Saturday, January 31, 2009
I thought of posting something amusing today because Saturday seems to be my favourite day of the week because I can stay in my pajamas all day long and drink coffee and Bailey's and ignore the world around me.
But I came upon this, and I am so glad I did, and yet so very sad.
Little Tuesday Whitt. Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. Such sadness this life brings us, and I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why. And it again reminds me of how extremely lucky we have been with our "Dennis", that this terrible beast has not taken him away from us. What would we do without him, and his smile, his laugh, his happiness, his joy, his "boyness". And I feel so guilty that we have been "chosen" to be one of the fortunate ones who gets to keep their child. I will forever be asking "why?", but I know the answer: no one knows. There is no rhyme or reason. It just is. And that is one of the hardest things to deal with day to day.
I will forever think of little Tuesday every Tuesday from now on, and send little kisses and hugs to her. Please go hug your children right now, and tell them you love them.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Why do I feel this way? Because I've been nominated for my second award! This blogging thing I've gotten into recently is really fun after all! And it seems that people out there are actually reading what I write, and some are even enjoying it! Go figure!
Bon Don over at Who Throws a Cupcake? Honestly so generously gave me this award. Check out her blog here. She's awesome.
Here it is!
Isn't it cool? I am overwhelmed. Truly.
The rule of this award is to now pay it forward, if you will. I have been given the task of choosing seven of my favourite, most beautiful blogging pals to award this same award to. As usual, this is a very difficult task indeed. I believe we are all beautiful. And I really mean that. I'm not trying to be hokey and cheesy and smarmy. Although I do like cheese and a moderate amount of smarm, but only on Wednesdays.
Because this is what I believe, and especially because I am extremely lazy and really don't have the energy to actually sit down and choose seven beautiful bloggers, and like I said, I do believe we are all beautiful, and so choosing only seven out of I-have-no-idea how many would certainly not do anyone justice, and would only make many people feel very very bad about themselves, and I could not live with myself having done that to anyone. So, for that reason, this award goes to...
ALL OF YOU!! Congratulations, my Internet family! You beautiful people, you!
Thursday, January 29, 2009
1. If money was no object, describe how you would make your life more perfect and why?
Oh man, that's a good one! And easy. I would lie in bed all day long, eating bonbons, reading trashy novels, and I'd have three houseboys -- two to serve me the bonbons (I could only find a picture with one houseboy feeding his masteress, so just cross your eyes and you'll see two)
and the third to refill my vodka martini. I'd have a swimming pool like this
2. Where do you see yourself realistically in 10 years and what would you be willing to change to get to your "desired place in life"?
In 10 years, my god, I will be *gulp* 29 years old. HOLY CRAP! Is that even possible?! In 10 years' time, I would love to be working at something I love (i.e. writing), making enough money so that the financial worries are no longer, and volunteering in some way in order to make others' lives easier. I am always willing to change in any way needed to make things work as they should be, although I find that as I get older, it's getting tougher to want to make changes. My kids will be long gone by then as well (I can dream, can't I?), theoretically giving me loads more time to devote to my passions, my volunteer work, and my life in general. Does that sort of answer it? I hope so because I need to lie down now after that question.
3. If you could start all over from Junior High on what occupation would you have chosen and why?
But, if I couldn't get marks high enough to do that, I would still want to be a writer, but knowing now what I needed to know then about writing, I would have gone into something more lucrative and worthy earlier in life, such as medicine or social work. I'd write on the side instead of making it my main focus. I would have also worked harder at getting top marks, instead of not caring quite as much.
4. What one characteristic or quality would you want your kids to have that would make you feel like you had succeeded as a mom and why?
My kids have already made me feel this way. Honestly. The one quality I hold in high regard that they've already got is empathy. They think of others, and usually treat others with the respect and dignity with which they would want to be treated. Can't say this is 100 % of the time, but who can? I do know, however, that they are growing up to be wonderful people, people I'd be proud and honoured to know. To me, this is one of the highest qualities a person can have: treating others as they would like to be treated. It's not easy since so many of us are so wrapped up in our own lives.
5. Tell us how you parent/parented your children that was similiar or totally different than how you were parented? In other words, what did you learn to do or not to do as a parent that your parents did?
Wow, that's a big question, Miss Jill. I can say that I parent NOTHING like my parents did. I am very involved in my kids' lives, more than they'd sometimes like, and I'm always there for them. I was abused physically and mentally in childhood, and in a way I'm thankful for that because it showed me what NOT to do when I had my own children. I could have followed the same path, but I didn't. It was a very conscious choice. It was my big fear when we were expecting our first, and I quickly learned that I could no more do what my mother did than swallow a worm whole. Did that make sense? My dad was a good dad, but he worked a lot, and wasn't "present" and was unable to protect me much of the time. I have vowed, and have kept my promise, to always be in my children's faces, and to remind them daily that I love them. I can only hope I'm doing it right.
