Monday, September 14, 2015

The sword of (employment) Damocles

One of the reasons I'm in a funk lately - and not the cool kinda uptown funk you up, dancing with rollers in my hair kinda funk -  is because MapGuy's work is laying off around 300 people.
The sword of employment Damocles is hanging over my head
And I've got a feelin' someone's gonna be cuttin' the thread
Oh, woe is me!
My life is a misery
Oh, can't you see
That I'm at the start of a pretty big downer
But life isn't the Rocky Horror Picture Show and I'm not wearing gold hot pants, because sadly, I don't own any.

We first heard of the cuts just before we went on holiday. Our paid for months ago, non refundable holiday. I was optimistic, though, and didn't get overly worried.

We were about to head away when his bosses made sure he could check his work email on holiday because all staff had to know if they did or didn't have a job at the same time.

I panicked. Surely they'd only double check with you if you're one of the ones getting the chop, right? It sure put a dampener on the first few days of our time in Malaysia (which I still haven't blogged about because STRESS! SICKNESS! PROCRASTINATION!). Then, he checked his email on the day he was told and PHEW he still had a job to go to! Up until then I hadn't bought anything on holiday except food. I went clothes shopping for the kids after that!

On his return to work, the atmosphere was very different. Morale was very low. The first round of cuts had been done and dusted - people had already gone and MG never got a chance to say seeya.

I still have some confidence that he'll be fine in the second and third round of cuts, but there is this voice in the back of my head. It's a bitch of a voice, I tell ya. It's saying all sorts of awful things - made more awful by the fact that at least some of them are true. Not many though, because my brain makes up the vast majority of my problems.

It's a tough climate to get a job in. (true)

I'll have to sell my computer. (highly unlikely)

Not many companies are hiring. (true)

The kids won't get new clothes for summer. (umm, hello, grandparents!)

OMG the mortgage. (yes, you have one)

We'll starve. (no, don't be a dick)

If they got rid of the guy who had been there 13 years, MG with his 8 years doesn't stand a chance. (well, fuck)

We'll be fine. No, really. I honestly believe that (most of the time). But I just can't get these doubts out of my head. They swirl and flip and before I know it, it's 2am and I've been laying here for hours clenching my teeth so tight I need the jaws of life to open it up again.

My doctor asked me recently if I wanted to try coming off my anti anxiety meds. Normally, I'd be all for moving on up and seeing what happens. But right now? Nope! I will keep my little psychotropic security blanket snuggly tucked around me, thankyouverymuch.

So we wait. And hope for the best. And don't spend too much money. And take Ativan.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

I was just trying to be nice, dammit!

On the tail end of #lungsbehavingbadly v2.0 that saw Tricks hospitalized for a couple of nights, Bobbin coughing her lungs up and me sucking back on a puffer every hour, our Ventolin stores were getting super low so I nipped out to the pharmacy while MapGuy was making dinner.

I walked all the way to the back of the store where the meds are, past the makeup, past the bath gels, past the nail polish on special and I did not deviate. Don't succumb to the specials! You can do it! It was like a little chant in my head. You don't need a hair brush, even if it is only $3.50 and guarantees no more tangles.

I grabbed my little blue life savers (as opposed to lifesavers which are much more delicious though less capable of actually saving a life) and headed back through what really has to be the most enormous pharmacy ever built. At the front of the store my resolve was tested. Kid's sunglasses marked down from $12.99 to $5.99. Oooh. They're cute. I'll just have a quick look.

I don't know what it is about kids in sunglasses, or glasses in general actually, but it hits me straight in the ovaries. Oomph. All the cute. I rummaged around and found some funky purple frames with white polka dots. Bobbin didn't neeeeed them, that's for sure, but at $6 I couldn't say no so I grabbed them and lined up at the checkout.

There was an old bloke, Paul, in front of me, counting out his coins, trying to pay for his script. He seemed quite confused and kept recounting. The checkout dude didn't help him, just kept saying he didn't have enough money.

"How much do you need?" I asked.

