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Thursday, April 10, 2014

FUNDING FOR IVF in Ontario!

I was going to discuss the great loss that we suffered, and then my surgery, but those posts will have to wait.
Today, we have fantastic news in the province of Ontario.

The provincial government has just, as of this morning, announced funding in the budget to the tune of millions (some reports say $85 million, others quote $50 million) for IVF. Funding will commence in 2015, and favour single embryo transfers. The funding will not include medications, but the procedure itself (frequently a cost of about $10,000 here in Canada) will be covered by the provincial health care plan, OHIP.

There are still a number of details unknown at this time (e.g., criteria to be accepted) but the end result is this: Funding IS forthcoming. And that's so much better than this province has seen for a number of years.

Hubby and I are too old now to benefit from this program, but we want others in Ontario to be able to look towards family building without the type of financial stresses that we felt when we were going through our treatments. We happen to live on the bank of the river that separates Ontario from Quebec; a province that has covered IVF since 2010. I will be honest and tell you that we debated long and hard about whether it was financially sound for us to move for a year or two in order to take advantage of the benefits that Quebec offers. So I am really glad to see Ontario is taking a step in the right direction.

For more information, peek at the links below.

Ontario proposes to pay for in vitro fertilization CBC
Ontario to fund in vitro fertilization The Star
Ontario to fund in vitro fertilization with a caveat—-one embryo at a time to cut risky multiple births National Post
Improving Access to Safe Fertility Treatments Ontario Government website

The organization I'm involved with, Conceivable Dreams, has been pressing this issue for years and we are so pleased to see this happen. I know many people who will be able to benefit from this initiative. It's their time to pursue their dream. May their road be a little less fraught with twists and turns than ours was, and this move will certainly help with that.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Ticker Info

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Two Weeks in Florida!

Our holiday was lovely. We spent a wonderful (if insane!) week with my family south of St. Pete's Beach. We have a spot we love to go there and this time, with everyone going to be there together, we rented a larger three-bedroom condo. Mom and Dad took one room, and Petite slept on a cot in the corner of their room. Hubby and I had a room and my sis, her hubby and my nephew took the third room with the king size bed. Two full bathrooms and a deck and parking out front and we had lots of space.

Well, lots of space, yes. But the noise! Oh dear heavens. I think it was enough to addle baby Jesus himself! Eeesh! As my mom said, next time, we get two places so there's somewhere for her and my dad to go to get away from the insanity that happens to be life with young children! I figured it might be a tad too much for them to handle. I was absolutely right.

Regardless, we had a fun time visiting the beach and just enjoying time together. We took the kids up the strip to the ice cream shop. That was a special treat. The two kids got along so well it was really nice. They played pretty well together, except for the fact that Petite is older and can, naturally, do things that my nephew is not yet able to do. I think he was a bit frustrated by that. He threw a fit now and then... typical for the "Terrible Two's." We all survived though. He's a sweet little guy. I think he too found it a bit much; with Nana and Poppy's attention divided between two grandchildren, I don't know how much he enjoyed that aspect of things.


For the second week, we drove up to Orlando and rented a house with our friends who flew in from California. We picked up the groceries and found the house, got ourselves settled and waited for them. We were a bit turned off because the promised "heated pool" and "spa" certainly wasn't working as it was supposed to. Not cool. We called a bunch of times and never did get satisfactory resolution for the entire week. We also had to call to remind them about the BBQ that we'd rented for the week. However, other than those two issues, the property was lovely. Hubby and I had a room. Petite had a room. Our friends had a room and their kids (twins) shared a room. All the kids had their own queen sized beds. It was lovely. Three bathrooms. Pool. Spa. Deck. And beautifully decorated. We loved it.


While in Orlando, we hit a few of the parks. Of course we took Petite to the Magic Kingdom! Her very first visit! She loved it. We did a breakfast with the Princesses in Cinderella's Castle too! Such fun! Petite was in awe. We rode on so many of the rides, starting with It's a Small World and finishing the evening at the raceway. Petite rode on that four times I think. One minor glitch; my girlfriend lost her husband's cell phone but retracing our steps, we found it! Whew! He was nervous about that. Understandably so! We were in the park from 9 a.m. to 11:15 p.m. and Petite had the stroller to relax in for much of the day. She was a real trooper. She only crashed and fell asleep on our way out of the park around 11:00 p.m. Not bad for four years old!


