I’m Still Here

The blog challenge where I’ve been tackling each of the lessons that I’ve learned the hard way in my 34 35 years (I need to add one apparently since I celebrated my birthday last month) has been more than just a little therapeutic to me and in the process of going through the items of my list not only am I better able to understand why I am the way I am about certain things, I’ve started to be able to let go of a lot of the emotional baggage that I’ve carried with me over the years. I’m still going to continue with the blog challenge, but I’m taking a break to do a blog that’s not related to the challenge because frankly, those blogs are exhausting. And I’m (still) exhausted enough these days without digging into my past and exploring why I have so much angst over certain things.

Here’s an update, in the form of 35 random things, in honor of my 35th birthday (really? 35? When did that happen?)

1) Not a coincidence that the title of this post is the same as the new Joaquin Phoenix film, which played at TIFF and that I didn’t get to see because we didn’t get to TIFF this year, not even to a single movie although I had plans to attend a screening with my boss until Clara had other plans and kept me up most of the night before.

2) I was in Halifax for a week at the end of August – Clara came with me and it wasn’t as hard as I thought it be to travel with her.

3) We’ve had a number of guests recently, Jody and Andy were here from England for two weeks, Tay’s aunt was here on the Thanksgiving long weekend and Tay’s father was here for ten days and left earlier this week. We have a two week break from visitors and then Stacy is here on the 4th while Tay is in Vegas.

4) We’ve recently finished a number of upgrades to our house including new stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, additional Ikea storage cabinets in the kitchen, basement and laundry room, a new mattress (and wall art) in the guest room, a sofa bed in the basement and the conversion of the breakfast nook to a family area that has space for Clara to play, a desk for my laptop and these aqua chairs which I think is the new purchase that I love the most (well those and the new fridge with the water and ice dispenser).

5) My mother finished her radiation treatment and has begun Herceptim (sp?) which she will get every few weeks for the next year. She seems to be doing very well.

6) Clara and I participated in the Walk for the Cure on October 3rd and raised almost $300 for the cause.

7) The lease for the Fit is up in February and we’re shopping for a new car. Right now, if we buy new, it looks like we’ll be getting a Hyundai Sonata Turbo. Used might be a consideration in the interest of saving money but I test drove an Audi the other night that a friend of Tay’s is selling and as irrational as it may be, I’m not overly comfortable driving Clara around in something that feels used, if that makes any sense.

8 ) I’m growing my hair (again).

9) Clara is now crawling and can push herself up into a sitting position.

10) The last book I read (not counting Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?) was a Spot of Bother which I enjoyed but not as thoroughly as The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. I’m not reading Her Fearful Symmetry, Niffenegger’s followup to Time Traveler’s.

11) When Jody and Andy and Terry were here we came up with a way to play Scrabble quickly, mostly as a result of Taylor taking forever to take his turn and partly because we all seemed to want to go to bed early. In Speed Scrabble, you get a minute to play. When your minute is up, if you’re not laying out your tiles you lose your turn.

12) Since discovering that I’m allergic to spicy food (and chocolate) I’ve been eating a lot of Greek food. Unfortunately the Mr. Greek near us is not as good as I’ve had but it’s adequate.

13) My sister is working really hard to lose weight and I’m so proud of her that I told her that when she gets to my size, her reward is that she can have one thing from my closet that she covets. I did stipulate however that there are 4 items not available though and they are my black pea coat with the three quarter sleeves, my brown uggs with the pink flowers, my long brown yoga jacket and my very first pair of Lulu pants.

14) I came out of concert retirement this summer to attend Jack Johnson with Stacy and Vampire Weekend with Anna Lee. Jack Johnson was fine but I LOVED VW and will likely make a point of seeing them perform anytime they’re in Toronto.

15) The last movie I saw in the theatre was The Kids Are All Right. I was going to use my Sunday morning off last weekend and go see the new Clint Eastwood but opted instead to sleep in.

16) I wear a lot of jeans and tshirts these days, and have started pulling my hair into a pony tail but I still wear at least a little makeup. And at least when I leave the house I’m wearing sunglasses and my pink converse (or my Sketchers) so even though I’m bummy, I’m rocking it as best as I can.

