Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Disappearing Act

Things I have learned during pregnancy:
1. Thin ankles are highly overrated - "Cankles" are really much more effective in reminding you of how puffy your body can become in extreme situations.
2. Shaving legs (and some, ah-hem, other areas not in view) should no longer be taken for granted.
3. Toenail polish, once often touched up to match an outfit or a season, is really durable enough to last for a good 2 months or so. On a similar note, toenail polish on toes as well as the length of the actual toenail becomes somewhat of an "out of sight, out of mind" issue anyways unless someone else notices.
4. Tums can actually be your best friend.
5. A girl can have an innie belly button most of her life but yet still have the joy of experiencing the gradual process of achieving an outie. That's for sure my favourite...not! (Funny story about this one actually - I covered mine with a bright ORANGE bandaid so as to avoid drawing attention in a more tightly fitted shirt I was wearing today and then completely forgot about it until my midwife, upon obviously noticing, thought I had injured myself in that area...ooops!)
6. Feeling that you are absolutely dying to go pee and sure to not make it to the bathroom does not necessarily mean that once you "sit" there's actually much pee to come out. Just simply an elbow compressing your bladder.
7. Having a baby's head lodged deep inside your pelvis, although a great start to the inevitable onset of labour, does not nearly feel as comfortable as they describe in those pregnancy books (and they really don't describe it as being comfortable at all). On the opposite end, having a baby's foot giving you karate kicks to the ribs, can be rather painful at certain moments but strangely makes me smile in my heart at the same time.
8. A full night of sleep has become a thing of the past.
9. Commercials about nothing particularly saddening can make one seriously want to cry.
and #10.
Nothing!...and I mean NOT ONE SINGLE THING can compare to feeling your baby, so close, growing and moving around like a little acrobat inside you. Nothing can compare to the day your hubby can actually, not just touch, but SEE with his two eyes a little bum or a knee sticking out of your belly, shifting and trying to find a comfy spot. Nothing!
I love being pregnant! (and that's the honest truth!!)
P.S. Notes from today's midwife appointment...
I am measuring 35 cm
Baby's was very excited today with heartrate of 156 (still normal range) but higher than it usually is.
Head is "well down in the pelvis" according to the midwife, even slightly more than she would expect at this point.
Reminder that the head down thing may mean absolutely nothing about how close or far away the baby's arrival actually is, particularly for a first time mom.
Up 2 lbs in 2 weeks (better than last time - 4 lbs in 2 weeks)
Keep taking that iron!

Whispering Hope

A couple of years ago I was shopping at Walmart - nothing new - and I had to go to the ladies room. I remember it was a really hot summer day in Brampton, the kind of hot day requiring nothing but shorts and a tank top and the cool relief of air conditioning. And I remember how hot it was because of a woman who was also in the restroom at the same time as me. She was tall and quite thin and wearing none other than a sweater and long pants! The sweater was purple and black, a funky print like a pink and white one I had in grade 5. Some sort of synthetic fibres probably, not natural or very breathable, particularly in such extreme heat. Her pants were the long track pants with the elastics on the bottoms, much too short for her long legs, and with white sports socks sticking out between them and worn running shoes. This woman was wearing big round glasses, the kind you look back and laugh at your friends for wearing in the 80's. Her hair was long and scraggly straight, the colour of straw that reminded me of my Aunt Francis. She had in her possession one of those small "old-lady" carts, the metal ones on wheels pulled by a handle kinda like a shopping buggy, plastic lined, and filled to the brim leaving you curious about what could possibly be buried deep down inside.

This woman was giving herself a sponge bath!... in the bathroom... at my local Walmart! Her purple and black sweater sleeves were pulled up past her elbows. She was pulling out paper towel after paper towel and filling the sink with soap and water, washing under her arms, around her neck, her face, her back.

Looking back, it seems like forever that I was staring at her. I must have seemed incredibly rude. Truth is, I just wanted to say something, anything really. Questions like, "Do you have a hair brush deep down in the recesses of your old lady basket?", "What about some deodorant?", "Can I take you by the hand and carry you down pharmaceutical aisles of Walmart and stock you up on all of the hygiene products I take for granted?".

I was assuming, of course, that this lady was homeless. And I was speechless, not a word escaped my mouth. Just a passing stranger I felt a great deal of sympathy towards. What could I really say? What is she really wasn't homeless and I made a fool of myself? I walked away in a physical sense but I never forgot that woman.

And then about a year ago I was shopping at Michaels on my lunch break for scrapbook supplies. Going down the aisles, back and forth, was this woman. She was still the same except it was raining and she was wearing a black windbreaker, the kind that looked like she could fold up and roll into a little pouch to attach around her waist should the weather clear. Her hood was still up but I could see some of her straw-coloured hair peaking out from beneath. Ironically, there was a Walmart bag in her cart. She didn't look up, she didn't seem to be looking at any items in particular, simply seemed to be seeking temporary shelter from the bad weather. I watched her down a few aisles before it was time to go back to work. I moved on.

It had been a while since I thought of her.

