Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thank you Mr. Disney

My little daughter has a wonderous imagination and creativity beyond belief. And a memory like you can't imagine. One of her most favourite things to do is re-create characters and scenes from books and movies she loves to read and watch again and agin. And she does this involving the whole family. And this is where I want to thank Walt Disney, for of late, I have been known around the house as Lady and Tramp - although I guess it could be worse, I could be Lady the Tramp which would only bring back memories best left be.

Monday, November 30, 2009

For the record

I just want to say in this very public forum that just so you all know I am not one of those people who holds conversations from the toilet stall.

So, if you are my co-worker and want to know if I got your email you will just have to wait until I've finished my number two!

If you are my child and want to know if I will play with you, please dear, give mama some privacy (and dignity) first and close the door!

And if you are my dear spouse and we are having a conversation about the day's events that goes double for you especially if you are the one on the toilet and I happen to be innocently brushing my teeth when you come in to use the facilities. I can wait until you are done to find out what we are having for dinner.

Not lovin' it


I ventured out and tried a new coffee shop this morning. Yes, I am back on caffeine. Your point?

Okay, the cute girl handing out free breakfast bars kinda had something to do with it. Anyway, my point is if you are a new restaurant and you are handing out free coffee to attract new customers can you please make sure it is good coffee and not organic piss water?

This does not make my day start out very happy. And look, I can't even write a sensical blog post. I mean, is sensical even a word?

I feel like I am walking around the office with bedhead because thanks to this experience I am still half asleep!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

While shopping

Elderly female patron growing louder by the moment as she shouts: "Masking tape! I said I need masking tape!"

Bewildered Philipino store clerk at whom she is shouting: "You want Scotch tape?"

Now angry elderly female patron: "Don't you understand English?!"

Me standing in the aisle watching and listening to this scene play out thinking and wanting to say out loud to the bitchy senior: "Perhaps it's Old Racist Biddy she doesn't understand."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Did you know?

You can get mortuary supplies on ebay? In case you are looking to do a little embalming at home.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Multi-use Christmas card sentiment

For all of those you love and love to hate:

"I hope you get what you deserve this holiday season!"

Why I became a lesbian

Reason #581

I am surrounded by pricks all day, I don't need one in my bed at night.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dear CEO

Does it make you feel big to make me feel small?

Nearly Normal

As one of the moms of a 6 year old twin boy and girl who have seen more than their fair share of doctors' and therapists' and psychiatrists' offices in their little lives, I often wonder from the sidelines what it would be like to have a "normal" existence with our kids.

Okay, admittedly a couple of things set our family apart from the get go. First, we are an adoptive family - no less a family than anyone else's - but differently made. And my partner and I are both women, so there are two moms and no dads in this picture.

One of our children struggles with mental health issues and we struggle along with them. It's not easy riding the highs and lows and rationalizing the use of medication on a small child to address this. The other child has a chronic health issue. There have been surgeries, a million tests, specialists galore, x-rays beyond counting, recurring episodes of pneumonia and more pokes and prods than any one person deserves. And still we are figuring out the puzzle of this child.

Being different breeds isolation and it sets us apart. Few people understand what we truly live. We have little familial support so it is all on me and my partner to sort it out and ride it out the best that we can.

Our life is one of ensuring enough food gets into one kid via mouth or a gastric feeding tube and making sure the other is properly medicated each day. We must balance our home lives with our work lives and somehow manage and attend the myriad of appointments required to keep both of the kids ship shape.

Health is one issue. Proper schooling another. Now that they are 6 we have to fight to find the right learning environment for each of them to be sure they get the best opportunity they can to have their special needs met. Not an easy task when they are both on the cusp and therefore not eligible for the funding they truly need to ensure the proper supports are available to them in the classroom.

There are people out there with far worse than us to bear, but it is still not easy being green as the great Kermit the Frog once said.

