Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Like Looking in a Mirror

I have a sister-in-law. 

Often times, when you hear someone talk about their 'in-law's' it is followed by an eye roll or a sigh or an obscenity under their breath. 

But not me.  Nope, not me.  I loooooooooove my sister-in-law, so much so, we ignore the in-law stuff.  Early on when my brother first started dating her, I told him that if they ever broke up I would be losing a brother.  The three of us hang out often - they don't mind me being the third wheel (or maybe they do and are just too polite to say...)  Last summer, we went on a road trip to Seattle - the two of them, and me and Q.  For a time before their wedding, A lived with us.  I recall one Thanksgiving with 3 women (A, my momma, and me) in the kitchen and not even one argument was had.  She's a good fit, we all agree.  At their wedding reception, I asked my brother again why it took him so long to find my sister, but then thanked him profusely for doing so.

We think a lot alike, Alice and me.  We're drawn to the same clothes in our favourite stores, we share the same weakness for Nutella,we finish each other's sentences or say the same thing at the same time and we break into song in the exact same spot of the exact same jingle every single time.  We usually dissolve into a fit of giggles, and it's my brother who rolls his eyes.  One or two times, he has asked that we stop singing along to some song or another because, his words..."I did not marry my sister!!!!!"

A few times at Church, people have said, "Hi, A!" to me and I just smile and say "Hi!" back, assuming they're used to seeing my bro with her more than with me.  People say the same to her, "Hi, C!!" and she does the same.  I don't think we look alike, except for the hair length and colour.  She's about three inches taller than me, has beautiful brown eyes and is stunning.  I mean the girl is gorgeous! 

We went for sushi, the three of us the other day and on our way there we ran into a neighbor that my brother had just met.  My brother made the introductions, starting with his wife, and then with me.  The guy looked puzzled, and said, "Really?  I thought you were going to say your wife's sister.  She's your sister?!??!?!"  My brother quietly replied, "Ya, I'm not quite sure what happened there..."  The three of us laughed about it all through dinner.

Then, A got to Church before me and when the man at the door asked her if he could help seat her, she smiled and told him she was looking for someone.  He was persistent and offered his help, what did this person look like...A stopped for a moment and then said, "Kinda like this...." and pointed to her face.  The guy, without missing a beat, says, "Oh ya, I haven't seen her yet!" 

Now, I'm sure Freud would have a hey day with this and all sorts of theories about why my brother married his sister.  You hear about women marrying their *father* all the time.  My one friend's husband looks more like her dad than she does...and she never even noticed til people pointed it out.  I'm not going to go there.  I'll just take it for what it's worth...a compliment, if I look like this beautiful woman, I'm not doing too poorly.  And if we are similar in character, even more the compliment, I think.

I'm pretty sure she feels the same way.

as you can see...we really don't look that similar (i'm on the right, just in case you can't tell...)

awwww, i just love her to bits!!
Then there was that one time my girlfriend knocked on my door, my mother answered and my friend proceeded to have a full conversation with my mom, believing it was me....what does that mean, I wonder?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Bursting at the Seams

Q eat, sleeps, breathes hockey!!! Fine form, young man, fine form!

This morning I was up at 6:30, on a Saturday I think it's fair to point out, getting Q ready for his ball hockey game.  I think it's a cruel, cruel world that makes people wake up so early just to freeze in the bleachers, watching 6-8 year olds running around after a bright orange ball, listening to other parents yell instructions to their kids and obscenities at the coaches.

But here's the thing.  My kid is good!!!  He runs out on to the rink and other mothers cheer him on by name.  He gets in the middle of the action, he is the action.  He scores the goals, he defends his net, he centers the center.  I'm sitting there this morning, with my freezing feet on a wooden bleacher that is too high, so my legs dangle down and too straight, so my back aches...and I am so proud of my kid, I can hardly contain it.  Like so proud, I don't just want to cheer for him extra loud and make a complete fool out of myself (he says he can't hear it anyways), but soooooooo proud, I want to run out there, in the middle of the game, and hug him and kiss him and point to the top of his beautiful head and say:

"This kid, right here....he's my kid and he's incredible.  He's amazing!!  He blows my mind every.single.day and my life is so much richer because he's alive!!!!"

I didn't, because that would probably have embarrassed him maybe...a little.  But I really, really wanted to.  Instead, I sat there, completely calm-ish, as he scored the only goal for his team this morning.  Just as I did last week when, with 21 seconds left in the game, tied at 4, he scored the winning goal!  I'm bursting at the seams with pride for my kid, my offspring, he has my blood coursing through his veins.  It's incredible to me.

