Friday, January 30, 2009

Switchback / Street Cents

Right. So, if I’m leaving the industry for real, I think I should start paying tribute to those with whom I’ve worked. So, if I worked with you, you’re either going to get a ‘thank you’ or the virtual finger. Which will it be? Stay tuned!

It’s unusual that I even got to be on television because we didn’t even own a TV until I was in grade 6 or so. I can’t remember how or why I was invited to be on Switchback. I do remember I had to learn how to do the two-step backstage with a dance instructor, and then dance it with a boy in front of a live studio audience.

I also don’t remember how I got onto Street Cents, or even what the story was. But I do remember we shot it at the old drug store in Golden Mile Shopping Mall. And I think I had lines. I don’t think I did very well. It’s possible it didn’t even air.

While it may seem that these are experiences a kid would remember vividly, I honestly don’t. I think I was so embarrassed that I blocked it. I probably had every reason to be embarrassed; I always knew I wasn't a natural. What I do remember vividly is the rush of being involved with a production, and maybe that’s the part that stuck with me.

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6X365 Grace in Small Things

Of course I can't just leave it like that. Here we go:

1. The excited, nervous jolt I get every once in awhile when I remember that I'll find out about Nursing school in about a month.
2. The knowledge that even though I missed him this morning, I'm going to see Trevor in about a half an hour at work.
3. The bed was the perfect temperature of warm this morning.
4. Toast with butter for breakfast.
5. And remembering that I did three 10-second handstands at Crossfit yesterday! I like to think I blew the baby's mind, but most likely it didn't notice much, being immersed in fluid.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Momentary Pause

We will now take a break from our regularly scheduled Grace in Small Things to FREAK THE FRAK OUT.

I am out of a job in six weeks.

Trevor is out of a job in two.

We have a mortgage that is uncomfortably more than our rent in Toronto.

The move back was really expensive and we’re still paying it off.

I am due in five short months.

There will be some EI, but no mat leave.

Throat… closing… chest… compressing…brain… overheating….

Breathing is just a little harder today.

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Mistaken Pregnancy Symptom

Upon waking up and rolling over this morning: "wow. I feel really big. It's not comfortable to be on my stomach. Not at all. It must have hit a growth spurt. Wow. It's totally different now! I'm totally pregnant!"

Five minutes later, emerging from the washroom after the world's longest pee: "oh."

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

6X365 Grace In Small Things

1. The heavy, warm weight of the cat against my legs on a particularly cold night.

2. The sound of the dog snoring.

3. The way the cat sits across from me at breakfast, only his ears and eyes visible over the table.

4. The way the dog rips through the fresh snow like she's trying to take in every part of it.

5. The sound of Trevor coming home.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Shower Gifts # 1

Is it rude to specify shower gifts? At four months? Well, these popped into my head and since I can't say how long thoughts will stick around these days, I better get 'em down. Preggo-brain is real and I am afflicted.


1. Frasier on DVD
2. A six-month membership to
3. A case of Graber olives from California
4. Six months of membership to Crossfit
5. And... it's on the tip of my brain... dammit, it's gone. See?!?
6. Something for the baby.

*Yes, I realize these are awfully big ticket items. Perhaps this list is actually more for Trev, and maybe it's my birthday wish list... and Christmas list...for the next five years.

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5X365 Grace In Small Things

  1. The way the walking path by my work is cut into the hard packed snow. It looks like a chunky set on an old episode of Star Trek. A Class K ice planet, or something.
  2. The way my pasta shells all tucked into each other sometime during the cooking process. I shall now call this dish “Cuddling Pasta Salad”.
  3. The warm feeling I get knowing Trevor is working just in the other room.
  4. My family clinking champagne glasses over brunch yesterday to celebrate my sister’s engagement.
  5. A sensation, like a hand being gently dragged along a shower curtain. Did I just feel the baby for the first time?

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Crossfit Conversations

CF Instructor: How are you feeling? Can I talk to your belly? (leans down to talk to belly).

Working: Actually, it can’t hear you right now.

CF Instructor: Oh. (moves on)

Trev: (laughing) Hon…

Working: What?

Trev: Listen to you!

Working: But it’s true. They don’t typically develop hearing until closer to 20 weeks--

Trev: Yeah, but that’s not the point. She was just being nice. You just had a Bones moment.

Working: I did?

Trev: Yup.

Working: Oh. Whoops.

* * *

CF Instructor: Your husband should have to wear a weight pack in front to see how it feels.

Working: All of the guys should. It could be a new CF Workout of the Day.

CF Head Instructor: How big would it really have to be?

CF Instructor: You saw the size of my kids’ heads!

Working: Yeah (pondering). Trev’s got a big head.

CF Head Instructor: You should be more worried about how you’re going to give birth to those calves. They're like tree trunks!

Working: It’s true. He has massive calves.

CF Head Instructor: You’re going to need a calf puller!

