Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rocked by the Flu

I was hit with a bad Flu bug like a Ninja out of the night two days ago. I had no idea what was happening to me when it started. I was in so much pain I thought I was going into early labor (I'm sure this is an over dramatic thought during a lot of first pregnancies). The pressure and pain was so bad it caused me to end up crumpled on the floor waiting for a moment of relief. This is when my husband found me. Clearly worried, but unable to express his feelings like as is normal, he could only say "I don't know what to do, I don't know what to do". I explained that it was something to do with my stomach, but I wasn't sure what was going on. I finally picked myself up and made it to our bed where I crashed and could only get out "Get me a bucket or a bowl!". Nathan disappeared and all I could hear from down the hall was him mumbling to himself about that he didn't know what kind of bowl, and what kind of bowl was it that I needed? At this point answering him was out of the question, so I thought that he would put two and two together and figure it out. When the poor guy came back with a tiny cereal bowl, I had to explain that I needed something big enough to be sick in. I have to wonder what he thought I was going to do with a cereal bowl? He quickly returned with a MASSIVE pot! Even though I was feeling so ill I had to giggle a little. He was trying so hard to help. The next day he went out to the store to get me soup and Gatorade, even though he hates going to the store by himself. And I was very thankful for him to be around, even if his intuitions are lacking sometimes. In most cases it's your mother who just knows what to do when your sick, and I can see what roll I will be having to fill once the baby arrives. He can teach her baseball.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Coffee Mate

I was sitting in the office yesterday letting my brain wander and the stale hint of coffee hit my nose. I then began to think about how I had never really come across Coffee Mate until I moved north. If it's one thing the people love up here is their coffee and there always seems to be a jar of Coffee Mate not to far away. I would have never stooped so low in my posh days of living in the south to ever think about trying a milk substitute. I would have rather taken it black, but being up north I, at some point opened my mind to trying new things. It was good, not like having a steamed latte (I mean come on!) but it wasn't so bad either. When that scoop of powder coagulated together in my coffee and then settled like a clump of pancake batter waiting to be mixed together, I at least knew that the coffee would stay the same temperature, unlike when using milk.

However if I can use milk over Coffee Mate, normally I would. Until yesterday that is. I Asked myself why do people up here always use powdered creamer? Ask and ye shall receive. Not long after I was having this conversation with myself I sent Nathan to the store to get me some milk. We had run out and as a pregnant lady I do a lot of milk swigging, sometimes straight from the carton. When Nathan returned from the store, I popped off the lid of the delicious 1 L container, momentarily checking the expiry date (because that's a must up north as well), confirming that October 7th was a very reasonable safety zone and then proceeded to guzzle down a mouth full. And then it hit me, like a sour, curdling truck out of hell.... maybe this is why you might want to use Coffee Mate. Milk no good. You might imagine at this point how good a pregnant lady's gag reflex is and we'll leave it at that.

But has anyone ever seen the commercial for Coffee Mate, where this guy is doing his morning routine and you keep thinking he is going to pour some milk into his coffee, but no they have fooled you he put it into his cereal or the cat's dish? Why would you want to waste your Coffee and put something as low as milk in it? Then he ends up putting Coffee Mate into his cup. That commercial is pretty weak, probably like his coffee. I'm sorry but all milk goes in my tummy, don't be wasting it on the cat!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Chewing Seal and Sewing

I've been going to sewing classes in the evenings some days. It's always such a great experiance. I tend to get a little bummed out about humanity sometimes because of my husbands line of work and it's really great to take time to remind myself how wonderful human beings really are deep down inside. And it's going to sewing class recently that has reminded me of this.

I can't sew. I can take a photo, I can paint, I can draw, I can play a few instruments, but I can't sew. Worth beans!! The whole idea of making something out of fabric just throws me for a loop, I think it's terribly fascinating beyond my brains capacity. And this is where I run into trouble because Nathan can't sew either and what do you know it every single pair of his work pants have to be hemmed! Last year we ended up taking down south 10 pairs of his work pants just to get them repaired or hemmed and it almost took up an entire suite case, what a waste of space!

Some nights back, a few ladies and myself went down to the sewing class at the community centre just to visit some of the local ladies there and see what they were making. That night some of them had been working on parkas and my eyes just lit up with wonder. I sat there watching amazed trying to put it all together in my head, when the lady in charge came over and said "You know, you can do that"! I said "Aaga" ("no" in Inuktitut)! She then told me about one of the ladies there, who originally had no clue about how to sew and today she is one of the best in the class. I wasn't sure I would be able to create anything, but some how her warm smile was convincing enough for me to dive in full force and now I'm going 3 times a week!

