Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Vancouver sans kids

I am off to the Liberal convention on Thursday morning....without the baby. Which may kill me. I have to pick up a pump tomorrow and then cart it all over the damn place. I am so torn about this right now. I want to be able to travel without having to fight him and wrestle him on the flight, and the time change will mess him up----

But I will miss him sooooo much!!!

Do you know that I haven't travelled anywhere alone since the last Liberal Leadership Convention? Or really bought any decent new clothes since then? (Maternity doesn't count or that pair of shorts for Mexico!) So tomorrow I have to pick up a few clothing items, get my bangs cut, pack, pick up prescriptions, and groceries, leave a giant list on how to take care of Julius and the boys......and of course, go to the bank.

Oh, btw, relax about the pandemic shit please. I just left this comment on Cecily's blog, may as well repeat it here.

"North Americans, that is US and Canada, are for some reason not getting it very badly, when they are infected, and the best science up here says it's because we have mostly all either had the flu before or the shots and so we have some immunity.
But on behalf of Sarsville...really it's no big fucking deal compared to the other stuff that kills us in the Western World. Everyone panicked here, and it actually was hard to get if you weren't a hospital worker who was caring for the original patients. Meanwhile, every one had heart attacks panicking over it and the economy was a mess.
Every year thousands of people die from C. Difficile, and MRSA and car accidents, and drug overdoses, and alcoholism, and hospital mistakes, and violence in the home. All preventable, btw, if we spent half as much attention and money on them as we do on ridiculous boogeymen like swine flu. I don't see everyone panicking over those things. Just wash your hands and relax."

I mean that. Take a chill pill everyone.

So, I will be blogging and twittering and stuff while I am there, but who the hell knows what I'll be talking about! Everyone else will be very very serious, but I will likely yip about the food and the clothes and who is throwing up in the corner. This might turn into the Liberal Party version of Perez Hilton if I really get in a mood. Woot!

Off to bed now.....

Monday, April 27, 2009

For Red Canuck

Red Tory seems to have beaten me to it, but so what, this needs to be repeated many many times, so please link to this, and tweet and retweet it and do whatever needs to be done to spread the word.

Our friend, and member of Liblogs, Red Canuck, is dying of terminal cancer. He had fought it before and beat it, but it has come back and he has posted a farewell. One of the things he asked his readers to do in his goodbye post, is to register as a bone marrow donor with Canadian Blood Services.

You can go here to One Match and register if you are Canadian, or here to register if you are American. This is where you can find some international registries.

Red Canuck, for those of you who didn't read him, is from Vancouver. He's kind and witty and by the way a Doctor as well. He managed to skewer his opponents and make us all laugh along the way, so I this is kind of fitting.

For those of you who medically don't qualify for donations....give money. Did you know that the Canadian Health Care System does not cover all the costs of testing and recruiting donors? Transplants are free and donors and recipients pay nothing, but other costs incurred in maintaining the list and running Canadian Blood Services must be covered by private donations. Something I think should change. A publicly funded cord blood bank with stem cells for use by everyone young and old wouldn't be too shabby either. (Yes, this paragraph is intended to be a big ol' hint to political types reading it, could you guess? Not everyone has a spare $1200 bucks to freeze and store cord blood.)

Canadian Blood Services by the way is the national organization that provided the blood that saved my life after my crash c-section and Julius' birth. I've been waiting until after I finish breastfeeding to repay them a few pints. I figure I owe them, right?

So after I register as a marrow donor, I'm going to start figuring when I can go and split open a vein. In the meantime, if any of you would like to give a pint or two, or register as a bone marrow donor, it would really warm the cockles of my heart, and the heart of a very nice guy and his family.

Thanks! ;)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Hey God, It's me Aurelia

Dear God,

I am not blogging very much right now God, because I haven't got anything even remotely cheerful or positive or happy to say.

I actually kind of wish it was just my perception of life or just my mood because then I could do something to fix it, but frankly I can't this time.

