Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Party Fit for a Super Hero

There are three times in a year that I get to use my creative juices for good.  Well, I have an excuse to go all out and spend ridiculous amounts of time crafting...Christmas (I make my own cards), Halloween (I make Q's costume), and Q's Birthday.  Q was born on August 13, 2004 at 21:51 hrs.  So, ya...I'm like a week late.  But the curse of a summer baby...everyone is away during his birthday, every year.  This year, he wanted a Super Hero Theme.  I was pretty excited.  This would be fun!  Making the invitations would be super fun (pardon the pun).  I was super stoked...

Until Q said, "Oh, but Mommy I wanted to buy the invitations this year..."  I'm not gonna lie, my heart sank a little.  I was able to get around that by sending e-mails instead of buying them.  Ha ha.  I should have taken the out, though, because by the time I bought all the raw *materials* it would have been waaaay cheaper to buy everything.  But not nearly as fun.  Of course.

So, for the goodie bags, I bought good ol' paper bags from the dollar store.  Thirty for a dollar.  Gotta love a deal.  Then I found logos for the different Super Hero's Q likes from the Internet to make templates.  They took forever.  Especially the Hulk.  That one was just tedious.  Superman was the hardest though.

I used the same template for the table cloth.  Bought a blue one from the dollar store (again...Yay!!) and stuck the logos all over it.  Along with a KA-POW!!, BANG!, WHAM! and SWOOSH (this idea came to me at 2:00am last night while I was trying to fall asleep (must have been the coffee I had before I went to bed...Nah!)  My brother pointed out that *Swoosh* has been copyrighted by Nike, so please don't tell them I used their trademark.  Thanks.

The balloon idea would have worked a little better if I had used helium, but I have something against buying *air*, even if it does make you talk funny when you suck it in.  So, I (read: my brother) blew up a whole bunch of Super Hero coloured balloons and then I took a whole bunch of green ones with a black one, tied them all together and slapped a Hulk logo on it.  Did the same for Spiderman, Superman, and Batman.  My fabulous brother also pointed out that I mixed Marvel Super Heroes and DC Super Heroes for any of you comic buffs out there who've noticed the same.  I don't know the difference.  They all go around saving the world in tights, so it's all the same to me.  Now if you were talking Gucci vs. Prada I'd totally get it.

The one thing that I didn't make was the cake.  I really am okay with admitting my weaknesses and baking is one of them.  I didn't think that 8 mothers really wanted me sending their kids home with e-coli or salmonella or anything of the sort.  I also didn't want to hear any, "This cake tastes awful" so Q and I went to order a Spiderman cake.  Can you see it?  The picture is a little small.  It was pretty cool, though.

The only thing I didn't plan for was rain.  Even though I had been religiously checking the forecast every 5 minutes for the past week and every 5 minutes it said it was going to RAIN.  But Plan B's are for smucks, I think...well...that and McDonalds needed 10 days notice (and nine bucks per kid...isn't a happy meal like $3.95?).  My Plan B consisted of having all 10 six year old's in my house playing games like "Pin the Mask on the Super Hero" and "Who am I - Super Hero Edition". 

I know.  Like Super lame, right?

I woke up to rain.  There was something about me that really wanted to check the forecast even though it was clearly raining, and it said that it wasn't going to rain.  The forecast is never, ever wrong, right?  So, I threw Plan B out the window and off to the water park we went. 

Where it rained.

Well, rain is an exaggeration.  It kind of sprinkled.  We found a party wrapping up, so we hovered until they got really uncomfortable and we had our stuff moved in before they had left.  Hey, it's a dog eat dog world in the birthday world.  Let me tell you. 

The rain clouds dispersed.  The sun came out.  The party was a success.  The great thing about having an outdoor party at a park is you don't have to plan any games to keep the kids entertained.  They played soccer, they went to the park, before I knew it, the party was over. 

And my baby is officially six.  Where does the time go?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The "Imma Gonna" List

I had big plans for my week off.  I was going to revitalize my whole life.  I was going to look depression in the face and say, "Take that, depression".  I was going to chronicle my findings on my blog and become a poster child for fighting depression.  There would be posters of me, smiling, with a slogan in pink that said, "If I can beat depression, then so can you." 

