Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hey you! You hurt me!

I'm not entirely sure there's anyone out there reading this drivel anymore. To be honest, I kind of lost interest. I wasn't sure if I had grown out of the whole blogging thing or if I was going through yet another "can't be bothered" phase or if I was just having my millionth mind block since I started this here blog. I still don't know, but I thought I'd come back and see if I could finish this whole "30 days of Me" thing that I had going so that I could at least cross it off my never ending To Do list.

Day 13 (and I'm not going to link to the other can troll the archives if you give a shit) tells me that I should write a letter to someone who has hurt me. I suppose this prompt would be considered partly to blame for my absence because I just couldn't decide who to write the letter to. There were a couple of people I considered who have had it coming for a while but I was unsure how to go about it without in turn hurting some other folks. So I left it. In the end, I went with this:


Dear You,

You know who you are. You know very well. And you know exactly what it is you've done to hurt me. Day in and day out you find a new way to bring me down. With every passing week it seems that you have discovered a way to tune out any of the good things that you've heard coming my direction and just carry on down your own path of "destroy Maggie's self esteem".

You look at me with disgust, with scorn, with contempt, with.......with the opinion that I'm not good enough. You tell me I'm fat. You tell me I'm lazy. You tell me I'm ugly and that you can't understand why the gorgeous man I married is still with me. You leave me with the belief that I am not good enough for my husband or anyone else in my life and have even made me question my abilities as a mother to the two wonderful children who have blessed my life.

I have gotten better at rising above, at lifting myself to a level where you can no longer affect me. I can still hear you. Like the incessant buzzing of a housefly circling my head before perching on my shoulder to take the biggest dump possible, you are always there. I can close my eyes, I can put my fingers in my ears....but I can still hear you. You don't have the same impact that you once did, but the fact is, I can't escape you.

Every day, I listen to you. Every day, you are there. Every day, you try and bring me down.

You hurt me and I can't get away from you. But you know what, Brain? You can suck it...because I'm going to make a conscious (pun totally intended) effort to ignore you and your nastiness from now on.


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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Because. Just because.

Day 1 -- Day 2 -- Day 3 -- Day 4 -- Day 5 -- Day 6 -- Day 7 -- Day 8 -- Day 9

Day 10 -- Day 11



You know kids hit a certain age and decide that they want to know "why?" about everything? We answer them for a while, we even try and come up with creative answers for the first 20 times they ask. Eventually we get tired of playing, perhaps even get a bit pissed off, and we end up saying "Because. Just because. That's why!". Oddly enough, this doesn't always work, but it certainly makes us feel better. Or maybe that's just me.

When I read today's prompt for "30 Days of Me", I just wanted to shout "BECAUSE!!!!". Why? Because I'm meant to tell you how I found out about Blogger and why I made one. Oh yawn. But ok.

How did I find out about it? Um, let's see. Could it possibly be that everyone and their brother has a blog on Blogger? Sure, their cousins and sister-wives are all over on Wordpress, but their brothers are here.

As for why I made one, I was originally over on Wordpress. I had the idea of setting up a blog but didn't really know where to start. One of Hotty Hubby's friends set me up over there and it was going well. Then when I didn't post for a while, I went back to find it gone. He thought I'd given up and had disabled it. He had the control, which was fine initially, but after I had a falling out with his wife and a couple of our mutual friends, it became increasingly difficult. I wanted to control the way my blog looked, the frequency with which I posted and the password too.

So, I looked around, and ta-da! Blogger!

I guess a better question would be why do I stay with Blogger. Well, mostly because I haven't got the faintest idea how to go to my own domain name easily, cheaply, efficiently, and with a minimum of fuss. Maybe one day! I'm getting to the point of needing a change so it might happen.

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

A good friend is cheaper than therapy

Day 1 -- Day 2 -- Day 3 -- Day 4 -- Day 5 -- Day 6 -- Day 7 -- Day 8 -- Day 9

Day 10


*sigh* Boring!

Another picture of me and my friends is what I'm meant to share with you today. I'm not really sure what to share. I've been through my files and I'm going to go with this one:

The beautiful redhead on the left is one of my best friends ever....Ginger Rug. The gorgeous gal on the right is another of my best friends....we'll call her Rickie. These two got me through a lot in the year and a half or so before we moved to New Zealand and I miss them, and their spawn, desperately.

I tried to find a picture of the three of us with our other friend, Punchy...but alas, none were to be found. Perhaps I'll find one later.

The title I chose for this post is accurate. A good friend IS cheaper than therapy. I can't even begin to describe how much of an effect Ginger Rug, Rickie and Punchy had on my life, and continue to have to this day. They always had a shoulder to cry on, were there to laugh with or rant at, and our kids always got along well. They all had girls the same age as my son and he loved it. Our husbands liked each other and shared much the same sense of humour. Life was awesome.

I miss them a lot, and wish I could see them again, but I know that with the wonders of Facebook and Skype, we'll always be able to keep in touch.

Girls, I love ya!

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Music is what feelings sound like

Day 1 -- Day 2 -- Day 3 -- Day 4 -- Day 5 -- Day 6 -- Day 7 -- Day 8 -- Day 9


*sing with me!*

On the 10th day of whatever this is, your true love (that'd be me) gave you ..... not a whole heck of a lot.

Today, for "30 Days of Me", I am supposed to tell you what songs I listen to when I'm happy, sad, bored, hyped or mad. I was surprised at how difficult this was for me at first. You see, I'll listen to pretty much anything, at any time. It doesn't usually matter what kind of mood I'm in. So I had to put a bit more thought into this one. I had to delve deep into the recesses of my rapidly shriveling brain to retrieve what little bit of information has been hiding there.

I didn't discover much.

I have what my husband likes to call a "sucky" taste in music. I like to call it "varied".

Last month I heard that new song by Bruno Mars, "Just the Way You Are". As intrigued as I was by his funky name, the title of the song didn't particularly appeal. I mean, who the hell needs yet another soppy ass love song to make them feel shitty about the way their own romantic life is progressing? Then I actually listened to it and I was slightly less cynical. I even passed it on to make a few people feel better about themselves. It has that power. I decided, on a whim, to check out the rest of his songs. Turns out, these now fall nicely into the "songs I listen to when I'm happy" category. He has a bit of a folky style in some of them, and most of them are upbeat.

Sad or bored? A bit of Evanescence, Paramore, Linkin Park....gets me out of my funk and heading toward at least a glass of wine and a snuggle.

Hyped? A little bit of Black Eyed Peas or Pink will do me.

But when I'm mad? I like to crank some System of a Down or Tool to rage out to. There is nothing better than screaming along with the hard rockin' sounds of either of those bands to make you feel better. I suppose the next best thing would be to put an ex boyfriend's picture on a dartboard.

So what do YOU listen to in your various moods?

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pride goeth before a fall

Day 1 -- Day 2 -- Day 3 -- Day 4 -- Day 5 -- Day 6 -- Day 7 -- Day 8


It's been too long. Things got busy around here. You know, just when I think I don't have a life, it totally comes and gets in the way.

Anyhoozle, my poor time management skills aside, I thought it was about time that I finally got around to continuing this whole "30 Days of Me" thing that I've been working on for over a month now. Sad really that this is only the 9th entry for that.

So, for Day 9 I am meant to tell you something that I'm proud of in the last few days.

Oh come back, don't worry! I'm not going to beat that old dead horse by the name of "Ishallnotscreamatmyspawn". Mostly because that's not going so well. That MAY have something to do with my (potentially genetic) low patience disorder, or it may have something to do with the fact that they've both been absolute shits lately. Either way, we won't be talking about that today because I'm not done thrashing that deceased equine yet.

