Carrie's Adventures

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Hmmm, I think I missed it

As I flew back home in November, I felt reassured that with almost a month to go before the holidays that I had plenty of time to get things done ~ you know, organize myself and make sure that I was prepared for the holidays, despite being out of practice from spending the past 2 years on the ship for the 'Big Day'. Well as it turns out, despite the additional time, I was no more prepared for 'THE' day than I would have been had I stayed on the ship.

Dad and I came bacck to Southampton from the Lavery/Loveys household on the 23rd which left one vital day left to get things done. I surveyed my previous purchases and realized I have yet to really start the 'purchasing' phase. While this hsould have rang panic bells and whistles or something, I didn't seem to be overly fussed and went about the days tasks ~ going to the grocery store, doing some investigatory leg work for our potential Boxing Day specials, having a donut at Timmy's and returning home to decorate the tree that still stood bare.

Christmas eve was low key, with a dinner of pasta, and we (Dad and I) parked ourselves on the couch, not being moved by the notion of going to the carol service which is what traditionally happens on Christmas Eve ~ rather the only creature stirring in this house might have been a mouse. In the morning, we had our breakfast but didn't open any presents under the tree and prepared for our Prime Rib dinner.

Boxing day arrived and with it we flew to Owen Sound in search of our bargins again asking each other 'what do you want for Christmas???'. The radio stated that the average Boxing Day consumer would purchase 230-ish dollars on Boxing Day ~ this number was clearly surpased by us, but we didn't spend outrageously which I am often guilty of over the holidays. We then touted all of our 'deals' into the house when we got home and Dad announced that we needed to WRAP the gifts. WHAT?? I thought as he brought the paper, tape and scissors into the room. I couldn't help but laugh at the notion that I was, on Boxing Day, sitting next to the Christmas tree, wrapping MY 50% off already discounted gift from Dad only to know that I would be opening this a week later. I sure hope I have the look of surprise!

While it all seems a bit ass backwards, I can admit that I didn't miss the urgent running around the mall like a chicken missing it's head wondering if I had purchased the right gift for everyone. The cards, yeah, those didn't get out this year, although the holiday baking did manage to get done and then in the course of 2 weeks managed to securely attach itself to my butt and thighs. Perhaps I should have asked for a workout video ~ who am I kidding??? That waits for the new year.

So somehow, despite being home for a month before the day, I feel like maybe I missed something ~ but then again maybe I didn't and I just got what the holidays are suppose to be about... good food, family, friends and a firm assurance that any gifts I will get are the ones I want. What more could a girl ask for other than the chance to do this again next year with Akis...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Chloe ~ Day Two

The next day I was able to get more photos of Chloe ~ I couldn't help it, she was just so cute.

Proud dad was very keen to spend time with his daughter and get to know her along with helping Mom change change one of Chloe's first 'poopy' diapers.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Welcome Ms Chloe

After being 10 days late, it was decided that Krista would go into the Hospital to be induced. She was instructed to call on Monday morning and confirm that she was to come in. Craig and Krista headed in at 7:30 and graciously left me at home in bed with a promise to call me at lunch.

At 11am, I got a call saying not much had changed and I headed into the hospital. By the time I arrived, Krista was starting to have some contractions and Craig was starting to time them. 3 hours of labour later and more intense contractions, Krista was glad to see the 'epidural man' coming through the door. While hooked up to the baby monitor, we were able to see when she was having a contraction. Krista's comments to Craig at that time were: 'Good thing I can't feel that one'.

At around 6pm, Krista was ready to push. She pushed for about 45 minutes and the Doctor arrived. Assessing the position of the baby, he said that the baby needed some help out in the form of a vacuum or forceps ~ and if that didn't work they would need to look at going for a C-Section. As Krista continued to push, Craig and I continued to encourage and the doctor got the forceps ready. She had one more contraction and then the doctor said this was the one. With assistance from the doctor and a huge push from Krista, the head was out. Taking a moment to clean out the airway, there was one more push and she was out.

Chloe arrived at 7:16pm and weighed in at 7lbs 8oz, and a length of 20 inches. She did have a red mark on her face, but this was from the forceps which cleared up overnight.

Dad had the honours of cutting the umbilical cord and putting on the first diaper.

A proud Daddy and Mommy:

Auntie Carrie:

I'm truly in awe of the birthing process and feel very fortunate to have been part of Chloe's entrance to the world. You see the effort/physical pain mom endures to bring this life into the world and understand just how monumental this event is. With Akis being Greek and wanting a large family, I must say I might be a bit gun shy after witnessing the whole birthing process. But I can also say after seeing Chloe, I can understand how it is all worth it.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Things to do while your waiting for a baby in December, in Peterborough ON

1) Head out to the local Spa and get your toes done ~ this one was nice

2) Dig through all of your OLD paperwork and finally do those taxes you have been putting off for the past 2 years ~ not so nice

3) Shovel snow ~ ok, whatever

4) Shop for groceries and make whatever you want to have for dinner ~ nice, much enjoyed after the ship

5) Continue with the 'Level 1 Greek in 88 easy lessons' DVD ~ ugh, lesson 37... this is going to take FOREVER

6) Go to the Hospital for an UltraSound to make sure baby is bigger than a grapefruit only to discover it is hovering around 9 pounds. Ouch ~ very cool, saw the face, a yawn and the fist moving around

7) Compile the Christmas Shopping list ~ yes Santa, I've been good this year.

8) Shovel more snow ~ I know why I live in Vancouver

9) Head into town and look for wireless hotspots to upload photos ~ what is it about this place, no signal???

