Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Death Card

Yesterday I pulled the Death card in my Morning-Afternoon-Evening spread. Death prescribed for the evening. “Oh good,” I thought, “it will be the end of something that needs to end. Some old pain. That’ll be nice.”

Then last night I got home to find this from a friend:
bad news. I will be losing this one too. Heartbeat too slow, calcification, measurements...
We don’t know each other that well, but she started hanging around me when she first found out she was pregnant, too. She was vibrating, she so excited and nervous. She wanted to share every fear, presumably so that I, in my advanced state of pregnancy, could reassure her that I’d felt the same cramps, the same nausea, and look at me now!

This is her second miscarriage in less than a year. As I said, we don’t know each other that well, but anyone could feel her absolute devastation in those few emailed words. And there really is nothing one can say.
take good care of yourself.
I know what this sign off means. She can’t be around me. She won’t be checking my FB updates. She doesn’t want to hear. I can’t blame her for that. A friendship ended before it had a chance. And sadly, another small life ended in much the same way.

Stupid Death card.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Grace in Small Things

This post is dedicated entirely to the kindness of the people I'm very lucky to call my friends:

1. Bag fulls of books and baby clothes from Brika and Jordan
2. Bag fulls of books and preggo-clothes from Naomi and Dan.
3. The generous offer from my in-laws to buy us a crib.
4. A community of FB friends who respond en masse when I put the call out for advice about everything from ultrasounds to "Seeking Doula" (and soon: what kind of crib should we get?).
5. The honest tales of pregnancy and parenting. You can't scare me, you can only prepare me. So thank you for imparting your wisdom.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Ur, Um, Correction (cough)

So, my sister clued me in over drinks last night (I had the Bushwakker's sarsaparilla - yumm). She'd read the blog entry, the one in which I reveal 20+ years of resentment and loathing of a particular sticker, Feminism and I guess by association, my own mother.

"You are so funny," my sister said. "You know I bought that sticker at Exibition, right? Mom never bought it for me." No, no I did not know that. And now I am a officially a fool. A pregnant, blogging fool.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pregnancy Update

  • I’m still keeping up with regular CrossFit training, 3x per week. For the first time this week I felt tightness, like I couldn’t quite get enough breath. But I’m still managing to keep up with the reps, just a few modifications. I do planks with arm raises instead of sit-ups. And my pushups are all against a box. I know my heart rate is going over 140 bpm’s, but a fellow CrossFitter’s OB, one of the top in the city I guess, told her it was fine. He said the baby is only in danger if you are yourself in danger of not getting enough oxygen and I don't let it get that far. I know when to rest.
  • As a testament to CF, I’ve only gained about 6-8 lbs so far. My doctor was pleased.
  • That said, it’s all in front. People don't even hide their shock when I tell them I’m only 25 weeks. Either this is one helluva big baby or… I don’t know what. But I gotta say, it's really starting to get in my head.
  • This is not helped by the fact that I’m also experiencing intense lower back and hip pain. My pelvis really wants out of this pregnancy. So do my legs, which feel like they want to separate from my body and run away, especially at night. Exercise and visits to Reflexology and the Chiropractor help, but it really feels like my bones no longer fit under my skin.
  • The baby, well, I can’t you much. It moves, and it creates noticeable waves and jolts to my whole stomach with some of its movements. So it clearly lives and grows. But as that's our only form of communication, I can't tell you much more about... whoever this is.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Grace in Small Things

1. Dear friends who came over and watched BSG with us, and who were clearly into it as much as we were.
2. The special BSG meal Trev cooked, which means there is leftover vegetarian linguine in the fridge.
3. Discovering that there are leftover kalamata olives! I'm absolutely going to super-load my linguine.
4. A leftover cupcake to have after leftover linguine. Don't tell James.
5. Getting treats from the UK in the mail from my mom.
6. (An extra one because it was my birthday) the fact that all my family (in-laws included) came together to make me feel so special all weekend.

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Sticker Hate

When my sister moved out last month, she left us her bed. She’d bought a new one and offered her old one up as a temporary bed for our spare room. It’s actually a beautiful old bed; patterned, antique wood from maybe the 1920s, marred only by stickers and decals that my sister stuck to the headboard sometime back in her early teens.

