Saturday, June 27, 2009

In Memoriam

I'm going to observe some blogging silence out of respect (to be interrupted only if I go into labour). Otherwise, see you around end-of-day Thursday.

Hug your loved ones.
--Working

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Dear CBC


Hi Sheila and the Morning Edition:
Yesterday was one of the hardest days of my life. I had to break the news to my dad that his best friend, Paul Beingessner, had passed away.

Paul was an amazing man. He and Dad met in Regina in the 70s and his oldest daughter, Naomi, and I were born a week apart in 1976. Our families grew up together.

Aside from collecting eggs and picking raspberries and riding horses around their yard near Truax, I didn't otherwise pay much attention to the farming side. But I can personally attest to what a wonderful human being Paul was. He was such a smart man, so funny, and he was the kind of person who could hear a song once and sing it back to you. And he sang a lot.

But when I think of "Uncle Paul", as we always called him, it will probably always be in the context of how much he loved that farm, how much he loved his kids, and how he really wanted this province to be a better place for farmers. Somehow I'm going to find a way to carry forward his memory in some small way.

Thank you,
Working From Home Today

News story here

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

In Mourning

I just had to break the most devastating news to my father. A death. I can't share specifics here right now out of respect for the family, but it pertains to my closest friends, my longest friends, and I can't even imagine what they are going through right now. My heart is breaking for them.

The strangest thing is, and perhaps they will understand, is that not 15 minutes before I heard the news, and purely on a whim, I pulled a package of homemade sausage out of the freezer.

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Dear Baby: Life

I just read a beautiful tribute from a mother to her daughter. It's all about what kind of woman she hopes her daughter might become.

I guess what hit me most, though, is that I have not once thought about what I want for my own child. What kind of person do I hope s/he will be? Answer: blank. I got nothing.

My own parents went easy on the expectations. I mean, my mom, in our limited relationship, has always been a "you know what you should do..." kind of person. Lofty dreams, heavy on the social justice, maybe a touch of disappointment when we don't think it's as good an idea as she thinks. But without pressure.

My dad's mantra has always been, "I just want you to be happy." I've always wondered if this was something unhappy parents said as a cautionary tale. Not to say my dad is unhappy; he's just had his share of troubles. But again, no pressure on us. Just a sort of deep sadness when each of us inevitably faltered.

When I think of my own kid, here, I don't even have ideals. Good health for the rest of his/her life? Yeah, but statistically unlikely. Happiness always? Of course. But unreasonable. Do I want my kid to achieve great things, to see and understand the world, to live up to his or her potential? It feels a bit hypocritical because I haven't really lived up to that myself (maybe I owe myself a letter).

But I'll give it a try. Here they are, Kid(s)*, my expectations:

Be kind. And if you fail at that, learn pretty quickly how to apologize.
Forgive yourself when you stumble. Find a way to pick yourself up and move forward.
Don't bother with excuses. You made choices.
Take care of your body. You're really gonna need it and plus, it just feels good.
Never stop learning.
Find grace in small things.
Understand that your father and I are human and give us a break, already.
Never, ever doubt our love for you.
And for God's sake, stay away from the hard stuff. Because we will dump your ass in rehab.

*To Hypothetical Maybe-Someday-Down-The-Road Second Kid: this all pertains to you, too. So don't bother whining that I never wrote you a letter. Yeah, we get it. You're second born. Get over it already. I love you to bits.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Groin Update

At about 6:15PM tonight, the baby shifted and all became well in the groin area. I can now stand up, walk, and bend. So now I can cook supper and mop the floor. Yay.

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Grace in Small Things

I am in a miserable place today. The baby must have dropped more, causing a spike in the whole sciatic / groin / whatever-the-hell-this-is and I found myself stuck on my knees, unable to move so much as an inch until Trevor came home half an hour later to rescue me. It was miserable and pathetic, the lowest point so far.

So in that spirit, here is my GiST today, muttered through gritted teeth, but I swear I mean it nevertheless:

1. The long line of cedar fencing that now borders our yard. Almost done!
2. Trevor and I using our improving marital negotiation skillz to pick out paint colours and tile for the living room.
3. A new car seat, a gift from the in-laws! Thank you!
4. A husband who will literally pick me up off the floor and dry my tears.
5. And my Reflexologist who just called. He can see me in 40 minutes. Praise be to Mary and Jesus and Jesus' extended family and all of Jesus' friends (apparently I experience Catholic relapse at times like this).

