Monday, December 31, 2007

Goodbye 2007

And so the last day of 2007 has arrived. Where does the time go??? I had a really nice Christmas season, with lots of gifts for the baby-to-be, great food and lots of leftovers (no need to cook for the whole week and a half!), and good times with family. My folks and middle sister had to leave to go back to work, but my younger sister stayed at our place until Saturday, and we watched the first season of Heroes that we borrowed from a friend.

And now DH is back at work, and I'm trying to figure out if the baby is interested in coming out to meet us anytime soon. I've been having lots and lots of Braxton-Hicks contractions for the last few months, getting more and more regular and longer lasting (ok, that may be a little TMI), but I am assuming that the real contractions will be a little more on the painful side and that I'll know when it's time to head for the hospital... The midwife was really hoping for a new year's baby, and while it's still possible, the likelihood of it is dropping with every passing hour today. Although apparently my grandmother has decreed that she sees a speedy and easy childbirth experience for me, and she "knows those things". Obviously, I am very tempted to believe her :)

I don't really have many preferences for the date of birth of the baby. As cliche as it sounds, I'm just hoping for a healthy and happy baby. I'm really looking forward to meeting her/him, so in a way earlier is better, but on the other hand it's not like I'm super uncomfortable and want to get this pregnancy over with. In fact, I am convinced that I will miss being pregnant quite a bit. I always thought that 9 months was a long time, but it's gone so fast, I feel like I barely had the time to properly enjoy it :) Though I am very grateful for being off work for the last month and getting a chance to relax and hang out, just my huge belly and me...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Update

Well, the car was thoroughly checked out, and it appears completely ok. After thawing, there's not even a scratch on the bumper or anything. I guess it's really a good thing I was going so slow, the impact into the cushy snow was minimal. We've driven the car for over 200kms now (and I've even managed to drive by the ditch in question without too much stress), so I think we can safely assume no harm was done.

My sisters have arrived last night to help us prepare for the Christmas festivities. We have a big day of cooking ahead of us: we need to make some breads (gluten-free for the middle sis), our big fancy salad (the cornerstone of the Christmas Eve meal for this family), borscht, cheesecake, and a few more smaller dishes. Luckily my Mom back in Montreal is taking care of the major food prep, all the main dishes and fish stuff... I am getting hungry just thinking about the big feast :)

Tomorrow we set up and decorate the Christmas tree, finish up some last minute preparations, set the table and wait for DH to get back from work and my parents to come up from Montreal. And then we eat (and eat and eat), and open up presents and sing carols and celebrate. Or at least that's the way it's supposed to work in theory. We'll see how things transpire ;)

Time to google some more gluten-free bread recipes...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I ditched the car - eek

Ok, so last night I composed this whole post about the events of the evening, but I wasn't connected, so I saved it to a file (or at least so I thought). It appears there is no such file, so I have to tell you the story again.

So here it goes: I was heading downtown to go pick up DH to go out for supper with friends. Another 5 cms or so of snow had fallen, so our street was one big sheet of whiteness. I was driving along, when all of a sudden my right wheels caught the edge of the street (just snow packed to be level with the street I guess), and all of a sudden I lost the steering, and thump, I ended up in the ditch. I had never ever been in the ditch, and I'm thinking 8 months pregnant is probably not a good time to start...

The luck in the whole situation was that this part of the ditch is right in front of the last house on our street, and this is where our mechanic lives. The whole family was very nice to me, they let me use the phone to call CAA (after first ensuring that there was no way they could pull me out with just their truck), drove me home, and took care of the car when the tow truck came. DH had to take the bus + walk home (2 hour commute). Luckily, it looks like the car sustained no damage, the mechanic put it in his garage overnight and will give it a good look-over this morning. There was so much snow in the ditch, and I was going slow enough, that it was basically like hitting a huge fluffy pillow :)

Unfortunately, I have no pictures for you. It was quite a sight to see, I assure you, but once I'd made it home, I just sat down trying to relax and calm down, as I really didn't want to go into labour with no car, no DH and all that...

Anyway, all is well that ends well, everyone is now safe and sound, and I should hear about the state of the car very soon. I am so grateful for having such great neighbours!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

On holidays

So I've now been off work for a week and a half. I had thought (naively?), that being home, with no baby to take care of and only a small amount of chores, I would have lots of time on my hands for relaxing and posting on the blog and the like. Boy, was I wrong... Honestly, I don't even know where the time goes! Well, ok, so we had a dinner party last Friday that I took a few days to prepare for, then last night my choir had a small concert. And then there is that whole snow dump we got over the weekend - over 35 centimeters of snow fell down on the city of Ottawa, and our backyard looks like a winter wonderland. This is the third snow storm this season, and winter hasn't even officially begun yet! Here's a picture of our deck, all ready for Christmas:


Unfortunately they are now predicting rain for the weekend, so all the beautiful snow might get ruined!

So aside from the Christmas prep, cleaning the house, shopping for presents, and getting the nursery ready, I haven't really been up to much. I've been reading a book called "The Aware Baby", about a parenting "method" that sounds kind of neat. The whole premise of the book is that babies (and to a certain extent children as well) sometimes need a good cry to release tension or get over some trauma. The trauma may even include birth (I'm not too sure I buy this one). In any case, the book tries to explain how to sympathize with the child by being there when they're crying (to give them comfort and support) without trying to distract them or pacify them with food or toys... I'm not sure I buy the whole concept, but I can see where they're coming from. After all, who hasn't felt the need for a good cry from time to time, just to release all the stress and tension and feel 100% better afterwards? Though there's still a big distance between understanding/accepting the concept, and putting it to actual use. For that, we'll have to wait for baby's arrival :)

On the one hand, I just can't wait to have the little one here. On the other hand, I think I am really going to miss being pregnant. I love feeling her/him move around inside me, and all those moments when I just realize "hey, cool, I am pregnant". It's kind of weird, I always thought that I when you're pregnant, you are constantly aware of your state of pregnancy, but for me, I don't even think of it most of the time. I am just me, and I still get shocked every time I see my reflection in the mirror or a window or something. Where did that belly come from? It's kinda funny. DH says that pregnancy just is a natural extension of who I am, and because it is so seamless, it doesn't feel out of the ordinary, and so I just feel like myself. Maybe he's right (happens sometimes!) :)

Looks like this post is a pretty fair and accurate reflection of my days at home: a little all over the place, random thoughts, and lots of pondering on my imminent transition from preggo-lady to motherhood...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Kick in the gonads

So this weekend another friend announced she'd just had a miscarriage. It was pretty early on, not too too many people knew about the pregnancy in the first place, and she seems to be taking it amazingly well. In fact, she seems less bothered by the whole thing than I am. She is one strong and determined woman that's for sure...

So why is it that I seem to know way fewer women NOT affected by miscarriage than ones who are? Sure, most of us are not in our twenties anymore, so not exactly at the peak of our fertility (unlike, oh, say Britney), but still... If I started counting miscarriages vs successful pregnancies amongst the people I know (keeping in mind that most people will keep such struggles private), and not even going into the tragic stillbirths, I get stats that are worse than the 50% "worst case" that I've read. So is it something in the water??? Is our pace of life just too fast? I don't know, it just seems so annoyingly unfair.

No one really tells you about this (well, at least no one told me!). I guess we don't want to dwell on the less pleasant aspects of life. And luckily nowadays we have plenty of groups and blogs where one can find support and understanding. But still, it's so frustrating to hear the sad news again and again. And it's doubly frustrating to have clueless people making stupid comments ("isn't it about time you started thinking about children?"), or not understanding why one would be tentative when one actually gets pregnant.

Ok, that's probably enough of a rant for one day. I probably shouldn't get too worked up in my "condition" ;)

Last few days at work

Ok, as a counterpoint to the rant, here's a lighter post for today.

So with the arrival of December, I have accrued a little more vacation, that I have to take before my leave or lose it (can't carry vacation days from 2007 to 2009). The funny thing: I officially have 14.38 hours, or 1.92 days. This is the beauty of our new hour-based vacation accounting system... Not sure how I'm going to take that .92 day off. The awesome thing, though, is that I have to take this time off this week (the rest of the year is already booked off on vacation). So I am pretty sure I'm taking Friday off, and Thursday afternoon, and maybe tomorrow morning too. Which leaves me with very little time for work, not that I'm complaining ;)

I was kind of hoping that I would spend the week cleaning out my desk, setting up out of office reminders, finishing transitioning stuff to coworkers, and doing general cleanup like that. Unfortunately, there's still some actual work that's managed to find itself on my plate... Luckily, though, it's a lot less hectic than it's been over the last few weeks. Which is good, because baby is really kicking up a storm most of the time, making it harder and harder to concentrate.

I only have 70 work items that I have to distribute amongst the 3 people that are staying in my area after I leave. How long can that possibly take? I am hoping less than 2 days :)

Friday, November 30, 2007

Last pre-natal class

Last night was our last pre-natal class. I'm a bit surprised at how wistful I got thinking that it was the final class. I will miss seeing the other couples, and the instructors, and the plastic baby dolls they made us use for practice. It's hard to believe that 6 weeks have already gone by since we started the classes. It seemed like such a long time when I first registered us...

