Thursday, January 31, 2008

Stupid cold...

That's my excuse for having been an absent blogger. I swear it has nothing to do with being lazy and opting to lay on the couch reading and napping instead of sorting out the myriad thoughts in my head and getting them down on paper. Or screen, as the case may be.

I had the sniffles. Now I have the sinus congestion. I sound not unlike The Family Guy's Lois.


This morning the face of an absolutely gorgeous little girl with chubby cheeks and great big brown eyes greeted me from the front cover of The Toronto Star. About 7 months old, she was found face-down in the freezing cold stairwell of a Toronto strip mall, whimpering. And abandoned.


They still don't know who she is. No one has identified this precious little soul. No one wants her back enough to claim her.

It makes my heart ache when children are discarded like this. It makes me want to scream until my throat bleeds at the unfairness of a world where some people make babies so easily and so frequently that they just drop off the extras in staircases like unwanted kittens, and other people spend thousands of dollars and years of their lives trying to make just one healthy, take-home baby. And sometimes never succeed.

There is no fair. There is only the lot you're given.

I've been having some wild dreams lately.

The other night, while Britney Spears and I were looking for snacks in my Mom and Dad's basement while we folded laundry, she casually told me that I reeeeeally needed to cover all the gray in my hair.

If anyone can decipher that one, please let me know.

The other day I wrote a scathing post about Bush and his 900+ lies, but My Beloved suggested I not post it.

Party pooper.

We took My Beloved's parent's cat to the vet this week to have an ingrown claw looked at (gross).

She was My Beloved's cat once upon a time (and he still thinks of her as his), but she's lived with my in-laws for 9 years without him, so I kind of think of her as theirs.

However, as I sat in the vet's waiting room with my fingers poking through the carrier bars scratching her worried little head in an attempt to soothe her, she suddenly felt like mine.

And I can't quite get her out of my head.

I'm such a sucker for small things that need me.

I have now let two two-for-one movie coupons expire.

Good GOD, we need to get out more.

I was stuck in traffic for a while tonight, and while I was sitting at a very long light (that I didn't make it through the first time), I noticed I could smell a fire.

Fires are nothing but cozy to me, reminding me of chilly fall days at the cottage; my Grandma lighting her prized pot-bellied stove to keep us warm; and the unmistakable smell of Tasso Lake wood being burned on crisp winter nights at the house my Grandparents used to live in once upon a time, just around the corner from ours.

All kinds of cozy.

So I sat there in the car, breathing the smell in deeply.

Until I realized I was at the intersection by the funeral home...that has a crematorium on the property.

I don't know. I just don't know. But I stopped breathing deeply just in case.

I know it's morbid. Really morbid. And I can't help but wonder if only the perpetually bereaved would even think it...

Tomorrow is February. We'd have been the parents of twins by the end of the month.

But instead, I'm pining over an old cat that doesn't belong to me and going to therapy to sort out 5 years' worth of grief.

'Cause that's fun too.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Okay, so I'm hooked up to the heart monitor. Have been for 6 hours. Have I had one single little flutter? One trace of a palpitation? One itty, bitty blip? No.

They've plagued me for the better part of two months, tormenting me endlessly, and now when I WANT them to come, they won't.

Doesn't that just figure? Doesn't that just flucking figure??

Because the thing is, I wear this for two weeks OR until I record 14 "episodes". Yes, it's a relatively small device (ipod size vs. the extra-large Walkman size one I wore 17 years ago), but one of the two sticky disks (I'm sure there's an actual name for them) that keeps the electrode next to my skin is ever-so-unflatteringly placed just below my collarbone to the immediate right of the middle of my neck. In plain view unless I'm wearing a turtle neck or a nun's habit.

And I have neither.

And this is annoying.

I scoffed when the nurse, a woman in her 50's wearing braces that seemed about 10 times too big for her mouth, told me the two week or 14 episode rule. I told her I'd likely be back in a few days given the frequency of the flutters.

She didn't seem impressed by this, by the way.

I know I should be happy, not to mention relieved, that the flutters seem to have magically calmed down. And I am. But I'd be much happier if I wasn't connected to a heart monitor by two sticky disks, one very visible and increasingly itchy, for what may now be two full weeks.