There was one in particular that has bothered me for decades. It was one of those bumper sticker sized decals. It said, “God created man before Woman. But then again, you always do a rough draft before you create a masterpiece.” I know, ha-ha.

Today I took a hairdryer to it and scraped the bugger off with a putty knife. I got great satisfaction from picking away at the paper and glue, making the horrible, evil thing disappear forever. “Aren’t you overreacting a little?” you ask, “It’s just a sticker….”

Well, let me tell you. It was around 1989. Mom had taken off to Northern BC after losing custody in a messy court battle (very long story). We were left with Dad, who suddenly found himself the inexperienced and seriously overwhelmed single parent of five kids under the age of, well, 13, which is how old I was. I remember my sister got the sticker as part of one of Mom’s birthday or Christmas packages (these still arrive regularly from around the globe). My sister stuck the decal to the headboard of the bed. Looking back, maybe it made her feel closer to Mom?

But to me, it was a slap in the face. I thought the saying was mean spirited and worse, I thought it was blatant dig at Dad. From that day on I associated that kind of humor with a type, a hard-nosed, unjust, mean spirited, sexist Feminist type that I swore I’d never become. In fact, I became anti-Feminist* on the spot. I also became one of Dad’s biggest defenders. Thanks to a sticker.

Of course, my mom would probably read this in total confusion now. She does kind of have a weird sense of humor; she probably thought it was a funny sticker and unthinkingly stuck it in the package as an afterthought. To this day, I couldn't begin to guess what her real intention was.

Anyways, I’m just glad to see it gone.

* as overly simplified by a 13 year-old’s brain. I’ve grown to learn that like everything else, the term is loaded and there are many complexities. In many, many ways I am now one with my inner-feminist.

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Grace in Small Things

1. Watching the dog wrestle with the cat in the living room.
2. That sleepy high that comes after a particularly strong session of A.R.T.
3. That sleepy high that comes after a particularly strong session of Cross Fit.
4. Frost on trees.
5. The first day of Spring.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Housekeeping

Tasks I like:
- Washing dishes
- Shoveling snow
- Laundry
- Finding matches for socks
- Getting rid of clutter, sorting
- Wiping dust off of large surfaces, like the TV

Tasks I don't mind:
- General tidying
- Vacuuming
- Cooking
- Making the bed
- Washing the floors
- Packing

Tasks I don't care for:
- Scrubbing the bathtub
- Washing utensils
- Ironing
- Taking out the garbage
- General dusting
- Wiping off a muddy dog
- Trying to fit clothes into already full closets and drawers

Tasks I've considered paying someone else to do:
- Scrubbing the toilet
- Scrubbing behind the toilet
- Cleaning the kitty litter
- Disposing of dead birds / rodents
- Stirring natural peanut butter
- Pulling weeds

I will probably add to this.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Working From Home Again

It’s Sunday, full of Sunday-type activities. Namely, cleaning the house. We paused for a little lunch and I crashed for a half hour on the couch. When I woke up, the house was empty. Trev had gone to take the dog to the dog park and it suddenly hit me: tomorrow is the first official day of my unemployment. I will be this alone every day for who knows how many weeks.

Panic.

I’ve been here before. I mean, I wasn’t unemployed those entire four years in Toronto, but I did work from home (hence the name of this blog). And even though we’ve moved two provinces and bought a house, I suddenly realized that being home alone again will have a very familiar soundtrack: Silence. Everything moving in super-slow speed. Depression.

