Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Why I deactivated my FB account. By Working From Home Today.

I blame President's Choice. I came across their brand of Kalamata olives and green olives stuffed with garlic and in this veritable olive wasteland, where the search is always on for the new "it will do," PC brand olives will certainly do. In fact, all things PC brand have made me happy lately. So what does a girl do when she finds a brand she appreciates? She 'likes' it on Facebook. And then she reads the comments. And then she gets riled by the idiots going off about boycotting PC because they sponsor Top Chef, which recently served horse meat and we all know that horses are distinctly different from any other animal on the planet because they are pets and companion animals and "they're sooo pretty!!!" And because the girl is in Sociology 210, she gets all sociological about it and tries to have a debate with said idiots about how do we pick and choose what animals get to die for the sake of our palates?

(the girl was me, in case it isn't clear)

What set me off especially was when one commenter finally wrote, "Working, please try to focus and don't try to speak for the good of humanity." After my head exploded and I picked the bits and pieces off the floor (it took awhile because some of my brain bits were stuck to cheerios and dog hair), I wrote one of those carefully crafted replies designed to make her look like the rabid dog in the face of my innocent, civilized debate. I decided to leave it at that. Except I couldn't. I went to bed thinking about it. I woke up thinking about it. I thought about it all day, when I really should have been listening to a Stats lecture. So why couldn't I let it go? A few preliminary conclusions:
  • I'm tired of being in fight mode on Facebook. I'm tired of always having an opinion when I'm not even sure my opinion is all that well thought out.
  • I am always sharing some article on Facebook. I barely even read them. I click, scan, "share." This is completely irresponsible, particularly when it comes to health articles, given my new future profession.
  • I am always checking Facebook. God forbid I have two minutes of brain idleness.
But worse, the realization that there is a constant stream of noise pouring into my head from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed. I'm on Facebook. Or I'm turning on the radio, a podcast, Google Reader, a TV show, texting, e-reader book, audiobook, recorded class lecture or, on occasion, a real book. I could not pinpoint a single moment of quiet at any part of my day. In fact, just 45 minutes ago when I realized I forgot my iPod at home and would have to do the walk between schools with just the thoughts in my head, I actually panicked a little. That is pathetic.

But even more horrible, "just wait while mommy finishes typing up the cute thing you just did on FB. Hang on just a bit longer, gotta reply to this crucial comment... Oh, just onnnne moooore minute, someone posted this link.... See the funny video? Watch the funny video! Please hang on, honey. Just one more minute." Too busy sharing links about being a good mother to bother being any sort of a good mother.

Since "abandon ship," I've had a physical urge to check Facebook no less than 20 times a day, probably a lot more, which is telling. I punch it into my url bar before I'm even thinking. I miss being a part of the conversation but what I have to ask is, what conversation was I really a part of? What was I even contributing? How many days, hours, years of... what? I can't even really say improved friendships; we still never see each other. Definitely no sort of creative accomplishment, either.

So begins my experiment. What will happen now that I've bought back some time for my brain? Imagine that. Time just to be... bored. Bored in the small, enclosed space of my actual life.

Meanwhile, this says it all so much more eloquently than I do (in fact, I probably should have lead with it and skipped the rest). (via Schmutzie)

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Marital Conversations

WORKING: I have two quizzes tomorrow! Two!
TREV: Oh that sucks.
WORKING: It's totally unfair the way they want us to prepare so much.
TREV: Yeah, why won't they just let you walk in and be nurses already?

* * *

TREV: (from the kitchen) So you want that ham soup for supper?
WORKING: (from the dining room) Yeah, I defrosted some. It's in the fridge.
TREV: You mean this stuff here in the plastic container?
TREV: That's not ham soup.
WORKING: What is it, then?
TREV: I don't know. Something really, really old, probably.
WORKING: Oh. Then I guess throw it out?
TREV: But it kind of smells okay...
WORKING: Wanna give it a go?
TREV: Sure. Ooh, it has lentils! I'll make basmati.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Marital Conversations

WORKING: I had a dream I went to the wrong class. I guess it's not that weird since it actually happens pretty much every week.
TREV: Yeah, your dreams are more like reminders.

* * *

Mac puts my headband on his head, upside down so it sits like a crown.
TREV: You look like a prince. Like Hamlet. A sad little Dane.

