metawidget: Person sitting cross-legged from the rear, in black and white with noise and scratches (body)
I've been on a routine maintenance kick lately — I started with a physical for my pension buyback, got my allergies assessed, blood checked out, shots updated. I probably have one more bunch of paper to pick up, then I'm done outside of flu shots for three years. Aside from that: eat well and be active as usual, but take some B12 to help my red blood cells keep up with the rigours of life — no need to be more exhausted than strictly necessary!

I considered signing up for a vasectomy after our third baby is born — three is a good number for us, I think. The week of not lifting kids or walking unnecessarily during recovery sounds like something better scheduled for when everyone is in school, though. I have my referral; maybe I can call it in in 2020. Meanwhile: maybe someone needs some proven-fertile (and, judging from our kids, smart, energetic and funny) genetic material? I am out of the blood system but maybe qualifying to give sperm is within reach — although an initial web search indicates that Canada doesn't have much of a sperm bank system outside of one operation in Toronto… possibly due to strict laws against the sale of sperm. It seems that all abject terror of markets for sperm has done is atrophy the collection system. I've read about egg donation, and it is kind of terrifying, risky and probably did need measures in place to discourage exploitation of broke people with ovaries. I'm also a bit mystified that there aren't enough potential donors to support a centre in a major-ish urban area. Surely there are many people who are fertile and who wouldn't mind sharing the wealth with people having difficulties or lacking an easier source of sperm. As it is, apparently it is completely legal to buy gametes from the States and abroad: there's something a little off about that.

I don't know that I have any good conclusions, but it is a little odd and frustrating.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
It feels like the new year has shaken lots of things up for me, largely in
a good way. It's surprising -- the very end of last year felt quietly
dire, and the beginning of this one, despite Oscar having just fought off a
week's worth of gastro and the weather having had us gone to ground much of
the time, has felt good. I'm starting a new position, with some staff and
some of my favorite technical matter, in Justice statistics -- it's acting,
maybe six months to a year, and an exciting challenge. I already feel a
big difference in how I interact with my chief as well as the pace and
choppiness of my day -- I like the new interaction style and the
big-picture duties, but the task-switching pace will be a challenge.

In at-work-but-not-work news, there are a couple of good things. First, I
am on a tear at lunchtime Scrabble -- a couple of convincing wins have me
sitting higher in the standings than I ever have. Probably more meaningful
to my well-being is that I stopped waffling and signed back up for yoga.
My old instructor had retired, so a new class with a new instructor: it's
"hip opening yoga" according to the title, but it feels more or less like
the very first class I attended way back in 2005 at Concordia, but with
extra blocks and balls. The instructor, Janice, is a bit tougher and has a
drier sense of humour than either of my previous instructors, which on
balance I think I will appreciate.

The home life is feeling more connected -- maybe things just settled better
after an exhausting late 2013, maybe it's a slowly improving sleep
schedule, or both of us just developing good patterns, but I feel like
we're managing to carve out more and better couple time. I'm finding Oscar
easier to have fun with, too -- he chimes in when we're reading a familiar
book, he comes up with extensive justifications for me spinning him around
(although he calls it "sponging", hence "this is sponging music, papa!"),
and his playing-with-others skills are improving. I'm looking forward to
milder weather soon, because I think the bitter cold is cramping his style
-- him tearing around outside more will be good for us all.

Year Lists

Aug. 11th, 2013 03:52 pm
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Well, I think I managed on average to floss about half of the days in year #33, and I've had a lighter touch with the filters online and in person. I think this was a four- or five- massage bar year and I got somewhat better at bringing back beer bottles. The mortgage breathed its last in May, and now our "make the house warmer and the kitchen fit us better" fund is growing fast and I'll be closing in on my RRSP deduction limit. We have a six-foot wooden fence with a gate that Oscar keeps figuring out as we secure it better (now he just wriggles under it), but at least he's down to one choke-point, and we did try! On the stuff I didn't do so well in from last year's list, I didn't get that check-up (no family doctor and not quite enough drive to get it done at a walk-in clinic), and I don't know that I made any big strides in relationship communication — appreciation, I think, and adventures, for sure, and some fine-tuning in timing and medium, but it's something I can still try to work on.

