Thursday, May 9, 2013

Value Village Mission

So for the past few days I had this nagging feeling that I should go to Value Village. I felt like there was something there I needed. A little weird? Not so much for a thrifter. Sometimes you just get the feeling that there is a treasure waiting for you. I hadn't been to this VV in about 5 months and thought that maybe there was some vintage fabrics waiting to be discovered.

While my daughter and I were making our way to the fabric section of the store I heard a man say something. I didn't realize he was talking to me. Once he caught my attention he asked if I had a couple dollars because he needed to buy these pants. He held up a pair of men's dress pants. My immediate reaction was negative, "ugh, just another guy wanting my money". My very next reaction was one of compassion, "Here is a man who needs PANTS". I looked in my wallet but I only had a dollar bill. Not enough to buy pants. I explained to him that if he could be patient and wait for us I would buy him the pants when I was done shopping. He said yes and was very appreciative.

My daughter and I went to look at the fabric but there was no treasure waiting there for us. A thought struck me. This guy, this is the reason why I was supposed to come here. Now, for some of you, this may seem like crazy talk. But as a Christian, sometimes I feel like God is tugging me in certain directions or calling me to do things. So when this thought struck me I figured God planned this all out. I went back to the man and told him I couldn't spend a fortune but I would like to get him a few things. I told him to look around and find what he needs. He said thank you and went off to look.

My daughter and I couldn't find anything. We found the gentleman and told him we were ready to go. He said he was too. All he had was that pair of dress pants. I asked him if he wanted to get a shirt and he said "I got a shirt" and pointed to the one he was wearing. I was blown away by this humility. If this had been someone else I was sure they would have picked out a dozen things.

We went up and paid for the pants. Afterwards he said thank you and was going to leave the store. I asked him if there was anything else he needed. He insisted that he didn't. I asked him if he was hungry. "Yes" he admitted. I told him I would get him some breakfast. Across the street from the VV is a grocery store. I told him I would meet him there.

He went to the deli counter to pick out some food and I went to the bakery to get my daughter a snack. When I went back to find him I found a security guard telling him he wasn't allowed to be in the store begging. Now I'm not sure what I missed while I was off but I don't think it really warranted the lecture from the security guy. I think what happened was that the homeless man tried asking the security man if there was a debit machine (because I had explained to him that I didn't have cash). The man did have a speech delay and I think the security guard may have misunderstood the man's question. I chimed in that the man was with me and that I would be paying for the things he needed. Mr. Security was all "Oh yes that is fine". So I took the man back to the deli and he picked out a drink and 3 pieces of chicken. I asked him he had a place to stay and a fridge because he could pick out a few things if he needed them. He said no he didn't. I asked him if he needed anything else.Nope, just the drink and 3 pieces of chicken.

Once again I was just blown away at the simple things he wanted. He could have picked up a shopping basket full of groceries and asked me to pay for it. But no, he just needed something to quench his thirst and some protein.

He really just wanted the bare necessities.

We have so much when so many people have so little.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Journey to Motherhood - Part 3

Part 3

(It's been a couple years since I started writing about my journey to motherhood. My memories are fading fast and details are being forgotten. I had a lot of enthusiasm when I started writing about it. But it seems I wasn't quite ready to face one of the hardest parts of the story. Tomorrow is my son's 6th birthday and I'm attending a regular mother's support group and I will be sharing my sons birth story. I want to write it out tonight so I can have some clarity tomorrow, and so I can truly grieve my son's birth).

I don't recall many of the details in the last few weeks. I do remember how it all began though. When I was 2 days away from being 39 weeks along, My husband and I went out to eat with a friend of ours. We went to a local Indian restuarant called "Tiffin Roti House" (Happened to also be the last meal before my next child's birth). We had a good time visiting and eating the delicious food. Near the end of our meal I decided that I would go to the bathroom and relieve my tiny bladder.  After going "pee" I stood up to pull on my pants, however, it seemed I was leaking. I was really baffled. Was my water leaking? Or was I still peeing? I really couldn't tell. I went back to the table and told my husband what happened. We decided to go home and call the hospital. After going home I was pretty sure my water wasn't leaking but we made the phone call and the nurses thought I should come in just to confirm or not.

