The File

Dutch words are always so logical. Hospital = Sickhouse, gloves = handshoes, vacuum cleaner = dustsucker.  Traffic jam = File.  I spend about 3 hours in a traffic jam every day.  I guess a jam is just as descriptive as file but if look at the lines of cars on the freeway then it is more like a file.   I spend so much time in the ‘File’ that I have plenty of time to think about language and life.  I’m a regular ‘File’-Philospher.

Life has been good this year. Last month I travelled back to New Zealand to see my Mum and Dad where they met their grandson for the first time.   My son, Thomas, also turned one.  Therefore when we arrived we had a Christmas/Birthday party all rolled into one.  It was nice to be home  again.

My hometown of Christchurch has literally fallen down since I last visited. A trip into the city centre shocked me because there were just gaping holes where the city used to be.  A drive through the earthquake effected suburbs was depressing as it is all just grass with carefully planted trees marking out squares where back yards used to be.  Everyone now is a geology expert and the App ‘Geonet’  will tell you how many minutes ago the last earthquake was.  There is a quake every few minutes.  Despite my shock, I am happy to see NZ’ers are fiercely proud and have shown resilience by continuing to rebuild and renew the city. It really is a beautiful country.

Thomas met all my family in NZ and all my friends in Melbourne. He played with their kids and had a fantastic time.  I forgot about the therapists and doctor’s visits at home and enjoyed each day.  I didn’t catastrophize about his uncertain future.  Thomas is still a SWAN (syndrome without a name) and he is developmentally delayed.  He has hypotonia and therefore he has weak muscles.  Especially his upper body.  The only thing we can do is help is go to therapy and hope he slowly gets there.  My facebook group for hypotonia, uses the term inchstones.  I love it.   Most proud mums are gushing their baby walked at 10 months, talked at a year etc,  but we celebrate when our baby finally puts their arms around us, sits up, has a break through at therapy.  It really is reassuring for me when development is painfully slow.

Yesterday I was reading the same book for the millionth time with Thomas.  It was the first time he turned the pages for me.  His little shaky hands couldn’t wait to turn the page then when he got to the end he was so proud!!  He has the same look when he is standing and we are holding him. He is so proud that he is standing, although he has absolutely no desire to move from the standing position!

Next week we go to the hospital for a small operation. Thomas has a slight hypospadias.  Although this is a routine operation (1 in 6 boys have this) it warrants a 2 night stay at the hospital and one of us must stay at Ronald McDonald house.  So I was enjoying a brief break from the hospitals but now we are back in the thick of it.  I have several questions for the children’s neurologist so hopefully I can track one down when I am there.

My therapist recommended I read a book by Brene Brown, called The gift of imperfection.  She thought I might connect with the message.  I don’t think I connected with the message but more with the author.  I realized that I’d like to call last year ‘A spiritual awakening’ as opposed to a mental meltdown and perhaps I should stop setting my goals so high.  So I have stopped trying so hard to be something I think I should be and start doing more for me.  Winter is so depressing that it is helping me to achieve this goal.  I am enjoying quiet nights in with Netflix and planning my summer holidays!

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Christmas

It’s the Christmas season again and I’m starting to feel joy, and I’m super grateful for the wonderful people in my life. I have a glass of red wine, I’m listening to Frank wishing me a merry Christmas, my son is sleeping and I have just cut short a potential Netflix marathon to write this.  Life is good.

I was reminded of how lucky I am a couple of times this week. The first, I am glad I have the most relaxed and super flexible job ever.  Moving to the Netherlands 4 years ago I have reluctantly given up any hope of climbing heights in my career to pursue a family.  I wanted to do both but realised it wasn’t possible for my situation.  I was an A-type planner, although slowly nothing went to plan.

I now work in finance in the European offices of a great big American company. Because we are a service centre we are largely forgotten about and definitely no money is spent on us.  I work in an Industry park surrounded by farms.  My knowledge of farming has increased 100 fold in 4 years, my knowledge of finance has stagnated, because not once in my time at the company have we been offered to attend a training course.  Until last week…  Our new Auditors; PwC, decided they wanted to update their clients on recent US GAAP and Sarbanes Oxley changes.  Oh I have lost you already!  Such a boring subject you say, presented by people in brown cardigans and thick rimmed glasses!  But for us, this was a chance to leave the office and learn something. It was free, otherwise my company wouldn’t allow us to go!

