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Dany's Journal
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It's been a while... better and worse 12-03-2008 - 08:20 PM
It's so typical of my journalling habits: I get into it, journal regularly and then, for some unknown reason, just give up for a while... and then return... again, for som unknown reason.

That said, as time goes by, I've been feeling both better and worse: better, because I simply have to move on. That's life and, I guess, it's a good thing. Worse, because it's X-Mas, his birthday (on the 10th), DD's birthday on 18th and it's all getting to me. I'm soooooo not in the holliday spirit, have nothing done and really don't feel like doing anything... except, for the kids' sake, I have to!!

Saturday, I'm going to this evening called "My first Christmas Without You". It's put together by a bereavement support group and is supposed to be really beneficial. I'm both looking forward to it and fearing it. I guess it's normal.

Yesterday, I totally lost it and was weeping in the bus. The girl in front of me was looking at me as though I was an allien.. and I felt awful but couldn't help it. I hate this feeling of loss of control... but, then again, I understand that it's normal.

Today is better, though I've been feeling very lightheaded. I'm seeing my doctor next week about those dizzy spells. Hopefully, she'll have answers for me though I'm sure it's only stress.

The one thing that reassures me is that, with all the firsts I'll be facing in a very short time, I'll be over a lot of firsts and, hopefully, things will improve.
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Memorial Day... time to remember.... 11-11-2008 - 12:01 PM
I really don't know why I do this to myself... but I do it

This morning, I watched the Memorial Day ceremonies held in Ottawa (it's where I work and I could have been there in person.... though I've never been ). As always, and even more so since :Canada: has lost so many young men and women to conflict in Afghanistan, it was extremely moving... and beautiful. Of course, I cried through the whole thing... thinking not only of those who died serving this country, but of my ((((DH))))) and (((((daddy)))))) who are not here to share this moment with me. Let's just say, it was a very emotional morning!!!

Now that the morning, and emotions, are gone, I can move on to the rest of my day: continue writing those cards, put away the laundry that's been piling up and start supper (chicken caciatore ). And I get to make extras of the chicken: we have a pot-luck at work and I volunteered an italian meal (the theme is foods of the world ).

Yes, it's hard to move on and continue living: I feel as though I'm betraying him... though I know he wouldn't want me to give up living.
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I thought today would be harder than it's been... 11-10-2008 - 01:42 PM
Today, I picked up the memorial cards and was dreading it: when I approved the proofs, I broked down when I saw his picture with the dates underneath

But it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I think that I have to thank the wonderful funeral parlor I chose: they've been soooo supportive, professional and yet, they have a way of making it all seem normal. For instance, when I went in today I was introduced to their cute little mascott: a 9 year-old very pampered Shi-Tzu named "Toutoune" I feel in love, but won't let my goofy Golden know. Just petting her was balm on my heavy heart.

I plan on writing up the majority of the cards today and tomorrow... though there are a lot to do: between family, friends, co-workers (his and mind) and others who've been there for us, it all adds up. I may even have to put a notice in the local papers, since a majority of people didn't sign the book, but have been there for us both through his short illness and after he left.

We also have to finish closing the pool for winter (just have to put the tarp on) and have to put away such things as the bikes, extensions, etc. I guess I'll also take advantage of this and take out the winter implements... even though I don't want Winter to ever come.

MIL went out and bought a dozen roses: 4 are sitting on this desk, beside his photo and the rest she's taking up to her bedroom. I think it was a very touching gesture on her part

And yes, I do think that this site, as always, is a God send It's my safe harbor and has been since I joined, over 8 years ago
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Yes, I do have conversations with him :) 11-08-2008 - 04:25 PM
Yes, I do have conversations with my DH. In fact, I now have a lot more conversations... though they are, unfortunately, one-sided... than I used to, because I have the impression that he's ALWAYS with me... In fact, I'm convinced that he is always with me. And they help... but I miss his voice, his hands on mind and just knowing that he's there.

And, yes, I'm still, very much, in shock. And very much in denial. I've read somewhere that this our body's way of protecting us... by allowing us to compute only what we can compute without falling to pieces.

Where the support groups are concerned: the X-Mas evening is on December 6th (God, don't know how I'll manage December, with all it's birthdays (his, DD's) as well as the holidays: he was the one who had all the ideas for the gifts!!!). Where the 11 week support group is concerned: you have to be at 4 months into the grief process. That's to ensure that you can share and really participate. This means that I'm eligible in January. I should be able to hold off until then: I just have days when it's harder... and this week I had several of the days.

Today, I'm feeling better, which is unusual during the week-end. But I'll take it
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I do have support... but... 11-07-2008 - 09:58 PM
Reading the comments ( all ), I wanted to address some of the concerns:

- I do have support... but I'm not good at asking for help. Just as an example: I need someone to fill in a document, testifying to the fact that we were a couple and I want to ask his cousin, who's also a wonderful friend. I also want to ask him to help me with a few other things... help he's offerred... and I can't bring myself to call him. I will tomorrow, since the papers need to be filled in for me and the kids to get his pension fund.

- I have not discussed this with my doctor, but I am signed up for a few support group activities. We have a berievement organization in our city and they hold group therapy for the berieved. For those of us grieving a spouse, it's an 11 week program. MIL and I are also signed up for an evening called "My first X-Mas without you". Both groups are supposed to bring tons of help.

If I continue to feel this way, I will ask for a referral to a grief counsellor: I simply can't go on this way. Nothing is getting done... except my job.

I have booked Monday off: Tuesday is a day off for us (Memorial Day) and Monday is a PD day, so it should help and allow me to catch up on my sleep.

I just feel that if I could have a shoulder to cry on... but not the shoulder of someone who's grieving just as much as I am... I could move on and get to the next phase

BTW, yes, I feel guilty when I breathe, when I laugh, when I enjoy myself... because he can't do any of those things anymore!!! Tonight, I was feeling such anger towards my DS because he was having such a good time!!! I didn't express the anger, but it was just about the strongest feeling I've had since this whole nightmare started!!!! And I feel guilty for feeling that towards my poor baby.

Oh... I don't know how to do this. Nothing prepared me for this. I just can't believe that I'm here, sitting in this house, with no DH and 2 kids to raise who no longer have a daddy!!! Not when their DD was busy fretting around the yard only 3 months ago!!! It just can't be true!!! Why did this happen to him? To my wonderful DH? He'd never even been sick before!!! How can this have happened?

I don't know what to do. Rest and get it out of my system? Work myself ragged so I don't have time to think or feel? Or find something in the middle that will allow me to get some rest and to work things through while also giving me a chance to numb myself a good deal of the time so I can breathe?

The problem is that I'm OK while I'm at work ... most of the time... as long as I'm busy... and I'm really busy... but feel the pain, the loss, the grief the minute I'm out of the building and heading for the bus.... and I can't seem to be able to shake it until I fall asleep after taking a sleeping pill. I don't know how long I'll be able to stand this!!

Hopefully, it's just a phase and I'll soon be moving on to a more comfortable phase of grieving
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It's really starting to sink in... and it's harder to act normally 11-06-2008 - 06:32 PM
The past few days have been very hard: it's really starting to sink in that he's gone and won't be coming back. And, because I can't hide.... or it's harder to hide.... it's a lot harder!!!!

I think I'm falling appart: I've been having lots of heartburns, trouble sleeping and dealing with fatigue in addition to the permanent lump in my throat. I thought I was coming down with a cold but it looks like it's more likely that my body is feeling the shock and stress and the major upheaval I've been through in the past few months.... and it's sending me a message

And I sooooo don't want to take more time off of work: between the time I was off when we found out about the cancer spreading to his liver, the time I was off after his death and the time off trying to settle everything, I'm afraid of running out of leave .... and being at work grounds me in normalcy. Unfortunately... it also prevents me from resting.

I don't know what to do... and what the best approach is. And I do love my job and my co-workers - I could I not love them? They fed me and have been mothering me and supporting me

And it doesn't help that the arthritis is flaring and that my DD accidently kicked me in the knee that is acting up the worse So, no only is my tummy upset, my head aching, my heart breaking... I'm also limping

And there are times when I'm wondering how I'll be able to keep on going But I know that I have to: for my kids and for myself too.

But I never thought that doing normal things could be sooooo hard. I know that it will, eventually, get better. However, a part of me doesn't want it to get better... because, right now, thinking along those ways feels like I'm betraying him. One part of me hates feeling like this... though another part thinks that's the way I should feel for the rest of my life. And yet another part... more like a tiny little voice... tells me that he wouldn't have wanted me to feel like this.

All I know is that this is hard.
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If only.... 11-04-2008 - 08:50 PM
If only I could scream and let all this pain, this grief, this hurt and, yes, this rage, out of my system. If only I could kick and hit something, anything, just maybe I would not be feeling as though I'm drowning.

I feel like such a fraud when people tell me how strong I am: I don't feel strong... I feel like a little lost without my other, better half.

Today hasn't been a good day... not by any stretch of the imagination!!! First, the toilet overflowed creating an unbelievable mess: water and debris everywhere... in the kitchen, in the entrance way, down the stairs.. overflowing in the laundry room. Floor ruined, carpet ruined, clean clothes all mucked up. So much work, so much laundry... so overwhelmed by it all.

Once the landlord has sent his grandson to replace the toilet, once most of the mess has been cleaned, once the place has been disinfected and most of the clothes is in the laundry, I, finally head for work.

Since I'm already 1/2 a day late, I decide to drop by the funeral home to pay the pill, pick up the thank you cards and order the memorial cards. God, it brought it all back: it's been only a little more than a month ago since my life tumbled over!!! Since his life was taken from us.

Soooo..... tonight.... I'm feeling as though I'm going to explode with all this grief, with all that has to be done and I'm sure I can't do (like maintain this house, feed the kids, settle fights, finish settling the estate, live without him.... ) and with what I know his coming: his birthday, DD's birthday, Christmas and New Years. Too many firsts to get through in such a very, very short time

And I'm sooooo tired!!! I have no energy. And yet, there's still homeworks to help DD with, still a kid who is not in school yet... and needs to get there, still a dog to take care of and to love. Still a life to live.

Thankfully, I've got a great job that I love, with supportive co workers in an organization that prides itself as an employer of choice. And they've certainly come through for me in the past few months

I know, I know: I feel like a wet blanket and I know that I have to bite the bullet and accept the grief as well as the fact the he's gone, but this being sad thing is soooo allien to me. By nature, I'm a happy person!!! After all, I'm the one who usually manages to the "smiles" or "smilie" nicknames!!!

Hopefully, a good night's sleep will help put me in a better frame of mind tomorrow
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Support groups, moving forward and keeping busy - random thoughts about my new realit 11-03-2008 - 09:16 PM
Today's been a good day... and a bad day....

I always fare better when I'm at work: keeps me busy and grounds me into "normalcy". I guess it also keeps the reality at bay

However, today I was having such a dizzy spell (figured it was most likely an adverse reaction to chocolat (OH NO, not that!!!) that I decided to go lie down in our "Oasis Room": it's a room set up for any employee who needs down time.. eiher to relax, make private phone calls or nurse a headache.

While I was in that room, I kind of lost it and let the floodgates open... then realized there were no tissues ... soooo... I stayed until the tide passed and I'd rested enough to work off the dizzy spells... to dry the tears.

There is a berievement support group right in my city and I'm signed up for their support group course: 11 courses geared for those of us who have lost a spouse (There are other classes for those who have lost a child or someone close and for berieved children and teenagers). You have to be at least 4 months into the process in order to be able to share.

I've also signed both MIL and I for a special evening called: My first X-Mas Without You. It sounds great: it's a supper, a gift exchange... where you give a wrapped gift to the one who won't be there... either virtual or real (real gifts are give to a needy family), an opportunity to give an ornament to the one who is not there, lectures and, finally, carrolling. It sounds like a good way to "practice" having a Christmas celebration.

I really dread December: his birthday is on the 10th, DD's birthday on the 18th and then there is Christmas and New Year's. That's a lot of firsts to get through in a very short time!!!

I guess I have figured out a lot of things... but I still have to accept that he's gone... and I'm having a real hard time with this. Just the thought that I'm now a widow sounds soooo allien to me: a widow is what my mom is, what my MIL is or, even, what my grand-ma was. I don't know anyone else who's a widow at 52!!! Actually... that's not quite true: a co-worker lost her ex-husband when she was in her 40's. She's my age and, I guess, has been a widow for a long time now (I think they're still married).

And I really, really don't know how to move forward: my life was planned with him as a central figure... and now that he's gone, I don't know how to plan. There's still sooooo much I have to do, like sell the car, settle some bills, sign up DD for the winter soccer league... before the end of the season and countless other things... and I can't seem to get going. Going through the motions of daily/weekly activities is ok... moving beyond that is almost impossible.

I can't even plan meals!!! And the kids keep complaining that there's nothing to eat.... but I can't seem to remember what I need to buy!!!

Thankfully, MIL is here for us: she shops for the obvious, and is simply here. Unfortunately, meal planning isn't her thing either: he was the cook... or should I say the chef?

Keeping busy does help... except that when I stop, I collapse. I guess I need to get this sorrow, this grief and this terrible sense of loss out of my system... but it always seems to happen at inappropriate times or places... like it did today while I was at work
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This widowhood/single parent thing is getting to me 11-01-2008 - 08:29 PM
Since my wonderful DH passed away, a month ago now (boy, it's so hard to believe he's gone.. let alone to believe he's been gone for over a mont ), I've had a hard time coming to terms with him being gone... and with having to be a single parent. You see, DH parented from the heart and I parent from the head. In other words: he was the "nice" parent and I'm the "meanie"... Soooo... I have to learn to be both the meanie AND the nice parent. Easier said than done

I also have to learn to not only cope with my own grief but to also help the kids to cope with their grief and, most of all, find a way for them to exteriorize their sense of loss. Once again: easier said than done

Tonight, it did help to chat with his brother and our SIL: not only did we exchange on our feelings... we also exchange on our thoughts re: single parentign (they're separated... but good friends).

Honestly? Most of the time I feel numb and soooo alone (not lonely: alone!!!) As in... I've lost my best friend and don't know how to move beyond this sense of loss.

In the end, that's what it all boils down to: I'm alone and don't know how to deal with it
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Working some things out. 05-12-2005 - 08:32 PM
What a week!!! We've been busy, what with groceries, work, PTA meeting (me), more groceries and, tonight, going to the bank, which is in the boondocks :run3: Somedays, I wonder why we think that technology is saving us time: it's not!!!! It seems I'm a lot busier than my mom ever was, running around, trying to get things done

Well, we finally found out when DD plays soccer... and... once again... I got upset: I just can't understand how one team can be boosted up sooooo much and the others just left for granted... or to do what they can It's just making soooo much harder for the girls who didn't make Division 1 to catch up!!!

