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Showing posts from May, 2011

About Me

I added a description to the "About Me" tab and moved it to the top of my blog.  I have been doing a lot of thinking the past couple of weeks about how, even if people are following my blog everyday, they still wouldn't know my whole story (they would have a pretty good picture, though). For some reason, I feel like I need a disclaimer of sorts.  This way if I choose to write about the sad parts of my day for weeks on end, readers will know that the sad parts aren't the whole story, just a part of it.  I guess ultimately, people will read into my posts any way they like, but I feel better with the updated description.   * * * I went over to Chris and Kerri's last night.  Kerri's hug felt good.  The visit was hard.  I felt uncomfortable (which had nothing to do with anything anyone did).  I barely looked at Drew.  I just couldn't. Okay, the first visit is over.  Now, where do we go from here? * * * The government agreed to mediation with the STF.  * * *

My Happiness Project Week 2

One of the first things I did last week to get my happiness project rolling was to buy a book.  I headed to Staples and found one with a hard cover that was made recycled material.  I threw the title on and started writing. (Notice the grease stains on the front. . . well used already!)

For now, I am going to follow what Gretchen Rubin did in her book.  The first month she focused getting her body feeling better by exercise and sleep and by organizing and completing nagging tasks.

In my Happiness Project book, I threw in a couple of goals for myself.  The first was my motto from last week, "look good, feel good, be happy."  In order to do this I am going to eliminate eating after supper, improve on the number of days a week I get ready in the morning and I am going to continue with my exercise program.  The 2nd goal was NO MORE PROCRASTINATING!  Under this heading I put, get caught up with home videos, be more on top of giving cards and gifts and organize/sort/toss/clean.

I…

Right Where I Am Project - 3 Months, 6 Days

Last night I was surfing around the internet looking for blogs that I could connect to and I found this one. The author has created a project for other mothers who have lost infants to talk about where they are in their grief.  I haven't read all of the posts yet (so far there are 40), but I can say they are all insightful and I really do connect with parts of all of them.  Here is mine.

Tripp died 3 months and 6 days ago.  I am definitely in a different place than I was 3 months ago. It is a place where my emotions don't feel as raw and a place where I can cope a lot better.  The place I am at is still sad and exhausting, but it is better than the place I was at just after Tripp's death.

I find it extremely difficult in the days around the 18th (his birthday) and the 23rd (his death day).  I feel like I am reliving those 5 days in February every month.  They are hard.  I feel relieved when I wake up the morning of the 24th.  It is over for another month.

I am beginning to…

The Hand I Was Dealt

We went into the city this morning to Dutch Growers.  We were given a number of gift cards when Tripp died to purchase trees/shurbs/plants.  Hugh and I picked out a Thunderchild Flowering Crab and we are going to put it in the front lawn.  Spending the gift cards made me sad.  I was hanging on to them.  They were one of those reminders I had of Tripp and I was sad to have to give them up.  I kept the envelopes they came in.  I am not sure what I will do with them.  I should recycle them, but I will probably put them into the bag filled with the rest of Tripp's stuff.

Kerri texted me on Friday morning and said that they got home from the hospital on Thursday.  I have wanted to call her but felt like I couldn't.  Every time I think of Kerri and Drew my chest tightens up and if I don't stop myself from thinking about them at that exact second, tears start to swell.  If I continue to let myself think, I cry.  Hard.  So -- I have been avoiding.  Pushing thoughts out of my mind.…

Teachers Rally at Legislature Building

I had a great day gathering with other teachers in the province at the Legislature Building.  It was an amazing experience and I left Regina elevated.  It is an incredible feeling to be connected to something this big.  Teachers are united.  Everyone we talked to feels the same.  We are supporting our bargaining committee and will do whatever it takes to be heard by the government.
 The crew we drove up with.
 Hugh's staff in top right.

 If we strike again, I would encourage all teachers to gather as a group like we did in Regina.  There were pockets of rallies all around the province and I heard the same thing from all involved. . . Being part of a group is an empowering experience.
Notice the students on the right.  They got a hold of an STF poster and changed it.  All the students (except the girl with the sign) were dressed in their track gear and walked with us.

