Friday, 30 July 2004

get outta here

I think there ought to be a law: if you live in a climate that is not usually hot and sunny, any day that it is hot and sunny should be spent outside and you should get the day off work. Paid, of course. Working during lovely summer days is really bad for you. I don't have any actual data to back this theory up, but trust me; I know stuff. Someone should supply you with free ice cream for the day as well. Which leads me to my next point - does anyone actually eat the strawberry portion of Neapolitan ice cream? Or does it get left in the freezer in one neat strip in every household?

We're planning on having a barbeque on Saturday as Paul's parents are coming up for a visit this weekend. Again, apologies in advance if the weather turns to crap - it's likely to be our fault. In my continuing quest to steer away from the traditional English "burned on the outside, raw on the inside sausages and burgers" barbeque, I am going to attempt to make ribs. I've found a good lookin' recipe here, but any tips or hints would be most welcome.

Here's to slushy, fruity drinks weather out in the garden. Yay!

pregnant lady, coming through

I've started to notice that I've become a lot more protective of my belly and the general state of my health since becoming pregnant. That's perfectly normal, you might say. Yes, but probably not when it gets to the point that you spend a lot of time in your car swearing at people for not being considerate to your unborn child. For example, I followed a guy down the road the other day with an alarming cloud of black smoke pouring out of his exhaust. The smell saturated the inside of my car as I frantically switched the air flow to circulate the air within the car (instead of taking it from outside). All I could think was "Get your exhaust fixed, you jerk! The fumes coming out of your crappy car might harm my baby!" as I muttered rude words at him hoping he'd turn off the road soon. I have the same reaction to anyone who stops suddenly or swings out in front of me, nudges me with their elbow in the tummy by accident at Tesco, smokes within 20 feet of me, or wears an obscene amount of perfume. All of you - stop potentially harming my foetus! You don't see me leaking pregnancy hormones all over your carpet, do you?? BAH.

But I am feeling a lot less irritable and cranky lately, honest.

Wednesday, 28 July 2004

hurrah for Ed

Hey, something to blog about! It's Ed and Martine's 12 Monkeys time, and this month's theme is:

Describe your first impression of Montreal.

I'm not sure if we made it through Montreal, but I know we drove through Quebec on our way down to Boston when I was almost 9. The only French I knew was "Je m'appelle Lisa", thanks to the one and only phrase my Dad could remember from his grade 11 French class. I remember stopping at a park where a girl joined me on the swingset. Being the friendly sort I am, I said to her "Je m'appelle Lisa". Of course it never occurred to me that once I got that one phrase out, communication would get a bit tricky if she only spoke French, and sure enough the little girl proceeded to yak away at me at great length in a language I didn't understand. I have a vague recollection of being confused and walking away from the swingset, and thanks to me, this girl probably grew up with the impression that Anglophones are really rude.

The next time I visited Quebec was a weekend with a friend in Montreal in 1989. I absolutely fell in love with the place. There was so much that was completely foreign to me, and I'm not just referring to the language (at this point, my vocabulary had expanded to ordering beer at restaurants and getting cigarettes from the convenience store). I loved how coffee came in big bowls, eating these yummy things called "Croques Monsieurs", and how everyone smoked - anywhere and everywhere. I loved attempting to speak French and trying to decipher conversations happening around me. I loved that it had cobbled streets and a bazillion cafes. I couldn't believe how cheap rent was (remember, this was 15 years ago and it was compared to Toronto) and how easy it was to get around the city. I was smitten.

On a whim that can only happen when you're 20 (or again at 30 if you're me), I decided to move there. My friend went to Montreal ahead of me and picked out an apartment for himself and another one for me, and I moved there without having seen it. I was surprised at how pleased my parents sounded when I announced that I was moving in the next month, but in retrospect it was probably due to relief that I didn't stay put and marry the guy I was with at the time. My Dad rented a van and drove our things 300 miles to Montreal. Ah, the days when my possessions would fit in half a van. I lived in five different apartments, had eight different jobs, and made dozens of very good friends. I left in 2000 to move here, but I will always consider Montreal home. I miss the bagels, the fantastic multicultural cuisine and communities, all the festivals, the "doo dooooooo" sound of the metro, and I even miss speaking French (which vastly improved over 11 years, thankfully). Most of all, I miss my friends.

