Archive | June 2010

Diet, exercise and anger

I woke up in a pissy mood because, well… it was pissy outside.  I hate getting wet, really hate it.  Picked the wrong city to live in, didn’t I?  Anyway, other than bitching about the crappy weather we had in June, we’re doing okay.  I had a busy day doing errands and visiting mum.  DH is away for a few days on business, so we’re on our own for a bit.

Spent the weekend on the island visiting the in-laws.  I wasn’t in the best of moods, thanks to Aunt Flo, but my MIL is awesome and she tried to cheer me up by taking me shopping for clothes.  Probably not the best idea.  Yep, it’s Weight Watchers time again.  I will wait til we get back from T.O.  Perhaps running around in the heat will give me motivation.  I’m back to feeling uncomfortable again and though the official line is that I’m at medium risk for diabetes so I should watch my weight, the unofficial truth is that life for me at 20 lbs overweight is annoying, infuriating and uncomfortable.

Annoying cause I have a hard time finding clothes that fit.  It leaves with a grand total of 2 stores in my neighbourhood (and I live in a downtown shopping area) that might carry my size and god forbid  I don’t buy it cause when it goes on sale, my size is going to be gone and I’m faced with a sea of single digit sizes.  I could go into the major department stores, but I have neither the time nor the stamina to sort through row after row of racks of clothing, haul a ton of stuff to a waiting room on the other side of the floor only to find out that nothing fits right.  Infuriating  because I did it to myself for all sorts of logical emotional eating reasons that made perfect sense at that time.  Also infuriating is that I am not surprised I’m back at this point.

I’m uncomfortable in my skin and I’m umcomfortable with addressing the reasons why I am.  Geneen Roth’s Woman, Food and God stirred up a lot in me, most of which is anger – and that’s the most uncomfortable feeling of all.

Dancing as fast as I can, kid!

Ah, the teething has begun!  I have a feeling our trip to T.O. is going to be a little bit rough.  Mr. Wonderful went from a hearty eater to a Jekyll and Hyde baby who only wants his bottle and he wants it NOW!  No, not yet, okay, NOW!  Poor little guy.  The other day, I’ve literally had to calm him down long enough to get the bottle in his mouth; he was crying so hard.  I’ve tricked him into a couple of baby spoonfuls throughout the day but he’s just lost his appetite for food, but luckily he tends to tank up before bedtime. He also had two, count’em two naps this morning.  He got up with the crows and woke us up with his own crowing and then fell asleep with me an hour later.  But he only slept an hour and he batted my face and refused to let me sleep.  So up I got and started our whole morning routine and then  he started up the whine machine.  In sheer desperation and frustration to soothe him I started to chant.  He laid his head on my belly and just grinned while I stroked his head and did reiki on him.  It was the oddest thing!

By the afternoon I remembered the homeopathic tablets which seemed to work and then when DH came home, I went off to an audition, zipped back home and then went to work.  I’m so  friggin’ exhausted I should be in bed. but I need to unwind a bit. I haven’t seen mum all week cause I’ve been working at night and dancing as fast as I can during the day with Mr. Hyde.

Of course, he was a dream for DH.  Sigh.  He’s trying to make me look like a liar.

Chit chat

Last night at work, I was in the backroom  taking notes for a consumer research group. This is usually how it goes.  This time though we were joined by a group of parents.  I was taking notes with them in the room, while their kids were in the front room on the other side of the one way glass getting interviewed by another moderator.  We took a break and one woman commented that I looked a little tired typing away.  I just said I had a 6 month old who likes to get up early so it had been a long day.  You know the next thing out of her mouth was, right?  “Are you breastfeeding?” “No,” I replied. “Really.”  “Yep.”  That was the end of our exchange and she went back to her chair and I slipped behind my computer.

Now of course, I started thinking, she thinks I’m a bad mother.  Yeah, I know it doesn’t matter what she thinks. The fact is she may have not given me another thought at all, it was just chitchat.  This is my issue.  I get that question a lot.  I don’t feel bad about it anymore, but there’s always judgment in the air when I say no.  I’ve already gotten that blank look from at least half a dozen strangers in the park.  There are many reasons why women stop or don’t breastfeed and I wonder if they feel the need to explain.  I thought about just saying yes to avoid “the look” but really I don’t need to run around qualifying my answer by explaining he’s adopted to random strangers so they can understand my choices.

