FYI, we are okay

So, I just want to give a shout out to all those back home (which is kind of weird to say given that I am currently in my native land) to let you know, we made it okay. Sorry I haven’t emailed, texted, face booked or anything. To ask your forgiveness, please find below a non personal group post to catch you up on our holidays.

The kids survived the 18 hours of traveling wonderfully, and even got a few compliments from other tired travellers who were surprised that our children didn’t scream for 8 straight hours. Squishy did lose it while we were waiting for our car at the rental counter. She totally freaked out and the only thing that could calm her down was for her to sit in her car seat, that was sitting on the floor, strapped in,  and covered with her blanket.

I am also proud to say that I only had one meltdown myself, it was in traffic leaving the airport in Ottawa. Seriously, after being up for nearly 20 hours straight, the last thing you want to do is sit in traffic. In fact, I never like traffic, it is a stupid concept, whomever invented it should be shot. Okay, okay, I know no one invented it, but whomever decided to keep building houses and offices, BUT, not to build new roads should never ever be allowed in office again. Also, people who don’t get actively involved in politics and/or vote regularly, probably shouldn’t be allowed an opinion.

So, we have been enjoying a lovely Canadian autumn with blue skies, leaves of all colours and about 10 degrees less than what we are accustomed to. We have generally been doing a whole lot of nothing, which is exactly what I was hoping for. We get up slowly, and we watch a little TV, by the way, my mom has now got us hooked on Homeland which I totally recommend, we play outside, we wander about and just generally “chill”, at times in all possible meanings of the word.

We have been enjoying the preparations for a real Halloween, which even involved sewing a Halloween costume. I won’t pretend to be some super mom who makes costumes from scratch, I just had to replace a zipper on a sweet little tiger costume for Squishy.

I also had an interesting and unexpected surprise. My aunt decided a few months ago to stop colouring her hair and to go au naturale, and I decided shortly there after to do the same. It has been months of having a very distinct “bowl” sitting on my head where the real colour was coming in. Yesterday, I cut it all off, and for those of you who are in the know, no I didn’t do it myself this time, I had a professional take care of it, so both sides are once again the same length. So now, for the first time in years, I saw my reflection with my real hair colour, it was kind of weird. Also, my dads girlfriend looked at me and said “what happened?” with a look that really meant “did your head catch on fire?”, so be warned, it is short, and I expect all of you to lie to my face and tell me it looks terrific.

And that is about all, jet lag is happily behind us after kicking us in the ass for a solid three or four days, and the gods of shittiness decided to give Crazy and I a cold which made the jet lag all that more fun. So now we have a solid week of not wanting to murder each other before we do the 18 hours of traveling and jet lag all over again, yay!

Miss you, and see you all soon!


Genes suck

Today we were given the results of our son’s and my genetic testing that was started over a year ago. I’m trying to think of a good joke here, but frankly, this whole situation blows.

We were advised the results were waiting for us in August and took the first available appointment with the geneticist and dermatologist, ie October. I have been feeling a lot of stress this week and attributed that to any number of crappy things that are happening at work, but I didn’t for a second think I was feeling stress about these results. After all, I knew beforehand that nothing would change based on this, we know what is up with Crazy, and having some piece of paper that tells us specifically what is messed up wasn’t going to make it worse or better.

Now, one hour post results, I can feel my heart beating a little more slowly and my head clearing up.  When I am stressed, I swear I can feel my blood in my veins and I get very overwhelmed very easily.  For example, this morning, when taking the kids to the car, Squishy dropped her Buzz Lightyear doll and I nearly started crying – the bending down and picking it up thing was just too much for my standing up self. Luckily, that craziness has left me, and while I feel no relief over the results because all they did was confirm that both my son and I are carrying a mutated gene, I am glad the finding out about the results is over.

I love my sons doctors, and am grateful for the time they spend with us to answer all of our very unexpected questions such as:

  • Will Crazy ever be able to shave?
  • Can we get our 2 year old baby girl tested as well so that she can make an informed decision about procreation?
  • Will Crazy lose his hair at age 5?
  • Does the fact that he is short come into play here, or is it just because one of his parents is elf-like in stature?