And then there is the intimate relationship between my partner and I to maintain. Is that even a realistic goal when most of our time spent together is used to trade information and coordination of effort to ensure the kids are doing okay? I know this is what most parents of small children experience but when you throw in all of the other complications and feelings that as a parent you have somehow failed because your children aren't "normal" it is a burden that is sometimes very hard to bear.

When I fall into bed at night, it is not with my partner. It is with a kid who needs all of the loving they can get to ensure they are happy little beings. Bedtime for me means trying to sleep through the night without a kid waking me with one need or another and battling my own demons in those lone early hours when stress and worry come to linger.

People tell us all the time that we are amazing. We are not. We are nearly normal people who are doing what anyone would do for their children if they had to.

Before I was a parent I used to look at parents with other than normal children and think "There is no way I could do that." But you know what? I can and I do because there is no not doing.

At the end of the day, I have two fantastic kids who are strong and brave and loving and smart and as healthy as they can be.

Can't figure them out

Little boys of the six-year-old variety are a constant wonder to me. One minute they are slamming into each other like steroidal football players, and the next they are sweetly asking to hold each other's hand as they walk to school.

Bite me

What does it say about the state of my existence when I call to set up an appointment with a life coach and they never call me back?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Clearly not a soccer mom

The boy child is signed up for soccer. After waiting in line for two hours (!) to sign him up (disorganized, much?) and signing away half a year's salary on registration and uniform fees, not to mention having to commit myself to as yet unmentioned volunteer activities or lose a kidney, his games have begun.

We got to the first one and didn't realize shorts did not come with the uniforms they were handing out - "Sorry, honey that you have to play in your jeans! Mama loves you!!"

Sitting through an unending game - "Yay! Honey, good job kicking the ball in the right direction!!"

Missing two practices because they were past his bed time. (Am I a weird parent because my kids have always had a regular bedtime allowing them to get a good night's sleep? They are in bed by 7 p.m. and up by 7 a.m.)

Missing the last game because we read the schedule wrong. "Sorry, Dude. My bad."

Having to pay to watch each of his games (?!). Really? We are talking six year olds here.

I am just not sure I am going to get the hang of this. But embrace it I must.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


work day


another pay cheque earned

Friday, November 6, 2009

Off I go to buy a lotto ticket

When does something become a phenomenon?

I wonder this as I reflect on seven years of less than stellar work experiences. I also wonder at the amount of time I have put in doing things I was unhappy doing, being harassed and humiliated by people I wouldn't pass the time of day with if they hadn't been in charge of me and I hadn't need a pay cheque.

I find it quite remarkable that so many people in positions of power over other people do such a lousy job of managing their employees responsibly and reasonably well. Have we become so self centered and care worn here in North America that we must resort to belittling, incidious behaviour toward the people who support us in what we do?

I am so tired of this shit. I am tired of not getting recognition for the work I do well, for being disrespected on a daily basis, for the petty criticisms, the sexism, of being made to feel stupid.

Are there no good workplaces out there? From what I have encountered the answer, sadly, is no.


I so love it when I spend two days working on a proposal and my boss not only claims it as his own work but does not even bother thanking me for doing it for him.

My thought balloon has swears in it right now.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Built to last

Another IKEA story so soon you say?

When we renovated our house seven years ago we decided the cost effective (i.e. cheaper) thing would be to put in IKEA cupboards in the kitchen. And hell, while we were at it let's get the IKEA sink and faucet, too! One stop shopping is so convenient.


It turns out that IKEA stuff is not made to last. I know, hey? Totally surprising.

Seven years later I find myself with chipped formally attractive white cupboards (can you say get me another bottle of whiteout?) and even worse, kitchen taps and a sink that no plumber wants to touch.

We currently have a drip that we had to phone four places to get a plumber to come fix. Whenever we said IKEA they said no way they wouldn't come and fix it.

In order to woo a plumber I decided to not mention that darn Swedish word. The first guy they sent over was GIANT PLUMBER and he couldn't fit into the cupboard to fix the faucet. Skinny guy plumber came next and thankfully offered to fix the faucet.

