Monday, December 19, 2005

Almost Two Down, Three to Go!

My third trimester is only a month away - I can hardly believe that I'm nearly 2/3 through this pregnancy! This last week has been a doozy...

* lactating breasts - check!
* single chin whisker - check!
* constant baby motion - check!

Sigh. I had a coffee the other morning and I swear to God that the baby was jumping up and down on my bladder singing "I LOVE COFFEE! MORE COFFEE MORE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE!!!"

You'd think that would put me off the coffee, but not so much. A morning mapafrapalappachinno is so yummy! Besides, I only have it a few times a week. Just long enough in between mugs to forget the feeling of the monkey catapulting off my already-squished bladder.

Not quite sure about the lactating thing... half of me is really happy to know that I stand such a high chance of being a successful milk bar, but the other half is thinking WTF?!??? I still have MONTHS to go! My midwife nearly clapped her hands with glee handing me some trial nursing pads, me not so much. There's nothing sexier than dripping boobs.

I've also had a rash of reckless behaviour in the past little while. On Jason's birthday I had not one, but TWO raw oysters on the half shell. Last night I even had an eighth of a glass of fine white wine! CALL THE BABY POLICE! RECKLESS MOM-TO-BE ON THE LOOSE!

It seems that this little monkey has a taste for the finer things in life... 16lbs and counting. I thought I had gained more, but apparently my body is just redistributing itself!

Over the weekend, Jason and I saw King Kong, which is a pretty big deal when you consider how few movies we actually see in the theatre. It was fan-freaking-tastic, with non-stop action and some truly heart-breaking scenes. I wasn't the only one crying in a few spots! Three hours with no pee breaks and I still loved it. We also watched March of the Penguins, which I highly recommend.

On the work scene, the dust has settled and people have began their daily routines of resume-manipulation, networking and going for loooong lunches with the core hours seeming to be 10-3. If I decide to come in at all, it's usually spent socializing and surfing. I even brought my knitting in today, but I don't think I have the balls to pull it out! I can't imagine this lasting for another three months without my going insane, but we'll see.

Lastly, on the homefront, we have insulation in place for the downstairs - it's amazing how warm it is!!! The wiring and plumbing is done, thanks to added work efforts of my Dad and a few good friends. Luckily we were able to get a lot at cost through my parents' plumbing company, so that is a huge bonus. So next on the list is getting the subfloor in and the drywall up. Drywall - yikes.

That's all for now! I gotta get home soon and get some more knitting done.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Fallout

Well, it's not just another day in the life of a high-tech worker... it's the day after my entire office got laid off, two weeks before Christmas.

The last time this happened to me nearly three years ago, I was at a telecommunications company along with about 90 others in Vancouver. They gave half of us three months notice, and the other half no notice at all. The severance packages were fantastic and the timing was good for me - a bunch of co-workers had recently resigned to begin a startup. I got a call from the startup two days later, asking me if I wanted to come join them. So for four months, I was getting two paychecks, double benefits, and a new and exciting job. Not a bad way to live!

This time is a bit different. The startup company was bought out by a big supercomputer company in 2003. They wanted our product badly to fill in a gap that their business case was lacking. So they acquired us, mismanaged us, and finally gave us the boot. Our product is now their product and our people got the shaft. Most of the people here will be terminated as of March 31, 2006. Some in July, some in December. So instead of severance packages, we get "working notice".

But, such is the vicious cycle of high-tech... startup, buyout, layoff... I feel so cynical to think of it that way, but that's just the way it is. This time there are no huge severance packages, and there is an incentive to leave early to collect some extra cash - up to 50% of your working notice.

Well, for everyone but me. Being 5 months pregnant hardly makes me an attractive candidate for employment, and I think the job search is more stress than I'm willing to take on. And I'm lucky that I don't have to, my higher-ups definitely went to bat for me and managed to get me my maternity leave with benefits, if I stick around until my due date. That's a better severance package than anyone else got! When I return, I am supposed to resign, since there will be no job waiting for me. I'm still not quite sure of the legality of things and find it perplexing to find out how much of a favour these people are doing me.

That means coming here to work each day. The environment is so toxic. Everyone is working on their resumes, searching for new jobs, venting about the company bigwigs, etc. I've been told that I should just "work from home", meaning work on my knitting, renovations, walk the dog, and all while receiving a paycheck. Crazy but true.

Sounds like a great situation, doesn't it?

It's not. I feel guilt coming into a job and getting paid for sitting on my heiny. I feel bad for the people around me that are all competing for the same set of jobs. I hate that people's Christmases have been ruined by this, when I just carry on, business as normal. How can anything be normal? What do they really expect us to accomplish in the next three months?

All I know is that surfing the web, blogging and polishing my resume makes for a really long and boring work day.

Thursday, December 8, 2005


Yesterday in a completely relaxed moment during my massage appointment, I felt the baby move. I just laid there, unable to believe that I finally FELT the baby MOVE!

My RMT noticed my complete silence, I had been chatting her ear off for the last 20 minutes... it took me a few seconds to convey to her what had happened.

It was not a twinge, a pull, or a flutter. It felt like how submerging something in water feels. Sploosh! So weird.

When I got home and told Jason, I felt a little guilty. This is something that only I am going to experience, how can my description of the feeling compare to the actual feeling? Oddly enough, I feel like I am the luckier one in this undertaking.

I know that only I am going to feel the heaviness of this baby growing inside me, the pain in my hips and back, the constant pressure on my bladder. The heartburn, the fatique, the breathlessness... all those things are reserved for me and only me.

But I still feel like we women are blessed.

Later that night, we laid in bed and Jason had his hand on my belly. I figured out that I need to relax completely to discern the feeling of the baby moving from the other movements of my body. After a few minutes, we both felt the baby hit Jason's palm. Very cool.

I hope I still feel so blessed when this baby is kicking me full force in the rib cage, or performing jumping jacks on my bladder. When I'm nearly 4ft around and still only 5ft tall, I hope I still feel good enough to walk the dog, swim and do yoga. I hope the elastic band that I've threaded through the buttonhole and around the button of my jeans doesn't snap today. I hope that I don't accidentally pee myself in the middle of teaching my yoga class next week, or expel gas loudly at the lunchroom table, or anywhere that Bella will not be there to blame.

