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.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gifts to...Grow

It's going to cost me $120 just to have my teeth cleaned.

And trust me, they're in desperate need of it.

That's not including the cost of any little extras that pop up, like a disgusting amount of cavities (just a prediction), root canals, or otherwise.

Since I've gotten home from the dentist's office I've: cleaned a few dishes, $120, made lunch, $120, packaged Boyfriend off to school, $120, taken Shake'n'Bake to the potty, $120, cleaned the bathroom, $120, brushed our teeth, $120, cleaned the bedroom, $120, put the girls down for nap, $120, reheated my coffee, $120, and remembered I had a few Pamper's Gift to Grow Points to be entered. $120.

There it was, the toy I have been planning to buy for Splat for her first birthday. Nothing too expensive, obviously, but if I could get it for free...


O_O


And so, I plea to my followers and fellow bloggers: If you have, or know of anyone who has Pamper's Gift to Grow Points, please send them to me!

There is a sticker on every Pamper's product (diapers, wipes, etc.) with a 15-digit code on it. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE email me these codes (provided you're not using them...) at atasteofdysfunction@hotmail.ca . Every code that I recieve will get me closer to saving a little money that will apparently be going into my mouth instead.



So...yeah...I've begged...

A Taste of Dentistry

I'm not good at brushing my teeth.

I don't dislike doing it, I really don't, I'm just not good at it. I'm not good at remembering when to brush my teeth, or having it be on the front of my mind. Routines are only a recent development in my life, and up until this point...well...I've had the dental hygeine of a slow duck.


O_o


In case you didn't get that: ducks don't have teeth.

Now would be a good time to mention that if you have a mouth thing that you may not want to continue reading this.



Image from here.

When I was much much smaller my parents used to enforce tooth brushing. I had zero cavities in my baby teeth, and they stayed in my mouth longer than the average bear. (As it turns out, tooth brushing has no effect on how long baby teeth stay in your mouth, but at the time I thought it did.) As the years progressed mom went back to school and (quite suddenly) stopped caring about her previous job of homemaker. This allowed me to fake brushing my teeth (see: wet toothbrush and put it back), and then stop doing it all together.

At this age it was sheer laziness, mixed with a small dash of rebellion since I believed I was 'getting away' with something.

As my teeth began to rot and fill with cavities, my ADHD began to grow stronger and stronger. I developed the awareness that the cavities would stop if I brushed regularily, but would forget entire days of my life. Remembering to eat meals and get dressed became a priority in my life, quickly followed by school and school related stuffs.

Highschool brought (among more cavities) a desperate attempt to make my life 'routine'. This naive perception was foiled by the routine itself. Every time I would think that I should brush my teeth, it wouldn't be during the allotted time in the schedule. I would put it off under the assumption that I would get back to it later in the day.

It rarely happened.

I began dreading going to the dentist. No one understood that I wasn't purposely being disgusting. I knew of the importance of dental hygiene, I just couldn't do it.

Over the past year (with the help of Boyfriend) I have accomplished something that I have never been able to accomplish before. I now brush my teeth daily. Every so often  I will brush them more than once, but it is practically guaranteed to be at least daily. Shake'n'Bake does it as well.

Routine.

I am on my way to the dentist now. For the first time in over two years.

All I can hope is that the dentist understands. Because if they don't...it may be another couple of years before I try again...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Precious Baby Boy

8:05am

You enter the world. Dead.


The panic button is pressed and the emergency team rushes the room. You are swooped out into the hall without so much as a word. Your umbilical cord was wrapped around your neck and you suffocated during delivery. Your tiny, unmoving body was blue. I had no idea what was going on.


Every second stretched into minutes, waiting, wondering, and then you cried.


9lbs 1/2oz, small clenched fists of confusion and upset, you were a miracle within minutes of your birth.

You are a miracle to this day.



I remember not being able to hold you when you came home from the hospital. Some neighbourhood children came to visit and they held you without fear. Why couldn't I do the same?



