Author Archives: illdose

Stop asking me if my baby is sleeping through the night

Above the High Tide

If I read another article or hear another mom say that Averie, at almost 5 months, should start sleeping through the night, I’m going to break something.

As a newborn, I considered her a good sleeper. Sure, she woke every 3 hours for feeding, but what newborn doesn’t? Yes I know, the odd ones here and there, whose moms are super lucky to not know what true sleep deprivation is. Well I’m not one of those lucky moms. But as I read once, embrace the sleep deprivation before it kills you. So I did and got used to the middle of the night feeds. Somewhat anyway. For the most part she was predictable and I appreciated that predictability.

Things started to change when she turned 3 months. Night time became unpredictable. Some nights she would sleep through, waking just to feed. Some nights she would stay up after nursing. Other…

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Are big, lounge speakers really necessary in a small condo?

Warning: this is a rant.

When I lived in the heart of downtown Toronto, there was condo construction across from us and being in the heart of downtown, there was a lot of noise – cars, sirens, banging – you name it. None of it bothered me. I was able to tune all the noise and sleep right through them.

Now in a different neighbourhood, I have a neighbour who plays music with a lot of bass in it. The bass drives me absolutely crazy. It vibrates though the walls and floors and his living room is next to our bedroom.

We chatted about this trying to find a solution. He agrees that the bass is quite loud in our unit, even with the bass option turned down. The problem he can’t seem to grasp is not the volume of the music but it’s his crazy speakers. This guy has speakers meant for a lounge or small club and he lives in a 600 sq. ft. condo. I mean, seriously, do you need speakers like that in a small condo?

We have a home entertainment system from when we lived in a house and guess what, we don’t need it in the condo. So the subwoofer is always off. I mean, with a 2 ft. space between us and the tv, a sub is not necessary.

So what is this guy thinking with big-ass speakers? Why oh why does he feel the need to use those speakers to play his music? They’re very bass heavy. Our other neighbours on the other side also plays loud music. But at least I can hear the music, not just the bass. All I hear all day long with this guy is bass, bass, bass. It gets irritating. And I used to love drum and bass.

What’s even worse is that being a new mom, I need to sleep whenever the opportunity arises. And guess what? I can’t sleep when the bass vibrates inside my head!

Sigh…I wish he would move out. I’m tired, sleep deprived and cranky. I should be sleeping right now since baby is napping. But can I sleep? Noooo, thanks to my neighbour.

Any takers to go in his condo and destroy those speakers with a hammer?

New blog

I now have a newborn. She’s 5 weeks old today and is the love of my life. I haven’t been posting here lately as I was just too exhausted during the last trimester of my pregnancy. And now I’m exhausted from lack of sleep.

Having said that, I love writing way too much to completely stop, so I decided that since my posts going forward will mostly be about the baby and being a first time mom, I decided to start a new blog. I’d love for you, my current followers, to follow my new blog: Above the High Tide. I probably won’t be able to write everyday, as I have to sneak writing in between feedings, diaper changes, play time and naps. Oh, not to mention housework.

See you there!

By the way, I still plan to keep this blog active when I need to ramble about non-baby related topics. 😄

Stroller made for my car

Compact strollers for compact car trunks do exist!

Yes! I finally killed those two pesky fruit flies!

I know, this blog title makes me sound like a horrible person who likes to kill insects. The truth is, I don’t. But I have had these two fruit flies flying around my kitchen for an entire week, and they were driving me and my cat Puzzle absolutely crazy.

Whenever I get fruit flies in my home, I always ask the same question: “Where do fruit flies come from?” Since I only have them when I have bananas out on my counter, I can only come up with one conclusion (disclaimer: I never said it was a smart conclusion): that fruit flies come from bananas. But how?

Apparently, according to google, these little tiny guys can smell over-ripened fruits from miles away and get in through the tiniest crevices. They’re attracted to the alcohol produced from rotten fruits. But wait a second, my bananas weren’t rotten. They were just super ripe! *Shrug* One of life’s mysteries…

In any case, these two fruit flies had been in my kitchen for a week. Both Puzzle and I have tried endlessly to smack them dead, with very little success. I just don’t understand how these things can be soooo slow, they seem to just hover or float through air, but yet, we have a hard time catching them. Puzzle can catch just about anything. She can even catch her toy mouse in mid-air. But yet, she couldn’t get to the fruit flies, which of course, drove her into mad obsession.

Here’s a picture of her sitting on the counter, completely alert and aware of the fruit flies mocking her, ready to pounce when the time comes…but with not much success :(.

