Wednesday, December 12, 2012


With the holiday season now in full swing, I have to say that I am feeling especially mushy this year.

Which is weird - me and mushiness don't exactly go together.

I have always loved the Christmas season, for as long as I can remember.  I've always seen it as a magical time of year, and even as I get older and have my own family now and it's significantly more stressful than it ever used to be, it is still, if you will, "the most wonderful time of the year".

The beginning of the holiday season, I will admit, was a little touch-and-go.  I was kind of stressed about the end of my semester at school, and the dreaded Psychology final was looming.  Then there was my work Christmas party, which was a super fun time, but let's just say that this momma walked (uh, stumbled) away with a horrible two-day-long martini flu that left me bedridden and wishing I could just take my bucket and crawl into a dark hole somewhere and stay there for a few days with a blanket over my head and an endless supply of McDonalds french fries with extra salt.  It was awful, but thankfully, the hangover from hell was not a prediction of things to come!

I'm just going to go ahead and say that I ROCKED my first semester.  3 A+'s, and 1 A- (OK, if I'm being totally honest I have to say that A- pissed me off a little, but it was for my health care/nursing class, and it was only a couple of years ago that I learned that pee and babies come out of different places, so really, I suppose I should be celebrating that A- with vigor.)  Anyway, it would be a huge understatement to say that I am proud of these results.  I pulled pretty incredible marks, at my rusty old age, with a family at home that I still needed to keep fed and clean, while shuttling them around town and volunteering time at the kids' school and working a few hours at the radio station and keeping this house in one piece...all on top of my studies.  My husband is amazing, he was incredibly understanding through all of it (we did have cereal for supper more times than I'd like to admit), and I couldn't have done it without the encouragement and endless support from him, my parents, and my friends.  Going in to my next semester with grades like this feels pretty bloody good.

Next - I've been lucky to be able to spend a lot of time lately with my cousin's baby, E.  She is the cutest damn thing in the whole entire world.  She's about 18 months now, and she is so much fun.  A couple of weeks ago, she and I were playing with my iPhone, and I headed over to Youtube to play her some videos.  For some crazy reason, and I have no idea why I even did this, I opened up Gangnam Style by Psy - which is, hands down, the weirdest music video I have ever seen.  Well, she LOVED it - and when I say love, I mean the kind of love that only an 18-month-old can show.  She will sit in my lap and watch it over and over and OVER again (she knows exactly when it's going to end, and how to re-start it), and when I try to play any other video, she kiboshes it by reaching out her tiny little finger and shutting the phone off.  When I shut the phone down after watching Gangnam Style 3 or more times in a row, she will kick and scream and cry and try to grab for the phone until I hide it somewhere so she can't see it.  All she wants to watch is that silly video.  Whenever she sees that I have my phone in my hand, she will drop what she's doing, run over and frantically say "STY! STY!  STY!  STY!" until I put it on for her.  It is CUTE.  That video has something like 950 million views on Youtube, and I'm pretty sure E and I are responsible for that last 50 mil.

Keeping in the theme of E, and kids, I love how much my kids and her love each other.  Watching them interact, especially AJ, makes me smile.  E adores him, she loves to copy him and chase him around, and he will do absolutely anything to make her laugh.  Mackenzie loves to play momma, and hold her hand, and teach and show her things.  I love that they have a little person like her in their lives!

On a sad note, a tragic story came early this week with the accidental death of two teachers from a community close to ours.  I do not know this couple, nor do I know anybody who knew them, but when I read the story I cried and cried.  She was 7 months pregnant.  They were killed in a car accident when their vehicle went off the road and ended up in the river.  It was absolutely heartbreaking.  Stories like this one can shake you to your core, and force you to remember the things - the PEOPLE - that are most important in your life; and to make sure you remember to tell them that, with words as well as actions, every chance you get.

With that, I wish you and yours the happiest of the holiday season.  Remember the important things.  Don't stress.  Remember how lucky you are in so many ways.  Give where you can - time, money, whatever you have to offer.  Pay it forward.  Hold your family close and tell them how much you love them.  Watch the holidays unfold through the eyes of your children, or any child, and try to remember the magic that you felt at that age at this time of year.  Pile your whole family into mom and dad's bed and read stories and sing Christmas songs as loud as you can.  Be calm.  Be grateful.  Eat, drink and be merry.

Just stay away from the martini bar.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

My son is funny.

So, the whole Santa thing with AJ?  He's not as smart as we once believed.

AJ (with a big, unconvinced sigh):  "Well, Dad, it looks like Santa actually is real after all."

Shawn:  "Oh, really, buddy, what makes you say that?"

AJ:  "Well, because we put out cookies and diet Coke for him every year, and he ALWAYS eats them!"

HA HA HA, kid, joke's on you!  I love that he's figured out that Santa isn't real, but just can't figure out who eats the cookies...and really, shouldn't the diet Coke be the giveaway???


It's kind of a running joke that I was born without the sympathy gene.  If you're looking for someone to feel sorry for you when you have a cold, I'm not your girl.  I am not one who is going to coddle and baby you and "ooooooh, poor you, oh no, are you OK, tell me more about your flu and all the barfing you just did, blah blah blah" when you are sick.  You're sick, it sucks, I'm very sorry about that but everyone gets sick, it's called life, so just stop whining, stay in bed, sleep, drink your apple juice and zip it.  (I'm referring to adult sick people here, not kids).  Anyway, Mackenzie's been sick, and this kid is a total rockstar when she's sick. (She is SO my kid.  I have no tolerance for pain, but I am the best sick person ever!)  So when she says something feels bad, or hurts, you KNOW she really means it.  So last week, she's trying to eat her toast, and there are tears welling up in her eyes.

Me: "Oh, baby, are you OK?"

Mackenzie (almost crying): "It REALLY hurts when I swallow my food, and my ear is soooooo sore!" (now starts really crying.)


Huh.  Clearly that old 'sympathy gene' skips two generations.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I don't understand zombies.

I totally love having my back massaged.

So, LUCKY SHAWN, whenever he is in his Calgary-Flames-Barfed-In-Here-Man-Den, kicking back in his leather recliner, watching his PVR and trying to relax, I slink quietly to the door, stand there super-quiet til he notices me, then I tilt my head all cute-like and open my eyes super wide and say in a super sweet and adorable voice, "will you pleeeeeeease rub my back?"  (I love that I say it's all "cute".  In reality I probably look like I'm having a stroke.)

Anyway, because he loves me and actually thinks I AM sweet and adorable (OK, it's either that or the fact that he knows damn well I'm not going anywhere til I get what I want, it's just a fight he won't win), he says "ugh.  Fine.  Sit down."  And he straightens up that fancy recliner and I sit on the floor and he rubs my shoulders.

Now, this obviously works for me, I get my massage, BUT the trade-off is that I have to watch some stupid show of his, like Family Guy or Game of Thrones or that new one he only watches because the hot girl from "Chuck" is in it, or that one with the zombies in jail.

Yeah, Walking Dead.  That's it.

So that's the one that was on tonight.

Me: "I don't get this.  Is he a zombie?"

Shawn: "Does he LOOK like a zombie?"

Me: "Well how the hell would I know what a zombie looks like?"

Shawn: "Zombies are dead.  It looks like a gross dead person."

Me: "Well that's stupid, why don't they make it so they can morph into something super hot, like on True Blood?"

Shawn: "Because this is not True Blood.  Now shut up."

I'm quiet for a minute.  But then I can't help myself.

Me: "Is that baby a zombie?"

Shawn: "NO!!  STOP TALKING!"


Shawn: "Why would I give you a bunch of detail about a show you don't care about??!"

Me: "I do care!!  Are they in jail?"

Shawn (with a MAJOR eyeroll, my back was to him but I could totally feel it): "Yes.  Zombie jail."

Me: "Do the zombies walk amongst the living?"

Shawn: "I mean it, STOP. TALKING. NOW."

I'm quiet again.

Me: "What is that guy doing in the jail?  Or lady?  Is that a man or a lady?"

Shawn (sighing in defeat, clearly I'm not shutting up.  Once again, I win): "It's a lady.  She is not a zombie.  The zombies don't know she's human because she is covered in zombie blood."

Me: "...what the hell!  This show is stupid!  Why doesn't EVERYONE just cover themselves in zombie blood, then they'd all be safe from the zombies and everyone could coexist peacefully!!!!"

That's about the time my massage ended.

I don't think the big eyes and cute voice are going to work next time.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The jig is up...maybe??

WARNING.  DO NOT LET YOUR CHILDREN READ THIS POST.  I mean, really, it's a bit weird if you let your kids read my blog anyway, but whatevs, it's your choice, I'm not here to judge.  I am saying, though, REPEAT:  DON'T LET THEM READ THIS ONE.

OK?  We're good?


So, we're walking to school yesterday morning, and out of the blue, AJ says, totally matter-of-factly: "You know, Santa's not real."

Mackenzie: "OH MY GOD SHUT UP YES HE IS!!!!!!!!!"

Me: "Uh, wow, look, there's a...hmmm...uh, big piece of dog poo!!!!!"

AJ: "Seriously.  He's not real."


Me (because obviously the poo distraction isn't working): "OK, AJ, what makes you say Santa isn't real?"

AJ: "There's no way he can do it.  The only way he could possibly work is by magic, and magic is NOT real."

