Family Photos

When we were in Langley visiting Shawn’s family at the beginning of July, we got a “professional” photographer to do some family photos for us. Don’t worry, grammar nerds, I didn’t use those quotation marks for emphasis. I used them because I didn’t feel that the whole experience was all that professional. Granted, the photographer is just starting out, but if I was just entering my chosen field, I would want to put extra love and time into everything I did so my business would flourish. Shawn and I didn’t really feel that our experience was very pro.

The lady who did the session, owner of Louroo Photography, did the newborn photos for our niece, so Shawn’s mom thought she would be a good choice, and as she’s just starting out, the session fee wasn’t sky high. She was able to be flexible with two littles along for the ride, so that was nice, but for me, that’s where the good impressions ended.

The whole thing felt extremely rushed; I don’t think we were out for much more than an hour, if that, to photograph six adults and two babies. The time distribution between the three couples was also a little skewed, with us getting the short end of the stick. This was especially noticeable when we got the pictures back; not a single shot of just the two of us made it through. Apparently, they just weren’t good enough.

Now, I don’t know about you, but if I’m getting pictures done and the photographer says something like, “Got it!” I assume they got a usable shot. If they say they got it and I find out later that they’re not happy with anything they took, that’s not likely to make me happy. When my mother in law asked what happened, she did say there was one that she felt okay about sending on, but so far we’ve seen nothing. That’s also not encouraging.

I could just be extremely spoiled when it comes to photographers and their work. Our wedding photographer, Kelly Redinger, was absolutely amazing. For example:

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This is not even one of the best shots. It’s not even one of the retouched shots. It’s just one of the many fabulous things that happened with a little bit of direction and his finger on the trigger. That’s one of the things I loved about him. He took pictures until he was sure he got exactly what he was looking for, no matter how long it took, and he gave us all of them, even the ones where we were blinking or making a funny face. That way, we had so much choice it was insane.

Then, there was the newborn photographer that we used, Kristen J Photography. She had the same kind of philosophy: it takes as long as it takes, and I’ll take as many shots as I need to get the best ones. (I mean, why not? It’s digital. Taking more photos doesn’t cost you any more. Sure, editing them does, but only edit the best ones.) For example:

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She was so patient with all of us, and was amazing at making us feel comfortable. For our session being the first meeting, this was a great skill to have. Also, trusting someone with your brand new baby isn’t easy, but I had no problems putting Finn in her capable hands.

The actual pictures we got from our family photo session were lacklustre. She has the general idea, but she needs to take way more shots to make sure she gets something that’s really great. That’s the joy of digital. More pictures does not equal more money required on the part of the photographer, unless they choose to edit them all, like I stated above. She also need to work a little on composition, but that could be my lack of love for overly staged shots coming through.

So, without further ado, these are the photos I didn’t hate:

I edited this one myself to correct a gap at the bust of my dress that was showing off my white bra. Not flattering.

I edited this one myself to correct a gap at the bust of my dress that was showing off my white bra. Not flattering.

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Edited

There were also some where the babies were on their tummies, but I guess Natalya ended up in focus and Finn was blurry. I don’t know how that happened or how she didn’t notice. Oh well. Adorable photo op wasted.

There are a few things I should probably make clear: I didn’t dislike these most of these photos because I didn’t get my hair and makeup done, or because they weren’t retouched. I had one photo with pro hair/makeup above, and one where I did everything myself, and neither of them were retouched. I just think this particular photographer has some work to do. Some of the shots were okay, like the ones posted above, but this is not someone I would consider going back to in the future without evidence of some serious improvement.

Word Crimes and Blogging

I read a fair few blogs. Some I’ve stumbled across, some are by friends and family, and some are just random posts and not blogs that I read on a regular basis. I’ve started to notice a startling trend: some people who blog can’t write.

