Wednesday 29 October 2014

Me vs Being Sick

Being a mostly stay at home mom has up sides like that of an incredibly tall (and lets face it, somewhat phallic) skyscraper, and down sides that rival the depths of Mayan sacrificial pits.

While the ups are amazing, one of the things that I really, really dislike about being a stay at home mom is being sick. Not that I actually enjoyed being sick while I was an office slave, but at least then I could stay home and spend the day binge watching every episode of something on Netflix, and eating ice cream without having to care for anyone beyond my pathetic sickly self.

Well, those days are gone.

Being at home with kids means that they are no longer in daycare; I am the daycare, sick or otherwise. If I’m sick, tough shit, I have to deal with it. Breakfast must still be made, regardless of how the thought of toast makes you want to die, kids must be shuttled to their various activities (try not to puke en route), and you must still provide enough coherent adult supervision to ensure your kids don’t play with the mousetraps.

It also leads to conversations like this: Honey, could you please entertain yourself and your brother for a few minutes while mommy goes to the bathroom? Why? Mommy feels sick. My tummy hurts. No, please don’t watch. Fine. Stay. Yes, thank you, I know it’s gross.

And then there is the guilt mixed with hate that I feel for my husband when I’m sick. For example, I spent a large portion of last night debating whether or not to beg my husband to stay home from work so I could be sick like an adult...which basically means acting like a big baby all day. At 4 in the morning, the rational side of me had pretty much fucked off for the night, and I lay there feeling guilty for even thinking about asking him to take time off work so I could stay in bed, yet despising the fact that he got actual sick days while I had to tough it out.  At 4am that pretty much translates to hate, with very little direction or focus. He could call in to work if he felt like he was dying, why couldn’t I?

Despite the guilt of having to ask, I did finally wake him up to tell him not to leave me at home with kids by myself. Well, asked isn’t really the word. It was closer to begging and threatening mixed together: Thregging? 

I don’t break down and do that very often, but he is also very aware that I don’t handle being sick very well…especially being sick to my stomach. Having two kids for me meant 18 combined months of pregnant vomiting hell. I tend to panic a bit every time I feel sick, like it’s the harbinger of unending stomach upset. In any case, luckily he was able to stay home, allowing me to wallow in my own misery and pity. Not a pretty picture, but an honest one.

And with that, I’m pretty much tapped out. Time for some rest and hopefully some relief. I have nothing but respect for any parent who can cope with illness and kids at the same are better people than me.

Monday 20 October 2014

Me vs The Bear

We’re two weeks away from our move date. I’m so close to being in my newly build house, with it’s built in garage. I can’t wait! We’ve been living in our rental house in rural Small Place for 50 weeks (which is about 34 weeks longer than expected), and so far have survived a mouse army invasion, daily face-offs with deer, tides of elk (kind of nice actually, you could even call them majestic), coyote hunt-festivities just outside our window (soooo fucking creepy, I’ll tell that story soon), cows defecating on our front steps (again, story to come), and chipmunks killing themselves in the kid pool (part of the upcoming mouse story.  There’s something about the rodents out here).
For more awesomeness visit
But no bears. In fact, in the almost full year we’ve been in Small Town, we’ve never actually seen a bear. And to be fair, I guess we still haven’t.

I know bears are out there. In town they are a constant problem because of garbage left on the curb for weekly pick up. This isn’t an issue for us, as we never get pick up outside of town, so we stored our garbage in a shed in the carport until we could take it to the dump.  The landlords had recommended this, and I feel like I can safely make the assumption that this was also their system. No mention of bears being a problem.  

Ironically, I’ve seen more bears in the city where I used to live than I ever have in the out of the way hamlet I currently live in. It was completely normal to go for a walk and have a big black bear wander across the path in front of you. There was even an occasion where two cubs playing bear-tag ran right at us before realizing we were there and veering off into the bush.  To be fair, that was a bit terrifying in a where’s-the-mother-bear kind of way, but in hindsight we didn’t get mauled, so it was neat to see.  