In the no-deadline parts of the list, we increased doctor coverage from zero of us to Vivien, and maybe Oscar in the fall. I started a new position, for which I'm learning a bunch of stuff and alternating between feeling competent and feeling like I just opened an overstuffed closet and the top shelf fell on me. My aches and pains had a good go at me in the spring, but I think I'm done with sciatica for a while and feeling generally as good as I was at last list time. In improving the house, we got a dishwasher, which might count, and I fixed the back stairs last week — their surprise collapse would've been hard on the comfort of whoever was on them at the time. The kids are gaining competence at a frightening pace and Oscar declared he wanted hugs and fire for his birthday party, so we're doing something right even as I feel I could use more patience and humour sometimes.

Here's what I would like to achieve in the next year:
  • Keep up the flossing.
  • Communicate better in relationships.
  • Continue to wear through massage bars.
  • Make the house cheaper to heat, either with insulation or a heating system upgrade, or both.
  • Getting a GP and a checkup/vaccination update might be a tall order, but I will attempt to start allergy shots so I'm popping fewer antihistamines next summer. If I can do allergies and deferred maintenance, all the better.
  • Somehow fix the Wike's stroller mode. As it is, the walking wheel doesn't hold up under our frequent use — three bolts to one frame member is no match for the leverage exerted by bumps and curbs.
  • Give the promotion process this fall my best shot, and accept whatever comes of it gracefully.
  • Reach out to a few more people at work in the hope of developing a new friendship or two.


Here are some longer-term things:
  • Round out home heating improvements and make the kitchen suit us better.
  • Raise competent, well-adjusted kids. Do so with good humour, love and trust in them.
  • Take care of my body and try and make my list of aches and pains not increase monotonically.
  • Get family doctors for all of us in the household.
  • Continue to like my job, be good at it, and be worthy of the respect of my co-workers.
  • Keep learning new things, and consolidate dabbling into competent in new areas from time to time.


I hope I'll do at least as well between now and next birthday as I did in the last year or so.
metawidget: Our very fresh baby, backlit in blue with funky goggles, looking spiffy but a little like an alien invader (Vivien raygun)
Mostly because [personal profile] commodorified demands it, here is a picture of Vivien this afternoon, taken while Oscar was napping:

Vivien on a pillow, smiling

Life is pretty good of late: my leg and cold are mostly better, I still have just under two weeks of leave until I'm back at work (I'm enjoying the leave but looking forward to work, too), it finally feels like spring here (I got to wear short sleeves outside yesterday!) and I'm feeling pretty good about it all.
metawidget: Person sitting cross-legged from the rear, in black and white with noise and scratches (body)
Oscar's default pronoun has shifted from 'it' to 'she' — I think it may be that 'h' sounds are hard, but for now the feminine includes the masculine for him.

Also, the last time I took naproxen was Thursday. My leg is not perfect, but it's manageable. Yay, feeling better and walking it off.
metawidget: Person sitting cross-legged from the rear, in black and white with noise and scratches (body)
I've been recovering slowly from what seems to be a slightly wonked sciatic nerve — my back and left leg have been feeling assorted unpleasant feelings for a while. I'm tapering off the naproxen and relying lots more on just walking it off or switching activities. The hurt seems to be almost draining out of the leg, from the whole length at first down to mid-calf and below now. I'm looking forward to being completely back to normal soon and for me to be able to tell if the floor is cold again (for now, I get a cold sole feeling unrelated to floor temperature from standing sometimes) Bodies work differently as you get older!

I really hope that my stash of naproxen can expire, given that I've only found it necessary for shoulder wonk and now sciatic wonk.

Oscar has been in heavy mama-centric mode lately. Usually, I put him to bed, but the last few nights (except last night, where I was drawing through bedtime), I've given up and passed the torch after getting my hair pulled and knees in bad spots with no visible sleep progress. Elizabeth usually goes in and emerges ten minutes later with Oscar asleep. It was a little comforting to find out last night that his road to sleep was long, so even if it doesn't feel like progress, my starting off bedtime may be doing some good in helping him spin down a bit.

I helped Elizabeth trim the sides of her head today into an undercut. No pictures yet, but now I can meet my fuzzy and fluffy hair-scritching needs in one place.

On Monday, we appeared in our first family photo in a while, courtesy of [personal profile] commodorified. I look stronger than I actually needed to be!
metawidget: Person sitting cross-legged from the rear, in black and white with noise and scratches (body)
Last night, with the kids in the care of my parents-in-law, Elizabeth and I went to Atelier Denu at UQO. She brought her drawing supplies and I brought a bathrobe and sandals (for the break, so I wouldn't get cold).

