Friday, 27 July 2012

Week 33

The stretch marks are coming! The stretch marks are coming!

Now just imagine me saying that in my most colonial 18th century accent, except instead of stretch marks I'd be more worried about the redcoats and bayonets. Also, I'd be American. So really, that attempt to be funny has just really deflated quite quickly.

But it's true, despite oiling up the ol' belly morning and night the stretch marks have really started to spiderweb their way underneath my bellybutton--which is thisclose to popping out, I really hope it doesn't--and I'm not going to lie: this caused me immediate anguish when I noticed it.

I might have cried.

Alright, I definitely did.

To be more exact I burst into tears and Dan came running, quite panicked, while I sobbed that my stomach would never look the same again. To be fair, I didn't really like the way it looked before I got pregnant so what's my problem? It's not like I was rocking anything remotely Giselle-esque, so by saying 'it's never going to look the same again' did I mean it's never going to be the floppy and soft spot that the cats liked to knead on (which..I can't believe I just admitted that). It's going to be exactly the same again, except now there's going to a few lines running here and there.

I've come to terms with the stretch marks though, and really I'm quite sure this is pregnancy karma just ensuring I, the individual who didn't die of morning sickness and really, really only wants to eat fruit, gets thrown in the pregnancy trenches with everyone else. I'm cool with that.  Those other people who anguished from morning sickness and had to tie their hands together to stop eating Mars bars are likely getting out stretch-mark free. Everything evens itself out.

Z
This is my 'practicing to be a mom' face.
Except really, this is just the face Dan sees when he doesn't IMMEDIATELY do what I want.
Like when he's watching the Simpsons when I just want to get my GD photo taken and over with.

So the theme of this week's post is going to be body issues. Because after Dan took these photos I texted my friend and moaned, "Oh my god my ass has doubled in size. There's too much of me."  Like a good friend, she denied it all. But really, I do think there's a lot of me at the moment. I feel like I should have those hazard lights attached to me that you see on semi-trucks transporting mobile homes to a new location.

Today my stomach knocked two peaches onto the floor at Migros where they wildly rolled away with abandon, I knocked a price sign off the lemons, and it was also just sort of hard to put my underwear on.

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This cow has nothing to do with anything.
It's just a wicked rad picture that I love and will develop.

I have also faced the first twinge of shopping anxiety I've ever experienced. Namely, all the beautiful fall clothes are starting to slowly show up in shop windows and there's nothing I can do but stand on the other side of the glass and weep over the fact there's no way I'm fitting into these clothes anytime soon. Then I made things worse by hitting the J. Crew website. Hard.

I can't buy any of the fall fashions. Despair!

Don't forget, I often times lack a keen sense of perspective! But the reason I'm feeling new-clothes desperation is because my maternity stuff is just really...been there, done that. I'm not about to buy new maternity clothes, and the handful of stuff I do have is getting really tired. Also, all my white tank tops have stains on them. I'm a slob.

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Ho hum, I wore this outfit three times this week.

But we saw the doctor this morning and she said that in just four more weeks, LB will be safely cooked to perfection!  At 37 weeks the baby can safely be delivered without being considered premature, and that was really exciting to hear! Whether or not LB shows up at 37 weeks is besides the point, but it was really cool to hear that within the month I will officially be stepping foot into the territory where you eagerly want your LB to come at anytime.

But until those four weeks are up, I'm totally comfortable with LB staying snug inside to keep growing.  The doctor also plotted LB's growth today, and I'm relieved to say that the alarming growth spurt from two weeks ago has slowed down.

You see, two weeks ago LB went from near the bottom of the chart (bottom end of 'normal', nothing to be concerned about) to almost the top. After shamefacedly admitting yes I'd eaten five cupcakes in a row (wherein my Deutsch doctor proclaimed, "YOU ATE FIVE CAKES."  No! No! Cupcakes! They're wee!), but otherwise I'm not a sugar fiend and I do eat healthily per her guidelines, the doctor finished plotting LB's stats on the chart, leaned back in her chair and told me, "Your husband is a very big man. This is likely genetic."

I was concerned. I'd been quite happy that LB was on the small end of normal and when those stats inched up the to the top I wasn't pleased because I do not want a big baby on my hands. As if things aren't going to hurt enough without pushing out a baby that's bigger than my cats.

Dan was a 10 pounder when he was born, and I'd like to avoid that thankyouverymuch.

But today things have settled and LB is right on track, which makes me very happy.


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The other thing that makes me very happy is opening up your Thursday newspaper and finding a coupon for a free McDonald's sundae. After dinner last night we strolled down to McDonald's to cash in our golden ticket, and the walk was so beautiful and the air smelled of threshed wheat and horseback riding and summer.

Life is always so beautifully lit under summer's evening sun.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Pet Peeve

For awhile now I have been like a chicken sitting on a egg, and inside that little egg is incubating a Brand. New. Pet. Peeve.

Internet: the egg has hatched.  It's time to unleash on the world my new pet peeve.

Are you ready for it?

Here it is: people who no longer get their medical advice, or make medical decisions, based off of information given to them by their doctors.  You know, doctors: those individuals who went to school for a squillion years to learn as much as possible about the human body and how to effectively treat it.

Yeah.

Those guys and girls.

Before leaving Canada I noticed that people were becoming incredibly leary of Western medicine. With the healthy and holistic lifestyle machine pumping out propaganda faster than McDonald's could crush it with a cheeseburger, I started to notice that people were more and more often venturing into the health food store and asking if the person behind the counter could wave their patchouli scented magic wand and give them some sort of all-natural vitamin that would turn them into health-machines.

Of course this person had the answer, and then sheer mental determination gave the consumer the power to believe it worked. After crunching on those same alfalfa cubes that I used to feed my horse seemed to do the trick for giving them energy, the consumer seemed to wonder if the same store would have the answer about this bizarre and contagious rash they had? And this weird pain in their side? And the fact their hands were always cold?

Because if there's one thing the healthy and holistic lifestyle propaganda machine has done incredibly effectively, it's to make you think that the products prescribed by Western practitioners poison your body.  Hey, didn't Suzanne Summers cure her cancer just by living on her beach front Malibu home and drinking a lot of slimy drinks? She didn't let anyone poison her body. I CAN DO THAT TOO.

Am I being an asshole who is oversimplifying? Yes.

Of course I have a lot of respect for traditional Eastern medicine and for actual licenced and medically accredited naturopaths who also went to school for a squillion years.  I have no respect for the wispy man or woman behind the counter doling out vitamins with absolutely no authority other than 'they look the part'; I do not put any stock in the insane amount of holistic information being published in health magazines and on the internet; I wouldn't take nutritional advice from someone who isn't a nutritionist; and I have zero respect for celebrities and their publicist machines who are making a load of money doling out medical advice. Oh sure, usually in the fine print you can find an MD who's lent their name to the book to avoid liability issues, but that MD is probably just interested in becoming the next Dr. Phil. I don't trust 'em.

So why has this particular egg hatched, all of a sudden?

Well during the course of this pregnancy I did get a lot of raised eyebrow comments like: "You're having caffeine? That's bad for the baby."

"You're having baths? That's bad for the baby."

"You're not sleeping on your left side? That's bad for the baby."

"You're eating [insert anything]? That's bad for the baby."

"You touch your cats? That's bad for the baby."

None of the above is true and I know this because I asked my doctor. My doctor who is a specialist in birth and pregnancy.

But what finally caused this little chick of a pet-peeve to peck, peck, peck, its way to freedom is  because of the whooping cough reports that I've been reading about in the Canadian publications I pay attention to.  Do I think media might be slightly overplaying the current situation? Yes. If I was back in Canada I'd phone my local health authority and actually ask, "What's the deal?" because media can be just as dangerous as celebrity in spewing shit. However, the very fact that there are so many reported cases of whooping cough is what has made me annoyed.

I know that it's a cyclical thing (rising once every five to six years) but it's generally not rising with such numbers that health authorities are opening up vaccine clinics and asking people to please get a booster shot. So why is it more potent this year?

Well, one reported reason is because people have become afraid of vaccinating their kids. This annoys me because does everyone remember about six or seven years ago when Jenny McCarthy decided to cover up her tits, put her shirt and smart-girl glasses on, and start loudly telling everyone that vaccines caused her kid's autism? But through diet, she cured it. Yeah. Last time I checked Jenny McCarthy was a Playboy Bunny and not a doctor.

But she wrote a book and everything! I believe her!

I do believe that a lot of people noticed a change in their child's behaviour after certain vaccines, I do believe I would be devastated if I thought I had been responsible for causing something to happen to my child, and I do know that if a generally preventable disease like whooping cough or even the measles killed my kid because they were exposed to it before they were old enough to be vaccinated, well...watch out world because I'd be all up in your face.

But the pharmaceutical companies are making doctors give our kids vaccines they don't need because they want to make money!

