Dancing in the moonlight

I am going to be a one man Broadway production pretty soon.  Not only do I sing in a choir but my wife and I also ballroom dance.  Tamara really wanted to branch out from the two dances I am familiar with; the two-step and the seventh-grade shuffle.  We found a course in the Penticton Parks and Rec. guide so we gave it a shot.  We really like it and now are enrolled in the advanced class.

The basic course comes in two flavours.  In one you learn the jive, cha-cha and foxtrot and in the other you still learn jive and cha-cha but foxtrot is replaced by the waltz.  The instructors are great and they break things down really simply.  We ended up taking the basic course 3 times because that was the only course offered.  By the third time we had learned pretty much all the moves they were teaching but I highly recommend taking the basic course at least twice to you can pick up all the dances.  The waltz and foxtrot have similar moves so you can apply a lot of what you learn from one dance to the next.  Learning the basics is really key to building up your repertoire of moves.

Over the winter the instructors put on a smaller class for couples who had taken the basic course and were looking to pick up a few more tricks.  It was really fun and it really expanded on what we have already learned.  The current advanced class is very interesting and quite challenging.  In this class I find you have to break away from the standard footwork and then find a way to get back into it.  In the basic class your feet basically keep doing the same thing while you spin around each other.

The one challange I wasn’t really expecting from dance was how hard it is on my brain.  I find I really have to think hard about my feet, the next move I want to do, my posture, and the rhythm.  I have a hard time pointing my brain in two directions so I find it quite challanging.  I can see why dancing would be a good thing to continue to do as you age.  You do get some physicall activity and it really is a mental work out as well.

It has been a very fun experience and I totally recommend it to anyone.  I am not sure when the next class is but you can find the latest Penticton rec. guide here. http://www.penticton.ca/city/parks_rec/default.asp  Check it out and have some fun.

Smile for the crazy sound wave camera


Everyone loves baby pictures and now it is my turn to show some off.  Tamara had her first ultra-sound yesterday.  It was a very cool experience.  The photos I have in the article are scans of the photos they printed for us so the quality isn’t great.  Also, it is like trying to shoot a moving object with a digital camera.  There is a slight delay so you could see everything a lot better on the monitor.

The experience was very cool.  It helps make it all much more real.  Hearing the heartbeat about a month ago was the first real sign we had something going on.  I mean the tests tell you but the heartbeat is pretty much proof.  This just added to it.  There is really something going on inside there.  The one thing that just didn’t occur to me before the ultra-sound is that we saw it move.  I guess because I am used to seeing pictures of ultra-sounds it never occurred to me that we could see it move.  We did and that was just very cool.  The little baby was just squirming around.  They say Tamara should be able to feel it within a few weeks.  I think that may blow her mind.

They are going to schedule another ultra-sound around 18-20 weeks.  This one was at 15 weeks, 4 days.  I have coffee with a lady who is an ultra-sound tech and she says that your best pictures start at about 18 weeks.  For now you will have to look at these grainy blobs which I promise really are pictures of a baby in my wife’s belly and not that alien I keep in a jar under my bed to offer as a peace trade when Zarcon returns from the Zeeboo galaxy to reclaim the human race.  But I digress.  Leave you comments about babies (and aliens if you like).

Please note there are two of each picture.  There is the origianl and a copy where I highlighted the important bits.


Two pink lines

On February 1st, my wife peed on a little stick and my whole world started to change.  This is the story so far…

My wife and I started ‘not trying to prevent getting pregnant’ in November of 2008.  It was a good time to start the process because if she did get pregnant then she would be off for an entire school year and not have to leave partway through.  This would just make things easier on her and on her students.  We honestly thought we may have been pregnant the first unprotected month but it was a false alarm.  December was a bust as well.  It was about this time that we started to think that it wouldn’t happen for a while.  It takes many people from 6 months to a year to get pregnant.  We did not feel that we would be any different.  The positive result was a complete surprise.

We were trying to keep our trying quite.  We didn’t want to announce that we were baby-making.  We did arouse some suspicion.  Because she could become pregnant at any time, Tamara opted not to drink while we were trying.  She had recently been to an information session hosted through the school district on the effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS).  She learned that some studies show that alcohol can affect the fetus as soon 7 days after conception.  We didn’t want to take any unnecessary risks.  Unfortunately this meant she wasn’t drinking over Christmas.  My wife isn’t a big drinker but it is tradition to have a few over Christmas.  Both my mother and hers noticed that she was skipping out on the booze in her cranberry and ginger ale.

