Friday, 27 April 2012

I Took Pictures!

Hooray! I finally took my camera out today and got some snapshots of spring. I toddled around the neighbourhood for over an hour and a half snapping pictures of the exact same flowers that I'm pretty sure I took last year, but who cares! I haven't used my camera since that one day in February when I went to Butterfly World with some friends. It was long over due, and I got to soak up some sun.

Here's a few cherry blossoms shots to take you into the weekend.

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Have a beautiful weekend.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Week 20

It's week 20, which technically means we're half-way there. I wish I could put an exclamation point behind that sentence, but honestly this past week...

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No I will not smile like I mean it.
Nor will I shower.

So I have these prenatal fitness and yoga DVDs that I bought quite awhile ago off Amazon, and the fitness DVD has an instructor who is in her third trimester and looks like she's about to give birth to a basketball.

"Bare your bellies, mommas! They're gorgeous!"

Ugh, please be quiet annoyingly perky fitness trainer. My belly didn't look as good as yours when it wasn't stretching to accommodate a human, and it sure as hell doesn't look like I swallowed a basketball. This woman drives me nuts because she keeps exclaiming over and over again that now that I'm in my second trimester I should have ALL. THIS. ENERGY.

"So give me 80 more bicep curls! Come on! You have ALL THE ENERGY."

I'll tell you has all the energy, and it's not me: it's her. We could probably hook her up to a power line and keep our houses lit for weeks.  Also, stop assuming I want to be called 'momma'. The only person who can call me 'momma' or some version thereof, hasn't been born yet.

So yes, to say I am irritable this week would be the hugest understatement since Tiger Woods admitted to being a 'sexaholic' when really what he actually meant to say was he was 'inconsiderate and icky douche-bag with a God complex.'

When we took these pictures I felt a bit panicked because after looking at them I couldn't help but wonder HOW MUCH BIGGER WILL I GET? I'm only half-way peeps, and already I feel like I'm growing a giant. Which, given Dan's contribution to this gene pool, I could be.

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The friendly giant who the cats love to cuddle with.

But I highly recommend that if you are ever going to be pregnant, you have to get a Dan. You can't have mine, but you need to get your own because he is the BEST. No matter what emotional curve-ball gets thrown at him, he knocks it out of the park.

He is so good and so considerate, but the act of understanding that is going to get him the award for 'Best Husband' happened last night when I completely lost my cool over quiche. I need to point out that at some time I was going to boil over because it's just been one of those weeks and I'm more emotional lately, but I wasn't expecting my undoing to be because of a savoury confection. So I had made us quiche for dinner and we were eating a little later than usual which meant I was starving at the point that I cut into it. But when I cut into the quiche the center pooled around my spatula in a wet, eggy mess because it wasn't cooked all the way through. In a moment of blind frustration I just started stabbing the quiche with my plastic spatula--eggy bits of pie flying everywhere--before shouting 'FORGET IT' as I stomped into the bedroom and threw the covers over my head while crying.

As I lay in bed I heard our front door quietly shut and I realized what an idiot I was being, but I couldn't shake the feeling of being so pissed off the only thing I could do was cry. At that time my mom happened to call, and when I spoke to her she asked what was wrong and when I told her I stabbed my pie because it wasn't cooked all the way through she bit back laughter and tried to be understanding.

Sometimes sympathy makes you feel like even more of an asshole.

But what really makes you feel ashamed is when your husband walks through the door twenty minutes later with dinner in his hands, unpacks it and plates it for you, and then reveals he also bought you ice cream.

That's why he wins.

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And why I'm smiling today.

Because no matter what, one half our baby is Dan and I know it's going to be the best half.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

Random-Town Alert!

***

So when a person is growing a human being, you aren't actually supposed to eat for two.  CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS? Um, yes. Rather easily. My super great doctor said to me:  "Don't eat for two, then you'll just have to loose weight for two. Trust me. The eating for two starts when your baby turns three and you've cooked all this food they don't want, then you feel you have to finish it. That's when the eating for two starts."

Have I mentioned how much I like her?

So portion sizes aren't an issue for me, but what I have been struggling with is how to get the increased number of daily fruit/vegetable nutrients I need--information provided to me by my doctor and not the Internet--and the problem for me lies in getting my daily quota of vegetables, because I have no problem eating the number of fruits I require.  Quite frankly, I have been failing at the vegetable quota and felt really shitty about it. I always have a salad and a vegetable with dinner (or twice a week, vegetarian meals) but that covers diddly-squat of what I'm supposed to be getting and I don't want to take supplements because there's no need to when there are grocery stores and farmer's markets stuffed with vegetables.

(Yes, I do take the daily pre-natal Omega-3/folic acid supplement I was prescribed. Be serious!)

