31 December 2008

Happiness is a good pair of pants

I joke a lot about being a pygmy, but it's only a cover for my frustration at finding clothes (namely pants) that fit me without spending a ton on alterations. Perhaps I've reached my quota of disappointment for 2008 or maybe clothes shopping at a mall rather than a grocery store is more ideal, but I am the proud owner of FIVE pairs of pants that fit me! Woohoo!!!!

The story starts on the 29th. Mr. JB and I decided to see a movie (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a fantastic movie!) and then exchange some Christmas gifts. At dinner a couple of months ago one of my girlfriends said that L.ucky jeans were the perfect jeans, so I decided to check out the store. I was apprehensive since at regular price a pair of jeans cost over $100. I only have one pair of jeans that over $40, and my mom bought them for me for Christmas! Anyhow, I walked into the store, went to the sale section and found the perfect pair of jeans at 50% off! I almost started to cry. Honestly, the jeans make me feel like a total movie star.

Then we headed to my favourite store, B.anana R.epublic and found trouser cut jeans (that I can wear to work because they are uber comfy) for $27. When I tried them on I noticed that a button was missing and they gave me 20% more off! I got brand new pants for $23! Woohoo again!!!!!

Yesterday Mr. JB and his brother and I headed to a fabulous outlet mall and I spent way too much at the B.anana R.epublic outlet (three more pairs of pants, a dress and a cute sweater plus a couple things for the mister). My poor BIL looked absolutely spent after shopping with me, but the trip was totally worth it. I do have to get the pants hemmed, but it's a small sacrifice for good looking clothes!


I finally got my referral for the doctor that will be doing my lap. Mr. JB got the message from Dr. T's office while I was still asleep and I had to reschedule the original appointment that was given to us. It took THREE tries to finally get through to Dr. I's receptionist -- the first time I called I got hung up on, the second I was on hold for way too long and finally the third time I spoke to someone. I'm going to have to take two afternoons off next month for my appointments plus I have my annual physical with my family doctor (yet another person poking around in my ladyparts, yay!). I'm thinking that I'm going to have to come clean with the administration of my school. I don't want the office thinking that I'm a slacker.

I forgot to mention in my last post that I met LifeHopes and her hubby P before Christmas (I'm blaming the omission on trying to post while running out the door!). It was great to meet someone that understands EXACTLY how I feel. I don't talk to many people outside of the bloggosphere about our struggles with IF, so it was great to be able to be so candid about my feelings with someone who understands what I'm going through completely. Btw, LifeHopes, it's -11C/12F and we got more snow last night!

I'm not sure if I'm going to get the chance to check back in before tomorrow (we're heading back to Niagara for New Year's), so Happy New Year to all of you! I really hope that 2009 brings more possibilities, more answers, and hopefully more hope for all of us!


p.s. I start the C.lomid challenge tonight. I promise not to "forget" to take it!

29 December 2008

Checking In

It always seems like life is busier during the holidays. I've been trying to catch up on sleep, visit with family and friends, and catch a yoga class or two in between trips to my father-in-law's place which is an hour away.

Christmas was good, although very busy. We started celebrating on the 20th with my dad's side, had my cousins over on the 21st (which involved cooking a 30lb turkey!), we drove to my in-law's on the 23rd, returned on the 25th in the afternoon to be with my family and then we had a function at our church on the 27th. I'm so glad that we created "Pyjamas and movies all day Boxing Day" when we first got married! Every December 26th Mr. JB and I hang out in our pj's and watch movies all day long. It's the first day of every holiday that we do absolutely nothing (although this year we made turkey soup since we had so much leftover bird in our house!). I really hope that one day we will be able to celebrate the holidays at our own house. Since getting married I have not woken up in my own bed in my own house. Perhaps one day....

Aunt Flo showed up a couple of days early -- I'm on day 27 of my cycle and I'm a little bit surprised. I took my last dose of HCG on Christmas Day and based on the previous three months I'm only a day early (I got my period four days after my last shot the other months). My peak day was a little earlier this month as well -- the last day I saw K was on day 15 which is two days earlier than the past two months. Also I had less fewer days of tail end brown bleeding this month (5 days as opposed to 7 last month) and I had five days of actual period. I have no idea if my cycle is improving, but at least I didn't have a 15 day period like two months ago!

Mr. JB and I are heading out to the movies this afternoon since we have no visiting to do today -- woohoo! I also think that we're going to brave the mall so I can exchange some gifts. My brother-in-law is coming over tomorrow and we're going to an awesome outlet mall in the north end of the city where the first B.anana R.epublic outlet opened a couple of months ago. I've been saving my pennies in anticipation!

So Merry Christmas +4 to all of you!

p.s. The photo above is my favourite Christmas ornament. I have a vast collection of snowmen and my hubby gives me a new tree ornament every year. This guy shakes his head when you pull on his mitten!

22 December 2008

Starting Christmas Vacation with a Bang

I honestly cannot believe that I made it to Christmas vacation alive, but here I am! In my seven years in an elementary classroom I have never been so tired -- mentally and physically. Perhaps it was the five week-long cold plus the weight of my infertility during the Christmas season, or it may have been the 21 six year-olds I've been trying to corral since September. My guess that it's equal parts of all three.

We spent the weekend having early Christmas celebrations with my family. Saturday night was spent with my dad's side of the family who are absolutely awesome. I've written before about how I feel like an alien with my parents and my mom's side of the family. When I'm with my cousins from the other side I feel like I've come home.

I think a big part of my comfort level is the fact that my older cousin and his wife have gone through IF. Their older daughter came after many, many years of IF treatments and their second daughter was adopted this past summer. I also love it that my aunt never, ever asks about when we're going to have children. She learned her lesson I guess when she watched her own child go through the pain IF. At dinner my cousin R and I were joking around about not having kids and he exclaimed, "No we don't have kids and it's because I have a low sperm count!" His wife gave him the nastiest look, but I couldn't stop laughing! My family doesn't know about our struggles, at least explicitly, and I thought that it was so great that he could be so candid.

The only kick in the gut came when my cousin's wife's sister (did you follow that?) announced that she was expecting. I quickly found an excuse to take one of the kiddies to the basement to play because I couldn't take it. Mr. JB says that my exit was inconspicuous, but I really didn't want to be a part of all the hugging and celebrating when I felt like I had my stomach kicked in.

Last night we had my cousins from my mom's side of the family over for our yearly gift exchange. Mr. JB cooked a 30 pound turkey for the festivities, made stuffing from scratch and I made 10 pounds of mashed potatoes. I was secretly happy that my cousin (who is five years younger than I am and who got "accidentally" got his wife pregnant soon after their wedding) left his baby with the in-laws. My 19 year old cousin who got his girlfriend pregnant brought his 1 year old daughter, but I find older babies easier to deal with than infants. I was also too busy entertaining to have the feel-me-sorries -- having 16 people in a little house is a lot of distraction!

I always think that I can handle my envy and jealousy, but it seems like this year that I'm having a harder time stomaching other people's children. I guess after 3 and 1/2 years of being barren and seeing so many of my friend and family get pregnant with ease has taken it's toll (I found out about two more friends last week, one of which who is in a horrible relationship with her partner and she wasn't really trying apparently).


So I have to thank This Cross I Embrace for giving me my first blog award. This award acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his/her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary and personal values every day.

