>> October 8, 2009
The medical profession is funny. Even though we've only known about it since Sunday and even though it only happened on the 17th of last month (yes, actually I do know the exact day), if someone were to ask me how far along I was today, I'd be able to tell them, "5 weeks!"
I'll let that sink in for a minute.
Okay, so quick preggers math for those of you who aren't as week-obsessed: Pregnancy is considered 40 weeks, not from the whole
sperm boy meets egg girl part, but from the first date of your last cycle. Which is weird because it's like being pregnant for two weeks before there was even a n egg girl to meet the sperm boy. Science is just fun like that.
But back to the whole miracle thing!
Jeff and I know that it's not really considered good form to tell the world so soon because "something may happen". And we know, we do. I have had too many friends who have lost pregnancies early on not to be painfully aware of that. But here's the thing. I'm pregnant! And that in itself is such an awesome miracle that we can't help but shout it from the rooftops. We did tell a few close friends and family right away (we called the parents at 4 in the morning but that's another story) and asked them to pray for us. We so appreciate you all for doing that and we covet your prayers still. But we realized that, A) we're just not that fearful, certainly much less than last time, and B) no matter what the outcome, we want everyone to know what an Awesome God we serve! I have PCOS. Jeff also had some issues. Those two things together makes Asher a total miracle even with the medical intervention. So to have us, here, now, pregnant, ON OUR OWN!! is absolutely a gift from God.
We're due June 10th, 2010. Asher will be a week (or so) past 26 months when he becomes the big brother we have long dreamed of him becoming. We are very excited, joyful, freaked, ecstatic, hopeful, blessed, amazed, and generally in awe. We can't quite believe it at times, but there it is. I wrote in my journal a few days after we got the news that I was pregnant with Asher, "No matter what, no one will ever be able to take this away from me. I am pregnant." And it definitely feels that way this time as well. I am just so unbelievably blessed. My God is a great big God and He holds us in His hands.
*Okay, we didn't actually call our parents at 4am their time, it was like 8pm and 9pm their time, so stop shaking your finger at me. The day I was going to take the pregnancy test, we were woken up just before 4am by the people across the street declaring their undying hatred of each other at the top of their lungs. I'm not kidding, the windows were closed and I could hear every word. Ugh. Anyway, I figured that that was my morning pee and I may as well get it over with (I'm notorious for being a day or two late, testing, and then immediately getting my period). Only it was positive. Jeff had come down, too and made a mention that our parents would likely be up, so we decided to go ahead and call. There. Happy now?
>> September 30, 2009
And now, for something...
>> September 21, 2009
On friday we got the call, my husband's Oma (dutch for grandma) was quickly declining in health. She had stopped eating and drinking and it was expected to be only a matter of time. Family was encouraged to come right away if they could. We got Jeff a flight out Sunday afternoon and as much as we would have liked to have all gone together, it would have been very costly and Asher has been suffering from a bad cold and I imagine a nine hour flight would have been very hard on him (and everyone else).
As we were getting ready to leave for the airport, we got the next call. Oma had passed away early that morning. My heart aches for my dear husband and his parents who were still on the road, trying to get there to say one last goodbye. I took the call as he was getting Little Man dressed. That is news I never wanted to give. He was crushed, angry at himself for not taking an earlier flight. We had looked at a flight on Saturday, but the plan would have been to stay with my dad in Calgary that night anyway and ride to Stettler with his parents the next day. He still wouldn't have made it. But it's easier to do anything than feel the sharp pain of loss. As for me, I did everything I could to focus on taking care of him and Little Man so that I wouldn't have to look at my own pain at this loss.
Oma was quite the fiesty lady. Her favourite word was 'bullshit'. And it perfectly described how she approached life. Not much was worth fussing over, most of it was just bullshit. She loved to make sure you didn't take yourself too seriously with a gentle ribbing and a wink as she laughed at you. She was the first of Jeff's family that I met. Her apartment was warm and full of mementos of Holland (where she was born) and pictures of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She always offered you a drink and something sweet. And by drink, I mean drink, no matter what the time of day. She loved advocat or a rye and seven. Advocat, for those who may not know (I know I didn't), is a banana liqueur and wow is it strong. My first experience with it was a shot she insisted I take. I think the next time she was more gentle with me and just insisted on some chocolates with advocat in them ;).
*edit: my husband informed me that advocat is an egg liqueur. woops. well, it was yellow and the chocolates with advocat were shaped like bananas. maybe that time it really was banana liqueur. hmmm. all I know is that it was midday, very strong, and Oma was kind enough to simply chuckle at my watering eyes.
I like to think she liked me. Maybe because I didn't treat her with trepidation, I was very close to my Grannie and never felt that generation gap. Maybe because I laughed along with her ribbing. Maybe because I laughed when she used her 'favourite word' and cluck disapprovingly (I hear that happened often). Maybe just because I loved her grandson who she had recently become so close to.
I remember one trip, we wanted to take her out for lunch. So we asked her if there was a place she liked especially and we would take her there for lunch the next day. She told us and off we went. I couldn't remember why it sounded familiar until we got there. It was a chain in a mall food court. At first, we felt bad because we had wanted to take her to a real reastaurant, but it was where she wanted to go and I think maybe she did it on purpose. The food court was a place she went regularly and knew several people on our way and walking through the mall. I think maybe she wanted to be seen out with her grandson.
As much as I wish I could be there to say goodbye and be there for my husband during this time, I am very grateful that he is able to be there. Oma will be greatly missed.
