Monday, November 24, 2008

Do you vant to suck my blood?

Apparently not!

Today I had an appointment with Canadian Blood Services to donate blood. It's the first time in seven years that I've donated, so I read a whole lot on their web page to make sure I was eligible.

See, the last two times I donated, I passed out. The first time, I was about 18 and weighed about 98 lbs. After I donated, I went back to work and promptly passed out on my client's floor.

I waited a few years and then donated again when I was in Ottawa. Five pounds heavier and more savvy about not doing any heavy lifting after giving blood, I was sure that I'd be fine. It took a while to pull that litre of life from me, but I did it. Afterwards, I indulged in quite a few cookies and juices before I felt steady on my feet. I went outside, lit up a smoke and once again, came crashing down.

It's now been seven years, 10 lbs and five years of being smoke-free. I'm healthy, well within the 110lb weight minimum, and my iron dropped like a stone in the first test. I was feeling good when I went in for me final overview with the nurse. She took my blood pressure (a little high at 145 over 68 - but hey, I'm about to give you a litre of blood, I'm nervous!) and my temperature (slightly warm despite my chilly hands) and was just about to start asking the crazy questions about my sex, drug and prostitution background when she noticed that I'd marked yes to "Have you ever experienced fainting?" I explained what had happened on previous occasions, but that much had changed. She just shook her head.

Apparently, they have a strict two strikes and you're out rule about fainting at the blood clinic. She said that although hospitals really need my blood type, they don't want to take it at my expense. And so, I'm now permanently blacklisted. Unless they change the rules, I can NEVER give blood again.

I'm torn about the whole situation. On one hand, I'm really sad that I can't give the "gift of life" any more. They say that although 1 in 3 people CAN give, only 1 in 60 people DO give. I wanted to be a giver. But on the other hand, I hate needles and I really don't like giving blood (does anyone?) so now I never have to and don't have to feel guilty about it.

So my good readers, perhaps you can make my conscience feel a little lighter. If only one of you decided to be a blood donor, you could take my place as that 1 in 60th person. You can be the hero. You could save up to 3 lives with just one donation and one hour of your time. What do you say? Will you feel the spirit of the season and give a special gift this Christmas? WIll you be a registered blood doner?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Morning wake up call

As I plodded through my morning ablutions, a dream-tussled toddler shuffled clumsily through the bathroom door. As soon as his sleepy eyes adjusted to the light, he raised his arms in the air in a silent plea to be picked up. He snuggled into my shoulder before holding his hands on either side of my face to give me a kiss. Afterwards, his face wrinkled and he went noodle as a wordless request to get down. He plodded over to the bathroom counter, opened my drawer and pulled out my mouthwash.

"Mummy tinky. Dink dis peas."

Out of the mouths of babes....

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Darn niggles

Just so you're not all waiting on pins and needles, my niggle was wrong. I'm not preggo. Good news though - it means my puke-free Christmas plan is back on! Looks like at this rate, we may just have a little Christmas miracle of our own.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

You're all going to hate me for saying this out loud, but I'm almost done my Christmas shopping! I can't tell you how satisfying it is to know that I can avoid the December mall mayhem entirely this year. In fact - I've skipped malls altogether in my 2008 shopping. As I settle into my "Ma Ingalls" phase, I'm making many gifts and trying to buy the others from small businesses (like our local Mennonite market). It feels good to support the little guys and to have pride in giving my own creations.

Adam has told me I am absolutely not allowed to decorate before December 1. I think I'm going to work on him to start decorating this coming weekend. I'd like a full 30 days of Christmas spirit in our big old house before Santa arrives! I just can't wait to pick out a tree and have that beautiful pine smell waft through my house. To bring out all the gorgeous decorations people have given me over the years. To set aside a whole day just to get my Christmas baking done - this year with my little sous chef in tow!

I'm already getting excited about Christmas with Hayden. He's two now and is starting to understand the magic of the season. He stares slack-jawed at snow falling, laughs uproariously when I "ho-ho-ho" like Santa, and points and yells "pity yites!" when he sees any sign of Christmas lights in the neighbourhood.
I think this year, I'll bring him to a Christmas service and have him help me to donate gifts or food to the needy so he knows the reason behind the holiday as well.
I'm also eager to share our family traditions with him...
When we were small, every year we would read two books on Christmas Eve: Twas the Night Before Christmas and Santa Mouse. We were often allowed to open one present on Christmas eve. Every year we would wait with baited breath as mum and dad selected a special present for this early opening. I remember every year I would wish and wish that the present chosen for me would be a special toy I'd asked Santa for. Funny enough, every year it was pajamas, but I never lost that hope!

