Northern Mom

You'll find topics of all kinds I'm sure! I only wish that I had more time to devote to blogging. Maybe some day when Jo is a little older I'll be able to do daily entries....maybe

The WeatherPixie
Some Favourite Blogs
  • Postcards from the Mothership
  • Blog Pourri
  • The Emma Report
  • Life is the beach
  • Hanging in there
  • Silver Creek Musings
  • the thinking square
  • So Close
  • The Infertile Turtle
  • Ordinary Stuff
  • Molly Misadventure
  • a peek inside the fish bowl
  • All The Blogs I Read
    Knitting Links
    Learn to Make it
  • Top Secret Recipes
  • Recipe Goldmine
  • Wednesday, March 29, 2006
    Passing along some info...from IAAC
    No time for a regular post tonight, but here is something to chew on.

    I received this the other day from the Executive Director of the
    Infertility Association of Canada or IAAC as we call it.

    Years ago I wrote letters to the Ontario Government and did get some replies. The only way that things are going to get changed is to make them aware


    Our elected officials prefer to hear from us personally – not in a form letter we might all agree to sign.

    To help you carry the message to Ottawa, select one or more of the recommended key messages listed below. Please feel free to put them in your own words – or share your own experiences.

    To find your Member of Parliament using your postal code on line, go to:

    Mr./Ms. [First and Last Names], M.P.
    House of Commons
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K1A 0A6

    Dear Mr./Ms. [Last Name],

    1. Children are Canada’s most valuable future resource. Previous governments have claimed to be concerned about our country’s declining birth rate. Yet they have refused to provide crucial assistance for many Canadians who are committed to becoming parents.

    2. Nearly one Canadian couple in six experiences infertility problems. Infertility is not a choice. It is a medical condition. These couples need professional assistance in order to conceive. Yet today’s most advanced assisted reproduction technologies (ART) remain beyond their financial means.

    3. The new government says that it will stand up for Canada by meeting the needs and interests of Canada’s families. Mr. Harper’s election platform declared that the family is the building block of society. What about standing up for Canadian couples who want to create their families, but can’t – because they need medical assistance to do so – assistance that is often beyond their private means.

    4. The new government is committed to relieving financial pressures on low-income and middle-income families bringing up children. It has promised to provide childcare money directly to parents. Will it also provide assistance to couples who want to create families but cannot, without financial access to assisted reproductive technologies?

    5. Restricting access to IVF compromises the fertility of women, causes immense financial hardship to couples requiring assisted conception treatments and makes IVF affordable for rich families only.

    6. Infertility problems also carry social and economic costs: lost working hours, poor productivity, psychological and psychiatric support to treat stress and depression, and marital breakdowns.

    7. The total cost of a refundable tax credit for IVF treatment would be $170 million for the entire country. This represents a little over one tenth of one percent of Canada’s $130 billion estimated total health care spending in 2004.

    8. Since 1983, over 15,000 children have been born in Canada through assisted reproduction technologies. Today these children – many of whom are now of voting age – and their parents and extended families expect our political leaders to courageously and fairly address this important issue, so that all Canadians may share not only the costs but also the public benefits of IVF treatment.

    9. It’s time for Canada to take a major step forward in health and family policy by guaranteeing funded IVF treatment. I sincerely hope our country’s infertile couples may rely on your support.

    Yours very truly,

    [First and Last Names]

    Write to your province’s lawmakers too!

    Canada’s provinces exercise primary control over health care. So please make sure that you also write to the Premier and members of your province’s legislative assembly. You may use the same points suggested for federal MPs. To find your MLA you can search the Web at the following links:

    Newfoundland and Labrador – House of Assembly

    Prince Edward Island – Legislative Assembly

    New Brunswick – Legislative Assembly

    Nova Scotia – Legislative Assembly

    Quebec –Assemblée nationale (National Assembly)

    Ontario – Legislative Assembly

    Manitoba– Legislative Assembly

    Saskatchewan– Legislative Assembly

    Alberta – Legislative Assembly

    British Columbia – Legislative Assembly
    posted by Northern Mom @ 10:31 p.m.   2 comments
    Tuesday, March 28, 2006
    Stolen from Silver Creek Musings
    Don't think I really have one, unless you count the really awful french that I try to speak. There is a definite accent there.

