Friday, June 25, 2010

A Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin On

June 23 was a pretty unforgettable day. For a number of reasons.

I admit, I was cranky -- I place the blame squarely on the shoulders of PMS -- and hubby and I had our first real argument since Petite was born. They say not to argue in front of the children right? Fair enough. Petite was heading down for a nap anyway. Well, supposedly. Kinda. Maybe? Let's put it this way: she was SUPPOSED to take her morning nap but she wasn't having any of that so she wailed and screeched and fussed in her crib while he and I argued and we finally brought her out to the living room to be with us but that means that she heard a lot of our disagreement. Ugh. Not fair to her, I know. Must make a better effort in that department...

Then, just when my blood pressure was settling down, I was reading a few blogs and I heard a rattling and the floor started to shake. For a split second, I thought that one of the heavy trucks from the construction up the street had passed in front of our house. But it went on, and on and blammo... it hit me. Earthquake.

Now as some of you may know, I lived in Japan for three years. And while I was there, I had the opportunity to feel a lot of earthquakes. Some very minor. Some pretty major. I was living in Japan when the Kobe earthquake of 1995 hit and thousands lost their lives. Although I didn't live anywhere near Kobe, I felt that one for sure. It was early morning, and I was getting dressed for work. Before I left my apartment, I was seeing the first reports of it on the Japanese morning news. I remember I picked up the phone and quickly called my parents; they were out so I left a message to the effect that we had gone through a pretty severe quake but not to worry, I was fine and heading off to work for the day. Well, as that day went on, we realized just how severe that quake was. My parents later told me how glad they were that I had contacted them first to let them know I was fine... well before the phone lines got jammed up.

Anyway, at about 1:40 on June 23, I felt that same, familiar shaking. I heard that same, familiar rumbling. I was in the kitchen on our laptop, Petite and Hubby were in the living room. As I was jumping up to grab Petite, she was crawling towards me at top speed and wailing in fear. I scooped her up, held her tight and the three of us headed out the back door and into our backyard. If I were downtown or in a major city centre, being outside is more dangerous as falling buildings and debris can be a problem. Here in the suburbs, there's a lot more open space so outside is probably the best place to be. Short of that, find the heaviest, sturdiest piece of furniture and get underneath it. A solid oak dining table comes to mind! So there we were, outside and waiting, waiting, waiting for the shaking to stop. It seemed like an eternity but in reality, it was probably 20 to 30 seconds that the major shaking was happening. Petite was swiveling in my arms, trying frantically to find out where the noise and tremors were coming from. She looked at me like, "Mom, what the heck is this? I'm scared!" and all I could do was hold her and wait for it to subside. When the trembling stopped, we gave it a minute or two and then went back inside.

The first thing I did was pick up the phone and call my folks. Guaranteed they would hear about this and fast and if I knew them, they were going to worry. I left them a message. "Hey Mom and Dad, it's me. So I'm leaving you a message very similar to one you got many years ago while I was in Japan. We've just had an earthquake. Bet you didn't think I'd ever have to say that in Canada did you?! Well, we did but we're fine. Petite is fine. The house is fine. So don't worry. We'll talk later. Love you!"

The first thing Hubby did was start searching the web for reports of the quake. At first, nothing. But after about 5 or 8 minutes, we started to see reports and within 30 minutes, we had the details. It was a 5.0 quake on the Richter scale (originally pegged at 5.5, it was downgraded). It was centred in Val-des-Bois, Québec, about 40 km (25 miles) from where we live and about 15 km beneath the earth's surface. Pretty close. It was felt as far away as Ohio and Boston and was the most significant quake this area has felt in a very, very long time. Needless to say, it was a first for me in Canada but I'm glad I knew what to do.

Also, on June 23, one of my friends, T, had a c-section as she was almost at term with baby #2. (Yes, baby #1 was a c-section as well so she and her docs opted to schedule a c-section for this one.) Two years ago, she had her daughter using donor sperm (she's a single mom by choice) and today, she gave birth to a full sibling for her daughter... a baby boy this time around. Over 9 lbs by all reports! Can't wait to see him. I believe both mom and baby are doing well.

