Feb 05 2016

Anyone for a Martini?

Approximately 9 weeks and 2 days! Anyone for a martini? Baby J is our little cocktail olive this week.

Today we finally got to meet our OB and she seems like a very nice person and a no non-sense doctor. We did agree on me having another c-section so the little one will be evicted near the end of August. But of course that’s just approximate since it seems every time we go to the doctor the due date changes, lol. It gets earlier and earlier with each visit. Baby J is eager to come into the world and torment mommy and daddy, lol. I think I’m in trouble!

They want me to gain at least 20 pounds during the pregnancy. Hmm. I’m now sitting at 155 pounds. If you remember last week I was 152, lol. I don’t think that will be a problem, do you?

The horrible news for me is that next week, much sooner than usual I’ll be doing the sugar test, gags! Man how I hate that thing. I hope it’s not the orange flavor!

cravings
Well, lets add to our cravings list as well. This little cocktail definitely loves apple juice. I bought only one jug last week and um, lets just say it barely made it to the next shopping trip. So this time I made sure to buy two of them, lol.

Sadly, I definitely can not make eggs or I’ll be miserable for the next few hours, cries! I have no problem eating them, but I just can’t actually cook them. How rude!

Other than that the baby and I are doing well and the next baby doctor visit will not be until March 9.

Have a great night and see you at the next update!

Jan 30 2016

unexpected exciting surprise!

Approximately 8 weeks and 3 days

Thursday I got an unexpected exciting surprise. We had to do another ultrasound to see if this time the little raspberry would let the techs see how things were looking. Of course all is well, smiles.

Did you know that as early as 5 and a half weeks you can hear the baby’s heartbeat if they can see the baby? Well, neither did I. Much to my surprise I got to hear the little ones heartbeat! I was soooooo excited. I wasn’t expecting to hear this until like march or so, smiles.

I made a recording of the heartbeat to share with the daddy and it completely made his day! Since we didn’t know that we’d be able to hear the heartbeat he wasn’t with me to this ultrasound so at first I was a little sad that he couldn’t share the experience with me. But then I remembered that I had Dropvox on my phone and it made it possible to still share this moment with him. If we figured it right the heartbeat is about 180, fast and strong, smiles.

So, until next time!

Jan 25 2016

The little blueberry

The little blueberry. About 7 weeks and 5 days.

I had my first ultrasound on Jan. 14, but the little one didn’t want to tell them much. So all we know is there’s a baby in there, but not if it’s 1 or 2 or what, *groans*

Today I had the introduction doctors appointment. You know the one where all they do is double check your health history and check on previous pregnancies and make sure all is going well with you so far.

Cravings
I do have a few cravings and thank god they aren’t horrible ones….so far, lol.
ice cream, (pumpkin pie). You know the worse thing about this craving is that it’s for a limited time, WTF!
fruit, the little fruit cups of pears and pineapples, mmm
footlong hot dog, (from Happy Daz) Another bad craving. I can only get this when I have to go get an ultrasound. Happy Daz is not where I live, figure that one!
The newest craving is chicken, apple, pecan salad. I just got this salad tonight from Dominos and man it hit the spot. I ended up ordering another one and waiting for it to get here, lol.

The little blueberry likes to play with my thermostat. One minute I’m walking around in shorts and the next moment I have sweat pants and a sweat shirt on. Whew, come on little one, you’re killing me and it’s not even summer yet, smiles. Man, so not looking forward to that time!

OMG, this baby is going to have me as big as a house I have no doubt! All I’m doing is eating eating eating! I’m not quite 8 weeks and I already weight 152 pounds. Can you imagine what I’ll be like by April?

I am going to try and do some youtube videos so people and when baby gets alder can see how tiny I am now and how huge it makes me later, lol.

We’re going to do another ultrasound on Thursday afternoon and this time the little stubborn one should tell us something. If you hear me scream where ever you are it means I’m carrying more than one, hahahah! I’ll finally get to meet my OBGYN on Feb. 5 and I hear she’s very nice. We shall see.

