Monday, 31 January 2011

I Am Wilful Your Insistence Is Tugging At The Best Of Me

I woke up Saturday morning and I couldn't move. My back has been bothering me lately; every day I feel a certain degree of pain and tightness in my lower back. Some days are better than others. Saturday was a bad day.

I stayed in bed and cuddled the puppies and considered watching movies all day, but then I started to think about how disappointed I would be if I didn't get the final coat of paint on the gorgeous turquoise accent wall before the bed was delivered. So I made myself get out of bed and I painted the wall.

And now I feel like I've been hit by a bus.

I have a really hard time admitting that I am unable to do something or that I need help. I am stubborn and wilful and tenacious. Sometimes these are my best qualities. Most of the time, these qualities contribute to me making stupid decisions.

I don't want to be coddled until the baby is born but maybe I need to learn to coddle myself. Or at least give myself a break every once in a while. Making smarter choices would prevent situations like this morning when I had to wake Shawn up to pull me out of bed because my back and legs weren't working. I thought I wouldn't need a hoist until I gained a significant amount of weight but we reached that depressing milestone today.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Then I'll Follow You Into The Dark

Dudes, I need your help.

Our new bed (New! King-sized! Bed!) is being delivered on Monday. We dismantled our old (broken. queen-sized. super lame.) bed last weekend because Turtle was making a trip to the dump and offered to take it for us. Because she rocks. So for the last week we've been sleeping on our mattress on the floor. Which has sucked. But that's not the point. The point is this: this weekend is the perfect time to put the final coat of paint on my gorgeous turquoise accent wall behind the bed because there is no bed to move - just a mattress to pull out of the way.

Did I tell you about my gorgeous turquoise accent wall? I started painting the bedroom last May. I remember it was May because Shawn went on a three-day boys' weekend over the May long weekend so it was the perfect time to paint the bedroom. Shawn is anti-paint. We moved into a brand new condo in 2007 and every single room was painted stark, builders white. Getting Shawn to agree to paint colours is like pulling teeth. Which is silly because I do all of the painting. I'm not asking him to paint the condo, I'm just asking for him to commit to a colour. Ahem. So he went away for three days and I painted the bedroom a soft grey with white trim and a gorgeous turquoise accent wall behind the bed. The only problem was that I seriously underestimated how long it would take to apply a light-blue primer and the three coats of turquoise paint necessary to make the wall look flawless. Which meant that when Shawn got home, I'd only managed to apply two of the coats. And I'd run out of paint. So Shawn pushed all the furniture back into place and we've been living with a flawed, not-perfect, brush-strokes visible, gorgeous turquoise accent wall behind the bed for 8 months.

Which brings me to this weekend. I am finally going to get the final coat of paint on my gorgeous turquoise accent wall. My heart. It is happy.

So that was a massive lead-in to my problem. Sorry. I am very sleep deprived today. We're transitioning the dogs from sleeping in crates to sleeping on a dog bed and haha, guess what? My dogs don't sleep if they're not crated! Especially when their humans are also sleeping on the floor because they were crazy enough to get rid of their old bed a week before their new bed arrived. We partied all night last night (if the definition of "party" is "kicked belligerent puppies out of our bed all night long until we finally gave in and let them sleep with us even though Stella likes to sleep on faces and Wolfgang likes to sleep with his cold, wet nose pressed to that strip of lower back skin that is visible when my pyjama top rides up over my doughnut belly.")

SO MY PROBLEM. The new king-sized bed takes up so much floor space that we have to get rid of our bedside tables. Which is very upsetting to me because where else can I store a stack of books that I'll never get around to reading and a 2-week old glass of water? It also means that we won't have a spot for our reading lamps. Which is okay because I hate our reading lamps. They're not real lamps - they're desk lights and they're way too bright and plastic-y and ugly. I think we should get wall-lamps and mount them beside the bed but Shawn says it looks too hotel-y (though he does want a reading lamp, and acknowledges that a reading lamp on the floor is useless, and he's the one who says that we can't cram bedside tables into the room.)

We need the internet to break our stalemate. Today. Because if we do go ahead with the wall-lamps, Shawn will want to hide the wires and that is a more involved installation process than just hanging them on the wall. Which means that he will have to do it on Sunday, after the gorgeous turquoise accent wall is painted but before the bed arrives on Monday. The new bed is real furniture, not Ikea furniture, so once it is built we will likely never be able to move it again. It weighs about a million pounds. And it is beautiful. And king-sized!

These are the two wall-lamps that Ikea carries. I'm partial to the one on the right because it directs the light downward (I hate reading in dim light) but I like the look of the one on the left. Do they look too hotel-y?

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Well You'll Never Gain Weight From A Doughnut Hole

Friday Faff: I'm so Efficient I'm a Day Early Edition

I participated in Jess's birthday scarf swap and the lovely Alice sent me this beautiful scarf / camouflage for the doughnut bump I'm trying to pass off as an actual baby bump (Willie is like <------------this big--------------> right now. My doughnut bump is shameful.)

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Speaking of the doughnut bump, this is my week 12 photo.

I bought these cute stickers from Picky Sticky so I can document the growth of my belly. I felt huge in this photo. My 15-week self would like to go back and slap my 12-week self.

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I'm talking about a magic tulip trick on Style Lush today. Seriously, this trick extends the life of cut tulips and it makes no sense whatsoever.

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The day after we bought and assembled (and by "we" I mean "Shawn assembled while I ate pizza") our closet organizer, all the Ikea organizers were discounted by 20%. And then my head melted. It was a completely unnecessary head-melt though, because I went back to Ikea with my receipt and they gave me the discount with no hassle.

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Happy Thursday, peeps! Just one more sleep til Friday.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Organize Our Lives And Lose The Key

Shawn and I went to Ikea yesterday (as in Sunday - rookie mistake!) and ended up in the midst of some sort of evil kitchen event. Because our marriage hasn't been tested enough lately.

We've been talking about upgrading our queen-sized bed to a king-size for ages now but to make room for a bigger bed, we need to get rid of a dresser. To get rid of a dresser, we need a closet organizer. To get a closet organizer, we need to go to Ikea. And that's where the plan stalled. Shawn hates Ikea. Hate is not a strong enough word for what Shawn feels for Ikea.

A chance sighting of a heavily-reduced king-sized bed frame forced us into action yesterday. A packed parking lot and lineups to get into various parts of the store did not deter us from our goal, nor did hunger pangs, back ache, or crazy pregnant lady tears (I couldn't choose a colour. It was upsetting.) We were on a mission.

Eleven hours (and hundreds of dollars and one giant pizza, and, uhhh, one crappy low-light iPhone picture) later, our mission was complete.

My husband rocks.

Friday, 21 January 2011

I Can't Believe I Love You So Much So Much In Fact That I Don't Know Whether To Weep Or Wind My Watch

In the past week, I have cried real tears over the following:

- Seeing my little alien flapping his or her arms on the ultrasound screen.

- Chris Colfer's Golden Globe acceptance speech.

- My inability to find a toothpaste that doesn't make me dry heave.

- Marshall's dad's funeral on HIMYM.

- Shawn taking the last pink popsicle, leaving me with only purple and orange.

- Not being able to find the fetus on any of the (19!) ultrasound pictures the clinic emailed to me. No really, I posted the picture of the hand because it's the only body part I can identify. I can't tell ass from head but I can see that damn hand, thankyouverymuch. Upon further review, I am fairly certain that the picture below is a profile of Willie* with the head on the left and the butt on the right.

* We're calling the fetus Willie because calling it The Mishap seems a bit harsh at this point. Also, I love Willie Nelson. And we're hoping that the fetus has a willy.

- Every single comment left on my last post. My bloggy peeps have always been awesome but I've never felt such an outpouring of love. You made me very happy is what I'm saying.

Finding out I was pregnant immediately after Shawn and I discussed how neither of us was ready to have kids was terrifying and stressful. Terrifying and stressful is putting it lightly, actually. I was paralysed with anxiety. The first few weeks were a struggle. Shawn and I had many difficult conversations and many tears were shed. (Umm pregnancy hormones? Fucking suck. I am a giant weepy ball of emotions. Constantly.)

I guess what I'm trying to say is, thank you. Thank you for helping me celebrate after weeks of stress and anxiety and just general frettiness (my first thought after Willie popped up on the ultrasound screen? "Thank fuck, it's alive!" My second thought? "Thank FUCK, there's only one.") Shawn and I are starting to shift from stress to excitement and every single person who expresses joy over Willie is helping us get there. We are so grateful. Aaaand now I'm starting to get all weepy again so I'll leave it at this: You rock, dudes.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The First Time I Saw You Was Like A Punch Right Through My Chest

A few months ago, I had babies on the brain. It felt like everywhere I looked (online and in real life) pregnant women abounded. Shawn and I have always agreed that we'd do the kids thing sometime. In the future. At some point. But suddenly "sometime in the future" wasn't sufficient. I wasn't feeling broody - I didn't want a baby right away; I just wanted a time line.

