Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Canada!

So, I've had photos sitting in my hard drive, and a blog post sitting in my head for over a week now, and it's high time I updated before something else happens in my life and pushes last weekend out of blogging range. In my defense, I have been sick for a little over a week now, a phenomenon I am choosing to blame on whatever pollens were blooming about three weeks ago in Philly that made me sick then, and apparently chose the very weekend I was visiting Canada to bloom there so that I could enjoy that particular bout of allergies twice.

Right, so about that trip to Canada.

I had booked a four-day weekend off of work. I am part-time now, which makes booking time off that much easier (and also me much happier and less exhausted). Jeremy chose not to come with me, because he wants to save his time off for when there is a baby to spend it with. I spent Friday driving, and even with my frequent, pregnant-lady pee and food stops, I still made it to my mom's house at exactly the time I had estimated. That was very un-Davis of me.

Benjie and Trish were there when I arrived, and I got to meet my niece, April, for the first time. Such a sweet baby. Auggie is going to love her cousins.

April laughing

After dinner, I got together with my friend-since-we-were-eight-years-old, Sarah, and we bought slurpees, put candy in them, and sat in the park talking on the swings for a long time, just like we used to do in high school. I have many fond memories of hanging out in that park with slurpees and good friends. It almost makes me miss being a teenager. Almost.

Saturday morning was my baby shower, which was the original purpose of my trip to Canada. My mom still attends the church that I grew up going to, and, to this day, I have a hard time calling any place but Sunnyside my "home church". But I've moved around so much since graduating high school (11 years ago now - man, that makes me feel old), so I haven't been a regular attender there for more than a summer here and there, and that one year when I was articling in Ottawa. I was really touched that anyone other than my mom even wanted to attend a shower for me, and when I saw how many people came out, from every era of my life, to show their support for me on my journey into motherhood, I was really blown away. I'm pretty sure I cried once or twice, but I'm gonna blame the hormones for that. Yeah, hormones.

Ottawa shower

I also acquired a lot of stuff for the baby, and I'm finally starting to feel like it might just be possible that I won't have to wrap Auggie in one of her dad's old shirts and have her sleep in a cardboard box. Although I do have some very nice cardboard boxes, I think, in the end, I might find the highchairs and whatnot that came inside them much more useful.

In fact, I acquired so much stuff that those who were helping me carry it all to my little Mazda 626 seriously doubted that it would fit in my trunk. But all those years of watching my packing-guru father load the family car up for trips to grandma's or to the lake or to Algonquin park seem to have paid off. Also all of those hours of Tetris he and I used to play. See? Who says video games rot your brain!

The big surprise of the shower was that my aunt and cousin had made the trip up from Rochester to join in the festivities. It was really nice to see them, and we spent a really nice afternoon on Saturday sitting and talking and visiting. Then it got late, and I went to bed.

Sunday morning, I was able to attend church at Sunnyside, which is always one of the highlights of my trips to Ottawa. I still feel so much like a part of that church, and I received many warm hugs and congratulations from old friends and practically-families. It also boggled my mind, as it always does, to see the growth of the church since I was a kid there. I had one Sunday school teacher for most of my childhood, and I was almost always the only one in my class. Then, when I finished a grade, she would move up and teach me in the next class, because there were no more than a handful of other kids in the church, and there was no one waiting in the class below me, and no one graduating from the class above me. Now, there is such a crowd of kids (over 50, I'm guessing), that you wouldn't know that it was the same church, except that it is filled with the same loving spirit under which I remember growing up.

Sunday was hot. You'd think it would be less hot in Canada, but Ottawa gets its fair share of heat and humidity, and when it does, it's extra miserable because many people (my mom and brother included) don't have air conditioning. And I'm usually okay with that, because I believe that it's healthier to turn on some fans and keep cool naturally, but pregnant, I find it unbearable. AC has become a necessity for me.