>> September 16, 2009
A couple months ago (was it that long? I could look it up, but...nah) I had the opportunity to guest post for cbethblog. I was truly honored as hers was one of the first blogs I started following almost a year ago when all this began (again, wow, has it been that long?). So, as I try to get back on the horse, I'm starting slow and using a guest post from the lovely C. Beth:
The Failure of Dr. Google
Recently Zoodle, my 17-month-old son, got a diaper rash. I think it started as a reaction to his diaper brand. It then turned into hives, and then settled into a slightly itchy, red rash that just wouldn't go away. Then he got red bumps on his tummy, face, and legs.
So I did what any mom would do--I used Google to find descriptions and photos of rashes. Okay, maybe that's not what any mom would do. A lot of moms would go to the doctor. But I really wanted to figure it out. We live in the U.S. and have a high deductible health insurance policy, and I just didn't love the idea of spending $80 to get a rash checked out.
My conclusion from looking at the rash photos was that the red bumps were due to a heat rash. I hoped Dr. Google's diagnosis had been correct, as I looked for treatment information. I read that one thing I
shouldn't do was put any oily lotions on him, since that can make heat rash worse. Instead, I should use baby powder and give him plenty of naked time.
I followed Dr. Google's instructions. The rash persisted.
Finally, I gave in and called my doctor's office. They got him in that day, and I found out that Zoodle did not have heat rash; he had eczema.
Here's the thing--eczema treatment is pretty much the opposite of heat rash treatment. No need for powder, since that can dry the skin more. I was told to use oily petroleum jelly to lubricate the skin. And I got a prescription some fantastic steroid cream to help clear it up too. Soon after implementing our doctor's recommendations, Zoodle's rash was well on its way to clearing up.
That's when I realized--Google can lead me to a lot of answers, but Dr. Google doesn't take the place of our family doctor. Nothing online can replace an experienced doctor looking at my child, hearing his history, and making a diagnosis. It was an important lesson to learn.
Now, I'll still use the Internet when I have medical questions. Sometimes I find great, easy answers to our problems just by doing a quick search. But next time I have an issue that stumps me, hopefully it won't take me quite as long to call the person who actually went to medical school--no offense to Dr. Google.
With any luck, we'll be back to our regularly scheduled program shortly.
>> September 11, 2009
You know when you mean to call someone, but you put it off and put it off and it gets later and later and you think of all the reasons you can give as to why it took you so long to call but the longer you leave it the more pathetic those excuses seem and you don't really want to face it so you put it off some more...yeah, it's kinda like that.
I seem to only be able to blog when things are pretty much going okay. When I get overwhelmed by stuff or long buried crap comes up I seem to just kind of shut down and don't want to really talk to anyone. Apparently including all my bloggy friends. And there a few of you out there that I do consider friends, or at least friends in the making. I wish I could say life's just been busy but I it hasn't. I can't even say that I haven't had much to say lately but there's been a ton of crap running around inside my head, but none of it wants to come out. It just all sounds pathetic and self-serving to me.
Even this I didn't want to write, but either I am going to keep up with this blogging thing or I'm not and I have missed it. I do have a lot of non-crappy things that I could have blogged about but I seem to not be able to do fluff when life isn't feeling fluffy.
Most of you, I've kept up with, I just haven't had much to say in the way of comments either. I'll be back soon, I'm sure. Just a little note to say I'm not dead.
>> September 2, 2009
Okay, so I should really start blogging about upcoming things before they happen that way you know that when I disappear for a week at a time it's because my Dad has suddenly arrived in town and besides the whole stress of not really knowing what to expect on a visit because we very rarely spend time together, Asher is in our room and is very loud at night, and Dad is (unbeknownst to me) totally into the whole touristy thing and I've been run a bit ragged since Saturday and haven't even had the energy to keep my eyes open long enough to read blogs let alone write one of my own. It has been going surprisingly well, though, Asher absolutely adores his Grandpa (mind you, he never gets so much attention from his parents) but I am exhausted. Dad leaves tomorrow morning and then I'm coming home to nap. I'll catch up and post comments soon and be back with you all by the weekend.
In the meantime, Happy Humpday.
>> August 24, 2009
I have been mulling this around my brain pan for a couple weeks now and I finally sat down today and set it up (much to the consternation of a certain small child). I have started a new blog. It is called Strange Fit. I've been really wanting to get into shape. Not just talk about it, not just dream about it, not just sigh longingly at clothing stores that don't carry plus sizes, but actually do it. I've realized though that, left to myself, I run out of steam way too quickly. I recently got the EA Sports Active for the Wii and 3 workouts shy of completing my first 30 day challenge, I ran out of steam. I got all blah and didn't do my exercise one day. And the next. And the next. And the next. Insert depression here. I want to get out of this rut. Obviously the way I've been doing things results in, well, not doing things. So it's time for a change.
I have in my mind how cool this site could be, with recipes and tips for eating right and drinking more water and all that fun stuff. I also want to do reviews of different kinds of exercise and how easy/hard they are to incorporate into every day life. Right now, my main source of exercise (apart from previously mentioned small child) is my Sports Active on Wii. I know there are a few of you out there who have this program as well. Whether you're doing the 30 day challenge or not, I'd love to get together and share tips and frustrations. We could even share custom workouts. Eventually I hope to be able to do some fitness related give-aways.
So come on over. Check it out. Tell your friends. I'm totally open to suggestions and guest posters and maybe even team members.
>> August 22, 2009
Birthday BBBQ! Birthday BBQ! Birthday BBQ!
>> August 19, 2009
Okay. Yes. I am now 34. I have never really been bothered by birthdays. Excited usually. It's always been a celebration and on occasion it has stuck out as a 'milestone' year.
18 made me legal in Alberta.
19 made me legal in neighboring provinces.
20 was just plain cool. 21 made me legal pretty much everywhere.
25 was another cool one, for a lot of reasons. It was the turn of the century. And I was in Africa. I woke up on the beach in Mozambique for that one.
