Saturday, October 17, 2009

Off and Running... no wait, still crawling.

We're on a countdown at the Raine house. Talia has a mere 17 days left to become a full-fledged walker, or she has a date to visit our doctor at my next prenatal appointment. We thought we had a big breakthrough yesterday - the stinker took her first steps for Uncle Kent and some stranger that works with Uncle Kent - but she has since refused to take any others.

Just to be clear, we are not concerned at all about the fact that she is not walking - she certainly gets into enough stuff as it is. She is 100% capable of walking. She pops up and stands in the middle of nowhere with no support. She walks all over this house, pushing a chair, holding on to furniture, pushing her little walking toys sideways (just to make things more difficult, I guess), and will walk a mile while holding on to 2 fingers. She will even occasionally walk for her Daddy as long as he keeps 1 finger on each of her shoulders. But she refuses to move those cute little feet without the security of someone or something touching her. And before you ask: no, I don't carry her everywhere (she weighs a ton and I'm pregnant, remember?) and yes, we do give her opportunities to walk ALL THE TIME.

The countdown came as a result of my last prenatal appointment. Our doctor was making small talk with me while measuring m'belly, and asked how old Talia was when she started walking. I replied "Um, she's still NOT walking, actually." The doctor looked over at my stubborn daughter, who was holding the little metal step stool up in the air waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay above her head while doing squats, out in the middle of the floor, and asked incredulously "THIS baby isn't walking?" While the doctor did say there is a big difference between ability to walk and willingness to walk, the fact remains that 95% of children are walking by 15 months. That's 95% of ALL children, including those in wheelchairs and those with other physical and/or cognitive impairments such that they will NEVER walk.

So unless something changes drastically sometime soon, in a little over 2 weeks we will be back to charm the pants off of the doc. (Talia will probably choose that moment to take off in a full sprint and never look back.)

(She doesn't walk, but she actually jumps sometimes, and almost never falls down. I'd say her balance is fine, wouldn't you?)

I love my little baby who is rapidly turning into a big girl, and I've been glad to have her baby-ness linger through her extended crawling stint. And her feet are so ridiculously tiny, it is hard to find her good shoes, so I have been lucky that she hasn't needed really good outside shoes yet. But February is coming soon, and I would really like Talia to be nice and sturdy by the time her little brother or sister arrives, since I won't be able to carry them both when we're in a parking lot, etc.

It will be nice to have the dr. confirm what we are already certain of - Talia's physically able to walk. But since I'm pretty sure she's not going to give us a prescription for a cure for stubbornness, we'll still just have to wait until little Tally is good and ready to walk on her own.

(Do you see how she mocks all of us people who walk?)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Take That, Cancer

About this time 2 years ago, my brother and I got this email sent to us at work:

Hi Kent & Suse:
Yesterday I got a phone call from the place where I had my mammogram last week. There's a spot on it that doesn't look good. We're going to Brandon today for another mammogram. There's no point in worrying until we know what today brings; it's in God's hands.
Love, Mom

I sat at my desk, shocked, and quickly called my brother. We sat on the phone in our separate offices, crying, while we took turns calling our Dad's cell phone to find out a) what the HELL was going on and b) where our Mom learned her email etiquette (um, Mom? Maybe the next time you have news like that, you can phone us.)

By the end of the day, my Mom had had another mammogram, an ultrasound, and a biopsy. She didn't have a firm diagnosis, only that it "didn't look good" but that the spot was also very small, so if it was cancer, it was caught early. By the end of that week, she had her diagnosis: breast cancer. And within another week, she knew that she needed to have a breast removed. She told the parents of the kids in her home daycare and waited to hear when her surgery would be.

What she didn't know at that time was that she was finally going to be a Grammie, with both of her kids expecting their first child within 6 weeks of each other. I was crazy & over-emotional thanks to the pregnancy hormones, and it was hard to not burst into tears everytime we spoke on the phone.

Mom had a great attitude right from the start. She was very matter-of-fact about the whole thing; yes, she had cancer. Yes, she would have a breast removed. Yes, she might need chemo, or radiation, or both.

On Christmas Eve 2007, Mom & Dad opened the last present left under the tree. It was a book called "Just Grandma, Grandpa & Me" and was from Baby Raine, with a promise to meet them in July. Soon after, she found out that Baby Raine's cousin was on the way, as well. The 2 babies gave "Grammie" something to look forward to; I think she forgot she had cancer sometimes.

In January, Mom had her surgery. Kent & I waited all day for our Dad to call and let us know how it went; imagine our surprise when the phone call came and it was Mom on the line, telling us she felt great and "just decided it was time to get on with getting well." She went home from the hospital the next day and didn't look back - she had 2 grandbabies to get ready for, you know. After a follow-up appointment with Cancer Care in Winnipeg, the verdict was in - the cancer had been very small, it was caught very early, her lymph nodes were cancer-free, and she did not require chemo OR radiation. It was the best news we could have hoped to receive.

A few months later, Grammie's first grandchild was born. Talia Isabelle was named after both of her Grandmas, so when you hear us refer to "little Tally" it's because Grammie is "big Tally."

Last October the McQueens participated in the Run for the Cure, and yesterday the McQueen fam all Walked For The Cure again. It was great. I barely held it together as we wove our way through the crowd of walkers & runners to find the registration table where my mom could get her survivor shirt, or while random strangers hugged her, patted her shoulder, or told her it was beautiful to see her out walking with her family. We hope to be picking up Grammie's pink shirt for many, many years to come.

Friday, October 2, 2009

One of those nights....

A recap of last night:

5:30 pm - Arrive at daycare. Baby takes one look at me and makes a beeline for the toy room, hoping to be forgotten at wondrous daycare instead of being dragged to boring old home. Listen to daycare provider talk about how baby has crush on 3 year old boy. Make mental note that husband will be meeting said boy at the front door with a shotgun in 15 years.

5:45 pm - Get home with tired baby. Use culinary skills to whip up delectable soup & grilled cheese. Thank lucky stars that husband married me for more than my supper-making abilities (namely, my ravishing good looks.)

6:30pm - Husband arrives home, and is immediately tagged in to handle supper clean up, baby clean up, and bedtime. Scoot out the door for fun-filled evening of picking up race kits & getting groceries in preparation of McQueen Thanksgiving. Remind self that the sooner I leave, the better the chance I will make it home in time for The Office.

7:00 - 7:30pm - Stand in 2 long lines, one outside in FREEZING cold, to pick up kit. Curse self for not grabbing warmer jacket. Catch up on work emails while standing in line. Get to front of line only to discover the only shirt sizes available are XXL or M. Remind self that soon I will be home on the couch, watching The Office.

7:35 - 7:45pm - Wander aimlessly through unfamiliar Superstore that is not organized like regular Superstore. Curse Galen Weston. Curse him more when I realize 1/2 the store is under construction, thereby making it impossible to find ANYTHING. Smugly pass candy aisle without stopping.

7:45 - 8:00pm - Find approx. half of items on list. Smile knowingly at short, dishevelled, exhausted-looking pregnant woman across the aisle, thinking "at least I'm not as tired as THAT woman."

8:01pm - Realize I am smiling knowingly at my own reflection. Sigh. Head back to candy aisle.

8:02 - 8:10pm - checkout & pack my own groceries, once again vowing to never return to Superstore.

8:35pm - Burst through front door, excited to have caught The Office. Notice husband is watching something else. Ask husband "Why aren't you watching The Office?" to which husband replies "The Office is on at 8."

8:36pm - leave husband to unpack groceries and go to bed. Hrmph.