2

Sometimes life throws lemons at you – hard

This past week has been exhausting both physically and emotionally.

  1. I was in a car accident last Wednesday when didn’t seem to be that big of a deal, but after calling my insurance company and reporting it to the collision center and bringing it to the mechanic for a quote and dealing with body stiffness from the sudden hit (yes I hit him…) my emotions have been up and down.  I feel like an idiot for having my first accident – EVER, yet at the same time, I feel there was a million things I had do and without my dad to call and cry to I felt awful and remembered just how much I miss him and his ability to look at everything very rationally.
  2. My mom’s blood pressure has been through the roof – seriously it got up to 214/105 at one point!  I have taken her to emergency, shes gone to her regular doctor and been to Shoppers for blood pressure testing everyday and it’s like a roller coaster with no straight lines.  Her doctors don’t know what’s wrong, they have done a cat scan, an ECG and numerous blood tests – all normal!! NORMAL??!!
  3. The rental car I got on my first day driving it got a flat tire on the main highway and as it was rush hour traffic – no one would let me over!!!  It took an hour for me to get CAA to come and change the tire and then was told I had to go to Enterprise to change the vehicle as I couldn’t drive it with a spare on the highway!  I had to take my whole lunch break (and I was also an hour late for work) to get that done.
  4. My insurance company said GOOD NEWS, I have accident forgiveness.  BAD NEWS, I have a $1000 deductible which means I am out a grand! dammit.  My adoption agency money also just went through and that was $500.00 so in a matter of a couple of days my entire pay check is gone and I haven’t paid rent or eaten.  Huh…

They say God doesn’t give you more than you can handle, I just wish he’d pave the way of riches to make the bumps a little easier!!

The great news is that my PRIDE classes are finished and my home study is one step closer to being completed!!!!  This is so exciting and makes 1-4 totally okay at the end of the day.

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2

What I’ve learned from living with my mom

When I was 13, just a girl struggling to find my place in this world, my parents got a divorce. The only world I knew changed – dramatically.  The mother, who I had been closest to left and my father, whom I barely knew – and to be honest didn’t like very much, continued in my raising and became my sole-parent.  I saw my mom most weeks for an hour or two, but our relationship quickly deteriorated and I relied on my (now) sister-in-law, my Aunt Sharron and my paternal grandmother as my support systems. As the weeks became months, which quickly became years we saw each other less and less to where it was only at Christmas and maybe mothers day where we would spend any significant time together.

My father and I on the other hand became the best of friends…well, that took years, but it happened.  Her leaving, was the best thing that could have happened to me.  If my parents had gotten divorced and I had been left in her care, I wouldn’t be me.  I wouldn’t be the confidant, happy girl I am now.  I don’t know who I would be, but I wouldn’t be me and I am kind of awesome – so her leaving…it was for the best.  I am not one of those people who thinks parents should stay together for the kids – at all!  We only have ONE life to live and everyone should live it to the fullest and be happy – or as happy as possible.  If two people make each other miserable, or hurt each other or just aren’t good together anymore, I believe a break up needs to happen.  Maybe that’s why marriage isn’t my first priority in life.  It’s a very expensive break up, when really, two people should be able to choose happiness over unhappiness any day.

Fast forward twenty years and my mom somehow finds her way back into my life.  Her husband (my step-dad) has passed away and a little over a year later, my dad passes on and I am left…not alone…but, I am left with her.  I am left with the woman who gave birth to me.  And regardless of how she came back into my world, she walked through that door and hasn’t for one moment looked back.  I happily opened the door wide, with no locks, no restraints, no guilt.  I know my dad would want us to be together – to look out for each other.  It’s who he was.  He wasn’t bitter or negative about the divorce…he loved me and he wanted my mom in my life – even if I was an adult now and way to stubborn to take any motherly advice.

I don’t hold grudges.  I don’t make people feel bad about mistakes they have made in the past.  I have felt a lot of hurt from people I loved most, but that is there cross to bear, not mine.  I forgive easily, it’s just who I am.  Again, my dad raised me this way and I am perfectly happy being the way I am.

When my mom called me two months ago saying she needed a place to temporarily stay I didn’t think twice – I invited her to stay with me.  I have a house – a three bedroom home with two bathrooms and a finished basement for me and my pup.  I have a lot of room for guests.  Even if I didn’t – this is my mother.  She went through almost two days of labour with me, I could allow her to come stay with me for a few weeks (or months if need be).

