Monday, 29 April 2013

Yoga Pants Count as Real Clothes

Well, one basketball tournament down. Seven to go.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of driving from Calgary, Alberta to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
And I wanted to die. Or gouge my eyes out with a soup spoon.

Seriously, the GPS literally said “Turn Left in 493 kms”.

I shit you not. Those were the directions to the closest form of life in the province next door. On a single lane highway for six and a half hours. With nothing to see but farmers fields. I got excited when I saw a tree and almost peed my pants when there was a bump on the road that could pass for a hill. Weeeeeeee! And I saw cows. Jealous???
It was almost like Disneyland.

Next weekend is Lethbridge, Alberta.  Remember last October when I travelled to New York and then Hollywood on back-to-back weekends. This is so almost the same.
No. No it is not.

Needless to say I am more than grateful for my guest blogger Janessa from Getting to the Other Shore for "I Get A Day Off From Writing and Feeling Pressure to be Funny and Get to Laugh at Your Stories and Share Some Blog Love Monday". 

Her post reminds me of me…and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. But it may be a wake-up call.

Janessa is a West Coast born and raised, working, bean counter mom of two little minions, long married wife, avocado addict, wine lover and recent prairie transplant who slices her way through life with an undying sense of humour and a determination to one day figure out how the heck to sell everything and sail around the world (as long as she never encounters bad weather, or pirates, or sharks)

Socialize or Ostracize? What if I never go out again??

Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat….I love, love love, a good gab fest, wine drinkin’,  laugh out loud till you pee your pants, with incredible women type of get-out- of-your- pajamas-for-a-night kind of shin-dig (yes I just said shin-dig).  How many times have I partaken in such an event in the past year? Well, I don’t even need one hand to count….I’m not entirely sure I can go past two fingers actually.
This is why.

I’m lazy. 

No I’m totally serious; when it comes to maintaining friendships and getting out, I am perpetually slothful and negligent.  I come up with a variety of excuses, some quiet legitimate such as “Well I have to clean my toilet tomorrow so…..”  Or “Well, I’d love to but that would mean I’d have to wear pants past 8pm and…….well, meh”

I know, I’m completely lame but come one, somebody out there gets it right?

Sometimes the prospect of having fun sounds, well, not fun; it sounds exhausting and I’ve got enough exhausting going on right now, thank you very much.

I once read this book called something like “Working Mother’s A-Z Guide” and there was a chapter where the author talked about how one day, she was going to wake up and be 60 and have no friends, because every time she was invited out, she was “too tired” or “had to wash her hair,” and I was like, YES! I totally get it!

I constantly play that dangerous game of paper, rock, scissors between having a social life and crawling into bed.  Crawling into bed wins 99.9999% of the time (Social Life doesn’t even put up much of a fight; just keeps throwing the game by always showing up as paper)

Right now my children are on an extended vacation with their grandparents. My number one excuse/commitment is null and void and what did I do my first kid free weekend pray tell?

Well later I did watch some movies on Netflicks whilst drinking wine and eating Cheezies and Kit Kats in bed.

Okay I admit, that made me sound even lamer.

My husband has been trying to encourage me by saying, “Do something irresponsible!” “Go out with the girls and get drunk!”   For starters honey (not that he’s listening) I know like, four people in town, and these are couples so it’s like actually knowing 2 people. Oh wait! I know one more couple…wow, three people. 
Yes, we’re still new to town, so I kind of get a Mulligan (golf-term-used-by-non-golfer).  I’m sure I’ll make friends one day (if I can ever tear myself away from Pinterest and watching Smash online *insert serious eye rolling here*)

Sadly, this is what happens when:
 1) You’re a working mom who doesn’t get to mingle at school drop off and pick up times or get together for yoga classes and book clubs and,
2) (Let’s face it, this is actually the heart of my problem) YOU MAKE NO EFFORT WHATSOEVER TO MEET PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!  

