Paparazzi'ed Baby

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Uncle John meets Sofia
Originally uploaded by kathy photo

I've been a mother for almost 20 days.
I think that I've got more than 300 photos of her. Being the firstborn myself, I've got lots of photos - but this is just ridiculous.

Realizing that most people don't want to see EVERY SINGLE SHOT of Sofia, I've created "365 Sofia" where I am going to post one photo of Sofia everyday - to spare you the agony.

Gummy Bear now is SOFIA

Monday, December 17, 2007

So, my baby wanted to come out to play...EARLY.

Born, Monday, December 10 at 8:08am (instead of December 26).
7 pounds, 7 ounces
She's a girl!

It has been pretty crazy - learned how to change a diaper (yes, my daughter's diaper is the first I have ever changed), boobiefeed, learn to understand a newborn's cries and other random facial expressions (with pretty high accuracy! I'd estimate 78.675% of the time), and learning to wake without an alarm clock to boobiefeed (on average about every 2.5 to 3 hours).

Life, for us, is now upside down. I used to be the pursuer of high efficiency living. Now, I can't complete a task on my to-do list on the same day I come up with it (I wanted to cut my toenails for about 3 days). I used to run my days around meetings and appointments. Now, the only appointments I can manage to keep is feeding Sofia (I forget to eat regularly... yes, that IS bad). I used to live on the computer. Now, I'm afraid to turn it on because I know that will be time away from Sofia.

Today marks Sofia's one week birthday, as well as the best week I've had in my life.

Super update to come.

Gummy Bear's Baby Shower

Friday, December 07, 2007

I don't even know where to start in order to write about the awesome baby shower that Ana and Christine threw for us.

Okay, I'll start with the bare facts:
  • It was in Ajax - at CLC; the church Maria Paz works at (Gonzo's sister). Convenient for both sides - Gonzo's side is in Oshawa, and mine in Toronto.
  • It had lots of awesome food! We went there without dinner - and this was definitely NOT a problem.
  • It was co-ed. Which I was so happy about. Definitely makes a baby shower somehow more entertaining...
  • I was thrilled that people chatted and laughed ALL NIGHT. Even while we were opening gifts - which was very awesome. My wedding showers were people staring at us as we opened gifts. I already don't like being that much in the center of attention... The baby shower was definitely less awkward feeling for me.
  • We had a prize at our shower! We had people write parenting advice on slips of paper, and then had a draw from these entered slips (view here) for a Starbucks gift basket. I am proud that we had a prize. I also don't think that's baby-shower-traditional.

    This baby has EVERYTHING. We have been so spoiled!
    Gonzo and I, when we got home, we were so touched thinking about the people who came tonight. I know that there were other people who wanted to come but couldn't be there (i.e., my own sister, Margaret who was teaching a class :-(; and my father who had to be at rehearsal for our Christmas musical that is happening on Sunday night.) To think that all those people (plus more) take the trouble to come out, to support us, to celebrate with us and are seriously excited for us. It's unreal. I managed NOT to cry when I made my short thank-you-all-for-coming speech... although Dave's song written for Gummy Bear did push me to the edge (I felt the tears at the corners of my eyes, ready to drop.)

    Thanks to everyone who came out, who has ever wished us well, prayed for us, gave us advice, or even thought about us at all. We feel so loved.

    (photo credit: Lyndon Layne)
  • Grossest Sleeping Pattern Yet

    Thursday, December 06, 2007

    Go to bed at 12 midnight.
    Wake at 1:30am.
    Wake at 2:30am.
    Wake at 3:30am.
    Lay awake until 4:00am.
    Get up and do something to tire yourself out (today's feature: FB creeping).
    Try again at 5:30am.
    Lay awake until husband wakes up and goes to work.
    Fall asleep at 6:30am.
    Wake at 9am.
    Feel like crap all day.

    But I still wouldn't give up the pregnancy experience!

    Filming "Light of the World"

    Sunday, December 02, 2007

    Gonz at work
    Originally uploaded by kathy photo

    Yesterday, was day two of three shooting a short film for Parkway Forest Community Church's Christmas service. PFCC is one of APC's satellite churches. We had a good time - I got to be around for the emotional stuff: Joseph breaking up with Mary.

    The thing that I admire most about actors is their ability to work long hours doing something very emotional. I guess it comes with practice - but still, I think that it must be very tiring.

    We've got two more scenes to shoot today. The weather is a little daunting, so we'll just have to be careful...

    Surprise Baby Shower!

    Sunday, November 25, 2007

    Today, this group of people threw a surprise baby shower for Gonz and I.

    The majority of the ladies in this photo used to come and stay with my family every weekend because when they first arrived to Canada, they worked as nannies. During the week, they would work and stay with the families they worked with, but on the weekends they were expected to find their own places to stay. So, instead of that my parents invited them to come and stay with us - just as long as they don't mind squishing with their daughters. We sure didn't mind - we had SO MANY PEOPLE to play with us!

    Now, these ladies are all independent - married, have children, work as lab technicians and other skilled jobs. It's so awesome to see them all doing so well when life can start out as so tough sometimes.

    And today, these ladies turned around and blessed Gonz and I so much because they love my parents so dearly. I feel so ridiculously provided for that I really didn't (and don't) know what to say.

    Margaret appears in Ottawa

    Saturday, November 24, 2007

    This morning, my parents, Margaret and I drove to Ottawa to attend an exhibition opening that was showing Margaret's work (the Kites) with many other amazing jewellery artists at The Lafreniere & Pai Gallery. It's so crazy to think that my sister's work is being shown, AND SOLD, in a whole 'nother city! (that evening, while we were there, she sold one piece!)

    So, obviously, we're all very proud of her. You can see her name listed on their website, and if you click on Jewellery, you can see a tiny sample of her work. Margaret is being shown at La Freniere and Pai Gallery until December 31.


    Friday, November 23, 2007

    Tonight, In a span about 15 minutes, I had 4 contractions.
    A little scary. Even though I know what they are...

    Okay, so as you near the end of pregnancy, you can get what are called, "Braxton Hicks Contractions." And they are some sort of practice contractions that get you ready for real labour. They can hurt - but right now, they're just unsettling and uncomfortable.

    Freaky! More signs that the end is near (or the beginning... whichever way you'd like to look at it.)

    First Snow

    Thursday, November 22, 2007

    First Snow
    Originally uploaded by kathy photo

    I LOVE the first snow of the season. Particularly if I get to wake up to it.

    I am even more excited that it happened in November. Like, I remember it as a child. Last few years, the first snow happened like late December, and even January (last year). I think. Anyhow, I know that it was horribly late.

    Bell's, Bell's, Go Away

    Today, I can wink!
    Now... to fix my crooked smile.

    35 weeks

    35 weeks, side view
    Originally uploaded by kathy photo

    Today, November 21, marks one month away from major transition: MATERNITY LEAVE.

    One whole year of not going to work. Pressing the snooze button at least 4 times. Typing as fast as I can. Mass producing artwork. Working alongside fantastic people...

    It's going to be a big, big change.

    Many days it's gonna be baby and me. And that's all.
    Gonzo said with all that time I'd better make a roast everyday.

    Subtle Progress

    Friday, November 16, 2007

    Today, I can whistle! My lips are forming a more uniform "o" finally.
    That's pretty fast recovery - since statistically people do not see an improvement until, at the earliest, two weeks after the symptoms initially set in.

    Thanks for the prayers everyone.

    Pregnancy - 6 weeks left

    Wednesday, November 14, 2007

    One month + 2 weeks.
    This is going by very, very quickly.

    Update: I am tired. I am feeling very pregnant. It's hard to roll over to the other side when I'm in bed. Baby's kicks are getting ridiculous - even painful. Especially when s/he gets her/his toes into my ribs.

    The most eventful thing happened last Monday, November 5. I came down with Bell's Palsy. Bell's Palsy is a temporary paralysis on the one side of the face. Okay, it sounds way scarier than it is (at least for me). Most people can't tell that I have it - it's really only obvious when I laugh. I do have trouble blinking in my left eye completely, and have trouble swishing water in my mouth when I am brushing my teeth. Some people have it so badly that people can't really understand what they are saying because they slur their speech so much, and they actually can lose their eyesight if they don't care for it properly since the eye can dry out and ulcer.

