Friday, December 20

Oh Fridays, how I love you

What a week.  I usually mean work week on a Friday, but I'm going to go right back to last Thursday I think...

Let's start with the good things that have happened at work.  I'm not good at bragging.  I'll be quick to point out a group effort, or minimize my contribution, it's just the way I am and my mental health of the past two years have made it harder to see the good things without thinking of how much better it could have been if I tried harder.  When I do get praise from others, well, it often leaves me flustered.

We have a process to get feedback from clients.  I get the point of it, but it never seemed to fit well with my work - I'm often consulting or providing a puzzle piece, not the big picture.  On Wednesday I put in for feedback on a project and I got 5/5 on all 4 questions (it's a REALLY short survey, we don't want to piss them off).  An average score of 3 is considered a bad score, but people make a big deal of 4.75's.  5 is something I can brag about internally.  Even more than the score was the commentary that my client wrote in.  I think my cheeks were pink for the whole morning.

On Monday, we had a team meeting.  The organizers made it a really neat wrap up for the year.  Each of us were asked for one or two things that we were most proud of from 2013.  They took these specific things and made up awards for each of us.  I was proud of the help I gave others and their success with the skills I saw developing.  I was also proud of how my relationship with a sub-group at my client site has improved, that they are following up on my recommendations and appreciate my opinion.  So my award?  Most Influential with Others.  And what was super-cool was the introduction they gave me and afterwards a team mate saying that as soon as the award was put up on screen, she knew it had to be me.  Aw, shucks.

We also did a cookie exchange.  We were given someone on the team to bake for.  The person I was baking for is in a social curling league with his wife.  I made thumb print cookies and melted red and yellow chocolate wafers for the top (instead of jam) to make them look like curling stones - 8 red and 8 yellow and used little silver balls to represent the handle.  It's a bit of a stretch to say they look like curling stones, but we were allowed to introduce our cookies and set up our reasoning.  The person making cookies for me had asked what flavours I liked.  I listed off a lot of things I like but I did say that grapefruit makes me happy.  It taps into being 5 and having either my Dad hand over his breakfast or being at my grandparents.  He found a grapefruit cookie recipe believe it or not and then made a HUGE treble clef  as a nod to my love of house concerts and music.  It was probably 16" of treble clef cookie.  It felt... wonderful.  I'd highly recommend doing this as a team building exercise, it was really neat to see where people took it.

The weekend was insanity.  We had tickets to see the Raptors (NBA) on Friday night, a party to go to on Saturday night, family brunch on Sunday and a pot luck prior to a concert on Sunday night.  Somewhere in there I had to make my curling stone cookies, buy a few family gifts, make two gifts, wrap everything and make salads for the brunch and pot luck.  It snowed, so we didn't go to the party.  Good thing too, in the morning I had a little cry because I didn't think I could get it all done, I was making cookies at 9pm, still appliqueing humping reindeer at midnight, and finished wrapping at 3:30 am.

The family brunch went well.  My youngest brother was home. It's been a year and a half since all 5 of us were together, far too long.  My brothers liked their humping reindeer shirts, although there was some discussion as to where you can wear a sweater like that.  But that's not the point, all of us laughing at the shirts was enough.  At some point we'll have to get a picture with all three shirts.  My niece is still adorable although a bit overwhelmed by adults she didn't know.  I would be too.  She'll warm up on her own schedule.  She did let me feed her a banana while "Nana" (my mom) was holding her.  There was only once that Mr. Lina and I left the room because of pregnancy talk that was making us sad.

Back to the crazy part of work...

So Tuesday and Wednesday I was scheduled to teach a class on the software I specialize in.  I was looking forward to it but maybe a bit unsure about the advanced "Day 2" portion.  Not from a knowledge position, but there isn't really a format to follow because it's driven by what the client needs to learn, you aren't going to learn it all in two days.  That makes total sense but the client wasn't narrowing what to cover ahead of time.  Monday I left work after 7pm because I was still getting materials together.

Mr. Lina tends not to give me grief when I work late, occasionally sending a "are you coming home?" text if I have not said I'm working late.  Monday night, we were suppose to go and buy a Christmas tree.  I forgot because I was worried about looking like an idiot with nothing to talk about the next day.  This was made worse by the fact he's a bit homesick and not having a tree rolled up to bigger issues.  He really wanted to go back home for Christmas and while I heard the words, I didn't hear the meaning behind them ages ago.  So a little talking happened after dinner to clear the emotional air and at 10pm we were out buying a tree at the grocery store.  At 11pm, he was swearing at the tree trying to get it to stand straight (a fight we are losing I might add).

As much as I tried to prep for the class, lots of things went wrong
  • It snowed over night. 
  • I set my alarm to go off earlier but forgot to turn it on so I woke up a bit later than I would have if I left it alone.
  • I had to shovel to get the car out, adding time to my departure.
  • I got behind snow plows and averaged 35km/hr, my employer is 54km away.
  • I was half an hour late for my own class.
  • We gave tickets for lunch in the cafeteria, they weren't serving hot food so the options were rather limited
  • My software is web based, it wouldn't open on a single computer in the training room, but worked fine on my laptop, thus proving it wasn't the entire system that wasn't working, just the computers where I needed it.
  • The phone in the room didn't work so I couldn't call help desk.
  • The desk I was using at the front of the room broke.
  • I broke a nail to the pink when zipping up my boots to leave.
It honestly felt like anything that could go wrong did go wrong.  On the plus side, the class members were awesome, full of questions, enthusiasm, and patience with every technical issue I was facing.  Wednesday went much better and by the end of the course I was really pleased with how they were applying what I taught to their business issues.  I think it's going to stick.

Last night I didn't sleep very well.  I woke up multiple times - dreaming, too hot, thirsty...  It's not surprising I woke up with a headache.  I think part of it is more than physically tired, I'm mentally tired and ready for the weekend.  I've packed in enough thinking this week.  We have plans to go to the movies tonight with my brother and SIL and that's it for the weekend.  I am so glad.  I just want to snuggle with Mr. Lina and clean my house and just... be.

And I'll end it on a Mr. Lina plug.  As much as I don't brag about myself well, I do speak highly of others.  In October, we filmed "Who Says Guys Don't Communicate?" at a pub in Waterloo, ON.  He's posted the video on Funny Or Die and last I checked it was 75% Funny and 25% Die.  This has no dialogue so no offensive language, no fake blood, just 2.5 minutes of comedy.

Wednesday, December 4

Personal Choices Vent - Hair

I have mentioned a few times that I don't dye my hair.  I used to, I suck at the maintenance required for it to look good, and I don't really mind my white hairs.  When my hair is down, I feel like Rogue with her white streak of hair (and side note, the link for Rogue is an awesome blog post).
It's kind of hard to find a picture where she doesn't have cantaloupes attached to her chest, but she's got spunk and personality and a streak of white hair.  When I pull my hair back, those whites at the front are more noticeable because they cover the non-whites underneath.  I'm less fond of that, but I like having my hair out of my face so practicality usually wins.  Today is one of those days.

At my client site, there is an older fellow who works security.  He's generally crotchety and grumpy, but he usually calls me beautiful and I giggle and smile and my day starts off right. 

Today, I had lunch with a friend.  I'm wearing a skirt that makes me feel corporate-powerful and pretty.  I was feeling pretty good.

As I walked in, my security friend asked if I was sick.  No, not sick. 

Why don't you dye your hair? 

Seriously?  What?

You know his daughter is also young and has white hair and she dyes her hair.  White hair is for old guys like himself.  I'm too young to have white hair.

Seriously.

I laughed, I said I liked my white hair, it's too much hassle to dye it, I've been there, done that, got the t-shirt.  Not interested at the moment. 

When I got to my desk and reviewed the conversation, it hurt.  I was angry.  I'm still angry 4 hours later.

I don't really know why.  He can have his opinion on my hair.  It's my hair and I'll do what I want with it.  I might consider if Mr. Lina would like something (his vote would be long and red, but to paraphrase his attempt to cheer me up, he wants to ah... play with my lady parts regardless of what colour my hair is) but in the end, it is my head and my hair.  I said I like my white hairs.  If that's true, then the laughing it off is where it should end.

I get comments on my hair from time to time.  Sometimes from people who say they like the whites and how they mostly frame my face.  Lately it's been on the length, particularly if I haven't seen them in 6+ months and they notice the difference.  Sometimes it's on how healthy it looks for being so long. 

