Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bras (bathing suits) and boobs Part III

Guys have it so easy.

Shopping for clothes consists of seeing something they like, picking through the rack for their size and heading to the cash. This seems to apply to everything from t-shirts to dress shirts and jeans to shorts. It even seems to apply to bathing suits – which are really just shorts that can go in the water.

Women don’t have it that easy, especially with bathing suits.

A few months ago, I thought that bra shopping was difficult – after being properly fitted with a $140 bra. But bathing suit shopping was a whole new experience – and a whole new frustration.

On Saturday, I decided if we’re going to spend a week on a lake next week, I should really have a bathing suit that fits. The thought of wearing my pre-pregnancy bathing suits are laughable – if I had to throw out all of my pre-pregnancy bras, why in the world did I think I could keep my pre-pregnancy bathing suits?

And the one I did have (from last summer) that was supposed to fit, fit so terribly when I took Austin to the pool a few weeks ago that I spent as much time pulling it up as I did making sure he didn’t drown.

So, it was off to the mall for me. My first stop was Sears, hoping I could find something on the sale rack. Ten suits and who-knows-how-long in the fitting room later; I was still bathing suit-less. The problem was, once again, finding something that fits the boobs. And since I’m not a heavy girl, anything that did fit the boobs made me look like I had put on at least 20 pounds. And anything that looked ok on the rest of me, well, wasn’t exactly appropriate for a family day at the beach.

So, I headed for the Bay – still in hopes of finding a bathing suit on sale. But once again, eight suits later and who-knows-how-long in the fitting room; I was still at square one. Here I had already tried on 18 bathing suits, and only one was ‘ok’. But it was $70, and the thought of paying $70 for something that will do, and not something that I actually liked, kind of made me feel sick.

I then popped my head into La Vie on Rose Aqua, but quickly discovered without, thankfully, trying anything on, that their bathing suits aren’t designed to fit anyone over a C cup.

And then I remembered the Bikini Village in the mall. For years, I’ve always avoided that store, because I never felt the need to overpay for something I’m wasn’t planning on wearing much. But I was desperate and my options were to try there or to go home sans bathing suit.

So when the salesgirl asked if she could help me find anything, I replied, “all I want is something that fits.”

She laughed because, I realized when I looked at her, her body type was similar to mine. She found me a few options, saying “these should fit, and they’re quite slimming as well.”

I tried all three on without even looking at the price.

They all fit well, meaning, I actually got more than just “something that fit”; I also got to choose something I liked.

And for that, I paid $91. I guess that officially puts bathing suits on the same list as bras – one that fits ain’t going to be cheap.

Monday, July 30, 2007

'Klutz' strikes again...ouch

For anyone who’s ever wondered why the nickname on the back of my baseball jersey says ‘Klutz’, here’s a brief sampling:

  • One day in high school, I ran head-first into a wall playing some stupid ball game. I was maybe 15 or 16 and my mom spent the rest of that evening (and probably all night) worrying about whether I had a concussion.
  • In university, while swimming in the pool of a friend’s apartment building, I swam head-first into the wall (notice a trend here) while playing Marco Polo. No concussion to worry about this time, just a really bad headache.
  • About five years ago, I tripped over who knows what (my own two feet probably) while walking with some friends to the bar. I rolled my ankle and spent the next few weeks on crutches – having torn a couple of ligaments. Now, note the wording of the above sentence, I was on my way to the bar. In other words, I had not yet had a drink and I can say that with absolute certainly because I had DD’d us all there from an earlier party.

Yesterday, I thought it would be fun to try falling down my basement stairs. I have no idea how I managed it, because I’ve walked those stairs at least 500 times in the last three years. I just slipped, I guess.

Thankfully, I only fell the four stairs to the first landing, but four stairs were far enough. Today, I’m sporting a rather large bruise on my ass, another large bruise on my forearm, and a hip that is so sore I’m having to walk around like an old lady. I guess it could’ve been worse – I could’ve broken something or really messed up my back (since I already have problems with a couple of discs). But oddly enough, my back doesn’t even hurt today.

But I still freakin’ hurt…and I still feel like a freakin’ idiot, or at the very least, like the klutz that I am.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Playing Scrabble, one move a day

Scrabble has always been my favourite board game. I find it challenging and always interesting, while, at the same time, occasionally frustrating. The fact that I love the game may not come as a surprise to many, as I did major in, and now work in, an English-related field.

But, no matter how much I love the game, I’ll be perfectly honest; I’m not very good at it. I’m not a puzzle kind of person – crosswords and other type puzzles are too complex for my brain’s way of thinking. But for some reason, I still love playing Scrabble.

