Sunday, August 30, 2009

The County Fair

So I dragged (drug? drugged? HA! I wish) my kids and husband to the county fair (well Ah shore did! a-hyuck!) on Saturday. Even though we missed the free pancake breakfast (bummer), we saw the parade, played on the bouncy castle, and watched a lumberjack show. See, here's the thing about county fairs: the whole damn county shows up. Good thing I have a real natural talent for elbowing my way through crowds ("Oh, I'm sorry, did I bang into you with my baby? My baby that is in a sling that I made myself?"), or we would have never gotten front row seats to see the parade *or* the lumberjack show. I love me a good parade (well Ah shore do! a-hyuck!), except for all the damn kids. Who brought all these kids? And why are they so rudely standing right in front of me and my under-2 daughter as we sit patiently waiting for the tractors to pass? (hoo-boy! them was some mighty fit John Deeres!)

And the candy-grabbing! Is it just me, or does anyone else notice how aggressive kids are nowadays ('back in my day.. oh, musta been ought-four...') with the candy-grabbing? I watched kids from preschoolers on up racing out into the middle of the street, cutting right into the parade, to pick up candy. Hello kids? Do you see those horses? They are draft horses, also known as animals that spook easily and will stomp you to shit. Hello parents? Do you think it is wise to yell, "Go get that candy, honey! Go out and get it!" to egg your child into the path of an animal that is dumber than a sack of hammers and can get a freak on with 1500 lbs of thrust behind it?


The lumberjack show was fun - by far the most entertaining thing I've seen in a while. Especially the dude wearing the bright red nut huggers. Suspenders? Completely unnecessary. Sturdy Danny McGee was up his 59th tree, sayin, "I work just as fast as I can." Well, I'd probably work fast too, if my pants were that tight. Hey, I am not complaining. A good looking man in a pair of tight pants? There was some junk in that trunk, which went nicely with his well-muscled upper body. Yeah, I was looking. And I was liking. I may be chained to the porch, but I still bark at the cars.

I do love me some County Fair. Yep, mm-hmm.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Still here.

I have not been abducted by aliens. And they definitely did not tell me to say that.

I am still here. Busy smothering my children. Who, for whatever reason, are refusing to go to bed and/or stay in bed this week, so my blogging has suffered. I had a good birthday (why thank you for asking!) and won free stuff!! from this hilarious lady, and been sleep deprived all week (due to aforementioned party-animal children). I did manage to stick my foot in my mouth last weekend. (I do it frequently.) Here's how: while at the library, I noticed a woman with a baby in a sling. I went up to her and said, "Excuse me?" Her husband had the nerve to try to finish his sentence so I had to repeat myself, "Excuse me, sorry to interrupt," why do I say these things? If I was that sorry, I wouldn't have interrupted. I continue, "I noticed that you have your baby in a sling, and I was just wondering if I could feel the material." Feel the material? Honestly? That's the best I could do? How about something less creepy like, "I like your face."

"Oh sure! Go ahead I'm not sure what kind of material it is I just bought it at the Farmer's Market you can get them at the Farmers Market you know," Innocent Bystander says to me. I think I made her nervous. And hey, who wouldn't be a bit nervous when a complete stranger says they want to feel the material?

And what do I say to this woman whom I have made extremely uncomfortable in the space of less than one minute? I say, in a really snotty tone (that's not how I meant it to come out) while fingering the material of her perfectly lovely and very well-made baby sling, "Oh, I know. I like to make my own." Typed out, it looks harmless. In reality, in the subtle nuances in my voice, what I really said was, 'You bought a sling? I sew my own slings. Which means I am better than you. I am pooh-poohing you and your store-boughten sling from the Farmer's Market.'

So, to the Innocent Bystander who backed away slowly from the snobby insane lady (aka: me), I apologize. I love your sling, it's beautiful. If I had an extra $45, I might march on down to the Farmer's Market and buy one, too.

