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Showing posts from July, 2011

Knock, Knock

Last Thursday afternoon I came home to this on my front step.


The note attached said, "Knock, knock motherf*cker. Beyonce Jr. will have to do."


If you have no idea why this is funny. Read HERE and if you did originally read it, reread it. I did and it is totally 5 minutes well spent.And I can't say that for very many of the minutes I spend strolling the internet.


At the start of that post, the bloggess says, "And when our friends are sad we can leave him at their front door to cheer them up." You know I will (followed by sinister laugh). The bloggess not only is inspiring me to be silly, but others as well! Read about my quest for silliness, HERE.


Oh and look out Bee. I am in Tisdale this weekend!

people for good.ca

In the paper the other day, next to an article about a woman stabbing her daughter to death (not pertinent, at all, but interesting nonetheless), there was a small ad that said, "Save!" and underneath in smaller print it said, "A Stranger's Mood. Smile."

It was advertising a really neat website that encourages people to do small gestures everyday. Check it out HERE. This fits well with my Happiness Project and The Kindness Project I participated in on Wednesday. There are some good videos of people who have done it.

One of the nice things about this organization is that it not only encourages you to try and brighten a strangers day, it encourages you to brighten family members days as well by doing a chore that isn't normally yours, saying I love you or calling your grandma.

I am buying in. I am going to give out more compliments to strangers it always makes me feel so good when someone compliments me on my outfit or hair. I am also going to try and be bett…

Random Thoughts

I feel heavy today. It could be that gravity has a tighter grasp on me, but it feels more like the atmosphere is a bit heavier and is pushing down on me from above.
Even before I got out of bed I felt heavy. I could have stayed there all day. * * * Calder and I had a bit of running around to do in the city and I am so proud of the way he behaved. Calder challenges me almost every minute of the day, but the last two days he has been listening noticeably better. I hope he keeps it up, but I wouldn't put money on it:-) * * * Calder's friend, Dylan, came by for a visit this week. Dylan can open doors. I was standing at the sink and the boys headed down the stairs announcing they were going to the basement. I then heard Calder say, "I go for run" and the door opened. I yelled stop, but it was too late. By the time I raced to the top of the stairs all I could see was Dylan closing the door behind him. I bolted down to the front steps and Calder was already at the end of our dri…

The Dali Lama and Scarlett O'Hara

I am thinking of two ideas today. One is from the Dali Lama and the other Scarlett O'Hara. Bet you never thought I could put those two together!


First, His Holiness The Dali Lama. 


I started reading The Art of Happiness in March. It was here that I was first introduced to the idea that everyone suffers. In that post I said, "it has made me realize I am not immune from suffering just because I haven't experienced a great deal of it before now. Everyone suffers. It is part of life. It is part of my life. It is part of everyone's life. I was not, and am not, immune to suffering."


I am not immune to suffering. It doesn't matter that I have already experienced a loss. Grief is not some protective cloak that prevents bad things from happening to me.


The Dali Lama says, “If you have fear of some pain or suffering, you should examine whether there is anything you can do about it. If you can, there is no need to worry about it; if you cannot do anything, then there is als…

February's Strength

Today I am having a bad day. The kind of day that I had in February.

I am marveling at the strength I had back then to talk about how I was feeling.

Today I can't do it. Maybe tomorrow.

The Kindness Project

From the M.I.S.S. website:


The MISS Foundation's Dr. Cacciatore started the Kindness Project in 1996 as a way for families to cope with the tragedy of a child's death. Since then, more than 1,000,000 kindnesses have been committed around the globe in memory of children, gone too soon.


Tomorrow I am going to do something. On the website they have a pile of really good ideas from buying the person in line behind you a coffee, dropping off balloons for a random child at the hospital, mowing a neighbors lawn, donating money or clothes, etc. To see more ideas, look HERE.


