Friday, September 24, 2010

Sometimes it feels so abnormally normal...

It's strange how being two plus years into a seperation that two people can still feel so confused and lost about the whole thing.  I sometimes wonder where my ex-wife's head is in relation to the whole thing but will never ask because I'm afraid I will remind her if she's in a period of peace about it.  But then some days, like today I get this in an email:

"I’m having a bad being-divorced-day today. A not-understanding-even-though-I-know day."

 and I'm struck in the chest with the reality of how she is feeling.  And that even though we both know it's the right thing to do, I am probably safe to assume that neither of us really want it to be happening.  All I can do is apologize for pain and explain that I am feeling some of the same things.

There is so much I want to say to her, to try and help her get thru all of this, but I wait.  I wait because thru the process I was accused of manipulating her, when in reality I was just trying to maintain my relationship with my son.  Instead, I have started writing a letter in my head, that I will eventually put on paper and give her once the divorce is finalized. 

It's hard to be seperated from someone who has been my best friend for so many years and that even though things got pretty bad I still love and want the best for, and want to be in their life everyday... so I try and block it all out and just get thru the days, weeks and months.  Hoping one day it will all make sense for everyone.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Get ready to itch!

Last Saturday, after the first week of school was completed, I get a frantic message from my ex-wife that our son may have LICE!  She was at Walmart (some things never change) and noticed a small insect moving on William's hair.  She grabbed it and put it inside a pill bottle she had in her purse and immediately freaked out.  She called me and I quickly googled lice and treatments and we spoke about what we were going to do.

She got a chemical treatment and daily William goes thru extensive screening to ensure that any nits are removed before they can develop into a louse.  It is a long process and we are very blessed that William is obsessed with books and so well behaved, otherwise we might just decide to shave all our heads and pour bleach over the remaining stubble... okay I exaggerate slightly.

On Monday, since he only had had nits he went back to school, as is recommended by the department of health.  We informed the school and asked that they ensure that the children in William's class are screened, as we didn't want William to be re-infected.  The secretary informed Jaime that protocol had changed and the principal would call her back to discuss what would be done.  No call.  

Tuesday I spoke with the secretary and was informed that she had screened William Monday afternoon and did not see any nits, and that for the record she had never in her career ever seen one on a boy.  Flash forward to my ex-mother-in-law checking him upon return from school and she finds some and flash forward again to Monday evening when I spend an hour scanning his head removing many nits.  How qualified can this secretary truly be for screening students?  Anyway, back to Tuesday, I tell the secretary that I need the principal to call me back to let me know what is going to be done, because William will not be returning to class until we are confident that the children have been screened.  She tells me that she will send a letter home to the primary parents, even though she didn't have the principal's permission.  WTF?  Permission to inform parents about lice?  You have got to be kidding me.  A few hours later I get a call from the principal and he said that he will speak to the public health nurse assigned to our school and have students screened.  

I speak to the principal again Wednesday to find out how the process went and ensure it was safe to send William back to class.  He informs me that no screening would take place; the letter was sent home and parents will screen their kids.  But in that same conversation he said that newsletters are ineffective with some parents and most parents cannot identify nits or locate lice.  I'm holding myself back and ask him where the logic is in this situation where we have a public health nurse employed by our school who can identify lice, since parents are not qualified.  He can't answer that other than to say their role has changed to be more educators and perhaps they should send out some diagrams.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME??

I then go on to warn him that William will be returning to class, since he is free of lice and nits, HOWEVER if William becomes re-infected he will have two VERY UPSET parents on his hands.  And I for one will be going to every bus stop and speak with every parent I see to explain that the principal is not willing to have our students screened and then I will move onto the school board if nothing is done.  And he basically wraps up the conversation and I thank him for his time.    

So he's been back to class for two days and we continue to screen him every evening.  So far so good.  But come on people it's 2010.  Lice should not exist and plans should be in place to screen students when a parent calls reporting an outbreak. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Separation is obviously never an easy thing to deal with.  Your life, schedule and routines suddenly are thrown up in the air and you try your best to juggle all the things that used to seemingly fit perfectly together.  In that struggle to find a new balance I was faced with one task that I never thought would ever be an issue in life.  Eating alone.  

Initially on those nights I didn't have William I would come home from work and walk around the kitchen thinking of things to make for supper but then putting it off until around 9pm and by then I was starving and would eat just about anything.  That led me to eat easy things that wouldn't create any left overs and  were higher calorie foods.  And I easily put on weight.

Finally in the spring of this year, I had had enough.  I knew that for no one other than myself and my self esteem I needed to get my eating back on track and lose the excess weight.  I needed to feel better about myself because I was healing in other areas and needed to be the best Jeff I could be right now.

And what did I turn to?  A diet.  Not a don't eat carb, only eat meat diet, but specifically "The Abs Diet" from David Zinczenko, Editor-in-Chief of Men's Health Magazine.  I had seen things online about this diet before and decided that I was going to give it an honest try.  And it's not really a diet, it's more guidelines of what to eat, and workout plans to help you get real results in 6 weeks.  

The "diet" basically has you eating from twelve power food groups six times a day.  This way you're constantly fueling the fire and the exercise plans combine ab workouts, weight training workouts and interval cardio training.  That all sounds like a lot but you only have to commit to 3 workouts a week and really anyone can do that.  And the only real equipment you need is a set of simple weights, actually, it even provides alternatives that don't require weights for most exercises.