For one thing, in Division 2, they only have 1 practice a week and 1 game a week... and there was no mention of tournaments. In Division 1, they have 2 practices a week and 1 game a week. How are the Division 2 players ever expected to catch up? Because there are those, like DD, who have an opportunity to do so!!!

Another thing: while "our" team still hasn't even practiced once, the other team have their suits. And, wouldn't you know it? The suits are to the color of the city

My mom tells me that it's the same for hockey. But, the way I see it, hockey teams, if they're good, regardless of their division, will get the attention they deserve. I'd never even heard of the "Arsenal" division, but knew about the "Dynamo" division... so this tells me that only the Division teams get attention.... it's like the others don't exist

What really gets to me about all of this is the fact that we'll have to invest a whole lot more than we'd intended to, to give her a chance of catching up: we've already registered her for a pre-season development session. So that's 155.00 we hadn't planned on spending. We're also thinking of sending her on a week of soccer day-camp. We'd kind of planned on this one. But that's another 150.00. Then, we already know that we can't so without the winter season.. so that's probably going to be another 130.00 or 140.00 of our money. It burns me because I know that the majority of the girls who made Division 1 didn't even attend the winter session!!!

And the winter session really gets to me: the Technical Director of the association already admitted that they planned it around the boys "because they have hockey". So the boys practice on Friday evening, or Sunday nights. The girls are left with whatever is available. So, this meant that last year she had to leave all that she was doing for a Saturday noon session: it broke her day in half and, more often than I felt comfortable with, her friend had left for the day by the time she came back. When she was home, the friend would stay at our place while her mom took her little sister to her skating course.... so DD would grumble and complain that "she had nothing to do". I think that "left overs" are not conducive to girls signing up for soccer!!!

I just would like to see the whole process be a whole lot more equitable: that girls get the same attention when it comes to scheduling; that the tryouts are over a longer period, so that if a team player is sick, it doesn't affect her whole season' that the Division 2 players get as much attention as the Division 1 players do, so that players can, possibly, progress from one division to the other without emptying their parents' pockets. Is that too much to ask for? I'm hoping that it isn't!!!

And I also know that, more than likely, I'll be taken on one more volunteer organization!!!!

PS: I am feeling a whole lot better about this whole issue... just still have to work out a few of my hurt feelings.... and to try to understand the logic behind all of this... which is really not easy. And I also have to find a way of having a 9 yo understand that she really has to overdo herself in order to jump all those hurdles... especially since, with her December birthday, she'll be against older girls, next year: she'll only be 10 and some of them will be 12 1/2!!! In fact, potentially, some of them will be 23 months and 2 weeks older than she is!!! That's quite heavy odds to be up against!!!
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Sunny Monday 05-09-2005 - 06:19 PM
Today was another wonderfully warm and sunny day. Such a nice change after the long, hard winter we had

Today was another good day, though I'm still very, very tired. It must be risidual from this never-ending cold I've been trying to shake... and a little of the allergy season!!!

I still find myself getting steamed at the whole soccer issue, but I'm working myself out of it. It's hard and I still find asking all the "What if's". I guess I won't rest until I hear from her coach (whenever that is ) and am comfortable that she is with the right team. I'm also a little peeved that the Soccer Association passed on my e-mail to the Division 1 coach and didn't bother answering it. I want answers and assurances that there was no discrimination involved.

I guess that, in addition to everything else, I'm working with the residuals of growing up in a relatively small town (2000 inhabitants), where every body knew every body else and where "making the cut" depended on how much money your parents earned I'm sooooo afraid that there was discrimination involved... but, deep down, I know that their goal is to get the best team.. so they can win and get the honors.

DD is finishing the 3rd grade (school is one of the places where the cut-off isn't the end of the physical year... it's the 30th of September ... so she's one year behind most of the other kids born in 1995) and is doing good... I think: their report card is almost impossible to decipher and they no longer have grades... because they don't want parents to compare children or something along those lines. The bottom line is that we don't even know if she is at least performing at class level.

About being a Worry Wort: I guess it's hereditary, as my mother is one of those too. And she worries about everything and will invent things to worry about if there is nothing to worry about

I wish I could shrug it all off, but I tend to take it as a personnal failure when my kids do not succeed where other children succeed. I guess it would help if one of them would really excel at something: then I could say, and believe it, that we can't excel at everything. As it is, they are just a little better or very good... but either don't excel or just aren't trying hard enough to excel where they could. Anothing trait inherited from a parent, my dad this time, and that I swore I wouldn't do
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I feel a whole lot better today :) 05-08-2005 - 08:22 PM
I don't know if it was the SJW or just the fact that my cold is, finally, wearing off or if it was the fantabulous sunshine and wonderful summerlike weather... all I know is that I feel a whole lot better today

I know that average is good and that what matters is that the children do the best they can. DD wasn't half as upset as I was: even though I'm an optimist by nature, I'm also a worry wort. I tend to fret and to imagine the worse: I will build whole scenarios and imagine that the worse will simply happen... and then work myself up about it. It drives my poor dh crazy!!! For instance, with the soccer thing, I keep fearing she'll end up with the worse Division 2 (B category) team, that she won't know anyone and that they'll loose every game... which, in turn, will not be conducive to her showing how good she is... and to improve where she needs to improve. Hopefully, that won't be the case and the two teams will be balanced and she will be with teammates she knows and already enjoys playing with. And I know that the game is not about winning!!!!

I know that SJW has it's downside: my mother got very sick from it, because she has a problem with out of control hypertension. So I'm being very careful with taking it. I will let my doctor know, next time I see her... whenever I can book an appointment with her: it's at least a 1 month wait

I'm also looking forward to starting the Curves 6 week challenge, on Tuesday. I particularly love their concept of not being on diet for the rest of your life: once you reach your goal, you eat all you want, but weigh in every day and if you reach 3 to 5 pounds above your goal, you go back on Phase 1 for 3 days. That sounds like something soooo natural and something I can live with.
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Update... and why I haven't been journaling 05-07-2005 - 10:47 PM
I can't believe it's been such a long time since I journaled!!! Reminds me of the "holes" in my diary, when I was a teenage

There's been several reasons why I haven't journaled in such a long time... but it's mostly because I've been busy and tired and having to fight with DS for PC time... he's such a *pig*!!!!

Things with DS have also been very tense since Christmas. For one thing, he's been sick with colds and flu and has missed a lot of school days. This means that he gets behind in his school work and he then has to make up time... He then gets discourage and he get angered because he ends up with little computer time so he manages to have a melt down and uses it as an excuse not to do his homeworks and then, the first thing we know, he stays home to "catch up".... which results in more delays

I'm currently working on several fronts, trying to get services and relief in order to ensure that he goes to school, catches up and keeps up his grades. What's amazing is that his grades are a whole lot better than they used to be and he's also doing better in the sense that he's socializing a whole lot more.... when he's not fighting in attempts to get external suspensions

Things have been hard with my DD too, not out of anything she's done: 1st, we tried to get her into a new school where they are concentrating on sports. She had a good chance of getting in, as she loves sports. And I'm starting to actually hate the school she's currently in!!! As luck would have it, the problem wasn't a go as there weren't enough registrations. So she's still in the same school. She's ok, since she's staying with her friends... but I'm concerned because her grades are much lower than I would have expected for her.

Then, she had high hopes of making the A Division in soccer: for the past two years that she's been playing, people (some that we don't even know) have been telling us how good she is. We even got her in the winter program, to give her a boost. The evaluations were the middle week-ends, and some week-days, in April. At first, she'd been classified with the top girls. Then, she was among the girls where only half of them would make the A Division. Then, we got a call that she was being invited to tryouts where the 19 best players would compete for the 14 spots on the A team. Our hopes were up again.

However, once again, it wasn't meant to be: only 17 girls showed up and she was one of three that didn't make it. We found out a week ago Thursday night, and I still can't get over the disappointment and the anger. First off, I can't get over how mean these people are: don't they know that it's wrong to get these little girls' hopes up like that??? And that's it's much harder to be only 1 of 3 that didn't make it than it is to be among 28 out of 75 to make the B team. Furthermore, I'm wondering how she could drop from being admired so much to not even making the team???? And I'm wondering what good that Winter training did, especially since I know that the majority of the girls who made the team didn't even bother to attend

I know that I should get over it, but I simply can't let go!!! I think it's because it was the last drop. I think it's because I'm simply sick and tired of never seeing my dreams be fullfilled: one these days, I'd like to be the one who's bragging about my kids!!! As it is now, I have nothing to brag about: my kids are either just doing average things or not even doing that During that time, some of my friends see both of their children getting into advanced programs, getting into that A division I was dreaming of for my girl, winning awards, etc. etc. etc. Why not mine?

Why is it that my very bright child is too lazy to get into those math contests he could probably ace? Why is it that my child who adapts to all the rules and is so willing to excel is not seeing any results? What does neighbor's daughter have that mine doesn't? Luck? Because she got into Division 1 last year only because there weren't enough girls for another Division 2 team... and now she's in again because she got all that experience last year... and probably because it was easy to recognize the Division 1 uniform!!! And she didn't bother with the Winter session because she was taking Karate lessons. And we "lost" every one of our Saturdays!!! For what? Knowledge that she's among the best girls of the city... but not close enough?

And I'm also worried about meeting the parents of the girls who made it. How do you react when they ask you if yours made it? Admit how hurt you are and risk seeing their contempt, or even worse, their pity? Or pretend that you don't mind? That you're confident she's make it next year? Or just run and pretend you didn't see them? So far, that's what I've been doing... because I simply can't face them

I also think that I'm over reacting... and DH also thinks that's the case, poor sweetie!!! My mother understands how I feel, but she also things it's time to get over it. But I can't!!! And I'm worried that she'll be in a team where she doesn't know anyone, where the practices will be in the middle of nowhere, where the girls won't be any good and where she won't be able to progress Because I want her to shine. I want her to show them that they were wrong and that they should have picked her!!! That it doesn't matter that she doesn't control the ball as well as her friend does... because once she has that ball she just goes ahead and scores!!!

Oh, I feel so petty and weak and mean about all of this. Because I also want the girls in Division A to fall flat on their face and to fail and to wish that they had my DD in their team... and I know that that's wrong and that it's not their fault if they got in and my DD didn't. And DH assures me that she'll be better off where she is... but I also know that the B team never really shines. That they're not the ones making the news. That they're not the ones representing the city in those tournaments: the A team is the one with all the clout

I also think that I may be just a bit depressive. Ok, a whole lot: I've been dealing with a lot, only where DS is concerned. This was just the last drop. I've also been sick since March: first a really bad flu, then an attrocious allergy flare-up, then a fibro flare-up, then, for the past two weeks now, it's back tot he flu. So my resistance is very low (that's another thing: DD was sick during those try-outs... with the flu and with an injured ankles and I'm thinking that I should have told somebody so they could take that in consideration... but I would have hated to even think that she got in out of pity).

Tonight, I'm trying some St-John's Wort, so, hopefully, I'll be feeling better soon... because, right now, I'm at the end of my rope and find that I do not take any pleasure in my life... mostly because I'm simply too angry.... and hurt
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Last day of X-Mas vacation - tomorrow is back to work... I'm not ready 01-03-2005 - 10:45 AM
Wow, it felt like it would such a long vacation: off on the afternoon of the 24th and only back on the 4th!!!! But it's already over and I only got to do about half of what I wanted to

DH's aunt is out of the hospital and she's recovering from an intestinal infection: she's prone to those and it doesn't help that she has diverticulitis. The holiday season is always hard for those who have these type of sensitivities, as you tend to eat all sorts of goodies you wouldn't normally indulge in. Thanks for all the ers: they worked.

Tonight is night and I'm dreading it no ends: I know I haven't been good and I know I'll have gained... hopefully, not the full 10 lbs I lost before X-Mas I even dreamt about it!!!

Today, I'm off to do the grocery shopping I've been putting off. I'll be sure to stock up on all the healthy foods I need. And it will help DS too, who has to shed 5 lbs a month.

I still have to go skate the Canal: it's still closed due to the unbelievably mild weather we've had. I'm planning to try the local rink again: maybe I'll be a little more stable on those skates, and able to enjoy it
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Happy New Year!!! 01-01-2005 - 09:59 AM
2005 arrived almost unnoticed at our place: DH was playing video games, I was surfing HS and the kids and MIL were fast asleep. When I turned in for bed, I just asked if it was 2005 yet

My DD and her girl friend were disappointed: we wanted to go and skate on the Rideau Canal (the world's longest outdoor skating rink) but, due to the very mild temperatures we've been having since yesterday, the Canal is temporarily closed She's now gone to the local outdoor rink, to check if it's skateable.

I guess the year started on a worrisome note: DH's beloved aunt, the one who raised him and cared for DS until she was too sick to do so, was taken to the ER yesterday afternoon, with extreme tummy pains. I'm hoping it's just her diverticulitis and nothing more serious. She's 83 years, turning 84 on the 25th of January and is simply a wonderful, caring person. She's been kept in the ER, under observation. I'm ing that it's nothing serious.

Tonight, we're having our annual shrimp fest for supper: the shrimps are already in the sink, thawing out

We still have two days to go until we go back to work (Tuesday) and we both plan to fully take advantage of those days
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I did it: I go my new skates 12-31-2004 - 07:13 PM
Yes, I did: this afternoon, I went to Canadian Tire and bought the new skates. They are the "new" Recrative Skates (also called comfort skates). They are specifically made for women and, more specifically, for those of us who skate outdoors. They are sooooo comfortable. And my sweet DD (who just turned 9) had lots of fun lacing one up for me She really is a sweetheart.

Now, I only need the weather to cool down a bit: it +7 Celcius today (translates to 44 Farentheit) and everything is melting. DD and her friend did go skating, but their skates and socks and pants are soaking wet!!!!

And the "heat wave" had some other consequences: because the terrain our house is on is sloped and the ice is melting, we've had lots of water in our basement... where the PC is So far we've been able to keep the water away from the appliances (we also have a tv and video games down here ) ... but DH had accidentally disconnected the Router this afternoon: both DS and I were panicking!!!!

We are having a very quiet New Year's Eve: just winding down after a relatively busy holiday season. DH and I go back to work on Tuesday but DS and DD have until the 10th to enjoy their X-Mas holidays. Tomorrow is going to bring our annual Shrimp Fest

I do want to wish all of my Hyster Sister all the best for the coming year. Most of all, may 2005 bring you good health!!!!
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New Year's Eve 2004.. Out with the Old, In with the new (me that is) 12-31-2004 - 09:35 AM
Yes, it's time to come to grips with the fact that 2004 is almost over. I must say that it was a year of changes and challenges.

First off, I had just changed to a new job in a new organization with increased and very different responsibilities. I was 3 months into this new job when we rang the New Year. And I'm soooooo happy that I made the switch!!! I just love both the job and the wonderful team I'm part of!!!!

