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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Infertility 101-Ch3- Cabbage Patch Dolls Are The Way To Go


Infertility 101-Ch3-

So this is where we left off. It turned out I'm not the ovulator I imagined myself to be, and Doug and the cup were not destined for a torrid love affair. I stopped taking clomid to give my body a rest. It seemed we were heading towards IVF. IVF however costs thousands of dollars, and I didn't particularly like the idea of spending thousands on a 'maybe'. We had always planned to adopt a child, so wrapping our minds around this alternative wasn't particularly difficult. I felt in my heart I was meant to find my child in the world, and while I wasn't ready to completely give up hope of a biological child, I was ready to try something new. We were just over two years into trying, and I was worn out. I sort of wanted to hit up Toys R' Us, buy a cabbage patch doll and call it a day.

We continued trying the old fashioned way for another 6 months before contacting the first agency. I'm not sure people talk about sex and infertility but here is my perspective. Remember when you were an irresponsible youngster, and your hormones multiplied faster than the fruit flies in your locker? The back of a mini seemed romantic, and 'All I wanna do is Zooma Zoom Zoom Zoom and a Boom Boom' was your theme song? Trying to conceive through infertility is the exact opposite of that. I'd elaborate, but I think that sums it up. The EXACT opposite.

I'm not really sure where to inject this into our journey, so I'm going to awkwardly comment on it here. I have been pregnant. In fact I have been pregnant a few times... More than a few times. On the rare occasions I ovulate, the sperm and egg have met for a brief 'how do you do'. I like to pretend our miscarriages are due to our offspring being overly excited to meet us. They just can't wait 9 months to join cocktail hour, so they abandon ship early. Can't say I blame them, we are pretty awesome. That's all I really have to say about that. It's not something I'm comfortable talking about at the best of times. I guess that's part of the journey that's really private for me. It's the part I'm not good with sharing. It's the part I've made peace with and need to leave where it lies.

When we decided to start researching agencies there was a sense of calmness in our home. It took a weight off our shoulders, and we had this clarity that no matter what happened we would be parents one day. We naively thought the worst was over. We were so young... So innocent.... So... Well, you get the drift. I'm going to end there because my day has ran away on me, and I'm craving Kraft dinner with veggie dogs. The ultimate in comfort food entrees. I will end with this quote on innocence. It always lifts my spirits when I feel our naive nature let us down. I sometimes forget that with everything we've been through, our willingness to believe in happy endings is our bread and honey. It's what unites both Doug and I, and all the other adoptive parents in this journey with us.

“That's what it takes to be a hero, a little gem of innocence inside you that makes you want to believe that there still exists a right and wrong, that decency will somehow triumph in the end” Lise Hand

No, I'm not saying we're heros. I just really like the quote. As an adoptee myself I've always despised the notion of adoption being a humanitarian act. I put this out there to all people: Adoption is not some selfless act of charity. I will get to that another day, but my skin completely crawls at the notion. So many rants, so little time...

J xx

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I'm not mentally ill, I'm adopting



Yesterday I finished my baby bird mobile. I looked at endless nurseries, and dreamed of our child. Today, I am doing an impression of a bump on a log. Not a particularly bad impression either. Adoption can make a sane person crazy. I can already envision my husband rolling his eyes at the idea I would view myself as ever being sane. The point still stands jackass. You see what I put up with?

Adoption, while a beautiful thing may cause your hair to turn grey, and fall out. It may cause your gastrointestinal problems to flare up. It may cause you to eat an entire loaf of bread with hagelslag (the dutch know what I'm talking about). Adoption is gruelling. Some days I am unexplainably furious and looking to yell at someone, and I'm not someone who's ever been a candidate for anger management. My probation officer will attest to that. Since this process though, on occasion I have lost my temper. In fact, the other day a car almost hit us, I mean really truly almost hit us, and I got a wee bit angry. Doug stumbled off terrified (like a normal person), while I stood there and swore at the driver every curse word in the book. If you're looking to add to your swearing repertoire I highly recommend British comedies. It was exhilarating!!! It was honestly the best part of my day. Please don't take this as a recommendation to play in traffic. I'm just saying you may have some built up rage, and if someone should happen to almost kill you, it's not the worst thing in the world to direct it accordingly. Maybe just play on the edge of traffic.