Me (totally floundering here, Mackenzie looks horrified and AJ looks super sure of himself and I am totally taken by surprise and am not sure what the hell to say): "Well, OK, but don't you believe in the magic of Christmas?  I know I do!"

AJ: "Well, you shouldn't believe in magic, because magic is totally fake."

Then, THANK GOD, he saw a little buddy of his getting out of their vehicle and he took off running.

He hasn't mentioned the whole Santa thing again, but I know my kid, and I know that he was dead serious.  I was blessed with (cursed with???) an extremely logical-minded child, and he is well aware that magic is a ruse.  He knows it's not real, that magic is just tricks.  And so saying that Santa is "magic" just doesn't cut it.  He needs a better explanation than that.  He also understands that the world is a big place.  He knows it takes us all day just to get to Arizona, that our friends from Australia are from the 'other side of the world', that his Grandpa lives alllllllll the way in how the hell would Santa possibly get to every single kid in the world in one night?  He has Muslim friends in his class who don't get visits from Santa. He knows that reindeer can't fly (unlike his mother, who, for an embarrassingly long time, thought that reindeer were fictional characters, like unicorns).  And he knows that nobody in their right mind would ACTUALLY try to fit themselves down a chimney.

The super-secure hiding of the presents, the Santa-only wrapping paper that also needs to be very well-hidden, trying to explain why Santa will NOT be bringing you a pony/a baby sister/a fancy convertible/your very own much as it would make my life easier for the whole Santa deal to be blown wide open (my kids will still get presents from Santa for as long as they live in this house), he's only 6.  I have no intention of confirming or denying anything at this point, but I'm not sure I'm ready for him to totally stop believing.

Ideas?  Help me!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Problem SOLVED.

I discovered today that I've TOTALLY been doing it all wrong.

This is another bus story.  Sorry.  But honestly, this shit just writes itself.

So we all know that my own personal bus rules include the following:

1 - do NOT look at ANYONE for ANY reason.
2 - do NOT, under any circumstances, TOUCH another person on the bus.
3 - do NOT touch the bars unless it is absolutely crucial to do so (for example, in the instance where the choice is either falling on my ass or grabbing the pole, I will grab the pole).
4 - keep a neutral, not friendly but not unfriendly, expression on my face.

And lately, like the last two weeks, I've been having this problem where people are choosing to sit with me.  In every single instance to date, there have been other available seats on the bus - in some cases, actually, MANY available seats.  But for some reason, they are gravitating to me.  C says it's because I'm pretty.  I love C.  Friends who blow sunshine up my ass are totally my favorites.

Anyway, whatever the reason, I'm kinda over it.  I don't like people sitting beside me.  If they have no choice, fine.  But there is ALWAYS another choice.

So, I tried a different approach today, and I realized something:  #4 IS ALL WRONG!!!!

Today, instead of remaining neutral, I decided to try keeping my face in a sort of angry, unfriendly scowl-y expression.  AND IT TOTALLY WORKED!!!!

The bus this morning was the fullest one I've been on yet.  And guess who had a seat to herself?!  That's right - this girl!!

I tried it again on the way home, and IT WORKED AGAIN!!!!

Let me be clear, first of all, nobody is required to stand when I am making my scowl-y mean face.  Everyone still has a seat - it's just not with me!  Also, it needs to be noted that I am not looking directly AT people with this ugly look on my face.  I just kind of plaster it on and stare out the window or straight ahead.  So I'm not actually being directly mean to anyone; I just have a look on my face that clearly says, if you sit beside me I WILL TOTALLY FREAK THE F OUT SO YOU JUST BETTER NOT!!!!

I'm so glad I discovered this.  I actually can't wait til Friday when I can try it again.

I might need Botox by the end of the school year, but really?  A small price to pay.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Six years ago...

A post for my son on his 6th birthday (OK, the day after his 6th birthday, WHATEVER, give me a break, I had a lot going on yesterday!!)

Six years ago, you came into this world, tiny, wrinkled and screaming, with lots of dark hair and the cutest dimple ever, and with that you completed our family.

You were a sweet baby (except with your dad, you two were NOT friends for a few months), you were fat as can be and happy as can be and you had a weird shaped head because you refused tummy time for an entire year - which is likely why you never actually crawled; instead you did this super awesome bum-scootch in which you used one hand to drag yourself across the floor while sitting up.  We called it booty-scootin'.  It was hilarious and amazing how good you were at it!

You've been a kid who does things "his way" ever since, and I couldn't possibly be more proud of you.

You should be thankful you have that adorable dimple and that killer smile - that combination has saved your ass on more occasions than you know.

Your sense of humor is unmatched.  Nobody makes me laugh like you.  You get your sense of humor from your dad and it is another piece of you that does, and will continue to, save your ass on a regular basis - so don't ever lose it.

You are so bright that it blows my mind.  You were speaking easily in full sentences by 18 months, and you were reading at 4 years old.  You have an incredible, mathematical mind and I have no idea where the hell that came from, but baby, use it.

You are such a happy child, and my hope is that you are always filled with happiness.  You have a positive outlook, you love to be with your friends and family, you know how to share, you are compassionate, and you would give your friends your very last Pokemon card if you knew it would make them happy.

Sometimes, I do wonder if you were put on this earth to test my own patience - as you, right this minute, are blowing a giant hockey game horn as loudly as you possibly can; driving your sister completely up the wall; demanding I help you with your new Lego; wanting another piece of cake; dumping out the entire art drawer just so you can find that "one crayon you NEED RIGHT THIS MINUTE!!!!!"  All by 9:30 on a Saturday morning.

Six years has gone by way too fast, and it's only going to speed up from here.  I love you to the moon, buddy - you are my most favorite little guy in the whole entire world.  Happy Birthday, dude.

Oh, and once again, before I finish, I'm just going to need you to promise that you'll always love your mommy more than you love your wife!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Oh, *^&@#!!

So, there's something you may or may not have noticed about me:

I swear like a trucker.

It's not pleasant, I know this.  It's not ladylike to swear (HA HA HA, I'm sorry, just typing that made me laugh out loud, it's not ladylike to do a lot of the shit I do and I can honestly say that I've never once in my life had the thought, "gee, I shouldn't do that, it's not ladylike.")  And you should know that I actually am very restrained on this blog.  VERY.  My out-loud voice is way dirtier than my mom-blog voice.

They say that people who use curse words often are either too dumb or too lazy to think of other, more appropriate words.

Well, THEY can shove it up their asses.

I am plenty smart enough (unless we're talking about penguins), and I am definitely not lazy.  I just happen to sometimes (um, often) use language that perhaps is not what some people would deem appropriate.

I try to know my audience:  I don't swear in front of my parents, I don't swear at school, I don't swear when I'm around people I've just met...

Oh wait, never mind.  I do.  Sorry.  I actually do all of those things.  Just go ahead and scratch all that.

Anyway, the truth is, my potty mouth is NOT my fault.  My dad is a media dude.  He's been in the radio industry for EVER, and everyone in the biz knows that media folk know of words and phrases that you can't even imagine stringing together.  Mix that with the fact that my parents had me when they were pretty young, none of their friends or siblings had any children yet, and suffice it to say, I've been exposed to some extremely colorful language from a very early age.  Legend has it, when I was around 2 years old, my aunt was pushing me around in a shopping cart at a grocery store.  Imagine me, cute as can be, all big fat cheeks and innocent brown eyes, busting out a charming rendition - LOUDLY - of David Allen Coe's Rodeo Song.  Oh, you're not familiar with that one?  Well, let me give you a few of my personal favorite lines:

"Well, it's 40 below and I don't give a f***, got a heater in my truck and I'm off to the rodeo..."
"...piss me f***ing jerk..."
"...come on you f***ing dummy, get your step right..."
" comes Johnny with his pecker in his hand, he's a one-ball man and he's off to the rodeo..."

Yes.  Those sure are the real words.  And I sure did know 'em all.  And my poor aunt failed to shut me up, and instead had to resort to loudly proclaiming to anyone within earshot, "SHE'S NOT MINE!!  THIS IS NOT MY KID!!"

So, yes.  I have a long, shameful past with my language.

AJ's been known to bust out, "wow, mom, it's frickin' cold outside!"  At three years old, he thought 'frickincold' was one word.

Mackenzie has gotten in shit (trouble!  I mean, trouble!) twice so far this week for saying the word shit.  She doesn't yell and scream it, or say it for shock value; she says it quietly to herself when she's on the computer and makes a mistake with her Mathletics program, or when she mis-files a Pokemon card, or when Barbie's slutty little dress keeps falling down and exposing her ridiculous boobs.  And whenever it happens, AJ has to gleefully run down to the kitchen to tell me "MOM!  MACKENZIE SAID SHIT!" just so he has the opportunity to say it too.  Then I have to remind everyone to not to say that word, that it's a grown up word and saying "shit" is just one of those things you have to wait til you're a grown-up to do, like having babies and riding motorcycles and playing poker and drinking gin and tonics.

Clearly, my language needs to clean up.  And I'm trying.  I am.  Well, I'm at least conscious of the fact that I'm doing it.  That has to count for something, right?  Maybe I should try a Swear Jar.  I remember my mom having one when my brother and I were little and she would have to put a quarter in it every time she cursed.  (Come to think of it, actually, what the hell happened to that money!?!?  MOM!??!)

Or, I could just say F*** IT.