    Booze of Choice:
    Lately it has been Coors Light. I used to be a Rye drinker but gave that up. Hmmm maybe a topic for post when I have nothing to say.

    Chore I Hate:
    I hate all 4 letter words...dust, bake, cook, wash.....The one I hate the most would have to be cleaning the oven. They should be disposable. It's dirty..get a new one

    Dog or Cat:
    I have one dog. Most days a cat would be so much easier. You just can't take a dog anywhere and a cat you can leave at home for a weekend away.

    Essential Electronics:
    My new cumputer. It slices and dices....I can listen to the radio on here, watch TV. It's a PVR!

    Favorite perfume(s)/cologne(s):
    My brother just bought be Shi by Alfred Sung! I love it.

    Gold or silver:
    I should wear silver and do sometimes. I love the look of gold when I get my summer tan

    Sudbury, Ontario

    Nothing that sleeping pills don't fix. My mind won't shut down at night to sleep. I have most of the reno's in my head..planned when I should have been sleeping

    Job Title(s):
    RIght now I am a fresh air inspector for the gov't.

    Sales, Acct's Receivable, Retail Manager, Daycare Provider

    One beautiful daughter

    Living Arrangements:
    Hubby, Jo, my brother, me and the dog

    Most Admired Trait:

    Number of Sexual Partners:
    lately? 1
    over the years :I'll get back to you on that one

    Overnight Hospital Stays:
    3 times. Renfew Hospital as a teen for an infection and twice for ectopic pregancies

    Not really phobias but I hate being underwater and don't like being dunked or held under when horsing around. I have a fear of running out of gas too.

    "Do it again and you are going to be one sorry little girl" My mom most of the 70's

    United Church, Protestant. Not practising

    1 brother, 1 sister, 2 step sisters and 2 step brothers

    Time(s) I Wake Up:
    I try not to before 7. Hubby is a morning person so he gets up with Jo and wakes me when he is almost ready for work.

    Unusual Talent/Skill:
    Selling Stiletto Heels on Ebay

    Vegetable(s) I Refuse To Eat:
    I have to agree on the Brussel Sprouts. Other than that I eat just about all of them.

    Being too opinionated and I have a bad habit of disciplining other kids. One day I might get into trouble

    A few times!

    Yummiest Food I Make:
    Chicken breasts with salad dressing. Spagetti sauce...

    Zodiac Sign:
    posted by Northern Mom @ 3:19 p.m.   1 comments
    Monday, March 27, 2006
    Taking the Plunge
    We are taking a huge plunge in the days, weeks and months to come. We have mortgaged the house to do some much needed repairs and upgrades. From the history that we've gotten from the neighbours we know that the original house was only the 2 bedrooms that we use now. In 1977 or there abouts the kitchen and living room half of the house and basement was added on. Part of this we can tell by the pitch of our roof. One side is much stepper than the other. You can see some of it in this picture. The original roof is actually still under the longer side of the roof.

    The window in the middle is the bathroom and the window on the right is my bedroom. I want a window on the left. That's were the side door and stairs to go to the basement are. The stairs are so dark and dreary. We have been toying with closing off that door and building a porch/mudroom at the back of the house. Nothing too big. Maybe 8x8. I think we have 3x4 now and the stairs are right there. It's dangerous. Split entries should be banished.

    The first thing (I want) we are doing is paving the driveway. We have small gravel and I am so tired of it coming into the house. Another reason is so we can use sidewalk chalk and ride the new bike that the Easter Bunny is bringing.

    The next priority is a new furnace. This one has been here since the Reno’s in the 70's and it's time for a new one. They are much smaller and more efficient too. We are hoping to get rid of the chimney too. It runs inside the house in my bedroom. We have big plans there too.

    We need new windows and siding and while we are doing that we are taking the window out of our bedroom and putting in French Doors which will come out to a deck.

    The electrical needs an upgrade too. We are still on fuses which isn't really a problem except for one set of fuses which burnt in the panel and there are a few outlets that we can't use as a result. The wiring is crazy too. The plug for my fridge is wired with the dryer. Only half the outlet works upstairs and if the fridge and dryer run at the same time I lose the fridge and the heat in the dryer. I don't know whose idea it was to take 110 from 2 different places wire the dryer that way.