I figured that instead of trying to explain myself ('I didn't mean it to sound like that!') and probably jamming the other foot in my mouth, I would just smile (also creepy in an un-intentional way) and walk away.

Hot Stuff watched this exchange, shook his head, and had the following to say, "What is wrong with you?"

I don't know what's wrong with me. "They" (the All-Knowing "They" from the Fake Institute) haven't picked a name for it yet because Foot In Mouth Disease was taken (*snicker*).

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Another Rant.

So soon, you say? Why yes, you lucky devils.

Well. We all know what my Hurricane has been up to this weekend. Disfiguring his beautiful face, is what he's been doing. Now that the swelling has gone down a bit, he is edging closer towards Kid Presentable (oh yes, I am still laughing about it). And also, reminds me of Cher. I still kept singing, "If I Could Turn Back Time," in my mind - and sometimes out loud - when he was in the room. Also, I demanded to know where the hell he got the money for Botox and collagen injections. He couldn't give me a straight answer, so now I'm suspicious.

The Princess, not to be outdone by her big brother, has also been causing me heartache. This time, it's really not her fault. Because of her infected finger, then the staple incident, she was on some antibiotics. Little girls who are on antibiotics sometimes get an outbreak of thrush around some sensitive areas due to the bacterial imbalance from taking antibiotics. (I am being overly descriptive because she is my little girl and this is kind of private, but it is leading somewhere. Ladies, I think you know what I'm talking about without me saying it anyways.)

I went to Superstore (oh yeah, I am naming names and pointing fingers and chewing gum and all the other cool stuff you do when kicking ass) yesterday because the Princess has outgrown the shoes I bought all of two and a half months ago, and I wanted to see if they had any cute shoes in her size. Which is now size Clown-and-a-half, narrow. She'll also fit into a size Ski, regular. Aaaanyyyways, I go to the pharmacy to talk to the pharmacist and get some pharmaceutical advice about using Lotrimin on her ouchy looking skin, which is redder than the ass of a baboon. I say to the pharmacist, "I am 99.9% sure she has an external *insert name of condition here*, and I wanted to know if over the counter Lotrimin is appropriate for her age."

The pharmacist says to me, "Well, did you take her to a doctor?"

To which I reply, "No, however, I am sure this is a simple external *insert name of condition here*. Can I use Lotrimin?" In my mind, my answer was this, "Look, lady, we've all had one or two and I'm pretty sure I know one when I see one. Can I use the damn Lotrimin or what?"

The pharmacist gives me a look like I am quite possibly the most ignorant person she's talked to for at least 20 minutes, and says (in that same voice we talk to our 2 year olds), "Well. You'll have to take her to a doctor first. I'm soooo sorry."

Is it really any wonder that we are all waiting at least a week to get an appointment with a doctor? Or sitting in a clinic for 2 or 3 hours? Subtle messages are passed to us that say we are incapable of thinking for ourselves and require a doctor's diagnosis for everything. No, no we don't. I am not stupid, but I am not any smarter than anybody else out there. I look at scrapes and bumps and listen to coughs and think: can I handle this myself? If the answer is yes, we don't go to the doctor. If I'm not sure, I call HealthLink (you call and talk to a nurse about symptoms you or child-who-does-something-stupid-or-develops-some-funky-condition-usually-at-bedtime has and the nurse gives you advice). If things don't clear up or at least get a bunch better, or get worse, in two days, then we go to the doctor.

Back in the day, we didn't go to the doctor for nothing. You had to be on fire and bleeding from the ears before my mom would take you to the doctor. Did you smack the back of your head and get a nosebleed and now your pupils aren't the same size? Going to the doctor. Your big sister slammed the car door on your fingers again and now they're swollen and rainbow colored? Nope. Fever? Stayin' home, unless it gets real bad. Got a cold so bad you can't breathe properly? Get in the car. Puking and shitting at the same time? Not. Going. Anywhere. At least until you're risking dehydration.