With each day I find that there are more and more "what if's" and "I hope's" and "maybe's" in pregnancy. I've never been so full of questions and uncertainty in my life, but somehow it feels good.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Baby meets World

A few weeks back, Jason and I went for our 18-week ultrasound. Talk about amazing, we had no idea what a treat we were in for! Usually you see people's pictures and you think that they simply walked in, snap snap snap, and the pics were done. Not at all!

Anybody out there? Posted by Picasa

While taking measurements of the four chambers of the heart, the kidneys and stomach, the femur, foot and humerus, the technician explained to us how they also measure the skinfold at the back of the neck in utero to use as a marker for Down's Syndrome. She also did close-ups of the lips and nose to make sure there was no cleft palate in the wee monkey. We found out the baby measured 15cm around the head (even saw the cerebellum and brain hemispheres) and 14cm around the chest. The spine and ribcage was a thing of beauty, all systems normal.

Flex! Posted by Picasa

Jason and I had both agreed that if anything negative were to come of a result of my bloodwork or the ultrasound, that we would not terminate the pregnancy. I am so glad that we came to that agreement so easily, I can imagine how horrible it would be if a couple did not see eye to eye on the issue. Especially considering how many false positives there are for screening tests for Down's and Spina Bifida, so much stress and emotional upheaval. It almost caused me to not want the screening done in the first place, but Jason and I both agreed that we would want to be prepared.

Luckily, we have been blessed with a healthy baby as far as we know. It was a huge relief to see the monkey moving about, opening and closing it's mouth and hands. And the sex? Well, we didn't plan on asking. Jason didn't want to know and I wouldn't be able to keep it a secret if I found out! But once we got in there, Jason said, "We can't see anything! Does that mean it's a girl???" To which the technician answered, "At this point, we can't really say for certain."

So I still think it's a boy and Jason is convinced it's a girl. Good thing we have names picked out for both!

Yup, that's the foot! 2.57cm Posted by Picasa

As of today, I am in the middle of my 20th week, halfway through! 15lbs, 2 cup sizes and a wealth of new-found back and hip issues, but feeling pretty damn lucky.

Monday, November 28, 2005

No Rest for the Wicked

This last weekend passed by in a blur. Both mornings, Jason and I awoke to the ever-present call of renovations. This weekend, our friend Jeff's wife was out of town with their newborn. Lucky for us, he's an experienced renovator, construction dude and all around nice guy with an extensive electrical knowledge. He offered up his services and we couldn't refuse!

Our neighbour Neil also joined the fray to battle the evils lurking within the walls of our downstairs. We ripped out shoddy aluminum wiring, separated the downstairs and upstairs circuits, and reran new copper wiring, installing new services up to the new electrical codes.

Coming from a family of plumbers, I know how valuable good tradespeople are... after this weekend I have a whole new respect. I also learned a lot in the process. Being the only pregnant lady on the job, I learned all the codes for planning circuits, stapling wires, running lines, wiring the different box types and tying pigtails. By the pain in my lower back, I think I probably shouldn't have spent so much time on the ladder, or bending down. But it's hard not to caught up in things when there's so much going on!

I also fed the workforce - hungry men make for full lunch tables!

I think we have one more day of wiring left before we need to get the inspectors in. Hopefully getting our new 100A service to the house and the fuse box installed will be a go.

In the meantime, we had our first real frost this morning and there is NO insulation in the outside walls downstairs. I can feel the gas bill quadrupling as I type this. We have to wait for an inspection before we can insulate though, silly rules.

So if anyone is looking for something to do in the next little while, please visit! We can offer yummy lunch, dinner and beer in exchange for your services!!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Did you know?

My uterus is the size of a canteloupe right now.

A canteloupe!!!

Very cool, but SO WEIRD.

A canteloupe on my bladder.

A canteloupe preventing me from buttoning my jeans.

A canteloupe holding a 5oz, 5.5" monkey.

A canteloupe that contracts into a rock-hard lump when the monkey is turning somersaults.

Pregnancy is just plain crazy.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Today can definitely be categorized as one of those days they write about in the pregnancy books...

you know, the one that starts at 3am, where you wake up crying because you had a nasty but painfully realistic dream that your husband died doing electrical work during your renovations and you have to explain to his dog and his unborn child that he's gone forever...

and then after tossing and turning for hours after, you wake up looking like hell, then complain about the baby causing acne on your back and pain in your hips, about how you only have one pair of maternity pants that fit and that you can't do up the button on any others...

and then during your dog walk you realize how awful you must sound to your husband, and that somehow every woman who cannot get pregnant knows what you are thinking and then you start crying because you are so lucky and you should be enjoying and rejoicing in each and every aspect of pregnancy be it carpal tunnel or hemorroids (which I don't have yet, BTW)...

then you get to work (late - from the crying) and you talk to your co-worker whose mom just passed away, and she talks about how things seem so unreal because she was just playing Scrabble with her mom only days ago, and then you start crying with her in her office because it is so horrible, and then your director walks in....

and then you write an email to your husband telling him you forgot to give him a phone message last night, but then you realize that you are a horrible wife because you also forgot to buy bread, ask him about his midterm, complain if his armpits aren't fresh enough or if his breath smells like meat (don't ask) and then start crying in your cubicle...

and then you blog about it and realize how truly pathetic you sound!!!!

And now before I go buy a sandwich for lunch (remember, I forgot to buy bread?) I need to visit the bathroom because one of my co-workers just visited my desk and basically ran away. I think my bright red nose and bloodshot eyes are a bit scary!


Just back from the caf. I saw a man wearing leather pants going into one of the offices... since when do engineers wear leather pants???

Monday, November 7, 2005

Naked Bellybutton

For the first time in almost 10 years, I have a naked bellybutton! Last night, after an hour of contemplating my navel, I decided it was time to remove the ring that was swimming in the tea cup that has become my bellybutton.

