Wednesday, June 26, 2013

thoughts on this great city

Remember that time my city filled with water? And people lost their stuff? And then their homes? And the hippos almost swam away in a river that swept through their hippo haven? That was a bad day.

A terrible, no good, very bad day.

I just dropped off a bunch of granola bars and juice boxes to the crew who is cleaning up a community in this water logged city of mine. 

I don't know what else to do right now. 

I don't recall ever in my life feeling so useless. And at the same time, I can not even begin to describe my gratitude. 

My selfish gratitude that my house and my life's conveniences were untouched during this catastrophe. 

I am grateful for all the people in my shoes who are so quick to answer the call of those who were touched by the waters. 

The devastation is impossible for me to wrap my head around. How on earth will this mess get cleaned up? How on earth will the Stampede happen? How on earth will the zoo be restored? How on earth will people pick up the soggy, mucky mess and move on without being ruined by the damage, financially and emotionally?

I see pictures of the damage and the helpers and the smiles and the work that has been done already and I know that life will go on. It always does, doesn't it?

Life goes on. 

But the mess, oh my word, the mess. I can't comprehend it. And I suppose that's because every night I go to sleep in my dry house with my dry kids and I am so so grateful. 

So selfishly grateful that it isn't me. 

When the rains were falling last week and people were trying hard not to complain about all the rain, for it was an endless amount of rain, my little family was feeling wet and waterlogged and just plain crabby about the lack of sun. Then the news came that we were going to get record breaking amounts of rain and the general sigh heard throughout the land signaled that it was okay to complain a wee bit. 

And then our city filled with water. 

And my brain did that thing. That thing where I wondered how bad could it really be? I mean, come on, it's just water. Total denial.

I was glued to twitter. Every ten seconds there was an update from the city. From the police. From health services. From people who knew people who knew someone who's basement was flooding. From people themselves who were being evacuated. 

People I know.

Denial left and a heavy heart set in. How do you convince the rains to stop? It's enough. Leave the poor people alone. These are people I know. Please, rain, enough.

And please, please, please, don't ruin my home. It was a selfish plea, but I made it nonetheless. 

Finally, the rains stopped. The devastation realized. The clean up began. The people of my city awed me with what they were willing to do for one another. 

School was cancelled for the rest of the year. Recitals postponed, cancelled, rescheduled. People working around the clock to make our world safe again. 

Anxiety high, tears shed, gratitude expressed. Again and again and again. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

Calgary, thank you. Thank you for making me proud when you could have abandoned those in need. Thank you for picking up my slack when I wasn't able to be there like my heart craved. Thank you for donating, for baking, for getting mud in your nooks and crannies as you continue to gut basements with smiles on your faces. Thank you for your promise that we will be restored, slowly and surely. Thank you for reminding me that humans are good and kind and lovely. Thank you for the bright sunshine felt today as I gathered what I could for workers and the displaced. 

Every now and then people get knocked off their rockers for no good reason. We could ask, "why me?"  But instead this city has asked, "how can I help?"

And I am grateful. For so very much.

***I borrowed these pictures from my friends, Merry and Julie, whose homes were in danger and fortunately spared.***

Thursday, June 20, 2013

and then i screamed, sugar crush!!

Me: please turn the sound off on your phone. You know the sounds make me insane. 

Him: yeah yeah yeah. 

Me: this level is impossible. I hate it. Oh wait!! Wait!!! . . . WOOT!!

SUGAR CRUSH!!!!!!!!!!

Him: hey, I got a sugar crush too!! Woo hoo! 

Me: shhhhh.

Him: what? What do you mean shhhh? You just hollered about your sugar crush. Why am I not allowed to celebrate my sugar crushes?

Me: because I work really hard at my sugar crushes. Yours just come naturally. You're pretty cocky about your candy crush accomplishments, you know. 

Him: Hey!! I work pretty damn hard at some of my sugar crushes. 

