My dining room floor

I had no idea when I chose the name A Woman My Age that it would continue to be so appropriate.  I chose it because that’s the phrase I kept hearing over and over when I was trying to conceive.  It’s also a little play on the words “advanced maternal age”.  And now at this point in my life when I’m in a MLC (mid life crisis) and dealing with PM (perimenopause), there’s a lot of WTF going on here.  So you will see a lot of password protected posts because I’m aware that stuff is so painful and so personal that I can’t let it flap TOTALLY in the internet wind.

I washed the dining room floor the other day with a special wooden floor cleaner.  Why is this significant?  I had mentioned that maybe we needed a special cleaner cause the floor looked so dull and of course, hubby said why bother we’re only renting and we’ll be moving soon and that just stuck in my head.  I started to fixate on the dull wooden floor.  DH had taken the Precious and the dog out, so I instead of doing nothing,  I straightened up a little.  Then I looked at the floor and thought, let’s try that cleaner that I bought  surreptitiously the other day.  Mmmm, well, it was a little cleaner but it didn’t really improve the dullness.  By that time, hubby was home and was surprised that I had spent the time washing the floor.  I noticed the dog hair stuck to the legs of the chairs and though I had swept up the hair moments before, when I replaced the chairs, the hair was back again.  The chairs need replacing.  The seats sag.  I got a big residual check the other day and opted to get my weave redone instead of buying a dining set.  Vanity wins every time.  If you are a black woman and reading this, this will make perfect sense to you. If you saw my head, you would have taken pity on me.

Anyways, my point is the floor.  It’s been bugging me for weeks.  Months even.  It just seemed like such a pointless task that I never attempted it.  It’s a metaphor for my life really.  Needing to be thoroughly cleaned, maybe even restripped and refinished.  Me avoiding doing it, DH saying why bother,  but knowing in my heart that the effort needs to be made.  I didn’t enjoy doing it, but I enjoyed making the attempt.  I know this sounds completely goofy,  but it mattered to me somehow.  I had the time and space to do it.  I had vacuumed, swiffered it and still there was more dirt.  More stickiness.



Protected: Peace in the morning

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Gift horse

On Tuesday,  we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary with a two day trip to La Jolla, CA.  Before the Precious, we were going to return to Bali, but of course, a 20+ hr plane ride is out of the question, not to mention, out of the budget.    I thought DH had something special in the works, but apparently, he didn’t, so I got involved.  There was a seat sale for LA, so we fly there, picked up a rental car at the airport and drove to a very lovely resort in La Jolla.  It had a spa and I was really looking forward to that.  We had a couples massage and then went for a light dinner.

The next day, DH treated me to a little shopping spree and then we went for a romantic dinner on an outdoor patio.  Cue sunset.  He gave me a really beautiful Hallmark card and I wept, I was so touched.  I had a little surprise of my own, but I waited til we got back to the hotel room.  I presented my dearest with a new wedding ring to replace the one he lost earlier this year.  Now, I have to tell you, I thought of the idea pretty late in the game, and then I found how just how expensive it was going to be and not every jewellery store carries 18 kt white gold.  I went to at least 6 jewellery stores and only B.irks had it in 18 kt white gold at a sky high price.   I found out just how much gold went up in the last couple of years.  Yikes! I decided that I would check one more place and then I would settle for a 14K one at a substantially lower price.   But you know me, I’m determined (stubborn) , if nothing else and at the last moment, I found a small jewellery store who could MAKE one in the pattern I liked in TWO DAYS for several hundred dollars less than B.irks.  So, all excited and giddy, and incredibly drunk, I presented it to DH who was….underwhelmed.  Yep.  Basically, he said I didn’t have to do it, he wasn’t into wearing jewellery anyway and the one he had been wearing (a silver spinner ring (broken) that I gave him in the first flush of love) meant more. But really I had bought it because I wanted him to have it, it was not something he would want as a gift.  But it was nice. Thanks.