Looking back, I can see how it was a little unrealistic.  I mean, one person can only do so much in a week.  And when that one person is in the grips of depression, it's kind of difficult to single-handedly pull themselves out.  I know that.  I've dealt with that.

The thing about depression is there are levels of depression.  I'm pretty sure I'm somewhere between 'hiding under the blankets' and 'do something constructive'.  While depression can be all consuming, a constant ache in your soul, there's this little voice inside that says..."It's okay.  There's a light at the end of the tunnel.  Get through this, and you'll be okay.  Just trust me, okay?  It is not going to be like this forever."  And if you can believe that little voice, then you really will be okay.

So, this was my plan (and bear with me here...the list is a little long):

I was going to quit smoking.  Again, cold turkey.  Again, expect for it to work.  The tricky thing about smoking is that when you're stressed out, your mind thinks having a smoke will make you feel better.  In actuality, it stresses you out more.  So, take one of the stresses away, and voila...after the nic fits are gone, you feel less stressed.  Nice plan, right?  Right.

I was going to quit drinking coffee.  Again, a stimulant.  Immediate high, then crash later on - so they say.  The thing is, I just really like the way coffee tastes.  I don't think it has anything to do with caffeine.  I know, smarty pants, that they make decaf coffee.  I happen to be of the opinion that decaf coffee tastes like cardboard.  I don't think I'm affected by caffeine, either.  I can have a cup of coffee right before I go to bed and still fall asleep after only an hour or so of tossing and turning (which is actually very normal for me...) and I can be super tired and drink coffee and still feel super tired.  Ergo:  I just like it because of the taste.  But because *they* say it's a stimulant, I'm willing to let it go in the name of mental health.

I was going to stop eating ANY processed foods. This basically means if it's not a vegetable, I can't eat it.  Unless it's organic.  And then I can't afford it (haha).  Who has any idea what they put in Spam to make it last 10 years on the shelf.  Not that I've ever had Spam...because um, ewwww it's meat in a can.  But back to my point...what do they put in bread or deli meat or pasta to preserve it?  And what does it do to our bodies?  To our brains?  I was going to make my own apple sauce with organic honey.  I was going to steam veggies and buy fresh salmon and bbq it with a splash of lemon.  I was going to eat organic yogurt.  My whole body was going to be teeming with health.

I was going to start exercising.  Practical, of course.  Start off slow.  Go for a walk.  Then go for a longer walk.  Then maybe put a bit of a jog into it.  Then start running.  By the end of the week, I'd be doing half marathons. 

I was going to drink water.  Lots of water.  Like the recommended 8 glasses per day.  Which is huge, because I hate the taste of water.  But again, if *they* recommend it, it must be good for us, right?  Right.  I wasn't going to dilute it with Crystal Light or anything either.  Straight up water.  Oh ya!!

I think that about covers it.  Water, exercise, organic...yep...that's it.

Oh, wait...nope.  One more thing.  I was going to call a therapist.  Sit and talk about my feelings and fears and "Why the hell am I so angry?" This would have been constructive and practical.  But I can't just seem to pick up my phone and dial the numbers.  I have them sitting right in front of me, and it's free through work.  But my experience is that you just sit there and tell them all these things you already know about yourself.  And then you have to feign an epiphany in an attempt to make them feel like a) you're not stupid and b) they're good at their job.  I know this, because I've done this.  I've done the "ahhhh, yes!!" and the nodding, like, "Why didn't I think of this before?"  When, really, I had thought of this a million times before because that is what I do...I over-analyze the shit out of things.  And I paid her 90 bucks an hour. 

We went to the beach, me and Q.  What goes better with beach than ice cream?  You guessed it...nothing.  So, when we went to the beach again the next day...oh, who am I kidding?  I've had ice cream every single day this week.  Every single day.  We went mini golfing and had lollipops to celebrate Q's victory.  We rented movies and ate popcicles to cool down.  I've had beer.  I've eaten at McDonald's at least two times, three if you count Wendy's.  I've eaten chips ( favourite!!) and chocolate.  Right now I'm snacking on black Twizzlers while typing.  And I just finished a cup of coffee.