Last night we were all given a little baby doll for breastfeeding practice (even the guys, I guess so that they wouldn't feel left out). I have to say, DH looked really sweet with the tiny little baby girl snuggled up against him. I know I am biaised, but I think he looked the best of all the dads-to-be there. He's the only one of the group that I would entrust with my baby :) Ok, there was one other guy that looked like he was bonding well with his baby doll - maybe I'd let him hold my newborn for a few minutes...

Of course if you told DH I said that, I'm sure he would deny the whole thing. So we'll have to keep it just between us :)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The end of an era

Friday marked a momentous occasion: the Probe has officially moved on to a new home. After the huge snow dump, I cleaned off the mountain of snow, and then drove all the way to Orleans to deliver it to the new owner. He works at a Ford dealership, and is an apprentice mechanic, so he has easy access to parts and schematics. And he's planning to restore the car over the winter in his brand new garage. He's already booked the shop in the spring to give the car a new coat of paint.



Needless to say, DH is pretty happy to see his beloved car go to someone who will care well for it and restore it nicely. He even promised to send us pictures when the car is all fixed up. Still, it was hard to say goodbye when the time came, and the license plates were removed.



Friday, November 23, 2007

Snow is here

So for the last three days, we've woken up to this sight:



We've been getting snow dump after snow dump. Luckily it's still mild, so we get all the prettiness of winter without the chilliness. The drive in to work is pretty nice now, with the snow covered trees and deer at the side of the road. Also when our street is covered in snow we don't get as much dirt or as many potholes, so it's a much smoother and more pleasant drive. And with the snow tires on the Audi with quattro, you can barely notice the slipperiness (in fact, I have to remind myself to drive slower, because I know my stopping distance is increased, even though I don't get a feel for it - car drives like it's the middle of summer).

Today is Friday, but I've taken a day off work to just lounge around the house and get a few things done. Things aren't progressing as quickly as I had hoped on the baby stuff acquisition front (read: I've been really procrastinating on getting a car seat and "transport system"), but the baby's room is pretty much ready. Here's a picture to give you an idea of what it looks like for now:



And just because, the latest picture of my ever-expanding belly:

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pregnancy update...

Hate to be boring and repetitive, but work's been pretty busy and hectic lately. And our weekends and weekday evenings seem to be full all the time as well. As a result, blog posts seem to be scarce. I keep thinking of posting, so in my head it doesn't feel like it's been a week since the last post. Oh well, three more weeks of work and then I'll be at home, and able to post on my puny 56k connection (I suspect the picture content may go down even more).

As far as the pregnancy goes, I really cannot complain. The hypochondriac in me keeps waiting for the other shoe to drop, but so far so good. Early on, when I started getting nauseous, I was mentally preparing myself for months of torment, but a few dietary adjustments (eat less, more often) really seemed to help, and in the end I only had a handful of "morning" sickness episodes (can't believe my luck on that one). In the second trimester, when I started getting some lower back pain, I thought "here we go, brace yourself for 6 months of discomfort and pain". But once I stopped wearing heels, it turned out that the change in posture really helped, and my back has been pain free ever since (again, so darn lucky!). I keep waiting for the discomfort of the third trimester I've heard so much about, to set in. So far so good. Though I have to admit that I have slowed down a bit. I notice mentally I am not as alert as I used to be, especially when it comes to multitasking at work. Also, climbing up the stairs at work, I've lost some of the spring in my step (which is probably good, as my coworkers were starting to make fun of me bouncing up and down the stairs) :)

The flip side of all of this is that, believe it or not, I still don't remember that I'm pregnant most of the time. When I go see my Junior Achievement company, I am always amazed when the kids offer me a chair to sit on, or when they offer to carry my bags or something. It usually takes me 10 or 15 seconds to remember - oh yeah, I have that big belly that makes me look unbalanced, uncomfortable and fragile... You would think after 7 months of pregnancy I would actually remember at all times that I am, indeed, pregnant. Maybe I just have too many things going on and occupying my brain, so that I never fully embrace my state of expectantness.

What's keeping me so busy? Let's see... Two weekends ago we went to Montreal to visit with my family and celebrate my sister's and DH's namedays, as per the Polish custom. Last weekend we went to London to visit FIL, who is in the last days of radiation therapy, and doing pretty well, too. He's starting to lose his hair, but he's been eating well, and putting on weight, and overall he's looking not too shabby... He seems to be in good spirits too, so that's nice to see. We definitely won't be going to see him again any time soon, because the 7-8 hour trip is becoming a little too taxing for me, and once the winter hits, it's pretty iffy to go there and back on a weekend.

Other than that, I'm still doing the Junior Achievement thing on Mondays, going to my choir on Tuesdays, prenatal classes on Thursdays. Makes for full weeks, and time is just flying by! Halfway through November, December is just around the corner. I'm really looking forward to being home for most of December, preparing for the holidays and for the arrival of the little bundle of joy...

But first I have to get through the next few weeks at work. Delegate, delegate, that's my motto these days.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Long time no post

I've been slacking on the blog front. My only excuse is an enormous mountain of stuff to do at work. I've been doing my best to not let it stress me out too much, but I have been a busy bee... On the home front, we've bought and assembled a crib, and with the addition of the rocking chair, the baby's room is really taking shape. Pictures to come very soon!

Last weekend we took a quick trip to Montreal to see my family, and this coming weekend we're heading to London, ON, to see my FIL. Seems like we're on the road a lot lately... And we still haven't sold the Probe, although there seems to be some interest in it out there. We've had two offers so far, we'll see if either of them will pull through.

Junior Achievement has started again as well, our company this year is called MAGICC, and we're making greeting cards and calendars. We had a few hiccups at the start, so we've fallen a little behind, but we're starting to catch up and we have a great production line all set up. The cards that the achievers designed are really pretty!


Aside from that, not much is new. Belly growing well, the baby has already turned head down, so we hope it stays that way. Now I get the wonderful pleasure of getting kicked in the ribs with impressive regularity. This kid has got the beat! I'm starting to get a little more tired overall, but seeing as I am starting the 8th month, I guess that's not so surprising. Only 1 month of work left, though, so that's pretty exciting ;)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Summary

[Blogspot appears to have swallowed the original version of this post, so I am reposting it today, even though I wrote the whole thing last week. Sigh]

Just a quick one to summarize some of the events of the last week. We seem to be pretty busy lately, and I keep meaning to sit down and write a good post (I have a few running around in my head), but it might have to wait...

In health news, FIL started his radiation therapy, and so far things seem to be going ok. He hasn't started losing his hair or anything like that, and it doesn't seem to affect him physically too much. He's made of strong stuff, that's for sure. We're hoping to go visit him one of the weekends in November (can't believe October is almost over!), so that should be nice. We'll see how well I handle a trip to London ON in the third trimester ;)

In other health news MIL got her gallbladder out. Sounds like she did very well, was in and out pretty quickly and handled the anesthesia very well. It'll be nice for her not to have the gallbladder attacks anymore, as those seemed to be really painful and disruptive.

In other news, we finally acquired a crib on the weekend. I'd been looking in the classifieds for months now, without much luck. I was getting a little worried that I wouldn't find one until December or something, when I'll be too awkward to assemble it ;) But finally I found the right crib at the right price, It's all white, so it will fit with the rest of the furniture no problem, It's in pieces in the garage right now, and hopefully we can get a chance to assemble it this weekend. I've also acquired a rocking chair, to hopefully help with the feeding and putting baby to sleep (I'm hoping it will go to sleep at some point :S). So the baby room is finally taking shape :)

On the weekend we've also spent some time cleaning up the Probe to get it into showable state. We've posted it for sale, we'll see if we get any interest. It's hard to say goodbye, but we sure don't need three cars! That would be a little silly.

Friday, October 19, 2007

New addition to the family

Well, this week we've finalized the new vehicle purchase. Yes, DH's new toy (new to us, although it is 8 years old) has been purchased, imported, modified, tested and finally plated. It's a 1999 BMW Z3 coupe, one of only 400-some built, or so tells me DH. Here's what it looks like:



It's taken a little while to deal with all the paperwork and bureaucracy, but now it's here and it's registered in DH's name. I have one happy hubby on my hands :)

Of course with my ever expanding belly, it is getting harder and harder to get in or out of the tiny little coupe. But I have to admit it is a lot of fun to drive (and be driven in). And not completely impractical - last night DH managed to bring a mattress back from the store in it. And not strapped to the roof, it fit nicely inside.

Since it's a two-seater, we will not be putting an infant car seat inside. In fact, we'll probably never put any kind of child seat in it. It's really a commuter car for DH. After all, it's fun to drive and fuel efficient and easy to park, what else would one look for in a commuter car?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

No GD!

So I got my glucose test done this week. The news is good: no need to worry about gestational diabetes. However, they checked my blood for other stuff too at the same time, and it appears I need more iron. So I am supposed to take some kind of supplement to replenish my iron, as the baby is supposed to intensify the iron demands, which will basically be taken from my reserves, meaning I will be heading for anemia. At least it was caught early, so I don't have too much to worry about (just take the supplement).

Other than that, not much else is new. Well, we got our new couch delivered yesterday, it looks scrumptuous. The colour is chocolate, although depending on the light it can look many shades of gray-brown, from mocha to cafe-au-lait to dark chocolate. We need to rearrange the living room now, because this is a big sectional and it takes a lot of space. But it's quite exciting. Once the living room is setup, I will post some pics.

