Settling In

It’s hard to believe that we have been living in Fredericton for nearly two months already. The move went really smoothly. We were also very fortunate in how quickly we were able to sell our house, the fact that we were able to find a house we liked here to buy, and that I had a job lined up. Nothing came up on either of the closing inspections (our new house here or our old house there), nothing was broken during the move, and the fact that a Brookfield move includes sending people to unpack boxes for us forced us to find homes for all of our stuff in a speedy fashion. Honestly, moving is annoying, but if you have to do it, military moves are the way to go.

Over the past couple of months, we have been settling in – exploring the neighbourhoods, learning the streets, making our new house our new home. And it is becoming home to me now. I don’t think about the old house very much now, although I do think of my family, friends, and neighbours back in Halifax. But I love my new kitchen which is nice and spacious and bright. I love our rec room in a basement that does not feel like a basement. I love my bedroom with the window that looks out onto a bunch of trees. Neal and his dad built a shed in our backyard, and when the roofers come to replace the shingles on our house roof (possibly tomorrow, weather-permitting), they are going to put the shingles on the shed as well, which should allow us to move some stuff out of the garage.

Neal has been adjusting to being a student again, and adjusting as well to the fact that all of his courses this semester are online. That may sound like it should be easier, but it’s really not. Instead of attending class, he has other things he needs to do which take up a lot of time, not to mention the many assignments he needs to work on. We are often in the office together in the evening after Claire goes to bed, but lately I am often in bed and sound asleep before he even comes upstairs (though, to be fair, I tend to be one of those people who falls into a dead sleep the second I turn out my light)

Claire is also adjusting well to her new daycare. She still misses her old one a lot, as well as the friends she had there, but she seems to like this one as well. We have also registered her for big school for next year!

Unfortunately, my anxiety reared its ugly head again in a big way. The thing about anxiety is that it likes to manifest itself in myriad different ways so you don’t know if it’s anxiety or something else. I have a history of Grave’s disease (hyperactive thyroid) from after I had Claire, which went into remission. Not long after moving in here, I started noticing a weird feeling in my throat; it essentially felt like a lump in my throat and my ability to swallow sometimes felt constricted. Long-story-short, I managed to find the best family doctor who got me in for some tests rather quickly, and it turns out it was not my thyroid at all (which is perfectly normal right now), but rather it was my anxiety causing my stomach to produce extra acid, which then rose in my esophagus, irritating that and my vocal chords. So now I’m on Tecta for a (hopefully) short period of time, which reduces stomach acid, and I’m also back on my low-dose Effexor to deal with my anxiety. Maybe I’ll go off Effexor again someday, or maybe I’ll just stay on it forever. I’m not thinking about that now; I’m just thankful that that awful feeling has mostly gone away.

And in other news, I am no longer a legal assistant doing labour, family law, and litigation. As of this week, I am returning to my roots, joining the foreclosure team at the same law firm. They had an opening for a bilingual foreclosure paralegal, and given my experience, they offered me the position.

And yes, you read that correctly – bilingual. I’m the only one, so any mortgagors who need to speak to someone in French will come to me, and I’ll deal with any files that require other correspondence in French, though I will also have other files that are in English. So I’m brushing up on my French again – I have been studying my Bescherelle for conjugation and I have been carrying around my French-English dictionary. It’s coming back to me, and as I really begin working in this area, I know it will come back even faster.

So that’s basically our life these days. Settling in, getting to know the city, and resuming a relatively normal routine.

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Winding Down

Time is moving along swiftly, and the fact that we are moving in just a few days is starting to feel a little more real. It never felt unreal that we are moving to Fredericton, but it just felt as though there were still a few weeks left – particularly since it feels like August 1st was just yesterday.

I finished work at the law firm here on Friday. As Neal drove me to work that day, I felt flutters of panic that I was just barely able to keep under some semblance of control. I knew that in a few short hours, I would be unemployed, and the future as far as employment was concerned was unknown… until about 10 a.m. Friday morning when I received an email from the HR manager at the Fredericton office of the same law firm. She wrote that although she knows that it was my last day and therefore probably extremely busy, she was wondering if I could find a few minutes to give her a call as she wanted to offer me a job.

Um, yes. I think I can find a few minutes for that!