In our house, we didn't have stockings, we had Santa sacks. We would carefully hang them on the end of our bed about two weeks before Christmas. I remember checking that sack every morning to make sure Santa hadn't messed up his calendar and left me an early present. And I know my siblings did the same. I remember sneaking into their rooms (or in my sister's case, we slept in the same room so it was a simple step away) and I'd put random things in there like a can of soup or a ball of dirty socks. It never failed to send me into hysterics when they'd awake, discover a bulge in their sack and then tear into it to see what Santa had left!
But on Christmas eve, as we slumbered in our beds, Santa would carefully fill up those sacks with small gifts (all individually wrapped). Many times, I would wake in the wee hours of the morning and sneak with my sack and my sister in tow into my brother's room and we would quietly squeal as we unwrapped our Santa sack booty. Then we'd tiptoe back to our room (if we didn't wake up my parents in the process) and I'd sleep with my Santa sack wrapped in my arms until the sun came up.

While gifts from our relatives were put under the tree as they arrived, all presents from mum, dad and Santa were saved and appeared magically sometime on the eve of Christmas after we'd gone to bed. On Christmas morning, the hallway to the living room would be gated off. Mum and dad would go in before us to turn on the tree, play soft Christmas music and get the camera ready. Then with great flourish, the gate would be removed and we would scramble to be the first to see our gift-laden tree. It never failed to amaze us. Even in years when times were tough, there always seemed to be a mountain of beautifully wrapped presents. And mum and dad always carefully counted to make sure we had exactly the same amount of presents to open. We were allowed to look at the presents, but not open them until everyone had eaten breakfast. Every year, dad would announce that he was going to make himself a big egg and bacon breakfast and we would protest and extol the delicious benefits of a quick bowl of cereal! (As we got older (and slightly more patient) breakfast became a big part of our Christmas morning. We would all sit to enjoy a bounty of scrambled eggs, back bacon, sauteed mushrooms, toast and tea.)

Christmas dinner was always a big turkey with all the trimmings. We were each assigned to eat a single Brussel spout. It was a race every year to be the first to sit down and carefully slide that gravy covered Brussel under the table to feed to the dog. She'd only eat one, so you had to be the first! We always had Christmas crackers as well. You know, these things:

Before anyone ate, we'd pop the crackers and don the paper hats within while we told each other the lame jokes and tried to figure out the crazy, tiny toys. (We still do this every year!)

All of these simple memories are what made Christmas special for me. While I can't remember most of the presents I received as a child, I do remember the magic, the anticipation, the smiles and laughter of my family, the togetherness, and the little touches that my parents worked so hard to recreate every year. Thanks mum and dad - you showed me the meaning of Christmas. And now 30 years later, I'm sharing them with my son.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Oh no you didn't!

So tonight I was giving Hayden a bath. Our usual nightly routine: bubbles, bath crayons, lots of splashing and mummy trying to stay somewhat dry. Just your every day bath...or so I thought...

Near the end of his bath, Hayden decided he wanted to hide in the bath cave. He insisted that I pull the shower curtain across and then would lay on his tummy, giggling to himself. Every few seconds, I'd peek around the curtain and he'd shriek "No mummy! I iding!" And so the game continued for a few minutes.

And then it happened...

I pulled back the curtain to peek on him again and what did I spy?

Oh no...

Oh yes.

"I poop mummy!" He proudly exclaimed. "I poop a big poop in de baf! Yook!"

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Niggles and voices

A few weeks back, I let you guys in on the big "bun baking plan." Adam and I were going to throw our condoms to the wind and plant another little Goddard in the world.

Since then, I've sat myself down and realized that perhaps I don't want to get pregnant in November. It would mean that if I got hit with the pregnancy nausea, I'd be in the smack dab in the worst of the vomit storm come Christmas. As I'm hosting Christmas dinner this year for my family, I'm thinking this would not be a wise decision!

And so, I held off on all days that the fertility experts said that I could get preggo. I didn't want to tempt fate. I wanted to wait another month, leaving my Christmas puke-free.

But this week, I've started having wickedly vivid dreams. This was one of my very first signs of pregnancy with Hayden. I'm incredibly skeptical, as biologically, they say it's not possible that I'm pregnant. But there's this niggle. This little voice in my head that says "Don't be so sure."

I can't say that you guys will be the first to know, but rest assured that should that niggle be right, I'll let you know in due time. (lol - get it? Due time? *insert groans here*)


Today I had a proud moment at work as I organized and ran our first ever Remembrance Day ceremony. Most of our building is empty, as the government takes Remembrance Day off, so we were able to hold the ceremony in our main atrium. I was really impressed by how many of our employees took the time to attend. Our CEO said a few touching words, telling of us his own family’s history with war, before we played an amazing video created by Muddy River Media.

As we stood for two minutes of silence, I heard more than a few sniffles and chokes in the crowd. So many lives affected and torn apart by war…even in our tiny office. These coworkers are the invisible victims of those left behind.

I am proud that our company has recognized this important day. I am proud that I was a part of making it happen. But I’m most proud of the reason behind the event: Canada’s service men and women. The people who gave up their lives, their families, their safety and their comforts in order to secure these basic needs for others. To each of you who are serving now, have served in the past, or who are proud families members of veterans, today I honour you. Thank you for my freedom. Thank you for giving so much so that I can live in peace.

Lest we forget…

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Best quote I've heard in a while

Rosa sat so Martin could walk. Martin walked so Obama could run. Obama ran so our children can fly.

(Unfortunately, the attribution for this quote is more complicated than my tv's owners manual. You can read some of the story behind the quote here.)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

New neighbour - Hooray!

I'm not an overly politically minded person. Most of the time, I feel like I'm voting for the lesser of two evils (though I do vote). I rarely get involved in a political discussion and I find the televised debates more of a contest of "who can bullsh!t who" rather than a platform for discussing ideas and opinions.

With that caveat in place, thank you America. Thank you for making the right choice. After eight years of living beside an aggressive, outspoken, greedy, absent minded neighbour, today I'm proud to share our continent.

I think Obama will lead your country to great places. He is a man with the direction and wisdom to lift America up from where it has fallen, both in the eyes of it's citizens who are struggling to hold on to their homes and in the eyes of the world, who has watched your (and our) soldiers die in the name of revenge and greed.

May this historic day, a day where a proud African American man leads your country just a century and a half after slavery was abolished, be the starting point of great things to come for the United States of America. God bless.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


This year Halloween was simply magical! The weather, the air of excitement, the fact that we're in our own all just added up to a fantastic night!

Two years ago today, I was giant preggo and just waiting to pop. I willed Hayden to make his appearance on Halloween so that we could have an excuse for a party every year! (He waited another 6 days - that boy has always done what he feels like!)

This is my mum holding Hayden the day after he was born.

Last year, Adam was away in Calgary. I went to my sister's house for Halloween (choosing not to stay in the scary ghetto with my drunken neighbours). It was great to be with family, but it just didn't feel complete without Adam there. It was Hayden's first Halloween and he had no idea what was going on. We went to about five houses before we went home and fell asleep.
Hayden as a giraffe, nearly a year old here!

This year - it all came together. Hayden was excited about dressing up (finally - up until the day before Halloween he refused to put on his costume), we had our house nicely decorated, I had a TON of candy for the neighbourhood kids, Adam was home, I had my own costume ready and it was a balmy 13 degrees come dusk.
My costume's just for you W.O.W! (Think Jesse from Toy Story)

This is our spider lair - designed to compliment Hayden's costume!

Hayden went up and down both sides of our small street (about 20 houses) trick or treating. Adam took him out while I stayed home to load up the trick or treaters. He refused to approach any house that didn't have their lights on (I guess he shares his mum's fear of the dark). He was fascinated by the glow stick we gave him to make him more visible (black spiders don't tend to light up the headlights). After coming back home and proudly showing me his pumpkin full of goodies, he sat on the front porch with me to wait for kids. If he saw any sign of people, he would stand up and shout at the top of his lungs "Hey kiss (kids)! Tih tee! (trick or treat) Canny! (Candy)" He would wave his candy offerings in the air to prove his point and look at me in utter dismay if the children didn't instantly heed his call. Any child who did wander up the drive was met with a fist full of candy and a VERY excited spider host. He even gently delivered one of the Halloween soft balls to a baby.

After about an hour of handing out candy, he was just wired (this could be due to the candy he was sneaking from the bowl when I wasn't watching). I decided to tire him out and take him for another round of treat collecting. We walked to a tiny little dead end street that attaches to ours. (I know from years of trick or treating experience that such streets hand out oodles of candy because so few kids make the effort to go down them.) Hayden wasn't disappointed! The very first house we visited nearly filled his bucket to the brim. She had hand made little gift bags with fancy straws, toys, candy and hot chocolate. So sweet. We then walked down the street that parralels our own. Every time we would meet another child, Hayden would yell "Tih Tee!" and hand them one of the candies from his bucket. My little giver! We stopped going up to houses because he really didn't need any more treats. But the neighbours would have none of it and would actually come down the diveway to give us more treats. I love my neighbourhood!

Back at our house, the kiddies were pretty sparse unless you sat outside waiting for them. According to one of the mums, the previous owners were devout Jehova Witnesses and did not appreciate Halloween visitors. Sometimes they got a little vocal with the kids if they were disturbed. (I understand that they didn't believe in the holiday, but it made for some very wary parents last night!) Next year I think we'll decorate even more to get the word out that we're (VERY) Halloween friendly now!

Hope that you all had an equally fantastic Halloween. I have to say that this was my most magical ever. Having a child who gets excited about the fanfare just made me more riled up! And I'm one of those people who never stopped getting dressed up for the occasion!