Paul couldn't tell me how much, just that he had to have this medicine before his operation on Monday. So I looked to rude dude. "He's 80c short".

Oh for fuck's sake. You can't let 80c slide for a confused old bugger?

I handed over a dollar coin.

"Oh, I think heaven has sent me an Angel!" Paul exclaimed.

It was sweet. Then he kept saying it and wanting to tell me all about his surgery he was about to have and I'm all smiling and lovely but inside I'm saying hurry up, Paul.

With his coins in order he then pulled out his key card for the rest of the payment... and it was rejected. He still didn't have enough money. For a $6.10 medication. It was sad.

I was just trying to be nice (but maybe I was also tired of waiting) so I told Paul I'd pay for his script. $6 script, $6 glasses. It wasn't going to break my budget, and this guy needed it more than me.

I placed the sunnies and the Ventolin on the counter while Paul professed to anyone within earshot that I was indeed sent from above.

The previously unconcerned checkout dude was impressed. Well I assume so, because his deadpan expression twitched for a moment. Then he blipped through the sunnies and they came up as $24.95.

"No, those sunglasses are from the sale tub just there" I pointed out. "They're all $5.99"

Checkout dude, who was by now completely over hearing Paul tell the world about his surgery and my fabulousness, just wanted it to be over, so he didn't even blink and started to override the price.

"I'll give you a discount" he said, and rung up a 25% discount on my ventolins. Score.

A face twitch and a discount. Naw, I melted his cold heart after all.

I paid, wished Paul all the best for his surgery that he was still talking about, and extracted myself from the store, feeling pretty damn good about myself to be honest. So damn good that I walked up to the bottle shop and grabbed a bottle of Maker's Mark as a reward. Forgoing the bag, I walked back out in to the centre with the bottle in my hand looking super classy, and glanced down at my receipt from the chemist.

I'd been charged $18.70 for the sunnies.

For fuck's sake.

I headed back to the pharmacy and lined up again.

The checkout dude had no recollection of our previous encounter a whole five minutes earlier, but I figure that when he applied the discount it must have wiped his override price.

He tried a few times to refund me but couldn't figure out how to do it so along came another equally enthusiastic employee with a similar level of job satisfaction who had a few goes.

She was stumped at why the sunnies were scanning at $24.95 yet I'd only paid $18.70.

"But why did she only pay $18.70?" she asked the dude. Silence. He shrugged his shoulders.

Jeezus, does it matter? Either way I was only meant to pay $6, who cares?! The man just stood there, he wasn't forthcoming with any information. Stunned silence. Perhaps he thought he'd get in trouble for an unauthorised discount? Either way, he was not talking.

"He gave me a discount because I'm awesome".

Holy shit, did I just say that? What a bitch. They looked at me blankly.

"Sorry, I was just trying to be nice".

She stared at me (possibly with undead eyes, I can't be sure) and tried again to figure out how to refund me the difference.

"Would it be easier if I returned them?" I asked, looking at my watch? It had been five minutes now and the line of people forming behind me were not pleased. All over a pair of cheap plastic sunnies.

They didn't respond and kept clicking away at the screen.

FINALLY, after three hours (OK, six minutes) I got the difference refunded.

I was just trying to be nice.

After the rigmarole that was their purchase I am now highly encouraging Bobbin to wear them at all times. I'm close to duct taping them to her head.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Letter to Bobbin - two years

I've taken your photo with this doll since you were born
Happy birthday, my amazing girl!

It has been two whole years since you made your entrance earthside in a gentle waterbirth, which to this day still gives me tingles when I think about it.

And you are just like your birth; you are joyful, hard work, beautiful, frustrating, gentle and simply wonderful. Oh, and also a bit of a pain in the ass! Heh.

You've not had the best run, health wise, in these last few months. You are such a robust chick that we were all surprised you needed two weeks in hospital with pneumonia! But while you were there you charmed the nurses by singing renditions of 'Shake it off', and made friends with the other kids. Then you got chicken pox from somewhere, although it didn't really phase you at all. A few spots on both your hands was all that showed up, and you were slightly grumpier than usual. You loved having your big brother home to play with while you were both quarantined, so all up, it was quite a nice time.

