Monday, March 31, 2014

Mes Amis

If I wasn't a Project Manager and I was actually good at science, then there is no question that I would be spending my life as the world’s foremost marine biologist "Dr. Janet AScT, P. Biol. or R.P.Bio" because that is how much I love all the things that live under the water (even though I'm allergic to all things shellfish and they'll kill me). Sea creatures are, in my opinion, the closest thing we have to mythical creatures. Sea creatures are truly magical. From the smallest morsel of floating plankton to the biggest whale in all the ocean, I love marine animals so much I wish I could be friends with them.

Thus, I present to you today’s list of stuff...


Real Sea Creatures I Want to Be Friends With.

*Please note that this list is not a ranking, and my potential marine friends are listed in no particular order*

Dumbo Octopus - I think the Dumbo Octopus would be like having a pet dog. I mean, no offense, Dumbo Octopus, but you don’t look like the brightest phosphorescent plankton in the sea (that’s like “sharpest tool in the shed” but I just made it up). Instead, you are adorable and I think you might make an excellent companion in the same way a pet does. You look like an emoji and also a puffy sticker. I want to tickle you and maybe curl up on the sofa with a good book while you slumber nearby.


Pacific Barrel Eye Fish - I would be friends with this fish because, well, look at him! That can’t be easy, everyone looking inside your head and all, all the time? I mean I guess you can wear a hat, but really, how difficult that must be! Unless you are an exhibitionist, in which case, congratulations because everyone can literally look inside your brain all the time and that is exactly what everyone is doing. But either way, I just don’t think being a Pacific Barrel Eye Fish would be an easy life and I think a guy like him could use a friend like me.


Leafy Sea Dragon - Okay look at this guy. How cool is he? I think his name could be something like Fred or Eric and he’s very concerned about keeping his mane well-groomed but he’d also probably be really into just sort of floating around and drinking tea. Also, he is both a fish and a dragon. I mean seriously? How much cooler can you get than being a dragon, which is arguably a mythical creature and/or extinct, that lives under the sea?




There you have it! Truth be told, I’d really like to be friends with all the other fishies in the sea, but I don’t know that you would actually want to hear me ramble on about every marine animal out there (I mean I could. I seriously, really could). I think these three magical beings will have to do for now.

What about you? Are you also a sea life enthusiast? What’s your favorite little marine creature? What fish do you most want to be friends with?



Friday, March 28, 2014

Crankypants

Metaphorical pants that infuse the wearer with feelings of crankiness. The level of crankiness depends on the tightness of the pants.

Today my pants are tight...very, very tight!



At least it's Friday!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Un Petit Garçon?

I'm still having some difficulty in accepting that yes, I am indeed pregnant...it's crazy. For four long years, I've dreamt of the day that I was pregnant. The day that I was able to blog about my bump and cravings and the day I was able to post ultrasound photos. 

That day is here and I'm so incredibly happy about it!

This past weekend I was in Toronto to see friends and attend the Banff Mountain Film Festival , visit the new Ripley's Aquarium at the base of the CN Tower and see my freind Rob's little girl on her 1st birthday. It was a fun filled and exciting weekend. I even managed to get up to the market that sells my south american cheese to make arequipe!

We had a few hours to spare in the afternoon on Friday so I decided to go in and have a 3D ultrasound done. At 14 weeks 1 day, I knew that baby was going to be very small but wow...I was unprepared for how incredible the images were. It was amazing to get to see baby JaAdam moving, waving, shucking it's thumb and rolling over...


The tech did tell me that at such an early gestational age, gender might be hard to determine but she would have a look. If the baby was in the right position with it's legs open...she might get a peek. Well...she was able to get a peek and then some...


Of course she wasn't going to say with 100% certainty but she seemed very confident in saying 'BOY'. I was shocked...I was so sure that this baby was a girl but I think the pictures speak for themselves. We, of course, will not purchase a thing until after my anatomy scan on April 28th but that rule holds true regardless. I'm terrified of bringing anything baby related into my home until after 20 weeks. 

What do you think....un petit garçon?


Has this happened to you?

You are trying on clothes in a dressing room, the door doesn't lock or it’s some pointless curtain and someone walks in on you. It doesn't matter if you expose anything or are fully dressed, it’s still awkward and embarrassing for all involved. After my fair share of dressing room exposures, I've come up with some great ways to close the door on this awkward situation for good.

