Saturday, 30 August 2014

Go play outside

Three simple words narrated my childhood: go play outside.

Once I got home from school and finished my homework, I was unceremoniously kicked outside until supper, then again until bathtime. Until age six, I stayed on our property, but after could roam e neighbourhood. 

Unfortunately, the obsessively overprotective norms of modern parenting mean that today's kids don't experience that and the parents who DO let their kids play outside unsupervised fear authorities cracking down on them for neglect, just for letting their kids enjoy themselves. Crime agast kids is far lower now than it once was. The irrationally obsessive restriction of children's' freedom has meant that my kids' peers have no idea how to entertain themselves without an adult directing the action. 

At the moment, both of my kids are outside playing. I am in the kitchen. I can hear them, if I stand up I can see them, but I am not with them. I do not know what they are doing at any particular moment. But they know if they dare to leave the property, they will lose this little bit of freedom they have, much as I understood where the restrictions on my wandering were. 

We do not have a fence. There is nothing stopping them from going except that they don't want to risk losing what they now enjoy. 

My daughter, who is nearly four, has run inside every few minutes just to make sure we're still here. My son, more accustomed to this freedom, just yells towards the house if he needs help. 

It's funny, we spent most of the past two summers trying to teach him how to ride his bike without training wheels. There was a lot of frustration and screaming. But now that we've left him to his own devices, with the understanding that his bike will be his vehicle to freedom when we move to a place with more neighbours, he figured out quickly how to ride and now zooms around. 

The best teaching moments I can give my kids involve freeing them to make their own mistakes, because then they learn to fix them. 

Friday, 29 August 2014

Crisp

Fall is definitely in the air. The leaves are turning, the school busses are practicing their routes, the kids are complaining, and the pumpkins are almost ripe


Or completely ripe, if they are small enough. If you're wondering, my son likes that his photo appears here. I wouldn't post it otherwise.   

Notice the Beloved Family Dog staring at the pumpkin. She thought it was a ball and wanted him to throw it. We're going to wait a week or so until the next one is ripe, then make some pie for my dad. 

I wrapped up my last full time week at my job until December. IF I get into MUN, I may never end up working there full time again, which makes me rather sad. I adore my boss and I have wonderful coworkers and I really enjoy my job.  

The other day, I was looking over my autobiographical sketch items again and really thinking about my past. I've worked in fast food and retail and manufacturing and call centres and administrative stuff and all these other entry-level jobs that everyone pretty much acknowledges suck (though several of mine were pretty cool.) 

In all likelihood, I will never work in a call centre again. 

It is very unlikely that in will ever work retail or food service or sales again. 

I am very probably done with that sort of work forever. 

That's really quite amazing, when I think about it. Five years ago, it was the only future I saw as possible for me - decades squeaking by, never able to save, never able to get ahead, never able to have any sort of work flexibility. 

And now here I am on the cusp of a great adventure, where I will, for once, have possibilities. Maybe not as many as once would have been the case for doctors, but I will have choices. Choices other than work anywhere that will hire you or starve. 

But I have to remember to not forget the 'before' because it would be way too damn easy to try to forget the tough years. For many of the people I'll interact with, tough years are their only years, and there's no ladder up waiting for them. 

I can't forget how lucky I am to have the opportunities I do. 

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Wrap Week

I LOVE my job. It is extremely challenging sometimes and there is always something new to be done. I don't know that my manager believes me when I tell her I honestly do really enjoy my job, but it is true.

But I'm now in my last full time week of the summer. My motivation to do much of anything has dropped through the floor and I desperately want to relax before the school year starts. I have taken on more than was anticipated (by a long shot) this summer so it has sapped more energy than expected. I'm cutting down to half time (19 hours a week) as of next week, but for the first few weeks of school I'll probably work the maximum I'm allowed during term.

This evening, we went to the beach. My son was very sick yesterday and is still a bit feverish today, but laying on the sand in some shade can't be any worse than laying on the couch. It was around 30 degrees here today which is ridiculously hot for here, so the beach was considerably more comfortable than the house.