You're seeing the doctors at the childrens' hospital at the moment because your guts are funny. But don't panic, your brother had a funky head and he turned out fine. They are investigating you for Hirschsprung's disease, but if you have it, I think it's a pretty mild case.

You are the most verbose toddler I have ever met. Which has helped immensely when you were unwell because you could tell us what hurt and how much. You talk and sing non stop, and I adore hearing you make up little scenes with your toys. The funny little things that I want to remember are how when you drop food you'll say "Sprocky will eat it" if we're home or "ahhh, leave it for the birds" if we're out. The last few weeks you've been declaring that everything you have you "got it my birthday" - be it a toy, food, socks, anything!

For your actual birthday you are getting a walking pig, a Cabbage Patch doll (mainly because I always wanted one), and a Duplo set. You continue to be really eclectic in your tastes and will often leave the house with "baby" and a motorbike toy or monster truck. You love to dress up as superheroes and swoosh around with a cape, but refuse to wear shoes or pants every other day, randomly undressing whenever you feel like it. Including in the middle of shopping centres. You tend to leave your 'Elsa shoes' on a bit more often, so they're in high rotation right now which is ace because I think they're awesome. Blue sparkles, what's not to love?

You like dropping Tricky off at school and would love nothing more than to be able to stay there and play with the others. His friends swarm around you, and you relish the attention. You were allowed to stay when I was parent helper recently and you thought it was brilliant. You go to playgroup once a week and love spending time with the other kids. You and your little bestie are so cute together - you both have older brothers and are quite similar, so you get along really well.

You're rough, robust, caring, funny and fearless - you climb things at the park that some kids twice your age don't attempt. We step back and let you do it, just spotting you on new things, or we'll be met with screams of "I DO MYSELF!". If you fall and I offer you a hug or for it to be kissed better, you declare "No, I alright". So independent. So tough.

I'm not sure if it's the way you play, your immense vocab, or your general understanding of the world, but you seem so much older than you are. You're already in a big girl bed, and you took it in your stride like a champion. I've always said your brother was an old soul and you were a brand new one - that intense wonder and amazement at the world, the way you just want to get out and experience everything. Maybe that's it? Whatever it is, I feel like you're turning three or four today, and not two. But there you are, my teeny two year old.

You are a mighty girl and I'm so proud of you.

Thank you for being you.

Love Mama xxx

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Don't get the Book Week blues

This is a C1 post
For full details please see my disclosure policy
I freakin' LOVE Book Week.

Because my love of all things literature, (particularly children's books and reading with kids), and my love of costumes can triumphantly combine to ensure adorable children get dressed up and get excited about reading. BOOYAH!!!

Seriously, it's my favourite time of the school year.

The peeps at Costume Box sent some costumes for Tricks and Bobbin to play in, and because we're well in to our costumes and have a few already, they made sure to send me some that weren't just for this week, but forever. Because costumes are not just for Book Week. You have to love them, and take care of them, and clean up after them, and oops, I've gone off on a tangent.

Tricks is lovin' his Batman costume. It lights up, so he is well chuffed. He went in to MapGuy's work for a few hours the other day and insisted on wearing it. "Mum, do you think people will think I'm the real Batman?". Yeah, dude, you've got the Christian Bale voice going on, they'll all think you're him.

A video posted by glow (@glowless) on
It's a smidge too big for him right now because he's at the beginning of that size range, but it means he will get a good two years out of it and for now I just roll up the legs. It's all built in muscles or "boobies" as he'll tell you, utility belt, and a freakin' sweet mask cape combo with ears that actually stay up! Because there is nothing worse than Batman with sad, droopy ears.

Bobbin was sent a monster costume, and it could not be more appropriate. Because she's cute, and growly, and has fangs. Or something like that. She adores it and keeps picking up a little monster puppet we have and saying it's her baby. TOTES ADORBS! It makes me think of Boo from Monster's Inc and she keeps saying "Raaaar" at everyone when she wears it.