What am I proud of then? Well. Turns out I am astonishingly good at setting boundaries in my life.......when I have enough people tell me to do that.

I seem to have rather a habit of taking on too much. To some of the people who know me, this might sound like absolute bullhooey but I assure you, it's true. When people need a volunteer, I am powerless to stop my hands from flinging themselves up in the air, my bat-wings doing their own little dance, to say "pick me! pick ME!". This is how I first ended up being the Secretary and then the President of the PTA at the last school the spawn attended. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but it quickly grew from chairing a monthly meeting, to organizing fundraisers, to staffing those fundraisers, to .....well you get the picture. And it was the same 12 people always doing everything. I was lucky to have an amazing best friend, Ginger Rug, helping me out and keeping me relatively sane.

At the same time that I was doing the PTA thing, I was also working nights at the No Tell Motel and looking after a little boy during the day.

To say I was overstretched would be an understatement. When we moved to NZ, I made myself a promise that I wouldn't repeat the same thing. And I haven't. Sort of.

I work as a Community Support Worker. I do care of the elderly & disabled. I go into their homes and help them. Lately I have found myself picking up more hours, which is nice. What wasn't nice is that I was working 7 days a week. 7 evenings a week. Granted, some of those days I only did 3 hours work, but still. I had volunteered to work every evening when one of the girls went off sick. I thought it would be a short term thing. Three months later, I was still at it and I'd had enough.

I hadn't been home to put the kids to bed in months.

I hadn't had a coherent, adult conversation with Hotty Hubby (he has objected to being called The Man) in ages.

I was tired and grumpy and sick to death of going out for an hour or two every night. It was rarely worth the gas to go in my car.

Hotty Hubby was sick of it. And he made that known.

Finally, my new friend (squeee...I have friends here now!) Dino gave me the prod I needed and I headed into the office. I laid it all out on the table, I told them what I wanted and told them what would happen if I didn't get it and thankfully no one called my bluff.

And now? I work 2 nights during the week for an hour and both nights on the weekends for two hours.

The kids ...... happy.

The husband ..... happy.

The friend ..... proud.

Me? ..... ecstatic. And proud.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010


Day 1 -- Day 2 -- Day 3 -- Day 4 -- Day 5 -- Day 6 -- Day 7



We all make them, we all try to reach them, we all sometimes fail. Every person has a different set of goals in their life. Some people want to save money to buy a house, some people want to travel all over the world. Goals are an inevitable part of our lives and will always be.

For Day 8 of "30 Days of Me", I am meant to tell you what my short term goals are for this month...and why. Seeing as October is pretty much over, I'm going to go with November. The problem is, I hadn't really thought about my goals for the month, I was just trying to get through October! But we'll have a go.....

#1 - Continue with my non yelling goal from October (I mentioned this on Day 4). Why? Because it's been going fairly well. I still find myself yelling occasionally but it is finally starting to be at a time that actually warrants it. I'm not yelling for silly things as much, and am beginning to pause for thought before reacting to whatever problem is at hand. Perhaps I'll be able to break the habit after all?

#2 - Amp up my exercise regime. Or rather....create a proper one. Why? Because my sister is getting married in April and I need to shift a TON more of this weight. I let some of my old, bad habits creep back in over the winter and ended up hitting a plateau. So now is the time to start fresh. It's Spring and I'm loving that the scale is finally going down again.

#3 - Spend more time with my hubby. Why? Because I've been working too many evenings and weekends lately and it is starting to take its toll on both of us. I've already made a good start on this goal by setting some much needed boundaries at work and ask for some evenings off. Bring on the date nights!!

#4 - Finish organizing the house. Why? We've only lived here just over a year but I'm amazed at the sheer amount of crap we seem to have gathered. So I've been organizing, purging, sorting, moving and tidying. Ideally I would have someone who would come and do my vacuuming and bathrooms for me, but seeing as that isn't an option, I will have to do it my way. *sigh*

That's about it. I'm not a big goal maker, so this will have to do.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Deep Impact

Day 1 -- Day 2 -- Day 3 -- Day 4 -- Day 5 -- Day 6


Sometimes it can be very difficult to follow something like these prompts. As I go through the "30 Days of Me", I can find some that are incredibly easy and some that actually make me sit and think for awhile. If you look for long enough, you could probably see the smoke coming out of my ears and my eyes spinning around just from the sheer hard work that thinking requires.

Day 7 is exactly that kind of prompt. I'm supposed to post a picture of someone or something that has had the biggest impact on me.

Um. Wow?!

I suppose that for some of you, choosing that someone or something might be easy. For me, it opened up a million doors of consideration. Should it be a good or a bad impact? Is it better for it to be a someONE or a someTHING? If I choose a person, do I do so at the risk of offending everyone else in my life by not picking them? If I choose a thing, do I look like a bit of a tool? And how do you decide what the biggest impact was? A significant impact to me, might seem just run of the mill to the rest of you.

I considered choosing books and waxing lyrical about the profound effect that they've had on my life and how if I had to live without books, I might have to gouge my eyes out with a hot spoon.

But, we already know about my passion for literature (and the fluffy crap that they like to publish these days). So I abandoned that thought.

I thought about telling you all about my love of travel and how living all over the world has had such an amazing impact on my life - from meeting new people, to learning about new cultures, travel is amazing.

In the end though, I decided that this is what has had the biggest impact by FAR on my life to this point:

Cheesy. I know. But true. The fruit of my loins, the spawn, the ones I call the life suckers - my beautiful children.

From the moment that my daughter was born over 8 years ago and my son two years later, I have learned a lot about myself and what I am capable of.

I am capable of loving more than I ever thought possible. My heart grew a hundred fold with each of the kids and with everything they do, it grows more.

I am capable of handling more than I would care to but again, more than I ever thought I could. Watching your child struggle for breath in the hospital, or watching them drift in and out of consciousness is a real test of your strength. Thankfully I have never had to deal with anything major, like some of you, and I pray I never will....but I am happy to know that I can deal with more than I ever thought.

I have also discovered how incapable I am of dealing with some things.

I am not able to sit idly by and watch anyone purposely hurt my children.

I can't bear to see my children hurt for any reason. Skinned knee, hurt feelings, illness - it all makes my heart hurt with the pain of a thousand arrows.

I am finding it increasingly hard to deal with the fact that eventually they will not need me anymore. As they get older and more independent, I realise that there will come a day when they leave me behind to begin a life of their own. With every birthday, I shed a few more tears.

So there you have it. I can't think of any other thing that has had quite the impact on my life that those two have had. And you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Up, Up and AWAY!

Day 1 -- Day 2 -- Day 3 -- Day 4 -- Day 5


Superheroes. They climb walls, they fly, they have cool cars, they have alter egos and they keep the world safe from the scum of the earth. As children, we watched the movies and the tv shows.

For Day 6 of "30 Days of Me", I'm to tell you who my favorite superhero was and why. You might be surprised to find that I'm not entirely sure who that person might be. How can you choose from so many seemingly amazing characters?

Superman - the dude can FLY! Full on, up in the air, carrying planes, FLY! And his cape isn't just for show like some other heroes. He can do things with his eyes that most men can only ever dream of and the only thing that can really bring him down is an ugly crystal.

Spiderman - so the climbing up walls thing is pretty cool but the suit was never my thing. Plus, while Superman was the somewhat hunky Clark Kent by day, Peter Parker was a bit of a dweeb. On the other hand, if you ever wanted to be tied up........

Wonder Woman - OOohhh look at her. She can spin. And deflect things with her wrists. Guess can I. Mind you, my wrist deflection usually involves me going one step further and bitch slapping someone, but it's still wrist action right?