Two days later we hit Animal Kingdom. While I've been to Magic Kingdom at least 15 times, this was my first visit to Animal Kingdom. It was... okay. Not as splashy or as fun-filled as Magic Kingdom, but still a good way to spend the day. We did a few rides, saw lots of birds and animals, and had a spectacular brunch at Tusker House where we got to meet four characters! Excellent food. Great atmosphere. And time with Mickey to boot! YAY! Admittedly, Florida was in the midst of a cold snap and we had blankets and sweatshirts during our day in Animal Kingdom. They were definitely needed.








We took a night to go to Medieval Times as well. Flying hawks. Horses and swordplay. A great meal that the kids got to eat with their hands! And Petite got herself a princess tiara at the end of the show. It was loads of fun. My buddy and his wife were in their element. It was loads of fun.

Their family took a day to go to LegoLand too. We went out to do some shopping; I had some vitamins and things to pick up for post surgery and we wanted to check out the stuff in the shops and stores, and see a few sights.


During the trip, I started my Optifast. It was the prescription liquid diet that I needed to take for three weeks prior to surgery. It consists of four shakes a day, supplemented by broth, sugar free jello and sugar free popsicles, decaf tea, flavoured water and absolutely NOTHING else. I confess, I had four meals while on Optifast. Two meals were nothing but grilled steak. Two meals were grilled salmon with steamed broccoli. Those four meals were absolutely delicious! It was lovely. And the night before I started the Opti, we went to Cody's... the most incredible steakhouse we have ever had the pleasure to find. They had a T-bone steak on sale and I polished that off with pinache! Yummy!!!

Other than that, the Opti wasn't that hard. I managed. The goal of the three week liquid diet is to shrink the liver. Because the liver sits so close to the stomach, when doing the surgery there is a risk of nicking the liver with the surgical tools. So by shrinking the liver there is less of a risk.

We enjoyed the vacation, but it was marred upon our return by a huge loss.

That's for the next post...

Thanks for reading everyone. Next up, the incredible loss we suffered, preparations for Nana and Poppy, and my surgery.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Vacation, Have to Get Away

... with apologies to the Go-Go's for changing the verb tense!

We are very much looking forward to escaping winter temps that have seen our city colder than The North Pole for many days in the last month. Brrr. Yes, we hit the -40C mark (which is also -40F by the way for my American readers) on a number of occasions. And yes, that's damn cold. Enough. We had more than half of the snow that we usually get in the season before Winter officially started! Good God! Nuts or what?!

So it is with great happiness we are eyeing Saturday with glee and delight. We are leaving for two weeks on holidays to the sunny south. The first week we are hooking up with my mom and dad, my sis, BIL and nephew, and my aunt. I cannot wait to see the kids playing together. I can't wait to see Mom and Dad and my aunt. I'm looking forward to seeing my sis and BIL; Hubby hasn't seen my BIL in YEARS and the boys like to get together now and then.

The second week, we drive to Orlando and hook up with friends of ours from California whom we haven't seen since I was pregnant with Petite! That will be so much fun. We are hitting Disney's Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Medieval Times. With some time in there for swimming, carousing and general fun of course.

My stepson has moved in; this became official at the end of December. I think he's doing pretty well here. I hope so anyway. And Petite is soooo happy to have her big brother in the house! They get along really well and he's fantastic with her. Bless his heart. He's a good kid.

My surgery is quickly approaching. The date has been set for VSG on February 3. I'll be off for the entire month of February to recover. Mom and Dad will fly in on February 1 (my stepson's birthday as it so happens) and they will stay with us for two weeks to help out. I'll be pretty weak for a bit. To be expected. My goal is to lose about 140-160 pounds. I am going to do my best to use the chance and the tool that I will be given to the absolute fullest. Keep your fingers crossed! This will get fun!

I start the pre-op liquid diet (Optifast) while we are in Florida. Ugh. That's a bit of a downer, but you know something? I'm not stressing over it one little bit. It will all be well worth it. And I look forward to what that means for me in the long run. It doesn't matter, not one little bit. I think I'm going to miss having a glass of wine by the pool or something, but other than that, I'll do just fine. Definitely.