Yeah, let's face it.  That one's most likely.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hard workin' mommy.


You know what's hard?

Book learnin' is hard.

I've been reading.  Oh, for the LOVE, there is SO much reading.

I've been studying.

I've been taking exams.

I've been writing.

I've been researching (which, by the way, needs to be REFERENCED in your papers.  Referencing is HARD.  I suck at that part.  Obviously this information came from somewhere, I didn't just make it up in my head.  Why can't I just say that?  "I found it in a medical journal by Dr Bob Smith." The end.)

I've been creating projects.

Not to mention the fact that I actually have to physically leave my house and go to class every day.

And I have to be honest, all of this has been a HUGE adjustment.  I am so used to having quite a bit of sitting-around-on-my-ass time.  But even though I totally don't have ANY of that anymore?  I'm kinda loving it.  (OK, not the exam part.  I hate exams.  Who invented multiple choice?!?  I'd like to find that guy and kick him in the nuts.  The fact that the correct answer is RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, totally stresses me out.)

Normally, I would have my days to myself while my kids are at school.  In my former life, I would use this time to do very important things.  Like play Words With Friends, and catch up on TMZ, and bake cookies, and organize my underwear drawer.  And watch PVR'd episodes of Friends (I've got like 40 of them on there, I think Shawn thinks there's something wrong with me, like, hello sunshine, the 90's are LONG over, let's move on, OK??).  Oh, and my personal favorite activity: buying shit I don't need at Costco, then spending a good hour trying to think of ways to justify my purchases when Shawn asks why the hell I bought MORE freaking Christmas decorations and discounted bath towels.

Yeah.  My days at home have been numbered for awhile.

And now, here's the thing:  I am using my BRAIN!  You know, for things other than trying to keep track of who's died so far on Grey's Anatomy (seriously, McSteamy?!  Why'd they kill HIM off?  He's all kinds of hot.  I don't even want to watch the stupid show anymore now that Mark Sloan is gonzo.  Ah, Dr. Sloan.  You were so pretty.)

And when I say that school is "hard", I should really clarify that maybe "hard" is not exactly the right word.  It's just work - and a whole different kind of "work" than what I've been used to.

It's good.  It's fun.  I'm diggin' it.

But seriously, on the multiple choice.  That shit is evil.

Friday, September 28, 2012

A bad bus day.

Well, it happened.  I knew it would at some point.  I've been expecting it.

The day came that made me never, ever, ever as long as I live, ever want to take the bus ever again in my entire life.

It was Tuesday.  My mom offered to pick me up from school, but I figured, by the time she gets down here I could already be on the bus, so why waste her time, right?

Well.  Mistake #1.  The bus was 10 minutes late.

So that was a slight inconvenience, but I still had lots of time, and the weather was gorgeous so waiting outside wasn't so bad, so really, it was no biggie.

When it finally rolled up, I climbed up into the big ol' thing, flashed the driver my U-Pass like the expert bus-rider I am, and the first thing I notice is, holy shit, it frickin' STINKS in here.  I can't describe the smell.  I don't even want to try.  All I know is, it's nasty, I am starting to gag, and I'm wondering if I'll be able to hold my breath all the way home??

I start walking down the aisle, still overcome by the smell, and then I realize - there are no empty seats.  NO EMPTY SEATS.  I have to SIT with somebody.  I HAVE TO SIT WITH SOMEBODY.  It is bad enough when someone sits beside me, but now I have to go and sit beside someone else.  I do not like this.  I do not like it one little bit.  But my only other option is to stand, and I am not coordinated enough to stand on a moving bus; if I were to try that there's a good chance I'd lose my balance and land in someone's lap and if that ever happened I think I'd cry (as would the person I land on).  So, I did what I had to do: I chose the tiniest person on the bus to sit next to, and I hugged my bag tight to my chest and sat on the seat so that one ass cheek was hanging off, thus preventing any potential shoulder-bumps with the person next to me.  As per my own personal bus rules, I keep my eyes straight ahead.

I am not comfortable.  This is not fun.  I hope this guy gets off soon.  Also, I should really try and lose that last 10 pounds.  Maybe then my ass cheek wouldn't have to hang off the edge like this.

THEN, dude-with-a-skateboard materializes from the back of the bus, and decides he needs to talk to the bus driver RIGHT NOW.  I can hear him moving, so I break my rule (I'M SUCH A DUMMY!) and I turn my head to the side to look; and like it's in slow-motion and I'm powerless to stop it from happening, he grabs the pole behind me on his way past, and in the process HE TOUCHES THE SIDE OF MY FACE.

Now I'm really starting to freak out and am contemplating getting off at the next stop (or flinging myself out of the bus while it's still moving, whatever) and calling my mommy to come pick me up after all.

I manage to keep it together, and my seat mate gets off at the mall.  WHEW.  I lay my leg and my bag across the whole seat once he gets off, which I am aware is a total asshole move, but I don't care.

Then, the smell comes back.  What even IS that??!  Is it food?  B.O.?  Did somebody pee their pants back there?!  Is it ME??  Does nobody else smell this??  Can you open windows on a bus and stick your head out like a dog?  Because that's totally what I want to do right now.  I'm now silently choking on the stench, wondering what the driver would say about me climbing on the seat and sticking my head out the window, as the bus starts to head up a big hill.  Normally, the bus whips up and down the streets at warp speed.  But today?  Oh, no.  Today, we are CRAWLING up the hill.  Because of COURSE we are; why wouldn't the stinkiest bus ever, also be the slowest?!  I could've pushed the stupid thing and we would've gone faster.

Late bus.  Awful smell.  Had to sit with someone.  Got touched.  Went slow up the hill.

I might have to re-think my protest of $4-a-day parking, and drive to school every once in awhile...

Friday, September 7, 2012

Look at me, all college-y!

I'm back at school!!

Yay, me!

I just started an 8-month program at TRU, and I'm super excited about it.  I know with 100% certainty that when it's all over, I will be very good at this job.

But I have to get through the next 8 months first!

And with a family, obviously, I have a lot of juggling to do.  The giant globs of toothpaste don't clean themselves out of the sink (or off the mirror, countertop, taps, towels, light fixtures, honestly what the hell does my family do in there, can nobody spit in a straight line anymore?!?)  And as happy as the kids and I might be to eat Honey Nut Cheerios for supper every night, Shawn not so much.  And it's not like I can stick Mackenzie in a cab and send her down to her piano lesson, or do the kids' homework for them after they go to bed.  So, I still have to clean, and cook, and shuttle kids around, and all of the things I've been doing for all these years, only now I need to add classes and homework and papers and presentations into the mix.

Fun, right?

Actually, I totally think it will be.  I can tell you this much, after Week One:  it beats the crap out of sitting at home for 6 hours waiting for my kids to finish school.

On another note, I need to tell you something, let's consider this almost a confession of sorts because I still can't quite believe it's happening:


Oh, yes, I am.  I know it's a little shocking considering the fact that public transit is just something I do NOT enjoy.  I don't know if it's because as a kid, I took the bus everywhere - orthodontic appointments, organ lessons, to the mall with my friends, etc; or, because of the interesting clientele you tend to see on the bus; or because as I got older I developed a slight fear of germs, and let's face it, public transit is a cesspool.  Whatever the reason, I've avoided public transit at all costs for the past, like, 20 years.

But now, and if you tell anyone I said this I will totally tell them you're a liar...

I actually don't mind it.


I have my little bus schedule in my school bag, I have my little U-Pass, and I really don't mind sitting there for the 10-15 minute ride.  I can text or play Scrabble on my phone, or watch people and make up stories about them in my head, or just look out the window and not have to pay attention to the road.  I mean, yeah, the minute I get home or to school, I head straight for the bathroom and scrub my hands from fingertip to elbow, but in the end, it's totally OK, this bus business.

Today, though, someone SAT BESIDE ME.

Yep.  Right beside me.  I was like, OMG, do NOT make eye contact, do NOT touch this person, OH GOD WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO, WHY IS THIS PERSON SITTING NEXT TO ME, IS THIS SERIOUSLY THE ONLY EMPTY SEAT ON THIS WHOLE STUPID BUS!?!?!?  But - and kudos to me for this - I remained completely calm.  Stone-faced.  Cool as a cucumber, that was me!  I kept my eyes forward and shoved myself as close to the window as I could without seeming super-obvious that the thought of someone sitting next to me was giving me the willies.  Granted, it was a teeny tiny, attractive, lovely-smelling woman, so I know it could've been so much worse, it was like the universe knew to ease me in to the fact that sometimes, people will have no other choice but to sit with me, and this lovely little woman being my first seemed like the best place to start.

It was fine.  I survived.  I got off at the university and went to class and that was that.

I did call Shawn for a ride home though.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Bye, Summer. There are way more than 5 reasons why I love you best.

This is it.

Summer is over.

And what I'd really like to do, is have a big, giant, throw-myself-on-the-floor-flailing-and-kicking-and-crying-and-screaming temper tantrum over it.

It might not help, but you never know, it's worth a shot.  At the very least, it would definitely make me feel better.  And it would be an excellent example for my children, no?

