9

Eat your vegetables!

On Wednesday, my beautiful, 14-year-old niece K told me that she was accepted into Wexford Collegiate’s art program for grade 9!  It was something we had been hoping for and praying for and finally my families prayers were answered – she got in!  I can totally see her graduating from this art school and travelling to Asia to create Anime art with other artists; blue hair, piercings and maybe a tattoo or two.  She is so unique I am jealous at times of her crazy talent and abilities! 

Her mom and I went with K and her siblings to dinner that night to celebrate when she dropped the bomb on me: she wants to be a vegetarian!  WHAT???  We are a meat-eating family…no one in my family except my cousins fiance is a vegetarian and I can’t even fathom what that will look like in our house.  All of our meals are centered around meat – turkey, cottage roll, chicken…and SUSHI! 

K quickly clarified – she will eat fish, because she can’t give up Makimono; like her auntie, she is obsessed with the AYCE Japanese restaurant in Pickering ON.  If she had decided to go completely veggie, I am not sure how I would have supported her.  I mean I am sure I would, I know I would…but it would be so hard to have meals together that she would eat.  Already she only eats caesar salad and mashed potatoes when we have Swiss Chalet – weirdo.  However I love this kid, she is so special she makes my heart happy so I will figure out what I can do to feed her more than just side dishes, even if that means Tofurkey for Thanksgiving! 

Maybe not.

Anyway, I started thinking, what if my little Koko bean decided to be a vegetarian, or worse (not worse, but harder, ya know what I mean?) a Vegan!!!  No animal products whatsoever!!  Holy crap I may lose my mind!

I love meat.  All meat except bacon and that’s just cause I don’t like the taste of bacon…I still love pork!! 

If Koko decides her love for animals outweighs her love for greasy cheeseburgers, I will have to support that decision.  I will have to send emails to PETA to find out what projects he/she can get involved in to encourage others not to eat meat…

However, I am his/her mother and I am a proud meat-eater (please don’t throw fake blood on me).

Love Nicole

4

Back on the baby train!

In 2009 I had a surgery to remove a sinus like cavity from my tailbone.  In 2010 and 2012 I had the exact same surgery because for some reason I was unable to heal.  Now, it’s kind of disgusting so I am not going to go into any detail here, but it is a painful recovery and when I was told by my dermatologist that I would need to go back and have a fourth surgery I was fed up and frustrated.  I put all baby plans on hold until I saw a surgeon – a new surgeon, a new hospital, a fresh start.

I saw a wonderful Dr yesterday and he told me he wanted to observe me for a few months before deciding on a game plan because he doesn’t know me, my history or my past surgery successes and failures.  I asked him about my plans to have a child and he told me to go for it!  Keep trying to get pregnant, that this issue is really small in the realm of medical problems and if I get pregnant I can wait till after the baby is born to have this procedure done and it won’t be affected by carrying a child (or two??). 

This, unknowingly to me, was exactly what I wanted to hear.  I hated putting off getting pregnant (or at least trying) because I want this.  I deserve this.  So I am going to ignore the little stab of discomfort on my rear and move on.  I see my fertility specialist on February 11th (my fathers birthday) and I am hoping she has a new pregnancy game plan for me because clearly going natural IUI isn’t working!

I’ll keep ya posted!

Love

Nicole

2

He should have told me…

 When someone dies, someone you are close to, your world changes.  I thought I was prepared, I mean my dad had experienced heart attacks before, we had talked about where his will was located, what his wishes were, we knew.  My brother and I knew everything we needed to.  Didn’t we? 

There was some things my dad didn’t tell me before he left me for his eternity, some things I wish I had known, or thought to ask.  Here is a small glimpse into conversations I wish we had taken time to have: 

The money talk. 

My dad had numerous conversations with me about money, but they all went like this:

Dad – Nik, you need to stop spending and start saving

Me – ya ya, I will

Dad – How come your VISA bill is so high, what are you spending your money on?

Me – ya ya I will…wait what? 

Clearly I never spent the time to listen to him, or discuss with him anything financial.  I was fortunate to live rent free, have only my bills to cover and because I have a good job, I never had to save or budget or learn about RRSP’s, Mutual funds, TFSA’s, Stocks or any other financial term.  I never had to understand mortgages or loans or interest percentage rates.  Essentially, my dad being so gracious and spoiling me in this sense screwed me over the moment he passed.  I have no clue what I am doing now.  I have the bank guy throwing a lot of verbal diarrhea my way, confusing me left right and centre, I have friends giving me their advice and all I really want is to sit down with my dad and say – HEY!  Tell me why I should or shouldn’t get __A__, __B__ and __C__.  I know he would explain it to me in idiot terms because I suck with technical jargon and he knows this!  I would be able to walk into any bank and say, do this, this and this and that’s all – confidently, unwavering.  Instead I walk in, sweating, terrified the big scary bank guy is going to take all my money and I end up with nothing! 