Between work, commuting, making play dough from scratch, putting Band-Aids on boo-boos, intervening to stop the war of the worlds from erupting between the children, paying bills, mopping up apple juice every 30 seconds, emptying litter boxes, trying to figure out what “toro” written on the calendar means, playing the sock match game, shaving the cat, and discovering my life’s purpose…….

When faced with Option A: fall face first on bed and drool till morning, or Option B: make the effort to make a plan that deviates from the no-plan plan, I invariably pick Option A.

But you know what ends up happening if you are forever picking Option A?  When the mood strikes and you suddenly realize GOOD LORD I AM HERMIT AND I NEED TO CONVERSE WITH A LIFE FORM OTHER THAN THE DOG!!!!!!!.................. it might just be too late.

Is there like a help-group for self- proclaimed hermits?
Is there somewhere I can go and stand up in front of a room full of strangers and say,
 “Hello, my name is Jenessa and I haven’t been social in 5 months,”
And then instead of clapping everybody will boo and cry and pat me on the back and hug me and say,
“We understand, we stay home with a great Malbec and to watch Chris Hemsworth movies too it’s okay!”
That would be awesome; that would be a good place to start.

So, on that note, I must take my leave to go Google “Malbec-Drinking-Chris-Hemsworth-Movie-Watching-Antisocial-Support-Groups-For-Working-Mothers-Who-Don’t –Like-Wearing-Pants-Past-8pm”

Like I said above, I was away this weekend and had to interact with grown-ups the entire time. And I had to wear pants. The entire time.

Janessa…I get it. As I type this, I am wearing my jammies. It’s only 4:19pm.

Let’s start an online self help group…that way we never need to get out of our comfy pants and we can drink wine “together” and not worry about driving and I won’t judge you that you are in bed before 9:00pm. And in my books that totally counts as having a social life!!


Monday, 22 April 2013

I Married the Most Amazing Woman in the World

Whatever. Here it is. Dylan's guest post for "I Get A Day Off From Writing and Feeling Pressure to be Funny and Get to Laugh at Your Stories and Share Some Blog Love Monday".

Like I have said before, don't believe everything you read online. Please.

I always wanted to get married.  I just never knew what I was in for.

I have two great role models that made me always want to take the plunge. Thanks Mom and Dad for your example of marriage for over four decades.  Over the years I had one or two girlfriends, but for various reasons it didn’t work out.  When I met Jessica I knew she was the one.  We met in a bar. Not like ‘bumped into each other at a nightclub doing the Harlem Shake met at a bar’. We were both working at the neighbourhood pub.

Truth is, I was bartending and supervising so technically I was her boss. Point for me.

She was a feisty and sarcastic brunette. Perfect!! Unlike the other waitresses who had to face an initiation of bartender ‘assholeness’ upon hire to test their breaking point for tears, Jessica dished it right back. And then some. She scared me a little bit

I charmed her with my handsome green eyes and witty personality. She didn’t stand a chance with my boyish good looks. Stop laughing. I had hair then.

When we started dating I discovered a few things about dear Jessica:
  • She kept two large piles of laundry on her bedroom floor. One pile heading to the wash, the other having made it back from the wash, never to be put away. Her room was a giant clothing obstacle course.
  • Her car was filthy.  Her passenger seat and floor had nothing but garbage, as once she was done with something she just tossed it into the abyss.  Seriously, when riding as a passenger in her car, your knees were up to your chest as you balanced your feet on the mountain of trash and adjusted a Big Mac container from your ass.

So when I knocked her up asked her to marry me, I knew pretty much what I was in for. Or so I thought.  We lived the same way and had so much in common. There was nothing but a whole lotta ‘wins’ in my future. 

Wins: I get to be married. I get to be married to a woman who is laid back and relaxed (messy) just like me. I get to live with a woman and she might get naked at any given time.

Well folks, when they say marriage changes you, it was like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Freaking Hyde.

Here I was moving in with Jessica and things started to look different.  We enjoyed buying a lot of new things to set up our new house and life together.  Then came ‘the rules’ as we entered into our fist year of marital bliss.

Rules you ask?

