Friday, June 29, 2007

10 Years!

Things are feeling kind of surreal for me today. After 10 years of working with the children and teenagers at my church, I'm leaving to be a stay-at-home mom for a while. This is something I never thought I'd do. Yet when I had Darcy, returning to work was the most difficult thing I've ever done.

I've really loved my job (most of the time) and the challenges it has presented me. However, I really believe I've run my course here and it's time to move on. Instead of constantly being focused on other peoples' kids, it is time to focus solely on my own. I can't wait.

I've been kind of on the brink of tears over the past few days. The oddest things set me off. I know I'm making the right choice, but it is still hard to leave 10 years behind you.

Now I've got to finish clearing up 10 years of stuff out of my office.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Where are all the grown ups going?

Darcy is having a rough week. Three people she cares about are moving away this week. First of all, our pastor who she really loves is leaving today. A young couple we've been driving to church each week are also leaving today. One of our next-door neighbours is moving on Friday. On top of all that, Nick is in Ottawa this week.

Darcy and I were at home last night when a friend called me to ask me to go over to her house for tea after Darcy went to bed, not knowing Nick is out of town. I explained that I couldn't go, because I needed to stay home with Darcy. I'm not sure if she overheard that conversation or not but shortly afterwards, she had a complete meltdown! She kept asking where all the grown ups were and why was I going to leave her alone without any grown ups? I kept assuring her that I wasn't going anywhere, but she kept crying and crying and repeating her questions. My heart was breaking.

Every night before she goes to bed we say a little prayer. We ask God to bless all our family and friends and then add in anything that might be specific to the day. For example, last night we asked God to watch over Nick in Ottawa. I said, "Amen" and then she added, "And please don't let Mommy go anywhere." I nearly lost it and I'm practically in tears as I'm typing it now. The first thing she said when I walked in her room this morning was, "Mommy, you didn't go anywhere!"

So this is clearly something we need to pay attention to. She needs some reassurance that she's not being completely abandoned. Nick's return tomorrow should help with that, along with a visit from my parents this weekend. The new pastors who are coming have two young sons (4 & 2) for her to play with, so that will soften that blow, but they're not coming for a few weeks yet.

Any tips on how to reassure her that not everyone is going away?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Tea Party

A new tea room has opened up in Windsor called Once Upon A Tea Cup. As you can see from the link, Chris Noth is part owner of the tea room, so its opening caused quite a stir here. I heard him being interviewed one morning as I was driving to work. He said the tea room is meant to be a place where Moms can feel comfortable bringing young children. To help with that, there would be dress up clothes and toys and special menu items with kids in mind.

My friend and I were intrigued. As tea lovers and mothers of young girls, we figured this would be the place for us. Nick was sleeping after a midnight shift on Saturday morning and her husband was building a new play structure in their backyard so we both wanted to get out of our houses. The perfect time to try out the new tea room.

Darcy was so excited when I told her we were going to a tea party restaurant. She wanted to dress up even before we left the house.
It only got better once we got there. We ordered "tea" for the girls (steamed milk) as well as toddler-sized snacks. Then they got to hit the dress-up closet. They were in their glory. Jerilee has a 6-month old son as well, and although he's too young to dress up now, she was intrigued to see that in addition to all the princess clothes, there are also knight and pirate costumes!

The girls had a blast, we had a blast. Enjoy the pictures.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Darcy's Echo

Darcy was a complete heroine yesterday afternoon. She was perfect through the whole test. We were told to be prepared to stay there for an hour, but he was done much quicker than that because she was so co-operative.

She had to lie down on a big bed and they put a portable DVD player beside. We popped in her Dora DVD and life was good. Apparently her singing and talking along with the movie didn't interfere with the test.

The technician said that if every kid was as good as her, his job would be a lot easier. He had a 3-year old the day before who freaked out so much they couldn't get the test done. He had to be referred to a hospital in London where he could go and be sedated to get the test done properly. I'm so glad we don't have to do anything like that.

So there were new stickers and a trip to the Golden Griddle for M & M's pancakes when it was all done!

Now we just have to wait for the results to come back to the pediatrician.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Is It Wrong to Want to Run Over A Stranger With Your Shopping Cart?

Every Thursday we have a shared coffee break at work. We take turns bringing in snacks for everyone and today was my turn.

For once we got an early start today so I decided to stop at the grocery store around the corner from the babysitter's house and take Darcy with me. When we were coming out of the store, this older woman starts yelling at me that it's too early to have Darcy out at the grocery store, why do I have her out so early? What was I thinking?