So, until next time, baby and I are off to wait for food!

Jan 11 2016

Welcome to 2016, you’re having a baby!

Hello, hello, hello!

It’s been such a long time since you’ve heard from me. So much has changed, some good, some bad and some exciting. I’m going to start with the exciting and later all move on to other updates and news.

So, welcome welcome to 2016! Where the heck did 2015 go? It seems like I blinked and it was just, poof, gone.

Well, already 2016 has come in with a bang! After almost 3 years I finally got my wish. I, am, having, a, baby! I thought my chance to have another would never happen and that mother nature would just continue to be cruel and trick me month after month. Get my hopes up just to send me crying in a corner all sad and cursing her until the next time. But, this time she was done playing her dirty tricks!

Yes, I went to the doctor today and I got the good news that without a doubt a little one has now made its home in my belly for the next several months. I’ll have an actual appointment with an OBGYN on the 25th and see if I can give an date range of when the little one is due.

dance dance dance, party party party!!

There is definitely other news to share, but this post was strictly for the baby announcement. I will definitely try not to be a stranger for so long now. I have so much to update everyone on.

Jul 23 2015

Road to Canadian Citizenship

July 1, 2015 was a day to remember.

1. 3 years with James How we made it this long is beyond me, lol. Just kidding!

2. On my twelfth year in Canada, Mother Nature gave to me. A water logged macbook air! Can you say ow? Well, I said that and a whole lot more!

3. concussions concussions concussions! I mean what’s a day in the life of me without a head injury? My poor brain I think has left the building since then and has refused to come back. This makes school very difficult, lol.

The second half to this year has definitely made me want to crawl back in bed and stay there until next year! But, instead of doing that I decided I want to add one more adventure to my crazy busy life and it’s a “big” one!

Finally after 12 years I’m going to apply for Canadian Citizenship! Maybe if I’m lucky, ha ha it will happen some year on July 1? Since the first day i landed in Canada and saw “real” snow I’ve actually felt at home. I was also told that I couldn’t apply for citizenship because I’d lose my other one as well and that turns out not to be the case.

So let the road to becoming a Citizen begin!

First Steps!
1. study guide, check
2. get Canadian Citizenship forms, check
3. raise money to start the process, groans
4. study study study! check

Jul 14 2015

Response from Leader Dog regarding the NFB resolution

***warning***

This post is long!

Recently the NFB National Federation for the Blind passed resolution 2015-05 seen below regarding Leader Dog for the Blind

