Someone threw me a baby shower and it wasn’t a complete nightmare

“I f*cking hate this shit” is something I have been widely known to say with regard to the following:

  • birthday parties
  • bridal showers
  • baby showers
  • engagement parties
  • weddings
  • generally any sort of perceived contrived celebration where I’m forced to smile and say “aww” or “I’m so happy for you!”

Look, it’s not that I don’t enjoy celebrating exciting milestones of my friends and loved ones. Contrary to popular belief, I do have the capacity to feel joy for others. And although I’m often confused with Larry David’s character on Curb Your Enthusiasm, I don’t think I’m a complete curmudgeon.

larry-david-14

It’s just that I’ve never been the kind of person who feels comfortable in situations that call for frilly bows on the backs of chairs and games that involve someone being wrapped in a roll of toilet paper.

So when my boyfriend’s mother because we live in sin mother-in-law stated that she was going to offered to throw me a baby shower, I cringed. I cringed for my dignity, my like-minded friends who would feel obligated to attend, and most of all, I cringed for the blatant hypocrisy surely someone was going to call me out on.

hypocrite

And quite frankly, I’d deserve it.

But here’s where the beauty of friendship comes in. At the end of the day, the people who truly give a shit about you aren’t going to sit there and remind you what an intolerable asshole you’ve been.

They’re even going to ignore the fact that one time you updated your Facebook status to this:

lasagna
Because when it comes down to it, the people that love you the most are going to be the ones throwing you that shower for the child you’re having out of wedlock, despite their staunch religious beliefs opposing that very lifestyle.

They’re going to be there for you, even if they open their mail one day and receive a hand-drawn map inside an invitation to said shower (for the baby you swore you’d never have).

failure

Best of all, they’re not going make you choke back that humble pie.

Instead, they’ll remember that perhaps your only coping mechanism (other than alcohol) in the wake of a terrible couple of years filled with heartbreak and loss was humour in the form of a snarky social media presence and general distaste for all things that bring others joy.

And they’re going to forgive you for that, and be so god damn generous that you instantly wish you were a better person.

shower collage

Maybe I’ll have a small slice of that pie.

I do love pie, after all.

5 embarrassing social media statuses that no longer apply to my life

If you’re unfamiliar with Timehop, it’s a smartphone app that lets you delve into your sordid past via social media, reminding you what inexplicable nonsense you were sharing with the world exactly one year ago. Or two. Or three.

You get the idea.

ck

This is how Timehop reminds me of what I really am

Timehop is a blessing and a curse. More often than not, I’m cringing like a vegan in a meat factory as I reluctantly scroll through embarrassing past statuses or photos that for some reason I thought were appropriate to share with 300+ people.

For example, here’s a sample of my irrefutable genius from three years ago this Saturday:

timehop

Humiliating status updates aside, Timehop is a constant reminder that one moment you may be waking up with a $50 hotel room surcharge in Las Vegas, but the next, you might be painting a nursery and researching the effectiveness of Pampers VS Huggies.

Life, man.

In the spirit of nostalgia, reminiscence and my penchant for having absolutely no shame, I present 5 embarrassing social media statuses that no longer apply to my life.

1) This terrible joke

status

2) This tweet I retweeted because I am unoriginal

tweet

3) Running, and sharing my runs on social media because I’m a monster

running

4) Being a debilitating alcoholic

beer

5) Appearing attractive to the opposite sex

vic

6) Bonus material: this was never shared on social media (until now), but this one actually applies. Ugh.

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Yes, on the weekend,  I ripped a hole in my pants. I thought that only happened to cartoon characters.

spongebob-ripped-pants-o

Instead of taking another selfie, I’m taking this creepy doll to breastfeeding class

I share an office with a doll.

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“Kill me.”

Now hear me out.

I also share an office part-time with a Registered Nurse, who happens to be a lactation consultant (score for me!). I can only assume that she uses this doll for training purposes in our medical clinic (why else would it even be here?), but mostly it just sits on the shelf behind me and plots my demise.

This morning, in one of my countless attempts to procrastinate, I took the liberty of inspecting the doll further. The name on the back of its neck reads Berenguer, which, according to Google, is a line of Spanish-made collectibles, like the one below.

This makes me uncomfortable

This makes me uncomfortable

Dolls are typically for young girls (and boys) to play with, but sometimes weird adults get a hold of them and add a new layer of creepy to the baby doll experience that you never knew existed. Lifelike, anatomically correct dolls such as these are sometimes referred to as ‘reborn’ dolls. I’ve come across them in the past and was shocked to find out how popular they were. If you’re feeling brave, a Google or YouTube search will give you easy access to this baffling phenomenon.

