Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What's up, Doc

January 31, 2012 0 Comments

I wish sleep was something you could bank and dole out to yourself at times when you just haven’t had enough.  I don’t know exactly when it would be that I’d get the chance to put sleep in the bank for those ‘rainy days’…but I still wish it was a possibility!  I’m really suffering from T-I-R-E-D right now, can you tell?!  Andy is so much like his Momma, so I can’t blame him for his ways, but that boy just does not like to sleep…at least not for long…not without the insatiable need to pull my hair, ask for something to drink, pull my hair…and pull my hair some more.

This morning I took Andrew to a pediatrician.  He’s had some poop issues that I won’t get into, but that’s been going on for longer than what we would think to be ‘normal’.  We took him to our family doctor about a week ago and the doctor referred us to a pediatrician.  We were also told to take a poo sample to the lab, and have him GET A BLOOD TEST.

We put off both those things, because ultimately we’d have to get the blood test done if we took in the stool sample.  I was freaking out about the idea of making Andrew get blood taken.  Seriously, a 3 year old, getting a needle stuck in his arm and at least one vial of blood removed.  How do you honestly expect that to go?  I was worried he’d become traumatized by doctors, when as it stands right now he is the most brave and trusting person when it comes to his doctors’ appointments.  He’s downright amazing!  Totally just himself, not the least bit nervous.  He opens up to say, ‘Aaah’, let’s the doctor look in his ears, eyes, listen to his heart.  Today he even took proper deep breaths when asked, while the doctor listened!   He has always been super brave when getting his flu shots, but even though he might not have shed a single tear with the last one, I DID have to hold him very firmly, and obviously he didn’t LIKE getting the needle.  I know how I feel about getting blood taken and I’ve had it done more times than I can count.  So to put him through that for the first time at 3 years old…yikes.

Thankfully I felt the way I did about it – the pediatrician recommended holding off on that.  This sort of issue is apparently quite common in little ones, particularly after a cold or virus of some kind, which this issue did start as a result of when Andrew had his cold in December.  Our family doctor said that it was possible the boy had a food intolerance, but didn’t think it was all that likely since he doesn’t have any other symptoms, such as rash or complaining of a sore tummy.  In fact, even the poop issue doesn’t phase him at all, he’s always his usual happy-go-lucky self, bouncing off the walls.  The pediatrician confirmed this, and said that cow’s milk, as well as sugar, can prolong diarrhea, but wouldn’t be the direct cause given the lack of other issues.  So if we cut out milk and sugary things like apple juice for several weeks, he’s likely to be better faster…but the doctor said not cutting anything out, he’ll get back to normal, just taking a little longer to get there.  I’m cool with cutting back on things, but cutting out altogether is tough when there are only certain things he wants a lot of the time.  He eats fairly well balanced over all, but he’s at that age where he sometimes only wants certain things, and that’s just the way it is.  If you want to come over and tell him he can’t have a small glass of milk even though it’s the only thing in the world he desires, you be my guest!  But I think I might have some trouble laying down the law on those sorts of things, at least in an absolute way…

It was good to go to the appointment, even though it’s not like there was some sort of breakthrough – I pretty much felt it would go as it did.  I’m just relieved to get the OK to not get my boy having to give blood.  If in a month he’s still having issues, we might have to go that route, but I’m optimistic that it’s not going to come to that.  I’m determined that it’s not, because I hate the thought of putting my little guy through that! 

I wonder if one day they’ll come up with a super un-invasive way of taking blood so this sort of thing wouldn’t even be an issue?!

So today was Andrew at the doctor, and tomorrow it’s Moorka at the vet.  Unfortunately for her, she DOES have to give blood…I just hope it all comes back that she’s got something minor and easily fixed.  I just want our little family to be healthy and happy, kitty cats and all.

Monday, January 30, 2012

In human years, she's in her seventies...

January 30, 2012 0 Comments
Picture taken in 2005, a few months after we took Moorka in as our 'foster child.'

Our fluffball grey and white kitty, Moorka, isn’t doing so well.  It seems as though she has aged 100 years in the past couple of days.  To say it’s freaking me out is an understatement. 

