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Archive for February, 2010

Swimming in Chemicals

Today I brought Diaperbutt swimming. He had a hoot & is, not surprisingly, becoming a real waterbaby. But after 2 hours of just being in the pool area (I really didn’t submerge my face much) my eyes were burning & now 5 hours later they are still stinging.

There was a time I practically lived at the pools (this particular facility included) working long, long days, sometimes spreading my time between multiple facilities to get enough hours to pay the mortgage. The chemicals never bothered me.

Or did they?

Mysteriously about 6 years ago I developed several allergies, asthma & ridiculous condition called cold urticaria. It was a complete surprise to me & I keep waiting for them to go away as suddenly as they appeared. They are now an irritating part of my day to day life.

But this is the second time I’ve been to a pool recently & found the chemicals overwhelming to my system. And it makes me wonder what damage all those hundreds & hundreds of hours spent literally swimming in those chemicals have done. I’ll never really know if the two things are related but it does kind of makes me question whether I should even be bringing Diaperbutt to the pools on a regular basis.

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14 Months!

To conceive Diaperbutt we needed a little extra help of the medical variety. We fully expect to need to do the same for the next little bundle of joy so back in November I requested a referral to a specialist.

Since then I have spent a lot of time on the phone trying to track down what happened to said referral & find out about when the appointment will actually be. Finally got the call from my doctor’s office with that info yesterday (it only took 3 months for the appointment to get booked). The specialist will grace me with a moment of her time in January 2011!!!! That’s 14 months from requesting the referral to the date of the actual appointment. And all this for a prescription for 5 little pills.

OY! A “vacation” back to Costa Rica is looking better & better all the time!

Fortunately a month ago I had figured the referral had just gotten lost (pesky e-mails landing in cyberspace) & I had started searching for someone outside of the city who could do the job. So today I made the request for a referral to a doctor I found an hour in the other direction from here. I wonder how long that will take…

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This weekend I went “camping” with my Girl Guides. Normally I try to make our winter camp weekends an outside all weekend event but I was not taking the lead on this one so most of our activities were planned for inside. Perhaps I should call it a winter event instead of winter camp.

But we did get outside for some snowshoeing (which really was kind of ridiculous as we only have about 6 inches of crusty snow on the ground with a very little sprinkling of fluffy stuff. The girls had a great time with it though & that is the whole point afterall.

They're not walking on top of the snow due to the snowshoes - regular boots would have accomplished the same.

Much to my delight the girls were very keen on being outside & we skipped a craft session in the afternoon to play sardines – my favourite wide game. It’s a variation on hide & seek where only one person hides. Everyone else looks for them & as each individual finds the hidden person they join them. Keep going until everyone has found the hidden individual. It’s better at night but the girls could not get enough of it in the afternoon.

Time in the forest is good for the spirit.

We agreed that after supper we would head back outside to play sardines a little longer (at this age the girls tend to want to play the SAME games over & over & over….). The plan was supposed to be no fire – but I overruled that decision & got one going. Diaperbutt was delighted with campfire singing – especially the action songs!

These weekend trips are one of the things I love best about Guiding. I much prefer a true camping trip but a weekend hanging out with the girls, joking with them, teaching them new skills & listening to their giggling is always revitalizing to the spirit.

Flashlights apparently are a fabulous toy!

And Diaperbutt thought the whole thing was just fabulous. Grumpy Bear came to get him after breakfast & dropped him off again after supper but while he was with us he was a pretty happy boy, afterall he had a room full of girls all doting on him!

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Papa Broke the Lamp

I went away this weekend for the first time since Diaperbutt was born (without him that is). It was a fabulous, much needed break. I drank, I slept, I had a great time catching up with friends & I even got some scrapbooking done (which was supposed to be the purpose of the weekend).

When I returned this afternoon Diaperbutt immediately started pointing at the (broken) lamp on the end table “eh, eh, eh!” & then the lip came out a short little cry.

Turns out Grumpy Bear had knocked the lamp off the table & it broke & scared Diaperbutt. He’d been “telling” Grumpy Bear about the incident ever since. He also spent the rest of the evening “telling” me about the incident.

I’m curious to see if he will remember in the morning & tell us again.