Other times it's about the existence of hair dyes.  As if I didn't know there were entire aisles in drug, grocery and mass stores.  Perhaps they think I don't see it when I'm buying shampoo.  Or never noticed when I had a hair care manufacturer as a client for two years.  Or that I assume that all those people with orange, pink, blond, black hair came by it naturally... 

I wonder sometimes if I would get fewer comments if my hair was dyed purple or blue.  Am I that strange that I want to age naturally?  Am I that odd that I don't mind if my hair makes me look my actual age?  Maybe I am fooling myself when I say I like my white hairs if I'm upset that someone thinks I should hide them.  I don't know.

Tuesday, November 12

Silly & Random

My thoughts are a bit muddled as I puzzle something out at work today.  I think it's time for a list while the other stuff filters through.  This is going to be a truly random list but it's a start...
  • Tasha & Friends had it's premiere last weekend at Buffalo Dreams Film Festival
  • I couldn't go, I had already committed to helping my mom at a craft show, pout.
  • It won Best Short Comedy and Mr. Lina got to meet his idol in independent film, Lloyd Kaufman
  • Toronto folks can see Tasha at Blood in the Snow, I'll be at the 2pm showing on December 1st at the Carleton Theatre, the Saturday show sold so fast they booked a second slot for the short films
  • Which is a good thing since I'm going to see Great Big Sea on the Saturday night
  • Last weekend we went to see The Drive By Truckers at the Phoenix in Toronto
  • The day of the show I woke up WAY too early, didn't nap and by 1am my feet were killing me from standing through the show
  • You'd think I'd learn that the Phoenix requires comfy shoes even if I look silly
  • On the drive home, I fell asleep
  • Not remarkable in and of itself, but I started singing to Mr. Lina
  • At least, that's what he told me, I don't remember, I was asleep
  • I altered the words from "You are my Sunshine" to "You are My Snuggle-Mr. Lina"
  • Which does flow better with his first name
  • Good to know I'm cute even when I'm sleeping
  • Thus bringing the silly part of the blog title
  • I have had a bit of a rough week - migraine, a sad day (but just one day) and perhaps a little too much time to myself
  • Work has been busy and occasionally contributed to the overwhelmed feeling (notably on my sad day), highlighted by leaving work at 8pm on Friday night
  • I needed people to leave so I could get my own work done and Mr. Lina was already in Buffalo so no rush to get home really
  • I am gradually working on the house, but it's a pretty slow pace
  • I don't have the love of organisation that others do, packing and tossing stuff doesn't come easy for me
  • I did tons of laundry this weekend and a lot of clean clothes are not going back in the drawers 
  • I don't want to pack anything that doesn't fit and has no sentimental reason to keep
  • I had the weekend to myself, looked forward to sewing, but a migraine put the kibosh on that, I stuck to doing laundry.
  • Migraines suck, but it's been a long time since my last one so I'm really thankful for that
  • Monday I was still kind of struggling with noises, particularly loud voices
  • Sounds odd to cover noise with noise, but soft jazz in my headphones was soothing compared to talking, it's reminded me how much I like jazz from the 50's-60's.
  • Yesterday was Remembrance Day
  • I heard a poem by Dorothy Jamieson on the radio and after the poem, she said a few words to the audience that stuck with me:  Freedom isn't Free
  • True in more ways than her military reference
  • Next Thursday we're hosting Bill Bourne, winner of both Blues and Folk Juno awards
  • That's going to be super cool.
  • I get to make dinner for him.  How cool is that?
  • I've already got 21 people confirmed for the show, that leaves about 10 seats and some time to go before the show (let me know if you'd like one of those 10 seats)
  • The founder of the organisation for our house concerts, Mitch Podolack, was recognised for his contributions to folk music in Canada at the Canadian Folk Music Awards in Calgary, the CBC has this article on him
  • We spent a lot of time with Mitch this year at the Folk Music Ontario conference, I am truly lucky to have had the chance to get to know him.
  • To end this on a sewing note, I have a strange itch to make pants. 
  • I even bought both Sewaholic pants patterns when she had her Thanksgiving sale
  • But it's kind of scary.
Here's a little music so it's not without something pretty.  I like the words to this song.  As much as I'm dragging my heels, I am looking forward to building a brand new house full of love.  :)

Sunday, October 27

The Post-Lifers - Now on YouTube

After more than 20 festivals in 4 countries with 7 wins for Best (Short) Film, The Post Lifers is now available to the world.  I have blabbed on and on about this little movie, and for a short time, you can see it too (without enduring an entire horror/independent film festival). 

This isn't going to be for everyone.  It has some amazing special effects so there is naturally an element of fake blood and gore.  One of the zombies is a former porn star so there is discussion of sex (although no actual sex nor nudity).  It is not scary, this is a comedy, but it's still in the horror genre. 

And without further ado...

The Post-Lifers

Finished Objects - Sorbetto

I did do a fair bit of sewing late in the summer, but I did not do a good job of getting pictures as proof.  So today I seem to be awake (there has been a lack of sleep the past week) and posting at home where I can draw from all the pictures Mr. Lina took.  He's a much better photographer than I am.

I worked on quite a few of Colette Sorbettos.  It seems when I tweak things it didn't quite make it better, just different.  This one is from rayon.  I made a Sencha blouse from this fabric before and while the colours make me happy, it didn't work well with the buttons/snappers I used.  It really wasn't heavy enough to support them.  Sorbetto is a better match, but I could have given myself a little more room at the high bust area.


This was taking in July, when our hops plant was growing like crazy.  We ended up with enough hops for a full batch of beer, it turned out quite well. 

And the sleeves?  I put the shirt on, pinned where I wanted them to start and stop and the top of my shoulder.  I took those measurements and made a moon sort of shape, but with a straight line where it was going to connect with the arm.  Marking the shoulder point worked well because I did need more coverage to the back than the front but I managed to sew one on the correct way and the other on backwards.  Oops.  I notice it, but it's a matter of millimetres so I don't think it's noticeable to others.

I bought this fabric last summer.  The day I was shopping I was wearing these red capris that I like but struggle to wear.  The fabric really seemed to be the "right red" so I bought it.  In trying to "fix" the arm/high bust tightness, I seem to have gone the other way and if I move the right way you can see a little bra.  Things I like about this... as 100% cotton, it's comfortable but has more structure than the rayon, standing away from me a little which is nice when it's hot.  I was too impatient to finish to go buy new bias tape so I used white (the background is a yellow/cream colour but there is white in it).  I'm not sure that was the best choice.


I like wearing it, but it's still far from perfect.  It generally has enough room in the bust, but looking at pictures from Summerfolk where I'm sitting down, maybe not...



I made a third and I don't have pictures of it, not sure I will.  It's sheer, but in trying to make the arm hole smaller, I went too far.  It's just annoying to wear and I think there is already a thread pull in it.  Pout.

Well, time for me to rustle up some breakfast for us.  I will say it's been fun going through pictures from this summer, it's like feeling sunshine again. 

Wednesday, October 9

Oops

Once again, I've had a lapse in blogging.  It's not been intentional, I think I've been too tired to write.  When I do write, I seem to be too close to the events going on and it becomes like reading my day planner.  Not really the look I'm going for, you know?  So a few highlights...

Mr. Lina filmed another Post-Lifer film, "Oh Come All Ye Zombies".  This is going direct to YouTube, hopefully prior to this Christmas.  I did a few things:
  • Shirt for a female zombie
  • Appliqued humping reindeer onto a sweater for Humphrey (Mr. Lina)
  • Yarmulke for Humphrey
  • Food for cast & crew for the Sat/Sun
From a sewing perspective, all went well.  The shirt fit, Mr.Lina decided to use my (IMO) crappy first yarmulke not the second larger yarmulke (the down side of not being there for the first day of filming), but he seemed happy.  Food was well received, but there were a few glitches from my perspective.  The first being how exhausted it made me to do it.  The problem with craft services is that you're up prior to the first people going into make up (so they can eat breakfast) and I didn't stop moving until the evening.  I was being pushed to have a nap by one of the producers/actors and when I didn't listen to him because dinner had to get in the slow cooker if they wanted to eat before 9pm, he sicced the director on me.  I did have a nap once dinner was in the slow cooker.  Thank heaven I did.  Filming wrapped up at 10pm, it was 2am by the time I was home in my own bed.  Going to work the next day was painful.

