Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Plan C

Alrighty, so the whole post-migraine treatment plan wasn’t working for me, and the preventative Topamax was a little disappointing, so here we are at Plan C. I figured since most of the baddies are hormonal, I’d see what happens if I can level out that hormone shift that happens twice a month. I finally got in to see my gyno, which was just as pleasurable as I expected, and not only got a scrip for the have-a-period-once-every-three-months Seasonale, I got a bonus estrogen patch. Crazy! The biggest side effect of the patch is, well, cancer, but I’m only going to wear it a couple days/month, since it’s not like I’m going through the change and wearing seven at a time every day. Or licking them (seriously, one of the warnings is not to ingest them. WTF is WRONG with people?!).

So I’ve got the patch on, and I’ll let you know how that goes, and will be starting the pill in the next few weeks. Statistics give me a 33% chance of success – 1 in 3 people get worse, 1 in 3 people don’t experience a significant change, and 1 in 3 feel more like rock stars. And, you know, they note a decrease in migraine occurrence. We’ll see how this works out.

If you’d like a work update, well, it’s a shitload of work. The team is so shorthanded that I’m thrown a new project pretty much hourly, which doesn’t leave a lot of time for the whole ‘product training’ thing. You know that annoying phrase, ‘fake it til ya make it’? Yeah – that. But interestingly, there are some things about project management that I really did miss, so it might not be as terribly horribly nightmarish as I anticipated.

This weekend is the Labor Day holiday, so that’s pretty cool. And then the weather will start to be a little cooler, and Jelly and I have a few little camping trips already planned, and her Halloween costume is already in her closet (hello, I’m a planner, remember). We’ve had a few pleasant mornings that are 68 degrees, it’s quite the teaser. I’ve prepared by joining a Crock Pot group on Facebook, I think I’m ready.

Someone else is, too.

Monday, August 15, 2011


Ok, let's put this summer thing to bed, shall we? I know, I know, going to the beach and the lake is fun and all that, but I'm over this heat. This morning it was 67 degrees and I almost wept I was so damn happy. All I want to do is wear jeans and start making soup and using my oven again; I'm tired of shaving my legs every five seconds and of blow-drying my hair in 115% humidity (ok, that last one is a lie, I NEVER blow-dry my hair anymore).

I love summer, don't get me wrong - it's when my birthday is, and I love to swim and be blonde and tan, and have pina coladas by the pool, and all that. It's just that I'm ready for the next thing. This time of year always makes me anxious - maybe it's part of growing up in a household with teachers, and then being one; I'm anticipating change that I don't get any more as a Project Manager. Although I did just start a new job, so that ought to count. And yes, I DO habitually change jobs at summer's end more than any other time of the year.

How about you nice people? I know my mum almost slapped me when I said it was only four months til Christmas, but that's because she lives in the land of 7 months of winter, and it's not the wear-a-heavy-sweater-outside kind of winter like it is here, it's the wear-a-parka-and-still-freeze-your-effing-ass-off kind. Do you guys want to hang onto summer, or are you ready for pumpkin patches and corn mazes, a ridiculous slew of Halloween parties and thick hearty stews, snuggling in bed on a crisp morning?

We do have one last warm-weather beach trip coming up, don't freak out. The Ta did some more traveling, and got some more points, so it looks like we'll be returning to Wilmington for our annual Labor Day event. This is totally awesome, don't get me wrong, I am sure it will change my mind and make me want summer to hang around a little while longer.

But man, could I ever go for some molasses cookies and a cup of cider.

Oh, Canada! My favorite pics from our trip, in absolutely no kind of order:

My mum and my Jelly. My parents live in a little itsy bitsy town that is so damn cute, they have free weekly concerts in the park in the center of town. It's one block from my parents' place. We walked over one lovely evening and enjoyed some music. Things like this make me really miss living in town. And, you know, Canada, where you can sit outside in August and not pray for death because of suffocating heat.

Jellybean and her cousins. They are all nut bars, and this pic captures them quite nicely. My mum got them matching shirts and threw them on this bench, desperate for a cute picture of the three of them. I was upstairs working so missed the fun, but I know Jelly was having a great time. She misses them lots - she refers to them as 'my friends' when she talks about them.

Jenny has a special relationship with her uncle, my brother Jim. When she was a baby he would do crazy dance moves to make her laugh, so he was nicknamed Uncle Dancey, and that's what she calls him. He plays with her, and is patient with her, but also doesn't let her push him around. I love that she's got him for a male role model. His illness is a little confusing to her, since his schizophrenia meds mean he can't usually get out of bed til noon and I have to correct her that he is not 'having a lazy day'. He has good days and bad, but is always awesome with her.