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

38 Weeks Cont....

WORKING: Hi Dr. Baby Doctor.
BABY DOCTOR: Hi. I saw you look at me funny when I walked in.
WORKING: Yeah, you look, um, exhausted.
BABY DOCTOR: I got an hour's sleep last night.
WORKING: Wow.
BABY DOCTOR: So you'll need to redirect me if I get lost.
WORKING: Will do. First thing: how are my blood platelets?
BABY DOCTOR: (looks) They're up to 130. So that's good.
WORKING: Yes! I totally found a correlation between platelets and B12 and I'm back to hammering the B12's. So there you go.
BABY DOCTOR: Well, I doubt it. But if you want to believe that...
WORKING: I do want to believe that.
BABY DOCTOR: Then go ahead. Okay, lie down. (various measurements taken)
WORKING: So... has the baby grown?
BABY DOCTOR: Oh yeah.
WORKING: Is it measuring 38?
BABY DOCTOR: It's measuring 40.
WORKING: Oh.
BABY DOCTOR: You have a bigger than average baby. Here, let me feel it and I'll take a guess... yeah, I'd say you're already over 7 lbs. and you have a ways to go.
WORKING: Uh oh.
BABY DOCTOR: Well, it could just be a long baby.
WORKING: We're not tall people.
BABY DOCTOR: Then it's probably just big.
WORKING: Great.
BABY DOCTOR: It will be what it will be.
WORKING: So it will. Still... ouch.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Marital Conversations: Facebook

WORKING: Facebook just recommended that I friend our neighbour. We have no friends in common, so how does it know?
TREV: Did you put your address anywhere on your account?
WORKING: No way. Oh, I just found Mrs. Neighbour, too. Wow.
TREV: What?
WORKING: She has 325 friends.
TREV: That's not so crazy. I have 279 friends.
WORKING: You have 279 friends?! I only have 204!
TREV: (shrug)
WORKING: It's because you're nicer than me.

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Marital Conversations: In Bed

WORKING: (toss, turn)
TREV: (rolls over, rubs back) Aw, babe. Want me to go sleep in the other room?
WORKING: Well, I have heart burn so bad I think I'm going to puke and the kid is having a hiccup fit somewhere in the region of my crotch. Your moving probably won't help.
TREV: Okay (rolls away).
WORKING: (toss, turn, sits up, belches loudly, groans)
TREV: (rolls over again, rubs back again) Aw, babe.
WORKING: You probably wanna go in the other room now?
TREV: Yeah, I think I will.

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

38 Weeks

Pregnancy things I have not experienced:
  • My belly button hasn't popped out. It just looks flat, stretched, and angry. And it's numb.
  • A kick in the ribs. Not once. Not even an uncomfortable pressure on my diagram. But don't get me started on my southern regions.
  • Dreams about giving birth to strange things. I've had water breaking dreams, labour dreams, breastfeeding dreams, but the baby is always a normal baby and in one case, distinctly a girl

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Grace in Small Things

1. Neighbours who drop everything to help unload fence board.
2. The smell of cedar coming from the stacks in our back yard.
3. The way my four year-old nephew deepens his voice when talking to the men.
4. The idea that I'll get to read bedtime stories to my kid some day in the not-too-distant future. I still can't go to sleep without reading first.
5. Thunder storms. I hope we get a good one tonight.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Overheard in the Prairies

"Oh my god! Look at that lady! That baby is about to come out. Man, she must be hot in this heat. Do you think she's hot? She looks hot. Yeah. She's hot." -- middle aged woman pointing to me as I walk across parking lot.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

37 Weeks

At least according to Google Images, at 37 weeks pregnant I'm supposed to have a picture taken of me and my belly posing in front of an immaculately arranged crib and change table set.

Hmm. Here are my current photo options:
  • pointing to the garbage bag of baby stuff I've set aside until I think of somewhere to put it.
  • modeling the only two outfits I now fit, neither of which are very flattering (in fact, I think I've worn out the crotch of my stretchy pants to the point of indecency, not that I can get a good look anymore).
  • hoisting the cradle towards the camera because I haven't found the little missing piece that holds it into the frame.
  • embracing the love of my life. I mean the body pillow (and it's an unstable relationship at best these days).
  • and if you really want an accurate portrayal of these last few weeks, shoveling my face full of food.
All whilst lovingly cradling my belly, of course.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Grace in Small Things

1. A wonderful baby shower / BBQ, hosted by my beloved family. It was amazing.
2. Being able to host all our friends and family in our back yard.
3. So much cool baby stuff, which kind of gets me excited for The Arrival.
4. Fridge full of cake and the best pasta salads you ever tasted. And then a freezer full of cookies and what looks like a surprise Grandma McK. lemon loaf? I do love surprises.
5. Getting our photos taken by our friend Dave G. (and Trevor, I saw you coveting those lenses of his...).

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Grace in Small Things

1. Corrie's Danny Baldwin and BSG's Lee "Apollo" Adama on the same show? I'm in heaven.
2. Closed captioning, without which I wouldn't be able to actually watch the show. I can't do Cockney.
3. Sally Elliot's Childbirth Prep Class. She was great to the very end.
4. Seeing a very distinct limb crossing under my skin. Creeeeeeepy. And cool.
5. Naps. I'm going to indulge while I still can.

