Lululemon Reverse Groove Pants
by Karla ° Saturday, March 31, 2007
I have heard rumblings that Lululemon pants have a unique ability to make you look like a walking product of airbrushed perfection. So when a new store opened up nearby this morning, I decided to check it out.

I walked into the store and a salesgirl asked, “Can I help you?” And I said, “I have birthed two babies. I want something that will make my ass look fabulous.”

She said, “I have just the thing.”

And she was right. My new Reverse Groove pants are like slipping on an orgasm, only I don’t have to bother showering first.

Here's hoping your ass has a fabulous day, too.

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Like Father Like Son
by Karla ° Friday, March 30, 2007
My Mother-in-Law is the Queen of Family Heirlooms and All things Sentimental. She is also the Master of the Lemon Meringue Pie.

So it really should have come as no surprise to me that the last time we visited her she pulled Mark’s first baby outfit out of storage. But - as soon as she did I panicked. Not because it wasn’t cute, or because it was made of circa 1970’s polyester. No, I panicked because I am in desperate need of a new wardrobe and I have been trying to convince Mark that clothing evaporates into thin air after a couple of years and that is why I need more to avoid random public acts of nakedness.

My cover has been blown.

But at least I have these pictures for posterity.


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Even Philosophers Needs Toys
by Karla ° Thursday, March 29, 2007
When I was a little kidlet I loved Easter. But not because I got to stuff my face with chocolate, oh no, I loved Easter because it was one of the three times a year that my parents spoiled me, with Christmas and not flunking school being the other two.

But now that I am all grown up and have a baby, it’s not all about me anymore and now my mom wants to spoil Nate.

She asked me the other day what he wants for Easter. And you know what? I don’t know what he wants for Easter. He doesn’t do much of much right now. He likes to swat at stuff, and pull my hair, and basically stares at the wall all day and, oh I don’t know, ponders life I guess.

But, even philosophers’ need toys, so my question is, what would you recommend for a three month old baby, so you know, he doesn’t have to spend all his time thinking?

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Almost Two Years
by Karla ° Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The anniversary of Ava’s death is fast approaching. On April 14th, Ava would have been turning two. TWO. It’s been almost two heart wrenching years of trying to come to terms with her death.

The crazy thing is, I never have come to terms with it. In a vague sense I guess I have in order to pick up the pieces and move on, but deep down, I haven’t been able to find that soft and cushy place that would allow me to put things to rest. Some days it still gets to me and I have to stop whatever I am doing and focus with all my might to try and not let the seething anger and hurt bring me down. And sometimes no matter how hard I try, all I can do is place my face in my hands and cry.

To this day I have a really hard time going through her memory box. Opening the lid is like slowly peeling the band-aid off a raw wound and I have to practice deep breathing and mentally prepare myself before I do it.

I ventured there this morning. And now I am a blubbering mess of tears and snot.

The first thing you see when you lift the lid to her memory box are the delicate casts of her feet and hands. Her feet were 3¼” long. Beside those are her ashes. And on top of her ashes is the purple knit hat she wore to keep her perfect little baby head warm. The hat is still slightly stained with the meconium that filled her lungs and deprived her of oxygen for so long. Her ashes remain in an oval wooden container. We had originally purchased a tiny music box that played “You are so beautiful” to store her ashes in, but it wasn’t big enough and I have never been able to find the strength to venture to that deep dark place of shopping for an urn for her again. Sometimes I need to open the wooden box and look at her ashes to make sure I’m not stuck in a horrible nightmare. It makes my lips quiver and my whole body tremble to think that is all that is left of the life I carried inside of me for nine months.

Shortly after Ava died, my husband and I fled to the Rocky Mountains in search of solace and peace amongst the magnificence of mountains. There, I found a card for her that reads:


Sound Asleep in Lullaby Dreams,
Among Silver Clouds and Sunbeams


I have kept everything I possibly could to remember her by, including a list of all the cities around the world that released balloons for Ava on the day of her funeral. My last post on that baby blog and the huge show of support from people from so many different nooks and crannies of the planet was one of the greatest sources of strength for me during those early days of mourning and as her two year anniversary approaches, I can’t help but reminisce over all of the kindness, empathy and compassion that people I have never met shared with me.