The woman who is running the sewing class, who I call Hopi (because I can't pronounce her full Inuktitut name lol) should win some kind of awesomeness award because she is always in class ready to lend a hand. I haven't seen her working on anything of her own yet because she is constantly running around helping others put together their sewing projects. The other night she blew my mind away when a lady came over wondering the best way to attach a sleeve to the body of her parka. Hopi took the sleeve, turned it inside out and placed it inside the Parka making it much easier to sew on (I'm sure this isn't making any sense, but it did when I saw it happen, you'll just have to trust me). Last night when I was trying to sew something (I'm not going to say what because it's a Christmas present), Hopi stopped and took time, along with another awesome lady to try and fix a problem I was having. Here I am sitting between two Inuit ladies while they are having a conversation in Inuktitut over my project and how to fix it for me. I felt so cared for. I'm also getting a lot of help and support from my also pregnant friend Meaghan, who again I wouldn't be able to produce anything without. Last night she drove all the way home just to get her sewing machine for me to use because all the others were occupied! These crazy wonderful ladies just make your day!

While I was sitting on the floor in class (this is where the most important work gets done), a lady from another class, one that was making tradition Inuit Kamiks came over with a piece of seal. She had been chewing the piece used for the bottom of the foot, the traditional way to soften it up. She propositioned me that since I had good teeth maybe I could spend some time chewing and she could sew up my project. I took one look at her and questioned "but you have good teeth too". She then said "nah, I have dentures". Best looking dentures I'd ever seen. So just for fun I took the piece from her and took one big bite. My mistake, I must not have realized that seal skin pre-chewed is ROCK HARD. As my teeth were zinging from the pain I realized I probably should have used my molars instead of my front teeth. I handed her back her pelt and she giggled. She probably has a good 3 days of solid chewing ahead of her and that's just one foot. Now I realize why they cost so damn much if you are to just buy them. I think I'm just going to stick to sewing for right now.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Like everywhere else in the territory it's been snowing. It's so clean and crisp, especially when accompanied with a cloudless blue sky. I can't wait for the temperatures to drop and the for the rain to be gone for good. It's all just a matter of time.While we are waiting for the baby to arrive we have been working on Tally's manners. We have a few major concerns like "borrowing" food from an unsuspecting toddler or excessively using his massive paw as communication and knocking the baby around. No more people food, no more pawing. HAHAHAHA!!! Apparently Malamutes are stubborn. I have been reading Cesar Milan's book on how to become a pack leader, we have been watching the "Dog Whisperer" and another show called "At The End of My Leash" to hopefully get some insight. A lot of the cases are very similar and we have started implementing some new rules such as "claiming" the kitchen as my territory and off limits to Tallinn. We have also stopped giving him scraps, stopped treating him like a person instead of a dog, not letting him crawl all over me and most importantly trying to give him more exercise and walks. Tallinn is great on walks off leash, but as soon as I put him a leash I immediately turn into a big juicy sled that he can't resist pulling. In my state right now I just don't have the strength to handle that. I really don't know what to do about that and I don't think Cesar Milan is willing to come up to Canada, let alone the arctic. I finally saw a show on this morning called "Downsize My Pet" where really overweight dogs and cats are put on a diet. This morning's episode had a very large Husky who could barely walk, let along pull her owner around on a leash. Then I thought maybe I could just plump my little cupcake up and he would stop pulling? Maybe not.
I'm also desperately waiting for Halloween. The urge to decorate and get in the mood too early is a symptom of living up north because it gets colder earlier. I started feeling the need for Halloween the end of August and have been trying to keep it under control for this long. My mom sent me some Bath & Body Works hand soaps in the mail a couple of days ago (becuase they don't ship in Canada, even though they have stores here...bad, Bad, BAD Bath & Body works, shame on you!). I can hardly contain myself any longer and think I may decorate my house soon! It's time to bust out the scary movies too!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Must Love Dogs

It snowed today, but it didn't last more then a few minutes. I'm really looking forward to the snow. If it's a choice between cold and muddy or cold and snowy, I pick snow. After the snow was long gone I took Tallinn out for a walk with Tank (the Bull dog), his monkeys, Luna (the Alaskan Malamute) and her monkeys. Luna and Tank are still puppies who enjoy a good rassle.
"Tank, your neck tastes like bacon" CHOMP CHOMP CHOP!!!!
"Luna, your thigh tastes like chicken" CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH!!!!Tallinn is an old man who enjoys investigation, investigation, investigation, drive by rassle, more investigation. He doesn't have too much time to play with the other two because there are miles and miles of untouched tundra to sniff and discarded goose poop that needs attention.

