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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Dental Work

Oh, I won’t regale you with all my pregnancy-related aches and pains…  because believe me: there are many.  This morning it was evident that I needed to clear my schedule and make time for an emergency massage.  What requires an emergency massage?  Well…

In a nutshell: a woman’s pelvis separates a little bit when she’s in her 3rd trimester, to make delivering the baby easier.  My pelvis began to do this a few weeks ago (it resulted in a trip to the hospital because of the pains it caused – third pregnancy is totally different from the first and second) and just this weekend, it has caused immense strain on my thigh muscles.  Pain was running from my thigh to my knee on my right leg, all weekend. This morning I woke up crying from the pains.  So – an emergency massage was in order.

I got an appointment booked for 9:30, got Sam to the sitter for 9 and between the two I stopped at the Early Years Centre and registered him for his May programs.  It was a busy but productive couple of minutes.  And the massage?  Oh…  oh it was heavenly.  I got off the table feeling completely relaxed, needing to get home to have a bath and continue to derive the benefits from the treatment.  After the bath I was hungry, so I got a banana, took a bite, and…  What is that crunchy bit?

(You forgot this piece was called “Dental Work”, didn’t you?)

I rooted around in my mouth to find…  a piece of my tooth.

Holy God…  my tooth just broke on a piece of banana… WTH?!?!

In the interest of full disclosure, this isn’t truly shocking.  I’ve known for probably 3 years now – maybe more – that this particular tooth needs a crown.  I have put it off because of the cost.  While we do have a fairly decent dental plan, it will only cover half of the costs for the procedure.  And really: aren’t things you would rather do with $400?  Never mind the fact that I have 2 kids who need clothes, shoes, winter snow suits, boots…  the list (and the associated costs!) is truly endless.  So yeah, I’ve been neglecting my mouth for a while.

Last summer I was eating something and this particular tooth chipped.  I knew the day was coming when I could no longer put off the work.  And now…  the day has come.  I have called my dentist and I have an appointment to see him tomorrow at 8:45 and assess the damage, as well as build a plan.  Because just to add to the pleasure of the moment, you may recall that I am also pregnant.  What can they do for a pregnant woman?  Am I allowed – at the 7 month mark – to lay on my back for the duration of an examination and subsequent treatment?  Do they need to take x-rays?  What do they do for pain management?  Can I have freezing?

So many questions… and just a little more stress… Can’t this just wait a few more months?  Please?

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Posted by on April 23, 2012 in Randomness, Sickness/Wellness, Vexations

 

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Springtime & House Hunting

There’s something about the spring, isn’t there?  That gets you thinking about renewal, about starting to shake up your routine and introduce something new…  For many, they start to get itchy feet thinking about where they’re headed and speeding up to get there faster.  And of course, there are those who become obsessed with real estate.

When we were selling our house just over 2 years ago now, we were told that in reality, in the market that we lived in, there was no “good time” to get on the market.  It seems that the addage “You can tell it’s spring – there are ‘for sale’ signs popping up everywhere,” no longer fits in Toronto.  Given that our house sold in 12 days, after going on the market in early January, I’m going to say that our Realtors were right.  And really, I’m not sure that it fits out here in Ajax either…

A friend of mine has been looking for a place for a couple of weeks.  Maybe a month now.  And another friend of mine has been chronicling the hunt she’s on for the family’s dream home for a few weeks now on her blog.  Another friend is talking about selling her place and getting something else for her and her family to move too.  And while it’s true that MOMD & I are utterly happy here in our home, I find myself from time to time scoping out MLS to see what’s happening out there.  What would I move for?  What would MOMD & I need to find before we were willing to consider it?

Well, we lost our guest room the moment we learned that Number 3 is arriving this summer.  It’s become Connor’s room, Sam moved into Connor’s old room, and Sam’s old room has become the nursery.  So we no longer have a room for our family who Come-From-Away to stay when they are here. (Did I mention that my in-laws arrive on July 2, and the baby will be delivered on July 5?  True story.  And there’s no where for them to sleep for the duration of their 2 week stay.)  So I guess we would look at moving if we could get a 5 bedroom house.