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Pregnancy Meets Crossfit

Here’s a pregnancy topic that you can’t get a straight answer on: exercise. My doctor shut down as soon as I said the word “weightlifting”. I didn’t even bother describing the modifications I’d made because she was too busy shaking her head to listen. I think she’d be happy if I went for walks and the odd yoga class for the next six months. But I wouldn’t be happy.

I’ve done my research and luckily there are a lot of pregnant women who have continued Crossfit and lived to blog about it. And accordingly, I’ve followed their sage advice and altered my approach to be much less intense. Maybe about 1/3 to ½ of my usual weight limit or effort with modifications to movements that are particularly joint intensive, have us lying on our backs or put too much pressure on the abdomen. And by many standards, I’m still being overly cautious.

So far, I find that it’s different but a good kind of different. Saturday’s class was intense even with my modifications. So in the middle of a full class, pulsating with all of that high intensity workout energy, I’d take a moment and close my eyes, breathing calmly and slowly, focusing on the feeling of my heart pumping blood through my system. Just for a moment, though, before rejoining for the kettle bell swings (which I still love and which still feel great).

Being forced to slow down is certainly a different kind of mind-body connection, and not disappointing at all. I hope it lasts.

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

It Lives! Or So I'm Told.

I just realized that little baby animation in the left column of this blog is about as real as this pregnancy gets at this point. The only other time I felt there was actually a human growing inside of me was during the last ultrasound.
“This is going to take awhile,” the frustrated Ultrasound Tech. said. On the screen the fetus, with its perfectly identifiable arms and legs and little toes, flipped around, stood on its head, and mooned its skinny little ass in the direction of its father.

Otherwise, my pregnancy experience is not unlike the ‘cleanse’ a Naturopathic Doctor put me on once, the most noticeable parts being the woeful lack of real beer and raw sushi.

But one day I was doing something completely unrelated, like rushing to get out a script or scrubbing the toilet (equally unappealing on some days) and it suddenly occurred to me that this human is also completely unaware of me. It grows in me, maybe because of me, but as far as it’s concerned it’s blissfully alone, consuming, eliminating, swimming around, dancing with its own dreams.

This child's whole purpose is to grow away from me, unable to resist the pull towards its own inevitable path. That’s the whole point: I make sure it survives birth and childhood, then I make sure I survive its teenage years. Then it moves on, hopefully healthy and happy and not too shitty to be around at Christmas.

And perhaps I have to remember that I, too, have my own path beyond this person.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Early Pregnancy (As I've Experienced It)

- Surprise! Science has recently discovered you can get pregnant if you have unprotected sex up to nine days before you so much as even ovulate. Learn this approximately 3 weeks too late.

- Hormones are great for getting promotions and striking fear into the hearts of your co-workers and supervisors. The problem is that you may regret a promotion when the unreasonable exhaustion kicks in, which is immediate and long lasting.

- Your pants won't fit, also starting immediately. Face it, they barely fit before and no matter how versatile the Bella band may be, it can't work miracles. So you're down to alternating your only two pairs of fat pants for three months until you can justify maternity clothes. Even so, you're acutely aware of the waistline cinching you off at the uterus. But only when you sit down or stand up or move.

- Dry heave for several weeks straight and then finally realize it seems to happens just after you take your multivitamin. See doctor. Discontinue multivitamin.

- Learn about PregVit completely by accident and haul yourself back to the doctor's to ask her why the &^$%# hell she didn't tell you about PregVit.

- Head back to the doctor's because even though you know bleeding doesn't necessarily mean you've lost the baby, the Internets say to be cautious. In my case, bleeding apparently means 'give up exercise immediately and go on bed rest'.

- For fun during many, many follow-up doctor's visits, eavesdrop on the front office staff gossip and then send them anonymous complaints about inappropriate office behavior.

- Grow increasingly horrible, bitchy and unreasonable because 1. your pants don't fit 2. you can't eat anything 3. work sucks and 4. you aren't exercising.

- Take it out on your husband. Then have a sudden epiphany that he might actually leave you if you don't grow up and put up and shut up.

- Celebrate with an ice cold, non-alcoholic yet still tasty hops beverage that the first trimester is finally, blessedly over. In anticipation of returning to exercise, consume large amounts of, well, anything. So long as it is white, starchy and completely unrelated to protein.

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Dear Radio 2 Morning

Dear Tom Allen,
I know the content of your show today (Tues. Jan. 6th) is primarily listener-driven, but I can't take it anymore. The 'Play List for Obama'* seems to suggest so far that Canada is completely stuck in decades past and it makes for simply awful morning radio, at least to me (female, 30+).

Yes, I realize I could suggest a song myself, but it's way too bloody early for my brain to function that way. I really depend on you to soundtrack my morning and this won't do. Changing the station now to - yuck - lite FM, but may try your show again tomorrow.

Yours Sincerely,

Working in Regina

*So far this morning, the songs that best represent ALL of Canada:

Gordon Lightfoot Song For A Winter's Night ("We're folksy!")
Susan Aglukark O Siem ("Why can't we all just get along?")
Buffy Sainte Marie Universal Soldier (That's it. I'm going back to bed.)

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