Sunday, March 30, 2008

March 30, 2008 - Today's the day

that I have WAY too much excitement before my first sip of coffee!

While I was taking my MIL her tea, I heard a bang. Nothing major, no crying, no breaking glass (that I could hear) so I didn't think much of it. When you live with a 5 year old you learn to tune out these minor disturbances!

But as I was pouring coffee for Hilary and I, Hilary came limping down the stairs and asked me to help her. I got her to the bathroom, sitting on the toilet. A metal picture frame had fallend off of the dresser and scratched her leg. Actually, it was more of "cut" her leg. It was about 3 inches long, but not very deep. So I got a gauze pad and tape out to cover it. Hilary mentioned that she was feeling a bit light headed. The next thing I know, she had gone all stiff, her eyes are glazed over, she's making a strange gutteral moaning noise and she falls off of the toilet into my arms! She has passed out. I'm able to ease her to the floor without her getting hurt. Now the problem is that our bathroom is quite small, and Hilary and I aren't. The door was shut, with her legs up against it, with me behind her, with my back up against the tub. I couldn't get her to wake up instantly, so I shouted for MIL to come help. I was able to get Hilary's legs out of the way enough for MIL to open the door and look in, but not to get into the bathroom to be of any help. I was able to grab a facecloth and wet it down and by putting that on Hilary's face and back of her neck I was able to get her to come to.

All together she was only out for maybe 10-25 seconds, which of course seemed MUCH longer! With MIL's help we got her to her feet and on to the couch. She had some grapes and started to feel better.

She's always said that the sight of her own blood can cause her to pass out, but this is the first time in 15 years that I've seen it happen!

I promptly sat down and had several cups of coffee!

Friday, March 28, 2008

March 28, 2008 - Today's the day

that we begin our toy moratorium! Liam has more toys then he could possibly need and as a result has a bad case of the "gimmes" with frequent bouts of the "I-gotta-have's". My grandmother sent him $20 for Easter, so he got to spend it today. After that there are NO NEW TOYS for at least one month!!

The problem is that he gets an allowance for various jobs he does around the house. He gets $5 a week. Most of the things that he wants to buy however are more then $5, but he can't bring himself to save up. That pretty blue paper burns a hole in his wallet faster then a cat in a blender.

So for one month we will "help" him save up his $$. He's on board with the idea, because he recognizes that he can't save up on his own. But the rule is no whining, crying or pitching a fit for a new toy during this time ~ actually that's the rule ALL the time, we're just really re-inforcing it for this period!

Wish me luck!!

Letter to Liam's Mom

Every day I look at your picture. A beautiful black and white shot where your eyes are so clear that I feel like I can see your soul. And then I look across the room and see those exact same eyes staring back at me. Only this time in colour.... wonderful shades of bright blues and grays. And I feel a wave of sadness come over me.

Sadness for you: For feeling that you had no choice but to make the decision you did five and half years ago. For having never once held your son. For having never heard his laughter when he is tickled - deep booming laughs that can consume him. For feeling that you can't be a part of his life right now. For not knowing how to tell his brother about him. For all the hurts and pains that this beast called adoption has caused you and will continue to cause you.

Sadness for Liam: Because he doesn't know you, has never been held by you. Because he is so proud to have a brother and sister that he tells everyone he meets, but he has never met his brother and sister. Because he is starting to truly understand this beast called adoption and I know that the hard questions and the tears are not long in coming. Because he deserves to have you as part of his life. Because I love him so very much that I want to protect him from every hurt, but I can't.

Sadness for me: Because I too have felt these sadness's and hurts for so many years now. Because I remember being Liam's age and starting to understand this beast called adoption and I remember my own pain. Because I cannot reach out to my own mother and my sister and I don't ever want Liam to have to go through this, but I know that he might.

How I wish I could erase the sadness, fix the hurts and make it all better. Alas, I cannot. I can dry the tears and hold Liam while he struggles to understand. I can send you letters and pictures and keep the door WIDE open so that when you are ready you can be a part of our lives. And I can continue to grow and learn and try to help others when I can. Because if a little of the sadness and hurt is soothed, even if for only a moment, then we can all work towards moving forward.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Blood tests are back

and the Doctor wants to see me next Tuesday. Hmmm.. I hate having to wait for 5 days to find out WHY she wants to see me. I still haven't had the x-ray or ultra-sound done yet either. The nurse did say that my vitamin B12 is low, so maybe that is all she wants to talk about.

