Tuesday, March 31, 2009

All Clear--and now for the rest of my life

The results of Mr.C's CT scan came back all clear, and quite awesome. Totally, utterly completely clear in fact. The pulmonologist now subscribes to my theory of the drippy bits of goo from someone's danish screwing up the x-ray film. They had the results last Tuesday, and left a message on the home answering machine, but of course, the dingbat receptionist said they did NOT have the results when he called on his cellphone Wednesday and said, hey, as soon as you know the results, can you call my CELLPHONE right away because we are away and don't want to be in suspense for our entire vacation.

He found out late yesterday afternoon, and yes, we did spend the entire vacation in suspense!

Sigh....the things I would change if I was in charge of the universe....

Anyway, the vacation was lovely, except for how much I missed you all because of the problems with getting on the internet. I could do it on the iPod touch, but only the basics, like checking emails, and attempting to get some updates here and there on Facebook, etc. and I wanted to be outside instead of inside at the internet cafe. As you know from my cottage vacation dial-up debacles, in my mind, a vacation just isn't a vacation if you have to disconnect from all of your friends! I'm hoping that by the time that I go away again, Rogers will have amended their incredibly fucked up non-existent international data plans for phones and blackberries. It's kind of embarassing when you go places and discover that the poorest citizens in your vacation country have better cellphone plans than you do.

Interesting things about the Mayan Riviera? They have what I swear is the largest Walmart in the history of Walmarts. With every kind and brand of baby item in the known universe. I really did not have to bring anything down except for things for the plane, and to be honest, I kind of would love it if they had a rental place for that kind of stuff when travelling! There is a rental place in Puerto Vallarta, but not one in Cancun and area...Good news is that we were able to get lots of baby food and he liked the buffet stuff as well so he had lots of finger food in between swims and stroller rides.

All in all, it was a great time. Mr.C. and Kaz got to go scuba diving and I got to sit and sun myself while the baby was at the Babyclub. (That almost didn't happen--eeek, thank god Jackie got it in writing for me that they would take him at his age!) Mac loved the kid's club and once he got into it and started hanging out, he pretty much refused to leave.

I have more to say, but once again, I am behind the eight ball. Dinner, hockey, tutors, bill-paying, and figuring out why Kaz's report card is so horrendous. He got a B- in religion! The bird course of the century for pete's sake. All he had to do was memorize the sacraments and other basic stuff. I know he is bored, and hates even paying attention to the easy stuff, but flunking out because you like to doodle on the side of the page is not the answer.

I have to get him a little more engaged with the school. Or make the school do something less brain-deadening with him....

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Vacation suspense

Thank you thank you thank you for all your good stories and wishes and prayers. They really do help!

Mr.C. had his CT scan and because the tech was completely obscure....we know nothing. We leave Sunday and we'll have to get our news when we get back.

Now my theory, based on my many medical adventures is that they don't let you leave if they see something really bad. I know that isn't always true, but for me it generally is. Anytime they have let me leave and something was wrong, they have made it crystal clear that something is wrong and sent me to see a Doctor ASAP.

And nothing like that happened to him. The radiologist was there, and didn't even ask for some extra views or shots. They even let him leave early! Which tells me that either it's the tiniest teeniest thing on earth, or it WAS a drip of icing from a pastry on the X-ray.

And that's the story I'm sticking with. Sadly, my husband is not so convinced and keeps making morbid jokes about lung cancer and dying young, etc....I think he is going to have a tough time having fun this week.

My big hope is that the radiologist clears the report fast and his Doctor calls and gives him good news by cellphone Monday morning. (Yes, we will have blackberries and an iPod touch and I will be checking email and twitter and Facebook sporadically, he needs to stay plugged in for his brother and work, and I just love being on the net!)

Can I tell you all a secret? You know I don't swim well, and so you can guess that I won't be in the ocean. Well, this will be very different than a cottage because someone else will be doing laundry and cooking and dealing with dirty towels so there's that. But I'm not really a fan of lying down and doing nothing either. I last about a half hour on a beach chair and then I get twitchy to go see a show or go on a tour bus or go shopping or learn all about some ancient city nearby. Or just run up and start talking to random strangers!

