Saturday, June 2, 2018

Nanny & Poppy

We had another great trip. But it really over extended me, and I'm not sure when, or if, we will go again. It was amazing though. We really enjoyed the ship, the ports, the food, and the few days at Disney after. I do not regret going, but it was not a cheap trip.

When we got back my parents told me they were putting their house on the market in order to move closer to home. It sold really quickly, and they had to find a new place. Yesterday they moved in! It was super fast, and I think quite stressful for my mom, but they are closer now. Only an hour away. We went out to see the house today, it's really nice, new build, perfect size for them (or us!). Jackson really liked the place, and we walked up to Dairy Queen for ice cream.

I am not sure I'll ever be able to buy a house at this rate. I can't save fast enough to keep up with the way house prices are going up. Homes are selling for thousands over asking, quickly, often before they actually go on the market. And since kiddo has decided that he wants to stay at this school it greatly limits my options. At least when he hits high school the catchment is much bigger. But that's still 3 years away. He is only in grade 3! Almost done grade 3 though.

Work is work. I am getting my vacation this summer, my manager shuffled the team a bit when one person left in order to put me in a position that I could actually take the time off. Now my position from before has said they won't allow me to stay on loan for another year. The area I am working will need to move me permanently or send me back in September. At this point, both jobs sound interesting so I leave it to the managers to figure it out. The current job is in a much better location, parking is easier, and the commute is so much better. But I will do what I need to do for the job I guess.

We have no real plans for the summer. We will do some stuff around town, and a friend is off with her kids as well. Plus we'll go to my parents for a bit as well. I do want to declutter, get ride of stuff! Jackson doesn't play with his toys much any more, we can get rid of a lot I think. And hopefully it will make the house cleaner, easier to maintain, and just generally nicer to live in. I also am eating better, and moving more, but it's hard. I get started and then just fade off the workouts. I would like to do more, I just get tired, and eventually give up again. I keep trying, one day it will become a habit! I hope.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Best Laid Plans

I'm frustrated. I took a new position at work in the fall, on a temporary basis, and I like it. There is some stuff I do not like but in general the team is good, the work is interesting, I'm learning a lot. The manager sucks, and now she has denied my request for summer vacation. The first year where if Jackson doesn't go I don't have to pay, and I can't even avoid having to pay now! I am really upset about it. Perhaps more than I should be. We will survive, but it is very annoying and now I am left scrambling to find a new position, or return to a job I don't want to do. We go away in a few weeks, and when I get back I'll have maybe 2 weeks to find something new in time to get all the paper work done. I can't see it happening. So my choices become not taking the time off in the summer, or taking my full paid vacation and using unpaid leave in the winter. Which means having to save to cover that. Missing two pay cheques at once is different than losing the pay and having it averaged out over a full year.

It really sucks. I can't believe any potential savings from no daycare or summer camps is now gone, and I have to figure out where to send him, how much it will cost, and lose out myself! Maybe I am spoiled, I enjoy spending the time together in the summer, I enjoy taking the time off work. I'm not one who loves my job. It pays the bills, it's a necessity. But as soon as I can retire I will. And honestly in a few years when Jackson is 12 or so, he'll probably be staying home alone a few weeks of the summer any way.

At least we have our trip coming in April. We are going on another cruise and spending two nights afterwards at Disney. Everything is paid for at this point except gratuities on the cruise and spending money. I will take care of that all in two weeks. Sadly the Canadian dollar has been dropping so it's going to cost me more than it would have a few months ago. My plan going forward is to get a bit every month so it's easier in future. Not that we are supposed to be planning any more trips! But I know we will. I am hoping to take another trip next February or so.This winter has been long, and we need a nice break in the middle. December was too early, April is too late. I would do one on March break but it costs so much more for flights I just can't justify the extra costs. Mind you it means he misses school and perhaps that won't be possible in another year or two.

Now I need to think some good thoughts, picture what I want and wait for the universe to provide. I know things will work out, but perhaps not in the way I would really like. I have some contacts and will be sending off my resume and interest to a few managers and directors that I know. Hopefully something good will come of it! Quickly. I could probably manage this summer but I certainly have no intention of going through this every summer. It's clear what the manager's thoughts are and though the project is where it is because of a lack of leadership, and taking 5 extra months to staff up, the staff is now paying the price. I don't think I'm the only one who may be leaving, two of the other staff are term employees looking to become permanent and they both have possible offers. Hopefully the project doesn't fail, it is a great idea and would be great if it is completed.

