Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The new glasses...

Well, my little guy has his glasses now. It is a challenge sometimes to keep them on his face, but we're working on it. It's only been a few days so far!! 

It was nice to have a weekend off with not much to do. As a result, we got a few things done around the house, like clean out our freezer, and fridge (it's amazing how much food goes to the freezer to never be seen again!!). Oh well, we'll start over and see how long it takes to accumulate stuff again!! Or maybe this time we'll actually be on top of things. 

On Sunday we had company for dinner and that was great. We had great company and got in some great visiting. The kids played well together, and Sebastian actually even interacted with them for a bit (huge for him, since he's usually in his own little world). 

On Monday, I wasn't feeling very good, so Jeremy stayed home and took Sebastian for his surgery consult. It went well. Sebastian will need surgery, but it's a quick 20 minute operation that is only day surgery. Now that he is bigger, his risks of the surgery are no different than anyone else, so that was good to hear. It definitely has to be done, but unless anything changes, it isn't super urgent, so likely sometime before Christmas. We'll know more when they call with the date. We already have all the literature about it and Jeremy filled out all the forms at the hospital. 

I have a new book that I borrowed from the library (thanks Jeremy for picking that up). It's called, My Sister's Keeper. It's about a girl who was conceived so she could be a perfect stem cell match for her sick sister. As she gets older, she decides she doesn't want to just be her sister's keeper anymore, and that she wants to make her own decisions about her body. I think it will be really interesting, and so far I'm quite enjoying it. 

Oh, and yesterday at the ultrasound, the baby was weighing about 800 grams (very close to Sebastian's birthweight of 830grams). Baby is looking healthy and doing well. That was really good to hear. Except, how embarrassing is this...I was not feeling well, and ended up throwing up halfway through the exam. It was awful (but wow, I felt better after that!!). Not sure what was up with me, maybe a flu, or maybe food poisoning. Either way, it was not the funnest day on record!!

Today however, I'm feeling better, and actually ate food again. Plus, today I get to hang out with Sebastian. I think we'll go play at the bouncy castle, maybe stop by the library, have some lunch, read some stories, play with the piano, and then of course, swimming lessons!! So, I have full confidence, that the two of us hanging out will have a good time!! 

Friday, September 26, 2008

Pineapples, peppers and bananas...

I just got back from the neatest training. I was in a small town a couple hours away learning about public safety and crowd control. However, rather than just theory, this training was hands on and practical. I was able to dispatch units who were doing scenarios with unruly crowds. It was interesting because I was dispatching from a van that was parked so we could actually see what was happening. Normally, as a dispatcher, I am in a room far removed from the action, and only have contact with the units via radio. In this case, because it was training, we got to be right beside the action. It was so educational and interesting, and practical in terms of some of the events I have dispatched for. I learned a whole new vocabulary and saw this vocabulary in action. So, in the future, if I'm dispatching for an event where crowds are a concern, I will understand what actions are being taken and what is involved. 

It was also nice to be included in training that directly involved the police. Since our centre has been taken over, we almost never have opportunities anymore for this type of thing, so this was definitely a treat. It is also neat because you get to put faces to some of the names that you've been dispatching for but never met. 

Maybe next year I'll volunteer to be part of the unruly crowd. Then, I'd be throwing rotten fruit, and shouting things and pretending to be a disgruntled activist. The ultimate make believe really (except for the part where you might get thrown to the ground or arrested for your actions!!). Oh well, at least it's only pretend!! It's fun doing this type of work. I've done it before with another unit and just loved it. It almost seems like you are in the middle of a movie or something. 

Either way, it cements the fact that I don't ever want to be part of a real life crowd that is unruly. The end result might not be so pretty, and although training is fun, in real life, it's not something I aspire to. For some reason, a criminal record is just not something I ever really want to have!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

when it rains, it pours...

Okay, so of course I was a bit ticked off about Sebastian needing glasses, but I've come to accept that. But now, I also need to come to terms with the fact that Sebastian might need to have surgery to repair a small leak in his abdomen. 

