Friday, January 27, 2012


Life is a compilation of never ending struggles.  Some of us fare better than others.  Some of us have to battle harder than others.  It's during these battles that your true colours emerge or shine the brightest...for some.  Sometimes for some people the battle is not easily fought and sometimes for some people they don't get out of those battles alive. 

Yesterday the world lost a truly decent guy.  He fought the fight, and remained a genuine person to the core.  He knew his weaknesses but he didn't allow them to ruin who he was as a person.  He had so much potential and we'll never fully understand or know what he could have been.  I am saddened that these struggles had to be part of his life.  He deserved all the happiness in the world.  He will never truly know how much of an impact he really had on people.  He never 'got' it.  He was a good man, with demons.  In the end, I suppose the demons won.  But they will never take away who he was.   Godspeed Keith.  May you never feel suffering, anguish or pain again. 

1976 - 2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Frustration at Epic Proportions

It's frustrating to me when certain people who are clearly in the wrong cannot look into themselves and understand that all the shit that has piled on top of them is as a result of their wrong doings.  It's always got to be someone elses fault. 

Eventually buddy, people are going to get fed up and not stand for your crap anymore.  Eventually people will stop babysitting you.  Eventually your actions do catch up with you.  At what cost will it be before you realize it's only you that needs to change?  Not everyone else around you.  How much will it take? 

A little spiritual and physical cleansing.

I forgot to mention...before Christmas I went for a spontaneous Thai Massage with a friend of Eric's.  I hope Sarah doesn't mind that I 'borrowed' some information from her Facebook page to tell you a brief synopsis of what exactly that is. 

It is made up of slow, rhythmic movements that flow from one into another.  Many parts of Sarah's body was used to manipulate mine.  Her hands, elbows, knees, legs, feet, you get the idea.  So if you're touchy about someone really  touching you then maybe it's not your thing.  But you should get past that, because it really is worth it.  Any way, back to what it is.  The massage is made up of many yoga-like moves and stretches.  Depending on your sensitivity, mild, firm or strong touches are applied.  Thai massage blends three elements:  accupuncture, yoga and meditation. 

There are supposedly many physical benefits of Thai Massage too!  Detoxification, immune system boost, increased blood circulation, lowered blood pressure, muscle relaxation, increased flexibility, increased mobility, improved breathing, improved posture, corrected body alignment, improved athletic performance, helps arthritis and back pain, helps tone the body, strengthens the joints, fights disease, prevents illness and alleviates degenerative diseases.  There are also several mental benefits as well but you can find all the information on her webpage

So obviously for me to benefit physically and mentally from this type of massage I need to do it on a pretty routine basis.  I've only gone once so far, but I do intend to book another session sooner than later.  It was pretty wild.  I've never done anything like it.  So if you feel like you're missing something physically or spiritually maybe check Sarah and Happy Lotus Thai Massage out!  If you don't like it, fine, but if you love it it might just prove to be the start of a beautiful relationship with yourself (and of course, Sarah).

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Good Looking Colon

I've been having a lot of problems with my guts and colon and what not.  Hence the reason my doctor sent me for a colonoscopy at 37 years old.  That and the fact that my maternal grandmother had three colon cancer surgeries at quite a young age probably didn't help matters. 

I wasn't so much dreading the procedure as I have had two children and really I have no pride left when it comes to stuff down there.  It was the prep I was leary of.  And I had every right to be.  After each mouthful I'd dry heave.  And I am not proud to say I spent some time on the toilet crying, telling Eric I didn't like him and not to give me anymore of that stuff all while covering my cup like a 5 year old and shaking my head violently NO! 

Anyway, I persevered and made it through and in the end, it was worth it.  For now, I am cancer free (I'm not gonna lie, after everything that's happened this year, I was worried).  Cancer free in my colon and butt any way.  My next doctor's appointment is next week and I'll inquire about a mammogram then.  Dealing with Cancer when it's thrown in your face like this makes you think about your own mortality a little differently. 

So now I'm left to suffer with IBS.  Though I didn't really need a doctor or this procedure to diagnose that.  Now on to some lifestyle changes....

Puppy Dog Tails and all that Stuff.