I am having a bit of a sad day. I have a few Tripp things on my mind. I think because of this I can't seem to decide what I want to do tomorrow. Ideally, I would like to do something that donates my time, like weeding someone's flower beds, but since I am a bit down I am leaning more toward buying someone flowers and leaving them at a random house. It seems easier to just buy something, so that is probably the…

Weekend at the Lake

When our friends Jordan and Danielle decided to move back home with their son, Jack, we made a pact to go on at least one holiday a year together. This year we played it low key and spent the weekend at my parent's cabin. The company was great and I wish I could say the same for the weather. We were bundled up the whole weekend, save for Sunday morning when we were packing up. Ugh.
Calder spent quite a bit of time at the park. Like most kids, the cold doesn't seem to bother him!
The boys informed Danielle and I that the theme to the weekend was "jump start the stump." I have no clue what it means, but I think it has something to do with the tree they took down and the time spend burning it in the fire pit.

Sunday morning we woke up to find the sun trying to peak out and the wind non-existent. We took a snoop cruise along the lakeside cabins and then spent a bit of time soaking up the sun before it was time to head home.

Tripp's Bench

A friend of mine and Hugh's, Dianne, decided she wanted to do something for us - something for Tripp. In her words, "cooking isn't my thing", so she decided to start collecting money to have a bench put up in the park south of our house. The bench will contain a memorial plaque. Dianne is using her blog as the forum to inform people. Deena has also posted about it HERE. I have been thinking about posting about this for a week, but haven't been able to figure out the right way. I don't want people to feel obligated to donate, but in the same breath, I know Hugh and I are going to love sitting on that bench watching Calder play. I also know that if I don't say something about it, I will have a couple of people mention, after the fact, that they would have liked to have donated had they known. So here it is. Please see this LINK to find out what to do if you are interested and see this LINK for an update on the project. The updated link contains a really nic…

New Blog Book

I had sent away for my first year's blog book (2010) shortly before Tripp was born. As you can see, it looks tiny compared to this year's first 6 months. I included comments in the 2011 book, which does add length, but I have obviously posted WAY more in 2011. I love rereading my posts and all the kind words people have left for me. Monday night, on Tripp's 5 month birthday, I found comfort in my words from a few days in March, but I found even more comfort from the words others wrote. I know I don't often respond to comments. Usually, it is because the only thing I could possibly say is, "thanks". If you leave comments please know that I appreciate every single one and they are forever part of the Hamilton's journey as part of our book.

When Hugh arrived home last week with my book, I got nervous. I knew what it would look like, but to actually hold it in my hands brought on anxiety. I picked the pictures for the cover and the back. I had a very difficul…

Right Where I Am

At the end of May I took part in a project called, Right Where I Am Now, where any parent who had lost a child could write about where we are in our journey. My post is HERE. It was interesting to read the commentaries. So many perspectives and so many journeys. The creator of the project has updated her blog to include all of the authors posts (160 of them) in order of time. I haven't read all of the blogs, yet. In June, I spent a number of nights reading a multitude of posts and thinking about how you don't realize how big the "dead baby club" is until you are in it. It made me really sad and I decided I needed a break from reading them.

I am so happy that Angie at Still Life With Circles has created this project as a permanent fixture on her blog. You will see me at 3 months 6 days. I know I will be visiting sometime in the future to do more reading.

Angie's most recent post on the project led me HERE. One of the contributors compiled a thought from each of th…

Dead Baby Club

Right after Tripp died I kept saying to Hugh, "I don't want to be in this club. The club of people whose babies died. I don't want to be in this club" I would say it over and over and over.

More recently I have started calling it the Dead Baby Club. It is a subgroup of the larger dead kid club. It sounds harsh, but I want it to sound harsh. The Dead Baby Club sucks and I wanted the name to suck too. I knew I couldn't be the first person to come up with this name, so I googled it and found a blog called Dead Baby Club, a facebook group, and you can even follow the dead baby club on twitter.

I know that eventually I will begin to feel comfort from being in The Dead Baby Club and maybe then I will want to call it the Infant Loss Club or the My Baby Passed Away club, but for now Dead Baby Club fits.

Random Thoughts

I had to go bathing suit shopping last night (which I HATE), but I still haven't got my favorite suit fixed (if you want to read the embarrassing story about what happened to it look here) and the top to my only other suit has gone missing. I had no choice and I headed to the mall. Here is my question. Why the heck do some change rooms have curtains instead of doors? Especially ones where you have to take your bra off? They NEVER close all the way. Seriously?