For a couple weeks now, it's been progressively getting colder outside.  And I've noticed that it's a lot easier to get the kids into bed before 9pm, because it's getting darker earlier.  And I'm actually sleeping with clothes on (sorry for the visual, friends, let's just move on).  Instead of being refreshing, my beloved green slushy vodka just makes me cold.  We shut the A/C off a long time ago.  I am trying to deny all of this, and desperately cling to summer and all the awesome that it brings, but as I sit here wrapped in fleece pajama pants, slippers and a long-sleeved shirt, my fingers ice-cold, I just can't deny it any longer.

It's over.

This summer was, like, the BEST SUMMER EVER.  It really was.

Why, you ask?

Well, let me tell you.

 1.  I wasn't working.  Last summer, I had the (ridiculous) idea that maybe I should work, like, a 'real' job, outside of the house.  So, I started working at Costco.  And it was super fun at first, but then the 5-day schedule and busy, all-over-the-place hours just got to be way too much, and I packed it in in October.  So last summer was kind of a no-fun summer.  We couldn't go on any holidays, and I only had two days off every week, which were my only two full days to spend with my kids and clean my house and do all the running around, and yes I know this is how the rest of the world works but when you haven't worked a job like that in 6 years, it was a shock, OK!?  So this time around, the kids and I had all the time in the world, and we took full advantage of it.  I loved having nobody to answer to but my own family.  It was awesome.

2.  We went on two super fun holidays.  First to Seattle for a week, where we went to a ball game and did all sorts of touristy things and then I shopped like a crazy woman because that's just what I do when I get to America, I buy everything I see and I eat everything I see and that, my friends, is the PERFECT holiday in my eyes.  Next, we went to Kootenay Lake, which was kind of like camping but not actually camping so I didn't have to sleep next to the bugs and the murderers, or be cold or drink lukewarm diet Coke out of a cooler or pee in an outhouse/public toilet; BUT we still got to have the beach at our doorstep and drink lots of beer and walk around in our pajamas, which to me is what camping SHOULD be.

3.  I totally got my house organized from head to toe.  Kids rooms, basement, toys, storage room, kitchen cabinets, den closet, all of my clothes and crap I've compiled over many of the previously-mentioned shopping excursions, and etc.  Nothing makes me happier than everything having a home, and baby, I purged.  I cleaned.  I painted.  I sorted.  I was like a freaking machine.  And I loved it.  And now, if you ask me where some random obscure kitchen tool or piece of some dumb little dollar store toy that the kids refused to part with is, I could totally tell you.

4.  AJ grew a huge amount of confidence in the water.  Throughout this entire summer, my kids were in some body of water - pools, lakes, rivers, waterslides, puddles, whatever was available - and most of the time, they were with a whole bunch of their friends.  Watching his little buddies do things that he was still uncomfortable with, gave him the confidence to at least TRY some of it.  By the end of summer, he could swim the width of my friend N's backyard pool without his floaties; he could float on his front and back; he was confident enough to jump in, go down the slide, try somersaults underwater, and he even did a FLIP off the DIVING BOARD at my aunt and uncle's place (I kiboshed that activity the minute it happened, but he was so proud of himself, and Shawn even got it on video.  It still makes my heart race when I watch it, like I'm sure this time he's going to crack his head open, even though that never actually happened and it's the same video every time.)  Mackenzie's been a fish since about 10 weeks old, but AJ's always been more hesitant in the water, and this summer, his confidence grew 100-fold.

5.  And lastly, T, V, D, and N.  Our visits and gatherings and crazy conversations that still make me laugh when I think about them, really made this summer complete.  Thank you, a million times, for keeping me from going crazy this summer.  And line up my shots for D.F. this school year!

Later, Summer.  I love you!!  Now bring on Fall...

Friday, August 24, 2012

This is starting to get old.

I don't want my stupid disease anymore.

This severe anemia business was fun for a minute, you know, like I could finally say I 'had' something, "oh poor me, I'm soooooo sick from the anemia, remember that time I was severely anemic, oh Shawn, please feel sorry for me and do the dishes and the housework, and you know I'm suddenly feeling tired, I think I better take a nap..."

But then I had to go have more stupid blood tests.  Which, of course, wasn't fun, on account of the fact that obviously it involved NEEDLES.  And this time I had the kids with me too, so they got to sit in the room with me and watch their mom shaking in her flip-flops as I hoisted myself onto the bed they make the people who need a Xanax to get through a blood test use.  The nurse even said, "normally I encourage children to watch me do the needle, but I think watching you would terrify them, it's probably a bad idea, so we won't let them near you while it's happening."

And then I had to go to the doctor today to get the results.

He's like, "You know, you have NO iron stored.  None at all, like it is actually completely empty.  How do you not fall down with exhaustion every day!?"  I'm like, psssht, whatever man, I'm kind of a rock star like that.  Who needs iron?  Not this girl!

He's like, "actually dummy, you DO need iron.  So we're going to give it to you intravenously."

When I finished laughing at the notion that this poor guy actually believed that I might allow someone to give me an IV, I was like, "oh, no you're not."

Then he goes, "OK, then we'll do the needles in your butt.  And I'm telling you, they are big, they go deep, and they REALLY hurt.

And I said, "well, then, I'm not doing that either."

We were at an impasse, me and Dr. K.  And now we were involved in a full-out staring contest, and I was totally winning that shit, because I mean it, I am NOT doing either of those things and I was not backing down from this.

Finally, he broke.  "OK, fine.  You can try pills instead."

So he gave me a prescription, wished me luck, informed me that if I don't get my iron stores up I could have heart failure, and THEN told me that, oh yeah, by the way, those pills are totally going to make me constipated, and also he's put in a SIX-MONTH STANDING ORDER for me to get goddamn BLOOD TESTS EVERY SIX WEEKS!

The f***, Dr. K?!?  Well played, friend.  Well played.

I guess he means business.

So, I went to the pharmacy, and I got the damn iron pills, and the pharmacist reiterated that I will probably not crap for like 12 weeks while on this medication, then he told me that my body has somehow managed to learn how to function without adequate iron, and I thought, "well no shit, Pharmacist Guy.  My body has learned how to function on nothing but diet Coke, Kraft Dinner and McDonalds, so surely this lack of iron thing is a friggin cake walk."

Then, still feeling sorry for myself because I am SO OVER this and I don't want to go to the pharmacy or some dumb blood lab or the doctor's office ever again as long as I live, I went home and texted C about my sad little problem.  A few hours later, her husband showed up at my house with an armload of kale, which is something I have never seen ever in my entire life, and told me to just "do the same thing you do to spinach."  Which then made us both laugh, because really, he knows me well enough to know that I wouldn't know what to do with spinach if you held a gun to my head.

But, as it happens, there was a recipe in the weekly paper for "kale chips", so I followed that, toasted up some kale (with a shitload of salt, but that's beside the point right now), and ate it for dinner.  And I did OK.  I got to almost the end of the pile on my plate, when I started to gag and had to drown the rest in ranch dressing.  But, I did clear the plate, and I was feeling rather proud of myself, so I downed one of my new iron pills, brushed the chunks of kale out of my teeth (that shit sticks like glue), grabbed a diet Coke, and headed downtown to the radio station to get some work done.

Well.  I got halfway down the highway, and thanks to that frickin' little iron pill, the urge to vomit hit me so hard I honestly wasn't sure what to do and was contemplating if it would be possible to drive and puke at the same time because I really, truly did not think I was going to have time to pull over.  But I took a deep breath, puffed my cheeks out like a blowfish, got ahold of myself, pulled to the side of the road, and dry-heaved for five minutes into an empty grocery bag.


And THEN, I got to work (and this next part could be a little too much information for you, so maybe stop reading now if you don't want to know, though really, this whole post could be filed under TMI, so whatever), and I started to burp like CRAZY!  What the hell, kale!?!?  Do ALL vegetables do this to people!?  Seriously!  This is why vegetables suck, and nobody should eat them ever!!!

I will end this post with nothing but a big, long, sad, exasperated, poor-me, "SIGH"!!!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I'll admit - this post doesn't paint me in the best light.

Sometimes (OK, fine, lots of times, WHATEVER), I say really stupid things.  I documented a few recent conversations, for your reading pleasure.  I wish these were made-up.  Unfortunately, they are not.  Please enjoy.  And know that I really am a somewhat intelligent person.  OK.  With that, here we go...

After seeing a movie with a friend where Jessica Alba works with penguins, I came home to Shawn and said, "Did you know that penguins are SMALL????"

Shawn: "Yeah, what are you talking about?"

Me: "Penguins are LITTLE!!!  Like, sort of knee-high!!!"

Shawn: "...Yes, Jamie.  They're birds."

Then, I kind of think he was afraid to, but he asked me how big I thought penguins were.  And the answer (which I am NOT proud of, by the way), is that I always thought penguins were human-sized.  IT'S NOT MY FAULT.  I have only ever seen penguins on like, the Discovery Channel or dumb kids' movies, and there are NEVER any humans around to compare them to, so I truly was surprised when Jessica Alba was surrounded by all these little midget penguins in this movie.  I honestly thought they were some kind of breed of dwarf penguins or something.  This was a couple years ago and to this day I have never been allowed to forget the fact that I thought penguins were the size of a grown-up person.  Shawn also informed me during that conversation that penguins can't actually tap dance, like they do in "Happy Feet."  I think he thought he was being funny.  I just thought he was being mean.


A couple months ago, we were all driving towards Hope, BC, which is very lush and green all the time.

AJ: "Where did all these trees come from?"

Shawn: "What do you mean?"

