Thursday, December 21, 2006

The end may be near…

So, every night for the last three nights, I've dreamt that Gracie decides to come early and we have the New Year's Baby for Airdrie.

Then, I go to my doctor's appointment this afternoon and after the usual poking and prodding, she says: "That baby's sure packed in there tight. I've never really seen that before. You don't have much room left in there, do you?"

And last night, I was vacuuming the living room when I got home from work at 1:30 a.m. because I just couldn't go to bed with a dirty floor. I'm new at this, but don't they call that nesting?

So, what do you suppose all this means? I think I'd better get Gracie's room done and not make any plans for New Year's Eve, that's what I think it means.

Monday, December 18, 2006

High School Flashback

I know I said I wasn't writing until Saturday, but I just had to share this little tidbit.

This morning as I was getting dressed, I pulled out a t-shirt that fit me a few short weeks ago and discovered that said t-shirt no longer even remotely fits. And as I stared in the mirror at my big tummy sticking out underneath the shirt, I was immediately reminded of Mr. Belanger, my high school computer science teacher.

Mr. Belanger was one of my favorite teachers, not only because he introduced me to the fabulous world of Macintosh computers, but because he had a great sense of humor and his classes were always fun. But Mr. Belanger was a big man. A very big man. He had a GIANT beer gut that hung over his pants, and rather than wear a long shirt that he could tuck into his pants and cover said beer gut, he always wore a shirt that was not quite long enough to cover it up. I'm sure that when he got dressed in the morning he would pull it down far enough to cover himself, but through the course of the day it would ride up and by afternoon a very large portion of his hairy, fat stomach would be sticking out underneath his shirt and hanging over his pants.

And that's what I was reminded of when I looked in the mirror this morning. I looked identical, except for the hairy part. I'm sure poor Mr. Belanger would be happy to know that a very fat pregnant lady was reminded of him when she looked in the mirror this morning. I sure wasn't thrilled to see that I looked just like my fat high school computer teacher. Sorry Mr. Belanger, wherever you are.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

So. Very. Busy.

Sorry I haven't had time to post on my beloved blog.

Must put out two newspapers in one week. The first one is going to be 40 pages.

Up to my eyeballs in work that private clients need done before Christmas and before baby is born.

Not done Christmas shopping. Have not even put up the Christmas tree - have tried three times and have been interrupted with something every time.

I'll talk to you on December 23. Life should be back to normal by then. I hope.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Waiting for Gracie

Okay, I'm starting to be an uncomfortable pregnant woman now. I am no longer in awe of the wondrous task my body has undertaken in creating the miracle of life, blah, blah, blah…

I just want my body back to myself. I want to make it through the day without having to pee every hour on the hour. I want to find a comfortable position to sleep in. I want to be able to walk up the two flights of stairs in my townhouse without getting winded. And I want to be able to bend over and pick something up without making old lady noises.

But mostly, I want to SEE this baby. I'm just dying to see what this little girl looks like. I want to kiss her little head, and count her teeny fingers and toes, and cuddle her and sing to her and just have her HERE.

Only six more weeks to go, only six more weeks to go…

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Christmas spirit alive and well

If ever I needed proof that I am indeed, a small-town farm girl at heart, it came yesterday, while Christmas shopping.

I am not cut out to be in that small of a space with that many people packed into it. I swear to God, all 1 million people who live in the city of Calgary were at the mall I chose to shop at yesterday. I lasted a whole hour and then I went home.

I grew up on a farm near a town of 1500 people. My nearest neighbour was at least two miles away. There were 30 kids in my entire class until high school, when the rest of the kids from the even smaller schools around the county had to come to our school. That put the grand total up to 60 kids in my graduating class.

I am not happy with crowds. I am not happy in traffic. I would never, EVER be able to live in the city. Okay, technically, Airdrie is a city, but there are only 30,000 people living here. And to be honest with you, this is about as big a city as I can take. To me, cities are fun places to drive to for a day every once in awhile to do some shopping and maybe go to a movie or a play, and then get the hell out of and go home.

Anyway, back to my original point, there were A LOT of people at the mall yesterday. I don't know what I was thinking going shopping in Calgary on a Saturday, but I've learned my lesson.

Oh, but there was one very bright spot in my day.

I stopped at Wal-Mart here in Airdrie to get some wrapping paper and bows and tape and all that good stuff, and stupidly didn't get a cart. I thought that since I was only picking up a few things I could carry them and get through the crowd easier than if I had a cart. But of course, I found a few other things I needed while I was there, and pretty soon I was having trouble holding all the stuff I had stacked up in my arms and I dropped my rolls of tape. I was trying to figure out how my big fat pregnant self was going to bend down and pick up the tape without losing everything else when I heard this little voice say "I'll help you!" I looked up and a maybe 4-year-old boy was running down the aisle towards me. He picked it up for me with a big smile on his face and said "Here you go!" I tell you, I nearly cried. It was just the sweetest thing ever! I thanked him lots and told him what a nice thing it was for him to do, and he just looked pleased as punch that he'd done such a good thing for someone.

I sure hope I can raise a child who is as sweet and polite as that little guy.

Anyway, gotta go. Today is the day -- I'm going to haul the Christmas tree out of my basement and make my house look all festive. Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Does your boss know what you do?

So, my boss has started calling people in for interviews to replace me while I'm on maternity leave. I overheard some of his phone conversations yesterday, and let me tell you, it is a very interesting experience to hear your boss describe your job to somebody else.

First, he grossly underestimated how many hours this person will be required to work. Then he kept using the phrase "it's pretty easy" over and over. I wanted to tell him that if he thinks it's so easy, maybe HE should have been there at 2 a.m. the night before, painstakingly photo-shopping words off of washers and dryers and fridges out of a flyer for the local Sears dealer's ad.

So when he got off the phone, I told him that he really needed to tell people that I work more than 35 hours a week. "You do?" was his response. "Um, yes. A lot more, actually." He was kind of stunned. Apparently he had no idea that I come back to work every Monday night after supper and stay until at least 10 p.m. And he had no idea that hubby and I don't even take a supper break on Tuesdays -- we just order in and keep working until at least midnight. On a busy week, much more.

So after I tell him all this, his answer to the problem is that he will just call me on the weeks that it's really busy and I can come in and help, so he doesn't have to pay the new person for all the extra hours.

I'm in very, very big trouble.

(Did I mention that hubby and I own shares in this particular newspaper? Just in case you're wondering why on earth we would show such loyalty to our employers).

Monday, November 27, 2006

Oh the weather outside is frightful…

So it's about 6 bazillion degrees below zero outside today, and the snow just keeps on coming. I am sitting at work, trying to concentrate, but all I want to do is go home and decorate my house for Christmas. I want to make some gingerbread cookies and some hot chocolate, put on some Christmas music, and make my house look all festive and bright.

I know, I know. It's not even December yet. But it's snowing and beautiful outside! Airdrie had it's Santa Claus parade on Saturday, and the Festival of Lights has already started in the big park in the middle of the city. Come on -- can't I just put up my Christmas tree? How about a wreath on my front door?

Okay, okay. I guess I can wait one more week. But in the meantime, do what I did and have fun making yourself into a South Park character!

Go to: and create away!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Attack of the Hormones

I had a really super hormonal breakdown/allergy attack yesterday.

It was a super duper crappy day from start to finish, so when, at 10:30 p.m. I was putting away the groceries I had just bought and the shelf on my refrigerator door fell onto my foot and everything scattered around the floor, I had had enough.

I yelled, I threw things, (which scared the crap out of my poor kitties), then sat down in tears. I don't generally do things like that. It was kind of unsettling. Which made it even worse -- I pride myself on being the kind of person who thrives under pressure. I don't cry when things don't go my way -- ever! What good will that do? No, I just find a way to fix the problem, and get on my with day. But not yesterday. Nope, yesterday I was one of those pansy girls who cry at the drop of a hat -- and I HATE those girls.

Luckily, my sweet hubby came and fixed things up, then made me cuddle up with him on the couch until all was right with the world again.

So, things seem much better today. Gotta go though. In-laws are coming over this afternoon and my house is a disaster area. How fast can I clean an entire house? Well, I guess I'll see. My plan is to start with downstairs, where we will spend most of our time, and if I don't get all of upstairs done I just won't let them up there…

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The 36-pager

Fellow newspaper slaves, please give me your sympathy on this cold, Alberta day. I have just finished production on a 28 page newspaper AND an 8-page special section that is about 95% advertising. All. By. Myself.

Yes, that's right. I made the dummy and the template pages TWICE because SOMEONE changed their mind, managed to appease the customer from HELL, designed every ad that you'll find in those 36 pages, compiled the classifieds, made the PDFs of the pages and uploaded them to the press -- and I did it all in three and a half days. Oh, and did I mention that at this particular newspaper, I also have to email or fax all the proofs myself and keep track of the corrections? And answer the phone and watch the front desk when the receptionist is busy on Monday and Tuesday and when we don't have a receptionist on Wednesdays? And answer all the emails in our general inquiry account? And on and on and on…

I worked until midnight on Sunday & Monday, and until 2 a.m. on Tuesday, but by God I got it done!

Looks like pages are done uploading. Better go home and eat something.

Only 67 days until baby gets here and my NEW stressful, round the clock job begins…

Monday, November 20, 2006

I need food ideas!!!!

I need some new recipes. I am sick and tired of making the same things for supper all the time. But it's hard to make new things at my house. EATING is hard at my house. You see, I am allergic to all things dairy; and hubby is allergic to fruits and vegetables. Okay, he's not technically allergic to fruits and vegetables. But he refuses to eat any but a select few, so he might as well be.

Why don't I just MAKE him eat them, you ask? I figure he's an adult, and if he really finds fruits and vegetables THAT repulsive, then it's not worth my time and energy to make him. I figure I wouldn't appreciate it if someone was always bugging me to eat something I hated. (My children, on the other hand, will be a completely different story.)