I haven’t worn business attire in 4 years because jeans, t-shirt and sneakers is appropriate where I work as I navigate the horse dung when I walk around the office at lunch time. So with nostalgia I put on a suit and drove to the big smoke.. Amsterdam.  My colleagues and I pulled into the parking garage at PwC and were intimidated by the security guards welcoming us to the office.  It was hard to find to a parking spot amongst all the Mercedes getting recharged.  I’m glad to see staff making the most of their energy efficient lease plans.  As we found our seminar room I was shocked at the ostentatiousness of the office.  How much money do we pay them?

I looked around and saw a room full of over worked and very tired and bored looking finance people. I looked at my colleagues.. I swear we looked awake, interested and engaged!  The meeting finished and we all piled into our cars and drove out into the daily traffic jam.  At 7pm I came home, paid the nanny and had just 1 hour to spend with my son before bed.  I thought people do these long hours every day, and in this moment I discovered that I couldn’t.  (oh every now and then, but not every day!).  I read two books to my son, instead of the usual one and savoured just one more toothy smile before he slept.  My job lets me begin early and leave early.  If I need to work over time, which is very rare, I can do it at home.  I am super lucky, we just make ends meet and me and my husband rarely need the nanny.

file-holland
daily traffic Netherlands

December 5th is Christmas presents day for the kids in Holland.  Each year we gather at my husband’s brothers house to do Sinterklaas night.  This year my son was treated to a new array of carefully chosen but bloody annoying electronic toys.  The helicopter toy is ok but the remote control is annoying..  “Ik ben de afstandsbediening” it shouts..  as if a kid is going to remember that word! I sat Thomas on the floor with his new toys and he promptly picked up the actual remote control with interest and shoved the plastic toy one in his mouth.  Doh, that one isn’t going to last long!  It’s weird for me to celebrate these Dutch festive days that I haven’t grown up with but each year I love them a little bit more and appreciate my new Dutch family.

 

sint
Sinterklaas arriving on his boat

We are also lucky to look forward to a few things.. On Christmas Eve we are going to the beach, On Jan 5th is Thomas’ first birthday and on Jan 18 we finally go home to NZ and my son will see my parents for the first time.

 

Currently I am enjoying each day.. I am juggling my sons therapists, I’m in a routine at the gym and I’m trying to learn Dutch.  I have just discovered my gym has a free Solarium.  Not that I want a tan but it feels so nice.. I swear I have post natal depression with a bit of seasonal activity disorder thrown in!   It’s a bit wrong but I am covered in sunscreen when I go the gym and only do one exercise and follow it up with a solarium! It is bliss.  (I’ll be a fit Oompa loompa soon!)

So there is a lot of bliss and Joy for me this December, I’m hoping everyone else shares in it too 🙂

Aerobics

pizza-dough

I did my fit test yesterday. Generally that means standing in front of the mirror and waving my arms to see if I had flabby under arms.  I did, it looked like pizza dough being swung about.  So I joined the gym again after a 3 year hiatus.  I’m surprised because I thought lifting a baby and cleaning most of the day would mean I was still keeping generally fit, but clearly not!  Ah.. so I am back at the gym.. I think I have been a member half of my life and I have seen fitness fads come and go.  I found myself sitting on my step waiting for my BodyPump class to start pondering how many classes I have done in my life and how rich Les Mills must be.

I come from the home of Body pump and the group fitness class. New Zealand has had these classes since the 90’s.  Of course when I started at Canterbury University Gym in the 90’s they were called ‘Aerobic classes’.  Most people didn’t care what they looked like, there were certainly no mirrors to look at your form in.. and no one was taking selfies of their hot gym bod (at exactly the right angle) to post on ‘Fit moms of Instagram’.   I remember my Step instructor from 20 years ago who relished complicated routines (newcomers were screwed) and the feeling of satisfaction when you didn’t mess up a large combo.  My slightly overweight, gay, Placebo loving instructor was revered and his classes were always full to the brim.  The Les Mills fitness class had swept NZ and was slowly going global.

body-step

10 years later and many pump, spin and step classes later I found myself living in Melbourne. My gym was ‘Fitness first’, or Finance First, as my friend liked to call it as he always donated and never went.  Richmond Fitness first was everything I hated.  There were beef cakes owning the weights area, fake women with full make up and personal trainers soliciting for business. However, the classes were good and the fitness instructors had taken on a ‘Demi god’ status.  You had to arrive 30 minutes early to get a place and during a particularly hard section of the class, random people would yell ‘wahoo’ just to get them through the umpteenth squat.  (cringing as I write this!)

