dys·func·tion /dɪsˈfʌŋkʃən/ [dis-fuhngk-shuhn]–noun
1. Medicine/Medical . malfunctioning, as of an organ or structure of the body. 2. any malfunctioning part or element: the dysfunctions of the country's economy. 3. Sociology . a consequence of a social practice or behavior pattern that undermines the stability of a social system.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Twelve Days 'Til Christmas

*cue music*

There are twelve days until Christmas, and to say that I'm excited may be a bit of an understatement.

Christmas is my favourite time of year. Ever. And so every December November October September I start to get super excited about Christmas and plan out every little detail. The best part is that my "Christmas" normally extends far past the 25th, on either side.

On the... 7th? I think it was the 7th, we purchased our real Christmas tree. That means that after the kidlets went to bed we put out all of the presents from the family - to the family, and that on the 8th we had it fully decorated.

Yes, we put the presents out before Christmas. The children are allowed in the room, there are no gates to keep them away, the rule is that they are not allowed to touch the presents before Christmas. Thus far my 1 and 3 year old children follow the rules and do not touch the presents. (To be honest, Splat *did* touch a bow on one of them, before I told her not to. There have been no repeats of this behaviour.)

On the 10th Boyfriend and I decorated (and cleaned...boy was that needed) all of the main floor, which is in addition to the small artificial tree that has been up and decorated in the girls' room since November, and the tiny artificial tree that has been up and decorated on the pipe chase of the landing on the staircase since December 1st. It is amazing to be able to sit by the glow of the tree lights in the evening, sipping my tea and becoming greatly nostalgic. My anticipation of Christmas greatly exceeds the children's at this point. I think they'll be more pumped come the 23rd or so.

So what does that leave for the last twelve days prior to Christmas?


On the twelfth day 'fore Christmas I will stay at home: putting out the large item garbage.

On the eleventh day 'fore Christmas I will be at home: cleaning and organizing.

On the tenth day 'fore Christmas I have an appointment, followed by best friend coffee.

On the ninth day 'fore Christmas the family will write letttttttterrrrrrs to Santa.

On the eighth day 'fore Christmas Santa will reply, and ifIcangetbabysittingwe'll visit friends for dinner!

On the seventh day 'fore Christmas I'm hosting a potluck lunch, for one person maybe two. (probably just coffee...bring cookies.)

On the sixth day 'fore Christmas I will go to Walmart and buy gravy trains and tablecloths.

On the fifth day 'fore Christmas I will go shopping, and buy all the food for Christmas dinner.

On the fourth day 'fore Christmas we will be at home: cleaning and organizing.

On the third day 'fore Christmas we'll be in the kitchen: doing our Christmas baking.

On the second day 'fore Christmas we'll host Christmas dinner: for Boyfriend's Mom and family.

On the last day 'fore Christmas we'll go to extended family Christmas dinner. And put out cookies and milk for Santa. And Santa will come after we're sleeping. And we'll watch Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. Sweet.

On Christmas...IT'S CHRISTMAS!!! AHAHAHAHA!!!! YAYYYYY!!!!! We'll open stockings and presents, and then have breakfast (useless meal on Christmas). Later, Shake'n'Bake will go to her dad's house, and we'll go to Boyfriend's Dad's house for Christmas dinner.

For the next couple of days we'll relax at home. Yes!

Then on the 28th Shake'n'Bake comes home and we go to my Dad's house for Christmas dinner. Yay!

About January 10th we'll take down the tree. Christmas is the greatest time of year.

So what are your plans for the 12 Days 'Fore Christmas? If you're super creative you can write them all out and I'll post them on the blog, or you can make your own blog post and send me the link. I'll post the links here!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Book Review - Shotgun Gravy

Dear Everyone:

Read this book immediately.

This is my first PDF purchase, and at only $0.99 (Black Friday sale (it came to $1.07 (or 4) Canadian)) it is a steal.

A short 'novella', the first in a series of four, Shotgun Gravy (Chuck Wendig) deals with bullying on an extreme level. Read through it and become empowered as SOMEONE seeks justice for terrible acts of bullying.

Go here: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2011/11/25/black-friday-ninety-nine-cent-fiction/ to purchase the book.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Colourful Pride

Do you ever feel horrendously proud of yourself for something that shouldn't be that big of a deal?

That's where I am.

Shake'n'Bake goes to a 2-4 year olds gymnastic program at our local community center once a week, and during this time she has made a super best friend whom she loves to play with and hold hands. It's adorable, trust me.

Well, the other week at gymnastics Shake'n'Bake and her best friend (let's call her Megan) were holding hands when my adorable and curious 3 year old looks down and asks me:

"Mommy, why is Megan's hand dark brown
and my hand is light brown?"

Oh, did I mention that one of Megan's parents is (GUESSING!) African American?

I swallowed the enormous ball in my throat and prepared to deal with my child's first question about race.

"Well look," I said, placing my hand near theirs, "Mommy's hand is a different colour than yours, just like Megan's hand is a different colour than yours. Everyone has a different colour of skin, just like hair, and eyes."

I was preparing for the next fatal blow when Shake'n'Bake just accepted this (as the fact that it is...really, c'mon) and the two of them ran off to jump on a mat together.

And it was done. I had explained different skin colours as casually and truthfully to my 3 year old as I could, and she accepted it as nothing unusual.

And I was SO proud of myself that I had to tell people. A lot of people. So there.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Week(s) From Hell

Well, not really. Things have been super awesome - they've just been super busy.

Oh, except the sicknesses. Both girls and hubby (and this morning my throat is hurting) are/have been sick. Nose running, head pounding, cough inducing, grump causing sick. Oh, and Shake'n'Bake threw up on my birthday.

During these past few weeks of sickness I have been packing everything I can get my grubby little paws on, in an effort to make moving day (and the days leading up to said day) much easier. I have purchased sooooooo many diapers and Easy Ups that I have a dangerous tower in my bathroom of unboxed diapers.

And yes, it is dangerous, it fell on my head the other day. *insert sad face*

As of yesterday, not only did I use my last box, but I also filled the toybox (soon to be the front hall chest), two baskets, one plastic bucket, one bag, and packed the PlayStation3 into its appropriate box filling the extra spaces with other living room items.

No more boxes. Finit. All done. Exhausted.

I've considered buying more diapers and Easy Ups, but even I have my limits, and I believe that having 10 sleeves of diapers and 8 sleeves of Easy Ups that I will have to move loose is it.

For the past 10 days or so (wayyyy too lazy to count right now) my awesome friends have been coming to my house and babysitting my rugrats for free so that Boyfriend and I can go and work our buns off (see: renovate) at the new house.

With Dad and Brother, we've scraped all of the old stucco off the ceilings, removed all of the trim from the house, pulled up two rooms worth of carpet, three rooms worth of tile, one hall worth of...plywood floor?, drywalled, taped, sanded, cleaned, wiped, primed, and painted. And we're not done.

