30 March 2010
Less than a week ago 6 inches of water "seeped" into our basement through our foundation (can you really call it "seeping" when you get 6 inches in less than 5 hours?) because the water table is the highest it's been in years due to record breaking rainfall in Rhode Island this February and March.
Numerous others I know shared similar stories.
Our basement finally dried out over the weekend (with the aid of a shop vac and a submersible pump and a lot of back breaking labor by my amazing husband) and we cleaned up.
Only to have another record breaking torrential rainfall hit yesterday evening.
At midnight when we collapsed in bed the basement was dry.
By 3:00 a.m. another 6 inches of water had made its way into our home.
By 7:00 a.m. there were between 8-9 inches of icy cold water forming an unfortunate and unwanted indoor swimming pool in what was once our lovely office, family room and storage rooms.
3 submersible pumps, many hours of pumping, and a lull in the rain later we seem to be down to 6 inches again. However the rain is picking up once more and I fear that, while the pumps will stop the worst of new water, they won't make much of a dent in what's already down there.
Our furnace died. There is now no heat in our house and the temperature is supposed to drop into the low 40s tonight.
Whenever I've seen things like this on the news, I've thought to myself, "Those poor people! Oh that's so awful!" and felt truly, if momentarily, sorry for them. Then I've thought rather meanly, "Why on earth did they choose to live near that [river] [lake] [dam] [reservoir] when it seems to flood every few years?" and then gone on my merry way to my nice dry family room to watch movies.
And now I am one of those "poor people" along with my husband and thousands of other New Englanders that you're seeing on the news wherever you might live. And maybe you're thinking to yourself, "Oh, those poor people!" and then wondering to yourself why we chose to live here.
The calls for sump pumps and submersible pumps have been fast and furious today on Facebook.
Sitting in our living room surrounded by books, movies, pillows, boxes and various and other sundry things that had been downstairs, I'm thinking about the large plastic bin of Christmas ornaments that we thought had been "safe" downstairs, but actually tipped over and filled with water. What did we lose? Any precious heirloom ornaments? Any of the special ornaments that my husband and I have given each other over the last 10 years.
I was actually OK until the ornaments.
And now I feel like crying.
We're "those people" who are dealing with no heat and major damage to our home. Who are frustrated and kind of in shock. And kind of punchy and exhausted. Who are dealing with the fact that our homeowners "flood insurance" (...such as it is) only covers the mechanical failure of a pipe breaking or the flooding of a major body of water...but does NOT consider the "average" seeping in of water through a foundation worthy of coverage.
Apparently our flood is just average.
If they think that 9 inches of water seeping through our foundation is "average" they are out of their f@#$ing minds.
I'm trying not to think about the afterwards. The time, effort and money that are going to have go into repairing the damage to our house.
And, of course, I am especially trying not to think about all of the rain that we usually get in April.
Yeah, our life - and the lives of so many here in New England - are kind of sucking today. Big time. And will probably continue to suck for quite some time.
Thankfully we still have each other. Still have a bit of a sense of humour about all of this (just a tiny bit) And we have functioning laptop computers. THANK GOODNESS! And, conveniently, a cell card that is working when our WiFi isn't.
And lots of DVDs.
So, now it's off to watch a movie on a laptop.
Trying to take our minds off of the rain that just keeps coming down. And the water that may keep rising.
Please think very dry thoughts for us here in New England.
29 March 2010
Rain forecast for the next THREE DAYS.
The ground here is already completely saturated (hence our flood...apparently the water table in our town is at an all time high. One of our neighbors who has never - in 28 years - had a flood, flooded on the same day we did because of the water table. There is just nowhere for all of that water to go!)
We just finished clean-up in our finished basement family room/offices from the flood we had last Wednesday. I'm dreading coming home this evening to find yet another 3 inches of water down there. (Granted - I feel really bad for us, but I feel even worse for folks in other parts of our state that have had to deal with many feet of water in their homes as several rivers reached and exceeded cresting points...)
As we were cleaning up the other day Chris says to me, "Well, think of it this way...At least we don't have Plus One right now."
I can't imagine cleaning up after such a disaster while having to care for an infant.
Small blessings, I guess...
But, in truth, I would have actually preferred the clean up with Schmoopie because that would have meant that she was here and part of our family.
Think dry thoughts for us here in Rhode Island, Folks.
28 March 2010
sympathy for the suffering of others, often including a desire to help
I am continually astounded, shocked and saddened by the world that is the blogosphere.