Mr.C. meanwhile does not want to move from the beach---ever. He might go to the sports bar for March Madness, but he doesn't want to do anything. Hmmm

What about all of you? Are you like chillin' and relaxing types or more like me, activity types?

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Not sure what to do, or what to think here, any and all assvice and or reassurance is welcome.

My husband recently went for a new sleep study for his sleep apnea, so he could get a new CPAP machine to replace his old one. The CPAP has been a miracle for us and really stops his horrendously loud snoring and helps him get a good solid sleep. ( And me too let's be honest...)

Well, he needed a series of x-rays for it along with the other tests. And they found something in the x-rays.

A spot on his lung. 1 cm square.

And what with his history as a smoker for over 20 years, I'm kind of freaking out. (He started when he was 12, like most kids in Quebec at the time, it was just the way. He finally quit several years ago after many attempts. Hardest thing he has ever done, poor man.)

He is going for a CT scan tomorrow,* because it might be something else like scar tissue from an old infection, or some weird thing. Thing is, we won't get results until we get back from vacation, unless they see some bizarre thing on the CT and make him stay there, but I doubt that. Anything bigger they would have found on the x-rays.

But still losing my mind here. Vomiting with fear in fact. And everything I've found on the web, involves the horrible norm, a person who can't breathe well, gets an x-ray, and discovers advanced incurable lung cancer. Meanwhile, my husband is the rare exception, the person who gets a routine x-ray and discovers something.

So if any of you know of any good stories about lung cancer survival I really need to hear them. I already have found zillions of sad stories, but not many good ones.

If you know nothing good, then just do me a favor and pray that the fucking x-ray spot was a spot on someone's glasses, or a drip of jam from a danish, K?

If you smoke, quit. If you have already quit, get annual lung x-rays.
Did you know that no one had ever heard of lung cancer prior to smoking? No joke...there are no recorded cases of lung cancer in the history of medicine until smoking began.

About to become the world's most vicious anti-smoking campaigner btw.....something about three small children who might grow up without their father is kind of motivating me.

CT is at 3:30 Friday.

*Funny story: Mr.C. assumes he needs to go to Buffalo and pay for his CT/MRI and guess what? Nope, once again, he gets it right away for free, cause he has a serious medical need. They would have done them both sooner, but we're away next week, drinking, and living in denial.....

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I have become addicted to TripAdvisor and all the unofficial websites for my resort, and every baby travel website out there. Plus the airline and government websites and things like Seatguru that analyzes exactly which seats are good and bad and in between.

Seriously, OCD me has googled until her hands are broken. I found almost all of the sites on the entire internet. Am a control freak my peeps.

Wee Travel Baby Equipment across Canada & her blog Wee Travel - also has links for many other cities all around the world for renting baby equipment at resorts or business trips or when seeing family.

Travels with Baby is a great blog by a lovely mom who has also written a book, with all her amazing travel tips. Lots of links there to lots of resources.

Family of Five Vacations - seriously driving me nuts that anyone who isn't Mom, Dad, and 2 kids over 5 and under 12 is pretty much SOL for vacations, and this site has an entire list of vacation destinations that cater to large families and groups that don't fit the traditional mold. They also have a list of places that have baby clubs and kids clubs and the ages they cater to. Parents of multiples and blended families take note! Someday you will have money again and want to travel somewhere and this site could help!

The Travel Stop - great Toronto store for things for your trip.

These dumb rules about liquids are making me crazy, I must admit. I have a friend who works in a rather shall-we-say "secure type" area, and he has repeatedly laughed his ass off at this set of rules. All of the really threatening people are suicide bombers---so even if we all got onto planes naked and carrying not one thing and starved and dehydrated ourselves---we'd still be at risk from the guys who would just swallow a timer and implants made of Semtex and rub their bits together.

The key to preventing terrorism on planes is the same as any crime prevention. We need to watch out for each other and take care of each other and get to know our neighbors, whether on a plane or a street or a park. We need to be brave enough to get involved and tell someone when we see something suspicious and we sure as hell can't just leave it all up to the government and pretend it's all about whether or not we accidentally put a 4 ounce bottle in our carry-on as opposed to a 3.4 ounce.

