Tuesday, June 17, 2014

One Year Later

Sam Obeid Photography
This past weekend marks mine and Kevin’s one year wedding anniversary. To say the time has flown by is an understatement! A lot has happened in that time, but I still can’t believe that it’s already been a year. And I thought I’d be sad about not being a newlywed anymore, but I’m not. At all! I actually feel way better about being a regular ol’ married couple now that we have that first year under our belts. I hear the first year is supposed to be the hardest, but we’ve been together for almost 7 years now, lived together for a couple years before getting married, and have pretty much had every trial and tribulation thrown in our direction in that time.

For those that say that marriage is just a piece of paper and doesn’t change anything... I think those people are mostly the ones that have choose to co-habitate before getting hitched. I agree mostly that the day-to-day doesn’t change much, but marriage makes everything feel a lot... heavier. Like, this is FOREVER. It’s a pretty heavy decision to willingly choose to commit the rest of your life with someone! I think way too many people out there reach a certain point where they think they’re “at that age” and just marry the person they’re with, or they get wedding fever because their friends or family are all getting married. Don’t fall for the trap! I was so glad when all the wedding planning was over and Kevin and I could get back to just being us. I actually said as much in our speech at the wedding, which got everyone laughing.

A great piece of advice I heard about relationships is regarding the fact that you have to be happy with yourself before you can be happy with someone else. It went something like this:
Remember, you’re the dessert and your partner should be the cherry on top! Definitely not necessary, but nice to have :)

So anyway, the whole point of this post is that I wanted to share what we did for our anniversary! The weather was AMAZING, so we took a weekend trip up to Niagara-on-the-Lake. If you’ve never been, it’s really quite beautiful up there. We bought some passes for a wine event called the 2014 Discovery Pass Wine & Food Pairings. With each pass ($40+tax), you get 8 food and wine pairings at different wineries (you choose from a list of 20-something wineries) and they had a Designated Drivers pass ($30+tax) where you get a mocktail instead of wine, so I got that pass. It was definitely money well spent! I made a little map that showed where the wineries we wanted to visit were located and the food/wine pairings they were offering. It was very handy to see everything laid out like this while we were driving around so we knew what order to visit them in.
Location of Wineries
My favourite food was HANDS DOWN the grilled calamari bruschetta with toasted fennel, tomato, marinated olives, and basil at Inniskillin! It was so delicious. Other great food locations were Kacaba Vineyards, Good Earth Food & Wine Co., and Trius.

My least favourite food was easily the thai-style chicken (too soggy!!) at Hinterbrook Estate  and the Jamaican jerk slider (too dry!!) at Greenlane Estate. Also, the drink samples they gave at Greenlane Estate were SO STINGY!!!!! Kevin got about a thimble of Riesling, and I got about 3 thimbles of lemonade. I’m not sure why they were so stingy, especially with my lemonade… it’s freaking lemonade! Oh well.

The Discovery Pass event is still going on next weekend, so here are some iPhone photos I took if you’re interested in seeing what we got

1. Good Earth Food & Wine Co offered a trio: an Italian vegetable caponata with rosemary and Bella Vitano cheese; a Jamaican beef patty with lime and papaya slaw; and a Vietnamese cold roll with tamarind dipping sauce
2. & 3. Kacaba Vineyards offered: BBQ five-spiced pork medallions on arugula, with a navy bean and fennel mix, topped with sweet tomato ginger drizzle. The vegetarian option (which I ate) had all the same, minus the pork, and with the addition of feta cheese and a ciabatta bun.
4. Trius offered: a fresh strawberry cupcake topped with Chantilly cream.
5. Reif Estate offered: fish tacos – blackened tilapia with avocado cream, shredded cabbage, and pico de gallo on a soft corn tortilla.
6. Jackson-Triggs offered: Jerk chicken roti with cilantro, habanero, and cucumber.

Have a great week everyone :) This is our last week before summer officially begins on Saturday!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Experiences of a First-Time Pregnant Lady – Part 1: Finding Out I was Pregnant

As of writing this post, I’m just starting my third trimester. Ahh! Part of me feels like time is flying and part of me feels like I’ve been pregnant forever. Sometimes when I see myself in the mirror, especially my bare belly, I think, “holy crap, I look so different!!” and other times it just feels normal. Like, “Didn’t I always have a baby bump?” lol no!! At Christmas last year I had a 25 inch waist and was 25 lbs thinner.

So anyway, I’m writing this series of posts as a kind of diary entry. Being pregnant for me has been a trippy adventure so far. I was never that girl who used to say, “When I have kids…” It was always, “If I have kids…” For some reason I just felt like I wouldn’t or couldn’t. I couldn’t picture myself being pregnant or having a family. The whole idea just seemed really foreign and I didn’t understand other women who were so certain they were going to have kids. I used to tell Kevin that if he was certain he wanted kids, I wasn’t the girl for him because I didn’t think I’d ever truly want them. But while I couldn’t picture myself pregnant or with a baby/young child, I knew I wanted to have grown kids. Does that makes sense? I wanted to have a relationship like what I have with my parents now. Weird? Maybe. But that’s how I felt.

So here’s my experience on the whole pregnancy thing so far. Note: There’s going to be some over-sharing in this post. You’ve been warned. Also, these are my personal feelings on the matter – if you feel like something I’m writing is offensive/upsetting/etc feel free NOT to let me know in the comments :) Positive vibes only!

Finding out I was pregnant:

Kevin and I got married in June 2013. His friends had their first baby a couple weeks after our wedding and we had gone to see them when their baby was a few months old. During our visit, the new mom told me all about her experiences of getting pregnant and delivering. I always love hearing these stories. There is literally no such thing as TMI in my world! She told me she bought cheap ovulation predictor strips online and that if I were ever trying to conceive, that’s the way to go because it’s waaaay cheaper than the ovulation kits offered at the pharmacy. Seemed like smart advice, so I kept it in my back pocket.

