Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Year, Lots of Changes

For 2014 I have a long list of things I want or need to change. Some are easy, I have a new job I am starting on January 6th, it's really just a new position in the same building, same pay and all of that, but new people to work with, a new boss, and new challenges. I am hoping it's finally getting me back to something that I enjoy doing, or at least don't hate doing. That is actually the easiest change, it was lined up since just before my surgery at the end of November. I am looking forward to it, and to it being the first of many changes.

The second big change for me will be my health and weight. I am technically obese. How horrible a word that is, and how horrible it makes me feel. Which makes me want to eat to drown my sorrow. And there we have the reason perhaps?  I have already started on that journey as well, to lose weight and get healthier. I started my diet a couple days ago, right now it is pretty strict, with little variation, mostly to get me over the sugar/caffeine/wheat withdrawal symptoms. I find if I have no choices I tend to stick to it easier, if I have to think about it I will make the wrong choices, or too much of some choices. So I am being very strict and monotonous, same meals daily, probably for 6 weeks or so.

For now I am having a shake for breakfast, one for lunch with a salad, and a serving of protein and vegetables for dinner. The shakes have berries in them, and spinach too, or other baby greens, as well as a high quality protein powder with whey and casein protein (trying to avoid soy of course). Lots of water, and tea with no sugar (gross!). I can't drink my coffee black so it's out for awhile. I am hoping to get down to at least just over weight by my birthday in February. Once I have settled in to it I will add in more vegetables and varieties, I will mix things up a little bit. Generally though, I will be pretty boring for a few weeks. Because I really only eat dinner with Jackson during the week it should be pretty easy to just add on a carb for him, either some noodles or rice (his favs) or a potato perhaps. His other meals are different from mine any way, and I will be making him his eggs on the weekends, he loves that for breakfast. He often eats breakfast at daycare so no worries on that either.

I will be starting yoga tomorrow. I am doing it for exercise and for stress relief. I have some short yoga DVDs and will rotate them everyday after I get home from work and before I go get kiddo. I have about 30 minutes to do the yoga and prep dinner, or get all the other chores done. Yoga is a priority though, I need to do that for me and to help me relax and sleep. Once I'm in the habit, perhaps after a week or two, I should be getting up early to do a 20 minute cardio workout, I have lots of short ones, like 1 mile walks with Leslie Sansone, perfect length and easy to do when half awake. It will mean getting up when my alarm goes off at 5 but I know I feel better when I do, and Jackson does sleep better now so I get a full night sleep.

All of this, of course, is leading up to getting a referral in February, and hopefully getting to see a fertility doctor in April. I think it's 4 to 6 weeks wait for an appointment. Then 6 weeks or so for all the tests to get done. Which gives me 12 weeks to keep working on all of those habits and be healthier before I try any IUI's. Getting pregnant would be a huge change, and one I am really hoping works for me. I intend to do no more than 4 attempts, I am hoping the first will be unmedicated but I will do whatever the doctor tells me I need to. For fertility I am doing the diet, yoga and taking a few supplements. I intend to start CoQ10 around my birthday as well, to improve whatever eggs I have left. I know I can't afford IVF, so if I can't do IUI's I will have to reevaluate things.

Being a parent is a pretty amazing job, and I think I am doing ok at it. We have our moments of course, and "fights". In general I have an amazing kid, and hope I am lucky enough to have another one. I will be working on being a better parent during the year as well, paying attention and learning to play more. Trying not to yell and give ultimatums. As well as enjoying the moments, kids grow up so fast, it's amazing. Seems like just yesterday  my little boy was learning to walk and talk, now he is having conversations about dinosaurs, knows most of their names, and loves to run races. Crazy.

