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Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Daily Chai Plans an Ice Cream Heist

Today's chai was...*hangs head* I'm sorry. I really am. I feel like I'm failing you all when I don't report on a real latte. I try to make it interesting, but sometimes it's just so hard. Never fear though! Tuesday should prove chai-ful and happy, I promise.

The kids and I have been on the go all week, so today we took it easy. Woke up late, lay around, sat in the lovely sun and read, while the girls played games together etc. I told Kate I was sorry that I didn't spend the day entertaining her, but sometimes it's good to have a quiet day. She agreed. It can't all be African Lion Safaris and beaches, you know! I dropped her off at a friend's for the evening and Anna and I went to McDonald's for dinner since Kate now steadfastly refuses to eat there. Good girl, I can't really blame her. It makes me laugh because she said it's so unhealthy, she just can't eat it anymore, but the kid would live on toast, freezies, chocolate, popcorn and milk if I let her.  But McDonald's? Forget it. Too unhealthy.

As we ordered Anna's McNugget Meal, she looked at me with those pretty blue eyes and said, "Nuggets are tasty, right Mum?" "Yes, Anna." "But they aren't healthy, are they?" "No, Anna, it's a treat." Our server snickered behind her cash register.

On the way home from getting Kate at her friend's house, I saw a Chapman's truck and told the kids we should hijack it.

"Why, mum?"

"Um, because it's full of ice cream, duh."

"Ohhhhh, okay, let's do it!"

"All right. We'll just tie the driver up and open the back and sit there and eat all the ice cream. And when the cops find us, we'll just be like, 'Ahhhhhh ice cream, so full, can't run away.'"

Giggles from the back seat, "OR, we could quick get in, steal like, three tubs of ice cream, and then run out and back to our car before they even know what's happening. Hurry, Mum, catch up to the truck!"

With our plans for the great ice cream heist solidified, Anna said we could eat all the ice cream because she's allergic. She isn't, she just doesn't really like ice cream. I told her that I'm not sure she belongs to me. Kate added that she really only likes the waffle cones and not the ice cream. I told her that I'm not sure she belongs to me. I told them I always have room for ice cream, even after eating everything available at a buffet, there is always room. I figure it just kind of runs into the cracks of food in my stomach. Then I told them how I ate that vanilla peanut butter cup ice cream for dinner one night when I didn't have them.

"Mom! You are in so much trouble! I liked THAT ice cream. I can't believe you ate it without me,  you need to be punished."

"Meh. You weren't around. It needed to be eaten."

"Mum, can I have your phone for a sec? Thanks. HA! That's your punishment, I took your phone away! Sucker!"

Lovely girl.

Also, the other day at the movies, I decided to save some money and buy snacks at the grocery store to smuggle into the theatre in my backpack. As I was paying for the tickets, Anna looked up at the cashier with the biggest, shit-eatingist grin on her face I ever seen on anyone, anywhere and said, "We don't need to buy candy!" "Kate! Take your sister over to the arcade while I finish getting our tickets, please." That little punk almost ratted me out. Never trust a four year-old to be subtle.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Daily Chai Doesn't Remember Where She Works

Today's philosophical in nature. While I would really like to have a chai latte, I feel that it is morally irresponsible to buy one. If the latte loves me, I shouldn't have to buy it, it should come willingly and gladly to me of its own free will. So I'm trying to be a grown up and live with the loss of this delicious, delectable drink. Dealing with disappointment is part of growing up. Of course, I struggle with this decision daily and will probably change my mind tomorrow, but that's all part of my questionable charm. And if you think I'm talking about something else, you're probably right.

I've now been on vacation long enough that work seems like a dream and that I have always been off, living a fresh adventure with my children each day. I'm reminded of the two delightful summers I had with my children when Anna was a baby. I was so lucky to have that time, even if it meant we were a little broke for six months or so. It's almost worth having another baby to have another year off again.


No, it's not. I hated being pregnant and the two children I have, lovely and spunky as they are, are quite enough for me. I should have stopped at one, but what can you do. Seriously, can they not hear the other kid talking? Why do they both come up to me at the same time, asking me separate questions and then demanding loudly that I answer them this very minute. What? One person at a time, please!

I made a funny observation when I was married. My ex is an only child and I noticed that when he and I had dinner with his parents, one person talked at a time. He would be telling his dad a story and I, not really interested in talking about cars (for example), would start a conversation with his mom about something else. Invariably, my ex would stop talking, look at me with some irritation because of my interruption and wait for me to finish before resuming his story to his dad. I didn't know where I had made the mistake. He was talking to his dad, clearly talking to him about something that was of no interest to his mother, so I struck up a conversation with her about, I don't know, horses or something. But he acted as though I was rude and interrupting him. It took me years to figure out that as an only child, there were only ever three people at his dinner table. So when one person talked, the other two listened. There were no side conversations going on, no chaotic confabulation amongst them, no loud debates about the word ubiquitous, no simultaneous conversations. It was one person talking and two people listening. Period. If one of the listeners spoke, they were interrupting the original speaker and it was rude.

I, on the other hand, have a brother, which meant that two conversations could and did happen at my dinner table every night. Sure, there were many times when one person talked and the three of us listened, but as the meal progressed and we had each told our stories of the day, there would often be a conversation between my mom and brother and a different one between my dad and I and all the variations in between (mostly my dad talking over to my mum while my brother and I squabbled). Very rarely was one person the centre of all the attention. This is how I grew up, this was normal.