Do not light the candles. They are decorative only.
Do not use the hand towels in the bathroom. They are decorative only.
Do not use the pillows on the bed or the couch. They are decorative only.
Do not leave the toaster on the counter. The counter is for decorative pieces only.

Ummm. Excuse me?  Decorative? I was confused to say the least. I come from a family of three boys, what the hell is a decorative anything? Where are the dirty laundry piles and messy car you fooled me with you crafty woman?

Let me get this straight. I can’t light a candle in case of emergency, dry my wet hands or face, rest my weary head or make a piece of toast at my convenience?

One can’t help but think Jessica was robbing these objects from their sole purpose of existence?
Poor unused wick wishing for a small spark. Poor towels longing for a drop of moisture to absorb. Poor toaster hiding in shame under the counter. Poor down-filled pillow yearning for a head to cradle into a shared sweet dreamland.

I had married a decorative monster. A monster that actually spent time dusting these unusable items like a crazy person. All while I could only sit back and stare helplessly, with the fear of God I would be punished to the full extent of the ornamental law, dare I think about matches or wet hands.

As time passed I got use to the fact that my dear Jessica had a very type A personality and was very competitive. Turns out I am her polar opposite. Because of her personality I find it easy to enjoy the little things that drive her nuts or will push her into a state of competition. 

My favorite thing is to walk into the house and take off my socks. And leave them strategically placed. Never in the middle of the floor, but always just within sight and slightly inconvenient for a Type A.  Jessica will pick them up and grumble every time and then get very angry.  I am winning the sock game because after 14 years of marriage I am still leaving them around and she is still picking them up. My ‘wins’ used to include a chance of nakedness…now it’s about dirty socks.
I feel so alive.

We used to play ‘Gin rummy’ cards together and while the basic idea of the game is to lay down cards in groups and your opponent plays off the cards for points, I always kept the cards in my hand and then placed them down in one swift move for the win.  This was never about beating Jessica, but more to annoy her.

I know she has told you all about my infamous arm flapping. What you don’t know about is Jessica’s ‘Angry Chicken’. When she gets worked up and talks with her hands; she magically transforms into an angry pecking chicken, squawking about and picking up imaginary bird feed with her hands.
Needless to say we don’t play cards anymore, the Angry Chicken isn’t a very good sport.

Wanna know something super fun to try just to see Jessica squirm? Simply turn one row of the blinds over so it doesn’t match the direction of the rest. Then sit back and time her to see how long it takes her to notice and how long she can try not to fix it.
Same idea for moving a 'decorative' candle out of place.
Her current response record is 1.4 seconds.  Her current 'try not to let it bother me before I go fix it'  time is 2.7 seconds.
But I must warn you; the Angry Chicken is guaranteed to make an appearance during this game. It is not for the faint of heart.

There are times though, that the competition is what makes our relationship stronger. And fun. One example is our rhyming game. Not like hip hop or rap rhyming, that would be cheesy. And we are not that cool anymore. But anytime, anywhere, a simple word at the end of a sentence turns into a race for the gauntlet for who can come up with the next rhyme.  And have it make sense. With no repeats.

Me: Thank you dear.
Jess: Come over here.
Me: Do you want a beer?
Jess: Why are you so near?
Me: To bring you cheer. 

The game ends when the losing opponent cannot come up with word in a timely manner. It’s usually Jessica. Her attempts throughout the day to try and gain back the win via text are cute.

Jess: Now I have a tear.
Me: Stop trying, you are not in the clear.
Jess: Screw you.
Me: Ok! When?

Everyday goes by and I thank my lucky stars that I found Jessica. Although the competitive side in her will say she found me. Either way, our marriage is a giant win.

We counter balance each other very well. If you ever meet us you can tell. So to this I say farewell, from the first and last blog from Dylan Stilwell.
She is an amazing wife, mother and my best friend. Her outer beauty is only surpassed by the inner.  I should buy her diamonds in little blue boxes every day.
(Ok, maybe I wrote that part…and maybe the blog title too)

And by the way Dylan, you used ‘well’ in three out of your four rhymes.
Not so swell.