Today though, I am not particularly angry. I'm more, lets read some Nancy Drew, drink hot chocolate, maybe watch some Little Bear. You know, grown up stuff. I just feel vulnerable. I rather despise feeling so fragile. I thought though I would share something I wrote when our adoption agency went bankrupt. I published this on facebook in the summer, but with my lack of creativity today, I'm going to republish it here. The last four lines I am considering painting on our babies wall beside the crib.

Lots of love, J. xxoo

I have carried you in my heart for years.
You were conceived in the most extraordinary of dreams.
Your father and I have held your eyes, hands and soul for many moons.
We are bound by love.
We have cried so hard, wolves have howled in the night to give more voice to our pain.
We have fought like lions to protect not a dream, or a process, or our rights, but to protect our child.
I do not care whether our bond can be felt or explained by others.
We know it is there, and each tear confirms it's unbreakable connection.
We have loved you so long, it is unbearable to think you may not be coming home.
We have loved you so long, home in its emptiness has become as quiet as a graveyard.
We can smell you on balmy evening, and hear your giggles on the wings of fireflies.
Some nights in the sweetest of moments, before sleep has crept across my face, I have felt your tiny fingers brush against mine.
You are as real to us as sunshine and more beautiful than the stars.
I have carried you in my heart for years.
You were conceived in the most extraordinary of dreams.
Your father and I have held your eyes, hands and soul for many moons.
We are bound by love.

Jessalyn Rodenburgh

Monday, March 29, 2010

Oh Baby!



















I'm really weird about sharing my nursery ideas... I mean REALLY weird. I've been planning this nursery for 6 years, and I feel like if I share my inspirations everyone will be doing it. Yes, my ego truly is that big. While this may seem rather paranoid, as it turns out Restoration Hardware stole my baby room. Ok, that may be a little melodramatic. They didn't exactly steal it since the room in the magazine is twice the size, but several of my ideas showed up in this month's issue. After getting past the page with the birds everywhere (I just finished making my baby a bird mobile) I turned to my baby room. Doug even said "Wow! Why aren't we getting paid for this?" Good question my little muffintop. Good question... Since we're not, I will open up my file titled 'french vintage inspired nursery's' (which incidentally is the name of said baby room in the RH magazine), and unleash them on the world. Well, unleash them on my 9 subscriber's world.These are my absolute favourites. I've added a couple more contemporary photo's as well that I love. They are all stunning! The RH one is at the very top.

We've only bought our crib and chandelier so far. Doug and his Dad did the wainscotting, but I've been trying to pace myself. I have some prints ordered to be framed, and a nappystacker on standby, but I'm very slowly collecting. I'll share more of our room once we get it completed, for now I'm just posting our crib which is the photo directly above. In all fairness to Restoration Hardware, we did order our crib from them. Despite the fact I suspect they have bugged our condo, and are listening to me type right now, I will say their service was impeccable. Enjoy my lovelies!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Diary Of An Almost Action Hero



As seen on facebook yesterday, I am now one step closer to being an action hero. If the clothes make the man, then this dress should turn me into one heck of a kick ass vampire slayer/time traveller/doll. This was once Eliza Dushku's. Now, it is mine. I bought it on Ebay for $65. Who knew action hero attire was so cheap?

When I was a little girl, I was pretty girly. I loved pepto bismol pink, preferably in some tacky fabric resembling cotton candy. My mom fondly remembers a shopping trip to Toronto we went on when I was 5. It was there in the window, my future prom dress/wedding dress/every day errand running dress! I was gasping in awe, my big eyes entranced at what she calls "the most hideous pink dress in the world." I turned to her and asked if she had enough money, would she buy me that dress? She nodded earnestly that she absolutely would! Kids are such schmucks. While I enjoyed putrid amounts of pink as a wee fashion challenged patsy, I was still rather "boyish". I loved dirt, mud, snails, worms, and bugs. My favourite disney movie was Peter Pan, and not because I wanted to be Tinker Bell. In fact, Peter Pan taught me that boys had all the fun, while the pretty girl with the wings sat in a jar all day. I was beginning to question femininity.