Of course we'll always have MSN Messenger.

general ramblings

I've been really poor at updating this blog lately, mostly because I haven't had anything specific to blog about. I haven't bought any interesting CDs or DVDs, and the last film we saw was Shrek 2 (i.e. not really fodder for lengthy, thought-provoking posts). I've not read any books lately, and Heat magazine doesn't really count as provocative reading material. We haven't visited any new places, dined at new restaurants, and I haven't come across any new and interesting web sites. I did try a new smoothie drink from Innocent Drinks last week, and it was really yummy. I don't think I could write an entire post about it, though. But do try them next time you're at Sainsbury's.

This isn't to say that life is dull; on the contrary - there is lots going on at the moment. Lots. Hooooo boy, is there ever. I just haven't found any particular topic to blog about lately and haven't updated this site, rather than ramble on about nothing. Erm...not including this post, that is.

I need Mike Meyers as Linda Richman to say to me, "[insert topic here] - discuss. Talk amongst yourselves!"

what's in a name?

I am starting to think that some people come up with baby names by rummaging through Scrabble tiles and randomly picking letters. On one of the web boards I read, a woman posted a message discussing the following potential baby names:

aiken tam

espen rune

jubal sulo

kaio cosme

larkin muir

loki rune

piran kjell

solen rune

tavin dai

thurin sulo

torin boaz

Apparently these are boy names, and both parents are American (i.e. as far as I know, these names do not have cultural significance). Indeed.

I keep forgetting to mention our nickname for the baby: Pip. This came about when I was reading something in the early weeks that said our baby was the size of an apple seed, and Paul decided to start calling the baby Pip. This always reminds me of a Dickensian character on South Park who says "My name is Phillip, but people call me Pip...because they hate me." Needless to say, I love the nickname but it will definitely not appear on the birth certificate.

In other weird news, another workmate is pregnant! She had her first scan yesterday and made the news "public" - and she is due 9 days before me. There must be something in the drinking water.

Tuesday, 27 July 2004


My god, but my nails are gorgeous right now. This is one side effect of pregnancy I can live with, thanks.

Monday, 26 July 2004

meet the midwife

Paul, Jasper and I met Pat the midwife (and student midwife Emma), who turned out to be a bit better in person. She was still quite stern, in a school marm kind of way, but I felt that she knew her stuff - she's a senior midwife, after all. It ends up that she will see me throughout my pregnancy but I will see another team of midwives for the actual birth. I may or may not get a chance to meet these midwives, which is slightly disconcerting. It seems that this is my only choice; there is no "domino scheme" or "team midwifery" that I had been reading about. Everything else was as I expected, except for the surprising news that my hospital has a policy of not telling you the sex of your baby during scans. For that, you go in for another scan at 24 weeks and you must pay extra for it. I've never heard of this sort of policy before, but there you go. Otherwise, we mostly filled out paperwork and I answered a lot of questions about my medical history. My first scan will be at 12 weeks where they will also do some blood and urine tests.

I do feel a bit better now that I've actually seen someone about this pregnancy. I feel like things are moving along and that this is more real in a way. The first scan doesn't seem as far away and woohoo, I'm moving into double digits on Wednesday - 10 weeks and counting! Life, as they say, is good.

I still have an aversion to eating meat (although I actually ordered a roast beef dinner last night with a chicken and prawn starter), and I seem to have developed a huge, loud, and demanding sweet tooth. I will only want to eat a bit of toast for breakfast and maybe a bagel for lunch, but stick some cake or biscuits in front of me and they'll be gone in seconds. This isn't to say that I'm not eating healthy amounts of non-sugary food, but I just have more of an appetite for the sugary stuff. This supposedly means I'm having a girl but then the lack of morning sickness is supposed to indicate a boy. Maybe I'm having a very girly boy or a butch girl. 'Scuse me while I get an ice cream - that's dairy so it counts as healthy food, right?

Sunday, 25 July 2004

this n' that

Just a bit of an update on me and my pregnant self. Only had one difficult time last week when I started getting really uncomfortable cramps on one side. They only lasted from the time we left work until a few hours later, but they scared the life out of me. During this time, I remembered the incredibly unhelpful section in "What to Expect When You're Expecting" that discusses ectopic pregnancy cramping. It states that cramps may or may not be intermittent, and they might radiate across the abdomen or remain localized. That's great, thanks for clearing that up for me. These were intermittent cramps that certainly weren't causing me to double over in agony, but they were a lot more uncomfortable than any cramping I'd experienced before. I sat there at dinner feeling terrified to move and waiting for the next cramp to come, until I burst into tears telling Paul that I didn't want anything bad to happen. He held me and told me he wouldn't let anything bad happen and magically, the cramps subsided. So who knows - was it gas, a pulled muscle, or regular ligament stretching? Oh, the drama.