17) I can not wait for Christmas this year and it has less to do with Taylor’s family spending it with us and more to do with spending it with Clara.

18) I’m still pumping but down to two times a day – when I get up in the morning and again before I go to bed. I’m not producing enough to freeze any but I’m producing enough to give Clara 2 parts fresh and 1 part frozen. Clara’s going to get breast milk longer than a lot of babies whose mothers could breast feed and that makes me really proud.

19) We’ve discovered that Penaten diaper cream will cut down the healing time of a cold sore by HALF. Three days vs six!

20) My garden was a bit if a bust this year as far as tomatoes goes. The peppers did well but of course I planted all the cayenne before I knew I was allergic. The zucchini, however, threatened to take over. I made a lot of zucchini bread, baby food and ratatouille this summer.

21) I need to find a way to balance my life so that I can start writing again and get back to the gym. Those are the things I miss the most.

22) We took advantage of the beautiful weather a couple of weeks ago and spent the day on Toronto Island with Jody and Andy. I need to go there more often and plan on doing so next year, even if Clara and I have to go by ourselves during the week.

23) Taylor has learned how to make eggs benedict, which, coincidentally is one of my favorite meals. Ever.

24) When we drove home from St. Jacob’s a few weeks ago, we detoured off the 401 and drove through Campbellville and down the escarpment into Milton. If I ever win the lottery (and that’s what it’ll take) that’s where our next house will be – at the top of the escarpment along one of those windy roads where in the fall the trees are so brilliant and when the leaves dance on the road before you, you want to get out and do the same.

25) We’re planning a trip to Florida next year and I. CAN. NOT. WAIT. I’d rather go in February when the weather here is horrid but it looks like it may be April when Tay’s family is free to come. The 24/7 help with Clara might be worth the not getting away in the dead of winter which is ideally when I’d want to go. And in April we could probably escape to Miami for a night and leave Clara with Grandpa which is pretty appealing in itself.

26) I don’t miss drinking as much as I thought I would. I have the rare cocktail when my pump schedule allows it but mostly I’m happy with the occasional glass of red wine, fruli or a cider.

27) Clara’s going to be a shark for Halloween and on Friday afternoon I’m making a point to take her trick or treating in the Chinese community centre where I work. Yes, I’m using my daughter to make a subtle statement.

28) I miss downtown Toronto and thought I’d be back down there a lot more than I have been.

29) Last week I bought a stainless steel Thermos water bottle – it keeps water cold for 12 hours! – and I’ve noticed a huge improvement in my skin which isn’t as dry and itchy as it’s been in the past. Between drinking 3 liters of water a day and avoiding the things I’m allergic to, I might have a chance at having normal looking skin after all.

30) I’m addicted to shopping at Winners right now, especially the shoe section and the hair care. Not so much clothes because I went a bit crazy shopping at the Gap this summer (hence my wardrobe of jeans and tshirts).

31) I’m really disappointed that there are people in my family that have taken very little interest in Clara’s existence. It’s their loss, I know this, but it doesn’t make it hurt any less.

32) I don’t turn the television on during the day, ever. I hate daytime television and find it rather offensive and since I don’t want Clara watching it, we don’t turn it on until after she’s in bed. Top of my list is Mad Men, still. High on my list is stuff like Californication and Breaking Bad. Mindless brain candy is still stuff like Grey’s, Private Practice, Top Chef, Biggest Loser.

33) These days, there’s never enough hours in the day and no amount of sleep is ever enough.

34) I’d really like to know how anyone with kids is able to do anything more than a surface cleaning when it comes to housework.

35) I sit and watch Clara playing some times and know without a doubt that she’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

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3 Responses to I’m Still Here

  1. Jody says:

    I really liked this post. Speed scrabble is a lot more fun – puts even more pressure on. And I covet those blue chairs 🙂

    Oh, and you have the best baby EVER xo

  2. Aunt Stacy says:

    LOVE the Trick or Treating idea! But, you knew I would 🙂

  3. Tina says:

    #31 really hits home for me, although I love them all. I had problems like that when I lived in NS and it has become even worse since living out here. Most of the time, I don’t let it get to me. But you’re right, it is their loss. We’re flying to NS in May next year for two weeks.. any plans on heading back that way anytime around then?? 🙂

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