The only reason I'm telling you this is because I don't have anything else to write about and I find it interesting how the number of children in a family can dictate that what is socially acceptable and normal in one family is considered rude in another family. Only the secret here is that it's not rude, it's just different. However, my ex never really gave up being irritated when I started side-conversations with whichever parent he was not directly engaged with so I gave up and sat mute at the table, waiting for my turn to speak. Just kidding. I could never be mute.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Daily Chai Goes to the Fricking Lion Safari

Today's chai....who am I kidding? Y'all know I haven't been getting a chai since I've been on vacation. Unless a Starbucks springs into being in my basement, I'm just not going to go get one. Or...maybe I will. Wild and crazy gal that I am, I like to keep you on your toes. WHAT WILL I DO NEXT??? I know this is a question you are all asking.

Well, what I did next was take the kids to the African Lion Safari. When Kate was younger, she called it the Fricking Lion Safari, as do countless other children, I'm sure. Regardless of its unoriginality, she thought that was hysterical. The kids were so excited to go to the zoo and even more excited about the splash pad on the grounds. Sigh. I wish they understood that there is a free splash pad in Waterloo and that today was about animals. However, since it was blazingly hot today and we were all sweating and red-faced after the elephant show, even I was grateful to cool down in the water. Even in pee-filled, over-chlorinated water with a thousand screaming children running around parentless.

We loved the elephant ride the best and Kate said she wants to live in India and have an elephant instead of a car. She was so enthusiastic about this dream that even the handler looked up and smiled at her excitement. Kate wanted to know if people in India have cars or if they just ride elephants everywhere. Yes Kate, they have cars. Yes Kate, they still use elephants the way we still use horses, but they have cars. Millions of them. She was slightly disappointed about that.

As always, I was struck by the conservationist attitude of the staff. It shouldn't surprise me, these people work with animals because they love them, but today I appreciated anew the efforts to educate the public about endangered species and raise awareness about the plight of so many amazing animals. While we watched the parrot demonstration, the speaker was talking about the rare Blue-throated macaw, of which only about 130 mating pairs survive in the wild. To put it in perspective, she said, "There are probably more of you in the audience than there are Blue-throated macaws in the wild." And I honestly think she was near tears when she said it, her voice shook with that "trying not to cry" tremor and she had to swallow and pause before continuing.  It occurred to me that she makes this speech five times a day and still gets emotional about it, which speaks volumes about how much these people care about their work. Zoos have been a hot topic for debate over the years as animal activists rail against keeping wild animals in captivity and I agree when the animals are mistreated or abused. And the cynic in me thinks places like the African Lion Safari are, when it all comes down to it, just another business to make money, but the optimist in me wants to believe that they really care about the conservation of endangered species.

And no, I did not take Veronica on safari, I was not putting her beautiful shiny redness to baboon risk. When I saw one of those pink bummed apes sitting on the driver's mirror of someone else's vehicle, I knew I'd made the right decision to take the tour bus.


Monday, July 27, 2015

The Daily Chai is Going Through Chai Withdrawal

Just for shits and giggles,
here is a picture of me when I was three(ish).
Today's chai was but a dream. I have very little faith in that drink right now and it's killing me.

My iPhone has been telling me every morning that I'm a shit person because my iCloud backup has not been performed due to lack of storage. It tells me EVERY MORNING and I can almost hear it screaming, "YOUR PHONE HAS NOT BEEN BACKED UP IN TWELVE WEEKS YOU STUPID SHIT, ARE YOU TRYING TO TEMPT FATE HERE?? JUST DELETE SOME PHOTOS FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, I'M DYING HERE!" Since I have had one phone stolen and bought countless others in endless upgrading, I've had to rely on my backups to restore my new phones, sometimes unexpectedly, so I'm not even kidding about tempting fate. To appease Bridget (bless her microchip little heart, I know she just wants what's best for me) I just spent an hour uploading all my photos to my computer and deleting everything on my phone that I don't need. I'm squirming in my seat because I can see all my photos on my computer, but I know ONE WRONG MOVE and suddenly everything is going to disappear. I just know it. Also, what happens when I really want to send a photo from a couple months ago to someone because it's vitally important to share it and I go to look and IT ISN'T ON MY BLOODY PHONE ANYMORE?

#Firstworldproblems. GFY, I know it. Also, I know I really shouldn't be living in the past and holding onto all those photos on my mobile device is probably bad for my mental health, but I can't help it. I hate deleting things. I feel like I'm deleting some secret truth when I remove photos from my phone. I probably should get some help, but hey, then I wouldn't be all dark and twisty inside and then what would I write about?

Kate had minor surgery today to remove two baby molars to help with the crowding in her mouth from her adult teeth coming in. That kid handled it like a champ, like a complete fucking BOSS. Kids at school had scared her by saying having teeth pulled hurt a ton.  I asked her as we were pulling into the driveway at home if they were right and she replied, "No. It didn't hurt, it still doesn't hurt. The needle thingy in my hand hurt and the thing they put around my arm [blood pressure cuff] hurt the most. My mouth doesn't hurt at all." I know I shouldn't laugh, but she had two teeth pulled out by their roots and she said the blood pressure cuff hurt the most. Awesome.

The rest of the day was quiet, just watching tv (kids) and reading (me). Kate was bored to tears by four o'clock but she was supposed to take it easy all day, so rest she did. Tomorrow we will take it easy too and go see Ant-man which I'm hoping is at least amusing as it will be the last movie in our going-to-see-every-movie-we-wanted marathon this week. Thankfully, I like comic book movies, so it might not be so torturous (on a side note, I literally just spelled that torgerous and then wondered why it looked so wrong).

