Monday, August 24, 2009

Bean's Room

So here are a couple pics of Bean's room as it is right now. We just need curtains and another picture for the wall above the change table, but other than that it's done! I love the moon light with the leaves. We've had them all for so long so it's nice to see them up in a room. Finally, they have a home! =D

Four days to go. Of course, that's if Bean is on time. Both Vanessa and I were punctual, but Nathan and Gillian were both 2 weeks late. Maybe we'll average out at a week late. We'll see I guess. But we're ready on our end. Bean just needs to find the escape route...

And yes, I know the room is blue. And no, we don't know anything everyone else doesn't. Blue is just my favourite colour is all... I couldn't even think of another colour that I'd like as much as this one. In case you're wondering, it's Benjamin Moore "True Blue". We used their no VOC paint and it really is odorless. I had to stick my nose within an inch or so of the wet paint in order to smell anything. We can highly recommend it if you can't stand that wet paint smell.

Friday, August 21, 2009

One Week!

So now we're officially down to the wire I guess! One week to go. Unless Bean's late of course. Nathan's hoping it will be typically Danish and be punctual. =D

We finally got the last piece of furniture for Bean's room, so once we get everything sorted out and things on the walls, I'll take pictures and post them for all to see. I think it looks really cute. Hopefully Bean likes it.

Still doing okay, I guess. I'm pretty much done with being pregnant though. Done with all the aches and pains and awkwardness and inflexibility and exhaustion. Everyone says to me "Oh it just gets worse from here on in" and "Just wait until you have the baby". Umm... Well, I can certainly see that things aren't going to be a walk in the park after I have Bean, but somehow I think having my own body back and knowing my own physical limitations again will make it easier for me to cope with all the new stuff. It's just exceedingly frustrating to see things that need to be done (or that I WANT to get done) and to not be able to do them because I can't bend that way or I need to have a nap.

In other news, Gillian came over last week and took some preggie photos of me, Nathan and Ghost, so I should be able to post some of those soon. It's weird. Since becoming pregnant, I'm not at all self conscious about my body. I could care less really. I'm happy to sit around in my shorts and bikini top with my big ol' belly hanging out, and don't really care who happens to see me. I'm sure I'll go back to being way to critical of myself once this is over, but hopefully I can remember what it's like to not care and hang onto that feeling. It's really quite liberating.

I also bought myself a sewing machine. It's the shit! =D I got a little Brother CE-5000. It's just the right mix of new fancy-dancy technology and old school mechanical. I've hemmed some curtains with it and it's great. I still can't sew in a straight line to save my life, but I'm sure I'll get better with practice. And for less than $200, really, I can't go wrong. I'm especially pumped about the invisible seam stitch, since I usually have to end up hemming pants for work. I can't wait to see how it works, though I suppose I don't really need to buy new work clothes for a while yet.

Anyways, I guess that's all for now. Cross your fingers for a punctual Danish Bean!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

T-minus 3 weeks...

Okay, so I know I've been on maternity leave for almost a month now and you'd think I would have posted SOMETHING, but believe it or not I've been busy. Busy with napping and reading and going for outings with Mom and Dad and Rowena and Geoff. Okay, so it's not corporate busy or anything, but it still fills a day...


Bean will be officially "full term" tomorrow, which means it could be born anytime. Yesterday at our appointment the midwife said I wasn't having a baby in the next week. That's good. Mom and Dad would be so upset if they were still in Switzerland when Bean is born.

Things are still going okay. I'm getting more sore in, ahem, lower areas and I find I have to concentrate really hard on how I move so I don't end up hurting myself more. Rolling over in bed is a huge task. I end up using my face as a pivot point at one stage. Definitely not enjoyable, especially since I have to do it about a dozen times a night. Oh joy. Bean's happy in my belly and quite content to wiggle around, stretch and do other such baby things. It's amazing to think that there's a whole person in there. And it required little effort from me to grow! It's not like I had to consciously think "Okay, today I need to grow kidneys". It just does it. Weird.

I'm ready to be not pregnant though. Watching Nathan sleep on his belly and roll over with ease fill me with insane longing and jealousy. I want to be able to walk Ghost at a good speed, not waddle her around the block and arrive home completely exhausted. I want to be able to lift my leg in the shower to wash my feet. I want to be able to clip my toenails. It's really amazing how much you appreciate all those little things that you don't even think of ordinarily. I mean really, who thinks about the privilege of clipping their toenails? I also get tired so fast these days. I can barely handle a morning of actual activity. Heaven forbid I do a whole day of something. I'm usually a weepy, exhausted basket case by the end and then it takes me at least a day to recover. I'm trying to limit my outings though so I don't over do it. It's getting to the point where I have to consciously try and remember to stay rested, since labour could start anytime. And everyone says the last thing you want to do is start labour already exhausted. So I will endeavour to nap lots, get a tiny bit of exercise and just try and stay relaxed and rested.