However, it was a year of much stress: we started off with having to have our DS attend a school program in a psychiatric hospital, 24 hours: he would head there Sunday evening and return Friday night... with a call in on Wednesday night. It was very very hard and felt like such a failure... at least where I was concerned. However, positively, it also resulted in a new, scary, diagnosis of Pervasive Devolopment Disorder with Schizoid tendencies. Furthermore, this means that he now qualifies for a full time aide in class, for special ed and for a tax deduction that will make our lives a whole lot easier.

Unfortunately, all this stress has also brought on a weight gain of 30 lbs that I am far from proud of I did end the year by going back to my weight loss group and by loosing 10 lbs I do hope that I haven't gained them back since December 13

So I am hereby pledging that, as of tomorrow... or, more accurately, the 2nd of January... it's Out with the old, fat and unmotivated Dany and In with the new, motivated, healthier and leaner Dany.
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It's New Year's Eve Eve... and I'm sick and eating Baked Lays .... grr 12-30-2004 - 03:43 PM
Last night I was sooooooo tired that I, literally, fell asleep before 9:30. I woke up this morning with a headache, a stuffed nose and difficulty breathing: yep, I have a cold.

Thankfully, it's just in my head, so I'm not feeling miserable... just having problems getting things done And I have even less motivation to get back on my program than I normally do!!!

Food has been really awful and I didn't go near Canadian Tire's, so I don't have my skates yet... And, even if I did, I don't think it would be a good idea to go outdoor skating!!! I still plan on going for them tomorrow: just didn't have time... or the energy... to do so today.

I'm not totally disgusted with myself, but know that I should be trying harder: I have visions of going to weigh-in and having gained the 10 lbs I lost in November

OK, I now have to remember: Strive to Thrive in 2005!!!!
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'Twas a busy day... but well worth it :) 12-29-2004 - 08:00 PM
Today was a very nice and special day... even though I'm now thoroughly exhausted.

First off, we went to do a little shopping, not much: just a few items to take over to my mom's. Then we went to spend most of the day at my mom's. We enjoyed good food, including mom's scrumptious home-backed cookies and fruit cake Then, DS, Dear Nephew, Mom and my sisters DBF played cards for about 3 hours: I still can't believe DS (who's very hyperactive) lasted so long!!! And he enjoyed himself thoroughly, abided by the rules of the game and impressed my mother to no ends: she rememberbers how hard it used to be to even get him to sit down for a meal!!!

When we came back home, we had to go for some more shopping: had forgotten all about replenishing DS's meds and my own vitamins!!!

The sad part is that I didn't eat healthy, at all. And the only exercise I got was from walking 10 minutes from one store to another, but I did drink plenty of water... so that's a step in the right direction!!!

I didn't get the skates, simply because I didn't go to Canadian Tire yet. I do intend to go there tomorrow. It's the only place I've seen cheap soft boot skates!!! But we do know that the local outdoor rink is iced up and that the Rideau Canal is open for skating!!!

Oh, it wasn't DS who set the fire, it was DH. And it happened when one of his cigarettes (he does intend to quit one of these days!!!!) fell among some carpet scraps, unnoticed.
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I wonder if I can get more OFF Program than I did today? GRRRRRR 12-28-2004 - 09:25 PM
I really don't know why I do this to myself Would you believe that I started the day by eating two sugar donuts and the rest of the day was not much better: too many starches, no fruits, no vegetables and lots of sweets... <sigh> I am soooo off my program that I even wonder how I can still walk.

On the bright side, I did exercise: I walked 30 minutes from one store to the other... and it was a hard walk thanks to the sidewalks still being very icy and bumpy!!!

I do have to remember that weigh-in day is less than a week away (next Monday). While I'm not hoping to have lost any weight, I am aiming to have maintained.

Tomorrow, or Thursday, I'm planning to go and buy those skates I've been yearning for since last year. Hopefully, the ice will be ready by then (DD tells me it was full of water today, but we did notice a teen playing hockey tonight). I know that the Rideau Canal is still off limits, despite the deep freezes we've been having

I do know that one thing that set me off, today, was waking up at almost 10:00 am: this meant no breaky and an early lunch. It also meant that I was hungry by 2 pm... so those croissants DH had just backed looked inviting. I do find that upsets to my schedule also result in upsets to my eating program.

I do keep in mind that next week is back to normal and do intend on getting back on the wagon!!!

Oh, one thing that happened that was pretty funny (though it could have been a tragedy) was DH almost setting our laundry room on fire!!! The funny part was that he did so while showing a friend the bars he bought to secure the place... Sooooo, while he's securing the place against burglars, he's setting fire to the inside Thankfully, I went in the laundry room just as the fire was starting and there really was no harm: just a bunch of carpet remnants that got toasted
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So much for "Back to Normal" and OPness :( 12-27-2004 - 02:44 PM
Oh well, tomorrow is another day: yesterday, I ended up not even getting dressed, so did not exercise, at all. Then, I ended up eating all wrong, again. Oh well... at least, this time, I didn't overeat.

Today, I did exercise, kind of: DH and I walked around part of town, getting some errands done. It is still very cold and the sidewalks are hard to maneuvre: there was a thaw and rain, last week, followed (that same night) with a frost over. That was on Christmas Eve Eve's. Since then, we've had some snow and some more frost-over, and the city's workers are off duty, due to the holiday season... sooooo, the sidewalks are hard to walk, slipery and quite bumpy. Makes for a very slow walk.

I haven't been watching what I eat today either, but am not eating as much. Hopefully, by next Monday, which is the first weigh-in day after the holidays, I'll have at least stabilized into a semblance of healthy eating <sigh>.

I am very, very tired and I think it has a lot to do with my lack of will power. Thankfully, I don't go back to work until the 4th, so I should find time to rest until then. It is frustrating, though, because I also want to get a few things done But I'm not fretting (or, at least, am trying not to fret): I'll do what I can and the rest will get done when I'm up to it!!!
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Back to normal, Boxing day!!! 12-26-2004 - 09:04 AM
It feels soooo good to be, kind of, back to normal. After all the frenzy of the holidays, the running around, the overeating and the lack of exercise, I need some normalcy!!!

This morning, I'm back on board, with my weight loss program and started off with a breakfast consisting of Fat Free/Sugar Free Yogurt and Fat Free Cottage Cheese.

I don't know if I'll exercise, though: Last night, DH and I just walked to the convenience store. Normally, it's a 10 minute walk there, 10 minutes back: took us over an hour!!! What with the downpour we had on Thursday, followed with the freeze-over and then snow and then some more freeze-over, it's icy all the way!!! And, it's snowing and cold again today. But I still may walk to the store: I need the 30 minute hike!!
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X-Mas Eve and starting vacation: woohoo 12-24-2004 - 06:32 PM
Yes, I officially started my Holiday vacations at 12:15 this morning And boy was I ready for this one!!! I've had such a hectic time lately, that I've just been exhausted.

I do know that this has a lot to do with the fact that I'm a member of Parent organizations for two different schools and am now the secretary for the Neighborhood Association: that's a bit much for one person's plate!!! Then again, I'm one of those persons who sees where things can be improved and believe that the only way to ensure that they do improve is to ensure that your voice is heard... hence the membership is so many organizations!!!

Thanks to all the running around with planning birthday parties and with tying up loose ends and with getting ready for X-Mas, I have not either had the inclination to eat right, nor the the time to do so!!!

I haven't been exercising much either, especially since the Gym where I used to go has closed down, very suddenly, at the beginning of the month: not very good timing

I am planning to get back on track next week, when the X-Mas fla-fla is over and while I'm, hopefully, resting. Next Wednesday, which is also Pay-Day, I'm planning to buy myself a new pair of skates... so skating will definately be on the menu!!!!
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I am NOT having a good time this week!!!! 12-12-2004 - 02:22 PM
I can't believe how long it's been since I've written in my journal. I know that it has a lot to do with just how hectic my life has been, but it's also had an impact on my ability to take on these extras!!!

I am not having a good day, and it's a typical end to a pretty awful week: first it was the PACE place closing down (still trying to get in touch with the owner (she did call, but it was the day of the ice storm and I had a meeting that evening) to try and find out exactly what happened), then a hectic work week, DS acting up on Friday and, finally, this weekend I've been fighting either a cold or an allergic flare. As if that wasn't enough, when I returned from grocery shopping, at noon, I was faced by total mayhem!!!

First off, I just missed the bus by a few minutes: it was driving off as I was coming out. Since I didn't want to wait 1 hour for the next bus, I walked home with pretty heavy groceries, including a box of detergent. Then, I got home and realized that I'd forgetten the Kraft Dinner DS wanted for lunch (yes, I know: pretty disgusting stuff, but DS actually loves it). So, because he was in a foul mood because his cousin couldn't come over, he proceeded to make life unbearable for us, stating there was nothing to eat. Well, of course, there was a whole lot to eat, just nothing he wanted. Then, I went off to start laundry and found out that, once again, MIL had messed up with the information: we were not out of detergent!!! In fact, I've already done two loads and there's still some left in the bottle!!! If I'd known (I know, I should have checked.. but it never dawned on me that she couldn't be trusted to tell the truth!!!), I would have started the laundry either yesterday or this morning... and wouldn't have lugged a box of detergent home. And, just maybe, if I hadn't been reminding myself to remember the detergent I would have remembered about the KD!!! And that wasn't all: I also found out that I didn't have to go back for the tomato juice we needed for the Spaghetti sauce, as we had some. Again, I trusted DH when he told me we needed some!!! That way, I wouldn't have missed the bus, would have gotten home 15 minutes earlier and would have had time to go back for the KD.. and might have avoided a major fight!!!

With all of this, I ended up eating all wrong: ate the pizza slice DS first said he wanted, then claimed he'd said no to and then ate the grilled cheese DH made for him, while he'd said he didn't want any... and now I'll be upset tomorrow because i'll have gained, thanks to not eating right and not being to exercise right

I know that I shouldn't let myself get upset like this, but it drives me crazy when people tell me something and they've either not checked or, in the case of MIL, it's just plain stupidity: if the box/bottle isn't full, then she figures there isn't enough, because she thinks that the more detergent she uses, the cleaner the clothes are!!! And then she wonders why I won't let her do my laundry: because she causes clothes to shrink by two sizes and to fade by 4 or 5 shades!!!

I know I have to calm down, because I'm working myself in a frenzy... again!!!... but jeepers I wished people would not try to "help" me by supplying information that turns out being wrong, and then accusing me of not checking things out for myself!!! Is it my fault if I'm used to trusting people when they tell me such and such a thing? If you don't know, say: I think that there isn't enough laundry detergent left or I think that we may be out of tomato juice. Don't state "we are out", because that entails that you checked and know for sure!!!
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Fund raiser went really well :) 11-25-2004 - 09:53 PM
I got to DD's school at 2:20, but her teacher and the student who is doing her last internship were very understanding: in fact, they scheduled me early so I could be free to help out with book sale.

So, we first set up the coffee and donuts. The staff from the bookstore was supposed to be there at 3:00... but they only showed up at 3:30. They gave me quite a scare!!!! Thankfully, though, once we were set up, the sales went very well: We sold for over 3 1/2 boxes of books in something like 3 hours!!! And some of the books that were sold were quite expensive

Being in that school is a great feeling: from having both my son (now 13 and in High School) and my daughter, who's in the 3rd grade, in that school and being involved in the PTA, I know lots of teachers, lots of parents and lots of the children It's like a home-coming party!!! I even met a co-worker who lives in the same neighborhood I live in!!!

While it was strange dealing with a bookstore instead of just having the parents set-up, sell the books and do all of the accounting, it turned into a pretty good experience: we set up in something like 10 minutes, there was only the sales clerk and myself to mind the books and we packed up in no time at all. We'll know how much we sold for and what's our profit tomorrow. A lot less work than doing it the other way!!!!

The news about DD are great: she's well-loved, well-behaved and is either performing above class expectations or right at them. I'm pleased with her performance.

The amazing part was that the teachers were also asking me about my DS and some of them were saying that they really loved him, despite his behavior issues. And they all seemed to agree that he was a very nice little who could strike up a conversation with anybody It's great to know that he's remembered as a nice kid, not as a little hellion who terrorized everyone!!!!

As far as my diet, well it's a good thing I got a lot of exercise in (did my work-out this morning and walked to school this after) because I certainly was off-track tonight: had a meal replacement bar for supper, some donuts and a slice of pizza in the evening!!! Oh well, we'll just jump back on the wagon tomorrow!!!
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Today is Volunteer Day time... so I'm here this morning :) 11-25-2004 - 07:48 AM
One of the coolest thing we have, as part of our benefits, is two Volunteer Days per year. And you do not even have to be volunteering when you use them... but I do use them for that purpose. So, here I am this morning.... then it's off for a work-out at PACE and, this afternoon, I'm meeting DD's teachers and then I'm overseeing a book sale

Well.... I hope I'm overseeing a book sale: it used to be simple, as we would simply deal with Scholastics and book the date. They would send the books so we can display them, we would handle the sales and accounting and then send off whatever we didn't sell.... along with the money we owed. However, this year, the Minister of Education issued a regulation that we can no longer use Scholastics: we have to deal with local book stores, to "promote local economy" or something along those lines.

What this means is that there's been a lot of confusion as to what exactly this regulation means: some schools actually interpreted it to mean that we can't display the books. Of course, that's no good for the book stores!!! You can't buy books "sight unseen".

However, in our case, we do have a school regulation where we can't use the kids for soliciting. Therefore, we will not display the books during the day for the kids to "shop". Instead, we start the sale from 3pm on, when the parents are visiting the teachers. But we do display the books: that's clear, right?

Well, it wasn't clear to guy organizing the sales from the store's ends So here I am, calling him to ensure that all was set for tonight, Tuesday afternoon. And the he is mixing up our school with another school, assuming that we're not displaying the books. When I insisted that we are, he then said: oh, then you only need the books and the parents will handle the sale? Nope: you said you would do that.

So he tells me: Ok, we'll arrange something for you. He was supposed to call me yesterday to confirm, but he never did. And I was too to call. I do hope that "no news is good news", as we've advertised the sale to the parents... and the kids!!!

Why is it that those from far away make rules like that? Don't they realize that, because we only have a few book stores in the region and Parent's days tend to all occur at the same time that the book stores don't necessarily appreciate the meddling? And parents certainly don't!!! Furthermore, this means that the profits for the school are less than they used to be: with Scholastics, the profits are based on how much money you raise. With the book stores, the profits are set at 20%

On the bright side, I went to Mincavi on Monday and had lost another pound. So, so far, I've eliminated 8.6 lbs in two week Only another 23 lbs to reach my goal weight!!!
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Boy am I ever tired!!! 11-21-2004 - 10:38 AM
Last night was a late night, thanks to a friend who lingered past Midnight. It was fun (he's a very good friend) but I did have a short night, especially since I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't get back to sleep And 8:00 am, when the kids figured we'd had enough of a sleep, sure came fast

Today, we're continuing with the X-Mas decorations: we're decorating the monster of an evergreen that a "small" bushy tress has turned into (forget what the name of the evergreen is: it's short (about 4 feet high now) and the branches spread out in a chandelier shape. When we moved here, 5 years ago, it was about 4 feet in diameter. It's now about 6 feet ) and put up the animated dear (it grazes ) with the matching "picket fence". I can't wait to see the deer!!!

