Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thankful Thursday (4)

Today I am thankful for:

• Peter, for making me dinner every day this week.
• A healthy baby.
• One of my former coworkers finding a new job.
• Our friends, for offering to come over and help us paint our house.
Baby gifts.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Happy News, Sad News

Happy news: I had a doctor's appointment today and the baby is healthy.

Sad news: I still have 16 weeks to go and I've gained almost as much weight as my mother did when she gave birth to me.*

Happy news: My belly is enormous, but the rest of my body is the same size.*

Sad news: I'm now banned from bicycling and racket sports.

Happy news: I never bicycle or play racket sports.

Sad news: I have my first sunburn of the year.*

Happy news: Summer is finally here.

Sad news: Peter won the guess-the-baby's-heartrate competition.**

Happy news: We got to hear the baby's glorious heartbeat.

* See photo.
**He picked 143 beats per minute. I went under. The baby's heartrate was 160 beats per minute.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Baby Paraphernalia

Thanks to our incredibly generous family and friends, our baby now has a:
  • Crib
  • Stroller
  • Car seat
  • Swing
  • Sling
  • High chair
  • Bath
  • Sled
And those are just the big-ticket items. We also have tons of baby clothes, including a Winnipeg Jets jersey and knitted booties, and lots of toys.

Here is a picture of Peter and Lola trying out the sling.

Monday, May 28, 2012


It has been three weeks since we lost our jobs, along with 23 of our coworkers. I'm still not ready to write about it.

Instead, here is what Peter wrote in his goodbye letter:

Five years ago to the day I was driving between Nipigon, Ont., and North Bay, Ont., equal measures excited, nervous and scared. I was a few hundred miles and a handful of sleeps away from starting a daunting new job. I was unsure if I was up to the task of joining this upstart wire service looking to take on the giant Canadian Press.

Little did I know five years later I would have met the girl of my dreams, got married and started a family.

Little did I know I’d get to cover the return of the Winnipeg Jets, a pair of CIS men’s basketball championships, start weekly NASCAR and CFL columns and edit stories from some of the best Canadian sports reporters and columnists.

Little did I know I’d get to work with one of the best groups of journalists assembled, not just for their talent at chasing, writing and editing stories and photos, but for the dedication, compassion and humour they expressed along the way.

Today the job that I drove across the country for no longer exists — and that’s sad. But the friendships I made here, the bonds I forged her and the memories I and everyone else helped create here will last for a very, very long time.

Thanks to those who gave me a chance. Thanks to those who supported me along the way.

Thanks Postmedia News . . . For everything.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

23 Weeks

Inanimate comparison: Grapefruit.

Maternity clothes: I can still fit into my leggings, but otherwise I'm wearing maternity clothes.

Stretch marks: None. 

Sleep: I've been falling asleep and waking up really early. This could be due to the baby or perhaps it is because this the first time in more than five years I haven't worked the evening shift. 

Best moment this week: When Peter and my Dad finished fixing the patio and started installing the laminate floor. Our house is so much nicer now. 

Miss anything: I still miss my job terribly.

Movement: Tons of kicking. 

Cravings: None.

Sickness: None.

Gender: Still no idea

Labour signs: None.

Symptoms: Aside from my big belly and the baby's regular kicks, I feel normal.

Belly button: Still in. 

Wedding rings: Still on.

Happy or moody: Happy most of the time.

Looking forward to: Crossing off more items on my Done is Good list.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Poll: Boy or Girl?

Peter and I have decided to wait until our baby is born to find out the gender. This was very important to Peter and I didn't have strong feelings either way. 

Because our baby was moving around so much during the ultrasound, the technician said even if we had wanted to know the baby's gender, she wouldn't have been able to find out.

Do you think the baby is going to be a boy or a girl? Scroll down and look to the right and vote in my poll.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Seven Quick Takes (3)

1. My Mom is graduating today with her master's degree in education. Way to go, Mom!

2. I had a reunion this week with my former coworkers at my first job in journalism. I absolutely loved seeing them all again. They haven't changed at all. Strangely, although we met in B.C., we all live in Ontario now. As you can see, I posed strategically for the photo to hide my big belly.