I think it's fairly obvious that I didn't do a thing.  But looking at list like the one I just made, damn, that's intimidating.  I could have started with just *one* thing and then go from there.  But instead, I pick like 1500 things to do....overwhelming.

I did do one thing constructive.  I've applied for 3 jobs.  I have a stable job.  One that pays me very well.  I've grown to love my employees (some more than others, haha).  It will provide for my future when I retire.  It offers health benefits so I can keep what teeth I have left, and make sure my son is healthy.  But...I don't see my son as much as I'd like to.  Once he goes into grade one, I will see him on the occasional lunch hour and weekends.  I am not a part time momma.  I did not have a child so that someone else could raise him.  He's only young once and I want to make sure that I'm there for him.  I'm his momma.  That's my job.  That's the only job I really, really want.  So I've applied for jobs where I will most definitely take a pay cut, my retirement might not be paid for, and I might be an employee rather than a manager.  And it's totally okay, because it will allow me the opportunity to see my kid and be his mom. 

I can feel my spirits rising already.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I Couldn't Possibly

I'm really not a snob.  I'm not.  I mean, I'm totally nice to everyone.  Even the crazy homeless people I encounter on my way to work.  I get angst.  I get misery.  If me smiling makes your day just a little bit better, well then, I will smile.  Just for you.  But seriously, folks, I like being the nice person that is nice to everyone.  I am that person.

I have friends from all walks of life.  I have married friends, I have single friends.  I have friends with children and friends with none.  I don't judge.  I have an open mind.

I think fate has a sense of humour. 

I think that one of these days, I'm gonna meet the man of my dreams.  He's going to be dreamy.  He's going to be smart.  He's going to be hilariously funny.  My mother is going to love him, and he's going to be an excellent role model for my son.  He'll buy me flowers and tell me he loves me.  His family will love me.  It will be a match made in heaven.

And then, fate will come thru for me, just like it always does...

...and the guy of my fantasies will drive one of these.

I know it sounds superficial.  I really know it does.  But there is no way I could date someone who drove a Chevy Cavalier.  I know it sounds horribly materialistic.  But I would just feel so ridiculous riding around in one of these. 

Growing up, we had the above station wagon in white.  Classy, huh?  Oh the memories.  The road trips growing up - like the time I gave my brother a bloody nose somewhere around Kamloops. 

 Mmmmm, teal green?  Ya, that's so hot.  You know that the '80s are coming back, right? 

Okay, so I admit this one is kinda cool...although I'm positive that I'd hit my head on the corner of the door like, All.The.Time.  Who soups up a Cavalier, though really?  WHO?

Oh, who are we kidding?  My Romeo will probably have a blue Cavalier tattoo'd on his forearm.  Sexy, right?


cav·a·lier (kv-lîr)


1. A gallant or chivalrous man, especially one serving as escort to a woman of high social position; a gentleman.

2. A mounted soldier; a knight.

(courtesy of the Free Dictionary)

Maybe I should rethink that choice too...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

And Genius Strikes

I guess there are some benefits to not being able to sleep because you're being haunted by thoughts of Mr. Dog Park and how fabulous your life would have been if only....sigh....if only things were different, completely and totally different.

So, I'm lying there at 5:30 in the morning frustrated and utterly exhausted by my own mind and how I'm going round and round and round and round in circles when ...


...from out of nowhere comes this absolutely fabulous idea for a book.  Not the first idea.  Not that book.  I couldn't get past the first three lines.  You know, the same line written three times over.  The idea had been done, like, a million times before.  It's too "While You Were Sleeping" mixed with a little "Grey's Anatomy".  And I couldn't make it work.  It didn't say what I wanted it to say.   The title was awesome, the idea was not.  Well, maybe it was awesome the first time. 

However, this idea is better.  Way better, if I do say so myself.

It's still in the 'rough' stages, but...