Today, we heard we are headed back to the table on Sunday.  The government better bring more than an additional 0.55%…

Kerri and Drew

In the last week, I have had Tripp’s 3 month birthday, the 3 month anniversary of his death, and on Tuesday Kerri gave birth to her son, Drew.I have had a myriad of emotions this week with the most prominent one being the fear of the unknown.I have dealt with the 2 days surrounding Tripp’s birth and death before, but how I would feel when Kerri had the baby was uncharted.

I found that as time got closer to the date of Kerri’s scheduled c-section, I began to feel overwhelmed.  The realization that things were going to change scared me.  Kerri and I had Dylan and Calder 3 months apart.  We spent the last 3 years on the same journey, being pregnant to having infants and then toddlers.  We came full circle when we became pregnant again with due dates 2 months apart.  Kerri and I were going to go through everything together again.  I remember jumping up and yelling when she told me she was expecting.  I was excited for her, but I was excited for me too.  I loved being on the journey with Ke…

Saskatoon Teachers Gather

Teachers are on strike.  Do I even need to write that?  It is all over the news, radio, and social networking sites.  This morning a number of Saskatoon Teachers got together and walked along the river.  It was great to feel a sense of community and support from the 100's of teachers from dozens of schools who came out.
 We were at the middle of this particular "pack" of teachers.  We saw other teachers walking on the other side of the river, walking the opposite direction of us and some doing community service by picking garbage.  A wonderful teacher volunteered to take a picture of us.  We turned Calder around so that he would be in the shot, but she completely cut him out! You can also check our Hugh and I walking on THIS blog.  Calder's face is blocked by the chariot, so he is still not in the shot!

Tomorrow, Abbey and Billy are going to look after Calder so that Hugh and I can head to the Legislature Building in Regina to show our support of our bargaining committ…

Calder's Bedtime PARTY

A couple of days ago, I blogged about the party Calder had in his bed where he tossed EVERYTHING out of his crib, including the fitted sheet.  Last night, he had another party.  When Hugh went in to check on him before we went to bed, he found this. . .  
Keep in mind that when Hugh first went into the room the only light was coming from Calder's night light. At first glance, Calder wasn't in his crib, nor was he on the floor.  After a few seconds for his eyes to adjust to the light, Hugh realized Calder was UNDER the fitted sheet.  Hugh came out from Calder's room in a fit of laughter, calling Luke and I to come and check it out.  
Once we all had a good look and a good laugh, Hugh pulled him out from underneath.  Not only was Calder compressed under the sheet, so were two of his favorite "babies" and one of his blankets.
Today, about 5 minutes after I put Calder down for his nap, I could hear him crying his "I'm hurt" cry.  I went in to see and sure…

The Happiness Project

First, it is May 23rd.  Three months since we said our final goodbye to Tripp.  It is on my mind, but it isn't consuming me today.  I had a really rough day yesterday and I think that rough day has made today easier for me.  Today, I am also motivated about my happiness project, which has given me something to keep my mind occupied.
* * * I order a few books on Chapters.ca a couple of weeks ago.  They have free shipping on orders over $25 and I have found books to be significantly cheaper on the website than in the store (For example, I purchased Mamarrazi online for $23.99 and it was $35.99 in the store).  Usually, I will receive anything I order within a week.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin has caught my eye on a number of occasions, so when I wanted to purchase Mamarrazi online and needed another book to get free shipping, I added it to my cart (it was $9.89). Here is the synopsis from Chapters.ca:

What if you could change your life without really changing your life? On …

May 22

I have had a really rough morning.  I have been doing lots of thinking about the multitude of emotions I am feeling and I don't feel like thinking about it anymore.  Somehow, I hope, that if I stop thinking about it, I will stop feeling it.  Thus, I am not going to write about it.
* * * Last night we went into Calder's room to tuck him in before we went to bed and this is what we found:
Calder had taken all 6 of his "babies" (aka: stuffed animals), three blankets, and mattress cover and tossed them outside his crib.  He had also pulled the pillowcase off of his pillow and that's what he's cuddling.  Apparently, he had a wild party before falling asleep last night.
* * * This morning, I decided to start a weekend tradition.  It will be called Rainbow Pancakes.  I made the pancakes (with some helpful assistance from Calder) and he picked the colors.
Calder likes to eat his pancakes with peanut butter, just like his dad.  The enormous amount of syrup is courtesy of Gr…

Quick Update

I had an amazing visit with Courtney.  As we chatted last night, I really wished the 23rd wasn't this weekend.  It would have been so fun to be at the lake with her for the weekend.  We stayed up talked past midnight.  I seriously can't remember the last time I purposely stayed up that late!

