Archive for August, 2009

GIST #21 of 365

1) Fresh garden peas

2) The fact that I totally lucked out on weather this summer. I know it was kind of lame for everyone else, but I am eternally grateful that didn’t have to share my body with this kid through a heat wave summer.

3) Cramps, discharge, and a number of other symptoms of pre-labour that no one wants to hear about in any detail, that signify that this pregnancy is almost over, which, of coarse means that this discomfort will soon end!

4) Das Piper made me chocolate chip cookies, which he served hot from the oven with a giant glass of milk. . . He’s a keeper for sure.

5) The teeny little teddy bear booties my parents got for the baby. I haven’t been able to put them away yet because I like looking at them, and feeling them, and imagining little feet in them.


August 30, 2009 at 23:19 Leave a comment

Passing Judgment On Those I Have Never Met

Dear Upstairs Neighbour;

I feel the need to apologize. Without ever having met you I have found myself jumping to many conclusions, most of them negative, about you based on the many very annoying things I have witnessed over the past few months. The final conclusion I have drawn about you is that you are a family of uneducated red-necks who must have had some good luck at some dark VLT one night and decided to trade in your trailer for an apartment in the city and a sound system.

Ok, so I am not really apologizing, these conclusions are totally backed up by fact. I am just trying to be nice in the hopes that you will take the following suggestions under consideration:

1) Please keep in mind that I can hear you. The thing about these fancy apartment buildings in the city is that your neighbours are much closer than they were in the trailer park, so when you use that fancy new sound system to listen to the same Kid Rock song over and over again, or yell at your child causing him to stomp and slam doors, or yell at each other while stomping and slamming doors the people around you can hear it. Although I do have to give you props for being this annoying in a cement building, it’s much harder to get all of that sound through cement than it would be through wood and dry-wall.

2) It is not acceptable for your son to stand on the front lawn and yell at your window (the one right above mine) for you to let him in. If you really think that a 7 year old is old and wise enough to wonder the neighbourhood alone and unsupervised, then teaching him to use the buzzer shouldn’t be all that difficult. I know, intercom technology may be new and scary to you, but I promise that it is wonderfully convenient.
– Also, the next time I hear you tell him to go away and play a bit longer when he just wants to come in for a glass of water on a hot day, I am calling family services.

3) The window is not an appropriate garbage disposal. When you throw your fruit pits, cigarette butts, rotten eggs, and food wrappers off your balcony, they end up on my barbeque, in my tomato plants, and on the front lawn. I am sorry that you feel the giant garbage bin located at the back entrance is not convenient enough, or perhaps it’s the cost of garbage bags seeing as how you never leave and therefore couldn’t possibly have a job, but it’s not a suggestion, it is mandatory for you to bag and dispose of your garbage.

4) Do some laundry every once in a while. I have noticed on the laundry schedule that you have booked the 3 hour block of laundry time right before mine on Tuesdays. I am not really complaining that you have never used this time in the 6 months that I’ve had that laundry slot, it gives me the extra time I need to wash all of the new baby stuff we’re getting. But it does make me wonder. . . I mean, if you don’t care to dispose of your garbage properly, I can’t imagine what your other house keeping skills are like. I just hope you’re not growing anything up there that may become a health concern for others living in the building.

These are only a small few of the many things you do to make me judge you on a daily basis, but I didn’t want to overwhelm you. When you feel you have mastered these tasks I would be happy to give you another list of things you may want to consider.

Thank you for your time:


P.S. Please note that the noise and garbage complaints have been passed onto the building manager, and will probably only get worse should any of your obnoxious sound pollution wake my sleeping baby.

August 26, 2009 at 02:10 3 comments

Breast Feeding After Reduction Surgery

At the age of 16 I underwent breast reduction surgery. It was one of the best things that I have ever done. At that age the larger than average size of my breasts was causing a lot more than physical pain although there was quite a bit of that.

At that age, the larger than average size of my beasts, combined with the very early appearance of them, was causing my usually outgoing and bubbly teenaged self to shy away from pretty much any situation where I thought they may be noticed.

