Burrr…Thursday rant.

I’m so cold. All the time!  Right now I am sitting in my office with the space heater running at max, trying to over-ride the air conditining that my manager has blasting in this place. It makes me so sleepy though… this blog post, while perhaps quite useless and uninformative, is my attempt at making it through the next few hours of my shift without taking a desk nap.

It’s summer time here, and the weather is great..it’s hovering around 30 degrees (that’s 86 in Fahrenheit, according to Google..which might not seem hot for some, but for us, it’s pretty standard. It sometimes might get to about 35 (or 95F), but that’s about the max). It’s also insanely dry here and there’s no ocean…so the heat feels a bit like a desert. But guess who LOVES IT? This girl. Maybe I need to move somewhere I hear about on TV where 100F is the norm…mmm…let’s cook an egg, shall we?

You know that feeling of climbing into a scortching car after it’s been sitting in the sun all day? Lovely..only a few more hours..haha  James thinks I am absolutely nuts and we constantly fight over the air conditioning level in the car. Air conditioning sucks. Give me hot, hot, sweltering, unventilated car heat anyday over AC.

P.S. I am getting married in two weeks.

On that note, let’s unleash the Bridezilla for a bit, shall we? I’ve never been to a wedding, and this is the first one I’ve ever been a part of planning…so please correct me if any of my stated information or feelings are wrong.

Say someone invites you to a wedding.. a wedding that has specifically stated (through both word of mouth and their beautiful wedding website) that children will, unfortunately, not be invited to the event due to space constraints, as well as the fact that the venue does not allow minors. Now,  would you think it would be reasonable to ask the host(s) if you could PLEASE bring your kids? “No one else even has to know”.. Or, how about request that you please ADD ADDITIONAL PERSON(S) to your invite? I’ve had several inquiries lately, ranging from “My husband can’t come, so I’m bringing my child in his place”, “My son wants to come, and he is bringing his girlfriend”, “Will there be booze at the ceremony??” to “I think it’s absolutely unfair that my children cannot come and we will not be attending since our family comes as a single unit.”, and even “I am thinking of leaving my husband, but I am unsure. Would it be okay for me to put an alternate name down as my plus 1, just in case?”. <– That is real.. I swear it is.

Crazy. Maybe I’m crazy, or maybe they are. Everyone has told me since the begining of this planning that I cannot be worried about other people, that “this is [our] special day”, and “not to let it get to [me]”..but I feel like a bit of a psycho/meany-pants/bridezilla/control freak when I have to say “no”, “no”, “no”, “yes”, “okay”, “maybe”, “sorry”, “sure”, or, “I’ll get back to you”, to each of these requests.

I get it..but please understand, folks… I’m truly sorry you can’t bring your kids, and (as a non-parent) I cannot begin to imagine how horrible it must be for you to have one free night away from them (I’ve offered to pay for a sitter).  I’m also sorry that our venue only allows us to accomodate a small number of people, and that we have chosen to have an intimate wedding with only our close family and friends. I am also sorry that your 14-year old son wants to bring his girlfriend, but unfortunately I am not interested.I am sorry that you feel the need to drink during our ceremony, but that, unfortunately, will not be available until afterwards. I’m also sorry that I’ve never met your five year old golden retriever, and I’m sure he’s lovely..but we are not having animals at the wedding (other than Monkey and Benjamin, because they are my soul babies). <– okay, I guess that answer’s it.. It’s me who’s crazy.

Oh wait, no I’m not sorry. We invited each and every single one of you to share in our special day because you’re important to us. Please come, and pack a smile and well-wishes…that is all we ask. If you don’t agree with the way we are organizing our big day, we truly hope you can get over it, but if not, you will unfortunately not be welcome (and no, your sister’s cat cannot take your place).

So, my special friends, that ends my crazy rant (sorry if I offended anyone).

In closing:

I promise that if I am ever invited to a wedding I will come as I am, and if Jamie is not available (or even not invited!), I will come alone. I will not ask if I can bring my sister’s cousin’s friend and his entire family. I promise. I will cheer when you kiss, and I will probably cry too, even if you are wearing black and ONLY invite children–I want your day to be perfect–for you. Good luck fellow brides, try to remember to breathe..


Throwback Thursday, and the evolution of the crazy dog lady.