My brother actually introduced me to my first almost action hero experience. He was 6 years older, and his friends thought it was funny when I would push them over. I thought this was great fun as well. So much fun that the next time I went to the mall, I proceeded to push down all the other children. We were in no uncertain terms, asked to leave. Ok, so maybe I wasn't a nice action hero, but I was still kicking some ass.

Then I broke someone's arm. I know, by now you're thinking this is going to end with me confessing to being a serial killer. I probably appear a terrifying tyke. In my defence though, the boy in my 3rd grade class grabbed me around the neck. Naturally I flipped him over my back, and ran away. When I saw him next, he had a cast on.The kicker is I was the scrawniest kid in our grade. One of us was very embarrassed.

The years carried on with many signs I was destined for action hero greatness. I remember acting out scenes in Die Hard with my girlfriend in grade 7. I love Bruce Willis, and we have a little something in common... He plays the harmonica, and I'd like to learn. That's a connection right? Soon after, Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2 became the coolest chick on the planet. Finally a woman with cutzpah! Plus as it turns out, we're both Libra's. That has to mean something! Nothing for me though has topped Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I still have my "Buffy boots" from ten years ago. Fashionable, girly, and dangerous. Finally my two worlds were coming together. Faith was my favourite. She was sort of crazy, and I like that in a girl. Eliza Dushku is also terrified of flying. Just. Like. Me. You can't argue with fate. The signs are clearly there.

I am beyond thrilled to own her dress, and believe it must be time for my initiation into the Action Hero Circle. Surely this is the only explanation for a life such as mine which seemed destined for greatness from the beginning. In two weeks the dress will arrive. I expect once I put it on I will be able to take over the world, providing I can fit into it. I won't forget all of you who supported me when I was a mere mortal. Even awesome action heros need little people to pump up their egos from time to time. xo

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Books And Tea Time



Today I'm feeling rather icky. I'm a bit nauseous, and having returned from the bank (again), I'm in a poopy mood. We have spent way too much time getting money orders from the bank. I was hoping they'd give us some kind of frequent money order points, I'd settle for a free London Fog. Alas though, we've been told no such program exists. It's not that we mind per se. Heck, we'd carve out a kidney and sell it to be parents! Anyone need a kidney? I'll even throw in part of my liver to sweeten the deal? It's just... Didn't we mail our last payment 18 months ago? Haven't we been here before? Welcome to my pity party, party hats are optional.

So I am going to curl up with a good book,drink some chamomile tea, and snuggle a cat. I may even have a mid afternoon bath. Chocolate is today's must have.

I hope wherever you are the sunshine finds you. xx

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

So, You Think You Can Ovulate!



It's finally your moment! They have given you a pee test you can't fail. All you have to do is ovulate!! Ha! I could do that in my sleep. In fact, I might be doing it right now. I've got this little test all wrapped up. Some folks even call me The Ovulator. It's a done deal.

As it turns out, I don't ovulate that much. In fact, you could say my eggs are slightly shy. I like to think they're just picky. Or maybe the pact I made with my uterus at the wise old age of 7 to have Bryan Adam's baby, was taken a little too seriously. They could still be holding out. I'd also understand if they had an extreme fear of being inhabited by tiny slimy tadpoles. It wouldn't surprise me if every cell in my body was terrified of other people's germs. Another peeing test, failed.

Surgery in no way helped my cramps, or fertility. It's still a rather sad realization. Next on the agenda was Clomid. If you can't ovulate naturally, this little lady will make you! She'll entice those little eggs out with some smooth music and sweet promises. I was so excited to be getting somewhere! As it turns out though, Clomid wasn't prepared for the hostile attitude of my highbrow eggs. I was also caught off guard by the cramps and mood swings of Clomid. We didn't really get along.

As I waited for the big day my eggs would come out of hiding, my patience was slipping. Everyone and their dog, cat, rat and fruit flies seemed to be having babies. Plus, those who had no troubles getting pregnant felt they were now infertility experts as well. Naturally, if you got pregnant on the first try you are champion at all things fertility. So continuing to hear "Just Relax", from all those self appointed MD's around me was truly inspirational. I applaud them all for their ability to unconsciously ovulate, spread their legs and receive sperm, and then create a tiny embryo. They are the real heros in this story.