The problem with being so busy is that I didn't get pictures of the actress nor Humphrey.  I did ask someone (with a much better camera) to take pictures for me, but it hasn't been shared around yet.  So I'll blog more about that when those arrive.

So I WAS sewing, but since the film shoot, I've just been exhausted. 

From more personal perspective...

I'm doing okay.  No sadness, no tears, no wonky emotions, no lamenting about lost opportunities.  I am slowly adjusting to the need to move, the more I say it I suppose the easier it gets, but there are still people I hedge around discussing moving with.  I just don't feel quite that comfortable yet.  We are looking online at houses for sale and saying a few "what if's".  Mr. Lina has priced out a storage unit and we'll be setting that up in the next week so we have a place (other than the fairly full garage) to move things that we don't need in the house. 

I've also been emailing a coworker who adopted his daughter through a foster to adopt program in another province.  It's been really good to hear about his experience and how quickly it went for him once they got the ball rolling.  He's also been encouraging not to rush.  He saw couples that went through infertility treatment prior to adoption who were clearly still struggling with closing that door.  It's good advice from someone who has been there. 

For those of you who like cooking with a slow cooker and like pork, I highly recommend this recipe.  I roughly followed the recipe, probably less salt and more cayenne, ground cumin instead of seeds... but I didn't significantly change anything except the orange juice.  We don't drink a lot of juice so I don't buy a lot of juice.  I do buy tetra packs of "fun" juices for punches when it's on sale so oddly enough I had mango juice but not orange.  Feedback from the 20 odd people I fed was very positive.  People were going back for thirds.

Tuesday, September 24

Bargain Shop Panties

In trying to promote my house concert shows, I've found attendance is good for the people with youtube videos of live performances.  It seems like most people say they didn't listen, but the proof is in the pudding.  When I find it challenging to find good videos, it's hard to get bums in seats.  Case in point, 100 Mile House have quite a few videos available and we had our best turn out for a Monday night ever last night.  The basement was pretty full, it was a great show.

So today I am listening to music while working and thought it would be good to start finding things to link for Jaxon Haldane, our next guest.  I've seen him as part of the D. Rangers, so that's easy to promote, but his solo stuff... a little harder to find.

Now how does all that relate to the title?  I have no idea why YouTube suggested Little Miss Higgins while looking for Jaxon Haldane, but I am a fan and I didn't recognize the song.  She's got a lot of innuendo and tounge in cheek kind of music (like "I'm Gonna Bake My Biscuits", pretty sure that doesn't mean cookies).  And this made me laugh, I had to share with someone and I thought the thrifters out there would like it.  Imagine what kind of spam/hits she gets with this...

Friday, September 20

From Synth to Folk

It's been a while since I went to a mid week "big venue" (aka not my basement or the Cameron House) concert.  We went to see Peter Hook last night at The Hoxton.  Peter Hook was the bassist for Joy Division and New Order.  We paid about 5 times as much for our tickets to see New Order and I think I had more fun last night.  The energy, the crowd, the sound, the venue... it was just... FUN.  I have blisters on the bottom of my feet from dancing.  If you have fond memories of Blue Monday, Love Will Tear Us Apart...  you have to see Peter Hook.  Well worth staying up past my bedtime and today totally sucking on 5 hours of sleep.  This isn't from the Toronto show but this was the second last song of the night and I loved it.  The crowd was into it even more than this crowd in Manchester.



And on Monday, I get the opposite music experience.  We're hosting 100 Mile House from Edmonton.  Anyone local who would like to attend, let me know and I'll send the details.  I'm happy to share music with others.  Thrilled really.  Talk about extremes though, New Order synth sound vs 3 people with acoustic instruments.  I've found a lot of live performances for 100 Mile House on YouTube and every one of them has better vocals than Hooky above (it's just not his strong point).  I'm looking forward to hearing them in the acoustics of my house.  Here they are at a performance in Calgary.



Happy weekend everyone.  I'm helping my brother move tonight and tomorrow afternoon and then I have some costume sewing to do for the next short film.  Which reminds me, both of Mr. Lina's films have made a travelling film festival in BC, the Fake Flesh Film Fest.  Granted, I'm sure you're not all interested in horror, but if you know someone who does, send them along. 

Tuesday, September 10

You might have a problem if...

Edited for pictures...
(I know, two posts in one day after two weeks of silence... strange but true) 

I went to Fabricland on my lunch hour (on Dundas, west of the 427).  I wanted about 20cm of black broadcloth to make a movie quality kippah, my stash was not coming through for me.

That came to $1.35 plus tax, so... $1.52.  Plus a little elastic in case I need some for the actresses costume.

And my bill?  $25.31.

There was this lovely fabric, on a table full of "European Imports" on for half price, $7.50/m.  A few remind me of the viscose we saw at Downtown Fabric in August.  Content wise, a mix of polyesters, cotton blends (including silk/cotton), viscose (bought one last week, so light and airy), most marked as being from Germany...  but today I was seduced by a fabric that makes me wish I had a camera with me at work.



I even brought my fabric into the office, I couldn't leave it behind in the car. 

I've already pulled it out once.

I want to open it all up...  but that's not work appropriate behaviour.

In lieu of pictures... imagine this...
  • Dark grey at one end
  • Dove grey at the other
  • At the switching point...
  • Orchid - bigger than my stretched out hand

  • Stargazer lilies trailing towards the dark end of the fabric

  • One repeat per meter.
  • Cotton with 2% spandex (stretch going from dark to light)
  • Fairly heavy weight, this is not blouse material
  • Sturdy enough to get machine wash warm, tumble dry low, cool iron washing instructions
Oh I've pulled it out again to be sure I'm describing that right.

What the hell do I make with this?  I can't let it get too precious to cut into, but this has to be a planned project to make the most of it. 

It's so soft... and lovely...

Proportion wise, it reminds me of the butterfly fabric that Allison C made into a maxi dress.  But this doesn't have the drape of her jersey. 

I bought 2.2m to be sure I had some space where the flowers repeat.  Can anyone think of a pattern that's intended for a boarder to run through the middle of the fabric?

It's so pretty. 

I'll just look at it one more time....

Time Flies

I know this sounds like a broken record, but I'm not sure where the days  are going.  I haven't been in a great mental state to blog but I didn't realize it was over two weeks.  How strange.

So what's happened in two weeks?
  • We went camping with a mix of friends, my brother and his girlfriend, my cousing and his wife.  Weather was good, I slept enough, Scot and his girlfriend were super cool and did not talk about the pregancy but I did give him a real hug and true congratulations.
  • I went to a wedding in another city on the Saturday of Labour Day weekend, stayed the night, saw friends, it was good
  • It was my birthday on the Monday of Labour Day weekend
  • My SIL has decided that she needs some help being in the first trimester and chasing a 13 month old while my brother is on course work and can't help her
  • So she (and my niece) came home and we surprised my parents with their arrival at my birthday dinner
  • My niece is adorable
  • I was kind of glad when they all went home
  • Do you know how much cleaning we had to do to have a toddler in the house when the living room looked like the basement threw up crap and furniture all over it?  I'm not kidding, I had a path to the couch when my brother and SIL brought up the idea of her visiting.
  • I wore my white lawn bowling skirt, but I don't have good a picture of me in it, my niece was naturally the cetre of attention.
  • I had some post-birthday blues afterwards, I would have been okay skipping my birthday this year for some reason.
  • We found out our mortgage was up for renewal this year, not next year so we had to rather quickly sort that out.
  • We provided a weekend of respite, my friend from Summerfolk who has Down's Syndrome stayed with us to give his mom a break, she needed it.
  • That went really well. 
  • I started sewing for Mr. Lina.  Not for HIM, but movie stuff.  He needs a yamika/kippah, appliques of naughty reindeer added to a sweater and a crazy costume for one actress before the last weekend of September.
  • I have never even met the actress, I think I'll be "fitting" with elastic.
  • Yamika #1 from this kippah pattern came out a little wonky, poor fabric choice on my part and a little small given that the head it's going on has a full mask, it's bigger than a normal head.  It's a good pattern though, I'm sticking with it for my next attempt.  I think with 6 panels it ends up with a better curve than just 4 panels like most kippah patterns I found online.
  • I went to a TIFF after party which was super cool.  One of my clients was sponsoring a film (The Grand Seduction) and while they didn't have tickets to the movie, they did give me tickets to the party.  So strange going to a party at 9pm on a Sunday.  But we got prettied up and went.
  • And coming up... one last kick at the camping can this weekend, bowling starts tonight, Mr. Lina is getting us storage space to start really moving boxes out of the house, house concert season is starting up (100 Mile House from Alberta on Monday Sept 23, those local, let me know if you're interested in coming), and I need a nap.
 

