Friday, February 28, 2014

I *think* I can say it...

...Evan is potty trained!!! WOOHOOO!!!

Sometimes I thought I'd never be able to say that! It took a long time and a lot of one-step-foward-two-steps-back type progress, but we got there! Can I just say how thankful I am for sticker and reward charts? They really worked for him!

I'm just so happy that it happened before he started Kindergarten (which happens in September, so we had time, at least)!.

Bye-bye diapers (well, for one kid, anyway)!!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Archaic Medical Equipment

One of the interesting thing about seeing multiple doctors in various specialties is seeing the gamut of medical equipment they use.

Most of the doctors I work with use very modern and cutting edge technology like MRI and CT scanners - a lot of imaging is done for diagnostic purposes.

But, I've seen a few instruments that look like right out of a 1930s movie.

For example, have you ever had your hearing tested? You basically sit in a sound proof booth that looks like its from mid-century game show. The one I was in was even that green colour typical of appliances back in the 60s and 70s. The peripheral vision test equipment, and the office it was situated in, was from a similar era - complete with piles of folders of the same green and boxes and boxes of paper records.

Is it that not much has changed with technology in those areas, or am I just working with doctors who refuse to adapt and learn how to use new equipment (which is worrisome, really)?

But, I'm not the only one. DH's coworker was telling him the last time he visited an ENT specialist (Ears Nose and Throat). He actually had one of these on his head:

Are you like me and never realized that thing was actually useful and not just part of the caricature of a doctor? Apparently, there is a bright light situated behind the patient, then the doctor holds a reflective cone in the ear and reflects the light off this thing into the cone to see inside the ear. Yeah...the doctor used that set up rather than this highly sophisticated technical piece of equipment:

I think I might question my doctor's ability/sanity if they pulled that.

What's the weirdest piece of medical equipment you've seen?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Brotherly Love

Evan can't seem to decide whether he loves or hates Carter. One second he's kissing Carter's head, the next he's asking if he can go back in my belly (HELL NO!).

Obviously, with Evan being 3.5, this behaviour is not unexpected! I'm excited to see how their relationship evolves, and I really hope they'll be close. We'll try our best to help that happen.

Any advice from parents with brothers?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Reno or Move?

When DH and I bought our house, it was just the two of us with an idea of 1-2 kids. Now that there are four of us, we're starting to wonder if the house can really meet our needs the way we want, especially as the kids get older.

So, now we're trying to decide whether to stay and do renovations or to try and find a different house that already has the things we're looking for.

What kind of person are you - a renovator or a mover?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Job Paths

Sometimes --- well, a lot of the time --- I wish I had chosen a career that was more "known". Like engineer, interior designer, accountant, or dentist. Something, where you go to school, study for however long you need, then do that job, move up in the ranks, and just know what you'll be doing.

'Cause, to be honest, this whole "by the seat of my pants" thing that I'm finding myself on is kinda getting tired. I went into university wanting to get a Physics degree but having no idea what that meant or what I could do after. Then, each stage after that has just been a "we'll see how this goes" decision. I applied to graduate school in Astronomy, to an interior design program and to an international business program at the same time and told myself if I got into graduate school, I'd go. So, I did, and off I went. I moved half-way across the country with no idea what I was going to do. Then, after my MSc,  I did it again - well, I didn't know what else I could do besides do a PhD, so I applied to three programs, and got an offer from one, so I went there. Again, having no idea what I was doing or for what reason.

As long time readers of this blog know I then floundered around for years, just hating life as a graduate student. All I knew was that scientific research was not for me, and that took me years to figure out. Finally, by the end, I knew what I loved - education and outreach - and ended up getting a job doing that, without having to move, and getting a decent salary and everything. But, over time, I realized more and more that there was no stability there, and in the end, the job was cut due to lack of funding.

 I know what I love, but there's very little chance to get another (well-paying) job like that in this town. So, now what?