    How it started was on the Saturday previous I set up myself for a ridiculous day:
  • 6:30am - woke, made my hubby his lunch at work, then worked on finishing up titling and editing for a video project we had started back in September.
  • 10:30am - took nap
  • 11:30am - got up, got ready, had lunch
  • 12:15pm - arrived at church to run media for a wedding
  • 2:00pm - went home and had a nap
  • 4:00pm - woke up and went to church for rehearsal and service
  • 8:00pm - went to my parents' for dinner, but checked on the internet to findout Christine's flight arrived early
  • 9:30pm - got back to my parents' home for dinner, and then hung out with Christine to get all the news from her trip
  • 1:00am - in bed to sleep

  • All the while, probably starting at around 6:30pm, I got a headache and an earache - which is usually the indicator that Bell's Palsy is coming to get you. With other people I know who have had it, they had the paralysis in their face settle in within a few hours. I continued to have the headache and earache on and off on Sunday as well as Monday.

    Monday night is when I started seeing the symptoms. I swished water in my mouth after brushing my teeth and the water spouted out of my mouth. I laughed. It surprised me. So, I tried it again. I didn't laugh. I was like, "WHAT IS UP WITH ME?" Then the thought crossed my mind: I am getting Bell's Palsy. I've had a close friend have it, and my cousin's wife had it... so I am familiar with how this comes on. Gonzo told me not to worry. In the morning, I couldn't blink my eyelids the same - and the thing with my mouth was the same.

    Fortunately, we were on holidays so I called my doctor to see him and he confirmed that it was indeed Bell's Palsy, but because I am pregnant he couldn't prescribe the usual medication for it. He suggested that I go for physiotherapy.

    I had never been for physiotherapy for anything before so I asked my doctor for a suggestion for someone to see. He gave me the names of three offices and the first one I called said they had experience with clients who have Bell's, so I went there. When I got there, my impression that it was a bit 'ghetto', but I didn't know what to really expect... maybe something a little more 'spa-ish'?

    Well, I didn't like the physiotherapist. He was very abrupt and seemed like he was trying to scare me into more appointments: "You have to come in every day until you are better or your face may stay like that for the rest of your life." Well, I very well know it will NOT stay like that for the rest of my life. I am an informed individual! Then he proceed to give me electro-stimulation, where he placed electrodes on the side of my face and a couple on my neck to cause the nerves to ... 'contract'? Not unlike what Dr. Ho's will do for your abs.

    Anyway, a few of problems: I DO NOT LIKE THE IDEA OF THIS - delicate nerves in my face stimulated by electricity. But he's the physiotherapist, he should know what he is doing. Second: he used MASKING TAPE to affix the electrode to the side of my face. What is wrong with medical tape? Too expensive for you? I now have ezcema there where the tape was on my face. Third: i was checking out the battery-pack or whatever the thing was that was sending the electricity to my face, and saw on the label that it had been "reconditioned".

    I went home and felt okay about the experience, but unconvinced that it was beneficial. At least I didn't have to see him again right away because we were leaving for Batavia the next day. When Gonzo saw me he thought that my lip drooped a little more.

    I was devastated.
    I cried.

    See, I don't have it that bad - I am okay with it healing even only a little. I am NOT okay with it getting worse.

    On the internet (which I realize isn't the portal of all truth) I found some research that stated that electro-stimulation may even cause damage. Most sites recommend just leaving it alone, at the most applying hot compresses. The next morning, I cancelled all my appointments that I had booked the following week for further therapy.

    My doctor, at that initial appointment, told me that the best I can do to treat the Bell's is just to take it easy - get lots of rest, and I confessed the Saturday that I had stacked up for myself. It's basically the problem I have: I have been having such a fantastic pregnancy that I just don't feel pregnant. However, I think that at this point: 34 weeks, it's time that I start to act pregnant. And listen to my body when I am tired.

    It's amazing how tired I actually am.

    So - ALLLL of that to say that is that I am even kind of grateful for getting this. God's kicking me in the butt to tell me to slow down. I think that if I hadn't gotten this I would have been on the go-go-go right up until I go into labour - and if labour is anything like the pre-natal class videos have been showing me, it's that I'll need all the energy I can get.

    Nursery Painting: Part III

    Wednesday, October 24, 2007

    Monday went much smoother than any other day over the weekend. As soon as we got home, we taped the outline for the darker tone, laid down the first coat in about a couple of hours, ate dinner at my parents (dumplings!), hung out for a bit, then went back home to paint at 10:30pm. Removed the tape and voila! We were done.

    Tuesday night, we went to my parents' for dinner again, and then came back home to clean up the big fat mess. My parents came along and then my mother basically kicked us all out and did what she does best: making a room perfect. My mother is almost sixty, and she gets down on her hands and knees and washes the plaster dust from the floor - not once, but twice. What a relief though. I couldn't stand another day of that whole area of our house being a DISASTER.

    I'm so glad all of that is over - although I'm happy for the experience. I feel like it's something that I now know how to do. Gonzo came home today and msn'ed me just saying, "The room looks awesome!" He's not handy so the fact that he helped do something handy makes him feel proud, I think. Also the fact that it's for his child that's coming very, very soon...

    Now, it's for the fun part: assembling furniture and decorating. Wee!! More pictures to come.

    Nursery Painting: Part II

    Sunday, October 21, 2007

    I bought a mask.
    I bought a mask so I could help with the work to be done in the nursery. Gonzo had to work today and I couldn't stand the idea of Margaret doing all the work alone. So, i helped. I wore a mask the whole time.

    After I take the mask off after wearing it for some time, my face looks like it got a bad sunburn because of how hot it gets under it.

    Today was borderline crazy. Gonzo got up late for work 'cause he set his alarm at 6:30 - which is actually what time he should leave. I got up and helped him get his stuff together. I went back to sleep and got up a couple of hours later, got ready and headed down to the church to run media during a funeral for a 18 year old man, Keegan Allen, shot three times in the head while attending, and perhaps participating, at a dance competition in a community centre. That was terribly sad. After that, I headed over to my parents' house, ate some lunch, then Margaret and I went to Canada Wheel to buy some more poly filler, a sander, sandpaper, primer and a mask. A mask I wore all day, ladies and gentlemen. Went back to my place - it's about 2pm now - and got started to sanding all the plastered areas down. We got that done, then we had to take a quick shower, and go to church (again) for worship team rehearsal. (Church was super exciting tonight - Missions Convention! Great speaker as usual, and we got to do a new super good song that I was nervous about.) AFTER THAT - we went to my parents' for dinner, they came back to my place for dessert, and then Gonzo, Margaret and I continued to move towards the goal: priming the room.

    After sanding the entire room, we wiped all the walls down, retaped some of the baseboards, and got ready to prime. I was excited 'cause I hate doing the same task for too long, so changing and getting to do something different makes me happy (sanding is bad as it is - sanding for more than 1 hour is worse.) So Margaret and I started to 'cut' the room (I'm learning all these home-reno words that I didn't know before - I'm probably not even using them properly), while Gonzo rolled the larger areas. HOWEVER, as Gonzo rolled the original problem started coming back in some spots: bubbling. Margaret was mortified. We did what we could - finished up priming... and then Margaret started scraping away the bubbles and started peeling a lot of the paint back again to reveal the plastered surface. We finished up at around 1am.

    It's ridiculous, these painter people who were contracted to paint here. If I knew then what I know now I would have demanded that they primed 'cause I've actually been around while they've done the work! Some people are so lazy and only work to get a paycheck. How about doing something right? Even if no one is looking?

    Margaret swore a lot tonight.
    I just listened and said sorry.

    Nursery Painting: Part I

    Friday, October 19, 2007

    Today was the big day! Finally got everything that I hadn't dealt with yet in the office into 3 boxes, that I will sort later. It'll help when we have our wardrobe assembled.

    Margaret came to help Gonzo paint today. So my goal was to have everything taped off in preparation. That was the deadline that got my butt into gear. Last night Gonzo and I started at around 10:30 and finished at 12 midnight so that everything would be ready when Margaret came over to paint today.

    We were pretty excited. New coat of paint. That's pretty much all you need to make you feel like you upgraded your home a huge step. Well, at least for me! The first strokes were laid on and we were excited about the colour Margaret 'counseled' us into choosing.

    However, the excitement ended quite quickly. As they painted, some areas started to bubble. And when they would roll over it again - huge areas of paint would come off. What Margaret and Gonzo found out was it looked like whenever a plaster job was done for a repair, they wouldn't prime or seal it first (or whatever it is that is usually done when it is done properly), so the old paint is just coming off when you apply a new coat.

    Now Margaret has spent most of the afternoon chipping and peeling off the old paint, wherever Gonzo and her have been locate some paint bubbles in preparation to do this properly. We're going to have buy another can of paint, and also primer now in addition to the poly filler we had to buy when Margaret started finding small and big cracks in the wall. It's getting harder and harder to get this done!

    Well, of course it's disappointing to not get what you set out to do done in the time you think it's gonna take. But at least it's still kinda early, and not like the week before the baby is due. But what also does suck is that we have to retape the room again. :-(


    Saturday, October 13, 2007

    Steph brought over her Wii tonight.
    In the video we are playing Boxing - it's pretty much intuitive, and if you go down you have to do a drumming action in order to get your Mii (your created character) up.