Friday, August 23

Aunt X2

So not only is my youngest brother (Clone) going to be a dad for the second time...

My middle brother (Scot) is also going to be a dad. 

With his girlfriend (who I do think is a good match for him), but they have only been dating since May.

On the plus side, apparently my two brothers talked prior to Scot telling me last night.  How do I know?  Scot talked to Mr. Lina in the afternoon and told him first, wanting advice on how to approach me.  Scot said that "apparently Skype isn't a good way".  No kidding. 

I love my brothers and I know how much they want to treat me with kid gloves.  I guess the thing is they don't know what to do, they (fortunately) cannot empathise nor read my mind.  And the truth is, there isn't a good way.  It's going to suck for me regardless of how they say it.  Giving me space lets me have the illusion with them that it doesn't suck so much.

Mr. Lina's advice was that it's like a band aid, just tell me.  I'll deal with it.  Don't wait to do it in person, just get it over with and I will be okay.

So Scot phoned.  I was so shocked (I mean seriously, it doesn't feel like they have been dating long enough for her to BE pregnant) the first words out of my mouth were "wow, that was fast".  Perhaps not the most tactful thing I've ever said, but it wasn't about me and my losses so it's kind of a step in the right direction. 

We are going camping this weekend.  Scott, his girlfriend, my cousin and his wife, another couple that don't have kids, and another couple who have two girls I adore.  I am so thankful he told me last night.  I would not have been able to cope with being told with that kind of an audience and no where to run.  Or was left to do the math myself when she's suddenly not accepting a beer, etc.  All I asked is that they don't spend the whole weekend gushing about it.  She doesn't have to hide it, but conversation has to be about something other than babies for me to stay sane.  I can be happy for them, I think Scot is going to be a great dad.  One thing that had me sad about his first marriage was that it looked like they weren't going to have kids and I really thought he should be a dad.  And he's 35, I get that there isn't the time for an engagement and big wedding and crap before having kids (although I do get the impression this was a bit of a happy surprise for them).

I will say, I am doing better today than I expected.  I'm not sad or teary, I've been productive.  I guess I'm just mostly still surprised over it all.  We'll see how it goes.  I'm already scared of when they both have their babies within weeks of each other.

Wednesday, August 21

Another Sign of Summer Ending

Today is my 9th anniversary.  9 years ago, we looked like this:


It was a wonderful day.  One of the warmer days in a fairly cool summer, but not so hot to be uncomfortable.  All of my outdoor pictures have someone squinting from the sun.  I was so excited, it was all I could do to not jump.  I think I was while I waited in the vestry.  Time is such a strange thing.  It feels like it wasn't that long ago we got married but I feel like I've had his last name for longer than 9 years.  On the crazy roller coaster I've been on, there is no one else I'd rather have holding my hand.

Yesterday when I was about to leave work, my youngest brother started up a conversation with me.  I like writing and by extension chatting.  You get time to think about your reply but the speed lacking in email where you can immediately clarify when the intended tone is not understood.  We chatted for about 2 hours.  I think security were the only other people left in the building when I went home, but it was worth staying.  My brother and SIL know I'm not going to take news like that overly well and no, they were not so wrapped up in their baby bliss to not notice the lack of response and change of subject.  And I had time to explain to him that I don't like being told in person, that I'd rather have an email where I can compose myself privately before replying.  It's not his job to manage my feelings, nor my job to manage his.  But I do appreciate the time to manage my feelings without an audience.  Net-net, all is good between us and I feel good today.

Tuesday, August 20

Where does the summer go?

When I was a kid, summer seemed to last forever.  There were the weeks of swimming lessons, a week of family adventures for my dad's holidays, hours and hours on my bike.  But I just went to Summerfolk, the CNE has started and that means that my birthday and Labour Day weekend is not far away.  How crazy is that.  I feel like three blinks ago it was June with the summer ahead of us.

I have multiple blog posts in my head - a little update on the Toronto meet up, the 2 Sorbettos and the A line skirt I've made, a Summerfolk review, our house concert schedule is set...  but I need to get pictures off of Mr. Lina's camera (he was kind enough to take a few pictures for me) and much as I love writing, I seem to like sewing more than writing, Sorbetto variation #5 just needs a hem.  That's a good thing.  :)

So while I get pictures organized... I got a little recognition for my mentoring at work.  A project we worked on to build up my coworkers skills was recognised by her client with a reward that has never gone to a research partner.  Shiny gold star for her and I am so very proud of her.  On the plus side, people are recognising me as her trainer and I really appreciate that.  I got a certificate to put up at my desk and I get to pick a prize from over 200 options.  That sounds like a lot until you start ruling things out,  I don't want a watch/jewellery, I don't have kids, don't golf, I don't need many kitchen appliances.  There are quite a few cool, nice to have things, but nothing that is the clear winner.  I have narrowed it to a few things.
  1. Hammock for two with stand - the stand means I don't need trees to use it, but if I'm moving and it's the end of the summer, this is just another thing to pack.
  2. Lagostina 7L pressure cooker that I really don't have space for in my kitchen and I've never cooked with a pressure cooker, but it seems kind of cool.
  3. Coleman All in One Cooking system - we have a traditional 2 burner Coleman stove, this has multiple cooking surfaces so you can fry and grill as well as use the traditional burner.  But I worry it's a bit small, like you can't be boiling water while cooking eggs which I can do with a two burner stove.  So cool, but not fantastic.
  4. DeLonghi Professional Ironing System - this is where I'd appreciate your feedback.  I have a basic iron that I am generally happy with, it does what I need it to do and throws enough steam to hurt my fingers when I'm not careful.  Still... this looks like a neat iron and given the general price point, it should be better than my little iron.  I generally work on the principle of making do with what I have and that makes it hard to pick an iron that doesn't need replacing. 
Decision making isn't always my strong point.  I got this award in June and I got an email reminding me I hadn't picked something.  Two months hasn't helped although I guess I can rule out picking the baby oriented stuff.  The crib and baby monitors were looking tempting in June.  This isn't sad, it's just replaced by the thought that some of the older kid stuff (bikes are one of my options) will be a good choice at some point.

And can I reiterate I hate being told people are pregnant in person?  I feel stunned every time.  It is like I'm a wooden replica of myself that doesn't know what to say.  I say congratulations, but I'm not sure it actually sounds convincing and I don't have any follow up questions.  I immediately start thinking of myself and how this times with either my last loss or how many weeks farther they are than I've made it.  I need time to see this through their eyes.  It just sucks and I hate that I'm probably making them feel awful by not looking happy.

You can imagine that rant didn't come out of the blue.  My youngest brothers wife is pregnant again and they told us last night over Skype.  I will be happy for them, I do love my niece, but I'm not sure I am today.  She is at 7 weeks and my first thought was that I didn't make it that far.  I don't think I realised how much that was bugging me until I started to post.  I really didn't mean to go there, but now I'm leaky for the 3rd time today.  Not the most work appropriate behaviour.

So let's leave this with Vance Gilbert.  I didn't get to see nearly enough of him this weekend at Summerfolk.  This song, Goodbye Pluto, it is about Pluto losing their planetary status, but it's a song that makes Mr. Lina and I a little leaky.  It's a song worth a second listen for the words.

Tuesday, August 13

Procrastination

As mentioned, we had the basement and hallways painted.  This required furniture to be moved and while some stuff went to the garage, the rest was moved around the room or into other rooms.  I figured while the furniture was away from the walls, it was a good time to borrow my parents steam cleaner and get to the carpets that haven't been seen in 9 years.  Until last night, there wasn't even a spot in the house where 3 people could sit together that wasn't a bed.

This is a long winded way to say I (we) have a lot of things to move and decide to pack or not pack and I don't really want to do it.

So what is a procrastinator to do? 

ANYTHING else.

