Sunday, January 30, 2011

I can feel my hair turning gray.

The other night, the boys were playing a crazy running game while I went upstairs to run the bath.  I had barely got the tub rinsed out when I heard crying. From Jay's reaction, I knew something bad had happened, and I only heard a slight whiny cry from Felix - mostly silence, so I hustled downstairs, just in time to see Felix stagger a few steps and fall flat on his face.

When I scooped him up, his face was a deep purply-gray and he wasn't really breathing. I frantically alternated between rocking him, blowing in his face and yelling at him to BREATHE! It felt like forever but must have only been a few seconds and then he sucked air in and howled.

Jay said Elliot had bit Felix's back. He was sort of on top of him, so he could have knocked the wind out of him - there wasn't a mark on him. Jay also said that he thought Felix was ok, didn't really cry, just wandered off to play. But to me, upstairs, it sounded like he never did have his breath under control. He could have also been fine until he stumbled and fell, knocking the wind out of him then. He could have been holding his breath on purpose/unconsciously, like he did when he was younger. Or it could have been a combination.

Whatever it was, it was terrifying.

Then last night, the scary ratcheted up a notch. Felix woke up from his nap with a fever. I dosed him with Advil and he was fine for the rest of the day. When Jay came upstairs to give Elliot his medication at 11, he checked in on Felix, who was 'warm'. Jay went to get the thermometer and discovered it to be over 105. He also felt something wet on Felix's pillow when he laid him back down. Turning on his handy-dandy keychain flashlight, he discovered blood. Well, the room lights came on in a hurry and we checked him over and cleaned him up. The verdict - nose bleed.  It's not his first one, but his first at night and alone. It was black and gunky and weepy all day today. So gross.

Fever spiked up again at 6am and again after his nap. Took him to the walk in clinic and got no real answer for what it might be: his ears are mostly fine (one looks 'off' but not infected), throat is fine, chest and lungs are clear. But his eye is gooping up, he's coughing and snotting and looks miserable. Could be viral. Might be bacterial. He's on yet another round of (different) antibiotics. Poor kid.

Here's hoping we all sleep well tonight. Please.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Elliot's sick again. Double ear infection, the doctor expects one side to rupture, it's so bad. Hopefully we got him on antibiotics quick enough to prevent that. Poor kid. Crazy high fevers causing delirium and crazy nighttime antics. It's been a thrill.

So, sickness combined with -30 temperatures has been keeping us in the house. And oh dear, we had to skip yoga this morning. We've watched a heck of a lot of TV. This morning I dragged out a bunch of furniture and toys and made them an obstacle course around the house: over the chair bridge, belly crawl under more chairs, through a dark cave (kitchen table, draped with blankets) over the rickety floor (play table flipped upside down) into a tent, down the hidden tunnel, hopping on one foot across some mats, ride-on cars over to the trampoline, 5 bounces then on to the "kill zone" - a free fall from the couch, then back over to the chair bridge. 

It kept them occupied for 30 minutes.

This afternoon, we brought out the art box. We've been watching some crafty shows - Artzooka, Mr Maker, a new Pirates show that dear hubby works on... so paints, glue, sponges, scissors, tape cluttered up the dining room table .... Elliot made spaghetti out of string and paint, using cut up sponge for cheese. Felix tried to eat it and Elliot was tickled that he'd fooled him.

Kept them occupied for an hour and a half.

And then cue the TV.

I'd had some pain in my ears and some dizziness. I hope it's not the start of an ear infection for me, too! That would suck. Already, I've had 2 rather sleepless nights of bed hopping. At one point in the wee hours of this morning, Felix tracked me down in Elliot's room and wanted me to go lay down with him. I'm even more tired than usual and all this being stuck in the house paired with eating crap food (lots of bread) is making me pack on some of the 6 pounds I managed to lose after the first week of my new diet plan. Need to get back on track!!

Also need to start watching some of the dozen or so shows saved on the DVR. But I'd have to stay up late to do that. What's a girl to do?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Yoga sucks.