I'm also intensifying my search for baby stuff. Mainly the crib and maybe a changing table. I have a lead on a few rocking chairs, I will be taking a look at this weekend. I've picked up a few more bath accessories, so things are slowly falling into place. Well, except I still have no idea about the whole car seat/stroller/transportation system business. I really have to look into it, but the myriad of choices and exorbitant prices have really scared me off so far... Hopefully December will not be too late for me to look into it. I figure once work is done, I'll be able to better concentrate on big purchasing decisions like that (though I might be totally off on that one...)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Long weekend already over?

Another long weekend went by in the blink of an eye... But boy have we been busy! Friday we picked up the new (to us) car at the US border. All that's left now is a mountain of paperwork and checks, and we should be able to register the car in Ontario, and then we can breathe a sigh of relief. Importing a car from the US is not for the faint of heart, although truth be told, so far it couldn't have gone more smoothly.

Saturday we had a Thanksgiving dinner at our friends'. It's a tradition thing, they've been hosting Thanksgiving dinner for the group for years. As always, I was tasked with bringing a vegan entree, and this time I went mediterranean, with a 7-veggie couscous. In the end, I think it was more like 10 veggies, but who's counting? It turned out pretty yummy if I may say so. Not that hard to make either, it just requires a whole bunch of different spices (most of which were luckily already in my spice rack). Dinner was great, as always, it's nice to get together with the gang. Our friends' 6 year old is getting really excited at the prospect of having a new little friend to play with in the next few months, and she's so sweet to me (well, mostly my belly).

Sunday, DH's sister and her husband were in town, so we went out for breakfast. After that, they came over to our place, where we hung out for a while. Then my parents arrived, and we hung out some more. It was nice to have some family time, especially since DH's family and mine rarely get the opportunity to meet! We got to admire BIL's brand new tattoo. The consensus amongst the ladies was that the tattoo was a bit over the top, while guys thought it was cool :) Apparently, what originally started as a design of a simple maple leaf had over the years grown to include a very colourful (and faithful) reproduction of BIL's beloved motorcycle with a maple leaf in the background. He does seem pretty happy with it, though, so the pain (and nagging from the wife and other female relatives) must have been worth it. I really hope DH never decides to get a tattoo, as I have no good reasons to ask him not to other than "I'm not crazy about them".

After DH's relatives left, we worked outside for a bit, and then had another huge turkey dinner. It felt a little sparse with just the four of us, both of my sisters being very busy in Montreal. But the food was good, and the evening went by in a flash. We concluded the festivities with a viewing of the night's episode of "Laflaque" and "Tout le monde en parle", two shows my Mom likes to watch on Sunday evenings.

Monday was very busy again! The weather turned out pretty nice, despite all the predictions of rain, so my parents decided to stick around and do some more outside chores. We now have a huge pile of wood to burn this winter (yay!). DH was very busy trying to get over a cold he's had on and off for the last two weeks. Unfortunately, he's still not completely healthy, but at least he got a chance to rest a bit and even catch a few Zzzz's. We concluded the weekend by watching a few more episodes of "Wild Palms", a miniseries from the early 90's that DH picked up recently. The action takes place in 2007, and it's interesting to see how many political parallels one might find to the current situation in the US. Of course the miniseries is sci-fi, so a lot of stuff is a little over the top, but quite a few things were predicted (guessed?) right.

And now it's back to work. Counting down to the next weekend ;)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Not so good news

Yesterday, we finally got the results of the biopsy of FIL's brain tumor. We had been under the impression that it was not malignant, because it hadn't grown much over the last 2 years of MRIs and Cat scans he's been getting. Well, it turns out we were wrong. He's got grade 2 astrocytoma, also called diffuse astrocytoma, which means it has tentacles that extend into the brain (and look remarkably like brain matter). So even though the surgery was a success, and the seizures are gone, FIL is not out of the woods. The whole tumor cannot be removed, so his only option at this point is chemotherapy.

As far as we can tell, he's in good spirits at this point, getting ready for the new treatments. We'll have to go visit him soon, while I can still handle the eight hour drive one way. So far I've been good with cars, but I don't want to assume that it will be as easy once the third trimester officially kicks in... SIL will be in town this weekend, so we will be getting more specific news straight from the source (she met with the oncologist). Apparently with the chemo treatment, they expect FIL to be free of seizures for the next 5-10 years (that's if everything goes well).

The really sad thing is that DH's brother's wife's Dad has brain cancer as well, and has been fighting it for the last few years. He's been doing pretty well, and has far outlived any of the predictions that had been made, but he's still alternating between chemo and surgeries. My two nieces and nephew have two grandfathers with brain cancer :( That's just no fun!

So that's the depressing news of the day. I've been trying to come up with some good news to end the blog on a sunnier note, but my head is still a little cloudy from a cold I caught earlier this week (I guess the fact that I'm getting over the cold is good news)...

Friday, September 28, 2007

My big belly


Here it is, the first real pregnancy picture... I can't believe how much my belly has grown lately! It's really popped out. There's very few of my pre-preggo clothes that fit me anymore. But I have 5 pairs of pregnancy pants, a few skirts that can still fit me, a few dresses and a fair amount of shirts, so I am hoping not to have to do much more preggo clothes shopping. I only have a little over two months of work left, so it shouldn't be too bad.

I have to say, though, that if it wasn't for my natural aversion to shopping, getting maternity clothes wouldn't really be so bad. There's lots of really flattering styles out there these days, and many outfits designed to make us pregnant ladies look good and stylish, and still feel comfortable.

What I miss most, though, is my heels. I never realized how few pairs of shoes of mine had flat soles (3 pairs). All of my sandals have heels, my nice shoes, my work shoes, my boots... And walking around in heels is a recipe for backaches. So I try to rotate my 3 pairs of shoes throughout the week :)

So that's the update from the preggo front!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Funny of the day

Some people have a way with words....

Today, someone at work stopped me in the hallway, and the following conversation took place:

Colleague: So, I am assuming that you are expecting a child.
Me (in my head): Well, technically it's more of an alien-hybrid, but sure...
Me (out loud): Yes I am.
Colleague: Good, good. At first I thought you were just putting on weight!
Me - nervous laugh.

Not sure what reaction he was expecting. He's definitely a well-meaning guy, but still... Not the most tactful way of congratulating someone on their pregnancy :) Luckily, I found it rather funny.

Now I'm wondering what kind of other humorous exchanges my pregnancy will generate :) I'm sure there's lots of potential there!

Update

Good news update: FIL had brain surgery on Monday, as far as anyone can tell everything went well, he should be discharged from the hospital today. They had only put some probes in last week, to identify which parts of the tumor needed to be removed. And we figured it would be months after that before the actual surgery would be scheduled. But they had a cancellation, so they were able to fit him in this week! He's feeling ok, seems to have all of his memory intact. Now we just need to watch for seizures (or lack thereof).

In other news, DH might have found a car to replace the Probe. No reason to get excited yet, but we may be going to NY state on Saturday to check out a 1999 Z3 coupe, metallic green with tan interior. From the pics, the car looks really sharp, but we'll see how this saga progresses :)

Work has become really crazy this week. Lots of new issues cropping up, more people leaving, so more work and less resources (story of our company these days). I have to consciously work at lowering the stress level, but overall I think I am doing ok. I should be starting to figure out where and how to delegate my workload in preparation for my leave, but for now we're already too busy just trying to stay afloat. I am really hoping that my manager gets someone else into our team soon so we can start catching up on stuff.

On the fun side, tonight we're going to see Rush in concert. I'm looking forward to it, haven't seen the band since their last concert in the vicinity (Montreal?), and they always put on a great show. We'll see if the baby enjoys it ;) I went to see a Beethoven concert on Wednesday, and there was a very quiet part with only wind instruments for a little while, and then the whole orchestra came in with a bang, and it seemed to startle the baby because I got a monster kick. It was kind of funny! Overall, though, I think the baby found it quite enjoyable. Must have been the happy hormones from mommy :)

I keep forgetting to take pictures to show you how big my belly has become. Maybe this weekend I can remember...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Back at home

Traveling is a lot of fun, but it can also be exhausting. We're back home, and back at work... On the plus side, it's nice to be home, and sleep in one's own bed. On the minus side, work has piled up while I was gone, so now I have a lot of catching up to do. But it's fun work, so I don't really mind.

People at work are starting to notice that I am pregnant (I guess now that I've reached the 5 months mark, it's about time ;)). And I have to start preparing for my leave, start delegating stuff to other people, and planning for the work partitioning after my departure. Since I need to use up my vacation time before my maternity leave (cannot carry the vacation over to 2009), I will most likely take a week or two off in December, which combined with the holiday shutdown means that I will be finishing work in late November or early December. That means I only have 3 months or so of work left... All of a sudden time seems to just zip by!

In exciting news, my sister-in-law just gave birth to a baby daughter yesterday. She's a real cutie, just like her older brother and sister. Hopefully we'll get to go back to Halifax and visit them sometime soon!

