A kick ass trip down memory lane

As NaBloPoMo, and more importantly November, draws to a close I’m left to ponder all that has happened over the past month.  Let’s see:  there was vomit, runny noses, coughing, busted ear drums, ear pus, walk-in clinics, antibiotics, a filthy kitchen, a screaming night-time baby, headaches, Pre-school parent-teacher meetings, Christmas shopping, a Christmas parade,  portraits, and a new Professor Layton game.  And I still managed to get one blog post done every day, without once resorting to those bizarre prompts.  Had I known what kind of month I was going to have, would I have decided to pick up the gauntlet?  Probably not.  I would have let life get in the way again.  But, pick it up I did, and I’m so glad that I did.  Because not only did it get me back into the blogging mind-set, it also served as a huge lesson to me on making me a priority sometimes.  And it definitely served as a good distraction from all that Fuckvember has come to represent.  And look at that, we’re almost rid of it for another year!  Now it’s time relax and get swept up into Christmas.

Or is it?

I may have something cooking for the month of December.  I may be insane.  Stay tuned!

In the meantime, this seems as an appropriate time as any to watch this:

November Rain by Guns N’ Roses

Do they make music videos this freaking awesome anymore?  I don’t fucking think so!  First Axl meets and falls in love with statuesque Stephanie Seymour who would be, if not for his all his fame and money, WAY OUT OF HIS LEAGUE.  Then they get married!  In a church!  Then Slash, presumably out of respect for Jesus, removes himself from the church (which is in the middle of a desert) to play the devil’s music.  For 2 minutes.  Wedding reception!  They’re so in love!  Surely they will live happily ever after!  Oh NO!  The reception has been RAINED OUT.  Everybody panic!  And then, for no discernible reason, SHE SUDDENLY AND TRAGICALLY DIES(maybe pneumonia?).  Look at Axl!  Look at the PATHOS, people!  LOOK AT IT!  Interspersed throughout are the boys playing in a theatre with a full supporting orchestra.  Slash jumps up on the grand piano at one point like a boss, it’s GLORIOUS.  Seriously, this video made my day yesterday.  Happy last day of November!

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Secret Santa

I apologize in advance if this post was not well thought out.  I am sick.  Again.  I feel like we’re handing over $200 a month to the Pre-school to infect us with disease.

In general, I love giving gifts to others.  Slight correction.  I love giving gifts to people when I know what to get them.  There are two people in my life that stress me out whenever gift giving season comes around, because I know I’ve got to come up with something, and I have no fucking clue what to give them.  They are my Dad, and Mr. Goldragon.

Both of them have expensive wants, and they don’t even ask for that stuff.  While my Dad will buy himself everything he wants, and therefore wants nothing, Mr. G buys himself nothing and still wants nothing.  I mentioned my Dad for completeness sake, but I will leave him be and focus on Mr. G for this post.

By a comity of two, we decided that Mr. G should have a pair of sturdy winter gloves.  The ones I bought him last year exploded on the second use, as they were cheap Wal-Mart gloves.  But he can’t think of anything beyond that.  Let the good times roll!  I, on the other hand, have a great long list of things that I want.  But I have to lay it out in no uncertain terms, because he doesn’t want to take the risk that he will get me something I don’t want.  Once in a while, I wish that he would take his own head for it, so that I might have a surprise on Christmas morning,

This morning, while we were blatantly discussing what it is that we will get for each other, I put forth that maybe we shouldn’t bother buying for each other this year.  Like, I’ll get him his gloves, and he gets me my scanner (or fixes the one that I have) and call it even.  Because really?  What I want for Christmas is for the kids to enjoy the season, and to see the looks on their faces when they open their presents.  If someone wants to give me a present, I won’t say no, but I don’t want a duty-bound present.  AND if I know what I’m going to get ahead of time, because it was all pre-planned and everything, it takes the fun out of opening gifts.

It makes me feel like such a no fun Grinch.  My parents always exchanged presents, no matter how little money they had.  Most people I know love to have the excuse to shower their S.O. with gifts.  But every time one of these gift exchanging events comes up, it just fills me with dread and malaise.  That’s not in keeping with the spirit of gift giving in general, in my opinion.

How do you feel about gift exchanges with your S.O.?  Awesome or stressful?

I do not think Mr Lucas was involved

In between caring for two sick children (one with an ear infection and both with colds) and one burnt-out Mummy (who is coming down with the cold), we, that is Mr. Goldragon and I, were playing Star Wars: The Old Republic beta today.  Despite the fact that I have not been all that interested in it up to this point, I am very impressed.