    I think I pulled a muscle in my back.

    This is hard.

    Wednesday, October 10, 2007

    The last little bit is always the hardest. Whether it's putting away the sound equipment after the night's done, cleaning up after you've thrown a party, or putting the finishing details on a 50-page paper. We've got moving the computer(s) out of the office, the desks are at their new homes, books are in storage, and the majority of the closet space is used in a way that make more sense now.

    There's just so much "stuff" left. Most of it probably doesn't mean much to me. But some stuff I HAVE to keep - like software manuals. For the software we've got, we're always learning what's more to it.

    Tomorrow should help. We're going to buy furniture tomorrow - which I was planning on doing AFTER everything was tidied up. However, I've realized that isn't really possible since it's the furniture that will help us tidy some of this stuff up. Like, we're buying a big wardrobe, and part of it will be used for storage of some of this "stuff". STUFF. Ugh.

    I've only got two and half months left until this baby is here. It's crunch time.

    Home stretch

    Saturday, September 29, 2007

    Baseball term?
    Anyhow - I am in my first week of the final trimester.
    I have three months left until I hold this baby in my arms.

    It is Saturday morning at 4am. Can't sleep. This time the baby's kicks woke me up and have kept me up. I actually felt a foot, for sure, on the right side of my belly. I have a night baby. Gummy Bear changed schedules this week - used to be quite active during the day, but now, the strong kicks start at around 10:30pm, and continue sporadically throughout the night.
    Quelle surprise. My whole family, extended included, are all night people.

    My brain is restless. I've got so many thoughts flying around in there. I'm thinking, am I nervous? I guess a little. Giving birth, as you get closer, must get a little scary. I'm not scared as much as I am thinking this is definitely a big moment coming up. I just had a doctor's appointment last Friday, and he said I have one more appointment (which I have once a month), then I start seeing the doctor every two weeks. That really woke me up to the fact that I'm really close to the end, really focusing me in on preparing for the end. Like, the nursery. Ugh.

    I even came to the "design" of the birth announcement as I lay awake in bed this morning. Which I am happy about. I should probably sketch it so I can remember to do it. Three months is a long time to hold an image in my head.

    I also thought about how I should take up drawing again - yet again. I keep wanting to, but the first time, every time, I try to start drawing again, the pencil feels so awkward in my hand and the result is so hideous from the time I used to draw regularly I am instantly discouraged. Being out of practice really sucks. Perhaps over my maternity leave I really will get into it again. In the meantime, I have found the last sketchbook that I bought with intention to draw that I have not totally turned into a journal.

    I ALSO thought about how excited I am to use Christine's old camera. Canon 20D. She has upgraded recently, and so she is lending me her old one. How timely with this new arrival coming. I have to buy a few things for it: battery and compact flash card since Christine will be keeping the ones she has to use with her new camera. I have plans on going "pro" on Flickr so I can share photos with family more easily. I have family in the Philippines, all over the US (Western New York; Arizona; Chicago, IL; New Jersey), on the other side of Canada and with my husband's family, Chile and Sweden, and friends in Germany. I think that I should really love that.

    I think that I'm feeling ridiculously creative.

    This experience of "expecting" is probably one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I said to Gonzo, I can imagine why women go through post-partum depression: you've got this baby inside you, growing, that you feel so full (figuratively as well as literally) of life. Completely dependent, and with you ALL THE TIME. Even times when the baby is quiet for a lot of the day (sleeping, maybe?) I feel a little lonely. I ask (to my belly), "Where are you?" I can imagine that when the baby is out, of course I'll be overjoyed and overwhelmed by the moment. But I'll also be emptied. I've had such a great pregnancy so far, I can imagine that might even actually miss being pregnant.

    I kind of regret not journaling more during this time, but there was so much - even too much - to write about. I could probably write three pages a day about something new I experienced about what pregnancy is all about, the thought of what preparing to be a parent is like, all the things I learned about myself and Gonzo together... I think I turned those times of writing into naps. I probably should record some highlights soon.

    Print & Pattern

    Tuesday, September 25, 2007

    Oooh. Pretty!

    Sleepy Face

    Gonz has strep throat.
    I have sent myself to the couch to sleep so that Gummy Bear and I don't catch it. Imagine trying to get over strep throat without the use of antibiotics. Yeah, I can't imagine it either.

    [Before you hurl insults at Gonz for letting me sleep on the couch and not insisting he does, he already did that. I am actually happy for the couch. Helps me not sleep on my back (which is bad for the baby, and me).]

    So, I'm pretty tired, but I can't sleep. Not because the couch is uncomfortable. It's super comfortable. But I'm coming to the point in the pregnancy where I'm feeling very warm most of the time, which makes it kinda hard to sleep. AND ALSO, Gummy Bear is doing really funny stretches which makes me laugh. And therefore, keeps me awake.

    Sorry for the lame blog. I am pretty tired.

    Spatially Challenged

    Friday, September 21, 2007

    My very huge weakness of not being able to visualize and estimate volume is most problematic when I am cooking. When I am cooking with many ingredients. Like right now. Right now I am making stew. Sans recipe. By imagination. Brutal.

    After cutting up too much short rib (only half of what I bought at the supermarket), and then puree-ing too much tomato, my pot suddenly became FAR too small. My recipe is now half in my pot on the stove and the other half is in the slow cooker. Geez I am so frustrated. I thought I'd grow out of this from the time my sisters and I wanted to make my mother a dinner for mother's day (or her birthday or something) when we were teenagers. What ended up happening was the same dish in different pots, pans and a wok on all four burners.

    Okay, well, I'm not that bad anymore. And my mother won't end up sick after my cooking.
    With those two things I will have to console myself.

    What I whipped up today

    Wednesday, September 19, 2007

    Gonzo and Chris were talking about doing this video since August. They are launching the high school ministry under a new name this fall. But their schedules never clicked. So, it came down to the wire: Chris asked me yesterday. They need the video for this Friday. After finding out exactly what he wanted, I agreed, and wasn't too bad either. Probably 30 minutes of shooting video, and then an hour of editing. Oh, I didn't mention that I had to climb up on the roof of the church to do this. Two ladders, actually, to get to the highest point of the church. I had a few warnings and reprimands from coworkers, being six months pregnant and all. No worries. I am okay.

    Really nice music for the video. Chris chose the theme track from a show called, "Friday Night Lights." Sound like I have never heard of it? Well, that would be because...

    Anyhow, here's the outcome of today's work.

    Secondly, here is the logo I am proposing for this year's Missions Convention. The theme is "together" - wanting to convey a strong sense that Missions isn't the missionary's work, but all of ours together. I hope it flies. (Oh I welcome any criticisms too).

    From Christine, today

    Tuesday, September 18, 2007


    Happy Anniversary to Us

    Wednesday, September 05, 2007

    It was our anniversary! we got married 3 years ago today. When Gonzo kissed me goodbye when he left for work that morning, I said, "Happy Anniversary babe." and he said, "3 years? seems longer." of course it seems longer when you've almost been together with someone for 10 years. That will be this November 17. A decade. Three years is only the official part of this relationship.

    We couldn't think up anything creative to do for our anniversary, especially since we both had to work anyhow, so a nice dinner it was. (like that's a bad thing when this couple lovvveeeees to eat.) I thought about going downtown to the Distillery District and try a new restaurant, but I was too tired to think about trekking all the down there and all the way back. I just wanted to enjoy the evening with my hubby. We decided to go to Oliver & Bonacini at Bayview Village and that was a great choice.

    We ordered their calamari, which was so good: "Jump's Original Grilled Calamari - with anchovies, capers, tomatoes and black olives in a lemon brown butter sauce." I didn't even think that it had butter in it until I just typed that. Good thing too 'cause that would make me not like it (right, Margaret?). Gonzo ordered the roasted rack of lamb with potato and goat cheese gratin, and I had the appetizer sized gnocchi. Baby is taking up all the space in my belly. My stomach is cornered into a space of a fist, it feels like. I've still got the appetite, but don't have the room. BUMMER.

    We had super nice service. The waiter was so awesome. I didn't catch his name. Anyhow, the dinner is done, and dessert is a must so I ask him to bring us a menu. After clearing our plates, he comes back and tells us that he can't bring us a dessert menu because dessert has already been ordered and taken care of. And they bring us this:

    See, I know someone at O&B from high school - Adrian. He greeted us at the door, and the last time we were there, we were with Steph Liu celebrating our news, so he found out then that I was pregnant. Anyhow, I shared that we were celebrating our third anniversary, so got this nice quiet table in the backroom... which I was hoping for 'cause a couple of times ago we were seated by the bar, and you just feel cramped over there.