Time to go home now... TTFN

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Trip blog

If you want to follow our adventures in Newfoundland, here's a link to the trip blog:

http://realtravel.com/canada-trips-i5411009.html

We'll try to update it as often as we can!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Discoveries

On the plus side, I've discovered this week that a big belly makes one's legs look nice and slim. Yay! On the minus side, I am discovering that having your boobs reach your belly (only when bending over!) is not a fun feeling. So there you have it, you win some and you lose some :)

Today is my last work day before the holidays. Two whole weeks with no pager, no meetings, no worries about deadlines or things that need to be fixed yesterday... I really do like my job, like anything involving people it's got it's ups and downs, but I am definitely ready for a break.

We packed most of our stuff last night, just the cooler left to pack this afternoon, and getting everything loaded into the car, and then the adventure begins! We're stopping over at my parents' house tonight, and over the next two days we need to get all the way to North Sydney in Cape Breton, NS. Shouldn't be too bad of a drive, especially since it's the weekend we shouldn't get caught in any rush hour traffic in the bigger cities. I'll try to blog from the road, we're bringing the laptop, so it will all depend on connectivity. Hopefully we can find a few hot spots here and there...

Next update from the road :)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Busy, long but fun day

Wow, what a day! DH is at the ballgame tonight, so I am sitting at the computer writing updates to the blog. A nice quiet finish to a busy day!

We started the day going for a test drive at one of the dealerships in town. The dealership is at the other end of the city, but it was early in the morning, so it didn't take too long. We wanted to test drive a 2003 Audi TT just to get a feel for the car (in case you're wondering- drives VERY nicely). It was quite a bit of fun, although the salesman that came along for the ride was a little annoying. The first thing he told me, before I even sat down in the driver's seat, was that I was going to stall the car. Not that I might, or that it's easy to, but that I would stall it (I didn't in the end). To be fair, he apparently said the same thing to DH... Then he proceeded to tell me how to drive, commenting on my driving style, that I was shifting too early, that I wasn't speeding up quickly enough etc. But I did get a good feel for the car, and I guess that's what matters most :)

After the test drive, we made a quick stop at CAA to get all sorts of maps and other goodies about Newfoundland. Then, DH had a doctor's appointment, to check out his finger. See, the last time my family was in town (around 6 weeks ago), my little sister brought a football, and we played a bit in the yard. DH hit his finger while playing, and it bruised and swelled. He had injured that finger playing football before, so he figured it was a sprain again, just like last time. So he iced it and the swelling went down, and then he left it alone to heal. Well, after all this time, the finger still didn't feel quite right, so he wanted to go get it checked out. Well, he got a referral for x-rays, and they confirmed that his knuckle was broken :( And it doesn't seem to be healing well :( Not sure what the next step is yet, we will have to wait until the x-ray results make it back to our doctor...

When we got to the doctor's office, we realized that DH had left his driver's license at the dealership... So after the appointment he dropped me off at home, and went back to get his license back. In the meantime, I frantically cleaned the house, because my family was arriving in less than 2 hours. It'd been a while since we'd seen them, so I was really looking forward to the visit. T'was a short one but a good one. They only stayed for around 5 hours, but we had a divine barbeque (steaks, sausage, tons of vegetables: zucchini, beans, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, all accompanied by a delicious salad and an assortment of yummy breads). My little sis cut up some veggies and made a dip, which was an amazing accomplishment, given that we had close to no dip ingredients available. She improvised pretty much every ingredient, but the result was delicious. We will never be able to properly reproduce it, and the list of ingredients sounds a little odd (cream cheese, mayo, Dijon mustard, pickle juice, garlic, onion, fresh oregano and thyme, salt and pepper, and I'm probably forgetting a few), but everyone agreed that it was unbelievably good, with any vegetables, even kohlrabi :O

Unfortunately the feast and the visit had to end. My folks are departing on a 3 week trip to Europe next week, and need to pack and prepare, and my sister is working all day tomorrow. So the fun had to end :( But it was a great visit, and my stomach is still full and grateful ;)

Tomorrow afternoon I am going to drop by a friend's place for a get together, and then in the evening we're going over to some other friends' for a barbeque. Talk about a social weekend. And we should really be packing for the trip... I guess that will have to happen on the weeknights :)

Lemon tree


This picture is a picture of the lemon tree I am trying to grow. When we found out I was pregnant, I planted a few lemon seeds, just for the heck of it. I found somewhere on the internet that you should put them in very wet soil, seal it in a plastic bag (to keep the moisture in), and put it on top of the fridge. I followed the instructions on a whim, not really having much hope that it would work (Ottawa spring is not really the ideal place for lemon trees...). I went to check on it over the next few weeks, and it didn't seem to work too well. The water seemed to evaporate, and it didn't seem to be warm enough on top of the fridge. I added some more water, and promptly forgot about the whole thing. Turns out I don't look at the top of our fridge very often :)

Then, a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon my little planter over the fridge again. It had been there for a few months now, had fallen over on its side, and was looking quite pitiful. But when I looked closer, I noticed something green... Turns out my lemon seeds had germinated! So now I have a lemon plant that I have to take good care of. Chances are, given my not-so-green thumbs, that it will not survive even until the baby's arrival, but it's made it so far, and I'm going to try my best to keep it alive and green. We'll see :)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Half way point

Well, I am now officially at the half-way point of the pregnancy. Week 20! Ok, so that's only according to the weird math of pregnancy (40 weeks in a pregnancy, but the first two are really before conception, so they barely count). Believe it or not, I am still having a hard time really believing I am truly pregnant. Even though I can only fit in 2 pairs of my pre-pregnancy pants, and it's getting pretty hard to ignore the bulge growing in front of me.My guess is that until I hold my baby in my hands, I won't be fully convinced that this is really happening to me. It's been such a long road...

Because of my ever-expanding belly, this week I have made my first pregnancy pants purchase. They're actually capri pants (got them cheap at an end-of-season sale: 11$+tax!), and I suspect I will be wearing them a lot over the next few weeks. Especially the last week of August, first week of September, when we will be going to visit the beautiful island of Newfoundland. We've had our holidays booked at work for months, but never got around to actually planning the holiday. Finally this week we booked the ferry, and we're starting to book a few places to stay. Only one week of work left, and then we hit the open road. I'm really looking forward to it, it's been such a busy year at work, I need a lot of rest and doing nothing :)

In other news, we finally have power in our garage. Not sure if I mentioned it in the blog, but around February, the garage lights and outlets started misbehaving, and it turned out we had a problem with the underground wires buried between the barn and the garage. We had to wait for a thaw to get at the cables, and then we had to get the schedules lined up between us and the electrician, and then we had torrential rains when they were supposed to come (no digging in the flood), then they had a big job scheduled, then they found a bee's nest in between the barn walls (had to call pest control to get rid of them), but in the end, today they were able to show up and finish the job. And now we have power in the garage. It's about time, it's been half a year now... Of course it's a lot more important to have power in the garage in the winter, to have the lights come on when we get home from work, and to be able to plug in the block heaters.

In other fun news, the kitchen table and chairs we ordered a few months back have shown up, so we now have an official kitchen breakfast nook. We'd been using a convertible poker table (with the felt out and the glass top in) as our kitchen table with the dining room chairs. Now we have an actual set for the kitchen :) It's really a small set of a round table (with two extension leaves) in varnished maple, and found chairs in birch with soft cushions covered in some kind of dark green vinyl-type material that seems to be very easy to clean (especially important with a spitting baby). Now we just have to wait for the couch we ordered a few weeks ago, and I think we won't need any more furniture for another decade (well, except for the baby's room I guess). Our old couches have been slowly moving downstairs into the movie theatre room :)

In automotive news, DH is getting more serious about looking for the right second vehicle for us. He's currenly leaning towards a 2000-ish BMW Z3 coupe, or an Audi TT coupe from the same era. He's even considering importing one from the US, as the prices are a lot more competitive there. I guess our lives just aren't complicated enough, so we keep looking for more challenges ;) I have the feeling that is about to end, though maybe babies are not quite as challenging as I remember it from my youth :)

Next time, there will be some pictures, I promise. I just discovered that our camera batteries are completely drained, but as soon as they are recharged, I will go trigger happy!

Happy trails!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Cute?

Or creepy? You decide ;) I think it's kind of neat to see the ultrasound pics of our little munchkin, but I know a lot of people find it disconcerting. I don't think it's the best shot they got, but I guess they were holding on to the best shots to send them to the people that can actually interpret them (this clinic was kind of old-style, we got a print of the picture, nothing electronic).

From what we could tell, the kid's got all the important organs (kidneys - check, heart with all four chambers - check, stomach - check, umbilical cord - check, toes and fingers - check, full spine - check). The cheeky monkey insisted on facing away from us, stubbornly staring at my back for pretty much the whole half hour of the examination. As a result, I was asked to move around to give the technician a better view. In the end, I still don't think he was able to determine the sex. We weren't going to ask anyway :)

The baby does have a good sense of humour, though. Despite facing away from us, it let us know it knew exactly what was going on by kicking fervently and waving around the tiny little hands with long fingers. Even the technician had to laugh at that!

So I think that's it for the ultrasound pictures for a long while. No more tests or examinations scheduled for the next few months. I'll have to post some pictures of my expanding belly, though :)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Good news all around

First of all, the good news is that FIL is out of the hospital. It turned out he was trying to reduce the dosage of his medication (with doctor's supervision of course), but that didn't work out all that well. Sounds like he's doing better back on the original dosage of the medication.

