13 Inappropriate Status Updates I’ve Wanted To Make Since I Got Pregnant

Oh, good. Another blog post about pregnancy. This should be informative, fun, cutesy, non-judgy and—*retches into nearest garbage can*.

Oh, sorry, that wasn’t about the topic – that’s just my life now. Any conversation I have from now until September is 90% likely to be interrupted by me retching into the nearest garbage can.

Cause I got knooooockedddd upppp hawrrrrd. 

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Two hours into my shift and I'm ready to go home. I am the weakest link.

It was really difficult for an oversharer like me to achieve but Steve and I decided to keep this news fairly on the down low this time around until it was impossible for a photo of me to be shared without cropping half of me out. We wanted to make sure that everything was okay first, as if we are going to have control over a concept like *that* ever again.

And now, unfortunately for y’all, I have a serious backlog in my brain (and phone) of everything I’ve wanted to say since the day I found out I was pregnant again.

1. “This pregnancy test better not be f*cking with me.”

2. “Oh shit, this is actually happening. I should probably find a doctor or a midwife. And tell my husband. In that order? Will he be less panicky if I say I already have a care provider ready to go, or will he want to do that together? Yes.”

3. “Wow, I’ve made it 6 whole weeks, and I feel great! But that’s bad. I should probably be sick, right? I wasn’t sick last time, and that was a bad sign. Oh no.”

4. *one week later* “Ohhhh Goddddd, when will the vomiting end?” #SecretlySuperRelieved

5. “I just vomited from the hours of 3am to 6am and now I have to go to work for 8 hours. I’m no mathematician…but this kinda sucks.”

6. “I am the worst human being in the world. Like, here’s Donald Trump and waaaaayyyy down here is me. For I have just desecrated Her Majesty Queen Adele. She was on the radio, and lo, I could not stop barfing from beginning to end. Off with my head.” #HelloFromTheGarbageCan

7. “Did you know you can get a sinus infection, just from all the extra fluids being produced in your body during pregnancy? I SURE DIDN’T! Seriously, Adele, if you’re not gonna cut off my head, I’m just gonna do it myself.”

8. “Sweet, I finally lost that 15 pounds I’ve been chasing for 3 years, and the curves are landing in all the right places! Hello, boobs, nice to meet you at last!” *smacks husband’s hands away for the 27th time cause these new bubbies HURT, BITCH*

9. “Steve just told me that he feels like our bodies are singing Sarah McLachlan songs to each other, it’s been so long. And then to prove his point, he burst out, I WILL REMEMBER YOUUUUUU WILL YOU REMEMBER MEEEE DON’T LET YOUR WIFE PASS YOU BY *reaches towards new boobs* WEEP NOT FOR THE MAMMARIES

I should probably do something sexy before he leaves me.”

10. “I am in the bathroom at work. I have just barfed, peed myself a little, switched gears for diarrhea and had a nosebleed in the last 5 minutes.

Baby Button, I love you, but seriously CALM YOUR SHIT.” #AlwaysKeepAChangeOfClothesInTheCar #ThanksHusbandForBringingMeClothesAndAlsoForNotLeavingMe

11. “Omg our maternity photo shoot is in 3 days, and everything is terrible! At least on my wedding day, someone could use the power of foundation and witchcraft to make me beautiful, but NOW I’m on my OWN! I need a haircut! There are burst blood vessels in my face! I have nothing to wearrrrr…”

12. “Did I actually forget how amazing our photographer is? For. Shame.”

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13. “Hold up. Did I just…? Yep, there is *something* moving inside me, and for once, it’s not gas! Or maybe it is? Wait, now I’m being punched in the ribs by the tiniest little fist in the world, yes I am, hello baby! Steve, come quick! Everything we’ve gone through in the last 5 months is about to be worth it!”

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To be continued…

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That Time Motown Tried To Kill Us All

Music.

Ahhh.

Even just the word itself holds such warmth for me. It’s always coursed through my veins, been as much a part of me as my own thoughts.

I hum without thinking about it, to the annoyance of some. For the brief amount of years I was in school, my report cards always referenced my “special” humming in some way.
If I hear someone say a phrase that has been used in a song, my brain will immediately scan the archives and locate the “file”, so I can break out in spontaneous song for absolutely no reason.

I came by it honestly. My mom always had a guitar in the house, playing her originals and teaching me how to keep a beat and hear harmonies.