the NFB is calling on Lions to cease funding of Leader Dogs for the Blind until or
unless it rejects NAC accreditation.
WHEREAS, in 1989 the International Federation of Guide Dog Schools for the Blind, later known as the International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF), was formed to create and promulgate standards for the operation and administration of guide dog training programs throughout the world; and
WHEREAS, the IGDF today has over eighty member guide dog training programs around the world, including thirteen in the United States; and
WHEREAS, US-member guide dog training programs include Guide Dogs for the Blind, the Seeing Eye, and Leader Dogs for the Blind, the three largest guide dog training programs in the United States; and
WHEREAS, the standards of the IGDF are well known as a solid model for guide dog training program operation and administration; and
WHEREAS, in January 2015 Leader Dogs for the Blind announced that it had received accreditation by the National Accreditation Council for Blind and Low Vision Services (NAC), an organization formed in the 1960s supposedly to create and promulgate standards for the operation of agencies serving the blind but which, in fact, has never provided a good model for the operation and administration of any agency; and
WHEREAS, NAC has no expertise in the guide dog arena, and any attempt by NAC to accredit guide dog training programs can serve only to undermine the efforts of the IGDF; and
WHEREAS, in the past Leader Dogs for the Blind, recognizing the worthless nature of NAC’s alleged accreditation, resisted attempts by NAC to accredit it and stood with consumers in opposing the shoddy and irrelevant standards NAC attempted to use to gain credibility among the ranks of guide dog training programs and their consumers; and
WHEREAS, Leader Dogs’ past vigorous opposition to NAC accreditation was expressed in part through a letter from Harold L. Pocklington, then-executive director of Leader Dogs for the Blind, to NAC’s president, and published in the February 1986 issue of the Braille Monitor, which said: We believe we can handle our own affairs. If the dog guide training programs don’t respond to your suggestions, it may be they don’t believe the method of accreditation can be done only by you. We believe we can be our own judge of operation, without any help from NAC or a committee NAC might appoint. We are not indifferent, unaware, or apathetic. We just believe if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it; and
WHEREAS, the purpose of NAC has always been to undermine and thwart the right of the organized blind to speak on behalf of blind consumers and Leader Dogs’ affiliation with NAC has the same effect in seeking to minimize the voice of the blind; and
WHEREAS, Leader Dogs receives a significant amount of its funding from Lions International and from individual Lions clubs; and
WHEREAS, any money spent by Leader Dogs in seeking and obtaining accreditation by NAC is a misuse of the support provided by its donors and can only encourage the efforts of an outdated and useless agency, NAC, to attempt to gain financial support from other guide dog training programs that it approaches in its attempts to convince them to accept its irrelevant and meaningless accreditation: Now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this ninth day of July, 2015, in the city of Orlando, Florida, that this organization condemn and deplore Leader Dogs for the Blind’s accreditation by and consequent support of NAC; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization demand that Leader Dogs for the Blind take immediate steps to terminate its accreditation by NAC; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we call on Lions International and individual Lions clubs to cease their funding of Leader Dogs for the Blind until it terminates its accreditation by NAC; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization urge all guide dog training programs to resist any attempts by NAC to accredit them and insist instead that all guide dog training programs in the United States support the legitimate standards and accreditation of the IGDF.

Now this resolution caused quite a heated debate in many groups that have received service from Leader Dogs for the Blind. Why has the NFB decided to attack LDB? Did the NFB attempt to talk to any of LDB graduates or staff?

Some believed that the person that wrote the resolution was a person that had problems with LDB, but if that’s the case this is not the way to go about fixing it! This further gives the NFB the bad reputation it is known for, attacking when they shouldn’t and makes the good things they have done get overlooked.

Personal note…who the heck told this person that using *whereas* over and over again was correct? You seriously don’t need to say it that many times. It’s more likely someone will stop reading after the second or third time that word was said. I cringed each time my computer read it.

Leader Dog for the Blind sent out this response

You may be aware of a National Federation of the Blind (NFB) resolution that was recently passed against Leader Dogs for the Blind’s accreditation by the National Accreditation Council for Blind and Low Vision Services (NAC). Within the resolution, the NFB demanded that Leader Dog terminate its accreditation by NAC, in part because NAC has no expertise in the guide dog arena. Leader Dog’s NAC accreditation is for our Accelerated Orientation & Mobility Training and our Summer Experience Camp, both of which fall under NAC’s expertise. Our Guide Dog Training has been accredited by the International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF) since 1999.

We had reached out to the NFB upon learning about its concerns and the NFB did not respond to our communication. We know that this resolution may create questions for you and we’d like to address any and all concerns.

As you know, our goal is to provide consistent, high-quality service to all of our clients. Over the past decade we have made a significant effort to become a transparent organization that is receptive to outside review and input. Accreditation by third-party organizations, such as the IGDF and NAC, provide objectivity and hold us to industry standards when reviewing the services we offer.

Accreditation is a common practice in many industries and is used as a way to assess how quality is maintained. It provides a non-biased evaluation of the work that an organization does and helps establish standards to continuously improve the quality of service provided. We believe these certification processes provide our current and potential clients with relevant information when deciding who they trust to deliver high quality, state-of-the-art travel-related training.

If you have any questions about this matter and need clarification, please contact Rachelle Kniffen, Director of Communications & Marketing at 248-659-5013 or rkniffen@leaderdog.org.