    The rest is really only cosmetic (sort of) we plan to use the existing living room upstairs as our bedroom and knock out 2 walls between the kitchen and our bedroom now which we will use as an open concept kitchen/dining/living room which will have the doors out to the back yard. The back of the house gets the morning and afternoon sun, so I can't wait for that. I think it will be more convenient too for Jo to run in and out and for the dog too. By doing this I'll be gaining another wall in the kitchen to put some pantry cupboards and we hope to build an island too. We were given a gas cook top and a built in oven so in order to put both to use we need the island. My stove is on its last legs as it stands now. The bottom element only works when it wants to.

    I'll be drawing everything out in the next few days and will scan the before and what we hope will be the after. The house is only 30x30 and we'll have to be careful where we spend the money. I guess it's time to start shopping and getting quotes for some of the work. Hubby and I will do a lot of it and we are hoping only to pay labour on the pave, electrical and furnace. I think the order of the list is going to change and we'll probably start with the electrical and then the furnace, driveway and so on.

    Am I crazy to be doing this with a 30 month old? Only time will tell. I can't wait to get started and see the progress. I might be cursing myself this summer wondering what I was thinking, but most of it needs to get done and I figure that we might as well "Go Big or Go Home!"

    Any suggestions? Any other ideas?
    posted by Northern Mom @ 9:32 p.m.   6 comments
    Sunday, March 26, 2006
    My Weekend Review.....

    and loving March!

    Hubby works most weekends and now that I've been laid off I don't have the luxury of my weekend sitters keeping Jo amused so I can sleep in. My brother was off this weekend and most of Saturday morning Jo kept running up and down the stairs between her uncle and her mommy. Things got rather quiet and she hadn't been up to see me in awhile so I thought I'd come down and check on the two of them. This is what I found:

    Jo and her uncle sound asleep! I think Uncle was a little more than tickled by this. Since we've taken her out of her crib she is content to sleep just about anywhere. Last week I found her in her little tent just before supper!

    Just after lunch I was off to meet my sister. My mom won tickets to a craft show and because she was working she offered them to us. The crafts are always beautiful, but none come cheap! I bought some chocolates and then spent far too much money on jam. Who could resist Blueberry Banana or Apple Raspberry! Wonderful combinations. I quickly googled the combos tonight hoping to find recipes. It's gonna take some time to find those. Seeing as how I live about 3 minutes from the best blueberries in the world I'll have to get my butt out there this year to pick and then try to recreate the jam flavors. My sister and then I took a tour of downtown. It seems that this part of the city is all but deserted. There are some government buildings, banks and a few local stores. The one prominent thing is "Quick Cash Marts". On every corner there is one. There really isn't much of nightlife down town any more either. It's very sad to see. Why can't we have a great downtown like Toronto or Montreal? Downtown used to be great here! There were small boutiques, hairdressers, restaurants and all the other good things that most downtowns have. Once Eaton's closed it just went down hill. The streetlights have been replaced with 2 and 4 ways stops. I wonder if some day it will come to life again.

    Fast Forward to Sunday(you'd rather not hear about my migraine)

    A dear friend was over today while her husband attempted to install the remote starter that I got as a birthday gift from Hubby. Only I would get this gift at the END of winter. The man who came to install the starter does this as part of his job. He took well over 8 hours and still can't get the security bypass to work properly. First it was a faulty box, then it was working, then it stopped. Finally after 9pm he came in, ate dinner everyone went home. (he'll be back tomorrow to try and finish the installation) While he spent his afternoon cursing my vehicle, we 4 ladies had a great time. It started with some play time, followed by lunch and then a nap for the girls and some grown up chat for us. The girls are 8 months apart and are really starting to interact with each other. It's far too cute to watch. The weather was beautiful today. We ventured out after the naps and walked down to the dead end part of the street. The girls took off ahead of us and left us lagging behind. See the puddle to the left....

    Hand in hand Jo lead the way the walked, ran, fell down looked at airplanes, stopped and looked at pinecones, got to pet a puppy. All of that in a short half hour. On the way back this it what we did for more than half an hour. Remember that puddle?

