This blog is no longer being updated, but if you like what you see here, be sure to join me over at Life Pared Down!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

All Good Things...

I've sat down to write this post about a dozen times and each time, I write a few words and then sign out. I kept flip-floping; yes I'm going to, no I'm not, yes I am, no I'm not. But since these words are being written, you can see that I finally came to a decision.

After five years of writing, or reflecting and processing, I am moving on from this blog. Some may say, well, you haven't posted in two months, isn't that pretty much the same? No. Not for me. I need closure, to walk away and say I'm ready to start something new.

(Dammit! I can barely type, I'm teary already)

When I first began this blog, it was simply an exchange of ideas for my friends. When I had my miscarriages it became my solace, my well of grief and my strength. Shortly after the second miscarriage I found the ALI community. I don't think I can adequately express what everyone has done for me. You shone a light on the dark days and rejoiced in the bright ones. I've made many friends as a result and although I haven't kept up recently, you are all often in my thoughts.

Things are such in my life that I fid myself not wanted to blog anymore. I'm writing lots but not here. And I've decided that it's okay. I will no longer make myself feel guilty for it. But before I take my leave of you, I want to tell where I am at these days.

I am happy. That is probably the most important thing for you to know. I still have post-partum depression and have periods of hibernation, but they don't hinder my life as much as they used to. I'm still seeing my psychiatrist occasionally and she is still as wonderful as the day I met her. I'll be on my meds until the New Year and if I'm truly doing well, I can wean off them.

R handed in his PhD dissertation earlier this month and on July 21st will have his defence. So by August 1st, my darling husband will be a Doctor of Philosophy, Sciences (Physics). From there we will (fingers crossed) get a job and we will either be staying here in Vancouver or moving wherever he finds work.

In limbo can be a stressful place to be, but I'm doing the best I can to keep it in check and enjoy each and every day with Bean. She is more wonderful than I ever could have imagined. I always knew I was meant to be a mother, and it has been comfirmed over and over again. She makes me smile and laugh, and at times cry in frustration, but I wouldn't change a single moment of it. Well, I suppose I'd like to go back and enjoy those first months, but they are what they are and I am just glad I made it through and can now be there for my daughter.

In recent days, the full effect of what it means to be a "family" has hit me. My relationship with R is doing better than it has throughout all of the chaos of the last two years and there are moments when we hug each other while holding Bean, that I feel like my heart might explode form happiness.

I've been through many things in my life, and will go through many more, but that is what this journey is about. The Steadfast Warrior shall keep in going. Some of you are friends with me on facebook, some have my email. If you are interested in keeping in touch, email me.

Thank you for lending me your eyes, and you hearts. You are more wonderful than I can express. I shall leave you with one last Photo of the Day. This is Bean in all her 8.5 Month glory. She's going to be walking soon (Fates help us) and keeps me on my toes...

Friday, May 07, 2010

Musings on Motherhood, Part One

It's been almost 7 months since a tiny creature came into our lives. Having a little perspective and some wonderful medication, I believe I can reflect properly on the events since Bean's arrival. Here are a few thoughts:

  • First of all, life is busy. That goes without saying with a baby, but it seems that once they hit that rolling/ crawling stage, life is in constant motion. What as surprised me the most is just how much I am enjoying it. Life feels full and vibrant and exciting once again. The last few months had been so difficult to find a balance in. I knew I'd have to give it time and it seems to have worked. Bean and I have so much fun together, more than I knew possible.
  • There is nothing that tugs on a mother's heartstrings more than watching the father of her child play and cuddle and laugh with said child. R is a wonderful father and Bean is most definitely a "Daddy's girl"
  • Bean is lightning quick. Turn for two seconds to grab a bib and the next thing you know the darn child has rolled off the couch and onto the floor. A baby crying in pain with tears breaks your heart. But those cries are easily soothed in mama's arms and tears easily swept away.
  • Bean is growing like a weed. She is super long and 18 pounds, 1 ounce as of this past Wednesday. She wears baby size 3 shoes! She is going to be tall like her grandpa and uncle.
Well, that's a few thoughts. Mre later when I have a moment. For now I'll leave you with another photo. :)
Caption: Mama? Can I play with that please? Pretty please?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mama Bear Comes Out of Her Cave

It was like suddenly turning on a light in a dark room. Bam! Spring is really here. March was a cold and grey month as well as rainy and stormy as it often is in Vancouver. Then about three days ago, it was sunny and warm. The trees and flowers make the air smell sweet and the breeze off the water makes me want to run to the beach and relax.

And so it was this change in weather that gave me a sudden burst in energy. I have checklists of things to do and am slowly working through them. I actually have several posts on the go at the moment and will be finishing them shortly. But for now, this mama bear is done hibernating. She's had a good rest and is ready to get off her butt and be productive.

Friday, April 02, 2010

On the Road

So we're off to see the wizard... well not really. But we are going to visit the in-laws for the long weekend. Five hours each way in a car with the baby: our first road trip with her. It will be interesting to say the least! But I have breakfast to eat and last minute packing to attend to, so I must go.

Whatever your plans this weekend, enjoy!

I uploaded what was on our small digital camera since it hadn't been done in awhile. I found this gem of a photo from when Bean was 3 months old. This is her, "Where's my bottle! I'm starving! You're killing me!" scream. :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Little More of This Than That

The days fly by and I keep thinking that I need to post, I need to post. But somehow, I get sucked into things or am out and about and I never get to it. It's a gloomy day today. It's grey and dark and rather depressing. In fact, the rain and wind has just kicked in and it looks like we're in for one heck of a storm! But it doesn't matter because I have a tonne of stuff to do in the apartment today. My SIL and her boyfriend are coming over for a visit and then when Ryan gets home, we are meeting their Great Aunt for dinner. Looking forward to the company but it means I have a helluva lot of cleaning to do. We meant to do some this weekend but it never happened. Oh well.

I have to do beyond a basic clean and really try to tidy up things on the floor. Because, soon, sooner than I'd like, Bean is going to be crawling. She can get up onto her hands and get her knees under her, but then falls over to her side. She's mastered rolling in both directions. Our little girl is on the move! And mama is both proud and terrified! Joking aside, it's been wonderful watching her development lately. She learns so much and it's fascinating to watch her problem solve. She's also so wonderfully smiley and giggly. It frequently makes my day.

I've also got sucked into the ultimately sign of geekiness: an online Star Trek RPG. Go ahead laugh if you will but it has done amazing things for my writing. Not to mention I get the opportunity to create and explore characters. It's collaborative and endlessly entertaining. But while I could easily spend all day doing that, I'm trying to make sure I remember my other prioities... like this blog. :)

On the exercise front, I've lost a little weight again. The Wii Fit is fun, although I don't think I'll be trying the plank ont he balance board again. It killed my elbow! I'd rather just do it on my own on the floor.

So that's the latest from me. I have several things to do this week; all of them very important. I was hoping to resuurect my Photo Challenge this week but I'll be gone this weekend, so it will have to week one more week. However, I will re-post the upcoming Challenge Theme later this week and you'll have plenty of time to hop to it!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Coming Home

There are certain moments as a parent I'm certain I'll hold on to forever. Returning from my weekend away on Sunday, one of those moments was scooping my waking daughter into my arms. I held her tightly, feeling all of her almost 16 pounds. My face against her head, I breathed in her scent, better than any aromatherapy. It was only two and half days that I was away and I had no idea I could miss someone so much!