Yes, X-Mas is a big deal here. So is New Year's. In fact, for the French Canadians that we are, traditionally, Christmas is the religious holiday (you know: Midnight Mass and familly dinner) and New Year's in the with the dancing, music, singing and, of course, the "caribou" (a wicked alchool mix that was, I think, man made!!!) and the gift exchange.

In my family, we have always done the gift exchange on X-Mas day, when we were kids and on X-Mas Eve, when we were older. Today, we carry on with the tradition and gifts are opened X-Mas day.

We used to have a humongous family gathering for "reveillon" on X-Mas Eve: we'd all gather at my dad's cousin's place. We'd leave our place after Midnight mass and get there around 1 am. We'd eat, revel, play cards and the younger kids (I was a teenager back when we started this) would even go outside and build snowmen. Then we'd have a gift exchange and come home around 4 or 5 am!!! Later on, as the "kids" grew up, got married and had children of their own, the gathering would occur on the Saturday between X-Mas and New-Year's.

My own immediate family (parents, siblings, spouses and kids) would get-together at my sister's place for "reveillon" and gift exchange. We'd get there around 8 pm and come back home around 12:30 am. However, we haven't been able to do this since dad passed away in 1997: it's simply too hard, as he was the one (among our parents) who really enjoyed X-Mas.

So now, we get-together, at my place, the Saturday closest to DD's birthday. Usually, the day starts with a birthday party for DD, with her friends. And the family stays for a X-Mas dinner and a gift exchange. However, this year, my DD doesn't want a party with her friends.

As one of my brothers and my sister tend to have events just about every day with their in-laws, we might then visit with my mother and other brother during the holiday period and DH's aunt will come and visit X-Mas day, but that's it for the celebrations.

New Year's day, we have a new tradition, thanks to DS's passion for shrimps: We have a shrimp fest where we eat shrimps until we can't any more

Now that I'm getting famished for all these goods, I must say that I'm still very good at sticking to my program: I have slipped, a bit, this week, but not that much: Friday, I had one too many slices of bread and some "real" ice cream; Saturday, I went over my weekly allowance of wine by about one glass. Still, since I've been walking and faithful to my PACE routine and have been very good at watching what I eat, I feel confident that the will show a downward movement, tomorrow.

Tonight, I'm fixing a marvellous recipe of pork tenderloin with italian tomatoes and italian seasonings. And it's all on program and taken from one of the recipe books put together by the group I attend.

I've already walked to the convenience this morning and plan to walk to and back from the store this afternoon. So, today, should be a very OP day, again.
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Woohoo!!! We started decking the tree!!! 11-20-2004 - 05:27 PM
I've been so busy lately that I simply haven't had time to journal. Thankfully, for once, it's a good busy

This afternoon, after DD's soccer class, we started decorating the place: our huge Blue Juniper is now boasting 250 X-Mas lights, all of blue!!! We used the big, traditional, bulbs because we simply could not afford to use the small lights for that tree: It's about 10 feet high!!!!

DH was cursing me the whole time he was working the top of the tree, telling me he knew why he didn't want to decorate that tree: because it's an impossible task!!! However, once we were half way through the process and had gotten the top over with, he agreed that the result was pretty incredible!!!

Now, all we have to do is to decorate a smaller evergreen, put up the animated deer and the "picket fence" and, of course, eventually, decorate the inside of the house. Oh, and small slip of the mind: buy the X-Mas gifts and organize DD's birthday party and our family gathering!!! At this rate, we'll be lucky to get to X-Mas at the same time as everyone else!!!

I'm currently reading John Grisham's "Skipping Christmas" and know that, the minute that it's out, I have to view the movie "Christmas with the Kranks": all the time I'm reading the book, I can see Tim Allen's antics!!!

I'm still doing very good on my diet: I did cheat a little, yesterday, but I'm right back on tract today, making all of the best choices I can make. I'm really proud of myself and am, finally, seeing myself back in those size 8 clothes of mine Maybe by Easter
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What a beautiful day!!! 11-17-2004 - 09:50 PM
Today was another glorious fall day: the weather was just nice and balmy (well... for November in Canada, that is) and so very enjoyable. While I'm still feeling a little low from my cold, I'm feeling a whole lot better.

I started the day by participating in a very interesting Focus Group who's goal is to implement a Certification Program for Information Management professionals who work within the Federal Civil Service. The group was made up of professionals from traditional Information Management professionals (Records Management, Library Services, Access to Information and Privacy), from the Information Technology Community and from Policy and Web Services. And what we came with was simply amazing. Since there were two other similar groups who previously met and, apparently, came up with slightly different perspectives, it will be interesting to hear what the resulting product is.

I then went to my PACE outlet and did a 20 minute work-out. I didn't do the full work-out for two reasons: I didn't have time for a longer work-out and I didn't want to stretch my energies. It may have been a short work-out, but it was a very good work-out and I came out feeling great.

Then, it was work for the afternoon, where I was very productive. Nice change from Monday, when I was already feeling pretty rotten and out of sorts.

The eating's been good and so has drinking water. I'm eating all that I'm supposed to eat and succeeding at staying away from what I'm not supposed to eat. For me, that's quite an achievement!!!

To those who have expressed concerns at my aggressive weight loss plan: don't fret too much. Traditionally, I've only averaged weight losses of 1 or 2 pounds a week. Last time I was eliminating weight, I wasn't even loosing that much: took me 10 months to loose 50 lbs!!! The only reason my plan is agressive is because I have to set the bar very high in order to stay on track. I know that, realistically, I'll consider myself very lucky if I loose another 5 or 6 lbs by X-Mas I'm hoping the weight loss will be a little faster because it's "new lbs": lbs I've only gained in the past few months. They should be easier loose than weight accumulated over several years.
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Dreary Tuesday :( 11-16-2004 - 08:42 AM
Today is dreary for two reasons:
  • Because I'm sick with a cold or a sinusitis or a flu or??? All I know is that my head hurts, my throat hurts, my nose is runny and my tummy hurts Why does having a cold make you feel like such a big baby? We can breeze through a hyst, through labor, but we're floored by a cold
  • Because I'm really worried about my 10 yo niece who's been having problems with a persistant headache, fatigue, lack of concentration and, now, most troublesome, my mother and brother (her uncle) noticed that her colour is off. I just that it's not any form of cancer

So, thanks to not feeling good, I'm home sick today. I'm not doing anything else than post on HS, watch TV and, hopefuly, rest a whole lot. Exercise can wait for a day when I feel up to it!!!

Thanks, mostly, to not feeling good, I am also eating right... and that's always a good thing!! And water is a must: I feel so dry and parched!!! Again, drinking plenty of water is always a good thing.

Last night, I went to Mincavi and got a really nice surprise: the showed a 6.2 lbs downward motion. First time I've lost more than 5 lbs in a week Now, I'm not deluding myself, and I know that I can't keep at that pace every week... and, honestly, I don't want to as I know that it's hazardous to your health to loose too fast. However, I am hoping to loose at least 15 lbs, total, by X-Mas: that means another 9 lbs in the next 4 weeks, for an average of 2.25 lbs a week. Is that too much? I don't know I'm thinking that I could maybe loose another 3 lbs by next week, 2 lbs every week for the next 3 weeks. I think that, with a lot of effort, I can do it. And if I could find my way to loosing an other .8 of a lb, I would end up with a nice round number
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Busy Sunday :) 11-14-2004 - 09:18 PM
This was another busy day, but "good" busy: it was spent doing a few errands, doing left-over laundry, putting away lawn furniture and just basically getting ready for the Winter.

I walked to the store and back and then walked to the convenience store and back and accumulated 2.5 miles of exercise. Tomorrow, it's back to PACE and tomorrow night, I face the I'm not setting myself up for a disappointment, but I do hope that the scale will register a downward pattern.

I've also been very good with my eating. I did slip, a little, but they must have added to only about 100 extra calories.. about the equivalent of what I didn't eat in fruits over the week.
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What a wonderful Saturday it's been!!! 11-13-2004 - 05:48 PM
First off, it's always such a great feeling when MIL is away for the week-end: this means that things are quiet, that nobody is butting in our business and that we're not stressing over the slightest thing

So, DD and I woke up, quietly, at 8:30. DH and DS were already up, chatting about this or that. I spent the morning just lazing around, chatting with the kids and DH and petting our increasingly demanding kitty

At noon, I accompanied DD to her soccer course. While she was learning some stuff, I went for a loooong walk: in the nice, crisp November air, it was such a wonderful feeling!!!

The afternoon was a little more hectic: after a quick lunch, I washed a mountain of dishes (or so it seemed) then walked to the store and back. So I got plenty of exercises today

I figured out why it's so much harder for me to stick to my eating programs when I'm at home: I leave with three people who have hollow legs DH, DS and DD just eat non-stop. It seems that, every minute, they're either eating, looking for food or complaining that they're hungry and there's nothing to eat. Of course, it never crosses their mind that the reason there's nothing to eat is because they eat everything!!!

Well, despite being constantly reminded about food, I've been pretty good with my eating and am confident that the will show a downward movement, come Monday.
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It's the week-end... finally!!! 11-12-2004 - 09:14 PM
Why are "short" weeks always so long? This week was a 4 day week but, what with all the meetings and happenings, it felt much longer than the normal 5 day weeks feel. Guess it doesn't help when your day off is a Thursday: it stang having to go in to work this morning!!!!

I was absolutely amazed: DH had absolutely no hassle over sending DS in to school, at noon. The only snag was when he called, inquiring if he could take a cab back home Hey, the idea is not for things to be easy for him: we want him to go to school, and his classes, on regular days, not to have a fun time going to school on a PD day!!!

I had to laugh: DD was invited to watch a junior hockey game at friend's place and she came back within 30 minutes, claiming it was boring How much more un-canadian can you get? (shh: I won't tell anybody that I don't like hockey either and that neither of us is crazy for maple syrup )

I have been doing really good at staying on track on my weight loss program, though yesterday was a lot harder: it's always soooo tempting to eat junk when I'm at home.. and I tend not to keep as busy as I do at work, so that doesn't help. Guess perusing all those magazines with scrumptious recipes for X-Mas isn't helping any!!!

I don't know if it's because I've increased my water intake, but I have been having lots of issues with my bladder lately: sometimes, I just stand or walk and find that I'm desperately leaking, without even any urge to clue me on the need Hopefully, as my body adjusts to the increased water intake, the prolems will be less of an issue: this is sooo embarassing!!!
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Rememberance Day... and Day for me :) 11-11-2004 - 06:11 PM
Today was a much needed day off from work: November 11th is a Stat. Holiday for canadian federal employees... and I'm one of them

The day was spent doing things I enjoy, like reading several of my favorite magazines, perusing scrumptious festive recipes and enjoying a nice with special friends. What a wonderful day.... if only it hadn't also included dishes and laundry

I'm also enjoying the fact that I've been really good at following my program and I already see the results: my tummy is going down and my energy is going up

Last night was Parents' night at DS's school and I talked to both a few of his teachers and the school's principal (a doll of a guy who's really well loved by the students) and the unit's principal and we all agreed on a strategy to ensure that DS stays in school. I also explained that one of the reasons he expects to go home when he acts up is because the grade school's direction would always send him home at the slightest problem: it's new to both him and us that they actually want him to stay in school

Yesterday morning, he didn't want to go to school and started up with the four boys following him on the bus and harassing him. And he went on and on. We tried to deal with it with DH bringing his new video game (Halo 2) to work with him. That wasn't enough. So I called his aide and let her know that he was being harassed and that she needed to ensure that he was safe. That wasn't enough. So, I then had a brilliant : I told him that, once the day started, I would call the principal and that he would make sure that he was safe. Of course, just telling him I would do it was not enough: so there I go, leaving a message on the poor Principal's voice mail. And, having learned that I had to ensure that I wasn't putting DS's words in question (of course, I was), I couldn't let on that it was really ok to ignore the message.

That poor guy must have thought I had lost my mind Thankfully, he really is a very nice man and very good natured. He just passed it on to the unit principal who called me about it. And I had an opportunity to appologize to the poor man last night.

Of course, it never came to mind that I could just have pretended to call the principal: I could just as well have called my own voice mail and left a message to myself Oh well, it's not always easy to think clearly at 7 am with a rebellious kid pretending to be in a paranoid state

All is well, though, and he did stay in school. Hopefully, DH won't have too much of hard time tomorrow, sending him to school in the afternoon, to make up for all the time he missed <keeping fingers crossed>
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Things are calming down.... finally!!! 11-09-2004 - 09:47 PM
Well, after the very hectic few weeks we had, things are starting to calm down

First, an update on DS: He's doing ok and there is no big sequel from the adventure on the bus. However, today, I did find out a little more and it turns out that the agression was not unwarranted: he initiated the fight by hitting one kid in the face with an elbow. That's when the other guy reacted and punched him. We're pretty sure that that's what happen, as the 4 other guys are all telling the same story and there are gaps in my DS's story. I do hope he doesn't get in trouble over this: in the end, he wasn't the victim... or not the victim he pretended to be

Since last week we've been having some issues with him not wanting to stay in school and work. I think it's from getting used that when things got bad, he would misbehave and would then be sent home. Well, as he ages and we're finding the right medication, that part of the problem is now under control... but he doesn't quite believe that he has to stay in school. Yesterday, despite my saying "no", he left school and went home. Boy, was I angry :burning: He tried to pull that off again today, but it didn't work. In the end, he not only ended up staying... he ended up doing a great day And he's now very proud of himself!!! I'm not counting my chickens before they hatch, though: I'm not deluding myself that we've won the war. We've just won a very small battle!!!

On the BIL issue, we finally have a much clearer picture of what's been happening. It wasn't a matter of SIL having a burn-out or of her cheating on him. I'ts entirely a matter of him having a schizophrenic episode, filled with delusion and paranoia!!! He even had her arrested, twice, saying that she was fighting and violent when, in reality, he was the one doing the fighting!!! and the cops believed him, because he did the calling :burning: He also was getting very weird and had been keeping his little DD's out of school, pretexting that there was a pedophile around their place (there was, but he was caught) and that they were learning things about demons in school. He also told the girls that, one of these days, the three of them would go to the country and sleep for a long, long time. My oldest DN told her mom she didn't want to go to heaven just yet :cry:

Thankfully, he's now interned and will remain that way until he is under control. But it's still very sad and very stressful on DH, who sees a lot of the same behavior in our precious DS: DS has a diagnosis of borderline schizophrenia. That's why he has a tendency to believe these stories he concocts. Hopefully, he was cought early enough and we'll be able to get it all under control before it develops into full blown schizophrenia.

