Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Looking Back at Us

Wahiawa, HI -June 2003

Toronto, ON -January 2006

Toronto, ON -July 2006

New York, NY -March 2007

London, UK -August 2008

Vancouver, BC -March 2009

Tofino, BC -March 2009

Aruba -August 2009

New York, NY -August 2009

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sprout is Two Months Old!

Today Sprout is two months old!

Okay, so she's actually two months and two days, but this is what happens when you have a second child, right?

I have to say, this baby continues to be a dream.  I know things could change at any point, so I'm trying to enjoy it.  She is just so, so good! 

-Breastfeeding continues to go well.  She's nursing pretty much every three or four hours now, but I don't really keep track.  She does a little more upon waking up for the day and before going to bed, but then sleeps a little longer after those periods, so it all balances out. 

-We had her two month check up today and she weighed in at 13.9lbs and measured just over 23in long.  She's huge!  The doctor said that was around the 97th percentile in both areas.  Probably needless to say, but she's following a good growth curve.  I just hope my arms and back muscles develop enough for me to keep slugging her around! 

-She naps through the day, including when we're out and about, which is SO nice, though we've just taken her bucket seat out of the car (the stickers fell off the side of it, making it illegal to use) and put in a convertible seat, so we'll see if she still sleeps as well with the added buckling and unbuckling that will be going on now. 

-We've avoided giving her a pacifier because we're pretty sure The Bean would end up trying to steal it from her, even thought it's been months since we weaned him from his.  She's pretty good at getting her fist to her mouth though, and seems to be content with that.  I just hope she doesn't start thumb-sucking. 

-She seems to have two alert periods during the day (morning and afternoon) and one in the later evening.  She really looks at us now and gives the most adorable big gummy smiles.  Seriously, her whole face smiles and she gets these super-cute little archy eyes.  I could just eat her up. 

-I'm making an effort to do some tummy time with her everyday, but I'll admit that I don't always get to it.  She does have a very strong neck though and will hold her head up and look back and forth a good bit before getting tired and flopping down.  She doesn't fuss when she's had enough, she just lies down and goes to sleep. 

-In fact, she rarely fusses.  I pretty much know that if she's start to complain that she's hungry, gassy or tired.  One day a week or two ago I had just fed her and was reading her books.  She started fussing and I was trying to be all super engaging and sing and talk to her to cheer her up, but eventually realized that wasn't working, so just turned her around for a snuggle and she fell asleep immediately.  I felt pretty badly about that one. 

-Again, I'm trying to make sure I read to her every day.  She doesn't seem to have any preferences right now, which means I get to pick my favouite books!

-She is very comfortably fitting in to 3mo/3-6mo clothing now.  The other stuff has almost all been packed up to pass along, sold or donated.  It makes me a little sad to be getting rid of the little baby stuff, but this is it for us, and I rather someone else get use out of it. 

-We had a good number of visitors this month and she seems to enjoy being held by pretty much everyone.  Grandma and Grandpa came up for a visit this past week and me and Jen took Sprout to her first concert (which she slept through thanks to some good noise-cancelling ear muffs and the Ergo).  She got tons of ohhs and ahhs and even got to go backstage and meet the band afterwards.  This kid is pretty cool.  ;)

-Her brother continues to ADORE her.  He smothers her with kisses and little pats on her head and tummy.  He also loves to hold her hand.  It is so sweet.  I love witnessing their relationship grow. 

Sprout brings us such joy.  We can't imagine our lives without her.

Monday, February 25, 2013


I wanted to thank everyone who left comments on our "Our Story" posts.  I loved reading them.  I'm happy to answer (almost?) any questions, if there's something I missed that you're still wondering about.  Also, if you're inspired to write YOUR story, let me know... I love a good love story.  :)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Our Story, Part 5

We had been approved! 

Despite the earlier-than-anticipated approval, we decided to wait until the summer before having Jen move up.  That had been the original plan, and frankly we needed the time to prepare.  I had to find us a place to live.  Jen had to catalogue every single item she owned for the move across the border.

