Thursday, 30 March 2017

Most People's Kids Just Take Normal Baths.

If you have been a shitty person here on earth, and your final destination is the, uh... "bad place", I'm pretty certain I know what your eternity consists of.  And I'm sorry to break it to you, but it's giving my toddler a bath.

Harry loves taking a bath.  At some point in the evening, he will announce that it's time for a bubble bath and hopefully you're ready to give it to him at that exact moment, or there's going to be a problem.  One night, Harry decided he was ready to have a bath but George and I weren't quite ready at that precise minute.

Harry:  "Bubble bath?"
Me:  "OK, sure, we can do a bubble bath in ten minutes."

At this point, Harry started stripping off his clothes in the middle of the living room.

Harry:  "Bubble bath??"
George:  "Yes, buddy, just give me a minute and I'll take you for a bubble bath."

This was unacceptable.  Harry wandered over to the corner of the room, pooped directly on the floor, pointed to it, and firmly shouted "BUBBLE BATH."  We ran upstairs and dropped Harry immediately into a bubble bath.

It probably seems like giving a bath to a tub-loving toddler is not a way to spend eternal torment, and truthfully, the bath part itself isn't so bad.  I mean, you're going to get wet because of all the excited splashing and the fact that the manufacturers of bath toys for children all seem to exclusively make items that either squirt water or act as a scoop to assist in throwing even larger quantities of water out of the tub, but you'll get through that.  The real "fun" begins when bath time ends.

Whether Harry has been in the tub for 15 minutes or 3 hours, it hasn't been long enough.  He's not ready to get out, and so help you if you should try to take him out without draining the tub first.  If there's still water in there, he is not leaving it, and trying to pull him out while he's wet is going to be as effective as trying to catch a slimy, wriggling eel with your bare hands.  If the eel was also covered in soap.  And you were blindfolded for some reason.

Once he hears the sound of the tub draining, he's going to realize what's happening.  Stay calm.  He may try to stuff the plug back in the drain a couple of times, but eventually he will stop and instead plant himself face-down on the bottom of the tub in some sort of futile attempt to soak up the last of the water.  Wait it out and have a towel ready.  Once the water is gone, quickly throw the towel over him and attempt to pull him out of the tub.  But be prepared: he's not going to go easy.  He will flail his limbs and clutch at anything he can grab.  Try to keep him far away from the faucet; he's going to turn it back on repeatedly as you try to hoist him on to the bath mat.

© 2017 AJ Filopoulos

When his feet touch the bathmat, he will crumple to the floor in an act of passive resistance and throw aside his towel.  Do not be fooled.  He's not giving up.  You will attempt to wrap him back in the towel, at which point he will spring back into action like the bear from The Revenant, except that he also kicks and I don't think bears are usually known to kick, which makes him even more dangerous than the bear.

This is the part where most parents would apply lotion, maybe some baby powder, throw on a diaper and some pyjamas, and prep for bed.  You should be so lucky.  Skip all of that and take him directly downstairs to the couch.  Once he is no longer on the same level as the bathtub, he seems to forget what he was fighting you for and will sit happily on the couch while you attempt to drip-dry and forget the horrific battle you just endured.

Once your frayed nerves are sufficiently calmed, begin to mentally prepare yourself for the next bath time.  It's coming, and it will be here sooner than you think...

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Hypochondriac Problems

Today I called my mom at work to ask her if she thought I had a deep vein thrombosis.  I should probably also mention that my mom is not a doctor, but she watched a lot of Chicago Hope and ER and other medical dramas, so there's that.

I also asked George what would happen to me if I did have a DVT, and he was like "Did you ever watch House?"  I didn't, but according to George I'm going to need to walk with a cane and develop a dependency to painkillers of some sort.

Clearly I have a bright future ahead of me.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Let's Get This Out of the Way

Well, hello!

I was going to just dive right in with a post about anxiety, but then I thought "is it weird to disappear from your blog for a year and then completely ignore the absence and jump in again?"  So I figured maybe I would address it after all.

So, yep.  My last post was a year ago, almost to the day.  I don't really have a reason for disappearing, so there's no exciting update on that front.  I mean, I got married and I guess that took a lot of my attention, so there's that... but it's not really the reason.  I just more or less forgot about blogging and got distracted by non-internet-things.

On the bright side, I'll have lots of fun stories to post so I can catch everyone up, right?  Great.  So I've addressed the disappearance, that's all dealt with, and now we can get back to our regularly scheduled program.  

Here we go.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

I've been keeping secrets.

That's not entirely true.  I've only been keeping one secret, and it wasn't even supposed to be a secret, per se.  I was just holding out on posting things to Facebook or Instagram because I was excited to have blog material, and then I kept procrastinating on writing a blog post.

But today feels like an appropriate day to let you guys all in on this little secret:

This is Tenacity.

She's a purebred black tri Australian Shepherd, and she's about 4½ months old, and she came home with us at the beginning of August.  Nicknames include Tennie, Ten, Koala-Bum, and Pretty Girl.  Favourite activities include eating, going for jogs, eating, chasing wasps/leaves/grasshoppers, stealing shoes and/or baby toys, and eating some more.

Edit:  I totally almost forgot to give a shout-out to Tenacity's "original mom", the amazing Lindsay from Q.T. Aussies!

Did you know that today is National Dog Day?

It's possibly my new favourite day of the year.  Every time I looked at my phone, whether it was Instagram or Facebook or my email inbox, there were pictures of dogs.  Dog pictures = happy AJ.

In celebration of this fantastic day, I set up a 50% off sale on my art website.  It was supposed to expire tomorrow, but I've been so stoked on this day devoted to dogs that I think I will extend it until the end of the week, soooo:  

Go place your orders before Sunday!  

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Vague Updates, Hooray!

It has been a really long time since my last update because like a squillion things are happening all at once, and I keep thinking "I should blog this", but then I get distracted by one of the other squillion things, and then I forget to blog.  But the boys are watching some stupid B-movie called Lavalantula, so here I am, and here is a blog post, so I guess I can scratch that off my to-do list.  Since it's been so long, here is a sort of general update, because who doesn't love it when people are vague on the internet, right?

For starters, I still have a job.

So, y'know, there's that.  It's going really well and my co-workers are awesome-sauce and everything is all good on the job front.  Ummmm... yep.  That's all I have to say about my job right now, I guess.

In other news...

My anxiety is intense.  

Is anyone else having an extra-difficult time with their panic attacks recently?  Who can talk to me about the planetary alignment and why I have felt like garbage for the past 6 weeks, give or take? (*cough*Desiree*cough*)  I can actually pinpoint the exact day that my anxiety disorder kicked into overdrive.  I've had my medications increased, and I've started seeing my therapist again, and basically I still have almost-daily attacks, and it's not cool.  (P.S.  Shout-outs to my mom, who I keep calling when I need someone to talk me down - and who always obliges, even when she's swamped at work and it's my third call of the day.)

Wedding plans are in the works.

It's officially 321 days until "I do".  We've booked the venues and the officiant, so I mean... technically, we're ready to get married.  Everything else is just "bonus stuff", right?  All you need is a location and a person who is legally allowed to pronounce you married, and we have those things, so like... we're good to go.  Juliette has been doing these "Wedding Wednesday" posts, and I keep thinking that I should hop on board, but I also have nothing to write about, really.  This one paragraph is basically everything that I have to say about the wedding so far and we've been engaged since December.  It's totally stressing out my Unofficial Life Coach, Jodi, who feels like I should be more wedding-obsessed by now.

Art is also in the works.

I have a series of paintings sketched out and I've picked up all the supplies.  There is a giant stack of wood panels sitting on my desk, waiting to primed and have sketches transferred on to them.  The entire series features adorable animal "odd couples", and I'm really excited about it.  I'll post updates here as each individual painting is being worked on.

And now it's nearing midnight, and George has fallen asleep on the couch, so I'm going to call this the end.  Maybe I'll go work on that stack of wood panels...

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Pie + Puppies.

I have a really quick preface before I get into this post, but it's necessary because it applies to the rest of the post.

I have a job.

Like, an actual, honest-to-goodness, full-time, I-don't-work-from-my-house-anymore job.  I mean, I'm not going to go into a bunch of detail right now about how it all happened, but to make a long story short, I got a pretty good offer and George was like "Take it.  Take the job, AJ.  AJ, take the job.  TAKE IT." because apparently he hasn't been having fun being the only one of us with a steady income or whatever.  So, anyway, yeah.  I have a job, now.

I was at work yesterday when I got this email:

Puppies, you guys.  Puppies.  Delivered directly to your office for a play date!  How freaking awesome is that?!

I was understandably excited about the prospect, especially considering that if this had happened a mere month ago, I wouldn't even have had an office for the puppies to be delivered to.  Obviously it was fate, right?

I may have forgotten to tell him about the email from Uber.  It led to some confusion.
It turns out that my boss hates puppies hates fun wants to ruin my life had concerns about some of the other staff's allergies/fears, and was totally not on board with my suggestion to have puppies delivered to the office.  *insert pouting here*  

But on the bright side... pie.

Did you know that Tuesday was National Blueberry Pie Day?  I had to work late on Tuesday to take care of some client requests, so when George came to pick me up, we decided that it was too late to start cooking and officially declared it a takeout day.  I nudged George, who was reciting our order into the drive-thru speaker.

Me:  "Get a blueberry pie."
George:  *to the box* "Sorry, one sec... *turns to me* what?"
Me:  "I need a blueberry pie, too."
George:  "No, you don't."
Me:  "Yes, I do."
George:  "No... you don't."
Me:  "YES I DO, GEORGE.  It's National Blueberry Pie Day.  I need a pie."
George:  "No, you don't.  There's a blueberry pie on the counter.  I picked it up at the grocery store this afternoon."

Because apparently George is psychic.

Just look at this tiny, delicious pie.  That golden, buttery crust.  *drools*

Baby Turtle took part in the festivities, too.

I wish every day was a National Pie Day.
Did anyone else take part in National Blueberry Pie Day?  Or, more importantly, UBER PUPPY DAY?  (If yes, I want to live vicariously through you.  Send me pictures of your puppy playdate!)

Friday, 3 April 2015

Year Thirty-Three

I'm officially thirty-three (with eleven days' experience), and I'll be honest:  it doesn't feel any different than thirty-two.  I don't feel like I'm in my thirties, guys, I really don't.  I feel like I'm... I dunno... twenty-seven.  Tops.  But there was cake and presents and even a surprise dinner, so obviously it's true.

I used to be birthday-crazy.

I looooved my birthday.  Every year, I referred to it as "Amandapalooza", and I'd have the party all planned out by mid-January.  One year, it was an 80s theme party, complete with crimped hair and black lace gloves.  Another year, it was glow-in-the-dark bowling with alcoholic slushies.  Once, there was a trip to Niagara Falls, and there was more than one party involving karaoke.  Oh, and twice, I went out dancing.

This year, though, I planned nothing.  Baby Turtle is only 6 months old and I had zero intentions of leaving him with a sitter, so I just figured I'd head over to my folks' place and have some cake.  (Because I don't care how old I get or how distracted I am, my birthday had better involve birthday cake.)  

It turns out that my parents had a surprise in store.

Not only was there birthday cake, made from scratch by my grandmother, but there was a fabulous birthday gift waiting for me... a DSLR.  I might have been in shock.  I've wanted a DSLR for about a zillion years.  You know how my old posts all disappeared into the internet abyss and took all my photos with them?  Well, now I can take new photos.  New and improved.  See ya, shitty cell-phone-camera pictures (sorry, mom).  

Check out the difference.

Here is a picture of my dog, taken with my cell phone:

And here is a picture of my dog, taken with my fancy-pants new camera:

Awesome, right??  I'm so excited about it...  expect to be flooded with pictures.  (Not always of my dog.)  

(OK, maybe pretty frequently of my dog.)

As if that wasn't amazing enough, George also had a surprise up his sleeve.

Apparently, someone had made arrangements to take me out for dinner, and he'd invited my friends to surprise me.  I almost didn't make it to my own birthday dinner, because shortly after we left the house, I felt like I was fighting a panic attack and asked George to turn the car around.  (I used to have a whole post about my anxiety disorder, but - you guessed it - lost to the internet abyss.)  But once I was with my girls, all of that stupid anxiety just melted away.  If only I had known they would be there... I would have brought my fancy new camera!

This will have to do until the next time I see them.

So, here's to Year Thirty-Three, and being surrounded by such fantastic friends and family!  I'm off to take more pictures...




You're still here?

OK, fine... here are some pictures from the old Amandapaloozas that I mentioned earlier:

But now that's really the end.