At first, I was sort of peering over Mr. G’s shoulder as he played.  Right away, it put me in the Star Wars mood.  It’s been a while since anything has done that for me.  I’ve never really been interested in Old Republic stuff.  I’m more of an original trilogy onwards, kind of gal.  But I’ve got to say, they’ve done a really nice job of creating a nice Star Warsy atmosphere.  It was enough that I had Star Wars on the brain when I laid down and had a nap.  By the time I got up, I was ready to play.

I chose Sith Warrior class, because I thought it would be a nice, mind-numbing, smashy-smashy time.  I’ve not played a combat oriented game in some time, so I wanted ease myself into it by picking something easy.  The play style was what I expected.  As I plowed through level fodder, I suspected that I would probably be dark-side in real life.  I don’t think Jedi yell “Boo-yeah!  Take that, fucker!” when they take out an enemy in one hit.

What most impressed me about it, are the story-lines.  Each class has its own unique storyline, and they are extremely compelling.  Unusual for MMOs, the plots are advanced through superbly voice-acted cut scenes.  It draws you in, and makes you want to know what happens next.  I played for two hours, and didn’t even notice the time go by.  After Mr. G started playing again, he went through the starter area for a Smuggler class, and a Sith Inquisitor class.  I kept peeping over his shoulder, curious to see how the different stories played out.  I immediately regretted my decision to go with the Sith Warrior.  The Inquistor is the most compelling by far.  It made me want to hop back in, and make another character.  Unfortunately, today was the last day of the beta, so I didn’t get the chance.

I’m left with a sad feeling now.  We are unlikely to subscribe when it officially releases in December for a few reasons.  First of all, money.  We ain’t got a whole lot to spend on monthly subscriptions.  Second of all, while this game is extremely tempting on many levels, it shouldn’t have been an MMO.  The story-lines revolve around the concept that this is YOUR story.  YOU are special.  One of a kind, even.  You’re given tasks because you, and you alone are suited to the task.  So when you’re running along-side several other players who are doing the exact same quests as you, it takes you out of the game.  Granted, I did only play the starter area and there were no opportunities for me to play as a group, so I didn’t get to see that aspect of it in action.  However, what it has left me with is the feeling that it SHOULD have been a solo game, and I’m sad that it’s not.  I would have bought a solo game.  But a monthly subscription adds up, and a game I can’t pause is just too much for this poor stay at home Mom to handle right now.  As my six-year-old nephew would say, poo poo canoe.

This one has a surprise ending

Our town has an annual Christmas parade.  We took the Girl when she was a six month old baby.  It was awful.  Besides the freezing cold, there was a seemingly endless supply of fire trucks that blasted their sirens (you know, the sirens that can be heard at long distances from INSIDE cars?) while crowds of children stood mere feet away.  The Girl started crying every time one would blast, and every time we thought, “oh, that must be ALL of the fire trucks in the entire PROVINCE,” we’d see another five in the distance.  For two hours.  Horrific, is one word to describe it.

We avoided it for the next two years, because we figured that she would be too young to appreciate it.  Plus she was scared of loud noises.  Others had told me that the fire department’s presence had been reduced, but so scarred were we from the first year, we decided to steer clear.

But now she is three (and a half) and she knows about Santa, loves coloured lights, and keeps asking “what time Christmas is,” so we decided to brave the parade, sirens or no sirens.

I made a thermos of hot chocolate, and we bundled up the kids and went.  We found a good spot, right at the end of the parade route.  Mr. Goldragon went off to find some hot greasy food, and came back with a little over-priced donair pizza.  Upon biting into it, I proclaimed it to be “the best thing ever.”

The parade started out with…fire trucks.  Mr. G joked, “I hear sirens, it must be Christmas!”  It wasn’t too bad, though.  There were only about 10 of them this time, and even though sirens were on, they had mutes on them so they were not the eardrum puncturing full blast sirens of that fateful first year.  And then they were gone, and the rest of the parade continued.

The Girl waved at everyone who passed, danced if the floats played music, munched on pizza and drank hot chocolate.  Even the Boy eventually got into it yelling, “Ya YA YA YA YA YA,” smiling, and waving.  It was only an hour long this time, which is plenty for any parade.  When Santa went past, he said, “Ho ho ho!  Be good, and listen to your parents!”  I said, “Thank-you, Santa!”

After Santa was gone, the crowd began to disperse.  We decided to walk around for a few minutes, giving the traffic a chance to die down a bit.  It only took about ten minutes, and you could hardly tell that there had even been a parade at all.  All was going swimingly, but started to go downhill when we got them back into the car.

