I’m a Bad Husband

The title of today’s blog could be considered a lie. I’m usually a great husband (tooting my own horn). But I decided to do something all wives hate right before Christmas- Home renovations.

Yes. I have become that man. The one who is using his time off to redo our 1/2 bath. One week before Christmas.

It’s not all my fault. Really.

I was supposed to have some vacation time back in November, when I had this project planned out. But things changed. And my time off moved. Which I was totally okay with. I don’t think I’ve ever had December vacation before.

So now I’m tiling a cramped 3 foot by 6 foot room. They always tell you to add 10% for waste. But I can’t figure out the formula for how long a project takes. I’m already 12 hours into it and don’t see an end in sight. I’m regretting starting this project ten years ago……. but it has to get done. There was never going to be a good time to do it. I’m sure I could’ve hired someone, but I like doing this sort of thing on my own.

The hardest part is knowing how much there is still left to do. New toilets and vanity to install after the tiles are all done. And the tiles are at least two more days of work. Mostly because I am a perfectionist, every row needs to be level and precise. No cutting corners!

I’m content to be doing stuff like this during my time off from work. Sure, travel would be nice as well. But knowing that I will have a nice looking bathroom once it’s all said and done, is a great sense of accomplishment.

So, even though I may be a bad husband for doing a home renovation project right before Christmas- it’ll be a nice gift once it’s all completed. I’ll be back in the good books then.

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Old and Broken

Old and broken is how I feel. I am sore. All over sore. Headache. Back pain. Muscles aching. Even emotionally drained. You name it, I am feeling it.

It seems that the teddy bear sitting beside me shares my pain. Not much we can do about it but throw a bandaid on our wounds and push onward. Work through the pain and put on a brave face. A face that will make others smile when they see us, even though we hurt.

Old and broken. That’s how I feel. But it’s not what others see.

Next Generation Of Milestones

When you have children, there are tons of exciting milestones at a young age:

  • First step
  • First tooth
  • First word
  • First Christmas

Then they get a couple years with a few moments here and there until first day of school. After that there’s not a whole lot more that you can get excited about. About ten years pass by until the next set of milestones.

  • First job
  • First love
  • First car

I won’t celebrate their first kiss. That’s a personal moment- but it’s kind of a big deal for pre-teen/teenagers. Let them enjoy it. Driving their first car or getting a job- that’s a step into adulthood. A scary realization that this is the next stage of life.

Today, our fifteen year old daughter went for a job interview. Sort of. It was more a meet and greet for an opportunity of employment. A former coworker of mine messaged me that her work was looking for some extra part time help. It was nice of her to think of me and my children. It also made this a bit easier for a first job opportunity to our oldest daughter.

So I took our eldest daughter to meet the owner. For the past couple of days I tried to prepare her for what may happen at an interview. The questions asked, the answers she should give, I also told her to study up on the business as well. Driving there, we went over everything again. She was nervous. She was ready to give up before even entering. But she knew she had an opportunity here to get out of the house and make some money.

We walked in and were greeted with some smiles. I saw my former co-worker and introduced my daughter. I then let them be, because as much as I want to tout all the great things about my daughter to an old friend and a prospective boss- this was about my daughter using her courage and showing off who she is. From what I could tell, his afternoon went really well.

We shall see how it goes now. Will she get a call back? Will she be able to do the job? Will she enjoy it? In the end, it’s been a good learning opportunity for my daughter. Whether anything comes of it or not. It has started something deep inside of her- a drive to enter the adult world.

Sharing Plans

I’m currently on a “stay-cation” before Christmas. My first day was with my wife as we wrapped all the Christmas gifts for our children. I also had to run a quick errand to put insurance on my car (I completely forgot about it and the insurance ran out yesterday). The rest of my afternoon was taken up with driving our children home from school and to speed skating. None of this is what I had planned for today.

I wanted to start my day at Home Depot. I have been trying to finish our ensuite bathroom for almost ten years. I was going to buy tiles, toilet, faucet and all the other parts/supplies to finish the project.

That was my goal. Unfortunately, my wife had made other plans for my time off.

I realize that I may not get this project completed, let alone started, this week. My time off is going to be spent doing things to help out around the household instead. I didn’t realize how much my wife has to do on a regular basis as well as run her own business. This is also the last crunch for her Christmas sales and she wants to complete those orders.

What has happened is a common occurrence for couples. I had plans for my time off- my wife had other plans. Neither of us communicated our plans. I had every day laid out for my time off. My biggest drawback was not sharing or discussing with my partner. She too has every day planned out until Christmas. Without either of us getting upset, we had to make a game plan. A plan that meets both our needs.

I still get to go shopping at Home Depot. My wife still gets time to focus on her business. Somewhere in the mix we will focus on the kids…

Variations in Music

I was driving home tonight listening to Sirius XM Holiday Traditions. Usually some classic Christmas melodies and songs are played that everyone has heard at some point. These are calm and soothing as I drive home from work.

I was pleasantly surprised when an instrumental rendition of “My Favorite Things” was played. The biggest difference from the original song (and most music on this station) was that it was up beat and cantina sounding. It got me grooving and wanting to race home. The song must’ve been really good because the main part of the instrumental is still in my head. And I’m bobbing around humming it.