And you know, if the basement were finished here then we *would* have a 5th bedroom.  So I guess if we found a house with 5 bedrooms, and a finished basement we could move for that.  And it would have to have a fantastic kitchen.  Because you know, my kitchen is all right.  It’s nothing fancy, although the size is wonderful when you consider that I came here from a 6-cupboard + 1 drawer kitchen before this.  But it’s builder basic stuff.  One of my friends has just bought what was a model home and let me tell you: THAT is a gorgeous kitchen*.

If a house is around that has all of this, plus the wonderful community feel of our current neighbourhood – because that is, after all what we were really looking for when we bought this home – and a good sized backyard, all for the price we paid for this house – or less, I would consider paying less than we paid here – then maybe I’ll scratch these itchy feet.  Until then, I’ll go back to trying to choose a paint colour for my kitchen…

*Note: that kitchen is totally wasted on her, she who hates to cook!
 
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Posted by on April 20, 2012 in Randomness

 

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This World We Live In…

Every day I start off my day by reading blogs.  I don’t read news papers, or news sites even (unless someone on my facebook feed links to an article that tweaks my interest).  I don’t listen to the radio, I don’t watch newscasts.  I am in what I like to call a “Media Free Bubble”.  As such, I miss out on things.  And the only ways that I stay informed of what’s going on in the world around me is through MOMD (who himself is a journalist), facebook, and blogs.

This week I stumbled upon a new blog: http://wrathofmom.blogspot.ca/.  When I find something new, where the writing is good and the humour is plenty, I tend to read through a bunch of entries to get the flavour for the site and decide whether it will make it into my usual haunts, so to speak.  Which is how I became aware of this.  And this.  I’m sure you can imagine it really made me uncomfortable.  Because wow…  way to be totally insensitive, even after the issues with your material are raised.  Far more appropriate would have been  to say, “Oh – I had no idea.  Thank you for raising our awareness.”  Or something like that.  Instead, the station did nothing and time is being spent discussing the problem in the House of Commons, in front of our Prime Minister.

And then there’s the whole business with Ashley Judd.  I mean, 6 months ago most of us were hard pressed to remember who Ashley Judd was.  We may remember her from her movies like “Double Jeopardy” and the grief she reportedly gets from her mother, Naomi Judd, for her movie roles.  And now, she’s up in the stratosphere, appearing on 4 highly recognized and watched news programs in less than 4 days.  She is the new face of the feminist discussion.

I’ve been a big fan of Miss Representation ever since I discovered it.  And in fact, when it was here for a screening back in October, I bought 4 tickets myself, and filled the seats.  There were 7 of us in our little group that night and it was just amazing to see.  A theatre filled with people – the 7 in our group ranged in ages from 12 to 63 – men, and women, discussing Humanity and how to best serve our own interests.

All of this made me feel like we were getting somewhere.  Maybe – just maybe – the time has come for the tide to turn and the world to become a more accepting place.  But then, I’ve always been an optimist.

Yesterday there was a link in my newsfeed – which I am deliberately NOT sharing here – to a piece asking whether a fairly well respected woman comedian was “too ugly for Hollywood”.  Mother of God!  Where do I live that this is a headline in an international magazine?!?!?!  Detractors from this article are saying things like, “did anyone ask this about Jack Black?”  This makes the point that there are not just ugly, but also fat men in Hollywood, who are regularly given big-budget movies to carry.  And at no point that I can find has someone ever asked if a man were too ugly for the industry.  And c’mon: Steve Buscemi – while an excellent actor and highly deserving of his reputation – is not good looking.

And yet, when I reflect, I note something that I find too convenient to be a coincidence.  This article was published in the wake of Ashely Judd’s essay, her subsequent press tour discussing her position, and all of the articles that came in response to her moment in the media spotlight.  All of this was designed to change the conversation – to dismantle and rebuild the way we think about each other and women specifically.  Women were getting some screen time and were talking about breaking down the establishment.

Does it not seem too convenient to you as well that “Is Rachel Dratch Too Ugly for Hollywood?” is a headline in the aftermath of the shifting sands upon which the Media Machine stands?

I remember reading somewhere once that the only way to keep women from taking control of our culture and industry is to keep them divided. (Mommy Wars, anyone?)  The author was saying that the only way for men to stay as power-players in our societies is to keep us distracted and fighting with each other so that we did not turn our collective intellects and strengths toward accomplishing goals that we consider important.  You know, silly stuff like ending the cycle of poverty for our young and elderly, education, and dare I say it?  Even world peace.