Maybe I’m being a little narrow-minded by calling it creepy and baffling, so I encourage you to also watch this YouTube video and judge for yourself:

Speaking of weird and creepy, to combat abject boredom at work, there have been at least two documented cases of me and my office mate engaged in a selfie photoshoot.

This one:

I'm not even embarrassed

I’m not even that embarrassed

and this most recent one:

I'm going to get fired, aren't I?

I’m going to get fired, aren’t I?

Tonight is Breastfeeding Night at my prenatal class, and we were all encouraged to bring a doll or stuffed animal to practice. This baby is going to get put to some actual, practical use!

Please pray for its terrifying soul.

I couldn’t decorate my way out of a paper bag but somehow I put together a nursery and it isn’t horrifying

I don’t know what I’m worse at–art or math.

I cheated my way through grade 12 math (thanks, Jenn!), and promptly dropped the subject so my final year’s marks wouldn’t be bogged down by a less-than-stellar grade.

Am I proud of it? No. Would I do it again? Probably.

I’m gonna be a great parent.

High school graduation - that gold medal around my neck is a sham!

High school graduation – that honour roll medal around my neck is a sham

Look, as a writer, math is my natural born enemy. I hated it mostly because I never quite understood it, and wasn’t willing to put in the time and effort so that I would. I knew that I’d never grow up to be a doctor or a scientist, so I was fairly certain I wouldn’t need the Pythagorean Theorem in any future professional capacity.

So far I’m right!

This is an actual photo of me at work

This is an actual photo of me at work

My lack of mathematic skills are matched only by my lack of artistic skills, which means aside from the fact that I still have to count using my fingers, I also have zero capacity for anything visual, including, but not limited to:

  • sketching or drawing
  • fashion
  • interior design
  • makeup, jewelry and accessories
  • painting
  • essentially dressing myself

So when I managed to put together a nursery that wasn’t an absolute visual holocaust, I was pretty impressed. After all, this is my first successful Pinterest-inspired project. I’m still not ready to talk about the microwave cookie in a mug.

nailed it

Obviously, the nursery wasn’t always a nursery. It actually started out as a music room that nobody really played music in.

I had a lot of space when I first moved in, okay?

I had a lot of space when I first moved in, okay?

From there, it progressed to a barren, uninspired guest room.

My cats literally pervade my entire life

My cats literally pervade my entire life

Then it was emptied to prepare for the transformation of its life.

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What, no cat?

Et voilà. The final form.

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All that’s missing now are some shelves, a change pad, and a baby–live or stuffed (preferably stuffed, for safety reasons)

Sure, I’m no Martha Stewart.

But my cats love it and frankly, their opinion is all I care about.

Collage cats

I didn’t eat a mac & cheese burrito but I did compile what I have eaten and it’s gross

When you’re seven months pregnant, it’s hard to keep promises.

I may have every intention of following through with what I say I’m going to do, but inevitably, I usually just end up taking a two hour nap instead.

After seeing this recipe floating around on the web yesterday morning, I was all set to make it for dinner:

mac and cheese burrito

In fact, the very thought of stuffing this cheesy, oil-soaked abomination into my mouth at suppertime really carried me through the work day.

But it was not to be.

Don’t worry, it’s still on my to-do list, which may or may not continue to take a backseat to the following:

  • lengthy post-work naps
  • excessive couch-bound lying around
  • playing euchre on my iPhone
  • obsessive nesting
  • being a general sloth of a human being

As penance for last night’s dinner cop out, I’ve taken the liberty of amassing a vast repertoire of recent food items I’ve plunged into my body, ranging from the impressive to the outrageous and repugnant, and everywhere in between. Some I can take personal credit for, and some I can’t. But I can assure you, all were Instagrammed, and all were consumed with the utmost shame and/or pleasure.

insta

Let’s start with your standard sweets. Here, we have various kinds of donuts I tend to purchase on the reg–of the sprinkles, chocolate and gourmet variety, a f*cking Cinnabon (for those lacking self-respect), the ever-popular homemade chocolate chip cookie and the first (and last) time I tried making cake with fondant. I even threw in some fruit so it looks like I’m attempting to be healthy (spoiler alert, I’m not).