In the fall, I had been modifying my diet from poultry/seafood to seafood to vegetarian to vegan, and as a result, my period had been quite late in October (there’s that oversharing I was talking about lol). Even though we hadn’t been trying, we had been talking about starting to try and I had been thinking about it, and I had convinced myself I was pregnant! I went to Dollarama to get a pregnancy test (yup! I’m that girl.. no shame lol) and it was negative. I took another one a few days later, also negative. I finally got my period, which ended up being 8 days late, so I chalked the whole thing up to the changes in my diet.

In early November, I bought some pre-natal vitamins, and at the end of November, we threw caution to the wind *wink wink*. I remember saying that if nothing happened by the end of December, I wanted to be careful until at least April because I didn’t want a child born at the beginning of winter. Winter is cold and depressing and it seems less ideal to have a baby in the middle of it. At this time, I also made a trip back to Dollarama for some ovulation strips. I bought 5 of them. There wasn’t anything leading me to believe I couldn’t have kids, but like I said in the intro of this post, I just wasn’t confident that I could. A $5 investment for some ovulation strips seemed like a good place to start. The instructions are on the package, but basically you have to start using them at certain time based on your average cycle length. One lines means you’re not ovulating, 2 lines means you will be ovulating in the next 24 hours. The package says something along the lines of “do the horizontal mambo after 24 hours but before 48 hours of testing positive.”  The fourth test I took had the two lines I was looking for, but we missed the <24/> 48 hour window and I remember thinking, “we’ll try for real in the spring”. No harm, no foul.

My period ended up being late again in December, but this time I didn’t stress about it at all. It was clearly diet related, as I had committed to a vegan diet until the new year. I had also lost a few pounds so I thought the weight loss and diet were to blame. On December 30th, my friend came over to have a vegan baking/cooking day with me. We had to go to the store to get some supplies before we started. I picked up 2 pregnancy tests because was planning on drinking -to be honest, because I didn’t have to drive at all that day, I fully intended to get drunk that night. When we got back to my house, I poured her and myself a glass of red wine when she got a phone call. I took that time to excuse myself to the bathroom to take the test just in case before I started drinking. At this point I was 8 days late (same as in October) and really felt like my conscience needed to see that negative test before I started on my wine. I did my thing, 2 lines came up, that meant negative, right????, and I checked the box just to make sure….  image

Two lines meant positive! I was panicked and confused. I think at that point my eyes bulged out of my head. I was confused because when you take the ovulation tests, which look exactly the same by the way, you’re looking for 2 purple lines. So I had gotten used to thinking I was supposed to be looking for 2 lines. Also, I was so ridiculously dehydrated at this point and thought that maybe the hormone is just super concentrated in me because I’m so dehydrated lol All these thoughts passed through my head in about 3 seconds and then I burst out of the bathroom door waving around my pee stick mouthing “WHAT THE F*CK IS THIS???!!” to my friend, who was still on the phone. Her eyes bugged out of her head and she motioned for me to take the second one (I always buy 2 tests at a time). The second test came up with the same result. And I feel like I also need to say, there was no waiting 3 minutes for the lines to appear… they appeared immediately and they were dark. There was no mistaking that both tests had 2 dark lines. I grabbed my phone, went into the bedroom, and called Kevin, who was at work. The conversation went something like this:

Him: Hey

Me: Guess what the f*ck I just did??! I just took a pregnancy test and it says I’m pregnant!!!!!!!

Him: Are you serious?

Me: YES! Of course I’m serious!

Him: ….omg. We’re gonna have a baby… (although I couldn’t see him, I knew he was grinning from ear to ear. Not exactly the same response as me LOL)

My friend, who had just finished up her conversation came bursting into the room and tackle-hugged me down at this point. Kevin and I said our goodbyes and my friend and I walked back into the kitchen. I was STUNNED. I was so blasé about buying the tests, and taking the tests, and being late. We put so little effort into trying to get pregnant. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I know a lot of people have fertility issues; I just thought we would have had to.. you know… try a little harder. Anyways, my mind was reeling and my eyes settled on the 2 glasses of red wine on the kitchen table that I had poured no more than 5 minutes ago. I said to my friend, “Do you think I could still drink that?” She then picked up my glass and poured its contents into hers lol. I guess that answered that question.

The rest of the day was a blur. Kevin came home. We had a moment. He was SO excited. I was freaked out. I’ve never had such an introspective day in my life. I literally couldn’t think of anything else. I mean, I didn’t feel pregnant, so clearly a mistake had been made. I called my doctor and scheduled a physical and a blood test, but I couldn’t get an appointment for about 10 days. Other than not drinking, I didn’t do anything different until my appointment. I decided I didn’t want to tell anyone until I at least had the results confirmed with a blood test, but those 10 days were weird. I didn’t feel different, but everything was SO DIFFERENT!  I could barely sleep because every night I had the most crazy thoughts about pregnancy and babies,and when I did finally fall asleep I had the vivid dreams and nightmares about it too.

My physical with my family doctor was pretty routine, except he told me to make sure I take my multi-vitamins and don’t eat deli meat (random). He said if I took a home test and it was positive, that I was definitely pregnant. I was still skeptical. He sent me down to the lab to get my blood test done and the following week he called me with the results just as Kevin was dropping me off on his way to work. I put him on speaker phone and he let me know I was “definitely pregnant”, that my hormone levels were showing me to be at least 4 weeks along, and that I’d need to start my pre-natal care as soon as possible.


There was a baby in my belly. No two ways around it.


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