I just ate two cold hotdogs. Midnight snack. Bring on the nightmares!


Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Daily Chai Spends Another Day at the Beach

Today's chai...pfft. I told you, don't believe a word those lattes say, liars, all of them. Just when you're expecting a chai latte to show up at your door, there is always some excuse not to be there.

Just kidding, I'm on vacation and I'm too lazy to make a special trip to Starbucks for some silly, foamy drink. Fuck it.

Had a quiet morning with the girls and then headed to Trout Lake in Innerkip with the girls and spent the rest of the day there. Sadly, the water was a bit too chilly for me, but the kids happily spent the day in the water anyway and Kate even braved the diving board several times. And just to top it all off, we watched as a completely delectable youth did a handstand on the highest diving board and then executed a perfect dive from that heady position. My god, if only I were 15 years younger. What is it with me and my taste in much younger men? Trying to reclaim my youth, I suppose!

That same boy and his friends called over to me as I was packing up my car and asked me how old did they look. My gaze swept over the lot of them and I smiled sardonically, "Not old enough to drink, boys!" Groans of despair all around. They were probably 20, but who knows, when you get to my age, anyone under 25 looks like a child.

As we were leaving, Kate said this was the best day so far. I love that kid. Every day is the best day so far to her and I hope she lives the rest of her life like that.

After dinner, we went to see Pixels and lord help me if I have to watch one more ridiculous movie for the sake of my kids. Does anyone want to go to a grown up movie with me? I remember thinking with great glee after Kate was born that I would now have an excuse to go to all the great kids' movies. Approximately 86 terrible movies later, with maybe seven really solidly good films mixed in and I've realized that reality is always crap compared to fantasy, which I have learned to my detriment many times in the last few months. If you have a choice, stick to the fantasy folks.

In case you are curious, the seven movies that I liked were: Frozen (ruined now), Big Hero Six, Despicable Me, Brave, Wall-E, How to Train Your Dragon and Up. This list does not include any of the Harry Potter movies because, of course, I did not go to them for my children's sake, but purely for my own enjoyment, so they don't count as movies I was forced to see to ensure my children's life-long happiness or to try to get them to promise never to ask for anything again for as long as they lived if I would just take them to see some dumb movie. So far, that promise has been for shit. I just flap my hand and say, "Yeah, yeah, yeah." when I hear it now.

The kids are in bed now, sleeping together as is their preference and one in which I gladly indulge if they promise to actually sleep after ten minutes of chatter. I hope they have many fond memories of sleepovers with each other and that they tell all their secrets to each other and love each other until the end of time. Anna was sad because no one sleeps with her and Kate gets the dog and Kate was sad because she has dental surgery tomorrow to remove two baby teeth that are causing crowding with her adult teeth. I'm glad they have each other for comfort and that they like each other enough to give it.

Today was a good parenting day!


Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Daily Chai Explains the Meaning of Sexual Assault

Today's chai was just a fantasy that went up in smoke and ashes when I woke up this morning. Those chai lattes can be fickle creatures. Don't believe a word they say.

I love that Kate knows how to read. She is not a voracious reader like I am (Can you believe that I read the novel "It" when I was 10? One year older than she is now. I remember reading it just to spite this kid in my class who had bragged about reading this 1000 page book and damned if I was going to let that fucker beat me at anything. I learned my lesson, that book scarred me for life.), but she reads everything, signs on the street, papers left out on the table, magazines in their racks. Not so much for picking up a book and just sitting for hours to read, but she has a curious mind and likes to gather as much information about her surroundings as possible. Yesterday, a headline caught her eye and she said, "Crosby goes to jail? What? Isn't he the hockey player? Why is he going to jail? My friends really like him a lot."

"I don't know Kate, I didn't hear about him being in trouble. Wait, was there a picture? Was the man black?"


"Oh, not Crosby babe, Cosby, he's in a lot of trouble and has been charged with several crimes."

We were at Walmart and she'd seen the Enquirer's headline about Bill Cosby going to jail. Glad she picks up on the quality mags. Anyway, she asked me what had he done wrong and I hesitated because she is at a delicate age where she's growing boobs and shaving her legs, but is still afraid of the dark and wants her mummy. How honest are you with your kid when he or she asks you a loaded question in such innocence?

"He's been (or being) charged with drugging and then sexually assaulting several women."

"What's sexual assault?"

"It's when someone touches you in a sexual way when you don't want them to, it's against the law."

"So what do you mean he drugged them?"

"He allegedly gave them a drug that made them sleepy or something and then did sexual things to them without asking permission."

"But how did they know he did that if they were sleeping when it happened?"

"Sometimes when something like that happens to you, when you wake up, you feel different and you feel like something is wrong. You can go to the doctor and they examine you and they can sometimes tell if someone has done something like that to you. Or maybe the drug he gave them made them sleepy, but they still knew what was happening. I don't really know all the details Kate."

"Oh. Wow, that's interesting. Okay, so what do you mean when you say sexual?"

Jesus Christ.

"You know what sex is Kate, right? We've talked about that?"

"Ew, yes, we have, please do not explain it to me again."

