Well people, sadly, I have officially given up on the 31 Days to  Build a Better Blog challenge. Upon receiving my 13th day task, I have come to the ultimate decision that 31DBBB is more for people who have a blog already established.

For instance, yesterday’s task was to focus on my current readers by e-mailing at least one. Well there’s a dilemma there right now. I’ve only received spam comments (if they weren’t spam comments, I’m sorry for deleting them. Askimet put them in my spam folder and I am automatically suspicious of everything that goes into a spam folder), I’ve had no subscriptions to the newsletter (sign up by clicking the button to the right). While I know that The Boyfriend and Mama T (my Mom) are reading this, I don’t need to reach out to them by e-mail, when I talk to them both in person almost every single day.

I’m not giving up completely on the 31DBBB challenge either. I’m just giving up on it until I have some readers and it looks like this blog is going somewhere other than just for my own fun. Until then I’ll just keep doing the NaBloPoMo thing (which I’m finding incredibly easy, especially now that I’ve gotten rid of the other challenge – I suppose, the real challenge).

So I had an “I feel like such a bad Mom” moment this morning. Today was Kaeidyn’s Sparkle Day at school. On her Sparkle Day, she gets to take in a toy or something else that she feels like showing off, basically show and tell. She gets to pick one boy and one girl to ask a question about what she brought in. Then either we, the parents, or the teacher (if the parent’s don’t go) read Kaeidyn’s Love Note to the class. We, the parents, wrote the Love Note which has reasons why we all treasure Kaeidyn as part of her family. Another plus to Sparkle Day is she gets to be the special class helper, which she loves because she gets to spend extra time standing next to the teacher.

This morning, I wasn’t even thinking about checking the school calendar, and I hadn’t had a chance to hang up the calendar that I just printed off last night, so I forgot completely about Sparkle Day. She went to school without anything to show and tell about, and it only really super sucked because she’s got tons of new things from Christmas that I’m sure she would’ve loved to show off. I didn’t realize until it was already too late. Needless to say, she got home and the first thing she said to me was “Mom, you forgot my Sparkle Day. Next time, can you not forget my Sparkle Day!”, I felt so bad 😦 Luckily, she’s a very forgiving child.

So then we had planned a McDonald’s day with Mama T. About once a month, we try to take all the kids to the McDonald’s Play Place, and let them go nutty. Today was even more difficult than usual, as we had The Boyfriend and Carter with us, so we had to do two trips to get to McDonald’s and two trips to get home.

The best part about the day, for me anyways, was when I asked Mama T if The Boyfriend and I could take the car and grab some stuff from Wal-Mart. Even though we had to take Carter, I felt like it was the most relaxing moment I’ve had in a long time. It was probably only because I was outside of the house and I feel like it’s been an incredibly long time since that last happened.

Tonight, I have to cut the kids hair. I hate it!! I really do suck at cutting the kids hair. I’ve butchered the kids hair, especially Kaeidyn’s so many times, it’s ridiculous. If it wasn’t for the fact that Kaeidyn is in school, and cares about her appearance, I’d just keep butchering it. So I cheat, I don’t actually cut anything more than their bangs. I hate that too though, because Kaeidyn’s hair is all different lengths (and not in the good way), Kenzie’s left side is longer than his right. I was planning on taking them to a professional, but their bangs can’t wait until I can set it all up. I bought new hair cutting sciscors today, so hopefully it’ll go alright enough.

Then I got these little tiny elastics (that will be perfect for Kaeidyn’s fine hair), so after hair cuts (and baths, unfortunately), I’ll be putting little braids all throughout Kaeidyn’s hair. I can’t wait to see what she looks like with a full head of crimpy/wavy hair. One day, I’m gonna do my whole head in braids.

Me and Two Kids

So, Mama T’s been reading my blog, and for the first time (probably since the day of my birth), I truly thought my Mom had some rather intelligent advice. And can you believe that it was advice about my blog?!?!? Her advice (not in these exact words) is that I had to give more praise for the Mom’s all around the world that do this same job as me, and those that struggle just as much, if not more than I do.

My Mom, for the better majority of my life, raised me all by herself and she seemed to do a much better job (in alot of areas) than I do most of the time. My Mom was/has been very instrumental in raising  my kids, being there for me through some of the roughest parts in my parenting journey thus far. She suggested, in her advice about my blog, to do a post much like what I’m going to do in a few minutes. I would save it for Mothers’ Day or something, but I have it on my mind right now. Sometimes, my Mom forgets how much I appreciate her, because sometimes, not only do I forget to tell her and show her, but she has two other kids who often forget too.

