Thursday, December 29, 2011

So far, so close

I used to think I wasn't going to have kids, and then I changed my mind. Then I had a baby and decided that once you have one, you might as well have two. They're just like kittens, they can amuse each other! I wanted my two little girls to be about two years apart, maybe two and a half years. 

Yes, my second, currently nonexistent child is most decidedly a girl. Shhhh, do not speak to me of 50/50 odds!

The Parasite is now 32 months old, so my children will be at least three and a half and more likely four years apart in age. The Husband and his sister are five years apart, he swears this is the reason they're not closer. Yesterday my friend was here for a visit with her six year old son - a boy four years older than The Parasite, almost to the day. After a lengthy warm up period (about two minutes), the kids were the very best of friends, running around this small house like small, crazed people. They damn near shattered my ear drums, but they certainly did amuse each other.

I'm not worried about the age gap anymore. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

The one where she gives free writing a try

15 minutes of whatever comes to mind for me? Man, that could be dangerous! I presume that's supposed to mean no filter, but I just don't think the world is ready for me with no filter.

Christmas Day is over, but it will carry on for at least three more days as we finish off the holiday visits. We're not a religious household, so I'm not quite sure about the messaging here for The Parasite. Christmas means you show up at a bunch of different people's houses and get presents! That can't be right... I'm sure I'll come up with something more clever by the time she gets around to asking the question. Maybe she won't? Kids are good at just rolling with things. Especially when presents are involved.

In a couple of weeks I'm going on my first Girls' Weekend away since I became a mom. No husbands, no kids, just some fun in the sun. I'm looking forward to it, but I'm also dreading being so far away from my baby. I know she's nearly three, but she'll always be MY baby. It'll be a great bonding experience for her and for The Husband. She's been on a real "Mommy do it" kick for the last few weeks and it's getting impractical. For example, last weekend I was upstairs folding laundry, The Husband was in the kitchen making breakfast. She came UPSTAIRS to ask me to get her a drink. From the kitchen. *sigh* These phases are normal and it will be Daddy's turn soon enough, but I'm kind of hoping a few days on their own will hurry things along a little.

Wow. Five minutes to go. Who knew a time period so short could seem so long? Of course, we're up for the day so that 15 minutes has actually been broken up into several chunks of a few minutes each, but I have been keeping track of how long I have been going at each interval. Maybe that's cheating? I dunno. I can't remember the last time I had 15 uninterrupted minutes, but I imagine it was before April 2009. I may sound like I'm complaining about it, but I'm really not. Watching this kid crouch down like a jaguar along with Dora is worth all the interruptions in the world.

This post is written as part of GBE2 - Week #32 - 15 Minute Free Write.  For more info about GBE,  click here

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Geography - It's fun!

Awwwww, look! It's two penguins sitting on a polar bear so they can reach their ice fishing hole. Or maybe they're taunting the polar bear, which is a pretty stupid move because polar bears are badass. Nonetheless, adorable!

It's on my neighbour's front lawn*. Once you get past the fact that it looks dirty from behind, it's cute. This little vignette was inspired by Coke's 2005 ad campaign with the polar bears and the penguins frolicking on the frozen tundra. Everybody enjoyed a Coke and the audience ooh'd and ahh'd. Only the most astute among us said "Hey, wait a minute..."**
We all had a giggle and then moved on with our lives, but this lawn ornament allows the lie to carry on. And anyway, if polar bears and penguins DID live together, it wouldn't be in harmony. Those penguins look pretty tasty.
* If you are my neighbour I'm sorry about mocking your lawn ornament. But only a little. You're the one that put it out there, after all.
** Image from HERE

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I did it! I finished my shopping!

I have a big shopping list at Christmas. There are 25 names on that list and there's the associated "host" gifts that go along with the holiday visiting too. I had The Husband haul it all upstairs so I could wrap it last night and then by the time I was done working all day and doing the prep for tonight's adventure (a visit to someone else's house, where I will be doing the cooking - long story) and the laundry and getting ready for the workday ahead, I was too damn tired to wrap it all. Back to the basement it goes! I'll try again tomorrow.