    They jumped, stomped, swam(yes swam), sat, ran, tossed rocks, fell and laughed all in this great puddle. It's by far the best one on the street. The video is priceless. "A" and I decided that we are probably the only mothers who encourage the kids to play in the puddles. The fathers claim that had they let them do this we would have "hung them by the balls" for allowing them to get so went and dirty. We may have. OK we would have! When we brought them home they were both drenched. I poured water out of Jo's boots. The only parts of them that were dry were their diapers.

    I think the thing that makes days like this so special is that "A" and I became friends right here online. We chatted on a support board while suffering through Infertility and all that goes with it. Jo was born while "A" was in her third and final 2 week wait. When "M" was born we were both so excited that the girls would be growing up together. Even though they are 8 months apart in age, they are about the same size and seeing them together is priceless. I am looking forward to the summer to see them play!

    So, this is why I love March! I never really thought about it until now. Maybe I didn't have any reason to love a month before. March gives me hope that summer is coming. I have tulips pushing up through the ground and some other perennials have started as well. March is when life really starts to grow again. The weather is wonderful for watching little friendships bud and grow too! Soon it will be April! Can't wait for that either!
    posted by Northern Mom @ 10:05 p.m.   5 comments
    Thursday, March 23, 2006
    5 Years Ago.....

    I was almost pregnant. We had just had our transfer from out first IVF cycle at the Parkdale Clinic in Ottawa. Here is a peek into one of the notes that I made during that time.

    "March 23rd, 2001
    -Our last trip to Ottawa. We have the truck packed and by 7:30 we are ready to leave. I am sad to go. We have had a great visit with my grandparents and Hubby has been helping to feed the deer every night. It has been home away from home. I'm looking forward to my own bed and I really miss my dog. We find out that we only have 5 embryos. I was hoping that more than that would have survived. They transfer 2, one is an early blast and the other is a morula. I didn't ask the grades. Too much information sometimes is a bad thing. The trip home is good and I am glad to be home. Now the real fun begins. I had some tearful moments on the way home. This is a close to being pregnant as Hubby and I have ever been. The 2 week wait begins.

    I was so positive that this was it. My anticipated due date was Dec 8 which is also a dear friend's birthday. During the 2 week wait I cut, pieced and quilted a small blanket that would fit the crib nicely. I made it out of left over drapery samples and backed it with flannel so it would be warm for the baby. It now however is keeping the dolls warm, so it wasn't time wasted. It is being used by my child....just not the way I thought it would be used! Needless to say, the cycle didn't work and we were devastated and went on to do IVF again that same year and then again in 2003. All 3 ended without a pregnancy and we were all set and ready to live child free. Little did I know that the summer of 2003 would be the last summer of complete freedom for me.

    We had explored adoption prior to starting IVF and were through most of the paper work and then decided that it wasn't for us. Ok, so hubby made that decision, but thatat is a whole other blog subject all together.

    On August 14th, 2003 we had the "Blackout". It was a Thursday afternoon and I went to work on Friday, but with no power there was no way we could work. I left around lunch time and headed to Manitoulin Island. Little did I know that this would be the last weekend on "The Island" where I could sleep as little as I wanted, drink as much as I wanted and play with the kids, but send them back to their parents when I was finished.

    .....and How Jo came to be

    I was watching TV one night when the phone rang and it was a Single Mom who had 3 children and being alone she couldn't look after one more. Hubby went to see her and they talked about the impending arrival. The only thing that Hubby told her was that if she had any second thoughts that she wasn't to even talk to me about it. I did talk to her that night. I sat and cried for many reasons. One, because I was finally going to become a mom and two, Hubby and I weren't getting along very well and the timing was awful. I got on the phone the next day and got Doctor and Lawyer appointments made and the ball was rolling. The first lawyer that we saw didn't seem to know too much and we ended up seeing another lawyer in the city who does the majority of adoptions here. He is an amazing man! He treated our birth mom like a person and spoke to her, not at her and above all gave her the respect that she deserved.

    I got a phone call at work on a Thursday afternoon that M was in labour and thought that I could stay at work, but ended up leaving and spent our daughters labour with the birth mom and got to be in the delivery room and witnessed the birth. It was the most amazing thing I have ever witnessed. I stayed at the hospital that night and on Friday walked out of the hospital with my 20 hour old daughter. This picture was taken when she was about 14 hours old. I was so excited about getting everything together that I forgot the camera and Hubby brought it the next morning. Jo weighed in at 6 lbs 9 oz and was such a good baby! It wasn't until she was 16 months old that we went to court and had the judge formally tell us that we were a family of 3.