I found a phone in a small signing room for privacy, and we discussed the position (Legal Assistant for lawyers in the areas of Labour & Employment, Family Law, and Litigation), and the terms, and honestly, it all sounded so perfect that there was no question at all in my mind. I accepted the position on the spot, and then proceeded to float around the office, announcing to everyone that I am employed after all! The job starts on September 1st – it doesn’t leave me a huge amount of time to get settled, but I don’t even care. That is a small price to pay to have the certainty of a job in Fredericton.

So I’m basically on a bit of an unpaid “vacation” now until September 1st. We really didn’t do a huge amount of responsible house stuff on the weekend as we had some of our neighbours over for a BBQ on Saturday, and then we met up with some friends at Martinique Beach on Sunday. We were a little more productive yesterday, and today the men doing the “pre-pack” are here (for the uninitiated, the “pre-pack” is when they come and pack up anything that is not essential to daily life – generally stuff in the garage, shed, spare bedroom, rec room, etc.). It feels very strange because there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot for me to do. I brought the car in for an oil change and an alignment and picked it back up. Neal has taken some stuff to a charity and other things to places that take old electronics and batteries. We emptied the sandbox and hosed it out so it can come with us. We are picking away at a few things here and there, but there isn’t much that we can do today.

Tomorrow will be a little different. We’ll need to pack our suitcases and some other items that we are taking in the car with us (some things, such as cleaners, won’t be taken in the truck, but since we’re driving to our destination anyway, we might as well take them with us). We’ll have to get up bright and early on Thursday morning to load the car up so that when the men come to do the full pack, those things won’t accidentally be taken or end up behind a tower of boxes. Because items essential for daily life will be packed on Thursday, we will go stay in a hotel that night. Friday is the day the truck is loaded, and then it leaves. We will come back for a few hours on Saturday as we have hired a cleaner to help us give the house one last cleaning and then… Gulp… we will lock up the house and that will be it. On Sunday morning, we drive to Fredericton.

It’s finally starting to feel a little more real that we are leaving in a few days. The move itself never felt unreal, but over the past little bit, it has felt as though we still have weeks before we leave. That’s partially because, until today, nothing was packed. Non-military people kept asking me if we had started packing, and my response was always “Nope, because the movers do all of that!”

And thank goodness for that. Looking around this house (and the garage and the shed), I am so relieved we don’t have to pack most of it. I wouldn’t say that we are pack-rats or even that we have all that much stuff compared to other people who live in houses, but OMG, there is a lot of stuff in here! We even got rid of a lot of stuff before when we were getting ready to list the house for sale! We are being spoiled, that is for certain. I told Neal today that whenever we do our final move when he’s getting out of the military years from now, that will be it. I’m not moving anywhere else because we would have to do it all ourselves!

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How the summer has flown by… Summers often do, but this one has in particular for us because of our move. Not so long ago, we found out that Neal had been accepted into the UTPNCM (officer) program and that we were going to move to Fredericton. Thus commenced a flurry of activity as we prepared our house to be listed on the market – cleaning, purging, painting. Thankfully, despite a really terrible seller’s market here, we managed to get a firm Agreement of Purchase and Sale on our house right before we headed to Fredericton for our house hunting trip. We didn’t get exactly what we wanted for the house, but we didn’t lose and at least we could look at houses without worrying about whether we would actually be able to buy it.

The house hunting trip was busy but fun. We were there for 10 days and we managed to fit in some touring around our new city amidst the house viewings and phone calls and emails. We had Claire with us for most of the trip, but thankfully Neal’s parents were able to come up and stay with us in Fredericton for a few days when we were going with the realtor to see a bunch of houses (we saw 14 on our first day!).

We found a lovely house in Lincoln Heights (for those of you familiar with Fredericton), and we are pretty excited to get there. Here are a couple of pictures from the MLS listing:

It appears to be a developing neighbourhood, as there are signs of more houses being built, or planned to be built in the area. There is a park with a little splash pool nearby (probably within walking distance), and although we are in the middle of suburbia, it’s only a 10-minute drive to downtown, and – if Neal gets his first actual posting in Gagetown – only a 10 minute drive to Oromocto in the other direction.

