Thursday, December 22, 2016

SHOULD WE INCLUDE WATER WINGS IN THE BIRTHING KIT?



So I have not written in a blog post in a few years. In fact the last thing I wrote about was my engagement to my now wife/baby mama/woman who lately keeps putting this strange tasting milk in my fridge in little bottles. In fact, that series of posts was much better received than any of my travel pieces, so I should have been writing romance novels the whole time. On that note, if this seems like it was written by your 6-year old nephew who sticks crayons up his nose and eats glue off of Popsicle sticks during arts and crafts time I apologize. 

Having said all that, I am approaching ten years of blogging and am looking to head in a new direction. Life has changed greatly (and for the better I might add!). Gone are the days of months-long traveling expeditions, sleeping in hostels with a bunch of white people with greasy dreadlocks, and drunken nights in exotic locales. Alas, now I am an old-married man who loves nothing more than sitting on his couch with his amazing wife, beautiful daughter, Netflix and dog, Milo, who has a strange fascination with humping any blanket that has a cheetah or leopard print pattern. I’m going out on a limb here, but I think he failed sex education.

Not gonna lie...this one took a few takes
Over the next couple of blog posts, I will attempt to capture the magic (pretty sure that was what my wife was calling it while she was cranking a baby out of her hoo-ha) of the recent birth of our lovely daughter Adeline. I will attempt to leave out the most graphic stuff, but hey if I was able to stomach it, I’m sure you can too.

So, where to start? Well, nine or so months ago I looked at my wife and the next thing I knew she announced, “I think I’m pregnant”. Actually, I am pretty sure that she said “I know I’m pregnant”. I will forever remember this night because we happened to be about the town that evening and all my wife was concerned about was buying a stick to piss on when she got home so that she could prove me that she was in fact “with child” as the sophisticated people say. Well, wouldn’t you know it but we came home and the next thing I know the two of us are hovering over a little piece of plastic in our bathroom that my wife just happened to relieve herself on.  And that my friend is where babies from. This led to my wife crying tears of happiness and me standing there in shock looking like someone who just invited ALF and E.T. to a dinner party and actually had both of them show up. This was of course all verified by a highly trained medical professional in due time. Yes, it would seem that parenthood was imminent.

***PEE STICK VIDEO BELOW ONLY SEEMS TO BE PLAYING ON DESKTOP COMPUTERS! SORRY***

video


I will not bore you with the too many details about the next nine or so months. The quick version goes like this:
- My wife’s belly grew (if she asks tell her it was hardly noticeable)
- We spent a lot of money on maternity clothes that she never wore
- We spent a lot of money on baby clothes that my daughter will probably never wear and baby accessories that she will probably never need or use
- Gender reveal (yes, this is a thing!) and baby shower parties were had
- Photos were taken
- A doula was hired (I will admit I had no idea what this was prior to this)
- The decision was made to use a mid-wife instead of a doctor
- Many appointments were had with said mid-wife
- I made frequent trips to the store to buy very specific things that my wife would crave (salsa runs at 11pm anyone!?)
- Milo would get jealous of the unborn child and deposit feces around our living quarters

You get the idea.

Who doesn't love a good baby shower?!
 Somewhere along the way the decision was made by my wife that she wanted to have a homebirth. I thought this was something that was only done because people couldn’t get to the hospital in time. Nope, it’s a REAL THING I was informed.  Now I know most people associate things such as homebirths to the pioneer age or maybe to the more “granola” types (of which Colleen is not), but we were told that it was perfectly safe and in the event that anything were to appear abnormal with the pregnancy and/or birth we would be immediately taken to the hospital. The decision to have a homebirth is one that everyone seems to have an opinion on, so we did not tell too many people beforehand because every Tom, Dick, and Harry thinks because they watch Grey’s Anatomy they are medical experts. Newsflash: If you work in a grocery store give me tips on buying produce, not on birthing matters. Sorry, rant over. 

By the way baby...did we tell you about our birth plan?

OH YEAH…AND DID I MENTION WE WERE PLANNING TO HAVE A HOMEBIRTH IN WATER!? WITHOUT DRUGS! Here I was a mere few months removed from believing that no baby could ever possibly be born anywhere but a hospital.  Next thing I knew I was mapping out space in my living room for an inflatable pool. If anyone is feeling really brave just go watch some water-birthing clips on Youtube (and those are the ones that are safe for public consumption).

If Vegas had set odds at the beginning of our pregnancy that my wife would want to birth her child at home, in an inflatable pool, and drug-free I would bet that the odds would have been somewhere in the 10,000 to 1 range. And that’s probably low-balling it.