The rules to follow are :
1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person that has granted the award and his or her blog link.
2) Pass the award to other 15 blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment. Remember to contact each of them to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Like TCIE I don't know if I know 15 blogs to nominate, but I would like to pass on the award to the following:

1) Charlotte at ...and not by sight
2) Pam at Blood Signs
3) Bec at Crazy lady ramblings...
4) Jeremiah 29:11
5) LifeHopes
6) My Reality at Mixing it Up: Trying to Find My New Reality
7) Aurelia at No Matter How Small
8) Shinejil at Sluggish Butterfly
9) Duck at The Big ol' blog of how to build a nest
10) Mrs. X at The Young and the Infertile

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful writing and your journeys through this awful world of IF.


And lastly, thanks to all that shared their advice on my last post. I finally told Mr. JB about my blog this morning. I'm meeting up with LifeHopes this afternoon and I couldn't figure out a creative way to get out of the house! Besides it was time to tell him. He wasn't angry or upset that I had kept it from him for the past year. I also told him that I don't want him to read my blog and he seems cool with that. I think that he was worried that I was husband-bashing, but I made it very clear that I wasn't.

So I'm off to finish off my Christmas baking. I've made 12 dozen mini-cupcakes and I need to make a few more. It's also almost 1pm and I'm still in my pyjamas.

I love vacation!

16 December 2008

A question

I'm running on fumes here folks. I don't think that I've ever been this tired before in my life. I'm almost recovered from my cold, although it's moved into my chest and when I cough it sounds really, really bad. I finally have some energy AND my house is almost all decorated for Christmas. My guest room is full of gifts that are ready to be wrapped, but that will all have to wait until school is out.

My first primary Christmas concert went well. The kiddies were so cute and their parents were absolutely tickled to see their children singing Christmas songs in French. I've discovered that my class absolutely love performing! They break into spontaneous song at the strangest times: while doing seatwork, when they're eating their snacks, when lining up! It's so cute.

I've forgiven myself for "forgetting" to take the C.lomid last week. I think that part of my slip-up was subconsciously not wanting to take it. The other part was because I was pretty pathetically sick. I'm also feeling a bit overwhelmed with all of the medication I have to take. Not only am I taking my asthma and colitis meds, I'm also on on so many supplements AND the low dose naltrexone. I decided to take a break from the B6 until I'm completely recovered and rested. I really hope that I can take it since it seems as though it's helpful for so many women.

So here is my question for all of you: It's been almost a year since I started my blog and Mr. JB doesn't know about it. I'm thinking that I'm going to write a post to him during the holidays to show him what I've been doing all this time on the computer. I don't think that he's going to be upset that I didn't tell him sooner, but I kind of like that I have something all to myself. What would be the best way to tell him? Advice anyone?

I'm off to bed. Only three more sleeps until vacation!

11 December 2008


This is a question for all of you Creighton Model ladies out there.

I just looked at my prescription for C.lomid that my doctor wrote me and I noticed that it says very clearly "Clomid 50 mg 1/2 po g day Day 3 to 7."

I am currently on day 11 of my cycle and I've had 5 days of tail end brown bleeding (TCIE that's for you!). I'm certain now that I've missed my chance to take C.lomid this month. For some reason I thought that she said something about taking it from Peak +3 to +7, kind of like the HCG shots. Perhaps I wasn't paying close attention since she had just confirmed my suspicions of having endo.

What do I do? Should I still take it even though it's too late? Or do I just wait until next month?


9 December 2008

Searching out alternatives

I'm the type of girl that will try just about anything once. Not only do I have my own army of medical doctors, I also have a chiropractor, a massage therapist, an osteopathist and now I have a naturopath.

Most of you know of the ongoing saga of my cold. It's been almost three weeks and I haven't felt any better. I realize that I work in one of the germiest situations possible -- 21 six year olds in cold weather makes A LOT of illnesses -- but three weeks is a ridiculous amount of time to be sick. So after spending the entire weekend in bed without any relief I decided to phone up my local naturopath. My RMT recommended the clinic to me and my chiropractor (who I love with all my heart) has been telling me for years that I needed to go to one. I've been hesitant for so long since we get no insurance coverage for naturopathic treatments and it is not cheap at all! I'm looking at this visit as an early Christmas present to myself.

I spent an hour and a half with the doctor and she went over my entire health history. We went over my cold symptoms first then we moved on to my history of asthma, ulcerative colitis and lastly our struggle with infertility. She was incredibly thorough and non-judgmental (I was scared that she would go all, "You shouldn't be taking all that medicine!" to me, but she wasn't). My visit ended with her going over some additional testing that she wants to do to determine allergies and intolerances to food and other environmental factors.

I don't know if seeing a naturopath is going to help us get pregnant, but I'm sure that it's not going to hurt anything. My immune system seems to be shot, so the supplements that she prescribed are going to give me the boost I need to get better. I also know that she's going to help me get my body as healthy as possible to grow my future baby.

I'm off to decorate my Christmas tree. This is the latest I've ever decorated my tree and I'm blaming that on my stupid cold! I promise to post a photo when I'm done!

p.s. The naturopath told me to cut my dose of B6 in half until I see my doctor. The side effects aren't life threatening so she thinks that it's okay to continue taking it.

8 December 2008

Is it B6's fault?

I am once again illicitly posting from my classroom! I'm all alone, don't worry. The kiddies are off at health class.

So I've been feeling pretty crummy for over a month. I had a cold, almost got better then got sick again. I've had all of nasty cold symptoms: runny nose, congestion, cough, headache, and a sore right ear. I don't like to take over the counter medication (really, I'm taking enough drugs already, do I need to add more?), but when I went to the doctor all she said I could do was take T.ylenol C.old. Which I've been doing.

Last night after spending all weekend in bed -- I even missed the big family Christmas party that no one ever misses because I couldn't move. When Mr. JB tried to wake me up from my nap I burst into tears. Pretty pathetic, I know -- I started looking up the side effects to B6. 

I know, stay away from Dr. Google, but this time I was desperate.

This is what I found:

Side effects include: 
- tingling or burning sensation of the fingers or toes -- I don't have this but my hands and feet have been overly sweaty. It's been so bad that Mr. JB says, "Eeew, what's wrong with your hands why are they so clammy?"  
- headache -- I've had headaches on and off with my cold, so I'm not sure if it's because of the B6
- clumsiness -- I don't think I can blame my natural lack of grace on the B6
- drowsiness -- B6 related or cold related? I have no idea, but I know that I have zero energy which is very unlike me
- nausea -- I've been feeling quite pukey every morning, but it goes away after I have breakfast.

So what do you think? Am I reacting to the B6? Going to see my doctor is the last option since she only has walk-in hours and the last time we went to her walk-in hours we waited for almost four hours. 

Is my reaction normal? And do the symptoms go away? I started taking the medication on December 2nd.


Btw, I've made an appointment with my local naturapath for tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully she'll have a solution to my ailments. 


p.s. Parent-Teacher interviews went well. The crazy mother was just as crazy, but my principal sat in as extra support. It all boils down to support from home, if she's not willing to help out her daughter is not going to succeed. We both tried to explain that to her, unfortunately I don't think we got anywhere. How long until June?

4 December 2008

Please give me strength

So tonight is parent-teacher interviews. All of the parents are coming, except for my parent from hell.

Yes, the child that never has her homework done, her agenda is never signed, and she is always at the office because of behaviour issues. Her mother was the last parent to send in her conference form and this morning I get a note saying that she can't make it for her allotted time. I even planned into my dinner hour so I could fit her in. 


So I told my school secretary about the cancellation and I was informed that the parent from hell has called the principal to complain about her kid's report card. 