So we’re pretty excited to get there and get settled, but of course, there is some sadness and some anxiety in there as well. We went to Sherry’s and George’s last night for the afternoon and supper. Claire spent pretty much the entire time playing with Breanna, and the rest of us hung out and chatted. I managed to make it until I hugged Sherry goodbye before I broke down and started to cry. We went through something similar ten years ago when I moved from Montreal to Halifax. Sherry was pregnant with Breanna, and Hayley was really little. I remember colouring with Hayley and she turned to me at one point and asked me why I had to move so far away. To make it even worse, that time I didn’t technically HAVE to leave; I was choosing to do so. At least this time, we are being obliged to move, so it reduces the guilt somewhat.

Sherry and I had a little cry, and then I pulled myself together to get into the car. I barely held myself in check when Claire said from the back seat, “I’m really going to miss Breanna.”

Sigh. We are excited, and I do believe this is the best path for our family (ie, Neal becoming an officer), but I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a little bittersweet and if I didn’t admit to feeling some anxiety that seems to grow with each passing day (not helped by the fact that I will be unemployed as of 4pm this Friday). But I know it will all work out. It worked out for me before when I moved to Halifax and didn’t have a job, and I was by myself back then. I have a decent amount of experience in my field, and I have an excellent work ethic, so once I get settled there, it will all work out. And it’s only a 4-hour drive to visit Sherry and her family, so we’ll just have to make some trips down this way on long weekends, and hopefully they will come up to see us in Fredericton.

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Change of Scenery

Change is in the air, particularly in the Guthrie household.

For anyone who didn’t see my Facebook newsfeed recently: Neal applied for admission to the university program that would allow him to become an officer (the program is called UTPNCM). More specifically, he wanted to become a Training & Development officer, which would ultimately mean that he would help to develop training programs throughout the military. We didn’t have high hopes that he would get in this year as there was only one posting for the entire country. Of course, we don’t know how many people applied, but he was told that his chances were slim.

Slim or not, Neal was accepted! It’s a good move for both him personally and for us as a family. It should be a bit more transferable to the civilian world when he does retire from the military than being a radar technician as he is now (and will hopefully translate into a higher paying job when he retires from the military). It’s also a desk job and involves no sea time at all, which means we don’t need to worry about those dreaded long, 8-month deployments (or a series of smaller deployments, for that matter). It does require more frequent moving – typical postings are 3-4 years, but we think that even with the additional training that will be involved in this change, he should only have about 10 or so more years of required service time, so unless he stays in longer, there shouldn’t be TOO many. Plus, it’s a chance to see different parts of the country, which is an exciting idea as well.

But here is the kicker. One of the only universities offering an education degree that is acceptable to the military for this particular trade of Training & Development Officer (TDO) is University of New Brunswick (Fredericton). Essentially it’s because many universities offering education degrees only offer programs focusing on teaching kids in elementary, junior high, or high school, rather than adults. UNB offers an Adult Education program. Neal only needs to go for two years because he already has a science degree, plus the courses he took with the military at Memorial University in Newfoundland and Royal Military College.

We thought there might be a chance he could do the program from here because, particularly since he doesn’t need to do any courses outside the Adult Ed program, all the courses are offered as either online or by teleconference (the online courses are ONLY available online; in other words, you can’t take those ones in a classroom. The teleconference ones are available either by teleconference or by attending a physical class). The military pays for almost all of the costs involved in moving us, including our house-hunting trip, legal costs of buying a new place, etc. so we had some small hope that they might approve us staying put while he completes the program. Even if this would be granted, we knew that chances were very good that in two years, we would be moving somewhere else; but at least it would give us two years to get everything ready in the house.

Unfortunately, we found out that that’s not possible, and today Neal (finally) got the posting message confirming a move. I am disappointed, because it does involve a lot of work to get a house ready to sell (which is what I’m stressing about the most). I also enjoy where I work, so it would have been nice to stay there a bit longer. But policy is policy, so there you have it. We need to be in Fredericton by September.

It’s do-able. In my darker moments, I sometimes forget that. But I know we can do this. Many weeknights after supper, I do something related to moving. I brought a car load of “stuff” over to the Salvation Army one night to help clear things out, and I know I’ll have more to bring over. Other, cheap things that no one is going to buy have gone into the garbage and we’ll continue with this as we go. I washed some of the windows (OMG we have a lot of windows!). I’ve started to cut down some vine-like weeds that grow up in the back by the fence. We bought paint for the kitchen and dining room, and this Deck Over stuff we’ve seen advertised to freshen up our deck. We had some drainage done in the back to deal with the high water table properties around here have to contend with, and at the same time, those same guys built a new front porch for us.