Batman - For a guy with that much money, I'm a little disappointed that he keeps his gear stashed in a cave instead of a gold plated vault. Plus, the fact that he keeps a skinny minny, named after a bird, around for company is a bit odd. But the car......I'd leave my husband for that car.

Catwoman...yawn. Iron suit. Hellboy....scary, how'd he get hero status?

There's so many superheroes that it really is hard to pick one. I think some people might say a nice mash-up of all of them might be nice.

**I've linked up for all you uber geeks like The Man**

But those are all the big name people. What about the little guys? What about people like Captain Planet, She-Ra, Velma from Scooby Doo? Let's not forget about them!

For the purposes of this exercise, I think I'll choose one that I've always thought was kind of awesome.


She is all kinds of fantastic and her outfit is H-O-T.

So, who would YOU be?

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Oh the places you'll go!

Day 1 -- Day 2 -- Day 3 -- Day 4


For today's "30 Days of Me", I'm meant to show you a picture of somewhere I've been to.

Well, I've been lots of places. So how do you choose? I currently live in a very beautiful country, I was born in a beautiful country and I've lived in and traveled in many more over the years. I considered trying to be funny and posting a picture of a toilet; after all, I've been there!

Instead, I think I'll leave you with this:

That is Mont St. Michel in France. It's beautiful there! It is very quaint, it is amazing and it is worth the journey to get there. Should you ever have the chance to be in France, I highly recommend a trip to see this place. You won't regret it!

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Breaking the habit

**Today is your LAST day to enter to win one of two copies of the "Operation Beautiful" book for you or another beautiful person in your life. Click HERE to enter!**

Day 1 -- Day 2 -- Day 3


And we're back for another "30 Days of Me" post. For day 4 I'm meant to tell you all about a habit I wish I didn't have. Oh my lovelies, how I wish you had all day to sit and digest the mile long list of bad habits that I could divulge. I shall try and keep it brief though and just follow the instructions.

So bad habit........I yell too much.

That may not sound like a habit but it seems to have become one over the years. I yell about the silliest things and at the drop of a hat. I'm not talking about just speaking at a loud volume, I'm talking about yelling at my spawnlets when I could just have a talk with them about something.

Example: Boy Spawn knocks over his glass of milk on the table and instead of commenting on how he should be more careful, I go ape shit and yell at him.

Example: Girl Spawn has been asked to tidy up her room, has gotten distracted and is now busy playing with something in the living room. Instead of asking her to please return to her own den of despair to finish her task, I find myself yelling at her about why she can't just do as she's told the first frickin' time.

Example: I come home from work on a Saturday morning and find The Man has only crawled out of bed an hour ago and has spent the hour sitting on his ass instead of doing anything useful. Because it's a Saturday. And he works HARD all week. Which I know. Instead of just remembering those two things and accepting that he needs to have a rest once in awhile, I turn into a total asshat and yell about all the things he could have been doing and why the hell weren't they done and why does it feel like I have to do every damn thing around here and ohmygodyou'resuchanasshole!!!!

Yeah. It's become a habit. It has become my default setting. And I don't like it.

I have to say though, it is something I've been working on changing!

We are now 8 days into October and I have yelled at my children twice and never at my husband. I'm so proud of myself.

The spawn think that an alien being has taken their mother and moved in because all of a sudden I am talking rationally to them and dealing with things like a normal human being. The Man? I don't think he's noticed because he's not normally around enough to see the difference.

So there you have it. One bad habit and an effort to change.

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Monday, October 4, 2010

With a little help from my friends

**Don't forget to enter to win one of TWO copies of the "Operation Beautiful" book. Open WORLDWIDE! Go HERE to enter!**

Day 1 -- Day 2


Hm. Day 3 of "30 Days of Me" asks me to show you a picture of me and my friends. Here you go.

Picture from

Obviously I'm the one in the blue bikini.

Honestly it's hard to find a picture of me with any of my friends. For one very good reason - I don't like being in front of a camera. So, I went trolling the pictures of me that various people have posted on Facebook and found this one:

I am the one in the top right corner with the long blond hair, the bottle in my hand and a serious lean going on. I'm pretty sure this was taken on my friend Kelly's 16th birthday. In her basement. We spent a lot of time in basements in those days. Kelly would tell you that that was because we shouldn't have been allowed out in public looking the way we did.

Seriously, what was up with the fashion back then??

Kelly is the one in the bottom left of the picture. The red head propping up the other girl (who, for some reason, I don't remember). In the back with me is Shoned on the left and Nikki C in the middle.

When I moved to Germany in 1993, I didn't know anyone. By the time I been at school for a short time, those 3 were my closest friends. They saw me through a boyfriend or two, the rumour mill at school, the loss of my virginity, the breakup from my first real boyfriend and major love of my teen years, and many a fight with my mother.

We used to get on our bikes on some summer weekends and head into a nearby town to have a treat at the ice cream parlour. HUGE ice creams, with booze on them!

There were gates on the air base where we lived and my mother had a rule that I was not allowed past them, into the area where the single guys were barracked. The four of us ignored that rule time and again and by the time the summer rolled around when I was 16, we were friends with many a single guy. I have a vague memory of me and Shoned almost getting caught at a party in one of the barrack blocks but that might have been our trampy friend, Vicki. The girl wore so much make up that she must have needed a trowel to put it on.

After that summer, I went off to boarding school in England and made new friends. I knew that those three were still back in Germany and I saw them once at a careers fair that both our schools attended and couldn't bring myself to say anything. It's only in retrospect that I realize what a snob I had turned into. We lost touch....until a year or so ago when I found them all on Facebook, the magical tool of reconnection.

Y'all know my story. Kelly is in the army, married to an army guy. Shoned is a vet nurse and with a long term boyfriend. Nikki has a confusing sounding job that I've never really gotten the title for and updated her status with wittiness from time to time. We've all got far different lives than I ever thought we would, but as far as I can tell we're happy.

Those three were some of the best friends I ever had, and possibly the most important ones I had growing up. After all....when you're a teenager, it's your friends that get you through right?

So there you have it. Me....and my friends.

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

What's in a name?

For Day 2 of the "30 Days of Me", I am meant to tell y'all the meaning behind my blog name.


It's very simple. It's the name that I came up with in conjunction with the guy who originally set me up in the blog world. It was going to be something like Ramblings of a Busy Mom and instead turned into Mind of a Mad Woman. I try not think about its reflection on my mental state. I know I'm crazy, you know I'm crazy, let's call a spade a freakin' shovel shall we?

After I got torn apart over at The Site Who Shall Not Be Named Again, I seriously considered changing my blog name. After all, all the cool people have awesome blog names.

.......and SO many more.

I changed my mind. I'm embracing my Mad Woman status and everyone else can suck big hair monkey nuts. I reserve the right to change the look of my blog whenever I want though.

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Friday, October 1, 2010

Me. In a bullet point nutshell.

** Don't forget to enter the giveaway to win one of two copies of the "Operation Beautiful" book. Go HERE **

This is the first of my "30 Days of Me" posts and I'm meant to share a recent picture of myself and 15 interesting facts about myself. The picture I can do easily. Here ya go:

That was taken recently at a place called Monkey Bay, which is about 20 minutes from my house. It was beautiful there!

Now, the 15 interesting facts were a little harder to come up with.

1. I was born in Bermuda. Pink sandy beaches, Portugese man o' war and gorgeous blue water. I got to go back and visit when I was 12 (I think) and it was awesome. Just a beautiful place. I hope one day to visit with the spawnlets.

2. There are 11 years between LilSis and me. For all intents and purposes we grew up as only children, which makes for an interesting dynamic now that we're both adults.

3. I am a huge movie buff. The Man will call me from work to ask me to settle an argument that he and the guys are having. "Honey, you know that movie with the guy who goes to that place where the girl is and they do this....what's it called?" 99% of the time I get it right. He's duly impressed.