As expected, most of the answers were “I don’t know”, although one was “slow down” (after all we have “15 years” before our daughter needs to worry about having children…yeah, I freaking hope it is a lot more than 15)

They explained lots of things to us about how to deal with our son, how we can get the proper care and resources in his school, how we can fight against the establishment who seems to think children don’t need teeth before they are 6 and to be extra aware of the psychological impacts of being “different” that will be accentuated through puberty.

They told us that our son and I are unique in the world because we are the only documented cases of this particular mutation and although we have always considered our son “normal” (a word I hate by the way, but I’m at a loss for a better one right now), it would seem his case is “severe” by genetic definitions.

We are to be on the look-out for everything (a cough, a sneeze, itchy eyes and eating disorders), and have referrals to new specialists because unfortunately, my son can not be treated as a whole, but symptom by symptom.

I continue to believe that we are lucky as parents and that his condition is not THAT serious, but still.  He will be different, he will need lifelong care, and eventually he will be confronted with mockery from other children. I’m not looking forward to that in any way. I hated it when I was a kid and I cringe at thinking of him having to go through it too. Luckily, he is so incredibly lovable, he makes friends relatively easily, and he has such a strong personality that I hope it will help him deal with his challenges.

In summary….it sucks, and the results confirm it.

The Wonders of Technology?

I both love and hate technology. Because I live so far from my family, it is great to keep in touch so easily and so immediately. At the same time, I have the computer, a tablet, and a work smart phone, so I feel like I am always connected and at the beck and call of something or someone.

This week my email threw a temper tantrum and didn’t work for an entire day. I felt panic at first, but as the day went on, I became excessively productive and people were forced to, you know, speak to me with their voices. It was a nice change of pace. By the end of the day, I felt relief and almost calm. I was even a little disappointed when everything was back up and running.

As mentioned in a few previous posts, my boss now works in the Boston office, so technology has become our best friend to facilitate communication. We even have video conferencing software installed on all our computers. Yesterday we were having our weekly video conference with my boss located in Boston, and my colleague who is located at the desk next to mine. She was working from home and for the first time all three of us had to connect to the conference independently (usually she and I sit next to each other and share a screen, which allowed for redundancy, that is to say, if hers didn’t work, we could try mine). Naturally, my connection didn’t work, and naturally I’m not tech savvy enough to start clicking on menus and configurations to fix it all by myself. After approximately 10 and a half seconds I gave up and called my boss on the good old telephone who put me on loud speaker so my colleague who was about 5 km from my location could hear me…via Boston.

While I was incredibly annoyed with my unsuccessful attempt to join the video conference, I was thinking about it afterwards and just how amazing it was.  My colleague and I were having a discussion in real time, with no perceptible delay with our voices traveling across the ocean and back. Whether you love or hate technology, you have to acknowledge it is pretty freaking amazing (when it works).

Stuff my dad writes

So I got this email from my dad today:

“I’ve recently discovered that since adopting my time saving, quick button pressing procedure on the microwave I have been gaining weight. So in an effort to remain healthy I have reverted to the multiple hand moving method. I tell you this as a caution that if you do/did follow my lead, you do so at your own peril. You may save time now but your life could be considerably shortened.”

Emails like this are why I love my dad. First, this email came with the subject line “Christmas exchange” because my dad has never actually sent/started/written an email, he has only ever replied to them. Sometimes I wonder if he knows where the “new” button is on his email application or if he would ever write me again if I were to change my email account and text him the new address.

Second, I may be his daughter but after 34 years of existence, I am never quite sure he is kidding, which makes me laugh more.

Third, this email refers to item number 13 of this post. My father has been proclaiming for years (yes, years) that he is saving so much time by microwaving things for 33 seconds instead of 30, because he moves his fingers less–this time saving action was also originally communicated to me in a similar type of email.

Fourth, I know that one of his other time saving techniques is to copy and paste the same email to all his kids rather than write each of us individualized emails, so I know brother and sister bear have got it too and we can collectively laugh about it the next time we are together.

Finally, I think my dad has a long distance instinct, he knows when these are the exact kind of emails I need.

So if you read this dad (which would only happen if he finds an old email where I have provided him the link because I am not sure he is an avid user of bookmarks either) please don’t ever change.