Now I find myself looking into those types of careers I mentioned at the beginning of this post. Maybe it's times to finally choose a career with a (relative) set path instead of feeling like I'm flopping around like a fish out of water.

And, as always, my mind drifts back to teacher's college - something I've been blathering on and on about for years now. I put in my application back in November and I'll find out if I got in on April 1st. If I don't get in, then I'll have to figure what other types of jobs I can start applying for (admin stuff at the university? not-for-profit sector? something completely different?). But, if I do get in, I'll have to decide whether to actually go. It would mean 8 months of school (because it's not like I've done enough of that?!), 8 months of no salary + tuition costs, Carter in daycare and Evan in kindergarten + before/after school care. It will be expensive for our family in more ways that one. But, then it's only 8 months - something we can surely handle for such a short period, and if I start working the next academic year, things will hopefully start going down a path I would actually like.

Well - I guess we'll see what happens ;)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

4 Months

Carter turned 4 months old on Feb. 8th! He is becoming less and less a newborn and more an interactive, fun baby.

- He loves to grab and hold things and can move them from hand to hand, and anything he gets in his hand(s) goes directly to the mouth.

- He loves to cuddle with something - my hand, his blanket, a stuffed animal - when he falls asleep.

- He found his thumb and sucks on it (Evan never did this, so this is new to me)

- He's been sick a couple of times - nothing serious, just colds, but he's gotten through like a champ. This is one of the good things of him being so big: he can fight things off easily.

- He really likes to watch other kids, and is totally in awe of them when they're around.

- He rolled over tummy-to-back on his 3-month birthday, but he's still working on the other way.

- He cat sit pretty well with a bit of support.

- His wakeful periods last for 1-2 hours, and it's getting hard to keep him entertained for such long periods!

- He's stopped taking his last bottle at night. So, instead of waking up to eat at about 10pm then going to bed, he has his last meal at about 8pm, plays for a while, then goes to sleep for the night and DH takes him upstairs when he's going to bed.

- Evan is starting to really enjoy him - playing with him, and helping more. He's even fed him! I'm SO excited about raising brothers!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Knitting As Therapy

A friend of mine posted this article on Facebook the other day about how knitting can act as great therapy on many levels. This rings so true to me.

I started knitting in the last year of my PhD when I was rather depressed. It gave me something to do with my time to keep my mind off how terrible I felt my life was at the time. It gave me purpose and made me feel accomplished (a stark contrast with beating my head against the wall on a daily basis with my research). I will always credit knitting with getting me through - and beyond - that last year!

Since then, it's been my go-to hobby. It keeps my hands busy, it works my brain,  it reduces my stress, and relaxes me. Finding new projects/patterns or learning new techniques excites me. I love the way I feel when I finish a project (even though it doesn't happen too often!).

It's been a large part of my stroke recovery too. It made me feel normal again, and made me realize I could do things I was able to do "before". It let me feel like I could accomplish something that others told me I might not be able to do (so, I was able to say "screw that!"). It was the first thing to came to my mind when people asked me what I loved to do or what I wanted to get back to doing.

I love it so much, I created a knitting support group for new mom that just started this week! I even applied for a small grant to keep the group going!

If you're looking for a new hobby that can reduce stress, that excites you, that taps into your creative side, and makes you feel accomplished, I totally and fully recommend knitting! Plus, knitters are some pretty awesome people too!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

That's That

I had my first and only follow-up appointment at the rehab centre yesterday I also had my last appointment with my at-home therapy team leader yesterday. Things are rolling along, and I'm crossing off my health support team quickly.

It's good and bad at the same time. Good because I feel like I'm getting my life back (and don't have to organize it around various appointments), and bad because I feel like I'm getting my security blanket taken away. Those were the last few people who were still checking in on me (even though very infrequently), which was nice to have.

Everyone - including myself - thinks I'm doing great though! My therapy team lead even wants to do a story on me in the hospital newsletter, because she thinks I'm one of those "success" stories that people want to read about.