I've decided that cramping is only something to worry about if it's severe and accompanied by bleeding. Otherwise, it's probably just part of the normal pains we go through when pregnant. Doesn't make it any less scary, though.

Only two more weeks until the first scan; I really cannot wait. Just knowing that the baby is in there with its little heart beating away will make a world of difference. Until then, I have taken my mind off things by buying large amounts of new clothing (regular clothes in larger sizes - I'm not tempted by those "cute" maternity clothes yet) and by going out for dinner tonight. Oh and playing with puppies for four hours. That's a definite mood lifter.

check my pockets

We resisted...

...but damn, it was hard to say goodbye. :(

Friday, 23 July 2004

sunshiny day

On the way back from lunch today they played "Steal My Sunshine" by Len on Radio One, a song I haven't heard since it was a hit in the summer of '99. It always reminds me of warm bright summer days in Montreal, sitting on a terrace with a drink watching the city go by.

What's your summer song?

Thursday, 22 July 2004

the working girl's guide to blogging

I remember one of the first "casualties" of blogging when the lovely Heather at got sacked because of her personal blog. Two years later, this is still a potential danger, as illustrated by this cautionary article posted by Blogger recently. Although I can understand why it's probably not a good idea to spend your entire workday blogging from your office PC, or why posting proprietary information about the company you work for might be frowned upon, how careful do you need to be when discussing your job on your personal blog? A blog is public in the sense that anyone with an Internet connection can access it, but does that give people the right to tell you what you should and shouldn't write about? Is that a valid argument for being reprimanded by your employers?

For example, I have a personal blog that:

-I do not "advertise" at work (e.g. I don't include the URL in my email signature or make an effort to pass the URL to my workmates)

-never mentions the name of the company that I work for (let's pretend for a moment that I don't include this information on my "About" page)

-never mentions workmates by name without their permission

-does not reveal anything that violates the nondisclosure agreement I signed when I was hired

-never discusses projects that I am currently working on or have worked on in the past

In this personal blog, let's say that I write the following post:

"I work with engineers who have really bad haircuts. My boss has an abnormal number of vacuum cleaners. Sometimes the ice that comes out of the fridge ice machine smells like fish."

The following is true about this particular post: it doesn't mention anyone by name, it doesn't contain libellous comments about my workmates, and my boss knows she's got an abnormal number of vacuum cleaners and it's a longstanding running joke. One of my engineer workmates reads this and thinks, "Lisa must be talking about me and my bad haircut. Now my feelings are deeply hurt." Should I remove this post? Should the engineer complain to my boss about my blog? Can I be sued by the manufacturer of our fridge for slander? Does someone else have the right to tell me to remove the comment about my boss and/or the engineer because it could be viewed as being hurtful?

My answer is a resounding no to all of the above. There is nothing wrong with letting off some steam about a work-related incident if you don't reveal details. Blogs shouldn't require disclaimers. It should be obvious that the opinions expressed in any blog are someone's personal thoughts and reflections, and chances are, that post you were wondering about was probably not about you.

Blog responsibly, but also read and react to other blogs objectively. Long live mediums that encourage people to write - and rue the day that people are made to feel like even the most innocuous opinions cannot be expressed.

[Although I said that blogs shouldn't require disclaimers, I will put one here. I did not get any flack for my blog nor has anyone at work taken great offence about anything I've written. A friend has been through this but is still, thanks to some people having some common sense, employed. Feel free to discuss amongst yourselves.]

wrong in so many ways

"Once the fried dough embodiment of hot and fresh, Krispy Kreme has transformed its original glazed doughnut into a new frozen beverage for summer.

The chain introduced a new line of frozen drinks Wednesday, including frozen original kreme -- a drinkable version of the company's signature doughnut -- raspberry, latte and double chocolate." [Full article here]

Now I'm all for trashy food (I am North American, after all), but even I can't stomach the thought of a doughnut in liquid form. Maybe it tastes better than it sounds, but I suspect that it's one of those things you'll only ingest if you're very, very drunk or if your regular diet consists of nothing but Pop Tarts and Cherry Coke.