I remember making your lunches for school. The walk there was fun, I believe we even held hands the first time. Venturing outside the home was a newer experience. And the first time you rode a bus! I'll never forget how anxiously we waited for that big yellow beast to pull up.



I remember when you'd get in trouble at school, or fight the children on the bus. Those little brats...they completely deserved it, you never started fights.



I remember the funeral we had when your pet worm fried in the sun. And then later, when your first (and second) hamsters died. I remember how we held each other after our first dog died. How you would look into my eyes and tell me everything would be okay.



We fought. Oh, the violence, but we didn't know. As time passed we learned to treat each other as safe havens. As sheltered ports for the storms. We came to rely on each other, often seeking the other's advice.



I threw you once... and cracked your ribs. It was an accident, but I remember waiting in fear for the ambulance to arrive. I was prepared to never forgive myself, and then you forgave me first. It would have been selfish for me to hang onto that guilt when you so easily released it.



I remember you teaching me how to play video games. Or how to work the computer properly. Or removing the viruses that I accidently allowed on to the computer with my naivety for the internet. Always helping me, without judgement.



I remember giving you the talk and then having you tell me that you had already learned it in school. Sigh.



I love how open we always were with each other. How it wasn't a big deal to say: I'm depressed, because I was never afraid you'd stop loving me.






Time is my worst foe, and in these last dying moments I reflect upon my precious baby boy, everything he was and is to me. I mourn his loss, but in his place I celebrate the man he has become.



8:05am

The year was 1991.



Very very shortly my baby brother will be 20 years old. He will no longer be my precious baby boy, but I can be nothing but proud of this strong loving man who has taken his place.

I love you.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Freeze-ster!

Guess what the Easter Bunny brought me this year.

A broken heater!

Well, he would have, if the poor bugger hadn't frozen outside.


Picture from here.
 It was Wednesday I believe... when we first noticed it was starting to get chilly in here.

I naively chalked it up to a drop in the outside temperature. As if things could actually happen naturally around here.

Thursday was just plain cold. When it came time for bed I was shivering, and as such, I turned the thermostat all the way up.

I just wanted to hear the heater go on.

But it was too late.

She was dead.


o_o


We shivered all night. I double-blanketed the girls, checking in on them periodically, and first thing in the morning I contacted Landlord. He was over later that day (Friday...GOOD Friday) to let me know that although he knew what was wrong with the heater, all the stores were closed due to this blasted holiday.  Also, the piece he needed may have to be ordered.

So he brought us two space heaters.

This was a lovely gesture, and most of the time these two little buggers are adequate to heat the apartment....like noonish, when the outside temperature has risen....but I can not wait to have the heater working again.

If there's one thing that should rise from the dead today...blasphemic joke, I know. I apologize if it offends anyone.

Cold.



Happy Easter!

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Craftasaurus Alphabet

I recently wrote a post called Craftasaurus Rex which was all about the crafts that Shake'n'Bake and I have been doing lately. I mentioned in that post that I should illustrate the Craftasaurus Rex. So, of course, I did.




Craftasaurus Rex told me that I should write more about the Letter Books. Some people have shown interest in recreating these crafts for themselves, which I am so flattered about, and I thought that it may be easier to recreate the Letter Books if you knew the words that I chose.

First of all, I have five different colours of paper that I use for the Letter Books. This makes ten individual pieces of paper, and nine different "page spreads". The first two page spreads are used for Big * and Little * also known as the Upper and Lower Case forms of the letters. That leaves room for seven words that begin with the letter.

If you also choose to use 5 colours, then your arrangement possibilities (according to my OCD) are:

2 WORDS  -  1 page of each colour
3 WORDS  -  2 pages of 3 colours
5 WORDS  -  2 pages of 4 colours
7 WORDS  -  2 pages of each colour

My first and BIGGEST suggestion is this: use all of the first names of your children, pets, and the words 'Mommy', 'Daddy', etc. I chose not to use Aunts, Uncles, or Grandparents for my books, but don't let that stop you! We had lots of fun drawing the members of our family, and it helps her to recognize what letter of the alphabet her name starts with. Or Mommy starts with. Or her sister.