It's so weird to think about where I was when I pierced my navel. Second-year university, keeping up with my big sister, wearing midriff-baring tops out to the cheesy bars, dancing on speakers, fueled by vodka and cranberry.

So weird how times change. It doesn't seem like that long ago. I remember the haze of a bad hangover from margaritas at Carlos n' Buds, followed by a night at LuvAffair.

This Saturday I spent the day wedding-dress shopping with my girlfriend Jen. This bride-to-be was one of my favorite partners in crime. When we lived together, she would put cold cloths on my forehead to tame a nasty hangover headache, and then run to Macdonald's to get us an Egg McMuffin meal just before the breakfast deadline. It's no surprise that she makes such a great nurse! We used to come home after the bar and eat natchos while watching our newly-taped episodes of Sex and the City. We used to throw martini soirées, dress up for Disco Night at the Commodore, and invite our girlfriends over for sex toy parties. We used to wash our cars outside our apartment in Kits, always talking about starting a business called "Clean Cars, Dirty Girls"...

Now we talk about mortgage rates, maternity leave and snow tires.

Don't get me wrong, I love my life. I love my husband, our dog and the little baby that's growing increasingly larger inside me each day. I love the security and stability Jason and I both feel in our relationship, even when things aren't so secure or stable outside our relationship. And I feel fortunate that I am loved by others as much as I love them.

But it's weird how removing a little piece of jewellery can feel like the end of an era, even though that era has been over for quite some time.

I feel so grown up.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Bella, a.k.a. Lunchroom Bully

This past weekend was a doozy... a breakfast and three parties on Saturday, followed by a baby shower and a dinner on Sunday. Somehow I snuck in a house clean-up on Sunday morning, while Jason was at the library like a good little school-goer. I even managed to make a large casserole dish of one of my favorite veggie-head meals - Tofu, Quinoa & Chickpea Enchiladas - to feed us at lunchtime for the week.

So there it was, sitting innocently on top of the stove to cool. No animal products in there, no siree bob! Just some beans and grains and such. A little mexican-flavoured Ground Round. No meat, no blood. Not a moo or cluck in sight!

As Jason and I drove away from the house that afternoon, I remarked that we had left the casserole sitting on the stove. Maybe Bella-girl would be entranced by the smells? Jason figured that we wouldn't be gone long, and that Bella's position of sacked-out-on-the-couch would remain a constant until we returned. As there was nothing in the dish to attract Bella's roving nose, I agreed and we happily sped off.

Well, nothing but a fine smattering of cheese along the top...

As the hours passed, Jason and I both started to get a little nervous. Bella's nap would surely be over by now, and the casserole's position on the stovetop became more and more perilous.

We walked through the front door to the sight of Bella perched on her chair. Ears pinned back. Head waaaay down. No tail thumping against the cushion. The guilt was so apparent in her big brown eyes, it was almost laughable.

Laughable if I weren't counting on that casserole for my lunch this week! Never, ever steal food from a pregnant lady!

Upon immediate survey of the kitchen, it seemed that Bella had eaten the entire 9x13" casserole right off the stovetop. Well, save the chickpeas that she thoughtfully spat out on the floor for us to have... while she might like tofu and cheese, it seems that chickpeas are not part of our little glutton's food reperatoire!

Jason quickly dragged all 60lbs of her by the scruff of the neck into the kitchen, Bella pushing with her front paws against the floor to try stopping him. She hung limply at his side as he berated her amidst the rejected chickpeas. Bad Dog!

Both of us were suppressing giggles the entire time, as Bella cowered at our feet, feeling shame, looking up at us with her big brown eyes.

Her tummy was so distended, we knew we'd have to take her with us to our dinner date in fear of leaving her at home. All that fiber, what if she needed to go outside? Every once in a while, she'd let out a nasty mexican-flavoured burp. Yikes.

I sat on the couch not 10 minutes later, and she sidled up beside me and placed her head on my lap with her puppydog eyes. She was still feeling shame. How could I resist, she's so cute???? I petted her little head.

It's occurred to me that Jason will more likely be a successful disciplinarian than I with our children. I crack so easy.

He lasted at least 3 minutes longer than I.

The funny thing is, people talk about dogs not having any long-term memory. I think it's BS. I know that days later I could pull out the dirty casserole dish and Bella would drop to the ground with her ears pinned back, immediately reliving the shame. How many kids do you know that are so well-trained? Tee hee.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Plumber's Crack

I come from a line of plumbers... my grandpa, dad and brother are all plumbers, and although they all have skinny little bums, none of them were ever a victim of the ubiquitous plumber's crack.

I, however, am not so lucky. Now close to 16 weeks, my belly has made the leap over the low waist of my jeans. As the day wears on, my belly pushes down the front of my pants, which in turn brings the butt of my pants along for the ride. Tah-DAH! Plumber's crack!

How come none of the pregnancy books talk about this?

In other news, Halloween is just around the corner! So yesterday, I took a field trip to Dressew to get materials for Jason's and my costumes... we're going to be VAMPirates, because just being pirates is not enough! So I spent hours huddled over my sewing maching in between bouts of swearing and stomping my feet to get our costumes just right.

I am a bit of a stickler for details and like my costumes to be perfect. Jason humoured me, trying on his breezy lace-up pirate shirt on a bazillion times as I pinned, tucked and cut. I'm glad that he is as into dressing up as I am! Oh wait, that didn't come out right... I mean for HALLOWEEN of course! Pervert.

Seriously though, last year we ran the James Cunningham Seawall race in costume. I was the Little Bad Wolf and Jason was Big Red Riding Hood! Jason got the most cat-calls for running in drag, he even went to the trouble of shaving his legs and wearing a stuffed bra with little carrot nubs for nipples! It was a little chilly out, after all!

Big Red Riding Hood and the Little Bad Wolf post-race, 2004... Posted by Picasa

2005 pictures to come.

Arrrr, matey! Bwah-ha-ha-haaaaaaaaaa!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Identity Crisis!

Who knew a name change could be so dramatic?