26 was a little depressing, partly because it meant I was on my way to 30 and partly because I wasn't in Africa anymore and I missed it terribly.
29 was exciting because I was getting married that year.
30 didn't freak me out as much as I thought it would. It was kind of fun. I was starting to feel like an adult, we had just moved to Chicago, I got a ferret!
31, meh, I just didn't think much about it.
33 was my first birthday as a Mom!
And now here we are. 34. Feeling a little old...er. I'm not sure why this year is bothering me. Perhaps because the novelty of feeling like an adult is wearing off. No. That's not right. Honestly I still always feel like everyone's looking at me like I'm 16 when in a room full of women. I have no idea why that is. I have issues. I think The Rocket Scientist has worried that I'll be sad because we're not having a big party with loads of friends. We had that last year, and it was great. It's not really bothering me, though. I mostly look forward to doing birthday stuff with Jeff. Sorry everyone, it's not that I don't love you.
But this year...I'm feeling the year. I'm more aware of time. How quickly it's moving. I'm more aware of how not in shape I am. How it seems much harder to regain a shape that I don't mind looking at.
On the other hand, I may just be hormonal. I am after all, ovulating. Ha! Betcha didn't think I could milk that for more, didja!
But don't let my whinging bother you. I really am very blessed this year. As I am every year. I have a wonderful, loyal, attentive, passionate husband and an adorable, giggling, brilliant, cuddly, awesome son. Happy Birthday to me!
>> August 17, 2009
Okay, I am going to be totally upfront and say that I did not think of that terribly witty turn of phrase on my own. We are big Doctor Who fans in this house and made sure that every cable package we had back in the States included BBC America. I don't know if they said that before every program (that would have gotten old really fast), but they did say it before Doctor Who and/or Torchwood and it would always bring with it a little twinge of excitement because it meant we were getting our 'fix'.
I am now completely unashamedly stealing that phrase for my own blogging purposes. I think I'm pretty safe in this. But if I get several hundred more followers, I may have to change the name as a preemptive strike against litigation. (I have always wanted to idly fit that into conversation).
So without further ado, here is my first installment of:
Everyone asks, "How do you find driving on the 'wrong' side of the road?" Honestly, you get used to it. For one thing, you're expecting it. You know, coming here, that you're going to be driving on a different side, getting in the other side of the car, trying to remember which direction to look when you cross the street. You're prepared so it doesn't take too long to make the adjustment. It's the little things that no one ever tells you about, that you're totally unprepared for, that go a long way towards making you aware of the fact that common language or no, you are in a foreign country.
So here's on thing I noticed that is different on this side of the pond. Light switches go in the opposite direction. In North America, you click the light switch up to turn it on and down for off. Here it's down to turn it on and up to turn it off. I know, right? Who would think to warn you about stuff like that? I would. That's right, I got your back.
By the way, my inspiration for starting this is Brit Gal in the USA and her Brit Word of the Day.
>> August 15, 2009
>> August 13, 2009
So I was pretty sure that I had posted something recently about having tons of energy. I'm still pretty sure I did, I can almost see/hear/feel the sentence I typed but I can't find it. Honestly I didn't look really hard, I just sort of scanned the last few posts and went, 'Meh. Too many words.' and gave up. I'm not really sure if it was just the post about being so productive/busy because I was anxious about my appointment, but I could have sworn I told you about the whole Wii Active thing. Ringing any bells? Maybe? Well, whatever. Let me start again.
When I was in Canada, I picked up Sports Active for the Wii. I love it. Doing the 30 Day Challenge. Some days it's not bad, other days it totally kicks my butt, but every day I sweat buckets so that's gotta be good, right? Anyway, a strange side effect that we've noticed is that I have a boat load of energy lately. I know. Weird. A side effect of all this energy however, seems to be that every time I sit down to write a post, I think of something else that needs to be done/picked up/washed/dried/folded/put away/played with, etc. So I've had all these posts run through my head and then run right out again. Apparently nothing has affected my concentration. Poop.
Oh, well. But I ask for your patience while I figure out how to incoporate all this actual 'doing' and 'keeping up with chores' stuff into my day which was previously filled with 'reading blogs', 'trying to be witty in posts', and 'just one more episode of
Thomas Lazytown Pooh Lie to Me'. I will figure out how to do it all. Why are you lauging? Stop that!
I have to say though, that my lack of presence the last few days is because, wait for it....
Asher is sleeping through the night!!!
Yes, it would be thrilling if that didn't come with....
Asher is getting up at 5:30!!!
Yup, every morning. Sometimes, like today, he mixes things up and gets up at 5:05. It does not matter what time he goes down, 6:30 or 8:30 or anywhere inbetween, he is up by 5:30. And thanks to our brilliant idea of graduating him to a big boy bed, he just walks into our room and announces that it is now morning and why haven't you fed me yet?
So we're trying something new. We, as gently as possible, say that Mommy and Daddy are sleeping and would you please go back to your room and play. I even taught him how to turn on his lamp so he could get out his toys and play. Seriously, we should put cameras up and sell it to the networks, the comedy that is us trying gently to explain to a 16 month old that Mommy and Daddy are sleeping and he should go entertain himself.
No. You cannot remind me of this when he is 16 and I can't drag him out of bed in the morning with a team of wild horses.
And really, 'team' of wild horses? Isn't that a bit of an oxymoron? Have I mentioned how much caffeine I've had already this morning? No? Well, that's cause I don't remember. It's been a lot. But now I've got to go get my work out in before Asher wakes up.
I leave you with a reminder of how cute he really is despite his attempts to drive me insane, and a lovely rose from our back garden for us to all stop and 'smell' and relax a little. It is summer after all.