Well, I'm not going to dwell on it, since there isn't anything I can do about it between now and then!

March 27, 2008 - Today's the day

that I wait on hold for 45 minutes, all the while clicking refresh on my computer just so that I can get through to our city's Recreation department and sign Liam up for 3 weeks of summer camp!


I got through on the computer after 20 minutes but got kicked out again just as I added the 2nd week to my basket. The second time I got on I was able to get all three weeks in the basket and processed!


These are very popular programs, espcecially for working parents. Full day camp (8:00-16:30) Mon-Friday for less then $100! Liam will only be going for 3 weeks, every other week, as we don't need it for child care, but just for him to have some fun!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

March 26, 2008 - Today's the day

that I start to brush up on my French! Inspired by some on line friends who are also learning/practicing their French, I'm going to make an effort to read at least one thing a day in French. I'm on the look out for an intersting French blog to subscribe to, or I may just find a French newspaper.

What I really need to practice is my spoken French! My tongue is so out of shape that I feel like I've got a mouth full of cotton when I try to speak it. So maybe once I find something to read I will also read it out loud.

I'm also going to make more of an effort to speak to Liam in French and to read/sing to him in French.

Allons-y!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

March 25th, 2008 - Today's the day

that I celebrate Hilary's 37th birthday with her! This is the 15th birthday that I have had the pleasure of sharing with Hilary.

We met in the summer of 1993. Hilary was the night manager at a restaurant where my roommate Lisa got a job a a waitress. I used to go and drink coffee and pick Lisa up. Back then I was pretty frightening! Shaved head, Ox Blood Red Dr. Martins, jeans and white t-shirt, and a smoke behind one ear. Yup, I was a Dyke!! I think Hilary saw through the rough exterior pretty instantly. We got to know Hilary and through several bizarre chains of events, Lisa and I ended up moving into her apartment with her.

However, Hilary and I did not start going out until December of that year, when we were no longer living together and after we had survived what we now refer to as "that summer".

You may have heard some of my stories from "that summer"... the dead hooker, the good drug dealers with the good guns, that I decided to date sleep with men..... it really is a wonder we survived!!

To give you an idea of what "that summer" entailed, here is a list of things that occurred either directly to us or to our group of friends. And no, I won't tell you which ones happened to us!!

  • Getting arrested
  • Drugs, drugs and more drugs
  • homelessness
  • destitution
  • hustling pool for smokes and $$
  • abortion
  • pregnancy scares
  • murder
  • baby dying of SIDS
  • rape
  • stealing to survive
  • suicide attempt


But we made it through to other side. Life wasn't instantly perfect, but it did get infinitely better. Jobs were found, Hilary got an apartment in a not so scary area and we realized that this was not the life we wanted to be living at the wise old age of 23.

And so in true Lesbian fashion, I moved in with her a day or two after our first official "date". And we have never looked back!

Since then we have found careers, moved across the country together, bought our first (and now second) house and adopted a baby together. Hilary is my love, my friend and my light! She makes me happy in a way I never knew possible and I love her with every fiber of my being.


Happy Birthday Hilary!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Liam's Real Mother

One of the mostly hotly debated topics in the land of on-line adoption forums and blogs is semantics.

"If she's your "real mother" does that make me fake?"
"Birth mother vs. Expectant Mother"
"I'm a mother not a biological vessel"

and the list can go on.

I grew up using the term Birth mother to refer to Iris (long before I knew her and had a name and a face) and we do use birth mother for Liam's mother if we need to label at all. For the most part we just refer to her as "your mother 'K'" And he will occasionally ask for clarification about having 3 mothers, but in his mind he knows who is who.