I don’t want to say yes either because I don’t want to have any at length conversations about it or labour and delivery stories.  I’m more than willing to talk about adoption with most people, but not ALL the time with every stranger who asks.

This is something DH never really got.  Frankly, since he’s been spending a lot of time with the Precious on his own lately, he says people never comment a lot with him.  They just look at the kid, then do a doubletake when they see him.  One time in the park, he said he heard a little girl exclaim, “Look, there goes a white man with  a black baby!”  I think DH is going to get to experience something completely different, eh?

Women, nay, mothers ask personal questions of other mothers.  When it comes to raising children, everyone’s got an opinion.  I suppose I’m not much different but this whole journey of infertility and adoption has really made me less presumptuous about other people’s choices.

Fathers

I didn’t post anything on Father’s Day because I wasn’t at home, I was on set.  As I mentioned, I did manage to get a few cards together but DH’s aunt helped to get a proper gift ready the next day.  And so here it is:

Big feet

I tried getting handprints, but he wasn’t having any of it, but he does like to stand, so the right foot it was!

Oddly enough, last week I got a call from my uncle (on my dad’s side) who wanted to know his number since he hadn’t heard from him lately.  I had not, nor had my sister and I honestly didn’t have a clue as to where he was.  I tried calling my uncle back to let him know that I couldn’t track down his number but then I realized I didn’t even know what country my uncle had even called from.  Weird, eh?

I found out later from my sister that she through the grapevine that my dad had returned to the States and had bought a house in an upscale neighbourhood.  I had just finished telling her that I had received a call about my mum who had fallen down at the home.  They call you every time something like that happens.  Mother is okay.  \Sis was really, really upset.  She lamented that it wasn’t fair that someone like our dad was still doing okay and my mum had such a shitty turn in the golden years of her life.  I tried to tell her that yes, indeed, life was unfair, but what my dad did or what he had, had no bearing on mum’s life at all.  I have already spent a great deal of time trying to figure out WHY and HOW TO UNDO THE PAST.  It can’t be done.  Unlike Superman, I can’t spin the world backwards on its axis (and how I tried) , so I’m just stuck with what is now.  Karma is what it is.  It is neither good nor bad.  I know she understands but she has never really gotten over the disappointing job that our dad did at fathering.  He was a bit of prick and despite my mother being the mother of his 3 girls, he does have other children and he’s on his 3rd wife.  He’s old, sick and just trying to get by.  He has been of absolutely NO assistance at all as far as my mother is concerned. I used to be really angry and upset with him, but honestly, he has enough of my subconscious mind.  I’ve got other more important things to be repressed about.

In truth, my sister has had far more contact with him over the years than I have (lucky me) and it helps not occupying the same country as him.  I have chosen a  more philosophical approach.    He’s a sad, misunderstood, selfish man who has children who barely tolerate the thought of him.  How sad is that? I don’t miss him on Father’s Day.  When I was a little girl I loved him like he was a god, but as an adult, he just doesn’t factor into my life.

That’s why it’s so important to me to see DH be there for the Precious.  He’s passionate about what it means to be a father, because his own biological father was no prize either.  When he died, he didn’t even shed a tear.  I know DH won’t abandon this child even when he’s grown.  In a way, I think we need our parents more when we are old enough to truly appreciate them.  I don’t know if the Precious’ biological father realizes that one day he will have a lot to measure up to.

Birthdays and such

Ah, I’m TIRED today! Must be cause I’m another year older!   Argh, it was my 47 birthday on Saturday.  Oi vay!  I can’t believe that number!  There’s no wrapping my head around the fact that I’ll be half a century in a few years.  Omigosh, and now I’m well on my way to being the oldest mum on the playground.

I had managed to make it to a J. Michaels (it’s a craft store) to purchase some stuff so I could make a Father’s Day gift for DH.  A colleague of mine suggested I frame K’s handprints, so I arranged our day around getting there, getting the goods (fingerpaint in 3 colours, paper, matted frame) and getting back before DH made it home.

