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


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 :)