Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Waiting waiting waiting

Still no news on the job application, I know it's very early still (closing date for submission was last thursday) but still...any time I head the "ding" of an email, my heart jumps!

I am so ready for a change. We had a staff meeting today and I just kept telling myself to let things go, the new boss is just not capable for the job and I need to look "into my space" like my psychologist says and not let it bother me too much.

Another recent news is that Oliver got a place in the school we really really wanted! It's an educate together model, non-denominational (as in not religiously led) and child-centred. I was so excited when I got the email and the system here is so crazy that you have to put the name of your child down for schools as soon as he is born (even before!!) so everyone "reserves" places in many schools because you don't know where you will be accepted and the waiting lists can be ridiculously long you may end up in the one school that has a poor reputation.
Talking about school, I had three things which were very important for me (on top of obviously good reputation of the school) but hard to come by in the Country. The school has to be mixed (boys and girls together), possibly no uniform (the mental association for me having grown up in Italy is that uniforms are for military and fascists type schools) and possibly religion should be taught as an inclusive subject rather than being a form of indoctrination (this is still Ireland).  In primary school, children may be taught for say 20 hours in a week, 2 may be catholic religion and if the school has a very strict catholic ethos, children pray several times a day. I would find that ver very difficult to accept as normal to be honest. I rather have the children attending catechism in the church for their communion etc, and have them study different subjects when in school. So I'm delighted with this outcome!
Martina is really good, came down with a high fever tonight, no other symptoms a part from being off form. We'll see how she sleeps and how she is tomorrow. The weather has suddenly changed so I'm not surprised we have entered bug season!

Finally I am quite well, now my back is bothering me, pain migrates from one part to another and I know it's mostly psychosomatic (and bad posture in the office), thankfully I see the chiropractor this saturday for an adjustment and I must go back to the gym after the conference, so hopefully tomorrow....

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ghent

I am back from almost a week in Belgium in this jewel of a town where the conference was. Like the last time in Spain my parents joined me and so I brought Oliver who is now the best traveller and quite a funny companion.

My talk was on wednesday and I did a lot of fruitful networking. Hopefully something good will come out. There was also the big boss of the place where I applied a couple of weeks ago. He was really nice and paid me lots of compliment after my talk, but said nothing at all about the position (he knows very well I have applied, but it would have been quite unprofessional to talk about it given that they are shortlisting now). So I am no wiser. I will apply to a position in UC Davis also, a very long shot but why not?

Martina had a great time with Mike and today we were all reunited (last night we arrived back that she was asleep) and happy!

That's it from me for the moment, story time is calling and I have to go!

Monday, October 6, 2014

#MicroblogMondays giving this a go

Right, I'll try this one too.


I just found out from a friend who lives in our same estate that there is a strong possibility at least part of the development is affected by pyrite. Tests came up positive for two houses. What this means is that if quarry the builders used at the time they build your house was contaminated, the foundations of your building are unstable. Overtime they will shift and expand and eventually the house will collapse. Collapse. It must be remediated. There is a national remediation board but our estate was never considered "at risk" so a major process will need to be initiated to get funding to repair the foundation. Can take up to 2 years. While the works are going on, for 3 months, you have to move out. I can't bare to think about it. If we come up positive the house is unsellable in its current state.

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Friday, September 26, 2014

So much going on

Well well well, I can't believe we are already week 3 done out of 12 of this academic semester. Things are well, quite hectic but not too bad, I have started looking around in case a position in a different University comes up....and what do you know, just across the waters they seem to be looking specifically for someone with my background....So I'm putting in my cv and see what happens. It is a bit scary of course but much more than that it is truly exciting. Mike would have a ton of opportunities too and going somewhere where the cost of living and housing is reasonable would be a very welcome change. My colleagues don't know anything, way too soon and maybe nothing will come out of this.
In other news I went to a gynaecologist yesterday that came highly recommended by my wonderful OB. Practically, since before the summer, my cycles have been a bit all over the place. Varying between 23 and 32 days, spotting for a week before the period start and on one occasion I spotted for a week after the real period had stopped. I don't think there is anything major, but no harm in having myself checked out. So I went and it could just be my age though my latest blood tests didn't indicate at all that my fertile days were over (buuhhhahhhahhhaaahhhh) and to be honest the thought of going on some form of pill or coil when I have no tubes sounds plain ridiculous. The gyn was quite happy with the internal visit and suggested a scope to make sure I have no polyps that may be causing the spotting. I'm waiting to be called to have that done and then we'll see.
The children are great, we had a tough time with Oliver about a week ago, he was really acting up even in school, we were really upset and totally lost as to what to do. One day the teacher told me that Oliver spat in the class. Twice. He then did his time "on the chair", apologised and it was it. I was so upset with him I could barely talk. We had no major talk about it, he knew he went too far and that night I didn't even manage to read him a story. Magically from the day after, he went back to be a lovely child! Well behaved and sweet!! So I'm not sire what the lesson from this is...less is more?
How are you all doing?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

And 40 it was!

