Monday, November 28, 2011

Glimpses of Childhood

Last week, I picked Petite up from daycare one evening, and I had a quick stop to make at the mall on our way home. Petite was agreeable to leaving daycare without too much fuss. Usually she's having so much fun when I arrive that I have to coerce her to come with me; she hates to leave her friends and whatever fun she's engaged in when I arrive.

Anyway, we bundled into the car and went to the mall. There, I stopped at one store, looking for a particular item. When they didn't have it, I thought I'd try one of the other stores in the mall. And as Petite and I walked along (okay, she ran; I followed behind carrying our coats), we came upon the area in the mall with Santa Claus and his North Pole setting. She stopped dead in her tracks.

"Santa!" she pointed and smiled as I caught up to her. I nodded. "Yes, that's Santa Claus. What does Santa say?" I asked. The reply was immediate, "Ho ho ho!" She beamed. I bent down and hugged her. I said, "Would you like to look at Santa? We can visit him another day, but maybe we can watch him for a few minutes from over here." I led her to a better vantage point where she could really get a good look at Santa and the kids who were visiting with him.

She watched intently as a little boy, maybe about 5 years old, went up the ramp and sat beside Santa, talking to him. Petite was all eyes, drinking in the scene.

I picked her up and explained what was happening. "See, the little boy is going to talk to Santa. Santa is a very kind man. He likes to talk to little boys and girls." She nodded quietly, all the while watching, and mouthing "Ho, ho, ho."

"At Christmas, Santa will bring presents to good boys and girls. And maybe, if you talk to him, you can tell him what kind of presents you want. Would you like that?"

Petite nodded and turned to me, "Presents?" she asked.

"Yes, Santa will bring presents if you're good. Would you like that?"

She nodded emphatically.

"When you can talk to Santa you can tell him what presents you would like. Petite, what will you tell him? What presents do you want?"

Her reply came swiftly.

"Chocolate ones."

Out of the mouths of babes. Bless her chocolate-loving soul. That's my girl.

Hmm, I wonder if I can get a doll made entirely out of chocolate for her; obviously that'll be the perfect gift!

Development Notes
We took her to the doctor last Friday morning and while there, the doc measured her at 36" exactly and 29 lbs 15 oz. She's lost three pounds, but it brings her back into the norm on the charts at the 75th percentile. All is well. And boy, is she a smart cookie. Wow. I was putting her boots on her the other morning. I started counting, "one" and she followed quickly, counting right up through 11 on her own. She knows a bunch of colours, she knows numbers through 10, she is getting familiar with the alphabet and God love her, while she doesn't respond to me in French yet, she understands my questions and words, replying in English in the appropriate context. I am blessed.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks... Sorta.

Happy Thanksgiving to my American family and friends, both IRL and URL. I hope your Turkey Day is spectacular and your Black Friday is full of savings and sweet deals!

I'm a bit swamped at the moment. Work is busy. Home is busy. I'm just busy. But I'm hanging in there.

For the record, I am thankful for the blessing I have with Petite. For friends, near and far. For an incredible family who are thoughtful, loving, caring and giving.

But I'll be honest, 2011 has been a pretty shitty year:

From family health issues with my family at home at the beginning of the year.

To tumultuous times having a teenager move in part-time, shortly after the new year started. (We loved having her, but any change in the nuclear family dynamic is always somewhat tumultuous.)

To finding out about severe problems with said teenager.

To Hubby's not making it through his courses... and a subsequent frantic job search, fraught with much uncertainty.

To adjusting to Hubby's new job... which essentially makes me a single mom to Petite, except for two days per week when Hubby is off. It should be noted, his days off aren't necessarily my days off.

To more severe issues and grief with said teenager.

To trying to resolve those issues, and having her move in full-time.

To problems between me and Hubby.

To health problems (again) with my family back at home. This always makes me nervous; I wish I could be home. I wish I could find a job in my hometown.

To needing to protect our family and having to remove the teenager from our home entirely. We're still not sure where this is going. To be determined.

Honestly, I'm tired. I'm exhausted. That wasn't at all what we wanted out of 2011 when the year started. Not at all.

I am just biding my time and waiting patiently for Christmas and the New Year, in the fervent hope that 2012 brings us, all of us, better things.

I have to have hope.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Time Alone Recap

FYI: Children mentioned in this post. Click away if you need to.

I survived my weekend alone. In fact, I LOVED my weekend alone. The silence was deafening at first, but I quickly got the hang of things and I was really productive. I made a huge list of all the things I got done while Hubby and Petite were away. It's rather impressive, I must admit. There was more that I wanted to do, but I did want to enjoy some "me" time too you know! I wasn't going to devote EVERY minute to cleaning, tidying and running errands! And you know something? I barely had a drop of any wine after all. I guess I was just too busy doing the things that needed my attention.