The “you’re going to miss me when I’m gone talk”

Okay so he said this NUMEROUS times to me.  Usually when I was annoyed at him for one reason or another, or when I was going out with friends and he wanted me to stay home.  However, we never really actually talked about this.  How serious this hurt was going to feel.  He lost his father when he was older so maybe he didn’t realize, but damn, it hurts so much – daily – I can’t describe it.  We didn’t talk about how to make the pain go away.  We didn’t talk about things I should or could do to honor him and keep him happy while he’s watching me from above (I’m pretty sure getting a dog was NOT on his list).

The “car” conversation

My father bought a brand new car with cash every three years for as long as I can remember.  He was fortunate to live a lifestyle and have a job that afforded him that luxury.  I am not anywhere near that situation so my car is almost 4 years old and I am not able to buy a new one.  I wouldn’t want to.  I love my car.  However I worry that my mechanic (car dealership) is screwing me over because I am a woman and clearly know diddly squat about cars. (It’s also possible they aren’t and I am not for a moment accusing them of wrongdoing)  I don’t even know if my dad knew anything.  He never needed to, but I feel like a father should teach his daughter how not to get fucked over by a guy needing to increase company profits!  How often should my brake pads be changed?  When do I start to worry about my filter being too dirty not to change? How do I check my oil?  All of these questions I never asked, because I knew I could call my dad up and he would give me his opinion (which 9 times out of 10) I took.

The “future”

I know my dad wanted me to have a baby, a little Khloe or Kristopher (or twins as that was his favorite joke to make), but we didn’t talk about my future goals, what I should or shouldn’t work for.  What are the most important lessons to teach Koko, what he wants me to teach my child about him and our family history?  How did he get me through the teenage years and how am I going to possibly get my child through the teenage years because my patience is nil for stupidness and teenagers are stupid by nature!!!!

 

Here is my advice to all of you, talk with your elders, write notes, and create a diary, a timeline – something.  I didn’t.  There are so many questions and concerns I have now as a woman trying to navigate my way around this big scary world and I am not quite sure how to do it.  You always think there will be more time.  Granted, my father’s passing came as a shock, he was fine (for him) and we weren’t expecting him not to wake up that morning, but still…I wish I had taken more time. 

Six months later, half a year of my life living without his constant guidance and support I feel like I am doing “okay”, but I am frustrated and freaked out half my days.  

I guess in short – I miss him.  I wish I had more time.

Love

Nicole

1

Sometimes all you need is a little sun

So on Christmas day, I gained some much-needed perspective of my life.  I talked about that in my last blog…well last weekend it was really driven home. 

My bff, Alvin took me to Cayo Santa Maria Cuba for my 33rd birthday!  We were there five days and four nights and had a great time!  Now for those of you who remember or followed me at my old blog www.nikilee30.wordpress.com, you’ll remember that Alvin is my ex, yes the ex who broke my very fragile heart in 2010.  However, our relationship didn’t work – for a million and one reasons; we are extremely good at maintaining a friendship, not so great at maintaining a relationship.  So we have worked on things, talked for what seems like a million hours and shockingly – just like that – we are best friends again and on Thursday, we flew out of cold, dark, dreary Toronto into the warmth, the sun and the green of Cuba! 

While there, I started to think; I further began to understand that while my life is NO WHERE near what I want it to be, I have great foundations and a great basis to make great things come true.  I want to live this life and see where I end up.  Maybe I fall short of achieving some dreams, I am sure I will, but maybe I can make some come true.  Maybe I smile more than I frown.  Maybe I laugh more than I cry and if that’s the case, I need to make every day count – I need to work at succeeding, stop whining.  More importantly, I WANT to work at succeeding. 

Now if you want my opinion of Santa Maria and the Memories resort where I stayed you will need to look at Trip Advisors website and click on the Memories Paraiso Azul beach resort and my user tag is Nikilee30.  Just know, I am happy – I was so happy.  I am so lucky to have the greatest best friend in the world that goes out of his way to make sure I am having a good time!  

Winter is a tough time for a lot of people, the darker skies, the colder temperatures; the shortened days lead to people struggling to get through their weeks without a breakdown.  People who suffer with mental health issues struggle even more.  It doesn’t surprise me that January is Mental Health awareness month and Bell’s “let’s talk” day is January 28th.  It is no secret that I have been taking an anti-depressant for a few years now and am under the watch of my doctor and a therapist.  Winter is a time where I am well aware my hibernating-self needs to be careful.  And I am. 

However, when I go tanning (fake tanning) or when I am on the island, baking in the hot sun and relaxing, I feel better.  I think many people do.  These trips are necessary for my soul to thrive.  My aunt understands – she travels at least a few times a year, maybe it’s in our blood.  I hope to continue this tradition after I am fortunate enough to get pregnant and then deliver my little Koko.  He/she will know how to travel, know where to travel and when.  They will see things, I am just beginning to see, taste foods I am just beginning to taste and they will do it all with me.  I can’t wait!

