Friday, June 24, 2011

Seven Things I Never Expected to See or Hear At My Son's Seventh-Birthday Party

(oops - thought I posted this weeks ago. Better late than never!)

My son, Agent M, had his seventh-birthday party today at my parent's house last Saturday. Given that it was zombie-themed and our family's love for the fringe, I expected it to be a bit kooky. However, there were some things, said and seen, that not even I would have expected.

1.) "Wait! You forgot to cut out his heart!" - Agent M to his best friend while playing some sort of pretend zombie attack on the friend's older brother.

2.) At one point during the party, I think my mum officially lost her marbles as she ran to her room and came back out minutes later wearing a frog-printed bandanna and neck-to-toe black clothes, wielding a slingshot, and armed with rice cracker balls for ammo. She then started a food fight in her own living room. If it wasn't for the video I recorded on my cell phone of the chaos that erupted, I would think it was all a daydream. An unexpected, bizarre daydream.

3.) "You're going to get toxoplasmosis for eating worms out of brains!" - Said to me by a scientifically-educated friend, as I picked the gummy worms off a Jell-O brain.

4.) "Hmm, how can I make it look like I am covered in blood?" - The older brother mentioned in #1, above.

5.) "Would you like some bug juice or muddy water?" - Myself, offering a guest some lemonade or tea to drink.

6.) My Dad actually dressed up like a zombie, complete with baggy jeans and a torn, fake-blood splattered sports coat and black eyeshadow around his eyes.

7.) "Don't eat all of your lips - we can take them home and you can finish them later. Have some cake instead." - Myself to Agent M, encouraging him to eat root beer cake over a giant green-colored chocolate shaped like a mouth.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Middle Child.

Poor, little neglected blog.

I make no excuses. I found time to type and write while pulling through four college classes, you would think working part-time would be a cake walk for me.

But it hasn't been.

I have been exhausted, drained, and completely focused on everything except for sitting my bum down and plunking out words.

Oh, wait - what happened to no excuses?

Anyways, I am committing myself to this blog again. Agent M is my first priority, and the "9-to-5 (actually, 6)" job is important since I do have bills to pay and a quality of living I would like to support. But my writing is my baby, and this blog is my "middle child", not to be overlooked by the needs of my other metaphoric babies.

There is so much keeping me busy, which is truly all the more reason to plunk it out. Evenings spent eating ice cream bars and watching cartoons, funny conversations, sick day realizations, lazy summer days spent playing catch, striking that balance between being a work-outside-the-home mum and all the things I strive for while raising Agent M, and the pure, simple excitement when I finally got my hands on a copy of the local magazine that has my first, real, printed article in it.

Truth be told, I have started a number of posts, but never got back to finish them and post them before the moment is gone. Like a middle child, this blog has had to share my time with so many other things, and I feel like a horrible mother for not spending as much time with it.

But, that's going to change. I'm going to work on the half-done posts tonight, and get myself on a routine to be back into the feel for posting often.

Just bear with me through all these growing pains :) 

Monday, June 20, 2011

100 Day Photo Challenge - Day 12

Day 12 - A picture of something I love.

Going the NON-obvious route here (Agent M, sleeping in, yarn, lazy cloudy days spent curled up in a blanket and crocheting, painting, staple guns, all things Tiki, retro, and kitsch).

I love the "inside" joke my Mum and I share:

"Shrimp's on sale."

See, a while back - years, really - Mum and I were talking, and it was about something specific...when she suddenly turned and looked at me, blurting out, "Shrimp's on sale." as if we had been talking about market prices all along. It was such a surprise, my jaw dropped a little and I just replied, "Okaaaay.....". There was a pause as we just looked at each other....then we both started laughing. She did not know why she felt the need to blurt it out, I forgot completely what we had been talking about, and the rest is history. It started off as a joke now and then after that, she would change the subject and I would ask, "Oh, and is shrimp on sale also?" with a laugh. Eventually it became our own slang. Now, every time one of us changes the topic suddenly, or needs to change the topic suddenly, we'll say "Shrimp's on sale!". It's something that is silly, goofy, and completely us.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

100 Day Photo Challenge - Day 11

Day 11 - A picture of something I hate.