This is where things start to blurr a bit. I recall waiting in the hall because triage was full. Once I was able to get a bed they wanted me to lay down so they could check my water. I layed there for awhile on my back. They also checked on baby with the heart monitors. When they were all done the Dr told me that my water had not broken and I was not leaking (Damn you leaky bladder!) BUT while they were checking they noticed that my baby's heart rate dipped down a few times. They thought that was unusual. The Dr proceeded to tell me that I was far enough along that we could probably induce. She said that my baby might be under some type of stress and that is why his heart rate was dropping. She wanted to induce me that night. I was not interested in being induced, at all. I asked her if I could just go home. She said she didn't feel comfortable with me leaving at this point and wanted me to stay overnight for monitoring. She said we could do an ultrasound in the morning to see if there were any answers. I felt a litte better knowing I could go home tomorrow if the ultrasound showed everything was alright. I agreed to stay the night. I called a close friend of mine who was training to be a Doula and sought her advice. Honestly, looking back, I don't remember a word she said, but just talking to her made me feel better.  I spent the night on the triage cot and prayed that my baby would be ok.

That night I had a very vivid and real dream that I delivered my baby. In the dream my baby was born by a natural, drug free vaginal birth. The one surprise in the dream was that my baby was actually a girl (foreshadowing?). When I woke up I was really depressed to learn that it was only a dream. My baby had not been born yet. I was still being induced.

In the morning the Dr explained that the baby did fine most of the night but there were a couple little dips in his heart rate. Nothing crazy.The day was long and boring. I was supposed to have an ultrasound that morning but we didn't end up having an ultrasound until the late afternoon, I'd say 2 or 3 pm. Of the ultrasound I just remember feeling really tired of being at the hospital. I felt like they were wasiting my time. And I recall needing to pee.

I asked the ultrasound technician how my baby was. She said he looked great. That gave me an instant joy. I felt like I would be leaving soon.

That joy was crushed when I went back up to the labour and delivery floor. The Dr currently on duty explained to me that after seeing the U/S it was clear that my amniotic fluid was low and my placenta was aging. She felt that it was wise to induce me for the safety of my baby. They were that there was too much pressure on his umbilical cord (causing the dips). I felt like this was valid and thought, ok, lets do it I guess. 

They gave me cervadil to get things started. It was 5pm at night. Everything was very slow for the next 24 hours. I remember my husband and I going down to the cafeteria to eat some food. I recall my husband going home and getting the hospital bag. The induction was slow slow slow. The next morning around 11am I believe they started pitocin. The nurse on duty that Sunday was a really sweet lady. She was a mother and had natural births. I felt I had really lucked out with her. My mom came and joined Mike and I. The contractions were quite mild and didn't really bother me. I just remember being so bored at the hospital. I also remember sitting on the bouncy ball, and a massage train that my mom, mike and I were doing. Sometime in the last afternoon my awesome nurse went off shift. I was thoroughly dissapointed with the new nurse. She was fresh out of school and very quiet. She wasn't friendly (though not mean either) but I dreaded having to give birth with this awkward girl in my room. When the awesome nurse was there she was very friendly and we all laughed and joked around. Once this girl started, it was dead silent. The atmosphere changed.

Because I was induced I had the fetal heart monitoring on my belly. I was restricted to the machine. So I could sit on the ball or lay in the bed. I remember being really disappointed that I would not be able to labour in the shower. I had really looked forward to that for some reason.

