Author Archives: christieacker1

About christieacker1

I am a domestic goddess, and most importantly, a mom. When I'm not worried about the happiness of my children, I enjoy golfing, cooking (and eating), painting, needlework, and trying to get into a Zen state of mind through Ashtanga (still trying....)

More or Less Sober October??

Cheers!

Cheers!

Wondering how I’m doing with my very brave “Sober October” manifesto?

We are halfway through the month… And in the interest of full disclosure – I did drink over Thanksgiving weekend – that was my hall pass. What have I observed about this process?

That some people think I’m nuts! And I get it! Why can’t I just not drink during the week and then have a glass on the weekend? Well…. As I said in my earlier post (https://mypuzzledlife.com/2015/09/30/sober-october/), the summer cocktail party had to end. But also – if I like something, I just want MORE! “That’s the best meatloaf I’ve ever had!” I want more. “That’s a very tasty cocktail!” Great! Give me another one! “That might be the best mini cupcake I’ve tasted since the last time I had a mini cupcake!” I had 3…. (which was noticed and pointed out to me by a friend’s husband – very appreciated…)

I think I have an obsessive/compulsive personality. This is good in some instances… It has allowed me to quietly and obsessively slog away at a yoga practise that I’m not very good at – I have attacked and learned a game which is quite hard to learn at an older age – when I have a project in front of me, I try to peck away at it methodically. But when I like something, I WANT MORE!!!!

And I do like my wine – and gin and tonics – and who doesn’t like champagne??!! So – I am going to try to persevere in October – more or less….

In the Nick of Time…

Time is of the essence....

Time is of the essence….

So – where are we at with Henry and could our luck be turning? It depends on how you look at it – and I’m looking at it with a “glass half full”.

A week ago Wednesday, we were still debating options for Henry. It had pretty much been decided that he would drop out of his university courses… His confidence had been so shaken – he kept saying that he wasn’t sure he was cut out for it – that he didn’t know if he could do it – what happens if??? So, I began to make phone calls. First – to the residence people. If he dropped out of classes, but was returning in January, could he stay in residence in the meantime? Left Brain and I agreed that he was better off at school with friends, and in the environment of the intelligentsia (!!!), than upstairs in his room by himself for 2 months. And Henry wanted to stay at school – he loves his independence – and as he pointed out to me… “You know, I do have friends here and stuff to do…” Okay – great.

So – they said yes. As long as he didn’t party too much and disturb the other kids. I almost snorted into the phone. I told her, that although she might want to take it with a grain of salt, as it was coming from his mother and all…. Henry is not a party-er – and he definitely would not disturb anyone. One thing down….

Next up – talk to the Admissions people at the college to find out what his options were for January. So keep in mind… this was Wednesday that I made phone calls, and/or sent emails. Late Friday afternoon, I heard from the Admissions people that indeed, he could start some programs in January (I had asked specifically about 4 or 5 programs); but the deadline for applying for said programs was THE NEXT DAY!!! Cripes! Okay…

Thank goodness that everything these days is done online. And since he had been a student of the college last year, they already had high school transcripts and his marks from the first year. So he made his applications – although he was beyond stressed that he had to do it at 7:00 p.m. on a Friday night. So to simplify things, I picked two programs for him that I thought were up his alley, and he picked a third (horticultural practises or something – where’s the job in that if you’re not a farmer??!! Perhaps I’m being shortsighted, but I think he was grasping at straws… And I wasn’t prepared for a debate on his long-term goals at that point!)

Then on Monday, I called the Admissions people (again…) to make sure that there wasn’t anything that they needed for these applications to be considered. Everything was fine. And so we waited.

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and I am happy to report that he has been accepted into every program for January. And we start all over again. That glass is definitely half full!

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!!

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!!

It’s Thanksgiving in Canada – today is turkey day for our family. It is a time of giving thanks for the harvest traditionally. For me, it is a time to give thanks for all that I have. And it is my favourite time of year, bar none. I love the colours, the temperature, the food, the feeling of new beginnings that it engenders with the beginning of another school year.

What am I most thankful for today? Of course, my 3 boys (that includes the big one too, of course!) And with Henry’s recent struggles, I am thankful that what Left Brain and I have been telling our boys forever actually sunk in. No problem is too big that we can’t solve together. There is nothing that they cannot come to us with. Together, we are a team and we will help them, no matter what.

When Henry was in trouble, he came to us. Instead of muddling through on his own for whatever reason, he came to us. So today – that’s what I will be giving thanks for.

Sober October

Aaaahhhh....

Aaaahhhh….

Recently, I spent a night at a friend’s, with a bunch of other gals after a delightful day of golf, to be followed up with some bridge. Our host suggested that October be dubbed “Sober October”.