Really, I think this gift wrapping custom is for the birds. Next year I'm going to stick stuff in my reusable shopping bags, tie some ribbon around the handles and call it done. I have already started with Santa gifts for The Parasite. No wrapping paper, just a tag with her name on it and maybe a bow. It depends entirely on how much wine I get into on Christmas Eve. As I look ahead at the next few days, it's looking pretty grim for the bow on Santa's gifts.

My poor little girl is getting a cold just in time for the holiday visiting frenzy. Nothing like showing up with a snot-encrusted toddler to help you beat a hasty retreat! Sleep issues notwithstanding, there's a totally different sound to her cry for Mommy when she's sick. When she got up at 4:30 this morning I knew I was in for it. Into our bed she went! A little something to take down the inflammation and a whole lot of back pats later, she and The Husband - you know, the two people who DON'T have to go to work today - are snoozing away and I'm here, kicked out of my own bed by a two year old, typing at you. Merry Christmas!

Speaking of the dinner being made at someone else's house, check out Life with a Parasite, The Facebook page for the recipe I'll be working with. If it's great, I'll tell you all about it. If it went horribly wrong and I give everyone food poisoning, I'll lie, say it was great, and tell you all about it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

I really "Like" you!

It's Life with a Parasite, The Facebook page! Why? I think the more important question is... why not? You'll note there is currently a pitiful ONE fan of the page, and it's me. This will not do!

What's in it for you? Well, right now, nothing but gratitude. BUT, sometime early in the New Year, I'm going to post a PR policy and first crack at whatever rewards (contests, giveaways, etc.) may come from that will go to the people who were with me in the early days. Because I'm loyal like that.

Please go "Like" Life with a Parasite, The Facebook page. After all, one really is the loneliest number.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Stroke awareness - Remember the signs

A close family member had a minor stroke this week. I suppose if you have to have a stroke, a minor one is the way to go. Still, it's pretty sobering to think about how much different this holiday season could have been. There's a long road to rehab and we're still not sure if a complete recovery is possible, but we hope for the best. One of the reasons recovery is in the cards is the prompt medical attention they received.

Please take a moment to review the five warning signs of a stroke. Feel free to yoink this image and share it wherever and whenever your heart desires. I got it from here:
I hope you never need to remember the signs, but if this message helps ONE person call 911 in time, then my work here is done.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Using every tool in the toolbox

I was one of those parents that everybody loves to hate. I had to wake The Parasite up to eat for the first few weeks because she wanted to keep on sleeping. By eight weeks, she was sleeping through the night and other than a few teething episodes and short-lived sleep regressions, this kid has been an absolute dream at bedtime for the last two and half years.

Until recently.

Lately she has been having trouble getting to sleep. I'm not talking about the usual toddler stall tactics like "I need to go pee. I need a drink. I need a hug and a kiss." I mean an hour of ballyhooing, screaming, crying fits that finally culminate in an exhausted baby falling asleep between heart-wrenching sobs. It came on suddenly enough that I know it's just another phase. We've been here before, we'll be here again. But that doesn't mean it's not exhausting.

I'm sick today and I was just not in the mood for the shenanigans. In a moment of desperation, I pulled a total Bad Mommy manoeuvre. Tonight, when the bullshit started up I gave her a sip of water and one more trip to the potty, telling her it was the last time she was getting out of bed for the night. Then on the way back to her room, I started singing "Santa Claus is coming to town." I put particular emphasis on the "sees you when you're sleeping and knows when you're awake" bit. And THEN I told her that if she didn't lay down and go to sleep, I was going to call Santa and tell him not to bring her any presents.