We move in 5 days and as of right now, my goal is to have both bedrooms fully painted, carpeted, and trimmed. That'd be sweet.

Then we just live in the small area that is upstairs for a few weeks while the main floor gets finished (acutal finish time is greatly unknown: a few weeks is my hopeful guess) and then stick to the main and upper floors whilst the basement is polished.

Picture from here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Most Disgusting and Horrifying Thing I Have Ever Seen

This is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen.

It is extremely graphic and disturbing.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I'm Not Weird, I'm Gifted

For years I had a keychain with those exact words on it: "I'm Not Weird, I'm Gifted". Some novelty piece of garbage that I paid over two dollars for, because it really related to me. It related to how ostracized I felt from the main stream kids, how they viewed us 'gifties' as the elite, geniuses, who thought ourselves better than them.

Sometimes we did.

Please keep in mind that this post is based on MY experiences and opinions, and that I cannot speak for my peers.

Most of our class took the gifted testing during Grade 2 in order to qualify for the gifted program in Grade 3, and then we were told from a very young age that we were special, and more advanced than our main stream peers. You can imagine that this inflated our egos (at least mine) and we used to have a huge sense of animosity towards the main stream kids that we shared our school with. Even more so, towards the French Immersion kids that we shared our buses with.

The Gifted Program was designed to provide a more challenging curriculum to children who had the ability to learn faster than our main stream cohorts. This simple sentence was my defence throughout most of highschool, as I had to defend my stupidity and poor grades to throes of my peers who would snicker and say: "But aren't you gifted?"

"Gifted doesn't mean I'm smart," I'd retort, "it means I have the ability to learn faster. I choose not to use that ability."

Then we'd all laugh at my failures in life and move on.

When we came to school in Grade 3 as students of the gifted program, we were told that things were going to be different. That they were going to change. Before, we were big fish in a little pond; now, we were to be little fish in a big pond...not necessarily the best of our class.

Of course, every class has to have a student at the top, and a student at the bottom. In one swift year I went from being the top of my class in my main stream program, to one of the class clowns with one of the lowest grades in the gifted program. It destroyed my self confidence. It became easier (and a deeply ingrained self-defense mechanism) to laugh off my failures, play the fool, and pretend that grades were not important to me.

When we got to highschool, half of our classes were gifted classes, and the other half of our classes were main stream classes where we were split up and integrated into normal classes with normal kids.

It was terrifying.

I had spent 6 years forming lasting bonds and friendships with the other 'gifties' and quite suddenly I was expected to go out and interact with the kids who had been rude and torturous to us 'gifties' for our entire elementary lives.

We had formed no external social skills. No way to meet new people, fit into different social circles, anything. I relied heavily on my class-clownery to make new friends, and for a while I was successful. I was funny, people liked to spend time with me to hear and see all of the crazy antics I would come up with in the span of a class. Then one day, another giftie happened to mention that she...and I...were gifted students.

I lost half of my friends that day. People just stopped talking to me.

Our "advanced" classes were explained to us as 'teaching us the curriculum for the grade ahead of ours'. In Grade 9 we learned the Grade 10 curriculum; in Grade 10 we learned Grade 11; in Grade 11 we learned Grade 12. And then something happened. The gifted program ended in Grade 11 and in Grade 12 we just relearned our prior year's lessons. We were no further along then our main stream counterparts, except that we had been graded harder and taught faster.

When we all graduated we were awarded our 'gifted certificates' along with our diplomas. I've never even seen mine because my mother took it for 'safe keeping', and then disappeared from my life.

It doesn't matter though, the bloody thing isn't worth anything. Not. One. Thing. Not any extra awesomeness on a potential school application, nothing on a job resume, and not a thing to speak of to people. Worthless.

I look at my kids now and I think: "Big fish, little pond? What is so wrong with being a big fish in a little pond? Why would I want my kids to be put in a position where they could fail? In a position where they could lose self-esteem, social skills, a sense of accomplishment; for nothing?"

Big fish, little pond? Bring it on.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Cycle

"Hey!! Why can't you just listen to me?!" I scream.

"I. Just. Can't. Get. This. Piece. Of. Crap. To. Work." I seethe through clenched teeth before hitting the computer...with my forehead...willing one of the two objects to shatter.

"Go to your room! NOWWWW!!!" the animalistic growls that escape me are hard to describe...and yet eerily similar to the ones I heard as a child.

I never learned what to do with my anger.

As a child I witnessed a lot of anger. A lot. And it always resulted in screaming, violence, belittling, and broken objects. As a child, you learn from what you see.

I often wonder how 'normal' people deal with their anger.

How other parents dealt with misbehaving children.

When I was in elementary school I would get in fistfights with other children. They would anger me and I would hit them, and then some of them would hit back.

I was so filled with rage that I used to 'black out' and not be able to remember what happened during these episodes. There was a lot of thrashing. And screaming.

As I entered my teens I began to internalize the anger. The scars up and down my arms can attest to that. There was still a lot of screaming and hitting things, anything to expel the rage that boiled within. One day I turned to alcohol. The rage wouldn't boil if it was so diluted by litres of booze. I don't think the rage could even simmer in those days.

As an adult, I have tried to teach myself more effective ways of dealing with my anger. I want to teach my children better ways of dealing with theirs. Ways of stepping back and calming down, rationalizing, using words instead of physical force...but it's difficult. It's difficult to teach them things that I haven't been practising all that long.

I have to keep trying. For them.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hiding In Plain Sight

Happy First Day Back To School!

Not for Shake'n'Bake this year...she'll be starting Junior Kindergarten next year (in a better neighbourhood: win!) although I'm sure I'll be prepared much much earlier than September.

We started our Christmas shopping in June this year. Yes, June. We were out picking up a few things before the girls' birthdays and found a couple of things for Christmas. Then we made another big trip this past weekend to grab some Christmas presents.

I normally love to Christmas shop early in the year. I hate being in the stores in December if I don't have to be...things are too hectic then and I tend to get anxious, angry, and twitchy. So I avoid it whenever possible. The real kicker this year is that we are going to be demolishing, building, repairing, etc. for the last two weeks in October; then moving at the end of October; then unpacking and such during November and I am worried that I may be too busy then to Christmas shop.

So, to calm my worries, we have begun our Christmas shopping (I've actually finished 2 people already...back in August!) and that I am just packing the gifts as I purchase them.


I was quite smug with this decision up until this weekend when I purchased a particular gift that is bigger than any of the boxes/containers that I have available for packing.

I stressed about it for a couple of days, and then decided to try the trick that my parents used on us: hiding it in plain sight.

