Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Smile

May it never be said that I can't keep a secret...

Today, Cocoon's best-kept secret of the summer is out there, baby. Our newest brand launch - Curve 94.3 - hit Winnipeg airwaves this morning at 08.45. Go check it out! It's a pretty awesome station. And I'm not just saying that because we worked on it - it's seriously my new favourite radio station.

The format is 'pop alternative' which probably won't mean much to you until you listen to it, because it's the only radio station of its kind in North America. They launched with MIA, and they have bands like Daft Punk, Nirvana, Coldplay, Kanye West, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Amy Winehouse, Pearl Jam, No Doubt, and Weezer on their playlist. I'm a happy, happy girl.

Enjoy 943 glorious songs in a row this Long Weekend :)

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Thursday, August 28, 2008


My thoughts about being up at 04.55 to get ready for a 09.00 meeting in Kenora today. I'm seven-and-a-half months pregnant. This is a crime against humanity.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Things No One Warned Me About: Urine Tests

This *may* count as an overshare. But seriously. It is incredibly difficult to keep doing these urine tests at every single doctors appointment once you can no longer see past your stomach. Just saying. There's a little luck, a lot of faith, and some fancy coordination involved.

As for the rest of my appointment today... Apparently, the results of my glucose test showed that my blood sugar is slightly elevated. The doctor wasn't super-concerned yet, but it does mean that I need to go for the second glucose test. This involves fasting for 12+ hours, a two-hour stay at the lab, drinking lots more of that nasty orange drink, and a blood test every 30 minutes during the two hours that I'm there. Not really impressed.

The plan is to go at 8 am on Friday morning. Geoff's working, but I want to get it over with (and I'm in Kenora for work all day tomorrow, so that's not an option). I'd really appreciate your prayers that morning. It's going to be yucky and hard. And yucky.


Facebook Fan Page

My company - Cocoon - finally managed to create a Facebook Page... And YOU can become a fan! How exciting! It's the best way to see what we've been up to, news on upcoming vacancies on our team, and open casting calls for upcoming modelling opportunities.

Just search 'Cocoon Branding' from the main Facebook search. We'll come up. And you can be our friend :)


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What's In A Name?

A lot of pressure, that's what!

I seriously underestimated the whole baby-naming process - though I suspect I may have put more pressure than usual on myself because naming is such a big part of my everyday job. Granted, that's usually a company or a campaign, not a baby girl. And I had Geoff as a very able naming partner. But STILL. You want to find something that's special, but not weird - I think that's it in a nutshell.

In the end, we ended up back at the beginning. We chose the very first baby girl name that both Geoff and I fell in love with in the first weeks of this pregnancy.

And then came the whole 'should we tell?' debate. In the end, we realized that (a) Geoff and I are not always fans of convention, and (b) Geoff and I are not always fans of secrets and surprises. And so... We pretty much said 'to heck with what everyone else things' and decided that we didn't want it to be a secret anymore.

Baby's name is Briony. We're still working on the middle name. We know it's a little bit of a tricky one... It's BRY-o-nee ('bry' as in 'rhymes with fry' - not 'brie' like the cheese), and while it's rare here in North America, it's reasonably common in the UK and Australia. You'll catch on quickly, we have no doubt :)

We're so excited to meet her soon - and for all of you to meet and love her too!


Seven Months

Okay. So Month Seven is almost officially over. But I've been busy :)

So I'm for-real pregnant now. Not that I wasn't before... But it's just that I feel really pregnant now. Some days, I feel - and look - really, REALLY pregnant. And my coworkers love to remind me of that (often, and usually accompanied by no-fatties-allowed jokes). One of my former clients stopped by our office last week and screamed when she saw me - before proceeding to absolutely maul my pregnant belly.

Baby is perfect, as always. She's kicking away and developing some impressive-feeling kung fu skills. I'm glad that she's happy in there, because this Mama-to-be has been a little less so out here. My arthritis / fibromyalgia seems to be back, and it's putting a bit of a damper on everything - even though I'm fighting against it as hard as I can.

How I'm Feeling:
Emotional. Large. A little bit tired. Excited. Wanting to buy lots of things that are tiny and cuddly and pink. Full of anticipation.

New Stuff Last Month:
- Another ultrasound (and lots of pictures)
- Finding out that Baby is a GIRL! with a NAME!
- Incessant kicking, often visible from the outside a la Alien
- My first significant weight gain (sigh...)
- Prenatal yoga classes at Moksha
- The return of my arthritis / fibro symptoms
- An achy, stretchy feeling on the sides of my stomach
- Heartburn (ew)
- Glucose test (double ew)
- Really wanting to meet Baby soon (but not *too* soon)

What's On Mommy's Mind:
Baby, you really surprised me this month. I thought that I was pretty tough and under control, but seeing you on that ultrasound and hearing the words out of the technician's mouth that you were a girl... I'm pretty sure that - if we'd moved the ultrasound wand any higher - they would have discovered that my heart had melted into a great big puddle in my chest.

The night after the ultrasound, I completely broke down crying. It sounds so silly, but I was crying because I missed you. I loved spending an hour with you, seeing you moving around on the screen and watching you react to every poke at my stomach. And then I knew that I needed to say goodbye, that we wouldn't see you again until you're born in November. And it made me cry. I'm just so fascinated by you, and I want to get to know you.