Last night my company changed my email address without notifying me... nor did they alias my old account to the new one. All morning I've been receiving phonecalls from people that had mails bounced back and are desperate to get in touch with me for various reasons - in need of a spin sub, problems with my code, etc. etc. So my morning has been a whirlwind of phonecalls and password prompts to get myself reinstated as myself!


So I sent out an email to my contacts list asking people to change my address. All of a sudden I get a flood of catch-up emails... People I haven't heard from in AGES want to get together for lunch, sending me pictures of their new kitten, feeding me gossip about who's together, who's apart and who's pregnant... so much to catch up on!

It's 2:00pm and I haven't got a lick of work done. Not that I'm so sad or anything, I'm a veritable fountain of information after this morning's email readings!

AND I've lined up someone to take over my yoga class at the YWCA starting in November. In the last few weeks, my balance has become atrocious and my right hand gets really sore after class. My spin class also wraps up on November 15th. For the first time in FIVE years, I will not be teaching anything outside of subbing classes. What will I do with myself? Go to classes for fun? Actually use my complimentary YWCA membership? The possibilities are endless...

In the meantime:


LS: Good luck with your million errands before takeoff... come visit me for a latté!

JVDZ: Renos suck. I hope your life returns to normal soon in your beautiful Silver Sage bathroom!

AJ: Hope you are doing well, looking forward to Sunday!

CC: BLOG! You know you wanna...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

One Way Conversation

Since the wedding, Jason and I have been super busy - honeymoon, Ironman, renovations, pregnancy... In the meantime, I've been struggling to keep in touch with all of my friends, people that I would usually have a once-a-week talk with, a coffee or dinner with, even if it was only an email back and forth.

But life is what happens when you're making plans, and things just seem to get in the way. Over the past few days, I've managed to reconnect with a few of my girlfriends and it feels like I'm doing all the asking... finding out what's new, what's happening, who's hot and who's not...

Why are they so silent? Because they all read my blog!!!! They already know what's going on from my end!


So I'm making a rule for AJ, LS, JC, JVDZ, CC and JF... if you read this, you must COMMENT and tell me what's going on with you! That way we can get the one-way third degree out of the way and get straight to the juicy stuff!

In other news, the downstairs is almost completely demolished and the upstairs is coated in a fine layer of dust. Shades of grey. But things are happening quickly now and Jason has assured my worried pregnant self that NO, we're not crazy for doing this and YES, we should be finished in time for the arrival of baby Camp.

Did I mention we found Stucco underneath the Gyproc? Posted by Picasa

And the wiring downstairs is aluminum, which needs to be changed to copper... MORE WORK! Posted by Picasa

We've also decided on a few possible names for our monkey but are refraining from telling anyone. It's driving my sister-in-law crazy! Good fun! (and no, one of them is NOT Wyatt Earp!)

My girlfriend Jen is getting married and has asked me to be one of her bridesmaids - she gave a killer speech at my wedding and I'm hoping to do just as well... better start now!

And lastly, the pain through my hand I was feeling last week has dissipated and I'm able to work comfortably. I have to be super careful with teaching yoga and spin though, and also with doing work downstairs.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Speaking of symptoms...

Guess how common Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is in pregnant women?

How about computer programmers?

So, as a pregnant computer programmer, you can imagine my horror to wake up yesterday morning with my right (dominant) hand cycling through various stages of numbness, tingling and burning! It felt much like I hit my funny bone, but in my wrist and the palm of my hand for hours on end.

At first I thought I overdid it teaching yoga the day prior, or maybe slept funny - I'm trying to switch from sleeping on my back. I made an appointment with my trusty RMT, to release tension in my shoulders that I thought was the culprit. After ridding my upper body of said tension with her deft hands, she told me to sleep on things and if I was still experiencing the numbness, to go to my physio.

I spent a restless night (sorry Jason!) of tossing, turning and propping my hand up to ease the aching, unsuccessfully. If flames could shoot from my wrist, they would - Spiderwoman with Flamethrowers!

So off to the physio. More prodding, twisting and turning. Nothing was working. He says CTS and the hackles on the back of my neck go up. CTS is to a programmer what an knee injury is to an athlete. Game over!

Fortunately this type of symptom usually goes away after delivery, when I will no longer be retaining fluid or having crazy levels of hormones running rampant through my body. But I still have months of work left. What to do?

I'll take sore boobs and nausea anyday, thankyouverymuch!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Just call me "Busty"

Each morning I wake up and it seems as though there is something new waiting for me. The first trimester brought

* Seemingly walnut-sized bladder

* Nausea

* Creaks, cramps and groans from my round ligaments and uterus expanding

* Lightheadedness if I get out of bed too quickly (increase in stroke volume requirements without the increased blood volume to match)

* Fatigue

The second trimester has brought

* GIANT boobs

Normally I would not be one to complain about such a thing. In fact, I've looked forward to this part of the pregnancy - finally I can show off some cleavage! All my life I've wondered what life was like on the "other-side". The women in my immediate family all belong to the "Small-Breasted Women have Big Hearts" fan club. We can cavort freely sans brassiere, not a care in the world.

Not so any longer. The last few days I've woken up with these mounds on my chest - it seems they are alive with the network of blue veins that runs like a map across my chest. They are puffy and sore and heavy, not at all what I was expecting or hoping for!

Immediate thoughts are along the lines of




Okay, maybe GIANT is an overstatement. But it's all relative for me and my girls. As far as I'm concerned, they're GIANT.

Drunk on Hormones

Today I'm enjoying a morning working from home. A steaming pot of Earl Grey (with honey, which I'm not allowed!), an extra-long ball-hucking session with Bella Girl, cuddling with my hubby before he goes off to the bus stop. I could get used to this!

Can't wait for mat leave...

I have decided that if the first trimester was all about the Paunch, then the second trimester will be all about the hormones. Over the past few weeks, I have noticed myself getting clumsier and clumsier. I just smacked my forehead on Jason's easel while bending down to scratch my ankle. I tripped and fell on the dog leash down at the park, in front of 3 other dog owners. I break things.