Serious eyerolling here---we drive boring ol' people like me up a wall with this, but we still to this day have never secured the rear entrances of airports properly. I can't wear a decent nursing bra because of the metal detectors, but anyone with a pulse can wander onto a loading dock after jumping a fence near the 401.

Why yes, my government is run by a bunch of morons, did you assume otherwise?

Anyway, I have bought all of my mandatory teeny bottles of stuff and am just organizing medication lists and baby supplies, and I will be a good little Canadian and submit to the mandatory virtual colonoscopy aka security inspection all of the law-abiding citizens have to endure.....but I will still insist that it is stupid as shit!

Funny thing about the baby supplies. I never really thought about all the stuff I'd have to bring besides the car seat, but it turns out that I am going to have to do a WalMart run when I arrive. Baby food is not sold or provided at the resort of course, and shipping it involves potential breakage and customs thingies and weight overloads. They have Gerber and other major brands so I'm hoping it will all work out. Diapers are expensive at the resort, so either I bring those and wipes and a bunch of other things, or just pray and hope I can fit it all in. Our Pack and Play weighs 3000 pounds so I'm thinking about buying or renting a lighter one like the new Phil and Ted's portable foldable 8 pounder. (Too expensive for a new one I will rarely use, am thinking about Craigslist?) My very lovely sweet friend loaned me her Quinny Zapp travel stroller; which also happens to work well on beach sand and yet fold tiny! I love my bugaboo but the risk of it being crushed by a stupid airline accident, i-yi-yi. No.

I am busy buying the kids clothes that fit and shoes and I've scheduled a hair cut and color. I'm going for a wax and manicure/pedicure this week. I bought some new lightweight luggage, enough for all of us to be able to pack! I even got another friend to loan me her old iPod Touch so I can surf without risking a $1000 bill from stupid Rogers for international data roaming or risking my laptop getting stolen.

I just haven't bought myself any clothes. No bathing suits. I have some old shorts and tops and things that fit. But except for sandals & water shoes, nothing so far. Mostly because I haven't lost as much weight as I'd like. And what I have lost, hasn't come off of my stomach. My face and back and legs and arms are skinnier, but I think that the slacker muscles are not going to suddenly tighten up prior to my trip. I am out of proportion, you know?

Which means I am really really going to look four or five months pregnant, unless I wear a bathing suit with German engineering so tight, it's like a girdle. Never mind the lifting of sagging things I'll need! Not very comfortable on a beach....

I am trying not to care, but as we've discussed, I am vain. I try to transcend it and be better and even kinder to myself. But in the end, I am obsessed.....

So any more travel advice, tips, ideas, thoughts, offers of free instant painless plastic surgery?

Friday, March 13, 2009


Am very tired now and amazed I got home. Always take a cab, even if your close friend says he'll give you a ride home, because even stone cold sober he might just be the world's worst driver! Wow--who knew?

Sigh...anyway I chatted with many nice people and had too many martinis with funky names. Am going to regret this when I try on bathing suits and shorts next week. I want to go away but I kind of wish I had another week to lose weight and get organized.

So I chatted with various staffers about the foster kids who died in care, (h/t Jade) and the various issues I get het up about like why aren't there any former foster kids or adoptees or birth parents on ANY Children's Aid Board of Directors in the province...and we'll see what happens with that.

Maybe nothing, but eh, can't hurt to moan about it can it, right?

I also introduced my lovely friends who gave me a ticket tonight to a whole load of cabinet ministers and staffers but sadly they left before I could really get them drinking and enjoying. Oh well...you know I always find it strange that people think you need money to have access. Meanwhile the most influential people I know are all just plain old volunteers who show up to knock on doors. Sure, maybe when the politician is Obama, but even he had a local campaign at one point, right?

So real people must have met him way back when, right?

Am going to try and digest the extremely over done well done tenderloin now. Oy. Blech.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Speeches and dinners

I'm at the Ontario Liberal Party Heritage dinner tonight and laughing and have a great time.