Many thanks, Jill Jill Bo Bill! I hope you all enjoyed my interrogation under the lightbulb.
Please take a minute and visit Jill at her site. You won't be sorry!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Mr. Handsome has been extremely busy the past two months and some with some heavy-duty project at work that keeps his little brain smoking and his little fingers typing for hours and hours on end, so he is never available to clean the house for us. When he has weekends off, he normally becomes the Fuhrer and makes the children vacuum, wash floors, tidy cupboards, and make dinners, while he lolls on the couch. Kidding.
So, instead of tidying and cleaning, like any sane person would normally do when her head resembles Linda Blair's at her worst moment ...
after seeing what her own bedroom looks like...
...and I went Internet surfing, because there is nothing that helps me feel better than to look at the many things I could buy for the house to make it all pretty. Of course, afterwards, I get extremely depressed and am then bedridden for weeks on end because I realize that we can't even afford a paperclip at Staples, let alone the box it comes in.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I thought it might be hilariously joyous fun to fill everyone in on the types of searches people have been doing when they end up on this site. I don't quite understand a lot of it, but who am to question the gods of the Internet? No one, that's who.
Here we go:
- mackerel: Pretty obvious, although this site has nothing whatsoever to do with fish, or the sport thereof.
- blow spit bubbles: Ah yes, Brian, my first love, who despised me as I tried to win his love with saliva.
- canadian tire bruce cockburn: Of course, where else would you find him?
- shampoo brands from the early eighties: Someone wants to look like Farrah Fawcett.
- ree drummond kids bikes: I have no idea, although I do love Ree and her site Confessions of a Pioneer Woman. Give her a shout out when you've got a sec!
- what colour is the grinch: I'm still thinking chartreuse.
- nanaimo weather: Not sure what the weather has to do with our little Nanaimo (she's a guinea pig, for god's sake), but whatever floats your boat.
- spit bubbles: Why is someone even searching for information on spit bubbles?
- aniston butt: Don't we all wish.
- shoulder capsular distention: Ouch is my immediate reaction to that search.
- nanaimo sluts: Now I'm getting upset. Our guinea pig is NOT a slut!
- poop flush: Goes without saying.
- nanaimo kung fu: The pig may be athletic and like jumping on top of the wooden house in the cage, but come on! She's just a baby. OK, just try and even imagine a guinea pig doing kung fu, like maybe on Gryphon, our standard poodle. I bet you can't stop laughing, or at least chortling a tiny bit.
- udder cream for face: I thought I was the only weird one.
- the problem with women is men: Again, nothing needs to be said here.
- loop-2-loop belts: Couldn't tell you how that keyword got the person to this site. In fact, I don't even know what the hell loop-2-loop belts are! Anyone? Anyone?
- where did the term holy mackerel come from: Now, that is a good question. Another good question is why do I say it all the time? And why did I use it to name my blog?
- adrienne kress: Does anyone know who this is?
- mark medaglia: Or this? Actually, I know who this is. I had a crush on him a few lifetimes ago. We played street tag for five hours straight one day. But why is his name in a search, and how did that search end up at my site? I find this extremely mysterious, and a little disturbing even. I lock all my doors, windows and clavicles now.
- pornzapp pregnant: Okay then. You figure that one out, people. I give up.
- toxic waste cross stitch: Funny, that's what we call our home much of the time.
- does red lobster sell mackerel: Now that is a good question indeedy, because I love Red Lobster, and mackerel could be nummies with some garlic bread, a side salad and a nice pasta.
- where can i find a nice man in canada: Now there's a question for which I have no answer. Please let me know when you find out. Again, just kidding, dearest husband of mine.
There, that's it for now. There were others, but I thought I'd spare you. You're welcome.
So, we family members were sitting around the other day, ignoring one another as we often do, when I had the bright idea to involve the entire family in a game -- you know, something where we could actually be involved, communicate with one another, and enjoy each other's company. What a concept.
I happened to get a new game through MomFuse and was asked to review it. What better time? I said to myself as I excitedly opened the game up and put it in front of my children and husband.
LoYo! is a card game for players ages seven and up, for two to six players, and takes less than half an hour to play. Perfect. Just what a mother needs for those days when the kids are basically throttling each other's necks! What day isn't like that?
The game is easy enough to learn quickly as well, which makes it that much more fun because you can start playing pretty much right away. Object of LoYo!: have the lowest point score after six rounds. There are surprises around every corner, which we learned as we played our very exciting and scream-filled game. Just when you think you've won, someone can use one of the special cards and everything changes. If you have a heart condition, make sure to have your nitro handy.