As for me, well I'm now back to Mincavi and back to PACE. I'm so proud of myself for doing it and really don't understand why I waited until I'd gained 30 lbs before going back And I can't for the life of me understand how I could gain so much weight in less than a year The good thing is that I'm doing it. That bad one is that I'm achy from the exercise after not doing it for a whole month
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What a hectic week!!! 11-06-2004 - 09:10 PM
I just realized how hectic it's been: I haven't even posted in my journal in over a week

First, an update on BIL: after he came back, last Saturday evening, we realized that he was really, really nervous, hyper and paranoid. We really didn't know what to make of it, but both DH and I knew that he needed to see a therapist as much as SIL... if not more. Then, Monday morning, in the wee hours, he got insulted when MIL (who is not his mother: DH is his half brother), asked him if her ever slept? And also told him to be more quiet, as there were others sleeping in the house. We never heard from him again, until Wednesday, when SIL called to let us know that he's in the hospital. I did try to call SIL, twice, but the phone numbers we have for them were not working. Hopefully, she'll call back and we'll find out more.

So, we were all set to rest... but it wasn't meant to be: On Tuesday, DS was assaulted in the bus, coming back from school. He received two punches, one on the mouth and one behind the head. He was understandably very upset about it. But he was amazingly good about giving a report to the school's assigned cop. We still have to get in touch with him in order to be kept informed.

I've been very, very tired because of all of this... and very discouraged because none of my clothes fit anymore So much so that I've decided to head back to my weight loss group. the main incentive was that a new group opened on Mondays (the other one takes place on Tuesdays, and that's when most of the school committees meet ) and it's closer to my place. I'm also going back to PACE on Monday: I hurt all over from the lack of exercise. And it will also mean that the weight and the inches will drop faster. At least... I hope they will

Today was a very exciting day: I attending a focus group for mothers of ADHD children. It was in order for the group's leader to both share the results of a research she's been doing over the past two years on how coping with one or more child who has ADHD affects working mothers.

It was just awesome to meet, in person, those 10 other women or so who are all dealing with at least one child who has ADHD. The researcher also adopted two children, who are now young adults, who also have these problems. The results of the research, which is still being tabulated, and the sharing of the other women has given me a lot of insight on the issue. And it's also validated a lot of the struggles I've been having!!!

Overall, I'm doing pretty goo this week-end... even though I'm still very tired. I think that all this stress I've been living in the past week is taking it's toll.

I'm hoping that this week-end, and the (kind of) long week-end next week will help to rejuvinate me!!
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I'm finally relaxing.. but I know it won't be for long... <sigh> 10-30-2004 - 08:39 PM
Tonight, DH and I are relaxing with a friend. I'm doing what I enjoy most: visiting my Hyster Sisters and he's playing video games with his friend. DD is in bed and DS is getting ready for bed. The only thing I'm missing is my kitty cat... guess he'll turn up anytime

To answer a question, BIL is not being selfish: we live 200 miles from where they live and DD's need to be in school. His wife works during the day and there is a very trustworthy friend and neighbor who is always ready to clean house and help with the girls: I know this is true, as I've met her and have seen her at work

BIL is coming here so he can crash and think things through. DH is also very good with him and will know what to say to get him to do what's right. The most important thing for them is that the girls must have as normal a life as is possible: if takes them out of school, Youth Services can get involved and take the girls from them. And, as we're in completely different school districts, there is no way my DD's school could accommodate them. And I don't think that BIL would feel up to homeschooling for now.

Furthermore, as my DS has lots of problems with school, it's important that life be as normal as possible at this end too. If the girls were here and he sensed there is something untoward happening, he could refuse to go to school: he's done it before

As far as DD is concerned, she's also very vulnerable and has an uncanny sense of empathy. If she senses that her cousins are in jeopardy, she'll also refuse to go to school. Furthermore, since the girls have basically no schedule (both BIL and SIL are bad for that), whe would get overtired and she then has a very hard time functionning.

I think that, all-in-all, BIL coming here on his own (that was not his first strategy: at first, he wanted to bring the kids and live as a bohemian) is the best of the worst case scenarios. BIL is also very fragile: he suffers from paranoia and we've noticed that he was falling back into it what with his wife's shenanigans.

I don't think that SIL would do anything to endanger her DD's and BIL cares way too much for them to do that. Furthermore, both of his brothers live in the same municipality he lives in. Granted, he's not on speaking terms with one of them, but the other, if asked, would look in on the kids, just to make sure all is ok.
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From bad, to hectic (I know: what else is new?), to bad again :( 10-30-2004 - 04:29 PM
OK, after BIL and his DD's left, DH and I decided that it was time to get a hold of our week-end, and we went shopping. First, we found 3 pumkins to finish the Holloween decorations.

I couldn't believe my eyes: everywhere I went, there were no decorations left!!! They've got all the X-Mas stuff out!!! Can't they at least wait until one holiday is over before they take everything away So, I guess we'll have to make do with what we have

I also got some stuff to make my pumpkin cake. But I got soooo wet on the way from one store to the other (by then, dh had gone back home with the pumpkins): it's been raining since noon, but it started really pouring, hard, just as I was going from one store to the other. It was so bad that in the few minutes it took me, my winter jacket was soaked, right through, my feet were cold and my jeans were also soaked

So I got home, put the stuff away and just came down to relax on the computer. I just can't believe what happened next: the phone rings. It's BIL: he's decided to come and spend the week here!!! OK, the daughters are staying with his wife... but... still.... this means our life will be all topsy-turvy again. BIL is a night-owl who is up til the wee hours of the night, playing video games.

I know that he's going through a major heart break and doesn't know how to deal with it... but I really don't know how we're going to fare, through all of this. I know that both of us have really big weeks ahead of us, at work. It's hard going to work, and making it through the work day when you have an emotional turmoil to deal with at home. And it's also hard to keep the kids to their schedule, when there's someone else in the house.

Oh, well... hopefully this is only going to be for one week (we really can't afford to make it a permanent arrangement) and then, before we know, we're going to be back to normal
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Sad Saturday :( 10-30-2004 - 11:09 AM
I feel soooo drained today: after all the muss and fuss with BIL and his two daughters, yesterday, there's been even more happenings!!!

His wife called about 5 or 6 times, last night. At one point, he was arguing with her, over the phone, big time Then, eventually, they must have both calmed down and they decided that they needed to talk this over, in person. So he just left, taking his DD's with him.

While this means that we're free to get our life back in order, and to ourselves, for the week-end, it also means that my own DD was heartbroken that her cousins were leaving so soon: after all, most of the time they were here, she was either in school or sleeping So, while she's now calmed down, thanks to being occupied decorating her friend's house for Holloween, it also means that she decided she wasn't in shape for her soccer school It infurriates me to see someone who's soooo gifted at something just ignore or take that gift for granted. As one who's a complete moron where sports are concerned, I know that it is not given to everyone to be so talented!!!

All in all, I just feel overwhelmed and drained. I think that it's all a mixture of too much stress, not enough sleep and too much emotions over such a short period: I simply can't cope with it

Where the eating is concerned, despite feeling so awful, I'm still keeping in mind that I want to fit in my clothes again and am eating right. I'm also planning to walk to the store, after lunch. It's a 90 minute walk, and the air is crisp and it will do me good, both physically and emotionnally

Right now, I feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders, and I just can't take it. Thankfully, I know that things will improve, especially since this problem is not really mine. I just hope that BIL doesn't pull a stunt like this anytime soon: it's just too much disruption, both to ourselves and to the kids. My kids need structure, balance and calm. Guess all kids do

On the bright side, I laughed yesterday when DS's pal asked me to make desert bars for his mother: he took some over and her taste them, and she loved as much as he does. Since I'm not a cook, that made me smile
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Freaky Friday :( 10-29-2004 - 10:17 PM
What a week!!! What an awful day!!!

This week has been a crazy, crazy week!!! I've been soooo busy and I only got to have a really good night's sleep on Wednesday. But it was a great, rejuvenating sleep. If only yesterday had been as good

Turned out that last night was one of the worse nights of my life, after the night when dad passed away: at 1:30 am, the phone rings. It's BIL: he's driven 200 miles, after his wife went over edge. She's going through a major depression/burn out and he also has very strong suspicions that she's been having an affair. And it's gotten so bad that he actually called the police, then left with his two little daughters.

So they traipse in around 1:45 am, and, by the time they're all settled down, it's about another 30 minutes before we can go back to bed. Of course, with all this stress and misery, neither DH nor myself got very much sleep. And both of us had to go to work today, due to deadlines and engagements.

So here I am, absolutely exhausted, dead on my feet. And so concerned for BIL and his two little girls. Thankfully, the girls think they're just here to spend the week-end with their cousins

Thankfully, remarkably, through all of this I've been succeeding at keeping on my diet. I did slip a little today, but that's understandable given the stress. But I've been doing great and am proud of myself. I've also been walking, every day, and feel great from doing it!!!

BTW, the reason my hormones are so unbalanced, this far after my surgery, is that I kept my ovaries and am only going through peri-menopause now, almost 4 years later. Thankfully, this has not been an on-going thing: I think I would have lost it, long before now!!!

Here's a link to the South Beach Diet: https://www.hystersisters.com/vb2/link.php?s=2a3c690f2ed950756ccd445c81da2aa7&amp;amp;action=jump&amp;amp;lid=1095

It is actually a diet you can live on for the rest of your life, because it is more about principles than a whole lot of restrictions.

As far as kids go, my 13 yo DS has mental health issues in the form of neurological disorders. This means that this extremely bright kid is a whole lot more dependent and immature than most 13 yo's are. So take heart: it's probably not going to be that bad for most of you are are starting out at the parenting thing.

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Another Manic Monday 10-25-2004 - 08:59 PM
OK, I know it's a pretty corney title, but that's the first thing that came to mind, when I thought of today!!!

Actually, the day wasn't as manic as some of my other days, just very hard to get through, as I'm very, very tired from my busy week-end. In the end, I ended up leaving work earlier than usual.. but, in effect, it was at the time I'm supposed to leave!!!

I got home, and DH was even more exhausted than I was. First thing I knew, he was sound asleep and I was left minding the kids. Not that they need that much minding: they're almost 9 and 13, but they do tend to be very demanding in the evening Finally, I just told DS (the only one other than me still up) that enough is enough and that it's time for both of us to go to sleep!!!

One great thing about this day is that I finally made a committment to loose all this extra weight: it's either loose weight or buy a whole new wardrobe, and I don't want to do that!!! Not unless it's in size smaller than the one I already have

So here I am, doing Phase One of the South Beach Diet, again. I did cheat, but only once and managed to avoid all kinds of other temptations. And other than that once, I didn't even have cravings for sweets, as I normally do in the first days of the program.

Because I'm so tired, I didn't get to exercise much today: just a little walk, to catch the bus, this morning, but that's it. Well, I guess that the fact that it was uphill does count for something, right?

I feel like I'm having problems balancing my hormones, again: while I'm not plagued with insomnia or hot flashes, this time I feel very fuzzy-headed and have a hard time putting my thoughts together and finding the right words when I'm talking... this is very annoying and very unlike me. I'm hoping it's just another phase of my cycle... or due to the fatigue. Somehow, I don't think that I can really blame the fatigue for this
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Lazy, beautiful, Sunday 10-24-2004 - 08:13 PM
OK, it's been a beautiful day... and it was Sunday. I did hope to make it a lazy day, but didn't succeed

But it was still a great day: I did make my relish but found out why my mom never wrote recipe books You see, when I asked her for her relish recipe, she just told that I needed to alternate the Tomato slices with the onion slices and the coarse salt, to leave it to marinate overnight and to boil it with pickling spices until the tomatoes came undone.

Well, this morning, first MIL mentions that I need to add sugar to the recipe. Well, I go: it's mom's recipe and she never mentionned sugar Then DH mentions something about vinegar. Again, I go: well, it's mom's recipe and she never mentionned vinegar Sooooo, just to be on the safe side, and because I don't remember ever helping mom with that part of the process, I phoned mom and, sure enough, I need to add sugar, vinegar and (thankfully, I mentionned that) water!!! I told that when I asked for the recipe, I wanted to know the whole recipe, not only part of it

While I'm rather pleased with my first effort at brewing this relish, it didn't turn out perfect: it's way too salty!!! But did it ever make a lot of it: I ended up with two large Mason Jars and 4 small ones!!! And even had left-over so I could eat a whole bowl for supper with bread and butter

I was talking about this with my sister and I mentionned that I vividly remember sitting accross the table from dad as he sliced the tomatoes and the onions (that fond memory's been with me all week-end ) but don't remember helping him while he was doing it (I must have, at least when I was older ) and I certainly don't remember helping mom with the rest of the process.. but I remember eating the results

It's funny, but, initially, I didn't have much fond memories of my father: we weren't close, as he was a strict disciplinarean who had self-righteous views that were almost always different than mine.. So we would end up arguing, a lot. And that was too bad... but one of the traits of that side of the family (that we all inherited ): we are all very stubborn and all have very strong opinions on issues that we care about.

But lately, I've been remembering little things, such as the relish-making memory. Or how we both enjoyed eating corn-on-the cob, rhubarb, Christmas celebrations, etc. And what's great is that those are nice, cozy and fond memories. And the memories no longer bring tears to my eyes: I know he's gone and I know that he's not coming, since he passed away in 1997. But I guess I've reached a point in the healing and grieving process where I no longer resent the fact that we weren't close and that he died without giving me a chance to see him, just one more time, to hug him and to tell him that I love him. So this means I can recall the good times (and they were really great times). I guess I just didn't think that the healing process would take so long!!!

I can't believe the week-end is almost over: it was such a busy week-end that it feels like I never saw it go by!!! And now it's back to work tomorrow.. for another busy week. I wish I was in school again: the kids have a PD day tomorrow
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WooHoo - I got to do most of what I wanted to do!!! 10-23-2004 - 09:38 PM
Yes, I know, my agenda for today was really jampacked, but, incredibly enough, I got to do most of what I wanted to do:
  • I did go to the store and got Mason Jars, Pickling Salt (ok, it's coarse salt ) and whatever else I still needed for my Green Relish
  • Most of the Holloween Decorations are
  • The tomatoes and onions are all cut and the wonderful concoction is fermenting.
  • The only thing I didn't get is the cheesecloth: all the sores I went to are out of them. But my mom says I can use a white dishcloth instead.