At home, it's been a very busy week. After managing to get rid of most of the water in the basement, we decided it was high time to install a sump pump. Because our setup is a bit unusual, and we didn't want someone coming in and telling us they have to drill some extra holes all over our basement, we decided to install the pump ourselves.

It's not really too complicated of a job, if you know what you're doing. Since we didn't really know what we were doing, I ended up going to the hardware store every evening this week just to pick up a few parts here and there. The guy at the Home Depot who gathered "everything we would need" forgot to remind us to get teflon tape for example. Sigh!

But in the end, the pump is finally installed. It's a little sad that it took us a whole week of evenings to do it, but we are pretty happy it's done. At first we installed a temporary solution, with a temporary flexible hose coming out through the window. Aside from the fact that the (brand new, purpose bought) hose was full of holes that were only marginally helped by duct tape, the first try worked reasonably well. So then we moved on to solid plumbing. Two check valves, one T connection, three elbows and 20 feet of pipe later, we have a pretty spiffy looking plumbing solution. Not too shabby if I may say so myself.

Aside from the plumbing work, we also had to clean up a lot of the junk that got wet during the flood. It was mostly old boxes and old paint cans and that kind of stuff, so nothing to get too upset about. But it still all had to be cleaned before mold started getting established... So lots of hauling of stuff. There's still a lot of un-wet boxes that have to be moved to the barn, because we've realized they're more likely to survive there :)

And yes, I have an unusual attachment to cardboard boxes. They have served me well in the past, and I don't like throwing them out while they still have lots of life and usefulness left in them. I figure as far as obsessions go, it's a pretty mild one, so I'm not too worried :)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Just when you think you have it all under control...

... something is bound to come up.

We were (or actually it's more like I was) starting to feel pretty good about our BBQ hosting abilities this summer. You see, this year we finally assembled the BBQ that we bought a few years ago, and we'd been having friends and family over for a BBQ at least every second week. Last weekend we were hosting my volleyball team. I was feeling pretty good, having done some house cleanup and prep during the week, and I thought we'd have a leisurely Saturday getting ready for the event.

Well, it didn't quite turn out that way. Just after breakfast, DH headed down to the basement to take a look at something, and he came back in great panic: the basement is flooded. Now, we have gotten some water in the basement on occasion in the past. Usually, it just means that water gets in in one corner, and has to find its way to the sump, where it usually just flows out and into the ditch through the drainpipe. It's annoying, and sometimes we try to mop it up so that we don't have to wait for it all to flow away, but in general it's limited to a small corner of the unfinished part of the basement, so we're not overly worried.

But this time, it was different. The drain pipe itself was pumping water back into the basement. The water level was a few centimeters off the floor, and it was making its way into the finished part of the basement at an alarming rate. So we went to work, trying to get the water out of there, plugging the drainpipe, getting a shopvac for quicker water evacuation. Unfortunately, there is no way to get rid of the water in the basement itself, as we have nothing that would pump it out, so we had to carry all the water upstairs. Overall, we probably hauled up over 200 gallons of water. Up and down the stairs for 6 hours straight...

Then people came over, and we had a nice BBQ. The weather was beautiful, pretty much the first day this month where it hasn't rained. Bugs weren't too bad (except for the hornet that stung me twice, grumble, grumble), the sun was nice and not too hot, a great evening overall. Except when everyone left, and we went back to the basement, the water level had gone up again. So again, we trekked water upstairs, plugged the drain holes even more solidly, and convinced that we did as much as we could, went to sleep a little after midnight.

Of course, we didn't sleep all that well, worried about our precious, recently finished basement. But in the morning everything turned out to be fine, the water level had not risen again, and clearly the worst had passed. We got a sump pump, and tried to clean up some of the damage (nothing big, mostly just junk that we were keeping around that we're glad to get rid of in the end). Tonight we'll be installing the sump pump (fingers crossed), and cleaning up the rest of the damage (mostly empty cardboard boxes). We are planning to go to London (ON) for the weekend, so we need to have everything settled and cleaned up before then. If the sump pump installation goes well, it should be no problems.

So how's that for a weekend adventure? Not the kind of thing you're hoping for when barely into your second trimester, but hey, them's the breaks :)

In sad news, I just heard that FIL is back in the hospital after suffering 5 seizures again. Crossing fingers and sending positive healing thoughts!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Big long story

I've been meaning to post this one for a while... Just as a record for safekeeping. It's long but true, I haven't done much editing to it after the fact. A little timeline of the beginning of this year.

Thursday, January 25th: Just got my period (after an evening of playing volleyball). A shame, because I was starting to feel quite pregnant, being a few weeks late and all. Of course late is a relative term, since I am the most irregular person even my doctor's ever heard of... I must have been making up all the symptoms, wishful thinking and all...

Friday, January 26th: Period over? Can't be. Now this is definitely new, never heard of a 12 hour period... Googling furiously, and the only thing I can figure out is that I am indeed pregnant, but had some bleeding. Best odds I can find is 50/50 of this ending up in a miscarriage. Trying not to obsess too much about it all.

Saturday, February 3rd: OK, finally broke down and peed on a stick... What do you know, it was positive! Wow, I got a positive! Hard to believe, really. Will repeat the experiment the next day for sure... In the meantime, called my doctor's office to book an appointment. It's all feeling a little surreal! And of course I can't forget what happened on the 25, it's always in the back of my mind... 50% chance, but I'm willing to take it. Better than a 0% chance of being pregnant I guess...

Wednesday, February 7th: Doctor's appointment. She sounds all excited, and not at all concerned about anything. Just said I have to stop playing volleyball. I'm willing to give up pretty much anything to make this happen, so as much as I am going to miss the volleyball, it's off limits from now on. Cautiously optimistic? Maybe. Have an ultrasound scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. Can't wait... Oh yeah, it's my sister's birthday... Didn't even send her a card, though I did call and leave a message with a "Happy Birthday" duet with DH.

Thursday, February 8th: Ultrasound clinic. Waiting is tough. Lots of other women, some look just as preggers (or un-preggers) as me, some really close to the end. The mood overall is of subdued excitement. Most women have someone with them, and I'm furiously scribbling on my PDA just to pass the time. Just before I go in, DH gives me a call, which helps calm down the nerves a little... The results: slightly alarming... The tech said that I was "definitely pregnant", though not as far along as we'd thought. Alarm bells going off in my head. I knew I wasn't as far along as my doctor thought, because that would have meant conception just around Christmas time, and with all the guests and stuff, there was definitely nothing of that sort happening at the time. But even by my most conservative estimates, we should have been at more than 6 weeks. I guess it's time to start worrying... Next doctor's appointment is not until the 19th, so I just have to sit and try to not fret until then...

Monday, February 19th: Longest 11 days of my life. The doc seems unperturbed, very excitedly babbling about the need to plan, getting on the midwife waiting list (done!), making decisions about pre-natal scans, and diet changes and blood tests and all that. DH and I quietly listen, finally allowing ourselves to believe this may be actually happening. Super long questionnaires are filled out, new appointments scheduled, and we're sent on our merry way. Is it possible that this is really happening???

Tuesday, February 20th: Back to reality. Second ultrasound appointment was today. The news is essentially bad, and the tech was nice enough to tell me right there and then, after consulting with the doctor on the premises. And just to make sure, on top of a regular ultrasound, I got an intra-vaginal one (yes, it's just as much fun as it sounds...). She spent a lot of time trying to get images of my ovaries, contributing to my paranoia... In short, though nothing has grown since the last time. Results will be sent to my doc, and she'll let me know what's next. The words "not viable" have not been uttered, but I know that this is the diagnosis. The cute little sac I've come to know and love has nothing growing in it, and I will soon have to say goodbye. No amount of googling will fix this mess...

Wednesday, February 21st: Today is my other sister's birthday... Kind of ironic if you think about it. I'm not in much of a celebrating mood, but having a nice chat with her actually gets my mind off this awful mess. I'm trying to plan as many distractions as I can over the next few days, because I just can't sit and dwell on things. I might never get back up...

Friday, February 23rd: I'm in a meeting at work when I get the call from my doctor. Have to take it, so I beg out of the meeting (luckily it hadn't really started yet). I like my doctor, she's clear and to the point, but also compassionate. We keep my next appointment as scheduled, and she tells me to expect an expulsion fairly soon (i.e. miscarriage). Go to the emergency if bleeding more than a pad an hour. Sounds pretty simple, really...

Sunday, February 25th: Ok, enough waiting. I'm taking things into my own hands. Went skiing with friends in the morning (partially to keep myself distracted, partially because I thought physical exertion has to help things along). And as expected, by the evening I was "expelling" things. Wicked cramps and bleeding is all I remember from the Oscars evening... Luckily by bedtime I was feeling fairly ok (the double dose of advil probably helped), and I was able to get a good night of sleep.

Monday, February 26th: Not bad, I'm thinking. Went to work all day, then did a bunch of cooking and cleanup... Probably still running on the hormonal high of pregnancy that seemed to be turning me into a Martha Stewart clone (organizing the house, baking and cooking and everything). But by bedtime, the wicked cramps came back. And then got worse. Then worse again... DH is calling me Crampy McDoubledOverson. Called Tele-Health, the nurse at the other end went through her questionnaire and said that I should not be in so much pain at this point, and I should go to emergency...