Make Your Presence Known - The first thing I do when I enter a dressing room is put my shoes really close to the opening of the door. People associate shoes with human beings, therefore, upon seeing the shoes, the person in question should know not to open the dressing room door. A little rhyme to remember to do this is: “Shoes on the outside. Human on the inside. I’m in a dressing room, having a good time.” To really ensure that people outside know you’re changing you can also say this rhyme out loud. Make up your own tune and have some fun with it. 


If you like to keep your shoes on when getting changed, there is no reason you can’t still make your presence known. Some ways to do this include making as much noise as possible. You can talk, sing to yourself, or just stomp about noisily. If you are a quiet person and prefer to get changed in silence, you can always pull an Angelina Jolie and keep one leg on the outside of the dressing room the whole time. However, this move takes skill, flexibility and over-the-top confidence. So, make sure to stretch and practice before attempting this difficult maneuver.

Make a Sign - If you prefer to change as normally as possible without noise or protruding parts, a great option is to bring your own personal sign with you on all of your shopping endeavors. The sign can be as simple as a piece of paper with your name written in pen, or it can be more complicated. Maybe you've always wanted to try your hand at calligraphy. Well, now would be the perfect time to use it. Calligraphy looks extremely elegant and royal, so I recommend writing something on your sign that reflects this sense of sophistication. Perhaps something like, “ A charming and beautiful Queen is changing in here. Please respect your royal highness’s privacy as she tries on clothing that demonstrate her regality.” 

If you’re not artistic, you can always display your creativity with a sign that showcases your wit. I would suggest, perhaps, a sign that says, “If the door is closed, I’m in the midst of a pose.” You might include a picture of yourself posing to take this sign to the next level. Or “If the door is shut, I’m in here, you nut!” I suggest drawing, tracing, or cutting out a picture of a peanut to go with this less pretentious folksy saying.

Make Your Very Own Lock - If for some reason you are still paranoid, even with a sign on the door, or if you forgot to bring your sign along, you can always find ways to make the door lock so tightly not even a CIA agent or extremely talented locksmith could open it. This requires the intelligence of a criminal mastermind, outside-the-box creativity and a smattering of rampant paranoia. You can use a shoelace and tie it around the door, to secure the lock even more. If you are not wearing shoes with laces, a shirt, pants, necklace or bra will work.

If you don’t want to use any of your own clothing for fear of wrinkling them, well, you are in the right place. Clothing stores were flat-out made for you to take clothes and accessories and use them to ensure your safety in a dressing room. Haven fun grabbing objects you think would be the best to use in securing the door or curtain, then use them for your own locking door purposes. When making your own lock, I suggest acting secretive, as if you were on a covert mission. It adds to the fun and gives you a sense of purpose while shopping.

Make It Fun - Also, remember that shopping and trying on clothes should be enjoyable, and if somebody does open the door on you, it’s probably more awkward for them than it is for you. I have done this numerous times, and for you people out there I've walked in on, I still haven’t gotten over it. So, help out your would-be changing room invaders, whether you decide to make your presence known, make a sign, or create your own lock, know that you can turn your dressing room into an impregnable fortress.




Thursday, March 20, 2014

Savor Life's Moments

Food is delicious. Friends are wonderful. Loves are magic. Exercise feels awesome. Nature never ceases to be beautiful and soothing. There is so much to enjoy every day in life, yet a lot of us have a hard time staying in the moment, even when that moment is singular and something worth replaying in our minds for eternity. It’s kind of like living in a constant state of looking forward or backward, or always feeling like wherever you are there’s something that needs to be fixed. Something we’re forgetting that we should be remembering.

There can be lots of reasons for why we take ourselves out of the moment, but in general I’d guess that it’s a feeling of discomfort with something deep down and ancient, a discomfort with low-self esteem, feelings of depression or anxiety that we’re trying to put logical labels on, or perhaps a fear of a discomfort we knew long ago. One of the best tools I’ve learned is to remind myself that all those feelings and instincts are A. 99% made up in my own head, and B. completely useless and irrelevant to what will happen and is happening. All that it does is remove you from the present and steal away the joy from any experience you might be having.

