Thursday, May 30, 2013

June Challenge

I will be attempting to do this challenge throughout the month of June!  Any one else want to join me?  There is a blogging prompt for every day of the month.  My weekends are already booked full, but my weekdays are (so far!) looking empty, so I may have to pre-write some of the weekend ones during the weeks!  I wanted to do the Blog Every Day in May challenge and I was too late to start, so I'm looking forward to attempting this one! 

Here are the questions:

1.Family story - how did your parents meet, how many brothers/sisters, tell us what you want.
2. What do you drive? What is you dream car?
3. Biggest indulgence
4. Favorite snack?
5. Do you have any pets?
6. Name you picked out for your kids when you were younger. Bonus: share any name ideas you have now
7. You're in labor: drugs or no drugs. Why?
8. If you had a choice - SAHM?
9. How supportive is your SO in your TTC journey?
10. How do you help get yourself (and or SO) get in the mood to DTD during the fertile period?
11. Describe your wedding.
12. Perfect anniversary - describe it.
13. What's the most interesting vacation you have been on?
14. First job
15. First love
16. What did you have for breakfast today? What do you normally have?
17. Do you drink coffee? Cream/sugar/how do you drink your coffee?
18. If your insurance covered infertility treatments at 100%, unlimited attempts - what would you try and for how long?
19. What's your advice for parenting an adopted child?
20. What sounds reasonable in an open adoption - I.e. how much contact is do-able?
21. Tell me about a TTC blog I don't have on my blog roll - why should I go visit? (No preggos please)
22. What's your favorite children's book?
23. If you had 100,000 that had to be donated to charity what would you do with it?
24. What's your biggest fear about becoming a mom?
25. Describe the contents of your purse. What kind of purse do you have?
26. If you could give advice to a newbie infertile, what would it be?
27. When you were younger, what job(s) did you want to have?
28. Do you speak any other languages? When do you think a child should learn a new language?
29. Tell me the highlights of your college years.
30. What's one thing in your closet you wear when you have a nice occasion? Interpret that as a date night or important job event.

Head on over to Waiting for Baby's blog if you want to join up!  

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Approval Party

On May 18th, four days after we were approved, we had my immediate family down for a little "approval party".

I made a cake.  It was supposed to be half white and half chocolate, and ended up being 3/4 chocolate and 1/4 white.  It was supposed to be iced in pale yellow and have pale green writing on it (trying to go for neutral baby colours).  It ended up looking like John Deere colours.  And then I put saran wrap over it which botched the writing so I had to fix it up after taking the saran wrap back off.  There was also ice-cream and chips and I bought a bouquet of beautiful white with yellow flowers just because I wanted to feel celebrated.



Everybody was able to make it in the end and we had an okay time; most of us played a game called "Camp" we had bought from Cabela's (not baby-related at all, I know).   One of my sisters gave me a 5-year journal to keep track of our adoption journey.

I gave everyone a paper I had written up with FAQ's & A's about adoption, and adoption-friendly language.  I also gave everyone the following photo, which was our Facebook announcement post.


We wanted to do something with Hubby's side, too, but only his parents live close by and it didn't seem to make sense to have a party with just one other couple besides us. So last week Thursday we had them over and we went on a very nice walk to a nearby restaurant where you eat outside, and afterward got ice-cream cones and walked back to our house for more visiting.  Have to get the above picture to them yet.

I'm not planning any baby shower per se, where I expect to get gifts or anything, but Hubby knows I want one yet so I'm looking forward to one day being surprised by that.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

So two weeks ago was Mother's Day.  I wasn't dreading it, probably because we were 2 days away from being approved and that was exciting.  Last year on Mother's Day, my hubby woke me up and told me "Happy Pre-Mother's Day" which was terribly sweet.  The day before Mother's Day this year I reminded him how he had done that and he said he would say it again this year.  The day of, we woke up, got ready to go to church at my brother's, went there, visited.  I wished my sis-in-law a Happy Mother's Day and she wished the same to me, saying something to the affect of me being close enough to a mom by now; I can't remember exactly but it was very kind of her (it's quite nice sometimes having a brother & sis-in-law who have adopted and get it).  We had church and then headed to my mom's.  At that point Hubby said "Happy Pre-Mother's Day" and then apologized for forgetting.  It was okay; when I realized he was forgetting I just determined not to remind him or hold it against him, since both would make him feel worse.