And I can finally give you a report regarding Petite: she has teeth! (I realize that could have been part of her crankiness on the 23rd as well.) Her two bottom teeth have finally made an appearance, right before she turns 10 months old. We've suspected teething for a bit and the doctor saw that her gums were flattened and ready for those little pearly whites to make an appearance soon. Well, after all of our suspicions, I found them for sure on June 24; I figure the earthquake shook them right up and out through her gums! WOOT for teeth!

Now if you will excuse me, there's a rather pungent baby in the next room. I believe Mommy's on duty for a diaper change. Love to you all in blogland!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge all the Fathers and Dads (yes, each of those is different) out there today.

Much like Mother's Day is hard for us women who are TTC, so too is Father's Day for those who are praying, hoping and wishing for a child to call them "Daddy." Some of them don't talk about it and just brush it under the mat, trying to deny or hide their feelings. Some are open about it and are vocally expressing thoughts, ideas and talking about legislation in the TTC community. Some of them have blogs, some used to have blogs, and some loathe the idea of blogging. Some of them will spend the day feeling like something is missing from their lives. Some will carry on as if today is just another day and it's no big deal.

But each of them holds a little hope that one day, one day, just maaaaayyyyybeee... there'll be a little boy or girl in their arms giving them a plaster of Paris mold of a handprint and planting sloppy kisses on their whiskered cheeks.

And for each of those men, I hope that you and your partner find your way through these twisted roads in the "Land of IF." May your hopes and dreams come true, sooner rather than later. Please know that we women understand that you too are dealing with your own grief when it comes to infertility, even if you don't express it in the same way we do. Sometimes we don't know how to help you through it, but talking about it with us is probably a very good first step.

And keep hoping. Never give up. There IS a way. There is ALWAYS a way.

So to all the Fathers and Dads out there -- biological, step, adoptive, foster, in-law, 'like a Father', dads-in-waiting, dads-to-be, dads who have passed on (be it when their child is old or young), and all the Moms who are both Mom and Dad -- I want to wish you a very happy day. Thank you for taking the time to shape a child's life and loving them unconditionally. To my own father, Happy Father's Day, Dad! This is his first year as a Grandpa on Father's Day and I made sure Petite sent a card to her Poppy. To Hubby, Petite is lucky to have you for a Da-Da! Happy first Father's Day... again!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Upgrading Petite's Car Seat! Among other things...

Well now, it's been awhile since I've posted but it's cause I have a ton of things on my plate. What else is new, right?

First up, a few medical procedures for my friend K. She, like me, is having her gallbladder removed in the coming days so I'm trying to help her out in preparation for that. She is having some work done on one of her teeth too, but because of the cancer and surgery scars and all that, it's hella hard to freeze her so a root canal is taking not one, not two, but at least THREE appointments. Ugh. Poor lady. I can only encourage her and be there for her... and drive her when she's woozy with drugs!

Her daughter just celebrated her 13th birthday and we surprised the heck outta her by taking her and some friends to a new (huge!) water park that just opened near here. Calypso is fantastic! If you are in the vicinity, go check it out. What a blast we had!

Petite is about to outgrow her infant car seat so I'm investigating options and styles. I've heard great things about the Britax Boulevard style and the Safety 1st Complete Air LX. Maybe some of you can weigh in with your thoughts? (Saje, if you're reading, I'd love to hear what you think!)

And we have a super busy month ahead. Okay, two months. A jaunt to the east coast to see family who haven't met Petite yet. A four-day camping trip with the stepkids and our friends. (If you've gone tent-camping with an infant, I'd love to hear your tips/tricks!) Then Petite and I fly home to see my family for three weeks... and right after that, I go back to work. Yes indeed, my year of maternity leave is almost at an end. I've enjoyed every moment and I HATE to have to leave Petite with a caregiver. But I must and I will. And many tears will flow. Guaranteed.

I'm thrilled to say that Vee's backyard fundraiser raised oodles of money for Rainbows for Kate. I wish I could have been there myself, but it's wonderful to see so many people come out and donate in celebration of Max's life. I know he was watching over all of the festivities and I bet he was grinning from ear to ear! Well done Vee! *claps*

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The post in which I admit I'm old. But old is good.

I still haven't done my "What IF" post. I need to sit down and get cracking with that. It's late, sure, but it's still ruminating in my head. There are so many of the "what IFs" that apply to me, it's sort of overwhelming, but I need to address them for my own peace of mind.

