Saturday, January 31, 2009

some throwback notes...Sept 18, 2008 - this MAY be a repeat....sorry

***Self-sufficiency refers to the state of not requiring any outside aid, support, or (in hardline cases) interaction, for survival; it is therefore a type of extreme personal or collective (group-based) autonomy.***Of all the lessons I was taught as a child, I think the one most drilled into me was that of self-sufficiency. And I see myself doing the same in the lives of my children – insisting that they can make their own beds, clean up their own messes, deal with their own arguments etc etc etc. Now don't get me wrong, I think it is an invaluable skill to be able to take care of yourself and to not burden others. But when does this skill become a sin?Recently I have come to terms with the fact that my self-sufficiency has made me into a control-freak. In everything I do, I have this little voice in my head saying – if you want something done right, do it yourself. In many cases, this can be true. However, I get to the point where I NEVER let anyone else do things, thinking instead that I can do it better myself – not quite the same thing. Also, I have somehow mutated this statement to mean – never ask for help, just deal with it yourself. This, I believe is where it becomes a sin. I can be in the deepest of water, and yet nearly drown myself trying to swim upstream instead of saying – hey brother, can you reach out your hand?God put us here on this earth where we are and when we are for a reason. If God, in all of His infinite wisdom had seen that I was able to completely survive and thrive on my own, He would have put me on some remote island somewhere (sipping cocktails on the beach – no, wait, that is another fantasy).But no, God put me here, in this town, in this generation, among these people for a reason. Someone near me has a gift that would help me. Someone beside me has a longing to be useful. I need to give someone that chance.But, you may be asking, “If I don't do it, who will?” Often I resolve to clean up ALL the messes, take on ALL the jobs, serve in ALL the ministries, because if I don't, who will? Well you know what? SOMEONE WILL. But when I jump in and fill the spot, there is no longer a need, and therefore someone won't. Instead, there is little old me, staying up into the wee hours painstakingly and begrudgingly doing tasks I was never meant to do.If I give up control, who will take the reigns? Well, until I give up control, no one else knows there are any reigns to take up! For example: Recently, a beloved Sunday School teacher in our church stepped down from her post. Now in order to fully appreciate the importance of this event, you should realize that nearly everyone who has grown up in the church (30 years or more) has at one time had her for a teacher. The reason for her departure is not important. What is important though is that by her stepping down, someone new got the opportunity to step in. And it just so happened that that someone was me.Was I coveting the position of a Sunday School teacher? BY NO MEANS. In fact, when our SS Superintendent first asked me if I would be available, I looked at her like she had 2 heads. Me? Teach? Uh, no, I don;t think so.After going home and casually considering it though, I feel like God put it on my heart to say yes – after all, it was only a temporary assignment, and really, how hard could it be? Turns out, I LOVED it, and feel that God has really worked in my life to show me that He has given me the love of teaching. SO much so, in fact, that I now have dreams of returning to school to become a teacher.So, back to my point. Had this former teacher said – “oh, I have been doing it for this long, I can't stop matter what other burdens I have in my life, I couldn't possibly expect someone else to take up the slack here” - I never would have had this opportunity. For so long I have learned and read that if I want anything, I am going to have to rely on myself, fully and completely, to get it. Other people simply cannot be trusted, or expected to help me. We live in a self-ruled, self-righteous, self-help, self-serve, self-discovery, self-actualization, self-esteem, self-respecting, self reliance world. When I became a Christian, I was told to put away self, to “Fully Rely On God”, to which I replied - “Yeah, right!” This drive to provide fully for myself has lead to an intense fear of submission. ACK – there is that ugly word – submission. But seriously – in order to submit to any type of authority, I must give up some level of control. I think most people are able to submit when absolutely necessary – such as, when the policeman is writing out your speeding ticket, or when the boss is resolutely staring at you from across the desk, trying to decide whether to fire you or not, but what about in the little things?Did you know that obeying the speed limit is an act of submission??? You submit to the authorities by saying, okay, there is the 'speed LIMIT', not the 'speed MINIMUM' or 'speed SUGGESTION' and therefor I am going to drive no more than the limit. What a novel idea....but anyhow....what about a wife submitting to her husband. Yes, the husband is called to be the head of the household, and it is he who must answer to God for how he ran his house. This is not license to rule with an iron fist, but if he is the one who is going to have to own up to God for the decisions made, he is going to have to have a fair amount of say in what decisions are made. Can I deal with that? Can I say...okay, not exactly what I wanted but I am going to go with him and pray for God to do the rest? What about money? Can I submit to God to provide ways for me to earn a living? To provide for me financially? Or do I take that too into my own hands, furiously scratching lottery tickets, with big dreams in mind.No, I am not saying we should not just lay back and become a drain, a sponge, a leech off of society. But neither should we be so determined to control that we can never let anyone else help us. The key is finding the middle ground. So in the end, what opportunities am I denying others by holding on so tightly? What work of God am I holding back by not letting go of the control? How can I possibly expect to see God's work all around me if I insist on doing all the work myself? I can't. And that's the whole point. JUST LET GO.

some throwback notes...August 21, 2007

Let's just say that the title says it all. When you are a mom of 2 toddlers, you have to expect that your day will not go without some sort of wrench - but come on, sometimes I shake my head and wonder if I am some freak of nature attracting disaster at every turn!So my loving husband started his new position yesterday, which means that he has to leave the house at 7:00 am to arrive on time. This would normally not be a problem, but when I have to have been to work and back by that time, that means that I am up and out of the house before 4:00am. Yep, 4 - freakin-a-to-the-double-m.Tuesday mornings at work are an interesting experience. Monday nights are Karaoke nights, and while I thought that the popularity of Karaoke went out with the 90's, apparently I was wrong. Either that or the few people that still take part in such endeavours are very spilly talkers. I know this because I encounter HUGE sticky puddles each Tuesday morning. And, as an aside, at least one toilet has been vomited in. So these spilly-talking-retro-90's-throwback-karaoke divas cannot hold their liquor. On that note, why is it that bar bathroom vomit always looks like chicken stew? My advice? If you are going drinking, do not consume chicken stew beforehand, and maybe we will all end up happier (and smelling better) the next morning. Okay, back to the puddles. Each of these sticky puddles is in a semi liquid/semi solid form, and they tend to attract lint, dust and debris. SO when i am doing my pre-mop sweep, I am faced with a dilemma: DO I try to sweep all the junk out of the sticky mess, or do I try to pick it all up with the mop? Some days I sweep, some days I feel all reckless and I just mop over them.Today, I decided that a good sweeping was in order - I was feeling strong, no sticky puddle was going to get the better of me. We stared each other down, eye to sticky-puddle-messiness and feeling that I had won, I began with the dust mop. Many people would not know this, not being familiar with the mechanics of a dust mop, but it really is only meant for dusting. Hence the name dust mop, I suppose. It is merely supposed to glide over the surface of the floor, and pick up dry goods. When it comes in contact with a sticky puddle, it has this annoying way of sticking itself, flipping upside down and spewing all of the previously well-collected dust and debris everywhere. GRRRR. So this morning, the sticky puddles won, and I resigned myself to just mopping them up - score 1 for the sticky puddles. Arriving home before the sun comes up is an odd concept as well. I am still all geared up from my battles at the bar, not to mention the 2+litres of diet Pepsi I must have drank while I was there. It is hard to wind down and relax once I come into my quiet abode, but relax I must. As tempting as it would be to start my day - washing dishes, emptying dishwasher, doing some laundry, none of these tasks is particularly quiet, and so for fear that I may wake up the tyrants, er...I mean children, I sit and devote some time to Bible study.Have you ever noticed how a cat comes running at the sound of a can opener, no matter how far away they are? Tony and I have come to the conclusion that our children choose the very moment that we begin to make a coffee to wake up screaming!! So I now hesitate to even drink my blessed caffeine filled beverage. Today was no different. No sooner had I sat down with a nice steaming cup of joe then I heard the wailings of the girl. And when the girl starts wailing, you had better go running, before the whole neighbourhood is greeted to her special version of good morning song.Okay, so fast forward an hour or so, both children are awake now, and surprise, surprise, they both have runny noses and coughs. This seems to be a weekly or bi-weekly occurrence (more on this in a future note). So now i am dealing with whining, snotty children, a wet Kleenex in one hand, a lukewarm coffee in the other, resorting to turning on Treehouse so keep them quiet for a moment.We play, we nap and then I decide that we MUST go out. Why do I inflict such torture on myself? I do not know. I really should have known better - it is chilly, raining, my kids are snotty and grumpy. But still, I decide that today is the day that I must go pick up storage bins for the garage, and hooks for all of our various lawn implements (rake, shovel etc.)We head to Home Depot, and greet our first catastrophe of the afternoon. The "Race-Car Cart" is no where to be found. If you have ever been to H.D. and seen this cart, you would know what I am talking about - it is a ginormous cart shaped like a race car, and both the children can be strapped in, facing forward, and each has their own steering wheel (although Sam has the unique quality of taking over both steering wheels at once). Well, wouldn't you know, there is no cart to be found, so I have to go through a plethora of "boring" normal carts to find one that a) had a working child safety strap and b) is not soaking wet. Sam then REFUSES to get in the cart, instead deciding that she would like to walk. I agree to allow it (silly silly me) and then spend the next hour chasing her through H.D. You never really realize how much breakable/expensive/dangerous things there are in a store until you let your 2 year old walk by herself. So we leave, not having found what we were originally looking for, both kids by this time whining and crying and drooling and snotting all over me. Yay, fun trip.One would assume that at this time I decided to call it a day and come home, but no. I, in my infinite wisdom decide to try another store, the great Canadian Tire. We find the bins (I am now lugging two huge bins, huge lids and a cart full of germy children, trying to negotiate aisles not meant for such girth) and my lovely daughter, bless her heart, decides that NOW is the time for POTTY. and by NOW, I mean RIGHT NOW, as in 5 MINUTES AGO. I furiously race around trying to find a public washroom sign, and then hastily decide to drop the bins and make a mad dash for the cash registers. She is madly jumping up and down, holding her crotch yelling POTTY! POTTY! The cashiers direct me to the automotive department and tell me to ask for the key. Off to automotives I go - to be faced with a lineup! Can you sense the tension building?? Here is Sam now screeching POTTY!! POT-TY!! and the young lad behind the counter casually glances my way and nods over to the service desk, where i see the gleaming key on the end of a paint stick. I dump the cart, unbuckle the boy and grab the girl, who now has a small puddle forming on her jeans. We rush into the potty and ---- she matter-of-fact tells me that she doesn't have to go anymore. I think it is more like performance anxiety, but she tells me, NOPE, she is all done. Feeling somewhat dejected, we walk out of the bathroom, toss the key back on the counter, and retrieve all of our dropped items. I pay for our things and head to the car.NOW do we go home? Oh no, truly a glutton for punishment, I drive to the pharmacy, just for a quick trip, to pick up my prescriptions. While paying at the counter, I reach into my back pocket for my debit card and realize that I am wet. not just a little wet, but like soaking wet. Jack's cup had been overturned and leaked his milk out the bottom of the diaper bag, all over my butt and down the back of my leg. GREAT. But the adventure does not end there - Sam looks up at me with a horrified/nauseous look on her face, squeaks "potty" and pees all over the floor. I clean up the mess (I could go on and on about this but I think you have had enough for one day) and take her outside, where I change her into the spare undies I have thankfully packed in the diaper bag. We head home, and now here I sit, having eaten, cleaned and pyjama'd the kids with the help of my hubby.Yes, tomorrow will no doubt be a similar story. and the next day, and the next. But these days won't last forever and one day i will look back on all of this and laugh. But not today. today, I am going to have a shower and go to bed early. That is, if I make it out of the shower without any major calamity!Thanks for readingGod BlessTara