Now, Splat is still young enough that she didn't even blink an eye when we were putting these gifts into the cart. She doesn't associate 'in the cart' with 'this will become mine' yet, so we're okay there. But Shake'n'Bake is old enough to understand alllllll of that and much more. Out of desperation I have hidden this present in the pile of already packed boxes and riff raff, and I am just hoping that when we go to move it that she won't notice.


Yes, that's my plan.

Is anyone else excited for Christmas?!? ZOMG I am so excited. Christmas in ma noo hows! Ahahahaha!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Keeper League

Last year was my first year watching/following/enjoying hockey.

When I was a wee sprout no one wanted to teach me anything about hockey, so I deflected it in my teenage years by feining disinterest. I really was interested, but I hated asking someone a question about it and getting the "uh...are you for real?" face.

It was awful.

Luckily, Boyfriend has a "of course I'll explain things to you! How would you know these things if no one has ever taught you before?" face; which is much more pleasant than all the other faces I've recieved. Along with watching the hockey games together, and having him explain all of the rules to me, he also asked me if I wanted to create a free account and play some Yahoo Fantasy Hockey with him.

It was so much fun! I'm still a pretty big n00b, and was too timid to trade any of my players last year (I even kept a few that I was angry with because of my loyalty issues) but I think I'll be able to make bigger strides this year.

Boyfriend and I have started a Keeper league in Yahoo, that allows each person to keep their players (most of them at least) from year to year, season to season, and build a successful team over several years.

Boyfriend has set up the Yahoo account and we are prepping everything for the upcoming season BUT we are looking for interested people to participate. This league goes beyond the normal Yahoo Fantasy Hockey leagues, it is much more in depth, has its own website elsewhere on the interwebs, and has additional levels of play (such as signing your players to 1,2,3 or even a 5 year contract), news, and 8 draft picks each season.

These multiple levels of awesomeness and play require that all the participants be active in their teams; building, dressing, and benching them as appropriate. Do the participants have to be competitive? No. As long as they are making the effort to play their teams, they don't need to smack-talk each other (I'm hilarious when I smack-talk) or become cut throat. Manage your team, and let the players work for you.

I am so super excited about this league. About being able to draft, build my team, sign them to contracts, trade, release, *pant pant* and do anything I can to build an amazing team in the years to come!

And so, loyal readers, if any of you happen to love hockey and would like to join OUR EpicFantasyHockeyLeagueOfWin-ness then send me an email at atasteofdysfunction@hotmail.ca


Check out Yahoo.com and click through to Fantasy Hockey to read their rules and see how the first draft and stat-tracking will be done.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I Kicked A Mouse

Yepp. The awesomeness of that post title? Pure fact.

Remember Drizzle? You may remember my furry little house mouse from: Magical Mouse Fairy, one line in Fruity Whirls, and his namesake posts Super Drizzle and Super Drizzle Returns.

He met with his end when faced with a rat trap (much bigger than a mouse trap) which attempted to sever a limb, and then he dragged himself back into his mouse hole.

We haven't seen whisker or tail of him since. That was months ago.

A week ago we met our newest addition: Zipper!

Now, I'm no expert on mice, but I'm fairly confident that this is not Drizzle, they look similar, but I see differences. Also, Zipper is much faster than Drizzle was, and he is significantly less cocky.

What I like to think happened was that Drizzle dragged his mangled body home, and his wife and children nursed him back to health. His disability prevents him from leaving the home to forage for food, so he trained his children (specifically Zipper) in the way of the ninja, so that with the speed and stealth of a ninja he will be able to provide food for the whole family.

"You are learning well, Grasshopper."

Last night there was a massive thunderstorm. After I sat at the window in the dark watching the thunder, lightning, and pouring rain for a while; I decided to use the washroom and crawl into bed. I left the light out and relied on my night vision and knowledge of toilet location for my pre-bed-pee. I took two steps inside the washroom and kicked something small and soft.

"WTF?!? Was that a mouse?!" I thought, and hastily turned on the light. My inspection of the bathmat showed Splat's hairbrush as the only item on the ground. Sitting on the toilet I thought to myself how odd it was that the hairbrush felt so soft and full of innards when I kicked it, when lo and behold Zipper raced across the room at speeds unimaginable, came within 12 inches of my feet, zipped under the cabinet, behind the sink, and (I'm assuming) entered the area behind the vent to return to his house.

"JESUS HOLY F%*&ING KRIES ZIPPER!!!" I yelled, "You scared the ever-loving sh#% out of me!! Argh!"

Then I tried to calm down enough to sleep, and managed to hear him 'talking' to another mouse.


"And I was cleaning myself and this crazy b#$%^ walked right in and KICKED ME! Can you believe that?"

Monday, August 22, 2011

I Hope Mine's A Football

Pop Tarts are awesome.

They were a kind of forbidden fruit when I was a child, my parents would never 'buy that crap' which means that I am forced to buy them WHENEVER they're on sale now and devour them with the freedom that being an adult brings.

Don't get me wrong...I wouldn't feed that crap to my kids.

Remember when I posted about how crappy this apartment is?

So Landlord has decided that all of the toilet problems in the pit-hole of an apartment are caused by my use of tampons. After throwing a temper tantrum and cursing, angry texting me, arguing with me in my own home, and giving me a pleasant ultimatum; it has been determined that I have temporarily switched to pads.

Oh, and then I determined that I'm moving out.

Image from here.


The best part of this decision to move is that I already have another place to go.

With everything all lined up, and a lease that is eagerly awaiting my signature, we have given notice to LaLandlordPoopyHeadFace and I have already packed over ten boxes.

I excite easily.

My new house is going to have awesome amounts of epicness and happiness and I am so super excited it's ridiculous.

Top Five Best Things About My New House

1. It is not in the Ghetto

2. It has a backyard! Eeeeeeeee!

3. The girls are in a bedroom that has it's own door and is not in my room!

4. It comes with an oven.

5. There's a laundry room and a line for drying clothes outside in the summer.

So, I am going to be busy. I'm quite sure that you will all continue to exist without me, but I thought it would be polite to let you know.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

I Want This Baby Carrier

The last time I had a baby carrier was when Shake'n'Bake was a wee tiny baby, and I had to creep out at night and pick up bottles for food.

Since then, a baby carrier hasn't really been in the budget (or at the top of my priority list), so I've been flexing my mom-pipes and carrying her when there isn't a stroller or shopping cart available.

Sometimes it's just better to pick her up and hold her anyways.

I follow a blog called Mama B that is currently giving away an ERGObaby Carrier.

Click on photo to go to ERGObaby's site.

Yeah, it looks awesome.

So I have entered Mama B's raffle, and if you want this awesome baby carrier (or if you know me personally and want to enter, then win, then give it to me) head on over to Mama B's site right now to read her post and the entry methods.

Do it.

And when you're over there, if you like giveaways, reviews on baby products, or super awesome blogs; consider following her!

Click on the button to go to Mama B's blog!

