A Canadian gal living in Britain with 3 men and a dog. Wine helps.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Clock is A-Tickin

All throughout my twenties I indulged myself in having a good time - whether it be out eating and drinking with friends, travelling to hot spots or just enjoying a good old lazy day in bed till 3:00 if I so chose.

Naturally I always wondered about settling down and having children, but I never gave it too much thought as that was something I figured I'd get around to in my 30's. My 20's were going to be for me. And they were - to the fullest. I did however spend just over two years in a relationship in the latter part of my 20's where I thought marriage might possibly be a result, and if so, children. I had a friend who was in her 30's and her obessesive quest to find and hold a man and possibly have children used to drive me insane at times. I tried to tell her to relax, that her attitude was only scaring potential men away as her need was so obviously and desperately written all over her countenance. She used to tell me that I'd understand someday (she'd been saying this since I was 23) and I have to say, I've never reached that point. Maybe because I've never really had an issue with being on my own. Not having trouble meeting men probably helped as well. WHen I did decide to date a certain guy though, I always had one rule: Never date a man with children. I didn't want to involve myself in this for two reasons: 1) What if I grew attached to these kids and the relationship flopped, and 2) A man with kids might not want any of his own. The guy I was with in my latter 20's didn't have children and it was just a given that if we did marry, we would have children. So although I always said I was on the fence about kids, I knew it was something that I probably wanted - someday.

I remember going to a fortune teller who was very astute and she told me things about my past she couldn't possibly know, but did. She told me things about my future that I didn't really believe, but always kept in a distant area of my memory. She informed me that I would marry a man from overseas, a man who possibly wore a uniform (hrrrmmm I bet she wasn't the only one thinking those thoughts) was very tall with a greyish, receding hairline. She also told me that she saw three children, one which she believed wasn't my own, but possibly this man's from a former relationship.

I got to thinking about this the other day due to a conversation I was having with a colleague, but also because it was British Mother's Day here on Sunday.

On Sunday morning I was woken up with very cheery Happy Mother's Day wishes and gifts from the boys and breakfast in bed from Andy.

The card from the kids this year wasn't 'To someone who is like a mother to me' as it was last year, it was a cutesy card that said 'To the one who makes this house a home' and on the inside: 'from the ones who make it a mess'. (On the cover was a cartoon of a boy sticking his head in the door calling 'hiya mum'). I had never in my life envisaged myself in this particular position and I honestly can say that on Sunday I honestly couldn't have felt less a mother than if the kids were my own natural children. After all, I spend my time running around picking up after them, tucking them into bed at night, getting them ready for school, getting loads of cuddles from both boys and etc. etc.

Which brings me back to the psychic. Here I am at 33 with a ready made family. My husband is from another country, he is tall and greying, and I have three children in my life. None of whom are mine naturally, but I am very very close to the youngest two, so maybe this is what was 'seen' in my future... who knows? What I do know is that because I have these children in my life, and a great husband who makes life that much more special do I really need anything more?

There is so much Andy and I want to do as a couple - so many places we want to see. Life is good for us and I'm enjoying the way it is at the moment, with the only major downfall being so far away from my loved ones back home. But on a regular basis I am being asked by other women when I am going to have a child of my own with Andy, or being told that I would make such a great mom. I think about these things myself on a regular basis. One week I want children of my own so desperately its not funny, but the other three weeks of the month I don't want it. There are so many pros to having children, but there are so many cons as well. But this is only something for Andy and I to decide and I don't know what the bottom line will be. I was going to do a list of why we should versus why we shouldn't, but what is the point really? I try not to think of the reasons why I don't really want to consider a child of my own, such as being so far away from home and the constant supply of friends and family. If I'm honest - that reason could be a reason to have a child as well. But part of me has to acknowledge that I had I stayed in Nova Scotia and married someone without kids, I don't think this would be as mind boggling a decision as it is now.

Life... it really has a way of throwing a curve ball at you.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Importance of Brushing Our Teeth

This morning Alex stuck his head in my bedroom and asked if I could hear anything coming from the bathroom (which is right next door to my room). I listened for a moment and heard a soft whirring sound. Alex smiled and said 'I bet he's using your electric toothbrush!' (He being Connor) And so he was. I hated to have to call him in and tell him about not using other people's toothbrushes, except for in the rare case of an emergency - Oh to spoil the fun of an nine year old.

(I suppose I can have the assurance of knowing that since they have come to stay with us on a regular basis, they are at least trying to remember what we are teaching them about the importance of good dental hygiene!)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Some Spring In My Step...

The weather here this winter has been more comparable to home. By now the flowers have usually sprung and there is no more need for heavy coats. This year however there has been a chill in the air that is more reminiscent of the back end of April in Nova Scotia, and its hung around much longer then I had expected. The temperature has hardly gone above 6 degrees. Today, however the sun is shining and although its brisk, its not as cold as it has been. Its days like today when I want to get out of the house and do some exercise, which benefits not only me, but Molly. So we went for a jog down to the back field, threw the ball around for 10 minutes and jogged back. Not much I know, but its a start and in 20 minutes I have to go pick up the boys and we are going to go to the park and mess around over there before supper. I figure another week and the rains will begin, which is good, because by the time the girls get here, things will have warmed up and the flowers will be out in full bloom.

How I'm looking forward to evenings on the patio with a glass of wine, strolls along the beachfront, and of course nights spent over at the Harvest Moon, our very cosy local. These relaxing moments will naturally take place amidst all the exploring we will be doing.