I only ever clean well my house under the pressure of company. And by company, I mean people who don't come to my house on a regular basis.  In fact, I am not sure if my parents, siblings or close friends have ever seen my house really clean. I either need to have guests over on a more regular basis or try and start some better cleaning rituals.

Why does it always rain when I am headed to the lake?

I said "serenity now" in my head approximately 11 times this morning. Not unrelated, Calder had 9 timeouts today fo…

Calder's Swimming Lessons

Hugh and I have put Calder in swimming lessons this week. I am sure there is research out there advocating that parents get their kids involved in activities at a very young age, but Hugh and I believe there is plenty of time for organized sport. So for us, swimming lessons are simply an opportunity for some Mommy-Son time at the pool while Daddy is working (he adjusts crops for hail insurance in the summer). If Calder picks up a few things while we are there, great. If not, who cares! We are in the pool on a daily basis. What is better than that?

Calder is in a group with three 3 year-old girls. Since Calder is only 2, I have to go in the water with him (the 3 year olds go in by themselves). Calder has actually been quite shy and reserved around these three cuties. I am thoroughly enjoying being in the water with him. It is fun to be led through activities and I have learned a few new songs that I am going to start to sing with him when we go to the pool as a family and at the lake i…

My Happiness Project Week 9

On Page 57 of Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project she writes, "if you want to know how people would like to be treated, it's more helpful to look at how they themselves act than what they say." In Rubin's case, she is referring to her mother-in-law, who is quick to say she doesn't want a birthday party, but in reality always marks other peoples special occasions in thoughtful, well planned ways. This spurs Rubin to treat her mother-in-law the way she treats others and plan her a thoughtful, well planned birthday.

I actually have a bit of a head start on this from my "organization" task from Chapter 1.  I have been trying improve on sending birthday cards, shower gifts, etc. People were so thoughtful when Calder was born and when Tripp died and I want to get better at showing others that same thoughtfulness. I have sort of lagged on this in July and I am going to make a list of all the events that I still need to acknowledge and make an effort in …

Flowers and Buguidos

These are a couple of perennials in my flower bed that I think are absolutely gorgeous. If you know what they are, please let me know! I know very little about plants and can use all the help I can get. I should have probably taken some shots farther back so you could see the whole plant. Oops!
 Calder has started to really pretend while he plays.  Lately, we have been pretending to be dinosaurs and dragons.  Calder LOVES to roar. Last night at the ball game, Calder was climbing to the top of the bleachers while I watched the game. He asked me to come to the top to look the dragon. I obliged and when I got to the top started pretending to see a dragon flying over the top. Calder promptly said, "no, dragon down here." and pointed to a dragonfly that had landed on one of the seats! Calder knows not to kill dragonflies, because I told him they eat buguidos (a.k.a. mosquitos). Calder is quick to tell the mosquitos, "go away buguidos! Buguidos no bite me."

1160 Calories and Shale

There were 1160 calories in mine and Calder's supper tonight. Two cheeseburgers and a large fries from McDonald's.

Calder and I had an amazing day. It was reminiscent of May.  A day packed full of activities with just the two of us. We spent the morning playing in the yard and took off to the park after Calder and I woke from our naps. It was there Calder and I lost track of time and we arrived home just before 5:30 pm. We didn't have time to eat - Just hopped in the van and headed to the ball park. After a quick detour to McDonald's! 

The team I had lined up to play ball with this year is playing in provincials this weekend.  I haven't been to any of their league games - Partly out of sheer disorganization and partly because I didn't know how I would feel about being there. After Tripp died I didn't feel like playing. I didn't want evening and weekend obligations to interfere with my grieving. When I commit to doing something I like to be there and if …

Harry's Final Spell

I flipped the paper open after Calder and I finished our lunch only to see, "HARRY'S FINAL SPELL" as the title on the front page of the Arts and Life section of the Star Phoenix. I started to choke up.