Very rarely, Ryan and I will play – and I mean very rarely. Occasionally, I find a free download online that lets me play against the computer. But those are usually timed trial offers, and after 60 or so minutes of play, you have to buy the product to keep playing. Something I’ve never been terribly inclined to do because, playing against the computer is like playing video games – something many may like, but I quickly bore of.

So, when among the invasion of vampire, zombie and food fight applications on Facebook came an invitation for ‘Scrabulous’, I jumped on it.

And before I knew it, I was playing Scrabble with my sister in Brampton. And a few days after that, another game was started, this time between myself, my sister in Brampton and my sister in California.

Playing Scrabble on Facebook is a lengthy process. With time zones and the fact that most normal people aren’t logged in 24/7; you usually only get to make one play a day. And a game seems to take two weeks or more to play.

But regardless, it’s fun. It’s fun to not have to play against the computer; it’s fun to not have to convince Ryan to play with me; it’s fun to be able to play for only a couple of minutes a day – which in all honesty, some days that’s all the time I have. But most importantly, it’s fun to be able to play against my sisters, neither of whom live in the same city as me.

The three of us have always been close, but the miles (and time zones) between us make it difficult to talk or see each other often. But now we get to play Scrabble together, and regardless of the miles between us, it’s as if the three of us are sitting around my parents’ kitchen table again.

And, like usual, they’re both kicking my ass.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Camping trip number two

For all my rants and raves, whines and worries, I will now stand up and admit it – I like camping.

I like sleeping in a tent; I like just sitting around with nothing much to do; and I like the fact that it can be a quick and cheap little weekend vacation.

I’m always all about taking vacations – I love to travel and don’t like staying at home when taking time off work. Staying at home means ‘getting things done’ and worrying about the things that need to be done. Going on vacation, means scrambling around before leaving, but then leaving all the ‘things that need to be done’ behind.

For many of the last several years, vacations have almost always been visiting places far and wide – in the last five years, Ryan and I have been to Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, Panama, and New York City. But now, with Austin, vacations are a little lower key and closer to home. And that’s ok with me.

And that’s what’s so nice about camping. It’s going on vacation only a couple of hours from home. But even though we’re so close to home, it’s remote enough and different enough from my real world, to really feel like a vacation. In other words, I’m able to relax, even if it’s just for a short time.

Here’s how we spent the weekend at Presqu’ile (aside from eating and sleeping at the more or less appropriate times):

  • Discovering, by reading the little paper the park guys give you on the way in, that ‘gourmet VanHoute coffee’ is served at the park store and then strapping Austin to Ryan’s back and all five of us making the 1km or so walk to the store…yes, just for a cup of coffee
  • Napping
  • Hiding from the rain – yes camping trip number two saw just as much rain, if not more, than camping trip number one. Thankfully our friends have a screen room tent that we quickly converted into a snazzy rain shelter tent. Undoubtedly, during the 4 or so hours that it rained, we all got a little cranky, but we survived!
  • Chasing Austin around the site and down the roadway.
  • Eating really good food – again I say who says camping means hamburgers and hotdogs!
  • Watching Catherine jump into Lake Ontario, fully clothed (we dared her to and she did!)
  • Watching Austin absolutely love standing knee deep in the water.
  • Sitting around the campfire drinking beer and/or polishing off a couple of bottles of wine.
  • Roasting marshmallows.

In all honesty, I’m almost a little sad that this is the last camping trip for the year. I know there’s lots of summer left, but, for the most part now, our weekends are all booked up until mid-September. And although we could camp then, it may be a little too cold to do so – and besides I wouldn’t mind using some of the weekends in September to finally get back to work on the backyard project. (The weeds are starting to take over the backyard again, and well, there's still no grass.)

So for now, I’ll dream of my next vacation – a cottage on a lake near North Bay for the first week of August. It’ll be a nice change from camping, because when it rains, we’ll have a real roof over our heads!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Two cats, one problem

The problem with having two pets is it's sometimes difficult to know which one is sick.

About a month ago, we started noticing that one of our cats was leaving us presents in inappropriate places. (Read peeing in places other than the litter box.) We assumed it was Chloe because we had a problem with Ollie doing that a few years back and, after many tests, it was determined to be behavioural and he was put on medication (Prozzac) to make him stop. It worked.

So we packed Chloe off to the vet and after a 24-hour stay, a bunch of tests and $300, it was determined that there was nothing medically wrong with her. So we took her home and debated whether we should put her on Prozzac as well.