Sometime in the late afternoon, maybe around 5pm, a different nurse came in the check on me. She asked me to turn over in the bed. She said she was having trouble finding my sons heart rate. Turn over again she asked. Then again. Flip sides. This was getting annoying as it's harder to turn over when you've got such a big belly. Then the nurse made a phone call for a different nurse to come in. The 2nd nurse came and they fiddled around some more. Then she called yet another person into the room. This is when I realized something was wrong. My memory of this is pretty blurry. They told me my sons heart rate had dropped and was not recovering. I recall having my legs up on the bed and they (not sure  who) broke my water and put an internal monitor on my son's head. I started crying. I don't remember anyone asking my permission to break my water. From what I remember his heart rate went back to normal at this point. However, they called another DR in and the 3 of them had a little discussion. I was still upset and emotional. My one clear memory from this particular moment is that I asked God to just send me in for a c-section because I couldn't handle all of this uncertainty with my son's health. I didn't want to labour anymore with that bitch nurse and I was pissed that a million people barged into the room and saw me legs up in the air. I was done. I was humiliated. And most of all, I was worried sick about my baby.

A polish surgeon came up to me and told me that he highly recommended I have a c-section. They thought it was too risky to continue with a vaginal birth at that point. They were worried a cord could be wrapped around my sons neck. I agreed.

At this point my mom was in some hysterics too. I recall her mildly yelling something to the Drs as they wheeled me away. Something like "Take care of her, she is MY baby".
Now this is where things get really foggy. Obviously because of the drugs. I was a nervous wreck about the epidural/spinal. Thats partly why I wanted a natural birth so badly, I did NOT want a needle in my spine. But thankfully the anesthesiologist was a very kind compassionate man and made it a somewhat better experience. I remember laying on my side while they gave me the needle. I remember them strapping my arms down to the table. (As I just typed that sentence I was overcome with a huge burst of emotion that I have not let out in 6 years. 6 years of holding that feeling in.) I remember the curtain going up. I remember my husband standing beside me. I recall the lights. The white room. The stainless steel. The many people watching.

Then the awkwardness of a c-birth. The Dr's talking to one another. The tugging. It wasn't painless, I felt that tugging. When they take your insides out. When they pull the baby out. He was "born" shortly after 6pm on Sunday, February 25th, 2007.

The first few moments are a blur. I was drugged. I remember my husband bringing my baby to me, my hands still strapped down, He showed me my sons face. Then I don't recall much else. I think I cried and fell asleep or was just to drugged up to rememeber anything. 

The next thing I know I am in a small room.  There is a nurse. She says she knows a friend of mine and was told to take good care of me. My baby is not with me but she tells me he is healthy. At some point my husband comes in as well as my mom. My legs are in some weird contrapments. My mom calls my sister on the phone so I can talk to her. This is one of the strangest memories though. I don't remember the phone, I only remember talking to my sister, as if she were in the room. She was in another province! I called my work to tell them the good news. Pretty sure my co-worker thought I was nuts - I kept going on about being stoned (this was a huge deal to me because I'm straight edge).

I asked to see my baby but they kept saying that he was waiting for his bath. Looking back, there is no way I would put up with that bull shit excuse, I would demand my husband have my son and that he stay by my side.

Finally at some point we are moved to the post partum unit. I get my own room thankfully. I believe I first tried nursing him at 8pm. That was the soonest they would let me. The moment my son latched on, I had a feeling everything would be ok. It was the most beautiful amazing moment. I could feed my son.

I had now spent 48 hours in the hospital. In post partum unit I was probably the most annoying first time mother on the floor. I called the nurses every single time I nursed my son so they could make sure I had an excellent latch. I remember being really nervous and scared to take care of my son. I had never changed a diaper in my life. 

I remember my parents coming to visit, along with my in-laws. Also, my grandmother Lucy totally snuck in to visit as well.

One clear memory was when I changed my son's diaper and he peed all over the place, all over the other wipes and diapers. I ran out to find a nurse, I was in tears. I didnt know what to do.

