Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Mom Files

Note to self:

When 'lux-ing' up the girls beds to entice them to go to bed on their own without one or both of us lying down with them for an hour every night, please bear in mind there are two sides to the same equation. If the bed is so comfy, they can't wait to get in it ... chances are, prying the little monkeys out in the morning will be that much more of a treat.

We are terrible at putting our kids to bed. What I mean by this is that we are spineless ... or we have been. We'll do whatever ritual will make them "just-go-to-sleep-already". Now, if this means we have to spend nearly two hours every single night of our existence on prepping them for sleep ... well so be it. Bed time in this house starts at roughly 8pm every night with "bath time". Now, in recent months, we have had to stop bathing our girls together (as they either soak the bathroom, flood the basement, wind up screaming, bleeding or both OR they do entirely weird shit while in there together) ... so, now it is double our pleasure at bath time.

I know that on a scale of 1 - 10 (10 being "Uber-Mom"; Marion Cunningham and Carol Brady could take pointers from you ... and 1 being "Guber-Mom"; There is a letter writing campaign underway to the Super Nanny  ... and possibly Social Services) I rate somewhere around 3.7 ... I know this mostly because my mother is inevitably standing around the corner, shaking her head in silent dismay after witnessing some parenting failure I have recently perpetrated. I know that we have spoiled our children ... that we baby them too much and haven't dug our heels in on matters such as going to bed on their own. There are many reasons for this failure ... one reason is because we know this is it - no more babies for us and we want to savor every drop of baby-hood we can ... but mostly (at this stage) it is because it is easier to give in, than it is to fight about it - and at least they are getting the sleep they need - right? If we insisted on them going to bed on their own, they'd be up half the night and then tired the next day and, not behaving in school - or heaven forbid, they are at home the next day, so we have to deal with them ... and on ... and on ... with the excuses.

The moral of my story? Well I am so thrilled to report that after "lux-ing up" their beds/room, and with some ingenious bribes dropped at just the right intervals ... we have SUCCESS! Gimme a WHOOT! WHOOT! Oh yes, boys and girls ... that's right ... I, Danica Dragonfly have bribed trained my children to go to bed on their own ... IN THEIR OWN BEDS!!! at the tender ages or 5.823 and 8. That's almost as impressive as getting them (and by them, I actually mean Stretch ... as Shorty is giving this shit up 26 months earlier than her big sissy) to give up the 'sookie' at the age of 5 (YIKES!) ... but you just don't understand this child and her determination to keep the status quo. 

When she was just about 3, I was trying to potty train her. She was incredibly bright and was speaking in lengthy paragraphs using multi-syllabic vocabulary ... but she did NOT want to potty train ... and she provided me with a list of reasons why she did not subscribe to my desire for her to poo in a pot rather than her didi. How can you argue with an articulate rebuttal of this nature without simply reverting to the tried and true "because I said so" routine? Well, you can't.

So, after 8 years and three weeks of living with this child, Hubs and I FINALLY adopted this very mantra: Because, I said so ... and that is FINAL. 

Much to my surprise and delight, it WORKS! 

One small step for Dani and Hubs, one giant leap for push over parents everywhere!

Friday, January 7, 2011

You Just Never Know ...

I got an email yesterday that has kinda turned me on my axis a little.

First, a little background:

Back in my somewhat wilder days (and by wilder, I mean my version of college days), I used to hang out with a couple quite a lot. In fact, I came as close to being a member of said couple as you really can. We'll call them Jon & Tawny (or J & T). I was particularly tight with her. She was like my long lost, female soul mate. We spent so much time together, I might as well have moved right in to their apartment. They used to live on one of the worst streets in Halifax, right across the street from a funeral parlor. 