Monday, August 1, 2011

WowButter - A Review

Back in June, Boyfriend and I took the kids to a fair. Whilst touring the various tents with farm animals and information displays provided within, we noticed a lone table with teeny tiny packets of free something on them. Of course, we beelined straight for it (free is a word that courses through my veins with awesomeness).

Picture from here.

Imagine my surprise when I read the pamphlet and discovered that I could feed this to my toddlers right then and there.

WowButter is a PEANUT-FREE, soy, peanut-butter replacement. And the amazing thing is that it tastes almost identical to peanut butter.

Peanut butter connoisseurs will notice a difference, there is a slight discrepency in texture, but the pros far outweight a minimal texture difference. I can only imagine how amazing this must be for someone who has a peanut allergy, to be able to join in on some of the cultural staples of North America. To, potentially, have a peanut butter and jam sandwich for the first time ever. Ants on a log; peanut butter cookies; a spoonful of delicious-protein filled-comfort food.

I am blown away by the genuine service that the founders/creators of WowButter have done.

I am able to make my 3 year old and my 1 year old soy butter and jam sandwiches, and something so close to the peanut butter classic would not have been available to me before this.

The website: WowButter.com has recipes listed for their product as well. I have yet to try to bake anything with it, but I am looking forward to attempting a Soy Butter Cookie (since I am such a fan of the traditional peanut butter ones).

If you are a US resident, then you have the option of buying WowButter from Amazon.com, or PeanutFreePlanet.com, or from one of the many local retailers that carry it. If you are a Canadian resident, the online options aren't available (yet? Oh, please make it available to buy online in Canada), but you can purchase WowButter from several different retailers. Here is a complete list from WowButter's website.

WowButter is currently available in smooth and crunchy (like peanut butters), and I have only tried the smooth thus far, but it is delicious. As soon as Boyfriend and I finish our old container of peanut butter, the entire family will switch to WowButter (I only have it for the kids so far) to use for our normal peanut buttering needs. I am excited to try the crunchy version, as I was quite the crunchy peanut butter lover when I was a child.

Thank you WowButter, for providing a safe and affordable alternative to peanut butter.

If you'd like to send me free jars, I would not object. Just email me: atasteofdysfunction@hotmail.ca

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Welcome to the Ghetto!

To help you enjoy your visit with us, we have a quick information package for you to look at. Just some simple tips and rules that will help you enjoy your visit in a safe and convenient manner.

First of all, don't get mugged.

There are only two parking spots for visitors, and unfortunately one of them is full of the car that holds down the driveway. If you are first to arrive, please park immediately beside this blue car, on the same angle. You may nose in or back in, it is up to you. If you are second, third, etc. to arrive; then you must park on the street somewhere. We, at the Ghetto, are aware that the street signs say 'No Parking', but there are no alternatives I can offer you. Luckily, the neighbours seem pretty understanding about the whole situation. If possible, travel in pairs or groups.

If you make it through step one safely: then Welcome! You are now safe inside the walls. You may sit anywhere that you'd like to. Keep in mind, seating is limited. We use to have two couches here in the Ghetto, technically we still do, but unless you'd like to sit in the sweltering fog that is the loft-in-summer, there is only one couch. We can also provide five dining room chairs (from two different sets) and the cushioned top of the toybox (space may be shared with a buttload of stuffed animals).

You are now on child entertainment duties. Sure, they're not your kids, but you're a novelty to them. We can provide a translator for "Toddler-Gibberish", but the translator is not responsible for any actions caused by or to the children.


Please help yourself to a beverage. We offer: water, coffee, water, tea, milk, and water! Hot drinks will be served in one of our variety of mugs...let's call them 'an exotic collection' from 'various locations'.

Once you have succeeded in filling your bladder, make your way to our washroom. The facility is located just past the mountain of outdoor equiptment, shoe pile, and toys. There are two light switches but only one operates the light. Don't be concerned though, the other one doesn't do anything at all so there is no penalty for choosing wrong! In fact, many of our guests choose to flip both switches at the same time to ensure lighting for their waste management.

Should the toilet paper roll empty, please help yourself to one of the other rolls located in a pillar directly beside the toilet. In the event that all six of the provided toilet paper rolls should be used, the remainder of the residence's supply can be found in the cupboard - still within reach of a seated person.

Once you have finished managing your waste, please press and hold the lever to ensure maximum flushage. Be warned, this still may produce a slow pitiful fill that will end too soon and leave you staring at a larger bowl of your waste. Attempt to flush again. If, after two flushes your waste still has not vacated the bowl, it is now socially acceptable to leave it. Most times the toilet will fix itself.

Please be aware that there is no longer a mat surrounding the toilet. Due to a new 'addition' to our washroom facility, the toilet leaks water from the base upon flushing. The problem is most prominent along the sink side of the toilet, but please be aware of your foot placement upon flushing the toilet. The staff at the Ghetto will clean up the water at the end of every day - like normal - so please, don't worry about cleaning it.

That awful kybo smell is from the diapers in the garbage.

Lastly, The Ghetto is now a temporary residence to a billion or so ants. We vacuum the facility 4-7 times a day, and still they return to scamper the floors. To date, there have been no reports of bites, although The Ghetto can make no guarantees. Feel free to mash, squish, or otherwise cause demise to any ants that you see. Vacuuming may occur during your stay.

We appreciate your patronage, enjoy your visit in The Ghetto.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Morning Rage

I have written in the past about my burning rage for mornings.

Of the bear that awakens within me when I am torn from my warm sheets, soft pillows, and drool spot on my bed.

How then, an epic battle must ensue as the real me must fight the bear to win back control of my body.

Usually coffee helps.

I think the bear had a head start this morning.

Picture from here.

Isn't this picture epic?! I Googled 'woman wrestling bear' and got this picture, which is much more appropriate. Now my morning is getting better.

I was woken up this morning over an hour early by Shake'n'Bake beginning to cry in her bed. Since our rooms are seperated only by a curtain, I called out: "What's wrong?" from the warmth of my bed.

"I want you to tuck my feet in and give me a kiss!" she cried.

"No," I replied, "I only tuck you in at bed time."

Then she lost it. Screaming Crying and kicking the bed, I tried to use my calm voice and tell her to take a breath or say the alphabet. No use. She screamed louder and kicked harder and then the bear sat on the happy mom I want to be.

When her fit was... 'resolved'... we couldn't go back to bed because her screaming had woken Splat up, and she wanted to be fed. I tried to lie in bed and feed her, in hopes that she would remain drowsy and we could all go back to sleep after.


She was wide awake then too, babbling about the various parts of the room and laughing at the desperation on my face. "Happy Mom" then tried to get the day going in an attempt to forget the heinous crimes of the morning, so I announced that it was wake up time and that we were all supposed to get dressed.

I found a dead housefly in my jeans.