Financially I need to reign in my spending, and focus on only getting what we need. I know I will need to rebuy things I had for Jackson when he was a baby, because he will be 5 when baby 2 is born, and we moved, I got rid of a lot of things. I do know what I really need though, and what I can skip. It will be interesting. I am putting Jackson on an allowance in order for him to buy any more toys. For now he has some money in his piggy bank, and he can earn more by doing his simple chores, which is a win win for me, he does some chores and earns the money to buy his toys instead of getting more whenever he wants.

I am pretty excited for what the new year will bring us. I know I won't stay up until midnight, I haven't stayed up that late in years :-) The next six months will be busy with getting myself, our home and our finances ready to have another baby. Lots of work, but also lots of fun. Challenging and totally worth it.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ah Christmas

Age 4 is pretty awesome for Christmas time. He "gets it" and really was looking forward to everything, in the morning he enjoyed all the toys, and opening all the presents, as well as giving gifts to everyone. He had fun playing with his new dinos, watching his new movies and eating some treats and candy. He also had a lot of fun at my sister's for dinner.  I didn't really take any pictures, there was just not really any time!  He didn't get up too early, and fell asleep well the night before. He was so excited to see what Santa had left and was extra excited because there were a few things he hadn't asked for. I think next year will be just as exciting, unless someone gives away the secret in school.

I am off until January 6th, but daycare is actually open next week so Jackson will be going any way, I'm paying for it and he enjoys it. We are off together this week, tomorrow we are going to a movie, and the weekend will be our usual activities. I am also going to be looking into getting him into some martial arts sooner or later. He's 4 now and I think that's when it starts.

I got some nice gifts as well, more than I expected to get. I got stuff I wouldn't have bought for myself, which is I guess the point. I think my parents and everyone liked the gifts I gave as well. One thing my sister got me was a haircut gift certificate, so I'll make an appointment for next week to get that done, I hope!  I'll call tomorrow to get that scheduled.  A benefit of being off without kiddo.

When I return to work I'll be on a new team, doing a new job. A new start in the new year?  I wonder what else the new year will bring. I am hoping that by this time next year I'll be pregnant again, but I guess we'll see on that!  I've been taking magnesium at bedtime, it is actually helping me sleep, and keeping things regular as well. I hope it does help with morning sickness as I've read it will. I seem to be having a normal cycle and ovulation is supposed to be soon, I think I may use some of my cheap OPT's to see if I can catch it, just to practice. I'm temping and all of that. I will go for a checkup on my birthday in February and get a referral to the local fertility clinic. It's the only option here unless I want to travel, which I can't really do. I think it's about 4-6 weeks to get my first appointment, which I expect will be where I get sent for tests etc. Those will probably take another 6 weeks. Then I guess I'll get to know if this is possible, and start looking for sperm.  I can't use the same (known) donor I did with Jackson, so will need to find a new one, and that will be a new adventure. I hope to find one similar to who I used before, so I will probably take advantage of photo matching once I narrow my choices down.  In the end I am not that worried about it, everyone says Jackson looks like me any way, which I do agree with.

I am a little worried, I will be turning 39 in February, and 40 when baby is born (if I am so lucky). I really need to spend the next few months getting myself in better health. And I am worried about having two kids, balancing that. But I think at least the first year will be "easy" since Jackson will be in school while I am home on mat leave with the baby. Benefit of being in Canada, year long mat leave. Jackson being in school allows me day time to focus on the baby, and spend evenings giving him a little extra time and cuddles. I think Jackson will be a big help, and happy to help. Of course I may be wrong.

A little off the Christmas track I guess.  Sorry to get so off track. I am a little distracted I guess, with thoughts of how to get to where I want to be. My secret wish is for 3 kids, but I'm sure I can't handle twins, and even more sure I'll be too old to have two more babies. So I really need to get one more, somehow.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The minds of children

Jackson has a very good imagination. He comes up with things that I find hilarious, and occasionally it causes some problems. Usually at bedtime when his mind is going with something he's got in there. Last night it was the Grinch. I guess the read the story during school and he was worried that the Grinch was going to come and steal our Christmas. It caused him to not go to sleep, but it took awhile to get it out of him. So we now have a date to watch the old cartoon, hopefully it will show him that the Grinch only bothers the Who's and also that he turns good in the end.

Jackson does not like bad guys. He has asked that we not watch anything else with a bad guy. He is going to Catholic school and at this time of year they are talking about Jesus a lot. Jackson knows the basics, he was born and he died. We were talking about it, and he asked me if Jesus was killed by a bad guy. I confirmed this was the case and he told me that black spiderman is a bad guy so perhaps he did it. While trying not to laugh I told him I didn't think that was right.

It is pretty amusing to realize what he has going through his mind. Pretty amazing too. He is almost constantly thinking about something, his mind working to figure everything out. And learning! He learns so much. He was funny tonight, he can add same numbers, so 1+1 or 2+2, but ask him to add different number, like 1+2, and he has a hard time. So we've been talking about that. Tonight we figured out all the ways you could add up numbers to equal 7. He was pretty amazed. It is incredible to see how much he is learning now in school. I know it will increase even more as the year goes on, and next year when he starts full days. I know I'm biased but I think he's pretty smart, and much like me will be good with math and sciences, rather than writing and reading.

Tomorrow we are going to a kid's workshop at a local hardware place. It's free and the kids make a snowman napkin holder, which will be a gift for the grandparents for Christmas. I thought it sounded like fun, and am hoping he does well with it. He doesn't have a lot of patience for doing crafts and such things, he tends to scribble, finish and that's it. So we'll see how it goes, at least it's free, and a two hour time filler for the weekend. It is supposed to snow a lot this weekend, so we'll get it all done before that starts, the craft thing and some groceries.

On the baby planning front, I have been reading a lot about prenatal and pregnancy nutrition. Interesting article about magnesium and morning sickness. Because I had it quite badly the first time I'm interested in preventing it if I can. So I will be starting to take it Monday before bed, provided it arrives by then. I believe it's supposed to help me sleep as well, which would be nice. I am tempted to try giving some to Jackson :-)  I will be starting CoQ10 closer to when I plan to make my tries, partly because it's kind of expensive, and partly because I don't want to waste the effort if I have no chance any way. I'm already taking a multi and folic acid. I will probably add in B12 and vitamin D, which I think I may need in the winter any way.

Right now I think I agree with Jackson, Christmas is too far away, and some things take too long to arrive.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Fourth Birthday Party

Today we had Jackson's 4th birthday party. He really enjoyed it, as did all of his friends. We went to a local play gym, Gym Tale, and they run a good party. It was 2 hours long, the first half hour was play time on the structure, then 30 minutes of structured play, and finally an hour in the party room with pizza and the cake. We invited 10 friends but only 8 were able to come. Two were his best friends at his old daycare and he was very happy to see them again. The rest were from the new school & daycare, some from his class and some from only daycare. There were only 2 girls, though 4 were invited. The party was a lot of fun, very well run, and I think well worth the cost.

The structured play involved first an obstacle course, with a trampoline, a climbing wall, slide, and some tunnels. Then there was a "battle" against the bad guy Dr Blue. Dr Blue was one of the employees dressed up in a special suit and the kids all threw balls at him until he was "killed".  I was a little surprised that the kids were so willing and quick to get into it.  Two were scared and cried, not surprised. Jackson was actually scared as well but did manage to get into it.

The kids fighting Dr Blue

After all the play time there was some colouring and then some pizza.  The kids all ate pretty well, some faster and better than others of course. Finally it was time for the cake. My sister made a dinosaur cake, it turned out really well and Jackson loved it. It is a layer of vanilla and a layer of chocolate inside. The dinosaur is made from rice crispie squares, but we didn't eat that part.

Dinosaur cake! Rawr!!