But since we have very different tastes in what is good and what is not, sometimes it's hard to find things that we both like. If it was up to me, we would eat a small portion of lean meat and a heaping plateful of vegetables for supper every night. If it was up to hubby, we would eat a steak large enough to take up the entire plate every night - no need to make anything to go with it. Steak and steak alone is hubby's idea of supper perfection.

But since you can't eat steak for supper EVERY night, (actually, hubby's father raises cattle and we get a freezer full for free every year. So technically, we COULD eat steak every night if we wanted. But I digress…) I need to come up with some mutually agreed upon things to bring us a little variety. Usually hubby is very receptive to anything that has a lot of melted cheese on top of it, and so I used to make it despite my allergy and just take some antihistamines. But since I'm pregnant I can't have antihistamines anymore, so anything with cheese is out.

And so I think I've been making the same five or six things for supper since the day the two little lines on the stick turned pink. And I'm bloody sick and tired of them.
Anybody got any good ideas? Because I can't eat spaghetti and meat sauce one more time. I just can't.

Here are my limitations. Anything I make for supper cannot contain any of the following ingredients:
- Any milk products whatsoever.
- Almost any kind of fruit or vegetable (with the exception of tomatoes, corn, peppers or mushrooms)
- Any kind of cream or mushroom sauce
- Any kind of fish. Seafood is okay, but fish is not.

See my problem? Between the two of us, it's impossible to come up with a variety of foods to eat. He will not eat soups, stews, casseroles or anything that might have vegetables lurking in them. I can't eat cream sauce, and he won't eat mushroom sauce. Tuna casserole? Nope. The yummy salmon rolls my mom makes? Nope. Tacos? Only good with cheese and sour cream, so nope. Pizza? Nope. Fish & Chips? Nope.


(Before you get worried that I'm depriving little Gracie of fruits and vegetables, I fill up on them all day. Breakfast is always a fresh fruit vitamin smoothie, lunch is always accompanied by some sort of fruit and a vegetable, and my afternoon snack is usually an apple and some low-fat goat's milk cheese. Hubby and I eat separate things for breakfast and lunch, but I don't have enough time or energy in my schedule to make two separate suppers too).

Sunday, November 19, 2006


Oh my god. I've turned into a Keener. You know, the brown-noser everyone in the class hated because she always had her hand up and answered all of the teacher's questions? That was me, yesterday, at our Childbirth Essentials class. I was completely obnoxious. I even made a joke about the Scientology silent births when the instructor was talking about not being afraid to make as much noise as you want.

I sure have changed since going to high school. Back then I knew a lot of the answers, but I would have NEVER put up my hand -- that would have involved actually speaking in front of the whole class. And what if I was wrong and everybody laughed at me? Nope, better just to keep my mouth shut.

But this weekend, I just couldn't help myself. She asked the questions, and I just opened my mouth and answered. Out loud!

And apparently all my reading has paid off. I knew pretty much everything she had to tell us, except for all the relaxation techniques. So really, I wasted a Friday night and all day Saturday, not to mention $110. I think it was worth it for hubby though. While I've been busy reading up on childbirth to prepare myself for the very slim chance that hubby might freak out and I'll be doing it all by myself, hubby has remained blissfully unaware of episiotomies and emergency c-sections. I think it was a bit of an eye-opener for him. But I also think it wasn't as bad as he thought it would be, and so I am confident that I will have him there with me the whole time. Yay!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Super Expansion

Okay, my stomach is doing some serious stretching today.

Remember that Friends episode where Joey ate an entire 20 lb turkey all by himself? That's how my stomach feels today.

Maybe Gracie's got her little hands and feet all stretched out and is pushing outwards as hard as she can to see if she can get herself a little more space in there. I can just picture her - her little face all scrunched up in concentration, pushing outwards in any direction she can. Could be true - who knows?

All I know is that I can actually feel my stomach expanding, and it's a very weird feeling.

Friday, November 10, 2006

What a sweetie…

I have the bestest husband ever!

At lunch, while I was hiking up my stupid maternity pants for the 4000th time today and laughing at myself as I did so, hubby said:

"I'm really gonna miss you like this."

Me: "Big and fat and ugly?"

Him: "No, that you've always got a smile on your face now."

Altogether everybody: AAAWWW!

My heart just melted. But he's right. I do always have perma-grin these days. I just can't help it. I've waited so long for this little girl to get here, and now that she's nearly here I just can't stop smiling. Even the crappiest day is made better when I rub the big belly and feel the kicking. It's like I'm a kid again and I'm so excited for Christmas that I can't sleep -- only about a thousand times more.

I think I'm gonna make hubby his favorite chocolate chip cookies tonight and do a few other things to show him how much I love it when he says things like that…

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

By popular request…

Okay everybody. Here you go. I've been resisting posting a pregnant Denice photo because, well, I've hated every picture ever taken of me, except for the one I use for my blog profile. I always think I'm looking pretty good until someone takes my picture, and then I think UUGG! Does my chin really stick out that far? Did I forget to put make-up on this morning?

Plus, until last week I didn't have much of a bump to show off. I mean, there was definitely one there, but if you didn't know me and know that I was pregnant, you would probably just think I've packed on quite a few pounds lately.

But then two weeks ago I was absolutely RAVENOUS for a week and ate everything that crossed my path, and my stomach expanded exponentially overnight. Honestly. I wore the same pair of pants two days in a row, and on Thursday they would cover my tummy, but on Friday I had to wear the big band under my tummy because they wouldn't even come CLOSE to covering it.

So now there is definitely a good-sized bump to show off! And after scaring her yesterday, Gracie moved around so much that I think she changed position. I used to get kicked up high on my right side, but I've been getting kicked much lower and on the left side since yesterday morning. And I have this really hard round spot on my right side that kind of sticks out that didn't use to be there. I've been trying to decide if it's a bum or a head, but I don't know which. How do you tell?

I have to say, I'm having so much fun being pregnant. I've been really lucky to have a very easy pregnancy so far. I didn't throw up once, I've only had one cold that I had to suffer through without any medication, my back doesn't hurt yet and my feet only get a little bit swollen if I forget to get up and walk around a bit while I'm at work. My rib cage hurts a little at the end of the day, but it's not really enough to complain about. I've gained more weight than I would like, but fortunately I love to exercise so I know I can work that off later. I've still got 12 more weeks to go though. Maybe check back and see if I'm still this positive in January!

Until then, it's just so much fun to rub my tummy and talk to baby. And I'm starting to get really impatient about seeing her and getting life started with her. I know 12 weeks is still quite a way off, but like our new and very young reporter said this morning, "the weeks sure go by faster when you work at a newspaper!" And they really do. You are working so hard on such a short deadline that the days just fly by and you wonder where all the time went. So when I say I've only got 12 weeks left, people chuckle, but it feels like barely any time at all to me!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Good Reflexes . . . Check!

So, my life as a kind and loving mother is not getting off to a great start.
I accidentally scared the crap out of my unborn child this morning.

How on earth did I do that, you ask?

Well, for the last couple of years I've been using my cell phone's alarm clock function to wake me up in the morning. Our clock radio stays on hubby's side of the bed because he has to listen to the radio all night to sleep and I prefer quiet. And since we have to get up at different times in the morning, rather than reach over top of him, I've been setting my cell phone alarm on my side of the bed for me. It beeps and it vibrates at the same time and make a great big racket. It's pretty effective, actually.

But this morning I just wasn't ready to get up yet when it went off, so after I frantically grabbed for the snooze button to make the ringing and the buzzing stop, I absent-mindedly set it on my great big tummy and went back to sleep. And ten minutes later, it went off again while sitting on my tummy.

Which of course scared the crap out of my child. Poor Gracie made one of those startled jumps -- as much as you can when you're cramped into such a small space -- and then she started kicking the crap out me. Much like her father when you try to wake him up in the morning, come to think of it…

Anyway, I felt AWFUL! It's probably not fun to be all nice and cozy and sound asleep and then have your home suddenly start to vibrate and beep. I'm pretty sure I'd be doing some kicking too. At least we know her hearing and her reflexes work just fine!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Crazy week

Well, it's a good thing that I didn't sign up for National Blog Posting Month. I had originally planned to take part in the contest, in which the only thing you really had to do was post on your blog every single day in November and you could possibly win some prizes.

But it's November 4 and had I signed up, I'd already be disqualified because this is my first November post. Oh well. I had one of those crazy weeks that were good and bad at the same time.

A week ago, my husband's grandmother died. But then my nephew Max was born! So I took the afternoon off work Monday and whipped down to Lethbridge to see brand new baby boy. But then Tuesday I had to work until 3:30 a.m. to get all my work done, and then get up early Wednesday because it was my turn to open the office (it's a 6 person office, and we all take turns on who actually has to be there at 9 a.m. to open the doors. Nice, huh?). The paper was done and sent to press at 7:30 p.m., then I jumped into my car and raced to Calgary before Motherhood Maternity closed because Grandma Betty's funeral was Thursday and I had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO WEAR. Not the "I hate everything in my closet and I need new clothes" nothing to wear. But the "my tummy somehow expanded three sizes in one week and now none of my pants cover my tummy and none of my sweaters are long enough to cover the gap" nothing to wear. I made it just in time, came home and crashed.

The less said about funeral day the better. Let's just say it was not a fun day.

Then yesterday, I was just exhausted. After work I crashed, and I crashed hard. I need so much more sleep these days again. I've hit the third trimester and I'm almost as tired as I was in the first. But not quite. At least I haven't fallen asleep at my desk at work yet.

