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Fun with Words

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My book club (yes I am in a book club because I don’t read as much as I would like and this would force me to read at least one book a month whether I wanted to or not) read Eat, Pray, Love for the month of May and although I had read it YEARS ago and seen the Julia Roberts version while bawling over an ex boyfriend into a bag of popcorn, I decided to read it again to remind myself the difference between the actually story and Hollywood’s adaptation. The part that stood out for me (besides the long drawn out history of culture, museums, religion and food) was when she was in Italy and she was talking to one of her Italian friends about what her WORD was. They came up with the word for Rome, New York, her friend etc, etc, but it took her until almost the end of the section on Italy to come up with her word – which was attraversiamo “let’s cross over”. This was a great word for her, because throughout the book she is constantly changing paths, changing her mind and crossing into her destiny.

All these words made me think of my own word, of Toronto’s word, of Ajax’s word and with that I spoke to the girls in my club.

One friends word was CREATE which is perfect because she is an artistic, scrapbooking genius who creates these amazing pinterest boards and is the envy of the less creative me. Another friends word is CHAOTIC – because her life (work and home) is a bit of a crazy insanity right now. She is working long hours (like sometimes 20 hours a day) and her beautiful little girl and hubby are consistently sick so life for her – at this point and time is CHAOTIC. My third book club buddy was given a word – because she’s hilariously inappropriate at the best of times and her word is #NOFILTER (yes with the # included).

We talked about Toronto’s word (since all of us are originally from the GTA and after discussing various options (RUDE, CHAOTIC, TRAFFIC, GROW, AMBITION etc) we (well I) think DIVERSE fits it bet. I mean we are probably the most diverse city in the world with our ethnicities, religion, food and incomes. So I like DIVERSE as being at the heart of soul of Toronto.

I couldn’t for the life of me decide on my word though…there were options of course HOMEOWNER, PASSION, WOOSAI, REALITY, FRIEND, all of these fit, but don’t fully capture my essence, who I am. A year ago it would have been proudly been DADDYS GIRL no question, but that isn’t who I am anymore. I had hoped it would be MOTHER, but that’s not true either. 4 years ago it could have been ANXIOUS because my anxiety took over a huge chunk of my life to the point where getting out of bed was painful yet necessary, but with therapy and medication I am in a much different place now.

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So without a word, I am a DRIFTER maybe? I mean I have friends, I have family, but I don’t truly belong with either group anymore. I float along where requested never feeling settled. I bought a home that I love, yet I dream of packing it all up and moving far away, wishing I had the option, but with a home, a job I couldn’t get elsewhere and a dog who is crazy about me, I am GROUNDED. What’s a girl to do?

Having put my own word search on hold, I came home from book club thinking about Ajax’s word. I haven’t lived here long, so deciding on a word for this town seems superficial. How can I judge a town I haven’t begun to explore? I haven’t eaten at its hidden gems, I haven’t shopped at its stores and I haven’t truly walked down its sidewalks and through its trails. I need more time. However one word that comes to mind is COMMUNITY because it seems every weekend I see signs for community events that are being hosted by one group or another. However I want to give it time before I jump in and label it as such.

What about you – what would your word be? What hits you at your core? Think about it and let me know…

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Love

Nicole

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Because I’m not a mother…

Because I am not a mother I have a lot of free time on my hands to be a great (surrogate) aunt to lots of little ones and this past weekend was no exception!

My heart and soul is always with Julia, my beautiful five-year old whose parents know I will always and forever treat her like my own; she made getting through my fathers funeral a little more bearable because she was there.  I don’t get to spend nearly as much time with her as I would like and now that I have moved out to Ajax the time between our visits has gotten longer, but she is NEVER far from my thoughts and ALWAYS in my heart.  We have an insane connection that no one can understand and I am just so glad her mom and dad respect and accept it!  I think they love it actually cause they aren’t super close to family so I am also like a little sister to them!

Anyway, this weekend, on Sunday I finally had plans to spend the day with her family and we made up for lost time!  We also planned a flower party she wants to have with her little friends this summer.  Thank you to Pinterest for making this party planning possible!  Julia, her mom and I planned everything and then advised her dad (who was the original genius behind the idea, but who is a little better at delegating than planning) who gave it the green light and now I know I will get to see my little muffin top (cause muffin tops are the best part of the muffin) next month too!

Yesterday I was blessed to spend time with both of my friend Kims kids because her oldest (who’s 4) had a t-ball game and since Yoga was cancelled due to the holiday I got to attend.  I also got to snuggle and feed her youngest (2 months) because Kim was helping with the t-ball game!  So all in all last night was a GREAT night!

I spent time with their family after the game to watch fireworks too and there was so many little kiddies around and really just sitting around talking to Kim topped off a weekend high!

