Tuesday, 24 May 2011

If You're Low Just Hold On 'Cause I Will Be Your Safety Oh Don't Leave Home

When Shawn and I first moved in together, we lived in a cramped 1-bedroom apartment in downtown Vancouver. There were a lot of things wrong with that apartment. The building was old and smelly, the elevators were constantly breaking down, the parkade was not secure (one time someone actually cut through Shawn's door to try (unsuccessfully) to steal his car) and we had to go down ten floors to get to the laundry room (and then it cost $4 per load.) The closets smelled disgusting, which meant that anything we stored in them (like, uhh, our clothes) smelled a bit off. One time we were watching tv in the living room when we heard a shower of water hitting the bathroom floor - it turns out our upstairs neighbour had left the tub running and it overflowed. Our landlord cut an opening in our ceiling (roughly 12 inches by 12 inches) and for the next six months we had a gaping hole above our shower, through which we could see the blanket of black mould we were living under (which explained the daily nosebleeds I had for two years that mysteriously cleared up within a week of moving out.)

It was not an ideal living situation is what I'm saying.

But when we bought our condo and had to leave our smelly, mouldy apartment, I was really blue. Yes, the apartment was gross and small and probably hazardous to our health. But it was also the first home that we shared. We moved in together four months after I moved back to Canada. We were still getting to know each other again and re-learn how to be a couple when we moved in together and had to learn how to live with each other as well (which was difficult. We're both extremely stubborn people and are set in our ways and can be difficult to live with.) (Though he's more difficult to live with than I am.) (Obviously.) We learned how to make it work in that apartment. And one August night, while eating cheesecake and watching the fireworks over English Bay from our bedroom window, he asked me to be his wife. To which I said "I guess so" (because saying awkward, inappropriate things is what I do when I'm caught off guard.)

I find myself in the same position now, four days before we move. There are a lot of things wrong with our current condo but I'm getting sadder and sadder the closer we get to moving day. When we bought the condo, we were engaged, puppy-less, childless people. Three and a half years later, we're married, with two monsterpups, and a surprise baby on the way (8 weeks, people. Deep breaths.) We've lived a lot in our current condo. I'm not ready to let it go. Neither are these guys:

Thursday, 19 May 2011

I Twist It I Missed It Can't Keep This Thing Together

There are things I've been ranting about lately (moving! packing! while pregnant! not fun!) and there are dull things that I don't bother talking about (meetings with lawyers, mortgage dudes, real estate agents, insurance dudes, doctors, etc, snore) and then there are things I haven't found a way to talk about. Like Shawn's new job. Which is excellent and potentially a huge opportunity for him. Which came out of the blue, three weeks ago, with the requirement that Shawn be in San Francisco for four days this week and that he be available to start the position June 1st. As in, four days after we move.

Life is crazy. I have to keep reminding myself that it's good crazy. That all of these things that are causing me stress now will (hopefully) bring me much happiness later. That all we can do is keep breathing and smile because even though we're experiencing multiple huge life changes all within a short period of time, allowing myself to wallow in stress and anxiety only makes the situation worse.

That's not to say that life is all sunshine and sparkles. I find myself twisted up in knots multiple times a day, worrying about getting everything finished, anxious that I've messed up or am forgetting some important detail. Shawn's trip was extended for a day after a series of fuck ups by American Airlines resulted in a 24-hour trip from San Francisco to Vancouver, meaning he's only in Vancouver for a day and half before leaving for another four days on his annual boys' weekend (that is already paid for in full and I can't talk about without getting very shrill and shouty so let's just leave it at that.) So yes, I'm twisty and anxious and trying my best to remember to breathe.

Fortunately, I have many reasons to smile right now. Like this little lump that sticks out right beside my belly button that is either Willie's head or his bum (I have no idea how to tell which it is - it's just round and firm and completely adorable.) And Kraft caramels dipped in Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Wings Sauce (I know, okay? But it's my one weird craving and it's fucking delicious so keep your judgment to yourself until you actually try it.) And the fact that we've named Willie (barring any disastrous scenarios where a celebrity I dislike names their new baby the name we've chosen. Like when Jane Krakowski (Jenna from 30 Rock) recently ruined Bennett for us.) Life may be crazy but it's also good, is what I'm saying. And in two weeks, when our move is complete, it's going to be great.

Monday, 16 May 2011

The Gold Medal Gleams So Hang It Around My Neck 'Cause I Am Deserving It The Champion Of Idiots

Whenever anyone asks me how I'm doing, my standard reply is "fine, thanks. How are you?" It doesn't matter if I'm particularly happy or sad, I say that I'm fine. Fine has been my answer for years. I don't see myself changing any time soon.