>> August 9, 2009
Last week a friend of mine joined me in the blogosphere. Now she's been writing forever and has had a blog or two in her time, but this particular blog is new. Go check her out, she has a way of looking at the everyday in a new way. I'm also thrilled because today, she quoted from my Mom's book, 'Who's Flying this Plane'.
Hope you all have a good Sunday, and happy reading:
Out of the Extraordinary: Welcome to the family
>> August 6, 2009
I came across this blog today. I think through Brit Gal in the USA. She just left a simple comment and I checked out her blog. She had collections of various photos depicting different kinds of beauty. I liked the posts I saw, she seemed to be drawn to very similar things as me as far as seeing beauty went. So I decided to follow her and see what else she came up with. Just some nice pictures to brighten up my day. And then this post came up:
Slices of Beauty...: A Greek Retreat + A Thank You...
There is now a new standard for beauty in houses as far as I'm concerned. A lot of people commented on Greece and wow wouldn't I like to go there. I've been to Greece, it's fine, but this house is beyond. Just the sense of cool, refreshing, calm that emanates from each picture, made my heart ache just a little.
If my Rocket Scientist is ever asking around for something that I might like for my birthday or Christmas or our anniversary, if he built me this house, he would never have to get me anything. ever. again. for as long as I lived. Which would be a really long time in such a peaceful place, let me tell you.
Check me out! I'm a guest blogger!
A while back I wrote a blog for Beth and she's finally able to take that vacation so there I am on Musings of happy mommy, with my own musings. What fun!
I actually wrote the body of that post several weeks before she asked for submissions and had it just sitting in my written but not edited or posted box. So I edited it sent it to her. It's actually one of my favourite pieces. I think because I came about it so differently. I wasn't sitting down 'to write a post', I just had some thoughts in my head that I wanted to get out so I could possibly use them later. And of course it includes a picture of my Little Man. Always worth a check.
I hope you enjoy my post and be sure to stick around and check out C. Beth when she returns. She's one of the first bloggers that I started following way back when and she's one of the first I check on when I'm going about my daily read.
As for me, I'm off to chase my ever-increasingly energetic 16-month old. He's had a cold the past few days and is starting to feel better and I think is going a bit stir crazy from the lack of acitivity lately. Me too. Off to find a park.
>> August 5, 2009
Okay, I have never done this before. I have seen others do it though, so I'm pretty sure it will be okay.
I'm going to share a recipe.
It's nothing ground breaking. Just bread. Brown bread from back when they named it after the color as opposed to the whole wheat content. It might be more appropriate to call it a molasses bread. I got this recipe from my aunt. I think she may have gotten it from Grannie, her mom. It's handwritten so I don't even know if it was once in a book or not. I'm sure my mom will leave a comment correcting me on its origin, all I know is that it is truly yummy bread. A bit dense, cuts like a dream, toasts wonderfully to go with a nice hot cuppa.
In 1 cup of warm water dissolve 1 tsp honey and then add 2 tbsp yeast. Set aside 10 minutes.
Melt: together 1/2 cup of boiling water and 2 tbsp shortening and pour into your mixing bowl
Add: 1/4 cup honey and 1/4 cup molasses
Add: 1/2 cup milk, 1 beaten egg, 1 tsp salt, and yeast mixture. Stir well.
Add: Flour - approx. 6 cups to make a soft, light dough. Turn out and knead for 8 minutes.
Let Rise: in a greased bowl, covered, for 1 hour (150 degree F warmth)
Shape: into 2 loaves, place in a greased pans
Let Rise: 1 hour covered
Bake: at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
(cover tops with foil if they get too dark)
*Now, I said it was a bit dense, but I think that's because I had two issues with letting it rise. I don't think it was warm enough, and my mixing bowl wasn't big enough. I was having trouble getting all 6 cups mixed in because of the size of my bowl and then I don't think it really let the dough have enough room to rise. Does anyone have tricks to share with me on a warm enough place to let bread rise? I've heard put it over the burner that the oven vents through, but I have a glass cooktop and no vent.
**Second amendment. I am currently living in the UK and I could not find molasses so I used treacle. I only used about 2/3rds of what was called for thinking that it would be too strong, but I don't' think it was. I would edge toward using the full 1/4 cup next time.
***Third note. This is for UK folk as well. Everyone may know this already, but it was news to me. Shortening is Cookeen in this country.
****Final mention. The yeast I use calls for it to be mixed with salt at the very beginning. But since the recipe added salt later, I left it out of the initial yeast mix and it turned out very well. I think it would have been too salty if I'd added what the yeast jar had called for.
I have tried a few bread recipes now and they just keep getting better. This one in particular was lovely to me because it tasted like my childhood. I was very pleased that my Little Man enjoys it as well. He had a slice or two as a snack, no butter, no jam, just the bread and he gobbled it up.
Let me know if you try this. I'd love to know how it turns out for you.
>> August 3, 2009
Why yes, thank you. I am. Ovulating. On my own. Without drugs. We've thrown around the line, "the best treatment for PCOS is a succesful pregnancy", but now there's actual hormonal proof. Yippee!
That being said, we are still testing everyone a second time to confirm that everyone's works are working.
That was the good news. The bad news is that if things are not working in 6 months or so, IUI's are not covered by NHS. And they don't do Clomid. They do FSH injections. And IVF. Which I don't qualify for for another year and some. That sucks.
We could do the IUI on our own, but it would cost 1400 GBP. That also sucks.
So for now, we are celebrating the fact that it seems I have suddenly gained the ability to ovulate. Thank God!
And now for the sex! Sorry, was that TMI? We're all adults, right? We know how this works.
So, wish us luck!!
With the ovulating, of course.