Splat is almost out of pants, and we have company today.

Shake'n'Bake has decided that she wants to be a baby again (or something, this is just an assumption) and has decided that she can no longer get dressed on her own. She cried when I said I wouldn't help her put her socks on.

Splat kicked me in the vagina when I was putting her shirt on.

Then she cried because I said 'ow' and told her 'gentle'.

Shake'n'Bake exploded into tears because she has forgotten how to operate shirts over the past two weeks, and can no longer get them over her head.

Then they touched my excema medicine (after I had an itch attack last night that was so bad I was crying).

Splat cried for no reason. A lot.

Shake'n'Bake was impatient and whiny for her breakfast.

Splat cried when I did her hair. And then again when I finished doing her hair.

And again when I was getting her water.

Oh, and I have a buttload of ants that have decided to make my house their house.

And then my internet didn't want to work again this morning...because it does that sometimes.


Yeah, so that's my morning thus far.

F. 'Happy Mom', I'm going to go have a coffee now.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Toddler Chores

Shake'n'Bake loves to help.

Some days, (more often than not,) this requires a bit of coercing.


After watching Shake'n'Bake's eagerness to help clean the house (which is in a constant state of dissarray) I decided to cash in on this and designate specific jobs just for her.


Enter: The Job Charts

What started out as one chart for the bathroom, quickly spread to her bedroom, and then the living room. (That is all of the rooms in my house. But dysfunction, what about the kitchen? Or your bedroom? All the same rooms. My bedroom and the girls' bedroom... divided by a curtain. Kitchen, dining room, living room, front hall? One room. And the bathroom.)

This is the bathroom job chart:

We each drew one picture representation of the job that needed to be done. That way, Shake'n'Bake felt included in making the charts, and she was more likely to do the jobs shown.

Put laundry in the laundry basket.

Put recycling in the recycling box.

Put diapers in the diaper bag.

This job chart was the first one that we created. It gave me the freedom to say: "Have you done your bathroom jobs?" and expect that she would then go and do them.

Then I let it get to my head.

Bedroom Jobs:

Created in the hopes that she would be equally as inspired to clean her bedroom... not really.

Make bed.

Put toys in baskets.

Put letter mats away.

Put stuffed animals in wagon.

The jobs from the bedroom were either too difficult or too time consuming, because she was not interested in doing any of them.

I still pushed through, and attempted to make  job chart for the living room.

 Tah dah!

Put colouring supplies back in desk.

Put shoes into shoe stand.

Put toys into basket.

Put books in bookshelf.

The jobs have now been removed from the 'job charts' and are now clothespinned to a line on the wall. That way, I can display the jobs that need to be done, and not all of them.

She's still not overly interested in them anymore, but she will clean (with grumbling) when I ask her to, and she's always excited to clean up everything for some allowance.

Nothing quite like the temptation of a quarter, dime, or nickle for her homemade piggy bank.

Monday, July 4, 2011

My Knees

Yeah, that's the whole title. I'm tired. Bear with me.

I have a disease in my knees. A disease in which my knees destroy the cartilidge within them, and then, without the protective cushioning that said cartilidge provides, grind (bone on bone) inappropriate grooves into themselves that can cause mislocation (like dislocation), pain, and popping.

Image from here.

I'd put a check mark beside ALL of those pain spots and more.

When I was 9 years old, I went to the doctor's office to get the results and find out why my knees had been hurting so much when I ran. I used to be on the Track and Field team for running, long jump, and high jump; and they began to throb and burn all the time. I sat in the room all by myself, as my mother was in a different room with Brother. Plus, I was a big girl, I could be alone with no problem.

My little 9 year old self was in for quite the shock when a strange doctor entered the room. He read from the chart and told me that I had a disease in my knees.

"There's no cure, it will only get worse. You'll be in a wheel chair by the time you're thirty."

Then he turned and left the room.

I said nothing to my parents. In my shock, I internalized every piece of this horror, it would be another nine years before I told them. I cried myself to sleep that night, and decided that he was wrong. There was clearly nothing wrong with me, I would just need to let up on running.

The following year I tried to run the 100metre dash instead of the 400metre, and I ended up twisting my knee (in its weakened condition) and sitting out the rest of the events.

The next year, long jump was cut from the list because landing in the sand pit jarred my knees too much, and it hurt to stand after.

I managed to high jump for a few more years, and after acquiring knees braces I even attempted the hurdling team. As long as I was careful, I had convinced myself that I would be able to manage it.

When highschool began, I started biking to school. It would cause me a great deal of pain, but I tried to ignore it. It was only a fifteen or twenty minute bike ride, after all.

In Grade 10 I joined the wrestling team. I loved it, but I noticed how weak my knees were getting. I couldn't participate in warm-up with the rest of the team. I stretched, but that was all. Walking up and down stairs became challenging. I would tell friends to go on ahead without me, I was late for classes.

I kneeled down in a store to look at an item on the bottom shelf and I couldn't get back up.

The next year, I could no longer bike to school. I resigned myself to the fourty-five minute walk instead. I got a medical exemption from the stairs at school and recieved a key to operate the elevator. If I had to kneel down anywhere, I needed someone to pull me back to standing - and then hold me up while the circulation returned to my knees.

In a wheelchair by the time you're thirty.

It haunted me. I was only 17 and I couldn't walk up stairs or kneel down.

The following year my Scouting group went on a canoe trip. One of my greatest passions.

My knees were so bad that I couldn't sit in the canoe. Angered, stupid, and rash; I left the camp.

The following year Shake'n'Bake was born, and I went to see another knee specialist. This one scheduled me for surgery for the following January.

Waiting for the OR to take me, I lay on a stretcher in my nuddy pants being told by nurses and other doctors how brave I was to have surgery on both knees at once. Brave? Why? Is it a bad idea? Someone? Anyone?!

It was June before I had good use of my legs again.

That was 2009.

It's been two years now, and do you know what I did yesterday? Yesterday we piled Shake'n'Bake and Splat into the new bike trailer that Splat recieved from my parents for her birthday, and Boyfriend and I biked all the way to the pool for our swim. Then we biked home after.

With Boyfriend starting shift work again, I asked to have the trailer hooked up to my bike. That way I can take the girls out when he's at work.


No dice. A few hills and a gentle incline, and my knees SCREAMED bloody murder. I pushed through it and I nearly made it all the way there and back. I gave the last hill to Boyfriend, we switched bikes.

We're going to move the trailer to his bike for future trips, but I'm rather proud of myself for accomplishing what I did.

I'm also worried that, in time, I may have biking stripped from me again. This time... well, this time I know enough to enjoy what I have. I know enough to push myself while it's still possible, and what to fight for while it's still available to me.

More surgery? Almost definitely.

A wheelchair by the time I'm thirty? Not if I can help it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It Must Be Thursday

My kids are clumsy.

