Posts tagged ‘joys of homeownership’

Some Whine with my Cheese

On the subject of cheese: I have been all about the dairy products lately. I can’t decide whether to count my heightened cheese and milk consumption as a virtuous attempt to meet the insane dietary protein guidelines recommended in my prenatal class, or whether I am just a gluttonous cheese-hound. Because I am definitely that.

I've been eating these little cheeses like they're going out of style.

As threatened, a bit of a whine: I have a cold, which makes me cough all the time, which would make my abdominal muscles sore, if I had any. Instead, coughing torments my poor stretched-out belly, aggravates the round ligaments, and makes my belly button distend outward in the most tragic manner with each cough. And gives me a headache. It’s really very tragic.

This is the tail end of the second trimester, a time when I had hoped we’d be more or less finished renovations and able to settle down, relax and get ready for the baby. Haha! Renovations are certain to extend past the kid’s birthday, and may in fact outlive us all.

Oh well. We are tough and resourceful. We’ll do what we can for now, take a little break when the kid is born, then keep going. Babies don’t need kitchens or living rooms anyways, right? They just need diapers, a place to sleep, and somewhat sane parents so I’m focusing my efforts on that stuff for now.

This is what every mama says at every stage of pregnancy, but I CANNOT BELIEVE there are give-or-take 12 weeks until we will have a kid. Living with us for ever! How can you even prepare for a thing like that? You can’t. It’s insane.

17 weeks: Belly (and Renovations) Update

Wow, I suck at this blogging thing. I blame my house.

The little 85-year-old house we recently moved into is completely charming, and also kind of falling apart. You know the type. We’ve just finished paying for some emergency plumbing repairs and asbestos removal in the attic, and the next little while will be all about fun stuff like insulation and possibly removing the cracked chimney. Which runs directly through the middle of the entire house. It’s going to be a blast.

The ever-growing fetus lends a sense of urgency to the house-fixing proceedings. Our goal is that by December, all the changes involving power tools and plaster dust will be over with, and we’ll be at the fun (?) part of crib assembly and washing and sorting secondhand baby clothes.

Recent developments in pregnant-lady land are as follows:

  • My pregnancy is finally public knowledge at work. Thank the Goddess. I wore a golf shirt to the office this morning and found it very liberating after 2 entire months of baggy shirts, shawls and sweaters in summer.
  • Today was my first prenatal yoga class at the neighbourhood community centre. I have been so physically exhausted lately that I was worried that an entire hour and a half of deliberate movement would be torture. But it was great. Yoga kicks ass, and it’s great to now have some pregnancy-approved moves to try at home when my back gets sore and needs a stretch.
  • All the ladies in my online due-date community are feeling fetus pokes and flips, but I haven’t felt anything definitive yet. I do feel lots of very odd sensations in the belly region though. Some of these are almost certainly fetus aerobics, while others are probably less interesting sources like stretching muscles. I look forward to being able to discern which are which.

That’s about all the news for today. I just made some delicious-looking granola and it’s time to eat some. So here, have a belly picture!

This is from 16 weeks (a week and a half ago, ahem) but I have rationalized my laziness by deciding that this series, with me in the same clothes all the time, is a monthly series, so the next picture isn’t due until 20 weeks or so.

I’ll write before then, but it might be about insulation.

Week 9

Hi Internet!

I disappeared for a few weeks there. Sorry about that!

What happened was that Z and I sold our apartment and bought a sweet little old house! As a matter of personal philosophy, I absolutely do not believe that kids need to grow up in houses. Many kids grow up very happy in apartments. But for us, it is time to leave this particular apartment, and we just happened to find a place that really appealed to us, and now we are moving at the end of the month, just in time to do some nesting and plan a nursery. So it’s been busy, and awesome.

On the pregnancy front, so far so good. I have been more tired than usual, and felt like crap here and there, but haven’t been incapacitated in the way that many ladies have been during their first trimesters. Thank you, pregnancy goddess and Diclectin for my good fortune.