Not the entire blogospere - there are many, many wonderful writers out there in Blogland - writers that I adore, who are wonderful and kind and loving and compassionate. Writers who take my breath away and whose blogs I look forward to visiting each and every day.
But there are so many others in Blogland so full of hate and vitriol...especially in the world of adoption, loss and infertility.
There are blogs I visit in an effort to continue educating myself about the issues in the adoption community...but sometimes this is so very hard...
A First Mother blogger recently referred to prospective adoptive mothers as "evil barren slobbering leeches."
A Prospective Adoptive Mother blogger referred to First Mothers in any number of posts as "breeders." (She indicated in a later post that she was surprised that there were readers who took offense as she was just being "funny.")
Horrifying. Insensitive. Cruel.
On both counts.
An Australian columnist railing against the use of ART (assisted reproductive technologies) wrote the following about couples utilizing IVF (invitro fertilzation) to try to get pregnant:
For these women, being unable to reproduce or carry a fertilized egg to full term must be heartbreaking. I have great sympathy for them.
But in a way, there seems to be an attitude that because science can provide it, we somehow deserve it and that the right to bear children is inalienable, absolute. And that if we can't, it's not only grossly unfair but outside of the natural order of things.The fact is, life is full of things we want but can't have.
Harsh though it may seem, perhaps the truth is that if you can't do it the old fashioned way or at the very least with a well armed turkey baster then maybe you shouldn't be doing it at all.
I'm trying to find the compassion this woman writer says she has for those who are struggling with infertility, but am not finding it at all. Are you?
It is simply mind boggling to me the many ways that we can be so cruel towards one another. The ways that we seem to have such total disregard for others' feelings and life experiences.
Who am I to judge the experience of a woman who felt forced to give up her child for adoption and is devastated about it years later? Or for the adopted person who feels anguish and/or rage at the thought that he/she was given away as a baby? Or for the woman that has been trying for years to conceive a child without success?
Who are any of us to judge?
I'll ask again what I asked in my original Compassion post: Why is it that we can't simply recognize that we ALL [First Mothers, Adopted Persons, & Adoptive Parents] come to adoption from a place of deep hurt and pain?
Why is it that we cannot seem to step beyond our own experiences in an effort to see the reality, validity and pain of another's experience? To acknowledge and recognize our pain and suffering? To allow for our pain and suffering?
To be gentle with each other?
To be kind?
To be compassionate?
27 March 2010
Went to the gym and did 30 minutes of weightlifting and 45 minutes on the treadmill and am feeling MUCH better. Much less pitiful.
And just a touch embarrassed to have been wallowing so much in my own pitifulness earlier today.
And the sun is shining.
We'll be able to open the bulkhead doors to let our basement continue to dry out.
Still feeling a little sad today, but hoping that the sunny day will get me out of my blues and out of my head.
How likely is this?
This week I have been obsessed by all things adoption. Obsessed to the point of complete distraction - even with the flooding of our basement. I've even skipped over reading some of my favorite "other" blogs - very unlike me - in favor of only reading those that deal with adoption.
My mind seems to be full of all things "baby" and all things "why aren't we parents yet?"
It surprises me (although it probably shouldn't...) that I am feeling this incredible sense of urgency about becoming a mom.
When we first started this journey a year ago I was kind of like, "It'll be wonderful. We'll be parents. A new chapter in our lives." (And rainbows and kittens and walks in the park....)
And now I'm kind of like, "Let's get on with it already! I'm 42!!"
This is the broken record playing in my head...I'm 42... I'm 42...I'm 42... I'm 42...
And the thing is that I KNOW being impatient isn't going to get me anywhere.
It. Is. Pointless. To. Be. Impatient.
Focus on OTHER things.
Today the focus will be on heading to the gym to be good to my body and then to deal with the wreck that is our house...Moving all of the furniture in the basement to make sure that all of the nooks, crannies, corners and such are dry and mopped and then dry again before moving the furniture back. Dealing with the big corner of our storage room - moving all of the stuff out of the corner to make sure that corner is dry so we can mop it thoroughly and then make sure it's dry again.
No mold. That's the goal for the house.
No thinking about being 42. That's the goal for me for today and tomorrow.
Focus on other things.
26 March 2010
And it's raining.