I have a comfort level, which I'm sure everyone has, although everyone's is different. Why do I need a doctor to look at my daughter and say, "Yep. That's a *insert condition here*," when I was already pretty sure about it? So what, he can tell me to go get some over the counter medication? I have just wasted 4 minutes of the doctor's time and likely 2 hours of my own time. This is not exactly rocket science, and if I'm wrong, it's not life-altering. The Princess, other than being a bit irritable, is asymptomatic. If this condition does not go away in two days, I'll drag her to the doctor.

Today I went to my usual grocery store, and talked with "my" pharmacist (who is pretty nice to look at and is a really great pharmacist. He can even look you in the eye while saying things like 'vagina' and 'labia' and 'yeast infection'). He gave me nystatin and explained to me why it was good and what I should watch out for. I would rather spend $8 now and start treating it as opposed to calling the doctor's office and maybe getting a Friday appointment, and leaving it untreated until then.

Just sayin'.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Smell

My vacuum has been at the Sears store for almost two weeks because the warranty is just about to run out and I wanted to have the "Quick Release" button (the one that got broken months ago - apparently "Mr. Nobody" did it - that allows me to take the powerhead off without bending down. Yes. I am that lazy. Hey, it's half the reason I bought the damn thing) fixed. I never expected it would take this long to replace a small plastic piece, but there you go. Which means, and this grosses me out just as much as it will gross you out, my carpets have not been vacuumed for almost two weeks. UGH! I noticed a smell in the living room yesterday, which I chalked up to unvacuumed carpets, probably overflowing with digusting stinking bacteria. Yes, I have been Febrezing the shit out of my rugs. Everyday. It's like forgoing the shower and just slapping on deodorant. It doesn't work after the third day.

I got my vacuum back today. Finally. Happy? Ecstatic. After I vacuumed, I flopped down on the couch, only to realize that despite my Febrezy and vacuumy efforts, I could still smell the smell. The smell is like if you traded underwear with a hobo that hadn't showered for ohh.. say 15 years. Or if you missed your cat and you wanted to hug him. So you dug him up from the backyard.

The next logical step is not to see if you can pin down the source of the smell, but to go ripping down to the hardware store, get some rug shampoo (and clean up blood, but I'll get to that), come home, and shampoo every square inch of carpet (with a machine, people. I am far too lazy to do it by hand). Because NASCAR was on, the couch that Hot Stuff was on had done a Vulcan mind meld to his ass, so I had to save the carpet underneath it for last.

So I found the dead mouse when I moved the couch. It was gassing out, and that was what the smell was. So gross, sooo gross, so so so gaaahh-ross. Hot Stuff is terror-fied of mice, so I had to clean it up. The smell is still in my nose. The carpets are clean (ish, I know steam cleaners don't actually "clean" the carpet very well), the rugs are sparkly, but the smell is still in my nose. I am haunted by the smell of gassing out dead mouse. Fan-freaking-tastic.

Oh, and the blood? While I ran into the hardware store to get rug cleaner, Hurricane and the Princess stayed in the truck (go ahead and give me The Look, they were in the truck and it was locked and the windows were open just enough to circulate fresh air, and I had the keys with me, and they were right outside the front door and it's a small town and I could see the truck the whole time). Somehow, while climbing towards the front seat to sneak a piece of gum which he is not allowed to have, the Hurricane managed a face plant into my console. When I returned to the truck, his nose was bleeding and his lip was swelling. I am puzzled at the logistics of this; how does one fall in a forward motion and hit himself between the nose and the upper lip on the knob that adjusts temperature?

His lip started to swell right away. At first, my kid looked like he had too much collagen and botox. I couldn't help but laugh, poor kid. After we got home, Hurricane had some Motrin and crashed on the couch. While he slept, his nose swelled a bit, and his upper lip swelled a lot. I am now the proud mother of Moe Szyslak, bartender from The Simpsons.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Life in a Northern Town

This post is a whopper of a doozy. It didn't start out this way, it actually started out as me being tagged by harmzie (who is the peanut butter to my jam, and who shares a disdain for our dirty lyin' parents). So grab the popcorn, put your feet up, and settle in. You're going to be here for a while. Unless you get tired of my longwindedness and go watch House instead. Which I would totally do, because House is the sheezy.