I loved him from the beginning because he said, "IKEA stuff is junk, but here's what I'll do. I will replace the old parts with the new parts (from the extra faucet I bought at IKEA for $119 just to be safe) and put the old parts in the new faucet so you can return it and get your money back."

Ah, just my kind of twisted revenge.

In the end he had to replace the entire faucet because he couldn't get the old one apart (Of course not. That would have made things easy.). I will just have to trot into IKEA with the broken bits and demand my money back after all. IKEA you can suck it!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The beauty and mystery of living in northern Canada

From today's paper:

Mating wildlife poses a significant threat to drivers during the month of November. The erratic behaviour of moose and deer during this amorous season can be blamed for countless collisions every year. Extra caution should be observed when animal migration occurs, at dusk and twilight.

(and when the bars close)

Monday, November 2, 2009

And another thing

Who the hell planned Halloween and the time change to happen one right after the other?!

Between the vibrating sugar rushes and following BIG crashes, combined with the mixed up sleep schedules ("No, dear. It's not 6, it's FIVE A.M. new time" and the evening "No dear, it's not six o'clock, it's really seven o'clock in old time and therefore bedtime") my sweet babes turned into grumpy ghouls.

Next time, as I tell my kids, talk to a parent first!

And all I wanted was a light bulb

I went to IKEA the other night. It was an hour before closing and I cavalierly thought I could just dash in and get the two things I needed and be out within 20 minutes. HA!

Have you been to IKEA, lately? The one I go to has changed its upstairs to resemble some sort of complex maze of kitchenware and sofas. Each time I turned a corner after following the happy, helpful blue and yellow signs bearing the hopeful message: "Exit this way!" I was confronted with yet another clever way to display my flugblava. I felt more and more twisted upon myself with each corner I turned. After about the 5th dead end/wrong turn I clutched my hair in futility and desparately sobbed: "I just want to see my family again!"

And that's how the helpful blond man in the cheery yellow shirt found me - a weeping heap stylishly arranged on a turgbloma. He threw me in one of those convenient big blue shopping bags and hauled my sorry ass to the exit.

Friday, October 30, 2009

I am on to you, kid.

Early mornings before coffee, er, tea. The other early morning (it's late fall in northern Canada so it's dead dark and cold so when you wake up you think you are just sleep walking), the boy child (I don't know how this conversation was initiated because a) it takes at least two to engage and I was still asleep) started asking me how babies were made. (!!!)

I took my best incoherent shot and told him using real words - the penis and vagina, blah, blah, blah. He then proceeded to tell his other mom and his sister and God knows, probably the whole playground that morning before school.

I just hope his explanation wasn't like that game we used to play as kids where you sit in a circle and add an item to the suitcase and then turn and tell the next kid the whole list and then they are supposed to add something and it turns out at the last kid not to sound like anything it started as.

Anway, the moral of this story is I fear my kids will soon catch on that they can ask me anything in the early morning - sure take the car, all of my money and yeah, I will sign over the house to you - and get away with it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I have just come from an acupuncture session (In my house we call them pokes. Our kids have also been getting acupuncture for their health issues since they were 3 years old).

If you are wound too tightly like I tend to be (I'm like the lid of a pickle jar - somebody loosen this girl up already!), I highly recommend becoming a pin cushion. Somehow just by looking at my tongue at the beginning of the session my acupuncturist can tell exactly what I need and she is always dead on (I know, weird, hey?).

When I open my mouth she usually jumps back with a "Whoa, girl!! You need some serious attention!" (We are friends so I let her say things like that to me). Apparently, keeping everything inside emotionally tends to have negative consequences on one's mind and body.

I get needles that release my inner conflicts, a meditative 45 minutes in a dark room with lovely music and a heat lamp on my belly to unstick me emotionally. The whole thing is kinda like the feeling I get when I used to smoke weed but without the clingy fragrance.


Ah, we have entered the era of full day schooling in our household. One kid goes to one school and the other to another where she gets specialized support. It really is amazing to see the difference between the two environments. Granted one school program is in a clinical setting with physiotherapists, etc. The other school is a regular ole public one.

