Friday, April 28, 2006

they are at home eating icecream!

and I am at work. School holidays are great, Thomas loves days and days at home with the odd trip out to see a friend or a movie or somesort of excursion. But mostly he likes to be home... and we like to be with him.

Because I have just started a new job and because we have a big holiday planned in October I haven't been able to take much time off this holidays. Luckily there was Easter and Anzac Day and I am taking one day off next week, but basically I have worked my way through these holidays and Gaye has taken up my share of the holiday 'load'

Today they are at home eating cupcakes and icecream, wearing pjs, playing uno and watching tv... i can't tell you how much I wish I was there too.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

they don't come easy

Last night Gaye and I went to talk to our known donors (KD). We have known this couple for sometime, they are particularly good and old friends of Gaye's. We like 'em, a lot.

About 10 months ago Gaye was discussing with them the idea of a KD and how we thought that perhaps that was what we wanted to do together now, but we just weren't sure whom and did they have any ideas. I wasn't there, but I know that Gaye had this conversation without them mind (they afterall had gone through the whole IVF thing themselves and were now 7 months pregnant.) It was a general discussion about the process.

They being the sort of people they are rang her about 10 minutes after she left and said 'we'll do it, we really want to, we needed help, why wouldn't we help you?'

Gaye came home (eyes a bit red from tears) and we talked about it. I have good friends who donated to a lesbian couple more than 18 years ago, their children have all grown up together in what I can only describe as a extended family type situation. The parents are the parents but all the adults are connected and engaged with the children that aren't theirs in a aunty/uncle type way. All the kids have known about it forever. I have been really influenced by this - watching and knowing this for the last 12 years or so. It has been a good and joyful thing.

These babies's they just don't come easy to Gaye and I. She has had years of "trying" (unknown donor, ivf, girlfriends eggs the whole gig), and I "tried" for more than 4 years of heartache and struggle before Thomas finally decided to come along (irregular eggs and sperm it turned out!).

They just don't come easy to us...but, gawd, do we want them, both of us.

So we started down the road, using this donor meant ivf, and ivf meant tests and counselling and waiting for six months to make sure that the sperm was ok.

This week the six months of waiting was up and the KD has decided he just can't do it. He has a beautiful baby now and he says he 'just knows' that he would feel connected to a baby in a way that wouldn't be ok, that he would find it so hard to walk away and leave us to it. I love that about him. I love that he knows that about himself. He feels torn and worried about us, about Gaye. He likes the concept of donating, but he just can't do it. He didn't know it before his daughter was born, but he does now. I admired the strength and honesty he showed when he told us.

We knew, a phone call last week was a bit of a heads up when he said he was worried. We agreed over the weekend that we wouldn't go ahead, that we would walk in the door and Gaye would say 'we think we should leave it, no worries, we loved the thought and we love you' which she did. We left each other well, with plans to see each other soon and a sense of warmth between us.

It is disapointing but I am surprisingly ok with this outcome. We have spent much time workshopping our way through the known and unknown donor discussion again and I find myself able to see positives in both ... so we've made our plan b (back to the clinic we go).

And Gaye, being Gaye, has been strong, calm and found the gifts in the thought and the processes we have all been through. And that has made me love and admire her a little bit more and made me all the more sure that we will find what we need to keep on the rollercoaster a bit longer.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

a new home?

We have spent the last months looking for a new home. The home we live in is small and needs renovating, we looked a renovating but really it is just to small... so we started looking.

In the process we have found one house we liked really a lot but thought it would go for more than we could afford (it didn't) one house we liked really a lot that we could live in forever and thought we could afford (we couldn't) and seemingly hundreds of houses that we walk in and out of quickly and give 'a cross' as Thomas says. Honestly, the things people do to houses. 'What where they thinking' and 'they are dreaming (said dreamen)' are two pretty familiar comments as we walk away from house hunting.

It is most efficient to go just Gaye and I, drop the small boy at a friends place and wizz from place to place - usually on foot.

It is most fun to go with Thomas - he has very definite ideas about what is required in our new home...and hugely amusing observations about other peoples homes. Key elements for Thomas are not the key elements at all for us. Regularly he suggests if the second bedroom is a bit small, that it is simple we will just put his bed in our room and the other can be his play room. Hmmm...

This weekend was a weekend where we took Thomas house hunting with us. This involves a certain amount of negotiation - because although he seems to enjoy it when he is doing it, he assures us it is 'not his thing'. So, benchmarks were set (only four houses darling) and a promise that the afternoon would involve no further adventures beyond our street.

We looked at house A - it was 'given a cross', we looked at house B it was 'given a BIG cross,’ house C we had the wrong time for so it was closed ('Yay only three houses then!') we looked at house D which was located in the street of his good friend and he thought it was FABULOUS and almost begged us not to give it a cross - but cross indeed it was given by both adults. Thomas was not pleased.

As we were leaving we came across another house - and for some reason decided to go in even though (a) we were getting grief from the small child about it and (b) it said two bedrooms and we have been diligently looking at three bedrooms.

