Wednesday 31 October 2018

Halloween Fun

When I was in the trenches of infertility treatments, I considered myself to be a “serious blogger”who only wrote about “serious” issues related to infertility and I vowed that I would never write such fluff pieces, such as ‘Halloween fun’. Yet, as we’ve been leading into Halloween, I’ve been composing a post in my mind, so I decided to go through with it. Then, as I sat down and started typing, I realized I do actually have a Halloween connection to infertility. Back in 2011, I had a negative pregnancy test (the first of many) after the Plan B incident on Halloween. Two years later, I was administering my trigger shot for my first failed IVF cycle in the bathroom at a bar, while wearing my Sookie Stackhouse costume on Halloween night. Then on October 31, 2014, I received the phone call with my beta results. It was 175 and rose to become Kate. I still have the voicemail saved on my phone. Infertility memories still haunt.

I really wasn’t too into Halloween as a child. We lived on a small cul-de-sac that was a good distance away from the main road. There were only 4 or 5 hours and only two other children lived in our neighborhood, so we basically went around to each other’s houses. Since no other kids came to our hood for trick-or-treating, no one had much candy to offer. The grown-ups would carry on talking, which was so boring. I think one year I went trick or treating with Myrtle and her brother and his friend in a big neighborhood, which was a lot of fun. When I was in the 6th or 7th grade, I was asked to take the kids I baby-sit trick-or-treating. It was much more appealing to be making money and I didn’t have to dress in a costume. My final experience with trick or treating was in my senior year of high school. I was leaving field hockey practice, and a teammate, who I really couldn’t stand as she had the most annoying personality, asked me if I wanted to go trick-or-treating. I’m not really sure why I said yes. Maybe it was because I had just sent out my college applications and this was my last chance to do something youthful, or maybe I felt badly for her as I suspect she probably didn’t have friends to trick or treat with when she was younger. We became the annoying teenagers in last minute costumes who drew dirty looks for being too old to go trick-or treating, but I actually had a fun time with my annoying teammate.

The one Halloween memory I will always hold, is that my mother made my costumes. The first one I recall was when I was in the first grade and was obsessed with Annie. My mom sewed me a red dress with the white collar and knit a kick-ass red curly wig. The next year she made a cat costume. When she went back to work full time, she gave me ten dollars and sent me to a consignment shop to create a costume. We never used a store bought costume. I wanted to carry on that tradition with Kate, especially when she was and infant and early toddler and didn’t have any comprehension of Halloween. I had my mom crochet some animal hats (a bunny and a dog) and I completed the rest of the outfit. Last year was the first time, she recognized there was something called Halloween going on. I re-used the Olivia Costume from her birthday, and we walked the neighborhood to look at all the decorations without trick-or-treating.

One day in early September, Kate wanted to play Nella the Princess Knight and was going through her closet and mine to try to find a Nella outfit. I did my best, but it wasn’t “Nella” enough to suit her, so I began contemplating getting her a Nella costume, if she would actually wear it for play. I found one in the regular toy section at Target, which emphasized that it was not a Halloween costume, but I figured she could wear it on Halloween, so I hid it in my closet as I didn’t want her to possible ruin it before H-night. She found it while we had cleaned out our house for the flea treatments and of course, wanted to try it on. O-M-G that think was a fucking glitter bomb. Hot pink glitter everywhere. As we were vacuuming so frequently for the flea treatments, I didn’t think it was going to be a big deal, then I discovered specks of glitter were getting stuck in the floor boards. I had to cut off the glittery skirt and I went to the fabric store to get a non-glitter replacement. She could have worn it without the mesh overlay, but the action of sewing for her costume made me feel connected to my mother.

Right after we hit the fabric store, Kate and I headed over to Tar.get to look for some pig ears (I’ll explain in a minute) She found a Unicorn costume and fell in love with it. Literally, she was hugging and cuddling this stuffed unicorn. I had a moment of weakness and relented. As Nella has a Unicorn, I figured it would complement her costume. (Kate always pairs Nella and Trinket together. She won’t wear her Nella underwear if it doesn’t have Nella and Trinket.) Once again, I justified my purchase as it is something she can play with year round. Already she’s insisted on taking her Unicorn out to dinner (we had to explain that the Pub has a no unicorn policy), to the farmer’s market, and to bed. I woke up one morning after Kate had climbed into our bed and saw that she brought Unicorn too.