We spent the first half of the day at my mom's.  It was her birthday as well, so a doubly special day for her.  I gave her two little gifts.  We had a wiener roast for lunch, went for a walk in the gravel pits, and played bocce.  It was a nice day, although I felt bad for my mom that only half her children were able to come.  At lunch when my brother prayed before the meal, he not only thanked God for my mom, but also for me, and about me becoming a mom soon, and that this would be a special year for us.  I've never been included in a Mother's Day prayer, so it was very touching!!

The second half of the day we spent at my mom-in-law's.  I gave her a little gift and we watched the Survivor finale.  Yay, Cochran!  Love that guy, lol :D

That was pretty much my Mother's Day this year.  Two days later we got approved.  And now we wait and see what next year's Mother's Day is like.

Friday, May 24, 2013

My Arm

So I have something wrong with my right arm, have had so for probably close to 5 years.  What happens is if I have it in just the wrong position (usually the sorta throwing a football or baseball position) it "snaps".  The muscle around the bicep area makes a snapping sound, "locks up", and I am in big pain.  Someone, me or Hubby, has to hold my arm level until after a few seconds or usually minutes, it "releases" and I can put it down and the agonizing pain is gone.  It remains sore and feels like it could easily "snap" again for about a day or two.

I have gone to two doctors (general practitioners) (my own and a walk-in clinic doctor), my chiropractor, my massage therapist, and a physiotherapist about this.  None of them took me seriously.  None of them saw my arm actually do this.  So nothing changed.

It doesn't happened very often.  Only every few months.  But I am in constant "careful mode" with it.  I have completely modified how I do normal day-to-day things so it doesn't "snap".  I have also been concerned about it doing this when I [finally get a chance to] hold my baby, and I end up dropping him/her!!  So the last time it did this (about a month ago) I made an appointment with my doctor asap.  It had been a particularly painful one and I'd hardly done anything to make it happen.  I went in bound and determined to "make" my doctor listen and do something about it, haha!  Thankfully she took me seriously.  Even though she didn't have a clue what was wrong.  She didn't think an MRI would show anything or help me anything if it showed something.  But I was able to get her to refer me to a very good sports injury clinic (that had been my plan going in).

So I went to the sports injury clinic on May 2 and explained to the doctor what my arm does.  He asked me some questions, moved my arms about, and then sent me for an xray down the hall.  After the xray I went back down the hall to see him again.  He said the xray had shown nothing but that didn't surprise him.  He then proceeded to tell me what was wrong!  What a wonderful thing it is to have a diagnosis!

Apparently it's not my arm at all.  It's my shoulder.  My shoulder is partially dislocating every time this happens!!  It's called "recurrent partial subluxations".  And apparently there's laxity in both my shoulders, meaning, I assume, that my other shoulder could do this, too (I have felt it in my left arm that it could, but it hasn't been serious enough for me to mention it).  With full dislocations of a shoulder, usually a doctor has to put the shoulder back in place.  With partial dislocations, it goes back on it's own, but it sure is painful until that point!  Such a relief to have a name and someone explain it and believe me and actually know what this is!  There is a great article here about it.  In the article I learned that the cause can be a seizure disorder!  (Which as you may or may not know, I have.)  It also typically occurs after years of repetitive activity.  My seizure disorder (Juvenile Myoclonic Epilpesy) is a kind in which I have jerking of my arms.  I've had millions of jerks since probably 1999.  My husband has also caught me under my arms when I have been falling backwards during a grand mal.  After a grand mal, due to the seizure, my biceps are always too painful for me to lift my arms.  Since I am by no means a pitcher or a football player, I think it's safe to assume my epilepsy is the reason for my recurrent partial subluxations.

What else I liked about this doctor is that he was then determined to do something about the problem.  So I have an MRI coming up on June 23, after which I will see him again.  Then I believe I will be seeing a surgeon.  Yes, surgery.  Yikes!  Apparently the ligaments to my shoulder could be stretched or torn from the bone and would need to be tightened up or reattached.  I guess we will see what the future holds!  But it makes me really happy that there's a plan in place and that there will possibly finally be a cure to this!    