Yes, he did.  And then faced with my disappointment at his lack of enthusiasm at such an extravagant gift, he proceeded to justify his response by saying he was just being honest.  HONEST.  Like there was something wrong with ME for being upset.  After all, it would be like him giving me a CAR.  A CAR?!!!  All I could think was that I had no idea who the man was who took me on this wonderful trip, bought me two entire outfits, high heels, a bracelet and a cute hat and treated me like GOLD … and  then just looked at a 10th anniversary 18 kt white brushed custom made gold ring like it was a tie from K-Mart.  Heaven forbid he should shut his mouth for the sake of my feelings.

Oh, yes, it occurred to me that this colossal P.O.S. just made me feel like an idiot for all the running around I did, spending money on something I really couldn’t afford  because I had this crazy idea that HE WAS WORTH this symbol of love and devotion and family unity.

Needless to say, I went to sleep quite angry and hurt, plotting ways I could take the ring back and sell it at a pawn shop.   The next morning, he apologized and blah, blah, blah.  Yes, it occurred to me that he was upset at the extravagance during this “working from home” period, that he OBVIOUSLY had not given me a reciprocal gift.  But really, it would be more accurate to simply believe what he said as he is not in the habit of sugar coating ANYTHING.

I tried to avoid the topic of “the ring” the next day.  I was still upset but I actually missed the Precious and was ready to get home. I also wasn’t feeling well (ie. hungover).   On  the plane, we hit turbulence, and as usual, I got nauseous and weepy.  Then I just told him how truly upset I was and  he actually LISTENED.  As in his lips weren’t flapping back.  He apologized sincerely from his heart  and said he just didn’t want me to spend any money on him, and this time I believed him.

For Christmas, he’s getting a vacuum cleaner.



And then I told him I was always going to ask him for exactly what he wanted

No kid attached

DH and I spent a wonderful day and a half in Whistler.  Kudos to his parents for stepping in to take care of the Precious so that we could have a lovely break.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  In truth, DH is the one who needed the break more than I did.  He hasn’t had a child free night since his last business trip.  The summer had been SO stressful for him at work and now…well, long story short, he’s at home with us until further notice.

I had bought one of those Group.on deals for an ATV ride in the summer and it was going to expire very soon so I booked it and it turned out to be a beautiful day, the ATV ride was a blast and then we had a romantic evening and stayed overnight at a really nice hotel.  Wow.  Yep, you heard me correctly.  Romantic. I’d almost forgotten how – or why for that matter.  The last time we were alone in Whistler was before the kid had come into existence really and we were there with Juju.  Even then DH was overly worried about leaving her alone (in a crate) in the hotel room (in case she started whining or barking) and we had a hurried dinner in the hotel restaurant – and he even went to check on her.  This time around, I was surprised he wasn’t calling his mother every 5 minutes to check on the kid.  (Okay, I called once, so sue me.)  No, he actually focussed on us, we talked, we relaxed, it was so good for us.  It felt like a honest to goodness date.  You know, where you just enjoy the moments, no baggage attached. No kid attached.

Yes, we missed the Boo and we were quite happy to see him when we got home (refreshed by the sleep in) but the kid didn’t seem to miss us at all.  No tears, no fuss with nanny and grandpa.  They were exhausted of course, but they had a great time with him and the Precious was so happy with our return that he woke us up screaming at 6am just for the heck of it.  Ah, good to be home.

Life goes on

Is it just me or am the only one who keeps forgetting things? After our return from TO, we were supposed to go to my mum’s care home for an evening BBQ and we just plain forgot about it.  Both of us.  And we had just been there the day before and been reminded.   I’m like hey let’s go for a walk around the block we have nothing to do…  duh!    Mind you, we were a bit jet lagged. It’s unusual that we both forgot we were supposed to be somewhere else.

Then yesterday, we’re getting ready to go help out a friend who needed someone to watch the kids and I’m packing up the kid’s things, put milk in his sippy cup, and you guessed it, leave it behind. Earlier, I decide to have oatmeal, put it on the stove, decide to get to some emails, and you guessed it, burnt the heck out of my pot while I’m sitting two feet away.  This morning, DH found a piece of fish in the oven that I was baking for my son’s dinner while I was making his breakfast…two days ago.

Okay, something has to change here.  Not quite sure what, but something does.  For instance, my waistline.  Oh boy.    The only thing that makes me feel better is that during hubby’s stay at home, he’s forgetting right along with me.  It’s the damn multi-tasking.  I often do two or three things at once and then with hubby at home, he’s asking me this and that, and the kid needs this and that and ohmigod, we gotta get out the door again.