And this is how the Dabels start a rainy Thursday morning. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

obsessions and phone calls with taylor swift

At this point in my weight loss journey I was supposed to be a whole lot skinnier than I am. I sort of just tapped out at 30 pounds. Most days I just want to give up because, really, in essence, I have given up. I don't try very hard most of the time and the times I am trying hard are completely undermined by the rest of the time. But I can't give up because if I do I will return to where I was. The times I am trying hard are keeping me from returning. So really I am just maintaining which is better that returning but isn't good enough to keep losing.

Have I lost you yet?

I wonder why I don't try. This is the part that baffles me the most. If there is something you want, something you know you can have, then what stops you from getting it?

I need someone smarter than me to tell me the answer and for free. Because I like free.

It's like my intentions are good. But so is ice cream. Ice cream is really really good. And so are homemade chocolate chip cookies, which Cicely won't stop making.

PMS is bad but nachos are good. Clothes that are too tight are bad but chili cheese fries are good.

Do you see where this is going? I know why it's hard. Because food is good. But what I don't get is why I want to be at a healthier weight and eat all the food at the same time. This is the part that is nonsensical.

I am going to go workout now, because I have terrible PMS, the eating kind, and I am hoping that the time spent moving my body will allow me to think more about this because heaven knows, I have not thought nearly enough about it.

I have a lot of bad habits and thinking endlessly about my weight is one of them.

Speaking of things I think about....Amelia, who is seven, is a constant form of entertainment in this house.

When I got my new cell phone she confiscated my old one. It didn't work but she pretended it did. She is a master pretender. She texted and made calls and carried that thing around until she misplaced it. She asks everyone if they've seen her cell phone. She is lost without it.

Her bestie is Taylor Swift. They have spent hours chatting and texting back and forth. Amelia has helped her write songs, counselled her in love and just basically been there for TayTay.

One day they were having a particularly long discussion, one in which Tay was doing most of the talking. You'll have to use your imagination for this because it was funny and I laughed for hours and you will too if you imagine it properly.

Amelia, laying on the couch with her feet up, as only a friend of Taylor Swift could do: I know, right? Mmm hmmm. Yep. I know, right? Totally. Pfft. Whatever. I know, right?

Tay: ??

A: Get outta here! Really? He said what? Are you going to write a song about it?

Tay: ??

A: I know, right? He's not even cute. Pfft. I know, right?

Tay: ??

A: You should totally write a song about that because it would be a great song. I'll text you my ideas.

Tay: ??

A: Really? Yep. I know. Totally. Yep. Okay. I know, right?

Tay: ??

So sassy. It goes on like this for what seems like an eternity. The other children are starting to twitch and show general signs of insanity.

Amelia stands up, phone pressed to her ear, peering at me in the kitchen, all the other kids are around staring at her like she just grew another head. Which she may as well have for as bizarre as this imaginary convo was. She begins to walk around the couch, still sassy as ever giving everyone the hip and the neck cock, as if she dared us to challenge her. She is staring down the teenager who is glaring at her and as she does she trips on a box and falls down.

I wait for it. The squeal. The shriek. The crying. The blame of her fall on the stare of her brother. I mean, she's down. She's down hard. And instead of the crying I would have put money on I hear this.

A: Tay?. . . I'm going to have to call you back.

And now I workout. Good day.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

things i learned at university. part one

I'm going to start a new segment. It shall be known here forth as Things I Learned at University.

Today's subject will be ugly children. Did you know that there is a difference in how parents treat their beautiful children versus their ugly children? 

I did not know there was. Until today. And you could knock me down and call me Sally with that information.

First of all, do parents even know when they have ugly kids? I mean, I thought all parents viewed their children as masterpieces. It dumbfounds me that a parent would have an ugly child and know it. 

I hope my children are not ugly unbeknownst to me. 

Anyway, Canadian researchers have made a startling assertion: parents take better care of pretty children than they do the ugly ones. 

That was taken right from my notes the prof posted online. It may be in my text but I haven't read this chapter yet. It's probably in there. I'm sure it's in there.

Don't ask me to cite it. I mean, I could if you're one of those people who might write mean things about me on the internet because I did not cite my facts. But remember, this is my blog and if I want to make stuff up I will. 