Honestly, if I don't do the work with the child nothing gets done. I mean nothing. It's apparently my fault that there is no review or follow-up at home. It's also my fault that the Ministry of Education is making me teach the curriculum. 

Have I mentioned that I teach in an optional program? It was the parents' choice to apply for the class. It was also stated very clearly that parental support is necessary for their child to succeed.

I really hate it that some parents just do their children a disservice and then don't take any responsibility for their actions. 

Sometimes I really wish I could say what I was thinking, but yet again I'm going to have to try to put on a happy face and grin and bear it when she accuses me of being the worst teacher in the world.

Please give me strength. 

2 December 2008

I hope that I don't get found out

I just discovered that I can get onto Blogger from my classroom computer. 

I'm sure the internet nanny will discover it soon enough and my access will be banned once again. But in the meantime I feel like I'm being really naughty! 

I don't know how appropriate it would be to be blogging while my class went nuts. Then again, they're nuts even when I'm paying attention! 

1 December 2008


I've been sick with a cold for a month now. Actually, it my second cold in a month and I got sick again when I wasn't even better from the first one -- have you ever heard of that????

This is the worst time of year to get sick. I just finished report cards (they're stuffed in their envelopes, ready to be given out at the end of the day tomorrow), I have parent-teacher interviews this week AND I'm trying to get ready for Christmas. I have zero energy and all I want to do is curl into the fetal position and die, or at least go to sleep and wake up well.

So tonight on our way home I convinced Mr. JB to get Pho for dinner. I was feeling really sorry for myself and I really wanted to eat soup. I don't often crave soup, but whenever I'm really sick it's one of the few things that make me feel better AND a huge bowl is only $5! I definitely think that it's a combination of the steam from the soup and the simple goodness of the broth. Honestly, if you've never had the pleasure of having Pho, you must get yourself to a Vietnamese restaurant ASAP!

I'm feeling the rumblings of Aunt Flo and I'm sure that she'll be here sometime tomorrow. I've got sore boobs, I'm pretty bloated and I'm exhausted (although that may be because of my cold). It will be interesting to see what the next cycle brings me. I've decided that I'm going to take Lifehopes' advice. I'm going to look at my impending surgery as something to hope for, not something to dread.

So there.

26 November 2008

Knowledge is power, yes?

I've always loved doing research. As an educator I get to learn knew things every day. I honestly believe that ignorance isn't bliss.

Until today.

We had another follow-up appointment with our NaproTechnology doctor and it was quite the eventful visit. It didn't help our mood that we had to wait almost two hours to see her -- Mr. JB even checked with the receptionist to see what the delay was and he's certain that they forgot about us! It also didn't help that I had to wear a mask in the waiting room because I am sick, again! I even had to wear it during my visit with my doctor!

Dr. T is a very thorough doctor, so I know that I shouldn't complain about waiting so long since she gives the same attention to each of her patients. She went over my bloodwork and said that my estrogen levels are good and that my progesterone levels are still a little low (my peak +7 levels were taken last night at 5pm and she was able to get the results this morning!). Dr. T also said that she was concerned about my mucus scores (they were 8 for this cycle) as well as all of my 10SL days post peak. She was also concerned about my 14 day period this cycle. Now that my estrogen and progesterone are pretty good, she's pretty certain that I have endometriosis.

Dr. T also did an internal exam and she said that my cervix was inflamed so wouldn't be able to get the swabs that she wanted. She said that she wasn't concerned about the inflammation, but I'm adding it to my list of things to worry about.

So here is our course of action: Dr. T is getting me a referral for the doctor that will be doing the laparoscopic surgery and until then she's put me on a mucus enhancer (B6), and she also wants to try Clomid for two cycles, just in case.

I know that I should feel relieved that my doctor is coming to some sort of conclusion as to why we haven't yet conceived, but I'm feeling so defeated right now. I feel so disappointed that the HCG wasn't the miracle cure that I thought it was going to be. I'm also worried that I'm going to have to tell my new principal about having to take time off for the surgery. I'm sure that it's not going to be an issue, but it's just something else to worry about.

The one thing that is more worrisome is that I'm scared that the doctor will find more things wrong with me. I'm so mentally and physically drained right now that thinking about the surgery makes me cry.

I need to go to bed. Perhaps, when I finally get better from my cold I'll have a clearer head to think things through. All I know now is that I'm scared and I don't know how much more my infertile psyche can take.

18 November 2008

I love procrastination

I'm in the height of report card season, so of course I'm spending LOTS of time on the internet. I've picked out my next pair of comfy boots and found them on sale. I've caught up with as many people as I could on F.aceb.ook. I also spent a lot of time this evening updating on my blog (notice the new blog list -- I was envious similar lists on other blogs so I acquired my own). All of this, but no work on my report cards.

I'm not very good at having unfinished work hanging over my head -- a very bad trait for a teacher since there is always work to do! I haven't been able to find my report card writing groove and I'm not trying very hard to find it.

Last Friday we had the day off to write reports. When I arrived at my very quiet school (Mr. JB was working at home so I knew that I would get little done!) there was a guy from physical plant installing bulletin boards, three months late. Instead of having full reign over my classroom, I had to find another place to work. I'm the kind of girl that needs a certain mood, certain songs on the CD player, and every resource at my fingertips. Needless to say being relegated to the boring old computer lab was not conducive to working.

So I'm at t-minus six days until my deadline and instead of toiling away I've been farting around my kitchen and I've been doing some serious bonding with my laptop. Am I stressed? Of course. Do I really want to do anything about it? No.

One would think that writing 21 report cards would be a good distraction from my misbehaving ladyparts, but I just have no desire to do them. At least today I didn't see the return of the brown.

I'm off to numb my brain with some bad reality TV. Report cards, what report cards?


p.s. I left a card for my co-worker that had a miscarriage last week. She still hasn't been back to school, so I hope that her supply teacher left it in a safe place.

16 November 2008


I love the colour brown. Our incredibly comfortable couch is brown. All of the wood in our house is a deep, deep brown. Almost all of the walls in my house, save one that is deep red, are brown (our bedroom is painted a tasty colour called "Tiramisu"). My hair and eyes are brown.

My love for brown came slowly. You see I love for things to match -- my shoes have to match my purse, my hat has to match my gloves, my bracelet has to match my earrings. Falling in love with the brown clothing trend meant that I had to invest in a new winter jacket, scarf, gloves and hat. I also had to ensure that I had the proper accessories. Trust me, it wasn't a hardship to look for all of these things since I love to shop. And my search for the perfect warm, but stylish brown hat has helped me focus my latest trips to the shops, although I'm thinking that I'm just going to learn how to knit so I can just be done with it.

So what brings me to my diatribe on brown? Well, my ladyparts seems to have decided that since I love brown so much that they need to give me seven days of brown bleeding. I'm on day 15 of my cycle and it's the first day that I haven't seen any sort of spotting. This is my longest stint of bleeding/spotting since May.

Weren't the HCG injections supposed to help stop 14 day-long periods?

Needless to say I'm feeling incredibly bummed out. Not only did I get hardly any work done on my report cards (bad excuse, I was out having fun instead of working), but now I'm thinking that there is something seriously wrong. I really should've taken Mrs. X's advice, but I really can't stay away from Dr. Google.

It also doesn't help that I spent all weekend visiting with friends that have kids -- on Saturday night we went out with Mr. JB's high school friends who all have the perfect two kid families. Although we've never discussed our IF openly with them there are so many times where I think that I'm wearing a placard saying "Barren" around my neck. Then today we attended my best friend's daughter's fifth birthday party. I don't usually find it hard to be around other people's children, but being around my old roommate that is pregnant (baby number two, try one) was really hard.