Tuesday, February 27th: We greet the day at the ER. We arrive at 12:30, and settle in the waiting room. Every few minutes I just bend over with pain, and I'm sure people are thinking I've gone insane (the rest of the time I appear quite normal). The two hour wait doesn't seem too bad, though I am starting to bleed quite heavily. When I am finally admitted, I get a very nice cubicle (ER code for a cozy little room), and I get my own little gurney. They take a bunch of blood samples, and a urine sample (noone told me I'd have to pee!). They leave the needle in my arm, in case they have to connect an IV - this is starting to get serious. The doctor is mumbling something a D&C, which I want to avoid at all costs... I keep thinking maybe I should have stayed home after all. Although I probably would have gone insane from the pain - at least at the hospital I am constantly distracted, and I think the adrenaline is working wonders. By the time the doc wants to "examine" me, I am barely feeling the cramps at all. I have new appreciation for my regular doctor, as she's never angrily ordered me to relax while inserting that unpleasantly cold and sharp speculum... Yeah, you try to relax and forget that I'm lying half-naked on a gurney in the ER, bleeding profusely and cramping! The good news is that he can't see much stuff in there, mostly just blood. So the threat of D&C has passed... I am relieved! The bad news is that one of the machines that was supposed to do the analysis of my blood needs to be recalibrated, so we have to wait another hour before we can get discharged. DH orders me to have a snooze (now that the cramps are very mild), and I gladly comply. Unbelievably enough, I had a pretty good sleep... In the end we are discharged, but have to come back for an ultrasound to confirm the status of the miscarriage...

Tuesday, February 27th (part 2): So we go home, get some rest, have a bite to eat and go back to the hospital for the ultrasound. I am getting quite comfortable now lying half-naked on a gurney, getting poked and prodded by strangers. The ultrasound technician again insisted on doing an intra-vaginal. I've lost all sense of modesty, and eagerly allowed the rubber-glove clad poking instrument to be shoved inside and poke around... But it was done and over with in record time. Then I had to go back to the ER to hear the verdict. Two hours later, I was given a clean bill of health, and told that there was just one small piece awaiting to be expelled. The ER doctor also gave me a copy of all the records, so that I can bring it to my next appointment with my doc. The report includes this charming line: "maternal ovaries are unremarkable". My ovaries are still reeling from the insult!

Wednesday, February 28th: So after an uneventful night of sleep, I decided to go to work. Everything seemed to be going ok, until the evil cramps started making a comeback. Thankfully a coworker provided me with a bunch of Tylenol, so I was sort of able to slowly limp through the workday. Working at my desk was not all that bad, after all the time in between cramps I was fairly lucid, and I was able to make it through the cramps with no screaming or kicking ;) But I was worried about my team meeting in the afternoon. It's a little harder to hide pain when trying to sit very quietly in a meeting. But it turned out I didn't need to worry. Around 5 minutes before the meeting, I had a monster sneeze. And it turns out that was all that I needed to get that annoying last bit "expelled". I really wish the ER docs or nurses would have told me. 3 days of evil cramps and all I needed was a sneeze? Give me a break!!!! OK, so it was a major sneeze, and the resulting bloody mayhem would have turned all but the most solid stomachs, but still. I was just amazing that it's all it took. After that, it's all smooth sailing. All I have to worry about from now on, is the emotional scars... And that won't take too long, will it?

So here you have it. The full account of my pregnancy, miscarriage, ER visit, and the sneeze that ended it all.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Busy, busy, busy

Been working pretty long hours this week. This is what happens when I'm not carpooling with DH, I don't have a forced "quittin' time", so I stay for hours trying to finish things. I didn't get home before 8:30 the last 3 days... But I have some hope that the busiest time is behind us (at work).

Things may be looking up at work because the fog of the first trimester finally seems to be lifting from my brain. I think I've been more productive this week than all year. Which is kind of sad, I know...

So I know a lot of people are wondering why I'm taking so long to "come out" and announce my pregnancy. I mean, I've posted it on the blog, but truthfully, I don't have that many readers :) In real life, both our families know, my boss knows, and 2 friends at work (both guys) know. I'm certainly out of the first trimester danger zone, so why the secrecy?

First off, I think I am still a little scared/disbelieving. It doesn't help that I pretty much jumped straight from a miscarriage into another pregnancy (well, ok, I did wait that month or so for things to get settled, but really, that was just enough time for the hormones to drop, and then they went up again). So I am still very skittish about the whole thing. I keep thinking "oh, once X happens, I'll really feel like it's real" (where X can be any of: 3 months are up, I see the ultrasound, I hear the heartbeat, I feel the first kick). But it's still not quite registering. Which is very annoying, because I'd always had this fantasy of enjoying every moment of my pregnancy, after all, it's such a short yet great time in one's life. So now I'm kicking myself in the posterior for not enjoying it more (which doesn't help at all with the enjoyment ;)). Sigh! Do I always have to over-analyze everything???

Then there's another factor. I have this thing where I really don't want to make a big deal out of this. You couldn't tell from reading this blog ;) I just don't want to be one of those obnoxious pregnant ladies that think the world revolves around them. And you know what's funny? I actually never really realized that they existed until pretty recently. So let me explain with an example: I'm having lunch with a friend, who's 5 months pregnant. This other friend or acquaintance of ours, also 5 months pregnant, walks by, and stops for a little chat. Obviously the talk turns to pregnancy (I have no issues with that). About halfway through the conversation, though, the second pregnant lady decides that I don't have anything interesting to contribute (neither lady knows that I am in early pregnancy at that point), turns completely towards my pregnant friend, and ignores me completely. She didn't even say goodbye, or have a nice lunch to me, just the pregnant one. Well, excuse me for not having a belly that's showing! Just cause I'm not obviously pregnant like you, doesn't mean that I don't know and don't care about anything related to pregnancy, or that I'm an inferior human being to you. Grrr!

Ok, so that was an extreme example, but there's plenty of others. Especially around here, where it seems like every woman in the office is either pregnant, thinking (and talking) about it, or on maternity leave... So for example you have the women who can spend hours telling you how unbelievably hard it is to chose the right colour scheme, or the right designer furniture for their baby's room. It's really not a huge deal for me personally (I can talk babies and decorating for hours), but I can see how annoying this can be for others, and how self-absorbed and self-important it makes one look. So in my effort to try and avoid being an annoying "look at me, I'm pregnant!", I'm sort of going to the other extreme of minimizing it.

Ok, now this blog post is certainly starting to look all self-important and self-centered. This is going to be an uphill battle!

Next time I'm going to publish a post I wrote after the miscarriage, just so that the whole episode is well documented on this blog. Like ying and yang, you have to take the bad with the good, so I figure I'd post some good stuff with some bad stuff, just life stuff I guess ;)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Life in the fast lane...

So yesterday I had my first visit with our midwife. She's really nice, I very much enjoyed my visit. She gave me TONS of reading material, some magazines and two books. I started reading last night, while DH chivalrously mowed the lawn :) I haven't even started looking at the books, although they look very interesting. It's mostly about birthing and not so much about pregnancy, but I have to start somewhere! I may pick up a few pregnancy specific books at some point.

Now that I've seen the midwife, I have to schedule another ultrasound (very much looking forward to that one!), and we've already booked up some follow-up appointments, and things seem to be moving a lot more. It's feeling a lot more real all of a sudden...

Though part of me still remains very cautious. And with good reason: the fiance of a coworker, who had just announced her pregnancy, and whose due date is days after mine, just spent the weekend bleeding and visiting hospitals, and has been put on bedrest to prevent the possiblity of a miscarriage. And there I was, thinking we were past the "danger zone". Sigh! Luckily, it seems her baby is doing ok, so hopefully the bedrest will be enough to get everything sorted out. I'm certainly crossing my fingers for them!

So there we are, precariously teetering between boundless excitement and paralyzing fear. I had never expected this to be such a roller-coaster ride! But you gotta take the good with the bad, and so far, I wouldn't change my experience for anything in the world! After all, I wouldn't be me anymore if I did :)

Well, it's probably time to leave work soon. Just a few more tests I have to run... Again, eternal optimist that I am, I keep hoping that this week will be the biggest "crunch", and if I get everything done that I want, I might finally be able to breathe a little next week. I tell you, I never learn :)

Later,

Monday, July 09, 2007

Big news

OK, so now that both of our families have been duly informed, we can finally make our big news public: I am pregnant! It's still kind of hard to believe, especially considering some of the hurdles that we had encountered in the past. My due date is believed to be January 3rd, which still seems so far away!

Got my first appointment with my midwife today. It's all very exciting! Although I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little scared... Just last night I had another nightmare of bleeding all over the place... But I am certainly trying to concentrate on the positives :) I've made it to the second trimester, so the chances of miscarriage are now a lot lower. Last week I actually had a chance to listen to the baby's heartbeat, and it sounded nice and strong :) The happy munchkin was swimming all over the place!

Well, that's it for now. Work is still CRAZY busy, so I have to get going. Hopefully from now on the updates on the blog will be a little more regular (I should have plenty to talk about ;)).

Take care!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Yowza!