So there has been a link going viral about rules for fathers with daughters.  I haven't read them yet, I'm sure they're honest, hillarious, sweet and so true.  I came across a similar blog while searching with hope of finding a likeminded list of rules for moms with sons.  Saves me from having to come up with 20+ things all on my own.  I've take the jist of her ideas and tweaked them to my beliefs.  We all know sons are SO different than daughters.   The idea is to give other moms the support and pat on the back they deserve when we are struggling to understand our boys.    We are, hands down, the most important woman in our sons' lives.  We are the person who will know them the longest.  We are the person they first met and had a connection with in this world.  We are their first teachers and hopefully (if you've done your job even remotely right) the person they will continue to turn to when looking for guidance in the rest of their lives.  From "Can I go play with them?" to "Should I ask her to marry me?"

1. Give him the tools to put his feelings into words.
Your son will get angry as a result of frustration, hide from embarrassment, cry out of fear and scream from excitement.  Allow him these physical releases, but also explain to him what he is feeling and the appropriate response to that emotion for future reference.  Acknowledge that other people go through the same gammet of emotions and point out how they are showing their feelings and how they might differ from your son's techniques.   Be honest with him about your own emotions so that when he's an adult he'll know the difference between embarrassment and anger, disappointment and grief.  

2. Be his own personal cheerleading squad.
Be the loudest person on the side lines at his soccer games.  I am 100% sure there will come a time when he will tell you to stop shouting at him that he's got the ball under control.  I also have absolutely no doubt that he will be mortified when you show his girlfriend his naked baby pictures.  I'm also pretty sure he won't be telling his prom date about your blog where you consistantly brag about everything he's done so far in is life, from spontaneous, random hugs (yup those are brag worthy when they come from a teenaged son) to winning the most improved student award in Grade 8.  He will tell you to stop cheering for him, he'll tell you you are embarrassing him.  But, deep down, he will know, without a doubt, that there is at least one person that will always root for him.

3. Read to him and read with him.
There is no better gift to give than the ability to travel to foreign and make believe places, show them how to become someone they aren't, meet people they would never cross paths with, learn tons of new things.  There are so many possibilities when you read a book.  Let him see you reading.  Talk to him about what you read.  Teach him that when you write words down, you will be present forever.  Writers are the transcribers of history and memories.  Readers help preserve and pass along those memories.

4. Teach him that dancing is fun and definately ok.
It doesn't have to be good it just has to be fun.  Encourage your son that when he feels the music in him, it's completely acceptable to just go ahead and bust a move!  There is some truth in that saying, "Dance like there is no one watching."

5. Ensure he has examples of good men who are smart, determined and have integrity.
Your son will be bombarded with images of heroes with big muscles and a uniform from pratically birth.  It's your job to make sure he also knows about men who are heroes because of their brains, their words, their determination, their ideas, their integrity, their fearlessness and their ability to keep their mouths shut when everyone else is shouting.

6. Ensure he has examples of women who are beautiful because they are smart, determined and have integrity.
Examples of what society traditionally deems as a beautiful woman will also surround your son from birth.  Make sure he also knows that there are women out there in the world who are beautiful from the inside out because of their brains, their words, their determination, their ideas, their integrity, their fearlessness, and their ability to open their mouths and take a stand when everyone else is silent.

7. Be an example of a beautiful woman with brains, determination, and integrity.
We, moms, are pretty amazing.  We already are all of those things and more.  Never doubt yourself.   We have grown a life inside our body and we managed to get it out of our body.  Or we've taken someone elses child and loved them with our whole hearts because she couldn't.  We have taken care of a newborn with little to no experience.  We can miraculously make pain go away with merely a kiss.  We have likely taught someone how to read.  We have taught a toddler manners and how to eat with utensils.  We have cleaned up diarrhea and vomit without gagging (or we have hid it well)  We love a child enough that we are willing to give our own lives for him.  We have found ways to remain strong even when our sons are hurting.  We are amazing women.

8. Teach him manners.
Because its nice.  And people with manners made the world a better place to live.  

9. Give him something to believe in.
Someday he will be afraid, or nervous, or heartbroken, or lost, or just need you, and you won't be able to be there.  Give him something to turn to when it feels like he is alone, so that he knows that he will never be alone; never, never, never.  No matter what it is that 'thing' may be. 