"Okay, well, that's what I mean about sexual. He touched them, well he alleged touched them, he is being charged, but it will have to go to trial and he will have a chance to defend himself and they will have to prove that he did it before we can say that he did. That's how the system works. But anyway, he allegedly touched their bodies in private places that he shouldn't have touched without their consent. I'll give you an example. I know it seems strange, but one day you will want a boy to kiss you and if you want him to and he does, that is okay. If you don't want him to kiss you and he kisses you anyway, even after you told him no, that is sexual assault. The reason this is making headlines is because Bill Cosby is a comedian who starred in a TV show for eight years when I was a kid. It was the most popular show on TV at the time and he was the dad on the show. He played a doctor with five kids and wife who was a lawyer. Everyone loved Bill Cosby, so people are even more upset that he supposedly did this to women. The other problem with it is that most of these women trusted him or worked for him or hoped to work for him and he took advantage of them. There are a lot of aspects of this case that have people pretty upset. Sexual assault is one of the worst things you can do to another person, but for someone like him to have done such a terrible thing is shocking to everyone."

At this point I paused and figured, I might as well have that conversation with her. You know, the "No one should ever touch you without your consent" conversation. It's such an ugly thing to say to a child, to make them aware that someone might touch her inappropriately, someone might shame her, end her childhood, destroy her life, but if I never warn her and something happens, will she know how to handle the situation? Will she know it's okay for her to say no? Will she come to me and tell me what happened, or will she be scared that it was her fault?

"Kate, I have something important to say to you. You know it's not okay for anyone, ever, to touch you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, right?"

"Yeah, I guess. Like, what do you mean?"

"I mean in a sexual way, on the private parts of your body. Again, it might seem crazy, but one day you are going to want someone to touch you that way, but right now, you are too young and no one should be touching you like that. And when you're older and you are curious and you want to kiss boys, it's still not okay for anyone to touch you if you don't want them to. It's especially not okay for a grown-up to touch you. It is against the law for a grown-up to touch a child in a sexual way and it is never, ever your fault if that happens. I don't really want to say this to you, because I don't want to scare you, but a lot of times it's someone you know and someone you trust and that's what makes it so much worse because sometimes that makes you feel like you did something wrong instead of them. But you are a little kid and if something like that did happen, there is no way it's your fault. Even if you were walking around naked, that is not an invitation to touch you. It's never okay without you saying it's okay. Also, trust your instincts, if you meet someone and your immediate impression is that he is a douchebag, he probably is, no matter how much he sweet talks you later. If your first impression is that he's a good person, you're probably right about that too."

"Alright, I get it. And if that ever does happens I will tell you."

"That's good Kate. I'm glad you would trust me with that. I would never be mad at you or blame you for anything that happened, I would help you figure out what we do next. But I want to warn you that you may not want to come to me because you might feel embarrassed or ashamed and sad or scared and you might not want to talk about it. Please come to me anyway."

"Why wouldn't I want to talk about it? And how do you know how you would feel after? How do you know I might be too embarrassed or scared or sad?"

Damn, that kid is astute.

"Uh, well, I read a lot. I know how different people react to different traumas. Those are just a few of the complicated emotions you might have about something like this."

"Okay, got it. Can we get popcorn?"

And with that casual question, the conversation was over. I've always tried to be honest with Kate, but sometimes it's hard to know when it's time (if ever) to have certain conversations with our kids. However, given the statistics below, I think this is an important conversation to have with them at some point. We need to give them support and information before anything happens so that maybe they can avoid being put into that position. Kate may be a little less innocent today than she was yesterday with that conversation, but honestly, if it means that she can protect herself, it's worth that lost innocence.

Sexual Assault Statistics in Canada*

    Of every 100 incidents of sexual assault, only 6 are reported to the police
    1 - 2% of "date rape" sexual assaults are reported to the police
    1 in 4 North American women will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime
    11% of women have physical injury resulting for sexual assault
    Only 2 - 4% of all sexual assaults reported are false reports
    60% of sexual abuse/assault victims are under the age of 17
    over 80% of sex crime victims are women
    80% of sexual assault incidents occur in the home
    17% of girls under 16 have experienced some form of incest
    83% of disabled women will be sexual assaulted during their lifetime
    15% of sexual assault victims are boys under 16
    half of all sexual offenders are married or in long term relationships
    57% of aboriginal women have been sexually abused
    1/5th of all sexual assaults involve a weapon of some sort
    80% of assailants are friends and family of the victim

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Daily Chai is on Vacation!

Today's chai was tasty and spicy, just the way I like it.

Dammit Dammit Dammit. I have literally been thinking all evening about writing this post and what I would say and how I would word it and I was looking forward to writing it. Now I finally sit in front of my computer, lunches made for the beach tomorrow, animals fed and watered and the girls put to bed and my mind is completely blank about what I was going to write. Like, I literally could not tell you if my entry was going to be hysterically funny or deadly serious. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME?

I have a lot on my mind, primarily two things, but I'm not willing to write about them here. I know that's a tease and little unfair, but I can't post about them. It does, however, explain why, right at this moment, I cannot for the life of me remember what this blog post was supposed to be about. Do you know how excruciating it is to have an idea hidden in your mind, locked away so to speak? I can feel it peeking out just a little bit, like a bit of leg is showing, but just the sexy part that teases you and makes you think a hot woman is on the other side of that door. It could be that lovely vixen, Jessica Rabbit, but what comes out is a gorilla with a shaved leg. I'm not even that lucky, I still don't know what the rest of the body that belongs to that leg looks like.


I got my girls back today. Anna, sweet Anna, is completely oblivious. Obviously happy to see me and about equally happy to see the dog. She wants a good long cuddle with me when I have a second to sit down, but affectionately pats me on the cheek and kisses me all over my face with great enthusiasm when I pick her still little body up to give her a hug. Still deliciously little, but I think she's grown four inches since I saw her last week.