This game also includes different versions (LoYo! Challenge and LoYo! Headache), so that you can change things up a bit when you feel the need, and depending on who's playing.
LoYo! is great for children, leaving them with skills like strategy, memorization, and numeration.
LoYo! is part of the World of Pfun, a family-owned business in Ohio, and they've succeeded at creating a game that connects families and is educational at the same time.
We all enjoyed the game a lot, and it was perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon. The kids didn't want to stop playing, even when the pizza was on the table!
Monday, January 26, 2009
But you would too if you kept having flashbacks, making it all come back as if it was again real, kind of like the kiss I had with "Jay Lips" that I really didn't want but was kind of coerced into (long story, other life), and which I now regret. All the time. Because Jay Lips' name was Jay Lips (of course, it's not his real name) because he had the biggest lips in town. They were beyond Angelina Jolie-sized lips. I'm talking blow-up doll lips, like those wax lips we all wore when we were kids and thought everyone believed they were actually our own lips and that we were fooling everyone everywhere. Well, at least I did. Whatever.
The thing that was much worse about Jay Lips was that he wore pants that were about 10 sizes too small for him, and they made his "zone" very obvious, if you know what I mean. You could not, no matter how hard you tried, avert your eyes from his "zone". It's almost like there was a very strong magnet lodged within his mountain range -- I mean,"zone" -- and my eyes could not help but stare. The thing is, it was not enjoyable or the least bit attractive. Because the pants were so tight, they were beyond spray painted on. I'm sure he hasn't been able to have children.
Anyway, back to my reason for this post. I sure do go off on tangents, don't I...
You see, I was one day walking into a medical building, minding my own business as I always do. As I'm about to open the door, I notice this frumpy woman (not that I'm at all judging her) bogged down with a stroller, about 1,342 plastic bags, and a toddler with old milk dried around her mouth.
So, being the amazingly kind and altruistic woman that I am and that people know me for, I opened the door, and instead of walking through it and leaving her to her own devices, I held it open for her and waited for her to exit with her baggage before I started to make my way into the building.
I quickly calculated this was probably not the best decision on my part to have been so kind to this woman and her dog-and-pony show because this woman took her sweet time moving through the doorway with all her paraphernalia, and all I could think to myself, over and over, was, 'I'm going to be late. I'm going to be late,' like Alice in Wonderland. And I don't like to be late. It makes me sweat just thinking about it, because then my mind starts trying to come up with reasons why I'm late, and usually they're all lies. There is usually no reason other than I was too lazy to leave in time.
But this woman seems so nice, she's actually smiling (Michelle Duggar-like -- it was freaky) and she walks by me. She doesn't say "thank you", however, which is what I would expect after holding a very heavy commercial glass door for a very long time for a complete stranger. Wouldn't everyone? Yeah, I thought so. I'm still somewhat bitter about that.
Instead, this woman stops. But, oh no, she doesn't stop after moving out of my way. She stops right in the doorway, just in the way enough that I can't move in or out. I'm stuck, a prisoner of my own device.
She then pulls her flowery frock up her thick, dimpled thighs, crouches down and reaches into one of the trillion plastic bags she has hanging off the stroller. All the while, I'm trying to send her signals with my eyes (now, I know everyone can read eye signals, right?!). But she's ignoring me. Then she says to her little troll standing beside her, "Now Estrellitina Agnes Alora, what do we do for people who show their generosity toward us?"
And that's when I began to sweat. My life flashed before my eyes. I could not believe it. I was going to die. This woman was a nut, and she was about to pull out an Uzi and ram it up my nose and send me to heaven. And I wasn't wearing clean underwear either, I remembered, which only made me sweat more. I have this "thing" about paramedics, and god forbid I need them and not look my best. I'm sure you know what I mean. Because, as all women know, the only thing on hunky paramedics' minds when they are called is to see how hot the patient is, and whether or not she's willing and able. So, as you can see, clean underwear would have been a major bonus at this point in time. Not that I would ever really do anything like that because I am happily married. I love you, dear. Remember, this is just my imagination blathering. Dear?
As all this is going through my mind, the killer pulls out a necklace. Looks like it could be made of emeralds. And she pushes it toward me. I'm assuming I'm supposed to take this jewelry, but I don't dare. I don't know this woman. It is freaking me out. What if the stones are filled with some kind of radioactive poison? Or worse yet, what if she's put some strange witch spell on it, and my life will be even more doomed than it already is?
Then she says, still not really looking at me, "Here. This is what we do when someone does something nice for us. Please take it."
What was I supposed to do? Question her motives? Ask her for id? Pat her and her monkey down?