It's amazing, this love I have for him.  It's something I can't describe to him, and I don't know if he'll ever know how much I love him.  I tell him all the time, "I love you more than you'll ever know!" He often times will roll his eyes and says, "I do, too."  I'm so proud of the little man he is, and so excited for the future that is in front of him. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

547 Days

I should have been a Broadway star.  You cannot imagine how much delight I get out of people breaking out in song half way through a stressful situation, or a happy situation, or a sad situation, or any situation ever.  I love singing.  I remember my brother begging me to stop singing all the time when we were kids.  He wanted to listen to the artist singing their song, not me.  I sing commercial jingles and kids songs and oldies and I can even do a mean Mariah, if I put my mind to it.  This song has been running through my mind for a few days now...

...how do you measure a year?  Better yet, how do you measure a year and a half? 

Five Hundred forty seven days and four hours

In daylights?

In sunsets?

In midnights?

In cigarettes not smoked???

Five Hundred forty seven days and four LOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG hours.

Yes, it's been a year and a half since I last had a cigarette.  I still think about having a smoke every single day.  Sometimes, when I walk by someone smoking, I breathe in extra deep.  I'm an occasional second hand smoker.  Sometimes, the cravings get so intense it's all I can do to resist jumping in the car, going to the closest gas station and buying a pack of Matinee Extra Mild.  Sometimes, I'll get in the car after work and reach for my smokes and lighter completely out of habit.  I miss smoking every single day.  And my weight shows that I have definitely relied on food to get me through the cravings.


I have circulation in my hands and feet again.  This is probably the most significant change since I quit smoking.  My hands and feet are warm like all the time.  This is really huge for me, because I always used to sleep in socks because my toes were icicles.  My finger tips would turn blue for absolutely no reason....well, other than I smoked and it totally screwed with my circulation.

Also, I don't yawn as much.  I know, super weird things I've noticed, huh?  But I've heard that yawning is your way of giving your body a surge of oxygen...and I used to always yawn after smoking.  I was starving my body of oxygen.  I'm also less tired, more energy.

Then there are the more obvious benefits to not smoking.  I have more money ($10/pack once a day...that adds up).  I've been on a trip to Disneyland with Q, Calgary to see my BFF, the Dominican Republic to see my brother marry his beautiful bride, and next Wednesday I'm going to Las Vegas with BFF.  So, ya...a little extra pocket change. 

I don't smell like stale smoke.  My new car, Lola, still smells like a new car and not like a dirty ashtray.  My breath might be coffee breath, but it is not stale smoke and coffee breath which is so much worse.  My clothes smell fresh, my hair smells like shampoo.  It's all good.

I have more time.  Five minutes here, five minutes there - you don't really notice how much time smoking steals from your life.  Not to mention, I was a slave to my addiction and my cravings.  Everything I did was controlled by my cravings - could I sit through a two hour movie in the theater without having a smoke?  Or would I need to sneak out in the middle?  Where would I be able to stop during the road trip in order to fix my nic fit?  Would I have enough time to smoke and eat on my lunch break?  Every single thing I did was done with smoking in mind.  It has no control over me any longer.  My time is my own. 

And most importantly, Q has peace of mind.  I have peace of mind.  My family has peace of mind.  My risk of developing coronary heart disease has decreased by half, how crazy is that?  My son knows that his mommy is healthy and that I made a choice to be healthy for him.  That means the world to me, and probably to him as well.  Once a smoker however, always a smoker.  People who haven't smoked in 20 years tell me they still think about it every single day, others hadn't smoked in 5 years and then one day, for whatever reason, decided to pick up a pack and were back two packs a day in the blink of an eye. 

I have to remind myself of all the good things I have to live for now that I no longer live for cigarettes.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What's Pissing Me off This Week

I'm thinking of making this a monthly post, you know, because it's therapeutic to get things out and not keep them bottled up inside. Actually, I thought of making it a weekly event, but I like to think of this blog a *happy place* so airing my piss offs all the time might not be how I envision my blog presenting itself...or myself...

#1 is The Real Housewives of Vancouver - OMGoodness.  There is nothing real about them.  Nothing.  Curiosity got the best of me the other day - seeing as how the ladies are from my town, Vancouver - and so I sat down to watch for a few minutes.  It made me physically sick to my stomach.  Every single one has had plastic surgery, and their lips are so hugely injected, they don't even have a normal shape anymore.  They might be angry, happy or sad but you cannot tell because they've got botox up in everywhere.  They are horribly self absorbed.  They're so mean to each other and those around them.  They are the epitome of everything that is wrong with our society - where little girls stare in the mirror and pick their image apart, where children are teased by other children because they're different, where those who are in a position to help those in need stand by and do nothing.  If this is what having money does to people, I can do without.  Give me a heart for those who have less than I, and keep the money.