Long time no post! I've been extremely busy at work, and it's not showing any signs of slowing down... Maybe another month or so... There might be a tiny little glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel :)

But at least I managed to take most of the long weekend off. My family was in town, so I got to hang out with everyone, and it was really great. We played football, frisbee, had a barbeque, watched a movie, all sorts of fun. It was really nice having the chance to catch up with everyone. My middle sister got a job!!! As a computer programmer no less! It's probably not quite a long-term commitment, as she isn't too fond of a cubicle-dweller life, but it's a good chance for her to earn some cold hard cash, and at the same time get a chance to see what's out there. I suspect she will make some great contacts, and maybe find a position that's not quite as "boring" as software design, move there, and soon enough she'll be running the place :) She's very smart my sister!

My little sis, the baby of the family, has been volounteering at a physiotherapy clinic, getting ready to start university in the fall (in physiotherapy). It's still very hard for me to believe that she's old enough to go to university. I mean, talking to her, it's obvious that she's pretty mature and ready for higher education, but in my head she's still the little kid who likes nothing better than to be the baby in the family ;) But that's just in my head... In reality, she's a full adult now. They grow up so fast!!!!

On a separate note, this weekend also marked a year since our arrival in China, as well as a year since meeting our friends' twin girls for the first time. It's been a pretty exciting year for that family :)

Later!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Update

In a funny bit of coincidence, just as I posted about our car trouble, we got a call from the mechanic letting us know the problem has been diagnosed. Turns out it's the distributor (just as we suspected), and it needs to be replaced. Unfortunately, we had had the original, 11 year old distributor replaced in April 2006, and it's an aftermarket one. It's less than half the cost of the manufacturer recommended one, but it looks like it doesn't last that long. The thing came with a 1 year warranty, and lasted just long enough to be out of the warranty period. Silly thing. Our mechanic did call his supplier who offered a 10% discount on the replacement part. Sigh.

We talked it over, and decided to give this funky distributor another chance. It's a lot cheaper than the "official" part, and really, we're not sure the car will last us another year. I mean, it's been good to us so far, but it's starting to show some electric glitches, and that's never a good sign.

So I'm guessing we'll be on the market for a new vehicle soon. We'll probably be looking at something used (2-5 years old?), something fun yet reliable, and hopefully easy on gas. That's a lot of requirements, I know. We've been talking about this for the last few years ("What would we ever replace the Probe with?"), and haven't found any convincing answers yet. Some of our requirements are a little contradictory (fun to drive and easy on gas? good commuting car, yet not too small? exotic yet affordable?), and I think we're both looking for slightly different things. Of course this would be mostly DH's car, as he does the bulk of the commuting in this family, so it definitely has to fit his criteria more than mine. I'll be posting more as the decision making process unfolds :)

I think the hardest part is that we don't want to have to say goodbye to the old car. It's served us so well, and it's still so much fun to drive. We'd love to keep it going forever, but we're not necessarily interested in having to leave it in the shop every week. Hopefully, it's not time to say goodbye yet, but we definitely have to start preparing for that eventuality.

Next post, no car talk, I promise :)

Friday, June 08, 2007

Car trouble

So I've been meaning to write this car trouble story for over a week now... Sigh. The reason I haven't written it yet is probably two parts busy, one part procrastination. Make that four parts busy and one part procrastination... Two Fridays ago, DH was driving to work in the old car (as he usually does). For some reason I decided to take it easy that morning and leave a little later, so I was still at home, slowly getting ready when he got on the road. A few minutes after he left, the phone rings. It's DH: "The car died, and I am stranded in the middle of the intersection". In those moments, I am glad we finally broke down and got a cellphone, even though we barely ever use it :)

Anyway, DH called the tow-truck, but he asked me to come pick him up, so that he can get himself to work in the other car. I rushed into the shower, and a few minutes later I was out the door. I got to the intersection, with no car and no hubby in sight... I drove around in circles for a few minutes, hoping to find him in the immediate vicinity, but to no avail. So I kept going, and a few kms later, there he was, pulled over with the car acually running. Turns out the car eventually decided to start again, and DH left me a message at my work number (though I never checked it). But all's well that ends well, we swapped cars (at that point I was only maybe 3 kms from my work, so I could have walked the rest of the way), and he managed to get to work on time.

I had a few errands to run that day, but I wasn't all that concerned, since the car was running fine. I got all my errands done, and then after work went to a friend's place, for our almost-monthly "stitch and bitch" get together. A great time was had by all, and time flew past way too fast as usual. So here I am, heading home at around midnight, when all of a sudden, the car dies again. If I had any thoughts that DH had done something wrong in the morning and somehow stalled the car, I knew now that there's definitely something going on with the car itself. I was going 90km/h when all of a sudden the tach went to 0, and I had no more power steering (ouch!), and was slowly coasting to a stop. Definitely, this wasn't related to anything that I might have done.

Anyway, I come to a stop on a small residential street, right in the middle of a bus stop (I really didn't have much ch0ice in where the car decided to stop). That's when I remember that DH did not leave the cellphone with me... Luckily, there was a gas station right across the street, open 24h. So I get out in the rain, after attempting in vain to start the car again, and go to the gas station, where I meekly asked the attendant if I could borrow the phone. He was nice enough and gave me the phone, which I used to wake up DH, to get him to come down and rescue me from the cold and rain. You see, only DH has CAA membership, so he has to be there with the car to call the tow truck (if we want it done for free that is).

Anyway, to make a long story short, the tow truck showed up around 1am, at which point the car graciously agreed to start again, and since we were only a few minutes from home, we managed to get it all the way down the driveway on its own (with the tow truck following right behind). DH even thought he could get the car in the garage, so he stopped in front of the door, got out of the car to open the garage door, when bam! the car died again. At least at this point it was in the driveway, and we could just leave it there...

So it looks like the car just dies for a few hours at a time. We managed to get it down to our mechanic down the street, but he hasn't had a chance to take a look at it yet. Since the car is now 12 years old, we're trying to get used to the idea that we may have to say goodbye to it for good... Though we are still hoping it will not come to that. Mostly because it's such a fun car! We've been trying to think what we would replace it with if we had to, and can't come up with anything as fun (and within our budget). I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get to it :)

So that's my sob story of being stuck with a dead car in the rain...

Hope you're all safe from car trouble (and any other kind of trouble for that matter).

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Weekend cuteness

Ok, so there's been countless cuteness moments this weekend. I think I'm going into cuteness overload :)

First it was our friend's twin girls on Friday. They will soon be 2 years old, and they're so cute. They can say all sorts of words, and they look so cute in their ponytails!!

Then yesterday I was cutting the grass, and all of a sudden I hear lots of commotion. Turns out the mother horse is teaching the new foal how to gallop. She's chasing her all over the place, and making her practice turns and stuff. So cute!

Then there was the turtle I saw on the side of the street when heading to work, and after that, little goslings on the work campus cooling off in little puddles of water... I should bring the camera with me more often!

And last night at our friend's birthday party, we got to play with his 5 week old son. Such a cutie! I even got to feed him, which was so much fun! Except every time I tried to burp him, he would just fall asleep. I guess he was getting very comfortable :)

Then this morning we noticed that in the robin's nest that's in the window of one of our guest bedrooms, two baby birds have hatched (and there's still two blue eggs left). They are so cute, whenever anyone approaches they open up their little beaks asking for food. We're trying to leave them undisturbed, so the parents don't abandon them. But they are so cute!

So how's that for a weekend's worth of cuteness?

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Happy anniversary to us

Yes, today is our anniversary. 6 years of marriage. Who would have thought it would go by so fast! We've now officially been married longer than we'd been together before that. It's a pretty cool thing, marriage, I tell you. Sure, there's ups and downs (and some years it seems like there's more ups, and others it's more downs...), but overall, it's a great journey. But it's not for the faint of heart ;)

We actually have no plans for celebrating this occasion. All day DH is at a conference downtown, and tonight we're going to celebrate a friend's 40th birthday party. Tomorrow it's conference all day again, and hopefully some rest in the evening... And last night I had a night out with some friends (a monthly type of event that I had missed for the last 3 months, so I really didn't want to miss this one), and DH had a few friends over to watch a movie on the big screen. So not much official celebrating this weekend.

But I did buy a gift for DH (this is the first year I've done so). In previous years we've often agreed on a no gift policy, but DH would always pick something up "at the last minute", and then my Mom would have a gift for us too, and I always end up feeling guilty. So this year I decided to buy a book that DH has been meaning to get for the last few weeks. Hope he likes it :)

I have more stories to tell you, but I have to go now (I got paged with a work issue), so it's bye for now!

Ta ta!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Made it (yawn!)

So after 7 hours of driving last night (well, driving for DH, I mostly just dozed off in the passenger seat), we made it to London at around 1am. Didn't get lost, but we did run into a bit of stop-and-go traffic through Toronto, at around 11pm. Crazy traffic city!

So now we're here. And I'm taking advantage of the wireless connection to the satellite internet that SIL has here - sweet. Don't even need to plug in the laptop anywhere! This morning we tried to sleep in, despite all the attempts of the two dogs and one cat to get us to get up ;) We then headed into the small town (SIL lives in the rural area surrounding London) for breakfast, and to get some groceries. We came back and walked around the property, exploring with FIL and Wally, one of the dogs. The weather is gorgeous, the freshly cut grass smells delicious, and the river at the bottom of the hill provided beautiful sights. What more could we ask for? This is a really nice place to spend a weekend and relax...

