Saturday, 28 July 2018

Now Parenting: Week 6

Sunday was a wash. After being out earlier, all three of us were tired enough to nap in the afternoon. Monday was more productive, for writing, and me being outside late for 10 minutes when it wasn’t raining, and playing with Alexandra in the chair with the panda flower earlier, and her health card arrived, and belated bath night, and somehow she drank 5 ounces at dinner. Though that’s becoming standard.
Previous INDEX Next

Tuesday was an up and down day. Seems we can’t give her milk right from the fridge any more, need to warm it up. Pity. She woke up automatically before 4am for a feed, which we’ll start to have to make on demand. Also, for the first time, some of her clothes aren’t quite fitting. But so far so good? (Ignore the slight breakdown as I felt I didn’t know what to do late evening.)

Wednesday night was a bit of a mess, leading to bouts of unconsciousness on Thursday. Also, my knee started giving me enough pain that I was limping at times; I need to take care of my IT band over getting activity stars. Still went on a stroll with Alexandra and Anne-Lise on Friday though, and then tackled the cedar hedges (most of them) on Saturday after returning from ShadBrunch. Oh, and Wynonna Earp’s back on air. Up next, I have this idea of using the bassinet mattress in bed, we’ll see how that goes?

*
Item counts run Sunday (July 22) to Saturday (July 28).

Step Count 2016: About 63,660
Step Count 2017: About 77,000 (24 stars).
STEP COUNT 2018: Over 69,900. 12 stars.
Under 10k on Wed, Fri and Sat.

FROM 2016:
-Air Conditioner repaired, then ConBravo
FROM 2017:
-On vacation in Stratford/Hamilton with Anne-Lise

SchoolMail 2017: 3 (0 sent)
SCHOOL EMAIL 2018: 8 New (0 sent)

Rough Nights: Last Sat, Wed, Fri
-I had trouble getting back to bed after early Sunday’s 4am feed.
-After an uncertain Tuesday, her last feed Wednesday went 10:50 to 12:30am totally messing with all the sleep scheduling.
-She was out before 11pm Friday. So bottle at 5:30am and she wouldn’t sleep after.



WRITING + ART RELATED ITEMS:
 -Wrote BTTF “Who is Marty McFly” review and scanned images
 -Created ad for Any ~Qs
 -Wrote most of “Jughead Time Police” origins review
 -Recorded “Jughead” audio off cassette and scanned comic
 -Thursday stArt Faire Comic Chat
 -Up to a total of 2,480 words on “Time Untied” NaNo

OTHER ITEMS:
 -Info session at St. Laurent Sun
 -Lunch with sister-in-law Sun
 -Read “Journey With Strange Bedfellows” but unable to assist
 -Doctor’s Appointment Wednesday
 -Odd jobs (porch, windows, smoke alarm)
 -Friends brunch Sat morn
 -Trimmed cedar hedge Fri/Sat
 -1 more chapter of “Call Me Dad!” (to pg 175)
 -Lupa’s Charmed Season 9 and patron catchups
 -Lotus Prince’s “Book of Shadows” (end) & “Jojo: Eyes of Heaven” (to 7)

UPCOMING FOR SURE:
 -Trip downtown, trip to pond, doctor’s appointment

STUFF TO SCHEDULE FOR SUMMER:
 -Recap for OAME 2018
 -Recap for ConBravo 2017
 -Recap for CanCon 2017
 -Write a TANDQ article on Polling and Bias
 -Write a post about types of praise/encouragement
 -Catching up with web serials
 -Read some of the books sitting at my desk


RH Stress Level: 2 (Divine Buster)

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Now Parenting: Week 5

Well this has been a week! We went in for the month-old checkup on Wednesday, and baby needs more weight, but she falls asleep at the breast. This is apparently a common problem (and to a degree programmed into our genetics) for the first six weeks, so it became problem solving time. What’s helping is that I got her vibrating chair put together (on Tuesday), and she’s okay with being left in that (even for a nap) in a way that she isn’t with the bassinet. Gotta make sure sleep time is mostly in darkness now to help distinguish, I guess.
Previous INDEX Next

In other news, Alexandra didn’t cry during bathing last Sunday, and does it more rarely with changing now too. Monday morning she was snuggled up next to me from about 6:30-9:30am (and I had more perplexing dreams, don’t really remember but related to family). Also see below for Tuesday. We’ve started tummy time for a couple minutes here and there. Also apparently the “swaddle and walk” technique needs talk, which my wife discovered early in the week as I tend to babble on naturally.