It was so much fun to make the phone calls and let everyone else who loves you know that we're adding a baby girl to our family. And it was a really special moment the first time your Daddy and I could call you by your name. Last week, we made the decision to share that name with family (and anyone who asks). It was just getting too hard to keep it a secret, because you're not 'Baby' around our house anymore :)

Since then, we've picked up a bunch of baby girl things to help get ready for you to come and live with us - some clothes and books that I'd been looking at, but hadn't bought for you yet. I picked out some of my favourite girly books - 'The Paper Bag Princess' and 'Big Sarah's Little Boots' - and some little shirts and dresses (not ALL pink, but some of them).

You have no idea how much we love you already, and how excited we are that you're coming. We can't wait for our little family to become three people. You are so wanted, so anticipated, and so loved.

Is anyone else super-amused by the fact that these obligatory belly shots are getting sloppier and sloppier? We're down to pyjamas. I'm not really sure how we can go lower than that... Stay tuned! :)

Pssst! Click on the 'Month By Month' link below to view past updates.

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Tuesday Smile

This is purely just to make my brother Aaron's day.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Defining Relationships

A funny thing happens when you're going through tough stuff... You realize very, very quickly who your true friends are. These are the people who aren't scared away by a stormcloud or two. They'd prefer to see you laughing, but they're just as willing to sit with you while you cry - and they'll probably even shed a tear or two alongside you (or, at the very least, hand you Kleenex and lie about how your face does not look blotchy and scary). They are unconditional.

What might come as a greater surprise is that you also realize who your true family is. And many times, they might not even be related to you.

You count on losing a few friends when things get rough. You don't really ever expect to find segments of your family missing - you expect that they'll be on your team, no matter what. And that's dangerous, because it's so much easier to be hurt or disappointed by the people who share your genetic material. But there's a really beautiful security that comes from 'family' friends, because you aren't stuck with each other - you chose each other.

Before I start any rumours or hurt any feelings, I need to say that I've been blessed with a pretty special immediate family. My parents and my siblings are very important to me, and I know that I'm important to them. We don't see eye to eye on many things, and we're incredibly busy people - but I don't doubt for a second that, if I really needed them, they'd be there in a heartbeat (and that works both ways). I know that because it's been proven. It's the step beyond that family unit that becomes a little more hit-and-miss, and where you start to fill in the gaps with some very special friends.

Just being honest :)

I always thought that it was your family who defined you. I'm starting to think that's wrong. I think that - maybe - it's your family who forms your foundation and starts you in the right direction... And then it's the people who *become* your family (related or not) who love you unconditionally, and - through that love - give you the freedom you need to help you define yourself.

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Monday Secret

Yeah... We totally used to do this at work. It wasn't even a mean-spirited thing - almost every single person in our office managed a tough, significant break-up within the space of 12 months, and we always kind of wondered who would be next... We were all scared of The Streak. It was like a horror movie, and you wonder and worry if you'll be next.

I broke the streak when I got married, and now happy relationships seem to be the trend. There's even another wedding happening this year. I'm still a total trendsetter with the baby thing though... Which we all totally had bets on... I lost - I'd bet on two other people :)


Friday, August 22, 2008

Message From 'Past Lindsay'

I was spending part of my lunch break surfing the interweb, and I came across this blog entry I'd made on February 21, 2006 - two and a half years ago.

You know the episode of The Office where Jim and Pam are sending faxes from 'Future Dwight'? This felt like a message from 'Past Lindsay' - and it was kind of cool. It made me smile at how much my life has changed in such a relatively short amount of time. And it made me so optimistic about my future. About *our* future.

It was exactly what I needed to get myself just one step closer to letting go of all the worries that have been plaguing me this week, because it made me realize that it's absolutely going to all turn out okay :)

I had a noteworthy moment today. One that should be recorded so that I don't forget what it felt like.

Five months ago, I lost my job. But an extraordinary thing happened: I found myself. The most extraordinary thing about that is that I didn't know that I had been lost. I think that people can just get so wrapped up in the status quo that we lose track of which way is up - and which way is us.

Walking to my car after work today, I realized that - for the first time in a long time - I am content. I am spending my time doing things that I love, and I am happy. I don't have everything I want, but I have everything I need. And that in itself is extraordinary.

For me, the time in between my last job and my current one was the most valuable time I've ever enjoyed. I took the time to rediscover myself. It was not a comfortable process. I slowed down long enough to figure out what makes me happy - what I want to spend my time doing, and what is truly important to me. I focused on my health and - for the first time - really, truly took care of myself. I went back to Europe and learned a hundred lessons about what it means to be strong and optimistic about the future - and what it means to be a hero, someone who has used their life to make a difference. When I started this job, I knew who I was and what I had to offer. And that is an amazing feeling.

Whoever 'they' are, they were wrong: I didn't learn everything I needed to know about life in kindergarten. I don't know it all now. But the lessons so far have brought me to this place, and it's a place where I'm happy to be.

Now, that said... Of course, something had to give. On the eve of this moment of total content, The Boy told me that he was finished with our attempt at a relationship - that there was someone else. It's always disappointing when things don't work out, but I feel an odd peace. I know in my soul that things worked out the way they should have. That there's something better for me out there. And until that happens... I am content.


Friday Smile (on Friday)

My brother Aaron sent me this website today, and it totally made me happy - in a Friday Smile kind of way.

DFL: Celebrating last-place finishes at the Olympics. Because they're there, and you're not.

Enjoy, and Happy Friday! :)


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Friday Smile (on Thursday)

I'm having one of those Thursdays that requires an early Friday Smile. This afternoon, I was reviewing some notes in an old book I have about developing different written voices (lame to most, I'm sure, but I *love* this book). There's a sample essay in there that makes me giggle every single time I read it. I picked a few of my favourite parts - and I share them with you now for your Thursday afternoon enjoyment.