I think what pisses me off the most, is that we glorify this behavior by giving them their 15 minutes of fame.  We watch as they parade around half cut, using words as weapons, and wasting money like it is worthless.

It makes me sick.

#2 is Mama's Boys of the Bronx from TLC.  This is a close second...in that it pisses me off just about as much as The Real Housewives.  These grown men still live at home with their mothers who do EVERYTHING for their sons, short of wiping their asses, although...who knows.  They show this clip from one show where the mother's have gone on a vacation for the week - leaving a week full of food in the fridge...and we're not talking raw materials here, we're talking fully cooked, labelled meals.  Half way through the week, one guy has run out of food, the house is a mess, and he has no clean clothes to wear, and you'd think he has to solve some problem that actually means something in the world - he's completely lost.  He has no idea what to do.  You know what you're going to do, buddy?  You're going to grow some balls, treat your mother with respect, and do an effing load of laundry.  They're inviting all these girls over to their mother's houses to party and such.  It is just so disgusting to me. 

When did it become okay to be complete leeches in society?  When did we reward men for acting like assholes?  For treating women, their mothers no less, like shit?  When did this become okay?

There are children going to bed tonight hungry.  There are children who are abused, children who are alone.  There are children, children, who are killing themselves because they've been teased and ridiculed and picked on for being themselves.  There are adults who have lived a life full of sadness, there are adults trying to stay afloat financially, mentally, physically.  Instead of choosing to focus on these, the ones who need us, we sit at home and watch women spending a $1000 on a pair of jeans or $500,000 on one of their several cars, a 29 year old woman living on the incomes of her two former husbands.

What are we teaching our children?  These children hold the future in their hands, and we hold them in our hands.  Are we teaching them to be sympathetic to the needs of those less fortunate or are we teaching them to stomp on the weak on the way to the top?  I really hope it's the latter, but I fear it's the former.  What am I teaching Q?  Will I be opening his car door and cleaning up after him when he's 30?

Oh, I hope not.

And I'm totally pmsing right now...in case you couldn't tell.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Let me Check my Schedule

I wonder if I should be concerned about the amount of time I spend alone.  I spend a lot of time alone.  I'm actually a little bit embarrassed to admit how much time I spend by myself. 

I have reasons (excuses). I work very hard.  I spend 8 hours a day with my *A* game.  I need to know multiple business processes and recognize multiple product types.  One mistake and my company can lose money.  I like to think I have a strong work ethic and I don't like to make mistakes.  I carry it personally, so screwing up is not an option.  I need to be decisive.  Work can be stressful only because I make it so.  I manage people and my job is to be really super personable.  It's not just my job, though.  I enjoy being kind and compassionate towards people.  I think it's important to be caring towards others, because everyone is fighting a battle of some sort.  But sometimes, it can be taxing to be nice to that person in the grocery store when all you want to do is tell them to move their slow, fat ass out of way so you can reach the Activia yogurt.  Or to the guy banging on my car window this morning - while I'm in the drive thru line with my son in the back seat - because I won't give him a quarter so he can go buy a smoke off someone. I had some choice words for this guy telling me I have more money than he'll ever have.  That may be so, dude, but I've also worked my ass off for it, so why don't you go get a job and then we'll talk.  Instead, I just smiled.  

I'm a single mother to a very busy 7 year old boy, and that's a full time job in itself.  Homework and reading and hockey and soccer and he asks, "Why?" an awful lot.  He's an only child, he needs (wants) me to play with him and entertain him and interact.  I can't say, "Go play with your brother."  And I don't really enjoy playing hockey.  I'm a 'Game of Life' whiz, let me say.  Me time, often, is quiet time.

I have friends.  Really, really great friends.  Like awesome friends.  I have single friends and married friends.  I have new friends and old friends.  I have friends with kids and friends without.  I have friends that have been there with me through thick and thin, and friends who I know would be should the need arise.  I am so blessed by the people I have in my life.  But schedules are difficult to coordinate, and a social life is expensive. 

I'm tired.

I'm exhausted.  I look forward to getting home and putting on my fleece jammie pants, my favourite hoodie, flipping on the t.v. and watching 'Dancing with the Stars'.  I look forward to eating chocolate when no ones watching.  I look forward to Grey's Anatomy.  In fact, it's a highlight of my week.  I love my computer and my iPhone and stupid little word games that shut off my brain. 