    Anyway, so we had Adrian to thank for our fantastic chef's platter of desserts. Gonzo and I left feeling seriously spoiled. It's funny how a visit to a restaurant with really great service and equally good food can actually make you feel like you celebrated.

    Well - we've had a great three years so far together. Gonzo asked me if these three years were what I expected, and I think I said that I thought they were going to be harder. There were hard moments, but nothing you feel like you couldn't make it through. I turned the question around to Gonzo and he said that he thought we would fight more. Those are two things that are very good things to not have as expected.

    So, if you ask us - yes, we would recommend marriage. It's fantastic.

    The Death of Summer

    Originally uploaded by kathy photo

    It's after Labour Day.
    The sun is setting earlier. Hang outs will be less outside. Gotta wear more clothes (I'm wearing full shoes today. :-( ). Life feels like it's more about work than leisure.

    I'm tired.


    That might have nothing to do with summertime coming to an end...


    Saturday, September 01, 2007

    feasting group
    Originally uploaded by kathy photo

    tonight we went to jesse and lisa's new pad and had jesse and uncle sam cook for us. they made like 7 dishes! steamed fish, kung pao chicken, super saucy spare ribs, shrimp, vegetables, kofu... and even desserts we had like three courses.

    i have a cramp in my back 'cause i'm so full.

    it was good to hang out with them again, since i hadn't seen them in a real long time. even dave i haven't really seen either.

    good food, and good friends.
    God put a good combo together.

    Big step forward

    Wednesday, August 29, 2007

    I have finally moved a major portion of our office out into the livingroom. Margaret convinced me not to get a corner unit like I thought would be the best solution. Not only does this look better than what I imagined but she also managed to save me 75% of what I would have spent. My sister rocks!

    So, I know that this set up is working 'cause since I moved all that I have moved out into the livingroom, I haven't actually stepped foot into my office-moving-towards-nursery. And I'm only using probably a tenth of the space. How european! I am relieved that the main thing is moved. Gonzo is using his laptop on the diningroom table as planned, and so the theoretical plan is actually working in reality. That isn't always simple...

    Another thing to update is that I totally slept in yesterday. Until 10am. Which made me arrive at work at 11:11am. Yeah. I was really embarrassed. When I told coworkers at work that I had slept in, they all put sympathetic faces on and said, "Oh... being pregnant makes you so tired." I'm like, "No, I have a serious snoozing problem." This morning, I banned myself to two snoozes and I was right out of bed. (Two snoozes is definitely an improvement). Hopefully I can just keep reminding myself of the embarrassing feeling of yesterday and refrain using the snooze button.

    Labour Day weekend is this weekend. I really can't believe that the year is going by so fast. I am 23 weeks into my pregnancy. More than half way. This part of the year just races by (Sept. to Dec.) By the end of 2007, I will be a mother. Monumental.

    Okay guys, time to guess.

    Tiredness: Another Pregnancy Symptom

    Wednesday, August 22, 2007

    So, today's exciting news from the pregnant woman is that she's extremely tired.

    Yeah, I know. It's not that exciting. It's not even really interesting. I'm gonna write about it anyway. I know that at least Beka will probably still read it. :-)

    One struggle I've had during my pregnancy is to determine whether or not the reason why I sleep so much is because I am lazy, or is it because I need to 'cause I'm pregnant. Some days I think it's one, and others, I'm sure it's the other. I have been trying to go bed earlier in order to try to get to work at a decent time - and last night, I could have gone to bed at 9, but I made myself stay up until 10. (9 o'clock would be an embarrassment to my family!) But after falling sleeping at 10, I still woke up at 8:30am today and forced myself out of bed although I am positive I could have stayed there for another half day. I seriously feel like I went to bed at 3am.

    Well, at least I've got a quiet week ahead of me. Gonna make dumplings tonight! I hope I can stay away enough to eat them.

    Kick, kick, kick

    Thursday, August 09, 2007

    Just over the weekend, I started feeling our baby moving!

    We were in Batavia, where my cousins live, and I was chatting with my cousin's wife, Allison. The most common question I get these days is if I have felt the baby kicking yet. And up until then I had said, "NO!" Most mothers will then return in reply what they describe the kicking to feel like. I have gotten, "flutters", "butterflies" and "gas" as the most frequent description. Well, I hadn't felt what I imagine flutters to feel like, or butterflies which I equate with the feeling when I am nervous, and I definitely know what gas feels like. I didn't feel any of those... My cousin, on the other hand described the movements as "popping", or "bubbles." I took it to heart and immediately started looking for what I imagine that to feel like, and it couldn't be more than 5 minutes later, I felt the baby's movements!

    And since then I have felt the movements stronger and stronger. I would even describe the feeling as spasms - although without the discomfort pain. Kinda feels like the muscles in your abdomen just contracting gently in various spots. Seriously so cool.

    Photos on Flickr

    Wednesday, August 01, 2007

    See? so fake!
    Originally uploaded by kathy photo

    I uploaded some photos of our little getaway to the Bruce Peninsula a couple of days ago. We went up to visit Chris and Patti (Gonzo's best friends, from high school) to tell them our great news. While we were there, we decided to take the drive up to Tobermory to take a shuttle boat out to Flower Pot Island. It's beautiful there. We were only there for a couple of hours ('cause we had to catch our scheduled boat back). I'd love to stay the whole day, and swim and all of that (it was definitely TOO COLD to swim). I think that camping there would be great, but perhaps too much trouble.

    Check out my photos [click on the photo above), if you wish. Leave me a comment? I feel like Flickr is dead (definitely due to Facebook).

    Inmates in the Philippines

    Tuesday, July 31, 2007

    This is how the Filipinos rehabilitate their convicts. I think that I wouldn't mind going to jail...

    new look

    Sunday, July 29, 2007

    Downloaded this template at Blogger Templates. Has a cool feature that shows who made comments most recently. Thanks for your comments, by the way, those of you who comment.

    Okay been at this computer long enough. See yas later.

    Yoga - Day 1

    Saturday, July 28, 2007

    My sister-in-law gave me a Prenatal Yoga video for my birthday. I hadn't used it until today. Gonzo and I recently cancelled our gym membership 'cause I was finding it hard to make it out to the gym, and well... Gonzo won't go without me. Up until about two or three months ago we were doing pretty well at going (since January), but now it's just becoming a waste of money.

    So. Now I have to come up with a new way to exercise so I tried the video I got. The video is a total of 50 minutes - I did, maybe, 20 to 25 minutes of it...? My back feels really good. And my sides. Lately, with the growing weight of pregnancy, my back (upper and lower) has been getting more and more sore, and my sides have been feeling pretty tight.

    I have plans on doing this video every day possible, even if it's only part of it. I know that my body will thank me for it after the pregnancy is over!

    Sneak peek!

    Tuesday, July 24, 2007

    On Monday, I had my second ultrasound ever. The first time I saw my baby was at 5 weeks. S/he earned the nickname Gummy Bear. Yes, that small. I am now at 18 weeks. When any member of my family saw the images, they exclaimed, "SO BIG! ALREADY!" It's true though - what once seemed like a smudge on the screen, has a head, eye sockets, arms, legs, torso... all distinctly identifiable. Even on a blurry print out.

    Some memorable reactions:

    Calling Gonzo -
    K: Hey Honey - ultrasound seemed to go fine. (note: technicians are not allowed to assess what they find and tell you. i.e. if there is something bad)
    G: Oh good!
    K: Yeah, so cool. You can see everything! Head, arms...
    G: Is he cute?!
    K: Babe, you can't see anything like that! It's just an ultrasound. Right now, all you can see is a skull.
    G: Uh oh... we'll have to start calling it "Skeletor"

    Showing my father -
    D: Oh my goodness! So cute!!

    Does he see something I don't see?!

    Showing co-workers -
    Showing my co-workers, those who are women, who have had children themselves perhaps at least 20 years ago, all said:
    "Wow! The images are so clear!"
    ...including my mother.

    Wow... if THIS is clear - what the heck were they looking at two decades ago?!

    Showing Christine -
    C: Look! the head is SO big!! ...sorry, I couldn't resist.

    So. Being pregnant is not only super-exciting, but so fun too. I feel like, I can't document the experience enough - I really hope I don't forget all the awesomeness of these few months. The look of excitement on my father's face as my belly grows, the hours of ridiculous behaviour of Gonz after we get an update about the baby (whether it be ultrasounds or visits to the doctor), my sister dedicating a whole day a week to help me prepare my disasterous apartment, friends checking up on me, coworkers running all over themselves to get me mayonnaise from the other side of the building... I've never felt more connected and aware of my body, or felt as connected to everyone around me. It's like being wrapped in a good mood all the time.