Happy Birthday Boy after the candles
Because eating and cake didn't take as long, they kids got an extra 10 minutes to go play on the structure before it was time for pictures on the couch. It was hard to get a good picture!  This is the best shot, with most of the kids looking ahead.  

Sachi, James, Jack, Aidan, Nolan, & Jackson
Elisa, Julianna & Owen
We didn't have time to open presents there so brought them all home to open. Jackson was of course thrilled with everything. Especially the Play Doh garbage truck. You know, the one he asked Santa for that I have upstairs in the closet.  Looks like we are doing an angel tree kid at work.

All in all, it was a great party and well worth the cost. I didn't have to do any cleaning up or preparing, just made loot bags, my sister made a cake, and voila! Instant party.  I did give Jackson the option of a "ninja" party, at a local martial arts place or the place he chose.  We'll see what next year brings!  They do offer encounters with a princess or super hero. But I thought the party was enough, no need for Spiderman this year at least!  Now I hope he's invited to some parties himself, most of the parents just dropped off their kids, which would be kind of nice.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Recovery and rest

Surgery went well, I guess. I think. It was quite strange, to fall asleep and then wake up with a piece of me missing. It has been an ok recovery so far. I have not had a lot of pain, I haven't had to take any strong pain medicine, only tylenol. So that's good at least. Mom and dad were here to help me out, which was great. At least Jackson was well taken care of. He enjoyed having them here as well. Jackson has been pretty good about my restrictions, he knows I can't pick him up though he does still ask sometimes. He is difficult at bedtime, I think part of it is worry and part of it is just being almost 4.

The timing hasn't been great. My poor kitten broke his leg on Saturday and it's been a roller coaster getting that fixed. He is in a cast now, the second one. First one he pulled off. He is on antibiotics and pain medicine for a few more days. In 6 weeks he'll get the cast off.

The problem is that I think my dog did it. I am not 100% sure, there was snarling and then awhile later the cat was holding his paw up and hissing. So I've made the decision to rehome the dog. I have an online friend who is helping me get him into a rescue, though it may take until after the holidays. I think it's best for him over all. Given his history I don't think the humane society would take him. Though I also hope it doesn't come to that.

The issue with the cat has certainly cost me a lot of money. I think I am still on track to start trying in June or so. I plan to ask for a referral around my birthday in February. I am assume 6 weeks to get in and 6 weeks for testing, then ready in June to try. The temping hasn't been going well, but I think it doesn't matter too much since the surgery likely messed a few things up internally. I will try once I'm able to sleep more than 3 hours in a row.  Sleep has been difficult lately,between my own surgery and the cat having problems, it's been a long week!

Adding to my stress has been a work change. I have been unhappy in my job for a little while now, it is simply not something I feel comfortable doing. So I put my name in the work job bank and last week Tuesday I was called by another manager to "meet and greet" and discuss an opportunity in his area. I met with him Wednesday and then Thursday late he offered me the position!  I asked for a few days to think it over since I had the surgery on Friday. I talked to my current manager, and on Monday I called to accept the job. I start on January 6th after my Christmas holidays. I am excited about the opportunity, and new challenge. My current boss mentioned that this new position seems to be more in my comfort zone, but that to move ahead I may need to push beyond that (like I do in my current position).  I agree, but I have 19 + years left until I can retires, so I think I have time to worry about that later. Plus I'd have to learn French, managers all need to be bilingual and I am not.

It's been quite a week or two, and I am looking forward to it being quieter. But tomorrow is Jackson's birthday party, and Monday he turns 4. So that may not happen for awhile!  After all that it will be Christmas soon. I have taken off from Dec 25th and go back to work on Jan 6th. Jackson is coming to work with me on the 24th, and his daycare is closed on the 27th, so we'll be together for a few days, but I may send him to daycare when they are open. I could just use some time to get myself sorted out a little bit, and be able to focus on me, my health, and rest. I don't think I have had a good sleep in weeks, perhaps years ;-)