What happens when I ask them to pose. 

The smell of fall is on the air, even on a hot day like today. Our beach days are numbered, as are our days on the Island.

Tomorrow, I meet with my third referee. Another of my professors who has kindly agreed to support my application. Once that's done, all I have to do is finalize my essays then my first applications season will be done with.

Wow. 

Monday, 25 August 2014

Books and Back

My friend found our immunology text on Amazon for $4.70. That's not a typo. Catch: It needed to be shipped within the US. Conveniently her in-laws have an address they receive mail at in the US and she was meeting up with them, so they received the books for us.

So, that's one down. Anatomy is a new, Canadian edition so I have to buy it new. I hate it when they do that, but I get that's how they make money. I'm just going to get the etext. Half the time, I don't even use my textbooks (yes, really) and I don't mind just having an electronic version.

The same friend discovered a very good volunteering opportunity locally that she shared with me. I hope I'm accepted and can get started. I mentioned a while ago that I wanted, for years, to donate blood and finally can. Now I'm hoping to donate my time to Canadian Blood Services. Not because I'm a premed, but because I have wanted to get out and get involved in some organizations in my community for a few years now and I finally have time!

I'm excited. :)

School starts a week from Wednesday and I am incredibly excited. At the same time, I keep catching myself, hardly able to believe I'm entering my third year already. Where did the last two years go?

I'll know whether I get into med school in nine months.

NINE MONTHS until this cycle is determined one way or the other. Unless I get on waitlists, which quite possibly might drive me mad.

In nine months, I might have to start the process to leave the job I love, the Island I love, and pack up my family to start a new adventure.  I can barely believe I'm through second year, let alone less than a year (potentially) from actually starting med school. It feels like yesterday I was a year away from applications, and here I am procrastinating from my essays.

And now, potentially, I have one more thing to keep me occupied. Work, school, kids, gardens, arts, and now volunteering.

Life is good.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Ottawa

I lived in Ottawa for ten years total, with nearly two years in Alberta between my two stints in Ottawa. My husband lived there for 24 years and our oldest was born there. We know the city. We like the city too, though part of why we moved was that the crime in the areas we could afford to live in was bad. 

Anyone familiar with Ottawa probably knows about the area near Merivale and Kirkwood. We lived there when our son was born and it was scary there. As in, I wouldn't go out NEAR dusk, let alone after dark. Alone or not. We'd see uncapped needles in the elevator, the lobby often smelled of urine or vomit, and we regularly saw people arrested. Even one time saw a standoff with nine officers and the canine unit. Right below our fourth floor apartment. The place was sketchy as hell, but it was all we could afford. 

We paid $849/mth for a small, reeking, two bedroom apartment in that building. It was 25 minutes for my husband to get to work, 40 minutes for me (I worked in Kanata. Traffic was always bad.)

Seven years later, and earning quite a bit more, we pay $850/mth for a four bedroom house on nearly a half acre that's ten minutes from work, school, daycare. We have five neighbouring houses and the worst crime problem on our street is speeding. 

This is a big part of why we left Ottawa. However, we have lots of friends there. If we end up back in Ottawa, we have people we could call in an emergency to watch our kids. We have friends we can invite over for a barbecue. We have people we could ask to go check out places for us to live so that we don't have to rent a place sight-unseen or make a trip down to look. Overall, Ottawa is the most convenient place for us to end up. We know the schools and the neighbourhoods and the hospitals and the streets and transit. A lot of the awkwardness of moving would not be a problem. 

So I'm thinking about applying to the Ottawa French stream. Queen's and Ottawa would be my two top choices of the Ontario schools, but they are also the ones at which I have the lowest chances. Applying it the French stream would definitely increase my probability of getting an interview, but while I am bilingual and use French every day, I am not positive I would interview as well in French as I would in English, and the interview is crucial. 

Tough choice. 