Also I feel enormous. At 9 weeks, I know that it’s a gas baby and not an actual giant fetus filling out my belly, but I’m taking the bus across town after work tomorrow evening all the same to look at some maternity pants for sale on Craigslist, because I’m tired of unbuttoning my pants at work.

Week 4 and Week 9

I will leave you with a belly shot, of my dear little gas baby.  Maybe it will go away until a more reasonable time, like the second trimester, and I can wear my normal pants to work again!


As we are heading into our last cycle of not trying (and off on our honeymoon!) I am pleased to find myself far less angst-ridden about babies than a few years ago.

Back then, it seemed like our time would never come. All our friends were having babies, and we were dismayed that our kids would be too different in age to play together. But it’s turned out OK so far. I’ve gotten lots of wonderful babysitting experience and we have a little goddaughter who is the cutest thing ever and a dozen honourary nieces and nephews. One day our child can join this great community of people and have lots of older companions to beat him up get her in trouble look up to.

One thing (well, other than the ideas of morning sickness, labour and raising toddlers) that does give us a little bit of angst is our apartment. On the one hand, we’re such spoiled brats. If I gave up my office and got rid of my books, we could fit a kid quite nicely into our current place. But, on the other hand, if we could afford it, it would be nice to have one more room and, in a perfect world, access to the outdoors for a kiddo to play in the dirt.

When we get back from the honeymoon, we’ll start looking around seriously to see if we could find a slightly bigger and more kid-friendly place. We probably can’t afford a house, but one distant possibility is to find a little old house with a basement suite, and install some friends in there to help pay the mortgage. This morning we visited a married couple who also want kids, and are looking for a place to rent long-term. It’s just an idea at this point, but I miss communal living and absolutely love the idea of living in a house with multiple parents and kids in it. My childhood was pretty great, but I think it would have been amazing to have other kids around.

I confess that I’ve been so preoccupied with trying to conceive next month that I’ve completely neglected to research our honeymoon adventure. In 10 days, we’ll wandering around Asia with a guidebook and next to no clue about where we are or how to communicate. That should take our minds off things for awhile!

Body and Soul

We need to work our muscles over here. Days filled with blogging, studying and riding the bus (in my case) or working at a desk, reading books and playing video games (in Z’s case) don’t seem to be maximizing our physical fitness. Who knew? Without putting too fine a point on it, we could both stand to sweat more.

My favourite way to get exercise is as a side effect of daily life. Using a bicycle for transportation is the optimal solution- taking the stairs and walking to get groceries also do the trick. But in the neverending rain it’s harder to get excited about an hour-long bike ride to school and last winter sometimes weeks went by where I take the bus to school. For Z it’s even harder to incorporate physical activity into his day – he works from home, so there’s nowhere to walk to on a daily basis.

So! There’s this beginners’ triathlon in a small town a few hours from here that happens every summer. Z signed up to do it with a group of friends one year, and ended up wanking on it for one reason or another. (Haha, spell-check doesn’t recognize “wanking.” Or wank, for that matter. Wanky!)


Then, this past summer, he and a friend decided to do it together. His friend bailed after a few months of training, and he sort of gave up.

Right now, my boy is in probably the worst shape of his life and feels bad about himself. I would dearly love to help him out. Partly self interest, of course – he is beautiful now, but damn, he’d be hot if he lost a few pounds. We could eat better, of course, but I think the big ticket for him is more exercise. He’s built to climb mountains and lift heavy things, not sit and type all day.

As for me – I’m lucky enough to be a tense little person with a high metabolism. I’m not overweight. But I do have a soft little belly and I should have way more strength and stamina for things like biking up big hills. My doctor, in one of her moments of actually discussing my health with me, mentioned that physical exercise would be really good for my anxiety, which can get pretty crippling. Finally, as I keep relentlessly mentioning in this blog, we hope to have a baybee in the next few years, and if all goes well, I will be needing to push said human being *out of my hoohaw*. I understand that being in shape is a good idea for that sort of endeavour.

