Tuesday, January 31, 2006

East Van Mompreneur

Yes, that's me! I've just bought into a pre/postnatal fitness franchise Fit 4 Two!

This is not something sudden for me, it's been something I've been thinking about for a loooooooong time. I decided that when I went on mat leave, that I would try and run some fitness classes in East Vancouver to see if I could make it work. I know the owner, I like the business case and I like collaborating with other people.

You see, I don't want to be an engineer anymore. The people are nice, the money is great, but I'm bored. Not to mention that it's nearly impossible to work part-time. And even if you get to work 4 days a week, you end up doing 5 days worth of work anyways and only getting paid for 4.

Did I mention child care??? SO expensive! I don't want to pay someone an arm and a leg for the priviledge of raising my baby. I can't bear the thought of handing the monkey over everyday to go to a job that I don't even like.

So here I go!

If there are any other moms or moms-to-be in the Vancouver Eastside that are looking for fitness classes and don't want to travel downtown or into the Westside, send them my way!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

A Tale of No Sleep

So apparently the third trimester is going to be about not getting any sleep. I know, I know, I should just get used to the sleep deprivation before baby gets here. But easier said than done.

My pregnancy has been pretty textbook this far. Almost the day that my second trimester started, the queasy feeling that had been gripping my tummy for three months abated as the clock struck midnight. The first week one might start feeling Braxton Hicks contractions was the week my uterus decided to go into heavy training for the upcoming main event. Even my boobs have anted up on schedule, overcoming the confines of their holsters and ecking out droplets of colostrum whenever they please.

So it should be no surprise that the first night of my third trimester, I would get no sleep. Well NO sleep is a bit of an exaggeration, but when you need a pee break three times a night, and now it takes you around an hour to get back to sleep after said pee break... well it feels like NO SLEEP!

And of course, this baby is fucking with me. As I walk around during my busy days, it lulls the baby to sleep and I feel only the odd aerobics session after I eat. However at night... at night the baby wants to party. This baby karate chops and jazzercizes. This baby does the "What a Feeling!" flashdance in my womb. This baby is slowly trying to hammer it's way out with tiny fists and heels.

So at least while I lie awake, I have some entertainment. I'm trying to teach the baby to punch or kick on cue when I tap my belly in a certain spot. Sounds dumb, but it keeps me from bawling in the middle of the night as I stare up at the ceiling.

It's been four nights. I am such a zombie right now.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Everyday is Beautiful

Jason's first wife, Angie, died of a brain tumour on January 24th, 2004. I never knew her, only through the man that I love and her friends that have become mine as well. Jason's nickname for her was Beautiful.

Ang used to work at Mountain Equipment Co-op alongside her friend Lynn. Last fall, without telling anyone, Lynn got together with one of the DeFeet salespeople, another friend and colleague of Angie's, to make some socks that would both pay tribute to Ang and also raise money for cancer research. MEC had offered to donate a portion of the sales towards the BC Cancer Agency.

Beautiful Socks Posted by Picasa

Recently in the mail, Jason received a letter from the BC Cancer Agency notifying him that a generous donation from MEC had been made in Angie's name. We were both a little puzzled...

Lynn finally told him that their "Beautiful Socks" have raised $4200 so far towards cancer research! There are three different types, Jason has some green ones and I have the pink ones. If you cycle, walk or run, or just like technical socks, these are great!

They say "Everyday is Beautiful" on the instep... Posted by Picasa

Need socks???

Friday, January 20, 2006

Nighttime thoughts...

I couldn't get any sleep last night. Jason and I have been having talks recently about selling our condo and using the profits to pay off our house mortgage and put away a little nest egg.

A few people at my work think we are crazy to think of selling the condo. The building is right beside the skytrain, and the Olympic developments going on are causing the value of the properties to increase. We currently have tenants in the condo that cover the mortgage, strata, tax, etc. which seems like a pretty good deal, and it is... if you have a good cash flow.

BUT we don't.