Let me back up a couple steps. On Friday, we noticed that one of Sebastian's testicles was a little swollen. We didn't think too much of it, looked it up online, then went to sleep. In the morning it was back to normal, so we figured all was well, but by mid afternoon, it was swollen again. So, that night we put a call into our nursing centre to ask what we should do and if it was serious. They advised us to have him seen at the hospital within four hours. We packed up the little guy, along with some books, toys and a stroller and headed out. We arrived a little after 9pm. Of course it was busy and we knew we'd be waiting awhile. We went for snacks, then came back, read some stories, and eventually Sebastian fell asleep. We did not really want him touching any of the toys in the ER since he's already prone to illness and germs spread like wildfire in a place like that. After another checkup with the triage nurse, we are moved up the list and a little after 1 in the morning, we are seen by a doctor. The doctor said that he had some sort of fluid accumulating, likely because of a leak allowing fluid into the scrotum. He referred us for an ultrasound on Monday and referred us to a consult with surgery. 

On Monday, he had the ultrasound, and then they made us go back to the ER to get the results. I questioned whether it was needed since we were being referred to surgery, but they said, yes, so back to triage we went, and about 3 hours later, were finally seen by a doctor. The doctor said, yes, there is fluid, on both sides, and we had already been referred to surgery, so that was it. Grrrrrr...I waited 3 hours to find out what I already knew!!

So, today, I made an appointment with surgery. We are being referred to the same doctor that performed the hernia repair on him back when he was three months old. I figured I would call rather than waiting to hear from them. And, they have us booked in for next week. So, I don't know what will happen for sure, but I do know that they will have to watch it closely in case a piece of bowel slips into the scrotum. That would potentially be life threatening, so it will have to be dealt with and followed closely. Will he need surgery? We don't know. The ER doctor said she'd leave that to the surgeon to talk to us about. 

I'm a little scared. I remember giving Sebastian to the nurse when he was three months old for surgery, wearing his green little scrubs and all (see photo above). It was tough then, but now, he's this amazing little boy, and the idea of turning him over to the doctors seems even scarier!! I know they are only doing what is best for him, but I still think I will be all full of tears and stuff!! I just have to put on a brave face for my little man. Of course maybe it won't even have to be a surgery, but if it is...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Shopping for glasses...

So, my son had an appointment the other day with his opthamalogist. She is the doctor that did the surgery on him when he was three months old to correct the ROP (retinopathy of prematurity), that he had. Basically, this is where the blood vessels on the eye don't grow properly and threaten to pull the retina off, thus causing blindness, so the surgery was very needed. She has watched him very closely since then (at first every week, and slowly it's become longer between visits to the point now where it's about every 6-7 months). She has warned us that he will likely need glasses, but so far has managed to avoid them.

All that changed this week though!! We have a prescription for glasses for him. My little boy, only 2 years old, will be getting glasses. Now, I know, in the big huge scheme of things, glasses are pretty minor, but it still upset me a little. Basically, it's like his preemieness has come back to haunt him. So, if my little guy decides he wants to be a pilot someday, he can't. He's two, and certain opportunities will now be taken away from him simply because he was born early and ended up needing glasses at such a young age. It angers me because I want the world to be available to him, and I feel bad that some things for him will now be limited.

How does he go swimming now? He'll have to wear his glasses!! Little things like that. And what if other kids make fun of him because of his glasses. I don't want him to have to worry about that!! I know in the big picture of his life, needing glasses is a very small thing, but as his mom, I feel like I maybe failed him a little, and maybe had things gone differently, he would be just fine. In reality, I know that we are simply lucky to have him, and that glasses are just a small little battle scar from the trauma he ensured when he was fighting for his life. So, yes, I am grateful that it's only a small issue, but it still doesn't mean I can't be a little grumpy about it!! Here's hoping we find a cute pair for him!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Which way to go...