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So, I was going to title my blog, “Where do fruit flies come from?”, but since I finally killed those fruit flies just before I opened my laptop, I changed the title. Yes, I’m being smug. I feel like a little kid who just discovered how to put on his own socks. The truth is, I think these fruit flies were tired and reaching the end of their life expectancy anyway. One of them sat on the edge of my garbage can and didn’t fly away when I came close, it only moved a mere half millimetre away. The other one was flying ever so slowly very close to me, and when my hands went in closer to smack it, it just hovered in the same spot. I think they wanted me to kill them. Since I finally finished my over-rippened bananas and replaced them with green ones, I think they were low on energy. They were done.

But forget all that. Let’s just pretend that after a week of obsessing over them, my fruit fly killing skills are finally in high gear. Let me feel triumphant and bask in my glory!

25 km bike ride…yikes!

Last year at the finish line.

Last year at the finish line.

I’m participating in the 25km Ride for Heart on June 2nd to raise money for the Heart & Stroke Foundation. We all know someone who has been affected by heart disease or stroke. Whether it’s an immediate family, someone we are close with, or a distant friend or relative, it’s never pleasant to hear the news of someone suffering or passing from this disease.

This year, I’m riding in honour of several people, one of them my dad. Why my dad? 20 years ago, my dad was on his death bed from a kidney failure. When I say death bed, it’s literal. He died for a split moment. Today, if you knew my dad, you would never think that there’s anything wrong with him. Well, except for the days when his blood vessels pop, which could be anywhere on his body from his leg to his eyes. When this happens, it ain’t a pleasant sight.

Even though my dad only has 1 functioning kidney that originally belonged to his older sister and has to take 11+ medications daily, he’s a very upbeat, positive guy. A true inspiration to me. Over the years, his health condition continuous to deteriorate. He now has insulin-dependent diabetes, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and most dangerously in my opinion, angina. He has been in an out of the hospital countless times because of his angina.

My dad is actually 100% dependent on a pace maker. That’s right, not 80%, not 95%, but 100%. This means that should his pace maker ever stop working, so will his ability to live. Several years ago, his pace maker ran out of juice. He was rushed to the hospital and they had to do an emergency switch. After the new pace maker was put in, he got an infection, so they had to take it out and planned to put it in on the opposite side. After taking it out, they couldn’t do another operation right away as they needed at least 1 full day to let the wounds heal. He was put on an external pace maker. That night, his pace maker got unplugged and he flat-lined once again. They managed to revive him with a defibrillator.

I’m so thankful every day that he’s with us today. He gave up a lot, including status and financial wealth, both of which cannot replace his health and the fact that we still have a dad.

So this Ride event is a very important one for me, for my family. If you are reading this, I’m asking for your kind support to please support me by donating to this very worthy cause.

Here’s the link to donate: http://www.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1024199&supId=359039249

Thank you for your support!

Weekly photo challenge: change

Weekly Photo Challenge

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Here’s a photo that depicts change for me. We got Puzzle when she was 7 weeks old. She is now 2 years old. Time flies and many events, good and bad, have taken place since. But the one constant is the love Puzzle and I have for each other. Puzzle brought me so much happiness and mended my broken heart of having lost our cat, Patches, to lung cancer. It’s ironic. If we had not lost Patches we probably would not have found Puzzle. We have a feeling she may have been born the day Patches died.

She not only helped me, but she also brought life back to Patches’ brother, Alize, who became depressed from having lost his sister. Sadly, Alize missed Patches so much that he too, ended up dying of lung cancer over a year later.

Puzzle is no longer a kitten but still very much acts like one. She can never get enough of playing and she truly fills my heart with love.

Bagging groceries sucks

Friday is the day I’ve dedicated for grocery shopping. As soon as I leave work I scoot over to Food Basics. In order to get a cart I have to put a quarter in. Sometimes all goes smoothly. How hard can it be to put a quarter in and pull the cart out anyway? Well, sometimes this process is frustrating. I put the quarter in and it jams and won’t go in. So I try another cart. Or I put it in and it’s fine, but I can’t pull the chain out because it’s stuck. Or sometimes I put the quarter in, pull the chain out but the cart won’t budge. Argghhh. All I want is a cart damn it!

Some days I don’t mind grocery shopping at all. On those days, I enjoy taking my time looking at ingredients outside of my grocery list. I imagine that I’m an awesome cook who loves being in the kitchen. I get giddy at the possibilities of creating all these different, wonderful meals.

