Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Eve of Frankenstorm

Storm's a brewin'. Well, in New York, storm's a here and storm's a floodin'. What madness. I defy anyone to argue climate change isn't happening. New York is not prone to tropical storms, and the yearly storms and intense weather, be it extreme heat, drought, massive rainfall and lightning, is all getting out of hand.

The Dude and I had his oldest brother over for dinner. The Dude cooked steaks out on the BBQ, which couldn't get hot enough due to the wind and rain. In several hours, the storm will hit Toronto full steam ahead, and while floods aren't the major concern, the wind could reach 100 km per hour. I'm wondering if the power will go out. I live in a hundred-year-old home and there are some seriously old trees around this joint that I'm not entirely sure will sustain the gusts.

Mother Nature is so intense. The only time growing up I remember anything intense was Ice Storm '98. I was in grade 10 and had just turned 15. There were a few days off school, the power went out and we had to go to my Dad's, while my mom went to my Poppie's condo. The power lines were down and coated with ice. The entire neighbourhood was sleet and shining. Mom had driven home from work that night with McDonald's for us, and we were totally unaware that there even was a storm, having spent the evening hanging out in the rec room in the basement. I remember the whole thing being exciting.

This I'm not as jazzed about. No power in a house that retains heat very poorly could mean a chilly time. No hot food or drinks either. Storms are dark and so other than reading by candlelight (Where is a lighter in this place again?) I could wind up bored, bored, bored alone in this house for hours. As much as I enjoy a day off, I'm pretty hopeful the power will remain.

Being a kid during a storm is fun. Being an adult who has to be concerned about the logistics of life, not so much. But I really can't complain. I could live in New York. That's where the real problems are happening. What's a little power outage if at least I'm not being flooded out of my home?

Friday, October 26, 2012

38 days till I'm 30

I had my second and final ultrasound yesterday. I had every intention of finding out the sex, but as it turns out, the results were inconclusive. The technician, who seemed to be in training, at first thought it was a boy. But then he back-peddled and said he wasn't really sure. And the shots we got looked like they could be male, but... not in any definite sort of way. The sex was not included on the final report to my midwife.

So I'm about 70% sure I'm pregnant with a son. This means neutral colours (But not yellow. Ugh, don't care for yellow) and sticking to buying the basics rather than getting caught up in gender-specific items. Which is fine. Between all our family members who've had children in recent years, there will be many hand-me-downs for whatever sex we wind up having.

I have mixed feelings. On one hand, a boy would be charming. I'm always so charmed by boys. They're sweet when they're young and it'd be nice to put a good man out in to the world. But then I've always felt I would have a daughter and pass on things to her, knowledge and stories, feminine things. There's a gain and a loss with either, and since I don't care to have more than one (This may change, I suppose, but seriously we can only afford one. Daycare is monstrously expensive) it's best to get on board with whatever nature has selected for me.

Everything else on the ultrasound looked fine. I'm in good shape, the baby is progressing normally and there is no need for another scan. From here on out, I think it's just a waiting game.

I've been trying to think about how I'll spend my 30th birthday.I have a month and change till that happens and going out for drinks is off the menu. I have the odd glass of red wine here and there, but I'd rather plan a birthday that doesn't involve a late night with booze. A little booze, sure, but not a lot. I know other people would have fun, but I might get a little bitter having to sit out on my own birthday. Maybe an afternoon of tea. Or just taking myself to the spa and mellowing out, with friends coming over for cake later on. That might be more my speed these days. Oh, I'm old!

And to think I labelled this WTF I'm Almost 30 and I'll likely wind up hitting 30 with dull roar and a nap. Go figure.

Monday, October 22, 2012


Sleep has taken over and ruined my life. My patterns are nonexistent. If I need a nap, there's no waiting till later, there's no fighting it off. Coffee does nothing (And though I haven't given it up, I've reduced the amount I drink, so piling coffee into my system each day would be stupid).

Yesterday the Dude and I went out for brunch and grocery shopping. I was dead beat from this, despite sleeping in until noon. So around 4:00 I took a snooze, fell into a deep sleep and didn't move until after 6:00. So, not only did I literally sleep away my day, but I also guaranteed today was going to be significantly spent in bed due to the domino nature of big-ass naps. I got up at 1:30 p.m.