I have been thinking a lot lately about various different career options. As we await the arrival of our second child (who's heart beat was completely normal this week...yippee!!), I know that I will have time off to enjoy with both my kids, but after that, I'm not sure how I want to proceed. I know that I want to work, and do something, but the problem is, there are so many things I want to do!!

I could stay doing what I do, after all, I enjoy the work, but there's just no real room to expand and do much else.

I could quit working all together and stay at home with the kids. That might be fun, but I really do like working, and I know that when I'm done working, I'm a better mom to my son because I have been away from him. I could go part time, and that might work out well, but I also wonder if maybe it's time to find something else. The tough part is what might that something else be!!

I'd love to go back to school, maybe law school, or nursing, or fine arts of some kind. But I think that it really isn't the right time for that.

I could start some kind of business, but I'm not sure what that would be. I'd love to do photography, as I truly love that. Or maybe something else, just not sure.

And then there's the option of applying to be a police officer. It's been in the back of my mind for more than 7 years now. I even went so far as to have the eye surgery to meet the vision requirement. There are so many different areas to work in and I think I would do really well at this. Part of the reason I hadn't applied yet, was because I wanted to have kids first. Well, I've done that, so now (well, a few months from now) there's nothing stopping me from applying. Except maybe fear that I won't be fast enough for the physical requirements, or that I just don't have what they're looking for. I know, I just need to be confident and apply. If they didn't want me, then at least I tried, but if I don't apply, I might always wonder, what if...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Does the Y chromosome lack a cleaning gene?

Okay, now, most of the time, I am quite happy with most everything in my life. I try and make the most of every day and have fun with whatever I'm doing. Now, I know cleaning isn't fun, but it has to be done and really, there's no reason to complain about it, but rather just get it done so you can get on with enjoying real life!!

So, ever since I got back from California, I've been working extra hard to try and get our house back to being somewhat clean again. My husband claims I left it in disarray (not true, since my mom was staying there and I know I cleaned up before she got there!!). So, each day I've been doing bits and pieces. Every now and then, I ask for his help, and it's sort of like pulling teeth. If it's his day off, he doesn't want to spend his day off cleaning, if it's a day he is working, then he's too tired to do any cleaning. And, if he reluctantly agrees to clean anything, he'll spend the entire time moaning about how much he hates cleaning and how really it's me who makes all the messes etc etc etc. It drives me insane!! I mean, cleaning is not that much fun in the first place, but it's even less fun with someone complaining the whole time while you are doing it!!

The other night I set the timer for 15 minutes and said, let's just work on the kitchen. Well, by the time the timer went off (add a few extra minutes), the kitchen was in awesome shape, and I was so glad he helped. He still did complain through most of it, but hey, we got tons accomplished. Of course when I suggested we set a timer the next day and clean something else, he proceeded to tell me he was not a child and didn't need to be told what to do!!

So, I have no idea how to ask him to help with the cleaning without sounding like I'm nagging, and without having to do most of it myself. I know he hates cleaning, but so do most people. It's a neccessary evil, so let's just do it and get it overwith. I'm so happy that we're caught up again, especially since Jeremy's sister is visiting this weekend, but I just dread as we start again, and having to hear the same arguments about how terrible cleaning is...really, does the broken record ever stop?? Or maybe it's me, for wanting a clean house so that if unexpected company just dropped by, I wouldn't be embarrassed to have them there. What's a girl to do!!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Disneyland Half Marathon Experience...

So, if you have ever wondered what it's like to finish a half marathon, I will fill you in. I finished the Disneyland Half Marathon on Sunday. The morning began around 3am. It's tough getting up that early, and that's my least favourite part of these big races. We caught the bus from our hotel around 3:30am and were soon walking through Downtown Disney to get to the place where you hang out until it's time to move to the starting corrals. We hung out for about an hour sitting on the pavement of a parking lot while the little green army men from Toy Story walked around entertaining people. Around 5am, it was time to head to the starting corrals (A-G). We were in Corral F.

