Thursday, November 25, 2010
On Saturday it will be our 6 year anniversary. I thought in light of this I would share a little wisdom I have learned over the years about love.
At the end of a Miss Marple (my hero) episode a character remarks that he had no idea common sense is as strong an emotion as love. I suppose like many of us raised on Disney he too believed love stronger than anything. What I adore about this moment is that it brings to light the practical side of relationships. The non-romantic side of romantic relationships which are saturated by cheesy sentiments and a Hallmark monopoly.
I've been very lucky in love. I was in love twice before meeting my dear husband and neither relationship ended from a lack of love. I consider myself deeply fortunate. I'm not a big romantic though. I don't believe in soul mates and I'd rather watch anything than a romantic comedy. I do however believe my life to be filled with romance of the most integral kind.
The reason Doug and I have survived where my other relationships failed I believe is due to the practical side of things. As you get older you learn more and more who you are and finding someone with the same goals and beliefs as you can be life changing. This doesn't mean finding another you, but finding someone who compliments your life. In my case it doesn't hurt that we are equally peculiar.
I want to change the world. I want to leave the world a better place. I want to share my life with someone who dreams of the same.
I was very fortunate to find in Doug a husband who I love deeply as well as a man who believes in the same environmental, humanitarian principles as I do. To find a man who listens to the news and actively engages in this world towards it's betterment. A man who I can laugh with and share meaningful conversation with about international policies. A man who satisfies my unrelenting need for intellectual stimulation as well as can lighten up our home with a good ole fashioned fart fest.
Yesterday as I turned to him on the couch and said "lets have a slow motion fist fight" and proceeded to slowly throw a right hook only to be blocked by his two handed chest crusher, I realized he's prefect for me. I need someone who is as able to be childish and impulsive as I am and still be able to put on the grown up face and discuss the realities of our world. He's not afraid to look silly and not afraid to look around and learn about the state of today.
I love my husband more than anything but our marriage has not grown and survived based on love. There are connections between us just as important and long reaching as love, and while they may seem less romantic common sense tells me this is why our marriage prevails. Disney may not make a movie of us anytime soon but I believe my marriage to have more substance than any fairy tale ever written. I believe the daily reality of our marriage in every kiss goodbye and kiss hello has an abundance to be celebrated. An abundance of good ole fashioned common sense and love.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
I'm someone who loves winter. I love snow and the crisp cold. I love Christmas music which I play over and over to an annoying degree (like right now), and fresh baked goods that fill the house with the scent of cinnamon. I am addicted to the month of December!!
This year it comes as a wonderful distraction. We are #31 on the list (and for our age request there are approx 10 above us with the same) and I am loving the distraction of Christmas cheer. We are not expecting the call before this year is up but it feels amazing to finally see an end in sight.
This year I told Doug I wanted to stay home for Christmas. I didn't want to be running around like every other year taking the bus, catching the ferry, and moving from house to house. Honestly, while I love my family I just want a quiet Christmas this year! A quiet Christmas which will likely be the last Christmas without tiny foot steps and giggles running through our house. I feel like we are nearing the edge of this life changing event and I rather want to revel in it.
Christmas to me is not only a celebration of Jesus but a celebration of a very magical year. We had a lot on our plate this year and I am thankful for all the wonderful moments experienced within the challenges. We are such lucky people.
As I snuggle in front of my fireplace I had to look up pictures of amazing fireplaces! Don't they look amazing and cozy? I could happily drink hot cocoa and read a book in front of any of them!
Images from http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/148759/list/Cozy-Fireplaces-
Friday, November 19, 2010
Today after learning that a fellow infertile blogger's second round of IVf had failed my heart broke. I wanted to share something with all of you who read my blog and have gone through infertility. Whether I know you or not I am so deeply sorry you are going through this. Every time I hear of someone going through or who has gone through infertility my heart responds. Before I can even find the words to say how sorry I am or how awful this is a piece of my heart breaks. There is nothing I can say to make it easier. I know that. There are no magic words that can make any of this easier and I am so saddened by that truth. I do however promise you that there are others who understand. Who get how devastating this is. I wish I could fix everything because you deserve to be parents. You deserve to be called Mom or Dad. The only thing I can say is you are not alone. All of us who have gone through infertility no matter where we are in this world or in this process we understand that ache. We understand the tears and the agony and crying so hard until your body feels empty. When I say my prayers at night you are all in them. Every single one of you. Those I know and love and those I have never met. I pray for your peace and happiness. I pray you end up with the miracles you so deserve. I pray for all your hurt to one day lift and your wounds to heal. I pray often.
Much love to each and every one of you.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
My favourite part of the crib being set up was the delivery man wondering if Restoration Hardware had sent me a defective crib because of all the marks on it. He realized once it was all together that it was likely the intended look. I'm thinking he doesn't have a lot of antique inspired distressed furniture in his home. He was very sweet about his concern and I assured him this was exactly how it should look.
