Category Archives: life

The “Talk” or lack thereof

According to the radio this morning, around six years old is when you start having the “talk” with your child. Apparently six is the age when all the questions start and so for most parents they are forced to start talking to their child about their bodies and the changes they can expect.

This was all news to me. I have yet to have the talk with either of my boys and Maks is almost ten. Neither of them have approached me about the topic and because I am the biggest prude known to man; I haven’t brought it to their attention either. There are times when, in passing, they will talk about getting chest hair or something similar but there has been no real discussion about puberty, body changes or anything along those lines. I know the school curriculum has already started touching on some of the topics but I think as valuable as sex education is in school, I should be part of the discussion with them as well.

I am wondering if I should have the talk with the boys, just pick a day and time and have little conversations with them. To be perfectly honest, I am not terrified of having the talk. I am a scientist by nature and I can talk about the biological changes with no issues. I just haven’t really bothered with it because they don’t seem interested in it and I don’t want them to just ignore me because they really don’t want to talk about it.

The rational part of my brain knows that talking about it with them before they start talking to their friends is a good thing. I can make sure they have the information they need before the speculation from their friends starts filling their heads with nonsense but getting started is the hard part.

Game Plan for March

  • Declutter, declutter, declutter. Nothing is exempt from my decluttering plan. I intend to go room by room and get rid of all the things I have been holding onto that I don’t need or have a use for anymore.
  • Attend at least one work out class this month. I can’t go to classes during the week so I need to find a way to get some exercise in on the weekend. In a perfect world, I would be able to attend lane swims while Maks is at judo but I am not sure that would be possible even though in my head it’s a perfect plan.
  • Start eating better again. I was doing really well and then I went to Trinidad and fell off hard. So I need to get back on even though I have no real motivation to do so. You know, other than weight loss and feeling better about myself but sometimes that just doesn’t feel like enough.
  • Survive March Break. The boys will be in camp. I just need to find a camp. And register them. Before March Break.

Preparing for disappointment

I love to cook.  I love to bake.  I like trying new things.  Sometimes they work.  Sometimes they fail but I try.  As time has gone on, my dishes are getter bigger and harder and I am proud of myself for accomplishing trickier dishes.  I put a lot of pressure on myself to make wonderful things.  There are times when it can be overwhelming because I put so much pressure on myself but I put my head down and just try my level best.

From me all this cooking has emerged these traditions, I never foresaw.  People come by when there are big food events like Thanksgiving and Christmas.  They ask me to make things and bring it over to them.  They come and they eat and for the most part they really like the food I have made.  Most times when I make something new I am afraid to try it because I am more critical on myself than anyone else so I wait until other people have tried it before I do.  Overall, most people seem to like what I make and that makes me happy.  Having my food appreciated gives me some sort of purpose, as ridiculous as it sounds.  I am quiet, I like solitude, and the kitchen gives me an escape.  When things bother me, I cook something and the more things bother me the more I make and then things just magically get better.  The kitchen is my happy place and me making things people like brings me joy.  It is a weird kind of happy.

There is an exception to all this though.  My mother.  My mother does not eat what I cook.  She will order food or make something else and eat that even if I have prepared a large Christmas or Thanksgiving meal, she will not eat any of it.  She will give a variety of reasons why she won’t eat it, but the bottom line is she just won’t eat it if I cook it.  It’s not as though this is a rule she applies to everyone, it not like she doesn’t eat from other people when she visits their home because she does.  In fact I remember this one time where she went over to my cousin’s house and her coming back talking about her good her lasagne was.  At that time I had been making lasagne for years and for years she refused to try it.  She said it was nothing she wanted to try but my cousin made it so she ate it and it was really good.  To this day, she still has not eaten my lasagne.