She and I would lay on our bellies, on their bed and look out the window at all the various "goings on" on that street. We saw some pretty freaky stuff, too. We'd be munching on chips and sour cream dip and usually fried right outta our minds ... helped with the hang over. Then, Jon would come home from work (which incidentally, was across the street at the previously mentioned mortuary) and we'd fix him something to eat, smoke and drink and then the party would start right back up from the night before. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

During my foray into this world of things I knew nothing of, I was introduced to Jon's cousin, Darren (this is his real name). Darren was a different sort of guy, but he grew on me after a while and we wound up going on a date. I have never been a "dater" and thus, did not really know how best to conduct myself on a date. We wound up in a downtown bar for the entire day, and after drinking a small fortune in alcohol, he opted to drive me the 50 odd Kilos to my home. (Not one of my more brilliant moves, and I am very lucky I am still alive to tell the tale.) From there, things got progressively worse, and under different circumstances, I would goof all over what happened in the ensuing 12 hour time frame ... but I can't, and in a moment, you will understand why.

Darren and I did not ever 'date' again ... in fact, after the one call I actually returned, I never really spoke to him again (yes, it was THAT bad)... other than what was absolutely required at J & T's wedding the following summer.

I fell out of favor with Jon and Tawny not long after their wedding. I guess three was a crowd, and it was time for me to move on. I had also gotten back together with "Trigger" and was pretty busy with him and all his excellence.

Fast forward a couple of years to when my step father died (as a result of his own drinking and driving), my mother's friend had suggested a certain mortuary to handle the arrangements (she knew someone there) ... low and behold, but who is the funeral director of this place? Darren. My mother, knowing the story of what had transpired between us, opted to hire the services of a different company. That was the last time I spoke to him... it was 16 years ago.

I can't tell you I have thought about him a great deal over the years. He crosses my mind now and then. I had rekindled a friendship with Tawny after she and Jon divorced. It was short lived, but intense. We are on each other's facebook, but really don't keep in touch anymore.

So, it was a shock yesterday when she sent me a message asking had I seen Darren's obituary. I hadn't (as I NEVER read obituaries) and asked her what had happened ... this is where this story gets pretty sad. She told me that he had been diagnosed with esophageal cancer and when they did a further scan, there was a cancerous node located in one of his lungs. He was apparently given 2 years and was due to start his treatments this week. (I did not ask for further details ... just accepted this at face value)
Apparently on Monday, he took his own life. According to Tawny, his reasoning was to "avoid putting his parents through a lengthy battle". I have my own opinions about that rationale, but even in my own blog - it is not the place for such opinions to be voiced.

His funeral is today. I will not be attending, but he is in my thoughts and the sadness of the circumstances weighs heavy in my heart. He was 42 years old - no wife, no children. Nothing of him remains on this earth but the varied memories of the people who's paths he crossed. It's likely that he thought he had all the time in the world to follow his bliss ... maybe he did, I would never know ... but I suspect there was lots more living for him to do, even if he had to do it in the next two years.

I'm really sorry that you chose this end for yourself, Darren. I hope you find peace in whatever the afterlife has to offer you. I say farewell to you with what I remember as your favorite singer. Adieu!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Okay, not really ... I still love Christmas. It's my family that shat in my porridge this holiday season.

So, for the few of you that did not know, I had surgery in November to remove 85% of my stomach. No cancer or anything scary like that ... I opted for this - willingly. If you want more details, click here - otherwise, I'm just gonna move on ...

I'm sure it won't shock you to learn that after having 85% of your stomach removed, thus leaving a stitch line down one whole side, you have to be very cautious about eating for quite some time afterward. The first 4 weeks was liquid only ... then for the next 4 weeks, I moved on to mushy foods like eggs and well cooked, easy to digest veggies, fish and ground chicken. I'm almost finished this stage, (one week from yesterday) and then I will be able to (carefully) ingest most types of food - taking special caution with hard to digest items like red meats and raw veggies. Yes, it is a little hard ... but I have lost 55 lbs and near on 30 inches overall in 7 weeks;--- that's certainly nothing to scoff at, and really the point of this exercise at the end of the day.