My kids are all miserable, and my husbands family is insane, as is mine. From the outside, it looks good. We have money and a good business, even in this economy, and three live healthy lovely kids.

But--you know God that things aren't always as they seem. Soooo, I have a request?

Could you help my brother in law get an accurate diagnosis? Get him back in the hospital, off of ALL the psychiatric drugs he is on, and maybe, just maybe a Doctor who has read a medical textbook or knows something, could get involved? And help him.

And then maybe my husband would feel less angry and stressed and freaked out. Maybe we all would not be fighting tooth and nail about him all the time.

And yeah, there is more---could you help my older son Kaz as he goes through puberty? He's friggin killing the whole family. Tantrums like a three year old, except he's almost 13. I know it will get better when he turns 18, but right now--Oh Lord, I just don't understand this stage at all.

Give me patience.

Give me strength.

Or at least give me a chance to take a time out and a valium when I have none of the first two left.

I'll write more when I don't sound like such an ungrateful whiny bitch, ok?

Friday, April 17, 2009

hey here we go again

Family hell is getting better this week. I just have to keep thinking about not doing anything, and how easy it is to just say no when someone proposes to invite people over.

Unless they want to come over for a non-judgey visit with dirt on the floor, pizza and beer. Sigh....

Planning Mac's birthday party, and dealing with various crises, I realized that I have not mentioned my current preoccupation. You know how I have been on domperidone, and how I have been trying to keep up with breastfeeding because I had breastfed the other two for at least fifteen months, and darned if I couldn't try just as hard for Julius?

Well, it's getting harder. I'm not sure what the hell is going on with my crap ass hormones this time, but I can't seem to make as much milk and at night especially, a small child is noticing. And keeps trying to get more milk, and crying. So I have doubled my dose of domperidone and I'm doing what I can.....but if this isn't the most bizarre thing on earth because I have never had this problem before!

I've always had loads of milk. Bad latches, thrush, mastitis, pumping problems, blisters, nursing strikes, lumps, you name it, I've battled through it. But supply never was a problem. I never had to even take domperidone, not when I was on the pill after Kaz was born, not when I went away for five days without Mac, nothing.

I know he's 10 and half months and really, we could do a little formula and it wouldn't be a big whoop, but that assumes it would be my decision to use it. This would NOT be my choice, this is because of my body failing me once again. And I can't figure out why?

I just don't get it, it's like this insane thing where just when I think that infertility is behind me and my problems are over, they come back to bite me on the ass again. Osteoporosis, POF, thyroid, and now breastfeeding issues, possibly caused by Sheehan's and placental abruption and holy shit won't that be a lovely lifelong issue to have? Fuck, fuck fuck....If one more person suggests to me that infertility is all about having babies and that it's no big deal and we can just move on after we finish having our kids or decide not to keep trying....I will scream. This, btw, is just one of the many reasons I always say that adoption is not a cure for infertility. They are completely and utterly separate issues. Something too many Doctors forget.

None of us ever stops being an infertile, do we? It's a disease I will always have whether I have zero living children or one or three or twelve.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

FML all the time

I can't write a proper post to explain all of it, because my brain is so fucked up, but basically you need to know that I have just had a week from hell. And yes, I know it could be worse, but that really isn't helpful when life sucks and you are in a pit, ok?

Comments are not working properly still. Some people can comment, some can't....don't know why, I've tweaked and checked, and bleh...Blogger is sucking big time. Email me and I'll post your comment if you can't.

So on Twitter I mentioned that I went to the ER Sunday morning. The very tippy baby fell into the computer desk and slashed his head open and we missed Mass and he got a 2 cm cut that had to be glued together and will scar for his whole life. And all because I can't get him antibiotics for his ear infection, his red, bulging, fluid filled ears that magically look just a bit better as soon as a Doctor's office is in sight. These days it would be easier to get crack than antibiotics y'know....cause head injuries are no big whoop but don't you dare treat an infection! If any of you in the Toronto area know where to find these mythical Doctors who give out antibiotics like Pez, drop me a line. I'm desperate and do anything at this point.