I’m not saying that the ideas aren’t there. They just don’t have the technical skills to make what they’re writing about readable, at least not for me. There are a few things that I need to have, or need to not have, in a post to make it an enjoyable read:

  • Proper punctuation
    • Really, periods and commas are not that hard to use. If you’re finished with a though, use a period. If you need to put a pause or break in a thought, you will most often use a comma. I’m not going to go into the more difficult stuff, and I’m using the term difficult very loosely.
  • Proper spelling
    • If you’re not sure how to spell something, it’s not hard to find an online dictionary to look it up, and that’s assuming the word processor/blog editor/website doesn’t point out misspellings with a fat red line. Granted, sometimes the red lines are wrong. WordPress doesn’t recognize Canadian spelling for things like favourite, but if a word is underlined, it’s worth taking a look.
  • A lack of run-on sentences
    • This ties back to my first point. If you know how to use periods and commas, odds are high that you’re not going to have many run–ons peppering your writing. If however you don’t feel the need to break up your thoughts when you’re writing then it stands to reason that you’re going to end up writing an awful lot of run-on sentences that make things really hard for potential readers to get through your posts or make sense of what you’re trying to say without mentally inserting their own punctuation. (See what I did there? Example!)
  • Paragraphs
    • I find it really hard to read when people forget to use paragraphs. If your blog posts look like one huge chuck of text, you need to take a trip back to basic English and learn when and how to use paragraphs. It’s great for thought organization.
  • No text slang
    • Seriously. You have a full keyboard. Use real, complete words.

I’m by no means saying that I’m perfect, especially when I’m writing a post on the iPad (damn you autocorrect!) I do, however, think that I have the required skills to bang out a post that’s not so awful it makes other lovers of the English language want to assassinate me, or, at the very least, attack me with a red editing pen. In an age where there are so many online resources available to bloggers, especially those built right into blog editors, I find this kind of stuff inexcusable.

But don’t take my word for it.

Reworking the Blog

Okay, so the blog has a new address and a new title. I came to realize (and I don’t know what took me so long) that the old one was clunky and stupid. The new one is much more suited to what’s going on here. I also got rid of some posts and retitled a bunch of things. There will be further reorganizing as the days go by, but things should generally stay the same. I’m hoping to be able to post more regularly from now on. Yay! With Finn sleeping eleven or so hours a night, things have been good, so posting should be back up and running in no time. Huzzah!

Having a Merry Christmas

I just wanted to of in quickly before my day gets too crazy to wish everyone a Merry Christmas (or joy in whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year). I’m quite looking forward to wearing on of my fabulous maternity dresses later on today, and I’m also hoping that my butt hasn’t expanded to the point where a form fitting dress no longer looks that great. I’m sure it will be fine, but imk not thrilled about showing off my newly swollen ankles and calves in flat shoes.

Our family has the same tradition every year: we go to church in the the evening, then drive to my grandparents house in the west end of the city to eat junk food and spend time together before going home to do our own things Christmas morning. This is the first year Shawn and I will be doing that as a married couple, and I keep getting asked if I’m excited about that. My answer is no. This is our fourth Christmas together, and nothing in our relationship has changed, so why would I be excited about having a married Christmas? I guess that goes back to my feelings on marriage: if you think your relationship is going to magically improve or change somehow once the wedding is over, you’re in for a shock. Our relationship was great, so why change or fix what isn’t broken? Christmas is going to be just as lovely for us as it is every year, if we don’t count the fact that I can’t eat as much or get in to a comfortable position without the aid of a horde of pillows.

I did restrain myself from getting the Little Man a gift to put under the tree. It seemed silly to wrap something that I would be opening, even if it would have just been a book. The plan is to head out over boxing week and grab the rest of his furniture and his stroller, so having a wrapped present for an unborn baby seemed a little ridiculous, even for me. Next year will be plenty of time to go nuts on the toys and books. I’ve been told that we should restrain ourselves, but Shawn and I love toys, and do books, and I think a kids first Christmas is just as much for the parents as it is for the little one.

But, that’s me getting ahead of myself. I would love to know what kinds of holiday traditions you guys have in your families, and now they came about. Have a great day tomorrow, whether you celebrate Christmas or not.

