Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Workout Wednesday: Liebster Award

Now for some fun to wrap up the month of April....

Earlier this week, I was nominated for the Liebster award by my lovely bloggy friend (and fellow #littlebloggybluebird) Leana. I think I have been nominated for one of these in the past, but it's definitely been a while so I thought it would be fun to play along again.

The idea of the meme is to answer a series of questions laid out by the nominator and then to come up with a new series of questions for the people I nominate in return.  Here goes:

1) What is one piece of gear you own (not shoe or technology related) that you wear all the time?

My Fox River socks.

I love them! So cushy and I have NEVER gotten a blister when running as long as I am wearing them (every time I've had a blister it has been because of a sock experiment on a shorter run).  I wear the Triathlon socks most of the time and in the winter I have taken to loving the taller ski socks that have some wool in them.  My only wish was that I would love it if they would produce them in different colours.  All the white gets a little boring and dingy after a while.

2) Do you wear different shoes for different workouts, or do you wear the same shoes all the time?

Mostly all the same - my Saucony Kinvaras. I have 4-6 pairs on rotation at any given time.   I also have a pair of Vibram Fivefingers that I bought specifically for strength training. Whenever I remember to put them on before my infrequent strength training sessions.

3) What is your favourite post workout snack?

Usually, I work out on my lunch break so I tend to have a post-workout MEAL instead of a snack...but post long run, I love a gorgeous latte and, if I am near a Good Earth and it is on the menu that day, a lentil stew.

4) Do you listen to music when you run?  Why or why not?

Not typically.  When I first started running, I listened to music all of the time because I was doing couch to 5k and the music played through the app.  Then, I started running my long runs with Team in Training for my first half back in 2010 and I stopped needing the music.  Once I turned the music off and started conversing or working through the gibberish in my head - my runs started to be cathartic,  If I have music to focus on - I don't tend to really have the therapeutic benefits I have without.

That being said - during both of my marathon training plans - I did run my longest runs with music.  Usually because by then I would run out of things to talk to myself about.

5) Do you prefer to run in a loop or run an out and back?

Depends on the length.  If I am doing a shorter weekday run, I much prefer a loop.  I even have several loops mapped out both from home and from work.  For a long run, I have no preference.  I did find, however, that when I was training for Goofy in the frigid November temperatures - I liked working the run into two out and backs - one in each direction from my start point so I would be able to turn around sooner and have a pitstop in the middle of the run since most of our usual run washrooms are closed in the winter months.

6) Why do you blog?

This is a question that I have been asking myself more and more lately.  I almost stepped away not long ago because I felt like I was abandoning my subscribers by posting my streams of depression and my recent lengthy absences.  But then, one day I sat and reread a few posts from 3 years ago.  Some of them blew me away and made me realize that I have been slacking for a while now.

Blogging is something that I love to channel myself into. It isn't a personal diary I am putting out there - I don't give everything I have to it. My deepest darkest anythings may never see the light of day here.  I truly enjoy the writing and I love lending my own unique voice to the process.  I do it to share what I have learned or always known.  To document my journey and the many bumps along that road.  To give myself an outlet where I can put my life into words and perhaps a few people might stay interested enough to read along.  Most importantly, though, it is to connect.  I have met so many incredible people in the nearly 4 years I've been blogging.  People who I have come to know as dear friends.  I couldn't give that up for a moment.

There may come a time when I step away.  Perhaps when the weight of being watched a bit too closely starts to wear on me - and I know I have some readers who are watching a bit too closely and giving what I write a bit heavier meaning than it needs to have - but for now I am here and am trying to breathe a bit more life into this place to resuscitate it from its recent dark days.

7) What is your number one goal for this year?

My Number one goal was squashed by my recent stress fracture.  I had such high hopes for Banff marathon in June (I wanted to try for Sub-5hr) and now I am not sure I even have time to properly train for the half.   I need to assess that this weekend after I try my first run since the fracture.  

I have had to re-evaluate and look at RNR Vancouver as my new goal race for this year.  I'd love it if I could pull that elusive 2:15 half out of my hat, but I know it will require a lot of work on my part and I have to remember that I may be starting from scratch after I am cleared to run again.

8) Tell me about your favourite race medal.