So I took it. I also said thank you, like any normal person would.
Maybe what I should have done was throw the necklace back her way, exclaiming, "Right back atcha!" as I made a run for the elevator and my freedom.
But then I got this image in my head of us throwing this damn necklace back and forth to each other, and then I missed my doctor appointment, and then after she got tired of it, the flower frock lady pulled out that Uzi and aimed.
So I finally said thank you very much, have a great day, and I ran to the elevator, poisonous voodoo necklace in hand.
The creepy feeling has remained to this day, however, and no matter how hard I try to rid my mind of the thought, there it stays, forever haunting my addled brain.
Now tell me, was this woman normal? Was she a freak? Am I making a huge tumour out of a small cyst? Should I have kept the necklace instead of throwing it into the nearest old lady's open purse and instead tried to make some money selling it on Ebay? Please tell me. Inquiring minds really need to know.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
And the question I pose to you is this: Is it pronounced LEECHEE, or LICHEE? Please help me. And while I'm on the topic, how in hell's name does one do the "strikethrough" text on their blog? I cannot for the life of me figure this tiny detail out.
It's been a storm in this house since Dennis mentioned he wanted some lychee fruit. And since it's my month to get groceries, it's been up to me to get some. Of course, I haven't, but that's not the point.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I had good reason to whine, however, as opposed to the times when I just whine because I know everyone loves to hear my sweet voice ring through the halls. Tra la la la!
Anyway, I was whining, as I said. About what? About the fact that I'm responsible for getting the groceries this month (Mr. Handsome & I take turns getting groceries so that neither one of us cracks under the pressure), and there never seems to be any food in the house. Ever. No matter how often I go to the grocery store and spend all our pennies on all the goodness nature can bring. Things like super-sized bags of potato chips and cocktail wienies and marinated artichoke hearts. Nummies.
So, I go to the store at least once, sometimes twice, a week, filling up our fridge and pantry as any good mother should. After all, god forbid my offspring or -- horrors! -- Mr. Handsome be without for more than maybe three seconds tops. Yes, that's the kind of mother I am.
I started getting all huffy, though, when I noticed that, no matter how much food I buy and how much money I spend, and how much love and thought I put into my food forays (and I put a lot of love and thought into my purchases of cocktail wienies, thank you very much), the food that should last a good week lasts maybe 1.6 days max.
I just want to know.
Is my family actually a group of Duggars hiding in the laundry room, waiting quietly until I go to bed before coming out and foraging? I just want to know. What is going on?? I swear I just bought enough sandwich meat, cheese, milk, and snack-type goodies to last us a good seven days, if not eight.
And while I'm on the topic of the Duggars, I want to know if they really are all that cheery and pleasant 24/7? And how come they all have socks that match?! Figure that one out, people. What I do know about the Duggars is that they spend over $3,000 on groceries a month. For 20 people. It may be 21 by now. Michelle may have popped out another one while I was writing this. And somehow they make it work. Or so they say.
I almost feel like they're kind of like a cult. You know, always smiling, happy-go-lucky, hard workers, gentle, god-fearing. Nothing ever seems to jangle their nerves, or make them angry or upset. It's a little scary, I find. What is really going behind those doors? you have to ask yourself. And another thing, they fully believe in not kissing before marriage! Yes, that's correct! NO KISSING. Hand holding's okay, but do not touch lips. I'm not even talking tongue here, people.
Sorry, I got carried away again. But seriously, think about it. How many of us can actually say we did that, let alone wanted to do that?! What's the use of hooking up with someone if you can't give each other some sucky face?
So, about the groceries. I finally posed this question to Mr. Handsome, because I have an inquiring mind, and we all know that when there's a question that needs answering, Mr. Handsome is the "go to" person. You're welcome, dear.
And Mr. Handsome actually surprised me and gave me the answer, which is so out of the ordinary. Normally, I'll maybe get a silent acknowledgement that he actually even heard me. He actually told me how he does it on the months he's responsible for our food supply.
Suddenly, a car comes out of nowhere from a side street. Behind the wheel is a punk, unshaven (not that there's anything wrong with that), and it doesn't look like he's even thinking of planning to stop at the stop sign that is right there, glaring, right in front of him.
He starts going through the stop.
I have the right of way. I swerve, being the good, defensive driver that I am. Simultaneously, I am thinking, "The little bastard is going to hit me, and I'll have wrecked this car for the third time in the last six months!"
So, instead, I swerve to avoid him, and out of my mouth, without any will on my part, comes the word we all dread to say in front of our beloved and innocent children.
Yes, I say the F word. And not only say it, but I say it like I mean it, if you know what I mean.