For now, I am planning for Easter at my parent's and then our next vacation. All while trying to network as much as possible and find a new position... and of course while doing my actual job. My boss mentioned she hopes I don't just check out and that I will keep working... who says that? Any way! Shows what type of boss she is I guess.

I wish I knew what I would really like to do with myself. I have this job that I don't love, but it has a pension plan, benefits, usually great vacation, and room to move around. But I can't find that thing that I want to do. I am 43, and I can retire at 55, though I will probably work until 57 to get the years in I need, I don't think I will do much more than that, and it all depends if I am actually able to save up extra on top of the pension, and figure out where I would want to live. Not here as the cost of living is higher than many places. I also hate winter, so a place with a nicer one, or the option to spend winter some place warmer, is a necessity. Perhaps I won't want to be too far from Jackson? I don't know. I do know that I have 12+ years to go, I'm about half way through this career.

We had a team meeting today and were talking about summer vacation plans, one of the girls mentioned she has no idea what she wants to do this summer, or any other time. I can tell you exactly what vacation I want every summer and winter for the next few years... with some variation in exact dates for the trips I want to take. I am a planner. While my plans don't always work out, I feel better having them. I have a detailed budget, I know exactly how much money I will have on any day for the next two years. And I may go ahead and do the one after that soon since it bugs me that I haven't yet. Sometimes it is a good thing, and sometimes it throws me for a loop when things don't work the way I expect.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Change

I find this time of year I am wanting change. Normally, as I approach my birthday, I look back and see what I've done so far in my life, see what else I want, and feel bad that I'm not really where I want to be. When I was growing up, I didn't always think about the future, I had general ideas. I always imagined I would get a good job, get married, buy a house, have children. I never thought I would have a job like the one I do. I thought I would be a scientist, I would work in a lab or something like that. I always assumed I would get married, it is what people do after all. I sometimes wonder what types of dreams for the future Jackson has, or will have. He changes his mind daily, sometimes hourly, but I know he's still young so I tell him he can do or be anything he wants.

I no longer want to be a scientist. I don't really want to work at all. I wish I could stay home and spend time improving my home, taking care of my son, taking care of myself. I feel like I have never really found a job that I loved, but I know I have bills to pay and things I want to do, so I keep doing what I am. There are no real options for me. I can change positions, but ultimately it would be the same job. I am stuck though, I certainly cannot be without a job at this point. Even taking time off to get a different education, at this point seems somewhat pointless. Given my job and pension plan, I have 12+ years of work left.

I no longer want to be married. Though Jackson would like me to be. I find the thought of having to share my life, and decisions, at this point exhausting. There would, I'm sure, be some benefits, especially financially. I simply recognize that relationships are a lot of work, work that I am not interested in putting in. I have nothing against men, or relationships for others, I simply don't want to spend the time and effort myself.

I've said before in this blog that I wanted 3 children. I have one, and I love him. I wish I could have more, but I am not sure I am willing to go forward with donor eggs. I am not even sure I am willing to try IVF. But I also know IUI will likely not work. At this point my body is winding down on the egg production. I haven't had a period since November, missed December and January is technically late. I haven't had a reliable, regular cycle for a year or two now, so I know my time is up, or at the very least it would be very low chances. Financially, I am not really in a position to try any way. I have chosen to spend money on travelling instead of saving to buy a house, or do IVF. Is it the right choice? I don't know but we have certainly enjoyed the trips.

I do recognize that I need to stop the trips for awhile, save some money instead of spending it all. I do have some debt, and it needs to go. If I didn't have that, life would be a lot easier and freer. I know I need to follow a proper budget, pay off the debt and save some money. Maybe even buy a house someday. I like to buy things. Things I can't always afford. And I know it's wrong and bad, and I am trying to change. But like everything else in my life, change is hard. Even when it's necessary change.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year

We rang in 2018 asleep. Couldn't make it to midnight! Kiddo was yawning by 9. I was tired too. At least he's feeling better. He was sick a few days after our trip, and we stayed home from work for two days, so I worked half a day after our trip. Oh well! I go back to work on January 8th.