There were about half a dozen people drawing, which is a small crowd for Denu, probably due to the brutally cold weather. The platform had chairs on all sides, but people clustered up at and near the tables, putting them in something like a 120° arc. Shawn had given me a quick training on Monday and I'd tried a couple of timed poses to see what my legs were willing to do for me ahead of time, but I was planning on mostly making things up as I went along. In addition to the platform with its mat, pillows and sheet, there were easels, a ball, a broomstick and a little promotional beer pail at my disposal.

The poses started at two minutes, and worked their way up to seventeen. I did my best to vary facing and level, and mix props and propless poses. I think I got in a good variety, and managed to hold still even in ones that turned out to be physically difficult. It wasn't always obvious which ones would be: I did a supine pose with one arm off the platform that turned out to be quite tiring, and a long prone one, almost going-to-sleep, that had so many points of contact with myself that I felt like a big mess of pins and needles by the end. Climbing the easel, a big open pose with the broomstick, and some modified yoga poses were all easier than I'd thought they would be.

Mentally, it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Once I was up there, I was thinking about position, stability, breath and keeping my focus on that bit of debris or architectural feature to keep my gaze and position stable, mixed in with wandering thoughts about life outside the studio. It was very much my yoga-space, as far as my thoughts were concerned, which shows both that I'm something of a technically-oriented yoga person (to the detriment of all the noble stuff my mind could be doing while in a pose), and that maybe the time and money I've spent on yoga classes can have tangible benefits — two modelling sessions would pay for one semester of weekly yoga at work! I think I felt most naked right after taking off my clothes, after that everything else was more pressing. It didn't hurt that the room was at a comfortable temperature, the doors were closed and the air was still.

It was also a notable night in that for the first time, we left both kids in the care of others. When we got back, Oscar was basically asleep: a little wibbly and fussy still, but in his room in the dark and easy to cover, calm and leave to doze off. Vivien was a bit distraught but happy to get Mama back, and Elizabeth's parents didn't seem particularly frazzled by two and a half hours of both kids. I think we all knew this was about what would happen, but it was still good to get the proof that Elizabeth and I can escape for a bit together. It took until eight months with Oscar for us to get a date in, so evidently we're something like 50% more confident by some measure this time around. A two and a half hour date isn't long, but not bad for parents with a baby who's still not into complementary foods.

I think I could definitely be a nude drawing model again. I didn't have any epiphanies or crises up there: it was a pretty relaxing and satisfying gig (although my muscles were a bit sore afterward). I'd recommend giving it a try to anyone considering it, and Denu feels like it might be a better-than-average place to give it a try.

2012

Dec. 30th, 2012 05:50 pm
metawidget: My full geek code.  Too long for DW alt tag, please see profile if interested. (geek)
Here's the semi-standardized questionnaire applied to 2012 — it was a pretty intense year in some ways.

What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?
Filed a police report, juggled two kids out solo.

lots more )




Did I miss any useful questions? I dropped a couple of irrelevant ones, and will be watching the memesphere for stuff to add.
metawidget: Co-sleeping kid taking up as much space as possible between co-awake parents. (co-sleep)
I've been remembering more dreams lately. Some of them, I even remember long enough to post here.

In one dream, I was trying to find my way out of a huge shopping mall. I was remembering little aphorisms, one of which was all about the importance of the fourth floor. The exit, including a Metro exit (must've been Montréal), was in fact on the fourth floor. I guess my inner Discordian was asleep at the switch in picking the floor.

In another, I was talking to a doctor who told me that my heart was not working right and that I would not live past 60. That's some pretty slow heart disease, I guess, but I felt really crushed in the dream knowing that my life was half over.

In a third, the recurring test/course/whatever that graduated students all dream about missing, remembering and realizing that their graduation was null and void, all for the want of a French credit, had the academic thing replaced by a vet appointment.

Year List

Oct. 26th, 2012 03:55 pm
metawidget: Person sitting cross-legged from the rear, in black and white with noise and scratches (body)

I've been carrying around a list in my head of things to do while I'm 32 years old; now I'm committing it to the Internet. I've seen bucket lists and life lists, but the time horizon doesn't speak to my procrastination-prone and tactical nature, and I of course see New Year's resolutions, but I think going by my years rather than calendar years is more personal, and protects me a little from the list elements being fresh when the invariable collapse of many resolutions happens in late January. Also, some elements of the list were really dear and salient to me in the summer, so it made sense to hang them on my birthday (even if it's taken months to post them here). So, here are the things I would like to do or improve significantly this year:

  • Floss more days than not.
  • Make a conscious and courageous-when-necessary effort to improve my relationships in ways that make me happy.
  • Make deeper use of this journal, as part of trying to be less guarded with people that I trust.
  • Wear through multiple massage bars.
  • Get the deposit back on beer bottles at smaller intervals and more reliably.
  • Wipe out the mortgage and direct the resulting savings to a mix of responsible and fun things.
  • Replace the chain-link fence with a durable, attractive, Oscar-resistant one.
  • Get a check-up this year and renew my vaccinations; it's been too long on both counts.