And how have I filled my time?
  1. Sorbetto #3 (I think it needs back darts, it's a bit puffy and I need pictures to blog)
  2. Sorbetto #4 (I do have pictures but not with me at the moment)
  3. Toronto Sewing Meet Up on Saturday (and I need pictures to do this justice, short version was that it was a whole lot of fun, so great to meet other bloggers and readers!)
  4. Complete addiction to the game Dominion (seriously awesome card/deck building game, Mr. Lina should not have told me about the on line version)
  5. Sewed up the fabric I bought at King Fabrics into an A line skirt
  6. Wore said skirt to work and lawn bowling (a team event which necessitated light coloured clothing and I have come to realise I don't wear a lot of white)
  7. Walks with Mr. Lina
  8. Massive amounts of dusting as furniture was moved
  9. Sneezed.  I know this is odd to include in a list of things I've done, but I'm sneezing a lot, clearly ragweed season is starting.
I think to get anything done I have to think of something else that I want to do even less. 

I am seriously happy with my white skirt.  Believe you me, I'll be posting about it because there are things that I like about it that make Mr. Lina's eyes glaze over.  I am very pleased by the construction and I find myself thinking about another one and the changes I'd make and what fabric I have in my stash that would work better.  I've already trimmed down the pattern pieces where I think it needed tweaking.  It's just calling my name to try that tweak out.

This is more of a note to myself but... I seem to have a new sleep issue.  Not only am I now an occasional sleep walker and talker (which I haven't done in a while now), but we can add humming to the list.  Twice this week I've woken up Mr. Lina.  Although he tells me the second time it was a ghost humming the tuneless song of its people from my side of the bed.  I appreciate he tried to make it funny.  Googling tells me it's not an issue to my health, but I don't like that it's waking Mr. Lina up.

You know what I'm not?  Sad.  At all. 

Friday night we went to see some very good friends.  On the drive there (about 45 min) I was telling Mr. Lina about some fanstasic Excel-fu I unleashed at work that day.  He doesn't use Excel so most of this was going way over his head and I knew it, but I had to share my pride in making it work.    And then he said it was good to see "Chatty Sera" back again.  I'm a talkative person, to the point when I'm quiet, he worries and is quick to assume I'm angry.  I've been quiet a lot the past few years.  From my perspective, I simply did not have much to say, certainly nothing that was exciting to bubble out of me.  He sees the change.

On Friday morning we met with our fertility doctor for our review of the last FET.  I figured it would at the very least give us closure with the clinic.  I have mentioned that our doctor takes my losses personally, like he should be able to "fix" this problem and I keep stumping him.  He even offered us an IVF cycle for free if I don't make it to 12 weeks of pregnancy.  And we politely declined.  It's not money making me stop, I don't want to do that again.  I appreciate the offer, but it didn't even feel tempting.  I think that's a good sign that I really am honestly good with this.  I'm on the right path and I know it.

Quite likely, there are children out there right now that are going to call me mom.  This has all been part of the journey that is going to make us the right parents for them.

Tuesday, August 6

The Parking Lot

The other day I was meeting with someone at work and she talked about "The Parking Lot".  She was giving advice to my new coworker that he didn't need to know everything right off the bat.  It was always okay to say "I don't know, let's put that in The Parking Lot and I'll find out for you".  It's good advice, he's not going to catch up to my 7 years of doing this in 3 weeks.

For me, this blog has become a parking lot.  Sometimes when I'm at work, ideas swirl around and they need to go somewhere so I can focus.  A quick post here serves that purpose (and lets me delay doing work I'm not all that interested in).  It's not so much , but it does become a storage place for ideas I need to set aside.

I haven't been posting much lately for a few reasons.
  • I'm mentoring "the new guy".  Either I'm looking at his screen or he's looking at mine.
  • That takes up a lot of time and I still have my own work to do, no time to procrastinate.
  • I'm interested in what I'm doing at work again so my attention span is better. 
  • I don't have negative thought swirling around that need temporary storage.
  • I spend all day in front of a computer, so when I'm home, I don't spend much time online.  If I don't find time to post at work, I'm not likely to post at home.
  • I don't have a lot to think about, I'm at an action stage more than a thinking stage.
This weekend was great.  We are getting the basement and hallways/stairs to the second floor painted on Wed/Thurs which means we have to declutter to let the painters get at the walls.  The basement is where we hang out, it's full of media and stuff.  We filled 14 52L totes with books, DVD's and CDs and 5 paper boxes of books.  And that's still not everything.  What can I say?  Mr. Lina likes his movies and we support a lot of musicians by purchasing CDs.

In May we (that's the royal we, meaning mostly Mr. Lina) sanded the deck and stained it, the focus being on the horizontal boards of the deck so we could set out our new patio furniture.  Sunday we finally had the weather and time to finish the railings.  We weren't sanding those down, just painting over them.  It was hot and sweaty work but it looks nice now that it is done.  Another box ticked off on the to-do list.

Mr. Lina started a batch of beer with a friend on Monday (a stat holiday in Ontario).  They are splitting the batch of a Belgian Tripel they are trying to clone (smile, nod, no it doesn't mean much to me either but if you want to know more, check this out).  So I had to clean the kitchen so they could make a mess of it with the beer making (which they did generally clean up).

And I sewed.  Yes indeed, I've made another Sorbetto.  This is now the 4th time I've made this pattern but I need that kind of low thinking/pre-traced sewing to get me back into the swing of things and this does fill a wardrobe gap.  There was still some thinking involved since the first two don't really fit well at the bust (not sure if they ever did or if it's a change in bras), even after #3 it still needed some tweaking.  I asked Mr. Lina to take pictures of me on Friday when I wore #3 to work, but it didn't quite happen.  #4 needs to be hemmed and we'll see how #3 did in the wash last night.  It's 100% cotton and came out wrinkly (as expected from cotton), hopefully it did all of it's shrinking in the pre-wash.

So moving two 64L bins of fabric our of my sewing room seems to have had a positive impact - productivity.  Saturday I'll be joining the Toronto Meet Up (details here - and I have a choice of new shirts to wear!), which means shopping, the opposite of decluttering.  I might have to keep an eye out for some white fabric.  We're doing a team fun day of lawn bowling on Monday afternoon, wearing white is required.  I suspect my pale beige pencil skirt that probably doesn't fit me at my present weight is a good choice for lawn bowling.  A white A line skirt might be in order and I'm sure the only white in my stash is broadcloth.

Tuesday, July 30

Trailer Time



I've mentioned many times before that Mr. Lina makes movies in his spare time. I've had some involvement, occasionally sewing backdrops or props, more frequently feeding cast & crew or production meetings. Well, I have something to share.

The latest film is called Tasha and Friends and is finally done. It's taken a long time to come to this, filming started 11 months ago and Mr. Lina is starting to submit to festivals this week. They have created a T&F facebook page and to celebrate having 100 likes, they have launched the trailer for the film.

The girl who did the voice for Jingles (the pink puppet), wasn't available and given how long they spent getting the film ready, they didn't want to wait to reshedule the voice work for the trailer. So guess who was the only female in the house on the day they DID want to do the voice work?

Yep, that's me as Jingles.

Also, in the trailer you get about 1 second shot of a black pair of panties I made in a rather un-panty like way.

And a brief warning of what to expect, there are very quick cuts to lots of fake blood and latex gore, there is one line of dialogue with swearing. I wouldn't watch this with children around but it's not so bad to be offensive.

Tuesday, July 23

Check In

I have started posting a couple of times and I'm still struggling to find the right words.  I have so many trees that I'm struggling to see the forest.  Just so this isn't totally pictureless, I'm going to add a few vacation pictures from our time in Manitoba.  I came back to "bad things" and didn't really get to talk about our vacation.  It was very restful but I look tired in every picture.


In general, I'm doing quite well.  I've been able to focus at work most of the time.  I'm not a teary mess prone to negative thoughts, nor a complete space cadet (although I did leave my purse at home on Thursday).  I can see a little anger poking through now and again through sarcasm or self depreciating humour, but it's little peeks, not full blown craziness. 

Does this look like someone who slept 10 hours?

Physically, things are also good.  I pretty much fit back into my old bras.  The bruises on my abdomen are pale brown, if they were elsewhere you might think I missed a spot with sunscreen and have a strange tan line.  I somehow lost a little weight.  That has helped with my body acceptance.  I don't feel fat on top of not speaking to my uterus and I fit into another pair of pants.  I'm about 10lbs down from my high weight and looking at my book of measurements, my waist is the same size as it was in 2007 (granted it was an inch smaller in 2010, I still have a little ways to go).  I don't really have the resources to focus on weight loss, I'd just like to continue making wiser choices and keep an eye on my portion sizes.  I'm not in a rush and this seems to be working.