I find her refusing to even try the things I make mean and hurtful and after all these years I really should be used to it but I am not.  I can’t figure out why she won’t eat the things I make whether she doesn’t think I can cook well, whether she doesn’t want to encourage a useless pastime, or what.  Whatever the reason happens to be I can wager my first born my mother will not eat any of my spread at Christmas.  I am making a lot of food for Christmas.  I am looking forward to doing it.  I have it all planned out in my head and I am really excited.  I can’t wait for it all to come together.  All that being said, I know once all the food is laid out, my mother will not eat it.  She will say it is because she has already eaten, or she just wants salad or she isn’t feeling for anything I have made or she just doesn’t eat those types of things.  Whatever the reason, she will not be one of the people eating what I have made.  The kicker to all this is if someone comes out to her and says how much they like something I have made.  She will add to the praise even though she hasn’t ever tried any of it.  One time on Facebook someone said how yummy my food looked and she jumped all on over it, saying how good it looked too and it was making her mouth water.  The funny thing is if she was there, she wouldn’t have eaten it.  Her comments were just because someone else had said it first.

If you know me in real life you know my mother and I don’t have the best relationship.  Most times things are tense between us so getting praise from her is few and far between.  She will not go out of her way to say I am good at something unless someone says it first and then it depends on whether she respects the opinion of the person.  And even then there will be a criticism attached to the praise something like “it tastes good but it is too sweet” or “it tastes good but next time do something differently”.  And if there isn’t a criticism directly attached to it, she will just make the dish later in the week so I can see just how well she can make it.  I can’t win.  No matter what I make, it won’t be good enough for her to try.

Now that I have finally gotten all this off my chest, maybe this year will be different.  Maybe she will see how hard I work on the food and actually try some of the things I make.  You never know it could happen but I won’t be holding my breath.

My Bah Humbug List

It’s the holiday season.  For me it is Christmas time.  For others it might be Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or something else or nothing else but without getting too complicated, it is the time of year people try to get festive about something.  It could be the birth of a deity or it could be awesome sales at your favourite store.  Whatever the reason, there it a festive feeling being tossed around and cheesy traditions being carried out every day.

For the most part I am all about cheesy traditions.  Let’s do things and make some memories people!  But not everything I encounter makes me happy.  In fact there are some things about the holiday season that really bother me.  (I can’t remember if I made one of these lists in the years past but if I did, I am sure something had to have changed from then to now.  Right?)

  1. The movie Elf – so many people love this movie.  It is on repeat on just about every station leading up to Christmas.  You can’t turn on the TV without seeing Elf somewhere because so many people love it and find it wildly hilarious.  I don’t find it funny at all.  In fact, I find Elf really sad.  It reminds me of how hard it is to move from one country to the next.  Elf is a movie that reminds me of how awkward I felt as a new immigrant trying to understand other people’s customs, food, and beliefs.  And having people laugh at his confusion and awkwardness really hurts my heart.  I just can’t watch Elf because I don’t feel it is really a Christmas movie.  It is more about making fun of differences rather than celebrating them and I just can’t support a movie like that.
  2. Egg Nog – I don’t get it. Not sure I ever will.  Most likely you’ve heard this rant before but my thoughts on egg nog will probably never change.  Is it supposed to be a throwback to Rocky only you added in some cream and rum to be festive?  I can’t understand people, I just don’t.
  3. The self-induced inferiority complex – I see you pintrest for this one. Have you seen what the cookies on pintrest look like??  They make you think you can do replicate them no problem and then you try and you know what happens?  You end up with green frosting on your elbows and cookies that resemble Yoda more than they resemble a cookie.  You end up sitting in your kitchen what the hell happened because you were pretty sure you were in control of the whole situation the entire time.  Well guess what, you weren’t.  I mean, I give you points for trying and you should be laughing at the Yoda cookies but if you aren’t you shouldn’t feel bad about it.  Being imperfect is what makes your cookies great.  Your kids will eat them either way and licking icing off your elbows can be the new tradition.  Whatever floats your boat.
  4. Awkward gift exchanges – do you give your boss a gift? And if you do, what do you give him and how much do you spend?  What if you don’t give him a gift and he gives you a gift, what happens then?  Do you run out a get a stand by gift?  What about your assistant, the mailman or your next door neighbour?  Who do you buy for and what do you do if they get you something and you have nothing to give back?  The pressure to find gifts for these people is crazy.  It is some stressful stuff and I just don’t want to deal with it sometimes.  Knowing what to get and then trying to figure out how much to spend.  It is just too much. *cue running around screaming here*

Other than all of those, it’s a great time to be festive.