In grade 9, after 3 years on the elementary basketball and volleyball teams, it was assumed if not expected that I would try out for the high school teams. But after 2 minutes in the changing rooms outside of the gym I quickly got myself out of there. Hardly any of the other girls trying out had breasts, let alone ones with stretch marks that hung lower that a teenaged girl’s ought to, and adding the bulk of my chest to the good foot of height that I had over each one of them made me feel like a bumbling giant.

I struggled almost daily in front of the mirror of my bedroom making sure that the tags of my shirts, the ones that were clearly marked ‘plus size’, would not be spotted, and that the giant straps of my specialty bras, the ones that looked like a 60 year old woman should be wearing them, would not slip out into the open. I wonder to this day if my ending up befriending the punks of my high school didn’t have to do with the bulky black sweaters I wore as often as the weather would allow, to try and hide my chest.

It was all of this and more that got my 16 year old mind set on breast reduction surgery. I knew that it wouldn’t be covered, nor would I get my doctors approval just because I wanted to shop at a store for 16 year olds and not at a store for middle aged women. So I played up the pain, let them put me on pain killers before booking another appointment to tell them that I didn’t want to be on pain killers the rest of my life, and that I wouldn’t if they just removed the problem. I was quickly added to the waiting list, and received a surgery date a few months later.

At about this time in August of that year, I went under the knife. My mother looked terrified while they were preparing me. But I don’t remember feeling much of anything as the doctor marked his incisions and the nurses put me in a gown and walked me down the hallway. I walked right into the room, laid down on the bed, and took the deep breaths the anesthesiologist asked me to all without blinking an eye.

At 16 years old I wasn’t thinking about the future. I wasn’t thinking about having children and whether or not I was going to breast feed them. I don’t even remember if I asked about it, or if the doctor told me on his own that I would have a 50-50 chance at successful breast feeding in the future. It didn’t matter, and to tell the truth, even if it did my decision would have been the same. I do not, in any way, regret having the surgery.

Now though, I am 23, and not only am I thinking about having children, I am 40 days away from having one. The question of whether or not I will be able to physically provide for my baby has haunted me from day one, and I’ve spent countless hours reading about breast feeding after reduction surgery.

At first I was put off by what I was reading. You wont know until you try is the consensus with most of the material, and the Le Lache League’s literature offers eight billion different ways to supplement while still maintaining a breast feeding relationship most of which sounds just as, if not more frustrating and tedious than bottle feeding, and offers little in way of hope that I will be able to breast feed exclusively.

My doctor seamed optimistic when I first asked about it, my young age at the time of my surgery, the fact that I continued to grow a bit puberty wise after it, and from what he can tell on physical examination all is well. My breasts are acting exactly how breasts should act when preparing for breast feeding. ‘Just make sure to let me know about anything you may notice about your breasts’.

About a week ago I noticed that my nipples were dry. . . Really dry, almost as if they had dandruff. Not wanting to sound stupid I neglected to call my doctor to report dandruff nipples. Over the course of the next couple days it was less like dandruff and more just crusty nipples. Two days ago I went to wipe away my embarrassing nipple crust and found that it was wet.

At yesterday’s doctor’s appointment my doctor smiled. ‘That is exactly normal, your breasts are preparing to produce milk, and it looks like both of yours are working.’ I managed to avoid hysterical pregnancy crying with joy about that until just this moment as I am writing this.

I feel like I’ve finally been given permission to say ‘yes’ when people ask if I plan to breastfeed without following it up with an ‘if I can’. I finally feel like I can BE a mother. I feel less trapped, even if I didn’t want to, even if it wasn’t so important to me to feed my child this way, it would be MY decision; my 23 year old decision, not my 16 year old decision. Instead of grasping at the straws of pigment changes and occasional swelling or soreness, I can confidently say that this is going to work; I can go buy a nursing pillow.

