Sunday, May 31, 2009

Convocation

My sister and I had very different experiences in Africa when we were kids. While I hid in a corner reading any book I could get my hands on, she ran wild around the villages. Everyone knew her, and she knew everyone. She was afraid of nothing.

The adjustment was difficult for all of us when we returned to Canada. My woeful fashion sense and complete lack of knowledge of 80s trivia aside, I did okay at school, probably thanks to all that obsessive reading. Unfortunately, my sister found it even harder to reintegrate. There being no points awarded for life experience, she was put back a year. This meant that while all of her friends went to the 'big kids' side of the school, she was left on the 'little kids' side. It was humiliating for her and I think it coloured her image of her academic self. She never thought of herself as smart or competent enough achieve much.

Well, today we celebrate my sister's convocation from University. She did it, and she did it well. She pulled off her degree while working often more than full time hours, and then in the last year while recovering from a major accident that resulted in a significant disability in her right hand. Her dominant hand. Her write-an-essay-or-do-anything-at-all hand. She couldn't lift so much as a glass of water, but did my sister back down? No way. (Oh yeah, and Worker's Comp? You still completely suck for not supporting her efforts to get her degree).

She hasn't stopped at convocation. She now runs a city-wide mentorship program that basically tries to prevent extremely high risk youth from destroying themselves. It's incredibly important work, and it just goes to show just how wise, capable and dedicated my sister truly is.

I'm so proud of her, and now I'm off to eat obscene amounts of buffet food in celebration.

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Psychic Phenomenon

About a week ago my uncle came over for coffee. As he was leaving, he said he was headed out to his ranch to do some work. My brain instantly had the following conversation with itself: he shouldn't be going out there alone. He could get hurt. I wonder what he would do if he got seriously hurt? Call someone on his cell phone?

The next day, Uncle drove himself into the city, a little groggy from what he thought was 'a nap in the truck'. To make a long story short, he ended up in the hospital, diagnosed with a cracked skull, some major bruising, and broken fingers. My dad went out to the ranch to look around and near as he can deduce, Uncle fell off the roof of his house. There's not telling how long he was unconscious, but it could have been hours. Then he drove himself into the city. I'm happy to report that aside from a cracked skull and no memory of the incident at all, he seems to be okay.

***

Yesterday, my Reflexologist, who has a reputation for being rather prescient, suddenly looked up from my feet and straight at me (which is disconcerting in and of itself because he is completely blind), and said, "something is going to happen on June 14th." He then hastened to say it could be as little as false labour. But still.

So I told him about my 4 year-old nephew, who's had a streak of unsettling psychic episodes lately. "I asked him if the baby in my tummy was a boy or a girl and he said--"
"Boy," the Reflexologist interjected.
"Right."

So, it'll be interesting to see if either of them are right.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Citizens' Arrest (I Wish)

I pulled up to the dog park to witness all of these plastic bags rolling around in the wind. A bunch of people seemed to standing there, just watching them. So I walked up to one lady. "What's with the plastic bags?"
"They blew out of the ones on the fence." She was referring to the bags of bags that generous types tie to the fence for other people to use.*
"Is anyone going to do anything about it?" I asked.
"Who, like, the City?" the lady looked confused.
"No, the people just standing there!" I replied.
"I'm not chasing a bag in the wind!" She seemed angry I'd even suggest it.
"Well, we could at least try to get some of them," I said, stomping off.
But the lady was not the worst part of the whole thing. The worst part was the four other dog owners, all men, all aged 30 - 60, who then watched me, a heavily pregnant woman, run around a field chasing bags AND DIDN'T BOTHER TO HELP. One guy even stood there and watched as a bag roll past right him.

There are no words.

*Despite the free bags, there remains an inexcusable amount of dog crap all over the park.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Marital Conversations: Dog Park

WORKING: Oh, there she goes. Got a baggy?
TREVOR: Yup. Why does she have to go so far away? By the time I get there, I lose it.
WORKING: That's why you have to pick a landmark to navigate. Like a tuft of grass.
TREVOR: Be better if there was a tree anywhere in sight in this province....
WORKING: What kind of prairie poop tracker are you that you can't navigate by grass?
TREVOR: Speaking of which, did you see where she went?
WORKING: Oops, I got distracted.
TREVOR: See? I lose it every time.
WORKING: I thought it was over here.
TREVOR: Here it is!
WORKING: That's not it.
TREVOR: It looks pretty fresh...
WORKING: Nope, not hers. That's a kibble poop. High quality kibble, but kibble nonetheless. But you can pick it up since we can't find hers. That way you're even.
TREVOR: Ew, it's cold. Definitely not fresh. Wait, even?
WORKING: Yeah. That's what I do. If I lose a poop, I pick up the next one I see. Good poop karma.
TREVOR: This is gross. But at least I'm ahead in karma points.
WORKING: No, you're just even.
TREVOR: Oh right. Cuz I didn't find hers.
WORKING: Exactly.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Marital Conversations

TREVOR: (stops the vacuum cleaner) Remember the other day when you asked what I tend to think about, generally?
WORKING: Huh?
TREVOR: Like when I'm just doing stuff around the house, what I'm thinking about?
WORKING: Oh right.
TREVOR: Well just now I was wondering what would happen to the smell if I farted into the vacuum. That's the kind of thing I think about.