Eventually July rolled around and the U-Haul got packed up. Six and a half years after that first kiss we were finally really together.  No more Greyhound trips or 300 mile car rides.  No more long-distance phone calls or daily emails.  Together.  Finally.

Jen found a job and we settled into our new life.  Although happy as a couple, we knew we wanted to add to our famly.  Two years after Jen moved here we started the TTC process (and I started this blog).  After five IUIs Jen got pregnant with our son, The Bean, who was born January 11th, 2011.  When he was just over a year old we started TTC again and after two IUIs I conceived our daughter, Sprout, born December 24th, 2012. 

Our family is complete, but our story is far from over. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

{this moment} tired, but happy

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Inspired by SouleMama.

Our Story, Part 4

The following years were not easy.

I was still a student.  I was still living at my dad's.  Jen and I were still separated by over 300 miles.  (Over a twelve hour trip --one way-- on the Greyhound bus, which pretty much ever spare penny I had went to buying tickets for.)

We did okay.  We managed to see each other almost every month.  We talked daily.  We had extended visits, and went on trips, and, of course, kept going to see shows. 

We dreamed about our future together.

In 2005 I finally managed to find a full time job and we were able to start making our dreams a reality.  We started planning for our wedding and for Jen's immigration to Canada.   

We picked a date for our wedding --July 14th, 2006.  We found a venue and started a guest list.  Then, six months before we were set to get married a new governement was elected.  A conservative government.  A conservate government that was including a ban on gay marriage in it's platform.  We found out that couples who were already married would be grandfathered, so less than a week after the new Prime Minister took office, Jen and I got married in a small civil ceremony at City Hall with our immediate families.  The date, January 28th, 2006, just happened to be exactly five years from the date of our first kiss. 

Legally married, we continued to make plans for our wedding.  A simple ceremony outside, this time with more of our family and friends in attendance.  A reception with delicious food, lots of great conversation, and beautiful speeches from our brothers.  

We went back to Jen's hometown and had another reception there, with our friends and family who had been unable to make it to Canada to celebrate.  We spent the rest of the summer together.  We were so happy.

Then September came and I got on the Greyhound bus and headed back home.  The school year was starting and I had to return to work.  Jen stayed in Pennsylvania.  We made plans to see each other again soon. 

That fall we spent countless hours writing essays, collecting documents, selecting photos, and soliciting friends and families for letters to put in to our immigration application.  By December we were ready to submit it.  We were told to expect to wait six months before hearing about the decision.  Just six weeks later we got noticed that a decision had been made regarding the status of our application.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Our Story, Part 3

I don't think either of us really expected Someone Else to come along.  But when that happened it was heart-wrenching for both of us.  We couldn't continue as "us" with Someone Else in the picture so we decided to "just be friends."  We both started dating.  However, neither of us had really lost the feelings we had for each other.

It was somewhere around a year after we had first crossed paths, while Jen and I were in our "just friends" stage, that I came home exhausted from a late class at school and couldn't get into the house.  I thought there was something wrong with my keys and kept trying the lock.  My focus went from the keys in my hands to the porch around me.  There was a suitcase on the porch.  And broken glass from a vase of flowers Jen had sent me when I had been feeling down the week before.  And photos of us torn into pieces littered all over the ground.

My mom had found some photos of Jen and I sitting on a hotel bed together and decided that it was more than she could take.  She had the locks changed.  She kicked me out.

In a state of shock I went to a neighbour's house and called my dad.  In tears, I asked him if I could stay with him for a while.  Thankfully he didn't ask many questions, and just came to get me.

The next few months are a bit of a blur.  I fumbled my way through the school and work.  I continued to date the guy I'd been seeing.  Jen continued to date the girl she'd been seeing.  I had already been heartbroken, but now I was shattered.  The only reason I was able to hold myself together is because I didn't have any other choice.