So I did what I always do when I have something important to discuss with Shawn - I dove in headfirst and I babbled a lot and I got defensive and upset when he wasn't immediately on board with me. In hindsight, it's easy to see where the conversation veered sideways into the land of miscommunication and misunderstanding. Shawn thought I was saying that I wanted to have a baby immediately and I thought when he said no, he was saying that he wouldn't even have a discussion about firming up our ambiguous game plan.

Days of chilly silence and hurt feelings followed.

I find it really difficult to stay mad at Shawn. He is incapable of holding a grudge so even though he was still confused by what he saw as my sudden descent into baby madness, he couldn't maintain the silent treatment. He took me to our favourite Greek restaurant and we tentatively started to unwind the tangles of our fight. At which point we discovered the misunderstanding and had a giant laugh.

We ate yummy food and talked about everything we wanted to accomplish before having kids. By the end of our date we had decided that barring any huge life changes between now and then, we would start seriously talking about babies in late autumn / winter 2011.

Ten days later we found out I was already pregnant.

Fetus says, "high five!"

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Show Me All The Rules Girl I Just Want To Get 'em Wrong

Friday Faff: It's Not Friday but My Blog = My Rules Edition

Did you know that you can get packages of Starburst that contain only the red and pink flavours? Life changing.

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How do you freeze homemade pizza dough? Do you have to use a special recipe or can you freeze any pizza dough? Do you roll the pizza dough out and freeze it in the crust shape or do you freeze it while it's still in a ball? How long does homemade pizza dough take to defrost?

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I haven't worn makeup in weeks (because I am lazy and my morning routine consists of me hitting the snooze button many times.) I met with my financial adviser today and in an effort to look like a grownup, I got out of bed early enough to apply mascara and blush. A random man stopped me on the street to tell me I'm gorgeous and it made my day. No, my week. It made my week. That is how lame I am. Of course now my plan is to tell a random person on the street that they are gorgeous in the hopes that I can make their day (or week. No judgments here.)

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We had friends over for bangers & mash last night and Shawn gave the pups the leftover sausage when he thought I wasn't looking (after I told him not to feed the dogs sausage because dude, our dogs' stomachs do not love the processed human food.) Shawn had an extremely grim puppy poop situation this morning which he tried to blame on me (his logic was a thing of beauty that I cannot repeat here for fear it will make me stab an innocent bystander) which then made me get all shouty and indignant. Basically we're winning at marriage today is what I'm saying. Life has been a bit stressful and strange lately so in a weird way I'm grateful for our bickery (and oh so mature) fight - it's helped clear the air a bit and hit the reset button (though for the record, I was totally right and Shawn was wrong and if I point it out here hopefully I won't feel the need to point it out when I go home tonight.)

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Is anyone else feeling faffy? What's on your mind?

Monday, 17 January 2011

Out On The Beaches We Wore Pineapple Grass Bracelets

Shawn and I had friends over for a gluten-free dinner last night and I'm only a little ashamed to admit that I took the easy way out for dessert. I bought a beautiful pineapple and planned to cook it up with a little butter and brown sugar and serve it over vanilla ice cream. We were all so full after dinner, though, that the pineapple was forgotten and remains sitting on my kitchen counter, taunting Stella (fresh pineapple is one of her favourite treats.)

I was unsure how to approach gluten-free cooking. Shawn and I are lucky in that our food allergies don't severely limit our diets. I don't cook shellfish or use raw carrots in salads or cook with peas (because Shawn is a BABY who won't even TRY a green pea because they "make him gag.") Other than that, we eat what we want. I was surprised to realize how heavily I rely on flour in my cooking so I decided to keep things very simple. We had roasted chicken with lemon and rosemary, baked potatoes with all the fixin's, baked butternut squash, roasted brussel sprouts, and mushrooms sautéed in wine. It was a lovely dinner.

I don't enjoy the fussiness of entertaining. I don't do place cards or candlesticks or centrepieces. I think sometimes I get too caught up in the idea of planning the perfect dinner that I forget the aspects of entertaining that I truly enjoy. Give me good friends and simple food and I'm a happy lady.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

A Simple Mistake Starts The Hardest Time I Promise I'll Do Anything You Ask This Time

Dudes, I am having a day today. A combination of unbloggable bullshit and very little sleep and, you know, the whole being a hormonal chick thing, has left me tearful and ragey. I really shouldn't be blogging is what I'm saying. This post actually started as a list of everything and everyone who has either pissed me off or made me cry this week and well, it was boring and unhealthy (and immature! and unflattering! and unfunny! etc.)