So I was kind of surprised by a conversation that he and I had the other day. It was "K"'s birthday, so Liam and I were talking about her, wondering what she was doing, how she and her children that she is parenting celebrate the day. And then out of the blue he said this:

""K" is my real mom you know, you and Mummy just look after me."

hmmmmm..... interesting. "Real" is not a term we have ever used. Not that "K" isn't real, but it's just not terminology that fits for us. He wasn't' saying this in anger, like I did when I was seven. During a heated argument with my mother I spit out the most hateful thing I could think of "you aren't my real mother anyways! You can't tell me what to do!"... oooopphh! I don't remember what my mother's reaction was, but I can only imagine the hurt that those words caused her. And he wasn't trying to hurt or be mean. He was just being very matter of fact. I acknowledged that "K" was indeed his mother, and that now Hilary and I are also his mothers. To which he agreed.

It makes me wonder if something has been said to him at school. I can't imagine him making a leap to fully understanding adoption and pregnancy and birth and all the other things that go into making someone a "real" mother in the terms that he was implying. He also didn't dwell on it and didn't seem upset or concerned.

While the topic came up out of the blue, I was really glad that it was not unexpected. Being adopted myself and being active in the on-line adoption world, I felt ready to handle it. I would hate to be a parent who chooses to raise their adopted child in a "as if born to us" bubble, thinking that adoption issues will never affect them. Because you honestly never know what will come out of the mouths of babes.

March 24, 2008 - Today's the day

that I get to visit and catch up with my in-laws! Hilary's Mum and Stepdad arrived late last night and are here for a week! They live on the opposite coast to us, so we only see them once or twice a year, and often we only see them for a couple of days at a time as they stop in on their way to other destinations.

This trip is solely to visit with us! Liam was beside himself with excitment yesterday. He started asking around 11:00 AM if it was night time yet as he knew they were arriving after he would be asleep. We managed to keep him quiet till about 8:00 this morning to give them a chance to fight of some jet lag.

I'm really glad that he has this week to spend with them and to bond. Long-distance family relationships are hard on kids, as these grown-ups almost seem like strangers if you only see them once a year. We try to keep the relationships real to him through pictures and phone calls, but nothing beats having Grandpa sitting on the floor playing KidKinnex with you!

$5.95 and a broken heart

As parents it seems pretty natural to want to make your kids happy. And I admit, that there are times that happiness can come from materialistic things. I know I'm happy about a new shirt, new book or a new CD, so why wouldn't Liam find happiness in getting new things? The trick to this parenting stuff is helping him learn that happiness doesn't ONLY come from things, and that not getting a certain thing will not be the end of any happiness in his life.

This is a very difficult lesson for a five and a half year old.

Liam has a couple of websites that he plays on. NickJr, Webkinz, HotWheels. Most are free sites, other then Webkinz where you have to buy the stuffed animal in order to get the online code. Since he (and Hilary and I if truth be told) loves "stuffies" we have collected quite a few and play together as a family on Webkinz. But every now and then it's fun to try new sites, and that is how we stumbled across Disney's "Club Penguin" It's a fun, safe site: you get to be a penguin, wander around and "chat" with other penguins, play games to amass penguin money and buy things like pets and houses.

However there is a catch.

You can get a penguin and up to 2 pets for it with the basic free account. But if you want to do any more, like buy clothes, more pets, accessories for your house, you have to be a member, which costs $5.95 (USD) per month. Since we have already bought all the stuffies for Webkinz, and it's very similar in what you can do, we have said no to getting a "Club Penguin" membership. Sure we can afford six bucks a month, it's not going to break us. But we really want Liam to learn that a) he can't always get everything he wants b) money doesn't just come out of a bank machine - Mama works hard for our family's money and c) he can do all the same things at Webkinz, where we have already "paid" for the membership. He doesn't need another website to play on.

And it almost breaks his heart! He has asked several times if he can be a member. Usually while he's playing and he sees other penguins all decked out in the cool clothes and costumes. To his credit he has even tried to negotiate (something we encourage. When we say no to something if he has a very good logical counter-argument we have been known to change our minds) and has even offered to do extra chores around the house to make up the $5.95 it would cost for the membership.