Anyway ... it is perfect. It has a study and two bedrooms, it has two living spaces. It has a bath and a second toilet; it has separate living and sleeping/studying areas. (this makes it sound huge – it is not! It is a very typical inner city home) There is nothing in the house we hate. It is light and airy and lovely. And what Thomas likes is the stair gate (yup! that is right the stair gate)

We really think this could be our new home...a home for four (two adults, one child and a new dog) and home for us.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Bath time

I love this pretty much daily ritual in our house...

adult: ‘Thomas, how about a bath?”

child: ‘No I don’t want a bath or a shower, I had one yesterday!’

adult: “Got to have a wash darling... (on the weekends add – whenever you want is okay but you have to have one before we go out)”

child: “Alright, I will have one now but I am not staying in there, I am just getting in and out”

adult: “Okay just give yourself wash and then you can get out”

....40 mins later ... Still singing, playing laughing in the bath after using up all of the hot water.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I do...oh no, we can't

I never, ever thought I would get married.

I have argued passionately against it in the past (while at same time accepting, to each her own). Lately though the debate about whether or not we can marry has captured my attention more personally.

It started a couple of months ago when Thomas said "I wish you and mum would get married... oh no you can't...unless you go to London".

A then six year old couldn't quite understand it, but accepted that was just the way it is.

I have had many conversations with friends and acquaintances about why they married.

Consistently, they talk about how permanence means they solve the problems in their relationships, even when they seem almost unsolvable, because there is not an out-clause. They have committed to each other, to be together, period.

I think my views about marriage were based on the belief that partnering for life is a myth, somewhat old-fashioned and certainly not very gay. Yet most of my significant people (gay and straight) have successfully partnered life-long.

I know Clare believes in life-long love and I have been challenged by this in the time we have been together. Not because I don't think I will love her forever, but more because philosophically I like the concept of staying together for as long as it feels right.

I'm not sure if it is conversations with Clare, my impending middle-age, influences of others, public debate of the issue or a combination of all of these but I find myself attracted to the concept of marriage.

I don't want to say to Thomas, "that's right darling, we can't get married".

So I have asked the lovely Clare if she would like to get married and she has said yes. And now we wait for the laws to catch up.

The only issue then is who to invite.

Clare and I both shiver... but I guess that's an issue everyone faces

Monday, April 10, 2006

PJ Day is called for

Thank goodness we have reached the end of term. My boy is completely and utterly over it. He has had a tough couple of weeks at school and is finding it completely impossible to keep his sense of humour. The other night after he had complained about his day at school, his teacher, his friends, dinner and a few other things and we had listened, heard and acknowledged that he was weary and over it we tried to turn his mind to happier things ... he turned to us and said 'huh! you are just trying to cheer me up!' Completely over it!

For about two weeks he has been asking for a PJ day. A PJ day is a day where we stay home all day in our PJs and don't really leave the couch. We watch dvds, play board games, eat chicken soup and icecream and don't answer the phone. A PJ day was promised for the holidays... I'm tired (this whole starting a new job is exhausting and wearing) Gaye is tired (she has hayfever) and the boy is way tired. So a PJ day is called for and tommorrow is the day. Good Friday is going to be way good. The only change to the usual routine is that Gaye is going to cook hot cross buns. Yum! I have been dehydrating grapes all week I just can't wait.

I am loving my new job actually - it is challenging but I think will be managable once I get across everything. It is so close to home and Thomas' school my day to day life has become much easier, this morning the Gaye and I had breakfast together on King St before work! A previously unheard of event. The people are nice and friendly and I feel like I can contribute... but I have to say getting across and getting access to all the systems (particuarly the technology) is driving me to distraction. I have set myself a task of one per day - today i went and got my key! - hopefully this means we will move through them. I think a PJ day might just do the trick for me too!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Crunchy

Emilin says she is 'crunchy' this is not a term I have heard used in the way she does before ... but in her description I get the feeling that I probably am a little bit crunchy. When I hear the word crunchy I think of Anzac Biscuits and autumn leaves underfoot and this new fabulous hair product I have called beach hair.. that is what I have thought of previously as crunchy. Gosh, I wonder if you can use hair product and be Emilin crunchy? I wonder if just the act of calling it 'hair product' means I am not crunchy!

We recycle our paper, plastic, glass and tin, we send our garden scraps off in the garden scrap bin for mulching and eat organic food, drink preservative free wine, my lovely gal makes pizza, bread, stock, curry paste and last night bread and butter pudding from scratch that seems pretty crunchy... we dehydrate organic grapes to make our saltanas and we re-use any plastic bags we can't avoid.

My new job has my new office looking out on to the trees of the University campus - and it reminds me of my time in Canberra - wide streets, plenty of bike paths and a pretty crunchy life I lived then.

However, now we live in Sydney right in the middle of Sydney and it aint all that crunchy to live around here! My boy has just got these new electronic black boards in his school - they are called active boards - and this week they have video conferenced a school mate who is in Hanoi for a couple of months, done their maths homework on the huge board with an electronic pen that amazingly works on the screen in some sort of high tech magic. We own a subaru, we have two tvs, the boy has two tamagotchis - these things don't seem so crunchy...

Monday, April 03, 2006

First day at the new job

Is more than half way over. So far so good - thou I feel like I have entered another land - although the uni is only a few kms from home.

I had the most gorgeous time last week - a week of slobing about, catching up on household items (the photo album is now up to date - an incredible task) and spending time at the school writing grant applications and helping in the classroom.

On Thursday I rang my newly retired father to check if he was really sure he couldn't afford to keep me so I could STAY AT HOME FOREVER... But he said no - so here I am on my first day....