The Girl began complaining that she was “sweaty.”  I told her not to worry about it, we would be home soon.  If you don’t know this already, three-year olds hate the word SOON.  If it’s not NOW it might as well be NEVER.  So she started to pout, whine, and cry.  All the way home.  We chalked it up to her being tired and over-stimulated.

We arrived home.  The Girl was acting very out of sorts, clutching her stomach, acting unreasonably belligerent and wanting to go to bed.  I took her temperature, because of the “sweaty” complaints, but she wasn’t running a fever.  I got her ready for bed.  I read her a story.  We were on our way to feed the cats when she…….BARFED ALL OVER THE KITCHEN FLOOR!  Surprise!  (This morning, she was fine.  We’re chalking it up to puking due to being overwrought, which she has been known to do in the past.)

If you’re keeping track, I started yesterday by taking one child to the doctor for a prolonged ear infection.  I finished yesterday by cleaning up the vomit of the other child off the kitchen floor.  And yet, I would still deem yesterday a success.  Let the Christmas Season commence!

I should have a spot permanently on reserve at the walk-in

Since I’ve kept y’all up to date on the state of the Boy’s health thus far, I might as well keep you informed.

The Boy’s ear was clearing up after being on Zithromax for 4 of 5 days.  He even had a couple of good nights in there when he only woke up crying once in the night needing to be dosed with pain medication.  Then last night, he had a very restless night.  He woke up at around 11 pm, pulling at his bad ear, and with a warm head.  I dosed him with Advil, before he could get a full-blown fever, and he did go back to sleep, eventually.  But he was still very thrashy all night long.

Then this morning (which would have been his final dose of Zithromax), his ear looked as bad as it did on Tuesday.  I called the pharmacist, and she said that he should get reassessed, and that there was a clinic today from 12 until 3.  Registration starts an hour before they open, so I got there at 11.  We were sixth in line.

Since I knew we had an hour to wait, and I happened to have the stroller with me, I took the Boy for a little stroll along the waterfront.  It was a nice change from hanging out in the waiting area, and it was very quiet as the waterfront is very touristy, and being November, it’s off-season.  All the buildings were boarded up, and I imagined that I was walking around in a ghost town.  And the Boy got a snooze in, which put him in a  better state of being.

When we got back, we only had to wait about 20 minutes before his name was called.  Fortunately, it was my family doctor who was working in the clinic today.  She is an excellent doctor, and very thorough.  Unfortunately, and this is a problem with all family doctors here, you can’t get in to see her in her office if your problem requires immediate attention, say less than two weeks.  So that’s why I’ve been going to the clinic up until this point.

I related the whole story to her.  She said that Zithromax was the go-to antibiotic for many doctors, because the treatment is only once per day for five days, and she wished that they would stop.  It’s been so over-used, that more often than not, the bacteria causing the infection will show resistance to it, which would appear to be the case here.  She prescribed penicillin (three times a day for ten days), which is what I’m more familiar with, as it was what my sister took when she had multiple ear infections.  She also took a swab of his ear to make sure that it’s not a particular other kind of bacteria, which would require another, different treatment.  On Monday, I’m to make an appointment to see her in two weeks time, for a follow-up check-up to make sure his eardrum is healing up and the infection is gone.  THAT’s how you inspire confidence, people!  The Boy thought so too.  He waved and talked to her, which is pretty unusual for him.

AND, I got several compliments on the Boy’s name, which was nice.  I just read an article that listed his name as on trend, and the people in the comments section were rather nasty.  Why yes, I DO love my son, thanks random assholes.

Sometimes it is not your parents’ fault

I think I may have mentioned before that I am an extrovert with social anxiety.  When I was a teenager, I was prescribed Paxil, and was referred to a psychologist.  I only went to the psychologist for a couple of sessions.  My Mom’s insurance would only pay for so many, and I lost patience with her (the psychologist) when she seemed way too focused on the past and started implying that my Mom yelling at me when I was a kid was to blame for my current anxieties.  Bitch, please.  I do think it is important to look at your past and learn from it.  To be aware is to be prepared.  But in three sessions she didn’t once give me anything to cope in my present situation.  And of course, having social anxiety, I couldn’t tell her all this.  When she left a message on our voice mail asking me to return her call to make my next appointment, I just never called back.

Besides, she was totally barking up the wrong tree.  I’m sure there were a myriad of causes genetics being one of them (hello!).  But if she was looking for powerful incidents that would turn me off of social situations, she should have asked me about the time I was bullied in grade one.

The Bully was a year younger than I was.  She had no friends, because she was abnormally ugly and you know how much kids love people who are visibly different.  One day she asked me to play with her.  I was a very friendly kid at the time.  I made friends with twin girls on their first day at school in Canada (they had been living in the States until then) with a smile and a handshake.  I felt bad for this poor, friendless, ugly girl, so I played with her.