That worldly connection has never stopped growing. And I know I have said this before, but I truly believe that each of us represents a thread on the tapestry of humanity and that we are all carefully woven and interconnected in an intricate blueprint of strength and survival.

So thank you for the strength.

Because some days, I don’t know how I would go on without it.

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Don't leave a message
by Karla ° Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Lo! We have success. The company with the big orange sign has come through for us. A contractor is here this very moment re-attaching my toilet to the big gaping hole in the floor of my bathroom.

Also, they will be fixing the ceiling in my living room, which is going to be quite the job because it is a popcorn ceiling and I fully expect the new speckle to match the old speckle, and of course, for them to re-paint the entire ceiling so the new drywall patch can live in blended harmony with the old drywall.

All in all, I am relieved with how cooperative they are being now that they have come out to our house to assess the damage.

I would like to breathe a sigh of relief, but yesterday my dog ate my portable phone and this is all that is left of it.



I have searched high and low for the rest of it, especially for the toxic parts, like the batteries, but there is nothing left to be found.

At this point, I am just waiting for his colon to start ringing.

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Oh No They Didn’t
by Karla ° Monday, March 26, 2007
Last April we renovated our main bathroom and because I have zero confidence when it came to making sure I didn't accidentally grout my cat to the floor or slip down the hole where a toilet once lived, we hired a professional to help get the job done.

Fast forward almost a year to last weekend. I was happily doing my morning thing in our almost shiny new bathroom while Mark was sitting on the sofa downstairs with Nathan. Soon after flushing the toilet, I heard some really distressed shouts coming from downstairs that consisted of the use of several profanities, including many that began with an F, ended with a K, and have the letters U and C in between.

Rushing down to see what the problem was, there I discovered Mark, in the middle of the living room floor, on top of a step ladder with a finger poking threw our ceiling. And then it became blatantly obvious that there was a giant bulge in the ceiling above his head, and I am not being sarcastic when I say it looks like Satan is trying to exercise demons straight out of hell via our crapper because the ceiling under our toilet is that droopy and swollen.

And so, we did what we always do when our home falls apart, and called my Father-in-Law. That man is my hero and he dropped everything he was doing, right then and there, and drove two hours to our home to come and check out the problem. He is like that, so selfless and eager to help, and his thank you of choice is a jar of those huge mother Costco pickles because they taste nice with a sandwich.

So while we were waiting for him to arrive, we called the company with the big orange sign that installed our tiles and our toilet, which are still under warranty, and asked what we should do. We had established it was definitely the toilet that was leaking, but whether or not it was due to a faulty install or a leaky pipe somewhere else along the plumbing line was still to be determined. Because they couldn’t send anyone out to check things out until Monday (today), they made a note on our file and advised us to proceed with removing the toilet to try and identify the source of the leak, with confirmation that doing so would not void the warranty.

And so, that is what we did. And, guess what? The thing that you use to do the thing that you need to do to make sure toilets don’t leak wasn’t installed properly. The part is obviously dirty with, well, dirty toilet residue from water seeping out around the edges. We poured gallons of water down the pipe that the toilet sits on top of, and nothing leaked, but around the perimeter of the hole is all rotten and gross and that is where the leak came from, and dripped for almost an entire year on top of our now bulging living room ceiling that now also has a big gaping cavity where the toilet gremlins can escape.

Of course, when we brought the part to the company with the big orange sign to show them, all of a sudden they became defensive and snarky. I’ve had better conversations with a wall, so Mark just pointed to huge sign that says “Installations You Can Trust” and said he was holding them to that. And that is what we are going to do.

Functionally lovely, no?


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Tummy Time
by Karla ° Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Tummy Time, according to Nate, is the worst thing EVER. And that is probably why he learned to roll over when we was only 9 weeks old because judging by the way he shrieks and screams when I place him on his stomach, you would think I just draped his limp baby body on top of a porcupine.

I suspect that is why his head still flops around when it isn’t being supported because when I try and make him do tummy time to strengthen his neck muscles, he gets so upset and cries so hard that I’m afraid he will suck all the oxygen out of the house with his rapid breathing of frantic distress.