The Opti lasts for three weeks; upon our return from FLA, I have one week at work before surgery. And I have to do my pre-admission appointment as well. That will take a few hours but I'm sure it's nothing I haven't experienced before. I just dread the possibility that they will do bloodwork! *shudder* Oh you know how much I hate THAT crap!!

Petite has just started her second level of swimming classes (Salamander) and the instructor was surprised; he truly thought she had done the class before! He says she is really very good. I'm glad to hear that. I will work with her while in Florida in the pool to practise her various floats, kicks and push-offs. Never know... she may end up in competitive swimming like me and my sister were!

Gotta run; I've spent the evening taking over 1300 photos off my iPhone so I can finally install the latest IOS and do over 60 updates to the apps. I really need to clear a few gigs of space on that thing! Sheesh!

Love and hugs to all in blogland! I hope to post before surgery and let you know how things are going!

Monday, December 09, 2013

All the Goings-On in Our House!

We're getting through the insanity of the Christmas season one day at a time.

Petite was sick a few weeks ago. She picked up a bug from her cousin and just couldn't shake it. What started as a low-grade fever progressed to lethargy, a cough, a headache, a snotty nose, and finally an ear infection, over the duration of about 11 days. After the third visit to the GP, she looked at us and said, "Wow, I never see you guys THIS often." Finally on that third visit, she found the ear infection and prescribed antibiotics. Within 24 hours, Petite was a new child; it was remarkable. Honestly, I was figuring that if our doc still hadn't found anything by that third visit, I was going to enlist a second opinion. Petite missed 8.5 days of school and really, watching her temp range between 99 and 101 for those 11 days was NOT fun. Poor girl.

She's recovered nicely since then. However then Hubby got it. Between the time he needed to take off to watch her while she was sick, and the time he needed for himself to tend to a rattling chest cough, he took a bit of a financial hit. He's making that up this week with some overtime at work. They're busy, so he may as well get something out of it.

And he has since recovered too. However, it's my turn. For the past 8 days or so, I've got a chesty cough and sinus trouble. I really need to see a doc now, as I'm prone to pneumonia and sinus infection but I'm struggling to find the time. I cannot get there tomorrow. Nor Wednesday. Possibly Thursday. We'll see.

Like I said, one day at a time.

Christmas is fast approaching and because of our conflicting schedules, Hubby and I have very little done. I'm either at work myself or caring for Petite. It's crazy.

The last few weeks though, my 17-year old stepson has come to stay with us pretty much every weekend. He's frustrated with living at his mother's right now and he's finally decided to take the plunge and move in with us. That will happen just after Christmas. I am looking forward to having him in the house. And I know Petite is too!

She will have to give up her playroom (essentially the spare bedroom) and we'll move her toys downstairs to the basement. She is old enough to come and go down there now so she's fine playing there. It's been hard because with only her and me in the house, she wants to play near me while I'm cooking dinner or clearing up, or whatever, in the evenings. With her big brother in the house, she is fine to play near him instead and they'll set themselves up downstairs I expect. We'll see how it goes.

So Christmas happens, then my stepson moves in, and then we head south for a two-week holiday. The first week will be with my parents and my sister, BIL and nephew, all together in a big condo near the beach. CANNOT wait. I last saw my nephew in May of last year for a quick visit. I truly do not recall the last time I saw my BIL though. And Hubby hasn't seen my BIL in... oh wow... AGES. The boys will have fun together. As will the kids! We are all looking forward to it.

The second week we are driving up to Orlando and renting a house there with our friends from California, whom we haven't seen since the spring of 2009 when I was pregnant with Petite. These are good friends of ours and we FaceTime frequently and for a very long time, we gamed together. We will hit the theme parks (Petite's first visit to the Magic Kingdom!) and do a few things up there, relaxing in the house pool when we are looking for downtime. That will be a fun-filled week.

Upon return, I will have one week at work. Followed by my parents' arrival in early February. Followed by VSG surgery on February 3. I will be off work from February 3 to March 3 inclusive, recovering from major surgery and learning to eat again. And learning to get enough water, protein, vitamins and minerals into my body with the new limitations of a tiny stomach.

There you have it. Our plans for the next few months. As always, busy, busy, busy!