Isn't getting the right hormone balance just the best fucking medicine EVAH?? Feel like six million bucks today dudes.

Did you know that the recession is almost over? Seriously, the bull is back, the bear is dead. The layoffs will unfortunately continue, but the market has hit bottom and things will only go up from here.

I know this....really.

Remember when I yipped on and on about the credit crisis and you all didn't know WTF crazy Aurelia was going on about? I was right, and bad shit happened.

Well take some hope my friends. It's time to think positive and it's not just the estrogen talking my peeps.

So on the dinner:

Dalton has some good jokes tonight as always. Very dry wit. Stupid me cannot follow the french bits. He has the hope meme down pat, and is working the inspiration hard.

It's good---I'm a fan of helping the poor and education spendng etc.

Okay, ten minutes in, I am distracted and want to know when dinner is served. Sorry Dalton baby, time to sit down! I'm hungry!

More later....

Saturday, March 07, 2009


Did you ever hear the old saying, when you A-S-S-U-M-E you make an 'ASS' out of 'U' and 'ME'? Yeah, I'm sure you have. Trouble is, lots of people still do it.

Like a now deleted commenter on my previous post, who is not a regular reader, but came here, because of a tweet I did. He thinks that I, and I guess--anyone who disagrees with Mayor David Miller of Toronto is arrogant, asinine, illogical, and what was the other one? Oh yeah, negative.

He assumed that because my current form of birth control is not working and making me feel shitty and depressed that therefore, I am not allowed to comment on politics. That somehow, my brain no longer works. You know, the been-there-done-that hysterical hormonal women theme? Just because I hated David Miller.

Well, to clear up a few things---I feel much better now. A different pill and a nice estrogen boost and I'm much happier.

I still hate David Miller though. Always have, always will. Our current high pretentious dipshit Mayor frankly does a terrible job. I can proudly say that I have never ever voted for him. Not when he was a councillor, and not either time he ran for mayor. I know a lot of people who voted for him and are deeply ashamed of that fact and would give anything to take it back. I don't feel bad for them though.

You see, my brain, and my ability to assess someone's character still work just friggin fine even though I have some hormonal swings. They work fine even when I am depressed and they work just friggin fine when I am filled with joy. And even if they didn't work fine---guess what?

In Canada, there is no test for mental fitness to be a citizen or a voter or a commentator on political life. And politicians have an obligation to listen to me and to represent the mentally unwell's INTERESTS just as much as they have to represent the perfect white upstanding mentally balanced Bay Street lawyer in a suit.

I am equal to everyone else anywhere in this country. When I am medicated, when I am unmedicated, when I dress nice, when I don't, when my IQ is 60 or when it is 160, when I am male or when I am female, when I am in a wheelchair or striding down a street, when I am angry or happy or sad or suicidal or jumping for joy. No matter what is happening in my life, we never lose our right to free speech, or our right to tell a politician to FUCK RIGHT OFF BECAUSE HE SUCKS AT HIS JOB.

You see, this weekend, there is some sort of celebration going on about Toronto's 175th Birthday. No one really knows, because there has been almost no publicity about it, and really, no news coverage. It's that boring. Plus, in this economy, c'mon, if you are going to do something to draw in tourists, make it more fun than root canal. So, in light of the fact that his endless tweets about this boring drivel thing were making me want to stick a fork in my eye---I said so.

I could put up with it if we weren't facing total economic collapse in this city as a direct result of his incompetent leadership, but this guy really has no right to ever leave his desk at this point, much less tweet about it. Toronto has been teetering on the brink of budget collapse for years now all through the boom and he has done nothing. He was going to cut the out of control police budget and spend some money on crime prevention. Instead---he has spent over $400 million hiring new cops and every time the police ask for money, he's their go to guy. Cops now represent over 50% of the city budget when we are in a nationwide crime decline, but he says yes whenever they start some big freak out about gangs and guns. Considering today's headlines, you'd think he'd reconsider, but I'm not holding my breath.