Needless to say, I'm exhausted, especially since I walked a lot. Since I got my pedometer, on Tuesday, I've been averaging at least 6,000 per day. Today was almost 9,000 steps. I know that, to be fit, I should aim for 10,000 steps a day, and that's what I'm striving for.

Tomorrow, I'm planning on finishing the Relish, doing the laundry and on baking a few batches of cookies. And I'm hoping I'll have a restful night.
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Splendid Saturday - October 23rd :) 10-23-2004 - 04:09 PM
Today is just one of those splendid fall days: even though the temperature was at freezing point this morning, it really warmed up and it's nice and sunny and just wonderful

DH and I were awaken, at something like 6 am, by BIL's cell phone: it was ringing madly and the ringtone is a musical score. Took me forever to get back to sleep, especially since the decided it was time for him to be fed I did go back to sleep and woke up at 9:30, as the kids (my 2 and BIL's 2), MIL and BIL were all up and about.

Most of the day was spent doing errands: I found the mason jars, still didn't find the cheesecloth (thanks (((Aurora)))): that is the term I was looking for ). I'm hoping that I'll find some at one of the two grocery stores that are opened 'til 9:00 tonight. I don't know what else I can do: If I wait until next week-end, I risk loosing my tomatoes . BTW, I really don't know how to make relish either, it's just that I've picked all those tomatoe, after we'd had a frost or two and don't want them to go to waste... so I'm using mom's recipe for relish.

BTW, I got my scarf and gloves set in Ottawa, at a store named &amp;quot;Cleo&amp;quot;. They've got really great, unusual clothes and have that european flare to them. And they're not expensive at all, which is a great bonus!!! I just checked their website (http://www.cleo.ca/) and they have stores all over Canada, except in the Territories.

BTW, I think I'm over most of the flu and feel a whole lot better. I noticed that, for the first time since earlier this week, I've actually got colors in my cheeks

I added Glucosamine to my Supplement list and I think that they're already helping. I've got DH on them too, but he's really suspicious of them So, yesterday, I got mad and told him that he'll regret it if doesn't take them and I stop having aching joints and he keeps having them
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WooHoo - TGIF!!! 10-22-2004 - 09:23 PM
OK, well, it may not be such a :

First, the day started with me having a real hard time waking up. And my tummy was soooo sore from the flu. Then, DS wouldn't even wake up: he was having a real hard time with a sore calf and was still dealing with diarrhea. So he stayed home.

I went to work, but spent almost as much time in the washroom as I did working: yep, diarrhea And I know I'm still running a low grade fever and so is DS. And DH is not faring much better.

But, at least, DD woke up refreshed and in a great disposition. What a change when you have a smiling child in the morning

Work was busy but I managed to finish before 5:30 This was especially important since I knew that my BIL and his 2 DD's had already drove in from Montreal.

I'm really hoping that I'll be able to both rest this week-end and do all the things I want to do: bake some cookies; make some relish (but, first, I have to buy the salt and the &amp;quot;cotton fromage&amp;quot; (wonder how you say that in english ) and the mason jars!!!); put up the Halloween decorations. OK... maybe I won't be able to rest as much as I want to, but I'l at least have a great week-end.

I did treat myself, today, though: I bough an awesome scarf and glove set!!! They're black and white, with very large stripes. But the awesome part is that the scarf's stripes go length-wise until it reaches this mock buttonned-up part, then they run the other way!! And the gloves are done in much the same principle. I saw the scarf earlier this week and thought that I wanted it. Then I looked at it, twice and, finally, noticed the gloves yesterday. Today, I figured that I was worth it
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Today was another hectic day... so? What else is new :hmm: 10-21-2004 - 09:38 PM
The day started early, way too early, or so it seemed: last night was simply so hectic that I felt like I never got to sleep. Thankfully, the Valerian Root is working and, when I sleep, I do sleep soundly.

It was another very busy day at work and, as usual, there was something &amp;quot;I just had to finish&amp;quot; before leaving and ended up leaving at 5:30, instead of 5:00 Got to the bus stop and just missed my bus by about 4 or 5 minutes. So, 15 minutes later, my run shows up, he barely slows down and then slams on the accelerator and leaves me there I was soooooooo angry, I was simply fuming and talking to myself: I simply couldn't believe the driver had done that!!! No wonder the bus was empty: he wasn't giving passengers a chance to get to it!!! So I walked to the next bus stop, where there's a schedule and found out that, fortunately, there was another bus in just a few minutes (for me and for the bus company: I was all set to write an e-mail both to the company and to our counsellor (who's also the chairman of the bus company), suggesting that the chairman stand on a corner for 30 to 60 minutes, to see if he thought that the schedules made sense!!!). So, it was almost 6:30 by the time I got home.

This means that I only barely had time to eat and then it was time for DD's homeworks. What an ordeal: DD was exhausted from going to bed too late last night!!! When she's tired, she doesn't make sense. So, there she was, insisting that she had to finish the math homework but claiming that she couldn't. She wouldn't let DH and I help and she was just sitting there, crying her poor little heart out. And then, the same scenario over her reading assignment. In the end, we did as I suggested in the first place: she relaxed as I read the story.

As I've been having increasing joint pains... not unbearable, just more frequent and in more joints... I've now added Glucosamine to my supplement regimens. I don't know if it's my imagination but, while the pain is still there, it doesn't seem to be as sharp as it's been in the past few weeks

I really, really enjoy my pedometer: I've been registering, steadily, well over 7000 steps a day!!! I can't wait to see how many steps I register when I walk to the various stores!!!

I'm hoping that tonight will be a good night and that I'll be able to catch up on lack of sleep: I just hate being tired all the time
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Feeling a little more human :) 10-19-2004 - 06:46 PM
I think that I should listen to my body more often and take sick leave when I'm sick: after a loooong nap, this afternoon, I felt a whole lot better!!! Sure, the tummy is still complaining, my back is still sensitive and I'm now aware of a moderate sore throat, but, at least, I can walk straight and feel a whole lot better.

I finally received my Pedometer from &amp;quot;Chatelaine&amp;quot; (an awesome canadian magazine http://www.chatelaine.com/) and used it when I walked DD to her friend's house: I don't know how accurate it is, but it's registered almost 4000 steps since supper time

I haven't been eating right all day, but I know that it's because, when I'm feeling yucky, I always reach for comfort foods. I am planning on getting right back on my program, tomorrow and feel energized and motivated, just from having the pedometer.

I think the natural hormones are working: I'm still having some &amp;quot;day sweats&amp;quot; and hot flashes, but not as bad as they used to be. The greatest thing is that I'm now sleeping full nights. Of course, I'm still dealing with the chronic fatigue, but it's not as bad as it used to be. And I know that the stress I've been living can't be helping much!!!
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Think I know why I was so tired: PMS AND the flu!!! 10-19-2004 - 08:26 AM
I remember that on Saturday I was really down about being sooo exhausted and tired all the time!!! It is hard to explain to others and others have a tendency to not even believe just how tired we can be

Sunday was another very, very stressful day: the water heater was changed and, first, wouldn't heat the wate. Once DH played with thermostats, it was doing beautifully and we were relieved that the kids would be able to take their baths before going to school... that was until we realized that the valve was shot and that the monster was leaking again!!! So a nice, hot, shower was out of the question for us... again

As if that wasn't enough, DS kept having meltdowns about not having friends over and about not being able to reach his cousin. Finally, in mid-afternoon, he reached the cousin and was comforted that they would spend a few hours together... and then a friend showed up at the same time as the cousin and, before we knew it, there was another melt-down due to having too many people over All this resulted in tons and tons of stress and lack of sleep. So, yesterday, I was feeling really down, all day.

Then it hit me, last night: terrible, terrible stomach cramps accompanied with a headache, gas and a back ache. First, I blamed it on the flu that kept DD home on Friday and DS home yesterday and today. Then I realized that it was most likely a bout of the extreme PMS flares that I've been having, off-and-on, since my hyst. This morning, when DH also woke with the terrible cramping and gas, I realized that, most likely, it's a combination of both.

All I know is that, presently, I'm in so much pain that I can't walk straight. And the pain is both in my lower back and my abs, so that there doesn't seem to be a way to relieve the pain effectively: currently, I'm sitting with a pillow against my back and one against my tummy. And DS is asleep, in my bed

So, today, I intend to rest (can't do anything else: stayed home from work, it hurts so much ) and, hopefully, we'll all be back to normal tomorrow.
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Soooooo tired all the time... even when I have a good night's sleep??? 10-16-2004 - 08:28 PM
I really don't know what's going on. I know that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has been a real possibility for me, as I have a tendency to never feel rested. But it seems to be getting worse as I age.

For instance, this morning I woke up after a great night's sleep. I was soooo happy and soooo sure that I'd be energized all day. Unfortunately, this was not meant to be: by about 3 pm, I just felt exhausted and by 4, I had virtually no energy, had that leaden feeling that means that I need to rest.

I'm better now: I had a nice 1 hour nap after supper and have a whole lot more energy.

Now, I know that some of this could be the result of all the stress I've been having. It could also be the result of the really terrible eating habits I have these days. But it simply doesn't seem normal to start the day, after a solid 8 hours of sleep to feel so low in energy about 8 hours later

That said, my day was really great and we were treated to a very special sight: my DD had soccer school this morning and, during the training session, we noticed that people were looking down, towardst he field that borders the high school grounds. Lo and behold, just out there, by the bike path, were three young White Tail Dears. They were grazing and walked down to an open field. At one point, they started to play and run and headed for some long grasses. It was soooo great to see them carouse: all we could see were the white tails bounding around And with the great fall colours in the bordering mountains, it was a breathtaking experience!!! I'm soooo sorry I didn't have my camera along: it's now the second time I have a dear sighting and no camera to prove it!!!

The afternoon was spent baking cookies and trying a new recipe for a Chocolate Toffee Bar, so that the kids have treats that they can indulge

And I did have time to start reading the books I bought: I'm now in the middle of the first chapter on my Danielle Steele book. That's how much I got to read before I fell asleep, with my kitty cat right by my side
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Finally relaxing!!! 10-14-2004 - 07:07 PM
Wow, what a week it's been... and it's not even over!!! Thankfully, the only evidence of this morning's drama are the lack of hot water (thankfully, both DH and I can take showers at work) and the rest of the towels to dry: the last load was just washed, in cold water, of course!!!

Finally, it's only 8 pm, homeworks are completed, DD is playing quietly, with books and crayons and heaven knows what else, MIL is watching TV, DS and DH are playing a video game and I'm, finally, catching up with my Hyster Sisters

Through all of this, my eating has been way, way off, again and my tummy is now complaining: the IBS is acting up and my liver is also giving me a hard time. Thankfully, I've been drinking lots and lots and lots of water, so that kind of compensates.

Through all the stress, I did have quite a bit of hot flashes and dizzy spells, especially this morning, when we still didn't know if the electrical appliances had been affected. And my hands are soooo sore, most likely due to a mild arthritic flare caused, once again, by the accumulated stress!!!

So, tonight, we plan an early light's out, again.
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GRRR - Our day started with a basement flood: busted water heater!!! 10-14-2004 - 03:20 PM
Just when both DH and I felt we were catching up on our sleep and feeling ready for the rest of the work week, wham we have to stay home in order to clean up the mess, crossing our fingers, hoping than none of the electronics were damaged ( They weren't!!!)

We knew that it was ailing and had asked the landlord to replace it. Unfortunately, MIL (yep.. MIL again ) was the only here when he came. All we know, for sure, is that he said he couldn't replace it yesterday because &amp;quot;his guy is in Montreal&amp;quot;, doing some type of odd jobs over there. What we're not sure of, is if he said it was ok to turn it back on (DH had disconnected it because it was leaking) or if MIL never bothered to ask and then assumed that it was OK. What we do know for sure is that DH didn't listen to his intuition and turned it back on last night. Well, this proved to be too much and the tank gave up. We figure it must have happenned when MIL got up and turned on the tap to make the coffee. All that we know is that, when we woke up, a few minutes later, the basement was flooded with a few inches of water. What's bad is that our bedroom is in the basement and so are the computer and all the electronic games.

So, both DH and I stayed home and cleaned up the place. Fortunately, by 11 am, we were done cleaning and were just letting the fans and areation dry the place.

When turned everything back on, around 2 pm, all was working

The good part is that we took a break: DH wanted to exchange the broken PS2 against a limited edition, 2nd edition PS2 and I took that opportunity to go and spend my gift certificate, at Chapters. I came back with an Ice Cream cook book, Danielle Steele and John Grisham paperbacks, a Christmas baking magazine and another magazine. And I still have $5.00 left on my gift certificate!!
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Sooooo tired today, but feeling better emotionally... 10-13-2004 - 09:08 PM
After yesterday's upheavals, today was a whole lot easier than yesterday. For one thing, DS's Phys-Ed teacher called and we had a long, long chat. Turns out that things were a little different than DS perceived it: yes, the teacher made a pass at him, and yes another child told DS &amp;quot;no, let me have it&amp;quot; but, unlike DS's story, the kid didn't rush DS in order to get the ball. DS just let it go, listening to the kid and letting his feelings be hurt

DS has a huge self image problem and needs to work on his self-esteem, big time. Yes, there has been tons and tons of improvements over the past year. However, this is a new behavior: he just runs away from the situation and goes home. He really needs to face the situation and to learn to deal with it. His aide and I are taking the required steps to have him work with the school's psychologist.

BTW, his teacher and I discussed the possibility of doing something else than team sports, but he told me that that wasn't a possibility: they are working out outside for another 3 lessons and will be playing team sports. So I will have DH (the sportsman of the family, along with DD) play with him and give him tips.

The teacher also told me that this was one of the worst classes he's had to deal with in 32 years of teaching: there's supposed to be only up to 11 students in this special ed classes, but there are 18. And DS and the other child who shares the Aide are not the worse cases!!! So it's basically a matter of dealing with children dealing with different types of learning and behavior disabilities!!!

I'm also taking steps to ensure that he's still got the support of the aide, next year. Thankfully, at last night's PTA meeting, I had a nice chat with the President of the Special Ed committee and he agreed to work with me on this issue. He knows what this is all about: one of his son as Asperger and another one has ADHD!!!

With all of these issues, and my getting to the PC so late last night, I went to bed really, really late again and woke up soooo tired this morning. I did go to work (I have too many things to do) but left a little earlier than usual. When I got home, DH was napping and did the same. DH was soooo angry when MIL woke us up by addressing DD in a very loud voice: it was almost 6:30 and she hadn't even started supper!!! And it wasn't like it was a complicated meal: it was rice with sauteed chicked and vegetables!!! The vegetables and sauce come in a frozen package and you just add it to the meat: even I can fix it up, no problem!!!