I'm not using the greatest photos today because I'm about to crawl back into bed and nurse my cold. However I finally learned that if I turn the lights off and use my flash the room actually looks close to the colour it is and not cream, although with no natural light it's looking greyish in these. Ah, well you can't win them all!
For the rest of the day I'm going to be in bed. I don't know the last time I was sick (other than my girl parts acting up), and I'm being a big wuss. I woke up in a pool of my own sweat at 4am and after showering quickly vacuumed and cleaned my house up. I'm not sure anyone else does this but right at the on set of not feeling well I scrub my house clean so I can lie around and relax the rest of the day without having to look at anything out of place. I can really only relax in a clean house. My girlfriend has three kids and the cleanest house I've ever been in. On days when I need to scrub my house in under an hour I think of her ability to do so with three kids trailing after her and a house 6 times the size as my condo. Makes my measly little job seem like paradise.
Today is actually the perfect day to feel stuffed up and crappy. Outside it is stormy and my hanging flower baskets are swinging to and fro. Being sick on a cold and rainy day when I have nowhere to be is pretty ideal.
So their you have our new crib. I love it and I think it looks good in the space. I was sad to see the canopy crib go but I do love this as an alternative. As you all know I have a huge obsession with 'I Love Lucy', and when little Ricky's nursery was revealed the other day I realized how much I love vintage nursery's. There is something both classic and comforting about them. My nursery is my favourite room in the house and with the big fluffy rug it's actually quite fun to lounge around in there reading (possible to our three cats, but I'm not admitting to anything).
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Could I actually do an entire post on my hair? Yes, yes I can. I recently said good bye to 10 inches of hair. This was fairy momentous for me.
The first time I had short hair I was 8 and wanted to look like Peter Pan. That kid was so cool!! I loved the clothes, the haircut, the sword fighting. He was a bad ass and I wanted to look like him. I regret nothing.
The second time I cut my hair short was grade 11 in an effort to like Winona Ryder in Reality Bites. The day I went to cut it off the boy I had a crush on told me boys didn't like girls with short hair. I did it anyways. It was a moment of ballsyness I will forever cherish. I loved it even though I spent the next 16 years growing it long. I was rather attached to having long hair as a way of feeling womanly.
I've previously discussed how I felt infertility stripped me of my femininity. I guess in a way my already deep commitment to my hair became amplified, as though having long hair reaffirmed that I am a woman. As superficial as it all sounds I think I really have used it as a crutch to feel sexy. I've also always felt odd looking. I have really strong features inherited from my father and it's taken me a while to embrace that. To feel good about being distinctive.
Cutting off my hair felt very liberating in a couple ways. The first was I can no longer hide behind it. I feel a bit naked to be honest. The second was I wasn't sure it would look good. I thought about wimping out and not cutting it so short but I wanted to prove to myself that I could. That I could let go of something I felt defined me and even if it looked like crap I would be fine with looking less than stellar. I wanted to challenge my own view of myself and really feel like my femininity and sex appeal was something beyond any physical part of me. I've always said the brain is the sexiest part of a person and I felt like this was a good chance to really prove that to myself. Now it's not like I shaved my head or anything but to me this was major. I'm someone who has cried over two inches of hair being cut off. I am a HUGE hair wimp. Sitting in that chair and not even flinching as I watched my hair fall to the floor was a growing experience.
Every time I strip away some superficial piece of myself that I've attached way too much importance too I feel more whole. I feel more confident. I feel pretty great knowing it's not my hair that makes me womanly or sexy. I feel amazing looking in the mirror and knowing it's all the things I can't see that make me attractive. All that said however I'm very smitten with the hair cut!
Tomorrow I'll show you our new crib!! Between you and me I love it! It took me a while to really embrace it but I think it looks pretty fabulous. Now hopefully we can a baby in it before we have to get a third one!
Monday, November 15, 2010
Good adoption news!!!! We're actually moving up the list!!! We are very near the twenties right now and it is all beginning to feel more real again. Maybe, just maybe this ends with us being parents. Also there is a chance Visa's are going to be processed more quickly which will mean bringing home our child in a much shorter timeline. All fantastic news! I'd like to also send a big thank you to all your wonderful comments on my breast cancer scare. I had yet another appointment and my results not only came back negative for cancer, but also negative for any pre-cancer. I'm still being closely monitored but all in all I look good and healthy for now!