Spreading Idiocy via The Internet

This post is going to be closely related to the last one. That’s just a warning, in case you don’t need another rant on internet idiocy. This time, though, I’m going in to something a little more specific, particularly bad “medical” information that gets passed around, particularly on Facebook.

The first picture we’re going to look at was posted by the same hypochondriac (and sanctimommy) person that I mentioned last time, and came to her via a Facebook page called Raising Natural Kids. Unfortunately, this one has been seen on many a friends page, and that makes me sad.

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The first one on the list sent up a red flag immediately. In what world does regular Tylenol have hydrocodone in it? That’s right, in none of them. Tylenol is comprised of acetaminophen. When you mix is with hydrocodone, what do you get? That’s right, Vicoden. Hydrocodone is a strong narcotic, and while it does work for pain (very well), it is not something that should be confused with regular OTC pain medications. That kind of bad fact checking really makes me want to trust this list. No, seriously. It does.

Let’s look at their suggested natural counterparts for some of these listed medications, starting with ginger to relieve pain. I take ginger, and ginger based Gravol, to relieve nausea and indigestion. I have taken it when I’ve been both pukey and in pain from a migraine, and while my nausea has abated, it has done absolutely nothing for the pain. Not once have I noticed the ginger making my pain any better, and as a chronic pain sufferer, I’m sure I would have noticed something like that.

How about you stop taking your thyroid pills and start supplementing with seaweed instead? Or, even better, how about seaweed and bananas? Seaweed is very high in iodine and if you have a borked thyroid, you know that iodine can accumulate very quickly in your system and cause a lot of damage. The same thing with potassium. Excess (or excessively small) amounts of potassium in the system can be extremely hard on your heart, and shouldn’t be something you screw around with.

Okay, I’ve had GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease) for a very long time, and I know that if I stopped taking my antacid medication and started eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice instead, it wouldn’t be long before I was throwing up blood on a regular basis. I don’t understand how ingesting a highly acidic fruit would help me to reduce my stomach acid.

These are the three on the list that I have personal experience with, but if I needed an antibiotic, I wouldn’t stick myself in the sun, forgo the pills and hope for the best. That just doesn’t make sense. The biggest problem I have with lists like this is that they are so often presented to the public as actual fact, while rarely having any scientific facts to back them up. Where are the research references? Where are the studies proving that black tea is going to help with someone’s diabetes? Odds are they’re not listed because they don’t exist.

The next one was posted by my mother in law. It’s a little long, but you’ll get the idea even if you don’t read the whole thing:

Great information!! Cinnamon and Honey…! Drug companies won’t like this one getting around. Facts on Honey and Cinnamon:

It is found that a mix of honey and cinnamon cures most diseases. Honey is produced in most of the countries of the world. Scientists of today also note honey as very effective medicine for all kinds of diseases. Honey can be used without side effects which is also a plus. Today’s science says that even though honey is sweet, when it is taken in the right dosage as a medicine, it does not harm even diabetic patients. Researched by western scientists:

HEART DISEASES: Make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder, put it on toast instead of jelly and jam and eat it regularly for breakfast. It reduces the cholesterol and could potentially save one from heart attack. Also, even if you have already had an attack studies show you could be kept miles away from the next attack. Regular use of cinnamon honey strengthens the heart beat. In America and Canada, various nursing homes have treated patients successfully and have found that as one ages the arteries and veins lose their flexibility and get clogged; honey and cinnamon revitalize the arteries and the veins.

ARTHRITIS: Arthritis patients can benefit by taking one cup of hot water with two tablespoons of honey and one small teaspoon of cinnamon powder. When taken daily even chronic arthritis can be cured. In a recent research conducted at the Copenhagen University, it was found that when the doctors treated their patients with a mixture of one tablespoon Honey and half teaspoon Cinnamon powder before breakfast, they found that within a week (out of the 200 people so treated) practically 73 patients were totally relieved of pain — and within a month, most all the patients who could not walk or move around because of arthritis now started walking without pain.