With Jason in school and my impending mat leave, cash is tight and will be for the forseeable future. Juggling two mortgages, rocketing money back and forth between accounts, and the risk of "what-if" expenses of two properties is taking years off our lives in stress. Even more so, I am hoping to leave the high-tech industry, which means buh-bye big salary! That is not to say that I won't work, but it certainly won't be full-time, and it won't be in engineering. Jason's teaching salary (if he can land a job in Vancouver) will not be nearly what I am making in nerd-land.

An obvious pro would be paying off the house that we live in. Jason and I were both lucky enough to have bought property before the Vancouver housing market skyrocketed. Now both the condo and the house have climbed significantly in value. We could make out like bandits if things fall into place.

The market is good for selling right now, and if stock options have taught me anything, it's that it's way too easy to get greedy and hold out for the BIG sell. So many times I've held on to my options, waiting for things to get a little bit better, and had the whole house of cards come crashing down. I've learned from that mistake, and even though my current job options aren't worth much, I cash little bits here and there to "ride the wave".

If we sold the condo, we'd be able to use our little bits of extra income to continue contributing to RRSPs, to start an education fund for our kid(s) and to pay premiums for things like life insurance. We could afford to go out once in a while, we could afford to have me work part-time and not have to put our kid(s) in daycare. We could even afford for Jason to complete his Masters and for me to return to school eventually.

The thoughts of getting my Masters in Physiotherapy still appeals to me. Until then, I am pursuing a few things in the fitness industry. Life is short. I'm all about planning for the future and socking away cash for our kid(s) but I'm also about the present. Presently I hate my job!

So many things to think about, but the more we do, the more it looks like a no-brainer.

Anyhow, just a little note on things I noticed when I was trying (unsuccessfully) to get back to sleep at 3:30am, after my fourth pee break...

1. If my hubby is sleeping and his breathing is shallow and fast, when I rub his temples and head, his breathing slows down almost instantly.

2. If I am laying in bed on my back, I can feel my baby's head and rock it back and forth. The baby will kick and punch back at me on cue, I can even guess where I will feel the kicks across my abdomen. The baby's tae-kwon-do practice doesn't hurt, yet!

3. When Bella stirs from the couch after hearing me waken, she comes to the side of the bed for some petting and scratching. If I let my hand just rest heavily on her, she will duck under it with her head and try to get my attention with her wet nose. If I continue to pretend to have fallen asleep, she will let out a whine or two, then fall to the ground beside the bed with a HUGE sigh.

Life would be so much simpler if I were a dog.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Five Weird Things...

So I've been tagged by Rambling Girl to divulge five weird things about myself. Shouldn't be too hard, I can think of LOTS of weird things!!!

1. I can't mix foods. At Thanksgiving, while everyone else is slapping their corn and mashed potatoes together and slathering them in gravy, I am carefully creating invisible fences between my foods so they don't touch. Going to buffets with those evil small plates annoys the crap out of me. I will eat a stirfry by first eating all the carrots, then the broccoli, then the snow peas. But never the onions because...

2. I hate onions. I love to cook and will dice the onions up super small if a recipe calls for them so that I can't see them. If I order something in a restaurant, I will always specify "No onions" and if they forget, I will send it back. When cooking for guests, I will include onions, just pick them out and leave them in a corner on my plate.

3. I HATE doing the dishes. I will gladly scrub the toilets, do the laundry and mop the floors but please please please don't make me do the dishes. Unless of course I am at your house for dinner, in which case I will offer to do them gladly.

4. I don't like slow sports, I find them too boring. Walking, hiking, snowshoeing... too slow, Zzzzzzz. Oddly enough, I loved cycling through Europe with Jason, but then I also got to stare at his spandex-clad butt and shoulders the whole time. Much like a rabbit with a carrot dancing in front of it's nose.

5. I can't relax. Most of the time, my mind is chattering away like a monkey. I teach yoga and while instructing others to breathe and let go of their thoughts, my brain is spinning like a whirling dervish. I am always doing something, usually two things at a time. This pregnancy has addled me to an extent that I often forget the second thing, often leading to burnt cookies or a hungry dog.

