Friday, August 31, 2012

Bye, Summer. There are way more than 5 reasons why I love you best.

This is it.

Summer is over.

And what I'd really like to do, is have a big, giant, throw-myself-on-the-floor-flailing-and-kicking-and-crying-and-screaming temper tantrum over it.

It might not help, but you never know, it's worth a shot.  At the very least, it would definitely make me feel better.  And it would be an excellent example for my children, no?

For a couple weeks now, it's been progressively getting colder outside.  And I've noticed that it's a lot easier to get the kids into bed before 9pm, because it's getting darker earlier.  And I'm actually sleeping with clothes on (sorry for the visual, friends, let's just move on).  Instead of being refreshing, my beloved green slushy vodka just makes me cold.  We shut the A/C off a long time ago.  I am trying to deny all of this, and desperately cling to summer and all the awesome that it brings, but as I sit here wrapped in fleece pajama pants, slippers and a long-sleeved shirt, my fingers ice-cold, I just can't deny it any longer.

It's over.

This summer was, like, the BEST SUMMER EVER.  It really was.

Why, you ask?

Well, let me tell you.

 1.  I wasn't working.  Last summer, I had the (ridiculous) idea that maybe I should work, like, a 'real' job, outside of the house.  So, I started working at Costco.  And it was super fun at first, but then the 5-day schedule and busy, all-over-the-place hours just got to be way too much, and I packed it in in October.  So last summer was kind of a no-fun summer.  We couldn't go on any holidays, and I only had two days off every week, which were my only two full days to spend with my kids and clean my house and do all the running around, and yes I know this is how the rest of the world works but when you haven't worked a job like that in 6 years, it was a shock, OK!?  So this time around, the kids and I had all the time in the world, and we took full advantage of it.  I loved having nobody to answer to but my own family.  It was awesome.

2.  We went on two super fun holidays.  First to Seattle for a week, where we went to a ball game and did all sorts of touristy things and then I shopped like a crazy woman because that's just what I do when I get to America, I buy everything I see and I eat everything I see and that, my friends, is the PERFECT holiday in my eyes.  Next, we went to Kootenay Lake, which was kind of like camping but not actually camping so I didn't have to sleep next to the bugs and the murderers, or be cold or drink lukewarm diet Coke out of a cooler or pee in an outhouse/public toilet; BUT we still got to have the beach at our doorstep and drink lots of beer and walk around in our pajamas, which to me is what camping SHOULD be.

3.  I totally got my house organized from head to toe.  Kids rooms, basement, toys, storage room, kitchen cabinets, den closet, all of my clothes and crap I've compiled over many of the previously-mentioned shopping excursions, and etc.  Nothing makes me happier than everything having a home, and baby, I purged.  I cleaned.  I painted.  I sorted.  I was like a freaking machine.  And I loved it.  And now, if you ask me where some random obscure kitchen tool or piece of some dumb little dollar store toy that the kids refused to part with is, I could totally tell you.

4.  AJ grew a huge amount of confidence in the water.  Throughout this entire summer, my kids were in some body of water - pools, lakes, rivers, waterslides, puddles, whatever was available - and most of the time, they were with a whole bunch of their friends.  Watching his little buddies do things that he was still uncomfortable with, gave him the confidence to at least TRY some of it.  By the end of summer, he could swim the width of my friend N's backyard pool without his floaties; he could float on his front and back; he was confident enough to jump in, go down the slide, try somersaults underwater, and he even did a FLIP off the DIVING BOARD at my aunt and uncle's place (I kiboshed that activity the minute it happened, but he was so proud of himself, and Shawn even got it on video.  It still makes my heart race when I watch it, like I'm sure this time he's going to crack his head open, even though that never actually happened and it's the same video every time.)  Mackenzie's been a fish since about 10 weeks old, but AJ's always been more hesitant in the water, and this summer, his confidence grew 100-fold.