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36 Weeks

Things I have now experienced thanks to late pregnancy:
1. Restless leg syndrome. Legs, moving, moving, moving, twisting, turning, jumping, never stopping, and you're definitely not sleeping and neither is anyone else in the bed. Grandma, I'm sorry, I will take you more seriously from now on, and now I get why you need drugs.
2. Heartburn. Last night I work up with a start because I thought I was about to puke battery acid. This after a hearty snack of... popcorn? Seriously? Anyway, condolences to all of you who suffer from chronic heartburn. It sucks.
3. Sciatica. Thanks to various sports of my past, it's not so new. But it's a touch more severe now and I have trouble doing housework because it flames up. Sorry, I don't do bathtubs anymore.
4. Groin Pull. It's actually just a pinched nerve, thanks to the baby's low position, and it frickin' hurts all the time and I can't roll over in bed or get my pants on without sitting down and deep breathing and making unladylike grunting noises and it's been like this for five months and it's the one thing that makes me done with this whole pregnancy thing.
5. Alien. Why, I do believe this thing is actually trying to explode from my stomach. I apologize in advance for any mess.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Marital Conversations: Pain

Trev and Working do their doula assigned homework, filling out a questionnaire:

WORKING: (Reading results) So we’re pretty much on the same page about labour.
TREVOR: Yup.
WORKING: Except question 2, “how painful do you think labour is?” You put down that on a scale of 1-10, 10 being unbearable, my pain will only be an eight. Next time, you better just assume it’s going to be a 10.
TREVOR: Well, it’s not like your guts are being blown up on the beaches of Normandy.
WORKING: But those guys go into shock! You know, “Sergeant, I can’t feel my legs!”
TREVOR: Fine. Then it’s not like falling down and hitting your tailbone.
WORKING: (opens up laptop)
TREVOR: Or stubbing your toe on something metal.
WORKING: (starts typing)
TREVOR: Childbirth? Enh, maybe an eight.*
WORKING: "maybe an eight".
TREVOR: Oh come on. Don’t blog this. You are not blogging this.
WORKING: Mmhmm.
TREVOR: I’ll have every woman coming after me. And not in the usual way.
WORKING: (ignores)
TREVOR: I'm just not opening my mouth anymore.

*He's kidding. I think.

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Marital Conversations

WORKING: I just blogged.
TREVOR: I thought I smelled something.

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What's The Point, Anyway?

A friend of mine is thinking about not blogging anymore, which is a shame because she's good at it and it's my only connection to her since she moved away. She wrote something controversial and in the blogging world, that sometimes has consequences.

I've thought a lot about what it means to put oneself out there so publicly. You absolutely do run the risk of judgment. However, you also open yourself up to being openly disagreed with and discussion is never a bad thing. Even if the disagreement is among friends. That's how we all work things out.

So why don't I write about anything remotely controversial here? This whole blog is just a completely self-absorbed collection of entries that don't even have a very strong narrative. It's not like I lack for opinions, God knows, so what's my problem? Maybe I just don't have the guts my friends do.

But I guess I'm also using this blog more as a memoir than anything else. There is no other record of my life. The other day I went back to read some posts from 2006 and a thousand memories came flooding back and Trevor and I had a good laugh. That's enough for me right now. And if my kid ever wants to know what our life was pre-parenthood, it's all here (and child, it's true, we were never cool and we've always bickered, despite what we're probably telling you now).

Meanwhile, I've disturbed the peace on Facebook plenty. Most recently it was over cat food. You just never know what'll set people off.

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Monday, June 08, 2009

Grace in Small Things

1. Thinking up the week's meal plan: slow-cooker Guinness beef stew, pasta in homemade ragu, roasted vegetables, salad, falafel with tzatziki....*
2. The dog laying on my feet, keeping them warm.
3. Blog entries like this and this. They make me think, which is especially welcome at a time when my brain isn't getting much of a workout.
4. While it would be nice to see the sun, at least we don't have to water the lawn, right?
5. Baby Shower BBQ this weekend!

* this seems like a winter menu, which is appropriate because summer hasn't really shown up yet.

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Marital Conversations: Pre-Baby Pics

WORKING: So Dave is still willing to take our pictures.
TREVOR: Really? I thought we were going to just get him to do baby pictures?
WORKING: Yeah, but he seems to have some ideas for pre-baby pictures. Personally, I think we should do it exactly like this.
TREVOR: ...
WORKING: I'm kidding.
TREVOR: But I would like to have a sense of humor about it.
WORKING: Yeah, me too.
TREVOR: Like, (stands up) you're standing there and then I stand beside you trying to stick my belly out as far as yours.
WORKING: ....
TREVOR: Because it would be funny.
WORKING: ....
TREVOR: Because of your belly.
WORKING: ....
TREVOR: Apparently you don't really want to have a sense of humor about it.