Somedays I am dismayed about the state of the world.  I question whether bringing more people into this mess was the right decision, particularly now since I’m carrying a little girl.  And then I remember that I am one person, with a voice, who has influence over 2 soon-to-be men allowing me to shape and mold their perspectives.  I remember that the presence of a strong man, like MOMD and my presence too promises a strong foundation for self-esteem, compassion, and discourse that will set our daughter up for success; in fact it will serve all 3 of our kids well.  It is then that I take a deep breath, square my shoulders and soldier on.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2012 in Opinion, Politics, Soap Box

 

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90210 in Real Life

A few months back, we signed up for Netflix.  It’s been fun – we have access to lots of shows that we haven’t thought about in ages.  And I was so excited when I discovered the original “Beverly Hills 90210” series.  I wasn’t a regular follower when it was on the air, although I did watch an episode here, and episode there.  Especially when they aired new shows during the usual summer hiatus – there was nothing else on so if I was home and it was on, I watched it.  When I uncovered the treasure trove of NetFlix, I started watching the series again, right from the start.

It is not good TV, people.  It’s really not.  But it’s funny to watch it now, more than 20 years later, and remember what a stir it caused with some of the episodes.  And the fashion!  OMG…

Anyway, watching it makes me think back to my high school days (which I must admit were pretty great).  Recently, my thoughts have turned to the gang from the show, and the gang that I hung out with.  Who would be each character?  I’m not sure really, but it’s funny for me to think about it.  So here’s what I’ve come up with:

Brenda: This one would have to be Meela.  I say that not because she was self-centred (like Brenda in the show) but because whether or not Meela wanted to be, she was the centre of our group.  She was – and still is – the funniest person I know.  She is shows concern for her friends, and isn’t afraid to state an unpopular opinion.  Meela treats all those she loves as her family, just as Brenda welcomed Kelly and Dylan into the Walsh Clan.  She had good hair then, and now has awesome hair.  She was cool.  And too, her brother (who was not her twin) was freakin’ HAWT.
Kelly: Most likely match up in our group would be Hilary.  She had the cool mom, the blonde hair, and the most dates of all of us.  She didn’t live in a mansion though, nor did she drive.  But then again, none of us did.  We had a metropass and the city was ours!
Donna: Donna as a bad rep, in large part because of the actress who played her.  Here’s what I think about Donna: she was fun-loving, easy going, and the gang enjoyed having her around.  She wasn’t afraid to do the unexpected, wasn’t afraid to be herself.  It is because of these traits that I assign her real-life matchup to the incomparable Sheila.  Miss you, She-Ra.  The world is a darker place without your light.
Andrea: I think this one was Amity.  Ami always wanted to wear glasses, but she had WAY better hair than Andrea.  She was, without question, the smarty in our group though which is how I equate her with Andrea.  Well, that and her connection to our school paper.  Although, Hilary was also editor of the school paper… anyway.  I’m sticking with Amity.
Dylan: I think this would have to be Jason.  He was super hot (believe me, everyone wanted to date him everywhere we went), had a total bad-boy image and was the guy you could count on to be there to support you and be honest with you no matter what you were going through.
Brandon: I’m going to make this guy’s real-life matchup Aaron.  He was cute (although he didn’t know it), he was a goody-goody (he didn’t drink then, and really still doesn’t now), he had perfect hair (at least in his mind!) and was always wearing blue jeans.  Aaron was clean-cut, straight-up fun.  Whatever happened to that guy, I wonder…  :p
Steve: Probably this would have been Darren.  He looked older than all of us (because he was), and so did Steve.  He was the one to order things for us with his credit card (like pizza: cheese on top!), because none of the rest of us had one.  And while Steve’s mother was the reason that Steve had access to people and places that the others didn’t (she was a famous actress on the show), Darren lived on his own and that was the ultimate freedom to most of us.
David Silver: I think this one would have been Aaron.  Although, I go back and forth on it, because on the show, no one really wanted to hang out with David and believe me when I say this was NOT the case with Aaron.  So I’m going to say that Aaron was a hybrid of Brandon & David.  Aaron was the guy who was totally into music though, he wrote and recorded his own stuff in his own studio, he didn’t dance really, but he sang.  And, he had the same hair.  Death to anyone who touched it as well!

Oh my friends mentioned in this post…  I hope you’re laughing!  Because really to me, it’s quite humourous.  Love you all!!  And you know it too.