Today I wanted to share with you another blog I'm a huge fan of 'Single Infertile Female'. http://singleinfertilefemale.blogspot.com/
Written by an inspiring young woman who found out endometriosis was destroying her insides. Her blog focuses on her struggle to conceive as a single women in her mid twenties. Her doctors have told her she will likely never conceive naturally and that she had a two year window if it was to happen at all. Earlier this year she went through her first round of IVF which unfortunately did not take and she has now done her final round of IVF and is waiting (along with hundreds of us who have become enthralled with her and her story), to find out if this round has taken. A further amazing component to her story is when she was 19 she donated her eggs to two couples unable to conceive and that resulted in one of the couples giving birth to twins. She is truly remarkable. She is a warm, funny, strong, intelligent woman who I can not say enough good things about. Please visit her blog and enjoy her writing and send prayers and warm thoughts as we all hold our breath that 9 months from now she has a condo filled with baby bottles and diapers.
Monday, November 8, 2010
My breasts and I have recently had a falling out. For the last few years our relationship has had it's ups and downs but overall we've still seen eye to eye or nipple to nipple as the case may be. I don't ask much from them and I've never had much cause to complain. My husband has often found me standing in front of the mirror topless doing my breast checks and then pausing to give them a nod of approval. The truth is I adore these two life partners of mine. After a rocky battle with self esteem as a teenager, my breasts in later years have become one of my favourite body parts. They are well loved and only since 2008 has their health been something of concern.
In 2008 I found a large lump in my right breast approximately 3.5cm long. My breasts are rather dense and had this lump not been so large I likely would have missed it. I had an appointment with our doctor to update our adoption medicals and upon showing her my lump she announced it was a tumor. I remember giving her the side eye and thinking "I'm pretty sure you can't just go around telling people they have breast tumors." My husband was in the room as well for our medical update and we both were pretty stunned by this remark. She informed me I'd need an ultrasound and she explained it felt like fibroadenoma, a non-cancerous breast condition.
My ultrasound was booked for 5 months down the road and I'm still rather surprised how long the wait was. I remember feeling confident it was nothing but a tad nervous that if it was cancer a five month wait without treatment on a large tumor wasn't the best option. I was nervous but for the most part I was confident everything was ok. My doc seemed unconcerned which was a good sign in my eyes!
My ultrasound eventually came and it was indeed benign and has since disappeared. They also found multiple small cysts, but nothing alarming. I was told I'd have yearly ultrasounds to keep an eye on things which seemed reasonable. I had both breasts examined in 2009 and they came back with 20-30 small cysts. Annoying, but not alarming.
A couple weeks ago however I got rather sudden and severe breast pain. The left side of my left breast was inflamed, hot, and red. I assumed I had an inflamed cyst and left it. The next day however it was even more sore and red so I decided to see my doc. When I showed him my breast he was eying it with concern. I figured I would make his job easier by informing him it was an infected cyst and could he just aspirate it and I'd be on my way. He shook his head and said that wasn't an option since it was too hard and it was a breast abscess not a cyst. My poor lovable breast was full of puss and infection. I wasn't thrilled by this but I figured no biggie. He gave me some antibiotics and asked to see me the next day. Now this got my panties in a big ole knot. I'd like to think that since he had now seen the goods he was hooked and wanted me to return with them often for his viewing pleasure, but something about the deepening crease in his forehead made me suspect otherwise. I must have looked taken aback (I am cursed by a face that expresses every thought), because he then changed it to the day after as long as I agreed to come back if there was any change whatsoever in the interim. I was also to sit in the waiting room while they made my ultrasound appointment. By now I was a bit freaked. He told me this could be serious but that we would figure this out. Abscesses are not common in breasts so we needed to do our due diligence. I probably should have been relieved he was so aggressive in my treatment but truthfully it scared the shit out of me.
I went back on Saturday and by-passed the lineup which may be the coolest thing in my story. Being ushered in upon arrival felt pretty vip. He examined it again, and I finally asked should I be worried? He replied that it was concerning and that's why we needed to get to the bottom of this. Medical concerns in breasts should not be taken lightly. Only one form of breast cancer presents itself like my infection and that is inflammatory breast cancer. A very rare and aggressive cancer. He assured me he wouldn't miss a thing though and his confidence was somewhat calming. While waiting for my ultrasound I was terrified. I suddenly didn't want to be alone despite being a notorious anti-social loner. I had every awful thought running through my head including the fact I would never meet my children. I was a complete basket case. I had less than a week waiting for my ultrasound but it felt much longer than the previous five month wait in 2008.
My husband asked the technician if he could come in with me for my ultrasound to which she replied "It's not for a baby just a breast". I was tempted to inform her he was a bigger fan of breasts than babies, but instead we both ignored her and he came in anyways. We tried to read the ultrasound but as it happens neither one of us is a trained medical professional.
Friday came and I was feeling anxious. When I went to our doc my ultrasound was still not in but as he examined and poked and prodded once more he announced it was not behaving like breast cancer. Phew!!!! I felt the biggest relief in my life. He'll be phoning me with the results and next steps and I'll be very closely monitored but I feel the worst fear is over.