Lots and lots and lots to do, but if we work steadily, we can get it done. Now that we have the posting message and therefore we are closer to being allowed to list the house for sale (you’re supposed to do it through the relocation company), I’m hoping that we will have the house ready to be listed by the end of the weekend. We will still have things to work on as we go (paint the shed, paint the deck, paint the kitchen/dining room), but we’ll list it anyway once we get a few last things we have to finish because, quite frankly, we don’t have a lot of time to sell, and although it seems to be improving slightly, the market isn’t the best around here right now. That is what I’m freaking out over the most – the fact that we NEED to sell our house in order to buy a new place in Fredericton (ie, in order to have the down payment required); otherwise, we’ll have to rent in Fredericton, at least until we sell this place. But I’m trying to remain positive and hopeful that we’ll sell quickly and for a decent price.

The idea of a move is sad – I love Halifax, and my sister, brother-in-law, and nieces are here. This is where a lot of life events happened to me – I moved out on my own when I came here, started my career as a paralegal, met Neal, got married, had Claire… There are a lot of memories here. But, although I know I’ll be sad when we go, I know that our plan is to end up back here someday. Either with a posting of Neal’s, or as a “retirement” move (military retirement, which if all remains the same, should be in roughly 9-10 years). I think that Fredericton will be fun, because it’s a university town, and it’s close to Neal’s family (they’re in Saint John, which is only about 45 minutes away). Thankfully, we have an office there as well, and although I’m not guaranteed a job there, our HR manager has been in some unofficial contact with that office to mention that they have someone who is moving to Fredericton, and apparently there is some interest in Fredericton.

Just… cross your fingers and toes and pray for us to have a quick and good sale of our house!

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Work It Off

Here’s a little bit of truth for you:

The last time I liked the way my body looks was when I was pregnant with Claire.

Obviously, I expected to have some extra weight hanging around right after I had Claire, but she’s almost 4 now, and I am still 14lbs heavier now than I was that first time I was weighed after finding out I was pregnant with Claire, and at that time, I was at the heavier side of my normal range.

I know that for many women, their bodies change after they have a baby. But on Sunday, I was looking at some pictures Neal had taken of Claire at a birthday party. In some of them, I was in the background, and I was HORRIFIED by what I saw. I was so horrified that my mood took a nosedive and Neal actually asked me at one point, “Are you okay?” Tears were shed as I explained that I really didn’t like the way I look these days.

And so, I am trying to incorporate some changes into my life. I eat pretty well anyway, so food hasn’t been a huge issue. Don’t get me wrong – I still share some chips with Neal on the weekend, I drink a bit of wine and/or beer on the weekend. I’m not cutting everything out because I think that would be setting myself up for failure. But, since January, I’ve cut down on my consumption of granola bars. There are some homemade granola bars I might make this weekend, but I will make them small and they will, I’m sure, be a huge improvement over the boxed variety.

By and large, though, I have stopped having a granola bar in the afternoons for my snack. Instead, I am eating fresh vegetables either by themselves or with hummus, or fresh fruit (this week it’s been clementines). My friend and I are getting together on Friday for lunch and we were initially planning to order a platter of nachos to share, but I emailed her on Monday to say that I really didn’t want to eat nachos for lunch on Friday, but would prefer to make a healthier choice (thankfully she was feeling the same way, so we’re on the same page). I brought Neal’s chili for lunch a couple of days this week; normally I enjoy having a piece of bread to dip into it, but I didn’t bring any bread with me those days. One of those days, a lawyer in our hallway offered to buy staff in our hallway food from Boston Pizza; as much I do enjoy some of the pizzas at Boston Pizza, I declined and ate the lunch that I had brought instead. Today there were some sweets that were left over from a meeting, but as much as I would have loved to have had one, I knew that I have been doing really well this week and I want to continue that way.

I am also being more conscious of portion control. I have a lot of trouble eating slowly unless I’m talking a lot, but I’m trying to slow down a bit, and I’m giving my body time to digest after finishing. It takes a little while for your body to fully recognize that you are full, and I remind myself that I will likely be eating a small snack in a few hours. I don’t need to be full to the point of bursting.