Petite has hit the 9-month mark. I can't believe we've gotten this far. (Will I ever stop saying that?) At the doc's last week, one day after her 9-month birthday, she weighed 19.5 pounds, and measured 27.5 inches. She's got lots of strawberry blonde hair coming in, and it's starting to flatten out the stand-up style hairdo she's had since she was tiny. Everyone comments on her hair! Strangers stop us in all sorts of places to tell us they love her hair, or how cute she is, or whatever. It's nice to hear those sorts of comments. We know she's cute, but we're kinda biased, yanno. Petite is crawling like crazy (we put up two gates on the main floor of our house). She's skilled at pulling herself to a standing position and cruising around the room using the furniture (i.e., walking while holding onto the sofa, ottoman, etc.). She is obsessed with catching the "meow-meows" and grabbing fistfuls of fur. She giggles fiercely when you play peekaboo with her. She loves books and soft toys. She enjoys outings like nobody's business. She has had her first swim in our pool, given that our weather is really warm these days. She loves blueberry dessert and yogourt. We've given her the chicken and vegetable dinner and beef and macaroni dinner too and she likes that. Although in the last three or four days, she's off her food because she's finally teething! The doc can see the little white bumps in her lower gums and figures that within a few weeks the two front teeth will make an appearance. It'll be the end of the gummy broad smile I've come to know and love and it'll mark a milestone in her development. And that means that Nana can forget the whole "We're going to have to get her dentures" thing! I still can't believe all this time has gone by!

My birthday was last week, a milestone birthday too. Forty years old. I'm not really 40, am I? Seriously? In my head, I'm still 16! (Okay, okay... 23. Cause I can drive, vote, have a good drink and all that good stuff.) But the years between my time in Japan and now have just FLOWN by. I dunno where it all went! It's incredible. But you know something? 40 is good. I'm blessed beyond belief. I have a roof over my head. I have two cars in the driveway. I have a good job that pays relatively well. I have a wonderful, caring, loving family. I have a husband that is too good to me; I don't know if I deserve him. I have an adorable sweet angel of a daughter. I have a great friend who offered to babysit for a few hours on my birthday so hubby and I could get out for a meal together, alone. (It was the first time Petite had a babysitter and she did great! Most likely because she knows this friend of mine pretty well.) I even have a friend who stopped by on my birthday with a card and flowers, since we didn't hold any sort of party or anything to celebrate (funds are tight with hubby in school so we plan very carefully these days).

For my birthday, I received cash from most of my family, which is always a nice gift! I got a couple of gift certificates to my favourite spa; I see a pedicure in my future! I got a sweet little pin from Petite, a Motherhood Angel pin. It depicts a mother in angel form and child in her arms, face to face. And my mom and hubby picked up a card from Petite for me, and hubby held her hand and helped her "sign" her name! It's too sweet. It's a keeper for sure. I also got to see my mom and my sister and that was wonderful! It's the first time I've seen my sister since Petite was one-month old. So she saw lots of changes in the baby.

And one other thing I got for my birthday/Mother's Day this year. Hubby bought a ring for me. A peridot ring with diamond accents. Those are Petite's and hubby's birthstones. I retired the emerald that has been on my right hand since I was 22 years old. For my 40th, there's something bigger and better than me; it's my family. And I'm so very happy to be where I am right now.

Upcoming stuff:
  • A trip to the east coast to see my cousin, aunt and uncle. (My cousin called me last night actually; he got engaged this past weekend!)
  • Also, a camping trip with my stepchildren, our friends and of course, Petite. If you have tips for camping with an infant, I'm all ears!
  • A trip home in July/August for me and Petite, and maybe a bit of an early celebration for her birthday while we're there.
  • And of course, the transition to daycare. Ohhh, now that's gonna hurt me more than it does Petite!
Before I sign off, a shout out to my girlfriend and her daughter, the people that just babysat Petite last week for us. These people are K and her daughter K. I've known them for 12 years or so. Last week, they got their black belts in TaeKwon-Do. My friend K conquered cancer a couple of years ago and of course had put her training on hold during her time in treatment and when she was ill. Little K also took time off to help her mom around the house and together, they got through a very difficult time. They ought to be very proud of this accomplishment and I was so happy to be there to watch the awarding ceremony. Congrats to both of you! Job well done!

Love to you all in blogland!