It's about this woman, Georgia Madison, who gets pregnant at 16 and gives the baby up for adoption.  When she's 20, she becomes a surrogate to make money for university.  The next 15 years are filled with surrogacy after surrogacy as she tries to sooth the pain from the loss of her first baby all those years ago.  It's like penance for her soul.  Now, she's 50...she's been told she's going to die, so she invites all her children over all the decades so she can meet them for the first time. 

It's a book I can write.  It's a story I can tell.  It's all in my head.  It's there!  I just have to get it out on paper so everyone else can read it!

I think I'm depressed because I'm an artist, and my artistry is being stifled. 

Ha ha.


Fingers crossed I don't lose inspiration.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Summer Lovin'....erm, I Mean Reading...

Everyone needs an escape from the every day.  For some, it's drugs (bad, tsk, tsk).  For others it's alcohol (also not the wisest of ideas).  Some throw themselves into their work.  Others exercise or meditate or pray.  Me, I read.  Reading is my escape.  I love getting lost in a world that is not my own. 

And now, for Catherine's Book Review (you know, just in case you want/need to escape).  It' not quite Oprah, but we take what we can get, right?

The Children's Book

This book has it all.  It's lyrical, it's poetic, it's war time drama, it's love conquered and love lost, it's the secrets that families keep for life time, only to have them destroy them in the end.  A mother who writes stories for each of her children, instead of showing them the love she has for them.  An auntie who's more than what she seems.  A father who has lovers and children and children and lovers.  To be honest, I skipped through a lot of the historical ramblings, the stories for the children.  The book was almost 700 pages long (or maybe more, I can't remember).  But the book is solid, and it's a fabulous escape.  Who can't resist a Midsummer's eve party?

The Seamstress

This is the story of two sisters in early 1900's Brazil.  The one event that separates them early in life and how different their lives become.  The one tie that binds them is their the memory of their aunt and the gift she gave them for sewing.  Both sisters get exactly what they wished for and find that these wishes are, in the end what destroy them.  It's beautifully written, rich with history and prose. 

Her Fearful Symmetry

From the author of "The Time Travelers Wife".  I have been waiting for her to write another novel, because I just loved the "Time Travelers Wife."  This book does
not disappoint.  It's completely different from her last novel, but written with the same voice.  Oh, I just cannot say enough about this book.  It'll make you gasp in horror, it'll make you fall in love.  You won't be able to put it down.  5 star definitely 5 stars, my friends.  A great escape.

Rachel's Holiday

This was to be my 'bubble gum' book.  My la de da, I don't need to think.  Just escape into this world of laughs and love.  Turns out, it made me realize things about myself I never knew.  Rachel has OD'd on a mixture of Cocaine and sleeping pills.  Her family *freaks* out and forces her into rehab for her drug addictions.  While she 'absolutely' does not have a problem, she loves the idea of being in a spa for the next 6 weeks.  What does she have to lose?  With no job, no money, and no friends any more...she might just meet a movie star!  A journey of self discovery with tongue in cheek humor that keeps it light and relateable. 

A Reliable Wife

I just finished this book.  I loved this book, I read it in less than two days.  Winter 1907, a man waits at a train station for his bride.  He found her ad in the newspaper.  He's older, rich and lonely.  She's young, poor, beautiful, and harbouring a secret that will destroy him.  It was written so well, for a man.  Well, just saying...because he writes the woman's point of view so well.  It's love, it's lust, it's unconditional love and acceptance.  Maybe I need to find me an old, rich man!!

Where We Have to Go

I'm reading this one right now.  She's a young Canadian author, which I should totally support because one day soon, I'd like to be a young Canadian author.  The thing I find about Canadian authors in general, is that we seem to be quite dark and depressing.  I mean, can you say, "The Stone Angel" by Margaret Laurence.  Like ugh and ack, and gah all rolled into one.  Or "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz".  Ah, let the memories of grade 12 roll.  So, this one is depressing, too.  Yet relateable.  Growing up can be such a bitch sometimes.  What do we take away from it?  How do we allow it to mold us, make us grow?  Are we better for it?  Or do we let it destroy us bit by bit?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Drug of Choice

Typically, I go thru a depression every three years.  Just like angry uterus, depression visits me like clockwork.  They are all the result of some life altering change that I have a difficulty reconciling within my safety zone.  The first depression I can remember began when I was in grade 7.  It was not diagnosed, however looking back and knowing what I know now, it was clearly depression. 

