Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Like endless rain into a paper cup

First, the complaining.

1. Canada, you benighted, godforsaken wasteland, WHY DO YOU NOT HAVE CHILI CHEESE FRITOS?? Or maybe you do, and Loblaw's was just out of stock or something. If that is the case, I owe Canada an apology. But either way, this calamity caused me to wail and rend my garments.

2. Pregnancy has done nothing to lessen my aversion to other people's bratty screaming children. Perhaps my own bratty screaming children will be my revenge upon the world.

And now, the rejoicing!

1. We had our first midwife appointment last week, and people, she is excellent. She answered all our questions, explained what midwifery in general and she in particular is all about, confirmed our decision that a home birth is the best decision for us, and was basically the most awesome health care provider I've ever seen. And then, AND THEN, we heard the baby's heartbeat!!! It was incredible. Mr. Canuck and I both got a little weepy. It was fast, too, around 160. Apparently this often means it's a girl, but since there is no scientific evidence for this, The Man of the House is choosing not to believe it. Either way, it was pretty incredible.

2. We have a fully decorated Christmas tree! And it only fell over once and that was before we had put the decorations on it, so hey, bonus. I took a few pictures with my fabulous new camera so you can all see how pretty it is. (Cue my mother finding at least eight things wrong with it and booking a flight to Toronto in order to rearrange the ornaments. Love you, Mom!)

We also took the first official Belly Picture last week, but since I was in my pajamas at the time it is extremely unflattering. Plus I only have the slightest bit of a potbelly anyway so there's not much to see. I'll try to get a better one sometime soon!

In the meantime, I am off to eat BBQ Fritos, which luckily are almost as good as the chili cheese ones.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Talk to the animals

I have been home sick since last Friday and it's getting old. I seem to be on the upswing today, though, so I figured I'd be productive and update my poor neglected little blog.

One of the questions people ask me a lot is why I decided to go vegetarian. Mr. Canuck and I gave up meat at the same time, for largely the same reasons. For me, it had a lot to do with the way the animals are farmed. Cows and chickens are regularly pumped full of all kinds of hormones and antibiotics, and I just did not want to be putting that stuff into my own body. If we could afford organic meat, it's possible that we might have switched to that, but as it is we just gave it up altogether.

And, of course, there is the outright cruelty of meat farming. If you're curious and you don't have a weak stomach, do a YouTube search for "Meet Your Meat". I've never seen it myself - it would be preaching to the choir, after all, and I'm just too squeamish - but I hear it's pretty effective.

And let's not forget the environmental factor. There are all kinds of people out there who can explain it far better than I can, but commercial meat farming is horrendously bad for the environment.

Oh, and the general health benefits. By giving up meat, I've drastically reduced my risk for heart disease and colon cancer, among other things. I'm sure my cholesterol is very low and I don't eat that much fat.

Now, all that being said, I'm fairly casual about it. I do still eat fish, so I think I'm technically supposed to call myself a pescetarian. Most people don't know what that means, though, and it sounds kind of pretentious, so I generally find it easier to say that I'm mostly vegetarian. (Side note: It really surprises me how many people I come across who assume that all vegetarians eat fish. Most of them don't - after all, a fish IS an animal.) I've been known to eat the occasional bit of turkey at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and every now and again I'll throw caution to the winds and get a fish sandwich from McDonald's even though they're fried in the same oil as the chicken. It doesn't really bother me. I prefer not to eat meat on a regular basis, but I don't beat myself up over the occasional exception.

The next question people tend to ask is, "Are you going to start eating meat now that you're pregnant?" And the answer to that is no. There are all kinds of non-meat protein sources available, and vitamin supplements to cover whatever's left over (like vitamin B-12 and such). I've even cut down on fish, partly because of the mercury and partly because I haven't been eating much of anything the past few weeks thanks to the nausea. It's perfectly possible to meet all of my nutritional needs, even while pregnant, on a mostly meatless diet.

We are also planning on keeping a vegetarian household after the baby is born. Obviously this will take some careful thought and planning, but again, it is perfectly possible to meet a child's nutritional needs without eating meat. There are even meatless hot dogs in the world that can easily be cut up into some macaroni and cheese for the classic kids' lunch! But again, we're planning to be relatively casual about it. We're not going to serve meat at home, but outside the house everything is fair game. If the kid is at a birthday party and wants to eat a hamburger, then by all means eat that hamburger. There will probably even be the occasional chicken nugget Happy Meal. And when our kids are old enough, they can decide for themselves how they want to eat, just like we did. The idea of my kid choosing to eat meat doesn't bother me in the slightest - but that doesn't mean I'm going to give it to them.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Something tells me I'm into something good

Here I am! I bet you thought you'd never hear from me again, but you were wrong. I found out recently that because of this blog, one of my friends has started referring to babies as "lentils," so obviously I am a Pop Culture Phenomenon and should update more regularly so as not to alienate my fans. Or something.