10. Teach him about those times when he needs to be gentle.
With babies, flowers, animals and other people's feelings.

11. Don't fret ruined clothes.
Make the conscious decision to be totally cool about dirty and ruined clothes.  If you don't, you'll be fighting a losing battle.  Being angry about something that is inevitable is a waste of time and energy.  Boys tend to learn by destroying, jumping, spilling, falling, and making impossible messes.  

12. Learn how to play with them. 
Do you know how to throw a football, use a hockey stick, draw kitty cats or zombies or guns, or play video games? Do you know the difference between Gryffindor and Slyterin, or the lyrics to his favourite song?  Do you know why one Beyblade is stronger than another?  Be in his life, as a main player, not only as a fan.  

13. Go outside with him
Occasionally turn off the video games, put your cellphone on vibrate and don't answer it.  Go outside and demand to play with him.  Check out his world.  Watch his face.  Follow him as he explores. Answer all his questions.  His world will be magic.

14. Let him lose.
This is one of the hardest ones I've had to do and frankly I'm not very good at it.  There is nothing fun about losing but, not everyone can be a winner all the time.  "Helicopter parents" have taken over this generation.  Even if you are tempted to tell him he's a winner just for trying, please don't.  Sometimes it's ok for him to not feel like a winner, to feel sad and disappointed.  As awful as it sounds, that's a good thing, because he needs to know that sometimes life also sucks, no matter how hard we try to protect our kids.  In reality, this will be good for him later in life when he loses again (and again, and again, and again, and again).  Instead take the opportunity to make sure he understands that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.  But he needs to learn that he should never give up. 

15. Give him opportunities to help others and to be charitable.
Try not to force him to help, but assist him in understanding that helping others is giving him the opportunity to make someone's life easier or better.  It's about not being selfish.  Set an example by helping others with your own actions, by helping members of your family and by teaming up and helping others together. 

16. Show him that practice makes perfect.
This motto is appropriate for everything he is going to face in his life, not just activities like sports and music. You become better at things by doing them on a consistant basis.  You should begin to show your son this when he is very young, likely shortly after birth.   Go through the routines with them before doing something.  Like practice trick-or-treating with him before sending him up to his first door to beg for treats.  Teach him how to answer a telephone or order a Happy Meal.  Practice, practice, practice!

17. When he consistantly asks you "Why?", answer him.
Or look for the answer together.  Teach him where he can find the answers, books, internet, libraries, newspaper, other people...    Ask him questions to aid him in thinking about the answers for himself.  Someday, he will need to ask a question that embarrasses him, teach him where to go to find the answer when he can't ask you.

18. Give him something to do to release his energy.
Swimming, sports, musical instruments, working out, a diary, trampoline, pets, hang out time with his friends.  Let him go crazy with all those things.  If you don't, he will use your stuff.  And that never ends well. 

19. Travel with him and take him to new places.
It will leave him with fond memories of time spent with you.  And it will show him the world we live in is a marvelous place and so much bigger than him.  

20. Kiss him.
It's a pretty common consensus that any mother of a son will tell you how loving and sweet little boys really are.   Yes, they can be crazy and annoying and wild and destructive for most of the day.  But there are moments when they are so kind and sensitive and tender.  It makes many of us wonder when we look at grown men and question what happend in between "then and now".  Make sure you kiss them.  When they are 2 months old, 16 years old or 40 years old.   You're their mom, they'll let you.  Show him you love him.  

21. Be their home base.
You are home to him.  He will hopefully never stray too far from you.  He always managed to toddle his way back to you as a toddler when he was learning to walk on his own.  Never traveling too far from your side.  He will always look for your proud smile when he's trying something new.   You will hear the same book over and over and over again once he learns to read.  And he will do that because you'll be the only one with patience enough to stand it.  When he plays his sport, he will be looking for you in the stands.  When he is sick, it is you and only you he will call for.  When he really messes up, hopefully he will call you.  When he is all grown up and big and strong and tough it will be you he comes to when he feels like crying, because a man can cry in front of his mother.  You will always be his home base even when he grows up and has a new woman in his life and gets his own place to live. You will be one of the only contants in his life.  Like the sun.  Keep that in your heart and everything else will fall into place.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Christmas Traditions

Trying to come up with a new tradition to celebrate my dad at Christmas was more difficult than I thought.  What we came up with was really rather simple.  I'm not sure if I was searching for something with meaning or whatever bullshit I thought it should be, but a group balloon release is what we ended up with.  And frankly it made me emotional enough.  Though I'm sure not much wouldn't. 

