Friday, September 25, 2009

Thursday on the bench

Hi everyone, this has been one of those weeks. It's Friday today and I am wondering where the week went! We ladies tried to get together this week, but it was not meant to be. So, here we are again catching you up with our past week. (Carolin) I too was hoping to get together tonight, maybe meet at the coffee shop or out for dessert but Sunshine is off to a Blue Jay game tonight with the family and it is sad but I never hear from Louise anymore so I guess it was meant for me to stay home and catch up on house stuff. Louise, I understand you are busy and adjusting to a new lifestyle but you are thought of daily and missed very much. (Sunshine) It is now early Saturday morning and I woke up and immediately thought of all of our benchers and my good friends. So yes it is 5:43 am and I ran to my computer to catch up with everyone. We did go to the Blue Jays game last night. Its been quite a while since I have gone to one of their games. Generally I find them very boring but last night was a little bit different. Little Miss Sunshine has made the soft ball team at school and her tournament is this coming Friday so she really wanted to go. Well, she was full of excitement and she had so many questions. She was cheering and happy and it was so much fun to see the game through her eyes. They won 5 nothing. It is amazing to watch because the skill level is so high. It's interesting to watch the rest of my family interact at this kind of event, too. Little Miss Sunshine and myself generally have the same reaction when there is a home run and we get into the game like the rest of the crowd. Teen Sunshine had her I-pod in her ears the whole time and didn't move a muscle. Mr Sunshine has the same laid back reaction no matter where he is or what he is doing. He has a smile on his face but the excitement level does not change.

After the game we decided to go for dinner so we went to a restaurant downtown called Spring Rolls. It was busy and the food was really good and affordable. The decor was really nice too. Mr Sunshine had seafood phad thai. The girls had vegetarian chow mein and I had chicken satay with mango salad. We also had some spring rolls to start and a very yummy fried banana with coconut ice cream dessert that we all shared. Everything was delicious. I would definitely recommend it.

On Monday's. "Bench Talk" we spoke about creating good habits. My girlfriend, Carol wrote us to say that it takes 21 days to form a habit. I decided to create my own good habit of exercise for at least 1/2 hour everyday and I have also added 1/2 hour dedicated to me! I decided that the time is really there and I just need to give it to myself and I work best under pressure anyway, so the other chores will still get done. Yea for you Cathy keep up the good work. Cathy I have decided that I will also commit to exercising 1/2 per day starting today.

Today marks day two of my goal of 21 days. Yesterday, I took the dog for a long walk. It was a beautiful sunny day. It felt really good. I then picked up my guitar and practiced for a while. It was funny because I had this urge to do it all and I had to keep telling myself to slow down. It was not necessary, nor possible to achieve all of my goals in one day.

Still, I managed to putter with my plants, play a little piano and still had dinner on the table, late but it was slow cooked ribs and they were very tasty. As far as watching what I eat, after dinner last night we decided to make the, "5 minute chocolate mug cake", mmmmmm. I have really been trying to watch what I eat. It's really more portion size for me I think because we do eat pretty healthy most of the time. I am trying to limit myself and only put on my plate what looks to be the right amount. It is really hard to not go back for seconds and I usually leave the table feeling hungry now instead of full. No change in weight yet but I will keep on trying. Lets go for Carol's 21 days on this too.

I have made this mug cake before. The teenager liked it she said it tasted like chocolate fudge. But the husband wasn't big on it.

Today, I again took the dog for a long walk, played guitar although not for long. I watered a few pots outside and for dinner we had a sauteed salmon fillets with brown rice and veg. I had a lot of running around to do today. I do not feel like I was as focused on me today. I looked for time but it was only in blocks of 10 minutes or so. I went for a bit of a walk today as well. As the little one and I were turning onto our home street. One of the neighbours was walking down the street, which shouldn't be a big deal in itself. But, I have noticed over the summer that this particular neighbour has really declined health wise. Though I live on a street where nobody really speaks to each other, other than a polite hello, I have noticed that she shuffles when she walks and she seems a little confused. She reminds me of the late mother in law who suffered from Dementia during the last few years of her life. So anyway we saw her walking down the street with a newspaper in her hand. I pulled in to our driveway and quickly put the meat in the fridge then the little one and I went over to her house. I was a little unsure what to do because maybe she is fine and I didn't want to insult her or seem too nosy. So anyway the husband answered the door I tried to be tactful and said I wasn't sure if he knew but his wife was walking down the street on her own. (over the summer I have noticed that he walks with her, she has never been alone) Anyway he didn't know she had gone out and quickly got in his car and went to find her. So the little one and I went walking as well in case she went down one of the side streets that leads to a pond behind our homes. After about 10 minutes he drove back with her in the car and stopped for a second to say thanks. So that was my big exercise for the day. It was hard keeping up with the little one while she was on her bike. Carolin, thank God you were there at the right time and followed your instincts. Good for you, so many people would, unfortunately, turn away and not want to get involved. One of my aunts had dementia. She managed to exit her home in winter. She too was found, however, she was not dressed properly, developed pneumonia and she died.
It make me feel so sad to know that life can be so scary. We really do have to be thankful for our good health because we never know what the future will hold. Caroline you showed great compassion and even though I am sure that you are so tired from your busy day, her need came before your need. God is looking down on you and the little one and he/she is so very proud of you and so are we. These are the best lessons in life that we teach our children.