The fun never stops.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Commercial break

I'm such a schmuck. Instead saying thank you for all the supportive and wonderfully sweet comments - and for taking the time to let me know that you're our there and that you care - I launched into a heart palpitation festival of woe.

Please ignore me.

Well, after I say a very heartfelt (albeit belated) thank you.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tick Tock

It's funny when they call your bluff, isn't it? The doctors, I mean.

I went in for a routine blood pressure check this morning, and while I was there I mentioned some annoying heart palpitations I've been having on and off for the last month or so (which have secretly being making me crazy. Crazier).

I've had palpitations for as long as I can remember (usually when I'm overtired or stressed out of my gourd), and was checked out very thoroughly 17 years ago when they seemed particularly frequent to me. Everything was normal. Benign, even.

The thing is, it didn't really stop me from worrying about it. My mind is like that. Impenetrable to anything even remotely resembling relief or reassurance.

I was hoping she'd slough off my fears, wave her hand dismissively and tell me it was stress. All in my head. Nothing to worry about.

Instead she said, "Hmmmmmm", looked concerned and listened to my ticker intently.

It seemed normal (kind of like Michigan J. Frog, who'll only sing for the guy who opens up the time capsule), but just to be sure, I'm scheduled for a heart monitor hook up in the next few days.

Two weeks with a portable monitor making me even more aware of my fluttering heart than I already am.


Except that maybe this time if nothing is wrong, I'll believe it.

Shut up. I might.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Wii, Wii, Wii all the way home

I sustained a Wii-related shoulder injury on the weekend.

You know you're either in very bad shape or very old when you hurt yourself playing imaginary bowling.

While explaining the intricacies of the set-up and play of the game, my brother-in-law (a much younger and injury-free man who owns the Wii), told My Beloved and I that you can "make people". By this he meant that you can make little cartoon caricatures of yourself to represent you on screen while you're playing.

But of course I took the opportunity to make a morbid joke of it all.

"You can make people with Wii? So THAT's The problem! We've been going about this all the wrong way. We just needed a Wii!"

There's nothing like a room full of nervous laughter and averted eyes to confirm the bombing of an ill-fated joke.

But I still think it was funny.

My therapist wonders if maybe I use humour to avoid dealing with some of my pain. I like her and all, and so far the sessions have helped quite a bit, but she's going to have to dig a little deeper than this, I think.

Because really, it doesn't get more obvious that that.

Of course I do.

Now getting me stop, there's the challenge.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The flipside

I suppose it'll make me look reallllly needy and selfish if I beg you to stay, huh? If I tell you that your comments mean the world to me and that I read and ponder and re-read every single one, and that even though I've abandoned you I still want you to stay with me and hold my hand, right?

This doesn't make me look good at all...

But since I seem to be into telling the ugly truth these days, there you go.

Don't leave me. Please?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

An apology

I've been a terrible blog friend lately. I've been reading sporadically at best and posting comments even less.

I don't know why I feel the need to explain and apologize (my therapist, after just three sessions, feels comfortable enough to make fun of my need to apologize constantly. I don't know if I should be amused or perturbed by this, quite frankly). Nonetheless, explain and apologize I shall do.

In a nutshell, it's safer just to stay here, inside this little box.

When I first stumbled across this community of mourning bloggers a month or so after Thomas died, my experience was very similar to those of the grieving mothers I found here. Not exactly, of course. The circumstances that brought us to a place of such deep grief were different, but we were all more or less in the same place, dealing with the same sorrows and the same struggles. It was a refuge. A home filled with people who understood in a way no one in my "real" world did.

Fast forward nearly three years, and I feel like I'm treading water in a great big ocean all by myself. So many of those mourning mothers that I once felt such a connection to have, thankfully, gone on to bear healthy, living children. Others are pregnant now. Others, having made the leap from mourning mother to mourning mother of a living child, are now considering taking the TTC plunge yet again.

And I haven't moved. I've gone backwards with losses four and five, combined.

I'm not fishing for sympathy here. It is what it is.