And speaking of going downhill, my mum’s condition has gotten a bit worse.  I’ve written about it before, this losing her in bits and pieces.  The second I got off the plane last week, I get a call from her dentist saying he may have to pull her one and only front tooth as it may be giving her pain.  So far, I can put off that decision for a bit because there’s other pressing matters.    Two days ago, she fell again and this time she sustained a cut below her right eye and a cut above her left eye.  We went to see her right away and as we get off the elevator she’s walking down the hallway with  a staff member and her wheelchair is sitting there in her room.  Sigh.  I had just told them to keep her in the wheelchair as much as possible.  Tears are flooding my eyes as I try to wipe off dried blood from my mother’s face and hands.  She’s fine, I’m barely hanging in there while I talk to the staff.  They do not have a protocol to just restrain her without doctor’s orders and approval from me, so I’ve given them the okay to put a lap belt on her to keep her in a wheelchair.  They keep talking about her right to walk, but we reminded them that she is not capable of understanding the consequences of her walking unassisted.  And since they do not have the staff to dedicate to her one on one care, then it’s impossible for them to guarantee her safety.  I just can’t take any more phone calls reporting her falls anymore.  I’m not saying they’re being neglectful, that would mean they were ignoring her on purpose, but at the best of times, there 3 care aides, 1 leisure activity person who is wrangling a group of seniors and one nurse on the entire floor.  Yes, I’ve also asked them to walk her for exercise as often as they can.  On the bright side, there’s also residents who are in worse condition than she is, so I need to be grateful for what I do have with her.

And speaking of gratitude, my relationship with hubby is improving.  We’re actually laughing together and that’s always a good sign.  His co-parenting has opened his eyes a bit.  Now he’s understanding the the growing demands of a toddler can be a little chaos inducing and mind numbing at the same time. The big revelation?  That my days are actually quite full even though I don’t have a “job”.  And he’s just as tired as I am at the end of the day.   I can tell he’s itching to get back to work.  What?  Cleaning the house, walking the dog, making meals and cleaning up after the kid not mentally stimulating enough for you?  What – you mean you can’t work out and walk him around the block on his bike at the snail pace he likes to go?  Mind you, someone has to bring the big bucks home.   The Precious is crazy for his daddy, so he’s all over him all the time.  Hah!  Gotta go get a pedicure, babe.  See ya!

I used to be interesting

I don’t often talk about what the Precious is up to cause, dammit, my blog is about me! However, part of talking about him is my way of counting my blessings.  He makes me happy in such a simple way.  As far as he’s concerned, he’s the centre of the universe.  In a way, he’s right.  Friggin’ kid.

This week he’s displaying lovely oppositional behaviour.  Most times, he’s great at diaper change especially when he’s had a lovely poo, but increasingly, he wants to dictate WHEN he going to be changed.  I would prefer a compliant, communicative child, but apparently, he could be 45 and that still wouldn’t happen.    Seems he would rather try to buckle the straps of his diaper pad and anything interrupting that will cause him to squeal and tripod like he’s being tortured.  He’s also resisting changing clothes.  I’m not the most patient in the morning, so often I just let him run around pantless or shirtless for a while cause there is nothing more demoralizing to me than battling with him first thing in the morning.  My constitution is weak in the mornings.  I need coffee and food.  And good hair.

This I’ve discovered is par for the course as I try to stop him from throwing the dog food around, upending the Juno’s waterbowl, or whatever shenanigans he’s attempting  when I’m not looking at him.  He also loves playing peekaboo.  He’s still not talking.  Babbling, squealing, pointing, mewling, yes, but nothing on purpose.  It almost seems deliberate in his refusal to mimic me.  I ask him to say HE-LO and he just smiles at me and looks away.  He understands quite a bit. He can follow simple, short directions.   He will retrieve my slippers, his slippers, give things to Juno, pick things up (when he feels like it).  If I call his first and last name, he’ll stop and come over to me because of my tone.  He’s very interested in how things WORK.  He will copy my everyday   actions. Untwisting a bottle cap, turning on the vacuum, etc.  Yep, he’s managed to use my cell phone to send texts to our landline.  Don’t ask me how.  Obsessed with pushing buttons on phone and the remote.  And if the phone happens to ring, he hands it over to me.  He’ll pinch the phone between his head and shoulder like I do.