some throwback notes...July 24, 2007 - a birthday note to my kids

Aging is weird - I have found my 30's to be my most reflective years. When I was a kid, I had no concept of the years flying by - when I was in my teens, I thought I would live forever. My twenties were all about me me me. And now, I feel very grounded - able to look ahead with some clarity and look back with a mixture of joy and regret. I SO wish I could go back and do some things over again. What I would give to have back that time. I wish that I had listened to those that told me their life lessons when I was young. I wish that I had been the same then as I am now. But I have found that the only thing that stays the same is that things are always changing.This past Sunday, July 22, we celebrated my youngest son, Jackson`s, 1st birthday. It was a wonderful day....and took an incredible amount of planning. We shared this special day with friends, fellow church family and extended family. It was wonderful to see how loved our child is, to see all those who took time out of their lives to share in this, our last first birthday party.And today, I celebrate my oldest son, Damon`s, 11th birthday - and sadly, I will not see him at all. Each year, Damon's dad takes him for the week of his birthday - so you would think that I would be used to this by now. The difference is that now that the day of Damon's official move to his Dad's looms near, I am beginning to realize that this is the first of many special days that I will not spend with him. I suppose this is a mourning period of sorts, like how you celebrate all the firsts - first birthday, first Christmas etc, after someone has passed on. You try to put on a happy face, but the feeling is just not there. And while I know that Damon will still come home (my home) every week, I feel as if I have lost him. My identity as his mom, his #1 supporter and parent and guardian and guide is slipping away and it is all starting to sink in.What a study in opposites. So having this in mind, please read on ...Hold your children a little tighter today. You WILL turn around one day and they will be gone - my oldest used to be my youngest - my one and only. I rushed through those years, wishing them away really - wanting him to walk, to talk, to go to school, to be independant, and now he has moved on, moved away, and I supposed I am feeling what many parents experience when their children go off to college - only 8 years too soon.Take the time to enjoy your children for who they are, for what they do today. When you look back you will miss the messes, the time they coloured a picture just for you, all over your freshly painted walls. You will miss the time you watched them crawl naked down the hall and pee all over the carpet, the times they cried all night and you had to hold them in the rocking chair and sing to them and brush your lips into their warm hair.You will miss the food smudges left on the back of your shirt when they hugged you after breakfast. You will miss the times you had to help them search over and over with a flashlight to make sure that there were no monsters under their bed. Just one year ago I sat next to an incubator praying to God to get me through - to helplessly watch as my son fought to breathe. We celebrated every tiny milestone, every increase in heartrate, every additional hour without a seizure. Today, we cuddle and kiss and chase and hug our little baby boy.Just eleven years ago, I sat stunned, a 21 year old mom, not having any clue how to handle a crying baby....feeling completely inadequate...and now he is grown. What I would give to have those days back - to just take each day one day at a time.So don't wish these days away - they will walk when they are ready, and then they will never crawl again. They will talk when they are ready and then they will never coo and babble again. They will sleep through the night when they are ready and one day they will not need you or want you in their room again.Cherish these days - hold them a little longer, kiss them one more time, read them another book and then fall down on your face and thank God for every day you have - you never know when these days will end.To all my babies - I love all three of you so very much....

some throwback notes...July 21, 2007

So here are the results of a recent personality test I took.....after I heard a long sermon on the subject of these personality, see what you think - maybe YOU should take the test! Score: Melancholy Choleric14 Sanguine, 57 Melancholy, 42 Choleric, 21 PhlegmaticHail to you who is a Choleric Melancholy.The depth to see into the heart and soul of life.The grip of leadership to head us to the good.The firm control when others ar losing theirs.The ability to analyze and arrive at the proper solution.The willingness to take a chance in a doubtful situation.The talent to create a masterpiece where nothing existed before.The pledge "if it is worth doing, it's worth doing right."The confidence to hold true in the face of ridicule.The urge to "take arms against a sea of troubles by opposing them."The aim to finish what you start.Yours is the most successful combination of the personality types. The pairing of your decisive Choleric leadership, drive and goals, with your Melancholy's analytical, detail conscious, organized schedule-oriented mind is unbeatable. Your melancholy side is inclined toward perfection, and your choleric side is predisposed towards success. So you will get what you want no matter how long it takes. This is what is awesome about you as a Meloncholy:You are deep, thoughtful, analytical, insightful, serious, purposeful, genius prone, talented, creative, possibly artistc, musical, poetic or philisophical. You are considerate, conscientious, self-sacrificing, and sensitive to others. In the workplace you set high standards, pick up after others, are schedule oriented, organized, detail concious, persistent, and thorough. You like charts and graphs. You see the problems and find creative solutions. As a friend, you make friend's cautiously, are content to stay in the background, avoid causing attention, are faithful and devoted, deeply concerned for others, will listen to complaints, and you can solve people's problems.And here is what is awesome about you as a CholericYou are a born leader, strong willed, active, dynamic, decisive, not easily discouraged, unemotional, independent, self-sufficent, confident, with a compulsive need for change & to correct wrongs, and you can run anything. At work you are goal oriented, you see the whole picture, seek practical solutions, quickly move into action, delegate, organize well, insist on production, stimulate activity and thrive on opposition. As a friend, you have less need for friends than other temperments. You'll work for group activity, lead, organize, and you excell in emergencies. You are usually right.Can you see how cool this makes you? You can do anything! Others are hesitant, indecisive, impulsive but not you. However, it is not all roses. There are some hefty weaknesses here too.Here are your weaknesses as a Choleric:First of all you don't think there is anything wrong with you. You think you are always right, so you can't be wrong. You'll probably think the following aren't even weaknesses. They are. Cholerics are impatient, impetuous, inflexible, unsympathetic, bossy, quick tempered, dominating, and too busy. You can't relax, you won't let others relax, you like to argue, you won't give up when you are losing, you won't admit you are wrong, and basically you come on too strong. In the workplace, you have little tolerance for mistakes, you don't compliment others instead you are rude and tactless, you make rash decisions by glossing over details (unless you have a melancholly edge to you), you are manipulative & demanding. As a friend you tend to use people, dominate, decide for others, know everything, think you can do everything better than everyone else, be unapologetic, and be too independent.Those blend powerfully with the weaknesses of the Meloncholy:You remember negatives, hold on to hurt, sulk, get moody or depressed or guilty, you are too introspective, self-centered, with a low self-image, you feel persecuted and you mind is off in another world. In the workplace you may be too meticulous, or a martyr. You are not people oriented, choose dificult work, are hesitant to start, spending too much time on planning, prefering analysis to work, and you are hard to please with your high high standards. As a friend you live through others, are critical, withdrawn, hold back affection, don't accept compliments, you are unforgiving, suspicious, and you dislike those in opposition towards whom you are antagonistic and even revengeful.Okay that is a crap load of negativity there. You are for the most part, freaking awesome. You are the cornerstone of any good plan. Without you everyone would just be running around like a chicken with their head cut off, or sitting around relaxing doing nothing. The other personality types would like you to understand how overbearing you can be, and they'd be grateful for more acceptance from you, but for the most part they appreciate your making things happen.