AJ: "Well, you know, there are so many.  How did they get there?"

This is the part where I should have just shoved more Pringles and Sour Patch Kids into my mouth, instead of opening it to speak.  But no.  I brilliantly say:

"Hey, that's a good question actually.  How DID all those trees get there?  I mean, that's an awful lot of trees!  Like, they are EVERYWHERE, people are super hard at work, or that is some kind of fancy planting machine!"

Shawn doesn't say anything at first, he just takes his eyes off the road long enough to stare at me like he can't quite believe what just came out of my mouth.  Then:

Shawn: "Oh, honey.  You DO know how trees work, don't you???"

Me: "Uh.  Yes??????"

Shawn: "OK, how?"

Me: "Um, well.  They get planted."

Shawn: "By who?"

Me: "Um.  Tree planters??? Or machines??"  *

Shawn is now regretting the decision he made, all those years ago, to knock up someone - TWICE - who doesn't even understand how trees work.

And then, my sweet little (jerk) of a son says:

"MOM!  The seeds fall OFF the trees and RE-PLANT!!  Sometimes the seeds stick to ANIMALS and then when the animal moves, they fall off and get planted!  OR, they fall off of PEOPLE and get planted!!!"


I guess it's just one of many more situations to come, where my kids get to prove that they are significantly smarter than I am.


Shawn: "Hey, did you see the whole thing about Britney Spears** and the Mars Rover?"

Me: "What?  Mars Rover?"

Shawn: "Yeah."

Me: "What the hell are you talking about?"

Shawn: "Well, I guess Britney tweeted something about the Mars Rover..."

Me (interrupting): "What is a Mars Rover?"

Shawn (blinking uncomprehendingly): "....are you being serious right now?"

Me: "Well.  Yes?"

Shawn: "OH MY GOD.  WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU.  The Mars Rover!!  The robot they put on Mars to take pictures?!?!  Ringing any bells?  It's KIND OF been a big news story lately?"

Me:  "Well I've never heard of such a thing.  How did they even do that?  It sounds like a hoax to me."

Shawn: "Holy shit.  NO, Jamie.  It's not a hoax.  I'll keep it simple for you.  They launched it into Space, and it landed on Mars.  And now it's there to take pictures."

Me: "THAT IS SO BOGUS.  And who's 'they???'  Whatever.  As if 'they' can launch a robot into Space and have it land EXACTLY on Mars.  No way."

Shawn: "JAMIE.  Yes.  It happened.  It's done.  That's what rocket scientists are for."

Me: "Yeah, OK, like Angry Birds.  Just LAUNCH it into Space, and ooooh looky there, it hits right where you want it to, ELEVENTY BILLION MILES AWAY.  Whatevs."

Shawn (his eyes are rolling, he's wishing he never even started this stupid conversation, and he's once again wondering WHY he chose to reproduce with this dummy): "Yes, dear.  It's exactly like Angry Birds.  And this whole crazy shenanigan was planned and executed by the human-sized penguins and the men who planted ALL THE GODDAMN TREES BETWEEN KAMLOOPS AND VANCOUVER.  It's pretty much like a remote control car, this silly 'Mars Rover' business.  In fact, I think they had garden gnomes at Master Control..."

I think he might be making that last part up.

*If I may, I'd like to just defend myself by saying that once I thought about it for a minute, it did occur to me that trees can self-seed.  I JUST DON'T DO WELL UNDER PRESSURE, OK!?!!?

**I am a die-hard-forever Britney Spears fan.  Oh, yes I am.  I can admit it proudly and without shame.  I love her.  I even made Shawn go to her concert with me.  She can shave her head and walk around with her lady-junk exposed and sleep with weirdos all she wants, I will still love her forever and I KNOW if we ever met in real life we would totally be besties.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Kootenay Lovin'.

We just returned from a trip to the Kootenays.  It was super awesome.  We stayed with friends at a mobile home resort-park-type-thing on Kootenay Lake, and even thought the lake was FRICKIN' cold, it was still so fun.  The kids didn't give a crap that the water was -20 (OK, give or take a few degrees, whatever), they just hopped right in and played on the beach for hours.  We grown-ups watched, and drank beer, and ate all sorts of awesome junky food, and played cards, and read, and just kicked back.  It was SUCH a good time.

Now, as you may know, the West Kootenay is mine and Shawn's old stompin' grounds.  I lived in Castlegar for 7 years, Shawn for 5.  We moved to Kamloops six years ago this November, but we haven't been back to the area in a really long time.  And let me tell you, it was a TRIP being back there.  I was actually shocked at how many memories instantly came flooding back.  The winding two-lane highway between Kelowna and Rock Creek that I drove more times than I can count.  The delicious deli sandwiches at the Rock Creek General Store that are so good, Shawn and I used to starve ourselves for the entire day when we knew we were heading to Kamloops, just so we could eat a bunch of them.  Heading through Greenwood, the "smallest city in BC", and stopping at the Copper Eagle bakery, which has the most ridiculously delicious baked goods.  Then came Grand Forks, and past the cemetery where my Baba is buried; and then beautiful, warm Christina Lake.  And the minute we started the descent from the summit of the good ol' Blueberry Paulson, with all the Albertans and the truckers and the old people that drive 50 km/hr on that highway then somehow manage to speed up to 130 when they hit a passing lane so you can't even get around them, I was a hit by a wave of nostalgia that, frankly, completely threw me.  I was not expecting to feel such warmth towards this little town that I couldn't wait to leave six years ago.

When we made the decision to leave the Kootenays, a lot of factors contributed to our choice.  Most importantly, with two small kids, we needed to be closer to family.  Also, neither of us were interested in raising our kids in a small town - we wanted them to be able to have lots of choices when it came to schools, and activities, and friends.  Shawn grew up in Calgary, and I lived in Vancouver for a couple of years, and we knew for certain that we did not want to be in a large city.  Small-ish without being teeny-tiny, lots of choices, beautiful climate, and family - Kamloops fit the bill perfectly, and I can honestly say that every single day for the last 6 years I have been thankful we made the decision to come here.

So you know what was totally weird??

I found myself checking out real estate in Castlegar, and wanting to go back!!!

Shawn told me I'd have to go with my new husband, but whatever.  I can deal with him later.  He's pretty easy to trick.

Even Mackenzie was all like, "hey, let's move here for a year!  Let's just try it!"  And I thought it was funny that out of all the cities and towns we've taken our kids to, this one really seemed to resonate with her.  I don't know if it's because she genuinely liked it, or because she knew that I was feeling so drawn to it, but either way, she has definitely never said anything before about living anywhere else.

I've thought a lot about why I felt the way I did when we rolled in to town, and really, it boils down to this: I "grew up" in Castlegar.  Yeah, I was raised in Kamloops, and yeah, I went to school in Vancouver, but Castlegar?  THAT is the place where shit got real.

I started my very first real job, in my chosen field of broadcasting.

I started paying my own way through life - no more sponging off mom and dad (I still remember the first time I went to the local Safeway and bought groceries with my OWN money.)

I started renting a place, all by myself.  I lived alone, and I paid the bills myself.  And yeah - I had to learn to budget!

I met Shawn.  That went well, so...

We got married.

We bought our first house (a tiny little bungalow on 7th Avenue that we paid a whopping $100,000 for, and just about passed out signing the mortgage papers because it was SOOOOOO MUCH MONEY!!!!)

We (actually, I) had our kids.

We made grown-up decisions, all by ourselves.

And all of that, and so much more, is enough to make me see the huge amount of importance that that little area of the world holds for me.  It is very weird to contemplate how different my life would be now, had I not spent seven years of my life in Castlegar.  I know we'll never leave where we are now; when it comes down to it, we are truly happy here.  But at the same time, rolling through a city that you didn't even realize holds so much meaning in your life, after 5 years away, is a very cool experience.

So, much love to you, West Kootenay area of BC.  It certainly won't be another 5 years before our next visit.

Friday, August 10, 2012

"5 Things Friday" goes to the dentist.

I had to go to the dentist yesterday.

Normally, I actually like going to the dentist.  I like having my teeth cleaned, and getting to just lay there for an hour, half-asleep and drooling in this fancy reclining chair, while the hygenist chats away and I don't even have to make conversation back.  Then I get to leave, feeling rather rested, with bright shiny teeth and a brand-new toothbrush and pack of dental floss that I got for FREE!  Dentists, for the most part, are pretty OK in my world.

Yesterday, however, was different.  Yesterday, I had to get a filling.

We've talked before about what a wimp I am, and I wish I were exaggerating, but unfortunately, I'm not.

Here are five reasons why I'm sure my dentist never wants to see me ever again:

1.  I WAS WORSE THAN A CHILD.  I told her the minute I sat in the chair, "I don't like needles."  She was like, OK, no biggie, we'll start numbing your mouth with this topical cream right now and let it sit for a bit.  She started that process, then LEFT ME ALL ALONE IN THE CHAIR FOR 15 MINUTES.  So, naturally, I spent those 15 minutes freaking the F out.  I could literally feel my anxiety bubbling up, and I tried to push it down, but it was taking over and I was, truth be told, absolutely mentally losing it.  I tried to keep it all in my head and not show it on my face, because, you know, I'm a GROWN-UP and all, but the minute she walked back in to the room, I started to cry.  Yes.  I CRIED.  She hadn't even said anything yet, but I took one look at her, and cried like a four-year-old.  I was blubbering like a fool, snot bubbles and all.  It was humiliating.  Then...