I'm glad so many people - so many wonderful friends - have found the peace and joy that a new pregnancy and/or healthy child have brought. I just sometimes can't read about it.

The ugly truth. There it is. I sometimes can't read about it.

I'm tormented by the thought that I may never have that extra dose of healing peace a new, healthy pregnancy reportedly brings mourning mothers. They say it doesn't fill the holes, but they say it helps. More than they ever imagined.

What if I never get that help? Where do I find it then? Where is my help? My peace?

So I slink back to my safe little box where everything stays the same and pretend that it doesn't feel like the world is moving on without me.

For now that's my peace.

And I'm sorry. Just don't tell my therapist I said so.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Retail therapy

So we went out and got a chair for the newly painted office.

It was a little more than the $1.36 we spent on Friday, but it was still a very good deal. And I like it. And it soothes me. And I will buy things, dammit, because there's a hole in my heart and I'm not eating enough to fill it.

And that's the way it goes.

Now as for you, thank you so much for the reassurances - all of you. I can't fathom the guilt ever leaving me. I don't know how it's possible to get rid of something that feels like it runs through every fiber of my being, but it does help to know I'm alone in pointing the big ugly finger of blame my way. At least there's that.

And Amy, yes, I remember you. It's so nice to "see" you - and to know that you don't blame me either. Thank you. Seriously. Thank you.

And Heather, in case you think I wasn't listening, check out - floor lamps GALORE. Poke. Poke. Poke.

And My Beloved, thank you. Over and over and over again, thank you.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Identity crisis

I've always had at the very least a vague notion of who I was. Or what I was going to be. Or what I wanted to become.

And I realized today, as I was wandering from the bank to the grocery store to pick up some things I forgot yesterday, that I don't have that clarity anymore.

I have no idea who I am.

I know how this happened. I know very well that the turmoil of trying and losing and trying and losing and trying and burying and healing and trying and losing has done this to me. I'm aware of the path that lead me to this distressing Tuesday afternoon realization.

My problem is, how do I fix it?

I feel like I'm lost inside this person who breeds nothing but pain. I've hurt so many people in the process of trying to bring a child into the world, and it's a terrible, gnawing, awful feeling.

They will say, My Beloved and my therapist, that it's not my fault - that I didn't do anything. That I am not to blame.

But I'm the vessel. I'm the great hope. And I'm nothing but hopeless.

Part of the reason I'm reluctant to talk about the whole baby business here is because I'm terrified of dragging people I love along with me for yet another hellish ride.

There are days, moments really, when I wish that I could just go away. Leave everyone and everything behind and disappear, never to wound again.

I love too much to do this, not to mention the fact that I'm far too needy to wander off and start a new life away from everyone I adore and depend on.

But the fantasy is lovely. Imagine a life where no one expected anything of me. Where no one could be hurt by me. Where no one pitied me, worried about me, or waited, with bated breath, for good news from me. Just imagine that.

I suppose no one has that kind of life. And I know the grass is always greener and I'm lucky as hell to have so many people who do care so much about me when there are people in the world who are desperately lonely - and very much alone.

I just wish I didn't feel like all I've done is let the people I love down and bring them such unbearable sorrow.

It's a pretty shitty feeling.

Monday, January 14, 2008

We're on a roll...

Tonight it was Costco. We came home with Downy, organic cereal, banker's boxes, honey, vanilla, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, and 32 rolls of toilet paper.

As My Beloved pointed out, this is what happens when we (and by that he means me) go on a diet. Instead of eating, we buy stuff.

So far we've been practical and relatively frugal (I had a coupon for the toilet paper and Downy, and of course Friday's Bulk Barn haul was, you'll recall, just $1.36). But the longer I go without regular servings of chocolate, the more extreme the purchases will become, I suspect.

I'm thinking a club chair for our newly painted office...

If I can't eat, don't have a baby, and can't garden (for another few months, anyway), at least I can still shop. They can't take that away from me.

If you're looking for a personal shopper (and I do more than just purchase cleaning products and high-fiber food items, just so you know), please give me a call. Spending someone else's money is every bit as satisfying as spending my own. It's the thrill I'm after, really.

Although I do want a club chair...