Whats been going on in our house, well you already know about my stove issues. Yesterday I got a phone call from the teenagers cell phone. But it was the boyfriend who told me that the teenager needed me cause she was having a breakdown and kept fainting. I asked to speak to her and she was crying and it was hard to understand what was being said. Dilbert came back on and said that she was home and he was with her and she was upset and stressed from her own daily stuff and dealing with his problems. All this is news to me. I was at work and couldn't leave. And to be honest with you I am getting real tired of this drama. I can hear her crying at night while on the phone with him but she won't talk to me and gets angry when I try to help. So I just stay away.

Anyway, I finally leave about 4:30 and I try calling her on her cell. She answered and says she is walking on a street not far from our home. She said she went to work but they sent her home. So we drove to her and picked her up and came home.

When we got home I had the little one go take a shower so the teenager and I could talk. She looked like crap I did ask her if she was on some kind of drug. She said NO but was very upset and could not talk properly. After about ten minutes of me telling her to just breath and not try to talk. She seemed a bit better. I then tried to ask her questions that she only needed to nod or shake her head to. Eventually she was able to talk and I got out of her that she was stressed about school, and work and Dilberts family problems. So first we talked about school and it seems the music teacher had given the students their schedules for this term and she has four music night performances and they conflict with her shifts at work. When it comes to work the policy is she can only have two shifts off a session. I understand the policy it is so the kids have consistency with their swim instructors. But, I am sure the pool supervisors must understand that when dealing with High School and University staff there has to be some flexibility. Also next week she has to find replacements for work because the Head Guard course she was to take two weeks ago had been cancelled at the last minutes and now is next week. She is on course Tuesday night, Wisdom teeth out on Wednesday and then on course again Thursday night plus school. Now at the time when all this was arranged it wasn't supposed to be like this. So again I told her we would cancel the dental surgery and then I called the pool supervisor (at her request) and talked to him about the concerns she had about the shift replacements. He assured me not to worry and that the teenager is a valued employee and all would be OK. We talked a bit more about Dilbert and his family issues. I then told her that as of now the phone calls must end by 9:30 at night. No more late night phone calls and I am sorry that he is having a hard time with his parents, but ultimately it is not her problem and perhaps she should let us help and not keep it all inside. After about a hour talking she seemed to be better and went to have a shower and do some of the homework that was due today.

But with all this it makes me wonder, have I coddled her to much and she is not able to function when things get busy. Or is it just her nature and will she be able to handle university cause I think it will get worse before it gets better. And how far do I lay down the parental control because we told her a few weeks ago we felt that she had taken on too many work shifts. I was not happy with her working for the city Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings and then doing a one hour private lesson on Mondays. It is way too much with school as well but she insisted that it would be fine as she had a light course load this term and also a spare to get homework done. I am not sure what to do, let her work this out on her own so she will learn or come to the rescue every time she is over stressed? Cause I am pretty confidant that come January she will take on way more then she should again and argue with us that she can do it! She just gets defensive when I bring up events from the past to prove my point. My older one has no lunch this semester in grade 10. He wanted to take music, so he took grade 10 English in summer school in order to open a spot for music. He is in french immersion and the way the courses are laid out he would have had to drop another course this semester and make it up another time. He decided he wanted to try all 5. He is lucky that his teachers are all on board and are allowing him some time to eat during class. I am worried it's too big a course load, however, he made this decision and we are going to let him go with it. Very hard not to step in! Carolin, I am concerned for all of our teenagers. They take on way too much. The pressures at school are enormous. I find that after week three of school my teenager is totally exhausted. She works until the wee hours of the night getting homework done so she barely sleeps 4-5 hours every night. She stays late for play practice three to four night a week so she is gone from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (that's like a full time job hours, and that does not include comute time). They will be adding on Sunday practices in October as well. She never seems to eat. She has a bit of breakfast (sometimes) and then a granola bar and an iced tea during the day. She then eats her dinner that is a normal portion and complains that she has eaten too much. I told her last night as she was holding her head because she had a pounding head ache (which I am sure is from not having eaten for the last 10 hours or so) that her face looked so much smaller then it did three weeks ago and she needs to properly nourish her body. She said that in case I didn't notice, she's not trying to loose wight on her face . She said that she is so unlucky because she always looses weight in her face first. She is waiting for her lower body to change now. She is tired and has head aches. I am worried about her and I try to talk about it with her every day but she only gets very angry and annoyed. She has had training on all of the correct ways to eat and nourish your body so she knows how to do it and how important it is. However, I do understand. She looks at me and doesn't understand how I can look at her and tell her that she needs to eat. I hate it, and I wish that weight was not an issue in life. She does like herself and she is very self assured, she just really wants to be smaller. I pray that things will go better with all of our children.