Oh, & besides happily giving me the weekend away Grumpy Bear also had supper ready & the house cleaner than I left!! And he shaved & cut his hair! What a super hubby!!

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Our garage looks ok at first glance. Old but basically ok. But when you look closer you realize it’s in pretty rough shape. The old bifold carriage doors barely function & generally take two people to open or close them. The lighting is incredibly poor. The floor in the second half was by far the worst part of the garage.

It seems someone had built a one-car garage & did a pretty good job of it. Then somewhere along the line someone decided to make a two-car garage & just built it around the existing garage. The floor in the first half is in pretty much perfect condition – someone #1 did it right. The second half was not done right – someone #2 cut some corners.

This is what happens when you don't properly prepare & pour a cement floor. It heaves & cracks with the changing of seasons.

There was just no way around it – the floor was keeping the space from functioning how we wanted it to – as a wood shop. It was so broken up & uneven that we couldn’t put anything on it without it being all tippy.

The biggest barrier to fixing it was that the garage is full of tools & stuff. And it’s winter. So we figured it had to be done in ONE day.

Empty the garage. Install the new floor. Reload the garage.

Empty & ready for a new floor!

My sister-in-law’s fiance, my sister-in-law & my mother-in-law came out to help. My mother-in-law watched Diaperbutt while the rest of us emptied the garage, then my sister-in-law & I headed inside to spend the day & make sure the men working in the cold were well supplied with coffee & hot food. At the end of the day we all worked together to reload the garage while Diaperbutt once again was watched by my mother-in-law.

The contents of the garage piled "neatly" on the driveway - somehow it seemed like a lot more once it was outside than it did inside.

It was a very loooong day. As with most projects around here this one took longer than expected & the day got colder & colder as it progressed. We also found we were short one sheet of plywood & had to make a couple trips to the hardware store (I think it would be a miracle if we ever took on a project & actually were successful in having everything for the job before we started – we keep trying, but we always seem to fail).

The first sill plate is installed. We used joist hangers to attach the sill plates to the wall studs & then the joists were attached to the sill plate.

Because of the time & the missing plywood we didn’t finish it completely that day & Grumpy Bear & I had to finish up together a week later while my Mom watched Diaperbutt. It took us another couple hours to put the last few pieces of floor in.

Half of the joists in place.

All the joists in place & ready for plywood.

The first sheet of plywood goes in!

So now we have a new wood shop floor – already for Grumpy Bear to finally organize his workspace! Which should make all our future projects much easier to complete!

The finished floor! With of course piles of stuff ready to be organized by Grumpy Bear - it is his workspace afterall.

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Winterlude

I haven’t been to Winterlude in many years.

Looking down at the canal from the MacKenzie King bridge.

My aunt & her family were in town this weekend & so we headed downtown Ottawa for the festivities.

Diaperbutt getting a helping hand from Grandma & Great Auntie. It's hard to walk with all those layers!

We had a beautiful, sunny day in which to enjoy the wonders (& yummy treats!) of Winterlude. I think the slides at Jacques Cartier Park were the biggest hit of the day.

Diaperbutt & I try out one of the slides.

An ice sculpture in progress.

'Cause we wouldn't want the trees to get cold?! I'm not really sure what this was all about & as no one bothered to put up a sign explaining their art/cause/purpose I guess I never will.

Isn’t it strange how many Canadians are less dressed for winter than that tree?

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Perhaps before I started doing the semi-personal training 10 weeks ago I should have done some sort of baseline thing so I could measure my progress better. Something chartable perhaps? But I did not, so I am going to have to rely on less reliable data.

I am terrible at skipping – truly terrible. As a child I wasn’t allowed to skip ’cause it was the cause of too many twisted ankles. And apparently skipping is a practice makes perfect activity – at least for this klutz.

Two months ago even one set of 100 skips was daunting – it truly felt intimidating. Between the tripping (I could barely do 10 in a row without tripping), my screaming calves & my heavy breathing – skipping was not fun.

Ok, so I wouldn’t say skipping is great fun now but I have definitely improved. I can sometimes do 100 skips in a row without tripping & I can finish a set & immediately move on to the next activity without gasping for air. As for my calves, they don’t even issue a complaint anymore.

Today throughout the workout we did 5 sets of 100 skips and I felt pretty damn good after wards!

That is most definitely progress!

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