In the meantime, I thought you might wish to see this. Petite's first school photo. When I sent her off to school that morning, I had no idea how on earth her pic would come out! I envisaged messy hair, dirt on her face, stains on her clothing, etc. I was pleasantly surprised to have a lovely pic that I will cherish for many years to come!


Lots of love to you all in blogland! 

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Birthday Balloons and Surgery Upcoming

November 6 would have been my Aunt B's 79th birthday. We lost her last summer when she was 77 after a very short 6-week illness. It was a shock. It still is, quite frankly. There are still days here and there when the phone rings and for a split second, the thought runs through my brain, "Oh, it must be Aunt B; haven't heard from her in awhile." And then a moment after that, "Damn. That won't happen. There are no phones in heaven." About once a month, Petite says something like, "I wish Aunt B could come down and visit us." Or "Can we Facetime with Aunt B too, like with Nana?" Not easy.

Anyway, to commemorate her birthday, just like we do for the day she died, we let some helium balloons soar into the skies to carry our birthday wishes up to her.


Me and Petite with birthday balloons for Aunt B

Love you Aunt B. You shall always be remembered because we will never forget. *blows a kiss*


VSG Surgery Update
Yesterday I went to the pre-surgery information class at the hospital. It was a duration of a couple of hours to discuss what our pre-surgery liquid diet was like, restrictions post-surgery, diet post-surgery, types of food phases we need to work through over a period of months, etc. Honestly, there wasn't a whole lot there that I didn't already know from being a member on the forums on www.obesityhelp.com. I did learn the lifting restrictions are 10 lbs and less only for 4-6 weeks. I learned more about the types of vitamins and supplements that are required post-surgery. I know that I can purchase half vanilla and half chocolate of the pre-surgery liquid diet. 

And I learned that I cannot travel for 4 weeks post surgery. That means that likely, my surgery will not happen until I return from the trip down south in January. I know right now they are scheduling surgeries for early December. The 4-week no travel restriction would already interfere with my trip so we will sit tight on stuff and I'll have it done when I get back. Not to worry. 

Next up is my appointment with the surgeon. That is next week. When you get this far in the process, usually surgery is about 4-6 weeks after that appointment so I know I'm progressing through the entire screening program they've established. I'm so ready to get this show on the road! Anxious and excited. Kind of like how I felt when I was doing the IVF. Not quite as nervous I suppose... seems to me that the IVF determined more of what my future would look like. 

I mean, while this surgery is (hopefully!) going to do the same, all I've ever known is my current weight, so even the concept of imagining myself at a lower weight is unknown. Definitely the road not travelled. I've never seen myself like that because I've never been like that. Yesterday in the class, people spoke about surgery and weight loss permitting them to do some activities again, like they used to when they were thin/average. I couldn't contribute anything like that. I have nothing like that to look back on. 

They tell us to browse through magazines, determining our own style post-surgery; what sorts of clothes to buy, how to re-image yourself. I cannot fathom that sort of thing because I've never in my life been a normal weight. I stopped looking at fashion and style when I was about 13 or 14, because by then, I was already in plus sizes. So after surgery, I expect I'll be the one wearing my same baggy clothing until it falls off me... literally! We shall see.

Hope all are well out there in Blogland. Boy, I have to catch up with my reading... so much happening with you all!

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Photo Updates for You

Some of the things and goings on in our world of late.

Bonavista Bay, July 29, 2013

Pizza Girl! (August 2013)

Sleeping Beauty, August 2013

She's off to school! (August 29, 2013)

Faeries (Playing with her friend)

Faeries

Smudge, 18 years (September 2013)

Shadow, 18 years (September 2013)

She got up here all by herself! When did she get to be so big?!

Rarely has my name been misspelled quite so badly! LOL

Swimming classes (September 2013) 

My 1st Parent-Teacher Night! (September 2013)

Lacy Sky (October 1, 2013)

Sunrise (October 1, 2013)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Decisions, First Day of School, and (gulp!) Surgery!

It's been almost one year since we made the decision not to cycle again and try for a sibling for Petite. We are, for the most part (98%), sure of that decision... and now and then I think, "What if?" There will always be part of me that wonders what theoretical baby #2 would be like, but alas, we shall never know. We have chosen to be grateful and very thankful for the little girl that we do have and we are enjoying her and moving on.