The race started promptly at 6am. I crossed the starting line about 24 minutes after the race had begun (that's what happens in a field of 13500 runners). I made a last minute decision to visit the portapotty on the way to the start line (and there wasn't even a line up for them!!). The start had no fireworks, but did have some fancy flame things and of course Mickey and Minnie. Soon after crossing the start line, we were running under the monorail and Goofy, Donald, Chip and Dale were waving at us from the monorail.

My heart rate was pretty high, so soon in, I started walking. My shins were absolutely killing me. I was watching my heart rate closely since I was running with a child onboard and didn't want to over exert myself. At mile 1, I was doing okay. Soon after, we were heading into California Adventure. I stopped to get photos with the characters along the way (a bug's life, Buzz and Woody, Brother Bear). We could see the people in front of us who had already cleared Paradise Bay. By the time I cleared it, there were hardly any people behind me. This made me panic just a bit. Since I was walking most of the time, I could only go so fast.

We came out of California Adventure and crossed over to Disneyland. It was fantastic running through Tomorrowland. I got pictures with Pinnochio, Nemo, in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle etc. Again I was made aware of how few people were behind me. At the 4 mile mark, I ran into the pace crew for the first time, telling me I was 10 minutes ahead of the cutoff time. This made me panic huge time so I put in bits of running, but as soon as my heart rate went up, I had to back off to walking. At mile 5, I was 9 minutes off. At mile 6, 8 minues off and decided I didn't want to keep seeing them. Mile 7, I was 7 minutes off the cut off. I then ran on any downhills I came across or shady bits. It was effective and I never saw the pace crew again.

The section from mile 4 to mile 8 was tough because there was not much to see. There were several bands and cheerleading squads, and they were fantastic. The kids were cheering & kept me motivated.

At about 8.5 miles, I approached the Honda Centre. This is where the Anaheim Mighty Ducks play. Coming through the parking lot, there were lots of spectators cheering us on, including a 4H group. Next up, we joined a dirt path, & you caould smell the dirt in the air. It was along side a river, but there was not one drop of water in the river. Soon was mile 9 and the Clif Shots stop. This was the third gel I had, as I was having one every 3 miles to keep me and the baby hydrated and nourished.

Next up was Angel Stadium. There were huge numbers of spectators there and tons of girl scout and boy scout troops. It was very inspiring. There was an announcer saying we had reached the 10 mile marker but it was forever after we passed him that we actually got to the 10 mile marker. Grrr... I hate it when people tell you that you are somewhere, but then really you have about another half mile to go!! By mile 11, my feet were feeling heavy, but I kept plugging along.

At 12 miles, I took my last gel, and soon we were back inside California Adventure again. I took a photo of the Tower of Terror, and then stopped for pictures with Monsters, Inc, Mrs. Incredible and Ratatouille. From there, I ran through Downtown Disney (loving the air conditioning from the open doors we ran past), then turned the corner at mile 13 for the final stretch.

I finished in 3 hours, 29 minutes, and 42 seconds. This was only 18 seconds less than the official cut off time. Nothing like cutting it a little close!! More than 400 people finished after me though. I was so excited to be under the official time though, and knowing that many people finished after me meant that I passed a lot of people, since at mile 2, there were less than 50 people behind me!! And, I did most of the race walking, looking out for my little guy. I earned my castle medal and the coast-to-coast medal (for having also completed a race in Florida in January). It felt so good to finish!!

It's been a busy racing year. I mentored with Team In Training for 2 seasons, completed 3 half marathons, one marathon, was part of a team for the Banff/Jasper Relay, the Mother's Day 10km (in support of Neonatal Intensive Care), the Ronald Mcdonald House Rock the House run, and still have the EMS Ambulance Chasers coming up in October. I know I'll be taking it easy for a few months after this, but I'm already looking ahead for races for next year. I'm thinking maybe Seattle, or San Francisco, or perhaps maybe I'll move into the world of triathlons. Time will tell I suppose, but I have to keep following my dreams!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I found them!!