Not only that, while at the numerous Thanksgiving dinners over this past weekend, some of the stuff that's come out of my mouth has been downright obnoxious! Sometimes funny, sometimes too blunt, I just keep sticking my foot in my mouth. Jason called it my "Pregnant Voice"... a.k.a. my "SHUT-UP!!! Voice".

I think I'm drunk. Drunk on hormones.

At the midwife's last week, I had to do a weigh-in. I've gained 8 pounds! I seriously thought the scale was broken!!! This is the most I've ever weighed in my entire life, so weird. I even had to buy a new bra the other day, which I was slightly proud about I have to admit! They've moved my due date back a week, to April 25th. A Taurus. Jason scoffs at my belief in astrology, but I have no doubt that this baby is gonna be stubborn! In any event, I can now feel my uterus bump, and I have no waistline left.

Monkey taking over my Waistline Posted by Picasa

In other news, Dozer's owner has returned (and the crowds cheered!) and things around Chez Camp have returned to normal. No more wet toilet seat, no more kibbles in the bedroom, and Queen Bella has been reseated on the throne.

Bella's Rightful Spot on the Throne Posted by Picasa

I have 2 yoga classes to teach today, so I'm off! How much longer before I can no longer do the Cobra?

Monday, October 3, 2005

Dogs of War

For the past two weeks, we have been dog-sitting for our next-door neighbour. Dozer has made himself at home. He is male, and therefore insists on usurping the resident Bella from her throne at Chez Camp. Not much we can do about it, unless we leave him next door - in which case he howls and howls.

So he eats all the food before Bella gets there. This includes holding kibble in his mouth, transporting it to other locations in the house, and then proceeding to drop the kibbles wherever he pleases. If you go to the bathroom and flush the toilet, he rushes in after to drink from the fresh, cold porcelain water decanter. If you shut the lid, he just sticks his head under it. Either way, the next visitor gets a wet seat. Lastly, he's been digging in our back yard and tracking the mud everywhere when he comes in. Gr.


Bella is getting a bit sick of him because he's cramping her style. Usually I can take her for off-leash ball-hucking before work. I can't let Dozer off-leash since he takes off and refuses to come back. So poor Bella just gets lame walks around the block. Poor little whiney doggy.

Dozer stealing Bella's favourite spot by the Window Posted by Picasa

Bella hiding from Dozer (and keeping my feet warm) as I work from home Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 30, 2005

Baby's Got a Brand New Bag!

The last few of mornings, I've actually been able to get out of bed without being coaxed by nausea to the bathroom, or by dogs that need to go outside. For the most part, I can eat normal foods at normal mealtimes without hanging my head from dizziness in between.

Something is changing. I think I might have finally kicked the fatigue and nausea of my first trimester! I don't want to jinx it by saying so. Often I've thought that I've turned a corner, only to find it come back with a vengeance! It seems too good to be true... but I am in week 12.

My activity level has been climbing. Yesterday I was able to do 15 minutes on the elliptical machine and another 30 minutes of weights! This morning I swam - albeit leisurely - for 40 minutes! For the first time in MONTHS. Yes, I had to use flippers and pull buoys, but I was a fish!

I'm trying not to overdo it, limiting myself to really low resistance and exertion, and putting a time limit on workouts. I've been reading the CanFitPro course work for perinatal exercise. I ply my body with food on each end of whatever activity I partake in, today I am the eating machine! And I drink WATER WATER WATER, wear a heart rate monitor and make sure to keep my core temperature low. High-maintenance, yes. But GOOD.

I'm loving this new phase. It's a lot of work to do so much less than I used to do, but I just love being active again. I'm even buying an indoor trainer for my bike because I miss it so badly.

I can't wait till I'm really showing. Bring on the real belly. I'm ready to show.

Monday, September 26, 2005


I was out on Saturday night at an art show held by one of Jason's friends. Jay held it in his ultra-hip studio in East Van, where there were interpretive dancers, musicians and singers performing for an ecclectic mix of students, fellow artists, friends and family. The proceeds of the show were going to the BC Cancer Agency. The pieces he had done - the theme was "Move" - were amazing. Collages of pencil-drawn people in close proximity, to make profiles, shapes... very unique and cool.

As I walked up the stairs to say hello to Andrea and Matt, I heard "Hey Tri Girl!" from below... I was like HUH??? I look down and see Tamara a.k.a The Straight Poop), although it took me a second to line up my planets! We've never actually met!

I talked to her through the stairs briefly and said I'd be back. Little did I know that my nausea would make a guest appearance! Throughout the performance of Peter, one of the interpretive dancers, my stomach was churning and my goosebumps rose and fell. Not good! So I stayed put. When I was feeling better, I looked down below, but could not spot the fair-haired Tamara! Crap!

Alas, another time?

A note on the interpretive dancers... I don't think I'm cultured enough to appreciate it. Before Peter started, he was standing in a blanket wrapped loosely about his 60-something naked, tattooed and bejewelled body. I remember thinking "If he's not careful, that robe is going to fall off!" But then he let it drop to the floor. I'm no prude, I like to hang at Wreck and be naked too. But it was kinda weird because he was all by himself. Anyhow he did some chanting and huffing and puffing and sounding to accompany his erratic movements. I was trying to see a pattern or meaning to it (i.e. interpret!) but my brain was stuck in choreography-mode. It was lost on me. Sigh.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Monkey in my Belly

Jason and I went for our very first ultrasound yesterday and both of us agreed that we had never seen anything cooler! Seeing the baby's heart beating was not only amazing, it was also very reassuring to see that our little monkey (or MING-KEE! according to Jason) is OK.

The ultrasound technician was great, pointing out the yolk sac, umbilical cord (which we think is really our monkey's tail) and my ovaries. She even showed Jason how my near-to-bursting bladder was filling even more as she pressed down on it (&#$^%#!!!) The baby even moved around - I knew that it was trampolining off my bladder!

Frontal, our little monkey - see the tail? Posted by Picasa

Side - monkey with balloon (or yolk sac, one of the two) Posted by Picasa

Afterwards I wandered around Kits inside all the baby stores. It felt alot like when I went wedding dress shopping. I quickly realized that I have NO IDEA what I'm doing and that I would either need to be showing more, or have a squalling infant in a stroller in order to get any attention! But there is lots of time for all of that.