Friday, 22 August 2014

Hi Facebook People

Someone (or more than someone) apparently shared a post of mine on Facebook so my view numbers have gone waaaay up in the past couple days. It's an interesting thing about Blogger/Blogspot that you see your traffic sources on the main dashboard page. While I mention it from time to time, it's not something I obsess about, just something I find interesting because it still blows me away that people read this at all. Not that I mind, or I wouldn't put it up.

Apparently, this month I put up my 500th post. I didn't notice until today that I'd surpassed 500 published posts - this is 514, I believe.

Hard to believe I've put that much time into this thing. I just wanted to have somewhere to talk about this process without driving my friends and family up the wall. I ended up finding some people who are doing the same thing and having lots of interesting people to talk to, and I've gotten help from unexpected (but welcome!) sources.

School starts in a week and a half. This time next year, I could very well be in orientation, surrounded by lots of other incredibly nervous future doctors. Or I might be preparing for my final year of undergrad and the tough decisions that will come with that.

Where did the last year go? I feel like I slept through it, like the whole thing was just a nightmare. One catastrophe after another.

This year needs to go better. Given that the school year is going to start with my MIL being discharged from the hospital following a stroke (she'll be discharged Sept 5th) it could go very well or very poorly. 

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Eight

Today is my husband's and my eighth anniversary. 

In true married couple style, we woke up far earlier than either of us would like, I checked my email, wished him a happy anniversary before he left for work, and went to have my coffee. Exciting and romantic, eh?

We are going to a movie tomorrow, though. 

That's us not long after we started dating. I believe this was right around the time we decided to get married, at the end of April 2006. 

Funny enough, our wedding photos are the most recent photos I have of us as a couple. We both avoid being in front of cameras, me more than him. 


Yup, barefoot (and 5 months pregnant! You can see my belly over the flowers) on the deck, at my parents' house, with my husband a nervous wreck. We did NOT want a wedding, we had one because my parents and his mom wanted us to have one. It didn't matter to us. So we told them to plan it. His mom made my dress and his ribbon shirt. Yes, I think the bear claw necklace and a boutonnière are a really weird mix. 

After the wedding, I dragged him to the Island for our honeymoon and he got to face my entire extended family (they made cake!) Because that's totally what you want to do on your honeymoon - visit relatives.  

He fell in love with this place and we decided to move here as soon as we could, and we did. 

The last eight years have been a crazy ride. Here's to many more. :)

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Position Evolution vs. proximity to science

Over the past few years, my position on a lot of topics has evolved.

Let me paint the picture here;

I used to define myself as a crunchy/granola/neo-hippie sort and this identity meant a lot to me. Sarongs, Birkenstocks, hemp jewellery (until I developed an allergy), weekends at the market buying local veggies chatting about how much better my food was than everyone else's. When I got pregnant with my oldest, things cranked up a notch. My midwives were very supportive of my crunchiness - duh - and encouraged more. I became the baby-wearing, extended-breastfeeding, natural birthing, cloth-diapering supermama who was loud and proud about how crunchy I was. I preached the gospel of 'natural' everything to people and fake-pitied people who didn't think like I did. I saw myself as special, as smarter, as someone not fooled by the 'mainstream.' I kind of groan now when I think about that...
 
The seed from which my eventual evolution grew was planted when my midwives gave me homeopathic remedies. 

I have ranted - at length - here and elsewhere about the utter quackery that is homeopathy, but at the time I didn't know what it really was. Like many - probably most - people who are deceived into using them, I thought homeopathic preparations were just herbal remedies. It wasn't until I looked them up that I realized that homeopathy is nothing more than faith healing you pay for and I remain horrified to this day that my publicly funded primary maternal care providers gave me such rubbish.

But I held on to that crunchy ideology and I ran with it. To the point where, with my second child, I was so anti-intervention I was seriously considering having an unassisted homebirth so I could avoid the hospital. I'd have died if I did that and my daughter could have suffered brain damage, so I'm glad I didn't. Funny enough, I got better support from the nurses and OBs here for my 'natural' birth than I did from my midwives when I requested pain relief, which is a big part of what accelerated my examination of how I felt about birth and mothering myths.While I still support midwifery as a practice within maternal care, I am not supportive of the type of midwifery I received. 