Rachelle Kniffen
Director of Communications & Marketing
Leader Dogs for the Blind
1039 S. Rochester Rd. • Rochester Hills, MI 48307-3115
Direct (248) 659-5013

Now, seeing this response it tells me right off that the NFB did not do their homework before making their claims. This shows me that they did not think of the other services that Leader Dog for the Blind offers.

Jun 13 2015

Where did the first half of the year go?

Note:
Those reading this by email there is a video in this entry as well so you’ll have to go to my site to see it. Sadly I don’t think anyone has found a way around that yet, sorry.

Where did the first half of this year go? I’m pretty sure I didn’t blink for longer than a few seconds, honest!

And speaking of things flying by, can you believe that luna and I have been a team for almost 9 months already? Didn’t I just get her?

Boy it’s been a very very busy first half of the year and it definitely won’t be slowing down anytime soon.

1. I started at International Academy for my massage therapy training in January. It may take me a while since I’m doing it course by course to get the horrible *boring* courses like anatomy and physiology out of the way! Currently I’m working on A&P4, but that’s about to end on Thursday. Then I’ll be switching to even ore A&P plus 2 other classes, Ethics and Massage Techniques 1-4. Now the massage classes will be more like a refresher for me since I have a background already, but different country so interested to see how that will go.

School wise with all the problems I was having with Carleton University thanks to my disability worker that was as smart as a pole i’ve decided to put my focus more on getting my massage license so that I can start working sooner rather than later, smiles.

2. Sing sing sing! My absolute delight is singing with Shout Sister Choir If you love to sing and have loads of fun doing so and live in Ontario, then you should definitely join one of the chapters. You won’t regret it!

No, we are *not* a religious choir nor are we *nuns* We definitely don’t sing boring songs, but ones like what’s heard here. This is from our end of year show in May and I believe there were 125 of us on stage.

Sadly our season has come to an end, but never fear we’ll be back next season starting in September! Will anyone reading this in the Ontario area be brave and let themselves loose to join us?

3. Starting a business is fun and challenging and I think makes my brain leak out of my ears more than anatomy and physiology does. Whew, good thing I’m trying to get things set up now instead of right when I finish classes. Hopefully all I’ll need to do when the time comes is release my business site and start promoting promoting promoting! For now I need to find a trust worthy financial business person. Psst, anyone know of any in the Ottawa area?

4. Plan plan plan, that’s me! So along with working on business starting up ideas I’m also working on planning our first ever cruise! James and I are hoping things work out and we can go next year for our 4 year anniversary. We’ll be going on Carnival to the Bahamas! I’m going to swim with dolphins and go to Starbucks, hahahahah! Although playing with Sea lions sound like fun too! Decisions decisions.

Ok, think this post is long enough. Take care until next time!

Jun 11 2015

Has my brain finally had enough?

Oh my poor brain must really wish that it could find another safer place to float around in. I’m sure if it could yell at me I’d hear, “let me out of here already! I’ve had enough of being knocked around. It is not safe!”

1. When an idiot teenage boy pushed me off a slide
that was the beginning of the end for my poor head and scrambled brains.

2. I love goalball and so miss playing it, but once again I’m sure if my brain could yell at me it would say, “ow ow ow!!! Can you please find a safer sport?” Whenever I had to protect the goal against a penalty shot I’d not only stop the ball, but also slide smack into the very very hard goal post! *wham* One time I did it so hard that I seriously saw stars and heard multiple balls! Now that was creepy. Ha, all I did was rub my head and wonder how I’d manage to protect my side of the court when I heard more than one ball, smiles.

3. Everyone knows that shopping can definitely be dangerous at times, but usually the danger is from other crazy shoppers or maybe wet floors or something like that. Who would think that an attack would come from something you couldn’t see unless you seriously were looking? One day my friend Brodie and I were shopping and we sat down to check out the comfort of a couch.

*smack* goes my head against some extremely hard thing with an edge. It was hard enough that it actually knocked me off the couch. I’m shocked, Brodie’s freaking and neither of us knows what the hell happened for a while.