Right now I'm content with the knowledge that the little monkey in my belly is developing normally and growing strong with a heart rate of 163 BPM.

I've been getting bugged about not sending out any belly shots yet, so I took one this morning in front of the mirror!

Belly this AM Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Last weekend, my husband Jason completed his first-ever Ironman triathlon competition! Not only was I lucky enough to be his cheerleader through the entire race, I was also inspired and amazed by the athleticism, confidence and sheer mental and physical power displayed by all 82 of the participants.

I've never been at a race with Jason where I wasn't competing. I thought I would have time on my hands to knit and read... not a chance! From the moment I saw Jason in the water, I could feel my heart in my throat and my nervous energy rising. I was sweating and my heartrate was up because I had an inkling of the thoughts that were racing through his head at the start line. My hubby is a cool cucumber, it takes quite a lot to ruffle his feathers. But I think this race might have gotten under his skin just a little!

It all started the night before, when we pulled into Grand Coulee, WA. We passed the giant dam - which Jason would ride over at the completion of the bike course - and took in the topography. Mesas loomed up high over the Columbia River. The first part of the bike course was a climb up to a mesa summit... we're talking 7% and 14% grades - a 900ft elevation gain - in a matter of kilometers. Hairpin turns, newly sealed black concrete... if you stopped for any reason, you would probably have to get off your bike and walk since even the granniest of gears would fail you. Seeing this was a bit intimidating to say the least!

Soon after we dropped Jason's bike off at T1, and went to our homestay, Dawn and Alan. They had left their doors unlocked (!) for us, with a room all made up and instructions to "make ourselves at home". Fantastic and very interesting people. We had no trouble eating a high-carb dinner and heading to bed.

5:00am wakeup and off to T1. It's dark out still and the air is cool. Jason puts his transition and special needs bags in the allocated space and then goes for body marking. Contemplation of the swim course begins while the race volunteers are suiting up for their kayaks...

Pre-race jitters - suiting up! Posted by Picasa

As the athletes line up for the swim, I am struck by the amount of older people in the race. There is a single 19yr-old, with everyone else between 30-60ish. So impressive. Seasoned vets and first-timers together, milling about. Talking about the course, getting through the last-minute jitters. They are lining up as the sun is rising over the mesas - so gorgeous!

Iron-wave in the Sunrise Posted by Picasa

And they're off! I struggle to see the grey of Jason's inner sleeve in the sea of black wetsuits and white caps. It's not until the finish of the first 1.9km loop that I spot him. Only because he stood up at the turn-buoy and yells out his number "32" with his hands cupped around his mouth (race officials said they had to, although Jason was the only one to do it! So cute!)

As he exits the water, I can see the smile on his face and a relaxed pace to his breathing, yay!! That was exactly how he had hoped to feel. As a joke, he kneels down on the sand to kiss the ground - the crowd laughs. Steve King, the announcer, talks about Jason's other races and even says my name as Jason comes up to kiss me (a la sand-face).

Sand-face (which he soon bestowed on me with a kiss) Posted by Picasa

T1 goes smoothly with a full clothing change and a kiss goodbye. He is all smiles and looking strong!

All Smiles in T1 Posted by Picasa

I realize that I have 7 hours to kill, so stay to watch the rest of the Iron distance swim. One woman comes in at 2:17, 3 minutes before the 2:20 cutoff. People are screaming and cheering and going berserk! The Half-Iron starts and I am a little sad that I'm not doing the race... but then I rub my tummy and think about the little monkey inside and all is well. After cheering all the athletes out of T1, I head back to the homestay to chart out where I could meet up with the cyclists.

Zipping off in the car backwards along the bike course, I come across the most amazing scenery - a feast for the eyes! So I snap a few shots... okay, maybe more like 50. But who's counting? I know Jason will be happy to see them later.

Cheerleader Scenery Shot #1 on the Bike Course Posted by Picasa

#2 Posted by Picasa

#3 Posted by Picasa

#4 - Talk about deserted bike course! Posted by Picasa

Finally I see the first cyclist coming in and I realize how deserted the road is, so I slow the car right down, roll down the window and yell my little head off! The cyclist gives me a big smile and wave, I think he needed a little company! So I continue to cheer as I drive and pass other cyclists. My throat is getting raw and my heart rate is racing, not to mention my driving skill suffering! So I see Jason and loop around him, then race ahead and get out. As he's coming up the road, I whip my shirt up and flash my pregnant-lady boobs at him! Big smile! I snap a shot as he passes.

Jason on the bike course... Posted by Picasa

I continue to follow along for a bit, rolling down the window and telling him about upcoming hills and whatnot. He seems pretty relaxed and full of energy! Eventually I leave him and continue to hoot and holler at cyclists close to T2. I can see their names on their race bibs now and make sure to use them. Some are mystified as to how I know their names! Fun!

Getting back to T2, I recognize other cheerleaders who have loved ones in the race. We swap stories and help cheer for other moms, dads and kids in the race. So fun! I meet one woman, Margaret, who's husband Jerry has completed 13 Ironman races! In the last race, he had a heart attack in the water... this was his first race since, at 62! I had just found out that Jerry was the person that wiped out in front of Jason on the bike course, but I knew he was okay and so kept the info to myself, as not to worry Margaret.

Jason sailed into T2 and took off after a ham sandwich and a kiss. Still smiling and strong, if not a little salty! I ask him if it feels like a 4hr marathon and he laughs and says, "MMMmm, no. More like a 5".

Exit from T2 - Look at those Pipes! Posted by Picasa

Much much later, when it's dark and cold and quiet, Margaret and I and a few others are on a bridge, shining a spotlight down to the riverside where the athletes are completing their marathon. I can't see Jason and have NO idea where he is or how he is doing. It's been 13 hours and I'm getting keyed up. I know the women in the first aid tent by now and know he is okay, but my heart is still racing.