I grew up in a small, northern town in B.C. My hometown had about 10,000 people living there.The isolation of living 8+ hours from the nearest "big" city (over 100,000 people) was almost tangible. It really felt like living on the edge of the earth. Somehow, I managed to make it through to 18 years old, then I blew that popsicle stand as fast as I could.

I spent some years in Vancouver, BC, then quit my job and left my big city life to move to Pretty Big Town, AB to be with Hot Stuff. Live in sin, as we say. Worth it? It was.

Then, Hot Stuff and I moved to the Actual Edge Of The Earth. Also known as Rainbow Lake, AB. 10 hours north of Edmonton, then 1 hour west - if you are driving like a crazy f*cking Albertan. (Also, that is how you know you're from the Prairies: distance is measured in time.)

Rainbow Lake is a very small town. It is a small area of old single-wide trailers cramped together amongst industrial shops all sitting on dirt roads. Oh yes, there are paved roads, but only on the high side of the main road. And the bugs, oh the bugs. Rainbow Lake is surrounded by muskeg. The air is thick with bugs in spring. Literally, it is impossible to be outside after 10am in the spring. Every kind of flying bug you can imagine; all kinds of flies (black, blue, bottle), dragonflies, mosquitoes, horseflies (ever been bit by a horsefly? They take a chunk of meat), june-bugs (some people call them chiggers, I think? They make a clicking sound when they fly), other unknown disgusting fliers. You know how I feel about creepers and fliers.

Let me digress. Northern Alberta is mainly oil and gas (known as the "Oilpatch" or just "the patch"); anywhere there is liquid dinosaur bones that can be dredged up and sold, a town will sprout up to support the workers who are doing the actual sucking of oil or gas. My husband is an oilpatch worker. And I am fiercely proud of the job he does. It is difficult, long hours, sometimes dangerous, physically demanding, and he doesn't complain.

Tangentally: These days the news is lousy with stories about finding alternative fuels and being green and environmentally friendly. Also, how damaging the oil and gas industry can be to the environment. I do not disagree with most of it. I do believe that Big Oil needs to be accountable to the rest of the world with it's environmental protection practices. Here's my question: to pump oil from the ground, the machines come in and clear about an acre, maybe two, of forest. They get thousands of barrels of oil out of one well. How much forest would have to be cleared to grow corn to get the same amount of ethanol?

Also, to those people who complain incessantly about how "bad" the oilpatch is and how it's going to be the downfall of the environment (although I'm not sure there is anyone out there, other than a guy I used to work with who actually did complain about how bad the patch is but I couldn't say this to him at the time because he was kind of my boss and I was new and he had no idea that my husband is an oilpatch worker so I'm going to say it now and here even though he'll never read it but it's one of those, "Dammit I wish I had said that," type of things): Everything you buy, everything, is brought to a store near you by the transportation industry. Mainly the trucking industry. Which, presently, relies on fossil fuels. Been to the grocery store lately? Because the last time I was there, nobody rolled up in a Prius, popped the hatch, and started unloading potatoes from Ontario.

So, aaaaannyyyways, Rainbow Lake: single-wide trailers and industrial stuff on the low side of the main road. Worker bees. On the high side of the main road? Real houses for the muckety-mucks to live in. Paved roads. A neighborhood, if you will. Nary a welding shop or wellsite service company's yard in sight. This is not sour grapes, because even though there were real houses, there were some real rednecks living in them. High side or low side, most of these guys put in an honest day's work and all ended up at either of the town's two bars. Getting shitfaced together. More than once Hot Stuff staggered home, and more than once I staggered home with him.