I tried sleeping with my son in the same room but one night, probably after the diaper incident, I asked them to keep him in the nursery for a little while. But I made it clear I wanted to nurse him if he woke up. I still feel like a bit of a failure for doing that. I worried that they gave him a bottle nipple to suck on. Or gave him formula without asking me.
I was in post partum for 3 full days, (mon-wed). On wednesday I remember talking to a Dr about pumping. I don't recall why. I was trying out the hospital grade pump. Maybe because my son had mild jaundice? I don't know.

I remember reading the book "Lullabies for little criminals".

I remember taking my first couple walks around the floor. Getting used to walking. I also remember fretting about what kinds of nursing shirts I needed. Although I had planned to nurse my son I hadnt thought too much about nursing bras and shirts. I panicked that I had nothing to wear.

I had my staples taken out and had some sticker bandaid things put on. The nurse made it very clear to me that I was not to take them off early and to let them fall off on their own. (I took her advice a little too literally as I still had them on at my 6 week appt).

I remember that we hadn't even had the car seat installed yet. My husband ran home and got that done. I remember putting our baby in the car seat and feeling so happy to go home. I had spent 5 days in the hospital and it felt like weeks.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sick Days In Texas

What a crazy few days.

On Friday morning we were running a bit late getting to school. Stinx just would not do anything to get ready. Then the kids started playing very sweetly with one another and both refused to leave the house Finally I convinced them to go but Stinx hadn't gone to the washroom or eaten breakfast. Stinx decided to pee on the fence. Thankfully I also thought ahead and brought apples so he could eat on the way.

Just as we were approaching Stinx' school, Bitta started complaing that her back hurt and I was all like "Don't worry, we are almost there".

Then I heard a strange sound.

I looked back and she was puking all over herself and the portable dvd player she was watching.

Purple puke because she had just had a banana blueberry smoothie for breakfast.

I pulled into the parking lot and took her out. It was everywhere. I happened to bring an extra dress because she had spilled the smoothie on her dress but we hadn't had time to change. I changed her right there in the parking lot. Someone kindly brought Stinx into the school for me. I cleaned up what I could. The car seat was seriously not worth cleaning.

First of all, I have been planning to throw it out for ages but just hadn't got around to it. It was dirty because I had never figured out how to take the cover off. It was Stinx first car seat after the infant car seat. Bitta has been complaining for months that this seat makes her back hurt. I also thought it was expiring soon. So I planned to throw it out. I took Bitta to Target to see if I could buy Stinx a booster seat and have Bitta use Stinx' current seat.

I couldn't decide so I took her to Toys R Us. I don't know what possessed me to go shopping with a kid who just puked. I guess I was panicking about how I would pick up Stinx later. I eventually found some common sense and asked a friend if I could borrow one of her extra seats.

The kicker is that we actually have a booster seat but it was in the Husbands car. The husband had left for Louisiana at the same time we had left for school. Anyways. I got the car seat from my friend and then did groceries. YES, I am crazy. Looking back this was insane. But I felt like I had no choice. The husband was out of town and we really needed groceries to survive the long week end. Bitta wasn't really upset... Just super lethargic. And I definitely didn't want to do groceries later with 2 kids. Bitta actually fell asleep in the Whole Foods shopping cart.

Bitta spent the rest of the day sleeping. She slept like a newborn. She must have been so tired.

Saturday I had other errands to do and Bitta was feeling better. Stinx has a birthday coming up so I really felt like I needed to get some of this stuff sooner than later. I also kept looking for a booster or harness seat for Stinx. After 3-4 hours doing errands we picked up everything we needed, even the car seat. I installed the car seat and realized that Stinx had outgrown his old car seat.... like, a long time ago. So thank goodness we finally got a new one for him. Now Bitta will use his old one.

Sunday was fine. We just hung out and took the day to recover. Then the Husband came home. Yay.