So, I'd signed us up for an 8-week class. Missed the first one, went yesterday. I'd hoped it would be relaxing. HA! What a gong show. Felix was the troublemaker, I didn't expect that. The boys ran circles around the room when we first got there. I was fine with that - they needed to burn some energy, but as we got the mats set up, they got worse. Pulling at wall hangings and curtains. Smashing into other kids, tripping over other kids and mats. I'm surprised Felix still has his teeth, given the number of times he fell on his face.

Elliot settled down almost as soon as the class started, and he tried some poses. Felix was a hummingbird. A noisy, screaming, stampeding hummingbird. He wouldn't listen to me, the teacher or the other moms who told him to sit down. If he'd only been running around, I wouldn't have cared as much, but he was instigating the other kids to get up and run, and then he and Elliot started wrestling.

I couldn't handle it, so I rolled up the mats, bundled up the kids and we ran out, halfway through the class. They howled. I don't want to go back but feel I should give it another chance. But I don't think that's safe for my mental health, which is shaky at best lately. I was looking forward to this - a patch of quiet I could share with the boys. I was hoping they'd be interested, I didn't expect them to sit still for the whole class but thought they'd be curious... I think I had realistic expectations before going in. We'd talked about yoga and what it was and what the class would be like. We went over the rules before going in (listen to the teacher, no running, etc). All to no avail.

I can't help but wonder if yoga is exactly what they need to help tame their wild horse instincts. Or if it's a lost cause. I felt so judged by all those other moms. And I wasn't the only one with 2 kids - at least 2 other moms had more than 1 child with them.

I see my choices as a) drop the class b ) try one more time with both or c) get a sitter for Felix and continue with Elliot, as he seemed to like it and is still asking when we can go back....Maybe if we do some yoga dvds together and get them used to the idea before we try it again??

I think we'll try one more time, but go late, arrive after warm-ups have started so there's less time for crazy.

Ugh. My poor nerves.

Edit ~ Feb 1st: So, I'm gonna cancel. We haven't yet made it back due to all the illness and now I don't care anymore. Hopefully they'll offer a summer class so we can try again!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


This fatigue is hard to describe. I feel numb and useless by 8:30 at night. Sometimes I'll push myself to stay up, doing something brainless like watching TV or site hopping on the computer. There's no way I can do anything productive - like study for class or work on my bookkeeping. When I do go to bed, sometimes I'm out instantly. Sometimes, like last night, I lay there listening to the house for what feels like hours.

The boys are on a super awesome kick of waking up between 5-6 for the day, instead of their old 6:30-7... when I go to bed so early, I'm wide awake at 5am, but it's not an energetic awakening. I just lay there like a lump, trying to go back to sleep. Because I don't want to move. My body is tired. My brain is not. Even when I stay up until 10, 11, 12, I'm still up early with the boys. But that's more of a groggy tired than a numb tired. At least at first.

Today I'm sitting here with the boys, yelling at them for jumping on the couch, for crawling all over me, for wrestling with each other... for anything that's not them sitting like a lump, watching TV. Because that's all I have the energy to do, too. I want to go to bed and stay there all day, reading, dozing, watching TV, staring at nothing.

Is it part depression? Likely. Is it seasonal? Partly. My guess is the biggest culprit is my anemia. I had another B12 shot on December 30th. It takes a few days to kick in, but the next 2 weeks were amazing. I had energy. And more importantly, I had patience with the boys. A week ago I felt the first intense drop in energy. Four days ago the fatigue kicked it. And today I'm a lump.

The easy solution would be to go for another B12 shot. But that's a temporary fix. And I'm trying to wait another week so I can get an accurate reading in my blood draw. If my B12 and other iron-related levels are still low, then we have to look at causes. The food I eat and the supplements I take should be more than enough to boost my stores. Plus, the two B12 shots I've had in the last 7 weeks should have been enough to replenish what's missing. And if not... well, then something else is at play here.

My naturopath wants me tested for celiac disease. A gluten allergy preventing my small intestine from absorbing nutrients. I could be eating the most healthy food around and still be sick, if it is celiac. I've eaten gluten free before as part of the candida plan. I never really noticed a difference, but I was paying more attention to my sugar reactions.