Friday, January 11, 2008

Rock on

Sooooo, it's Friday night. We're grown ups. We have a car. We have an entertainment budget. We have money in the entertainment budget. We don't need to find a babysitter (sigh). We don't have to get up in the morning. We don't have any family obligations - or, really, any obligations at all.

So what, you might be wondering, did we do with ourselves (although clearly not for very long because It's 9:31pm and we're back home already)?

We went to Bulk Barn and spent $1.36 on some wheat bran and brown rice.

We browsed through a couple of other stores first (a Benix outlet and some sort of "urban chic" furniture and accessory store filled with overpriced urban chic crap that 20-something urban chic-sters covet but can't afford), but settled on Bulk Barn as a repository for our Friday night entertainment money.

As we were pulling out of the parking lot, chuckling at our ancient selves, I commented that it may have been the most boring Friday night itinerary ever, but when you're doing it with the right person, it's somehow fun. And undeniably cozy.

The right person makes everything right.

You hear people ask, "how do you know you've found the one?" And now I know the answer. When a Friday night trip to Bulk Barn is fun, that's how you know you have a keeper.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

This 'n that. Again.

I promised a raspberry bran muffin recipe.

I lied.

I'll post it (although I don't know who, beside My Beloved and I who share a strange preoccupation with fibre and its myriad sources, will care) but not today. Because the recipe is alllll the way downstairs. And I'm not.

Sometimes my vacuum cleaner sounds like Chewbacca. Usually, for some reason, when I'm doing our bedroom. This amuses me no end.

And I needed to share.


I know I haven't talked about our baby and/or adoption plans here for quite some time. To be honest I really haven't talked about them anywhere for quite some time. Except, of course, with My Beloved.

I know it's odd, given how much information I've divulged in the past, but for some reason I just want to hold it all close to me right now. It feels like all I've done for nearly five years now is raise hopes and dash them. Over and over and over again.

We do have a plan. More or less. As much of a plan as it's possible to have under the circumstances (we've learned the hard way how laughable it is to make "firm" plans), but for now they belong to us.

We've trod some very difficult ground together with our whole worlds watching, and we just need to go it alone for a while.

With, please, no questions asked.

I'm not being cryptic here. I'm not pregnant. I'm just saying the silence is on purpose. We need the space. I need the space.


Want to know something un-fucking-believable? I would have been having the twins next month. NEXT. MONTH.

I was due right around Thomas' birthday (the 9th of March), but I would have been induced at 37 or 38 weeks if I hadn't already had them.

So it would have been February.

Again with the "would haves".

I'm so done with the would haves...


I haven't had chocolate in days.

This would probably account for yesterday's fantasy about diving naked into a gigantic caramel-filled chocolate so I could swim around in it, taking in great gulps of caramel and nibbling at the sides of the chocolate.

It's possible that I may love chocolate just a little too much.

Monday, January 07, 2008

If you're in the greater Toronto area...

From The Toronto Star
January 3, 2008

Lieutenant-governors usually bring their own priorities and causes to the largely ceremonial position.

But in a welcome move, David Onley, who was sworn in as Ontario's 28th lieutenant-governor in September, is carrying on a campaign for native literacy that his predecessor, James Bartleman, championed throughout his five-year term in office.

Onley launched a book drive this week that will collect books for native youth in isolated fly-in communities in Northern Ontario. New children's books can be donated until Jan. 18 at Ontario Provincial Police detachments across the province, and at Toronto police stations.

The drive builds on previous efforts by Bartleman, who headed two campaigns that collected some 2 million books for remote communities in Ontario, Nunavut and Quebec. He also set up summer reading camps and a reading club for native children in Northern Ontario.

Boosting literacy, and opportunities, among native youth is a crucial antidote to the dire poverty, appalling living conditions and high suicide rates that plague many remote reserves. Onley deserves high praise for taking up this worthy cause.

If this has tickled your philanthropic fancy, here is a fantastic place to get books at incredible prices - sometimes up to 80% off. And there's still lots of time to order and have the books delivered to your home before the January 18th drop-off date.

Just a thought...

(I bet you're surprised this post has nothing to do with food, eh? Don't worry - tomorrow I'm posting an amazing raspberry bran muffin recipe! Mmmmm. Muffins.)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Free to good home!