I am taken back to the ONLY Saturday night in my final semester at the U of S that I wasn't out with friends (truthfully, we were all WAY to hungover from Thursday and Friday to make our way out on Saturday).  I had borrowed the first 2 installments of the Harry Potter series from the city library. Students were talking about these books and I needed to see what they were all about.

I remember laying on Twyla's couch in our apartment on Pinehouse (our 2nd home that semester as our first burned down during the February break - whole other story). I was enthralled. I could not put Harry Potter down.

I quickly got caught up to J.K. Rowling's most recent release and began waiting, anticipating and then reading the books the moment they were released. The books wer…

5 Foot Chicken II

I just crept back onto the blog that is home to the 5-foot Chicken.  If you did not originally flip to the link, I BEG you to read it.  Way too funny.  I think I am going to start following her blog. Yesterday, she posted an update to the 5-foot chicken.

Today, she posted a speech that she recently did at a conference.  It is about 10 minutes long, but it fits well with my happiness project. She reminds people to do crazy, stupid, silly things, because those crazy, stupid, silly things can bring you happiness and, more often than not, those things can bring happiness to other people.

I started to think of some of the crazy, stupid, silly things I have done. Not surprisingly, most of them were done while drinking.  I thought back to when I used feverishly dance behind anyone who thought it was cool to grind and make out on the dance floor.  They would be so caught up in swapping slobber, they wouldn't even notice me right behind them.  LOL. I was reminded of my friend, Aimee's…

4 Pounds 6 Ounces

Our family doctor moved at the end of June. We were extremely sad to see her leave.  She is an incredible doctor and equally as wonderful person. She was moving with her husband and daughter to be closer to their extended family.  I can appreciate that.

Yesterday, Hugh, Calder and I had our meet and greet with our new doctor at the clinic in Warman.  I readied myself to tell our story - Tripp's story - for the days leading up to our appointment. I cried when I told her, but only a little. I stuck to as many facts as I could remember. Somewhere in the midst of all the facts, the doctor asked us how big Tripp was when he was born.

I didn't know.

This is one of those things that a mom is supposed to know, but I understand the reasons that I don't. Tripp's weight was the least of our worries.  In fact, it wasn't even a worry.  We didn't monitor the initial weight loss that all babies have. In fact, I actually don't think Tripp ever lost weight.  They were pumpin…

Little Black Dress Part II

Here is a comment from my Little Black Dress post:
I saw you at that wedding (sorry, I hope that doesn't creep you out, some strange woman looked at you) and you looked positively miniscule. Like tiny. And I knew it was you and pointed you out to a friend saying "that woman had a baby in February" and she said "Holy shit!" I know you aren't fishing for compliments, but I had to say it.
This comment was completely flattering and got me thinking.  


     1.  I am way to hard on my body.
Even as I sit here now, I know in my head that I did look nice in that dress, but it hasn’t stopped me from wondering if I should wear it to the wedding I have this weekend.


     2.  I check out women more than I check out men.
The part of the comment in brackets “some strange woman looking at you” made me think about how I viewed other people at the wedding. There were 300 people at the wedding and if I take out the wedding party, children, and grandparents it leaves about 200 peopl…

My Happiness Project Week 8

UPDATE:

The one minute rule is still going pretty well.  Although, some days I have to remind myself to use it.In the look good feel good department, I didn't wash my face 2 days in a row and landed myself a huge zit and I am eating like crap (which also can't be good for my skin).  I haven't been looking at my lists lately and it shows. Our house hasn't been cleaned since before school ended.  Proof:  My feet get dirty from walking around our kitchen. Yikes. I think I will make creating and doing tasks on my list a priority tomorrow.I carried our suitcase to the basement at Hugh's parents house and staked some of my plants.  These are 2 things I would normally ask Hugh to do that I did myself.WEEK 8:
In The Happiness Project  Gretchen Rubin talks about the saying, "happy wife, happy life."  It is fitting that that particular quote was one of the first things I read tonight.  I am a grouch today.  A HUGE grouch. And because of this, Hugh has asked me more t…

Missing Voice

Last weekend at the lake, my mom had a cold that caused her to lose her voice and now I have it.  This morning I woke up and couldn't muster more than a whisper. Hugh is worried I'm not going to be able to teach in the fall!