The weather is getting to me though. I'm sick of dreary, cloudy, rainy days. Ghost too. She especially doesn't like the thunder. If she hears one little roll, she starts trembling from head to toe and hides in whatever small corner she can find. Poor pup. I don't think she especially enjoys walking in the rain either. She always looks a little irritated by it. I've been trying to find things to do with her inside to keep her entertained. We play fetch and I went online and found some easy dog tricks to teach her. We're working on "sit pretty", "which one?" and "roll over". Roll over seems to be the most difficult right now. We also used Nathan as a hurdle one night and practiced her jumping. She did very well with that, until Daddy's bridge collapsed in exhaustion. =D

Anyway, I must research nursing bras, breast pumps, and a decorating idea for the stairwell. Ahh.... the joys of not having to go to work. Work? What's work? What did I do? Don't remember, don't really care....

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Random thoughts and Bean updates

Do tennis players die a slow, horrible death when they see a dog playing with, chewing on or destroying a tennis ball? Would Belal's efficient shredding and shaving of tennis balls horrify them? Do their own dogs have different balls to play with? And how can they just stand there when said balls are hurtling at them at more than 200 km/hour?

Can you tell I've been watching tennis lately? =D

So Bean is now 3/4 cooked! It's jumping and wiggling quite a bit now. Or maybe I can just feel it more since there's less space in there the bigger Bean gets....

I've got 2.5 more weeks of work left before I start mat leave and let me tell you, they can't pass fast enough! I'm endeavouring to keep my stress level low, but the nature of the job kind of sabotages that effort. I can make it through a week of work still, but I'm usually a weepy, exhausted mess by Friday. I do okay on the weekends since I can go at my own pace and nap/rest when I need to, but the work week is a killer. But soon. Soon.

I had my follow up appointment with the homeopath at the beginning of the month and everything is tickity boo. I was coming down with a cold again and whatever it was that she gave me spared me the worst of it I think. If it was the same cold that so many others got and are STILL dealing with, then I definitely got off lightly. But my sciatic nerve problems are all gone, I'm doing okay with the weepy (not perfect of course, but definitely better), I can sleep pretty decently, and I'm not nearly so worried about everything in the world.

Ghost and I are almost done the 2nd agility class. I've missed a couple since I've been too tired to run around after her, but it has still been quite enjoyable. She's still not so sure about the teeter totter, but she's starting to get the weave poles and the dog walk (bridge thingy) is not a problem for her. I will definitely be continuing with her in the fall. She loves it so much and I think it's doing her a lot of good to learn to be around so many other dogs.

We've painted Bean's room and purchased the furniture for it. We got the changing station home, but had to special order the dresser and the conversion kits for the crib. The crib itself we got a raincheck for since it was already on order, but as far as I know it hasn't arrived yet. At least, they haven't called us to pick it up... The room looks really good. We still have to hang things on the wall and get a new curtain, but I already really like the way it looks. I will post pictures once we get it all set up and decorated.

I washed the clothes that we have already acquired for Bean this weekend. It was so exciting to see little clothes mixed in with ours! I'm starting to get to the point where I just can't wait to meet Bean, cuddle it, hold it, take it places. Mentally, I know it's better if it stays where it is for a while longer, but emotionally I WANT IT NOW!!! But the summer is shaping up to be pretty busy, so the rest of the time should pass quickly. I hope.

For the moment though, I will focus all my energies on finishing everything I need to finish at work before the 10th, getting enough rest to make it through those 2.5 weeks of work, and still find time/energy to do things I want to do like decorate Bean's room, walk Ghost and putter about in my garden. Tall order, I know, but a person's got to have goals right?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Agile Ghost!

So as promised, here is the video from the last day of the first Beginners' agility class. Being the little noodle that she is, Ghost started refusing to go in the tunnel for some weird reason on the last 2 classes, but she's improved again now. We've started Beginners II, which will run to the end of June. In this one she'll learn the dog walk (bridge thingy), the teeter totter, the weave poles, and the tire.

Watching this just makes me laugh. She's so silly.... and definitely loves the A-frame!


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bean Updates!

