When Might It Be Appropriate to Punch Someone?

I found out this past summer that my husband and I are expecting and it’s been a crazy rollercoaster ride ever since (also because it feels like I’ve been pregnant since 1992). I haven’t written anything in a while for a few reasons: I have very low energy and drive; a bad case of writers block and mostly, the things I wanted to write about were off limits because not everyone knew I was expecting. But today, I’m throwing caution to the wind mainly because all of my people are sick of hearing my dramatic complaints and I need another avenue to channel my peace and writing has always sorted me out.

Being pregnant, like any other life altering event, is an interesting period of highs and lows. You feel joy you’ve never felt before but you’re also overwhelmed with anticipation and doubt (and for the unlucky majority, horrific morning sickness). You have people coming out of no where giving you advice about any and everything from why midwives suck and their horror stories, to what to buy asap/now-ish/soon-ish and later, and of course how not to kill your spouse during your ever-fluctuating mood swings.

The idea of pregnancy itself is a spectacular life miracle and I can’t think of anything that comes close. The thought of my husband and I creating life together, when once we were strangers and watching that life grow inside my body until the day it’s ready to make its debut into the world (instinctively head first) is almost unfathomable, yet it happens everyday. We are all born of miracles.

Since I couldn’t write about my secret early on I kept a daily journal on my phone for a while.

July 27
Oh shit, am I late??

July 28
Hmm, still not here yet..

July 29
Well, this is different. I’m pregnant… At least according to the first and second home pregnancy tests. I wanted my husband to feel part of the process too but he refused to hold the pee cup- something about potential pee spillage!? My husband and I are overjoyed. And now he wants to protect me in bubble wrap.

July 30
12:30pm: *eats proper full lunch*
12:35pm: I could eat an elephant- I’m starving. Other than the hunger, this is easy.
4:50pm: Lord, get me off this sweaty subway car, I need to vomit! *runs home, through doors, rips off clothes and jumps into bed*

July 31
Went to doctor to confirm that I am indeed medically “with child” and peed in a cup to prove it. She asked if I knew my birthing plan. *pfft* Lady, I barely knew two days ago I had birth to give, so I’m going to go with ahh no, not yet.

Aug 1
Just told my bosses. “Hey, so you know how I just passed my six month probation? Yea, well I’m kind of pregnant.” Eeek!

Aug 2
To Co-worker: “Can I eat your lunch?”

Aug 3
Literally gagged on the prenatal vitamin! Does it have to be so big!? What’s with these horse pills!?!

Aug 4
Last night I almost shat myself. I felt my rectum slowly opening and prepping for ejection and I felt the need to push but thank God I realized in my sleep how weird it was that I was horizontal with my eyes closed and not actually sitting on a toilet. I know people say your dignity goes out the window when you’re pregnant/in labour but that would have been something I’d never be able to come back from. Ever. Even to myself. Try not to shit the bed ladies.

Aug 5
I am officially starting week six! My baby is the size of a pea!☺

Aug 6
9:45am: Hell hath no fury like a woman pregnant and hungry. Currently with my husband outside of a noodle house waiting for it to open at 10:30am on a Sunday. #majorcravings

Aug 7
Me: I think I’m coming down with something awful.
Cam: Yes, it’s called pregnancy.
Me: Jesus.

Aug 9
So this is what a tub of margarine feels like.

Today: You can tell where the puking took over my life because I just stopped writing after the first two weeks. Like what would be the point?

Monday: puked 4x.
Tuesday: puked 6x.
Wednesday: puked 5x.
Thursday: puked 9x and banged head against wall.
Friday: puked 10x.
Saturday: puked 10x and checked calendar, how many more months!?!?
Sunday: puked 13x.

But no matter the pain and the endless (it seems) negatives, what’s growing inside me is worth the sleepless nights and the accidental public outbursts of gas. Because this is life- in all it’s glory.

And it is glorious. We are blessed.

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Monthly Recap: July 2017

Monthly-Recap

This new ‘Monthly Recap’ series captures daily (well, almost daily) celebrations around the world. It’s an eclectic collection of bizarre observances and hilarious commemorations of the past month. Check out my blog on a regular to see what we’re celebrating each day (well, almost)! After all, there’s an international day for everything isn’t there?!