Luckily, I’m coming at it with some skills this time:

1. Get up when Trevor gets up. Get dressed, too., from head-to-toe. Teeth brushed, hair fixed, face washed.
2. Have a to-do list. What do you intend to accomplish today?
3. Get active. Dog + iPod = walk. This must be first on the list because it wakes you up and gives you a shot of sanity-saving endorphins.
4. Morning is for brain activity. Look for work. Study Tarot. Write emails, blogs. Work on creative fiction. Keep surfing to a minimal.
5. Take a coffee break and do some little, active chore, like start the slow cooker.
6. Take a lunch break with a 20-minute nap, tops. I may extend this to 30 minutes with the pregnancy, but generally keep nap marathons to the weekend.
7. Touch base with at least one live person every day. This should be easier now since I actually know people here. I fully intend to have afternoon coffee dates.
8. Use majority of afternoon for active chores (this helps prevent said marathon napping). Clean at least one room of the house. Tidy a clutter area. Do any required running around, shopping, pop by the Library. That sort of thing.
9. Cook supper. I don't like to cook. But I can cook. And if I’m unemployed it’s only fair and I do it gladly.
10. Enjoy evenings with Trevor: exercise, a little TV or that sort of thing.

Dorky, yes. But it took me four whole years to figure out that this is what it takes for me to be happy working from home. I am a person who depends on structure. I need to have demands placed on me, even if I have to set them myself.

I'm crossing my fingers.

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Grace in Small Things

1. It's only -7 this morning! And sunny! Perfect for my last day on the job.
2. Green St. Patrick's Day cupcakes from Cathedral Village and sharing them with the crew.
3. An almost-clean desk.
4. Trev has a gig starting Monday.... Not a long one, but enough of one to make us breathe easier.
5. I did a good job. I think I can exit stage right with good feelings.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tarot Talk: The Emperor

To stave off the boredom of the second-last day of wrap, my colleague challenged me to write a story about a goblin. A goblin who has to learn something by the end. Well, I would, except I'm in the middle of a mental rant about Tarot. So I'll write about that.

I've been reading "Tarot Theory & Practice" by Ly de Angeles. Overall, it's been a good read. Learning a lot about the Tree of Life that I didn't know before.

Then I started studying the chapter that defines the Major Arcana. I'm as far as Hierophant, and already I want to write a letter (and as Trevor can tell you, stand back when I get in one of my letter-writing moods!).

Why do so many Tarotists see cards like Priestess and Empress as 'the sacred feminine', where as Emperor and Hierophant belong to the cliched 'broken male club'? Oh, how many of the world's ills are blamed on these cards!

To quote:
Whereas the Empress represents "mother" (in whatever fashion), so the Emperor represents "father" in traditional fashion rather than the currently transitional role representation which - from my perspective - is rather sad. This representation, while remaining entrenched in many cultures and societies worldwide even in this, the twenty-first century, remains an onerous archetype that many men would reject if they could, while others cling to it frantically, to the detriment of true humanitarianism and compassion. (pp. 75)
(my italics)

This follows a glowing review of the Empress ("Mother!") using words like "art, love, tactile pleasure, fecundity, sensual erotic environments, nourishment." No ill can ever come via the Empress! (Remind me to tell you about my own mother figures some day....)

Question to teachers like de Angeles: do you not feel responsible for what you implant into the brains of young, impressionable Tarot readers? Why colour their judgement in this way? I thought we were supposed to see all possibilities, not strain everything through the lenses of our own biases. Which you, Madam, very, very, VERY clearly have.

Here's what I think of the Emperor: it's that just-as-precious stage in life where you've just experienced the bliss of a new thing - a relationship, a baby, a project - and you're ready to roll up your sleeves. It's time to try to understand what needs doing. You create rules. Or, you try like hell to learn existing rules because without structure, the project likely won't take shape. The baby won't learn to sleep. The relationship won't move forward. The writing career won't happen because you never develop a practice.

So it's more like being a new student in a martial arts class; you are past the whole, "this is so freakin' cool!!" part (Empress) and you're ready to do whatever it takes to learn the basics. That's the Emporer to me. It's a beautiful card.

You should see what de Angeles says about the Hierophant card.
<<heavy sigh>>

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Grace in Small Things

  1. My SIGG bottle and the fact that the tap water at CBC always seems to run quite cold.
  2. Finding the box with most of my favourite books.
  3. Finally finding the file with all my tax documents.
  4. Getting rides to work from Trevor, who starts the car, too!
  5. The fact that even though it’s minus %$&*'ing 40 again, the sun is shining. Yes it is.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Grace in Small Things

I must look haunted today because several people have asked what’s wrong. Even Trevor asked when he just called, so I even sound haunted. It’s weird when your face portrays an emotion inconsistent with how you really feel. Now I’m questioning myself: am I haunted?