Right after we go married, I got a similar cold and lost my voice.  I slightly damaged my vocal cords and my doctor had me off work for 2 weeks to give them time to heal. Under her orders, I wasn't supposed to talk more than 10 minutes out of every hour. It was challenging! My doctor warned that I needed to take care of my voice, because once your vocal cords have been damaged, they often are more susceptible to having damage reoccur. In fact, there is a teacher at Hugh's old school who taught 1/2 time and was on long term disability the other 1/2 because of her voice. 


Although Hugh has a valid concerned, I am more worried about how I am going to look after Calder. I know that I need to talk as minimally as possible, which is EXTREMELY difficult for…

Little Black Dress

I had a wedding to attend on Friday.  At first I wasn't sure about a Friday wedding, but I LOVED it.  We have 2 this year and because Hugh and I are on holidays it isn't a big deal for us to be there on a Friday and it is so great to have the rest of the weekend for family time.

The big question on my mind this week was "what will I wear?"  I have a dress I wore as a bridesmaid at Hugh's brother Billy's wedding last summer.  I was in terrific shape and it fit me like a glove.  I am in good shape this year, but my abs are still a bit separated from my pregnancy and my belly is hanging slightly over my waistline.  I know a few more sit-ups would have helped this, but I hate doing them!  All week I have debated what to wear and ultimately decided the $200 dress needs to be worn again--gut or no gut.

I have decided not to post a picture. The intent of this blog wasn't to have a bunch of people say, "oh, you look good, Jordan."  The point is that lik…

I Lost My Mind

Today, I lost my mind at Calder's nap time. He started to hit me when I picked him up to take him to bed. This happens on a daily basis at nap time and bedtime, but Hugh is usually here to intervene. Normally, Hugh will pull Calder away from me and we both talk to him sternly about his behavior. If Calder continues to raise his arm to hit me, he goes to bed without any hugs from daddy.

Today, Hugh wasn't here and when the hitting started I felt trapped.  I could have just thrown Calder in the crib and I did think about doing this, but I needed to change his diaper. After the 2nd whap, I put him at arms reach.  He then whapped me 2 more times.  This is when I lost my mind.  I hit him back.  Not hard, of course, but nevertheless, I hit him.  Calder then hit me again and in a moment of insanity, a hitting frenzy started.  We went on, blow for blow, for about 5 hits.  At this point, I snapped to my senses and started crying.  I was upset I had whapped him, upset he had whapped me …

Take That Hugh

I went over to my friend, Kerri's, yesterday morning for a visit.  Her 6 week old son, Drew, is colicky.  The first thing that popped into my mind when she told me this was, I should over to hold him, rock him, and listen to him scream for a few hours so Kerri can get some rest or even get out of the house.  Thats what friends do.  Nope. Not me. Not yet.  As perfect as that offer would have been for Kerri's situation, I knew I couldn't do it.  So today, I did what I thought was the next best thing.  I took her oldest, Dylan, for the morning, so at least that way, if Kerri got a quiet moment with Drew, she could really have a moment to herself. Calder and Dylan played like champs. We were out in the yard all morning and I got a ton of yard work done.  The sandbox and Calder's cars are great playmates. * * * This afternoon Calder and I soaked in some sun in Deena's pool.  Ahhhh. . . The only thing that could have made it more perfect would have been if Hugh was there t…

A Friend of a Friend of a Friend

As I pulled Calder out of the tub tonight, I bubbled into tears. Did this really happen to ME?  Did Tripp really die?  How could this have happened? After I had him dressed, he handed me and my tear stained face, Ella, his favorite stuffed toy, and closed me in his room.  I took a few minutes in a make-shift sanctuary and released some grief.  It felt good, but tonight it didn't make me feel better.


I remember sitting with my friend, Danielle, at Earls about a month after Tripp died.  She said to me, "things like this happen to a friend of a friend of a friend, they don't happen to me or my friends."  I agreed.  I had 2 friends who had friends that lost babies while I was pregnant with Tripp.  I thought this made me immune to losing my baby.  Babies don't die. . .okay, rarely die, and since I have heard of someone else losing theirs, I couldn't lose mine.