 

15 years after my first class, I did Body Spin classes in Sydney at the Sheridan gym.  A corporate membership meant that we all went with our colleagues to the gym at lunch.  It wasn’t as gym-like as Fitness first but the routines were the same and having a no-brainer on your lunch break was always a nice distraction.

20 years later, I am sitting on my step in a small village in the Netherlands still doing Les Mills Body Pump classes and loving the fact that even though it is in a different language I still know the routine from years ago. I have one of those super skinny instructors who has heaped the weights on her bar.  I marvel at the way she doesn’t keel over and fold up under the weight of them.  I look at my 2.5 kilos and think I’m safe.  4 days later and after 100 squats with those 2.5 kilo weights, I can only just walk normally again.

pump

I do another ‘mirror test’ just to motivate myself to go back. It gets harder and harder to motivate myself to go to the gym but with the long dark days of winter ahead I need an indoor fitness option.  Who knows, maybe I’ll still be doing les Mills classes in years to come!

Are you ok? Ja, Fine (not fine)

Yesterday my mother enthusiastically skyped me and asked me to listen to a radio interview she has heard from a lady called Allison Mcullough who had written a book about women in New Zealand that have post natal depression (PND) and how they found services in New Zealand to cope with it. The book was called Fine (Not fine). She also had conducted interviews with women that I listened to yesterday to see if I could draw connections with how they were feeling.

I ended up not sleeping at all last night thinking about ‘how did I get here?’ and the steps I was taking to control it. This is my story on post natal depression  and why I believe it was inevitable and that there was nothing I could do to avoid it.

On reflection, all the red flags were there but I was so hell bent on having a baby that I chose to ignore them.

The first was that I suffered a small bout of depression when I was 20. For 2 months I cried for no particular reason and it took a lot of counselling and exercise (no drugs) for me to come out the other side.  I focussed on routine and being part of a competitive women’s volleyball team to help me not to isolate myself and exercise and be healthy.  This was over 16 years ago so I believed it was something that would not happen again if I continued to exercise and be part of teams, groups and be healthy.

The second was that we were having IVF. Most women that have PND have had IVF.  IVF for me bought a whole range of complications, emotions and struggles that made unrealistic expectations of what motherhood would be.  In fact the more time we spent trying to have a baby the more I thought my/our life would have a purpose if we had a baby and we would be more fulfilled and we wouldn’t be missing something.

We also have another complication where my husband has a recessive eye disease. We have a 50% chance of our child being blind.  We were not prepared to give our baby a start in life where they wouldn’t be able to do things that other children can expect to do.  This meant three terminations after finding out that all three embryos had the disease.  This also prompted us to go to Spain to get IVF with pre-genetic selection to implant an embryo that didn’t have the disease.

The fourth factor was that I had no support. There are no Mothers groups in the Netherlands and my efforts to find other Mothers were hopeless.  My family lived on the other side of the world and weren’t coming over to help.  My husband’s family were great but we are still not connected due to my inability to learn Dutch well.

Most women that have post natal depression have had a traumatic birth and this mismatch of expectations of a birth versus what actually happens causes possible problems. I didn’t.  I knew I was going to have a C-section and I was fully prepared for the C-section recovery.  This is not the norm in the Netherlands where they still favour natural births and mid-wives.  My doctor was understanding and he agreed he didn’t want to take the risk of something going wrong with a natural birth and we agreed on a date for the Op.

I found there is so much focus on the actual birthing process rather than the ‘what you should expect’ in the first few weeks with a baby. I would take a C-section every day over the feeling I felt for the first six weeks of my baby’s life.

My baby had feeding problems and we were sent home after a day without anyone really monitoring if he could drink. He struggled to regain his birth weight and was crying non-stop.  In hindsight he was probably starving and just couldn’t get enough to drink.  At 6 weeks he was re-admitted to hospital to get a feeding tube and to force him to gain weight.  This also was the start of the doctors trying to discover what is wrong with him.  After 6 weeks of no sleep we welcomed the respite the hospital provided us and I didn’t give much thought as to the possible ramifications of not feeding well.