After I assured her that I was ok when I was sure I wasn’t going to die or faint or puke all over the floor Brodie inspected the couch to see what was there. In doing so she nearly knocked her own head off. There was a shelf right above the couch that was the exact same color of the wall. There was nothing sitting on the damn shelf to warn anyone that *hello* heads up, shelf here. Brodie only saw it at the last minute cause one part was slightly darker than the rest. She went from freaked to pissed off in the blink of an eye and I thought she’d rip the head off of any store person she could find…if they would have been around.

Ha, but me being me I just shook my head and told her that “time to go, my freaken head hurts!” Smiles, she knew better than try and talk me into going to the doctor. I wasn’t dying so . . .

4. Finally the last shock to my head happened last week on Thursday morning. Yet again I run into an idiot…or maybe I should say the idiot ran into me, but this time it was an adult! He was *so* involved in his phone conversation and in *such* a great hurry to get to where ever he was suppose to be that I guess it didn’t cross his mind to *watch* where he was going.

*** BAM ***

He runs smack into me from behind just as Luna and I clear the door and off I fly down the stairs! I have the quick reflex of letting Luna’s leash go so she doesn’t get hurt as well. Do you think he stopped to see if I was ok?

*no* of course not that would have made sense or made him even later I suppose! So, *yap yap yap* I hear as he walks away…maybe he mumbled sorry, but I haven’t a clue if that was really for me or whomever he was talking to on the phone.

Hello another head injury how are you?

This is something I didn’t mention to people after it happened because I was *terrified* and in a state of pure panic. On my way down I unfortunately met the edge of the nice hard hand rail when trying to prevent myself from falling all the way down the stairs and it caught me in just the wrong spot of my head…again! I mean I know I have a hard head, but sheesh must it keep being put to the test?

For the past week I’ve been trying to keep calm and hopes that the blackness that has appeared will fade and things will go back to my *normal* The only thing that’s happening is my headaches have gotten worse and my inner suffering is increasing.

Has my poor brain finally had enough of being knocked around? Did this last round with some immovable object finally stolen what I’ve tried so hard to hold on too?

*man* I hope not!

Maybe I should start going around in a helmet?

Jun 01 2015

What happens if you’re sick?

Did you ever stop to think about how you would take care of your guide dog if you were too sick to do so?

It wasn’t until I received my current guide Luna that I had to seriously give this some thought. From the moment I got Luna and our working bond started to build I noticed the connection that we have is much stronger than I had with previous dogs. I felt that we were more in tune with each other. I started joking around saying that Luna is without a doubt 100% my dog!

Well, his past march when that horrible sick feel like you’re dying bug was going around and it hit me like a freight train I discovered how true that statement was.

I felt horrible that I couldn’t get her out for walks, but standing for more than a minute nearly did me in. Luna absolutely refused to drink water or go anywhere at all if James tried. So I would drag myself out of bed to get her to drink water and take her outside or wait until the princess was desperate enough to go on the balcony. Luckily I didn’t have to worry she would starve because she’d eat no problem for James. I mean it’s food and a lab say no to food, never!

It was a long long couple of weeks and a month before I was completely better, but from that moment it stuck with me on what would happen if I got so sick that I couldn’t even drag myself from bed or have to stay in the hospital with a dog that’s super attached to me.

May 30 2015

How to toilet train your guide dog

How to toilet train your guide dog in just 2 easy steps!

1. Answer mother nature. We all have to go sometime, but to make this work you must go to the wash room just before it’s time for you to go somewhere or right before it’s time for them to eat.
2. Now you can take the dog out, harness him/her to go out for your day or outing or feed him/her.

By doing these 2 easy steps exactly as listed above it’s guaranteed that your guide dog will be toilet trained in no time. By the time you flush the toilet that pup will be letting you know in many ways possible such as, *whining, grumbling, howling or a combination of the 3* that you need to get a move on! Trust me I should know!

Much to my dismay I accidentally conditioned Luna to whenever I go to the wash room that it must be time to go somewhere and/or eat!

Now to figure out how to un-condition her, lol.

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