some throwback notes...July 14, 2007

So I have been meaning to put up a new note for a while now - every day as I go through the furious mad-dash that is my life, I have these facebook notes running through my head, but by the time I sit at the computer, poof! They are gone. Why is this? temporary insanity? lack of sleep? Or is this God's way of protecting my friends from sharing in the weirdnesses that lurk in the deep recesses of my mind.THerefore, for lack of a carefully thought out, well plotted note, I offer the following small pseudo-notes....enjoyThe Problem with Kids ShowsI have 2 children under most of the time that the TV is actually on during the day, it is zoomed in on the much loved station Treehouse TV. Now before you go sending me nasty grams about how damaging TV is for children under 3, please remember that without this 1/2 hour break here and there, I would be a drooling basket case in the corner somewhere - besides, it's not like they are watching Jackass or Debbie does Dallas or something. Okay, back to my original point. I cannot blindly ignore the basic errors in story lines or character development in these programs....why not? Because that's just me (this is the same person who can't ingore spelling errors in graffiti remember?)Max & Ruby: where are their parents? THe only authority figures in their lives are the scout leader and gramma...and Ruby cooks by herself - she can't be more than 8 years old. Who leaves an 8 year old in charge?Big Comfy Couch: oh this one drives me batty - every time I see Lunette do the 10 second tidy and shove all the toys under the couch cushions, I cringe. And please, somebody vacuum under the couch! When your dust bunnies are so big that they can talk to each other, its time for intervention!Maggie and the Ferocious Beast: If I hear the expression "Great Googaly Moogaly" one more time, I think I am going to scream....Miffy and friends: Miffy, why do you have no pupils? have you been trying out some extracurricular vegetation in your garden? HMMMM...just the song alone is enough to drive anyone around the bend - it is one of those songs that weasels itself into your brain like a corkscrew and will not get out, no matter what you do - Just ask my friend Andrea...okay last one, for now at least - Four Square: ugh, where do I begin? Firstofall...the Heppettes or whatever they are called are just an odd bunch. I mean really, this is a kids show, is it really necessary for grown men to wear beanies and lycra so tight that you can see every ripple and bulge and outline? and what kid of names are Lutzu, and Rufus?? It is like some preschool version of domination with Captain Hepette ordering the rest of them around. now this is seriously the last one, I promise - Daniel Cook and Emily yeung. I think its great that they go on all these little excursions and show kids a lot of different experiences, but I tell youthe truth - if my kids ever turn out half as lippy as these two, I think i will just lock myself in a closet somewhere.WHEW....enough ranting for now.PERSONAL GROOMING AT YOUR LOCAL DRINKING ESTABLISHMENT:I would like to know who thinks it is a good idea to get ready AT the bar, rather than get ready and THEN go to the bar. I have had a sneaking suspicion for a while now that people are doing their pre-drinking prep in the washrooms at work. Now these are not the staff washrooms, that I could excuse and understand - I am talking the public washrooms. The amount of hair I find constantly in the sinks in the ladies WR coupled with the 2 gallons of water on the counter would suggest to me that someone has washed their hair was this premeditated? Or did they suddenly have a hair-washing emergency? How often have you washed your hair in a public sink (unless you are a hobo...)I have often found toothpaste in the girls sink, as well as makeup, perfume and hair accessories. My newest and perhaps most perplexing discovery of late was what I thought to be shaving residue in the mens sink. I swear, there is stubble in the sink quite often. Who are these people? are they in such a rush that they forget to get ready before they go out?ODD. very odd indeed.Okay in true Tara fashion, this note has taken over 3 hours to write (interruptions, interruptions).SO I will close with this thought - what would chairs look like if your knees bent the opposite way?Chew on that for a bit.

some throwback notes...June 21, 2007

I have finally admitted to myself, in secret, that I am getting old. I am ony 32, but I feel more like 58, and I think I look like I could be in my 40's. I groan when I get up in the morning, my back stiff from the day before. I need 2 cups of coffee before I am even midway functional, and I get heartburn very very easily.Since when did I start to have errant hairs growing out of MY CHIN?? That is just horrible! And apparently I have inherited the gene for extra hairiness from my biological father (thanks a lot dad) so my legs seem to get hairier every year, and my upper lip is taking on an odd shade every month or so - thank God for the invention of Jolene bleach and razors or I fear I would look a little like CHeech and CHong.....Speaking of hairy legs, I just realized the other day that the hair on the back of my thighs grows in every possible direction - not in some nice uniform direction which would make it easy for shaving, but in ALL directions, so no matter which way I shave I never seem to get all of it. And if you are asking yourself why I am shaving the backs of my thighs, it is because I was so excited to start shaving my legs as an adolescent that I decided I would shave ankle to hip.....ugh what a mistake - now I have to continue this habit or I turn into a Yeti. And no one, especially my husband, wants to sleep beside a yeti.I have always had very dark circles under my eyes (thanks again dad) but now they seemed to be paired by puffiness and -GASP-..........could it be???.....wrinkles!!! How is it possible that I have wrinkles? Like I am getting this funky crease right between my eyebrows from when the sun is too bright and I squint, and I have 3 parallel wrinkles across my forehead, and wrinkles from my nose to my chin, from smiling too much (as if that were even possible). Is it possible that I need to start buying all those lotions and potions that I see lining the shelves of my local pharmacy? I wouldn't even know where to begin?? And how is it possible to have wrinkles AND acne? It is like a clash of generations, my forehead is a gramma but my t-zone is still a pubescent adolescent! I am not very good at facial routines, even reaching the height of laziness by wiping my face off with a baby wipe at night to clean up whatever miscellaneous substance happens to have fallen there. When you wake up well before dawn, and then come home to little people and stay there all day, rare is the occasion when you breakout the lipliner and smoky eyeshadow. So the closest I get to a facial is when Jack hurls oatmeal at me. My butt has disappeared. Not that I ever really had an ample ba-donk-a-donk butt (thanks mom) but I cherished what butt I had. The only time it has ever gotten bigger is when I was pregnant, and even then it only grew wider, not more ample. Well I supposed my butt has now retaliated on me, the skin saying "oh forget this, I have been stretched out so many times, I know if I go back to my normal position, she is just going to have another kid again". Now a side profile looks like a straight line from my neck to my ankles (well not really, but you get the point).I have cellulite and stretch marks where I never thought possible....and now I have the dreaded "wings" under my arms (another genetic gift from mom). I have very muscular arms from all the sweeping, mopping, and various mom-duties that I do, but apparently the back of my arms have not noticed this. If I raise my arms to clap, all I can think about is the wings flapping in the breeze....oh man I am getting old for sure.And when did I get back fat? Back fat I tell you. It is like a roll, or fold of skin running from somewhere near my inner shoulder blades towards my hips. THis is a completely new thing for me, and now that I have discovered it, I cannot stop noticing it. How do you "target" this zone in your workout? How on earth did fat migrate to my BACK of all places? It makes bras look uncomfortable ......and forget about bikinis, I gave up hope of wearing one of those long ago - after I had my first son* and realized my body had taken on mom-traits.* - I have a horrible tendency to put on EXTREME amounts of weight when I am pregnant....its like I forget that I am eating for 2, not 22. My pregnancies have been 88lb weight gain, 64lb weight gain, and 84lb weight gain. I desperately hoped that the baby and placenta and stuff actually weighed a good 50 lbs, but alas, it was not so. My poor poor body, I am amazed it cooperates with me at all.Now this may seem obsessive to some, but I now feel that my hands and feet look old too. My toes are starting to go crooked (from too many nights wedging my toes into too-tight platforms and dancing the night away at some bar) and I actually have age spots on my hands!!! They (my hands) are wrinkled and scarred. I have labourer hands, with callouses and cuts, hangnails and peeling nailpolish. I look at ladies with beautifully french-manicured finger tips, and sigh a sigh only a manual labour mom would understand. If I got a manicure now, I would be lucky if I made it home from the salon before it was ruined.And lastly, my hair. I have grey in it. Not a light sprinkling of it, but a big chunk or patch of it. Can I blame it on my kids? No, I am afraid not, I had it before any of them arrived. No doubt they made it bigger but they alone did not cause it. I have stopped colouring my hair (partly because I forgot what my natural colour was) so this only lets the grey patch show even more. I lovingly refer to it as my "skunk stripe".Can it be true? Can I really be getting this old? Was it all the time I spent in the sun? Was it the many packs of cigarettes I smoked? Was it living the hard life all those years ago?Only God knows. The only thing good about all of this is as I age physically, I seem to mature spiritually. "I'm not where I need to be, but thank God I'm not where I used to be" (Joyce Meyers)Thats it for today folks - the sun is a-shinin' and calling my name, and I figure hey- the damage is done now, right? Might as well slap on some SPF 30 and enjoy yourself while you are here, wrinkles and all

