Sunday, 15 December 2013

What a day!

Well, things are calming down a little here (I'm pleased to say), though the exhaustion that went with all of the effort at work and home is still there.

On Friday I even managed to leave 3 hours early and take back some time that was owed.  Did the weekly shopping, came home and chilled for an hour and then went for a very cold run.

Yesterday on the other hand was not so superb...

I was woken up at 2am by someone drumming their finger nails on...  Something.

Mrs Stacy was woken by it two and asked what I was doing.

Strange.  Then I welt wet spots appear on my head.

Yup, the new dormer flat roof has sprung a leak somewhere.  Not serious, but serious enough to mean that the bed is now in the middle of the room instead of by the wall and there is a bucket just in case it rains enough to cause it to leak again. On Monday we have to call, and get them to come and fix it.  Gah!

Then we went to pick up the pushchair and car seat from the shop. A trip that should have been so much fun and really exciting, but we were exhausted (it took a while to get to sleep after I had moved the bed and I was expecting the drops of water to follow us across the room...) and so we get there not in the best moods.

And we needed sheets for the cot, and blankets and some other stuff. We got the blankets, no problem there, but can't find sheets.  At all. It seems that the cot we bought, that can turn into a junior bed, is a strange size - 10cm longer than most beds and 10cm shorter than those at Ikea.  So we have to do some searching for real sized sheets or get some longer ones shortend.  Great...

Then we went to get a stand for the baby bath that we bought a couple of months ago. Only to be told that they don't sell stands for the one we bought (even though when we bought it we were told that any standard stand would fit). So now we have to try and find the receipt to take it back and swap it for a more expensive one that does fit the stand.  And if we can't find the receipt then we just have to throw it away and buy a more expensive one.

So far this was not going to plan.

Then we got to the counter to pay for the things we could find, and collect the pushchair etc.  Someone went to fetch everything whilst someone else tried to do the bill.

And tried is the right word. There was no way to call up the bill that we had, even though there was a 400 euro deposit payment on it.

The manager came down and also struggled, so that in the end they gave us the deposit back as a credit voucher and then entered the whole order again.

Though here I have to admit they were very good.  Anything that had gone up in price they reduced to the price when we ordered it, and anything that had gone down in price they gave us at the new cheaper price (which saved about 50 euros I think - the cost of the new baby bath actually...)

We drove home a little under the weather, on the one hand it was so exciting to actually have the baby things in the car, but on the other it was such a worry about the bed sheets and bath (and the leaking new roof) that we could not be as smiling as we wanted to be.

In the afternoon we went to Ikea to get the remaining furniture for the new bedroom. Two bookshelves, a bed (very important now that our bedroom had developed a leak) and a chair for the baby room.

We walked around trying to find all of the things we needed, got to the magazine and started to load up the trolley. Ug.  I say we, obviously Mrs Stace can't load up the trolley, so I had to pick everything up and load the trolley.  And 2m long 50cm wide packages weighing in at about 60kg are not easy for one person to lift!

I managed to put everything into the car (thankfully the front seat also folds flat so that the 2+m long packages could go right to the front) loaded the other boxes and nearly collapsed.

Had an oliebol with raisons (so unhealthy, and so nice - it's a good job they are only available at this time of year!) - and yes that does translate to oil ball - whilst getting my breath back and went home.

Where I had to unload the car by myself. Loaded up the living room and managed to sit for 5 minutes whilst having a drink before starting on the bed (like I said after having the leak I wanted a place to go should our room get damp!).  I unpacked in the living room and just took the bits I needed to the attic for the instruction page I was on. A couple of hours later we had a very complex bed made, complete with 4 drawers to get some storage back in the room!

Then one billy cabinet (where I sliced my middle finger along the edge of one of the pieces) and then a very rushed dinner!

Another billy cabinet whilst regretting eating too quickly, a tidy up and I managed to make it downstairs in time for the first dance of Strictly!  Phew.

Apart from the fact that we are really starting to dislike the judges (we not mute the stereo when they are speaking), and their obvious favouritism for one contestant, and dislike for another, it's a bit of relaxation that we enjoy.

And then to bed, in our room, where I managed to kick the leg of the bed that was now in a strange position in the room so hard that it still hurts now, 10 hours later. Which means of course that I can't run today.  But then again the pain in my muscles from moving a couple of hundred Kg of furniture to the attic is also making that rather hard! I'm just glad I went on Friday!

But, today is a new day. Unpacking the pushchair will be fun, and this afternoon we a (probably) going to go into town and do our Christmas shopping for each other. That is always fun!

Right, time for another cappuccino now!

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Does it matter

Another week down, a week less to do the Christmas shopping (still not started :O ) and another week less till I get to meet Kleintje!

We had a plan to do nothing this week, and we almost managed to do it as well! Monday we had to do some clearing up after they had finished setting up the baby furniture - there were that many boxes in the hallway that it was that or not go to bed :)

But for the rest we have cooked, cleaned and relaxed.

And I have done another 4.5 miles (46 minutes, not good - but better than I was expecting after not running for so long!)

My project is not as over as I would have hoped in the office. There are always loose ends to tie up and glitches to investigate. And as it's getting busier and busier over the health insurance period there are becoming more and more time consuming to fix. But, with the exception of Friday when I just wanted to sleep, they are also interesting exercises.