donutcollage

sweets2

Next on the menu, brunch–a delicacy perfected by high-functioning alcoholic, crazy cat dad to one, and dear friend, Shane. Move over, bacon and eggs. It’s stuffed french toast and deep fried french toast dumplings’ time to shine.

french toast

Onto the grill! I’ve been everywhere, man–from BBQ’d shrimp wraps, to cheesy chicken and goat cheese flatbreads, juicy homemade burgers, stuffed peppers with orzo and the tastiest vegetarian enchiladas this side of the Mississippi.

grill

Moving now to international cuisine–another specialty mastered by dangerously insane human being, plant aficionado, and dear friend, Shane. Potato curry butter tofu, roti and curried chickpeas, homemade cornbread, black bean and sweet potato chili, and lemon and butter pan-seared salmon with mini red and white potatoes, spicy honey-glazed carrots, and Vietnamese-style brussels sprouts. The slow cooker butter chicken in the last picture is my doing, and while delicious, pales in comparison.

international

Here’s where it starts to get weird. Introducing spaghetti and poutine–braided and baked into homemade pizza dough. Another Shane-heavy pair of dishes, though I shoulder the blame.

spagpoutine

Finally, the bacon tax. As the saying goes, “There are two kinds of people in this world–those who like bacon, and those who are wrong.”  Incidentally, I suspected I first may be pregnant when I ordered this very plate of bacon for lunch one day at work.

bacon

And there you have it, folks. My shameful affinity to foods both amiable and atrocious is now on display for the world to see. Clearly, I have no shame.

And strangely, I’m okay with that.

3D ultrasounds: creepy or cute? I spend $200 to find out

If I’ve heard anything this pregnancy more than “This baby is going to change your life for the better”, and “Nah dude, your life is over”, it’s “When I was pregnant, we didn’t even have ultrasounds!”

When-I-was-your-age

Apparently this means that my generation was born in the late Mesozoic Era, because these days, ultrasounds happen more frequently than me getting up at night to empty my bladder (last night’s count was five, by the way).

By the time my son is born, I will have had five ultrasounds–including the latest elected one–in 3D.

It may shock you to hear that at 31 (gross, I’m 31), I am not the first woman of my generation to produce a child. As a result, I’m already very familiar with this technology. Patented in 1987, 3D ultrasounds have become more and more popular mostly in the last decade, with private clinics popping up everywhere, charging (mostly) first-time parents (and up to six guests!) an arm and a leg for half an hour of 3D womb watching.

However, not everyone chooses to have a 3D ultrasound, and for good reason.

The going rate for these sessions can range anywhere from $150-$250 for up to 30 minutes of three dimensional fetus voyeurism, with “extras” (DVD recordings, printed photos and kitschy keepsakes) that can easily add up to at least half of that total.

Also, 3D images of an unborn baby may not be for everyone.

3d

Truthfully, before this whole knocked-up business, 3D ultrasounds kind of weirded me out. Let’s be honest–it is kind of weird. These children aren’t even born yet, and here we are, piled into a cozy room filled with couches and big screen TVs, clambering to see its parts like it’s some sort of bizarre creature on display at the circus.

Why can’t we wait a couple more months and see the real thing?

I’m chalking it up to our culture of want–our generation’s desire to have everything now. Instant gratification. Technology in the palm of our hand.

But technology is far from perfect. The 3D ultrasound is a fantastic example of this. Sure, it’s certainly more detailed than your standard black-and-white sonogram, but it’s not quite live (you’ll have to pay 4D prices for that!), the colour is a little off-putting, and images often appear distorted.

Here’s an example of my son with a giant hole in his face.

3DMIRACLES_67_zps0ee969cf

And here’s his spot-on impression of Jabba the Hutt.

jabba

But at the end of the day–and here’s the part where I get cliché and sentimental so bear with me–I’m grateful for the experience.

Not only was I able to share the first images of my son with close friends and family members, I also got to see him in stunning detail for the first time.

Sure, not every picture was a winner.

Yes, my wallet–already stretched way too thin in preparation for his arrival–is a little lighter today.

But he’s got 10 perfect fingers and toes. He’s starting to get a little chubby. He already has hair (which really puts my ongoing, irrational fear of having a bald baby to rest), and he’s definitely still a boy.

Most importantly, he has my nose. And I see my dad in every little facial expression he makes.

So if you still think all of that is totally creepy, remember that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West got a 3D printout of their fetus in utero, so go suck an egg.

Five of my favourite images that don't look like total crap.

Five of my favourite images that don’t look like total crap.