This year, Petite turned four. And two days after her birthday, she started Junior Kindergarten. Yes indeed. All-day school for my girl. She finished at the daycare (as did two other little girls her age, as they were all starting school) and she has made the transition to school. So far, so good. It does mean that Hubby and I are saving the daycare money and putting it towards the debt and various other things. Hubby takes the morning, ensuring that Petite gets up, washed, dressed, has breakfast and then he takes her to school. I now work from 6:50 a.m. to 2:50 p.m. and I leave promptly at that time to drive from the south of the city back to the area where we live so as to arrive on time to pick Petite up at 3:45 when school lets out. We're home by 4. And these days, she's tiring out earlier and heading to bed by about 8:30. We're working to move her bedtime back a bit as she needs more sleep, but as always, and since infancy, she HATES to go to bed. Nothing changes!

For me, the drive to work and the drive home is exponentially longer; while there was movement afoot to try to keep me where I was, the Harper government's "Deficit Reduction Action Plan," or DRAP, meant that money was being cut all over the place. They cut a number of positions (funded positions, that now can no longer be filled) from the Branch where I was. And further cuts come next year, as of April. While the money was available at the moment, as of April, it would not be. Added to the fact that at my substantive position, they needed someone with my skills, and voilà, my substantive supervisor requested to have me back there. Ugh. Not only do I hate the drive, but jeez, the work is mind-numbing. Not challenging. I hate the environment. Morale sucks. There is a total lack of transparency and good faith. It's terrible. I've actually contemplated taking a leave of absence and just putting the house up for sale, and moving to the east coast, back near my family, and living on my RRSPs until I find something. Not realistic is it?

I've searched high and low for work. EVERY single job that I am qualified for with the federal government on the east coast is restricted in the "Area of Selection" to (a) people that live and/or work in the area already and/or (b) people that work for a specific government department. That means that anyone else across Canada who wants to relocate to a different province is shafted. So essentially regular members and civilian members have the option to relocate based on compassionate and family needs, but public servants? Yeah, you can f*ckin' whistle dixie. You're stuck. No possible way. I've searched for 5+ years now and it's damned frustrating. Even my HR is of no help. They suggested that I send out my resume to various departments in the province and ask to get on a deployment/secondment/assignment list so that when something comes up, they might possibly consider me. Nice... Colour me angry.

Hubby had applied for a good job in NB and qualified beautifully for it. Unfortunately he received a letter yesterday thanking him for applying but another candidate was chosen. We don't know why yet; I suspect it's a location factor, as in, they do not want to have to foot the bill for a move and thus they chose someone who lives there already. Frustrating as all get out.

That said, if Hubby were to get something, and had to go, it would mean I need to seek out daycare again so I can make sure Petite gets to and from school on time.

And as well, it would mean Hubby wouldn't be here for my surgery.

Yes,  you read that right. Surgery.

That is the decision I'd made that I had alluded to in this blog previously. In fact, it's bariatric surgery. Stomach surgery. I am most of the way through the year-long process at this point to have either Roux-en-Y or Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery in the fall/winter to reduce the size of my stomach and essentially, reset my metabolism, giving me a chance, however slim it might be, of getting myself down to a 'normal' size.

I've been overweight all my life. I first went on Weight Watchers when I was 10 years old. I've done a number of things through my life to try to lose weight, but at each turn, I'm failing. Shakes. Pills. Exercise. Ketosis diets. Low-carb diets. Low-fat diets. Weight Watchers (Lord knows how many times!). You name it, I've likely tried it. But all around me, I see the same thing. Failure after failure. Many people lose significant amounts of weight, and most of them put it all back on. And more. And that's hard. My m.o. is to lose about 20-40 pounds, maintain awhile, and it creeps back. My weight has been stable for years. Even with Petite, I only gained 9 pounds through the pregnancy, and with birth, lost about 40, only to have that come back after 5-6 months. Now, people tell me I am losing. They say they can see it. But I'm not. I'm more toned possibly because I drink a protein shake every morning for breakfast and I exercise almost daily. But I'm not losing an ounce.