Jen and I continued to talk.  Through everything that had been happened, our feelings towards each other had remained.  Eventually we made the decision to get back together.  It still wasn't easy, but it was easier.  Ironically I had been "outed" while dating a guy.  Of course, there was more "outing" to do after we got back together.  However this time I was less anxious.  I didn't have as much to lose.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Our Story, Part 2

In an email shortly before her trip up, I remember telling Jen that it was likely that I would chat her ear off in the car.  However, on that first night we met I was so nervous that I pretended to sleep on the way home.  The following day we drove out to another city, a couple of hours away to catch another show.  The third night "our band" wasn't playing, but another musician we were both interested in seeing was.   She was playing a seated venue, and at some-point midway through the performance Jen and I went from awkwardly sharing an armrest to holding hands.  An innocent enough gesture, but still my heart was racing the entire time.  It was another quiet car ride home, this time with our fingers intertwined.  

After an hour or two we pulled up outside of my house.  We made plans for where and when to meet the following day, and when it was time to say goodbye, I leaned over the centre console of the car and kissed her.  Suddenly panicked, I pulled away, stammered a quick goodbye, and dashed to the front door of the house, fumbling with my keys to get inside.  

The following day I met Jen at her hotel, as planned.  Small talk turned into more kissing.  I was certainly enjoying it, but also felt conflicted about things.  I knew I liked her, but I didn't know what she thought of me.  I was also scared to like her. 

The rest of the trip played out as you might imagine.  More live music.  More kisses.  More conversation.  More confusion over what all of this meant and might be leading to.  

Once she was back home we were able to have some honest conversations over email.  I was happy to hear that she did, in fact, like me as much as I liked her.  I tried to express some of my reservations.  I was met with understanding, only making me fall for her that much more.  We decided that we liked each other enough to pursue things.  

The next several months we continued to exchange emails, talk on the phone, and have a few more visits where Jen came into town to see me.  It was wonderful but it was also stressful.  I wasn't out to anyone.  My mom was highly suspicious that something was going on and made it quite clear that she didn't approve.  I was falling in love, but I still had some big reservations.  

And that's pretty much where we were when Someone Else entered the picture.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Our Story, Part 1

It was 2000.  I was twenty years old and had just started my second year at the local university.  It was a grey and rainy fall and I was in a bit of a funk.  I liked my program, but was missing many of my friends who were going to school out of town.  I remember chatting with my mom about wanting to go see a show, but not wanting to go alone.  She encouraged me to go anyway.  Convinced, I  threw my raincoat on and hopped on the subway to the venue.  The rain must have kept people away; I waited in a short line and got a great seat inside.  The opener, a local band I was somewhat famillar with put on a good performance.  Then the headliners, who I'd heard a lot about, but whose music was new to me, went on.  By the time their set was over I was kicking myself for not brining any extra money to buy their CD.  They'd been awesome. 

I spent the next week or so browsing their webpage and some fanpages, and checking out articles about them online.  There was one fanpage that stood out from most of the others and I decided to email the webmaster some of the articles I'd found.  She responded back thanking me for the links I'd sent her, and from there we started emailing back and forth. 

First we just chatted about the band, how we'd found out about them, the shows we'd seen., etc. but soon we started sharing more about our day to day lives.  It happened gradually, but within a month or so we were exchaging emails daily.  In fact, her emails became the highlight of my days.  By Christmas I was beginning to realize just how much I liked this girl.

This was a somewhat terrifying prospect.  

I liked a girl. 

I hadn't dated much in highschool.  There were never really any guys that interested me.  I never recognized that walking to the far end of the school to be more likely to pass the cute girl a year ahead of me might be a sign of, well, anything.  (Not that I ever mentioned this habit to anyone.)  It seemed perfectly reasonable to have pictures of the actresses I liked ripped out magazines and pinned on the bulliten board in my room.  And my brother and sister were just as big Ani DiFranco fans as I was. ;) 

The band made an announcement that they were going to do a handful of shows around my city.  Jen said she was considering coming up for them and I asked if she'd be willing to car pool since I wanted to go but didn't drive.  She was.  It was snowing the afternoon that I took the Greyhound bus to London, Ontario to meet Jen for the first of the four shows we had plans to see.  I got off the bus, walked into the station, and picked her out from the handful of people there right away.   