Ooh, what’s that? Lamb chops. I can make lamb chops. What about this kale thing? I can make some kind of dish with this. But aside from it being a vegetable, I’m not even sure what kind it is or what it tastes like. I keep seeing people’s posts and pictures of ‘kale this’, ‘kale that’. What the heck is it though? I mean, look at this thing. Okay forget it, there’s no way I can make kale. Hmm…maybe I’ll try this tempura batter. Hubby would love that!

Credit: domesticdiva.com

Credit: domesticdiva.com

I can go on and on, mouth salivating every time I think of a crazy meal I “think” I can make. That’s the thing about grocery shopping after work. I’m usually starving and thinking about food. Then I snap out of it and realize that I’m no domestic diva. So I end up looking at frozen food options instead because I’m still so damn hungry. Maybe I’ll get this huge bag of chicken fries. And sausage rolls. Ooh ooh and dim sum! I go around picking up food, planning when we’re going to eat all this. We can make sausage rolls for snacks tomorrow (Saturday) and I’ll leave the chicken fries for Sunday dinner. My mouth is salivating and my stomach is screaming at me to feed it.

Oh, but who am I kidding? I live in a 700 sq. ft. condo with a condo-size fridge and even smaller freezer. Where am I going to store all of these? Plus, we’re supposed to be eating healthy. So I go around and put every thing back, trying not to be too disappointed.

Finally, when the items in my cart look more realistic, I proceed to the check out counter. This is the part I hate the most. Checking out. No no, it has nothing to do with the fact that I have to pay for all of these items. That’s the least of my worries. What do I dread the most? Bagging groceries! What happened to the days when the cashier also did the bagging? Or the days when they had separate grocery baggers?

First, I put all my stuff on the conveyor belt (is that what it’s called?) as the person behind me in line is impatiently inching her way towards me, bumping my cart with her cart. I look back and give her a cut-eye. Then she backs away. When my cart is empty, I push my cart forward so I can now go behind my cart. Because there’s not enough room for me to go beside my cart, which I think would make more sense.

The cashier starts scanning my items and putting them on the other side of her, on another conveyor type belt. I push my cart further out so I can start bagging my stuff as she continues to scan. But I’m not fast enough. I’m not good at bagging groceries. I can type fast, I can write, I can create posters, I can use photoshop. But I can’t bag groceries.

The cashier finishes scanning before I can even get half of the items in my recycable bags. So I stop bagging, dig into my purse for my wallet and give her some cash. I start bagging again and the cashier has moved on to the lady in line behind me. She’s going fast and omygod talk about pressure. If I’m really unlucky, the lady behind me only has a few items so she’s done paying before I’m done bagging. This time, she pushes me with her cart. I look over apologetically (no cut-eye this time) and frantically start to stuff every thing in my bags. Who cares if I don’t do it right, if they’re not neatly placed in the bags to maximize the space? I have to get out of this lady’s way before she bruises me with her cart.

She’s not patient so she squeezes between me and the bar dividing our lane from the next. If she’s thin and can get through easily, no problem with me. But hey man, if you squeeze through and you end up squashing me against the belt, well now, I won’t be very happy and you’re damn right I’ll give you another cut-eye!

Do I hate bagging because I’m just lazy like what this picture depicts? No, not at all. It has nothing to do with being lazy (or being a teenager because I’m not one, I’m a grown adult) and has every thing to do with the entire anxiety-causing process. Who knew bagging groceries could be so stressful. Those grocery baggers back in the day deserved good compensation. Definitely not an easy job.

Credit: quickmeme.com

Credit: quickmeme.com

Finally I finish bagging and load them into the cart. By this point, I’m overly stressed out but relieved that I’m finally getting out of here. I put my groceries in the trunk and put away the cart because you know, I want my quarter back. For next time. But is putting the cart back as easy as it theoretically is? I mean, all I have to do is push the cart into the cart in front, stick the chain thing into the coin thing, and voila, my quarter comes out. But no, some days this is not the case. Either I try to push my cart in and it won’t go in, or I push it in but the chain thing refuses to go into the coin thing (I know I say “thing” alot but I really don’t know what they’re called). Or I push the cart in, the chain goes in but the quarter is stuck. Waaahhh. I just want my quarter back!

So there you have it. Now you know why I dread grocery-shopping-Fridays.

A day of regrets

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Do you ever just have days when you hate yourself? For the things you’ve said or failed to say, for what you’ve done or failed to do, for your actions or lack thereof? A day of regrets?