There are many foods that I don't readily admit to eating, mostly because they make English people wince in culinary agony. The last time I made a peanut butter and banana sandwich in the office kitchen, three people fled in terror. My guilty food pleasures include: grilled cheese sandwiches dipped in ketchup, Kraft Dinner (although this treat has come to an end since moving here, sadly), Denny's breakfasts (on American holidays only), fake plastic cheese slices on a bagel or in a toastie, Pizza Hut, Ben and Jerry's Reese's Peanut Butter Cup ice cream (American holidays only, dammit), and almost any kind of chocolate chip cookies.

Alright, now you guys fess up. What are your favourite foods that are wrong but feel oh so right?

Tuesday, 20 July 2004

give us a smile

Gary, Ruth, and baby Naomi came to visit us on Sunday. Jasper was very well behaved with her, even when she was sitting on the floor, although he couldn't resist giving her hands a thorough licking. All we could hear were delighted squeals and giggles coming from Naomi, as I offered apologies to her Mum and Dad for any dog germs she may have ingested. She's such a happy little girl; it is so lovely when she gives me a smile.

As a parent, it must feel so fantastic when your child smiles at you. I love how babies grin and their faces light up when they're returned to Mummy or Daddy, and the joy you feel when it's your baby grinning back at you must be indescribable.

I really can't wait for moments like that, although in the first few months, I do realise it'll probably just be gas.

going to the dogs

The nice lady who we got Jasper from has moved to a farm much closer to us. We're going to see her on Saturday and as an added bonus, Jasper's Mum and half brothers/sisters will be there too. It's a canine family reunion! Jasper's Dad and the nice lady's dog called Fern just had a litter of pups 6 weeks ago, which means it's going to be a puppy-filled afternoon. You can imagine my glee (If you're a cat person, imagine being surrounded by little fluffy kittens. If you're neither a cat nor dog person, imagine being surrounded by scantily clad men/women holding your favourite beverage); I'm very much looking forward to it.

I've told Jasper that he's going to be seeing his mother, but he seems a bit confused by it all. Mostly because his reaction to the situation appears to be "I know you just said my name and you're using an excited tone of voice, but I have no idea what the hell you're on about", while staring at me intently and wagging his tail. Or should we have been more sensitive when revealing the news that he's actually adopted?

Now the trick is not to leave the farm with a puppy (although at 7 weeks old, we wouldn't get to leave with a puppy anyway, but you know what I mean). We do not need another dog. We do not need another dog. We do not need another dog.

Argh! Look what we're up against!

Saturday, 17 July 2004

okay, okay - I feel pregnant now

I felt like hell on Thursday, had a horrible night and not much sleep that night, and a crap day yesterday. I had a throbbing headache for two days, the heartburn and nausea returned, I did something odd to my neck, and I have pains down my arms into my fingers (it's probably my RSI getting worse). I was clumsy, tired, moody, weepy, and felt like I was constantly on the verge of a panic attack. I can't sleep without a fan blowing on me, which doesn't really help anyway because I'm waking up every hour to take a Tums for the heartburn, drink some water, or get up to pee. I'm afraid to say how I feel today just in case I jinx myself again, so I'll just say that I'm not worried about not feeling pregnant.

The midwife rang me yesterday, and unfortunately, the first impressions weren't great. She kept insisting that I sounded surprised and seemed to take great amusement in going on about it. This was all based on the following: "Hello, this is Pat, the midwife." "Oh, yes - hello!" (in a pleased/relieved/nice to hear from you way). This led to several remarks about how shocked I sounded, with a slight tinge of disbelief when I explained several times that no one had actually told me what would happen next and perhaps maybe that's why I seemed taken aback slightly. So after minutes of this stimulation conversation, she finally got round to business and explained that she would be meeting me at home. She gave me a date and time, I said it would be no problem, and I asked her a bit more about what to expect. Specifically, I wanted to know what sort of checks she'd be doing as all she mentioned was filling out paperwork. She said she'd give me a blood and urine test (I'm guessing the former is to check for rubella immunity and blood type, and the latter is to check for infection and gestational diabetes) and check my blood pressure. I asked if she would try to listen for the baby's heartbeat, which was met with laughter and the comment that "it's a tad early for that". Mmmmmkay.