Under normal circumstances I'd probably be excited by all of this rain knowing that it's going to help our gardens grow lush and beautiful. But given our basement flood of two nights ago, seeing the rain this morning makes me wonder what we're going to find in our basement this evening when we arrive at home.
Chris says, "I've never looked at rain before with quite such a sense of dread."
The grey and the rain sort of match my mood today.
Feeling a little grey myself.
I sit here wondering if anyone has called our agency to express any interest in us.
And I KNOW that it's stupid to be sitting around wondering this. If anyone expressed interest and there seemed to be a possibility of a match, we'd get the call.
No call = no match for now.
I know this.
Really, I do.
But I keep seeing the hits to our profile pile up and I think to myself, "What's wrong with us? Why are we still waiting?"
In an earlier post I said that I certainly wasn't going to put one of those "X months, X weeks and X days waiting for our baby to come home" counters on my blog. That I would be content to wait. Content - even happy - to be in the present moment. To focus on living and not on the waiting. Yadda, yadda, yadda...
And I meant that.
At the time.
Really, I did.
And yet today...while there isn't an actual counter on my blog, there is certainly one in my head ticking off the months, weeks and days of waiting.
How completely annoying, tiresome, unnecessary and pointless to be having these thoughts.
25 March 2010
I am now the same age as the answer to all of life's ultimate questions... (if you have no idea what this means, you are obviously not a geek. Refer to Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.)
I should be happy, right?
But I'm feeling rather grumpy.
Not really about my birthday. (Well, maybe a little.)
But I think it's more because of yesterday's flood in our basement. During the whole day I was actually very calm and worked with Chris (when I could - became very ill in the middle of the day and was out of commission for a few hours) to clean up the disaster that was Lake Watson. No hysterical raging fit or crying about how awful it was.
Quite well, if I do say so myself (and Chris is very thankful that I didn't have some kind of meltdown yesterday. Over dinner last night he tells me that he could not have coped with a flooded basement and an hysterical wife at the same time.)
Maybe today is the delayed reaction.
Or maybe I'm just grumpy because our whole routine was thrown off. Maybe I'm kind of like a baby in that respect. When my schedule gets interrupted - CRANKY! GRUMPYPANTS!
All I do know is that I am feeling pretty grumpified today.
Happy birthday to me.
23 March 2010
But, then again, I generally poo-poo reality TV...
I'm generally not a fan of reality TV because I find so many of the shows to be down right mean-spirited (with one or two notable exceptions..."Project Runway" & "What Not to Wear") and I usually avoid them, but tonight I'm flipping through the channels and I land on TBL.
I'm not quite sure what makes me stay, but I get sucked in.
All of the contestants in tonight's episode have been sent home from "The Ranch" for a week to give them an opportunity to spend time with the families that they've been missing for two months. And also - of course- to see how they'll do back in Reality Land.
Will their old bad eating/self-destructive behaviors rear their ugly heads?
During their "vacations" the contestants are all expected to eat well and to exercise. The TBL producers also - of course- throw them The Curveball.
Isn't there just always a hidden curveball or a catch in these reality shows?
The Curveball = a challenge to race on stationary bicycles 26.2 miles with the winner taking home $10,000.
BUT - here's the catch - each contestant is also offered A Temptation...the opportunity to each eat mini-cupcakes (each cupcake has 100 calories) and with each cupcake eaten add 5 minutes to a competitor's race time thereby improving their own chances of winning (and, of course, also derailing their good eating habits for a day...)
Of the nine contestants, only 4 actually give in to The Temptation.
As someone who is currently attempting to lose a good amount of weight, I found the addition of The Temptation to be pretty mean-spirited on the part of the show's producers/directors.
(But who the hell am I to say what makes good TV?)
Still, it's quite impressive to note that more than half of the contestants opt to not give in. And of the four who give in - one woman when asked if the cupcakes are good replies, "No, they' re disgusting" and the other (three after eating between 6 and a dozen cupcakes) indicate that they feel ill.
While I am moderately offended by that part of the show, I do want to see these folks ride a marathon length bike race so I continue to watch.
Not one of the competitors drops out and the entire group give it their sweaty, eyes closed, teeth-gritting 157% effort. Many of them burst into tears at the end of the race. Thrilled to have finished with their friends and families cheering them on.
I have to admit that it's pretty inspiring.
The weight loss is also phenomenal...most of the men have lost up to and beyond 100 pounds in 10 weeks. Many of the women between 60 and 100 pounds in the same time period.