Life in bullet points

Sheesh things have been busy and not busy and hectic and not hectic.  I’ve been busy and lazy and then busy and lazy some more.  With all the stuff going on blogging just falls lower and lower on the list of things to do.  Blog stuff happens and I say I am going to blog about it and then real life happens and I have to push off the blog post to another day and when I actually have time to write it then it really doesn’t apply to my life anymore so I decide not to write it because it won’t convey the emotion I want it to convey.

So this is my attempt to catch up on a month’s worth of happenings in a short post.  Most of it is relevant to things going on right now but a couple may have passed by already but were a pretty big deal.

·         Mats lost his first tooth.  It was one of those teeth where it just popped out of his mouth while he was at school, no coaxing required.  There was no need to tie a piece of string around his tooth and slam a door or anything crazy.  There was no real drama associated with him losing his tooth which I am happy about.  The tooth fairy showed up like she was supposed to and he was happy and so was I.  Sometimes losing you first tooth can be traumatic and other times it is easy.  This was an easy one.

·         Maks participated in his first judo tournament.  He came in second in his weight division.  Now there were only two kids in his weight division so they were both guaranteed trophies but he still walked away with something and that was huge.  He was nervous at first but as the fights progressed he got more confident.  All in all this was a good learning experience for him.  He says he wants to do more tournaments because he thinks he will do better next time.  And that’s exactly what I am going to do for as long as he wants to.

·         Cold weather is upon us.  We have had our first polar vortex of the winter and about 25 cms of snow (spread over two different snow storms).  I remember now just how much I dislike shoveling snow and it’s only mid-December.  It’s not going to be an easy winter like last year.  Things are cold and they are probably going to stay that way for a long time which really sucks for me.

·         Keeping in the theme of cold weather; we have started our cold weather activities a lot sooner this year than in previous years.  We have already been sledding already and only experienced a few sledding related accidents; the sled broke while Maks was barrelling down the hill, and both boys were taken out (by the same kid) as they were hustling to get out of the way at the bottom of the hill and Millhouse fell down the hill trying to save the boys from getting wiped out (by the above mentioned kid) but other than all those things, we survived.  And only after just an hour and a half outdoors.  Heaven knows what will happen when we spend an entire day outdoors.  Next on our list of winter things to tackle is skating.  A friend of ours had some spare skates so I have skates now which means I will be going on the ice with the boys and Millhouse this year.  Pray for me.  Like seriously, say a prayer I don’t break something or fall and bruise my tailbone or anything.  I haven’t skated since I was 16 and at my best, I wasn’t particularly good at it and at my worst I was pitifully horrible.  So yikes, I am going to give it another go so I can at least say I have gone skating with the boys.

·         It’s almost Christmas and we are pretty much ready.  The tree is up and the house is mostly decorated.  Our nativity scene is MIA somewhere in the garage so this year we will just have to go without one.  For the most part we have presents for everyone and the majority of them are wrapped (woo to the freaking hoo!).  For us this level of prep is some kind of miracle.  Normally by now Millhouse and I are scrabbling trying to decorate or get things wrapped for people or remembering last minute gifts we need to pick up.  But I am pretty certain that is not happening this year (fingers and toes crossed).

And that brings you to now.

I am not promising to blog more but I will definitely try.  I am off for a week so maybe I can actually get some writing done.  Again, no promises.

Why I can’t have nice things

An alternative title to this was the mother trucking squirrel keeps stealing my ish.

So there’s this squirrel that hangs out by my front door.  He used to be an occasional visitor but now he is a regular fixture because my neighbours have decided to start feeding him roti.  Now every so often I find roti on my window sills, by my front door, in the flower pots and other random places.  For the most part, it didn’t bother me.  If they want to feed the squirrel roti, then they can feed the squirrel roti, it doesn’t really concern me.

Until now.