My baby was subjected to endless tests. Urine tests, sweat tests, blood tests, ultra sounds, MRI’s, genetic testing and then whole exome sequencing.  It was ironic that we had done everything possible to give our baby the best start in life yet there was something wrong and it was out of my control.

The only thing that we could label him with was Tracheomalacia. A mild breathing problem that the doctors said he would grow out of by the time he was 2.  It was more of an annoyance for the doctors but caused us a huge amount of anxiety as this breathing problem is associated with poor feeding and sleep apnoea which can be fatal.

At three months I had taken to crying when anyone asked if I was OK which I quickly buried and said I was fine. I busied myself with long walks, hospital and physio visits.  This continued for the next two months.  The crying became more frequent and by the time my son was 6 months I acknowledged I had a problem.  I spent all night awake researching possible syndromes my child has and then by day I was tired and cried most of the time.  My husband was worried about me and we decided I needed help.

I made an appointment with my local GP who clearly saw a blubbering mother and promptly gave me a list of psychologists in the area and then said “Good luck in finding one that speaks English”. I found one that had actually lived in New Zealand and could understand my lack of openness due to my culture.  At the same time we were referred to the Early Intervention centre as it was becoming more obvious that our child would have special needs because he was missing his milestones.

The early intervention meeting I came away from feeling rather disappointed as I was expecting to be offered more services like physio and special education and help with my baby. Instead they took a let’s wait and see approach.  I managed to cry through the entire meeting and the psychologist there flagged me for needing special Mother and Baby sessions where they would teach me to be mindful and present with my baby rather than worry about his future.

At 8 months, I was still working 3 days a week, and every day off was filled with doctor’s appointments. I also managed to become pregnant again.  This was originally the plan to give my son a brother or sister. Instead of bringing joy it brought a whole new round of anxieties.  At a paediatricians appointment she said she expected the full genetic sequencing to come up with a syndrome and she would be very surprised if they didn’t uncover one.  Then she added even if they come up with nothing it doesn’t mean it isn’t an undiagnosed genetic syndrome.  I hoped they would find something as then we could have an idea how to manage it and I could stop my late night researching on the internet.  It also meant we could test for it with the new baby.  Two days later the geneticist called and said after the most in depth testing they could do, he doesn’t have a syndrome.  He won’t even get Alzheimer’s.   Instead of being happy with this news it just brought about a whole new range of uncertainty and anxiety that I couldn’t cope with.

I decided not to have another baby due to the fact I couldn’t cope with one child with special needs, what if I had another with special needs? This was a big decision as being in my late thirties I am essentially deciding I will never have another child. My husband is an endless optimist and firmly believes there is nothing wrong with our baby and he is just delayed due to his feeding problems at the start.  He is frustrated at my doom gloom but is supportive in directing me in the right direction for help.

During the time I was pregnant I also experienced awful morning sickness and I basically withdrew more and didn’t/couldn’t leave the house for a month. I would put a brave face on at work and just hold it together.  I would then cry all the drive home!  This week I don’t have morning sickness, I can start exercising again and my husband’s parents are back from holiday and we can finally use them as a babysitter when we need help sometimes.

I know at 9 months on.. I have a long way to go with getting over PND. I have a lot of services available to me and I will use them all!  I still have a lot of hope for my sons future but it is buried under uncertainty from endless hospital visits.  This uncertainty has robbed my happiness of being a mother.  I am also angry at myself at allowing my son to feel my unhappiness and I worry his future will be effected by it.  All I can do is take one day at a time and hope it gets easier.

Tap dancing Mexicans

Tonight I’m going to my Dutch lesson. I have been attending classes with the same group of ladies for 3 years and we still speak Dutch terribly.  In fact, I don’t think I even go there to learn Dutch but more so to see the same group of ladies.  We are all stuck in a small village facing the same cultural differences and language problems I face.  It is nice to feel part of a ‘foreigners group’.

We have had newcomers over the years and some stay and some go but we always seem to have a core group of four of us. Our teacher is from Russia but probably has better Dutch than the locals here.  Older people from the village speak dialect which I have no chance of learning, therefore to hear proper Dutch (ABN) albeit with a Russian accent is better than nothing.  The teacher has a flair for eye shadow that matches her jewellery and it always nice to see brightly coloured beads on a shitty grey day!