    Musician loves band

    Saturday, July 21, 2007

    Hey fans, look who loves Mutemath. Crazy.

    Human Tetris

    Friday, July 20, 2007

    Okay Beka - in your huge devotion to Tetris... you should watch this video.
    Thanks Wiser for forwarding it :-)

    Raspberry Banana Smoothie

    Monday, July 16, 2007

    Okay, several things over the last couple of weeks have made me exclaim, "WHY THE HECK HAVE WE NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE?" Like, bought Delissio frozen pizzas (mmm!) and tried REAL mexican food (shhh! Gonzo LOOOOVEEESSS it).

    And today, yet again.
    For the first time ever, I have made a smoothie!

    Trying to keep stuff lower calorie, and more importantly, low-sugar for me, my baby, and my husband, smoothies are a really GOOD dessert. Sure, they might not be the healthiest thing on earth, but with the way I made it, it's almost a health drink!

    Here's what I did -
    In my hand blender thing-thing, I put:

  • 1 1/4 cups of raspberries
  • 1 super ripe banana
  • 2/3 cup of orange juice
  • 175 ml (a yogurt cup) of plain yogurt

  • After blending the above, I tasted it and deemed it a bit too sour for Gonz (i.e., not sweet enough), and so instead of adding straight sugar, I pulled out some half-year old ice cream (which I am super-surprised that it wasn't super-freezer burnt) and just scooped out the vanilla portion (it was neopolitan). It only amounted to perhaps a 2/3 cup. Blended that, and it was perfect - sweeter (just a bit) and creamier.


    So, that was our post-gym treat.
    Hopefully it didn't undo all that we did there.

    Die Hard 4

    Sunday, July 15, 2007

    OOohhhh see it.
    Got my dad's stamp of approval.

    he didn't fall asleep.

    The Project

    Saturday, July 14, 2007

    Margaret has arranged with me that every Friday we're going to be re-organizing my apartment in preparation for the new arrival. Our office is going to be the nursery, but that means we have to figure out something else about our office. I think that we have finally found the solution, but it's definitely going to take some serious work around the apartment in general to make this work.

    What I found out, however, is that I LOVE thinking of ways of making living space better. I love getting rid of stuff I no longer need, buying new furniture that works with our life... it's just a very creative process. HOWEVER, what i also found out is that this is all very stressful for Gonz. He doesn't like it at all. Which did surprise me. I was like why are you acting all stressed? After all, he was editing his script and doing movie stuff all afternoon as Margaret and I started packing up the library. Yeah - he doesn't love the process. At least one of us does, I suppose!

    So, what we're probably going to do is move the computer, and computer only out to the livingroom. We're going get rid of our current desks, and see if we can find one of those desks that once you're finished what you're doing, it has doors that you can just shut it away. And everything else office-y, for storage, and filing, we'll get one of these things:

    That way, everything important goes away neat and secure away from the baby - who eventually will be crawling and pulling at stuff! At first we thought that we were going to re-organize the office so that the nursery would fit in here, but after re-thinking it, it doesn't make sense to have the computer(s) where the baby is - since the baby will sleep whenever s/he wants and well, that will be the best time to work on the computer - but you can't do both at once.

    Anyway, that is currently the masterplan - but there is a lot of work to go into this before we get to do the fun stuff of purchasing new furniture and decorating. That will definitely be the reward. Right now, it's all about purging and making sense of stuff.

    Okay, okay....

    Wednesday, July 11, 2007

    For all three of you that read my blog, I'm going to finally write a new one. April 5 was my last one. I haven't written, not because there wasn't anything to write, but perhaps because there was too much to write about.

    And I wasn't at liberty to say what about. Well, at least for 13 weeks.

    So, I am pregnant.
    I only figured it out when I started feeling like crap, with no apparent explanation - but at that point I was already 5 weeks pregnant. That kind of offended me. Shouldn't I know exactly what is going on inside my body? Apparently this is not uncommon. Maria Paz, my sister in law, didn't find out until she was that far along well.

    What tipped me off - many of you have already heard this story - is the infamous cold-cut sandwich. I've been having the same lunch, pretty much, for months. However, May 2nd's sandwich put me off so much that it could have grown moldy fur and legs. It wasn't a simple, 'Oh, I'm not in the mood for a sandwich today.' It was a pretty serious hate. That is when I first suspected; after all, I love my food.

    After a visit to the doctor and some tests, it was confirmed. I was pregnant! I had an ultrasound on May 7, and saw the speck that was my baby - complete with 150 beat/minute heartbeat. Unbelieveable. Gonz came in to see the baby as well, and was in awe... Later, in the car, I asked what thoughts were running through his head as he saw the ultrasound.

    "I was thinking how much the baby looked like a gummy bear."

    Well, Gummy Bear is now the nickname for this pre-birth baby.

    Been feeling great lately. For a little while (3 to 4 weeks total) I was constantly eating to ward off the feeling of nausea. I'm no where near that now. I am eating almost the same way as I was before, but still have not yet had a single sandwich - and also hate the texture of chicken. CHICKEN! the default meat! to me, I would think that if I couldn't eat anything else, chicken would something I could. Well, that is not the case.

    okay, my coverage at the reception desk is over so I've gotta go. Will try and write some more. See ya later!

    Quotes of today

    Thursday, April 05, 2007

    [Pastor Keith Preston] Oh Kathy, you're far from being retarded.

    later today. and on a separate occasion.

    [Kathy] I have never craved a Starbucks like I have today.
    [Gonz] Yeah, I don't know - me too! I guess I must want to be cool or something.

    Another sleepless night. This time, however, it's not because of hives. I think that I am TOO tired. Go figure. Went to bed at 10:30 dead tired. Woke up at 2:30? And I'm not one that can just wait until I can sleep again. So... I've been on the internet for the last hour and a half. Some people will be receiving some email replies from me at 3:30am. Found some facebook peeps from my elementary school, Dallington. I hope that they remember me. Although that is definitely a big hope. This would be going back more than 16 years that I have talked to these people AT ALL. Or even have seen them. Well, we'll see if these people have as good a memory as I. :-)

    Easter is almost here! thank You Jesus.

    Opinion, opinion, opinion

    Monday, April 02, 2007

    Hey, i love opinions - but sometimes, opinions start stacking up and start amounting to arrogance.
    as matt once said, "sometimes people tell you so you know, and other times they tell you so you know that they know." unfortunately.

    sometimes people feel bummed about themselves and their lack of intelligence so they start reading/listening a whole bunch of stuff, usually uncritiqued, and start spewing information. information doesn't equal knowledge. you've got knowledge when you've actually processed something. don't swallow everything you consume.

    it's dangerous to take something in unchecked, whether it's opinion an unchecked source or even from a trusted individual. think it through. it's important to think where does a certain opinion take us? thoughts are steps that take us down roads that we might not expect; and even more significantly, form in us a character that look more, or less, like Christ.

    further, it's also tempting to just consume some information just so i have something to say, look better in someone else's eyes, or even just make myself feel better 'cause i then don't feel as ignorant. i think that i look way more ignorant if i just spit out something that i had read once, didn't really think it through, 'cause the other person who actually knows something about the subject will find it quite transparent.

    on another tangent, it got me thinking about humility and what does that actually look like.

    ________ and i had a great, although short, conversation about this - where he's taking in a lot of material about spiritual things, but he felt as disconnected from God as he has ever been. hey, been there. four full years of downing lots of writings from thomas aquinas, martin luther, soren kirkegaard, and contemporaries such as gordon fee, a.w. tozer, etc. and what? i watched people in college, first years nonetheless, suddenly see all the flaws in church, figure they can pinpoint what the pastor is doing wrong, and start to think that they have all the answers. i started towards this tendency, and my father warned me, and asked me "you've got one year of bible college behind you, what do you think you know...?" i was stunned - i suddenly wasn't so sure.

    now, i know it seems like i am anti-knowledge, anti-learning. well, that would be unbiblical. it says in proverbs, "For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding..." (2:6). we are to pursue it with all of our hearts (1-3). uncle john says, "there is no useless information." definitely. the more we know, the more we can be aware - but what i argue is concerning to what end? why we do pursue to know what we know? to benefit simply ourselves? or...? Interestingly enough, paul says "Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up" (1 Corinthians 8:1). elsewhere he also says, "If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing" (2 Cor. 13:2). so there is this balance we must strike - knowledge with love. just knowledge and we're arrogant ("puffed up"), and just love? ignorant.

    knowledge, once it's produced from information, is great when served with love and humility. love removes the Self from the equation thus moves the slider away from arrogance.

    a super-wonderful example of humilty served with knowledge is Dr. Kulathungam. one of the most brilliant men that exists on earth today, claims consistently that he knows nothing. Mr. Philosopher of Philosophy definitely knows something, but to him, the more he has learned the more he has realized that there is much more to learn. and that makes him refreshing to be around.

    as my mom would say, "who cares if you have straight A's if nobody likes you?"
    amen mom.