I reckon I need a love list to brighten up my mood. Bear with me, will you? (Or is it bare with me? Grammar police, what say you?)

Things I Love
a list by an extremely grumpy Hillary

- My dogs. Shocking, right? More specifically, I love what my dogs do when they're feeling excited and affectionate. Stella wags her tail so hard it whips both sides of her body - back and forth so quickly her tail is a blur. Wolfgang makes this weird grunty / moaning noise and tries to climb up into my lap for a quick kiss and a cuddle. It makes me smile every time.

- The Canucks current record (28-8-6) (*shiver*)

- Kyla Roma's salted chocolate chip cookies. I made these last weekend and I've been feasting on way too many of the little nuggets of happiness.

- My new camera. She's beautiful and I am having so much fun learning how to use her properly.

- Cooking for friends (related: does anyone have a gluten-free dessert recipe they can share? Nothing fancy - I don't want to have to go buy fancy non-gluten flour - just a nice, casual, non-deathy dessert for a night in with friends.)

What's putting a smile on your face today? Alternatively, what is making you stab unicorns today?

Sunday, 9 January 2011

If You Want To See That Italian Tower Leaning

Call me uncultured, but I had no idea what comprised Italian wedding soup until looking it up just now. So when I saw it on the deli menu board, I wasn't sure if I wanted to eat it or not. There was no description - just the name. I asked the deli lady if it contained meat (I have strict rules about eating fast food meat - the only acceptable forms are Tim Horton's chicken noodle soup, Wendy's junior cheeseburger deluxe, and A&W's teenburger without bacon. Please don't ask me why; I can't explain my crazy, I can only abide by it and hope that it doesn't steer me wrong.) She told me that nope, no meat in there. Just pasta and meatballs. And then my head melted. No meat, just ... balls of meat? Please, deli lady, please explain your logic.

So of course now I have to make Italian wedding soup. Anyone with a recipe they'd like to share?

Friday, 7 January 2011

Grandma's Gun And The Black Bear Claw

Warm is not a word I would use to describe my grandma. She's loving and kind, yes, but not warm. She's reserved. Back when she sent birthday cards and Christmas cards, before her hand got too shaky to write, she would always end with "Love, Grandma" but I don't recall her ever telling me she loved me. My grandma is tough-as-nails and I love her for unapologetically being who she is.

I didn't get to see Grandma over Christmas (the old folks' home frowns on visitors with communicable diseases.) This weekend I'm going to take her a box of chocolates (her favourite gift because a: it's not stupid crap that clutters up her room and b: it's chocolate) and wish her a happy 95th birthday. We'll drinking sickly sweet flavoured coffee out of her paper-thin mugs decorated with roses, she'll call me dear, and I'll try to remember to talk into her good ear.

Happy birthday, Gram. Love, Hillary.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Resolution Of Happiness Things Have Been Dark For Too Long

I admire everyone who has managed to write a 2010 roundup. I equally admire everyone who made New Year's resolutions and set goals and made game plans. This pretty much sums up how I feel about making resolutions and goals myself for the upcoming year:
(I love A Softer World prints)

So for now I will just say Happy New Year! This year I will do some things. Some will be great. Some will be stupid. I hope you come along for the ride.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

I See Hope Is Here In A Plastic Box I've Seen Christmas Lights Reflect In Your Eyes

I started coming down with Shawn's Man Flu a few days before Christmas. And then I slept for two weeks. No really, that's all I did for the days leading up to Christmas and then my entire Christmas break. On one hand I feel kind of guilty for spending my 11 glorious days off work in bed but on the other hand, I really needed that sleep. I read trashy mystery novels, I cuddled the monsterpups, I watched copious amounts of hockey, and I didn't feel guilty for turning down invitations to parties and movies and pub nights. It was excellent.

Of course now I'm back to real life and my job is overwhelming and my Google Reader is yelling at me and I'm falling asleep at my desk even though it's only noon. I don't know, maybe it's the fact that Vancouver has been sunny and warm for the last week or maybe it's just the feeling of a brand new year but I've got a huge grin on my (tired) face. This year is only four days old but it's already outperforming much of 2010.