But then the problem stopped for a bit so we decided to hold off, which is a good thing, because Prozzac for cats isn't cheap (about $1.10 a day). But hey, if it keeps my cat from peeing on my carpet, I'll take it!

A few days ago, the problem started again, this time much worse than before -- trust me you don't need all the details. So, on Saturday morning, I called the vet. I explained that I didn't know which cat was the problem -- the 'present' was in places that Chloe usually hangs out in, but the extent of the problem (now, not last month) was something normally associated with male cats.

So we brought them both in. Two exams, two unine tests, a 24-hour stay for Ollie (because he wouldn't give the vet a urine sample during the exam) and $350 later, and it was determined that Ollie has crystals in his bladder.

But, what I gather from the vet report, is that he's in pretty bad shape -- probably because it's been going on for over a month, which makes me feel just a little bit guilty. Not only did we torture the wrong cat with tests, but we left the other cat to suffer for the last month.

So now, Ollie's daily dinner routine consists of a drug concoction...Prozzac, a pain killer and something else, all mixed together in a tablespoon of wet food. And, we have to keep him separated from Chloe for the next 7-10 days because we have to make sure he's peeing. Which means, he has to have his own litter box. Apparently the vet said he's in bad enough shape that she would've recommended that he stay for a few days, but he was too freaked out and stressed in the cage that she felt he'd recover better while isolated at home.

So that's the story. Hopefully things will get better now and once Ollie's let out of the family room (which we blocked off with a big foam board) we won't find 'presents' all over the house. And hopefully next time one of them gets sick, it'll be more obvious which one it is and then we'll know which one to take to the vet.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Campfires, rain and bed hogs

The Canada Day long weekend camping trip consisted of sleepless nights (because the youngest member of the family takes up the most amount of bed space), cold days (because I doubt the temperature peaked above 20C all weekend), even colder nights (because it was a whopping 7C or 8C overnight), a lot of dirt, fantastic food (who says camping means only hot dogs and hamburgers?) and good company.

All that to say I enjoyed myself and you’ll likely find me at the same time and the same place next year.

What I liked most about camping was the idea that the most difficult thought of the day is when to hold a bocce ball tournament. Spending a whole weekend like that is something I don’t take the time to do often enough. Weekends (and weeknights) are always so full of trying to ‘get things done’ that there’s often so little time to put the mind at ease and do nothing at all. And that’s what I liked about camping. There was very little to do and that was fun.

It may have only been three and a half days away, but it felt like a real vacation. It was far enough away from the world I live in and the life I normally lead, that I forgot about things like chores, ‘to dos’ and work. So much so, that when I got back to the office this morning, I felt relaxed and forgetful – in the sense that if I hadn’t left a to do list on my desk last Thursday it would’ve taken me awhile to remember what needed to be done today.

In the time we were there, I accomplished the following things:
· following Austin around the site (I think a large part of my time consisted of this)
· napping
· reading
· going for a hike with Ryan and Austin (to the waterfall pictured above)
· playing bocce ball
· eating pretty fantastic food
· sitting around a campfire
· hiding from the rain

All but the last point were what made camping fun. And all of those are what will make camping fun again. The thing I didn't like about camping were the things I couldn't control – like the weather. And the weather gods definitely weren’t on our side this weekend. On Saturday, we learned the true definition of scattered showers – as it rained three different times, and on Sunday it rained once. The rain meant we were often damp and cold and very good at cramming as many chairs and people (there was afterall 13 of us) as possible under the shade tent.

And it was cold. Shorts and t-shirts were a rare sight. Instead, a more common sight was adults wearing track pants and hoodies and kids wearing dirty clothes -- because dirty was better than wet.

And I didn’t like being cold at night. I’m the type of person, that in the middle of winter with my furnace blasting, I’ll be wearing flannel pyjamas and hiding under layer upon layer of covers every night. So, sleeping in a tent when it’s only 7C or so had me actually waking up because I was cold. And that was while wearing a track suit and hiding in a sleeping bag topped with 2 flannel blankets.

But then again, maybe I was cold and waking up because Austin kept hogging the bed. We had a lot of trouble getting him to sleep in his crib at night, which meant every night we ended up bringing him into bed with us. And every night, he’d toss and turn and kick until we were both practically rolling right off the air mattress.

But the cold and the rain are stuff that suck at the time and then fade to foggy memories over time. I figure by the time we’re getting ready to do this again next year, I will have forgotten how cold I was and will remember how much fun it was.