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that we haven’t seen a bear yet; we didn’t really have anything to offer them, so what reason would they have to show up? It wasn’t like I was tying salmon to my roof to lure them in, like some kind of demented nature photographer. And yet, apparently I didn’t need salmon, I had a room full of garbage. 

Two nights ago we were visited by what I am assuming was a bear. I assume this only because I have no visual proof, though I’d be surprised if it was something else. I’m pretty sure that even an enterprising bastard deer wouldn’t have been able to rip the shed door off its hinges.  Not even off it’s hinges, really. More like ripped the door and it’s entire frame out of the wall. And if some idiot were going to break into our garbage room, well, they can have it. They could have also just opened the door. So, probably a bear then. 

Door wasn't rated for determined bears,
also, fuck you white bag of cat food.
Truly I wasn’t sure if I was more concerned about the fact that a bear had gotten in and redistributed the contents of our garbage all over the carport and surrounding yard, or if I was simply impressed by the herculean feat of strength it would have taken to rip the door off. Also, I was a bit surprised I had slept through the demolition of part of the building. Usually I wake up if a piece of wood in the fireplace shifts. How did I miss a 200 pound hungry hungry hippo? 

The other incredible part of this chaos was how bloody picky the bear was.  It ate diapers, rotten leftovers, and plastic containers, but didn’t touch the brussel sprouts from a night or two ago. Really? Diapers over sprouts? I get that they brussel sprouts are one of the most (unfairly!) disliked foods around, but still, that’s just bizarre. You're a bear. Eat food that's actually food. 

The other thing the bear determined was unpalatable was a bag of cat food. This animal ate through a tupperware bin of stuffed animals, but wouldn’t touch the cat chow. It even went so far as to gently place the unharmed bag on top of the remains of the door it tore down, as if to say “Balls to you, I’m not eating that”. Not even a tooth mark in the bag. I have to say, I’m kind of glad I’m not a cat. The food must be horrific if even the bears think it tastes like shit. And they apparently enjoy diapers full of shit. Just saying.

So now we have a garbage room that is, effectively, unusable as a garbage room, and I still haven’t figured out where I’m going to store the trash for the next two weeks. Thankfully it should only be for two more weeks! New house, here we come!!!

Wednesday 15 October 2014

Me vs Retro Cartoons and the End of Santa

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I had the opportunity to snuggle up with my 5 year old and watch cartoons. I don’t have cable at home, which is not to say, unfortunately, that we don’t watch tv, but that we’re mostly a Netflix-centered crowd.

Little did I realize going into this that she had chosen Teletoon Retro. Basically, think back to all the amazing the cartoons you watched as a kid. Now imagine it’s the mid 1960’s, and it’s worse than you imagine. 

I had to suffer through The Mighty Hercules. It was terrible. Actually, that doesn’t really do it justice.  With pretty much no preamble, the show opened with some guy with his back to us, mumbling something about a helmet. He puts it on his head, turns around, and is pretty much a guy with a large pot over his head. To his credit, he did have the foresight to cut eye holes in it.
So now we have a skinny guy in a shirt-dress, cape, and pot, walking around talking about how even Hercules can’t hurt him. You know, because of the pot. *sigh*

Out of nowhere Herc shows  up and starts punching him in the stomach. Cookware says to him ‘Hahahaha, stop, you’re tickling me’.  Yup. That’s about it.  There might have been more, but since the animation was pretty much the same 12 frames with different script (and I use that term loosely), I figured I’d pretty much covered it by that point.

Time I can’t get back. 

This got me thinking about cartoons I watched as a kid, and how great they were. I remember loving them. The songs were catchy (which as a parent, is a quality I now loath – Everything is AWESOME…), the animation was top notch (apparently I was willfully blind as a child), and the plots were engaging (if you were a zombie and you had, effectively, no brain). 