4. I share a birthday with the awesome Stevie Nicks & Lenny Kravitz, the annoying Bobcat Goldthwaite (his voice makes me want to gouge my eyes out with a hot spoon) and the crude Matt Stone of South Park fame. I'm not impressed by any of this because I happen to think I'm more awesome than all of them combined, just not as rich.

5. When I get to know you, there's no shutting me up. Until then, I can come across as quite a snob because I can actually be quite shy. This won me the enviable title of "cold, snobby bitch" from The Man's family because very few of them actually took the time to get to know me. You know you want that title too. You can't have it. It's mine. All mine.

6. I hate shopping. Going to a mall and walking around for 2 hours just looking at things is absolute TORTURE to me. I am the kind of girl that goes in with a mission and emerges 20 minutes later with exactly what I was looking for. Window shopping is this girl's equivalent to water torture.

7. Much to my husband's dismay, I could quite happily go my entire life without ever having sex again. I won't...but I could. (You're welcome for this tidbit, oh visiting family members!)

8. I have lived in 7 different countries (Bermuda, Canada, England, Wales, Germany and NZ) and travelled in many more. During my most recent stint in Canada, I lived in 8 different houses in 8 years. It's the curse (or gift) of being a military brat, I have a need to move around.

9. I love, love, LOVE horror movies. However, I can only watch them with all the lights on, a blanket over me, a pillow on my lap and another pillow to put in front of my face to hide behind. Under no circumstances will you get me to watch a horror movie with the lights out. That would just be inviting the boogie man to get me.

10. I have never broken anything. Except dishes. As far as I know, all bones in my body are still in the most excellent condition that they always have been. Of course, now that I have said that, I will fall off a ladder or get beaten by an old woman with a stick and break my arm.

11. I never thought that I would work with old people. I worked in pet stores and had dreams of working with animals, I babysat and knew I would never work with children (shudder) and I went to school and trained as a Legal Secretary...but never did I think I would be happy working with old folks (and disabled people). Turns out, I love it. And I'm good at it!

12. I seem to be horribly addicted to chick lit, vampire novels (especially the ones that use their "big girl words", like J.R. Ward), and books about witches. I'm not sure what's going on. I've read War & Peace. Twice. And yet I find myself reading things like Twilight and getting excited about the sequels. *sigh*

13. I am a Christian but tend to keep that to myself because the vast majority of our friends are not. And neither is The Man. It's not that I'm embarrassed, it's just that I'm afraid of being ridiculed. Silly? Perhaps. Safe? Feels that way.

14. I hate socks. And shoes. I would happily go barefoot all year were it not for safety at work and the fear of losing my toes to frostbite in the winter. Given the choice, it would be me and 50 pairs of flip flops....all the time.

15. I don't like phones. I have a cellphone, but no home line. If you call me, I might answer but I'll try and keep the conversation as short as possible. If you text me or email me, you can bet your perky little ass that I'll be having a full on conversation with you. And no, I don't miss the expression that comes with an actual conversation.

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

30 Days

** Have you entered the giveaway for the "Operation Beautiful" books? Go HERE **

There are many, many days when I struggle with what I could (or should) be writing here. Then, the other day, I came across something that a lot of the NZ bloggers that I follow seem to have taken up. It's called "30 Days of Me". The theory is that you are supposed to do 30 days of posts about yourself. In a row. I think it originated on this blog - Pebbles' Blog.

Well, I don't to annoy people by having a post appear every single day and quite frankly I think that I'll probably annoy myself if I did that, so I'm going to do it, but they'll be spaced out a bit. Here's the things you're meant to answer:

Day 01- A recent picture of you and 15 interesting facts about yourself
Day 02- The meaning behind your Blog name
Day 03- A picture of you and your friends
Day 04- A habit that you wish you didn’t have
Day 05- A picture of somewhere you’ve been to
Day 06- Favorite super hero and why
Day 07- A picture of someone/something that has the biggest impact on you
Day 08- Short term goals for this month and why
Day 09- Something you’re proud of in the past few days
Day 10- Songs you listen to when you are Happy, Sad, Bored, Hyped, Mad
Day 11- Another picture of you and your friends
Day 12- How you found out about Blogger and why you made one
Day 13- A letter to someone who has hurt you recently
Day 14- A picture of you and your family
Day 15- Put your iPod on shuffle: First 10 songs that play
Day 16- Another picture of yourself
Day 17- Someone you would want to switch lives with for one day and why
Day 18- Plans/dreams/goals you have
Day 19- Nicknames you have; why do you have them
Day 20- Someone you see yourself marrying/being with in the future
Day 21- A picture of something that makes you happy
Day 22- What makes you different from everyone else
Day 23- Something you crave for a lot
Day 24- A letter to your parents
Day 25- What I would find in your bag
Day 26- What you think about your friends
Day 27- Why are you doing this 30 day challenge
Day 28- A picture of you last year and now, how have you changed since then?
Day 29- In this past month, what have you learned
Day 30- Your favorite song.

So eventually, I will make it through them all. And in between I may even manage to get other posts in.

Thanks for stickin' around y'all.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

On a Mission - The 3rd and final chapter..complete with GIVEAWAY!

Part 1 -- Part 2

So we've talked about our perceptions of beauty. We've talked about the quest for perfect that we all seem to be on, in however small a way.

I'd like to tie those two together today with a video that someone shared with me. It's sad, it brought a tear to my eye. I sat with my 8 year old daughter and watched it. Not because I wanted to scare her, although that may have been an added bonus, but because I wanted to see her reaction and I wanted to have a discussion.

She was horrified. She was saddened. She was confused. She was worried.

She wanted to know why the girls in the video wanted to be so skinny. She asked why their mommies hadn't told them that they were beautiful and smart...."You know, like you tell me all the time Momma!"

I didn't have an answer for her. I still don't.

We talked about why some girls feel like they have to look like that. I let her lead the discussion and eventually we ended up in the inevitable position of talking about how pretty some movie stars and singers are. I Googled some of those "before & after photoshop" pictures of the celebs and she was shocked.

I'm sure there will be more questions to come. I'm sure that as she gets older and listens to some of the girls at school, she will perhaps begin to doubt her own self confidence. I hope that it will be short lived. I hope that I will be able to foster a healthy sense of being in her and that I will never have to watch my daughter starve herself into oblivion.

My hope for my daughter is that she will always be happy with herself, whatever she chooses. I don't just mean with her body, but in her life. I hope never to identify my daughter in an article like the one Dan wrote, it was bad enough to see myself.

Well folks, this is the end of my "On a Mission" series of posts and I would like to give something away to you.

I have TWO copies of the "Operation Beautiful" book to give away. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me who in your life (you or someone else) is beautiful....and why. You can leave ONE comment PER DAY for the duration of the giveaway.

Open to EVERYONE. Contest closes Friday 8th October.

P.S. There's also a giveaway running over at my other blog "Looking For My Feet"...feel free to swing by and enter!

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Monday, September 27, 2010

On a mission - Part 2

Part 1 of "On a Mission" can be found HERE.


The stuff I want to talk about in this second half came about because of yet another post by Dan Pearce at Single Dad Laughing. This post has been well received all around the world. It has made people laugh, it has made them cry and it has opened up many channels of communication. More than 100,000 people have visited the post, it has been shared on Facebook and tweeted on Twitter and sent via email. It took Dan a long time to write and took me a long time to read through because it kept making me stop to think. And cry. The post is called "The Disease Called 'Perfection'". If you haven't yet read it, you should. If you have read it, read it again. Please. Then come back here and we'll talk.

I'll wait.