Monday brings us to today. Stinx has been sick all day with the stomach flu. Poor guy. He's had a tummy ache and isn't handling it well... He is almost the stereotypical sick man. My poor sweets.

Unfortunately Stinx has gone through numerous clothing changes and now after doing some laundry my dryer has died. Terrible terrible timing.... Ugh.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Bitta has refused to wear pants since October. She has become obsessed with several dresses. For the first few months it was the Ladybug dress. I found it at Good Will in new condition.
Then it was strictly the Cupcake dress. Just like this one.
It's a Carter's dress that we found new with tags at Good Will. She was a Cupcake for Halloween and this started the obsession. So she wore the cupcake dress every day for about a month. Then I decided to buy 2 more online since this phase didn't appear to be ending soon.
Then on another thrift shop hunt we found other acceptable dresses. So now she has about 6 dresses she is willing to wear. This morning when she woke up and requested the Cupcake dress I asked her, "Will you ever wear pants again?". Her answer, "Never. Ever." Oh boy... I mean, Oh Girl.

Monday, February 11, 2013

RIP Blankie

Poor wee Bitta. She lost her beloved Blankie on December 15th, 2012. We had dropped Stinx off at a birthday party and decided to kill some time at the nearby mall. It was Christmas season. It was busy. Bitta insisted we bring blankie along. I'm not entirely sure when Blankie slipped away from us.

My top 2 guess are: 1. I may have left it in the playplace. I suspect a person stole it. 2. After leaving the playplace I think I remember draping Blankie on my should bag. Sometimes when I would do this, Blankie would slip off. I fear Blankie slipped off. After walking to the exit, approximately 10 minutes after leaving the playplace I realized Blankie was gone. We quickly walked back checking our previous path. Nothing.

Checked the playplace... Nothing.

I eyed up a couple moms who were sitting near me in the play area... Did they steal it? I will never know.

I checked at the lost and found. I looked in the garbage cans. I walked into every single store between the playplace and the exit. I asked every single cleaning lady and security guard I could find. Nothing.

Blankie was gone. T

To make matters worse, I ended up running a bit late to pick up Stinx from the party. It didn't help that I ended up taking the wrong exit off the freeway. I was 30 minutes late picking him up. I was mortified. How embarassing. To make matters worse, I was an emotional wreck for having misplaced Blankie.

After getting Stinx we went back to the mall to try again. Nothing.

I went back every day for a few days... Checking the lost and found with no good news. I got family to check the store where Blankie was originally purchased... they don't sell that style anymore. I posted ads on craigslist and other random listings.. including the one made for missing loveys. Nothing.

I went to the local Good Will... hoping someone dropped it off there. Nothing.

Through all of this Bitta took it like a champ. She didn't freak out or have a tantrum. She was just really sad, like she had lost her best friend. I ended up making her a little Photo Book of Blankie through shutterfly. At least we have pictures right?

 Tonight I got a crazy idea. I decided to post a wanted ad on the kijiji classifieds back home. Only problem is that it won't post for some reason. Drats. I got another crazy idea to post wanted posts on baby boards in my home city. Maybe, just maybe, one out of those 2200 moms may have an exact blankie lying around, unloved.
Leaving you with the first picture of Bitta & Blankie as well as the last.

Worst Ever.

I'mmmmmm Baaaaaack! Ok, for reals,I know I am the worst blogger ever. like, ever ever. Like, we are never, ever getting back together. Ok wait, that was a Taylor Swift song. I'm feeling pretty crummy about my lack of blogging. We have been on an interesting adventure for the past 2 years and I'm not even recording it! Insanity. I want to remember all these funny times. My kids are getting so old... Stinx turns 6 in a couple weeks. Six! How is it possible that I have a siz year old? So I am debating whether to continue with Mothazine or start fresh somewhere else...
I will leave you with this picture of Bitta and the feathers... And on that thought... my kids don't go by "Stinx" or "Bitta" anymore... so maybe I should update their names?