Finally I see a pair of blue shorts. We had been asking everyone their names and numbers to cheer them on. I hear "32" and I yell "IS THAT MY HUSBAND??????" as I race down the hillside to meet him. It's been over 5 hours and he is TIRED. He's got blinders on, a bit of small talk but not much of a conversationalist!

Tail-end of the Run - can you see the salt on his shirt? Posted by Picasa

After 14:47, Jason has completed his first Ironman! I am so proud of him, I could cry (and almost do). He's covered in white salt, a little glazed over and crampy, but mostly okay. No blisters, no scrapes or broken parts... amazing!

He insists on going down to talk to Margaret to tell her about Jerry, and that he has seen him completing the run course! You can see the relief in Margaret's face and she thanks him profusely. I'm so happy to be married to this thoughtful man!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


For days I've wanted to blog about my husband's phenomenal performance in his Ironman race over the past weekend. I've wanted to paint my nails, go for a swim, respond to my tag from Tamara and finish the freaking thankyou cards to our wedding guests (as it's been a month and they are WAY overdue!!!)

But I can't. I have no time. I'm exhausted. I teach after work, then get home just in time to shovel some food down my throat and go to bed.

I need sleep like I've never needed sleep before and it's eluding me. I wake up four times to pee, my stomach gurgles at 3am for a banana with such regularity that I fear I might be giving birth to a monkey. I crawl into bed at 9:30pm and can barely drag myself out at 7:37am.

Right now we are taking care of our next-door neighbour's 105lb Rottweiler. Bella's boyfriend, Dozer. He is aptly named. When I have food, he is there. When I'm trying to get into a cupboard, he's in the way. He drools, he drinks loudly from the toilet. He makes a mess of the food dish when he eats, so that at on my 3am banana-run to the kitchen, I step on dog food kibbles in my bare feet and have to stifle a loud swearing episode. When he paces the hardwood floors at night, I can hear his claws click-clacking along until he finally settles heavily to the floor and lets out a huge sigh. He repeats this over and over again. His owner allows him to sleep in the bed with him, and I am sorely tempted to do the same just to get some shuteye.

Last night we closed the door to our room, which I felt horrible about. This was at 2am when I entered into a brief crying fit because I couldn't sleep. Poor Jason rubbed my back sleepily, my having woken him from restful slumber.

Don't get me wrong. Dozer is a sweetheart. A meathead, yes, but a sweetie. But Bella is so dainty and quiet and slobber-free and I've become so accustomed to her ladylike dog behaviour.

I feel like crawling underneath my desk right now and taking a nap.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Attention Naughty Pregnant Ladies

What the hell? Jason and I just returned from grocery shopping and I feel shame.

All the pregnant ladies that I know have glowing skin and bright shiny teeth. They are buff, they paddle dragon boats, they work full days without nodding off and can get out of bed before 7:37am. They eat spinach and couscous salads with chickpeas, alongside some calcium-fortified soy milk.


I crave Kraft Dinner and chocolate milk. In fact, I just bought exactly that and have a big frothy glass of chocolate milk in front of me as I type this.

I haven't eaten like this since my university days, when I couldn't afford much better. Usually I eat avocados and nuts and all things healthy. Now I eat toast with jam and butter.

Why can't I talk to some naughty pregnant ladies? You know, the ones that eat stacks of natchos for dinner, like I did last night after a round of pitch n' putt with my beer-swilling co-workers. What about the ones that have secret stashes of cinnamon buns (Mmmmm, baby likes cinnamon buns). Baked potatoes slathered in butter and salt - I'm salivating just thinking about it.

Jason tries so hard to stock the fridge with healthy things - bright green and red produce, smoothie ingredients, chicken and fish... Instead this baby is a carb fanatic and is turning me into BreadGirl.

I am taking my vitamins and drinking lots of water. I'm teaching yoga and spin classes. I even count my calcium intake! But the leafy greens are no longer calling my name.

Off to the kitchen to whip up some macaroni and cheese. That bright orange powder is healthy, right? What if I sprinkle protein powder on it? Flax seed oil instead of butter? Screw it. Baby likes KD.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Downstairs Demolition

It's the end of an era.

Yesterday, Rod moved out.

Rod is Jason's brother-in-law (Ang's brother) and had been living in the downstairs basement suite since Jason and Angie bought their house in 2002. Although Rod helped out with the mortgage, I know that is not the main reason he was there. Jason not-so-secretly enjoyed being able to help out his new family member and welcomed the chance to get to know his new 'bro a little bit more.

Throughout Jason and Angie's marriage, there was an understanding that if Angie were to get pregnant, that Rod would move out to make room for baby. But Ang never got pregnant, and so Rod stayed. After Ang died, Rod stayed. And when Jason asked me to move in, he stayed. In fact, that was something I always worried about - that he would not be comfortable with me in the house instead of his sister. But Rod is a stand-up guy and was totally okay with the whole situation, and so we all lived together in the house - dogs and kitties abound. BBQs were shared, beers were had, his new girlfriend was welcomed into the fray...

His being there has also helped Jason see Faye & David and Larry & Mary, Ang's parents, more than he would have otherwise since they come to visit Rod every so often. I like to think that if Jason were to invite Larry or Faye over for a visit now that Rod is gone, that they would still feel comfortable enough to stay the night at with us at Chez Camp, or stop by for tea. When Baby Camp comes along, I hope that they treat our little bundle like they would have a child of Ang's. I'm certainly going to encourage the spoiling that I know all grandparents are proud of!

But I guess I won't know how things will be on that front for a while yet.

In the meantime, the downstairs renovations have started at Chez Camp for Project Baby Number One. We started small, by knocking a hole in the wall to see if there was room under the front stairs for a wine cellar... okay, maybe not exclusively baby-related, but interesting nonetheless! To follow will be tearing out the carpets to be replaced by laminate flooring, and ripping down the ceilings to reinsulate & soundproof. The bathroom also needs a complete reno, thankfully my dad and brother are both plumbers! Then the standard painting and whatnot...

There is a lot of work to do, and a 7-month window to do it in, with work and school juggled in the middle. Yikes.