It's the same whenever anyone offers to help me. I always say "thanks, but I've got it" or "thanks, but there's really nothing you can do" or "thanks + insert variation of rejection of help." I don't know why my initial reaction is to turn down offers of help but it is. And just like "fine," I don't see "thanks, but no" disappearing from my vocabulary in the foreseeable future.

You guys, I am not fine. And I really could use some help. I know that you can't come pack up the condo, or make the monsterpups behave, or change Shawn's schedule so that he's in town for more than 5 of the remaining 11 days before we move, but I would really appreciate it if you could please remind me that I'm not going to get a gold star for doing all the things all by myself and that working myself up into a froth will result only in a headache and not a damn medal hanging around my neck.

Numerous lovely people have offered to help me pack the condo or just keep me company while Shawn is out of town. Shawn's dad is here for the summer and he actually offered to pack the condo. Not help pack, no. He offered to do it all. And yet this weekend I found myself alone, lying awkwardly on the kitchen floor, trying to shimmy blindly on my back (because my belly was getting in the way) arm outstretched, trying to reach the various baking pans and other rarely-used items that had migrated to the very back of the lowest shelf of the horrid cupboard that stretches the length of the oven (seriously - worst cupboard ever. It was difficult to navigate before I got pregnant, I don't know why I thought I could do it now.) And there was this horrible moment, just for a second or two, where my arm cramped up and I couldn't move and I couldn't shimmy because I needed my arm to help me push off and I thought I was going to be stuck there on the kitchen floor until Shawn returned Tuesday night. Obviously my panic was a little premature because my arm stopped cramping and I managed to get myself up off the floor, but it was eye opening for me. I can't do it all. I cannot tell you how much it pains me to acknowledge those words.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

It's A Random Chance Selection

I went to bed at 9:30 last night and slept until 7:00 this morning. It was delicious. I could have slept longer but a fuckhole demolition crew started tearing down the building across the alley from ours at 7-o-clock on the dot (the earliest a construction crew is allowed to make noise. I checked.) The problem with going to bed so early is that I ended up having to pee three times during the night (there was this blissful 2 months of my pregnancy - starting around 16 weeks - where I actually managed to sleep through the night without peeing. I miss that time.) And I woke up around 5:00 because my stomach was grumbling. I eat all the time now. It's getting a bit out of hand. I ate an entire fresh pineapple a few nights ago. My mouth bled but I kept eating until it was finished. (Does fresh pineapple make anyone else's mouth bleed? I really hope the bleeding doesn't mean I'm allergic. I love fresh pineapple.)

* * * * *
The Canucks have made it through the first two rounds of playoffs. I was 11 years old the last time they made it this far in the playoffs. I am feeling very clenchy about the Canucks right now. I love them to bits but I've been a fan long enough to know that things can go very wrong very quickly. It's why I haven't vetoed Stan as a potential name for Willie (yet.) The superstitious hockey fan in me won't let me.

* * * * *
Turtle leaves for Europe next week and I'm trying very hard not to pout. It is not working.

* * * * *
Our moving date is just two and a half weeks away and I'm starting to panic. I know that everything will get done (because it has to be done) but I can't see it happening. We are so behind and my big plan of purging before packing is looking like it's not going to happen. We've managed to accumulate so much junk in the three and a half years we've been in our current condo. I hate the thought of packing it up and bringing it to our new home.

* * * * *
Happy Wednesday, all! I hope you're getting sunshine (and not dreary rain like we've got in Vancouver.)

Monday, 9 May 2011

When I Was Young And Grandma Wasn't Old

One of the strangest parts about pregnancy for me has been the level of involvement from complete strangers. People see a pregnant lady and feel totally comfortable commenting on her choices (a random lady told me I had no right to give my baby a caffeine buzz when I was actually drinking decaf) or commenting on her body (telling a pregnant lady that she looks like she's about to pop when she actually has two months left to go will result in tears and quite possibly bloodshed) and then there's the touching. Oh the touching. People cannot resist a round, pregnant belly. It is so weird. I've been very "keep yer damn hands off me" throughout this pregnancy. I don't like being groped. Also? My belly hurts. All the damn time. The skin is stretched and painful and itchy. My belly button aches in a way I can't really describe, except to say that it's kind of like that horrible nervy toothache pain. I don't like how my belly feels most of the time so I certainly don't need people all up on it making it feel worse.