Friday morning feed at 3am, then cuddled with her and had weird fevered dreams where Anne-Lise drove off and I couldn’t catch up, so putting Alexandra in the fridge that was actually a teleporter made sense briefly? But then Anne-Lise was back and wanted to talk things out somewhere that wasn’t at home. After being at my old middle school we were in the parking lot of a hotel, and I just wanted to go home because I hadn’t slept after the feeding. I handed off the munchkin at 6am then had a dream that I had to handle a dispute on DS9 until Sisko came back, and when he did I found my bedroom was actually the store room for the cafeteria. So yeah.

Saturday morning I dreamt of teaching Grade 9s, so that was more normal. Rewinding time though, toaster fire on Friday morning, so that added smokey excitement, and we needed to get a new one. What else? Book recommended bubbles, a cold cloth can help keep munchkin awake during feeds, my hip issues continue. I knew she had no colour contrast, but apparently she sees in black & white. We went through pictures for thank you cards to send out and may need to take a new one.

Oh, and Anne-Lise’s “fit bit” doesn’t know what to make of our new schedules. It counts stroller walks as biking and rocking Alexandra as being on an elliptical. Okay. (Obligatory addendum, played my first “Cards Against Humanity” [Cdn ed.] and came in last with 10 cards but had the shining moment of the night by responding to “What’s that sound?” with “A mime having a stroke”.)

*
Item counts run Sunday (July 15) to Saturday (July 21).

Step Count 2016: About 63,300
Step Count 2017: About 61,600 (25 stars).
STEP COUNT 2018: Over 75,500. 14 stars.

FROM 2016:
-Recaps for TMC, broken A/C
FROM 2017:
-Shoulder issues, tried to finish up “To Do” list

SchoolMail 2017: 2 (0 sent)
SCHOOL EMAIL 2018: 1 New (0 sent)

Rough Nights: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.
Tuesday she had trouble getting to bed, rocked her at 1:30am, slept next to her for a bit. From Wednesday on, 3am feeds to put more weight on her, which was rough to start (particularly Thurs morning when I was up after 6am feed failed).



WRITING + ART RELATED ITEMS:
 -Wrote BTTF “Conundrum” review and scanned images
 -Wrote “Chanced Erasures 2” (over 2000 words)
 -Thursday stArt Faire Comic Chat

OTHER ITEMS:
 -France soccer outing Sun in pub
 -Doctor’s Appointment Wednesday
 -Toaster (etc) shopping with munchkin Sat
 -“Cards Against Humanity” Sat
 -3 more chapters of “Call Me Dad!” (to pg 150)
 -Lotus Prince’s “Book of Shadows” cont’d to 26

UPCOMING FOR SURE:
 -Session at St. Laurent, sister-in-law lunch, Doctor’s appointment

STUFF TO SCHEDULE FOR SUMMER:
 -Recap for OAME 2018
 -Recap for ConBravo 2017
 -Recap for CanCon 2017
 -Write a TANDQ article on Polling and Bias
 -Write a post about types of praise/encouragement
 -Catching up with web serials
 -Read some of the books sitting at my desk


RH Stress Level: 4 (Accel Shooter)

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Now Parenting: Week 4

We’re approaching the end of Week 4. It feels like it hasn’t been that long, but at the same time, there have been a few moments of eternity along the way. On Sunday we got her to spend up to 15 minutes in the bassinet, though by now we’ve mostly set it aside for now. On Monday we took her temperature for the first time; it was normal, she’s had some red dots on her face, likely due to humidity.
Previous INDEX Next

Tuesday night, I had thought limit on her cries was 12-15 mins, based on a couple trips in the car - not so. Too tired to sleep/eat?? Eventually got her a bottle. Walked with her the next morning, then from maybe 8:30-10:30 had her curled with me instead of with Anne-Lise. Odd dream then: That Anne-Lise also went to change her, meaning we had two Alexandras. Then a half dozen of her at different ages in a camper. Who was the original? Internet reviewer “the Dom” had a suggestion of taking one on an amusement ride, with an anti-gravity sofa. He ended up playing a zither with Alexandra as I tried to solve the mystery of the house? Okay then.

Wednesday was pretty uneventful; I organized pictures into file folders. Thursday I somehow got a star (10 min of activity) just by walking around in the morning with Alexandra. Then more as I went to the store, then we all got out of the house for a 90 minute walk, and that was over 23k steps and 9 stars on the day. No bottles on this day either. Hip really bothering me by the end though, talked to the doctor on Friday (I’m easing off my meds) and it’s probably ligaments by the hip flexor. I’m still making dinners most night and not getting to much writing, but I’m okay with things for now.