Letting him run around a bit with some baby puffs before attempting a proper breakfast seems to be working for us.  I save my toddler wrangling for when we need to go and walk the dog.  This involves a bit of a chase.  I’m not sure why (other than he finds it entertaining) but we do this every day.  I get his shoes and his coat and then wrangle him onto my lap. Brute force is usually needed.  Then into the stroller and his beloved buckles and then I get ready. I choose appropriate gear for outside.  Hikers or wellies?  Vest or raingear?   Keys, cell phone, poop bags, slingbag stashed underneath the stroller (oh a dirge for the fashionable purses of yesteryear), then collar the dog, harness and leash, make sure all the lights are off and try to get the giant stroller and the dog out the door and down the steps.  This whole thing can take 10-15 min depending on how well I’m organized.

DH often comments that I do talk about him a lot when we have friends over – as in, too much.  I have now given him the official word that he can now STOP reminding me if I talk too much about the kid.  The fact of the matter is that I just like to TALK to anyone who will listen.  I’m not sure he realizes that he spends a lot of time talking to me just about the kid.  Occasionally, he talks about his work, but I can’t often add anything to that, unless he’s stressed about something or someone.  My work of transcribing is well, dull.  And believe it or not, confidential.  Which is funny cause it’s pretty boring stuff to talk about anyway. I could talk about the shocking state of my eyebrows and hair, my breasts, or the amount of dog hair under the couch, but that would be complaining.  What I do all day…. involves the kid and the dog.  Period.   So…… phffft!……my next project is to find other stuff to talk about.

My friend recently celebrated her 40th birthday with a list of 40 things to do this year – I’m 150 so I should have a lot of things to list!

Boxes and Dust – part 2

As I was going through one of my drawers, I came across my mum’s expired passport and a couple of photos of her in better days.  She looked so young.  The mother I knew when I was growing up.  Rings I’m holding on for her.  It made me a little sad.  A side effect of going through stuff, I’m afraid. And then I found an email I had printed out from my husband about 4 years ago.  Life was pretty crappy for me at that point, so I hated to be reminded that things were ever that bad.    Yet I’m also glad  – keeps me from complaining too much in the present.  I see all the stuff I’ve been hanging on to.  Bits and pieces of things – like shoe strings, buttons, ticket stubs, play programmes, love notes, we need to talk notes.  Wow, I am a pack rat.  Or a collector of memories, depends on your point of view.  I get so attached to the smallest of things.

I still have a few syringes and paraphernalia left from my cycling days.  I held on to this stuff on purpose.  Mementos of a life wished for and not attained.  I’m not sure why this seems so important because the only thing in life you can count on is that things change.

Infertility manifested itself in our lives and nothing was ever the same.  No matter how well balanced I feel, now matter how calm I feel, I always feel vulnerable to reminders of the past.  I’d like NOT to considering my dream of being a parent came true.

I subscribe to an email newsletter about family events in the city.  I read one item that promoted a group called Birth Lounge that’s all about birth, pregnancy and beyond.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that in the slightest.  They’re sponsoring a big event and I noticed that one of the sponsors was an acupuncture clinic that I shelled out a substantial amount of money to help me conceive all for naught.  For one brief moment, I actually felt excluded.  It was a reminder of my infertile past.  I watch a pregnant woman on TV getting photography shots of her belly and I feel a slight sadness that I didn’t get to have that experience of carrying my child. There’s no saying that if I had been pregnant that it would turned out all right or that I wouldn’t run into some horrendous medical condition.  Something tells me that pregnancy would have left my body a flabby wreck and I’d be moaning about that now for sure.  Yet, sometimes I get that old message that says I screwed up somehow, I made a mistake somewhere along the line.

I feel pretty content in my life these days.  After about 7 years of crap, life has becomes more sweet than bitter.  Yet, still these small things get under my skin a little.  I hate that.  These bits of papers and things that remind me of the past.

Time to take out the trash.