This weekend would have been a lot different had I had a newborn baby to take care of.  Please don’t get me wrong, I still want my own child, more now than ever, but while I am not pregnant and have no responsibility but to myself and Simba, I am going to ensure I get as much “auntie” time with the little ones as possible…

Love

Nicole

9

Who knew dating was THIS hard!!!???

It has been a sad, lonely, two and a half years since I’ve “dated” anyone.

That is a very long time not to feel the intimacy only a couple can share, so I went back on Eharmony a few weeks ago “just to see” and was almost immediately contacted by a guy who seemed “real”.  AKA not catfishing, and nice so we completed all the guided communication steps and went straight through to text messaging. Now I know people say you should talk on the phone to make a real connection, but unless I have something urgent to say or you are family I rarely talk on the phone anymore. This is not 1999!

Anyway, our texts were long and went on for days when FINALLY he asked me to a movie Tuesday. I was excited – so excited, but I didn’t want to share this news with everyone because I didn’t want to jinx anything. I didn’t want to have to explain if it didn’t go well. So I told two people for safety purposes (you can never be to careful) – my friend Kim and my friend Agnes.

*****Earlier that day, I was also dealing with my realtor trying to sell my father’s house and he needed some information from my brother so I left an urgent message at 5:00 telling him to call me immediately. Why am I telling you this??? Because this message caused shit to hit the fan – but I’ll get to that in a minute – just remember I left him an urgent message for him to call me back at 5:00 and I called Kim and Agnes around 7:00 about my date.

I met Eharmony (really I am not telling you his name at this point) at 7:15 at the movie theater and the movie we wanted to see that started at 7:40 was already full so we decided to see Spider-man at 8:20. We had an hour to sit and talk and conversation flowed so smoothly and really just confirmed to me that I really liked this guy. When the movie started he put his arm over my shoulder and I held my hand on his thigh. There was butterflies! I was excited! YAY! My first date is FOREVER and it was going well! I came out of the movie and decided I should check my phone to see if my brother had ever decided to call me back and to advise Kim and Agnes by text that I was alive and well.

I had 29 missed phone calls. I had 26 missed text messages. I stopped Eharmony quickly and started panicking…what had happened, was my mom okay, was Simba okay?? Did my house burn down…I didn’t leave a candle lit did I ? HOLY CRAP! My anxiety was rising in front of a guy I had just met!

I was about to walk out to call someone (at this point I hadn’t even checked who had called or texted) when my phone buzzed and it was Kim asking if I was okay and where was I?  I quickly told her I was fine and at the movie with Eharmony. She told me people were at my house and that some friends and family had been looking for me all night…at first I didn’t believe her…but than I started to wonder…was the emergency me??

WHAT? My friend Dawn than called and asked where I was and if I was okay…her boyfriend Matt was on his way to Ajax to find me (but I wasn’t lost? I was now confused?)

I realized that somehow people thought me being on this date meant I had ended up meeting a crazy man who killed me and left me in a ditch…I had to say a sad goodbye to Eharmony because besides Matt, my ex-boyfriend was also on his way to find me and the idea of either of those men pulling up to me and Eharmony (who people thought had killed me) in the parking lot was too much for me to stand. Thankfully Eharmony pulled me into an amazing first kiss goodbye and I quickly jumped into my car and drove home calling Kim to find out WHAT. THE. FUCK. HAPPENED.

Here is the somewhat insane version of the story I have gotten from all the people involved:

My brother got my voice message around 7:15-7:30 and I guess thought I sounded upset or that I was crying so when he couldn’t reach me by phone or text (I was in the theater with my phone in my purse) he asked his wife Tammy to listen to it and she confirmed I sounded really upset – NOTE: I was whispering because I was at work.

Tammy somehow or for some reason called my friend April, who got a hold of my friend Nancy through Facebookwho drove to my house and then called Erin who called Kim (and I think Matt and my ex were both contacted by my sister-in-law) and every one of those people were calling, texting and driving to my house (Kim drove to the movie theater and saw my car). Now my brother had also called my mother and really – the last thing she needs is to think her poor, single daughter is lying in a ditch raped and murdered by an online predator (which FYI Eharmony is not any of those things). It wasn’t until MUCH later that Kim put together the timeline with my phone call to my brother and my phone call to her and realized my call to her was TWO HOURS after my call to him and had nothing to do with my date with Eharmony so called off the hounds friends.

WTF? I was so embarrassed and had to text and call people back all night until way past midnight (and we all remember how much I love phone conversations) and then pray that Eharmony wouldn’t think I was insane or incapable of having a night out and that he would want to see me again).