At the time I thought she was weird, but now I totally appreciate both of those abilities. Also, this  vinyl record cover of hers from 1980.

I had very little formal education (one year lessons each of piano, voice and bass guitar), but I was always exposed. In the right place at the right time, up for anything.

One Christmas season, I was in 3 different choirs, learning the Soprano AND Alto parts of The Hallelujah Chorus and going on to perform it no less than 11 times. (After that, we spent some much needed time apart. I now love it again.)

I’ve done solos, duets, trios, quartets, talent shows, choreography, sign language, school choir, church choir, community choir, musical theatre. Gospel, Christmas, Madrigal, Worship, Pop, Musicals, Songwriting, Recording, and Lullabies For Children Who Just Won’t Sleep.

But until last month, I had never done…

Some friends in Coquitlam were having a Ballroom Fundraiser at the Italian Cultural Centre, trying to raise money for the St. Francis of Assisi school to build a new gym. They asked us to join one of the live bands (Steve playing electric guitar, and me as one of 3 back-up singers) and we said “sure!” BEFORE we knew the evening’s theme was “Night At The Apollo.”

We had no idea what we were in for.

For 8 weeks, we practiced. And for almost every single one of those, husband was a little, shall we say, done.

He’d been sick, had a tooth broken, had said tooth REMOVED surgically and horrifically, was teaching ukulele to children, working long days putting in floors for high-maintenance customers, and now we needed to pack up all his guitar gear for a 2 hour practice, while paying a bridge toll and driving half an hour each way. (Never fear, we were later reimbursed.)

To commit to this for music you love is challenging; for music you know nothing about is slightly torturous.

Such is the life of a musician.

The day of the gala arrived. Steve worked until 3 since we had to be at the ICC by 4pm for a sound check.

It was one of the first hot days of the year. Steve’s truck was in for repairs, so we had to take my car – the one without shocks or air conditioning.

By the grace of God and mid-afternoon traffic, we found the Italian Cultural Centre. We opened the doors to find someone we knew, and it was like swaaaaaaank.

 

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Our crowd

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Our stage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here are some cra-mazing things that happened.

1.) The two of us got all the gear inside and set up with ONLY ONE argument and mini-breakdown in the parking lot.

2.) We had a sound check, and one of the other back-up singers (Nina) asked me to “sing something from Frozen” for her little girl (Sophia) who was watching us. So, in a child-like voice, I sang “Do You Wanna Build A Snowman?” while Sophia alternated between dancing in delight and watching me carefully to make sure I got every word right. Whatever,  I nailed it.

3.) I applied my own make-up without looking like a painted whore.

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4.) Since we didn’t go on stage until 9pm, we went to Brown’s Social House for dinner after the sound check. I’d never been before, and everyone was like “Don’t order anything too creamy or weird cause it’ll mess up your voice” and I was like “screw that, I’m in a new restaurant and I’m going to ENJOY IT” so I ordered some Chipotle and Lime Chicken Fajitas with pico de gallo and guacamole and oh my gosh. To die for. (and now it’s coming to LANGLEY!!!!)

5.) As we were getting ready to leave Brown’s, the other back-up singer (Josie) told us she didn’t feel very good. We waited for her outside while she used the bathroom. When she came back out, she said, “Soooo, I probably shouldn’t have eaten that Filipino food for lunch. Can we stop at the drugstore on the way back for some Pepto-Bismol?”
Uhhh, one of our strongest singers was experiencing hard-core diarrhea mere hours before the show — OF COURSE we’re gonna get her some Pepto. She was a trooper; she survived the entire night gulping back doses of the Pink Stuff every half hour while joking, “Good thing I wore sturdy bike shorts underneath this dress!”

6.) I drank a whole cup of wine while playing poker backstage — all without flinching.

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7.) Our set of 13 songs went smoothly and quickly and rather funly. Well, except for one minor thing…you’d think it was that I fell off the stage after trying to sing and remember our choreography while wearing an itchy feather boa and high heels, but I actually survived that…

Weeks ago, our lead singer/director of the band, Tami, told us that the last time she’d been a part of something like this, she’d thanked everyone involved in the event but completely forgot to thank her husband who’d been taking care of their 5 kids the entire time. So THIS TIME, she wanted us to learn a medley of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, “Upside Down,” and “I Say a Little Prayer For You” as a way of dedication and apology for the last time.