The squirrel has started getting involved in my ish thinking he can.  Case in point, the little trucker stole my goddamn mini pumpkin and mutilated my baby pumpkin.  Every year we have a collection of pumpkins that we put out; we have a mini pumpkin, a baby pumpkin, a medium pumpkin and big pumpkins.  This year the stupid squirrel stole the mini pumpkin!  It was there one night and the next morning it was gone.  I checked around the porch in case it fell off or rolled away and it is nowhere to be found.  I am not sure if he thought it was a big nut or what but he ran off with that ish like it was some sort of precious gem.  But what he did to the baby pumpkin was even worse.  It looks like he tried to pick it up and couldn’t so he decided to break off chunks of it and take it to wherever it is he goes.  There are these teeth marks and gorges all over the blasted pumpkin.  I am not sure if he tried anything with the big pumpkins but so far, I haven’t found any damage on them.

I was considering getting bales of hay for the front porch as well but I decided against it because I am pretty sure I would come home and either find them destroyed or find the squirrel nesting in it.  Either way hay is not happening.

But if that sucker gets into my Christmas lights there will be hell to pay!!

How I’m Feeling

Given how much my health dictated my life over the last year, I figure I should give you an update on what is going on with me.  There was so much going on that I have to break things out into body parts because there is just that much.

My thyroid.

My thyroid is dead.  It won’t be coming back but I am learning how to deal with having to take synthetic hormones to make my body work.  For almost a year I have been learning to adapt to having to take pills every day.  I don’t like pills so having to take them daily has taken some getting used to.  But I am used to it now and so is my body.  There are some bad days but they don’t come around as often as they used to.  To be completely forthcoming, I still get scared when I get sore throats.  My first reflect is to feel my neck and make sure that my thyroid is not swollen.  I know it is in my head but I still check every single time, just in case.

My stomach.

The treatment worked.  YAY!!  This was probably the scariest part of the past year.  It was the most serious and it was the one thing that the doctors wanted to treat most aggressively.  But the aggressive treatments worked.  It was weeks of feeling absolutely horrible but it was worth it because I am better and it won’t be coming back.  I can’t lose my mind and start eating all crazy though.  I still have to watch what I eat.  I won’t be able to eat beef whatsoever and very limited amounts of spicy or fried foods for the rest of my life but I will take bland food over being ill.

My lady bits.

And lastly, my lady bits.  So after loads and loads of internal ultrasounds it turns out that I have a lopsided warped uterus, six large fibroids, a bunch of little fibroids and hemorrhaging cysts in both ovaries.  The initial plan was a hysterectomy but I wasn’t feeling that option.  So after meeting with another specialist, there is a treatment plan on the horizon.  I am going to get a brand new kind of implant that is supposed to make the fibroids shrink.  So rather than removing everything, this treatment should shrink the large fibroids, make the small fibroids disappear and “expel” the cysts.  In a couple of weeks I have to take an allergy test to make sure I won’t react to the medicine in the implant.  If I don’t react to the medicine then I will have it implanted right into the front part of my uterus.  This will stay implanted until menopause to make sure that the fibroids don’t come back after the implant is removed.  The doctor has warned me that the implant will make me bleed and I will be uncomfortable for a bit as my body gets used to having a foreign object imbedded into it but then things will be better than they have been in a long time.

So that’s it.  You are now all up to date on what’s going on with my health.

And I’m Back

I have been away for a long time.  Not cause I wanted to be but more because if I wrote about what was going on I could violate some contract thingies.  I wanted to make sure I didn’t write anything I could get in trouble for.

So I started a new job in May.  It was probably the hardest thing I have ever done, career wise.  The loyal part of me just could not fathom leaving even though it had become evident that working where I was was slowly killing me. 

Literally. 

I was getting sick because of all the stress involved which when I stop to think about it is crazy.  I let someplace dictate my life so much that when I was overwhelmed, I would become physically ill.  And this went on for years and I stayed through it all because I kept thinking I was proving myself, proving my worth to these people.  But in reality, I was just a work horse.  I would never get the respect I thought I deserved and it took me a long time to come to terms with that.  Finally coming to that realization was hard.  I have to admit I didn’t want to accept it to a certain extent.  I kept holding on to the idea of eventually one day these people would realize just how valuable I was to them however it was just never going to happen.  I didn’t fit into their ideal and nothing I could do was ever going to make me fit.