Some of the highlights:
Cleaned the living room and the bathroom from top to bottom! What a difference!
Donated a bunch of bedding and towels to the humane society, and I had a look around while I was there. Oh, what I wouldn't do to adopt a bunch of the little kittens or even the older cats. They're gorgeous. My heart just about broke, as it always does around animals who need loving homes.
Cleaned up the front garden and put out a bin of leaves and other organic matter for the trash/recycling.
Put up the greenery and Christmas lights. The weather was beautiful for doing that; I didn't freeze while I was doing it, for a change!
I managed to get out with a girlfriend to dinner and a movie. That was lots of fun. We saw Tower Heist. A good, fun, mindless film. Perfect.
I got in GAME! Woot! It was lots of fun running around with a couple of friends. I do miss that. (FYI, for new readers, I play EverQuest II, and I have since its launch in 2004, having also played EverQuest from 2001-04.)
And of course, I spent time on the phone with my family and Petite and Hubby.

She had a wonderful time. She happily skipped down the ramp with Daddy to the plane and upon arrival at my parents' home at almost 2 a.m., she found her second wind and got a snack and wanted to play with everyone! She did extremely well on the plane. She loved her time playing hockey with her poppy. She baked cookies with Nana. She fed the duckies with my two aunts. They lavished attention and presents on her (new clothes, some toys, boots, etc.)

Take a look at her new coat! I think it's sweet.

All in all, they had a glorious time. And I'm glad. Hubby needed the time with her, because usually I'm the one who gets that. I have had plenty of opportunities to bond with her on vacations while he has not. Although it was only a few days, I am a firm believer that something is better than nothing.

I recognize how lucky we are. She is a beautiful little girl. She is happy. She is healthy. She is loving and giving. She adores snuggling on the couch before bed. She is content when she listens to me read to her, or sing to her. She has a great sense of humour for only two years old. She is kind. She is adventurous and open. I have to say, her personality is just simply AMAZING. Yes, there are miserable moments, like with any toddler. But on the whole, she is a wonderful sweet girl. Everyone just falls in love with her. And my family loves her to pieces. They really do. How lucky I am that they are able to enjoy her as much as they do and are still around to be able to do that!? I thank my lucky stars on a daily basis. I do.

I truly do.

And yet...

I still want to give Petite a sibling.

I think it's partly because she IS such a loving, giving, caring little girl that I want to give her the opportunity to love a sibling too.

Is that wrong? Is it greedy to want another one? (Is it stupid of me to think it's 'greedy' because any fertile person wouldn't be considered greedy for wanting a second child...) Is it bad to tempt fate? We got lucky with IVF #1... there's no way it would work as quickly again. And if it did, who's to say it would be a good pregnancy again? Or a healthy baby? Ugh. So many "ifs" in the picture.

Forget it anyway; I simply don't have the money to do it right now. We just don't. I wish I did. God knows, I wish I did. I want to push forward and have a try for a second child. But even if we found the money now, the timing would have to be perfect; two little ones in full-time daycare in our city would cost an absolute fortune. More than my mortgage, that's for certain!

But time slips by. I am growing older. I don't have it in me to wait much longer and still hope to do this. The trickle of hope is fading.

I fear this sweet little girl will never have a baby brother or sister in her life. That saddens me. I am trying to come to grips with it, but some part of me is in denial, forcing my brain to remain open to the idea that it MIGHT happen. No, it's not possible for Hubby and me to conceive naturally. It simply isn't because of our medical histories. So it has to be IVF. Do I have it in me? I don't know. I fear facing it again. I fear facing a negative when we got so lucky the first time. So many fears. I'm not handling it well right now.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Trying to Hide a Little Sadness

Let me get this out of the way first:

YAY Mississippi for voting NO on Proposition 26! I am so glad that you trust women/couples to know what is right and wrong for them. Congratulations. You did the right thing and women all over North America are glad for your having done so.

Now, my own stuff...

I'm feeling an overwhelming sadness today.

Tomorrow evening, Hubby and Petite are getting on a plane and flying east to see my family. They'll be gone until Monday. I'm trying, desperately trying, to focus on the good things about this holiday for them.

  1. Hubby gets some quality bonding time with Petite.

  2. He gets to take his first vacation alone with her since her birth.

  3. He gets to see my family and enjoy all that The Rock has to offer. He'll probably have a really good meal of fish and chips while he's there too! (Lucky bugger.)

  4. Hubby gets some well-deserved time off work. It's been a rough year for him too and while I've had the opportunity to escape now and then, he has not.

  5. I get three full days, four nights, of ME time. I have absolutely no plans.


    I sorta have a few plans. One involves a movie and popcorn. Another involves a bottle of wine (or two!). Yet another involves sleeping soundly in my cozy bed til at least 9 a.m.! Still others are 'work', like cleaning and tackling Christmas Cards for the season. We'll see what gets done... to be determined.

  6. I get time to cuddle with my two fur-babies -- my 16-year old kitties -- completely uninterrupted by a toddler who is jealous and who needs Mommy's lap "now."

