The Frozen African

The Frozen African

Saturday, November 18, 2017

RECAP FROM MARCH TO OCTOBER 2017


Hi guys ! Hope your weekend is going well so far !

Here's a quick recap (sorry long post) of our lives until now:

-After we came back from Las Vegas, we decided trying to be healthy and working out, mainly because I needed to lose weight in order to start fertility treatments.

We tried to figure out what would work best for us, as we have tried numerous times before with diets and failed, and the one thing that seemed to stand out for us and would push us toward our goal was the Paleo diet. If you are not familiar with it, it mainly consist on eating more veggies and meats. So we had to stop eating less process foods like pasta, bread, peanuts, rice, dairy, beans, and so on.

Was it hard? Fuck yes ! Our bodies went haywire for 1 week and half, but then adjusted itself afterwards.

My favorite picture of myself after months on the Paleo diet !


In addition of this, I started working out at our local gym (very convenient) 3 times a week, and Guillaume started going to the gym at his work (lucky bastard!) whenever he had free time.

Guillaume and I have worked our butts off to lose the extra weight, and it has definitely helped with my health issues. I have not had herniated disc pain for months (*knock on wood*) and I have been sleeping a little bit better. Guillaume has been getting stronger and he has been able to lift me a few inches off the ground, which I consider a huge victory for us especially since I used to refuse it.

So proud of him !

Working hard as always...

Not the most flattering photo, but who cares LOL !

At first, we thought we would stop with the Paleo diet until we reached part of our goal weights, but we decided to continue it and re-introduced back some foods like bread (though lately it has been gluten-free). Being 85% Paleo is still tough at times, but we know the pros outweighs the cons so we are excited to see how long we can continue it.



-In June, I accepted a full time position in the accounting department in the farming company I was temping. I was so happy to finally being done moving from place to place, and just have stability. Of course no job is perfect. I had to make a few sacrifices. First is my salary . It is not as much as I would liked, but I am hoping that after a year, I would re-consider my options and see where I stand. Second is my commute. I drive a bit longer, but I do avoid highways, and I do get home a bit late. I have less time with DJ during the weekdays, but I try to make the best of it. But I am thankful that Guillaume is awesome at taking care of DJ until I get home.



-In early July, Guillaume's dad got remarried in Brighton and we had fun at the wedding ! It was good to see extended family and meet new family members. I wish I could tell you we took a lot of photos, but nope. #majorfail

Instead of a hangover photo after partying at the wedding, this is a "parent need to wake up early with toddler for breakfast" ! DJ is so stylish with his hat !


Late July, we celebrated our 5 year anniversary. Wow ! It is amazing how long we have been together and the shit & craziness we have endured, and still love each other. I can't wait for another 5 years with this guy.

Hmmm sexy...


-In August, we finally went to Ottawa gay pride ! It was short and sweet and fun ! DJ has fun watching the floats go by. 

Happy to finally here !

We also discovered dim sum for the first time and we are ADDICTED !!!



-In early September, Guillaume had PRK laser eye surgery to correct his vision. It was actually his 2nd surgery this year as he had his first one in May to correct his double vision. The 1st surgery took a few hours, whereas the 2nd only took 10 mins tops by laser. For both surgeries, he recovered well. Now, he is glasses- free ! Yay !

1st surgery pre-op...all smiles but nervous...

Post-op...so loopy and tired

2nd surgery...so happy not to need glasses and he could see me very well !


Late September, it was DJ's 3rd birthday and we actually did an birthday party by his request. I was hoping to be a lazy mom and just have grandparents over, but DJ wanted one. So we had a Super Hero birthday party with half chocolate/half vanilla cake and his friends. Our house was chaotic, but we had fun. We had a genius idea to get disposable coffee cups for the parents so we could make coffee in case someone wanted it (we had a breakfast birthday party) and oh boy I will do it again ! Our coffee machine was on non-stop until everyone left! Best $ 20 spent !

1st birthday cupcake on his actual birthday !
I love this photo!
Loot bags all ready for birthday party the next day...
Yay cake !
It was actually a pretty good cake !
Following day, small birthday lunch with grandparents
Lego = very happy kid !!!

Quick update= now that we have a 3yr old, we are amazed how Dj has grown ! He is talking so much, asking questions (“why do you sleep in Mommy's room?”), understanding us more, and love helping. We have also entered the Lego and super-hero obsession phase. Yay! Seriously yay because Guillaume and I grew up on them so we have no issues about them, except that Legos are sometimes expensive and DJ is particular about what kind of Lego he wants...oy vey!
We also deal with toddler tantrums, but they seems more emotionally charged other than the plain refusal to do a task, so we are learning to find new ways to parent. It is fun, nerve-wracking, and wacky at times.