5.  And lastly, T, V, D, and N.  Our visits and gatherings and crazy conversations that still make me laugh when I think about them, really made this summer complete.  Thank you, a million times, for keeping me from going crazy this summer.  And line up my shots for D.F. this school year!

Later, Summer.  I love you!!  Now bring on Fall...

Friday, August 24, 2012

This is starting to get old.

I don't want my stupid disease anymore.

This severe anemia business was fun for a minute, you know, like I could finally say I 'had' something, "oh poor me, I'm soooooo sick from the anemia, remember that time I was severely anemic, oh Shawn, please feel sorry for me and do the dishes and the housework, and you know I'm suddenly feeling tired, I think I better take a nap..."

But then I had to go have more stupid blood tests.  Which, of course, wasn't fun, on account of the fact that obviously it involved NEEDLES.  And this time I had the kids with me too, so they got to sit in the room with me and watch their mom shaking in her flip-flops as I hoisted myself onto the bed they make the people who need a Xanax to get through a blood test use.  The nurse even said, "normally I encourage children to watch me do the needle, but I think watching you would terrify them, it's probably a bad idea, so we won't let them near you while it's happening."

And then I had to go to the doctor today to get the results.

He's like, "You know, you have NO iron stored.  None at all, like it is actually completely empty.  How do you not fall down with exhaustion every day!?"  I'm like, psssht, whatever man, I'm kind of a rock star like that.  Who needs iron?  Not this girl!

He's like, "actually dummy, you DO need iron.  So we're going to give it to you intravenously."

When I finished laughing at the notion that this poor guy actually believed that I might allow someone to give me an IV, I was like, "oh, no you're not."

Then he goes, "OK, then we'll do the needles in your butt.  And I'm telling you, they are big, they go deep, and they REALLY hurt.

And I said, "well, then, I'm not doing that either."

We were at an impasse, me and Dr. K.  And now we were involved in a full-out staring contest, and I was totally winning that shit, because I mean it, I am NOT doing either of those things and I was not backing down from this.

Finally, he broke.  "OK, fine.  You can try pills instead."

So he gave me a prescription, wished me luck, informed me that if I don't get my iron stores up I could have heart failure, and THEN told me that, oh yeah, by the way, those pills are totally going to make me constipated, and also he's put in a SIX-MONTH STANDING ORDER for me to get goddamn BLOOD TESTS EVERY SIX WEEKS!

The f***, Dr. K?!?  Well played, friend.  Well played.

I guess he means business.

So, I went to the pharmacy, and I got the damn iron pills, and the pharmacist reiterated that I will probably not crap for like 12 weeks while on this medication, then he told me that my body has somehow managed to learn how to function without adequate iron, and I thought, "well no shit, Pharmacist Guy.  My body has learned how to function on nothing but diet Coke, Kraft Dinner and McDonalds, so surely this lack of iron thing is a friggin cake walk."

Then, still feeling sorry for myself because I am SO OVER this and I don't want to go to the pharmacy or some dumb blood lab or the doctor's office ever again as long as I live, I went home and texted C about my sad little problem.  A few hours later, her husband showed up at my house with an armload of kale, which is something I have never seen ever in my entire life, and told me to just "do the same thing you do to spinach."  Which then made us both laugh, because really, he knows me well enough to know that I wouldn't know what to do with spinach if you held a gun to my head.

But, as it happens, there was a recipe in the weekly paper for "kale chips", so I followed that, toasted up some kale (with a shitload of salt, but that's beside the point right now), and ate it for dinner.  And I did OK.  I got to almost the end of the pile on my plate, when I started to gag and had to drown the rest in ranch dressing.  But, I did clear the plate, and I was feeling rather proud of myself, so I downed one of my new iron pills, brushed the chunks of kale out of my teeth (that shit sticks like glue), grabbed a diet Coke, and headed downtown to the radio station to get some work done.