I am struggling to do some things I would have avoided while pregnant.  I guess to do some of these things I really have to be okay that it's done.  Really done-done.  This is where I see a little disconnect.  I'm not sad, I can talk about what happened and adoption, and yet I can't seem to accept a diet Coke or a glass of wine.  I am easing into these things and trying not to make a big deal of it either way (neither beating myself up for not being ready nor forcing myself to do it).  I'll get there.  I've had a few sips of Mr. Lina's beer and is it really such a bad thing to not have artificial sweetners?  Weight loss sure is easier if I'm not drinking a bottle of wine.


Mr. Lina is doing a little better too.  Not that we've talked much about the loss specifically, but we both seem to feel like we've said as much as we can on the previous losses and we are able to talk about what's next.  He is starting to say things that he will miss because we won't experience a new born baby.  It's a start.  When I went to see our therapist I went on my own.  I was worried at first she would think things weren't good with us, she's often commented on the strength of our relationship.  But she agreed with me, if he wasn't ready to talk to her, that's okay and it was okay for me to come on my own.  I'm pretty sure he's coming with me on Thursday for the second appointment.


Moving onto adoption is a big domino to over turn.  We had already said we would need to move, so naturally that's next on the to-do list.  (Side note, it's not Children's Aid Society/Family & Child Services (CAS/FACS depending on the region) that would require us to move, but this isn't our "with-kids-forever-house" and it's not fair to adopt siblings and realize 3 days in that there isn't enough space and putting them through more upheaval.  I'm not giving up my sewing room.)  I'm not sure how ready I am for that.  It's making me more likely to pitch things while cleaning up, but it's moving that makes me feel overwhelmed when I really think about it.  I'm not sure where we should go to, which employers we should focus on when picking a location, it's a lot to juggle and I don't like ruling out options.  Not to mention 9 years of crap in the house that needs to be dealt with.  I've packed up two clear 62L bins of fabric.  It sounds like a lot but it still leaves lots of fabric to work with should the muse strike.  I could probably fill two more and still have fabric out for a dozen projects.  Cleaning up my sewing room like this also made me realize just how many UFO's I have.  UFOs are something to contemplate another day.


In the meantime, I've ended up crocheting a lot.  Granted it's all the same blanket pattern that I made for my niece, but I find it soothing and it makes television time with Mr. Lina feel less... wasteful.  One project is in a white yarn that I'm not overly happy with.  It felt softer on the ball than in the project and it's made up BIG.  This is not going to be a baby sized blanket.  I need to buy another crappy ball of yarn because it's not long enough for the width and it's not so crappy that it isn't worth finishing.  So it's on hold for the moment.  While in Manitoba, I started a yellow blanket I'm happier with.  It's soft and the shells are smaller and popping to opposite sides nicely.  As much as I bought 3 balls of wool, I think I'll need a 4th, it's not getting a lot of height in the shells.  I put 27 shells across instead of 29 that the pattern calls for, but it is still going to need more rows to look balanced to the width.


And just a reminder that there will be a Toronto meet up on August 10th at 10am.  I am really looking forward to it.  FunnyGrrl is coming to town and the details are on her blog, Falling Through Your Clothes.  It looks like we're up to 9-10 people so far.

Wednesday, July 10

Coping

Thank you so much for all the comments on my last post.  I read each one as they arrived, it was like being surrounded by much needed love. 

I am doing...  okay.  Coping is maybe the best word.

Monday was a bit of a blur.  My parents met us at the clinic, the plan being they would take Mr. Lina to pick up his car that was in for warranty body work while we were gone.  When I walked out of the clinic, my mom was walking towards me and all I could do was shake my head and I was enveloped in a tearful hug.  Dad took Mr. Lina to get his car, Mom drove me home.  My parents stayed until about 3 and by that point I was still stunned, too stunned to really feel anything. 

Since they left, time has passed oddly, sometimes dragging, sometimes I'm surprised to find myself hungry again.  We had a 5 hour black out (6pm-11pm) thanks to the storm that hit Toronto.  This is much better than other areas of the city, a friend was without power for 24 hours and his last Facebook status indicated his neighbours across the street were still without power hours after his came back.  I have spent time on the phone with my parents talking about everything but "the m word".  My walking friend came over for a chat this morning.  People have emailed me, I have replied when I can.

My workplace has been fantastic.  On Tuesday morning, I sent an email to my manager and our director.  I told them I wasn't sure what kind of time I was going to need, this is about mental health more than physical.  Given that nothing developed, this has not been physically difficult.  Not without pain, but I have known worse.  We are so short handed at work and trying to train new people...  I know they need me.  And yet, in reply I was told by my director that I came first.  My health was more important and I should take whatever time I need.  I know this, but it is something I needed to hear so I don't rush back early with a false sense of guilt.  I am going to take it one day at a time, not looking too far ahead.  And today, the two of them sent me flowers.  Flowers.

My crazy hops plant, post trimming.
I am struggling to sleep.  I don't feel particularly tired during the day, I feel unsettled.  Sometimes I can sit and read, other times I need to putter - dusting at random, a single load of laundry, packing up my leftover medication, hacking at the explosion of plants (notably the hops above) and weeds in front garden, crocheting.  I bought a gift for my niece, her birthday is coming and it will take time to be shipped so far.  I lack focus.  I thought a house plant needed watering, I took the bottle I keep near it into the kitchen.  I don't remember exactly when I did that or what distracted me, but I found the water bottle full in the sink this afternoon.  I have had moments of crying, but not as many as you might think.  It's still a little surreal, this doesn't feel... final.  But I know it is.
Clearly more emotion could be aimed at the weeds in my roses.
Mr. Lina can't talk about it yet.  We cuddle, he holds me when I cry and we talked nonsense at 1am when neither of us could sleep.  He sends me lots of DVR times when the kittens are being cute to make me smile.  But for him, life is carrying on - he's gone to work, he's at a concert tonight with a friend.  His crazy director left the company, so he actually had something to celebrate yesterday.  And going on with "normal" is okay too, for now.  We often feel the impact and grief at different times, I know his time will come and I will be in a better state to help him when he gets there.  But he's not ready to listen to me either, and that is unusual.  On the plus side, I don't really have much to say yet.

I have booked an appointment to see our therapist tomorrow night.  Mr. Lina has a production meeting that has been cancelled three times (including Monday) that he would like to continue on with.  And that's fine.  I'm not sure he's ready to hear me talk anyhow and the first visit will be a lot of catch up on what's happened.  The rest of our appointments will be together, but I need to see her to start opening up a little more than stating facts like it's someone else I'm talking about.  She will be key to us getting real closure on this chapter of our lives.

One thing I am feeling is anger at my body.  I can't look at myself naked right now, no lingering between the shower and getting dressed.  This is going to sound irrational but it's the way I feel, no one said it had to be logical.  I'm angry at my breasts for lying to me and I don't want to observe the changes as they go back to normal.  I don't even want to support them with a proper bra.  I don't want to see the bruises on my abdomen that are a reminder of what I was doing to make this work.  I'm not speaking to my uterus, it should not be empty.  Writing that, thinking about that, acknowledging that there is intent behind my behaviour, that makes me feel something and tear up.  (But no, I will not end up a never nude like Tobias, I will like my breasts again when they fit in my very pretty bra.)

I guess this seems like a bit of a list.  As I say, it's like talking about someone else with the exception of the last paragraph.  The hard emotional work will come.

Monday, July 8

Alas

It was not to be.

I had a fantastic vacation.  I slept.  I swam.  I fished.  I crocheted.  I slept.  I felt pretty good.

But I had my 6 week ultrasound today and my uterus is empty.  There is no fetal pole there, no heart beat beyond my own.  So they ran blood work and sure enough, my HCG levels are down.  They aren't even making me come in to check again so it must be really low, they usually want to track it to lower than 5.

I'm numb.  I'm sad.  But I'm... okay.

I have been here before, I know I'll get through it.  I also know this blog will be part of getting past it.  I'll write more when I'm ready.  Believe you me, I'll be writing.

Friday, June 28

Welcome to Week 5

I'm not quite sure I have the dates right because my period started on a Wednesday not a Friday, but my 6 week ultrasound should be next Friday so I think that makes today week 5. 

I am feeling much better, both mentally and physically.  I haven't had cramps since Sunday, just a few twinges.  I still have discharge but every day is less, I barely need a panty liner now.  And every day it's less dark red blood and more brown discharge.  What also helps my mental perspective is seeing other good signs.  My breasts are continuing to change for the "better".  Just to clarify since Kay asked me a question, it's my areola that is expanding.  When the nipple is relaxed it is much larger than my regular non-pregnant areola.  The past couple of days they have started getting a little more sensitive too, not horribly so but it's been a factor in waking me up when I roll over in the morning. 