  7. I get time to GAME in EQ2 for the first time in about six weeks! WOOT! (God I love a good dungeon run!!)

  8. There is peace and quiet and no one to answer to but myself for a few days.

And yet, with all of these positives, I can only focus on the one negative:

I'll be without my baby girl for THREE WHOLE DAYS. How am I going to cope?!

"What ifs" are racing through my head. And I know I shouldn't let them overtake me, but it's so hard to stop them from being all-encompassing. The biggest one involves a major... oh boy, I can't even write it, for fear that I'll jinx something. *shakes head* Can't even let myself go there. Tears well up just at the thought.

So I'm trying, valiantly, to focus on the positives.

And yet, every time I speak to Petite about the great adventure she is going to have with Daddy, getting on an airplane to fly to see Nana and Poppy and Auntie B and Auntie L, she looks up at me with pale blue eyes and says, "Mommy too?" And I smile and shake my head and say, "No baby, just you and Daddy for the great adventure!" I talk it up too:

  • She's going to bake cookies with Nana.

  • She's going to feed the duckies with Auntie B and Auntie L.

  • She's going to play hockey with Poppy.

All these things are fun. She knows she will do all this and more. She is excited about seeing these people. I know she will have a wonderful time. Even if she mentions frequently that "Mommy too?" comment. I hope she doesn't have a meltdown between here and Montreal on the first leg of the flight.

And I really hope I make it through the weekend to Monday when I pick them up at the airport. Wish me luck. LOADS of luck.

And wine. Loads of that too...

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

WTF Mississippi?

Okay, so today's vote in Mississippi hearkens back to the ol' "when life begins" issue. And they're proposing that life begins at fertilization.

Fertilization, people.

Do you comprehend the ramifications of this?! Well, let's be clear. If life begins at fertilization, at the very moment that sperm meets egg and an embryo is formed, then it means the following:

Women who are raped, and subsequently become pregnant from that attack cannot have an abortion.

Women who are pregnant and discover at some point that the pregnancy is not viable outside the uterus, cannot have an abortion. If they do, they will be charged with murder.

Couples like me and Hubby, who undergo IVF (or any ART), will not be able to discard any embryos... regardless of viability.

If a woman becomes pregnant and then loses the baby, even a chemical pregnancy... then she will be committing murder. (So I had three embryos transferred into me, and only one child resulted. Does that mean I murdered two of them because they did not implant?! Come on...)

A woman who is pregnant who develops a life-threatening condition because of the pregnancy will not be permitted to terminate; it will be committing murder.

I wonder if it would mean that anyone who undergoes IVF in Mississippi would have to have all embryos transferred... if for example, freezing an embryo would not be permitted? Scary thoughts. (Can you say Octo-Mom?)

What would happen in the case of an ectopic pregnancy? Because if you leave an ectopic pregnancy to develop, it can very well result both baby and mother's death. Yet under this law, removing an ectopic pregnancy would be murder too. That simply doesn't make sense. At all.

Do you see the slippery slope here? I believe, like so many others, that women/couples can determine when it is the right time to have a baby, and when it is not. (Mind you, that implies some sort of level of sanity and recognition of your own particular situation and ability to raise said child.) And I believe that Mississippi should stay out of the bedrooms of its citizens.

Say NO to Mississipi's Proposition 26 today. Vote with your sensibilities. Don't be damn stupid. I have to believe that people in Mississippi have a grain of sense and will shoot this one down.

Friday, November 04, 2011

{This Moment}

{this moment} – A Friday ritual inspired by Finding Chaos/SouleMama.

A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’

in the comments for all to find and see.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Naturopathic Help for Infertility

I was contacted by a producer/researcher at CTV (in Toronto) who is doing some research on infertility for a Health and Lifestyle pilot. CTV is currently searching for couples who might want to come on TV and discuss natural treatments with a Naturopathic doctor, and look into alternative ways of family-building.

As I explained to her on the phone today, I don't know that Naturopathy can improve our particular chances: after all, our major issue is uniting sperm with egg, given that sperm must be retrieved surgically. But I do know of many people who have subfertility issues (egg quality, sperm motility, etc.) who may benefit from this type of assistance. That said, if we can benefit from it, I'm certainly willing to listen.

If you are Canadian, particularly in the Toronto area (Pam and V, I'm thinking about you!), and are interested, get in touch by e-mail or find me here. I'll put you in touch with the CTV producer who will be more than happy to take your information. Who knows? You might benefit immensly from the consultation!

The Tooth Fairy F*cks Up (in Mel's House)

Our one and only Stirrup Queen has a story to tell today that had me laughing (and snorting) aloud!

Go read. It's a classic about how the Tooth Fairy sometimes forgets what her job is and simply doesn't do it. Worst Parents Ever

Thanks for the laugh Mel. Lord knows, I needed it.