So how is it that I went from birkenstock-clad 21st century granola mama to the super vax proponent, crop technology supporter, pro-med premed I am now?

Science!

I started reading the primary research and made sure I could understand it. I stopped looking for evidence that supported my positions and I started looking at what the evidence really says.

As my formal education in science has progressed, so has my understanding of the things I once feared or demonized. A little bit of knowledge is a breeding ground for nonsense. The only remedy is more knowledge.

It's not easy to admit you're wrong, or that you have been wrong, or that the things you believe are based on a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the world.

But I was wrong. I know I was wrong.  Because I spent my time in an echo chamber of like minds who praised me for how well I adhered to the group ideology, I got to thinking myself better than people who didn't feel like I did. My thoughts about health, birth, motherhood, nature... these were my identity and I railed against anyone who challenged my beliefs. Because they were beliefs. They were held on faith, not any real knowledge.

If someone challenges something I know, I ask for their evidence. If they have evidence that supports a position different than the one I hold, I change my position.

That's what being a scientist is all about.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Summer Something


Summer is coming to a close. School starts two weeks from tomorrow for me, two weeks from Thursday for my son. 

The nights are getting cool, and I'm harvesting handfuls of tomatoes from my garden every other day.

Every year at about this time, I have the same thought. Why did I plant so many bleeding tomatoes?

I hate tomatoes except in two circumstances: Good bruschetta and good sauce.  I never think to plant the varieties that are good for either of these things. I invariably grow cherry or grape tomatoes and end up with bowls and bowls of 1" monstrosities that I barely classify as food.

So at the moment I have a back yard full of veggies, a backpack ready for class, and tanned, usually filthy kids who now need long sleeves in the mornings. 

Fall is upon us, my friends!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Searching for pairs

I do not enjoy shopping for clothes. Unless absolutely necessary for work, I typically avoid it as long as possible. 

I'm at one such point where I really need new clothes. My jeans have actually worn out - all of them - so I am left with only my pairs of work pants. My linen ones have actually worn quite a bit and have a small hole that I have mended as much as I can (woven fabrics are harder to fix than knits, in my experience) so I have to baby them a bit. 

Only one local store carries clothes that fit me nicely and don't fall apart in a few washes, but they cost $50-$60 for a shirt, $60-$100 for jeans but they just had a sale. So today I absolutely had to go get some new clothes. The jeans they had sucked. Why they make skinny jeans that would fit me, I have absolutely no idea. 'Skinny' is not a word that can be used to describe any part of me. I got some nice shirts and an actual dress (I haven't worn a dress in public since my wedding) so there's that. 

It got me thinking about interview attire. I'm going to need a suit. I want a NICE suit, suitable for winter but lightweight enough that I can wear it into spring. Given where I live, the shopping selections are poor. I can get casual to business casual clothing fairly easily, but proper business formalwear is another thing altogether. 

So I can go to the mainland to shop, find something online that can be tailored, or find a seamstress who can make me a suit from a pattern. I'm not sure what is cheapest. In either case, I need to get on it soon since MUN interviews are in November and it can take weeks to get things nicely tailored, so I'll need to start getting ready before I even know if I get an interview or not. 

I just need the slacks and jacket, the blouse I can take care of. Suggestions would be welcome. My budget will be a few hundred, but has to include alterations. 



Saturday, 16 August 2014

Home for a rest...

On Wednesday, my MIL was admitted to the hospital. Thinking is she had a TIA, but she's not completely sure whether they said stroke or "mini stroke" (which people often call TIAs) but given that she's still in the hospital, I'd be inclined to think stroke. They aren't planning to release her yet, and she's being moved to the rehab unit on Monday, so it's probably going to be several more days before she's out. Seems a bit long for a TIA. 

For a woman as busy as she is, being in hospital is tough. She's 75 and more active than some 60 year olds I know so it's hard for her to be cooped up. She is missing this weekend's powwow too, which she has spent several weeks preparing for. 