Okay, so in January, I was down in Florida for the Disney Marathon Weekend. I ran both the Half Marathon and Full Marathon. By doing both, I got a Donald Medal (for the half), Mickey Medal (for the full marathon), and a Goofy medal for being crazy enough to attempt them both. A month later, I got an email saying if I did the Disneyland Half Marathon in September, I'd get a special Coast-to-Coast medal for doing races at both parks. I didn't give it much thought as we had spent lots of money going to Florida and had a super time and another trip wasn't very likely. But then, my sister said she was going to go to Disneyland to do this run, and was I interested as well? Of course I was, but again, it didn't seem likely. I mentioned it to Jeremy and he thought it was a great idea and that I should go and get to know my sister and brother (both half siblings that I never knew growing up). Jeremy entered me into the race and I was set.

Well, fast forward to yesterday. Obviously the race is over, and by the narrow margain of 18 seconds, I finished the race in the official allotted amount of time. I earned my castle medal and the coast-to-coast medal. So, now, I wanted to see all the medals together, but I wasn't sure where my Florida medals were. Sebastian sometimes plays with them, so really, they could have been anywhere. I began looking around a few days ago, but no luck. I was starting to be a bit worried that perhaps they were lost forever (and the work it took to get them is not easily repeated!!). Last night, I began searching more intently, going through boxes and closets and wouldn't you know it, they were in a box in the closet in our office. I was soooooo excited. I layed them all out and admired my hard work. They are pretty neat looking and I'm not sure when I will get the chance again to do those same races in the same year. Thank goodness I found them, because that made my night.

However, the night was even better because while searching for the medals, I also came across a box of cd's that I have been trying to find for a few months as well. It contained some songs I really wanted to put on my ipod, and since have. Bruce Springsteen, They Might Be Giants, Disney's Candlelight Processional, and the song I wanted most of all "Affirmation" by Savage Garden. It's such a great song that has such a great life message that I truly try and live by. If you get a chance, have a listen, you'll see what I mean!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Running fixes everything!!

So, I stopped in at the doctor today to double check on the baby's heart rate. And... it was awesome!! There were no skipped beats and nothing irregular about it!! I was so incredibly happy. Now, I know, it doesn't mean everything is fixed, but it sure was a relief that there wasn't any issue today, and that the heart rate itself, is exactly where it should be (146 today). The baby was moving lots so it took a few tries before he got a solid 10 seconds in a row, but it was music to my ears!! 

My theory, it was the half marathon. I ran the Disneyland half marathon on Sunday (more on that later), and basically spend 3 1/2 hours with my heart rate at a solid 145 beats a minute on average. So, I figure, I was sort of teaching the baby where his heart rate should be and he is a quick study!! I know, it probably had nothing to do with it, but hey, exercise is good for me and the baby, and look, the heart rate today was normal!! So now, I am excited for the appointments next week and not so scared anymore!!

Beverly Hills and Hollywood and Cut...

I just got back from an amazing trip to California. It was the first time I have been away from Sebastian for more than a night. It was fantastic though. I went down there with my half brother and half sister. It was so much fun getting to know them a bit better and of course, being in California wasn't half bad either!! So, I'll talk about the first day, and leave it at that for now...

On the first day I got there, Ryan and Kim picked me up from the airport and we went straight to Beverly Hills. We stopped at a neat shopping centre that was like an outdoor mall above a parkade. I have not seen anything like this, but it was very neat. I needed to eat, so grabbed a burger from Fuddruckers. It was sooooo tasty!! After that we wandered around checking out the shops. I found an Elmo computer game for Sebastian and some clothes for Jeremy. Next up we drove around Beverly Hills. Kim bought a map to the stars homes, so we plugged different addresses into the tomtom (thanks Chris), and found our way to the homes of Tom Cruise, Courtney Cox, Jennifer Aniston etc. It was lots of fun!! After that, we headed to Rodeo Drive. Kim and Ryan grabbed some lunch at a little Mexican eatery and then we had Sprinkles cupcakes for dessert (for those of you in Calgary, think Crave, only it has been around much longer, perhaps the inspiration for Crave). I had a pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese icing. Yum, yum, yum. We wandered down Rodeo Drive and then back up the street we could actually afford. It was neat. 

