Monday, October 27, 2008

Killing rabbits and baking buns

So Adam and I have been toying with the idea of having another baby. Well, actually, Adam has been toying with the idea. I've been pushing it like a crack dealer.

Hayden is nearly two. That means that even if we were to get pregnant tomorrow, Hayden would be nearly three before his little brother or sister was born. To me, this seems like the perfect amount of time between siblings. Far enough that one is independant and helpful when the infant arrives but not so far that they won't be able to play together in a few years. Plus Hayden will be in pre-K by the time I'd have to go back to work, so I wouldn't have to worry about two in full-time daycare.

Adam's business is picking up and we're finally on top of all of our finances after a rough year. If he can find a way to buy a work truck and business keeps steady, we could be downright comfortable by the time baby number two arrives. Add to that my job's wicked top-up pay (93% of my salary for the first 27 weeks) and you've got a great financial reason to get down to business.

The last time we tried to get pregnant, it happened on the first try. We lost that baby early on. When we were ready, we tried again and BANG got pregnant with Hayden that first month. Don't get me wrong, I know how rare that is (outside of highschool). I know how long and hard some people have to try before they can conceive. I was always thankful that our pipes worked so seemlessly. Problem is, this time around, I can't tell Adam that we should start now because who knows how long it will take. If history repeats itself (as it's apt to do), it will take only one month for my plan to come to fruition. That being said, Murphy's Law always comes into play when you think you've got it figured out. All this to say, only the fates know for sure.

So for those of you who know me outside this blog, I'm asking for your discretion in return for having the inside scoop. I'll announce our success in due time if it comes. And if you catch me nibbling on saltine crackers and looking extra pale, let's just call it an extended hangover for now.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Baking tip #1

For those who may not know, I love cooking. Always have. Baking has, until recently, been completely beyond me. I loved the randomness and creativity involved in cooking (I never use recipes), but found the exact measurements required for baking to be a little too restrictive for my tastes. Lately, I've found a certain comfort in someone telling me exactly what to do and have it turn out just as expected. Nothing else in life ever seems to go that smoothly! And so, without further ado:

Baking tip #1: If you don't have icing sugar, just put some regular granular sugar in your food processor and pulse it. It'll be smooth powder in no time! And with no gluten added! (Some people add 2 tbsp of cornstarch per cup, I find it's unnecessary!)

Let me know if there's any interest in some baking recipes - I've been a mad collector lately and they've all turned out wonderfully! (This is no small task for a beginner baker!)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

As you wish....

Today marks three years of marriage for my husband and I. It's been three years of big changes, tough decisions and a lot of adjustment. We've gone from being a carefree couple to a dedicated family and homeowners. We've grown from two wild and crazy kids living together for kicks into a partnership that epitomizes trust and support. We've moved cities together, birthed our son together, bought a house together, survived job loss together and through all of this, we've developed an amazing love together.

My husband is not perfect. But I dare say he's pretty close.

When I met him, eight years ago, I had a funny feeling that he was the one. It didn't fit with the warnings that he was a dirty dog and a love 'em and leave 'em kind of guy. I had a promise to myself when I was a teenager that I would not make love with more than five guys before I got married. It was a secret way to keep my raging adolescent hormones in check and to weigh the benefit of a night of passion. I felt it was no coincidence when Adam became my fifth.

We had good years and bad through our dating relationship. We even broke up for a few months one year but the fates had other plans for us and brought us back together again. Boy am I ever thankful for that.

Adam is the kind of husband who knows when to quietly hold you and when to offer advice. He understands that a foot rub and takeout can erase lingering grumbles over a bad day at work. Adam knows that romance is the way to my heart and still buys me flowers for no reason at all. He is the one who suggests romantic candlelight and long nights of kissing and caressing. He has a powerful need to protect his family, but he also gives us the room and freedom to make mistakes and to solve those problems on our own. He is generous almost to a fault, giving whatever is needed to those he loves without a second thought. He is a loving father who is firm but silly, gentle and strong. Before anything else, he puts his efforts and love into his relationship with Hayden and I. He makes me feel special and cherished and beautiful and clever and funny.

Adam can fix nearly anything in the house, from building a new door frame to redoing the ancient plumbing in our centrury home. He's probably saved us thousands of dollars by not having to call in the professionals. Adam also does nearly all the housework, including dishes and toilets. He never makes me clean up after I've made dinner and sometimes even does both the meal and the tidy. He helps with laundry (and usually does most of it), grocery shopping, gardening and he does our finances. These are mostly little things, but they're the things that drive most wives crazy. By taking care of all of the daily mundane chores, Adam makes me a better person. He frees me up to do what I love: take care of my family and bundle them up with love.