My next depression came when I was in grade 12 (okay, so that's five years...)  Final exams, first boyfriend, first break-up, I was 17.  I lost 40 lbs in one month while they poked and prodded and looked for an answer.  When they couldn't find a thing wrong with me, they labelled it IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and called it a day. 

Third depression was when I was 20I had dropped out of University, because my type A bowels couldn't stand getting a B's and C's instead of an A.  I had no purpose, no focus, no drive.  I had a boyfriend who wanted to make me into his wife.  Not such a bad thing, except that his vision of his wife was not me, so he began to *mold* me into the woman he wished I was.  My parents were getting a divorce, however some stories are not yours to tell, and this one is not mine.  Suffice it to say, life as I had known it changed forever. 

Depression number four began when I was laid off for the first time from my first job in the airline industry.  I was in love with this job.  It defined me, gave me purpose, it was adrenaline inducing and it was my career.  I had the airline industry coursing through my veins.  It was the only place I could ever imagine working and the airline folded.  Declared bankruptcy two months after 9/11, took our keys, took our employee ID's, took my sense of purpose.  I was 23 (three years...)

This was my first diagnosed depression.  After weeks of hiding in my house, sitting on the couch chain smoking and watching t.v., panic attacks if I had to leave the house, and a dwindling bank account, I went to my doctor and bawled like a baby for half an hour.  I went to a therapist, and we began "cognitive awareness" therapy.  As in, changing the way I thought, changing the way I saw things so that I could be a functioning member of society.  This, coupled with Effexor, got me back on my feet and I was ready to face the world. 

Okay...are we all depressed yet? fifth depression was when Q was born, in 2004.  I was 26.  Depending on who you talk to, it was Post Partum Depression, it was Post Partum psychosis, it was Generalized Anxiety Disorder, it was lack of sleep and lack of nourishment.  Being a mother was completely foreign to me.  I was alone and scared and asshole Mr. Ex was to busy "living his own life" to care about my mental health.  This was my first experience with a Pscychiatrist.  I was put on Effexor, but it wreaked havoc with my heart and made it race to 150 beats per minute...resting.  I was diagnosed with the Generalized Anxiety and we went with Paxil, Ativan and Respiridol. 

Life was good.  I was back in the airline industry, I had a beautiful boy, I had left Mr. Ex and I had a gentleman caller.  It was all good.  I carefully and slowly weaned myself off Paxil and I could feel again.  The good, the bad, the ugly.  It was good and I could deal.  Until, like a MAC truck, depression and anxiety (number 6, if you've lost count) hit once again.  I was 29.  I thought I was pregnant.  I found myself in the same old spot...not married, a guy who wasn't as serious about me as I was about him, and couldn't fathom making the same mistake twice.  How could I be so stupid?  How could I have allowed myself to be so careless with my heart and my body, again?  As it turned out, I wasn't pregnant.  But the damage had been done, the fear had settled nicely into my soul and with no end in sight, I once again started with Paxil and Ativan. 

I've been on Paxil ever since. 

I tell myself it's because I want my son to have a good life, where he doesn't have to worry about his *crazy* momma.  I don't want my depression to give him baggage.  I want his childhood to be filled with happy memories and as little *crazy* as possible. 

Sometimes, though, I think I medicate because I'm afraid to feel.  Afraid to feel anything other than melancholy.  Sure, happiness is great.  But happiness is fleeting, in my experience.  It gets replaced, sooner or later with fear and anxiety and sadness. 

Paxil is an anti-anxiety drug.  It's not an anti-depressant.  So, I'm not sure where I go from here.  Do I go to the doctor, tell him I'm depressed and get prescribed another drug that takes away the sadness?  And in that case, just feel nothing at all?  Is that how I'm to go through life?  Do I plough through it, determined and wiser than before?  Do I go to therapy to see why I'm afraid to feel, what I'm afraid I'll feel, and how to deal with my feelings, good and/or bad?  At this point, I don't know...I just know that I can't just be.