Until yesterday - I left work a few minutes late. I had stopped at a traffic light, waiting for a break to make a right turn North on Kennedy Road. I took a moment to check for pedestrians crossing before I eased out. And there she was. She was the pedestrian I stopped for, waiting, waiting, waiting for her to cross so I could make my right turn. I watched her intently, every slow step she made across that intersection. It was a freezing cold day. She was wearing a black jacket, thankfully, although it was worn. The hood was up, straw hair hanging down. Her glasses were the same. My eyes went to her hands, like a concerned parent, to check for mittens. Check - they were beige/off-white coloured (dirty?) but actually had the look of real wool. Warm I hoped. Her pants looked the same as before, track pants with the elastics, too short for her legs. And the running shoes with the white sports socks. If the wind was against her, I'm sure her legs would go numb walking against the chill with so little protection. Her cart was lined with plastic and I thought it no longer looked like a separate object but more like it had become a constant extension to her body.

My heartstrings felt a tug. I felt as though I should stop and ask her if she needed a ride someplace. Traffic was lined up behind me. The light would be changing soon. And besides, how ridiculous would it be to stop a complete stranger in the middle of the city to ask them if they wanted a ride? We don't do that here! Not in this day and age! I don't know this woman! What am I thinking? I shook my head and drove on.

But what if God himself was speaking to me, the pulling on my heartstrings His still small voice asking me to be the whispering hope to a woman in need. What if I'm wrong? Would God ever speak to me in such a way? What if I couldn't recognize the voice of God even if it was in audible tones, let alone just a "feeling"?

We live in such a cynical world, full of despair, full of doubt and pessimism, full of pride, full of "there's nothing I can do", "What difference can I possibly make?" and "you should never talk to strangers". We have been programmed in a way to keep to ourselves and mind our own business and turn a blind eye. But what if I missed my opportunity? What if God keeps bringing her to me because it's my duty to take care of "the least of these", as the Bible says? What's a girl to do?

And so I will pray - I will pray that this woman will safe, warm, fed, and that she will feel love in some small corner of her world, whatever her world may consist of.

And I will pray for me too - that God will allow me to know his voice, to understand when he is speaking to me. I will pray for the wisdom to know when a step of faith is required to be that whispering hope, helping to make a "heart in its sorrow rejoice".

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Busy as a Bee

I laughed out loud when I saw this saying (see above in my pregnancy calendar thingy) -- "Get off the cake woman!!" That is SO me, it's ridiculous! Especially over Christmas. I've actually been gaining about 1.5 lbs per week in the last little while. The midwives don't seem too concerned as I'm still within a healthy range but again, for me, it's difficult seeing the scales creep up.

Been feeling really good. The results were fine with the glucose test I had done a few weeks back. Unfortunately my iron levels have dipped (making me a little extra tired) but I've started taking a supplement from the Health Food store. It better frickin help too - the 500 ml bottle cost me over $50!!!

Pregnancy pics hopefully will follow within the next couple of weeks. Christa has agreed to do a photoshoot with me. Yay! I'm so excited. I've always wanted to have really nice B&W photos of my prego belly to keep/scrapbook for memories down the road. Hopefully we'll get some good shots. No pressure Christa!

I've finally registered online for a few baby items.
Honestly, we've been SO lucky so far. My sister and Jamie's sister both have small children and are giving us so many baby items it's ridiculous! The only "Big" things we really need to get are a change table (not so much a necessity but I kinda want it) and a stroller/infant carseat. Otherwise, there's a few items we need that are "smaller/medium". AND, I'm absolutely LOVING the new orangey colour they have out right now in baby clothes. It's gender neutral still without getting everything in the typical yellow or light green.

The nursery is coming along. BIG THANKS to Christa who helped me do the painting. We spent one Saturday painting the base coat (a light beige) and then the next Saturday we painted the stripe (a slightly darker tan colour in a semi-gloss to make it stand out a little more). The idea was inspired by Vicki's bathroom in her new house. She did the stripes in red and i absolutely LOVED the results. So I went with the neutral colours and I'm really loving it. Just can't wait now to get our furniture and move everything in. Gotta post pics of that too.

Work has been super hectic. I'm so used to doing my personal stuff at work in between doing actual WORK (tsk tsk tsk) and now that I'm training my maternity replacement, my personal items have been put on the back burner. I have a computer at home but I just can't feel inspired to sit in front of it in the evening after sitting in front of one all day. So that would be my excuse and apology for the lack of my usually prompt posts.

I'm off for now. Gotta get home (yes, I'm at work) and clean up and make dinner for the mom-in-law visiting from Newfoundland. Gotta try and be somewhat presentable when she arrives for the night. God forbid I not be taking good care of her baby! :)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Three's a Crowd

For you moms out there who have kids (like my sisters) and who tried desperately to get them to all stay still for that one nice picture of them dressed in their Christmas finery....I just want to let you know I felt your pain, if only briefly, as I tried to get Erykah, Isabella, and Olivia to pose together...unsuccessfully (in terms of a "nice" picture) but I loved some of the very honest results:

My Mom tryin to rearrange

And my absolute ALL TIME FAVOURITE (note the looks of despair!):

Saturday, January 06, 2007


Ok so it's been forever since I last posted a blog. It's been a very very busy Christmas Season between shopping, running back and forth to my sisters apartment in Brampton, spending lots of time with my parents, etc. Back to work this week and it's also been hectic with inventory completion and starting to train my replacement. But it's all super good - just haven't had time to write about it...until now.