Hate is such a strong word. Growing up, I was taught that it was right up there with other "words you just don't say", such as The Word That Starts With F and Sounds Like Duck. (though, I will admit, I do say it quite a bit when Agent M is not home). The "H-word" is reserved for only the most disliked of disliked, passionately disgusting of things.

For me, that is lying. Specifically, being lied to in a type of deception to hide something from me or to make me think something that is not.

I will admit it to anyone - I am not a trusting person. It takes a lot of personal work for me to open myself up and truly believe what someone is telling me. It can be a coworker, a classmate, someone I have known for years, or someone I have only met a month ago. The fact always remains - in the back of my mind, I will not fully trust them at some point. I have had people go back on their word, twist the truth, and flat out say untruths about me. At this point, trust is hard earned from me, and I can count on one hand the people I can honestly say I would confidently trust and truly believe when they compliment me or believe that they don't hold a hidden motive.

This makes personal relationships difficult for me, even the minor ones of making friends. I second guess people's actions, wonder if they really mean what they say, and have a hard time believing what they say they will do. But the worst part of this lack of faith, is that I know the root of it lies in me. Because I have been hurt, I don't trust so that I can build up a wall, keep people at arm's length, and not let people close enough to risk being hurt again. For example, when I started the job I have now, I didn't talk to coworkers, I ate lunch with my headphones on, and I would only interact in a friendly way with customers. Eventually, a couple coworkers who saw a glimmer of more to me than I was letting out, cornered me and asked me what the deal was. I told them the truth - my previous job had gone sour when a coworker began to feed lies to my boss about my personal life. Lies that were twisted and made me out to be someone I wasn't. I had considered the coworker and the boss to be my friends. Besides losing the friendships and my faith in making friends at work, I also ended up losing the job eventually, under the guise of a "layoff because of the recession" (and that is not just me being untrusting of the reason I was let go - I was actually told that it was just a guise, something to put on resumes). Now, at this new job, why bother risk it happening to me again? Luckily, the people who cornered me understood and saw it for what it was - fear. Fear of being hurt, fear of having my trust abused. They "got it" and took the time to let me get to know them, and to get to know me. And while those coworkers have gone on to other jobs and I no longer talk to them, in a lot of ways they were the first to chip away at the wall I had built up, and they were the ones that helped me relearn that when someone lies, it's not my fault.

With Agent M, I am strict on the "no lying" rule. Often, I have told him I would be unhappy with him doing something wrong, but that I will be more hurt and upset if he lies about it. Though rare, he has actually gotten more in trouble with me over lying to cover something than for the actual fact. I hid things often as a kid and teen, and even young(er) adult, and it never payed off. It cost me trust from others, caused headaches, and even when the truth was difficult it was always better in the long run to just be honest. It took me years to really learn that, and I hope I can spare Agent M (and myself) the same frustrations as he grows up.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Holy Smokies

Talk about a whirlwind.

After that last post - I ended up being up for 25 hours straight. I made it through work reasonably well, and at the end of my shift I was chatting with a co-worker and told him how bizarre it was that I still just did not feel tired. It actually was worrying me a bit. That night, still just could not sleep. I tired every trick I knew of for myself - crocheting in bed, eating a little chocolate, watching shows on the laptop while laying down. Nothing was working. I finally got four hours of sleep, from 3:30am to almost, 7:30am, and it was blissful. Thursday night, same type of thing. About five hours of sleep. Barely eleven hours in three days. I felt like crap, I was starting to walking into things and get klutzy. Friday morning, a friend woke me up to video chat online, and he told me how rested I looked. From barely five hours of sleep. Which should tell you how bad I looked before that.

Then, something finally clicked into place.