And I was back at the hospital for my 6 monthly check up. A quick in and out visit. We had a quick chat about the blood test that I asked for recently. My values are all fine, and the T is still almost untraceable in my blood. There is an increase in one hormone (which I can never remember the name for) but whilst they want to keep a close eye on it to make sure it doesn't get much higher, is not anything to worry about yet.

With the symptoms I complained of (the reason for wanting the blood tests in the first place) they have increased my androcur back to the original dose to see if it helps. The T is not the problem, but it can also have other effects that cause the problem. If the symptoms have not gone in three months then I need to go back to the half dose - I'm just hoping that they all come good!

No new date yet for the next check up, because the expect me to be back for the operation before then! Woot (and scary!)

On Thursday the Sint came to Holland to deliver presents to the children, and we had a busy evening with my nieces and nephew watching them open their presents :) Next year we will have our own visit from the Sint - I can't wait!

And now that he is gone we are gearing up for Christmas! Today I start the cake (soaking the dried fruit in cognac overnight before backing it tomorrow), and this morning we are making way for the tree. And tomorrow we have to write the cards and get them sent - otherwise they won't reach the UK in time!


And before I bore you too much...  The title to this post.

This week I was reading an article about research done on the way that the brain communicates in men and women. And why (as a generalisation - something I don't mind as long as it is not reversed to make specific comments about a single person) women are better at some things and men at others.

The comment section to this post got my attention. Lots of sexist comments (something that I have unfortunately come to expect from the tech industry), but one very good question about how does this relate to transsexual people.

There was a comment from someone who told about her experiences - she lives up to some of the findings they have, but not all. And mentioned that it doesn't matter what brain structure she has, she is who she is.  Quite right too.

I also commented (albeit anonymously - yup I can be a coward when I want to be) about my experience with the medical research I did a couple of years ago and results that were given to me.

On the one hand, as I said above, it doesn't matter. I am who I am and that is that.

But on the other hand it was really good to see that there is a very good reason for feeling the way I do. Whilst it is not any kind of information on why this has happened, it is a good to know I feel this because of a solid reason.

It's a paradox in my head that I have been thinking about since I wrote it. It doesn't matter in general, and yet it did do something to see that there is a cause of how I feel.

Anyway, time for something lighter. I have a tradition of reading Hogfather each year in December and if I don't start soon I am not gong to be able to finish it before December 25th!

Look after yourselves!

Monday, 2 December 2013

A week off...

It's been a few weeks since last posting, and there is a very good reason for it.  I just have not had the time or energy to do it!

My life has basically been:

Wake up at 5:30
Shower, dress, cappuccino and breakfast, hair and make-up, more cappuccino :)
Go to work
Work through lunch
Get home, fire up the laptop and work some more
Spend an hour or two cleaning and moving belongings around to make space for the other rooms
Fire up the laptop and spend another 1/2 hour working
15 to 20 minutes relaxing (I spoil myself sometimes)
Go to bed at 9:30ish and fall asleep to Jonathan Creek, The Office, The Vicar of Dibley or Gavin and Stacey (both Mrs Stace and I are too tired / lazy to pick up a book at the moment, and we feel guilty because of it)

Start again the next day.

Weekends have been largely similar, only getting up one or two hours later and doing a little less work and little more around the house.

However... This week, rather this second - the guy is busy upstairs, we have reached a milestone!

We are not going to work on the house this week in the evening.
I am going to try not to work late, or work on the house this week

I am going to go running on Wednesday evening (you may notice that was missing from the list above)

You see, assuming evey thing goes to plan for the guy in the baby room we have reached the point of being ready for Kleintje to make an appearance. The baby room is painted, the lamp on the ceiling has little clouds on it (since an hour or two ago) and has three LED lightbulbs in it (they have improved so much in the last couple of years, and come down in price so much too!). The guy is busy putting together the furniture. We decided that we would pay for it to be done - I had heard that it is rather less well designed than Ikea for home building and takes an age, the guy has been busy for over an hour and he knows what he is doing. If it was Ikea furniture I would have had it done by now!

But it means that no matter how messy the house is the main room is finished.

The attic is almost finished as well (thanks to colleagues and family-in-law) The desk is up there, the bookshelves are full (even if out of order) and the mattress is ready for the new bed it is going to get.

It's untidy still, but it is there and the furniture is not in the baby room, which was the important part!

The garden is empty, the terrace furniture back in it's place (but needs cleaning) and the table in the middle looking classy, even if I say so myself.

I can get to my bike again.  Even if it is a little cold to do 80mph without a heater ;p

Oh, and after taking all of the rubbish to the tip I was politely told that we had taken as much as we could without paying this year.  So whatever is left has to go in January :)

Wednesday I go back to the VU for my check up, and to discuss with the endocrinologist about how to fine tune my medication. The normal one, who runs the gender clinic, is away on personal business unfortunately, but I have no doubt that the other person will be able to help as much.

As long as things can keep ticking over in the office, and as long as I can figure out a way of cutting down the laborious copy, paste between multiple applications to get the data we need when there is a problem then I think that work is calming down as well.

I have been overdoing it, my colleagues are zombied out as well (one of them has my routine but replace working on the house with solving work problems) and we are all on the verge of collapse.

This week however,  I am looking after myself and chilling.  Next week we can plan what is left, in a realistic schedule and in a way that means neither of us is overworking ourselves.

And on that note, I'm going to sign off for another week :)

PS: Apologies for the bad spelling in places - my cat decided that my time would be better spent fussing him rather than typing this and tried to sit on the keyboard! ;p