Tuesday, 31 January 2012

I may have a problem

I wear glasses.  I have worn glasses since I was 12 years old.  I hated my first pair:
I have no words.  Purple Monkey Dishwasher.
I saved enough babysitting money to buy my first pair of contacts two years later, and wore those puppies every day. Unfortunately, no one really told me that they were not correcting for my astigmatism, and so I was not actually seeing clearly.  My mom bought me a pair of Gucci frames in high school, which were somewhat cooler, so I wore them.  Sometimes.  When my contacts were tiring my eyes.  And I wasn't trying to attract the boys. Or make out with one.

By my university years, I had resigned myself to glasses, finally realizing that I could see shitake-mushroom-all in the giant lecture halls wearing my completely useless contacts. I had some cute glasses (of which I have no photo) that I wore ragged, so I bought a new pair. The optometrist always told me (as I am sure they tell most people) that you should really have two pairs of glasses, in case one breaks. I always agreed with him, in theory.  In practice, who the eff could afford two pairs of glasses? Not this starving student.
My $500 glasses that I bought in university.

A couple of years ago, I heard about online glasses shopping.  I was extremely skeptical, but I decided to try them out:
Pretty nice specs for $68!

I liked them so much, and they were so cheap that I bought my FIRST back-up pair.  Then, since they were so cheap, I ordered my very first pair of prescription sunglasses.  No more stupid clip-ons with the damn bar across the top.  Real. Fashionable. Sunglasses.  I felt like a prom queen who wore sunglasses to the prom.

I was good with three pairs.  Good for a while.  Then they started sending me online coupons.  So I ordered another pair:
$50 glasses on a ridicuous head of hair.
Ah. Two pairs of back-up glasses.  Plus sunglasses.  Plus the original pair.  I felt so secure.  And cool.  I could coordinate my glasses with my clothes.  Excellent.

Oh? What was that?  There was another online glasses store that was even CHEAPER?  Well frick.  I HADS to see if those were any good:

Whoops...did I order glasses for Sashimi, too?  My bad...
My orange glasses became one of my new faves. I have an orange winter jacket that matches these glasses exactly.  I get mad props everytime I wear the Glacket combo.  I totally do it on purpose, now.  I'm awesome like that.

Then another coupon appeared in my inbox:  Free glasses *insert spit-take*  WHAAAAT? That's right, free.  You don't kick a gift-glasses coupon in the eyeball. So I ordered myself a pair of cat-eye glasses. I had always wanted some like that:
I may have also ordered some glasses for Tony...

For the past year, I have been sitting in a comfy world of seven pairs of glasses.  Well, six regular glasses and my sunglasses. Not quite enough to wear a different pair each day of the week, and that was sort of getting to me.  I mean, what kind of glasses afficionado could I be if I did not have a day-of-the-week collection?

And then I saw these:
There ain't no shushing in MY library! Bring on da funk!

And now, my set is complete**:

Ta-da! Combined cost around $250

**Until I get another coupon.  I cannot be held responsible for what happens when a coupon makes its way into my inbox. Somebody be buyin' stuff.  Must be some mistake at PayPal...

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Pipe Dreams

Once in a while, I sit and dream.  Or stand and dream.  Well, maybe I slump into the couch with children yelling all around me and climbing up my pants and try to think happy thoughts.

My heterosexual life partner aka my bestie is having her second baby in a few days. We have not had a chance to hang out without our children in tow for a LONG time, so we made plans to meet at a local Mexican restaurant. We had a great time, not talking about our kids at all (which, to be honest, is freaking amazing for moms-about-town).  And, being pregnant, she did not mind ordering an $11 piece of pie for dessert.  And I, still lactating, did not mind doing the same. Nor did I mind bringing half of it home only to be consumed within 30 minutes: "I'll MAKE IT FIT!!"

Being in that amazing diner, where one woman makes everything from scratch every day, makes me want to open my own restaurant.  I love cooking.  I like to think that I am reasonably good at it. My kids disagree, but what do they know...they like eating candy from those gross quarter-dispensing machines.  Point made. My favourite job while in university was working at a bistro on weekends.  I had to wake up at 5:30 am to get there on time, I worked like a mule, no breaks, sweat on my brow, and loved every minute.  That's saying a lot because if there is anything I do NOT like, it's mules.

I often think of WHAT kind of restaurant I could reasonably run: my cooking is quite eclectic, although I have definite roots in the grand old Baba tradition of butter, lard, and bacon.  Organic butter? Even better.  Having a husband that has to work at weight maintenance means that I also can cook quite healthy meals, but if it were up to me, hot dogs would always be sautéed with onions in lard, served on a grilled bun with cheese.

So here is where you come in: if you have eaten at Chez Sarah* before and heard I was opening a diner, what would you look forward to eating there? Is there anything I make that makes your tummy quiver with excitement?** I would not be in a position to open a diner now, but it may be a pipe dream that I hang on to for a while until a decision day really comes.

