Monday, January 11, 2016

Big Week...HUGE...

So...the week of surgery is upon us.  I'll admit this week has me a little off-kilter.  Between work, surgery, and a couple other things bouncing around in my brain, there is a lot happening.  So much, in fact, that as I was putting away the last of the bins after taking down all of the Christmas stuff yesterday, I literally thought, "Oh, crap.  Tomorrow's Monday.  I have to go to work!"  I knew all day that it was Sunday, so you'd think I'd know what comes next.  But I guess all of the distractions of the week already have me a little out of the groove!

We're in a bit of a transitional phase at work, waiting for books to close on the calendar year.  Half the time I have nothing to do and half the time I'm crazy busy.  It's just the nature of this time of year, I think.  But sitting there with nothing to do and knowing that it is definitely going to get busy at some point can be tough.  I'd rather just get on it and spread it out a bit, but sometimes that's just not possible.  So I wait and hope that my schedule over the next week and a half works out OK between Jacob's needs and work's needs.

Jacob has been counting down the days (literally) until surgery.  I think he's just ready to move on from the boot and get himself on the road to recovery.  His lacrosse team was the pregame tunnel team and the halftime team at the Knighthawks' opener on Saturday, and I think it bummed him out having to watch them from the stands.  Well, he probably could have done tunnel team, but they do have to run a bit from the entrance to the field down to where they welcome the team, and I think that worried him.  We've come to a point where we offer up the chance to participate and support his team, but if he doesn't want to, we don't push.  We know this is tough for him.  We ran into his coach at the game and he seemed a bit disappointed to hear the 4-6 week recovery time, but it really is best case scenario, I'd say, given how bad the leg could have been.  Knowing how much pounding it has taken over the years, I'm pretty shocked it didn't break.  Well, it possibly did based on what the doctor is seeing, but the fact that Jacob never felt it is pretty crazy.  So, the countdown is on and so far Jacob is in good spirits.  I don't think he really understands what's ahead, but with him it's a delicate balance between preparing him and totally freaking him out (hence why we had a massive fail when it came to preparing him for Carter's arrival, something we're still feeling the effects of three years later).  If we give him too much information he will obsess and panic.  If we don't give him enough, he will be caught unaware and be upset anyway.  But finding that tipping point is very, very hard.  To be honest, even we don't know a whole lot right now since we can't even find out the time of the surgery until Wednesday afternoon.  I don't know where we have to go or what we have to bring or anything like that, either.  I have a couple mental notes about little things I want to give him (a new drawing pad and possibly some colored pencils or other drawing instruments that are better than crayons but not as messy as markers), and a couple of potential activities for us while we're hanging out at home next week, but that's about as far as we've gotten.

I don't think I've mentioned that Jacob has started to play Minecraft.  He got an iTunes gift card for Christmas that he was initially annoyed about, because his iPad is old and most apps don't support iOS 5.1 at this point.  But then I reminded him how badly he wanted to download Minecraft.  He'd been asking about it for a while a few months ago, then stopped, and then really got on me about it after he realized the gift card could buy it.  I did some research on the safety and age-appropriateness, then consented to downloading it for him.  However, he needed to be reasonable with the time he spent on it and if it started interfering in things it would be deleted.  A week or so in, he's pretty addicted, not surprisingly, but we're monitoring it.  He's only allowed to play in creative mode at the moment, so he's building himself a crazy city with sports facilities and a city hall and a million other things.  It's pretty nuts, actually.  I mean, on one hand I'm impressed with all he's done, and with his imagination in doing it.  But I don't like all the screen time and I'm getting annoyed that he talks about it all the time.  I've been there, though.  When I was a kid, we borrowed a family member's Nintendo (while my cousins were being punished), I get quite sucked into Super Mario, to the point that my thumb hurt!  And about 14 years ago I became pretty addicted to Rollercoaster Tycoon 2.  Hours, I tell you.  It's still on my desktop, but I haven't touched it in years, mostly because I know it's a terrible time suck.  In the spirit of Jacob's blossoming obsession, I did download the free RCT app for myself!  It's very different than the computer version, but it's been entertaining.  Hearing that music again transported me right back to those days, though!  I may offer to play the computer version with Jacob next week, since he seemed interested in it and it will give us something to do while he's laid up.  In regards to Minecraft, though, I want to lay down a few very strong rules, but I feel like right now is not the time for anything new.  He's going to need things to do over the next couple weeks, so I think it's pointless to be laying down the law right now.  Once he's mobile again and has a few more options, we'll work on it.  I do think we'll have to try to be creative and find other non-electronic things to keep him busy, but now is not the time to enforce new rules.