My first miscarriage I didn't find out anything was wrong until the first ultrasound.  I didn't have any bleeding or cramping, although my nipples did start to deflate the day or two before.  When they did the ultrasound, they couldn't find anything.  They should see a fetal pole, see a heart beat.  It was scary and upsetting and I didn't understand.  I still don't entirely since it's all a bit of a blur now and that was only my second pregnancy, I wasn't quite in recurrent miscarriage territory yet and not as well educated as I am now.  This is why I'm happy to see things like my breasts change, twinges of discomfort that might be my uterus changing shape (or gas I suppose) but not "oh no, everything wants out" cramps, the feeling of being a furnace with some internal fire keeping me warm.  It is comforting to feel that something is happening.

Tonight we are leaving for Manitoba to see my in laws.  We'll be in Winnipeg tomorrow, then off to "the lake" if I understand the plan right (map from last year).  My in laws know the timing of the FET.  Mr. Lina passed the phone to me when I was still high on gravol from the first intralipids (it was not a good phone call, it kind of freaked my MIL out).  We haven't updated them since then.  We phoned the other night wanting to give them the heads up of how things were going but they had company.  It didn't feel like the right time.  So I guess we'll be letting them know at the airport.  Normally, they always want us to be out and doing stuff, I suspect this trip they are going to try and tuck me into bed before the sun sets (which admittedly is pretty late, twilight extends until about 10pm) and keep me away from the jet ski.  This is going to be awesome.  Exactly what I need (and generally want pregnant or not).  Well, maybe not the 10pm bed time.  I have to take prometrium every 8 hours, I have to time when I sleep around that.

At the lake, there is no cell service never mind internet.  It's placed just between two towers so you have to drive 10-15 min to pick up a signal.  I love it.  Grandma also do not have internet, so I will be essentially off the grid until July 8th.  I'll be returning to a crazy day of my ultrasound, meetings in the afternoon, and taking Mr. Lina to get his car which is being fixed while we're away.  So we'll see how soon I can find a moment to update you all.

It looks like there is going to be a Toronto meet up in August.  Funnygrrl from Falling Through Your Clothes is going to be in town, what a great reason to get together.  I'm free on the 10th, hopefully we can get a sizable group together again.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, June 25

Mixed Bag of Improvement

Between naps and dizziness and work, I haven't had a chance to really collect my thoughts and update what's going on.  I'm feeling a tad drunk at the moment so forgive me if my grammar is not entirely perfect.  Thank you sooooooo much for all the encouraging comments from my last post.  Some have been really well timed when I'm starting to let negative thoughts roll in, it's made a difference for my mental outlook.

So what is going on?
  • I continue to have about 45 minutes to an hour of feeling drunk in the morning.  I'm not sure if it's the prometrium or the mix of prometrium and Fragmin.  This morning I took prometrium at 7am, went back to sleep until 8:15 and felt okay.  Fragmin injection at 8:45.  Right now I can't really feel my fingers and I'm not able to focus my eyes properly - like when you are drunk and moments away from passing out..  I think I've shown up for work on time once in the past 10 days. 
  • I know I don't love all the aspects of my work, I am a bit bored/overwhelmed at times, but they have been incredibly flexible and supportive.  It makes all of this possible.
  • My nipples are freaking huge - larger than my palm when relaxed, starting to have a ridge at the areola, this is a VERY good sign.  Very consistent with positive pregnancy tests.
  • Cramping was less on Saturday than Thursday, less on Sunday than Saturday and only a few twinges (I wouldn't even call it full cramping) yesterday.
  • I am still bleeding.  Mostly dark red blood but sometimes it switches to dark brown.  Dark brown discharge is good, that blood is not helping my embryos and needs to leave.
  • The discharge isn't stressing me out like it was.  I seem to have just accepted it.
  • I am not soaking through pads like my past miscarriages but it's constant.
  • With all this discharge, I have no interest in sex.  Cuddling, sure, but anything more than that, not so much and I don't see it coming out in my behaviour either.  That's truly a first for me.
  • Fragmin hasn't bruised in a couple of days which is freeing up some abdominal real estate for more injections.  You can't inject into a bruise so it gets tricky to stay within the ideal area for injection when it's covered with bruising.
  • Bruising is also limiting the pants/underwear that I want to wear.  I cannot have any pressure lines along the bruising, it hurts and causes weird bruising shapes but cutting off the spread of the blood.  I also can't wear pretty lace panties or thongs because I can't wear my pads with those panties and I constantly need a pad.
  • Intralipids IV is this afternoon so Mr. Lina and I are home for the afternoon.  This bleeding hasn't been enough to call the clinic (particularly with the cramping easing) but I'm looking forward to talking to the nurse about it today.
  • Two new coworkers, that means more training and answering questions.  That's fun.
  • And another coworker quit on Friday.  She specialises in another product on our team, but I wish I could pitch in and help when she's gone.  Sadly with 5 days being allocated to clients, I won't have the time until August.
  • Oh and I got recognition at work for the good training I did for two people on other teams.  Not only from my manager, but his manager and the fellow responsible for North America.  It feels very, very good.  Particularly while I know I'm not their best employee lately.  I haven't read many blogs because when I am awake and feeling good, I really have to focus on getting things done.  I'll catch up soon.
  • I am sooo not out of the woods, but every day of huge nipples feels like a gift.  I can't looking much past tomorrow.  Ordering more medication so we can go to Manitoba on Friday feels like I'm getting ahead of the game, but it will be easier to pick it up this afternoon while I'm in the neighbourhood for intralipids.
I think I'm going to nap now.

Friday, June 21

YOU ROCK!

Keep those good thoughts coming, folks.  It's working.

I doubled.  MORE than doubled.

I had the nurse (one of my favourites) repeat the number twice.  I repeated it 3 times, and I still can't be sure I'm remembering the thrid digit right.  I'm just in shock.

147

Even if I''ve got the 7 wrong, 140 is more than doubling.  MORE than doubling. (EDIT - the clinic called again to check in with me - I tell you they love me - and I was remembering correctly.)

The nurse said all the progesterone supplements can make me cramp, the blood, while red, has always been dark - not fresh pink blood.  I can kind of mentally dismiss the blood, but the cramping is a whole lot harder to deal with.

So, next steps?
  • All medications continue
  • When I get home I'll take a 4th Humira injection
  • Tuesday I go for intralipids again
  • Next hurdle is my 6 week ultrasound - July 8th.
Technically my 6th week is on the 5th, but we'll be in Manitoba.  They are fine with pushing that test back by 3 days.  Mind you, it's a lot of days between now and then, so I don't want to get too far ahead of myself.

I'm still stunned.

Thursday, June 20

Need your good thoughts

I have cramps. This doesn't mean it's done but it sure sucks and it is hard to stay positive. So I need you all to stay positive for me. We will see what tomorrow brings.

Wednesday, June 19

Chair Dance!

My breasts continue to be good predictors.

I am pregnant.

Now don't go too crazy here.  This is undoubtedly good news, but we are just entering the murky woods of pregnancy for me. 

Pregnancy tests measure the levels of the hormone HCG in your blood.  A home pregnancy test is sensitive to 25.  I have had positive results ranging from 111 to 8.  Today, it's 68.  Not as high as last year, but according to this chart, puts me at a very low chance of chemical pregnancy (that would be failing the test on Friday), about a 5% chance of multiples, a little over 30% chance of miscarriage and roughly 58% of a live singleton.


I'm pretty pleased (in a tempered optimism way). 

Next steps?  Medications stay the same, we test again on Friday.  In early pregnancy, HCG levels should double every 48-72 hours.  If it's not growing in that range of normal, this is not likely to be a viable pregnancy.  That number means more to me than today's results.  I really want to see my HCG above 120.  If it is a good result on Friday, we'll do the intralipids and Humira again on Tuesday.

7 out of 8 IVF/FET cycles, that's an awesome batting average.  Now to focus on staying pregnant!