Batman to the rescue !!


-In October, we spent Thanksgiving weekend close to Toronto so we could visit Guillaume's grandma and go to the Lego attraction park. We liked the park, but DJ didn't like how noisy it got so we didn't spent a long time there. But we made sure to get a Lego set before leaving ! #Priorities !

Legoland ! Trust me we are ALL EXCITED !!!
Impressive Lego structures of downtown Toronto
I love this mural !
For Halloween, we did the usual trick & treating around our neighbourhood but we didn't stay too long because we were recovering from feeling sick the day before. Guillaume and I also went to our first Halloween party together and it was fun.



Now that we are in November, it is crazy to think we are one month or so away from Christmas.

I am not ready for the craziness of holiday shopping to start...

Sunday, October 22, 2017

LOST IN A DAZE


I'M BACK !!!

I know...i know it has been awhile…

Life and work got crazy busy here and trying to find the time to blog was tough, physically and mentally.

Gosh I missed blogging !

But now I think I found the perfect time to do it a.k.a 6 am when the house is quiet and everybody is sleeping (well Guillaume is half awake/half asleep).

So where did I leave you guys off?

Oh yes the Vegas trip !

I had debated recapping the whole trip, but there is more important things that have happened that I HAVE TO TALK ABOUT ! But I will do a quick summary of Vegas.

So Vegas was great !

We stayed at the Stratosphere hotel and took the train to navigate our way around the Strip..I highly recommend it with young kids in tow. DJ loved riding the train back and forth, and there were times where he did not want to get out at all and a few tantrums ensued, but we handled them fast. Though we got a few looks. Have you tried to put a kid in time out in a busy casino hotel? Yep not easy !!!
 

Quick note about the train: I felt that it was an easier way to travel. HOWEVER, I hated that some of the train stops were not as convenient as we had to go through a few smoky casinos with loud slot machines which are highly distracting. That being said, we used Uber quite a few times too when we were too tired to get to the train station and/or wanted to go explore outside the Strip.

We did go to the Great Shark Reef aquarium at the MGM Grand hotel, but DJ freaked out when he saw the sharks ! Fastest way to go through the exhibit when your kid is trying to run away from the sharks and find the exit ! We took a few fast pics and left. We were a bit dissapointed, but hey what can you do…

One of my favorite things we did on this trip was enjoying the pool at our hotel, relaxing most of times, and trying this taco place called Tacos El Gordo (we Googled it before going to Vegas...yes we are nerds). OMG I loved this taco place so much ! Highly recommended ! Though go there early because they have busy times and the line was long, but so worth it !!

Other great food experiences we have enjoyed that were the best in our mind were brunch at Paris Las Vegas hotel (DJ enjoyed the crepes) and dinner at Caesar Palace (definitely so much food but so good!).

One thing thing DJ absolutely loved was the Container Park on Fremont Street. Highly recommend it for kids and adults alike ! It is a park made out of shipping containers, and we had a blast. Actually, Guillaume and DJ had a blast running around while I sat on the shade and relaxed.

Another thing we thought DJ would enjoy, but turned out to be another total failed was going to Tournament of the Kings at the Excalibur hotel. The show was very entertaining (Guillaume and I have been to one similar show back in Maryland), but it was too noisy for DJ and freaked out/cried and he stayed in Guillaume's lap which was uncomfortable for him. Close to the end of the show, Guillaume had to take DJ out in the hallway. Luckily, there was an arcade there and DJ was able to play there, but poor G was not able to enjoy the show as much as he would.

Other than this major failed, we did enjoy our vacation in Vegas ! Guillaume and I do want to go back by ourselves next time, probably in a few years or so when DJ gets older and my in-laws are willing to watch him for a few days.

Brand new tattoo in Vegas...i have become a cliche !


Hanging out at the Container Park

So cute !

This face!

Beautiful view of the Strip

Food porn ! Delicious crepe at Paris hotel
The High Roller ! The perfect way to enjoy a view of the Strip when you are afraid of heights

Family selfie !
Dance party inside the High Roller !

Tournament of Kings at Excalibur


Finally tried In N Out...we like it !

Container Park

Ouch! Jumping into a pile of Legos...not so fun

Quick photo at the Great Shark Reef at the MGM

P.S.= Our hearts and prayers are with the victims of the Vegas shooting.


Friday, March 10, 2017

MARCH BREAK 2017!!!!!