2.  I HYPERVENTILATED.  Yes.  I sure did.  She started the needle, and I started breathing very loud and very fast until she finally stopped the needle and said, listen, you freakshow, settle the hell down, you're embarrassing yourself and scaring all the children in this office with your ridiculous sobbing, stop being such a goddamn baby.  (OK, fine, maybe she didn't say all that out loud.  But she said it with her eyes.  I know what she was thinking!)

3.  I VIOLATED HER STUFFY.  She asked if I wanted to hold something, and I nodded frantically.  So, she handed me a little green stuffed froggie.  I asked her if it was laced with a tranquilizer, or maybe something I could snort that would knock me out.  She just stared at me for a minute, then started up again with that blasted needle.  So, I held that stupid frog like it was my lifeline, for an hour and a half, and then realized when it was all over that I had the stupid thing practically wedged between my boobs, thanks to the position I had folded my arms into during one of my freakouts.  Poor Froggie.  I was very hot, and very sweaty thanks to the nerves, and he just saw too much that day.

4.  I QUESTIONED HER ABILITY.  About halfway through, I asked her if she was sure she was doing it right.  I started babbling, with my mouth half-frozen, about a bad dentist I once had who screwed up while giving me a filling and I ended up needing a root canal and I really don't want that to happen ever again because THAT was not even a tiny bit fun, so please, please Dentist Lady, please do this filling right, because if I have to have another root canal I. WILL. DIE.

5.  I MADE A RIDICULOUS EXIT.  The minute she pulled off that awful rubber dental dam and said, "you're done!", I didn't say, "oh, great, thank you," like any normal grown woman would.  No, instead, I dropped the little green boob-froggie and said, "OH MY GOD, I REALLY NEED TO GO PEE!"  Then I bolted from the chair and out of the office, leaving her and the hygenist, totally flabbergasted, looking on.

Just for the record, my dentist is awesome.  I'm sure she was behind schedule the entire day thanks to me, and she was very patient and kind and understanding through all of my drama.  Thanks, Dr. N.  I'm sure we both hope that I won't need any more fillings, like, EVER again.

Oh, and you might want to throw Froggie through the washing machine.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

(No) Iron Woman.

My face has been a totally angry raging crack whore since the Spring.  It's super annoying.  I'm almost 34 years old, for God's sake, and this shit has been breaking out like I'm 14, seriously, I feel like if it weren't for the wrinkles and the minivan and the giant mom-purse filled with goldfish crackers and McDonalds toys, I'd be getting carded at the liquor store because of it.

It wasn't clearing up no matter what I did, so when I finally couldn't stand it anymore, I headed over to my doctor to find out what the hell is going on.  He sent me for some blood work, and it turns out I am "severely anemic."

Hmmmm.  Would it be weird to admit that I kind of like having a disease???  Yeah, I know it's not a real disease, and I had absolutely no symptoms besides the acne to indicate that anything was out of whack, but really, minor details.  I've never had anything wrong with me that had a 'name' before.  So then I was like, "oh Shawn, I really need you to rub my back, I'm severely anemic, you know."  Or, "I know I totally cut that guy off in traffic, but it's not my fault, it's the anemia taking over."  Or, "what do you mean you're going golfing today!?  HOW could you leave your poor, SEVERELY ANEMIC wife behind for FIVE WHOLE HOURS?!?!?!"  Or, "excuse me, ma'am, I know this has been a very long lineup, but I'm severely anemic, I'd really appreciate it if you'd let me go the bathroom ahead of you??"

I'll let you imagine how long this routine lasted.

Yeah.  Like 20 minutes.  Turns out people don't have a lot of sympathy for those of us who are severely anemic.


Anyway, the doctor was like, "listen lady, if you don't get some iron into your system lickety-split, you're going to need shots in your ass twice a month to get your levels up."  And you may remember how I feel about THAT type of thing, so I marched myself to a drugstore and hooked me up with some daily multi-vitamins, because if you think for one second that I am ever going to eat liver and spinach, you are off your goddamn rocker.  THIS is the part where I remind you how hard my diet sucks.  I mean, I love it, but really, it's hardly what one would call "balanced".  Not many people can eat the shit I eat and still be normal functioning human beings.  I actually secretly pride myself on my cast-iron stomach.  I can eat anything, and I do not get sick.  Fat, maybe, but never sick.

So, imagine my surprise when I took one of those innocent-looking multi-vitamins, and immediately proceeded to hightail it to the bathroom and violently retch my brains out.


But, visions of needles in my ass and trying to choke down a slab of liver were still dancing in my head, so I dusted myself off and powered through.  I continued to take them, and I think I'm finally beating the vitamins.  I can take them without feeling queasy now.

I do hope the acne decides to piss off as a result.

But I still want to keep my disease!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Writer's block.

Remember that time I was all, "hey, I'm gonna start a blog!"  And then I did it, and I posted a few times, and lots of people told me they enjoyed it, and then I'd post again, and I'd be so happy I'd written something, and people would be like "OMG I totally read your blog and I agree with you/disagree with you/think you're funny/think you're a lunatic", etc, and it was all just well and fun?

Yeah.  Me neither.  That was a long time ago.

I've had some big-time writers block lately!

There have been so many things I've wanted to write about over the past few weeks.

I started 50 Shades of Grey.  I wanted to blog about the fact that I absolutely hate it.  I HATE IT.  It is so horribly written.  Did this book even have an editor?!?  I hate the storyline.  I think Ana is a shit character.  I think the sex is awful, because I hate the dominant/submissive thing.  And for the LOVE of GOD, E.L. James, choose some new ways to describe something!!!  How many times can Ana possibly 'bite her lip'?  She'd better be careful, or it's going to turn into an infected bloody mess when she chews right through that thing.  I don't understand the appeal of this book in any way, shape or form. Period.

My daughter turned 8.  I wanted to do a special post about her.  I sat down to write it, and ... NOTHING.  I had nothing.  So, here I am now, almost three weeks later, saying HAPPY BIRTHDAY, my sweet girl.  I love you to forever, I can't believe you've only been in my life for 8 years, and having you, quite simply, just makes my life better.  Watching you grow is nothing short of amazing and I can't believe how grown-up and independent you are becoming.  You are a beautiful, smart, determined, sensitive little girl; you are so sweet and so loving to your family and your friends; and I know you are going to carry all of those traits, and so many more, into all of your journeys that lie ahead.  I love the child you are now, and I look so forward to watching you evolve into the young adult you will (much too soon) become.

We just went on vacation for a week.  Before we left, I wanted to write about family vacations.  About the time we went camping when I was about 8 and I fell out of a tent trailer while I was sleeping and STAYED ASLEEP, while my mom held my legs and my dad pulled me out from under the canvas part that wraps around the bottom of the trailer.  Or the time we went to my aunt and uncle's cabin in the winter and we were playing in the snow and all of a sudden about 65 billion tons of snow came ripping off the A-frame roof of the cabin and buried my brother and me up to our chests.  Or, the trip to West Edmonton Mall when I was in Grade 6 and I bought this super awesome can of hairspray that made my super awesome mall-bangs stand straight up off my head (I was ALL KINDS of cool, don't ever let anyone tell you any different!)  And then we got older, and the trips moved to Las Vegas and Phoenix and California, and how much fun we had, and how I barfed on every plane ride, and how one time when I was about 15 I stood up the minute the plane hit the ground and literally shoved an old woman out of my way just so I could be the first one to get off of that giant flying metal death trap; and how family vacations are such a mixture of fun and excitement and craziness and anticipation and memories.

So, yeah.  I wanted to write about these things, and more.  But for some reason the words weren't coming.  Hopefully, they're back.  I promise not to be a shit blogger anymore and will update more regularly.

Thanks for your patience.

Especially you, L. ;)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Team Summer!

I freaking love summer.

I know, shocking, right??

But seriously, this is a fairly new development for me.  Up until pretty recently, I was always on Team Winter.  I used to (stupidly) love the colder weather and shorter days.  I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME!!  But, the important thing is that I've now come to my senses and realized that I belong in warm weather, all the time, and if I never have to see the temperature dip below 25C ever again I would be one happy Momma.  I've actually been putting a lot of thought into this, trying to figure out what made me switch teams. I think having kids contributed to it; it's a lot easier to go anywhere without having to load up with everyone's coats and sweaters and boots and mitts and toques and scarves and OH MY GOD I am starting to feel anxious just thinking about it all.  I also started realizing winter kind of sucked when I had to start shoveling my own driveway.  Then, we started spending more time in Arizona, and I think that is what really solidified it for me - winter blows, and I clearly have no business living in Canada!  I have spent far too much time researching real estate in Scottsdale and if it wasn't such a giant pain in the ass to move to a different country, and if my husband could get a job down there that paid more that 10 bucks an hour, and if I didn't have to like, get a Visa and take a test about past presidents and wars and shit, and promise to be a good American and all of that jazz, I swear I would pack up everything and move there in a heartbeat, just to be able to be warm ALL THE TIME.

But, alas, here we are in the Great White North, and I guess that means I have to deal with winter.  And I know I can't complain; we've got it good up here.  It just means that I have every intention of taking full advantage of all things summer while the hot weather is here!