The 90210 Gang

The 90210 gang

And some of the RCI Gang

This is half of us. Missing from here are Jason, Sheila, Amity & Darren. Good times...

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2012 in Oversharing, Randomness

 

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Organic Moments

The experts tell us the best way to address sensitive topics with your children is through organic moments.  Meaning, moments that occur naturally.  The idea behind it is that the discussion is child-led, and only goes as far as they want it to go.  It begins naturally for them, and it ends naturally for them.

As you may know from your visits here before, I am pregnant.  We are at 27 weeks today – which is about 6 months along.  I subscribe to a weekly newsletter from www.babycentre.co.uk (I know I’m Canadian and that there’s one on the Canadian site; the UK one is just more my style is all.  Less US-focused.  Anyway.) and every Saturday morning I get an email talking about what my baby will be starting to do this week, and how it’s developing.  There is always a link to a 3-D video that describes the development as well.  Today I watched where our baby is at, along with Connor, my newly-turned 8 year old.  He was just as excited as I was, and when we were through watching it, he asked to see his favourite baby-developing video.  You may have seen it yourself when it was making the rounds on facebook, about a year ago.  He was fascinated by it then as he thought about this is how he started, and how Sam started and wow – look at that!  Over the course of a week, we watched it probably 50 times.  He loves the song the videographer used too.

So anyway – back to today.  He wants to watch it again, and so we do.  He comments throughout it, confirming what he remembers from when we watched it before, and making logical leaps that he did not make before.  Things like, “Oh – so the girls have the eggs, and I guess that means that the little swimmer thingys come from the boys.  Right?”  I confirmed that this assertion was correct, and again reminded him that those swimmers are called sperm.  It is always around this point that I get nervous that he will take the discussion to the next point.  He never has, and for that I’ve been grateful.

Now, MOMD and I have talked before about when we should have “the talk” with Connor, since he’s approaching the age where his body may begin to start to change.  And as the experts have advised, we have always decided to wait for the “organic moments”.  Is this passive on our part?  Trying to avoid what will be a potentially awkward discussion?  Maybe; although I have to say that I don’t think it is.

But again, I am side-tracked.  After we watched the video again, we got dressed and headed out to the grocery store.  While we’re driving, Connor says to me, “So Mom – how do the little swimmers get into the Mom, and to her egg?”

*beat*

“Well, that’s a big question isn’t it?”  I looked at MOMD and his eyes were bulging.  We were both trying to play it cool, recognizing that indeed this was a totally organic moment.  I followed the advice of my awesome Obstetrician (who says that when her kids ask big questions she always says “Well, what do you think?” because often they aren’t asking the question she thinks they are.  I’ve done this before and it’s worked like magic) and responded, “What do you think, Connor?”  This time though, there was no shirking the conversation.  He said, “I really don’t know Mom.”

I took a deep breath, looked to MOMD for his acquiescence, and said, “Okay buddy I need to ask you: Do you really want to have this conversation?”  At this moment I was kinda hoping that he would say yes.  Because I figure, we’re at the gateway here, he’s old enough to know basics, and this is the right environment for the conversation to be light, fun and informative.  Blessedly, he said, “Yes.  I’m sure.”

And so I told him.  Very basic and very simply.  I started out saying, “Well…  it’s messy.  Because the swimmers – the sperm – are in your penis.”  His jaw hit his chest!  He was incredulous… “Eww!!” *beat* “That would be messy!”

“So, how do they get into the girl?”

“Have you ever heard the word, ‘sex’,” I asked?
“I’ve heard it in a word before; it’s part of ‘sexy.'”
“That’s right it is.  Sex is how the sperm get to the egg.”
“But how?” Oh, he’s persistent!
“Well, usually when 2 people are in love they decide to have sex.  And you know, you’re usually in love because you need to be naked for sex, and you really don’t want to show your private spots to just anyone, do you?”  He shook his head violently from side to side, smirking the whole time.  “And when you have sex, the boy puts his penis into the girl’s vagina, and that’s how the sperm get to the egg.”
“GROSS!”

And there ended the discussion.  We did talk about how boys are born with the parts to make the swimmers, and how girls are born with their eggs, but that it takes time before your body is ready to release the sperm and eggs.  So it’s not like he thinks he can become a dad now or anything.