Rainbow Lake is so small that there was no police detachment, or even a town constable. The nearest RCMP is in Assumption Reserve, about an hour away. Which means if you wanted to get pissed up in the bar and then drive your vehicle in donuts all over your yard, by all means. Go for it. True story. And NO, I don't agree with driving drunk, even if it is to trash your own yard. That is just to illustrate how little adult supervision (in the form of cops) there was up there.

I managed to last about two years, maybe a year and a half. Life was definitely more challenging, but also less complicated. Once I got knocked up with the Hurricane, I wanted to move to a bigger city where I would not have to drive an hour (at least) to see a doctor or get groceries (there is a grocery store in RL, but who wants to pay $9 for a case of pepsi, honestly?).

So here's my picture, which has nothing to do with any of the above except that it is of my husbands rig crew, and it was taken in Rainbow Lake. Faces and any identifying flags are purposely blurred and/or artfully disguised with the help of Bitmap. Who needs Photoshop when you can roll with Bitmap?


I have had numerous conversations with the Hurricane about the purpose of rules. He can tell me that rules are very important to follow and rules keep us safe. He can't follow the rules for shit.

Some of what I'm talking about:

Rule #26: Mommy locks the front and patio doors while she is in the shower to ensure that small children do not go outside and get stolen by strangers or wander outside the gate and get creamed on the highway. Please note: Running into the bathroom while Mommy is towelling off and admitting you climbed up on a chair to unlock the door and went outside will not get you out of trouble. Especially if, in the middle of Mommy giving you hell about getting stolen or getting dead, there is a pounding knock on the front door.

Rule #11: No climbing on your desk then jumping into your toybox, should you fall and land on the top of your head. (How do they do that?)

Rule #37: Watch where you are going, and do not run, especially in the grocery store and/or Wal-Mart, lest you crash into people, carts, or displays several times, causing everyone in the aisle to give your mother a judgemental frown, known as "The Look."

Rule #38: Do not walk directly in front of the cart because Mommy is not very good about watching where she is going and may accidently run into you causing everyone in the aisle to give her The Look. Again.

Rule #2: Do not talk to strangers. Especially to ask them if they are Bad Strangers.

Rule #40: Do not use Mommy's shampoo and Daddy's shampoo as bubble bath for your sister, because she will become so slick that Mommy cannot get a grip on her and she will think it is a really fun game involving splashing water all over the floor and Mommy. Mommy will almost break her neck trying to get a scrap towel to soak up the lake of soapy water on the bathroom floor.

Rule 54: Please. No headstands on the couch. And definitely no headstands on the couch that make your neck go a funny angle when you flop over. It's not good for Mommy's heart.

Rule #9: No pretend punching or kicking, as you may inadvertently kick your sister in the head; Mommy gets anxious over these kinds of things.

Rule #71: Do not touch things that don't belong to you. Things like the stereo/CD player. Since you jammed the remote control into the CD tray and broke it (I am at a loss of how the remote even fit into the opening), we only have the radio. If you break my radio, I will be forced to have kids TV on and Mommy will go insane from listening to kids TV.

We have a lot of rules, I know; and this is just a sample. I make them up on the fly, it's kind of a running list. Perhaps I should put them on audiotape and just have it running in the background during the day. Or maybe subliminally at night. Or I could skip all that hard work and just do this:

Monday, August 17, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I am at a loss for finding stuff this week. Not that I didn't do a bunch of stuff, I think it was either so stupid or traumatic that my mind has blocked it out. Here is what I remember:

I did not completely embarass my darling husband in the video store when I saw a movie titled Donkey Punch. I did not loudly ask, "Donkey Punch? What the heck is a Donkey Punch?" To which he did not stammer a reply explaining what a donkey punch is. If you don't know, you can go here. WARNING: It's sexually explicit and frankly, disgusting. (The kind of thing you're better off not knowing. Seriously.)

I did not totally take advantage of my sister while she stayed at my house for 4 days before travelling back to BC. I would never sleep in until 9am everyday and let her do all the morning kid stuff. I also did not eat most of the pan of Rice Krispies (the kind that are made with fresh marshmallows) that she made for the kids.