It comes close to breaking my heart too. And I've come close to giving in... after all it's only $5.95, what's the harm!! But then I come to my senses and remember WHY we are saying no. So I hold him (if he's not too angry with me) and explain it one more time. And each time the upset is lasting for shorter amounts of time. Doesn't stop him from trying again, be he is slowly starting to see our reasoning.

ahhh... materialism... one of the harder lessons in life.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

March 21, 2008 - Today's the Day

that Liam and I build "car world"!

We haven't done this in eons. He had a snow day (or a "the teachers need an extra long long weekend day, since it wasn't even snowing, or raining (they had called for freezing rain to happen during the night) by the time we woke up this morning.) In fact, it's been 10 degrees here all day. It has been raining... but it is the East coast. That happens a lot here.





Anyhoo....





We gathered up all the Hot Wheels track, some boxes for tunnels, a couple of containers for the water realm and put it all together! The hope was that this would keep Liam entertained so that I could work from home. It did... for a while!



But he was great at finding other ways to entertain himself and didn't bother me at all! I love working from home!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

No muffins for Iris

Sounds like the title to a children's book doesn't it? "No muffins for Iris - By Andy" What it really means is that it doesn't look like I will get to visit with Iris when I'm in Ontario this summer, which means that my Mom won't get to meet her and bring muffins to the park. (see this post for why she would)


I called Iris yesterday and we had a really great chat! It has taken us almost 6 years to be comfortable just chit chatting about life together. The reason we won't be able to get together when I'm there is that Madelaine will probably not be working. Her company is closing at the end of May and she is being laid off. Chances of her finding a job by the end of June are pretty slim. Luckily for her, she is getting a severance package of 37 weeks, so she has some breathing room to find another job. Unfortunately for me (and Iris), Iris won't be able to sneak away to meet me. They live together and pretty much do everything together. So Iris doesn't think she can make up an excuse to go off on her own for the afternoon.

I was kinda surprised at how disappointed I was. We've only had 2-3 face to face meetings, and last years was the first really comfortable one. During Madelaine's time off work, I will be pretty much cut off from any contact with Iris, so it will be back to reading obits again!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

March 18, 2008 - Today's the day

That I run a parent support committee meeting at Liam's school.



I am always that sucker of a person that when you ask for a volunteer, if no one comes forward, all you have to do is look at me and I cave. And that is how I became the chair of the parent committee last fall!



Overall the duties are pretty lite. The committee meets about once a month and is responsible for 7 activities throughout the year. This include book fairs, Halloween and Valentine's day lunches, Teacher and staff appreciation week, organizing the art cards and the end of the year picnic. As the chair, I send out meeting invites, take notes and send out minutes. Pretty easy.



The problem is that I haven't been to a meeting since November! Between bad weather, health problems and the holidays, it just hasn't happened.

So I will take baked goods as an offering, and see how the evening goes!

Pediatrician update

We went into the appointment not really knowing what to expect. This was a new doctor that we've never seen and all we knew was that it was a woman. She was a lovely lady, in her late 50s. She came out to call Liam in on her own and immediately engaged him in a conversation. Hilary and I just trailed behind, looking like sherpas, carrying all of our coats and knapsacks.

She spent the first 25 minutes of the appointment completely focused on Liam. Getting him to talk to her, asking him questions, having him write out his name, numbers, drawing shapes and pictures. She didn't even acknowledge either Hilary or I for the first ten minutes, when she quietly whispered that she would talk to us after. She wasn't being rude, but just giving her full attention to Liam. She did a physical exam (he's gained 5 pounds since Christmas! Yeah tonsillectomy and dental surgery - my boy is eating again!)

After her time with Liam she turned her attention to us. She wanted to know what prompted the appointment, what we saw at home, what our concerns were. Her "unofficial diagnosis" is "He is PERFECT and ready to start school and I don't see why his teachers should have any concerns." Her outlook is that if his behaviors (fidgety, not focusing, not listening) are interfering with his learning, then yes, we will need to look at doing something about it, but if they are not interfering, then she doesn't care, that is just who he is. Since it was the teachers that first raised the concerns, she did send home the Connor's rating scale questionnaires for both us and the teachers to complete, and she will do some follow up appointments with us to ensure that there is nothing interfering with his ability to thrive next year.