Our streets are a disaster because he refuses to coordinate the private contractors and public road repair crews so that all of them work together at once. Instead they just randomly wander all over town ripping up streets and digging, one year for gas pipes, next year for water, six months later for hydro, a year later for high speed DSL repair. Nevermind that they could just plan it out and do it right all at once in such a way that people could walk, bike and drive around this city without losing their minds from potholes and construction debris. Then again, the city unions we have might object to actually working!

(And before anyone says it--I'm a union woman. I've been a member and I've organized and guess what? I want a good wage and benefits, but I also expect to work productively....I have zero respect for people who think union means they get to sit on their ass and only do their minimum quota, so don't even bother.)

But the thing I really hate about him the most is a problem that relates to my favourite subject. Health, specifically children's health. There are thousands of homes in Toronto that are contaminated with lead intake pipes, and now have lead in the water. Both from city pipes running down streets and pipes leading into houses. (The report has the nerve to use the term "acceptable levels of lead"; umm, no, there is no acceptable level of lead. None.) I already knew about this because before we bought this house I checked to make sure that the street pipe had been replaced, and when I discovered our intake pipe had lead, I paid to have it replaced. It cost a mint, but having struggled with learning problems, no way was I ever going to risk my babies having more problems because of some easy to fix water problem!

Years ago when we did it, during Miller's first term, the guy at the city had actually tried to convince me not to have it done, because "the crud on the inside of the pipe will protect you from the lead." Ummmmm, yah.

And who will protect me from the crud?

Not to mention the bacteria hidden IN the crud?

Anyway, you'd think that knowing that water is a basic human right, and that lead destroys children's brains and adult's body parts like kidneys and livers, that replacing these pipes would be his number one priority, his sine qua none, his reason for working round the clock, his budget centerpiece.

Not so much.

In fact, on his watch, the money that was supposed to be spent fixing the lead pipes was spent on a deep water cooling system for the downtown office buildings instead. Privately owned downtown office buildings, which get their air conditioning from Toronto Hydro, a separately financed entity, which could easily afford to finance the cooling operation without a dime of city water money.

David Miller and his cronies took the money that the taxpayers gave them to save us from lead poisoning, and they used it to install discount air conditioning for rich white dudes on Bay Street.

So was I hormonal when I tweeted? Sure...but I was still right, dead on.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Marvelon not so fucking marvelous

Broke down last night convinced everything was shit, and cried all night. My husband clueless----I decided to google all the medication I was on.

Guess what? Marvelon, my new birth control pill is reputed to cause hormonal hell and depression and other nasty side effects more than other birth control pills. Lovely. I knew I was feeling odd but I figured that as long as the bleeding stopped, I should not complain. I am trying a different pill as of today, one with another type of progesterone, a type I have had before and don't remember causing me to become a psycho.

Dr.Google saves the day again.

Now if I can just hold off the pit of despair while my body switches onto the new one.....

Hanging on for dear life here.....

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Slightly Better--Almost

I think you are all right. February sucks and we need this damn vacation more than anyone we know needs a vacation. I am grumpy, Mr.Cotta is grumpy, the kids are touchy, our relatives and friends are all touchy and pissed off. I know it's the economy too, but the february blahs, plus a bad economy really makes it a special kind of suckage.

We are attempting better moods. Sort of.

So feckin tired of wrestling with older kids emotionally and babies having such fear of strangers that they stick like glue. I love holding Julius, but five minutes to pee and change my clothes would be nice as well. (I have now mastered the internet, blackberries, and eating while holding ol' cling wrap baby, just not the toilet.)

And no he won't go to the nanny either. He used to love her to pieces, but now he freaks and only wants me. Which just goes to show that babies still know their moms and attach to them even if they have a nanny right from early on! Heh

I was joking with her though that her day will come soon. I figure in a couple of weeks he'll hate me and love her, and no I won't be upset, it's just a normal phase. But damn I'm already thinking about all the things I'm going to get done!!

Speaking of which, we have very little time before we leave for vacation, and there are too many things to do!!!!!

Any assvice for me about travelling with babies in a post 9/11 world? Any product ideas? He has his own seat, but we haven't done anything else.

Any thoughts?