Andy and I are debating the idea of taking the girls to see Caernarfon Castle (pictured below) however its in Wales and I just don't know if they would be up for the trip, despite its being only about a 3-4 hour drive, as it IS another country after all ;) and they are already getting to go to Paris.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Crufts Through My Skewed View

Despite having an early start and very little sleep the previous night, Crufts turned out to be much more of an adventure than I had thought it might.
You could feel the energy surging through the halls upon arrival into the main building and Wendy and I decided to have a look around at a few stalls before finding her area and setting up. As we were passing a stall of edible treats for dogs, I commented to Wendy that I needed something that would last Molly more than five minutes to chew through, as tripe was no longer managing to do the trick. The stallholder, overhearing our conversation, said something to me that sounded like 'Bullstick'. 'What was that?' I asked. 'Bulls Dick' he repeated more clearly. 'Excuse me?' was my raised eyebrows reply. He led me over to a bagged bunch of supposed edibles and repeated 'Bulls Dick - you know - Penis'. 'My God' was my reply 'I don't think I could give my little girl that!' 'Well,' he said, 'It'll take her more than five minutes to chew through it'. As uncomfortable as the thought was of giving my baby girl Bulls Dick to chew on, I figured why not? It's worth a try, and like I said to Wendy, it's the only dick my girl is ever gonna get.

After we had found Wendy's area, set her up, let the dogs out for a wee and found her various dog friends, I left her to go have a look around the massive halls to see what the vendors had to offer and hopefully to catch a few of the agility events before it got too crazy busy. I ended up purchasing a few things before my final purchase, It's Me or The Dog, a book by the author of the same television show. This was my last ditch attempt to try and train both my dog and my husband. Molly's training is progressing steadily each day and I'm very proud to show off her ability, as is Andy. The book has only confirmed that what I have been doing all along is correct. However her chewing of household items tends to still occur sporadically. On Saturday morning Andy realized she'd chewed through yet another pair of his shoes. I have told him numerous times, as have other people, that his shoes wouldn't get chewed if they were put away. The book outlines this very clearly, as well as the reasons why dog chew shoes. Hopefully, after this last set of shoes (at least the 5th) and with the help of this book, Andy can be trained to PUT HIS SHOES AWAY.

As I was walking around looking at all wares on offer, I kept seeing these big, beautifully stuffed dogs that people were carrying around under their arms. Seen from the corner of an eye, they looked real. It turns out there was a stall that you could play a game at and win one. I knew by the end of the day I would be roped into playing, as I was coveting one for myself for Molly to play with. After Wendy had finally got in the ring with her dogs (and did very well btw), and things had quieted down significantly, I went to the games stall to try my luck. After losing £10 and still not having any luck, I gave up and made my way dejectedly back to our section. After chatting with friends who had won three, but informed us they could be purchased, Wendy went off to the games stall and came back sporting a light brown lab which she happily placed in my arms. I couldn't have been more excited if I was given cold hard cash! Now Molly now has company in the form of Chelsea. Molly however, is not allowed to play with Chelsea. I have a suspicion that Wendy just took the easy route and paid for the dog, and since she did this for me, I won't be letting this dog get pulled to pieces!

Friday, March 10, 2006

I would suppose this is more Stacy's thing, but...

I'm going to Crufts tomorrow anyway. Every year my mother-in-law Wendy looks forward to this event like no other. God forbid that anyone should get in her way. When she was recuperating from hip surgery, it was the one thing that kept her focused: 'Gotta get to Crufts, Gotta get to Crufts'... Unfortunately she is not yet well enough to drive herself the the three hours to Birmingham, and as her sister-in-law's husband refuses to drive them this year, the task falls to yours truly.

I accompanied Wendy to a couple of dog shows when I first arrived here, but the thrill was short-lived. It's definitely a dog-eat-dog world and I'm not that hard-nosed. However they were interesting to see, and as I'm told that this is the mother of all dog shows, I'm actually looking forward to our day out tomorrow despite the fact that I'm in for a long day. (Our departure time being 5:15 a.m.) I'm looking forward to seeing the craze of people and dogs all stressed out and the fantastic displays, but more importantly to bring my baby home a whole stash of treats. After all, she is Best In Show, no matter what any judge might have to say about it.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Way Things Turn Out

31 years ago today my parents tied the Knot. Did they really know what they were getting themselves into? Probably not, but with one little 2 year old running around and another on the way, I suppose they figured they'd better go for it and hope for the best.

Like most marriages, I can't say that the whole of their married life was an easy one, Lord knows they had enough problems, even without disagreeing about how us lot should be raised, but theirs is a marriage that is of the old school, one of the ones where a couple decides to try and get through the bad times, rather than just ducking out when the going got tough. (Although on a few occasions I sadly thought I would have preferred if they gave up.) Again, I'm sure both of them had their own reasons for the decisions they made, but today on their 31st Anniversary, I'm glad they made it this far and I'm glad they are content. During the past five years I think my parents have been stronger together than they have been for years. I know that makes me happy!

After being married for just over a year, Andy and I are still at the point where we are truly happy with the decision we made and I'd like to think ours is going to be a pretty solid union as we have both been through more stress in our short time together than some couples experience in 10. Because of our decision to marry the other, we have taken on a whole different way of living, especially since we are an international couple. I thank my lucky stars every day for the wonderful opportunities open to me because of my choice to marry a Brit, and I believe Andy feels the same:

Points in fact: He now as the opportunity to take his children on a three week vacation to Canada, for a lot less, as we will be staying with family; and they will be introduced to a different way of living. It will certainly open more doors for his children in the future via school/job choices.

As for me, well let me just say this: I doubt very much that my husband and I would have the opportunity to be living it up with four of our treasured family members (Stacy, Dawn, Tawny and Taylor) in LONDON & PARIS in the spring if it were not for the fact that I was living in Britain!

I only have two words for how I'm feeling about these latest developments: Rock On