I did not spend Saturday at a town fair 45 mins away with my whole "entourage" including: Hot Stuff, Best Sister Ever, my 3 kids, my niece and nephew. We did not have a wonderful time having a wagon ride, watching horses, watching the heavy horse pull, etc.. I also would never wait in line for half an hour-ish so the three biggest kids could get air-brush tattoos, while said small children ran wild. (Also, my heart was not bursting with pride when my Hurricane asked the shy little girl in line in front of us if she would come and play with him. To which she replied, "Not now, maybe later," and hid behind her grandma. Not even 10 seconds later she was running my Hurricane down and laughing and screaming with all the other kids. God I love my kid!!) After waiting in line for.. EVER, I did not let the two boys pick their own tattoos, of course they picked pirates. Hot Stuff did not point out to me later they weren't pirate tattoos, they were Grim Reaper tattoos. I most definitely did not send my nephew home with a Grim Reaper tattoo. I'm sure his uptight, serious, morally superior, tsk-tsking parents were fine with it. NOT!

Lastly, I didn't tell my Hurricane that running around and yelling would spook the horses. I would never, ever lose my patience and tell him that if he did not stop I was going to feed him to the big (harmless) dog sitting next to us. That is reprehensible parenting. Also, I did not laugh at my own inappropriateness. The owners of the dog also did not laugh at my inappropriateness.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Secret

I'll be turning 32 (ugh!! What. The. Hell? I swear I was just 22) in a week and a half and my impending upcoming birthday has me thinking of hiding in a closet drinking and sobbing uncontrollably how I see myself. Literally. As in, what I look like in the mirror. (An entirely trivial pursuit, but hey, I'm shallow, I'll soon forget how superficial I am.)

I am only one of hundreds of thousands of women who have done this: I have looked in the mirror and seen only the negatives. Saggy boobs. Stretch marks. Saddle bags. Poochy belly. Chubby thighs ("Thoroughbred thighs" as I like to say). Cellulite. Ghetto booty. Varicose veins. Minutes at a time, I have spent hours naked in front of the mirror and picked myself apart. I had this crazy idea that in order for me to be seen as attractive, I had to fit the standard.

Where do we learn this? Is it from the constant bombardment of sexy women on TV and magazines who spend hours in makeup and sit under lights with special filters, only to have their pictures airbrushed and Photoshopped anyway? Is it the absolute one-sidedness of popular culture that emphasizes looks only and pushes us all to fill this unattainable, one-size-fits-all, one-dimensional ideal? Is it from comparing ourselves to other real women who seem to have won some kind of genetic jackpot (like that chick on Oprah who was back to her pre-pregnancy size two or three weeks after having each of her seven children, without ever getting sagging boobs and stretch marks)? Is it from being told by loved ones that we 'could lose a pound or two'? Or hearing our significant others make comments about other women? Is it a combination of all of these and more?

Sidenote: Hot Stuff has jokingly said I should 'lose a pound or two.' I knew he was trying to be funny so I sweetly let him know that I would be losing about 190 lbs as soon as I found a big enough shovel.

In the ten years since Hot Stuff and I met we have gone to the Okanagan Valley to visit his parents every year. This is the first year that I actually went swimming in the Okanagan Lake. Until now I refused to go swimming because I did not think my body was good enough to be seen in a bathing suit. Sheer stupidity, isn't it?

I've decided that this business of attacking my own body image is all nonsense. I'm not "young" anymore as defined by young people (I am not stockpiling Depends or shoving Kleenex under my watch band, just yet), but thankfully, I am not stupid anymore, either. Finally, I am smart enough to ease up on myself. I carried, birthed, and nursed babies from my body. That's huge. That's amazing. Varicose veins, ghetto booty, pffft. Genetic. Whaddya gonna do? Cellulite? Well everyone has that. Fifteen extra pounds? Ahh, that's nothing. I'll work it off sooner or later or maybe not at all.