Her suggestions were for us to continue to work at home to help Liam develop concentration skills and working methods. To ensure that he has lots of physical outlets, to always try and do any "desk" work after a physical activity and to start with small increments of time, like 5 minutes, before letting him go do something physical for 5 minutes. Gradually we can increase the time that he is sitting and doing work. She says that if the school can incorporate something similar that he will have even better chances of excelling. Both us and the school have already recognized that he does his best after recess, or after playing hard, so this was not a big surprise, and I think the school will be very open to helping him work out these strategies while he is there to.

Monday, March 17, 2008

March 17, 2008 - Today's the day

that we see the pediatrician to determine our next steps. We are looking into having Liam evaluated for things like auditory processing disorder or possibly ADD, if he isn't too young. We have seen some improvements, both at home and at school, but I think a lot of that is because we have all been using techniques to help Liam work through things. Like getting right in his face to talk to him, having him repeat things back to us, having him do jumping jacks to get the "wiggles" out, having him close his eyes and count to 10 with deep breathing to trying and center himself when he seems "wired".

What we are hoping for today is to find out if we are going down the right path, what steps we should take next and how to ensure that we (and his teachers) are using the best tools and techniques to help him succeed. He has 3 months of pre-school left, off for 12 weeks of summer vacation and then he will be going into the kindergarten programme. We are so glad that we made the decision to not put him in kindergarten this year. I think he would have been too frustrated to be able to give it his "best work".

We just want to make sure that he does the best he can and that we do whatever me need to to help him.

Friday, March 14, 2008

March 14, 2008 - Today's the day

that I get to clean up some other kid's poo! It's been a long time since I've had to clean up Liam's poo, so I was a wee bit out of practice. Now if it had been nicely contained in a diaper, I'm sure my old skills would have come back quickly. But since it was in the underpants a of 5 year old, who was jumping about and trying to "help" I didn't really have any skills to call upon.

Liam has a friend over for a play date today. Being that they are both 5 year old boys, there is a lot of talk about pooping and farting and a lot of pretending to make strange bodily noises. So when Liam first came to me and said "L pooped his pants" I assumed that this was more grossology talk. Till L came waddling at me looking like he had dropped a load in his pants!!

Well, I got him cleaned up, found him some clothes (he's about 5 inches and 10 pounds bigger then Liam, luckily we buy ahead when stuff is on sale) and I threw on a load of wash.

Ahhhh the joys!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

March 12, 2008 - Today's the day

That I [achoo!] go to be early to try to beat this [achoo!] dang cold!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

March 11, 2008 - Today's the day

that I convince Liam that he has to stop sleeping in his tent!




Liam got a small tent for his birthday last year from his Granny and Grandpa. Given where we live, the window of opportunity for sleeping outside is pretty small, so to maximize the fun of owning a tent we will sometimes let him set it up in his room. It's been up now for over a week. I would gladly leave it up longer, since he has so much fun in it, except for 2 problems:


1) His room is not that big, so the tent is right up against his bed. He has a mate's bed (the kind with drawers under it) and this is his only clothing storage area in his room. So we have a week's worth of laundry to put away, but we can't get to the drawers.


2) He has a friend coming over for the day tomorrow (It's March break here, so no school). Since his room is not that big, so the tent is right up against the open door. You kind of have to climb over one corner of the tent to get into his room. It also doesn't leave much floor space for playing.


I think the incentive of tomorrow's play date will help me to convince him that this is a good idea. He cannot wait to be able to sleep outside in his tent again! I'm hoping that since he will be 6 this summer, that we can convince him to sleep by himself, or with a friend in the tent, and NOT with Mama! These old bones did not appreciate waking up in the dew last year!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

March 10, 2008 – Today’s the day

That I try to beat Heather at Scrabbulous! I’m not sure what my exact number of losses is to her, but it has to stop!!

Homemade Yogurt

Momof3 asked me for Hilary’s yogurt recipe.


Since yogurt is really just incubated milk, the first thing that you need is a yogurt maker. We use this one:





The recipe itself is quite simple:
  • Heat milk, powdered milk, vanilla and honey to a certain temperature, stirring frequently so that it doesn’t scald
  • Let the mixture cool to a certain temperature
  • Add a small amount of the heated mixture to either yogurt starter or some of your last batch of yogurt
  • Stir in the rest of the milk mixture
  • Put it all in the incubator and let it do it’s thing for 4 hours. And presto mondo! You have yogurt!

