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!!!