Good question for a #medalwhore.

This one is a tie, I think.  I want to just come right out and say my 20th Anniversary Mickey Mouse Marathon medal.  I worked so hard, between training in depressingly cold conditions and trying to fundraise alongside it.  I put my heart into Goofy and when the extreme heat kept me from a PR on the marathon - I still walked away so proud of that achievement.  Besides...the medal spins...

and then there is the medal for my very first Half Marathon - the 2010 Nike women's Tiffany necklace.  I never thought I could be a runner.  I never wanted to be, but when my friend, Anna, was diagnosed with Lymphoma - running became my life.   Every time I wear that necklace - it brings me back to why I started in the first place.

I don't think it's a coincidence that the two medals I consider my favourites are the ones that came with the greatest emotional commitment.  The times I have run with Team in Training have been extremely important and the medals were not the only rewards I personally earned in those events.

9) What motivates you to get outside and train on cold/snowy/rainy days?

This year?  Nothing. Kidding - it's just been so long since I ran that I don't remember anymore.  I was a total winter wuss and the fact that I likely fractured my leg as a result of running that stupid Hypothermic Half outside in -26C is not going to inspire me want to run outside in the cold.  I'm sure as the days become rainier this spring, I will be antsy for the release and need to get out there.  Knowing the effect a run has on my well being will motivate me on those days.

10) What is your most memorable run?

I'm not sure I've had it yet.  Just kidding - this one is a no brainer.  It was BMO Vancouver Half Marathon in 2012.  I hadn't planned to run it and then, out of the blue, Vancouver Marathon contacted me and invited me to join their official blogger team. For five months I chronicled my training adventures and connected with other Vancouver bound runners.  Some of those connections turned into terrific friendships (Particularly with Nikki, who less than a year later, we met up again in Florida and ran Goofy together).  When it came time to head to Vancouver for the race, it was like coming home.  My dear friend, JS, came along for the ride and we had an amazing weekend.  On race day, we pulled on our sparkle skirts and met up with my friend Heather and had a helluva fun race - taking a million pictures and laughing our asses off.


Terrible cramps ruined my PB that day, but it will still long stand as one of my favourite races of all time.

And the fact that I was handed a misprinted medal at the finish line made it even more memorable...after all, I may have only run the half that day but with my involvement with the race it was almost like I had been running the full since the day I agreed to take it on!


I am completely envious of everyone running it this weekend and will be watching my twitter feed to cheer everyone on!

***
Ok - so there you have it - my answers.  Now it's time for me to pass it on.   It is getting harder and harder to find people to tag on these things :) I've tried to avoid tagging anyone I've seen recently tagged elsewhere.  Here goes...

Jen @ Daydreams and Shoestrings
Leigh @ Poonapaloza
Amy @ Amylynn Runs and Bikes and Swims
Courtney @ Courtney Runs
Anna @ Anna's Antidotes
Irina @ Perpetually Moving Target
Kirsten @ Kirky Blogs (as my sneaky way to make her blog more often...)
Kourtney @ faster-fitter-further

and to anyone else I may have missed...if you'd like to play along - simply create a blog post and answer the questions below:

1) What is one training tip you have that has dramatically changed the way you run?

2) If you could run any race in the world, which race would you choose and why?

3) What inspired you to start your blog?

4) Describe your favourite running route in a way that would make me want to run it with you.

5) How did you meet your best running friend?

6) What inspired you to start running?

7) What other hobbies do you have that you might not mention on your blog?

8) Which of your races this year are you most excited about and why?

9) What is your favourite healthy snack that almost feels sinful?

10) What quote or song (or both) inspires you most in your running?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Techy Tuesday: FlipOn.tv

This weekend, I had an excellent introduction to a web service that I had no idea even existed: FlipOn.tv.


Essentially what FlipOn.tv is is a streaming video service for events.  Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo offered all of the panel events as live streamed feeds on the site and, for a reasonable (to me) subscription fee of $15, I suddenly had access to every panel event that I would miss.


I was only attending the one day and three of the panels I wanted to see were playing simultaneously!
 Watching archived footage later was the perfect solution for me and Hubby!  It also meant that we could watch the panels that interested us individually instead of making us both sit through everything.  Knowing we had this service waiting for us at home meant that we spent more time at the actual expo exploring instead of sitting in concurrent sessions.   In future years, we might attend more in person events, but having this service made a nice backup for us to enjoy on our own time.