And then I met a mom at my weekly mommy group meeting who suggested lodging him in my breastfeeding pillow to kind of prop him up a bit. And lo and behold, a new baby appeared before my eyes.




He now tolerates tummy time in small doses under the following conditions:
  • He gets exclusive dibs on the laptop to watch Baby Einstein Symphony of Exploding Colours and Nonsense Hand Puppet Improvisations.
  • Once boredom sets in watching lobsters salsa dance to Mozart, then, and only then should
  • I put my big mom head on the floor for him to swat at.



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Real Moms
by Karla ° Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Amanda tagged me with a Real Moms meme. Her take on real moms was heartwarming, clever and creative and I when I stopped to think about what makes me a real mom, it really hit me. I am a REAL MOM. I am no longer part of the invisible mom club where I have earned the title of mom by giving birth to a baby that is no longer with me.

I’m still trying to find my way in this whole being a mom thing and I had to think really hard about what being a real mom means, and what I do for Nate that is special. And then my brain caught on fire from all that thinking, so I have settled on nose picking.

When Nate was all stuffy and nasally with his cold and I couldn’t get his snot suction doodad to work and fishing for boggers with a Kleenex just wasn’t cutting it, the nail of my pinky finger worked swimmingly swell.

Judging by how ambitious his thumb sucking has become lately though, he isn’t far off from figuring out how to do it all by himself.



I'm not sure if I should be proud of his developing dexterity, or grossed out, or an amused mix of both.

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Donuts and Pretzels
by Karla ° Monday, March 19, 2007
Our travels last weekend with Samson was a smashing success.

For the most part.

Mark did not have to deal with dog bum in his face because – did you know they make seatbelts for dogs!? For dogs? Like for real. That’s almost as crazy as dressing your dog in people clothes, and finding out they fit him.

And since I’m all about the crazy, we bought a doggy belt and strapped Samson into the backseat beside Nate.

As you can see, a lot of good THAT did because Samson still managed to contort his body into a doggy pretzel and snuggle up as close as possible to the nearest human.

But, he was a good boy and only caused a near catastrophe once, and that was when we pulled up to the drive thru to order coffee, which as far as Samson is concerned means donut time for the dog because yes, he is a spoiled boy and we buy him donuts and he isn’t afraid to climb over, across and on top of you to get to them.

And today I feel perfectly validated in feeding my dog his treats of choice because lovers of pets, this is a pet food recall that you need to know about.

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Like Father Like Son
by Karla ° Saturday, March 17, 2007
I just love seeing Nate’s personality develop and evolve each and every day. I especially love when he does something that I can instantly relate as an inherited trait from his mom or his dad.

Like when he burps – that’s totally from Mark because I refuse to admit I am capable of expelling noises that loud out of my body.

Lately, he has been rather talkative and this must also be a trait from his father who, had he not chosen a career path in computers, should have been a politician or a sneaky car salesman because he could sell bottled rainbows and sunshine to the grumpy.

And being the Daddy’s boy that he is, Nate also loves spending endless hours of enthusiastic gooing and cooing and impassioned babbles about, oh, I don’t know, probably how much he loves boobs. I kid you not, if he is screaming and wailing and flailing his baby limbs uncontrollably with earth shattering distress, all I have to do is show my boobs and his eyes light up and whatever was so upsetting is instantly forgotten.

Ironically, this tactic works well with his father too.


....

Nate Makes a Very Important Public Service Announcement:

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Shot Gun
by Karla ° Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Tomorrow we are traveling north to see family. This will be our first road trip with Nate, which on its own sounds like no biggie, unless you consider the elephantine dog that must come with.

Samson weighs only about 35 lbs less than I do, and in terms of human seating requirements, I would say we are both on par for the amount of square footage our arse ends require, that is, if the dog would actually stay put and sit on his arse end. Before Nate, Samson had the entire backseat to himself and because he could, he made full use of his space by casually lounging across the seat and stretching his giraffe legs as far as they could reach. He never actually learned to sit in the car. Now however, there is absolutely no room for him in the back with the baby seat, so I have been condemned to the back seat and the dog gets to ride shot gun.