My weekend was, in a word, fabulous. My Mom and I had a grand ole time puttering around. I drove for the first time in about two years. My parents got a new car- an SUV. I was a dream to drive. And aside from the moment when some idiot lady careening around me while I was turning left in a parking lot, it was a lot of fun to be on the road again. I still feel shaky when I think about how close we were to being crumpled metal. [grumble, grumble, grumble]

Saturday night was something else as well. I went out to an irish pub downtown and met up with a bunch of friends. My brother came down as well. It was a riot. M and I are really close, so it was nice to spend that kind of time with him, just letting loose. I drank ale, danced and enjoyed the company of good people. And for the first time in about four or five years, I stumbled home just after 1am!

Extra strong coffee was needed the next morning when I met up with my friend C and her boyfriend. I spent a lovely couple of hours with them before heading for the ferry. I was so tired that I actually had a short nap, which I am normally unable to do. Feeling refreshed, I listened to my iPod and enjoyed the beautiful scenery.

There's something majestic about the south coast of BC. I took an Oceans course in university (my first stint) and now when I'm out on the water, I observe with a different perspective. Where some will see the waves and the birds, I'll see the currents fighting against the incoming tide, which push the schools of fish into small areas where the gulls and cormorants gather to feed. This place is one that will always call me home.

Yesterday was my chill day. I had actually intended to do a bunch of things, but seeing as how the weekend was busy, I gave myself a day to relax. I did come home with a Wii Fit care of my Mom (thanks Mom!!) and so I spent awhile exercising. I hve been able to fit into my size 12 pants as of late (down 2 sizes from November) and it was nice to see where my weight and BMI sits currently. I'm proud to say that I'm no longer considered obese, just overweight!

Today I'm off to meet up with my fellow local October moms for lunch. We haven't all been together in awhile and I'm excited to see how much the babies have all grown. And so I will leave you with a five month pic of Bean,who we recently reunited with her friend Bear now that she's big enough to have something in the crib with her.

Oh, and a note. You will notice that I've added word verification to commenting. I'm tired of wasting my time deleting comment spam, so hopefully this will help.

Friday, March 19, 2010

To Much To Do, So Little Time

I swear it was just Monday and I was b*tching about my body! I hve a couple posts in the works but haven't had the time to finish them. I'm actually going away this weekend to visit my Mom... alone. Yep, you heard me, I'm leaving Bean with R and heading off on my own. I just really need a break at the moment. A couple days away will do me good.

I know I haven't been a very good blogging friend lately but promise I'll be back in the swing of things next week. Off to go finish packing as I'm leavin gin the morning.

Have a great weekend everyone. When I get back I'll tell you about the flyer I got today that ade me what to call someone and complain. Till then, I shall leave with a photo. It's taken back in 2003 (I think) at Cathedral Grove Park on Vancouver Island. Some of the biggest cedar trees are there.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Just for fun...

...let's take a moment to b*tch about my body, shall we? (if you don't want to listen to the musings about a women's inner wokings, you may want to leave now)

When my cycles returned after Bean was born, they went right back to their normal shorter length, shorter LP crap.

I started a new cycle on Friday, which I should note these last couple of cycles have brought a new symptom I have never been prone to: cramps. Now you're probably going, shut up and quit yer complaining woman, but honestly, their sudden appearance confused and irritated me.

Anyway, want to take a guess at how long my last cycle was? Come on, give it a try...

21? Nope

28? Never!!!

And the winner is 17!!!

Yep, you heard me right, 17. And to top it off, I'm pretty sure I O'd around day 13. How's that for messed up, huh? I thought so.

The problem with this, besides the fact that someone is unlikely to get pregnant on a 17 day cycle, is that the shorter my cycles, the more I have in a year. And the more I have in a year, the more I ovulate, which means my egg supply disappears faster.

Now, I'm not planning to get pregnant anytime soon, but R and I both agree that it would be a good idea to try for a second child sooner rather than later. Given our miscarriage history and the likelyhood I will have PPD again, I'd like to get that part over and done with so I can enjoy my life with my family.

Why at 26 should I suddenly be worried about early menopause? Because my body has shown the wonderful ability to screw me over on a consistent basis.

Yay me!

Sorry about the sarcasm, just feeling irritated and sorry for myself. All I can say is that if this cycle is as short as the last, I'll be going to see my OB/GYN asap to make sure there's nothing wierd going on with my body. Now, I'm going to go crawl under a rock somewhere for a short while and hide from this gloomy rainy day, I'll pop out later and get back to catching up on where everone is at.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Photo Challenge Postponed

Sorry about this everyone. I've got technical difficulties with the auto-link form still. Our challenge doesn't work as well if I don't use something similar so I'm trying to come up with another option. So we'll have to re-convene the Challenge once I have a new way to set it up.  I'm open to suggestions if anyone has them...

Regarding my snow pic yesterday: It should be noted that the temperature warmed up and it began raining. The snow was gone by 2 pm.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Photo of the Day: In Like a Lion

Look what spring brought me this morning! I know it's not anything compared to what others have, but it's pretty funny nonetheless.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Where I Fall Off My Seat In Shock

So I went to fill the prescription for my medication, having been using samples from my Dr. It turns out that it's horrifically expensive. As in $250 a month! I know it's nothing compared to what some people pay for IF meds but I've never paid so much for a prescription in my life! I am so lucky that my benefits cover 100% of my prescriptions. Otherwise, I'd be hooped.

Bean's earache it seems has gotten worse after seeming to be better. So I also had to start her on the antibiotics. She's been eating and sleeping wierd but is still a pretty happy baby.

Sorry I've been a little quiet lately. I've just been finding my stride again after being sick. I'm almost there. Now if Bean would go back to sleeping through the night, everyone in our household would be much happier.

Friday, March 05, 2010

What Is It? Revealed

A few weeks back during show and tell I posted a What Is It? photo and never got around to revealing it's true nature. Here we go...

I was uploading some photos from one of my back-up DVDs when I noticed this reflection on the back of it. It was so neat I just had to take a photo. So there you have it...

So some people were close to guessing my chalenge photo from a couple weeks back. It is a glass object of a marine theme, but not quite what you thought:

This a wine bottle that I think was my Aunt's. It's one of things that you could probably get rid of and not really miss it, but there's something about it that makes me hold on to it. I think it's a tangible connection to the ocean. No matter where I am, or where I go, I'll always be a west coast girl at heart.

Friday Photo Challenge: The Colours of Life

The Photo Challenge aims to allow creative ways to explore a weekly theme through photography.

Follow these steps and join the fun:

1. Post your photo on your site. You are free to leave an explanation or none at all.

2. Leave your name and the link on this Challenge Post. Please use the PERMA-LINK (the link to your actual post, not the main link to your blog).

3. Share your thoughts about my photo and others on the list by leaving a comment. This is our chance to discuss the theme and how each of us thought to document it. Hopefully, this will be more than just "Nice photo".

While I would LOVE everyone to take a moment to take a photo, I realize that it may not always be possible. So, it is perfectly fine to post a photo you have taken previously, as long as it is representative of the theme and how you want to define it.

Oh, and don’t forget one very important thing… HAVE FUN!

First off, regarding the What Is It Challenge, I'm going to post a photo of my item seperately.