I was a little worried about how I was going to feel when it actually happened.  I always knew I wanted kids.  I have pretty much wanted to be a father (someday) a long as I can remember.  I was still worried that once I found out I might start thinking that I wasn’t ready or some other creeping feeling.  To date I have not felt any of those feelings.  I mean I am worried about the mechanics of everything.  I am worried about providing and being a good parent but I am not worried at all about being a parent.  I am just full of joy about it.  I have this feeling that whatever challenges come up, I can face them with my wife and we will overcome for us and our child.  I am so excited.  I have not once thought that we can’t handle it.  I know I am not truly ready.  No one is!  But I know that this is something I have wanted for a long time and I cannot wait to welcome this child into the world.

Finding out was fun.  My wife picked up a test that evening just because she was at the end of her cycle and thought she may as well check.  She did her business and then we went to shave my head.  She had almost forgotten she did the test when she walked into the bathroom.  She looked down and then called me over saying it was positive.  I thought she was pulling my leg, so I said no.  She said yes and then I saw her face.  I can normally tell when she is pulling my leg.  Her eyes told me she wasn’t.  Now we started to frantically trying to determine if we could have done the test wrong.  They say to check it after 2 minutes and it had been closer to 10.  So she started reading the box and I jumped onto the Internet trying to determine how valid the test was.  Our findings were that false negatives do happen but false positives are extremely rare.  Also, test results tend to stay valid for a few days.  Of course we still weren’t completely convinced so first thing the next morning Tamara tried another stick and this time we timed it to the second.  Again we saw two pink lines.

So that is the story so far.  Please stay tuned for further updates.  Also please leave comments about how you found out you were having a child.

Vacation time

The times they are a changing.  I was without Internet for the last week because we were staying at my Grandfather-in-laws condo in New Westminster.  I thought that I would be able to leach Internet off of someone in the building or from one of the other 4 or 5 buildings near the block.  Not one person had an open Internet connection.  I remember the good old days when I could snatch Internet at almost all the bus stops along my route in Calgary.  I will have to remember next time to learn how to crack a Wi-Fi signal.  Anyway lets get back to the trip!

So Monday Tamara and I headed off to the coast.  The trip down went well.  We hit a little snow and slush along highway 3 but it wasn’t bad at all.  That evening we walked around New West a little and had dinner at the apartment.  I managed to get a few channels on the rabbit ears.

Very early on Tuesday morning (around 2am) my brother-in-law and his wife rolled into town.  Tuesday was very important because it was Tamara’s big freakin’ 3-oh!  After a short sleep we got up and headed to Stanley park to check out the aquarium.  It is odd how captivating fish can be.  I really enjoy going there.  There are all these kids running around and they are all so thrilled to be there.  The whole place is just very positive.  I do enjoy the irony that they serve fish and chips at the cafe.  From there we took a quick walk along Robson before heading to Moxie’s for a pre-game meal.  We then went to the hockey game.  This is the first time I have been to a Canucks game in GM place.  This was a great high energy game.  I really enjoyed it and I look forward to catching another game in the future.  A big thanks to Josh and Sonia for the tickets and for dinner.  Tamara really enjoyed her birthday.

We started off Wednesday with a trip out to see Tamara’s grandpa.  He is doing well and we hope to see again soon.  We said goodbye to Josh and Sonia and headed to the New West quay.  We thought we were crazy when we couldn’t find any shops.  We then saw a sign saying it was closed for renos.  We enjoyed a nice long walk along the boadwalk in rainy west coast weather.  It was  nice day.  That evening we drove out to Kitsalano to meet some friends for dinner.  Thanks for the meal Ben and Britney.  We will get you back next time you are in town.  That night we grabbed a DVD and headed back to the apartment.

On Thursdays we grabbed a day-long transit pass and made our way to Lonsdale quay via the sea-bus.  It is a cheap, fun trek.  I managed to find a few very nice teas.  From the quay we stopped back at Metrotown.  It is a grand monument to consumerism.  We got some frozen yogurt from an autonomous unit for mid mall snacking and did some people watching.  It is always fun watching people moving through the mall.  It attacks people from all walks of life.  After the mall we drove back to Vancouver for dinner with an old high-school friend of Tamara’s.  After that dinner we drove out to Langley to have another snack with Tamara’s cousin Dana.  We did a lot of catching up with friends and family this trip.  It was good.  After dinner number 2 we went to see the Watchmen on Imax.  Being a fan of the comic I really liked the movie.  Tamara enjoyed it but it was a little loud in some parts.

Friday we headed home.  On the way we saw Tam’s grandpa once more and then stopped in Aldergrove to see my grandpa and my aunt and uncle.  Thanks to Anutie Ann for lunch.

Tamara and I enjoyed our little trip very much.  It was very relaxing and we had lots of fun.  We had good times and shared good meals with friends and family.  Please post about any recent trips you have gone on.