PLEASE! Tailor this to your child as much as possible. Shake'n'Bake likes animals, so a lot of the words are animals words (therefore a lot of the pictures are...special...) but if your child likes construction vehicles, then use them instead. Sports? Try the equipment. Are you focusing on colours? Then include them (we have no colours in ours because they are included in the spelling game). Clothes, favourite TV show characters, fruits and vegetables, be creative!

I have taken the liberty of replacing all of our names in the Alphabet List with other words so that you will have options. SOME letters were very difficult, and if you don't like or agree with my words, you can replace them or make smaller books.

I would also recommend that you take the time to write out all of your words before you begin. The first two or three books that we did we came up the words as we went... this will leave you with words like 'avacado' for a two year old.

O_o


My Letter Book Word List

A
apple
ant
avacado
ape
acorn
airplane
arrow

B
ball
bed
bicycle
banana
butterfly
book
bird

C
cookie
cat
coat
chair
curtain
cow
clock

D
dog
diaper
dresser
door
doll
duck
dress

E
elephant
earring
eggplant
envelope
elastic
ear
egg

F
fox
flower
finger
fish
fly
foot
frog

G
garbage
gem
grass
giraffe
grapes
gorilla
guitar

H
hen
heart
horse
hand
house
hippo
hat

I
ice cream
infant
ice cube
igloo
iceskate
iguana
icicle

J
jungle
jug
jacks - like the game...with the ball...and the silver spikey things.
jam
jester
jail
juice

K
kiss - I drew two faces with massive lips touching.
kitten
king
kangaroo
kite
key
koala

L
lion
log
light
lake
lamb
leg
leaf

M
moon
mouse
monkey
music
map
maracas
marble

N
necklace
nose
nickle
net
needle - I went with a hypodermic needle that we would find at the doctor's office. You can always use sewing needle.
nut
nest

O
olive
owl
orange - the fruit
oar
oboe
oven
octopus

P
phone
pants
parrot
purse
penny
pillow
penguin

Q
quiet - I had a finger in front of a mouth saying 'shhhhh'.
quack - a duck's head, open beak saying 'QUACK!'.
quill
quail
quilt
queen
quarter

R
rhino
ring
rug
rat
roof
ruler
rope

S
socks
snake
star
swimsuit
snail
slippers
stereo

T
teeth
table
turtle
tree
towel
tiger
truck

U
umbrella
underwear
ukelele
unicycle
unicorn
umpire
UFO

V
vase
vent
vulture
vine
violin
van
vacuum

W
whale
water
worm
wig
wipes
wagon
wink - I drew a face with one eye open and one closed.

X
xylophone
xray

Y
yarn
yoyo
yogurt
yam
yawn
yell
yard

Z
zigzag
zamboni
zoo
zither
zucchini
zebra
zipper


So that's my list! Shake'n'Bake and I are still working on the books (six to go!) but I really hope that you'll try this with your kids (or other small relatives...) and if you do, I would love it if you sent me a picture! You can email me at atasteofdysfunction@hotmail.ca and if I get photos I will post them up here at a later date.

Craftasaurus Rex says you should email me.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Rage-Splosion

I am becoming angrier and angrier.

Perhaps it is what my depression is turning into as the winter subsides and the warm weather is coming out...but it doesn't seem likely. Spring makes me calm.

Perhaps it is a hormone change from my birth control...but I've been on the same birth control for over five years now, and this has never happened before.

Perhaps it is due to lack of sleep. Splat has been waking up four or five times a night to feed again.


O_o


I've even been dreaming about waking up to feed her, and then actually waking up and having a moment of panick because she's not in bed with me.



No matter what the cause is, I am filled with rage. It's almost a constant state now.