(Soap box time now)

No matter what kind of environment though, I find the teaching approaches to be amazingly different and it has nothing to do with being special needs or not. It is all about the individual teacher. Like any of us who work, you can immediately tell those who like and are well-suited to their jobs. It seems to me that if you are in charge of young minds (mind you this could apply to parents, too!!) you really need a certain attitude to engage and enthrall them.

I am sad to say that boy child has been labelled a problem by his teacher and little is done to support his special needs in the classroom (impulsivity, lack of focus, etc.). Granted he is a handful but it's the teacher's job from my perspective to be inclusionary of all of the kids in the class and not send those who probably need the most attention off to the principal's office. The goal here teachers - is to teach the kids, be a positive role model, and use your "twenty-five years of experience" to some good. Being open to new ideas and approaches would also be helpful. My kid deserves it as much as the other students in his class.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Girl child sweetness

Last night when we got home from an outing, me and the lovely L went into girl child's room to tuck her in. We accidently woke her up and in getting her settled back down, she asked for L to sleep with her (we take turns sleeping with the kids - one sleeps with the boy child one night, the girl child the next). Technically, it was my night to sleep with her and so I said that. Then L said, "But she wants to sleep with me." To which a sleepy little voice said, "Please don't fight over who gets to cuddle with me." Which of course made me want to cuddle with her even more.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Back to our regularly scheduled programming


Yes, it has been 5ish months since my last post. Yeesh. Ow. Ouch. Oof. (sound of me beating up myself for not following through on the bijillionth thing).

My lovely partner challenged me to challenge myself to do something challenging each day. (This is today's challenge). Boy, sure are a lot of challenges, aren't there?.

Plus, my fabulous friend complimented me so highly on my writing and my blog that how could I not get back on the net?

My other challenging thing today? I have decided to quit caffeinated coffee. This be day one. So far, so good. I am on Earl Grey tea. I have had two cups and it is now afternoon. I am feeling no side/ill effects. Can't be this easy... I am also quitting my afternoon bottle of Coca Cola. Sigh.

I was talking to a friend on the weekend and she was telling me how good she felt after doing a really hard work out. She hadn't worked out in years and seemed very surprised at how awesome exercise really was. May have to take it up myself!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Note to Big Boss

Just because you are nearly seventy, married to someone at least half your age, have a two year-old and another kid on the way, doesn't mean you can talk to your staff like your toddler:

"Bad employee! Bad!! Bad!! Yuck! Do better work!!!!"

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Stand off

Dear God we Canadians are far too polite. Already this morning, I participated in a living example of this phenomenon.

When the bus pulled up, I gestured to the person beside me to go ahead of me. They smiled and shook their head and gestured for me to go first. This silent politeness ballet went on back and forth for seconds until finally, as inevitably happens, we both reluctantly decided at the same time to take the other person up on their offer and ended up squishing together as we tried to get through the door at the same time. (I believe that was God's way of figuratively clanging our befuddled heads together).

Sheesh (which surprisingly is also the sound we made as we banged together).


SOOO much excitement in my house this morning (like 4 a.m.). Not only did the Tooth Fairy visit last night (bringing with her 60 cents!! in exchange for a front tooth), but it is also the 6th birthday of two special pumpkins. Boy child climbed into bed with me at some point last night and proceeded to wake up every hour on the hour to alert me of the big day (like I could forget).

Little known fact: Apparently once you have small children you will never, ever, ever sleep with your partner again. You are instead destined to drift nightly from bed to small (very small) bed.


I am neither fit nor fat and the way my pants hang off my ass proves it. Too small for the 10's, too big for the 12's. Sigh.

Monday, April 6, 2009

How sweet it is

Saturday afternoon: 45 games of Go Fish! in a row with my sweet baby girl. Every single hand joyfully played, matching purple rhinocerous mommies with their babies, and pink piglets with their parents as the sun streamed in the window.

Life doesn't get any better than that.

Friday, April 3, 2009

They're not all bad

Even though they are big, heavy, and get in the way when I sleep, my breasts on occasion do come in handy.