There are a few reasons why I haven't been updating, and they all point back to Morning Sickness. Except that in my case it's more like AllDamnDay Sickness. As these things go, mine hasn't been that bad - I'm just going about my business and then suddenly I have to sit very quietly and concentrate on not vomiting, and eventually it fades. I never can tell when one of those waves is going to hit, though, which is the frustrating part. I can count on feeling like hell between 4:00 and 7:00 every day, though. (This is the part where Mr. Canuck suffers, since I can't stand to even smell food and therefore haven't made dinner in weeks. He hasn't starved to death yet, though, so I think he's managing all right.) One of my cousins put it very well - I feel like I'm hung over 24 hours a day, without even having the fun of earning it. Completely unfair.

In more pleasant news, I finally bought my camera! Photography is my favorite hobby, and a couple of months ago I decided it was time to upgrade to a DSLR camera. It took me a little while to save up for it, but I managed it and am now the proud owner of a Nikon D3000. I haven't had much opportunity to really see what it can do, but so far I absolutely love it. Oh, the baby pictures that will be taken! I've been telling Mr. Canuck that we need to go back to Zanzibar so I can take more pictures of it with my fabulous new camera. So far he is unconvinced.

I have big plans for this blog - in future entries I'll be discussing things like vegetarianism during pregnancy, and why I've decided to have a homebirth with a midwife, but right now I'm feeling kind of dizzy and queasy, and lying down sounds like a better plan than blogging. But have no fear! I might be a little lazy about it, but I'm not abandoning this thing.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Someone told me long ago there's a calm before the storm

The other night Mr. Canuck and I were discussing our unborn child, as we are wont to do, and he asked me what kind of person I would like our kid to be. I had to think about that one for a bit, because that's a big question, but the answer I came up with was fairly simple.

The one trait I would most like to instill in our children is simply awareness of the people around them, and awareness of how our actions affect everyone else. I believe that if we can manage to teach them this, then everything else - compassion, consideration, thoughtfulness, and just plain good manners - will fall into place fairly easily. I think that if we are conscious of the consequences of our actions, and aware that just about everything we do has an effect, no matter how small, on the people around us, then it becomes second nature to treat people the way we want to be treated. I think this quality is rather rare these days, for whatever reason, and it's incredibly important to me that my kids learn this lesson.

Now, how do I plan to teach them this? I am not telling you, NO SIREE, for two reasons. The first is that I have learned that childless people are not allowed to have any opinions on parenting. If you do have an opinion, and you dare to express it, then all the parents of the world will come down on you like a ton of bricks and inform you that you have no idea what you are talking about. The second reason is that I don't really know yet. I'm planning to just roll with it and take my opportunities as they come.

What quality do you most want your (existing or potential) children to have?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Makin' progress

According to my weekly email from, my baby is now about the size of a lentil. For comparison purposes, here is a lentil:

I don't know if they mean a dried lentil (which that is) or a canned lentil (which I don't have in the house, and I wouldn't open up a can of lentils just to take a picture of one of them in any case). I suspect they mean a canned lentil, or possibly even a fresh lentil, because supposedly my uterus has doubled in size by now, and looking at that tiny little thing I'm finding that hard to believe.

Hi, little lentil!

Also, a couple of weekends ago we bought our first baby toy. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Forgetful the Elephant!

We rescued him from IKEA, where he was surrounded by sharks and polar bears. I believe he's about twice the size that the actual baby will be, but he's extremely soft and huggable which is the main thing. Mr. Canuck has already informed me that if Saskatchewan turns out to be a boy, we are going straight back to IKEA and buying him a stuffed shark. Okay, said I, but if it's a girl we're getting her a polar bear. Deal? Deal.

(Also, if you've ever wondered how obnoxious it is to make Blogger put photos WHERE YOU WANT THEM, the answer is REALLY OBNOXIOUS. Seriously, Blogger designers, I PUT THE CURSOR THERE FOR A REASON.)