I had a lot of thoughts the past couple weeks. I was petrified to my bones and at times could feel the fear crawling down my spine. I pondered my time on earth and was I doing what I wanted? Was I living a fulfilling life? I realized that I love where I am. I love my husband and family and friends and I love to write. I love to write this blog and I am enjoying writing my book. I am pretty satisfied with the way my life has turned out. I have a husband who took a couple days off to spend with me while I was a severely nervous wreck. Friends who prayed for me and a couple amazing girls who let me e-mail them everyday in my chaotic stressful manner. My amazing Mom also patiently listened to my fears everyday. I must be doing something right because when I was most scared I had these incredible people sending me love.
Breast cancer is very scary. As women we are reminded of it everywhere in advertising, Kleenex boxes, bus stops, and most of us know someone who has had it. Breast health is important and as a good friend of mine recently confided she has never checked her breasts before, I encourage everyone to be diligent. Finding a lump is nothing to be terrified about but it is important to be aware and have your doctor examine. The same goes for pap smears. Take good care of your girl parts because if anything ever were to happen early detection can make a world of difference.
lots of love, Jxxxx
Thursday, November 4, 2010
The nursery photos have nothing to do with the story I'm going to share but since our new crib is coming soon I wanted photos of the nursery as I originally envisioned. Ignore the toddler conversion kit underneath since it's going to be taken with the crib. I'm super happy with the carpet and my little lamb rug, and it's been nice to see my original idea in place.
Ah the sweet story though. Above are my three angels Julia, Odin (orange), and George (black and white). Julia was diagnosed with advanced arthritis early this year and her back leg has since completely fused together. For the last ten years since she was a kitten she has brought us her stuffed toy 'wolf' to the bedroom each night. Ten minutes after the four of us crawl into bed together we hear her meowing through the hallway that she has caught her wolf. Once deposited next to the bed she jumps in with us and receives cheers and congratulatory pets on the head. We are nothing if not enthusiastic pet parents. Since her injury though she often doesn't make it off the couch at night, and usually is snuggled up to her heating pad as seen above.
The first night she didn't catch her wolf I was rather sad. She was huddling next to me in bed and I could tell she was in a lot of pain. Just after midnight I heard a familiar meowing through the halls. While I was certain it was George I wasn't sure what he was doing as he rarely meows. When he came round to my side of the bed I saw in his mouth he had wolf. He placed him by my side of the bed as Julia hung over the ledge and watched with wide eyes as her brother brought her special wolf to her. He then crawled in next to us and went to sleep. Today this remains one of the sweetest acts I've ever witnessed. As the months have gone by on the nights she's too uncomfortable to catch her wolf let alone come to bed George brings us his mouse to the bedroom to carry on the nightly tradition. After dropping off his favourite mouse he goes back to the couch and spends the rest of the night sleeping next to her. This is a remarkable love to witness. An inspiring love to witness. I am so lucky to spend my days with such extraordinary beings.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
You may have noticed I'm suffering some writers block as of late. My brain the last couple weeks has felt like a small hurricane. Actually I always have a bit of a disaster upstairs so let's just say a bigger hurricane than usual. That silly house! I'm assuming most of you remember the great e-mail embarrassment of last week concerning the house(see below for details). Well that house is still for sale! The offer fell through which put us back in the running. After a couple days though we opted out and decided it wasn't the house for us. I wasn't thrilled with the budget we had worked out which for the first time in 11 years left me being the more financially conservative one in the relationship. I think it's time I reread the shopaholic books because this won't do at all. I know they say you start to look alike after years of being together but this is ridiculous!
The other big thing on our minds was yet another adoption change. We were informed referrals under the age of one will be few. I believe the wording was for those requesting infants this will take "a very long time". I wasn't keen to read that. I'm still not sure what that means exactly other than we don't want to wait a long time. In fact, after nearly four years I think we've already waited a really long time! After much deliberation (and several tears) we decided to up our age range. Not by much mind you but up to 18 months. We are still looking at a 6-8 month wait to bring them home on top of that so we are likely looking at a two year old. I'm slowly wrapping my mind around this and gaining a bit more excitement everyday about this change. There has been a constant grieving process in this adoption and for every change I've rediscovered my enthusiasm and optimism so I suspect this will be no different in the long run.
As we think about our options for child #2 we are considering things that four years ago we thought we would never consider. This has reaffirmed for me that you can really never say never. You have no idea where you will be one, two, three, or four years from today. You may find your whole world looks different. The view from the top looks different from the view from the bottom and all we really know is where we are today. That can change in a second though. Life can change in a second.
Today we will remain in our lovely condo, and look forward to parenting a two year old! We will deal with the next steps as they arise, and remain thankful that we have amazingly supportive friends and family, and most of all we have each other. Sometimes a nice deep breath makes everything clearer, and hopefully I am one step further from the blockhead condition I have currently found myself in.