My Mom taught me ALOT of things throughout my life. All the parts of my parenting that I think are really good, are mostly thanks to my Mom’s nagging. She’s always had high expectations for me, but can you blame her? I clearly have a great amount of potential 😉 So here goes… This one’s for you Mom, Cheers!

Things My Mother Did or Said That Changed My Life… FOREVER!

  1. She gave birth to me!
    Without this, I would’ve never been born 😉 And then you wouldn’t be able to read these particular Rantings.
  2. Divorced my Dad
    No offense to either of my parents, but honestly, this was one of those divorces that made me more happy than sad. The only part I hated about my parents divorce, truly hated, was when my Mom first started dating other people.

    I’m sure Tiny (yes that was his name, Tiny. And he was one of the tallest, bulky men I’ve ever seen. Not really Tiny, but I guess it was cool or something…) was a really nice guy. He tried really hard with us kids, buying me a Toronto sweater when he went there and getting a friend of his to paint a jean jacket with a horse for me. But I didn’t want my Mom to date…

  3. Bought me Jasmine
    In 1995, we lived here in Red Deer, and my parents were seperated. Mom and Dad (at that time, better known as Santa) bought me this beautiful doll. I’ve been obsessed with dolls since I was young, but Jasmine was completely different.

    Her hair was dark, short and super curly. Her lips bright as cherries. Her eyelashes were long, and her eyes closed when she laid down. She was probably about two feet tall. This doll, undoubtably changed my life forever.

    She was ruined almost immediately after I got her. She was one of those dolls you could take for a bath and then leave in the bath and she would drain out. So I took her for a bath. I let her curly hair dry, and didn’t even think about what would happen when I tried to brush it. The next day, her hair was knotted, so we took a dog brush to it. Almost all her hair came out. Then I painted her nails (and did a bad job, I might add), and then I pierced her ears, her eyelashes started falling out.

    At that time in my life, I diagnosed all my dolls with diseases and often saved them from traumatic, life-threatening health issues. I gave Charisma, one of my smaller dolls, a brain transplant after she got a brain tumor. Jasmine, unfortunately, had contracted the worst disease of all.

    Lacrosse (yes, that’s how I spelt it. It was pronounced La-Chrose. I didn’t realize and neither did anyone else, until about 2 years after the diagnoses that my word was actually the word for the sport), was ultimately what ended Jasmine, and I tell myself this 14 years later. Just so everyone knows, I still have Jasmine, in a storage box in Swan Hills. Lacrosse was a devastating disease, causing her to stop breathing upbruptly, “causing” the loss of her hair and eyelashes, and eventually “causing” the loss of her arm. After she lost her arm, she started looking a bit like Chucky, and was more scary than cute, and so the closet became her new home.

    Jasmine and I were best of friends. I would spend every cent I made on her, often taking her on trips to Value Village and buying her a brand new outfit or bathing suit or earrings. She was my number one doll and she changed my life. Thanks to her and her made up disease, she taught me compassion and unconditional love.

  4. Held me and told me it was okay
    This one seems obvious right? Some of the biggest memories I have of my Mom were just of her holding me and telling me it was alright. Again, here in Red Deer, 1995. I was in Grade 2, at the school my daughter now attends, and I had entered the school talent show upon the insistence of my teacher.

    I get up on stage, after weeks of hardcore practice. Mama T loves telling this story. I practiced everywhere, in my sleep, on the toilet, everywhere! So the first microphone, doesn’t work. The second, not turned on. Finally the third works. All the time I had practiced, I had practiced with a tape recording. On stage, I had a live piano accompaniment… That I didn’t recognize.

    I completely butchered Somewhere Over the Rainbow. After singing, and having my skin turn the same color as the many bright floral patterns on my dress, I quickly walked off stage, into my Mom’s arms where I cried for the rest of the talent show. She just kept holding me and telling me it was alright.

    Or when I was probably 11 or so, and we lived in Salmon Arm. Every year, the school we attended had this huge barbecue. One of the things that all the kids loved was getting to dunk the principal. If you didn’t dunk him after throwing the ball three times, you got to run up and use your hands to push the button which would release his chair and everyone would laugh hysterically as he fell.