This week's theme: THE COLOURS OF LIFE

In my darker moments, she has brought colour to my world. It's like a black and white movie that has been restored and colourized. Things seem sharper and clearer. That, and her toy is as bright as it gets! R started calling the elephant Heffalump and the name stuck. At least she'll be well aquainted with the world of Pooh. :)

Since the Mister Linky site is constantly not working for me, I think I'm going to have to find another source. For now, just leave your link in the comments section- a pain, I know, but hopefully I'll have a better solution for next week.
Next Week's Theme:  Dropped Threads

Sometimes in life, we get the chance to pick up something we left behind, to re-write a part of our story. Often there is tanglible evidence of this. What piece of your puzzle have you re-discovered? A pastime you picked up again, people who've come back into your life, places you've connected with again, the possibilities are endless.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Ok, So Where Were We?

Say Where Were We three times fast... it's reminiscent of just stepping out of the dentist's office.

I am feeling MUCH better, although I have a headache right now. Bean is still congested and coughing a little but is far better than last week. She also had a minor ear ache from whatever bug she had but it's now gone without the intervention of antibiotics, which I am very glad for. I really didn't want to have to medicate her at this age if I could help it.

Taking her into the walk-in clinic was fun. I didn't want to go all the way downtown on the day all the Olympic althletes, visitors and official were heading out of town. So I went to the clinic a couple blocks down. We had to wait about an hour. Luckily Bean had a nap in my arms. She was getting pretty cranky, so I was glad when she finally nodded off for a bit. Monday was the first day I really felt like I rejoined the land of the living. We might have just had colds but whatever bug it was was nasty!

Yesterday, I had an appointment with my psychiatrist. She was surprised and happy with how well I've been doing. So am I actually. It felt so wonderful to tell her that Bean and I are actually having fun together. Some days are still hard, but I don't fall to pieces when they happen. Like today for instance. Baby Girl is having an off day, to see the least. I'm waiting for her to wake up from her nap so I can get out and enjoy the semi-sunny day- I really need the exercise.

It is very much spring around here. The trees are blooming, people are cutting their grass, and don't forget the showers that come and go. It's the standard Vancouver spring weather. Carry sunglasses and an umbrella, because the weather changes every few minutes. We always joke around here that if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes. And if that doesn't work, wait five more.

I'm slowly getting back into the groove. Last week took a lot out of me. It's hard caring for a sick infant when you're sick yourself. She had a hard time sleeping because of her congestion, so I didn't get to nap the way I so desperately wanted to. It seems I'm still feeling the effects of being ill, since I don't have a tonne of energy. I'm getting there though. Meanwhile, it's going to take me awhile to reaquaint myself with what happening with everyone, so bear with me.

For those participating in the Friday Photo Challenge, it should be on this week as long as I can get the auto-link form to cooperate.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Photo Challenge Postponed...

Bean is feeling a bit better, but I feel like I've been thrown against a brick wall! I didn't know my cheekbones, jaw and eye sockets could ache so much! Pout, pout...

Therefore, tomorrow's Friday Photo Challenge will be postponed till next week. However, if you want to reveal the answer to the What Is It? post (last week's challenge), please do so and leave a comment letting me know so I can go see if any of the guesses were correct. If I'm up to it, I'll post a photo of mine tomorrow.

Hope you're all doing better than I am. I'm going to have a lot of blog catch-up reading to do when I get better!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Under the Weather

I think I'm going to have to bow out of Commenting Week this time. Bean is sick with a cold and I'm pretty under the weather myself. She was being weird yesterday and last night I wasn't feeling the best. It both hit us this morning. I go from being all sweaty to being chilled.

Going to go find my blanket and curl up on the couch and watch the Olympics all day.

Did anyone watch Ice Dancing last night? I cried during Tessa and Scott's skate. It was like this intricate delicate ballet. So moving. And I'm so excited they won! Yay Canada!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Finding Where You Left Off

I didn't have the best sleep last night, so when I woke up this morning exhausted, I was pretty certain that my plan for the morning was a no-go. But, after some breakfast and a cup of coffee, I looked longingly out the windows at the brilliant blue sky, the sun bright and warming.

So I went.

In the fall, as a encouragement to help me get back into exercising, we went out and bought a new pair of runners. I paid more for them than I had planned, but when I tried them on, it was like marshmallows had been strapped to my soles. I pronate (my feet turn turn in) and need good arch support. These runners make each step like being on a spring. My back has never loved me so much.

I changed into my workout gear, laced up the runners, and threw my keys, cell phone and iPod into my jacket pockets. Outside, the air was cooler than I expected. Crisp but not cold- perfect for a run.

I walked part way up the street to warm up and then when it felt right, I picked up the pace. Each step cushioned and even, propelling me forward. I ran, finding a rythym with my breathing, relaxing into each movement. After a minute or two, I'd switch to a brisk walk until my heart rate settled and then it was back to running. For the most part I kept a 3 to 1 pace (3 walking, 1 running), which surprised me with how easy it was.

It was only 20 minutes but the time was my own and it was freeing. I hadn't been running in such a long time (2007?!?) and I think more than anything it was about reclaiming something I lost in these last three years. I lost the ability to push myself and at the same time be in tune with my body. With those steps, it was like a cleansing of sorts. When I got back to the apartment, I was tired but also energized.

Having awesome runners didn't hurt either.

Photo of the Day: From the Shadows

For IFOptimist, who could use a little hug...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Photo of the Day: The Vancouver "Spring" Olympics?

It's been so lovely and warm these past days. I don't even need a jacket most of the time. At least it's sunny and not raining...

Swimming With the Big Fish

You know you've hit a whole new level in blogland when you get comment spammed regularily. I had to laugh at IF Optimist's response to this comment on my Turning Point post:

"You have to express more your opinion to attract more readers, because just a video or plain text without any personal approach is not that valuable. But it is just form my point of view"

You should really read her comment if you haven't because I nearly spat out my coffee laughing when I read it this morning. Thanks Darlin', you made my day!

Of course, the comment was "Anonymous". I've considered not allowing anonymous comments but I do have some readers who don't have blogs and occaisionally comment. If it gets really out of control, I'll reconsider but right now I'm rather amused with everything going on. I don't take it seriously because it's not an actual person commenting. I've been deleting the stupid stuff that gets posted, spam links included, but I have tell you how amusing it is for "someone" to leave a comment about how useful and informative my post was for their college assignment. It's happened twice now- both were Photo of the Day posts. How's that for a chuckle? I left the comment above up because it was funny. I think I express my opinion quite well, don't you?

But even more interesting were the two emails I received yesterday from people/groups wanting to advertise on my blog. One of them was an emergency preparedness site. He said that perhaps I'd be interested in having their advertisements on my blog since I had written about emergency preparedness. Umm, did I? Has he actually read my blog? I mean, I'm flattered, really, but unless you count labour preparations, miscarriages and ambulance rides to the ER, I think he's missed his mark. I did write about Haiti, but I think we can all agree that that is a completely different topic.

The other offer was an exchange of sorts. It's to join a free "Mommy Blogger" service and get coaching on how to increase blog traffic and make money off my blog. I just have to put up their widget. I'm not sure if it's just people going around and popping from one blog to another, so I apologize if you get these offers too and you're not interested. It's not my fault, I swear!

This is where I could use some advice. I consider myself a Life blogger who is now a mom, not a "Mommy Blogger". I wouldn't mind making money if it means putting up a few things but that's not what this blog is about. I don't want to take away from my writing and photography. I also don't want to alienate my readers.

What do you think?

Friday Photo Challenge: What Is It?