 

July 6, 2017

Today is, believe it or not, Umbrella Cover day. When I heard about this I thought it was a made-up day to commemorate something as useful as the exterior shower curtain (NOT useful at all, btw). For those of you who are not posh enough to own an exterior shower curtain, it’s the second curtain that falls outside of the tub for aesthetic purposes. You would think that its main purpose is to add an extra shield to prevent water from escaping the shower area but if you think about it, it only actually directly backs-up the interior curtain. Thus, providing no extra coverage at all. Still reading? I’m shocked because this is the most boring topic I’ve ever written about and that’s my POINT.. UMBRELLA COVERS?! What the H. Christ??? umbrella coverWho cares!! But apparently, plenty do! There’s actually a website for these bizarre people who collect the umbrella covers and apparently a GUINNESS WORLD RECORD of someone who owns the most umbrella freaking covers! Congratulations lady- you have collected a large, useless amount of fabric that does nothing, for no good reason.

 Sources: Umbrella Cover Museum / Umbrella Cover Day

July 7, 2017

Today is WORLD Chocolate Day! Chocolate is one of those things that not many people dislike. But always if you ever meet that one person who dislikes (maybe even despises) chocolate, you wonder to yourself, “what kind of monster hates chocolate?!” And it’s true! It’s like chocolatesaying you hate rainbows, puppies or getting a head massage. These people are reckless, they are indecent and should be examined under a microscope. FACT about me *ahem*: I don’t, ah, I actually don’t love chocolate myself but do appreciate a good craving of it here and there. Now, enough about me- here are some wonderful chocolate facts in honour of today:             Continue reading

8 Questions on Reading

The last book I read that I would never recommend reading is/are:

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins. This book irritated me very much. I enjoy books with different points of view but this was too much. into the waterPaula Hawkins wrote from ten different perspectives and from three different periods in time. It was exhausting and every chapter after the next was unmemorable and frankly, a big waste of time.

What motivates me to read is:

My need to always be reading anything. I am a thinker and sometimes my thoughts overwhelm me and require distraction. Racing_mindReading to me provides a way for me to escape the world around me (as lovely or sometimes as awful as the world around us can be). Reading is an individual journey but can, at the same time, be shared with someone else.

I want a book to:

Make me feel like I’m not reading at all. While I am a lover of language, the power of the written word and how it forms our thoughts and expressions- it’s the books that make you forget you’re reading words on a page; the book that’s got you racing, page after page, to the very conclusive ending that truly gets me excited.

Books make me feel…

True joy- good books only though. joyBad books remind me of being in high school and being told what to read. There is nothing worse than being told what you have to read and even worse, when the book sucks and you cannot UNREAD or STOP.

The section of the newspaper that I visit first is:

The entertainment page if I have to say which section first but I do pay attention to the major news headlines, local news and the advice column.

I am a fan of reading…

Anything but fantasy, sci-fi and young adult. I love memoirs, historical fiction, chicklit, biographies and contemporary fiction. awardI tend to gravitate towards real-life or relatable stories. My sister tells me that if a book subject includes rape, war, depression, polygamy and/or the holocaust I will read it. And she isn’t wrong!

I get book recommendations from:

Just about everywhere! I have a running TBR list that is longer than most doctors’ CVs! I get book recommendations from television shows, subway posters, book store feature shelves, random lists reading on bus(New York Times, every bestsellers list etc), magazines, bathroom stall scrawls, what people are reading on the bus, Goodreads’ newsletters, the best bets section at my local library, previously-read authors’ new books, the newspaper, book blogs and I’m sure plenty more places that I am not able to think of right now.

The last few books I read that I would recommend are:

Every book I have written a good review for on my blog including the one I’m reading now, Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips. 

FIERCE-KINGDOM-DEMY-HB-REVISE

Table 21 Kitchen & Wine Bar

Guess who’s back?! Ash and I are back with a vengeance (okay well, maybe not with a vengeance because who’s angry? Not us! And to be honest, did we really leave!?! No, no we did not). We are excited to be starting the next installment of our food journey continued from where we left off in 2011 (okay, maybe we are “back”)!!