But...I did not make this up. 

These studies also say that when it comes to buckling up, pretty and ugly children were treated in starkly different ways, with seat belt use increasing in direct proportion to attractiveness. 


People of the world. I just want to say something. Please do not discriminate against homely littles. Buckle up all the children equally. It's not their fault they're ugly.

I feel passionately about this.

I think I saw an ugly child at the grocery store today but I'm not one to judge. He was old enough to buckle himself though so he should be fine.

Oh, for the love.....

Friday, June 14, 2013

a day in the life

I have been neglectful this week, dear bloggy. I've been a busy busy girl. It doesn't take much to get lost in life and before you know it days have passed and you realize you haven't taken a breath in forever.

Lately I have been asking my anxiety pills if they are still in agreement with my body. I think their answer is that they may not be. It's been month of running piggies. They don't want to settle. Sometimes it's hard to breathe and I get way more worked up about stuff than anyone should have to. We'll work it out, no worries.

I can't believe I just told you that.

Oh yeah, right, I forgot, I'm an open book.

So anyway, I did some research as to when it is people find the time to blog and most of them said they do it at night.

At night!!! Can you even imagine it? 

At night I am a vegetable. And vegetables don't think so good.

This is how my day goes. I get up with kids. I make lunches. I clean up that mess. Sometimes I make lunches the night before and leave that mess until the morning tidy because...well, I'm lazy, you see. I get kids to school. I run errands. If I'm feeling especially spicy I'll hop on the treadmill. 

I don't often feel spicy. 

I shower. I do homework and homework and homework. And when I'm blind from homework I get kids from school

This is where things get really fun. And by fun I mean this is where every last bit of patience and energy I woke with gets tested, used and abused. The children talk. Endlessly. And instead of saying something like this to them, "Please, for the love of all that is peaceful and tranquil, STOP TALKING ALL THE TIME!" I just nod my head. I smile and and talk back. And I laugh. Because after all, they are very funny people, indeed, and they make me laugh a lot. 

Then I muster up some food for their consumption. Why do they need to eat all the time?

And then...I drive. I drive here. I drive there. I drive everywhere. Because not only do they want to eat all the time, they also want to do fun things like football and dance and martial arts. 

And I am nothing if not a supportive mom. I hardly ever resist their wants and desires at all. 
(I tell myself what I need to to get through the day) 

Then, when all is done, the driving that is, and children are all tucked quietly away in their hovels, I fall on my bed. This is where I remind myself of all things I DIDN'T get done. Like that spicy treadmill thing. And I try to ignore the guilt of not unloading the dishwasher, sweeping the floor, blogging, cleaning my room, changing the laundry, which will now spend another night sitting all wet-like in the washing machine. There is never an end to all the things that don't get done.

But, I think it's safe to say that if you're a woman, then you hear my plight and feel me.

You feel me, right? I am not alone in this gong show of life. I know I'm not. One of the best inventions in the history of amazing inventions is facebook. Where, at any given point in the day, one can log in and read the insanity that is the lives of others.

We are not alone, people. No siree, we are not alone. 

But I do have an announcement to make. After a one year hiatus that turned into 46 months, 13 of those months being paperwork, home studies and logistics, we are now fostering again. 

This is great news, don't you think? Finally doing right by the world again. So now when I fall into bed all vegetable-like at 7:30.....I mean really late at night..... and begin my daily berating for not doing important things, I can remind myself that there are soon going to be 6 kids here. Not just four. And that is a good thing. Good for everyone.

Wait a minute . . . 6 kids? And not just four?? That's a lot more wet laundry rotting in the washing machine.


Our new boys are transitioning slowly to us from out of town. They will move in permanently as soon as school is done. For the purposes of this here blog they will have alias' and not be photographed for confidentiality reasons. But I do declare, they will provide much fodder. 

I'll bet you're on the edge of your seats. You are, aren't you? Happy weekend, all!