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Marital Conversations

WORKING: (sings) I am a paleontologist! That's who I am! That's who I--
TREV: Oh god, you're not changing your major, are you? Cuz I don't think I can handle anymore and you're only half done as it is (holds onto the counter for support).
WORKING: uh...?
TREV: I'm sorry, did I say that out loud? I meant to keep that shoved deep down in my heart attack place.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Oh! Hello there!

Whoops! Did I forget to post? My apologies. So let's catch up:

- I did pass that Anatomy final after all. I got a C+. Certainly not stellar, but healthy enough to stride boldly forward into my sparkly future as a Year Two Student of Nursing. And now that the pressure's off, I'm actually improving my grasp of the subject as I insert catheters and IV's and apply bandages. So not to worry; I'm sure I'm at least a B- by now.

- Our basement is framed. We are mere months away from getting a much needed secondary source of income which is great because, frankly, I'm costing us a lot. It was probably not a great time to spend a butt load on new windows for the entire house, but we had to spend the money now or lose the EnerGuide rebate. Plus our windows were from 1946. Plus many of the panes were broken. It was either get new windows or put Mac to bed in his snowsuit.

- Unfortunately the new windows are ugly. It's a long story and I won't go into too much detail except to say that after the house cleaning fiasco, the daycare fiasco, and now the window fiasco, I remove myself from all future hiring decisions. I clearly suck at it.

- Oh, I guess I didn't tell you about the daycare fiasco, either? Mac attended three different daycares in as many weeks; the original "bad" home-based daycare, an interim home-based daycare, and the current daycare. It got to the point that we'd stop by a friends' house for coffee and he would start to panic because he thought we were dropping him off at yet another one. I absentmindedly kissed him as we were leaving our friends' house and sent him into hysterics. We have since been accepted into a government-run daycare and they seem to like Mac so he's not moving again. (knock on wood)

- He goes part time. Between Trevor and I it's rare that he has to go for a full day. I could probably use more study time but he is so super cool right now. He is such a determined, spirited, funny 15 month-old and we've already noticed how bloody fast this is all going by. We both just want to be with him as much as possible before he doesn't want to (or need to) hang out with us.

- That said, he can also be a tantrum-throwing, screeching, crying, whining little monster of a 15 month-old. Nice to hand him over to daycare on some of those days. I think playing with other kids helps. Not pushing through molars and eye teeth at the same time would also help.

- School is... well, I am in my mid-thirties. Many of my fellow students were born in the early nineties. Let's put it this way: I heard one girl had a meltdown because large parts of our first clinical experience had to do with mens' genitals. She'd never seen any before.

- Life is just... happening. It's fast, it's slow, there isn't nearly enough sleep or exercise and still too much food. But I feel content. I do wish we had blinds; Mac insists on the full reveal when he nurses, the stubborn little bugger.

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Last Assignment

I have three long-answer questions to finish on the last assignment of my Anatomy / Physiology course. And I'm procrastinating. It's maybe two hours of work and I've been avoiding it for a week and a half, ever since I wrote the final. This whole course represents one of the biggest disappointments of my entire academic career. You'd think I'd want to polish off these last three questions and be done with it, but for some reason I just can't.

I remember when I first opened the textbook, now over a year ago. I was in the last two months of my pregnancy and I remember thinking that maybe I should get cracking on the material, do a little speed learning before the baby came. Then the lazy side of me kicked in. I opted for napping instead of Anatomy. After all, I had my entire mat. leave to worry about Anatomy. I mean, it's not like I had anything else to do. And a kid goes down at, like, 7PM, right? Plenty of time!!

Things I did not consider:
  • c-section recovery
  • postpartum depression
  • the mind-numbing side effects of Effexor
  • breast feeding hell
  • a baby who took a year to learn how to sleep
  • chicken pox, teething, accidental burns, immunization side effects
  • six other rather demanding classes, including clinicals and labs
  • illness, exhaustion, home renovations, dog surgeries, cat injuries, family visits, Christmas, birthdays, house keeping, yard cleaning, the million and one little tasks of daily life and, oh yeah, full-time parenting.

In the end, I simply didn't give this course the attention it required. If I do pass, and I probably won't know for a few more weeks, it'll be by the skin of my teeth. This is not the kind of student I ever wanted to be, but upon reflection it's likely the only kind of student I could be.


Meanwhile, this is the final question:

7. Describe

a. The factors responsible for promoting lactation

b. The mechanisms for the cessation of lactation when a mother weans her baby.

I think it's fitting, don't you?