This led me to YouTube to look for the shows of my past, which was an appallingly bad decision and I should have known better.  Begin revisiting the cartoons of your youth in all their online, poor-quality glory?  Yeah, it was that bad.

image courtesy of
For all the girls out there who were 80’s cartoon watchers, Jem and the Holograms was an unparalleled favorite. I really, really loved Jem. I wanted to be Jem. As a kid all I saw was this ordinary girl who had magic earrings and turned into this pink-haired rock star whenever she needed to. Who wouldn’t want that? Don’t want to go grocery shopping today? No problem, now I’m Jem. Send someone else. Jem doesn’t do house work! I’M JEM! Hell, I can still sing the Glitter and Gold theme song. I know, I’m embarrassed for me too.

And then I watched Jem again. Like really watched Jem.  It’s amazing how as a child you don’t pick up on the fact that Jem and her non-famous alter ego are both dating THE SAME GUY. It’s also just a wee bit disturbing that she is more concerned that he will find out they are the same person, than she is that he is a complete asshole, and is actually cheating on her....with her. Seriously? How did this get past the focus group???

Let’s pause for a minute and just think about how incredibly terrible this role model actually is. To their credit, the 80’s really tried: A female rock group who kicked a bunch of ass, and basically rock battled it out on a weekly basis with the Misfits (an equally messed up punk girl group). But then they went ahead and ruined this with a misogynistic boyfriend that Jem/Jerica just adores. All Jem wanted to do was make him happy, and she spent an inordinate amount of time worrying that he wouldn’t like her anymore if he knew her secret.

Really? Have we really just skimmed over the fact that he is a complete douche sack? Um, yeah, apparently we did. Can I get a little of the Spice Girl’s girl power please? Something about not needing a man to be happy…or at the very least, not needing a man who cheats on you while you look the other way because his other girlfriend is YOU!

The worst part of this whole thing was that Jem, as much as I loved her as a child, was the mechanism that shattered Santa for me.  This goes off into left field a little, but just stay with me.

As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to be Jem, asshole boyfriend be damned! I wanted those bloody earrings.  So, being the clever thing that I was, I went to the one person who I knew could deliver: Santa.  I was very specific. Could you please deliver some magic earrings that allow me to transform into anyone at any time. Seems legit.

Christmas morning came, and with it a small box under the tree. I could almost taste the magical powers radiating from the box. I was one small wrapped package away from being some chick with pink hair and a guitar! Kick ass!
You can all see the train of disappointment chugging down the mountain at this point. My parents gently explained why Santa couldn’t deliver on the magical Jem earrings, but he thought I might like some clip-on pearl earrings instead. I was 8, I don’t think pearls were the look I was going for. 

That night, after my younger sister (who’s soul hadn’t recently been crushed) went to bed, my mom explained the whole Santa situation. That sucked. I think on some level I had known that a fat man in a chimney wasn’t really going to work out long term, but that didn’t make it any better.

To my parent’s credit, we didn’t stop getting Santa presents until both my sister and I were well into our teens, and with the exception of the year of the earring debacle, knowing that Santa wasn’t an actual person never dampened the fun those Christmas mornings.

To this day, Christmas still remains one of my favorite holidays, however I have a decidedly love/hate relationship with Jem and the Holograms. On some level I may always hold those Saturday morning 80’s cartoons somewhat responsible for the death of Santa.  

Wednesday 8 October 2014

Me vs Road Lemmings....again

Given that I have only just posted my rant about road lemmings, also known by their more common name: Deer, this update could be considered somewhat ironically timed.

Only days following my post about what a hazard these demon spawn are, Husband calls to tell me that he's ended one on the road. Actually, his exact words were something to the effect of 'the bastard jumped out at my truck, but I ran over him'. He handled it somewhat better than I would have. 