Thin people come in all personalities, most of them menacing. You've got your "together" thin person, your mechanical thin person, your condescending thin person, your tsk-tsk thin person, your efficiency-expert thin person. All of them are dangerous.

In the first place, thin people aren't fun. They don't know how to goof off - at least in the best, fat sense of the word. They've always got to be adoing. Give them a coffee break, and they'll jog around the block. Supply them with a quiet evening at home, and they'll fix the screen door and lick S&H green stamps. They say things like "there aren't enough hours in the day." Fat people never say that. Fat people think the day is too damn long already.

Thin people make me tired. They've got speedy little metabolisms that cause them to bustle briskly. They're forever rubbing their bony little hands together and eyeing new problems to "tackle." I like to surround myself with sluggish, insert, easygoing fat people, the kind who believe that if you clean it up today, it'll just get dirty again tomorrow.

Thin people turn surly, mean and hard at a young age because they never learned the value of a hot-fudge sundae for easing tension.

"If you consume more calories than you burn," says one of my thin friends, "you'll gain weight. It's that simple." Fat people always grin when they hear statements like that. They know better.

Fat people know all about the mystery of life. They are the ones acquainted with the night, with luck, with fate, with playing it by ear. One thin person I know once suggested that we arrange all the parts of a jigsaw puzzle into groups according to size, shape and color. He figured this would cut the time needed to complete the puzzle by at least 50 per cent. I said I wouldn't do it. One, I like to muddle through. Two, what good wold it do to finish early? Three, the jigsaw puzzle isn't the important thing. The important thing is the fun of four people (one thin person included) sitting around a card table, working a jigsaw puzzle. My thin friend had no use for my list. Instead of joining us, he went outside and mulched the boxwoods. The three remaining fat people finished the puzzle and made chocolate, double-fudged brownies to celebrate.

- Suzanne Britt, 'That Lean and Hungry Look'

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A Bubble Kind of Day

I'm trying really hard to have a good day. But today is one of those days when that's hard. I'm not even sure that Starbucks will fix it (gasp!) - though of course, I picked up a half-caf caramel macchiato on my way into the office this morning anyway. (That little detail was totally for Mel... :)

We found out yesterday that Geoff will not be able to take the two months of leave in November and December that we'd planned on (lousy antiquated union contract that favours mothers and totally discriminates against fathers). If he wants any time off - other than the *two* days he'll be eligible to request when I go into labour - the only option would be to take that time as an unpaid leave of absence. Which is not really an option at all.

I'm glad we found out now, so I have time to adjust my expectations and my picture of what our first weeks as parents will look like. But it's a little hard for me not to feel scared. With my mom sick and my own health questionable at best, I'd been counting on the extra support of having Geoff at home - but I know that God cares about me, and about our little family. And no matter how this turns out, it's going to be okay. I might just have to get much awesomer at asking for help (sigh).

His boss is looking into what they can do to move around his vacation time to give us a little bit more time at home together in those early months. So if you're looking for something to pray about - please feel free :)

I've been working all day to gather up all my little worries about this, and - as Nicole so wisely advised yesterday - put them in a bubble and blow them away. It's been hard, though. I suppose that if it was easy to do that, we'd all be incredibly well-adjusted and self-sufficient (and boring).

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Learning To Let Go

It's Wednesday again... What is it with this stupid day?! It's exhausting.

I attempted to be a good wife last night and actually made dinner - and Amber's ridiculously amazing Strawberry & Rhubarb Crisp (with the organic vanilla ice cream from Superstore) for dessert. Brilliant. Except that I managed to increase the temperature of our kitchen well beyond the daily high temperature in hell, and I never really cooled back down after that.

Eventually, Geoff took pity on me and hooked up my little television in our room so that I could watch the Olympics from directly in front of our window-unit air conditioner, sprawled out on the bed like a dog on the hottest day of the year. Lovely picture, isn't it? :)

I managed to get to sleep, but I was wide awake for almost two hours right in the middle of the night - just worrying. I hate that. My worry du jour is about finances. We have so many baby things left to get, and I only have a few paycheques left before I'm down to 55% of what I'm used to bringing home. I realize that people with half of our household income and double our debt have babies all the time... I'm working on letting go.

Some of you have been asking how I'm feeling. I'm hanging in there. I still wake up every day in pain, but I'm choosing to focus on other things. The drugs that would 'fix' this (read: mask my symptoms) would hurt my baby girl, so I don't really see much of a need to whine or complain - there just isn't another option, other than taking better care of myself and putting one foot in front of the other. Another area where I need to master the delicate art of letting go. I'm working on it. It's not as easy as I'm making it sound.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

ChronicBabe Strikes Again!

There was a *great* article on last month that I read again today - and it really (REALLY) hit home. It's inspired me to create my own list of self-promises to make it through another tough, flared-up week.

But I don't think you need to be sick to make yourself a list like this one... We could ALL use some TLC, to truly make the most of what's left of this summer. I'll work on my list and add it to the Comments section of this post when it's ready. I'd like to see yours too! It doesn't have to be ten items long - unless you're as messed up as I am :)


OK, I've slipped. So here are 10 things I promise myself today. What's your promise?

by Jenni Prokopy (

I've slipped. It's been a rough week and I totally threw my self-care regimen out the window. Let's see: I've eaten some horribly unhealthy meals, blown my sleep schedule to bits, relied more on medication when I could be using relaxation techniques to handle stress, overworked when I knew my body was ready to quit...the list goes on and on.