The following day, on my birthday, I thought he might take the dog out for a long walk before his relatives arrived, but after delivering Chez McDonald pancakes to my bed,  he wanted us to all go out together.  I thought I would have time to get everything together, but no.  We all went out and then by the time we got back,  the relatives arrived.  We went for a wonderful lunch at this cool Vietnamese restaurant up the street, wandered over to a neighbourhood Strawberry Festival event and saw this unusual dog. It’s called a Komondor or Commodore.

commodore dog

Well, it wasn’t this particular dog, but a puppy version of it.  It was still a puppy and it was the size of an English sheepdog.

Juno was not with us, so she didn’t get to make a new friend.  Amazing looking, eh?

Lucky for me, DH’s aunt volunteered to babysit (he hadn’t even thought of asking !!!!) so we could go out for dinner.  I could tell DH was exhausted (cause you know who was up extra early) but we made it a couple blocks up the street to a Japanese izakaya restaurant.  Will definitely order the crab rolls again.

I had two delicious lemon drop martinis (I wanted dmore but I had to be on set the next day) and poor DH had to order a Red Bull.   Then I decided to talk deep stuff. My existential angst.  Sigh.  Poor DH, sometimes he just doesn’t get it.  He can’t figure out why women have to complicate stuff and I can’t figure out why he just can’t listen and nod his head.  I also told him why I had been a bit moody and that “hockey coach” talk about “getting over it” DID NOT HELP AND NEVER WILL.   As we headed for Starbucks for a coffee and hot chocolate, I realized that we had not had enough of “couple” time.  Usually, he would have put more of an effort to celebrate my birthday, but I could tell he was exhausted.  We’re relating really well as parents, but sometimes we need to check in with each other.

This week, I’m going to be super busy working evenings and then we’re going to the island to visit his parents, so he’s going to have some long days at work and at home.  He really has to learn to ask for help.

I had to work on Father’s Day, and of course, my present was ready, but I still managed to get some cards and a Starbucks gift card ready for hubby before I left.  So my filming days are done and I thoroughly enjoyed being on set with some wonderful people.  I didn’t really do much, more of a well paid extra, but it felt wonderful to be in the business again.  It’s funny, though, all the people playing the jury had an incredible amount of experience and talent, but were definitely underemployed.  It was a low budget production so there were few frills, but everyone was just grateful to be working.  I wish each one of us really had more to do, it’s such a shame to see such talent go to waste, but alas, that’s what happens to a lot of Canadian actors. It’s more of a service industry here and the talent just fills in the blanks around the American leads.  I found that I had so much less ego than ever before, it simply wasn’t that important to me anymore.  It certainly wasn’t about glamour.  But I felt good, my pilot light was still burning.

Officially a family!

Time used to crawl so slowly  while we were WAITING and now it seems to fly by.

As of June 3rd, we were declared a family in a US court.  I let the date slip by unmentioned until I got the actual word last week from our lawyer in the States and today we got the order of judgment in the mail.  I suppose I always felt he was “ours”   when we came home, but now we don’t have to have any more visits from our social worker, or feel like we have to prove our worthiness to parent. There is a sense of relief.   We were notified we would have to wait months for his birth certificate which of course slows down his immigration process, but whatever.  I emailed Baby K’s birthmother recently just to see how she was and to update her on his progress so far. I didn’t mention the court date but I suppose she knows already.

Hubby is not keen on me initiating contact, but  I will always have deep compassion for her and I know how much she loves him.  Deep down,  I know he cares, but he’s protective over his new family unit.  Of course, I will be the link to her that our son will need, no matter what.

Baby K is getting big.  18 lbs and climbing, he’s a lean, muscle machine.  At six months, he is eating solids now and it seems like I spend the whole day feeding or getting ready to feed the little bugger. He lets me know whether he wants his formula or food with a series of sharp EHHHHs or whines.  When he doesn’t want something, he turns his head away and throws up his hand.   He really likes applesauce and banana rice cereal and the TV remote (thanks, daddy).  He smiles a lot and every time I see that toothless grin, it melts my heart.  He reaches for me and presses his mouth against my face, a kiss I think.  He’s really loud in the morning and crows and babbles from the time he gets up (invariably at first light)  to when he goes down for the night.  Next up on the plate, turning off the monitor so we  can get another hour of shut eye.  Curiously, he doesn’t make a peep when people stare at him.  He just stares back silently and with great concentration.  He’s well aware of who his family and who is not.