Did you see anyone you recognize in that post? Did you see yourself in that post?

I did. I saw people from my past and even some from my present. I saw myself from a couple of years ago and even some small bits of my present self floating around. It was kind of sobering.

My mother was there, trying to be perfect for the people around her, never taking time for herself, justifying her husband's behaviour to herself and to everyone around her. She spent many of my formative years trying to please everyone, trying to make everyone happy. If she fell short in that pursuit, you could tell it affected her in a big way. I never really appreciated how much she did for us (none of us did), until I was older with kids of my own. I spent a few years doing this myself.

I'm sure that some people would tell you that my husband was the belittled, unappreciated man. He may even tell you that himself. For some years there, as ashamed as I am to admit it, he worked hard for our family and all I did was pick fights, nag and bully. I was going through a hard time in my own head but wasn't ready to admit it, instead taking it out on him. It's possible that in his desire to hide the imperfection in his marriage, he stayed. Thankfully, we are now in a good, happy place.

We were the couple with debt who still went camping, still went to movies, still got take out....all because we (I) didn't want to say to our friends "sorry, we can't afford it". It's hard when all your friends are making better money, buying better things and having fun....and you don't have the money. You want to seem perfect, you want to fit in, and to tell anyone otherwise is scary.

"Perfection"'s not all it's cracked up to be. Dan had it right, it's a pandemic. People everywhere trying to something they're not.

I've been that mom, trying to keep up with the other moms. Crafts, play dates, classes, all gets to be too much.

I've been that overwhelmed woman driving in her car and considering driving into a wall. I really have. The only thing that stopped me was the fact that my children would then have to live with a very REAL example of how IMperfect their mother was.

It scares me, just as much as it scares Dan and the thousands of people who have shared his words, how focused on being "perfect" we have all become. I am thankful that I am starting to outgrow it. It is partly due to age, I no longer have the incredible NEED to be liked by everyone. My new mantra is "if you don't like me, that ain't MY problem". It is partly due to our new location, New Zealand is not a "keep up with the Joneses" country. But it is mostly due to the fact that I am very aware of how damaging this quest for perfection can be....and I don't want my children to be sucked in. I don't want anyone's children to be sucked in.

So here's my question to you.


Why do we feel like we have to be everything, to everyone?

Why do we put so much pressure on our children to look right, act right, be....."perfect"?

Why do we put ourselves through the things we do, to make OTHER people happy?


Surely we should be trying to make ourselves happy first. If we aren't happy in our own lives, we can't help anyone else.

I want you all to read Dan's post as many times as it takes to really GET IT. It's important. We need to stop this stupid Perfection Infection. It's ridiculous. And it needs to stop.

It needs to end before anymore children kill themselves, before anymore young women make poor decisions that cost them their lives, before anymore men and women stay in marriages that are making them desperately unhappy.

And please, remember this one thing:

Imperfect is the new perfect.

Also, it's kind of beautiful to be imperfect and have flaws. So embrace yourself. Be yourself. Screw the rest of them.

UPDATE: Dan has posted a response to his own post called "The CURE for 'perfection'". Please go and check it out.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

On a mission - Part 1

What is your definition of beauty?

Is it the faces you see on the street every day -- the elderly people with faces lined with wrinkles and laugh lines, the little kids who smile as they skip past you, the woman in her 20s who is fresh faced and on her way to meet her boyfriend, the mother hurrying past you with 3 kids that looks like she could use a break?

Or is it the faces you see in the media every day - the actresses with the teeny tiny waists and professionally done hair & make up, the singer who just had a baby 2 months ago and has already lost the 60 lbs she gained, the model who is in her 50s but would like everyone to believe that she's aging gracefully despite the many rounds of plastic surgery she's had?

Does it have to be one or the other? Can it be both?

As a female living in this world, I think we are under far more pressure to look good, be thin, have great hair, wear the right clothes and make up....all while managing the rest of our lives. When you flick through a magazine, you don't see pages and pages of men in their various states of dress getting picked apart by the so called "experts". There may be one or two, but it is primarily the women.

Their fashion choices are torn apart, their weight is CONSTANTLY under scrutiny, and ooooh look she's got cellulite! *gasp*shock*horror*

The pictures on those pages, the faces on the commercials....they. are. photoshopped! They aren't real.

The thing is, a lot of the celebs that you see on those pages -- Halle Berry, Charlize Theron, Julia Roberts, the list goes on forever! -- ARE already gorgeous. So why do they need to be enhanced, tweaked and "improved" when their photos are put in a mag?

Why? Because society has a twisted idea of what beauty really is.

I read THIS post by Dan Pearce over at Single Dad Laughing and I found myself nodding along the whole time. It struck a cord with me because for years I have heard, from various sources (not all of them credible), that I can't be hot, I can't be considered beautiful or sexy....because I'm not a size 2 or even a size 12! And I started to believe it! My self esteem sunk SO low that even when my husband, who has loved me at my heaviest weight of 370 lbs, told me that I was beautiful and sexy, I didn't believe him. He couldn't possibly be telling the truth. I don't look anything like those women on tv or in the magazines, so I can't be what he's describing.

I woke up.

No, I don't fit the societal norm of what is hot/beautiful/sexy. No, I'm not a size 2 (nor do I aspire to be. A nice 12 to 14 will do me nicely). No, I don't have the fashionable clothes, the great hair or the gorgeous make up.


But I am hot....because my self esteem has started to come up as I lose weight and I really LISTEN to what my husband is telling me.

But I am sexy.....because with that improving self esteem comes self confidence and dammit, I can strut my stuff!

But I am beautiful....because I am a good person, a good mother, a good wife and a good friend and I continue to work on those things on a daily basis.

I am all those things. And so are you. All of you (the men too!).

Don't get me wrong, I know I'm not perfect.....but I don't want to be. I am not trying to be skinny, I am not trying to look like a model. My weight loss journey is purely for my health. I want to be healthy, I want to be alive. Any cosmetic benefits are pure gravy as far as I'm concerned!

As my opinion of myself has improved and the way I see myself has changed, I have thought more and more about how I can make other change the way they see themselves. But where can a person start?

I started with my daughter. I don't want her to grow up with the same body issues that I have been dealing with for years. I want her to be comfortable in her own skin, be confident with who she is and what she looks like and I want her to OWN it.

When she was 5, she came home from kindergarten and stood in front of the mirror and proclaimed herself FAT. I just about moved to Outer Siberia right then and there. Obviously being in contact with the outside world wasn't helping! But that's not the solution is it?

I told her that she was most certainly not fat, she was healthy and beautiful and smart. And I have continued to tell her that. Growing up with a fat mother, she is 50% more likely to have a weight problem herself. Add that to my list of motivations for my own weight loss. As I lose weight and exercise, she sees me making smart and healthy choices and is more likely to do the same. Already, she has entered her first duathlon!

But it's not just my daughter. It's my sister, my mother, my neighbours and my friends. It's strangers out there standing in front of the rows of magazines, sad that they will never look like Drew Barrymore. How do you make a difference with them?

Well. That's when I found out about Operation Beautiful.

This woman started putting up post it notes with messages on them. Encouraging messages. And she stuck them all over the place. People started finding them and then they started leaving some of their own. And it has grown. People all over the world are posting notes where people can find them. I've even been leaving them in various places.

It's a small thing, but it can make a huge difference to someone's day.

So my questions to you are these:

Are YOU beautiful/hot/sexy? (hint: this is a trick question, I already gave you the answer)

How do you foster good self esteem in the girls in your life?

How will you make someone feel better about themselves this week?


Part 2 of "On a Mission"...coming soon!

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Yo! Wassup dawg?!