The Photo Challenge aims to allow creative ways to explore a weekly theme through photography.

Follow these steps and join the fun:

1. Post your photo on your site. You are free to leave an explanation or none at all.
2. Leave your name and the link on this Challenge Post. Please use the PERMA-LINK (the link to your actual post, not the main link to your blog).
3. Share your thoughts about my photo and others on the list by leaving a comment. This is our chance to discuss the theme and how each of us thought to document it. Hopefully, this will be more than just "Nice photo".

While I would LOVE everyone to take a moment to take a photo, I realize that it may not always be possible. So, it is perfectly fine to post a photo you have taken previously, as long as it is representative of the theme and how you want to define it.

Oh, and don’t forget one very important thing… HAVE FUN!

This week's theme: WHAT IS IT?
Take a guess about what it is. I'll post the answer next Friday (people can either do the same or post a photo of the item).

Next Week's Challenge (Feb. 26): THE COLOURS OF LIFE
Life weaves a bright and rich tapestry. Show off a piece of yours...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Show and Tell: Olympic Spirit

I've had a couple opportunities to get out and experience the fun that is the Olympics. I wish I had tickets to an event but I do have front row tickets at my TV. Hoping to get out and get some more but here are few shots:

Saturday was a rainy day to see the least! Here's a really neat lantern display. They're all lit up at night.

A view of the crowds on the streets. The energy downtonw is amazing and festive.

Another view of the lanterns on a less rainy day.

And what Olympic Tour would be complete without a picture of the Olympic Cauldron.

Now pop over to Mel's and see what the rest of class is showing..

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Turning Point

I've was laying low this past weekend. R was at a conference so it was Bean and myself. A couple weeks ago, I was freaking out just a little about being left alone for three days. But these last days have been amazing. I survived my weekend alone just fine thank you. And kudos to single moms everywhere. With no one to give you a break and being the one who has to get up every single time at night, it's definitely tiring.

But I have medication and I have to tell you that I feel like me again. I'm still not sleeping straight through the night but at least when I wake up I can go back to sleep fairly easily. Except when R is feeding the baby. Most of the time, I end up awake during the feed.

The most notable change is my emotional state. In talking to friends recently, they've noticed the difference and are quick to point it out to me. I'm happy. Did you read that right? I'm HAPPY!

And it feels great.

Bean turned 4 months old over the weekend, which means we're off shortly to go get round two of her vaccinations. After that, I have a lot of blog reading to catch up on.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Photo of the Day: Light Up the Sky

I was watching the Opening Ceremonies at home last night. What an overwhelming and moving show! It made me SO proud to be a Canadian and a Vancouverite. If you were watching, you'll know that after the team of famous athletes lit the caudlron inside BC Place, Wayne Gretsky was transported on a pickup truck through the pouring rain with the Olympic Flame to light the outdoor cauldron at the waterfront in Coal Harbour. I'm hoping to get a photo of the lit cauldron at some point in the coming week.

After the outdoor cauldron was lit, fireworks erupted. I was watching on TV and then realized that from my view, if the angle was just right, I just might be able to see some of the fireworks. For a moment, I got to be a part of the celebration that in the 3 hours before I was witnessing vicariously through my television.

A small piece of the magic...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Photo Challenge: CELEBRATIONS

The Photo Challenge aims to allow creative ways to explore a weekly theme through photography.

Follow these steps and join the fun:

1. Post your photo on your site. You are free to leave an explanation or none at all.
2. Leave your name and the link on this Challenge Post. Please use the PERMA-LINK (the link to your actual post, not the main link to your blog).
3. Share your thoughts about my photo and others on the list by leaving a comment. This is our chance to discuss the theme and how each of us thought to document it. Hopefully, this will be more than just "Nice photo".

While I would LOVE everyone to take a moment to take a photo, I realize that it may not always be possible. So, it is perfectly fine to post a photo you have taken previously, as long as it is representative of the theme and how you want to define it.

Oh, and don’t forget one very important thing… HAVE FUN!

This week's theme: CELEBRATIONS

It was an amazing experience to witness the Olympic Flame go through our neighbourhood. The energy and excitement in the crowd was immense. This coming together is what the Olympics are all about. No matter our differences, we can come together in fellowship. I am so proud to have the Olympics in my city and yesterday reminded me that some moments come but once in a lifetime...

Unfortunately, the autolink site isn't working right now (again), so leave the link to your post in the comments section and I'll move eveything over later when the site is running once more. Can't wait to see your photos!

Next Week's Theme: WHAT IS IT?
Your mission should you choose to accept it, is to take a photo of something, in such a way as it's not immediately obvious. Our job is to guess what it is. This is kind of fun because it usually results in more abstract photos. Also, you can do this anywhere. If you need an example, check out my post HERE. I got caught up in things this week and haven't had a chance to post the answer but I'll do that on Wed. I'm going to try and put up this post on Thursday evening if I can since I end up being really rushed Friday mornings trying to get this out.

Photo of the Day: Sunrise Over the City

Monday, February 08, 2010


Day 5 on my new med and I'm feeling not too bad this morning. Those first couple of days were tough. I felt like I did in the early days of my pregnancy, the nausea hitting at random times. But so far, this morning is okay. I still haven't had a solid night's sleep, but at least when I wake up, I go right back to sleep, which is huge.
It hasn't even been a week and I can already feel a difference. It's not like something in me switched on like a lightbulb. Rather, it's like slowly opening a window and airing out a room. The freshness breathes new life into you. For me, the anxiety is easing. I still have moments, but they are getting fewer and farther between and less intense.

I don't know if I can acurrately voice how lovely this is. It'll be awhile until I am really better but at least I know the medication is working.

Friday was a first for R and I. We went on a date. R's parents were in town and watched Bean for us while we went to see Avatar. Can I just profess my love for this movie? Being a sci-fi fan, this was right up my alley. Some people (ahem, my husband) say if you want a storyline, stay home a read a book, but I think the story was really relevant to the past and the present. We both were amazed by the seamless way live action was blended with the CG. We saw it in 3-d which took awile for me to get used to since I already wear glasses, so my brain was compensating twice. When we left, it took a bit for my legs to feel right. I mean, after all that flying I did, it is any wonder?

Having that date was lovely in so many ways. I think it allowed us to reconnect a little. To just spend some time together and just be us. It was longest we'd left the baby with anyone since she was born. When we left, I was definitely an anxious mother, but she was down and sleeping for the night, so his parents just had to keep an ear out for her.

My parents were over on Saturday for the day. I miss them both a lot these days. The influx of the grandparents was fun to watch as they took in Bean's growth and got to know her all over again. It reminds me just how much she changes. I see it constantly every day but it must be quite shocking to those who don't see her for weeks at a time.

Lastly, yesterday morning, R went to go rescue the baby from her crib when she woke up and shocked him by being face up. Considering the only way she will sleep is on her stomach, this new development of rolling over makes me feel less guilty about the stomach sleeping.

Stuck in the Past

I just spent a two hour session with my mom on the phone working our way through our family tree on ancestry.com. We're HUGE into geneaology. I love researching things and solving puzzles. Some interesting facts:

-Currently, our farthest relation was born in 1250. Norman familiy. Hubby came home and when I told him this, he asked if anyone if the family was in the Crusades. Who knows...

-The above line goes back 17 generations (I counted). I'm the 18th.