So we have an appointment with our local fertility clinic this afternoon. I find myself quite nervous. I knew I was getting anxious, but as today has worn on, I have become positively beside myself. I've managed to keep myself busy, I got up early and made crepes for breakfast, I've baked some truly delicious honey/molasses bread, and I've just about finished all the laundry I was behind on. I've also finished a unit of my online course and started the next one. And Asher has been nursed, napped, fed, cleaned, and kept happy. I need to be anxious more often. It makes me ridiculously productive.
On the other hand, I'd prefer to go without the stomach ache, slight light-headedness, and general shaky feeling. Sounds bad, I know. But it's all physical. I haven't been running stuff around in my head, I have apparently been suppressing any and all thoughts about it and it's just making me feel like crap. Part of the nervousness is the prospect of starting all this again; the meds, the testing, the not-so-comfy IUI, and the very real prospect of being pregnant again in the next couple months (we didn't have the horrible experience that some have had, I ovulated on the first round of clomid and we got pregnant on our first IUI so I'm kind of expecting it to go just as well the second time round).
The hitch, and I think this is what's really got my knickers in a twist, is that it's not like the US system where we had great insurance and a really great doctor that I had picked out myself. The clinic we're going to is at the hospital instead of a nice cosy office. I'm likely going to have a male doctor, not my first choice for sure. And the real kicker...they can say no. I'm not sure of the rules or waiting lists for these procedures. I know the rules for IVF are really quite strict. If we needed IVF I wouldn't qualify right now. I'm a little freaked. I'm trying not to be. Obviously. I never get this much work done. I'm sure all my worries will come to naught, but of course until I know for sure I'm having a bit of a moment.
Oh, yeah. And if they want to start Clomid, I have to wean Asher first. Yeah. I might actually be ready (although I feel guilty that I am), but I know that Asher for sure is not. Okay, for real now I think I may throw up sometime before this appointment actually takes place. Hopefully it's not as we're checking in. On someone's shoes. That would suck.
I'll let you know how it goes.
>> August 1, 2009
A month ago, I disappeared. I was trying to figure out a way of getting to my best friend's wedding back in Canada. I couldn't post about it because of course she reads these posts. And really nothing else was on my mind. So I hemmed and I hawed and Jeff and I went back and forth over pros and cons and logistics and practicalities and it really boiled down to relationship. How much are relationships worth? I've come to the conclusion that they're just about the only thing worth anything. Relationships with family, friends, spouses, children, parents, people on your street, in your church, at work, in your community, on the bus. Relationships are really the core of life. They are why we do most of what we do. How we view ourselves in relation to other people determines how we carry out our daily activites. Sorry. I didn't mean to get so philosophical. Just one of those things you start to get a broader scope of when you actually sit down and start writing. Back to my story.
Every time I talked about the week of E's wedding, I kept saying things like, 'when I get back'. Totally by accident. Jeff was already going to Poland that week for a conference, I was facing my first week on my own with Asher with a bit of trepidation and a bit of excitement, honestly, but everytime I thought of the wedding, I just couldn't imagine not being there. Originally, I was supposed to be a bridesmaid. It hurt that I wasn't going to be standing up there with her. So in the end, I went. We bought the ticket Sunday night and Tuesday we all flew out. Jeff dropped Asher and I off at Gatwick and then headed straight to Heathrow for his flight. We survived our first trans-Atlantic flight on our own (whew), and were able to surprise E Wednesday morning at her home. The wedding was on Friday and was absolutely one of the most beautiful, intimate, and unassuming weddings I have ever been to. I actually cried more at this wedding than my own. I am so happy that I was able to make it.
I spent a lot of time on this trip, reminiscing. Maybe that's not quite the right word. Remembering is a better word. I had been having a hard time remembering what life was like before Asher and I was able to spend a lot time reliving the 'good old days'. The days when Jeff and Iwere first dating, when we were engaged, the early months of our marriage. These were good things for me to remember, important things. I had forgotten an awful lot. About myself. I was already starting to realize that. But mostly about Jeff. And about the things we went through.
To clarify: I am not going down the road of 'having a baby ruined our marrage'. I cannot imagine life without Asher. I don't want to. But adding a member of your family does shift things. I think I did not really acknowledge/understand/get how much time it would take to make that shift. I think I thought it was over months ago and this is how we were going to be forever. It wasn't a place I wanted to be. I needed to remember things that were before because there are so many of those things that I want to be sure to preserve as we go forward, things I want to be a part of Asher's life as well as our own. Things I want to keep in this family no matter how big it grows. Remembering is important. Living life on purpose is important. It's often too easy to just let every day happen as it will and too much gets lost if you don't purposefully hold on to them.
So this is me, holding on.
To my style: to who I am in all of my varied and wonderful roles
To my family: and all the history and growth and future that they represent,
To my friends: new and old, and all that we've stuck by each other through, I'm sure there'll be more to come
To Jeff: my husband, my partner (in crime and in parenthood), my love, my rock, my sheltering arms. Here's to never forgetting again, or at least not for long.
To God: Who created the whole concept of relationship in the first place, to have one with me, He's the reason that I love. Keep reminding me.
Without relationship, there can be no change. We are affected by, and in turn affect, those around us. So make sure your effect is a good one.
>> July 14, 2009
Just a quick shout out to say, I am still alive but relatively offline. There is internet here, but the room in which it is located is a) roughly the temperature of a meat locker and can only be survived for short periods of time, and b) very much not child-friendly and since I have a small child almost permanently attached to me, it is difficult to sit here for the time required to write an actual post. That, and, let's be honest, I'm more interested in spending my time soaking up family and friends. Not that I don't love you all, but I'll be back soon. Does anyone want to write a guestpost for me some time this week? I'll return the favor as soon as I'm back on English soil. Drop me an email if you're interested. If not, this will just give you more time to read up on all the other blogs you follow. Oh, yes, I haven't read a single blog since I've been here. I don't know if it's liberating or if I'm going through withdrawal. Somewhere in between I'm sure. But I miss you and will catch up(-ish) as soon as I get back my wireless.