For the record, it was 8:15.

There were so many things that I wanted to say, but didn't. Mostly because my daughter was with me and I didn't want her to see me react like that. I kindly mentioned to the woman (who doesn't know me from a can of Spam!!!) that in fact Darcy had woken me up this morning and she was more than ready for a trip to the grocery store.

What makes people think they can make comments like that to a complete stranger? I was pretty steamed. When I was a teenager working at a grocery store I used to wonder why people would drag their small children out of bed on Saturday mornings to be at the store when it opened. Now I know who is dragging who out of bed, and that Saturday morning before 9:00 is the best time to go to the grocery store.

She's lucky she didn't get a strawberry muffin thrown at her head.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

So Graceful

I'm not the most graceful person at the best of times. In fact, I can be quite clumsy. Pregnancy seems to bring out the best in me (sarcasm intended). Today I seemed to hit a new low. Literally.

I work from home on Wednesdays. I had a lot to get accomplished today and Nick was off so he took Darcy to the mall to give me some peace and quiet. I was chatting with a co-worker on MSN and needed to stretch my back. While I was stretching the wheeled office chair on which I was sitting toppled over, taking me with it. Before I could day anything about it I was smashing down onto the floor, jarring my back.

But that's not all. The chair also crashed into the laundry room door. This door tends to stick so we don't close it all the way. Well the force the chair hit the door with closed it firmly shut and I couldn't open it again. Did I mention that the bathroom is in there? A pregnant lady and a stuck door blocking the bathroom are not a good combination!

I seem to be OK, just frustrated with my own clumsiness!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Odds & Ends

I haven't had much to write about lately, so here are just a few small things...

My waist measurement grew 1 1/2" in the last week. Yikes!

Nick chose Red Lobster for his Father's Day dinner on Sunday. While we were there, Darcy was colouring on her placemat. She took two brown crayons in her hand like chopsticks and was using them to pick up the green crayon and said, "Look, I'm eating sushi!". I asked her where she learned about sushi and she looked at me like I'd grown a second head and said, "Auntie Stef!" as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

I've never been a fan of bathroom humour, but I'm learning that I need to get over that. Apparently to a 3-year, bodily functions are the funniest things in the world. Especially stinky ones. Not cool for a nauseous mommy.

As we were driving to the babysitter's this morning I pointed out a runner along the path beside us. Watching for runners is one of Darcy's favourite passtimes in the car. I said, "Look Darcy, there's a running girl." She said, "That's a running LADY." I didn't realize she was making that distinction now, so I said, "Is mommy a girl or a lady?" "You're just mommy!"

Fair enough.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Echo Update

We got a call from the hospital yesterday and Darcy's echo will be done next Thursday afternoon. Apparently they provide us with a DVD player for her entertainment during the exam itself. That should help keep her calm. We'll bring along a few Dora DVD's to keep her occupied. As long as it doesn't mess up the test if she calls out, "Map!" or "Backpack!" or if she starts singing along...

Thanks again for all your good thoughts and helpful tips, not just to those who've posted here, but to several others who've emailed separately as well. We really appreciate hearing from each of you.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Heart Murmur

I'm not sure if I've posted about this here before or not...

About a month ago, Darcy was sick and I couldn't get her to her pediatrician. Our family doctor is just down the street so I took her to see him instead. He diagnosed an ear infection, which is what I was worried about, but also said he heard a heart murmur. Her pediatrician had never said anything about that. He said the infection could be making the murmur worse so we should bring her back when she healthy.

Nick did that before our vacation. The murmur was still there. Our doctor said she should see her pediatrician and probably be referred to a speciallist.

Heart murmurs are not unheard of in my family. Each of my siblings have them, but not me. Both of Lynn's kids have them too, but none of them are serious.

We got Darcy to the pediatrician this morning for her 3-year check up and to follow up on this heart murmur thing. The pediatrician heard it (why now when he had never heard it before?) And is sending her for more tests. We have to go for an "echo" at the hospital. Anyone know what that means? We don't. We're just waiting to hear back from his office to see when it will be scheduled.

He also still says she's not gaining weight fast enough. I can't imagine a child eating more than she does, most days. She looks like her Mommy. She's going to be small. It's not like Nick is an overly big guy either! We're not too concerned about that.