Maybe it has something to do with my thyroid. There is a nodule on it. They say it's fine and benign and it's not effecting my thyroid levels. Except that last summer, those levels dropped. And were low enough over 3 separate blood draws that my doctor put me on synthroid, a synthetic hormone. The anemia was noted during one of those draws. And then ignored (due to the fact that I'd donated blood a week before the test) until recently when a follow up draw showed that while my thyroid levels were fine, there were still issues elsewhere.

Maybe they're related. Maybe there's a bigger picture, something else involved causing both my thyroid and iron stores to fall below normal amounts. But for now, despite my hypochondria tendencies, I'm trying to listen to my doctor's advice and trying to stay away from Dr. Google and all his scare tactics. But it's hard. Because something isn't right and I'm feeling small and swept away. And you know what? I'm too tired to care.

Taking the boys to Mom & Tot Yoga this morning. Hopefully the brisk walk to the studio in today's below zero temperatures will rejuvenate me. And hopefully the boys won't be feral monkeys, causing me to pull us from the remaining classes!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The world according to Elliot...

The cracks in the sidewalk are potion lines. Forget "breaking your mother's back" -  these puppies will turn you into a hippo! But don't worry, simply step on another one to turn yourself back. And carry on.

He is in the possession of an electric eye. It lives in his skull - or sometimes in a cave above his penis - and it can see everything: the moon, the rocks under the dirt, daddy's office from our house, the cookies we supposedly don't have anymore.... It is cleaned with an electric blanket, which he also owns. And no, he won't share.

There are escalators inside his mouth which take the food down to his belly. Now don't you be looking for yours - apparently he has the only ones in the whole world. Oh, and don't worry - there are stings attached to his sides to prevent chaos should he eat while upside down.

Spaghetti night - fit for a king
He is allergic to tomatoes, because he doesn't like them. But only raw and cooked ones. The ones in soup, ketchup, spaghetti & pizza sauce are a-ok.

When Felix was a newborn, he was a "tiny little boner".

He is in charge of everything that has to do with his body. Heaven help you if it's been 4 hours since he last peed, he's been hitting the milk pretty hard and you know it's gonna be a long while before the next bathroom break. He will loudly yell that his penis doesn't want to pee while you're in the crowded bathroom at the Farmer's Market.

Also filed under bodily charges: even when he's been up since 5:30am, has bags under his eyes deep enough to fall into, is yawning up a storm and is cranky as a wet cat in a net, he'll refuse to nap on the grounds that his "body isn't tired yet!!!!" *foot stamp*

Oh Elliot, I can't wait to meet you as a grown up. I think I want to just skip right over your teenage years. You've got enough angst as a 4 year old as it is.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I would walk 7 miles

Had a productive day. Which is great since I spent the last 2 following Felix around, waiting for another bout of diarrhea to strike. Joy. Had to skip our very first Mom & Tot Yoga class (and sushi lunch - wahhhhhh!) on Tuesday. I was not pleased. But then oh so very pleased that we'd stayed home when the poo-splosions started. We had a movie day instead.

All was well this morning, so I parked the boys in front of the TV and ran around like a mad woman, pulling together snacks for what was gearing up to be a monumentally long and frustrating day. We left late but thankfully the city had sent out all it's busy little worker bees and the sidewalks were 95% clear. We got hit with about 15 cm of wet snow yesterday (about 6 inches, for my US readers),  it shut the city down, which is rare. The malls were closed early and the city buses were pulled from the roads. There was talk about an additional 15 cm overnight. That didn't happen, not here, anyway. 

So we hustled, Felix doing his pterodactyl warrior cry (he's gonna learn to not do that even if I have to strangle it out of him). Made it to Felix's second ever gymnastics class with a few minutes to spare. God, I hate winter gear. And winter gear paired with little kids? Shoot me now. Finally all squared away, Elliot and I watched Felix's class. He's doing really good, loves it (of course he does!)  but today he had bit of a listening problem - he was too excited and didn't want to stop when the teacher would call them all over to a new station. And so she'd have to plant the rest of the kids in a circle, chase down Felix and march him back. Little monkey. 