I'm supposed to finish the last post for "ALL ABOARD CRAZY TRAIN" today, but i realized i have no time left because....

WE ARE GOING ON VACATION TODAY !!


YAY !!! VEGAS BABY!!!

Actually i should call it "VEGAS with toddler"!

This vacation is much needed after all the shitstorm that has been happening here !

All of the bags have been 98% packed and we need to clean the house a bit.

We are dropping DJ at daycare this morning (i am actually late to wake him up), run a few errands, go to last minute physio appt (my back started flaring up again...boo...hopefully physio help so no pain during vacation!), and then head straight to the airport.

I will see you guys in a few days !!!

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND !!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

ALL ABOARD THE CRAZY TRAIN !! (PART 2)

So to recap from the last post, i quit my full time job and the reason i gave was medical/health reason.

This is not a bogus reason. It is very real.

Let me bring you back to last year...

Guillaume and i had been trying to have another child for a year early January 2016.

We decided it was time to see a fertility/reproductive specialist and we made an appointment with our primary doctor to get a referral around November. We were able to see a specialist in December and we had to wait until my next period, around the end of December, to start the tests they recommended us to do.

Here is our timeline:

Dec. 6 : First appt with specialist

Dec. 30: My cycle Day 1 start and i am supposed to call to schedule a baseline ultrasound and blood/hormones test but clinic is closed for holidays so i have to wait until it reopens. The baseline ultrasound test is to check your follicle count (before they mature as eggs), check your fallopian tubes, and check to see if i had any cysts.

Dec. 22: semen analysis for Guillaume (due to G’s medical condition, we knew that his count was a bit low but we were not sure how low it would be)

Jan. 2: baseline ultrasound & blood/hormones test

Jan. 9: hysterosonogram test; this is one also look at the state of my ovaries, cervix, and fallopian tubes. I heard horror stories of how this one hurt a lot. Luckily, the clinic asked me to take Ibuprofin prior to the test and i think they also precribed with a pain medication just in case to take prior to the procedure. 
The procedure was a bit uncomfortable (TMI saline is injected inside your vagina so not the greatest feeling!), but it is not hurt as much as i thought it would. I think the meds helped. At the end of the procedure, the doctor that did (not mine) said that the saline had trouble going into my left tube but she thought it was a technical error as it happens a few times. 
Afterwards, i went to work and i had a bit of cramping, but that’s about it.

Jan 19 : Progesterone test to check if i ovulated normally.

Feb. 13: Follow up appt with specialist...

So at the follow up appt, the specialist Dr. J told us that G’s semen was actually good (we were beyond excited) and my tests came back all normal and i ovulated normally, except that...my left tube was blocked. When i asked her if we could do an IUI, she told me the clinic had a weight restriction for IUI. I was shocked because their website did not specify this detail and she failed to tell us that detail at our first appointment.

What was the doctor’s recommendation/treatment plan? For me to lose weight and come back when i lose 40 lbs or so just in case we have to do IVF. And nothing else. The appointment ended that way. No words of wisdom. No word of encouragement. No alternatives. No FUCKING nothing !!

To say that i was devastated is an understatement.

www.giphy.com


I had felt somebody took my heart and crushed it by stomping on it a million of times and then set it on fire ! I wish i could have slapped Dr. J !! I was livid when i left the Dr.’s office. G and i sat in the car for an hour or so trying to take in the news, and i lost it at G (poor guy!). We talked and talked. We figured out that if i could reduce my hours and focus on losing the weight, i could achieve it in 4-7 months.

After i calmed down, we drove back to work and i could not focus on anything. I asked my supervisor if i could reduce my hours but she said she really needed somebody full time. After this, i was still distraught and i was so mad. I decided that if my job could not be accomodated, i would have to leave and focus on being healthy to get pregnant. Plus, the work commute and work culture was getting at me to the point i was starting to get deliberately mean to others (also i had a few bouts of crying fits in the car while on the phone with G which scared the crap out of him and myself too). 

I thought if i slept on it and the next day, i came to the same decision, then i would submit my 2 weeks notice the same day.

By the time i got home, i had asked a few friends and acquaintances (G asked some of his co-workers about their experiences at the clinic), and it was unbelieavble to get feedback from others that had the same tube blocked issue and their doctors recommeded different treatment plans. Some were prescribed medications to ovulate on their open tubes and were able to get pregnant successfully. Others asked for their hystersonogram to be redone and the results showed that their tube was not blocked. 

 I WAS STUNNED !!!!!!!!!

www.giphy.com


I felt like my doctor failed to give me all of my options and I WAS SO MAD !!!!!

www.giphy.com


The next day, i asked G to call the clinic and request a new doctor for a second opinion, and i submitted my 2 weeks notice. 