The hardest part about tonight was getting through the homeworks: both kids had about an hour's worth of homeworks and were both getting frustrated!!! And so were mom and dad!!!
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Another trying day :( 10-12-2004 - 10:24 PM
First off, I wanted to thank all of you who offerred hugs and comments regarding my &amp;quot;MIL&amp;quot; post yesterday

BTW, I am not a saint: when I first met MIL and in those early days when she was helping out with our new born DD, we actually got along pretty well. Granted, the honeymoon was short-lived, but we were caught between a rock and a hard place: while she was driving both of us crazy (DH was the one who wanted to send her back home, from the beginning), we really needed her help. In the area where we live, there really is a huge shortage of day care providers, and we didn't know anyone who could help us out. Plus she did help, a little, financially and, at that time, we really needed that help too. And DH does stand up for me and the kids and he has talked to her numerous times: she doesn't listen. In her own words &amp;quot;she forgets&amp;quot;

Thankfully, I have really good kids. While my DD, who's spent a lot of time with her and knows that MIL will always stand up for her, regardless of whether she's right or not, will always side with MIL (unless she's upset with MIL... of course ), DS will always stand up for either myself or DH. She drive him nuts too... and he doesn't need that, at all!!!

OK, enough MIL venting... now, on to DS venting

Seriously, it's actually not a vent against DS because this is something that is happening to him. As some of you may remember reading, my son is 13 yo and has some serious learning disabilities: severe ADHD, borderline schizophrenia (he doesn't have hallucinations and doesn't hear voices, but he has a &amp;quot;fragility&amp;quot; that causes him to slip into his own world) and some paranoia. He's now in a Special Ed program in the second year of high school, which is Grade 8 just about anywhere else. With the help of an Aide, he's finally progressing. However, there is a problem and a major one: for three phys ed classes in a row, he's been the victim of either harrassment or has been ignored. It happenned again today and DS, who's extremely sensitive, then goes into a state where he doesn't want to stay in school.

After discussing it with the aide, we had decided that we would not give him permission to come home. However, despite my saying a firm &amp;quot;no&amp;quot;, he simply couldn't re-integrate the classroom. I did call his phys-ed teacher, but wasn't able to reach him. I'm hoping he'll call me back before the next phys-ed class: DS really, really loves phys-ed but he's now thinking he won't attend anymore I'm going to suggest to the teacher that, until things are resolved, he forgoes playing team games and opts for something like gymnastics or track or something else where DS can flourish.

All this has left me feeling very, very depressed. There has been so much going for the past year, that I'm having a very hard time recouping: I just can't seem to get over it. And even the smallest of things, like DS not doing his homeworks, for instance, leaves me feeling hopeless. It feels like I have a constant weight on my shoulders and sometimes it gets soooo heavy that I can't bear it. I don't know if hormones have a role to play into all of thise.. they might. All I know is that I feel pretty hopeless about it all... and feel like things will never improve and that we'll never see the end of it
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MIL is driving me absolutely crazy!!! GRRRR!!! 10-11-2004 - 09:06 PM
I'm sorry about having to vent on this... but I need to get it out of my system

MIL lives with and has lived with us, for all intents and purposes, since DD's birth, in 1995. However, it's only official since 1998, when she actually, finally, let go of her lease in Montreal (that's another story I won't get into

At first, we really needed her to be there for us: we live in an area where there is a dramatic shortage of childcare. Waiting lists are as long as 1 year... or more. I know some women who got on the list when they first found out they were pregnant and still had to make alternate arrangements when they had to return to work 1 year after the birth!!! And, later on, as DD entered the school system, we needed her to mind DS whenever he had to come home from school or was altogether suspended from school. However, these days, the situation is quite different: DD is in school, full time, and, should we need it, there is a wonderful day care right within the school. And DS is 13 yo, so, even if he comes home from school, he can be on his own... with limits, of course.

And we're starting to regret her presence here, big time!!! At first, I'd be the one calming DH down and telling him to be lenient with her: she's older, never raised her son (his two aunts raised... that's another long story I won't get into... mainly because it's not even my story to tell) and she tries her best. And we really, really needed her to help out. However, these days, I'm not defending her at all. For one thing, she's always on my back, always putting me down, even to my children and she's simply a bad influence on the children: one child she spoils rotten (DD) and the other child she mines down even more than he does himself, more bent on proving that his issues are not from &amp;quot;her side of the family&amp;quot; than on loving him and helping him overcome the issues!!!

And we only realize just how much of a stressor she is on our family life when she's away for a while: she spent most of this canadian long week-end at her sister-in-law's place. We had a wonderful, peaceful, relaxing week-end. She came back this afternoon and started seeding war, right away.

It's hard to describe her behavior, but it's full of inuendo's, barely masqued accusations against me and full of yelling and pressuring us into doing everything right away!!!

For instance, the big issue, today, was that one of DH's aunt had given both kids a small amount of money. Well, she wanted them to call her right the minute she walked through the door. I interjected, because I figured that then wasn't the time: DD was playing with a friend and don't believe that issues like these need to be discussed while other children are present. It's simply not showing any respect for either of the children. She was really peeved at me for saying no!!!

Then, tonight, as DS was, finally, doing his homeworks, she came back to the charge with the ultimate result that she disrupted DD who started playing with a ball, in the house, hit DS in the back and DS got out of himself and ended up not finishing his homeworks And she doesn't undestand why we're upset with: it's simple... her priorities are all wrong!!!

Don't get me wrong: I also believe that you should thank others when they give you things... I just think that there is a time to do this and that the time is not when the children are busy with other children or when they are doing their homeworks. And I really don't think that there was a need to thank her, right the minute she walked in the door!!!

Oooof.... writing about it helped jsut about as much as drinking a nice glass of wine did
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Found the link to the article re: breast cancer 10-10-2004 - 09:55 PM
After writing my journal, I went fishing for that article I was reading this morning, on beating breast cancer. And I found it!!! It's called 12 Ways of Beating Breast Cancer and can be found on the Canadian Living web site at the following link:
http://canadianliving.com/CanadianLiving/client/en/today/DetailNews.asp?idNews=3360&amp;amp;bSearch=True (I'm also submitting the link to the Resources Library https://www.hystersisters.com/vb2/link.php?s=cc8adc19a063f0b4f369a234e38f9783&amp;amp;action=browse&amp;amp;cid=14)

This is an issue that I take seriously for various reasons:
  • My aunt had breast cancer that was un-supervised and ended up spreading.
  • Several of my father's cousins are breast cancer survivors
  • My MIL is presently in remission from breast cancer
  • My FIL is one of those rare men who died from breast cancer
  • Regardless of the familial history, breast cancer is spreading at a frightning rate and affects way too many women!!!

That article is extremely interesting!!!
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Sweet Sunday of an Autumn day 10-10-2004 - 09:47 PM
Today was a very typical, magical Autumn day in Canada: all the leaves are turning, there was just enough of nip in the air and I'm sure I could smell the soon-to-come snow. Yes, I agree: snow is a four-letter word, but I do like fall soooo much!!!

Even though I've been very achy in just about every joint, the day started with a leasurely walk to the convenience store with DH, while DS (now 13 and willing) minded our 8 yo DD who didn't feel like going for a walk. After getting a few sundries, we stopped by the flourishing butcher shop and baught some freshly baked bread and a rubarb/strawberry pie: both were still hot!!!

After lunch, I walked to the store. I haven't done that all summer, but I really enjoy the walk: it's a 90 minute walk that takes place, partly, along a nice wooded path. On the way there, I heard a noise in the trees: I was near a pond and there was a majestic blue heron taking flight!!! I just love this area!!!

I took the bus back, partly because I had too many bags, partly because I was very achy by then... and exhausted!!!

Lately, I've been reading all kinds of articles about women's health and one of them, all about beating the odds of getting breast cancer, had a lot of insight. I do not have the article in front of me, but I was stunned to learn that the most important factor in breast cancer. Another factor is weight. Not only is maintaining a healthy weight important, they also stated that yo-yo dieting dramatically increases your of breast cancer. Furthermore, they stated that a study showed that women who had never lost weight, even if their weight is above their healthy BMI, are less at risk than women who have repeatedly lost weight. This is very scary for me, a poster child for yo-yo dieting, because it's not something I can change. Smoking and exposure to estrogen were other factors.

Tomorrow is another day off and I'm soooo looking forward to the additional day of rest. Not that we've been sleeping in very much, but 2 hours of additional sleep is sure worth it!!!

One thing I've noticed, about the menopausal symptoms, is that if I skip a dose of my vitamines, or am late taking them, I feel the effects right away. For instance, this morning I didn't have breakfast so hadn't taken my vitamins (because they need to be talken with food) when we went to the convenience store. I ended up having such a hard time formulating thoughts and sentences!!!! It wasn't until later that I realized that the probable cause was not having taken the vitamines!!! This is sooo scary and disturbing. Hopefully, things will improve as my body adjusts to &amp;quot;the change&amp;quot;!!!
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Rainy Saturday... just figures!!! 10-09-2004 - 02:35 PM
Yes, today is rainy, and it's windy and it's a little cooler than Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were... but it just figures: that's the way it's been all summer: Tuesdays and Thursdays were miserable, just in time for soccer!!! So why would it be different on Saturdays, where she still has soccer

And this morning was a hasle just getting her to go to soccer practice: she wants her &amp;quot;holiday&amp;quot; (read: week-end) to herself. But we explained that there were two reasons why we enrolled her in the Winter Soccer Accademy (no kidding, that's how they call it!!!): One of the reasons is because she has potential and she needs to exploit this potential. The other reason is that the Association really has a major problem with girls not participating in the Winter Accademy, because they end up not learning the skills they need to make it into the competitive arena. In the end, she was very proud of herself, as she did a good job of it.

OK, back to my hormone journalling: I'm still having problems with hot flashes and dizzy spells, but it's getting better. I think it may just be a matter of my cycling and I'll just have to learn to live with those more intense periods. I'm also hoping that, as time goes by, those episodes will get less intense.

I'm really getting to the point where I think I need to do something about this uncontrolled weight gain of myself: the whole thing is psychological and I need the control to stay on the plan. Just don't know how to get there again!!! And starting to think that it may have something to do with peri-menopause, as I have these huge cravings for sugar that I never had before!!!

Our plans for today were to start working in DD's bedroom, but that's been delayed thanks to her insisting on DH accompanying to soccer. So the revised plan is to do some housework today and get going with DD's bedroom tomorrow
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The week is FINALLY over... and none too soon LOL 10-08-2004 - 08:21 PM
wow this was one busy, hectic, roller coaster of a week and I'm glad that it's finally over

And the roller coaster effect wasn't only at work and at home, it was also in nature: we went from freezing to summer-like weather: even now, it's evening, and we're baking!!!

This is a long week-end, in Canada, where we're celebrating Thanksgiving. I don't know if it's a french canadian thing, or just a thing in both my family and my DH's family, but we've never really celebrated Thanksgiving. So, once again, it's going to be the week-end we use to ready the yard for Winter, to put up the Hallowee'n decorations (does anybody else remember when Hollowee'n &amp;quot;decorating&amp;quot; meant turning your light on or having a plastic jack-o-lantern just to tell the kiddies that it was ok to knock on our door?... or is it another thing that was particular to our town?). And we're also going to paint DD's bedroom. So it's not going to be all rest, but it is going to be quiet.

Since my last journal, the only new development was that DD made the school's choir and that I got a call from DS's aide, letting me know that the week ended on really positive note, after Tuesday's incident.

Tonight, we were getting ready for supper and, as I go to tell DD to come in, the neighbor tells me that she injured herself: this time, it was a branch that hit her just underneath the eye, resulting in a gash. Fortunately, there won't be any need for stitches and, considering that the last time (in June) we went to the ER, when she did need stitches, we came back home, 6 hours later, without even seeing a doctor, we wouldn't have gone to the ER anyways!!!

To those who commented about the area where I live: yes, it's a very special place... especially the neighborhood where I am, because it's still very much part of the protected reserve that the Gatineau Hills are. BTW, Anne, you don't have to speak french to feel at home in this area: as you might know, there are as many anglophones living in the Outaouais as there are francophones living in the Ottawa area!!! And we keep moving from one province to the other!!!

You know, sometimes, you forget just how special the area you live in is: as it is the Capital city of Canada, we actually live in a touristic centre. Tourists come to visit the parliament buildings, yes, but they also come for the many, many museums we have, the Casino and the festivals that take place year round. Sometimes, it just hits me: I take it all in stride and just know that it's where I live, but this place is very special to others!!!

(((Anne)))) We do not have any middle schools in the Quebec area of the National Capital Region (there might be some in other areas of Quebec, but I'm not aware of them), but I was born and raised in Ontario, where High School starts in Grade 9 and still find it very strange that High School starts in Grade 7 over here. 12, and sometimes even 11, is sooooo young to be in an environment where you are expected to be self-sufficient!!! And it was very hard for my DS, who is very young emotionally, to adapt. Thankfully, in some ways, there is a whole lot more rules and structuring than in Grade school. And, thankfully, no morer recess and no more unstructured lunch hours: his lunch hours are shorter and filled with activities. I do hope that your DS is adjusting to his new environment!!! And that he enjoys his week-end home.

BTW, just on a funny note, my cat is not all that pleased with all the birds that visit our back-yard: for some reason, he really hates the Blue Jays!!! I think it's because my DH really loves them and the cat's jealous!!!

As far the eating goes, it's loss battle... well, it's not even a battle: I'm not even trying!!! I think that I'm just going to take it easy this week-end, and get back to it, seriously, on Tuesday. This will include going back to PACE.

Oh well, enough babling for tonight... and on to the boards.
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Ooof... finally have time to sit and write!!! 10-06-2004 - 09:27 PM
I'm telling you, it's been one hectic week, so far :run3:

Well, you already know about Monday, so I will start with yesterday:

Tuesday was hectic right from the start: I had to get to work on time for an 8:30 meeting. That meant it best to take the bus, as I wouldn't have had time to bike there and change in time for the meeting: I hate taking the bus!!! But I made it, got there in time!!!

The meeting was a Sector meeting and our Director started with showing off news footage of the aftermath of the 1972 World Hocky Series, the first one, where Canada surprised everyone, including the canadian teem, by scoring the winning goal. Very inspirational!!! It was sooooo funny seeing all these people with those hippie hairdos!!!

Then came the surprise: after the usual updates on major project, came the Merit awards. We didn't even know that there would be Merit awards. And was taken by surprise when I received one of the awards: it's sooooo wonderful to be appreciated by your teammates, colleagues and peers!!! What a wonderful way to start the day... and what a motivation to keep on aiming to meet all of my targets!!!

However, the day's high was short-lived: when I got back to my desk, there was a call from the school. DS was on his way home He got upset because he hadn't understood, exactly, what he was meant to do in Arts class and then found out that he had to transfer the art work he was doing on paper to carton. He got so upset, figuring he'd done all that work for nothing, that he threw his pencil, really hard, on his and then stormed out of the classroom, banging the door. And we've now identified a new behavior: the minute something goes wrong, no matter how minor, he decides to go home!!!

