Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Cohen's 4th allergy test

We recently took Cohen to a brand new allergy doctor to get more testing done. He hadn't had any testing for over a year, and Jon and I were suspicious that maybe a few allergies were gone now. Cohen has had totally clear cheeks for at least a few weeks now with almost no eczema. 


This experience was so completely different from our past allergy appointments in Newfoundland. Jon was away for work, so I asked my mom to come with me since it always takes both Jon and I to hold Cohen down and keep his arms still for the 15 minutes it takes to do the test. The test ended up being so much easier. They did it on his arms as opposed to his back, and they had this thing that did 8 scratches as once, instead of doing the scratches one by one like we had been used to. It just makes the test so much quicker. The tester rolled his sleeves back down after the scratches (she did 16 per arm), gave him a sucker, and told him not to move his arms. Cohen was thrilled to get a sucker, and did not shed a tear the whole time.


Afterward she graded his reactions and sent us in to discuss with the doctor. The doctor asked us lots of questions about our home, how we heated our home, what kind of flooring we have, whether we have pets, etc. Then he asked if we keep peanut butter in the house. I was like, no, definitely not. He said the first thing we have to do is go buy some peanut butter and eat it in your house. I was totally shocked as our last allergy doctor had recommended we keep all nuts out of the house. He said it is all about not having your child live in an allergy bubble. He said most kids can be around peanut butter even if they are allergic.

According to this most recent test, Cohen is still very allergic to peanuts, and even more allergic to pecans and other nuts. He is allergic to cats. And that's it. Seriously, this was huge news for us. The doctor booked us for an oral challenge for wheat since Cohen was so severely allergic to it for all three of his past tests. But we have been giving Cohen little bits of wheat here and there already, and seeing no reaction. It feels so good.



Cohen is booked to get bloodwork next month to find out which nut allergies we might be able to challenge. The doctor also wants to see our new baby at 6 months old to start desensitization to peanuts. We were in the clinic for over an hour and saw a few babies in the waiting room after being desensitized. I had no idea this was something that was done.

So I have had peanut butter on my toast in the morning a few times while Cohen sits next to me. He knows he can't eat it, but we are making it clear that he can be around it. Also, I almost forgot how good peanut butter is!! And I made real bread the other day with gluten in it. SOOO much easier and yummier than gluten-free bread.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Library list


I took some time off from reading to just be completely nauseous for two months, but I did manage to get a few books read.

Sick in the head by Judd Apatow. Loved this so much. He has been interviewing comics since he was a kid, and this book is just a bunch of interviews. I felt like I was getting a peek into the lives of these interesting, funny people. I am also obsessed with Comedians in cars getting coffee, so it makes sense.

Lean in by Sheryl Sandberg. I liked this. I think this book has been quoted a lot, so most of the main points in it have been written about like crazy. I think it's a good read for all working mommas. I found it interesting that she writes that a great time to go for a new job or look for a promotion is when you are pregnant. I am all in with that.

The girl with the lower back tattoo by Amy Shumer. I love her so much. This book was funny, but also just real and honest. I compare all books by comics to Bossypants, and this book is nowhere near as funny as Bossypants. Still good though.

The girls by Emma Cline. This was the only novel in this bunch, and I did like it. Nothing special, but good.

I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. This was so interesting. I really didn't know a lot about her story, and I'm glad I know more now. The story is really about her relationship about her dad in a lot of ways. So good.


Sunday, 2 April 2017

Our trip to Hamilton

One of the last things we did in January is visit my grandmother and aunt in Hamilton. We got insane seat sales (less than $100 round trip per person, whoa), and decided to go for a few nights with my parents. 

(a Danish Christmas tree (I think)) 

I had recently discovered that I was pregnant, but Jon and I were keeping it our little secret. It turns out that was nearly impossible to do, as my mother was totally accepting the first five times I refused a glass of wine. But on about the sixth time, I was like, MOM!! Can you imagine why I might not be drinking right now? She was like, no, I have no clue. Sometimes Jon and I do a few months where we don't drink at all, just because, so I think she figured we were doing that, except this time Jon was having a beer at dinner. So this is the trip where I told my parents I was pregnant. They were shocked. And thrilled. We had fun going over all the little lies I had told them in the last few weeks since I had discovered I was pregnant and gone to the doctor, had bloodwork, etc, all secretly.

(in flight) 


(I found lots of old pics of my dad) 

(This is what they drink at breakfast. no joke)

The trip was really relaxing, and involved lots of hanging around in our pyjamas until noon, eating Danish pastries like crazy, and playing dominoes. The pastry scene was intense, and I was still not feeling sick. I ate so many pastries. No regrets. Cohen had the best time. He slept on a little bed that my grandfather had made under a duvet my grandmother sewed together. In the daytime he turned their little den into a "doctor's office" where he took patients (mostly my mom), and went through an entire box of bandaids. We find that travelling with 3.5 year old Cohen is basically easy. He is down for bribing with snacks and loves watching shows on iPads. This takes his flight count up to 51, though I don't think he remembers the first 45. 

Saturday, 1 April 2017

More than you ever wanted to know about buying a practice

This is going to be super long, and probably of very little interest to most people. Please skip if you want.