Love

Nicole

4

Houser rich, cash poor?

This is my dilemma.  Now that Christmas is (officially) over, I am starting to think seriously about my future home.  What will it look like?  How many rooms and bathrooms will it have?  Will it have all hardwood floors?  What about a basement?  Most importantly I am thinking, where will it be and how much will it cost me??????? 

My fathers’ favorite show a few years ago was a British show called Location, Location, Location.  It featured two agents who would take a couple (or single person) around England to find a home to buy.  It always came down to location (though having watched some of those episodes myself, the homes were small and cramped and SO expensive I would have moved to a different country)! 

I have two choices right now as I see it. 

Scarborough: Newer town homes on Mondeo Dr in the Birchmount and Ellesmere area, a bit pricey, but they have high maintenance fees because they are condo townhouses so I am NOT excited about that prospect.  However, they are beautiful, close to Simbas doggy day care, close to my work, close to so many of my friends and close to the highway.  Plus, once little Koko Bean finally makes an appearance, it’s quite close to my friend who will be my babysitter.  It is INCREDIBLY convenient.  

Pickering/Ajax: A newer freehold townhouse, that is not as pricey, but in my ideal city, good schools, lots of my friends with kids live nearby and for some reason I have always seen myself moving to Durham.  However, the commute to work will be an extra 30-45 minutes and it’s nowhere near my dog’s day care and nowhere near my babysitter. 

So what’s a girl to do?  Do I pay more money for a great home that is close by everything or do I move further out to save money and be in the neighborhood I’d prefer?? 

This is the kind of question I so desperately want to ask my dad.  He would tell me what to do.  He would guide me and advise me and in the end, I would choose his choice because I trust him.  Not that I don’t trust anyone else, but in reality, it’s his opinion that mattered most in my world.  He knew me like no one else and he ALWAYS had my best interests at heart.  Sadly, I can’t even imagine what he would say. My therapist always tells me to be real quiet and think about what he would say when I need his advice, to hear his words, but I can’t with this…I don’t know.

On one hand, he’d want me to go to Durham because he knows I love the Durham area and saving money is key, but on the other hand, he was one of convenience as well and he’d like me to be close to family (both my brother, mom and one aunt live in Scarborough). 

So what’s a girl to do?  I don’t know.  I truly don’t.  I can’t just go with my heart and I can’t just go with my head.  I am going to drive poor John my realtor nuts.  Thank God he’s also my good friend! 

Maybe I’ll flip a coin, my dad would shake his head in annoyance at that, but he’d know as well that making life changing and lifelong decisions isn’t my forte.

Love

Nicole

 

2

2013 ended…2014 welcome (part 2)

So when I left you yesterday, my heat had come back on and I was surviving from a pretty treacherous Christmas Eve melt down. 

After the heat was back on, and the laundry was laundered and the dishes were washed I had to restock my fridge.  $200 of food thrown out – what a disgusting waste.  I waste a lot of food in general being a single person, but the amount of food I had to throw out over the holidays even made ME upset. 

I had a New Years Eve celebration to look forward to though.  On December 31st, I went to Smiths Brothers steak house in Scarborough with two coupled friends I have.  The food was good, I had the Prime Rib cooked medium and a glass of white zinfindel; and spending time chatting with four of my closest friends made me smile more than I had probably all year.

 

We then went to Yuk Yuk’s in Ajax.  The female MC comic was HILARIOUS.  She was so funny (its strange cause I am not usually a fan of female comics) she was great.  After that the opening act was a guy from Brampton I think and he WAS NOT FUNNY.  I don’t think I even snickered let alone laughed.  He was weird and not funny weird, just weird.  None of my group was impressed with him and we were grateful when the girl came back.  The main act though, a man from Barrie, he was great!  I laughed and smiled and was really amazed at how much fun I was having.  

There was a Midnight countdown toast and then we left.  I took my first project life picture with my group out front of Yuk Yuks and as one of my friends drove me home, I smiled to myself that the worst year yet was over and a new one was beginning.  Welcome 2014. 

On January first I went to a movie with Rob and my little sweetheart Julia.  Ironically we went and saw Frozen the kid’s animated movie.  I loved it!  It was so good and the story line was cute and the music was catchy.  Seeing Julia made me happy too, I can’t get enough of that kid.  I swear I could see her everyday and never get sick of her!

The only thing left I have to tell you about my last few weeks is that on January 9th, I am leaving for

 

CUBA!!

 

I am spending my 33rd birthday (January 10th) with my best friend in Cayo Santa Maria Cuba!  After all this ice, all this snow, all these below zero temperatures, I am taking off.  I am GONE!  WOOHOO! 

Have an awesome January folks, I’ll review my trip and resort when I get back! 

Love

Nicole