BLADDER INFECTIONS: Take two tablespoons of cinnamon powder and one teaspoon of honey in a glass of lukewarm water and drink it. It destroys the germs in the bladder….who knew?

CHOLESTEROL: Two tablespoons of honey and three teaspoons of Cinnamon Powder mixed in 16 ounces of tea water given to a cholesterol patient was found to reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood by 10 percent within two hours. As mentioned for arthritic patients, when taken three times a day, any chronic cholesterol-could be cured. According to information received in the said Journal, pure honey taken with food daily relieves complaints of cholesterol.

COLDS: Those suffering from common or severe colds should take one tablespoon lukewarm honey with 1/4 spoon cinnamon powder daily for three days. This process will cure most chronic cough, cold, and, clear the sinuses, and it’s delicious too!

UPSET STOMACH: Honey taken with cinnamon powder cures stomach ache and also is said to clear stomach ulcers from its root.

GAS: According to the studies done in India and Japan, it is revealed that when Honey is taken with cinnamon powder the stomach is relieved of gas.

IMMUNE SYSTEM: Daily use of honey and cinnamon powder strengthens the immune system and protects the body from bacterial and viral attacks. Scientists have found that honey has various vitamins and iron in large amounts. Constant use of Honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles (where DNA is contained) to fight bacterial and viral diseases.

INDIGESTION: Cinnamon powder sprinkled on two tablespoons of honey taken before food is eaten relieves acidity and digests the heaviest of meals

INFLUENZA: A scientist in Spain has proved that honey contains a natural ‘Ingredient’ which kills the influenza germs and saves the patient from flu.

LONGEVITY: Tea made with honey and cinnamon powder, when taken regularly, arrests the ravages of old age. Use four teaspoons of honey, one teaspoon of cinnamon powder, and three cups of boiling water to make a tea. Drink 1/4 cup, three to four times a day. It keeps the skin fresh and soft and arrests old age. Life spans increase and even a 100 year old will start performing the chores of a 20-year-old.

RASPY OR SORE THROAT: When throat has a tickle or is raspy, take one tablespoon of honey and sip until gone. Repeat every three hours until throat is without symptoms.

PIMPLES: Three tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder paste. Apply this paste on the pimples before sleeping and wash it off the next morning with warm water. When done daily for two weeks, it removes all pimples from the root.

SKIN INFECTIONS:Applying honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts on the affected parts cures eczema, ringworm and all types of skin Infections.

WEIGHT LOSS:Daily in the morning one half hour before breakfast and on an empty stomach, and at night before sleeping, drink honey and cinnamon powder boiled in one cup of water. When taken regularly, it reduces the weight of even the most obese person. Also, drinking this mixture regularly does not allow the fat to accumulate in the body even though the person may eat a high calorie diet.

FATIGUE: Recent studies have shown that the sugar content of honey is more helpful rather than being detrimental to the strength of the body. Senior citizens who take honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts are more alert and flexible. Dr. Milton, who has done research, says that a half tablespoon of honey taken in a glass of water and sprinkled with cinnamon powder, even when the vitality of the body starts to decrease, when taken daily after brushing and in the afternoon at about 3:00 P.M., the vitality of the body increases within a week.

BAD BREATH: People of South America, gargle with one teaspoon of honey and cinnamon powder mixed in hot water first thing in the morning so their breath stays fresh throughout the day.

HEARING LOSS: Daily morning and night honey and cinnamon powder, taken in equal parts restores hearing.

Let’s start off with the claim that cinnamon and honey, when mixed, will cure most diseases. Now, I would love for this to be true. Honey and cinnamon are both delicious things, and it would be great if they combined to form some kind of super medicine. The rest of the paragraph leaves me ready to not believe anything else that the “article” has to say. Apparently, all of the research was done by a random and unnamed group of “western scientists”. If the research was so awesome and accurate, why are we not being given the names of the researchers and studies so we can read for ourselves what an awesome job they’ve done?