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Sunday, June 07, 2009

Grace in Small Things

1. The smell of drywall mud.
2. I might get to have waffles today.
3. My doulas, who I saw last night at an event. They're pretty cool.
4. Eating cookies with Michelle and Brika while watching The Business of Being Born.
5. A morning snuggle with the puppy and, er, Trev's calves.*


* Okay, so weird pregnancy thing: I have to sleep upside down in bed. There is logic to it, I swear. See, I prefer to sleep on my right side facing the windows but the heavy part of the baby, the back / bum, is on my left side. So for both of us to be comfortable, I have to flip around. Poor Trev - gets a face full of my feet every night.

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Friday, June 05, 2009

Grace in Small Things

1. So You Think You Can Dance. I enjoy the talent.
2. True Blood, so far. I'm on episode 3 and while I'm not a fan of the main vampire, or even the main character, really, the show's take on the whole vampire mythology is interesting.
3. Watermelon from Nancy. It's kept me hydrated me all week, and dulled some of the sugar craving.
4. Another cool night. Unfortunately it makes for unseasonably cold days, but at least we're sleeping like the dead.
5. Our yard. This is why we bought this house:



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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

35 Weeks

Wow. I can see the peak of the mountain....

The baby still moves quite a bit. I haven't seen a hand or foot poking out the side or anything, just round, hard lumps pushing out here and there. Baby Doctor said we both hit a major growth spurt over the last two weeks, so I'm cutting back on my sugar intake. I've never had a sweet tooth, until recently, and it's doing neither of us any favours. (Trevor and Sisters: no matter how much I whine, NO MORE DONUTS. Or Dilly Bars. Or licorice or pancake pig-outs).

CrossFit should also help keep the weight in check over the next few weeks. Classes are going well. My knees don't quite get to the floor on lunges and my squats don't quite get all the way down. My chin-ups are still assisted from a box. My rows don't go over a pace of 28 strokes, so 3000 meters takes me awhile. Overall, my pace is slower and I'm taking more breaks (yup, often to pee). Also, I'm bowing out of the Wall Ball challenge (we were supposed to increase by one wall ball every day for 100 days). But we still go three times a week, I always do the Rx'd number of reps, and I'm committing to 20 wall balls every day that I go. Since my only goal was to keep showing up to class for the duration of the pregnancy, and I have, well, I'm going to consider it a success.

The living room is drywalled for the most part, just needs to be taped, mudded, painted... sanded.... tiled.... okay, there's still a lot to do. But I'm not freaked about it. It'll get done when it gets done and it won't affect the arrival of The Kid in any way. I should, however, get the spare room tidied up. It looks like a baby apparel consignment store blew up in there.

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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Grace in Small Things (paragraph style)

Trevor and I just spent some of that quality time you get to have together when you're married; the "let's sit down and dissect our bank statements and see if we're going to make it through the next few months" precious moments. This is not new to us, but it has been awhile since we sat down like this. And we know better. Financial reviews should be happening bi-weekly, monthly at most, as per our guru. But sometimes it's just easier to run and hide....

However, today proved exactly why we should never run and hide from these conversations. We did the math and while it's tight'ish, we're not nearly as badly off as we thought. In fact, should Trevor have to go to another city for work, he won't have to until after the baby's arrived and I'm well established in the new routine.

Plus, Mat Leave just started coming in this week. Add to that some sunshine, lunch with Dan and Naomi et al., and MORE FREE BABY STUFF, an you have the makings of a pretty happy day.

Meanwhile, I've been meaning to post this for ages, but it required finding the digital camera. Here is a beautiful baby blanket knitted by Laura B., also known to some very lucky grandchildren as "Grandma Honey":

Also, here are booties knitted by the person we affectionately called "Granny Sue" for about five minutes until she told us to knock it off, and who our baby will be very lucky to know as Grandma Susan:
Both of these items are coming to the hospital with me. Overall, I'm just feeling lucky today, know what I mean?

(knock on wood)

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Monday, June 01, 2009

Grace in Small Things

My new runners always make me feel like I should get up and get doing. Today I really need my runners. Because otherwise, I'm going back to bed.

1. A tidy back yard. Now we have two weeks to bring the grass back to life before our Baby BBQ.
2. A husband who has work to go off to today. Even if it's just a little gig, onwards and upwards, my love!
3. The increase in grunts and groans the dog makes as she gets older.
4. Waking up slightly cold. I love cool nights.
5. New insulation, vapour barrier and drywall in the front of the house! Now our house will no longer manufacture icicles THAT CAN KILL YOU.

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