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Stars on Ice

For our anniversary Hubby had bought us tickets to go see Stars on Ice.  We'd never gone and I was so excited and it was SO worth it!  He ended up enjoying it just as much as I.  We had good seats, I loved how there was no boards up around the rink and there were people sitting at the same level as the ice, so it felt really personal and you could see well, and the performers interacted with the audience.  They didn't seem embarrassed or upset the (rare) times they messed up and fell.  I guess I am so used to watching figure skating on TV during Olympics or other competitions that I was surprised and happy at how relaxed and outgoing the skaters were when I'm used to seeing them serious.  My favourite was (and is) Patrick Chan but I also loved all 3 of the couples.  And Kurt Browning performed to Gene Kelly's Singin' in the Rain and there's just no way you can go wrong with that.  The show was really a performance and the skaters are true entertainers.  I think we might just be hooked into going every year!  Oh, and the show was sponsored by Lindt and so we all got chocolates :)  Here's some pics; they aren't very good and of course don't do justice because you can't hear the music or see the movement, but hopefully it'll still give you an idea of the fun we had.

Me excited before the show starts :)

Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir, Kurt Browning, Jeffrey Buttle, Patrick Chan

I loved the big groups of the whole cast.
Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford - this one was really neat how they used that blue scarf (currently tied around his waist) throughout the routine.
Sinead & John Kerr - loved this Scottish one to bagpipe music!!

And of course during their bows at the end he had to show the audience he was, indeed, wearing something beneath his kilt ;D

Patrick Chan :) 

Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir

Kurt Browning skating to Gene Kelly's Singin' in the Rain - with real water raining down!

The last performance, with the whole cast.  Loved the outfits!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Our 8th Anniversary

Hubby & I had our 8th anniversary on April 16th.  We didn't do much then, but went away to a cabin from April 26 - 29.  We spent a very relaxing weekend, just reading, going for drives to do some birding, went for some walks, watched a little TV, soaked in the jacuzzi tub, had some nice homemade meals, did a puzzle, etc.  It was quite a nice weekend weather-wise.  When we got there we were surprised at the amount of snow, but it melted drastically throughout the weekend.  Here are some pics.

Enjoying doing some photography on our first walk.

We planned on having a wiener roast until we discovered the firepit was still under snow!  So we barbecued them and still ate outside at the picnic table - despite the snow and ice-covered lake, the sun was nice & hot.

Hubby soaking up some sunshine in the porch.

We had a fondue - the first time I've ever tackled a 3-course fondue.  First goat cheese (above), then oil for meat, then chocolate!
Me working on my donut puzzle.  We worked on it all weekend and it was a lot of fun!

The completed donut puzzle!

Hubby doing some birding on a trail we took a really nice walk down.

A whole lotta American Coots all in one place - hilarious!

An American Bittern attempting to hide from us - also cracked me up :D

Porcupine!  I could hear the cutie crunching on buds or whatever he was eating :)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Little Girl on the Bench

Five days ago I went to the mall in the city on my own.  Something happened that shook me up and I doubt I will forget it any time soon.

I spent a wonderful day clothes shopping all by myself.  When I was just about done for the day I decided to hit Wal-Mart yet.  In that mall, there is a long, wide hallway that leads from the mall to the Wal-Mart.  It has a few benches along the side with windows and some arcade games and some bikes for sale, but mainly it is just a very busy hallway with people walking both ways.

I have what my friend Jaymi refers to as "baby radar".  I cannot help but look at every baby and glance inside every stroller if I can!  Hubby & I are particular suckers for East Indian and Asian kids - especially those oh-my-goodness adorable Filipino cuties!  So anyway, I entered the hallway and my eye was involuntarily drawn to a little girl (possibly because she was Asian or possibly because she was just plain adorable or possibly because the mommy-shaped hole in my heart just can't help it) sitting on a bench.

I took a few more steps until I was past her and then slowly came to a stop.  Something was wrong.  She was alone.  There was no adult around who seemed in charge.  Keep in mind she was probably only around 3 or 4.  She was sitting cross-legged on the bench with her stuffed bunny, a container of snacks, and was reading a picture book.  She looked 100% content.

I didn't know what to do.  I glanced at the other people coming through the hall.  I looked them in the eye to see if they had also noticed the little alone girl?  Either no one did, no one cared, or everyone handled it as poorly as I did -- I worried and wondered a little more, than went into Wal-Mart.  Please don't jump all over me.  I have beaten myself up enough for not doing something about the situation immediately.  I browsed a bit, tried on some clothes, bought nothing, and headed out towards the hallway again.  My first thought was, was she still there?