This weight loss is real. It's powerful stuff to watch. The weigh-ins are ultra dramatic with contestants fist pumping, whooping, grinning like crazy and sometimes shedding tears of joy at the weekly double-digit losses.
But I had to wonder as the show came to a close this evening:
- Is it really healthy losing all that weight so quickly?
- Will these people be able to maintain their weight loss when they head back to the reality of their lives and they're not working out 4 hours a day?
- Will they, like so many other people who struggle with weight gain & loss simply gain back everything and then some once they no longer have the support of the trainers?
If I continue at my 1-2 pound per week loss I will likely lose somewhere in the 35-45 pound range by the end of this year. And I'll probably head into next year hoping to lose a bit more than that. As much as I would love to take it all off and get to that ever elusive goal weight/size quickly...I know that slow and steady wins the race.
I may check in on TBL again next week to see yet more marvelous and amazing weight loss. Who knows, maybe there will be a third reality TV show added to my list of must watch television...
But for now - off to bed with dreams of the treadmill dancing in my head. 5:30 a.m. is going to roll around awfully early.
Wish me luck.
21 March 2010
- eating well
- 97.96 miles on the treadmill
- 1,730 minutes of cardio exercise
- 490 minutes of weight lifting
- 11,310 calories burned
That's a major change for me because usually when I've hunkered down for the day with a book I am so very loathe to get up again. And granted - I didn't actually make it outside until 5:40 p.m., but I did do it. Who woulda thunk it?
Lots of changes in the past year.
A colleague of mine, K, walking by my desk the other day comments with a laugh on my little iPod dock/speaker set, "Wow. In the time I've known you you've really changed your attitude to technology: iPod, cell phone, laptop."
"I know!" I exclaim to him. "And Facebook and a blog. I'm ALL about the technology now. When my husband told me a while back that he was going to set us up with WiFi in our house I was like, 'What for??? We don't need that! We don't need to pay for that!' But he did it anyway and WHO is the one in the house that takes her laptop to the living room, the kitchen, the bedroom, out on the deck???....Oh yeah. That would be ME. I'm the one who uses the WiFi all of the time now and I don't know what I would do without it!"
K laughs with me.
I always thought that I was such an almost-Luddite, but I really have embraced technology in a way that I never thought that I would.
Who woulda thunk it a year ago that I'd be 15 pounds lighter, addicted to Facebook and WiFi and on my way to being a mom???
Certainly not me.
And even though sometimes I lament life here on the blog or get into something of a funk or have a day when I don't make the most responsible eating choices...thankfully these things are all few and far between and I'm actually pretty happy.
Days like today where a 30 minute brisk walk outside on a beautiful day lifts my spirits...
Life is good.
17 March 2010
In it, one of the characters (a patient) writes an intensely personal blog in which she shares just about everything that she's thinking. Her husband repeatedly requests that she not blog about him, but she insists that she must - that he is a huge part of her life and she writes about her life in ts entirety.
The husband is also completely furious that whenever his wife needs to make a life decision before doing so she seeks feedback from her numerous blog friends.
"They read my blog and I read their blogs," she exclaims, "they are my friends and I need their help."
At one point while arguing the husband says, "You say you want a connection with other people and you get that through the Internet. It's not a connection you want. It's an audience. These people are not your friends. We're their entertainment."
Is my life entertainment for others?
There are some blogs that I read for entertainment because the bloggers happen to be very clever, witty and downright entertaining.
But, for the most part, the blogs that I tend to stick with are those where the blogger is sharing about his/her life. Somehow reading about other people's lives and experiences - hearing about their joys, their sorrows, their embarrassing moments, their triumphant moments, their thoughts - somehow that helps me to order my own world.
It's a connection of a sort.
And knowing that people come back to visit my blog - to hear my story...and to leave comments from time to time...well, there is something of a connection in that, too.
Is it friendship?
Of a sort.
There are women out there in the blogosphere whom I have never met, but I've been reading about their lives for several years. I know them in a way that maybe I don't know my "IRL" friends. I've come to care about them - even women whose ideas are quite divergent from my own, but whose lives are rich and interesting. If they lived near me - who knows - maybe we'd meet and go out for coffee.
I don't know if my life just provides entertainment for others, but I do take comfort in knowing that I am part of a community....albeit one that doesn't require me to leave the coziness of my couch or put on anything more fancy than my pajamas.
16 March 2010
All throughout grade school and middle school I was picked last.