Hi everyone! I feel like I've been gone forever. I guess I kind of have. It wasn't a planned thing, it just sort of happened that way. It's like I lost all interest in most things internet. Sure I was checking Facebook occasionally to see what colour socks y'all were wearing or how much your neighbour had pissed you off that day and, of course, I was making sure to update my own much watched status so that no one could possibly miss the fact that instead of having spaghetti for dinner we were going to have fettucine. All that interesting stuff that none of us could possibly go a day without knowing. You know the drill.

I even dropped in on Twitter and LiveJournal once or twice. I'm not even sure why I still have a LJ account, to be honest.

The blog thing? I just wasn't feeling it. I knew there was stuff I wanted to talk about. I knew there was stuff I wanted to get off my chest. I even knew that there was a couple of things that I could potentially be funny about. Or they could go over like a lead balloon. The thing is, all that stuff was there.

I. Just. Didn't. Care.

You know why?

Because MONTHS ago, on a whim, I decided to throw myself into the fires of blogger hell and submit my name and blog to these charming folks over at Ask And Ye Shall Receive. See, the idea is that you submit your blog and eventually, when they get through their backlogs of people eagerly awaiting their own slaughter, they will get to you. One of their "experts" goes through your blog with a fine tooth comb laced with nasty and tells you everything you're doing right and EVERYTHING you're doing wrong.

It is beyond me why I even bothered. I guess somewhere in the back of my mind, at the time I put my name into the hat, I was holding onto this dream that they might actually like me. In the months after I sent them my link, I forgot about them. And then? Then they popped up on my Analytics as a new link and I was curious. So curious, that I followed the link and .....

.... found this.

*pause for dramatic effect*


It hurt. It stung. It made me angry and sad and incredibly frustrated all at the same time. Because a big part of me.....knew they were RIGHT!

I HAD started doing a lot of those meme things instead of writing what was in my heart. I had started taking the easy way out and being lazy instead of saying what I wanted to say.

It pissed me off that they were right about so many things. I even responded....and deleted that.

I went through my own archives and deleted a bunch of posts. As far as these people were concerned, I shouldn't be doing this. And so, I didn't.

I lost interest after that.

But then I was sitting here the other night and thinking to myself.....who the HELL do these people think they are? Yes. I was lazy and took the easy way out. Yes. There was a lot of those posts and very few posts that I could look back on and say I was proud of. Yes. But there were a lot of posts I was VERY proud of, and still am, and they didn't even look at them.

These people sit there and pass judgment on the rest of the bloggers and yet we have NO idea who they are, no access to their own blogs to see if they're all hot shit or not and yet we're expected to sit back and take the praise and criticisms as they see fit?

Screw that.

I asked, I received. Fair enough. They didn't like my stuff? Fair enough. But the fact that I let it get to me that much drives me crazy. Screw them!!

This is my blog, I'll write about what I want, when I want, why I want and HOW I want....and if anyone doesn't like it, they don't have to come back.

I hope that after my long absence there is still a few of you here. And I hope you'll stick around, because I'm here to stay!

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Monday, September 6, 2010

Guest Poster: "Power Pooper!"

As much as it pains me that the only posts I've had in the last month are two guest least they are from the same fantabulous person. Please give Frantic Mommy another warm welcome!!!


Have you had one of those days when:

A. You wish you would have never gotten out of bed.


B. You are unsure how your husband makes it through his day without dragging his knuckles like a dang caveman.

A few years ago, I had one of those days. Actually I’ve had MANY days like that in my 21 years of marriage, but this one is forever etched in my beady little brain.

Princess Sara was a baby back then. Cute as a button, sweet as sugar, and the Best.Baby.Ever. She slept through the night at 11 weeks. She rarely cried, smiled a lot, and was as healthy as a horse. She is the perfect child….

with one exception….

….the kid crapped out half her body weight on a regular basis. They weren’t just dainty little poops like her petite little 12 pound body. They were huge, messy, and could choke an ox at 100 yards with the smell. Did I mention she was a “Power Pooper?” Seriously, her turds did not just squeak out, they erupted. The PSI (Poop-per-square-inch) was mind-boggling and even my daycare lady who’d been in the biz 20 years was amazed.

Any-whoo, the day I am referring to did not start off well to begin with. I woke up late, my zipper broke, and apparently I didn’t have another clean pair of pants in the whole stinkin house (fire the laundry lady! Oh wait..that’s me). Like most working parents, I had my morning planned to the nanosecond with ZERO margin for error. That’s when Princess Poopy Pants threw me a curve ball. As I trotted to her room, I could tell half a house away that Mount St. Crap Pants had erupted.

Quickly I scooped her up. I look at her face and note she didn’t look like Winston Churchill so I assumed the “grunting” and “evacuation” portion of her deed was over and all I need to do is to clean up this colossal Mud Slide South of Her Border. I laid her down, opened the Diaper From Hell, and leaned over her to reach for a handful of the 47 wipes it will take to clean up her tiny tushy..

….and disaster strikes.

My Mini Me unleashes Round Two of her Crap-a-Thon. Not a gentle gush, mind you. It comes out with the velocity and style of oatmeal being blown out of a canon. Instantly I am hit with a high-powered load of sh*t and that is rank enough to part one’s hair. In fact, it is IN my hair…on my nose…on my shirt…even on the bedroom door across the room.

I sh*t you not.

I clean her and myself up the best I can (which includes me stripping down to my bra) and take her to Daddy. I quickly inform him his beloved little dumpling has just befouled herself, her room, and her mother.

I was heading for the shower ASAP.

My husband looks puzzled. “Why?”, he asks.

Why? Are you freakin mental??? I have baby crap in my hair!

“Can’t you just comb it out?” he offers.

Ummm ….yeah. RIGHT.

It must be a bitch for him to keep his knuckles from being skinned all the time. Pass the Wooly Mammoth please.

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Monday, August 2, 2010

Guest Poster: "What I Know For Sure"

When I put a call out for people who might want to guest post here, the wonderful B, the Frantic Mommy, Queen of the Kingdom of TIRED, jumped at the chance! She was all "pick me! pick me!" and because she was so insistent and I was a little bit scared she might stalk me, I let her do it.

Alright, I let her do it because I think she rocks and her sense of humour is similar to mine. That statement alone should send you running for the hills, but I hope you'll stick around to learn more about what she knows for sure and when you're done, please go say hello to her and tell her how bad you want to be her friend!


Life can be tough sometimes..

So tough and complicated that it can't be described in a few paragraphs or even several pages.

Then there's those..moments.

Those truisms or observations that are just so obvious you want to smack your forehead and mutter "Duh!"

I guess it's facts and "stuff" you could chalk up to "what I know for sure...."

The following are a few of those.

Some I read years ago, but can't remember where. Some are "Franticmommy-isms", and some came from the lips of my many Girlfriends and Fellow Moms.

All are meant to make you smile...

...and most should be taken with a salty grin:

*Chain letters and mass email "forwards" are just plain annoying. Knock it off.

*On the days you look your worst, they are days you will see the most people you know. Ball cap please?

*Never pass on an opportunity to pee. (as my Norwegian Gramma used to say "Speak now or forever hold your pee...")

*Don't ask a question if you can't handle the answer.

*Cute teenagers only exist on TV.

*Smarting off to your Mom is a lot like yawning and hiccuping at the same time. You are just bound to get hurt in the process.

*Many people have a photographic memory. But many of us are just lacking the film.

*Whoever invented nylons had to be male. No woman would do that to another woman.

*You can pick your friends, you can pick your nose, you can pick your seat at the movies...but you can't pick your relatives.

*I live in my own world. But that's ok. Everyone knows me here.

*Mothers could be the travel agents for guilt's in our contracts.

SO what do YOU know for sure?