So today is super laundry day! And wash all the floors, clean out the fridge, take the bottles to the recycle depot, and organize baby's room day. And if I have time I'm going to take my film of Max to get developed and post some unbelievably cute baby pictures for all to see! (Yes, I know. I'm the very last person left on earth still using a film camera.)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Goodbye Grandma Betty

Last night, the world lost a sweet and wonderful lady. My hubby's grandma passed away at the age of 74, after a very full and beautiful life. She was a farm wife who raised five kids, wrote a regular newspaper column that appeared in a number of Central Alberta weeklies, spent a few years in Africa in the 70's teaching farmers about new farming practices, and wrote a bunch of books about her life experiences. She was also an accomplished painter to boot.

When I met her 6 years ago, she hadn't yet had any strokes, and was still out on the farm. She drove an 80s era sports car with a T-roof, and was full of energy and spunk. I'm so glad I got to meet that lady. Because a few short months later she had a stroke, and then over the years she had another, and then another. And each one debilitated her a little bit more until she was in a wheelchair, one whole side of her body paralyzed and blind in one eye. And I could tell she was miserable not being the independent lady she used to be.

She had a massive heart attack a few days ago, and after being in the hospital in intensive care for a few days, she passed away peacefully in her sleep. Goodbye Grandma Betty. I wish I had gotten to know you better -- I can tell you left an indelible mark on those who did.

Friday, October 27, 2006

’Tis the Season?

For the first time in my life, I have started Christmas shopping early. Yes, I'm well on my way to becoming one of those annoyingly smug people who brag about being done their Christmas shopping on December 1.

Why the Christmas zeal this year? Because I don't want to waddle through the packed malls of Calgary while eight months pregnant. Usually the millions of people don't bother me, and doing all my shopping two weeks before Christmas is my M.O. But this year, I can't imagine anything I'd rather do LESS. My back is going to hurt, my feet are going to be swollen, and my gi-normous stomach is going to knock things over in crowded stores. I just know it.

Also, there's the nagging voice in the back of my head that says: What if something goes wrong and the baby comes early? What if I get sick or get stuck on bed rest or something like that? And so, with Halloween not even here yet, I have started to buy Christmas presents. And it feels really, really weird.

It also feels like I should be decorating the house. I mean, if I'm buying presents, then it must be Christmas, right? It sure looks like Christmas at all the stores I'm shopping in. Maybe I should go home and find where we put the Christmas tree…

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Letter to the couple waiting in line behind me at Safeway tonight:

In what universe did you think loudly complaining about the service was going to make the line go any faster? You got in line pretty much the same time as I did, and we couldn't have been waiting more than ten minutes. Are you really so busy at 8 p.m. on a Tuesday night that you have to sigh and bitch and moan about a ten minute wait?

Didn't you see the giant help wanted sign that covered the doors on the way in? It listed about 15 positions that needed to be filled in that store. They are obviously understaffed, and maybe the employees they do have are a little overworked. I didn't see any of them standing around talking or goofing off in any way. In fact, I actually saw one guy hurry down the aisle to answer a question for a customer.

And didn't you see how bad you were making the poor check-out clerk feel as you grumbled about how slow he was? He couldn't have been more than 16 years old! And the more you grumbled about how bad the service was, the redder the poor kid got, and the more he fumbled and struggled with the items and his scanner. Don't you remember what it was like to be 16 and unsure? Have you no feelings at all?

And the customer in line directly ahead of me may have had more than 10 items, but there weren't any other counters open. He had no choice but to use the express lane. Did you have to pick on him too?

I should have turned around and said something. And as I write this I'm regretting that I didn't. Because I'm tired of the rude and self-centered people running the world. I'm tired that nobody has any patience or understanding or empathy for anybody but themselves. And I'm worried about how I'm going to teach patience, understanding and empathy to my daughter, when there are no examples from real life to reinforce them.

Monday, October 23, 2006

What's the world coming to?

On Saturday morning at 5 a.m., a 61-year-old man (who weighed 120 lbs soaking wet) was nearly beaten to death one block from my house. He was walking across the Canadian Tire parking lot and was swarmed by a group of youths who repeatedly kicked and ground his head into the pavement and left him for dead. One block from my house. Which is right next to the RCMP detachment.

We've been having troubles with youth vandalism lately, so the community was debating whether to implement a curfew for teens. City Council voted it down three weeks ago, saying that it wasn't fair to the good kids and did little to deter the bad kids from doing what they were doing. I agreed, and still do. But clearly, we gotta do SOMETHING.

Maybe we need to get rid of the lenient federal young offender laws that give kids a very minor slap on the wrist for very serious offenses. Maybe kids need to learn that there are actual consequences to their actions when they are young so they don't continue to do these things when they are older.

Or maybe we just have to accept that this kind of thing is going to happen when a city starts to grow. Maybe we have to accept that bad people are going to do bad things, and it doesn't matter how many police officers we have patrolling our streets, they can't catch them all.

I know this sounds silly to those of you living in big metropolitan cities where these things happen all the time, but this is new to me. Airdrie, at 30,000 people, is the biggest place I've lived since I went to college about a million years ago. I grew up on a farm near a town of 1500 people, then after college I moved around Alberta a lot, but all were towns of 5000 people or less. These kinds of things just didn't happen.

But now I live 15 minutes north of very rapidly expanding Calgary, where crime is getting worse and worse, and those of us who have lived around this area all our lives are shocked at how fast it has escalated. I know it's incredibly naive and unrealistic, but I liked my world better when things like this happened in other cities; not one block from my house.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Pregnant Curling - not as easy as it sounds

For some reason, blogger has been freezing me out for days and not letting me log in. Perhaps it knew I was dog tired and my brain didn't work and all the stuff I wrote this week was crap, and was therefore sparing all of you from my addle-brained meanderings. But they let me in today, so I'm posting what I wrote on Thursday 'cause it was actually not that bad.

Last night, I went curling. Yep, I went curling pregnant! And boy, was that hard! Curling is my favorite sport in the whole world. If I was a gazillionaire, I would spend my days practicing at the rink, put together a team and win the Scott Tournament of Hearts every year, then head off to the Olympics every four years and beat Dordy Nordby's team out of the gold every time. Of course, I'm not nearly good enough to do that NOW. This is just my dream. (And why I would have to spend every day at the rink practicing). For now, I will settle for a regular spot with someone's team in the local Wednesday night Ladies League.

But I've gotten a little off topic. I was going to Skip for a Ladies team this year, but then I got pregnant and the team kinda fell apart. So, my boss' fiance (who put the team together) found another team and they needed a spare for the night so I jumped at the chance. I figured, how much harder could pregnant curling be? A LOT harder, as it turns out. Sweeping was okay, mostly because I learned to do it in the stone ages and prefer to sweep old style. All I had to do was get a little lower and spread-eagle a little more to make room for the bump and it was no problem at all.

But throwing the rock -- that was a different story. I have this pre-shot routine that involves bending down really low in the hack and lining up the rock exactly where I want to throw it so I can use muscle memory to always be on the broom. But I can't bend anymore. Even a little bit. I had to stay sitting up straight in the hack and guess as to where the rock needed to go. Anything that had to go to either side of the house I did a pretty good job of hitting the broom -- but anything in the middle and I was hooped. I couldn't reach over my tummy! And in the middle of making one shot in the fifth end, just as I was coming out of the hack I got a charlie-horse in my calf and fell over. I have not fallen since I was learning to curl in grade 8! (Don't worry, I was only about 5 inches off the ground and I fell on my butt so baby was fine).

At the end the very nice people who I was curling with were humoring me and telling me how good I was, but I think secretly they are worried about me coming back again next week. Oh well. I had a ton of fun, and that's all that counts really. And I absolutely LOVE hanging out with the boss' fiance. If I had more time in my schedule and she had more time in hers, I think we would spend a lot more time together. That's one of the reasons I was so sad to see our Wednesday night team fall apart. How else do you make new friends when you're 32? Oh well, there's always next year . . .…

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I'm old. Old, old, old.

I am old. I am one of the old people now. I am no longer one of the young people. And I know this is true because today I went to the mall. And at the mall I discovered, to my dismay, that there are several stores that I am now too old to shop in. And I discovered THAT because when I went in them, the 16-year-olds who work there gave me "the look." You know, the one that says "Hey old lady. You must have wandered in here by accident. The old people clothes are next door."

It's not like I was going to buy them. I'm visibly pregnant and would obviously not fit into them. But I only get a morning off about once every 6 months, and I was in a mall and I hadn't gone shopping in awhile and I just wanted to look. But everywhere I went, I kept getting "the look."

Perhaps it wasn't so much because I am old, but that these days I dress more for comfort than for style. I'm wearing a pair of maternity jeans that are very comfy but won't stay up for longer than 15 minutes so I constantly have to hike them up as I'm walking. And since the beautiful winter jacket I bought last year no longer does up, I've been wearing an old polar fleece jacket that I used to curl in. It's in good shape because I only wore it for a few hours once a week, and the reason why it still fits is that I bought it big enough to wear several layers underneath while I curl -- so definitely not in style anymore. But I just can't justify spending hundreds of dollars on clothes that I'm not going to wear for very long, so I'm doing my best to make do with what I've got.

So I guess that means that I'm not exactly stylish at the moment. Which makes me old. Because young Denice would not have been caught dead in public in some of the things I've been wearing, no matter what the reason. And that is how I know for sure that my 20s are definitely behind me. When you have a husband who is still in his 20s and no kids, you can fool yourself into thinking that you are still very young and hip for 32. But I think it's time I faced reality. I'm old. That and 20-year-olds probably don't use "hip" to describe themselves anymore.

Hey - come to think of it, what are 16-year-olds doing working at 11 a.m. on a Thursday anyway? Is the Calgary labour shortage so great that kids are skipping school to make the big bucks at Le Chateau? Seriously?

Monday, October 09, 2006

These are a few of my favorite things…

Since being pregnant has turned me into a sentiment sap, I decided to do the cliche thing and put together a little list of the things I am thankful for in my life (not necessarily in order) to celebrate this Thanksgiving weekend.