After about five seconds, I realize what I've just said, what has just come out of my mouth without me even realizing it. And I look over at my sweet son, and he's smiling at me, but not just any smile. He's got this wicked little smirk on his face, and I can just hear him say, "Oh, have I ever got you where I want you now!"
Friday, January 23, 2009
Attached or single? Very attached, at the armpit
Best friend? Won't name them, but they know who they are.
Cake or pie? Pie, unless it's cheesecake. Unless it's pumpkin pie.
Dog or cat? Dog & guinea pigs -- an insane standard poodle named Gryphon who thinks he's human, and two guinea pigs (Furry and Mo), who try to outdo each other all the time.
Essential item? My glasses, a coffee, my laptop, and my favourite music and books. I realize that's not one essential item...sorry.
Favorite color? A certain blue-green that has no name.
Gummy bears or worms? I'd rather have a chocolate bar, but if I had to choose, I guess it would be the bears. They're cuter.
Hometown? Ottawa, Canada. Not too big, not too small...just right!
Favorite indulgence? Staying in my pjs all day Saturday, drinking coffee or tea and reading the newspaper from end to end without any interruptions or noise.
January or July? July for sure. January is just nasty. Unless you're in Florida. Hint, hint.
Kids? One of each, that would be a girl and a boy. Both lovable and smarmy at the same time.
Life isn’t complete without? My family, friends, and my hairbrush, and contact lenses, and books, and music...umm, and potato chips. Yeah, that's it.
Marriage date? August 31, 1991. It was a dark and stormy morning...
Number of brothers and sisters? Two bothers, I mean brothers. One older, one younger. Each entirely different from one another. And I love them both. But they are very irritating.
Oranges or apples? I cannot choose. It depends on my mood at the time, and if there's cheese.
Phobias? I suppose heights, and oozing wounds. And those really long bugs with a thousand legs. And worms. Oh yeah, and deep water. Definitely deep water. Anything over the shoulders.
Quote? "It is better to be hated for what you are than loved for what you are not." — André Gide I couldn't find one (well, I didn't really try either) and so I'm stealing this one, and I actually truly believe it too!
Reasons to smile? My family and friends, my pets, birds singing, spring mornings, good memories, Disney World, a shower and clean underwear.
Season of choice? I would say summer, but spring is a very close second.
Travel dreams? I would love to travel the world with my family, and show them how insignificant we really are in the grand scheme of things.
Unknown fact about me? I grew 4 inches in 8 hours after having back surgery to straighten my spine.
Vegetable? Anything pretty much, although peaches & cream corn is pretty damn awesome.
Worst habit? Procrastination, and leaving my crap all over the place. You're welcome, Mr. Handsome. Yes, I've finally acknowledged it. But you do it too.
X-ray or ultrasound? I'm going to say ultrasound because I have no idea what this question means, and ultrasounds are safer than x-rays, and I like it when they put warm goop on you.
Your favorite restaurants? Mexicali Rosa's, Lone Star, Red Lobster, Cora's
Zodiac sign? Virgo. We are known for being perfectionists, and that is what I am. The perfect procrastinator who leaves her crap around, and wishes right now that she lived in a warmer climate.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Subversive Cross Stitch is a cross stitch site like no other. You won't find too many cute little bears hugging here, or a sweet angel with a halo over her head. Not unless the saying under the picture says, "You suck!"
I found one pattern that I think I'm actually going to order. It's very relevant and touching since it deals with cancer, and we all know how I feel about cancer. Please excuse the foul language. I think it's disgusting myself, and I never speak this way. However, this is exactly how I feel about the damn disease. There are no other words. Very appropriate, don't you think? I would hang this in my front hall so that anyone dawning my doorstep would automatically know what I'm about. And then they'd run.
Then there's one that I think I should get for my kids. Only because I hear them say this time and time again, oh, maybe 2,132 times a day. It's somehow been programmed into their little developing brains and they believe it is perfectly fine to respond to me with a casual, "Whatev, mom." Now, they aren't normally that rude, because they know I'd kick their butts and not feed them for 10 days, and we all know how important food is to the little varmints. They are like animals, are they not? At times, however, they do come out with rather rude little comments that make them deserving of a mouth-washing-out-with-soap, not that I'd ever do that. The phrase "Whatever" seems to have become second nature to these creatures, however, and I honestly do think it's a very rude thing to say. I think I'd much rather hear them tell me to screw myself. At least that would show they care.
And they would, in turn, get me this one because they say that's all I do when I kindly ask them to do anything. And I mean kindly when I say kindly. I don't mean I nag or scream at them while pulling my hair out by its roots or holding my head so that it doesn't explode all over the living room floor. I guess Mr. Handsome might get this one for me too. But he too would be so wrong in his opinion.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
So, I got up today with my daughter telling me it was time to get up. She needed a drive because it is -30C here in beautiful Ottawa today, another reason why I hate January. I wouldn't want my children to freeze their cute little adorable faces off, so I drive them to school when it's cold enough to freeze the butt hairs off an Eskimo. Politically incorrect, you say? Whatev. I know Eskimos have butts, and hair.