When I was a kid, I was clumsy too. In fact, I'm still clumsy... hmmm...

Either way, my kids are clumsy. They don't call them 'toddlers' for nothing. Splat is standing all of the time, and she can walk along furniture by herself. Couple that with her having a... hands on... older sister, and she spends a lot of her time falling down.

Shake'n'Bake is more steady on her feet. She can run and jump and somersault and climb, and because she can do all of these things, it means that she must.

She runs everywhere, jumps on her bed/the couch/the floor/my stomach/my bed/the walls...okay, the last one was made up...somersaults all over the place, and does backflips off the couch.


Yes, backflips. They're really more of a backwards somersault, but they make some people very uncomfortable.

Regardless, she too spends a lot of time impacting herself off of objects. Causing bruises. And bumps. And cuts. And every other normal thing that happens to children.

The one major factor of this equation? Shake'n'Bake's dad and I are not together, so although the bruises seem normal to me, he may find them suspicious or concerning since he did not see them happen. (At this point I don't even know where most of her bruises come from. If she doesn't make a big deal about an injury, I don't ask.)

Over a year ago, Shake'n'Bake fell off my bed and landed on a wooden toolbox that I had built. With her back. What was a wooden toolbox doing next to my bed, you may ask? Well, I had no garage, no storage, no door on the hall closet, and no seperate floor. My toolbox (filled with sewing supplies, nonetheless!) was placed next to my bed, with my filing cabinet closing it off from Shake'n'Bake's reach.

Unless of course, she were to FALL ON IT WITH HER BACK.



She developed a huge bruise in the center of her back, that blackened and purpled and greened, then later yellowed. It looked awful! She went to her dad's house that weekend, and lo and behold, he asked me shortly thereafter if she was being abused.


'Oh yeah, it was me. It's a good thing you asked though, or I never would have told you.'


Boyfriend and I now have a running joke that every Thursday before Shake'n'Bake goes to her dad's house, she will injure and bruise herself in some way.

It helps to keep the illusion that maybe I'm beating her.

The good news is: I'm not beating her! And, at some point she started bringing home some significant bruises from her dad's house too.

If a bruise is big enough, or concerning looking, then we will mention it to each other while she is changing hands. Most of the time, we just leave it. Lord knows, she has enough bruises.

This? This is nothing.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tattoo Me Embarassed

I need your help coming up with an idea to cover a tattoo of mine.

Now, before anyone starts feeling holier than thou, my issue is not with the tattoo itself. This was my first tattoo, a visual representation of a decade's worth of bestfriendship with two ladies, and the significance of how they saved my life.

Despite losing their friendship over my pregnancy with Shake'n'Bake, I would still keep the tattoo. A part of my life is still a part of my life, and they are still an important part of what happened to me.

My issue is with how the tattoo turned out. I was too young and naive to stand up for myself. I designed and drew the tattoo myself, and it was half the size of the one on my arm. There are many MANY problems that have irritated me about the tattoo since, but my pride and embarrassment over not standing up for myself to the artist have led to me accepting the tattoo since then.

At this point, I would like to cover it.

I want it covered so that I don't have to see a constant reminder of my inability to say no. Of my decision to plan the tattoo for over a year, (to ensure that I would like it) and then to go to the parlour and allow most of my ideas to be compromised.

I am now accepting (see: begging for) ideas of how to cover it. The cover-tatto will need to have a lot of lines in it, since there are so many black lines in the original.

If you are so inclined, you may also draw a picture (Go-Hard) and email it to me at atasteofdysfunction@hotmail.ca . I will include the pictures in a future post if any are sent.

If you aren't artistically inclined, then just use your words. Leave me a comment with a suggestion on how to cover this tattoo!

Yes, that's my left forearm.

So, help me out?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

Father's Day is a day to celebrate dads. A day to recognize the efforts of those men who make a difference in someone's life.

I have already expressed my view of Boyfriend's 'father' status in this post: #1 Dad

Suffice it to say, I believe that Boyfriend would fall into the category of man whom should be celebrated on Father's Day.

Happy Father's Day to the man who attended baby classes, held me while I cried, carried everything heavy, and changed poopy diapers.

To the man whose big hands are gentle enough to cuddle, soothe and caress.

Happy Father's Day to the man who learned and created Christmas traditions for the most important holiday in my year.

To the man who sings carols, jingles, and nursery rhymes.

Who is patient enough to answer 'But why?' one thousand times.

Happy Father's Day to the man who loves to teach: baking, hockey, soccer, jumping, dancing, singing, and anything else they want to learn.

To the man who wants to learn: dresses, dolls, hair brushing, diapers, baths, songs, wrestling, pony rides, airplanes, flowers, and everything else there is to learn.

You are an angel who has come into our lives, with so much to offer us. With so many memories to make, I know that you will fill our lives with joy. We love you. Happy Father's Day.

Of course, he is not the only man in my life who needs to be recognized on this day.

My Dad.

My Dad is a man who pulled his family out of poverty. Always a strong man, he sacrificed so much for our family...much more than he will ever tell me.

When I was young, I was a bit of a Daddy's Girl. I wanted his approval more than anything. At times, I feared my father. His anger was scary, both of their angers were, but as the years passed and things changed, he has become a rock in my life.

I made poor decisions, and my father was always around to listen. To give advice, but mostly to help me work it out on my own.

He gave me a roof over my head. A place to live with my small daughter while I got back on my feet.

He paid for groceries when there were none.

Money. Loaned for a car, and later school.

My father is many things in his life. Many things to many different people. But one thing that he always has been, and always will be, is my father. My dad.

The man that I am so afraid to disappoint, says he can never be disappointed in me.

And I, his oldest child, his only daughter, am so proud of him. I am proud of him for taking what life threw at him for many years, and for resolving it. For making the best decisions he could, and for seeing everything through to the end. I am proud of him for growing with his children, and for embracing his grandchildren.

Happy Father's Day to the man who held his grandchildren, both of them, even though babies make him uncomfortable because they're so 'fragile'.

To the man who says kids make him feel sad when they cry.

Happy Father's Day to the man who isn't afraid to get down on the floor and play with toys. Even if it is hard to get back up.

To the man who tries to understand what they're saying, even thought Toddler-Speak is an unknown and difficult language.

Happy Father's Day to the man who brings presents for all of the little holidays, but knows not to bring too much sugar because Momma will get upset.

To the man who learned to cook, so he could have us all over for dinner, and who's 'pack-rattery' has helped me on multiple occassions.

Dad, I may not agree with you about everything, but you have taught me that I don't have to. You taught me to think, and to make smart, informed decisions. You taught me to do what was best for my family, and that as long as I am trying, you will never be disappointed in me. You taught me respect, honesty, hard-work, and comedy. I still think of your heroism every time I see a snapping turtle.