Three days before that my husband and his family blew up in a crazy way that I can't detail here but OMG, did you ever wish you could force seven very nice but dysfunctional people into family therapy? Basically, there is this huge family secret that everyone knows but no one talks about, mostly cause it's old news and no big whoop. And the person the secret involves thought no one knew at all and has a heart attack thinking about the subject. Well, this weekend someone dared to bring it up, and anxiety attacks were held by all.

But nobody can talk about it because it's a big secret, so really denial is in charge again, and NOTHING IS GOING ON. Got that? Now pass the ativan sweetie.

Next, on Saturday Mac broke the rules and got into my curio cabinet and gave Julius one of my antique toys, a wooden babushka doll, and the nanny kept letting him play with it because she didn't know what it was, and they left it on the floor---and it got stepped on and crushed into too many pieces to fix. It was over 50 years old, I had it since I was 5 when a neighbour gave it to me. It was handmade in Russia and now it is garbage. *weeps*

Then Sunday, after we got back from the ER, I spent hours trying to get the house in shape and cleaned up and then my husband picked up the order from the caterer and there was not enough food, or so it looked, so he went back and got more, and spent loads of money---but we didn't need the extra food after all because everyone was too busy arguing to eat.

We did need at least one person to STFU and not tell me that it was all our fault that Julius fell and whacked his head because we are "forcing" him to walk to early, which as you know will result him being stupid. Supposedly, the longer they crawl, the smarter they are. Gee, so happy that I was told that....and here I thought it was critical to berate him mercilessly until he walked. Cause you know, that's what I do with my kids, right?

And then today, my nanny tried to "help", and took the tablecloth out of the drycleaning bag and washed and dried my new linen one in the washing machine after hand scrubbing it. The red wine stain is now permanent and it has shrank considerably. Sigh....I get that she doesn't know about a lot of modern appliances and things, but I have now explained dry cleaning like a dozen damn times and she still thinks it's just a rich Canadian thing and she could do it better if Iet her. My head almost exploded; shit....that was an expensive disaster. On that previous post, btw, I want to make something clear. My nanny gets paid well, and yes, I do expect laundry and cleaning to be done during naptimes. Julius sleeps 3 hours a day. After she takes a lunch break, it's not okay with me for her to sit and watch TV while I pay her, and I was crystal clear about what I expected when I hired her. So yes, she does lots of things that are unconventional, like taking in the recycling bins and helping me garden. (We tag team, I work on flower beds while she holds the baby and she rakes leaves, etc. while I breastfeed or get him to nap.) And so what? In exchange, I have taught her about subways and vacuums and microwaves and baby car seats and what city snowplow/melters are (she thought they were tanks!) and all about cable TV/stereos and computer programs and how to handmake baby food and roast a chicken and how to call her local politician and what to order at Starbucks and Tim Hortons and lots of things she needs to know to be a real Canadian. I'm trying to get her to go to driving lessons, and she goes to ESL class now.

Now if she could just ask before helping.....or if I could just have a week that didn't suck donkey balls.

Thank God there are no more holidays coming up, I'm not sure how much more joy and family togetherness I could take.

Monday, April 06, 2009

blogging a little, maybe a lot, maybe too much

Still tired as hell and not sure why. I think when I returned I got a cold or something? Or maybe it's because the baby is up all the time. Off to a walk-in clinic and maybe I'll feel better after he feels better.