-I am related to Captain William Bligh, of the Bounty fame. It's a big family so lots of people can also claim this. I'm his 5th great-grandaughter. However, the current puzzle is figuring out what his great-grandaughter's name is as she's our link. Interesting challenge.

-There is more Scottish blood on my Dad's side than there are clans in Scotland. Well, not really, but each line seems to end up being Scottish.

-My mom's side is really interesting. Her maternal side are German-Russians from a place called Bessarabia- an area between Romania and the Ukraine now called Moldova. Some really fascinating history there. We've been able to go back 10 generations, I think, but we've been finding more hints, so there is more work to be done.

But I think it's time to revert to the present and get myself some sleep. Hoping I can sleep through the night. My body is adjusting to the new medication but we're not quite there yet. More on that tomorrow.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Photo of the Day: Yet Another Sunset

You would think I would get bored taking photos of the sunsets from our apartment, but somehow, I never do.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Friday Photo Challenge (2): VARIETY

Yay, we're in business! Technical difficulties are over...

The Photo Challenge aims to allow creative ways to explore a weekly theme through photography.

Follow these steps and join the fun:

1. Post your photo on your site. You are free to leave an explanation or none at all.
2. Leave your name and the link on this Challenge Post. Please use the PERMA-LINK (the link to your actual post, not the main link to your blog).
3. Share your thoughts about my photo and others on the list by leaving a comment. This is our chance to discuss the theme and how each of us thought to document it. Hopefully, this will be more than just "Nice photo".

While I would LOVE everyone to take a moment to take a photo, I realize that it may not always be possible. So, it is perfectly fine to post a photo you have taken previously, as long as it is representative of the theme and how you want to define it.

Oh, and don’t forget one very important thing… HAVE FUN!

This week's theme: VARIETY

It's a simpler and probably more lighthearted than last week and I think, fun. I was cooking (what else is new?) and my photo is both symbolic and literal. Symbolic, in that I was shaking things up and trying something new; literal, in that you can't get more variety than in 15-Bean Soup Mix.

Next Theme (Feb. 12, 2010): CELEBRATIONS
In honour of the Opening Ceremonies for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, lets take a moment to show off the different ways we celebrate. Whether it is a personal and private celebration, or one giant public party, we tend to celebrate the big and the small. All I know is, there is a wonderful energy building in this city of mine and I'm hoping to be able to capture it somehow.

Photo Challenge- Technical Difficulties

Bear with me while I wait for the auto-link form site to sort itself out. The post will still hopefully go up today, hopefully soon...

Guess Who's Going to BlogHer '10?

I don't think I can possibly say how excited I am about this! I can't believe I get to go to the BlogHer Conference in August. The logistics of whether it's just going to be me, or a family vacation have yet to be decided. Much depends on money and where we're living (wherever R finds work after his thesis is done), but I get to go regardless- I've already registered.

So if you're going, give a shout out and we can plan to meet up.

New York City, here I come!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Depression Intervention, Take Two...

I woke up this morning feeling much like I did a year ago. Rather than being morning sickness, it's a side effect of my new medication.

I'm still trying to digest my last minute appointment yesterday, so bear with me while I try and work through it.

Reproductive Mental Health. It sounds so, so, serious! Which is what I think I needed; for someone to take this seriously and find a way to push through the wall that has been hindering my efforts to get better. I got the phone call at 11:30 in the morning. I was just about to make myself some lunch before packing up Bean to go to our weekly drop-in. As soon as I saw the hospital's name on the Caller ID, my heart started racing. They said that they had a cancellation and could get me in that day. The appointment was at 1pm. Yikes! We have no car, so I rely on transit and the hospital is a bit of a trek.

I'm running around the apartment, gathering a bottle, throwing things in the diaper bag, wolfing down a hard boiled egg and trying to get Bean ready to go. The anxiety kicks in. Thoughts are racing in my head. What if I'm late and I can't have the appointment? What if I can't find the place since she said almost everyone gets lost the first time? I get to the hospital grounds and aim for the coffee shop, feeling famished since a hard boiled egg does not make for a proper lunch. I grabbed a muffin and a latte.

By the time I found the building (it was across from the building where our prenatal classes were held), checked in, filled out the paper work and sat down to wait for the doctor, my anxiety had reached an all-time high. I could taste the bile in my throat and was on the verge of throwing up.

My anxiety stemmed from the fact that I really had no idea what to expect. I have never seen a psychiatrist before, counsellors yes, but never someone with the ability to prescribe meds. She was, in a word, AWESOME! She asked me lots of questions, trying to get my background story. She learned about the miscarriages, fibro, the bullying at school, my brother's illness and death. All the episodes of depression in my life were discussed. I think I had somehow forgotten how many times I had gone through depression. We had an hour appointment. I think she really needed about three hours to just to get through the basics. My life has been anything but simple. Everytime I tried to simplify and shorten a story, I found I couldn`t. There were too many important details.

At one point, she asked me what I thought I needed. I told her that I need to sleep! The insomnia has been pretty awful the last couple of weeks. I also told here that I needed to tame the anxiety. That, coupled with the insomnia, is what is keeping me from doing what I know I need to do. The fibro kicks in now and again to remind me that it's all linked.

We start talking medication. She asked me if I had heard of a certain one, which I had. She said it's a WONDERFUL antidepressant. She said it almost lovingly, which amuses me to no end. It's good for depresssion AND pain and is indicated for fibro. Two for one! My kinda drug. She gave me 4 weeks worth. I'm on a graduated schedule. Week 1, 30 mg. Weeks 2 & 3, 60 mg. Week 4, 120mg. I'll see her again in Week 4 and we'll see where we are at.

The side effects of this medication are nausea, sleepiness and dizziness. So far the nausea has been the predominate one and I've only had my first dose. It's a delayed release medication, so it'll stay longer in my system and I won't get highs and lows on it. Since I'm obviously sensitive to medication, she said that if I can put up with the side effects (which should get better as my body adapts), it could really help me.

Meanwhile, I'm signed up the PPD/Anxiety Therapy group that starts on the 23rd of this month. Dr. R and a nurse clinician run it. Hopefully, my anxiety will be under control by then so I can actually participate freely in a group. For now, I keep doing what I'm doing, aided by my new buddy. As I was leaving her office, she did remind me that they weren't "happy pills". They may not make me happy, but if these blue and white capsules can help me remember what happiness felt like, that my friends, would be an amazing thing.

Here we go...

Show and Tell: A Guessing Game

I was going to do another food post but I'm going to save that for next week.

Here's the photo:

Now what is it? Throw in your guess and I reveal the answer next week...

Don't forget to check out what the rest of the class is showing HERE!

Photo of the Day: Baby-Wan Kenobi

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

With Each Stroke

She drops the old sheet on the floor,
stained, smeared with colour.
Carefully ripping off the plastic wrapping,
it is laid bare- clean and untouched.

She runs her hand across it’s surface,
the texture of the primed canvas,
an invitation to attempt something;
the act more often important than the outcome.

Beside it lays the piece of glass that is her pallet,
with it’s long edges covered in
electrical tape that has
obviously seen better days.

She works the paint on the glass with her pallet knife,
carefully mixing colours,
ultramarine blue, mars black, titanium white-
their names a lullaby she sings to herself.

Pallet knife and brush in hand
She dips them into the paint.
Holding the endless possibilities in front of her,
she touches the stark white canvas,
and waits for the magic to begin.

Looking back...