Just when I figured I had Halloween sorted. I received an email from her school reminding parents that they would be hosting a wholesome Halloween parade. So nothing scary. No masks. No war toys. Acceptable costume included professions, objects (such as a crayon) or characters from books. I decided to re-purpose the Olivia dress again. Only to find that the Olivia dress she wore a year ago, is now an Olivia shirt. I quickly found a red velvet dress online, which is actually closer to Olivia’s real dress, and took the collar I made off her old dress and sewed it on to the new one. I hope I made my mom proud. We also added bows for the ears.

Olivia: today and one year ago 

Kate’s school had a field trip to a Pumpkin Patch. The kids learned about the life cycle of a Pumpkin, toured the patch on a hayride and each got to pick their own pumpkin. I love that Kate is deadlifting hers.

As Husband was away for a hockey tournament during the weekend of my championship swim meet (did I mention that my team WON!) I had to leave her with baby-sitters. I picked up some Halloween arts and craft projects for the sitters to do with Kate, as I thought this made me a “cool” mom. Neither sitter did them with her, so apparently not. Never mind. Kate and I did them together.

The masks came out well. The pumpkin.. not so much 

Our final Halloween project was the pumpkin carving. As a I have a few tool sets, I decided to look online for patterns to download and we couldn’t resist making a Peppa Pumpkin!

Finally we celebrated Halloween. My Dentist was hosting a Halloween carnival, which I felt was a good alternative to trick-or-treating. As Halloween wasn’t really a thing done in England, Husband perceives trick-or-treating as begging and doesn’t want her to do it and I don’t want her to get lots of candy. Co-worker started taking her boys out when they were three, but she only goes to five houses. This will be their fourth year of hitting only five houses. She is aware that eventually they will discover that you can knock on six of more doors. The carnival was just on our way home after picking Kate up from school, but I didn’t factor extra time for the traffic. It was listed as 4-7 and we arrived around 6:20. It was getting dark and they were starting to pack somethings up. If we do it next year, I’ll get out of work earlier as they had lots of carnival games. Kate did get to get her face painted. (The woman was getting ready to pack up, but couldn’t resist Kate’s charms) She got a balloon animal (which looked more like a sex toy…) We posed for pictures in a photo booth and ate pizza from a food truck that had an actual brick oven. It was pretty cool. She received a goodie bag that had some candy, a few mini packages of M&Ms and a few lollipops. So she got a little candy that night. We came home to find our bowl of Do-it-Yourself non-candy Halloween treats was empty, which means they were a big hit... or some decided to be an asshole and take all of them. I may find out when I rake leaves if any got dumped back on our yard...

The balloon lady tried really hard to fulfill Kate’s request for a Unicorn
I didn’t have the heart to tell her it looks more like The Rabbit 

Saturday 20 October 2018

Right Now October 2018

Reading: Blogs, which is where I got the idea to do a ‘Right Now’ post.

Watching: I just finished the fourth season of The Affair, and it may have been the best. I appreciate the way the show has been able to re-invent itself each season and keep the storylines compelling. I think the only network show I’ve been watching is This is Us. While I appreciate that they are doing an infertility story line, I wish they stuck to the fact that Kate is a high risk pregnancy due to her weight. I once had to care for a nearly 400 pound woman who conceived with IVF, ruptured her membranes at 30 weeks and was put on bed rest, where she developed a blot clot in her lower leg. Fortunately, she and the baby made it after a very careful C/section and long NBICU stay, but we really thought we were going to lose them both.

Listening: to Kate whine about the fact that I won’t give her a cup of water to take to bed

Eating: About 1700 calories, 185 g of Carbs 65 g of Fat and 135g of protein on a work out day.  I just did my body fat test a few weeks ago. I knew my weight was down a bit and I was hoping my extra time in the gym had translated into an increase in muscle. Well I lost 3 pounds, 1.5 of fat and 1.5 of muscle. The guy administering the test thinks I’m not eating enough, which is really not what I was expecting to hear, as I know there are some days when I am less than honest about what I record on MyFitnessPal. Like when I yield to my weakness of pumpkin spice cream-filled cookies and polish off nearly a whole box. Sigh. It’s about eating the right foods and I’m still trying to figure out what they are.