Kate, on the other hand, looks a little sad and immediately grabs me in a death grip and doesn't let go. I stroke her hair and murmur how much I've missed her and I'm so happy she is back with me.  I rest my cheek on her head because I could use a good long hug too. I ask her if she's okay and she begins to cry, shakes her head. No, she is not okay, she is distraught, but she doesn't say why, so I continue to stand in the kitchen with my arms around her. Anna wanders around looking at things, noting my computer on the table, which was not here last week, but upstairs in my room. I stand there with my oldest girl and think how hard this must be for her each week, to leave one parent behind to be able to spend time with the other parent. My mother guilt creeps back in, ugly and oozing into my brain and my heart. Anna walks over, looks at Kate with concern and with a knowing, wise expression on her little baby face, she says, "Kate's upset because Grandpa's knee is all swelled up and he doesn't know why and they think it will never get better. He hates going to the doctor. Yup, that's why Kate's crying mummy."

"Kate, my darling, don't be upset. He will go to the doctor and I'm sure the doctor will figure out why it keeps swelling up. Remember, Nan got a whole entire bionic knee last summer and she's almost brand new!"

Kate nods, sniffling, but doesn't loosen her grip. I know she has missed me terribly, but she can be...a little indulgent in her emotions if you let her. I've learned long ago that if I change the subject, she snaps out of it pretty quick. Not wanting to make light of her sadness, but also wanting to get the dishwasher empty (why are mothers' attentions always so divided?), I gently tell her that she should tell me about her day and whether she went swimming so that I can finish up my chores and we can decide what we will do for the rest of the night. She sniffs a couple more times, nods and then enthusiastically tells me about how she can do a front summersault and a backward summersault in the water now and that last week she couldn't reach the thing she'd thrown to the bottom of the pool, but today she kept trying until she reached it. Anna added that Kate is able to float on her back, isn't that cool, mummy? Kate rolls her eyes with boredom and says, "Yeah Anna, that is so super hard!" "Kate, she thinks it's awesome and that you are amazing for being to do that. Don't make fun of her." Kate looks at me for a sec, "You're right. Thanks Anna, I'll teach you the next time we go swimming."

And with that, I've remembered what I was going to write about and it's too damn late to start it. Must remember to start taking notes while out and about and something strikes me as worth writing about. Apparently I'm getting senile in my old age.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Daily Chai is Suffering From Sushi Coma

Today's chai was lovely.

I'm late getting this in and I'll make it short, brutal and sweet, you see if I don't! I went for dinner today with an old friend and we ate sushi until our eyes bulged. I have a sushi baby bump that I'm quite proud of and I even think it's a little lope-sided, just like a real baby bump. To all my sushi-loving friends, I did you proud tonight.

The drawback is that I'm now sluggishly suffering from sushi coma and can't form a coherent thought in my head.

uh...and then I went...uh

and....I think there might have been....a dog?

Where was I?

 Oh right, sushi. It was good.

Moving on. I had this random thought today and decided I could expand on it and make it a funny blog post, but do you think I can fucking remember what it was? No. I cannot. Balls. Literally sitting here with my face in my hands staring blankly at my screen. Nothing.

Moving on. Have you ever had an enormous crush on someone that you can't act on? It sucks. Just saying.

Moving on. I'm getting my girlies back tomorrow night! I'm going to take notes about all the ridiculous things they say and write about it here. They drive me crazy half the time, but the other half, they have me laughing hysterically. Plus, I love exploiting them for my own personal gain, it's what good mothering is all about.

There you have have it. Short (much less lengthy than my usual literary vomit), brutal (really nothing of value said) and sweet (I mentioned my kids).


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Daily Chai Has Recovered - Fear Not!

Today's chai was delicious. So delicious I had another one in the afternoon and felt sick. Talk about too much of a good thing.

I feel much better today and much more capable of handling the world. A chat with a friend in the morning helped and seeing my bestie in the afternoon helped even more. Another friend came to my desk this morning and gave me a box of Kleenex and I was, frankly, quite touched that she a) read my blog post and b) cared enough to bring me my very own box of Kleenex so I don't need to run to the bathroom next month when this monstrous day hits again. Ended the day with a long chat on the phone with a great friend who just "gets" it, so all in all, I'm back to my normal self. Plus, I got my hair cut, so you know, I feel like a million bucks.  Don't knock the simple pleasures. If hormones can make me ridiculously irrational, than a haircut can make me feel like a superhero. There is logic in there somewhere. My hairstylist is one of my oldest, dearest friends and we barely scratched the surface today, but it was a great visit. All in all, I got by with a little help from my friends today. Thank goodness I was in a renewed emotional state to be able to laugh at my folly from yesterday and accept the warmth real friendship brings.

I also had a hilarious conversation with my daughters over the phone (instead of FaceTime). Here are some excerpts from those conversations:

"Kate, I love you more than anyone else in the world, except Anna, because she's younger and therefore cuter than you."


"Well, come on, you can be pretty snotty and mean to me and we fight a lot. She's very sweet and nice to me and thinks I'm perfect. What's not to love? You're difficult."

"Okay, that's true. But think about what a brat she can be now. Just imagine what she will be like when she's my age. Watch out then!"

"True. Dammit"

"Ha ha!"

"Kate have you said the eff word out loud yet?"

"Mom! No! I'm not you! I don't want to say the eff word out loud!"

"Okay good, just checking. Have you said it in your head?"

"MOM! No! Okay, yeah, I did one time because I stubbed my toe and it really hurt. Even then I just sort of thought 'effffffffffff' in my head and not the whole word."