I found the video feeds to be beautifully done and effortlessly streamed.  The video size is quite a bit bigger than I expected and there was no problem seeing everything.


When watching a live feed on Friday or Sunday - I found there to be very few hiccups with the feed.  It was like having a better seat for the action than I ever could have had in person without a VIP pass.    Even better - you don't actually need the paid subscription to view some of the content.  It is free to create an account. It is only for the higher-capacity venues that the premium subscription is necessary.

Archiving happened about as fast as I figured it would - taking a few hours to get the panel online for viewing later, but by the time we got home from the expo - the earlier sessions were already archived and ready.  You could tell which ones were archived by the play symbol appearing on the session.



Perhaps the most epic thing to me about this service is that Calgary isn't the only Comic-con that uses it!  Suddenly cons that I may never be able to attend (like San Diego) are accessible to me with this service.

Because the service archives the events - you can go back and watch them again anytime.  You can even go watch previous years - this is a shot from the 2013 expo.  The ones marked premium aren't available for free - but there is still plenty to see.



I have bookmarked this awesome site and I really am looking forward to "attending" many more in the future!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Words to live by...

I've often struggled with figuring out where I should be and what I should do.   One thing for sure though, is that I am not afraid to fail.   Perhaps this is because I was taught a rather sharp lesson about giving up a few days before my 20th birthday, when my best friend committed suicide.  He was 19.   At 19, you are invincible.  Life cannot be THAT bad.  But he obviously thought it was.

I recently came across this quote from a young writer from Yale.  She passed away before she would ever need to worry about applying what she wrote to her own life...but it is incredibly wise words from a 22 year old.

"What we have to remember is that we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over. Get a post-bac or try writing for the first time. The notion that it's too late to do anything is comical. It's hilarious. We're graduating college. We're so young. We can't, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it's all we have."

Applies to a mid-30's mom just as well as it does to a college grad.   It's never too late to reinvent yourself.  It's never too late to try something new.  It's never to late to start over or take chances.  Sometimes you just need to leap and worry about where you'll land later.

Life is too long and medical advances are only going to make it that much longer (take a moment to think about the advances of the past 50 years and their effect on life expectancy).  That is a long long time to not be happy so embrace your happiness now and do what you want to do. 

MOMday: Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo 2014

This weekend, Hubby and I took a date day to go to this year's Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo.  It may seem a bit odd that I am filing this under MOMday but bear with me.  This family-friendly event bears mentioning here in case you want to find out more before tickets for next year go on sale (because you will definitely want to buy your tickets early instead of being raped by scalpers or brokers for them).

I have wanted to go for a few years but always seem to remember too late and then tickets are sold out and event day lines are prohibitive.   This year, as soon as I heard that Matt Smith had been added late to the roster - I HAD to be there.  And since I dragged Hubby into Whovianism with me - it was the perfect excuse for a date.   We just had to get tickets....and Saturday tickets were already sold out.

I looked into buying some on Kijiji, but for a single day ticket, it was going to set us back $109 per ticket. Eek!  Then, I was poking around the expo website and I noticed that some of the comic book stores in town still had 4 day passes...which were only $80.   At that price, we could still attend that one day yet not spend broker prices.  I was quickly on the phone with a shop and was trying to get him to hold 2 passes for me (which he wouldn't) and I excitedly mentioned that we only wanted to attend Saturday but this was going to be the cheapest way we could do it.  Then, the guy coyly asked if I had the option for Saturday only tickets - would I prefer that?

I didn't know what he was getting at so I played along and said "Sure!"  and then he told me he had JUST had 2 Saturday passes returned in exchange for 4 day passes.  The guy told me he wasn't going to tell anyone else about them so if I got there that day, I might just luck out.

I may have broken land speed records to get across the city after work that day.  And for $35/ticket - Hubby and I had Saturday passes!  Booyah!


Then - we just had to wait for the day to arrive.  I had plenty of time to plan and replan the day.  About the only thing I didn't think we would be doing is paying for photo ops (holy hannah, are those ever expensive).  Since most of the panels I wanted to see were running simultaneously - I wasn't going to be able to see them all live, so I was incredibly happy when I found out that everything would be live-streaming on flipon.tv.  I'm going to profile that tomorrow in case you are curious.

Bright and early on Saturday, we dropped the kids off with Gramma and headed to the Stampede grounds. Hubby had his pro camera in tow and I had packed along an extra point and shoot in case my iphone died.  In the end, we planned to try to see as much as possible and treat this year as a reconnaissance mission for next year.  Given the state of my stress fracture - my leg was going to be the determining factor on how long we could stay.

 We arrived at the grounds by shortly after 10 (doors opened at 10) and it turned out that given the wet, snowy day, we lucked out and didn't need to stand in line outside at all.  After parking, our first stop was at the Grandstand to exchange our tickets for our wristbands.

I thought it was awesome how on top of things the volunteers were - expertly guiding people into the shortest lines and directing cosplayers with weaponry over to special tables to inspect their weapons.  We got right up to the table and were soon walking away to the show.  We trudged back through the wet snow to the Big Four building (pretty sure hubby was rueing his decision to forego a jacket).

We passed a huge Aliens haunted house on the way in - there is no way you could have paid me to enter that thing but I thought the admission price was fairly reasonable at $5.  There were also duelling matches and Quiddich games galore.


I even saw my new car...

We showed our wristbands at the door wandered through the crowd and into the exhibit halls and were almost immediately overwhelmed by the sheer masses of people.  This place was barely open and it was PACKED!  We expected it but it was still crazy to see it live.  Everywhere, people in costumes were greeting one another and adults and children alike were dressed to represent their fandom.  Suddenly I felt incredibly underdressed in my Doctor Who tee!   But I was having fun soaking in all of the degrees of nerdiness.


In the BMO centre, there were a ton of artists and retail vendors.  We wandered up and down the aisles and almost lost track of time looking at everything.  But we had a date with the Doctah at noon and I didn't want to be late.  At around 11:30, we headed over to the corral, briefly waited outside in the lineup and then settled ourselves into our seats to wait.



Panels


I am such a fangirl for a number of amazing different things and it turned out that there was a Lord of the Rings AND a Harry Potter panel running at the exact same time as the Doctor Who panel.  Since I am quite obsessed with the Doctah right now,  I am so glad I bought the streaming pass so I could watch the others later!

Right at 12 - the panel began and Matt Smith and Karen Gillan took to the stage with Dan Casey from the Nerdist as the moderator.


To be honest - the panel was EXACTLY what I had hoped it would be.  Hilarious stories from their time as the Doctor and Amy Pond.  You could really see the connection these two actors have with each other, too.   They played off of each other for the entire 45 mins of the panel.  So enjoyable.  The moderator was excellent.  Apparently it was the first year that the Nerdist came to Calgary so I am hoping they make an even bigger showing next year.


I took about ten trillion photos and none of them turned out clear since we were quite far back, but I am so glad I didn't miss it. (though Matt Smith scratched himself for the entire thing - I began to wonder if he had lice or something LOL We felt itchy for the rest of the afternoon :P)


Once the panel let out, we went in search of some lunch at the Big Four.  Imagine our surprise to see more expo in there - even more artists and vendors.  There were also significant areas set aside for autographs (though we forwent any of these as well - neither of us really had any need to have something signed nor wanted pay for the privilege).  Food options were slim.  Coco Brooks pizza had a huge showing with a lineup to match.  We ended up getting these incredibly unsatisfying rice sandwiches from a vendor with a shorter line.  But what's food when you have an expo to explore?

Cosplay

I need to return to the topic of Cosplay for a moment.   I was ridiculously impressed with the cosplayers that graced these halls.   They varied from simple plain clothes versions of beloved characters to elaborate costumes that surely cost in the thousands to buy or create.   Here are some of my favourites:
Weeping Angel

Legomen

Cosplay Kids
Ewok

There was also a super impressive Optimus Prime that blew my mind and apparently my camera because the three shots I took of him were all blurred.  Boo.


I would attend the show again simply to see them all.   Next year, I think I need something of a costume myself - even if it is just super basic.  I loved the fact that Calgary Expo had posters up all over the place telling people to respect the cosplayers.  We made sure to ask before taking any photos and they were all so gracious to pose or stop for us.   It is such a phenomenal thing to know that those are just Average Joes and Janes sharing their love for their fandom with the world.  I love it!

Shopping

A big part of these things is visiting all of the vendors.  I really only had one thing on my shopping list, but I was open to as much geeky shopping as I could fit in.  The artisans here are incredible - so many talented, talented artists creating beautiful tributes to so many geeky things.  I bought a beautiful stained glass TARDIS from one of the artisans (who I failed to get a business card for and am wishing I had since I cracked it the next day).

My main mission was to replace my toy sonic screwdriver since my daughters had absconded with my old one (true to form - it turned up in the wash the day after I replaced it.  Literally IN THE WASH).   I figured I'd get another 11th Doctor sonic, but then I managed to find River Song's sonic!   Squeeeee!  She is absolutely my favourite character so its no question that this is the one for me!

I also found a ton of geeky necklaces that I HAD to have and Hubby picked up a beautiful print from the talented Gillian Newland.  All in all - a fairly restrained effort for us.

Around 4pm, all of the walking was starting to do me in.   My legs were so tired (guess that is bound to happen when a person has barely walked at all for 6+ weeks).  I wasn't in pain, but I was slowing down a fair bit.  We decided maybe it was time to head out and get me some rest.  Besides - we figured we had seen all there was to see.

For the Kiddos

On our way out, though, we decided to make one quick pit stop in this large tent that was set up in the parking lot.  The tent was surrounded by giant inflatable children's characters and it turned out to be a giant kids zone!  Inflatable bouncy castles and video games and lego building stations, etc filled the tent.  Our girlies would have loved it!



Last Thoughts

Having only spent a few hours at the Expo, I can say with conviction that I think we got our $35 worth.  In fact, I see us being 4 day pass people going forward because following the hashtags on Twitter and Instagram afterwards left us seeing even more that we missed out on but that we would have died to see (TARDIS!!! DALEK!!! How did we miss you?)  It would be nearly impossible to see everything in one day!  I want to take the girlies to it next year - maybe on the Friday so we could attend the Parade of Wonders and the kick off before heading for some family fun...and then having a couple of days kid-free to get our own geek on.  The girls would get a kick out of the Kid Zone and would probably love it if they could represent their own fandom as mini-cosplayers.

All in all - I think there is something for everyone.  Just make sure you pack some snacks and water and be ready to see anything!


Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Reads: The Lucky Guide to Mastering Any Style by Kim France and Andrea Linett

This year, I have been trying to revamp my wardrobe a bit to try to accomodate all of my lives (office, casual, slob, work out).   They have always been so disconnected from each other that it has been as though I am needing to maintain 4 separate wardrobes and I hate it.  I bought myself a handful of books to get a little bit of help and this one was amongst those I picked out because of the high reviews.

Essentially, the book breaks down style into a iconic looks and gives examples of how to achieve the look yourself, including profiles of stylish people who dress that way and examples of wardrobe pieces to select.

The looks include:

  • Euro Chic
  • California Casual 
  • Rock and Roll 
  • Posh Eclectic 
  • Mod 
  • American Classic 
  • Bombshell 
  • Arty Slick 
  • Bohemian 
  • Gamine 

I found this book a bit too magazine-y and boring as a read.  I think perhaps the fact a magazine put it out should have been the big tell, but I also bought the book online and had I had a chance to flip through it in person, I probably wouldn't have bought it.

For someone looking for outfit ideas that fit into those styles - the book is full of photographs and ideas.  It just wasn't a good fit for me.  It pretended to focus on developing a personal style, but it was obviously developed by finding women who they liked the style of, categorizing them and then building a tribute to them through this book.  Into the sell pile it goes.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Three Things Thursday

1) Well - if you don't usually click over to the blog from your feed reader - you totally should.  I broke out my mad skillz in graphic design and whipped up a geeky fun new look for this place.  It was becoming absolutely necessary to sweep out the cobwebs that have been gathering in these parts and I am loving what I came up with.


And if you aren't a Doctor Who fan...what's wrong with you?  You need to hop on that bandwagon asap.

Speaking of geeky fun times - guess who's going to Calgary Comic Book Expo this weekend?

Yep - this girl <points thumbs at self>  I was late to the party, but I still managed to scoop up two tickets to Saturday at the last minute.  Now Hubby and I can totally go hang out with our species all day.  (That species would be Homo Sapien NERDUS, in case you were having trouble there)...and yeah - DATE DAY!!!!!

Plus - it'll give me a place to wear my fun new tee.
There is bound to be some full frontal nerdity that ensues...

***

2) My hair has reached new heights of awkward tragic.  It's okay.  I expect some sort of in-between-awfulness.  It's why I've been avoiding any sort of selfie lately.

Eep - I know.  Don't show your kids.  They may have nightmares.

But one month from today hopefully the awkwardness can end...I am hoping to have enough hair for my wonderful hairdresser to work with to get me on the road to this again:


***

3) The final countdown to my trip is officially underway.  One month from tonight, we will be on a plane and headed to sunnier places for the Twinners 5th birthday and my cousin's wedding.  So excited.   It has been a long time coming, since we booked this one last spring.


I may or may not have already started packing.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Workout Wednesday: Working Out While Injured

When I was diagnosed with my stress fracture, almost 5 weeks ago, I knew that I was going to need to find a way to keep my workouts going.  Sitting still isn't an option for me.  My mental health depends on it and it would be a quick dive back into depression if I backed off even a bit.

But this injury definitely limited what I could actually do.

The doctor I had talked to told me I could continue to work out as long as:

a) I didn't run
b) if it hurt at all to do a certain movement or activity - I was to stop immediately.

So...what HAVE I been doing?

Mostly stationary bike.  The doctor had recommended that I find a recumbent bike but I don't have access to one at home or at the gym and I wasn't going to buy one special for the duration of this healing process.  I have access to plenty of upright bikes and those don't hurt.

I have biked A LOT.


Most days - this has been blissfully pain free. There have been a few days where it hasn't hurt a stitch to bike, but my ankle has swollen right up afterwards or I have spent the rest of the day hobbling around.

My lovely puffy ankle
I have no way of foretelling when it will happen and I just have to hope that I am not hurting my recovery when it does.  I really REALLY want to get this thing healed up so I can move on and re-learn to run again.  I have become a pro at finding ways to elevate my leg and ice it at work.


I did try the elliptical one day - pain free - it was great to feel almost like I was running again.  But that thing ALWAYS makes my feet go to sleep so it didn't last for more than a kilometre and then a bike freed up at the gym.

I have been incorporating some bursts of upper body strength and a bit of core into my weeks.    Not as much as I had hoped.  Likely not enough to make any great difference.

In the end - sticking with the general rule of "if it hurts, stop doing it", I have managed to stay active through this stress fracture.   With any luck - I will soon be healed and we can start laughing at my misadventures as a new runner again.  I never blogged that first time I was learning to run four years ago - I am sure this will prove to be quite amusing as I figure it all out again and try to stay unbroken this time!

Monday, April 21, 2014

MOMday: First Surgeries

When Doodle was 9 months old, our family doctor identified a problem with her right eye - just a slight laziness to it.  The eye just wouldn't stay straight.  It wasn't terribly noticeable to most people, but over the last 4 years, we have learned exercises and coping to help her exercise the eye. Lately, however, the exercises weren't working any more.  And she was becoming much more self conscious about it because kids were pointing it out to her and calling it "weird".  It probably didn't help that her identical twin has straight eyes and kids were using it as a way to tell them apart.  She started to worry about it and have long conversations with me about why she has to have a weird eye.

On our last trip to the Ophthalmologist - he confirmed it was worsening and that the time had come to operate.  A surgery date was set and then changed.  Follow up appointments were booked and we started preparing Doodle for what was going to happen.  We didn't go into the mechanics of the surgery - she chose to focus on the fact that it would be fixed. Just a little bilateral Strabismus repair.  Nothing too terrible.  Day surgery.  In and out. Lazy eye begone! It'd be all good.

Thursday dawned early for our little family.  It was a big day.  Surgery day.  She would have four full days to recover before she had to return to the Dayhome and me to work.

We dropped Buggie off at the dayhome about an hour earlier than usual (Thank goodness for super accommodating childcare) and hit the highway.  Next stop?  Alberta Children's Hospital.  We had a check in time of 7 am and it was going to be really tight to get us there on time.  Somehow, all of the gods were on our side that morning and we arrived with plenty of time to spare.

Doodle was in such high spirits.  She does love going to Children's.  With good reason - the ophthalmology clinic has been caring for her every 4 months since she was a baby.  She was almost skipping as we entered - getting ready to show Daddy around, since he had never been there before.  I know she didn't really understand what would be happening. She knew she would get some sleep medicine and then when she woke up, her eyes would be fixed.  I was a nervous wreck.   I haven't exactly had the most luck-enhanced month and I had been having nightmares about her waking up blind.  I just had to hope her luck was better than mine.

Once we were through admitting and checked into the Day Surgery unit, the waiting began.  We dressed Doodle in her special hospital pajamas and turned her loose on the toys. Honestly - most of the toys were far too young for an almost 5 year old, but there was a magnadoodle and that kept her busy drawing until her doctor arrived.




Nurses came by to make sure everything was in order and to give her pre-surgical medications and take her vitals etc.  They gave us a pager and told us we couldn't leave the premises but we could feel free to go eat or whatever and they would page us if they needed us.

Two and a half hours later - he finally came to see us.  Shouldn't have been a surprise - I can't usually get an early morning appointment with him on a regular day.  He went over how the day would play out.  Apparently the surgery was quick - only 25 minutes - and then she would move to recovery and we could see her within an hour after we left her.

A short time later, the porter came to wheel her to surgery.  I was trying not to hyperventilate.  Gotta stay calm for Doodle.  She feeds off of me so if I freak - she freaks.
So brave!
Dood is such a trooper - she had her lovey bear and her eye was going to be fixed.  Those were the only things that could ever matter.

We were wheeled into a room just outside of the surgical suites and the anaesthesiologist and surgical nurse met us there.   We could stay until it was time for her to go in so we distracted her and before long it was time for one last potty break, hugs and kisses and a chorus of "see you very soon".

Enter hyperventilation.  I was almost crying as soon as I turned to walk out.  Hubby steered me to the elevator and we went to find me some breakfast and the biggest coffees we could find.   Then we distracted me by scouring the gift shop for a new stuffie to help Dood recover.

After around a half hour, we decided to wander back up to the day surgery waiting room and wait for our pager to go off.

Suddenly - my purse started to emit a loud series of beeps.  We rushed back to the nurses station.  It was too early!  And she told us "false alarm" and reset the pager.  Then it was back to waiting in the waiting room again.

Not for long, though. A few minutes later, the pager made a different noise and we wandered back.  This time, they told us that they needed just one of us to go right into recovery.  I was anxious to see Doodle so I handed off the backpack to hubby and followed the nurse.  She calmly explained to me that Dood hadn't woken up well and they needed me to help calm her down.

All I could hear as I entered the recovery room was the wailing of my daughter. "I can't see!! I can't see!!!"  Not exactly what I wanted to hear.

I went over and scooped her up.  They needed me to keep her hands away from her eyes - which she proved to be unusually strong for an almost 5 year old and incredibly determined.   In her flailing, she had pulled out her IV line and had a dark bruise across the back of her hand.  I held her tight and reassured her.  The nurses explained that she can't see well because of the ointment in her eyes but that the surgery was successful.   Then they gave her morphine to kill the pain and calm her down.  Then, I carried her back to the ward to finish her recovery.

Once back in her little day surgery room, she fell fast asleep for a couple of hours.

She wasn't getting enough oxygen so they put her on a blow by feed (basically a tube of oxygen blowing at her face).  Just a by-product of her usual tantrums - she tends to shallow breathe.  Once she was awake - she was still in pain, but keeping a cool cloth on her eyes helped her keep her fingers away and she soon wanted a popsicle...and then another...and then another.


The nurses came by a few times to check her vitals.  They wanted to keep her there until she could have another tylenol dose but then we were free to go.  They brought us a wheelchair and we wheeled her out into the world again.

Later, at home, she was ready to watch some cartoons.  Let me tell you - it was incredibly cool to see her little eyes track together for the first time ever.  They have never moved in sync before and all I could do was stare in wonder at how this stressful little surgery was such an immense success.