*If you have not eaten my food before, maybe tell me what kind of restaurant YOU would run...
**And please don't say Kraft Dinner.  I may have to kick some ass.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Nature happened in my frog tank

We have frogs.  Ok, fire-bellied toads.  Ok, we HAD frogs.
Sashimi came home from school yesterday afternoon and I had to have a talk with him. I looked him straight in the eyes and said "Sashimi, Flippy and Floppy died.  When I looked for them in their tank this morning, they were dead."
Sashimi started to well up with tears, and he asked "Did you not feed them?"
Me: Well, frogs don't live as long as cats (we also have a cat) or as long as people.  When they get old, their bodies just stop working and they die.
Sashimi: Oh.  So Flippy and Floppy were old?
Me: Well, they were old for frogs.
Sashimi: Oh.  Ok.  I gotta go fix my spy phone now. 

And with that, he ran off to his room to fix his imaginary spy phone with his imaginary spy tools that his NON-imaginary friend Jake gave him. (Being a child spy is all very complicated.  Did you know that they can only eat Turkey on Thanksgiving because otherwise they could be too tired to do their spy missions?  True story.)

Anyway, Sashimi took the news of his frogs' demise much better than I expected.  Which was good.  Because the whole story was a load of crap.

Here is what really happened:

While having tea and cake with my friend Melanie and our three-year olds were playing together, her son came and asked if he could see the frogs.  We could see one frog sitting on a rock in the tank.  Knowing that we had two frogs, he asked where the other one was.  I told him he was probably hiding, since that was what he always like to do.  To try and appease this little boy's request, I opened the lid to the tank and lifted up a fake plant to see if the other frog was there.
And this is what I found:
Holy. Shit. Mother. Of. Crap.
Those are BONES.

I immediately put the plant back down and looked at my friend, gasping in a whisper: There are BONES under there!

She could not believe it. And then I showed her.  And then we both looked at each other like WTF?!  
I immediately thought I had been so neglectful that it had died ages ago and I didn't notice. 
I tried to remember the last time I saw BOTH frogs in the tank, and I can honestly say that the last time I recall them both being in there was three weeks ago.  We came back from the in-laws' place from Christmas and I noticed one of the frogs was a little gaunt and not moving.  I wondered if he was dead, but I was pretty sure I saw his throat/gullet moving.   I went to the pet store to get them some crickets, came home and dumped them in the tank. The crickets were gone by the next morning.
Was it possible that the frog died and decomposed to BONES in three weeks? No, I didn't friggin think so. The water was not murkey, the other frog was not illin' from any decomp in the water.  Plus, I didn't see anything!!  No dead bloated floating frog, nothing.
Then it dawned on me: that frog ATE his friend. Flippy ATE Floppy.  Oh.My.God. ACK! ICK! You FAT MURDERING BASTARD!

Fatty McMurderson

Melanie's son, all the while patiently trying to figure out why we were gasping and whispering, asked where the other frog was.  I let her handle this with her own son.  She talked about the cycle of life and that sometimes in nature, animals eat each other.  He was totally cool with that.  He ran off an played with Keesadilla, not thinking anything of it.
Meanwhile, I looked at Melanie and whispered: "WHAT am I going to tell Sashimi??"
Melanie: Umn, you could tell him you're having frog legs for dinner?

After Melanie and her son left, I kept walking past the frog tank, completely freaked out.  I looked at the remaining frog, all plump and smug. I kept whispering as I walked by the tank: You're a MURDERER! HANNIBAL TOAD!

I couldn't handle having this creepy plotting toad in my house.  He looked at me with a half grin on his smug cannibalistic face, like "You're next, Cricket-bitch.  Mwahahaha!"

I called my sisters. I called Tony.  I called another friend.  I just did not know what to do.  All I could picture in my head was this demon frog hovering over the bones and sputtering "My own! My PRECIOUS!" while he ate his own friend.  His ONLY friend.

 Holy. Poop.  My thoughts exactly. This was some CRAZY shit.

Coupled with the fact that we had found out last week that the only pet store in town (where I buy live crickets and worms to feed the frogs) is going out of business, I did not know what to do. The frogs were already close to their life expectancy. I couldn't get live food to feed Flippy anymore. I did not have any other frogs for him to attack. I did not want to become his next victim. I knew I had to euthanize him.  And I had to do it fast before Sashimi came home.

This felt horrible to me, as much as I don't like murderous frogs, I don't like being a killer.  I have never killed anything other than flies and mosquitoes. How do you euthanize a frog? I talked to my mom, and she said to flush him down the waterslide to heaven.  ICK!  But short of going all psycho on him and stabbing him or beheading him, that's all I could think of, too.

So I did it. I put him in the toilet bowl and flushed. And he swam like a bugger and almost didn't go down.  I flushed about five more times.  Little bubbles came out, and I swore he was just hiding in there, waiting to pounce.  So I flushed again. And again.

I then took everything out of the tank and put it in the garbage. Then I dumped the water and put the tank outside to freeze and let Tony deal with in the spring.  I looked at the clock: 4:00 pm.  Sashimi would be home in 10 minutes.  I calmed myself (and flushed the toilet a few more times) and thought of what I would tell him.

And I will never use that toilet again without pre-flushing.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

First you get him a mickey of rum...