In general, I think I have more guiding values than long-term specific goals, but here are some things (somewhere between values and goals) on a longer time scale.

  • Have fewer secrets.
  • Be entrusted with more secrets.
  • Raise competent, well-adjusted kids. Do so with good humour, love and trust in them.
  • Make our house more comfortable, energy-efficient and adjusted to us.
  • Take care of my body and try and make my list of aches and pains not increase monotonically.
  • Get family doctors for all of us in the household.
  • Continue to like my job, be good at it, and be worthy of the respect of my co-workers.
  • Keep learning new things, and consolidate dabbling into competent in new areas from time to time.
metawidget: Person sitting cross-legged from the rear, in black and white with noise and scratches (body)
So, this evening on the way home with Oscar strapped to me and laden down with bags, my shoulder popped out (this is a chronic thing that just happens to me sometimes). I was talking with some friendly woodgie-ing people on the #2 a little before 6, and reached to put up his sleeping hood and felt it go. It wasn't too bad, so I thought I'd see if it just slipped back in if I relaxed it as much as possible. No such luck, and so at the end of the route, I told the driver my shoulder had popped out and I might need a little time and maybe a hand with my stuff while I put myself back together.

The driver pulled over to the time-stop around the corner, called in, offered an ambulance (I wasn't quite ready for one), asked if I could stand (I managed), and was sort of reluctant to do any sort of manual intervention (there must be a "don't touch the rider" policy, which is probably a good thing most of the time). He phoned in again to tell someone he would be running a little late, and helped me get buckles and straps undone on a messenger bag, a backpack, a coat and a baby, stood around and talked to me while I popped my shoulder back in (it's a lot easier when I'm a little distracted and when I'm not wearing 50 pounds of gear and baby). Oscar slept through the whole thing — pop out around Preston, ride to the end of the line, chat, unload, sleep on the cooperative seating, let me pop in, put him and everything back on. The driver was patient, methodical and friendly through it all, and fended off a possibly grumpy dispatcher all the while. So, for all the unhappy or odd OC stories out there, I thought I'd add this to the Internet. Thanks, Mr. Driver, and happy holidays!
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
Fathered a child (well, I guess some salient bits were done in 2009), grew peas, built a hardwood floor, drafted a will, published a statistics paper, took a train in business class, drove a pickup truck.
thirty-seven more )

New Year

Jan. 1st, 2010 06:01 pm
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Did New Year's with friends in Montreal this year; ate, drank, talked, played with cute baby of K&S, had a white-elephant gift exchange (yay, we got wine and chocolate, and our gifts found good homes) played Scruples, watched Dick Clark and that other host for a bit, slept, played another game in the morning (a dungeon delve game which we bailed on to catch our train but that might be nice to try again), and came back here.

Potential do-able New Year's resolutions mulled over last night:

  • I like my current weight; I'd like to stay there.

  • Peas and beans (snap and string, respectively — I'm a lazy eater) and nifty trellises in the garden this year.

good news

Mar. 31st, 2006 05:25 pm
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
1) No root canal... the dentist took a look and saved my tooth #46, so I am feeling rather frozen but not nearly as poor as I thought I would. I also get to avoid going back until the fall. He and his assistant are nice and all... but I can content myself with saying hi on the sidewalk this summer.

2) I won the GSA Science directorial election, with two thirds of the vote (an impressive 66 - 33 victory). I was pretty relaxed about it either way, but it's nice to be validated, and I hope not just because "Hortop" sorts lexicographically higher than "Saleha".
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Managed to wonk my shoulder again (first time in five months or so) in the supermarket. It wasn't too painful, but it still sucks. I did it in front of a guy who also had recurring shoulder dislocations. He stood there and talked to me, and winced when I popped it back in. My forearm aches now.

I just realized that if Noisette has a full cat lifetime, she'll be with me into my thirties or even early forties. How's that for life-changing decisons? And feeling old?

I think, all things going more or less as I predict, I'll be financially stable on paper (as well as in reality) in a couple of weeks, delinquent roommate contributions or no. That could be very good.

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metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
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