I read in a book somewhere (no idea what the book was called, or even what kind of book it was) that sexy is a state of mind. It originates in your brain. I thought it was bullshit, at the time. How can you feel attractive if you don't look attractive, is what I wondered. Now I know. I have figured out the secret. You can't look sexy if you don't feel sexy. Yeah, I know. Like I said in a post awhile back: I tend to figure these things out way after everyone else.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Battle

Sometimes the universe conspires to help you. No, seriously, it does. I know, right? I never would have believed it either, until it happened to me.

Yesterday was The Anniversary. My sister was here, we got our tattoos (honestly? I 'like' mine, but I don't 'love it' yet), the kids kept us busy, I never got a moment's peace to have a big, wrenching, ugly cry over my mom. So I went to bed and read and then the Princess was up and kept us up to 2:30-ish and then finally I got to sleep. When I woke up at the crack o' 9:30am today, the house was silent. Hot Stuff had run to town and my sister had taken the two big kids to the park. Little Dude was sleeping in bed with me. ("Oh there's a baby here!! How'd you get here, baby?")

Sidenote: I am on the patch to help me quit smoking, and I wear it for 24 hours. It is giving me the most vivid dreams (unfortunately, not dirty ones) and I'm waking up a lot at night.

So anyways. I usually change my patch around 8 or 9am; apparently it only holds medication for 24 hrs.

Aaaanyways, I get up at 9:30 and damn. it. I need a smoke in the worst way. So I come downstairs and go immediately to the freezer where Hot Stuff keeps his carton of cigs. I am in the process of reaching in for a pack when Hot Stuff pulls in the driveway.

Thank you, Universe, that was close. I tell Hot Stuff and he puts the carton in his truck.

All day I have battled the urge to smoke. The only time I wasn't thinking about smoking, or talking myself into smoking, or talking myself out of smoking, was when I slept for two hours this afternoon.

After I woke up from my nap, I realized that I was actually wearing my last patch and needed to run to town to get more. So, (oh yes, the irony) (boy I sure hope I used that word in the proper context) I decided I was going to sneak a smoke and smoke it on the way into town because then nooooobody would know, except me. When I was a smoker, we had lighters all over this house. Any surface that a small monkey-child could not reach was guaranteed to have a lighter on it.

Thank you, Universe, for hiding all the lighters on me. Because I looked. I haven't worked that hard in years, and still nothing. I checked every drawer, every winter coat pocket, every shelf, every place I could covertly check without making Hot Stuff suspicious. Big. Fat. Nothing.

Well, I'm still undeterred. I can stop at the gas station and grab a pack of free matches, so I'll just grab a cig out of Hot Stuff's pack that he so conveniently left by the front door before I go to town.

"Bye, honey, won't be long, do you need anything?" I sweetly ask, grabbing the pack of smokes by the front door.

"Yeah, get me a banana split. No pineapple. Extra chocolate instead," he yells back as I flip open the pack, anticipation making my fingers itch.

Thank you, Universe, for the empty pack of cigs by the front door. Well played, sir. Well played.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dear Okanagan Valley, I miss you. Love, Stone

We got back from Kelowna last Monday, just before the valley filled up with smoke. We all had a lovely trip and hit the beach every day. It was awesome letting Mama S (my step-mother in law) take care of us. True to form, I (aka SuperMom) made it through an entire week without taking a single picture of my darling children frollicking by the water. Yes, not even one picture. My little Princess is quite the water baby. She was wading through the water right up to her neck. Wouldn't even let me hold her hand until she got knocked over by a wave two or three times. Strangely enough, the Hurricane is afraid of water and refused to go in. I literally carried him in with me but he freaked out so bad that I brought him back to shore.

I quit smoking yesterday. With the aid of a nicotine patch, of course. I made it through the day, and it was only hard after the kids went to bed and I had nothing to do except watch TV and eat licorice. The patch is giving me vivid dreams (think wrestlers exercising to Jane Fonda while wearing neon orange and yellow wrestling gear) and I'm waking up a lot at night, but nothing I can't live with.