She moved in the first of June and on July 18th she will move back with my aunt (her twin sister) permanently.  It has been a pretty great time.  I have zero complaints.  If it had been more than a few weeks or months, I would have been happy with that too.  I am not mad she’s moving out or angry, I have no feelings of abandon, I liked living alone and I liked living with her so I am good either way.  I don’t need months of therapy (lol, though that would be funny) but I am pretty sure my poor dog will because he LOVES his human nana and has become pretty obsessed with her.

I actually learned a few things in the past 6 weeks and I am going to recount them here for you:

We get along much better as adults on an equal playing field then we ever would have when I was a teenager.

My mom is awesome, but her tolerance for foolishness and childishness is small.  Lazy, full of attitude teenagers is not her cup of tea – and I was FULL OF ATTITUDE as a teen.  We would have butted heads – probably even more than my dad and I did, because at least with him, I knew when he said no he meant no.  I would have pushed my moms buttons a lot harder than I pushed his.  As an adult, we relate better to each other

I have a lot of similarities to my mom – huh!  Who knew?!

I didn’t think we had much in common.  She spent the last 20 years, happy in a small town and I have loved my home in Scarborough (Toronto) and never had any desire to move to a small town – though technically Ajax is a town…so again, I have changed…grown! We watch similar shows, enjoy similar food and even have similar body shapes right now (though we are both over weight and need to work on that)

She is extremely helpful

Everything from doing my gardening (which I strongly dislike doing) to taking care of my pooch to ironing my clothes; as a retired person, she has lots of free time and she happily does a lot for me without me even asking and I am grateful!  She has made life pretty easy for me these past few weeks – especially where Simba is concerned.  In return I have given her a home and I cook dinner every night she is there which is a benefit to us both.

We laugh – a lot

Living alone, I laugh at tv shows, I laugh when Simba is being crazy, but other that than, my laughter has died down.  When my mom moved in, I found my real laughter, my deep gut, hearty laugh.  I laugh till I cry.  I laugh so much my stomach hurts.  It’s fun.  It’s great to be exhausted from laughing so much, it really is the best therapy.

She never stopped loving me

I never doubted my moms love, I doubted her ability to be a mom. Since moving in, she has been extremely motherly towards me, but in a more mature way, since I am not a baby or a little girl anymore. It’s refreshing.  Losing my dad took a part of my heart and made it go away forever…having a parent who loves me still in my life has made the rest of my heart beat a little stronger.  She is a wonderful person and I am glad I allowed her willingly into my home, my heart and my soul.

Love Nicole

1

**raising hand and apologizing profusely

Ya, it’s been weeks (shut up fine it’s been a LOT of weeks) and I am finally writing, blogging, catching you all up on what’s been going down since my last entry.

To be honest I haven’t written because nothing has been going on.  Life as I know (as I am doing it) has become stagnant, boring, predictable.

The cottage was open, I spent the May long weekend there with Kim and her family, which as always, was amazing.  I had a great time.

The guys have come back and have started working on finishing my back yard. I can’t wait until it’s all DONE

My nephew – 18 – has a girlfriend…I know, holy crap!  She is super cute and they are cute together in their little 18-year-old bubble.  My nephew, while needing a swift kick in the ass to get him motivated, at the end of the day, is a great kid and I am glad he has met someone who is fun and quirky that he can enjoy life with.

Work is work.  Enough said.

My mom moved in – oh wait what?!  Ya, circumstances happened that my mom had to vacate my aunt’s place temporarily so of course I took her in.  I didn’t even hesitate – she is my mother, regardless of our past.  I judge people on their present actions and for the past two years she has been supportive, encouraging, loving, giving and very present in my life.  Simba loves her to pieces, and it’s nice to have the company.  It is temporary – for how long we don’t know, but until that date, I am happy to have her.

My “wound” of course is a mess and causing so much emotional strife I can’t even deal with it on here, so just know…surgery may be required AGAIN and no I am not okay.

Simba is great – of course he is…he’s a little muffin who makes me giggle and smile and pull my hair out all within a single day.

Baby…there is no baby.  Not yet.  My period has been all over the place so I haven’t even attempted it.  I have had to seriously consider that it may not work out for me.  That I may need a surrogate, I may need to adopt – and how do I feel about that.  That is meant for another blog when I can get through it level-headed – because right now, me not being able to get pregnant is not something I can fathom.

Dad, the two-year anniversary of his passing is coming up next month and that floors me!  How is it possible I have been without his love and protection for TWO YEARS??  I have survived, of course I have, he raised me to survive turmoil and sadness and to come out on top, but so far, I am not on top…I am tip toeing the middle line, not sure if I am sinking or swimming half the time – just knowing I am still alive and still trying to thrive.