But I'm not going to beat myself up over this. I'm through playing that game—I used to get mad at myself all the time for being an imperfect patient, and then I would just feel even worse, the cycle would repeat itself...but no more. Now my aim is to just get real with myself, take ownership of what's mine, and do my best to take good care.

With that in mind, here are 10 things I promise myself today. I know I won't always be perfect with them, but I'll do my best.

1. Get over the guilt of not being "caught up" on everything in my life

So there's a couple hundred emails that need to be answered. And a stack of magazines I haven't read. And some phone calls I need to return. Hmm. I can either agonize about not accomplishing all of them, or I can get to work on the things I can do, starting now. I think I'll go with the latter—and anyone who needs me urgently knows how to find me. The stuff that can wait...will.

2. Find my workout rhythm again

To feel good most of the time, I need to stick with a workout schedule all of the time. That means hitting the gym, or the pool, or walking or bicycling or even dancing in my living room...anything that keeps me active. It's easy to blame bad weather for not going out, or a busy work schedule for missing pool time, but the truth is I can find time to work out every day as long as I commit to doing so.

3. Take time to plan meals (and the shopping they require)

One of the few things I have almost complete control over is my diet. I am what I eat, and when I eat crap, I feel like crap. So this weekend I started to get back into a healthy approach, with a little meal planning, making some healthy stew in the slow cooker so I have easy lunches all week, and busting out all my fave Cooking Light cookbooks.

4. Ask for help

Gosh, I need some help. Help getting caught up on all your emails, planning meetings, keeping the house tidy, staying positive...tangible things and intangible needs. But I can't get help if I don't ask for it, so I'm trying to make a list of the things I need help with so I can start checking them off one by one. (And of course, I'm ready to help others too—you get what you give, Babes, and I don't want to be that girl who always needs rescuing but is never around when you want to borrow a cup of sugar.)

5. Practice relaxation

And I do mean practice. Relaxation techniques are something that require a little skill, and you only get that through practice. The good thing is, they're kinda like riding a bike in that if you were good before, you'll get good again fast when you come back for more. So there will be a lot of diaphragmatic breathing going on at ChronicBabe HQ in the next few days...

6. Make time for more fun

It's summer, darnit, almost the end of July and this Babe hasn't seen a grain of sand. It's time to hit the beach! Yes, I'm busy with the site, and with work, and family stuff, and laundry, and relaxation techniques (see above) but that doesn't mean I can't have fun. I think a healthy approach is to have fun throughout the day (versus waiting for planned vacations or parties), build it into the schedule and try to make boring tasks more fun with good music or good company.

7. Own what's mine, and release everything else

I've been spending a lot of time this past week worrying about other people's business, and it's gotta stop. I can't control what other people do; I can only control the actions I take. So here I am, releasing everyone else's BS and owning my own. load just got a lot lighter!

8. Celebrate every single success, no matter how small

I went to the gym today, and I freakin' rocked! Yeah! Woo hoo! Seriously, I was pretty awesome. I swam for 10 minutes and only took two breaks, even though my arms felt wobbly and weak from lack of swimming in recent weeks. So yeah, I'm the coolest! I kicked butt! And I'm gonna do it again tomorrow so watch out, all you other faster swimmers, cuz I'm gonna clog your lap lanes again and you're gonna like it!

9. Surround myself with awesome people

It's time to return those languishing phone messages and gather folks around me. I'm prone to depression, and alone time is not what I need right now—I need friends by my side. And only the coolest people are invited to the Jenni party. So if you've got a good sense of humor, great taste in music, cooking skills, fun kids, irreverent're in the club. Get my drift? I once heard you should surround yourself with the kind of people you aspire to be, so that's the plan for me.

10. Forgive. Forgive. Forgive. And move forward!

It's time that I forgive myself for not always being perfect, for not doing every single thing possible to help myself at every moment. No one is perfect, so why do I hold myself to that impossible standard? I forgive myself for being human. I forgive myself for occasionally being lazy, and for throwing the occasional pity party. Big deal. It's OK.

And it's time that I forgive anyone who ever hurt me, or failed to believe in me, or neglected my needs or desires. I don't think anyone in my life has purposefully caused me harm. The few select people who are really toxic have no idea at all that they're bringing negative energy into my life, and I need to forgive them. And once I've forgiven them, I need to release them—remove them from my life, or build better boundaries so I can enjoy their good qualities and protect myself from their bad ones. Carrying around anger at those people is harmful to my mind and body.

And finally, I need to forgive whatever force has made me ill. Call it God, or Goddess. Maybe it's just genetics. Call it Mother Nature...or nurture. I don't know why I'm ill, but it doesn't matter. Being angry at something I can't understand is unhealthy. I forgive that force and I move forward. That's what I choose to do.

So...what's your promise to yourself?

What will you pledge to do for yourself, starting today? If any of my promises resonate with you, then try them out—and create some of your own. Write them down, tack the list to a wall where you see it every day, and then live it. When you're a ChronicBabe, there are things you don't have control over...and things you do. Choose to make the changes you can. That's the best we can do.

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Another Day, Another Dollar

I'm off to Starbucks, and then to work - in an attempt to artificially kickstart a Good Day. Wish me luck!


Monday, August 18, 2008

Feeling Funky

Ugh. I don't know what's wrong with me. I'm in a total Mood. Yeah, that's right - a capital-m Mood. Pretty serious stuff when I start hauling out the gratuitous capital letters :)

I'm just bitchy and grumpy and experiencing that constant state of two-seconds-away-from-crying-for-no-reason-whatsoever.