*Speaking of love for our pets, Kristen has just shared this link with me. Make sure your dog doesn't have one of these toys!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

White Hairs On My Black Sweater

At first you thought it was just a cat, then one cat turned into two and now there is talk about another human joining our household. I worry that you will feel left out, as you are our first "child". Seeing as how you already know well the art of attention seeking behavior, I worry what storm you could possibly bring after the new human is born. You are a true Ninja of disaster. You mastered this well as a puppy, and have only refined it to a more subtle variety of destruction after almost 2 1/2 years of age. As I have been reading a little more about your breed, as it seems like you constantly need new training all the time, I am reminded that you are prone to attention seeking and destruction. As if I didn't realize this already about you, these things are pounded like a hammer into the side of my head. I'm also reminded that you are an opportunist, and that you couldn't help yourself last night when you went into the kitchen, even after we have spent the last two weeks trying to train you to stay out, where you helped yourself to the open garbage can. In that moment I had left the kitchen unattended, you seized the left over roast beef pieces I had recently disposed of, even though we have spent the last two years training you that the garbage is out of bounds. When seconds later I had realized what had just transpired, you ran from us, mouth full of partially expired beef, dropping pieces as you escaped, where you ended up under the coffee table pretending to blend in with the wall.
I worry that the destruction is going to get worse. In preparation for this we have kept you inside more frequently to keep an eye on you, as when you are left to you own devices, destruction follows. The kind of destruction that we thought might have gone away from when you were a puppy, like how you chewed our deck apart, we thought that was over. I guess you wanted to wait until the new deck was installed and painted to show us that in fact the deck chewing was not resolved. Now that we have you inside more often to keep you in check, you have found ways of destroying things to show us that you do not approve of being held prisoner inside. You made your message quite clear after I fell asleep on the couch and you found your way into the bedroom, where you proceeded to chew an entire pack of gum....and a candle.
I will still love you even though given the chance you would gladly eat all of my Halloween candy in a heartbeat, even if it's still in a wrapper. I will still keep you even though you try to charge past me to avoid getting towel dried after you have been out in the rain, like maybe this time I will let you into the house completely soaked. You can still live here even though I have one nice black sweater and you find yourself attracted to it like a magnet, crawling next to me on the couch and rubbing your shedding body into me, or sleeping on top of it any chance you get. I hope that even though you are the largest pain in my butt you understand that we would never get rid of you even though there is a new baby coming. I know that's quite a popular move with new parents, but it's not our style. Dogs are for life. We just have some work to do before the baby comes.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Expensive Eats in the North

Box of Frootloops $15.99 (More like gold encrusted loops!)
Cabbage $7.09

O.K, I get that there are some shipping costs involved. So why then are some items fairly reasonably priced and others are way off the chart, and we are not talking about a difference in weight. How can 6 of the same apples be sold for $3.50 at one store and $8 at another? It just doesn't make sense.

Food Mail* has recently been getting more expensive because of fuel costs and there has even been talks about the Food Mail program being shut down or altered. We don't order every week and sometimes I feel like buying on Food Mail can be even more expensive then buying from the local stores up here. However there just isn't the same selection up here that you can get on Food Mail, especially with fruits and vegetables. And don't get me started about EXPIRATION DATES, the standards up here are not what you would ever dare to compare to any store in the south. I'm sick of buying ridiculously expired dry goods (being that I'm more careful buying expired dairy and produce, sometimes I miss the date on dry goods). I can understand why the stores try to sell off their rotten produce as if nothing is wrong, it's hard to estimate what's going to go bad and what is going to be good, and I know they hold a lot of it in Iqaluit to be randomly shipped. But 3 year expired Oreos, not O.K. I really hope they don't get rid of Food Mail, with all of it's costs and problems, at least I know I'm going to get my dry goods within their recommended lifespan. And my apples & cabbage at a non brain bleeding price.