Speaking of which, yesterday I started reading "1-2-3 Magic", a book loaned to us by our family counselors that lays out a different discipline technique.  I can't say I'm convinced it will work with Jacob, but I think Carter may benefit from it at this point.  Still, I will finish reading it and hopefully once we're past the initial recovery we can consider implementing it.  Keeping quiet and calm and not allowing the child to argue and debate are key components of it, and I know that will be hard for me since it's hard not to respond to some of the things the kids say.  Jacob, in particular, has gotten very mouthy lately.  He's developed this tween attitude thing, complete with the obnoxious inflection (you know, that way of speaking that combines total annoyance, disgust, entitlement, and a silent eye roll).  We will be looking to nip that in the bud ASAP, but again, now seems like a bit of a tough time to start this program.  In fact, the book cautions against starting it when kids aren't at peak health.  We'll still have to be firm in the meantime, but we'll save the program for when we're prepared to stick with it.  Regardless, I think a guideline for consistent discipline is a good thing.  With this one, when we start counting, they will know exactly how long they have to shape up, and what's coming if they don't.  We'll see.

On top of everything else, I'm facing down the one year anniversary later this week of the day I lost my job.  That's been weighing on my mind a lot, for some reason, even though I'm in a better place than I was.  At the Knighthawks game on Saturday, I visited with my former co-worker who got let go the same day, and she loves her new job, too.  She's so much happier.  Yet, we still said how awful the whole thing was to go through.  I doubt I will ever forget the surreal, sinking feeling as it all went down, and I still think they made a horrible mistake.  Regardless of where they stand now, I know for a fact there were a lot of people whose lives were made much harder, and others who could not get the things they needed and were promised.  And now that the other analyst has moved on to greener pastures, I feel awful for my amazing former boss.  She didn't deserve this at all.  It was a short-sighted decision, and for that it makes me very mad.  Even though I benefited in the long run from the interview training, resume re-write, and simply being able to focus on my strengths and how to sell myself, the path to get there was very uncomfortable.  Had I not found my job like I did, I'm not sure where I would have ended up.  Those "what-ifs" are scary, and for that this anniversary is still a little bittersweet.  Perhaps it's also that it coincides with Jacob's surgery and it's a reminder of how quickly things can change.  Sigh.

As I mentioned, the Knighthawks season started on Saturday, so we're officially in the thick of Craig's busy season now.  His second game is Thursday in Toronto (yes, surgery day) so we're starting it off with a bang.  I just wish they could have started it with a win. :-/

Carter made it through a week of underwear with only one minor accident (wet spot on the undies but pants were barely damp), so I think we'll call that a win.  He's been doing great.  I feel hesitant to call him potty trained, but we're pretty darn close during the day!  I'm so proud of him!  He's mostly ahead of Jacob at this point, though looking back it looks like Jacob had a good run after he turned three and then took a turn for the worse for a while.  Carter had a second minor accident tonight, so now it's got me worried we've got another backslider.  Still, I think Jacob was pretty solidly in underwear by 3-1/2, so we could be as much as six months or so ahead of the game right now.  Not counting chickens, but I'm close!

So, yes, a big week.  Lots going on, including some potentially interesting weather and an extended family funeral we can't even make.  Oh, and there's one other (good) thing going on (not with us) that popped up today that's not sharable here, but suffice it to say that my mind is spinning pretty good right now with all that's happening this week.  Stay tuned... 

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