There is Olga the older Russian housewife who is always immaculately dressed, complete with home sewn monogrammed handkerchiefs. I see her slightly stiffen as I sometimes tramp in my tracksuit pants.  Tracksuit pants are called a ‘House suit’ in the Netherlands and unlike my country, it is not acceptable to leave your house in them.  When Olga doesn’t get the grammar she will fight it out with the teacher in Russian.  Oh the passion! Over grammar!

Kiko comes from Japan. Like Olga she has spent 10+ years here but Dutch has escaped her.  Like my other Asian friends Dutch is extremely hard as it has no resemblance to their languages and they can’t get their mouths around some of the words.  Kiko also happens to be an ex-pro cyclist and a personal friend.  Despite hours spent on the bike with Dutch men everyday her understanding is great but getting understood is difficult.  We also love Kiko because she loves to bake.  It’s her hobby and we often find ourselves recipients of her baked goodies.

Lila comes from Spain and she commutes about 3 hours a day to travel to Amsterdam to work. Despite coming to work hungry and tired she is always laughing and clearly the best in our class.  I think she works with Dutch people therefore her learning is expedited.  She always makes class fun and worth going to.

The newcomers this year are a Polish lady and a Romanian lady who is pregnant. They both seem nice and I hope they are going to continue for the rest of the year. I am the lucky one as English is closest to Dutch and some words are just the same.  I have clearly relied on this advantage until Level 5 but now it is obvious I will need to work a little harder as I’m falling behind.

Last week I skipped class to go to the theatre in Eindhoven. My friend who loves dancing and thought it might be a good show.  The review said it would be an energetic performance of Mexican cowboys dancing. However, It wasn’t quite what I imagined.  Think of a Mexican River dance without music.  There were 12 five foot tall men tap dancing to the beat of a drum.  Most of them had long hair and after 20 minutes of jumping about the sweat would fly off their hair and around the stage, dangerously close to where we were sitting.  They were clearly talented but I felt I was missing some music to get me excited about it.

Tonight I need to give that review of the dancing Mexicans in Dutch to my classmates. I think my review will be lacking, like their performance!  I asked my Dutch husband for the right words but school was never his forte so I’m on my own.  Eek.

*I’m taking a break from being miserable.  No babies, doctors and hospital talk this month!  Only the good things in life will be thought about.

From bad to worse

football

This week I can say that I have pushed beyond new levels of crazy. It is finally dawning on me that my son has a disability and he will not be able to live the life I have dreamed of, For example day care, school, birthday parties, football games etc.  I think I have taken it particularly hard as it was by careful planning we tried to have a baby that does not have my husband’s recessive eyesight disease.  Perhaps in the manipulation of the cells and all the drugs I went through for IVF, some genes were messed up and couldn’t quite form properly?

We have not been given a diagnosis yet as our full genetic sequencing will take 6 months plus to complete. Basically my son has hypotonia in his arms and he doesn’t reach for things.  This stops him reaching his other milestones.  He also has Laryngomalacia and Hypospadias but these things won’t stop him achieving his potential.  As I have not received any genetic proof I am constantly hitting up google as to what genetic syndrome he could have.

One syndrome leads to another and before I know it I have been up all night reading totally unrelated syndromes.   This turns into a vicious cycle of being tired during the day, not sleeping at night, doom and gloom about the future and not enjoying ‘the now’.

The doctors have no idea either. We are constantly going for new appointments that we are not sure why.  For example last week we went for an hour-long hearing test, where the LO had to fall asleep whilst they measured how his ears were working.  As expected, his hearing was perfect.

Last week at the Early Intervention assessment, we asked what they think our son has? the psychologist and Doctor both looked at each other and awkwardly said a beautiful happy and satisfied baby.  I cried some more and they wrote in the report summary that the dad was positive and happy whether the mother was going through her mourning period.

I have since found out that a ‘mourning period’ is where you cry for all the hopes and dreams you had for your child. I’ve been mourning for 8 months now I’m wondering when I’ll stop?!!

I keep telling myself to get a grip, thousands of kids are born with syndromes each day and their parents just get on with it.  1 in 150 kids gets autism. (1 in 68 in America!)  Now I wonder what I could handle, knowing your child has a syndrome from birth,  discovering after a year of testing, or finding out they have autism at 2 years old.  (when most get diagnosed).