Afterwards, we went to the grocery store around the corner and got sushi (yes!!) and watermelon for lunch. Followed by a round of "Don't put your hand in the toilet!!!" when we went to pee and change a diaper. The pterodactyl made another appearance as winter coats were forced over uncooperative hands and stiff little bodies were folded into the stroller again. 

Then another long walk, which knocked the two of them out and I had a bit of peace for 45 minutes. Felix had a follow up appointment with the ENT specialist due to him being treated for 2 ear infections in December. He only just finished the antibiotics for the last round on Sunday.

I locked the stroller up outside the hospital and we went in to register. The boys were still wearing their snowpants, but I was lugging 3 winter coats, a large purse and a bag of books and crayons as well as 3 cardboard trains Elliot snatched from somewhere. And trying to herd feral cats, it seemed. There was another round of "Don't Touch That!" Bathroom Edition. 

The specialist checked his ears and pronounced them full and sent us down the hall for a hearing test - his ears ears were checked for sound and I was told that his right ear was completely plugged and the other wasn't great. They stuffed us into a tiny, soundproof room and turned out the lights. I sat in the centre, Felix on my lap, Elliot sitting in the corner behind us, holding my hand. We were supposed to sit in absolute silence while the tech flipped switches from another room that played different types and levels of noises from speakers on opposite sides of the room. A light would shine in the middle to get him to look straight, and if he correctly turned towards the speaker with the sound, another light would come on and a little stuffed monkey would bang on a drum. This startled the boys everytime, but it became a fun game. I was highly impressed with Elliot - I only had to shush him a few times. He was intrigued and full of questions for the tech afterwards. 

Then we schlepped back to the ENT department where the dr reviewed the results. The bottom line is that Felix hears surprisingly well despite the blockage but that he gets disoriented based on where the sound comes from. The specialist said it's still too early for tubes (yes!) but we have a follow up appointment in 2 months. Next week, I'll take him to my chiropractor, see if she can adjust him to get that fluid build up to drain.

We packed up and headed for home. I bribed them with snacks and they got into the stroller remarkably well. Halfway home, we stopped at Felix's daycare so they could run wild on the playground.

The house smelled delicious when we got home. I'd put a pork roast in the slow cooker this morning and added sauce for pulled pork sandwiches. It was super tasty, and I came in under my total calories allotted for the day. Yes, I have an allotment now, today is the first day.  I got a 3 month membership to FitOrbit, an online personal training site. They give me a customized meal plan and workout schedule each week and I will log everything that I do. I can omit meals - and sub in stuff - but the plans they provide are healthy and more balanced than what I'd do on my own. So we'll see a) if I can stick to it and b) if it helps. Today's tally was 1469 calories consumed, which is just under the total for the meal plan, even with all my customizations! I mapped out our route and discovered I walked 11.3 kilometres pushing that blasted stroller today. My feet hurt.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Two decades ago today...

And things in my blog world take a turn towards the realm of 'to much information'.... enjoy!

I got my first period! It was a wintery day, a Friday. I had spent my afternoon after school sledding down the neighbours huge hill. For some reason, I wasn't wearing underwear, but I did have on my favourite pair of jeans. When I went to the bathroom I thought I'd hurt myself, but quickly realized what it was. My mom had told me all about periods when I was 8, since on my dad's side of the family, many of the girls got theirs around 9 years old. She had also told me she hoped I was at least 12 when it happened for me. As it turned out, I was 1 month shy of 12. I got changed and told my mom, expecting it to be like an after-school special with giggling and celebration. I was a woman!

I remember being in the kitchen that night after supper and felt a bit crampy. It felt better when I placed my hand on my low belly and rubbed a bit. Mom saw and said I shouldn't do that around people, because others would know what it meant and that my period was a private thing.

A girl from my (grade 6) class called me that night, she wanted to ask about homework or something. I was so excited that I told her. Afterwards, I felt incredibly stupid - she wasn't even one of my friends, I didn't really like her, either. On Monday, I told her I was mistaken and she said "Well, I guess that means it will happen soon!" She was jealous, all the same, as she hadn't started hers yet.