After a few months of Clomid and frazzled nerves, I was back in the fertility clinic. Having vowed to never go there alone again, I was back there, alone, again. Next on the list was artificial insemination. I still wasn't ovulating, but she was convinced it would resume shortly. I went home with a small cup for Doug's best swimmers, and more ovulating tests. I was rather sad at the idea our child would come into this world from Doug getting frisky with a piece of plastic, and me opening my womb on a metal table. Call me old fashioned but I never imagined pregnancy would involve this many people, and no foreplay.

Having already had my stomach drilled open, handing him a cup and saying 'your turn' seemed fitting. I was sick of feeling uncomfortable, and selfishly wanted someone in the realm of awkwardness with me. If I'm honest, I felt like this was all my fault. I felt like this was all up to me. The cup to me, represented him having to climb on board the f-train. He however escaped ever having private time with the cup. I did not ovulate. By now my eggs were having no part of this. The Clomid queen had failed, and the eggs had sworn themselves to a life of solitude. Who could blame them? They had long dreamed of being serenaded to 'Summer of 69'. Not only was I asking them to forego that dream, but to do so without candlelight, flowers, or even some Marvin Gaye in the background. Plus, I had willing drugged them! They were terrified of me.

We had some real thinking to do, as our next options involved more money, and more procedures. Adoption, would soon make it's way on to the table. Until next week, xoxo

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

When I'm stressed I shop, and I'm stressed a lot!










Yes, I like/love/adore shopping. I wouldn't necessarily say I'm a shopaholic... More of a chic consumer. A stylish spender if you will. A woman out in the world trying to do my best to make sure my house and closet is full off all things unique, timeless, and eloquent. Please cue Requiem by Mozart. In order to understand just how much of a warrior I truly am, I think we're going to need some ambiance. To some a shopping mall may just be a big ugly building, but to me it's a land of opportunity. I can smell the shine on new shoes, and hear the rustling of newly stocked dresses from miles away. Shiny, sparkling, newness. It's my second favourite place to be. Even the sound of credit cards swiping gives me goose bumps. As it turns out though, I am not independently wealthy, nor did I marry Donald Trump. I could never get past the hair. So my bank account can not support weekly shopping sprees. Fortunately though my favourite addiction is far more affordable. While a shopping mall does give me a case of the tingles, my real true love and soul mate is consignment. Like Frodo in Lord of The Rings, I enter a magical place. I understand my conquest, but the journey... Ah, the journey will be fraught with endless obstacles of mountains of junk, but amongst all the rubbish is hidden treasure. Exhilarating isn't it!

I was raised by a brilliant and cheap shopper. A women who would go shopping across the border, ditch her old clothes and come back wearing new ones. New ones which she had washed, and sewn an old label into. She's a genius. Border patrol never stood a chance. I was groomed at the school for the nifty and thrifty.The Sally Anne and Value Village are our homing devices. Winners so very, je ne sais quois. We are the folks who will spend hours in one store, tearing through racks. We are the ladies who will pounce on you if you dare to come too close to our brimming shopping cart. We're those kind of people who will deliberately hide an item in the wrong section under a pile of crap, in case we decide to come back later and buy it. Some say diabolical, I say determined.

It's a new world though. A new era of online shopping has begun. For those of us who have been in the game a while now, we're learning new rules. A new way of life. The germaphobe in me is thrilled, but the sceptic is leery. I have however stumbled across, Etsy . A fabulous online site full of handcrafted delights, at very reasonable prices. Having bought my first item (some summery bunting), I perused around and found these charming pictures that I may find a new home for. They are precisely what I'm dreaming of this summer. Warm, soft, cheerful, and whimsical. She has an amazing gift. I could spend all day (months) on this site being overwhelmed by the incredible creativity and talent that is abundant. A new era has begun for this chic conscientious consumer who is in no way a shopaholic. A new era indeed.

Images from http://www.etsy.com/shop/HeyZee. Check her out!! Bunting also seen above by Loalie

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday With Marple- “There is no detective in England equal to a spinster lady of uncertain age with plenty of time on her hands.”




My hero is a little different from that of today's idols. She is never on Us Weekly, has never had a scandalous affair (that we know of), and has no children in rehab. She always wears underwear, and comes equipped with manners and a sharp mind. My hero is Miss Marple. Yes, perhaps she is fictional. I would argue though that half the celebrities we put on a pedestal are fictional as well.