3. I have a busy day tomorrow. In the morning, we're going to the Great Glebe Garage Sale to look for baby paraphernalia. In the evening, I'm meeting with my book club. This month we read Half-Blood Blues.

4. Alarming fact: I am 13 pounds away from weighing as much as my husband. 

5. I know that I'm feeling a little better about losing my job because I have the mental capacity to worry about my weight gain. 

6. Another alarming fact: My brother, who lives in France, has more shoes stored in our house than Peter and me combined. 

7. My Dad was here for five days and we went to Rona six times. Because we no longer have a working car, we were on foot four times and two times my friends kindly gave us rides.

More quick takes here

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thankful Thursday (3)

Today I am thankful for:

• Peter for all his hard work to get our house fixed up, including building the patio, installing the laminate floor and organizing the recycling and garbage.
• My Dad for coming to visit and help with the home improvement projects. We're hoping to make it an annual event.
• Having my energy back. I was exhausted the entire first trimester. I once slept on the couch while Peter watched an entire four-hour NASCAR race and then went to bed and slept for 12 hours.
• Finding my cats happy and unharmed after their great escape.
• The wonderful weather. I love Ottawa in the summer.

More thankfulness here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Floor in Progress

Neither Peter nor my Dad has installed laminate flooring before. But they did watch a YouTube video.

The guest room floor in progress. It's going to be beautiful.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Done is Good

One of my girlfriends went to Bryn Mawr and she introduced me to the concept of a Done is Good list, which is basically a to-do list with a fancier name and more chocolate.

I made my first one at the end of last semester and now I've made my list of things to do before the baby is born.

I'd love to get everything finished by July, but that seems pretty ambitious so I've stretched it out until August. Then in September we can relax and prepare for the baby.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Boy or Girl?

Most people, including me, think that we're having a girl. But my Dad who is visiting at the moment thinks the baby is a boy.

Here is the folklore that says I'm having a girl:

• your baby's heartbeat is faster than 140 beats per minute

• you're carrying high

• you look at yourself in the mirror for at least a minute, but your pupils don't dilate

• your skin is soft

• you lie on your right side when sleeping

Here is the folklore that says I'm having a boy:

• you're carrying all out front

• you didn't suffer from morning sickness in your first trimester

• you crave salty food or protein, such as cheese and meat

• your hair has become more full-bodied and shiny during pregnancy

• you are more prone to headaches

Sunday, May 20, 2012

22 Weeks

Inanimate comparison: Papaya.

Maternity clothes: My Dad arrived with another load on Friday. My Mom's girlfriend gave me her entire maternity wardrobe. 

Stretch marks: None. 

Sleep: Not bad.

Best moment this week: Seeing my Dad again.

Miss anything: Our jobs and friends from work. 

Movement: Lots of kicking.

Cravings: Nothing strange this week but I have been very hungry.

Sickness: None.

Gender: My mother-in-law pointed out that I called the baby "he" earlier this week. But it's still a surprise.

Labour signs: None.

Symptoms: Feeling very hungry.

Belly button: Still in.

Wedding rings: Still on.

Happy or moody: This week has been much better than last week but I'm still sad.

Looking forward to: Our patio. It already looks amazing.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Patio in Progress

My Dad spending his "holiday" putting down patio stones.

Peter working hard.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Seven Quick Takes (2)

1. My Dad is here from B.C. to visit for the week. I haven't seen him since our wedding in July. 

2. Peter and I took the bus to the airport to meet my Dad and the bus driver lowered the bus down for me to get on. I didn't think I was that enormous . . . yet.

3. Apparently our baby likes Shakespeare. Peter and I went to see King Lear yesterday and the baby kicked the whole time.

4. I've started letting Lola out on the front lawn every day so she can be distracted by the sights and smells while I give her a brush. Because she's a longhair, her fur gets very matted. Hopefully constant brushing will help.