We see our doctor on the 26th and I really hope that I don't drive myself mad trying to diagnose every strange twinge in my belly. Perhaps I should distract myself by actually working on my report cards. Then again, the new C.anadian H.ouse and H.ome is on my front hall table and I'd much rather imagine my new kitchen than be productive....

12 November 2008

Now what???

In the hopes of my lady parts behaving as they should (i.e. no more two week-long periods and endless days of brown bleeding) I assumed (wrongly) that things were going better. Since I started the HCG injections in August my cycles have gone from being 24 days to 30 days long. And since September my periods have been relatively shorter. I'm on CD 11 today and I thought (based on the patterns from previous cycles) that I had bid adieu to Aunt Flo.

Alas, I was proven wrong yet again.

This is what my chart looks like (red stickers abound):
November 2nd: M/H
3rd: H
4th: H
5th: M
6th: M/L
7th: L
8th: VL
9th: B x 1, OAD
10th: B X 2, OAD
11th: VL X 2 (I also noted pink since I didn't see red at all that day), OAD
12th: L (well it isn't the end of the day, but that's what I'm going to put before I go to bed)

Now, am I going backwards???? The last three cycles ended with very little brown spotting and then a couple of dry days. The pattern of having bizarro bleeding was common before the HCG injections and the Low Dose Naltrexone, but now I'm am completely and utterly confused.

I'm assuming that there is yet one more thing wrong with my ladyparts -- be it some other infection, disorder, maybe even endo? I have no idea. My Napro doctor suggested that if I don't get pregnant in the next couple of months that she wants to do some laproscopic surgery to see what's going on. I was very, very hesitant the last time I saw her, but now I'm thinking that I should push for it.

Honestly, I'm feeling at the end of my rope. I'm stressed out because of report cards and my crazy students (yes, the full moon makes children even nuttier!), and my teaching partner is getting more annoying by the day. I've had interruption upon interruption that what teaching I have left before I write my reports is completely disjointed and I'm sure doesn't make sense.

I'm almost sure now that with this bizarre bleeding that we aren't going to conceive, yet again.

Any advice my fellow bloggers? Or could the strange bleeding be due to stress?


p.s. I learned yesterday that a colleague of mine suffered a miscarriage earlier this week (it was her third). Since I am new to my school I don't know anyone very well, I was thinking of putting a note in her mailbox telling her that, although I've never had a miscarriage, that I've been struggling with IF for a long time. My new staff is quite a bit older (there are at least six teachers that are close to retiring) and there are only four of us that are considered "young" teachers. My heart absolutely aches for her, but I just can't imagine striking up a conversation out of the blue. Am I overstepping my boundaries by leaving her a note?

11 November 2008

JellyBelly Remembers

I'm feeling a lot more reflective and grateful this particular Remembrance Day. I was always taught to be ponderous and quiet during the moment of silence and I've tried to instill this respect to all of the classes that I have taught.

It was an especially big challenge teaching my class about Remembrance Day. Since the students in my class have the propensity to be violent (Not just ruler throwing, I've had pencil stabbings, spitting in one another's faces, pushing, and punching! Needless to say, I have a direct line to the principal's office!) I was nervous about talking about war. I was surprised that my students had never heard of Iraq or Afghanistan, and when I asked them about places where there was war, they had no idea. I explained to them that there are places where there are people that don't want peace and that there are bad people in the world that think that fighting is the best way to solve problems. I also told them that we had to remember all of the soldiers that fought and are currently fighting since they are helping protect our country.

It was very, very hard not to get too political.

I also told my class about visiting Normandy this past summer and seeing the rows and rows of headstones at the American and Canadian cemeteries. It wasn't until I stood on Omaha Beach that the war became real to me.

The north of France is absolutely beautiful -- as is the rest of the country, but that's besides the point. It was very important to Mr. JB that we visited the D-Day landing beaches when we were planning our trip, and it was an easy concession to make since I had never visited Normandy before. The day that we visited Omaha, Utah and Juno Beach was a beautiful, cool and windy day.

Now I've seen "Saving Private Ryan," but being on the very beach that the allied forces landed on was very, very powerful. I can't even imagine the death that happened on that beautiful beach, or the fear that the soldiers felt as they landed.

Today my class took part in the school's Remembrance Day Assembly. My kiddies sang O Canada and said the Our Father in French. It was all very, very cute. They practiced so hard and I was so proud of them. The majority even sat through all of the presentations patiently and some of them even paid attention! My principal's dad is a World War II veteran and he spoke to the school as well.

I've spent the past couple of weeks having the feel-me-sorries and right now I'm feeling quite guilty. I live in a beautiful country with all of the opportunities possible. Although I have been struggling to become a mother for more than three years, at least I have the resources and the freedom to seek out a solution. I've been looking too long at the things that I don't have, but not at the things that I already have in my possession.

I am blessed to have a strong faith that guides me through the frustrating and sad times. I have a husband that cooks, cleans and is so incredibly patient. I also have a doctor that is working very hard to help us achieve the family that we so very badly want. I also have a body that is behaving a lot better -- no more 14 day periods, woohoo!

So I leave you with one of my favourite photos from our trip to Normandy. This rock was at one of the Canadian cemeteries close to Juno Beach. I found it really touching to see the Canadian and Euro coins on the emblematic maple leaf. I don't know who left it behind or how long it had been there, but it's an image that has been the wallpaper for my computer for quite a while.

So tonight while I say my prayers I will definitely be praying for peace in our world and that God keeps all of the soldiers fighting for peace safe. For them I am forever thankful.

8 November 2008

JellyBelly Self-doubt

I really hate teaching art. As a child I always dreaded the Friday afternoons spent painting, gluing, and crafting. I hated getting my hands dirty, splattering paint on myself and I really resented that I could never, ever make my project look like everyone else's.

As a grade one teacher I do a lot of art projects. This week we tackled poppies. My school is having a pretty huge assembly on Tuesday and apparently distinguished guests and media are going to be present. The primary wing of my school has been abuzz with activity all week. All of the grade one classes have been making tissue paper poppies -- basically they had to cut out a poppy template and then they had to fill the paper with red and black tissue paper balls. My class loves doing this type of art. We did pumpkins in the same style as well, but I left that for a supply teacher (I know, I'm evil!!!).

I always save art for the afternoon since the mornings seems to fly by, but by doing this I also save my most dreaded subject for the time of day where I have little patience. Yesterday, after a long week of fighting a cold and trying not to kill my teaching partner, I felt my patience reserve run out. I try very, very hard not to raise my voice at my class. I don't like yelling, I don't like hearing other people yelling, and I especially dislike people yelling at young children.

I have one student who has a really hard time with authority. She attended a Montessori school for junior and senior kindergarten and apparently had free reign to do whatever she wanted. So when she arrived in my conventional classroom where she had to sit in a circle and sit at a desk, she had a very hard time. Well yesterday afternoon little A started throwing rulers at her group members and when she was caught red-handed, she started to argue with me. When the look of death didn't work I ended up raising my voice, and I saw fear in her eyes.

Then I felt very guilty.

How can I even think of being a mom to my own kids (who no doubt will be just as willful) when I can't be patient with the children of others? What am I going to do when my child openly disobeys me?

