Wednesday, 19 November 2008

EMPATHY!

We had a great time at prenatal class last night - aside from the discussion topic, which was postpartum and quite disturbing.


But they had an "empathy belly"!


They asked for volunteers, and Chris was the first one with his hand up. Sure, some might argue that I lifted it for him, but really, who's counting?


After he signed a waiver (hey, I don't remember signing any waivers!), the instructor had him stand up and take a deep breath in, then out. At the bottom of his exhalation, she wrapped a tight elastic around his chest, to make sure that he couldn't get a full breath in. Then she strapped on a very silly-looking contraption that weighed 33 lbs, complete with boobs, a big belly, and a weight that presses into your bladder.


The "volunteer" had to walk around picking up laundry (very awkwardly), lie down for a "nap", roll over (that alone was worth it!), get up, sit down, tie his shoe, and then stand up without using his hands.


I think it was a very good experience for him... and I haven't laughed that hard in a while.

Honestly, though, don't you think he looks sort of like Mrs. Doubtfire naked?

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

A weekend in Montana / Belly out, 33 weeks

Another long weekend, gone, frittered away frivolously...but how fabulously!

We drove down to Whitefish, Montana for a 4-day r&r with Scott, Jenn, and the angel baby, Graydon.


Montana was lovely – well, the part we saw, which was a) the inside of the cabin, which was delightful and always had a nice crackling fire, even in the middle of the night, which scared the bejeezus out of us, since it had gone out 3 hours before and somehow started itself back up 10 times better than it had been when we were actively (ok, passively) tending it, and 2) the inside of box stores, which were also delightful in their own way.

We didn’t manage to go hiking, though Chris somehow got up for a run on the day we left (I lied – HE didn’t freak out about the sudden blazing fire at 2 am – he also didn’t imagine that there was a mass murderer in the cabin – he also suggested that if I was so concerned about it, I should go check it out, and then promptly fell back asleep. Anyhoo), which impressed the rest of us to bits.

The menfolk were the cooks, which was awesome (with the small exception of the waffles, but we can overlook that), and they also somewhat graciously conceded defeat on the last game night (even if they got all the hard questions. Kaff) (though some might say that they were unbearably smug during all of their other victories). I'd like to add, however, that if I sit down at a game and declare that I have no strategy and/or spatial orientation skills, I shouldn't be mocked for my performance at said game. Even if nobody focuses on me and I end up pretty much playing by myself, and still end up losing. So there.








The belly, somehow, is still growing.



At right, you see me in my mouse pyjamas, late last night, trying not to disturb the intrepid adventurer upstairs.



And again, the hall paint really, really isn't as bad as it photographs.



Friday, 14 November 2008

Things That Suck

Alberta-philes, close your eyes.

We have only lived in this godforsaken province for 11 months (minus 3 days), but we have agreed that it sucks. When we decided to make this move, a big selling point was that an awful lot of people seem to move here, and end up staying forever. How bad could it be?

Well.

The cost of living is ridiculously high. Come on, we're in MEDICINE HAT, not some thriving metropolis, or even some small-but-cool area that people would go to visit. We make oil and gas, but it's more expensive here than in Ontario. It has a pathetic assortment of restaurants, at which you get lousy, lousy service, and the food is always hit or miss. People are uneducated. They're rich, because you don't need to finish high school to start working in gas and oil and pulling in $100K plus a year...at 18. They're ignorant. They're rude.

Mostly, though, they just don't care.

This is true of our visits to Calgary and Edmonton, too. Too many idiots with too much money, with stupid, giant, gas-guzzling trucks that drive too fast, tailgate you, cut you off, talk too loud, and generally think that they're better than you.

Today's rant is sparked by an ongoing struggle to get laminate flooring installed. We need the flooring installed before we paint. We need to paint before we set up the baby's room. What should have been done well over a month ago -- simply enough, one would think -- has taken way too long to even get an installation date (it took 14 days to estimate the cost, after they measured, and then another 14 days to order in the supplies). But, they even called on Wednesday to CONFIRM they were coming out to install it today! Somehow, though, they didn't think to call to CANCEL it when they decided NOT to come out to install it.

Which means: all of the furniture that was on the carpet in our living room, hallway, landing, and master bedroom (quite a bit, all together) is piled up in the kitchen, 2 bathrooms, and upstairs bedrooms. We moved it ourselves, and I don't know if we should move it back while we wait for them to return any of the 75 cranky phone messages we left to reschedule, or leave it, since I'm not getting any less pregnant. We slept in the guest room last night, and had to rummage around in various piles to find our clothes, since we took the drawers out to make the dressers lighter. It also means that Chris took the day off work to be there, since they required someone to be home for the whole time. To sum up: not only is there a tv stand in the bathroom (the tv is still on the wall, alas), but there is a Very Cranky Man in my house, and I expect he will stay there until we get flooring, whenever that is.

We've called the Head Office of ISO Installations (oh yes, I'm naming names!!!). We've called their customer service line. We've called their Calgary office, which was in charge of the installation. We've called Home Depot. And nobody has called us back. The best we got was at Home Depot, where a real person, at least, said that she'd pass the message on.

Hisssss.

I think I know why people stay here. They stop caring, too. They start to think that this is normal, that this is what it's like everywhere, or maybe that they don't deserve any better, and hey, there's no PST.

It's not enough.

But nobody's there to listen, and if they don't listen, nothing can change.

/end rant

(for now)

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Once a Halloweenie, always a Halloweenie

Who likes Halloween more than I do?



Nobody, that's who!



This year's costume was a bit of a logistical challenge, for obvious reasons. At right, you'll find my full-day-at-work-and-then-a-party-that-night costume. Not offensive, not ill-fitting...



However, there was no way that I couldn't share my Parade of Ill-Advised Halloween Costumes with you.



Hope you appreciate the selection of costumes that I considered... sensitive readers, please be warned that you may not like what you see. I apologize in advance for offending anyone's sensibilities.







Sport Barbie: briefly considered.

Hmmm... it's fine from the back...




















Whoa! Maybe a little more time should be spent on your abs, sister.






















How about a Renegades Cheerleader? It fit last year....
Nope, still seems wrong, somehow. Go team?



















The Olivia Newton John Let's Get Physical costume is a flashback to the early 80s, and also my first year at CNA (2002?), when I was the only one in costume, of 85 people! This look just wasn't working this year... but wow, lycra sure can stretch!













I admit that there was one more. For a work luncheon on Wednesday, I decided to just go with it, and hope that others' senses of humour would keep me from being lynched.


Possible captions include The Smoking Nun and Bad Habits. Now, usually, I publicly humiliate for a whole lot less... ok, free... (see above), but I won $50 for Best Costume!


I had really tried to do proper recon ahead of time to make sure that there were no "secret nuns" working at the base, and I was assured there were not. Unfortunately, the first person I saw was the padre.
Whoops.


We handed out candy to 14 kids last night. Ordinarily, I'd be disappointed by such a low turnout, but then, I take a moment to reflect on how much candy we have left... Aaaah.


Hope everyone else had a wonderful Halloween!