I didn't get another period for a couple of months, but when the next one came, it hit with a vengeance. They got steadily worse. My first day of grade 7, I leaked through my clothes and had to wait in the nurses office for mom to bring me more clothes. This was a regular occurrence for me all through junior high. I would get cramping so badly that I would throw up. Mom always told me to stop being so dramatic.  I remember once wiping away a clot so thick and long and ropey - like the thick green slime that forms on stagnant ponds -  that I started to whimper, sure I could feel it pulling out of me, sure I was going to go into shock, sure I was about to die.

Things finally settled down when I went on the pill in high school. I think I was in grade 11? (Went on it because of my horrendous periods, not for birth control!) I came off them after a few months, hoping that things would be better. But no, my first period hit HARD and I was on an overnight field trip to the city (where I now live, but 3 hours from my home then) with my drama class. I sent my friend's mom, who was a chaperon, out to fill a new prescription for a special painkiller while I whimpered in a bed in the dorm room where our group was staying. The prescription came with the warning that if I started vomiting anything that looked like coffee grounds, to get myself to the ER asap. Lovely. I was 17. I went back on the pill soon afterwards. Only coming off after getting married in 2005 at the ripe old age of 26.

...Oh 'aunt flo', what a long and tumultuous relationship we have.Every month, I swear you're not going to make an appearance, and every month you pop out and wallop me. Fun times!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Spa Day!

Went for a massage today. Holy frack, why has it taken me so long to go?

When I first booked the appointment they said there was an 11am opening... or 4:30 if I preferred a female practitioner. I didn't care, plus I couldn't make 4:30 work, so I booked with the guy. It was at a spa, not an actual massage therapy clinic, so I settled myself into thinking it was all about atmosphere. A massage and a pedicure after 2 weeks home with the boys sounded wonderful.

He seemed a bit nervous at first and I thought "Oh noes! A newbie!" He made cheesy jokes (a slight bow and very gracious "Oh no, you shouldn't have!" When I presented him with my empty water glass) and there was a slight dance as I entered the room and we both stepped in the same direction. More cheesy jokes about the electric bed warmer.

I had an unexpected flash of "Shit - another man is touching me!" As he pulled down the sheet and put his hands on my skin. I thought back about the last few massages I've had with a male practitioner and realized they've all been therapeutic massages, more osteopathic in technique, and I stay fully dressed. I felt exposed and even a bit like I was doing something naughty.

But as the massage continued, as he found the sore spots between my shoulder blades and worked them with his elbow, I saw my mistake. He wasn't a novice. He knew his stuff. This wouldn't be relaxing. He followed a ropey muscle towards my arm pit and discovered an incredibly tight rotator cuff. From this, he deduced that I sleep mostly on my left side and that my hands probably go numb. And that I was in a car accident at some point. All true! He worked that muscle until I nearly cried but then it suddenly released, the knot melted away and the pain was minimized, even though he was up to his wrist in it.

Moving down to my hips, he asked if I was having low back problems - hellz yes! He said my sacrum was tight and out of place, causing my hips to rotate and pull. I knew that, but figured since my chiropractor couldn't get it to release that it was a lost cause. Well, this guys had a few tricks up his sleeve. Grabbing onto my foot, he tugged gently on my leg, once, twice, three times. On tug number four, he told me to cough. (At this point in my retelling, Jay asked if the guy was wearing gloves and did I have to bend over?) When I coughed, I felt a click. The pain I've been having off and on for the last 13 years and nearly constantly for the last 2 eased.
Can we say "Quasimodo"?
I complained about my posture. He checked the muscles in my neck and chest. He fretted over how tight and knotted they were and that we didn't have enough time in today's session to get to everything. So I go back in 10 days. Until then, I'm to have Epsom salts baths. Work on my core strength. Try some stretches. Maybe get some exercise. Stop carrying the boys down the stairs. You know, take care of myself.

I went in expecting 45 minutes of ho-hum relaxation in a quite, dim room with sleepy music playing. But I got some fixes to some pretty big deals. And a shade called "Hearts & Tarts" on my toes.  Sweeeeet!