When you decide to give yourself the gift of an experience – be it a vacation, a dinner, a love or a party – don’t take yourself out of it while you’re in it. Savor it and soak it up. Smell the smells and taste the tastes. Laugh at things that are funny. Love and be loved. Tell your brain to leave you alone and perhaps recite a little reminder, something along the lines of, “You are smart, you are fine, things are okay, and this is where I want to be right now. Be nice to yourself and just try and enjoy it.” Remember: most things to come and everything past is out of your control. All you can ever do is your best and then after that you’ve got to let go of the outcome and remember that about yourself. Forgive yourself for things that aren’t perfect. Time spent regretting and worrying and fearing is time stolen from your life. What’s the good of a cookie if you hate eating it?

Remember to let yourself savor the happy, relaxing and novel moments. With your friends, your family, your dog. The cold air on your face after you’ve eaten a delicious meal. The mornings you sleep in and wake up when it’s basically afternoon. It’s okay and you are okay and maybe better than okay. The world is not ending and there’s nowhere your mind should be but in your stretching body. No need to force anxiety or “shoulds” over what has been or will be. You’re living something now and you should never cheat yourself out of the enjoyment. Remember, you like yourself. Don’t forget to go easy on you once in a while.





Wednesday, March 19, 2014

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Upside down baby JaAdam
I had a bit of a scare...slipped and fell on the ice in our driveway two nights ago and woke up to some bleeding yesterday morning. Freaked me the freak out! Called the OB and they had me come in for an ultrasound this morning. Baby was having an upside down snooze but looked good, heart beating away. No sign of any bleeding...whew! 

Baby measured 7.5 cm at 13 weeks 6 days. Does anyone know if this is normal? 



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Imposter Syndrome

Today I am 13 weeks and 5 days pregnant. But even as I write that, I feel like I’m an imposter... a lady just pretending to be pregnant. That can’t be me I’m talking about!

I've kept my promise to be positive about this pregnancy with Adam. I smile and hug him when he asks how baby and I are doing; I humor him when he rubs my belly. But the sad thing is, I still have a hard time believing it. Even with this...

I'd like to think I look more pregnant then, wow...that girl has eaten too many burritos!

Is that weird? I should be comfortable with this "you are pregnant" thing.  Anyone else feel this way? I could use some words of wisdom. 



Thursday, March 13, 2014

Thirteen


Today marks 13 weeks pregnant and it's still so surreal...honestly, I can't believe it!



Wednesday, March 12, 2014

On Demand

Remember the days when watching a movie required you to trek four miles through the snow, braving the blistering wind in order to get to this big concrete block-like structure called "abuilding", ironically named Blockbuster Video?

You'd spend hours roaming the endless isles of videos, cursing when the one you wanted was out of stock. You'd flip over the movie case and read the synopsis on the back.  
“That’s supposed to be really good,” your Manfriend would say. “I don’t remember seeing the previews,” you’d say and place it back on the shelf. 

You'd grab a movie and hold on to it just because it was the only copy left and another couple was eyeing it. From one end of the New Releases to the other you'd go, up and down the Comedy, and Drama, and Action aisles. After much debating, sighing, moaning and gnashing of teeth, you and your Manfriend would finally decide on a movie and take it to the counter, only to discover neither one of you had your darn Blockbuster card. The Blockbuster employee would eye you like you've just committed a felony and ask for your I.D. They'd locate your account and tell you that you have twenty-seven dollars and fifty cents in late fees.

“Twenty-seven dollars and fifty cents!”

You’d haggle with them. Tell them they are mistaken. You know you weren't late in returning your last rental. Okay, maybe you were a little late, but not that late. You talk them down to twenty-six fifty. 
They'd ring you up for your movie, have the nerve to ask you if you'd like any popcorn, soda or snacks - you would, but you've spent all your money on late fees – and tell you the movie’s due two days from now before midnight. You’d walk through a metal detector looking thing and grab your movie.

You'd get home and pop in the video tape...or if you were technologically advanced, slide in the DVD...and snuggle with your Manfriend on the couch.

If it was a VHS you popped in, you’d fast forward through the previews, get annoyed at how long it was taking, hit stop on the VCR, then fast forward again and guess how long it would take to get to the beginning of the movie. After three tries, a quick rewind and another fast forward, you'd finally reach the opening credits.

If you slid in a DVD you’d bypass all this crap but were later slapped in the technologically superior face when the movie stopped or skipped, making you take it out, wipe the disc on your shirt and blow in the DVD player.

Finally, after you've gotten your PhD in movie watching or called in a rocket scientist for assistance, you were able to enjoy the movie. Fortunately, with the wonderful invention of On Demand, those painful days are over.