You lose.

xo J

PS…Next time I pick up your dirty socks, you will not be laughing at your little 'game' when I shove them up your ass.

I win. Cluck. Cluck.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Balls Everywhere

All I can hear is the sound of basketballs dribbling against a hard gymnasium floor. It has become the background music to my life. I hear it at work. I hear it in the car. I hear it in my dreams. I hear it everywhere. It just will not go away.

By no means am I complaining. A while back I wrote about the big Club Basketball tryouts going on for my trolls. It was a wee bit stressful around here to say the least. Please interpret that as you choose. All I can say, is Joe from the Liquor Depot had a lucrative February.

Well, I am pleased and proud to tell you that the girls made the cut. Yeah!!!!

Put your glass down and stop your happy celebration dance.
They did not make the same team.
It was time for them to be apart. It’s good for them personally,  as siblings and as athletes. They are thrilled and we are ever so proud.

This is what I keep telling myself as I look at the next three months of my life!

I am not looking for pity, instead I write this so you understand my world right now. Think of it like a blanket bloggy apology. Or a request for a referral to a psychiatrist who can give me a quick diagnosis from the DSM IV…and some good meds. 
Right now I am treading water to keep my head above just to breath.
And my legs are tired.

Wanna peek at my life? Ok…since you asked.

Monday’s: Troll A Game
                  Troll B Game
Tuesday’s: Troll A Practice
                  Troll B Practice
Wednesday’s: Troll A Dryland Training
                        Troll B Dryland Training
Thursday’s: Troll A Practice
                    Troll B Practice
Saturday’s: Troll A&B Academy Training
Weekend Out of Town Tournament’s: Saskatoon SK, Lethbridge AB, Medicine Hat AB, Spokane USA (Woot! Woot! Shopping) , and Edmonton AB,
Plus the local weekend tournaments in and around Calgary.

Oh wait for it….Quinn made her soccer squad as well. Atta girl my little sporty spice!!

If you have a keen eye you will notice there is no mention of soccer in the above schedule. That’s because Calgary rocks and it’s still snowing, but go ahead and close your eyes as you add two soccer practices, one academy training and at least one soccer game into that lovely week-at-a-glance above.

My house is messy. Like…holy shit messy. The snow is melting and the mud pit that remains in the yard is a frolicking Great Danes paradise. My floors look like a cocktail of a mudslide, dead grass and dog hair. I fear the mountain of laundry is going to collapse, leaving no survivors in the aftermath of the clothing avalanche.  Grocery shopping? Meh…I’m pretty sure half a bottle of ketchup and a jar of pickles are enough to make a wholesome meal with. I think I saw a recipe on Pinterest.

If the media walked in now they would have a freaking hay-day.

So if the media is reading this…don’t judge my kids or my parenting, the mess mostly belongs to me. I’ve relaxed a bit more than I bargained for since ‘The Strike'. So instead of an opinion on my messy house, please instead offer some suggestions how you keep a perfect house when must have dinner on the table and kids fed and ready to leave the house by 5:15 every night? After getting home from school at 3:45pm and needing to attend to homework and finishing a workday?  
Returning home most nights at 10pm.
You got nothing? Yah, that’s what I thought.
Bite me. Or pay for a maid.

You may be asking, “But Jessica, don’t you have a full time job?’”
Why yes, yes I do thanks for asking.  And I am behind in my report writing.
And we need to do our taxes.
And Dylan’s blog post needs to be edited.
And I’m just so tired.

Club sports cost a lot of money; registration, team apparel/equipment, tournaments and travel costs. But it is worth it as I firmly believe that teenagers who are involved in team sports or individual disciplines make better choices when it comes to peer pressure and decision making during the ‘I-have-no-frontal-lobe’ teen years.
We keep em’ busy and out of trouble. They know the meaning of dedication and sacrifice and the importance of teamwork. On and off the court.
However at this point and time, I’m beginning to think a stint in rehab when they turn 19 may have been the cheaper option.