And just so this post isn't all about me... look what happened to Elliot yesterday!

Looks all grown up, doesn't he?!

Monday, January 3, 2011

The girls hurt

Yep. Gonna talk about my boobs again. It's been a while. I've weaned since my last boob saga. I've started wearing bras that supposedly fit - even went in for a fitting in a posh lingerie store and bought a fancy and pricey bra. But they hurt. They feel heavy and bruised. Pretty much constantly, but yes, more so for about a week once a month.

Is my bra the wrong size? Have I put on so much weight that they can no longer support themselves? Is this the start of that middle-aged boobs-slide-to-your-belly-button thing? (And if so, hellllls no! I can't be middle aged at almost 32, can I?)

I'm not pregnant. I am having hormonal weirdness and have switched temporarily to a new birth control pill, so maybe that's the culprit? Or maybe Jay - or better yet, one of the boys - is boob-punching me while I sleep. Probably Felix, He's obsessed. I got in the tub with him the other night and the second he saw me he reached out and said "Touch your nipples?" I said no and then he cried, saying "Me like your nipples!" He's very tactile, into sensations. Yes, he's a boy, but he seems to be unusually fond of his penis.

Even better than sore boobs is the sharp poke I'm getting into the side of ol' righty as the stitching gave up it's hold over the underwire. Luckily, this isn't on my pricey bra (which actually hurts, even though it's supposedly my size. Shhhh. Must convince myself it was money well spent.) But it is a pretty Victoria's secret one. I guess it's time to get more. I suppose there are worse ways to spend my time.

How are your girls or the girls in your life? Do they hurt? Are they as perky as you always wanted them to be? Let's ring in 2011 talking about unmentionables.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 Memories

Ahhhh January 2010
Felix started daycare and the oven caught fire. I went back to work. And opened my own business.

February 2010
We all got sick. I had a sinus infection and mastitis and a birthday.

March 2010
I worked a lot, got a bladder infection and we all went a bit stir crazy.
April 2010
Road trip! Rented a car and headed down to my mom's for Easter weekend. Then I got a new computer. 

May 2010
I donated blood for the first time. Took a road trip to the wildlife park. Jay's step-mother took a swan dive down our stairs, breaking her arm and injuring her leg. Jay had a birthday. There was lots of poo. We explored the ruins at a historic site.

June 2010
Elliot got creative with scissors. Felix moved into a big boy bed. We took a long walk over a big bridge and watched the war canoe races. We climbed a tall tower.

July 2010
Jay cut Elliot's hair. Felix turned 2. We made lots of sidewalk chalk cities. We ate many, many raspberries. I started weaning off my antidepressants. We went to all the walking trails and parks we could find. The boys got jiggy with it.

August 2010
The panic attacks started and Felix weaned from breastfeeding while on another road trip.  We spent lots of time exploring different playgrounds and the water park. We rode on the Harbour Hopper - a car/boat hybrid painted like a frog.
September 2010
I went to university! Elliot started preschool! Hurricane Earl blew through! We celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary! Elliot turned 4! I dislocated Felix's elbow! Big month.

October 2010
I gave up caffeine. And bashed my finger on Halloween - the boys had fun, though! We went on a miniature train ride. And on another road trip. And made a big Thanksgiving dinner. And had a blast at the Fall Fair.

November 2010
I gave up sugar and all things good. There was monumental flooding through out the region after a record breaking 7 days of rain. First snow fall! Elliot went to the dentist to have a one of his front teeth  smoothed.  More outings to the park.

December 2010
The sickies descended again, with multiple bouts of strep throats, ear infections and barking coughs for everyone, plus an ER visit for Elliot. We saw Santa (and may have infected him.) We took a whirlwind road trip, driving 3.5 hours in each direction to go to a 4 hour family party - all in one day. Visited a ball pit, built a snowman, went sledding, made a gingerbread house, buried the tree in presents, played with lots of trains. Saw fireworks.... said goodbye to 2010.

2011, we welcome you and wonder what you have in store?!
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