In fact, the only one on the list that I have no issue with is honey being good for a sore throat. It’s very soothing and does have mild antiseptic properties, but will it cure hearing loss? I doubt it. Will it clear up the “germs” (yes, they used the word germs) that cause a bladder infection? Again, I highly doubt it.

So many people take articles like this as fact because they use words like “scientists”, “research” and “studies”, without giving any references to the specific research or studies that were done. People read these things and take them as truth, when in fact they are anything but. I know people, personally (who I won’t name in case they come across this blog), that decided to stop taking doctor prescribed medications in favor of remedies like the ones listed above and got extremely sick. One of the two even ended up in the hospital. Yes, there are a lot of people out there who, like me, see things like this posted and scoff, but many people will see it and see and inexpensive ad easy way to cure what ails them. Am I against giving things like this a try? Of course not, but consult a doctor before you do anything drastic, and don’t be crushed when something happens to not work the way a Facebook post claimed it would.

I know there is a very large group of people who think that doctors and pharma are out to get our money, and won’t tell us about all these secret remedies because that’s going against the whole money making process. It boggles me when people, especially those in Canada, jump on this bandwagon. Canadians don’t have to pay for health care. If you need to see a doctor, you don’t pay for that visit. Most people have health insurance that covers most, if not all, of their prescription costs. If you’re disabled or low income, there are programs available to cover your health care (I should know, I’m part of one of those programs). So how, exactly, are doctors trying to screw us out of our money?

Like I said, alternative medicine is fine and good. I’m an acupuncture enthusiast myself. However, don’t think you can just ditch your current treatment plan because eight people on your Facebook list happened to post something on how apples will cure cancer. Seriously, like the internet, Facebook posts are not medical professionals, and if someone can’t back up something they’re saying, you should probably leave it the hell alone (and for the sake of everyone, don’t repost it.)

Having Yet Another Ultrasound and Why the Internet is a Terrible Place

My follow up ultrasound appointment at the perinatal clinic was this morning, and I couldn’t be happier with how it went. Naturally, I was nervous going in, but I was assured by the end that everything looks normal. There is no evidence of a cleft lip and palette (although that’s not a 100% guarantee), his growth looks good, he hasn’t magically become a girl… there was nothing significant to report. He’s very much on track, moving well, had a great heartbeat at 155 BPM and weighs 1 lb 1 oz. The relief I feel at not having screwed up my baby with my medical condition is beyond describing.

Naturally. Shawn and I would love our baby just the same if there were defects present. Let me be clear on that. However, as someone who has struggled with illness for a large portion of my life, I want the Little Man to start off with a clean slate if he’s able. I was healthy when I was a kid, and I want our son to be able to take advantage of an illness free childhood if at all possible. He’s not even going to have to deal with the chicken pox like I did! What a lucky little guy.

I think my mum really enjoyed being able to get a look at him and see him move. He still had his hands in front of his face, so we just got a little peek at his nose and lips again, but from profile, you can tell how much he’s grown in the last three weeks. I didn’t expect there to be such a difference already, at least not one that I could see. He definitely reminds me of his dad with his hands all curled by his face. Shawn often sleeps with one hand curled under his chin and the resemblance, even at this stage, is uncanny.

Now, here’s where the internet being awful comes in. The doctor asked me if I had done any reading on my medications and possible side effects during pregnancy. I have, as I’ve been on this particular med for many years, and always had an interest in what the possible complications could be when I decided to start a family. However, I didn’t do my research on the internet, at least not in the traditional sense. (By traditional sense, I mean punching something in to Google and going with whatever comes up.) I have a list of reliable medical resources that I’ve collected from my doctors over the years. and I don’t use anything but those. Why not? Frankly, nothing else can be trusted.

I have stopped going on to new mommy forums all together because of the ridiculous behaviour of some of these women. For example, there was one instance where a lady had been experiencing extreme lower abdominal pain for more than four hours, and instead of seeking medical help, decided to ask a bunch of non-medical people on an internet forum what to do. I couldn’t believe it. I also couldn’t believe that there was only one person who responded with the good sense to tell her to get to a doctor ASAP. Everyone else just told her it was round ligament pain, so she shouldn’t worry.

What? Last I checked, forums were not chock full of doctors and pros, especially not forums dedicated to people in the same stage of pregnancy as you. Why are you taking a risk by asking Dr. Internet for help? Ask your OB, your midwife, the nurse on your local medical advice line… anyone but people on an internet forum. It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

That would be like me asking other people who have taken my drug during pregnancy if I should do it or not. They’re not on the same dosage, don’t have the other risk factors I do (or have completely different ones), and many of them didn’t consult their doctors before making the decision to keep their medication regimen intact. Besides, just because one person who is just like me gets a certain result doesn’t mean that I will too. The internet, in general, is not for medical advice.

It’s like people who try to read statistics when they have no background doing so. For a lot of people, the fact that the rate of birth defects has been increasing is alarming. What most of the studies and articles telling you this don’t mention is the fact that the birth rate is also increasing. If there are more babies being born as a whole, there are going to be more birth defects. If the birth rate was dropping and we were still seeing an increase in birth defects, that would be something I would be concerned about. As it stands, nothing, for the most part, has changed.

Another thing I’ve noticed is the amount of information on pregnancy and birth sites that the average person doesn’t need to know. Having a list of all the possible things that could be wrong with your baby and the odds of it occurring is not a helpful thing to do. Growing a new person is stressful enough as it is; adding to that anxiety by finding lists of everything that could possible go wrong, no matter how remote, on every birth site is not helpful/ For the average person. they won’t know enough not to panic when they see the numbers. Unless, of course, they do more research. On the internet.

I find the internet, in general, to be a very alarmist place. I also find that anything bad and panic inducing will spread much more quickly than good news. I could point to all the anti-vaxxers, but that’s probably enough for a whole other post. Bad information will keep recirculating, while good information, for some reason, just fizzles out. Maybe that’s why so many old wives tales are still prevalent. Is it cold out? Did you get wet? Obviously, the combination of being wet and cold is the direct cause of you getting sick, not the fact that your immune system may have been compromised. My mother in law used a phrase a while ago that baffled me. She said that Shawn’s Nana had caught a cold in her back when she was up north. I’m not sure what that was supposed to mean or imply, but I’m pretty sure it’s not possible. Just like, for instance, having wet feet is not going to cause pneumonia. I once had a room mate who firmly believed that if you had cold wet feet for too long, you would get pneumonia. I guess all the water just magically travels up your legs and parks in your lungs. That must be it.

(I’m fully aware that I sound completely full of contempt. That’s because I am. There is so much medical proof, solid facts, that disprove these tall tales, and yet people still believe them. It boggles my mind.)

I also think the internet is a very dangerous place for hypochondriacs. In the pre-internet age, someone who was always worried that they had something new had to go to a library and sift through actual medical information to self diagnose. Not anymore! Dr. Google to the rescue! There is a particular person in our family who likes to do this a lot, not only for herself, but for her child. Her kid apparently had baby measles. For two days. She is a self diagnosed Celiac, as well, and her husband magically developed a lactose intolerance after meeting her, or so I’ve been told.

I also dated a guy who was the same way. This one got a little more personal, however, when he accused me of giving him chlamydia. He was having some funny penis stuff going on, looked up his symptoms on the internet and decided I must have given him an STD. He did get tested, but decided to tell me before the results came back. In case you were curious, he had two of the needed symptoms, and they are also the symptoms for a urinary tract infection, which is what he had. That was a super fun experience for me, not only because he didn’t believe me  when I said it was not possible,  but because he implied that it must be the case because I had had so many more sexual partners than he had (I was his third).