Throwback Thursday to my two favorite boys ❤

I never had dogs growing up. I had a cat: Tang. I remember one day in Grade 10 my friend’s cat had babies and I brought one home once they were ready. My Mom was..not impressed, but she let me keep him. He was a sickly little dude, and we spent a lot of money getting him all spruced up, but he’s now the best cat ever. I still love to snuggle him everytime we visit home.

When we moved to Alberta we rented the cutest little basement suite. We had our own little yard and patio, and it had the most wonderful pond. I was in heaven. Our landlord (the sweetest elderly gentleman who had just lost his wife) explained to us that there were no pets allowed in the suite as he was afraid of dogs, and cats were ‘dirty’. As time went by, we became pretty close with Roger. He would give us birthday gifts, christmas gifts, and I would bake him cookies. 🙂 He was great.

Once we started looking at buying our own place, we simultaneously started going to the animal shelter to “look” at dogs. Yeah, right. When we met Rein, she was a big giant pit bull, and, having little experience with dogs, I was a bit nervous. I remember asking Jamie “how do you know if a dog is going to bite your face off?”. He laughed at me. He had been around dogs his entire life–Rein was amazing, and he knew it. We met her, cuddled her, and I got a bit more comfortable, but I still had the notion in the back of my mind that if I made any sudden movements, she was going to rip me apart…Looking back, we probably shouldn’t have been visiting the shelter when we couldn’t even have an animal–it was emotional every time we left. We went home, and for the next few weeks I researched dogs and pit bulls, and rescues, and behaviour. I looked into dog classes, and dog psychology, and I read Cesear Milan books..I wanted a dog.

Two weeks later, we went back to the shelter, and there she was. Still in the same kennel, Rein sat further back from the glass viewing window then before, and she barely looked up at us. She looked defeated. My poor girl… we asked to visit with her again and the staff showed us her tricks. She could sit, stay, roll over, shake a paw, and she LOVED fetch. The way she interacted with the lady was amazing–that was her person. Everyone at the shelter loved her. I cried the entire way home that we couldn’t get her. Jamie said it was for the best though, she was ‘way too big…and scary looking’, and told me we weren’t going to go anymore until we had our own place.

That night I went to Roger’s front door, knocked, and watched him walk slowly down the stairs through the tiny front window. My heart was beating fast. I told him that I knew we weren’t allowed dogs, but I found one that was very special. And we could do a larger damage deposit, and it wouldn’t be long (he knew we were looking for a house to buy). There I was, standing on the front porch of a man who was terrified of dogs, asking him if I could bring a 75 pound rescue pit bull into his safe, beautiful little home.

“Oh, Ashley. Of course you can have a dog.”

I felt so guilty. I knew he wouldn’t say no…but I also knew I wouldn’t screw this up.

“What kind of dog is it, anyways?”

My heart sank. Oh no..here we go. I told him it was a pit bull…and guess what he said?

“Oh, I don’t know that kind.”

We went to the shelter the next day and adopted her. It ended up costing us $575 dollars as she needed a special class as an adoption condition (she was a pit bull, afterall). I didn’t care. We paid the money and were told we could pick her up in two days, as she needed to be spayed.

Sleepy girl on her way home–see her bandaid?

When we went to pick her up, she had just finished surgery and she was so sleepy. I sat in the back seat with her and I was so happy. She made herself right at home, walked over to her bed we had for her, and layed right down. I spent the entire first night laying on her bed with her, rubbing her head softly (I still had no idea about dogs).

Carpet is so much better than concrete, Mom!

The first few days of leaving her at home I was pretty sure we’d come home to a ripped apart front door, or a chewed up couch, but we never did. She has still never chewed a thing. She’s had a few accidents inside, but man does she feel bad (you can tell by the look in her eyes..and she cowers when you see it). She’s so well behaved, and so smart (we taught her to crawl, and high-10). I’m so glad Roger made an exception for us.

Fast forward to 6 months into home ownership…guess who came home with puppy #2? This girl!! Benjamin Button (Ben, for when we are in public) was just a tiny, tiny little baby (see first picture). Our family is complete, for now, until we are ready for babies (or another puppy..).


The Monster in the Room.

This is going to be a long one, so bear with me.