Now who should I tag?


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Proud Daddy

This is what my husband does while I am sleeping...

First I was horrified that my pasty white body was posted for all to see.

Then I was pleased to see that my butt really hasn't grown that much in the last 26 weeks.

Then I was happy that my hubby is ecstatic about my weight gain. He hasn't gained an ounce of sympathy weight, only our dog has, but he's been pretty damned excited about seeing me get chubby.

Yesterday at the midwives, I was floored when I found out that I have gained 22.5lbs so far. Already my back gets achy and the arches of my feet fall inwards... I still have 14 weeks left! I hope my little body can keep up!

Belly Shot - 26 weeks Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Primed for Action!

With heavy renovation work being done by Jason and a multitude of helpful friends downstairs, I've begun to feel quite useless. I would say I feel like a useless tit, but apparently my tits will be nothing but useFUL in the coming months!

SOOOO, I decided to start painting the nursery! The walls of our old den are rooster red, a color I love love love! But I'm trying to create a loving environment for my happy baby, and NOT a fiery hell pit for my ANGRY baby. So alas, no red room. Sigh.

After I had packed all FOURTEEN boxes of books out of the bookshelves, Jason came upstairs to move all the furniture into the middle of the room for me. I draped a giant dropsheet over the entirety so it now stands like a Saran-wrapped island in the middle of the room.

I attempted to don my regular painting duds. I managed the shirt, but had to resort to pajama pants since my jeans no longer fit! Then it was the chemical respirator - "LUKE, I AM YOUR FATHER"... nothing says sexy like Gas Mask Lady.

I quickly realized how much my center of gravity has shifted and how unbalanced I am perched on a ladder anything higher than two steps off the floor! Luckily I could reach everything from the second step, since Jason had already taped the crown mouldings for me.

This morning I got the room primed. So the walls are a beautiful streaky pink.

Pepto Bismal room. Blech. At least my baby's stomach will be settled if I get nothing else accomplished.

Progress pics to come...

Friday, January 6, 2006


Every year I make a resolution that is attainable and realistic. This year I have resolved to attempt the Squamish Triathlon for my third year running.

Normally this would be a cake walk. But it's on July 9th, 2006. That's only 45 days after my expected due date on April 25th... I can't figure out if I'm crazy or not.

Squamish is a special race. It's because of the race that Jason and I met, because of the race that Jason and I trained together and got to know each other. He's been the biggest cheerleader I've ever had and as corny as it may sound, I feel like there's a bit of magic in this race.

Last year I ran both my half-Ironman and the Olympic-distance Squamish race with an injured knee. In Squamish, I managed to knock my swim and bike times down, but my run increased by almost as much. I barely beat my 2004 time, but I didn't care. I think that in 2006, I can match my swim and maybe even my bike. The run will suck royally - with the extra pregnancy weight I've sworn off running until after the baby is born. But even if I have to walk the entire thing, I still want to give it a shot.

I hopped on my indoor trainer yesterday after somehow wedging my ever-expanding belly into my bike shorts. Luckily my feet are not too swollen to fit into my tiny bike shoes! I can no longer get into my tri-bars, the belly gets in the way and my heart rate skyrockets. But I can still spin away when the music is pumping!

My swim workout has been whittled down to 1500m... that is when I get out for a swim workout. It's become obvious that my polyester suit was not made for stretching and I will have to invest in a bigger suit since my boobs keep trying to escape when I'm reaching overhead in a front crawl. I also have to scope out the community center pools since my membership status at the YWCA is suspended along with my volunteer yoga instruction (don't get me started on my feelings regarding that!). I've heard that Killarney is re-opening soon with massive renos and ozonated water, I can't wait.

Who knows what will happen? My wetsuit might not even fit after the baby is born, my milkbar boobs might hit my knees when I'm biking... I may not even be able to sit comfortably in the saddle if I sustain any injury during labour. What if I have a c-section?