... through my posts from last year, it’s occurred to me that I was in serious need of a spell-check, or proof-reading, or both. I’m re-reading to try and gain some perspective on my current situation. I’m always aiming forward but looking back and evaluating things from before help me to see thing a little clearer.

One thing is for certain, I shall be reading my posts very carefully to make sure that when I look back on them later, I’m not so embarrassed by the very obvious typos.

People obviously forgave me for them, because I still have readers. Have I mentioned lately how lovely you all are? You are, and more.

I’m thinking that I should write my posts in Word first and then copy and paste. Hmm, considerations…

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

A Year Ago...

... I found out I was pregnant with this crazy kid. My pregnancy wasn't what I dreamed of, simply because history got in the way, as did fear. But she moved early (I felt her clearly at 15 weeks) and showed up just in time.

I had no real expectations of what Motherhood would be like. Even if I did, it wouldn't have come close to my reality.

I love her more than I ever knew was possible. Today she made a funny little gesture that made me laugh wholeheartedly and in turn she started giggling. I keep telling myself that these moments are what make it worthwhile, but the truth is, that these moments keep me focused on what I want more than anything: to ENJOY her. Not just moments, but the whole crazy journey.

Today has been a mix of up, down and sideways. I managed to step out for a quick jaunt up to the store for a couple items. I'm seeing my friend K tomorrow, which I'm really looking forward to. She asked if I wanted her to go over to my place. I said I may go there but that we'd leave it till to tomorrow to decide since a lot depended on whether or not I got out today. As I joked, if I didn't, I would need to stop myself from developing a nervous twitch.

Twitch avoided- temporarily. Now only if I can shake the cloud that's been hovering...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Family is More Than

I received bad news last night- someone in my family has died, possibly, or probably, he took his own life.

He was related to me by marriage, but that marriage ended and both moved on. While I haven't seen him in some time, he was around for a good chunk of my life. It is so hard to understand how I'm feeling. I think it boils down to the idea of family and the definitions we place on it. Technically, he wasn't related to me any more, but does that make him less a part of the family? It certainly doesn't make our grief any less, or easier to wrap our minds around.

He was a genuinely nice guy but as my mom put it, "f*cked up". But as I said to her, "aren't we all a little bit?" I get that about him and a lot of people I know and care about. This is just one more event is a series of difficult things that are currently going on or have occurred in the family recently. Things I can't talk about here except to say that we're all just trying to help each other through step by step.

I've been mulling over whether I would say anything here or not about what happened. The fact is that when my mom told me yesterday afternoon, I didn't feel anything. There were words I was hearing, but they didn't have substance to them. My Mom was understandably upset and I was trying to help her but I couldn't feel anything at the moment. I felt a little useless. Then Bean woke up screaming and I was trying to deal with her, making me distracted. I know my mom understands.

It wasn't till I looked up the news article on the internet about the incident that I broke. Seeing his picture, broke open the dam that was holding all the emotions in. A monumental flood. When it passed, I didn't necessarily feel better but in a way I did, if you know what I mean. Though, even typing this last paragraph brought another wave on. A momentary release.

It's a reminder that the ties of "family" go beyond blood and genetics. There's the saying that you can choose your friends but not your family. I disagree. You can choose your family; and right now, we're grieving for someone we cared about and who meant something to us. It's the realization that family goes beyond life, and death.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Photo Challenge: STRENGTH

Welcome to the first installation of the Friday Photo Challenge!

The Photo Challenge aims to allow creative ways to explore a weekly theme through photography.

Follow these steps and join the fun:

1. Post your photo on your site. You are free to leave an explanation or none at all.
2. Leave your name and the link on this Challenge Post. Please use the PERMA-LINK (the link to your actual post, not the main link to your blog).
3. Share your thoughts about my photo and others on the list by leaving a comment. This is our chance to discuss the theme and how each of us thought to document it. Hopefully, this will be more than just "Nice photo".

While I would LOVE everyone to take a moment to take a photo, I realize that it may not always be possible. So, it is perfectly fine to post a photo you have taken previously, as long as it is representative of the theme and how you want to define it.

Oh, and don’t forget one very important thing… HAVE FUN!

This week's theme: STRENGTH

Dictionary.com has 13 (yes, 13!) basic definitions of the word strength. But it also has this:


4. Strength, power, force, might suggest capacity to do something. Strength is inherent capacity to manifest energy, to endure, and to resist. Power is capacity to do work and to act. Force is the exercise of power: One has the power to do something. He exerts force when he does it. He has sufficient strength to complete it. Might is power or strength in a great or overwhelming degree: the might of an army.
I like the idea that it's about manifesting energy, endurance and rsisitance. Throughout my life I have experienced this one way or another.
I set out this week with an idea of what I wanted to capture with my lens. For me, trees embody strength so simply, as if it were a part of their nature; as if they couldn't be anything but strong. The thing about trees here on the West Coast is that many of them are large, very large. I was trying to get a single large douglas fir tree in my focus but the funny thing about forests is that it's very difficult to isolate one tree from another. At first, it annoyed me. And then I laughed.
Can we get a large chorus of "duh"?
The individual is only as strong as the group. In each other, there is strength.

What do you see in the world around you?

Next week's theme (Feb.5): VARIETY

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Show and Tell: Intuitive Cooking

If I've learned anything from writing this blog is that if I'm going to do a post on food it must have a recipe AND a photo. To do one but not the other is to invite threats of being strung up. Hey, I hear you, I'm listening. Honest!

So, I have more food po.rn .(Are you excited yet?)

Lately, I've been thinking about food and how I cook. In my very humble opinion, the reason most people don't cook is fear. They're scared of screwing up and looking foolish. Why the fear? After all, it's just food! It can't bite you back. Really...

I love cooking, that's no secret. I come from a family of cooks. My father and brother cook for a living and my Mom learned from her Mom, who was a great cook. If I couldn't hold my own in the kitchen, I jokingly tell people that I'd be disowned. I sometimes think it's not so much of a joke.

When I'm in the kitchen, I like to play. Mostly, I take very simple recipes and change them up. Throw in this, and then a little of that. Taste. Repeat. I stop when I feel like it's done.  I add ingredients without always knowing what will happen. So while, I enjoy trying new recipes as much as the next kitchen goddess, sometimes it's much more fun to simply toss out the cookbook and play.

Last week, we had salmon on the menu. We had a package of wild spring salmon in the freezer. I pulled out a couple of fillets to thaw. I also had bought a beautiful large eggplant; it's shiny dark purple skin inviting adventure.

But I had no idea what the hell to do with it.

So I turned to Google. And even though there were lots of recipes involving salmon and eggplant, I either didn't have the ingredients or it took too long. When you care for a baby, time is of the essence.

So I did what I usually do in this situation... I made it up as I went along.

So here is my lovely creation, complete with a name and a recipe. However, if you were hoping for a full ingrediant list and a full play by play, I shall have to disappoint you. Go ahead and try something new, play, be intuitive about your food. You know what you like. Use only my ingredients, use none of them, or even a mix with your own twist- I'll never know. Don't be afraid of making a mess of it, because even if you do, there's always another day to try again.