Some of you may be new to the process of “renting” movies ON DEMAND, so allow me, ever-helpful gal that I am, to share some tips (although I really don't think they're necessary – it is such an easy enjoyable experience).

Get comfortable with your Manfriend and hand him the suped-up remote control given to you by the cable company.  
He pushes the menu button, then selects the ON icon for ON DEMAND, then Movies, then All New Movies. And viola, you have access to all the movies you once had to follow the mile-long New Release wall to peruse.

Can’t remember what a particular movie was about? No problem. You can watch a preview... for FREE! And no more fighting teenagers for the last copy of The Hangover...there is an unlimited “supply” of any movie you want to watch.

What? You say you and your honey have gone through all the new movies and can’t find anything that suites your fancy? You’re missing the DRAMA, and COMEDY, and ACTION aisles of your old favorites or those once new releases that you never got to see? No problem! ON DEMAND has those movies too. And they're arranged in a variety of ways: alphabetical, date night movies, couples comedies, animated heroes, alien invasions, based on bestsellers.

You and your ManFriend could spend hours going through the hundreds upon hundreds of movies. And you do. After watching fifteen previews in All New Movies, you decide to check out the other movie categories. 
You want to watch an old favorite. Your ManFriend wants to watch something you've never seen before. You watch ten more previews.

Over an hour has passed since you and your ManFriend decided to watch a movie and got comfy and snuggled on the couch.

You decide to go back to All New Movies.

Together you spend the next 30 minutes trying to agree on something to watch. You can't agree. You both get frustrate. Then bored and toss the remote onto the couch and declare that we'll just go to bed and read instead.

ON DEMAND – the new age of movie-watching. You’re gonna love it.






Tuesday, March 11, 2014

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Boys will be boys. Girls will be girls. Koalas will be koalas. Just about everything will be the things they are. That's how this works.



Monday, March 10, 2014

I Have To Wonder

Fear is an unpleasant emotion induced by a threat perceived by living entities, which causes a change in brain and organ function and ultimately a change in behavior, such as running away, hiding or freezing from traumatic events. Fear may occur in response to a specific stimulus happening in the present, or to a future situation, which is perceived as risk to health or life, status, power, security, or in the case of humans wealth or anything held valuable. The fear response arises from the perception of danger leading to confrontation with or escape from /avoiding the threat (also known as the fight-or-flight response), which in extreme cases of fear (horror and terror) can be a freeze response or paralysis. In humans and animals, fear is modulated by the process of cognition and learning. Thus fear has been judged as rational or appropriate and irrational or inappropriate. An irrational fear is called a phobia.

Being pregnant after IVF, FET and miscarriage (chemical pregnancy) is scary. Terrifying in fact. I've spent the last couple of months constantly monitoring my thoughts and redirecting myself from fear to hope. It’s exhausting. 

Fear tells me that I am going to lose this baby too and that I can't walk through that pain again. Hope comes in and says that everything will be okay. Fear tells me something is wrong. Hope tells me that everything is perfect. On and on it goes. When I initially took that first pregnancy test, I was spotting. I continued to spot off and on until 9 weeks. It was emotionally consuming. I only had spotting when I was pregnant with the baby that I don’t have. 

Fear, hope. Fear, hope.  If I’m being perfectly honest with you, when I first got that positive pregnancy test, my heart didn't even know how to be excited because it was so scared...even though I was getting the one thing I most desired. I knew that every day would be a battle. But I did not count on being attacked in my dreams. I have not been attacked in sleep for a very long time, but this pregnancy I have had dreams and nightmares that gave vision to some of my worst fears. The enemy that is fear is not messing around. 

These last couple of months have been emotionally exhausting for me, constantly battling the enemy for my peace. I’m so thankful that we have been surrounded by people who have been with us, cheering us on. If you’re going to face your fear, it’s much better to walk through it surrounded by love.

Every week that goes by...I'm thankful. I'm thankful for 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 weeks with this baby. Because each day is a gift.

But I have to wonder...at 12 weeks 4 days pregnant today...does the fear ever really go away?




Thursday, March 6, 2014

Word Of The Day

Today's word of the day is - Surreal

I didn't know how to turn “feels surreal” into a noun. My brain is a little sluggish these days.

I'm 12 weeks pregnant today.