Things like the Slip 'N Slide:

And super-cute Maxi Dresses:

And celebrating good friends getting married:

And swimming as much as we possibly can:

And golfing:

And scootering around at 8:30pm in full sunshine, wearing pajamas, flip flops, and the coolest helmet ever:

And frequent, long trips to the playground:

And drinking delicious green vodka slush in the hot sun:

And EPIC temperatures:

And holidays with the family that end in everyone exhausted and happy; and trips to the beach that end with sand in horrible places; and barbecues with friends that end with tipsy goodbyes and promises to do it again soon; and heading down to Music in the Park with a blanket and some ice cream and enjoying the warm nights; and putting the sprinkler on the trampoline and kind of jump-sliding around on it; and sitting out on the patio until you realize you have no idea what time it is and didn't even notice that it had gotten dark; and bike rides and cold beer and ponytails and tank tops and no makeup and dark suntans and the smell of the kids' sunscreen and the fact that they are outside 90% of the time that they are awake.

Happy Summer, y'all.

And be sure to stop by anytime for a cold beer or a big fat glass of slushy vodka.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I need a new title.


"Hey, Mom, guess what? I have an itchy foot."

"Momma, I know what 30 plus 5 equals!"

"Mom, where do mushrooms grow?"

"Momma, can we go to the pool today?"

"Hey, Mom, watch this!!!!"

"You know what Mommy, I really love marshmallows."


"Mommmmmmmmmm!!! Please tell AJ to leave me alone!"

"Mommmmmmmmmm!!!  Please tell Mackenzie to let me play with her!"

"Mom, I can read this book you know, it's a super hard one.  Want to hear it?  Mom?  MOM?!?  WANT TO HEAR ME READ THIS BOOK??  MOM!!!"

"Mom!!  I need help wiping my bum!"

"Hey Momma, what are we doing today?"

"How many mosquito bites do I have, Mommy?"

"Momma, my Hot Wheels are all lined up in the McDonald's drive-thru."

"Momma, my Barbies are having a dance show."

"Let's listen to Drive By again, Mom!"

"I don't need clothes today, Momma, just my bathing suit!"

"Mom, did you know that the place with the most redheads is Scotland!"


Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom.  All of the above took place within about 12 seconds of my kids waking up this morning.  I love being a mommy more than anything but I swear to God if I hear my name one more time I am going to either jump out the window, or get really really drunk, or make the kids give me a quarter every time they say any variation of the word MOM.

It's gonna be a long summer!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

This makes me feel better.

I'm sick.

I know, right?!  It's frickin' July.  Who gets sick in JULY?!

Since about 5:00 yesterday afternoon, I've felt like I got hit by a semi, and it's progressively gotten worse.  As I write this, I'm in head-to-toe fleece; my eyes are red, half-closed, and running; my head feels like it's going to explode; the simple act of swallowing my spit makes me want to cry; and I have a tissue shoved up each nostril.

For real, y'all, I am a total babe right now.

We were in Vancouver for the weekend.  At one point, we took the skytrain into the city.  I am totally blaming this bout of complete disgusting-ness on the stupid skytrain.  Even though I thoroughly drenched myself in hand sanitizer, clearly Bath and Body Works is no match for the dirty slimy crawling infestation of germs that is public transit.  **shudder**

Now, normally, I am a pretty good sick person.  I am pretty good at sucking it up.  This evening, however, I had zero interest in "sucking it up".  Shawn and his buddy headed out to a movie at 7:20, leaving me and my pile of snot rags to care for the kids, so I really can't say I was all that sad for him when he came back in the door at 7:45 and told me it was sold out.  I passed the little darlings off to him, and promptly crawled onto the couch with a giant fleece blanket (yep, more fleece, I look like a goddamn hypothermia victim), a big box of tissues, and my iPhone.

And I did what is guaranteed to make me feel better:  I headed over to YouTube.

Now, because I just feel selfish keeping this kind of awesomeness to myself, I would like to share with you my most favorite videos on YouTube.  These literally make me laugh so hard that I can't breathe, and then I start to choke and a little bit of pee comes out.  True story.  Maybe don't sit on my living room couch.  Or use my fleece blanket.

ANYWAY, I'm not going to post the link, because I have no clue if I am legally allowed to do that, and you know, I hardly have time to Google that information, and I REALLY don't have time to get involved in some sort of crazy Internet legal battle over copyright laws, so you're just going to have to do the work yourself.  And trust me when I say, this shit is WORTH IT.  Here are the steps:

Go to YouTube.


You will see 4, 2-minute videos.

Watch them (#2 is the funniest).

Pee your pants.

You're welcome.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Thank God it's OVER!

Well, that's it.

The end of another school year.

I guess technically, tomorrow's the end.  But really, I hardly think an hour and a half of assembly time, with recess, snack, desk and locker cleaning, and dismissal at noon counts as a school day!

This year was...uh...well, it was...interesting.

My son started Kindergarten.  In the beginning, he was all set to go into the full Kindergarten class at the school.  But thanks to some late registration and general administration kerfluffle, they ended up having to add a K/1 split class.  And despite my several pleading requests, both in writing and verbally, to please keep him in the full K, he got placed in the split.  I was pissed.  He was emotionally immature (in my opinion) and he also has a late birthday, so he was still 4 for the first two months of school - and in a class with Grade 1's.  Instead of having 22 peers his own age in his classroom, he only had 6.  I was pretty upset, but I managed to keep Momma Bear in check, and decided it is what it is, and he will be fine.  And he was fine...he was more than fine.  He still made lots of friends from the other class, and academically (that word makes me laugh when we're talking about 5-year-olds!) he is doing extremely well.  So it's good.  It's all good.

In September, my daughter started Grade 2.  Her Grade 1 experience was absolutely fantastic; it was her first year at this school, the teachers were great, and she instantly clicked with a bunch of girls in her class.  Everything about her Grade 1 year was really, really, super.  So, like a bunch of dummies, we headed in to Grade 2 thinking it would be the same.

Big, big mistake.

You know how they say to never assume anything?  Well, they're right.

That whole late-registration thing threw the whole frickin' school into a tizzy for the entire first week of September.  And when the class lists were finally posted, my daughter was completely separated from her peers.  In fact, they could not have made her feel more alone if they had tried.  Out of the 11 little girls in her Grade 1 class, NINE of them had been placed in the other Grade 2 class, and TWO of them in Mackenzie's.  Her, and one other girl.  The REST were together, and MY CHILD was separated.  It should be noted here that not only was she split from her girlfriends, but also a few boys that she had gotten close to as well.  She walked into her Grade 2 classroom completely alone, while 9 (!!!) of her friends walked into their classroom, all together, on the other side of the school.

And you know what I did?

I lost my goddamn mind.

I had what you might call a "complete f***ing temper tantrum" in the principal's office, and went full-out Momma Bear on his ass.  It was awful, and in retrospect, completely embarrassing.  I cried.  I swore.  I accused him of not paying one bit of attention to the class lists.  I told him that it looked like he made it his mission to alienate my child.  I demanded to know how it was even possible to have such an uneven split.  My rational mind knew that she'd been placed with a wonderful teacher, and that she was going to have to face this life experience at some point, but all I wanted to do was stomp my feet, demand that she be moved, shove the principal out of the way, march over to Mackenzie's new classroom, drag her out, and put her in the classroom with her friends.  But, of course, I didn't.  Which is probably a good thing; I'm pretty sure that shoving the principal would be grounds for a restraining order and permanent dismissal from the school forever.  When I finally stopped crying, like, five days later, I thought - OK - she is a strong little girl, and she is going to be fine.

But here's the thing: I don't actually think she was fine.

She made new friends, she absolutely LOVES her teacher, and I know she had a great classroom experience.  We could not have asked for anything better on that front.

But socially, she is shy.  And we worked really hard on her friendships in Grade 1.  And approaching a group of people is very hard for her to do.  And she felt more and more distanced from her friends with every passing school day.  And at least once a week, for an entire school year, she would tell me that she missed her friends and wished she were with them.  It broke my heart, and it still does, and I will never, ever forget the mixture of sadness and rage I felt when I looked at that class list for the first time.  She still had lots of playdates with her old buddies, and birthday parties and sleepovers and stuff like that, but she wasn't with them every day on the school yard, even though she really, really wanted to be.  I literally feel physical pain when I think about it.

So to say that I'm glad this year is over?

Giant understatement.

Friday, June 22, 2012

5 things that are making me stupider.

I decided the other night to sit down and bust through a few shows I had PVR'd over the past few weeks.  I hit "LIST" to see what was on there, and then I laughed out loud.  My taste in TV shows is really rather embarrassing, and I'm quite certain that I kill a significant number of brain cells with every episode I watch.


1. My 600-lb Life.  So obviously, this is about people who are 600 (or more) pounds.  And they can't leave the house, or get themselves dressed, or get up to go pee, or roll over, or do ANYTHING, and frankly, it's fascinating.  Whenever I feel like a fat mess (which happens to be frequently, as of late), I turn this show on, and I instantly feel better.  It's like whenever I feel like my house is out of control, I just check out an episode of Hoarders.  Which doesn't help with getting the house cleaned, you know, because I'm very busy sitting on my ass watching TV, shoving Cheezies into my pie-hole - but hey, at least my house doesn't look like that, and I'm not 600 pounds!