some throwback notes...Jan 20, 2007

I have no excuse for my poor blogging etiquette - well, no, that is not true, I have LOTS of excuses. However, I really should have kept up with this despite the crazy week I have had (are any of my weeks NOT crazy??)Anyhow, I have finally given in, admitting that I am ill. I am only allowing myself one day of sickness though, because I have so much to do that if I happen to let my guard down all the way, I have a sinking feeling that my routine and schedule that I have so carefully (read:obsessively) crafted will come crashing down around me...Things at the Rooster have been the usual vomitous-lime wedge retreiving mess. In fact, Messy McMessterson and his cousin Ralph Von Pukestein have become regular customers. On a different but somewhat related note, while sweeping one day I had to move a floormat in an area that I normally do not clean, and discovered the reason for the saying "sweep it under the rug". Some one had, in fact, swept it under the rug - all the dirt and squished french fries and other bar related debris, rather than sweep it into a dustpan - is this not the height of laziness I ask you? Why yes, I believe it is. Then I began thinking, which can sometimes be a harmful thing, about why I constantly feel the need to do everything with a precision and thoroughness that does not occur to normal people. It is as if I have this voice in the back of my head saying "do it right the first time, what if someone finds out", which I think hearkens back to the days of my mom doing the white glove test on my room when my chores were done. (and no, I am not exaggerating, you can ask her - well if you knew her you could ask her. This is the woman who vacuums her carpet at 4:00 in the morning, and has a home that looks like a museum) This trait may sound like somewhat of a blessing, but really it can be a curse. You see, when you HAVE to do everything perfectly and to completion, you cannot let anyone else do it, and you cannot stop until it is done. THis is why you will often find me standing at my kitchen sink at midnight shining the taps, or why I insist on washing the floors at work twice, to remove any imperfections. No one cares about these things but me, and no one even notices them but me....but they MUST be done or I cannot relax.I have been working on several projects at home as well - along with the regular laundry, dusting, windexing, and child rearing, I have decided that we need to paint our living room. When I say we, I mean me, and when I say living room, it is more like living room/dining room/ceiling & all the accessories to go with it. This would have been an easier project to take on if I had more than 3 hours a day to work on it. THe problem is that my 2 year old daughter has very little concept of boundaries, and so "don't touch" is an irrelevant request to her ears. I can't paint anything while she is awake.....and everything I do paint when she is asleep must be dried and put away before she wakes up - so you see my dilemma. And some days I just don't have the energy to paint at 9:00 pm. I am determined to get it all done (the accessories, not the walls) tonight, so that I can finally get the picture frames, mirrors and paint supplies out of my kitchen.Winter has finally arrived in our town, and along with the snow is the arrival of my newest enemy - road salt. This stuff gets everywhere, and espcially at the bar - it disolves upon mopping and forms very noticeable salt crystal puddles all over the floor. I can't imagine what this is doing to the laminate - . Maybe I can convince them to get some easily washable dirt coloured tile with little lime-shaped green marks all over it. Maybe, but I doubt it.Well....even though this entry is a combined detailing of the last 5 days, I am going to keep it short. I must go lie down, because I feel pooey, and if this is the only night I get, I might as well take full advantage of it, right?So, keep smiling, keep looking up, and remember: The best way to get even is to forgive.

some throwback notes....Jan 13, 2007

Yep, you guessed it, another imported blog entry
Today was by far my hardest and longest cleaning adventure at the Rooster.. I tell you now, if vomit were money, I would be rich.Last night must have been a pretty good party. I think maybe it was a convention of Spilly Talkers, since the floors were more sticky goopy spill remnants than bare floor. In light of this, I have composed a poem:***********************************Ode to the Rooster Patrons of January 12thBy N.Y.A.M.Oh joyful spilly talkers, you masters of urination,you heavers of last nights' meal,how intriguing are your ways.The vivacity with which you toss your refuse on the floor,the ingeniuosness of your pithy sayings written so hastily on the bathroom stall;I am in awe of your intoxication and humourOh joyful lime hiders,you players of video poker,you tossers of both coasters and gum wads;I am amazed at your clevernessThe inventiveness with which you find new unheard of placesin which to regurgitate,I am astounded by your apetite.Oh joyful clothes discardersyou festive celebratorsyou incredible window smudge makershow inconceivable are your motives.******************************IS IT HOT IN HERE?-or is it just this toilet sweating? There is such a device, in the ladies (and I use the term ladies VERY loosely)washroom. It drips toilet sweat all over the floor, which runs down into the grout and makes it all grey and slimy. I would fix it, but I am not a plumber. Nor can I operate the stereo at work, for I am not an IT technician, because I am technologically retarded - now before you go writing me nasty grams about how it is un-PC to use the word retarded, stop yourself. In reality, if you look up the origin of the word, it means slow, as in not fast, as in, I am technologically slow, as opposed to technologically fast. So see? I am not that un politically correct after all. Which leads me to another thought - do you ever use words in your every day language and realize that you have no idea what they mean? Like words that you have used forever but never really known....words like "chuck", as in, "how much wood would a wood chuck chuck"....does that mean chuck as in throw? chuck as in gnaw? chuck as in eat? WHAT DOES IT MEAN? If you look carefully, you will see many underlined words, that I am not exactly certain of their meaning, but I have used them anyhow in order to fool you into thinking that I am actually very smart.Well no, that is not true - I AM very smart, I have a very high IQ, if you believe in the accuracy of IQ scores. I even considered trying to get into Mensa, but decided against it, not because I couldn't hack it, but because I couldn't afford it. Can you imagine that? ME at a Mensa Meeting? "Hi, my name is Bob, and I am an astrophysicist, and this is my wife Mary, she is a molecular biologist...nice to meet you, NYAM, and what do you do for a living? 'Me? Oh I clean up people's vomit, and sweep floors'" I envision a Mensa meeting to be a lot like an episode of Frasier, with a lot of sherry sipping and hearty guffaws going on, everyone in trousers and tweed jackets with suede patches on their elbows. For those very reasons I cannot join, as I hate the WORD trousers, much less wearing them, and tweed is itchy.Are there words that you just cannot stand? Not becuase they are hard to spell or they offend you on some moral level, but just words that rub you the wrong way? I have quite a few....for your consideration, I have compiled a list:*trousers*panties*gazebo*Regina *Spadina*puke*rootabaga (double points because I don't know how to spell it)*chesterfield*tissue (when it refers to a Kleenex, but not when it refers to tissue paper or biological references)*epistle (because it reminds me of the word "spit" and you actually spit when you say it)I know there are MANY MANY other words, but in light of the fact that I do not want to get all riled up, I will not mention them at this time. I will save that rant for another time when the cleaning is light and the blogging is slow.THERE IS NO CURE FOR STUPIDI wish that some people would spend more than a milisecond thinking before they a)let inane words escape from their mouths or b)pick up a writing instrument (pen, pencil, chalk, marker) and share their innermost thoughts with the rest of us.Really people, I am trying to be understanding, but your lack of forethought is becoming intolerable. The word Rooster has 2 "o"s. If you only use one, it becomes a completely different word - Roster, which is a list. So unless your list "Rocks" or "kicks a$$", spell it right. Night is not spelled nite, Love is not spelled luv, unless you write it on a card, and SH*T is not spelled shiite - that is a faction in the middle east.I have every tolerance for bad spellers in everyday life. I myself do not know how to spell every word I say. No doubt you wll find many spelling errors in this entry, because I rely so heavily on spell check, which doesn't seem to operate in the space of this blog. However, if I am going to take the time to write something public, you can be sure I will know the difference between poop and a middle eastern group!whew, okay, time to let my blood stop boiling, and look at some interesting news stories:NUCLEAR CLIMATE THREATS TO NUDGE 'DOOMSDAY CLOCK'"The keepers of the "Doomsday Clock" plan to move its hands forward next Wednesday to reflect what they call worsening nuclear and climate threats.The symbolic clock, maintained by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, currently is set at seven minutes to midnight, with midnight marking global catastrophe.The clock was last pushed forward by two minutes to seven miutes to midnight in 2002 amid concerns about the proliferation of nuclear, biological and other weapons and the threat of terrorism"How freaky is that?? There is a group of no-doubt Mensa members who are keeping this abstract clock and moving it at random, in seemingly unmeasured increments....this makes me feel very out of in, how close will they get? Like 11:59 and then just wait for the "Big One"? It makes me think that if more people were aware of this, they may be more likely to see the need for salvation in their lives. People however, assume that they are going to live forever and so don't feel that they ever need God. what a pity.RESIDENTS FIND BODY IN VAN"Stunned residents of a Brampton subdivision returned home to find a minivan containing the body of a murder victim parked in their driveway......"And I get ticked off if someone litters in MY driveway...what would you do? And if you were the person who put the minivan there, how did you come to choose that particular driveway? Are there not better places to hide a body? Why not just park on the street? Were you afraid that you would get a ticket? The point is pretty much moot, my friend - moot, I tell you, moot (by the way, if you say any word over and over again it begins to lose its meaning....try it, moot, moot, moot, moot......)'PILLOW ANGEL' TREATMENT,8599,1574851,00.html - 27k - 12 Jan 2007 - I'm not sure if this link will work, I have never put a link in a blog before - anyhow, you MUST read this story about this couple and their daughter - FREAKISH with a capital F!!!Well, I had previously added a whole mess of stuff to the end of this blog, but in true Murphy's Law fashion, the internet went down and took my imaginative speech with it. Curses to you, Cogeco, curses to you.THIS FRUIT IS NOT JUST ANXIOUS, IT"S PETRIFIEDFor the mystery item of the day, check out the sort-of blurry photos - I am NOT a photographer....a Mensa level vomit cleaner, yes, but photographer, no. I will give you 3 guesses as to what it is, then you can check the bottom of this entry for the "big reveal", sort of like Extremem Makeover, only grosser.Remember: Our own faults are the ones we condemn most quickly in others, and....there are 2 stages of intoxication - sober and drunk.Play safe.