For those who have never had the good fortune of meeting Miss Marple, let me introduce you. Miss Marple (or Jane to those of us who know her well), lives in the English village St. Mary Mead, and is the brilliant creation of Agatha Christie. She is an elderly woman who enjoys knitting, gardening, and crime solving. She is very much a busybody old spinster, which is why she is often overlooked as the crime solving mastermind she is. Miss Marple is extraordinarily intelligent, looks fantastic in tweed, and rocks a bun like no one else. She is a total dish.

In today's world there are a couple things we value above all else. One is youth, the other is beauty. Miss Marple has neither, nor does she appear to desire either. It's incredulous by many standards that a woman should be content being single, childless, and old. Who is this strange creature that unapologetically moves through life fulfilled by her own company and own pleasures? She's an inspiration for those who have no desire to live life as a to-do list carefully outlined by society. She is a beacon for feminists. Ah, yes. I dare to say the F word. The F word, which has become synonymous with man hater. She is indeed an empowering figure. A force of nature. A diamond in the rough. An extraordinary woman, leading an ordinary life.

As someone who aspires to be an old busybody one day, I adore stepping into her world. I have no qualms about old age. I even have the perfect candy dish for my scotch mints when the time comes. The thing about old age is, if we're lucky we get old. Whatever we are before grey hair and wrinkles, we will be after. So instead of our continued investment in the superficial, we may want to ensure that life after our youthful glow has faded be filled with something even better. Most of us will spend our lives in the realm of the ordinary, so maybe we should be looking for the beauty that resides there.

I don't believe brilliance is born into this world wrapped in gold, and covered in stardust. I believe remarkable minds are hiding among us. I believe remarkable people fill our everyday lives, and it just requires more investment on our behalf to really see them. I believe like Miss Marple, they often fly under the radar due to our shortsighted nature. Unnoticed, because we believe we can spot special a mile away. Special is beautiful. Special is under 40, and has great legs. Special is married, has 2 cute kids, a fantastic career, and a designer home. Sadly, we miss a lot of special.

Miss Maple is comfortable within her own skin and own circumstances. No, that's not quite right. She is more than comfortable, she is happy. She possesses an air of satisfaction most of us search our whole lives for. She has more wits about her than most, and despite being an octogenarian (I learned a new word today), she's highly productive. She may simply be a character in a book, or movie, but to me she is an important life lesson and dear friend.

Perhaps she said it best...

“We're all very ordinary in St. Mary Mead, but ordinary people can sometimes do the most astonishing things.” Miss Jane Marple

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ingredients of Life & The Odd Explosion






I love to have a weekly baking session. I put on my toile apron, pump some french music, and pretend I'm a Parisian cafe owner. I even have an entire back story created. My Cafe is called "The Spice of Life". It has bright yellow walls and vintage black and white tile flooring. It's completely overdone with paintings everywhere, heavy crown molding, and a stunning swarovski chandelier. It's pleasantly bold in a way only the french can do without treading towards garish. I move to France after being chased out of Canada for being a Russian Spy (an Exceptional Russian Spy). I know, it's pretty damn sexy. Prior to my quiet life as a quaint cafe owner, there was lots of explosions, gun fire, and an Alan Rickman type bad guy who had both an extremely creepy voice and superb wit. I'm like the modern John McClane only in heels, and I have more hair. My fantasy life is quite the thrill, and I'm convinced it in no way makes me delusional, and or sad. Although the fact I have created a small staff of super chef spies that help me might. Ambroise is my favourite. He's très saucy.

The most amazing part of baking (aside from the brief vacation to fruit loop ville it allows me), is like life, it's all in the ingredients and quantity. Just a slight change can make something go from dense to fluffy, or bland to sweet. It's bloody brilliant if you ask me. A little bit like being a mad scientist, only yummier and with cuter outfits. Plus no hazardous chemicals are involved. Once you admit to having an active fantasy life, it pretty much rules out anyone allowing you to handle explosive substances.