She has a vet appointment on Wednesday.  I’m hoping the almost $400 we were quoted for blood tests will tell us she’s OK.  But given how fragile her spine feels to the touch, and how withered her face is looking, and how waddle-y she is when she tries to walk…I just don’t know.  It’s not helping that she seems to have a really bad cold – lots of sneezing, watery, goopy eyes.  She has taken to laying by her water dish but not drinking, looking at the food bowl but not eating, crying incessantly, in and out of the cat box…None of these are her usual behaviours.  She’s very affectionate, which was never a normal behaviour either, although in her older age she has become a lot more affectionate with anyone who will give her attention.   

She doesn’t appear to be in pain when we touch her, and she doesn’t try to hide from us or anything, which is a good sign.  Although I know from experience with James’ family cat Tinker, cats are hard to read when it comes to pain.  Her situation was very different in that she was vomiting and had other obvious signs of a major problem…but we only realized she wasn’t well THREE DAYS before we had to have her put down.  In hindsight there were some signs that could have led us to believe she was sick a lot earlier, but cats are so resilient and without being able to communicate with words, sometimes the warning signs can go unnoticed.  There’s still nothing we’d have been able to do for her, and I know we did the right thing when we said goodbye to Tinker…but I hate the thought of having to go through that again.  And with our Moogy, it just kills me…I love her so much!  Of course, we always love every cat we have for different reasons.  They’re all so unique and loveable in their own way.  It’s just…Moorka is extra special to me.  There’s just something about her.

I don’t want to get ahead of myself, as it seems as though I’m talking like she’s already gone.  Maybe the vet will have a great explanation for why she’s unwell, and a simple solution for keeping her going a long, long time.  The thing that worries me is that she’s 14.  And, like I said, she’s looking ancient all of a sudden.  Her spine isn’t suddenly going to go back to that of a kitten.  She’s an old girl, and obviously there’s something wrong with her.  I just can’t believe this is happening right now.

My bigger worry, beyond my own feelings around the possibility of losing her, is how it’s going to affect Andrew.  I know they say that you can’t properly grieve or understand real grief till around the ages of 7 or 8.  But Andrew is very intuitive.  I was talking to him about Moorka the other day, trying to prepare him in some small way.  He was jumping on the bed while she was trying to rest, so I explained that she’s not feeling well and we need to take extra good care of her.  He asked why she’s not well and I said that she’s old, and cats don’t get to live as long as humans do.  I said that she might be OK, but she might not, and if she’s not she wouldn’t be able to stay with us anymore.  I have NO IDEA if this is an appropriate way to talk to a young child about death.  I still question how I went about telling him we lost the baby, because it seemed to really affect him badly that it had to ‘go away’ and couldn’t stay with us.  But, really, what else could I have said but the truth?

He got his pursed lip pout thing when I said she might not be able to stay with us, and he said, ‘But she will come back.’  I said, ‘Well, maybe she’ll go where Emma and Tessa are and she can be with them.’  (He has already been through the loss of the spannies).  He told me he wants her to stay with us, instead.  I do too…

I hate the idea of my little boy having to face the loss of a loved one.  He ADORES his kitty cats, he talks about them all the time.  When he’s drawing pictures of his family, those cats are a top priority.  When we’re going out for the day, he will say, ‘I don’t want to go!’ and when I ask him why not, his reply is always, ‘Because I’ll miss the kitty cats.’  He arrived home from the hospital less than 24 hours after being born, and the kitty cats were there to greet him.  Moorka went up and sniffed at him, and I think Fifi even licked him.  They are his big sisters, and he’s so loyal to them.  I don’t want to feel the pain of losing either one of them, but I’d take all the pain in the world over Andrew having to feel it.  I know it won’t be the same for him, because his concept of death isn’t how it really is.  And I guess that’s a saving grace, because while he WILL be sad, he’ll go on with his daily routine essentially like nothing happened…That’s what he did when the girls (spannies) died – I could tell he knew it was sad, and he seemed to show some amount of grief, but then he was on to something else in no time at all.  It’s just that he still mentions them sometimes, Emma in particular since he got to know her better, and he’ll say things like, ‘I want her to come back.  I will pat her under her chin and she will give me kisses and SHE WILL COME BACK!’  Those sorts of things really tear at the ol’ heart strings! 

Hopefully Moorka still has a good chunk of time with us yet.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

In search of contentment

January 29, 2012 0 Comments

It’s 12:30am and yes, I’m still up.  SLEEP is a pattern I need to change.  Or should I say, start.  I feel like I don’t have a pattern to speak of, because the one I do have is not. good.

