Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The last week is always the longest...

Is it really only Tuesday morning?!  Yikes.  That last week before you go on holidays really drags out.

My little man and I are heading across the country this weekend to visit a slew of family members.  I'm looking forward to the holiday, but boy does it seem to be taking a long time to come!  We get to stay on my grandparents old farm, a beautiful piece of property which my Aunt and Uncle have since purchased and have been sprucing up.  It is also home to a couple tractors, four horses, a large pond and as much space as an almost 3 year old could want.  It will be great for Jax, especially since his cousins will also be there to play with.

I'm going to have a great time too, it can't be helped when that many people are getting together (my parents are also making the trip and pretty well all my aunts, uncles and cousins live in the area too), but I can't help but feel a bit sad.  This is going to be the last summer my grandparents will be living on the farm.  They've been there since there were newlyweds, but at 89 and 90 years old, it is time for them to be in a place where there is a little extra help around if they need it.  Sounds like they are moving to an assisted living centre this fall.  I'm also wondering how many more visits, if any, I'll get with them, and that's a sobering thought.

I have not been very good at making the trip out there to visit all the family members, and I know that.  Life just often seems to get in the way.  The last time I was out was for my grandparent's 65th anniversary celebration, which was four years ago now.  They'll have been married 70 years come January, and are still obviously completely in love with each other.  That is such an accomplishment, and their relationship is one that everyone who knows them should use as a model.

In any event, Jax has never been out there, and many family members have not even met him (mostly my mother's side, as we've done some holidays with my dad's side since Jax was born).  That does cause me some guilt, and I have been subject to a few comments intended I think, to guilt me into coming out more often.  I think those comments are all meant in the best way, but it does make me feel bad and a bit resentful towards those that would use those tactics.  I will try to put all that behind me and renew some of those bonds on this trip.  I am hoping that it will not be a true goodbye to my amazing grandparents.  At that age though, who can tell?  Meanwhile I will try to slug through the next few days and find the time to pack for both myself and Jax.  Not quite sure when that will happen.  I'm sure there will be a few stories of the trip when i get back!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dealing with sadness

If you've read any of my previous posts, you may be aware that I have a toddler at home.  He'll be turning 3 in September.  For close to a year now my husband and I have been trying to make a big brother out of him.  Alas, it has not turned out as I had planned.

Again this month I find myself shopping for the conciliatory bottle of wine that I treat myself to when I know that I am not preggers.  I had a bit of a breakdown last night thinking about it.

I must admit that I've lived a fairly charmed life.  Pieces fall into place for me (and even more so for my husband, which I get the benefit of), so I've had very little experience dealing with loss and sadness.  Neither has my husband, and quite frankly he doesn't know how to handle me when I have these breakdowns.

Now, some of you may think that almost a year is not so much time - most people agree that you should wait at least a year before being concerned about fertility.  I would suspect that that is doubly so for me.  I did not have trouble getting pregnant with my little guy.  I do believe that I will get pregnant again without too much fuss and I'm quite sure I don't have to worry about my fertility.  I think my sadness is reflected by the fact that I had a miscarriage in March.  That was the most emotional thing that I have ever been through, and I do intend posting on that experience more fully in the future.  I think I'm waiting until I have happy news to report before writing that heart wrenching post though.

As the anticipated due date for the baby I lost looms closer though, each month I find out that I'm not pregnant again gets harder.  I'm sure that if I don't have a wee one to look forward to when I hit that milestone, I will be an absolute mess.

For today though, I move on as though life is the same.  I swallow hard a few times to prevent the emotion from being seen by my colleagues and smile as I toast my husband with a newly opened bottle of wine, or share a beer with teammates after a game.  All the while I wish that I had a reason not to drink.  That I could politely decline because I have a happy little secret of my own.

Maybe next month.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Too old for this

I'm just not 18 anymore, I guess that's the crux of the matter. 