"Okay, I can accept that. Put Anna on the phone."

"Hi Mummy! Hi! was your day today? Did you have a nice day? Are you having a nice night? I hanged out with Rachel today! I told Michelle that I wanted the red duck and then I sleeped and it was fun. How was your day? I miss you. I love you."

"I had a great day today and I miss you too. I love you more than the moon and the stars and the earth combined. And wow, Anna, you sound like you are very grown up. Did you grow at all since I saw you last?"

"I think I did, yes. Okay, here's Kate."

"Kate, are you being nice to your sister? Is she being nice to you? Are you being good girls?"

"Mom! Yes. I didn't see her all day so we're getting along fine. It's only when we spend too much time together that I don't like her very much. But that's pretty normal to get on each other's nerves, isn't it, when we spend so much time together?"

"Yes, I would think so. Look at you and me when we spend too much time together, we fight too. But I'm glad you are getting along right now and just think, only two more days until I see you guys and what do you want to do?"

"I want to watch a movie and eat popcorn."

"Oh jeez girl, you always want to do that! Let's go to the beach too!"

"Well, yeah, duh, of course we are going to the beach."

"Oh Kate, don't even, don't even start with me, you little punk!"

"3...2...1....oh yeah, I did! I started it, it's on Mom!"

And so on and so on. I'm a lucky, lucky human being to have those kids in my life and those friends and everything else that I have. No more wallowing for me!


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Daily Chai Frankly Has a Bad Day

Today's chai was good blah blah blah.

Well, I'm telling myself they can't all be good days, but this is getting ridiculous. I'm not sure if it was all the self-reflection I did over the weekend, or if it's just because I have PMS, but I had a shitty day today. Too many thoughts in my head and none of them good or positive or uplifting in anyway. Ploughed through my workday like a girl on a mission, so I guess that is one positive aspect to being in a terrible mood.

I've never really been that attuned to my body, but it occurred to me several months ago that about one day a month, I just can't get it under control. The slightest thing makes me cry, whether it's my toast burning in the morning, my latte not being available or an irritating email that I just don't feel like dealing with because it's just too damn hard to think of a solution. After that, everything is downhill. I think about all the things wrong in my life, where I went wrong, what I could have done better, how I've been a terrible a person and why I've failed miserably at life. If I'm really lucky, those crushing thoughts are accompanied by tears at my desk and I rush to the bathroom, hoping no one will see me in that humiliating "crying at work" state. The rush to the bathroom (and therefore chance of being caught) is partially due to the fact that I ran out of Kleenex over three months ago and have never bothered to replace the box. If I need to blow my nose, I steal a tissue from one person at a time to be fair and even. That solution does not work if one is trying to avoid looking people in the eye. Further to all this humiliation and self-loathing, I have uncomfortable conversations with people I love that make me think our friendship is over forever (in some cases, those conversations are the beginning of the end) and then I go home and I sulk by smoking way too many cigarettes, having a few too many drinks and not doing much else, although there is currently so much unpacking to get done. When this monthly day arrives, I don't give a shit about anything but wallowing and I wallow like a champ. It's my one triumph in the day.

It took me a long time to figure out what my problem is. Yes, I'm dealing with a life changing event, yes, my world has changed forever and yes, I have a right to lose my shit every once in a while. The problem is, most of the time, I'm pretty happy. I have challenges, but we all do. Most of my problems are quite petty compared to real life and I'm well aware of that and thank the powers that be fairly often that I have it relatively easily. So these days, the ones where I hate myself and everyone around me and I hate the current circumstances in which I find myself and I hate, hate, hate so vehemently that people look at me strangely and crack jokes that they better not get in a my way, because I'm obviously on a rampage, I hate these days. They kick me in the face with the force of a black Shire and I'm left reeling, a woman on the edge, you might say.

So where do they come from? These terrible, no good, very bad days? I blame hormones. I hate to type it, I really do, because I've always maintained that blaming hormones is a cop out, a way to blame chemistry for acting like an irrational bitch once a month. But those chemicals are pretty strong little forces of nature and they won't be ignored. As I've learned more over the years about mental illness and how our internal chemicals affect our emotions and our thought processes, I've come to respect hormones and how they can make a perfectly normal, rational person into a raging lunatic overnight. Slight chemical imbalance oozing out over here, nothing to worry about. Sometimes I feel like I should have one of those floor signs near me when this hits, "Bio-hazard waste, caution".

That's not to say the things I'm upset about aren't real, that they aren't important or valid. It's just that I'm incapable on certain days of dealing with them in a rational, healthy way. Most of the time I can keep it in check and get on with my day. I keep my sadness, my worries, my anger at bay, they are just emotional reactions to situations I will mull over and deal with, but not the end of the world. Today, however, I let those emotions consume me like fire.

Tonight I will take comfort in the wise words of Scarlett O'Hara, "Tomorrow is another day."


Monday, July 20, 2015

The Daily Chai is Healing

Today's chai was served with a smile, what more could a girl ask for? A million dollars, fame, love, success, well-behaved children, a dog who feeds himself, inspiration to write the next great Canadian novel...yup, a girl could ask for a lot more, but I'll take the smile.

Have I told you I have this huge, king-sized bed? I love it, I negotiated it in the separation agreement, but I find myself only using half of it. I have not gravitated towards the middle yet, I still sleep on the left side. Closest to the door, of course, for those middle of the night, small person interruptions. I can't figure this out. It might be because I'm basically a lazy person and it makes it easier to only make one side of the bed. Or maybe it just feels too damn weird to sleep on the other side of the bed. I'm just going to leave you with that to mull over.