Well.  I got halfway down the highway, and thanks to that frickin' little iron pill, the urge to vomit hit me so hard I honestly wasn't sure what to do and was contemplating if it would be possible to drive and puke at the same time because I really, truly did not think I was going to have time to pull over.  But I took a deep breath, puffed my cheeks out like a blowfish, got ahold of myself, pulled to the side of the road, and dry-heaved for five minutes into an empty grocery bag.


And THEN, I got to work (and this next part could be a little too much information for you, so maybe stop reading now if you don't want to know, though really, this whole post could be filed under TMI, so whatever), and I started to burp like CRAZY!  What the hell, kale!?!?  Do ALL vegetables do this to people!?  Seriously!  This is why vegetables suck, and nobody should eat them ever!!!

I will end this post with nothing but a big, long, sad, exasperated, poor-me, "SIGH"!!!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I'll admit - this post doesn't paint me in the best light.

Sometimes (OK, fine, lots of times, WHATEVER), I say really stupid things.  I documented a few recent conversations, for your reading pleasure.  I wish these were made-up.  Unfortunately, they are not.  Please enjoy.  And know that I really am a somewhat intelligent person.  OK.  With that, here we go...

After seeing a movie with a friend where Jessica Alba works with penguins, I came home to Shawn and said, "Did you know that penguins are SMALL????"

Shawn: "Yeah, what are you talking about?"

Me: "Penguins are LITTLE!!!  Like, sort of knee-high!!!"

Shawn: "...Yes, Jamie.  They're birds."

Then, I kind of think he was afraid to, but he asked me how big I thought penguins were.  And the answer (which I am NOT proud of, by the way), is that I always thought penguins were human-sized.  IT'S NOT MY FAULT.  I have only ever seen penguins on like, the Discovery Channel or dumb kids' movies, and there are NEVER any humans around to compare them to, so I truly was surprised when Jessica Alba was surrounded by all these little midget penguins in this movie.  I honestly thought they were some kind of breed of dwarf penguins or something.  This was a couple years ago and to this day I have never been allowed to forget the fact that I thought penguins were the size of a grown-up person.  Shawn also informed me during that conversation that penguins can't actually tap dance, like they do in "Happy Feet."  I think he thought he was being funny.  I just thought he was being mean.


A couple months ago, we were all driving towards Hope, BC, which is very lush and green all the time.

AJ: "Where did all these trees come from?"

Shawn: "What do you mean?"

AJ: "Well, you know, there are so many.  How did they get there?"

This is the part where I should have just shoved more Pringles and Sour Patch Kids into my mouth, instead of opening it to speak.  But no.  I brilliantly say:

"Hey, that's a good question actually.  How DID all those trees get there?  I mean, that's an awful lot of trees!  Like, they are EVERYWHERE, people are super hard at work, or that is some kind of fancy planting machine!"

Shawn doesn't say anything at first, he just takes his eyes off the road long enough to stare at me like he can't quite believe what just came out of my mouth.  Then:

Shawn: "Oh, honey.  You DO know how trees work, don't you???"

Me: "Uh.  Yes??????"

Shawn: "OK, how?"

Me: "Um, well.  They get planted."

Shawn: "By who?"

Me: "Um.  Tree planters??? Or machines??"  *

Shawn is now regretting the decision he made, all those years ago, to knock up someone - TWICE - who doesn't even understand how trees work.

And then, my sweet little (jerk) of a son says:

"MOM!  The seeds fall OFF the trees and RE-PLANT!!  Sometimes the seeds stick to ANIMALS and then when the animal moves, they fall off and get planted!  OR, they fall off of PEOPLE and get planted!!!"


I guess it's just one of many more situations to come, where my kids get to prove that they are significantly smarter than I am.


Shawn: "Hey, did you see the whole thing about Britney Spears** and the Mars Rover?"

Me: "What?  Mars Rover?"

Shawn: "Yeah."

Me: "What the hell are you talking about?"

Shawn: "Well, I guess Britney tweeted something about the Mars Rover..."

Me (interrupting): "What is a Mars Rover?"

Shawn (blinking uncomprehendingly): "....are you being serious right now?"

Me: "Well.  Yes?"

Shawn: "OH MY GOD.  WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU.  The Mars Rover!!  The robot they put on Mars to take pictures?!?!  Ringing any bells?  It's KIND OF been a big news story lately?"

Me:  "Well I've never heard of such a thing.  How did they even do that?  It sounds like a hoax to me."

Shawn: "Holy shit.  NO, Jamie.  It's not a hoax.  I'll keep it simple for you.  They launched it into Space, and it landed on Mars.  And now it's there to take pictures."

Me: "THAT IS SO BOGUS.  And who's 'they???'  Whatever.  As if 'they' can launch a robot into Space and have it land EXACTLY on Mars.  No way."

Shawn: "JAMIE.  Yes.  It happened.  It's done.  That's what rocket scientists are for."

Me: "Yeah, OK, like Angry Birds.  Just LAUNCH it into Space, and ooooh looky there, it hits right where you want it to, ELEVENTY BILLION MILES AWAY.  Whatevs."

Shawn (his eyes are rolling, he's wishing he never even started this stupid conversation, and he's once again wondering WHY he chose to reproduce with this dummy): "Yes, dear.  It's exactly like Angry Birds.  And this whole crazy shenanigan was planned and executed by the human-sized penguins and the men who planted ALL THE GODDAMN TREES BETWEEN KAMLOOPS AND VANCOUVER.  It's pretty much like a remote control car, this silly 'Mars Rover' business.  In fact, I think they had garden gnomes at Master Control..."

I think he might be making that last part up.

*If I may, I'd like to just defend myself by saying that once I thought about it for a minute, it did occur to me that trees can self-seed.  I JUST DON'T DO WELL UNDER PRESSURE, OK!?!!?

**I am a die-hard-forever Britney Spears fan.  Oh, yes I am.  I can admit it proudly and without shame.  I love her.  I even made Shawn go to her concert with me.  She can shave her head and walk around with her lady-junk exposed and sleep with weirdos all she wants, I will still love her forever and I KNOW if we ever met in real life we would totally be besties.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Kootenay Lovin'.

We just returned from a trip to the Kootenays.  It was super awesome.  We stayed with friends at a mobile home resort-park-type-thing on Kootenay Lake, and even thought the lake was FRICKIN' cold, it was still so fun.  The kids didn't give a crap that the water was -20 (OK, give or take a few degrees, whatever), they just hopped right in and played on the beach for hours.  We grown-ups watched, and drank beer, and ate all sorts of awesome junky food, and played cards, and read, and just kicked back.  It was SUCH a good time.

Now, as you may know, the West Kootenay is mine and Shawn's old stompin' grounds.  I lived in Castlegar for 7 years, Shawn for 5.  We moved to Kamloops six years ago this November, but we haven't been back to the area in a really long time.  And let me tell you, it was a TRIP being back there.  I was actually shocked at how many memories instantly came flooding back.  The winding two-lane highway between Kelowna and Rock Creek that I drove more times than I can count.  The delicious deli sandwiches at the Rock Creek General Store that are so good, Shawn and I used to starve ourselves for the entire day when we knew we were heading to Kamloops, just so we could eat a bunch of them.  Heading through Greenwood, the "smallest city in BC", and stopping at the Copper Eagle bakery, which has the most ridiculously delicious baked goods.  Then came Grand Forks, and past the cemetery where my Baba is buried; and then beautiful, warm Christina Lake.  And the minute we started the descent from the summit of the good ol' Blueberry Paulson, with all the Albertans and the truckers and the old people that drive 50 km/hr on that highway then somehow manage to speed up to 130 when they hit a passing lane so you can't even get around them, I was a hit by a wave of nostalgia that, frankly, completely threw me.  I was not expecting to feel such warmth towards this little town that I couldn't wait to leave six years ago.

