I've got household bugs, filthy teeth and a flying insect issue

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

I tend to rant on about a variety of topics. I'm not sure at this point how many of you care but according to my reader stats, I am big in Mexico... and Latvia. Olé! I'd include an appropriate Latvian phrase here but the only one I know is suudu ruukis which, I've come to learn, means "poo dwarf" when translated, and that's just not relevant at all.

Never mind.  The important thing is that to help fuel my ranting habit, I have some Google ads on my blog in the hopes that I will one day build up enough spare change to be able to buy myself a cup of coffee - maybe even a latte.

But, here's the thing. Google is smart and their ads are clever too -- which is why words like this appear next to my posts. 

This makes me laugh but also feel a little bit squirmy. It's like high school all over again, "Hi, my name is Andrea, nice to meet you. I've got household bugs, filthy teeth and a flying insect issue. Wanna dance?"

Sigh. It's been that kind of a day.

Oh yeah and Jan and I bought a car this afternoon. Geoff was as surprised as the salesman.
Geoff: I thought you were just getting snow tires.

Me We bought a car instead.

GeoffDid you bring it home? Did you test drive it? What kind is it?

Me: Not yet. No, we didn't. And... blue. Dark blue.

Geoff: I don't even know you anymore.

It seemed like a rational thing to do. After all, we got stuck in the snow three times in the last two days, and we've only had one storm this year. True, new tires could have solved our problem but the way I see it, new tires on the old car would have set us back around $800. The new car has new tires - so, we saved ourselves nearly a thousand bucks.

No, really.

Novocaine - fun. Metal probes - not fun.

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

My dentist looks like a big screen film star. His teeth make a "ting" sound and light shoots out of his mouth when he smiles - just like in the movies. Okay, maybe I just imagined that last part.

Either way, I prefer to see as little of my mouth doc as possible, after having fallen for the "Really, the Novocaine needle will hurt more than the procedure, so let's just skip it, shall we?" trick more than once. Yet, every six months I dutifully make the trek to his office and willingly subject myself to the torture of a teeth cleaning. It's a ritual my husband thinks is borderline masochistic and completely avoidable. He's convinced the dentist tried to kill him once (or twice). His solution? Just don't go.

No, not my mouth - but you get the idea...

Me: Today is teeth cleaning day.

Geoff: That's nice.

Me: Don't you feel sorry for me?

Geoff: I have to lift and nail 4000 sheets of plywood onto the roof of our new house before the snowstorm of the century arrives.

Me: So, no then?

Because misery loves company, Jan and I have been booking our appointments with Dr. Hollywood together. On this day, we brought both my daughter and my aunt with us.

Jan disappeared into one examining room and I into another while my kiddo and Wilma headed to the toy zone (waiting room). As I settled into the chair, my hygienist asked me if I was experiencing any sensitivity. What I should have said was, "No". What I said instead was, "Um, yes actually I've been getting a sharp pain in the upper part of my mouth on the right side sometimes when I brush my teeth."

I confided in my hygienist (let's call her Shirley), thinking that she would take pity on me and avoid placing tiny metal probes in the questionable zone. I thought wrong. Instead, she grabbed a "special" implement and started running it across each tooth in the sensitive area. She had a diabolical look on her face. Well, truthfully, I couldn't tell because she was wearing a face mask.

Shirley Hygienist: Does this hurt?

Me: No, not yet.

SH: How about now?

Me: Nope.

SH: And this?

MeNo. Yay. Well, so much for that.

SH: Okay, we'll try a different tool...

Me: Oh crap.

I considered bolting but remembered that I had brought my daughter to the dentist - in part - to show her how enjoyable a teeth cleaning can be, as she will soon be old enough to be thrown to the wolves. So, I stayed put and braced for the "zing" while the experiment continued.

In the end, it was determined that my problem is  "recession" caused by "horizontal brushing". Preposterous! I thought. I never brush my teeth while laying down (anymore).

SH: You need to brush in an up and down motion - not side to side. Circle, circle, swipe - that's the way to do it. Okay?

Me: You don't read my blog do you?

SH: Huh?

Me: Oh, nothing.