My sisters. I am the eldest of four; my sister N, on the left, is three years younger, and my sister M, on the right, is 13 years younger. My brother is the youngest, a year younger than M. We are about as different as three sisters can be, and have gone through a lot in working through how we relate to each other. But I have never once doubted they'd have my back. Or, you know, 'support' me. Ha ha (this was funnier at the time).

Only in Cottage Country, the tourist region known as the Muskokas in Northern Ontario, would you find a kid in an elf hat and a life jacket. This look says, 'I love Christmas, and boating'. There's a little theme park a couple hours from my hometown called Santa's Village - there are only about a dozen mostly lame rides, a few food vendors, and some prize stands. But there's also Santa, and his 'summer sleigh', this crazy boat that does 360s in the water, and you know what, that amount of rides is perfect for this age group. And they have reindeer! She freaking loved it.

My girl, the cowboy. We put her up on a nice brown pony, and he took 15 years off my life by spooking and bolting, throwing my kid off. She handled it like a champ, no tears, and got right back up on this much calmer pony, Fancy. I play a LOT of games with Jelly now where one of her toys is Fancy, or she is, or god forbid, I am. The horseback riding fund may replace the beach trip fund next year.

I like this picture because it sums us up nicely - there's my sister's bra hanging right there, and my mum is outside in plain view of several neighbors in her bathrobe, and we're missing half the people because they're running around doing other stuff. But there's a great breakfast on the table, and eventually we'll all be seated eating together, and the kids are now at their own table on the deck below hollering at us. And it's a beautiful day! Look, my sister is even wearing a sweater! Seriously, sooooo ready for cooler weather...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Three Little Things

Every night before Jellybean goes to sleep, I tell her three things. Well, four, if you count the obligatory ‘I love you’, more if you count the stuff she demands I repeat back after she’s said it, like ‘sweet dreams’ or ‘see you in the morning’. And god forbid I forget to use her name, she loses it. She’ll sit bolt upright in bed and sternly command, “Say, ‘sweet dreams, JENNY’, mama!” Like I’m saying it to someone else?! Sheesh, that kid is so damn bossy, I have no idea where she gets it. Anyhow. Three things. I tell her she’s smart, I tell her she’s pretty, and I tell her she’s a nice person. I always say those three things, in that order, and here’s why.

I tell her she’s smart first, because I want her to value that above being pretty. Since she’s smart, she knows she’s smart, so I don’t need to go much beyond that, because I don’t want her to get a big fat ego and be that kind of smart where she thinks she’s smarter than everyone, because that can get you into trouble. If she’s struggled that day with a new skill or been frustrated by something, I will remind her of her successes – a new word she used, a problem she solved, a joke she told.

I tell her she’s pretty second, because I want her to be confident, and because society values appearances and I want her to be comfortable with not just who she is, but how she looks. And it’s not just ‘you’re cute’, either, I tell her she’s strong, and healthy, and does a good job brushing her teeth. I also sometimes tell her she’s got a fat head or a big butt and we laugh about it, so that she doesn’t take her flaws too seriously. But then I also let her know her hair smells nice, or that she has pretty eyes. We talk about how everyone is different, and how cool that is.

Lastly I let her know how proud I am that she’s a nice person. I always try to point out specific examples – good helping or listening, sharing with or being sympathetic to a friend (person or animal), a small kindness, or even just recognition of good manners. I value this above being pretty, but I know that she’s three and the last thing she hears is likely to be the thing that sticks with her. The big cruel world is filled with jerks and is going to knock her around plenty, but maybe if she can learn to acknowledge that and still see the good, it won’t seem so unfair. Plus, basic good citizenship seems to be underrated lately, and that makes me crazy.

Jellybean is lots of other things – she’s hilariously funny, crazy dramatic, an enthusiastic singer, a budding chef. She’s stubborn, and sunny, and much more patient than me. I do my best to let her know throughout the day that those are all the things that make her ‘her’, and that I love her for them. But at nighttime, while the house settles and we’re chin-to-chin under the covers, I like to take a few minutes to impress upon her what really sets her apart and makes her special, because I want her to grow up believing it just as much as I do. I think it’s one of the greatest gifts we give our kids, other than simply letting them know they’re loved every single chance you get. It’s similar to how you shouldn’t want someone to depend on you for their happiness – you want them to be happy just because. While I want Jelly to know that I think she’s awesome and the shining star at the center of my universe, I want her to likewise wholeheartedly think Hey – I AM awesome. Not just think it, but know it. And I hope this helps.