Yes, it SUCKED over Christmas ... NO alcohol, NO chocolate, NO Christmas brekkie, OR dinner, NO cookies (and I baked about 9 dozen), NO pie, No carbs to speak of,  NO alcohol (oh ... did I already mention this?) ... just to catch you up ... FAMILY, but NO ALCOHOL!!! ARGH!! What kind of sick fuckin' joke is this?! Oh, and my sisters and mother were super about this, too.


Not only did they line my counters with candy and chocolate and glorious liquor, but they also brought in bags of chips and ate this shit right under my nose. They used my good martini glasses as candy dishes (I will also point out, they broke one of 'em, too ...grrr) and left the carnage of their candy assassination all over every flat farking surface in my house ... and whom do you think got to clean that shit up?? Hmm? Yup, me. Then, to add insult to injury, every time any of them saw me put ANYTHING near my mouth, they were all over me about it ... I poured a glass of cranberry juice on ice (so I wouldn't feel quite so left out) and two of the three of them asked to smell my glass ... REALLY? Are you SERIOUSLY asking me to consent to you sticking your nose into my glass? Am I the one acting like a spoiled child here?
Then on Christmas day, my hubs and sister were supposed to be cooking the big dinner. My husband came to me at one point early afternoon complaining about the breakfast she had cooked ... 'it was cold and broken up and bladiy blah blah' ... (okay - you had fucking bacon AND TOAST, asshat ... SUCK IT UP!!) So, he was bitching about her cooking the dinner. To which, I replied ... well, YOU go and cook it then (muttering under my breath that I can't handle the two kids I passed through my birth canal ... I don't need 4 more!). It was at this point that he informed me she was already cooking it. They had JUST finished breakfast and she's got veggies and shit on for dinner already? (I had put the bird in first thing in the morning)

I wound up going out to the kitchen and suggesting she hold off on the veggies for a bit as nobody would be hungry for a couple of hours ... she got pissed off at me and stormed upstairs - where she stayed until I had finished cooking the G-D meal. I coulda schmucked her upside her head. Mom was involved in the cooking, too ... which is never a good idea (she gets pretty cranky when cooking) and by the time dinner was served, I was pretty well at the end of my ability to be civil. I made myself pretty scarce for the rest of the evening.

The next morning (boxing day), I awoke to find chocolate wrappers all over my dinning room table and floor and jelly beans in my martini glasses ... plus an empty bowl that had had chips in it. I LOST MAH SHIT! I did ... I freaked right out of my mind. I was slamming and smashing around that kitchen like a deranged fish wife. My hubs came out and got both barrels. Then I locked myself in the bathroom for an hour and a half and cried (in the bath tub) for most of that time. Nobody else knew I was upset ... just poor hubby, but I was incredibly disappointed in my family's lack of "give a shit" for their behavior toward me. I turn myself inside out attempting to accommodate their various likes and dislikes at any function or gathering ... couldn't they have been just slightly respectful of my situation this year? 
At the end of the whole thing, I can say that my children had a very nice Christmas. Of this, I am very grateful. We had to cut way back this year due to the fact that I haven't gotten a pay cheque for nearly two months (you know, because my financial planner boss that SELLS group plans to OTHER companies doesn't offer one to any of us ... so no short term disability for me ... and EI STILL hasn't paid me a dime!). I was super vigilant about finding 'just the right things' ... and I was successful! Which makes me very happy. Plus, I have seen them play with everything we got them this year - so, BONUS!

All in all, it was a success. I am now back to work (second day) and really not enjoying that very much. I had such a great time while I was off. I even refinished my kitchen cabinets between Christmas and New Year ... and they are DONE and look awesome!! I actually miss being home, quite a lot - who'd a thunk it, right?

So, to the few bleeps that still cruise the blogisphere - a Happy New Year to you ... 2011 is gonna be MY year! I can just feel it! I wish fabulosity to all of you, as well!