When i submitted the letter to HR, i felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders.

I felt free!!! 

I started to not care as much (i mean cared about my client and my work), but i didn’t let things get to me too much because i knew there was an end date.

www.giphy.com


I was so happy !!!!!

Plus i was happy because i had another job lined up just in case ! Mama didn’t raise no fool !!!


To be continued....



Wednesday, March 8, 2017

CRAZY CRAZY THINGS HAPPENING OVER HERE !

Back to blogging again after a crazy month !

I hope i get to blog more often. I miss it and honestly i need to blog so i can release stress and tension in my life.

Ok whoops sorry getting ahead of myself !

I was trying to figure out how to write this post effectively so i can explain all the events that happened in order, but i think i would have to jump a bit. Don’t worry it will make sense !

So here is the biggest news so far: I FUCKING QUIT MY FULL TIME JOB !!!!!

www.giphy.com


I KNOW !! IT IS FUCKING CRAZY !! I made the decision in a split second (more like a few hours later), but it was definately a long time coming.

When i started there, it was going fine. The commute was long but ok. Then the more months i was there, the commute started to affect me ( i had to change my hours to make it work). 

I was always tired when i got home. I would help make dinner, do bedtime routine with DJ, and crash in bed with my phone until i fell asleep. 

Sometimes Guillaume and i would do “couple time” by watching a movie/tv show, but i was not fully into it. Some days were better.

In addition of the commute, my workplace started to be a toxic. I had some great co-workers and others were just not that friendly. I am not sure if it is the Quebecois work culture or maybe i had just “cliquey” co-workers, but i felt a bit isolating. I tried to make an effort, but it did not make too much of a difference. 

Though G pointed out that Quebecois are very proud of their language and i may have alientated some of my co-workers by speaking too much English. I mean it sound ridiculous but it makes sense. I mean my work required me to speak French and English to the clients (whcih i did beautifully if i may say so), but i had the habit of speaking mainly in English at work. 

I am sorry and i don’t want to insult anybody and what i am about to say is going to be an unpopular opinion, but Quebois French is not my cup of tea. I don’t consider it good French like Parisian French. It is more “slangey”. So trying to converse with my co-workers was sometimes easy, and other days i would understand half of what they say. Sometimes they would laugh if i said a French word that did not make sense to them. 

Ahhh !!! Anyway, weird work culture.

Another factor was that it seems that the management was not taking our accounting department seriously and we were always pulling our hairs trying to please them.

I gave my two weeks notice mid February and my last day was March 3rd.

Do i regret it ? HELL NO !! Sure, it was tough leaving my supervisor that was so nice to me, but it had to be done.

Do you want to know what reason i gave for me leaving? Medical/health reason.

Which brings us to the MAIN reason and the ultimate catalyst of why i had decided to leave my job.

To be continued on the next post...i promise it won’t be long...


P.S.= Rest assured ladies and gents! I already got another job...sorry for the tease! I will explain more next !

www.giphy.com

Friday, February 3, 2017

LIFE UPDATES SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER 2016

First and foremost, Happy very belated Christmas and very belated Happy New Year !

Hope your holidays went well and relaxing !

Ours went well. It was nice for my mom to come from Ivory Coast and spend time with DJ. As for NYE, we went to bed before midnight, but it was nice to watch the Ryan Seacrest special for a bit.

Now, back to updates:

- the first week of September was the Russell Fair and it was the first time i have been there. DJ had a blast going on rides.




-Few weeks before DJ's birthday, i had 3 of my wisdom teeth removed (4th one was supposed to be removed, but it was too hard for dentist so i will remove it another time). I decided to stay awake during the procedure because going under terrifies me. The process went well, but i was quietly freaking out in the chair. After the removal, i was in deep pain. I had researched for weeks what would help me feel better and i decided to eat soft ice cream and Ensure meal supplement drinks all weekend.
Luckily, i scheduled the procedure on a Friday and DJ was in daycare so Guillaume was able to help me. During the weekend, my mother in law took DJ for a few hours and we had a babysitter on Sunday so i could rest.By Monday, i was starving. I think at one point, i started crying because all i wanted was to eat something. ANYTHING !! I took a few bites of food here and there, but chewing was still tough for me.
 I went back to work on a Tuesday, but i still a bit sore. It took me a few weeks to recover and finally eat normal food, but i'm glad this is done. I will probably go back to get my last wisdom tooth removed later this year.

- September 29, DJ turned 2. Compared to the party we threw for his 1st birthday, we decided to keep this one low key and just have G's parents come over and eat cake.





