Let me explain

Edmonton Canada Skyline by ArtPause on Etsy

Hi! No rants in this post – promise! This one’s all me. This whole post is me explaining everything that’s been going on for the past few months.

First of all, I am really missing Adam these days -that bizarre, bearded weirdo. And in case you’re thinking “Missing him? How can you be missing him when he’s right there?”, well, um,  he’s not, actually.

He’s not here and he hasn’t been here since the beginning of January. Ha. What? I know. Weird.

Here’s the deal. Adam accepted a job offer in Edmonton, Alberta at the beginning of January. And then he moved.

Olive and I stayed behind because I was still working, we wanted to make sure that he would like it before we all moved, and, um, January in Edmonton. Hello.

So that trip in we took back in February? That was actually a surprise trip. We descended upon Adam’s unsuspecting self like a magnificent balloon breaking through the frigid atmosphere of a cold Alberta city, a balloon holding a wife and a baby – a baby he’d been missing altogether too much. He was so excited, and so very surprised and when he spotted us this look of pure bewilderment crossed his face and it was so incredible and worth all of the scheming and almost-telling him and almost-writing about it . He is an incorrigible snoop so any time I can pull a fast one on him I feel really accomplished as a person.

A+, Madeleine!

That trip was great, but January was really tough. The worst, actually. The day Adam left was the day that I ended up in the hospital. I remember him leaving for the airport and I was supposed to be going in to work but I couldn’t stop crying. I just physically could not stop. I remember being in the bathroom gasping for air and trying to pull it together and I simply couldn’t catch my breath- I couldn’t stop the rivers of tears running down my cheeks. It was full on, extreme, ugly-crying.

Somewhere in the back of my mind something was whispering that my reaction was totally out of proportion to the event taking place, so I made the best choice I could and I went to the pharmacy to pick up more medication for my kidney condition (stress causes low magnesium, low magnesium makes a person crazy). And then I sat in the parking lot of the Shopper’s Drug Mart and I couldn’t get out of the car because I still couldn’t stop crying. I’ve walked into drugstores a bedraggled mess plenty of times before, but things are different in a small town.

I called my mom, and I was doing that gulping sobbing thing that us ladies do, and then suddenly my hands started cramping, and then I knew it was hospital time.

It was a pretty horrific start to the year. And the rest of January was equally challenging. I won’t get into it all but suffice it to say I am glad it’s over.

So! Adam is in Edmonton, and at the end of the month Olive and I will join him. We will be renting a house while we look for something to buy. It’s sad to leave this little town and the life we dreamed of here, but I am so, SO excited to be moving on, and, more importantly, to live in a big city again. (A BIG CITY? I even sound like a townie.)

Here is my list of why:

  • Things! So many things! When we visited the Royal Alberta Museum we bought a family pass and I can’t wait to spend Saturdays there with Olive. There are also art galleries, boutiques, and a million little cafes just waiting to be discovered by a certain lovely lady who loathes cooking (and loathes it even more on a Sunday mornings). I’ve really been craving the diversity of experience that a city offers and I am really excited to take advantage of it again.
  • Secondhand things! Two months before Olive was born the secondhand kids clothing store in our old town closed. I took it as a sign from the Universe that we were meant to move. Well, the secondhand kids store here is closing, too. (I hear you, universe!) I love secondhand kids clothing, secondhand lady clothing, secondhand furniture- all of it. Cities tend to have incredible selection when it comes to secondhand stores and I can’t wait to rummage through the racks of Edmonton’s cast-offs. Delightful!
  • Secondhand HOME things! There is also this amazing thing called the Habitat For Humanity Re-Store, where you can buy things like doors and windows and cabinets donated by people renovating their homes. Adam and I really want to find a tiny old lady hous, buy it, shower it with love and give it a little makeover, but I have guilt about the renovation process because it involves so much waste – well huzzah! What a solution! I have a feeling me and the re-store are going to be really good friends.
  • PEOPLE! Specifically my brother Liam and his wife, two sets of friends and their spouses whom Adam and I know from way back in our university days, my sister and my dad in Calgary, my high school friends in Calgary – I mean really! A built-in social group! People to come to my birthday parties! Brilliant.
  • Snow! When I mention that I am moving to Edmonton, my BC people have an almost universal reaction, and that reaction is “Oh! Sorry.” But I’m not, I really like the snow. I like the crispness of it, how it stays sunny out even when it;s 20 below, and those of you stuck in the Polar Vortex are ready to punch me in the face right not but seriously would you prefer four months of rain? Of grey that never seems to cease? Sky the same colour as the ocean the same colour as the soaked pavement? At least with snow I can take Gus out and not come back with a 200 lb sponge who will slowly but determinedly leave wet spots all over my house, my furniture, my legs, my baby etc. for the rest of the day while also stinking up the place with eau de wet Gus.