I want to try to be in bed by midnight starting tomorrow night, and try to be consistent about it.  Yes, it means losing an hour or so of time to myself in the evening.  But what do I really do with that time but fritter it away?  So it would be better spent resting, anyway.

I want to work at being as healthy as I can be.  Part of that means trying to consciously make the healthiest meals I can.  I tend to make relatively healthy meals most of the time, or so I believe, but I want to think more about everything when it comes to food and what I eat.  Being healthy also means getting more exercise.  I do get a fair bit in terms of walking, and chasing Andrew, carrying him, etc.  We run around a lot, dance together, get our heart rates up and all of that.  But I want to start (more routinely) running or doing yoga or SOMETHING beyond what I do normally.  It may have been enough before, the routine I’ve been in, but it’s not anymore.

I want to write more, read more, and be more active with doing things that in my mind I keep telling myself I’m going to do but don’t.  Or I start to do, but then falter, which is kind of the same as just not doing.  It’s time to stop talking the talk, but actually walk the walk, in various aspects of my life.

I need to be harsh with myself in the sense that I have to crack that whip and force myself to DO THINGS.  But I also have to be very mindful about being kind to myself.  Self care is so important.  Ever since I lost the baby, I’ve kind of bean beating myself up a little bit.  I’ve also been trying very hard to tell myself it wasn’t my fault, like everyone else says.  I’ve also made an effort to try to take the best care of myself that I can (or could, considering what I was going through) – I really have been TRYING to be calm, relaxed, unstressed – in hopes of another pregnancy happening soon.  And I AM still trying to be that way…but when I really think about it, I’m still very much beating myself up, maybe even sub-consciously.  It’s hard to explain.  No, I certainly did nothing INTENTIONALLY to harm my unborn child, and it’s true that it possibly WASN’T my fault that it happened.  But MY BODY did expel my baby, there’s no question there, and no matter how much time has gone by (3 months and 19 days) it still hurts so bad.  Not a day goes by that I don’t think about it.  I don’t understand my body, and I fear I never will.

BUT I have to work hard at being positive and remind myself that bad things happen sometimes, and maybe there is no explanation other than ‘just because.’  I have to remind myself that I can’t go back in time, and even if I could I would probably still be in the same boat now anyway.  I can’t beat myself up about it because that’s not going to change what happened.  I know that, and quite often I think I’m OK at practicing that, but the fact that I can’t seem to practice it all the time is a problem that I need to work on.

I want my life to start making more sense.  I think just focusing on what I can control, and sending out positive vibes while striving for contentment, well that’s pretty much all I can do.

Friday, January 27, 2012

A fresh 'do

January 27, 2012 0 Comments

I got my hair cut and coloured a few days ago and it feels GREAT.  When I look at myself in the mirror I feel like I still need to get used to it – it’s a big change – but I think I love it already.  It’s along the lines of a bob, very short in the back with still a bit of length toward the front.  Instead of straight bangs they’re very textured, which I’m hoping will make it easier when inevitably I end up trimming them myself because I can’t stand long bangs hanging into my eyes.  The colour is dark brown with red highlights, not that different from how it was, but definitely noticeable.  It feels so much lighter and more stylish.  I love how it feels like I have no hair at all.  I think it’s the perfect hair cut because my stylist didn’t even straighten it after blow drying because it honestly didn’t need it.  After Andrew was born I got a similar haircut and I remember it was the lowest maintenance hairstyle ever.  If I recall correctly, I vowed to keep it that way forever just because it was SO SIMPLE to deal with, yet still stylish.  It’s beyond awesome to get up in the morning and not have to do any primping!

My hair happens to be one of Andrew’s most prized possessions.  It might even be his #1!  I’m not kidding, since a verrry early age, my hair has been his security blanket.  He doesn’t have a blanky or a stuffed animal that he takes with him everywhere.  If he’s got my hair to grab a hold of, he’s good to go.  Which is probably one reason why our attempts to get him sleeping in his own bed have been unsuccessful.  He needs his security blanket when he wakes up in the middle of the night!  We’ve joked about me shaving my head and making my hair into a wig that we could place on his pillow so when he wakes in the night he’d reach out and think I was right there and go back to sleep!!