Random other discoveries: Possibly our lights are upsetting her, too bright? Also might not like the posters of anime characters - could be they have the appearance of real people, she doesn’t have depth perception. The ceiling fan in the living room, although it’s never been on, may be suspicious. The reason a swaddle and a walk in the basement might help put Alexandra at ease/to sleep may be babies not having full awareness of arms and legs (hence liking the appendages swaddled up). She seems to get daily hiccups. She cries a bit like me sometimes, with the choked sobs at the end. She has a strong grip when she wants (on my finger usually). She sometimes messes around while feeding, getting milk on mommy. On Friday I held her for almost three hours as she slept.

I think we’re doing okay.

*
Item counts run Sunday (July 8) to Saturday (July 14).

Step Count 2016: About 70,500
Step Count 2017: About 65,500 (20 stars).
STEP COUNT 2018: Over 109,600. 20 stars.
I had to double check that. But with walking Alexandra around, the last day I had under 10k steps was Tues July 3rd.

FROM 2016:
-In Minnesota for TMC, cubic song.
FROM 2017:
-Cleaning house/deck, feeling better about plans.

SchoolMail 2017: 2 (0 sent)
SCHOOL EMAIL 2018: 5 New (0 sent)

Rough Nights: Monday.
Again, that’s nights that need both of us. She does feed at 3 or 4am. Apparently I sometimes snore. I am sorry.




WRITING + ART RELATED ITEMS:
 -1550 more words, publishing “Chanced Erasures 1”
 -770 words on “Time Untied”
 -Thursday stArt Faire Comic Chat

OTHER ITEMS:
 -Glued together mugs and glassware
 -Tidied up the kitchen, putting away containers
 -Doctor’s Appointment Friday
 -4 chapters (110 pgs) of “Call Me Dad!”
 -Lotus Prince’s “Corpse Party” & “Book of Shadows” to 10

UPCOMING FOR SURE:
 -France soccer, Doctor’s appointment

STUFF TO SCHEDULE FOR SUMMER:
 -Recap for OAME 2018
 -Recap for ConBravo 2017
 -Recap for CanCon 2017
 -Write a TANDQ article on Polling and Bias
 -Write a post about types of praise/encouragement
 -Catching up with web serials
 -Read some of the books sitting at my desk


RH Stress Level: 1 (Evasion: Flier Fin)

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Now Parenting: Week 3

This picks up from “Now Teaching” as the last two weeks of the second semester coincided with the birth of my daughter. I’ll be retiring “TEACHING RELATED ITEMS” as it won’t be relevant for a while (I have other things on my plate first). I do know I’ll only have morning classes in September (voluntary reduction of salary). I also still need to finish some miscellaneous COMA items.
Previous INDEX Next

For Alexandra, bath time will normally be Sundays (barring necessity), but we had to go with Monday this past week because of Canada Day excitement. “Rough Nights” will be added and based on the night, not the “morning”, even if that’s technically incorrect when woken up at 3am. (Also not necessarily counting the nights Anne-Lise is up...) There was one impressive fountain of fluid (we’re supplementing breast with bottle). The munchkin dislikes being changed.

She also dislikes being left in her bassinet, even if she’s sleeping - or perhaps more to the point, she likes movement. My Dad has said I was the same way, and he learned how to “walk and sleep” at the same time. This might be in my future. I spent three hours with her in my arms on Thursday afternoon, and didn’t really feel the effects until after. I wish I knew what was wrong with my right hip (and down my leg) it’s bugging me. Only once have I been really too tired to handle the crying.

*
Item counts run Sunday (July 1) to Saturday (July 6).

Step Count 2016: About 52,900
Step Count 2017: About 61,600 (21 stars).
STEP COUNT 2018: Over 77,700. 17 stars.

FROM 2016:
-Put up “Nanoha” merchandise, prepared for Twitter Math Camp
FROM 2017:
-Felt like the writing during my year off was a failure

SchoolMail 2017: 0 (0 sent)
SCHOOL EMAIL 2018: 7 New (1 sent)
Figured out where I went wrong. Gained an extra day around March Break, should have totalled out to 194. Went back and made the edits.

Rough Nights: Sunday, Tuesday.