He loves his daddy, his feet kick like crazy and he grins broadly when he sees him walk in.  I don’t blame him; it’s daddy who tickles him until he screams with laughter and flies him across the living room.  Of course, he does the same when I walk in the room to get him up for the day.  I imagine him thinking why does she insist of trying to cut my nails, clean my ears, clean my nose, comb my hair,  wipe  and moisturize my face  and then try and teach me stuff ALL DAY LONG?!  He rolls over and wriggles and loves scratching at things with texture:  his bibs,  my thick terry housecoat (perfect for absorbing drool, spit up and sprayed out bits of pureed food), daddy’s face, Juno’s wagging tail.  He doesn’t care for his sunhat unless he chewing on it.  He enjoys exploring all his toys and adores his Ugly Doll.  The Exersaucer gives him independent entertainment for minutes and gives me both my hands back to complete other tasks.

I love to listen to him squeal in delight as his daddy blows on his stomach while he changes him.  He is now enjoying his baths which makes for a very wet mummy.  He is such a fun little guy, even when he wakes up raring to go at dawn.

When I think back to the time when I thought I might have to give him back, in the wee hours of the night with his big dark eyes staring into mine.  All I could do was chant for the best outcome for all.  I was willing to give him if that’s what was going to happen.  I loved him then.  In that moment, I wanted to be numb, but he got into my soul anyway.

So much of this adoption process was difficult and gut wrenching.  I had no idea when we first started out how difficult it would prove to be.  If I had known…? When we came home, I was basically in shock and I had to figure out that I was indeed not dreaming.  Someone, well, his biological mother  had entrusted me to raise this child.  He was no fashion accessory, he was real, he was live  – 24/7, 365 little human being.  We spent a lot of time cocooning as a family, trying to take it all in.  We had to get to know each other.  I needed to heal.   In truth, he wasn’t very interesting for the first 2 months, he was a bit of bump on a log.  He required feeding, burping and wiping.  He was like that frog in the Looney Tunes cartoon that would just sit there and ribbit every time that poor bum tried to show off his singing talent.

I loved feeding him in the middle of the night.  Strange, but true.  It was quiet and there was nothing to be done but just be there.  I poured my heart out from my eyes into his.  I did reiki on him so that he didn’t have to worry,  that he could connect with my energy, so that he wouldn’t feel lost in this world, to know that I would always be there for him. I chanted daimoku to him so that he would know the song of the universe.

Six months later, his toothless grin fills my heart.  My husband has cried tears of joy by simply just holding him.   He has pushed me beyond my comfort zone,  he has pushed me into the face of my fear and demanded equal time with my sadness.  He’s winning.  Special K. I have never posted pics of him before because I wanted to guard his privacy and because I felt so protective over his very image.  But he’s officially a part of our family now – as the papers say “…. the child of the petitioners… the same as if born in wedlock.”  And a mama has a right to be proud.

Hi mummy!

Are you my big sister?

This and that

I’ve been keeping busy with this and that.  First of all, my first day of filming went very well.   I had one of the bigger trailers, always a plus.  I showed up just before 6am and started looking for my character’s name on of the long trailer doors and couldn’t see it.  Then an A.D (assistant director) pointed towards on the shorter trailers.  Ah!  Always nice to have more room to spread out in.  The cast was great, very easygoing, I knew one of the other “jurors” so we had a laugh.  (You might have seen her in “Juno”, she played Michael Cera’s mother.)  The day consisted of us going into a conference room, packed with two cameras and crew, doing stuff, shuffling out, reset the cameras, and then shuffling back in, doing stuff and repeat. Now one of the highlights of working on set is free food all day and since there’s a lot of waiting around, the “craftee” table is where all the action happens.  Well, it’s a low budget shoot, so craftee wasn’t very interesting.  No chocolate, no cool snack bars, no yogurt, no mixed nuts.  Lucky me.  There were scotch mints though so I had good breath all day long.   Long day, but hey, I love overtime.  Even got a tip on a cleaning lady from a background performer, so all in all, a very productive day.  Hubby took off a day to mind the wee one and wouldn’t you know, it was a rare sunny day and they spent hours outdoors having fun.