The next day, she asked again.  And I played again.  The next day, I didn’t see her, so I played with my other friends.  It was the next day that she sought me out, and without so much as a hello, shoved me up against the school building.  By my throat.

“Are you going to play with me today?” she said, menacingly.

“Y-yes,” I said, because what else was I going to say?  I was six and she had me by the fucking throat!

“Good,” she said, with a self-satisfied smirk,”’cause if you had said no, I woulda slapped you across the face.”

Thus began my year-long ordeal of being forced by threat of bodily harm into playing with this girl.  Every. Single. Day. My Mom spoke to the school.  If they did anything, we were never told about it.  All I know is that I only escaped this harassment by going into the second grade, which was in a separate building, and had a different playing area than the primaries and grade ones.  She either lost her intense desire to play with me over the summer break, or moved on to someone else, I never knew.

It turned me off of making random new friends for a LONG time after that, that’s for sure.  But there are a couple of life lessons for us all here.  Your parents aren’t always the source of your problems.  Also, don’t ever make friends with someone out of pity.  There’s probably a reason why they are friendless and it’s usually not what they think it is.  Let’s face it, nobody’s going to come out and TELL you that they are A FUCKING SOCIOPATH.

Amusingly apt title

I lost three hours to Christmas shopping this morning.  I had a nice chat on the phone with my younger sister, but then I failed at making supper because I was trying to write a blog post, but then I also failed at blog post.  The Girl just spent the whole way home from preschool crying because she didn’t get a treat after breakfast this morning.  I have a headache because I also failed at nutrition.  And the Boy is currently eating a used kleenex, and I don’t care because at least he’s not screaming at me.  Oh wait, there he goes.

So, instead of the insightful and amusing post I had planned, here’s a funny story involving the Girl.

The Girl was looking out into our back yard one day and she said, “Oh Mummy, there’s some kinda animal in our yard!”

“There’s some kinda animal in our yard?” I said back to her, in the form of a question because, as we discussed earlier, otherwise she won’t believe that I heard her.  I looked, not really expecting to see anything, and said, “Oh! There IS some kinda animal in our yard!  It’s a cat,” I added, for so it was.

“Yeah, she’s a white cat,” she said. “I want to go outside and pet that cat.”

“Mmmmmmmm [Marge Simpson would be proud], I don’t think that’s a good idea,” I said, “as soon as I open the door that cat is going to run, and even if it doesn’t, I don’t want you petting strange cats.”

“I think you should open the door,” she replied, “I think the cat is trying to get inside our house, and actually, I think it’s our cat.”

“I don’t think so,” I said, amused,”we have two cats.  One is orange and one is black.  That cat is neither orange nor black.”

“Actually,” she said, “we have three cats.”

Because when you’re three, you don’t even know the meaning of the term “long-shot.”

I think I need an intervention

I may have a problem.  It’s getting out of control.  Once I had one, I just couldn’t stop.  At first they made me feel good.  Now I have to use them just to feel normal.  Now I’m addicted.  I need help.  I know it’s a drain on my money, but…I just can’t stop buying notebooks.

I have one for lists (to-do and grocery).  I have one for my journal.  I have one for my blog.  I have a couple of ones just for sketching. I have one that’s just for Tarot and tarot related things, like dreams. And then Meg at SpiritMovesDance on her Inspiration Tuesday post this week directed me to a thing called Morning Pages which I think is a grand idea.  But would require yet another notebook.  She’s totally an enabler.

Not that I needed any impetus to add to my notebook collection, mind you.  My lists notebook is embarrassingly full.  I had to write my to do list on the Girl’s oversized newsprint pad today.  And I want to have one available to write down comic ideas.  And I want a portable one that I can jot reminders in so I can stop forgetting things when I’m away from my precious notebooks.  That’s ten notebooks in use, SIMULTANEOUSLY.  That’s more notebooks than most people use in an entire lifetime!  I AM OUT OF CONTROL.

The saddest thing is that my chronic notebook use has not gone unnoticed by the Girl.  She was with me, you see, when I bought my latest coil-bound 5-star brand-knock-off (I can no longer afford the real stuff) and she wanted her own notebook.  So I got her one, because she can always use more drawing paper.  But what she does is draw line after line of continuous loops saying, “I’m writing in my notebook.  I’m writing a grocery list.”

It’s the innocent who suffer the most.

The one in which I link to every other post I have ever made

I’m starting to get grocery store PTSD.  First it was this, and then it was this.  And now?