Other big news? We've found a house to rent! It's in a suburb just north of Toronto and is just about as fabulous as it can be. Three bedrooms, two floors, really nice tenants in the basement, nice big yard, lovely landlady, and the rent is several hundred dollars cheaper than what we're paying now. More space + less money = HAPPY CANUCKS. We get to move in at the end of January, and I am already frightening The Man of the House with my grandiose plans for painting and decorating, especially in the nursery. I don't think my plans are all that unreasonable; basically, I would like to arrange the furniture in an artful and ergonomic fashion, rather than hauling it through the front door and dumping it wherever it's convenient. I don't think that's too much to ask.

I would post pictures of the new place, but as I said above, Blogger has exasperated me enough for one day. So off I go to catch up on old emails and try to convince my long-distance friends that it's not because I don't love them that I haven't written in two months, it's just that I'm a bad person. Wish me luck with that.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Bundle of joy? Or something?

We've started telling people about the pregnancy, and also about this blog (hi, guys!). So far everyone has reacted just about the way we thought they would. My mom was particularly entertaining, hehe.

And yesterday I committed the first truly stupid act of my pregnancy. Imagine this scenario: The rabbit cage is sitting in the kitchen doorway. Rabbit is having some play time in the kitchen. I am in the kitchen emptying the rabbit's litter box. But oops! I have left the bag of litter in the living room! Conveniently, we have a pass-through between the kitchen and the living room that's just about chest-height on me. So rather than climb over the rabbit cage and walk around to get it, I do what I have done a million times before - I hoist myself up onto the ledge of the pass-through and balance on my tummy while reaching down for the litter bag. It occurs to me about halfway through this maneuver that this is probably not the smartest thing I could be doing right now.

So ever since then I've been worried that I might have harmed the baby. I don't really think I did - there's all kinds of padding and protection in there, and I still feel pregnant - but I can't quite shake it. And today I realized that this is just the beginning - I am going to be worrying about this child for the rest of my life. And I am happier about that than I can possibly tell you.

Friday, October 30, 2009


I have a cold. And I am here to tell you, having a cold while you are pregnant pretty much sucks. I would sell my kingdom for a dose of NyQuil right now, but I hear NyQuil and babies don't mix. Apparently if I so much as stand in the same room as a package of cold medicine, my baby will be born covered in scales. And we don't want that. So I am forced to suffer.

On the other hand, this is an excellent opportunity to hone my martyr skills. See, there's always a bright side.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

As of today I am officially four weeks and three days pregnant. This number bothers me, since it's counted from the first day of my last period. I've been charting my cycle for several months and therefore know exactly when I ovulated and approximately when the egg implanted, so by my reckoning it's more like nine days. Ah, whatever. I don't suppose it really matters.

So far I'm not feeling all that different, beyond being extra tired. Lately I've been having fun conversations with The Man of the House where we tell each other how tired we are, and then I get to add, "I'm making someone's central nervous system. What's your excuse?"

I've seen my doctor already and everything is fine. I've also contacted a midwife practice, and they're supposed to let me know in the next few days if they have room for another patient. If they don't, I'll be able to stay with my regular doctor, which I'm pleased about. I like her very much and it will be nice not to have to go to an obstetrician.

And of course I've also picked up a copy of What to Expect When You're Expecting, since that's apparently the other thing you're supposed to do when you get pregnant. To be honest, I'm not loving it. There is a lot of good information in it, but I don't like the tone much. It feels awfully lecturing and judgmental. I would prefer it if it just laid out the facts and allowed me to make an informed decision, rather than being all, "You can't do this!" and "You have to do that!" And it doesn't really need to tell me on every single page that I shouldn't get too fat. I'll keep it around, but I'm not putting too much faith in it.

Hmm, not much else to report this early in the game.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

So I seem to have started a blog.

So this is a blog, eh? (See, look how Canadian I am!) Why am I starting this blog? Well, I found out yesterday morning that I'm pregnant, and apparently in the 21st century when you find out that you're pregnant, you stop drinking, call the doctor, and start a blog. Not necessarily in that order.

Some background is probably desirable here. I'm an American expat married to a lovely Canadian boy, living in Toronto. We started trying to conceive back in May and could not be happier about this pregnancy. A couple of months ago during a baby name discussion, one of the ground rules we laid out was that this baby would absolutely not be named after any cities or states (Dakota, Madison, etc.). So of course we got silly and said, "Well, what about provinces?" and spent an entertaining few minutes naming our baby Prince Edward Island and British Columbia. And somehow from there we (well, I) decided that it would be funny to use the code name "Saskatchewan" to refer to our unborn child, with the possible side benefit of freaking out our parents. And that, my friends, is how this blog was named.

I've started this mainly so my mom and other long-distance relatives and friends can stay updated, but if I pick up some other readers along the way, that's okay too. Welcome to my baby blog.