Babe - when I married you three years ago today, I knew that walking up the aisle to a storybook love song was setting the stage for our lives together. And I think that it's come to fruition. We have conquered the bad guys together, avoided tragedy on our path, built our castle and are now living in the happily ever after.

Thank you for always being my Westley. I will remain forever your Buttercup.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

You do not want to read this

I sometimes forget who I've invited to read this blog. I've got a select few people from work, most of my family and a few blogging friends I've met in my travels here. Added to these are the countless others who are "friends" on FaceBook and follow the trail from my info. (I say "friends" because really, if I haven't talked to you since grade school, you are no more a friend than the lady who makes my breakfast at the cafeteria every morning. Don't get me wrong, she's great and she sure knows her bacon, but I don't tell her about my milk boobs or my suicidal friends.)

So ya, a bit off topic there. I'll often sit down and blog out a rant about work or my husband or the dog poo that built to phenomenal proportions in my yard last week and then I stop and think about my coworkers, my family and my Facebook non-friends and just press Delete. It's a weird juxtaposition. This is my space to empty my head (ya, ya, I know half of you just thought to yourself "not much work to do that Lu!") and get my thoughts straight ("Ha - Lucy straight!"). But this is where people come to learn more about me. So do I really want them knowing that I got strangely sucked into watching a youtube video of a horse peeing the other day? Probably not. But that's me. And I'm not ashamed of me. I just prefer you to believe that I think of things like politics and world peace and solving poverty, not horse pee fetishists. (Oh and you just know THAT will come up in a google search soon).

Anyhow, as you can maybe tell, my brain is fried. It's been a stressful month with work and I've got quite insane. Today I have a meeting with my boss to find out why everyone else in my work stream was promoted to a new position except me (maybe because I blog at work?!). The fun never ends.

And so, I leave you with this deep thought: When someone tells you that they have to pee like a racehorse, do not cross in front of them or put yourself anywhere near their proximity. Trust me.

Monday, October 13, 2008

And then you are two

My heartsong. My sweet baby heartsong. In less than a month, you will turn two years old and leave all traces of babyhood behind you. Those two years feel like a lifetime for me. Because when you were born, I started a new life too. A life as a mother. And it's been the most amazing journey.

When you entered our lives, you were very angry and unsure of the world. The only place you stopped crying was in the arms of your parents. You hated baths, hated sleeping in a crib, a bassinet or a cradle. You hated loud places or changes in routine. You were super sensitive to everything around you. The world was like a loud, obnoxious disco in your mind. We used to spend close to an hour putting you to sleep only to have a phone ring or a dog bark and startle you awake with a cry. Your smiles and giggles were shy and vastly outnumbered by your tears and wails. What a difference a few years can make.

Now that you are nearly two, you have decided that this world will no longer assault you. Instead, you will conquer it. Without fear. You leap from tall places, climb structures more than triple your height without a hesitation. You run like a deer and shout your exuberance over the rooftops.

You have a natural gift for anything that involves a ball. You can dribble a soccer ball better than your teachers. You've also mastered the art of a drop kick to get that ball airborne. You can hit a baseball when I pitch it to you and whack a golf ball on the ground with amazing accuracy. If you spot golf on TV, you insist on watching and you clap every time they putt it into the hole. You've also started shooting hoops and amaze us all with how skillfully you can toss it through the basket. I have no idea where you get your love of sports. It must be ingrained in you from long-past genes.

You still need a lot of touch to feel comfortable and secure. Every morning, you cry out and ask to come and cuddle in our bed for the last hour of your sleep. You curl yourself into me and are soothed and slumbering within seconds. We weaned a couple of weeks ago and you did fantastic with the adjustment. You still reach down my shirt and grab your sisi's when you are scared, tired or need reassurance. Once in a while, you ask for sisi's but you seem content with my answer that the milk is all gone and don't push for them.

You are a creature of habit. Every morning you ask to go "stays" (downstairs) and once we hit the bottom step, you request your "yogut din" (yogurt drink) and a "taw" (straw). Then you sit quietly on the couch under a blanket watching Big Comfy Couch and Little Bear on TV while you wake up and mummy gets ready fro work.

You make your dad and I laugh all the time. You do funny dances, you tickle us, you run away and drop to your belly, covering your eyes to disappear. You skip and sing and can count to five. Just today, you identified your first correct colour - yeyow. Sometimes you point to mysterious booboos (usually on your fingers) and request a "banday" (bandaid). Once we put it on and give that finger a kiss, you're instantly healed and on your way.

You are incredibly caring and loving. Any time I sneeze or cough, you ask me "K mama?" and will keep asking until I tell you that I'm alright. Then you usually follow it up with "I k?" and I must ask if you are okay or face the same barrage. The other night when I came home in tears, you were nearly beside yourself with worry. Although your dad tried to reassure you that I was fine, you wouldn't quit until I told you myself. Then you offered me a hug to make it better. And you know what, it did.