I’ve suffered from ‘Anxiety’ for as long as I can remember. One day I just lost it, it felt like all the walls around me were caving in. Against all my previous beliefs, I headed to the doctor. I needed to be medicated. Up until that point, the thought of medication to ‘supress my feelings’ had seemed so foregin to me; but on this day, the thought of gaining back some hope seemed refreshing and gave me a feeling I can’t describe. I headed in to the doctor’s office, almost excited at the prospect of ‘feeling normal’. He ordered blood work and sent me to a “specialist”, who asked me about my feelings, and dug deeper to the root of my problem. Well, after an hour of spilling my life story (who knew I had THAT many feelings), sure enough, I was diagnosed with anxiety and ‘possible depression’ and put on Cipralex.

I wasn’t depressed, I was just sad. I was upset, and I was scared. Every situation freaked me out, and most days I wanted to stay in bed. I had lost all my friends..literally. I just didn’t have the energy to call, or make it out to events. I didn’t care, I was too tired. I was worried about my family, I was worried about my fiance leaving me, I was worried about my weight (paniced, actually), and I felt out of control.

The blood work came back, the doctor called, and I went in, not having a clue what to expect. “Your thyroid is too low. You have hypothyroidism and you’re going to need to be medicated for the rest of your life”. By this point, I had been on Cipralex for two days and I was feeling crazier than ever before. Sure, let’s start up some Synthroid while we’re at it! Honestly, the whole thing was kind of a blurr, the doctor never really explained anything to me, just wrote me a prescription and off I went to the pharmacist, I never questioned, just did. A small part of me was happy that I had yet another ‘condition’, maybe these pills would make me feel better! In the interest of complete disclosure, I will say I never even so much as googled ‘hypothyroid’.. I just started on the pills. For the first two weeks, I was convinced my fiance was going to leave. I would have left. I was a crazy, crazy monster. I cried hysterically over dropping something small, I laughed over sad things, I got angry, I felt fatter than ever before. I ate like crazy, and cried about eating too much. I researched Cipralex and decided all my symptoms were normal. My body was just getting adjusted, so I fought through the hormones. My fiance kept assuring me that everything would be okay, only a few more weeks. Well, I woke up sometime during week 3, and there it was. I felt better. I felt ‘normal’. I remember calling my Mom and telling her I had never felt normal and it was amazing. I cried because I was so happy.

I was on this combination of Cipralex and Synthroid for 6 months. I had a blood test at the 3 month mark and the doctor told me I was fine. I was better than fine, I felt great! I saw the ‘specialist’, or who I happily referred to as my “crazy person doctor” a few times, and he taught me ‘how to cope’. Mostly it was breathing exercises and starting at a single point on a wall until I could calm down. I was calm, I was happy. I didn’t need to breathe deeply because life was beautiful! It was at this stage in the game where I decided I didn’t need Cipralex anymore. In case the story up to this point hasn’t told you, my doctor was very…hands-off, to say the least. Every time I went in, he wrote a new refill prescription, looked me up and down and seemingly noted I still had all four limbs–good to go! I never asked questions, he never asked questions, but things were fine. SO! When I came to the brilliant determination, at 6.5 months in, that I didn’t need Cipralex anymore, I decided to stop them. Yep, on a Sunday evening I decided “I’m not taking these pills anymore. I’m fixed!”, and that was that. (P.s. NEVER do this).

HOLY. CRAP. Now this is going to sound absolutely ridiculous, but throughout the next three or four weeks, I had NO IDEA that what I was feeling was attributed to stopping the Cipralex. I honestly didn’t! You’d think ANY normal person who just went off a ‘psychiatric’ medication (for lack of a better word), would have SOME thoughts on whether that was what was affecting their overall mood/well-being. Nope, I was just pretty sure I was dieing. I could barely lug myself to work in the morning. It was a physical struggle. I was SO tired. I slept in until 7am, made it to work for 8, slept at my desk, and went home to bed. I couldn’t focus, I couldn’t even think. This was survival. I was on auto pilot. I had no idea what was going on. I made it into the doctor on week 2 and he gave me a blood test. He never asked me anything, just said “well maybe your thyroid is out of wack again”. I didn’t think to tell him I went off the medication, in all my madness I didn’t think it was relevant. Looking back, I sure was an idiot.

Blood work was normal, doctor never called back. I. Am. Going. Insane! Things eventually mellowed out. I started feeling better, and started using my ‘coping mechanisms’ that I had learned. Everything was good. I was going to be okay..