some throwback notes...Jan 12, 2007

Originally posted on : Jan 12, 2007

yeah, today was an interesting scavenger hunt for random items left on the floors at work - and I was not disappointed. But I will get to that later.Something interesting has occurred twice now since I have started cleaning - I have arrived, found the alarm had not been set, become slightly worried, then realized that someone else is in the bar! Now normally this may not seem so strange, but you have to remember that I arrive at work at 5:00 am, so they are either there VERY early or VERY late. I have since uncovered that this guy is the sound guy for the bar at night, and the other person with him is his wife or girlfriend (not sure if he is married or not). Now they have been fully clothed both times I have shown up, there are no alcohol bottles haphazardly strewn around - in fact, they have been lying on the couches watching television. Which leads me to the following questions - 1. DO you not have a television at home? If so, then 2. Why on earth are you watching Deja VU at 5:00 am in a bar??? and 3. Why do you look at me funny when I come in? You KNOW I come in at this time, you KNOW the bar gets cleaned, so WHY do you look at me as if I have somehow invaded your personal space?The floors were relatively good today - but when I say relatively, I mean in comparison to the lime fight incident or the pickle thing. TOP TEN WEIRDEST PHRASES HEARD AT THE "ROOSTER" LAST NIGHT:10. "oops, I spilled my drink. Waiter, please bring me another beverage"9. " I know, lets write some swear words on the walls in the bathroom - I bet no one has ever done THAT before"8. " I have to find a garbage can for my snotty kleenexes, oh wait, let's just throw them on the floor"7. "oops, I spilled ANOTHER drink, this time on the floor and the bench. Barkeep, another round, muchos gracias"6. "wow this band ROCKS, lets go write that in the bathroom"5. "oh crap, there goes another drink, this time, all down the wall, and on the carpet....hey buddy, get me another"4. "What should I do with this used lemon wedge? I know, I'll shove it between the cushions on the couch"3. "Let's see how much we can pee on TOP of this toilet...that'll be really funny"2. " I don't like the food here, thank God I brought snacks from home, oops, there goes another drink"and the #1 weirdest thing said last night,1. "What's that??!!?? I can't hear you, there is a Q-Tip in my ear" (more on this later)Today was my day to do damp-dusting....this involves wiping all the grime and dust from various horizontal surfaces - and this is when you truly discover the nature of human beings. People who would not be caught DEAD dancing on the dance floor apparently have no problem wiping their snot on the back of a booth....and how on earth do you get a footprint on a wall at a level of 8 feet in the air? I wish I had seen how that happened....All the other cleaning was fairly uneventful....well, that is all relative too, I suppose.I have included some photos for your enjoyment: (please click on links)SO today I started my other job (okay, my other out of the house job). I went to clean a tiny little house that is owned by cats...they let the humans live there out of the goodness of their hearts - well that and they can't reach the cat treats in the cupboard. I used to clean for these cats about a year and a half ago, but had to stop when I found out I was pregnant with Junior. They are a great bunch, although they are a little hairy.....good thing they are so darn cute or I might attemp to vacuum them! (That WOULD be wrong, wouldn't it)DO you ever get a quick side glance of yourself in the mirror and actually have to stop to make sure that it was you? I did this this morning - I was cleaning in the girls washroom and thought I saw Kim Mitchell - but alas, it was I. I am substantially less of a "wild party" than Kim Mitchell especially at 6:00am.Well, I know you have all been waiting for it, the infamous mystery item of the day. I will not tell you directly what it is, only say that it was mentioned in the top ten, and I have included a be prepared for shock and awe, I tell you, shock and awe. Hey that kind of rolls off the tongue (unlike the mystery item...although why you would have that on your tongue is another mystery altogether)Okay folks, that's it for today, there has been high level of drama in my house today with #1SON sufferring an injury at school for which PARAMEDICS WERE CALLED!!! I feel like a fairy tale character - Snow Wife and the 4 Dwarfs: Hacky, Honky, Bruisy and Grumpy...oh and Barfy if you count the cat. UGH, it is 6:48 and I am sooo tired....

some throwback notes...Jan 11, 2007

Before I discovered Blogger, there was Facebook. And unlike most of my friends on FB, I used the "notes" section to do what I now consider blogging. This morning, I read through some of my older posts and enjoyed the trip so I have now decided to repost them here....for your reading pleasure - enjoy!