*Food Mail can be explained here

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Gifts for "Tina Kara"

Two of my favourite bloggers Tina & Kara think I should name the baby Tina Kara or Kara Tina, depending on which one you ask.

Tina from Just below 63 has sent the new baby two awesome onesies, one that says "an Alaskan Malamute is my friend" and the other that says "got snow?" and has an Alaskan Malamute pictured behind it. She also sent an awesome photo card with one of my favourite photos she took. Thanks Tina, you rock!Another one of my favourite northern mommy bloggers Aida from Footprints, has also sent a care package. She sent me a book on breastfeeding and an enormous amount of booby napkins ( I guess one of the joys I get to look forward to are leaky boobs, yey!), a few baby toys and some homemade baby leg warmers! Thanks Aida, I'm glad to know someone is looking out for me and my soon to be leaky boobs :).
Someone had other plans. I wonder who is going to be the jealous one when the baby comes. "What are you talking about a baby? The nice lady sent me the plastic keys!"

Friday, September 05, 2008

Puppy UFC Thursday Nights

This is Tank, a friends dog. He came over for a visit tonight and the two dogs entertained us. Tank plowed into Tallinn and Tallinn leap frogged over Tank .Drink break. At this point Tallinn thought it would be polite to let his guest drink from his water dish, while he drank from the toilet instead. He was sharing. It's too bad I didn't see it that way... YUCK Tallinn! Isn't Tank cute? I think he might need a napkin.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Northern Pregnancy

Being pregnant in the north leaves a lot to be desired....like not being able to crush late night McDonald's cravings. Or not knowing when your prenatal appointments are going to be until the day before or the morning of your appointment, or keeping your pregnancy any kind of secret for the first 3 months. However there are few things that have been extremely pleasant about it, such as just walking into the health centre whenever I feel like it and harassing some of my favourite nurses and getting immediate care. I had the pleasure of doing a few of my appointments down south last month and was totally confused when I walked into what seemed like a pre-waiting waiting room. My simple northern brain almost had a melt down of confusion when a nice lady informed me I had to take a ticket (like the kind you take at the deli counter to see who's next) and wait. So in that respect it's so much nicer just walking right into my local health centre and yelling out "Yo Nurse such in such, I need this done or this to talk to you about", with out having to advance through a plethora of waiting rooms.

I would have to say the most disruptive part about being a pregnant lady living in the north is that my community only has a health centre, meaning I have to hike it out of town to deliver. All pregnant ladies must leave their communities and family's behind and head over to the larger communities that have hospitals, in my case I would have to go to Iqaluit. I must leave my community an ENTIRE MONTH before my due date and and would potentially live in Iqaluit, alone. What makes this seem even more appealing is that they call this time period confinement. How delightful.

Well there is no way that I'm going to live by myself for over an entire month, especially in my last month of pregnancy. Who is going to give me back rubs? We have made the choice that I will leave the north 6 weeks before the due date and live down south with my family. This will be extremely hard being away from Nathan, but at least in this situation I will be with my family and not sitting alone in empty Iqaluit hotel room for an entire month. My heart really does go out to all the ladies in Nunavut that have to go through this, they must be hard core mommas. Granted some of them have family or friends living in the big city, a lot of them are all by themselves.

Since I'm leaving 6 weeks before and such a distance away Nathan is at risk of missing the birth more so then if I was staying in Iqaluit, but this is a chance we are willing to take. At least if I do go into early labor, I will have my sister-in-law, mother-in law and mother. We also had to get special permission to make sure that Nathan could get time off preceding the due date so we would have a better chance of him being there. Now at this point all we can do is hope, hope that I don't go into early labor and have to get medi-vacd out of the community or hope that nothing goes wrong with the pregnancy and also have to get medi-vacd out. And if all goes well, we have to hope that Nathan will indeed make the birth. But that's a ways off and there is no sense in spending time worrying about something you can't control. Like many things in the north, you just have to ride the wave.

In other news, I weighed myself today on my bathroom scale. I have been warned not to do this, but curiosity got the better of me and I was horribly shocked for it. I won't be doing that again unless I need to cure the hiccups or something. Here is a photo of me back in Nunavut, as you can see two large icebergs in the distance (these are the ones Matt over at M&M Dorset Newbies has been out shooting). I'm 22 weeks along here and if you think I'm not freezing my butt off because I'm in a t-shirt, your wrong. It's all of 5 degrees right now, I just took my coat off for the belly factor in the photo.