It has really driven home for my husband and I that she is frail and requires our help. Her living circumstances before she came to stay with us were atrocious, so she really needed to be somewhere better suited. 

It's also, for me, a good way of understanding what my patients' families will go through. Unfortunate as these circumstances are, MIL seems to be doing fine, though frustrated, so at least I am able to reflect on the past few days without too much emotion on my part. 

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Productive Meeting

I met with my professor today about writing my letter and walked away grinning because he is absolutely awesome and really seems to believe in me. He told me repeatedly what a great candidate for medicine he thinks I am and how he wants to make sure to support my application as strongly as possible. 

Honestly cannot even begin to describe how much that sort of support means to me. My parents haven't even put that much faith in me. 

People keep telling me they think I can do this and they believe in me. It's hard for me to really see myself as someone worth believing in. Yes, I'm strong academically and I'm damn stubborn about doing what I want, but for other people to go out of their way to help me in my goals is just amazing. 

Since I started this blog, I've heard from many people who have read what I had to say and write to tell me I have what it takes and they are rooting for me. 

Hearing it from someone I've interacted with regularly over the past two years means a lot. 

Hard to believe how much my life has transformed over the last few years. 


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Will

I take an antidepressant. I've taken it for a few years now - I posted about it here before, when I really started noticing its effects. Before that, a long line of other meds over the past decade trying to sort out the ideal balance of effects.

Nine and a half years ago, I sat in the Second Cup a short walk from my high school, when I should have been in class, and made plans for a short future. I was determined. I'd failed in my attempts several times before and was not going to fail again.

But I ended up calling the Youth Services Bureau and they took me to the children's hospital where I stayed for a while in the psych ward. The YSB workers stayed with me and were immensely kind.

My parents were mad at me and I was punished for the upset I caused. But I was, at least, alive. And my counselors and doctors urged me to move out as soon as I could and they urged me to build a mentally healthy life for myself.

August 15th, 2005, I moved out of my parents' home and didn't look back. I started building my better future and, with many fits and starts, I managed to.

I'm writing about this now because, obviously, mental illness is back in the news with the suicide of Robin Williams. I've seen a lot of people call him selfish, or wonder why someone with so much could take that step. I don't have to wonder. And I feel terribly for him, that he felt so alone that the only person left - himself - let him down.

I am lucky that I am okay now. Because it's so, so easy to not be okay. I couldn't see, those years ago, what my future would be, how amazing it has been. I just wanted all the pain, the desperation, to stop. And I managed to make that happen by accessing the services I needed. It wasn't easy, but it was worth it.





If you are in crisis, call 911 or go to the hospital.

If you need someone to talk to, here are some numbers to start with but SEE YOUR DOCTOR TOO. There is no national hotline for Canada, so here are the provincial equivalents:

PEI: Island Helpline 1-800-218-2885
Nova Scotia: 1-888-429-8167
New Brunswick: Call 8-1-1.
Newfoundland: 1-888-737-4668
Quebec: 1-866-277-3553
Ontario: http://www.mentalhealthhelpline.ca/  1-866-531-2600
Manitoba: 1-877-435-7170 (1-877-HELP170)
Saskatchewan: 306-525-5333 (based in Regina) or call 8-1-1.
Alberta: 1-800-784-2433
BC: 1-800-784-2433
Nunavut & Nunavik: 1-800-265-3333
NWT: 1-800-661-0844
Yukon: There is no crisis line for the Yukon, but there is 1-800-661-0408, local 8346 to access the Mental Health Centre. 

Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868


For my American readers:
1-800-273-TALK (8255)

It's not a matter of selfishness or of anything you owe to other people; you just owe it to yourself to find the future you deserve. You'll get there. It's just really hard at some times.

Monday, 11 August 2014

23 days

School starts three weeks from Wednesday. 

Potentially my last year at my current school, if one of my applications is successful. Possibly my last school year on the Island. 

This could be my last August here for four years.

That's more than a little terrifying. I'm coming up on a year in my current position, but if I get in I won't be here for my second anniversary here. 