I want to blame it on pregnant hormones. I want to blame it on getting next-to-no sleep last night in our warm house. I want to blame it on work deadlines. I want to blame it on my ultra-queasy stomach that never wants to go near anything sugary and orange-flavoured ever again. I want to blame it on my arthritis, which has been getting steadily worse again all day.

Actually, scratch that. What I really want is to blame this on other people :)

Hm. As long as I'm smiling online via colons and brackets, it can't be *too* bad yet. But now I have a brand-new reason to be cranky. My 'what I really want' sentence got a stupid Spice Girls songs stuck in my head.

Now it's in all of your heads too. And THAT kind of makes me smile... :D
A capital-d kind of smile.


Weekend Update: Lake Edition

Ahh. I'm back at work today after enjoying a fabulous, lazy weekend at the lake with my parents (and Geoff on Saturday). We really didn't do much - a couple of walks, some visiting with people, half a book's worth of reading, a little bit of television-watching when the CBC was broadcasting any significant Olympic events or updates. Mostly, we just spent time together and enjoyed good food and food conversation.

It was just what the doctor ordered. I'm feeling significantly better than I was last week - not a miraculous recovery by any means, but I'm better. I'd put it at around 50%, which took down my pain and stiffness enough that even though I'm still walking a little more slowly than usual, I'm not doing that signature flareup waddle anymore.

My mom seems to be over the worst of Chemo Round #3, which was nice to see. She's still on the mend, but I could tell that she was starting to feel a little bit better - a relief, after a really tough week last week. And now the whole game changes again, because her last three rounds of chemo (starting September 2) will use different drugs than the first three. I think we're all working really hard to focus on today, and not worry about what comes next.

My dad drove me home last night, in time for me to do some necessary stuff for work while Geoff and I watched the Obama / McCain interviews with Rick Warren. Fascinating stuff that I'll write about later if I can find the time.

And with that, we're into another work week. Counting this week, I only have eight more to go - can you believe it?! I still can't really wrap my head around the whole mat leave thing - I guess we'll figure it out when we get there. It's just so strange. I've been working Monday to Friday in a very busy office for a long, long time...

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Things No One Warned Me About: The Glucose Test

To: All the people who told me that a glucose test was 'no big deal.'

Um, it was super-gross. I'm guessing that it was worse for me than it should have been because I've had next to no artificial sugar, food dyes, etc in my system since January - and I just chugged a bottle *full* of syrupy-sweet orange grossness. It was seriously a struggle to get it down, then to keep it down, and even now - back at work - to not make a beeline for the bathroom.

And to add insult to injury? Manitoba Health covers the cost of the test, but not the drink. So I had to dig around in the bottom of my purse to come up with $2 in change before they'd hand over my orangelicious treat and allow me the pleasure of drinking it.

Baby, you're lucky I love you. And I'm lucky Geoff loves me, because he sat beside me through this little ordeal while I bitched about every detail, and then he drove a very cranky and miserable Lindsay to work.

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Monday Secret

No big, deep reason for choosing this secret this week - it just made me smile :)


Friday, August 15, 2008

The Weekend Is Here!

Woohoo! The weekend! I made it... :)

It's been a long haul this week. I'm still in a lot of pain, and I'm still dealing with a constant low-grade fever - that seems to spike in the late afternoon / early evening, which is very normal for me. I'm still scared, but I'm doing my best not to worry - a delicate balance that has allowed me to retain my sanity over the past eight days (mostly).

But tomorrow morning, Geoff and I are off to the lake with no plans at all other than to enjoy our forecasted 30 degree sunshiny weather and hang out with my parents. I am *so* looking forward to this.

And a couple of bonus little reasons to smile:

These flowers were sitting on my dining room table last night, compliments of my husband who is way more incredible to me than I deserve - for no reason whatsoever (that I know of... hehe).

I told myself that once we knew what we were having, I would justify one completely impractical clothing purchase. I know that there is lots of baby gift-giving likely to come - and that Baby will probably live in simple, ultra-washable onesies for most of her first couple of months - but I wanted to make sure that I had one extra-special outfit that I picked especially for my baby girl. And this is it :)

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Friday Smile

Today, I'm hard at work thinking up hundreds of ideas for random acts of kindness. Seriously. I have the best job in the world.

All this has me thinking back about nice things that people have done for me that made me smile. Most of them are small... Things like giving me a quarter for a shopping cart, paying for my coffee ahead of me in the drive-thru, plugging my parking metre when it's running low. But it sure doesn't take much to totally turn someone's day around. It's kind of amazing that such small gestures can have such a huge impact. Makes you think, doesn't it?

How 'bout you? What's the nicest 'random act of kindness' you can remember receiving?


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Another Wednesday

So it's Wednesday again. And I'm anticipating tomorrow again. But it's not with the same joy and excitement that I was feeling at this time last week.

Yesterday afternoon, I officially moved into what I've dubbed 'Stage Two' of my arthritis/fibro flareup - marked by the sudden onset of an unexplained fever that won't let up. (You have enough of these things over the years, and you start to identify patterns.) It was hard not to cry about it, because it generally suggests that this flareup won't be a quick and easy one to shake.

Tomorrow marks one week since I woke up feeling sick. It's also the day I see my GP for my Week 28 appointment - so I'm happy about the fact that I'll at least get to discuss this latest challenge with him. Sometimes it just helps to know there's a medical professional in the loop and on my team, even if there's really nothing they can do to help other than listen.