* * *

TREVOR: I'm thinking about giving up on talking. I'm not good at it.
WORKING: (frowns)
TREVOR: I'm serious.
WORKING: So... how are we going to communicate?
TREVOR: I'll just shrug.
WORKING: You think a shrug could relay enough information that we could still conduct our marriage?
TREVOR: <<shrug>>

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Recession

In her recent blog post, financial guru Gail Vaz-Oxlade talks about when you should own your own home. She poses nine questions to ask yourselves before you buy. Unfortunately, Trevor and I fail the first two questions right off the top.

Freelance was never supposed to be a problem, though. A year ago when we made the Big Move back to Regina and into our little house, we were in a very different space. We've always had work. In fact, Trevor has 13 years of nearly constant editing work under his belt and was turning down jobs almost weekly. We had no reason to doubt the trend would change in any significant way.

Cut to a year later and, well, I don't need to tell you how the whole economy thing played out. Unfortunately, the television industry is always the canary in the coalmine. Add to that my mat leave and school in the fall (a career change that now looks more necessary than ever), and we're not just looking at cutting out the things that we love most, we're starting to wonder if we'll even keep the house in the long run.

I've seen how the stress of scenarios like this can kill relationships, so very early on we talked about how losing the house is not the end of the world. We've rented before, we can do it again and it sure as hell is not worth destroying us over. We're healthy, we're capable, we're still in love with each other. That's what matters.

And since then, we've been able to lighten up a whole lot. We're not at the end yet and, Universe willing, we'll never get there. Meanwhile, we've had a whole lot of time to spend together before the baby comes. We've reconnected with friends and family. Somehow, the things we need just seems to show up and we're wanting for nothing at all. We're very, very lucky.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Imbalance

I'm feeling a little out of sorts today. Asbestos in our ceiling. Mold in our front entrance. Our water test came back and it showed the lead content in our water is higher than it should be. Combined with my thyroid, I'm all sorts of worried about what I've done to this child's brain. Hopefully irrationally so.

Then today at Crossfit, I fell off a box doing pull-ups. Stupid move; it wasn't high, only a foot off the ground. I just missed my step off and hit the floor kind of hard. I didn't land anywhere near my stomach, so aside from bruised knees and a twisted ankle, it was no more than a cautionary scare.

But it upset me. I feel under siege, right now. I don't want to be this person, so scared of my little world. That's no way to live. You know what? I'm going to go have a warm bath and a Dilly bar. Just cuz.

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Craving

I'm shoveling food into my mouth these days, so much so that I gained a full kilo in two weeks. But I wouldn't call all that a craving, per say. Just insatiable eating. Instead, my cravings have gone mineral. I caught a whiff of wet gyprock the other day and I can't stop thinking about it. I close my eyes and I picture cement. I just want desperately to consume it. Cement chunks moistened by rain. Mouthfuls of it. Just suck all of that mineral, chalky goodness out of it and go for seconds. I've had to stop myself several times from actually doing this.

Sigh.

p.s. I've read about how this can happen during pregnancy and I promise I'll be more diligent about taking my pregnancy minerals and vitamins.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Grace in Small Things

1. Sitting on the deck, bare belly to the sun (it makes the baby move).
2. Watching a pink living room come down in chunks.
3. Hauling out satisfyingly large pieces of gyprock.
4. The smell of said gyprock, wet from rain.
5. A wide expanse of oak flooring that was hiding under that disgusting carpet.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Update

- Truck robbery is surprisingly anticlimactic; the cops tow the vehicle, impound it, then don't return your call so that you end up having to go buy a $50 replacement charger for your cell phone. They won't even tell you if your brother's expensive drill set is still behind the seat. At least, that's how it's rolled out for my dad.

- Baby is 33 weeks today. It's moving a lot. Could be a growth spurt, but I also suspect it's thanks to an increase in my thyroid medication. I can always tell when I'm low - my naps go three hours long and my hair starts breaking off. Luckily the baby doctor believed me; "We wanna be careful. That stuff can really affect brain development in the baby," he says. Great. Pregnancy, the never ending minefield.