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Little bits of random

I've kind of got thoughts that are bouncing around all over the place, so you're getting a little bit of randomness today. I apologize in advance.

** Yesterday (or July 26th, whenever that may have been for you, depending on where you live) marked an anniversary of sorts for the Mad Woman household. We have now lived in New Zealand for an entire year. It could just be me, but this year seems to have just flown by. I still vividly remember the many teary goodbyes with friends and then sobbing at the airport as I bid goodbye to my father. We're happy here though. The kids are settled and having fun, we've both got jobs and we're doing well as a couple and as a family. No regrets! We do miss everyone though!

** One of the things I have noticed as I lose weight is that aside from my clothes fitting differently and The Man starting to look at me in an even more horny manner, if that is at all possible, is that the wrinkles are starting to show. You see, I don't have as much fat to push them out. So, I am starting to look more my age. There's not many wrinkles, but there's a few. This became rather evident last night at a Zumba class. I had gone with Young Friend who is 20. Part way through the class, we were asked to divide into two different groups - one on each side of the room. As we did do, a woman looked me and suggested "you should probably be on the other side of the class from your daughter". I just about swallowed my tongue as I choked on that one! Clearly a bit of makeup and some anti-aging cream is in order!

** Have you seen that episode of The Big Bang Theory where Penny gives Sheldon a ride somewhere and he notices her "check engine" light is on? That was me the other day. It came on as I left a client's house and I drove around for a little while, happily ignoring it, until that episode popped into my head and I decided I couldn't go home and have The Man go all Sheldon on me, so I stopped and had it looked at. Turns out my car was just about COMPLETELY out of oil (as in, not even showing on the dipstick....which I guess makes ME the dipstick) and rather low on water. It's a wonder I manage to survive from day to day.

** I have realised that the spawnlets are never short of amazing one liners to make me giggle. The latest couple?

Girl Spawn talking about how cold it is in the house: "You know Momma, if we had enough hot water bottles, we could have social heating!"

We're pretty sure she means SOLAR heating which of course has nothing to do with hot water bottles, but I suppose she could mean a bunch of naked, social people cuddled up with hot rubber. You never know with her.

Boy Spawn after calling out to us to come and turn his light off for the night: "I'm done reading!!! *pause* Y'know, all this yelling at night is making my breath hurt!"

I tried to tell him that it's his throat but he maintains it is his breath that hurts and not the tube in his neck. I'll have to take his word for it.

** It occurred to me the other day how much I'm beginning to enjoy having women as friends. In the past, I've spent more of my time with guys because they can usually get ready quickly, don't bitch a lot and can skull a beer as fast as I can. But in the last few years, after a couple of drama queens and queen bees were left behind, I have begun to enjoy the company of women a bit more. It's a strange feeling. Really strange. Or maybe it's the women who are strange. Yeah, we'll go with that.

** Would any of you be interested in doing a guest post for me? I'd like to have a guest poster on a semi regular basis and would love if you'd drop me a line. Anything goes!

So, what random thoughts are floating through your brain these days?

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sometimes you just need to close your eyes and dream of a beach

There are just some days when I seriously start to question my sanity. You know those days where it seems like you're going the wrong way against the traffic all freaking day? The days where if your children walk the wrong speed or your husband breathes too fast, the ones where if you have to talk to one more person you are going to silently be digging their eyes out with your head of course.

Today was one of those.

7:15 am - Alarm rings. Hit snooze.

7:25 am - Rings again. Stupid machine. Hit snooze again.

7:35 am - Rings. Again. Shit! Now I'm late getting up. Stupid machine. It really needs to be more assertive.

"Kids! Get out of bed. Now."

"No. Now. Not in 10 minutes. Get. Up. NOW!!"

7:45 am - Contemplate a shower but decide that long pants will hide leg stubble, headband will disguise some of the oily (gag) hair, and honestly I don't smell. Much. Get dressed.

"Why aren't you dressed yet? Get dressed! GAH! Are you TRYING to upset me this morning?!"

Thankfully neither of them is dumb enough to answer in the affirmative.

8:00 am - Wonder why The Man is sitting on his arse in the living room instead of making sandwiches. Like he does every other morning. Or pouring their cereal. Like every other morning. Stomp around and make unhappy noises til he does it.

"Would you two PLEASE get yourselves READY?!?!"

8:30 am - Finally. Two kids ready, bags packed, shoes on and heading to the car. Now, where are my keys? You've got to be kidding me. *sigh*

8:45 am - Usher Boy Spawn into his classroom to offer his teacher a rather humble apology for his unusually appalling behaviour yesterday. Beat a hasty retreat before I start to feel worse because she was so disappointed in him as it is not like him. It must be a full moon. On Jupiter.

8:50 am - Head off to see a man about a penis. Can't get iPod to work in the car. Consider throwing a temper tantrum but realise there is not enough room to do this justice, so settle for a loud scream. It's winter. No one can hear me with the windows up. I think.

9:30 - 11 am - Build up my arm muscles maneuvering a 350 pound man around in a hoist & wheelchair. Get wet showering him because he thinks it's bloody hilarious to squirt me with the shower. Ass.

11 am - 12 pm - Visit home to change into some gym clothes and search out yet another pair of dry shoes. Ponder the value of keeping a pair of rubber boots and a raincoat in my car for work but realise it would be cheaper to just clean his false teeth with vinegar.

12:30 - 2:15 pm - Young Friend came with me to the gym. Treadmill tortured me. Rowing machine laughed at me and then made me play some stupid target game that I sucked at. Weights left me feeling like I'd been run over by a truck. Dripping in sweat by the time I was done, I needn't have bothered changing my clothes.

2:30 pm - Wet Day early pick up at school. Picked up spawnlets. Joked with Girl Spawn.

"If you've got an orange slip in your bag, you can just start walking home now. Forget getting in the car."

2:35 pm - Watched in horror as Girl Spawn dissolved into tears, spluttering that she didn't want to walk home and she was sorry but she had a RED slip (for REALLY bad behaviour) in her pocket. Apologized, listened to story and got upset.

Turns out, Girl Spawn (8 years old) was assigned work. Got up to sharpen pencil. Took forever doing that. Bell rang for lunch. Off she went. Substitute teacher found her after a while, asked if she'd finished her work, she said "yes" and then remembered that no, she actually hadn't. Sub decided Girl Spawn had been intentionally deceptive and handed her a red slip and 15 minute detention for tomorrow. Also, she didn't get her lunch. At all.

3:00 pm - Decided this punishment was bunk. At most deserved an orange slip for not finishing work on time. Red slips are for bullying, stealing, intentional deception....not forgetfulness on the part of an admittedly unfocused, slow working, procrastinator. Went in search of Principal.

3:10 pm - Had full on, and majorly embarrassing, meltdown in Principal's office. Big tears. Bigger sobs. Even bigger blush from the humiliation of crying over something so silly. Sue me, I cry when I get mad. And I was mad that it had happened. Slow and daydreamy she is, a liar she is not.

4:00 pm - 5:30 pm - Kids at swim lessons. I quietly read my book until an obnoxious Irish lady approached to tell me that I was sitting in her seat. Really? I'd been sitting there for 20 minutes. Seems she'd gone to help her son change and now she was back and wanted her seat. Fuck you lady. I just cried in the school Principal's office, I am not afraid to bitch you out at the pool. And I'm not moving.

6:00 pm - Home for a much needed shower. Headband is no longer even remotely disguising the oily (gag) hair. And now I do smell. Yum.

6:30 pm - Head off to see a man about an enema. For him. Times three. Not only do I NOT get sprayed with a shower, but I don't get shit on either. Bonus!! Things are looking up.