**Originally posted Jan 11 2007
Okay I think I have found the ultimate indicator of OCD - this morning I actually considered correcting spelling and grammar errors on the graffiti messages written in the washrooms at work. The inside of each stall is painted with chalkboard paint, and there is a little cup attached which holds the chalk - the concept is ingenious as no doubt someone thinks that alcohol ups their witticism or brainpower and is compelled to leave their mark on the bathroom wall. The upside is that they can do so without having to resort to using eyeliner, lipstick, or non-washable markers.However, (and yes, there is always a however), because the painted surface is so large and the chalk so readily available, people assume that they MUST write something. Trust me, their innermost thoughts are not always the most creative, or polite, or even coherent. Just because you can, does not mean you should.....remember this people....please. (this goes for wearing spandex too, just because you CAN does not mean you SHOULD, but that is another story entirely - back to the washrooms)I have read every swear word known to man, every bowel habit that has taken place, every rude sexually suggestive thing you have done to so-and-so, and how many people think that night's band ROCKS or IS SOOO HOT. Seriously, I go in every day hoping for something original or creative, but I am let down each and every time.Until this morning - I was quite shocked and pleasantly surprised by what I would find in the 3rd stall in the ladies washroom. In small, neat script at the top of the chalkboard was written "I HAVE FOUND JESUS", which I thought was a wonderful statement. It was ruined however by someone who wrote underneath it "where, in the toilet?" But hey, at least someone tried, right?Anyhow, I had very good intentions this morning with the floor. (But remember, no good deed goes unpunished, right?) I used the laminate cleaner yesterday, and today just vinegar and water - and all looked good until......I decided to remove the gum spots AFTER the floor had already been washed. There is a nifty little product called GooGone - it removes any type of sticky substance you can think of off of any non-pourous surface (remember that non-pourous part, I will come back to it). Essentially what it is made of is oil. DO you ever remember getting gum stuck in your hair as a kid? If you had a gramma like mine, no doubt she tried peanut butter to remove it.....because peanut butter is oily - then she said to heck with it and hacked out said gum with old kitchen scissors, with no concern for your hairstyle at the time. Anyhow, back to the point of this story - the GooGone is oily. So, when you squirt it on an unfinished wood dance floor (pourous surface...see, I told you I would come back to it), it makes oily little puddle marks everywhere, which soak deep into the woodgrain, and cannot be washed off. And some of this gum has probably been on this dance floor since the eighties, so it refuses to be removed, no matter how good the product you put on it. And unlike my grandmother, I cannot hack a big chunk out of the dance floor (well, I suppose I could, but I would no longer be employed if I did, because dancefloors, unlike an 8 year old's hairstyle, do not grow back). So after having relative success on the dreaded floors, the bane of my existance (what is a bane anyways) I ruined it by leaving little oily smudges everywhere. Ugh, I give up.Okay, enough about the floors.I wore a hat today to work. This may not seem like a big deal, but really, it is - most hats make me look like a trucker. No seriously, a trucker. However, my hubby brought home a hat yesterday and I confiscated it - it is one of those very shallow, tight to the head hats, very un-truckerish. I think I look kind of cute in it, and it has the added benefit of hiding a hairstyle that is beyond repair. (I have not had the time to blowdry for a couple of days now). Speaking of truckers, I think trucking would be a pretty cool job - you get to sit, listen to the radio all day, and drive around. If I had no kids or significant others, I may have tried trucking. I certainly have the head for it. (however, my driving skills would not get me very far, I get lost in my own backyard).SO all in all a pretty good day, completely lime free, if you can believe that. I did, however, find 2 pens, a jalapeno pepper, a marble (who brings marbles to a bar?) and a pill of some sort.When I arrived home, I discovered that our home has become a germ haven, apparently - which I think is odd considering how much I clean this place. Maybe I am creating a too-sterile environment and my kids are catching everything because they have not built up enough tolerance to rogue viruses. Maybe I should bring the kids to work with me - I am sure one step in those bathrooms would expose them to a germ buffet and they would be immune forevermore!GG is in coughing like a goose. Add in the other two honking kids and I have my very own flock. By the way, do you know when geese fly in a V formation, why one side is always longer than the other? It's because there are more geese in that side!! HAHAHHA got you there - and I bet you thought you were going to get some big nature lesson. Nope, not here.Okay, going to go sit now, and refuse to admit that I may be coming down with the goose flu too.Until tomorrow, remember: God uses our down times to build us up.

Friday, January 30, 2009

breaking her will
Anyone who knows my family, knows that I am among a pack of strong willed people. And as previously discussed, I have come to the conclusion that strong willed people are born, not necessarily made. This fact, however, does not mean that strong willed people cannot be un-made.
Take the Mouth for example. Almost from the day she was born, it had to be HER way or the highway....or rather, HER way or you would have to clean up the vomit she is so good at spewing at will. She has ceased this disgusting habit, thank the good Lord, but now instead of hurling stomach contents, she hurls whatever is running around in that pretty little head of hers.
She has the pout down pat. She crosses her arms, stomps her foot and man, can she ever hold a grudge.
Until yesterday, that is. I have been dealing with sickness for an entire week - first the Mouth, then the Joker, then Hubby, then back to Joker, then Mouth again. I am TIRED from all the doting and caretaking, and have pretty much reached my patience ceiling.
Hubby, unbeknown st to me gave her a full cup of milk with breakfast, which she left sitting on the table. I promptly call her back into the kitchen to finish it, and thus began the showdown.
Me: You asked Poppa for it, now you are going to drink it. We do not waste food in this house (man do I ever sound like a mom)
Mouth: NO! I! WON'T!
Me: Yes you will, you will sit up to this table and drink your milk.
Mouth sits at the table, glaring at me for 25 MINUTES.
I completely ignore her glaring, although it did start to burn a hole in the side of my head
Me: I am taking your brother out in 15 minutes, and if you are not done that milk you are not coming with us
Mouth: I wanna come!! Don't leave me here!
Me: Well, I am going to go get ready, when I come back I am leaving with or without you.
at this point, I leave the room.....
10 seconds later, a beaming Mouth walks into the bathroom - with an empty cup.
I thank her for obeying and off she goes. Score: Mom 1, Mouth 0
The rest of the day, she was practically falling over herself doing the things I asked her to do. I think(hope) we may have turned a corner not letting her win the first battle of the day, all the following battles were already won.
The scariest thing about all of this is that they say (whoever THEY are) that whatever your child is like as a toddler is pretty much what they will be like as a teen. I think I am in for quite a ride.
Now to re-arm myself for tomorrow.....ugh, this parenting thing is tiring.
you kiss your momma with that mouth
I have often heard the above statement and not really understood it. It kind of jumped off the page at me today as I was doing my devotionals.
In James 3:10 it says "Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be".
That is when it hit me. How many times a day do I pray, or sing praises to God (answer: a lot). How many times do I encourage people, try to speak positively into someone's life. (again, a lot).
But with that same mouth I will gossip, or tell a white lie, or slander someone a bit, or complain, or grumble, or whatever. This has got to stop. How can I ever be authentic or effective if I am spewing beauty and filth all out of the same mouth???
mom doesn't have time to get sick
I don't know if this is true of all moms, but it is certainly true of me - I REFUSE to get sick (hmmmm, maybe I DO have a little bit of strong will in me). My life runs like a well-oiled machine, and if I were to even ATTEMPT to take a day out or not do things as planned, I am afraid it would all fall apart.
Have you ever seen those commercials where the kids make breakfast and there are pots and pans and stuff all over the kitchen? Yeah, if I stayed in bed for more than a couple of hours, my ENTIRE HOUSE would be one giant state of carnage. When I think about it, I clean up about once an hour. Seriously - I go from room to room putting things back where they belong (can you say OCD), folding and straightening things, sorting, picking up little bits of whatnot.
If I didn't do this, who would? NO ONE.
Therefore, I have NO TIME for you, SICKNESS.
(too bad sickness can't read)
Driven to Quit
Well, Hubby and I are taking the plunge. We are quitting smoking. I feel free to say that here because none of my family read this (and probably never will).
I personally have smoked off and on since Grade 6. GRADE 6 PEOPLE. As in, 12 YEARS OLD. I thought i was SO mature, so able to handle it - now the Fidget is 12 and if I ever caught him smoking, I think I would blow a blood vessel in my head. Yes, very hypocritical of my, I know.
Anyways, we have reached the point where enough is enough. Combined, we have over 40 years of smoking between us. YUCK. So a while back (January 01, to be exact) we determined that this was our year.
However, we were not going to quit at the same time (for fear of mutual homicide) and we would not quit the same way (I don't see the point of replacing nicotine with nicotine in a different form, you are going to have to quit THAT one day too). Hubby set his date for FEB 15, and me, MAR 01.
And now, we have an added incentive - the DRIVEN TO QUIT CHALLENGE. Not that we EVER win anything, but the challenge goes like this - quit March 1st, and stay quit the entire month of March, and you have a chance to win a grand prize of a Chevy Malibu Hybrid....or a $5000 vacation, or 1 of 2 $2000 Canadian Tire Gift Cards. I thought, well, why not at least try - you never know, right?
SO if you sense that my writing becomes more neurotic and nasty for a while, at least you have been forewarned.
That's it for now - the MOUTH is demanding attention. Must go and recommence will-breaking. Again. *sigh*

