Sunday, August 29, 2010

A completely different experience the second time

It is currently 84 degrees today and fairly comfortable here on my porch sucking back as much water as I can to try and appease this unquenchable thirst. I love my covered porch although I don't spend a whole lot of time on it because Sweet One would much rather be roaming the neighborhood, stalking the cats or hanging out in front of our neighbor's house as if we're using her as an excuse to spy on them. I've started feeling quite uncomfortable standing in front of the neighbor's houses and so that is one reason why Big Love is out somewhere along this street with her right now.

The past two and a half weeks have been quite difficult for me. At 8 weeks pregnant, I am constantly nauseous with only a few hours respite in the afternoon. I desperately wish I could just be sick to make it feel better but it doesn't happen. I never felt like this with Sweet One. The only complaint I had after the first trimester was over with her was how tired I was and I knew I was lucky. Add the nausea and my nights already being interrupted three or four times and I feel like I'm barely holding on.

Last night at 11:08 I walked downstairs and did my prenatal yoga workout for the first time since the stick said yes. At one point I cried from the realization that I had yet to be purely excited about this little one growing inside of me. Completely planned and anticipated, I've been caught off guard by how hard it is to take care of myself and Sweet One at the same time. I am constantly in awe of women who do this time and time again because I know that I could not. I instinctively know that two will be enough for me and I am crossing my fingers that there is only one heartbeat at my next appointment! And I also know just how fortunate I am to have gotten to this point.

Thank God! for Big Love. He is stepping up in ways I always knew he would but am still so grateful for. He continues to wake up with Sweet One without complaint as her mornings have been earlier than we're accustomed to over the past week. In the hour and a half it takes me to be functional in the morning he continues to offer to make me breakfast, gets Sweet One dressed and himself ready for work. By the time I'm finally ready and about to walk him to work, it is probably a little later than he'd like but still absolutely no complaint. When he gets home from work he often takes back over the care of Sweet One and plays with her while as I drag myself between a few tasks hoping to feel the slightest sense of usefulness. The day finishes with supper, dishes (which Big Love always does), bath and bedtime. After this is done I usually flop onto the couch and lie there until it is bedtime for me knowing that I only survived the day because of how amazing this man is that I married.

I'm looking forward to the first signs of life in this belly of mine. The first bubbly feelings that evidence there is really a little one growing inside of me rather than some other condition that is robbing me of my energy right now. Until then, I'm trying to enjoy when I am feeling ok and give Sweet One as much good energy as I can possibly muster without beating myself up when I feel like I fail.

On a slightly funnier note, when we were at a crosswalk in Montreal a woman was admiring Sweet One and after a few words said to me, "and you're having another one" while she looked at my belly. This to me was a little victory because I've always made jokes at how my 'pooch' never really went away and while at 5 weeks my belly hadn't yet changed, it still looked like a pregnant belly to a stranger!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Food Frustrations

I have decided that all of the recommendations to eat a variety of flavors while pregnant and nursing so as to help your a child eat a wide variety of foods as they get older is a load of shit. I think whether or not a kid is going to be a picky eater or not is quite possible preprogrammed into their brains in those early weeks of pregnancy that leave you exhausted and feeling hung over all day. (Maybe a picky eater is punishment for the gin and tonic drank before the stick said yes!)

I did eat a variety of foods while pregnant and nursing and at one point Sweet One had a whole list of vegetables that she would eat. Then when she moved primarily onto finger foods, beans and noodles were her staples. These days I have no idea what she'll eat. I always offer what we are eating to see if she'll try it but I still have to have a separate meal for her ready to go. The one main thing she'll eat is wieners and I buy the all beef ones hoping they're a little healthier than others. Who knows. All I know is that it drives me nuts to guess at what she'll actually eat, or even to have her act enthusiastically to a suggestion, and then go into a screaming fit once it is on the tray in front of her.

Maybe once I get back onto our 'winter' meals she'll eat things like curried lentils, meatloaf and chili again. I just hope I don't have to make her separate food until she moves out.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Switching outlooks

One of the greatest things about Big Love is that he is level headed. Constantly reminding me that things will be okay when all I want to do is fly off the handle and have one of my freak outs. We definitely balance each other out! But right now I'm not so sure.

With our recent issues at the border and the realization that our green cards may not go as smoothly as we'd like, Big Love has been taking every chance he can to mention that we might be sent packing with a moments notice. Meanwhile, I'm desperately trying to picture us here, in our home as long as we want to - to be able to leave on our own terms.