I committed to the six weeks.  I did a minimum of three workouts a week and ate the power foods, except for my cheat meal on weekends and within six weeks I lost 15lbs.  Fast forward thru the summer, and I kept up most of the eating habits and tried to get in my three workouts but without complete success and I'm happy to report I'm down a total of 25lbs.  Basically, I currently weight at 33 what I did when I was 23.  Never thought I could say that but it's true.

Now I still don't have abs and realistically never will, but I definitely lost a lot of belly fat, I have some definition in my arms and little things like having clearer skin were all benefits of this "diet".  And now that it's September and life will slow down a bit I plan on getting back to it hard core for another six weeks and see what new level I can reach... plus knowing that I'm heading south in the spring and will be dating are good motivators as well.

Before (nice double-chin action)

Skinnier yet slightly older version

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

And the lack of communication begins

Here's a conversation William and I had Friday afternoon while out for a walk in the city... if this is how it starts, what will it be like when I ask about finals in university?  Ha!

Me:  So William, what did you do at school today?

William:  Nothing.

M:  Nothing?  Did you color? 

W: No.

M: Play with blocks?

W: No.

M: Did your teacher read you a book?

W: No.

M: Did you have fun playing on the playground?

W: Grrrrr

M: What's wrong?

W: I don't remember Daddio.

M:  What did you have for lunch?

W: Nothing.

M: Nothing?  Did MomMom forget to pack your lunchbag?

W:  Yes.

M: Well you must be starving.  I can't believe you had to go all day without anything to eat.  I should call MomMom and ask why she forgot.

W: I had a sandwich.  Can we go to the playground now?

Friday, September 3, 2010


So just under a month ago I turned 33.  And when I say that number I feel like I should feel older and have more accomplished in my life but for some reason I embrassed turning 33 this year even though maybe it doesn't feel like the number that truly represents my age.

If I had to look at my life and assign it an age I'd either be 28 or 19.  I say 28 because I feel like that's the stage of responsibility that I am at.  I have a career that still needs some development to reach the final plateau.  I have a son and maintain a home.  I am very active and am constantly striving to improve my health because I know what the future can hold.  And because I dress and resemble someone in their late twenties.  And I say 19 because lets face it, I have drank and partied more this summer than I have in many years.  I have a circle of friends who are constantly planning the next event; to the point that we now have a private facebook group exclusive to our group that we post things in, so we're all always up to date on pending events.  Yeah, we're that cool.  Ha!

So what did I actually do on my birthday, you may ask?  Well I spent the day with my Mom and William.  We kind of had a slow easy start to the day at home, not really doing all that much.  Then in the afternoon we went on a little adventure that William decided on.  He's wanted to go on the Harbour Hopper for a long time and we decided that Daddio's birthday was probably a great time to go.  Sadly, William fell asleep five minutes into the ride and was disappointed that he missed the water portion of the tour (and being the good Dad I am, we went a second time about a week later).  While on the tour I started getting texts from my friend Ashley asking what my evening plans were.  I told her none, since it was a Tuesday, and none of my other friends were on vacation like I was. 

Mom, William and I then met up with a girl I grew up with, Kelly, who is more like a younger sister than friend and we all went for Chinese food at May Garden.  We enjoyed a quiet dinner and made plans to go visit her later in the week at her home on a lake, near where we grew up.  Then we just went back to my house to blow out some candles, cut a cake and open a few presents.  It was a great day.

But then, my friend Ashley asked if I wanted to go for a drink on one of the many great patios in our city.  We ended up at the Bitter End, which are known for their assortment of martinis.  I accepted the offer and made my way for around 8pm.  To my surprise Ashley was not alone.  She had arranged and secured 12 of our friends for a last minute meeting.  We sat on the patio and shared drinks, nachos and stories and laughed for a couple of hours.  I got a few cards, many hugs and well wishes to the next year of my life.

To say that I'm a lucky man is an understatement.  I have an amazing family that support me.  I have an amazing circle of friends, most of which I have only known for a year.  And I have my health and a future that is mine to decide.  So bring on 33 and all the new experiences!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

First day of grade primary

Today is the first day of grade school for my son.  It was a day that I dreaded for the last six months or so, because I had to admit to myself that he was a big boy.  As the day approached I felt the anxiety surge and I had some fear that on his first day there would be tears for him, my ex-wife and myself, but I'm happy to report it was all dry eyes today (not that I have any issue expression emotion).

Another concern for me was that William didn't want to go to "big school"; he made that clear for weeks and during supper Monday evening when I tried to upsell school he was at the point of ignoring the conversation all together.  Luckily, one of my ex's sisters is an elementary school teacher and suggested that he go for another visit at the school in hopes of turning his resistance into a bit of excitement.

On Tuesday his grandmother took him to the school and both of his teachers (yes, we just found out this week that there is going to be a split in teaching between two teachers... WHAT?) were there.  He was able to have a personal tour of the school, see where his desk was and play with some of the things in class and finally he began to have a bit of excitement.  We didn't want to jinx ourselves so we held our breath and today I am happy to report William had a great day and called me at work when he got home to tell me some of what he did.

But knowing William, tomorrow could be a whole different ball game.

PS.  Sorry about the slacking on my blog... I'm going to try and do some catch-up entries to fill you in on my summer.