The rest of the evening went spectacularly. Took me three tries to start my car when I left Enema Guy's house. Almost ran over a cat in the grocery store parking lot though I can't for the life of me figure out where the cat would have come from. No houses nearby. Came home to find Boy Spawn asleep, Girl Spawn tired and grumpy, The Man tired and grumpy and STILL suffering from The Man Flu and the house looking like a bomb site because I haven't had time to do anything today.


How was YOUR day?

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Lessons in being me, you need them!

I've noticed a few things lately, and I think I need to put on my teacher hat for awhile. So sit back, relax and take some notes people!

Lessons In Being Cool

(or Five Ways to Pretend You're Not As Stupid As You Really Do Look Right At That Moment)

1. When you pull up to the supermarket and realise, just in time, that you have forgotten to bring your purse or wallet with you, do NOT just pull out of your parking space to go home and retrieve it. This will make you look stupid. First, pull out your cellphone, put it to your ear and carry on a conversation with yourself. Anyone watching will be non the wiser. And you can pretend that you've been called away to something urgent, sending your shopping trip to the bottom of your already busy schedule. (Note: If it is summer and you have your windows down, make sure to mute or switch off your phone before attempting this. Should someone happen to call while you are carrying on your fake conversation, you WILL look more stupid than you did already.)

2. If you happen to have gotten from your car, all the way around the store, and made your way to the cash register before realising that you are seriously lacking a way to make payment, then the cashiers will likely be looking at you with contempt as they contemplate the potential ire of the 7 people lined up behind you as you run to look for your wallet. To avoid this, I suggest a solid patting down of your clothing and a good rummage through your purse as you frantically "search" for your wallet, knowing full well it is sitting on your coffee table next to the half empty bottle of Jack Daniels from last night. Once your pretend search is completed, sigh heavily and tell the bored looking teen behind the cash register that your idiot husband must have taken your wallet when he went to go buy his beer and that you'll be screaming at him later. Apologize for his stupidity and assure her you'll be back once you've rammed his head up his ass as punishment.

3. Assuming you were not stupid enough to leave your wallet anywhere, and are still standing at the cash register watching the emo behind the counter bite the nails on her overly polished hands, then you may proceed to the next step - paying. But wait! Emo pauses from her crunchy snack to inform you, loudly, that she's incredibly sorry but your card has been declined. Resist the urge to smack her. Ignore the titters from the people behind you, they're just relieved it's not them. Although you know that it is entirely your fault that there is no money in the account (those jeans were just screaming your name!), the key to avoiding humiliation in this situation is to start cursing your spouse's name. "Stupid man! I can't believe he used the debit card without telling me. AGAIN! Ugh. I can't believe this. What a jackass. He's gonna pay for this" And so on, and so on. Please avoid blushing....this does not lend itself to supporting your credibility.

4. As you walk down the sidewalk and trip over your own feet due to combination of feet the size of boats and a propensity towards clumsiness thanks to a genetic abnormality passed down from your father (known in scientific circles as "Clumsy Ass Syndrome"), do NOT glance around sheepishly and hope that no one noticed you. I guarantee they have. Instead, play cool (that is, after all, the name of the game right?) and look angrily at the ground while simultaneously shouting "Sonofbitch! Stupid city can't get anything fixed! GRR!" and then carry on walking.

5. You've been shopping at a big mall, been to the movies at a giant cinema complex or been to a theme park that isn't smart enough to label its parking lots with easy to see signs. You thought you'd picked out some landmarks but now that you've come back carrying those big bags of new clothes, your damn car seems to have been moved. I have one thing to tell you....Sucks. To. Be. You! Sorry, I have no constructive advice. Unless you have a high tech tracking device on our car that will not only locate you car but guide you to it, you're screwed. And you WILL end up standing in the parking lot, looking around, trying desperately to act like you're just waiting for someone. There is no way out of this one.

Now, I'm not saying that I've ever had an issue with any of these things.....I just thought that some of you could benefit from this knowledge which I came by from watching other people do these things. Not me. Nope. Definitely not me.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blood & guts galore

Girl Spawn had to have dental surgery yesterday. She had hypoplasia on her back 4 molars and as it was severe, we were told they should come out. Rather than have them out at the dentist where they would have to inject her with freezy stuff, they chose the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital, as directed, at noon and got sent to sit in the waiting area/playroom. She was meant to be first in line at 1:30pm but as the afternoon wore on, it quickly became clear that something had been changed.

As Girl Spawn played, read books and practiced her cartwheels out in the courtyard, I tried my best not to throw up. The antiseptic smell was strong and I could almost taste it in the back of my throat. I've never liked the smell of a hospital and do my best to avoid them. Unfortunately, she needed this procedure and she wanted me with her.

I tried not to dwell on the fact that my 8 year old would soon be sent off to sleep with the help of a general anesthetic. I tried not to think too much about the risks involved in any procedure where a GA is used. I did my best to recall what everyone had been saying about how well THEIR children did in the same sorts of situations. I watched my daughter, skipping around the courtyard and singing the tune (almost) of her favourite Lady Antebellum song, as she just carried on with her day without a worry.

At 3:00pm they came to get us, got her into her gown and explained a little bit about what would happen. Then we sat there. And waited. Again.

By 3:45 I was frustrated, she was tired and bored and we were both ready to go home. This is also when they decided they were ready for us. We were taken into the pre-op area to wait for the anesthetist. While we waited, the nurses decided to make a spectacularly stupid (in my not so humble opinion) decision and wheel the first little girl out of the OR into recovery and put her directly across from us. This might not have been an issue except for the fact that the girl was screaming her frackin' head off because someone had neglected to call her mother before she woke up and she was now disoriented and scared. This situation scared the crap out of Girl Spawn and she started to cry and question whether it was going to be that way for her. Thankfully, it wasn't.

Surgery started at 4, I was called to recovery at 4:40 and I was able to be there as she woke up. Quietly. *breathe sigh of relief*

10 minutes later we were back in her room and, chipmunk mouth aside, she was doing ok. Then she needed to go to the bathroom. Cool. Done.

By the time she got back to her bed, she'd lost all colour from her face. The minute she leaned back, that was it. Her blood pressure dropped. Big time. Her eyes rolled back in her head, she was in and out and she was pale & cold.

Did you know what normal blood pressure is for an 8 year old?
Systolic = 112 to 118, Diastolic = 74 to 78

How about normal pulse rate for an 8 year old?
75 to 105 beats per minute, with the average being 90.

Girl Spawn dropped to a blood pressure of 82/53 and a pulse rate of 74. To say the nurses were concerned would be a bit of an understatement.

First moment of panic? CHECK!

As they worked to stabilize her BP, they informed that she was not allowed to go home until she'd had something to eat & drink....and kept it down. We'd already seen the first girl go home. She was even smiling! So, surely this would be easy. Right?


Her mouth wouldn't stop bleeding. It ran down her throat. It upset her stomach. She puked. 250mls of mostly blood with a bit of saliva. Awesome.

Blood pressure still down.

7pm, the third little girl gets to go home. Smiling.

Try again with the food & drink.


Another 250 mls of mostly blood and some water. Fan-freakin-tastic.

Blood pressure still down. Nurses suggesting ice water & ice chips to help settle stomach. Girl Spawn looking awful. Me? Worried.

By 8:30pm she had thrown up a third time (another 250 mls), was still pale and the nurses FINALLY got a doc to prescribe anti-nausea meds. Her BP was finally coming up though!

It got better from there, she finally kept food & drink down and started to look human.

At 10:30pm, we were discharged. Ten and a half hours in the hospital was a bit much for us. She's sleeping peacefully now and tomorrow will bring more recovery adventures.

And me? I hope it will be a long, long time before I have to smell the inside of that hospital again.

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