    My turn came up, and I missed with the ball every time. I’m double jointed and my elbows don’t bend the right way. Don’t ask me exactly how, because I can’t explain it. One day, I’ll take a picture and put it up. To this day, I still can’t do push ups properly because of it. Plus I’ve always had incredibly weak arms. So I run up to go push the button so that I can make the crowd laugh hysterically as the principal splashes about in the cold water of the tank. Instead, my arms give as I push with all my strength and the big wooden button comes smashing back in my face.

    I walked with a huge grin all the way back to my Mom, who opened her arms, as I quickened my pace and fell into them. She held me and told me it would be okay, as the pain slowly subsided from my already swelling nose. Suprisingly I didn’t break my nose at all.

  5. Moved to Red Deer
    I never wanted to come here. I never wanted to leave BC. I was born in BC and I lived all the best years of my life in BC. But Alberta had all the jobs, and Mama T needs a job. Without a job, my Mom feels useless. So we moved to Red Deer…

    Moving to Red Deer completely changed everything about my life. First, I met Alfie. Then I landed in a mental institution. Then I had Kaeidyn and went through the post partum depression. Then I landed in another mental institution and then I had Kenzie. I had Keirnan and next came the break up with Alfie. After that came The Boyfriend and Carter. Thankfully my Mom’s been here every step of the way, or I don’t think I would’ve survived Red Deer!!

  6. Held my hand during labour
    With Kaeidyn, my Mom was with me until I got wheeled down for my c-section. With Kenzie and Keirnan both, she was the only one there and held my hand and let me almost break her fingers. She was the first person (other than the doctor) that got to hold both Kenzie and Keirnan and the second with Kaeidyn. My Mom was the best support person during labour ever though. Especially when I was begging for drugs or another c-section. She seemed to know just what to say to piss me off enough to push that baby out of me!!!
  7. Forced me to sing
    It wasn’t forcing in a mean way. It was Mama T’s personal brand of encouragement. She’d keep me up late, just so she could hear me play one of my songs, just one more time. After I started playing guitar and singing at the same time, she’d make me play for all her friends.

    I used to hate it with a passion. Especially being that I don’t appreciate my talents very much. I always think I could do better. My Mom, on the other hand, always appreciated my talent, and she always knew other people would too. After a few years of having her “force” me to play for her friends or our family, I’m finally comfortable enough to record my own stuff and let other people hear it, or in some cases play in front of other people. I got up the courage this summer to play outside alot, not to anyone, but outside where others could hear. That’s pretty exciting for me.

    If Mama T hadn’t encouraged me so much, I probably would’ve given up on the music thing after the talent show fiasco…

  8. Mama T told me that I am the only voice for my children
    This was the most empowering things my Mom ever said to me. Alfie and I had broken up when I was pregnant with Kenzie. It was a very tumultuous time, and Alfie had been threatening to take the kids away. Then he wanted me to let him have visitational rights. So I told him he could, but it would have to be supervised. He didn’t like that idea at all. I often thought about going back on it, even though I didn’t think it was what was best for Kaeidyn.

    Mama T made it very clear to me, that at 1 1/2, Kaeidyn didn’t have the ability to say for herself that it wasn’t what she wanted. Kaeidyn didn’t know what was best for her and what wasn’t. It was my responsibility to be her voice and to protect her at all costs.  That was the biggest, most important parenting advice I ever received. You are 100% accountable for your kids, especially when they’re under the age of understanding!

There’s alot more that I could write here, because my Mom’s been the biggest influence in my life. It’s either a good thing or a bad thing. I’ll go with the former, because I think I’m a pretty good person overall. So what’s the point, what did she teach me?

  1. Tell your kids you love them everyday
  2. Hold your kids and never let them go
  3. Protect the ones you love
  4. Never give up on your dreams
  5. Be the voice for your young children
  6. Treat others with kindness and respect
  7. Be compassionate
  8. Work harder, because you have the potential to do better
  9. Look at a story from every angle so you can make your own decision on what’s the truth and what’s not
  10. My kids are my priority and my responsibility – an obvious one, but one that I’ve needed pointed out to me on more than one occasion (sadly…)

So there you have it, The Ten Teachings of Mama T. You better recognize! Love ya Mom, thanks for being my number one fan. Happy Not Mothers Day to all you other Mom’s out there.

What did your Mom teach you when you were growing up? How did she change your life? Do you parent your kids like your Mom did with you, or do you do the exact opposite, or do you try to find a healthy balance between the two? Leave a comment, or send me an e-mail (UnpredictableAngel13@hotmail.com) about your Mom and her life teachings.

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