Waiting anxiously for two new brothers.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

going crazy dot com

So...I got a new job. It's full time and it's hard and exhausting and I don't think I care for it all that much. I start as soon as Amelia is gone for the day and I stop when she's home, until she's gone to bed and then I start again. I think my new job is the cause of my cranky this week and I'm starting to wonder if it's not responsible for this belly ache I'm sporting.

It has a fancy title. It's called "study for this Psyc midterm that I am not near smart enough to pass".

It's hard to fit that all on a business card. Maybe I'll just stick with Insane in the Membrane. 

Catherine Dabels
Insane in the Membrane

This exam is killing me. Literally. And it's only worth there's that.

One thing I have learned for certain over the past 10 months, as I've started out on this journey to higher education, is that my ability to retain information has taken a serious hit since birthing a variety of children. 

It's hard enough trying to remember why I walked into the kitchen, never mind 350 pages of the largest text book I have ever owned. 

Sometimes my faith in my own abilities takes a wee blow. Like this week. I'm not sure if I can do this. It's hard. And I'm brain dead. 

But carry on, that's what I do. Trudge forward. One step at a time. Or in this case, one chapter at a time. 

Wish me luck. I really need it. Really, I do. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

man-sized hobbies

There is always this insane sound coming from my garage. Like right now, for instance. And when there isn't it's because the man isn't in there.

His garage is his oasis. His man cave. His happy place.

What is he doing in the garage? And why is it making so much blasted noise? Hobbies, I say. Hobbies.

I have hobbies. Right now, at this point in my life I don't have many hobbies. I like to read. This is the only hobby I can think of right now....

I study, a lot. But is that fun? Are hobbies fun? I think they are supposed to be fun. Anyway, reading. I love to read. It's quiet. And cheap.

And quiet.

The man? The man has man-sized hobbies. Loud, gigantic, man-sized hobbies. I need an acreage, with a shop about 10 acres away so I don't have to listen to him making all that noise.

He bought a welder. Because well, welding is fun, don't you know?

"I would like to weld. Stuff. Anything. Anything that can be welded, I would like to weld it,"says he.

"Oh goody," says I

So he grinds stuff and then welds stuff and it is loud and he loves it and sometimes I have to tell him to cork it and he does because he's good like that.

Mercy, he's loud. Like right now, which is what inspired this ridiculously inspiring post.

Today I was in Cochrane and thought I'd surprise him at work. I didn't take treats or pop or donuts because I am a bad wife. But lucky me, when I got there he had just started craning wood-like things up in the air and then precariously perching himself upon walls and ladders and such to catch said wood-like things which were flying willy nilly every which way. And then he would gently place them down at his convenience.

Is this even making sense?

He's a framer. Is it making more sense now?

He made me wait until he was done defying death and then he came over to say hi and there is no reason for me to be telling you this except I feel as though I should be telling you something and what I really want to say might have something to do with the midterm I have on Saturday that is stressing me out to no end. So why didn't I just tell you about that?

Good question.

The man is done making noise. You know how I know? Because he is staring at me like this....

 All dirty and smiley and stuff.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

the author is a friend of mine

Saturday night was book club. Book club 2, that is. We read a very funny and so true-to-life book it frightens me. The author just happens to be in book club 2, which is so very awesome it frightens me.

A couple of weeks ago I went to Chapters to purchase said book. When I got it to the till the cashier gave a little wee gasp and said, "Oh, I want to read this book. I just bought it for my mom for Mother's Day, I think she'll love it."

To which I responded, "I'm sure she will love it. The author is a friend of mine."

I have never said that before. The author is a friend of mine. And all of a sudden it dawned on my over stuffed brain that I have some very cool friends.

Very cool, indeed.

So, the author is a friend of mine and she wrote a book. And it was extremely pleasing unto me. You see, the book is about parenting and all the crazy things that might accompany such a feat. She had twins in Thailand.

I totally could have written this book.

Except the Thailand part. And the twin part. And who am I kidding? I could not have written this book. It's called Don't Lick the Minivan because well, you see, her kids did that.

Amongst other things.

Read it.
Excuse the cleavage. It was a long day.