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