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010


We had some friends over today and the kids played in the blow-up kiddie pool that Mac got for his birthday from his aunties. He's decided he loves it. Adores it. He shrieked and hollered and threw himself around like a crazy person. He also attempted to drown himself several times, slipping face-up under the water with a wide-eyed look made up of part shock, part panic and part wonder. Every single time that I snagged him and hauled him up by an arm or a leg, he would emerge dripping and choking, almost puking, but seemingly unaffected and not all that afraid.

Trev and I went to see the movie "Inception" tonight, all about dream states. At certain parts of the movie all I could think about is what would be my own nightmare, a snapshot of Mac slipping under the water, just beyond the reach of my fingers....

The poor kid may never be allowed near water again because of his mother's overactive imagination.


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Monday, July 19, 2010

Marital Conversations

WORKING: (cramming for Anatomy pre-final quiz) You know what section I'm going to skip?
TREV: What?
WORKING: Sexual reproduction. I think we covered it pretty extensively last year. I'll focus on kidney function instead.
TREV: Yeah. (grumbles) Plus, you use your kidneys a lot more. A lot more.

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Dear Mac: One Year Old

You are bruised from head to toe. You can't seem to walk for falling. Growth spurt? Although, I tripped and re-broke my baby toe today, dammit. So it's probably genetical.

You are still my 'spirited' child. And by that I mean you throw fits when you don't get exactly what you want. When you're done with something, you throw it. You spend a lot of your day trying to break things. While there was a film crew in our house, we spent the morning at Auntie Sonja and Uncle Giles' and after only an hour you'd almost destroyed the place. While I was cleaning up a collectible they brought all the way back from China, and that you destroyed in two seconds by spiking it like a football, you went after their speakers. When I went to reconnect the speakers, you dialed someone on their phone. When I was scrambling to hang up the phone, you'd locked their TV on some weird display that I couldn't get rid of.

Then we went for a very long walk. Sometimes it helps to strap you down.

But oh, you are adorable. The way you laugh. The way you already make (non-verbal) jokes. The way you still get so excited for nursies and the way you bear-hug the dog. I love hearing the thump-thump-thump of your feet as you follow your dad around the house in the morning, and your exclamations of, 'dih-dih-dih!!!' when you're really on a tear. I like how you enjoy water in all of its forms, even if it's once again forming a sopping river from the dog dish across the kitchen, in which you will inevitably slip before I can get to you.

I am fascinated by your quirks. Like how you didn't cry when you got stung by a bee, but then screamed in total panic when I blew my nose. How you can sleep through a jackhammer and fireworks, but wake up when I so much as step on a squeaky floorboard. How you make a million different combinations of sounds that seem so ripe for language, but then just smile politely while you staunchly refuse to repeat a single word or sign.

I love how your two favourite things are being naked and going outside, and how the combination of both is your idea of sheer bliss. I love how much you adore your cousin and how you stand at the top of the basement stairs yelling for Grandpa. I love how you'd rather do everything yourself. I love how you run when I chase you, lurching and crashing, eyes wide, laughing madly. I love how you belly crawl backwards for a good two feet before you finally hit the stairs to go down. I love how cute you are in your blue summer hat.

In short, I adore you. A year ago I knew I loved you, but it's taken almost the whole year to truly enjoy you, and I'm so glad we get to spend more time together. I'm going to try my damnedest to make it count, even when we have rip-roaring fights. I promise there'll always be cuddles in the end, for as long as you'll let me.


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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Marital Conversations

TREV: Good post.
WORKING: Our life in a nutshell.
TREV: It's a little overwhelming.
WORKING: I figure in 10 years, we'll be able to read that post and remember exactly where we were, what it was like.
TREV: In 10 years I'll be 46. Mac will be 10, doing 10 year-old things.
WORKING: Why do you look so upset? You're probably picturing things all mundane. But you never know. You could finally be living in that bachelor pad in Toronto you've always wanted....
TREV: True.
WORKING: ... seeing Mac twice a year....
TREV: Wait, why do you assume you'd get custody?
WORKING: Why do you assume I wouldn't?
TREV: (points to blog)
TREV: What?
WORKING: You would use my blog against me in a court of law?!
TREV: I could....
WORKING: That's it, I'm taking it down.
TREV: Why, are you planning on divorcing me?
WORKING: No! No. NO. We three, we belong together.
TREV: That's what I think.
TREV: ...
WORKING: It's like we're in the shit together.
TREV: No one gets out alive.

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