1. Because I was fat
2. Because I was a dork
Thankfully I went to a high school for "gifted" kids where there was no gym requirement and no playground and no recess...and if there were teams to be picked it was generally for something academic where I was usually one of the first picked because I was smart.
But I never forgot how it felt to be picked last.
Nobody wanted me.
And I wasn't really picked, I was just what was leftover and someone had to take me for his/her team.
I'm kind of feeling that way today.
Another couple in the adoption process who used the same agency we're using got matched a few days ago. 12 days after all of their profiles "went live."
It's been a little over 2 months for us.
Please don't gt me wrong - this couple is WONDERFUL and I AM really excited for them. Truly - I can't think of nicer people who I am sure will be great parents. They're young and seem really sweet. I am sending them lots of positive energy that their adoption will go smoothly and I do truly look forward to reading more about their journey.
But for the moment I'm feeling a little sad and sorry for myself and for Chris.
We haven't been picked yet. Lots of activity - lots of somebodies looking at our profiles, but passing over us to choose someone else.
Will we be picked last?
Will anybody want us for their team?
14 March 2010
That...or I'm catching whatever horrific virus that has Chris in its grip.
In a non-related thought...I saw no less than 5 people today at the gym who were busy sweating on the elliptical trainers at the same time that they were TEXTING on their cellphones (which, I might add, are not allowed in my gym...hence the large "PLEASE - NO CELL PHONES" signs posted everywhere.) Why can't people just unplug sometimes? Is it really that urgent to update your Facebook status when you're on the elliptical trainer???
I don't think so.
I was too wiped out at the gym to do more than two miles on the treadmill. Two slow, slogging miles that left me feeling breathless and pooped.
And in another unrelated bit of news...when I was driving to the gym today I saw a rafter of wild turkeys in the large front yard of a little farm on Tupelo Road. The turkeys live in the woods behind the farm, but frequently come to that little farm to peck around on the ground. I think the owners might put out food for them. Two big males, a few smaller males and some females. Twelve huge birds in all. Fat and seemingly content to peck peck peck in the grass alongside the road. One of the large males kept his long neck stretched high, his eye on me in my car as I sat there pulled over with my hazard lights on so I could watch them. The other large male strutted around with all of his feathers poofed out full and his magnificent tail spread wide. He had a pronounced limp when he walked and it made me think that he was really old. I hope he lives a very long life. They were really beautiful.
OK, bed is calling even though it's only 6:19.
Is it me or is my throat just a little sore?
Hope y'all had a good Sunday.
11 March 2010
CO-WORKER C: Your fantasy? Not going to happen.
ME: [startled] Huh?
CO-WORKER C: The fantasy that you wrote about on the blog...Yeah, not going to happen. [laughing] Just put it right out of your mind. I had all of these fantasies about when I became a mom. There would be me and this beautiful little girl snuggled up reading books all of the time. Oh it was going to be so wonderful! And I'd buy a doll house and we'd play dolls all of the time....Never happened! [laughing more] I was so disappointed!!
ME: Hmm. So I can only hope that it'll be just a little like my fantasy?
CO-WORKER C: [laughing] It won't be. I actually almost went out and bought MYSELF the doll house because I was so disappointed. [laughs again] It was really so different than I imagined it. Actually motherhood was nothing like I imagined it.
ME: [thinking to myself that all of this sounds just a bit ominous] Guess I better prepare myself.
Co-worker C laughs again and gives me a few final words of encouragement before heading back to her desk.
My co-worker is a great mom and the above conversation - while not exactly encouraging - was certainly intended in the spirit of fun with a kind of "welcome to the club" feel to it. She really was laughing at herself and (knowing what I know about her relationship with her daughter) the fact that her fantasy about the books and the dolls didn't play out in reality doesn't seem to have affected her having a positive experience as a mom.
In response to the "My fantasy..." blog post I wrote a few days ago, Campbell left the following comment:
In my opinion, you'd serve yourself and a baby best if you try hard not to imagine the baby being anything...I would think about my parenting style instead and discuss it with the other parent as to how we'd approach things, all things, so that we had whatever was thrown at us figured out as best we could ahead of time. Have no expectations, no preconceived images, good or bad. The only thing here you can control here is yourself. Do you know how you're going to parent?
Good advice indeed. How am I going to parent?
Gotta run... have a doll house and some books to purchase...