Well, maybe a little. And what cures a case of the haunts? Grace in Small Things!

1. New-to-us couch and chair that MIGHT be in our possession tomorrow! Provided the truck starts and the couch is actually ‘as seen in picture’.
2. No-VOC paint from Rona! Soon to be on our office walls!
3. Kicks from the kidlet in my belly.
4. Remembering that I have an A.R.T. appointment tomorrow.
5. Crossfit in two hours. I'm so glad it's still a craving.

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Monday, March 09, 2009

Nestless?

I walked into an empty office today. Most everyone has moved on by now. I think the end of a show is not unlike the end of a roommate living arrangement; all of that intense conflict and shared experience gets pushed aside in the haste of figuring out the logistics. Was that pot yours or mine? I think it was mine.

I guess I’m taking it more personally this time because this really could be my last show and I’m nervous. I don’t know what will happen to Trevor and me work-wise over the next year. It could be dreadful, it could be amazing, it could be completely mundane.

But we live in a world of contracts and this one’s complete. Job well done, thank you very much, take care. There is no choice but to move forward. Kicked out of the nest again, hoping our wings are strong. Which they usually are.

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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Grace in Small Things

I am grateful that:
1. My dad finally took a much needed two-week vacation to Mexico. That man has worked too hard his whole life.
2. My brother could help us jack up Dad’s truck and change the tire that we let go flat. Our rather impeccable neighbours probably appreciate that we moved it from in front of their house, too....
3. The workout at Crossfit this weekend was tough and I made it through it just a few modifications. It felt good!
4. we have a new-to-us entertainment stand. Now we just need couches.
5. Trev made macaroni casserole for Amazing Race night.

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Friday, March 06, 2009

Grace in Small Things

I am grateful that,

1. I am still employed for one more week.
2. My job, in the meantime, offers benefits and Trevor and I have been checked out head-to-toe.
3. The general diagnosis is that we’re pretty healthy.
4. We’ve been able to catch up on Dexter Season 3 thanks to free introductory cable.
5. We’ve also enjoyed a week of relatively healthful eating.
6. The walk-in doctor decided to be proactive.
7. The nurses at Labour and Delivery were so kind and got my sense of humour.
8. Trevor was there.
9. The OB told me that we’d done the right thing.
10. That my water hasn’t broken and the baby seems fine.*

*Little more info for those who want to know: I went in to the walk-in due to increased cramping and other strange-to-the-Internets kind of things. The GP thought my uterus felt too soft and he got a weird reading on the baby (turns out his Doppler was broken). He sent me over to L&D mostly to be safe. Diagnosis: no evidence of loss of amniotic fluid and early Braxton Hicks (yay!). I'm to monitor it but the very nice OB told me I don't have to change a thing, so I'm hitting Crossfit tomorrow, folks!

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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Home'ish?

My sister moved out of our house this weekend. She found a great little one-bedroom right downtown for a reasonable price and they practically rolled out the red carpet for her. This in a city suffering a .05% vacancy rate, proving once again that she has some sort of wicked-ass karma when it comes to both parking spots and apartments.

And as soon as the last of her stuff was out, Trevor and I sat alone in our now empty living room (we left most of our furniture in Toronto six months ago) and I proceeded to freak out. We’ve been here for over half a year and yet only last night did the move really hit us. Is this really our house? What have we done? Can we actually make this happen, financially? I can't tell you why none of this occurred to us until my sister moved out.

This morning, however, we got to work. Started cleaning, organizing, moving things around. I’m now sitting in a kitchen that feels brand new to me because I moved a few appliances around to make it more efficient. I organized the bathroom cupboards: my stuff, Trevor’s stuff, kid stuff. We even discussed in more detail doing some of the easier cosmetic upgrades to the space we most dislike, the living room. Trevor is going to start on the office this week so we can finally unpack our most beloved possessions, our books.

With my sister gone, we suddenly have a blank slate and it's proven motivating. Also scary. But somehow, it also feels a little more like our home today. Perhaps it's the kick in the ass we needed.

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