So – should I tell him I want to do this triathlon with him next summer? It’s not a real triathlon, but a shorter version for beginners. As part of our training, Z would have to teach me to swim pretty much from scratch – no way in hell I could swim 500 meters or whatever it is at the present, even to save my life. We’d need to set up a training schedule and be committed about it – limited flexibility.

If I mention it, I’m 90% sure he’ll be in. I’ll also have to be 100% committed myself, and can be pretty sure that at some point I will wish I’d never even thought of it. He’s bailed and been bailed on in the past – so if I so much as say I’m interested to him, I have to mean it. Even though next summer is going to be when my final project for school is wrapping up, and HELLO ANXIETY!

I’m going to think about this for a week or two, then once classes are underway for the winter and I’m good and stressed out, I’ll check if the idea is still palatable. Helping Z get in shape is a noble goal, but for this to be a success, I’d have to want it for myself.

Looking Forward to Employment

Can I just say how good it is going to feel to be out of school and earning an income again?

I’ve been employed part-time at a research job which I do not enjoy and which is not in an area of my interest. It pays pretty well but makes demands on my time which I can’t fill. After lots and lots of consideration I have decided to give my notice tomorrow, which will hopefully enable my employers to find someone new at the start of the school year.

Reclaiming those few hours a week will hopefully enable me to move towards graduation faster. It’s also going to mean I contribute even less money than I do now towards my own care and feeding and general household expenses.

Z is very kind about supporting me right now, and just wants to help me get through school as quickly as possible. I appreciate this attitude a lot, but can’t help feeling like a liability. I needed a computer this year, and clothes… I find myself leaving more financial decisions up to him, since he earned the money. In reality, we should be in dialogue about expenses and budgets, since we share our lives.

About a year from now, with any luck, I will be on my way to some kind of reliable income. We’ll be able to start actually saving money and even donating to charity, Z won’t bear the entire weight of all our expenses, and I am going to make a budget….

Wow, I am excited about budgeting. That must mean that I am procrastinating from finishing up the last of my research job before giving my notice – tomorrow!

Renovation party!

Despite total gloom on the real estate market, we’re doing a few renovations to fix the more egregious malfunctions of this apartment. I worry that we’re completely delusional to be putting any money behind expectations of resale.  But with luck, I will graduate and get some kind of job in about a year’s time, and who knows where that job might be*. The apartment should therefore be ready-ish to be put on the market.

To that end, Z and I spent our day off today hanging around cabinet shops with my parents and considering the merits of various makes of fake wood cabinetry.

One of our projects involves combing the internet for parts to repair our vintage  plastic “whirlpool” bathtub. These efforts are based on the uncertain assumption that potential future buyers would prefer to invest in a bathtub that shakes the building with violent, furious bubbles and whose motor roars like a 1970s racing car than to become owners of a bathtub with several intriguing knobs and dials but no action to show for it. Even if we manage to repair it, the bathtub will retain its single most charming feature – the large cigarette burn in its bottom.

Reluctantly starting this renovation project with an eye to resale makes me realize how little remains in this chapter of our lives. I can be very impatient about wanting to move on, but this sweet little slice of time, when we are pretty free to see our friends in the city, and spend time with each other and our parents, and to pursue our selfish individual dreams (i.e. grad school!) is one day going to be missed.

PhD comics has a great T-shirt design that compares grad school to hitting the snooze button on life. But there’s only one more year of sleeping in for me! I might graduate, find a job, maybe leave town, have a kid.  Our lives, our relationship, our friendships and identities will never be the same. There may never be another peaceful moment! I cannot fucking wait, but try not to wish away the fortunate present.  But is it OK to wish away the renovations?

*I never would have foreseen this a few years ago, but I’m strangely drawn to the experience of working for smaller municipalities, where a civil servant might enjoy a wider range of responsibilities than in a big city.  Right now, however, jobs are scarce everywhere.