A quick update, a brief “hey bloggy friends I have not forgotten you”.  I will blog more soon, I promise

Love

Nicole

0

Bye bye Scarborough – officially

My parents bought the Scarborough house in 1971. The story goes like this: 

Lil Webb lived at the house next to the one my parents would eventually buy. She was my grandparents age *late 50’s at that point I believe* and her and her husband knew my grandparents briefly. They told my parents to buy the home because a young “colored” couple had viewed the home and as the neighborhood was all Caucasian – it would be an issue to have a colored family move in next door.

Now I pause and ask you to not hold it against Lil or her husband for these remarks, being ignorant on race and religion was a lot different in 1971 than it is now and those comments would never have been acceptable to my parents.

My father liked the house enough as it had a pool (which was torn down in the 80’s due to wood rot) and a basement with a big enough room for a ping pong/pool table. This was what my father required. My mom liked it because it was still along the bus path and she didn’t drive at the time. The only thing missing was a garage. However after looking at other homes – a garage would have cost them a couple of thousand dollars more and the house was already at the top end of their budget – $28,000. YA I SAID $28,000. They carried a mortgage. Good grief, my car cost me $30,000. I still shake my head like crazy when I picture a home costing $28,000.

They moved in and quickly got to know their new neighborhood and their new neighbours. They soon got pregnant with son Paul who was born in 1973 and 8 years later, little me came along in the beginning of 1981. Our family lived their together in the Scarborough house until 1994 when my mother moved out and my parents divorced, but my father continued raising us in that home until his untimely death in July of 2013.

This home, the Scarborough home, has been the place where my brother and I could always come back to no matter how many times we left (and we both left at various times for various reasons) and it was my only home. Nowhere else had felt like home to me, not even the apartment I shared with my ex or the homes I lived in while I was attending University. However after my father’s passing, the heart of the home was gone. I came back to the house on July 21st after our final hospital visitation and this place was no longer my home. The soul of this $28,000 home was gone. I knew I would have to continue living it for some time, to catch my breath, to heal, to grow and to make my plan B, but it was now the place I was living. It wasn’t my home, it was my house. There is a massive difference.

I bought my home, as you all know in March and without even putting the Scarborough home on the market, I have received word that it has now officially sold. New owners will be taking over this house and creating their home in its four walls. We got what we wanted – a lot more than $28,000 that’s for sure – and as of July 23rd, it will no longer be the place my brother and I can come back to when life doesn’t’ work out as we feel it should. This thought hurts…I have no safe zone. It really makes this whole past year VERY real to me.

The new owners are so fortunate to have my neighbours and my schools and my stores and sidewalks and roads and trees…it really is a beautiful street and a nice neighborhood – even though it has changed A LOT in 42 years.

It’s time…to say goodbye and focus soley on my new home.  My new memories…building dreams within my four walls of Ajax.

Love

Nicole

2

Because I’m not a mother…

Because I am not a mother I have a lot of free time on my hands to be a great (surrogate) aunt to lots of little ones and this past weekend was no exception!

My heart and soul is always with Julia, my beautiful five-year old whose parents know I will always and forever treat her like my own; she made getting through my fathers funeral a little more bearable because she was there.  I don’t get to spend nearly as much time with her as I would like and now that I have moved out to Ajax the time between our visits has gotten longer, but she is NEVER far from my thoughts and ALWAYS in my heart.  We have an insane connection that no one can understand and I am just so glad her mom and dad respect and accept it!  I think they love it actually cause they aren’t super close to family so I am also like a little sister to them!

Anyway, this weekend, on Sunday I finally had plans to spend the day with her family and we made up for lost time!  We also planned a flower party she wants to have with her little friends this summer.  Thank you to Pinterest for making this party planning possible!  Julia, her mom and I planned everything and then advised her dad (who was the original genius behind the idea, but who is a little better at delegating than planning) who gave it the green light and now I know I will get to see my little muffin top (cause muffin tops are the best part of the muffin) next month too!

Yesterday I was blessed to spend time with both of my friend Kims kids because her oldest (who’s 4) had a t-ball game and since Yoga was cancelled due to the holiday I got to attend.  I also got to snuggle and feed her youngest (2 months) because Kim was helping with the t-ball game!  So all in all last night was a GREAT night!

I spent time with their family after the game to watch fireworks too and there was so many little kiddies around and really just sitting around talking to Kim topped off a weekend high!