Self diagnosing is not only a pain in the ass for your doctor, but it can be dangerous for you. A lot of things present as something completely unrelated, and self diagnosing can lead to self medicating, which can lead to more problems. Here’s what I think: leave the medicine to the doctors. They spent a lot of time in school to be able to figure out what’s wrong with you. Let them do their jobs and leave Dr. Google out of it.

Is this getting a bit ranty? Absolutely, but I feel a little justified in it today. I have people looking up my disease and trying to “help” all the time. Recently, someone suggested that I try leeches. I’m not sure where they found that idea, or why they thought applying leeches to my body during pregnancy was a good idea, but okay. I also had a lady come up to me in the mall when I was shopping before the Comic Expo, looking very concerned. The conversation went something like this:

“Excuse me, but aren’t you concerned about your baby?”

“Uh, no. Not at the moment. Why?”

“Well, you’re wearing awfully tight clothes and I read on the internet that tight clothes are bad for pregnant women and can induce labour.” (I was wearing my most comfortable maternity jeans, a stretchy ribbed tank top, a peplum blazer that hits well above where my natural waist used to be and a wide belt just under my bust line.)

“I don’t mean to offend you, and I’m sorry if I do, but my pregnancy and what I choose to wear are none of your concern. I don’t know you, you don’t know me, and I would suggest that you keep your opinions to yourself in the future. Oh, and keep off the internet.”

“Fine. Kill your baby. See if I care!” <insert random lady storming off here>

At this point I was both bewildered and amused. As I’ve said before, pregnancy doesn’t make my life an open book to the world, and the internet doesn’t give the world some vast knowledge of everything there ever was to know. Quite the opposite. I hope I run in to her again after my son is born so I can show her how alive he is. Ha.

One last thing: social media. I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook (although there are days when it’s mostly hate). I don’t really post much about my pregnancy or the baby unless there’s been a major development. The hassle just isn’t worth it. However, there are people who assume that every single post I make is somehow related to my pregnancy. It doesn’t matter what it is, it’s about the baby. I’m not one of those people who is planning to turn her Facebook page in to a shrine to her offspring. That’s weird. I will not be making my profile picture a huge picture of my baby’s face. That’s creepy. Why would I start before he’s even  born? I like being able to keep up with friends and family in different parts of the country and the world. Social media is good for that, but it’s also a giant pain the ass, and is one of the many internet evils.

Let’s end this on a positive note: The Little Man is doing great! His little hands are adorable, and it was so awesome to be able to see more definition in his fingers and toes. Even his nose looked more defined. If I could have an ultrasound once a month, I totally would. just so I can keep an actual eye on the little guy. I know that’s not going to happen, but today was a great day. Sure, it’s cold and raining and grey outside. But our baby is doing very well, and I couldn’t be more thankful for that.

Local Jazz! Duchess Bake Shop!

Ah, baked goods. Who doesn’t love going in to a quaint bakery, staring longingly in to the glass display cases and carefully selecting a mouthwatering treat? I know I do, and Duchess Bake Shop is the perfect Edmonton spot to do just that. I’ve never had anything here that I didn’t love, from cakes and cookies to the meticulously crafted macarons (salted caramel, anyone?)

The atmosphere is quaint, with bright walls and a selection of mismatched tables an chairs to lure the guests. The one downside is that it’s usually always busy, but what do you expect? It has a reputation for being one of the best bake shops in the city, and that reputation is well deserved.

Aside from the salted caramel macarons, I would highly recommend the Duke cake (layers of rich chocolate cake, caramel and chocolate ganache) and the pain au chocolat (in which the pastry is perfectly flaky and buttery and the chocolate is just enough to be delicious without being too much for a morning treat).

Stop in earlier in the day to get the best selection, or pre-order if you’re looking for something specific for an occasion. They also do sandwiches, soups and salads for lunch. Check the website for the current selections and for any monthly flavours. This is a must-go here in Edmonton, and is somewhere I strive to take anyone who is visiting us from out of town. If I can’t take the guests to them, I take them to my guests. Everyone deserves to have a sweet treat!