- Speaking of the baby doctor, "Is it okay that I front-squatted 105 lbs. yesterday?" I asked. He laughed at me, then reassured me that there's no way I can squish my baby by weightlifting. I was seriously worried! Every squat, I pictured my baby's face all scrunched up against the side of my uterus, it's fingers crammed into its eyeball....
"Just please don't try to go for personal records," he added. I agree, of course, but it's really, really hard not to get a little over enthusiastic at CrossFit. Luckily pregnancy comes with all sorts of warning mechanisms, namely a cute little sensation called "round ligament pain". Trust me, there's no pushing through that.

- Trevor and I are tackling the Gross Pink Living Room this week! Yay! We haven't entertained much in the last year because we HATE this room. Could be the colour, a kind of a pepto-bismal meets nicotine. Or, could be the beige carpeting (which at least hides the nicotine). We haven't managed to slap so much as a coat of paint on it simply because of the sheer amount of associated work. It has a cracked ceiling that must be fixed first, which unfortunately also happens to be popcorn in style, a.k.a. 'stipple', and if you know your home renno history, any stipple from the 40s to the 80s is almost guaranteed to have asbestos. The room also has a layer of retro, but also likely asbestos-laden, vinyl tile glued to the original hardwood. Glued right onto the hardwood. (shakes head)

So, that's about it. Pleasantly busy, dotting the i's and crossing the t's on baby development, and trying not to breathe in asbestos. Life, overall, is good.

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

True Story

Trevor and Working drive down College Ave. on their way from Rona, where they didn't buy a single thing because shelving is ridiculously expensive:

WORKING: Hey, is that Dad's truck parked there?
TREVOR: Is it?
WORKING: It has to be. I'd recognize that rust anywhere. What's it doing there?
TREVOR: Remember, your uncle borrowed it.
WORKING: Oh right. Still. Weird.

Suddenly, a text from Dad:
Just found out my truck was stolen from Greg's house last night. Was used in a robbery. Police have not found it yet.

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Marital Conversations: Pee

WORKING: I have to pee.
TREVOR: Imagine that.
WORKING: Shut up.

* * *

WORKING: I have to pee.
TREVOR: Imagine that.
WORKING: I know. I've gone so much today that the toilet seat is starting to mold into the shape of my ass.
TREVOR: That must be why I almost fell in.
WORKING: Shut up.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Marital Conversations

WORKING: Why is your Yoda figurine like that on the shelf?
TREVOR: Like what?
WORKING: Why is he all wedged into the corner like that? Like he’s on a time out? Hiding behind a picture frame?
TREVOR: You know why I did that? It’s kind of childish.
WORKING: Why?
TREVOR: So a certain young nephew of ours doesn’t see it and want to take it home.
WORKING: (eye roll) You could just tell him 'no'.
TREVOR: You don’t know kids. They latch on.
WORKING: That’s just sad, Trevor.
TREVOR: Hey, it’s my Yoda.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Grace in Small Things

1. A cold, rainy day. Honestly, I don't hate it. (as I typed that, it started to hail, which is a bit much. But I'll still take it)
2. Trevor gets to go talk shop at an industry workshop.
3. I pulled a great card on the weekend, The Star. The lesson was so timely that it has stayed with me for days.
4. I managed to find four more jugs of grapefruit juice (white, NOT pink) at Safeway.
5. I'm going to Cuppa T later. Big, thirsty pregnant lady need loose leaf Honeybush tea NOW.

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32 Weeks

It feels too soon to be 32 weeks. Which is funny, because at 31 weeks, a mere three days ago, I was complaining that this whole pregnancy thing is taking forever.

I'm not ready. I don't have diapers, bedding, names, the cradle is in pieces in the garage, and we've only made it to "Active Labour" phase in the childbirth classes. What if I go into labour before I find out what comes after Active Phase?!

It's not that I haven't done anything; I've gratefully accepted bagloads of clothes and various baby accessories from friends. I've banked up a lot of nap time, on the advice of every sleepy parent I've encountered. I've practiced labour breathing in between sets at CrossFit (of course, I didn't know that's what I was doing until a Doula and fellow Crossfitter told me that's exactly what I'm doing).

So, basically, I'm ready?

In other, non-baby related news... oh, who am I kidding. There is no non-baby related news. I'm unemployed and 32 weeks pregnant. This is my life.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Marriage Circa 2009

"I do think it's a bit crazy that we just had a whole conversation on Facebook. You know, considering we're sitting right across the table from each other."

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Dear Baby: Gender

Dear Baby,
If one day I say to you, "I just had a feeling you were going to be a girl / boy," then feel free to call me on it because I AM LYING. This week I will be 32 weeks pregnant and frankly, I don't have a clue. I haven't had any deep, maternal inklings about you being masculine or feminine. But I am pretty sure you have an elbow. Then again, I can't really tell a foot from an elbow so who knows. Dr. Miller has to tell me every time which way you're facing.