So, here goes:

1. My sweet hubby who spoils me rotten and treats me like the goddess I am.
2. My sweet baby girl who will arrive in January.
3. My sweet parents and sisters who have always treated me like I was the most important person in the world to them, even when I haven't been at my nicest.
4. All of my wonderful friends who I have been lucky enough to meet over the years.
5. Beautiful snowy days.
6. My cuddly soft microfibre fleece bathrobe and socks.
7. My two purring kitties who snuggle up next to me and fall asleep every night.
8. Staying in bed with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate on a cold day.
9. Baking gingerbread cookies from scratch and making the whole house smell wonderful.
10. All 10 seasons of Friends on DVD - a few of which will be with me in the hospital while I'm in labour to help me take my mind off things.
11. An ice cold bottle of Diet Coke.
12. Going for a long run or bike ride with some great music blaring in my ears.
13. Macintosh computers and the Adobe Creative Suite.
14. The excited look on my two-year-old nieces’ face when she first sees me, and squeals "Aunt Denice!"
15. A great night of curling…
16. Followed by a soak in a hot tub
17. Waking up early at Christmas time and turning the Christmas tree lights on while the house is dark and everyone else is still sleeping and quiet.
18. Waking up early in the summer and watching the sunrise at my parents' farm, while everyone else is still sleeping and quiet.
19. That awesome Quench moisturizer from Olay that actually made my perpetually itchy and dry skin go away.
20. Did I mention my sweet hubby?

Friday, October 06, 2006

Skinny Jeans, Now???

Okay, fashion powers-that-be. I have a bone to pick with you.

Why, after so many years of putting out things that did not look good on me, did you pick this year of all years to bring back skinny jeans? Non-pregnant Denice looks GREAT in skinny jeans. I am 5' 4" and all legs. And although there have been times that my legs have been much leaner than others, generally my legs tend to be my best feature.

Fashion Fiascos for me over the past 7 years or so: I am VERY short-waisted so all those low rise jeans just look like regular waist pants on me. And crop tops? Not crop tops on me. And that two year period where lime green and yellow were in? The worst colors in the world on me. Flared leg jeans were okay, but when you are only 5' 4" they don't really help make you look any taller. I could go on, and on, and on!

And now I am pregnant Denice. My thighs and ass have gotten rather bigger than they typically would be but I am okay with that, because if that's what has to happen for me to have a healthy baby, then c'est la vie. But that also means that for the short period of time that skinny jeans will be in, not only can I not wear them, I won't look good in them like I usually do either!
Because I have a feeling that when baby comes in January, I will not be one of the lucky few who can put her old jeans on a week after giving birth. I'm pretty sure it's going to take 6 or 8 months of aerobics and running and weight lifting to get this body back into it's previous shape. And by then skinny jeans will be out, and it will be back to something that looks hideous on me.

Why, why WHY?????

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

In which my dorkiness reaches new heights…

I have officially become the biggest dork in the universe.

Remember a couple weeks ago, when I wrote about my cat who was desperate to go outside? Well, he quit begging for a week or so, but he started again with a renewed vigor that I think surprised even him. He goes to the patio door in our living room, stands up on his hind feet and scratches and yowls and scratches and yowls and scratches and yowls to be let out. And when I say yowl, I mean YOWL. Deep, throaty, voluminous yowls that make me think HE thinks I'm some sort of prison warden trying to torture him. And he will carry this on for 30 minutes without stopping. He could probably go longer, but the 30 minute mark is when he breaks me and I give in.

Why can't I just let him out to roam free like a normal person would? The reasons are threefold:

1. We live really, really close to a very major Alberta highway, and I don't want my sweet kitty to get schmucked by a car. He's such a "leap before you look" kind of cat, I just don't want to take a chance and let him loose on his own.

2. The people in Airdrie have been known to leave poison out for cats who wander free and happen to wander into their yards and mess up their precious flowers.

3. The City of Airdrie is thinking about enacting a cat bylaw that will say that I CAN'T let my cat roam free even if I wanted to, so I don't want to let him get used to it and then take it away from him.

Which brings us to my aforementioned extreme dorkiness. Because I can't just let him roam free, I have resorted to taking my cat for a walk. Like a dog. With a harness and a leash and everything. There is a walking path that runs along our back yard, and we hit the path every night, stopping to sniff every blade of grass and eat every bug he can find. I always wait until it's dark, by the way, so my night owl cat gets to prowl and I don't have to run into very many people.

But I'm getting some pretty strange looks from the few people I do run into. On Saturday night, when we reached the highway pedestrian overpass, I noticed there were two boys, probably about 16 or 17 years old, standing around and I'm pretty sure smoking weed. And the first guy says, "Hey, I think that lady's walking her cat!" The second guy looks and goes, "NOOO!" And the first guy says, "Dude, she is! She's walking her cat!" Muffled laughter followed. That was the actual conversation. I'm not making this up.

So, if you see a crazy lady in Airdrie walking her cat, be kind. It's just me.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Return of the hormones

You know the saying, "you learn something new every day?" Well, today, I learned that I should not watch the Saturday morning World Vision sponsor-a-starving-child-in-Africa hour-long infomercial while pregnant. I mean, they made me sad before -- who wouldn't be sad watching those poor starving kids? -- but pregnant hormonal Denice started to cry. And I mean CRY! Jagged, strangled sobs coming from deep inside my heart.

The purpose of those infomercials is to guilt you into parting with $35 a month to sponsor a child so he or she can get food, medical treatment and go to school.

But pregnant Denice wants to win the $24 million on the Lotto 6/49 draw tonight and give it to the 10 and 12-year-old girls I just watched whose parents died of AIDS and now they have to take care of all their smaller brothers and sisters all by themselves while living in a rickety one-room hut. Actually, I want to get on a plane, find them, hug the daylights out of them, and give them and the rest of their village the $24 million. That would be a very worthwhile thing to do with a lottery win, right?

Live and learn…

Friday, September 29, 2006

What is love?

I'm having a brain-dead week and I'm just too tired to write. But I got this very cute email from a friend this morning, and thought I would share. Enjoy!

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, "What does love mean?" The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:

"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love."
Rebecca- age 8

When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth."
Billy - age 4

"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."
Karl - age 5

"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs."
Chrissy -age 6

"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired."
Terri - age 4

"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK."
Danny - age 7

"Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss"
Emily - age 8

"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."
Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)

"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,"
Nikka - age 6 (we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)

"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday."
Noelle - age 7

"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well."
Tommy - age 6

"During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore."
Cindy - age 8

"My mommy loves me more than anybody . You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night."
Clare - age 6

"Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken."
Elaine-age 5

"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford."
Chris - age 7

"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day."
Mary Ann - age 4

"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones."
Lauren - age 4

"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you." (what an imagination)
Karen - age 7

"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross."
Mark - age 6

"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget."
Jessica - age 8

How cute is that????

Monday, September 25, 2006

Gilmore Girls update please!

Okay, the jerks at the print supply place are no longer offering to fix my machine for free. They say it broke because of something I did, not because of the ink they sold me. They say that to fix it will cost more than just buying a new machine. I'M NOT EVEN DONE PAYING FOR THE FIRST ONE YET!!!!! And I was so close! This past job and the next one were supposed to make me enough money to pay for all my equipment and actually make me a profit so I would have a little money put away for maternity leave. Instead, I have to start all over again! It hardly seems worth the year I've spent working 7 days a week. On the upside, the price of the printer has dropped a lot. And since Xerox is giving a $570 mail-in rebate right now, buying a new machine will cost me less than half the amount it cost me 14 months ago for the very same machine. But I digress…

Does anybody know how Gilmore Girls ended last year? I missed the last two episodes and the season premiere is tomorrow night. My big plan was to buy Season 6 on DVD when it came out last week, but I haven't had time to get to the city and since I have to buy a new printer I'm kinda broke. So can anybody fill me in on what happened at the end of the last season? I think the last one I saw was Lane and Zach getting married, and Lorelei giving a drunken speech about how she will never get married. HELP!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Bad week. Very bad week.

Sorry I haven't written all week. It's been busy. Very, very busy. Printer died and I missed a deadline for a client and it put my stomach all in knots. I work in newspaper -- I don't miss deadlines, EVER. It makes me sick to my stomach and extremely disappointed in myself. I go without food or sleep before I miss a deadline. But my printer died and I missed a deadline and my client was furious and I ended up paying more to the print shop I had to send the rest of the job to than I charge my client. (On the up side, the place that sold me the ink that wrecked my printer has offered to fix my printer for free!)

Then I had to work extra long hours at the newspaper to make up for the time I was spending at home yelling at my printer and missing my deadline; and now my brain is dead. So I am spending today filling in the nail holes and corners of the new baseboards hubby put up, and I will watch a season of Friends on DVD while I'm at it; and I'm sure by the end of it I will be in a much better mood and feel like I accomplished something constructive this week. I hope.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Anyone want a slightly used printer? Because if someone doesn't take this thing away from me, I'm going to drop it out my window and watch in absolute delight as it smashes into a million pieces. Rebecca at Girls Gone Child wrote yesterday about her Macbook that's giving her trouble, well today, I'm going to talk about my piece of shit printer.

I have a printing job that was supposed to be done yesterday. My client is livid, and the people at the newspaper are waiting for me to get there right now and make a dummy of this week's paper so they can start laying it out. But where am I? At home, swearing and screaming at my stupid printer. It is just sitting there, with an error message that won't go away no matter what tricks I use. I have exactly 70 minutes to finish a job that's going to take much longer than that, and I'm having a little nervous breakdown.

The most infuriating part is that it printed 4000 of the 4400 pages I needed to print. I worked until 3 a.m. last night and we were almost done when it decided it just wasn't going to print anymore. All it needed to do was spit out a few more pages! But it absolutely refuses to cooperate and I don't know what else to do. Doing what the troubleshooting website says to do doesn't seem to do anything and screaming at it doesn't seem to be working either. Maybe I should just give it one swift kick and see if that works…

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Hope for better TV?