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The mini me

My daughter is slowly but most assuredly becoming a smaller version of me. Not in the good ways, but all of the bad ones. What I mean by that is that she seems to have picked up some of my neurotic bad habits, added them to her pre-existing 4 year old tendencies towards nastiness and ended up with a ticking time bomb of OCD.
When I was expecting my oldest, I was more than a little disappointed to find out it was a boy. I had dreamed that I would have a cute little pig-tailed girl that I would dress in fancy frocks and have lovely tea parties with. I had dreams of redeeming my own childhood failures through her. I had no idea how to raise, much less bond with a boy.
nd yet, when the Fidget was born, it was lovely. I learned step by step what he needed and wanted and realized that it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. As I looked to friends who had daughters, I realized I was actually quite blessed to have a boy - a nice, compliant, easy to dress, easy to manage boy.
Then came the girl. The Mouth, as she is affectionately known, is not so nice at times, rarely compliant, difficult to dress and will be managed by no one, at least not willingly. Sure there are fancy frocks (but they hang unloved and unwanted in the closet) and there is a tea set that she is not allowed to touch for fear that her temper will send it clattering across the room. I know she will not always be like this, but she is like this NOW, and that is the problem.
Over the past year or so, I have come to realize some startling trends in her behaviour. She is meticulous. And by meticulous, I mean anal. She has a routine, and if we deviate from that routine, she LOSES IT. She has her toys in certain spots, and if they are not in those spots, she will not sleep. We must follow the bedtime routine to the letter or she gets very upset. She knows that on certain days, we do certain things, and if - God forbid - some emergency pops up and we have to change plans, get ready for the fury of a four-year-old to be unleashed.
She lines her books up according to size, and can tell at a glance from across the room if they are out of order. I must brush her hair a certain way if I want to brush her hair at all. The list goes on and on.
While I may have started to blame myself for these foibles, I begin to think this way: I myself feel the exact same things as she does, only I have trained myself to have restraint, to go with the flow, if the flow so demands. Not that I am all cheering and happy about it, but I do it without saying anything. I have had to significantly relax my standards on cleaning and routine since the arrival of children, knowing that children do not fall into a neat and orderly schedule. Therefore, seeing how I have have hidden these things from her, how on earth is it that she learned them?
And that is where I begin to feel some relief. I don't think she learned them at all - I think she inherited them. I think genetically, she is predisposed to these behaviours. Just like her temperament. No one around here taught her how to act this way (pigheaded and stubborn, and I say that in the most loving way possible)- she just does, and has from nearly the day she was born. So aside from my decision to procreate, I am off the hook, right? Right.
Well, that is it for tonight - off to relax before the circus that is my life begins again tomorrow.
God Bless

Monday, January 26, 2009

Must keep this short and sweet....
Much to my astonishment/amusement/surprise/shock I have earned a FOLLOWER. This brings a new element to the whole blogging experience. I mean, I, little old me, have a follower. So here's my shout out - HEY FOLLOWER! THanks, you made my month!
We have now entered the germ zone. Everyone in my house is sick in one form or another. And while I love everyone in my house, I wish they did not feel such an insane need to cling to me when ill.
Don't get me wrong - I don't want to sound all cold and uncaring. I love cuddle time. But too much of anything is a bad thing. Particularly when that thing involves wiping snot on my shirt and coughing in my face. And now my throat is feeling sore, and nose is starting to run - I suspect I will become a 5'8" bundle of oozing fluids any day now. It's the gift that keeps on giving.
Hubby is laid up in bed with the 2nd migraine in 10 days. This is not a good sign. In fact, I am pretty worried about him.
Okay, enough of the complaining - it just needed to be said.
SO there you have it - I did say it would be short, right? Right.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Barf Juice

I have reached a new low in my bar-cleaning experience. And that is saying a lot.
I have been a bar cleaner for 2 years (less some time I took off in between). In that time period, I have mopped up a fair share of spilled drinks, swept up thousands of lemon and lime wedges, and retrieved probably hundreds of dollars of dropped change. Among the grossest of items I have found are: an unwrapped, unrolled condom (not sure if it was used, I didn't look very closely), a used Q-tip, some hair extensions, and a used tampon ( on the middle of the dancefloor).
That is, until today...I walked into the men's washroom at work only to be met by a very unmistakable odor - of seafood. Me, being a person who is very opposed to seafood, immediately began the gagfest. As I approached the urinal, I cringed.
From 5 feet away I could spot pink chunks. And I don't mean just IN the urinal, so much as ON the urinal, the wall behind the urinal, the floor beneath the urinal. Oh, trust me, there was plenty IN the urinal - conveniently trapped in the urinal puck holding mesh screen. GAG.
And not only was this seafood, but shrimp. And not only was it shrimp, but also little red bits that I can only assume came from marinara sauce. And not only was it shrimp and marinara sauce, but it was dried onto every surface where it was so hastily splashed the evening before.
This required not only a cleaning, but a scrubbing. And being that I only have regular length arms and not elasti-girl arms, the scrubbing required me to be VERY close to the whole gagaliscious mess. UGH.
As I was trying to keep from adding to the barfiness of the whole situation, I found myself swallowing. A lot. Have you ever sat up or laid down too fast with a full stomach and regurgitated into your mouth? My kids lovingly call this "barf juice"...pleasant, I know. Well, there was plenty of barf juicing going on.
This reminded me of the most recent episode of Biggest Loser (a secret love of mine, although I really don't know why). On this episode, the contestants were challenged to jump over this swinging bar - with the last one standing winning immunity for that week. Looking at it (while lying on my bed, mind you) I couldn't understand how they could lose....I mean, it is jumping like 12 inches off the ground, every 10 seconds or so. What I should have considered is that all of these people are seriously overweight and out of shape. However, while most of them failed in the first few jumps, there were two ladies who jumped over this thing for over 2 HOURS!
There they are, out in the midday sun, no water, jumping over this bar for hours....something like 2000 jumps. Finally, one of the girls missteps and breaks the bar. The other girl (the winner) looked like she was about to pass out, and they show both of them guzzling water moments later. This is promptly followed by the winner gagging and I'm pretty sure barfing in the grass.
She then stands up and says something to the effect of, "that's how I did it, you know. That is how I kept going with no water. I just kept barfing into my mouth and swallowing it. That is the only way I could do it". UGH. WAAAAAY too much information, but thanks Regurgitating Immunity Girl.
Well, I will end with this: If you are going to drink, and if you are going to eat shrimp marinara, and if you are going to use a urinal, Please don't do them all at once. At least not at my bar. Thank you....sincerely. GAG

Friday, January 23, 2009

how clean is your house?

I spotted it as soon as I walked into work this morning - so small, so innocent, just lying there in the middle of the floor. And yet the sight of it nearly brought tears to my eyes. I knew, just knew in my heart of hearts that its amazing powers had been used for evil, and not for good, and here I was...searching for the results.
What is this tiny thing I saw?
An EMPTY tube of quickbond super glue.
At a bar.
Did I mention it was empty? As in, its' contents having been poured out?
Yeah. That was the start of a really kinda sucky day of cleaning. Add to the glue (which I later discovered had been used to glue pennies to the floor and the underside of tables...not as menacing as I thought, but then again, I may have overlooked some other wondrous feat of adhesion ) the fact that some guy jammed an entire newspaper into the toilet and then flushed, followed by many many other inebriated fellows who relieved themselves on this wadded mess.
There were half full glasses in the washrooms, (which alone grosses me out, didn't your mother tell you NEVER to take food or drink into the washroom? Seriously - I clean in, I KNOW how gross it can get) butter knives wedged between the bench seats and the wall, gum, beer bottles and the like strewn all over the place.
It's funny, it is not the worst I have ever seen, but it is the most widespread - that is, the filth extended to every possible area of the place, so instead of focusing on one truly dirty area, I had to WORK IT.
Then again, I guess that is what I get paid for, right? Right.
Have you ever seen the show "How Clean is your House"? It is a delightful piece of work where these two ladies go (invited) into someone's home while the occupants are not there, and then critique every piece of dirt they find. It is worse than it sounds though, because it seems that every home they enter is a cess-pool of disgustingness not normally known among our generation (or maybe it is more known than I thought and I am just delusional). Anyhow, they totally rip apart the owners for their laziness, then they rip apart the home and clean it all up, put it all back together and off they go.
Why I mention this is because of a message I heard while cleaning this morning (how appropriate). If you picture your life as a house, as in - the library or office would be your mind, the den or rec room would be your free time, your bedroom would be your rest time, your kitchen as the things you feed yourself, you have to ask - how clean is my house.
If you were to hear a knock at your door, and open it to find Jesus, could you confidently let him in? And not just into the foyer, that place we let strangers in, without letting them actually enter and make themselves comfortable. Could Jesus look in your closets and not find piles of garbage that you have been hiding? Could he go into your cupboards and not find them full of junk food? What is playing on your television? What books would he find on your shelves?
And here is the kicker - he would never come in unless invited, but once he is in, he is IN. As in, you must give him free reign of all areas of the home.
I think that my life has plenty of dustballs and old socks shoved under beds. I know for a fact that there are areas I would ask him not to look at (oh, that ever famous junk drawer). But I can't ask him to help me redecorate until I am ready to throw out some junk.
I can see metaphors in everything - and if my life is anything like my workplace (which it often is) I have a lot of work to do. Might as well stop complaining, and get out the mop.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