So I moved on.

Once I started looking I realized how attractive I was to other places out there.  I had the loyalty thing plus skills and experience.  Turns out I am a good catch.  I ended up getting two offers on the same day.  Both were fairly similar.  In fact before I started negotiating both offers were practically identical.  Once I started negotiating, one company gave me everything I asked for.  They really wanted me so why not give them a chance.  It was a job, if things weren’t what I wanted them to be I would leave.

So I said yes and I have been here ever since.

Now I expected to have some sort of negative reaction when I handed in my resignation to my old job.  I knew they wouldn’t try to block me from leaving, that would just be ridiculous and I would have fought them, but I readied myself to be met with thinly veiled insults or passive aggressive comments.  I got none of it.  They accepted my resignation in a professional manner and they were almost cordial with me leaving.  I guess they were as ready for me to leave as I was to go.

I have been here for almost three months now.  It is new and interesting.  I am learning a lot.  It is a completely different type of department.  They are really smart people who are partial to logarithms and algebraic equations.  The way they think is new to me and takes some getting used to.  Some days I feel as though I am not smart enough to be here but I am slowly getting the hang of things and building up my confidence.  Working to prove myself here feels different from the other place.  I see people getting recognized here and I hope in time I can get recognized as well but I am not going to push myself to be respected.  I know now respect either comes or it doesn’t.  And if it doesn’t then I can still survive.  As long as I am happy with what I put out, I will be ok.

When Batman versed Superman

*Spoiler alert* I give away the end of Batman vs Superman in this post. If you don’t want to know what happens, don’t read this post. You have been warned.

Last weekend, we took the boys to see Batman vs Superman. We waited until some of the hype had died down because dealing with the crowds, showing up two hours before show time and line ups are not my thing. I just can’t deal. I know this and because I know this, I don’t put myself in the situation where I know I am going to get mad dealing with the things I know I can’t deal with. Makes sense, right? Based on my past experiences, I know it is better to wait a week than try to fit a round peg (me) into a square hole (super crowded place I don’t want to be in).

Last weekend was the perfect time to go, the theatre was packed but we didn’t have to line up before and we were still able to get pretty decent seats showing up twenty minutes before show time. All in all the movie was alright. I really liked Wonder Woman but didn’t really like Batman or Superman. Batman is not supposed to carry guns so him having a kryptonite shooting gun bothered me. He should have found some other way to get the kryptonite into Superman. Batman with a gun is a cop out, in my opinion. He has an advanced military research facility with the best scientists in the world working for him, he is supposed to be beyond guns. And Superman is kitty-whipped. Am I the only one that sees this?

For what it was, it was nice to see a movie with the kids (that wasn’t animated) but I think I would have enjoyed the Jungle Book more.

Now here is the most interesting observation of the entire movie and it comes from Maks. Towards the end of the movie, when Superman dies (I warned you) his mother Martha comes in and give Lois Lane the ring that Superman was eventually going to give to her. And Maks had this reaction (and yes, we talk during movies. It’s not loud but there is a running commentary throughout just about every movie we see).

Maks: “Is that a marriage ring?”

Me: “Yes”

Maks: “They are supposed to get married?”

Me: “Yes.”

Maks: “Can dead people get married?”

Me: “No.”

Maks: “Then that’s dumb. Don’t they know dead people can’t get married? He shouldn’t have given her a ring.”

Me: “Superman got Lois the ring because he loved her and he didn’t know he was going to die. He thought they would end up getting married. Now stop talking.”

Maks: “I still think it is dumb. He wouldn’t be dead if he didn’t keep trying to save Lois.”

And I agree with him. I am not a lovey dovey type person. For the most part romance and sentiment are lost on me. But if Superman stopped swooping in the save Lois, then maybe he wouldn’t be dead and she wouldn’t be Superman bait all the time.

Just saying.

I am looking forward to seeing the Jungle Book though.