A's mom looked completely exasperated when I told her about her antics at the end of the day. Lucky for me, her mother is completely aware of what her daughter is capable of and she isn't the type of mother that blames the teacher. Thank God I haven't encountered parents like that, yet.

I told my incredibly fertile best friend that I was thinking more and more about adoption and that biological children aren't the priority they used to be. Do I actually believe what I said, or was I just trying to help her feel less guilty about being able to get pregnant at the drop of a hat? Or was I just steeling myself for yet another month of disappointments?

I made a decision (yet to be shared with Mr. JB) that I'm giving my body until April 2009. It will be one year that we've been with our NaproTechnology doctor. I'm definitely tired of the drugs, doctors and charting. So often my body has felt like it doesn't even belong to me, and for my sanity that feeling has to stop.

Is this deadline the end of hope for me? I don't think so. But if I keep running around and around in this hamster wheel more than my patience will give. I'm sure of it.

2 November 2008

JellyBelly's Next Steps

I have an e.B.a.y. addiction. Now I don't think that I need a support group, but in the past I've had to ban myself from going on the website for weeks at a time. I love finding deals. For example, I got a brand new Betsey Johnson dress (with tags!) for $40! Last winter I got three pairs of Banana Republic pants for $70! And just last week I got gorgeous, all leather boots for $101!

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy shopping, but not at malls since we always run into students and I don't like crowds. I also get really frustrated since I can never find clothes that fit me or shoes that are both comfortable and stylish. It is so much easier to sit on my couch and search for good deals AND I feel such a sense of accomplishment when I win an item at a good price.

Shoes have always made me feel better. I admit that I may have a few too many pairs, and that we're going to have to find a very large house with many, many closets in order to properly store every pair. We're planning to have our basement finished this winter and I spent a lot of time imagining my new shoe storage so I can see every pair in their glory. Just thinking about it gives me goosebumps.

I'm just a little OCD!

Which brings me to my next steps: this morning when Aunt Flo and her red army came marching in with a vengeance I had to think about something else other than being barren.

Since attending my cousin's daughter's baptism last Sunday I've been thinking more and more about adoption. Seeing my dad holding little M and watching him fall completely in love with her made me think that my crazy parents would be accepting of any child, as long as it was ours. Even before we discovered the Marguerite Bourgeoys Family Centre I knew that adoption was an option for us, I just never felt ready to do any research. So this morning after mass I opened up my laptop and searched out domestic adoption. I read until I was too hungry to concentrate and when Mr. JB got home (he was helping one of the Knights of Columbus move a couch) I told him what I was up to. As usual he was 100% on board -- honestly, I really lucked out in the husband department!

So I'm putting out the question to the bloggosphere: Where do we go from here? Should I go to the library and do research? Do I contact the various organizations (the Children's Aid Society and the Catholic Children's Aid Society, thus far) that I read about this morning? Should I go to the various adoption groups on the internet? I'm a bit lost. The one thing that I do know is that I want to pursue domestic adoption since I don't know if I could handle the stress of international adoption, nor do I want to go into deep debt in order to bring a child into our lives. I welcome any suggestions please!

As for the D.irect E.nergy update: we finally had hot water restored last Saturday at about 6pm and after more complaining we had heat last Sunday at 11pm. We also had a personal visit from the Director of Planning and Logistics on Wednesday night since I made such a big stink and contacted media (yes, if you contact the press these people move SUPER fast). Not only did the company take full responsibility and cover the cost of the new venting (which was $420), the guy also brought me flowers. He also said that after our situation the directors took to the phones at the call centre in order to see firsthand what the customer was going through and that they would be reviewing their practices. We also got his card so if we have any future issues with our hot water/furnace they will be at our house ASAP. Don't mess with the JellyBelly!

26 October 2008

The post where JellyBelly tries to find humour in the situation

I've had more than my fair share of things to complain about this week. Not only is my teaching partner driving me crazy, but we have been without heat for five days and we were without hot water for four. Mr. JB and I have been on the phone with our service provider, D.irect E.nergy, constantly. I think we've logged over 20 phone calls since our saga started.

A couple of weeks ago I noticed a musty smell in the basement. We are very lucky to live in a fairly new home that has a very dry basement so I was instantly suspicious. We did some investigating and found a leak in one of the pipes in the ceiling. My dad came right away and fixed the problem (thank God for handy dads!). Unfortunately the leak was only abated for a couple of days and we ended up having to call D.irect E.nergy since the problem was just getting worse.

We thought that we were lucky when the technicians were dispatched the next day to speedily fix the pipes in the ceiling (at a cost of $400) and replace the hot water tank. Then four days later we heard horrible noises. I thought that it was the construction on the road in front of our house (the main road is being torn up to install sewers for two new developments in our neighbourhood), but it was past 8pm and there were no construction guys outside. Needless to say we got on the phone again with D.E. and more technicians were dispatched. This time the guy told us that the first installers did a poor job and that the new unit was ruined and that we needed another hot water tank. The tech was at our house until past midnight trying to patch up the faulty work, but he was unable to get the system working again.

This was last Thursday night and it was over 24 hours that we didn't have hot water or heat. After much complaining and yelling over the phone we were offered $120 a night to stay in a hotel, but we decided to tough it out and shower at my best friend's house (who lives around the corner) and bundle up. We were promised that someone would be at our house first thing Saturday morning so we decided to stay at our cold house since we would've had to leave the hotel so early in the morning.

Well, 8am became 4pm and I was absolutely livid by the time the technicians showed up. It wasn't until 2pm when Mr. JB called the customer service people that we found out that our hot water tank wasn't even at their warehouse. In the age of cell phones no one could've phoned us so we could've gone about our day? I could've gone to the laundry mat or the grocery store, but I was essentially held hostage in my home while I waited for people to show up at my house.

Unfortunately, the story doesn't end with the second new hot water tank. We do have hot water, but we don't have heat. We have a compound system and our furnace and hot water tank are connected, so there was a problem with the installation. We had a technician from the E.nbridge come to check our thermostat and he said that there is nothing mechanically wrong with our furnace.

So here we are, freezing in our house. I cannot believe how poorly we have been treated by the powers that be. We're good customers. I've never paid a bill late and we own a well-maintained home. I feel as though this large company just doesn't care about their customers. Although we were offered to stay at the hotel, they didn't offer to compensate us for eating out (I refused to boil water so I could do dishes when it was their mistake!).

I was so upset at the injustice I e-mailed various media agencies, the ombudsman at E.nbridge and the Better Business Bureau. I don't know what will come of it, but it got someone from the Executive Office interested. Last night when we were waiting for our hot water tank to fill up the Director of Planning and Logistics called us and he wants to meet with us to discuss compensation. I'll let you all know what comes of that meeting.

I have to wonder how many good customers have been treated with such incompetence. As I sit in my house that is 18C I can't help but feel so angry at a system where monopolies control essential services. It's not like I can seek another service provider for my house. If I refuse to pay for their work I'll get in trouble.

I really hate feeling like I'm banging my head against a brick wall.

On a happier note: we attended the baptism of my cousin and his wife's new daughter. They went through many years of IVF to conceive their first daughter and we found out last June that they had adopted a toddler who was in foster care. We met her for the first time today at the church and we fell instantly in love. She's a beautiful little girl and it is so obvious that their family is just over the moon. I don't know if I'm quite ready to look into adoption, but seeing their new little girl's happy face made me think that perhaps it's what we're meant to do.

So wish us luck. Hopefully we will have heat sometime before the first snowfall.

Now I'm going to eat some chocolate.