There are a dozen things I'd like to blog about, especially the Nanny Series the Star is running right now. I'm glad the province is going to legislate the agencies--but that really won't solve the problems inherent in the system. I mean, for pete's sake, why are nannies forced to live with the employers? Why isn't it a choice? And why does it take two friggin' years to sponsor a nanny you've never met? What if she arrives and doesn't like you, or you don't like her? And it takes months to get a permit when a nanny does want to change jobs. Why? It takes one hour to fill out all the forms and two years for a civil servant to read? WTF? And for infertile women like me, who have gone through multiple losses, asking me to sponsor a nanny ages before I even get pregnant or have a live baby is not just stupid, it's cruel. (Same for parents who are trying to adopt or foster, btw.) What was I supposed to do, apply every month for a nanny and when I get my period or have another miscarriage I call up and cancel? And then apply again the next day? Over and over and over again every month for years? At nine months I still needed therapy to buy a pack of diapers, never mind hire a nanny....I remember contemplating a nanny, and thank God we were able to find someone who I didn't have to sponsor. After that high-risk delivery I was incapable of taking care of the baby alone and I needed a caregiver for myself, not just a baby nurse.

What do people do who experience sudden disability or have a stroke or need eldercare or lose a daycare spot do because their daycare shuts down? Quit their jobs? I guess the federal government thinks they should be screwed, huh?

Here's an idea. Let the nannies apply to Immigration as certified caregivers, and arrive in whatever numbers that arrive. We know that all of them will be hired instantly because we have such a huge need due for eldercare and childcare. HRDC has documented it. Then have employers apply to immigration as certified employers and let them hire whoever they want, whenever they want. They just let the government know when they get matched up and go from there. And no one has to live with anyone if they don't want to. Simple.

Next question: Why is it that after a nanny has worked for two years as a live-in caregiver, and should be automatically eligible for citizenship, then why does it take another two years to get landed immigrant status? And cost $900? They have already passed security and health checks, etc. the first time they entered. They fulfilled all their obligations, for fuck's sake. It should be instant. Fix all that slow as molasses bureaucratic mess, and you fix all the issues. As for the media coverage, some of the objections that have come up in the comments of the articles on the Star are pretty stupid as side issues go. There are almost no Canadians born here* willing to work as nannies, regardless of how much you offer to pay, so no, I really wish all the anti-immigrant right wing nutbars would STFU about how we should be keeping jobs at home. Face it, white Canadians like me are lazy and overprivileged and won't work as caregivers. I'm just willing to admit it. ;) HRDC is a lot more polite about it, but who is kidding who people? If we were willing to change diapers for a living, then there would be applicants for jobs. As it is, there are none. The other strange thing is the comments from people who don't like anyone hiring nannies, white or foreign at all, because they think that anyone with a nanny is a Forest Hill snob. Umm, not quite. I remember thinking that and feeling a bit odd about it until I got used to the idea, but it really can be a good solution for some people. In Canada, excepting Quebec, daycare spots are as scarce as hen's teeth and if you can get one, it's incredibly expensive for anyone with more than one child. Plus, schlepping more than one kid to a daycare is difficult at best. In the rain or the snow? In a rural area or for anyone with a long commute? On a day when the kid is sick and you pray that the damn daycare won't turn you away? And some of us have no relatives, or relatives that are too old and disabled to look after young kids, or some of us have moms who are young enough to still have jobs and work for a living and can't work for free and watch our kids.

Lots of families use nannies to help with big families. Some have money, lots don't. Some have made a philosophical choice, some have medically fragile children who cannot go to daycare. Some have extended family like an older relative who needs care in the same house as young children.

It's just life--now if only the government would help people instead of screwing up the system so much. Sigh....

As you can see from this long extended rant, I need to get some more professional intellectual stimulation. I wasn't going to write, and then I did. I am behind on posting and commenting and reading. Not good. I keep writing and rewriting this post, and my brain has lots to get out. But writing in the house is hard because the baby is taking up my attention. Or my older son wants to know what a "period" is and I had to turn red while explaining. Or Mac wants to show me his latest Bionicle creation. And I am running my ass off because I have to run this house on my own while my husband goes off and has brilliant conversations with intelligent people and I am stuck---here. Blogging is great, but I need to get out of this house, and speak to real people in person.

I don't know how I'm going to do it, but I need something else. Maybe someone can hire me to fix the government, hmmm? Unlikely. They like it being a big goddamn disaster.

*with the exception of one commenter on my blog, and one woman I've met personally, I've only met foreign born nannies in 13 years of parenting, really.