Saturday, November 13, 2010

Never Ending Renos

As I watch my husband head out the door for his weekly trip to Home Depo, I can't help but shake my head. “What?” He asks with a little bit of attitude in his voice. “Nothing. Enjoy yourself,” I call to him. I don't say a word more. It's too risky. I don't want to put any barriers up that might impede him finishing his project.

At the beginning of each home improvement renovation, I make an estimated guess of how many trips to Home Depo this particular project might involve. The average is about 15. This bathroom fan he has been installing over the past 3 months has already needed 6 trips. I wonder if there is a genetic predisposition for not reading instructions, asking for directions and planning events?

Instead of reading the instructions and making a list of all the equipment that will be needed for a particular renovation and making one trip to purchase the various components...each trip comes on an as needed basis. Crawling around in the attic, he needed a breathing mask; The flexible aluminium hose that connects to the roof was forgotten, another trip...and the list goes on.

I wonder whether this ritual weekend trip is really about needing another nail? Is this male ritual the equivalent of girls night out for scrapbooking? Book club? Bingo? Do the weekly Home Depo powwows buoy him up for further work? Or is there some sort of brainwashing music luring these shoppers back to Home Depo for the purchase of a another tool ...another renovation.
What was suppose to be a 2 week bathroom renovation during the summer has turned into a 6 month and counting project. I was scared when he announced his plans to remodel our bathroom. I knew what this could mean. I might need counselling to make it through months without a hot morning shower.

The toilet was the biggest obstacle. It wouldn't come off, and the new one wouldn't fit on. It was one problem after another. Our two kids, age six and four were scared to go down to the basement bathroom on their own. Do you know how many times a four year old has to go to the bathroom during the day? Need I say more? Since having kids, my bladder capacity at night has been significantly reduced. The knowledge of not having a toilet at my disposal put my bladder into overdrive.

My husband refused to call in a plumber. He kept repeating his mantra..he could do this, he just needed more time. After the 3rd month, I'd reached my limit. I was ready for confrontation. Either fix it or forget it – call the darn plumber. But yet again, another trip to Home Depo, a new saw, more advice, the hole in the floor was enlarged and the toilet was installed. Cue the angels “halleluiah.”

I was sceptical, then happily surprised and impressed. I could see the enthusiasm for another project building in his face. His confidence increasing after solving problem after problem. He was becoming a handy-man.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Resuscitating the Exercise Plan

I've decided to dust off the elliptical machine. Vowed to get back to my exercise plan. To date, my plan has been a little sporadic. Nevertheless, I've got to continue. Push on. Plug away at it. Muster the strength to move on. Tali-ho!

It's not that I don't want to exercise, I just don't have time. By the time the kids have bathed, eaten their bed time snack, read their books and been tucked in, I'm falling into bed myself. Then I hear that voice again..."You've got to make time," it whispers into my ear.

Back at work, people all around me seen to be a good influence. The lunchtime runners, the dieters, the hard core marathoners, the body pumpers. I watch them all gather just past the beige cubicle, ready to get fit. Revelling in their exercise induced high. They blather on about how great they feel and where to buy the best salads. I watch them in awe. Where do they get the motivation to run during their lunch hour? Bloody exercisers.

Stewing in my cubicle, the endless sitting feels like pure misery some days. As I stretch my arms and follow the prescribed exercises my employer encourages so that I don't get carpal tunnel, flat bum syndrome, epicondylitis, vision problems, and the dreaded muffin top, I reach for my pumpkin spiced latte and sigh. The most exercise I've had is walking to the printer which is about 25 yards away. When I get there, I'm slightly out of breath. Next week. I'm on it. I don't want to be the type of parent who can't keep up with her kids because I'm tripping over my muffin top.

I've signed up for hot yoga, and I'm even considering boot-camp conditioning. Throw in the occasional power walk and the elliptical machine and there we have it. Skinny jeans, here I come. “What's boot-camp?” my girlfriend asks. “Torture, pure and simple torture that you hate and curse every second for the full duration of the class. Then the blast of endorphins will course through your new svelte body and you somehow manage to talk yourself into returning the following week. Oh Bliss, Oh Joy!” She looks a little scared.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Back To The Grind

Just a short post to catch up with y'all.

Well folks, I'm back to work. I've just finished my second week and somehow, managed to survive. You know your getting old when the most stressful part of your return is figuring out the damn parking garage. And no, I did not go up the down ramp. That was 10 years ago and a completely different situation. Moving on...

I've also pushed my little ones out of the nest this week and into grade 1 & JK. As you can imagine, it has been a busy week. No one warns you how emotionally taxing having kids can be. They really should come with a detailed instruction manual. We've had the tooth fairy pay us a visit, a call from the principal, a lost lunch bag and a few potty accidents.