I don't spoil my children. In fact, most of the time, I ignore them and leave them to their own devices. That way, I reason, they will learn all about life so much more quickly and adeptly than I could ever teach them. Socially responsible parenting, I call it.
So, when I actually get out of bed and drive them into school, you know it's cold.
As I first drove Milly into school since her classes start before Dennis', she told me I had a huge wrinkle down the side of my face that looked like the streak of a tear. Very touching. Poetic even.
I have to say, I've noticed that I am now more often than not waking up with sleep wrinkles all over me.
It's very disconcerting because I pride myself on my looks, as you all know. When I wake up in the morning, I am proud of the fact that I can be ready to go anywhere (yes, anywhere) at the drop of a hat. Give me two minutes to run a brush through my hair, wash the crud out of my eyes, and pluck a couple of stray nose hairs, and I'm good to go. Well, that's all gone to hell in a hand basket (what in god's name does that mean, people?!) now with my morning sleep wrinkles crawling all over my once-pristine face like the web of a very angry and ADHD spider.
I've decided the only thing I can do now is to sleep on my back, which takes me to yet another nagging issue: sleep and the lack thereof. I already have issues with sleep. The issue is: I don't. Sleep. Just more of this damn perimenopause that I am currently dealing with without so much as a whimper, I might add. Sleeping on my back is not going to happen.
I am thinking that maybe if I wrap my head in one of those Space Bags and then suck all the air out of it, it will preserve my face, sort of like those cryogenic thingamabobs Michael Jackson uses to keep himself looking so young and amazing and natural-looking. Then, in the mornings, I can just open up the bag, and bam! my face will plump out again as if I were 20, no wrinkles, no problem. Not only that, but I wouldn't make any noise all night long, which I'm sure would make everyone in my family happy, and if I'm not here to keep everyone happy, than my life is worthless.
I wonder if maybe those bags would also keep me from having to hear anything as well. Kind of a reciprocal deafness of sorts. Then I might be able to actually sleep through the morning racket in our household, and wake up fully refreshed and wrinkle-free! What a concept. Now I'm thinking a Bounce sheet might do the trick. And it could double as an air freshener in the bedroom, which we desperately need. You don't want to know.
Speaking of laundry, how does one keep up with it? I have been battling with the laundry issue since before humans wore clothing. Do we all have this issue of keeping up with the laundry, and we just hide this fact very well? Or is this just another one of those strange foibles (I love that word) in my household, of which I am the head, and of which I do a damn straight good job? Apart from the glaring fact that I rarely go into the basement and actually put on a load of laundry, what could my problem be? Please enlighten me, oh great Internet world of mine. I am desperate. Dennis has been wearing the same pair of pants for five days' straight now. Not that he's complaining.
Then, once I actually go through the actions of washing and then drying a load of clothing, it seems to just sit there in the basket for about 3 1/2 weeks until someone in the house notices that there's a hamper sitting in the middle of the living room with clean clothing in it. Sometimes I play this game with my family, unbeknownst to them. I will leave a basket of laundry in the living room, obvious to all that this laundry needs to be folded and put away. Or instead of putting the Costco-sized jug of vinegar away, I leave it on the kitchen counter and wait to see how long it takes before someone notices the gargantuan tub of acid that takes up half our counter space, and decides to tuck it safely away in the pantry. So far, it's been three months.
Yes. Three. Months.
Passive aggressive, you say? I call it all in a day's work. Have a good one, eh.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Once upon a time, I went to a relatively reputable doctor for my sinuses. You see, apart from my countless other health issues that seem to have no resolution, my sinuses were giving me maybe the most grief (at that time), and so I thought, there must be a simple solution to this nonsense of constantly having gunk in my nose and throat, and of having to always cough up grossness and keep everyone awake for two hours while I clear my throat while trying to fall asleep. You get the picture.
My regular doctor wasn't helping any, and so I thought I had a great idea: go to another one and see what happens! What's the worst thing that could happen? Right? Right.
I thought, this doctor seems pretty much on the straight and narrow. He's sure to know what I should take for this very annoying condition of mine that has been beleaguering me now for probably, oh, let's say five damn years. Oh, sorry. Did I just say that really loudly, and with lots of anger?! Yes, you could say it's been frustrating. No one seemed to have the cure. And I thought, for shit's sake, how hard can it be to fix an excess snot problem? Heck, they can replace lungs and things now, can't they?! Exactly my point. I'm glad you agree.