None of those maybes will keep me from signing up.

Tuesday, January 3, 2006


Happy New Year and Merry Christmas! I hope the holiday was good to everyone!

Jason and I returned last night from a whirlwind road trip through Alberta and British Columbia...

Dec 22nd: Vancouver to Canmore
Dec 23rd: Canmore to Drumheller (drop off Bella girl)
Dec 24th: Drumheller to Calgary, flight to Fort McMurray
Dec 28th: Fort McMurray flight to Calgary, back to Drum
Dec 29th: Drumheller to Canmore
Dec 31st: Canmore to Nelson
Jan 2nd: Nelson to Vancouver, stop in Kelowna

Go Matrix! Posted by Picasa

Our little Toyota Matrix performed flawlessly throughout the trip, suffering only two rock chips in the windshield and racking up 3200km! It was also great to bring along Bella. Having to leave her in Drumheller with relatives over Christmas sucked, but Air Canada had an embargo on all pets over the holiday season. Stupid Air Canada!

In Canmore, we stayed alone at Jason's cousin Tim's beautiful vacation home - the place was massive, decked out with a clawfoot tub, fireplace, a stunning view of a whack of local mountains and PRIVACY!!!

Canmore Vacation View #1 Posted by Picasa

Canmore Vacation View #2 Posted by Picasa

Canmore Vacation View #3 Posted by Picasa

In Drum, we stayed in a teeny house with many members of Jason's mom's family and a menagerie of animals. Andrea, my sis-in-law, took care of Bella for us since she was visiting at the same time with her mom. We even managed to hit the Royal Tyrell Museum to take in the amazing dinosaur exhibits. SO COOL!

RUN!!! Posted by Picasa

Studly in Sorels (and the toque I knitted!) Posted by Picasa

Rar! Posted by Picasa

Fort McMurray brought the storm of my immediate family - all five of us plus husbands and wives and little baby Ashley! Ice hockey on the frozen pond, walks through the woods with their dog Boomer, playing with Ashley and eating like it was going out of style! I also raided my sister Karen's maternity supply and managed to snag a few stylish tops and pants, along with unisex onsies and sleepers for my little monkey. The baby's antics have evolved into full-blown acrobatics now and I feel them all the time. Very cool and reassuring that everything is progressing normally!

In Nelson, we visited with Russ n' Jenn and their 2.5yr old Annie. Annie is about 30lbs of nonstop action - talking a mile a minute and continually batting her doe eyes to get away with murder! She rules the roost there, to be sure! But a cutie non-the-less. Unfortunately Bella wasn't allowed in their beautiful straw-bale house, so she stayed out in the car :( Sigh.

Lastly, in Kelowna we visited with Faye, Ang's mom. She was doing quite well and was really happpy to see us and of course, my tummy! I think she is quite excited to be a grandma, as strange as that may seem. She really wants great things for us, and that is very comforting.

Snowy Day on the ice of Lake Louise Posted by Picasa

When the Christmas season kicked up, Jason worried about his grieving being heightened since it was during the Dec/Jan timeframe two years ago that Ang was taken to the hospital with no intent of bringing her back home. January 24th will mark the second anniversary of her passing. I think he has fared pretty well so far this year, taking the dog out for solo strolls when he needs to be alone, or holing up with a book on the couch. Last year he went to Tofino for a few days by himself, I set up a cabin for him and Bella to stay in. He went surfing, ate well and spent the day quietly. This year he will stay here. It's strange how time passes.


A few minutes ago, after starting this post, I found out that my grandpa passed away this morning. He would have been 78 on Jan 14th. He only got to see one of his great grandchildren. My grandma is a mess and my mom and dad are not in town to be with her.

I guess I'm still in shock because I haven't started bawling yet. His passing is no surprise, we all knew he wasn't doing well. He's been in the hospital for months. They had a hard life, my grandparents Dumas. When I compare them to my dad's parents, they seem decades older. It's strange how time treats people differently.

I think I will wander home before this news hits me fully.