I'm not sure what to do about this. I have a job. I have gym classes. I can't be living this way, and yet here we are. Also, I think my body is lacking iron. As I typed that, the baby kicked like, "Eat some steak!"

But seriously, I think I'm having iron issues. I can't seem to keep up with my body's new needs. I should be eating steak. I'm occasionally dizzy and forgetful, which is a bad sign of iron deficiency.

I'm 20 weeks today, which means I'm halfway done cooking. Or something. I could have anywhere from 18 to 22 more weeks to go. I have occasional fits of HolycrapwhathaveIdone?! But more often I am just excited about meeting the kid who's been feeding off of my nutrients and then kicking me in thanks. When you think about that, a fetus is certainly rather rude. I guess we all are savage creatures, really, deep down. We definitely start out that way.

I mostly wonder what sort of a person I'm going to raise. The Dude and I are so incredibly similar in many ways: introverted, artistic, sensitive, quirky. He's more of a people pleaser than I am, and I have more willpower. He's got an addictive personality and I'm a scatterbrain. He's able to focus on things longer and has a good technical mind and I'm articulate and think ahead.

I take a lot after my mother. I look like her, certainly. She was a little quirky, herself, and also artistic. I think I am more of those things than she was. She was also introverted. She recharged by reading and playing Tetris. Our old Nintendo was set up in her room and I used to watch her play at level, like 99 or something zooming shapes into crevices to stressful music. And then she commandeered my Gameboy and kept draining the batteries to play Dr. Mario before bed. She was also allegedly terrible at math, something I strongly relate to.

But I'm like my father too, in a way. The Dude likes to tell me I'm my biggest fan, possibly because I love laughing at my own jokes, something my mom always told me I shouldn't do, perhaps because my father, also his own biggest fan, loves to laugh at his own jokes.

I suppose I'm not expecting an extroverted math prodigy with no sense of humour. I'd wonder where such a kid came from. But it could happen and it's fun to guess at the possibilities. And that's what gets me the most excited about motherhood. Not the cute clothes, not the sweet baby giggles, not even the love (though I'm really jazzed about the love, don't get me wrong). It's the discovery of who my child is going to be.

To think that right now a brain is developing that will contain who my child is, and it's happening inside of me, kind of blows my mind, even though it happens every day all over the planet. Making life truly is one of the most banal and commonplace miracles in the world. But this one is my miracle, damn it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

19 Weeks

I'm 19 weeks along today. The baby is kickin' up a storm. I'm used to it now. I wasn't at first, but it's become a regular part of my day. I've grown to enjoy the kicks as a reassurance that things are normal and healthy. Pregnancy is starting to agree with me more.

I find the whole thing a little strange still, emotionally, though. I have amusedly come to the realization that I do just prefer to be the only occupant of my body. I'm growing excited to meet my baby and find out the sex and start this whole motherhood stage of life. Not only is it what I want for myself, but my pregnancy will be over.

The Dude is growing happier about the baby all the time. He's started work on the nursery. That is, he's cleared out his junk from the space that will become the nursery and now it's ready for a transformation.  We're going the Ikea route. It's cheap, has clean lines and is reasonably sturdy and reliable furniture. We'll paint, get a durable cute rug in there and get a decent used gliding chair on Kijiji or something.

I haven't been taking any pictures of my belly. I'll get to it. The Dude will take some nice shots of me once I'm a little bigger, maybe in December. Some women go all out cataloguing the experience. I guess I am too, in my way. I'm blogging. Perhaps if I found it more magical, I'd be getting photographic evidence rather than journaling my conflicted feelings.

On an unrelated note: Apparently the fetus can hear stuff now. I think about that from time to time when I watch Criminal Minds marathons.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Mail Christmas

Today was something like Christmas. Mail Christmas. A couple weeks ago I ordered a board game from the Dude's childhood that he really wanted, The MAD Magazine Game. Today it arrived and it is as foolish and nonsensical as the Dude promised it would be.

The goal of this game is to lose your money. It's the anti-monopoly. You move counter-clockwise, you may only roll with your left hand and the cards are random. Some are only valid on Fridays or if your name has certain letters in them or if you're a girl.

And if your name is Alfred E. Neuman,
you get this if you land on a special square.

Even the board has foolish rules. For example, there's a dead end.

The other mail delight was our Halloween costumes. The Dude is going to be Zoolander's Mugatu (I first wrote Mugato. Apparently that is something else). Mine I'll keep secret because due to my bulbous state and lack of craftiness/inclination, I had limited options. So for fun, I'll reveal that at a later time.

I have one more item arriving to me soon, and that is my winter coat. I picked something that only buttons up halfway and has a lot of room, which struck me as perfect for my current circumstances, but which also could look chic and retro once I've shrunk again.

The colour is pretty much amazing.
Sometimes I feel silly when the mailman brings me yet another package. I'm always home in my pyjamas. I wonder what he thinks I do all day.

Friday, October 5, 2012


I think I'm turning an emotional corner on my pregnancy. I'm four months now. I get aches, pains, fatigue, but the kicks are becoming a gentle reminder of what I'm doing this all for. And that helps. I went to the midwife today and apparently feeling them at 16 weeks is early. Not inconceivable, but early, especially for a first-time mother.

What can I say? I have IBS and no torso to speak of. I'm intimately in tune with my body's inner workings at all times. Usually it's doing something unpleasant.

The Dude the other day wanted me to take Tylenol for my aches and I got annoyed. I thought he was tired of having to massage my back. But after getting grouchy I realized that wasn't it. He just gets frustrated seeing me in pain and wants there to be something I can take to make it all better.

Well, if I took a painkiller every time I felt uncomfortable, I'd be dead of a Tylenol overdose. I've long known I had a cervix, but only now am I acutely aware of it as I get sharpish jabs from time to time. My menstrual cramps were always something I felt in my legs, like my blood was too thick to circulate and laid there stagnant and pulsing. So I never really sensed my uterus before. Now I do, all the time.

It's such an in-body, out-of-sort experience to lay your hand low on your own abdomen and feel a firm melon-like presence there. I just felt a kick. It's doing some manner of jig in there.

I feel a number of old concerns of mine slipping away. I'm freed from the worry I'm so bloated I look pregnant. I am pregnant. No more sucking it in for me. I'm not conscious of my waddling walk (due to bowed legs and misaligned feet-- thanks for pointing that out and making fun of me throughout school, classmates) because waddling is just so much more natural feeling now. I don't worry about my productivity or excessive sleeping. I'm sorta busy making something every day and I'm totally allowed to nap, nap, nap.

This is also the only thing I feel like blogging about right now. I live with this 24/7. Each moment is a moment spent pregnant and I find it impossible to forget about it. I find myself able to converse about many other topics, but my overwhelming need is to let these thoughts out and share them. I'm being physically transformed too quickly to get used to the changes. I'm really along for the ride, basically.

It's 3:00 a.m. Perhaps to bed?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Thanksgiving Schlep

You know what sucks worse than taking the bus back to your hometown for Thanksgiving? Paying $320 to get there. Seriously. The Dude's licence expired over the last MTO strike, so he had to start over and since I don't drive, myself, he only has his G2. Which means no renting a car for us. And a car would have been slightly cheaper. And it would have been a car.

So, we'll be spending the holidays with my family, as usual. There's always a big family dinner of at least 20 people and tasty food. It's been dwindling and growing simultaneously over the years, as people move, find love and/or have children and either defer to their spouse's family or remains with us. I'm not 100% sure what category the Dude and I will fall under after the baby is born.

I imagine we'll still make the trek from time to time. We have family in the same city, so it'll be important. And car rentals are inexpensive compared to owning a car, which due to the TTC I don't believe we'll need regularly, so not having a vehicle of our own shouldn't be too much of an impediment to travel.

But still. Changes. Life chugs on. It's going to be time for us to create our own traditions in our lives, and packing up our child and driving three hours to see extended family each holiday isn't likely to survive. The commute is a bit much for a small child, who likely would rather stay home and hunt Easter eggs or open presents from Santa than schlep to various houses in a city hours away.

Probably we'll be able to keep up with Thanksgiving. The big family dinner is exciting and delicious and a time to enjoy little-seen family members. Nothing we could do at home would be able to match the fun. But as for the rest of the year, I'm thinking random trips up will be all we can manage. And they'll be packed and harried with all the different households we'd have to visit, never mind trying to see friends. How easy life would be if we all lived in the same spot.

I feel the baby kick more and more all the time, especially at night. It's a reminder things are about to get very different very fast.