I have also started doing the Jillian Michaels “30-day Shred”. Jillian Michaels is probably one of the most loved and hated fitness instructors out there. Everyone I have ever spoken to about her videos wants to punch her in the face while working out to her videos, but she is also probably one of the most effective dvd instructors out there. I had been going to the gym at lunch for a while, but I gave up my membership because I never sweat as much there as I do while working out to her dvds. I love her “Kickbox Fast Fix” and her yoga video is pretty good as well (though it’s the hardest yoga I have EVER done). This one? I mutter how much I hate her and that video at least three times every time I do it. Today is Day Three of Level 1. The start of the video (after the warm-up) is the worst for me. I have a lot of trouble with push-ups, even the ones you do from your knees. But I keep trying, I keep pushing myself, and you know what, I’m sore today after doing the work out, but not as sore as I was the other days.

I may never get to my pre-pregnancy weight and body again, but I am going to work my butt off to get as close as I can.

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Fun-Filled Weekend

I am feeling that rewarding exhaustion after having had a busy but fun weekend.

On Friday night, after Claire went to bed, I left Neal at home and hopped in the car to drive out to Toys ‘r Us for their Midnight Madness sale. The item I wanted in particular (a trunk with BOTH Elsa and Anna dresses, as well as bracelets, rings, etc. – regularly priced at $40 on sale for $20) was only going to be sold at half-price starting at 10pm. After being awake from 4:40 a.m. (thanks to a certain adorable munchkin having an accident in her bed) and working all day, I would have loved to have just stayed at home in my jammies, but it was worth it. I and probably 100 other people stood in line by the storage doors in the store from a little after 9pm until they finally opened them at 10pm and started rolling them out. I have no idea if everyone got a trunk, but I know I did, so I left very satisfied. I also remembered the story my mom and dad often told me about the first year Cabbage Patch dolls were out, and how my dad went to stand in a long line waiting for those to be unloaded, everyone tense as they didn’t know if they would get the prized gift for their children or not, and how much they would have to fight for them. I am happy to say that everyone was pretty civilized at Toys ‘r Us on Friday evening, other than a woman who gave a little shove to the father of a friend of mine who also happened to be at the store that night.

On Saturday, Neal took Claire to dance class while I stayed home to work on a file for work. It involves the final accounting for an estate, and I had to really focus on what I was doing, and it usually takes awhile, so it’s extremely difficult to do that at work when the phone is ringing and other work is pouring in. I didn’t mind; I had originally thought I was going to have to actually go into work on Saturday morning because of a serious backlog of work, but thanks to a very productive Thursday and Friday, I was able to avoid that. It’s not so bad having to work on one file at home while in your pajamas.

After lunch, Neal, Claire and I headed over to celebrate my niece, Breanna’s 9th birthday party. Claire was a little timid at first because all of Breanna’s friends were there already and she didn’t think anyone wanted to play with her, but after getting over her shyness (which took all of 5 minutes), she was in the thick of everything and we barely saw her.

Angel Claire

Claire didn’t fall asleep on the drive home, but she was EXHAUSTED. It didn’t take her long to fall asleep at all once we got her into bed.

This morning was quiet. We cleaned, I made supper (since we were going to be out in the afternoon), and then after lunch we headed out to a family event put on by the law firm I work for. Spouses and kids were invited to join everyone at a new indoor gym called Hop, Skip, Jump!.

When we first arrived, the noise level was insane, but we got used to it fairly quickly, and honestly, everything is built so that it will allow adults to climb up on the equipment, so even the grown-ups got to have lots of fun. I followed Claire pretty much all over the climbing gym, going down the slides, climbing through net tunnels, and crossing bridges. I’m sure I am going to be mighty sore tomorrow, but it was so worth it!

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As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, I was starting to wean myself off Effexor by taking it every second day. At the end of last week, I went off it completely. It was a good time to do it, because I would only start feeling the worst of the effects on the weekend, then although I had to work on Monday, I had Tuesday off for Canada Day. Then I only had three days to finish off the week.

I’m not going to lie. It sucked a bit. I felt edgy and that awful fluttery feeling in my chest wouldn’t go away. I felt ridiculously started whenever there was a loud noise (and it didn’t have to be all that loud, really). I was cranky and emotional, and I will admit that I was a little bitchier than normal. Stupid little things pissed me off or made me cry (or both).