Tuesday, June 18

And this would be the crazy part

Tomorrow is my pregnancy test, we're now into the nervous/crazy part of the process.  The rather drunk/disorienting feelings from prometrium are starting to wane so I think I can put a few thoughts together.  Maybe.
  • Nipples look promising.
  • Some brown discharge yesterday.  This terrifies me, but I know old blood isn't what an embryo wants anyhow, it's not a bad thing.
  • Still makes me a little bat shit crazy.
  • Prometrium is killing me, the second day of going to work past 10am because I can't drive like this.
  • Got home from work yesterday and fell into a very deep sleep from 6-7.  If my bowling friend didn't come by to walk at 7, I'm not sure when I would have woken up.
  • We didn't go for a walk, I wasn't up to it.
  • All of the prescriptions are designed for the last dose to be today, but the pregnancy test is tomorrow and I take the vast majority (9 pills, one injection) in the morning.  So I got some refills yesterday.
  • I think I am going to pass tomorrow but I'm totally getting nervous about the sticking factor.
  • Just a reminder, the test tomorrow is important, I have to pass for this to go on, but seeing the HCG levels double on Friday means more to me.
  • My uterus feels heavy.
  • I slept for 7.5 hours last night, it's only 2.5 hours since I woke up and I could sleep again.
  • I might have to go back to the itchy skin with Endometrin.  This dizzy/sleepy/drunk feeling is harder to work around than it was in the past. 
  • My parents went by my SIL's parents house yesterday.  Two houses have been demolished (the gap towards the photographer), this is what is left of their house.
  • I'm still processing it.  It is surreal. 
  • Workmen were coming and going, so what is left must be structurally sound. 
All right.  I think I'm up for going to work.  Thank you all for being a good outlet, right about now I just need a place to put all the scary thoughts so I can focus on other things.  Just do me a favour and check your smoke detectors.

Monday, June 17

Quick Post

I have thought of posting a couple of times and yet so little is happening, I don't have much to say.

We've switched my progesterone.  The endometrin and my skin were not getting a long.  Now I'm taking prometrium, 2 pills 3 times a day.  The down side is that I feel awful for about an hour in the morning.  It's like I get all the crappy parts of being drunk - dizzy, heavy limbs, uncoordinated, tired, etc etc.  The first time I wasn't quite sure I was going to make it to the couch upright.  After 3 days of this, I can feel it starting and lie down.  This is going to make driving to and from work rather challenging. 

Speaking of work, yet another coworker has quit.  So I'm back to having 2 clients and being at client offices 5 days a week at least until the end of July.  It has been made clear to the new client this is temporary, I'm not staying.  So, Thursday I start a new adventure of meeting yet another set of people.

Father's Day was a simple dinner.  Just my parents, my brother and us.  My mom had a wisdom tooth pulled and it hasn't healed well, she's still a little fuzzy on medications, we're a good pair.  Sadly dinner ended with my other brother phoning with bad news.  His wife's parents house caught on fire on Saturday night.  2:30 am, their dog woke them up as the flames from their neighbours spread to their house taking out the whole second story.  Everyone is fine, but the fire spread across 3 houses (the house that started the blaze was abandoned because of a fire 3 months ago, bit suspicious, no?).  Those of you in Toronto might have seen it on the news.  So, my thoughts are aimed at my brothers in laws.  Again, they are fine and have family to stay with, we can be thankful for the big things, but so many pictures, mementos and my SIL's wedding dress are gone.  Things like that you can't replace.

Monday, June 10

All aboard!

My two rather adorable (in a microscopic sense) embryos are settling in my uterus.  The transfer went well, it's not a painful or even uncomfortable (well, beyond everyone in the room looking at your lady parts but I'm SOOOO far beyond caring about that).  The clinic was not busy and called to ask if we could come in early, they were going to be ready.  Very strange.  Most transfer cycles I'm left waiting because other time sensitive procedures get pushed ahead of me.  My embryos were continuing to expand after thawing so all looked well in that respect.

Only down side was my own doing.  I decided we didn't need the alarm going off quite as early as usual, a bit past 7 was early enough.  I woke up before the alarm went off (dreaming of my niece, it was a nice way to wake up), showered, got dressed, walked past a clock and saw....  6:35.  Went to another clock, it also said 6.  My alarm clock said 7.  I guess in changing the alarm time I changed the clock time too.  Oops.  Better too early than too late.

Next steps are just to sit tight today and tomorrow and let Mr. Lina pamper me.  I return to work on Wednesday.  Thursday I go in to get my progesterone levels checked.  The 19th we get to find out if things stuck.  Which, of course, they will.

Seriously this is the best part.  I know I have two well developed embryos in me.  Ain't nothin' wrong with that.

Saturday, June 8

Do you like patterns?

I don't often post on a Saturday and I'm just waking up, let's go for a list...
  • I am hosting a Pattern Pyramid give away and your odds are looking VERY good of winning if you enter before midnight tomorrow. 
  • Very, very good.
  • You really should enter. 
  • Who doesn't like patterns?
  • Fragmin bruises much less with ice applied afterwards.  WIN!
  • Mr. Lina (and TPL cast) is being interviewed on a horror blog, Charred Remains, tonight.
  • I don't have to work for 4 days.  Yay!
  • Embryo transfer happens tomorrow morning.
  • If they actually keep to their schedule, less than 24 hours now.
  • Endometrin is presently my least favourite medication I'm taking.
  • It's as icky as I thought it was going to be.
  • For 72 hours I'll be sitting on my ass.  I would appreciate you all posting lots so I'm entertained.  :)
And that's about it.  I should get my day started if I'm going to get the main floor cleaned up for the cast coming over tonight (the interview is by phone as Char lives in the US) and maybe buy some plants for my pots and one spot in my garden.  I won't be doing that kind of work in the next little while. 

Wednesday, June 5

Let the fun times begin!

As mentioned yesterday, I'm all set for the frozen embryo transfer on Sunday morning.  Now to get my body all prepped and ready to accept (and keep) an embryo or two, I will be taking....
  • Metformin (3 per day), vitamin E, prenatal vitamin, and ASA stay the same
  • Estrace (estrogen) reduces from 3 pills a day to 2 (totalling to 4mg each day)
  • Fragmin (blood thinner) - one injection per day
  • Prednisone - 10mg per day
  • Endometrin (progesterone) - this is an "effervescent tablet" 3 times a day
  • Prometrium (progesterone) - 3 pills at bed time
The bulk of these I'm taking in the morning.  I damn near needed a check list to be sure I got it all, but I'll be okay when it becomes routine. 

The Fragmin needle is quite fine and thus not overly annoying or painful.  But being a blood thinner, it will make me even more likely to bruise.  Injection sites usually become bruises and you can't inject into bruises so belly real estate will become an issue in another week or so.  I can inject into the fat in my thighs but that makes me a little nervous.  Not that I don't have fat there, but there is a whole lot of muscle to avoid too.  We'll cross that bridge when we get there.  At least this is the only injectable medication so I'm not trying to find injection sites for any other drugs at the same time.

I thought Endometrin was a cream, but it clearly says on the box it's an "effervescent tablet".  If you've ever taken yeast infection treatments that were the tablets, it's like that.  We'll see how it goes with a full day, but I can't feel any bubbly action going on with the effervescent tablet and I don't have icky discharge so we'll call it a win for now.  I'm still not thrilled about having to do this at work every day but it's better than some of the places I've done injections I suppose.

And as much as the pharmacy label says I have to insert the prometrium vaginally, the nurse said I can take it orally (which is how I have always taken it before).  Three cheers for that.  The worst part about infertility treatments (more so for women going through IUI or just monitoring for ovulation) is that it takes all the fun out of sex.  We are all sexual creatures and it's an important part of my life.  And not to say that all "happy fun time" is about my vagina, but it's hard to feel sexy when you know that part of your body is icky with medications.

So the one drug I'm feeling less sure about now is Prednisone.  Lots of people have been on it and had some pretty crazy side effects.  Googling indicates 10mg isn't a very high dose so I might be fine.  If I get the insomnia, it might be offset by the Prometrium at bed time because that makes me crazy sleepy.  I can put water weight gain into perspective and try to focus on making good choices rather than what the scale is telling me.  Good choices are that much easier when I've got an embryo hanging out in my uterus.  I'm already on metformin so blood sugar spikes might be offset by that. 

Did you know I have a pattern give away going on?  Really, it's true. 

And I seem to get about 20 minutes to work on Alma and get distracted by Mythbuster kittens.  I think I've got the back darts in the right spot and then I scooped out too much and took a step backwards.  I'll be tackling it again tonight while Mr. Lina has someone over to review the music video footage.  At least he won't call me to see what cute things the kittens are doing.