To the man who once stopped and put out a forest fire by himself, Happy Father's Day. I love you.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

My Vacation

Sometimes the children get unbearable.

I like to think that I'm Super Mom. Or at least, I like other people to think that I'm Super Mom, but every now and then I run out of steam.

So, what does Super Mom do when she's out of steam? Where does she get renergized?

Vacation, obviously.

Look at that view!

All of the trees.

The exotic greenery.

...okay, maybe not.

Meet Yucci.                       
My Yucca Sugar Cane.                       
He lives on my microwave stand right now.                       

And mayyyyyyyyyybe the other pictures are from a painting on my wall...

But, COME ON! I don't think anyone actually believed that I could afford to go on a vacation to escape my kids.

I do like to stare at that painting and imagine. It calms me down, so it's like a mini-vacation for my mind.

And Yucci? Well, Yucci's been living with me, under my sole care, for two months now.

And. He's. Not. Dead.

That's epic for my black thumb. Everything I touch dies.

I just enjoy looking at things in my life, and having them mean a lot to me.

Isn't that better than having to leave?

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Furniture Obituaries

You may remember my couch.

It is the infamous piece of furniture that Shake'n'Bake spilled milk on, and then attempted to clean 'all my byself'. You can find the full story here: The Victims of Fussy Hour.

I REALLY REALLY tried to find a picture of the couch that included the stain from the story, but unfortunately (or an extreme coincidence...) every photo of the couch has a person or object conveniently in front of the stain.

My subconcious for couch photography is the bomb.

So here is a picture of the couch:

Hey look! Easter eggs! This picture must be from Christmas or something.


I've had three cups of coffee...bear with me.

Note all of the visible rips and stains:

And this is the couch at its optimum appearance. The cushions are placed (and flipped) so as to minimize the visibility of rips and stains; I've even carefully folded a piece of couch fabric over itself  to hide a rip. Underneath the cushions are more stains and rips, and even an exposed spring.


It was time for the couch to go.

White Sectional Couch
Unknown - May 2011
'It was a good couch... well as good as free can be. It smelled funny, had no back cushioning, and was mildly itchy. White Sectional Couch is survived by a loving spouse, White Sectional Loveseat, and four Small Cushions.'

After joking with everyone who ever stepped foot in my apartment, and hoping for the funds for a new couch, or for a gently used one to fall in my lap... it happened!

As an Easter present from my parents (I still get Easter presents from my parents?!?! I didn't know this!) they passed down a couch that has been gently loved. This lovely piece of furniture was passed down from my aunt, to my parents, to my dad's new house, and then to me. (With any luck my kids will get it.... hahahahahaha)

(Due to an animal dander allergy in the family) We tore the couch apart and cleaned the hell out of it. I took off every cushion cover, soaked them in the tub with buttloads of laundry detergent, and, using a mop handle, became a manual washing machine. We vacuumed, plucked, brushed, washed, and sprayed the couch with a deodorizer/antibacterial spray (for the dander).

Then I sewed the one rip shut.

Then I bought cushions.

May I present:

Beige Couch, The Great

Feel free to ignore the dirt all over the floor.

Welcome to the family! May you have many years ahead of you.

Special thanks to my parents...thanks!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Kids' Math

Image from here.

I gave Shake'n'Bake cheese and crackers today for a snack. (I also had cheese and crackers, freaking delicious!)

I cut 16 pieces of cheese and divided 8 crackers amongst us. That would give us 8 pieces of cheese and 4 crackers a piece.

This is how our plates ended up.

Mine: 8 pieces of cheese, spread evenly over 4 crackers = 2 pieces of cheese per cracker.

Shake'n'Bake's plate: 8 pieces of cheese plus 4 crackers = 1 piece of cheese per cracker for 3 crackers, 4 pieces of cheese on 1 cracker, and 1 piece of cheese dropped on the floor and abandoned.



Now, maybe it's my OCD kicking in and bothering me, but COME ON! I could understand 1 piece of cheese per cracker, having 4 crackerless pieces on the side...but to have such a mishmash of cheese-cracker pairings... ARGH!


Okay...it's me.

P.S. I don't understand why Blogger isn't letting me post comments anywhere, including my own blog, but I am reading all of your posts and comments and am LOVING them. Please continue to comment on my blog, as long as Blogger allows you to. I will respond as soon as possible.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Feeling Squirrely

Every time a child disturbs their mother's poop,
a squirrel gets hit by a car and dies.

Let me poop in peace.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Shake'n'Bake - A Birth Story

After reading through many birth stories over at The Daily Guggie I have decided that it may be time to write out my birth stories, in an attempt to educate, heal, and have them in writing before my memory escapes me.The following post is planning on being very descriptive. You've been warned.

It took us almost a year before I became pregnant with Shake'n'Bake. At barely 19 years old, I was given the news that my uterine surgery was a success and I was able to concieve. My 'now-or-never' option had finally become a 'now'.

I was referred to an OBGYN in my city whom I began seeing. I remember going to his office and having to sit in the waiting room for one or two hours every time, to get in for my five to ten minutes appointment. Dr. M was rude. He would ask his questions and then give orders, never answering any of mine. His go-to reponse for any of my concerns was: "It's a baby thing" as he would exit the room.

I tried to comfort myself with the knowledge that he may be a poopy person but he was a great doctor.

So I thought.

I had been given a multitude of different due dates for Shake'n'Bake throughout my pregnancy. The one that they finally settled on ended up being incorrect...somehow Dr. M had managed to use the wheel wrong and had calculated my due date 40 weeks and 2 days from the first day of my last period, instead of exactly 40 weeks as it should have been. The discrepencies never should have happened in the first place due to the fact that we were trying to have a baby, so I was using the calendar and an ovulation prediction kit to track my days. I knew (and still know) the exact date of Shake'n'Bake's conception.

As the date approached I became excited. Dr. M became bored. I would often be seen by his resident (to whom I was never introduced) instead of him, and still no one answered my questions.

Her due date passed, and at my appointment two days later, I was told that I would need to be induced. Induced? What the hell? I stood between Dr. M and the door so he could not escape, and asked him what the harm was in letting her stay in my tummy and come out when she was ready.

He told me that there was danger that she would grow too big and would not fit through the birth canal if she stayed in much longer. That if she did not fit or got stuck, that I would need to have a C-section. A C-section was not what I had planned. I wanted a vaginal birth, and if being induced still gave me that option...plus if she was in danger inside me...

We got to pick the date that our child was to be born on. More or less. Book the day for induction, and you would have a baby that day or more likely, the day after.

That Wednesday we went out to lunch on the way to the hospital. A bit of a ceremonious send-off for non-baby lunches. I ordered some form of omelet I believe...or perhaps a sandwich...I remember having some light contractions during lunch and thinking that they were just nasty Braxton Hicks (practice contractions). At one point I went to the washroom in the basement to pee, I was struck with a particularily big contraction and remember thinking that if these kept up, someone would have to carry me back up the stairs!