So please forgive me if this blog isn’t as up to date as you are used to. I promise to do my best for the next three months.
For example, this written lack of genius your wasting your time reading right now is being tapped out as I sit on yet another gym floor. Listening to the incessant bouncing basketballs penetrate my soul with the background of drill whistling coach’s and screechy girls.

Living the dream baby, living the dream.

By my count I have over 50 basketball games to watch before the end of June. Lord knows how many soccer games.  That’s a lot of bleacher time. My ass already hurts.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

GO CBA Cobra’s GO!!
GO CBA Viper’s GO!!
Go MUSC Magic GO!!!

GO to the Wine Store Dylan GO!!!

xo J

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

A Blog Post About a Blog Post

Spring sports are in full swing and I barely have time for a glass of wine. I know it’s not Monday, but work with me here.

It wasI Get a Day Off From Writing and Feeling Pressure to be Funny and Get to Laugh at Your Stories and Share Some Blog Love Monday’.  But nothing was posted. 

That’s ok, because I am afraid. Very afraid.

This week’s guest post is from Dylan. My love. My life partner. The father of my children. The only man that has ever kept me on my toes. Ok, I am totally sucking up because I think it has potential to be an expose worthy for Perez Hilton.

Well, simmer down. In true Dylan fashion he is not done yet.

Not done yet, just like the gate to the fence that took three weekends in a row to complete. Yes, just the gate part. After three wasted weekends, four fence kits and eight full-grown-man temper tantrums, I finally bribed a neighbor to wander over with a beer and subtly ask Dylan if “he needed a hand”.

Not done yet, just like the shelves in my garage. FYI there are no shelves. Shit is just piled on the floor. I’m running out of room for empties. 

Not done yet,  just like the broken closet doors from the trolls bedrooms. They still sit against a wall in the storage room. The storage room that is also shelf-less.

Not done yet, just like the guitar he is going to learn how to play. That he bought a stand AND a travel case for. It is also in the storage room. I think it’s under the broken closet doors. One day he will travel the world, performing at sold out concerts. Whew, good thing he has a travel bagel eh? 
It sure will come in handy…one day.

After 14 years together I have learned that Dylan “sometimes” procrastinates and is always late. He comes by it honestly; it is in his genes. His parents couldn’t decide on a name for him…FOR TWO FREAKING MONTHS!!!! His nickname was Sue for the first 60 days of his life. They didn’t register him with the government until he was 5 years old. I shit you not; he didn’t actually exist until he needed to go to school!!

His brothers were over an hour late for our wedding (and they had the rings) because they made a wrong turn and forgot to write down the name and address of the Church. No one had cell phones, so we prayed and waited as I held down vomit. Dylan was cool as a cucumber. Asshole. In hindsight I was 18 weeks pregnant…so perhaps that explains the barfy bit.

Please remember how Type ‘A’ I am. I love lists. I love completing a task to give myself a gold star and check mark. If I am not 15 minutes early for anything and everything, you mine as well assume me dead on the side of the road.  
If Dylan is early to anything, people applause and give him a standing ovation.

God clearly has a sense of humour.

Dylan has taught me to relax. He gives me balance. Although our relationship hit the fastback as his boys are Olympic swimmers and my eggs are greedy over-achievers, I knew from the first moment I met him he was the one.  I know that sounds cheesy, but other boyfriends were met with a fate worse than death if they so much as blinked funny. With Dylan, I wanted to figure out a way to live with the quirks and chronic lateness.

Perhaps my inaugural lesson for being late was…well, being 'late'.
Well played Dylan, well played.

His blog post is coming. Be patient. If I can learn to be, so can you.
By the way, I peaked at what he is writing. The control freak in me will be editing. I promise I won’t touch the juicy stuff, just the grammar and sentence structure. He is an amazing storyteller, but when ones first written language is French, one clearly needs some help in this department. 

Be warned Dylan: Although you may think you can get a laugh by telling the world what its like to live with me. The people that laugh cannot withhold what I can.
Choose wisely.

Xo J