So yesterday was my birthday! I had a lovely day, we went out for an early dinner with the children in one of my favourite restaurants and we loved the food as always.

Thinking back at all happened in the past 20 years feels like I could write a book. Here the highlights:

Education/Career: Got my MSc and then PhD, moved to Ireland for a post doc in a different field which made me "the" candidate for an academic position in an interdisciplinary field. Got tenure and then even got promoted, graduated 7 PhD students and 3 MSc students, published my work and got invited to write my first review as a sole author in my field for a prestigious journal (as opposed to the tens of invitations to write reviews on random things for obscure journals!)

Family Life: Got married, bought a house, then divorced and sold the house, moved to Ireland and met Mike, bought a house, got married (for life this time!) and we worked really hard to build our family. I manage not to drown in despair after two ectopics both of which followed IVF treatments, we got and lost two cats, I went through 6 embryo transfers before finally having Oliver. We adjusted to the new routine of a family of three and then with another round of IVF we got Martina. Together with Carlito the cat, our family is complete. We travelled a lot, Europe, Japan and the US. Sure it was not always easy but we are still together and stronger.

If the next 20 years will be half as interesting I certainly cannot complain. I wish for us to keep loving each other, to stay healthy, to cherish life and stay united as a family. I hope the first 20 years of the children will be full of loving memories even though I'm sure their next 20 years will be more exciting. I fear at times what if I am not going to be there to see them growing up, I wish I knew they will be safe and good teenagers, that whatever mistakes they will be making will not be too terrible and just part of growing up and learning.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Shaping up

On tuesday I met with the personal trainer (PT). I am always happy to see that the scales used in gyms and doctors are always more forgiving than my own. So I apparently weigh 59kg on the scale that will be my point of reference from now on.
The plan is for me to take at least one class a week (I chose pilates) and do one or two session in the gym. Ideally if I do just one session I should go for a swim too.
On thursday I went to my first ever pilates class, it was packed and the teacher was very good, but I didn't sweat a drop nor I felt particularly challenged, so maybe next week I'll go for something different if I find something that is timetabled nicely.
Today I collected my gym programme, it's 45 minutes on paper and the PT worked with me through the various exercises and then I did the whole programme on my own. My problem with going to the gym was that I used to find it extremely boring. This programme is fast paced, the longer I'm at a machine (bicycle) is 10 minutes, and my exercises are 3 sets of 12 repetition with 30" in between, a lot has changed since I had a gym programme probably close to 20 years ago!! At the end of my session I felt fabulous, tired and sweaty, but very happy! The next time I'll make sure to keep myself better hydrated and bring my phone for timekeeping. The gym panoramic internal windows overlook the amazing 50m pool and let me tell you, I nearly felt like going for a swim afterwards!
My 4th session in the gym will be with the PT and after the 10th sessions I will have an assessment of my progress (weight and various measurements) so we'll see!!

Tomorrow I'm going back to the chiropractor because since the last adjustment my back as got sore, like there is a pinch on the spine. Apparently it can happen and he will fix it.

As for the children, things have nicely settled thankfully so there is much less acting out and much more lovely time. Our sliding door project is progressing slowly but surely, and in a couple of weekends it should be done!

Monday, September 1, 2014

-16

Righty-oh it's September which means my big 40 is around the corner, in fact it's 16 days away! I am very happy with my age, I kind of think I'm celebrating 20 years old for the second time and I look with almost disbelief at all that happened in the last 20 years, certainly much more than in the first set of 20 years it seems. I will start building up that post specifically for my birthday on the seventeenth, it will be nice to read it in the future!

I also got myself a personal trainer (first appointment tomorrow at 9 am), there is no sign of shifting the weight I put on with the hormones and pregnancies and I want to feel fitter. While I don't feel my age, my body is clearly giving me signals that despite my denial I am indeed ageing and I better take care of my muscles and bones or I will start having all sorts of aches.

I went to the chiropractor on saturday for my adjustment and I realised I have been about 6 weeks without a headache. I honestly cannot remember when what the last time I ad such a stretch. In line with my getting back into shape I have started the 8 day detox I do every 6 months or so and I bought myself a mini-fridge for the office to store fresh yoghurt and juices so that I can healthily snack if I'm hungry during the day (rather than popping out to the vending machine and get myself a chocolate of some kind). And it will be stairs only and no lift from now on too. Let's see how long it'll last!

As for Oliver, we are trying different strategies to keep him in check, time out works but not always, positive education seems easier said than done at the moment, so it's a bit of trial and error like we don't know this child at all...Thankfully Martina is very easy at the moment, despite teething and a good bit of clingyness, so hopefully it'll last a bit more. Oliver started pre-school today, it's still done in the same place but he has moved up a class and for the next 10 months he will have 3 hours a day of true Montessori "teaching". I can't believe he will be going to school next year....And this will be hopefully after 3 months in California...wow, a lot to do!