My (now-ex) mother-in-law drove us to the hospital for the induction, my Dad and Brother were meeting us there an hour or so later, (after I had been given the induction medication) and then they were going to take us out for dinner. Chinese food! Mmmm.

After I was put on the examining table, a strange doctor whom I had never met was given the task of inserting a drug-soaked tampon into my vagina, and then hooking me up to monitors for an hour. I was supposed to move as little as possible, but at one point a nasty contraction caused me to change positions and the monitor on my stomach shifted off of her heartbeat.

This one and only dip in her heart rate (even though I explained what had happened) caused them to keep me in the hospital for ANOTHER hour for monitoring. Even though the second hour passed uneventfully, the night doctor determined that it would be best if I stayed in the hospital anyways. For funsies I guess.

I was pissed. I was fuming mad. I did NOT want to be in the hospital right then. I was supposed to go out for Chinese food, not have hospital take in. I threw a massive fit for them to let me leave, and eventually was told that in order to go I would have to sign release papers - releasing the hospital of any liability should something go wrong.

These papers scared me, and apparently my dad too, since he advised me that maybe I should just stay. Logically it was what was safest for the baby, right? Right?

Dad and Brother drove out to a Wendy's and brought us back some meals. When we walked down to meet them, I couldn't make it all the way to the door without crouching on the side of the hall, focusing through my contractions. (FYI: elevators + labour = burning desire to vomit everywhere)

I managed a mouthful of Coke and two fries before I threw up into that stupid kidney bean shaped vomit cup hospitals give you. I promptly gave up on my meal and tried to get some rest before it was baby time.

I asked to walk at one point...the hospital staff was very hesitant about this. They asked me why I would want to walk around, I told them that I was fairly certain it was good for a labouring woman and they just scoffed me. I was only allowed to do it once, a brief lap of the labour floor, before I was returned to my bed to labour on my back.

When the pain became too much to bear, I asked for relief. I have now learned that lying on your back can make contractions much more painful, and I had been in the same position for many hours. The nursing staff gave me a shot of Demoral (sp?) that was to 'take the edge off'. Time passed, and the pain was right back up to awful again. When I requested a second shot, the rude nurse made a big deal about how she had already given me one. She then said that if I was going to be asking for so much pain relief that maybe I should get an epidural. I told her that I planned on getting one when I couldn't handle the pain anymore, and she told me that I would 'have to make up my mind' they would need to wake the anaesthesiologist up.

"Then wake him up" I retorted.

What felt like hours later, the anaesthesiologist made his way into my room. Apparently he was a very nice doctor, I don't know. I was so focused on the pain that I barely acknowledged his existance. I do remember him saying that he would have to insert the needle in between contractions, to which I angrily replied: "There is no between contractions."

The first attempt only numbed the left half of my body, so the needle was pulled out and reinserted. Success! I then became a zombie. I called my Dad and my then-mother-in-law to let them know that the baby was on the way. At 2am. At 2am I called them and said "I'm going to have a baby tomorrow." To which my Dad asked: "Do you mean today? It's two in the morning."

When the sun rose, I was given the go ahead to start pushing. I didn't want to. To this day, I still don't know why I said no, but I did. I refused to push. I told the nurse that maybe we'd try in half an hour. After reading the birth stories of many other women, I wonder if some unnumbed part of my brain knew that I need another half and hour. Regardless, half an hour later I began to push.

Dr. M made it to the hospital when it was good and convenient for him. He showed up in my room in jeans and a striped golf shirt, holding his extra large Tim Horton's coffee. He made some snide comment about my current state and turned to exit the room when the nurse stopped him. (My pushing nurse was one of the sweetest women I met there.)

"Dr. M," she said, "I think we're close. You should probably stay." He consented to watching one push, and (I guess) saw my baby's head. He then sighed, mumbled something about wanting to go back to the office, and then left to get his resident.

For my entire delivery, Dr. M leaned against the back wall making comments and drinking his coffee. His resident, Dr. L, washed up and delivered my baby. I had never been informed that anyone other than Dr. M would be delivering my baby. It shocked and upset me, but I am grateful for the hard work that Dr. L provided to me.

As Shake'n'Bake started crowning, I started tearing. Dr. L told me that I was tearing, and asked if I wanted an episiotomy.

"Well of course she wants an episiotomy!" Snapped Dr. M from the wall.

"Uh-bup-bup," I silenced him with my finger, "what's an episiotomy?" Dr. L explained that it was a cut that she would make into my perenium (the skin between the vagina and the anus) that would enlarge the vaginal opening for the baby's head to fit through. She explained that since I was tearing towards my clitoris, if I tore anymore I would have a difficult time urinating, and may require surgery to fix it.

I then consented to the episiotomy, and when she was finished, I pushed my baby out. Dr. L placed her on my stomach as the nurses began wiping her down. I looked down at my baby girl and felt nothing. No tears of joy streamed down my face, no feelings of elation welled up inside me. I forced my hand up to touch her, and was shocked that I was not interested in feeling her at all.
(This is difficult to admit, bear with me.)

I cut the umbilical cord when I was told to. She was then taken to the warm-table to be cleaned and weighed and such, and Dr. L pulled my placenta out by the cord.

Then I began to hemorrhage.

For those who do not know, the placenta is called 'afterbirth' and it is an organ that is grown to provide nutrients to your baby. In healthy pregnancies, it is firmly attached to the wall of your uterus while your baby is in utero, and then after you deliver your baby you continue to have contractions that detach and birth the placenta.

Pulling the placenta out tears it from the uterus before the blood vessels can close. This can increase the risk of hemorrhaging and death.

Panick ensued.

I was given three shots of two different substances to stop the bleeding, but to no avail. Dr. L then started a 'uterine massage' to encourage my uterus to contract and stop the bleeding. A 'uterine massage' involves digging one or both of your hands into the front of a woman's stomach as aggressively as possible, and then trying to jam them downwards into the pelvis, as if you were stuffing a sleeping bag.

Except she wasn't stuffing a sleeping bag, she was stuffing my hemorrhaging uterus down into my pelvic girdle. Despite having the epidural still functional, I could feel the most intense BURNING, SEARING pain that I have ever felt in my life.

As my mind went back into shock, I looked over at Shake'n'Bake in the warming table - her father near by - and thought that he would take care of her, it was okay for me to die. So I stared at the ceiling and waited for death to take me.

Death never did come for me, but it took me a long time before I was willing to touch my baby girl again. Luckily, she tried to suckle for security, and the prolonged contact to her helped me to feel something.

I was very aggressive when family members wanted to hold her, I still can't place exactly why that happened, but at the time I clenched my fists in anger whenever anyone else picked her up.

Still to come: Splat - A Birth Story...later... This is mentally exhausting.
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