10) Determine that finding those 'perfect gifts' for everyone elsemay take more than the 3 weeks you have left until Christmas ~ can you say, I think I'm screwed

11) Find a recipe for Christmas cookies, bake them, eat them and then wonder if you have enough stuff to make more ~ yum

12) Make sheets for the baby's bed ~ one more off the to do list

13) Shovel more bloody snow ~ it doesn't seem to end

14) Visit the hospital and discover that there are some minor contractions going on, only to be told that 'those don't count unless you can feel them'.... rude.

15) Watch Rudy the cat play with a little grey mouse

16) Realize that there are no gratis hot spots in Peterborough and I need to suck it up and update the blog on dial up.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Getting ready for Christmas

While waiting for the baby to arrive, Krista and I have spent some time getting things for the Christmas season, including tree decorations and a stand. The next task was to get a tree.
We headed out, Krista, Craig and myself to get a tree and a few groceries. As we rolled into Timmy's we noticed a sign for Christmas trees. We decided to check them out and low and behold, we have ourselves a tree. Now Craig drives a '97 Ford Escort. He was concerned that we had just purchased a 7+ foot tree and only had a car to transport this home. We opened the trunk and pushed down the seat ~ Krista and I were sure it would fit. Armed with twine, we began to bundle up the tree to compress the size so it would fit. Craig was concerned at the looks we got as we proceeded to shove the tree into the trunk. Fitting only part way into the trunk, he questioned the wisdom of our ways, but Krista and I insisted that this would work. We tied down the trunk, instructed Craig not to hit anything as he backed out and we were off. Initially driving 40km/hr down the road, it was going to be a long drive home and Krista noted that if he was driving like this with a tree in the car, imagine how he would be when bringing the baby home! EGADS.

Tree arrived home and the next task was to trim the end to get it ready for the tree stand.

Putting up the tree proved to be a bit of a challenge as the screws didn't want to screw into the stand to secure the tree. Krista gathered the purchase and headed back to the store to get a functioning stand. Once the end of the tree was trimmed off Krista and Craig continued to erect the tree.

The decorating continued the following night. In a somewhat more sophisticated theme, the colour was red, white and silver. Craig made sure to contribute the top for the tree. Yes, that is a Sens jersey... VOILA.

The trip home

I left from Chile a week ago Sunday to embark upon the 24+hr trip it would take me to get back to Ontario. The bummer of the whole thing was that I didn't leave the ship until 5pm which meant that it was a long day.

Prior to leaving, Akis insisted that I take as much as I could home so that we don't have to deal with it at a later time. First step was to recover my 2 suitcases. Well as it turns out, I managed to 'misplace' one of the suitcases. Unsure how this could possibly happen as both of them were in a locked locker, I scratched my head and convinced Akis that it was in our best interests for me to use his suitcase to HAUL all of the stuff home.

With 2 large suitcases, a backpack and a purse ~ sorry Beth, no 'philipino' box this time ~ I boarded the bus, said my teary farewell to Akis and sat for 2 hrs as we headed to the Santiago Airport. Once I arrived, I discovered that everyone around me had significantly less baggage, and I began to contemplate what overweight would cost me. After 45 minutes in line, I arrived at the desk, gave my ticket and tried to 'effortlessly' heave my first bag onto the belt. The second bag landed on the belt and the checkin agent did some math. I was 4kg overweight while hiding my backback from view. She asked what I wanted to do and the first words out of my mouth were 'how much will it cost me'. As it turns out, it was only $25US for the additional weight ~ hey and with current exchange rate that worked out to a mere 20 bucks! And then I left item #1 at the counter ~ this was not a good beginning as I headed back to the counter to retrieve my goods.

After a quick Chilean Chicken Ceasar salad ~ which is made of iceburg lettuce, chicken, parmesean cheese and balsamic and oil dressing ~ I waited for the 11pm flight. Purchasing the water for the 11hr flight, I had forgotten that when flying back into US airspace, you are not able to purchase water to take on the flight with you ~ even after you pass security. Not happy.
I arrive in the US and despite being 'in transit' I needed to pass US immigration and US customs. This was another 45 minute wait and what I have noticed is that we a divided ~ foreign and US residents. No matter when I go through JFK, the US residents are always processed faster than us foreign folks. Not that I am complaining, I have learned that you don't do that with the officials, you just hand them what they want and stand there until they tell you to go left, go right or that you can leave. I did need to pass customs and have a few things inspected. As they rooted through the luggage, I was thankful that laundry had been done prior to leaving and there were no dirty undies lurking as they inspected things. So anxious to make my way out of there, I made sure I had my purse... Akis said, don't let anyone near your purse, but I did leave my knapsack behind which was discovered only after going to drop off my bags for the connecting flight and realizing that it wasn't quite right that I had only one bag in my hand...

With all items now retrieved, I made the transit to the next terminal for the connecting flight. With another 3 hr wait, I discovered that travelling on the Monday after the US Thanksgiving wasn't quite as painful in the airport, but definitely wasn't great on the tarmac as we were 21st in line for take off....

Arriving in Toronto, we had a small flight and that always bodes well for Customs and immigration. As I filled out the customs card, I filled in the 'I have too much money' box and the 'I have plant parts', and the countries I have visited are: Chile, Peru, Equador and Colombia.... Great I thought, I'll be a while explaining this one to the agents. Once I made it through I went to call Krista only to discover that Bell Canada charges $3.95 per minute for a long distance call. So off I went to purchase anything to get change to pump into the pay phone. Yes Akis, there are times when a cell phone is handy and this would be one of them.

Krista met me and my long haul home was almost done. Only a quick 2 hr drive back to her house and I could finally put my feet up. And in 2 months I get to do it all again. Gotta love the travel ~ and yes Marc, I made sure to give my frequent flyer number. Bring on the points.