I'm thinking that perhaps she doesn't come across well on the telephone and/or my hormones are making me more sensitive than usual. I've asked Paul to try and get a good assessment of her when she comes for her visit, although he admitted that he found her strange on the phone as well (when she rang, Paul asked who was calling which seemed to really throw her for a loop). Thankfully, I don't think I'm under any obligation to go with this particular midwife, but we'll just have to see how it goes.

In the meantime, I'm just going to sit here quietly and wait for the second trimester to arrive.

Thursday, 15 July 2004

words of wisdom

If you ever feel worried because you're not having any pregnancy symptoms, you should blog about it because the following day, you'll get lots of them. I feel like an enormous bucket of something really unpleasant today - cramps, horrible headache, nausea, weepy, irritable, the works. It's a bit like lighting a cig to make the bus come. I think the next time I feel good, I'll just keep my big blog shut.

Here's another bit of advice: don't say something stupid to a pregnant lady because it'll really piss her off. Allow me to explain. In general, the pregnant lady is slightly emotional due to the surge of pregnancy hormones, or Hcg. Hcg can make one feel more prone to irritability and may even make one more sensitive than usual. Hcg can also cause the pregnant lady to call you bad names and threaten to save up Jasper poo and deposit it in a flaming bag on your doorstep. You should try to avoid insensitive or flippant comments when speaking to the pregnant lady, for your own safety.

Thank you, and have a lovely day.

sooooo mature

It's Friday for me today!

Nah nah nah nah nah naaaah!

I'm off tomorrow and Monday!

Nah nah nah nah nah naaaah!

I'm gonna stay in my pyjamas until noon!

Nah nah nah nah nah naaaah!

Don't you like my lovely tune?

Nah nah nah nah nah naaaah!

Wow, I managed to annoy myself there. So yes, we're off work for the next few days simply because we both really need the break. We're not going away anywhere (we might take some day trips to the coast if the weather improves), and I plan on spending most of the long weekend pampering myself. I might even get a haircut. Why? Because I'm worth it.

See you on Tuesday.

Wednesday, 14 July 2004

you can call me m'lady

It seems like several people at my company have a Very Important Title, particularly those at our Ft. Lauderdale office. For example, I had a list of people I needed to send a document to for approval but many of the names were unfamiliar. I looked them up in our company address book, and every one of them was a "Senior Product Manager". It appears that we only have senior roles for this particular position, as I've never come across just a "Product Manager". What are they before they become senior? Why are there so many of them? What do they do? The mind boggles.

It's like the fact that I'm a "Lead Technical Author". I don't actually have a team, nor have I ever been anything but the sole author for a particular product (thus, I've always been the lead writer), but I have both the thrill and honour of this extra word at the beginning of my job title. Where can I go from here? Apparently, the next step up is Lead Technical Author 1. Goodness.

Everyone should have a Very Important Title. If you don't have one, I urge you to come up with one today and print it on some business cards. It'll make you feel better about yourself, and people will invite you to lots of meetings. Go on, give it a try!

is there anybody in there?

Heather asked me if I was still feeling nauseous and how I was feeling in general. I should be thinking, "I feel grand! This pregnancy thing is like a walk in the park! Lucky, lucky me, I don't have my head in a toilet! Wheeeeee!" but instead, I feel like it's not normal to feel okay. I simply don't feel pregnant some days - more often than not lately - and on the most part, I don't have many symptoms. It's like I'm still me, but fatter and a bit more tired.

I wish someone would let me know that the baby's okay, even if it just means hearing a heartbeat. As the days go by, I am becoming far more excited about becoming a mother, which makes me far more nervous about losing the baby. (I hate that phrase, by the way. It sounds like I'm going to misplace our child under the sofa cushions.) The midwife is supposed to see me at 10 weeks, but I've yet to hear from her. So in the meantime, I have to assume that everything is okay as long as I'm not doubled over in pain and/or bleeding.

It's going to be a very long two weeks.

Monday, 12 July 2004

little bits

Total cop-out post today. I don't have the energy to write several sentences about one particular topic; all I can muster up are bullet points. I'm old and it's a Monday - I'm amazed I managed to drive into work today.

  • Overheard on a cooking show today: "...and if you're vegetarian, you can make this salad with tuna. It's just as delicious!"