Last year had us taking a lot of trips, and spending a lot of money. This year we have one trip planned, and after that I need to focus on not spending so much. I need to save money. I want to buy a house someday. We also spent a lot on the pets, including the puppy. He is still a work in progress. I think we should have gotten an adult instead of a puppy, he is a lot of work and I cannot wait for him to calm down a bit.

I'm not really sure what our goals, or what my goals any way, are for the coming year. I want to be healthier, lost some weight, save some money. All the usual goals. I also plan to make a final decision on the second baby front.

I will need money, since I expect that I will need to use donor eggs at this point. I will be 43, my cycles have gone wonky, though I don't mind when it decides to skip a month! Well, except that I do feel much older than I am. Or perhaps I am as old as I feel? I need to lose some weight if I want to do donor eggs as well, I think I am close to the limit of what the BMI they will work with allows. I need to make the decision and feel ok with it. I may need to speak to someone, a professional. To sort out my feelings and help focus on a decision.

I think 2018 will be as any other year, me trying to be healthier, trying to do better with money. Kiddo will grow up and be himself. He will complain about having to go to boring school, he will hopefully do some swimming lessons, and perhaps play a sport. I will have to decide if he is going to do French immersion for grade 4. He isn't too happy in school right now. He complains that he doesn't really have any friends, no one cares about him, they are mean, and his teacher takes everyone else's side. I know he is smart, and has trouble because he is ahead of the curve in a lot of ways, and yet younger than the other kids since he is a December baby.

I have a week left until it's back to work. I hope I get some time to myself, I am very much an introvert who likes to be alone and kiddo is the opposite, wanting to be with me all the time. I love him, and love spending time with him, but it can be a bit much. And he doesn't understand, thinks it means I don't care about him or like him if I need time alone. How to deal with that? Not sure, but working on it. Usually I get some time after he's in bed, and that helps. But he has been staying up late because we're on vacation. So not time alone for me! It's only a week. Hopefully the cold lifts at least enough so we can go sledding or something. It has been cold warnings since before Christmas, a long time with terribly cold weather. It would be nice to get out and about. Even in winter.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Fabulous vacation

We are back from another fabulous vacation. It was a great trip, though the travel (plane) portions were kind of yucky. Kiddo gets plane sick, every time! And the flight home was at a very late time, but was at least direct. The cruise portion was great though, we enjoyed the ship, though I think we are looking forward to trying Carnival again in April. We enjoyed 3 of the ports quite a bit, and the fourth we just stayed on the ship and hung out.

The only issue I had was with kiddo, he blamed anything that went wrong on me. From getting a blister to the tacos at the buffet not being out long enough. Everything was my fault. I eventually got fed up and kind of yelled at him to stop thinking only of himself and to realize that he shouldn't blame others for anything he doesn't like. I may have been a bit harsh, and he was a bit tired. So he had a melt down, crying for a good 10 minutes on the floor of the cabin. Then getting up and I guess thinking about it all. I took him up to check (again) for tacos, there weren't any. He was rather upset. But he held it together. So I booked up at the paid Mexican place for dinner. He ate tonnes of nachos and calamari for supper. He didn't like the tacos or quesadillas. But he was full and I enjoyed the food as well.

Since we got back he has been very loving, telling me how much he appreciates the trip, how much fun he had, and how happy he is that I am his mom. We had a few conversations about how he is a good kid, and he just needs to think of others on occasion. It seems that we have turned some kind of corner, it is very strange but I think it is a good thing. I am looking forward to our two weeks of Christmas vacation. Which may be a few extra days since he seems to have come down with a fever and maybe missing the last two days of school.

I'm not sure which port was the best. We certainly enjoyed the beaches at all 3 places we got off the ship. The beach we chose in St Kitts was not the best choice, it was fun but crowded and the water was quite cloudy. I think we would have been better off at a different beach. I will keep that in mind for next time. Antigua was lovely. We went on a cruise excursion and it was fun, the food was ok, we got a couple bottles of water included (though if I drank I could have had something stronger). The beach was great, I do hear it's not the best on the island. But we had a lot of fun, and kiddo enjoyed jumping the big waves. I think Labadee was perhaps the best day. We went down the roller coaster twice, which was more than enough for me. Then we went to play on the water toys. He had fun, I just tried to avoid the jelly fish! I did get stung but didn't notice until we were back on the ship so I guess it wasn't that bad. We spend time at the quiet beach there then went over to the rougher one, where there was some great snorkeling. We saw so many fish and had a lot of fun there. We ate on the island as well, and eventually went back to the ship, It was a nice day.