    The certain temperatures are really key to yogurt making. Too hot and the yogurt ends up lumpy and gritty, too cold it won’t set…. It really is more science then cooking.
Alton Brown from the food network has a recipe for making yogurt with a heating pad instead of an incubator from his episode: Good Milk gone bad




We found for us that it was cheaper to make yogurt once a week instead of buying it for all of us to eat. I would add granola or flax seed to mine, but you can also add fresh fruit to it as well.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

March 9, 2008 - Today's the day

that I clean all of our stemware! By looking at our corner cabinet in the dining room you would easily assume that we are either heavy drinkers or a family of 30. We can easily serve champagne to 20+ people, in actual champagne glasses. And surprising, we have had that happen, just once!

Since Hilary is such a foodie, everyone feels that they should buy her foodie related gifts, a trap I have been known to fall into. So we have a ton of wine glasses, marguarita glasses, brandy snifters and tiny liqueur glasses. We also have my mohter's full crystal set that she got as a wedding gift 43 years ago.

The rub of all this is that we rarely drink! We might have wine at Thansgiving or Christmas, but otherwise the glasses sit and collect dust. And it's the dust that drove me to clean them today (that and my MILs upcoming visit!) If I get them all shiny and clean today I'll add a picture.

Next I have to move on to the teacups!

Friday, March 7, 2008

March 7, 2008 – Today’s the day

That I need to figure out what to do with the cat poop!

We have four cats- Edgar, Hazel, Alice and Oscar. And since they are all indoor cats, we have 2 litter boxes, and we use the clumping cat litter. Up until recently figuring out what to do with the cat poop hasn’t been all the difficult: scoop it out of the box, put it in a bag, tie the bag up and put it in the garbage can. Simple enough.

My current dilema is that I’ve always used plastic grocery store bags for this job. Now however, most of our local stores have gone and gotten all “Green” and “environemntly friendly” and encourage their shoppers to buy and use their canvas re-usable bags. Some stores have stopped supplying the plastic bags at all. I’m not against being “Green” and “environemntly friendly” and in fact I own and use several of the canvas bags myself. But that doesn’t really help me with my poop problem.

My supply of plastic bags has dwindled. The cat poop has not. So now I need to figure out how to get the waste to a waste recepticle. I could go and buy a box of plastic bags, but that doesn’t seem to really be in the spirit of things. I get dirty looks at the grocery store if I’ve forgotten my canvas bag and ask for a plastic one. I can only imagine what would happen if people saw me buying them by the case full!

So I open it up to all of you…. What should I do?

Update from my appointment

When we looked back through my file, we discovered that I have been in to see her with similar complaints 3 other times, dating as far back as 2001! I’ve had various tests and ultra-sounds each time and they have always come back negative. So we are doing them all again! Blood work, ultra-sound and an upper GI x-ray. Oh what fun… not.

The one test being done this time that was not available last time is a blood test to measure Anti-Tissue Transglutaminase. This can be an indicator of Celiac disease. If it comes back positive it has to be confirmed by a biopsy. Given the symptoms and all my past negative tests, I would not be at all surprised to find out that it is Celiac. A friend of ours has this so Hilary is very familiar with the dietary constrains. The short version is no flour… no bread, no pasta, no cookies, no crackers, no cake etc… There are all sorts of other things like Soya sauce and sauages (bread products used as fillers), but you get the picture. Our friend said that within 2 weeks of altering her diet she felt better then she ever has in years. I’m hoping for something as quick and easy!!

So I’ll get the blood work done tomorrow or Monday… it’s an 8 hour fasting one, so I’m hoping to go first thing in the morning, and I’m waiting on dates for the other 2 tests. For now she gave me a prescription for Pantoloc (Protonix in the states)

Chemical Name: PANTOPRAZOLE

Protonix is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) used to treat ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), erosive esophagitis, or Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Protonix works by blocking acid production in the stomach. Protonix may be used in combination with antibiotics including amoxicillin or clarithromycin to treat certain types of ulcers


I’ll try this for a month while we wait for all the test results.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

March 6, 2008 – Today’s the day

That I call and make myself a doctor’s appointment.