It took us less than a year of living out here to ruin a perfectly commendable 18 year streak of not killing anything while driving a vehicle. 

Again, I realize this sounds somewhat harsh, but humour me a moment. This half-witted deer leapt into the road in the total darkness pretty much as soon as it registered that there was an oncoming vehicle. We don't live in a place where there is a constant stream of traffic, so him and his tick-ridden buddy (who unfortunately continues to be part of the breeding population) could have crossed the road at ANY OTHER TIME and not become part of the pavement. No, they choose the one moment where some unsuspecting driver is happily driving along, and then leap. I am honestly thankful that Husband is ok. If I had been driving I probably would have had an shock-induced heart attack and driven off the embankment.  

I'm happy that the only thing we lost was the front part of the truck, and that the beastly thing went under the vehicle and not through the windshield. That said, I now have to worry about the fact that our up-to-this-point perfectly reliable vehicle will be written off, and there is no way we can afford anything else. 

Thanks deer. You're a bunch of assholes. 

Sunday 5 October 2014

Me vs. The Deer (aka Road Lemmings)

The deer in the town where we now live are, to understate the issue, a problem. They are also a topic of incredible debate around town.  If you ask a question or state an opinion about their overbearing, and un-deer-like presence in the Dairy Queen parking lot, prepare to lose some time you can’t get back. 

As far as I’ve seen, there are two main camps that like to weigh in on the deer issue: Cull The Fuckers, and Don’t Harm A Precious Hair On Their Magical Little Heads. I’m firmly in the former. Please allow me to explain why, as I’m not normally a ‘level the population’ kind of girl.

Most people have seen Bambi. Isn’t he cute being all awkward and fuzzy.  Awwww.  Trust me, I get the thrilling oooooh, pretty, it’s a deer! mentality, and I’m the first to admit that when we first moved up here I was stunned at how ballsy they were, and how MANY there were. I’ll even own that it was pretty cool to see them prancing around our driveway, and lounging in the front yard. Yes, they were munching on the trees and shrubbery, but hey, I’m a city girl and having deer in my yard is a novelty.

For about 2 weeks.

At that point, the prancing became hate-bouncing, and cute little Bambi became one more roadway projectile I had to navigate around. Or not. Your call, depending on your feelings about the deer population, and the strength of the bush bars on your vehicle.

I realize this sounds harsh, but I’ve seen a suicidally stupid deer very nearly cause a 4 car pile-up and get himself road salsa’d in the process. This wasn’t fun for the driver of the truck (I stopped to check), and likely wasn’t a great day for the deer either, although I can’t confirm as he couldn’t be reached for comment.  
Personally I’ve had more than my fair share of near deer misses as well, and I can imagine it’s only a matter of time before I end one. Sadly I don’t have bush bars.  Basically, I feel like I’m running a deer version of the gladiator gauntlet every time I head down to pick up milk.

The problem is that the deer, or as I prefer, Road Lemmings, are dumb as shit. They are at best a genuine safety hazard, and at worst maniacal psychopaths bent on taking out the humans through kamikaze missions and the depletion of our personal crops. And by crops I mean vegetable gardens, but still, it’s really annoying.

On more than one occasion I’ve seen them wait at the side of the road for a car to come and then run into it. Not, Oops I didn’t make it across fast enough, but Wait for it, here it comes, NOW! To me this is something of a metaphorical cliff, and they are the lemmings jumping off of it, or into it, as the case may be. I’ve even seen them bring 4 lanes of traffic to a dead stop while they meander across the road, and once the lane they’ve crossed starts moving again, the deer will reverse course and leap back into the cars that, previously unmoving, had started rolling ahead again. It’s insane.  

These deer are also fearless assholes. Again Bambi-huggers would disagree with me, but they are mean, yet chillingly docile-looking monsters.  If I see them on my driveway, I honk in hopes that I will remind them to show some deference to my giant land-beast of a van. Nope. I’m lucky if I get a derisive look shot my way.  If they had fingers, I’m convinced they would flip me off. They don’t, but I can tell they’re thinking it.