Thankfully after returning home and walking my dog (who had become anxious when Nancy was at my house knocking on the door) and calming him down, Eharmony texted me to say goodnight and that he had a great time. I apologized for the quick ending of the date and said goodnight figuring he would never message me again.

He did…the next day and every day since. We are seeing each other again tomorrow and I am so glad cause I like this guy…is he the “one”, who knows what that even means anymore…but is he nice and kind and sweet and have a lot of qualities I am looking for – yes! So time will tell…

And my family and friends…well they have all been disowned…

 

 

 

Just kidding, I love each of them so much and am overwhelmed by how much they care!

 

Love

Nicole

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Happy (belated) Mothers Day

Yesterday I was awoken by a text from an ex boyfriend who I have remained friends with wishing me a Happy Mother’s day. It was a bittersweet wake up call espcially since he lives in Alberta and the time difference meant he was up WAY early!

Don’t get me wrong, it was so nice of him to think of me and send out the message and I received many more messages throughout the day in person or over Facebook, but it got me thinking…

Should I be wished a Happy Mother’s Day because I am a woman???

I am not a mother and I have NO idea what it is like to constantly worry 24/7 for another human being who is completely defenseless. I have not woken up at 12 and 2 and 4 and 6 to feed my newborn child. I have not had to change diapers 10 + times a day dealing with a mess and a stench so bad it curls the strongest women’s stomachs! I have not had to choose between a new toy or outfit for my child over a manicure/pedicure. I have not had to worry about buying diapers or finding a sitter so I can have one night out. I have not gone nine months while my body physically distorts into something I don’t recognize in the mirror. I have not had to stay up holding my child as they projectile vomit from a fever. I have not had to think about anyone other than myself my entire life.

Then a friend reminded me that I am Simba’s mom. Well that’s not really true either. I am his adopted human mom, but he was born to a dog that is “dictionary specific” his birth mother. #mykidhasfur has become a very popular hash tag lately and in many ways I see the connection.

  1. I can’t just pick up and leave for a weekend whenever I want to. Unless I can bring Simba, someone needs to take care of him while I am gone. He cannot be left alone. HOWEVER, he can be left alone for a few hours at a time so it’s not so much an inconvenience for people to watch him for me as it would a baby who needs constant eyes and attention.
  2. When Simba was sprayed by the skunk and he spent half the night hacking up a lung, I was awake patting him until he calmed down enough to sleep even though he stunk and I had to buy new sheets the next day.
  3. I have to ensure Simba has food and water at all times. I can’t just decide not to buy him food if he has run out. I need to prepare ahead of time to ensure that his food is in stock 24/7
  4. I may not have to change diapers, but I need to ensure he gets outside enough to pee (about 4-6 times a day) and poop (1-2 times a day). I need to then be a good neighbor and ensure I pick it up in a doggy bag and throw it in the garbage.
  5. When I see a really cute doggy sweater or a new toy that I know Simba would love, I buy it! Which means, maybe next week I won’t be getting the manicure I want because dog stuff is a business and it’s an expensive business.
  6. I take as many pictures of Simba being cute as most people do of their kids…and then I gush about how cute he is and I beam with pride when others comment about how amazing he is!

WOW I am a doggy momma!

However I am not a baby momma (that sounds so ghetto, but you know what I mean). I had such hopes last year that by this year I’d either be a momma or at least pregnant, getting ready to celebrate the birth of my baby. But that dream has been difficult. It hasn’t worked out – yet. I am going to start another vicious cycle in June including hormones (Clomid) and pray that it works out for me. If not, then I have one more vial of donor sperm which I will use in July and then I have some tough decisions to make. I don’t know what to do after that.

  1. Keep trying IUI and purchase more donor sperm – using a different donor maybe?
  2. Try IVF with a donor – which is MUCH more expensive and offers no guarantee either
  3. Put my name on the CAS Adoption list and start that long process

Either way, I am meant to be a mother, not just Simbas mother (though I take SO much pride in that role) but a baby’s mother.

Time will tell

Happy Mothers Day to the pet mommy’s and human mommy’s – we are all blessed with love!

Love

Nicole

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I’m on my way to being a Yogi!

Okay, I am not actually going to be a Yogi. I mean, when I saw my instructor I knew I would never look like that or feel like that cause she was all spiritual and Namaste and breath in, breath out. I am more – where is the couch, that cake looks good and let’s nap. 

However, after going through the actual worst year of my life, I am rebounding and starting to feel again and sometimes those feelings are hard to process and I know Yoga has done A LOT for my friends that actually do consider themselves Yogis and one has even gone on Yoga retreats to Costa Rica and she ate healthy all week and did Yoga at Sunrise – which to me sounds insane. Costa Rica is for food, alcohol and sun tanning no?? But, she is also an amazing woman so I took her LONG overdue advice and joined a beginners Yoga class at Balanced Life Yoga in Ajax, ON. about a three-minute drive from my house.