    Lost in Translation

    Friday, March 30, 2007

    I just read Matty's blog.

    [Kathy] Hey! Matt is going to see the Police!
    [Gonz] *stunned* WHY?
    [Kathy] He's... seeing... the Police.. he got four tickets in a row.
    [Gonz] *silence*
    [Kathy] he's seeing the Police on his birthday!
    [Gonz] WHY? Whahappened...?... OhhhHHhhHH.. Police... the band!!

    good times

    Sunday, March 25, 2007

    i haven't a clue what is up with christine these days. but i think that she might be a tad more relaxed. wouldn't you say?

    anyhow, not that the chosen photo really has anything to do with what i am about to post (not that i really know what i am planning on posting about), but i thought it sums up the way i feel lately.

    a little crazy. a little relaxed. just happy in general.

    and that is the end of my post today.
    oh - check out flickr. got some new photos of elizabeth on there. in a month and 3 days, she's gonna be one. and oh boy, there will be a party.


    Saturday, March 24, 2007

    Last night I made veal cutlets with mushroom sauce for my in-laws. Mmm... I didn't know that I liked veal. It was gooooood. I'll have to make it for my side soon.

    running hard

    Wednesday, March 21, 2007

    So busy... it'll end soon. Easter, Easter, Easter...
    Tomorrow night I have Easter drama rehearsal between 7 and 8, then going to play for the choir for 8 to 9. Monday I have a rehearsal from 7 to 9. Tuesday, I have a rehearsal between 7 to 9. Thursday I have a dress rehearsal between 7 to 9. Next Tuesday and Thursday, I have two more dress rehearsals. And then it's Good Friday. Two presentations. Then, Sunday it's Easter. One more presentation.

    Easter Monday, I will sleep all day.
    Or... maybe I'll stay awake and hang out with you.

    I don't know how it works

    Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    Been thinking about wisdom for the last little while with my readings in the Bible being in Proverbs and also in Genesis. Knowing Right from Wrong and being able to choose Right is not something that we were to be ever capable of. God took the tree of life away from us once the Fall happened - by His grace. He knew what a total mess we'd make of our lives as He respected our free will and then have to live for eternity with all the consequences of all our mistakes. Ugh. And then a thousand or so years later King Solomon writes about wisdom in Proverbs. This idea of foreseeing the outcomes of our choices, predicting reactions as we interact with others, the navigating of one's way throug life's complicated weavings of situations, choices and other variables. All of this - straight from God. Being able to know and choose right is nothing short of God-given.

    Now, looking back, I can see so many times where I was faced with a fork-in-the-road, to use an overused cliche. And in looking back I feel like I would have chosen the wrong path - but somehow in God's protective care He removed the wrong choice as a possibility from me. Whether that be through the hawk's eye watch of my parents, the gypsy heart of a potential lover, or the the chance of circumstances just simply not falling in my supposed favour, but then all turning out for the better. I guess it sounds contradictory - God respecting my free will, yet taking away choices... but I think that it's the general disposition towards God. Just wanting to please Him, and He cares for us - even if it means make us feel disappointed when a crush rejects us, because it's only momentary. The greater good for you is in mind. How it all works out is really a mystery.

    This is really hard to explain, but I guess what I am trying to say is that I'm really grateful to God for all that He's brought me through, and around. And for parents that prayed for me.

    "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him..."
    - Romans 8:27

    I don't know what is happening.

    Sunday, March 11, 2007

    What's happening to me?!
    For one thing, I don't spend much time on the computer anymore. (I do still read all of your blogs, believe me.) But somehow I have managed to find from somewhere this will power to accomplish all these habits that I once found absolutely impossible.

    Last week was an amazing week for me.

    ABSOLUTELY #1 on my list is waking early. Three days out of 7 this week, I woke up at 6:30 and was able to get to work for 8am. If you looked at my journal, I have NUMEROUS journal entries documenting the desire that lives in my heart to wake early. But as being an individual of the arty-persuasion, this does not come naturally.

    #2 - I AM READING. For the first time after college, I am finally reading again. Reading a book - "In Praise of Slowness," learning to take a slower pace in life. Or, how I like to think of it - intentionality. I'll report on more of this later. And better - I am reading the Bible a whole lot more. GASP. I know, I know. Bible College grad should have this one down. Trust me, more of us than not had Bible College destroy this good habit. But today, was amazing - I was reading and had pen in hand scribbling down as much as I could of the riches that was coming from the passages. I actually started freaking out a little. I really felt like my brain was getting way too full and I couldn't contain the knowledge.

    #3 - EXERCISING. Gonzo and I have been doing pretty good with this. We signed up at the Y in January. January was hard, 'cause we had holidays in there, Gonz got injured, I got sick, so the habit was hard to maintain. But February through to now, it's been great. I went 4 times last week. This is unheard of for me. The only other place I've visited four times in one week other than church/work in my life is probably Sushi on Bloor. Oh, how I am changing.

    #4 - SAVING MONEY, and actually following our budget. Gonz and I sometimes burn money like we don't work at not-for-profit companies. Once we really, really realized and admitted that our biggest obstacle to saving money is our love for eating out money has been easier to keep in our pockets. However, we have made realistic allowances for ourselves so that we can continue to do well.

    So, is getting off the computer related to me somehow being able to incorporate these coveted habits into my life? Maybe I'll have to try to work blogging as a habit back into my life. :-)


    Monday, March 05, 2007

    I am the first one in the office today.

    Saturday for me

    Sunday, March 04, 2007

    Yesterday, I went to work to finish up the PowerPoint presentation I couldn't finish because of the storm on Thursday. Turned out good. Then I went to help with the funeral - Les Burton's... what a terribly sad occasion. Saw lots of people that I hadn't seen at Agincourt in a long time. I wondered where they had gone. Some people leave for good reasons... I always wonder what those reasons are. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else, honestly.

    After that, we waited and waited for the Janes to join us for Korean BBQ. Hadn't gone in SOOOO long. Was so good, and fun, to share a meal with them. I hadn't seen them in a long, long time. They're the same as always. Gonz and I agree that they look exactly the same. Heather's hair is a bit longer, but they appear just as I had seen them last. That's cool.

    However, having Korean BBQ just before having to sing for an extended period of time is tough. The burps kept wanting to share the mic.

    At SNG, I had the biggest band that I have played with in the longest time. I had a bass player and two acoustic guitarists! How exciting. I hope Cody wants to come back. I know that Torontonians have so many commitments and sometimes they just need a break, but I hope that SNG is fun for him. So great to have him. He's good too.

    After SNG, we decided to go to an Indian Restaurant with Gladson. My first full fledged Indian Restaurant experience! Honestly scared for a long while (right, Christine?). Was really good! Not that I doubted it - especially visiting one with Gladson. I didn't do any ordering - the orientation of the menu would have taken too long. I still don't know the names of what we had, but in the names of foods in other cuisines we had little fried donuts, huge crispy fried torillas, and a big potatoe-stuffed crepe.

    What a wonderful day with great friends.

    Snow Day!

    Thursday, March 01, 2007

    The weather is so exciting outside today that we all got sent home from work at 3pm. In a couple of hours, the gorgeous snow is going to be turning into vicious ice with the freezing rain that is coming. I LOVE IT when this happens. Even though it works against what I want to accomplish at that moment. When the building-wide pages and email-outs came about the church shutting down early, I was like, "Uh-oh, got only a half hour to produce the weekend's powerpoint presentation"... well, of course, that's not really possible. So I was forced to stop being busy and had to go home. I also had put too much work into the artwork for this weekend's slides to send them home to work on them. (I don't have an updated version of Photoshop here at home). So... I now have blog time again!

    This has been a crazy intense week. So many things just popping up out of the blue - I don't design as well when my week has been so unplanned and I really don't feel like I accomplish as much when it's like this. I find myself sitting in my office, or arriving at some part of the building asking myself, "What am I up to again?" It's bad. Very bad.

    Started with Saturday - Saturday I met with Pastor Mark for preparations of his father's funeral. I was asked to design a bulletin for the funeral as well as run all the multimedia stuff for the service. Lots of details. So, after the meeting I gathered all the (electronic) material from his USB key and then got ready for the evening. That evening I was set to lead worship at Saturday Night Gathering and I was taking a l leap into a song that I didn't really know. I figured I always stick to songs I know and that I KNOW I can lead well. The song we were going to open with was one with a little more musical... richness... and well, I was going to go for it. However, I could not forsee the late arrival of our sound guy. Wasn't his fault at all - our usual sound guy fell sick and called him up last minute to cover. We only got a mere 45 minutes to rehearse (if that) and I felt it all through the service. Even with the songs I knew, it was just really hard to lead.