And with that we waited. Our birthing kit was set, the inflatable rental pool was on standby (think a larger, more durable kiddy pool), and the nursery complete.  Now we just had to wait for the tiny human…Well at least I imagine they feel tiny coming out. Isn’t that right ladies?

Thanks for taking the time to read and I hope you enjoyed it!

~Brent~


NEXT BLOG: The birth of a baby!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Day 97/98- Finally, The Final Chapter Of The Asian Chronicles!

Awaking on the last morning of a multi-month holiday, there is definitely a bittersweet feeling.  On one hand it is sad that your trip is coming to a close, but on the other, it's nice to be going home to your own bed and not having to pack and unpack every other day.

Thank God for English...cause I have no idea what that other stuff says!

Since our flight from Hong Kong to Vancouver was not scheduled to depart until around dinner time, we had a few hours to kill.  Colleen and I decided to take our hotel's complimentary shuttle into the central part of the city.  Due to the insane traffic, this relatively short trip took north of an hour, thus limiting our time to play tourists.  After strolling around the harbor for a bit, we headed to one of the nearby plentiful shopping malls to find me some pants and shoes for the flight.  Now why would I need new pants and shoes for a flight you ask?  Answer: Because I was travelling standby on Air Canada, and as the son of an employee I was required to dress somewhat nice.  Momma said flip flops, a wife beater, and surf shorts were a no go.  We figured this would be an easy task as Hong Kong is famous for its cheap shopping.  Boy were we wrong!  Every store we checked out was uber-expensive and  because of my new found "vacation belly" I could find not a pair of pants to fit me if my life depended on it.  Damn small and skinny Chinese people!  Eventually we were able to find some dress shoes, but after a solid hunt, it appeared we were striking out on the pants.  The most common size pants everywhere were 28 and 30, and all I will say is that I was nowhere near that in the waist department!  In the end I made the executive decision to just wear my jeans, which ended up being fine as they weren't overly strict on the dress code. 

Damn filthy-ass Hong Kong pigeons!

 
After grabbing some lunch at the Spaghetti House, Colleen and I headed back to the hotel, packed our stuff up for the last time and grabbed a cab to the airport.  Just a warning: if you don't like walking, avoid the Hong Kong airport!  It is quite simply the most massive airport in the history of airports!

We're coming home!

The twelve hour flight to Vancouver was pretty uneventful, although I did manage to catch up on some movies (Argo and Lincoln) ahead of the Oscars which were scheduled to air the next night. 

Arriving in Vancouver, Colleen and I said our goodbyes as she was catching a Greyhound bus back to Kamloops for a couple of weeks before returning to Inuvik.  I on the other hand had to get to Toronto.   There was only one problem: since I was travelling standby and all of the flights to Toronto were sold out, I was forced to catch a flight to Montreal where I would hopefully be able to connect to Toronto the next morning.  Thankfully I was able to get on a late night flight to Montreal, and would have to tough it out at the airport there until the morning flights to Toronto.  I spent the night lounging attempting to sleep in a wheelchair, which let me just say is not the most fun after you've been in transit for over thirty hours.  I was able to get on a 7am flight to Toronto and I must say I have never been happier to see my childhood bed!  After 38 hours in transit (with almost no sleep) and a couple of months away from home, it felt good to be back on Canadian soil! 

Now it was time to face the music in a couple of days and fly back to Inuvik, -40°C temperatures, no apartment, and work.  Yeah, come to think of it, I was missing Asia already!  Fuck this winter stuff!

~Brentski~    ****THE END****
Thank you to everyone who read any parts of the "Asia"  blog series.  I realize I was publishing these accounts well after the fact,  but last year was a very busy one for me so it was hard to find the time and motivation (I'm not so busy now as some of you may have heard!).  Thanks again, and stay tuned for more!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Day 96- Hong Kong Disneyland: It's Like Disneyland...But In Hong Kong.

Our last full day abroad.  Single tear.  We would be flying out of Hong Kong the next afternoon, so we figured we had better make the most of our last day before returning to Canada.  There was only place that could possibly live up to our expectations for a grand finale: The Lusty Leopard Strip Club Hong Kong Disneyland!
Colleen and I's initial plan was to wake up at the crack of dawn and catch the subway down to Disneyland before all the crowds.  Instead, the both of us slept through multiple alarms and we didn't make it out of the hotel much before lunch time.  We'll just blame it on jet lag and the one hour time difference we were coming from.  The ride to the park was pretty entertaining, as Disney has their own dedicated subway line that connects up with the main lines to transport people to the park.  The subway cars are decked out with all Disney regalia including Mickey-shaped windows, "oh-shit" handles, etc.  My hairy legs also managed to severely frighten a young child, which now makes my cat Mr. Bubbles (R.I.P.) non-exclusive in the "Brent's hairy legs resemble a small Yeti and scare the shit out of me" anti-fan club. 