The difference between DJ at 1 and at 2 is astonishing. Now, he understand much more what we say and he is working on making full sentences. He is much more affectionate, so many smiles with a mix of tantrums. Oh yes tantrums ! We had all kinds: the throw himself on the floor, the deep sighing, and the loud crying. But i realised that now he is 2 yr and few months, we try to explain to him why we no and sometimes the tantrums stop, but other times it does not work. But we know that it shows improvement (i think) and most of the time now we see our little DJ turn into a child. HOW DID IT HAPPEN?!?! Yesterday, i had a slight panic because i realised that in 1 yr and half and our little DJ will be in kindergarten and i ALMOST started to cry ! Oy vey !

- Early October, we went to a food truck rally in Orleans and we had fun. I am obsessed with food trucks !! I ate one of the famous rice bowl from Angry Dragonz and it was delicious and so full !

Excited to see Chase !


- We spent Thanksgiving weekend with Guillaume's grandmother and mother in Mount Forest and celebrated my 31st birthday there. It was nice and relaxing.

- IT FINALLY HAPPENED !!  We dropped the side of DJ's crib. At first, we were waiting until he started to climb out of his crib to make the change, But then we realized that DJ liked when we were cuddling with him before putting him to bed. Sometimes it would be hard to put him back to bed because he wanted to keep being cuddled. So the change was purely our choice so we could cuddle a little bit with him in bed.

It actually went well and DJ was excited about his new "bed". We made sure to put a comforter down and we installed a pool noddle inside his crib sheet to prevent him from falling down.

Guillaume's shirt got wet when he took DJ from his bath


Everything went well. Then, a few days later....

We realized that we were cramped in his "bed" when we were cuddling at night and trying to "expertly" get out of the bed without waking up DJ was very hard !

So we decided to "adult" and actually buy DJ a new bed. This one actually transform from a toddler bed to a full size bed so he can use it when he gets older. Guillaume installed the bed when we went to visit grandma and when he came home, he was so excited ! No tears about the old one ! Bonus= he had his own blanket and pillow.

So now, he is fully transitioned to a big boy bed. YAY! Milestone completed !



Ironically, we learned few weeks later that IKEA recalled the SNIGLAR crib!!! (please see link if you have one and haven't done so yet http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/recall-alert-rappel-avis/hc-sc/2016/60748r-eng.php ).
So we went back to IKEA, returned the crib (we received full refund for the price that we originally bought it 2 years), and bought a few sets of sheets the new bed.

So it was actually a pretty good decision to get the new bed early so it would have not been too much of a shock to DJ. Yay ! High fives all around !!



- After coming back from the wedding in Edmonton, my left leg started to be achy, but i thought maybe i needed to stretch more as DJ sat on me for a long time during the red-eye flight at night. I went to massage therapy (small relief) and acupuncture (worked for a few sessions and then it stopped).

Then, a month or so later, i turned in bed and woke up from a pain in my spine. I thought i twisted wrong (as it happened before, but this pain was more intense). I went to work and the pain intensified to the point i could not stand nor sit anymore. I was able to leave and drive slowly home. I called Guillaume at work and he left work to be with me. I took Advil and took a hot bath with epsom salt which helped for a bit, but as soon as i got up and laid in bed, the pain got tremendously worse. G called the Health Unit and they recommended that i go see my primary doctor within a few hours if the pain does not stop. Waiting was so painful and when we finally went to see the doctor, i started crying when i saw her because i was so done with the pain! All i wanted was for her to stab me with a needle with some sort of magical pain reliever. After examining me, she diagnosed me with a herniated disc and gave me prescription for pain meds. G drove fast to the pharmacy so i could get some relief. I laid in bed for the rest of the day and tried to relax.

For weeks, i tried to find a treatment that would work without meds and physiotherapy was one that helped the most (using orthopedic insoles from the podiatrist also helped as a secondary treatment). I have been doing physio for months now and it is feeling much better than it was before.

-Unto the "nerdy" part of our lives, we started to play a cooperative game called Pandemic: Legacy around mid October. If you are not familiar with the game, the point is to eradicate diseases on the board with the help of other players as different events unfold. It is so fun and very strategic. The Legacy part takes place over the period of a year and so many things happen, and you have to try to win every month or you have to re-do it (with a maximun of 2 tries) before you can move on. Currently, we are on July month and trying desperately to move on lol !



Sorry ! I have been so slow to update the blog, but i promise i have a lot of things to talk about but be patient with me and i will explain everything !!

Have a great weekend everybody !!