the afternoon off from work to go pick up said sick child and I got to the school, even if they weren’t really sick I take them home anyway because it’s just not worth the effort of explaining to the teacher that my kid is not that sick and should just stick it out and maybe write the test they didn’t study for. Once I was away from work why not just enjoy the rest of the day.
Filling out the endless forms on the first day of school was also one of my favorite things to do…..not. Every year the school sent the same “personal information” form to be filled out for each kid in the family, claiming that the information in it would be kept on file. If that was the case then why did I have to rewrite the exact same information each year? Their names and birth dates and heath card numbers didn’t change from year to year, granted other information might have changed, address, phone number….parents’ names etc. Oh those pages of forms, such a delight.
There are some things I will miss about my kids going to school…..I can’t actually think of a single solitary one right at the moment but come September I’m sure I will think of something.
This day also marks the end of minor sports and school sports. Again there is a huge financial saving to be had, but what will my husband and I do with all that spare time? The days when all four kids were playing sports and had to be at four different fields at the same time and trying to juggle drop offs and pick-ups with only one car to do it in took some ingenious planning and every once in a while it meant a child was forgotten at a soccer field….on purpose? No of course not. And do you really feel all that bad about it when you finally remember that you still have a child sitting in the dark waiting for you when you get there only to find she is sitting with a teammate whose parent’s also forgot to pick her up? No of course not, that’s when you tell your child that at least we didn’t forget you for as long as “her” parent’s did. 🙂
Today’s Graduation Ceremony was a happy but sad occasion. This is the first of my parent’s grandchildren, and the only one of my children to graduate that my Dad was not here for. My mom is here to see her granddaughter graduate and we are delighted that she could be here but I for one am noticing the empty place in the photos. When we moved from New Brunswick to Ontario, Erika had just turned 5 and whenever she talked to her Papa on the phone he would tell her how nice the bow/ribbon was that she had in her hair. It would always make her laugh because she didn’t actually have anything in her hair (it probably wasn’t even brushed) but it was one of those silly things that remain a memory years later. I like to think that if he was here today to see her graduate he would comment on the non-existent bow in her hair.
As I said today was a day of mixed emotions…..pride, joy, and happiness, watching my baby girl graduate but sadness that my dad was not here to take part in the day with us and to give Erika the words of wisdom that he gave to the rest of his grand-kids on their Graduation Day.
Congratulations to my baby girl on her big day, so proud of you!!! Well done E! Well done!