I did find that being outside helped a lot. On Saturday, we hung around the house, but because it was a nice day, we were out in the yard a lot so that Claire could play with the little boys next door. On Sunday, we drove out to Clam Harbour Beach and spent the better part of the day there. I left work early on Monday, and Neal and I went to Finbar’s to share an appetizer and each have a beer (I had a Kilkenny – my god, I love that beer!). On Tuesday, we headed down to a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant that has been around forever and is famous for their fish ‘n chips, John’s Lunch – we had never been there before so we wanted to try it out (it was quite good, but as I pretty much never get fish ‘n chips, I can’t really compare). Other than that, we just hung out in the yard, Claire played in her pool with the kids who live on the other side of us, we (the kids and I, that is) ran through the sprinkler, and just had a generally good time.

Through all of that, I experienced withdrawal, but I’m glad that I went out and did things rather than just sat around the house, hoping it would go away. I would have dwelt on how I was feeling way too much.

Things are much better now. I still have some of that fluttery feeling in my chest, but it isn’t as strong as it was. I’m not feeling as bitchy and cranky as I was before. I’m not sure if it has anything to do with the Effexor, but I seem to be dreaming more (it would be highly coincidental if it had nothing to do with the Effexor because since I stopped completely, I have remembered my dreams almost every night whereas it was a very rare night for me to remember a dream when I was on the medication).

I’m looking forward to when I won’t feel any withdrawal at all. Of course, I don’t expect to be out of the woods then. I will still have anxiety, and now I will need to learn how to deal with it all on my own. But I am still proud of myself for having stopped taking this drug because after reading a lot of forums and talking to a lot of people, this is one hell of a drug to stop taking.

A few pictures from the weekend:

Clam Harbour - such a beautiful beach!

John's Lunch - the older man behind the counter is the owner

Wipe out!

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The First Few Days

A few weeks ago, I mentioned on Facebook that I was thinking about going off Effexor. I went on the anti-depressant due to my increasing anxiety back in 2009, about 6 months or so before Neal and I got married. I was happier than ever, but as my doctor told me, even good change can be stressful.

I don’t regret going on Effexor. It was necessary at the time. I was having trouble getting myself out the door to go to work, the store, for a walk, and luckily for me, I recognized that this was not something I could allow to continue. The last thing I wanted was to become a recluse. So I went to therapy for a little while, and I started the lowest dose (37.5 mg) of Effexor. My doctor warned me that chances were good that I would have to keep increasing the dose until I found one that worked for me, but fortunately I was good with the lowest dose, and I stuck with it for the last five years. It’s not that I never felt anxiety over the past five years, but it took the edge off, and allowed me enough clarity to calm myself down when those anxious thoughts plagued me.

But the thing is, I don’t want to be on medication for the rest of my life. I never want that, but certainly not when I am only 34 years old. Obviously, there are some situations that call for lifelong medication, including depression, anxiety, thyroid diseases, etc. And if I try going off Effexor and I start feeling that same level of anxiety that I felt before and find that I am unable to leave my house with ease, then I will have to give some thought to going back on it and maybe staying on it for the rest of my life. But I want to see if I can handle it now. I’m sure I will have moments of anxiety, because that is just how I am wired, but if at all possible, I would like to try to find other ways to deal with it.

So I went to see my doctor last Thursday to discuss the best ways to go off of Effexor. The thing with this drug is that there are definite withdrawal symptoms. I had felt them before when I would forget to take my dose. I used to take it after supper, and by noon the next day – at the latest – I would know I had forgotten. My head felt heavy and fuzzy. If I turned my head too quickly, it sometimes felt like it would take a couple of extra seconds for my vision and my brain to catch up. My chest and stomach felt fluttery. I fumbled more when I picked things up. I would usually find myself counting down the hours until I could take that day’s dose so that I would know that within a few hours of doing so, I would start feeling normal again.