Oh, yeah, JuJu has got a big wart under her chin!  So gross!  Apparently, it’s from a virus, not the infectious sort to either canine or human, but gross nonetheless.  I think it’s affecting her self esteem.  It started bleeding because she was playing with a giant piece of wood but the vet said that was normal, it would soon turn black and fall off.  Ewww.  It’s been a month now and I hope it falls off outside the house.  Yeah, I hope you’re not eating breakfast or something.

On the weekend, I attended a post-partum depression awareness picnic.  I know what you’re thinking- WTF? – but it was being organized by a friend of mine who had suffered severe post partum depression after the birth of her twin babies.  I’m sure I’ve mentioned her since she was successful on her 2nd IVF attempt and promptly forgot about what it was like to be in the trenches.  Of course, having twins and being depressed might have had something to do with that.  But it was a decent day and not far from where I live, so I trundled off with Baby K and a delicious pannini from Safeway to support a good cause.  I even met a woman who had adopted a baby from Vietnam and her son shared the same name as my son.  I met another beautiful smiling woman happily pregnant with #3.

You know, I still get that ache from seeing a swollen belly.  Funny, huh?  Not the kind of ache that makes me avert my eyes and run for the nearest bathroom to bawl my eyes out, but a kind of wistful feeling, like when you see someone driving the fancy ass car of your dreams.  You know you’ll never have one, probably don’t even want one anymore cause who wants the hassle of an import with high insurance and high maintenance costs and god forbid someone scratches it, but still, your head turns when one goes by and you wonder what it’s like to just drive it around the block. But I can still hold my pee, so there!

I chatted with one Brazilian woman with a lovely 3 month old son who was sleeping in  a BOB revolution stroller.  I mention the brand because I’ve been eyeing them up for months.  So much so that we have been looking on Craig’s list and consignment stores for one, but nothing has come up.  We finally went out and bought one at Mountain Equipment Co-op. And you know me, there was one left and it was the demo hanging on the wall and of course, I asked for a discount – and got it!  Sweet!  Nothing like a couple bucks off to make me happy.

Which brings me to my next rant – why do these high-end strollers make you pay for attachments?  At the price of them, they really should include all the extras!!  It rains here (and that’s all it’s being doing lately) so of course, we had to get the rain cover – ka-ching! – and the handlebar cupholders – ka-ching!  I saw one very popular brand at one of the fancy baby stores that was $700 (not including the cupholder). I’m surprised they don’t charge for the wheels!   And ladies and gentlemen, in this town, we drink coffee so we need cupholders!  Ah, but at least, I have no more excuses about jogging with baby – I’m all set.  And those high chairs?!  What is up with that?  The beautifully designed European ones charge extra for the actual seat and cushion to strap a baby into the chair! But get one of the domestic brands for a third of the price (made in China) and you get all the trimmings!

Hubby took the baby out for an afternoon walk with the dog in the trails – CAUSE NOW WE HAVE A JOGGER STROLLER!  Was that all it took?  A new gadget?!  Lawdy!  Yes, I did go gasping/jogging and it was a breeze to steer in the trails.  It felt good to sweat.  I honestly hate exercise but one of the benefits is that feeling when it’s over and you’re sweaty but calm.  I felt like I had done at least a tiny bit of service on behalf of myself.  I even jogged a bit in the rain – which I normally loathe – but despite me wearing rain boots and my so-called waterproof jacket, I felt compelled with such a great stroller.  I’ve been practising loving, kind words of encouragement to myself instead of the usual claptrap about the size of my thighs.  Let me tell you it’s tough, but I’ve been too hard on myself lately.  I think I’m not used to good things happening to me so I’m making up stuff to keep myself in the crab bucket.

We’re going to Toronto in a few weeks so that will be a nice change.  I just want to see some old friends and introduce them to the Precious.  Haven’t travelled with a kid since the day we brought him home.  Ah, the crap you need to bring along – ugh!  We will now be the people on the plane that no one wants to sit beside. Hah!  By the way, did you know West Jet is now CHARGING AN INFANT FEE?!!!!!!  WTF?  Is that like a tax for annoying passengers with screeching?  He’s not taking up a seat but I wonder if I get something for that? Maybe I should get a seat just for him!   An extra bag of pretzels?  Will they heat up his formula?  Rub his feet?