There's hope! True hope that TV can be good again, and it's called Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

I was upset when they cancelled Sports Night, and distraught when Friends ended, but I consoled myself with the knowledge that at least I still had the West Wing and Gilmore Girls. But then The Gilmore Girls started to suck and The West Wing got cancelled, and I was honestly thinking about canceling our cable since we never watch TV anymore anyway. But then, tonight, I watched Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and I think I have a new TV show to love.

Am I the only person in North America who thinks that TV totally sucks right now? Am I the only person who can't stand reality TV? Because I really, really hate it. I work at a newspaper - I have lots and lots of reality in my life. When I get home at night, I want to watch the opposite of reality. I want some beautifully written scripts with talented actors to entertain me - not hours and hours of people fighting over who gets to work for Donald Trump or marry the stupid millionaire. I don't want to watch people eating bugs or getting plastic surgery, I don't care who sings better, and I don't care if any of those backstabbing whiners ever get off the god damn island!

But enough of my rant. Because things are looking up! There is one good show for me to watch on Sunday nights, and it snowed on Friday which means glorious winter is just around the corner. And so with winter comes curling every Wednesday night, then Thanksgiving Dinner with the whole family together, then dressing up for Halloween, then my new nephew due to arrive in early November, then before you know it, it's time to decorate the house for Christmas! And I LOVE Christmas! And then in January, our Gracie is due arrive, and that will be the best present I've ever gotten.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Cat Comprehension?

You are going to think I'm crazy for suggesting this, but every day I'm becoming more and more convinced that my cat understands English.

There are many reasons for this, not the least of which is that when I ask him a direct question about what he wants, he will meow and answer me, and then proceed to the place in the house I asked him about. For example, if I ask "should we go to bed now?" he will get up and head upstairs, beating us to bed.

But I now have what I believe is overwhelming evidence that he understands what I am saying. It's a bit of a long story, so bear with me.

We live in a row of attached townhouses, and ours is smack-dab in the middle. We have a back yard that is about the same size as our living room, and though it is fenced, our side fences adjoin that of the neighbours. Both of our neighbours on either side of us expressed displeasure with our two cats when we first moved in, so I bought harnesses and 20 foot ropes with hooks on the end which I tied to the back fence of our yard. That way, the cats could play in our yard, or play in the grass on the other side of our fence, but the rope was not long enough for them to get into our neighbour's yards. Cats got to go out, neighbours were not bothered, everyone was happy.

That is, until about two weeks ago, when Mr. Cat somehow managed to get out of his harness and go on the prowl. I found him just down the road, in a vacant lot next to the RCMP detachment and dangerously close to Highway 2, having the time of his life. Rolling in the grass, chasing butterflies, and running wind sprints like he'd been caged for years and was finally set free. I picked him up, purring and happy, and brought him back to our yard.

He always used to cry to be let out, but once outside on his harness he was perfectly content. But for about two weeks after he broke free, he would cry even after I put him outside. He would go on the other side of the fence, pull at the rope and harness as hard as he could, all the while yelling and yelling and yelling and yelling at me to let him go.

So, this past weekend, when he yelled for so long that my neighbour came over to find out if he was dying, I hauled him inside, sat him down on my lap, looked into his eyes and asked: "Would you be a happier kitty if I took you back to my parents farm? You could run around outside all day and all night and never have to be couped up inside ever again?"

He just looked back at me, cocked his head to the side and made a funny little half-meow, then curled up in my lap. He NEVER curls up in my lap. Then, that night, he cuddled up right next to me to sleep, kind of like he was my teddy bear. He almost never does that. And he hasn't yelled to be set free once since. He hasn't tried to get away at all, and he follows me around the house, everywhere I go, as if to say: "I love you food lady - I don't want to go!"

Now, I'm not saying that he necessarily understood me, but boy, is that a strange coincidence, or what?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Letter to Gracie

Hello little girl in there! The doctor said you should be able to hear me by now, so I thought I would tell you about a few of the things going on out here that you might be wondering about.

First, you should know that we are totally and completely in love with you, and you are not even here yet. Daddy's the one who keeps rubbing my tummy so that you'll kick him, even though I tell him you won't be big enough for him to feel it for awhile yet. But he rubs, and he talks to you, and I just can't wait to see what he's like when you arrive in the flesh for us to cuddle and talk to.

He's also decided he would like to make your change table for you. I'm not so sure about that one, but he's very excited. He's been collecting wood and drawing up plans, but he's waiting for me to buy the padded top to build it around, so you and I will go do that tomorrow.

You should also know that we picked out your first name yesterday, but we still need to decide on a middle name. We think you'll like being a Gracie when you're little, and a Grace when you're too old for little girl's nicknames. So, when Daddy and I keep talking to someone named Gracie, it's you we're talking to, just in case you wondered.

Your grandparents are also very excited to see you. Grandma Graham has already bought you a crib and is making cozy flannel crib sheets and a comforter for you that are the cutest thing I've ever seen. She's the most wonderful lady in the whole world and loves babies more than anyone I've ever met - you'll love her a lot when you get here.

And Grandma Anderson, well she was so happy she cried and cried when we told her about you. She doesn't know that you're a girl yet, so we're going to tell her at supper tonight. I bet she'll be very happy, because now the girls will outnumber the boys! Your poor Grandma has been outnumbered for quite a few years now, so it's time the girls took over! We'll take her shopping, and do lots of girlie things and have lots of fun with her when you get here. She's also a wonderful lady who you will love a lot.

And I can't forget your Grandpas! They're pretty excited too, although Grandpas don't tend to show it quite as enthusiastically as Grandmas do.

You will also have two wonderful aunties and uncles, and two cousins by the time you arrive. Olivia will be your big 2-year-old cousin who will be patting you and asking to hold you, and Max will be the little guy who will only be three months older than you. Hopefully you will all get to be good friends.

Let's see. What else? Oh! Another thing you need to know is that mommy loves the color red, so you will likely be dressed in A LOT of red until you're old enough to tell me that what you would really like is orange or green or any other color PLEASE! Just so you know.

Mommy also loves to exercise, so I bought a jogging stroller for us. As soon as it gets nice out, you and I will be hitting the paths to get us some fresh air and exercise. When you're older we'll stop at the toddler playground that is the mid-way point of the 5 km loop mommy used to like to bike and jog. Whenever I walk it now - 'cause Mommy can't jog so well anymore - I stop there and wonder whether you will like the swings or the slide better. I'm also looking into buying a jolly jumper or an exersaucer that you can bounce in while Mommy does her aerobics videos on cold rainy days and in the winter. Hopefully you'll like it so we can exercise together!

Well, I think that's enough for today. We love you, and can't wait to see you!


Thursday, September 07, 2006

It's a Girl!

So, we went for the ultrasound today, and it was just the coolest thing ever!
We saw those cute tiny little hands and feet, and found out that our healthy baby is a girl!

And just one baby, not two. And my due date is not earlier than originally thought - it is in fact five days later. A couple weeks ago when I went to the doctor she thought I was measuring big for how far along I am and said that either my dates were off or there were two babies in there. Turns out I'm just really short waisted and there's nowhere for baby to go but out!

And for the record, it did not matter to me whether it was a boy or girl, just that baby was healthy. But I must admit that having a girl makes things a lot cheaper - my niece Olivia has lots of cute little pink outfits to pass on that I just couldn't have gotten away with on a boy :)

We got to take home a CD with a couple of short movie clips of the baby, and I tried to post one for you. She has her arm kind of covering her face, and the technician kept poking her so she would move it so we could get a good look at her, but she would just put it back. While we were there watching, one time she even scrunched up her eyes a little bit like we were really pissing her off - but that doesn't seem to be on either of the clips he burned for us.

But, I've spent the last two hours trying to figure out how to get the video to work and I can't figure it out, so I am giving up and just posting a quick screen shot for you. You can kind of see her face - her arm is blocking it a little bit. And don't worry - that's a shadow, not a hole in her head!

So enjoy! I need to have a nap now. I was so excited and anxious last night that I didn't get to sleep until about 3 a.m. and I had to get up at 7:30 a.m. , so I'm a little wiped. Good practice though, I'm sure!!!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Mood Swing City

Okay, the mood swings are definitely in, well, full swing. Today I was unreasonably angry at my cat who wouldn't stop yelling to be let out, euphoric that I found this thing I've been searching for for days, yelling at a jerk who nearly cut me off in traffic, then laughing so hard at a comedian on TV that tears were running down my face and I couldn't catch my breath.

And I have days when I'm so anxious and worried I'm not sure how to deal with it. Before I was pregnant, I imagined that pregnancy would be 9 months of intense physical discomfort, but that emotionally you'd be spending your time happy and daydreaming about baby and your new life.

Instead, some days I can't turn off the worry in my head. Am I eating enough? Am I eating too much? Am I getting enough sleep? Am I getting enough exercise? What if I'm a terrible mother? How am I going to handle baby and working and housework and looking after hubby all at the same time? Is there going to be enough money to pay for everything? How long will it take me to shed all these extra pounds when baby is born? Will hubby ever find me attractive again? What if I'm a terrible mother? How am I ever going to get baby to eat vegetables when Daddy still refuses to? What if baby gets my food allergies? Did I hurt baby when I passed out at Ikea? WHAT IF I'M A TERRIBLE MOTHER????

At least I don't do this every day. Just once in awhile I get a fresh batch of pregnancy hormones and I can't stop worrying and sad songs on the radio make me cry and the people at work piss me off, and I just can't seem to get my emotions under control. But then it passes, and I'm back to my usual cheerful self, and my self-confidence comes back and I know that I will be a good mother, and I will find a way to make everything work, because I always do.

Does this happen to other pregnant ladies, or just me?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

80's Flashback

In my post yesterday, I forgot to mention the other awful thing that happened this weekend. Friday I got my hair cut, and IT'S AWFUL!!!! I used to have hair past my shoulders, all one length with sweeping bangs. I asked for a trim, and a little layering around my chin, kinda like Patricia Arquette on that TV show Medium. I even brought in a picture to show the lady.