Some of you may have read the other day that I sliced my toe open in Georgian Bay. It's healing nicely although I banged it on a chair today in a training session and almost dropped the eff-bomb loudly. I contained my outburst, but it was hard, I'm not going to lie. There are times that I'm pretty sure that I can't go/do anything without injury to myself. I suppose as long as my injuries remain non-fatal, I'm good to keep having adventures. Until one isn't non-fatal, then I'll be done.

I talked to my girls over FaceTime tonight. As usual, it was painful. The unsteady camera-work (and that is being generous) made me nauseated and the girls started fighting over who got to talk to me. When we hung up, I got not one, but two call-backs because Anna pre-maturely hit the end button. I love those girls, I just do not love FaceTiming with anyone to be honest. Am I the only one who finds it awkward? Remember when we were kids and we dreamed about video phones? Like, how cool would it be to be able to see the person while you were talking miles and miles away? Apparently, it's not really that cool.

Okay, so these random thoughts are, by their very nature, non-sequential, but it's been a month, it can't all be Shakespeare and I need time to hit my groove again. I'm working on my next pet peeve list, so stay tuned!


Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Daily Chai is Home, Safe and Sound

Today's Chai was a frappucchino because it was damn hot out there today!

I was going to spend some time at Wasaga Beach today, but when I got there, parking was $10 a day and I was rethinking spending the day in the sand with my toe injury and my dwindling bandage supply. Skipped the beach and headed to the mall instead to bikini shop. Very dispiriting. Partially because it's apparently the end of summer and there are no sizes left that fit me, a difficult task at the best of times. Furthermore, did you know that fall fashion is out already? Now, I love fall fashion, with the deep, rich colours and the comfy sweaters, but I've barely experienced summer yet! Fall also means school and I haven't found before and after school care yet for my minions and I'm starting to feel stressed about that fact. It'll all work out, right? I can keep up my reputation as a fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants kind of girl? Fuck.

My drive home was uneventful but pretty glorious because of my car. I love that car. Having just put 600 kilometres on her, I feel like I really know her and I can use the "L" word and she won't get all jittery and want to run away from me. 

I'm tired. Sorry. 

I got to pick up my bestie for her first ride and she agrees that Veronica is pretty sweet. We hit the mall again, where I had more luck and then we ate ourselves into a sushi coma at our favourite sushi restaurant. Pretty much the perfect end to a perfect weekend. Love bestie time!

Currently addicted to Suits, so I gotta go.


Back in the land of Starbucks. Thank Fuck

This is my car's selfie

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Daily Chai Kicks It Solo

Today's chai was non-existent as there are no Starbucks in Midland (yes, I checked my app for locations). I imagined it would have been very tasty.

What a day! Woke up around 9:30 thinking, "Shit, I'm going to miss breakfast if I don't get my ass in gear!" Stumbled downstairs with bushy hair and half in my pajamas, half in real clothes and grabbed a lot of eggs and some fruit for the road. I took my plate outside and ate at a picnic bench while reading Still Alice. What a haunting, eloquent book about what it means to lose your life to Alzheimer's Disease.

I was a little worried about getting a boat to Beausoleil Island since it was Aquapalooza and all, but after a beauty drive to Honey Harbour, I found the Daytripper still had room to take me over at noon and it was only $15! Win! Georgian Bay is absolutely gorgeous and the twenty minute trip to the island was breathtaking as usual. I wish I could come here every weekend and I briefly wondered how I could get a job driving the ferry to the island every other weekend. You know, with all my boating experience from when I was 12. I decided the cost of my lodgings each weekend would outweigh any monetary gain from being a ferry driver. Sad. However, the very best thing I heard all day was, "You have to be on the return boat at 4:30 p.m. If you aren't present, we have to file a missing person's report. It's for your own safety. People lie to me all the time because they just want a ride to island and then they stay with their friends in a cabin."

The island was as I remembered from two years ago* except the water was much higher and there was really no beach to swim from. I wandered over to the south end of the island to Aquapalooza which was basically bands playing on a barge with lots of boats moored nearby. The water is shallow and people waded out to the barge and partied while the bands played. I started walking out with some people I met while I was trying to make it to some promising rocky land to set up for the day. One guy was immediately stopped by the patrolling police for having beer in a sippy cup. No open alcohol at this concert folks! I ignored the cops since I didn't have any alcohol on me and wandered off to my chosen rocks with my purple bag over my head thinking that this was not well planned and damn my short legs! Georgian Bay is very rocky and I stubbed my toe as I waded ashore, but I made it to dry land without falling on the slippery rocks. Of course, the minute I sat down, I realized I hadn't stubbed my toe, I had cut it quite deeply and I now have a two inch gash along my big toe. Good times and typical Megan to obtain an injury first thing. Thank goodness I'm a mom and I carry a first aid kit!

The rest of the afternoon was spent on my new rocky spot in the sun, alternately reading and just chilling out. Absolutely the best day ever with the live bands playing and the beautiful, hot sun beaming down on me. I couldn't have asked for a better day to relax and soak up the heat.

I ate the bad food for dinner. It was amazing, I'm not going to lie. As I stare at my bloated tummy, I only sort of regret it, but since it included bacon, I'm quickly getting over that.

