Thursday, December 27, 2007

A fun experience that I don't care to ever repeat

In October, when the weather was still quite balmy, my dad e-mailed me, Ryan and my two sisters with a crazy idea. The New York Giants were playing the Buffalo Bills on Dec. 23 in Buffalo -- was anyone interested in joining him at the game? As my mom wasn't interested in going, part of the offer included a free day of babysitting Austin.

My sister, who is as much of a Giants fan as my dad, was all over the idea -- and I think my brother-in-law ended up with a ticket by default. My other sister figured what the heck, it would be fun, which were my thoughts exactly. I'd never been to an NFL game, and although I'm not a huge football fan, live sporting events are always fun. Ryan, who is a fan of football in general -- regardless of who's playing -- also jumped at the idea.

The problem with a Dec. 23 game at an outdoor stadium, is December is not exactly known for its balmy weather. It could be 10C, it could be -10C. It could rain or it could snow. Or we could get really lucky and it could be sunny and warm (for December anyway).

We woke up that morning to a torrential downpour. The temperature was holding steady at about 10C and it poured for the entire drive to Brampton (to drop off Austin) and then for the entire drive to Buffalo. It was around this point that we all started thinking, 'what the heck have we gotten ourselves into'.

But, the weather gods appeared to be on our side as we pulled into park near the stadium. The rain let up, the clouds even started to break up and the temperature was holding steady. Yes we bundled up in winter coats, hats and gloves, but we were optimistic. And looking forward to the game.

The first quarter was fine -- with Buffalo scoring two touchdowns at our end (our seats were near the top on the goal line) -- and no rain to speak of. In the second quarter, just as the Giants were driving for a touchdown, it started to monsoon. The rain was coming down so hard that you could actually see it sweep across the field. We may have all had ponchos that fit over our winter coats, but we were still soaked.

The rain held steady, although the monsoon let up to a hard rain while the temperature dropped for the next hour and a half -- and then it started to snow.

Within seconds, the cold, hard rain turned into big, heavy, wet snowflakes. Now we were soaked to the bone and shivering.

But for some crazy reason, none of us wanted to leave -- even me, who isn't a football fan in the first place.

In the end, the Giants won -- although it was a close game right up until it started to snow and the Giants intercepted two Bills throws for touchdowns.

It was then a cold walk back to the car, but somehow, sheer determination kept my now frozen legs moving. I didn't feel the pain in my legs or hands until I started to thaw out in the car.

Needless to say, my first-ever NFL game was a fun adventure and one I don't care to ever repeat. If I'm ever brave enough to go to another NFL game it will be in a dome or in September.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Waddle, waddle, waddle

I’m a little over five months into this pregnancy and it’s been a very different experience from the first.

For starters, at only five months pregnant, I’ve already popped out to what looks like I’m carrying twins – and I made the doctor double-check, there’s only one in there. I guess it’s not a surprise really, it was just two years ago that all those abdominal muscles were stretched beyond the normal realm of natural. So now, instead of resisting, those same muscles are kicking back, relaxing and enjoying the fact that another pregnancy means another nine months of not having to do any work. But what it really means is that I’ve already started to waddle.

But the surprising factor of being bigger this time around is that I’ve gained less weight to date. I didn’t keep notes last time, but I’m pretty sure by this point last pregnancy, I was already up about 15 to 18 pounds. Whatever the ‘average’ was supposed to be for the stage, I was always at the top end of it. To date – and I stepped on the scale this morning – I’ve gained 8 pounds. So that big belly that enters the room ahead of me is all baby.

A big part of the reason for the lack of weight gain could have to do with my health. When I was pregnant with Austin, I picked up one really bad cold that knocked me flat on my ass for two or three days. Last week was the fourth (or was it fifth?) time since the end of September that I’ve been so sick I couldn’t drag myself into work for half a week or more. Last week it was a sinus infection combined with strep throat, four weeks before that it was the stomach flu, three weeks before that it was a cold and a week before that it was the stomach flu. No wonder I’m not gaining any weight – I’m too busy watching bad movies all day and barely eating.

What else is different? With Austin, I spent the first three months in nausea hell. This time around I was nauseous, but only occasionally. And I didn’t fall asleep for hours after work only to get up and go to bed every night. I wasn’t overly tired and life just carried on as normal.

I’m also not really having any food cravings – whereas with Austin I absolutely had to have McDonald’s hot fudge sundaes (don’t ask) and bacon (not the two combined though). Whereas this time around, there’s nothing I have to have. Well, except maybe salad. On more than one occasion, we’ve ordered a pizza for dinner and I’ve ordered a side salad and then only wanted to eat the salad.

But what’s really different about being pregnant with number 2 has nothing to do with the physical aspects of the pregnancy. With the first one, the pregnancy is all about you – if you want to lie on the couch all day and do nothing at all because you feel fat and ugly, you can. With number 2, if you want to lie on the couch all day, you have about 2.2 minutes (if you’re lucky) before the first one is grabbing you by the hand and saying ‘mama up’. Life just isn’t about you anymore.

All these differences and more could be absolutely meaningless, after all, every pregnancy is different. Or, then again, it could mean I’m having a girl. If number 2 is anything like its brother, I’ll find out in 4 months plus an extra 12 days.