When we made the decision to leave the Kootenays, a lot of factors contributed to our choice.  Most importantly, with two small kids, we needed to be closer to family.  Also, neither of us were interested in raising our kids in a small town - we wanted them to be able to have lots of choices when it came to schools, and activities, and friends.  Shawn grew up in Calgary, and I lived in Vancouver for a couple of years, and we knew for certain that we did not want to be in a large city.  Small-ish without being teeny-tiny, lots of choices, beautiful climate, and family - Kamloops fit the bill perfectly, and I can honestly say that every single day for the last 6 years I have been thankful we made the decision to come here.

So you know what was totally weird??

I found myself checking out real estate in Castlegar, and wanting to go back!!!

Shawn told me I'd have to go with my new husband, but whatever.  I can deal with him later.  He's pretty easy to trick.

Even Mackenzie was all like, "hey, let's move here for a year!  Let's just try it!"  And I thought it was funny that out of all the cities and towns we've taken our kids to, this one really seemed to resonate with her.  I don't know if it's because she genuinely liked it, or because she knew that I was feeling so drawn to it, but either way, she has definitely never said anything before about living anywhere else.

I've thought a lot about why I felt the way I did when we rolled in to town, and really, it boils down to this: I "grew up" in Castlegar.  Yeah, I was raised in Kamloops, and yeah, I went to school in Vancouver, but Castlegar?  THAT is the place where shit got real.

I started my very first real job, in my chosen field of broadcasting.

I started paying my own way through life - no more sponging off mom and dad (I still remember the first time I went to the local Safeway and bought groceries with my OWN money.)

I started renting a place, all by myself.  I lived alone, and I paid the bills myself.  And yeah - I had to learn to budget!

I met Shawn.  That went well, so...

We got married.

We bought our first house (a tiny little bungalow on 7th Avenue that we paid a whopping $100,000 for, and just about passed out signing the mortgage papers because it was SOOOOOO MUCH MONEY!!!!)

We (actually, I) had our kids.

We made grown-up decisions, all by ourselves.

And all of that, and so much more, is enough to make me see the huge amount of importance that that little area of the world holds for me.  It is very weird to contemplate how different my life would be now, had I not spent seven years of my life in Castlegar.  I know we'll never leave where we are now; when it comes down to it, we are truly happy here.  But at the same time, rolling through a city that you didn't even realize holds so much meaning in your life, after 5 years away, is a very cool experience.

So, much love to you, West Kootenay area of BC.  It certainly won't be another 5 years before our next visit.

Friday, August 10, 2012

"5 Things Friday" goes to the dentist.

I had to go to the dentist yesterday.

Normally, I actually like going to the dentist.  I like having my teeth cleaned, and getting to just lay there for an hour, half-asleep and drooling in this fancy reclining chair, while the hygenist chats away and I don't even have to make conversation back.  Then I get to leave, feeling rather rested, with bright shiny teeth and a brand-new toothbrush and pack of dental floss that I got for FREE!  Dentists, for the most part, are pretty OK in my world.

Yesterday, however, was different.  Yesterday, I had to get a filling.

We've talked before about what a wimp I am, and I wish I were exaggerating, but unfortunately, I'm not.

Here are five reasons why I'm sure my dentist never wants to see me ever again:

1.  I WAS WORSE THAN A CHILD.  I told her the minute I sat in the chair, "I don't like needles."  She was like, OK, no biggie, we'll start numbing your mouth with this topical cream right now and let it sit for a bit.  She started that process, then LEFT ME ALL ALONE IN THE CHAIR FOR 15 MINUTES.  So, naturally, I spent those 15 minutes freaking the F out.  I could literally feel my anxiety bubbling up, and I tried to push it down, but it was taking over and I was, truth be told, absolutely mentally losing it.  I tried to keep it all in my head and not show it on my face, because, you know, I'm a GROWN-UP and all, but the minute she walked back in to the room, I started to cry.  Yes.  I CRIED.  She hadn't even said anything yet, but I took one look at her, and cried like a four-year-old.  I was blubbering like a fool, snot bubbles and all.  It was humiliating.  Then...