Jes and I also had a great visit today.  I picked her up in Regina and brought her to Martensville.  She flies to Charlottetown tomorrow for Gymnastics Nationals.

Lastly, since I am exhausted from my late night, The Sh*t My Dad Says, is HILARIOUS.  I am proud to report that not one tear fell while I was driving yesterday or today.  This is quite an accomplishment for me.  I will be more than happy to lend the audiobook to anyone who wants a few laughs while driving.

The Sh*t My Dad Says

As many of you read that title, you are not surprised, just thinking, "I wonder what Lorne said now!"  And, although Jes, Luke and I could write a novel based on my dad's words of wisdom (for example, "drunk girls get pregnant". . . I don't even think I had kissed a boy when he said that one to me), this is the title of Justin Helpern's novel.

I am going to Moose Jaw tonight to spend a evening gossiping and catching up with my dear friend, Courtney.  It is her bachelorette party this weekend.  A number of her friends have rented a cabin and are heading to the lake for the long weekend.  I had planned on going until I realized that Monday is the 23rd and I don't want to be on the road traveling hours by myself that day.  I will feel much more comfortable with my sanctuary close by.  So, I am just heading down for the night and will com home when they take off for the lake.

I am currently burning the audio CD of The Sh*T My Dad Says.  I have listened…

Big Mama

Calder has taken to calling me "big mama".  You may be wondering where the heck he picked this up, but look no further than to Hugh.  Shortly after we got married, Hugh started calling me "big sexy". According to Hugh, I am sexy and the opposite of big, so "big sexy"?!?  Ugh.   When I got pregnant with Calder, "big sexy" turned to "big mama" and Hugh calls me that on a regular basis.  Telling Hugh to stop calling me either of these names, just causes him to use them more. 
A couple of days a go Luke, Hugh, Calder and I were hanging outside after supper.  Luke sat on the bottom of the slide, Hugh sat in a lawn chair, and I perched myself on the back of a Little Tikes play structure. Calder shimmied himself up the small slide on the Little Tikes play structure and came up behind me. He considerately put both hands on my back and said, "'scuse me big mama."  Luke just about fell off of the bottom of the slide he was laughing…

May 18

Last night, I laid in bed just after 11 pm on my belly and elbows, resting my head in my hands.  I couldn't sleep.  I had company in my misery.  Hugh had a cup of coffee at his meeting after supper and I could tell from his breathing he wasn't sleeping.  A wave of fear rushed over me.

"What is the date today?"

"The 17th"

The wave of fear was followed by a wave of relief.  I didn't want to miss today.  Today is Tripp's 3 month birthday.  Tripp is always the first thought that pops into my head when I get up in the morning and today was no different, but it wasn't until I was driving to Calder's movement class that Tripp's 3 month milestone came into my consciousness.

The timing wasn't ideal.  In Calder's class there is one visibly pregnant woman, one woman who brought her 4 year old and 2 year old boys, and 2 woman who are expecting in the fall.  I was surrounded by baby talk and today, I wasn't in the mood.  I could have chi…

Slave Lake

I am shocked at what has happened to Slave Lake.  I knew nothing about it until yesterday afternoon when I popped by my friend, Kerri's, for a quick visit.  At that point, neither of us knew how extensive the damage actually was.  This morning in the paper it said that 1/3 of the town is in ashes.  One-Third.  Seven thousand people live there.  That is more than 2300 people without homes.  It is devastating when one family loses a house to fire.  This is hundreds of families.

Kerri asked me, "what would you grab, if you had to get out quick?"

1.  Computer, external hard drive, back-up drive (these house all our photos and videos)
2.  Calder's baby book and the wedding scrapbook Jes made for Hugh and I
3.  Tripp's bag (his stuff is all in one bag--some stuff I haven't even looked at, let alone sorted through)
4.  Passports & wallets

After that it would depend on time.  I would love to remember to grab our iPhoto books and my blog book along with a garbage …