    Went to Beka's house after for her birthday party. Had a good chance to unwind after being wound up so tight for a good, perhaps, three hours (between rehearsal and when service ended). But once I unwound, I was pretty much just tired and useless. Beka's was SO fun though - we played fake guitar all night (Nintendo is amazing).

    (It IS Nintendo, right?)

    I designed the bulletin and sent it over to Pastor Mark, then spent the majority of the afternoon scrubbing my kitchen down. I actually dismantled my oven to clean between the two glass panels (windows to the oven). Then went to church for the Annual Business meeting, finish preparing the PowerPoint presentations, and then run the presentations for the night. That was the smoothest business meeting to date. Well, at least in my few years attending them. Oscar Night to follow.

    Pastor James' MacKnight's funeral. Started my day with tracking down the 'perfect' paper for the bulletin to be copied onto. Perfect paper did not exist and I bought two packages too much for the funeral. Had that copied - thank God Maria and Carmel stepped in to help me sort out the mess in my head and copied the thing for me. I had to transfer Pastor Mark's Keynote presentations and then check through all of them for typos, make sure that the audio clips in them worked and hook up the computer to our system by unhooking the cables and wires running from the current computer. ANNNDDD make sure that the video camera was set up to tape the service. Which was difficult because I had forgotten my work keys at home which had the key to my cabinet that was holding the video camera ransom. Fortunately we were able to locate the spare key and the video camera was set free.

    The funeral went from 12:30 until 3pm. Matt - you were right about it going long... (I guessed that it wouldn't go longer than 2pm.) Anyhow, despite the length, it was great funeral, honouring a great man and giving glory to God. So nice when people don't have to lie through their teeth about the person to be buried.

    Because the funeral took up the whole day on Monday, I had to do Monday AND Tuesday's work on Tuesday. Got most of it done, but piled on a whole bunch more. In our meeting with Pastor Smith, I opened my mouth and started a huge project that has to be finished for the weekend: labelling 2600 pieces of lego to create a surface for people to write their names on. This project is still going...

    Went on a search for Lego that night (a particular set - the standard kind with no weird pieces). Believe it or not, it's really hard to find.

    Called Jan to find out whether or not she had returned the lego that she had picked up (I hoped not!) and found out one of our former pastors, Les Burton passed away from a massive heart attack. He was only 42.

    Looking forward to a regular Wednesday, it disappeared as soon as I stepped through the doors at work. Started with news of having to make an additional powerpoint presentation for that night's service. Had to throw together a lameo presentation. Started the Lego labelling project. Finished up layout the text for Pastor Smith's notes for copying. Had at least 5 calls regarding IT crap. Made up last minute promo for an event that doesn't have very good response thus far and could possibly be cancelled if no one else signs up.

    Jesse and Lisa picked me up after work. Visited three stores (Chinese one, Costco, and Food Basics) to get ingredients for Wednesday night's feast! Jesse made chicken congee which had the most ...uh... delicate flavour. That's pretty much the only way to describe it. I thought congee was easy to make - after watching Jesse, I know that this is not true. I made a steak et frites dinner with tomato salad. We finished the night off with some Italian desserts Kaylee brought over (tartufo, and italian ice).

    At the end of the day I was beat, but full and happy.

    Thursday ... today!
    Today, I brought in one more box of lego to make sure we had enough pieces - one per congregation member (including children). Finished up the bulletin to be printed. Completed the powerpoint announcements for the weekend. Selected the songs I am going to lead on Saturday. Received a phone call from Les Burton's brother, Craig, regarding videotaping the funeral service on Saturday. I am now videotaping the service on Saturday. Went to lunch with some co-workers. Came back and made a church out of lego. (Yes, I was told to make a church out of lego. My job is the best.) Photographed an assortment of lego for the powerpoint presentation for the weekend. Didn't finish, 'cause I was sent home!

    Lego Church, originally uploaded by kathy photo.

    This week was enough to make my head spin. I can't believe it. Just crazy. But this is a nice ease into the weekend. I am taking the day off tomorrow COMPLETELY. Well... I think I have to make one powerpoint presentation, and perhaps do some overdue laundry. BUT OTHER THAN THAT, I think I'm gonna sleep.

    Marketing at its best

    Friday, February 23, 2007

    Gonz and I came up with a new slogan for Pacific Mall.

    Pacific Mall
    "Is it illegal? I don't know."

    Important Blogging

    I've been reading this blog by Aaryn (she's white), an american journalist-type book-addict adoptive mother of a little black girl who is strongly opinionated, passionate and emotional, making for interesting reading. Her life is supremely different from my own, and her interests sharply contrast mine. I don't agree with all her opinions, but I figure what use is it to always expose yourself to something you fully agree with? She's expanded my own understanding in some issues, and made me consider to think through some more things more fully.

    the last article i commented on was a quote that she posted from a woman who was responding to an article she wrote that was published in a magazine. it was about an incident in black history that is one of the most horrific thing that i've ever read/known about. a sentence in the woman's hate letter: "what did he expect?" i couldn't believe it.

    you can read the blog here.

    Happy Chinese New Year!

    Monday, February 19, 2007

    Happy Chinese New Year!, originally uploaded by kathy photo.

    Last night, while I was preparing a video for Sunday morning church, Ling Fu's (our Chinese satellite church) preparations for their Chinese New Year Party was well underway. Well, even coming to an end...

    Since 12noon Saturday, they were gathering up groceries and materials to make a super-lunch for the people of Ling Fu and any random person they invited. They were expecting nearly 200 people. That means, you have make five times as much as you need - because you are Chinese. They made 3,000 dumplings. THREE THOUSAND. People from the church were in Room 228, and the main kitchen, between 5pm and 10pm making these dumplings as well as other Chinese food that is usually enjoyed for the new year party. Dumplings were cooked and consumed during the production of these dumplings, dumplings were consumed at the party, and many were left over that we consumed some more this evening. I've probably had something like 40 dumplings between yesterday and today (sounds nasty - but easily done).

    The party was so crazy today. I love and hate going to Ling Fu stuff because everyone is seriously having so much fun, but I haven't a clue as to what is going on. I can pick out pieces of what they are saying provided their sentences aren't more than 6 words long. After that, I'm completely lost. Today was like that again. A full program in Mandarin? I'm completely lost. But what can't be missed are a whole bunch of people who haven't been in the country for long, finding a second family. That is seriously indescribable.

    Website Updated

    Friday, February 16, 2007

    Last year I designed a website for my husband's brother-in-law, Matthew Miller. He designs tailor-made kitchens, as well as bathrooms, and other places in your house. I just updated his site with 6 more kitchens that he has completed in the last year. There are more to come.

    Why do you care, you might ask? Dave and Matt - go see your kitchen online (gallery #10). :-)

    where prosperity gospel has it backwards

    Wednesday, February 14, 2007

    we tithe and give our offerings out of our blessing from God. not FOR his blessing.
    the first is out of gratitude. the second is out of greed.

    snowed in?

    Monday, February 12, 2007

    i hope.

    quicker than quick

    saturday - made an impromptu leg of lamb roast with my dad
    sunday - made an impromptu lasagna with christine, assembled our glass cabinet with margaret, laughed until wee hours of the morning
    monday - went impromptu shopping with my parents and christine by bumping into them at longo's

    1) it's official: i will be playing piano in the easter presentation.
    2) i made a friend of an enemy. (unrelated to #1)
    3) didn't realize that i could have left 15 minutes earlier from work when i looked up from my task and realized it was late
    4) told tony about the morons from the previous week
    5) i am involved and it's too late to turn back. feel a little tentative, but i'm going all out.

    people. life is about to get a little stressful again. but i'm rested up for it. let's go!

    Finally Complete...almost

    So.... we ordered this cabinet as a piece of our entertainment unit back in August. We finally received it today. That's a drama in itself.

    Margaret put it together for us (no, we cannot even put Ikea together - that is how UNhandy we are). And well... let's say, it is almost complete.*

    Oh - and thanks Resonate for helping us buy that last piece! We received a gift card from the young adult group that we interim led while they were looking for Pastor Jeff Hackett. We put it towards putting this crazy livingroom piece together. Looks really nice.

    *The only problem is the wall-briding unit. I'm unsure if the wall will hold it up. I'm waiting for Matty to come over and inspect. (Matt, I haven't told you yet).

    All back with you

    Friday, February 09, 2007

    Okay, so I've just gone through all the blogs of all my friends (and some strangers) and feel a bit caught up with everyone's crazy whirlwind lives. I've got musicians, artists, students, international students, stay-at-home mum, and family all to read about. Glad to know what's happening in your life - even if it is from afar.