When I think about all the ingredients that have gone into my day to day, it makes me examine harder what I choose to add. In times of sorrow, I try and sweeten it with a cup of silly. Times my focus is wavering, I try to add a pinch more structure and grounding. Times I'm bored, I throw in a dash of creativity. I wouldn't make bread with only flour, or cookies with just nuts. I'm clearly nutty enough. If everything is not thoughtfully measured it won't be edible. I'm trying to continually hold my daily life to the same standards. I need equal parts physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual health to make my life delicious. I very much want to have a life that is delectable from sunrise to sunset. We all crave days full of flavour and nutrients. In Christianity, we learn the bread of life is nourishment for the soul. If we're the bakers of our own bread of life, it's important to carefully examine if our recipe is working for us. So put on you apron and bakers hat (I totally need one), and start baking! Yippie kai yay my little muffins, and have a fantastic weekend! xo

Thursday, March 18, 2010

God Probably Doesn't Approve Of You Either



Recently a Mississippi school canceled prom because two of their female students wanted to go together, and one planned to wear a tux. This has given me a case of the sads. I can't even imagine living in the bible belt and coming out of the closet as a teenager. Stories like this inspire me, as I'm sure I would not have been so brave at that age. These are the teens that ease my mind, because I trust our future may still indeed be bright. We need young people who are willing to do what is right, not what is popular.

I have never understood homophobia, and no I don't wish for someone to explain it to me. I never want to learn how this would lead someone to hate. I don't want to learn that love can be wrong. I don't want to learn what is so fascinating about someone's sexuality it would incite disgusting acts of bigotry and violence. I don't want to understand cancelling a prom because two girls wish to dance together. None of that is for me.

As for religion and homosexuality, if we are to take the position God doesn't approve, let me assure you, God likely isn't a fan of your choices either. Some of the folks I have heard homophobic statements from, have said so in the same breath they discussed their drunken conquests. The irony appears to elude them. We all sin, and just because you're waving a sign pointing at that guy over there doesn't mean no one's looking at you. I do want to be very clear however that I in no way believe homosexuality to be a sin, or wrong. I am Christian, and very proud to be part of a fantastic United Church. Our church embraces everyone, and I always feel humbled by the amount of acceptance and love that fills the room Sunday mornings.

I don't particularly believe for a second God is up in arms about gays and lesbians, but even if they are, I'm pretty sure it's low on their priority list. After all we're heading for an environmental catastrophe, so I think the Earth ending takes precedence over unapproved sex. I'm not sure how your halo is holding up, but I'm comfortable admitting my sexual history doesn't exactly mirror that of the virgin Mary. Nor do I particularly like the idea of others weighing in on it. If my sex life is keeping you up at night, it's probably a sign your sex life isn't.

I'd love to tackle gay marriage but this baffles me so much I have little to say. We have a 50% divorce rate, so I think straight folks have long had the opportunity to butcher the sanctity of this great institution. Plus I would marry Angelina Jolie in a heart beat. Why would you wish to keep me from such happiness? Killjoys.

Here are some of the best quotes I could find on homophobia. Paul Newman was an avid supporter of gay rights, and if Cool Hand Luke tells you to leave the gay community alone, I would listen. He's pretty badass. Enjoy, and remember, Jesus probably loves me best, but if you're nice to me I'll put in a good word.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'm a supporter of gay rights. And not a closet supporter either. From the time I was a kid, I have never been able to understand attacks upon the gay community. There are so many qualities that make up a human being... by the time I get through with all the things that I really admire about people, what they do with their private parts is probably so low on the list that it is irrelevant. ~Paul Newman

My own belief is that there is hardly anyone whose sexual life, if it were broadcast, would not fill the world at large with surprise and horror. ~W. Somerset Maugham

The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision. ~Lynn Lavner

My lesbianism is an act of Christian charity. All those women out there praying for a man, and I'm giving them my share. ~Rita Mae Brown


Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands? ~Ernest Gaines

Isn't it a violation of the Georgia sodomy law for the Supreme Court to have its head up its ass? ~Letter to Playboy magazine, February 1987

If homosexuality is a disease, let's all call in queer to work: "Hello. Can't work today, still queer." ~Robin Tyler

No government has the right to tell its citizens when or whom to love. The only queer people are those who don't love anybody. ~Rita Mae Brown, speech, 28 August 1982

You could move. ~Abigail Van Buren, "Dear Abby," in response to a reader who complained that a gay couple was moving in across the street and wanted to know what he could do to improve the quality of the neighbourhood