All you benchers out there what is your advice for me? Carolin, life as a teenager is tough enough. Throw in work pressures and a boy friend and anyone would be over the edge. I understand now why my parents wanted us to wait to get involved with boys until we were older and out of school. It wasn't just the fear of sex and pregnancy it was all of the emotional things that also came with it. I know that when I started dating, I was also very young and it was the focus of my life. Some boys are not so dramatic and life is a little easier because you are just hanging out and enjoying each others company. Others, come with their own drama and big issues and they transfer their issues onto you. I can recall the break downs and the crying. I was with someone like that for four years. I don't think that I remembered what normal life was like until he dumped me one day. I cried and cried and cried. And yes I made myself sick over it. However, as time passed, I got better and other people entered my life. I forgot what a sense of calm was like until Mr. Sunshine entered into my life. I can do without the drama but when you are a part of it and feel that you are so in love, you really can't see it. Things will get better for her but it may be a long and hard road. I know that for myself there was nothing that anyone could have done to help me because I would not listen. In fact all of the disapproval of our relationship only stressed me out more. It also made me not talk about things when they were rough because I was sure that I knew what my parents answer would be. They already made it quite clear to me that he was not the right person for me, so what else was there to say. I just wasn't interested in hearing it. Try not to preach, try to just be there to pick up the pieces and hold her when she comes to you and needs her mom. Just be there to love her. Now I will take my own advice and stop talking to Teen Sunshine about food and eating because she knows it all anyways and lets just hope that she gets the results that she wants in a healthy way.

Work is going good but very busy, I had my highest sales yesterday $2.00 short of $200.00!! Doesn't sound a lot to some but trust me that's a lot of chocolate chip cookies and freezies!

Congratulations Carolin, keep plugging away. Some day that number may even have another zero added to it.
19 days to go. Pressure!
21 days to go. Just Breath! (its now 6:49 am Saturday morning, I am going back to bed)


  1. I could commemt on several of the issues but instead I will comment on the whole topic.
    First when I was a teenager I got my first job at 13. A cashier in Darigoes Fruit Market. My hours where Thurs and Fri 4:00 to 9:00 and Sat 8:00 to 6:00. This was not a job where you got a minuet to sit down and chat with a friend, you where on your feet all 10 hours. it was a job that your teenagers would deffinately quit within the first week. I kept this job untill I was working full time. Infact I was working both my full time job, 40 hours and this part time job 20 hours for about 6 months. I was 16 years old at the time. Do you think your teens would do that at 16??? I think they know there limit. Thats it for a tight schedual.
    About not eating a balanced diet. My family was quite poor in thoughs days. The only fresh fruit or vegies that came into the house where the ones I bought at Darigoes. Befor Darigoes there was none. Many days at lunch we ate no lunch because that is when the team sports where played. Play came befor lunch everytime.
    Rules where set down by my mother and enforced by my father. Both where people who's word was there bond. Is yours? We new we could trush what they had said. "If you are 1 minuet late you will not be allowed out for a week just school and work." Yes I was grounded many a time and hated it and cryed and stomped my foot untill I got a slap from one of them that sent my running to my room. Which by the way I shared with my two younger sisters.
    Yes I would have liked to have had a wonderful childhood and teen life like your children have. There life in reality is a cake walk compared to most of the teens in the world. today.
    Now this is Mommie speaking take a deep breath and let the teens be teens. You will be the first person that they come to when they really need help, you can count on that.
    Love You All

  2. Good job on the day at a time...that's all you can do. As a side note for the parents of the teenage daughters, you may wish to head them over to It's a website started by a young lady in Florida who decided that women and girls were being way too hard on themselves, so she started a random acts of compliments campaign, one post-it note at a time. It's really caught on world-wide, and is even being turned into a book. There are some amazing stories on the website, and may help the teenage daughters (and their mothers) with some angst.