Drinking: I just chugged a shot of Kate’s Zyrtec. No kidding. Long story short. We have fleas. Well, our cats have fleas and once they are treated, they feast on me. No one else in the house. I’m glad they are not bothering Kate, but I think Husband could take a few bites for the team. My ankles are completely scratched up and now I have bites all over my torso. I didn’t have any adult strength anti-histamines, so I took an adult dose of Kate’s meds.

Update: I accidentally took a 15 mg dose in the morning and it nearly knocked me out. Beware! 

Wearing: My favorite gym shorts and my newest long sleeve T-shirt from our recent swim meet which MY TEAM WON!

Loving: See above. The Pumpkin Spice Cream Filled Cookies

Anticipating: Halloween! Kate is really getting into it this year, as she keeps asking “Is Halloween tomorrow?” Her school is having a costume parade and of course it’s a wholesome Halloween parade, so no masks, scary costumes or war toys. A few weeks ago, Kate wanted to make a Nella the Princess Knight costume out of her and my clothes, which didn’t really work out too well. So, I brought a Nella costume, breaking my vow not to buy costumes, as we tried the home made route and failed, and it seems that she would wear it after Halloween. Anyway, I figured a Princess Knight costume (Even though she doesn’t have a toy shield and sword) would be frown upon by the Wholesome Halloween Police, so at their suggestion of selecting a character from a book, I’m reusing her Olivia costume from last year’s Birthday party/Halloween for the parade and she can wear Nella in the evening.

Hoping: The flea treatments work. We had our carpets professionally treated and now we have to vacuum all the rugs three times a day for the next two weeks. We’ve everything out our closets, which is now being stored in the garage and I have most of Kate’s stuff in our dining room so we can keep the floors as clear as possible. I’m also hoping we can have a good cull and get rid of stuff that we haven’t used in years.

Following: The midterm elections, although I’m not feeling optimistic. I feel that between the Russian interference, gerrymandering, and blatant voter suppression, we’re fucked.

Wondering: If Kate is ever going to be night time potty trained. I know she won’t be the six year old still in pull-ups as she refuses to wear them, but I think I might be the mom of a six year old who is still washing three sets of sheets every day…

Trying: To figure out what to feed our family. I’ve tried two meal service companies that both deliver to our gym, but Husband isn’t too keen on either of them. Actually he dismissed one just by looking at it without even trying it. I feel as if I am so done trying to make an effort for him when there is so little appreciation.  I’m ready to declare every night is a FUFFY. (Fuck yoU Fend For Yourself)

Worrying: It’s been a stressful week at work. Hence, stress eating a box of cooking. Everyone is under pressure to meet productivity standards and with my administrative position, I’ve become Public Enemy Number One. I’ve felt as if I were walking on eggshells all week, just trying to keep to myself at my desk, but I have to lead our department meeting on Monday with a team that is pissed off at me right now. Awkward.

Planning: How to spend the remaining days/weeks of the year. This morning I worked out how much I have left before I reach the max on my dental plan and how much my insurance will cover for a new crown and to replace some fillings. I have two visits booked. I’m also trying to work out when to do my brute squad swim (200 Fly, 400 IM and 1650 Free) during the month of November. I want to try to set up a play date while Kate and I are off for Veterans Day. I need to figure out what to make to take to take to my aunt’s house for Thanksgiving dinner.  I also need to do a Costco run, especially so I can purchase items for the local food banks, but want to make sure I get in before it gets too close to the holiday madness. Don’t you wish your life were as exciting as mine!

Contemplating: Well, I was briefly considering changing jobs earlier this week, but I wasn’t serious about it. Four years ago, when we were really overworked and I was on the verge of being burnt out, I didn’t make a move to switch because I knew going somewhere else would have a nice honeymoon period for maybe a few months to a year, then it would be same shit different venue. The other reason why I didn’t leave is that I have an easy commute in an area with shitty traffic. Now I’m also locked into this location due to it’s proximity to Kate’s Pre-school. Co-worker and others who work close with me have assured me that all this will blow over in time. I just hope it get there soon.