5. Earlier today, Peter and I came downstairs and found the screen door open, Lola in the backyard and Big Papi missing. I finally found her in our neighbour's backyard hanging out with two fellow black cats. 

6. Here is my first-world problem of the day: I went to a conference this morning and it ended with a fancy sit-down lunch. When I found out it was a plated meal, I was so disappointed because I was starving and was looking forward to having numerous helpings at the buffet. Instead I just ate my meal and some of my girlfriend's. First world pregnant lady problem, indeed.

7. Because Peter and my Dad are going to spend the next week doing outdoor heavy-labour projects, I am in charge of cooking. I'm a little intimidated because both of them are amazing cooks. 

More quick takes here.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Today we . . .

. . . cleaned this.

. . . and then ate this.

Thankful Thursday (2)

Today, I am thankful for:

• Peter, his positive attitude and the many amazing things he does to keep our household running smoothly.
• Not going to school in Quebec. I'm so glad I was able to finish my semester.
• All the wonderful girlfriends I've made over the past couple of years.
• The beautiful sunny weather.
• My Dad coming to visit tomorrow.
• Our banker for her excellent advice.
• Two of my professors for hiring me to do research over the summer.

More thankfulness here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Second Trimester

Here is why the second trimester is awesome:

• Today a man gave me his seat on the bus so I didn't have to stand
• I have lots of energy and don't feel like sleeping 100 per cent of the time
• I can eat anything and everything
• I look pregnant and so everyone is nice to me
• The baby has learned to kick
• I'm already half-way done
• The risk of miscarriage is slim to none

In less than seven weeks I will begin my third trimester so I'm trying to enjoy this while I can.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Baby Names

Even before I was pregnant, I loved thinking about baby names. My home province keeps detailed baby name statistics, which are fascinating.

Peter and I had some criteria for our baby names.

The names had to be:

• Traditional and Catholic (Old Testament, New Testament, and saints' names are all contenders)
• Either male or female and not unisex

The names couldn't be:

• Popular or trendy (In my elementary school class there were two Matthews and I actually thought their names were Matthew S. and Matthew B.)
• Made-up or spelled unusually (I'm speaking from experience here. My name is constantly spelled wrong and it is annoying.)

Also, both names had to work with Peter's last name. I love the name Graham, for example, but that one was definitely out.

Choosing names was surprisingly easy. We went for a walk one afternoon and discussed contenders for first names.

We both had several suggestions for girl's names, but settled on one we both loved within a few minutes.

I suggested a boy's name that Peter had not thought of yet. A few days later, he decided he loved it. I was relieved because I only had four boy names on my short list.

The middle names were also easy. A few weeks after our walk, I made a list of the first names paired with four or five potential middle names and left it on the coffee table for Peter to look at when he came home from work. He circled one on each list and that was that.

We're keeping the names a secret until the baby is born.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

21 Weeks

Inanimate comparison: Pomegranate.

Maternity clothes: Almost exclusively, although I did wear my old drawstring skirt to mass this morning.

Stretch marks: None. 

Sleep: Terrible, but that was non-baby-related.

Best moment this week: Peter taking care of me at our office goodbye party.

Miss anything: Our jobs.

Movement: A million kicks. Feeling the baby move is so exciting.

Cravings: Hummus. Peter walked to the store and bought me some chickpeas because he is awesome.

Sickness: None.

Gender: Still a surprise.

Labour signs: None.

Symptoms: I got a nosebleed this week, which is an uncommon pregnancy symptom, according to the Internet.

Belly button: Still in.

Wedding rings: Still on.

Happy or moody: Incredibly sad about our jobs. Incredibly happy about the baby.

Looking forward to: My Dad's visit later this week.

Domestic Failure

I tried to bake cookies for Peter yesterday and, as you can see, the first batch was a total failure.

Peter and I both had stay-at-home mothers so I warned him before we got married that I'm not great at many domestic chores. I'm a good student and a great worker. But, given the recent circumstances, I need to work on becoming a homemaker.