She was.  I headed down the hallway watching her and slowed down as I got nearer.  At this point, shortly before her, there was another bench.  My ear caught the words of the middle-aged couple sitting there.  The lady was indignantly talking about the little girl left there all alone.  I immediately stopped and asked her "Do you know why?"  She said "Why?"  And I said "No, I don't know."  I sat down with the couple and they told me they had been sitting there for 20 minutes (they must've come by right after me) already and nobody had come back for her.  They told me they had called security, and they weren't planning on budging until someone came!  Wow, I wish I had responded like that right away!  The lady was right riled up, and although her man was fairly calm, I think he felt as strongly as she did.  I stayed with the couple but security wasn't coming.  I made a joke that if she was free for the taking, Hubby & I are adopting and would gladly take her -- it was a joke made out of the stress of the situation for sure.  We continued to talk.  The lady had asked the little girl where her mommy was, to which she replied, "Shopping."  (Can I just say What?!?!?!?!?!?!?!)  Then she asked her "Do you want me to find your mommy?"  to which the little girl replied "No."  Eventually I said if they weren't going to leave, that I would be on my way.  They adamantly said they weren't going anywhere.  However, I was reluctant to leave and ended up staying with them.

Eventually a lady around my age or perhaps a bit younger came down the hallway pushing a stroller (a travel system so I'm assuming there was an infant in it).  She slowed down and stopped at the little girl and the little girl started gathering up her things.  The young lady looked totally at ease.  The couple I was with jumped up and marched up to her.  I went with (I was like some tag-a-long).  The lady pointed at a sign across the hall from the bench that I hadn't even seen that said "Do Not Leave Children Unattended" and proceeded to rip into the young lady about how she shouldn't leave her child.  The young lady just quietly said "I'm sorry" each time the lady told her something about how dangerous it was, etc.  She didn't look the least bit remorseful.  I don't think she had a clue how badly things could've gone -- either that someone twisted could've taken her child or that Child and Family Services could've taken away her child.  Oh, and her reason for leaving her daughter there?  "She was tired.  She couldn't walk anymore."  Seriously?!?!?!?!?

We then walked away and I started to cry a little.  The couple then said how "some people can't have kids and then there's women like that who shouldn't be allowed to have kids".  I cried more.  I then told them (since I tend to be an over-sharer) "I know I don't know you guys at all, but my husband and I are one of those couples" and something like "we would do anything to have a little girl like that" or something, at which point the lady said something sympathetically (I think it was "Oh you poor thing, I have a friend like that") and proceeded to reach up and pull me down for a big hug.  Yes, I received a hug from a stranger and cried on her shoulder in the mall.

After that we talked a little more, a little more light-heartedly, and discovered that the man and I have similar heritage, which was kind of funny.  I then decided to go straight home because I was shook up.  All done shopping for sure.

I hope the young lady learned her lesson but I honestly don't know if she has.  I know that I learned a lot from that couple that day.  To watch over those in trouble, to stand up to people if they are endangering someone, and to befriend those who are hurting.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A*P*P*R*O*V*E*D


Yesterday, May 14, Tuesday, 2013 was the big day.  We are approved; we are officially waiting parents; we are "paper pregnant"!  Technically, we could get "The Call" any day.

I can assure you it doesn't feel the least little bit real yet.  I must admit I'm a little disappointed at that.  It doesn't even feel surreal, it just feels...the same.

Yesterday we went to Adoption Options and read through our homestudy report.  We then marked anything that was incorrect.  Doing this, Hubby's perfectionist side came out strong much to his annoyance, and my "hey, this is good enough!" side came out in opposition.  Then we showed our corrections to the Program Supervisor (she is a super-bubbly, kind woman) and then we each signed it plus she did (the social worker will have signed it today).  At that point we officially became "in the box".  It was sort of anticlimactic.  We went to pay, and the program supervisor was already re-typing our edited homestudy.  We will be getting a copy of it in the mail along with our official letter of approval.  I'm excited to get that letter.  On it it will state that May 14 is our approval date, and that is the date we update our homestudy every year.