Even though there is still the question of how much I will produce, I am overcome with relief about the fact that I can produce milk for my child. Should it turn out that I need to supplement, it will simply give Das Piper the opportunity to take part in such a large part of caring for our baby, and I refuse to see that as a bad thing.

August 21, 2009 at 02:58 3 comments

Tempting Fate.

I’ve been taking full advantage of the perinatal programs offered at the local YMCA. Said programs are awesome! The prenatal class was mostly fun, very informative, and cleared up many of my nerves about giving birth. The prenatal aqua-fit is similarly geared towards labour preparation, I highly recommend it to anyone who can keep a straight face while a 75 year old woman is screaming at you to squeeze your vagina really tight.

These classes are also really good for meeting other pregnant woman, you know, for camaraderie and what not, but also scoping out those due the same week as you, aka the ones you’ll be fighting for the private rooms in the mother-baby unit.

Last Thursday at said aqua-fit class, one of the women also due the last week of September, and myself were chatting in the pool before class.

Me: Can you believe my partner wants me to pack a hospital bag already? We have like 5 weeks left.

Her: Oh I know what you mean, my husband hasn’t stopped hassling me, it’s not like I am going to go into labour tomorrow, we have loads of time.

Well, she didn’t go into labour tomorrow. . . She went into labour later that night. She and the baby are both fine, she had a boy, 6 pounds 4 ounces. . . But really, if I didn’t know any better I’d think Das Piper had planned this whole thing to make me pack that hospital bag.

It’s worked, to not pack that bag now would just be tempting fate.

August 19, 2009 at 19:36 1 comment

6 Weeks: Split Second, Or Near Eternity?

Das Piper pops his head up over his computer with a big-eyed look on his face:

“48 days? is that really all we have left?”

I lift an eyebrow at him:

“um, yeah, that’s just over 6 weeks, you knew that.”

My calmness doesn’t seam to sooth him at all:

“maybe you should pack your hospital bag tomorrow.”

This causes my eyebrow to move higher yet, I haven’t seen it since, I think I may have lost it in my hairline:

“We have 6 weeks! We could order Ikea furniture in that time!”

Maybe it’s because he’s a carpenter and has therefore never ordered Ikea Furniture, or maybe he secretly has and was impressed with their speedy service, I am not sure, but his eyes only got wider:

“Pack your bag tomorrow, please?”

Me thinks that Das Piper is getting a little jumpy already. . . I think it’s really sweet, but to me right now, in this very uncomfortable moment, 6 weeks feels like a lifetime.

August 11, 2009 at 23:34 1 comment

Pocket Buddha’s Covet List:

“Enough baby stuff!” my mind screamed at me about an hour and a half ago. “You’ve been spending all of your time and all of your money on things for the baby, what about you?”

I totally agree with my brain. . . 6 months of constant baby things is a little excessive, if totally understandable.

Here are a few things I covet for myself:

1)Awesome recipe cards from

2)‘Prey for me’ T from

3)Angry pirate ninja kitty buttons from

4)Attack of the friendly octopus tote from cutoutandcollect’s Esty shop!

August 9, 2009 at 10:03 3 comments

GIST #20 of 365

1) Good music on the cool grass in the warm sun.

2) A frozen chocolate covered banana.

3) Purchasing a fun new percussion instrument that sounds, and is shaped, like a frog.

4) Homemade lemonade.

5) Putting my swollen feet up when we finally got home.

August 9, 2009 at 02:52 Leave a comment

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What is a Pocket Buddha?

The pocket Buddha is a talisman, whether the pocket is in our mind or our jeans, the pocket Buddha is there to add a touch of Zen to our lives. He smiles from his dark penny and used tissue filled abode and reminds us simultaneously to go with the flow of our lives and to keep our goals, hopes and dreams ahead of us. At least one moment everyday, the satisfaction of a project completed, the taste of a meal we managed to make without burning, the extraordinary patience we somehow managed to show in the most frustrating of times, the pocket Buddha throws us a pocket-lint sized piece of nirvana, and for that I am very grateful.

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