When my ex and I split last fall, a friend told me that if I could regularly spend thirty minutes alone, without distractions like television, my phone or my computer and still be content with myself, then I was truly happy with my life and possibly ready to move on from my relationship. She was concerned for me because I had packed my social calendar with activities that were clearly meant to distract me from my problems and also designed to keep me from any sort self-reflection and therefore personal growth. She wanted me to take advantage of my new found single-ness to figure out what I really wanted and, probably more importantly, what I truly need. Today I realized that I can spend a whole day with myself and be content and only mildly uncomfortable with strangers' questions about why I was by myself. I did finally cave at the end of the day and wearily agreed with a park ranger that I was staying with friends back in Midland. I think that was more to do with personal safety than any sort of longing to be with people. I realized early in the day that it was probably not a good idea to tell strange people that I was all alone and basically defenceless and no one would know I was missing should they choose to take advantage of me. At least I knew I would be reported missing if I wasn't on that damn boat by 4:30. Not an overly comforting thought if you are actually missing though.

Anyway, it was a great day and I'm planning on spending tomorrow as Wasaga Beach and then home.

Ready for the day with Dr, Pepper, beef jerky, my trusty Batman hat and People magazine. 
Yup. Typical Megan!


*I wrote last night that it was last year that I was here and I realized it was two years ago...time flies to use that tired, old cliche

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Daily Chai is Back

Today's chai was delicious. I was missing my normal morning coffee friend, so the quest to get my morning chai wasn't nearly as fun, but the deliciousness of that chai was a welcome reprieve from the daily grind.

I've been away for awhile and I feel guilty. I challenged myself in February to write every day for a year and I was going at it well until June 23, exactly four months to the day that I started this crazy idea. I feel like I have failed because I stopped writing and every day I told myself, maybe I will post something today. It's like going to the gym, you think positive thoughts about it, but it never happens. Suddenly a month has gone by without a post and my faithful readers are worried about me. Well, at least four of them anyway. To those who have missed my posts, I apologize. Life has been crazy and busy and basically just plain stupid. I will tell you a little secret though, I missed communicating with you every day. I've missed writing.  Sitting here in bed, with my laptop on my crossed legs, feels damn good. Whatever shall I reveal tonight? Probably drivel, but I hope you enjoy it anyway. As always, your kind words, your emails and your thoughts mean more to me than I can express and I appreciate you taking this journey with me. I've been told many times recently that I am too hard on myself so I will forgive myself this month-long hiatus and I hope you will too.

Moving on.

Yesterday, or maybe Wednesday, I decided that I would go away by myself this weekend. I recently bought I new car, whom I've christened Veronica on her first (of many, I hope) road trip. Thanks to a new, but profoundly good friend, for suggesting the name! I think the sassiness of my car, a red 2012 VW Beetle, is described perfectly with that moniker. Y'all know I'm a bit sassy myself, hence the car choice. Having this shiny new toy inspired me to finally take a trip I've wanted to take since I split with my ex. I want to visit the place I spread my dad's ashes last year and I wanted to be by myself to contemplate life, the universe and everything. The answer, my favourite redhead, is 42.

Here's the funny thing about being single and being me. I've always really liked doing things by myself. I shop by myself, I go to movies by myself, I travel by myself and I enjoy it. I really do. I love, I cannot stress this enough, I love being with my people and I love being social and talking and learning new things about my friends, but I immensely enjoy being alone and singing at the top of my lungs and eating junk food in the most sloppy way possible and not worrying what anyone is thinking about my rambling and constant monologue. So. I decided, basically on the spur of the moment and mostly because I just bought a new (to me) car, that I must go on a road trip. Just try and find someone that isn't doing anything this weekend when it's Wednesday. In truth, I didn't even bother to look for someone, I just made a plan. So Friday night, I hopped into that beautiful red car and drove until 10:30 at night when I found a hotel and turned in for the night. This is where you currently find me, in a king sized bed of a suite, the only room left. Not only is a something-palooza happening at Beausoleil Island, but apparently there is a Bass fishing tournament to look forward to as well, yay me, win/win. Hopefully I can still find a boat to take me to the island for the day. I might be making another plan tomorrow, which hopefully you will hear about when I'm done for the day!

So, I've explained my affinity for being alone, but I haven't even told you about everyone else's reaction to it. I got various responses when I told people I was going away for the weekend on my own. My one friend asked me who I was going with and I replied, 'No one, just me." She smiled at me and said, "Come on, you can tell me, who are you going with?" "Honestly, no one, although there is someone I wish could have come, I am on my own!" Several other friends expressed envy that I was going to be by myself for two whole days and that I planned to unplug and not answer messages or go online. The best one though, was the front desk at the hotel when I showed up alone at 10:30 at night with no reservation (Yes, I'm kind of a crazy, fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl). The front desk person asked me how many adults and I said, "One." She asked me why I was visiting and you could tell it was just polite small talk. I told her that I've been wanting a solo weekend for a little while and that I spent many summers here as a kid, so it holds a special place in my heart. I did not add that I (probably illegally) spread my dad's ashes in a provincial park last year and that my plan was to go visit that spot and have a little spiritual commune with him if I get a chance. She then asked me if I had any family or friends here and I replied, cheerily, "Nope! Just on my own!" Now, this is the best part. She was clearly starting to think I was a total loon to travel up here on my own, for no reason, with no friends and no plans to visit any friends. I could tell she was getting desperate to know why I would do this. I almost made up a boyfriend ("My boyfriend is away this weekend, so I just thought I'd do a little trip on my own, he is going to join me later") just to put her at ease, but I couldn't lie. Isn't it funny how we feel we owe complete strangers an explanation? I resisted the urge to tell her anything, make up anything and just left her to think what she wants.

So starts my solo weekend. I leave you with these random thoughts that I had while I drove: