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Motherhood

Three Hundred Sixty Six.

I know what you’re thinking.

Nope. I still don’t have any answers. And I still don’t feel like a grown up. Maybe slightly closer, but I still don’t even want to have to take care of a houseplant.

SIDENOTE: Somehow I manage to keep my dogs alive and happy. I don’t know how that works. Life Math is weird.

…Maybe I’m just not a green thumb.

Anyway.

My BFF Jo texted me yesterday and said, “It’s your last day as a 26 year old.”

At first I kind of panicked. Holy shitballs. 26. It’s over. I feel like it just started. I know it sounds like a super cliche, but in some ways, it really was like the blink of an eye.

I started this blog a year ago as a challenge to myself as a writer. Early in 2012, I kind of lost faith in myself. I hit a major rough patch and thought wow, maybe I’m actually a terrible writer. Maybe I have no idea what I’m doing. Maybe I don’t want to ever write again. Of course, I eventually came around and realized that writing is the thing I love the most. And in the same vein, I knew that if I wanted to be a writer, I’d have to write.

But I was kind of scared.

So I promised myself I would write something every day.

I wasn’t really expecting that forcing myself to write a blog post every day – a story that somehow led to me learning a life lesson, no matter how small – would help me be happy. I saw it as much more of an exercise than anything else. And an opportunity to maybe be funny. But I have to say, writing this blog has given me a completely different outlook on my entire life. It’s helped me understand how my past has made me who I am. It’s helped me work through a lot of difficult times and put a positive spin on things I would have never otherwise laughed at. It’s helped me approach life in a much more open, accepting way.

Like, happen to me, life: I’m ready to learn from you.

That was a disaster. Oh well, next time will be better!

I can’t believe that just happened. I am mortified. Also, that was hilarious. I can’t wait to tell people.

I did it! Someone pat me on the fucking back!

I hate everything right now. Surely someone will understand.

I am hurting. I need to know it’s going to be okay.

This is weird. Does everyone feel this way?

Did that just happen? SRSLY?!

At the same time, I had come to a bit of a crossroads with myself. I had hit a self-love low. I was feeling depressed, defeated, discouraged, you name it. I decided enough was enough: it was time to make the active decision to be happy.

I also discovered that Jayne Mansfield had stretchmarks. And my world was turned upside down. In a good way.

To quote myself (is that totally pretentious? I’m trying to recap, shut up.):

Jayne Mansfield, the American actress, singer, Playboy playmate, and all around drop-dead gorgeous bombshell, was flawed in a way that has been the root of much of my self-consciousness for all of my teenage and adult life.

So…all of that got me here.

SIDENOTE: It’s really hard writing the last post of a 365-day blog.

It’s going to be difficult to let this blog go. I know I’m going to wake up tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that and my first thought is going to be, “What can I write about today?” or, “Oh shit! I still have to blog today!”

But I’m looking forward to channelling my creative energy into a number of other projects that I’ve already either started or am about to. So I guess what I’m saying is I’m not going anywhere. Maybe there will be another blog. Maybe not. But I promise there will be something.

I was trying to think of a fun way to commemorate the end of this blog.

Here’s what I came up with.

Jayne Mansfield had stretchmarks.

jayne

And so do I.

Image2

xA

P.S. It’s hilariously ironic that in the majority of the pin-up photos I took, my stretchmarks aren’t that visible. Because they’re everywhere.

But I guess there’s a life lesson in that, isn’t there?

I’m probably the only one who really notices them.

Image7_2

P.P.S. Things I meant to write but forgot: Happy Birthday to me! Also, here’s to 27! I’m crazy excited for it!

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Three Hundred Sixty Five.

I know this is a 365-day blog, but this is technically the penultimate post, because it’s a birthday to birthday thing. And tomorrow’s my birthday!

600px-US_27.svg

SIDENOTE: Have you bought me a birthday present yet? We can’t be friends if you didn’t because all I care about is material possessions.

Anyway, I thought what better way to spend the second-last day of my crazy year-long blog than looking back on some of its best moments?

SIDENOTE: Maybe that should say best/”best”…

Think of this, if you will, as a flashback episode of your favourite TV sitcom. With the help of a couple friends, I’ve compiled some categories I think you’ll enjoy.

Without further ado…

Top 5 Stupid Kid Moments

photo(1)

Oh boy. Where to even start with this one?! Well, okay…

1. Pressing buttons was (OKAY, STILL IS) a thing I loved doing. See examples A and B.

2. Of course, there was the time I electrocuted myself

3. The day I put scissors through my finger

4. Setting fire to things is never a good idea.

5. Neither is writing a hate letter to your childhood friend.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

I have to give honourable mention to the day I learned that “bastard” is a bad word. Oh, and also to the combination of shaving off my eyebrows and getting hair extensions.

And guess what?! It’s your lucky day. I found a photo of teenage Andrea with hair extensions and no eyebrows. And apparently I have no shame because I’m gonna post it on the Internet.

Extensions

Boy oh boy oh boy.

Moving on!

Top 5 Most Awkward Moments

If you haven’t deduced by now, I am the QUEEN OF AWKWARD. This is quite the random assortment, but I feel it encompasses who I am pretty well…

1. The day a goat ate my t-shirt. (Enough said.) (Stupid goats.) (Seriously, why would she do that to me?!) (Ugh.) (I fucking loved that t-shirt.) (SOB.)

2. The day I learned about orgasms in sex ed. (Is anyone else craving cake?!)

3. Barrel-chested. That is all.

4. The day the National Poet of Scotland called me stupid. Which I really should add to my resume.

5. My elementary school “boobies” moment.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

There are so, so many, but I feel like my Pilates FAIL and my Zumba BARF moments were pretty grand.

Top 5 “SRSLY?!” Moments

You know those moments. The ones that make you go, “what the fucking?!”

1. People and my tattoos. Why are people so weird about my tattoos?

2. That time a guy threw a book at my face. No big deal.

3. NO I DON’T WANT TO TAN.

4. Nothing says “what the fuck?” like getting pepper sprayed!

5. Also charming: when people tell you how to pronounce your own name

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

I have to give myself a shout out for fucking up my neck by making fun of someone on a Zumba DVD. Because who the fuck does that? This girl, right here.

But the greatest honourable mention in this category goes to Glasgow, Scotland, where I experienced so many WTF things, including…

Finding a tooth in an ATM.

Finding a used tampon on a bus.

And buses in general.

Among so many others. I fucking love you, Glasgow. I really do.

Top 5 Workplace Blunders

It’s a wonder I still have my job. It really is. It’s also a wonder I still have any self-confidence after all of the stupid humbling things that have happened to me at work…

1. My friends still bring up the day I parked on the sidewalk.

2. Also charming: locking yourself in a stairwell on your first day of work.

3. Or, you know, getting caught dancing in the bathroom.

4. Similarly, walking in on your coworkers in the bathroom.

5. Or traumatizing them with your hair colour.

BONUS PHOTO:

Getting caught taking a selfie at work.

Work selfie

At least I know my office mate loves me and doesn’t judge me.

Top 5 Relationship/Sex Fails

Look. I’d prefer we don’t dwell on how much I suck at relationships, okay? OKAY?!

1. I have been known to throw myself at guys I like.

2. I’ve learned the hard way that spin the bottle will only break your heart.

3. So will going after guys who don’t care that you exist. (But you can keep trying to shout “LOVE ME! LOOOOOVE MEEEE!” at them. Trust me. Guys SUPER love that.)

4. I’m good at ending up in awkward sex situations.

5. And awkward kissing situations, sometimes.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS AND A BONUS PHOTO:

Okay, well, first of all, heartbreak, right?

I think I also screwed it up with this guy, because he was clearly paying me a compliment.

Let’s not forget all of my failed marriages. Sigh.

And the time a MONSTER RASH ruined my potential Scottish boyfriend.

And hey, since I’ve already shown you how great I looked with hair extensions as an eyebrowless wonder, here’s a photo of me in the midst of the MONSTER RASH attack. This was after I managed to get my eyes open, because they were swollen shut.

Photo 130

Good lord…

Top 5 Accomplishments

I didn’t screw up everything, though. I’ve done some stuff. Yeah. I do things! I TCB every once in a while!

1. I’ve gotten over a lot of fear to become a Zumba instructor.

2. Then I stuck with it for a year and changed my life.

3. I grew back my eyebrows, guys. I fucking did it!

4. I got over some serious “I can’t!” bullshit and also tried wall climbing.

5. Oh, hey, I also learned how to embrace myself sometimes. I think that’s pretty huge.

HONOURABLE MENTION:

I BLOGGED EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR 365 FUCKING DAYS.

A year, guys. A YEAR.

I’m excited to celebrate my birthday with you all tomorrow.

xA

P.S. I know what you’re thinking. There totally should have been some sort of crazy travel category. But I just couldn’t narrow that shit down. So you’ll just have to re-read my entire blog to enjoy.

Three Hundred Sixty Four.

I had this job once. Right when I moved back from Scotland. In theory, it should have been a great job, but it actually turned into the job from hell because my boss was really mean to me. It took me somewhere between six and 12 months to gain back any ounce of self-confidence after that job. I was scared to even write emails in fear I’d do it wrong. That should give you an idea of how awesome I was treated.

So you can imagine how much I’d love to talk to that boss again.

Anyway, one day I was in the car with my parents and my two dogs, taking my dogs out for a long drive. They absolutely love being in the car, so when I have the time, it’s something we do. It’s a nice, casual way to spend a Sunday or something. Family quality time!

Bts 2

SIDENOTE: Okay, they’re not IN the car in that photo, but they’re out and about and that’s just as exciting.

I was sitting in the back seat covered in dogs. That’s the way life goes when you have Boston Terriers – they have to be TOUCHING YOU ALWAYS. Sometimes it drives me crazy because I just want them to be excited about the drive and give me a few minutes of peace.

Bts 1

On this particular day, though, I was enjoying the puppy pile. I mean, look at them: they’re ridiculous. So I turned up my puppy voice and I gave them a good cuddle.

Now, I totally get that talking to dogs in stupid voices can be sooooo annoying, but also, sometimes life just calls for it. And I happen to do character voices for each of my dogs that crack me the fuck up. Because I’m HILARIOUS.

SIDENOTE: And humble!

I had been stupid-talking my dogs for approximately four and a half minutes when I decided wheeeew, that was exhausting and I need a little break. I pulled out my phone to check if I had any texts.

And there it was.

I was on a call with my ex-boss.

And I was leaving her a dog-talk voicemail.

FOR FOUR AND A HALF MINUTES.

After what felt like an eternity of me staring in complete shock at my iPhone – HOW THE FUCK DO YOU POCKET DIAL FROM A TOUCH SCREEN?! – I hung up the phone.

I spent the next month waiting to hear from her and feeling like an idiot.

Eventually I forgot about it.

Okay, I didn’t completely forget about it – a part of me EXTREMELY hopes that she had deleted my phone number so that the voicemail came from a vaguely familiar-looking number and not from “Andrea Beça.” But the rest of me knows that of course she didn’t and of course it did come from “Andrea Beça.”

Because that was the day I learned that the OF COURSE stuff always happens. Always. Murphy’s Law, is it?

xA

P.S. But seriously, HOW DO YOU POCKET DIAL FROM AN IPHONE?! GAAAAH.

P.P.S. Speaking of pocket dials, remember this one?

Three Hundred Forty Four.

I don’t know, this is just random thought I had this morning, but when I was a kid, I ate some weird shit.

Here are three things I distinctly remember. I’m sure my mom could chime in with like, 87 more.

HerroFloFries1

French Fries and Ice Cream

Any time we went to McDonald’s as kids, my brother and I (maybe he didn’t participate in this, but I could swear he did) would get an ice cream cone and an order of fries and we would dip our fries into the ice cream and eat them. It was the whole salty sweet thing. But of course, I would rotate between dipping my fries in ice cream and dipping them in ketchup. Ugh.

Ketchup Chips

Speaking of ketchup, one day, I was so desperate for ketchup chips that I decided that dipping regular old potato chips into actual ketchup would be just as delicious.

It wasn’t.

But I still ate a lot of them. I remember it being very…greasy and tomato-y and overwhelming.

Dill Dip

When I was in grade five, one of my friends was like, “Oh, I know the best homemade dip!” All it consisted of was a TON of mayonnaise (which I was never a fan of to begin with) with a TON of dried dill mixed into it. So when she came over, we made this dip and ate probably half a cup of it each. With carrots. And chips, I think. And then my stomach hurt for like a week.

Despite the pain, I would go on to make that dip a few more times before it made me feel barfy enough that I stopped. Just thinking about it now makes my stomach twitch.

Lesson learned: I swear kids are born with iron stomachs. Some people keep those iron stomachs until they die. Good for them, I say.

I mixed a lot of crazy foods in my belly when I was little that would make me barf as an adult. How about you?

xA

Three Hundred Thirty Seven.

Speaking of all of the super cool crafts I made when I was a kid, here’s a good story we can all learn from…

I wish I could remember just what it was that I was attempting to create, but I can assure you it was awesome. I was always up to something as a kid, whether it was running a private library or ringing doorbells.

I think it was some sort of hanging ornament, because the task that really tripped me up was punching a hole into the bottom dish from a box of chocolates. You know the ones – they have a number of small cups in them, one for each Pot of Gold chocolate or whatever. Yeah, that. I was trying to make a hole in the bottom of one of the small cups to that I could put a string through it. The plastic was really thick, though, so using a pen wasn’t working. I decided that scissors were the way to go.

But I wasn’t using Crayola scissors, folks. I had the real deal.

scissors

Uh oh.

So, um, not only did the scissors go through the chocolate dish like a hot knife slicing through butter…they also went into my finger – well into my finger – which was holding the plastic tight and got in the way.

I could see the sharp metal threatening to come through the other side of my finger. So I did what any kid (or just me) would do: ripped the scissors out of my finger and started screaming.

My memory after that is a little sketchy, but when I think of this instance in my life, I always flash back to the white dish towel my mom held to my hand, which was completely soaked in blood.

I probably should have gotten stitches, but I didn’t. (In fact, I wouldn’t get stitches for the first time until like, 20 years later…) My mom managed to stop the bleeding, bandaged me up really well, and eventually it healed. I had the scar for a really long time, but now it’s mostly faded, so maybe I actually just made that whole story up. (I didn’t.)

Lesson learned: They make those shitty plastic scissors for kids for a reason. Don’t put scissors through your finger. It fucking sucks.

xA

P.S. What was your biggest childhood crafting disaster? (Preferably a disaster in the sense that you injured yourself. I could talk messy disasters for years without running out of stories!)

Three Hundred Thirty Six.

Wow. Well, here it is. This is the official one-month countdown. Exactly one month until my 27th birthday (October 17th, y’all. Buy me something nice.)…and the end of this 365-day blog. I cannot believe how quickly it’s gone by, but also, holy shit, writing a blog post every day of your life for a year is a lot of work. I’m going to miss it, but I’m also a bit relieved the end of the project is nigh.

SIDENOTE: I’m not going to vanish, though. Trust.

My mom reminded me of a funny story from my childhood yesterday.

One day, when I was still pretty little – older than five because we had my childhood dog, Legacy (the one I barfed on once), but under 10, I think – my mom bought a new vacuum.

I didn’t care much about the vacuum itself, of course. I mean whatever, I didn’t know how to use one and I remember at that point they still kind of scared me. (They’re loud.)

What I cared about was the box.

I remember my mom brought the new vacuum down to our laundry room, unpacked it, and then took it upstairs to give it a test run on our carpets. In the meantime, I was left in the laundry room with a giant box.

What more could a kid want?

I found a pair of large scissors, some felt pens, and I got to work.

I’d say it only took me 10-15 minutes to chop the hell out of the box and draw all over it until it was the perfect doghouse for Legacy. Maybe a little feminine – I had decorated it with pink and purple flowers, which were more my style than his – but it was the perfect size, at the very least. I was elated. I couldn’t wait to show Legacy the masterpiece I had created for him.

It looked like this, except totally not because I still sucked at scissors and I didn’t stay in the lines when I drew or coloured.

cardboard_dog_house_cwiap

So…more like this, but still uglier.

Cardboard-Box-Barn-Step-3b

I found Legacy and brought him over to see his new doggie mansion, which of course he hated.

He was terrified of boxes.

He wouldn’t go near it, never mind into it.

I was crushed. For about 30 seconds. Then I moved on, looking for something else to play with. (I was sort of a busy child.)

Meanwhile, in the real world, my mom had tried out the vacuum and she hated it. She brought it back downstairs to carefully re-pack it into its box and take it back to the store.

Except…

“WHAT THE FUCK?!”

SIDENOTE: My mom never said that. I mean, maybe in her head. Probably in her head. But my mom like, never swore ever. Even now, I think it’s super funny when she swears. Especially when she swears wrong. Or when she says, “That just blows me!” instead of, “That just blows my mind!” Because it sounds so dirty. Tee hee.

I had destroyed the box.

We were stuck with the shitty vacuum. For years.

Sorry, mom.

Lesson learned: I’ve always been (A) a creative type, (B) a dog lover, and (C) the type of person to act from the heart.

xA

IMPORTANT P.S. I know I have some insanely loyal readers out there, so I want to give you a chance to chime in. Is there anything you really want me to write about? Maybe a life experience you’re curious about? Or something I said I was going to write about in an older post that I never actually wrote? (I forget stuff all the time. Plus 365 days seems like an eternity until you hit the one-month countdown and realize holy shit, it’s not at all.) I’m not making any promises, but I’ll do the best I can! Seriously, let me know.

Three Hundred Twenty Eight.

Remember my post about Life Math and punctuality?

Let’s keep going with that for a second…

OTHER TYPES OF LIFE MATH I DON’T GET

SIDENOTE: Am still struggling with punctuality a lot of days, but have realized it’s mostly my dogs’ fault. (I know, what an excuse, but seriously.)

1. Toothpaste vs. Foam

Look, I know that some people are able to like, brush their teeth while they walk around the house and get ready for the day. (My BFF Mags does it and it totally confounds me.) But I am not one of those people. I don’t understand how my pea-sized dab of toothpaste always becomes FOAM EVERYWHERE. All over. Everywhere. Like this, which I’m sure you’ve all seen, but I love it anyway:

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It just doesn’t add up!

2. Dogs vs. Bed

My dogs are small dogs. They’re not teacup dogs, but they’re small. And while I may not have a giant, hotel-style king-sized bed (I FUCKING WISH), I do have a nice, normal queen-sized bed. So how, how, HOW is it that when my two small dogs get into bed with me, I have NO ROOM?

on_bed_1024_263614k

Even that guy looks like he has more sleeping space than I get when Oscar and Lucy are in bed with me.

Maybe it’s because they sleep horizontally or wherever the fuck they please, while I’m left trying to push them out of the way for a tiny sliver of mattress space…

SIDENOTE: As I was writing this blog post, I looked up and caught my dogs hanging out like this:

Screen shot 2013-09-09 at 10.25.45

AHHHHHHH! Heart exploded.

3. Tears vs. Water

This is sort of like the feeding a baby vs. the amount they vomit question. As I’m sure you may have gathered from some of my posts a few weeks ago, I’ve been doing a bit of crying. Specifically, I’d say I cried a LOT over the course of say, two to three days.

And then I was dehydrated for like, a week and a half.

No, seriously.

I couldn’t stop drinking water. My mouth was dry, my throat was sticking. It was like being stuck in a weird stereotypical movie about someone stranded in the desert. I felt like I was full of sand and I couldn’t get enough hydration. Surely I didn’t cry that much. So what the fuck, body?

Lesson learned: I’ll never get an ‘A’ in Life Math. (Or any math after like, grade six math, based on past experience…)

What are your biggest Life Math struggles/puzzles?

xA

Three Hundred Ten.

When I was little, my brother and I used to always play along the sidewalk in front of our house. We used it for fun things like running back and forth, skipping back and forth, biking back and forth, and so on.

Look how fucking cute we were.

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(This should be no surprise, because look at us now, am I right? Haha.)

Anyway, there were some neighbour kids in the neighbourhood, some of whom we got along with better than others. There was a set of three kids who lived just down the street who were sort of fun to play with, but also sort of mean. Like if you played with them for long enough, one of them would do something straight up evil just to see what would happen.

You know the ones.

On this particular day, my brother and I (at that time about seven and four respectively) were playing around when the three kids showed up and crashed our party. My brother and I – being of the extremely non-confrontational personality type – played along with it. Everything was going fine – a bit of a drag, but FINE – until I was like, running along side my brother’s bike – or maybe it was the boy kid’s bike – and I fell. Or maybe he pushed me. I’d like to say he pushed me because like I said, they weren’t very nice, but maybe I’m just remembering the story as an adult who can now see what jerks some kids are.

Bottom line: I fell. I was horizontal on the sidewalk.

And there she came.

The youngest sibling. A year younger than I, but so, so much scarier. (I wasn’t scary at all, except when I was super whiny and annoying and I don’t remember being that way because I was the one doing it.) She was on a tricycle and she came barreling at me with a look on her face so twisted I can only tell you to imagine a kid tri-cycling with the vigour of Danny Torrence from The Shining, only take his face and replace it with Chucky.

I basically saw it happen in slow motion, but I was paralyzed with fear. So I had to just sit there and watch in complete horror while that little twat rode her tricycle RIGHT OVER ME.

Naturally, my knee/leg got ripped open by the stupid wheels of her stupid tricycle and started to bleed like crazy. I still have at least one scar from that day. Not to mention the emotional trauma.

(I wouldn’t give that girl the time of day if I saw her tomorrow. Is that bad? I don’t care.)

That was the day I learned that getting run over by a bike sucks. I don’t recommend it.

Also maybe some children need to GET SOME BIKING MANNERS.

xA

Three Hundred Eight.

A couple nights ago, I caught a random episode of a TV show called Don’t Drive Here.
Basically, the host of the show travels to places all around the world to learn about and experience the driving culture. He goes through the process of getting a license, and then tries different types of driving in whichever city the particular episode is about. The one I caught was in Manila, which is chaotic and scary, to say the least. Facts I pulled from the TV show’s  website:

  • Deadly Roads: In 2011, more than 1800 people were killed in Manila road accidents. That’s 35 people killed every week – or five a day.
  • Top Killer: Road accidents are ranked as the fourth top cause of death in the country by the Health Department.
  • Slow traffic: Manila traffic has an average speed of just eight to 12 km/h during peak times – making it one of the slowest-moving cities in the world.
  • Pollution: 80% of the very bad air pollution here is due to vehicle exhaust.
  • Traffic police: Being a traffic officer here isn’t easy. The transit authority recently starting training officers in martial arts like: stick fighting, knife defense, and hand-to-hand combat.
  • Dangerous buses: Riding the bus is the most dangerous mode of public transportation when you’re in Metro Manila.

One moment really struck me, though. The host was travelling with a young woman while she took her two children and four nieces and nephews – that’s six kids – to the grocery store.

Sounds challenging, right? Can you imagine packing six kids into a car and taking them grocery shopping? I wouldn’t want to do it.

Only she didn’t get to pack them into a car. She needed to take three – yes, three – different types of transportation just to get to the store, one of which involved being separated from half the kids while they took bike taxi things between the bus and a weird jeep bus stop.

Gridlock-Manila1

Oh, and when they had to cross the street to get to the first bus stop, the woman was almost in tears because cars don’t stop and her children were nearly hit like, four separate times crossing one street.

Lesson learned: It’s a good thing to get that five-minute wake-up call as to how easy life is. Especially when we spend the day stressing about little dumb things that don’t actually matter. (And by “we” I mean me, but also probably you, right?)

xA

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