I'm good at some things:
• Budgeting, paying bills and managing our money
• Tidying and cleaning
• Organizing

I'm medium at some things:
• Cooking
• Baking

And I'm terrible at some things:
• Fixing things
• Decorating
• Gardening
• Doing anything creative (aside from scrapbooking)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Seven Quick Takes (1)

1. Today my office had a goodbye luncheon for the 25 of us who were laid off. I'm glad I went because I think I would have regretted not going, but it was terrible. I cried hysterically for almost the entire lunch. Peter was so sweet and supportive. 

2. I'm having a hard time eating and sleeping at the moment, which is strange for me because I've spent the past 4 1/2 months constantly eating and sleeping.

3. Our baby is already a night owl like Peter. Today, the baby didn't wake up and start kicking until almost noon. 

4. Another girl in my legal writing class is also named Carolyn. I'm not used to having to share my name, even if it's spelled differently.

5. A few days ago, our car broke down for the second time in two weeks. This time, we decided to cut our losses and send it to the wreckers. Not having a car will be a big change for us, but fortunately it's summer now and all the walking will be good for baby. 

6. I love being in my second trimester. The food aversions and extreme exhaustion are gone. And, now that I'm showing and the baby is kicking, I finally feel pregnant. It's wonderful. 

7. Tons of our coworkers have offered to come over and help us fix up our home to get it ready to sell. Neither Peter nor I are particularly handy so the help is much appreciated.

More quick takes here

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thankful Thursday (1)

I've spent the last three days feeling miserable and sorry for myself, so this should be a good exercise.

I am thankful for:

• Peter, I could not ask for a most supportive and loving husband. Among other things, he has packed up my desk at work, read two of my legal writing assignments, met with our realtor, shopped at Costco and dealt with our broken-down car.
• Not hearing from my doctor, which means the baby is continuing to thrive.
• Our family, friends, and former coworkers for sending us their love and support.
• Our realtor, for giving us a list of simple things to do to increase our home's value.
• My Dad, who's coming from B.C. to visit next week. I can't wait.
• Not crying yet today. I'm making progress!
• Only having three days and one assignment left in my legal writing course.

More thankfulness here.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sad News

So then this happened. I never imagined Peter and I would lose our jobs just months before the baby is due.

I will write more later when I'm less upset.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Introducing Big Papi

Name: Papaya (better known as Big Papi)
Hometown: Napanee, Ont.
Born: May 2008
Adopted: July 2009
Favourite Sports Teams: Florida Panthers (because she looks like panther), Boston Red Sox (because of her nick-namesake)
Theme Song: Shake a Tail Feather — Ray Charles
Likes: Having a mane, being carried around the house, drinking from the tap
Hates: Getting manicures, not being an outdoor cat
Interesting Trivia: Big Papi has no purr but she does have a very distinctive meow.

I adopted Big Papi in July 2009 because I was worried about Mango being lonely while I was at work. Every day when I left, I could hear her meowing until I drove away.

I was planning to get another orange tabby so I would have two matching cats. After weeks of waiting, I finally saw one advertised on the Humane Society website. But the next day when I went to adopt the tabby, he wasn't there anymore.

I was disappointed so I decided to look at other cats. I was walking by Big Papi's cage when she reached out with both paws and grabbed my arm. She decided that she was going to come home with me.

Big Papi was in the shelter in Napanee, Ont., for months before she was transferred to Ottawa. I began calling her Big Papi as a joke — she was so thin — but she grew into the nickname.

The Humane Society recommended keeping Mango and Big Papi separated to let them to get accustomed to each other so poor Big Papi spent a week crying alone in my room. Thankfully when the cats finally met each other they were friends right away.

The three of us lived in Gatineau, Que., until we moved in with Pete and Lola in March 2011.

Introducing Mango

Name: Mango
Hometown: Prince George, B.C.
Born: October 2005
Adopted: April 2006
Favourite Sports Teams: Calgary Flames (likes the colour scheme), B.C. Lions (supports cats from her home province)
Theme Song: Eye of the Tiger — Survivor
Likes: Being orange, road trips, drooling, playing fetch, boxing with Papaya, antagonizing Lola, jumping and climbing, meowing and purring
Hates: Ferry rides, other cats
Interesting Trivia: Mango has been to six provinces and lived in three.