This is how it all started: I was at work on a normal Friday and got a call on my cell. The person said they were a realtor for dental practices, and the other dental practice in our town was for sale, and the seller was interested in Jon and I as a potential buyer. I was like, hmmm, probably not. Thanks anyways. I told her I would run it by Jon but it's not something we had really thought about. I was in the middle of doing a maternity leave here for a dentist who I really respect and I was hoping to get on permanently with her. It's always hard as an associate because you don't really have job security after your contract ends. My contract was ending in another month, but I wasn't too stressed about it because I knew that the people I was working for were happy with me. I have only ever worked three days a week since becoming a mom. There was a full-time position available to me 20 minutes away, but I only wanted part time, and I love the shortest commute ever. So I was feeling hopeful that I would still have work at the clinic I currently worked at.

Anyway, I talked to Jon about it that night. Jon was doing a contract for the military that ended in 4 months. It was a really unique job for a dentist because he did not work with kids, seniors, or really anyone but healthy soldiers. He liked it but he knew for sure that he wanted to return to private practice where he would see all kinds of patients. So when I mentioned the practice to Jon, he was interested.

So we decided to put in a letter of intent. This is basically just an official document that said we were very interested and that we didn't want the seller to sell it to anyone else while we looked into things. We gave a deposit that was refundable if we opted out. We signed confidentiality agreements so that we could look at the details of the practice and could not share them with anyone. At this point we had to get a lawyer, an accountant, and an advisor at the bank. Which felt crazy to me, but you really need all these people, even if you aren't definitely going to buy the practice. This is also the point where I decided I had to tell the dentist I worked for. Her practice and the practice that was for sale are VERY close. Like, less than 5 minutes drive. So even though I didn't have a non-competition clause in my contract with her because it was a locum, it still felt wrong to keep it from her. She reacted in the best possible way, and was so supportive. We agreed that I would stay working for her. We didn't tell anyone else, and I kept her in the loop throughout the entire process. That aspect of the whole experience could not have gone any better, and my former employer is still a great friend who I communicate with all the time.

So then we went to the bank to see if they would loan us a lot of money. We needed 100% financing, which is typical for a business like ours. I would suggest to anyone trying to buy a large business to ask the bank advisor, lawyer, and accountant if they have experience dealing with the exact type of business that you are trying to buy. In our case, our lawyer and accountant had done lots of dental practice deals, which was so so helpful. Our bank advisor had not, and if I could go back in time, I would have shopped around for an advisor with experience in our area. Every type of business is very unique and has really different requirements for getting a loan. I know our advisor learned a lot in our deal, but we missed out on having someone who knew what was up.

Then we kind of had a few months of just back and forth with lawyers. We didn't actually know the selling dentist, so all communication was done through lawyers. That made it take such a long time. It felt like forever too because both our jobs were ending soon and we weren't sure if we should be looking for new jobs or now. We had to jump through a lot of hoops. The obvious ones were our finances. We had to prove that we were not in debt too much, etc. Then we needed a ton of insurance. I feel like we actually have about ten insurances right now. Jon and I had to go through rigorous medical testing including multiple bloodwork tests, urine, EKGs, full physical, and so many questions about our families' health. We had to get multiple inspections on the property that we were buying. We also had to nail down a price. That was surprisingly easy, but we did go back and forth a few times. We had so. many. meetings. with our accountant, lawyer, the bank, etc.

Meanwhile, we found out I was pregnant, and I got so sick. Way sicker than I was with Cohen. I would just spend the whole day laying on the couch. Our banker even came to our house a few times for me to sign documents because I could not get up. Everything was a struggle for me. I couldn't look at food, or even think about it. I found it really hard this time because I couldn't do much with Cohen. He watched a lot to TV during those few months while I slept beside him. I was sleeping at least 15 hours a day. And Jon had to shoulder the bulk of the phone calls and meetings for the practice-buying. I was able to get to work, but I had to kind of lay in my chair on breaks. I was basically miserable. I lost over ten pounds.

So then in February, everything sped up. Jon and I both stopped working in preparation for a fast closing date. We scrambled to get everything done before closing. One closing date came and went. This is what happens when you are closing a huge deal like this: The bank has pre-approved you for this huge loan. They have given the seller a "comfort letter" that says you are getting the money. And then days before closing, they are like, yes, but you need all these different types of inspections and insurances that we never told you that you need. And it's just impossible to get these things done in a day. So a second closing date two weeks later just barely happened because of more bank stuff, and then we got the text that we were funded and the deal was done. That night we went and picked up our keys. We were too exhausted to really celebrate, but we were so happy. That was a Friday, and we started working on the Monday. Only now, a few weeks later are we starting to feel our lives go back to normal a bit. Thank god we only have to buy one practice in our lives. It's not fun. It's like buying a house, only a million times worst.

It was all worth it because owning this practice with my husband feels so right. Jon and I are such a good team. I always tell him that if not for him pushing us a little out of our comfort zone, we would still have the same travelling dentist jobs we had when we first graduated. I am less into change, and really don't like to say goodbye to coworkers who have been good to me. I miss the coworkers who are now 5 minutes down the road from us, but I also love our new staff, and feel really good about this huge learning experience.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Big news

We are making 2017 the craziest year of our lives by not only buying a clinic, but also having another baby. We are going all in. These are both things that a year ago we never ever thought we would do. But here we are, and we are thrilled. We closed on the clinic a few weeks ago, but we have been working hard on the deal for many months. I want to write more about our experience with it in upcoming posts, mostly just for me to look back on. And I am about 14 weeks pregnant. I am starting to feel slightly better, but it was rough for a few months. I did a lot of throwing up and not a lot of eating. 



The whole time we were in the process of buying the clinic, it never really felt real. We said that it wouldn't feel real until we were holding the keys. And then a few weeks ago we got the keys! I will write lots more later now that I have a tiny bit of energy and actually feel like a human again.
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