This weekend would have been a lot different had I had a newborn baby to take care of.  Please don’t get me wrong, I still want my own child, more now than ever, but while I am not pregnant and have no responsibility but to myself and Simba, I am going to ensure I get as much “auntie” time with the little ones as possible…

Love

Nicole

0

I’d like to thank the academy:

 Last night I signed off all the paperwork for my house, realizing my signature is hideous and I think I am going to spend the next couple of days practicing a signature that doesn’t look a three-year old with a tantrum.  

As I left the lawyer’s office I realized with glee that as of tomorrow at 5:00 I will have the keys to my home.  MY.  HOME.  

It still feels surreal.  I need to send some shout-outs or thank you’s to people who have been supporting me and surrounding me with love since day 1 of me seeing this house (which crazy enough was less than a month ago!). 

First and foremost to my realtor Jon, you have guided me patiently towards what was the right house for me.  Neither of us expected it to be in Ajax, but you showed me what I needed to see and not just what I wanted to see and for that I have my dream home.  If anyone is looking for an agent in or around the Toronto area, message me for his details!  He’s great. 

Second I need to say the biggest thank you to my mom!  If you had told me five years ago that my mother would be the one person I would rely on the most, who I would speak to daily and who was the biggest support and help I would have looked at you crazy, but we have become so much closer in the past year and I would not have gotten through the last few months without her.  Everything from picking up Simba from his doggy day care, to driving to my house, picking up a cheque I forgot at home and driving it to my work – she is amazing and I am grateful for her! 

I want to shout out to some friends who have been there along the way, texting me daily and even some coming out to see the house.  Erin, you are crazy and inappropriate at the best of times, but the fact that you were there the moment I found out I got the house and were the first hug of congratulations I received will stay with me forever.  Agnes, it still amazes me how close we became so quickly, I look forward to many backyard bbq’s with you this summer since your in laws will be around to watch the kids 😉 Kim, that baby needs to come out…I mean seriously, I have no patience and the fact that this is your second child, well I am ready to greet your little girl and snuggle her!  Thank you for texting constantly about the house and showing your support and making me laugh hysterically while you cussed out Jon for him showing me a house close to yours!  I cannot wait to be your sort of neighbour!!

To Alexander Guarnes, my lawyer – thank you!  If all I have to do is sign my name a bunch of times and you do the rest, I am good with that!  

And finally, none of this would be possible without my dad.  My dad saved his money, made good investment choices ensuring his children would be left with enough money to make some dreams come true.  You did daddy!  I miss you every day and I would give it all up for five more minutes with you, but since I know that is impossible I will live everyday living by your example and doing what is right for me – what you would have wanted for me!  

Love

Nicole

4

I can plan a babyshower dammit!

Supposedly some women have been telling me you cannot plan your own baby shower when it’s time.

Insert: yes I am WELL aware I am not even pregnant yet

However, I feel like as it is my baby shower and I only will get one most likely – I should be able to have things my way, thus I can plan it, or at least help plan it!! I am not going to host it – that would be ridiculous.  That’s my sister, mom, bff’s or co-workers job. 

My friend and colleague, Sarah, introduced me to this amazing website last week – you may have heard of it…pinterest???  LOL…Yes I am also WELL aware that Pinterest is not new and most women have not only heard of this site – they are on it, pinning things left, right and center!

I have been on pinterest everyday since, pinning to boards for different bedrooms in my non-existent house, christmas decorations for the year I eventually want to get really into the holiday’s again and baby shower ideas, games, themes etc for the one day I, as a mom-to-be, gets celebrated!

  Fun Baby Shower Game The Original Pin the by PintheSpermontheEgg 

Doesn’t this game look like fun – pin the sperm on the egg – and it’s totally appropriate given how I am chosing to get preggo!

Pink or white chocolate w/ sprinkles! Or milk chocolate w/ pink sprinkles.

These just look delicious and I wanted them to eat now – however they will work at a shower too – although blue icing if Koko is a boy!

Expecting Parents!  Let's Polish Up for Our Children. Register on Our Official Site. #let'sInvest www.stateoftheblackparent.org Nail Polish Baby Shower Favors - what a cute (and. fashionable) idea! Easy to color coordinate, too.Baby shower. I love this idea.  I could see Jenna doing this ;) 

What cute favours!!

Baby Shower Game Ideas (14 Pics) 

A creative game that requires no effort – just my style!!

What a creative way to serve drinks to your baby shower guests! Instead of regular cups, use baby bottles & just remove the rubber tops! What's great about this idea is that the mother-to-be can use the bottles after the little one actually arrives! 

Watching my friends drink from baby bottles will have me in stitches and that day it is all about me and Koko – if I am happy, Koko is happy!  See, I need to be involved in the planning!!

What’s so hard to understand??

Love

Nicole