Hugh's Creation

Hugh has never made a suggestion pertaining to my blog. . . until yesterday. Here it is. Hugh's creation.  And for the record, Hugh, I would have blogged about it without your "gentle" suggestions! Hugh has been working incredibly hard in the yard building a play structure for Calder and yesterday he completed the project.  We got the kit for the structure at Home Depot and Hugh dug out the sandbox underneath.  It is understatement to say Calder likes it.  He spent over 4 hours in it yesterday afternoon and has already put in a 2 hour shift this morning with Dylan.  Hugh’s parents had sent all of Hugh’s old cars to our house a few months ago.  They are perfect to play with in the sandbox.  Hugh had a good time filling Calder in on the details of each of the cars.  Hugh couldn’t believe how much he remembered about them! Hugh has been working on his photography as well.  It feels great to be in a few pictures—especially ones as good a quality as these!  I love the picture o…

Screaming

We had errands to run this morning and for efficiency sake Hugh and Calder stayed at home.  I drove into the city motivated.  I made some mini-lists in my head and even started thinking about writing an upbeat blog about how motivated I was.  I was on a mission and happy about it.

I went to Home Depot and then to Rona.  By the time I arrived at Walmart, something had changed in my mood.  I was no longer motivated.  I wasn't focused on completing my mission with the utmost efficiency.

It felt like everywhere I looked, someone was screaming, "YOUR SON DIED".  There were young couples with two boys, baby products and pregnant women. Even smiling faces seemed to shout that statement.

I wanted to transport myself (Star Trek style) to my sanctuary.  Instead, I choked back tears, put my cart in high gear, and dodged anything that looked like it could start hollering.

Tears spilt out as I drove home. I have done shopping trips like that other days, but always with Hugh and Cal…

The Clarkes

In the fall of 2008, I was pregnant with Calder and Hugh decided to play another hockey season with the Shellbrook Elks.  We heard that there was a player who lived in Warman that would be playing in Shellbrook as well and would be interested in driving with us.

Through the Elks, we were introduced to two people, who turned into two of our closest friends, Jordan and Danielle Clarke.

Our friendship with the Clarkes grew quickly as we spent hours driving to and from hockey games together. The more time we spent, the more we realized how much we enjoyed spending time with Jordan and Danielle. Hugh and I have said from the start of our friendship that the four of us are the same. We have the same values and opinions on many important issues (including the all-important parenting) and we all like to do the same kinds of activities. Spending time with the Clarkes is easy.  Even after Calder was born and their son, Jack, last summer, we still find time to hang out for an afternoon and even…

Tripp's Color

Last night, Calder and Hugh sad on the couch watching the hockey game and eating a snack.  I curled up on the love seat with my book.  I was sad.  I had been doing a bit of surfing on the internet and between a few baby photos on Facebook and a couple of somber blog posts, I found myself sluggish and depressed.

Calder thoughtfully brought me the blanket Hugh was laying with.  I guess I looked cold.  He grabbed an armful of cars and squeezed his way on to the love seat beside me.  We exchanged a few words and a kiss.  I continued reading my book and Calder began to run his cars over my belly, chest and up on to my shoulders.  As Calder babbled away, a word caught my attention. . . Tripp.  

I have a necklace that Deena gave to me that has each of the boys birthstones.  The first time Calder took an interest in it I told him that the blue one stood for Calder and the purple one stood for Tripp. It didn't take long before I could ask him whose was whose and he could regurgitate what I …

Happiness 2

I have gotten so many responses from my post yesterday. . . comments on my blog, conversations, and emails.  It makes me happy :-)


Hugh and I don't often have discussions what I write, but yesterday we had a dialogue about the differences between things that make us happy and making a choice to be happy.  Hugh really feels that happiness is a choice.  People choose to be happy and when we make that choice, we are drawn to do the "things" on our lists that bring us the most happiness.  So Hugh feels it isn't the "things" that make us happy, it is making a choice to be happy doing the "things" we love.  


I got an email this morning from my brother's girlfriend, Brittany, and she said, "Happiness is something that has always interested me because I think you have to work at being happy."  Brittany even took a quiz online about happiness.  This inspired me to take a couple.  I liked this one, because it talked about areas you could work on…

Happiness

I am starting to read The Art of Happiness by His Holiness The Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, M.D. The first chapter begins with The Dalai Lama saying,

"I believe that the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness.  That is clear.  Whether one believes in religion or not, whether one believes in this religion or that religion, we all are seeking something better in life.  So, I think, the very motion of our life is toward happiness. . ."