2. Gene Simmons Family Jewels.  I've always gotten a kick out of this show.  It's always been fun, but lately, it got a little more serious - there's a lot about the family in therapy, and Gene Simmons' indiscretions with multitudes of women over the past bunch of years.  One episode revolved around a key that his wife, Shannon, found in their garage, which turned out to be for a safety deposit box that held like 12 portfolios, hundreds of pages in each, with thousands of pictures of naked women he had taken with a Polaroid over the years.  Is this good for their marriage?  Of course not.  Is it quality television programming?  Oh, HELL yes.  But the real question here is, SERIOUSLY?!  Have these women SEEN Gene Simmons??  Like actually LOOKED at him??  He ain't pretty, folks.  Not even a little.

3. Sister Wives.  We've talked about this one before.  I need sister wives.  I really, really do.  My friends and I do something that we call "Fun Friday", where a bunch of us gather at someone's house with all of our kids, they run around and play and have a great time, and we mommies eat our faces off and drink wine and visit.  It's so fun.  But I had to leave Drunk Friday early today, stone-cold sober, so I could take Mackenzie to piano lessons.  If I had sister wives, I would've just sent her off with one of them, stayed at the shindig, and really made something out of Drunk Friday.  See?  YET ANOTHER REASON WHY SISTER WIVES ARE A GENIUS SOLUTION TO ALL OF YOUR FAMILY PROBLEMS.

4. My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.  This shit is bananas.  I love it.  I can't believe it's real.  I can't believe people live like this.  Where do they get the money for all of their fancy stuff?  Those insane wedding dresses must be like $40,000 each.  They might live in travel-trailers, but still.  They have very expensive clothes, very expensive cars, and just a very extravagant lifestyle, and they certainly don't seem to do anything that looks like it would be enough to pay for such a lifestyle.  It's mind-blowing.  Since my kids were babies I have always used the threat, "If you don't stop (hitting, biting, talking back, taking your clothes off at inappropriate times, kicking me, kicking your brother, etc), I am going to send you to live with the gypsies."  But I've had to stop using that one with Mackenzie, because she's seen enough of the show to know that those people have the BEST DRESSES EVER (to a 7-year-old) and would gladly ditch us to go live with them, just for the chance to wear an 80-pound floofy giant glitter-bombed dress shaped like a peacock that lights up with 1000 tiny Christmas lights with every move she makes.

5. Monster-In-Laws.  Seriously, just watch it.  Then go and hug your inlaws, no matter how freaking nuts they are, and thank them for being SO NORMAL.

Oh, and hey, guess what:  BIG BROTHER STARTS JULY 12!

Clearly there is no hope for me.

I should probably go buy more Cheezies.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mommy's feeling crazy right now...

Do you ever feel like you want to crawl into a hole, any hole, even if it's filled with angry carpenter ants, just to hide from your kids?  Are you guilty of locking yourself in the bathroom and sitting in an empty bathtub, just to get five seconds of silence?  Have you found yourself bringing beer (or perhaps something stronger) in a metal travel mug to their soccer games?  Did you spend any time last week crying on your kitchen floor because they're JUST SO GODDAMN DIFFICULT THAT YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THE HELL TO DO ANYMORE?!?!

If your answer to any of the above is "yes", then congratulations, my humble opinion you are 100% normal.  If you answered "no", you are either a) NOT a momma; b) you are a very NEW momma; or c) you spend most of your life drunk and oblivious.

Again - just my humble opinion.

So the reason behind this post, is my 5-year-old son.  My sweet, loving, adorably handsome, brilliant little boy.  I love that kid more than words could ever describe.  I am guilty of making him promise me that he will always love me more than he loves his wife.  Shawn says I'm traumatizing him by doing this.  I don't care.  He's my baby boy, and dammit, he always will be.

And sometimes?  He is a giant shit.

Lately, it's been especially bad.  It's hard sometimes to really pinpoint exactly what it is he does that makes me so crazy, but it's mostly just general behavioral and lack of respect issues, and it is constant.  I will ask him to do something non-negotiable, such as brush his teeth before school; he will argue with me over it (little side note here, NOTHING pisses me off more than having something like that argued.  You do not have a choice in this.  Brushing your teeth before school is mandatory and it is a battle you will never win.  So why, oh why, are you fighting me on it?!?!)  I will try to hug him; he will punch me in the arm and giggle.  I will send him for a time out; he will stick his tongue out at me, or make this spitting motion and sound without actually spitting at me.  And this one is a teeny-tiny bit funny now, but at the time it sure wasn't: last week after soccer, he came into the house, stripped down to nothing but his shin pads and soccer socks, and started shakin' his thang in the front window.  WHO DOES THAT!?!?  Seriously!!!  WTF??

And what's especially frustrating is that this kid is the textbook definition of a perfect student when he is at school.  I had one teacher tell me she wishes she "had a classroom full of AJ's."  Another informed me that he is the role model for the other students in the class.  And it needs to be noted that these comments are not one-off's - I get this A LOT.  Eventually, instead of making me happy and proud, like they did in the beginning, these comments from his teachers and coaches actually started to really piss me off.  WHO is this kid?  And WHY do I never, ever get to have him?  Why do they get this perfect child, and I get someone who I am constantly fighting with?  He pulls shit with me that he would never even dream of doing with his teachers, the principal, his coaches, his grandparents, and so on.  Everybody else gets this model child, and I get a brat - all. the. time.

I've taken away his Wii and iPad privileges.  He doesn't care.

I've taken away his special blanket.  He doesn't care.

I made him sit out the first five minutes of his soccer game yesterday.  He still got to play after that, so he doesn't care.

I've made him stay in his room alone for hours on end while Mackenzie and I enjoy some fun activity.  Say it with me now - He. Doesn't. Care.

We started a reward system using uncooked pasta noodles (25 noodles and they get a prize).  Mackenzie has 21.  AJ has 3.  He keeps losing them, thanks to his craptastic behavior.  And yep, you guessed it - he doesn't care.

I'm out of ideas, I'm at a loss, and I'm really, really f***ing frustrated (hence the crying fit in my kitchen last Wednesday.  It wasn't pretty, and if there was ever a time I felt like I had no right to be a mother, it was that moment.)  I know he understands.  I know he's aware of how he's behaving.  I know that he knows how to behave appropriately, because he does it at school and with his sports teams.  He understands right from wrong and he knows damn well what he's doing.

He just refuses to exhibit any sort of appropriate behavior when he is with me.  And my patience with him is totally gone.  I'm not proud of this, and frankly it's embarrassing to have no idea what to do with your own child.  But it's the truth.  I am starting to feel like I might actually be losing my freaking mind.

I was chatting with my friend V about it this morning.  Her kids are young too and she understands.  She had a great piece of advice: whenever you're feeling that mad at him, and you're still mad when he goes to bed, make sure you go back in  his room at some point and watch him sleep.

Tonight?  It kinda worked.

Tomorrow's a new day...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Apparently, it's do-nothing Monday.

I've just returned home from a few days of shopping in the states with my friend J.  It was awesome.  We shopped our asses off.  I'm not even kidding.  We left our hotel room at 9:30 on Friday morning, and we got back at 10:15 that night.  And that didn't even include any time devoted to a real sit-down meal, only a quick (and GIANT) plate of Panda Express at one of the food courts along the way.  I was armed with loads of diet Coke, she had her trusty iced tea at the ready, we ate Auntie Anne's pretzels from the mall kiosks whenever we got hungry, and we just shopped the ENTIRE time.

It was so much fun.

And, of course, as you can imagine, we came home with a ton of new stuff (thank you, Very Important Government People, for changing the border limits!!!)  Clothes for ourselves, clothes for our kids, toys, stuff for our houses, makeup and beauty products, all the awesome junk food and fun groceries we can't get in Canada, cheap alcohol, coolers full of cheese, and so on.  We took full advantage of the Stow'N'Go option in my minivan, and baby, we filled that bitch to the top.

We got home Saturday evening.

And all the shit I bought still isn't unpacked.

Not to mention the fact that Shawn was home alone with the kids while I was gone, and while the house was certainly tidy when I returned home, it definitely wasn't "clean" the way I like it to be (I'm a bit of a freak that way.)

And you know, I thought, oh, well, I'll do it on Sunday.  But Shawn had to work on Sunday, and it didn't seem fair to make the kids entertain themselves while I unpacked and cleaned up.  It seemed like a far better idea to just leave the house in its state of chaos, and go to my parents' nice clean tidy house and sit on my ass over there for much of the day.  Then, Shawn and I went to the Bryan Adams concert last night, so obviously nothing got done then either.  Which is all well and fine, really, considering the fact that my kids have school during the day and I have dick-all to do all day, so I told myself that yes, definitely, for sure I would get all the shit unpacked and the house cleaned today, and I would start as soon as I got home from taking them to school at 8:30.

It's 1:45 right now.

So far, I've put my pajamas back on, climbed back into bed, had a quick power nap, read some of my book, played a little Words With Friends, eaten some pop tarts and half a box of Kraft Dinner, sharpened all the pencil crayons in the kids' craft drawers, texted people, talked on the phone for an hour and a half, and farted around on Facebook.

I have NOT made beds, cleaned the bathrooms, vacuumed, done laundry, unloaded the dishwasher, dusted, or unpacked from the trip I got home from two days ago.

I'm now trying to figure out how to make it LOOK like I actually did something know, without actually having to DO anything...because clearly, getting anything done today just isn't in the cards.

Any ideas???