WRITING + ART RELATED ITEMS:
 -Got indexes out for this column and next “Epsilon” story
 -130 words on “Time Untied”; 350 words on “Chanced Erasures 1”

OTHER ITEMS:
 -Lunch with family on Canada Day
 -Dinner with in-laws Canada Day
 -Breakfast with family on Monday
 -Dentist Appointment on Tuesday
 -Lawn/Yard Work on Wednesday
 -Trip to A-L work on Friday
 -Brunch with friends on Saturday
 -“Tales of the Loop” RP on Saturday
 -Last 8 tips of “25 Things Every New Dad Should Know”
 -Lotus Prince’s “White Day” and its Remake (& Discord)
 -Van Wilderman’s “White Day” and “Don’t Die Dateless”

UPCOMING FOR SURE:
 -Doctor’s appointment

STUFF TO SCHEDULE FOR SUMMER:
 -Recap for OAME 2018
 -Recap for ConBravo 2017
 -Recap for CanCon 2017
 -Write a TANDQ article on Polling and Bias
 -Write a post about types of praise/encouragement
 -Catching up with web serials
 -Read some of the books sitting at my desk


RH Stress Level: 2 (Divine Buster)

Friday, 6 July 2018

Now Parenting: Index

Infertility may be more common than you think. For that matter, miscarriages may be as well. That said, I’m now a parent, and thus I will be turning my “Now Teaching” updates (formerly “Not Teaching” updates) into “Now Parenting” updates. But I want to preface that a bit with the journey.

In particular, if you have/are experiencing something similar with conception and/or have questions, feel free to reach out.

In 2012, when I was 35, we bought a house. The next logical step was children. To make a long story short (October 2012 was a hell of a month), we were eventually referred to a fertility clinic in September 2015. By February 2016 we were learning about In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), which involves combining an egg with sperm in a laboratory dish. You may realize that one of these is easier to extract (if not always viable).

To again abbreviate the story, throwing the full gamut of IVF drugs at the situation had no discernible effect, leading us to the egg/sperm donation route. (Beyond this, we were looking at adoption - which I don’t have any information on, you’ll need to find another expert there.) You can’t buy human eggs in Canada, meaning we needed to go through a place in the United States, and either fly down for implantation or have the goods shipped up (we chose the latter). Also, still some hoops to jump through, legal and otherwise. And we were fortunate enough to be able to speak with someone who had experienced it.

After showing that a sample cycle/lining was viable in December 2016, there was a wire transfer of over $55,000 Canadian dollars in January (that’s $43,500 US dollars, which includes a guarantee). Interesting point of privilege here. To this point, I’d experienced a bit of what it’s like to have everyone else living their lives, talking about their children - and me not being a part of that world, through no fault of my own. Yet I am privileged enough to have the money for this. (Granted, it was a bit of a squeeze because that’s the year I wasn’t teaching, but I can see how for many this wouldn’t even be an option.)

And so we restarted the process - and this time it failed, though I’d been getting good at giving injections. We’ve reached April 2017. The once 35-year-old is now turning 42. And, as always, we remain at the mercy of the female reproductive cycle. Guess when things started to finally kick into high gear again? September 2017, when I returned to school after a year off, and was given an entirely new CS prep, along with two other courses. Yeah.

Getting medical leave and put on mood drugs in October might make more sense now, eh? I didn’t want to tell the whole story back then because (1) I didn’t know what the outcome would be, for all I knew this process would still be continuing, and (2) It wasn’t my story alone to tell, and I didn’t want to subject my wife to any questioning. But you can see all the anonymous “medical appointments” chronicled in 2017 and draw your own conclusions. By the way - nine months doesn’t start from implantation, but actually some weeks before. Who knew?

So that’s the story, now here we are. I have a daughter. We didn’t know the sex until just after 5am the day after Father’s Day this year. I also have a wonderful wife, and we’ll be figuring things out for the next while. Including the need to create a personalized book in the next year or to to explain to the little one why she sort of has an extra parental history. I'm taking photos.



Weeks 0-2 coincidence with June teaching, my first full week at home was Week 3.


STARTUP


Week 0: Due this week, nothing yet. I get sick.
Week 1: She's born the morning after Father's Day.
Week 2: Last week of school is crazy.
Week 3: July 2018. Figuring out the new normal?
Week 4: Many random discoveries.
Week 5: Underweight, so we wake her at 3am, woo.
Week 6: No more cold milk, but she's growing.

Week 7: Aug 2018. She's in the bassinet. I'm off meds.
Week 8: Spitups, hijinks - oh, and 10th anniversary.
Week 9: Many outings. Trying to get my writing done.
Week 10: All over the place, but with a nice visit.
Week 11: