Resolving Timeline Issues

Archive for December 2008

Today, I guzzled a litre and a bit of water in 40 minutes, and then didn’t pee for a couple of hours.

Because when you go for an ultrasound to see the goods on the being using your bladder as a trampoline (and I have PROOF NOW), that’s what they make you do.

At one point, the tech was scanning and suddenly asks me if the bladder situation is getting too uncomfortable. I said I was fine, so long as I didn’t move too much. “Oh good,” she says, “because your baby currently has his or her feet in your bladder and is kicking.”

All the important organs are in the correct places, in the correct numbers, and the spine is closed. Everything looks good. Baby can wave and was practicing quite a bit.

And we sort of got a look at the goods. What the tech said was that there were no apparent boy bits, and they’re usually pretty noticeable. She pegged it at a 70% chance of having a strawberry-flavoured poptart.*

*As opposed to blueberry.

Before we start on our snowy way back to Vancouver and as I’m drinking my coffee at the inlaws, before anyone else gets up, Linda has a few questions. I’ve always meant to participate in this questionnaire, but never took the time. Of course, now I know how to make a draft of an entry and come back to it later so this might be easier. Anyways, here are the questions and my answers (in italics):

 1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?

Um. Went to Chicago. Discovered Filene’s Basement. Oh, and yeah, got knocked up.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don’t generally make resolutions, except to be a little kinder and a little gentler with those around me. I think I did okay. This year, I plan to not be too hard on myself and to make time for myself once my baby arrives.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?


4. Did anyone close to you die?

I think after having my cat for 20 years, she counts.

5. What countries did you visit?


6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

A waistline. No, seriously. But that’ll have to wait til summer.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Well, November 4. Duh.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I would have to say getting knocked up.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Nothing really comes to mind. I’m pretty happy with my experiences this year.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Just the vile cold I had shortly before Christmas.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Hm. Probably the painters for the house.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?


13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Oh its the holidays. Goodwill towards men and women and all that. 🙂 Besides, I’m a firm believer that this could return to bite me in the ass.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Bills, I believe. And computer equipment.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

This child.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

“Right here, Right now” by Jesus Jones

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? – happier
b) thinner or fatter? – fatter (but knocked up)
c) richer or poorer? – about the same.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?


19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Sitting on my ass.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Parte the firste was at my parents’s place. Parte the seconde was at the inlaws.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?

Yes. All over again with Darren.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Um. Lost. Or Heroes (which is kind of jumping the shark, but still)

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?


24. What was the best book you read?

Hm. Good question.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

The new AC/DC – what I can I say? I am old school.

26. What did you want and get?

A baby (yes, it was mostly throwing caution to the wind, but still)

27. What did you want and not get?

A promotion.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?


29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I was 32. I think I was sick but was taken out to dinner later.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Being gentler with myself.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

Getting clothes that fit properly.

32. What kept you sane?

Besides wine? Meditation, I think.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I don’t think I did. They’re just people.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

The Prime Minister Proroguing Parliament (say that 5 times fast)

35. Who did you miss?

My mommy. Seriously, in tears at one point.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

The crazy guys at Pippin’s in Chicago. They were hilarious.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.

That in 15 days, [insert issue of choice] probably won’t matter.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Right here, right now, there is no other place I want to be – “Right here, right now” by Jesus Jones

We knew this Christmas was going to be “the baby Christmas.” Not baby as in “mini” but baby as in the spawn I am growing in my uterus that likes to kick my bladder new life we have lovingly created.

Sure enough, my parents got us a Graco travel system, a bassinet, baby blankets and a changing pad. I have to say that the stroller is pretty snazzy, collapses easily and comes with the infant car seat that we need in order to take the poptart home. Because 4 inch foam in the back of the Fit just won’t cut it any more.

Then we went to the inlaws who adore me, and I think they’re pretty cool too. They’re incredibly generous, kind people, with potty mouths. They usually give three different kinds of gifts, one of which is cash and don’t even get me started on that because every year it is Way Too Much.

The first kind of gift is a stocking, which consists of a lot of personal toiletry items. The first Christmas Darren and I spent together was the second time I’d met them. And they gave me this stocking with toothpaste, shampoo, deoderant, gum, etc in it. I was surprised and couldn’t help but think, “Are they trying to tell me something?”

That Christmas, as we were driving back to Darren’s condo, he said, “You know, the stocking means they like you. [Ex-witch] never got one.” To which I responded, “Oh good! I thought they were trying to tell me something!” (which kind of goes along with this post that I read at Motherhood Uncensored but I think I have a slightly different relationship with my inlaws then she does with hers).

So the stocking this year again had deoderant, toothpaste, etc. in it. And then there were the under-the-tree gifts, which were numerous: pajamas, and socks, and other incredibly useful things.

Moral of the story? Take presents as generosity – don’t read anything into it; people often mean the best but don’t realize how it comes across.

And even if they do mean it otherwise, it is Christmas; and what does a little goodwill cost you?

Several years back I received an email with oneliners for men who are going to the doctor to get their prostates checked:

{1} “Take it easy, Doc. You’re boldly going where no man has gone before!”
{2} “Find Amelia Earhart yet?”
{3} “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?”
{4} “You know, in Arkansas, we’re now legally married.”
{6} “Any sign of the trapped miners, Chief?”
{7} “You put your left hand in, you take your left hand out…”
{8} “Hey! Now I know how a Muppet feels!”
{9} “If your hand doesn’t fit, you must quit!”
{10} “Hey Doc, let me know if you find my dignity.”
{11} “You used to be an executive at Enron, didn’t you?”

And the best one of all..

{12} “Could you write a note for my wife saying that my head is not up there?

(shamelessly stolen from Living with Prostate Cancer as I have no idea where the original email went)

And this is a story of why is pays to get screened early.

My dad is a bit of a hypochondriac. He’s good about it though: he goes to the doctor regularly and gets checked out.

The other side of it is that he’s also paranoid about drugs. You name it, he can find something wrong with it. Morphine? Addictive. Flonase (a corticosteroid spray for allergies)? Steroids are bad. Tylenol? Bad for your liver. So he avoids drugs like the plague (his drug of choice is often scotch).

We deal with the hypochondria/paranoia by being really irreverent about it. We make jokes about medical treatments.

A couple of years ago, his prostate was enlarged. So he kept going regularly to get checked out and had the blood tests, etc. Long story short, he phoned me back in September some time:

Dad: So I have prostate cancer.
Me: Oh?
Dad: Ya, and for radiation treatment, they’re going to implant some seeds in my butt. So I’ll be glowing out of my ass in time for Christmas.
Me: oh, that’s nice.
Dad: But first I have to go in for some blood tests to check my liver and discuss treatment with the oncologist. And some other test where they put a camera up my butt.
Me: But its early on, yes? And they’ll put the video on YouTube, right?
Dad: Oh yeah.
Me: are they checking your liver too?
Dad: Yep. So I have been very good about the scotch.

(after the blood tests came back and his liver was clear, he celebrated with scotch)

Now, I know prostate cancer is a serious thing. This is how we deal with it as a family.

Dad was scanned early on, and the oncologist put him on a hormone treatment to reduce the size of his prostate. That was about a month ago.

He went in for his 6 month checkup a couple of weeks ago. In his bloodwork, the doctor included the tests for prostate cancer (whatever they measure).

With hormone treatment alone, those numbers had decreased by 50%.

See, what happens is that the cancer actually feeds off of testosterone. So they kill the testosterone production for a bit and essentially starve the cancer. You’ll get some hot flashes, but really, that’s just payback for women having to go through menstrual cramping, childbirth and menopause.

So what’s this mean? Gentlemen, I know its not a comfortable subject, but get checked early, and get checked regularly. Learn the pleasure of being a muppet starting at age 40. Prevention and early detection are the best defense against this: early detection has a 90% cure rate. And quite honestly, if you live in Canada, you have no excuse – this is included in your provincial medical care.

And who knows? You might find Amelia Earhart. 🙂

(Otherwise known as moving teh suck down the page – because I feel much better this morning; the smoke alarm went off at 4am (nothing was on fire) and we napped for about 4 more hours then, ah, bonded 😉 )

And no, this is not about a dessert, although I have had the odd desire to do some baking this year – and I do not bake; this must be what they call “nesting”.

This is about the last-minute crunch that occurs right before we leave for two sets of parents for Christmas.

To wit:

1. Find some drapes for the living room and the bedroom – I just had to move from watching the Big TV and the recliner couch to the Small TV and the squishy loveseat at the other end of the living room, because I was being blinded by the light (although its supposed to snow tomorrow so I should be more appreciative). The problem with this is that we seem to have odd-sized windows: all drapes are either WAAAAY too long or WAAAAY too short.

(yes, we have two tvs in the living room. The small TV is in the “gaming area” where the wii and some exercise equipment exist. There’s also a cable jack there so we decided, what the hell, we’ll plug it into the cable too. The wii used to be up in the den, but that’s becoming a nursery so it had to move)

2. Hang some pictures. We have PILES of pictures and artwork to hang that have been waiting for two years to be hung. I cannot wait as this house is starting to feel more like a home.

3. Figure out what to do with the extra stuff: cat toys, cat treats, kitty litter, corner tv stand, etc).

4. Find presents for the inlaws. I have NO CLUE and they object all the time when I get them stuff.

5. Pack. and pack the car. Check the weather.

6. When we find presents for the inlaws, wrap them.

7. Find my gloves. and possibly buy some winter boots because its going to be bloody cold (-20 with the windchill later tomorrow here, apparently. Snowfall and artic outflow warnings for the Fraser Valley. Driving in the snow. Gah.)

8. Clear my dining room table. For this I need some boxes of some sort to put the extra dishes in then find some place to store them.

Did I mention we’re trying to leave tomorrow? Depending on the weather? Because there’s an artic outflow warning and a snowfall warning for the Fraser Valley?

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  • Comments Off on Because the last 8 weeks have been teh suck

I usually get a case of the December blues. This year, aside from a relatively uncomplicated pregnancy (I have thrown up in the mornings twice in the past two weeks – I think its time to cut down to one cup of coffee), the last couple of weeks have been teh suck for a variety of reasons that have left me overtired and/or in tears for more evenings than I care to admit:

  • the hellish meeting that would not end at work;
  • [personal item removed for personal reasons] that resulted in 4 hours of broken sleep for a couple of nights in a row;
  • [personal item removed for personal reasons] that I’m just not going to talk about because I’m done being all panicked about it;
  • the virus from hell that knocked me out for a week;
  • the cat who we knew was on her last legs, and who I dropped at my parents’ place Labour Day weekend and didn’t get back up to the Shuswap since then (yes, my parents had to take her in the other day). She will be buried in the “back 40” with a garden to go in in the spring.

(yes, we will probably be getting a couple of kittens/cats at some point but not until well after the poptart is born)

I am so ready for December to be over.

And yesterday, I got angry and frustrated. I went out to get some curtains (which is another story altogether) and found myself yelling at other drivers who ultimately weren’t doing anything wrong – just driving safely in the snow. I almost called to cancel the cleaning service because all I wanted to do was go to bed and hide for the rest of the day.

And drink a bottle of wine (NO I DID NOT BECAUSE I CAN’T UNTIL MID-MAY).

So while the cleaning service was here, I loaded up my iPod with meditations and NLP stuff because I really need to change my mental state.

I found an aquafit class for 9am this morning – I will have to wear a tshirt over my swimsuit because I have NO IDEA where to buy a maternity swimsuit (I should really get on that). Hopefully the exercise will help release some endorphins.

I will find drapes that fit my windows today (the ones I bought were too long because I measured in inches and Jysk’s measurements are in metric). And I will hang them (the rods are up already)

I will go to the maternity store and get another pair of jeans (because 1 pair is just not cutting it).

I will find some boxes/containers for various extra dishes and other crappe that is sitting on my dining room table. phone the shelter to see if they want the old, brown chair the cat used to sit on,

I will make sure I get my 5 servings of fruits and veggies today.

And I will not give in to teh suck like I have been for the last 8 weeks or so.

Knowing you’re chasing hummingbirds and no longer in pain:

Missy (June 1988-December 2008)

Missy (June 1988-December 2008)

The other day we got our annual snowfall. I really have no idea how much it was because we barely got a skiff of snow. Of course now its rather cold out, but clear – which is nice (except that my car desperately needs a carwash and I can’t do that until it warms up a bit or the locks will freeze).

A few things about the weather in Lotusland:

1. We’re never satisfied. Its either raining too much, or its too cold or its too hot. Or its too humid. Or its too [insert word of choice here].

2. We don’t know how to drive in the snow. Most of us run around all year on all-season radials expecting them to take care of us. Then we’re shocked when they don’t in the snow.

This is a pet peeve of mine. I have two sets of tires because I live at the mouth of the Fraser Valley. Both have their own sets of rims so its really just a matter of getting the all-seasons swapped out for the snows in October/November (usually thanksgiving).

BUY A SET OF WINTER TIRES FOR YOUR CAR ALREADY. Then you won’t be stranded when transit isn’t running because of the snow. According to the local news, on Saturday there were 44 accidents around Lotusland – there are normally about 3.

3. Transit in the snow here sucks. Last year sometime, transit up to Simon Fraser University stopped before the university shut down for snowfall. People were stranded. On Saturday night, transit basically stopped serving the downtown core.

Drivers were told to avoid driving if conditions were too dangerous; many just parked their buses and went home. But don’t go blaming the drivers, folks. According to one comment on that article I linked above there: “Yes the drivers are struggling with not only shortages of buses, service and support in normal weather, but bald and rain tread tires which give no traction whatsoever in icy and snowy conditions!  Hence the clear directive from company to park the vehicles, and the decisions by responsible drivers to stop/wait for plowing, salting and sanding to meet safe driving standards.” [emphasis mine]

Let’s rephrase that: TransLink is refusing to supply winter tires for its buses. Not economically responsible you know, since we’ll only need them once or twice a year.

I’ve written about my beefs with TransLink before. Of course, my biggest issue is that its a private board  that’s deciding how to spend my tax dollars – Lotusland residents have NO SAY in how its spent, what kind of service they get and when.

What it boils down to: take some responsibility for yourselves, people. I know its a sucky time of year to possibly miss out on a day’s pay, but a lot of the time its safer to stay home if you’re not prepared for the weather than to go out.

In the meantime, some pointers:

  • get some snow tires for your car, if you have a car. They may save your life.
  • Get some appropriate boots/shoes for walking. If you must, get something like yaktrax to make sure you don’t slip and hurt yourselves on icy sidewalks.
  • Shovel your sidewalk if you have one. Its your responsibility.
  • Dress appropriately; don’t expect roads to be plowed and transit to be running. Be ready to walk if you have to: coat, hat, gloves, scarf layers, warm boots.
  • Bring an extra pair of socks along – they may get wet.

Anywhere else in Canada seems to get this. Lotusland, on the other hand, seems kind of special.

Now you’ll excuse me while I get ready to face the day with my hat, gloves, coat, scarf, snow tires and dress shoes in a bag.

I was sitting here thinking I should really post something a little more Christmas-like and came across a post talking about the perfect Christmas tree.

My story is nowhere near as heroic as this one, or as kind and gentle as this one, it is rather more humourous, although not quite so humourous as this one.

I have told anecdotes about my dad in the past, most recently a conversation involving 4 inch foam and how I they brought me home from the hospital. My dad is a practical sort. Inventive. Frugal. Combine practical + frugal + inventive and you get some pretty interesting solutions to problems. Like the Christmas tree.

When I was 12, my old cat died at the age of 22. We got a kitten a bit later (who is now 20 or so). We named her Missy. It was short for Mischief. It had been about 15 years since my parents had had kittens and I guess they kind of forgot about the whole Christmas tree and kittens thing (see: climbing).

That year, we didn’t have tinsel because the cat might eat it, we got kitten-safe decorations and dad went out to find a tree (see: frugal). Living on Bowen Island, he’d just go out somewhere and chop down a tree (usually a pine under my mother’s orders). That year, he found a nice tree, chopped it down, put it in the usual 5 gallon bucket ‘o dirt (yes, we didn’t have a stand – necessity, mother of invention, frugality, etc) and stood it up. Then mom and I decorated it.

A couple of days later we came home to a downed tree. Dirt and needles everywhere, and a small kitten named Missy looking very pleased with herself. Up until then, she hadn’t tried to climb trees. Period.

Mom was not so pleased. In fact, I’m surprised Missy is now 20 years old. A lot of mom’s ornaments broke that day and she was Not Impressed.

So dad fixed the tree (what, you think he was going to spend the money on gas to go get another one, did you? I said he was frugal) and decided that with the kitten around, he had to secure the tree appropriately. My suggestion was to buy a proper tree stand (yeah, right, see: frugal, above).  He shut the kitten in my bedroom (I didn’t care – I am her human after all) and stood the tree up, plumped it up, grafted some new branches in where needed (he had gotten extras just in case) and refilled the dirt after I vacuumed the carpet.

Oh, a word about the carpet: it was this thick white, wool looped stuff – really tight loops that the kitten loved to dig her claws into. And that pine needles get stuck in. It was also thick enough to hide, say, extra nails you might drive into the floor, just in case you might need to, oh I don’t know, anchor a Christmas tree to the floor?  Below that floor was, well, nothing, really. A crawl space built on bedrock.

So dad stands there and ponders the tree and I swear, I almost saw the lightbulb go on over his head, when he dashed out to his workshop and came back with a hammer, some really big nails and a roll of wire.

And proceeded to string the wire (3 strands) from the tree to nails pounded into the floor.  The carpet was thick enough to hide the nails so rather than pulling the nails, dad would leave them there. When they sold the house years later, the new owners didn’t realize that there were still extra nails in the floor.

I refer to it as the redneck tree.

While 69% of the Canadian population agrees with the Governor General’s choice to prorogue Parliament, I don’t fall into that statistic. Frankly, I think it sucks and in this case sets a very dangerous precedent: allowing a government that has lost the confidence of the house to avoid a confidence vote.

(More later when I don’t feel quite so deathlike – I can only hope the “it hurts to breathe and hurts more to cough” goes away by tomorrow; yes I have been to the doctor who says its viral, and since I’m knocked up, I can’t take anything to make me more comfortable).

December 2008


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