    Now, I'm usually the one that is pretty on top with reporting what's happened in the day, but I've dropped off the face of the planet this week. It's been a good week though. Here's all the other things I was doing while I wasn't blogging.

    There is always a big hoopla around the Annual Report. It is a very, very big job - although with great satisfaction at the end. It's a six-person job involving many details, and also managing the copier in such a way that it doesn't break down when we need it most. We have 4 inserts going into our bulletin this week, and the bulletin itself also has to be copied - it's at least 8 hours of copying that has to be managed. This is how the annual report prep goes:

  • Carmel sends out a memo to all staff informing them of word-counts, content, formatting, deadlines and communication to lay leaders of ministries.
  • Carmel receives reports from Pastors and lay leaders, and compiles into two documents, keeping track of late entries, changes and other assorted drama.
  • Kathy designs layout, sets up the master pages, creates paragraph styles and enters all content once received from Carmel.
  • Once layout is completed, Kathy passes over first draft to Samantha and Juanita to do first read-through for typos, coherence and other glaring errors.
  • Kathy makes up other special pages: meeting minutes from 2006, special donation page, 'in loving memory', staff listing, and ministry leadership listing
  • Maria gets the second draft and goes through the thing with a fine-tooth comb; picking up double spaces, italicizing names of all individuals who are being thanked, italicizing scripture and references, further massaging difficult-to-read paragraphs, and other nit-picky items like that.
  • Carmel and Sandi double check the list of elders (some years we have accidentally included deceased elders.... eeek), and part-time staff lists
  • Kathy rearranges the reports of pastors according to department, then alpha-order
  • Kathy and Maria set up the Table of Contents
  • Kathy sends final document to the copier where coloured pages are set up to be inserted for the title pages, and other complicated settings are entered
  • Carmel watches over the printing of 500 copies of the Annual Report printed over yesterday and today. They will be distributed this weekend to members according to the constitution (2 weeks before the Annual Business Meeting - if you're a member, you'd better be there.).

  • This is about a month-long job. I've had a few late nights this week (nothing serious - like 6pm). This is probably the smoothest it has ever gone. This year we divvied up the jobs according to the strengths among the support staff (you'd think this would be an obvious route to take - but trust me, it isn't). And we have had significantly less trouble than usual.

    Maria purchased 24 and was so kind to lend it to us. So, we've been watching that most evenings. First night we only watched one. Second night we only watched one. Third night (last night), we watched 4, I think. This is a greeeeaaaat season (season 5). We're always a little bit behind on the 24 train, but that is the price you pay when you don't have cable and the only channels you can get are 'Vision' and 'CTS'.

    I'm doing so well at the gym. Probably better than I ever had all the other times I have had gym memberships (YMCA, GoodLife, Bally's, Extreme Fitness). I've got a schedule all mapped out on my calendar and when it's a night to go, I go. If it's not, I don't. That way, I don't feel like my life is consumed by going to the gym, but I am getting the exercise that I DESPERATELY NEED. I feel so much better now. I can't wait for another month when my strength is back up as well as my endurance.

    Other things this week have also included opening the vendor search back up for the web redesign project (that was potentially frustrating, but ok), going to training for InDesign with Maria on Wednesday night, dealing with a total moron for one of our vendor services (won't go into too much detail here - I will totally tell you in person. Beka, you'd love this story), and learning about 'velveting chicken' so that my red thai curry chicken dish has the texture of that in the restaurants (it's almost there). So, my week has been packed with various things, but it's been good.

    Growing Up, Moving Forward

    Sunday, February 04, 2007

    Been an interesting week. Kind of stressful. To the point where I could be very emotional. But it's nice, I can see myself mellowing out. All the things that would usually get me to tie my hair to a post and set my socks on fire, usually just get a deep breath from me now. Last couple of weeks, I've had so many random things thrown at me, but I just feel ... grounded. I think that my vacation was gooooood. I had so much time to think (especially in the 2 and half hours sitting on the 401 that fateful day...).

    On another note, I have had some nice times to hang out this week. Lindsay came over on Wednesday and it was good to catch up. We had good laughs, and Lindsay took a few shots at Gonz (sometimes on purpose, sometimes not), and we just had a nice night over all. Gonz and I hung out with Justin Comber who just recently finished his first draft of his thesis! CONGRATS. Sushi on Bloor to celebrate. And then afterwards headed on over to Margaret's graduating class' thesis preview show. Margaret's piece was stellar (image above). When I saw it, I nearly cried. The image is of my grandfather, who, out of the three of us, I would have been the only one to have ever met him. If you can get her to explain the piece to you, you'll see why it means so much.

    Today, we did some good household things. Yes. Yes, we took care of our finances. Trying to get more aggressive with saving. So much can slip through your fingers if you don't watch it. However, we're not going nuts. There is still a life to live - but we're just trying to reel it in a bit so that we can prepare for the future the best we can.

    It has been a good week. A good week taking steps forward. Not much of that detailed here - but definitely in my 'real' journal.


    Wednesday, January 31, 2007

    Sometimes I think that if I check the blogs again they will magically update.

    Quick Update

    Tuesday, January 30, 2007

    Okay, see if the song works for you now...

    Yesterday was Juan, Gonzo's dad's, birthday. It also happened to King Street's Volunteer Appreciation Night. And it also happened to be the night where Phil Aud and band (Dom Russo, Joey Goodwin and Jon Manafo) were the special music. Got to catch up a bit on some of my old college mates. Crazy - everybody's a parent! Trippy to say the least.

    Today, went to check out the Super Walmart they just built over by Warden and Eglinton. I picked up my mom to see the spectacle. We walked through the front doors, and just stood there for a little while 'cause we didn't even know where to start. It's like its own mall.

    Made plans to hang with Justin Comber this Friday (still yet to be confirmed).

    Today, finished up the annual report in about an hour. That makes it about 4 hours total for over 50 pages of layout. I've come a long way, baby.

    Oh, and let me know if that link allows you to hear the song.

    Let me know

    Sunday, January 28, 2007

    Hey - let me know if the mp3 below doesn't work. Or if it does work for you. Christine told me it didn't work for her. Boo.


    Okay, people, do you remember your elementary school song? I do. And it was lame. Or wait, maybe I don't... I only remember it as lame.

    Alice, one of my friends in Germany, is doing her internship at a school for mentally challenged kids, and was put in charge of writing a song for her school named "Frida Kahlo". With my other German friend Tom, a pianist, they wrote the school song together and recorded it at a studio owned by a teacher at the school's husband. They all recorded the song together, with Tom playing all the instruments. It turned out awesome even though I haven't a clue as to what they're saying. Check it out below.

    Go ahead. Feel free to send Tom comments at mail (at) tomwahl (dot) de. This is da bomb.

    One story before bedtime...

    Saturday, January 27, 2007

    Okay, it's 2:30 am. Got home from Adam's farewell tonight, and got inspired to do a little bit of webwork. And you know - when the inspiration's kickin', you'd better just take advantage of it. Anyway, I've had a good fruitful time. Now, I'm tired. Yet, I still have to write this blog.

    Earlier today, while we were tidying up for dinner, I heard a knock at the door. I don't know about you, but when someone knocks on my door, I find it a little exciting... good-exciting, and bad-exciting. Of course, that all depends on what is waiting for me on the other side of the door. I look through the peep-hole, and I don't see anyone. I keep looking, and looking, and finally a woman steps in from the edge of view, and then I can see her. I open the door - it's a neighbour from the 10th floor. She proceeds to ask me if a woman with curly hair lives "here".

    ME - No
    HER - Oh.
    ME - Are you looking for a friend of yours? {stupid question: if she were a friend of hers, she would have addressed her by name. AND known that she lived here or didn't.}
    HER -, no, no. Okay, see... a woman with curly hair a few minutes ago knocked on my door and said she lived here, she was frantic, and nervous saying that she just got a phone call that her mother had a heart attack, and she needs to get to Barrie, but her husband is working until 2am so she doesn't know what to do. She asks if she could borrow some money so she could take the bus there.
    ME - Oh my goodness... is she okay?
    HER - Well, see, my fiance offers to drive her there, and she declines saying that she would want to do that to us in this weather. So, I gave her some money. It wasn't much - just fifteen bucks. But...
    ME - You think you got scammed?
    HER - Yeah. After she left, I said to my fiancee, if she was from the 14th floor, seems like a long way to come down to the 10th. Then I just had to see for myself. I didn't give her much, but if she does this to even ten people...
    ME - that ends up being a lot of money... UGH! that's awful!

    I learn her name, and become a little frustrated about this little sociopath that has just preyed on her. We wonder why people are distrusting, and unfriendly to strangers. This is a classic example. People that prey on the good natured-ness of people... ugh. I could just KICK THEM!