Your cousin Gage is unequivocally your very best friend. You two are inseparable at school. Gage has taught you to stand up for yourself, to trust others and has helped you to gain confidence in yourself. Gage seems to understand you even when no one else can; He acts as your interpreter sometimes. You guys apply the "monkey see monkey do" philosophy whenever you're together - which usually ends in mischief and fits of giggles. You can't understand how much it warms my heart to see you treat Gage not as a cousin, but as your brother.

You love your Puppy (who you call Salem) and give him about 10 cookies a day. You'd give him a hundred if I let you. You gently put your hands on either side of his face and get yours close enough to kiss him on the nose, all the while whispering secret things to him in a high, song-song voice. You love to let him in and out of the yard and we even play hide and seek with him when Daddy isn't home to find us.

Speaking of hide and seek, it's your all time favourite game right now. It usually starts with you "hiding" in the middle of the floor with your eyes covered. I'll find you, tickle you and then run and hide myself. You stalk around the kitchen like a hunter, gently calling my name and listening for my laughter. You have amazing hearing and can usually pinpoint where I am just by sound. Once you find me, you squeal with delight and run to hide yourself. If you think my hiding place is particularly good, you will huddle in with me and call for daddy or Puppy to find us.

You love to help me. Whether it's putting things in the garbage, pouring ingredients for baking, making me tea, vacuuming, cleaning up your spills, or pulling me out of bed in the morning - you are all too willing to lend a tiny hand. Your teachers at school tell me that you are the most helpful in your class and even clear all the kid's dishes after lunch.

In short, you are a joy. You have your moments, like any toddler, but I spend most days completely enamoured with you. It's hard to believe that it's been two years already. And yet, in those two years of life, you have grown to become a completely different person. I can only imagine what you will be like in another two years.

Every day with you is a blessing. You are my little miracle and I love you more than I can put into words. Happy soon-to-be second birthday my big boy. My big, beautiful, loving boy.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Your life matters *

Yesterday, someone told me that they were going to kill themselves. As casually as one might order a coffee, they explained that they were going to end it and how. I launched into my 101 reasons that life is better than death before they diverted to attend to work. I was left shaken and wondering if it was some sort of tasteless and off-colour joke or if this person had just cried out for help from an unlikely source.

A very close friend of mine committed suicide while I lived in Ottawa. I was the last person Chris spoke to before he hung himself. Our conversation was strange, his thoughts not making sense to me. But I did nothing. I didn't see the warning signs. Didn't know how disturbed he was under his charming facade. I was on my way to his house when a friend called to tell me that he was dead. He had hidden all scissors and knives in the house so he couldn't be saved should someone find him in time. I've never forgiven myself. I blame myself for not doing something in time. For not saving his young and promising life.

Yesterday brought all of this screaming back. I was not going to make the same mistake again. I went to our HR department to ask for their help and advice. God bless them - they took my concerns seriously and launched into action. A full scale search ensued when we realized that this person's meeting had been canceled but they were nowhere to be found. For almost two hours, we couldn't find them. For almost two hours, I relived the day before Chris' suicide. For almost two hours I wondered if this person had taken their life because I hadn't acted fast enough. Hadn't refused to let them leave my side. Then, just as the police and this person's spouse were being contacted, they appeared.

I'm happy to say that as of yesterday at 5:00, they were okay. HR and our employee assistance program offered immediate counseling and triage to determine how much of a threat they were to themself. They decided that this person was safe to go home to their family. I left an email in their mailbox explaining why I breached their trust to go to HR. Why I was so quick to act. I had a response last night that they understood and were thankful.

So now I'm left with my own demons terrorizing my mind and body. I can't stop crying. Can't stop shaking. Can't stop thinking of what could have happened. What did happen years ago. I'm going to take the day off of work today. I can't imagine facing this person and not dissolving into a sobbing mass. I do it now just thinking about the whole situation in passing. I thank God that I have my husband and my heartsong here to keep my sane. Adam took care of everything last night and rubbed my feet to help me relax. My baby stroked my hair, asked me if I was okay and then did his darnedest to distract me with games and laughter until he fell asleep.

To any of you out there who are feeling depressed or contemplating suicide, remember this: your life matters. Even if you feel completely alone, there are people out there who need you. Who love you. Your life matters to someone - even if right now it doesn't matter to you. There are people you can talk to to help you work through your problems.
Call 1-800-273 TALK to talk to professional suicide prevention counselors.

* I'm sorry if this post is stilted. Is nonsensical. Today it's more about trying to journal out my issues than sharing a story.