This process feels like it's been forever in the planning, but these last few months of it don't feel long enough. Nine months until Ontario decisions (eight months for MUN!), only three months until my first possible interview. Three months!

Three months is NOTHING. My kids were born and then suddenly three months old in the blink of an eye. 

And I only have two semesters now separating me from the rest of my life. Twelve weeks of class. Two weeks of exams. Three weeks off. Thirteen weeks of class. Two weeks of exams. Done, and waiting for what could be the best news of my life. 

The future is at the end of my driveway and I feel like cowering in the living room. 

Sunday, 10 August 2014

West Out

I think I'm not going to apply to Calgary.

Every time I start thinking about it, I get this pit in my stomach and I think that's a sign I really don't want to go there. My highest chance of success this year is at Calgary, which is why it's so difficult to decide.

I have lived on both coasts,  in five provinces, over a dozen different homes. I'm not afraid of change, or travel, but I hated living in Alberta and was desperate to leave. The two years my husband spent working there were the worst two of our marriage.

Alberta is a land of richness and opportunity, full of natural beauty that I greatly enjoyed, populated by many fantastic people, and the home of some who I count among my few very good friends. Really, I have nothing against the province as a whole, or the people in it. But it is associated with a lot of very bad memories for me and I really don't want to live there again.

Beyond that, there's logistical issues. U of C starts only ten weeks (ish) after acceptances go out. That isn't enough time to move my family that far. Realistically, I'll probably have to leave my family behind for months or longer before we can manage the move. Ontario is close enough, and we have enough of a social net there and enough time to organize things that it's doable.

So even though it might mean I am giving up on a very good chance of getting in this year, I'm not going to apply to U of C. I'm going to take my chances at MUN, Ottawa, Toronto, Queen's, and McMaster, and hope. If I don't get in to one of those five, then fine, I'll apply again next year.

The risk is worth it, I think, because now that I've decided not to apply there, I'm feeling a whole lot better about the process. 

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Stupid Schedule

The schedule for this year is crap.

There are five biology courses with labs that are 3rd year or above offered this year. Four of the five are environmental stream and so I don't have the prerequisites (ecology and/or botany in all cases.) The fifth conflicts with my human physiology course.

There's only two other 3rd year or higher courses offered, and I'm taking one of them. The other is a course based on a project I had in one course last year that I did not enjoy at all (group work...) so I'm avoiding it. There is literally not one other 300+ coded course I can take in any department at the 9:30 or 10:30 M/W/F blocks.

THAT is a crappy schedule.

So for first semester, I'm stuck with three first year courses, one second year course, and one fourth year course. I want to drop Biomedical Ethics - is there any other course that screams "premed gunners sign up here" more than that one? - and Latin.

Ideally, I'd like to take Human Anatomy (which is a 2ed year course but I need for my minor) but it filled up with 4th years.

I want to take one of the 3rd year bio lab environmental courses because I've heard great things, but the prof ignored my email while he did respond to my friend's email, so I assume he's not letting me in.

Need to change out at least a couple of  them, because I think that semester is so pathetic that med schools might hold it against me.


We'll see, anyway. Just over three weeks until third year starts! Five weeks until MUN apps are due!!!


Also, and entirely unrelated, look at my veggies! The tomatoes are going to be finished off on a windowsill. They mostly got blown off the plants. Don't the purple carrots look awesome? They're bright orange inside.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Don't stop believing...

I have Journey stuck in my head because I drove past the stop sign someone graffiti'd to say "Don't STOP believin'"

Because that's the sort of vandalism we get here - inspirational. 

Anyway, it reflects my mood today because I just heard from my super awesome favourite physics professor that he's going to write me a recommendation letter!

I have three absolute favourite professors and two are writing letters for me. The third is crazy busy this summer since she was just appointed chair of a new department (because she is that awesome) so I didn't want to bug her.


So two professors and my boss are going to recommend me. 

I'm really honoured, to be honest, since I pretty much grew up feeling like I wasn't worth anyone's time. I still feel that way much of the time. Like I'm a bother, an annoyance to be endured instead of someone with goals worth supporting. But now I have three professional people who are all very accomplished and busy who are taking time out of their busy schedules to tell med schools that they think I would be a good doctor. 