In pregnancy news, my first ultrasound is next week! Ultra-cool!

The nausea is beginning to abate, FINALLY, unless I don't eat something. Like RIGHT AWAY. Sometimes I feel like I need to go barf for a bit, or at least hang out in the can and heave a bit and feel like barfing, but then never actually barf, and just study the tiles on the floor and the toilet seat. Last week, on my walk to work from the bus stop, I had to stop at BCIT to puke (I don't even go to school there) and then again at my own workplace. I even shoved our receptionist out of my way while running up the stairs to make it to the bathroom. Suffice it to say that most people at work are aware of the little alien in my belly.

That's all for now...

Tuesday, September 6, 2005


It seems like only yesterday I was flitting about in loose, flowing dresses and skirts, baggy shorts and cottony tank tops. Now the chill of fall is in the air, requiring more confining jeans and sweaters to make their way back into my weekly wardrobe.

Houston, we have a problem. None of my pants fit.

It seems that instead of growing a baby, I am just growing a PAUNCH. I eat enough food for the five babies it feels like I'm carrying, so there really is no wonder. And in reality, I've only gained a few pounds... but for someone used to parading around in spandex a good portion of the time, this is a bit unsettling and weird. My shape is quickly evolving and while my midwife assures me that the annoying transformation from paunch to cute-baby-belly is one felt by all new moms-to-be, I still find it hard to walk past my reflection in the mirror without thinking that I need to hit the gym.

I know this is only the beginning and that soon my waistline will be busting out well beyond the confines of my Britney Spears jeans! But right now nobody at work knows that I'm pregnant. So to them, it just looks like I'm getting fat. I'm only 5'0", it isn't that easy to hide.

So Sunday I went to Old Navy (with every other mom in the GVRD, it seems) and bought some loooong layered T's, and some pants too, two sizes bigger than normal. If it doesn't hide my new inches, at least I am in style, which is more than can be said for me most of the time!

Saturday, September 3, 2005

Amazingly Talented Friends

I don't mean to brag, but I can't help it! Jason and I are extremely lucky to have an amazingly talented set of friends. For our wedding, we decided against registering for gifts, instead asking for people to showcase their talents by making us something, or for little donations to our House Reno Fund (a.k.a. make room for baby!!!). We appreciated all of the thoughtfulness and generosity that went into our gifts, everything far exceeded any expectations we had had. And the talent behind the handmade gifts! Lo and behold...

Lisa, photographer extraordinaire, has astonished us with her photography talents once again! She emailed me at work this week with the webpage she had put together of our wedding proofs. I didn't get a lick of work done all day! I will post a few of my absolute favorites, but that is not to say there aren't a ton more! BTW, if anyone in the Vancouver area is looking for a fantastic set of wedding photographers, Lisa and Hollie are fab! (These thumbnails are low-res and watermarked...)

Jason and I Posted by Picasa

Ashley getting kisses from me and sis Posted by Picasa

Another of Jason and I Posted by Picasa

Kisses on the Railroad Tracks Posted by Picasa

Glenn, Lisa, Jenn and Jason V. are putting together our wedding album as a gift (as if we needed more!) and I can't wait to see it! I can almost picture Glenn and Jason V. cutting out ribbons and paper to paste into the book... tee hee! So excited!

And did I tell you about the cake? When planning the wedding, Melina (my new step-mom-in-law) asked me what kind of cake I wanted. I said something simple... she came up with a scrumptious blackberry-lemon cake, stacked 3 tiers high with sugar-paste flowers to match my dress! OMG! Her daughter Mieka and two of her friends helped serve appies and clean up during the reception, and a family friend Norma Jean also gifted us with her kitchen expertise to make sure things ran smoothly. Between these women and JJ, the night went off without a hitch!

The cake! Posted by Picasa

Greg, one of Jason's family friends from waaaaaaaaay back is a judge. He wrote and performed our ceremony as a gift to us. Such beautiful words he chose. Jason and I had notions of writing our vows but after hearing his, we decided against it. He did a marvelous job!

Judge Greg adds humour! Posted by Picasa

The night of the wedding, one of my oldest and dearest friends Amanda presented us (quite tearfully!) with the wall hanging she had made us. It's our Triathlon quilt, complete with a picture of us finishing the Half Iron together. SO FAB!

Swim Bike Run Wall Hanging Posted by Picasa

Our friend Paige gave us some great wines along with a copy of her recently published book (she is a prof at UBC). The inscription read something like "I didn't know what to get you, so I though I'd make something." Very cool.

The day after the wedding, we arrived home to find these planters along the front steps, along with a bench put together for our deck by my brother Jason and his fiancée Kristi. A week later, Andrea and our next door neighbor Neil assembled this great teak table and umbrella set!

Pretty Planters Posted by Picasa

Patio Furniture and bench Posted by Picasa

And finally, last night we went to May & Darren's house for a potluck get-together... when we got there, they gave us these gifts out of the blue. May had done some paper work of a picture of our house, styled after Gustav Klimt. Darren, unbeknownst to us as a rock carver, made us this African Love Knot out of soapstone! Beautiful!

Chez Camp a la Klimt Posted by Picasa

African Love Knot Posted by Picasa

I have to say something about the speeches that night. Asking people to get up and speak is always a tough one, especially for the shy it can be soooo hard! But the night of our wedding we had the fortune of hearing 5 different speeches, all beautiful, inspired and touching beyond words. Andrea, Karen, Jen, Doug, and Kris all helped to fill the night with thoughts of love, friendship, trust, loyalty and of course, humour!

Andrea gave me a glowing review in her "Toast to the Bride" Posted by Picasa

Karen regaled us with antics of my childhood in her "Welcome to the Groom" Posted by Picasa

Jen talked about our car wash idea, "Clean Cars, Dirty Girls"! Posted by Picasa

Doug's speech about Jason's childhood adventures... Posted by Picasa

Kris & Steph. Kris raved about my Superman husband Posted by Picasa

Even Valerie (with younger sis Carmen) got up to tell a joke... Beach Weenies! Posted by Picasa