168 photos and these two of Bobbin were the best. Kid doesn't stop moving.
If the idea of dressing your kids up fills you with dread, check out the Costume Box blog for Book Week costume ideas (it's quite gendered, but you can ignore that - I do) or head straight to the store and get a cool costume with free express delivery for orders over $75 (or $5.99 for orders under $75) - yes, even to WA!! I couldn't believe it when I got my order the next business day, I'm used to waiting 7-10 days even for "rush" mail.

What are your kids dressing up as? I'm gonna dress up at school pick up time :) 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Slow progress is still progress - a #GlowGetsFit update

The last time I joined I gym I was 18 and in my first year of uni. I was around 55kg and thought I was fat (oh, the hilarity!) so I joined the campus gym all "yeah, let's do this, let's get totally smokin' hot".

That feeling lasted about three weeks. After a handful of sessions did not see me looking like a supermodel I gave up. Because motivation and I are not usually on speaking terms.

But this time, something has shifted. I'm enjoying going to the gym. I can hear you now: "Wait, what? Who are you and what have you done with the real Glow? I mean c'mon, really?". But I mean it. At least right now I do, who knows what next week will bring.

It's been about five weeks and I've gone to the gym at least five times a week. More times in the first week than I ever went to the uni gym, actually. I do pump class, combat, yoga, weights, or sometimes I'm just a cardio bunny and I jog on the treadmill. I have no idea about jogging, but I can sustain 7km/hour for 1.6km without stopping. Everyone else on Instagram is running marathons and here I am rejoicing at 1.6km, but for me that is huge. HUGE!

As someone who has suffered from a diagnosed chronic pain disorder for over a decade (and the decade before that when it was non diagnosed and involved a shit load of trips to the childrens' hospital for nuclear scans and what not), exercise is still very new to me.

I mean, I had an ACROD pass for ten years for Christ's sake. Disabled parking! My muscles and ligaments were so pathetic at their job that I was allowed the same parking privileges as those with exploding hearts and peeps in wheelchairs. Granted I rarely used it because I was always abused by people who have no idea what an invisible disability is, but still, I had the pass. I was on a disability pension because I couldn't always get out of bed (I was also a bit crazy at the time, but let's just stick with musculoskeletal shiz right now, OK?) and here I am now, running on a freakin' treadmill and attending pump classes.

I still feel my usual pain, though it has lessened over the years a bit (I gave up my ACROD permit). Well, either that or I just got used to it with the help of hundreds of hours of mindfulness training and therapy. It's definitely still there, but the post exercise pain drowns it out. Like when you're super itchy and you shove your hand under hot water so the heat cancels the itch, the work out pain is cancelling out the "me" pain.

I'm not really sounding like a good advertisement for the gym right now, am I? Go exercise and you'll hurt way more! But it's different pain. It's pain for a reason. I did something kickass to elicit these aching muscles, rather than just waking up unable to walk for no reason.

If I can't get to the gym, I spend about twenty minutes on the elliptical (the one I scored for free at bulk rubbish which is AWESOME and works perfectly except for the temperature gauge - why do I need one of those though?) and will do some sit ups and kettle bell work at home. Or yoga so the kids can join in.

I haven't weighed myself since I started. I don't feel the need to because this isn't about being skinny. I want to be strong. I want to be fit. And I can feel it happening already, slowly but surely. I can ride further, jog further (the fact I can jog at all is awesome, really), lift heavier things, walk up stairs without needing the handrail. So many things I couldn't do before. But saying that, I wouldn't turn down some associated weight loss, just so I could fit in my damn clothes again. It would be nice, not gonna lie.

So here I am, getting fitter. Getting stronger. Feeling the urge to share inspirational fitness memes (it's a sickness, I apologize). Wanting to buy new workout pants. Listing the pros and cons of Garmins vs Fitbits. Taping my aching feet and shins. And feeling fucking awesome.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...