Archive for September 2009


Fraser’s having his surgery today – the consultant has obviously read the same research as we have as he said everything we’d hoped to hear and made us feel like we were in good hands. We didn’t need to say anything other than yes, please! It turns out they had two cancellations for today too so we’re heading in to the hospital in a couple hours and will hopefully be home not too late tonight. (But we wont be updating the site until at least tomorrow).

lies I tell myself

atthebeach1While chatting with another mum, I found myself spouting a lie. “Really, I’m glad it’s me who gets to stay home. I’d be miserable working full time and only seeing them evenings and weekends.” As the words came out, I realized that it’s not true. I was miserable when I was working but that’s because Duncan was unhappy at nursery and I felt like he was missing out on all sorts of things, especially free imaginative play (which they are messing about with right now – I’m seeing a strange combination of objects being dragged into the playroom). But if I was passionate about my job and knew that my kids were at home with their father, I don’t think I’d feel bad at all. In a way I do feel like Cory gets the best of both worlds.

I’m slightly relieved to discover that I’m still a feminist at heart (both parents equal), but I’m sad that I unconsciously feel the need to lie to myself about staying home with the boys. It needs to be done, and there’s days where it’s heaven (see photo), but there’s no point in tricking myself into believing that it’s the only thing that will make me happy. I am happy, and I’m starting to see this as an opportunity for me to develop in new ways, but I don’t want to buy into the mother-stereotype and forget that there’s a ‘me’ under all this ‘mother’.

Fraser’s got an appointment at the hospital next Tuesday – fingers crossed.

no crying allowed, ideally at least



This is a tough post to start – not because of the content, but because I don’t have the words to explain how I feel about it. I’ve started and stopped a couple times already, searching for the right tone and the right introduction, but, here goes: Bluntly, Fraser’s got a hernia and will need an operation. It’s not bothering him in any way, but a bit of his bowel is slipping into his groin and obviously that’s not a good thing. The risk, albeit very small, is that the bowel could strangulate (get twisted) and then Fraser would need emergency surgery within about a day to make sure the bowel doesn’t die. However this is very unlikely and actually we’re probably looking at a 1-3 month wait for day surgery. We’ll know a lot more once we speak to the consultant and hopefully that will be in the next two weeks.

In some ways this news is a relief. Inguinal hernias are very common and we knew something was wrong. As much as I might have held out hope for a non-surgical solution, this is pretty mild I guess. 95% of the time I’m confident that everything will go just fine and that Fraser’s exactly the same robust little boy he was before his diagnosis.

The other 5% of the time I’m a blubbery fool. He’s my baby, my wee one, and he’ll have to go under anaesthetic. I do not like that idea. There’s also the fact that the bowel protrudes more when he gets upset. All of a sudden, I don’t want him to cry. I can’t bear the thought of swimming on Thursdays because he screams when we shower. I don’t want to leave him upset, even when I know he’s just trying it on, because it makes the hernia worse. My whole attitude about him and his health is a bit rocked.

Right-Top: Flying Lessons! We spent the weekend with friends at their lodge near Aviemore and one of the highlights for the boys was seeing Pete fly his glider and getting a chance to sit in the cockpit and pretend it was their turn in the air.

Right-Bottom: A View Like This. The view from the deck of the lodge was exceptional – surpassed only by the hospitality. It was a wonderful weekend and a great break from daily worries.


7:00 am
earlymorningSleepy-headed, pj’d boy: where’s daddy?
Coffee clutching mother: gone to work.
S-HPJB: Is today a school day then?
CCM: Yes.
S-HPJB: Yeah!!!!

Thank goodness. I am really struggling with the loss of a separate identity at the moment and it’s too easy to be bitter about the loss of my career. Seeing women who have family childcare or make enough to employ a nanny can make me very jealous after a whole week of struggling to entertain two boys without resorting to Cbeebies. And Cory was offshore last weekend so it’s been a long stretch of on-duty parenting. But Duncan is in a school setting he loves, Fraser is a very happy chap, and I’m doing the right thing for my family. Having this non-decision confirmed as the right one is very nice.

15. rear view


It’s been pretty hard to get a photo of Fraser’s face this month, mainly because he’s spent the month squealing with joy as he runs away from me. Cheeky monkey, but in an absolutely innocent way. One of my favourite things about this age is the inability to really be bad; he lives in the moment and runs for the joy of running.

We’ve had a rough couple days though, Fraser’s had a rash and been feeling generally unwell and it was diagnosed as a late reaction to his MMR vaccine. It blew away his independence and he spent two days demanding to be held or throwing himself on the ground in anguish. Today he’s back to himself – thank goodness.

New skill – climbing everything, including bookcases, tables, chairs, and combinations of all three.

the perils of upgrading

gardens Oops. Sometimes upgrading is a very good thing, but sometimes it means you screw up all your templates. I’m working on a new layout now since we’re well due a redesign. Anyone know how to format the text so that it doesn’t run the full width of the page (keeping in mind that the img is just placed to the right using a p img {} note in the style sheet)?

I’m excited about the return to a layout that allows lots of banner options – vertical was just too hard to design. Remember these? Sept 2006, Nov 2006, 2004, and the all time best one, the Vancouver skyline.

I’ll be fiddling for the next few days setting up the site the way we like it. But not tonight. Cory’s just back from three nights offshore and I’m looking forward having my hotwater bottle back. (Summer is officially over here).

purple-stained fingers and muddy boots


The brambles are in season and we picked as many as we could find, eating them all on the spot. Fraser especially loves them and Duncan feeds him happily. “Here you go Fraser!” Then we play in the mud, pretending to get stuck and dragging each other out with a stick. This is why I’m staying at home. This is better than an office. But then an hour later I’m dragging a crying kid home for lunch. He wants to stay and watch some workmen on the side of a busy road; his little brother is hungry and he needs to get ready for pre-school. Parenthood never has a perfect day, just perfect moments.

Fraser brings me his shoes at 7:30 am, his eyes asking to play outside, but Duncan isn’t even awake. My horrible sleeping first-born now sleeps like a teenager, although since his brother is up two hours earlier, it is wasted on us. Duncan’s first morning words are “lets go for a walk”. My boys love outside.

I know we’ve made the right decision and there’s a sense of relief this week. But then I’m still writing up a CV to try to get some contract work, a few hours here and there. A four-year gap in employment before Fraser starts school terrifies me. And when I meet some of the other mothers at the school gate and they’re working part time I feel a smidgeon like a failure. Why couldn’t we make it work? I know the reasons: D not enjoying nursery, my civil servant salary not enough to pay a nanny, too much on our plates without family nearby… They’re real reasons. I’m still just getting my head around my new role though.