  • Thank you for the Reese's peanut butter egg, Tosha.

  • Whatever is making me sneeze today, stop it. Shoo.

  • I am in a really bad, irritable, stinky mood today. And I already ate my peanut butter egg.

  • My keys are in Kent. Say that ten times fast. Whilst drunk and without making that last word sound really rude.

  • I am so tired that I almost fell asleep on the way up the stairs at work this morning. I was holding an enormous pillow at the time, which probably didn't help.

  • What should we have for dinner tonight?

start spreading the news

We gave Paul's parents their "special" anniversary card on Friday night, and they were thrilled (although at first, Paul's Mum thought the card was from the dog). I rang my parents the following morning to give them the news, and they were equally thrilled. We spread the word on Sunday to Paul's other family members, which was met with a variety of reactions from a reserved "Oh, how nice" response to a giggly "I'm so excited! Can I be a godmother?" response. I wasn't surprised by the more reserved reactions because a) you can't expect gleeful squealing from older English people and b) I'm certain that there was an element of wondering if this was planned and/or if getting pregnant before marriage was a good thing. We got lots of "That was quick!" comments as well, but on the most part, people were simply happy for us. Thankfully, no one told me their pregnancy/birth horror stories or offered me any unsolicited advice. I'm sure this will come later.

Being the fretful pregnant lady that I am, part of me is now even more worried about things going wrong because we've "gone public". It's like saying it out loud is going to jinx it somehow. It's such a catch 22; I was bursting to tell people but now that we have, I'm feeling like something bad is going to happen.

When do the pregnancy hormones stop making you feel like a lunatic?

Friday, 9 July 2004

ruby red

It's Paul's Mum and Dad's 40th wedding anniversary on Sunday, so we're heading down to Kent this weekend. By the time we have our ruby anniversary, we'll be 75. Hopefully the kids will be out of the house by then.

So strange how in one generation the norm goes from getting hitched right out of school (my parents were 19 and 21 when they got married) to delaying marriage until our 30s. Personally, I'm elated that I didn't get married young and I've only just started feeling like I've accomplished something significant in my life. I'm happy with my relationship, my job (most days), we've got a lovely house, a fantastic dog, two cars, and we've done quite a lot of travelling. Most importantly (I do realise that most things on that list are material), I simply feel happy; with myself and with my life. In my 20s, there's no way I would have said that. I can't even imagine getting married at 19 and having a baby before my 20th birthday. At 20, I could barely keep a houseplant alive. In fact, I killed two pet turtles (not on purpose, don't get all uppity) at 21. At 35, I'm pretty sure my plants and pet are safe from harm.

Oh, and before I go, I apologise for this weekend's weather in advance. It will pour rain on Sunday because we're going to have a BBQ. Sorry 'bout that.

not really the image i was going for

So as I was making lunch today, I realised that I was standing in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant. Just call me Lurleen and stick me in a trailer park.

We're seeing Paul's parents this weekend and will be spilling the baby beans tomorrow. We are going to give them a card that says "Happy anniversary, Nanny and Granddad" on the front with "See you in February!" on the inside. Naff? Maybe, but I thought it was sweeter than just blurting it out at the dinner table. Paul joked that he was slightly hesitant about telling his parents, after growing up with the fear of one day having to tell your Mum and Dad that you've knocked up your girlfriend. I wish there was a more creative way to tell my parents, but because of the distance, I'll have to resort to a phone call. We'll tell his brothers and their families on the Sunday, and then we'll probably tell a few more close friends next week. We won't tell anyone else at work until after the first scan (mid August, I hope). After that point, I'll probably tell anyone who'll listen.

After boasting that I'm feeling perfectly fine lately, I've felt like utter crap today. That'll teach me...but it does reassure me when I actually feel pregnant. Now where's that crystallised ginger?