Ash was kind enough to do much of the leg work on this one, sending me a few options to pick from. And pick I did! I decided our first stop this season should be to Table 21 Kitchen & Wine Bar. The website was streamlined and offered brunch and dinner menus which I am rather generally fond of. Truth be told I really only looked at a couple and decided on this one based on the aesthetics of the website. Note to restauranteurs out there – websites are IMPORTANT!

Located in the west end of the city, at Bloor and Royal York, this posh eatery is smack in the middle of some of the city’s oldest multi-million dollar homes. This quiet and quaint neighborhood, which is very reminiscent of its easterly neighbor (Bloor West Village), is perfect for enjoying afternoon window shopping and weekend strolls.

Upon entering the restaurant I realized that my concerted efforts at reserving a table online were not necessary. (My general paranoia stems from a time we waited over an hour and a half for a table. Needless to say, I vowed “never again” with a strong fist.) Based on the lack of patrons, my expectations immediately started deflating until I looked around and noticed a sleek and modern space. The alley-like layout of the restaurant was flanked with a large, full-length bar with a beautiful, rustic white brick wall backdrop. All this was punctuated by a tasteful and charming dark gray stucco ceiling which created an intimate space all around. However, as modern as one half of this space was, the wall across the bar was strangely out of place and the decor, outdated (think Subway sandwich posters). In the end I felt the space was somewhat lost and short on character.

IMG-20170501-WA0004 The food: I ordered smoked salmon eggs benedict (surprise, surprise).  What was actually a surprise was that there were no substitutions from me (which is VERY rare). I have to say, first off, if ever there were a restaurant that matched my rigid, picky-dining soul then Table 21 would be mine. Let me explain why. I have a problem; I have a problem with food and my OCD-ness does not allow me to enjoy food the regular human way. I am unable to function properly as a member of society if, say, a seed/pit were part of my garnish on my plate. Table 21 for whatever reason pleasantly surprised me with their attention to detail (and let’s admit, something as minute as removing a lemon seed is my definition of attention to detail). And whether this was on purpose or good things really do happen to good people, but the food was all served in separate small dishes (never touching one another and in a non-cluttered, clumsy way) and I appreciated it- I appreciated it very much.

I absolutely wanted to give this restaurant a full score but the decor wasn’t there for me and as much as food is the star of any restaurant, the space has to fall in line as well. Was this the best restaurant stop to date though? Yes, yes indeed- I’d bet everything on the table.

4-star

 

A Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown

10382547Cupcake Brown’s memoir, A Piece of Cake, is a literary tour de force- not so much because of her writing (as captivating as it was) but because of her unbelievable tale. Cupcake Brown lets down her walls for the first time, untangling all the lies she’s learned to tell throughout her life in order to protect herself, and jumps through a hurdle of debilitating fear to bring us a fiercely raw, wildly suspenseful, no-holds-barred and intimate story of how she came to be the woman, motivational speaker, lawyer and survivor she is today.

Cupcake begins her journey detailing vivid memories of an idyllic life she once lived and what that could have afforded her had the most traumatic event in her life (at the age of 11) not occurred– the sudden passing of her beloved mother and discovering her lifeless body. Instead of seeing a young, vulnerable child fumble through her youth lost without the unconditional love and commitment of a dedicated mother, we see Cupcake Brown go down a dangerous, unpredictable and treacherous path that involved substance abuse of every drug in the book, violence, domestic abuse, gang activities and child prostitution. Her story of survival, in the unforgiving streets of California’s most notorious neighborhoods, is nothing short of a miracle.

What makes Cupcake’s story stand out from most memoirs is her candid and brutally honest voice- only ever telling it like it is- and at times wrought with an embarrassing, self-deprecating clarity. She writes from the perspective that she has a responsibility for her life’s story; that her actions are not only the result of the circumstances that were handed to her but that ultimately her regrettable decisions were hers and hers alone to make (often heavily influenced and driven by substance abuse and the sometimes misdirected anger at the system that she believes failed her).

This is not just a memoir- this is an important coming-of-age tale that needs to be read by every single adolescent (whether you are White, Black, Asian, rich, poor, well-adjusted or awardterribly lost) because not only is this a warning for what can happen to a life interrupted but this story is a message of hope- that it is never ever too late to do what is right, no matter the cost.