Anyway. In case you can’t tell I am excited. Not only because we are finally moving, or because Adam is finally happy because he is working, but because I get to unpack my belongings and see them for the first time in almost  a year. My books! My pictures! My BED! Olive has been sleeping in our room since she was born, (the first six months out of choice, then out of necessity) and now she’ll finally get her own room and I can finally undress with the lights on . Oh MY.

I’m also nervous – I wouldn’t be Madeleine if I wasn’t nervous about something!- because holy shit is moving expensive. We are just hemorrhaging money left right and centre but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do, I guess. For the snow, and the cafes and things, right?

Hi, dude.

Hi, dude.

And the book: The book is at the printers. MY book is at the printers (!) I couldn’t change anything now even if I wanted to, and I do kind of want to because even after going through it three times I still forgot to thank someone in the acknowledgements and, well, I’ll just have to write their name in manually for themI guess. Maybe that’s even better?

My publisher is starting to send me emails with interview proposals for radio and TV shows and, look, I don’t know what I thought would happen when the book was finally published?

Maybe that everyone would just magically buy a copy and I could quietly place the finished product in a place of honour on my bookshelf and go sip a cup of tea or something? Well apparently you have to promote books these days. Which means appearing places and going to things and talking to people – ha! Yay! Oh god, I want to vomit thinking about it. Word salad, here I come! I am usually alright with these things once they get going, but in the moments (months?) leading up to them I am just a total basket case.

Also, I just know that there will be that moment when you will watch one of those shows or hear one of these interviews, and you will have that horrible moment of “THAT’S what Madeleine sounds like? Why does her mouth look like that when she talks? Is it just me or does she blink a lot?” (YOU know the moment.) I have experienced this moment with other (and myself, too! I mean how often do you see videos of yourself talking?!) and it can just be so unnerving and unpleasant all around. Start preparing yourself for 3D Madeleine now, OK?

Oh man.

Oh, hello again! What a lovely baby you have all nestled into the crook of your elbow!

Also, my kidney condition is definitely back. With a vengeance.

My magical hippie breastfeeding is no longer curing me, and I am well and truly in the thick of it again. This means I am exhausted and my back aches and I recently resurrected my old friend, the giant purple pill container. I am still not good about actually taking my twelve pills a day, but they’re there, so that’s a start.  I am a tiny step closer to weaning Olive, I night weaned her a few weeks ago and cut daytime nursing to 3x a day (when she wakes up, before her nap (or after I get home from work, on the days that I work) and before bed).

I’m not sure where to go from here. I think I probably need to wean her. I need to start taking my medication again, and so many helpful people sent me amazing resources last time I mentioned this but in all of those resources they say things like “reasonably safe” and “not thought to cause harm” etc. and I just don’t feel comfortable taking that risk. But I also don’t want to wean her. But I do, because sometimes – and here’s the honest truth – sometimes I am kind of sick of it. So there’s that. Nursing a toddler is light years different from nursing a newborn, and I would really like some time where my body was just mine – you know?


I think I covered it all. It feels good to write about this transition!

For the longest time I really couldn’t – I couldn’t because we didn’t know if this was the definite plan, and I hadn’t said anything to my employer yet, so everything just felt very limbo-ish. But gears are turning, balls are rolling and 2014 is starting to show itself as a year full of movement, in all senses of the word.

And one for the road. See you soon, mister.

And one for the road. See you soon, mister.

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  • Reply Amy March 12, 2014 at 12:39 AM

    I listened to a Momma who weaned her toddler by putting apple cider vinegar on her nipples and then warned her little girl before nursing that they would be “icky”. DD tried anyway, and that was yucky, then tried the other and that was yucky, and walked away. When she asked for milkies again later, Momma reminded her that they were icky now. DD was like, oh yeah, never mind…and that was it. Everyone is different but when it’s time to wean my little girl I may just try some version of this. Good luck!