Well it’s Tuesday again.  Grocery day, while the Girl is at Preschool.  Today was particularly busy.  I had groceries to buy, pictures to pick up (they turned out just shy of fabulous, by the way), the credit card to pay off, supper to make, a blog post to write, and the Girl’s parent/teacher meeting (I know, I know.  It’s as bad as pre-school graduation ceremonies, but I digress).  The Boy had a pretty bad night, again.  He woke twice, and needed pain medication both times before he’d go back to sleep.  But, he seemed in good spirits this morning, so I decided to proceed with the day, as planned.

No sooner had I arrived at the grocery store when I noticed that the Boy’s ear, had popped in an EXPLOSION OF PUS.  He was pretty happy, probably because all that pressure that had been built up in his poor little ear had finally released, so I just kept shopping.  We still gotta eat, pus-filled ear, or no pus-filled ear (to be clear, NEVER EAT A PUS-FILLED EAR).

But on the way home, we swung into the walk-in clinic.  Again.  They were full up for the morning, but were taking registrations for the afternoon (I may or may not have written “pussy ear” on the registration form. >_<).  That was a small reprieve, as I had time to take the groceries home and put them away, have something to eat, let the Boy have a little sleep, and not very much time spent in the waiting area, where there is always some crazy lady who wants to talk at me.  It’s a different crazy lady every time, but they always act as the keeper of the waiting area, are attracted to small children, have questionable hygiene, and generally creep me out.

As it turned out, it wasn’t a reprieve at all, as I ended up waiting longer this time, than on Saturday.  Thankfully, no crazy lady.  When told I was going to be seeing Dr. Cusack, I had hopes that he would look like John Cusack.  He didn’t.

So what was the prix grand this time?  *drumroll* Ear infection (as if you couldn’t guess)!  But also, more importantly, a prescription!  For antibiotics, no less.  And we still have to squirt the saline solution up his nose, and treat the fever (NOT with more cowbell).  Yay?  Dr. False-Advertizing asked me how much the Boy weighs, as he was writing the prescription.  He balked when I told him, “twenty-two pounds,….approximately.”

How old is he?” he asked.

“Nine and a half months,” I said, innocently.

“Twenty-two pounds?  Are you sure?  That’s sounds awfully high,” he said.

I raised my eyebrow,”Yes, fairly sure.  He was nineteen pounds at six months, and I weighed him myself not too long ago.  Twenty-two pounds, there abouts,” I said, then added, “he’s a big boy.”

He also said that if we found that he started getting lots of ear infections, we might want to consider getting rid of his soother.  Which on the one hand I thought, “well, maybe it’s getting to be that time,” but on the other hand I thought, “NOOOOOOOOO, not the soot!  He’s SO LOUD!”  So let’s hope this is the only ear infection he ever has ever.

PS: I just want to let it be known that I have been in the walk-in clinic twice as many times in the past 9 months for the Boy as I have in the past five years FOR ALL OTHER REASONS COMBINED.

I do not think you have thought this through

Our family is complete.  We have one girl and one boy.  The so-called “perfect” family.  I come from a family that has three girls and one boy.  Growing up, I always secretly thought of one boy and one girl families to be somewhat unwholesome.  Like their normalcy made them weird.  Kind of like June Cleaver.  She is often touted as “the perfect mom,” but if you came across someone like her in real life you’d think, “what’s her problem?”

Throughout my life I always pictured myself having three kids.  Until I had an actual child.  After that, I found one child to be plenty.  However, having three siblings myself, I really value having them as a part of my life.  As crazy making as they are at times, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I very much wanted siblings to be a part of the Girl’s life experience as well.  So we had the Boy.  While I was pregnant with him, I went into a deep depression thinking about how we were going to look after a newborn and a, then, two-and-a-half-year old.  It turned out to be not as difficult as I had imagined, but then again I had imagined it to insurmountable.  We coped.  We love them both with all our hearts, BUT we know for sure that two is PLENTY for us.

The other night, at supper, the Boy was being ear-piercingly loud, as is his way.

Mr. Goldragon said to him,”if we weren’t positive you were the last baby before, we sure are now.”

Why is he the last baby?” the Girl asked, as is her way.

“Because,” I said, “we like our family just the way it is.  Why, did you want another brother or sister?”  (I was just curious.  I know better than to make life decisions based on the whims of 3 year olds).

“Yeah,” she said, “I want three,” she held up three fingers,”brothers and sisters.”

“Really?” I said, surprised, “You want three more brothers or sisters like the Boy, crawling around, taking Mummy’s and Daddy’s attention, playing with your toys, and being loud?”

“Yes,” she said, “I want three brothers and three sisters.”

That’s when I threw up in my mouth.