It's discouraging and scary to wake up every morning feeling like this. I want so badly to experience a *normal* pregnancy, and to enjoy my first weeks and months of being a mommy. I want it so badly that it makes my heart hurt. I never expected that would be possible for me, but these last few healthy months tricked me into having so much hope - and so this just feels MEAN.

I'm hanging in there, and I'm still optimistic that I might wake up tomorrow and feel 100% myself again. Well, 100% myself at 6+ months pregnant... You know what I mean.

PS - I'm finding myself getting really embarrassed about the way I'm walking. I always end up doing this waddle/shuffle-type walk when I'm in the middle of a flare up (if you know me in real life, then you know exactly what I mean). It's embarrassing at the best of times. But I'm concerned that people think I'm just being really dramatic and attention-seeking about how pregnant I am. Isn't that horrible?! :)

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Rainy Day Project

It was an early, rainy morning at the Wright household.

My Dad and Steve (my uncle) were at our place at 07.30 this morning to do a walk around the house with Geoff and plan out their projects and required materials for the day. Then we all headed out to breakfast before I went to work and they headed to Home Depot to start their very manly day.

Today is fix-up day at our house, prepping the exterior to receive a couple of coats of ceramic stucco coating (in a pretty colour) later this month. It's an extreme home makeover, Geoff and Lindsay style. I am so excited... We chose a colour that I'm really happy with, and once the trim is repainted - it's going to look awesome.

The exterior was really the only part of our house that we weren't happy with when we bought it. All we've had to do since we moved in was paint three rooms to colours that better suited us and add a few appliances to the kitchen. So this seems like a big project... But I know how lucky we are to get away with putting so little into such an old character home.

And now I'm starting to dream about our yard's potential next summer... Here's hoping Baby likes hanging out on the back deck so that I can tackle a few of those projects while I'm off work.

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I woke up in lots of pain again this morning. It's so discouraging, and I'm still scared. But I'm not giving up yet. My pregnancy has been so awesome for so many months... I still have hope that this is a temporary glitch. I have to think that way, because I can't imagine living in pain - without drugs - for the next three months. And I won't risk taking any type of arthritis meds with my baby girl growing inside of me. It's not worth it.

Geoff did a good job of distracting me from all of this last night. He picked me up after work and we grabbed dinner before making use of his brother Kevin's passes to the advance screening of 'Tropic Thunder.' It was a really funny movie, and it was good to just relax and laugh and not worry about anything important for a while. And here's the very best part: the movie started at 7, so we were home just after 9 - and I was sleeping before 10 :)

My verse for today...
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1.8-9

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Martyrs & Thieves

There's a place in the darkness that I used to cling to
That presses harsh hope against time
In the absence of martyrs there's a presence of thieves
Who only want to rob you blind
They steal away any sense of peace
Though I'm a king, I'm a king on my knees
And I know they are wrong when they say I am strong
As the darkness covers me

So turn on the light and reveal all the glory
I am not afraid
To bear all my weakness, knowing in meekness
I have a kingdom to gain
Where there is peace and love in the light
In the light, I am not afraid
To let your light shine bright in my life, in my life

There are ghosts from my past who've owned more of my soul
Than I thought I had given away
They linger in closets and under my bed
And in pictures less proudly displayed
A great fool in my life I have been
Have squandered til pallid and thin
Hung my head in shame and refused to take blame
For the darkness I know I've let win

So turn on the light and reveal all the glory
I am not afraid
To bear all my weakness, knowing in meekness
I have a kingdom to gain
Where there is peace and love in the light
In the light, I am not afraid
To let your light shine bright in my life, in my life

I've never been much for the bearing of souls
In the presence of any man
I'd rather keep to myself all safe and secure
In the arms of a sinner I am
Could it be that my worth should defend
By the crimson stained grace on a hand?
And like a lamp on a hill, Lord I pray in your will
To reveal all of you that I can

So turn on the light and reveal all the glory
I am not afraid
To bear all my weakness, knowing in meekness
I have a kingdom to gain
Where there is peace and love in the light
In the light, I am not afraid
To let your light shine bright in my life, in my life

There's a place in the darkness that I used to cling to
That presses harsh hope against time

- Martyrs & Thieves (Jennifer Knapp)

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When It Rains

I'm at a loss for words this morning. It's raining outside, and there's a storm in my heart as well.

Over the past couple of days, it's become apparent that I am dealing with an arthritis flare. I didn't say anything to anyone, hoping that it was just a fluke or that it would pass... But this morning, I woke up and I knew it was still there - that old familiar darkness. And it became real when I spoke the words out loud and told Geoff about it this morning.

I'm wrestling with fear today. Fear that I won't be able to shake this over the next couple of days. Fear that these are the early signs of my body giving up on carrying me through this pregnancy without any complications. Fear that it's going to get worse, and not better. Fear that I'm going to complicate things for my family, who have enough to worry about without throwing my issues into the mix right now.

And these horrible lies are worming their way into my head, telling me that I'm going to stay sick this time and that I won't be able to take care of my baby girl - my very worst fear since I was ten years old.

I have so many Bible verses stuck in my head from when I was a kid. It's amazing to me how they come up to the surface when I need them now. This one's been running through my head all morning, working against all the lies:
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29.11

I know that these words are true. I know because I already have more happiness and answered prayers in my life than I ever dreamed possible - enough that I was brave enough to hope for more. And I know that God can restore that hope.