On the weekend a really good friend, Ader, told me of a friend's friend who lost her baby late in the 2…

The End of a Deep Breath

I love living close to the city and all of the amenities that go along with it, but the city is fast and most days a bit crazy. The pace is slower in Martensville--MUCH slower and it suits our family.  This weekend Calder and I headed to the lake with my aunt, sister and mom. The pace there is crawling and oh, how I love it. You can't help but feel relaxed. You wake up in the morning to a calm warmth.  The water looks like glass and there is a peace that comes with the quiet.


I felt my body and my soul relax at the lake.  It felt kind of like the end of a deep breath--and instead of having to suck the next breath in, my body and soul stayed at the end of that breath for a long time. 


My friend, Michelle wrote me an email on the weekend and said, "I hope that when you felt a breeze or the sun shining down on your face today & everyday, you felt Tripp. I know I do."  


From the moment out counselor, Brad, forced me to start going outside, I realized that it was there that …

My Happiness Project Week 7

In Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project, the focus in February is “Remember Love” with the focus being on her marriage.  As Rubin states, “ A good marriage is one of the factors most strongly associated with happiness.”  
Hugh and I have a great marriage, but just like my desire to become a better person, I truly believe even great things can get even better if you work on them.
Rubin’s first task was to quit nagging.  She thought she could tone down on her nagging by using fewer words to remind her husband of things.  So for example, if she needed a letter mailed, she would put it by the front door and without having to say anything, her husband would mail it.  She also tried just using one-word reminders.  Rather than saying the what, why and where of getting the camera fixed, she would just yell, “camera” as her husband was on his way out, hopeful that her one word reminder would spark her husband to recall the what, why and where they discussed the night before. I really li…

Friendship

I had a date with my friends Deena and Heidi on Wednesday night.  It was FABULOUS.  It is so relaxing to be with them.  Deena said it perfectly in her post.  I could echo all of the things she said, but you should just read it there.  Deena said some really nice things about Heidi and myself, so I want to add that Deena is the most thoughtful person.  She constantly has me in her thoughts trying to think of any possible thing she can say or do to help me.  She is also extremely funny.  I think her humor was the first thing that drew me to her as a friend.  She is so easy to be around.  Deena is comfortable.

These are the connections I am talking about.  I can't help but feel good when I am surrounded by wonderful people.  There are no possessions in this world that make me feel as good as those two did on Wednesday night.

I Believe

Two and a half months ago, I was telling Brad, our counselor, that I was feeling a little lost because I didn't know what I believed in. He gave Hugh and I homework that day. He asked us to think about the things we believe in and to make a list.  He gave us the example of love.  Brad said that he knows "for sure" that love is real and he believes in its power.

I did quite a bit of thinking about it over the 2 months between our appointments.  At first I started with things like love, heaven, loyalty, family, friendship, etc., but I found that my mental list was getting quite long and it just felt like a bunch of words.  I needed something bigger and here is what I came up with--


I Believe We Are All Connected
I believe that the connections we make to other people are THE MOST important thing there is.  The relationships with our family, friends, coworkers, acquaintances, and even strangers bring out my strongest positive emotions--love, joy, pride, etc.--and make me the …

Calder Laughs

Calder's new nickname for me is "mama".  This has been shortened from "big mama", although I do still hear the occasional one of those.

If you are wondering who the new hot couple is ask Calder.  It isn't Brangelina nor is it the long forgotten Bennifer.  Its Bernie.  This is the hottest couple on Sesame Street, Bert and Ernie.  Calder now calls them both that.

Calder is getting ready to join the workforce.  This morning he closed the baby gate and said, "have good day, mama.  Calder workin'" and headed down the stairs.

Calder is loving the lake already.  When I told him earlier in the week that we were going this weekend he starting crying and said, "Noooooo. . . I ready now."

Calder started a load of laundry for me today.  I had his diapers all ready to go and hopped in the shower.  I came out to find it started.  Apparently, the Super Wash cycle is too harsh for Calder's diapers. He had changed it to the Delicate cycle.

We put…