After talking with his aide, and brainstorming this, we decided that he would have to stay in at lunch-time and make up for the classes he's missed. Hopefully that will be the incentive to stop this new pattern. Thankfully, today was good day.

Today was another hectic day: Not only was it busy at work, but it was another day of busing in. And I miss the bus I usually take and got on the one that was filled with at 20 girls from a local private school... so I was standing. I really hate standing in the bus!!!

Then, tonight I went to a frozen food store, because I just love their chicken breasts (it's grain fed, air chilled), fish fillets, lasagna and ice cream. But the problem is that they close at 6 pm on Wednesdays!!! I then got home, grabbed a few bites of supper (litterally) and went off to shop with DD: drugstore first, then girls' store for a jacket, then off to the grocery store: it was 9 by the time groceries were put away and homeworks were finished. And I still hadn't had supper!!!

By then, I was soooo famished that I just grabbed the first thing I found: pizza!!! Then I had two cookies and some of that ice cream!!! And just when I was trying to get back on my diet: I've gained so much weight since June, that none of my clothes fit... except my fat clothes, and I don't want to get back into them!!!

By the way, ((((Anne)))), the leaves are just starting to turn in this area. And you're absolutely right: the Gatineau's trees are just breathtaking this time of year. And don't only live close to the Gatineau Hills: I live in them. The area I'm in used to be part of the whole Kingsmere Estate!!! What this means is that we have awesome birds visiting our backyards: we're doing great at attracting blue jays, finches and hummingbirds. We've been visited by a few woodpeckers. Only wish we had success at attracting the elusive cardinals: those birds are soooo beautiful!!!

And we have often seen deers: two of them were just accross the bike path from me, Easter Sunday!!! DH saw a fox in our street, one winter evening. Of course, it also means that bears, skunks and raccoons are close by

As we're having the wackiest weather, from warm, to cold, to freezing and back to gloriously warm, my body is all mixed up. This means that the hot flashes are still around. And so are the dizzy spells. Fortunately, the insomnia is under control!!!

BTW, yes, I'm lucky to have to beautiful, very special children!!! It's just that one of them is a little more special that we expected!!! But we're learning so much, thanks to him!!!

I guess that's enough rambling for tonight. Hopefully, I'll have time to write again tomorrow.
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No hot flashes for me today: it's just too chilly!!!! 10-04-2004 - 06:38 PM
I guess we can't escape it: Summer (for what it was) is definately over, and Fall has settled in. This morning, I'm sure I spotted a few flurries on my way to work!!!! I'm soooo not ready for this.

BTW, I lied: I did have a few hot flashes, when I was having my morning coffee, but there weren't as many. And no dizzy spells. And, despite forgetting to take my Valerian Root, I did have a relatively good night's sleep: just woke up a little too early for my taste... but I was rested.

We had a wonderful surprise today: Not only did we not have any problems sending DS to school, I also got a call from his aide (always a scary event) who was just calling to confirm that he was having a great day.

You see, he's 13 and in a special ed class that's equivalent to the first year of high school... + In our province, High School starts in the 7th grade. The only reason he's in this class is because he has some behavioral issues and had problems staying in school last year... and was suspended for most of the previous year. This resulted in failing his 1st year of high school... mostly because he hates French: that's not very good when you live in the Province of Quebec, where french is put ahead of everything else... including Maths.

So, today, he had a quiz, or something, in Math and he answered beyond the teacher's expectations. So much so that one of the kids asked what he was doing in that class, considering he's so good!!! Apparently my little peacock was quite pleased with himself!!!

However, the kids are not always nice to him: because his problems are behavioral in nature, he has a tendency to have melt downs. He's also extremely immature emotionaly... which is such a contrast with his accademic accomplishments: he's actually in the gifted range. Sometimes, though, I wish he wasn't as intelligent: that way, he wouldn't be using his intelligence to sabotage just about every aspects of his life!!!

Well, I better stop this rambling: It's past 7:30 and DD still has not even started her homeworks!!!
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Feeling a little better tonight :) 10-03-2004 - 05:49 PM
It looks like the hot flashes are receding a little, thankfully: They are a lot more of a bother than I would have imagined!!! I did stay away from coffee today and didn't have a hot drink after supper, so I know that that helps.

I did have another dizzy spell episode, this afternoon, but, fortunately, it was short lived. I'd forgotten just how unpleasant those were.

My knees, ankles and hands are sore again, but not as bad as they were yesterday: I'm at least able to function, today, and that is always nice.

If all I have to contend with is a few episodes of hot flashes and dizzy spells a month, I believe I can live with it. I don't know how one would deal with those on a constant basis and have a lot of empathy for those women who have to go through surgical menopause whithout the benefits of HRT

BTW, icare4bunnies, thank you so much for your support!!! While I agree that I do not have to limit myself to working with one doctor, I unfortunately live in an area of canada where were have a severe lack of doctors. It's then very hard to go for another opinion: it took 1 1/2 year to find this one and I only got in because MIL was referred to her. I then used MIL's name to get in. I do know that, should I have continuing problems, I will go back to her and insist that a formal HRT program would probably be best for me. And I know that bioidentical HRT is the way I would opt to go.

We're now praying that DS will not balk at going to school tomorrow: On Friday, he had another of those unpleasant episodes where he was completely ignored during a soccer game. Seeing that he's in a Special Ed class, this year, we were hoping that things would go better. Seems that they're not I'm thinking that, this time, on top of his being new to the group (the majority of the class was together last year, but he was in the mainstream), the others may resent the fact that he doesn't have any accademic issues to contend with

I was just thinking that I don't know why it took me soooo long to start this journal: I love journalling my journey!!!
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Well... the hot flashes are definately back :( 10-03-2004 - 08:52 AM
I'm starting to think that the relief from perimenopausal symptoms may have been due to my being in an &amp;quot;off&amp;quot; part of my cycle rather than attributable to all the supplements I've been thinking: this morning, after a good night's sleep, I woke up feeling a little chilly and greeted that as a sign that yesterday's episode was over. The celebration was to be very short lasted: I hadn't even finished my lone cup of coffee that I felt like I was burning up again!!!

That's when I kind of clued in on the fact that my perimenopausal symptoms seem to follow the kind of whacky cycle that my extreme PMS symptoms follow: I'll have a few months of feeling great, then will suddenly be hit by an episode of extreme PMS or will suddenly be hit with several weeks, even months of perimenopausal symptoms. And Fall and Spring seem to be triggers for the perimenopausal episodes, for some whacky reason

So, I've decided that I will go on with the supplements, as I know that it can take quite a few weeks for them to be effective. And I am seeing some improvements, as the episodes are not as closely spaced as they use to be. I guess I was taken aback by the suddenness and strength of yesterday's episode.

I never thought that I would ever be complaining about being too hot in the Fall or Winter... but this is soooo bad that I really have a hard time dealing with it. I guess it's the fact that I never know when it will hit or how bad it will hit that is making it all so much worse!!!
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I didn't get to bake cookies afterall :( 10-02-2004 - 07:20 PM
Well, the aching knees turned out to be worse than I thought: after a trip to the Market with DH, I just couldn't walk anymore. The pain and fatigue were just too much to contend with So I had a nice nap and have been lounging, feet up, most of the afternoon!!!

Where the natural HRT is concerned, I'm no longer convinced that it's doing that great of a job: tonight, DH turned on the heat to 18 Celcius - that's not even 68 Farenheit!!!! And I'm burning up!!! I'm not wearing shorts and a short sleeved top... but am still burning up!!! I stood outside for a while and wasn't even cold, despite the fact that there was cold steam coming from my mouth. This is a bit of a let down, but I'm trying to take it in stride and willl see how I feel tomorrow.

BTW, I just turned 48 (last week ) and I've been having perimenopausal symptoms ever since I had my surgery, almost 4 years ago.
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It's Saturday, my knee hurts and it's raining, good thing I'm balanced 10-02-2004 - 08:55 AM
It was kind of distressing waking up to muggy, wet, Saturday morning. Didn't help that, most likely due to the combination of the humidity and continuing to ride my bike... despite it being stuck on high gear ..., my right knee is hurting, bad!!!

Thankfully (kind of), DD is feeling under the weather and doesn't feel like attending her soccer clinic: I didn't relish the idea of spending 90 minutes, sitting outside, in the damp weather. Thankfully, this means that I can use that time to do something else.... maybe I'll bake those cookies I've been craving for

BTW, in reply to someone's comments, I am aware of the softening of the medical community where HRT is concerned. Unfortunately, my doctor is still erring on the side of caution, and hesitates to prescribe them to women who, like me, are not in surgical menopause.

Where DS is concerned, things are a lot better and, this year, I'm hoping to get involved in the committee that overlooks special education. Even if I can't get on that committee (our school already has a rep and, considering he was president of the school-board-wide committee last year, I'm thinking that he'll most likely want to sit on the committee again this year), I'm planning to start a motion, at least within our school (gotta start somewhere), to raise awareness on mental health issues: I've been dealing with it for over 10 years now, with DS, and am still learning new things, almost every day. Imagine how it is for those who are not so closely involved? They have no way of knowing that even &amp;quot;normal&amp;quot; teasing can be seen as an affront to a child dealing with mental health issues!!!

OK, enough babling for now... back to enjoying my day.
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Thanks for the words of encouragement :) 10-01-2004 - 09:21 PM
It is always encouraging to hear from others who are trying the same route you're trying: kind of validates your efforts

I've noticed that I've got lots more energy, much fewer dizzy spells and being able to drink a coffee without burning up is such a relief. Don't worry: I only drink 2 or 3 cups a day!!!

However, I really think that the best part is that I'm now sleeping through the night. Not only does it mean I'm more rested, it also means that I'm calmer: being awake, unable to go back to sleep is VERY stressful!!!

I've even notice that even stress brought on by my son's school issues no longer send me for a loop as they normally would: sure, I'm upset and sure I am sad for him... but these phone calls no longer trouble me to the point of going on junk food binges. And they no longer prevent me from going on with my daily routine: I deal with them, absorb what the problem is all about and opt for what I hope is the right course of action. That's such a great feeling and, I'm sure, will mean that I'm more of a mother to my child.

One thing I've also noticed, and don't know if it's coincidental or related: I've been having much less problems with constipation. I do not have diarrhea, but the bowels are much looser than before. Someone mentionned that EPO could have been related to her GI problems... in her case diarrhea. Could it be a nice bonus for me?

One thing I'm planning to add to my regimen is Glucosamide, as I'm still having lots of problems with joint pains. Since I do not have a firm diagnosis for the pain... just a vague &amp;quot;arthritic pain&amp;quot; label... I'm thinking that it can't hurt to add one more product to the cocktail!!!
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My journey into the Natural HRT meadow 09-30-2004 - 06:36 PM
Hi s

This is my first entry to my journal: I finally found a subject I wanted to journal about

Here's a bit of background as where this journey began.

I had my hyst in December 2000, keeping ovaries. From the start, my ovaries have been working whenever they felt like it. First, it was the 3 month strike, right after surgery: here I was, in the middle of a cold January, in Canada, turning off the heat because I was soooooo hot. Or waking up in the middle of the night, soaked to the bone, but freezing!!! Have you ever tried to change soaked pajamas, in the middle of the night, while shivering and trying to protect your recovering tummy? Not a pleasant or easy feat!!! And that wasn't all: there was also the mood swings, the dizzy spells and brain fog to contend with. At that time, my doctor suggested using Black Cohosh, an OTC natural estrogen to help with the symptoms: it worked, kind of. Thankfully, it was only a temporary measure, since my ovaries went back to work when I was 11 1/2 weeks post-op!!!

I thought that this was it, and that I was on the road to recovery, out of the jungle: little did I know. In reality, I ended up having to deal with EXTREME PMS symptoms at the same time as I was dealing with continuing peri-menopausal symptoms, such as mood swings, dizzy spells, hot flashes and night sweats. However, the peri-menopausal symptoms were just as cyclical as the PMS symptoms were... so that was a step in the right direction, regardless of how small it was.

From around the 10th month post-op until the end of 2002 or the beginning of 2003, things improved and seemed to settle down a bit: I would get the odd months of extreme PMS symptoms and the odd months where I would think that my ovaries were failing... but things would eventually go back to normal and I'd be OK for a few months. Then, things started to go out of whack again.

As I mentionned above, around the end of 2002/beginning of 2003, I started having increasing peri-menopausal problems: the hot flashes were increasing in frequency, there was evidence of vaginal dryness, brain fog, depression, mood swings, increasing cravings for sugar, increasing problems with insomnia and the annoying hot flashes and night sweats were back.

When I went for my physical in March 2003, my doctor agreed that having my hormonal levels tested was a good idea. However, the test results were baffling to me: not only were the levels good, the estrogen levels were actually on the high side So I went on for another year, just trying to cope with the annoying symptoms.

This year, when I went for my physical, in August, my doctor agreed that, despite my levels being good, that it was highly possible that I was actually in peri-menopause: Victory, I thought!!! However, I was very disappointed when I found out that my doctor is one of those who is weary of prescribing HRT, based on the results of the recent studies. That's why I turned towards natural HRT, at her suggestion.

After doing some research and obtaining the feedback of my trustworthy friends in the OASIS, I opted for the following regimen:

Magnesium oral solution at 5 mg per ml. I take one tablespoon with a large glass of milk, in the evening. I could take another Tablespoons. And could take it 3 times a day.* It should be noted that the only reason I've got the liquid form is so that my 8 yo DD can also take it... and, one of these days, she might (she has severe RLS)

Evening Primrose Oil with Vitamine E. Each capsule contains 500 mg of EPO and 15 IU of Vitamin E. I take 2 capsules, twice a day. I could take 4 more capsules.*

Black Cohosh- 40 mg - I take 2 capsules, twice a day.

Valerian Root - 400 mg - I take 3 capsules in the evening.

At one point, I noticed that, after I took the Magnesium, I would have really severe cramp-like pains in my calfs, mostly the riht leg. Even though I immediately fear a blood-cloth or DVT, I knew that it was unlikely to be the case, because the pain was somtimes present in the other leg and because there was no swelling and no redness. That was about 3 weeks ago. When I mentionned it in the Oasis, someone mentionned that taking Calcium along with the Magnesium was very important. Taking that in consideration, I've now added Calcium supplements, 3 times a day: It worked. I can take the Magnesium, without having any lower legs pains

So here I am, almost a month into the meadow and feeling a whole lot better: the Hot Flashes and Night Sweats are a thing of the past.... except when I forget a dose or two. I have more energy and I now sleep through the night, thanks to the Valerian Root. And, finally, the edginess that I was also dealing with is wearing off.

So it seems that that Natural HRT may be working for me.

I'll keep you posted on how I'm faring in the meadow.
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