I also had a doctor's appointment this morning. Apparently my blood sugar is on the borderline of gestational diabetes. I have to go for another test to rule that out. I mentioned to her that I had done the test after 2 days of celebrating Darcy's birthday, with cakes each day. She said that could definitely have affected the outcome. I'll do the new test over the next couple of days. She also scheduled another ultra sound for July 17th. That is when we'll determine if the placenta previa has corrected itself or not. If not, then a c-section will be scheduled.

So it's been an interesting day, health-wise, for the Titcombes. I'll keep you posted on any updates!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sad Day

I've mentioned here that before that I'm a mentor through the Big Brothers/Big Sisters association. I've been paired with the same girl since October, 2001 when she was eight and she is now about to graduate from grade 8. That means the end of the road for our mentoring partnership.

I'm on my way out the door to our last visit together. I'm really going to miss her.

B's mom was murdered when she was just a baby. It's a terrible story. She's been raised by her dad and her grandma. When I first met her, she was a real tomboy but now she's like any other 14-year old girl you meet. She's really interested in clothes and make-up, especially where her grade 8 graduation is concerned. It's a pretty big deal.

I'll miss you, B!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Back at It

Well, here I am back in Windsor after a great and relaxing vacation. I don't know how I'm going to function without an afternoon nap for the next couple of weeks.

I've only got three weeks left of work before I go on maternity leave, and as the morning progresses I'm beginning to see that it's going to be an incredibly busy few weeks. Lots of stuff to get done before I clear out of here.

We really enjoyed our time in Montreal, although I am glad (and so is my aching back) that those long drives are behind us. I'm also really glad that we rented a car for the drive, because I think I would have lost my mind being stuck in our Neon for that long.

Darcy's birthday celebration has stretched out over four days. She got a few more presents yesterday and Saturday. I think it should be all overwith now.

Apparently she was confused with the way we presented her with her new doll house in Montreal. Nick brought it downstairs from its hiding spot in the laundry room at the same time Uncle Eric was coming downstairs. For the first few days she talked about the doll house she got from Daddy and Uncle Eric. Hey kid, it was my idea! The cool craft books were from Uncle Eric.

One funny Darcy-ism before I close for today. On Friday night we were taking a walk along the Detroit River (one of our favourite things to do in the evening). I think Darcy managed to get in the background of a few prom pictures that were being taken in the park at the same time as we were playing there. Anyway, as we were getting ready to walk home Darcy said, "I need to stop and think." Nick said, "OK, what do you need to think about?" "Ummm, I think I need a shoulder ride." I'm glad you thought long and hard about that!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Although she can't read yet, "Happy Birthday, Darcy!" We're all pretty excited to be celebrating your birthday here in Montreal.

We're going swimming this morning. I must really love my daughter if I'm going swimming! There's a really fun pool here so we (along with Auntie Stef) are taking her over there. There will also be some last-minute shopping to be done.

In many ways these past three years have just flown by. In other ways, I don't remember her ever not being around.

And now I must go and join birthday breakfast, already in progress.

Monday, June 04, 2007

In Montreal

Well, after an incredibly long drive (including two hours at a complete standstill on the 401 in Toronto) we're in Montreal and having a great time already. Darcy has seen all her family and is loving being at the centre of attention all the time.

The main purpose of our trip was to celebrate Bill & Gigi's 40th wedding anniversary and unnamed birthday milestones that they're both celebrating this year too. There was an open house planned for their house last night. Stef worked really hard preparing all kinds of delicious desserts to be served throughout the evening.

We had a family dinner before the festivities started, then the first guests arrived, Bill's brother and his wife. He had brought some caribou meat for Bill & Gigi which Bill took down to the garage. While closing the garage door, Bill got his finger caught between two panels, doing some good damage to finger, even being unable to get his finger out. We were all out on the balcony above laughing and talking and we didn't hear his calls for help. Finally we heard, "MARC!!!" Marc went running down followed by Nick and they were able to help him to get free. Bill was as white as a ghost when he got upstairs and the first words I heard were, "I'm on my way to the hospital." Nick drove him to the hospital and Bill got to spend the entire 40th anniversary party in the emergency room.

It was too late to cancel the party, guests were already arriving, so Gigi welcomed everyone on her own. We still had a wonderful night, with the obvious exception of Bill not being there. The last guests left around 9:30, but Bill didn't get home until after 10:30. Fortunately, there was lots of good food leftover for him to enjoy then.

Not exactly how we planned the evening to go, but a nice night all the same!