To see how that would work, you know, before we hit the highways and found out that Samson thinks riding shot gun means easy access to play I am a heavy lap dog and he tries to climb on top of Mark while he’s driving, all four of us piled into our tiny little two door Pontiac Sunfire yesterday and took a test drive around town. To set the stage for how that looked, all you need to know is that we may as well have had Circus Clowns painted across the hood of our car for all those who saw us cruising around while Samson stood sideways across the front seat and stuck his big dog head out of the window and planted his big dog ass in Mark’s face.

Let’s just say that I’m glad I am not the one driving because although chauffeuring the dog around while I sit in the back makes me feel completely lame, at least I’m not the one that must deal with an unobstructed view of dog anus.

Happy Trails Tails Mark.

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In Da Hood
by Karla ° Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Yesterday I attended my first mommy group event (thanks to Carly over at the ever resourceful Durham Region Baby for the info) and I realized that I am not the rock star mommy that I thought I was.

As a new mom, it’s hard not to judge how your baby is doing compared to others. It’s not like my son was born with a manual of explicit warranties and guarantees about milestone developments so when I discovered that my 11 week old was the only baby at the mom group that couldn’t hold his own head up, my heart sank.

I tried not to let it bother me, but when the nine week old beside me sat on top of his moms lap peering effortlessly around the room while my little Nate’s head bobbled around aimlessly, my heart either developed a bout of compare-itis or sank with concerned worry. I’m not sure which.

And then the discussions turned to sleeping and for love of keeping sane, I haven’t been able to bring myself to read all the horrible information floating around the internet about SIDS and infant death after Ava died. While living in my bubble of ignorant bliss though, I missed the boat on infant sleep safety and have been floundering aimlessly out there in my own parenting ocean while all the other moms are following the Canadian Pediatric Society’s advice about keeping their baby’s crib in their bedroom for the first six months of life. Apparently, there is some sort of feng shui-ish belief that your baby tunes into his parents breathing which in turn, reminds him to keep doing it too.

Well then!

For the past two weeks (except for when he had a cold and I didn’t heed the safety advice of a putting your child to sleep on his back on a hard, flat surface and I slept him sitting up in a vibrating chair so he could breath), Nate has been sleeping by himself, in his crib, alone, with the door shut because oh yeah, I have two cats, and we all know that cats suffocate babies right?

I should be shot.

Next thing you know I will be bathing my kid in a scalding bath so I can boil eggs at the same time or setting him on top of the stove to watch my dinner for me. Better yet, I should take him for a peaceful drive through the country to point out all the breathtaking scenery and listen for his squeals of delight and excitement from the trunk.

There is way too much advice out there to filter and absorb without feeling like you’re coming up short somewhere along they way and I really need to figure out how to feel comfortable in my own mothering shoes and learn to shake off this tremendously heavy slab of guilt hovering in the pit of my stomach.

Moms, how do you do it so you don’t feel like you suck?

Nate's in da Hood. Get it? Ok Ok, stepping down from my pillar of lame.

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I Like Argyle
by Karla ° Monday, March 12, 2007
Nate is at one of those awkward in-between stages where the 0-3 months clothes are kind of small and rather tight and the 3-6 month clothes still kind of drape and hang off his body enough so that if I pimped him out with a bit of bling he could pass as a mini hip hop gansta boy.

So, in an effort to provide our child with pants that have legs that fit past his knees, but not hang off his ass crack, Mark and I went baby clothes shopping on the weekend.

And what a mistake that was.

Mark vetoed every clothing choice I made for Nate if the clothes weren’t decked out in army prints or made of synthetic testosterone and motor oil.

And so we came home empty handed and are continuing to cram our baby into his footed sleepers while keeping our fingers crossed that the clasps don’t pop off and poke someone in the eye.

Today, while Mark is on his cookie eating mancation before he starts his new job, I am going to go shopping for Nate - alone. I plan to buy a pair of Lederhosen pants with powder blue suspenders and ankle socks made of rainbows and shoes made of puppy dog tails. And an argyle vest for those evenings when there is a damp chill in the air.

And then I’ll stick a cigar in my kid’s mouth so Mark can’t argue that he looks like a total pansy.

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But I can BBQ a Mean Burger
by Karla ° Sunday, March 11, 2007
In the past two weeks, Mark has quit two jobs. The first being the one that currently pays our bills and the second being the job that was supposed to find us moving to Ottawa.

When he accepted the job opportunity in Ottawa, negotiated doing his three month probation period in Toronto to ease the transition, and convinced the company to pay for our move, we were thrilled. I was excited to finally be able to leave this building I am supposed to call home and restart our lives somewhere else. To celebrate our chance at starting over I went all fancy on Mark and cooked something special for dinner that did not require a microwave or toaster oven. He enjoyed his barbequed hamburgers and his bottle of beer very much.

You may recall, that while the opportunity to accept a job in Ottawa was on the table, there was also a job offer in Toronto, that, although was not offering as much money, offered things like one of the best pension plan programs in Canada, great health care benefits and paid overtime – at the cost of taking a step down in his career.

We thought everything fell into place perfectly, until the deal breaker phone call came. The company in Toronto left an urgent voicemail for Mark that they needed to talk to him. Mark decided he was not going to call them back and pursue discussions further because at some point the negotiations had to end, and he had to take a job and be done with it. Plus, he had already handed in his resignation and had a start date for the other job. Loud mouth me though, always the nosy and curious one (and we all know what curiosity did to the cat), couldn’t let the conversations end that way not knowing all the details. I told him that I fully supported his decision to not pursue things further, but not before whining that I wanted to know what the other company had to say seven times in our five minute discussion. I’m supportive in a narcissistic sort of way like that.

Eventually, my whinny narcissism got the better of him, and he returned the phone call. And for love of keeping life decisions complicated, they matched the offer he had in Ottawa and offered two additional weeks vacation (for a total of one month’s holidays). That, combined with the pension and paid overtime meant we had some serious soul searching to do because suddenly, it seemed to make more sense financially to stay in Toronto.

It felt like we were standing at a crossroad in our lives. One direction would find us far away from family, but would bring the change and new life adventures that we were looking for. Mark would be advancing in his career, but, and we knew there was a big but, there would be a cost to that, and that was time spent with his family because 9-5 would not exist anymore. The other direction meant we would be staying in Toronto, and he would be putting his career on hold for a while, but that came with a wonderful work/life balance and job security which meant he would have more time for family.

What to do? If he put his career on hold, what happens when he is ready to advance again? Would it be a strike against him? Would employers not respect his decision to put his family first for a couple of years? What if he pursues career right now? Would he miss his son? Me? Would I end up lonely in Ottawa if the demands put on him are unreasonable or would he manage to balance everything in a way that satisfies both his drive for career and family?

I’m not sure why the decision was so hard to make, but the idea of leaving Toronto and starting a new chapter in our lives elsewhere made me feel vibrantly alive and excited, and I haven’t felt that way in a long time. Not even while I was pregnant with Nate. My entire pregnancy was filled with nothing but anxiety and trepidation. I cried with fear all the way to the operating room table for my c-section.

Suddenly though, something clicked and it all made sense. We have been struggling for our long awaited little family unit for a long time now, and have gone through enough pain to get here that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy. Family is what is important to us. Family is what matters most. And if our goal is for me to stay home with the kid(s!) and for Mark to be able to achieve a work/life balance, then the decision was clear. He had to accept the job in Toronto. It afforded us the job security he needed to focus on the things that are most important in our lives right now, like snuggling with our son and maybe, just maybe, figuring out how couples ever have sex again after having a baby.

When I told my Mom that she would be closer to her Grandson and we weren’t moving far away, she cried so hard that her voice became unsteady and I swear I heard the flow of relief begin pumping through her veins.

So, we aren’t moving to Ottawa, but, because this house still feels like a place of broken dreams, we are still moving – up the street and around the corner and preferably, somewhere with a yard where my dog doesn’t like to eat deck wood and dig holes and pee on my flowers.

And I get to be all like, “I told you so,” with Mark for the rest of his life because my curiosity with wanting him to return that phone call ended up being a good thing and it didn’t kill my cats and I still get to be a stay at home mom to my precious son and a housewife that can’t cook to a husband who loves his family deeply.

Just love. That is all.

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Good Morning
by Karla ° Saturday, March 10, 2007
Nate’s cold finally seems to be getting better, and it's about time because clearly, sleeping in an upright position for the past week to keep the flow of baby boogers at bay has been the most arduous of tasks for my congested little half-pint.

In other news, I’m so glad my parents are back in the country because I have been harbouring some news deep inside that I’ve been wanting to share, but it’s something that I wanted my mom to hear from me directly before schlepping into her home late last night after a long flight and turning on the computer and being the last to know because this news will totally lift the crushing weight that I deposited and left sitting directly on top of her pulsing coronary arteries.

This is for you McGrandparents. Your Grandson, unlike your Daughter, but much like your Son-in-Law, appears to love the camera. I think this will be a good morning for you indeed!



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Adding Ads
by Karla ° Friday, March 9, 2007
I’ve avoided putting advertisements on my blog for one reason. This has always been an outlet for me to do what I enjoy most – write. I didn’t want advertisements to take away from the genuine honesty I want my words to portray about my family. But, the more I look around at everybody else’s blogs, the more I am beginning to feel like I am missing out on one of blogging’s best kept secrets, or a free loaf of bread, or something like that.

The truth of the matter is, we are a single income family and now that Nate is here, the kickstand that I spent so much time nonchalantly leaning on while twiddling my thumbs waiting for a baby has been knocked out from under my feet, and while I was lying there all dizzy and befuckled on the floor trying to figure out what hit me, I realized that if there was anything I could do to help my family, even if it means jumping off a bridge with the rest of my friends or the occasional free pack of lavender scented baby bum wipes, the gosh golly Sally Sue, why not.

I mean, my words will still be honest and genuine and there’s no harm in wanting your baby to have a nice smelling behind is there?

Right?

Anybody?
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Something I am Not Proud of
by Karla ° Thursday, March 8, 2007
I am taking this opportunity to promptly blame my lack of uninterrupted sleep, head cold and sick baby on the fact that I called the geophysical survey I did with radioactive equipment Ground Penetrating Radar. It was a Borehole Geophysics Survey.

But, speaking of Ground Penetrating Radar, it might interest you to know that I did do a geophysical survey of that nature inside a giant sewage holding tank because it was leaking and someone could get into a big pile of shit (no pun intended) if one of those things starts leaking into, oh I don’t know, your drinking water.

How’s that for getting your sexxii on?
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X-ray
by Karla ° Wednesday, March 7, 2007
I swear by the time my kid turns one he will have caused me enough heart pounding worry to expedite the graying process of my hair and cause the unnecessary expansion of my ass from all the stress eating I have been doing.

I went to the doctors on Monday to follow up on Nate’s wheezing chest and stuffy nose and ended up leaving with instructions that he needed chest x-rays because there was a chance he had an pneumonia.


X-rays are not something I take lightly, especially considering my background in Geophysics. I remember working on a Ground Penetrating Radar project to look for fault lines beneath the earth’s surface near the Pickering Nuclear Power Plant (nice thought that is isn’t it?), and my partner wouldn’t let me near the radioactive probe unless it was encased in its lead box because women of child bearning age shouldn't have a glow in the dark uterus. Also, Nate already had x-rays performed on him within hours of being born. (I’ll get around to that birth story someday). Multiple x-rays within the first few weeks of life turns my stomach and wraps it into tight little knots because he is just a wee little boy and big scary things like radiation shouldn’t be a part of his repertoire of babyhood experiences.

I debated whether or not to go through with the x-rays, but hearing his gurgly cough and bubbly throat and feeling how engorged my breasts were getting because he was sometimes too uncomfortable to nurse got the better of me. This whole choosing between the lesser of two evils thing really bites and I cried big watery tears when I was asked to hold a lead plate over my screaming baby’s flailing legs and private bits while someone else held his arms above his head to take the x-ray.

The entire process looked torturous and cruel and the guilt, oh the guilt, is still eating away at me because it turns out that it was all for naught. He doesn’t have any signs of a chest infection or pneumonia and we’re back right where we started.

Nate has a cold.

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Master Nathan is Sick
by Karla ° Monday, March 5, 2007

So CuddlyMy poor little dude has a nose full of boogers and is coughing like a timeworn smoker and I spent three hours at a walk in clinic on Saturday to find out that all he has is a cold.

Sitting around waiting for any length of time with a baby is not fun, but the first hour went by pleasantly enough while Nate wooed the ladies with cheesy one liners like goo and gaa. The second hour was spent cuddling and pacing back and forth with a baby whose throat was so sore he coughed until he puked, and then the third hour I spent trying to save my sanity by peering into the drawers of the waiting room desk and contemplating stealing some rubber gloves because they come in really handy to pick up dog shit. I took the moral high road though and settled on three moisturizing tissues which I promptly hid in my pocket for later use.

The doctor that examined Nate is one that I have seen on occasion when my regular GP is away, and she totally does not support breastfeeding. She suggested putting him on sugar water if he gets any worse because it isn’t as thick as breast milk, and when I suggested that I could always pump and dilute my milk, her response was – wait for it – “Well, I wouldn’t want more trouble for mom.”

I’m not sure how to put this delicately, but if I quit breastfeeding cold turkey, my breasts would become iron-solid lumps of flesh whose rugged strength could outperform Kevlar. Just give them four hours of downtime and diggity dam, I’ll have grown my own bullet proof chest.

Although Nate only has a cold, it still breaks my heart to see him so uncomfortable. One of the most comforting things in the world to him, his pacifier, is a mountainous impossibility because he can barely breathe through his nose, and breastfeeding, although going OK, requires an initial preparation of nasal passage opening saline drops and occasionally some time spent in a steamy bathroom to loosen up all the pasty mucous lodged in his nose and throat before he is able to breathe well enough to put him on my breast.

We go back to the doctors today, and thankfully I’ll be seeing my regular GP who doesn’t seem to have a complex with breastfeeding. So far, our regular temperature readings indicate that he doesn’t have a temperature, which is promising that he also doesn't have the flu, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this stuffy nose and sore throat is the worst of it.

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Superstitious
by Karla ° Friday, March 2, 2007
Today marks the one year anniversary that my second pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. Our second chance at hope, building a family and moving on after we lost sweet precious Ava came crashing down on us like a thunderous hammer of hate.

I remember sitting in the emergency room crying while trying to understand what I must have done in my life to deserve carrying such a heavy burden of death, heartache and tragedy when suddenly, a woman came up to me, opened my hands and delicately draped a pink rosary between my fingers. Holding my hands in hers, she looked me right in the eye and told me that one day I would have many many children, and then folded my hands around her prayer beads and left.

The first emotion that coursed through my body as I stared down at the decades of Aves in my hands was anger that a complete stranger tried to push her religion onto me while I was feeling so weak and vulnerable because for me, the vibrations of the universe that fulfill my spiritual need do not fit into a neat and tidy box that can be labeled Christianity, or Hinduism, or Taoism, or what have you. My definition of spirituality is one that is constantly changing and evolving as I grow and change with the various experiences life tosses my way. It is a personal journey that I am able to mold, analyze, reshape, define and follow in a way that feeds my soul with the things that fulfill me without being bound by the teachings of one particular religion. I couldn’t help but feel like I should be on the defensive when it seemed that the way I chose to lead my life brought me nothing but empty arms and sadness.

I realize now that her intentions were pure, and she was only trying to help me during a time of crisis. It still eludes me to this day how she knew I was miscarrying though. I wasn’t far enough along in the pregnancy to show the world a gloriously rotund belly signaling life inside of me. Even though I am far from the praying kind, the experience of her hands clasped around mine, while she shared with me a piece of her, and something that brings her meaning and hope in life has not been forgotten. To this day, I carry that pink rosary with me everywhere I go, like it has a strange magical power that keeps my third chance at life, my little Nate, safe from the evil perils that swooped down and tore my life to pieces when I was without it.

Superstitious, perhaps, but with it Nate has survived long along to exhibit male pattern baldness and this:

Mr. Rollover – 9 weeks old.

So why push my luck?

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