I enjoy when artists take an original piece and add their own colour to it. It shows off their talents out loud. These are a few of my favorite things

364

364 days.

I have been a Trainmaster now for nearly one year. December 12,2016 I decided to “Change It Up“. Today is the last day that I can decide to return to the union and keep my seniority.

I took on the management role to challenge myself. For the most part, I’ve successfully navigated through the hurdles that I have set for myself. I’ve even taken on challenges put forth to me from my supervisors. But, over the past few days, work has been really stressful and busy; making me re-think my decision.

Going from union to manager was not without it’s difficulties. Most of my former coworkers accepted my decision without much animosity. There was a few moments of me having to exert my position as their supervisor, but that was fairly rare. The workload increased in some ways and decreased in others. I work 12 hour days now instead of 8, but I generally get a three day weekend every week.

Even though these past few days have been a rough ride, I won’t be returning to the union. I still respect those who I have worked with for nearly ten years and it was reciprocated as I took on my new role. I think the job I’m in now suits me better. I face mental challenges with a feeling of accomplishment nearly every shift. I have even made new friends with fellow managers and have had more of a social life than I did for the first while in my career.

I want to thank everyone again for the help and support as I took on this role. You’ve all been fantastic. Only one day left: Tomorrow is day 365.

The first day of the rest of my career.

Early To Bed

I’m coming off five weeks of night shifts. My body and brain haven’t adjusted yet. It’s only been two days so far, but it feels like I never sleep. I barley saw my own kids while on nights, now I’m going to bed early.

I’ve found it difficult this time for the change over. It also doesn’t help I’m working in a location I haven’t spent much time in over the past year. Lots of changes and my brain is back in full gear trying to keep me going. It’s mentally exhausting.

Unfortunately my children haven’t seen me much lately. So my time at home is very precious as well. Tonight, my son decided that he needed to showcase his talents on violin and trumpet. He came into my bedroom with his trumpet as I crawled into bed. I think it must be revenge for something.

But I love that he wanted to share what he’s learned so far in school. It was also easier to let him play his piece than argue for ten minutes.

Now it’s time for me to go to sleep. Fresh trumpet sounds echoed on my mind.

Living: Rearranged

Christmas decorations have taken over our home and I love it. As the years have gone by, more decorations have been acquired. Nicer decorations to be precise. Many which I have made in order to create a flow throughout our home.

This year my wife has been heavily involved in decorating for the holiday season. Usually she is too overwhelmed with her business to help me out. So she just shows up in the home and accepts how I decorated. Which has been great since we both have similar tastes and ideas. Over the past couple of days, she has added her own personal touch. Which has also brought on the idea of rearranging our main floor layout.

Our piano has moved into our old dining room now. This is where it once was when we first purchased it. But when we redid the floors and took out the old breakfast nook- it moved to that location.

2016 Christmas What happened to our dining room table you ask? Funny story- it’s now in the family room near the fireplace. Which is going to be super cozy for our dinners this month. Hold on Josef! The couch isn’t there anymore. That’s right. The couch is now where the piano once was.

Basically we recycled our home into a new formation. Since we won’t be selling any time soon, and we really don’t want to spend a fortune on new furniture or renovations for the main floor, this was our best option. I really like the idea of our sun room (ex-dining room) becoming a music room. As well as the family room becoming the dining room. I’m just not sold on where the couch is. I figure I’ll give it a month and see how it goes.

Maybe for Christmas we can get more bean bag chairs instead so that I can continue to Be too comfortable.

Choir Night 2017

Since our children began at Langley Fine Arts, they have expanded their interest in many arts. While their majors are in the music program, they have enjoyed drama, art, photography and film. Tonight is the yearly Christmas showcase of the choir talents of the school.

I was never very talented at singing. My wife is decent, but won’t perform for people. So it surprised me when all three of our children willingly joined choir at school. All of them have enjoyed it so much so, that they keep returning to it.

My wife and I are extremely proud of our children. We are looking forward to watching the annual “Night of Choir”. This is a great way to get us all in the Christmas spirit a few weeks ahead of schedule.

Screaming Children

It’s that time of year again. Parents dragging little kids on errands against their wishes. Kids being taken to Christmas choir nights, or sports events for older siblings, even shopping lately means more families in the stores. These children, when unsatisfied, tend to express their displeasure with nothing more than a scream. A perpetual going-to-run-out-of-breath-at-some-point scream.

And it sucks.

It sucks for the parents. It sucks for the people around, it also sucks for the child. The child who really didn’t want to be there in the first place. Shushing starts, then bribes, usually a phone is handed off, and on the rare occasion- the parent takes the child away. Perhaps to punish the child, but more often than not to give in to the demands of a screaming toddler.

I feel for parents during these moments. I spent five years working at Chuck E. Cheese’s and saw it all. There’s no easy way to deal with it. The tantrums are like a storm that you just need to ride out.

I’m happy that my children are past the age of just screaming. (Although, it was rare that they would even do it.) I now just need them to stop raising their voices in anger at one another. Ugh. So much drama now.

Any advice besides locking them away? They seem to enjoy that “punishment”.