Lindsay's Italian Eggplant Baked Salmon

Chopped onion
Minced garlic
Chopped eggplant
Fire roasted peppers, chopped (I happened to have these in my pantry, but you could easily use fresh peppers and toss them in wiht the onion etc)
Black Olives
Canned plain tomatoe sauce (or you can even use fresh chopped tomatoes and cook them down a little)
Salt, pepper, oregano
Salmon Fillets

Fresh grated parmesan cheese

In a saucepan, cook the onion, garlic and eggplant. Add peppers, olives, tomatoe sauce and seasoning. Remove from heat. Place the salmon in a baking dish and cover with sauce. Generously sprinkle cheese over the top and toss in a hot oven. Cook until the slamon flakes easily (about 30 minutes at 350 degrees F).

Serve with whatever you like for sides. We had slices of whole grain baguette to soak up all the lovely sauce. Salad is nice too.

Food is only good for you if you enjoy it.

Now pop over to Mel's and see what the rest of the class is cooking. AND just a reminder to those participating in my Photo Challenge that the post goes up on FRIDAY.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Progress: Redux

Yesterday was another interesting day.

For starters, I had one of my crazy blurred vision, near blackout moments. I had this a couple of times before being diagnosed with fibro. It scared the shit out of me then and yesterday was worse because Bean was awake and eating. I kept worrying about passing out with Bean there with me. I desperately wanted her to go to sleep so I didn't have to worry about her. I ate breakfast right away so that blood sugar wouldn't play a part in it (it's not what causes these moments, so no comments about my not eating right away in the morning).

Then my Mom called. Moms have great timing sometimes, don't they?

We talked and she suggested putting Bean in her little chair beside the couch so I could lie down and rest and see if that helped. So I did and yes, I started feeling a little better.

But the event left me drained, so I decided I should keep thing low-key. I had made a list earlier of all that I had to do and was a little sad that I wouldn't get any of it done. But, I really started feeling a lot better by Noon and by the afternoon I had a surge of energy, which I took advantage of.

So I did it- finally: I called  the Post-Partum Society.

The nurse who gave me the pamphlet warned me that I may have to leave a messsage. I'm glad she warned me because if I had just gotten the voicemail for the support line, I might have just hung up right there and then. But I didn't and I did leave a message.

Around dinner time, just before R got home, they called me back. A lovely woman, whose name never did register in my brain, walked me through the intake and listened to my story and where I was at. She was wonderful. All of the support line volunteers are Moms who have been through Post-Partum Depression/ Anxiety. They've been there and they know how hard it is. She said she would mail out some info for myself and R and follow-up with me next week to see if 1) I got it and 2) I had any questions and where to go next.

I have no illusion that they can magically fix my issues- that's not what they are they for. But they have a support line I can call and in-person support groups. I'm not sure what I'm going to do but in the meantime, while I wait for my appointment with the hospital to come around, at least I know I have options and resources available to me.

It's funny, I'm still in limbo and I'm still not in the best place, but I think I'd rather go with things not moving at all, because perhaps that might mean that things won't get worse. Crazy? Maybe. In any case, I have options and when your world seems to be collapsing around you, options are like a few good pillars that are going to hold the ceiling up.

Monday, January 25, 2010

All that is Not Hidden

The mirror tells no lies.

Looking back at her is a face,
young still but having borne witness to life,
Real Life.

There are the scars and marks of acne,
Not the stuff of teenage angst but that
which sticks around (unfortunately).

High cheekbones highlight
a longer face with a distinctive chin;
a mouth framed with dimples.

Deep dark eyes that, at various times
show joy, and sadness,
love and despair.

And hope.
Always Hope.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


So yesterday was an interesting day. I did somehting I wasn't sure I could: I went to the parent-baby drop in at my local health unit. Considering the place is all of two blocks away, I couldn't use distance as an excuse not to go. But I get anxious at the thought of being in a room full of people I don't know. Now, first off, if you've been around, you'll know that that is very unusal for me, as I am generally a very open and outgoing person. But then again, depression alters my personailty so drastically at times that I scare even me. You may recall that I tried to go to the holiday social back in December, only to find out that it was cancelled due to the flu shot clinic. [insert sob here]

So, I woke Bean up from her nap (she had been down for only 30 minutes), packed her in the stroller and made another attempt at being social.

It was both wonderful and awful.

Let's discuss the awful part first. When I first got there, there was only one other mom there and the two nurses running the show. Then slowly more people arrived. It was fine at first. But the more people that showed up, the less space there was in the room and the harder it was to have a conversation with people I didn't know. Add to that, that about half the women knew each other from coming to the group before, and I felt so alone. Bean was pissed off about being woken from her nap so I had to hold her and soothe her back to sleep. I couldn't put her in the stroller without waking her, so I held her through her nap. I felt so alone in a room full of people.

[Enter massive anxiety attack.]

I got up, walked around the room with the baby, and did a hell of a lot of breathing. Thankfully, it never progressed into a panic attack, but I had to fight to keep myself together.

No one in the room knew. I think maybe I'm too good an actress sometimes.

I calmed down a bit and tried to keep from crying. Bean woke up and interacted with people for a bit before indicating that I best get a bottle ready before she erupted with displeasure.

Then the wonderful part happened. As I sat on the floor feeding her, the group came to an end and people began to disperse. One of the nurses was talking to people as they left. At one point I caught her eye and asked her if I could ask some questions. She sat next to me and I began to explain the whole PPD mess including that I was freaking out a bit over having to wait so long for my appointment. I told her about the anxiety attack I had just had.

We talked a bit. Then she left to go get some info for me. While she was gone, a mom whose baby is only a couple of weeks older than Bean came over to chat with me. We had talked a little earlier. It turned out that she lived just down the street from me. She gave me her phone numbers just as the nurse returned and suggested we get together sometime. She asked if I was coming next week and I said I was planning to. We would make plans then.

The nurse gave me a pamphlet for a non-profit PPD group who might be able to help me in the interim while I waited for March to come around. She expressed concern about my anxiety and wondered if the group might be too much for me. I wasn't sure, but I knew I should give it another try. She gave me her card and told me to call or come see her or the nurse who did my homevisit after Bean was born (love her!). And, she asked if they could call me to keep tabs on how I was doing. I said YES! She also said that if I didn't show up for group next week that she would be calling me.

Three cheers for nurses! Sometimes I swear they get things more than the doctors do (and I have had great doctors).

The other really important realization is that I DO have an anxiety issue, whereas before I tried to convince myself it was nothing. My mom even asked at one point if my tension and axiety over being alone with her all the time might be what makes her more difficult on certain days. Then, I said it didn't. Now, I'm not so sure. My bad days correlate pretty well with her bad days.

And that bothers me! I have a hard time dealing with the fact that what I'm going through if affecting her negatively. I hate that I could cause her distress. Could this have a long lasting impact on her? I don't know. It's a question I have to ask. I'm going to take her to her pediatrician for a four-month checkup next month. I have a feeling that there will be lots to discuss. Good thing I LOVE her pediatrician. He's one of those doctors you can actually have a conversation with. Amazing, isn't it?

After I got home from the group yesterday, I re-took the post-partum depression questionaire. The scale evaluates whether or not some has PPD and to what degree. Anything over 13 (I think) out of 30 is considered significant. 30 is suicidal. I scored 20 6 weeks ago. Yesterday, I scored 23. Not a dramatic change but a change in the wrong direction nonetheless. A good sign is that the last question concerns thoughts of harming yourself. I still score 0. Small mercies.

So, the next step is to call this PPD Society and see what they have to say. I suppose we can only go up from here, right?

Show and Tell: Restoration of a Memory

So... two things on the plate this week.

Firstly, I'm going to shamelessly promote my new weekly photo challenge. You can read about it HERE.

As for the other half...