I'm a homebody by nature.  I can easily watch a documentary on Thailand and feel completely content that it's there and that I've seen it without actually having to experience it.  I can read a book about a love story written in France and feel as though I've lived in France for my whole life.  I can imagine stories in my mind and feel as though I'm missing nothing of the world.

I love going to bed.  I have a really, really comfy bed and an awesome duvet.  After Q was born and I suffered post partum depression, sleep was instrumental in my recovery.  I notice whenever I get silly and super stressed and anxious, it's usually because I haven't had enough sleep.  And enough sleep for some is 6-8 hours, but for me...10 hours is perfect, but I can function on 8.  Sleep is my coping mechanism.  It keeps me sane. 

But I have to wonder if there is more to life than the one I'm living.   While I'm sitting at home scrolling through Pinterest, people are out there....living.  While I'm playing 'Words with Friends', there are real live friends out there for the taking.  I wonder if I'm missing out on the finer things in life, and why am I okay with it?  Is it fear? Am I so comfortable in my bubble, too fearful to see what's outside?  Is it complacency?  Coming home to my jammies is so easy.  I'm so concerned with my life meaning something and yet I'm not really doing anything to make it so.  My greatest fear is dying and my tombstone reading, "Who?" but at the rate I'm going, people might just wonder where User 3738499 went on Draw Something. 

Even my mom (extreme irony here) says I need to get out more.  She gets out more than I do, and she's more than 20 years older than me.  I mean, if anyone should be getting 10 hours per night, it's her.  Right, Ma?

So, I guess what I'm saying is....have a free evening?  Give me a call.  I'm free.  I'm reaaaaaaaaally free.  Except on Thursdays, cuz that's Grey's Anatomy.  I guess there's PVR, though.  I could PVR it...Okay, so ya I'm free.

Q-isms - Phobias

Before bed, Q and I always read stories...and of course, my child is brilliant and requires more intellectual stimulation than a fairy tale or a nursery rhyme, he requires non-fiction.  He actually said the words, 'I just want to learn about everything mommy!'  So learn he shall.  We read books about snakes and crocodiles and oceans and planets.  Right now we're reading this National Geographic Almanac book about anything and everything you could ever imagine. Even I find it amazing and informative.  Did you know that messages from your brain travel along your nerves at up to 322km/hr??  Like that's super fast, huh?

We're reading the book last night and we get to this page that describes 18 extreme fears.  We get half way through this list of phobias and Q stops me. 

Q: Alright, so I have three so far. 

The kid cracks me up.  By the end of the 18 phobias, he was convinced he had 5.

Oneirophobia (the fear of dreams...go figure)
Dentophobia (the fear of dentists...I hear ya, baby)
Herpetophobia (the fear of reptiles and snakes)
Phasmophobia (the fear of ghosts...who doesn't have this...am I right)
Panaphobia (the fear of everything)

Like momma, like son

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Q-isms - Jokes

Q is one of the very few 7 year old's who actually gets sarcasm.  He has impeccable timing.  He can deliver one liners better than most adults I know.  He has us laughing on a daily basis.  But unlike most 7 year old's, he doesn't quite 'get' jokes - you know, ones that have a punchline (he's all over fart jokes and such...)  Admittedly, I cannot tell a joke because I always, always forget the punchline or some really important part of the joke. So, this is just so funny to me, I giggle over and over again to myself whenever I think of it.

Q:  Mommy, do you want to hear a story?

Me:  Sure

Q:  Okay.  So, this French guy who only speaks french is visiting an English city.  He goes into a music store and a lady is practicing her singing, and she sings, "Me, me, me, me, me, me".  Later on in the day, he is hungry so he goes into a restaurant and they are playing music and a song that goes, "Forks and knives, knives and forks."  After his meal, he passes by a police man who is leaning over a dead body.  The police man asks, "Who killed this man?"  The french man answers, "Me, me, me, me, me."  The policeman says, "Well, how did you do it?"  and the man replies, "Forks and knives, knives and forks."   

The funny thing about this is that my kid cannot remember what he did in school ever (unless he really doesn't do anything) yet he could remember every single detail of this story and didn't stumble once.  The second thing about this that made me giggle was that he thought his best friend J came up with this story all on his own - jokes like this have been around since I was a child.  

And the funniest thing about this was....

Q:  Like, what are the odds that the only words this guy knows are the ones that get him into trouble?? 

(Really?  How many 7 year old boys say *what are the odds?*)

Me:  That's the whole point, honey!!  It's a joke.

Q:  Oh.  Really? 


Q:  Okay, that makes so much more sense.

Me:  Ya, kids have been telling jokes like this one since I was a little girl!

Q:  Really?  So J didn't make it up?

Man, that kid just cracks me up!!