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day from our little Heart Throb and his sister, the Love Bug.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

On the Horizon

So, there is a potential job opportunity on the horizon...

This past week I found a listing which I think I am very well suited for.  It's a position teaching Senior Kindergarten at a private school. 

For those new here, I taught Senior Kindergarten at a private school for five years (and Pre-Kindergarten for two years), before being laid off last year.  

I love teaching.  I love the creativity and enthusiasm of five year olds.  I enjoy the benefits that come from working in the private system and am usually happy to manage the added demands. 

However, the job starts in July and I feel so incredibly sad about the prospect of having to find care for our baby when she is only six months old.  I know how ridiculous that must sound to many readers who only get six weeks or so with their newborns, but I always expected to have a year with my baby.  When I got laid off I recognized that I would probably have to go to work when she was nine months old if I wanted a  job, as teachers are almost all hired for a September start-date.  I was prepared to leave her at nine months, if the opportunity presented itself.  I was not prepared to have to leave her at six months.  (I think this position starts in July because the SK program is new to the school and the job will likely involve setting up the classroom and planning the curriculum.)  The idea of leaving our little baby with someone who is not her parent makes my heart break a little bit.  Still, passing up a job that I will likely enjoy and that will provide us with the income we need to take care of our family would be foolish.    

I know I'm getting ahead of myself.  I don't even have an interview, much less a job offer, but I've been thinking about how it would all play out were I offered the position. 

There are a few other issues. 

It is a Christian school and I don't know how they would feel about having a gay teacher on staff.  Technically they can't discriminate, but it could still be uncomfortable.  I would have to think about whether I wanted to be "out" or whether I wanted to keep my personal life private, but I know myself and I know keeping things private would be difficult in a number of ways.  However, if I were out and they had an issue with it, they could just fail to renew my contract at the end of the school year (which could happen anyway).  

The location, although manageable, is also less than ideal.  I could take public transit, but it would be a horrible commute (easily over an hour each way), so we would potentially be looking at purchasing a second vehicle. 

I am still going to apply.  And I do hope that I am offered the job.  Right now the education system here is flooded with qualified teachers looking for jobs... so much so that I cannot even get an interview with the public board.  It would be foolish for me to pass up this opportunity.  Another position to which I am so well suited may not come up.  And, though I really struggle with the thought of leaving Sprout, I still think the pros outweigh the cons.  Still, I wish there weren't any cons to consider.

Friday, February 8, 2013

{this moment} showing her the ropes

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Inspired by SouleMama.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

No Words

As I'm sure everyone knows, yesterday Caemon, the beautiful son of Jodi and Timaree, was lost to a rare form of childhood lukemia. 

I was not a regular follower of their blog, but I am still heartbroken by this news and offer his family whatever small comfort my condolences can bring fully knowing that there really are no words that could ever make this better. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

::right now::

 Right now I am...

::listening to sweet kitty snores.
::sipping my favourite tea.
::catching up on blogs.
::hoping our readers forgive me for the lack of response to their comments lately.  (I read every one and appreciate them so much.  I will try to get back on track soon.) 
::enjoying the sunlight coming through the curtains and the fact that I am warm inside.
::smiling at the evidence of morning playtime that happened while I was still cozy in bed. 
::trying to remember lyrics to songs so I can sing more to this little one. 
::weighing the positives and negatives of a potential job opportunity.
::marvelling at how quickly small gets big.
::sending wishes for a happy Monday to everyone reading. 

Inspired by SouleMama

Friday, February 1, 2013

{this moment} before bed

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Inspired by SouleMama.