Jackson cried, and still cries, when it was time to go. He really enjoyed the trip, and he does hate to fly. He didn't even miss the cats as much this time. I found the 8 night cruise enough. Though I can see wanting to do longer. It would be costly and this was enough.




Sunday, December 3, 2017

Busy December

December is always a busy month. With Jackson's birthday and the holidays, it is also an expensive month. This year is no different. We are going on another cruise, his party was last weekend, and he has been invited to a few birthday parties. I'm also trying to get all the Christmas shopping done before we go, or at least know that what is still left I can pick up easily on my way home from work the few days I will be working in December.

Jackson's birthday party was a success. He got a lot of nerf guns, which is a little annoying to me but is what he told all his friends he wanted, and they came through for him. He went to another party last night, and had a lot of fun. There is one next weekend but we will be away so he'll be missing it. I guess this isn't the time of year to go on a trip! He's not missing much in school, and as a result of the trip and our Christmas holidays I only have to work 9 days in December. So for me, it works!

We do have another cruise, for Jackson's birthday. And I am very excited. He wishes we were going back to Walt Disney World. He'll get over it. I prefer to cruise, it is more relaxing to me, we get to see new places, and try new things. I also don't have to worry if he doesn't like what he wanted for dinner, he can get something else without me having to buy it. We will be in our first ever balcony, and are very excited to see what that is like. I wonder if it's worth it, and thinking probably not. But it seemed like it at the time we booked I guess.

When we are back I will have to think about getting another referral. Though I guess I will have some time since so many doctor's offices close down over the holidays. I just keep getting older. Honestly, I don't see it. It's very strange. I guess I always thought I would know that suddenly I am "old". But I still feel the same as I did in my 20's, except now I have a child and have to be the grown up all the time. Which honestly isn't always that fun.

I guess I need to make the decision and stick with it. I mean I have made the decision multiple times, flip flopping back and forth, and it never sticks. I need it to make sense, be logical, be what feels right, and be undeniable. Then perhaps I can stop wondering, and move on. One way or the other.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Regrets

I try to live my life with no regrets. I don't like to dwell in the past, or feel like a choice I've made was a mistake. I like to believe that I am who I am, where I am, and I like myself, because of all those choices I've made. I may not be where I thought I would be at this age but I think I'm doing well.

Right now I am trying to not regret my choice to not move forward with having another child. It is proving difficult. I'm not sure why. I know it's best for me, for Jackson. But I always wanted to have more than one kid, three in fact, and now here I am at 42, almost 43, and it's too late. I never followed through last year, I would need to start over, new referral, wait 3 months to get seen, wait 3 more months to even try. My odds were 5% at 41, now what? Maybe 2%? what would be the point? And I will be too old for the covered IVF. I don't want to afford that. I could, I'm sure, work it out, but I don't want to. Never mind my cycles have been very irregular lately.

Canada is changing the mat leave rules, I'd be able to take 18 months off. It would be the same amount of pay as over the 12 months currently, but my employer tops up 12 months to 93% of my current salary. My son's school/daycare is going to be offering a toddler program starting soon, that starts at 18 months. Of course he's already in grade 3, so getting to a baby and that baby 18 months it might only be one year of overlap in the same place.

And I have about 14 years until I can probably retire, new baby would be 12 or 13 then? That would be difficult. I don't want to have to work an extra 10 years! I want to retire, buy a mobile home and drive south every winter! I know Jackson would have a hard time sharing me with a sibling, he has already said he wouldn't like it because he wants to be the baby. But of course today he wanted to be a big boy and walk to the park by himself, because it snowed and I didn't want to go out. We ended up at the park, after some yelling on my part. I wonder if my temper can handle another strong willed child.

So here I am, filled with regret over not trying for a second child when Jackson was 2, or 3 or 4... or even last year. Trying to get over it, with great difficulty.