Sep 272006

I had to take the kids in to get passport photos done today, since we’ll be travelling with them outside of Canada. I found a local place with experience in taking photos for different countries (Canada and New Zealand); the requirements are different. For example, Canada wants a white background for the photos, while New Zealand wants a light but not white background. Both countries expect photos with eyes open and mouth closed and no visible hands, so the photographer put a cloth over the hand holding the front of the baby. She kept turning to look at me, or smiling at the photographer, but eventually we were done. Fortunately there is an intersection set of who’s allowed to sign the back of the photos to say this is really the child in the photo (our family doctor); New Zealand will allow any New Zealander or one of a number of professions to be a witness (guarantor of identity), while Canada insists on the professions (doctor, accountant, etc). One could wonder why people who engage in other professions aren’t considered good enough to verify your identity in Canada. Why not your employer, for example? And why is geoscientist on the list, but not physicist or computer scientist?

Sep 162006

The weather has changed here at 49 ° latitude north, the days still warm and sunny, but the nights are cool. The memories of nights when we slept with the fan running and the windows open are receding fast, soon to be filed with memories of previous summers. The windows in the house that were open until last week are shut now in response to the cool, moist air, and I think of the various winter-proofing tasks that will soon be due. The cats are happy to come in in the evenings now, no longer eager to stay outside, wandering the neighbourhood until all hours. Now they want to sleep on the bed, snuggling in close to the warmth. Our son doesn’t want a cat sleeping on his bed, and they’re not allowed in the baby’s crib, so we are their remaining option. The garden is still active, the roses blooming and the phlox and hydrangeas towering over the calendulas. The signs of autumn are here as well though, the plums and blueberries all gone, the pears mostly so. Only the tomatoes are still ripening on their vines. The summer seemed so short this year, I hope the autumn stays longer, gives us more sun before we are subject to the grey and gloom of winter.

Sep 062006

Northern Voice is a small Vancouver conference on blogging, and I’m on the organizing committee. We’re gearing up for the 2007 conference, which we were planning on holding in February, but we’ve run into some issues with the venue. So we’ve come up with a survey to ask people who were thinking of attending NV 2007 for opinions on the various options we have – it’s at NV 2007 Dates and Venue Survey. Closing date is a week from today, that’s September 13th. The survey is short and shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes to fill in. Thanks!

Sep 062006

I found a couple of things very useful for my second pregnancy that I didn’t discover for my first – and thought I should blog them in case they’re useful to anybody else. I’m sure any readers with other ideas will add them – I’ll do another post in a bit about some early babyhood stuff that I found useful.

The biggest problems I had with the second pregnancy were simply due to the size of the belly. I can highly recommend doing Pilates, or yoga, or finding some other way of getting somebody to help you figure out how to sit, stand, and walk as the belly grows. I stuck out in front which made the potential for lower back pain (which I had for my first, when I didn’t do Pilates) worse than for those women for whom the weight is more evenly distributed. I was in a coffee shop in the last couple of weeks and chatted to the barista about this; she thought sticking out in front and not being noticeably pregnant from behind was good until I pointed out it makes doing up your shoes difficult. You do get somewhat adept at twisting your legs around so you can get at your feet sideways – I found a long shoehorn was very useful at this stage.

A body pillow was useful for sleeping as you are meant to sleep only on your side, and the ligaments in your hips start to stretch and hurt, so you need all the support you can get. You can get by with lots of pillows, but a body pillow is easier to deal with. I didn’t bother with one of those fancy shaped body pillows, the basic straight version did just fine and was a lot less expensive. I also found regular massages from a registered massage therapist (make sure they have pregnancy pillows for support and have experience in prenatal massage) to be well worth the money – all those muscles that are being stretched and overloaded in unfamiliar ways really enjoyed being put back into place.

And of course you want to get as much done as possible before the baby arrives, while getting as much sleep as possible. No matter how tired you are before the baby arrives, and how little energy you have, you will be more tired and have less energy afterwards! Mind you, if you live anywhere like Vancouver and need any renovations done, you won’t have much choice in when things get done. They will get done when the contractor can fit them in, if you can find a contractor to do anything. And the rest will get done when you have some energy. Having a baby is a good lesson in what doesn’t need to be done.

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