There have also been numerous reports around town that people and pets have been attacked by these seemingly harmless herbivores, and I can’t imagine that being deer-punched in the chest is much fun. I was even told at my office not to go outside if you saw the resident deer and her offspring out and about, and if I did make the ill informed decision to venture out, I should leave the door open so I could make a mad dash for safety should she show up. These are DEER. That’s just fucked up!

Out here in my new rural reality, I live in constant (and probably somewhat overblown) fear of cougars, I wouldn’t want to meet a grizzly bear on a hike, and there is always the silent killer – ticks. Basically, there are plenty of things that an anxiety-ridden person can be concerned about. But deer? Are you kidding me? Of all the animals out there that I shouldn’t have to worry about, Bambi ranks pretty high. But he shouldn’t. Because he’s an asshole.

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Me vs Moving

Last November my life went from what it had always been, to something I pretty much didn’t recognize as my own.  I had lived in the same city for my entire life, and was finally as an adult, ok with that. For years as a disenchanted teenager I’d broadcast my dislike of the place, but in reality it didn’t suck nearly as much as teenage me thought it did.

Earlier that year we had made the difficult, but necessary, decision to move. Husband was starting a new job that allowed him to be at home, rather than travel half the year. This was a big improvement and made sense for our young family (however I did enjoy the snore-free sleep environment that a bed to myself provided). Still, I wasn’t’ sure I was ready to give up my local conveniences. Like Starbucks. I really miss Starbucks.

It felt a bit like moving to the moon. Our house in Big Place, BC was rooted in suburbia. I could look out my window and tell you what the neighbour was making for dinner, and what they were wearing. Or not wearing. In Small Place, BC, our view is astounding, but our neighbours are a distant mystery and I miss the over the fence chats. Transient cows shit in my yard, we have actual winter, and there are deer.  Hate-filled, mangy, bat-shit crazy deer.  Calling it a big change seems a bit understated.  

Added to the chaos of having to leave my house and neighbourhood that I loved, and pretty much everything I had ever known, I was doing it with a new baby, an opinionated four year old, and a dying cat (who sadly didn’t end up making it to moving day). I’m sure somehow it could have been more stressful, but at the time, I wasn’t sure that was possible.

Luckily, the company my Husband was working for hired us movers, as I was totally beyond the task of packing an entire house while managing a baby, a four year old, and a dying cat (…also, I really hate packing). The movers crammed the contents of our house into boxes in a day. I’m pretty sure that I couldn’t have compiled a grocery list in that timeframe, let alone packed up all my crap. It was bloody impressive.  The downside to having them pack was that they packed everything. And not just packed, but wrapped things in layer after layer of packing paper. When we began unpacking on the other end, we found gems like a single half-used pencil wrapped in two layers of paper, and my favourite: a package of paper wrapped in paper. Maybe you guys went just a teensy bit overboard on the packaging.

The other drawback to having others pack was that we didn’t really have any idea what was in each box, and frankly, we still don’t. The boxes were labeled, but simply labeling a box bathroom doesn’t really provide any explanation as to why the teapot is in there.  To date there are still some things we haven’t found, like one of the couch do you lose a couch cushion??? 

To be fair, we haven’t unpacked everything yet. The plan was to move here, rent for a few months, then buy a house. That didn’t go as planned, so now we’re in the middle of a house building circus, and almost a year later we are still living partially out of boxes. The statement “I didn’t lose it, it’s probably still in a box” has become a legit excuse for pretty much everything, and a running joke with friends.

And now we wait with baited breath for the new house to be finished, so that we can do this all over again, a year later, and with different, but probably not less, stress than the last time. Ideally, this will be the last move for years….but I’m pretty sure I said that about the last place we lived.