I have taken a whole bunch of pictures of Wally (dog #1), Sage (dog #2) and Marty (cat who thinks he's dog #3), but unfortunately I don't have the stuff to transfer the pictures from the camera to the laptop. Sigh! They should really have bluetooth on all the cameras to make the file transfer easier!

OK, better get back to the rest of the gang. I'll try to post again later, maybe with some musings about small town living...

Take care!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Horses, movies and travel plans

How cute is this?


Here's one of the weekend shots of the neighbour's four day old foal. Isn't she just the cutest?? Times like these it's really nice to be living out in the boonies ;) Just go into the back yard and shoot pictures at will (we took several dozen pictures on Sunday).

We also managed to install the screen for the projector. It turned out not to be too much work, really, just two screws and two lengths of chain, et voila! Of course we installed the screen a little too far out, so we still have to reinstall it a few feet closer to the wall, but no biggie. The image looks just awesome. We definitely have to stock up on snacks and drinks now, because friends will be coming over for the movie experience (we moved all of our speakers down there too, so we have the whole deal). I just wish we had a little more time to enjoy the whole theatre setup. If I don't have to work overtime, and we're not working on the house or the yard, we're definitely driving somewhere (I know, I know, it's not a bad life!).

Tomorrow night we're driving out to London, ON, to spend the long weekend with FIL. I'm looking forward to having some time to spend with FIL, and to visit London, where we've never been. I hear that the grounds of Western U are worthwhile to visit...

Friday, May 11, 2007

Projector screen just arrived

I want to ask for your forgiveness, as I am about to get into full-on geek-mode. You can skip the following post if you are not technically inclined and are not interested in the nitty-gritty of our TV-room setup in the basement. I will have another post with pictures once everything is setup.

We ordered the screen last week, and were told it would be in town on Wednesday, and we could pick it up on Thursday. Of course on Thursday we were told it hadn't arrived and we'd have to wait until next week. But then today we got the call that it is in. We went to pick it up at the store, and DH is probably unpacking it as we speak (I had to come back to work to finish up some coding). This thing is massive, though surprisingly not very heavy. It's a ceiling mount, manual, 120 inch diameter screen, in the colour white (our research showed that the gray ones are already outdated, as they were better suited for the older, low brightness projectors). We have also bought a 3RCA to VGA cable, because apparently that is the best combination to get the ultimate picture out of our DVD to the projector. All we need now is to bring our speakers downstairs for full-on 5.1 sound (and wire them up), and we're all set. Well, we do still have to install the screen itself. We've been using an old sheet that I rigged up with some sown in weights at the bottom to get rid of the sag lines, and it's been not too shabby. Can't wait to see the results with a real screen!

Ok, that's it for the update. Hope the weather on the weekend allows for at least a little bit of yardwork. Take care!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Animal farm

Just came back from the next door neighbour's barn. He's got a brand new foal, born just 24 hours ago. Man, I am glad I am not a horse. 11 month gestation, and the size of the newborn is just absolutely scary! No wonder the mother horse was whiney the last time we saw her (on Sunday, where she was sticking out to both sides like she had swallowed a gigantic globe or something). So we visited the baby horse, and said hi to the two cats, and the dog. And while we were at it, we also spent some time with the year old horse, who I think is a little jealous of the new addition, not being the youngest anymore. She kept blowing at my hair, and then showing us her teeth in a very comical manner, just to get some attention. She didn't make a sound, though, just the big toothy smile :)

Good thing I had such a nice wind down when I got home, because the work day was absolutely crazy. I am on pager duty this week, and I got paged 12 times today! The amazing thing is that I actually managed to handle all of the issues, but I certainly felt like I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off, and of course I didn't get any of my work done. Oh well, tomorrow is another day :)

Signing off,

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Good news and updates

Big thanks to everyone crossing their fingers and sending positive vibes: our friends' little baby boy has come back home, and all his tests came back fine. He still needs a lot of tending to (has to be woken up every 2 hours to be fed), but it sounds like the worst of it is behind them. We have breathed a huge sigh of relief! And in more good news on that front, we may be able to go and visit them next weekend. Yay!

Today is Saturday, and the weather is gorgeous. Too bad I had to come to work :( But I still managed to get plenty of time enjoying the outdoors before lunch today. You know summer is almost here, because today was the first lawn mowing of the year (complete with lawn aeration). I also transplanted a few small cuttings, a lilac and a few forsythias. I pulled out some thistles and dandylions, and a whole bunch of new raspberry shoots. And because it's so beautiful and sunny and dry, on top of the usual laundries I washed some of our blankets, so that they can dry outside. Not bad for a morning's work ;) And much more pleasant than sitting in the air-conditioned work cubicle...

All this yardwork at the beginning of the season sure seems daunting. But we keep reminding ourselves that a little extra work at the beginning of the season will pay dividends throughout the summer. When we first bought the house, I was a very naive yard-idealist, insisting on keeping everything natural. I wanted to let the plants grow wild, hoping to bask in their natural beauty. Well, what happened after that was that our lawn became overrun with thistles (pretty flowers for a week or so in the summer, major pain the rest of the time), raspberry bushes took over the back side of the house (literally killing everything else that had grown there, including the wonderful iris that I had enjoyed so much). So I somehow had to get over my dislike of killing plants, and selectively eliminate some of the more rude natural invaders. Especially in the spring, it's important to keep those enthusiastic buggers at bay :)

Now, that's not to say I've completely given up on the "natural" yard. We still only use a reel mower - it's a lot of work, but it's good exercise, and it works well. We aerate the lawn using these funky sandals. We still refuse to use pesticides and chemical fertilizers. I try to encourage native plants to grow wild as they please. The yard still needs a lot of work to get where I would ultimately like it to be, but we are making progress. I am certainly really impressed at how well certain plants respond to the minimal maintenance I've started last year. The lilac bushes are just thriving, the tulips are coming up beautifully (they haven't bloomed yet, but you know there will be pictures as soon as they do!). And seeing those results really makes all the yard work a lot more enjoyable. I used to hate the thought of having to go take care of the "outside", as it seemed like such a never ending job. But I'm starting to come around. Of course, yard work is a lot more enjoyable at this time of year, when the sun is just nice and warm, and the gentle breeze brings over the smell of fresh grass, and all the birds are chirping. Ask me again in the middle of the summer in the sweltering heat with mosquitoes buzzing over my head!

Gotta get back to work, so I can get back home at a decent hour. Hope you're all enjoying your weekend!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Finger crossing request

So you heard about our friends who had an premature arrival bless their family this weekend... Well, unfortunately, the little boy has not expressing much interest in eating, so much so that he started losing weight (and when you're born at 5lb14, you don't have much to lose!), and they had to bring him back to the hospital. The doctors are doing lots of tests to determine what's upsetting the little guy.

So if you have a few positive vibes to spare, I am sure they would appreciate it. I've been crossing my fingers for the last few days, hoping they would be able to bring the little boy back home. Instead, they had to go home alone last night, leaving the baby back in the hospital. It must be so hard to have to leave your baby behind like that! Even when you know that you he's not that far, that he's in good hands, and that it's in everyone's best interest for you to actually get some sleep...

:(

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Pictures

Don't have that much to say today, but I got a pretty good connection going, so I thought I'd share a few pictures with you.

First off is the adorable little marzipan tiger that DH got me for my birthday. The picture is a little fuzzy, but isn't he just adorable?

Then I have two pictures of tulips. In a strange coincidence, this spring I received two sets of potted tulips, a week or so apart. I've been setting them up in different places in the kitchen trying to get the best picture I can before they wilt. They're not the most hardy of flowers, but at least in the fall I will be able to plant them in the garden, and then they will come back every spring :)










As for the summary of the weekend, it was busy but fun and pretty social. First of all, we were supposed to have a baby shower for friends of ours of Sunday, but apparently little Matthew couldn't wait and decided to be born on Saturday (over a month early!). Everyone is doing great, but imagine their surprise :) Just goes to show you never know when the big day will happen! Needless to say, no shower happened, and we will have to get the gifts to them some other time.

Friday night we watched "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", a film we both heartily recommend. DH had seen it previously, so it was nice to see it together. I would definitely watch it again. Saturday we started out with some errands. Then we went to the movie theatre, to see some opera. Yes, you read that right. It's this new thing that the people at the Metropolitan Opera from New York have come up with, where opera performances from the Met are broadcast live in HD to theaters all over the world. It's certainly an interesting experience, and you really can't go wrong seeing an opera for around $20! Unless you hate opera that is ;) Though DH, who's not a big fan of the opera, enjoyed the show nonetheless. We saw Puccini's "Il Trittico", of which the first act was by far the best! If you're interested, take a look at the website, there may be upcoming performances being broadcast where you live. In Canada, the shows are presented by Cineplex.

After that, we went to a friend's house for a birthday celebration of pizza and poker. I won a little money, but DH lost a little, so in the end we came out with 3$ less. A cheap night's entertainment, that's for sure ;)

Today we mostly puttered around the yard, finishing the pathway at the back of the house. I can't believe the day is almost over! The "Amazing Race" has just started, and that always means the end of the weekend. Back to work on Monday, slaving hard trying to meet the deadlines :)

Hope y'all had a good weekend!