For the last couple of months I’ve had a variety of days with stomach pains, nausea, gassy-ness (TMI, sorry!) and generally just not feeling well. I’ve started keeping a food diary to see if I could pin it down to something specific, but so far, it remains pretty random. I thought it was a lactose problem, as I seemed to have more spells when I was having Hilary’s homemade yogurt every day. But I haven’t had any yougurt in 2 weeks and I’m still having problems.

Today, just before lunch I got this strange blotchiness on my chin and neck. It was red and HOT to the touch an a little bit itchy. I had bad stomach pains and felt dizzy and nauseous. But I was also STARVING. So I ate my lunch and then went outside for a bit, because by that point I was so overheated that I was ready to take my shirt off and lie down on the floor. Luckily my lunch buddy convinced me not to.

About an hour later, everything was pretty much better (except for the gassy part! Too bad I wasn’t working from home today!)

So if my doctor’s office ever starts answering the phones again after their 2 hour lunch break, I will make myself an appointment.


***********

UPDATED: I've got an appointment for tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Well I did it.



My mom called and we had a very nice chat. The tickets are booked, the plans are made. As the call was winding down, I thanked her again for paying for our flights home and then I just threw caution to the wind! I think I even closed my eyes!

"Thanks for the tickets. We can't wait to see you. Love you!"

and she responded with:

"okay then, bye"

I'm trying not to read anything into it, but I'm glad that I did it!

March 5, 2008 - Today's the day

that I try to tell my mom I love her.

Well that sounds pretty easy you say. And normally you would be right. But not in my case.

I don't think that I have ever told my mother "I love you". I've signed cards that way, ended letters with "Love Andy (or Andrea, since my mom won't call me Andy!) And chances are I said it to her when I was little, but I don't remember ever doing it, so it doesn't count.

I've spent a lot of time trying to figure why this is so hard for me. Is it adoption related? Is it just that we are an emotionally dysfunctional family? Is it something specific about my relationship with her?

I don't think it is adoption related. But that's the rub when you are an adoptee. Everything that comes up in life you have to examine through your adoptee lens first to see if that may be the cause.

Once upon a time, when I was a teenager (<18) my mom and I were very close. But even then, we were not close in a share you inner thoughts and bare your sould way. We would go out for lunch together, we shop together, go see musicals.

Then there was the "big rift". My parents assumed that I was a lesbian! GASP!!! (as we all know, it turns out they were right, I just didn't know it at the time!) and they kicked me out of the house. I realized even then, that it was my father who was behind all of this. After all, 2 of Mom's brothers are gay and no one seemed to have a problem with them.

So I went about 5 years without speaking to either of them, before slowly the rift closed and we reconnected. Now, we are close again, in the same way of course. We talk on the phone at least once a week, Mom comes out to visit us once a year, we go there once a year (we live 3 provinces apart). She adores Hilary and they get along great. She worships Liam and has embraced Grandmotherhood with gusto. They seem to have gotten over the "gay thing", even my father.

So today, when she calls so that we can finalize the plans of my trip home, I'm going to try.

"thanks Mom, I'll talk to you later. Love you!"

Phew... just thinking about it is making me stressed!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Monday, March 3, 2008

Mom's master plan!

My own adoption doesn’t really come up all that often in real life. In fact adoption doesn’t come up all that often IRL, unless I’m telling Hilary some latest story from one of the forums.

So it caught me a bit off guard when it did come up, especially given the topic starter: my Mom. (Please note: language in the adoption world can get very confusing – as in which Mom does she mean? I prefer to not have to use adjectives every time I refer to some one, like adoptive mom and first mom, so I use Mom and Dad to refer to my adoptive parents and Iris to refer to my first mom. Cuts down on the confusion, and its how I refer to them IRL too)

Anyhoo……

My Mom and I were on the phone planning some of the preliminary details of my trip home with Liam this June. We have all sorts of great things planned, like going up the CN Tower, going to the Ontario Science Center and other fun day trips. Then she asked if I planned on seeing Iris while I was in town.