I missed the first week because I had Matt and Dawn coming over with stuff from my Scarborough house so I didn’t go. I actually felt guilt – like I was being cruel, to myself!

So last night, even though I was tired and I would have given my inheritance to stay home and do nothing, I drove out to the studio where I had to remove my shoes before coming in and met one of the nicest women I have met in a long time. I am thinking her name was Rachel – how stupid I don’t remember her name right?? Well I was a little overwhelmed, I mean I had a fancy Yoga mat that my Yogi friend from above gave me *lulu lemon* and I had a bottle of water, I was wearing sweat pants and a t-shirt that made me feel fat and not at all like the slim, tights wearing beauty in front of me, so ya, I didn’t pay close enough attention to her name and of course I am regretting this now!

She introduced me to the studio and I felt so calm, yet radiated nerves all at the same time. The class started at 8:00 and there was only four of us – three women and a guy. The month of May at Balanced Life is focusing on Mindfulness which is pretty cool and Rachel (?) advised us that our breathe would be the most important part of our practice. We needed to breath in through the nose and out through the nose – I don’t breath out the nose often, when I am focused I usually breath out through my mouth so I had to really pay attention to what I was doing and when.

The rest of the class we worked on sun salutations and my wrists and legs were shaking, I am a heavier girl and placing any sort of weight on my wrists and my calves was difficult, but I survived the hour and left happy and relaxed.

I had a lot of misconceptions about Yoga and the thing that had me interested was reading the article written by an instructor at Balanced Life Yoga and placed on their website:

7 Things Every Yoga Teacher Wants to Tell a Beginner Yogi

by Katy Callaghan of Balanced Life Yoga

1. Downward Dog will not always be this difficult.

We’ve all been there. Your hands start sweating and sliding along the mat, your arms turn to Jello, and you curse your teacher for suggesting that Downward Dog is a restorative posture. I assure you, your wrists will not always hurt in this pose, and eventually, as you get stronger, learn correct technique, and stick with it, you will find Downward Facing Dog is a more restful posture. Yogi’s promise!

2. Make connections.

Yoga is all about community. Although your practice is very personal, it can also be an avenue to meeting new, like-minded individuals. Next time you come to class, smile at the person sitting next to you – you may just make a new yoga friend.

3. You don’t need to look cool to practice yoga.

Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with loving your new microfiber yoga top, but being decked out in the latest yoga wear from head-to-toe does not enhance your ability to practice yoga. All you need is clothing that you feel comfortable in, and you’re set to go.

4. When you listen to your body, your instructor wants to hug you!

When you decide to modify a pose to make it easier on yourself, you are practicing a very important part of yoga: kindness. There is no scripture in yoga philosophy that tells us we must wrench our body into a pretzel in order to reach an enlightened state. Instead, the practice of yoga encourages us to listen to our body, and practice the poses with proper technique. So next time you feel as if you’re pushing your body past its limits, consider using a prop, or taking a different option so you can practice the pose correctly, and with kindness.

5. No one cares.

Ok, so this might sound a little harsh, but no one really cares what your poses look like. Yes, your yoga instructor cares for your safety and comfort in class, but he or she won’t judge you if your posture isn’t perfect. Perfect is boring.

During class, your mat is like an island: the only person you need to worry about on your island is you. Sure, the girl in front of you may be swinging her legs around her head like a Cirque-de-Soleil performer, but that has nothing to do with your yoga journey. And let’s face it, she’s probably too busy wondering how to get her foot unwrapped from her head to worry about what you look like!

6. Don’t underestimate your breath.

When you first start practicing yoga, you may wonder what all of this breathing business is about. Don’t you breathe all day, every day? Well, the answer is yes, but do you pay attention to your breath? Do you know that breath has an amazing potential to calm your mind and body? Yoga practice transforms something we take for granted every day into something very powerful. So go ahead, breathe!

7. It’s common to think Savasana is the hardest yoga pose.

Your yoga instructor decides it is a good day to practice all of the standing strength Warrior poses, and your legs are ready for the sweet surrender of Savasana. Seems simple, right? You settle in, relax your entire body onto the mat, and enjoy the soothing music in the background. Ahhh…serenity. But wait, did you take the chicken out of the freezer to thaw? What route will you take home? How can you convince your husband to take a yoga class with you? What’s that creaking noise?

***So after reading through these 7 things for beginners of Yoga to know, the wording had me intrigued and I decided to take the plunge – I am not sure how long I will do this for – hopefully forever…hopefully. If not, than I am so grateful to BLY for introducing me to a new concept, a new state of being. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

For more info visit their website at www.balancedlifeyoga.ca

Namaste,

Nicole