I went to get 10 green and red helium filled balloons on Christmas eve because I knew I wouldn't be able to get them Christmas day.  I assumed they would be good until 3 p.m. on the big day.  I was wrong.  Sadly, I didn't find out that helium does not last in latex balloons and metal balloons would have been the better choice.  Happily, I found out soon enough so that we were able to convene with my mom, brother and his family (Dawn was sleeping as she was on midnights so she did her balloon release on her own when she woke up) for 15 minutes to release them on Christmas Eve at dusk. 

My brother put out mini coke bottles at each of our plates at the dinner table.  Self explanatory if you know anything about my dad.  Nothing was said, nothing needed to be said.  We all understood. 

Merry Christmas Dad, wasn't the same without you this year.  But I really believe you were with us in your own way. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy Birthday Dad

Like I said in a previous post, I don't have the energy or desire to go back and recap the tornado of emotions I felt the day leading up to and the actual day of my dad's birthday, December 20.  I had pushed his birthday and thought of it being the cause of emotional distress to the back of my mind.  I had mistakenly focused all of my fear on Christmas.  How wrong I was. 

Gage and I had a discussion the day before his birthday, at a time when I still thought I was going to get through it unscathed, and we came up with the idea to do something small to commemorate it but nothing over the top.  We wouldn't have done anything over the top if he was still here so why start now?  He came up with just getting a birthday cake.  Done!  Easy and great idea.  So after work I stopped and picked up some cupcakes (who doesn't love cupcakes more than cake?!?) and candles.  It was decided that after dinner we would each like a candle in our cupcake and silently say a prayer or a birthday wish for dad.  So we did just that.  It was perfect. 

Prep is Worse than Procedure

What I have to look forward to, starting Thursday night:  (I'm so glad Eric is on afternoons.) 


Tips for a successful colonoscopy prep

Preparing for a colonoscopy may be uncomfortable and time-consuming, but it needn’t be an ordeal. Here are some things you can do to help it go as smoothly and comfortably as possible:
  • Make sure you receive your colonoscopy prep instructions well before your procedure date, and read them completely as soon as you get them. You’ll need to stop certain medications and foods up to a week ahead of time. This is also the time to call your clinician with any questions and to buy the bowel prep she or he has prescribed. Pick up some medicated wipes (for example, Tucks or adult wet wipes with aloe and vitamin E) and a skin-soothing product such as Vaseline or Desitin — you’re going to be experiencing high-volume, high-velocity diarrhea.
  • Arrange for the time and privacy you need to complete the prep with as little stress as possible. Clear your schedule, and be at home on time to start your prep. If you have children or aging parents who need attention, have someone else be available to them while you’re indisposed.
  • Water can get boring, so keep a variety of clear liquids on hand. On the day before your colonoscopy — when you’re restricted to clear liquids — you can have popsicles, Jell-O, clear broth, coffee or tea (without milk or creamer), soft drinks, Italian ice, or Gatorade. But take nothing with red, blue, or purple dye. Drink extra liquids before, during, and after your bowel prep (usually until a few hours before your procedure), as well as after your colonoscopy.
  • To make a bad-tasting liquid prep like PEG easier to swallow, try one or more of the following: if the PEG doesn’t come flavored, add some Crystal Light or Kool-Aid powder (again, not red, blue, or purple); add some ginger or lime; drink it chilled; drink it through a straw placed far back on your tongue; hold your nose and drink it as quickly as possible; quickly suck on a lemon slice after you finish each glass; hold a lemon or lime under your nose while you drink; suck on a hard candy after each glass.
  • Wear loose clothing, and stay near the bathroom. Better yet, once the preparation starts to work, stay in the bathroom — because when the urge hits, it’s hard to hold back. Consider setting up shop near the toilet with music, your laptop, magazines, or books.