So, after Benjie and Trish and I had a quick lunch, we took April to an indoor pool for her Very First Swim Outside the Womb. It was a lot of fun, although April didn't seem entirely sure what to make of the gigantic bathtub. She seemed to have a good time, though. After swimming, I was craving shawarma, so we stopped at a little place I used to go to all the time with Sarah, and I indulged my craving with shaved beef and heartburn on a pita. I've pretty much resigned myself, at this stage of my pregnancy, that anything I eat is going to give me heartburn, so why not eat what I want? It was delicious. I really need to find a shawarma shop in Philly.

After shawarma, the four of us laid claim to one of the air conditioned lounges in the church that was not currently being used (my brother lives above the church offices), and spent the rest of the afternoon not being miserably overheated. I broke out my water-based face paints, and Benjie and Trish created the first two entries in my belly art gallery. I will post them after I finish this post.

At this point in the weekend, my pregnant body had pretty much had enough excitement, and I was ready to go back to my mom's house, maybe play a board game, and go to bed early. But there was more excitement to be had. A few hours later, I was upstairs on my mom's computer, when I heard the door open, and someone said the name of my sister's dog. My sister lives in Vermont, and, although she couldn't make it up to Canada for the shower, she decided to bundle up her dog and my nephew, and surprise us on Sunday night for a visit. It was awesome to see my sister, and Nick who has doubled in size and mobility since I saw him last. He's even saying a few words now, and most adorable of anything, he makes little fishy faces when he wants you to pick him up to ring the fish chime that is hanging from the door frame.

Alana and Nick

Jule Ann and Nick

So, counting Auggie, all three cousins were together for the first time, so we made some fumbling attempts at a family portrait. Here is, sadly, the best one of the bunch. Hey, it was getting late, and we were all pretty over-stimulated by this time. Even the babies.

Davis family June 2008

Monday morning, I got to spend a bit of quality time with Alana and Nick before hitting the road. We took Eli for a walk, which I thought would be a good idea, since I was about to sit in the car for 8 hours. Unfortunately, I think it was the walk that ultimately did me in, allergies-wise. Between that, and the stubborn gas bubble in my chest that mysteriously appeared sometime after eating the shawarma (completely unrelated, I'm sure) and didn't go away until Tuesday morning, I was feeling pretty lousy by the time I hit the road at about noon. The trip home was miserable. The only highlight, really, was a relatively easy border crossing, where the border guard peeked in my trunk, but didn't even need to see my extensive list of all the gifts I had received with all of my rough price estimates. So yeah, let's fast-forward through the overly long drive, with far too many stops (several of which might have ended with me sleeping in a parking lot somewhere if it hadn't been for the fact that I had to keep driving to keep the AC on), and a burning sore throat, and a nose that wouldn't stop running. But I made it home eventually, tired and miserable, and really not feeling up to going out to dinner to celebrate our anniversary when I got home. We've decided to postpone that particular celebration.

And that brings us up to today. Well, okay, not really, but we can fast-forward through the rest of last week, last weekend, and the the beginning of this week, and that will bring us up to today. I'm not as sick anymore. The sore throat has gone away, which is good because it was the symptom I was most worried about, and the cold/allergies/whatever has mostly settled in as a stuffy nose and glop in my chest. Still no fun, but better than before. Besides, I'm on vacation now, and that makes everything better! I'm on vacation for two whole weeks, during which time I will be doing a bit of cleaning at the house (but only a bit), and then heading off to Massachusetts to play story games with some friends I met in a forest in Virginia, and then off to New Hampshire to sleep in a tent and spend some quality time with some friends from college. I will bring my face paints along, and if I happen to see you on my travels, maybe you can paint my belly!

2 comments:

jd said...

EXCELLENT blog! Thanks for sharing your adventures!!
And in case I haven't said so before, the "good packer" trait and the "I don't really care what other people think because I'm confortable being me" attitude are your Dad living on in you, and I love that.
Love you lots!

Alana said...

Enjoyed your post, glad I got to see you in Ottawa.

Alana