More than once when removing my bra/engineering miracle, I have heard the sound of something falling to the floor. When I look down to confirm that it wasn't a nipple, I usually discover that a) pocket change, b) a piece of popcorn, or c) something else I thought had disappeared forever had in fact landed inside the safe chasm of my coconuts.

Writing and what not

(Attempting to get back into writing again by creating character sketches.)

It was like she had used the flesh of her right arm as a sketch pad – doodling layer upon layer of indelible pictures over the entire sleeve of her skin. Peering more closely at these seemingly unrelated tats reveals the history of a life lived – the I-don’t-give-a-shit, exuberant branding of young adulthood; the visual reclaiming of scarred intimate territory; and the markings of middle aged milestones. This woman literally wore her story and looked comfortable in the skin of that tale.

A teenage girl in skinny jeans and a flaming orange hoodie that engulfed her torso carefully made her way down the ice and snow covered sidewalk, her thin body tilted slightly to the right as she attempted to balance a bulk of school books in one hand and incongruently holding a fat gray pigeon in the palm of the other, arm outstretched as though royally presenting the dirty street urchin to passersby.

The woman’s bulk prevented her from fully embracing her friend. Her arms, grotesquely extending from her massive sides, looked like fat, leafless branches protruding from a topped tree. The friend awkwardly leaned into her, arms barely skirting the woman’s wide frontage.


We have some very high priced equipment in our office. On an average day, two enormous photocopiers continually spew various and sundry reports. People anxiously hover around these machines waiting for their regurgitations, like anxious parents waiting for their constipated baby to make a poo.

What kills me is that the cost of these machines does not equate with their ability to perform the operations we ask of them. That is, we paid XXXX dollars for you, you GD machine, why can't you work for more than one week at a time without breaking down??!!

Reoccurring theme

Seriously, what is it about people not staying on their side of the sidewalk? To my mind it is just like the road, stay to the right!

Don't come barrelling at me as though you are driving on the wrong side of the street and then give me THE LOOK when you nearly hit me or when you do hit me. WTF?

FYI, I do have sharp elbows and a heavy bag and I do know how to use them. Think Roller Derby.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

4 shelves

We ordered four shelves with glass doors on them to act as display cases in the main foyer of our office. They came in pieces, not unlike IKEA shelves, only made of nicer and sturdier materials.

It has taken two dudes THE ENTIRE DAY to assemble them. They started at 9 a.m. and it is 3:30 p.m. and they are still not done. Apparently we are paying them by the hour.

Even I can assemble four shelves more quickly and have done so, with instructions entirely written in Swedish.

Dangerous Days

It's that flirtatious time of year here in northern Alberta. We get super warm days (to us +4 C is warm!) where the copious amounts of snow slowly start to melt and the ground! shows through the slush and mush.

Like a new lover the warmth encourages us to shed our clothes - off go the gloves and hats and coats and we start to think that our true love spring is finally here! But then the cold reality of the relationship hits. Just as suddenly as we became love struck we go back to the misery of cold days and huge dumps of snow that dampen our feelings and make us question our lover's affections.

Head out on to the streets of Edmonton in spring and you'll either see people swept up in sweet, delusional amour wearing too little on freezing cold days, or others padding themselves from love's potential hurt by wearing big puffy jackets on the warmest days of spring.

Touched by a...

Flash back to a month ago. Piles of snow everywhere. Our car stuffed full of us is pulling into the dog park parking lot. L and I spy a dude in a big ass 4x4 truck stuck up on a snow bank.

Without a thought, us little 5-foot nuthins hop out of our car and quite easily push him out. Rather chagrined that women folk have assisted him, he thanks us profusely.

Not sure that was the long dreamed of lesbian fantasy he had been hoping for.


Riding on the bus this morning, sitting behind a mom and her three year old. I forgot how much fun something as seemingly inane as pulling the cord for the next stop can be for a little kid.

Next time, when it's my turn to pull the cord, I am going to appreciate that every day moment.