Instead, she gave me what essentially looks like a mullet. Really short layers around the whole top of my head that start above my ears, and another slightly longer layer, and one long layer in the back. IT LOOKS TERRIBLE! I look like I belong in acid wash jeans and a Trans Am in 1983!

I'm sure it will look nice in about 2 months when it grows into what I actually asked for, but until then, I think I will be experimenting with hats.

I guess I could look on the bright side - at least she left me with enough bangs that it hides the giant goose egg on my forehead from yesterday's adventure at Ikea!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Martina's gonna laugh at this one…

So, what did I do today, you ask? Well, I got up this morning with a powerful urge to clean and organize my house. I started to clean up the office, and as I was doing this, I kept needing more storage-type things, so I decided before I got too far, I would just jump in the car and make a quick trip to the giant Calgary Ikea. I was going to get a shelf, some storage boxes, some hooks to hang things on, and that neat Kludd see-through board you can write on with erasable markers. I haven't had a weekend off in awhile, and I was really looking forward to getting the office and the baby's room organized.

So, I was successfully powering through all the people (why did I think it was a good idea to go to Ikea on the Saturday of the long weekend before all the university kids start school?), when it suddenly got incredibly hot in there. I started to sweat, and the room started to sway, and I knew I only had about a minute to find somewhere to sit down. I found a bench, and I thought I was okay, but the next thing I knew, I was on the floor and there were about 20 people standing around me.

Yes, that's right. I passed out at Ikea. Not quite as embarassing as when I passed out at the Stampede with Martina, but a very close second. Two nice (and cute) paramedic guys escorted me to the first aid station - did you know Ikea has a first aid station? - and gave me water and orange juice and checked my pupils. They wanted to call somebody to come and get me, but hubby's gone to Rosedale for the weekend to play ball, and I didn't think I really needed any help.

So I got in my car and headed out, promising the nice paramedic guys that I would call them as soon as I got home. They even wrote down the make and model of my car so that if I didn't call them, they would call the police to come looking for me. What nice guys! If I wasn't very happily married with a baby on the way…

Anyway, I came home, crawled into bed, and the kitties and I slept the day away. I'm awake now, and I'm not as nauseous anymore, but my head is just pounding. I've got a couple of really nice bumps on my head that must have happened when I fell.

But really, I'm more embarassed than anything. It just feels like such a stupid cliché - the pregnant woman fainting while out shopping. When I was 13 and for some reason into Danielle Steele novels, every single pregnant woman in her books would faint, and I would wonder if that was something that really happened, or just a convenient plot device to add the dashing young man who would swoop in and save the poor pregnant lady and live happily ever after.

Well, I guess it really does happen. Maybe the pregnancy gods are getting me back for the morning-sickness-free first trimester :)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Mood Swings?

Okay, now I'm a big, fat, flip-flopper.

Yesterday, I felt confident in my decision to splurge on the four cans of Diet Coke that I drank over a nearly 2 week period. I felt so fine about it, I proclaimed to the world on this blog that I do not feel guilty.

Today, I am overwhelmed with feelings of guilt and regret that I've done something very terrible to my poor unborn sweetpea.
I feel like what I've done has damaged him/her for life and it is all my fault, and there is nothing I can do to take it back.

Could I be experiencing those mood swings my doctor was talking about?

Monday, August 28, 2006

I'm a big, fat cheater

I cheated. I'm a big cheater. And not just once, but numerous times.

I've been drinking Diet Coke. And I don't feel guilty at all.

Since I wrote the post about how I wanted my caffeine back (August 16), I did a little research. Turns out the scary book (that's what hubby and I call the pregnancy info book we bought) was trying to scare me into giving up my beloved caffeine, just on the off chance that I drink a gallon of the stuff every day. (Which I admit I sometimes used to do to pull an all nighter at work, but that's another story).

Apparently, if you get less than 300 mg of caffeine in a 24-hour period, baby is perfectly safe. So, I could do some damage if I drank 6 or 7 cans of Diet Coke in a day, but one can for breakfast is perfectly fine. My doctor also confirmed that one can, or even one of those 600 ml bottles, of Diet Coke in the morning will not hurt baby at all. (She told me that those books unnecessarily make it seem like the sky is falling, and that eating during pregnancy doesn't have to be that complicated.)

So, I have one can for breakfast and it gets me through the morning until my internal alarm clock rings at about 1 p.m. Even without caffeine, night-owl Denice doesn't really wake up until 1 p.m., and then she's good to go until bedtime at about 1 a.m. But those first few hours in the morning that society demands I be awake and productive are just TOO HARD without caffeine. Just for one week, I would like to turn standard working hours around so that all those morning people have to be at work in the evening when their brains don't work so they can understand how I feel in the morning. But I digress…

So, I haven't had one every day, but I have had a few cans of Diet Coke. When I got pregnant, I vowed that I would do everything I could to make this a healthy baby, and while Diet Coke isn't exactly great for me, I still drink at least two litres of water a day, and I've been eating more healthfully than I have in my whole life. So, I think I'm still doing alright.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

What do you mean twins?

So, I had my second pre-natal appointment this morning. I peed in the cup, stood on the scale, and everything was going just fine. Then, the doctor tells me that I'm measuring big for how far along I'm supposed to be, and maybe we should check to see if there's two babies in there.

Did she just say TWO BABIES?!?!?

So, she pulls out the neat doppler thing to hear the heartbeat, and we found one, and then - is that another one? Quick, check and see if there's still a heartbeat where we found the first one!!! Nope, it's gone. Must just be one baby that likes to move around a lot. But for a split second there, I was imagining what it would be like to come home with two babies instead of one.

Doctor is 99% sure my due date is just off by a couple weeks, "but there could be two and we didn't find the second one - you never know!" is what she said. She said that by our original calculations, I am 17 weeks and 5 days along today, but my uterus is measuring more like I'm 19 or 20 weeks along. So, New Year's baby? Maybe!

We'll know for sure when we go for the ultrasound on September 7. I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A question for you…

Speaking of being too chicken to take chances, I need some advice from all you mommies out there. I need to know if the chance I am thinking about taking is the stupidest thing I've ever thought of, or a plausible idea that can be pulled off with a great deal of planning and perseverance.

I would like to quit working at the newspaper, and make Prairie Girl Design my primary paycheck.

More than anything in this world, I want to be at home with my baby. Baby is only going to be a baby once. I have only one chance to shape baby's life, and to share in baby's discoveries and giggles. I have only one chance to watch baby's first step, hear baby's first word, kiss baby's boo-boos and make them better. How could I possibly give those moments away to a day care worker?

But economic reality dictates that I must work for us to pay the mortgage and put food on the table. So, what to do? For the last couple years, I have been taking in a few graphic design clients here and there to supplement our renovation budget. Judging by the reception I've got from those clients (and the number of potential clients I have had to turn down due to insufficient hours in the day to get all my work done), I think that with a little self-promotion, I could turn my small side business into a full-time job from home.

But here is my question: Is it stupid to think that I can do this and look after baby at the same time? Will I be able to get any work done during the day? Will I be able to sneak in an hour of work here and there while baby is playing or napping, and then finish up after baby goes to bed?

Or will I be dooming myself to waking up at 5 a.m., spending the day running after baby, (hopefully) putting baby to bed at 7 or 8 p.m. and then putting in 8 hours at my iMac? How long can a person function on 2 or 3 hours of sleep a night?

What if I found somebody to come to my house for a few hours in the afternoon to watch baby while I work? That way I'm still there if needed, but I can get some work done?

I'm just not sure if it's the right decision. It's not a guaranteed paycheck - and we NEED one of those. If business gets slow, we'd be in real financial trouble. Going back to the newspaper is certainly the safer choice in that respect. Plus, we are shareholders in this newspaper. We have invested a significant amount of time and money into that paper, and I would have a hard time watching someone else do my job. And I really, really like working with my husband. I would miss sharing in that part of his life if I left.

I just don't know. I have this giant weight on my shoulders and I lay awake at night trying to decide. And people are starting to demand that I make a decision. Nathan would like me to go back to the newspaper. It's a safe, guaranteed paycheck, and we will definitely need that now that we will have a new addition to the family.

There's a part of me that will always regret it if I take the easy way out, and don't at least try to find a way to stay at home with baby. Part of me says that I should just take the chance, commit to it, and then do whatever I have to do to make it work. But the other part of me - responsible, common-sense Denice - says that taking that big chance is foolish and completely irresponsible; that sometimes people have to do things they don't want to do - and maybe this is one of those times.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Today is where your book begins…the rest is still Unwritten

Is 32 too old to have a theme song? Because I think I've found one.

I love, love, LOVE "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield. It's a cheesy pop song, I know, but I absolutely love the message in it. The lyrics describe exactly how I want to live my life, and how I want to teach my kids to live their lives. And it's inescapably cheerful and uplifting. I play it every morning while I get ready (sometimes two or three times in a row), and it leaves me in the best mood, ready to take on the world and make it a better place while I'm at it.

I don't what it is about that song that has me so addicted to it. Maybe it's because it's all about living your life to the fullest and taking chances - and I'm often afraid to take chances. I have all these dreams that I'm much too chicken to actually go out and do - but this song makes me remember that I've only got one life, and it's rapidly ticking by and if I'm going to do it, I'd better do it now.

And so, every morning, that song inspires me to go out and BE the person I want to be, and not just dream about it. And that's becoming more and more important to me, now that I'm going to be a Mom. I want to be a living example to my kids - to teach them not to be scared of trying new things, and to make the most of the time they are given.

So I think this song is going to be one we will be singing and dancing to a lot when they're old enough to dance and sing with mom. I can't wait!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I want my caffeine back!

God I miss super-caffeinated Denice! She had so much energy! She was Superwoman on a Mac! She would put in a 13-hour work day and still have energy for a workout at 10 p.m. - and feel bloody fantastic doing it! I WANT MY CAFFEINE BACK!

Everybody told me that when I weaned myself off caffeine, I would feel better. That I would have energy because I would get more sleep, and I wouldn't miss it a bit. Well, THEY LIED! I don't feel better. I feel like I'm walking around in a fog.

And what they don't understand is that I wasn't staying up until 2 a.m. because I drank too much caffeine. I stay up until 2 a.m. because I have two jobs and the work doesn't magically get done by itself. So now, I'm still working until 2 a.m., but I have no caffeine to keep me going.

Listen to me! I'm a horrible, selfish woman! All I have to do is stop drinking my beloved Diet Coke for a few short months out of my (hopefully) long life. Forty weeks of making a beautiful little person, then however many months that little person decides to nosh on my breastmilk. A rational person should be able to realize that it's very little to ask! And every other day, I'm eager to do whatever I need to do to have a healthy baby.

But I'm so tired this morning and it feels like FOREVER until I will be fully-caffienated again and all I can think about is how freaking fantastic a Diet Coke would taste right about now.

Okay. I'm alright now. I just needed to whine for awhile. I will quit being a selfish baby and refill my water bottle. I just get a little grumpy on Wednesdays. I'm not a morning person on the best of days, so I know I will be better later when I wake up. And tomorrow is my day off and I'll get to sleep in and feel much, much better :)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

To Diaper Genie, or Not to Diaper Genie…

Nate & I, looking at a Diaper Genie in the baby department at Zellers last night:

Me: So, it puts each diaper into a teeny little individual bag?

Nate: No, I think it's one big bag that twists.

Me: And you have to buy refills for this thing? And they're $6 each! How long do they last? How many diapers can you put in there?

Nate: It doesn't say.

Me: What about this other kind next to it. It says you can use regular garbage bags. That would be better, right?

Nate: Won't that smell more? I mean, the reason you buy one of these things and not just use a regular garbage can is so that it doesn't stink, right?

Me: I have no idea.

Nate: But I'm relying on you to know this stuff! Otherwise we're screwed!

Me: I know lots of other baby stuff! I just don't happen to know how a Diaper Genie works!

Nate: Maybe we should take that newborn parenting class so we don't kill our child.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Things I will do if I win the $42 million in the 6/49 draw tonight:

(Make that WHEN I win - never hurts to think positive, right?)

1. Never, ever step foot into a newspaper again. Unless it's because I own it, and I'm just checking in to make sure the underlings are working.

2. Share with friends and family. I know, trite, but true. Do Nate and I really need $42 million all to ourselves? Besides, we need everybody else to have money so they can share in our fabulous lifestyle. Otherwise, we're just the rich assholes who wouldn't share our money.

3. Start building a beautiful house on an acreage. One of those great big houses with cedar siding and tons of windows. And a hot tub on the deck. And a big garage with a workshop for Nate. And a room filled with exercise equipment. And a playroom for kids. And a great big garden. And lots of fruit trees. And a nice flower bed.

4. Hire someone to clean great big house with all the windows.

5. Go on a fabulous vacation while we wait for the house to be built. Nate has never been to Europe, and he definitely needs to see all those castles.

6. Spend a whole lot of money at Ikea and Pottery Barn. I know, I know. If I have millions, I don't need to cheap out at Ikea and Pottery Barn anymore, I could probably afford the really good stuff. But I LIKE Ikea and Pottery Barn. It's like in the Bare Naked Ladies song, If I had a Million Dollars - they wouldn't have to eat Kraft Dinner, but they still would, just with fancier ketchup.

7. Make my local Mary Kay rep a very happy lady. I LOVE their stuff, but it just seems like too much money to spend on make-up and the stuff to wash the make-up off with. But if I have millions, bring it on!

7. Start volunteering. I'll have to do something to keep me busy. Plus, if I don't, my kids will turn out to be whiny spoiled rich kids.

8. Buy a new car. I love the purple people eater, but she's getting kinda old and in need of retirement. Same with Nate's car.

9. Or maybe a helicopter would get me places faster…and be much more fun to drive! Do you think you can put a baby seat in one of those things?

10. Give a bunch of money to good causes.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Incredible Expanding Woman

Okay, I'm really starting to get fat now. My butt is huge, my thighs now touch together, and my arms have started to do that flabby jiggle thing. And it's only going to get worse before it gets better.

Before I got pregnant, I was all gung-ho and did a bunch of reading about exercising while pregnant. I had this great plan to ride the stationary bike, modify my step aerobic workouts to make them low impact, and to actually be brave enough to put on a bathing suit and try aqua-fit and deep water running. I was going to keep being fit, even while pregnant, so I could have a healthy baby and more easily bounce back to my pre-pregnancy self.

But through all the articles and books I read, the nice authors conveniently neglected to mention how BLOODY TIRED you'd be while trying to do all this exercise!

Through the first trimester, I was too wiped at the end of the day to even think about exercise. It was tough enough to just get through a day of work without needing to have a nap at my desk, let alone tackle a 60 minute exercise tape after supper.

Once I hit the second trimester, I felt so much better that I started to exercise again. But we've been so busy this summer that I've only exercised a few times, and it's really, really starting to show! (And I don't just mean my tummy).

Is this bad for the baby? Am I being neglectful in letting myself sleep on the couch after supper instead of doing the exercise I ought to be doing? I'm starting to feel really guilty about being such a sloth and not exercising for baby.

Maybe now that we are nearly finished the renovations in our house, I will have more time for exercise. (BTW, check back in a day or so for Before and After pics of my beautiful kitchen!! I spent the long weekend painting it a beautiful, warm brick red, and I love it, I love it, I love it!!!!!)

Friday, August 04, 2006

Thinking of Autumn…

I know it's only August 4, but when I stepped into the back yard this morning, there was the unmistakable crisp breeze of autumn in the air. And I've spent the rest of the day thinking about fall.

I'm not sure what it is about autumn that always makes me nostalgic. Every other season can pass without much notice from me, but for some reason autumn makes me stop and think about all the autumns of my past, and wonder about the coming autumns of my future.

Maybe it's because when you're a kid, autumn marks the beginning of the next school year. New pencils, new binders, new teachers, new clothes. Will grade 5 be way harder than grade 4 was? Will the teacher be nice? Figure skating starts soon! How many new jumps will I learn this year?

When you're a kid, everything starts over again in the autumn in a way that January 1 just doesn't address.

And maybe that's even more true for a farm kid, because autumn means harvest. The end of the growing season and a mad dash to get the crops off before frost and snow makes its first appearance.

For a farm kid, it means taking meals to the field for the men busy at work, and evenings spent getting all the uneaten produce out of the garden. It means making jars and jars of pickles, and stewed rhubarb, and zucchini bread, because you know that soon crisp white snow will blanket everything, getting the earth ready to start again for another year.

I always get reflective and nostalgic in the autumn, but this year it seems to be worse. I'm sure early this year! Maybe it's all those pregnancy hormones floating around, making me remember my childhood, and wonder about the kind of childhood MY child will have. I'm a little sad that my child won't be a farm kid, and won't have all the same memories that I do. But I'm sure my child will have happy autumn memories of his or her own.

Those of you who grew up "in town" (like my sisters and I used to call it) - what were your memories?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Busy Week. Very Busy Week.

What a crazy week since last I wrote!

Thursday afternoon: Told big client I'm pregnant - and he's not mad! Actually happy, because he wanted to go on a vacation. Told him I'm toying with the idea of not going back to the newspaper for a few years so I can stay home with baby and try to work from home, and he's very, very happy.

Friday Morning: Told big boss man at the newspaper that I'm pregnant. Asks if I will want a few weeks off or if I will come right back to work and bring baby with me. What do you think my answer was?

Friday Afternoon: Flooring place calls to say laminate flooring we ordered forever ago that was supposed to be delivered today - and have many people coming to install on Sunday - will not come in until Monday or Tuesday because there is nobody who can go into Calgary to pick it up. I ask if I can go to Calgary and pick it up myself. They say, "um, I guess so," so I MapQuest the place and Nate and I head to Calgary to pick it up. MapQuest sends us to a place that is NOT EVEN CLOSE to where we were supposed to be. Pissed off Denice stops at a gas station for a full Calgary map and very nice trucker guy spots us trying to figure out where the hell this place is. Laughs at our stupid MapQuest map and then actually shows us where to go. Find the place, go home, unload the heavy boxes ("um, I'm not sure I'm supposed to be lifting things this heavy honey" didn't work), then go back to work and get done all the things I was actually supposed to be doing this afternoon.

Saturday: Big family gathering in Vulcan. Lots of visiting, lots of cute little kids, lots of fun. Get home again at midnight - then spend the next two and a half hours moving everything in my office into the spare room so we can rip up the carpet before bed.

Sunday, 8 a.m.: Alarm clock goes off. Make mental note that I must not fall back asleep, as there are many things to do this morning before all the people show up at my house to help install laminate flooring. Just going to close my eyes and listen to the radio for 5 more minutes before I get up…

Sunday, 10:30 a.m.: Was that the doorbell? Oh god! It's 10:30!!!! Jump out of bed, get on clothes, run downstairs and answer the door. Look! Everybody's here! Didn't get to shower, brush my teeth, or anything of the sort. Luckily, there were so many people there to help, my services were largely not required. I made lunch and supper for them, and spent the rest of the time visiting with my mom and my mother-in-law. Flooring gets installed in every room upstairs, and it looks fabulous!!!!!

People don't leave until after midnight, and I'm so tired I go to bed without making our lunches for the next day. But that's okay, because Wednesday is the only day of the week that I absolutely have to be at the office at 9 a.m. to open, and it's summer so things aren't busy. If I'm a little bit late in the morning, it doesn't really matter…

Monday, 8:45 a.m.: Shit! I just remembered our receptionist is on holidays, and I have to be there to open in 15 minutes! My hair is still wet, I have no makeup on, I don't know what I'm going to wear, and I didn't make lunch yet!