Because of Andrew’s obsession with my hair, I felt it was necessary to tell him in advance what I was getting done at the hair dressers.  He kept saying, ‘But WHY are you getting it cut?’ and ‘But you’re not cutting this part, or this part, or this part’ while grabbing pretty much every strand.  I promised him there would still be hair, just not quite as much.  He wasn’t thrilled with the idea, but he accepted that it was happening regardless of what he wanted.

When I went to my aunt’s after the appointment to pick him up, he touched my hair and said, ‘Why did you do that, Mommy?’  I told him I needed a change and he said, ‘It’s bootiful, Mommy.’  He touched the back and said, ‘I can’t hold it here,’ then he touched the sides and said, ‘But I still have this part and this part!’  :D

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Home is where the heart is...

January 26, 2012 0 Comments

Home is so important to me.  Some people can travel around, even live in places that are furnished with other people’s furniture, and essentially not think of any one place as ‘their’ home.  We might not own the place we live in, but I definitely see it as our home.  As much as I was talking in my last post of wanting to change up our routines a bit, I need a place to nest.  Nesting is right up there on my list of favourite things to do.  Don’t get me wrong - I love going out and exploring, getting fresh air, having a change of scenery and a sense of adventure.  I don’t like to be cooped up at home 24/7.  But for me, home truly is where the heart is.

Tomorrow our landlord is dropping by with a new one year contract for us to sign.  It’s hard to believe we’ve been living here almost a year already, it still feels so new in some ways.  I remember so clearly coming to look at the place for the first time, not wanting to fall in love with it because of how far away it seemed to be to everything compared to our place in Coal Harbour.  But we DID fall in love with it, pretty much instantly, and it hasn’t worn off at all.  We made an awesome decision when we decided to go for it, move back to the ‘burbs, and create a proper home-space for Andrew.  His bedroom could still be bigger, but it certainly beats the ‘storage closet’ (literally) that he had before!  And the yard space, beautiful greenery, and general quietness here is pretty much beyond my expectations.  Yes, our upstairs neighbour could be less of a night owl for my liking, but if that’s my only complaint, I’ll take it.

We also couldn’t be luckier with our landlords, truly.  I’d imagine it’s always a gamble, both for the tenants and the renters – when you meet someone they’re not necessarily going to be who you’d want them to be.  But I had a feeling from the first email exchange between me and our landlord that she was genuine.  They are so awesome that they’re not even giving us a rent increase, which makes me beyond happy!  In fact, I feel like celebrating that fact.  I’m sort of considering the idea of doing some painting in the condo to freshen it up.  Knowing we’re here guaranteed for another year, and the fact that we’ll be saving a bundle with not getting more added onto our monthly expenses through a rent increase, makes it seem not so bad to spend a little bit to do some updating.  I love the colour of this place already so I don’t think it would be a major change, but just something to make it feel newer.  Maybe it’s part of my plan to mix things up a bit, even if in just some small way.

I want to get one of those sun lamp thingies.  Anyone know anything about them, or have experience with using one?  I’m talking about those lamps that are supposed to actually simulate the sun, and can help with things like seasonal affective disorder.  I feel like this condo, while overall perfect, is a little dark…all the time.  I prefer it to how our last place was – so bright all the time that the only days I could have the blinds open through the afternoon was on the darkest, dreariest days.  I’d rather it be a little darker and be able to have the blinds open all day long.  I love looking out at the trees and almost feeling as if I’m in the middle of the forest somewhere.  But I do sometimes wonder if the darkness can affect me somewhat negatively, given how often I do tend to be at home.  So maybe one of those lamps would help with that, and brighten things up in here a bit?  I’ll have to look into it.

We weren’t sure if we wanted to sign another year lease, because why be locked into something when you never know exactly what you might want to do months down the line.  I try to live like I never know what tomorrow brings anymore, let alone months or a year.  I feel like even when I think I have security, I feel unstable these days.  Last year (in general) really screwed with my head that way.  But on the other hand, I can’t really see anything making us not want to be here anymore.  Not in the time frame of the next year.  And if anything, I DO feel secure knowing we won’t have to go anywhere in that span of time, because I’m so happy in this place.  I wish we could expand it ever so slightly…if there was one more room here, I could see us living here for a really long time.  But it fits us pretty perfectly for the time being.  While I’ve loved every place we’ve chosen to live since moving in together 13 years ago (all 4 of them), each for their own reasons – this is by far my favourite of them all.