Maybe your dad is more prescient. I'll ask him right now:

WORKING: Trev, what do you think the baby's going to be? Boy or girl?
TREV: Um, I think that it's going to be a boy. But there's also a very good chance that it's going to be a girl.
WORKING: Helpful.
TREV: Whatever it's going to be, it's going to be completely dependent on us.
WORKING: You're still freaked out about that.
TREV: I can barely take care of you and me.

He is, of course, referring to the fact that the phone isn't exactly ringing off the hook with job offers. So, there, Baby. Present yourself as you will.

Love,
Working (your mom)

p.s. Lay off the bladder. I'm serious. It hurts when you do that.

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Grace in Small Things

1. A beautiful, sunny walk with Trevor and Charlie in a ravine near Kamsack.
2. Handmade, knitted booties from my fabulous MIL!
3. The Kamsack Nap, which is what I'm going to start calling my 2-hour blackouts. I swear there's something in the air out there....
4. The cat running to greet the dog when we arrived back home.
5. The Amazing Race finale. I'm going to miss yelling a the TV every Sunday night.

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Grace in Small Things

Wrong side of bed this morning. Wrong side of pillow, wrong side of blankets, and wrong side of massive, uncomfortable midsection and sore, sore hips. Gruuuuuuumpy.

1. The sun, she shines again today.
2. The baby just booted my laptop off of my lap.
3. I might go get another book from the library. That always cheers me up. Like shopping without the spending.
4. Tarot! I forgot to pull my card today! Though yesterday's still doesn't make sense, but I just might be too grumpy to connect the dots.
5. Drinks with Tina B. tonight!

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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Parental Discussions

Working: Guess how much weight I've gained?
Dad: How much?
Working: Zero! Zero pounds since my last check-up! Five lbs. overall. But the baby is measuring perfectly healthy.
Dad: That's good.
Working: Yeah, I like to think maybe it's CrossFit--
Dad: And of course, you were pretty... before...
Working: Pretty what?
Dad: Well...
Trevor: Uh oh.
Working: What are you saying, exactly?
Dad: I'm just saying you were healthy before. A healthy weight. So you might not notice a big difference. That's all I'm saying.
Working: You just called your own daughter fat!
Dad: Oh whatever. Besides, it's in your genes.
Working: What jeans?
Dad: Your mom only ever gained 10, 15 lbs. at most during her pregnancies.
Working: The point is, I like to think that I'm maintaining a good weight while the baby is growing.
Dad: And that's the point. Besides, you'll lose a lot when you breast feed.

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Monday, May 04, 2009

How To Make Monday Happen

This is a really dangerous part of the day. I have a list of things to do:
- dog walk
- dishes
- grocery shopping
- pile of baby clothes that needs sorting
- slow cooker for supper
- return library books
- finally crack a frickin' Anatomy textbook (you're going to be screwed come September if you don't!)

But then there's this sleepy, hazy feeling, "what-if-I-just-lay-down-for-a-minute?". I gave into this feeling many times during my unemployed days in Toronto, entire weeks wasted on TV and naps. You might think it sounds posh, "I wish." But it actually didn't feel good at the time. Rather, I think it paved the way to depression and not the other way around. I come from worker folk; my biology dictates I accomplish.*

But, ooooh, that other side of me... beckoning... bed...my eyes grow heavy....

When the battle gets this bad, I've learned the best thing to do is get my ass in gear and move. So I'm printing out the shopping list and gathering up the library books. I'll leave the dog for now because I know she will remind me that she has to be walked. So I'll save her for the worst part of the day, the post-lunch crash when, instead of napping, I'll be dragging my ass to the dog park.

Then, my reward: a nice little post-walk nap. Cuz, really, you gotta have rewards.

* just a pregnancy-related observation: I've noticed it's become essential to go to bed absolutely dog-tired. It's so bloody uncomfortable that if I'm the least bit restless, it turns into freakin' hell.

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Sunday, May 03, 2009

GiST: First Sunny Day in May


1. Warm, sunny day.
2. Family brunch out on the back deck.
3. A drive out to my Uncle's ranch.
4. Hotdogs, salad and potato wedges for supper
5. Frozen yogurt, Amazing Race and Ladies' No. 1 Detective Agency for dessert.

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Saturday, May 02, 2009

GiST: Regina Edition

1. Cool, fresh air whenever I need it.
2. Relatively quiet nights (except during bird migration. Have you heard the lake lately?)
3. File under "one of everything": Michi has pretty darn good sushi.
4. The vet tells me, "we don't see a lot of fleas, mites or mange around here." You don't know how cool that is until you've lived through all three in one Toronto summer.
5. Robins! I forgot how many there are here, especially in spring.

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