I found this intriguing. My summer party has lasted into September – and there has to be an end in sight. Some discipline needs to be enforced!!!

Needless to say, the negotiations that ensued were quite hilarious… After the initial collective gasp of horror, we debated the merits of this notion. One proposal was reasonably suggested that wouldn’t it be enough to just not drink during the week? Well – of course, the definition of “the week” continued. I thought to myself that “the week” would be Monday – Thursday (that’s including Thursday). But one gal pointed out that a lot of social activity happens on Thursday nights – so how about no drinking Monday – Wednesday?

This continued down a path (away from sobriety) – wouldn’t it be enough to just drink one glass per night? And then – who are we fooling? – let’s be realistic and all agree to not drink more than 2/night.

There is one thing that we all agreed on wholeheartedly. We all need new doctors/trainers/nutritionists who won’t force us to lie about our habits! That would let go of a lot of needless anxiety – which probably contributes to the drinking in the first place, right?!

Having said all that… I really am going to try. What with everything going on with Henry right now, I need all the sleep/rest/calm/Zen I can get! This does come with a rider however… Thanksgiving is approaching (in Canada), and there’s NO WAY I’m hosting Thanksgiving without drinking!

Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s the last day of September – and if I have any hope at all of achieving my goal, I need to go and get my fill before tomorrow!

An Unscheduled Visit…

“Mom?” His voice is shaking – I know he’s crying – or trying really hard not to. “What’s up bud?”

It’s 6 a.m. – I’ve been up for an hour and a half. It’s too early to put out the garbage – I’ll wake up the neighbours with the rumble of the bins. I’m trying not to touch the side of my mouth or the inside of my nose – I have cold sores brewing. How am I doing otherwise? Just peachy…

We’ve gone from a nervous start (at university), to dropping a few courses to lighten the load, to considering dropping out for the semester. Left Brain and I have had several visits for discussions with Henry about his options. I’ve had many more visits with advisors and counsellors to look at alternatives.

Henry was so proud and excited when he started school (was it really just 3 weeks ago?) Then he started doubting himself… Could he do it? Did he make a mistake? Could he handle the load?

Then a Chemistry Lab with an impatient Teaching Assistant, who got mad at him for asking questions (!!!) How does a teacher get mad at a student for asking questions???!!! Isn’t that what we tell our kids to do when they don’t understand something? Isn’t that what teachers are there to do? Teach?!

So… now we’re trying to figure out how Henry can stay at school – because he loves being independent… But he’d have to stay in class – and as he said the other day… “How long are you going to make me suffer through this?” We know we can switch to something else for January – but what do we do in the meantime?

So… we are trying to avert a nervous breakdown in our son. And give him options to make him feel confident and excited again.

And who’s preventing my breakdown, you might ask? Thank God for Left Brain….

Dance Like No One’s Watching!!!

Dance with abandon – with joy – with a carefree spirit! Dance like no one’s watching. Because you can – and you should when there is something worth celebrating. And this is how I feel.

I'm a dancing fool!

I’m a dancing fool!

Now – just on the dance… I did try to upload the Elaine dance from Seinfeld, but I couldn’t find a clip that didn’t come with ads. And I must say – I do a mean rendition of the Elaine dance – but I’ve had to pull back on some of the moves, because I don’t want to put out my back!!!

So – why am I so happy?! Is there a calorie-free chocolate fudge sundae out there? Have I discovered that I actually can eat Blizzards whenever I want without retribution on the scale? Did I shoot 72? Uh – no…. This is even better. We made it!!! Henry and I – that is.

First – Henry. He made it through his debut year of college. He passed everything and gained entry into his program of choice at university. And what is the program? Biological Science… Holy Cow!!! He had to maintain a combined average of over 70% in the math and sciences to get into this program. And this is the kid that I wasn’t sure was ever going to “get” math. When I think of the hours we spent trying to figure out how to explain math word problems. Talk about a double whammy!!!

And he managed residence and living on his own. Was this without some anxiety spells and many calls home? No – but who cares? He stuck with it, put his nose to the grind and got it done.

Secondly – me. My first year with an empty nest. Did I shrivel up and die? Did I drown myself in a mountain of Oreo’s? Although I wanted to at times, instead, I embarked on the “I’m Worth It” project (see https://mypuzzledlife.com/2014/11/). I’m down 30 lbs. and feel fantastic. I feel like me again – when there was just a me. Now I have Super-Duper Me, plus my wonderful boys (FYI – that’s the kids and Left Brain).

So – hooray for Henry! I’m so proud of this kid. So I’m dancing like no one’s watching!!!