It always seemed to me a bit pointless to disapprove of homosexuality. It's like disapproving of rain. ~Francis Maude

I get sick of listening to straight people complain about, "Well, hey, we don't have a heterosexual-pride day, why do you need a gay-pride day?" I remember when I was a kid I'd always ask my mom: "Why don't we have a Kid's Day? We have a Mother's Day and a Father's Day, but why don't we have a Kid's Day?" My mom would always say, "Every day is Kid's Day." To all those heterosexuals that bitch about gay pride, I say the same thing: Every day is heterosexual-pride day! Can't you people enjoy your banquet and not piss on those of us enjoying our crumbs over here in the corner? ~Rob Nash

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Infertility 101-Ch2- Your Lady Bits Are The Place To Be


Once you've been referred to a specialist you'll notice everyone wants to take a gander at your privates. I feel it only fair to warn you, they will not be wining and dining your lady bits before demanding to poke and prod them. In fact, even if you take the time to wax or shave and dress them up they will not so much as comment that they look pretty today. So put the vajazzling away, it will not be appreciated.

I almost didn't go to my first appointment. I was literally picking up the phone to cancel when I realized it would be the height of rudeness, and I didn't want to be rude. I felt I was wasting my time, and looked like I was overreacting. Truthfully, I was very embarrassed. I had taken all the 'just relax' advice quite seriously, and believed our lack of pregnancy was my own fault. A spa day might be needed, but a day at the fertility clinic? No way.

I arrived on time and was ushered into a large, empty room. The Doctor came in, asked me about my periods, and had me undress and hop on the table. My periods have always been painful. Really, really painful. I knew they weren't "normal", but I didn't think they were much of a problem. She began to poke around in my southern regions, while I imagined myself bathing on an island that doctors were banned from. She started making some "Oh" noises, which sounds much sexier than it was. She told me to dress and she'd be back in 5 minutes. At this point, I still felt I shouldn't be there. I was 99.9% convinced she'd come back and tell me to get a massage, and take up Yoga.

I remember sitting at her desk and feeling extremely small when she re-entered the room. She told me she'd normally schedule an ultrasound as the next step, but with me it wasn't needed. She could clearly feel bumps inside of me, and the next step would be to have surgery for my Endometriosis. She would remove the Endo, and test my fallopian tubes and ovaries. I was to sign these forms, and I was scheduled for surgery next month. As a side note, she wondered if I was aware my uterus was tilted forwards instead of backwards? Every single person who has had the good fortune to feel around my uterus has mentioned this. It's my doctor's office party trick. With that, she left me. I was alone in this large sterile room, looking at surgery prep forms, and fighting back tears. I was not expecting this.

I was in a daze as I walked home. What the hell was Endometriosis? I was pretty sure she'd made a mistake, and even if she hadn't I was pretty sure a spa day was definitely needed now! I arrived home and read up on it. After hours on the internet I still felt rather stunned. It's not that it's a deadly disease, but the fact I had any sort of reproductive disease was shocking to me. I prepared for surgery, and tried my best to be a trooper. I whined A LOT! Doug was very patient with me as I demanded our home be stocked with Archie comics and lime jello. I was starting to feel really needy. I was scared. What if this was just the beginning?

The best thing I can say about surgery day, aside from the fact my lower half now had an audience of half a dozen people, and was to appear on tv for the first time. The best part was that when it was all over they gave me a picture of my insides. It was the most disgusting, and intriguing thing anyone has ever given me. I would have settled for a sucker, but a photo of my uterus was priceless. For a couple months I carried it around with me, and would show it to anyone who was interested, or just those who maintained eye contact with me a second too long. Everything seemed ready to go now, and this was my souvenir from my brief stint at fertility rehab.

I'm going to end there for today. I've decided to go book myself that spa day. It's years overdue, and I think at this point it's fairly well deserved. Happy St. Patrick's day! Don't do anything I wouldn't do. (The good news is there isn't much I wouldn't do) . Have Fun!! xo

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Potty Talk












I've always cringed at the terms "bathroom" and "washroom". They seem to do little justice to my favourite room in the house. They make it sound so one dimensional, and my relationship with our powder room has much more depth that that. I spend an inordinate amount of time there thanks to both my IBS and extreme commitment to vanity. Sure I might not always brush my hair, and I may often resemble something the cat threw up, but even that my friends takes time.