After posting about my impending tubal ligation, I was asked by a friend why my husband was not getting a vasectomy.  I'll admit, this is not the first time I've fielded this question. Most people do not understand: I went through four pregnancies, one miscarriage followed by two months of complications, one easy delivery (Keesadilla), one semi-complicated delivery (Sashimi), one dangerous birth (iBean). Haven't I been through enough?  What can I say? I get off on being a martyr? No...that doesn't sound right.  I'm a sucker for punishment? Uh-uh.
Last year, when I first brought up the subject with my family doctor, asking what needed to be done in order to get a referral or whatnot to get my tubes tied, he looked at me with serious eyes and said:

"First, you get a mickey of rum.  Then you give it to Tony and tell him to grow a pair and get a vasectomy."

I burst out laughing.  I love my doctor, but that was the first time I had ever heard him say something like that.  I then explained that Tony is MORE than willing to get a vasectomy.  I think he wants to be a baby and be catered to for a few days.  Too bad, sucka!  He used up those get out of housework cards when he screwed up his knee playing ball hockey and sprained his ankle for the 4th time. However, my logical process is this:
I am the one who has the health problems related to pregnancy. I am the one who should not have any more babies.  If something were to happen to Tony (God forbid) and I ended up remarrying, I still should not have any more babies.  However, if something happens to me (God forbid) and Tony remarries, he can procreate at will.  He is a great dad, and if he wants to have more kids with a second wife, that is fine by me.*

Does this make sense? It does to me, but I know I can be a bit irrational sometimes.  Especially when I lose things (Where the heck are my keys?  TONY!! HAVE YOU SEEN MY KEYS?  Oh for fuck's sake.  I had them in my purse and now I can't find them.  Freaking kids always moving my stuff around...fuck!  I'm going to be LATE!  WE'RE ALWAS LATE!  I HATE BEING THAT FAMILY WHO IS ALWAYS LATE! Tony and your damn running on Mexico time all the time...Where the FRICK are they?  *puts on jacket, feels in pocket* OH.  NEVERMIND!  I FOUND THEM!)

*Although after this very LONG Christmas break with Sashimi being home every.stinking.day and the boys doing an exorbitant amount of fighting and us doing more than our share of yelling and kicking some ass**, Tony says he is now sure that he does NOT want anymore kids...lol

**I do mean kicking ass metaphorically. We in no way kick our kids in the ass.  Or anywhere else for that matter.  Unless you're talking about Mario Kart. Then we sometimes kick Sashimi's ass.

Saturday, 14 January 2012


One year ago I was eagerly waiting for iBean to master breastfeeding. Now, with mixed emotions, I await a pre-op appointment for a tubal ligation.
I don't really want to be done having babies.  I would love to give iBean a little sister to play with.  Heck, even a little brother to call "her baby" and force Barbie-time on him. Or tea party. But not Bratz or Monster High.  WTF are those anyway?  So wierd.
But my body really cannot handle another pregnancy.  And so we have to call it quits.
On the one terrified hand, I have been living in fear of getting pregnant for the past year.  Because of my continued hypertension, I cannot go on birth control pills.  I was given the option of an IUD, but that does not appeal to me what.so.ever.  I still have not had a period since iBean's birth, so it's not like I can even avoid sexy parties on certain ovulatory days. So we have been playing Russian Roulette with condoms.  So far, so good.
On the other weepy hand, I sort of wished that I had fallen pregnant by accident. I could have tried to have another baby without all of the questions of "ARE YOU CRAZY?  YOU COULD DIE!" and retorted: "WELL, WE USED CONDOMS' BUT THEY'RE ONLY, LIKE 98% EFFECTIVE." And then Ross screeches "THEY SHOULD PUT THAT ON THE BOX!"
See? No guilt there.  I could say we tried to avoid it, but God obviously had other plans for us.  Not our fault.
But they do put that on the box.  And when used correctly, condoms work.  Of course, being married to a health care professional means he ensures they work.  Every. Time.
So when I went to get a renewal on my blood pressure medication last week, I asked the resident if I could be referred to a surgeon to get my tubes tied.  I can't live in fear of pregnancy anymore, and I know that a pregnancy could very well kill me, my baby, or give me a stroke and leave me disabled, or give my baby a stroke and leave her disabled, or what the heck, all of the above.  And, since iBean was born at 32 weeks, my chance of having another premature baby is high, and I could definitely live without another NICU experience.  Not the the NICU was bad, in fact, the nurses were pretty awesome. It was just a very high-stress time for our whole family, even with iBean being a medical marvel.
There is the small chance that it could all go smilingly well and I could have a very uneventful pregnancy and a nice 7 1/2 lb baby like Keesadilla. 
But the odds are not in my favour, particularly since my body never fully recovered from what happened with iBean, despite the specialists telling me that there was no reason that they could see that I wouldn't go back to being a normal 29-year old that doesn't need to be on blood pressure medication.
So I am going against my Catholic roots and having a medical procedure performed to prevent procreation.  I've had a hard time with this one, but I have to believe that God would rather my children have their Mommy with them than be motherless with one more sibling.