    Although the attempts at IVF were all unsuccessful, we still have a beautiful baby girl to love. Sometimes I think I missed out on the good the bad and the ugly of being pregnant, but then again maybe I didn't.

    Is there a greater gift than what we were given? I'm not sure if birth mothers understand the impact of what they have done? In 5 short weeks, our lives were changed. Tomorrow is always a whole new day!
    posted by Northern Mom @ 9:11 p.m.   4 comments
    Wednesday, March 22, 2006
    My First Blog Post
    I've had this blog registered for ages and have all kinds of ideas running through my head and just haven't taken the time to sit and actually put the thoughts in place.

    Tonight my mom stopped in to see us and when she was leaving she asked me to listen to something she wanted to say. She stood in the driveway with tears in her eyes asking me to forgive her for not doing things she thinks she should have over 20 years ago when her and my dad separated. It came out of the blue. But then again, maybe it didn't. Read on....

    My mom left my dad in 1984 and it took her until almost 10 years ago to remarry. She dated and even lived with a man or two, but she didn't find anyone that she wanted to marry until she met my step dad. I actually knew him long before she did. My ex-husband worked with him years ago. They dated for about a year, lived together and finally got married 8 years ago. He is the sweetest man and is wonderful to his entire family, extended included.

    3 years ago this past December he underwent surgery for Rectal Cancer. He now sports a colostomy and underwent radiation and chemotherapy with good results. All was well until 2 years ago December (bad month) when he had a spot removed from one of his lungs. The Dr's didn't see the benefit of any other treatment; it was the same cancer that metastasized and the treatment wouldn't help. Just this past January he underwent surgery in Toronto and had a little more than half of his liver removed and it was discovered that there were 3 tumors. We are now facing one more surgery on April 12th to remove a tumor on the same lung that was operated on 15 months ago. He will probably lose the whole lower lobe. It is terminal, Stage IV Cancer. All of the surgeries and treatments will only prolong his life, not save it.

    So this is why the question from my mom about forgivness came out of the blue, but not really. I think that she too wants to "clean house" and not leave things unsaid.

    I am very worried about her. She has found a new Religion which isn't where my concerns lie. It's in the Faith Healers, The Reiki Therapist and just her well being. I know that in times like this that grasping at any straw that will give you hope helps. Does that make sense? I've voiced these concerns with friends of mine, my mom's sisters and my own sister. I think that if these things are helping her then it's ok. Tonight in the driveway with tears in her eyes, she finally admitted that my step dad is going to die. He is not going to beat this. She is back to smoking after quitting cold turkey, but I can't blame her. He is also smoking and for a while it really bothered mom, but I think her realization of the future or lack of has changed her perspective. I have the attitude that if it's going to make the last few days/months/years enjoyable, then leave him be. I've been preaching that to her for months and I think she finally understands. Part of what scares me is the back and forth that is going on in her mind. One day she is keeping the house and the next she is selling it. One day she is positive and the next is negative. I can only imagine that this is normal for the hand that she has been dealt.

    It has been so hard watching her, watching him going through all of this. Some days are good and others aren't. I know in my mind that there are going to be many more rough ones ahead.

    The next surgery is a big one. The surgeon will be using the same scar to go into the lung and the incision is much larger than one would think it would be. It just about wraps around half of the body. If I remember it goes from the ribs in the front and around the back. There will then be a follow up in May and the treatment decisions will be made then. I can only hope that this will be the worst of the suffering, but I some how think I'm wrong.

    For my first post I had hoped for something a little more upbeat, but tomorrow is a brand new day!
    posted by Northern Mom @ 9:36 p.m.   7 comments
    About Me

    Name: Northern Mom
    Home: Northern Ontario, Canada
    About Me: There isn't too much to tell. I'm Mommy to Jo, wife to Hubby. I'm the oldest of 3 siblings and 4 step siblings, Auntie to a whole bunch of kids and Great Auntie to a few as well! I'm back to working 9-5 with no weekends or nights so keeping up with everything is a challenge!
    See my complete profile
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