I'm mad that I live in this dump, in the Ghetto. I'm mad that I don't have a yard to play in. I'm mad that I can't afford buttloads of food, and since I've been so exhausted - have put grocery shopping off (again) until tomorrow. I'm mad that I have nothing planned for dinner. I'm mad that I can't afford to put my car back on the road (and just now, I'm mad that I forgot to call my cousin back this weekend like I was supposed to. Crap). And I'm mad that my stupid ex is trying to get another reduction in child support.

I'm mad that I'm changing programs. I'm mad at the program and the field for sucking so much, and I'm mad that I didn't look farther into it, or consider the possibility of these risks earlier on. I'm mad that I have to apply to new schools, while hounding my old one for marks, and having to book assessments anyways because apparently nobody really cares what your marks are.

I'm mad that I haven't gotten around to doing the dishes yet today. I'm mad that we had salty Mr. Noodles for lunch because I haven't bought real groceries yet (see: tomorrow), and I'm mad that Shake'n'Bake loves them anyways. What happened to good eating habits?


I'm furious that the couch beetles are back.


Like: flaming-murderous-rampage, want-to-move-before-we-have-another-place-to-live furious.

It's only the 11th of April, and yet I have found and killed six already. SIX. Five of which were in the last three days.

It's f%&#ing ridiculous!!!

Stupid, nasty, little bastards. There were none for the entire winter. They sat outside in some soil, in a frozen hibernation-like state of cryogenesis, waiting for the spring to thaw the ground so that they could resume their attack on my life.

At their current rate of attack, I'm likely to see well into the hundreds for casualties this year. I just don't know if my stretched little mind can handle it.

ARGH!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Craftasaurus Rex

I may have to illustrate that title some time...

EDIT: I did. Here.

I decided to kick up the learning-gear a bit. I went out and bought a whole butt-load of craft supplies a short while ago. Shake'n'Bake was at her dad's house when I made this little beauty:



All of the 'pictures' are fastened with velcro pieces. This gives Shake'n'Bake the ability to pull them all off and then match them with their appropriate starting letters. There is also a Part II to this 'toy' (as she calls it) in which there are paper cards with the words written on them (i.e. WHALE) and then there are foam letters ('W') velcroed to them. The letters and pictures were to be interchangable.

Shake'n'Bake LOVES this toy. She has absorbed the knowledge like a sponge, and the only picture casualty was the whale...the picture ending there is not a coincidence...

The foam letters however, were...not as hearty. She's torn three or four of them in half already, so I've removed them for a short while. Perhaps in a month or two....



Another awesome craft we have been doing is decorating foam butterflies with foam shapes. This gives Shake'n'Bake the ability to be independantly creative, without me having to worry about permanent damage to anything, or a massive set-up/clean-up. This doubles as awesomeness for me because I have decided to do a Caterpillar/Butterfly theme for Shake'n'Bake's birthday this year, so unknowingly she is helping to prepare decorations.

Yeah, it's okay to be jealous.

Butteflies:




 

 














Stupid picture set-up thing...

She gets to pick whichever foam shapes she'd like to use, and they're all stickers which is awesome for me because it means no glue

I've currently clothespinned them all around her room (which she loves) and I will move them to the main room on party day.

While she was crafting, I took an extra 2 sets of foam butteflies and turned them in to Butterfly Puzzles!




Each butterfly has its colour written on it, and then a second butterfly with the same colour on it was cut into pieces, allowing for one letter per piece. The object of the game is to place the letters in the correct order forming the colour. Shake'n'Bake likes to assemble them on top of the original butterfly, see the blue and orange ones pictured above.





Shake'n'Bake also has Alphabet Mats:

The grooves are from the bicycle...they pop right back up after a while.

One morning I awoke to find that she had pulled out some letters, and in front of her sister's crib has copied the word 'PUSH' from the sticker adhered to the crib. When I asked her what she was doing, she said: "Look Mommy: Splat," and pointed to her word.

All sorts of ideas exploded in my brain like fireworks. I settled on a sticker-rewarded spelling-game.

A quick poster that read "Shake'n'Bake Can Spell!"  taped to the door + a bunch of small word cards = instant learning game.


After they were written, I decided that it would be easier for her if there were pictures as well...so I added them. If you're here to laugh at my artwork...stay tuned, it gets better.

For every word that she assembles with the Alphabet Mat letters, she gets to place a sticker on her poster. It's a pretty big hit. I also wrote her name on a card, and since "Shake'n'Bake" has two A's and two K's and two E's I had to make supplemental cards with the extra letters.

EDIT: I forgot to put this picture in. It is Shake'n'Bake spelling the word "SHIRT".




Then, one day after we had made a book about one of her stuffed animals, I decided that it would be an EPIC idea to make a book for each letter of the alphabet.

Introducing our Letter Books!


As of right now, we've only done thirteen of the twenty-six. I started out doing them alphabetically, but now I let her decide which one she would like to do. I would like to show you the inside of one, so let's focus on: The Letter C













All of these pictures are so dark because I had to leave the flash off. I tried with the flash on, but I had to hold the books open which made it too close to the camera.

It was a giant white rectangle.

What we do it make a list of seven words that start with that letter, in this case the letter 'C', then we have the first two pages be the upper and lower cases of it: Big C and Little c. This gives Shake'n'Bake practise with writing and following directions. Then each of our seven words are written out (by me) twice, and we each get a page to draw the word on to. For example, the word on the last page of the letter C was "CLOCK". Therefore, I wrote CLOCK on the top of two pages, and Shake'n'Bake and I each got to draw a clock. When the book is assembled, my pictures give guidance as to what the word is, while her pictures allow her to interact in making the book, and take pride in the finished product.

EDIT: To find a complete list of Letter Book words, go to this post.


And, I believe that is all for today. Must run and make dinner, but I'm going to try and have this post itself automatically at a later time...we'll see.

F(ish)ridge

Ridiculous.

First, the tortellini was soft in the freezer.

Boyfriend and I berated ourselves for leaving the freezer door ajar. We promised to be more diligent, after all there was meat in the freezer and we didn't want it to spoil.

Next came the bread. Nearly defrosted when I pulled it out.

I turned up the cold on the dial for the freezer...perhaps the milk had knocked it down to warmer or something.

Then came the day when the ice was melted. All of the small meats were defrosted, any and everything bread based was thawed, it was awful. Even the inside walls of the freezer weren't cold.

We cooked all of the sausages that we had, ate them on thawed buns. Other meat was moved to the fridge for timely consumption, and the remaining breads, vegetables, and whole chicken were moved to the chest freezer upstairs.

I sent Landlord a message saying that the freezer was broken. He called me back and asked if we could make it to the weekend at which time he would replace the fridge. I naively said yes.

The next morning Boyfriend picked up a less-than-cold container of ham soup from the fridge and brought it with him for lunch. It didn't taste or smell right so he disposed of it.

The next morning we enjoyed bowls of cereal with sour milk.

The fridge had gone too.

Landlord came over (while we had company...sigh) with a 'new' fridge for us. Where he got this thing from is beyond me, my best guesses are: the side of the road, or an old sushi restaurant.

Inside the freezer there was black and grey mold, inside the fridge: half an eggshell pasted to an egg holder, and a variety of greenery crumbs.

The entire thing reeked of fish.

I busted out my new Lysol Multi-Spray-Cleaner-TakeITBEYOTCH! and spritzed every possible surface of the fridge. Boyfriend began scrubbing drawers and shelves in the sink.

It still smells. And it's awful. It makes everything it comes into contact with reek.

Now it smells like a giant fish was poisoned with Lysol, died, and then rotted in my fridge.


O_o


Yay....





P.S. Dear Shadow Lurkers,
It would be super awesome if you could follow me publicly. My fragile little ego would love some inflation... or even justification... a high five?
Thanks.
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