It was a huge moment for me… and for MOMD.  We keep having these little conversations to reassure each other (Ok, I ask him a question, and he reassures me) that the conversation was appropriate and reasonable and comfortable, and that the whole world did not changed on the way to the grocery store.

Because man: now my kid knows about sex.

Pass me a drink.

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2012 in Family, Raising Kids

 

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Does this mean I need to learn about Pokemon?

It seems I start out a lot of my posts responding to something I’ve seen on facebook.  Huh.  Well, you don’t judge me for my social outlets, and I won’t judge you for yours.  Deal?  Good.

Moving on…

A friend of mine posted this on facebook yesterday.  And wow – it smacked me like only something that is unavoidably the truth can:

Image

If you have ever spent time with a child who is obsessed with Pokemon, you will understand why this hit me like a smack in the face.  Even other children who are not into Pokemon, are with me on this.  I know this, because I had a conversation with my 7.5 year old cousin a few weeks back, about how if he had to hear his sister and my son say another word about Pokemon, he was going to hit something.  My response to this comment was basically, “TESTIFY!”

So then, if I want my Pokemon-obsessed child to talk to me later about love and sex and drugs and whatnot, I need to be listening to him talk about Pokemon all day?  Is that I need to do?  Because…  because man.  I can work on that but it’s going to be so. tough.

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2012 in Randomness, Vexations

 

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Challenges

So, a couple of days ago (maybe longer, because remember?  I was in a sickness coma?) I saw this image on facebook:

And I, being a naturally positive person, really liked it.  As a self-employed person it REALLY spoke to me.  Because you know, when you’re the boss, it’s a lot easier to say “I’m not coming in today,” because what are the repercussions?  Exactly.  In the short term, there are few.  In the long term, however…  well, we’re not talking about my business, are we?

So anyway, I shared the pic to my page, and a friend responded to it saying “And if your sabotaging your work, maybe the work is something you shouldn’t be doing.”

Now, I’m doing something different with my work life (Direct Sales and Network Marketing are absolutely not the same as a regulated, 9-5 job).  So I play by a different set of rules (mostly a self-directed, motivated kind).  This was an interesting statement though, so I asked him if he could expand his thought for me.  And this is what he said next: “You’re doing something you don’t want to do but believe you have to do it, or everyone says you have to do it but subconsciously you either disagree or want to do something else so you do things that keep you from completing the task.”

I can see what he’s saying.  And sure – to some extent I agree.

I can’t agree entirely with his point though.  Here’s why: I believe that as human beings, we are meant to grow and evolve and develop into more than we are.  This is a constant thing, that we should be experiencing throughout our lives.  Many people agree with me; I know this because there’s an adage that says, “You learn something new every day.” And really, if you are actually learning something new, changing your perspective on the world – be it everso slight a shift – and ultimately doing something different, you will be uncomfortable.

We are programed to be comfortable.  Entire industries are built around the idea that comfort is the ultimate goal in our lives. (Lay-Z Boy, anyone?) Marketing campaigns are developed to play to our most basic instincts – safety, which in and of itself is a form of comfort – so that we spend our lives scrimping and saving so that we aren’t left eating cat food and living in a shopping cart in our “golden years”.  If you ask a person in their mid-30’s what they really want out of life, or what it would mean to them to be financially free, most of them will tell you some variation of, “Enough to meet all of my obligations and have a little left over.  I just want to be comfortable.”  Because of this quest for “comfort”, when we feel the opposite of that – uncomfortable – our gut instinct is to stop what we’re doing, and revert to the behaviours or positions that made us feel comfortable.  To sabotage our forward momentum.

The problem with this is that, if you’re not uncomfortable, you are not growing.  You are not challenging yourself to be the best that you can be in the moment you are in.  Which you know, is fine if you don’t want anything more than you all ready have.  I am not one of those people though.  I have a lot that I am grateful for, and I have great ambition for even more than I have right now.  And we all know that if we want something other than what we have, we have to do what we are not currently doing.

Which brings me back to the image above.  If we stopped spending time, thinking up reasons for why we can’t or shouldn’t do what we are planning and just simply DO IT, we would accomplish so much.  I want to leave you with this thought that I heard from a training I was listening to recently.  The speaker said, “Human beings are the only thing in nature that does not fully manifest itself into all it was created to be.”  Well, I am here, reaching, stretching and pushing to grow to my fullest, to realize my potential.  Won’t you join me?

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2012 in Opinion, Randomness

 

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