The moment she’d been waiting for had arrived. Her husband was in the crowd, the people were listening, the band was ready.

She told the story of why she was dedicating this particular piece to him.

And then the rest of us started panicking as we realized that she’d forgotten the order of the music; it was not, in fact, time to make a dedication to her amazing husband. We started to scramble through our music; realizing her mistake, she finished her public dedication, and then told us to just continue the song order as planned.

But the crowd didn’t know how things were supposed to go. So all they heard was a touching dedication and then….

“We could have had it aaaaalllll, rollin’ in the deeeEEEeeeep….you’re gonna wish you! never had met me! tears are gonna fall! rollin’ in the deep!”

After we finished rocking the Adele, Tami goes, “And NOW it’s time to sing for my husband.”

8.)  To close out the evening, one of the school’s bus drivers crashed the stage as an Elvis impersonator. We knew he was coming, but nobody else did. For the first time that night, everyone got up from their tables and crowded the front of the stage, screaming and taking what I assume were really blurry photos. I wanted a photo with him after the show, but he ran away too fast to change out of his clothes, cause he thought he was gonna die of heat exhaustion. So here he will remain in legendary mystery.

 

9.) Steve and I didn’t break up.

 

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These are the faces of  2 people who used their talents to entertain, and help children get a gym, and who are so hitting McDonald’s as soon as they can get everything back into the sauna–err, car.

Aretha, I hope you are proud. Justa-justa-justa–justa-justa-justa-justa little bit.

Skyfall (Family Matters Part 4)

If you’re in need of some back story, staaaaart here: Part 1     Part 2    Part 3

So far, I’ve kept things fairly serious and dramatic. But really, I’m just getting started. And since I don’t want to feel like shit for the rest of the day, I’m going to incorporate as many gifs as I possibly can. Prepare for a lot of facepalms and WTF? Thank God for Google.

Back in the day, I was quite the housesitter, and I loved every minute. As an illegal immigrant who couldn’t get a job or live on her own, it was the best way to have a place to live, food to eat, AND make some extra cash on the side. Throw in some free wifi to help me locate my awkwardly obtained family members, with erasable browser histories – I was in, I was out, I was clean.

So, in the spring of 2010 (OMG that’s 4 years ago already), I had a big beautiful house on the river all to myself. I have fond memories of this place; I started watching How I Met Your Mother on DVD there…played strip poker for the first time with some girlfriends and then couldn’t sleep that night because I felt so guilty there…started feeling numb down my side and smelling burnt toast at the same time, so I ran to the ER with a stroke, but really it was just the unfortunate combination of a pinched nerve and a sinus infection there…had my first conversation with my dad ever and thought I would die of happiness there…

Damn, if those walls could talk.

It all started with a night of searching.

Matthew Winters. The State of California. Insurance. (I guess the whole pastor thing didn’t pan out very well.)

I had located an insurance website that looked promising, but to be able to send any of the employees an email, I had to click on their name and then click on what kind of insurance claim I wanted to file. Otherwise, everything was locked up tight.

I thought about jokingly filing for some kind of “my daddy never paid for my upbringing” claim,

but I could be in trouble if he wasn’t actually my dad.

Taking a break, I went on Facebook chat to see if any of my friends were around. A guy I knew from a Bible camp a few towns over was online, and I suddenly remembered that he was, shall we say, really good with computers.

MeHey dude, what’s up? (keep it cool, dayum, girl)
Him: Not much, you?
Me: Eh, ya know. Same. So hey, was wondering if I could ask you something?
Him: Shoot.
Me: How do I…find…someone online, like an email address, if all I have is their name and where they work?
Him: What’s your info?
Me: Uh, Matthew Winters, State of California, insurance. I think he’s my dad.
Him: Cool! Hold on.
[Less than 10 minutes later]
Him: All I could fish out was this email address. Will that work?
Me: Really??!!?!? I’ll try it! Thank you so much! What do I owe you?
Him: Don’t worry about it. Next time you see me, you can buy me a Coke or something.

To this day, I have not seen him. Dude probably needs a case of Coke by now.

Okay, so. Holy shit. I have my dad’s email address. I hope.

At the time, I was sharing an email address with my mom under a fake name out of her paranoia of the government finding us and drafting me into the WWIII that is the Middle East, or something. So I created an entirely separate email account that had only my dad’s apparent contact information on it.