In a matter of nano seconds, my thoughts went from

1) Defensive: “Of course I will go see her, what’s it to you?”
2) Loyal: “Wow, I hope that it doesn’t hurt her that I want to visit Iris?”
3) Suspicious: “Why exactly are you asking??????”

Some background: My Mom has ALWAYS been open with me about my adoption. She shared every scrap of info that they had with me, and even made sure to write down all the non-identifying info that the SW read from my file the day before they got me. She always said that they would help me search when I was ready, and was always willing to talk when I brought up. BUT I knew/sensed that it was never an easy topic for her. That and we have never been an emotionally close, bare your soul and bond kinda family.

This time on the phone however, my gut decided to go with option 3!

“I was planning to, why?” is what I got out. Well! My mom would like to meet Iris, or at the very least, make herself available to Iris if Iris wants to meet her. She did at least ask me if I would be okay with this too. To my mother’s credit, she knows Iris’ name and she knows where she lives (they live about 10 minutes away from each other) and she has refrained from showing up on Iris’ doorstep with a basket of muffins and saying “Hi! I adopted your daughter 37 years ago, can I come in?” Because really, she’s the kind of person that would do something like that!

Her master plan (because she has obviously been planning (or plotting!) this for awhile now) is that we all go to this great kid’s park that is ½ way between their homes. This is where Iris and I met last year for our visit, since I can’t go to her house in case Madelaine comes home early. This way, Liam has somewhere to play; Mom can meet Iris, visit for a few minutes and then busy herself playing with Liam so that Iris and I can have some private un-interrupted time. A brilliant plan she says! Everyone wins!

So the big question now will be if Iris wants to or is even willing to meet with her. Last year I took pictures of me growing up and included some of my parents. This was the first time that Iris had ever seen any pictures of me other then current ones. She did have a lot of questions about my parents and my up bringing, but I’m not sure if she is ready for a face to face.

I guess I have to pluck up my courage to call her (and risk getting hung up on - check out this post for why) and ask.

March 3, 2008 - Today's the day

that I practice patience at the office!

I will not kill Ron.
I will not strangle Sonny.
I will not roll my eyes every times Sean speaks.
I will not get myself fired by telling Betty she is wrong.

I will have a cup of tea when I get home!

March 2 , 2008 – Today’s the day

That I engage in some retail therapy!

I don’t often get a chance to go shopping, between work and weekend commitments there just never seems to be time. It’s much easier for Hilary to drop Liam off at school and then go on her own whenever one of us needs new un-mentionables or assorted sundries. It is even less often that I get to go shopping without Liam in tow, who is usually barraging me with requests for toys, food or the ever popular “Are your ALMOST DONE???? Are we going home soon????” Shopping with Liam is as far from retail therapy as you can get.

So when Liam’s friend’s parents offered to take him on a full day play date and THEN called and asked if he could stay for dinner, Hilary and I immediately started making plans for being Liam-free for 8 hours while the sun was still up! The list of possibilities was endless: Paint the kitchen, finish painting the spare room, re-wire Liam’s ceiling fan, clean the house. Yeah right! Like we were going to do any of that stuff!

Instead we watched a movie, whole and complete without a single interruption or pause. And then we went shopping!!!

3 full hours of meandering through the mall at our own pace. Looking in the stores of our choice and never once venturing down an aisle that contained brightly lit items that beeped or buzzed at you as you walked by them.

We spent too much money, ate too much ice cream and had a wonderful time! It was also a great time for Hilary and I to just be together, talk about life and enjoy each other’s company.


I highly recommend that everyone try a little retail shopping every now and then.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

March 1, 2008 - Today's the day

that I become a soccer mom!

Well, at least I signed up today to be a soccer mom, soccer doesn't actually start till the end of April.

We've decided to enter into the land of organized sports. Liam will be playing one night a week for the spring and summer, on a co-ed under 6 years old team.

I'm not sure how I feel about organized sports, or more so, the parents that are associated with it. I promise to not become one of the obnoxious-coaching slandering-blithering idiots that you see on bad made-for-tv-movies. I can't guarantee how I will treat those parents if I encounter them though!

Stay tuned for updates!