The 2nd chapter speaks to the sources of happiness.  It states studies that once our basic material needs are taken care of, "things" don't make us happy.  People compare themselves to others.  I do it.  I am sure everyone does it.  There will always be someone with more or nicer stuff and the Dalai Lama talks about how if we try to get the nicest stuff all the time, we will never be satisfied, let alone happy.  Instead, he suggests a better method "is not to have what we want but rather to want and appreciate what w…

New Daycare

This morning Calder and I went for coffee at his new daycare.  It only took Calder about 5 minutes to warm up to the kids and he didn't want to leave an hour later.  I could list you all the things that made me realize M was the one (I will just call her M, because I don't know if she wants her name on my blog), but here are the main 2.

1.  Two of our neighbors, whom we respect, take their kids to M and RAVE about her.

2.  The way she interacted with her son (kindergarden age) was exactly how I strive to interact with mine.  They spoke to each other with respect.  Her son listened to her when she explained "why" he couldn't do certain things.  She never had to raise her voice for him to follow her instructions.  They laughed together.

Before I went to M's this morning I prepped myself to tell Tripp's story.  I thought she might ask why I was on leave and if she didn't, I thought it best to tell her (it felt right that she should know).  She didn't…

Manure

Yesterday, Hugh and I spent a large portion of our day working in the yard.  It felt good to pick some weeds and put in a few perennials.  Among other things, Hugh sprayed all the weeds in our garden and decided he wants to mix some manure into it.  I found someone on Kijiji last night who will bring manure out to Martensville and he is currently shoveling it out onto our lawn.

Yes, you read that right. . . our LAWN.  Two heaping bobcat shovels full on the grass in our backyard.  We had thought the guy would bring it right into our garden (we have a huge gate wide enough for a truck to fit through), but he couldn't make the angles work to back in.  The man then asked if I had a tarp he could put it on.  After a quick look in the garage, I came up empty handed.  So there is crap on our lawn (sigh).

I feel bad that Hugh is going to have to move all the manure.  He works so hard during the week and has meetings tonight and tomorrow that he has to attend in the evening.  I think I am…

Mother's Day

Today is hard.  I figured it would be, but rather than write about how sad I feel I am going to write about how one little boy makes me happy.

Calder made me a mom and fittingly, this post is about him.

The picture to the right is from mine and Calder's first moments alone together.  Hugh had a playoff game our 3rd night in the hospital.

It will never cease to amazing me how much kids Calder's age learn.  We have seen so much growth from him in the last month.

Calder can recognize over 1/2 the letters of of the alphabet (upper case) and will sing the alphabet unprompted.  When he sings we hear things like "ella minnow pea" and he will skip the occasional group of letters, but he is getting pretty darn good!  He also likes to randomly sing "everybody coming to coconut tree."  This is from the book, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  I highly recommend it.  Calder loves it and it has really helped him with his letters.  You can check out the animated version on youtub…

Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?

Today, we went to Indigo Books.  A colleague of Hugh's was involved with a book reading and we wanted to go check it out.  Immediately upon entering the store, Calder beelined to the train set.  The first book I glanced at as I trailed him was I love you, Forever by Robert Munsch.  Tears welled up in my eyes.  I pictured the mom in the story being rocked by her son as he says good-bye to her.  I won't get that with Tripp.  I rocked him while I said good-bye.  I squeezed back my tears and turned my attention to the Dr. Seuss books on display to the right.  We have a number of board Dr. Seuss books for Calder and I wanted to look check out the larger, paper versions.  Eventually, I picked up a book that I hadn't read before, Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?.

It's a troublesome world.
All the people who're in it
are troubled with troubles
almost every minute.

Just tell yourself, Duckie,
you're really quite lucky!
Some people are much more. . .
oh, ever so m…

Wade and Music

A few weeks ago, a really good friend, Wade, dropped by.  Wade and I grew up together in Tisdale.  Our moms were really good friends and therefore we spent a lot of time together.

Wade was the reason I spent a week in the hospital when I was in grade 1.  His dad bred horses, so before we went out to play one day after school, our moms gave us strict instructions to stay out of the pen. Wade and I didn't listen.  And if you know Wade at all, you will agree with me that it was more than likely WADE who thought it was a good idea not to listen!  As we walked into the pen, I distinctly remember Wade telling me, "whatever happens, don't run.  It scares the horses."  I don't know how long we were in the pen, but one of the younger horses started walking towards us.  I can picture this so clearly.  Wade and I started walking toward the edge of the pen.  I remember hearing the horse getting closer to us, but I was afraid to look back at how close.  We began to speed wal…