And I need to lose about half of my body weight to be in a 'normal' weight range. HALF. Really? Yup. You bet. One-half of my body weight needs to be gone. Sure, I'm relatively healthy and active. I don't do caffeine. I rarely do soft drinks (pop). I do 1% milk, and Greek yogourt, lean meats, lots of fruit and veggies and enough water to float the Queen Mary! I exercise. I get out and about. I don't have high cholesterol, diabetes, sleep apnea, etc. Yet nothing I do makes a darn bit of difference. And I want to make sure that I am THERE for the little girl we worked so darn hard to have. While I'm not experiencing any life-threatening illnesses now, who is to say they're not lurking in my 50s and they won't catch me later on? By doing this now, while I am young, and active, and ready, I am nipping it in the bud and making sure I am doing the utmost I can for me, my health, my family, and my future.

It was broached to me by our RE in fact. He suggested I have it done before doing IVF. But I had researched it already; after surgery you cannot get pregnant for 18 months to two years. Time was not on our side as I was 38 when we did our IVF. I didn't want to wait until I was 40 to do the IVF and then find out my FSH was miserable. I told him that as long as I was relatively healthy, I needed to do the IVF first. At least TRY it to see. And look!? It got us Petite. In contemplating baby #2, it was a decision of either we do an IVF, or Gil gets to look into bariatric surgery. We opted for the latter, given my age and our risks. (And I won't lie... our finances.)

I was worried about the fact that in Ontario, Roux-en-Y is the usual surgery performed. Essentially they make a tiny pouch out of your stomach and move your pyloric valve from the bottom of your normal stomach to the bottom of that tiny pouch. In moving that valve, you are no longer able to take NSAIDs. And that would be a dealbreaker for me; I rely on NSAIDs to control my psoriatic arthritis. This arthritis is not degenerative, but it is inflammatory. NSAIDs do the job and my Rheumatologist was concerned that without them, I would be crippled. He recommended that instead of Roux-en-Y, I have a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG). In that surgery, they leave the pyloric valve where it is, and cut away most of the excess pouch of your normal stomach, leaving a narrow, banana-shaped stomach instead. With VSG, I can still take NSAIDs.

The process takes about one year. I spoke to my GP before we went on the cruise. At the end of January. She completed the referral, and sent it off to the Bariatric Registry. In the meantime, she ordered a lung functioning test and some blood work (ugh!). The hospital that I will go through contacted me and invited me to an information session in April and ordered additional blood work (more ugh). Then I had an appointment in July with a nurse who determined that I did not need a stomach scope (no sign of ulcers) and no colonoscopy either. She also said I did not need a sleep study; although I snore when extremely tired or sick, I do not snore on a regular basis and my neck circumference does not indicate apnea. At the end of July, my Rheumatologist wrote the letter indicating VSG is preferred for me (both are covered by OHIP in Ontario). This week, I had an abdominal ultrasound, to measure stomach, kidneys, etc. That info will get to my doctor next week. And also earlier this week, I was cleared by the Behaviourist and the Dietitian. I've already given up drinking at and around mealtimes, drinking with a straw, and I've cut back significantly on my intake of pop, opting for water predominantly, or juice. The Dietitian wants me to take my iron pills with Vitamin C at night. And she wants me to change my protein powder and my daily vitamins. Easy to do. Next up at the end of October is an echocardiogram to verify the status of my heart murmur, which was diagnosed when I was 18. After that will be a post-operative class, and then meeting the surgeon, get my pre-surgery liquid diet (a prescription) and I will be assigned a surgery date.

We are halfway hoping that surgery will be by early December. We have a holiday booked in the south for January and it would be really nice to have it all over and done with and be on the road to a new me by then. I am not sure yet how it will all pan out. But I am determined to make it work. I am stubborn. I didn't give up when I was dealing with all the blows of infertility, and damned if I'll give up now. It's time. It's time to do this for me. And I can't wait.

Speaking of time, it's time to get Petite in bed. She starts a new gymnastics class in the morning and on Tuesday, a brand new swimming class. Should be fun! Wish us luck.

For your enjoyment... Petite's first day of school.


Love to all in blogland.

P.S. More on the rest of our summer next time. Promise. I'm going to try to be more diligent! Bear with me.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Remember Them as They Should be Remembered

A heartbreaking blog entry from the mom of a beautiful stillborn girl in my home province. 

http://everleerose.com/2013/06/13/recognize-her/

There but for the grace of God...

