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Friday, January 8, 2010


First, I want to apologize for not having the time to read and comment nearly as much as I would have loved to this past week. Getting things organized and packing for this trip has taken up a heck of a lot of my time. With that finally taken care of it's:

Time to get out of the snow belt and head to the Sunshine for three weeks!

See you at the beginning of February!

Menopausal New Mom has left the building!

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Not So Wordless Wednesday This Old House

Before I get into this, I wanted to thank everyone who posted on the comments yesterday. I am overwhelmed at the kindness and support that was offered. So many of you took the time to not only read such a long post but to comment about your own experiences offering so much wisdom and insight on such a delicate topic. Because of all your wonderful support, I feel much more equipped and empowered to accept having my stepdaughter with us for those 6 days. Thank you all again for sharing and yes, I will be posting about it when I get back. Thank You, Thank You.

Now getting on to the "Not So Wordless Wednesday"

In December, I showed both the kitchen and open dining area in our old house that was built in 1891 and then remodeled by us for 8 months before we moved in.

Today is a trip around the family room.  This room is located on the back side of the fireplace that was photographed in the dining room post.

Let me start by saying this is not a huge family room.  It measures roughly 18' x 19' with 10 foot ceilings.  Part of that 19' is made up of a 4' sunroom that was added to the home during the 1930's as a place for those suffering from TB to take advantage of the sun. This sunroom was two stories high, however, we removed the four-foot addition on the second floor as it ruined the look of that side of the home by cutting through the original roof line.

Getting back to the family room pictured here, it's hard to imagine that when we bought the house, this 18' x 19' space housed:

1 bedroom
4 closets
1 hallway
1 full bath with tub
1 separate half bath with laundry and
3 ceilings

We tore everything out to the bare bones and had to replace the floor since there had been a combination of old hardwoods and linoleum going in both directions.  Here is the finished room.

This is the view standing beside the fireplace on the kitchen side.  That little pink cottage in the corner has been a big hit with our 3 1/2 year old.  She just received it for Christmas and spends hours playing in it.

Not sure it is that obvious in the photo but behind that red sofa is the desk with computer where I just happen to be typing this post! And that window behind the little pink cottage is where I tried like hell to get a picture of the Olympic Torch going by the front of the house.

Here is the view looking into the family room if you are standing on the other side of the fireplace.

This is the view when looking from the back corner of the family room towards the kitchen.  My husband picked out these antique schoolroom light fixtures. My choice was pot lights. The dropped part of the ceiling that has been painted the same red as the kitchen houses plumbing and ductwork from a ventilation system. We had some of the antique tin ceiling left over from the kitchen so it was used to cap off the bottom of this dropped section.

And this last photo shows the view if you are in the corner of the family room looking towards the dining room side of the fireplace. The large dark grey square beside the cabinet (which is there temporarily) is a water feature that we use to humidify the house and above it is a glass window that is in the main floor half bath since it does not have natural light. That's probably the next room I'll photograph.

And that concludes our little trip around this once studio apartment that has been converted into our much used family room. Is it just me or are there orbs all over the place?!
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Monday, January 4, 2010

If Anyone is Curious...

Today I've reposted my first blog entry for anyone who is at all curious about how I became a Menopausal New Mom.  Back in April when it was first published, I had no followers but really needed a place to vent not only my frustration but to journal my confusion somewhere, anywhere.  So here is a condensed version:

It came in the form of a phone call.  The nurse from my doctor's office where I had recently had my annual check-up. "Did you get the results of my hormone tests?" I asked, anxious to find out why my periods had been so inconsistent lately believing it was my bodies way of trying to readjust after my recent pregnancy.

"Oh yes." she replied "You have the hormone levels of a post-menopausal woman, you're in menopause.  Nothing to worry about, you're normal, we'll see you next year for your check-up. Bye."  click.

What did she just say!!  Was that it?  I stared into the phone and then looked over at my daughter sitting in her highchair eating cereal. This can't be right, or is it? I'm 47 now. Maybe this is normal or is it?  Do I have to figure this out at the same time I'm trying to adjust to being a first-time mom?!!

The only difference I had noticed was my periods had become inconsistent. Surely my recent pregnancy had triggered that, not menopause. How could this happen now when I needed every bit of energy I had left in my body to raise this child? I couldn't be sidetracked with the challenge of facing menopause too! At least not yet!

Life was finally getting back to being somewhat normal. We had moved twice in the last two years and I was making the difficult transition from career woman, to new wife, to stay-at-home mom and now this! I couldn't help but wonder, "Who the Hell am I now?"

Before all these changes, I had worked in the insurance industry, every position from reception right up to traveling on the road doing sales and service. More than 20 years of building up a rewarding career that had allowed me to buy a home, travel, do whatever I felt like.

I hadn't married or lived common-law. I was one of those women who could enter any room full of men and walk out with the only one who was unemployed, drank too much, already had a girlfriend, and was  living in his mother's basement. I was a magnet for this type. My friends at work used to joke about how my life could be any "movie of the week". Most of them were living the traditional life of being married to a nice guy and raising a family. Not me,  but at least at that time I had a clear perception of who I was.

I couldn't help but wonder "What the Hell was I thinking?!!" At the age of 44,  I had married a nice, self-employed older man who already had four children, either in university or on their own. Life was going to be good, just the two of us other than the occasional short visit from one of his kids. What I didn't know at that time was how much my husband missed raising children now that his were finally out of the house.

During my single years, I had lots of time on my hands to read and I had seen those articles about how difficult it was to become pregnant in your late 30's and nearly impossible once you reached the age of  40. The odds of becoming pregnant now were extremely low, probably impossible even if I did seek medical intervention, which I wasn't going to do. My own eggs?  Impossible at this age.

So there I was, 44 years old and well aware of how remote my chances of becoming pregnant without medical intervention were. They must be somewhere in the negative numbers by now I remember thinking. No problem. I'd stop taking birth control. I probably didn't need them anyway and it would satisfy my husband who wanted to make sure that if there could be a child in our future, at least we were allowing nature to take its course.

So there you have it, me pregnant within a month of getting married and then right into menopause two years later! A definite Menopausal New Mom and thanks to being able to blog it out, I'm finally at peace with it all!!

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