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 :)