Today was one of those days. I found myself bitching unnecessarily loud that people close by could easily pick up on my ranting, for something so irrelevant. At the time I thought it was relevant of course. But as soon as I opened my mouth, I regretted it.

I find myself becoming this way more often that I would like. I’ve always been a reserved person, especially at work, never really open about how I feel inside. I always believe in keeping work separate from my personal life. I’ve always been careful not to let others at work see if I’m upset, unhappy or bothered about something. I’ve always been careful to control my emotions. There’s an actual term for this – Emotional Intelligence.

I remember when I quit my job once upon a time, not because I hated the job or the people I worked with, but because the CEO was an evil fire-breathing dragon who instilled fear in all the staff. My job, I felt, being in the position that I was in, was to protect the employees from her wrath. I took the beating for them, so to speak, whenever possible. I was not happy and have never in my life felt that way about work. I eventually broke and knew I had to quit when I found myself crying everyday in the subway on my way to work. And trust me, I’m not a crier. When I quit and went around to say my goodbyes, the employees were surprised. “You didn’t seem unhappy,” they told me. “You were always so cheerful.” Of course I felt bad for leaving, for now I was no longer the shield for them.

My point is, I try to stay positive and not let negativity get to me. But lately, I find myself being sucked into the negative side more and more, for there is just so much of it. I’m surrounded by people who bitch and complain all day and eventually that affects me whether I welcome it or not. I have to admit, it feels good to bitch. I mean, everyone needs an outlet to vent once in a while and I certainly have vented in more than one occasion to my hubby and friends. But there’s a big difference between venting and bitching.

So today is one of those days when I hate myself. For being bitchy, for being negative, for letting my bad side come out. The thing is, I have (self-diagnosed) anxiety. And when I feel bad, when I feel regret, my anxiety is fed and grows bigger. The only way to get rid of it is either to not think about it or to justify it. The latter is not an option.

The good thing is I’m aware of all of this, and just writing about it to a whole bunch of strangers who probably don’t give a craps ass makes me feel better. Because I’m admitting that I was wrong, that I’m not perfect, that I’m a beatch sometimes and that I’m embarrassed for the way I acted.

I know, what a silly thing to write about. Especially when there are worse problems out there than feeling bad about my reaction. And so out of sync with what I usually write in my blog. But you know what, I had to get it out of my chest. I should be better than that. I should be a better person.

Adventure in our own backyard: treetop trekking

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I’m adventurous by nature, although as I get older my fear tends to get the best of me. But that’s topic for another day.

When my cousin from Indonesia and his wife visited us last August, my sister and I were looking for something different and fun to do. We came across a Groupon or Wagjag deal for a Treetop Trekking adventure at Horsehoe Valley. I checked out the website and although it wasn’t clear to me what treetop trekking entailed, we decided to purchase vouchers anyway to check it out.

We went on a Friday afternoon. Treetop Trekking is, as it turned out, basically going through five levels of aerial courses ranging from beginner to extreme. These aerial courses consist of various obstacles fom walking across from one tree to another on a monkey wire to climbing nets to walking across a suspension bridge to zip lining across or down.

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It seemed a bit cheesy at first, considering they weren’t very high off the ground. Having walked on a suspension bridge 4,600 ft. above sea level in Costa Rica, I thought this experience would be easy peasy. Surprisingly, it was harder than I had expected. Like a lot harder. The zip lines were the easiest and the ones I looked forward to the most. The obstacles got longer, higher and harder with each level up.

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We went all the way to level four when our time was up. A part of me was disappointed we didn’t get to try the most difficult level, and a part of me was relief. I think it was 30/70 actually. I was exhausted and had run out of juice. Not sure I could have made it through another level.

We ended the day by going down the “big zip”. It’s called the big zip because it was long, although I can’t remember how long. Maybe 100 ft.? However, since I’ve zip lined a couple of times including going down ten lines in Costa Rica with the longest being about 2500 ft. long and the highest 500 ft., this was more relaxing than thrilling in comparison. But it was the best way to end our treetop trekking adventure.

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The best part was that this was practically in our own backyard with it being two hours away from home. We didn’t have to travel across the world to have some adventurous fun and most importantly, my cousin and his wife had a blast!

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It’s funny how we tend to think that in order to have some real fun and adventure we’d have to go to some exotic place. This experience was an eye opener. It’s nice to know that something like treetop trekking is available so close to home. I wouldn’t have known about it if it wasn’t for Groupon or Wagjag. It was good times for sure!

Have you ever discovered something you didn’t expect to be available so close to home? If so, what was it?

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