Thursday, 8 July 2004

it's not just nuts and berries

It's no secret that I enjoy trashy television (and trashy magazines like "Heat", if you really must know), and channel 4 is usually such a fantastic resource for this sort of thing. I've been watching a new programme called "You Are What You Eat" that is both horrifying and hilarious (mostly the former). Basically, a rather unpleasant and acerbic woman called Dr. Gillian McKeith (who also has a dodgy Scottish accent, but I digress) invades the homes of families with extremely unhealthy eating habits. Yesterday's episode followed the story of a family whose daily salt intake should have caused them to all drop dead about ten years ago. Now while I'm all for trying to keep yourself healthy, it really hacks me off when people insist that healthy eating must involve tasteless horrors slathered in tofu. This woman force feeds these poor people things like gigantic salads with no dressing, topped with seeds. She made some godawful version of what she called "sushi", which was really just goopy green something smeared on seaweed and rolled up. Regular sushi is so healthy, so why come up with a ghastly substitute? There are loads of things you can eat that are good for you that actually taste good. I suppose watching a family eat a bolognaise made with extra lean mince isn't quite as entertaining as watching them choke down a three bean salad.

Don't even get me started about Supernanny. Hoooooooo boy.

pass the tofu

For some reason, I can't stomach meat at the moment. This is rather odd considering the first two weeks I couldn't get enough red meat. I craved bolognaise sauce, steak, hamburgers, roast beef, and lamb - almost daily. Now, even chicken is unappealing. On Monday when we went out for our anniversary dinner, I really wanted to try the lamb or the lovely sounding Aberdeen beef, but I just couldn't stomach the thought of actually eating it. I ended up going for the chicken, which I did manage to eat but only after I had taken the skin off. On Tuesday, I made a Thai chicken curry. I picked all the bits of chicken out and devoured the veggies and rice instead. Paul made one of my favourites last night, fajitas, and every mouthful of chicken made me cringe. I filled my second fajita with peppers, onions, cheese, guacamole, salsa, and fromage frais and I was a much happier woman. Tonight, we're having salmon with stir fried pak choi, cucumber salad (just like Grandma used to make with rice vinegar, sugar, and a bit of salt), and hot and sour soup (veggie, of course). I think I can handle eating fish, but I don't fancy the idea of eating my old favourites like prawns and tuna for some reason.

Either my body is telling me "You have enough nutrients with all the food you normally shovel into your mouth - time to slow down, tubby" or it's saying "I don't want to eat things that might be bad for me, although I don't know why chicken is suddenly off the menu. I'm just being picky."

well, that was a stupid idea

For reasons only known to my muddled brain, I decided to weigh myself this morning. After weeks of claiming that I haven't gained any "scale weight" and yet nothing fits me anymore, I am now officially full of cack (perhaps literally too, but let's not go there). I have indeed gained scale weight - 7 lbs., to be precise. I am now at my heaviest that I've been in a very long time and have put on a grand total of 2 stone in the past 2 years. Gaaaaaaaaah.

I won't do anything stupid like attempt to diet whilst pregnant, but I do seriously need to keep this weight under some sort of control. I've already cut the junk out of my diet (no sugar if I can avoid it, no white breads/pasta/crackers, no pop, and no artificial sweeteners) and have been eating as healthy as possible. I really want to start swimming, so I'll have to check out our local pool and the leisure centre. I need to go with Paul when he takes Jasper for a walk.

Why couldn't I have been one of those nice skinny women with perfect little baby bumps?

Wednesday, 7 July 2004

the days just fly by

Our little one is 7 weeks old today (Yes, I know that I'm talking about an embryo. Humour me.), and every day that goes by without something going horribly wrong is a Good Day. It's very nice to move closer to the day I'll have my first visit with the midwife (I wonder if she'll try to hear our baby's heartbeat?) and my first scan. I think I'm enjoying being pregnant more now, mostly because I'm getting more used to the idea and as time passes, I feel a bit more reassured that everything is going well. I haven't even been nauseous lately, nor do I still feel like someone's woken me up every hour on the hour for the past three years. I no longer feel like strangling people all the time (just sometimes) and I'm no longer on the verge of a panic attack.

And of course this worries me because maybe I'm feeling just a bit too good.

Tuesday, 6 July 2004

every day is like sunday morning

I'm finding pregnancy to be a lot like having a very lengthy hangover. I feel tired, headachey, thirsty, dizzy, and nauseous, generally all at the same time all the time. The problem is, a fry up won't make me feel better. I think it's also been akin to feeling a bad cold coming on that never really develops into anything. On the other hand, if I feel well, I worry that something's gone horribly wrong. If I'm feeling good, I must not have enough pregnancy hormones coursing around my system and making me feel like crap. How insane is that? Very. I vow from this point on to cherish any moment that I feel well. Somehow I think that these moments will become much rarer as time goes on, so I shall celebrate while I can. Of course "celebrating" these days means eating Pringles or ordering yet another book from Amazon. Wooooooo.