The Mickey Mouse subway.  Mind blown.

Colleen getting into the Minnie Mouse spirit.

 
As we arrived at the park, I must say I was amazed at just how many Chinese people there were.  I realize this may sound like an ignorant comment since we were in Hong Kong, but I genuinely expected there to be a greater representation of foreign interests here.  I mean, it had to be 98-99% Chinese people.  I did my best to blend in with my expensive SLR camera, but I fear it was all for naught.  After taking the requisite tourist photos outside the main gate, the wifey and I headed in to the park.

I must say I was getting quite the belly by the end of our trip.

I'll just pretend I don't know her...

Since we were at an amusement park, and let's be real Colleen and I don't need an excuse, it was a safe bet that we were going to be eating extremely shitty for the day.  We hit up a bakery for breakfast before checking out the Lion King live show.  I must say  Timon and Pumbaa never get old.  Our first official ride of the day was some new roller coaster, which miraculously we only had to wait two minutes to get on.  One thing I notice as I now enter my more senior years is that my stomach cannot handle rides like it used to.  Now I know why my parents always sent me and my siblings on the rides while they just idled nearby.  Here I was thinking they didn't love me, when all they wanted to do was not barf up a lung.  Needing a slightly tamer ride, we took Tarzan's raft to his tree house (I guess he maintains residences around the world) before venturing over to Toy Story Land.  My stomach continued to act a fool on the rides here, while I did my best to settle it down with the most revolutionary food product of all-time: a pizza cone.  I'm not sure what was better: seeing my favorite characters from twenty years ago or eating a pizza cone. 

Simba!!!!

On second thought maybe she should disown me.
 

It's like the year 1995 in real life!

Sorry Colleen you've been replaced.

 
The next stop in our attempt to see the whole park in one day was Fantasyland, where we took in a Mickey Mouse 3D show before I laid eyes on the most annoying, yet most Disney ride of all-time: It's A Small World.  I let Colleen know that we were riding those boats with tiny statue people come hell or high water, because I just really, really, really needed to hear that song.  While I attempted to soak in the leisurely boat ride, the young girl with her father sitting in front of us had other ideas and instead wanted to spend the entire ride using us as her personal English tutors.  We happily obliged her, as I am all for training the future leaders of tomorrow in the fine art of saying, "hello my name is Brent" on repeat.  We then stumbled upon the daily "Disney Parade" which we followed up with a visit to another Disney parks institution: Space Mountain.  After Colleen owned me on the Buzz Lightyear Space Shootout (my gun must have been broken, because we all know women can't shoot), we invested in a gigantic cotton candy and some other 0% nutritious shit for dinner.

That sign is the story of my life. Whaddup!

This costume has definitely been used in some fetish films.

She better share or else...
Slightly unrelated:  During a visit to the public bathroom, I had the most bizarre thirty seconds ever.  First, upon entering the facilities, I was greeted by a young girl being propped up by what I can only assume was her father over top of a urinal.  She had her legs on top of the urinal, while she leaned her back against her father in an attempt to hit the porcelain target.  While all this was going on, a young boy who had just finished taking a leak decided he didn't need to pull his pants up and just walked over to the sink and started washing his hands while his digits were hanging out.  Just a casual hand wash sans pants in a Disneyland bathroom.  Very normal! Needless to say, I quickly locked myself in a stall.

With the night winding down, we went on one last ride, the Jungle River Cruise.  I must say it was rather entertaining, as we cruised around this little body of water and random fake animals jumped out at us in the now dim evening light.  Throw in the fact that our tour guide was more animated than an Asian Steve Irwin on Prozac and you my friends have the making of the most ridiculous boat ride ever!  As the night was winding down we headed to the souvenir shops to gather up some useless crap.  All of the stores were absolutely rammed with people who were clearing the shelves off as it was Boxing Day or a going out of business sale.  When you imagine stereotypical Chinese shopping, this was is it at its finest.  Having survived the retail nightmare, we grabbed some Mickey-shaped waffles and grabbed a spot for the end of night fireworks over top of the Cinderella/Sleeping Beauty castle.  A great way to end the final night of our trip.

BEST. WAFFLE. DESIGN. EVER.

Our final night in Asia.

~Brentski~