Time for more updates! And this will be long... sorry... =D

So at our last midwife appointment we were told that they had “sort of” revised our due date to a week earlier – August 28th. This is mostly because at our ultrasound Bean was measuring about a week bigger than it should have been. Of course, we could just be having a big baby. No way to tell really. So let’s just say Bean will be born sometime around the end of August or beginning of September. Heck, no one tells them what the due date is anyway; they come when they want to.

Also, when I had my cold I was talking to Sivan, one of the midwives, and she really urged me to go and see the homeopath that they recommend. I really hadn’t slept well since about February, and the lack of sleep and pregnancy hormones were sending my emotions all over the map. I felt completely overwhelmed at pretty much anything, which made it hard to find motivation for anything. I knew I wasn’t depressed, but I was certainly not Sunshine-y Sheila. So I made the appointment and went 2 weeks ago.

The homeopath is my new best friend!!!

But I should explain. The initial appointment was an hour and a half long. There was a questionnaire to fill out before hand with my “main complaint”. I had four: my sciatic nerve, my lack of/inability to sleep, the emotional roller coaster, and my blood pressure. The BP I wasn’t too worried about, but the midwives wanted me to mention it anyways. So, we chatted for a while about all these different things, going off on tangents if I said something that piqued her interest. After about an hour, she said “I know what I’m going to give you.” Just like that. She flipped through a couple of her reference books, just to make sure, reading out some of the descriptions. Like “for fatigue from lack of sleep during pregnancy” and “managing the emotional ups and downs of pregnancy”. I was like “Ooh! Ooh! Me, me! I need that!”. So she gave me 3 little pellets of pulsetilla (in the crocus family) and then mixed me up a vial of flower essence water that had St. John’s Wort, Red Chestnut, Chamomile, Pink Yarrow and Olive in it. The 3 little pellets should last me for at least a month and I take 4 drops of the flower water 4 times a day and every 15 minutes at night if I can’t sleep.

Let me tell you, I have never felt so much better so fast! I had taken some of the flower drops when we got home and later that night when I was sitting in my chair, I almost fell asleep. And not just dozing, I was falling ASLEEP asleep. I slept better that night than I had in months. I woke up the next day feeling almost giddy with energy. I wanted to run about and do things and work on stuff. Work wasn’t a struggle like it had been. It was the most bizarre thing. So I thought, “Okay, maybe that was a fluke, maybe it doesn’t work that well”. But it’s been a couple weeks and things are still going good. I sleep better and feel a bit more in control of myself than I have. The nerve calmed down after about a week and isn’t painful at all now. I’m certainly not at a pre-pregnancy state, which would be impossible really, but I’m definitely better able to deal with it all and make sure I get enough rest.

So yeah, the homeopath is my new best friend. Everyone should go and see one. I especially like the fact that I take ONE thing, not a bazillion different pills at different times of day. I’m so glad that I went. I can’t imagine getting bigger and more uncomfortable and sleeping LESS than I already was. I don’t think I could have done it.

Bean is jumping about and kicking quite regularly now. Nathan can feel it too, which is pretty cool. There’s definitely starting to be a pattern to the movements though. Bean is usually a bit squirmy on the bus ride to work, then it’s quiet for a bit. Around 11am there’s more movement, then quiet. Then it starts again around 2pm, then quiet. Then some wiggles for the bus ride home, then quiet. Then there’s some movement after dinner and then again just as we’re getting into bed. And of course, once in the middle of the night. It’s kind of fun to recognize it though. I’m hoping this means that Bean will only wake up once in the night to feed…. I’m sure that’s wishful thinking, but I can hope.

We’ve taken to reading Bean stories before bed. We pick a children’s book from our collection and either Nathan or I reads aloud to the belly. Ghost likes story time too – when she’s actually upstairs anyway. She’ll snuffle and snort and sigh contentedly throughout the story. Bean’s usually pretty still through out the reading, but kicks quite a bit at the end, doing a little dance. Then we play the music box we got in Paris – La Vie En Rose – to the belly and then it’s lights out. Bean’s pretty good about quieting down at this point, so this also gives me hope for painless bedtimes – so long as there’s a story and a music box!