2.  I HYPERVENTILATED.  Yes.  I sure did.  She started the needle, and I started breathing very loud and very fast until she finally stopped the needle and said, listen, you freakshow, settle the hell down, you're embarrassing yourself and scaring all the children in this office with your ridiculous sobbing, stop being such a goddamn baby.  (OK, fine, maybe she didn't say all that out loud.  But she said it with her eyes.  I know what she was thinking!)

3.  I VIOLATED HER STUFFY.  She asked if I wanted to hold something, and I nodded frantically.  So, she handed me a little green stuffed froggie.  I asked her if it was laced with a tranquilizer, or maybe something I could snort that would knock me out.  She just stared at me for a minute, then started up again with that blasted needle.  So, I held that stupid frog like it was my lifeline, for an hour and a half, and then realized when it was all over that I had the stupid thing practically wedged between my boobs, thanks to the position I had folded my arms into during one of my freakouts.  Poor Froggie.  I was very hot, and very sweaty thanks to the nerves, and he just saw too much that day.

4.  I QUESTIONED HER ABILITY.  About halfway through, I asked her if she was sure she was doing it right.  I started babbling, with my mouth half-frozen, about a bad dentist I once had who screwed up while giving me a filling and I ended up needing a root canal and I really don't want that to happen ever again because THAT was not even a tiny bit fun, so please, please Dentist Lady, please do this filling right, because if I have to have another root canal I. WILL. DIE.

5.  I MADE A RIDICULOUS EXIT.  The minute she pulled off that awful rubber dental dam and said, "you're done!", I didn't say, "oh, great, thank you," like any normal grown woman would.  No, instead, I dropped the little green boob-froggie and said, "OH MY GOD, I REALLY NEED TO GO PEE!"  Then I bolted from the chair and out of the office, leaving her and the hygenist, totally flabbergasted, looking on.

Just for the record, my dentist is awesome.  I'm sure she was behind schedule the entire day thanks to me, and she was very patient and kind and understanding through all of my drama.  Thanks, Dr. N.  I'm sure we both hope that I won't need any more fillings, like, EVER again.

Oh, and you might want to throw Froggie through the washing machine.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

(No) Iron Woman.

My face has been a totally angry raging crack whore since the Spring.  It's super annoying.  I'm almost 34 years old, for God's sake, and this shit has been breaking out like I'm 14, seriously, I feel like if it weren't for the wrinkles and the minivan and the giant mom-purse filled with goldfish crackers and McDonalds toys, I'd be getting carded at the liquor store because of it.

It wasn't clearing up no matter what I did, so when I finally couldn't stand it anymore, I headed over to my doctor to find out what the hell is going on.  He sent me for some blood work, and it turns out I am "severely anemic."

Hmmmm.  Would it be weird to admit that I kind of like having a disease???  Yeah, I know it's not a real disease, and I had absolutely no symptoms besides the acne to indicate that anything was out of whack, but really, minor details.  I've never had anything wrong with me that had a 'name' before.  So then I was like, "oh Shawn, I really need you to rub my back, I'm severely anemic, you know."  Or, "I know I totally cut that guy off in traffic, but it's not my fault, it's the anemia taking over."  Or, "what do you mean you're going golfing today!?  HOW could you leave your poor, SEVERELY ANEMIC wife behind for FIVE WHOLE HOURS?!?!?!"  Or, "excuse me, ma'am, I know this has been a very long lineup, but I'm severely anemic, I'd really appreciate it if you'd let me go the bathroom ahead of you??"

I'll let you imagine how long this routine lasted.

Yeah.  Like 20 minutes.  Turns out people don't have a lot of sympathy for those of us who are severely anemic.