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Monday Secret


Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Middle of the Storm

I know that it's perfectly okay for me to have emotional days sometimes. With everything that's going on in my world right now, I know they are more than justified - they're probably downright healthy. But I'm finding them so hard to accept.

I don't know how it's possible to feel so happy and so sad at the same time. Together with arguably the highest high of my pregnancy so far, I'm feeling some of the lowest lows I've felt about my mom being sick. It's all left me feeling very... confused. And crying (a lot). And not always understanding why, or where those tears are coming from.

My mom is doing incredibly well after this last round of chemo. Her physical symptoms are the mildest they've been so far. It's just all the other stuff - you can tell that everyone here is getting tired, and the burden is feeling heavy. We're officially half way through chemo now. And with the surgeries before and the radiation coming after, it's really kind of like the middle point of this whole nightmare. I wish there was some way to fix it. But it's taking on a life of its own now, and moving from a scary new adventure to something resembling a routine. And that might be the scariest part of all - when all of this starts to feel normal.

On days like today, I'm particularly grateful for my husband - who doesn't get scared when I break down in the middle of Superstore with no advance warning whatsoever. Or at least if he is scared, he covers it well. Not just any man would stop and wrap his arms around you in the middle of a grocery store aisle on a busy Saturday morning, hold you right there until the storm passed, and then take your hand and keep on going like nothing had happened at all.

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Friday, August 08, 2008

Friday Smile

Well, I'm still smiling from yesterday. Does that count?

The only word I can use to describe yesterday is JOY. Geoff and I went for dinner after the ultrasound, and finally managed to get a table at Pizzeria Gusto on Academy. We were just sitting there and enjoying dinner together, and I could not wipe the smile off my face (or the occasional spontaneous tears from my eyes whenever I thought about our baby girl). But it went so much deeper than that... It was one of those rare sacred moments where I felt absolutely and completely happy. It was pure joy.

It all reminded me of a verse that Kathy posted last week: the joy of the Lord is my strength. He is so good to us. Even in the middle of the storm, he's there and he's taking the time to remind us that life goes on - that there's something bigger at work than what we can see. And life is still so full of joy and hope and love, it's overwhelming sometimes. I needed to be reminded of that this week.

Wishing all of you a joyful weekend :)

(By the way, if you haven't already been to Pizzeria Gusto - you must go. It was absolutely the best pizza I've ever had, and the appetizers and desserts were equally impressive. I ordered the Waterloo - loaded with prosciutto and potato and pistachio and cheese, with pesto in the place of tomato sauce. YUM. The only catch is that they don't take reservations, and it's an incredibly popular spot. So either go early - they open at 5.30 - or be prepared to wait. But your wait will be worth it.)


Round Three

Please pray for my Mom & Dad today.
She has her third round of chemo at 11.30.


Thursday, August 07, 2008

First Baby Pictures

(and the news you've all been waiting for!)

August 7 @ 13.45

Baby, your Daddy and I are *so* excited to see you again today! I was so excited, I could hardly sleep last night. We're going for an ultrasound this afternoon to get pictures and videos of what you look like right now, and we're also hoping to take a peek and find out if you are a boy or a girl. It doesn't matter to us at all, we just want you to be healthy and happy. But we are looking forward to starting to get everything ready for your arrival.

I'm glad that you're still too little to be embarrassed, because I'm sure that I am going to cry through most of it (so it's probably a good thing we'll be getting a video to watch again later).

August 7 @ 19.35

You're a GIRL! And, as predicted, you made your Mommy cry (enough that I saw some tears in your Daddy's eyes too). You were such a little monkey again, making it tricky for us to get a good picture of your face - all tucked away in the back of my tummy, and holding your hands up to your face the whole time. But you were not shy at all about showing us that you're very much a baby girl :)

I don't why I'm crying about this so much... I'm just so in love with you, and I think you're the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. I know that when you're born, I'll spend hours and hours just staring at you... For now, this is the closest we can get - and so today was very, very special. We haven't even met you yet, and your Daddy and I are already convinced that we are the luckiest people in the world.


Here's a front profile (with her little hand up there, almost in the way - and chubby cheeks!) and a side profile of her face. Isn't she beautiful? :)

Guess this means that more than half of my friends are terrible guessers... And that Crystal's 14 for 16. Impressive!

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Bear with me for a moment.

Tomorrow... Tomorrow...
I love ya... Tomorrow...
You're only a day awaaaaay!

There. Got that out of my system. Thanks.

The Boy and I are so very excited about our ultrasound appointment tomorrow (you may have figured that out already). I'm psyched that he'll get to be in the room for the whole thing - at our hospital ultrasound, he was only allowed in for the final 'quick tour' of the images the technician had captured. I'm so looking forward to just taking a peek at how Baby has changed and what's going on in there. And if all goes well, by around this time tomorrow, we'll know if we're having a boy or a girl to add to our family in November. And this will all be followed by a long-anticipated Date Night for Baby's mom and dad. What's *not* to be excited about?!

Geoff's working the night shift again, which means that I'm facing another long and lonely night of not really sleeping well because I'm way too excited about this appointment - which is, for all intents and purposes, feeling like Christmas on crack for me.

But then, when the sun comes up, it's TOMORROW :)


Dwelling briefly on today...

My mom had another great blood count result today, which means that she's been given the 'all clear' to do Round #3 of chemo on Friday. I love that God shows us in all these little ways that he's still there, and that he still cares. Cancer sucks. Chemo sucks. But she's been healthy enough to bounce back between each treatment and everything is right on schedule so far. And that's pretty incredible.