However you describe it, my pregnancy feels very surreal right now. I’m not curled up in the fetal position with morning sickness (thank you Diclectin) , but I’m not bursting at the seems with a protruding belly. I essentially feel pretty normal. As in, there’s not a baby popping out of me in September. 


This is not to say I don’t understand there’s a baby coming. It just feels a little bit like a game of just pretend right now. 


Surreal...that's a good word to sum up what I'm feeling.


Cave Surreal Town Whales via 


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Baby JaAdam

Baby looks fantastic and the nuchal fold measurement I was dreading was 1.4 mm. I'm 11 weeks 6 days today and baby measured 12 weeks 0 days and entertained us with flips and wiggles. I am over the moon happy!


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tomorrow, Tomorrow

The sun'll come out tomorrow...

That's what I'm telling myself. Trying to stay in a positive frame of mind. 

Tomorrow morning we have out NT scan at 11 weeks 6 days and I would be lying if I said I was feeling completely stress free. In fact, I'm feeling quite stressed about it. This pregnancy hasn't been without it's stress and I'm 38 now. Adam and I have been, on more then one occasion, on the bad side of the numbers. BUT...those day are done I tell myself. I've had zero spotting since 9 weeks. I locate baby's heartbeat easily with the Doppler. Baby has looked great at every ultrasound. 

See...
Ultrasound 10 weeks 4 days - There is a baby in there with arms and legs and stuff

The sun'll come out tomorrow. 



Monday, March 3, 2014

Finding Center

We are all emotional beings with mood swings and sensitivities and for the most part, we can handle them. However, sometimes these feelings can get the best of us and they can cause us to feel pretty weak. If you get into a situation with a loved one or new condition in your life and you are feeling super clingy, desperate, depressed, angry, or anything to the point of tears, here’s a good rule of thumb that will help in even the mildest of unhappy moods. Before you do anything else, think anything else, say anything else, get back to your center.

Think of yourself in your best state: when you feel normal, you've slept, you’re thinking clearly, your mood is good. When you’re in this state, you can do all your routine things: go to work, exercise, hang out with friends, laundry, all with very little issue. You’re clear, content, thinking, fine. Nothing seems overwhelming or daunting. Picture yourself in this state. Think of how it feels. This is your center. Remember it.

When you start to feel like you can’t be happy without another person, that your life is terrible now based on a new condition, or that a person can cause you to feel tortured forever; when you start to get overwhelmed, feel anxious, feel desperate, or like everything is too hard...this is you off kilter. When you start to think of reality from this off kilter place, no matter what you’re trying to figure out, it will become distorted and much more difficult because you are chemically compromised. Step one when you’re feeling like this is always to get back to center.

How is the interesting part. It’s not some new age weird miracle drug or special class. It’s basic chemical balancing self-care. Get enough sleep. Get outside. Get exercise. Eat well. Talk to friends, reach out and tell them about where you are even when you hate to do that. Try to stay away from depressants like alcohol. This first step takes you mighty far. It won’t work instantly or anything but it will work and you will slowly regain clear vision. 

Even the simple act of recognizing that you are off kilter in a moment like this will help immensely. It reminds you that you are no longer thinking clearly or rationally because you are emotionally triggered and that the problem will be much more manageable when you are feeling better. Also, it reminds you that the logic you might be using is created by these heightened and dramatized feelings and therefore not true. Just remember, “I am looking through a tinted lens right now, I cannot make any conjectures about my life or my reality.” A good tool you can use to decipher the difference between emotions and reality, and bring yourself back to your center is a little chart with two circles.

Directions: Draw two circles that overlap in the middle with a sliver that takes up about a quarter of the two. The left circle is where you write in objective information, literally what you know to be the facts in your situation. Call it “rational”. The right circle is where you write in how you are feeling, call it “emotional”. Where they meet in the middle is where you combine those two lines of thought, call it, “wise mind”. When you’re in a bad place that emotional list will fill up fast, so sometimes it will take a while to even out the rational. What goes in the middle is your truth, your knowledge based on what lives on both sides. Fill that part out last. It should lead you to a sound thought and not one driven by the wrong feelings. If you can’t complete it yet, then wait a minute. I know it can get confusing, especially if you’re upset.

Hope this helps when you need it the most. I use the circles quite often as I tend to misidentify a lot of heightened feelings as “real” or “passionate” when in reality it’s just me, off kilter. 


Life gets a whole lot easier when you know where you are and who you are at all times.






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