taking on too much

I do this all the time. I start out with a relatively clean slate of time, aside from the mandatory raising the kids, keeping house, etc, and then add and add and add to it until I am running myself ragged. And every time, I tell myself that I will not do it again. Almost as soon as those words are out of my mouth, there I am again, piling it back up.
I have taken an inventory of my usual week, and I am exhausted just looking at it:
Monday: BSF leaders meeting (I do the childcare so the moms can have discussion and fellowship time) 9-11:30. Hubby has men's Bible study, so I am on my own to get the kids to bed. Have also started meeting with my Mentor every other Monday evening....which requires some housecleaning during the day....
Tuesday: Take the Mouth to school, get weekly groceries and run any other errands, home to do total house cleaning, quick nap, pick up Mouth from school, and once a month (sometimes twice) go to a ladies' meeting at the church. While this sounds like a nice night out, I rarely, if ever, leave without making sure the kids are bathed, pj'ed and ready for bed.
Wednesday: BSF for me & the kids - 9-11:30, home for a quick nap, off to pick up Fidget (1/2 hour drive) and then back, quick dinner, help F. study & do homework, get kids ready for bed, take Fidget to Youth Group at church. While he is there I either do Bible Study homework or prepare for my Sunday School lesson. Drive Fidget home, then head back home myself, fall into bed - exhausted.
Thursday - up at 4:00am, head to work by 4:30, work 4:45-7:00, zip home, make lunches & breakfast (if hubby has not already done so), get kids dressed. Take Mouth to school, then the Joker and I head to Mom's Morning Out group 9-11:30. Home, quick but desperately needed nap, go pick up Mouth at school, head home. Dinner, bath night for kids, spend some quality time with my man.
Friday - up at 4:00am, head to work. Home by 7:00. If Mouth has school, get her ready, pack up kids and head out. run any extra errands, then home for catch up on any homework I may have missed etc. Nap if possible. Pick up Mouth, and then every other weekend, drive to pick up Fidget. Home, cook dinner, get littlest kids ready and into bed, then games night with Fidget.
Saturday - up at 4:00am, work. Home around 7:30 (extra dirty on Sat. mornings). Make breakfast, chores for a bit, then try to tackle any projects we have slated (ie home repair). Nap in afternoon, then up, make sure Sunday School lesson is complete, dinner, kids ready and into bed, and usually we have some sort of movie night.
Sunday - up at 4:00am, work. Home, get ready for church. Church from 9:30-11:30, then off to in-law's for lunch. Home by 2:00 for nap, up by 4:00 for final SS prep, off to church for 5:30. Sunday School from 6:00-7:30, then take Fidget home if necessary and then home myself.
And then it is Monday, all over again.
It makes me wonder if I will ever allow myself adequate sleep again. I mean, it looks like I take a lot of naps, but really, we are talking an hour nap at the most, and at night I get maybe 5 hours of sleep. I really have no right to complain though, I have made my bed. Now though I only lie in it proverbially, I still must lie in it

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

playing too close to the road

Hubby and I did a devotional this morning about 'playing too close to the road'. What is meant by this is seeing how close you can get to sin without actually falling in. We both realized that we are all guilty of this at times.
Hubby used to be a mechanic - and before you judge, he was one of the 'good ones'. However, the door was always open to scam the customers - and it was even encouraged at times as it brings in money for the dealership in the end. He talked about how he could complete a job in 1/2 hour but could charge 2 hours for it. Add to that the fact that he could give a customer a whole laundry list of items that should be repaired but didn't absolutely NEED to be done. Now that he has left that area of the auto industry, he can look back and realize just how close he got.
Sure there are times when we both think that the money he made as a mechanic would be really great - he could make about double what he is making now - but we know that just knowing you are not scamming people is well worth the cut in pay.
As for me, I come dangerously close every time I go to work. This February, I will be celebrating 5 years (YAHOO!!) of sobriety. And yet every time I enter my job (a bar) I am an arms length from falling back in. Funny though, I have never considered drinking on the job. It is kind of like God has blinded me to the fact that there are open bottles of liquor all over the place, and I just set about to do what I am paid to do, which is clean up after other people's evenings of drunkenness.
I have often heard the advice "garbage in, garbage out". I think of this when I turn on the computer or the television, or watch a movie. Every mode of media is a direct line to the sin that is so easily accepted in our world. And no matter how much you think you are immune, exposing yourself to it daily will numb you to its dangers sooner or later. And just as easily, you will partake, with the opinion that 'everyone else is doing it'. Then comes the fall.
The struggle is finding the balance. I mean, when I think of all the ways we could so easily fall into sin, it makes me want to pack up the family and move to some mud hut somewhere and call it a day. But avoiding the world is no answer either. We need to live IN the world without becoming LIKE the world. We need to get out of the house, but not run into the road.
So let today be a challenge - to be aware of the road, with all its speeding cars and semis, and see where the sin lies. Ask yourself what roads you are playing on. And then determine to head back to the lawn...not the mud hut.
God Bless!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I could do that

Hubby and I read a devotional this morning about envy. As in, looking at what others have (or can do) and negatively questioning why THEY can have it (or do it) and why YOU cannot.
At first I thought - oh, I never do that, but then realized that is EXACTLY what I have been doing.
As I wrote a couple of days ago, I have been having problems with blog envy. I have been envying not only what people HAVE but also what they DO. How appropriate that we should stumble upon this devotion today.
So, what have I learned? With every ability comes responsibility - that is, if you are an accomplished piano player, it is only because you have spent hour upon hour practicing it. If you are a good cook, it is only because you have spent countless hours in the kitchen both trying and failing at recipes before you reached your current level of culinary brilliance. Also, those with these outstanding abilities are probably envious of an ability that you may have.
For example: i have a dear friend who can cook up a storm. Nearly every time I go over, there is a fresh batch of baked treats cooling on the stove. She greets people with grace and welcomes them into her home. I have often envied her ability to be so hospitable. As for me, I cannot bake to save my life (one exception is banana bread - that is one thing I can do really really well), I nearly have a nervous breakdown trying to cook dinner, and the thought of having people over to my house sends me into a massive cleaning frenzy.
I have some abilities that she does not - to keep up with an exercise program, and to clean my house with incredible precision. These things that I may look upon as curses at times are coveted by my friend, while she may not see cooking and baking as glamorous, but they are the very things I wish I had.
The moral to all of this? Envy has no point really. There is something to be said for admiring someone else's accomplishments and attempting them for yourself, but if you are just going to sit back and complain that you can't have those things too, you are only hurting yourself. Right? Right. Or so my mother always told me.
I get a daily email on how to show love to your husband. This is not because I have trouble showing love to my hubby, but because I am looking for unique ideas. The one I received this morning was all about using your mate's "love language". I have become very interested in the whole love language philosophy after attempting to discover my children's unique languages and then apply the technique for myself. Trust me, this works.
My daughter, the Mouth, for example has the love language of 'quality time' which means that in order for you to connect with her in the most deepest and intimate of ways, you need to do it with time spent with her. Not that we all don't need a little time now and then, but she seems to need a great deal more in order to feel truly loved. When I am sitting at my computer or working on some study at the table and she comes up and natters away and bugs and bugs and bugs, I find that if I stop what I am doing and FOCUS intently on her, spend some time playing Pet Shop or some other favorite activity, she feels completely fulfilled and will be satisfied for another few hours.
My oldest, the Fidget, has the love language of "words of affirmation". If you really want to show him love, you just need to compliment him on something he is doing right and you will have a super happy kid on your hands. He is completely motivated by praise, and it is amazing to see the difference this makes in his demeanor and behaviour.
Then comes the youngest, the Joker. His language is "physical touch" which means that in order for him to feel completely connected, he has to be hugged, caressed, cuddled, or sitting on your lap.
You may be thinking that these are obvious ways to show love to your children. And when I say that they have one specific love language, I am not excluding the other languages in favor of the one. What I am saying is that there is one specific way that they respond best. The Mouth is not really into the cuddle thing, unless she is really tired or sick, and The Fidget is not really into quality time. On the same note, the Joker is oblivious to compliments, but that could be because of his age.
As for me? I am an "acts of service" person - that is, I give and receive love best through things I do or are done to me. When my hubby vacuums or does a sinkful of dishes, it means more to me than a bouquet of roses. If I really want to show someone I care, I try to think of something I can do. This is where the difficulties arise - not everyone cares about acts....and so sometimes my efforts are in vain.
So back to my hubby. He is a physical touch kind of guy. And no, not every guy is a touch kind of guy. Okay, maybe they are. I think the way I will show him tonight is a giant hug and kiss when he comes home, maybe a neck rub later. Hopefully this will inspire him to do the dishes or put away his laundry........ha ha ha ha ha sorry, fell off my chair there for a second.

Lastly, I have reached the point of ultimate annoyance with my children's newly-acquired noisy toys. It has been nearly 1 month since Christmas, and I am just about ready to break out the screwdriver and take out all the batteries. Why, oh, why, toy makers, do you insist on making these toys so insanely loud? My kids feel the need to raise their voices to be heard over the toys, which leads me to raise my voice, which gives me a headache and we all end up grumpy. And the culprit? THE NOISY TOYS!!!
SO that is all for today, I am off to LOVE my kids until hubby comes home from work...and to think of ways to convince him to wash the pots & pans.