My baby is now sleeping like a baby with the Fear of God in her, and I have paved my own path straight to hell. Thank you and goodnight!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The one where she talks about secrets and lies

My family was recently rocked by a secret that my grandmother took to her grave. I won't go into details publicly because God knows enough people are already licking wounds, but suffice it to say there is hurt, confusion and maybe a little bit of anger. At some point, a secret becomes a lie. I don't know exactly when that invisible line is crossed, but keeping a big secret inevitably requires a series of half-truths and lies of omission, just laying in wait for someone to slip up.

When you learn the people you love and trust the most have lied to you, you're left with hurt over whatever the lie was about AND feelings of betrayal. It adds insult to injury. I'm not talking about keeping someone's birthday surprise a secret, I mean BFDs. Big secrets and the lies they eventually become.

I choose to live out loud, even when it's hard because of my hatred of those secrets that become lies. I choose to tell my daughter that her great-grandmother died rather than telling her she went to sleep or she's gone away and will see her another day. Yes, it's probably more difficult than lying, but only in the short term. And who said being the grown up was supposed to be easy, anyway?

The next time you're faced with decision, tell a lie because it's easy or tell the truth even though it's hard, pick truth. It's always the better choice in the long run.

This post is written as part of GBE2 - Week #29 word prompt: Truth. For more info about GBE,  click here

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Je me souviens

On December 6th, 1989, 14 people were shot and killed at L'Ecole Polytechnique in what has become known as the Montreal Massacre. Another 23 were injured before the shooter turned the gun on himself. It was, and is, the largest mass murder in Canadian history.

What heinous crime did the victims commit to deserve such a fate? They were born women. After claiming that he was "fighting feminism," the shooter entered a classroom, separated the men from the women, and opened fire. Room by room, he repeated the process. Men who tried to intervene were also shot, though none of them fatally. To dismiss his actions as those of a madman is too easy, and it makes excuses for it. Random thing, crazy guy. Move along, nothing to see here.  

As a Canadian, as a woman and as the mother of a daughter in a world where women still die every day simply because they were born a girl, it is my duty to remember. May the mothers who lost daughters on that horrible day take some small comfort in knowing that two decades later... Je me souviens.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Got a Lego nut on your list?

The Parasite has recently entered the Duplo years. I see Lego sets with many, many pieces in our future. Building a tower is of our favourite things to do. Sitting on the floor in front of a giant box of blocks, it's fascinating to watch her learn about how things fit together, and about what a cruel master gravity can be. It's really one of my favourite indoor activities because cleaning up rarely involves holding my nose and a damp cloth.

Got a Lego fan of your own on your holiday shopping list? There's still time to shop online for Lego for the holidays!

**Disclosure: If you shop using the link provided, I receive a small commission on the sale.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Course of Treatment

I had a post-surgical follow up with the baby doctor on Wednesday. All systems are go for the plumbing so we're ready to start treatment, which will be daily injections of Gonal-F for me and daily orgasms for The Husband. Hardly seems fair... I tried for something in pill format because I'm just not good with needles, but no dice. In treatment cycles I'll start every day with a wand in the hoohah, a donation to the blood clinic AND a needle in the the belly.

It was too late to start for this cycle (by two days!), the clinic is closed for a couple of weeks over the holidays and will re-open when it's too late for my next cycle, I'm away for a few days in January and then we have a family vacation in February. Both trips involve travel to the U.S. and I'm not keen on running needles past the ever so friendly TSA agents. Our prolonged game of hurry up and wait will continue for a few more months.

We only get three chances with this course of treatment, and The Husband and I have already decided we're not willing to get more expensive. Oops, I mean more aggressive. By The Parasite's birthday in April we'll be done with fertility treatments. We're giving it until the end of next year for something to happen - assisted or not - before we shutter the factory. If The Parasite ends up being an only child, I will be sad but will accept that it wasn't meant to be. That doesn't mean we won't spend the next 12 months giving it our very best shot.