Anyway. Off I go to this doctor, who I'm sure will prescribe some magic pill or formula for me to take, and voila! my nose and throat will no longer fill up with thick, viscous, glutinous and adhesive crud. I will be free as a bird, as happy as a butterfly, and I can once again skip down the streets lined with tulips, daisies and roses, whistling "Skinnamarink".
This doctor, whom I shall call Dr. Funny, looks like a cross between Alfred E. Newman
This is a Neti pot. Mine is nowhere near this fancy. Mine is actually made out of blue plastic, and it reminds me of those little pink plastic Little Tykes teapots little children play with. Very professional looking.
This is what it looks like when you use one of these suckers.
This was me after a bout of clarified butter up my nose.
I got this from Knit Purl Gurl at Mommatudes, and it looked fun, and I love babies, and I was bored, so I thought I'd play along. It's a "First Baby" questionnaire. Here we go:
1. Were you married at the time? Yup!
2. What were your reactions when you found out you were pregnant? Slap happy and scared.
3. How old were you? 32
4.How did you find out? Lack of period, overwhelming nausea, and finally, a pregnancy test
5. Who did you tell first? My husband
6. Did you want to find out the sex? Sort of, but Mr. Handsome wanted to know because he is Dr. Spock
7. Due date? Feb. 26, 1995
8. Did you deliver late or on time? 3 days late
9. Did you have morning sickness? I was sick for the first 6 months. It was not fun. Not even a little.
10. What did you crave? Pepperoni sticks
11. Who/what irritated you the most? Having to smell food.
12. What was your first child's sex? girl
13. How many pounds did you gain throughout pregnancy? I never gained. Sorry about that.
14. Did you have any complications during pregnancy? Just lots of awful morning sickness, weight loss. Are those complications?
15. Where did you give birth? Ottawa Civic Hospital, Ottawa
16. How many hours were you in labor? Over 32 hours. Yup.
17. Who drove you to the hospital? My sweet husband
18. Who watched? My husband, mother-in-law and sister-in-law
19. Was it natural or c-section? Au naturel, no drugs possible. Again, yup.
20. Did you take medication to ease the pain? Fentanyl, which only made me dizzy and did diddly-squat for the pain. I highly don't recommend it.
21. How much did your child weigh? 7 lbs. 3 oz.
22. Did your child have any complications? She didn't breathe at first and had inhaled some meconium
23. What did you name her? Michaela Jane
24. How old is your first born today? Thirteen - She will be 14 on March 1, and I can't believe it.
Monday, January 19, 2009
It was three years ago today that my father passed away.
I don't want this to be a sad post. Rather, I want it to be a memory of my dad as I try to remember him every day: witty, a joker, caring, silly, conservative, serious, a very hard worker, a worrier, lover of life, lover of his family.
My dad had just turned 89 when he passed away. His was not an easy passage. He struggled with everything his frail body had to keep going one more day. As in the rest of his life, he fought hard to live: through World War II, concentration camps, making a new life for himself in Canada, starting a family late in life, and working hard to ensure his family would never be without.
I don't remember my dad resting a lot, except on Sundays. Those were the days when Sundays were still a day of rest. Remember those? Stores were closed, you didn't work, and the day was spent going for a walk, napping, buying ice cream at the corner store, and visiting with friends. I cherish those days of walking with my dad, hand-in-hand, just walking. He would always walk closest to the curb, to keep me safe. More often than not, we'd end up at the corner store for ice cream. He'd always choose vanilla.
He worked hard, but enjoyed his work immensely as well. He made sure of it. Yes, he complained about work a lot, but I know deep down inside he loved it. After he retired, he kept going back to his workplace and hanging out, continuing those friendships he had made, not willing to give up the past. And he continued to talk about those days years after retiring. He loved being a cog in the whole work wheel, and he missed it terribly. It took him many years to figure out what to do with himself.
When he wasn't at work, he was home, working. No, he didn't rest much, but he was happy, and he liked it that way. No use resting when there was work to be done. His parents were farmers in Poland, and this was the life he knew. Work hard.
I don't remember my dad ever being sick when I was growing up. Except one year when I was quite young, I remember he came down with a cold, and it scared me to death. I thought for sure my dad would not survive. I had never seen this man sick before. Survive he did, of course. I think he had to take one day off work, though.
Of course, over the years, he did start getting sick more often. His heart started giving him trouble. He ended up, in the late '80s, having to have a triple bypass to unclog some arteries. He'd had a couple of heart attacks leading up to the surgery.
It scared him, and it changed him. He became fearful of doing too much, or straying too far from home, and everytime he felt something, he would run back to the hospital.