My co-worker, C, sends me this e-mail today in response to the above post:
I loved the post. Thanks for including me as "a guest". While Campbell's advice is good, I think it is a little joyless. We all deserve our little fantasies as long as we don't take them too seriously and set ourselves up for disappointment. Have some sense of the kind of parent you want to be but don't be too set in a "parenting style". Your child's needs will influence that. The fun part is the unexpected and doing things you never imagined yourself doing--singing in public, becoming a sports parent, buying a dog..the list is endless.
09 March 2010
CO-WORKER J: [smiles] Oh, hey.
ME: How're you today?
CO-WORKER J: Good. You?
ME: I'm good.
CO-WORKER J: [looks more closely at me... then, sotto voce] Have you lost weight?
ME: Yup. 14 pounds. That's the equivalent of 56 sticks of butter!
CO-WORKER J: [laughing] I like that. I'll have to remember it. Well, you look really good.
ME: Thanks! [leaves copy room...floating on air]
08 March 2010
In my fantasy I'm at the Coffee Depot with her. She's sleeping beautifully while I work on my novel and Facebook with friends.
And in another part of Mom Fantasy-land I'm able to take her to the art museum for hours at a time where she giggles in her little Snuggly-thing (quietly, of course, so as not to disturb the other patrons) and I'm able to walk around to look at all of the art with her. She is also, of course, brilliant and already interested in art as a baby.
She never has a meltdown in public in my fantasy.
She never makes a scene in the grocery store and I never have to rush away from our shopping cart to throw her in the car and head home minus our groceries.
She makes all her wishes and needs known even when she doesn't have the verbal language to tell me.
We giggle all of the time together and are never bored or cranky.
Part of me kind of lives in this Mom Fantasy-land that motherhood is going to be all puppies, kittens, smiles, totally cute baby and happy happy happy all of the time.
And then the other part of me lives in Mom Worry-panic-land.
That part of me worries and panics that this child is going to cry constantly and I'm not going to know how to comfort her. That she won't be terribly portable and we'll be stuck with each other in the house all of the time - miserable - because we're so sick of each other. That we'll be really frustrated and that we'll both end up crying and unhappy unhappy unhappy all of the time.
I suppose the smart thing for me to do would be simply to combine Mom Fantasy-land with Mom Worry-panic-land. To recognize that there are definitely going to be bits of both of the worlds with Schmoopie. That - hopefully - some days are going to be great and other days - not so much.
I also need to remind myself that there's going to be a great Dad in this picture, too! A Dad who is just as eager to be a parent as I am. Need to remind myself that it's not just about the Kid and Me - but about the three of us as a family.
Mom-and-Dad Land...not just Mom Land.
OK...so this waiting thing is just giving me waaaaay too much time to think!
**Addendum to post
Conversation five minutes ago:
ME: "So, what did you think of my blog post?"
CHRIS: "I liked it."
CHRIS: "Yeah...[grins] but you're kind of assuming a lot if you think I'm going to be involved."
06 March 2010
That's also the equivalent of:
- a small male Lhasa Apso or a large Shitzu
- a medium sized Thanksgiving turkey
- our cat Cecil
- a bag of cat litter
- 14 burritos from Chipotle
This eat-right-and-exercise thing really works.
I have a long way to go before I get to my goal weight. Still, I'm extremely pleased with the progress so far! I feel really good that I am once again living a healthier life. Our little Schmoopie deserves a healthy, energetic mom - not an overweight, tired and grumpy one.
Now off to the library! I exercised my body earlier today...now it's time to exercise my brains!
Hope y'all are having a great weekend!
05 March 2010
We're not "doing."
Doing sometimes provides more fodder to write about for Blogland.
Waiting provides a lot of time for me to think and ponder and worry just a bit.
Mostly there's a lot of stuff running around in my head. As I mentioned a few posts ago, I'm still reading about and learning about adoption issues. However, as we get closer (I hope) to becoming Plus One my thoughts have turned more to figuring out how to be the best mom that I can be. I am realizing that I know very little about caring for an infant. And so I've started turning my attention in that direction.
Suddenly - the idea of caring for a tiny infant seems rather...big. And a little scary.
Motherhood...(cue scary music here...) Aaaaaiiieeeee!!!
I'm open to tips, advice, any super secret mom information (or super secret dad information... for any dads out there reading this blog!) you in the Blogosphere would care to share...
04 March 2010
I feel like there is and I just haven't been clued in yet because I'm still waiting to become a mom. I'm still learning and have yet to put my skills into practice.
We don't have much baby stuff in the house yet...a beautiful baby blanket knitted by my mother-in-law and some kids' books and that's about it. I bought myself What to Expect the First Year a while back. Started reading it and found it to be pretty dry stuff. I realized that it will likely be very useful as a reference book when something comes up, but that I am unlikely to read it through cover to cover.
So then I recently found The Must Have Mom Manual: Two Mothers, Two Perspectives, One Book That Tells You Everything You Need to Know. The bits that I've read so far - pretty great. Very anecdotal, informative, gritty, at times a bit earthy and also entertaining. The two authors - Sara Ellington and Stephanie Triplett are quite candid in their opinions - one is firmly in the "breastfeeding is great" camp while the other had so many problems with it she said "screw it" and opted to exclusively bottle feed AND didn't let anyone give her any crap about not breastfeeding. The authors cover everything from breastfeeding to accepting help when you're feeling overwhelmed to leaving your career to returning to your career to potty training to discipline to finding play groups to surviving the holidays. I have the feeling that I'm going to learn a lot about being a mom by reading this book. This one I'll read cover to cover.
Maybe when I'm done learning all of this stuff they'll even let me into the club.
Now if I could just find someone to teach me the secret handshake...
03 March 2010
For a while when we were contemplating adoption and then in the throes of the adoption process there was definitely part of me that felt like I somehow had to defend our decision to pursue adoption - to everyone - even the people who were supportive.
Maybe even to myself.
Does that sound weird?
I started reading blogs from all parts of the adoption world to gather information and to learn as much as I could about it from all angles. To really educate myself about the issues in the world of adoption. And there I discovered that there were a lot of people out there who were AGAINST adoption, which was a pretty crushing discovery for me as a prospective adoptive parent.
How could people be against my husband and I wanting to start our family this way? How could they think this was a terrible thing?
I continued reading more and more blogs, (and I'm embarrassed and almost ashamed to admit this now) to go beyond educating myself to somehow gathering information to "arm" myself for the growing feeling I had of needing to justify my reasons to adopt.
Ugh. It feels awful to admit that here. I'm totally uncomfortable with myself in this moment.
Luckily for me...this terrible feeling of needing to justify myself has passed.
Occasionally - like yesterday - I read something someone has written that is anti-adoptive parent and it gets my hackles up. I get miffed. But I've decided that I'm not going to expend a lot of energy getting upset or justifying the path we're on.
This is the path we've chosen and I'm ready to see it through.
I am, however, still reading a huge variety of blogs - those of first mothers, adoptive parents, adopted adults and prospective adoptive parents - not to arm myself with information, but because I've genuinely become attached to the bloggers. Even those who are adamantly on the "other side" - those folks who are not supportive of adoption - first moms and adoptees out there who believe that their lives would be much better had they not been involved in adoption in any way, shape or form. I know it sounds very odd that I continue reading these types of blogs - me being a prospective adoptive parent and all. But I have truly become attached to the people behind the blogs and want to continue reading their stories and sharing in their lives.
And I do want to continue learning about adoption because this is going to be part of my world forever.
Of course....maybe I'm hoping for some kind of happy ending for us all.
01 March 2010
"knowingly postponed pregnancy past [our] fecund years"
and so now have to turn to adoption (that bastion of evilness) to build our families.
I hope you'll accept my apologies for being so snarky, but when I read that statement it just got my hackles up.
Grrr. Really up.
When I read statements like the one above, it makes me fervently wish that all of us involved in the adoption triad would be more respectful of each other and less inclined to make overarching (and often inaccurate) generalizations about each other.
I, like many women my age, didn't necessarily "knowingly wait" until my eggs were no longer viable. Some of us didn't actually find our life partners until later in life. Some of us had/still have health issues that are not compatible with pregnancy and childbirth. Some are dealing with other tragedies and/or life situations that don't necessarily mesh with parenthood. Some women have tried for years and years (and - yes - starting in their "fecund" years) to have our very own biological children without success.
The list goes on.
Not every woman gets married at 24 and has 2.5 kids by the time she is 30 - even if that's her plan. (Imagine my surprise when I wasn't married at 24...when I didn't even have a boyfriend at that time...and then when I still wasn't married at 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30. And then 31. That certainly wasn't my plan, but that's the way my life worked out.)
Life happens to people.
Children don't always get born when they're "supposed to."
Hackles going down now.
Thanks for listening.