I'm feeling the anger and the sadness slowly creep into my being, and I find myself embracing it rather than finding a way to rid it from my bones.  Maybe who I am is just a sad person, and I should accept it and become it.

And I'm really kinda pissed, because I was feeling whole and healthy and was in a good place to find a man, to find love.  Now this.  I wonder if that's where the fear comes from, where the sadness stems.  Maybe as much as I say I'm good on my own, maybe I do need the love of a good man to complete me.  Maybe we're meant to go through this world two by two. 

Oh, and this is number 7, for the record.  I could bore you with all the details, the sob story, the *Why Me, God, WHY?* but aren't we all just sick of that?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Anyone Got a Spare Valium?

I'm not sure if you've noticed, but it's been almost two weeks since my last, I mean, post.  It crossed my mind, "Hmmm, what if this isn't just angry uterus..."

What if...

What if I'm being completely unreasonable, irrational and emotional for absolutely no reason?  What if I'm jumping down throats of friends and strangers alike, just because I'm an angry person? 

And then, just like clockwork...just like every single month for the past 21 years...with the exception of roughly 10 months almost 6 years hormonal madness was completely justified.


It's been almost two weeks and I feel no different.  Well, that's not completely true.  I was settling into feeling sad and sorry for myself, until it changed into deep routed anger.  However, 'deep routed' would insinuate that I knew what I was angry about. 

Ha.  That would be nice.

I'm just angry.  I'm angry at everyone.  I'm angry at no one.  I hate going to work.  Going to work is a reprieve from myself.  I'm lonely, but I find solace in being alone.  I'm tired all the time.  I want to sleep and I do, like 10 hours or more if Q is at his dads.

I'm angry at Mr. Dog Park for being old and unavailable.  I'm mad at myself for falling in love with someone who was old and unavailable.  He haunts my dreams at night, and plagues my thoughts during the day.  I can't seem to shake his memory.

And Oh. My. Goodness. you'd think I was a fricken brain surgeon for all the stress I'm going through at work right now.  It's effin' mail, people.  If it doesn't get there today, it'll get there tomorrow.  And it's not rocket science either.  It's a pretty simple concept...mail, that is...what comes in, must go out...the sooner, the better.  If you can't grasp that, then I don't even know how you're capable of leaving the house in the morning with your knickers in the right place.

I'm angry that after working from 4pm to midnight every week day for the past two and a half years, I officially have no life at all.  While every one in the world is out cavorting and having fun, I'm stuck in jail.  It feels like a death sentence.  I haven't seen any girlfriends for ages.  It's gotten to the point where I just don't respond to their invitations.  It's the same old, same old. 

I decided to read this "bubble gum" which I mean that it's like super easy to read, doesn't take much thought process, and when you're done you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  I picked this one called "Rachel's Vacation" by Marian Keyes.  It's about this woman who OD's on drugs, her family all "over reacts" and send her to rehab.  She goes along with it, only because she can't wait for two months in a spa with massages, facials and yoga...maybe even a famous person, if she's lucky...but certainly not because she's an addict.  Only for her to discover she's stuck in this horrid place with no saunas, no celebrities and no way out for the next two months.  It's fairly tongue in cheek, as Marian Keyes is a Brit and she's got the "AB FAB" air about her. 

Only it wasn't so much bubble gum because it made me realize something about myself.  I have the personality of an addict.  Not because I'm addicted to drugs, or alcohol (although if I weren't so shit scared of everything in the world, I just might have become one).  I'm all about the instant gratification.  I'm addicted to the rush of NOW.  I don't want to have to wait for anything.  This kinda sucks, because not much in my life has been instantaneous.  Instead of being taught the power of waiting for and working for something, I'm even more pissed that I can't just have a horse shoe stuffed up my arse and sail through life with it stuck there firmly.

Mostly, though, I'm just mad at myself for being sad.  And angry.  And for not having the energy to do anything constructive about it, except rant and rave and snap at anyone who gets in my way.