Merry belated Christmas Everyone!
My parents arrived on Christmas Eve - so happy to see them as always. They spent Christmas morning at my sisters with the kids and then joined Jamie and I later in the day for a yummy family supper which Jamie cooked - practically all by himself - super yum!

"Santa" was really good to us this year, as always. I was super spoiled by my family and the hubster - My big gift from him was a new zoom lens for my camera. I love it! Of course, I never seem to take the time to actually practice with it - that's my new years resolution: become a better photographer! (gonna need with ALL those baby pics I'm going to want to take!)

Other gifts for moi: maternity/nursing pj's, couple of shirts/sweaters, lots of chocolates, cool scrappin stuff, track suit, angel ornaments for our tree, sander (I've been wanting to refinish our table set), and lots of other misc stocking stuff.

Jamie got lots of nice stuff too including a drill, clothes, stainless steel barfridge, new cell phone, etc. Here's my fav...can you guess what it is?? :)

I regret to inform you all (for those of you who knew him/her) that my Granny's little dog, Ralph, died on December 23rd. Ralph, which is short for "Ralphina" (a female dog so named by my brilliant uncle), was a tiny little terrier mix who looked kinda scraggly with whiskers like an old man and who became a major part of my Granny's life for the past 14 years. She was a wonderful companion for my grandmother especially since my Grandad died. All 5 lbs of her would go crazy barking if there was a moose (or anything) in the garden, so in a way, she really seemed to make my grandmother feel much more safe and secure when she was alone in the house. Ralph had been sick for about a month or so, the vet said it was her heart and there was nothing that could be done. When she finally passed away, my grandmother was afraid to check her little bed and had the neighbour (her nephew, Simeon) come over to confirm. Then Simeon took Ralph out wrapped in her little blanket, buried her in the front yard, and made a tiny cross for the grave. Poor Granny is quite upset and is finding the house quite lonely without Ralph. Maybe a cat would be a nice replacement pet.

Damaged Truck and One Dead Moose

The title pretty much says it all - my Dad (truck driver) hit a moose just outside of Rocky Harbour on his way home from work on Tips Eve. He said he didn't even see the moose until it was right in front of him (suicidal perhaps?) and then he just remember a sound like a gunshot, his truck shut down, and he was fighting for control (he said he's very lucky the roads were clear). Quite a bit of damage on his truck which worried him a bit during his vacation here in Ontario but thankfully the local garage has taken care of things for him and things are underway with getting the truck repaired and back on the road.

Clumsy Me

Totally wiped out on Christmas Eve - leaving my sisters apartment, I twisted my ankle and fell down. Luckily I came down hardest on my knees and didn't hit my tummy or anything. But I did get quite a scare. I started crying - a little from the pain in my ankle but mostly from the fright of thinking I had really hurt myself and was gonna end up going into labour or something. But all is well and the ankle was back to normal within a couple of days.

Happy Birthday Wishes

To Vicki!!! - Dec 31st.
To my great-grandmother, "Nan Barnes" who turned 98!!! on Jan 4th.

Happy New Year!!

We stayed at home and chilled. Dad really wanted to see the movie "Gladiator". My parents are not the type to rent movies at all but this one piqued his interest. I personally love it so I was totally cool with seeing it again. It was nice to ring in 2007 with my parents here with us.

Pregnancy Update
I've been feeling great and steadily growing. Gained 22 lbs so far as per my midwife appointment this past week. They tell me that's within range but it still makes me incredibly nervous to step on the scales. I still have at least 10 weeks ahead of me and lots of room for growth.

This is me on Tips Eve - almost 28 weeks:

Went for the GCT (Glucose challenge test) yesterday. It's to check for gestational diabetes. They make you drink this syrupy/orange pop with a bad aftertaste stuff - it's kinda like medicine that they're tried to make as palatable as possible for adding artifical flavour and fizz except this particular lab served it at room temperature instead of cold and I have a hard enough time as it is drinking a full bottle of pop....ugh! Anyways, then you have to wait an hour for your body to react to the sugar and they take your blood. Luckily there were other pregos there waiting too so we chatted and it made the time go by very quickly. Guess I'll hear back from those results at my next appointment on January 17th.

Christa and I painted the nursery today. I've decided to stay neutral with tan/beige. The first coat is done and next weekend we'll be adding a stripe in a slightly darker glossy coat. Can't wait to see the finished result.

Back to Normal
Now things are pretty much back to normal. Christmas decorations are now put away, back to work as usual, baby is kicking up a storm and adding lots of pressure on my various internal organs, and Jamie and I are spending our Saturday night watching movies.

Hope yours was as good as mine. Hoping to now get back into the swing of things and post regularly. Bye for now :)