PS. Oh, right! you don't actually know where I went. Part of the reason I stopped blogging for a bit was because all I wanted to talk about was my best friend back in Canada and her upcoming wedding and how hard it was to not be there and how much I desperately wanted to buy a ticket, but if I did decide to go, I wanted it to be a surprise. So we went into stealth mode. Turns out we decided that money wasn't a good enough reason to not be there for one of my oldest and dearest friends. So I bought the ticket Sunday night and left on Tuesday and surprised her at her house on Wednesday and made it to the wedding on Friday. Woot!!
>> July 1, 2009
>> June 28, 2009
Okay, this is me with my undercut in Greece. The ramrod straight back and slightly manic smile is because I am scared to death of heights and that is a long way down. Back to the hair, I don't know that I want to go this high again, but definitely need less hair than I have right now.
>> June 27, 2009
I've been really missing my undercut lately. I really wanted to get my hair dyed and cut while we were in Chicago seeing as I would pay in dollars there what I would pay in pounds here (I'll save you the math and say that sucks and is way too expensive here). Unfortunately a few things came up that cost more than we'd planned on and I didn't get to have my hair done. Boo. I've resigned myself to not having pink hair anytime soon, but I'm still hoping for some wicked red. Maybe this shade?
And if you're wondering what an undercut is,
I know Saturday is over for me and approaching over for you but I got distracted by laundry. Loads of it. *hahahaha sorry I couldn't resist* Does anyone know of someone in Oxford who does hair on the side, now that I'm looking at that picture, I really miss my undercut. And is it really a 6 word Saturday if you then take so many other words to explain it?
>> June 26, 2009
All Points Bulletin - Missing Woman - one strange mamma, about 5'2", dark hair, declined to give weight (be sure not to ask her, she might take a swing at you), last seen heading off to help take care of her son's god-brother. I have no idea what
I she was wearing because it was way too long ago. I mean, come on, you'd think that with exciting news like that and truly awesome photo ops she'd be blogging about it by now, bugging all her readers (are there any left? not you, Mom, I know you're still there) with how cute he is and how she got to hold him for two days straight and look at this picture, and this picture, and this...you get the idea.
I wish I had a good excuse, like no internet (okay, well actually I didn't have any internet at the godparents house but that was only two days and that was OVER TWO WEEKS AGO!! This is shameful I know. There is no excuse. So instead of continuing to moan about it, let me catch you up.
Mateo is beautiful. I can't describe to you the honor it was for me to spend those two days with him and his parents. I hove how God's timing works out even the little things that we don't think to ask for. I half-jokingly offered to help out when I saw her Sunday, knowing her sisters and family would be bombarding her with wanting to come over, but as it turned out, she did need help and the others weren't free. So it was a blessing both ways. I tried my best not to gloat too much. (Did I do okay, Myrny?) I took tons of pictures but I'll leave those for their own post.
So what else happened? I got to spend some awesome time with very dear friends. We went to the Zoo with the other godparents. I got to do a lot of shopping at an awesome Carter's sale for my every growing child. I got to visit AG for my Birthday present (thanks, Mumsy). I took part in a Zumba class. (go ahead and check out that video...see the dear heart in the I heart NY t-shirt? put 75 lbs on her and that would be about what I looked like. Ya.) I actually got to go to 3 movies!! UP with Asher and Janet, Star Trek with Myrny, and Terminator with Jeff. I have to say, I'd forgotten what really good popcorn tasted like. They don't actually make their popcorn in the theatre here, they pull it out of great big plastic bags already popped. Ugh. Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed all of them and have made it a priority to find a babysitter for at least one trip to the movies a month. They say date nights are important, right?
What else? There was a bridal shower for my former Worship Leader (Congrats again Jenny!!). Saturday was spent helping Myrny run errands and such (really just an excuse for us to spend the day shopping ;) and then helping set up. Asher was a bit done in by the time we got there and decided to crash while the women-folk got things set up. I didn't tell him what he was napping on. I'll save this picture for his wedding reception:
Jeff arrived Saturday night from his conference in Minnesota. We got to share our favourite Chinese food with the couple-to-be after church. Jeff got his man-date with his chocolate bear on Tuesday after a much needed day of just resting and hanging out at our friends home.
Asher loves his Manny and Max. When I played this video he perked up and went running into our kitchen to see if they'd somehow materialized. Asher and I got treated to some Baker's Square as well that evening. Wednesday was organizing our suitcases and packing up so that we would be free to visit with the godparents and Mateo who came to visit us before heading to the airport.
Mary doesn't realize she's not actually tall enough to do that to Jeff.
For the most part, that was Chicago. Greatly condensed, but we're just playing catchup, right? The flight home was not bad, Asher slept most of the way, Jeff and I didn't sleep at all. We very much needed the weekend to recover from the jetlag. Monday, at our Toddle In, Asher fell of the back of a little plastic mini-slide. Very traumatic, but no damage done. Tuesday went into our local drop in play group and had a very interesting conversation with some of the ladies there, but that really needs its own post. Wednesday missed my Women's Group in favour of a nap since I'd been awake since 4:30. Woke up from the nap to find Asher covered in some mysterious blisters. If you followed me on Twitter, you heard about the whole miserable saga of finding out he had hives. Hives! Still don't know what caused them or why they hung on for 3 days. You notice how I'm talking of it the past tense right? Because today, he had a 3 hour nap and woke up almost completely hive free and in the course of writing this post, the last few marks have faded and nothing new has shown up. I'm tentatively calling it a win. If you want to see all the traumatic pictures you can go here. I'm just happy to be breathing again.
