Wednesday, December 18, 2013

This Dusty Pregnancy: Thirteen Weeks and Thoughts


I am growing a human. It's a weird thing to think about. In fact, if I think too hard about it, my mind stumbles across the imagery of an alien bursting out of a man's digestive system at the beginning of Stephen King's Dreamcatcher.

I'm sure the same imagery has been used over and over in other movies and books. Take your pick.

Not exactly pleasant.

Except, of course, this isn't like that at all, right? This is supposed to be beautiful, a blossoming of the female form and psyche into motherhood. I am supposed to glow and discover my true purpose as I grow with potential and life. I'm supposed to bask in the attention.

Have you ever had the experience of telling someone you're pregnant? It has to be one of the most awkward things in the world, for reasons I can't quite put my finger on. Sure, it's sharing the news about the life I'm going to bring into the world in approximately 6 months, a hugely exciting, happy change in our lives. But, for some reason, the only reaction I can imagine from people is a succinct, "Oh, that's nice."

Even worse, telling people I'm pregnant feels like an admission of weakness. It feels like I'm announcing how terrible I've been feeling in the mornings, nibbling on saltines and sucking on hard candies just to get through my morning commute. It's like it's an announcement about how my clothes don't really fit anymore and how getting dressed in the morning has become torture. It feels like an admission that my life has slowed down, that I'm falling asleep on the couch by 8 pm, that I can't even keep my eyes open on the subway.

Of course, no one knows these things until they ask. But it feels like those words, "I'm pregnant," are ladened with them none-the-less.

For the record, I'm 14 weeks now. Yes, this post took me a full week to write. My life really has slowed down.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Attic of Awesome Update: Drywall!

Thank you to each and every one of you who took the time to send your best wishes our way following our big announcement this week. We are beyond excited for the big changes coming our way, and I'm looking forward to being able to share some of the journey with you.

Many of you pointed out how timely our attic renovation has been. Indeed, it has been! We're fortunate, in that the attic should be finished in plenty of time to allow us to shift our focus to getting ready for this baby. Over the next couple months, our house should stop feeling rough and unfinished, and become more polished, clean and welcoming.

We've been forging ahead, hoping to meet some major milestones in time for Christmas. This year, rather than traveling into the snowy snowbelt for Christmas, my parents are joining us here in Toronto for a couple days. (I will miss seeing some real snow at Christmas... Toronto can never seem to keep its white coat around.) We want to make sure they have a proper place to sleep, complete with a little privacy, a real bed, real sheets, and a bedside table or two. Of course, this means a bit of a scramble to get the attic into a somewhat liveable condition.

On the weekend, my father-in-law came down and helped Mark put the heavier bits of drywall up on the ceiling and walls. I helped Saturday, before he arrived, but it quickly became clear that I am a weakling who gets tired very easily these days, and getting those pieces of drywall up with me standing underneath them was going to take three times as long. I relegated myself to mudding while they took care of the rest.


And, this is where we are now. Every night this week, the Husband has mudded. And these have not been easy joints to mud. I've helped with a little sanding, every now and then, but he's done the lion's share of the work up here.



(Pardon our mess... we're not done yet!)

Let's take a look at the list again, shall we?

What we've finished

  • Reinforced the ceiling joists to support a floor. 
  • Reinforced the sagging roof joists.
  • Opened the ceiling to create a stairwell and installed temporary stairs.
  • Removed the last of the knob-and-tube in the house and re-ran electrical for the dining room and porch lights.
  • Installed a beam to support the main floor ceiling so we could take out a wall. 
  • Removed a wall on the main floor
  • Built knee-walls and framed in closets.
  • Finished installing electrical outlets. 
  • Spray foamed to insulate the space.
  • Drywalled
  • Installed pot lights.
What we have left to do
  • Install the radiators. (Not that the room needs them... it's the warmest space in the house, even with the window unsealed! But, you know... building code and all that.)
  • Build a bannister.
  • Install a new window. (Booked for December 19)
  • Tape and mud. (In progress)
  • Paint.
  • Install the floors.
  • Hang curtains and move in.
  • (Figure out something for our irregularly shaped closet doors.) 
  • Build or buy a real set of stairs.

We won't get all of the remaining items on our list finished in time for my parents to come visit, but we're hoping to at least have the sanding finished and a coat of primer on the walls, so we can bring our spare bed in from the garage and set up a sweet little guest room space for them. Or move in ourselves, whichever pulls our fancy. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

An Announcement

I have been quiet. You've all noticed. Perhaps some of you have wondered. Worried if you're a worrier. Maybe even a few of you have missed me.

I can't promise that today marks the end of the quiet. I can't promise that I'll get back to regular posting in any sense. But I can tell you why things have been so dead, so sporadic around here, even though we've got the attic on the go, a good sized project I know a lot of you are waiting for news on.

I've had other things on my mind. A secret. The kind of secret that's hard to push to the back of your mind so that life can go on. The kind of secret that causes writers' block and a drain on inspiration. The kind of secret I've been bursting to tell, and have just stayed away from the keyboard as a result, in order to keep it, carefully, a secret.

Today, I get to come clean!

Mocha? Kingsley? Would you do the honours?


Despite the puppies' morose looks, we are beyond thrilled to announce that our little family is set to grow by one little human. 

Over the next few months, I hope to share some of my thoughts on motherhood and what all this means for me. I make no promises about keeping the baby-thoughts off this blog. I will, however, promise that I won't leave you in the dark about our attic progress either. 

And oh, there has been progress!