I adopted Mango when I was interning at a public radio station during my master's degree. I had decided years earlier I wanted to adopt an female orange cat and name her Mango.

Mango was the only orange cat at the SPCA when I went for the first time in April 2006. I picked her up and she immediately began to purr and drool.

I couldn't take her home right away because I was living in an apartment until the end of the month that didn't allow cats. But two days later I was so worried that someone else would adopt her that I went and got her anyway.

When I went back to school in September 2006, Mango went to live with my parents for three months. In December 2006, I got a job on Vancouver Island and Mango and I were finally reunited. Aside from the ferry ride — which made her sick — Mango loved living on the Island. She even got a job as a cat volunteer at a seniors' residence.

Then, in August 2008, we were on the move again. My Mom and I drove almost 5,000 kilometres to Ottawa with Mango lounging in the back seat. My new employer paid for me to stay at a hotel for a month. I didn't get room service the entire time because I didn't know if Mango was allowed to be there.

I bought a condo in Gatineau, Que., in September 2008. Mango and I were a family of two until we were joined by Papaya in July 2009 and moved in with Pete and Lola in March 2011.

Introducing Lola

Name: Lola
Hometown: Montreal
Born: December 2005
Adopted: May 2009
Favourite Sports Teams: Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Alouettes (supports her hometown teams)
Theme Song: Lola — The Kinks
Likes: Eating bacon, sitting in boxes and bags, getting belly rubs
Hates: Groomers, closed doors, travelling in cars, not having a balcony
Interesting Trivia: Lola has numerous nicknames including Lolly, Lulu, Lemon, Lollapalooza and the Cat-uffalo

Lola became a part of our family gradually. One of my Facebook friends landed an internship in our newsroom and posted that she needed a cat sitter for the summer. I suggested to Teresa that she contact Pete (we weren't dating yet) because he had cat sat for Mango once.

When Lola first came to live with Pete, she was terrified of him. She hid under his bed for almost a week only coming out to eat when he was at work. Fortunately she warmed up to him.

Pete — who grew up in an anti-cat household — knew nothing about cats. He got Lola hooked on bacon and even let her eat lettuce and drink a Slurpee.

When Teresa's internship ended, she went on an exchange to Europe so Pete's cat sitting duties were extended. And when she moved back to Montreal, she didn't have a cat-friendly apartment so he got to keep Lola even longer.

Finally Teresa asked Pete if he wanted to keep Lola forever and of course he agreed. Teresa is now back working in our newsroom and thankfully Lola is still a part of the family, which expanded in March 2011 to include me and Mango and Big Papi.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

20 Weeks

Inanimate comparison: Banana

Maternity clothes: I can still fit into my three long lycra shirts. Other than that, it's all maternity all the time.

Stretch marks: None.

Sleep: Much better than a few weeks ago. But I can't sleep on my stomach anymore.

Best moment this week: A "normal" ultrasound.

Miss anything: It would be nice not to feel hungry all the time.

Movement: A few kicks. This is the first week I've been able to feel them.

Cravings: Ice cream. Pete walked to the store to buy me some in the middle of the night in the rain because he's amazing.

Sickness: None.

Gender: I think it's a girl. But it's a surprise.

Labour signs: None, thank goodness.

Symptoms: Just feeling hungry and living large.

Belly button: Still in.

Wedding rings: Still on.

Happy or moody: Incredibly happy.

Looking forward to: Meeting the baby.


I've created this blog to keep my family and friends updated on my pregnancy. I'm now 20 weeks pregnant and I feel fantastic. The baby has finally started to kick, which is very exciting.

Our baby is due on Sept. 22. I think we're having a girl and I will be really surprised if it's a boy.

Here is our ultrasound picture from last week. Sadly, it's not a very flattering photo.

I hope you enjoy our journey.