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the most adept when it comes to Photoshop (or in the case of my computer, Corel PaintShop Pro), but I have learned a few things. I have this really lovely photo of my mom's parents on their wedding day. The original is distorted and oddly coloured. I was playing around one day and turned this:

into this:

Not too shabby, eh? Now hop over to Mel's and see what everyone else brought to Show and Tell this week...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Introducing a Fun New Project: Friday Photo Challenge

Last night got me thinking and suddenly I had one of those "AHA" moments that gets you really excited. If you've been reading as of late, you'll know that my being excited about anything is HUGE. As a Plan B while I await professional help for my post-partum depression, I am going to do a little self-therapy.

I have been into photography and art since I was a child. I still have the photos I took with my first disposable camera. I was at a Girl Guide camp. I took photos of my fellow guides but mostly I took photos of the world around me. Even then, I was more drawn to photographing nature that people. It came, well, naturally.

I'll never forget the moment after being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I had started medication and was starting to feel more like myself again. It was a sunny day and I went to go sit outside in the sunshine on the steps of the staircase that had previously crumbled under my weight, nearly sending me falling through them (I'm still a little traumatized). I was sitting there with a hot cup of coffee in my hands, soaking up the sunshine. I breathed in the fresh morning air so unbelievably happy to be alive. After spending months in pain, scared that there was something life-threatening wrong with me, I was sitting there, doing okay, grateful that what I would have my entire life was manageable.

If I had had a camera then and was to have taken a photo of the woman, comtemplating the preciousness of life, I may have snapped the photo from behind, a solitary image of calmness. Or it could have been a profile image showing her calm smile. Or, as I'm often wont to do, it would have been more abstract, such as the steaming cup of coffee or the streaming sunshine. The point is, that in every given moment, there are multiple ways to take it in and see it, truly see it.

Photography has allowed me to focus my mind and process the world around me in special ways. I see things I would never have seen if I hadn't taken the time to look a little closer, a little deeper. That is the beauty of the lens. Nothing is truly hidden, much is revealed. For me, art is my version of therapy. I believe in it so much, I wanted to be an art therapist, but alas, University and I don't mesh too well, and I didn't get too far in my studies, though I loved it dearly.

My daily photos have reminded me about the power this has in my life. I think the hardest part about PPD, for me, has been the isolation and disconnect from the things in my life that truly mean something. It's time to change that. And I'm dragging you along with me for the fun, if you're willing.

Hence the beginning of the FRIDAY PHOTO CHALLENGE! It is open to EVERYONE and I'm really hoping you'll help spread the word and encourage others to participate. I know there are lots of weekly memes out there (I participate in a couple when I can) but I wanted this one to be different. I wanted to encourage, everyone (including myself), to look at the world a little deeper and try to see things in a new way.

Here's the gist and the rules:

1. I will post a theme for the week. You will have a whole week to take a photo that YOU think best represents that theme. This is not about being a professional photographer. All I ask is that you post an ORIGINAL photo that YOU have taken. The beauty here, is that we all view the world is a unique way and art is a way of showcasing this view without having to explain it.

2. On Fridays, post the photo and mention the theme for the week (so we know we're all on the right week and what we're looking at). I will post the CHALLENGE post with an auto-link form. Fill out the form so that I, and others, can go visit your photo.

3. Share your thoughts about my photo and others on the list by leaving a comment. This is our chance to discuss the theme and how each of us thought to document it. Hopefully, this will be more than just "Nice photo".

4. While I would LOVE everyone to take a moment to take a photo, I realize that it may not always be possible. So, it is perfectly fine to post a photo you have taken previously, as long as it is representative of the theme and how you want to define it.

So, that's the deal. I would really love people to join me on this and have some fun with it. I'm a social person and right now I need to draw myself out and work towards goal. So help a depressed gal out and spread the joy of art.

The first CHALLENGE post will go up January 29th. That actually gives you more than a week to find your inspiration.

This week's theme: STRENGTH

Any questions? Feel free to leave a comment or email me (see right sidebar).

Photo of the Day: Honeysuckle

I went hunting for a photo to post and was looking for something to match my mood- gloomy and hostile. Alas, all I could find were happy, pretty pictures.

This was taken at a lavender farm in Kelowna, BC this past summer when R and I were on holidays visiting family.

Falling Through the Cracks

I called the PPD directly to find out about getting in earlier. I'm on the cancellation list. However, because they've never seen me before, I can't call them if I really need help. She did tell me that if I was having bad thoughts I should go see my referring Doctor or go to the ER.

Great! So unless I'm contemplating suicide, I'm on my own.

I'm working on Plan B. Not entirely sure what it will entail (calling my OB?) but I need to figure it out quick. All I know if that everyone`s support has been wonderful. Your comments have made me laugh at times and laughter is always good. Please keep them coming. It helps more than you know.

I'll keep you posted- off to check on my overtired and upset baby, attempt to make dinner and console myself with a couple of pieces of good dark chocolate.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Time's Long Echo

Fifty days. 5-0!

That's how many days I have to wait until my appointment at the PPD Clinic at the hospital. I want to cry. Almost 2 months seems forever. I've had horrible waits before (between ultrasounds to confirm miscarriage, the wait for medical all clear to try again after my D&C) but this, THIS, I don't know how to handle.

How do I hold out till March 9th? I don't know what I need right now but I'll take something, anything, to keep me from losing my mind.

Suggestions, a few well chosen curse words, a hell of a lot of chocolate? Help me out here, I'm at a loss...

Photo of the Day

This past summer, R and I took a little trip to Deep Cove, on the North Shore (ie. the mountains you typically see in pictures of Vancouver). A lot of kayacking happens in the area. These ones caught my eye.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Being Sung Awake?

I'm feeling quiet today. I have a couple of posts rattling around my brain but my thoughts are too disorganized. I think what I really need is a nap. Being off the Lyrica means I'm not sleeping as well as I was. I'm not as groggy but now I keep waking up a couple times each night.

R singing in his sleep doesn't help either.

I don't have time for a nap this afternoon, but maybe I do have time for some Wii. Moving is good.

Photo of the Day

Vaisakhi Day Parade, April 2008: This was the first time I ever attended the parade. I met up with a friend and her kids and she taught me about the religious significance of the event. Living in such a mulitcultural city has been a wonderfully eye opening experience. I like to think I'm open minded. Participating in the different cultures around me is forever expanding my horizons. As someone who has never been off the continent, I sometimes think my horizons could use expanding on a more regular basis. For more info about Vaisakhi go HERE...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Happy Birthdays Are in Order

I wanted this to have it's own post. Today would have been my older brother's 30th birthday. It's a milestone, that while observed quietly, is on the minds of my family today. If you're not familiar with the story, you can read it here.

This year is going to be a different year for me I think. The loss anniversaries that haunted me last year aren't the first thing on my mind. Don't get me wrong, miscarriage has tainted so many things for me. But, holding Bean reminds me that right now I need to live in the present and enjoy what I have, today. If I don't I will forever miss all the wonderful firsts that are a constant part of parenting an infant. As it is, the depression has left me in a weird place and I haven't chronicled these wonderful moments the way I wanted to. But maybe that is just a part of the reality that is parenthood.

As I think of my brother and Bean, I feel a full circle of sorts has come to play. I once asked him if he knew the spirits of my two lost babies. Today I know his spirit is here to greet Bean on this, the day that marks three months. My baby is three months old! Um, how did that happen?