As mentioned above, most people end up on much higher doses than me, so they gradually taper down their doses. As I am on the lowest possible, and as they are capsules that can’t be cut in half, I have to go to taking the medication every second day. I took my dose on Thursday night because we had our work summer party on Friday and didn’t want to feel awful that day, but I didn’t take any on Friday night at supper. I then decided to switch my time of taking it from suppertime to after breakfast to try to reduce the amount of time that I am awake during withdrawal, so I took it early in the afternoon on Saturday, nothing on Sunday, took one on Monday morning, nothing yesterday, and so on and so forth. I am to keep this up for about two weeks and then if I’m okay, I could go to every third day, but my doctor said that chances were that I’d be okay with going to nothing at all.

I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised at how well I am doing so far. I do have moments when I feel jittery and fuzzy-headed. There are times when I look down and feel mildly dizzy, but it is not as bad as those days when I had forgotten to take my dose. My guess is that I’m prepared for it this time. I chose to do this, rather than having just forgotten.

I just hope that I will do as well when I stop taking them altogether!

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Long Week

Isn’t it funny how tons of people will find that the same week is just draaaagggging along? That’s what this week was like. I’m not even sure why it felt so long to me because I was busy enough that it should have flown by. And yet, this one week felt like two. Maybe it’s the weather (wet, grey, cold for the most part).

I didn’t get to the gym as often as I would like. In fact, now that I think about it, I only got there on Monday. Ugh. On Tuesday, we were having our new dishwasher delivered, our old one having died. On Wednesday, I had errands to run at lunch so that meant no gym time. On Thursday, I was working through lunch and leaving work early for an appointment, and as for today, I had made plans to meet a friend for lunch. The lack of gym time probably contributed to me feeling more tired than I would like, and there wasn’t the same release of stress when I needed it most. Work is busy these days – lots of Wills to draft, and lots of probate actions to keep track of.

That being said, I have to say that I am really enjoying work. I’d enjoy it a little more if I was a little less busy, true, but I’m starting to reach that point where I feel like I know at least a little bit of what I’m doing. It’s still a learning curve, which keeps my brain fresh, and I enjoy learning about things that are applicable to a lot of people (because everyone needs a Will!), including myself. I am definitely learning a lot more about investments than I ever would have thought I would – and that makes me very thankful to be married to a man who is very much interested in investments and business-related topics.

But as much as I am enjoying my job and my place of work, I am definitely very happy that it is the weekend. We had pork souvlaki with veggies tonight for supper, as well as a very nice wine (MacManus, California). It’s supposed to be nice out this weekend, so I’m hoping to spend some quality time outdoors. And on Sunday, Claire and I are going to the neighbour’s for a “food bank party”.

It does seem like summer is creeping along, coming closer, hesitant though it may be. I am definitely looking forward to some sunny days, warm breezes, and yummy barbecued fare.

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Momma’s Day 2014

This year, Mother’s Day felt more like Mother’s Day weekend, which left me feeling quite pampered and loved.

Yesterday started out pretty normally for a Saturday. Claire slept in a bit, and it was 7:45 a.m. before she came into our room. We are really very fortunate in the sleep department. There is the occasional weekend morning when she wakes up ridiculously early for no apparent reason, but normally she doesn’t get up before 7 a.m., and it’s typically closer to 8 a.m.

We had breakfast, I went out and bought groceries while Neal entertained Claire at home and did some housework, and then after we ate lunch, Neal took Claire out to pick out my Mother’s Day present. I did a couple of things around here, but I also had a chance to work on my novel a bit while they were out. To my surprise, Claire came home with a lovely bouquet of flowers that she picked out herself:

Then, around 4:30, our babysitter came over to watch Claire while Neal took me out for supper. We went to Boneheads which is a BBQ/smokehouse type of joint. Neal ordered the ribs with coleslaw and “dirty rice”, while I ordered the pulled pork with brisket chili and sweet potato chips. The meals were very good, but definitely a lot of meat. We were finished a little after 6pm, so we headed over to the Casino to play some roulette and have a couple more drinks.

We had another nice start to the day today, and although it was cloudy and rainy when we got up, it cleared up by the afternoon so that Claire and I could spend time outside. The neighbours – who have a five-year-old boy – came home and at one point, Neal was inside cooking lasagna (yum!), Claire was next door playing with the little boy on the trampoline, and I was sitting on the deck in shorts working on my book!

Opening my present from Claire:

And the pretty necklace she picked out for me – she has excellent taste!

And some Mommy-Daughter pictures!

I am definitely a very fortunate Mommy and wife!

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