In the spirit of de-cluttering and in keeping with the theme of food, I have available to the first commenter who wants it a FREE (albeit used) copy of Paula Deen's memoir, "It Ain't All About the Cookin.'"

A very sweet friend sent it to me as a surprise treat one day when I really needed a surprise treat. After I read it I lent it to my Mom, so it's made its rounds in my circle and I think I should release it to the wider world now.

A literary pay-it-forward, if you will.

So if you want it (and you're quick enough) it's yours. Leave me your e-mail address in your comment and we'll work out the logistics that way.

Ah, food.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

This 'n that. Mostly food.

I made really yummy raspberry bran muffins after dinner tonight. I started Weight Watchers (again) today, and bran muffins seemed like a healthy alternative to the chocolate orgy I've been unashamedly engaged in for the better part of the last month.

I ate two. With margarine. But since they're 100% chocolate-free, I think I'm golden.


I'm hungry.


As much as I want to lose more weight (read: re-lose what I lost and gained back), I think a lot of my desire to jump back on the the Weight Watchers bandwagon hinges on my need for control.

When I first started seeing some success on WW back in '06, I was as thrilled by my need for smaller pants as I was of my ability to control the body that had failed me and Thomas so horrendously.

I still want smaller pants. But yeah, I think this is still as much about control as anything else.

I don't really care, it's just interesting to note.


I forgot how all consuming food and weight loss and hunger is during the first week of Weight Watchers.

You might want to skip the next week of posts. I'm just saying.


I had lunch with an elementary school friend I hadn't seen in 23 years last week. We found each other via Facebook (good GOD I love that thing) and after several Scrabulous games and messages back and forth we decided to host our own two-person reunion.

I know I shouldn't, but it's so very hard not to judge people by the way they react to Thomas - his life and death. His story.

We all know someone who has disappointed us - who has retreated in fear, never to be seen again. We all know people who prefer not to talk about it for reasons we just have to hope have more to do with them wanting to protect us than themselves. We all know people who just can't handle it.

Sadly, we just do.

But Stacy wasn't one of those people. She cried great big tears all over the table, oblivious to everyone else in the restaurant, after gently asking me to tell his story. She cried like it happened to her. She told me that she wished we'd gotten back in touch a long time ago so that she'd have been able to be there for me when he died.

She did everything right. Somehow she just knew how.


We didn't win the $36 million dollar 6/49 jackpot tonight.

I guess I'll continue to make my own muffins in the future. No Alice for me.


Really, I'm huuuuungry.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


I've never really liked New Year's Eve. I'm so gushingly sentimental about everything that even the turning of a new year easily makes me misty eyed and melancholic.

The past two New Year's Eves - when I've been more than happy to leave the old years behind because they held broken dreams, grief and hopelessness in their clutches - I still felt twinges of sorrow as the ball dropped. I didn't want the dying years back, but the passing of time and the changing of the calendar made me feel so much farther away from Thomas.

Everything seemed so connected to him.

So I fully expected this year to be the same. But, like Christmas, it tricked me.

This year was easy. I've never in my life been so happy to bid an old year farewell. I felt no sorrow as the countdown began. Not even the tiniest bit. I just clutched my glass of sparkling Shiraz and waited for the relief of a fresh start.

I know today really isn't any different than yesterday. Not really. Yesterday was last year, but it was also just Monday.

However, as I lay in bed with my tiny Shiraz buzz on and my body unclenching just a little bit, all I could see stretched out in front of me was a brand new, sparkling white year.

As unblemished as they come.

I have no idea what the year holds for us - and I'm loathe to hazard a guess because life has this funny way of doing the unexpected and unthinkable - but right now, at 10:20pm on the first day of this impossibly young year, I feel good. Not necessarily hopeful, but not drained of hope either.

This year holds no evil for me. It's pristine. Sorrow hasn't wiped its bloody paws all over it yet, and there's every chance it won't.

Yes, yes, there's every chance it will. It is me we're talking about. But still, right now it's good. It's all good.

Minute to minute. That's the way to go.

Happy New Year!