But my sister is still having complications with her pregnancy, and it's scary. Please keep Jessica and Kevin - and their baby - in your prayers. My first niece or nephew is due October 23, and that's still such a long way to go...

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Book Worm

I know I'm a couple of years late on this one, but I finished Anne Marie MacDonald's 'The Way the Crow Flies' last night.

WOW. I was a fan after reading her other book ('Fall on Your Knees'). And this one did not disappoint. It was just such a treat to immerse myself in a proper literary book that actually exercised my brain. It was beautiful and perfect and thought-provoking and all those other things that make for really, really good reading.

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Too Fit to be President?

Want to read something that will make you go HUH?

Check out this article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal this week.

Don't give it *too* much thought. This political reporter is being essentially crucified in the media right now for writing such a ridiculous, featherweight story and passing it off as news. But the fact that it was written in the first place - and that it was approved for print - makes you wonder about the state of the US (which, of course, ends up being an indirect reflection of us). This article claims that Americans won't elect a man who's fit, when 66% of Americans are overweight - and uses Obama's physical fitness as further evidence of elitism.

Now, I'm no big crazy Obama fan. I'd vote for him if I could, but only because Hillary's out of the race. Yeah, yeah. You can all judge me for that later, but I'm actually a moderate Clinton fan (Hillary AND Bill). Personal issues aside, I feel like he did a respectable job as president - and I find it offensive that the American public tried to have him impeached for a personal indiscretion when the current president flat-out lied about a cause for war and he's somehow managed to get away with it...

But I digress. My point is this: To withhold your vote because he goes to the gym is so far past ridiculous that I am speechless. People used to be judged and ridiculed for being overweight. That's not right. But it's a thousand times stranger to me to judge and ridicule someone because he is healthy and taking care of himself. I'd call that being a positive role model.

And god forbid we all get together and elect a positive role model :)

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Monday Secret on Tuesday

Hey, it's a Long Weekend. So it's kind of like it's Monday today. Kind of.

I love this person. I want to give them a hug. Because we've all been there, or close to it.

In fact, truth be told, I almost did it on Friday after work.

I'd been shopping, trying to find something to wear that would make me feel pretty... And I realized pretty shortly into my trip to Polo Park that there is only one store in that entire gigantic mall that still sells maternity. And I'd tried on everything there that looked remotely interesting to me (and wasn't made of whatever hideous stretch polyester that fashion designers obviously think that pregnant ladies enjoy). I was *so* frustrated (and hormonal, to be sure). I ran in at Safeway on my way home to grab a few things, picked up a basket - and then put it back down, walked to my car, drove home, and then cried in my driveway for a minute or two before I composed myself and headed inside the house. I don't mind being pregnant. Really. In fact, I love it. I would just prefer to look and feel like myself (plus stomach and other assorted little fat deposits) while I'm doing it.


Monday, August 04, 2008

Home Stretch

Today is August 4... Which means that we officially have less than three months to go until we meet Baby Wright, who is expected to join our family sometime around November 3. I know, I know - late first babies and all that. Humour my optimism, will you? I'm Type A. And I have November 3 marked on my calendar :)

Anyway. I've had more than just a few moments lately when the realization that we're embarking on this third and final trimester has left me a little bit sad. Not that I'm not super-excited to be holding this baby and learning how to be a mommy. I'm just really enjoying being pregnant - all the changes and kicking and growing - and I don't want it to be over *too* quickly. As far as life eras go, this one is so short. And I have a funny feeling that time won't be slowing down anytime soon.

Baby @ 27 Weeks - August 4


Friday, August 01, 2008

I Heart Food

I was more than a little amused by the number of people who've let me know that they actually try the recipes that I post on here. I stumbled upon a new one this month that was so ridiculously easy to prepare (and so delicious) that I had to share... It's modified from a Campbell's recipe - such an awesome source for comfort food recipes.

Oven-Baked Smothered Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 package mushrooms, sliced
0.5 cup onions, sliced (we made it with shallots instead)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (we made it with the 98% fat free version)
0.5 cup milk
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
0.25 tsp thyme
0.25 tsp pepper
0.5 cup shredded cheese (we used a little less and chose reduced fat)

Place the uncooked chicken in a 9 x 13 baking dish. (Here's where we modified: Wrap the chicken breast in proscuitto or Westfalian ham and make up for all the calories you saved with your earlier low-fat choices... hehe.)

In a small bowl, combine the soup, milk, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and pepper. Pour the mixture over the chicken and veggies. Cover the dish with foil.

Bake at 400 F for 40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Top with cheese.


Friday Smile: The Sequel

Can I have TWO Friday Smiles?

I just had the nicest surprise! Nicole and Shane are official new residents of Winnipeg, and she stopped by my office this afternoon to introduce herself and bring me Starbucks (the key to my heart - and oddly enough, it was EXACTLY what I'd been whining to my coworkers about craving since lunchtime). It was lovely to finally meet this blogging buddy in person.

Did I mention she brought Starbucks? :)

Welcome to Winnipeg, Nicole! I'm so happy to have you here and wish you all the best as you're settling in. I'm always happy to make another friend.


Friday Smile

Baby T-Shirt Slogans

Chinese toys taste better

Adopt me, Angelina!

Bald is beautiful

Who needs Santa, I've got Grandpa

I only cry when ugly people hold me

Think I'm cute? You should see my mommy

Boob man

For sale by owner

Tax deduction

My other carseat is in a Corvette

One day, I'll have the keys and you'll be wearing the diaper

Is it too early to ask for a pony?