That afternoon, I picked Agent M up from school. Fridays are our "switch" days, and the start of his week with me. We dropped a friend of his off at their house, and I suggested going and getting a take-and-bake pizza for lunch/dinner. Agent M suggested that he was hungry and din't want to wait for take-and-bake. So, we went to a little pizza place and just ate there. For me, that was the first time all week I had eaten a real lunch. I'd been living off of tea and cottage cheese for the most part - trying to lose some weight and besides, I figured with Agent M not home, why cook? We ran a few errands after that (totally got some amazing thrift scores, but that is for another post) and went home. Again, for the first time all week, I actually cooked, and ate, dinner.

After dinner and showers, there was enough time to play a little of Agent M's zombie game on my laptop. Snuggled under the blanket, propped up with pillows, we sat there chatting as he played the game and I crocheted. And...I started to fall asleep. It was barely 8:30pm.

So, Agent M wrapped up his game, I put away the crocheting. I got him settled into bed and felt so tired that I just went to my room and laid down. I was asleep by 9:45pm, woke up the next morning at 6am. Eight hours of bliss. Pure heaven. The icing on the cake? A little after waking up, Agent M woke up also, climbed into bed with me and helped me look for my Halloween costume online while we snuggled more. Insomnia curse broken and a great start to the day.

No idea what was the real cause of the problem - I don't think it was just one thing, such as missing Agent M or stress about going back to work. I also had not been exercising or eating right for a couple weeks. I had been staying up late each night and painting for hours, and when I would get caught up in the painting and cleaning during the day, I was forgetting to eat then too. I think I might have just gotten myself out of routine, and having Agent M home again pushed me back into it. Maybe having to keep a routine for him reminds me to take better care of myself also, and not just push and push myself until I collapse. Or, rather in this case, not collapse. No matter the reason though - this mama is darn happy to be able to sleep again.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Today is Going to be Interesting.

May first mistake was not drinking enough water yesterday. Mistake two was not eating much during the day - if it had not been for the half of a frozen panini that a coworker gave me and snack bag of cheddar and sour cream chips, it would have been the mistake of not eating at all during the day. Number three was requesting a Whopper and friend who was on their way over to my house. And we all know, third time is the charm. After dropping the friend off at her house and getting back home, I felt sick and woozy. When I checked my blood sugar level and it was high (for me), so I drank a big glass of water and made the decision that going to bed early was probably going to be my best course of action.

I have been awake since 2.30am. Hot, clammy mouth, pounding headache. Backache and cramps in my lower back. I felt like roadkill. I tried turning on the laptop to try mindlessly 'net surfing back to sleep. No luck. Eventually, I settled on watching a hulu'd episode of "So, You Think You Can Dance?". My cat did her best to be medicine pet in-between my trips to the bathroom and downstairs for water and crackers. Finally, I gave up around 4.30am and turned on the lamp on my bedside table. I figured if I was going to be up, I might as well work on the scarf I am crocheting.

Now, it's 7am and I have to be at work in a little under two hours. An eight hour shift spent cashing unemployment checks, selling money orders, and checking lotto scratchers for people. I have to be on top of my game when it comes to the type of money-handling I do. Part of me thinks getting some decaf tea will help perk me up, but the other part of me is nervous about what effect that will have on my already recovering stomach and pounding head. I've known for years the effects eating erratically has on me, how I will feel sick and dizzy to the point of my body becoming uncoordinated. At best, a short nap gets me feeling back on track, followed by a light but high-protein meal with lots of water. At worse, I end up waking up in the middle of the night, sick as anything and exhausted for the next day as I try to right my self through sleep, water, and carefully planned out small meals through the day. Basically, I should have known better. 

There are a few saving graces to this mess though. Agent M is with his dad this week so I get a little break in that sense (even though I would love to just snuggle with him and watch cartoons, which is always a great way to spend a sick day). The play Agent M was supposed to be in tonight has been rescheduled for next week, so after work I can come home and go right to bed. And, as I laid in my bed crocheting, listening to Florence + the Machine on my laptop, and snuggling with my cat, I got to see a beautiful sunrise from my bedroom window. It actually is a decent start to the day, once I push past the feelings of persistent ick. Now, just to hold on to this bit of sunshine and make it through the work day.