I wonder if updating our homestudy every year on or around Mother's Day will be hard or not.  On one hand, it could be very hard to be reminded every year that I am not a mom yet (not like there aren't reminders like that everywhere anyway).  On the other hand, it may be nice to have something to do to improve our chances of being picked every year around that time.

After we left the agency, Hubby wasn't happy because he didn't feel the report was a 100% accurate.  And he knew that his mood was getting me down when I wanted to be celebratory, which further discouraged him.  We kept talking about it without getting mad at each other which was really nice.  As the afternoon went on I think he felt more okay with things.

We went to the new Cabela's in the city and ran some errands and then in the evening had a celebration supper at Famous Dave's.  The meal ended up making me feel ill/strange so I didn't eat a lot but it was still nice to go out.

After that we went home where we took the above picture of us :)  Seriously, we couldn't not do a pic like that!

I'm wondering when things will sink in.  So far almost everyone I tell is more excited than me - and I am a very excitable person!  Right now life just feels the same.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Homestudy Report is In!!

Our social worker had told us on Saturday the 4th that she would have our homestudy report completed and in to Adoption Options by Monday the 13th.  Well, yesterday, Wednesday the 8th, I got an email from AO saying the report is already in!!  I was so excited (still am)!  The email said "Hi Rhonda, the report is complete! Are you guys able to come in next week to review the report and jump in the box?!"  ("In the box" is the phrase used to say "approved" because the agency literally puts our info on an index card and puts it in a little box with all the other approved families, and go through that box when matching with birthparents.)  I totally didn't want to wait all the way til next week, but really I guess that is not too long to wait at all, in the grand scheme of things!  We are going in on Tuesday the 14th, the earliest that worked.  Two days after Mother's Day will very likely be the day that we officially become waiting parents

Monday, May 6, 2013

Last Homestudy Interviews!

So on Saturday the social worker came to our home.  All in all I felt it went better than the last interviews.  I felt more at ease, and I felt I gave better answers.

She was supposed to come at 3.  Around 1 the doorbell rang and I flew into the bathroom and started frantically combing my hair.  Hubby went to the door and it was...just someone else.  So we calmed down again (well, I tried to calm down; Hubby's always calm).  The house was in as perfect order as it could be, so I asked Hubby if we could play a game to just get my mind distracted.  We played one round, and part way into the second round, the doorbell rang.  The game kind of got thrown haphazardly into its box and put somewhere.  She was about 20 minutes early!  She apologized for being early and asked if that was okay - well, of course we're not going to turn her away!

She started off by telling us this would be much shorter than our last interviews.  That one was 2 1/2 hours which I already thought was somewhat short.  We then gave her a little tour of the house.  I first showed her what will be the nursery.  It is full of boxes and my scrapbooking table.  Naturally she asked where we will put all that when we get a baby.  Hm, I've wondered that myself!  Then the kitchen, utility room, dining area, living area, bathroom, our bedroom, and the backyard.  Mostly she was interested in our renovations and she kept exclaiming how curious she was!

Then was sat down at the table.  She asked us questions that related to parenting and adoption, which is more what I had expected to be asked last time.  What do we want for our children (to be successful, or rich, or confident, or whatever), what did our parents do that we never want to do, could our children ever do anything that would cause us to disown them (!), what would we do if a birthmom just loved us and thus phoned us very frequently, where are the closest schools, what do we think of public/private/homeschool, what if our child chooses not to have the same beliefs as us, where do we keep medications and where is a safe place we can put them when the time comes.....I can't remember them all.

Here's a funny story:  She asked us some basic questions, like square footage of our place, did we have any alcohol in the house, and then she asked if we had any firearms?  To this I replied "No" and Hubby replied "Yes" to which I immediately responded with "What?!?"  He said "We have one smoke detector there and another one there."  Yeah, he had understood fire alarms, not firearms!  :D  Thankfully the social worker was able to laugh with us about that one!

All in all she was only over for an hour!  I was much happier with the way this one turned out.  Perhaps it was having met her before, perhaps it was having been through one interview meeting and knowing a little more what to expect, perhaps it was Hubby being willing to let me talk, perhaps it was being in our own home.  I didn't even cry, and I'm in PMS now! 

So what happens now?  She writes up the report, which she says she will have completed within a week, and it'll be at Adoption Options by the 13th.  Then AO will let us know, and we'll go in, read it, and sign in.  And then we'll be approved and waiting!