Anyway, the doctor was like, "listen lady, if you don't get some iron into your system lickety-split, you're going to need shots in your ass twice a month to get your levels up."  And you may remember how I feel about THAT type of thing, so I marched myself to a drugstore and hooked me up with some daily multi-vitamins, because if you think for one second that I am ever going to eat liver and spinach, you are off your goddamn rocker.  THIS is the part where I remind you how hard my diet sucks.  I mean, I love it, but really, it's hardly what one would call "balanced".  Not many people can eat the shit I eat and still be normal functioning human beings.  I actually secretly pride myself on my cast-iron stomach.  I can eat anything, and I do not get sick.  Fat, maybe, but never sick.

So, imagine my surprise when I took one of those innocent-looking multi-vitamins, and immediately proceeded to hightail it to the bathroom and violently retch my brains out.


But, visions of needles in my ass and trying to choke down a slab of liver were still dancing in my head, so I dusted myself off and powered through.  I continued to take them, and I think I'm finally beating the vitamins.  I can take them without feeling queasy now.

I do hope the acne decides to piss off as a result.

But I still want to keep my disease!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Writer's block.

Remember that time I was all, "hey, I'm gonna start a blog!"  And then I did it, and I posted a few times, and lots of people told me they enjoyed it, and then I'd post again, and I'd be so happy I'd written something, and people would be like "OMG I totally read your blog and I agree with you/disagree with you/think you're funny/think you're a lunatic", etc, and it was all just well and fun?

Yeah.  Me neither.  That was a long time ago.

I've had some big-time writers block lately!

There have been so many things I've wanted to write about over the past few weeks.

I started 50 Shades of Grey.  I wanted to blog about the fact that I absolutely hate it.  I HATE IT.  It is so horribly written.  Did this book even have an editor?!?  I hate the storyline.  I think Ana is a shit character.  I think the sex is awful, because I hate the dominant/submissive thing.  And for the LOVE of GOD, E.L. James, choose some new ways to describe something!!!  How many times can Ana possibly 'bite her lip'?  She'd better be careful, or it's going to turn into an infected bloody mess when she chews right through that thing.  I don't understand the appeal of this book in any way, shape or form. Period.

My daughter turned 8.  I wanted to do a special post about her.  I sat down to write it, and ... NOTHING.  I had nothing.  So, here I am now, almost three weeks later, saying HAPPY BIRTHDAY, my sweet girl.  I love you to forever, I can't believe you've only been in my life for 8 years, and having you, quite simply, just makes my life better.  Watching you grow is nothing short of amazing and I can't believe how grown-up and independent you are becoming.  You are a beautiful, smart, determined, sensitive little girl; you are so sweet and so loving to your family and your friends; and I know you are going to carry all of those traits, and so many more, into all of your journeys that lie ahead.  I love the child you are now, and I look so forward to watching you evolve into the young adult you will (much too soon) become.

We just went on vacation for a week.  Before we left, I wanted to write about family vacations.  About the time we went camping when I was about 8 and I fell out of a tent trailer while I was sleeping and STAYED ASLEEP, while my mom held my legs and my dad pulled me out from under the canvas part that wraps around the bottom of the trailer.  Or the time we went to my aunt and uncle's cabin in the winter and we were playing in the snow and all of a sudden about 65 billion tons of snow came ripping off the A-frame roof of the cabin and buried my brother and me up to our chests.  Or, the trip to West Edmonton Mall when I was in Grade 6 and I bought this super awesome can of hairspray that made my super awesome mall-bangs stand straight up off my head (I was ALL KINDS of cool, don't ever let anyone tell you any different!)  And then we got older, and the trips moved to Las Vegas and Phoenix and California, and how much fun we had, and how I barfed on every plane ride, and how one time when I was about 15 I stood up the minute the plane hit the ground and literally shoved an old woman out of my way just so I could be the first one to get off of that giant flying metal death trap; and how family vacations are such a mixture of fun and excitement and craziness and anticipation and memories.

So, yeah.  I wanted to write about these things, and more.  But for some reason the words weren't coming.  Hopefully, they're back.  I promise not to be a shit blogger anymore and will update more regularly.

Thanks for your patience.

Especially you, L. ;)