We still had some time before dinner so we headed for Hollywood. We went to the Kodak theatre, saw the Hollywood sign, Grauman's theatre with all the handprints of the stars, the walk of fame with the stars of the stars, the place where they film the Jimmy Kimmel show, and finally stopped for sodas and floats at the Disney Soda Pop shop. They were delicious. It was a weird store though, half Disney merchandise, and half this soda shop. Disney also has a movie theatre right beside as well.

Finally, it was time to head out for our fancy dinner. We were eating at Cut, which is a fancy steakhouse by the famous chef Wolfgang Puck. Previously, I've eaten at his Spago restaurant, as well as his cafe's in the airports. Always good food, and of course, expected nothing less this evening. The restaurant was inside the Wilshire hotel (same hotel from Pretty Woman). We valet parked our ford mustang and headed in. Chris and Jeff had gone there in July and raved about it, so we were quite excited. We got the menu and knew it wasn't going to be a cheap dinner (we knew that ahead of time, but this confirmed it, haha). We got various recommendations from the server and then went about our decisions. 

Okay, so this is a pretty high end steak house. They bring out the meat for you to look at, so you can see the difference in the various cuts etc. They serve Kobe beef from Japan, as well as a hybrid US version of Kobe as well as just plain old aged steak. I decided on the hybrid Kobe US version filet. But to start I had an asparagus salad with warm bacon dressing and poached egg. It was amazing. Kim had a salad of sorts and Ryan had a tomato salad. To go with the steaks, we chose pureed potatoes, sweet corn and onion rings. All the sides were fabulous and the steak itself was absolutely amazing. Probably one of the best steaks I have ever had in my life. We also got sauces for the sides. Bernaise sauce, wasabi butter, some mustards and a red wine sauce. They all went fantastic with the steaks. 

And then there was dessert. Ryan ordered an angel food cake with berries and ice cream. Kim ordered a banana creme brulee pie, and I had a chocolate soufflee that came with creme fraiche, chocolate sauce and ice cream on the side. They were all fantastic. 

It was about this time that Kim had gone to the bathroom, and on the way back came across Jerry Springer. We had all been excited about possibly spotting a celebrity of some sort and who it might be. Well, Jerry Springer wasn't really anyone's first choice, but it was still pretty neat. He was hanging out in the lobby waiting for his dinner guests to join him. 

Well, not too long after that, we were almost ready to leave, still entranced by the meal and everything, when I notice a chef come in. I said, "hey, I think that's Wolfgang Puck". We have about 3 or 4 Wolfgang Puck cookbooks and have made many of his recipes. I have also eaten at his other restaurant, Spago, in both Beverly Hills and Las Vegas along with the faster food version of his food at the airports. I have been a big fan of his for many years, and was so very excited to see him. Moments later, he was at our table asking how dinner was. It was so neat!! I was beside myself with excitement. Not only did we see Jerry Springer, but now we had actually met the owner of the restaurant himself, Wolfgang!! A few minutes later, we were almost ready to leave and asked the waiter to take a photo of the three of us. He agreed and suggested perhaps we'd want to have the chef in the picture, so, not only did we meet Wolfgang Puck, he also came back for a photo with us. I was beyond happy!!

So, how much does eating in a place like this cost, you might be wondering? Well, for 3 of us, the bill itself came to $482!! That's in US dollars. So, it was definitely one of the more expensive meals I have ever had in my life, but like the commercials say, dinner $482, enjoying an evening with family and meeting the chef that started the place, priceless!!