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.