I'm worried as to how Big Love's lack of confidence in our situation may cause me to lose my mind. Sweet One and I walked Big Love to work today and as we were walking into the parking lot something came up to which he answered, "then again, we may end up there a year from now" or something like that. I wanted to scream, "you can't lose it on me or I'll go insane and then I'll be the biggest basket-case you've ever seen for the next 10 months!" Instead, I quietly told him that he needs to be positive or we're gonna be screwed.

I need him to be stable for us. I need him to reassure me, not the other way around. This is how it has always been and that is how we are supposed to function as a couple! At least in my brain. I've decided that each day I'm going to take some time to visualize things as we want the outcome to be. Perhaps the universe will agree.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Our dubious status

When we returned from Montreal this passed Sunday, we encountered our first glitch at the border. In our passports has always been the I-94A and, since our visas have been extended, there was also one other piece of paper stapled to the I-94A that we received when our visas were renewed. For some reason, the US government does not put the expiry date on the renewal slip. Why? I have no freakin' clue and think that that is absolutely retarded! Regardless, the paper which the renewal slip detaches from does have the expiry date which we have carried with us on two previous trips and never needed them. I've always been someone who carries more than we need with us to prevent any problems, but this time I completely forgot about the lack of expiry date on our passport documents.

We were one of those cars sent to the offices at the border. They take the keys to our car and firmly tell us where to go. On one hand, the person at the booth could have easily found it in the computer they scan things through - which is what I'm guessing has been done in the past - and on the other, we should have had the rest of the renewal notice with us. Luckily, all the information regarding us and our status in the States is readily available in the computer and the person we dealt with in the office issued us new I-94A's, confiscating our other documents which were being used in our green card application. What this might mean for our green cards, we had no idea.

On June 17th I received an email from our lawyer instructing me not to worry about some of our concerns and also that he would be filing our green card application within the week. I hadn't heard anything from him a month later and so I emailed inquiring into the status of our application with no reply. The day before we left for Montreal I emailed him to let him know we'd be leaving the country for a short time and again queried as to the status of our application. Still nothing.

On Monday I left a message for our lawyer with a brief description of what happened at the border. Later on that day he returned my call and asked about what happened. At one point he mentioned that he didn't know we'd be out of the country to which I responded, I sent you an email the day before we left. "Oh." (Dude! You're obviously not reading my emails!) turns out that we were very lucky he hadn't filed the application because if he had and we were in possession of new I-94A's, then the entire application would have been thrown out. (And if he had filed the application we weren't supposed to leave the country until we get new travel papers!) While I was frustrated that our applications hadn't been filed, it's a good thing they weren't!

This whole experience has reminded us just how strongly our presence here in the States is determined by someone's decision. Our application will be put on someone's desk and they will decide our fate. (Hopefully they'll be in a good mood and not recently been dumped by the love of their life!) We are somewhat afraid that the decision will not be favorable to us and that we will be given a short amount of time to pack up and return to Canada. Without income, a place to live, a toddler and an infant, we just can't seem to imagine where the best place to go would be or how things will work out. Houses in this area do not sell quickly and so we'd also have a mortgage to continue paying. It's scary. Because it could be quite some time before we know our fate, I am trying to live each day as if we're ok and whatever happens, we'll deal with it. I so desperately hope that when it is time for us to leave this place it will be on our own terms because we're ready for the next step.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The sweetest half full cup of coffee I'll ever have

This past April, my birthday present from Big Love paid hommage to the Gilmore Girls and my love of them. One Dragonfly Inn t-shirt, a replacement for the "Everything I need to know I learned from the Gilmores" tshirt he had shrunk, and a coffee cup. I had to explain the irony of the caption on the cup to Big Love and then he chuckled. I can honestly say that despite two visitor's attempts, no one else has used this cup and it is the only one I drink my coffee out of! If I don't have girlfriends here to have coffee with, I'll make believe I do!
Lately Big Love has been making coffee for me in the mornings. You might think this isn't a big deal but when the guy doesn't drink coffee himself, except for the occasional mocha which he sucks back like it is oxygen, it really is a treat. A simple romantic gesture.

The day before we left for our latest trip to Montreal, I was down to one tablespoon of beans. I was fine with that because I planned to hop in the car early the next morning and get my coffee on the road, forgetting that I would need some coffee that day. To my surprise, the coffee was made and as I started to pour myself a cup I realized that it was done before I started. I only had half a cup. So I turned to Big Love, asked why he made such a small portion and received this response: "I figured that it would be better to have a small amount of stronger coffee than an entire pot of weak ass coffee." He was so right! And indeed that half cup was strong. So I filled it up with some water and had a perfectly balanced, full cup of coffee that morning!