This post will be short (but sweet). I still have to clean the kitchen and throw in some laundry. (sigh) I'll still be posting every two weeks or so.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I Can't Stop Buying Books

I may have to enter Book-a-holics Anonymous.

I can't stop buying books. It used to be shoes and purses. I was always in pursuit of Purse Nirvana, just the right amount of pockets in the right places... but I've come to realize, in the last few years, I have left these behind. I have moved on...books. My vice.

As project "declutter house" continues, I realize that each room has book bedroom, which seems to be the worst, has books piled on dresser, floor, night table, in closet...My bookshelves are full where to put them? There's the pile of urgent reads, then the semi-urgent pile from the library, the classics pile, the young adult pile...

The Great Glebe Garage Sale draws me in every year for more books. New books, the spine still once, full price paid...I can hardly contain myself.....I just can't understand how someone can sell their books (Sigh).

Then, just down the road, another book sale...a whole bag of used books, and were talking reusable, Olympic size bag, for only $10. I went hog wild.

Then, purchasing gifts for friends via Amazon...well I had to throw in a few for myself, of course to reach the free shipping limit.

And then Stieg Larsson had to go ahead and write 3 great novels. I was able to get "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" at the library. But the problem then became, I was hooked, and had to buy the second book. I have restrained myself and have not yet purchased the third. Breathe.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sam and Andy (Rookie Blue): Sink or Swim

My Girl Crush

I started watching the new TV series Rookie Blue and I'm crushing on Missy Peregrym who plays Andy McNally. Her chemistry with Sam Swarek is sizzling with electricity.

“What do you mean girl crushing?” My husband asked looking a little alarmed. “Well, it's something that happens frequently with women,” I tried explaining, but I got the blank stare.

You meet someone new. They are fantastic. Interesting, animated, full of positive energy. Instantly, you have tons in common. You realize there is a bond. You can't wait to see them again. You feel slightly jealous when they are talking to someone else. Not only are they beautiful and have great teeth, but they are full of life. You are excited to see to them....

No, you are not suddenly switching teams, you have a girl crush.

I showed my hubby the definition according to A girl crush occurs when you (a girl) have feelings of admiration and adoration for another girl, without wanting to shag said girl. It is a nonsexual attraction, usually based on veneration at some level. Feelings of general euphoria, prolonged sense of inspiration, desire for intellectual-intercourse occur.

So hun, don't worry, it's just a girl crush.

Who are you girl crushing on?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Quagmire of Pre-Mid Life

I ponder whether my mid life crisis has arrived a little early. As I watch the local teenagers walk to the neighbourhood high school for their summer program, I feel a sudden pang, aching, a longing to be back at that point in my life. I watch them with awe. They seem to have it all. With their tight little jeans, lean bodies, lustrous hair in their eyes. No responsibilities, except to get good grades and do the dishes every so often.

Driving the kids to summer camp, I sit at the stoplight waiting for it to turn green and watch them with envy. I haven't brushed my hair or my teeth. My clothes are a repeat from yesterday. I've had coffee for breakfast and my knees are aching from a 20 minute bike ride I took last night. As I watch them, I wonder, what teen angst could they possibly have? Maybe which zit cream to buy and whether their g-string is peaking out their low rise skinny jeans. Their lives seem so uncomplicated.

They are not worrying about atypical skin rashes, clogged toilets, instilling healthy eating habits, decluttering the house, getting enough exercise to ward of heart disease, and the other mundane issues that overwhelm us mid-lifers. “Good grief,” as Charlie Brown would say.

Somehow, my son telling me he loves my jelly belly, does nothing for the ego. The other day, a friend called me a skinny little B.x@#$%th. After a moment of shock, I actually felt like crying. Tears of happiness. No one had called me skinny in such a long time. I wanted to jump for joy.

I guess my frosh 15 plus my mommy 10, have now combined to be my new normal. Instead of skinny jeans, I have my camouflage outfits, billowing tops to hide the jelly belly, undergarments that suck in the back fat with good old Lycra strength. It was like getting asked for ID at the Liquor store when it is clear you are way over 19.

Getting older feels synonymous with trying to get your life under control. Because once you have it under control, then you have found an equilibrium. Right? All your problems are suddenly solved, Poof. I'll let you know if this is true when I get there. I'm still trying to clean out the basement.

Stressing out over peanut butter on the banister, the unused elliptical trainer in the basement corner, the unfulfilled life long dreams that haven't yet been accomplished, or the fact that you haven't saved the world from global warming yet all fester inside you. Making your mark on the world and leaving a legacy while at the same time raising kids, nurturing your relationships, and making time for your own needs feels a little daunting.

I guess I still need to come to terms with the fact that I am no longer a spring chicken. In fact, I'm fighting, kicking and screaming. A little uncouth. It is like leaving behind your true identity.

My friends who have passed into their 40's, say it is the best time of their lives. They say this with conviction and this gives me hope that I too will soon accomplish this same sense of contentedness.