What I'm about to reveal is probably super old news for you; in fact, you're probably about to laugh at what a little ol' late bloomer I am. Even if it took me longer than you, at least I got here in the end. This is how I've started topping up on the daily vegetables I need: frozen spinach in smoothies.

I don't have one of those fancy juicers or Vitamix blenders that can take a beet and turn it into something you drink with a straw, but I do have a regular old blender that I use to make smoothies with, and I finally clued in to the fact that if I drop a few cubes of frozen spinach into my drink...POW, I'm getting tons of healthy veggie vitamins for the baby and for me. I realize there are purists who think cooked spinach has lost the nutrients of raw spinach, but please...pipe down. I'm doing the best with what I've got. I know there's always something better and hooray that you figured it out. Now keep it to yourself.

Right now my favourite smoothie is the following combination:

Frozen raspberries; frozen blueberries; three cubes of frozen spinach; a tablespoon of honey; a teaspoon of vanilla caviar (it's the actual seeds from the pod and not the extract); Greek yogurt; milk.

Oh how I love this smoothie!

I will experiment with different combinations once I get sick of this one, but that could take awhile.

Did you know that for two months straight, every day I ate a cucumber, cream cheese, and alfalfa sprout sandwich for lunch? Two months.

I'm over it now.

But I'm not over this smoothie.

Not even close.

***

Does anyone else have pesky psoriasis?

I am so, so lucky that I am not afflicted with it as badly as some people are but I do get very embarrassing patches of it on my legs, and with bare-leg season right around the corner I am very self-conscious of this. This winter was really bad for me, with regular dry skin exacerbating my psoriasis; when this happens, I can't use drug-store lotions like Nivea, or Garnier, etc... because they feel like they're burning my skin, and they do in fact burn my psoriasis patches.

One day in March I closed my eyes and grabbed the crazy expensive cream I'd been considering buying since January, then threw it at the cashier and paid before I could second guess myself.

Oh, I'm so glad I did.

Rausch for extremely dry and sensitive skin.

I slather it on where needed, and let it sit on my skin and soak in. After one day of using this, the redness in those patches was gone, and with daily-use (multiple times a day) it helped to heal those patches.

I ran out at the end-of-March and was lazy about replacing it.

Mistake.

I've since bought another tub, and am again so grateful to have found something that seems to really work for me.  I thought I'd share in the hopes that someone else might find this as beneficial as I have, and I know it's a product that's not just available in Switzerland.

***

Today Dan and I were going for a walk when two riders passed us by. One girl was riding the most gorgeous, gorgeous chestnut horse that had four perfectly matched stockings. In fact, the stockings were so perfect that from a distance it looked like she'd put wrappings on the horse's legs to just below the knee.

When they passed us by I just completely lost my mind about how beautiful that animal was, and how crazy perfect the stockings were.

Dan: "So that was the real colour of the hair on its legs?"

"Yes."

"Oh, I just thought it stood in white paint."


- FIN -

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Thoughts That Keep Me Up At Night

"I wish I still had some Cheezies left."

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Week 19: Brought To You By The Letter 'S'

What has week 19 brought?

An inability to turn over in bed, that's what.*

*Rachel Lynde shout-out! Where's my Road to Avonlea and Anne of Green Gables peeps?!

When we were all still living at home and going on family road trips, my sisters used to fight about which unfortunate sister had to share a bed with me that night. My nickname was (and still is, when bed related subjects are being discussed) The Thrasher.  Of course I used to think this was really unfair since I, the person being scorned, was being accused of behaviour that occurs while I'm sleeping so there's no way I could properly defend myself because I had no clue what was going on.

"I slept with the Thrasher last night. IT'S YOUR TURN."

"Nooooo!!!!"

For about two years Dan tried to put up with my thrashing ways, but then after two solid years of waking up shivering and exposed in the night because I'd death-rolled myself into all the blankets, only to have me bite his head off when he tried to gently tug some blanket back over himself, we decided we each would each have our own blanket on the bed. It was the only fair thing to do.

Since that time I've been blissfully unawares of my thrashing ways because no one points it out to me in the morning.

Until this week.

Oh my lord Internet, I had no idea how much I turned over in my sleep until I started to have difficulty rolling. Whereas before I used to be able do one fluid death-roll to flip left to right, I'm now facing the fact that I have to do a three point turn.

Right side--grunt--flip onto back--grunt--dig heels into bed--grunt--flip onto left side--grunt.

It wakes me up.

Every. Single. GD. Time.

People say you stop sleeping once the baby's born. WRONG. It starts as soon as the belly gets big.

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Getting bigger!

Now let's all pause for a second to discuss my lipstick. Last week Dan and I sort of started to clean out our closets, and by this I mean we tackled one shelf in one closet. Yes! But anyhow, as we were organizing I came across a clutch I forgot I had, so I immediately ripped it open hoping to find money. Instead I found a tube of BRAND NEW LIPSTICK. Specifically this one, which my sisters picked out for me three years ago to wear to a New Years party.

I wore it for five days straight after discovering it.

I'm glad we found each other.

Speaking of my sisters, who, as you'll guess, make up the 'S' that sponsors this post, I found out on Monday that they are DEFINITELY COMING TO VISIT after the baby is born.

I cried.

Nothing new there. But I do laugh a lot, too.

For example:

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Oh Cosmo, that rascal.
(Also, I should clarify I don't wear shoes in the house. We take these pictures as we're about to leave to go for coffee, or whatever.)

Dan snapped this picture on the iPad right as I was finishing up having a hearty laugh when Cosmo tried to jump on a kitchen chair, and instead ended up rolling off the chair and face-planting onto the ground.

Life is never dull with that cat.

Speaking of whom:

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Here he is!

I'm not heartless! I did check to make sure he was okay.

And guess what else?

The shirt I'm wearing and my the bracelet were also bought by my sisters. So come on girls! I'll be providing the baby in September, feel free to bring anything else you want...

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Sad Face

You know what I never realized, before? That the only reason I make cookies is so that I can eat copious amounts of cookie dough.

Did you know that cookie dough contains raw eggs? Guess who can't eat raw eggs right now.

Sigh.

Guess I'm actually going to have to...bake these cookies.

Friday, 13 April 2012

How To Make A Pregnant Woman Cry

Send her care packages that contain treats.

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I'm not sharing, either.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Week 18

I've always had a really good chuckle about mothers and fathers who talk in terms of weeks, then months.

"How old is your kid?"

"He's 72 months old."

"Umm...so he's six?"

But that's how I'm talking these days because when people ask me how far along I am I don't say, "Oh just over four months." Instead I reply in terms of weeks because I'm not really that far along yet, and also the whole thing feels like it's gone quite quickly at this point so weeks seem a more appropriate measurement of time.

Well, except for if we're talking about last week because....HORRID.

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It wasn't all bad.

However, there were some really bright spots that happened regarding the baby. The first thing was that when I went to the hospital on Sunday they wanted to hear the baby's heartbeat, and Dan and I hadn't heard that before as we've previously only had ultrasounds. When the nurse put the little heartbeat-pen-thingy on my stomach there was some really loud beating that seemed to jump off the walls and I exclaimed, "Wow, what a strong heartbeat! Way to go baby, beat on!" Then she laughed and told me that noise was actually my insides rumbling around.

"Oh."

Then I felt embarrassed for the decidedly unladylike commotion that my gut was making. How does one quiet their insides?

But soon enough a little sound of whoosh-whoosh-whoosh quietly filled the room with soothing reassurance and I almost cried. Instead Dan and I grinned at each other, neither of us still believing this is real.

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But a lot of times I do believe.

The second cool thing was that when I saw my baby-doc on Wednesday she wanted to do a quick ultrasound to make sure the baby still looked like it was growing properly, and so quite unexpectedly I got to see the baby too and it sure has grown in a month. The baby's legs are chunking out and kicking around like little frog legs, its belly is beautifully round, it loves to keep its little hands by its face, and....it still won't show us its profile.

(Did I mention that time I had to hop around the doctor's office like a rabbit in order to get the baby to turn its head for us, and then it still wouldn't. Yeah.)

The third cool thing happened on the weekend, and I felt these tiny little flutters in my stomach and could have sworn they were the baby kicking. I got really excited about this until I remembered it's a bit uncommon to feel anything this early and maybe that fluttering was just my stomach rumbling out of general nausea and discomfort as Dan and I were watching Game of Thrones. Internet, have you seen this show? I assume you have because we're a little behind the times, but ACK. The gore, the sexually explicit content, the GORE. What I want to know is when I became so physically bothered by this sort of stuff because I don't have a problem with it--I'm not writing anyone a righteous letter condemning them to broadcasting hell, is what I'm saying. But for the past couple of years the only shows I've watched are Mad Men, Modern Family, Big Bang Theory, 30 Rock, and How I Met Your Mother. There is a decided lack of grown men chopping off a horse's head with a sword in these shows. I wasn't prepared!

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Baby, did I feel you kick?
Or was it just my stomach groaning in horror over the sight of a woman eating a raw heart?
Probably wasn't you.
(And don't worry, I will have done something to my damn hair by the time we meet.)

It was a wonderful and reassuring week in the baby department, with maybe the only bleak moment happening when someone told me, "Sie sehr grosse!"

Grosse = Large, auf Deutsch.

"You're already so big!"

But that's another post.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Dan and Caitie's Eggcellent Sunday

Just in time for Easter to be over I bring you a tutorial on how to decorate Easter eggs--Swiss style!

Ever since thoughts of the Easter long weekend started buzzing around in Dan's head, he has been very insistent that we are going to decorate eggs. Specifically he wanted to show me how to decorate eggs the way he used to when he was a little boy and he, his mom, brother, and grandmother would sit around the kitchen table for a full day stocking up on eggs to have on hand for when company came over. Because I'm lazy I'm not going to search through the archives, but last year I did report on the phenomenon that is egg-cracking. The point is you have a basket of hardboiled eggs ready and waiting for your Easter company and guests, and the pass-time is for two people to bash their eggs together and see who has the strongest egg before peeling the egg, covering it in mayo, and gobbling down two or seven.

Sometimes you just have to roll with it.

Without further ado, here is how you decorate Swiss-style Easter eggs.

Step One:

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You need eggs.


Step Two:
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Go outside and collect different leaves and grasses.

Step Three:
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You need to find a manly-man to cut up stockings and carefully tie them up into little pouches. This is a job not suited to someone who lacks the patience for precision.

Step Four:
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Gently place a leaf around one of your eggs, place it in a stocking pouch and then tightly wind up the open end and have your eggcellent buddy tie up the pouch.

Step Five:
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Repeat until all eggs are finished.

Step Six:
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Put a pot of water on, dump in a lot of dried onion peels, bring to a boil.

(They sell bags of onion peels here at Easter and I was so confused why until Dan bought them for this purpose.)

Step Seven:
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Submerge the eggs into the water and boil for fifteen minutes for perfectly golden-cooked yolks.

Step 8:
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Be too busy cramming your mouth with a freshly-baked cinnamon bun to take a picture of Step 8.

But the gist of Step 8 is this: once your fifteen minutes are up, scoop out the eggs, cut away the nylon, brush off the leaves, take eggs outside to cool SINCE IT'S SNOWING.

Also, be very careful not to spill the onion water on any porous surfaces because that water stains like you wouldn't believe.

Step Nine:
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Bring your cooled eggs inside, dab some olive oil on a paper towel and rub the eggs all over to shine them up, then neatly arrange your very cool eggs in an Easter basket.

Step 10:

Watch Game of Thrones and have egg cracking competitions.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

You Get What You Pay For?

So!

Where was I?

What was I doing?

Why wasn't I giving baby updates? Or encounters with crazy people updates?

Well, let's rewind back to last Saturday when I woke up at 4:00 a.m. and felt like I was going to jump out of my skin. Picture you are standing outside on a beautiful 30 degree summer day, now let's make it a bit more uncomfortable by throwing a blanket of humidity over you, and just for kicks, we're also going to make you wear a 100% pure wool sweater against your bare skin. Can you imagine this?

Excellent. Because it's how I've felt since 4:00 a.m. last Saturday.

I won't go into a lot of detail because it's nothing special and also because boundaries, Internet!, boundaries! I will say that everything is a.o.k. with the little baby and with me too, and basically I have had a somewhat prolonged reaction to a visit we made to Dan's aunt and uncle's farm two weeks ago.

What I do want to comment on though is that from Saturday morning at 4 a.m. to Wednesday night at 11 p.m. I had not slept for more than two consecutive hours in row. I really, really, doubt I've had more than ten hours of sleep since last Saturday, and on Monday I tried to work and sound semi-competent, but on Tuesday I had to throw in the towel. So what has been great is that given how uncomfortable I am, there has been zero delay by the medical system in getting me looked at.

I have no history of allergies, and because I'm pregnant I was told on Sunday to go to the hospital for observation. There was no waiting around and I was seen right away with my OBGYN coming up to see me too (which as an apologetic Canadian made me feel *really* bad!). Then I was seen first thing Monday morning for blood tests to eliminate possible scary things, and the next day those results came back okay. On Wednesday I had an another appointment with my OB and she did not like the looks of me and called the hospital's special diagnostic clinic and told them they were seeing me the same day.

I went to the hospital where three different doctors looked at me and prescribed me a treatment, and last night I slept.

For six glorious consecutive hours.

The one thing Dan and I keep wondering about is what if this had happened to me in Canada? How quickly would I my situation have improved? Would my one doctor have been able to call specialists and tell them they were seeing me that day?

One thing I won't be able to complain about here is paying for medical and never using it, because this week I truly saw my money at work and I'm thankful for that because today I feel great (only mildly uncomfortable which is a HUGE improvement), and my brain is functioning again and I'm off to the races to play catch-up.

Dan and I are also hoping to do some hiking this Easter long weekend, so hopefully I will have some pictures sooner than later!