22 October 2008

Take three

This evening marks my third foray into jabbing myself in the stomach with needles. Mr. JB has just gone to the drug store (thank God it's open until midnight!) because our regular pharmacy gave him my prescription, but didn't sell him needles. Duh!

I've been really down since the cake-baking fiasco of this past weekend. My teaching partner is driving me absolutely crazy. Not only can she not speak French properly, she also lies through her teeth about how quiet and well-behaved her class is. She seems to forget that we share a wall and that I can hear EVERYTHING that is going on in her room. She had the audacity to say that her class is just good without any sort of help when we were at a meeting last week. I almost choked on my tea since the day before I heard her yelling at a student that she wasn't going to explain something to him because he needed to pay closer attention.

Yes gentle readers, she said that to a six year old.

In my class of 21 I have four kids that can't read at all and the majority are just beginning to read. She expects that all of her students function at a much higher level and she won't bend to their needs. Today my class sat in on some learning carpet activities (we use it for math reinforcement and letter recognition) after lunch. Although she took the much bigger classroom (it's one and a half my room!) there was barely any space since all of the kids had their lunches still out and there were coats and books on the floor.

I realize that I am moving a lot slower than my partner, but my students know the classroom routine. They know how to hang up their jackets, put away their lunches and snacks, and they are learning how to sit quietly and put up their hands. My class is also working on simple things like writing their names on their worksheets as well as the date. Whereas my teaching partner thinks that the students should already be writing paragraphs!

We are teaching grade one, yes?????

I keep on reminding myself that I should not get stressed out about what is going on in her classroom. I need to distance myself from the craziness that she is creating, but it is so hard for me to not feel horrible for the 22 kids in her care. I've started to tell her that my class just isn't as advanced as hers when she tries to push activities that are above grade level. I have also been telling her that my class is so bad behaved that I don't feel comfortable doing certain things that she wants to do.

My gym teacher and my librarian have both said that my class is better behaved, but I don't know if she has any idea that hers are just nuts. I really don't understand why someone would apply for a job when they don't like children. She has said numerous times that she hates teaching 6 year olds -- which makes no sense to me since the job posting said GRADE ONE FRENCH IMMERSION!!!!! Last time I checked grade one aged children were six.


I really hope that I don't strangle her before Christmas.

Mr. JB is almost home from the drug store. I'll keep you all posted.

Please send good needle vibes my way!

18 October 2008

JellyBelly bakes a (failed) cake

I've always enjoyed baking. Being allergic to both eggs and milk I've had to be a little creative and search for recipes that I can actually eat -- I didn't have chocolate cake until I was 20! I also am a little famous (mostly in my husband and my classrooms) for my vegan chocolate cupcakes. So I wasn't at all surprised that one of my friends asked me to bake her daughter's first birthday cake.

I'm also a bit of a procrastinator. I didn't try out the organic, sugar-free, gluten-free recipe until this morning, and I didn't really prepare in the event of a cake-disaster. And as Murphy's law would have it, I had a very bad first outing. I've never, ever had a cake fall apart on me in all my years of baking. Lucky for me, my kitchen has had very few casualties. I know that it's not the end of the world and that I had the time to bake a second cake (I also had enough of the very pricey ingredients).

I know that I shouldn't be resentful that my first cake fell apart when it came out of my new silicone cake pan. I also know that the only person that will be eating the cake is the birthday girl and perhaps some of the other little people that are invited to the party. Another friend is making the cake that will be consumed by the other guests, so I shouldn't be too worried about my cake.

Is this cake an allegory for my lack of baby-making ability?

In my non-babymaking life I'm pretty successful. I have a solid career, a wonderful husband and a nice home. I am surrounded by wonderful friends and a mostly sane family. The one thing that is not going my way is having a child of my own. My ideas of fairness and what should happen have been dashed too many times. Why do my friends with unstable relationships and poor finances find it so easy to pro-create? Why do my girlfriends just think about getting pregnant and a month later they are happily morning-sick?

Am I doomed to be envious my entire life? Am I supposed to just care for other people's children at school and bake cakes for birthday parties? Will I be the forever-childless woman in the room who seemingly can do whatever she wants, whenever she wants?

I don't want to be the one that my mommy friends envy because I don't have stretch marks and sleepless nights.

I have thought many, many times in the past few months that I would give all of it up: my love of shopping, my job, and maybe even yoga if I could just have one baby of my own. I'd give up the ability to sleep in and fancy meals out. I'd give up my perky little car for a mini-van. I'd give up vacations to exotic locales so I could stay home and bake cakes for my own little one.

I'd do it all in a second without looking back.

I just feel so sad that I feel like I'm never going to have a chance to do any of it.


6 October 2008

It's not easy being green

Green with envy, that is.

I was clearing off e-mails and I noticed a message from one of my friends from teachers' college. She's pregnant with her third baby.


I'm really happy for her, but after getting my period on Friday I have a serious case of the feel-me-sorries. I spent most of Saturday crying and in a total funk. Shoe shopping didn't even cheer me up!

Which brings me to another thing to rant about: it's really difficult to find cute and comfortable shoes that don't look like old lady orthopedic shoes! When I was teaching older students I could wear whatever shoes I wanted -- heels, pointy shoes, wedges, boots, you name it. Now that I'm teaching little kids and I never sit down I apparently have to ditch being fashionable.

Speaking of fashion, I've also found it really difficult to find work-appropriate clothing! Are there no clothes for thirty-somethings out there? All of the clothes that I saw at the mall were either too young or too old for me. I could either choose to wear trends that would look totally ridiculous on me, or buy clothes that my mother would wear. It looks like yet another fall of black and gray turtleneck sweaters for me!

Mr. JB and I took the day off today for an appointment with our NaproTechnology doctor and we also snuck in a visit to our Creighton Model practioner as well. Both of them reassured me that things look good and that I was being too hard on myself for not getting pregnant this cycle. I also had a lower than normal mucus score this past month which we're figuring is due to the stress of starting school again. I also forgot that it's going to take a couple of cycles with the HCG as well as the Low Dose Naltrexone to normalize all of my hormone levels. The good news is that this month was the first in years that I didn't have any brown bleeding at the start of my cycle. Yay!

Our doctor recommended that we continue with the HCG for two more cycles before we start on Clomid -- that is, if I don't get knocked up beforehand. She even gave me a requisition for Peak +17 bloodwork! I almost laughed since at this point I can't even imagine getting pregnant, but she's pretty confident that it's going to happen for us sometime. She also thinks that if we don't get pregnant in five to six cycles that she's going to recommend that I get a Laparoscopy, but we're going to wait to cross that bridge when we get to it.

So thanks to Duck and Shinejil who reminded me that it's like we're finally TTC for real now and that I shouldn't be so hard on myself.

Now I'm going to continue my search for cheap and interesting March Break vacations. It's a great way to get my mind off of being barren. Any tips out there fellow bloggers?

3 October 2008

I really don't like being barren

I've been laying low since the start of the school year for many reasons.

1) I've been so exhausted from chasing after 23 grade one students that I can barely see straight, let alone write blog posts.

2) I've been busy planning and adapting English worksheets for my class in the evenings.

3) I thought that perhaps just this once, I may have gotten pregnant.

For the first time since we started going to the Marguerite Bourgeoys Family Centre my body has finally stopped doing all the things that it wasn't supposed to. Since starting my HCG shots in August (which I bravely administered, despite my fear of needles), I had a normal seven day long period. I also didn't have any brown bleeding two months in a row. I ovulated on day 14 and had a luteal phase that lasted 14 days. We even made whoopy on the day that I ovulated.