That's pretty awesome of them. I'm really touched. :)

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Multi-Generational

My husband and I are officially 'sandwich generation' people now. We're caring for our kids and his mother. 

MIL is settling in and we've already started running into some boundary issues which are going to be addressed this evening. It's not unexpected.

She's 75 and moving in with people who are 4+ decades younger. We have different priorities, a different lifestyle, and different parenting styles than she is accustomed to. She is also not used to being 'on' as a grandmother regularly as she very infrequently saw her other grandchild (my husband's niece, who is now 19.) 

This is new to her. But she is trying to slide into the role of 'head of the household' and that really isn't the case. She has moved in with us and while, no, we are not imposing rules about how she must run her life, we do have boundaries when it comes to the kids. I also have one tiny thing that means a lot to me - I don't want her in my husband's and my room. 

I've mentioned before that I am uncomfortable with people in my space. Adapting to having someone else living with is a big deal for me. We have asked repeatedly that she stay out of the master bedroom but she keeps going in. She's taken on the task of doing our laundry and, while I am grateful, I am uncomfortable with even my own mother handling my underwear. I don't want my mother-in-law to be doing it either. She's been going into the master bedroom to get our laundry and to return it. It makes me incredibly, incredibly uncomfortable. 

So my husband and I are going to talk with her tonight because the boundaries we laid down about that and about the kids aren't negotiable and we are not thrilled that they are not being respected. Me more than him, really. 

One of many uncomfortable discussions to come, I'm sure, but it has to happen for this arrangement to work. 

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Long Weekend

My I was busy this weekend. 

I cooked a whole lot, which I usually do anyway but I was cooking for five and I wanted to ensure my MIL got to enjoy some local fare. What I cooked wasn't out of the ordinary - roast chicken and veggies, salmon with chive sauce, spaghetti bolognese (to be fair, my mother made the bolognese) - but since it's that time of year when cooking requires going out to the garden to pick the vegetables first, it adds a bit of time. Not much, but when I'm wrangling kids to keep them from decimating my carrots, it can be a little taxing. 

My son helped himself to the lettuce and carrots. 

My pumpkins and corn are going crazy. We're probably going to have to give away a fair chunk of the pumpkins because we'll have enough to be set for pumpkin pie for five years. I'm not fond of pumpkin soup or roast pumpkin, but I might just need to figure out how to make pumpkin muffins...

Entirely unrelated note, it is three months and ten days until MUN interviews!!! Holy crap. 

I emailed my professors yesterday asking if they will recommend me and one already got back to me. :) I'm really honoured when people take time out of their lives to support my goals. It's pretty damn awesome of thm, really. Hopefully I'll hear back from the other soon. I made sure they have an out if they aren't comfortable with doing it, but he's one of my favourite professors so I really hope he'll agree to it. 

Friday, 1 August 2014

They're heeeeere

MIL and SIL arrived Thursday. SIL left this morning. She has been have a very hard time since her boyfriend died suddenly a few months ago and isn't quite stable yet so she left in a huff by taxi and is bussing back to Ontario. 

My daughter took to her grandmother - who she had never met - immediately. That was quite a surprise because she's usually a bit shy with new people but she likes her Nookomiis a lot already. 

We pick up my son from camp today. I haven't heard a peep from the camp all week so I'm assuming all is well. 

My work on my applications has been slow. I've been picking away at them. Conveniently, I have Monday off as a federal employee, but the provincial holiday is on the 15th so the university will be open on Monday. I plan to ask my profs on Monday if they can act as references for me. I left it a bit longer than I'd have liked, but they'll still have 6+ weeks to write letters for me. 

As for now, my husband is getting MIL settled in and cleaning out her car. The circumstances she was living in were very far from ideal, so we're helping her get her stuff all cleaned up. Her former roommate had four less-than-disciplined cats and her stuff smells like them, so we're going to ensure that gets fixed up. We want her to have a comfortable home here.