When I was in my teens I used to deliver the local paper every morning.  It meant that I had to be completed my route by 6:30am on weekdays and 8:00am on weekends.  It would take about an hour and a half to complete, so I regularly had very early mornings.  I could do that easily and never had much of a problem getting out of bed.  There were a couple years where I just helped my sister out on her route when I was even younger, and I would get so pissed off at having to drag her butt out of bed in the mornings that I would get up, get ready, wait for 15 minutes, and if she didn't get up on her own, I would go back to bed myself.  Because I was just helping her on her route, she'd be the one who would get into trouble if she was late.  When she quit her route, I waited only long until I was old enough to drive and got one of my own.

In any event, I could get up that early, go all day and not be tired.  I was reasonably responsible in getting to bed at a decent hour on weekdays, but weekends were another matter.  I remember going to the Drive-In (I wish they still had those, the one I remember was a relic of a lost age and sadly burnt down several years ago) where they would show a double feature.  We would have a big group of friends all show up in several cars and would only rarely pay attention to the movies.  It was a blast.  As this was invariably in the summer, when the sun doesn't go down until at least 10:00, it meant for some very late nights.  On my way home, often 2 or 3 in the morning from these forays I would actually check and see if the morning papers were dropped off yet and if they had been, I would run the route, finish around 4:00 and go home to bed.  Sure, there were days when, like any teenager, I would sleep until noon afterward, but I think that was more the exception than the rule.  I always had the energy to keep going, to change my schedule completely on the weekends and go back to normal living on weekdays without a second thought.

These days I'm a homebody.  If I don't have a compelling reason to go out, I'm more than happy to stay home and veg out.  My husband and I are often in bed by 10:00pm - even on weekends and we are grumpy if we don't get enough sleep.  So last night, a Tuesday night I might add (where we both have work the next morning), was quite an anomaly for us when we didn't hit the sack until about 1:00am.  Now we had a great excuse for it, of course, but I'm certainly feeling the effects of 4 hours of sleep today.  I expect my husband is even worse as he has to contend with allergies and quite possibly a hang over as well.

The good news is that we saw an amazing show last night and the lost hours of sleep are more than made up for by the fun we had.  We live in Calgary, Alberta, the home to the Calgary Stampede,  the "Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth".  It truly is quite spectacular.  It is basically a 10 day long party celebrating the old west.   There is a Rodeo (I think it is the "richest" rodeo in the world, offering up the most prize money), Chuckwagon races, all sorts of cowboy & cowgirl events such as cattle cutting and other things that I don't know the names of because despite being Calgarian, I am still a city slicker.  There are all sorts of free music shows (and others that are not free) (Our Lady Peace, Seether, The Trews, Big Sugar, Garth Brooks and Paul Brandt are among some of the big names this year), exhibitors, a Midway and more deep fried food than you can even imagine.  Deep fried Kool-Aid was advertised this year.  How do they even do that?  All over the city during the celebration free pancake breakfasts abound and you would be hard pressed walking five minutes downtown in the mornings without stumbling across one.  If you like pancakes and sausages there is no better place to be in July.  The  Mayor, the Premier of Alberta, and the Prime Minister of Canada all put on there chef's hats and flipped pancakes for the masses at some point during the Stampede.

Downtown pretty much shuts down during the Stampede.  There is an unwritten rule that business casual dress reverts to western wear and even at the courthouse, in front of the judges, lawyers will wear their best cowboy duds and plead their cases.  And the booze.  I swear, half the city is hungover and/or drunk for the entire 10 days of celebrations.

All this rambling gets me back to the point that my dear father in law was able to get us amazing tickets to the Chuckwagon races and Grandstand show last night.  This year is the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede, and they really outdid themselves.  Amazing acrobatics, singing, dancing and some world class fireworks to round out the show, all on an amazingly hot evening where the temperature never fell below 25 degrees C (about 80F) even in the wee hours of the morning.  The afternoon was significantly hotter than that.  I can just imagine all these cowpokes from Texas wondering what the hell happened - isn't Canada supposed to be COLD??

In any event, good fun was had all round, but I better not even try to get used to it - there is not enough coffee in the world to get me through doing that more than once every blue moon!