Then ask smart questions of your doctor or your licenced and medically accredited naturopath! Keep asking questions about your own health care if you don't feel entirely comfortable with the answers you're being given. Be aggressive. Go on a vaccine schedule you feel comfortable with, but for God's sake the fact that diseases like whooping cough and measles have been making comebacks because people have shunned one of the greatest achievements in medical history (because of suspicions started by a Playboy Bunny which have been roughly propped up by a handful of doctors out of all the millions of doctors out there--who stand to also financially profit from her propaganda) is fucking bullshit!

Can we please stop thinking that whatever comes out of a celebrity's mouth is crystal clear truth? Suzanne Summers is one rich lady and who knows how many hundreds of thousands of dollars it cost her to fight cancer her way. The average person will not have these resources. Jenny McCarthy is also equally loaded, and who knows how many hundreds of thousands of dollars it took to 'cure' her kid's autism. Your unlicensed, unqualified, holistic flower child at the local health store does not have the answers to your medical questions, and if they do: run. Run far and fast and get as many different qualified opinions as you consider necessary.

Also, Google MD should lose its licence.


People won't even let their kids play on playground equipment if it hasn't been child-proofed past the point of fun, so why would you ever let a celebrity plant the seed that influences your medical decisions, why would you let a bunch of faceless forum commentators tell you what's safe for your pregnancy, and why would you choose to take the word of a vitamin pusher over your doctor?

Rant over.

Friday, 20 July 2012

He's The Best

So I think by now you guys have all probably figured out that I think Dan is one of the funniest people I know. Sometimes I'm laughing "haha" with him, and a lot of the time I'm laughing "haha" at him. This is mutual by the way; sometimes he will just start laughing out of nowhere and when I ask what's up he'll be all, "Remember that time you rollerbladed through a hedge? HAHA."

So in the last couple of days Dan has started becoming interested in reading some online journals about men's experiences as first time fathers. I've stumbled across a couple of the web pages that he's left open and I think it's quite sweet, so yesterday over lunch we were playing a round of crib (which I won, natch) and I told him I thought it was awesome that he was looking up this stuff and to let me know what he found interesting and what he found to be BS (because there's a lot of that).

"Yeah," Dan replied casually as he poked through his cards, "I want to know some stuff before [LB] gets here."

"What sort of stuff? Like how to change a diaper?"

"Well that, but also when you put the baby on the floor do you just leave it there but then rotate it every once in awhile?"

"Rotate it every once in awhile? Like a wheel? HAHAHA," and as I laughed he kept talking and poking through his cards.

"And also, what if we're on a walk and the baby poops? I've never seen anyone change a baby on the side of the road. I mean, what if we get to Gasal and the baby poops? What do we do? I need to know this stuff."

What if we get to Gasal and the baby poops?

Hahaha!

It's a good thing we find each other so amusing because I don't think anyone else does.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Thoughts To Think On

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?

- Mary Oliver, "The Summer Day"

Monday, 16 July 2012

Week 32

Week 31 was great because we had our friends from Canada visiting! Not only are they the perfect visitors in that they wash dishes and come home with supplies of groceries, but I was also glad to have them here so that I could catch up on all the latest news and views from B.C. and beyond; though, I think I overdid it a bit because I've almost lost my voice!

FROM TALKING.

I don't have a cold or anything, but this afternoon I sounded like a teenage boy as my voice cracked and trembled as I chatted with Dan over lunch. 

This clearly means one thing: I might need to get out more.

Maybe.

Z
Visitors!

Some particular highlights from this week have been drinking a lot of iced coffee, eating lots of ice cream, talking, talking, talking, talking, going to a cookie factory and feeling like I'm seven years old again due to an extreme sugar overdose, talking, talking, talking, dinners, more talking, and explorations.

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Castles and boats.

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And mountains.

In Little Baby news...oof, this one is starting to feel heavy (I probably need to lay off the cookies and ice cream now) and I'm learning that the jostling of the bladder is a very painful reality.

I am only six weeks away from Week 40, which is considered full-term and I can't believe how fast it's going. In fact, everytime I think about it I may or may not feel sweaty and slightly panicked because guys....we're having a baby.

HOW'D THAT HAPPEN?

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Just having a baby....sort of a big deal.

I have no idea how our lives are going to change--I can't even comprehend it--and I think fondly back on my clueless 25 year-old self who used to think, "I'd like about four kids. That sounds like a good number." Now I'm thinking, "Let's start with one and see how things go."

Though as you can clearly see from the above, there is always going to be more than one little baby vying for my attention.

We consider ourselves as materially ready for the baby as we're going to get. We only need to pick up some diapers and a car seat, but otherwise we've got a little supply of clothes to get us started, we have a crib and mattress, we have blankets, we have storybooks (extremely important), a little tub to bath LB in, jammies, a stroller, a baby carrier, and of course a dresser. What else do we need? Who knows, but I'm sure we'll figure it out PDQ when the time comes. 

But the baby is coming, and LB is really making it apparent that space is getting to be at a premium in there, because last week my stomach started shifting when LB moves. The right side of my belly will get extremely high and hard, and when you poke the spot it's like there's a little baby butt sticking out. I'm not going to lie: it's really weird and freaky and I feel like a science experiment.

"But it's so beautiful and magical and special and amazing."

Yeah, okay, sure...but it's also really weird to know something is alive inside of you and you can see it moving around. Don't even try to deny it!

After bidding Alexi and Clarence bon voyage this morning, the next task this week is to start clearing out the office and getting the room set up for LB. Pictures of the nursery will come when it's all put together, and after LB has arrived (which, please don't let that be any later than six more weeks. Things are getting uncomfortable, yo).

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

DIY

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I bought a dresser with the intent to give it a bit of a makeover. I think makeover is maybe a bit of an understatement; if we're using Hollywood terminology this dresser underwent cosmetic surgery: facelift, tummy tuck, laser peels, microdermabrasion, botox, and a new nose thrown in not because the dresser was vain, but because it had "a deviated septum".  Right.

Side note: does anyone remember that terrible show about extreme plastic surgery where producers would find these tragic people with sad stories, put them into bootcamp to loose weight, then set a couple of plastic surgeons on them to remold their features as though these individuals were lumps of clay rather than human beings? And then this person with fake teeth, hair, boobs, pectorals, nose, face, etc..would return home after being gone for something like three months where they'd emerge from their limo and wander into the town pizza parlour of Nowhere, U.S.A. where the reunion was scheduled; then all the tragic people from their ugly-duckling lives would gasp and scream in amazement at this 'new person'?

Here's what I want to know: what's happened to these people now that the noses, cheeks, boobs, etc.. are starting to sag? They can't afford the maintenance. What's happened to them, and do they still have ugly duckling lives even though t.v. tried to scrub that everyday grease off their faces?

I remember being really disgusted with that show, if you can't tell.

Anyhow, if our dresser was a contestant on that show it would be scheduled to be making its return "ta-da!" visit to the second-hand furniture shop where I found it, because it's done. It's a whole new dresser and all it's emotional and psychological problems and insecurities won't plague it anymore because now it's beautiful! We've solved all its problems!

It was actually quite satisfying to do this project and I give Dan a lot of the credit as I wasn't able to help with stripping off the varnish (the stripper was toxic...think on that for a second then laugh), and sanding the dresser down was hard because I'm weak and lame and got a super bad belly cramp after trying. I was able to help with the painting though. From start to finish, working on weekends and painting in the evenings, we finished this project in two weeks.

Here's the pictures:

BEFORE
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Tragic, but the bone structure is there...after we break it and reshape it.

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These age spots need to be blasted.

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Droopy (love)handles that need to be removed.

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A gap-toothed smile that reveals...cats?

(Also, it smelled like mothballs.)

DURING

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First, a little bath is needed.
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Varnish is getting scrapped off...

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There was a lot of it.

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Once the varnish was off it was time to sand and sand and sand some more.

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He was quite good natured about the whole thing.

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Stripped of handles and varnish, sanded, and ready to be painted.

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First up was the primer.

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Followed by three coats of paint.

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It's a pretty light green if you can't tell.

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Lastly, filling in the holes where a knob wouldn't go.
(We probably should have done this before priming and painting, but the knob decision wasn't made until the whole she-bang was painted).

AFTER

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TA-DA!
I'm attractive now!

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And I've got great knobs...

(Think on that and then be disappointed at how immature I am)

That's it! This was a really fun project, but don't let anyone trick you into believing that buying something secondhand and making it your own is always the cost-effective way to go. No, no, no. In the end, with materials and everything included (we had nothing) it would have been cheaper to get something at IKEA, but it wouldn't have been as fun.

This will be the dresser in Little Baby's room and will also serve as the change table. It's sitting in our living room until we get the office furniture cleared out, and after we'd first finished it Dan and would just sit on our couch in the evenings and stare proudly at our accomplishment.

It might seem like small beans to some, but we are really proud of what we did here.