We’ve got all the book shelves and books shifted over to the new office. My priority for next week (Nathan and I are taking a week off together to hang out at home) is to finish sorting through the miscellaneous things that are left and then get Bean’s room more in order with painting and wall decorations etc. We’ve kind of zeroed in on a crib and change table that we like and that are able to be converted and used for pretty much the life of our child. It’s a bit more expensive, but solid wood construction and you do get more bang for your buck since the bed converts up to a double and the change table can be a dresser. Not sure if we’ll buy them next week – we may try and wait for a sale…

We’ve been attending prenatal classes too for the past few weeks, with the class ending on June 2nd. It’s been pretty interesting without being scary, and I think we’ve both gotten some good information about different things to try during labour. I think I need to spend some time seriously thinking about my “labour bag”. What I want in it (music, distractions, massage implements, etc.), how I want to progress through labour. I mean, really, I won’t know until I get there, but it’s good to be prepared for different scenarios. We realized that Ghost will also need a “labour bag”. We’ll probably be sending her to either my parents’ or Nathan’s parents’ once I start labour. I don’t want to worry or upset her, and I’m sure she’ll be a distraction for Nathan and me during the parts when we’re still at home. She’ll need a couple meals worth of food, poop bags, treats, a good ol’ toy and maybe a new one. Anyway, it’s all starting to be a bit more real, but I’m not dreading or worrying about it. I’m confident in my own abilities, which helps a lot I’m sure, and I know I’ll be able to deal with it somehow. I just hope Nathan doesn’t get the worry wrinkle in his head. That just kills me….

I’m still having trouble with “slowing down”. It bugs the bejeezus out of me that I can’t walk as fast as Ghost wants to, or go to work AND come home and do stuff, or help Nathan in the yard or basement. It makes me feel lazy and that I’m ordering people to do things for me. I just want to DO things, but I’m still having a hard time realizing that maybe what I need to DO at any particular point in time is have a nap or sit and rest. It’s hard to let go. I’m starting to recognize when I get to that point where if I do more, I’ll pay for it, so at least I’m making some progress. That’s why I’m so tickled to work on Bean’s room next week. Most of it is sitting and sorting and decision making, with just a tiny bit of physical work. So I should be able to do quite a bit, without being blindsided by the Snoozlemonsters. Anyway, I’m not really surprised that I’m having this problem. I am my father's daughter. =D

Anyway, that’s about it for Bean updates for now. I’ve got a video of Ghost doing agility in the making, so hopefully that’ll get posted soon for your viewing enjoyment. We’ve finished the first class and are starting the second one on Monday. She loves it so much and I think it’s really helping her social skills with other dogs.

Ta for now!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Biometric Security Devices

Occasionally on jobs we run across a client that has WAY too much money and wants to explore the possibilities for installing biometric scanners to restrict access to their server room (or other secure places). This is your typical Mission Impossible stuff: fingerprint scanners, retinal scanners, etc. Now this is mostly an electrical engineering thing, so usually I just nod and smile as the electrical guy winces and grits his teeth. Not that they’re overly difficult or anything. They’re just uber-expensive and generally a pain in the ass to connect to security systems that haven’t been designed to support such things.

Anyway, the following is an amusing tale I was told by an electrical colleague a few weeks ago. We were at a design meeting (with no client reps present) and mockingly discussing said client’s request for biometric information. After we have a good chuckle about how they’re not going to be able to afford this stuff, even though they’re a very high profile law firm, the electrical engineer, let’s call him Bob, tells us this story from a job he had worked on previously.

I don’t remember if it was an oil company or another law firm, but suffice it to say, they certainly had the money to spend on biometrics. Bob dutifully puts together a presentation on the pros and cons for each type of biometric device, costs, and security comparisons to more traditionally devices. This presentation is to the complete design team, as well as a half dozen of the big wigs for the client. It’s a meeting room full of high powered individuals. He’s just gone through fingerprint scanners and is about to move on to retinal scanners.

“So another option you can consider is rectal scanners.”

Stunned silence and blank stares. Bob realizes what he’s said. He has suggested to these people that have way more money and influence and prestige than he’ll ever have that they scan their butts to gain access to their server room. Oops. Eventually there’s laughter as everyone realizes the verbal slip up, but there was a long, painful moment when no one was sure if he was serious or not.

We’re all laughing uproariously at this point, at Bob’s expense. And then he throws in this quip defensively:

“Well, no two rectums are alike.”

I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard at a design meeting before. Doesn’t it just fill your mind with all sorts of goofy images of tech guys dropping their pants and ponying up to the wall to have their rectums scanned to get into their server room?

AND, I have been told that rectal scanners make an appearance in the Dreamworks movie "Monsters vs. Aliens", so my electrical friend must not have been the first to slip up this way...
So now, forever, I will always snicker to myself when a client requests information for biometric security devices.