And if you're still with me, a comment on the post I wrote a few weeks back. Something else you probably didn't know about me, I went through psychoanalysis for almost 4 years. Honestly, I think everyone should do it. Incredible. Anyway, I always did this in my sessions. Right before either I went on a holiday or my Doctor did, I would get down to the nitty-gritty, the meat of things, those deep, inner angsts. And then my half hour would be up, we'd go our merry ways for a couple weeks and I'd come back and just play catch up for a few sessions. I knew this was my pattern and yet I couldn't stop. I had no idea that I still did it. So I'm making sure my catch-up is all done. I may expound on some things just cause they were fun and I have lots of pictures, but I won't feel like I can't write about anything else in the meantime. Like I said, I don't know where I will go from here, but I don't want to lose whatever was going on when I wrote that blog. I really appreciated your comments. Let's see if we can't get to know each other even better in the future. Which, uh, means, I should maybe stop lurking on all your blogs and actually commenting I guess. :)
>> June 9, 2009
Well, it's 6:45 am, I've been awake for longer than I want to think about. Mostly because as I lay in bed awake, thinking it was quickly approaching 7 and I'd had a nice little sleep in and so had Asher, I was wholly unaware of the fact that it was actually quickly approaching 5:30 and there had been no special sleep in and I would actually be waking up ridiculously early and feeling pretty good about it in a mere half hour. But the good news is, is that Asher did sleep through the night, no fever or coughing or whining or crying. Which means I also slept through the night. Even if that night for me was only about 5 and a half hours long. It's a longer night than I've had for while so I'll take it.
In case you were wondering, there won't be any Monday Meals while we're here. No way I'll be that organized. As you can see. What with it being Tuesday already. And yes, me being happy that Asher had no fever or coughing and all the rest of it is because the night before I got very little sleep thanks to all that going on. I had thought it was a cold, ther was some cloudy snot involved, but now I'm thinking more the snot was just all the recycled air of the plane and the wind and new pollen of Chicago upon our arrival and the fever was from his last molar. Either that or the shortest cold in history as this morning there's no sign of any of those ailments...except of course the molar.
Anyway, I'm very excited today as we are going to go help out Asher's godmamma with her brand new bambino. It all happened so suddenly she didn't have time to hand off her projects at work and so has a lot due this week (happily though she works from home). Then she'll be off on six weeks maternity leave and her husband is a school teacher and is finished as of Thursday. So in the meantime I get the wonderful job of hanging out and helping with the baby. Yay!
So for now, I'm off to pack up for the day, get some breakfast and go pick up the rental car. Will catch up on blogs as soon as I can.
>> June 6, 2009
We are off to Chicago in a few hours. I was looking forward to it before, but now I am completely over the moon. Two of our dear friends and Asher's godparents have been travelling a very long road and on Monday the will meet their new little baby boy. I am so unbelievably ecstatic for them right now. I'm sure they would be picking him up earlier, but she also happens to be walking the Avon 2-day walk for breast cancer starting tomorrow at 7am. I'm sure she'll have a spring in her step for all of those 39? miles.
does this make Asher a god-brother?
>> June 4, 2009
So, I never really explained why I chose the title for my blog. Once I got it all set up, I simply took up where I had left off with my family's website blog. I really didn't mean to do that. In fact, in the beginning, I wasn't going to tell anyone I knew about this blog because I wanted to be free to write in it what I wanted without worrying who was going to be calling me up five minutes later wanting to know exactly what I meant by that. Apparently I forgot all about that between the conceiving and naming of my blog and writing my first post. And, as you can see it quickly became...well, a mommy blog (and I don't mean that nearly as sideways as it might sound), essentially a blog to share our family life with, whoever. When I set up the family website and then when I started to post here, I had hoped that my actual family would want to keep up on all things us and would read and comment and we could all keep in touch a bit more through the wonders of the internet. That didn't exactly happen. My mom reads this. And I'm sure my bestest Aunt reads it on occasion over Mom's shoulder. I try not to be bitter. Unsuccessfully for the most part. But I digress. Because I shouldn't really be bitter when I didn't want anyone but the anonymous masses to read this blog anyway. I can still be bitter about the website though. I pay money for that people! Moving on.
So who were the strangers and where was this normal land. I'm sure some people come across this title and think, 'ooh, nice literary reference'. I'm sure it is. I haven't read it. Perhaps others might think, 'ooh, nice biblical reference'. I was pretty sure it was in there but didn't really know where or who it referred to. Turns out it refers to Moses living out with the Midianites after he fled Egypt. Huh. So none of those references are really what I was going for. I just thought it was a nice turn of phrase. Some people might have thought it was in reference to Jeff and I, being Canadians, moving to the United States. If that were the case however, I think I would have kept to the original phrase, 'Strangers in a strange land'. And if that had been the case, I probably would have changed the name when we moved to the UK like I threatened to here. But we're still not there yet. See this is what happens when I'm not simply reporting the goings on of our, or more likely Asher's, day. I get really wordy. Moving on.
So what am I talking about then. Us. Me and Jeff. We are Christian. We are Goth (although some days could argue more punk than goth). We are just a little bit Crunchy. We are Geeks. We enjoy a good musical. We are tattooed. Well, I am. We are pierced. Again, me. We prefer our hair to be anything but a natural shade (although we don't always get our way on that). We have other preferences that we won't mention here because it is a family blog. And because my mother does read this. (There is just so much more that needs to be said on that topic, maybe if I start that other blog, sorry Mum, I probably won't tell you about that one) Us. Me and Jeff. We are strange. We don't really fit anywhere. (except maybe Africa, that was like coming home) We are eclectic in almost every sense. Probably more than really anyone around us realize. We have learned to fit in. We have let a lot of things go. For a number of reasons. Money. Time. Effort. None of them so that we could fit in and yet our goal was never to stand out. Just to be ourselves. Although Jeff probably enjoys the standing out a bit more. So we find ourselves amongst all manner of normal people (who by the way invariably say they wish they were brave enough to be not normal) feeling always a little...strange. Perhaps there is more strangeness around us than we think, we're just among the few who let it show on the outside. Well, when we can afford it at least.