Maybe it’s the label I’m afraid of. Will I be labelled with;

“She’s the one with the “insert syndrome” kid. Or,

He’s not quite right in the head etc..  or,

Oh that couple with the baby with “insert syndrome”.

Maybe it’s the fact that my family live on the other side of the world and they can’t just pop over to help.  Or the fact they won’t acknowledge there is anything wrong with him because he looks fine on Skype.

Why am I asking all these morbid things? I would normally just suck this up and then fight as hard as I can for my child.   However, What could be the worst case scenario for a women with post natal depression and a husband  and child with a disability… I’m pregnant again.  How the hell that happened with the one or two times we’ve shagged since having the baby, I’m flabbergasted and super angry with myself for being so dumb.  I immediately fell into another hole at the thought of what could happen.

My husband is a dominant carrier of the condition he has. There is a 50% chance that he will pass it on to the baby.  I will only find out if the baby has it after CVS sampling at 14 weeks.  By that stage it is too late for a D&C in Holland and I have to terminate by having the baby.  I have been unlucky 3 times before.  Now we have an unknown genetic condition thrown into the mix and possibility one of us is a dominant carrier of this gene.   Therefore at 14 weeks there is a 25% chance that I could have the baby.  Therefore I made it clear to my husband I wasn’t going to wait for 14 weeks to find out.

Naturally he put up huge fuss as he knows it’s my last chance to have a child and he ignorantly believes there is nothing wrong with our son until he is told by a doctor. I told him my fears and I have reluctantly agreed to wait until Friday next week.  By this stage I will have seen a therapist and we would have spoken to our paediatrician about it.

When your imagination runs away with you.

I have just looked at my stats and I haven’t posted since July.  I have been too busy making myself crazy with a possible diagnosis for my son.  My son is 8 months old and has developmental delays but the doctors are not sure why.  When you are left alone with Dr Google and constantly carting your child to hospital tests and the physio and speech therapists..  You start to analyse every little thing your child does and before long you lose sleep and lose the ability to rationally think and finally you lose your mind.

When I was waiting for the results for the MRI, I convinced myself my son has Chiari malformation.  Surely he was exhibiting all the symptoms?  The MRI came back clear, no brain damage.  Last month I was convinced he had a 22q deletion resulting in Digeorges syndrome.  I compared facial features of children with Digeorges and my son and convinced myself that his curly toes and low set ears were obvious.  We made a panicked phone call to the paediatrician asking why she hadn’t tested for this.  She said it was the first thing they tested for, and he doesn’t have it.

Currently we are waiting for final genetic tests to see if he has a rare syndrome.  Over 80% of them are already ruled out by initial tests but with a full genetic panel of both parents and baby maybe they will find some deletions here and there? Or does he have Cerebral palsy? Lyme disease?

Or maybe he has nothing wrong with him at all.

Last night friends were over with their son.  They said, ‘my child had the same thing as a baby, he was slow and needed endless tests but now at age 9 he is only a year behind at school but he is otherwise fine’.   I looked at Edward as he gazed absentmindedly off in the distance before giving my cat a creepy stare.  It didn’t reassure me!

When faced with the possibility of a disability you start asking yourself hard questions..  Would you prefer a physical disability and no intellectual disability? what if both happen? what is the prognosis? Will my child ever walk or talk?  have friends? a job? If I want another child will my next child get it too?

Needless to say I have now admitted I have lost control.  I asked the doctor for a referral to a therapist and she said to call around because it will be hard to find one that speaks English here.  Oh the joys of living in a small village in Holland and your family living on the other side of the world!  The Dutch culture is extremely direct (sorry ‘authentic’) and I’m curious to how a therapy session will play out here.

I’m hoping the session contains a few laughs due to literal translation of words.  My husband always tells me to use my ‘fantasy’ about things.  He means ‘imagination’ but I never correct him because it sounds so funny.  Once a doctor described my ovaries as ‘moisty.’  I don’t know why I burst out laughing and I made him feel embarrassed, oops.  ‘Crowdy’ is another one I hear a lot.  You don’t want to go to a beach/festival etc and it is too crowdy with people.  I have used my fantasy and digressed.  What I’m trying to say is sometimes a small laugh here and there brings light relief to a difficult situation like a therapy session.

We are enjoying an Indian summer here in Europe.  This week it will be in the 30’s and I am determined to enjoy it.  I will stay off Google at 3am and I will enjoy the moments swimming and playing with my little boy.