Today: Pretty uneventful day at the newspaper - but another newspaper publisher heard through the grapevine that I am thinking about trying to work at home with baby, and asks if I could do all of his supplements. Then big client calls to say he's thinking that if I'm going to be more available, he will hire another sales person and double his output. I've been deathly afraid that if I quit the newspaper and try to work on my own, I'll never make as much money as I do now and I'll be plunging us into poverty - but maybe I'll do better than I think!!!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Super Husband to the Rescue!

What a difference a day makes! On Tuesday, I was in just about the bitchiest mood I've ever been in. We're talking puppy-kicking, yell at the husband who is just trying to help, couldn't even laugh at my favorite Friends episode bitchy.

But Wednesday morning, my sweet husband actually remembered that it was our third wedding anniversary, and came to work with a dozen roses for me. Nine pink, and three white. What a sweetie, right?

We got the paper done and uploaded to the press by 6 p.m. - which is basically a miracle - and he even offered to take me out for supper. But I decided that if he was taking the evening off (which is another miracle), I just wanted an evening at home with him all to myself. So we had a wonderful night together, and I'm feeling SO MUCH BETTER today!

But we'll see how things go later today. I have a meeting with my biggest client who I do work for on the side, and I'm going to have to stop being a chickenshit and tell him that I'm pregnant. He's not going to be happy with me - he has all these plans for things he wants to do next year, and I'm going to need some time off. Hopefully he's not too mad - and that he likes my work enough to wait a few months for me!

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I need a vacation!

Watch out! I'm in a foul mood today, and I need to bitch for awhile to get it off my chest.

'Cause here's the thing: I need a vacation. I need a vacation like I've never needed a vacation before in my whole life. I've been working what feels like non-stop for months and months and months. And I haven't had a whole week off since we moved to Airdrie two years ago.

In the first year we were here, we could leave on Thursday and come back to work on Monday, and that was enough for me. But for the last year I've been taking in extra work on the side, which means I work the first part of the week for the newspaper, and spend the rest of the week (including weekends) working for myself.

In the spring, I took on WAY TOO MANY PROJECTS, and in April & May, my day went like this: Get up at 8 a.m., get to the newspaper around 9 a.m., work through lunch, take a quick supper break at 5 p.m., then depending on the day of the week, work on either the newspaper or my extra projects until 2 or 3 a.m.; go to bed, get up and do it all again tomorrow. On weekends I would let myself sleep until 9 a.m., but then work at home until 2 or 3 a.m.

The past couple of months have been better, but I still routinely work until about 9 p.m. on Mondays and at least until midnight on Tuesdays. And then I take half the day off on Thursday because you gotta find some time to clean your house and do your laundry, but then work for myself all weekend.

And now I'm so tired of working I could cry. I get up in the morning, and I just don't want to go. I don't want to stare at my computer all day in my windowless office. I don't want to be mad at the salesperson who never gives me her stuff until 3 minutes before the deadline on Tuesday so I have to work until 2 a.m. to get it all done. And I don't want to listen to her say: "That's your problem," when I ask if perhaps in the future she could give me her stuff a little earlier so I have a Tuesday night to myself someday before I die.

My creativity is zapped, and I can't concentrate like I used to anymore either.

I know that if I just had two weeks in a row where I didn't have an urgent deadline to meet, I would love my job again by the end of those two weeks. My creativity and focus would be back, and I would happily work until 2 a.m. because that's my job and that's what I'm paid to do. But I don't see it happening anytime soon.

I'm so glad I've got such a great distraction from it all now. Whenever I find myself getting way too angry I just take a minute to daydream: Is it a boy or a girl? Will it look like me or Nate? And after that, I've always got a smile on my face.

Maybe I'll start my maternity leave a few weeks earlier than my due date, and spend those days getting ready for baby, and reading as many books as I can before my water breaks. I had planned on working for as long as I could before the baby's born so that I could spend the maximum amount of time with the baby, but I'm starting to think that maybe I need a little time off before I start my NEW stressful job!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Better than Ikea?

Since the day we moved into our townhouse a year and a half ago, I have been daydreaming - make that obsessing - about a sideboard at Ikea. I need more storage in my kitchen, and this particular sideboard was not only beautiful, but would fit perfectly under the big window in my kitchen. But since we seem to be in a perpetual state of renovation, I was waiting until all the major stuff was done before I started buying new furniture.

So I was not sure what to do when a couple of weeks ago my husband came home with some free wood he had recently acquired and announced that he was going to MAKE the sideboard for me. He asked for a picture of it that I printed for him from the Ikea website, and as I was handing it to him…

Me, in my head: "No, no, no!!!! I want this one! You'll never be able to make it look exactly like this!"

Me, out loud: "This is what I like. Just like this. You think you can make one like this? Yes, really? Well, won't it be a lot of work? Because it would probably be easier to just buy the one at Ikea…"

I was not at all sure his creation would turn out even remotely like the picture, and, well, I'm really, really picky about furniture. But he's been working on it every night for about two weeks now, and he seems to be having SO MUCH FUN! He's buying new tools, and spending every spare minute in the basement. (Come to think of it, he could be hiding from the crazy pregnant lady who won't stop talking about the terrible kids on Supernanny who scare her to death …)

But I have to admit, his sideboard is turning out to be really beautiful. I'm feeling rather guilty that I doubted him and his carpentry skills. But in my defense, I've never really seen him build anything before. And we've been living together for 6 years.

So, since we are close to our third anniversary (watch out, it's gonna get mushy), I want to say I'm sorry for doubting you honey, and thank you very, very much for making the beautiful sideboard for me. It is just as nice as the Ikea one, but it will have added meaning because you spent so much time and effort making it for me. How did I get so lucky?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

And Baby Makes Three!

I'm pregnant! We're having a baby! I'm knocked up! And I'm so excited! So I decided to start this blog as a bit of a diary so that I'll remember this time, and that all of you who live far away can share this with me.

So, to answer all your questions…

1. The baby is due January 28, 2007, which makes me 13 weeks along. Yep, I've been keeping this under my hat for awhile. I just thought that if something awful happened, I wouldn't want to have to call everybody and tell them there wasn't going to be a baby after all. But I've hit the second trimester mark, so I'm guessing it's pretty safe to let the cat out of the bag.

2. I'm going to make a lot of women mad at me with this one - I didn't throw up once. There were days when I ate or smelled something that my stomach definitely didn't like, but I didn't throw up. Okay, that's not totally true. I did throw up once, but 24 hours after my husband Nathan did, with the same symptoms he had. So I'm not counting that one as morning sickness.

3. I wasn't sick, but I was SO TIRED, and SO HUNGRY!!!! I ate us out of house and home for about a month there. One night, after eating all of my supper and finishing off Nate's too, I made myself a big bowl of Guacamole dip and ate it and an entire bag of those Tostitos Scoops tortilla chips. And there were a couple days in a row where at three o'clock in the afternoon, I had to close my eyes and have a 15 minute power snooze right there at my desk at work. I just couldn't keep my eyes open anymore. And the same thing would happen right after supper. As soon as I was done eating, I needed a nap, and it was non-negotiable. I've never been that tired before! It was very weird for me.

But Monday morning I woke up and I wasn't tired anymore. Well, wasn't as tired as before, anyway. It'll be a couple years before get back to my pre-pregnancy state of alertness, since most of it was caffeine-induced. Have you ever watched Lorelei on the Gilmore Girls? That was me, but my addiction was Diet Coke. I'll bet their sales have plummeted drastically for Western Canada and they just can't understand why…

And that, in a very short nutshell, is how things have gone so far. I'm kinda glad to be through the first trimester, mostly because I finally have the energy to exercise again. And I LOVE exercise. I'm not one of those people who think of it as a chore - for me it's the thing I look forward to doing at the end of the day. Running, biking, step aerobics, tae bo; if it gets my lungs burning and my heart pounding, then I love it. It's been bothering me as I feel myself get further and further out of shape. It's not really a body image thing for me - although it's not fun to watch all those pounds pack on. It's more a big part of me that I miss.

I exercised a couple nights this week, and it was the first time since I did the team event at the Tinman Triathlon in Vulcan on June 3. It felt good, but it was a little bit frustrating though, just because when you're pregnant, you have to keep your heart rate lower than 140 beats per minute. And for me, that's barely getting started. I never realized it before, because I honestly never pay attention to my heart rate when exercising. I'm one of those people who like to push myself until my lungs are burning a little and I'm just starting to gasp for breath a little bit, and then back it off ever so slightly and stay at that intensity for as long as I can. Then I know I'm getting the best out of myself and my workout.

So on Monday night, I hauled out my step bench and blew the dust off my old introductory (therefore easy) step aerobics tape. I thought it was perfect, because you stop halfway through and take your heart rate, and then I would know how hard I could exercise. So, I'm breezing through this thing and barely getting winded and thinking that at the halfway break I would have to stop and put the step bench up a couple notches. But when I took my heart rate, I was right at the 140 beats mark! So I guess I have to wait a little longer for my heart-pounding workouts. God I miss them!

But my new daily dilemma is - what the hell do I wear? I'm just starting to get a little baby bump (plus the extra pounds that have come with eating tons and not exercising), so my old pants and shorts don't fit, but I'm not big enough yet for maternity clothes. I have one pair of capris that are stretchy and therefore still fit somewhat, and I'm wearing them nearly every day. But they're white, and me being me I'm going to spill something on them one day very soon, and then I'll be screwed! I think I'm going to make a stop at the Baby/Maternity consignment store here in Airdrie and see what I can find. Either that or just go to the Superstore’s Joe Fresh Style section and buy a bunch of cheap pants and shorts a couple sizes bigger than usual to get me through until it's maternity wear time. All you women who've been there, what did you do?