More to follow. I'm pretty swamped these days but I need to write more. I miss it. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Latest and Greatest in our World

I know I rarely get time to post here, but I did want to follow up and tell you what's going on in our lives at the moment. We're back from our cruise and just dealing with the rest of the winter season as we hope to see spring soon. (Oh we so hope!)

Cruise
We had a really enjoyable holiday. The big surprise was that my parents showed up to surprise us! They were at the hotel when we arrived in Miami and they were booked to go on the cruise with us.

Mom and Dad with Petite


In Miami, we did some shopping (Dolphin Mall) and went to eat at a couple of spots. We were looking forward to The Outback but we didn't have a good meal there, unfortunately. However a meal at a mom-and-pop Italian spot across from the hotel was to die for! Yum!

On February 4, we boarded the Carnival Victory (thank goodness it wasn't the Triumph! Yikes!) and that evening, we set sail from Miami en route to Nassau.

On deck for sailaway, you can see the slide, sunning areas,
and the big screen that played shows and movies all through the trip. 

Miami as we set sail.

February 5, Nassau -- We spent the day at the Atlantis Resort. WOW!

Atlantis as seen from the ship while we are docking.


Petite enjoying Atlantis.

No fear!

One of the many slides in Atlantis.
I'd love to go back there when Petite is older so we can all enjoy more of the rides!


February 6, Half Moon Cay (Carnival's and Holland America's private island)

K&K at the entrance to Half Moon Cay


Petite and her big brother; we had rented this cabana for the day and it was absolutely lovely! 

The Carnival Victory as seen from our cabana.

The kids on the beach; a sand castle takes shape.

February 7, Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos -- the adults had booked a snorkelling expedition through a private company

Hubby on board one of the skiffs from Blue Water Divers; en route to our snorkelling sites. 

Me and K snorkelling (thanks to Chris from Blue Water Divers for taking this photo!). If you are in Grand Turk,
Blue Water Divers is THE place to go for private dives and snorkelling expeditions. 

The sea floor as seen from about 12 feet above. 

A very good shot of "The Wall" in Grand Turk; the sea floor drops from about 30 feet to over 7000 feet!
This is an example of how quickly the dropoff can occur! 


February 8, at sea

Petite hugs one of the decorative octopi on board. 

Lady Liberty! By the end of the cruise, Petite was handing napkins to every server in sight and saying,
"Make something please!" It was pretty funny. They all adored her though. 



On Saturday, February 9, we disembarked at Miami and after seeing Mom and Dad off at the airport, we headed to our hotel for one day. We got settled in and we were all pretty tired so just took it easy for the day. We were up bright and early on Sunday, February 10 to fly home and we made it home by about 8 p.m. Back to the snow and cold... brr.

A HUGE shout-out and thank-you to our neighbours, M&M across the street, who graciously agreed to take care of our elderly cats while we were away. They're the most incredible people and we DO have a little something for you both for your kindness. Thank you both.


Work
There is movement afoot to attempt to retain me at my current location, which is spectacular. I love the more hands-on work that I do, in the technical side of the house. And the guys that I work with are wonderful. We have a new manager as of January and he's been quite fantastic as well. All in all, it's a good turn of events. We shall see how it all pans out. Oh I'm still looking for a job at home in NL; however, everything that suits me is restricted to those who are already in the area or employed by a specific organization AND living in the area. Ugh. Thus my options are extremely limited.

Milestones!
Petite is officially a 'big girl'! She put all her soothies and her soothie clips under her pillow the other day and was rewarded handsomely! The Soothie Fairy came to take her soothies and bring them to babies who need them, and she left Petite exactly what she had asked for... a teddy bear. My little girl is growing up before my eyes. It's wonderful.

Petite with her "Woobie," the bear the Soothie Fairy left for her! 

Next Steps
And I've undertaken my next rather MASSIVE goal. More to come on this in future posts. Suffice it to say, it involves big changes and I've spoken to my GP who is definitely on board. With luck, I will clear all the hurdles on my way towards achieving this one. I'm stubborn, so I think I can hang in there! 

Love to all in blogland!