If we weren't currently leaking thousands on account of Doug's gambling problem (sounds much more glamourous than the truth and I'm confident he won't sue me for slander), we would be renovating our bathroom right now. Even so I have happily gazed at endless photo's of powder rooms in hopes of one day living the dream.

On my wish list is a claw foot tub, a pedestal sink, and glass tile that resembles running water. Doug and I saw this in a shop once and I swear we shed a tear it was so amazingly beautiful. I also dream of a white washed linoleum hard wood floor. I know, I know, it's a bold move. I like the look though, very french country chic. It's as country as I go in interior design.

So from me to you, some of the most lovely powder rooms I could find. As always I gravitate towards white and simplicity, but some of the more colourful ones in here definitely caught my eye. I love daring decorators and love some of the unique elements inside these rooms xo

all images from http://www.livingetc.com/

Monday, March 15, 2010

Dear Haiti, Sorry For Showing Up Late



Dear Haiti,

I am ashamed as I write this letter to all of you who have needed my help for so long. I am ashamed that it took a catastrophe for me to acknowledge my responsibility. It should not take a natural disaster for the first world to open up our hearts and pocket books to help a most impoverished country. I am so sorry for my lateness arriving at this revelation.

I live in Canada, and like most in my country I complain of the high cost of living without any real comprehension of the unaffordable. Most of us and our children are not working for our daily survival and the survival of our family. Most of us have never experienced what it means to truly go hungry. We are all so removed from your reality. We are comfortably removed to be honest.

"Reality TV" has taken over our televisions by storm which is perhaps one example of where our priorities lie. This is the reality we are comfortable acknowledging. We'd rather watch idiots act out their lives on tv than demand something meaningful, or even containing actual talent. We have grown very empty and complacent. In a world of fast food, empty programming, and mind numbing advertising where could you possibly fit in? Of course it took a natural disaster. It took something we couldn't avoid.

We like to believe we are helpless. We struggle against the slogan "One person can make a difference." It mocks our laziness. We'd rather believe "everything happens for a reason". This we can support. There is a divine reason for all suffering. I'm sure that will be a great comfort to you as you bury your husbands, wives, parents, siblings and children. It is a great comfort to us, because it takes our human responsibility out of the equation. We can pretend to be ignorant. We don't want to know your misery is our responsibility. We don't want to know that we are the same and the only real difference between us is that we were born into privilege. Undeserved privilege. If there is a divine reason behind it all, it was meant to be that you should starve, and we should grow large with indifference.

You were starving and in pain, and we ignored it. We ignored it for too long. We have ignored others too... Darfur comes to mind. It is a mystery that we are not mobilized into action. I am truly sorry for my own lack of response. I have no excuse. What would I expect if my family were destitute and dying? I would expect relief. I would expect help. I would expect more than I have given to you.

Much love, and my deepest regrets for my late arrival. I promise to do better from this day forward. This may be of little consequence to many, but if one person can make a difference why not me? What do any of us have to fear by giving a little more?

Sincerely, Jessalyn Rodenburgh


Image from the ny daily news http://www.nydailynews.com/latino/2008/07/21/2008-07-21_slow_aid_delivery_failing_farms_deepen_h-1.html

Friday, March 12, 2010

Flower Power Friday




Friday is my flower day. Ok, that's a big lie. Everyday is a flower day for me, but Friday is my big flower shopping day. I have an addiction which I am in no hurry to recover from. I am on a first name basis with most of the florists in East Vancouver, I am shamelessly in love with flowers. To be fair, I'm shameless about most things.

Flowers need not be expensive to be enjoyable. One of my favourite things to do is simply buy a few carnations or a bunch of mums and divide them into mason jars all over our house. For $6 you can feel instant spring in your home. I know it may sound rather elementary, but on days you feel that little black cloud is following you everywhere it makes for a pleasant pick me up.

So today on your way home pick yourself up some flowers, or buy some for a friend. Daffodils are great this time a year and are usually only $1.99. It really is the small things that make a difference, and while I wouldn't turn down a diamond tiara, the times someone has shown up with flowers at my front door I truly feel my heart blossom. On that very cheesy note (hopefully you're not lactose intolerant), I leave you to a beautiful weekend!