When the cleaning was over, the littlest one popped her head in for a quick look. "It's a good thing I just rinsed the blood away." whispered Shirley Hygienist,  further proving Geoff's theory. Still, we succeeded in brainwashing my three year old kid who now believes that the dental office is "not too bad" (mostly due to fun waiting room toys).

As for me, I saw my dentist for exactly two seconds and was sent out the door with a new toothbrush, two packs of floss and a tube of Sensodyne-F toothpaste.

Two packs of floss? The F on the toothpaste tube must be my grade.
No, really.

Bugs in your bedroom... like 9th grade math class, only worse.

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

I am in the middle of doing battle with a flying insect. I don't know what it is, but I'm fairly certain an earwig had sex with a flying ant.

I was just about to crawl into bed when I saw it, sitting nonchalantly on my bedside table - eying my pillow. Normally I would ask Geoff to deal with such things but the poor dear has been burning the candle at both ends with this whole house-building project. At this moment he is fast asleep, clutching a toy dinosaur placed carefully in his grasp by our daughter. Nothing says "Do Not Disturb"  quite like a toy dinosaur in the fist.

So, I took matters into my own hands.

I grabbed a magazine and with it, inadvertently removed one of the creature's legs. I say inadvertently because really, I was trying to murder the thing - not torture it. I have a conscience.

So then it went all vigilante on me and hurled itself into my head. I turned the light on in the hopes that the brightness would attract the beast. It did go straight for the glow... and then disappeared behind the dresser. It's screwing with me. I know it.

I'm now sitting in the basement, at my computer. I needed a breather after what I've been through.

It's a fitting end to a ridiculous day which began far too early for my liking. From sun up to sun down, we (and by we, I mean the girls) were running errands in three different towns, stopping to pee in two of them (and by that, I mean my kid). By mid morning, Jan and I were so desperate for caffeine that when I stumbled into the nearest Tim Hortons, the only word that came out of my mouth was, "Two!" 

The employee behind the counter looked at me strangely. I returned the gesture.


"Um, yes. Coffee," I replied. (Hello?)

"Size, dear?"

"What?" (Huh?)

"What size of coffee do you want?"

Somewhere between 7 and 11am, I had ceased to be cool as I stood in a coffee shop (with a line up behind me, I might add), unable to place an order without prompts from a boy in a hair net.

Which brings me back to the cross-bred bug that is probably licking its wounds in my bed right now. I must face the inevitable. I am being punished for killing a housefly this morning. It's the only thing that makes sense. I woke up, saw it and killed it - no questions asked. From that point on, the day went downhill.

I'm sorry fly. I won't do it again.

There I've atoned. The day can get better now...

Time for an addendum.


Okay - it's nearly two hours later and I have won the battle. I won't go into details. I feel bad, but not as bad as the enemy. I'm in my bed. Earwig-ant is in the toilet. I win.

No, really.

2, 4, 6, 8 - How do you procrastinate?

By Andrea Mulder-Slater

My mom offered to take the girl to the aquarium today.

A welcome gesture considering... I have an online quiz to take before Monday, two assignments due next Wednesday and a blog entry about needles (syringes - don't ask) that should have been posted days ago. Meanwhile, because I have delusions of grandeur, I am applying for a freelance job - the rather unusual application of which needs to be submitted by month's end. Oh yeah, then there's KinderArt.com.

I was all set to get to work and say goodbye to the girls when... it happened.

"Are you coming too mommy?"

I wanted to say no. I wanted to explain to my daughter that I was just too busy to accompany her and her nana to what she believes to be the coolest place on earth.

"I can pick up a starfish and give it to you moooooommmmmy." 

By this point I'm fairly certain that my 3 year old is psychic. Certainly, she knows how to manipulate me.

Life is short - I thought to myself. And with that, I switched off my computer and grabbed my jacket.

In this case, procrastinating was a wise decision.

Fun was had by all and - as it turns out - holding sea creatures is a terrific stress reliever - for me anyway.

For the starfish, urchins and sea cucumbers living in a touch tank however, stress takes on a whole new meaning.

Okay - now back at it... right after this cup of coffee.

No, really.