I thought, naively, that we did all the right things.

Alas, yet again, I was wrong.

I was hoping that this month I would have good news to post. But yet again, I don't.

So all I have is the feel-me-sorries and an empty uterus. I'm not even happy that Mr. JB poured me a big glass of white wine.

I thought that I was used to the disappointment.

Apparently I'm not.

23 September 2008

My journal

My kiddies have started writing in their daily journals. Here is my entry for today:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

1. Today was a better day.

2. My students are starting to behave less like animals.

3. My father-in-law's girlfriend is crazy.

4. My mom is being less crazy.

5. I gave myself a needle last night and was so tired that I didn't have time to be scared.

6. It's sad that some students only respond to yelling.

7. I don't like to yell.

8. My teaching partner yells all the time.

9. I'm not ready to put on socks, but it's getting too cool to not wear them.

10. Thank God for yoga.

I tried to be as neat as possible and I used my index finger to space out the words. Hopefully I get a sticker!

14 September 2008

Full to overflowing

First off, I apologize that I have been absent from the bloggosphere. I've tried hard to keep up with the IF world since school has started, but the little buggers are running me ragged and I can barely keep my eyes open past 9pm. I had no idea that the learning curve from grades five and six to grade one would be this steep! I also fear that hanging around 22 six year olds (and soon to be 23 tomorrow morning!) has made clear, linear thought quite difficult. So here's a list of what has been going on in my crazy life since the first day of school, and my there's quite a few reasons to be frustrated!

1. I discovered that despite loving little kids that spending the school day with six year olds is really tiring. Ten years ago this coming January, I taught my first class in grad school as a TA. I remember that I was very scared to face a class of undergrads, but it doesn't compare to the fear I've felt facing my current class. The first couple of days of school I was overcome with regret at leaving my old school and my old position -- a grade that I could teach with my hands tied behind my back and hopping on one foot! But I do have to admit that it's pretty cool to see the little guys learning so quickly. In two weeks they've picked up more French than my junior level classes did in a whole term of school!

2. I've learned that six year olds can be really violent. I've had one particular student in the office every day and the incidents that he's been involved in have been progressively more and more vicious. Mr. JB has nicknamed him Killer K (after the recently deceased wrestler) and frighteningly enough it fits. We started the school year with him hitting kids in the schoolyard to refusing to do work and putting his feet up on his desk! Then last week he threw a kid in grade three down to the ground during recess, a kid that is a head and a half taller than him!

Trying to be proactive, I invited his mom (who I've spoken to every day since the first day of school) to come in so we could discuss his behaviour in hopes of finding a way to work together proactively before things got worse. Unfortunately, the meeting with his parents didn't dissuade Killer K because seventeen minutes before the dismissal bell on Thursday he stabbed a kid in the arm with a pencil. Apparently the other kid got in his way while he was copying off of the board.

Lucky for me my new principal is great and he dealt with Killer K right away. He spoke to Killer's mom right after school (I had to send her to the office since they wouldn't let him go back to class after the incident) and he didn't sugarcoat the situation. The kid will be spending recess in the office tomorrow and hopefully will not maim anyone. I hope.

3. In light of my new job I've also been doubting my effectiveness as a teacher. I've spent a lot of time blaming myself for the behaviours of my students (i.e. their inability to stay still and sit at their desks for more than 2 minutes, and of course, beating one another up!). It took a really good cry last Thursday and a couple of visits to the other grade one teachers to believe that it's the kids, not me. I've adjusted my approach and I've decided to use the "go quiet" approach rather than talk over the kiddies and it seems to be working. There's been a lot getting the kids to put their heads down rather than lecturing them on how to behave. I've also started to tell them that, "It makes Madame sad when you don't listen to her." And it works!

I also have to remember that I have to teach my students how to be grade ones and that they need lots of breaks. I do know that they love to sing and dance, both things that I enjoy doing and that I have to praise them a lot when they do things right.

4. My teaching partner is nuts. She's teaching the other French Immersion class and we're next door to one another. Not only is she way too intense, she spends her day yelling at her class, keeping them in at recess when they don't complete their work (and sometimes when she doesn't finish her lesson, she doesn't let them go outside or let them have their snack!).

I think she's forgotten that most of her class doesn't know how to read when she makes them do activities that are way too complicated (activities that I've adapted to be simpler so my class can feel a sense of some success!). Although we plan together and I've tried to be as diplomatic as possible, she can't seem to recognize that six year olds aren't little robots that will bend to her will.

Last week she even complained that she hated six year olds -- "I hate this age! I hated when my kids were this age!" were her exact words. Now, in the job posting it clearly said grade one French Immersion so most people could surmise that she would be teaching little kids. What frightens me is that she just wants to barrel through her lessons without regard for the needs of her class. I don't have a ton of experience teaching primary aged children, but I can acknowledge when my students need to have some free time. And yes, she's a mom. I honestly thought that someone that has parented two children that were once six years old could be a little more patient.

Oh yeah, she also makes basic mistakes when she speaks French, but I won't get into that here.

It's going to be a long year.

5. I miss my friends from my old school. Although my new staff is really great and supportive (staff that my teaching partner hasn't made an effort to meet, btw), it's been a difficult adjustment. I'm experiencing the growing pains that my class is, but I'm not stabbing anyone in the arm with a pencil!

Friday was a PD day so my girlfriends from my old school paid me a visit Friday afternoon when their meetings were done. They helped me do a couple things in my classroom while I planned with my teaching partner (who seemed kinda pissy that my girlfriends were there, have I mentioned that she's also pretty miserable?). It was fun to show them my new classroom and to see familiar faces. The pedicure also helped my spirits!

6. My back is feeling much better from my fall at the cottage. It took a couple visits to the chiropractor (who I'm making rich with my clumsiness!) and taking it easy at yoga. It was a pretty painful few days of school, but I don't even notice the pain when I'm teaching! I think my body is telling me that I need to take it easy while I'm learning my new position.

7. My cycle seems to have gone back to "normal". My period lasted seven days (down from fourteen a couple of months ago!) and for all of your Creighton Model people out there, I've had three dry days! I've never used so many green stickers! I finished my low dose antibiotics that my doctor put me on for my ureaplasma and aside from the yeast infection, I've really noticed a difference. I've also started taking Low Dose Naltrexone to combat the brown bleeding and spotting. I'm less than a week away from giving myself the HCG injections, but I'm not scared at all since it actually worked! Could we really be almost ready to actually TTC again? It seems like my body is starting to show me that it's ready to actual function the way it's supposed to!

8. I had an interesting conversation with one of my friends from church today. Mr. JB and I returned to our parish to celebrate the blessing of our new statue (the old one was vandalized a couple of years ago and the replacement was just installed and it's beautiful!) since we attended our regular earlier mass. We're become very active members of our church since we were married three years ago -- I'm on a few committees, he's a Knight of Columbus, we're ushers, so we know quite a few people. I was talking to one of my friends from the Social Justice Committee and I joked that we should probably have a baby so we can get out of some of our commitments (this is something that Mr. JB and I have talked about many, many times). Well, my friend B said, "You know only God can make a baby. It took M and I five years to have our first." And the lady that we were standing in said, "Don't worry, you still have time. You've only been trying for three years, you're not ready yet."

I'm taking this as a positive sign.

I really hope that all of my rambling made sense. I send hugs and love to all of you and although I may not be commenting on your blogs, I'm trying my best to keep up.