His mortality had become real to him.
It became all too real to the rest of us one fateful day in 2005 when he broke his hip after a visit to his favourite restaurant, a place where they treated him like family. They always knew what he wanted, and how he wanted it. They would serve him his soup with the crackers already crumbled in it because it was hard for him to open the package and do it himself. They gave him a present for his birthday and sang him happy birthday, and really meant it. All the waitresses would kiss him on the cheek as well, which I'm sure made him smile for days since he loved them. I'm sure he wished he was 50 years younger.
He almost didn't survive the hip surgery. His heart could hardly withstand anything. But survive it he did, after quite a few scares. Getting him up and moving again was difficult, and extremely frustrating for him. You could see it in his face and in his words. He hated it, the loss of independence, the dependence on everyone for everything. It drove him crazy, and that just made him fight even harder to get up and move again. He wanted to go back home so badly that nothing would stop him.
After many attempts at walking, the hospital decided he needed to go somewhere where he could have more rehabilitation than they were able to offer him. So he was moved to an interim hospital, a place he ended up loving a lot. He had a room all to himself, his own washroom, and lots of physiotherapy to get him moving again.
However, the rules of our health care system are such that, after you're in this rehab unit for a certain length of time, you must move on. Since my dad wasn't able to go back home yet, they had no choice but to put him in yet another hospital. This hospital is used for long-term care for various illnesses, from cancer to cerebral palsy, and blindness to older people who need more care than can be had at a nursing home.
Although we are fortunate to have this variety of institutions at our fingertips, I can't say any one of us was happy with my dad's stay at this hospital. He hated every moment of it. There was no privacy, stuck in a room with two other men with various disabilities. There was no joy. But what I think my father found the worst (and any one of us would, really) is the utter lack of dignity he experienced while here. My brothers and I made the effort to visit my dad every single day, and there were plenty of times when I would come into his room and see him there in his wheelchair, door wide open for everyone to see, his pants down around his ankles because it was too difficult for the attendant to pull them up again after he had gone to the washroom. The attendants said he didn't mind. I knew he did, though. I saw it in his eyes.
This place was what finally broke his spirit.
One morning a few weeks after entering the long-term care hospital, my dad didn't wake up. He was in a coma. He had had a stroke, and no one had noticed until they came around with his breakfast. He was rushed back to the urgent care hospital and put in ICU for over a week. They were pretty sure he wasn't going to make it.
But he did.
His stroke caused him more physical problems, but nothing he couldn't deal with with some time and lots of effort. The stroke also did a number with his mind, something that he could not deal with as easily. He hallucinated at times, but was lucid most of the time. He sometimes confused dreams and reality.
The hospital staff one day decided he was well enough to return to long-term care. My father cried, saying he couldn't go back there because it would definitely kill him. My brothers and I agreed, and we fought tooth and nail, refusing to allow him to be returned to that horrid place. The hospital staff was shocked that we took such a stance, but they finally listened to us, and placed my dad on another floor within the urgent care hospital, a place to wait until a nursing home could be found for him since he was still not able to live on his own.
I wanted so badly to take him home with me, to have him live with us. However, having a broken hip that is slow to heal, and being 89 years old are difficult things to deal with. There was nowhere in our home that would be suitable for him. I felt like a failure. I had long ago promised my dad that when he got older, he would live with me. This still eats at me to this day.
My dad ended up at the best nursing home in the city. It was unbelievable. This home was our first choice, and usually it involved a wait of two years or more to get in. It was like a dream come true. A huge weight was lifted off all our shoulders. I thought, this is almost too good to be true. Maybe now our luck will change, and my dad will be in a much better place, both mentally and physically. This home promised all things good: wonderful care, lots of physio, some Polish people my dad could hang out with, a location very close to home, and lots of women who would probably clamber all over him because of his sweet charm.
He moved in, with quite a bit of fanfare from the home staff. They made him feel very special. Because he was.
Of course, he found it difficult to adapt, and refused to accept that this was now his home. He wanted to go back to his home so badly, so desperately. He saw the nursing home as "the end" for him, despite our constant assurances that this was just a pitstop, just until he could walk well enough again on his own. But I think perhaps he knew something we didn't want to see. He felt this was as far as he would go. He didn't think he'd be able to overcome this hurdle.Just ten days after entering this wonderful nursing home, he passed away suddenly from a heart attack while lying in bed having some orange juice and watching one of his favourite soaps on tv.
I miss him terribly, and I think about him everyday, but I know for a fact that my dad is much happier now than he was, this last year of his life. What age had done to him was not fair. It broke my heart every day to see him, unable to be the independent, strong man he knew he was.So, today I will remember my dad as who he really was: a loving father, protector, a proud man. My dad.