I emailed him, keeping the same unruffled, nonchalant stance I had taken when I messaged my sister. And then I tried to sleep. Didn’t happen. Checked my email in the morning, and received the greatest surprise.

Oh! My darling daughter! We’ve found each other at long last! I have been searching and searching for you and your mother ever since you left, but your trail went cold in 1998. I thought you had perished. But God has answered my prayers! How are you? How is your mother? Tell me everything.

He was so well spoken, and clearly adored me. I fell in love. We spent 6 days emailing back and forth, spilling ourselves and lapping each other up, all the birthdays and Fathers Days and Christmases we’d lost being recaptured. I was delirious. One friend said, “You got your Hollywood moment!” and I knew it was blissfully true.

And then our first phone conversation happened. His voice was like melted honey; I couldn’t get enough of it. Sometimes, I would check my phone and find a voicemail from him, just because he wanted to say hi and I love you.

After a week, we knew we should probably tell our significant others – that being my mom and his wife. Mom was over the moon, the happiest I’d seen her in a long time. And Rachel, dad’s wife, was fine with our contact under 2 conditions: 1.) that she be able to read any messages between myself and him, and 2.) that there be absolutely no contact between my dad and my mom.

This seemed fair and understandable. I told dad to let her know that I would abide by this fully. This was about me and my dad getting to know each other; I had no ulterior motives.

Another week of bliss went by. We had reached a nice rhythm of emails and phone calls, but never got around to Skype unfortunately. It would have been nice to see his face in real time, at least once.

All was becoming normal. And then…

Dad: How’s your mother doing? Feel free to pass along my email address to her, so we can say hi.
Me: Dad, you know the conditions. I need to respect them. I’m sorry.
Dad: Don’t be sorry, you’re right. I’m the one who’s sorry.

A couple of days later…

Mom: “So how are things going with your dad? You know, you can pass my email onto him, if you want. It would be nice to catch up.”

More lovely weeks went by, and they didn’t mention each other to me again. I breathed a sigh of relief.

Late May/early June came around, and my mom wanted to go for lunch with me, so we went to our favourite pizza place. I could tell something was different about her, but I couldn’t place my finger on it.
After we ordered our food, she said, “I have a surprise for you.” Tears filled her eyes and she smiled. “I’m in love.”

THAT’S what it was! She looked lighter and happier, with a bit of make-up on. I had never seen her in love before. She’d never dated or brought any men home when I was growing up, and now she had transformed into a giddy teenager right before my eyes. It was foreign and strange, but I was genuinely happy for her.

Wait.

Oh no. No no no no….

“What did you do?”

I’m in love.

What did you do?

Great start to the lunch conversation.

Mom: “Now I know you said you wouldn’t talk to him for me, but I went ahead and tried to find him myself. Miracle of miracles, I did! And it turns out that…*tears*…your dad still loves me and wants to be with me! I still can’t believe it, I’m just so thankful. So he’s going to come to Canada and marry me. We’re going to be a family again! And…I was hoping…you could help me shop for some nice clothes?”

For a moment, in that pizza restaurant, I drifted into an alternate universe where I was thrilled that my mom was finally happy and cared for, and WANTED me to take her SHOPPING.

Double-edged euphoria.

“When did this happen?” I asked.

“About 6 weeks ago. Oh gosh, Carly, you know how terrible I am at keeping good secrets, so I’m quite proud of myself for keeping it THAT long! Ooh, here’s our pizza!”

6 weeks…6 weeks…doing math in my head…Dad and I had reached each other 8 weeks ago…which means that right after I had told them I was going to respect Rachel’s boundaries, they went behind my back and broke them anyway.

“So?” she said. “I know it’ll take some getting used to, but what do you think?”
“Uhmmm…well, what’s happening with Rachel? Does she know what’s going on?”
“Your daddy’s still trying to figure that out. She’s a bit of a bitch, keeps threatening to commit suicide whenever he asks for a divorce. His current idea is to fake his death, and then disappear up here. Of course that would be drastic, but it might be his only way out.”

This is the End…hold your breath and count to 10…feel the earth move and then…hear my heart burst again…for this is the End…I’ve drowned and dreamt this moment…

To be continued…

Lost & Found (Family Matters Part 5)