Speaking of Amazon, I received a book today called "The Gentle Birth Method" by Gowri Motha. It's based on the theory that there are various measures we can take to improve our chances of happier, healthier, and more comfortable pregnancies and birth. Rather than sit on the sofa and inhale a can of Pringles (I haven't actually made it through the can yet), I think it's a good idea to start eating/avoiding certain foods and taking advantage of alternative therapies (like reflexology and yoga) to make me feel better. I'm all for any pregnancy philosophy that advocates relaxation, taking care of yourself, and most importantly, feeling like you have some sort of control. I don't expect a pain free, effortless labour and birth - but I do believe that I can make changes to avoid some complications.

But if I do end up having a pain free and effortless birth, I won't complain.

Monday, 5 July 2004


Morning sickness is just a state of mind...morning sickness is just a state of mind...morning sickness is just a state of mind...morning sickness is just a state of mind...

Now to convince my stomach. Although I've not actually had the joy of having my head in the toilet yet, pregnancy queasiness has definitely set in. Conversely, pregnancy weird craving-ness has also just set in. I just asked a colleague if I can have some of his peanut butter (a fellow North American) because I was desperate for a peanut butter and banana sandwich. I am now trying to win the battle between Hungry Lisa and Queasy Lisa to get this sandwich down. Queasy Lisa is slightly in the lead. Oh wait, no. Hungry Lisa is now winning. Mmmmmmm. Does eating peanut butter make me a bad Mum?

I've been using sea bands which seem to help, and keep a supply of crystallised ginger and various other nausea-friendly nibblies on my desk. I must try the lemon/ginger tea we've got in the kitchen, and luckily we've also got a box of peppermint tea on hand. I hate throwing up. I mean I seriously hate throwing up. I can count how many times I've thrown up on one hand* in the past ten years because I do everything I can to make sure I don't hurl when I'm feeling ill. Give me sore boobs, fatigue, constipation, 'roids, headaches, cramps, and constant peeing - just don't make me yak.

*That is, the number of times I've thrown up can be counted on one hand, not that I've thrown up on one of my hands.

anniversaries, weddings, and honeymoons

So it's our second anniversary today, which will have to change to our "first date anniversary" soon. We're dining at the very hotel where we will be getting married, which leads me to my next point. At lunchtime, we're heading back over to the Registry Office to go over wedding ceremony details with the nice lady who'll be conducting it for us. This is to ensure that the string quartet won't suddenly burst into religious song or the father of the bride isn't going to recite the entire New Testament as I march in. I never knew that you can't get married outdoors here (the room or building must have a special license, which you can't get for outdoor spaces), which is a shame. Then again, do you really want to rely on English weather if you're getting hitched on the edge of the white cliffs of Dover?

And finally, we have booked our honeymoon today as BA were kind enough to have a seat sale. Aren't they nice? I really cannot wait - I am in dire need of a holiday and we need to restock our pantry with our Napa Valley favourites. We're flying into San Francisco and will spend most of our time around wine country before heading down to La Jolla to see Paul's relatives. Since we've only ever been to Napa Valley, any suggestions for other regions to visit/places to stay/things to see in that area would be greatly appreciated (many thanks to Martine for the info she sent us already!).

So that's 82 days until our wedding, and 85 days until we go on honeymoon. If someone could knock me unconscious until then, that would be grand. Thank you.

Thursday, 1 July 2004


Start with the post on June 19 to catch up on the big news. :)

Just a bit of explanation before you move on. I am not mentioning this to anyone at work (except for Gary, if he still happens to read this blog), the only local friends who know about this are Heather and Mandy, and I don't plan on telling anyone else until I'm further along. I'm only in my 7th week, which is far too early to go public - or I should say, I feel it's far too early. Although we are completely over the moon about it, it's not something I want to make too public until I get my first check up.

Okay, run along and get caught up now!

what did i say, roy?

As I've been saying for years, dieting is bad for you and drinking is good for you. I can't find any articles today stating that exercise, eating brussell sprouts, or working for a living are bad for you too, but trust me. They are.

oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy!

It's Wimbledon, and do you know that that means? Lots and lots and lots of amusing tennis pictures! *giggle snort*

Oh, humour me. There's nothing on TV and I didn't get much sleep last night.