    • Reply sweetmadeleine March 12, 2014 at 11:34 PM

      I’m not going to lie, I am intruigued! I also kind of love that this method involves my BFF, ACV 😉

  • Reply suzy March 12, 2014 at 3:41 AM

    Wow! So many exciting things happening in your lives. Good luck with it all 🙂

  • Reply Heather March 12, 2014 at 7:54 AM

    We absolutely LOVE the Re-store in Halifax…lots of good finds there, and supporting a great cause! I can’t say I love Edmonton, since my hometown is Calgary and that would be blasphemy (LOL mostly kidding!) but there is so much to enjoy in Alberta and big cities have so many opportunities! Congrats on the exciting move!!!

    • Reply sweetmadeleine March 12, 2014 at 11:38 PM

      I grew up in Calgary, too! It’s hard for me to accept that I’ll be residing in enemy territory! I’ll still cheer for the Flames though- haha!

  • Reply Erica Stanojevic March 12, 2014 at 8:02 AM

    Wow, I imagine you’ve looked into these things, but I want to share that according to Rosemary Gladstar’s family herbal, both nettle and dandelion leaf are tonics for the kidneys. Good luck and I hope things get easier for you!

  • Reply Amber March 12, 2014 at 8:55 AM

    We moved from Vancouver seven years ago and we love it here. It’s a great city, for all the reasons you list above and so many, many more. It sounds like you’re all set with a support network ready and waiting which is awesome. However, if you’re looking to expand your social circle once you arrive check out the Facebook group Edmonton Active Moms Meet Up Group. It’s been a life saver for me in terms of getting me out of the house and meeting other women who understand what it’s like to be at home with a baby. Good luck with the move and welcome to Edmonton.

    • Reply sweetmadeleine March 12, 2014 at 11:39 PM

      That’s an awesome resource! I always need a kick in the butt to get OFF of my butt! I will join – thanks, Amber!

  • Reply Stephanie March 12, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    Good luck with your move! That sounds so exciting. We live an hour+ from a “big city” and are prepping for a move back down to civilization right now. I am so excited to be able to run to Target whenever the hell I want and not plan out an entire day for a 30-minute shopping trip!

    • Reply sweetmadeleine March 12, 2014 at 11:40 PM

      Oh my gosh, trips to “the city” are epic when you live in a small town! The pressure! The planning! The chaos! How nice to not feel like you have to cram everything into a twice-yearly trip!

      I wish both of us small town ladies luck in our adjustments.

  • Reply bringingyouohm March 12, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    As a recent transplant to Edmonton, I’m excited for you to move here and write about my adopted city. I can’t wait to see it through your eyes! Honestly, Edmonton is fantastic, and it feels more like home than anywhere else I’ve lived. Great people, tons of festivals and free family events, the river valley is amazing in every season and it’s big enough to have everything without being too massive to deal with (from my perspective, but I’ve never lived in a small town).

    • Reply sweetmadeleine March 12, 2014 at 11:42 PM

      I’m so glad you like it! My brother is Edmonton’s biggest fan, and I think he feels like he has made a major coup by bringing me there, but he’s also really great at showcasing all of its great features. I can’t wait to get out there and explore! We’ll arrive just in time for spring! (Spring in Edmonton arrives April 1, right? RIGHT?)

      • Reply Amber March 13, 2014 at 6:21 AM

        Ummm….yes. Spring starts April 1st. Lol.

  • Reply Lora B. March 12, 2014 at 9:48 AM

    Congrats on leaving the land of limbo! It is an anxiety provoking place to live. I’m sure the book promoting activity will get easier with experience…..and I see lots of book promoting in your future;)

    • Reply sweetmadeleine March 12, 2014 at 11:44 PM

      Ohh, I hope it gets easier! I think once I get one or two under my belt it will be ok? Hopefully? Oh god? 😉

  • Reply Sam Pereira March 12, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    Wow, such exciting times ahead for you, but bummer about the Kidneys. Being back with your bloke will feel so good though…. the four of you together again! Best of luck with it all. Looking forward to hearing all about it 🙂

    • Reply sweetmadeleine March 12, 2014 at 11:44 PM

      Thank you, Sam! And you are awesome for including Gus in our family count – even *I* forget him sometimes!

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