This is what I was trying to get at, wanting to explore, when I thought up this blog. Somehow it didn't happen. I suppose life got in the way a little. But that's not quite right. It wasn't life. We haven't been so much living life as surviving it recently. I don't blame it on Asher, I blame it on me. I had only just got the hang of being me. Suddenly being responsible for someone else kind of threw me. Even if I did have plenty of warning. I forgot how to be me, I was so caught up with being Asher's mom. I still am to a large extent, but I'm starting to remember there's more to me and that it's okay to have more to me. I don't quite know yet, how it's going to look to be...incorporated, because I know that I'm not 'just' me or 'just' mom. I'm me and now being a mom is part of that. But I don't want to just survive. I want to live life with abandon. God knew what kind of mom Asher needed. Me. Not a shell of me, or a watered down version of me, but me.
I am a tattooed and pierced, Christian-Gothic-Hippie-Punk-Geek mom who loves broadway musicals, Funker Vogt, and collecting dolls (did I just say that? not an admission I meant to make) who currently hates her hair and can't afford to get done what she really wants so she'll probably settle for bottle black. Again. Ugh. Spent. Kind of doubt this makes much sense. Probably should draft it and post it later, but later never comes. Right?
So where does the newborn go from here?* Or in my case, the strange mamma? Wherever it is, there will be good dance music, funky hair, more metal, my strange husband by my side and my awesome little man on my hip. And who knows? Hopefully more awesome little ones along for the ride. Hopefully a few more. Oh. And there will be Africa. Somewhere in there, there will be more Africa.
*I will give an actual prize if you recognized that quote. I don't know what, but I will. Of course I would prefer that you actually recognized it and not looked it up on the internet. Is this what they call an honour code?
>> June 2, 2009
>> June 1, 2009
For now, Asher's Mother's Day Lunch. Believe it or not, this was a first for having spaghetti. We have pasta all the time, but never spaghetti. It was a bit harder to eat on his own than what he's used to. But all in all, he was very good for not having a proper nap and Mom and Gramma both enjoyed his company. As well as our waitress with whom he was quite infatuated.
As a parting thought, if you see someone leaving a comment on your blog called Strange Mamma, ya, that's me.
>> May 26, 2009
Which is why I totally forgot that yesterday was Monday. So here is what I had planned for this week's Monday Meal:
He loves all of these things. I had thought he loved chips the best, followed by fish and then peas.
>> May 23, 2009
>> May 18, 2009
Okay, so this is quickly becoming less about me getting nutrition into Asher in new and fun ways and more just a topic to get me going on a Monday. So here is Asher having High Tea (I don't know if that technically calls for capitals, but it sounds like it should) at the Ritz. It apparently takes two months to get a reservation here (lucky Mum booked it as soon as she bought her flight) and you can't take pictures because there might be famous people there. So we hid our camera behind the menu and the tea pots and the sandwich tray and tried to take pictures with only Asher in them. Even though there was no one that we recognized.
Asher was very good. For the most part. He did scream for a couple minutes when I pinched his leg in the highchair clips while I was buckling him in. I felt so bad. I felt bad for the well-dressed people who thought there were in for some high-dining and I felt bad for the look of complete horror on my son's face as I caused him pain and then I felt bad all over again when I went to change him after and saw the little red mark I left on his leg. Poor little man. He got a bit restless at the end, but once I let him out to walk around the hotel he was thrilled. And greatly admired as he strutted his stuff in his fancy little suit.
Asher loved the ham sandwiches the best. But apparently he only likes ham sandwiches like they make them there because he's been less than thrilled with them here at home.
There you can see his backup snacks and sippycup.
And the rest of the pictures are really just of him being adorable. Enjoy:(I have no idea what that look is he's giving me)
(checkin' out the neighbors)
This really says it all. Tea at the Ritz is, well, ritzy, but at the end of the day toddlers are exhausting.
>> May 5, 2009
Okay, okay. Perhaps I should have waited to start the whole weekly blog thing until I knew I would have some actual time on my hands. This week also has a great excuse. My Mum is visiting from Canada. Yay!! It's been very nice to have another adult in the house to talk to during the day. And of course it is truly wonderful to see Asher and his Grandma laughing and having fun. More on that later.
Right now, I have to talk again about cottage cheese. I loved my last comment that perhaps if it's not in this country then perhaps I'm not such a stranger after all. Alas, I found it. Granted it was on the bottom shelf so no one can see it, but still.
I thought I would put some peaches in it to have a familiar and sweet taste to entice him:
I know you can't really tell so much from these pictures, but he was essentially just sitting there with his mouth open, moving the stuff around, trying to not swallow it:
All in all, not a big fan. Which I am totally okay with. So what next? I'm thinking maybe tomatoes. Or potatoes. That's not such a big deal I know, but he keeps steeling them out of their basket and trying to eat them raw. I'm tempted to let him try. But for right now, I'm going to say that next week I'm taking off. It will be Mum's last couple days with us and I don't want to worry about it or give excuses again.
I'll leave you with a couple pictures from a wedding we went to this last weekend. None of the pictures are of the wedding, they are all of Asher in his awesome little suit. Tell me he doesn't look like a tiny little Doctor Who only without the long coat.
*Just to note, I did not get a chance to 'fix' any of the photos which I know isn't bothering you, but it is bothering me so I had to say something.