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.)