That being said, when I visited my 95-year old grandma in the retirement home yesterday (the 95-year old grandma who had a stroke a few months ago and who had us all worried about her chances) and she patted / rubbed / cupped / pointed out to her friends and various retirement home employees as my "condition" / kissed my belly? It wasn't weird or creepy at all. You guys, my grandma is going to get to meet my kid. How cool is that?

Thursday, 5 May 2011

You Never Look Like Yourself From The Side But Your Profile Did Not Hide

Our condo is a bit of a disaster zone right now and my camera cord has been MIA for weeks. I found it last night (in a box of thank you cards. I ... don't even know) so here's my latest bump progress shots:

I keep forgetting how pregnant I am (because I feel like I've been pregnant forever) but today my iPhone informed me that I'm 29 weeks pregnant. I'm pretty sure I've been calling myself 29 weeks pregnant for at least the last two weeks so I feel a bit cheated.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

There Are Different Names For The Same Things

So. Baby names. Picking out names can be fun and exciting. It can also be frustrating. Like, dickpunch your husband frustrating.

My heart has been broken numerous times over the past few months by his flippant use of the veto. Milo, Felix, Declan, Leo, Finnian, and Arlo were all cruelly (and firmly, meaning I can share them here because there is no way he'll relent) rejected by my husband.

Then there are all the fabulous one-syllable names that are unusable because of a generations-old tradition on Shawn's side of the family where the first-born son is given his father's name as a middle name. Meaning Willie (oh, and Shawn preemptively vetoed Willie before I even suggested it) will be Willie Shawn 2-syllable last name that starts with the letter "m."

The whole thing is made even more frustrating by Shawn's inability to stick to a certain naming style. Ewan, Tiberius, Aidan, Liam, Gibson, and Maximus are his top picks (that have been vetoed by me - works both ways, sucker!)

Willie remains nameless is what I'm saying. Which isn't a huge deal, I know. We've got 11 weeks left until my due date and here in BC you have 30 days to register a baby's birth. There's still time to find the perfect name. I just want to know now. I want to know, with certainty, that we've found the one.

There's one name that we keep returning to. Shawn suggested it months ago and I don't hate it. I just don't luh-huv it. It's a very Irish name and Shawn's last name (which will be Willie's last name - we're not saddling him with a 5-syllable hyphenated last name) is also very Irish. Which is fine, I guess. We're just not very Irish people. Is it weird to give our kid a very Irish sounding name if we're not particularly Irish? I mean, we drink green beer on St. Patrick's Day but that is pretty much the extent of our Irishness.

Of course, if the Canucks continue to do well in the playoffs all of this angst could be all for naught. Shawn and his brother are still pushing for a little Stanley Shawn M if the Canucks bring home the cup. Which puts me in the bizarre position of kinda-sorta-hoping that my favourite hockey team doesn't win the Stanley Cup

(I kid! I kid! I still want them to win! 100%! I just don't want my baby to be named Stan.)

Monday, 2 May 2011

But Do You Really Feel Alive Without Me

I make no secret of the fact that I love control. I am unapologetically Type A. I have my way of doing things and it is the right way. I am stubborn and decisive and headstrong and unbending. I don't say it with pride. I say it because it is. Both a flaw and a virtue and completely ingrained in my character.

Willie is my surprise fetus. I love him. I don't resent him. I resent being pregnant. The distinction is important to me. I don't know why.

I thought I was doing a good job at this Surprise!Pregnancy! thing. I read books and took my vitamins and found a doctor. I have tried to accept that this pregnancy is happening to me instead of happening according to my plan. I thought I was pulling it off but I'm not. I'm brittle. The slightest friction breaks me and I wind up in tears for what feels like the 80th time that day. I was bent over the examination table this morning, getting a giant needle in my butt (thanks, Rh-negative blood!) and I couldn't help but feel rage in place of my normal needle anxiety. I'm angry. I feel claustrophobic in my own body. I have no control over my emotions. I feel like I'm doing everything wrong. Which is all normal, I know. But knowing that I'm experiencing normal pregnancy highs and lows doesn't make it any easier. I try to channel my dear, nutty friend who happens to be the loveliest, most positive person I've ever met and I try to focus on the light at the end of this tunnel (the light being Willie, who has definitely upped his activity levels this week and doesn't hesitate to give me a good kick when I'm feeling blue.) I know that things will improve and even if they don't, this pregnancy is not indefinite. In 11-ish weeks I'll be done. I can absolutely last that long (I say with more force and confidence than I'm currently feeling.)