Now I'm off to plan out some fun math activities! Hopefully this upcoming week will be better than the last two!

p.s. I've recently discovered that I can drink white wine again. I may have been indulging quite a bit since school has started. Woohoo!

p.p.s. The news of Sarah McLachlan's marriage breaking up has gotten me really sad. I think that she's a phenomenal artist. I don't usually get caught up in celebrity romances, but I think it's her Canadian-ness that makes me feel like she's part of my family. Her last studio album, Afterglow, was released around the time I met Mr. JB and it coincided with a really happy time in both of our lives. I wanted our first dance at our wedding to be her song, Push, but we ended up choosing another song. It's too bad that she didn't find her happy ending when I did.

2 September 2008

What have I gotten myself into???

One down, 193 to go.

I apologize in advance if this entry makes no sense.

Let me preface this with the fact that I've been a teacher since 1999. I've taught university aged students to pre-schoolers on two continents. But I've never, ever been this tired after one day of school.

One school day with twenty-two six year olds wore me out!

Not only was a attacked by way too many eager parents this morning in the school yard, but I spent more time refereeing little kid behaviour than teaching! I've got a couple of firecrackers that I am sure that are going to make me hoarse on a regular basis and some kids that had no idea that they were in a French Immersion class, let alone a school!

Griping aside, the kids were pretty cute! I've never held hands with students while walking down the hall and I've never had kids fight to get to the front of the line so they could be beside me! I had a couple of little girls give me compliment my clothes, hair, necklace and shoes (they were invading my personal space, but hey, they're six!).

I'm definitely going to miss students that are independent and that don't need me to do everything for them. I also think that the tattle telling is also going to get on my nerves, but nothing can beat the excited little faces that greeted me this morning. The kiddies thought that it was pretty funny when I put up my hand too when I asked who was nervous and scared to come to school. And there are already a couple of kids that I want to hide in my briefcase and take home!

I do know that I'm going to have to go to bed at least two hours earlier since I had to take a nap after school in order to speak in coherent sentences.

My goal for tomorrow is to teach my class not to call me Miss Madame and to keep the kids from eating their lunch at snack time.

Baby steps, yes?

1 September 2008


The HCG injections have worked! I'm on cycle day 29 and no sign of AF anywhere! I haven't had a cycle free of brown bleeding in so long I can't even remember when the last one was! So I guess that the needles that I administered myself and the antibiotics for ureaplasma have done their job.


So tomorrow marks the end of my summer vacation. I know that I shouldn't complain about going back to work when I've been off since the end of June, but every Labour Day I feel like the summer has gone too fast. I am so glad that we were away for most of July since August was just a blur.

I'm pretty excited about starting my new adventure with little grade ones. I know that it will be a school year full of challenges, but of new experiences. I think that I'm going to have so many funny stories to share -- can you imagine teaching six year olds how to speak French? It's going to be hilarious!

So happy end of summer everyone! Can you see me waving goodbye to my summer vacation?

29 August 2008

Capsizing kayaks

It's a gray and rainy on Shingwak Island, so I've spent the morning finishing up the last bits for my class. I've finished labeling and putting together my communication folders for each of the kiddies, and I've start my communication binder. I'm relieved to know that my desk arrived and will be ready to set up on Tuesday morning and that I have enough activities copied for the first couple weeks of school.

I arrived at the island after three and a half hours of very scenic driving down the 401 East. After spending July in Europe I am reminded at how absolutely beautiful Ontario is. I found myself looking at the lush, green trees and marveling at the beauty of it all. We're going on a kayak tour of the 1000 Islands later on in September and I'm looking forward to seeing the leaves change colour.

I started my first full day on the island with quite a bang yesterday. Aside from swimming, there are plenty of other water toys that guests can enjoy. First Mr. JB, fresh from his drive back from NYC, and I paddle boated back to our cars to retrieve my sunglasses then I decided that going on a little kayaking adventure would be the most fun way to spend my time. Little did I know that the kayak in easy reach was not docked in the most convenient place for entry. Since I did kayaking lessons last summer I felt pretty confident that I could get in and paddle away.

Alas I was quite wrong.

I tried to get into the flat-bottomed kayak and immediately started to teeter back and forth. In an effort to steady myself I grabbed onto one of rungs on the bridge to the dock and after about 17 seconds of hanging on for dear life I head the board start to crack. Before I knew it I was in the water. Thank God I put on my life-jacket!

Not to be deterred I decided that I was going to go to the other side of the bridge and try to get in again, and I proceeded to flip the kayak a second time. This time I needed help to empty the kayak of all the water since it was so crazy heavy with all of the water it took on. Thank goodness my best friend's hubby volunteered his water removing expertise or else I would still be scooping water out! I had no idea that there was a valve at the end of the kayak to let all of the water out.

Well, after three tries (and with some assistance) I finally got into the kayak and got to putter around the lake. I almost tipped in when a blood-thirsty deer fly tried to take a chunk out of my leg, but I successfully swatted it away while keeping upright.

After my little jaunt I decided to go for a little dip in the very cold lake which was fun, but kind of slimy. The island is on Pine Lake and has quite a rocky bottom so we have to wear water shoes to avoid injury. The rest of the day was spent lazing around, visiting town for groceries and learning how to play Euchre.

Honestly, I could stay here forever!

So aside from the sore shoulder and the bruised pride, I'm having a great time. I can't say enough about how glad I am to have finished all of my classroom preparations early. I'm thinking that it's going to be a yearly occurrence. I'm trying not to think too hard about the end of the summer and what that means.

On the infertility front: I gave myself the third needle of HCG Wednesday and I will be giving myself the last one tonight. I'm thinking that it's making a difference since my period has not come as of yet. When I was on the oral progesterone my period always came around now, and there's no sign of it. I really hope that these needles are doing their job!

Just cross your fingers that it stops raining so we can go outside!


Update: I just fell down the stairs and banged my back on some rocks. I haven't been this accident prone in a very long time. OUCH!!!!! I visited my RMT on Monday and she fixed my back all up for the first week of school, I really hope that all of the good stuff didn't get undone by my fall.

Perhaps I do have to go back to the 'burbs...

25 August 2008

Two down! Two more to go!

I just gave myself my second HCG shot and it was not as bad as the first. I was in such a rush that I forgot to numb the spot on the left side of my belly with ice. I was so focused about getting the medicine into the syringe that I bent the first needle! It took me two tries to get the needle into my skin, but I almost didn't feel it going in (despite having to watch it go in! eek!).

I do have say that although my doctor said that it wouldn't hurt, I definitely have still have a very, very dull pain on the right side of my belly where I gave myself needle one and I do feel some numbness in the left side as well. I guess that doctors have to say that needles won't hurt even though they always do!

Although I feel very accomplished after administering my first two shots, but I am so glad that Mr. JB will be giving me needles three and four.

I had a good meeting today with the other Immersion teachers. We planned out our first week and I have a clearer vision of how things are going to work with the new class. I also adapted a first day activity that was given to me at a workshop and I passed it out to the others. I'm so glad that instead of worrying about every minute detail (like the other teachers) I'm actually doing something to help the situation. I have never been the calm one in most teaching situations, but I'm so glad that I'm an observer to their madness and not a participant!

I'm so looking forward to Wednesday when I head out to my best friend's family's cottage until Saturday. I'm so happy that I pushed myself to finish up my classroom set-up so I can have some downtime before I set off in my grade one adventure. Maybe getting the next two shots on the idyllic Shingwak (I think that's how they spelled it!) Island, won't make it so painful!